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.

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2007-08-31-1527Z

When I woke up this morning, the clearest picture yet of my full-body drive mechanism came into view: disks on upright axles, each connected to a push-rod mounted eccentrically through a hole in the disk (several holes, at various distances from the center axis, would be drilled to allow fine-tuning for each arm's and leg's contribution to the vehicle's movement), and all 4 upright shafts connected somehow with gears. An ultralight model would have no freewheeling ability, and could be stopped just by holding the arms rigid. Other models would have flywheels and a clutch drive; there could be multiple human-drive assemblies on a larger vehicle, like a bus. Such a bus could be brought to next year's Burning Man.

Now, to get caught up on some observations, in no particular order...

At the center camp coffeehouse this morning, I noticed they have the hot coffee in big 5-gallon yellow Igloos. I didn't know there was such a thing as hot-liquid Igloos, I ought to get one for my shebeen.

Some other interesting human-drive mechanisms from the Kinetic Sculpture Race's camp feature large, 6 to 8-foot wheels side-by-side, the operator(s) hanging in a roughly triangular cage suspended from the center axle. One had what looks like formed fiberglass wheels, the other was structural aluminum tubing bent in near-perfect circles, spoked, with old bicycle tires strapped to the outside. Duane Flatmo is supposedly here as of Wednesday, but I haven't seen his Reticulated Crab yet.

The Human Carcass Wash at Poly Paradise is a don't miss event. Soap (with a mild solution of Dr. Bronner's), scrub, rinse, and squeegee naked strangers and then have naked strangers do the same to you. A wonderful experience.

I spent some time at Poly Paradise, on Wednesday I think, during their 1PM "High Tea", during which they discuss various issues of polyamorous life. One thing that they almost universally agreed upon was safe sex, particularly for short-term encounters like those at Burning Man. This includes using Saran Wrap or the like for cunninlingus, something I'd never heard of before. Also, regular testing was recommended. And, perhaps most importantly, full disclosure of even possible risk of pathogens was strongly advised. [comment]

2007-08-28-2254Z

Walking around in a semi-stupor so far, and keep forgetting what I wanted to blog. Another of the things that failed to work was my sunscreen. The zinc oxide had settled to the bottom when I poured it from the pan into the plastic jar in which I brought it. As a result, I lay naked in the sun for hours with basically zero protection, and I'm lobster-red neck to ankle.

I went to the Playa Info office to see if there was anything else I could help with, and the guys there told me, seemingly with scorn in their voices, that the BIND 9 server had to be rebuilt completely. I told them it was working when I left. Whatever. Michael wasn't there, I'll have to check back to see what the fuck happened.

I was thinking about words and duality: Good vs. Evil, God vs. Devil. Is it due to coincidence or etymology that the words are so similar? [comment]

2007-08-28-2003Z

So nothing's working. My solar panel isn't broken yet, but my batteries seem to have completely discharged somehow, and won't take a charge. I'm now charging my laptop and hat-light batteries at the Salon Soleil camp.

I helped Club Verböten camp set up their stereo system last night and was rewarded with two pints of Guinness Draught -- in cans! I didn't know it came that way. It has a similar plastic "rocket" as one finds in the bottles. [comment]

2007-08-28-0148Z

Got the 2s to Butcher Boy, and stocked up with about 6.5 pounds of various preserved meats for about $75. The chorizo they had was not dried, so that was out of the question. I got beef and buffalo instead, in various forms. Then took the #9 to the REI store and got a pair of socks and patagonia longjohns. Then the #6 to the couchsurfer who agreed to put me up at her house for the night. There were 4 people at the house: my hostess, her friend of 8 burning-man years, and two young ladies from England. I was the only male. Did I get laid? Nope. I took them all out for a pub crawl, and spent about $60 of my last $100, but didn't score. Oh well, it was a fun night anyway. I jerked off, finally, and went to sleep, after lying awake for an hour or two fantasizing about which one was going to come into the living room and jump my bone.

