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


My mole came out! I was sitting, reading, picking at it occasionally, and it just came out in my hand. That black salve is awesome shit.

There's still an inflamed area around where it used to be, and a cavity that needs to heal. But I'm really impressed.

I got my cannon photo from that guy in Romania. It looks more like bronze than brass, but it'll work.

I've been Googling "steam punk", the recent kinetic-sculpture-for-train-rails phenomenon, and found some nice photos and videos, but as of yet no specs. Guess I'll have to take my tape measure downtown and figure it out for myself. [comment]


Walked to G and G and back today, along an interesting W.A.S.T.E. trail backstage of Petaluma. No ground lamb today, but they still have a good price on Estancia ground beef, and I bought a little ground pork for my Basque chorizo experiments. I found out the DMV is accessible directly from the old train tracks. That can be one of the stops on the human- and wind-powered Love Train that I'd like to build one of these days. [comment]


I've posted a job at vworker.com to get a cannon photo I can use for improving the design of the Luna Free State flag, and you wouldn't believe the responses I get. Would you hire this guy?

Bid:Dear Sir/Madam

I am able to do this work expertly


Another guy wants to design a brass cannon in 3D for $25. The best so far, with the lowest bid, sent me a photo of a cannon in Romania, but not a side view. [comment]


I've been making excuses to myself for months now that, living in the city, it's too difficult to live a "zero waste" lifestyle. Thou must shit in thine drinking water, thou must not save thy garbage until thou art ready to recycle or reuse it... but in fact, I can buy bulk grains and other bulk foods with my own reusable ziploc bags (until, as once at Sun Harvest in El Paso, some anal employee tells me I have to use their throwaway bags). So today, I did just that. It wasn't quite zero-waste, but I'm going to try and stop making excuses for myself. It has to be done. There is no room on this earth for garbage, for poisons, for nuclear waste.

Did another sashimi experiment yesterday, making my own from a half-pound each of yellowfin (wild-caught, Vietnam) and salmon (farmed, Canada). It came out quite good if not particularly artistic. And neither of us got sick from it, a big plus. All that hoo-hah about using only sushi-grade fish, how important it is to have a trained sushi chef slice it, yadda, yadda, is just that. At least, that's what I'll believe until the day I do something wrong and get hideously ill. [comment]


Did a little more guerrilla gardening up on La Cresta today, followed by a jog into downtown.

The black salve I put on yesterday morning turned the mole white, and after an hour or so after removing the bandage it turned yellow. I put some of the "yellow salve" on it this time, as the instructions say not to allow a scab to form. I ignored that advice last time, which is possibly part of the reason it didn't work. [comment]


Started a new session with the black salve. This time I made a small cap to just fit over the mole, ensuring the salve goes just where it's needed.

Experimenting with a new keyboard layout. Instead of learning Dvorak, might as well come up with one of my own; I'm putting all the symmetrical things like parens and brackets up the middle, and the keys in alphabetical order. As it turns out, C, Q, and U are in their labeled positions. [comment]


My first mole-removal experiment that had half a chance, using black salve, ended a failure today. It's healed over, and if it's any smaller I sure can't tell. Going to try again. [comment]


Started jogging around Ft. Bragg, and had an urgent nature call; stopped at the North Coast Brewery restaurant. Ordered the overpriced $8 "Fishermen's Breakfast" and took a dump. Messy, and there was no hot water at the sink. How the hell do they pass inspection like that? And the wifi isn't for customer use.

And the seafood platter at Silver's is a ripoff too. It's fried well, but the shrimp were past their prime, and the portion was small for $25. [comment]


Regarding the other night's dream, I googled Sioux Bordeaux and found a Wikipedia article on the Grattan "massacre" of a US Army detachment by the Sioux. I remember the response by the Indian the Army was sent to arrest, High Forehead: "I'd rather die first." That was a free man. And he lived, and the soldiers died.

Saw a good, though tragic, movie last night: Welcome, about a young Iraqi who swims the English Channel to get to the girl he loves. The evil of governments, keeping us all in a worldwide prison, is clearly evident. [comment]


Lost my goddamned PayPal debit card. It had to have been at the Post Office the other day. I went there today to buy a money order, and the card wasn't in my wallet. I told the clerk I must have lost it here and is there a lost-and-found where he could look? No. The lady who served me the other day was off, and there was nothing he could do. Bummer.

