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


so the public restroom at Putnam Plaza is again public. however, the benches still aren't back. [comment]


rebuilt another Pavoni Europiccola, this time a Millennium version. the group to boiler insert, part number MP-1, had cracked and the machine wasn't behaving correctly.

I couldn't find where the Millennium-specific O-ring went, and wasn't sure which was the right group gasket, but otherwise everything still seemed to go together all right. the L-shaped brass tube should only be turned two full turns then enough to make it vertical, to avoid cracking.

anyway, the damned thing still doesn't work correctly. on lifting the lever all the way, the coffee squirts violently out. there is no back pressure on lowering the lever, in fact it is automatically forced down on releasing. something is still wrong. [comment]


the two red beauties I found around Silver lake are snow plant and red columbine, thanks to Facebook's Plant Identification group.

actually my lady knew about the snow plant, but I wanted the binomial name anyway. [comment]


the other day, as I was levering that log out of the way, I had the momentary experience of my life flashing before my eyes. but I rested, and survived. today, after my hike, a friend said she thought I was having a heart attack, but other than being tired and a little light-headed, I felt fine.

back to the hike: the OSM maps in my Android GPS app don't show the spur trail going from Silver Lake to the larger trail up the hill. so I was going to map it out, and go all the way to Kirkwood and back. but I was hauling about 50 pounds, including my drysuit, jackets, and water, so I only made it to the upper trail, turned around, and came back. the first part of the trail has been obliterated by construction and was impossible for me to find. also, seeing telephone junction boxes and exposed fiber optic cable along the trail was disconcerting, and totally destroyed my illusion of roughing it away from civlization. [comment]


camp managers had blocked off the path by felling a pine across the opening, but I used another chunk of the same tree as a lever to nudge a piece of it out of the way, taking advantage of where it had cracked across another tree. after 3 feet I couldn't get it to go any farther, but as I rested there was a loud snap, a chip went flying from the pivot point, and I could then easily move the ton or so of wood another 3 feet so I could fit the kayak trailer through.

last night in a dream my stomach bloated up with a lighter-than-air gas almost to the point where I lifted off the ground.

pollen floating on the lake is so thick, I can imagine the Indians of this area gathered it right off the surface and dried it out.

after another scary instance of my tablet refusing to show any sign of life, I decided to just leave it plugged into the PowerMonkey, since it was obviously draining it. it worked; after a few hours it was responding again. [comment]


it should be noted that, whatever the Pontificator In Chief has to say regarding the Charleston shooting, any church in which he is congregating will have a significant number of armed, trained, and aware men who would likely have terminated that little piece of shit before he squeezed off his 3rd round. did those 9 victims deserve less?

in my early dreams last night I was helping this guy learn to fly. "just think 'up'" I told him when he almost got tangled in a tree, and he made it over. we were then at a meeting or something where he was being inducted into the ranks of some kind of galactic warriors. some Israeli guy made some cliché comment about his fighters being superior, but while nobody contradicted him to his face, there was a lot of talk about how others had improved on Israeli technology and tactics. one warrior was showing me a weapon of Israeli design, some extending blade of what looked like chainsaw teeth, that by others' tinkering had been made to extend a lot longer. this seems to be a recurring dream, because I remembered the diagram he showed me of how one of the links had been shortened and re-shaped, and how a new link design based on that had been incorporated into the weapon. [comment]


last night's dream, as I remember it: I was on a hillside overlooking the Capitol. Bernie Sanders was there, and a black lady was expressing sorrow over what Barry was going through. apparently Michelle had divorced him and he was having a nervous breakdown. I told him that once a man hits bottom he can start to find his way up. I started leading the way up the hill, but Bernie took a left up a side street. I continued on up, towards a dark green building with twin domes.

I woke up wondering if that was a mosque. and was thinking about all the netmemes making Islam look bad, while ignoring the hatred being spread by Pastor Steven Anderson or the Westboro Baptist Church. and wondering if a world overwhelmingly Islamic could be any worse than one ruled by purportedly Christian and Jewish nations, constantly at war.

anyway, someone stuck Rudolph noses on all the deer crossing signs around the Twin Lakes area, and I can't get a certain earworm to go away. oops, sorry, now you've got it too. [comment]


athlete's foot fungus finally back as of sometime in the last 48 hours. but that baking soda remedy lasted long enough that I'm willing to do it every 3 or 4 weeks.



the dream I was having when I woke up 6-ish this morning was of a deer, sledding down the Olive street hill on which I grew up, trying out different sled configurations. although in the dream I was an observer, I believe that the deer was actually me. [comment]


frustrating day. went to RP and SR looking for a 3/4" NPT tap. big-box stores didn't have them, Ace didn't have them, and the counter clerk at the biggest plumbing supplier in the county, Pace in Santa Rosa, didn't even know what they are, let alone have them in stock. he recommended Grainger, after about 3 minutes of straightening him out on what I was looking for, but before I pay Grainger prices I'm going to look on eBay.

