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.
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.
A friend of a friend and I hit it off big-time. I haven't had sex like this for years... 6 orgasms in 12 hours. Didn't know I still had it in me. No clue how long this will last but I'm enjoying the feeling of being young again. I don't know if online "friend finder" or personals sites like Orkut, Craigslist or AFF will ever work out for me in the sexual arena. Having a friend with lots of friends, on the other hand, works great. [comment]
Forgot to mention that a guy named Bob brought in a bunch of fish he'd caught to Blackbeard's; the chef fried some, blackened some, and broiled some, and Bob offered it to everybody. What a guy! The fish was excellent; this restaurant has a chef who knows how to fry seafood, a rarity. I'd already had their bacon cheeseburger so didn't have appetite to try more than one or two pieces of each.
They threw me (and everybody else) out of the karaoke bar while I was typing last night's entry. They don't fuck around at closing time; they don't mind being rude either. I stumbled over to Gulf Blvd. and crashed in the entryway of one of the condo buildings. Luckily no cops came by. The waves were too high to sleep on the beach; there was no beach at all that I could see. Hopefully there is by now, I really need to get some more sleep. [comment]
I'm at the karaoke bar, the Coral Reef, and talking to this Brit kid named Greg who caught two sharks yesterday and got really scratched up on his face and leg in the process. He was anchored in a canoe off the sunken ship that marks the borderline of the nude beach here on South Padre and got his revenge against the sharks. He ate them both. Cool. [comment]
Hurricane Katrina is expected to cause some 8-foot waves or better here in South Padre, in addition to the horrible damage predicted for New Orleans. I have no clue where I'm gonna spend the night. I'll probably hit the karaoke bar again after I eat here at Blackbeard's.
I walked East a block after I remembered that the Wave bus heads up that way on the northbound trip, and found a beach access in between the hotels. Cool. I expected they had walled off the beach from the peons (peatones, pedestrians) on this side. I ate my rotisserie chicken I had bought from the Blue Marlin IGA store on the bench there, and drank my 6-pack of Modelo Especial on the beach, after taking a much-needed bath in the Gulf. I really stank bad before that, but I'm almost presentable now. Let's see if I can behave reasonably civilized at the bar tonight. If they even let me in after last time. [comment]
I waited way too late to write this down, but I had a strange dream last night. I was in a van, I think, in Deming with a bunch of really strange people. There was an older man and a young woman in a field just outside the van; I can't remember much about the guy but the girl was unusual in that she kept fading away to near-invisibility, just a shade, then returning to full solidity. She was wearing a silver-colored jacket with some kind of heiroglyph on the back, and had dark straight hair. I don't think I ever saw her face.
The only other person I remember much about was relatively normal; he was a bisexual stud who wanted to get into porno films. I told him I thought he'd have a better shot in LA than in Deming.
Still in South Padre Island. Meeting some really cool people. I'll maybe get a windsurfing lesson before I leave. [comment]
The bus from Brownsville to South Padre Island is Rio Transit; you catch it 45 minutes after the hour every hour till 5:45PM at the downtown Brownsville bus depot on 12th Street. It leaves you off at the intersection of routes 48 and 100, in front of the Church's Chicken in Port Isabel. From there the free Wave bus (yellow, strange-looking) takes you all the way to the Convention Center in S.P.I. at beach access #2. I caught it today to prepay my Greyhound ticket and get my 7-day discount.
My friend went to Wal-Mart yesterday and picked me up a Linksys Wireless-G USB Network Adapter. Pretty good buy at $50, and it looks like it won't overheat and flake out like the damned PCMCIA cards.
It's nice to be back on the ocean (well, the Gulf of Mexico) again, and the water here is a lot warmer than the Pacific. Lots of bars here, including Kelly's, an Irish pub, and even a microbrewery, which I haven't tried yet. This isn't really a vacation, as I'm still scrambling to get my customer's website online, but a change of scenery at least. [comment]
I'm using free wireless with my PDA at the McDonald's in South Padre Island. Had a run-in already with the local police as I was walking across the bridge. They told me if I do it again they'll lock me up for 6 months. Wow. If they punish victimless crimes like that, what do they do with robbers? Shoot them point-blank?
