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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Didn't go hunting today... still have plenty of meat from the last two days.

Finally got onto my lazy butt and made another video. This has nothing to do with sustainability, in fact it's very Matrix. I had sent out my copy of the VHS tape to nettapes.com some time ago and had it converted to a DVD, so all I had to do was convert it using ffmpeg. Details are here.

I'm hoping it constitutes "fair use" and that nobody in it objects to being online... no clue how to contact many of them. [comment]


Got another cottontail this morning with my scope-less Winchester. Took way too many shots, maybe 8, out of which only two were likely hits. I've got to practice more.

Too much meat! Soaking this in a salt brine until I eat some of the jackrabbit, and free up at least one frying pan. It's supposed to make it taste better as well. My friend Dan says to add smoke sauce to the brine for even better flavor. [comment]


The gods were smiling on me today. A fat dove was sitting in the acacia across the arroyo. I missed the first shot, and walked 5 yards closer. It didn't budge. The second shot brought it down. By the time I got to it, it was already dead. So I picked it up and carried it with me down the arroyo towards Highway 11. Went through a branch of the arroyo, flushing several other doves before I could get a shot. Then a jackrabbit appeared, scooting to the other side of the arroyo but then pausing within range. I took a shot, but a small sagebrush in the way diverted the BB and he ran off. Then a few yards downstream, movement caught my eye. Another jack. The only thing in the way of this one was right next to him, and it was relatively little growth. I took the shot. He cringed as if hit, but then walked further into the brush as if he'd just been scared. I pumped the air rifle for another shot, but by the 10th pump he had flopped onto its side into the arroyo. I took another shot anyway, just to be sure, but probably missed. Walked up to it, and an adrenaline surge almost enabled it to get away. But I finally was able to drive my knife through its brain, and carried it home. Cooking it up now. This is my first jackrabbit, and it was stopped with a single BB from about 25 yards. I'm pretty damned happy with that... it bodes well for my survival in the post-civilization age.

It had some ticks, which could indicate disease, and its liver had some damage. But I cut out the strange-looking parts and cooked it up anyway.

No more porter or ESB left from my Sun Harvest shopping spree the other day, but still have some New Belgium 1554 left, and an assortment of other beers. Not doing too bad. Also finished a Rentacoder job today, and will get paid for 3 hours of work on Odesk later this evening. It's been a great day overall. [comment]


Seems I forgot to mention here, though I already did so on the Columbus Village forum, that I was wrong the other day. Only concealed weapons may be legally carried into a store that sells alcoholic beverages, and only, of course, by those licensed for CCW. Don't ask me to explain how that makes any sense, but that's the law. I've clarified the Wikipedia article. [comment]


Got a rabbit yesterday, but no luck today. Anyway, I only ate the organ meats so far, so there are at least two good meals left. Pigged out at the Pink Store today on garlic-covered steak and chiles rellenos, so don't plan to do anything but snack and drink beer the rest of the evening.

I've been worried that, despite my "no victim, no crime" credo, I might still be arrested for my mistake in open-carrying a firearm into the grocery store the other day. So when I went with friends to the Juarez airport to drop one of them off, and entering El Paso got asked to pull into the secondary inspection area, I was afraid my freedom was about to come to a close. But no, they were probably just profiling me because of the long hair and black clothing. The crossing from Palomas today was no hassle at all.

The thin-leaf yuccas in and around the arroyo have been sending up new stalks for about 2 weeks now. I have to resist the temptation to grab the free asparagus, though, because I'll have a lot more food if I wait for the blooms and fruits. I've got to get back into the mountains and check for the thick-leaf yucca fruits, which are supposedly sweet, like dates or bananas. I've been slacking off; I meant to go camp in the mountains at least one night a week, and I haven't been.

Rigged up a battery eliminator for my new Ryobi reciprocating saw today. Worked like a charm. Since I didn't buy a battery, had to search on the web for a picture of one so I could see which terminal was positive and which negative. Not that reverse polarity would necessarily have hurt it, but it might have. Works great on 12V even though it's designed for 18. Gotta rig a table for it to make cutting steel-belted tires easier. They'll make good sandal soles and brakes for my HPVs. [comment]


Got my first rabbit with my new Remington AirMaster 77 yesterday afternoon. I didn't install the scope on it because I want to use it at times when a scope is useless: like sundown, sunup, and moonlight.

In my dream the night before last, it was like I was an actor in a low-budget movie rather than in an alternate reality. I arrived with other recruits but the sergeant (who looked a lot like Anderson) was grumpy, and said "The jet's full". I just smiled and said "That's OK, I'll wait for the next one." He didn't like that reply for some reason.