Next day they took me to the Twin City Surplus store, where I waited maybe 2 to 4 hours before one of the Black Rock City Rangers, Burning Man volunteers, offered to take me to the gate. Once we got there, I dropped the fucking Katadyn filter bags twice; the second time I broke the seal on one of the bags, and the water started pouring out. I managed to save only two liters of the 3.5 gallons. Fuck. So my next move, not wanting to have to lie to the entry people about my minimal water supply, was to find someone to take me into the event after midnight. This 70-ish guy named Bob finally came along, we struck up a conversation, and I ended up going with him to the general store in Nixon before finally entering Burning Man almost exactly at midnight.

So, I ended up putting about $40 on my credit card, at the store and at the bar in Gerlach, and I only paid $20 on it last paycheck.

I set up BIND 9 for the BRC info center today, enabling them to deploy a bunch more computers with a pre-configured Linux CDROM that was set up to go to www.playainfo.org, which had to be redirected to 192.168.0.1 locally. I guess I made a good impression on Michael, the guy running the place. I'll probably stop by again tomorrow and see if there's something else I can do.

There are a lot of things I wanted to mention, like the Kinetic Sculpture Race camp, but I want to go to karaoke near the 3:00 plaza, so will get back to yaz later. [comment]

2007-08-25-0219Z

Looks like either the 9 or 13 bus will take me to the REI Store, close to the Sak n Save and Costco on the RTC system map. IIRC, Sak n Save was where I ended up buying my sausages last year. I'm still hoping to get to Butcher Boy tomorrow though. It is supposedly a similar sausage to Pete Coscarart's, because according to Pete Delgado on this webpage, they "stole" his recipe. Regardless, who stole it from whom doesn't bother me, as long as it tastes good and can last a week without refrigeration. And I need at least another pair of socks, hope I find them at REI. [comment]

2007-08-25-0144Z

I first started hearing John Mayer at the Barnes and Noble in Pembroke Pines back in 2002. They played No Such Thing and Your Body is a Wonderland so many times I hated him before I even knew who he was. But then I started liking him, although the repeated playing of Waiting on the World to Change on the El Paso station isn't helping matters any.

Now I'm listening to a Jack Johnson album here at Jungle Vino, and he sounds a lot like the early Mayer. Not the kind of music I can groove to, but something I can ignore while reading or programming. It's only annoying if I hear the same songs over and over. [comment]

2007-08-25-0113Z

Back at Jungle Vino on 248 West First Street, having a 1554 draft, and enjoying the free internet and power. Managing to actually sip my beer instead of guzzling it, hoping this will be the only one I need till I get a reply from a Reno couchsurfer. [comment]

2007-08-24-2246Z

Just remembered where the Starbucks is -- Harrah's took down the signs, I guess -- came upstairs only to find there is no more free Internet. Harrah's doesn't make enough fucking money to let lowlifes like me have net access unless I'm paying for a goddamned room. OK, fine, I'll just charge up my battery here and go outside and find a free AP. I've already let my email go for a day and a half already, what's another couple of hours? [comment]

2007-08-24-0740Z

Fucking Greyhound. I should have left a day earlier... I won't be able to go to Carson City for my chorizo after all. Butcher Boy in Sparks might still be a possibility, though.

Greyhound just doesn't give enough of a shit for its passengers to schedule things so that the usual delays won't throw people's schedules all off. I'll be another hour and 20 minutes here, which will delay my arrival in Sacramento till after the connecting bus to Reno departs. It might not be until this evening when I get to Reno... I should have known better, it's pretty consistently fucked up. Don't even get me started on the amateur rappers practicing their craft all the way from El Paso. Luckily, that shit was broken up a little by two or three babies bawling all at the same time. [comment]

2007-08-23-1146Z

I thought the El Paso Greyhound closed at night, but in fact it's open 24/7; you just have to go around the back because they lock the front doors. There's power available between doors 3 and 4, at least, and an open Linksys router somewhere nearby, with which I can't seem to reach anything...

