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


engaged in some agorism today. went to Coddingtown Mall and met a guy who had listed a butane canister for $10 on Facebook Marketplace. it only cost me $3 for the round trip because the Clipper card box on the first bus was out of order. and the canister wasn't empty, so I get to cook a few meals for free with it. [comment]


ripped out the rusted base of my charcoal starter, and tried using it as a chimney on my tuna-can kerosene stove. it works pretty well, the holes around the bottom forcing a preheating of the air, helping to vaporize the fuel. something sized more appropriately to the cooking pot would probably help direct the heat better. [comment]


we've had fog every night for almost a month straight now. not sure we'll get any tonight, but it's cooling off pretty well, so probably.

I've been able to save a lot of food money so far this summer; I'm up to about $50 in reserve. those handouts at the Senior Center, the dumpster at Grocery Outlet, and the deals inside the store have been real windfalls. for example, I just scored a 5-liter box of wine at the dumpster the other day, which had had something spilled on the box that made it unsalable. that right there saved me about $10 (which is a pretty good deal in itself).

my Schwab debit card must have gotten skimmed, because there were about $1100 in fraudulent charges on it just 2 or 3 days after my last withdrawal, from the Petaluma Redwood Credit Union ATM. I told the manager about it today, but she was totally dismissive that it could have happened there. she said it gets checked every day. well, I checked my account history, and I haven't used the card anywhere but there in months, and the only other place on earth I've ever used it was the HSBC ATM in downtown La Paz. and I haven't been there since early May. [comment]


realized this morning the front wheel of the Green Machine was flat, so dug around in my piles of stuff until I found that extra Amerityre I had bought years ago by mistake, and sure enough, it was the right size! now it's all indestructible tires on that bad boy. the brakes aren't worth a damn on downhills though, the steering is a little wonky, and the rig is so low to the ground I'm afraid to ride it in traffic. it's gonna have to be for bike paths, or at least wide bike lanes. anything else is likely suicidal.

scored a 10-ounce organic sirloin steak for $2.50 at Grocery Outlet today. first steak I've had in weeks, and first meat of any kind in over a week. [comment]


couldn't find anything good at Grocery Outlet, but on the way back I saw an abandoned, badly broken Huffy Green Machine outside Dempsey's. I took it home, cannibalized 2 of lotecnotec's wheels, and now I have a functioning recumbent again! it still needs some improvements, but it works as is. [comment]


haven't given up on those broken sandals just yet. used scissors to force that broken strap back into the slot, then applied some silicone glue to it. so far it's holding, but I haven't tried jogging with it yet. it's starting to cool off, so maybe soon I will. [comment]


yesterday my sandals, which I'd worn for only two months or so, failed when the strap broke by the right little toe. switched to the newish pair I'd bought at the thrift store in Red Bluff, and today the straps started chewing up my feet.

but, I scored a bag of cheese puffs at the Grocery Outlet dumpster. they threw out a bunch of them, but apparently deliberately opened them all, so it didn't make sense to take more than one.

no fog yet tonight. maybe it's not going to cool off. we had it for almost a week though, which was great while it lasted. [comment]


got one of the trailer tires replaced but I can't get the damned manual air pump to work right. will try again tomorrow.

tested out my idea of washing clothes in a drybag. put clothes in the bag, filled it with with water, added 3 or 4 squirts of 50% Dr. Bronner's, and pushed and pulled the clothes up and down like a French coffee press. hung up to dry without rinsing, since there was so little soap used.

they came out good. not 100%, but maybe 90. of course they look clean enough, since almost everything I wear is black, but not all the stink is gone. maybe a little more soap next time, or leave them soaking longer. [comment]


trying to change out the trailer tires using this video as a guide. got the first one off so far... no bead lock on these. [comment]


just got this email:

Walton Maj Chad David <chad.d.walton1@usmc.mil>

To cyclists who transit Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Beginning October 1, 2018, all cyclists who wish to access the cycling route at Camp Pendleton will be required to register with the new Department of Defense Biometric Identification System before they enter the base. Camp Pendleton is currently transitioning from one base access system to another. The old system will be used through September to give base visitors time to register to DBIDS. Cyclists who are currently accessing the base via the old system will be able to continue to do so until September 30th. New cyclists, or cyclists whose old registration expires will be required to register for DBIDS.

To register for a DBIDS bicycle pass, individuals will need to go to the Main/Vandegrift Boulevard visitors center and are required to show an acceptable identity source document such as a valid government issued photo ID (I.E. Real ID ACT compliant driver's license, state identification card, or passport) to establish their identity and submit to a criminal background check as well as having their photograph and fingerprint taken.

The visitor's center hours are Monday to Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Bicycle passes will be valid for one year and will be restricted to bicycle access; any attempt to enter the base in a motor vehicle with a bike pass will be turned around. Recreational cyclists may not sponsor another adult cyclist. Adult cyclists may be accompanied by minors for whom they are directly responsible.

