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.

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"And always Ender carried with him a dry white cocoon, looking for the world where the hive-queen could awaken and thrive in peace. He looked a long time."

finished it for, I think, the 3rd time. now to get back to work... got a few hundred dollars to make before I take off on my journey south. [comment]


I've found a free online copy of Ender's Game. it's got some annoyances, such as a lot of punctuation having been scanned in as ?D and some really dumb Bowdlerization script that renders, for example, "naked" as "nak**ed" and "assumed" as "as**sumed", but otherwise it appears to be a faithful copy of the actual novel. I'm too tired to finish tonight but probably will have it done early tomorrow. [comment]


Saturday at the Fort Bragg library, finding Ender's Game again, I caught up to page 130, past where he kissed the snake, which then turned into his sister Valentine, with whom he then walked triumphantly to the cheers of the crowd. this may have inspired my dream later; I was skidding down a sloped, curved sidewalk, and though at first I couldn't steer and kept going off the edge, I realized I could mentally control the movement. so when I got to the bottom, I decided I could fly, and did, to the amazement of the homeless guy camped out against the buildings.

today we paddled up Big River about 5 miles. first time I remember not having to fight heavy winds on the way back. didn't get a jog in though. [comment]


after my nap downtown this afternoon, on my way to the gym, there were a couple of young white guys climbing up the walking bridge -- clearly posted "NO DIVING" -- and jumping into the slough, with their Mexican friend on the bridge watching for cops. I guess they did it a few times, because when I made it upstairs to the weight room, and went to the window with my two wimpy 10-pound weights, they were still at it. by now there were several "adults", C. S. Lewis's "omnipotent moral busybodies", apparently giving them a hard time and maybe calling 9-1-1. the kids finally grabbed their skateboards and backpacks off the dock and headed out, but not before one of them had some verbal back-and-forth with the OMBs. kudos to him. we need more scofflaws in this increasingly stultifying world.

my lower back was hurting for over a week, but finally it's back to normal. I wasn't worried too much, I thought it was muscular and apparently I was right.

been eating way too much sugar lately, but so far it hasn't caught up to me in the form of weakening my immune system or causing any noticeable weight gain. just lucky, I guess.

only about 5 weeks left until my walk/bus down the coast to Tijuana. got lots to do before then. [comment]


from Milton Mayer's They Thought They Were Free, p.150:

Americans have not had the Germans' troubles, perhaps by happy accident, perhaps because they have not made such troubles for others as the Germans have. Americans are not injured, and they don't feel injured. And, if they do, they do not characteristically whine.

that's certainly in the rearview mirror as of at least 15 years ago. Mayer's obvious contempt for the Germans can certainly be applied to today's Americans as a whole, as we are headed down that same path to tyranny. let's hope we wake up and smell the coffee before it's too late. [comment]


re-reading They Thought They Were Free by Milton Mayer, an American Jew who befriended 10 Nazis after WWII in an attempt to understand how ordinary people can support, and even perpetrate, atrocities such as those committed by the Germans. the answer is clear: it's easy. and we'll do it too, if we keep allowing ourselves to see certain groups (Muslims perhaps?) as undesirables. if you can't afford to buy the book, google theythoughttheyw027497mbp.pdf and you might find a free copy floating around out there in cyberspace. [comment]


so it turns out the Berlekamp-Massey algorithm is apparently not applicable to the pseudorandom number pattern I was attempting to generate, and from which I wished to extrapolate the next 5 numbers. and my edits to the Wikipedia article were reverted by someone with a lot more clout than I have. so I have a net gain of zero. maybe someday I'll learn more about Galois fields, but that's pretty much out for tonight.

anyway, I made enough to pay most of my bills for this month. not gonna sweat it.

the fig tree next to the high school is finally producing its second round of ripe fruit. picked the first one off the sidewalk yesterday I think. it tasted great. and tomorrow morning is the great food grab at the senior center. I think I'll get through the next month and a half just fine. and then it's back to Mexico for the winter. [comment]


Hillary's latest medical episode makes me wonder if the ruling elites have a shadow warrior waiting in the wings. you can only prop a puppet up so many times before something else breaks. [comment]


though I apparently missed the deadline on that random-number prediction job I posted the other day, I'm still curious to see if I can actually get the next 5 numbers in the series. but my computer is too slow; apparently I'd be waiting for days to get the output. so I signed up on Google Cloud, particularly the Compute Engine. pro: they're giving me $300 in credit for a 60-day trial, and they won't (or so they say) charge my card immediately after the time is up, but rather ask via email if I wish to continue. Google may be evil, but they are generous. they did the same with AdWords as I recall. anyway, con: the CPU instance they gave me isn't much faster than my own stupid netbook's. [comment]


