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


So this story in Wired says that some state and county government employees are able to, and have, opted out of the Social Security scam. They're running their own scams, of course, but what about the SSA's "intergenerational contract" bullshit, if local governments can simply refuse to participate? All the more reason that I should get my money (via a disability claim) and run. They already provide loopholes for freedom-loving people to step through, so I will take any that are open to me.

My server in Rosarito may or may not survive a reboot, but it looks like I'm going to boogie on out anyway. Back to L.A., and maybe Deming by tomorrow night. I'll be down to my last $20, but hopefully will have this MIDP app working in a few days, at least well enough to get paid. [comment]


It's nice to be back in Rosarito: the Pacific breeze, the Caldo de Mariscos, the 24-hour internet access... and a very special person who has shared almost 20 years of my life. Yesterday, Friday, was a very important day for me -- a contract was dissolved by mutual agreement, which will enable two people to get their lives back in order. Those of you who read Harry Browne's How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World will know what I'm talking about. Whether or not it turns out to be another big mistake in my life remains to be seen, but at the moment things are looking better than they have in years, so I have high hopes.

I'm building my tolerance for beer back up again, 4 bottles yesterday. I feel on the verge of a slight headache but nothing major, and my stomach is holding up pretty well. The key seems to be no other carbs to speak of -- just the tortilla wrap on a quesadilla or taco is OK, but no cakes or chocolate bars. Why is this important? I may be traveling to Gaviotas in a few weeks. Beer is, in some places, one of the safest things to drink -- beer won't ferment properly in bad water, and despite what some books, including the U. S. Army Survival Manual might tell you, beer has a low enough alcohol content that it alone can keep you hydrated. Works for me, anyway: YMMV. [comment]


My old house is up for sale, so if you've got a few hundred thousand burning a hole in your pocket, check it out... it's the second listing down in the 33024 zip code, and looks like the best buy in the area; but then, there's a good chance my opinion is prejudiced.

As you can see, the Rosarito server is back online for the moment. I'm trying to make it so it can survive the next powerout and come all the way up by itself without babysitting, so I can safely leave it this time. I was right about the room having been broken into back in the first week of February, but was wrong in assuming the worst... nothing of any real value was taken. [comment]


OK, so it was Global Internet Services. It works on my Clié too. Oops, they're closing up. Gotta get back to the airport and meet the person I came here to see... [comment]


Found another free wifi hotspot in Long Beach: La Caffía. It has only one power outlet, towards the rear near the potted plant -- unlike Portfolio which has them all over the place -- but if you just want to check your email it's a much shorter walk. There are so many APs to choose from here, and the girl working here doesn't know what the SSID is, but 'gis' is strongest, so that's what I used. Their router first redirects you to Global Internet somethingorother's page, but then leaves you alone to surf.

Slept on the beach today, it was wonderful. There were some people digging and finding lots of clams (or so they looked like from a distance) in the gravel under the boulders west of the beach. But I didn't try to forage any myself -- I guessed that they were farming that little stretch back-and-forth for subsistence, and there probably wasn't enough to provide for more than their own tribe. I had found an extra $20 I didn't know I had, so I bought an overpriced sandwich here at the café. [comment]


I just thought of something I saw in the predawn twilight approaching L.A. this morning: a massive forest, not of trees, but of gigantic steel cylinders with propellers, some inert, others turning slowly in the slight breeze coming off the Pacific. According to this description I'm guessing it was the San Gorgonio wind farm. It would be pretty impressive any time of day, but was almost surreal at that time. Thank the Californians for leading the US in innovation on so many vital fronts. [comment]


Back at the Portfolio after paying a guy $50 for a ride to LA from Deming last night. After 6 or 7 of the El Paso line buses arrived full, with only two more on the way and very likely full also, he kind of had me by the balls. The dude was cool though, he paid for my coffee and snacks. He was hoping to pick some illegals so he could charge more... I guess that's why the El Paso service can get away with charging $50 compared to Greyhound's $45. A year ago they were both at $45. Illegal immigrants will pay a premium to avoid Greyhound's rentacops, who might be tied in with Border Patrol.

