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


Just finished reading a fascinating article by a sociologist who immersed himself in a Nicaraguan street gang in the 1990s: Joining the gang and becoming a broder. It helped to confirm my hypothesis that the III percenters would do well to ally with youth gangs. The gangs already operate outside the law, the State and the police are their enemies as well as ours, and there is a clear construct of morality in their actions, however inimical it may be with the mores of middle-class America. [comment]


Spoof on Harbor Freight, good for a laugh: Hazard Fraught Tools. [comment]


The grape wine came out very tasty if not very alcoholic. Remember, all I did was smash a bunch of them in a quart mason jar, and they fermented with just their own natural yeast. No kahm yeast or other nasties got into it, though I used no air lock, just the mason jar lid screwed loosely on. The seeds did not make it bitter, in fact it's a little too sweet to be something I'd drink every day. Now I've got to go back and see if any grapes are still on that vine. I saw there were still plenty of tunas de nopal left near the railroad tracks the other day too, might as well make more of the colonche. [comment]


Lychees grow in abundance along the walkway that parallels Northstar Drive, and judging by the number of drops, almost nobody picks them. I got a bunch in my mesh bag, but they started getting all smashed up as I was walking, so I had to eat them all. Now my system is in sugar overload. Gonna cook some pork ribs that were on sale at G&G Market, that oughta cure it. [comment]


At lunch today my friend Jeff was explaining how the pain in his hands simply disappeared after his doctor recommended a vertical mouse to him. It seems that in normal typing and mouse action, our hands are in a position where the bones are crossed over, and a reorientation of the hands into a vertical position can make a dramatic difference in our ability to spend pain-free hours working at a computer. Anyone suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome or any painful condition of the hands, wrists, or forearms should look into this.



Found by setting the CCR bit CLKSRC to 1, the 32768-Hz crystal is used and the seconds count increments reliably, even while the reset button is being pressed. Unfortunately, 1-second timing isn't good enough for any but the slowest Morse code and reading the CTC register isn't reliable when not using the system clock. So I found out the default divisor of CCLK is 4, which makes the 20MHz crystal give a 5MHz PCLK signal. Now to see if that clock works during reset, and if so, modify it to tick at maybe 20 times per second. [comment]


That explains the reset condition. [comment]


The LPC2103 on the ARMmite has EXTR set after poweron, which seems to conflict with what UM10161_4 says on p. 60. But perhaps the FT232R is asserting RESET for some time after POR goes low. [comment]


For months I've been living with a 1024x768 screen size on a 1366x768-pixel screen after a system upgrade, and not wanting to wade through all the obsolete advice found on Google. Finally I tried again last night and got it working with this:

jcomeau@intrepid:~$ cat /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-ati.conf 
Section "Device"
    Identifier  "ati"
    Driver      "radeon"
    VideoRam    16384



Gingerbread made with Guinness, mmmmmmm. [comment]


Looking out the 2nd floor bay window, I can see the Golden Gate Bridge supports, though not the bridge itself, to the north and Sutro Tower up the hill to the south. This city has character. It will be interesting to see how it changes during the civil war. [comment]


This is where I successfully turned in my visa turistica time before last, according to my blog, but last time it didn't seem to be there. Guess I'd better plan ahead for the coming trip. Sure hope they still aren't computerized, or I'm going to owe a hefty fine for not turning in my last one. [comment]


Saw on Facebook, for what it's worth.

Yeah! Especially here in Indianapolis where 2 houses blew up, there is a source stating a drone was hacked, had to be intercepted by a Prowler to be jammed, and it fired 2 hellfire missles, supposedly the Army's accounting and finance buildings located here in Indy, but the Prowler jammed the signal and they deflected into a neighborhood on the southside, killing 2 people, and nearly destroying 38 homes!