now that high-profile Republicans like Schwartzenegger and Romney want Gary Johnson on the debate stage, I'm going to have to assess what this could mean. the best take I can come up with on it is that one wing of the ruling elites is really unhappy with both Clinton and Trump, and want someone moderately sane at the helm. but this surely (to me) is a result of Gary's adding CFR insider Weld to the ticket. do they plan to kill Gary, or just give him the Muhammad Ali treatment, and put Weld into the hot seat as soon as possible? but if so, why not just continue with Hillary, a willing puppet if there ever was one? but maybe she is in fact terminally ill. [comment]


nextdoor.com is a good resource for anarchists. on the one hand, it's another way for the surveillance state to keep its eyes on you, but since we're already screwed in that respect anyway, might as well use it for agoristic purposes and to spread revolutionary ideas like using Cell 411 to handle neighborhood problems instead of calling the cops for every little thing.

I made some money doing handyman work this week, and formed a cell on 411 with 4 members. it's a start. [comment]


wow, talk about weasel-wording the law. I'd like to make my own alcohol fuel for my stove, but what forked-tongue nonsense. it "appears to be legal", but at the same time "The department or its employees may seize any unlicensed still, whether in actual operation or not and whether assembled for operation or dismantled, any parts of such stills, and any materials or supplies capable of being used for the manufacture of alcoholic beverages..."

there's no government like no government. burn it down. burn it down now. [comment]


sometimes when I jog my mind goes elsewhere, and when I return to the here and now there is some distance between my last known location and where I came to. I understand the Raramuri experienced this regularly and it was one of the ways they were able to go for hundreds of miles. if I could learn to induce this at will, perhaps with the aid of chemicals (tesgüino for example?) I could maybe become a super-runner too. but it's scary. one time I "woke up" having crossed a busy street maybe half a mile back. had to count my fingers and make sure I was still in this world. but I checked my GPS tracks later and found out my body just jogged along at its usual slow pace... I didn't fly or anything. meh. [comment]


why does some of the best music with regard to beat and melody have such disgusting lyrics? Bryan Adams's Run to You for example is about cheating; Don Henley's Boys of Summer is a beta male sobbing in his beer over a summer fling; and a lot of Fleetwood Mac's best music was basically ex-lovers duking it out in public. [comment]


this ought to earn me another necromancer badge, assuming my monkeypatch isn't too kludgy a solution for the community. hey, I like it even if nobody else does... [comment]


the Java code sample at Wikipedia's Berlekamp-Massey algorithm page used different variables than the pseudocode and was hard to follow. also, the resulting polynomial was far from clear, so instead of just returning the length of the polynomial, I modified it to return a bitstring representation. hopefully that'll save other programmers the hours of frustration I had. [comment]


after my morning jog, a different route than normal going over English Hill to Bodega, I bought some fishing line, swivel connectors, and hooks, for about $8, and a pack of frozen anchovies for bait, about $4. then walked downtown and tried various fishing locations, ending up north of the D street bridge. I was at it until sundown, at which point I lost the last of my bait to the little fish, probably striped bass, that hang around next to the pilings.

then I went to the gym for a shower and headed home. today was the 2nd and last free fishing day of the year in California. I guess I should thank the troops for killing all those millions of people in the middle east. except for that, we'd probably have no freedom to fish at all. [comment]


one of my recurring dreams I may never have mentioned is that universe (sadly not this one) in which I have, cached away in safe deposit in a bank somewhere, silver and gold bullion, negotiable instruments, stocks and bonds, and other wealth. but even in the dreams I keep forgetting I have it, and where, and how much. there is also the matter of the safe deposit box fees, have I paid them, has the bank already opened the box and liquidated my savings. I also keep going back to the question of other stashes of such valuables hidden in houses where I once lived, a P.O. box where I get mail related to these treasures, apartments I've rented and condos I've bought around the world on which I probably haven't kept up with payments...

I often think rich people have it bad because they have to deal with this stuff, for real, day in and day out, besides worrying that their loved ones could be kidnapped at any time and held hostage for that wealth. but I don't even have anything of "hard" value and these dreams come around to haunt me just the same. it ain't fair, I tell ya. [comment]


found a purse on the side of the road today. it had a tablet computer in it, and I got the email of the owner from it. a couple hours or so later, the two were reunited. the owner tried to push a wad of bills into my hand but I refused. she insisted. I said "if you're drowning in cash, I'll take it, otherwise no". she relented: "no, I'm not."

I figured as much. sure, I could use the money, but she had her car window busted out earlier in the day, when the thief took her purse. I'm not that desperate. I'd much rather have someone who might stand up for me when the Almighty State decides I'm too much a threat to its existence to continue walking around free. judging by what happened to ej parker, I'm going to need all the help I can get when that time comes. [comment]

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