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.

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2013-09-28-2334Z

15:41 to 16:34, jogged from Meeks Bay to Obexer's in Homewood, north of Tahoma. [comment]

2013-09-28-2229Z

also, since nobody but me cared for the quince I cooked up with locally-foraged wild mint last night, I double-bagged it in oven bags and placed it in the sun atop the bear box, with an oven thermometer in the outer bag. the thermometer took about two hours to climb to just under 150 degrees F and hasn't gone higher, but I suspect the inner bag temp is a little better. it should be softer and tastier tonight. [comment]

2013-09-28-2215Z

the pine cones around Lake Tahoe are pretty much all opened up, but I managed to find an unopened one floating in the bay. heated it up next to my Bushbuddy Ultra as I was cooking some rice for lunch. sure enough, the heat caused the cone to loosen up, and I was able to peel off some of the pieces (leaves? dunno what the proper term is) to reveal two pine nuts at the base of each, with each nut loosely attached to a "sail" or "wing" similar to that of maple seeds. once I saw that, I realized that these nuts are all over the ground, many still attached to their wings.

then there's the near-impossible job of extracting the nut meats from the shells without smashing them to smithereens. more heat to the rescue: placed the nuts on the pot lid onto the fire, and they started cracking, tossing themselves off the lid onto the ground as they did so. now it was a matter of splitting the shell along the crack to extract the whole, partially-toasted nut. I'm successful about half the time. all in all, probably too much work for the amount of nutrition obtained, but a fun experiment nonetheless. [comment]

2013-09-28-1932Z

it's my future and I'll scry if I want to... scry if I want to... scry if I want to...

this earworm brought to you by paddling buddies Leslie, Laurie, and Robin. lyrics mangled by yours truly. [comment]

2013-09-27-0725Z

got toasted this night of the last quarter moon. didn't get my radio programmed. leaving for Tahoe tomorrow. [comment]

2013-09-27-0321Z

attempting to code around what is apparently a bug in the cheap Chinese-made USB-to-serial adapter. one thing I've failed to mention so far is that the first power-cycle to clone mode after a botched write it does not actually go into clone mode; you have to power-cycle a second time. [comment]

2013-09-26-1328Z

leg is healed. actually, I've been jogging on it for several days now, but it was really noticeable today how pain-free it was. I even poured on the speed at several points with no repercussions. [comment]

2013-09-26-0648Z

OK, so after an hour of the sliced quince in the haybox, actually just wrapped up in my heavy wool coat, the quince wasn't anywhere near done. so I brought to a boil again, this time only 4 minutes on high, and put back in the coat for around another two hours. smelled and tasted quite pleasant, having taken the sweetness and flavor of the sherry in addition to its own apple-like qualities. it had softened but not turned red at all. anyway, I like it as is and with the addition of cinnamon. I say it's a keeper.

synopsis: half quince, core it, slice it (peel if you wish, I didn't) and pour in water and sherry (roughly equal amounts) to cover. bring to a boil, and either turn it to low and simmer for 3 or 4 hours, or haybox it, re-heating every hour or two if necessary. [comment]

2013-09-26-0338Z

hayboxing two quince I foraged the other day in water and cooking sherry. didn't even bother peeling them, but dug as much of the core out with my fingers as I could while slicing. will probably need to reheat in an hour or so.

camphorweed is flourishing around Petaluma this time of year. wish I could think of a use for it. could probably heat it in some coconut oil to make a healthy alternative to Vicks or tiger balm, but I never use such things anyway. [comment]

2013-09-25-2030Z

I downloaded and installed chirp as well, and it also cannot write to my VX-7R. 4 different softwares, 2 different radios, all the same problem. one symptom is that when reading back the echo from sending block 2, there's an additional 0xff before the ACK (0x06). and then after sending block 3, the radio just sits there in CLONE RX mode, seemingly not recognizing the download.

I was able to finish eating the beef heart jerky, despite the putrid taste, a few days ago. now I've got a batch of rice I'm hurrying to eat before it goes bad. got to find better food preservation methods, or foods that just keep. [comment]

2013-09-24-1701Z

forgot my belt, so had to jog with one hand holding up my pants. as I was making the last crossing, an old lady with CA plate 6ABX266 sailed right through the crosswalk, staring straight ahead. good thing I was watching out or I would have run her over. [comment]

2013-09-23-2246Z

foraged some black walnuts, prickly pear fruits, and fennel to stir-fry with my rice. weird but tasty. the walnuts are too much work for too little meat, so quit cracking after the first few and threw the rest in the compost pile. also saw mallow and mustard, but left it, it was in a too highly-trafficked area. [comment]

