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

MrCreditRepair.biz will fix your credit rating!

2004-03-31-1456Z

Hey! Dudes! I'm now a top coder at RentaCoder.com. Until I fuck it up... [comment]

2004-03-30-0325Z

OK guys, I got the message from Tones, I've been slacking off. That's the dopamine effect; the survivalist experiments are on the back burner for now, and I'm trying to see if I can generate a positive cash flow for my journeys into the Matrix. I finished another small job at rentacoder.com, and waiting for my customer's approval for the medium-sized job. Wow, what a hassle a completed GUI app is. Every little pushbutton has to be coded. I don't know if I ever want to do another one of those again... but I'm still glad for the experience.

That raw lamb I ate a few days ago was probably ultimately responsible for a nasty cold I've got. I imagine a parasite infestation has my immune system tied up, and every stinking little virus can kick my ass meanwhile. So I'm taking lots of hot peppers, plus cloves and cascara sagrada to kill the worms, and let my leukocytes and macrophages handle all the little stuff.

I maybe found a way I can study genetics for free. By volunteering as a lab assistant at UCSD (or any school, but that's closest) I get to use the equipment and learn the stuff. Got to do some asking around.

In the past week since I last wrote, I ate nopal, kelp (right off the beach in San Diego County's Torry Pines State Park) and some as-yet- unidentified fruits from San Ysidro. Made my way back across the border maybe 3 or four days ago, and since then, as I said, I've been trying to finish the programs I contracted for. La dueña is busy with construction here at the house in Rosarito Beach, and with this cold and possible parasite infestation I haven't spent much time with her... but just being home has a very mellowing effect on my psyche, and I'm not nearly as ambitious now as I was just a few days ago.

Did I mention that bread (or grains in general) might contain a drug that causes domestication? I've been thinking about that. Hunter-gatherers start eating wheat, barley and corn, and suddenly they no longer want to wander around, they'd rather build houses and farms. Ducks, fish, deer, squirrels, all eat bread ravenously and when they do they lose all fear of humans and become like pets. I seem to remember reading somewhere that the wheat genome has far more genes than do humans! (Can't find any particulars with web searches lately though.) Could the gods have brought grains here from Nibiru to help domesticate us?

I'm looking for a way to post some banners or text ads here in the blog to make some money off you freeloaders... if they get too irritating though, let me know and I'll remove them. Hell, I'm moving in so many directions at once, it may never happen anyway.

OK, that's all you get for now. Get back to work, you lazy hobbitses. [comment]

2004-03-23-0219Z

Took me about 20 hours or so to walk from Old Town San Diego to El Camino Bignum in Carmel Valley. I got here too late to put my cash in the Bank of Internet, so I get to carry it around for another night. Luckily there's a Kinko's here at the shopping center with free wired net access! Got to finish this program for my customer and get paid!

Ate nopal and barberries along the way here, and slept for an hour or two on the beach in Torrey Pines Park. I'm glad I didn't buy the monthly pass from SD Transit, otherwise I'd be missing out on all this lovely scenery and free food!

By the way, I've almost recovered from my nearly disastrous experiment with the solar cooker yesterday. There was a war going on in my bowels all night though, and a good part of the day. I just ate some cooked salmon from the Jimbo's health food store. Feeling much better, thank you very much. [comment]

2004-03-22-0229Z

Kept nodding out at Kinko's as it got towards morning today, so about 7 or so I went out and looked for a place nearby to catch a few Z's. There was a mist falling, as there had been for the past few mornings, so I opted for a bus stop bench that had a roof over it; not long afterwards, or so it seemed, a cop was waking me up. This was a nice cop, as cops go; actually I've been pretty lucky with them the past few days. Her name is Michelle; blonde, pretty, told me these people in the half-million-dollar condos behind me complain about people sitting in their bus shelters. So after the usual questions and radio in to check my record, I was on my way. I felt pretty well rested anyway, after probably an hour at most of sleep. And, some 10 hours later, I'm still hanging in there, but that might not last much longer.

