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


requesting the back row made sense for two reasons: I had the whole 3 seats to myself, and when they ran the ladder to the back door, I was first through it, and got inside the terminal ahead of most. I saw the gendarmes going through people's luggage, and thinking what a dirty trick, letting me think I was getting off easy in Tijuana only to treat me like a criminal later, but they didn't flag me on the way out. back in La Paz, the easiest journey so far. [comment]


amazing experience. no Gestapo questioning or searching my luggage, they just loaded it at checkin. went through the scanner, no beeps, no wanding. last time they had the sensitivity set so high it triggered on tiny zippers. this time I was treated almost human. [comment]


that same cafe, El Despegue just past Subway, also brews pretty good coffee and for only 12 pesos. most of the other places serve Nescafe without saying that's what it is. [comment]


found a cafe at the airport that serves Indio draft in cold glass pint mugs for 35 pesos, and includes wifi and power. the SSID is INFINITUMF1022D and the key is A06A7C7783. [comment]


squirting a little Dr. Bronner's under each arm, into the shirt not directly on the skin, seems to be keeping down the stink, not just by perfuming but also by keeping bacterial action reduced. I've been doing it at irregular intervals over the past few days. [comment]


just checked at the Volaris counter. 3 hours before my flight I can head to the check in. can't forget to get my tourist visa first; plan to do that just after midnight. [comment]


just checked the time and it was 22:22. twice as whatthehell as thou.

although randomly shooting cops without knowing for sure they deserve it must be condemned: as Frein approaches costing the PA government 10 million dollars, it just shows how much of an economic war one good soldier can wage. if 3% of Americans could equal that accomplishment, that would be 100 trillion, more than enough to bring the machine to its knees. [comment]


the restroom at Huahuis is impressive: clean and modern, with 2 Sloan waterfree urinals and a classy-looking sink with clean running water. [comment]


there were cops with a dog sniffing for something just this side of the border. didn't bother me, and walked right past the baggage checkers on the Mexico side without being pulled out of line for inspection.

took the most direct route this time. a Mexican police truck was riding the border fence but he left me alone too. when I got to the steps leading down to the creek, an old indigenous woman had a little fire going right next to the fence. "debo pasar?" dije. "sí" dijo. "gracias". brutal schlepping up the next hill in the dust, having to carry the bags. but I'll never have to do it again unless someone wants to trade me a GoPro in exchange for exclusive footage.

stopped at HuaHuis at the top of the hill for an Indio and some tacos de mariscos. life is good. I made it. the airport is easy from here, about 1.5 miles, and I have over 12 hours to get there. [comment]


Rock Bottom is gone. now it's Tin Roof. shit. might as well head to TJ. [comment]


the $27.85 I spent on transportation to the border this time could have been only $18.85 had I gotten the dollar (plus 50 cent fee, so $1.50) ticket from Megabus. beat that, willya! [comment]


professional assholes got sent to wake me up before I got even 2 hours sleep. they were courteous enough about it this time though. didn't ask for ID like the punk ass bitches did in Balboa Park one time. should probably have gotten off at a beach but they looked too blowy and cold, and I hate having sand in everything.

found a Starbucks at 345 Market street and am having some coffee. [comment]


got off the 101 at La Jolla Shores road, crossed the street, and just about a minute later the 30 to downtown came by. things are looking good for some tranquil daysleep downtown. [comment]


didn't get questioned, or even have my ID closely looked at, at the entrance to Camp Pendleton today. hard to believe everything's going so smoothly. I'm bound to screw something up. [comment]


the NCTD 395 can, and did, now sell me a MTS day pass for $5! so I'm set all the way to the border for under $30, and I only walked 12 or 13 miles total. [comment]


that leg was $2 to San Clemente. $22.85 so far. [comment]


that last leg cost me $1.75, added to my Tap card at Union Station. so far it cost $8.60 plis $10.50 plus that $1.75 for a total of $20.85. walked the last 7 miles or so to the OCTA stop near the VA medical center. [comment]


misremembered the route number as 90B but it's 60B, and anyway there's probably a detour at the start due to construction. after wandering about an hour and a half, found a stop on 7th approaching Grand. close to Hank's but it's too close to closing time anyway. [comment]


just pulled out from our 25-minute stop at Buttonwillow Travel Center. on the way to LA. [comment]


so it turns out Wallgreens is a battery dropoff, I didn't have to walk to Whole Foods which may not have accepted them anyway. waited in line, then asked the young black guy at the cash register "where is the battery drop-off?"

