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


An acquaintance from my youth has been lambasting me on Facebook, while I've been trying to engage in rational debate. His last shot:

So far you've shown that you against the principles this country was founded on. The preamble of the constitution: We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. In order stated, Justice and tranquility are out. You've not touched on defence. General welfare is to be replaced with personal welfare. The blessing of liberty are gravely threatened. Posterity is on no concern to you. 5 of the 6 principles of the constitution are to be changed or done away with. As an employee of the federal government I'm sown to defend the constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic. You qualify as a enemies of the constitution, but I'm don't need to worry you can do it any harm.

Good to see that people who can't spell, make a coherent sentence, or argue their point of view without resort to ad-hominem fallacies can find gainful employment with our good old Uncle Sam. [comment]


After all my recent successes, a failure. Thought I could use Reynolds Oven Bags for reusable microwave popcorn bags. Worked fine the first time, but the second time it melted. Damn. And I'd had a zero-waste day up till then. [comment]


The chorizo is already dry enough that the flies are no longer interested. I thought I'd have to rig something up to keep them off, but if all I have to worry about is cleaning the eggs off for the first 2 or 3 days, there's no need to bother. And as it turns out, none of the flies did lay eggs this time.

I found out from Mac at SausageMaker.com that in order to keep links from untwisting you need to use twine between each link. That's the "obvious" answer anyway, but I thought there was some trick sausagemakers used to make a foolproof twist. Nope. Sometimes the obvious answer is the right one. [comment]


Finally figured out enough of my VX-7R to make a CQ today on 52.525MHz. No answer. I'll study some more, then try a repeater later. [comment]


Less jogging, more stretching. Hope to have my left calf muscles healed and back in full operation in a couple of weeks.

Just cased up my 2nd batch of chorizo this afternoon. Took down the first set of links but don't plan to refrigerate them.

Used the Chase ATM at the Lucky grocery store on Lakeville today. I was surprised when the Fast Cash option spat out the cash without prompting me to agree to the fee, usually $3.00. Even more surprised when I got home and checked my PayPal balance: they took nothing for a fee, though PayPal took its usual dollar for an ATM transaction. Knowing Chase, I'm really suspicious that they aren't going to hit my PayPal account for an outrageous fee later. But I usually keep the account empty, so I'm not overly worried. [comment]


Trying to get ziodave's Twitter integration working in a Titanium test app, but am getting this PinFinder error. Any ideas? I guess it means I'm missing some Twitter dependency that wasn't mentioned in the article. [comment]


I thought muscle pain was supposed to resolve itself after a few days. It's been maybe 5 days since my left calf started hurting when I jog. What the fuck.

Started a new batch of chorizo today, half pound of pork with a bunch of brine-pickled anaheims and two large brine-pickled cloves of garlic. Plus some salt, of course. [comment]


Doing some Android, OAuth, and Appcelerator Titanium development. All of these are in a state of constant flux, docs are outdated, software is broken. What a fucking mess. [comment]


"Yes, there was damage to the reactors, but the systems are failsafe and there is nothing to worry about."

"Yes, there was an explosion, but it wasn't a nuclear explosion, and no radiation could possibly escape."

"Yes, some small amount of radiation is escaping, but nobody is in any danger."

"Radiation levels are rising, perhaps it would be wise to stay indoors."

"Radiation levels are dangerous, everybody within 10km must evacuate".

Do you see a pattern here? There are lies, damned lies, and government. [comment]


Eco-anarchists might be interested in this call for submissions for a new publication in the tradition of the best years of Green Anarchy. Thanks to friend Yarrow. [comment]


If it's such a crime to smuggle guns into Mexico, why doesn't this sign at the Columbus-Palomas border (photo courtesy of Sylvia Brenner, all rights reserved) cite the relevant US statute, instead of implying that it's only a violation of Mexican law? [comment]


That virus attacking my throat, by the way, only lasted 48 hours or so. My immune system has been working overtime on that big eschar on my knee, and still was able to knock the other bad guys out, too. I should show it some appreciation. Maybe a nice, big, juicy steak of grass-fed beef. [comment]


That mole on which I put the black salve was only partially whitened by it; the rest of the salve oozed out and burned a large area, maybe 1/2 inch in diameter, lower on my knee. It hurts like hell, and I won't be putting any more on until this heals. It's a nasty-looking mess, black in the middle and white around the edges.

No work for the last few days, so I was hoping to make progress on my own projects; doesn't seem to be happening. Can't seem to get my mind in gear, and keep indulging distractions like Facebook and Topix.

Found a local market that will sell me meat in my own container, G and G. But the good Estancia ground beef only comes prepackaged, so I hope to be off to Cotati someday soon to get some grass-fed. Oliver's Market there will sell it to me without disposable packaging also.

A fly laid a large string of eggs on my drying chorizo, but I rubbed them off and the links seem to be doing fine. My plan is to try one a month for 6 months, leaving them hanging outside as they are, no refrigeration. [comment]


Last Friday when I caught the last 44 from RP to Petaluma, the wifi was working: SSID SCT_On-BoardWiFi. There was also a secured SSID 208, the bus number. So apparently, each bus has a secured and an unsecured AP when everything is working.