(image: my solar cooker) Well, after my little date with Michelle, I went to Starbucks and got my first dose of caffeine. Those beers at Yard House last night were a mistake; my stomach was acidic, and the coffee and scone just made it worse. I knew right then I had to get back on the Neanderthin diet for a while. Went to the grocery store and got some lamb (beef and lamb cost about the same here, so why not?) and tried my solar cooker for the first time. By about 4PM today, I figured the cloud cover was bad enough that I wasn't going to get it cooked any better, and ate what I could of the almost-raw meat. I had a couple of largeish Serrano peppers with it, but I'm still in danger of parasites and bacteria; I really overloaded my immune system. It doesn't mean the solar oven is a bad design, just that there wasn't enough sun for enough hours today. I'll give it another chance someday soon probably. If I survive today's experiment. Went from Mission Valley to Old Town by the Hotel Circle route, after crossing on one of the footpaths under overpasses from Hazard Center to Fashion Valley Mall. There were a couple of barberry bushes and some nopal; sliced off and dethorned a node of the latter, and ate it on the way to this Starbucks on Sports Arena Boulevard. The sun just went down, my stomach is still pretty bad, and I didn't make a whole lot of progress programming today; but yesterday I solved the major remaining problem with the program, by adding an event handler for mouse events to the table. What's left to do is mostly cosmetic. Hope my customer will be happy with it, my momentum is running out.

The Kinko's this afternoon didn't seem to have any more network access, or maybe the port on my laptop is hosed. They have a sign that the laptop workstations there do not have network access, so the fact that it worked for the past two days or so was an anomaly. Anyway, no point in staying there tonight without net access unless I think I can stay awake programming, which I doubt. So I'll probably spend the night wandering instead. I want to head up the coast to the Bank of Internet office tomorrow, to deposit some of this big brick of $20's in my pocket. This is the money I got from the anticipated sale of the house. I didn't consider myself entitled to any of that, but she did, so I wasn't going to fight it. Anyway, my pocket is probably the safest place for it, but I'm going to put some online for purchases of items on the web.

I have a strange sense of ethics (or lack thereof) when deciding whether or not to use publicly-available resources. I call it the Bill Gates test. You may have heard of Gates, he's arguably one of the richest men in history. Well, anyway, the test is: if Bill Gates would be entitled to it, so am I. Anything that's only available to poor people, or certified crazy people, or disabled people, is not for me.

Now when it comes to picking fruit off people's trees: if it's reachable from the sidewalk, I don't have many qualms about it. If I have to go on their land to get it, I think twice. I won't jump a fence or disrespect a No Trespassing sign though. Not yet anyway. And if anybody's watching, I tend to pass it up. As I said, it's a strange sense of ethics, partly based on principles, and partly based on fear.

Well, let's see if I can finish these silly widgets for this java program before I get too sleepy...
[comment]

2004-03-20-0950Z

I wonder if that old guy was the Architect? Just kidding.

This Kinko's plays some good rock-n-roll. This is a nice place to work. Free internet and power all night long, nobody hassles you, don't even have to buy coffee to stay here. (In fact, you can't.)

I realized that I'm slowly getting back my sense of mystery and wonder about the world, that was lost when I got sucked into various religions, and then finally into the Matrix of financial and governmental control. I had a feeling I would restore it, after reading The Story of B, but wasn't sure it would happen this quickly, if at all. It's a wonderful feeling. Sometimes there's fear and/or uncertainty, but almost always there's an expectance of something wonderful about to happen. And then it does. I haven't had that since wandering throught the woods of Maine as a kid looking for edible plants, or fishing in the lake.

Well, gotta get into my programming. Keep getting sidetracked. I'm still a little giddy from the whole experience of getting here. [comment]

2004-03-20-0859Z

Last night at this same time I was here at Kinko's, but yesterday it was because I had bought a day pass on the trolley. I had determined in the morning I was not going to throw away another $5 on transportation.

