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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Bugger. Turns out all the makefile needed was -O2 added to the rule for creating the module; that's what tells it to use the inline macro for ntohl rather than attempt linking to a nonexistent kernel function.

So now I can theoretically use a compressed filesystem, but I still have a problem with the damnsmall KNOPPIX filesystem, as well as with the fullsized KNOPPIX cloop, shown, respectively, here in the dmesg output:

cloop: Initializing cloop v2.01
cloop: loaded (max 8 devices)
cloop: blocksize 2720535177 not multiple of 512
cloop: Initializing cloop v2.01
cloop: loaded (max 8 devices)
cloop: Cannot read old architecture-dependent (format <= 1.0) images, please use an older version of cloop for this file.

I guess what I've got to do is just boot the damned, damned, DAMNED Damn Small Linux CDROM, and copy the uncompressed filesystem to my hard drive so I can play with it. But I'm going to keep playing with the source for another day first. I don't give up easily, as you've probably noticed. [comment]


Trying to compile the cloop module on my 2.6 kernel in order to play with the KNOPPIX filesystem of Damn Small Linux, in order to get ALSA sound working reliably on one or more of the 3 workstations.

First step was to patch the cloop sources, which apparently have only been compiled on Debian systems:

--- ./advancecomp-1.9_create_compressed_fs/advfs.cc.orig	2004-04-18 20:33:29.000000000 +0000
+++ ./advancecomp-1.9_create_compressed_fs/advfs.cc	2004-09-30 03:08:17.000000000 +0000
@@ -21,6 +21,7 @@
 #include <stdlib.h>
 #include <string.h>
 #include <sys/stat.h>
+#include <netinet/in.h>
 #include <asm/byteorder.h>
 #include <fcntl.h>
 #include <zlib.h>
@@ -30,7 +31,6 @@
 #include "utility.h"
 #include "compress.h"
 #include "siglock.h"
-#include <netinet/in.h>
 #include "lib/mng.h"
 #include "lib/endianrw.h"
--- ./Makefile.orig	2004-05-14 19:17:51.000000000 +0000
+++ ./Makefile	2004-09-30 03:15:07.000000000 +0000
@@ -1,12 +1,14 @@
+# note: if this is wrong, specifying in the commandline `make KERNEL_DIR=/usr/src/linux-2.6.7' will override it
 CFLAGS:=-Wall -Wstrict-prototypes -Wno-trigraphs -O2 -s -I. -fno-strict-aliasing -fno-common -fomit-frame-pointer 
 include $(KERNEL_DIR)/.config
-include $(KERNEL_DIR)/conf.vars
+# conf.vars doesn't appear to be in source tarballs from kernel.org, so don't make it mandatory
+-include $(KERNEL_DIR)/conf.vars
 CKERNOPS:=-D__KERNEL__ -DMODULE -fno-builtin -nostdlib -DKBUILD_MODNAME="cloop" -DKBUILD_BASENAME="cloop"
@@ -27,6 +29,10 @@
 # Name of module
+# note -- maybe if conf.vars wasn't found, PATCHLEVEL will be undefined? So let's assume 6 for a 2.6 kernel
 ifeq ($(PATCHLEVEL),6)

However, attempting to load the module still fails:

root@zero:/home/jcomeau# modprobe cloop file=/usr/local/damnsmall/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX
FATAL: Error inserting cloop (/lib/modules/2.6.7/kernel/fs/cloop.ko): Unknown symbol in module, or unknown parameter (see dmesg)

And dmesg shows "cloop: Unknown symbol ntohl", which strikes me as pretty strange... the TCP/IP stack for sure makes use of this function -- I'm sure the answer will pop up pretty soon. But all this just goes to show how much trouble it is doing something on Linux sometimes. You have to build this so you can fix that so you can build the other thing so you can fix what you originally intended to fix. But, complain as I will, we have the sources and we can fix it. Beats the hell out of closed source any day. [comment]