he answered "right back here, I'll take care of it for you" and held out his hand. service with a smile. thank you capitalism.

Megabus lady was waiting at the stop, just west of the bicycle parking "garage", and I only had to read the first two digits and she said "I got you" and handed me my boarding card, #3, with a smile. god, I love black people. and this company. and capitalism. why couldn't everything work this well? [comment]


healthy mallow growing at 5th and Bryant. likely gets fertilized plenty by passersby. [comment]


Murphy's law corollary #137: walking or especially running with rolling luggage, with another bag draped over the handle, guarantees that the bag will slip and fall around to the front where it will abrade against the pavement. instantly wore holes in my new drybag.

first leg of the journey cost me $8.60. was going to jog to Novato and save some of that but my knee disagreed. [comment]


took a few tries, in which it kept rebooting during installation, but finally got CyanogenMod9 installed on my Android tablet. now to start all over making it usable again! [comment]


made the bumper sticker I was talking about, using some pirated clipart from Shutterstock. [comment]


found some cool projects I hadn't heard of before: CyanogenMod and iDroid. these could solve a lot of problems. [comment]


just saw a bumper sticker, "I'm Ready For Hillary 2016". I'd like one of those with a stick figure of a guy with his head over a toilet. [comment]


so I finished my installation of Lyft and was rather unpleasantly surprised to see it charged my card $5 right at the start. it was probably somewhere in the agreement but I only skimmed it. then I clicked "Request Lyft" as a test, assuming it would give me a chance to confirm or back out. it did not. I don't have GPS enabled, and though it trusts my user-input location enough to dispatch a driver, it doesn't trust it enough to let me cancel. I asked the driver, Doris, to charge me for her trouble but she said she can't, that Lyft does the charging. what extreme suckery. so now I've wasted someone's time and lost money, all for nothing. almost afraid to try Uber now. [comment]


though my elbow is better, it turns out I messed up my left wrist, probably trying to lift the kayak with extra weight in the back. it got worse this evening. damn, always something. [comment]


from The Pennymon Doctrine, I got an answer to why the store that Mike Brown "robbed" didn't file a complaint. tl;dr: he didn't rob it.

Here's Cir L'Bert, recalling a conversation with Mike Brown's cousin, starting at about 1:06:54:

From what I understand, he... he and his friend went into QuikTrip to get cigarillos, whatever else... [...] so they go in there and Mike goes to buy these Swisher Sweets, whatever... who knows what they were... [...] he has them in hand, he has money out, the guy's like: you have the Swishers, I'm taking the money... basically, says "Oh wait", (this is the shop owner) "I need to see your ID" (forgot to ask him), and Mike Brown is like "I don't have my ID", like, "I live here, really, I just want to buy these." And the shop owner, being the shop owner, there are good and bad ones -- not selling to someone without an ID doesn't mean you're bad; it doesn't mean you're good. He was like "Well, I'm not going to sell them to you." And... you know, I'm 29 now, and I've been 18 before, so I understand this next thing that happened: Mike Brown gets pissed, and that's kind of where the tape that you see picks up, that's where he's basically throwing the cigarillos on the ground, and well the shop owner basically is like "Hey, don't be a dick", basically, gets in his face, he does what a lot of 18-year-olds would do, shoves him back. And that's when he walks out. So... from... you know, I wasn't really able to talk to or see anyone who claimed to see the shooting, so that's the story I heard, that I hadn't heard in the media, was that he attempted to pay for this... he never left the shop with it.