So, at sometime around 7 yesterday morning I left and started walking towards downtown, following the trolley line (this time South, fer shure), and yet again ran into a dead end; the road that on the map had looked like a normal street, only wider, was in fact an expressway (163). Fuck it, I thought, I'll just go along the turnpike then. I made it only a few blocks with the traffic screaming by when up ahead I saw a California Highway Patrolman sitting parked in one of their little cubbyholes along the roadside, waiting for a speeder to nab. Now, what am I going to do? He's seen me already, for sure. If I turn around he's sure to suspect something, and I don't feel like being stripsearched on the side of the road after a long night of hacking. So I walk right on up as if to pass by, smiling and waving. He makes a gesture as if to say "Just what the FUCK do you think you're doing?", but the words come out more genteel. I give this lame answer that I didn't know it was an expressway, there was no sign, yadda yadda. Anyway, he was a nice guy and offered me a ride partway to downtown, which I gratefully accepted, and he let me out past University Avenue, telling me there was a park not far ahead where I could rest. Which there was, and I did.

When I woke up, a sunburn on my face where the sun had finally decided to burn away the clouds, I felt refreshed, and, noticing the gray squirrels all over the park, threw some crumbs out from one of the dried-up McDonald's or Burger King hamburger buns I've been saving. Sure enough, a bunch of the little devils came over and, sitting up on their hind legs with their little paws stuffing their faces full, they surrounded me, eating and looking at the strange bearded god that had blessed their day. Little did they know that I was planning on eating one of them. There was, in particular, one that was too trusting and I could have had him for breakfast if I had so desired. Luckily for them, I wasn't in the mood right then for preparing and cooking a rodent.

Well, I continued downtown where I had my usual burgers, followed by Starbucks coffee and espresso brownies until Starbucks closed. Then on to the 5th Avenue Kinko's until their closing at 11PM. This time I had taken a more careful look at maps.yahoo.com's layout of the path between downtown and Hazard Center, where this 24-hour Kinko's is located. 5th to University to Lewis to Bachman Place to Hotel Circle, under Interstate 8, then Camino de la Reina under 163 to Mission Center, and from there to Hazard Center. When I got to where the avenues dead-end on University I was a little confused, getting lost in the medical center, but then went west another block and found myself on Lewis street. But where was Bachman Place? I asked an old man with a neatly-groomed white beard and he didn't know. Fucking liar, I thought, as I went one more block and the sign said Bachman Pl. He didn't know what street he was on? Gimme a break.

Well, as you continue on, there's a sign that shows it's University of California property, No Trespassing, thank you very much. And it looks like you're dead-ending into a parking lot. But I felt good about this, and kept going, and sure enough, after going over the hill there was Hotel Circle. Just before the junction I saw a well-trodden footpath that indicated others, too, knew of this backdoor the Architect had left in the Matrix. A strange thought popped into my head that I was the title character in an as-yet-unwritten Thomas Pynchon novel called The Intrepid Wanderer. These footpaths (which I saw everywhere from the trolley windows, by the way) were the routes of the W.A.S.T.E. postmen. And soon thereafter, I was walking into this Kinko's, less than 2 hours after I had started out. The map was perfect! I had found a way from downtown to Mission Valley!

Now those of you who live in normal cities are probably thinking Ho-Hum. Big fuckin' deal. You can walk from Manhattan to Westchester or all the way to Montauk. Yes, but this is California. Whoever architected these neighborhoods wanted to make sure the lowlifes like me could not easily get into these nice neighborhoods. That little road, Bachman Place, that connects downtown with Mission Valley is a secret that would be hard to find without a good map. You could easily walk for hours, running into fences, mountains, rivers, swamps, and highways without locating a way to walk or bicycle from one neighborhood to the next, as I did the other night. When I had realized that old man had lied to me, I knew I would make it. Everything had just fallen into place after that.

