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


first test yesterday of cold-brewing coffee "on the road"; about 300 turns of the grinder into my 2nd Dromedary bag and poured in about 16 ounces of water. drinking it now. came out pretty good. no need to buy coffee now except to have use of wifi and power.

still about an hour before I leave. I just did a "dry run" yesterday downtown and back with all my gear and most of my provisions. [comment]


talking with a real estate investor earlier. he said that the way things are going in California, it could soon be made illegal to discriminate against section 8 applicants, even though the law imposes extra obligations on the owner including extra paperwork and inspections.

we followed this through to its logical conclusions: there would be fewer people willing to rent out their properties at all. progressives could then claim that the "free market" was failing to provide needed housing and that government would need to intervene with solutions.

and then it clicked in my mind: everything is designed to impose full socialism on the United States. healthcare, for example, is progressing towards a "single-payer" system. no need for a communist revolution when regulatory agencies can engineer takeovers of entire market sectors just by making the rules too onerous for capitalists to bother competing. [comment]


I think I've mentioned the cold-water shave before but just in case: I keep one of those silicone shampoo bottles filled with a half-and-half solution of Dr. Bronner's and water. one squirt of that is sufficient to lube my face. then I use the 5-bladed Gillette Fusion on it for a clean shave, fill the bottom of my ubiquitous coffee cup with 2 to 4 ounces of water, swish the blade back and forth (not side-to-side, it does no good) until it's clean. another few ounces of water on my washcloth to clean the soap off my face and that's it. no noise to speak of, if you have people sleeping nearby; no waiting for water to heat, wasting both water and fuel; very little use of water at all.

I was trying to get by on 2 fusion cartridges a year, but it wasn't working, they start to get dull after a couple of months. I'm up to 3 a year now, and near the end of 4 months it takes several times going over the same place to get a decent shave.

got rid of one more thing on my travel checklist: instead of the Kitchen Sink collapsible bucket, just use an inverted drybag. though drybags aren't as compact as the K.S., I carry them already anyway for multiple purposes. the only case I can think of where it mightn't work out would be if I needed a bucket while it was raining.

I think I mentioned before, you can use an inverted drybag to wash dishes or clothes. just add water and soap, and slosh it around with the items to be washed. [comment]


healing is progressing apace. by the time I cross the border I won't likely look leprous. [comment]


the hand is healing nicely. only a little infection left and it looks as though I hit all the growths. I'll never know if they were cancerous, but I don't really care. no matter what I do it won't convince the naysayers anyway. [comment]


the inflammation has gone down enough on the existing sores that I decided to hit the rest of the little devils. scraped the skin and just spread out a minimal amount of salve. I'll let it burn until it gets bothersome and wash it off. I'll be so glad to be done with this shit. [comment]


"Remind me never to do this again," B said once we were settled in.

"I reminded you before you agreed to go in the first place," Shirin noted dryly.

"You didn't do it forcefully enough."

Michael cleared his throat and said, "You never know when you might have planted a seed," and then turned an amazing shade of scarlet.

"It's kind of you to say that, Michael," B said gently, "but that was mighty hard ground."

The Story of B, page 105

I was on the firestorm group trying to explain to the progressives why a man might not be happy about being kept from his property, but was instantly surrounded by a mob of statists. hard ground indeed. [comment]


the original salve treatment area has already healed over for the most part. the newer areas are still somewhat infected but less so than yesterday at this time, and the pus is easily drained with a little pressure. I'm convinced that this infection is not something to be fought, it's a natural immune response to the atypical cells exposed by the escharotic salve and needs to complete its course. I may yet be able to mop up the rest of the bumps before leaving. but there's a chance that there are others I'm not currently able to see. [comment]


am I the only one bothered by the evacuation "orders" being given by the various sheriffs in the firestorm area? how can it be that our public servants are authorized to "order" us to do anything? are we military conscripts? slaves? where does one opt out of this arrangement anyway?

I'm perfectly open to suggestions and recommendations from people who have a better perspective on the matter than I do. but that doesn't mean I grant them sovereignty over me. if I'd rather risk death to protect my property from looters, that's my prerogative.

Safeway came through when the Senior Center did not. I got a coupon for 25 cents off any refrigerated yogurt, which means the 39 cents Lucerne blueberry yogurt was only 14 cents, and 98 cents off a $1.99 loaf of Open Nature whole wheat french bread, baked this morning, so $1.01 for that. capitalism sucks, right? [comment]


haven't gotten much work done since the fires started. I keep going from Facebook to email alerts to the fire maps. today the smoke is bad but the wind is still from the northwest. early tomorrow it starts in from NNE, and by Sunday we'll have easterly winds all day, albeit light.

the pot stand on my BushBuddy Ultra camp stove finally broke. it was held by a ring of spot welds, and I've been abusing it all summer with a heavy cast iron pan. it wasn't designed for that. I made a ring with some wire, just bigger than the diameter of the stove, and bent it up at 3 points so it just fits inside the top of the stove and holds the pot at about 3/4" above the top. it's not very good but should suffice to the end of the month anyway, and then I can think about it all winter while I'm in Mexico.

