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


In my last dream this morning, I was showering in the gym, and as in every time I've had this dream, I notice my balls feel strange. But this time I actually look, and the right sac is as large as a soccer ball, filled with lumps about the size of golf balls. The left sac has "only" two extra lumps. Very strange.

Nontoxic substitutes for paint: what about that fluorescent-colored lichen that grows on granite in the desert? What other things will it grow on? How does one propagate it? [comment]


Itchiness from poison oak ingestion finally subsiding at both ends. Good thing, because I've got lots to do this month.

Sub-$100 laptops (netbooks, anyway) have arrived. Do a search for "netbook" on eBay. Incredible what you can get, assuming they work. [comment]


Second day of itchy mouth from the poison oak experiment. Throat still OK, but now the other end of the digestive system is itchy too.

Switched to ground coriander for the mole removal.

Sitting down on a small skateboard works pretty well for hills. Have to constantly brake, though, in order to keep control, skidding my feet along the ground. My Tevas won't last long if I do that too often. Bought a Senz umbrella as a sail, for use when the wind is in my favor. [comment]


I'm trying a natural method of removing the mole on my chin. First I cut a small hole in a band-aid to fit over the mole, to keep the poultice from touching anything but the mole itself. Then made a (very small) poultice with honey and fresh minced garlic, and placed that on the patch part of another bandaid; applying the latter over the first so that the poultice makes contact with the mole.

Whether I can maintain this for the weeks necessary to kill the mole cells is doubtful, but worth a shot. [comment]


Yesterday I felt a little sensitivity on my tongue during the morning tonguebrushing. But this morning I feel an itchiness both on my tongue and the roof of my mouth. My little experiment of 3 days ago is finally coming back to haunt me. Hoping it doesn't get much worse! [comment]


Did my 5 mile run through Helen Putnam park again yesterday, 1 hour and 5 minutes, didn't wheeze nearly as bad at the top of the hill. It took me about 23 minutes to make it to that point. Bought what I needed at Grocery Outlet and Petaluma Market, and cooked up a Shrimp Diablo for the first time; it might have been my first time cooking pasta as well (angel hair). Also tried cooking an artichoke for the first time, but that didn't turn out so well; I was thinking the whole leaves would soften, but I ended up overcooking the edible part while the tough part remained tough. Also yesterday I finally irrigated (earigated?) my ears and got a big gob of wax out of each. Got to do that regularly but keep forgetting until it gets so annoying (usually itchy, only painful if I wait way too long) I just have to.

Today we went to Tomales Bay on another kayak expedition. Bat rays were out in force; had at least 4 sightings, two of which I saw right under my kayak. And I finally decided to eat some poison oak in order to make myself immune: 3 of the small, shiny, red leaves. We'll see what happens... if you don't see any updates to this blog, you'll know it was a bad idea.

A lot of "firsts" lately... I'm feeling like something is going to happen any day now, and if I wait I might miss the opportunity.

Spry Hosting (VPSlink) just migrated servers to Massachusetts, and apparently they screwed up their accounting as well. In my current inebriated condition, I sent them a very foul, ALL CAPS email expressing my disgust and telling them to cancel the account. Trying to make me pay a second time for the same month? For their anemic virtual server? No thank you. [comment]


Bought a 24-ounce bottle of Sless's Oatmeal Stout from Iron Springs Brewery today, and had it with dinner tonight. Didn't go as well with the steak as a good red wine would have, but it's a damned good stout. Like drinking a cake. [comment]


Did some more guerrilla gardening today, planting some Anaheim peppers in the La Cresta ravine. The satellite imagery was obviously taken in summer, right now the hill is lush green. [comment]


I'd been meaning to try cooking rice in a microwave for a while now, thinking it could be an alternative to fast food where there are stores with microwave ovens, such as Whole Foods here in Petaluma. The article didn't mention, however, the possibility of the rice boiling over; I've corrected that. I found I needed a 1-quart container for just 1/4 cup of rice, with 1/2 cup of water.