After I got out of Bigo's bar last night after 6 bottles of MGD, I kept walking towards the island. What a stretch of desolation. I got dehydrated after maybe 6 or 7 miles, and it got worse. First you try swallowing your spit. Then you run out of spit and you try just to make enough to wet your lips. When it gets really bad you just try swallowing dry, knowing there's nothing there. I had just barely reached that point when I ran across some fishermen, 3 Mexican-Americans, one in his 50s or 60s and the other two, perhaps his sons, about my age or less. They gave me water and refused to take any money for it (I offered $5, I was so grateful). They had a generator and were lighting a spot in the middle of the river to attract the fish; they were using live bait (shrimp) and lures and were snagging some speckled (salt-water) trout. But the 5 they caught while I was there they threw back, saying they weren't the 24-inch minimum length. I told them I would have kept them anyway, but they said the warden could come by any time and it wasn't worth the risk.
So I continued walking... eventually the lights of the island came into view but it kept looking as though the access to the island got farther away the closer I approached... weird. When I was only a mile away or so from Port Isabel, there was a small camping area where I rested until morning twilight, then I walked the remaining distance back to civilization. After breakfast was when I reached the bridge and got introduced to the locals. I probably went about 30 to 35 miles since 4PM yesterday... I have a nice rash on my butt from the chafing of sweat-soaked pants and I hurt all over. Gotta find the beach and get some sleep.
One thing that has to be done if we are to have a mobile society without cars is to have at least vending machines, if not bars and restaurants, every 10 miles or so on all roads. Licensing and regulations need to just fucking go away, and state-owned rights of way need to allow vendors to set up shop for free. And I hope the gas prices keep going skyward. $5, $10 per gallon, I don't give a shit. Keep those goddamned pick-em-ups and SUVs off the road. Why look for terrorists in the mideast? They're right here behind the wheels of these death machines, all over the US. [comment]
I may have mentioned it before, but I really like the rock group Maná. They have a sound like The Police, but in Spanish. My Mexico City friend was surprised that I like them, I'm not sure why, and she and I part company on José José, whose songs Y Que and Gavilan y Paloma I like, despite my ex-brother-in-law's (or perhaps because of his?) mangling of those two numbers. Right now I'm playing Maná's Dejame Entrar (Let Me In). Naturally, I'm thinking of Z. I'm such a dog. But I know my limitations. Chances that I'll have a 30-year-old goddess in this lifetime are slim to none. Doesn't stop me from dreaming. [comment]
I've been offline about 30 hours now, some people are gonna be pissed... but that's the way it goes. A guard at an inspection station somewhere along the way gave me a hard time about not having a valid tourist visa but I explained that I was going from one border town to another and didn't think I needed one. So he told me I need a new passport (I've had people on the other side of the border tell me the same... this one is really water damaged) and let me go.
From the Matamoros bus depot I followed the signs to the Puente Internacional (International Bridge) and was across it in about an hour and a half. This border station was a first for me... it actually had restrooms and a water faucet out front, as a "welcome home" to pedestrian tourists. The cynical side of me says that's because precious few are going to cross that mile-long (I guess) bridge under the blazing sun. No such facilities exist at San Diego nor at Columbus, NM.
Anyway, I've been walking all afternoon, and am camped out at Bigo's Bar and Grill on Padre Island Way. Hitching a ride here is just as impossible as anywhere else nowadays, though the impossible does occur... I got a ride from Deming to Columbus with a guy named Ramon last Sunday, and my friend Marvin saved me about two miles' walk yesterday morning on my way to Palomas. There's supposed to be a private bus service from Brownsville to the island for $2, but I forgot the name of it, and haven't found internet access yet. So it looks like I'll be off the air for another night... nothing that a few beers can't solve... or at least take the edge off it... [comment]
So here I am back at Cam Central in Cd. Juarez, waiting for the 1630 to Matamoros, from where I will somehow get to South Padre Island and a very special friend. I thought I'd save a bundle by traveling this side of the border, but it's just over $100, and the 7-day advance ticket from Greyhound would have been $59. But then I would have had to get to Deming somehow, which might have been up to $20 more, so this wasn't so bad after all. Besides, I didn't want to wait a week. [comment]
A few thoughts on prostitution... the world in general frowns on the profession, calls it shameful, relegates it to the seedy neighborhoods and makes fun of both the professionals and their customers. This is wrong. Women who provide sex for money are saviors for those of us who want sex every night and don't have the social or other skills necessary to attract a mate any other way. In fact, I wish all women would be willing to provide, for a price of their own choosing, their bodies to men to whom they wouldn't otherwise be attracted. It would make the world a nicer place. Women would have more spending money, and men would get their rocks off and be easier to deal with. Religions just had to fuck it all up, so only a select few can get fucked. How many people would there be to fight the world's wars if everyone were getting laid every night? Possibly not a one. Wouldn't that be nice. [comment]
The webcam image timestamp was again off by one hour on the Columbus Village Library server that I'd set up with the webcam in the back of the room. I'd had it right earlier, but it must have rebooted; we have fairly frequent powerouts in the rainy season here. Since it was headless, and we don't have a "crash cart" to use, I tried to fix the problem from the command line; remember I had set up Cygwin's sshd as a system service.