Has everyone seen the breakup letter to Windows on /.? The responses had me rolling on the floor, like dspasovski's. I needed some humor after going through the jobs at RAC and seeing so many people want to pay pennies per hour for your coding skills and efforts. Depressing. I'm going to make another try at getting decent soundcard support on one or more of my machines here today... wish me luck! [comment]


Spent like a sailor on shore leave today, don't really know why. Doesn't matter, I'm home and my lady still loves me. Life is good. That remaining problem with the Win98 problem, and its solution, was very very good therapy for me. Gave me renewed confidence in my abilities. Yes, even though it was I who caused the problem, I managed to solve it without wiping the system clean, and preserving all my friend's installed programs. All thanks to the open source community and the ass-kicking tools that are available even for the closed-source Windows operating system, like WinDump and Cygwin, and last but by far the greatest, GNU and their amazing debugger, GDB. Only GDB allowed me to see the file that the Win DLLs were attempting to use, and which was causing the 60-second delay due to my having quarantined it away from its normal location. I don't care what anybody says, Stallman and GNU rule.

Then again, it doesn't take much for me to get into a debugger. Even DOS debug was a very good friend of mine. It's one of the few things Microsoft got right, and it just got better in later versions of DOS. I also was in love with DDT on the Decsystem-10 and later on the PDP-11, even though it was almost as enigmatic and user-hostile as TECO.

Well, I've got email to check up on and other timewasters to occupy my time, so, Intrepid Wanderer fans, get back to your work or your GF/BF or whatever, and I'll have more grist for your mills at a later date! [comment]


Finally found the goddamned problem with this motherfucking win98 box. Iatrogenic, as usual. I had suspected (without googling) the mspclnt directory and .ini file as being part of one of the over 100 viruses that had infected this machine. So I had quarantined them, with a whole bunch of other stuff, and had not noticed when the problem started: ping, ipconfig, any web browser, would wait a full minute before attempting a connection. I had to download cygwin and get the use of gdb before finding it. But it's fixed now, and if nothing else crops up within the next few hours I'll be on my way home. [comment]


Not much to say... in the house of my friend and mentor for the last, what, 3 days now? Trading $1000/day worth of computer restoration expertise with what's close to 10 times that value in learning about thought processes and cognitive networks.

The latest insight: people choose paths in life, or they choose not to make a choice, in effect planting themselves and settling down when faced with a fork in the road. Humanity can be viewed as a tree, with the trunk made up of those who made the least such choices; those who decided early on to play it safe and settle down with their existing ideas, concepts, and prejudices, and those who always moved on to something new, whether right or wrong, way out on the smallest twigs and leaves. Those latter individuals are those who are most alone, but also those with the clearest view to the rest of the tree and to that magnificent universe beyond it. [comment]


Leaving in a few hours for LA again. It's a small job, no money but a chance to learn from another genius (humble, ain't I? NOT.) for free, and I don't even have to guarantee success! On top of that, someone else is paying for the trip! I can't lose.

Tried connecting two solar cells in series yesterday, and got the same voltage as one cell. Does that mean they must be wired in parallel to get higher voltages? That's counterintuitive. And strange. But it'll have to wait till I get back.

On another front, I'm going with a whole new angle on postForth, and that gave me the impetus to finally write a subversion import script to automate the process. It doesn't quite work yet. I think there are some bugs in bash's pushd and popd. It leaves you in limbo-land after the process completes, but other than that it seems to work fine.

Strange, the README doesn't show up in the file listing. Must be something in my Apache settings. [comment]


A little kernel hacking, enabling me to mmount my JB1 camera. This is a patch against the 2.6.7 kernel source, under fs/fat/.