Ahh, now I see why. Windump shows me the router is arping for remote destinations over the wireless link. A slight misconfiguration. [comment]

2007-08-23-0805Z

Got my ride to El Paso starting at about 1:30 PM today. Had a $2 "triple-stack" burger at Wendy's, then caught the bus downtown, picked up my ticket at Greyhound (they didn't check if I had the same credit card with which I bought the ticket -- either the management here thinks the Greyhound policy of charging $15 extra if you don't have that is a ripoff, or they just don't have it drilled into them enough yet?), then went to The Tap for a burrito and beer. Met this guy Angel who likes my "oasis of anarchy" idea and tells me he's going to read The Story of B and start using email. We'll see.

Then I went to Kinley's house, stopping along the way for a nap in the courtyard of some unused building. Got there about 11PM, the only coffee was Café Americano, watered-down espresso. After they closed, walked back downtown and stayed at The Tap till about closing. Someone had put a lot of good songs on the jukebox: Aerosmith, Fleetwood Mack, Sade, The Eagles, and Maná. Nice way to end the day.

Now I'm trying to update OpenStreetMap.org with the street names I wrote on my hand as I walked uptown, but Potlatch is giving me the "warning" icon and I keep trying to resubmit with no results. Pisser. A great idea with a regularly problematic interface. I'm not tiring of it yet, though.

About 4 hours to kill till I have to be in line for my bus... see yaz later... [comment]

2007-08-19-0912Z

Finally found out why my jffs2 partition is full even before putting anything on it. According to this, 5 blocks are reserved for garbage collection. That's 5 64K blocks, thank you very much. As the article indicates, I could maybe get by with less but it requires kernel source modification. Or I could switch to JFFS1 which has a little bit lower overhead requirement.

Then again, how about getting rid of jffs altogether, and run everything out of /rom and /tmp? If I could then hack the mtd driver, I could free up all that space, making it ROM. And I should be able to put NVRAM at the end of that same block, since it's written to use only the final 32KB. I'd kind of like to plop it on the end of the CFE block instead, but that's too dangerous, IMHO. Lose the CFE, and you're stuck with restoring via JTAG. [comment]

2007-08-19-0047Z

Didn't get paid today for whatever reason. So, rather than starve, I tried making a batch of these biscuits. They came out pretty damned good. I had to sour the milk with a tablespoon of lime juice, and instead of rolling it out just formed it into patties with my hands. It took about a half hour in the wood stove to get them cooked all the way through, and I had to turn them over after the tops were brown. They're not as good as my Ma used to make, but they're way better than what you get at most restaurants, and at least I know what's in them. [comment]

2007-08-18-1940Z

Wow, did I ever get shitfaced last night. I wasn't depressed or anything, just had a lot of good beer on hand and kept sucking it down.

Yesterday we had a rare wind out of the Southeast, blowing in the Juarez industrial pollution. The Tres Hermanas mountains were shrouded in smog, and the Floridas were all but invisible: ghostly figures in a surreal desert cityscape. I rode my bicycle to the store and bought a case each of Shiner Bock and Samuel Adams Boston Lager, 4 bags of ice, and some other stuff. Those nu-teck tires on my trailer sure make life easier.

Counting down the days to Burning Man... will head out to El Paso Tuesday or Wednesday for the bus trip starting Thursday morning. Luna County scheduled my hearing for the 4th, and there's very little chance I can make it back by then. Looks like they win this year. [comment]

2007-08-15-0321Z

Got a ride with some friends into El Paso today, saving me the $10 for one half of the journey. My mission was to find a lengua for my neighbor's birthday, and I did finally find it, not far from downtown, half a block east of Cotton on Myrtle, a meat market called El Paso Meat Company. I walked from there to the border, and surprise! No se puede pasar, hay una bomba. A bomb scare. Had to walk back East 3 blocks to Stanton. No problem, I never knew there was room for peatones on that bridge. Naturally, I couldn't help but wonder if they had their info straight... maybe the charges were on the Stanton Street bridge instead, or on both bridges and they were going to blow the whole goddamned thing just to kill me... OK, so I've been reading too much Heinlein.

