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.

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2014-02-27-2221Z

remembered something on awakening from my siesta, the last one I'll likely have downtown for a while because Carnaval starts tonight.

in the book Rolling Thunder, the old wizard was on the train and had forgotten his pipe, as I recall. the author then observes him taking what looks like a nap, and on awakening, he had his pipe. my guess is that he just went back in time to when he was prepping for the trip, and just whispered "my pipe" to his other self; who heard it and put it in its proper place for the journey.

similar to my experience driving on the beltway that day in the late 70s on the beltway, when a voice told me "fasten your seat belt" minutes before I fell asleep and hit the median, flipping the car sideways. only that time I must have died, and my spirit went back in time to warn me. not sure how a certain path in the multiverse becomes "my" path; perhaps when one tires of life, he just takes the next easy exit. for sure with my lifestyle, I get plenty of opportunities each day.

Tom Browne's story in The Vision, of how he time-traveled and saw an Indian woman drop something in the path, then at Stalking Wolf's urging dug the article up where he saw it fall, made its mark on me. if it turns out to be a lie, I'll have to go back and re-think these analyses. [comment]

2014-02-26-1939Z

recently a friend posted a reply to a discussion on Facebook:

In case you didn't know. The situation in Kiev changed when the police opened fire on largely UNARMED protesters. If the protesters had been well armed they would now all be dead and the corrupt leader still in power.

mind you, this isn't some brainless leftist. this guy is a brilliant engineer. he was at least a year behind me in High School but his older brother, my classmate, was genius-level in both science and math and I have no reason to doubt this guy is anything less. but when it comes to religion, his blinders are firmly engaged, and statism is one of the most potent opiates out there.

it's something like the tradeoff between flying and driving. raw statistical averages indicate the plane is the safer option. but you and I both know that once you're in the air, you've ceded your sovereignty to the pilots; if something goes wrong there isn't jack shit you can do about it. whereas when driving, if you've got your wits about you there are very few potential dangers you can't avoid.

governments only usually melt down every few generations. mass murders are rare events. so why should you and I be prepared for war? I can think of two reasons. first, we're due for one. and second, the one person I trust the most to protect my life is me. [comment]

2014-02-23-0236Z

catching up on the dogecoin blockchain, necessary before I can see the purchases I made recently. apparently a bugfix came out a few weeks ago that needed to be compiled; all these weeks the daemon had just been spinning its wheels, not fetching any new blocks. [comment]

2014-02-21-1818Z

in the middle of another localbitcoins.com transaction. this time, with an amount of MXN200, the seller's fee is only $11 and the Oxxo fee $7 (both in pesos), so much lower percentage. plus I'm getting over .01 BTC (0.0243) so there won't be a penalty transaction fee.

difficulty to target calculation:

>>> '%064x' % ((0xffff * (2 ** 208)) / (2 ** -8))
'000000ffff000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000'
>>> 2 ** -8
0.00390625

my dedicated server generates about 243000 hashes every 20 seconds, and it got 28 .004-or-better-difficulty hashes in 11.53 run-hours, so around 12 clock hours. that's 1 hash in 18016714, which matches pretty well with what one would expect for 24 bits of zeros, 1 << 24 = 16777216, if I'm thinking about this correctly. so a difficulty-one hash would take 256 times longer, which means every 4 or 5 days I should score a block at difficulty one. when it's at 2, as Americancoin is right now, it should take 8 to 10 days on average. [comment]

2014-02-20-2103Z

a family called the cops to wake me up on the beach today. out of spite I stayed there, awake, hogging the palapa, till they left. fuck 'em. anything I hate worse than cops it's the lowlife bottomfeeders who use them as their army against everything they don't like. if the guy had woken me himself and asked for the palapa I'd have been glad to move.

and now I'm in Café Gourmet and Ben Swann's fucking subscription popup locked up X-windows so hard I had to power-cycle. running fsck now. goddamn this fucking shitty day. [comment]

2014-02-17-1636Z

Bancomer, HSBC, and Banorte all refused to dispense cash from a credit card, but for the friendly teller at Scotiabank it was no problem. I did have to show my book passport, however; the card did not suffice. [comment]

2014-02-16-2319Z

so all told, the $6 I put into Bitcoin last week bought me about 600 AMC, and I mined another block, bringing my total to AMC1329.5. much cheaper to buy it than to mine it, for sure. but I'll probably keep one mining machine online anyway. [comment]

2014-02-15-0024Z

remember all the failed brewing experiments I've had down here, when I couldn't catch a wild yeast? I sure do. well, when I cooked the platanos yesterday, I soaked them in salted water first, and cooled them in that same water between the first and second frying. that water was saved, and started fermenting overnight! [comment]

2014-02-11-1522Z

woke up while it was still dark, maybe 0600 or earlier, and couldn't get back to sleep. in my dream I was driving down a road which I wasn't sure was the right one; up ahead was a bridge, with what looked like birds or deer (I couldn't tell which) jumping around in the lane I was approaching. when I got to the bridge, I realized that the road had dropped out and I was going to fall hundreds of feet to my death. as the guy in Strange Days says, goddammit, I hate dying first thing in the morning! [comment]

2014-02-10-2254Z

after getting a report from Hetzner this morning that one of my dedicated servers with them was involved in a DDoS attack, I finally got off my lazy ass and finished the firewall setup I had begun earlier, and had given up after locking myself out of my server. this seems to be working well at the moment. I'm seeing a lot of incoming probes from rogue servers which have gone unnoticed until now.

