jc blog - tales of a modern-day nomadic hunter-gatherer

Follow jcomeau_ictx on Twitter This is the weblog of Intrepid Wanderer. You never know what you might find here; graphic descriptions of bodily functions, computer programming secrets, proselytizing for the antichrist, miscellaneous ranting and kvetching, valuable information on living off the land... if you don't share my rather weird interests you may want to try slashdot instead.

You can consider my Del.icio.us links an extension to my blog, as are my LifeTango goals and my other to-do items. My to-buy list is also public, but only for sharing any useful ideas that might be there; I'm not requesting charity, neither do I offer it.

You can find me easily in google searches, as jcomeau, jcomeau_ictx, or jcomeauictx. There are lots of other jcomeaus, but AFAIK I'm the only jcomeau_ictx out there so far.

If you want to comment on anything you see here, try the new Facebook comments, reachable by clicking the "[comment]" link at the end of each post. If for some reason that isn't working, go ahead and email me, jc.unternet.net. You know what to do with the first dot. Make the 'subject' line something reasonably intelligent-looking or it goes plunk! into the spambasket unread.

This RSS feed may or may not work. Haven't fiddled with it in forever. RSS Feed


was not having any luck starting a fire on this foggy Mendocino day. finally in desperation, lit some of my Kirkland organic tortilla chips. success! takes a few seconds to catch, but then burns hot with the combination of oils and carbs. [comment]


soldered connections are too brittle to be carrying around. when I wanted to charge my iPod at Frankie's yesterday I found both wires were broken at the joint. got to find a better way. [comment]


jogged to Frankie's in downtown Mendo from Van Damme state park. took me about 45 minutes. [comment]


after my jog yesterday morning, actually while I was in Starbucks, I noticed pain in my lower back, and it just got worse during the day until mid-afternoon when it started to ease. feeling it again this morning, but not too bad yet. I've been drinking more coffee the last few weeks; kidney problem? [comment]


this fog doesn't come on little cat feet. no, this fog marches through the Cotati gap like a mighty gray army, for hours on end. it sits and parties all night in the Petaluma valley, and sometimes doesn't break camp till noon the next day. [comment]


yesterday I watched as the boat at the end of the turning basin dock was hauled away. it was the home of an old guy for years. two units of Petaluma police were there; the guy was sad and angry but what could I have done without getting in trouble myself? [comment]


finally got one of the solar panels soldered before the afternoon winds came up, using the open flame from my butane torch/iron. melted some of the plastic of the Uni-Solar panel in the process, of course, but nothing more than a cosmetic blemish.

all in all, it's probably a good thing I had so many problems with it; it had completely escaped my attention that there are no blocking diodes on these panels (though there are bypass diodes), so the soldering issues triggered me to do some Googling, which reminded me. I'm using 6A diodes from Radio Shack. [comment]


it's been years since I last pulled my free credit reports from annualcreditreport.com, the government-mandated website. Equifax denied me online access after answering correctly their questions (all to the negative), but got mine from both Experian and TransUnion; the Wachovia stuff has finally been purged, apparently. [comment]


my plum brew went moldy. had to throw it out. ah well, next time I'll have to find a container that fits the amount of fermentables I have, and skim the top at the first sign of invasion. couldn't do that when my batch was at the bottom of a 1-gallon jug. [comment]


for the first time in my life I've actually found watercress growing wild, and I've been searching ever since reading Euell Gibbons's books back in the early 70s. it's growing along Corona Creek in Petaluma, between McDowell and Sonoma Mtn. Pkwy., along Liverpool Way. also found some osage orange and peppermint growing along another creek, the one south of G&G Market that runs along Sunshine Way, where I found all the lychee nuts last winter. turns out the edibility of osage orange is in dispute, but the watercress and mint were excellent. and I picked up some grass-fed burger on sale at G&G for under $4/lb. and cooked it over charcoal for a delicious dinner. [comment]


running a Python script against a Windows (IIS) webserver kept giving me a 500 error, even though wget fetched the page just fine. by process of elimination, found out that urllib2's Accept-Encoding header value of 'identity' was causing Bill to flip out. changed it to '' (empty string) using opener.add_headers(), and forcing use of my new value using uppercase on the key (see http://vsbabu.org/mt/archives/2003/05/27/urllib2_setting_http_headers.html), and now it gets to first base at least. not even going to mention how many hours that held me back. [comment]


my plum goop seems to be fermenting nicely, no sign of nasties in it yet.

