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


this has been said already many different ways, but AFAIK this is uniquely my own: if you don't trust me with guns, I don't trust you with power. this is for you, Diane Feinstein, Barbara Boxer, Jared Huffman, and everybody else wielding political power including Petaluma's Mayor David Glass. all wannabe tyrants want a disarmed populace, and though I'm not going to "affirm the consequent" I am going to assume the consequent rather than have to assume the position. [comment]


the Ethereum blog is where the ideas presented in the whitepaper are being fleshed out and expanded upon. testnet launches tomorrow, maybe time to expend a few neurons towards understanding this new innovation. [comment]


fixed xacpi.py to get rid of the icon images and generate the battery icon directly, using code found at activestate.com. much happier with this, and it looks better too. [comment]


trying to get an idea of how my scrypt mining script speed relates to bogomips and to benchmarks at cpubenchmark.net. answer: not so much. I get anywhere from 15.4 hashes per second per benchmark-rating on my netbook with an Atom N2800 (benchmark 651) to 39.8 with an Athlon X2 Dual Core 5600+. so I guess the only real way to know how it will perform on a certain CPU is to try it. and the cheapest way I know to do that is with the Amazon cloud, if indeed it emulates the CPU speeds reliably.

bogomips calculations were even worse, won't bother mentioning them. doesn't say "bogo" for nothing. [comment]


found a different amaranth growing in the dunes of the El Mogote peninsula yesterday. leaves look similar to those of the species that grows along the roads, but thicker and maybe more bitter. [comment]


walked into the desert north of town again, looking for 3 things: a place to nap, the lush green area I noticed last time, and a damiana plant. the first was relatively easy: in a place with lots of discarded tires and other junk, I put a small tire inside a huge tire, and threw a cracked plastic cistern cover on top of that: instant recliner, stuck of course in the reclined position. the green area was nowhere to be seen: probably it dried up in the interim. no sight of the mysterious damiana either. but I did catch a Passiflora in bloom. should post the photo to Facebook later.

on the way out, I saw the start of a trail, formed naturally by sandstone, and followed it up and along the hillside for a half mile or so. there was some chainfruit cholla, and I rubbed the spines of a fruit off in my hands and ate it. on the way back along the malecon I saw a couple of large eels as I approached the molinito, and a ways past that was a young Mexigeek with a hexicopter. he was going to give it one more flight but both his battery packs were low.

sitting in Cafe Gourmet now, having spent about 20 of my last 60 pesos on coffee. hope I start making some real money again soon. [comment]


namespacing the Javascript sCrypt code I found in the wild pummelled the performance: 23 seconds vs 9 in the worst test case. wtf? now have to retrace my steps to see what exactly is the culprit. [comment]


just ran americancoind listtransactions again, and block 66557 still has only 18 confirmations. seems I'm always hitching my cart to a dying horse. [comment]


finally have myself a battery monitor so I don't get shutdown hard when my power comes unplugged. it's 85 lines of python but about 100K of icon images (yuck) on top of the bloated wxPython framework. someday I might learn enough about GUI programming to do it right, with no icon files and only using Xlib; but probably not. [comment]


had a weird dream last night. I time-traveled to the City of the Sun sometime in the early days. M was there, and he had a headful of brown kinky hair then. N was also there, inexplicably. I'm going to refer to their "dream" entities as DM and DN, and myself in the dream as DJ. well, DJ and DN went to see DM because he had just done his first of two major bombings (at least that's what I think it was) of one of the properties there, and DJ had gone back in time to ask him why. DJ worried that he might run into me, which was also inexplicable because I didn't go there for the first time until 2004 or so. anyway, DJ expected DM to just tell him to stuff it, but instead DM told him everything, most of which I've forgotten, but I do remember he said there was a lot of lead in the water. he said he had extracted enough of the lead to build two something-or-others. the city knew about the lead but only told people about the arsenic. anyway, and to me this was the key part of the dream, he also said there was some kind of citizens' response team organized and that when things all fell apart we would need to take over. DJ felt like he understood what he was talking about and that he'd find this grassroots organization and be welcomed into it. I'm not so sure. but if it doesn't exist, maybe I'll start one. [comment]


so Ixam host refunded most of my money. good on them. PaulVPS is still pretending that I'm imagining my CPU slowdown. could be they really don't know. but I guess I'll have to go full dedicated. whatever happened to blade servers? they used to be pretty cheap. [comment]


freaking finally got coinyecoin compiled on a fascist CentOS system, using instructions at bitcointalk.org and the command LDFLAGS="-L/usr/local/lib" make -f makefile.unix. and I have to run it using LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/local/lib ./coinyecoind. [comment]


so PaulVPS is taking its sweet time fixing the slow virtual CPU problems in my two servers with them. they seem to have deliberately misunderstood it as a network problem when I specifically told them what was wrong.

and Ixam never emailed me to let me know my server was ready. I had to log into their site to find out.

this is what happens when you use the bottom-of-the-barrel companies with the lowest rates, I know. but it doesn't stop me from bitching. [comment]


I posted some inaccurate information, I believe it was on Facebook, some time ago and recently learned my mistake. bitcoin transactions don't have a minimum transaction fee unless they're below a certain threshold for what's called "dust" and are assessed a penalty. that threshold, as I recall, is somewhere around BTC.00057 or so. so as long as you spend at least that amount, about 50 cents US as of this post, you can supposedly do so with zero fees. I don't have that amount to spend to test this, but can verify that I've made some zero-fee transactions with americancoin and dogecoin. [comment]


on awakening, a voice in my head -- my voice, I believe -- was singing Happy Birthday to me. weird. the motorcycle ride to Bangor in 1976? the Moonies in '77? no idea. my blog doesn't go back that far. [comment]


trimmed the fan palm, and on a whim tried one of the spiny branches as a hair brush, since the Chinese-made one I bought at Waldo's for about 2 bucks is already half destroyed after about a month. it works! and I have enough for maybe 3 years even if the thorns break off fairly quickly. [comment]


earlier tonight, Chris Lyspooner made the statement "Voting is an act that supports individuals using a facade of special powers to write legislation to use guns to take away my rights . Why do you want to point a gun at my head asshole ?"