Now that I have both my Clié and a laptop here, I could check out the connectivity problem I had here last time. It turns out the Belkin 54G is configured "right" -- the gateway, DHCP servers, and DNS servers are all set to the router's IP, -- but still the PDA refuses to connect. Blame it on Belkin's firmware then, I guess. [comment]


I just installed John Newbigin's ext2ifs driver, and it works great on my W2K system. It doesn't allow you to write to the Linux filesystems, but reading from them in a "normal" manner is far better, in my opinion, than the GUI app explore2fs I was using on my previous laptop.

I'm working on my /ashbin utilities, which will be the core of God Damn Linux, my super-stripped-down version of Damn Small Linux. Why bother, you may ask, since about half of DSL is the kernel plus drivers? Because, I reply, only a very small fraction of those drivers is needed on a typical system. I think I could get a usable system, with WWW browser, on an 8 meg flash device like the James Bond 007 camera. Not that I've yet had any luck booting a USB device on any computer I've ever tried, but that's another issue I'll deal with later.



I finally remembered what's been popping into my mind sporadically over the last few days -- some of the kind of tests that supposedly can be done with kinesiology reminded me of Dr. Hulda Clark's Synchrometer, another method of "objective" testing. In fact, however, my limited experience with a synchrometer shows it to require a highly refined subjective interpretation of the sounds made by the device, and to me is of no more value than dowsing. And dowsing rods cost a hell of a lot less to make.

I'll be on the road again starting tomorrow -- got some important family issues to deal with. I plan to be in L.A. Saturday night. [comment]


On this St. Patrick's day, let us remember the powerful force of ostracism used so effectively by the Irish to keep their countrymen from cooperating with the British oppressors even when there was tremendous financial temptation to do so. Of course, this can't work everywhere though; there has to be some type of social homogeniety in a significant sector of the population. Forget New York City for example. But in the libertarian atmosphere of Columbus, NM, it could work. We could isolate the Border Patrol so effectively that no local people would work for them; no stores in Columbus nor Palomas sell to them; nobody in a 20-mile radius talk to them. The federal government would have to build out their compound to a totally self-contained town at considerable expense. Think about it over a Guinness or a good Irish whisky. [comment]


Mostly notes to myself for the permaculture assessment of my lot and of the City of the Sun... historical wind data for the Western states shows Deming (and probably Columbus, due to its proximity) has prevailing Western winds for all of the year except for July, August, and September when it is from the East. Most of the rainfall for Deming and Columbus is in the summer months, and just over 9 inches a year on average. Downgrade (water flow) is roughly West to East, with almost 100 feet drop over a square mile at City of the Sun (20 feet per contour line), whereas at my half acre there's only a foot of drop, at most, north to south. Sunshine averages 75 percent in New Mexico, judging only by Roswell and Albuquerque which are the only two cities that have data on this website; the highest percentage (83) is in June, just before the rainiest month of July.

More of this as I have time... running out of cash and need to buckle down on my programming... Hey, found out the bank here in Columbus, while it doesn't have an ATM, will give me a cash advance with no fee whatsoever, and since they treat it as a credit card and not a debit card, even Paypal doesn't take out its normal dollar fee and on top of that, pays me back 1.5 percent! So I've been losing money by using the Post Office. Shit-a-damn. Oh well, live and learn.

Don't know if I mentioned, the SSA denied my disability claim... filed for an appeal today with only a few days to spare, and trying to contact an attorney referred by the folks at NOSSCR, but he doesn't publish his email address. Fooey. Left him a voicemail... when are people going to start using email for christsakes. Gmail has good spamfilters, let me know if you need an invite, I've got plenty (and I don't charge for them of course)... [comment]


Just downloaded Ohio from AllofMP3.com, and changed the words for this Border Patrol killing of 4 people to Columbus Road. It's still happening, boys and girls. Should have been done long ago... [comment]


My first hack to OpenWRT: a new /etc/init.d/S50dnsmasq, for use with the template /etc/dnsmasq.conf.template, which will set up udhcpd to allocate addresses based on the current lan_ipaddr in nvram. Maybe I'll figure out how to send that on to the developers sometime today.

