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


Forgot to mention, that "bug" in Bochs I mentioned isn't a bug. It's just that I didn't specify the cpu:ips setting correctly. After recompiling with --enable-show-ips in the configuration, I set my "ips" to 6.6MHz and it works like gangbusters. Guess I didn't RTFM very well... the Bochs developers are surprisingly forgiving of this shit. [comment]


Traveling to the UK soon? Hope you don't mind leaving your laptop and mobile phone in merrie olde England, old chap. Check out this travel advisory:

Travel within and from the United Kingdom:

Note that you can bring them in, you just can't take them home with you. There must be a shortage of cheap laptops there, so they're gonna steal them from unsuspecting tourists. Nothing should surprise me any more, but the thievery that goes on under the guise of "national security" baffles me sometimes.

How I found this out (the rest of the world has probably known for months) is that I just bought a flight to Providence for May. I'm going to Boston and Worcester to see some people and I saved at least $150 by going this route. I'll have 3 days to figure out the local transit systems once I get there. Travelocity shows all applicable (and obviously, non-applicable) warnings after the transaction is complete. [comment]


It turns out that not all WRT54Gs have the wifi MAC as two above the base (wired) MAC address. You have to ssh into each one and see what each thinks its eth1 MAC is, and use that in your wl0_wds settings in the nvram. So I'm back online, after correcting that. Come to think of it, that may have been the problem well over a year ago when I was trying to upgrade my system with a newer router. [comment]


What a day. First I fried the primary router of my WDS network by hooking up the cables in reverse polarity. I replaced the router, but can't get WDS working again... bummer.

I did get my neighbor's solar panel mounted, and got paid 1.5 dozen duck eggs in return; she said since they're unwashed, they'll last up to a year without refrigeration. A little hard to believe, but we'll see. If I remember, I'll just use two a month for 9 months, floating them first to see if they're good. If this works, it will be another long-lasting healthy food to keep around. My chorizos are looking good but I haven't tried any of them yet. I'm going to try and wait at least a month before trying the first one, and it's barely been two weeks.

And Wells Fargo hit me with 6 overdraft fees, at 34 bucks a pop, after their rep assured me on the phone two days ago that once the charges shown as "pending" cleared, the account would be closed. Thanks, motherfuckers. I'll try and talk to them, but if they don't want to reduce the charges I just might stiff them as I did Wachovia when they did the same thing. Of course, that doesn't do anything good for my credit rating but I was just granted two new credit cards, so I don't really give a shit. I'm irresponsible with credit anyway, I'm better off not having any.

I think I found a bug in Bochs that causes the timing, on floppy disk reads for example, to be off by an order of magnitude. I don't know why nobody picked up on that before, but I guess few people care about emulating floppy drives, and those few that do probably expect it to be slow. Slow OK, but 4 seconds per cylinder instead of .4 is a bit annoying. I'm trying to find the error in the sources, but I'm a little overwhelmed by them. Less than 200 thousand lines, but being somewhat C++-illiterate, it's daunting.

To top it all off, I'm not feeling so well lately. I've laid off beer for two days, but I'm drinking wine, so it's not much of an improvement. My throat is scratchy and I'm probably dehydrated. But I'm still alive, dammit. Watch out, world.



Sitting in the Christian bookstore in Deming the other day, drinking coffee and using their wifi, I felt like gagging at the conversations going on there. This "God" of theirs, that cares so much about what goes on in their bedrooms and even in their heads, is a really sorry excuse for a supreme being. I've come to the conclusion that "He" must only be a 4-dimensional being, not even 5, as David Icke claims of the reptilians.

My reasoning? OK, let's assume we're 4-dimensional, and let's further assume that the same (Euclidian) rules apply for the lower dimensions; i.e., the 3-dimensional world would appear as a single plane in our universe, 2 dimensions would be a line, and 1 dimension would be only a point. 1- and 2-dimensional beings would be all but invisible to us, and therefore of no interest. But 3-dimensional beings would be visible to us like a comic book. And better than a comic book, because all we'd have to do is poke our finger through the plane (page) in which they reside, and they'd see something inexplicable appear and disappear; like a flying saucer or whatever. We could watch their reactions and have all kinds of puerile enjoyment at their expense. These are the kinds of beings who have passed themselves off as being the one God, creator of the universe. Bullshit. If there is any such being, it must be so many dimensions beyond us that it would hardly be aware of our existence, much less care about what we eat, what we worship and whom we fuck. [comment]


W00t! Got my first credit card in years... will I get myself in debt again? Time will tell...