2013-09-23-0437Z

had about 5 oz. of a nice Pinot Noir with dinner, which is kind of cheating because it's not a major moon phase, but since I was able to stop there I'm not going to beat myself up about it. [comment]

2013-09-23-0117Z

managed to do my 1.5 mile jog just now. sped up for a bit and got instant karma; got to keep it slow until the muscle heals. [comment]

2013-09-21-1816Z

made ghee out of the organic butter that went rancid some days ago, and already had spots of mold on it. came out great.

remembered a recurring dream, in some huge, single-story building, a guy who looks 70ish bikes up and sits down, talking to the same government official with whom I was conversing. we both know him to be the exiled Shah of Iran, but none of the other Iranians know who he is; they mock and ridicule him.

a sore spot in my upper right gum seems to be getting better after weeks of pain. it still hurts and bleeds when I floss, but it's much more localized. my leg muscle is improving, too. if it stops raining, up here in the foothills above the upper Sacramento valley, I might try jogging on it. [comment]

2013-09-20-1649Z

yesterday was full moon, so I got pleasantly plastered with my cheap Almaden wine, plus a glass of Zin from friend Lynda. back on the wagon until 3rd quarter? we shall see. this is an interesting and productive experiment so far. [comment]

2013-09-19-1937Z

just turned 9 pounds of organic potatoes, some organic garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper into homefries for tonight's group dinner. not as good as those I make with bacon grease but have to make due with what I've got. [comment]

2013-09-19-1409Z

having mild but persistent headaches the last few nights, and they're getting progressively stronger. either I'm ingesting something toxic or there's such a thing a alcohol withdrawal headaches. [comment]

2013-09-18-1844Z

manzanita leaf tea FTW. blackberry leaf and mint takes second place so far. don't know if there area direct health benefits, but these teas are working for me as a substitute for alcohol. I'm on day 4 of not intoxicating myself. [comment]

2013-09-17-1822Z

think I pulled a muscle in my right calf. was jogging up the hill and had to limp back down. ouch. [comment]

2013-09-16-2108Z

I'm expecting silver to hit $26 or even $27 over the next two weeks, just based on the prevailing chart patterns. another possible scenario has the Bernanke dropping it to a new 3-year low, at which point I'll add to my stock.

my beefheart jerky seems to be smelling funkier by the day, but it still tastes OK. not going to throw it out unless it starts making me gag. [comment]

2013-09-16-2042Z

corrected my map of yesterday's jog. it wasn't quite as lame as what I'd posted. [comment]

2013-09-16-2020Z

when I try to write my modded config (Freeband mod) back to the VX-7R, the radio instantly gives "CLONE ERROR". if I then change byte 6 to 0xe0, leaving byte 0xa at 0xe8, it doesn't complain until the end of the upload. when I instead try VX Manager: vx7clone -i new_modified.vx7 -d /dev/ttyUSB0, it complains of a checksum error. so, still not able to transmit on marine frequencies.

went upstream to the headwaters and back down, to see where the Burney creek water comes bubbling back up after its underground journey. will post the photos to Facebook shortly. logged my jog back on MapMyRun. [comment]

2013-09-16-0340Z

found out why I was getting "clone error" between the two radios: my new radio has 0xe0 at offset 0x6 and 0xa; the old one has 0xe8 at both, and according to this webpage "Mr Jim Mitchell reported that if [0006], [0007], [0008] does not match radio, causes 'CLONE ERROR'." [comment]

2013-09-15-2345Z

works! now to figure out how to use VX7 Commander:

jcomeau@aspire:~$ vx7clone -d /dev/ttyUSB0 -o old.vx7
open port /dev/ttyUSB0 ...
1) power up VX-7 with [MON/F] pressed
2) press [Enter] on Keyboard (PC)
3) press [BAND] within 30 s

reading block 1: - ok (Ack: 06) reading block 2: - ok (Ack: 06) reading block 3: ................................ - ok close /dev/ttyUSB0 Check Sums: E5/E5 E5/E5 DF/DF (ok) checking check sums - ok open output file 'old.vx7'

this was with a cheap Chinese-made serial to USB adapter I got on eBay, along with the usual CT-91 plus 3/16 to 1/8 adapter. [comment]

2013-09-15-2314Z

VX-Manager-0.6.0 would not compile under Wheezy. see my patch for a fix. [comment]