server upgrade went painlessly today, only a few packages in the security updates.

wondering if my increase in bread consumption is at fault for my recent mental and physical lethargy. switching back to rice soon. as far as I know, Oryza doesn't contain opioids.

thinking of making a very simple handcar using the "inchworm" mechanism someone showed me last KGC. but I need some one-way wheels, or somehow retrofit cams onto wheels I already have.

had apparent success with one of the solder pads on my Uni-Solar panels today. will maybe try cleaning the flux off the other one tomorrow and try again. [comment]


neglected to mention it the other day, but about the same time Facebook Mobile went bad on my iPod, the Javascript that handles the AJAX on the Starbucks splash page, which provides for example Foursquare check-in, also failed and its function has not returned. [comment]


my plum pulp is burping the airlock once every few minutes, about all that can be expected with such a small amount. good sign! and so far no hint of mold, which if it occurs will ruin the batch for sure. [comment]


wow, what is that nosedive in silver at about 0200 Eastern time that's happened 3 nights in a row now? the last two almost exactly match to the minute in fact, though tonight's wasn't as deep a drop. I'm of course tempted to think it's got Bernanke's fingerprints all over it, selling contracts at a loss during light trading, but who's to know for sure? [comment]


started a femtobatch of plum wine today, photos at facebook if you happen to indulge. the crusher I made didn't work as well as I'd envisioned, but it was as good or better than any other method I've used. [comment]


bamboo chopsticks are now my preferred tool for removing items from the toaster. why the hell didn't I figure that out before? minimal risk of burning fingers and almost-zero risk of electrocution. guess you have to already be good at using the things, but after about 30 years practice, I am. [comment]


forgot to mention the other day that I followed up the plums with a sprig of fennel leaf and munched some of the buds. gave me a nice licorice taste on top of all the sugars in the fruit, and made me feel like I'd eaten a whole box of licorice candy but without the guilt.

Grocery Outlet had 3L boxes of Black Box "Sweet Red" wine on sale for $5.99, the equivalent of $1.50 per bottle. it's really not all that sweet, it has some character to it. I'll probably get some more if the sale is still on tomorrow. there's also an Almaden sweet red, same price but for 5L, which I might give a try.

got me a LifeStraw from Amazon for TEOTWAWKI or my next camping trip, whichever comes first. I drank some of the Loon Lake water, after boiling it, but the quantity of suds on shore made me a little uneasy about it.

bought me a large dowel today, going to try making a fruit press out of it and then try a microbatch of plum wine with the last fruit from that tree. [comment]


went foraging today. the plum trees of La Cresta ravine are long since barren, but there are still lots of blackberries. I used to avoid those shriveled, dried-up berries but found that you can just pinch them off and they're still delicious, in fact almost pure sugar. then coming out on Dana St. there was an apple tree with a basket of picked apples free for the taking; I took one and walked on. downtown I wasn't surprised to see the loquat tree on 2nd St. had already lost its fruit, but the one green-leaved plum tree down by the river off McNear Circle still had hundreds of perfectly ripe purple plums with orange pulp inside. stuffed my face for about 5 minutes and left. washed up at Walnut Park and drank about a quart of water.

also, the prickly pear I had planted about 3 years ago on La Cresta ridge had died, but someone had taken a leaf of a different variety and planted it in its place! let's hope this one fares better.

the rice I had taken to Loon Lake had gotten wet and sprouted, and some also got moldy. I threw it all out, but along the Petaluma River bank in the hopes that some of it would grow. [comment]


you probably know I'm ideologically against forced vaccinations, although I believe some vaccines can be worthwhile. but until the past week or so I was clueless on how "herd immunity" was supposed to work, and ridiculed the idea until someone gave me a link to this simulation, and now it makes sense to me.