Now to see if my programming will go the same way. Actually I accomplished quite a bit so far today, I got about 80% of the functionality in there, but having a problem making images clickable inside the JTable. That will be my main goal for tonight. Plus I broke something just shortly before I left downtown, which is why I couldn't upload anything to my customer, and got to fix that before anything else. I get a NullPointerException while adding the very first item to the table. [comment]

2004-03-17-0836Z

It just hit me: do ya think Enki hid any "Easter Eggs" in our introns? [comment]

2004-03-17-0538Z

Might as well take a quick break from Troy's program and give you a brief update on those weird blogs from a day or two or three ago (losing all track of time, sorry). Turns out I was going North, towards L.A., rather than South towards Old Town as I intended. Not sure how I got my directions mixed up, but that's what happened. I finally found this out when I picked a road that took me back to the last trolley stop I had passed, and I found out that it was the last trolley stop, Mission San Diego (not Old Mission as I had written before). All that trolley track I had been following was apparently under construction or repair or whatever. Maybe they're in the process of joining their trolley to L.A.'s system (which would be too cool as far as I'm concerned). Anyway, even though I spent all that night walking in circles, it was a hell of an experience and I don't regret a minute of it.

Anyway, I've been back in Rosarito for a little over 24 hours now, have had a shower (which I desperately needed), washed my clothes, and had a nice walk on the beach with my sweetheart. Life is good.

But, got to get some work done, and still no internet at home, despite the false alarm (though the phone number has a ringback, it's not installed, just programmed at the central office; and the MSN popup I got was probably due to our house-sitter back in Florida turning on the computer there). Accordingly, heading back across the border tomorrow, to the land of Starbucks and dollar Double Cheeseburgers at Mickey D's. [comment]

2004-03-15-2011Z

One more thing: never use '==' or '!=' to test string equality in java. It tests if the java.lang.Object instances are the same object, not if the strings are lexically the same. What you probably want is:

if (s1.compareTo(s2) != 0) { System.err.println("different!"); }

(updated later)

Nope, maybe not. Similar code is failing in my app. But then, this works as expected:

jcomeau@notebook /tmp
$ cat teststrings.java
public class teststrings {
 public static void main(String[] argv) {
  System.err.println("comparing " + argv[0] + " to "
   + argv[1] + ": " + argv[0].compareTo(argv[1]));
  System.err.println("now with String.equals(): " + argv[0].equals(argv[1]));
 }
}

jcomeau@notebook /tmp $ java teststrings this that comparing this to that: 8 now with String.equals(): false

jcomeau@notebook /tmp $ java teststrings this this comparing this to this: 0 now with String.equals(): true

[comment]

2004-03-15-1805Z

The key to java object-oriented programming is the fucking cast. Remember that. When you write your own table model for JTable, MyTableModel, and you have created your table as

JTable table = new JTable(new MyTableModel());
and you want to use a particular method, say addRow(), you can bang your head up against the wall for hours, as I did, trying to:
(table.getModel()).addRow();
getModel() always returns an instance of javax.swing.table.TableModel. That base class doesn't have shit. You need to cast it instead:
((MyTableModel)table.getModel()).addRow();
Now you're in business. And so am I, for now. Till I forget again.

That's the problem in using so many different languages. You forget all the nuances of one while you're learning another. Then you go back to the former one and repeat all your previous mistakes ad nauseam. [comment]

2004-03-15-1028Z

Well, that rain was a false alarm but I've been walking around literally in circles for the last few hours so it's time to take another break. I took a wrong turn shortly after the Old Mission (?) trolley stop, to where I walked from Mission Valley through a fairytale world of hazy warmth. I am so close to making some sense of this world I'm scared to death someone is going to end it for me tonight. I actually have wondered several times tonight whether or not I'm already dead, but the kids at Starbucks have still been serving me coffee and I don't think they do that for ghosts. So I'm probably still breathing real air. I know I can breathe underwater when I'm dreaming but I don't dare try it. The San Diego river is pretty murky anyway.