Anyway, I got a ride within a half mile of crossing the border at Palomas, and another ride from the gas station to my house... how lucky could I be? I'm pretty wasted on beer by now. I got some data for OpenStreetMap, but I'm pissed off at them for losing the stretch of I-95 I entered a couple days or so ago in Maine starting at the Kittery bridge. Why the fuck do they keep losing hours of my work? Pisses me off bigtime.

Another strange thing: crossing the Rio Grande on Country Club road, it was full of water. Crossing it at Stanton Street bridge it was a mere trickle. Where the fuck did those thousands of gallons per minute go? Is it all sucked out by irrigation pumps between Country Club Road and the border? Is that fair to our Mexican friends? [comment]

2007-08-14-0708Z

Awoke to the sound of coyotes about a half hour ago -- two, about a mile apart and howling awfully mournfully, judging by the sound. A little while later, heard the screech of an owl, and saw some shooting stars before deciding to come indoors. The mosquitoes take the joy out of outdoor living. Not that they don't come inside, but it's far worse outside.

A guy who gave me a ride into Palomas yesterday also mentioned he'd heard coyotes recently. But, he added, he's still overrun by rodents. [comment]

2007-08-14-0003Z

I'm pissed. Remember that movie I raved about last month, Zeitgeist? Well, it turns out they took pieces of that JFK speech totally out of context, and put them together to make their point. What he was talking about was arguably not the CFR but the communists. Now, why the fuck did they have to do that, discrediting their film? Idiots! They probably did the cause of freedom more harm than good. [comment]

2007-08-13-1925Z

Almost no scum on my tongue this morning, but it stank. Go figure. And I don't think I've had a BM since the first day of my misery. So much for the "cleanup".

Still no luck rabbit hunting since that first lucky hit. Got to practice more.

One know-it-all admin on WikiHow is reverting my edits with a vengeance. Good thing I've found some allies there. It all started with the discussion on How to Address British Royalty and Aristocracy in Person. [comment]

2007-08-12-1506Z

Another morning without that shit-stink in my mouth -- what's going on? I'm not eating any differently -- mostly meat, with corn chips, salsa, and guacamole, and drinking beer all afternoon. I have stopped eating earlier in the day the last two days, but that's the only difference I can think of. I wonder if that experience with the horned toad cleaned some nastiness out of my system.

Now if I could lay off the carbs, I doubt I'd even have the white goop on my tongue. Whenever I stick fairly close to a paleodiet, that disappears, as I remember. [comment]

2007-08-12-0334Z

Today I tried #20, the chili plate panned so badly by Matt Gross that Ivonne seemed close to tears when she read his review (and I offered, not totally in jest, to shoot him if he ever came back this way, but she declined). I have to say I agree with him. It had potatoes! ugh! in it, and the bright red sauce was as bland as Campbell's soup. Just goes to show you, don't order chili anywhere but in Texas. There are plenty of excellent items on the menu, like #6 (beef tacos) and #22, steak panfried in olive oil with garlic slices all over it. Now that's good eatin'. And if Mr. Noo Yorker doesn't appreciate the superiority of Pink Store Margaritas, too bad for him. Just once they came tasting weak, and when we complained, the bartender, Sonia, fixed them perfectly to our satisfaction. Yes, you can get better deals on the street if you have the cash, but for friendly service and nice atmosphere (despite the "kitschy" handicrafts Matt also complained about), and the fact that they accept plastic, you can't beat the Pink Store. [comment]

2007-08-11-1956Z

This morning, for some strange reason, the white scum on my tongue didn't have the awful stench it usually does. It wasn't exactly pleasant, either, but was noticeably unnoticeable. [comment]

2007-08-10-0337Z

This time I took a screenshot to prove I finished entering I-10 from Las Cruces to El Paso at OpenStreetMap.org. If it disappears again... what the hell, I'll probably just enter it again. I just love to bitch about things.