went kayaking in the marsh yesterday and didn't tweak my right elbow. victory.

realizing that bicyclists and pedestrians will have a big advantage as terrorism increases. we're always dealing with life-threatening situations, and our situational awareness is better than most people's. [comment]


so I got an order filled today, SIN587C, a call option on silver for next July at $87 an ounce. this means, if silver is $100 an ounce by June 1 next year, I can cash out this option for $13 times 5000 ounces, or $65000 in inflated dollars. of course, Uncle Scam will lay his hands on a good part of that. how much did it cost me? 2 tenths of a cent per ounce plus commission and fees, just under $15. that's my total risk as long as I don't do something stupid and buy the underlying futures contract. there's a good chance I've lost that $15, since the Fed seems to have an infinite number of tricks up its sleeves to keep the dollar looking healthy. but I'm betting on the Renminbi's success at overshadowing the dollar as reserve currency not long after this election. [comment]


notes on kayaking to the marsh cabins from Gilardi's: downriver to the first right. not far upcreek, hard left and follow parallel to the river. follow it around twists, but don't turn off until there's a bright green roof on the left across the river, at which point you turn right. then you turn left at the Y junction when you see the CBS (concrete block structure) on the left. next Y junction, take a right. when you see posts on the left, take a left. when you have the landfill ahead and a duck blind is ahead to the right, make a right. not long afterwards, there's another Y where you turn left, you'll see the marsh cabins on the left. [comment]


took my oxyacetylene rig out to a friend's shop yesterday, both so I'd have relatively safe storage while gone, and so he could use it for his own projects. this was the first time I'd taken it any distance assembled, and I hadn't considered the extremely likely probability of the regulator adjustment screws, both loose, falling out on the 5-mile trip with a hand truck. so I lost the one for acetylene. fuck. now it's useless to him unless he can find one the right size. I have no idea if it's standard or not.

if you've been following my blog, you might remember I have this problem a lot. the Razor scooter I ended up abandoning in Chico after losing the connecting bolt. numerous radio antennas. Dromedary bag caps. I've rigged ugly, amateurish SAPs (secondary points of attachment) to many of my more valuable items, but wish to holy fuck more engineers would design this shit in. but I realize that's too much to expect in a world where public bathroom doors are still built so that people have to soil their hands on the door handle while exiting, after washing. [comment]


with very little information known about the Michael Brown shooting, many people have already made up their minds about what happened, one way or the other. people on Disqus are accusing me of being a bigot because I don't take the officer's word as gospel. however, I do want to believe that the shooting was justifiable. I simply cannot justify such a belief on what little I know. eyewitnesses are unreliable. cops are extremely unreliable, as a rule. no video of the initial encounter has come forward. so there is no good evidence one way or the other. [comment]


a progressive friend of mine, initials JPN, just submitted an article to a news site that ought to stir up some shit in the gun rights advocacy community. I'm looking forward to it... hope it gets published! [comment]


this article on glyphosate from a few months ago mentions something critical when one considers that the human body holds 10 times more microbial cells than human cells:

By interfering with the biochemistry of bacteria in our GI tract, consumption of glyphosate depletes essential amino acids and predisposes humans to a host of chronic health problems. Specifically, glyphosate depletes the amino acids tyrosine, tryptophan, and phenylalanine, which can then contribute to obesity, depression, autism, inflammatory bowel disease, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson's.