Right now I'm near a Days Inn of some sort, near a junction of I-8 and one or two other roads. I'm not altogether sure how I got here, and I'm damned sure I don't know how to get back to San Diego. Where I last stopped to write was at a cul-de-sac with a church, the Palisades Presbyterian. I was going to get comfortable there before I saw all the signs about "No Trespassing", "Violators will be Prosecuted", "No Loitering", etc. God damn it, Jesus, you don't want me hanging around your shit do you? I know, you like to keep those grid points to yourself.

So anyway, this is where it all comes together. Those dreams I had of the waxing crescent moon over the ocean had to have been here in California, not Maine. And I've "flown" over the same houses, I'm quite sure, that I walked past tonight, when I was astral traveling a few years ago just before waking up one morning. I almost stopped to talk to an old man (old man? shit, he probably wasn't any older than me... maybe even less. It's just that I feel like an 18-year-old again I guess) outside the Albertson's but decided against it. At first it seemed like another deja vu experience, of which I've had many tonight, then I thought he had something important to tell me, then I was glad I left because I was sure he had been ready to kill me.

This overcast sky with warm, pleasant weather has always evoked strange feelings in me, particularly when I stay up all night. It's like the time I read The Exorcist all the way through, and first broke my bad habit of slow reading caused by getting distracted by the page numbers. And like the time I rode my bike all night about 30 years ago through Burlington, Mass, to see Buffy Richardson at her college the next day. She didn't seem too happy to see me. She was actually kind of pissed if I remember right. I've never figured women out. Maybe in another 30 years or so.

I wonder if it's all the coffee and Espresso brownies. I have been feeling really weird in a good way. I remember perfect model cars. The Bible and the U. S. Constitution on microfiche from the Edmund Scientific catalogue. Fishing lures I bought from catalogues too. Ham radio equipment I drooled over but never had the money. Now I have no use for anything so heavy and bulky. If I could find a lighter, smaller computer that would let me get the same work done as with this, I'd get rid of this in a heartbeat. Well, battery is dying, gonna have to hang it up. Too bad I couldn't tie more of this together for you. The DNA is it. Microfiche is nothing, I'm going to encode information in DNA and viruses will replicate it, and I will grow clones that have all the wisdom of the ages encoded in the vast intron regions of the genome. Of course that presupposes that I actually obtain some wisdom... [comment]

2004-03-15-0927Z

California is another fucking planet. I swear it. I've been up, oh, I don't know, about 3 days straight I guess. Hyper. My mind's in overdrive, I've been hacking a Java program for some dude named Troy who accepted my bid at rentacoder.com. Java sucks. It comes so close to being the right thing but without quite making it. (Isn't there an entry in the New Hacker's Dictionary with the same wording about something else?) Shit, it's starting to rain, I've got to put the computer away. Talk to you later, after I forget most of what I was going to put down... [comment]

2004-03-12-1326Z

Between the dopamine or whatever it is that fogs one's brain when enjoying marital bliss, and a wicked headache that lasted over two days, I haven't made much progress with anything. But I finally just managed to finish a program that should have taken me 20 minutes or so to write (but took probably 8 hours over 4 days). See my sources for brainwave.py. Make sure to get my latest libraries, particularly those in the midi/ subdirectory; you might get some hint on how to install them by looking at the Makefile in the lib/ subdirectory.

