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


today, on my way back from the workout, I finally remembered to go check out the land for sale on the street (Campeche) just north of the Vrentino restaurant which is part of Club El Moro hotel. I was astonished. there is what appears to be a freshwater pond, a little microclimate with beautiful ducks and other life right there just a short distance from the ocean. I picked some mallow and goosefoot for my salad.

I made a tiny batch of tamarind cider today: about 1/2 kilo tamarind fruit, my last 2 10-cm sticks of canela, cinnamon; a piloncillo of raw sugar, which I've had for about 2 years and showed signs of rats chewing on the plastic bag it was in, and ants and other insects living in it; and about 10-20 (a small handful) of cloves thrown in. after it had cooled off, I added yeast and let it sit over last night. today I divvied it up into two 1.5 liter bottles and topped both off with water. also added granular sugar to each bottle, a 5-count while pouring for each bottle. just playing it by ear.

the dregs from the cooking pot tasted great. I'll know in two or three days whether or not the cider itself is drinkable.

also sprouted some lentils 2 or 3 days ago, and ate some tonight, both raw and cooked. raw they taste a little like I remember peas fresh from my Mom's garden. [comment]


starting to unsubscribe from all the crap emails I get every day. couldn't figure out how to get rid of Patch; first, they make you login before you can unsubscribe. then once you login, they require you to create a profile. I didn't want to do that. finally I broke down today and typed in "not now" for my name, and clicked "Create Profile". it failed. so I was stuck in limbo. I went back to gmail and clicked "Report Spam and Unsubscribe". it sailed me right through Patch's unsubscribe process with no login. fucking amazing.

I also figured out how to unsubscribe from Yahoo groups; I apparently had used my jcomeau.com address. so I added that address to gmail and now I'm getting my confirmation messages. I didn't know how to set the "From" address on replies but today clicked the "To" address, and there was the option to set the "From". cool. I just got rid of 5 daily emails. [comment]


going crazy trying to get AmericanCoin debugged because freebitcoins.com might list it, and the discovery mechanism has been broken for a long time now, apparently.

my brine ferments have been going for at least two weeks now without getting skunked up by kahm yeast. that might be a record. I guess not adding the local edibles helps.

trying the cheaper toasted peanut oil instead of toasted sesame on my rice. it's good. don't know yet how much of a bargain it is, if I have to add more to get the same oomph. [comment]


stay far away from YoBit.net. liars and thieves. I'll be lucky if I get a penny back out of them from the 40-something dollars I put in. they charge BTC0.0012 per withdrawal!

scratch that. I just got $9.64 back. at least the withdrawal worked and I didn't lose everything. [comment]


so I checked CoinLore this evening, and it showed CLAMs at less than half yesterday's price! looking into it further, YoBit is indeed an active exchange for CLAMs, so I opened an account there too, hoping to make a little quick cash in arbitrage. and I found out one reason why CLAMs are so much cheaper there: the wallet isn't fully functional. I cannot withdraw my CLAMs. so, no chance at arbitrage. waiting for a reply from Twitter, since I need at least one bitcent at YoBit to post in their chat. [comment]


finally found out what happened to CLAM coin on reddit. seems Poloniex lost a lot of money during that last pump-and-dump a few months back because they were offering it for trading on margin. and then they delisted the coin! right now the only exchange that seems to be offering it is freebitcoins.com, and they show it at $1.19 (.000130BTC) instead of the 43 cents shown on the coinomi app and at coinmarketcap.com. just shows you can't trust coinmarketcap. [comment]


thanks to the /system partition I downloaded using SP Flash Tool, and mounted with mount -o loop ~/Downloads/system.img /mnt, I was able to find out where the Adups FOTA app was hiding using apktool and looking at the manifest and resources. it's under the innocuous-looking name Wireless Update. sly bastards. I notice it's no longer showing on my primary phone, but still is on the backup. no idea why the discrepancy, I did the same actions on both phones.