bought a Retech RHA601 antenna for my VX-7R on eBay a few days ago and got it today. seems well-made, in Taiwan, unlike the shitty Chinese stuff I've been buying lately. haven't tested it yet, though. [comment]


a small but statistically significant percentage of motorists drive their cars the way John Travolta's character in Pulp Fiction wields guns. with the same results and same excuses. [comment]


forgot to mention: KE5TFZ participated in the Great Shakeout yesterday at about 1040 in Petaluma. just called in and got logged by net control, Herb KA6JAH. [comment]


another fucking freewheel gone to shit. goddamned bicycle technology fucking sucks. someday I've got to get off my lazy ass and come up with something better. [comment]


mailed in my ballot today. the only candidate I voted for is Dale K. Mensing to replace Jared Huffman in the US Congress. Dale ran as Republican, but he's libertarian and green enough to let me think he's more good than evil. for all other positions, I either didn't vote, or wrote in Nobody where permitted (all local and county offices). voted down all propositions. I was tempted to vote Yes on making certain felonies into misdemeanors, but someone pointed out to me that it wasn't just victimless crimes, but included theft. so they can go back to the drawing board and, next time, write it up correctly. [comment]


my first attempt at a paleo "bread" substitute: biscuits made out of 1/2 cup coconut flour, 2 cups almond meal, 1/2 cup olive oil, and an extra large egg. mixed well with a spoon, formed into biscuits and placed on a cookie tin greased with coconut oil. baked at 450F for 15 minutes, could maybe take another 5. not bad at all, kinda crumbly. might work for topping a paleo shepherd's pie. [comment]


had to dig down to the septic tank to clear a clog before leaving the cabin today. someday the concept of flush toilets will seem a quaint and primitive idea. [comment]


I haven't seen any of my favorite gun rights columnists point this out, so I'm going to make a stab at it. when Jerry Brown vetoed SB808, he did so with the comment that he "can't see how adding a serial number to a homemade gun would significantly advance public safety." while I'm grateful he did veto it, his stated reason is disingenuous and leaves an open door for him or another governor to sign it down the road. the bill effectively imposes registration of homemade weapons, something I'm sure Jerry Brown and all gun-grabbers emphatically support. as of January 1, 2014, all long gun sales are permanently recorded thanks to AB809, which good old Jerry signed back in 2011. does anyone seriously believe he doesn't want to know about those created in the garage as well? [comment]


made some whole wheat bread last night for ourselves and some guests. then tried smoking that mullein I had dried last visit, from a corncob pipe I'd bought on eBay. too early to tell if it had any good effect on my lungs or on the postnasal drip. [comment]


the AP at Petaluma's downtown Starbucks is the worst in the known universe. on for a minute, off for three, at least as my Android often sees it. Debian is more forgiving, as is my iPod Touch.

jogged without the extra electronics today, and it was amazingly liberating. my heels hardly ever seemed to touch the road. a few pounds makes a lot of difference. [comment]


the flu or whatever the hell I had never produced any symptoms beyond the initial scratchy throat and runny nose. but I still had to maintain a week of celibacy to keep from spreading it. hopefully that was enough. [comment]


so Horse Chestnut nuts can be mashed and the saponins leached from them for use as soap or shampoo. there are some of these growing along the Lynch creek trail approaching McDowell from the south. [comment]


walking into Friedman's today I was assaulted by the powerful odor of pesticides. I can't see how this is not raising the cancer rates among their workers. I never notice this in other big-box hardware stores unless I'm actually in the garden department. I wish stores would voluntarily stop selling pesticides and herbicides, but that's not likely to get past the "wish" stage unless and until there is a mass awakening to their dangers. [comment]


am I the only one who thinks the media coverage of the Ebola case in Dallas is ominously reminiscent of the coverage of Fukushima by the Japanese press? start off with "zero risk" and then, as each new case emerges, downplay it until there is no more room to hide? [comment]


throat feeling a bit weird. might be coming down with something. again. [comment]


finally stopped at Petaluma Hills taproom. pints are $6, but this Porterluma is worth it. delicious. the wifi password is "there is no password". [comment]


having a Stella at Twin Oaks, with free popcorn, after a little joblet in RP. at least two traffic signs were blocking bike lanes in Cotati. found a shortcut to Oliver's in the subsidized housing on the south side of Cotati, paths crossing the Laguna de Santa Rosa. [comment]

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