This was in response to something I saw in some online forum about how, by playing slightly different frequencies into each ear, you could coerce your brainwaves to align themselves with the beat frequency, dropping your level of consciousness to an Alpha, Delta, or Theta state rather than the normal waking Beta state. Though the program seems to be working right, I haven't had any luck with the brain sync stuff. I've heard rumors that you can die playing with this shit, so be careful. [comment]

2004-03-08-0349Z

(image: large cactus) First edibility test in a long time that came up negative. I tried the fruit of this large cactus (saguaro?) this morning; it's small, shaped like a tomato, has a pleasant taste not unlike a cucumber, and the seeds have a mild nutlike flavor. But about 5 minutes after swallowing the sample, I started to feel a burning sensation in my throat. It lasted several hours but never got too unpleasant; nevertheless, I'm going to classify this as "not edible as sampled". Maybe with cooking the objectionable qualities could be removed. Oh, forgot to mention there's a milky sap which appears when the fruit is picked. Maybe it's that "milk" that contains oxalates or some other problem component. Anyway, no great loss, those fruits aren't really big enough or plentiful enough, at least in this place, to worry about.

I think I'm going to spend a few days and nights in San Diego if you-know-who doesn't object too strongly. I'm not getting any programming done here, and there's almost zero chance of me making any money in Baja, whereas there's some small opportunity in Southern California.
[comment]

2004-03-05-2051Z

(image: barrel cactus
fruit) This is a fruit from the barrel cactus growing outside the post office in downtown Deming, NM; I took the fruit, and the picture, before I left but forgot to post it until now. Cacti are amazingly diverse and most seem to be edible. The past few days I've been eating the tunas, that is the fruits, of a prickly pear plant that grows outside a hotel a few blocks from the house.

Yes, we're back together, the bearded vagabond and the lovely artist. Too gutless to face the issues, I'm just enjoying the time together and not dredging up any of the problems that made this reunion seem so unlikely just a few days ago.

At the moment I'm in the Starbucks at American Plaza in San Diego, drinking Guatemala Antigua, my favorite, and getting ready to head on the Blue Line to the Home Depot near the Sports Arena; the tile in the house in Rosarito Beach has some stains that won't come out, and I'm hoping some Trisodium Phosphate will do the trick. This Starbucks is within reach of free wireless in addition to the silly T-Mobile service, so I'm making use of that and their free power.

This is where we reunited, just two days ago. While sitting here at the same place, a beautiful girl in a platinum-blonde wig came up and kissed me. I don't know if all is forgiven; actually, I doubt it; but moments like this are what I live for. I think all men innately want to be their woman's hero; and when their woman's estimation of them has fallen so low for that to be possible, life kind of loses its meaning and purpose. One can, as I did, seek alternate meaning in survivalism or another endeavor, but it leaves a huge gaping hole in one's psyche.

Now that I'm sleeping in a regular bed again, I'm sleeping too many hours and don't have nearly as much time left in the day to hack. I'll have to work something out; my progress on PostForth, my other software, and my websites is suffering. But, as goes the Mexican motto: mañana.
[comment]

2004-03-02-1938Z

I've actually gotten over $10 in contributions, plus an exercise suit, from people over the last few days. I don't mean I was panhandling, either! People just walk up to me and hand me money. It happened yesterday evening as I was sitting across the street from the Deming McDonald's, where on the median I found a large prickly pear plant, and was cleaning the thorns off one of the lobes. A guy and his wife, probably Mexican-American, parked a few feet away; the guy got out, I assumed to check out the restaurant behind me, and then came up to me and handed me a $5 bill! I shook my head, and he said "aren't you hungry?", I answered "no, I've got this", and lifted the nopal node so he could see it. He shook his head and put the $5 in my hand. I asked "are you sure?", and he said yes. So there you go. The other experiences were similar. People in Deming are nice. The ones that aren't, obviously, become criminals or cops.

To be concise - something I'm not very good at, I know - my buyer paid me; he had had some problem with tying PayPal to his bank account - I finished up my business there, left my bike locked to a lightpole at Wal-Mart (don't really expect it to still be there when I get back, but there's a chance), and caught the 6PM bus to LA, $45 from El Paso (or Deming) to their terminal at 6th and Wall in Los Angeles. Just down the block is the Azteca de Oro line, which took me into San Ysidro in around 3 hours for $13, so I was in Tijuana by 9-something. Caught the taxi on Madero to Rosarito Beach for $1.10, and here I am in the internet cafe for a grand total of $59.10. Bought a Cuban cigar in Tijuana to celebrate the experience in NM and the fact that it was over for now and I was back in a warmer clime. Nasty shit, paid $10 for it. Something I had to do.