Finally fully recovered from last Friday night's drunk. Bad. All it took was two little bottles of Negra Modelo and the rest (about 1/4) of my liter of Orendain Blanco. I think my tolerance for alcohol is just about nil, but for now I'll just try to stay off beer. If I get sick on good tequila, then it's definitely time to quit drinking altogether. [comment]


Got my two new Linksys WRT54G routers today... they are both v2.2 so the stock OpenWRT firmware (nor Sveasoft's Satori) will work with them... so I'm using OpenWRT's experimental branch code, which seems a little flaky but after the second reboot seems to be usable. I don't dare hook it directly into the library's network, but have it connected via my wireless card while my laptop's ethernet port is hooked into the library's network. Then I ran python's SimpleHTTPServer.test() while having the router's /etc/ipkg.conf set to:

@OpenWrt:/# cat /etc/ipkg.conf
#src openwrt http://openwrt.org/ipkg
src openwrt
dest root /
dest ram /tmp

Then I could update my package list with ipkg update after downloading it to a file ipkg/Packages under my default directory before invoking Python. Heckuva lot easier than setting up Apache or (ugh!) IIS.

Lately my wireless card has been overheating and locking up my laptop -- always something. Just yanking it out lets me regain control, but sooner or later I'll have to replace it.

Finished Power vs. Force. The author seems to be full of himself, but that's cool, so am I. His viewpoint is so globalist and anti-tribalist in places, I'm beginning to wonder if the etheric data available through kinesiology is only what's being broadcast on the Taker spiritual network. But I guess I'll find that out once I start experimenting with it. I'd really rather find a way to do it solo -- he says one can, making a loop with the forefinger and thumb and trying to pry it apart with the other hand, but that doesn't seem to be reliable for me. I'm thinking of using some spring-loaded method that can be triggered to pull with a constant amount of force each time I release it with a footswitch or something. [comment]


Finishing up Power Vs. Force. Kinesiology seems to be like dowsing and Ouija boards in the ability to tap into universal consciousness, but unique in requiring no spiritual abilities whatsoever. If this is true, it can be the key, the Red Pill, for freeing people from the religiopoliticoeconomic matrix of the Taker world. Note that it only works on yes/no queries, but could conceivably be used to spell out words: "Is the first letter of the first name of JFK's killer an 'a'? A 'b'? A 'c'? The second letter of the first name: an 'a'? A 'b'?..."

Got a MAPP-Oxygen brazing/welding kit on the way to prototype my cross-country roller skates. Having friends at City of the Sun, whose shipping address I can use, is a great asset! Not to mention, when I bounce ideas off them, they actually listen and are interested! [comment]


Haven't yet found a source for Pinus Caribaea, but P. edulis and P. contorta both look like good possibilities for this region. My friends just bought some Afghan pines, but this species has been dying of fungal disease in Texas. Let's hope it doesn't spread into NM for a good long time. [comment]


I've been thinking: could the Gaviotas Pines miracle be accomplished here in New Mexico? Got to find a local source for Caribbean pines and find out... [comment]


Forgot to mention the results of my experiment I tried Saturday afternoon after the workshop... I couldn't taste the tequila over the strong fresh flavor of the nopal, so I kept adding more and more... I made a horse's ass of myself all right. That plus a quart bottle of Tecate and another beer later at the Tumbleweed and I was three sheets to the wind. Good thing I have some friends in town who took me home, otherwise the coyotes (the two-legged variety) might have had me for early breakfast. Anyway the drink is good, but I'd just better serve them at my shebeen and let other people get wasted. [comment]


Heh. Found out something more about getting cash at the P.O.; it's not just once a day as I thought, you can get $50 cash back per transaction as long as your debit card honors the transactions and as long as the clerk tolerates you and has the cash. I just got $300 cash and no longer need a ride into Deming. Cool. Plus I just filled out my application for property tax exemption and will mail it in. What a concept. I don't think I've used the U.S. mail more than a handful of times since I quit working for them.

The exemption is based on my having donated the use of my lot to the Ishmael community. They'll probably deny it at first but if so maybe I can find a corrupt lawyer to "fix" it for me for a reasonable fee.