No more pain nor blood when I urinate, so I guess I survived another experiment with only minor punishment. No luck hunting rabbits again this evening. Came close, and found my bolts a few times so got maybe 6 shots in total (I only take 3 bolts with me each trip), but ended up losing them all at last. But I have pork chops for tomorrow so no sweat. And beer, of course. [comment]

2007-08-09-1524Z

I'd never heard about the Jena 6 until now. What a fucking mess. Of course I'm only seeing one side of the story, but how did it ever get this far anyway? Is Louisiana on another fucking planet? Didn't anybody inform these people that racism is dead in the USA, and we've moved on to more advanced lunacies like killing foreigners for their oil?

Well, anyway, it just goes to show that some areas are just not ready for anarchy yet. It requires a certain level of enlightenment among the general population. [comment]

2007-08-09-0820Z

Aha, good old dmesg. I'd forgotten about that command; it showed me where the missing flash went:

Creating 5 MTD partitions on "Physically mapped flash":
0x00000000-0x00040000 : "cfe"
0x00040000-0x001f0000 : "linux"
0x000be400-0x00190000 : "rootfs"
mtd: partition "rootfs" doesn't start on an erase block boundary --
 force read-only
0x001f0000-0x00200000 : "nvram"
0x00190000-0x001f0000 : "OpenWrt"

Apparently, the kernel is between 0x40000 and 0xbe400. So why does /proc/mtd show this?

root@OpenWrt:~# cat /proc/mtd
dev:    size   erasesize  name
mtd0: 00040000 00010000 "cfe"
mtd1: 001b0000 00010000 "linux"
mtd2: 000d1c00 00010000 "rootfs"
mtd3: 00010000 00010000 "nvram"
mtd4: 00060000 00010000 "OpenWrt"

Less than helpful, for sure. I think CFE can fit in one block easily -- it's less than 4K uncompressed, according to the Firmware Modification Kit dump -- but haven't had any luck with my custom-compiled images using the OpenWRT Buildroot, so have to stick with the arrangement as is, for now.

Ebay seller thehappyninja wouldn't give me any money back on my purchase, even though it wasn't the same product as in the picture. He wanted me to send it back at my expense, and then refund me 85% of the purchase price. Fuck that. I left the fucker a negative. I'm tired of these goddamned "Power Sellers" and their shitty attitudes. I would have left a neutral but for that asshole Adam Reinisch and his pre-emptive negatives. I won't trust anybody with a "Power Seller" rating to be anything but a flaming asshole. Fuck 'em all. [comment]

2007-08-09-0223Z

Felt good enough to go rabbit-hunting again this evening, but they were all spooked easily and didn't sit still long enough. That, and I'd already had a couple of beers so my aim was probably off.

There was a noticeable amount of blood in my urine twice today, but the discomfort is decreasing, so I think I'm on the mend.

I installed my Nu-Teck tires today. It wasn't easy, probably because I didn't pay $30 extra for their custom tool, but with what tools I had lying around I finally got it. Now my bicycle trailer is road-worthy again. [comment]

2007-08-08-1453Z

Finally got my WRT54GSv6 working in client mode, with the "micro" release of WhiteRussian from OpenWRT. Had to set lan_ifnames=vlan1 and wan_ifname=eth1 to get it to work in "sta" mode; "wet" (bridged) mode just won't fly for some reason, most likely due to my ignorance.

Now I've got to figure out how to hook my custom "keyboard" -- actually a one-handed joystick with 5 switches -- to the JTAG connector and reprogram the GPIOs to be able to use it.