Making progress on living a zero-waste lifestyle. Bought a Rubbermaid container at Goodwill, and tried at various stores to see if they'd sell me meat in it. Petaluma Market: no, their scales are old and cannot tare my container (I don't believe it, but whatever). The concept was so foreign to the butcher at Lucky (on Lakeville) that I had to explain what I wanted 3 different ways; then the answer was no. Apparently some people will have to go to Burning Man before the concept of zero waste can even get planted in their brains.

The director of Oliver's in Cotati already answered my email and said yes they would, but, trying to avoid that long ride on a cloudy day, tried at G and G first. They would, but not the Estancia ground beef I wanted. Sokay, I got some $1.99 factory farm shit this time.

Passed a guy in the park spraying herbicide. I asked him, "spraying poison?". He answered, "Basically." Avoiding the temptation to get off my bike and throttle him, I just said "not a good idea, man."

They finally finished the railroad crossing at the end of that road paralleling Lakeville. Really nice job, too. And I found out that if you walk the tracks for a bit, you can bike the rest of the way out to the marina without that crazy traffic along Lakeville.

Also stopped by the bridge across the creek, on the Petaluma bike path, where someone is guerrilla-gardening nopales, and planted some tomato seeds. I'm getting more consistent at doing this since revising my goal at LifeTango.

The black salve had whitened part of the mole, but the bandage had rubbed it off most of the top before it had a chance to do its work. So I cut down the cap of a small plastic bottle to hold it in place, and put some more on this morning. I can feel it burning away.

Night before last, my throat started feeling like there's some kind of bug attacking it. During the day it feels better, but then in the morning it's bad again. Hoping to kick it soon without infecting anyone else. [comment]


Just applied some black salve, a different (apparently stronger) formulation, to the large mole on my right knee. Unlike the other, this one made it start to "burn" almost instantly. Safety third! [comment]


Went to Petaluma Market today and asked one of the butchers if I brought in a clean, reusable container, would he put the meat into it instead of wrapping it in plastic and plastic-coated paper, as they usually do? Answer: no, because their scales are old and can't tare my container.

Made a microbatch of Basque sausage links yesterday, and hung it outside to dry, through a loop of dental floss tied to a hook in the ceiling. I just cooked up the rest of my ground pork for dinner, so will have to buy some more before I make another batch. [comment]


I tried putting in my bridge the other day, but my teeth have drifted apart so much in the few weeks I didn't wear it, that it went on very tight and may have cracked the rear molar. I might try it again with the xanthan gum powder if I work up the courage. Not having any connecting molars makes it hard for me to tell how to hold my mouth at rest: strange but true. And any Maine fisherman knows you won't catch anything if you don't hold your mouth right. [comment]


Cut myself shaving today, same old spot. Seems there's still some residual pieces of the mole there. Maybe will have to make a 3rd attempt with the black salve.

Got a TracFone yesterday at Target, $31 gets you a phone plus 130 minutes. Fucking amazing. This is just for a software development gig, I am not planning to get hooked back into the telephone matrix.

Besides growing my own sprouts, I'm starting to eat sardines (King Oscar Tiny Tots, two layers in olive oil, preferentially) on the advice of Dr. Mark Hyman in his book The UltraMind Solution. The Omega-3 oils are supposed to help fix my "broken brain". We'll see.

Fixed my Skorpion multi-terrain skates, finally, today, mounting the new brakes to the inside of each skate, leaving the old brakes on the outsides. None of the websites make it clear if all you get is the rubber part, or the plastic part too; you get both, plus new screws. [comment]


Finished my python keyboard for the netbook. Not using it for anything serious yet, but hoping for some productivity improvement once I get used to it. Not having to shift for parentheses should be useful for almost any programmer, especially lispers or schemers. [comment]


After several years, making a new batch of Basque chorizo, a very small batch of only 1/2 pound. 4 red chilis, skinned, one large clove of garlic, and enough salt to cover the top. Mixed it well and put in the fridge. Will mix, taste, and add whatever it needs for 3 days then case it. That's the plan, anyway. I also have some salt-brined peppers for another batch.

My younger brother had a heart attack today. Reminds me that life is short, and any day could be my last. Don't want to leave stuff for tomorrow. [comment]


Two or 3 days ago I had some wine I bought at Grocery Outlet, and it had a bitter, metallic taste. I chalked it up to a bad bottle and forgot about it. Then yesterday, everything had a bitter taste. I looked it up: this article says it can be caused by (among other things less likely) pine nuts! And I had just bought some pine nuts at TJ's, and have been eating them by the small handful. I think I'd better take them back. Maybe they're making people sick.

Hmm. Went back and Googled some more, and found "Risks of eating pine nuts" in the Wikipedia article. Nothing to worry about, it says. So maybe I'll just sweat it out. Even though the label says they're from Russia or Korea, those both border China, and like so-called "Vermont" maple syrup that really comes from Canada, these nuts may be from China. [comment]


This morning I shaved over the spot where my mole used to be, probably for the first time since I started shaving almost 40 years ago. It's still a little bumpy there, but I didn't nick myself. Tried the black salve on a large mole on my right knee, no effect at all. Strange. I'll try again, with something to keep it from drying out. [comment]

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