--- ./inode.c.orig	2004-06-16 05:19:22.000000000 +0000
+++ ./inode.c	2004-09-19 22:55:03.000000000 +0000
@@ -996,6 +996,8 @@
 		/* all is as it should be */
 	} else if (media == 0xf8 && FAT_FIRST_ENT(sb, 0xfe) == first) {
 		/* bad, reported on pc9800 */
+	} else if (media == 0xf8 && first == 0xffff) {
+		/* bad, found on flash filesystem of DD JB1 camera */
 	} else if (media == 0xf0 && FAT_FIRST_ENT(sb, 0xf8) == first) {
 		/* bad, reported with a MO disk on win95/me */
 	} else if (first == 0) {
@@ -1003,8 +1005,9 @@
 	} else {
 		if (!silent)
 			printk(KERN_ERR "FAT: invalid first entry of FAT "
-			       "(0x%x != 0x%x)\n",
-			       FAT_FIRST_ENT(sb, media), first);
+			       "(media=0x%x, first entry "
+			       "should be 0x%x but found 0x%x)\n",
+			       media, FAT_FIRST_ENT(sb, media), first);
 		goto out_invalid;

I tried to sys it using dosemu and freedos, but no joy so far. DOS area: sector not found. Too bad, it might make a great little recovery "floppy" if I can get this to work. Of course there are a million other ways to go about it too. It's probably got room for Linux plus freedos plus dosemu, for example. [comment]


Iranian officials are cracking down on weblogs, which they (apparently correctly) assess to be taken more seriously by the populace than their own sources of (dis)information. One wonders how long Bushco will wait to start the same shit in the good old USA. Land of the free, yeah, right. Just so long as you don't disagree wid Da Man. Reading the story on Derakhshan's blog, I was impressed not as much by the crackdown but by how long and how many stages it took. Clearly the power is not as centralized there as I would have guessed. Khamenei needs to take some lessons from Shrub. An Iranian Patriot Act, that's what he needs!

My new schedule idea seems to be working. A little progress on multiple fronts. Laying the mycelium, I call it. Then overnight, the mushroom springs up, without warning. [comment]


Finally got around to installing Asterisk for a possible Rentacoder job. I don't yet know enough about it, but I suspect this piece of software is really going to rock my world a little once I get the hang of it. When I first investigated it a few months back I thought it needed special hardware in order to be able to do anything, but not so. There are soft phones (best luck so far with kphone, which uses ALSA sound) which work fine with it, though it helps to have a full-duplex soundcard. I'll very likely be sharing experiences with this in the days to come.

Was given an unexpected and very welcome gift a few minutes ago which reestablishes the financial buffer I had emptied in order to jumpstart the internet café. This is a real lifesaver since I just got hit with the first $5/month fee by my bank for going below the minimum balance; I hate to see money flying away like that for no reason. Five dollars! I can live comfortably for two or 3 days on that, even in a forager's wasteland like Rosarito!

Forgot to mention that I got my bag of broken solar cells that I ordered from Kenneke.com, and am learning how to solder them together to make a solar panel. Together with some .9 amp-hour NiMH D-cells I bought on eBay, I'm gonna have a kick-ass portable power supply for my Clié that doesn't depend on having to plug into anybody's outlet. Then if I can just make the whole deal waterproof, I can go anywhere, land or sea, on a whim, without having to worry about a memo pad, internet connectivity, or any other conveniences/plagues of modern life. [comment]


Got home pretty late last night, about 2100 local time, opened the café for a while, but no customers. Got tired early and slept on the floor, on top of my serape.

Got to start organizing my time. Maybe allocate a certain amount of time to one project, a certain amount to another, for at least 2 or 3 hours per day. Maybe 4. Don't want to do more than that, or the stress factor might come into play again. [comment]


Such a short time home and already I'm killing time switching back-and-forth between web forums and email, brain solidly in idle. Listed two packages of iceplants on eBay and one sold almost instantly; got to head back into SD tomorrow to ship it. I also plan on stopping by the Labor Ready office in Chula Vista and registering or whatever so if I need cash someday I can just show up there early in the morning and work for a day doing something brainless, and get paid the same day. Also need to stop by the SSA office and get a copy of my long-lost SS card, then send a copy to exhedra.com for any future rentacoder jobs I might do. If they haven't kicked me off the site already for my bitching after that last episode.