Now with that said, I don't know how credible the source is, but they are eye witness accounts of people seeing and hearing what they thought was an airplane descending very quickly and crash into these homes. No plane wreckage, but would correspond with 2 missles. Plus the DHS is labeling it an LP gas leak, but LP gas isn't that volatile and couldn't destroy that many homes. And its just a strange fishy situation for us here in Indy. Seems like a cover up is going on! Dept of Transportation & Citizens Energy Group both report NO evidence of a gas leak, but DHS insists it is.

Have you heard anything about this???

Google Indianapolis house explosion.



There are few things I hate more than driving, but driving through the East Bay is one of them. [comment]


If you're ever passing through Byron, stop at Valero for 50 cent coffee and $1.50 tacos at neighboring Taqueria Diaz. Had carnitas and lengua, both delicious, and they came with a generous serving of totopos and salsa. [comment]


Eating Lychee "nuts" off a tree is the closest thing to picking free living candy. There are two trees side-by-side on B street in Petaluma and I usually grab a fruit every time I pass by jogging or walking.

My brine pickling experiment with wild mustard leaves failed. I might try again, just adding some mustard and mallow to a jar of living sauerkraut. [comment]


The app note for IAP calls (PDF), at least the assembly language part, is wrong. It may be a typo, where it says R0-R2 it might mean R0-R12. In any case, R3 was being overwritten when I made the call to IAP_ENTRY and it was causing my self-extending program to overwrite the wrong part of flash.



Wow, took me about two days to figure out why my program wasn't working properly. The realization that I wasn't patching the binary with the right checksum before burning should have been the answer. But it didn't seem to be. Finally it dawned upon me that I could try removing and replugging the USB cable. Bingo! It worked. I had had the DTR and RTS pins at the wrong levels. It seems that the FT232R is inverting the sense of the signals. The working script is here: dump20121118.py. Symlink it as burn.py and run it as ./burn.py 0 program.bin



Finally my google-fu got me the name of that powdery microorganism that grows on some of my fermentation experiments: "kahm yeast". Wikipedia says it can "give pickled vegetables a bad flavor". Yep. [comment]


Grrrr. I had neglected to test before uploading, and I had forgotten to include code to replace the number at 0x1f with the vector checksum. I've now done that, and verified that I'm calculating the same checksum as lpc21isp, but when I upload with burn.py I don't have a working program; and when uploading with lpc21isp, I do. [comment]


For my standalone Forth, I need to be able to burn an image to the LPC2103 that leaves erased sections erased. Neither the Coridium load21xx nor lpc21isp do that, they both overwrite the rest of the sector with garbage from RAM. Though imperfect, I'm pretty pleased with the results from burn.py, which also contains an improved version of dump.py I uploaded a few days ago. It's an almost-complete implementation of the LPC21xx ISP (In-System Programming) interface.



Man, that stuff was potent. I drank about 8 ounces and it's starting to hit me now. No glochids at the bottom of the jar! Total win. This ought to be a staple of my shebeen when I reopen. [comment]


Trying out my 15-day-old colonche tonight. Observations so far: using vegetable oil on top as an airlock works well, as long as the presence of the oil in the final product isn't objectionable. I can't think of a way to get it all out, though just pouring it off the top worked quite well to eliminate most of it.

The glochids are not evident in what I drank so far. Perhaps they dissolved in the process of fermenting, or they remained in the fruit that floated at the top, or they're in the sediment at the bottom.

Though the fruits were orange in color, the wine is a rich magenta.

I haven't yet tried the one that I "protected" with about 1/4 cup of maltose on top. Unlike the one with the sunflower oil airlock, this had a buildup of microorganisms on top, that same dust-like growth that plagues many of my fermentation experiments. But it looks like I got most of it off along with the fruit I removed from the top. And it smells sweet and delicious.