I'm not very good at remembering things... back in November I told Vernon Abel that I'd post his song The Soles On My Shoes to my blog, and here it is, months later.

What reminded me of that is the receipt in an email just now of Chuck Eckstrom's manuscript Sheesh! which he's trying to get published. It's his autobiography -- Chuck is a world traveler who's now living just south of the border in Chihuahua state. I met him at the Pink Store one day and he visited my shebeen.

If you or anyone you know can help with the publicity of either of the above, please do so. I can put you in touch with Vernon or Chuck. Meanwhile, enjoy the song and the book, courtesy of the authors. [comment]


I just thought of something: having hollow thread of a polymer that can stretch, then inflating it to several times its diameter to make a sail that can handle heavy or light winds by pumping air into a manifold that expands the threads. [comment]


Had my new-moon shave and shower today, several people commented on how different I look without the beard. They were all too polite to say "and you don't stink as bad either!"

Pissed away several hours trying to get Windows Media Player to play the GSM files from my free j2 answering machine. It supposedly has the codec but damned if I can get it to work. Last time I tried j2's software it still won't work for anyone but Administrator. Screw it. Went back to scp'ing the file to my unixshell server, sox'ing it to WAV format, and scp'ing it back to play.

Ditto trying to get a Pocket PC emulator working without installing that dot-net bloatware. The Windows Mobile 5 emulator can work without it, but not, apparently, that for PPC2003. And the binary images seem to be in incompatible formats, though I didn't do any real hacking to see how I might resolve it. Getting disgusted too easily. At least I could get the WM5 emulator to sync with the laptop, something I could never manage to do with the PPC emulator (back when I still had the room and patience for .NET).

A few years back, a friend of mine was hauled into jail by his wife, and then she repented of it but the state had already taken up the case against him. Now the same thing is happening to a drinking buddy of mine. It really pisses me off how we allowed this monster into our interpersonal relationships. Time to bring back tribes, and ignore this monstrosity of a "government" which exists only for its own benefit. Solving the unemployment problem by throwing everyone in jail. Just wonderful.

I heard a nice story a couple of weeks or so ago... a local guy was at the border check, and the bimbo with the magic wand detected some contraband hidden somewhere in the body of his pickemup. He saw the look on her face, burned rubber, and hauled ass back across the border leaving one huge U-shaped skidmark on highway 11. Score one for the good guys... of course he probably won't be back to Columbus any time soon... bringing natural plant substances across imaginary lines is a serious offense. [comment]


Won that eBay auction, got another one coming up in a few minutes... just wanted to mention that I tried roasting some of the green Guatemala Antigua beans I got last week, and they came out great. This was my second or third attempt, and no scorching this time. Fresh-roasted, fresh-ground coffee, you just can't beat it. No fancy equipment needed, just put the beans in a pan on top of the fire, and keep stirring (with chopsticks, so as not to scratch the teflon coating of the pan) to keep the beans from scorching. After they turn a nice chocolaty brown, grind and brew. [comment]


Waiting for an eBay auction for black leather pants (I don't have any good ones left) to wind down, I might as well update the old blog...

Monday I attempted to stuff the pig intestines with the chorizo I made last Thursday or Friday, but I don't know how to do it, and the casings kept splitting. So I just made a few little ones, which are drying now, and I'm freezing the rest of my sausage to just eat in patty form.

Haven't spent all my windfall yet, have to wait till the 13th while Wells Fargo sits on it and collects interest on the float.

Went into Palomas Monday morning to have two molars extracted... the corresponding uppers were removed years ago and I saw no need to keep that amalgam in my mouth. But the dentist, Dr. Felipe Salazar, convinced me to keep them by offering to replace the fillings for the same price (US$25 each) he charged for extractions. So I've still got the molars in case stem cell replacement for the uppers gets reasonable.

Check out my contributions to wikiHow if you have some time to kill. It's not much yet, but a little anti-consumerism goes a long way. [comment]


I just noticed a tendency for me to add an 'e' after the word 'sector'. I've caught myself doing it several times just now while working on the colorForth source code. WTF? In one of my past lives was I Italian or something? [comment]


Finally started making my Basque-style chorizo with ingredients I bought in Deming on Monday. Couldn't find red Anaheim peppers so used red bell peppers instead... time will tell whether or not that will work. If I can get good at this stuff I'll never have to worry about having a freezer. Meat that stores naturally, with no preservatives, for 6 months or more without even refrigeration could make life practical in many areas with few resources.

Tried Kahlua on my sourdough pancakes yesterday, an experimental maneuvering from maple syrup. It was damned tasty. Good breakfast for a borracho. [comment]

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