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


Jared White opines about the best code is the code nobody writes, a similar idea to what I call the art of coding without coding. I don't fully grok his Rubyese, but the general idea is obviously, to me, a good one.

[added later: ha! I first blogged about this 10 years ago!] [comment]


had a series of dreams the other night in which someone (presumably marketers, tired of having to remember the correct metric system prefix du jour), had redefined 'bytes' to mean the current amount in use: in the dream, for example, it meant 'gigabyte'. so I got confused when I heard someone describe a laptop as having "2 bytes", but then I remembered the redefinition.

what made me remember this was I just now saw where a friend of mine had posted that punny cartoon of a kid telling another kid he named his band 999 megabytes, 'cause they hadn't gotten a gig yet. [comment]


you may have noticed that Bitcoin's recent rise is on a par with last November's. but that previous one followed relatively low-volume trading, whereas the recent one follows about 800000BTC changing hands. the thing I don't know, which makes all the difference, is did it go from strong to weak hands, or vice versa? [comment]


figured out what I was doing wrong with those snap fasteners; not putting enough material between the joining pieces. this makes the rivet part stick out too far, no matter how hard you pound it, and those butt together and prevent the snap from working properly. so use extra material to make at least 1/16 of an inch compressed, maybe even closer to 1/8 inch. so anyway, I made another loincloth out of that piece of deerskin chamois I bought for about USD12 at Ley a few weeks back. it doesn't quite fit yet, so got to add another snap, or velcro, or something to tighten it up.

got the first pedal added to the kinetic contraption I made out of a USD100 hand truck. looks like it might work. it's a 4-way linkage that makes my foot-pushes above ground equate to push-offs on the ground. hard to explain with words, photos and/or a video should be forthcoming. got to add another pedal though, which means I have to score some more wood. already scavenged enough hinges.

it's been a week since I last abused alcohol, and I haven't really missed it since. maybe had two beers and 3 or 4 ounces of rum in the interim. it was first quarter moon last night though, so I probably should binge today whether I feel like it or not. it seems to be a working strategy.

jogged out to Mega today and bought a couple of ribeyes for dinner tomorrow, and some good-quality Italian spaghetti. got back in time to buy some veggies from the guy at the organic market. life is good. [comment]


rich hot chocolate: cup of steaming water (1 minute for each 8 ounces in microwave on high), heaping tablespoon cocoa powder, tablespoon ground parmesan cheese, hot pepper flakes to taste. yummy. [comment]


it's not working. deflating in a few minutes each time. dunno if my bag has pinhole leaks, or it's just coming out through the fold-over seal. dammit. [comment]


just realized today that a drybag can be filled with air and made into a nice lumbar support. obviously it can't be used with a lot of pressure against it, but for normal use it should last hours. about to find out anyway. [comment]


after a few days of listening to Soma FM Beat Blender, I think it's safe to say I'm way more productive than I was before. I'm finally able to automate testing of my client's Django site using a combination of django.test.Client, lxml.html with xpath, and tweaks to the email sending routines to append certain emails to a list rather than send them out.

XPath is, in particular, difficult for me. not like regexes, but shit, I learned those in the late 80s or early 90s, over 20 years ago. [comment]


good music at Soma FM, getting shit done finally. still haven't run across that haunting tune I heard over by Las Gaviotas on Christmas day.

finally solved my netbook mail problems by installing nullmailer and mailutils. together with my ssh tunnel to a server under my control, I should be able to send mail from anywhere. [comment]


had an interesting problem with a local client today. her Windows 8.1 computer was able to get email, once I got the wifi credentials entered correctly, but attempts to connect to websites were failing. calling up a CMD prompt and pinging various domains was giving me, without fail, addresses in the 198.18.1/24 range, but I could ping to no problem. switching the DNS in IPV4/Properties was no help. googling gave very few results, but I finally found the ipconfig /flushdns command from the administrative command prompt which worked.

what kind of a bogus default is that? an unusable address (at least, currently, assigned as SPECIAL-IPV4-BENCHMARK-TESTING-IANA-RESERVED) polluting the resolver cache when DNS is unreachable?

sure, I could have punted and rebooted, and it probably would have "fixed" it too. but then I wouldn't have found this ugly bug in the operating system. [comment]


also had several people viewing some of my Facebook pages. maybe that comment yesterday about "paparazzi trying to get a shot at of the VP" got me some unwanted attention. just so you know, fibbies, I think Biden would be a really poor choice for assassination. he has no power to speak of, and he has some martyr value. overall a big loss for patriots if he gets whacked. [comment]


someone just signed me up as "patriotmailman" at Pogo.com. whoever is fucking around, stop it. I know you read my blog. [comment]


finally figured out how to use the Android Navigator app to record a GPX route accurately. first I had to wait about 5 minutes till it showed my position on the map. then it was able to track my route no problem, and I uploaded it to MapMyRun. [comment]


tonight, walking along the malecon, we saw this 50-ish bearded guy on a skateboard, propelling it like a casterboard with a 90 degree stance and back-and-forth motion. it was a thing of beauty. makes me want to try skateboarding again. [comment]


a FOAF on Facebook just gave me an idea after saying she's always wanted to live in Europe and would still move there if she could. freedom-loving Americans could crowdfund a funds-matching service for royalists who would rather live under despotism, to help pay for their exit taxes for renouncing citizenship, and a one-way ticket to the country of their choice. it wouldn't be cheap, but could possibly avert civil war. [comment]


last night or the night before, I was downstairs on the computer when I heard someone right outside the back door saying "hello?". this was weird, because the gate is locked and nobody should be inside it. looked around, and of course didn't find anybody. if it was a ghost, it didn't raise the hairs on the back of my neck as in previous experiences with the disembodied. [comment]


thought I had blogged this seafood pasta recipe but I couldn't find it tonight, so here it is again. this time I substituted pierna, or ocean whitefish, for the shrimp, which I can't seem to find reliably fresh down here. turned out good; I had 3 helpings and the lady had 2. [comment]


so the guy at Banamex said the teller could give me a cash advance on a credit card, so I waited. when I finally got called to window 4, she said no, only at the ATM. damn.