I could have left it in Bash, but didn't know of a clean way to check that /etc/services contained a particular name, whereas Python offered a lookup in socket.getservbyname(). [comment]

2014-02-10-1742Z

one of my servers is implicated in a DDoS attack. pretty sure the IP was spoofed -- it was a UDP attack -- but since I'm not running a firewall I have no proof. guess I've got to take some time and finish my iptables script I put on hold after my last test locked me out. [comment]

2014-02-09-1650Z

Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,
and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles, ...
--Proverbs 24:17
when Dwayne Ferguson got arrested recently many gun advocates were cheering the news and are hoping for the maximum penalty. however gloating, as even that questionable source of moral advice the Bible indicates, may not be productive, and in this case is downright wasteful.

here is a perfect example of what we "gun nuts" warned: laws like the SAFE act do nothing to stop evildoers from killing and maiming as they wish, but only serve to penalize otherwise law-abiding citizens. here is a perfect chance for gun-rights activists to use Dwayne as an example of how this law makes a criminal out of a good person, and advocate for a total revocation of that hastily drafted (or diabolically crafted -- take your pick) law, followed by pardoning Ferguson and expunging his record. the NAACP and the black community in general might be persuaded to join forces with the NRA for a repeal of the act, which has shown its true destructive nature in this single incident, of which many more are sure to follow.

it's our choice: reap a few days of smug satisfaction in gloating, or use this to push an agenda of tolerance and freedom for the good of all. [comment]

2014-02-08-0620Z

tried again to give away my AmericanCoin today. was running pywallet.py against the wallet to which I had sent the coin, made QR codes out of the key and address, and posted to my Facebook page. but something wasn't right. americancoind didn't recognize the address as valid, and dumping the gift wallet and the other wallet.dat that I use gave the same results. wtf?

finally figured out that pywallet ignored the wallet path I was giving it and was using my bitcoin wallet instead. I gave away the private key to my bitcoin wallet! luckily it was empty, or "pissed" would not begin to express my anger. [comment]

2014-02-06-0930Z

a familiar dream structure, but some new twists. I was on an upper level of a government building, with other members of the resistance. we had just been captured, and some had been led away already. one soldier had been left watching me and a few of the others. he was bored and had left his AR-15 lying on one of the pieces of free-form concrete furniture. another captive told him that spot was for his coffee-cup, so the soldier moved the weapon. apparently he didn't consider us a threat. I was walking back and forth in the immediate area, trying to come up with a plan, and eventually I didn't see the soldier any more, but the rifle remained. I watched it to make sure someone didn't grab it and do anything stupid, and eventually another soldier had charge of it. nobody I could see was paying any attention to me, so I decided to make a break for it. stripped down to my swim trunks and went to the water elevator; not exactly sure how it worked, but you went through water down one level at a time. a young lady hitched a ride holding onto my swim trunks, and a few floors down I was surrounded by young people; I asked if any of them had read Edward Abbey. none had, but some seemed interested, so I mentioned Desert Solitaire, then told them my escape plan as if it had been in one of Abbey's stories: enter a fast-flowing river, and just before the dam, the hero would be saved by getting close to the bank and getting sucked into an eddy where he could climb out.

eventually I was on the riverbank, and about to put on the upper part of my neoprene Batman wetsuit, when Robocop showed up. thinking it was Soundman, I went to give him a hug but he avoided it and then I knew it was an enemy. he pointed to a rectangle bulging partway out of the ground, indicating the fate of his previous opponent; then he walked away. then smaller but more dangerous people showed up, one resembling Castaneda's Don Juan, another looking like Mahatma Gandhi. finally I was in the kitchen of a cafeteria, and a black lady was eating a hamburger and saying I should buy her some more food. I remember saying something to the effect that I was poorer then she, and she countered that I should be working harder. then I found myself explaining to her and other statists that a free person works as hard as he wants to satisfy his own needs, and no harder; and one older black gentleman agreed, restating it in his own words. another black guy directly across from me was looking angrily at me, but the agreeable one said something to the effect that he and I were friends, so I was off the hook. woke up though, and never made it down the river this go-round. [comment]

2014-02-05-1932Z

jogged from the malecon at about Salvatierra to Starbucks in just under an hour this morning. that'll count for my 5k of the year. I'll try to remember to plot it at mapmyrun.com later. or sooner. [comment]

2014-02-03-2315Z

finally got rid of those stupid MPI_INIT errors when using pydoc -k whatever by running sudo apt-get purge libboost-python1.49.0. I hope that if I need Boost with Python they'll have fixed the bug.

living a waste-free life is difficult anywhere, but La Paz presents its own special challenges. seems people are going out of their way to generate garbage on my behalf, but I'm fairly sure it's just a fault of my inability to communicate well en español. [comment]

2014-02-02-0428Z

a client gave me an old WBR-1310 router as part of my payment yesterday. want to install open-source firmware on it but DD-WRT doesn't support it and haven't yet dug up anything that does. D-link offers GPL source code but their goddamned link is nonfunctional: http://tsd.dlink.com.tw/temp/download/2241/wbr1310.source.061027.tgz. tried to figure out from their other downloads that do work where the files are really stored, but it's too well hidden beneath ASP server-side code. [comment]

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