the Sprouts supermarket is still yielding surprises. got 1/2 pound of chicken hearts and gizzards there yesterday for 70 cents. that, combined with leftover (4 days now) bacon and (2 days now) steak made a great dinner, and still have maybe a pound and a half of leftovers, mostly bacon from that 3-pound bag I dumpster dived early in the week. now that the Petaluma Senior Center is closed due to having to divert the staff to the emergency shelters, my Tuesday "food grab" is off the table, so I don't have the luxury of free organic bread and yogurt. I'm sure there are places where I can get handouts, but the beauty of that was that I didn't have to beg, or prove need, or anything like that. it passed my "Bill Gates" test: if old Bill were to show up and stand in line, he could get some too, no questions asked. so I'll be making do with cheap pasta for carbs and skip the probiotics, since I'm out of brine pickles and probably won't be making more before I leave. just got to make sure not to stress my immune system too much. right now it's busy fighting infection from the black salve treatment on my right hand. still have at least 3 more bumps to treat but those might have to wait until next summer. [comment]


update on the hand. I lanced around the eschars that had pus, so they're not quite as gross as they were a few minutes ago. [comment]


I was casually munching on an old aluminum pulley. it looked hard, but it broke off easily when I bit into it, and softened enough to chew and swallow. meanwhile I was trying to talk to my Dad but my thought processes were sluggish and I couldn't maintain a conversation. suddenly I realized that I was toxifying myself rapidly. I said "goodnight, Dad" and got into my car. then I woke up.

it was the first time I had seen my father in a dream, for decades. this time he was no longer confused or afraid. he was big: not fat, but buff, dressed in a starched white shirt and slate slacks. he looked younger than he did at his death in 1971.

I took it to mean if I don't lay off the alcohol, I'm gonna be meeting my Dad soon. [comment]


just watched Jeff Wayne's audiovisual production of H. G. Wells's War of the Worlds. the computer graphics were pretty primitive, and overall the production had a naive quality typical of British theater. but I liked it if only for Justin Hayward's song Forever Autumn. [comment]


more madness from Petaluma drivers. I was heading westbound on Western, in the middle of the crosswalk at Kentucky, and a car going eastbound turned right into my path, accelerating gradually right towards me. I'm almost certain the driver of 7MUH517 could see me, but he treated me as though I were a nothing, a bothersome cockroach in his way. I held up both hands and mouthed "STOP", though, and he did. I continued on, crossing to the south side of Western, then got to the next junction, Liberty. traffic was stopped both ways on Liberty, and there was nobody on Western, so I stepped into the crosswalk there. immediately the driver at the front of the southbound lane hits the accelerator, and instinctively I turned back around and stepped onto the curb, noticing as I did so that it was a PPD SUV. I waited, turned around, until he passed and then crossed. I could see on the cop's face he knew he was in the wrong. he didn't look back at me.

at the third dangerous intersection, at Howard, the one northbound driver stopped and let me pass, but I was already jittery by then and was glancing nervously over my shoulder until safely past.

I usually have these near-misses maybe 8 to 10 times a year, but just in the past 4 or 5 weeks I've had 3. it's scary out there. [comment]


the burning was too much, I removed the tape and washed off the salve after about 2 hours. looks like it found more atypical cells to destroy. now to let this heal some before I make another attack. [comment]


the last treatment of black salve did its job, the 3 pits you can see on the right of the back of my shaved right hand, so I put some on the other pink spots after peeling off the new growth, and it's burning now so I know it's working on those too. I covered it with duct tape to keep it from drying out, which is also why I shaved it before this application; if I don't do that, the hairs keep the tape from sticking properly. I hope to remove all my skin cancers before I go to Mexico because I'm afraid they'll confiscate my salve either going down or coming back into the US. that shit is expensive, about $100 for 1.5 ounces, and I never know if the FDA has shut down my vendor or not. they hate things that actually cure cancer. much more profitable for the companies that have captured the regulatory agencies to just keep it in stasis. [comment]


in my dream I was lying down next to some strange woman. I had one eye open, and through it I could see the hairs on my body strangely glistening. suddenly someone whispered in my ear, "WAKE UP". I did. it was just after 3AM local time. I never got back to sleep. [comment]


I live on a planet where just about everybody has guns, and are shooting them all day long. mostly they shoot at each other, as they move, and all the shots and the movement are at the same speed, so nobody gets hurt. and when I need to get across a line of them, they almost always stop shooting long enough for me to get across, although sometimes one of them can be seen taking up the slack on the trigger. in any case the guns are pointed at me the whole time.

occasionally though, they don't stop shooting, and I have to stick my hand out, hoping they won't hit it, in order to get across. and sometimes I'll be halfway across, and someone who wasn't aiming at me before suddenly decides to shoot at me, and I have to run to avoid being hit.

3 times, when I was living in Florida, I was grazed by shots from different people. nothing serious, thankfully.

if you've read this far, you probably realize that I'm speaking metaphorically about cars. if it were really guns, you'd think what a dystopian world I'm in. but since it's cars, it's "normal". and that's where the problem lies. [comment]


almost every time we drive up to Payne's Creek, I see these old "freeway" signs around mile marker 53, but we're always going so fast I can never read what it says. turns out all it says is "ACCESS RIGHTS RESTRICTED ON THIS SECTION OF HIGHWAY". somebody apparently stole one and was trying to sell it on eBay. now that's clever.

the black salve really seems to have worked, despite me having it on my skin for only about a half hour vs. the 24 hours recommended. the 1/2 inch diameter is now closer to 3/4 inch, and there are 4 distinct black spots surrounded by pus.

winding down the last few weeks in the US, about to become a permanent Mexican resident if I don't botch the immigration process.

doesn't mean I won't come back for visits. [comment]


earlier tonight I put some of my black salve on the back of my right hand after tearing off some of the recurring warts. I couldn't leave it on 24 hours because I don't have any bandages and the salve dried up after about an hour, but just in that short time a rougly circular area about 1/2 inch in diameter around the warty area swelled up. if this turns out to actually yield some results I'll try it again on the bigger ones. perhaps the key is removing the wart first. [comment]

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