So, I ssh'd in and found the time zone setting was PDT. That explained it;
the time was right but the zone was wrong. Tried
Not in Cygwin, I guess. So I googled and found
http://www.windowsitpro.com/Article/ArticleID/14966/14966.html. Armed with
that information, I could:
$ regtool set '/machine/system/currentcontrolset/control/timezoneinformation/daylightname' 'Mountain Daylight Time'
$ regtool set '/machine/system/currentcontrolset/control/timezoneinformation/standardname' 'Mountain Standard Time'
$ regtool set '/machine/system/currentcontrolset/control/timezoneinformation/bias' 420
$ reboot now
Actually I tried without setting the bias, hoping Bill would see the name had changed and set the bias accordingly. Nope. So that's when I went back in and set the bias. After the second reboot, the timestamp was correct! Hoo hah! [comment]
Polygamy can be at least twice as difficult as monogamy. I'm not so sure I'd recommend it. But I've already committed myself to this path, and I'm going to make it work.
Finally got my hands on the Animatrix DVD, and it kicks ass. Some really nice animation, and oh that babe in The Last Flight of the Osiris, the first feature, is to die for. [comment]
This morning I had a weird dream before waking... I was in a familiar dreamscape, some small town with a road that curves towards the left as you leave town (Southbound I think), and just past the curve on the right is a K-Mart shopping center; and just a little further up the road, on the opposite side of the street, is a Wal-Mart shopping center.
Previously in my dreams the road was only 2 lanes, and had minimal traffic. But now it's a 6-lane highway, and there's a huge parking lot on the right-hand side of the road, opposite the Wal-Mart, with another two or 3 lanes of traffic exiting. Kids were trying to run across the lanes with the traffic whizzing by at up to 80 MPH; they'd just barely make it, the cars not even trying to slow down (shades of Death Race 2000) and throw themselves onto the concrete median strip before attempting the other 3 lanes. I guess I made it across the first 3 lanes also before I woke up.
Been pretty active on Orkut lately, joining and creating various communities. Too bad they don't have a way to search for like-minded people by comparing all the communities, or types of communities, you have in common. [comment]
Seems the resident parasite... uh... governor of New Mexico declared a four-point state of emergency while he was here speaking in Columbus today. Makes me think that shooting the other day was something planned... we're obviously enjoying too much freedom down here, time to clamp down. If they impose a curfew or hassle me too much at the border, I'm outta here. Going back to Mexico to stay for a while. Someone murdered the police chief in Rosarito earlier this year, and I didn't notice anybody getting too worked up about it. [comment]
Finally got WDS working between my two Linksys WRT54Gs running the current
OpenWRT WhiteRussian release. The trick, which I had to figure out for myself
because I couldn't find it anywhere, is to remove /etc/init.d/S50dnsmasq on
the "slave" routers, that is, those without the internet connection. Then
the only DHCP server is the one that can provide a network link, probably
what most people will want. Another question which I had which was not
obvious, is what MAC address to use: the wireless MAC is normally 2 above the
base, e.g. a router that has 000F664AC295 on the label will have
00:0F:66:4A:C2:97 as its
$(nvram get wl0_hwaddr) address. But
in your wl0_wds variable you should use the base, that is, 00:0F:66:4A:C2:95.
Make sure to
nvram commit each change, and reboot (or just
ifdown/ifup the interfaces if you like) to activate the changes. Now I'm
plugged into the slave router with my (non-wifi) laptop, and connected through
the master router to the internet. Also remember the SSIDs can be different,
at least if no encryption is used, but channels need to be the same. I've
got both set to the default of 6.