how to find it: look at the AndroidManifest.xml file under the <application> tag: <application android:allowBackup="false" android:icon="@mipmap/ic_launcher" android:label="@string/app_name" android:largeHeap="true" android:name="com.adups.fota.MyApplication" android:supportsRtl="true" android:theme="@style/Base.AppTheme">. if, as here, you see @string/app_name you then need to look at res/values/strings.xml to find it: <string name="app_name">Wireless Update</string>. [comment]


did the same thing to apps AdupsFota, AdupsFota reboot, and DMAgent. read about AdupsFota here and google dmagent to see what kind of nastiness it allows. [comment]


got both my phones adware-free for the time being. at least until the alphabet bois come up with a new attack mode. [comment]


that mode whose name I forgot is FASTBOOT mode, reached using adb reboot bootloader. I can't seem to do anything with it until I pull the battery. [comment]


well, I somehow managed to boot into the Philz recovery software after several unsuccessful stabs at pushing and holding the up-volume plus power buttons at the same time, but couldn't find a way to get into a shell to make any changes. and many other attempts either dropped me into "Factory mode", which only does anything when you hit the "Home" softkey at the bottom right, and "META mode", which apparently does nothing. you just have to disconnect the USB cable and hold the power button until it shuts down. at least that's better than the mode whose name I've already forgotten, which can only be escaped by removing the battery.

so anyway, not much progress today. I did manage to start work on a simple script that uses binwalk to help extract parts of a boot image though. something along the lines of Collake's FMK, but way less complicated and more likely to succeed. [comment]


well, that was scary. I used adb reboot recovery to get into recovery mode, then not finding anything useful (like a shell prompt), selected bootloader mode. that immediately dropped me into a black screen with "FASTBOOT mode" in very tiny letters at the bottom. both keys stopped working, and I couldn't connect with either adb or fastboot. so I opened it up and yanked the battery. rebooted, and it was back to normal. whew.

oh, and in recovery mode the keys don't work as expected. instead of navigating with volume up and down, and selecting with the power key, volume down navigates and volume up selects. pressing the power key only gives you the little droid lying on his side and the message "No command".

I think it's about time for bed. [comment]


spent money today for the first time since I mentioned it 3 days ago. today's expenditures were similar except that the water was over twice as much, 33 pesos, and the carbs were in the form of flour this time, 10 pesos.

ran out of lard today and used some coconut oil instead, which is far more expensive but I already have some. on Monday maybe I'll go to the market and see if I can find some lard. [comment]


remembered this morning that the reason I stopped sprouting years ago is because I didn't feel like eating them every day, but if you want them to be a regular part of your diet, you have to keep the batches going: 3 in fact, for things that are best on the 3rd day. and they can get moldy if you forget about them for even 1 day. so I realized: hey! I can put them into my sauerkraut! and did.

found some velvetleaf, Abutilon theophrasti, on my way home after jogging today, and picked a few leaves to eat. that will make my salad a little more interesting. [comment]


my wheat berry sprouts are on their third day. the roots and grass are about 1/4" long. I mashed some in the molcajete to make a paste, added salt and oil, and left it for a couple of hours while I jogged and did other things. when I got back, I formed it into a tortilla of sorts on my comál and cooked it. it took several minutes to get it to where it would hold together to flip, then the other side finished more quickly. very tasty, and interesting texture, but no substitute for a real tortilla, being too brittle.

also, it was too hard to mash in the molcajete. on my way back from jogging today, I identified 3 rocks along the coastline that could be used as a metate, after grinding them down for a while.

also, I got some help from the Vetelia folks on their Facebook page, and today was able to get my free ride (you are gifted after installing their app) after getting a signal from La Terraza strong enough to reach the Vetelia parking area across the street. I clicked the balloon for the Ride station at which I was standing, and was able to then scan the barcode on one of the bikes, which unlocked. however, I could not kick back the kickstand. after futzing with it for a few minutes, I finally laid it down and was able to push it easily by hand. so I got my ride. I went down to the next station south, past Bravo, parked and locked it. that was fun, but the electric assist scares me a little. if it malfunctioned and didn't stop when I stopped pedaling, I could be in some serious danger. [comment]