I still have reservations about the sheer numbers of vaccines given to today's youth, the purity and efficacy of them, and the toxicity of some of the components, not to mention the overriding illegitimacy of using force rather than education to encourage compliance. but I'm no longer against the concept of herd immunity. [comment]


I don't usually indulge in beer, particularly when I'm living off my credit cards, but I made an exception today. besides the big bottle of Maisel's Weisse, I'm now enjoying part of a sixpack of Full Sail Amber. as my sister says on Facebook, "LIG". [comment]


the thought crossed my mind some days ago but I keep forgetting to blog: the low price of silver (and gold, though I don't follow that as much) due to short-selling by JPM and other banksters using Ben Bernanke's easy credit amounts to a price subsidy on the physical metal. it passes the Bill Gates test, so go ahead and use it guilt-free. [comment]


having coffee at the new Panera in Petaluma after shopping at Target and Sprouts. $2 a cup is pricey, but still one of the least expensive ways to get one's bourge on. [comment]


I see a bitcoin miner on Craigslist for $95, that generates a minimum of 333 Mh/s.. right now my machines are averaging about 3.3Mh/s each, and generating about 50 difficulty-one hashes a day. at a current difficulty of over 37 million, it could take me over 1000 years to generate coins. by buying this ASIC, I can reduce that 50 times, to 20 years. no thanks. [comment]


compiling my new project using Coridium's Windows-based tools under Linux. it couldn't find the DLLs, so after googling a bit it turns out it looks for them under PATH; but it's the Windows PATH variable, which has nothing to do with Linux's. and to set Windows's PATH you have to edit the registry. not acceptable.

so I played with different things. WINE_PATH no help. WINEPATH yes! if you set it to a Windows-style path, it gets prepended to PATH:

jcomeau@aspire:~$ WINEPATH="c:\\bleah;d:\\yuck" wine cmd
CMD Version 1.4.1

Z:\home\jcomeau>path PATH=c:\bleah;d:\yuck;C:\windows\system32;C:\windows;C:\windows\system32\wbem



the Luna County Tea Pary Patriots have updated their homepage with more information regarding the appeal. after skimming, I can't say I found anything completely "new" there, but it does summarize where things stand pretty well. [comment]


they called it, "The King of Falafel."
I tried one, it was simply awful.
I asked for a drink,
the man started to think,
and asked, "just a glass, or carafe full?" [comment]


that poison oak plant whose roots I doused with about 10 ounces of sulfuric acid drain cleaner a week and a half or so ago is looking pretty sickly. I had tried, on separate previous occasions, vinegar and clorox, with no visible result. this time I think it's going to die. even a shoot some foot or more away, that I thought I hadn't touched, is starting to turn. [comment]


no shenanigans with silver last night, amazing. maybe Ben decided it was looking a bit too obvious, after Café Américain's observation the other day. [comment]


a lot of atrocities against the Constitution have been wrought over a few thousand fatalities due to terrorists over the past couple of decades. this of course ignores the far more dangerous threats to life and limb of swimming pools, poisons, and cars, but also there is the relatively unexplored topic of innocents killed by police. there is an attempt by Wikipedia to compile lists of killings by officers in general, and sites like Innocent Down which documents individual killings, but nothing online that compiles actual charts and data documenting the year-by-year slaughter of innocent and non-threatening (though possibly guilty of something) people by policemen. my guess: far more than any other "terrorists" ever came close to killing. [comment]


here's another wacko conspiracy idea that popped into my head lately: a plan to outlaw porn as a means of seizing everyone's electronic devices. the premise is this: with civil asset forfeiture already a done deal, eroded 4th amendment rights and cops' overuse of "probable cause", and the existing precedent of using kiddie porn tying these tactics together, by outlawing all forms of pornography the state could just walk into a busy coffeeshop at noon and seize everyone's laptop and cellphone. if there were no porn found on it you might get it back, possibly even intact, though everything found on it might now be in an NSA database. if they found even one photo or video that could be classified as "porn", though, you could be facing a fine or even prison time in addition to losing your electronics.

allowing Christians to take over the conservative political dialogue may have been pre-ordained, not by any god but by the elites who run the military-prison-pharmaceutical-medical-industrial complex, for this very reason.

so: no matter what your thoughts on pornography may be, be aware that any laws proposed to stop it might be detrimental to your freedom whether or not you partake. [comment]


NYMEX closed, silver around $20.20, but Ben's not worried much. sometime tonight, in light trading on the global markets, some proxy of his will "inexplicably" offer a few contracts at well below market, say $19.80, and by morning it can be down in the low $19s. he's got this down to a science. got to keep it below $20 till his handlers tell him to flush the dollar down the toilet.

got silver? [comment]