Even more amazing, is that my Clié works with either access point! It's usually very fussy, so that's a pleasant surprise. [comment]
Today I finished my first Dean Koontz novel, Odd Thomas, a funny, scary, romantic, suspense novel about a guy who sees the dead. I recommend it heartily. Somewhat reminiscent of Robert A. Wilson and even Thomas Pynchon. I've got to research these beings called "shades" that Odd Thomas calls "bodachs": invisible except to those "gifted", these beings can squeeze themselves through the narrowest of openings, and congregate where large numbers of people are to be violently killed, presumably to feed on the violence and fear. It's possible Koontz made it up, but more likely he used existing legends of demonology.
Haven't made much progress in any other areas, but keeping my sanity with the help of some good friends. [comment]
Wrote a little script to archive the Fwink webcam images here at the Columbus, NM library. It plus Python's built-in web server make for a simple solution under the constraints in place here with regard to platforms and operating systems. I'm running it under Cygwin. I had to run the following two commands while ssh'd into the server to get the two scripts to run from the Startup folder:
$ cmd Microsoft Windows XP [Version 5.1.2600] (C) Copyright 1985-2001 Microsoft Corp.
C:\cygwin\home\server>assoc .py=PythonFile assoc .py=PythonFile .py=PythonFile
C:\cygwin\home\server>ftype PythonFile=\cygwin\bin\python2.4.exe "%1" ftype PythonFile=\cygwin\bin\python2.4.exe "%1" PythonFile=\cygwin\bin\python2.4.exe "%1"
reboot now after exiting back into the Bash prompt
completed the test... a few minutes later the damned thing was back online
with the camera clicking away, the archiver archiving, and the server on port
8000 making the images available. It's not even remotely secure, but it's
firewalled pretty well from the outside world.
The Pink Store restaurant in Palomas is getting a lot of business from me lately, despite its awful hours (it closes at 7PM daily). Met an interesting character there yesterday, Bud, part Sioux, part Blackfoot, and part Irish. Man, that dude could put away the alcohol. He has lots of stories to tell, but I'll have to catch him someday when he's more coherent.
Starting work on the Unternet again, got my two WRT54Gs out of storage and am installing the White Russian release of OpenWRT on them. But I've got my programming jobs too, so a little at a time. [comment]
Forgot to eat yesterday afternoon, and though there were hot dogs at the gas station, I decided to head across the border. This time, after a burrito at one of the nondescript restaurants, I went into a little bar on the main street, I think it was simply "Bar Palomas"; and after a few cans of tecate there (bottles? forget about it, only Carta Blanca and Sol in bottles in this town), I went a few doors down, to the dance place. Here you pay the same price, US$3, for beers whether you're buying them for yourself or for the girls, so I wasn't as tightfisted as usual. There was this 60-ish Mexican guy I was talking to, who was giving me pointers on the girls and how much they cost. He said I could get laid for as little as $20. So at closing time I asked Marianne, the same one I had bought a beer for at Lucky 7 a few weeks ago, if she'd let me spend the night for $40. She said OK, and we went a few doors down and around the corner, a place right next to (part of?) the Lucky 7, where there were several (maybe 7, hence "Lucky 7") rooms where the working girls plied their trade. I stripped and waited, and another one of the girls came in to check me out. Then I got out my rubbers and was trying to put one on when Marianne came back in. I was fumbling with it, so she put it on for me and we started humping. She's not the prettiest thing in town; 50-ish, small breasts, but otherwise not a bad body, and a nice dark bush, though too-recently shaved. Anyway, after 5 minutes or so she says "You're not going to stay the whole night for $40". Of course I protested, and of course at that point it was over... she said she was going to get a cop, so I attempted to get dressed but was too drunk and couldn't pull my pants on. Luckily she just got another one of the girls, who seemed somewhat sympathetic to my situation, but I had to pay the $40 and get out anyway. What a ripoff.
So I went back over the line to where my bike was waiting. The (female) border guard asked me what I was doing in Mexico; I said "trying to get laid, but no luck". She smirked and made me wait while they did a background check with my ID. Then I was sent on my way. Got my bike and went a block or two, then pulled off the rubber and pissed out a bladderfull of Tecate next to the empty highway.
I got into downtown Columbus maybe about 4-something. I remember passing out on one of the picnic tables. Woke up and my bike was gone. I wondered how someone could have snuck away with it without me noticing, but figured I was zonked enough. Shit. The bike was a piece of shit, but it had those expensive flatproof tires. Anyway, nothing to do but walk home, so I did. Crashed in my tent about the time the morning twilight, madrugada, had finished stretching across the cloudy skies.