Still having some pain peeing, but I think it's only every half-hour or so... a lot more manageable. Might even be able to walk downtown for some comida. [comment]

2007-08-08-0308Z

Getting better, I think. Up to maybe 20 minutes between "gotta go's". The urine, though, sometimes comes out with no warning. I don't know for sure what caused this, but the horned toad is my top suspect, and I strongly suspect I won't try them again unless I'm very, very, desperate for food, or I have a need for a strong laxative and diuretic. [comment]

2007-08-08-0038Z

It got worse, and even now I can't say that it's getting better. Drinking lots of water and hoping for the best... [comment]

2007-08-07-2042Z

Something -- and I'm assuming it's the horned toad for breakfast -- is acting as a strong diuretic on my system, and not only that -- as of a half hour or so ago, I'm feeling a strong desire to void both my bladder and my intestines, almost constantly. I get less than a minute respite between attempts. Very, very strange.

[comment]

2007-08-07-0150Z

Today the rabbits are safe; the gods sent a horny-toad my way instead. It won't make as much of a meal, but it's food, and I got it with the first shot. I was walking across the desert, watching out for snakes, and I saw some movement in the corner of my eye. I turned around, and there was a beautiful horny-toad sitting there waiting. I took careful aim -- from only about 6 feet away, if not less -- and shot. It disappeared along with the bolt. I looked in the nearby creosote bush, and there it was, shot between the head and right shoulder. Took it home, slit its belly, and took out its guts. I probably lost some of the good organ meats trying to get out all the intestines (which were full of ants, and had at least one living parasitic worm), but got what looks like most of the liver and lungs. When I put it into the already-warm pan, it started walking; I was pretty sure it was dead, but the movement was so perfect, I took a knife and broke its spine in several places just to make sure. It still kept trying to walk out of the pan. Go figure.

I've already had enough food today, with the leftover rabbit and a package of pork chunks my neighbor had cooked and shared with me, so the reptile will have to be breakfast. Imagine, my second day of success at hunting and I'm already complaining about too much food. "What, quail again?" The gods can never make us happy. [comment]

2007-08-06-2204Z

I got Jeremy Collake's Firmware Modification Kit to work on the "micro" version of OpenWRT by changing extract_firmware.sh and build_firmware.sh, and creating openwrt_ipkg_remove.sh. Use at your own risk -- I've only played with it a little so far. [comment]

2007-08-06-0616Z

Making more progress with compiling OpenWRT than ever before, and I've tried on both my GNU/Linux servers as well as on Cygwin. All failed for various reasons, but it's now running on coLinux on my laptop, after going through some "dependency hell" -- it doesn't happen often with Debian, but it still happens sometimes.

Clouds have been threatening rain all evening, but so far it's just empty threats. If I get sleepy, guess I'll try sleeping on the roof unless and until the threats turn out to be real. So far I'm still buzzed on coffee and jazzed from my kill. Mighty hunter, yeah right. But I can't help but feel that way. [comment]

2007-08-06-0308Z

The organ meats were best. Rabbit meat is a little tough, but tasty enough. I guess a little salt wouldn't have hurt either; all I did was panfry it in olive oil with an onion, and it's quite edible. I still have plenty left for breakfast tomorrow; it took me so long to cook it, making sure I killed all the parasites, that I lost my appetite. Washing it down with my last Tecate, and happy that I finally, finally, finally, achieved some success hunting. It might have been dumb luck, but once I got the sights adjusted on the crossbow, my practice shots were all coming within inches of where I aimed. And cottontails, at least, sit pretty still for you most of the time. I had missed this one with my first shot, and it ran a few feet, but then sat down and waited to die. My second shot, as I said before, went clean through his head. I pushed a second bolt up through his chin into his brain to finish him off.