Next thing I remember, I was at the destination, a huge one-story building. I got distracted and lost sight of the other group which had walked in ahead of me. I didn't see where they had gone, so headed towards the nearest office. Suddenly, the bag attached to my wrist started pulling me, sliding across the tile floor, to the other end of building. Doors opened automatically just before I smashed into them. Eventually I coasted to a stop, and there was General Bob, smiling his big old cheshire-cat grin. There was another guy in the office, getting printouts from a mainframe on cash-register sized thermal paper with Sandy's real name on it every couple of inches. That's about when I woke up.

In last night's dream I was carrying my daughter to her mother's house. I don't remember what the mother looked like but the daughter was a beauty. [comment]


Got a dove tonight, to add to the frozen seafood from Peppers in a stir-fry with rice cooked up by my neighbor. Three of us feasted on the result, and it was awesomely good.

Gonna try sleeping in my hammock again tonight. Last night got too cold, so will add more layers. [comment]


Had a close call in Peppers supermarket in Deming today. Blissfully unaware, I wore my sidearm in, and loaded my shopping cart with onions, dried mangos, frozen seafood medley, and -- you guessed it -- beer. Kona Pipeline Porter and Red Hook ESB, to be precise. Took my shopping cart to the checkout area, and my old buddy Ernie, cop turned store manager, was manning an empty register. First thing he said after returning my greeting, was "I can't sell you the beer". "Why not?" I asked. He said it was illegal, and in fact, my being armed inside the store was illegal. I didn't believe it, but didn't want the SWAT team coming after me either, so I dropped it. Came in later without the pistol, after my ride picked me up, and got my beer. Once I got home, I looked it up, and seems I was right. And if there's a federal law against it, the New Mexico constitution seems to indicate that a federal agent would have to be on the premises to enforce it: "No municipality or county shall regulate, in any way, an incident of the right to keep and bear arms."

Anyway, I wasn't hauled off to Gitmo as the Peppers Terrorist, thank goodness. I get to continue living my crazy life of true freedom for another day, maybe.

I recounted the same incident on the Columbus Village Voice forum. You might want to check it out. [comment]


Am I the only one who thinks pastor Steven Anderson's beating was ordered from higher-ups after his embarrassment of the agency back in February? Note that I'm no fan of this guy's religious views, and it seems he's such a stubborn jerk that he's going to get himself killed by these jackboots before he gets a clue. But watch these videos all the way through, especially the long, boring one. Understanding the behavior of these thugs is important: see how they reframe everything Anderson says and does in their own context. They can't for a second accept that his viewpoint has any validity. They are in charge and he must obey, or else. You have no rights within 100 miles of the border; the Constitution is suspended. Pretty goddamned scary.

Oh, and Steven, Judaism is not the religion of Antichrist; animism is. In case that's on the quiz when you get to the Pearly Gates. On the path you're headed, you're likely to get there long before I do, our relative ages notwithstanding. [comment]


A lot has been happening lately. Friday I got a dove which, when added to my rabbit stirfry leftovers and some rice, made two more meals, finishing another workweek with minimal food expense. But today I had to dip into my canned food because I spent almost my whole paycheck on my projects, leaving none for food and beer.

I heard that if you cut off the top 3/4 inch or so of a sprouted onion and plant it, it will grow roots. I'm trying it.

I learned how to make popcorn on a woodstove, and it is really good. I plan to write up a howto soon.

Sun Valley Hardware in Deming got 26-inch Amerityre solid foam tires back in stock. They're only about $20 each, but unlike the more expensive Nu-Teck tires, they don't fit the rims. I could force on the 16-inchers with the flat end of my crimp terminal pliers, but not this one. I'm going to see if riding on it will seat the stubborn bead.

I got longer lagbolts, 1/2 x 10 inch, today at Home Depot and successfully slept in my hammock strung between two 4-foot metal poles supported by 1/16" aircraft cable. That's for another howto.

Las Fuentes on Donaphan north of Country Club Road, by the Goodwill store, has a $1.99 breakfast special with chips and salsa. Good deal and friendly service.

The Hennessey Hammock would make a great sail, judging by the way it caught the wind yesterday. I'll have to test it on one of my HPV designs. [comment]


Two rabbits today, that's enough. Having a second beer, no point in trying again after the second one anyway.

I was edibility-testing a "weed" growing outside my neighbor's house, but found it today in a book: "sand peppergrass", another wild mustard. So now I know it's edible, no point in eating a whole 1/4 cup of the stuff. I planted some in my yard, hoping it will take off and spread before the rabbits discover it.