2013-09-15-2214Z

twisted my ankle today running back along the Pacific Crest Trail from Burney Falls (singing to myself "take it easy... take the PCT" [folks who lived in Broward County in the 90s will understand]) but after walking a few steps it felt fine again. just another benefit of running barefoot style; the ankle strength it builds enables one to recover quickly from stresses that would be otherwise debilitating.

found a confirmation and partial explanation of the VX7 Commander problem I've been having, so now have to download yet another program as a workaround. [comment]

2013-09-14-1705Z

off the wagon the last two days, after maybe 5 days without drinking. not gonna sweat it. [comment]

2013-09-14-0216Z

finished drying my jerky in the afternoon sun, with flies and meat wasps all over it but none laid any eggs. what was too thick to dry thoroughly I boiled for a few minutes, then this evening stir-fried for dinner with garlic, and made some rice that still isn't done. [comment]

2013-09-14-0011Z

I'm still pretty deadly accurate with a pump BB gun at about 10 yards. I still suck at 15 yards. [comment]

2013-09-13-1911Z

the little guy isn't a Poulan. it's a Sachs Dolmar 45M6. got to try and dig up a manual for it once back in Internet land. [comment]

2013-09-13-1838Z

got my USB-serial adapter just before we left. a few minutes ago I gave it a try, running VX7 Commander under Wine. turns out the CT-91 on the new radio needed to be backed out about 1/4 turn, and the old radio a full turn, for them to communicate with the program. otherwise they either sent no data or oversized blocks. but in any case the transfer stops at 25%, on block 3. [comment]

2013-09-13-1629Z

time was running out and my jerky wasn't drying, so I vacuum-boxed it with some uncooked rice and kosher salt. when we got to the cabin last night, I put it in the fridge. will have to check on it today.

I downloaded the wrong manual for the chainsaw. it's a Homelite 360. didn't yet check the Poulan model number.

pet peeve: manufacturers still design devices for, and ship them with, crying, so I vacuum-boxed it with some uncooked rice and kosher salt. when we got to the cabin last night, I put it in the fridge. will have to check on it today.

I downloaded the wrong manual for the big chainsaw. it's a Homelite 360. I was guessing. didn't yet check the smaller Poulan model number.

pet peeve: manufacturers still design devices for, and ship them with, 1.5V carbon-zinc or alkaline cells rather than 1.2V rechargeables. you replace those cells with rechargeables and get only a fraction of the stated "life". fathermuggers. [comment]

2013-09-12-0530Z

marinated the remainder of the beef heart in soy sauce and cheap sherry after separating the parts with connective tissue and slicing the rest; braised some for tonight's dinner, cooked with rice, and am drying out the rest in the oven for jerky. the braised meat and rice came out tender and delicious; I have high hopes for the jerky. [comment]

2013-09-12-0514Z

apparently these guys didn't get the memo from Oakwood Apartments last month. I left them messages on their Facebook page and G+ page. couldn't find a Twitter account for them. [comment]

2013-09-12-0502Z

it struck me today that one reason why wages haven't been driven up by the forces of the market is the prison-industrial complex; with prison labor available for pennies per hour, and record numbers of prisoners, there's no upward pressure.

Moonbeam is proposing a rise in minimum wage to $10 by 2016, which is likely to be meaningless by that date but still serves to push the statist agenda. [comment]

2013-09-11-0740Z

I outed an astroturf gun-control organization after stumbling upon an URL that auto-aggregated all of the National Physician Alliance's action campaigns. go visit their Facebook page and give them some "love" if you're so inclined. [comment]

2013-09-11-0614Z

as mentioned in my Facebook album, those nuts weren't chestnuts after all, but rather buckeyes. there is a way to make them edible but I'm not sure I'm willing to make that effort right away. my stomach doesn't seem to be all that happy with the acorn meats I ate tonight. [comment]

2013-09-11-0118Z

it's about 1500 miles from Petaluma to La Paz, BCS, MX. the first 1/3 of the trip will cost me about $35, and the final 2/3 will cost about $160. [comment]

2013-09-11-0052Z

so yesterday I soldered the broken wires of my 12V charger and assumed it would work. I tried it at the library; it doesn't. damn.

a new fog was pouring in early through the Cotati gap not long after the morning fog burned off. it's darkening the afternoon skies of Petaluma. [comment]

2013-09-11-0021Z

there are still yellow plums in the no-man's-land on the east end of the pedestrian overpass. need to carry a blanket or dropcloth and stick with a hook end for shaking branches.

foraged a few large chestnuts today after mashing my acorn harvest and taking it to leach in the creek for a while. picked up a couple of tomatoes from a park bench along the way.

now that I have a roll-up solar panel, I should design a small electric oven, just big enough to cook 1/4 pound of hamburg.