Lots of stuff to do; programming, configuration, and documentation -- but no motivation. I guess it takes time, after spending 3 weeks in survival mode, to plug back in. [comment]


I know there are those of you who think CUPS configuration is a piece of cupcake. But I also know plenty of you who, as do I, think that it's a piece of something a little less pleasant. Well, after a lot of hair-pulling, here's my patch for the server's cupsd.conf which will allow completely untouched client installations to use the server's default printer; which, for many of us, is the goal going in. We don't want to have to configure every goddamned client, that's why we went with CUPS in the first place.

--- ./cupsd.conf.orig	2004-09-15 23:12:05.000000000 +0000
+++ ./cupsd.conf	2004-09-15 23:10:39.000000000 +0000
@@ -1,5 +1,5 @@
-# "$Id: cupsd.conf.in,v 1.13 2003/04/10 20:14:04 mike Exp $"
+# "$Id: cupsd.conf,v 1.3 2004/09/15 23:10:34 root Exp $"
 #   Sample configuration file for the Common UNIX Printing System (CUPS)
 #   scheduler.
@@ -513,7 +513,7 @@
 #BrowseAddress x.y.255.255
 #BrowseAddress x.255.255.255
-#BrowseAddress @LOCAL
+BrowseAddress @LOCAL
 #BrowseAddress @IF(name)
@@ -748,6 +748,7 @@
 Order Deny,Allow
 Deny From All
 Allow From
+Allow from
 #<Location /classes>
@@ -821,5 +822,5 @@
-# End of "$Id: cupsd.conf.in,v 1.13 2003/04/10 20:14:04 mike Exp $".
+# End of "$Id: cupsd.conf,v 1.3 2004/09/15 23:10:34 root Exp $".

Of course, your network address may well be different from mine. All in all, it's 2 trivial changes to the default: uncomment the @LOCAL browse address, and add permissions for hosts on your network. Now, wasn't that easy? So, where does the fucking manual tell you to do this? Beats the hell out of me. [comment]


Hacked up a script to convert my Clié memos to blog files. Only partially tested so far.

Got my internet café back online. Had some kids in earlier who kept trying to play the stupidass games, and kept crashing my systems. They finally gave up and left, thank goodness. I tried to explain with my limited spanish that the systems were not optimized for games and in any case could only play Flash and not Shockwave. But I don't think I got the message across. And in any case, I just checked on CartoonNetwork's Mexico site and its games are mostly Shockwave (it indicates all are, but that's not true either). So maybe I'll have to try to persuade the kids to use the U.S. site. Fat chance. Anyway, my current customer seems content with the Flash games, and he's been here for over 2 hours so far. He keeps crashing them too, but at a much slower rate, and he's cool with switching from one system to the next without complaining. His mom just came by and told him to come home, and he refused. Good kid.

I'm going to be making some money in the next few days, if not by programming I'll go to SD and do day labor. I don't need it to live but there's some stuff I want to do that requires angle iron and maybe some brazing equipment. Man cannot expand by bits and bytes alone. [comment]


Got home yesterday morning sometime. Was treated to lobster dinner and other nice things from Someone Very Special and today worked on getting my websites back online. And they are!

If you have a wireless PalmOS device, either wifi or bluetooth, and a wireless router such as a 2wire or linksys, and are getting the infamously helpful message "invalid network settings" when trying to browse the web or send email, this is for you. Google on the above and you'll find a lot of solutions that involve installing software on your Palm device and/or doing multiple hard resets (to factory defaults) of both the palmtop and router! While I'm not denying that such steps may be necessary in some cases, I doubted that I would need to do it. In the first place, I found many places in my travels where I could use free APs with no problem after autodiscovery located them. Secondly, specifying a DNS IP in the advanced network settings on the Clié usually fixed it. And lastly, I could in such cases usually connect to a website by IP number.