So I come to Starbucks, get out my iPod and try to find PayPal's phone number. Their pages don't work on Mobile Safari, so I can't jump through their hoops to get to the hidden number. But I found a list of numbers at paypal-sucks.com with a Google search. Called and got an annoying voice recognition system. It was actually pretty good, but I got impatient, started shouting into it, and got a live rep pretty quickly. His name was Mark, he was helpful and said he canceled the card and will email me instructions on how to get a new one. But now I don't have access to my funds for a few days. Shit. [comment]


Slept way too late, had some strange dreams. In one a woman I don't remember ever seeing before appoached me in a dreamworld alley and started talking to me. She had a roundish face, penetrating eyes, and a tight, expectant smile. I couldn't understand what she was saying at first. Then: "were you part of a crack team?" She started singing: "su su SU borDEAUX!" it sounded like. The notes were sol-sol-DO-sol-LA. I figured out what she was getting at. "You've been reading my blog, haven't you? No, I don't remember that. Which one of my dreams did you recognize?" I don't remember any more, my memory segues into other dreams which, while somewhat interesting to me, seem to be just the mind rehashing experiences rather than communication "backstage", to borrow Neil Gaiman's term from American Gods. [comment]


My latest how-to is scheduled to be featured on the 17th. Hopefully in a week or so I'll be able to improve the mole removal howtos on that site. [comment]


Went snowshoeing at Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park yesterday. I was quite comfortable in my Tevas, with three layers on my feet: wool socks, SealSkinz, and Rocky Gore-Tex oversocks. Next time I should try with two layers of wool plus the Gore-Tex.

Got my black salve today and applied it to the mole on my face. Started itching within minutes: a good sign! [comment]


Tried again putting my recumbent on the bus, this time the Sonoma #48 to Cotati. It fit! So I took it back off and rode, saving myself $1.80. Then on the way home, after dark, I took the #44 from Rohnert Park Expressway. The trick is to turn the front wheel around, which, due to the way the BikeE is constructed, shortens it by a few inches. I also use a bungee cord to help secure the back end.

The bus had a sign "Free Wifi", so I scanned and found the AP "Bus211". But it needed a key, and the driver claimed he didn't know it. Lot of fucking good that does.

Finished Guns, Germs, and Steel yesterday. Very well-written book. The author mentions that sorghum does well in arid climates. Maybe desert? It can be used to make beer. [comment]


Changing from one AP to another in Linux can be pretty dodgy. While it most often connects, either the DHCP requests aren't actually sent, or the replies go unnoticed. In either case, rebooting always fixed it. This time I tried rmmod ath5k followed by modprobe ath5k. Much better than a reboot, and it worked. [comment]


I found out for sure, on the last trip, that I need a more powerful folding PV panel to charge my iPod. The 6.5-watter can just barely get the iTouch thinking it's plugged in, but not able to charge up.

I had some great chicharrones in La Paz, from the Aramburo supermarket, two different kinds: one mostly skin, the other mostly meat. When I got home, I looked it up, and they're made from pork bellies: just like bacon! Except, no curing is necessary. I think it will make great Burning Man food. I bought a piece of pork belly from G and G and plan to try out a recipe soon.

I want to make a short movie called Innocent Until Proven Guilty, pointing out that while we give that concept lip service, our cops treat suspects as criminals, almost universally. The movie would show both an example of how a suspect is currently abused, and then how he would be treated if he were truly considered innocent.

Another generator idea: small turbine on a rope, spin it around over your head and it generates electricity. A directly-attached ceramic tube wrapped in a nichrome wire and insulated, can cook your food in minutes.

It looks as though I "fixed" the Apache crash problem on my Tektonic server by changing the logrotate script to do a restart rather than a reload. Crappy, but I eventually want to switch to lighttpd anyway.

I did a 12-mile jog/walk to Novato the other day, leaving at 9:55, jogging about 4.5 miles by 11:07, then walking the rest of the way. Got on the railroad track south of the landfill road, and got to Starbucks on Olive by 1320; 3 hours 25 minutes in all. Not good by any means, but a start towards going to SF on foot.

I'm thinking about a small ultralight exoskeleton, a few fiberglass rods forming a "wireframe" around my body, protecting me from crashes.

To make a disributed transportation system that is not controlled nor taxed, we need to develop a universal system of hand signals. While waiting at a bus stop in Novato, a rider will hold out two fingers on his left hand and three on his right, indicating he'll pay $3 to go to Rohnert Park, two towns up the highway. A driver can just stop in front of that person and nod acceptance, or wrap 4 fingers around the steering wheel to indicate ey'll do it for $4. Nobody who's not paying close attention would ever know this was anything but someone being picked up by an acquaintance. [comment]

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