plus of course, traveling by bike and on foot, I always run into the full gamut of careless, clueless, and irate motorists who don't see or don't like cyclists and pedestrians on their roads.

finally took the bus back. the seat is about as comfortable as one can find for a diamond-frame bike, but it still is mighty uncomfortable after 5 miles or so. until I build me another recumbent I won't likely be willing to do any long trips. [comment]


may have finally hit on the perfect underarm guards for my own use, with no sewing required. a total of 4 complete sets of snaps (4 each of buttons, studs, eyelets, and sockets) were needed, plus maybe a foot and a half of webbing and two socks.

seal the ends of the webbing with a lighter. wrap it around your neck and mark where one end overlaps the other with your finger. there should be at least a couple inches overlap beyond that point. punch holes through a half inch towards the end from there, and a half inch from the end. put in two sets of snaps in those holes, with the eyelets against the skin.

then snap it together, making a loop, and stretch that loop so that the eyelets are in the middle of one side. make holes at each end of that stretched loop, and again insert snaps, eyelets against your neck, but this time with the buttons and sockets in the socks. folding the socks end to end, you punch through the toe end of the sock (both sides) and one side of the entrance where the foot is normally inserted. put the button through the hole, and hammer on the socket. do that for both sides.

then fill the socks, using the hole left by the unattached side of the entrance, with baking soda. I use about 2tbsp in each. snap to the studs you made in the neckpiece, and you're good to go. if you're really muscular or fat, this won't work. you'll need to use more webbing and more snaps to stretch things to fit. but for this skinny geek, it works fine. I'm thinking of trying to sell these online for bitcoin. [comment]


I have Facebook friends who are friends of Matt Bracken, some who think very highly of him, and I wondered if I was wrong about my impression, after reading Castigo Cay, that "wow, this guy spins a good yarn but what a racist." so I googled and found that a guy who calls himself "Janklow" thought the same thing, and, like me, couldn't back it up. so I skimmed the book again. I may have missed something, but the only somewhat good reference to a black in the book was of the Jamaican guy selling bootleg gasoline. the only other reference I found (yes, it was a quick re-scan so I might have missed something) was the mob on Oakland Park Boulevard. none of the book's protagonists were black. none of the really "good" or really "evil" people were black. it's as if they don't exist in Matt Bracken's world except as a seething mass of discontent. his little treatise on the CW2 Cube does little to dispel that idea.

if you're reading this, Matt, I would love to hear how your black friends all read your book and told you it was just super. but if that's not the case, maybe you ought to ask yourself why.

for the record, I'm a racist too. but I know that, it bothers me, and I am trying through education and outreach to cure myself. it's a long, slow process, and I might never achieve full victory over it in my limited time on earth, but I intend to keep at it. [comment]


just had an excellent cup of coffee, $1 with my own cup, and a day-old pastry, half off, at Petaluma's own Tea Room. total $1.62 with tax. arguably the cheapest Bohemian experience to be had in this town, or most others for that matter. no tables were available, but that didn't bother me, I just grabbed two of the spare sidewalk chairs and used one for my table. [comment]


found a 2" pipe flange at Friedman's yesterday that with a PCD of 10cm fits the Marathon wheel close enough. but I had to drill out the latter's holes just slightly to fit 1/4" bolts. still not sure how best to attach the sprockets. [comment]


lots of big fish in the artificial lake at Lucchesi, despite the toxic blue color of the water. they cluster around the edges; a net might be sufficient to bag one. I'd have to be pretty desperate to eat one though. [comment]


took me many, many tries to clone my radio this time using VX7 Commander. first went to the Senior Center after finding the library closed due to powerout; but their computers, which had just come back on, were configured to not allow software installation. so went back to the library, read the old one, and made many attempts to write it to the new. finally unscrewed the connector a full turn, read it, then wrote it back, and it went from CLONE WAIT to CLONE RX instead of dropping out immediately to the VFO screen. then I was able to write the saved program from the old radio.

whew. back in bidness. [comment]


powerout on east side of town, starting at Payran, don't know how far east. stoplights are out on East Washington, pretty scary. these people aren't used to anarchy. [comment]


I wrote "Daniel Quinn, The Story of B" on a piece of paper, handed it to the bar's chief loudmouth, and said "if you were serious about your question about the plains Indians, you'll like this book."

he answered "this better not be bullshit".

I hope he reads it. it was some random guy at a bar who recommended it to me, about 13 years ago. [comment]


101 Imperial Stout is a damned fine brew. enjoying a pint at Spancky's in Cotati while waiting for the next bus. [comment]


measured, and it was 168.5 pounds loaded weight, clothes and all, minus 143.5 body weight. so I'm carrying 25 pounds while jogging. not bad for an old man. now if I can just keep up with the upper body regimen, I should be a lean, mean fighting machine in a year or two. [comment]

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