All the above indicated that something is fucked in Palm's DHCP client software. I've been assuming that by making the DHCP server advertise its own IP as the default DNS server (as long as it can serve in that capacity!) it would solve the problem. And my testing now seems to indicate that it does! At least with the WRT54G. Still having some issues with the 2wire. [comment]


Got my mail yesterday evening and accepted a ride to the Grossmont station. Bad move. I should have gotten some cash at the supermarket across the street and taken the 81 to Old Town, where a bus transfer would have allowed me to ride the Blue Line right to the border. Instead, I wandered all night on tired and sore feet, following well-meant but mostly incorrect information from numerous people. Finally I found my way back to El Cajon Boulevard where I caught the 15 downtown, and am taking a coffee and crap break at Starbucks before continuing on my merry way. [comment]


At Kinko's recharging the Clié after walking all day and night to Mission Valley. I still want to know which buses I could have taken from that last OCTA stop to get to San Ysidro, and think it might be the 931 and 932, but I can check that out some other day.

I checked my Paypal balance today and eBay still had not taken what I owed them, so I spent it on food instead: almost all $1.83 of it. It's amazing the mental contortions people go through when they still buy into the self-contradictory body of ideas promulgated by our culture. I asked the girl at Albertson's meat counter for a dollar's worth of chuck roast. Instead of just telling me they don't make custom cuts, she dithered for several minutes, then came back with a piece of chuck steak, a dollar more per pound. Then she cut off about $3 worth and asked if that were OK. Of course I answered no, that I only had $1. She got flustered then and did a bunch of strange manipulations of the price and weight before finally packaging the whole $5 steak for 78 cents. "Don't tell anyone, I'll get fired", she said, and I considered some snide comment but kept quiet. Should I be happy, or dismayed, that more people don't read Ayn Rand?

Foraging yielded a nice bunch of luscious pomegranates and some barberries. This trip has been a lot of fun, but now I just want to pick up my snailmail and get home. [comment]


Looks like I'll be taking the 101 from where this route ends. And from there I hit the SD bus system. This driver says the SD daypass will work on the North County system, but that they (NCTD drivers) do not sell them. [comment]


Just barely had the fare for the North County 395. Got a transfer for the next bus south from here but not sure which one that is yet. Looks like this one goes all the way to Oceanside.

The gods are smiling on me today. Someone left a pair of Timberlake shoes, beat-up but still quite usable, at the bus stop, which is just behind where the OCTA 1 drops you off. Now I can go to Labor Ready or a similar place if I'm desperate for cash. [comment]


Takes about 2 hours 40 minutes to cross OC along the coast. Feeling a little woozy but hoping I can hold out the last 15 minutes. [comment]


Turns out I could have taken any one of several buses from the Long Beach transit mall: 81, 91, 92, 93, 94, or 96. At least the 94 runs this late. Well, I'll know next time. Anyway my bus won't get here till 5:27 AM. [comment]


I didn't know the Long Beach buses were only 90 cents. I was all set to take the 171 from PCH when I found out something else I hadn't known: it's a bankers-hours bus. No night or weekend service. So I walked to the VA hospital on 7th St. and will wait for the OCTA number 1 bus here, all night if necessary. [comment]


Couldn't meet with my mentor in Glendale. So might as well boogie on home... Took the 181 to the Gold Line to the Red Line to Union Station. Orange County transit runs all along the coast between LA and SD, the number 1 for $1. But to get to the transfer point I've either got to get off the Blue Line at PCH and pay extra for the LB171, or walk a few miles from the end of the Blue Line. I think I'll opt for the latter.

