sitting here at my computer, and a smallish hawk came right up and hit the window. not too hard, fortunately. he flew to a nearby branch and recovered for a bit before flying off again at the approach of another hawk. what was he doing, anyway? did he want my coffee?

finally got some bits-and-bytes work on firmware for a medical device. so far I'm using Python with libsoc, but may have to switch to C or assembly if I can't get the low-level control I need.

still staying within budget, not paying down my credit cards as much as I'd like, but at least not adding to my debt. I'm way behind on my COS dues, though. I could lose my lots at any time, if someone brings it up on the ballot.

still a lot of good deals to be had for a guy on a $3/day food budget. Safeway sent me an email with a coupon for day-fresh whole wheat French bread, 98 cents off the $1.99 regular price, good until the 11th. bought my 2nd one yesterday, found 2 cans of Amy's organic lentil soup up for grabs at the senior center, and got an 18 ounce pack of organic meatballs with tomato sauce at Grocery Outlet. put the soup and meatballs in my dutch oven, which still had a bunch of bacon grease and burned-on bacon in it, and threw in a 7-ounce pack of pasta shells I'd picked up for 33 cents a while ago. came out pretty good except for the rusty taste due to my abuse of the iron pot's seasoning. one of these days I might finish my solar oven, and season the damned thing properly.

anyway, I could probably get by on even a $1/day food budget if I always used pasta instead of bread, but then I'd spend a lot more time cooking; something I've been avoiding. remember, I mostly make cold-brew camp coffee lately, just pouring water over ground coffee at night, and stirring in the morning until the grounds settle. every now and then I go to the Redwood Credit Union and get a free cup of hot coffee there, or even less often, spend $1.08 at the Tea Room to fill my own cup. both places have excellent coffee. the senior center has coffee for 50 cents, but it's pretty bad. anyway, back to cooking. it's always hard to get my camp stove lit. until recently I'd blow in it to get the flame going, but that always meant the smoke would soak into my clothes and hair. a few days ago, though, I realized I could put the spatter lid over the stove and turn it upside down, the screen holding in the tinder, until it got going good, then right it. after that, just keep lighting little bits of dried redwood sprigs and dropping them in. no more blowing, not nearly as much smoke.

I still haven't experimented much with using 80 proof alcohol, like cheap vodka, in an alcohol stove, with a tea lamp underneath it to drive out the alcohol vapor. I can't see why it wouldn't work, but I couldn't get a very hot flame out of it last year when I tested. I just think it would be really useful when traveling, because cheap booze is almost always easy to find, everywhere, and I hate using toxic alcohols.

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last updated 2017-07-08 09:57:39. served from tektonic