The cycling route through Camp Pendleton has not changed [North/South from the Las Pulgas gate to the Main gate (Stuart Mesa Rd to Vandergrift Blvd) and South/North from the Main gate to the Las Pulgas gate (Vandergrift Blvd to Stuart Mesa Rd)] and access via the DBIDS bicycle pass is limited to the Main and Las Pulgas gates.

MCB Camp Pendleton will continue to foster positive relationships with our neighbors by allowing access to cyclists and we appreciate that most cyclists have been good visitors during their time on the base. We encourage cyclists who wish to enjoy uninterrupted access to the base to come in as soon as possible to obtain their DBIDS ID. We anticipate that the volume of passes issued in late September and early October will require long waits, so don't procrastinate.

The new system will increase installation security and communications by receiving frequent database updates on changes to personnel/credential status, law enforcement warrants, lost/stolen cards, and force protection conditions. The system provides a continuous vetting anytime the DBIDS card is scanned at an installation entry point.

On-line registration of recreational cyclists will end 22 July, 2018. No matter when you registered under the old system, that form of access to the base will end on September 30. After that date only a DBIDS bicycle pass holder will be allowed aboard the base.

For questions regarding base access, please call 760-763-8435.

basically a big FUCK YOU to anybody cycling up or down the coast. you can still try the I-5 shoulder, though, at the risk of harassment by CHP. [comment]


Defy. Resist. Evade. Smuggle.

the California registration of "bullet button" rifles had massive noncompliance due to a variety of factors.

one was the premature targeting of one of the "early bird" registrants, farmer Jeffrey Scott Kirschenmann. his honest attempt to comply landed him in a world of hurt.

another was the slashdot effect of thousands of California gun owners attempting to register in the last few weeks leading up to the deadline. the website not only failed to load, but in some cases leaked personal data of those who had already registered.

a third, and possibly most important, reason was that the law itself is contemptible and not worthy of any moral man's consideration.

DRES for success. between Charles Nichols's lawsuit against the Mulford Act on up to the current day, and Donald Trump's recent picks for the SCOTUS, the future is looking brighter for a resurgence of civil rights, starting with RKBA. [comment]


jogged to Cotati yesterday and continued walking into Santa Rosa. I sweat a lot, and felt irritation under my left arm which I'm assuming was chemical burn. I haven't checked yet, just removed the sweat guard from that side. maybe the Rumford baking powder, which uses calcium acid phosphate, isn't ideal for this purpose. [comment]


tried 40% alcohol in one of my aluminum-can stoves with a wick. it lit fine but didn't stay lit for more than a few seconds. I was kind of hoping it'd work, even though I find vegetable oil and kerosene perfectly good and available fuels.

digging through my electronics bag, I found the USB key and a couple of SDRAM chips I had misplaced over a year ago. maybe I'll get back to work on ColorForth. [comment]


it cost me another 99 cents to activate my FreedomPop SIM, which brings the total to $2.24 for lifetime service at 200 minutes, 500 texts, and 200MB data per month. I sent my existing phone a text message successfully already, so I guess it's working. [comment]


CVS pharmacy hadn't had any bites on their emails for months, so they sent me a $3 coupon with no (or at least, few) strings attached, at least I didn't have to make a minimum purchase to use it. so I went and found some snack foods that were $3 or less, and found pretzels, 3 for $3. with my coupon I walked out of there with snacks for my next 3 road trips, zero money exchanged. that's what I call a good deal. it really pays to sign up for every customer-reward program out there, and look closely at what they send you.

as for Grocery Outlet, I'm still buying up their Baltika brews for $1.25 each, making sure to go to the cashiers that just ring them up as groceries without adding CRV and tax. also still buying up the pure expeller-pressed palm fruit oil sold as "Organic Shortening", 2 for $2.07. very cheap for a good high-temp frying fat. and they just ran out of row thirteen box wine at $6.99 for 3 liters, but still have some Almaden and Franzia reds for $8.99 for 5 liters. they're not as good, but still drinkable.

one primary key for getting good food deals is to sort your needs by category rather than by specific item or by brand. fats can be vegetable oils, bacon, shortening, butter. protein sources can be yogurt, cheeses, legumes, whole-grain breads, fresh meats, precooked sausages. carbohydrates can be breads, pastas, potatoes... you get the picture. something will be cheap or free if you look hard enough. when you find a really good deal, or a dumpster load of some necessary nutrition, grab as much of it as you can store. [comment]


tried something different with the sweat guards: used baking powder instead of baking soda, the idea being that the tartaric acid will react to moisture the same time the baking soda does, thus balancing out the pH and preventing chemical burns. so far so good.

my phone is running out of service days, and I'm questioning spending $80 a year to keep it alive, so I bought a FreedomPop SIM from Target for $1.07. should be there by the 10th. if it works, there goes another annual expense. [comment]

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