I feel that this is accurate most of the time. however, in some (perhaps all) states and localities, there are ballot initiatives to undo such mistakes, such as the recent recalls of anti-gun legislators in Colorado, and a chance to vote against new taxes, as has happened several times since I moved to Sonoma County, California. I also believe that a candidate for office who is good, if imperfect, makes a good case to vote for him (Gary Johnson or Ron Paul) than to refrain from voting and let a known evil entity such as Romney or Obama take office. Gary and Ron both pledged to balance the budget immediately, not 30 years down the road, and both are strong Second Amendment advocates. that right there puts them on the opposite pole to the other two cats, even if they're all statists in the final analysis.

however, the anti-voters shouted me down (figuratively), still implying that my vote was holding a gun to their heads. I skimmed the top 3 Google hits for "voting is immoral" at Mises Institute, at C4SS, and at LRC, and saw nothing directly related to these scenarios. the anti-vote literature is aimed at those using the state as a hammer to pound the "other guys" into submission to one's pet project or idea. I'm advocating using the vote when you can damage the system itself. shouting past each other never helps. if I could free myself from the hour or two of drudgery every year, reading all the stuff on the absentee ballot and looking to see if any candidates are something less than evil, I would gladly do so. but I need more reason than "stop pointing a gun at me!", because I'm not. and I'm only interested in things that I can do to make a difference, not in things that I need to convince others to cooperate with. my vote against a new hammer or to revoke an old one, assuming it's counted (never a surety) is one of those things. [comment]


that torch I got the other day for about MXN130, that burns a butane/propane mix in MXN35 canisters, just couldn't make quite enough heat for brazing. so today I went out to Home Depot and got a MAPP/Oxy kit for about 10 times as much, MXN1300 or so. but it works. got my first mirror mount done, now to finish attaching the mirror and make some more. solar oven, here we come.

just realized where the rest of my carnitas went yesterday morning. left the back door open when I went upstairs for a shower, and when I came down, a dark shape slowly walked out. the neighborhood feral cats. they don't steal everything that isn't nailed down like the neighbor's dog did, but they'll take every scrap of meat and fat. [comment]


the sandwich and beer together were only MXN55. big win, that was a huge meal. next time though, got to remember to ask for Negra Modelo, they have that in bottles. [comment]


so the little toy horses at the Soriana mall, that work on the "inchworm" principle, have simple U-shaped pieces of wire hanging from the axle behind each wheel. it catches on the soft rubber wheel when there's backwards torque.

that cane I've seen around town and assumed it was corn: I now believe it's sorghum. just tasted some.

stopping at Carb's for a Tijuana-style torta. [comment]


new strategy for dealing with kahm yeast infestation of my sourdough: nothing. doesn't stink up the flavor as with cider, and doesn't affect the appearance as with sauerkraut. keep it simple, stupid. [comment]


I believe I finally have this working right. after finding out that the cryptocoin daemons make Skype calls too choppy, I've been fine-tuning this for a few days:

jcomeau@aspire:~$ cat $(which start_stop_coin_daemons.sh)
#!/bin/bash -x
if [ -z "$1" -a "$(pidof skype)" ]; then
elif [ "$1" ]; then
if [ "$action" = "stop" ]; then
for daemon in $(ls ~/bin/*coind); do
 if [ $check "$(pidof $(basename $daemon))" ]; then
  $daemon $action &
jcomeau@aspire:~$ crontab -l
* * * * * ~/bin/start_stop_coin_daemons.sh

for it to work, all the *coind binaries you want running, or symlinks to them, must be in $HOME/bin. [comment]


just got on 22A and asked; a friendly mariner told me that a fiber optic cable had been severed about 5.5 hours ago near Loreto. it was expected to be repaired in about 6 hours, which means any minute now it may return. great having alternate modes of communication! [comment]


only tried 2 hotspots so far, but based on those two I'd say La Paz is cut off from the Internet, and has been since I awoke from siesta a couple hours ago. hope it comes back. [comment]


my new favorite hot chocolate, ingredients:

  1. 1 tbsp. 100% cocoa powder, like Hershey's
  2. 1 tsp. organic coconut oil
  3. 12 oz. water

Microwave the water for a minute and a half. If modifying this recipe, microwave 1 minute per 8-oz. cup. Add cocoa powder and coconut oil. Stir until totally mixed.

I've gotten used to cocoa without sugar. you may need to add some. but the coconut oil gives it some sweetness and an immense richness. hope you like it as much as I did! [comment]


yes! another one! switched to AmericanCoin on my other PaulVPS host the other day:

proof-of-work found  
  hash: 0000000055b36f253b15353af7820f423782952a41843c7b2958e405abc2ee58  
target: 0000000069901a00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

block 59041 is mine! :happy dance: [comment]


almost noon in La Paz and the town seems to still be pretty much asleep. a lot of the local (non-tourist) bars were open all night, blaring out loud techno-beat music. vomit and red plastic cups were in the street about an hour ago when I got back to the casa. had menudo at the deli down on the malecon, 55 pesos plus 15 for coffee. not nearly as good as what's available back in Columbus and Palomas, but not barnyardy either so that's OK by me.

blocked my ex on Facebook. won't be responsible for her bad decisions, and am not willing to hear about them any more. [comment]

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