some more musings: I asked an old lady along the path what was the city doing with all the heavy machinery along the creek. she said "widening the river. it was too narrow." I didn't ask, but wondered, too narrow for what or whom? the water doesn't seem to care.

the steel plate and door on the east side of the overpass should be removed. muggers could hide behind it.

someone has begun the destruction of the large conduit along the south floodwall of the river and is removing (and presumably selling) the copper (or is it alunminum? didn't check) wire. makes perfect sense that the city is spending money on the goddamned creek and not protecting their existing infrastructure. NOT. [comment]

2013-09-10-0224Z

still getting "CLONE ERROR". tested the cable; from each 3/32" plug to the opposite CT-91 4-ring connector, the grounds (ring nearest the base) match, the tips are both unconnected, and the two middle rings are swapped; that is, if you label the rings from 0 being the ground (the base, opposite the tip) then the CT-91 plug is 0-1-2-X and the 3/32" plug is 0-2-1. when the whole thing is together, from one CT-91 plug to another of course you should have 0-1-2-X. when I turn one on in clone mode (holding MONF while pressing ON) the other's LED lights cyan.

when I put the new one into "CLONE WAIT" using the V/M key, it sits there at CLONE WAIT just fine until I press BAND on the other, turning it (the old radio) into CLONE TX, the waiting (new) radio instantly says "CLONE ERROR", which should mean that it got something from the old radio and didn't like what it saw. the old radio, after maybe 15 or 20 seconds, then lights up and shows CLONE ERROR also.

stumped. online forums mention seating problems with the CT-91 but I've got them both screwed in as tight as they'll go. besides, if the circuit wasn't complete why would I get the error as soon as I attempt to send? [comment]

2013-09-09-2215Z

Bearings and Hydraulics at 709 Petaluma Blvd. South, despite its bland name, is a fascinating resource for kinetic junkies. they're based in Sebastopol. just got 4 new 1616 2RS SRI2 bearings for my Travoy wheels; going to repurpose them for something, not yet sure what. [comment]

2013-09-09-1635Z

at first I couldn't get my old VX7R to go into CLONE TX mode, so charged it overnight. no help. tried turning it on normally, setting "special memory" to "off", and turning off the lock; tried again. "CLONE ERROR". damn! had plugged the cable into the 1/8 jack rather than the 3/16 through the adapter. fixed and restarted. both radios giving me "CLONE ERROR". argh. [comment]

2013-09-09-0314Z

the waxing crescent moon looks only a fraction of a degree from Venus tonight. beautiful.

there was a guy with a bike sleeping under the Payran overpass. hope nobody messes with him. the apparent gentrification in process along Lynch creek does not bode well for the homeless.

the water main leak I reported a few weeks ago got fixed quickly. the city knew right where to dig, cut the brass pipe, attached a piece of flex pipe, and sealed the road with about a 3x3-foot patch showing. nice work. they never did fix the clogged drain up the hill, though, that I reported years ago.

found what I believe are white oak growing along the river next to the Clover dairy plant. collected a few acorns to experiment with. [comment]

2013-09-09-0218Z

apparently the city of Petaluma isn't broke enough. they've ripped up both banks of Lynch creek between the river and McDowell. tore out all the cattail and all other vegetation including the prickly pear that someone planted years ago. luckily I found some watercress, though, growing in the creek at the 101 underpass.

tested my Lifestraw where the creek flows into the river. seems to work; hope the water isn't too toxic. [comment]

2013-09-06-2024Z

made it through yesterday without alcohol, except for the negligible amount of hard liquor I use in the morning as a mouthwash. was able to satisfy my thirst with coffee and copious amounts of holly tea. the latter, my latest batch, is made from a whole twig of holly with about 30 leaves and another 30 berries. it's on its 3rd day by now I guess, and getting weaker, but still has enough flavor and theobromine to make it interesting. [comment]

2013-09-04-1330Z

made a new goal yesterday or the day before: to drink alcohol only on the 4 major moon phases. failed so far in any case, but am working on it. [comment]

2013-09-02-0054Z

watched Atlas Shrugged part 2 last night. amused by the 99% signs of OWS. having learned recently of Ayn Rand's thoughts on the native Americans, it's easy for me to see two warring classes of "looters", those who stole from the commons because the occupants were deemed sub-human, and those who steal from those usurpers. who is right? history will decide. [comment]

2013-09-02-0037Z

so I missed Burning man. it would have been my 8th. but now that I've broken it, there's no more pressure to go. I wish I could break my Facebook addiction so easily. [comment]

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