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!


My bidsnipe program is working pretty well, primitive as it is. Just have to remember to give it enough time; allowed 30 seconds this time, and was watching the auction on my iPod... with 9 seconds left, my bid had still not been placed. Switched to the Terminal app, logged into the server, and nohup.out looked as it should. Back to the browser, and I had won a set of skateboard padding for about $21 including shipping from Belfast, Maine. [comment]


I'm getting so goddamned sick and tired of "smart" websites like eBay, that hang my iPod browser with their shitloads of Javascript, and insist on routing me to their "mobile" site, which doesn't support instant-pay items. Odesk is another script-heavy site; I have to wait over a minute, typically, to see the page content. Give me back Web 1.0... please! [comment]


Got some things done today that I'd been putting off for months; went to the laundromat downtown by the 7-11 and washed out my bag of shitty wipes from my bicycle trip. Also washed the Chicobag that I'd collected cactus fruits in, and it came out glochid-free. All I used for detergent was the usual Dr. Bronner's.

Bought two bags of seeds at the Seed Bank, Break O' Day tomatoes and "Pepper Cayenne Long Thin" (Anaheims?), and scattered them along the creek not far from where Wilmington Drive meets Madison Street. My first guerilla gardening in a long time! I would have stayed to pick some fennel leaves, but some guy in a pickup truck stopped and might have been calling the cops on me, so I left. Went to KFC for their Tuesday Leg & Thigh deal for 99 cents, not bad at all. You can get it original, crispy, or grilled. A break from the usual McDouble or BK Double Cheeseburger.

Bought a 51 inch giant fresnel lens on eBay, $27 plus $25 shipping. It's a linear, not spot, lens so it won't work for melting any metals other than zinc and pot metal. But it should bake bread, boil water, and handle other cooking needs. [comment]


There's an active Rentacoder job for dynamically generating a Hebrew PDF document with right-to-left text, images, and barcodes. It looked interesting, so I installed the necessary libraries including PyFribidi, the ReportLab Toolkit, and the PIL, Python Imaging Library. I coded up something to match, as closely as I could without obsessing over it, the sample provided by the job poster, and submitted it. Hoping to get the job, but learned something useful anyway. If I don't get it, remind me to post the source and I will. It's pretty kludgey at the moment, and needs to be refactored, but it has a few useful snippets. [comment]


Made some seafood gumbo tonight, not following the recipe very closely but tried Leo's microwave method of making the roux, at the bottom of the page, and after 18 minutes it was done. One of my substitutions was using fresh kelp from the paddle at Tomales Bay today instead of okra. Next time I plan to use more kelp, less water, and no sausage at all... that last was a bad idea, the cheap sausage I used overpowered the seafood.

At the bay, we saw plenty of ducks and other birds, seals, red starfish, and other wildlife. It was cloudless but with a haze most of the day. It's warm even now.

As you probably have surmised, I've been back in Petaluma for about a week now. The road trip might have lasted a bit longer, but that last day turned rainy and we decided to just continue up the coast from Morro Bay where we had landed after taking highway 38 West. There were lots of collisions that evening; we went through at least two big slowdowns due to them.

Today was a welcome relief from about 3 days of programming. I had to catch up from overspending on the trip, mostly on dental work that had to be done but I'd been putting it off for too many years. Now I've got some breathing room, after that last job which was related to genetic research, finding a minimal set of exons that made up the coding portion of a set of amplicons. Don't worry if you don't understand that... I still don't.

Today I got what I believe is the 3rd free replacement for my iPod Touch waterproof case from OtterBox. When they say "lifetime guarantee" they seem to really mean it. All I do is send an email and they send me a new one... I don't even have to send the old one back. [comment]


That bug I caught never amounted to anything. And finally I stopped biting my cheek for a couple of days, and it healed up.

Getting back to the routine of jogging, gym, and home brewing, and bidding on jobs at Rentacoder.com and Odesk.com to pay for all that dental work I had done. Plus I want to get my vehicle ready for the Kinetic Grand Championship. [comment]


Another side-effect of the root canal: I bit the inside of my cheek while my mouth was still numb. And once that happens, it's a vicious cycle; the inside of the cheek swells, making it easier to bite again, and I probably have bitten it at least once a day since Saturday morning. This can go on for weeks. [comment]


Ate an unremarkable meal of beef fajitas at the Crowbar cafe saloon. Nothing good on tap, but the coffee wasn't bad.

I've been fighting off a virus for the last 30 hours or so. Coughed up some greenish-yellow phlegm this morning. The antibiotics must have weakened my immune system, and I haven't yet taken any live yogurt to rebuild my beneficial flora. [comment]


Spent a night at Hole in the Wall, with a strong wind and rain all night and snow in the morning. Climbed Kelso dunes the next day and met Michael, a young Couchsurfer from Berlin. Made it to the free hot spring in Tecopa that night, which was last night.

Today we're in Shoshone, using the free wifi at the museum. [comment]


Found out from Charles and Jessica from TerraBiotics.com that glycene from kelp improves soil, enables plants to grow in salt soil. And it may actually have been the sea water and its minerals that caused bumper crops following the tsunami in Indonesia a few years back.

Got my dental work done Saturday, and left town this afternoon. Stopped on the way out at the St. Clair winery to fill my Carlo Rossi gallon jug with good New Mexico wine, then headed West on I-10. Stuck in traffic for the last hour just past Phoenix due to a car crash. [comment]


Columbus Village officers Vega and Valenzuela were on City of the Sun property today, with dubious justification, in an unmarked slate late-model pickup truck. I told them this is not Columbus Village and Valenzuela said "I don't give a shit". With what happened to Anderson, these guys are obviously out of control. And someone shut down the Columbus Village Voice website, which was one of few things that might have kept them in check. [comment]


After that blog post about alcohol and antibiotics, I googled it. Seems to be a myth. So I drank a bit too much last night to compensate.

In a recurring dream of a street party (think Mardi Gras), a horse picks up his foot and stomps it loudly in my direction. Two guys in a booth then ask me some question about the horse's action, to which I usually answer "he frightened me". At that point one of the guys would always say, "He was warning you." So this time I answered "He was warning me". And they remained silent. Shades of Ender's Game.

Another dream was about a train. I was discussing a train station that could be built, and someone, in a context of the conversation I've forgotten, said it should be called "Constipation Station", and then I said it could have a bar and grill called the "Poop Deck".

In yet another dream I was doing some work for a guy named Jack at a whorehouse he owned. He had blond hair and 3 blue eyes, two of which blinked in unison, and the leftmost one which was independent. [comment]


Arrived back at City of the Sun tonight. An eventful day, seeing the water "seep" at McKittrick Canyon and having a Bohemia at the Kentucky Club in Cd. Juarez. I know, I shouldn't be drinking beer while on antibiotics, and I had 2 bottles today. So sue me. Damn, but it tasted good. Especially the Sierra Nevada Porter I picked up at Sun Harvest in EP. [comment]


Spending the night at the Texas rest stop West of Carlsbad Caverns on US 180. Heated restrooms and free wifi.

Saw the caverns for the first time in my life. Nice, but similar to the cave in the Tres Hermanas, just on a grander scale. [comment]

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