finally got adb backup -apk -all to complete on my primary phone. I first had to remove the Earn (com.twentyone.two1mobile) app, the one on which it kept hanging. now to see about rooting the damned thing, and removing the adware. [comment]


getting settled into this Mediterranean-ish diet, the cravings for animal protein still being very few and far between. I still have a "craving" for spending money, but I seem to be getting better at satisfying that with very little outlay. yesterday, for example, I just bought about 7 pesos worth of milo, grain sorghum, yesterday, plus another 15 pesos for a refill of my 5-gallon garrafón with filtered water. about a buck twenty in US dollars. if I could maintain that, it's likely I could survive through the toughest of financial times.

my dry goods: beans, rice, flour, wheat berries, coffee, sea salt, sodium bicarbonate, various spices, sometimes roasted peanuts in the shell.

fats and oils: currenly lard, grapeseed oil, coconut oil, toasted and virgin sesame oil (the latter of which I have no plans to ever buy again).

perishables: cabbage and garlic, the first of which I immediately make sauerkraut, and the latter which, if any remains after a few days, I smash and peel, and put into the sauerkraut to keep fresh. the kraut lasts at least a week without getting moldy, perhaps much longer.

most of that stuff needs to be kept dry and safe from rats. that means in metal pots and pans stored under the barbecue which is the basis of my outdoor kitchen. those rats can chew right through plastic containers if they smell something they like inside. they got into my popcorn that way not too long ago.

I make beans, rice, and tortillas on a rotating basis. right now I have beans soaking with salt and a couple of pinches of baking soda to break down some of the long-chain saccharides, and some tortilla flour resting after kneading it for a few minutes. my dinner will probably be bean burritos or hand pies. the same dough is good for both.

I just used the last of my chiles arboles, tree chiles, a couple days ago making another batch of spicy peanut sauce. that stuff is really potent, so the small canning jar I made it in could last me up to a month or even more. [comment]


bought some wheat (trigo) seeds yesterday to sprout, and today went to Ley to get some sorghum (milo) for the same reason. but first I googled, and found out sprouted sorghum has dangerously high amounts of cyanide, and that as of 1984 when the study was originally published, over a billion people worldwide had chronic cyanide poisoning, due primarily to sorghum and cassava (what Cubans call "yuca"). guess I'll stay away from sorghum sprouts! [comment]


I decided to finally solve that adware problem once and for all, then realized that I had no data connection from netbook to phone. tried rebooting the phone, trying different USB ports, restarting adb, and the like, no joy. but the backup phone connected fine.

tried swapping USB cables. bingo! one of them is obviously only good for charging, not for data exchange.

anyway, now that I'm ready to troubleshoot, the problem doesn't manifest. go figure. [comment]


the duct tape over the mole didn't work out at all. yesterday afternoon I took a look at it, and almost all the stickum was gone from the tape, it was just being held in place by the pants. I'll have to dig more into the theory of why it works, and maybe use some nail polish or something else. [comment]


made over a liter of sauerkraut earlier today. it costs less than 50 cents, for half a head of cabbage, and is usually ready in 3 to 5 days. having a grater makes it so much easier than it was when I had to chop it with a knife.

speaking of knives, last spring when I left La Paz, I stored my Japanese kitchen knife carefully to make sure that I wouldn't get cut with it when I got back here this winter. I must have done a great job of that, because I've been here two months already and still haven't found the damned thing. [comment]


I went over a week with no animal protein, but today broke down and spent 21 pesos on cheese. just had a quesadilla, it was delicious, and it satisfied my hunger on a deeper level than do beans and rice.

of course, I'll be unlikely to find a source for cheese in a survival situation, but I'll have other options, such as pigeons or fish, and of course cats and dogs.

I've been thinking about learning how to knap flint. tried an arrowhead on the beach the other day, but didn't even finish roughing it out before I broke off too much of it. maybe I should start easy, with a "hand axe" or something similar.

I don't think these reddish rocks are flint, but they fracture conchoidally, and ought to be close enough to serve the function. [comment]

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