This morning I thought, shit, I'm supposed to work the morning shift at the library and I'm late. As I approached, damn if it didn't look like my bike in the rack. It was my bike! Locked and all... I must have parked it then walked back across the street to the park last night. Ha! So I'm only out $40, not over $140 as I thought. And it turned out I'm working the 1 to 4 shift today, so I wasn't late after all. And though I didn't get no satisfaction, I got out unscathed from my first night in a whorehouse. So anyway, watch out for that Marianne. She's got dyed-blond hair and a contemptuous attitude, and her word doesn't mean shit. [comment]
Monroe County, PA, will sell your property for $600 if you fall a little behind in your tax payments, regardless of how many years you paid on time. They're a bunch of goddamned crooks. The county government, a fool named Kevin Reilly at KAL-TAC Inc., and a lawyer named David A. Martino of Zito, Martino, and Karasek, are apparently in cahoots. I can't get through to Kenneth Henning, the tax collector, the line's been busy all day; my guess is they bought up a whole bunch of properties and there are a lot of pissed-off people calling to find out what the fuck happened.
Had a crazy dream last night... it wasn't "lucid dreaming" though I knew I was in a dream, I wasn't cognizant enough to assert control over what was happening. My memory is kind of fuzzy, but it starts with me getting into a limo, and there's some vague idea that I'm going to meet Satan. Since I know it's a dream, and I don't believe in Satan anyway, I go along for the ride. Next thing I know I'm in a shower with a 40ish but very nice-looking woman, I think partly Asian, and a guy she identified as her son who didn't look a whole lot younger than she, but possibly an old-looking 25, so it could have been true. Anyway, she had her hand on my erection and was jacking me off from behind, her large breasts against my back. But then I think was when I first turned around to look at who was doing this, and said something really intelligent like "Wow! You're beautiful..." and she got really pissed off for some reason... then I accidentally got some soap in her eye which didn't help either. She got on the phone, using one of those CIA-style earpieces, to The Boss. Now I'm escorted down a long hallway to an underground city where everybody's armed with knives, swords, maces, or other primitive but effective weapons, and pretty soon I find I have been given a good-sized knife. A guy with one of those medieval axes is wandering around somewhat crazed, and a guy with a sword calmly plunges it in under his armor straight into his belly. Mr. Axe-wielder then smiles weakly, mumbles "thank you" and stumbles off... I go to where some guy in charge (maybe Satan?) and a bunch of other people are congregated and ask something like "What the fuck is going on here? Why did that guy say 'thank you' for being stabbed?"
That's all I remember... I know I got an answer but damned if I can think of what it was.
Sometime in the past few days I finished reading David Friedman's The Machinery of Freedom. It's a little rough around the edges in places, but the guy's put a lot of thought into how we go about getting rid of government and working out society's problems without that monkey on our backs. Unlike, for example, Ayn Rand, he thinks deeply about such things as water rights in the desert, air and water pollution, and other problems of unrestrained industrialism. He, coming from an economist's viewpoint, reaches a lot of conclusions similar to what Daniel Quinn approaches from a spiritual and anthropological path. Get these two thinkers together and amazing things could emerge. Or more likely, they'd just argue... brilliant people sometimes have trouble communicating. Ah, well. [comment]
Sunday was a better day. BM back almost to normal, unlike the 3 oil changes on Saturday. Went and checked my email outside the Patio even though it was closed, thanks to the new wireless router! Then crossed the border into Palomas and spent a good part of the afternoon at the Pink Store eating a nice steak, drinking Corona, and meeting some lovely ladies, including Yvonne, the owner, and Almendra, one of her relatives, who came to ask if I were a painter. I wonder if I should take up the art, she's the second person in the past few weeks who has asked me that.
Went to bed early last night and woke up dehydrated probably around midnight. So rode the bike into town and got a gallon at the City Hall spigot and came back and slept till 7:30 or so. On the way, light pollution blinded me in several places and I got the idea of having some sort of shades or reflectors mandatory to ensure light goes only where it's wanted. If the reflectors were well-designed, it could also save electricity by being able to use lower wattage lamps to get the same result. What good is having your mercury-vapor lamp lighting up the sky or blinding me? Keep it restricted to your own land, or maybe up to halfway across the adjoining road. [comment]
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