I'm going to try eating fresh rabbit at least once a week, which means I'll have to go hunting every day unless today wasn't just a lucky shot -- maybe I'm really getting good at it! Of course I have to watch out for rabbit starvation, but there's plenty of cactus fruit to alleviate that, being high in both carbs and, in the case of barrel cactus, oils (in the seeds, at least by the looks of them). There is also oil in the seeds of coyote melon, which is the only part of that plant edible to humans. I'll have to try mashing the fruit for the saponins which are supposed to be there. I've had really lousy luck making lye for saponifying oils, so if I want soap I'm going to have to find another source. Yucca? What a joke. I've tried every which-way to make soap from yucca -- roots, leaves, whatever, nothing works for me. Maybe these are the wrong subspecies or maybe I just don't know the secret yet. [comment]

2007-08-06-0143Z

I did some target practice today with the crossbow bolts I got on eBay, and it paid off! My first rabbit is now on the stove. Perfect head shot from about 10 to 15 feet away. I didn't do a proper job of skinning the little beast, though, so that part it is probably wasted. But I didn't eat worth a damn today -- just my last can of smoked oysters and some corn chips -- so this will round out my diet. Gotta look up some rabbit recipes for next time; this time I'm just gonna panfry the sucker. [comment]

2007-08-06-0046Z

I just realized today while fiddling around with rigging a remote-on for my stereo: floating grounds are going to be a real problem in here, especially when it's raining. I'm going to have to use optoisolators unless and until I sink some grounding rods at, at least, both ends of the building. And if I do go ahead with the plan to ground the middle of the battery packs, so I have +6 and -6 VDC to work with, I'll need to fuse both ends not just the positive. [comment]

2007-08-04-2248Z

Sure enough, not long after putting the screen back together it started blanking out... found out that by pressing with the fingers of my left hand about halfway up the left edge of the screen, with my thumb on the front, it comes back. Just great. Well, at least typing with one hand is something I've become fairly proficient at, while pornsurfing. [comment]

2007-08-04-2102Z

The screen has been intermittently blanking out on my Dell Inspiron 600m, which is only about 15 months old. Today it blacked out completely, and I had to take the LCD apart from the case. It's working again now -- I didn't find any loose wires or anything though, so it'll almost definitely happen again. I'm not even sure if I can put it completely back together before it dies... [comment]

2007-08-04-1709Z

Greyhound price was even lower, $63 (plus $4 will-call fee, so $67 total) to Reno from El Paso, Thursday morning at 0700. I'll have to camp out the night before, but what the hey, that's only about 5 cents a mile. I want to be there during the week so I can catch the RTC to Carson City and get some of Pete Coscarart's famous chorizo for the week at Burning Man. I'm not going to try making chorizo again myself until winter, and only if I have the peppers ripe and ready in my own indoor garden. [comment]

2007-08-02-1429Z

I guess I'm gonna have to download the Firefox sources and compile my own. I'm tired of the goddamned thing downloading updates automatically, and then asking me if I want it to perform the update. If I cancel, it goes ahead anyway and attempts to install them the next time I start the browser. Of course it can't because, like every sane Windows user (inasmuch as any Windows user can claim sanity), I run as a "limited" user and thus do not have write access to the system directories.

Now, normally, I "switch user" to the administrative account, download the update again manually from the Help | Check for Updates menu option, since I can never find where Mozilla cached the auto-downloaded copy; apply the update; then, everything is hunky-dory. But this time, my working copy still insists that I apply the update, oblivious to the fact that it has already been applied...

As I write this, I realize I could do a number of other things. I could put in a bug report. I could grant myself write access to the Firefox directories. I could get myself on the development team. All of the above.

The other day, I tested another jar from the batch of butter I had inverted into a pan of water on June 30. It was still fresh-tasting, no noticeable rancidity. One month without refrigeration! I don't think I've ever successfully kept butter that long even with a refrigerator. And this butter is room-temperature, easily spreadable. Gotta start baking again so I have something to spread it on! [comment]

2007-08-02-0021Z

Monsoon season has been awesome so far this year, and there's still another two months to go. Today the arroyo is a river again, and has been for hours. I ought to scatter some seeds just to see if something grows. [comment]

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