My test program on the Coridium ARMmite was almost working, but the repeating 0x55aa bytes in the sector I was testing was being overwritten with a pattern that didn't resemble the 0x00, 0x01, 0x02, ... 0xff I was attempting to write. Or was it? Some analysis of the 0x00, 0x00, 0x00, 0x02, 0x04, ... result revealed that the one bits were being set to zero all right, but zero bits were not being set to one. I vaguely remembered this to be a characteristic of some type of flash memory, and the Wikipedia article confirmed that about NOR flash, under the Limitations section. So I've got to make sure when programming that I leave unused bytes as 0xff so they can be modified later. [comment]


Naan recipe from my niece Misty:

4 cups flour
1tsp salt
1tsp baking powder
2 cups plain non fat yogurt

Stir all dry ingredients together, then add in the yogurt and stir until dough becomes too stiff for the spoon. Knead dough in bowl until it holds together well. Turn dough out onto floured surface and knead for 5 minutes, until feels elasticity.

Put dough in an oiled bowl and let dough rest 1 hour.

Turn dough back out on floured surface and roll out. Cut dough into 10 pieces.

1 piece at a time, roll the dough out as thin as possible. Put that piece on a non stick griddle or cast iron skillet, high heat until the top forms bubbles. Do NOT flip.

Transfer naan from griddle straight to 500° oven with broiler on. Naan is done when the top turns brown, take it out and put it on a paper towel, brush with butter and repeat with the other 9 pieces



Yesterday someone on the WAPF list posted about chemtrails over Santa Rosa, and sure enough when I went out on my jog I saw miles of them in every direction, and a jet right overhead making one. Whether truly "chemtrails" or regular old contrails is beyond my ability to discern. And tonight there was a gorgeous sunset, but the red-and-gray cloud did look like a huge chemtrail from south to north.

The light at Washington and Lakeville, after the recent work at the intersection, is now one of those that responds instantly to the pressing of the button under certain conditions of traffic direction and time. Big improvement over what it was before. Now I just wish the one at Washington and Payran would follow suit. [comment]


Back in black once again. Making an effort to stay that way for a while. [comment]


I should have known better. Vanderboegh already documented the FBI involvement. A Google search reveals many more documents at Sipsey Street containing McVeigh's name as well. [comment]


I don't know if other gun-rights bloggers have touched this, but I recently went over the Wikipedia article about Tim McVeigh and his reasons for bombing the Murray Building, and I'm now questioning my previous belief that he was set up by the FBI or some even more sinister organization. It appears he was just a freedom-loving American who was angry at the evils perpetrated by the government and tried to do something to stop it. It's too bad he didn't spend more time researching nonviolent, or less violent, means of making his point. [comment]


Was Matthew Stewart's battle with Ogden police one of the first skirmishes of the civil war?



I believe the obiwan error is due to the ISP's use of lower RAM. It must calculate the checksum on data that then gets modified. And I'm getting an error code 14 (ADDR_NOT_MAPPED) when attempting to dump the bootloader at 0x7fffe000. [comment]


Weird, when dumping RAM the checksum has an obiwan error. Works fine for ROM, though. [comment]


Wrote a dump program for the Coridium ARMmite that implements the ISP "R" (read) command. Neither the Coridium load21xx.exe nor lpc21isp provided that. Symlink it as "comm.py" for a "raw" ISP command interface. [comment]


Finally learning ARM assembly language. Resisting the urge to make CALL and RET macros.

I have a guess as to why the Ohlone wrapped their babies so they couldn't move. Perhaps they put poison oak on their skin first, and were training them not to scratch. I had a rash on my forearm this morning, but didn't scratch it and it's almost gone. Could scratching trigger the body's defenses and alert it to attack the cells affected by the urushiol? [comment]


One mile was enough at this higher altitude in the foothills. Saw ripe manzanitas for the first time: rust-colored to black clusters resembling small cherries, with very little meat around the seeds. Also noted some larger white berries on a different bush with which I'm not familiar. [comment]


A couple of days ago I posted this crude drawing on my Facebook page with this text:

between republicans and democrats, the argument is ongoing and loud. and in the libertarian community, you currently hear a lot of bickering between Ron Paul advocates and Gary Johnson supporters.

yet republicans and democrats will often say they don't see any difference between GJ and RP. and they think it laughable if you tell them you don't see any appreciable difference between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.

this badly-done drawing is my attempt to explain this phenomenon. the guy in the background is watching a fight between two people in The State: Barack on his left and Mitt on his right. it's obvious to him who is his hero and who is the enemy. but he looks over at Gary and Ron arguing over in Freedom Land, and they're so far away he can't see any difference at all.

now if this observer were to cross over into Freedom Land, he'd begin to see noticeable differences between Gary and Ron, and then Barack and Mitt would be distant and barely separable.