Now to find you-know-who. [comment]

2004-03-01-0718Z

Hopefully this past few days of blogs will get uploaded today... if you see this, then it was!

The day before yesterday was the pits. I won't go into too much detail, because it's pretty disgusting, but here's the gist of it: left for my lot about 1:30 AM from Denny's. Had my bike/flightbag setup as pictured before. Unfortunately, I decided to take an alternate route I wasn't sure of, got delayed by over an hour going this way and that trying to get my bearings, and got caught in rain and sleet. On top of that, I had diarrhea several times on the way. Yuckies. And by the time I reached the last mile-and-a-half of dirt road, it was a nice sticky mud in the places where traffic had not already packed it tight. My bike and flight bag were rendered useless, and it was all I could do just to walk the bike to the tent. Looking back, I would have been far better off leaving the bike locked to something where the road was still tarred. But, hindsight yadda yadda. Anyway, I finally ruined one of the flightbag wheels: 10 year warranted bag done in by Deming, NM in 5 days. Naturally, I can't use the warranty, I abused that bag far beyond normal wear and tear. I might be able to fix it myself though. Anyway, back to the story. I was so exhausted that, despite being soaked with sweat and sleet, and my feet freezing, I crashed for about an hour inside the tent; then, magically reinvigorated by the 'power nap', I walked all the way back to downtown Deming, leaving my bag and bike at the campsite.

Didn't really expect everything to still be there yesterday, but it was. The fact that my tent can't be seen except from a hundred yards away, on an otherwise unused road, probably helps. Anyway, I made it back by about 9-something local time, and here I am at Denny's, where I finally bribed (tipped) the staff enough to find me a table with power.

Oh, forgot to mention that when I finished the UET on that cholla fruit, I ate the whole thing, without removing the little nubbins that contain the hairlike prickles. My tongue, lips and gums were slightly irritated for about 24 hours, but other than that, no problem. Not something I'd do for fun, but it's an option when I'm very hungry and don't have time to peel the fruits.

The eBay buyer of my last gold coin still hadn't paid me as of last night. If I don't see the money there by tomorrow, I'm going to give the guy a chance to back out and just relist; no need giving someone bad feedback just for spite. The positive feedback might just read "good communication but wasn't able to complete purchase". Still honest to other sellers, but not a bad mark against the buyer either. Just hope he's not one of those dweebs who wait a few days then leave negative feedback for the seller, saying "refused to ship" or some such nonsense, to cover their ass for not being able to pay for the item. Yes, they're out there.

(image of Texas Prickly Pear) Found this nopal yesterday, looks like a variant of the Texas Prickly Pear which is common in South Florida, but not the one I gave you a picture of from Hollywood Beach. This was growing at a house in downtown Deming near the library; some Blue Agave, from which Tequila is made, was also there. Someday I'll have to find out exactly how they get the juice out of that woody plant. Probably crush it like sugar cane? Another question: this plant they call Spanish Bayonet is a type of yucca; is this what Cubans call yuca? I ask because my edible plants book doesn't list the root as one of the edible parts, just the stem, flowers, buds, fruit, and seeds.

I've been thinking about what I'd like to have in a wearable or otherwise very portable computer:

Does it already exist? If you know something with all these features. please let me know.

I'm going to try another tack on warwalking, something that doesn't require me to remove the laptop from the case, which tends to attract unwanted attention and calls to police: this onconnect script, which can be invoked as: onconnect tty.freeshell.org ftpupdate tty.freeshell.org. Will try it when I leave here this morning, before it warms up enough for me to get some sleep on the courthouse lawn. If it does warm up, damn it!
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