Foraging today: live oak acorns, grapefruit, pomegranate, bitter orange, lemon. All between Brand Park and downtown Glendale. [comment]


Finally found a couple of free hotspots in Glendale, one a linksys just south of the Ralph's on 1200 N. Central. Picked a few unknown fruits on the way there. They look like rose hips on the outside (but they grow on a bush or tree not at all similar to roses) and on the inside resemble apples, as does their flavor. [comment]


I guess it had to happen. Two of my favorite LA hangouts are no more. Portfolio Coffeehouse in Long Beach because their wireless router wouldn't work with my Clié and they didn't have anyone clueful there who could tell me the nameserver IP. And the Mayflower restaurant in Chinatown because they wouldn't let me eat there tonight. They've always given me dirty looks and hostile service, but I kept going back for the $3 fried fish. But I guess the cowboy hat must have been too much for them; they'd seen the serape at least twice already and had still let me eat there. Oh well, their loss. I took my business to my favorite taqueria north of the border, Carnitas Michoacan on North Broadway just a few blocks past the bridge.

Untll now, I'd survived most of today on foraging. One thing was new to me: heart of banana, the purple pendulum-shaped thingie that hangs down from the center stalk. Starchy and very bitter. Presumably cooking improves it. [comment]


Well, I decided to walk to Portfolio after all. It's more like a mile though. And the Clié won't connect, and the guy behind the counter can't tell me the nameserver IP which would allow me to configure it manually. So I can't check my email anyway. Fuck. [comment]


Not sure if I really want to schlep that last half-mile to the Portfolio. It's been a long damned day.

I had already given up on the Metro bus, and had plugged my PDA into the Thousand Oaks transit center's power to recharge it for the night, when the 161 arrived. And day passes are still only $3! So I took it to Ventura Blvd. where I transferred to the 750 to Universal City. And from there the Metro red line to the blue line to 4th street in Long Beach. Bought some bananas and unsweetened chocolate at Albertson's and pretended it was Chunky Monkey ice cream. [comment]


Well, no more Conejos today but the 101 Southbound connects with LA transit at Thousand Oaks. On my way! If LA daypasses are still $3 I will get to the Portfolio in Long beach for a total of $5.25. A shitload better than Greyhound's offer of $12 to get to their stinking LA terminal. [comment]


Goddamn liar at the SB transit center. The Vista coastal express would have brought me here for just $2. Not sure if I would have had to pay full fare (another $2) on the Conejo Express into LA or not, but it would have been worth the extra 75 cents over what I paid in any case. [comment]


It was only a short walk along the 101 freeway to where it became a bike route again; and then there was a nice clean little beach where I took a bath. After walking another mile or so, Truth gave me a lift to the Ventura bus terminal, where he thinks the VISTA bus system will connect me with LA's. [comment]


Number 20 bus from SB transit center takes you to Mark Avenue in Carpinteria, only about a mile from the Ventura County border, for $1.25! Going for it now. [comment]


Free wifi hotspots: found one late at night in Buellton outside coffeeshop next to Albertson's; also just got done using the one at the SB transit center, just west of Carrillo on Chapala. [comment]


Had this been an actual emergency... I failed. The pain in my feet slowed me down to 1 mph. That fact, combined with an almost total lack of known (to me) forageables, and a very narrow shoulder, on this stretch of road between Santa Ynez and Santa Barbara, made me lose confidence in my ability to make it to SB.

So when I limped into Cachuma Lake Park this afternoon, I spent almost $l2 on food and asked the kids who work there if anybody would take $3 in exchange for a ride. No takers, but Christy called her fiancé, James, who used to hitchhike a lot himself and was glad to give me the lift. On top of that, the workers and one of the customers all gave me money, so actually I've got a few dollars more than I went in with!

James told me SB's transit system doesn't connect with LA's, so I've got to look around for alternatives. [comment]


Took me 4 hours 45 minutes to walk the 14 miles from Los Alamos to Buellton along route 101. Not bad considering the shape my feet are in.

The Quackenbush Cafe had free wifi and power but I couldn't update my blog, as my server is unreachable again. Anyway, those people are so nice, they actually go around the tables giving you free refills, to the point where I was too embarrassed to accept. What service! Here's hoping I can find something similar here in Buellton. Better yet, I hope I can find Santa Barbara bus service here! [comment]


Just woke from sleeping in the park in Los Alamos. Man, was it ever painful getting here; my feet have been cut and punctured so many times! But I'm hoping it'll toughen them up.