Now to find a decent price for WRT54G online; so far I haven't found anything that beats the Deming Wal-Mart's in-store price yet, not even walmart.com. [comment]


Had an interesting weekend... went to a Permaculture workshop hosted by Shu Chan and Dwayne Madsen at their 80-acre Living Foods Learning Center north of Columbus, NM. Permaculture is about using existing forces in such a way as to maximize the anti-entropic Life force in an area. These forces, referenced to as "sectors", include sun, wind, water (grade), and fire, as well as the more "artificial" sectors of people, dwellings, traffic, and things like HAARP and chemtrails. My homework, until the next workshop in a month or two, is to make a site survey of my own lot similar to this one (28 mb pdf file).

Shu Chan, for those unfamiliar with the name, was anointed as this generation's successor to Ann Wigmore by the legendary scientist and student of Rudolf Steiner, Harvey Lisle (and -- found this out later, 2005-03-16 -- by Dr. Wigmore herself!). Both she and Dwayne are working their butts off to make their Living Foods Center a place where people with cancer and other life-threatening diseases can go for three weeks hoping to avoid death, and come out with a newfound energy and zest for life. But they don't like wasting effort, either; one of the goals of permaculture is to help nature along, getting the most reward for the least expenditure of energy. For example, instead of the backbreaking work of digging or tilling the hard New Mexico soil, they use bags from hydro-gardens.com. Tumbleweed is planted to help break up the soil, and its large rootsystems draw nutrients from deep in the soil and deposit them on the surface when it tumbles away to rot in a new location.

Dwayne was mentioning the firehazards of grasslands, and I was going to mention the firestop properties of iceplants (Carpobrotus and Delosperma, for example) but didn't see a good point to break in until he got off the subject. So I'm putting it here where those who are interested will hopefully see it. Some Delosperma is growing outside of the Columbus office of Employment, and can be trimmed where it's encroaching on the sidewalk and the clippings used to start new plantings elsewhere. It's edible, as far as I know, and can easily be started by covering with a little dirt and watering daily for two weeks. [comment]


Got this idea for a drink, gonna try it maybe this weekend. Fill a blender full of prickly pear leaf (nopales), add enough lime juice to keep the motor from overheating and blend to a creamy consistency. Add enough tequila to knock an average horse on its ass. Serve with a twist. The name? (drumroll): A Stiff Prick. Also going to try a Maggie made with just lime juice, tequila, and grocery-store orange extract. I'd better get some Tecate too, just in case those experiments don't work out. [comment]


Oops. Further research shows there is a newer version of Tony Hain's draft that uses a completely different calculation method, and includes a Perl script (not mine!!!). So my address prefix has been changed to 16c5:3ae7:ae82::/48. I might modify my Python script to match the new method one of these days. [comment]


Updated unternet.net page with the IPv6 addressing scheme that looks most promising, and since the CGI script on the referenced page seems to be missing, wrote hain_address.py to calculate the address. For my current location here in Columbus, 31.845349N 107.649536W, the prefix comes out to 1472:D9D2:7202::/48.

I admit, it took me all evening to translate Hain's spec into a working script, and still haven't tested it for southern hemisphere values. Sometimes I can be incredibly thick. But what the hell, it's so nice when it finally works. [comment]


Got a hot tip on a great investment: PIPS. A classic Ponzi scheme, like Social Security, but the promises are bigger and the payoffs are reportedly quicker -- while it lasts. Lots of poor schmucks are gonna be left holding the bag on this one. Thanks, Leeway! [comment]


Wow, that was fast! Linda Werner at the Columbus Village Library signed up with timebucks.org so that those of us that volunteer at the library can now receive 15 timebucks for each day that we put in (monitoring the computer center, helping patrons with the computers, helping kids with homework, etc). This is a great start! Viva la revolución! [comment]


Steve Van Dyke at timebucks.org has put into actual practice some of Bernard Lietaer's (a name more often misspelled than not, it seems) ideas on the future of money. Check it out and see if it can help you get a community monetary system in place where you live. Though it may not be the tribalist ideal of a "support" economy as depicted in Quinn's My Ishmael, it is certainly a step in the right direction. [comment]

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