My oat options keep going down, down, down, but what the hell, if they expire worthless in 72 days I'm only out a few hundred dollars. But if, as I believe and hope, July oats climbs to $4.00+, I'll make at least $10,000. Of course, that's not money to most people, but it will buy me a few more solar panels and a few years worth of grain, which is all I will likely need to survive the coming storm. [comment]


A few days ago I built the rabbit trap I'd heard about, just a piece of big pipe with one end barred (in my case, with the grill part of my smoking grill). I put a big pad of spineless prickly pear in it, but no takers yet. The idea is that, once they go in, they don't know how to back out.

Went to Deming today, and had the chance I'd been practicing for at the Border Patrol checkpoint. The agent, a smiling cherubic-faced guy with a Spanish accent, asked me if I were a US citizen. What follows is pretty much verbatim, typed into my iPod Touch just moments after the incident: "Yes, I am". "Where are you going?" he asked. "Deming", I said, not fully on guard at that point. No matter, it was obvious where I was going anyway... no harm done. "What are you doing there?" he responded, as he was walking towards the back of the bus, making sure there were no illegals hiding under the seats. "That's not your business", I stated calmly. "What did you say, sir?" he said as he walked back towards me. "That's not your business, and you know it", I continued without raising my voice, and looking him straight in the eyes. Smiling as he exited the bus, he said "Just asking", as if it were a joke. Or a game, a game of "let's see how much I can abuse my authority without someone questioning me". Let me tell you, it felt really good. More of us need to put these arrogant assholes in their place, more often.

As I was sitting in the park in downtown Columbus waiting for the bus, I tasted what I thought was "pepper grass", a local "weed" related to mustard. Mustard, all right! Excellent strong taste. I ought to find a way to grind this stuff into wasabi, and serve rattlesnake sashimi at my shebeen. [comment]


Health seems back to normal. Symptoms never got any worse than a dry, scratchy feeling in the back of my throat. My immune system kicks ass! Yay macrophages!

Got a little rain yesterday evening. Maybe that'll trigger some blooms. Still today it's looked like rain over the Floridas.

Scored a nice ceramic crock at Manny's today for $5. Wanna make some sauerkraut. [comment]


I've been fighting some uO (microorganism) that's been in the back of my throat since Tuesday morning. 60 hours later it hasn't gotten noticeably worse, so maybe I'll get off easy. However, my stool had bright red blood in it today, which my nurse neighbor said meant it was most likely rectal, not internal. Those damned UFOs, I guess, with those metal probes. All that technology and they can't use a little vaseline?

Waiting for a good rain to put the creosote in bloom. Steep the flowers, leaves, and seeds in boiling-hot water, leave overnight, and drink up to 4 cups a day for a liver cleanse.

Got another rabbit after sundown. He just sat in plain sight less than 10 yards away, and the first BB dropped him. I hadn't anticipated such good fortune, so picked up a pound of shrimp down in Palomas today and threw it into the stew. No regrets. [comment]


So you can't sprout pearled barley. Damn. Well, no worries, I'll add it to the stew.

A picture of a pump replacement came to mind on awakening: a bucket train instead of a pump. The buckets collapse on the way down empty so almost the full size of the casing pipe can be used.

Just before that, in a dream, as if in a movie, I was seeing people programmed to respond hypnotically to certain voices. Then when I felt my chest constricted, I knew I was being controlled, and my mind was busy trying to figure out where my body actually was when a second constriction woke me up. It was taking place in a Wal-Mart outbuilding of some kind directly adjacent to some sort of border fence. [comment]


On my 2nd beer after a hike into Rascon Canyon. I'm exhausted. The gate that until recently just said "NO HUNTING" now has a "NO TRESPASSING" sign with C. May's name on it. I don't know if that's Cliff or Claire. I'll have to ask around, because I want permission to use that road. It's my nearest access into the mountains.

I wanted to find out if I could get to the Politically Incorrect Spring by another route, but either I took a wrong turn or it's just farther than I was ready to hike. The other reason for the hike was to see if the banana yucca was fruiting yet. It hadn't even bloomed. The Florida mountains are at least a month ahead of the Tres Hermanas, due to the rain they get. I did get an awesome photo of a red flower I'd never seen before, though. I'll post it somewhere eventually if I don't space it out. And I found some more ruins that could serve as shelter. [comment]


The gods delivered me another rabbit this afternoon. A quail has been acting strangely the past few days, sitting in a mesquite tree and making a racket. I got one clean shot at it today but missed. It's almost too beautiful to kill anyway unless I'm starving and there's no other choice. [comment]


Just before it got too dark to see, the gods sent me a rabbit only a few yards away. The first BB knocked it down, and two more BBs later it was on its way to my frypan. I'll probably eat the organ meats for breakfast tomorrow before a trip to El Paso. [comment]

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