Then an online friend helped by giving me a better explanation, something I had been trying to formulate but only had the words (from Daniel Quinn) "too close":

Very good method of communication I am impressed, the truth is anything you are close to and care about is going to be more detailed and therefore easier to quantify differences between parts of it. For most of our fellow citizens I think that everyone in your picture would look the same because almost everybody just doesn't care.

This kind of collaboration is the great thing about social media. It can almost make up for it being so time-wasting and addictive. [comment]


The pieces just fell into place in my mind, while I was outside working on my kinetic sculpture, for a highly tamper-resistant, yet still private, voting system. And it doesn't even require computers.

Here's the outline (all I have at this point). A voter shows his ID or whatever is necessary to get into the polling place. Once in, he randomly selects a ballot out of a stack of them, each in an unmarked outer envelope.

He opens it, fills it out, puts it in a new unmarked envelope, and inserts it randomly into another stack of completed ballots. He keeps a carbon copy. The ballot has a randomly-generated unique ID number on it, which is also on the carbon copy.

The state totals and publishes the vote plus two lists:

  1. The list of all registered voters for that city (or neighborhood, in the case of large cities), in alphabetical order.
  2. A listing of all vote cards, with the unique ID and the votes, abbreviated to just the letters or numbers of the completed ballot, in order of appearance. Say for example, N8XVQ99899: CACCBBDAAAACDB, in alphanumeric order of the ID numbers.

Everybody can look at the listings and see if any dead, minor-aged, non-existent, or not-registered people are listed as registered, and all their known-registered friends and neighbors are listed; can compare their ballot to their carbon copy and see if it's the same (and can file a complaint if not); can make sure the vote tallies match the raw ballots. Nobody but the voter can know the match-up between the registered voter and his vote, and he can only know his own, or any that was confided to him.

Sure, I can see some potential for abuse; a voter could cheat by taking more than one ballot; unscrupulous poll workers can go into the booth after each person, steam open the newest envelope (which he can spot because he's made hidden marks on previous envelopes), and record the person's vote for later blackmail or reprisal; people can make a mistake and put their completed ballot in the new-ballot pile or vice versa; but each of these has solutions both legal and technical. More sinister problems down the road of privacy loss could even include microscopic RFID chips to tag voter with vote, but a solution could hopefully be found for that too. I can't offhand think of an easy way to abuse this system towards large-scale vote fraud though. Sure, there are some people who will file spurious complaints and alter their carbon copy, but a large number of such shenanigans would cause a public outcry, and proof of tampering would go on a person's record and/or cause their voting privilege to be revoked.

And finally, the system could be computerized without losing any of the benefits, I believe. Thoughts?



In the dream I had bought 5 bags of seafood, eaten only one, and left 4 on top of one of the beds in the family's boys' room. They hadn't started stinking the few days I was there, but then I forgot them when I left for the next town on my journey. The family wouln't have used them, they got all their food fresh each day and had a small army of cooks working constantly. I picked up a book from a box during a family meeting and the pages had all melted and stuck together as if they were made of wheat dough. [comment]


I've started reading Mike Vanderboegh's Absolved, which you'll probably love if you enjoyed James Wesley Rawles's Patriots and/or John Ross's Unintended Consequences. He (Mike) blogged yesterday that he was working on it again.



Did my B-street jog barefoot again. Hard to get motivated, but I always have a good feeling of accomplishment afterwards. Now that the tendinosis seems to have healed, maybe it's time to start adding on some more distance every day. [comment]

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