Obviously I discarded my previous fears once the Pacific chill started getting to me. I walked along 101, freeway be damned. It was already around 2AM, so traffic was minimal. Only got stopped by a cop once, and he just said to make sure I stayed on the roadside. Not far after that there appeared a sign "Freeway Ends".

Foraging so far yielded a single cluster of green grapes on a vine growing wild against the fence of the sewage treatment plant; and a large prickly pear fruit, magenta-colored and heavenly-tasty. Town water is nasty though, judging by the spigot here at the park. But cheapskates can't be choosy. [comment]


Duh. There is a Graffiti 2 tutorial built right into the Clié and I never noticed it before. Commas are easy once you know the secret. [comment]


Feet are complaining but I've been continuing to punish them, having now walked south on Broadway to Orcutt. There aren't any buses to SB after all except of course Greyhound. And I'm not about to pay their rates.

This is gonna be one of the deadliest nights of the year on the road so I think I'll just chill (literally!) here tonight. No sense getting killed by some goddamn drunk driver.

There are lots of a certain fruit growing along this road. It looks about the size and shape of a cherry, but it turns a dark purple when ripe, and the fruit pulp has the appearance and flavor of a plum. Very sweet and delicious, however the pit is relatively large so there's very little actual fruit on each. The nut shell is thin and easy to break with the teeth but the meat has the characteristic taste of fruits of this family, which I associate with cyanide.

I also ate a date from one of the roadside palms today. After peeling off the thin outer skin to get rid of the road grime, there was one or two hundredths of an inch of fruit covering the seed. Not a marketable product but still good for foraging! [comment]


Heh. Walked all night into Nipomo to save 50 bus fare; turns out the bus is free all the month ofSeptember. That's OK. At least I stayed warm. [comment]


Dolly's Donuts on 1263 Grand open 5:30 to 2 has 99 cent special: cake donut and 12 ounce coffee. [comment]


More: did tribalism in general die out because cultural separation hamper unity against the common (taker) enemy? Did still-extant tribes survive primarily because of location (inaccessible/undesirable)? My tribe must learn from this and use internet and unternets to share coopetitionally intra- and intertribally.

As we separate ourselves from global economy, remaining participants will be left holding the bag when last supports crumble.

Web of trust is vital as framework for web economy with reputation verification. Even wiki edit privileges. [comment]


Random thoughts as I'm back in magic mode: telescoping stilts with inflatable padding for most of body all joined to single tube. Precursor to exoskeleton and/or frameless bike. Anybody know how to reliably make a comma in graffiti text entry? Takes me over 100 tries sometimes.

That inflatable padding can also be used for flotation or for sleeping on bumpy surfaces.

Need to write some CGI scripts for hotsyncing blog and photos. [comment]


Still here drinking coffee at Tim's joint. 2 refills for a buck each and he let me plug into the power in the corner. This is a great place! Lots of friendly people and smooth jazz on the radio. Stop in!



Spent the first $2.75 of Bob's $20 here at Sea Side Cafe in Shell Beach. The owner allows free use of his Belkin hotspot but it's always a good idea to encourage such behavior by spending some cash at such places when you have some!

When I left Avila Beach earlier I headed towards Highway 101 and hit a bike-and-pedestrian-friendly road just before it! With lots of foraging resources including delicious sweet oranges outside the Pismo Beach fire station. I'm thinking about taking the bus into Santa Maria but not yet sure.



What a night it turned out to be. I had fallen asleep for a while at the ranger station and when I woke up it was getting dark and cold. So I headed on down the road; two more rides, one from a German guy named Erik and another from Jade Bob who also gave me $20! I walked the rest of the night towards the beach, after spending my daily $3 on food at the Food-4-Less where Bob had dropped me off, and arrived at Avila Beach by 10. Bathed and slept and ate.