so I went to Scotiabank, my 3rd try (Santander was first). yes, she could give me a cash advance, but only with a passport book, not the card I usually use. luckily I had the book with me too. now if I can just watch my spending. [comment]


I wasn't going to weigh in on the Charlie Hebdo massacre, not having heard of the magazine before, but all the back-and-forth on the Internet made me reconsider. sure, I support free speech including the most vile satire. sure, I condemn violence. I also praise anyone who would rather "die on his feet than live on his knees". but I don't see that it was Islam attempting to put Charb on his knees. with a corporate tax rate of 33%, a payroll tax of 66%, and a maximum personal income tax of 75%, it seems that the French government would be a more deserving target of his ire (not that he didn't expend it in that direction -- I don't doubt that he did). and he was adequately warned ahead of time, not just by Kianoush Ramezani, but by the firebombing in 2011. similar to the case of Felina, a series of ignored, credible threats leading to death is still lamentable, but at least predictable. at some point, one has to decide whether to prepare for war or to stand down. doing neither, and still hoping for the best, is Pollyannish and often disastrous. [comment]


hate to say this in case I'll jinx it, but: no symptoms after the first 24 hours. I do believe my immune system kicked that cold virus in the ass, big-time. [comment]


closest shave with my pocketknife yet, most complete, and least bloody. getting good at this. besides a sharp knife, it takes a combination of stropping, technique, and toughening of the face to the new blade, getting used to the pain of pulling the whiskers. [comment]


weird dream. a huge mansion where I was recuperating from a gunshot wound that took out part of my brain. nobody wanted to tell me what was wrong, but I was going down an escalator, got to the bottom and couldn't go farther and couldn't figure out why. then some woman, an officer of some sort, walked up but I could only see part of her face. I said this and a black guy behind me snickered something like "no shit". I asked, "I'm wounded?" someone said "yes". "is it my eyes?" "no". "it's my brain, isn't it?" "yes". so I said "well that's OK, it will heal."

there was more, but it's fading fast, but I was on a train and something was happening, and while it was happening the future was changing. in one future my name was mentioned in a movie as having been a hero, and in the other that never happened. this incident on the train, depending on how it played out, determined that; and I was watching and hearing it go from one to the other, fading in and out as I did or failed to do my part. remember the final fight scene in Frequency? something like that.

that part about the game, or movie, or book mentioning my name is part of a recurring dream I've had many times. whenever I say this, about recurring dreams, I'm never sure, it's just a thought on awakening, that I've dreamt the same thing many times before.

OK, going back to sleep now, just had to get that typed in. [comment]


between last night and tonight I've been working on my brine pickled mix of local amaranth, organic broccoli stems, and garlic, and managed to keep the throat from getting noticeably worse. but was getting hungry, and came to The Shack for a burger, fries, and beer. hope it doesn't set me back healthwise. [comment]


catching a cold. damn. great fucking time to get sick, right before my lady returns. that cinnamon roll yesterday after lunch was a bad idea. [comment]


overcast and cool with a light northerly breeze this morning in La Paz, BCS. should be a good day to get things done. maybe will get a good breakfast for a change. last night's Tailhunter fish-and-chips, though delicious, isn't sitting well in my stomach. [comment]


Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. -- Colonel Dubois, Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein

so what are we to think of the NYPD's ending of broken-windows policing? to me it looks as though Brinsley's act of violence may have triggered a response that will benefit New Yorkers in the long run, indeed maybe in the short run. though I cannot countenance indiscriminate killing of anybody, including police officers, the murders had the desired effect of making the ruling class's minions realize their vulnerability if they continue their oppression of the citizenry, particularly that of blacks, who are disproportionately singled out for stop-and-frisk and other indignities.

also, as I speculated before, the targets may not have been random, but rather agreed to by the power structures involved.

in any case, whether the long-term effects are positive or negative, some balance has been restored. the wall of blue has been found to be a lot more vulnerable than they wanted us to think. some fear has settled onto the oppressors. as Neo said to the machines, "Where we go from there is a choice I leave to you." [comment]


yogurt came out funky. threw it away. will try again eventually. [comment]


as to my yogurt experiments: the custard cup of milk with an old tamarind pod in it for acid didn't turn out well. it made something resembling cottage cheese, probably edible but not palatable to me. the one into which I put last year's organic yogurt from the freezer may still turn out okay. the temperature from the oven lamp doesn't seem to be quite enough to do the job right, or at least not fast. [comment]


almost finished a rough shave with my pocketknife tonight but then gashed my chin bad enough to call it quits. by this time a year from now I hope to have perfected that art, and taught the world how to do it. put an end to the disposable razor industry. [comment]

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