Just got done experimenting with sitting down on a skateboard; it worked pretty well on both a small board and my dirtboard. I can use my hands to push off, and my feet to brake. I'll need to practice more before the Kinetic Grand Championship, but I believe it can work. [comment]


Attempted to cross Mount Sonoma into the town of Sonoma today. It didn't work; the goddamned rancheros have all the roads and fields fenched off. Here is a map. I started out jogging, but after about 43 minutes the added weight of my hydration pack was enough to cause some pain in my left calf muscle, so I walked the rest of it. The REI CoolMax liner socks and SealSkinz 3-layer socks held up well. Got them the other day at Corte Madera for a cash outlay of only $5 and change, using the 20% discount plus my dividend.

It's worthy of mention that I drank about 12 ounces of water before I left, and didn't have to touch my hydration bag the whole trip, not having a drink until I got to Noah's Bagels next to the Safeway, after 12 miles. This means I should be able to jog/walk to San Francisco without having to carry any water, as long as I stop at Novato, Corte Madera, and Sausalito along the way.

Yesterday went kayaking with the Petaluma Paddlers, and people were talking about how warm the water was. One of the guys said he'd go in if he'd brought a swimsuit, so of course I took that as an invitation to strip and go in buck naked. Nobody chose to follow suit, but at least some expressed gratitude that someone was willing to buck the societal antagonism towards nudity. Anyway the water was only warm where it was a few inches deep; once I got out into 4-foot deep bay water, the coldness of the Pacific was readily apparent in that stretch of Tomales Bay. So I got my shivering ass back to shore and into my fleece longjohns. [comment]


Finally finished a javascript program that will display CODE39 membership numbers on my iPod Touch: ../src/barcodes/memberships.html. Edit it and put your own membership info; mine has been obfuscated for obvious reasons. Eventually I'd like to add other barcode types, because Safeway and every other membership I have uses something other than CODE39. [comment]


Did my 5 mile jog again today, still wheezing near the top of the hill but getting a second wind on the way down, those last 3 miles just coasting. Didn't time myself this time around, but doubt it was much different from the hour it took last time.

Gun nuts and gun control nuts, and all in between, are almost sure to get a belly laugh out of Jimmy Kimmel's video depicting a tense moment in Starbucks. Kimmel appears to be on the "gun control" side of the issue, but this is so over-the-top it is just plain funny. I suppose some of my fellow gun nuts will take offense at what appears to be a lampooning of "open carry" advocates, but if someone is that humor-challenged, maybe I don't want them on my side anyway.

We went snowshoeing at Lassen Park again last week, this time a two-mile excursion to the sulfur hot springs and back. Far too hot for a bath, but it was nice to warm my feet in the steam, stinky though it was. It reminded me to put a pair of Rocky Gore-tex oversocks nearer the top of my to-buy list; they would have saved me from getting so close to frostbite. The wool socks I was wearing with my Tevas just picked up the snow and melted it. [comment]


Been busy for a while, and finally caught up on my finances after several small jobs on Odesk, Rentacoder, and Craigslist. Now back to bashing my brains against the Codechef competition problems.

Saturday we went kayaking at Tomales, and for the first time I recognized a bay laurel. Now that I've seen one up close, chances are I'll see them all around the bay. And never have to buy bay leaves again. [comment]


Finished reading Heinlein's books Job: A Comedy of Justice and The Cat Who Walked Through Walls. The former was rather annoying with a born-again Christian as the protagonist, but ended in true Heinlein fashion. The latter was a little harder to follow, particularly at the end, but was worthwhile for its interpretation of Ouspensky's 6-dimensional multiverse. Why do I think RAH read PDO? Besides the multiverse, there's the otherwise meaningless mention of the name of Lilybet's nurse on page 180: Mei-Ling Ouspenskaya. [comment]

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