Now to decide how to proceed; route 1 has apparently ended and 101 is still a freeway.



W00H00! Saved $5.25 in bus fares by striking out early. Headed down route 1 even though it's a freeway. They can't just make every north-south road into a goddamn freeway and expect compliance. I can't fucking walk on water for christsakes.

Well anyway, just over the Monterey county line it becomes an ordinary road. Yay! And not long afterwards a young dude named Kevin, who operates a contract food service (from what I could gather, what those in south Florida lovingly refer to as a roach coach) in Santa Cruz, gave me a lift all the way to Big Sur. Plus a roast beef sandwich and a Foster's! What a guy!

Once I dug out the fig, I just finished the whole thing off. It was too delicious to be inedible. Now it looks as though I'll stay at the ranger station tonight unless I get another offer of a ride. [comment]


I was wrong; the bus fare was only $1.50, so I took it. Watsonville's not as small as I imagined it'd be, we passed a number of large shopping centers on the way in.

First round of foraging/scavenging within a few blocks of the transit center yielded rose hips (poor), lychees (excellent), and about a half bag of hot'n spicy pork rinds someone threw in the trash. I also picked what might be a fig, but I'm not sure because I don't recognize the large, asymmetrical leaves. I saw lemons and prickly pear too, but they were out of reach of the sidewalk.

I ate everything but the fig, which I'll nibble on over the course of the day. If I'm still alive tomorrow I'll assume it was OK.



Still thinking about that windsurfing idea. Wouldn't it piss off the border guards to have people riding the waves between Imperial Beach and Playas de Tijuana every day?

Found other ways to recharge the PDA than spend money at Starbucks: this Kinko's. The Santa Cruz public librarary, in the reference area in the back. There are even outlets at various places along the sidewalk. No need at all to waste almost half my daily food allowance like I did yesterday.

Of course I had to waste it a different way today, checking my gmail on the Kinko's workstation. But that's the last time, because I already switched back to Yahoo! Mail, which I can access from the Clié. Yet another day till I can take the next leg of the journey, the 71 bus to Watsonville for $1.75.

Blogging using the memo pad on a palmtop works great. Fetch MemoDB.pdb using pilot-xfer, split it into the individual memos using par x MemoDB.pdb, then rename the resulting files according to the timestamp scheme I'm using.



Scavenged quite a bit of food tonight, which is good because it looks like I'm going to have to spend some of tomorrow's food money on Kinko's if I'm going to check my gmail.

Finished Ishmael today so there's no real need for me to hang around. Tried hitching for a while on highway 1 tonight but no luck; guess I have to go to Big Sur in order to get a shot at nonlocal traffic.

I am gaining more confidence in my survival skills, and no longer freak when out of money. This is a great feeling.

Now I just wish I could be windsurfing down the coast instead of having to walk or hitchhike! [comment]


Also got to remember to convert more karaoke WAVs to MP3 for the Clié. Especially those with a good hand-clapping beat, like Stevie Wonder's That Girl. The only buskers in SF who I could see making decent money were a group of 4 black guys outside the Orpheum theater. They had no backup whatsoever except for their handclapping; they did however have 4-part harmony, something which I would have some difficulty achieving!



Sitting in Starbucks recharging my Clié. It means not having enough money to eat well today, but now that my server is back online I'm willing to go hungry for a day in order to be able to catch up on some things. And who knows, I may get lucky like I did last night, when someone handed me a half-full quart container of sweet-and-sour chicken.

First thing is to hotsync. If you're seeing this, it must have worked! Then I need to update my backup sites; switch jcomeau.com back to my server; and switch my email back to Yahoo. This last is something I need to do every time l travel, at least until gmail finishes their HTML-only interface.

Finally found Quinn's Ishmael here at the Santa Cruz library, so I plan to stay in town until I finish it; it's been very hard to find.


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