I've got two bitcoin machines (VPSs) running pretty much the same code, just some minor tweaks on the first, but the first has 31 difficulty-one or better hashes right now and the 2nd has 25. but the quality of the hashes is far superior on the first; while the second's hashes all have 8 hex zeros, the first has 4 with 9 zeros and 1 with 10 zeros; 41 zero bits. nowhere near enough to score bitcoins, but amazingly good in comparison. maybe it's just a temporary thing, and the 2nd machine will kick #1's butt tomorrow. [comment]


yeah, I'm still harping on the same tune, but why not, I never get tired of it: neighborhood-level government. [comment]


this is a total lie. it was "settled" back in 1857, in the otherwise-evil Dred Scott decision: "It [Scott's petition] would give to persons of the negro race... the right ... to keep and carry arms wherever they went." I can't remember who first made me aware of it, but it was probably either David Codrea or Mike Vanderboegh.

"bear"=="carry anywhere", problem solved. next question. [comment]


wow, this was an eye-opener: "What is important is that almost all retail transactions for physical bullion in the US key off a 'spot price' that is derived from a paper market which is not based in the reality of physical supply, since the futures exchanges explicitly allow for the settlement in cash if physical bullion is not available.", from a 3-year-old article from Jesse's Café Américain. no wonder it's so easy to manipulate the price, as noted by Jesse in today's article.

can't help but wonder how many of the $85 or so billion printed by Ben Bernanke every month go into selling silver and gold deliberately well below market, thus making his worthless paper look good in comparison? [comment]


got my Conway's Life program running on the iPod, finally, after finding out that the device silently kills a javascript thread running for more than 10 seconds, unless the script is run from the device itself using a shortcut button. [comment]


new best, 44 bits of zeros, still not close to the threshold though: 0000000000086a3ac62e62dd5b3d2e96ba60c554a487eb83189c1c4deaabd0a5. keep calm and mine bitcoins. [comment]


I did it. drank down the last goddamned 3/4 cup of that nasty-assed bitter epsom salts solution. maybe I'll be lucky and die before 10 more years are up and I won't have to do this again. [comment]


got up at 0620 and drank my next-to-last 3/4 cup of the epsom salts solution. had diarrhea, didn't look like any stones were in it though. same as last time, some 10 years or so ago. better to play it safe though.

gonna be a shitty day. got one more dose coming up in 20 minutes, and I'm done with the recipe, but won't be done with the after-effects for hours. [comment]


didn't accomplish much today, but so far have managed to follow Hulda Clark's liver cleanse recipe pretty closely, only going over 10 minutes on the 2PM cutoff, while I was finishing my bottle of Downtown Brown. the crux of the operation starts in a few minutes, when I make up and drink the olive oil mixed with fresh grapefruit juice. hopefully it goes down as easily as did the epsom salts solution at 6PM and 8PM. should have a hellacious night. [comment]


Downtown Brown was on sale at Petaluma Market, $6.99/sixpack, so of course I got one, budget or no budget. I'm not liking it as I used to, but the second one is going down OK; the first was too sweet for me. my tastes could be changing, or today could just be an anomaly.

got all the ingredients necessary for Hulda Clark's kidney cleanse recipe, after my visit to Oliver's today. might do it tomorrow if I don't forget and eat something fatty in the morning. [comment]


idea for a political cartoonist: an elephant and a donkey in suits are walking past a DC storefront that says J. Amash, Fiscal Therapist. an "Open" sign hangs in the droor, and there are cobwebs from the door to the ground indicating it has rarely if ever been opened. both politicians are leaving a huge trail of blood labeled "deficit spending". one says to the other "poor guy is in the wrong line of business. nobody here has any such problems."

possible enhancement: the window originally read "Dr. R. Paul, Fiscal Therapist", but the name was crossed out and J. Amash's painted in. [comment]


stuffed myself with french fries at Washoe House, and they aren't agreeing with me. went to Lowe's, soon to Oliver's, then the bus home. [comment]


Jogged from 11:00 to 12:56 and only made it as far as Mecham before the pain in my feet and my need to take a dump forced me to stop. Having a pint of Sierra Nevada pale ale at Washoe House. [comment]


found out that my flexible solar panels aren't complicated, they're in series along the length; so I can just roll up the end away from the power terminals to adjust the voltage. this of course also means I can adjust the length to clear any obstacles. this could work out really well. damned good thing, because I just spent about $10 on a few pieces of stainless steel hardware today. that shit is expensive. [comment]

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