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


last night my "sensitive" tooth blew up into a full-on toothache. couldn't sleep for a few hours, then it finally calmed down. so far this morning it's been just a dull hint at pain. but I haven't tried eating yet. [comment]


kayaking was close to perfect today. saw thousands of fish, mostly common sunfish but probably 20 or more species in total. also spotted the head of a sea tortoise, and on the way back saw a weird-looking buoy that turned out to be a smallish (20 to 25 feet probably) whale shark, only about 300 meters off Costa Baja, almost on a line perpendicular to the big condo building. people pay good money to get taken out to see those critters, and we got a free fly-by. amazing.

also, just after seeing the whale shark, I could have sworn I saw some small flying fish that weren't just gliding, they were flapping their pectoral fins like hummingbirds flap their wings! I'd never seen that before. [comment]


got to remember that surface tension, not just displacement, can provide flotation. and logs float down a river, so wood should be able to float just fine without shaping it into a boat. [comment]


painful urination last night had me a little worried, but it was pain-free this morning. [comment]


left lower teeth are getting really sensitive, first noticed it when Michael and Diane treated me to an ice cream, but lately even a semi-cold beer causes some discomfort. [comment]


just took my 3rd .001BTC payout from earn.com for doing nothing except answer a few questions and joining a few Telegram groups. that's about 30 dollars in a few weeks. I could actually live on that.

today after the farmer's market, I found several pounds of heirloom tomatoes and canteloupe in trash bags on the curb. I took the best home. closest thing to dumpster-diving for food I've done here. going to have to do this every Tuesday and Saturday. [comment]


found the best way so far of cooking those cheap (usually under 20 pesos) imported 1/4 chicken pieces from Arámburo: pour some olive oil into my larger coated steel pot. put the chicken in, skin up. add salt, pepper, whatever on top. cook at lowest possible gas setting for at least an hour.

then remove, flipping it skin-down onto hot comal. pour the olive oil with juices into another bowl, and add flour and water to make a dry dough. knead until a good consistency. make bread out of this, baking on comal after skin is crispy.

best I've had so far. cooked all the way through finally, and had some nice crispy skin to munch on. plus, I've still got enough dough for my first 2 meals tomorrow. [comment]


also, did another experiment with the solar panel yesterday. this time I used a clear vessel so I could see better what's happening.

the hydrogen makes lots of tiny bubbles, like one of those fizzy tablets I used to use as a kid to make a soft drink out of a glass of water. but the positive probe mostly just sends off clouds of rust, despite being stainless steel. I see bubbles forming on it, but none of them grew enough to be released. I guess I need to use a carbon electrode on that end. [comment]


by changing my search parameters to the actual symptom (having to constantly spit or clear my throat), I believe I found the cause of my problem: an LPR, laryngopharyngeal reflux, which can be mitigated by a modified Mediterranean diet mostly consisting of whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. it is almost diametrically opposed to the Neanderthin diet I've been using as a guideline, but my actual compromise diet has some significant overlap with it. I might give it a shot; tonight I bought .6 kilos of tortillas at Ley for about 17 pesos and made bean burritos (with a little beef machaca... it's OK to cheat a little), and drank the low-alcohol Pacifico beer instead of the cheaper rum cocktails I've been making.

also, based on some articles I googled up on how to make yogurt without a starter, I tried a liter of milk with a few fresh green Tamarind fruits to see if it would work. after about 8 hours with a second heating at about the halfway mark it still hadn't turned to yogurt, so when I went to Ley I also picked up some Chilchota drinkable yogurt (they didn't have plain, so I had to get one of the garbagey fruit flavors) and heated it for a third time with some of the yogurt to provide the needed microorganisms. but maybe it wasn't necessary, because when I reached down to remove the tamarind pieces, there were globs of yogurt around them. I could have probably added a lot more tamarind and wouldn't have had to add anything else. [comment]


a common recurring dream I have is getting change from a vendor and not really looking at it -- and then later finding some or most of it is fake, not just plausible counterfeits, but things like grocery store coupons that don't even look like real money. and I kick myself for not checking.

well, I don't think that has ever happened to me in real life, but today after getting home from Arámburo I saw that the $20 peso bill was torn and had been taped. it was too late to take it back, I should have pointed it out right then and there. but I had to go to the bank anyway, so after transacting my other business I resigned myself to a "no" and asked anyway if I could change the broken bill for a new one. the teller did so immediately, no problem. and it's long been my understanding that according to Mexican law, taped notes are immediately rendered valueless. [comment]


finally found a way to stop webpages from hanging Xwindows and/or crashing my system. I went into Chromium's advanced settings and disabled Javascript on all sites, adding exceptions for just those sites I expect to be well-behaved. suddenly I don't have to be scared to click interesting-looking links in Facebook any more.

hauled out my PV panel again and dusted it off, experimented today with the electrodes in a cup of salt water. hydrogen bubbled off the white (negative) wire's end, but nothing visibly came off the black (positive) lead. but the water got darker, I'm guessing from chlorine. [comment]


this reference to ECC is, to me, so much more understandable than Corbellini's. different strokes for different folks I guess. [comment]


transferred all my crypto to my Coinomi wallets, and deleted the blockchain that was hogging most of my Debian64 partition.

but running either Chrome or Firefox has been locking up the netbook again. I don't know why. up until the day before yesterday I hadn't had any more such problems since the last kernel update. [comment]


tonight I made fried chicken right for the first time; before I've always undercooked it. I used a plain dry flour coating rather than batter, and I fried it for 10 minutes. perfect. plus I made two cheese empanadas and an unsweetened donut out of kneaded wheat dough. with a Pacifico Ballena, it made a satisfying meal. [comment]


just got another $12 and change in my Bitcoin account from earn.com, my 2nd cashout so far. this has got to be one of the best sites for making a few bucks doing practically nothing. far better than Mechanical Turk, that's for sure. [comment]


so that Bitcoin Private I pulled in with Coinomi's derivation path M/44H/0H/0H finally showed up, so I did the same on the other phone, created a "clean" Bitcoin Private account on each, sent the balance on the derived accounts to the clean accounts, and deleted the derived.

then I swept the 3 keys that showed a balance on my computer's printout of bitcoin-cli listaddressgroupings. done with that. [comment]


my latest hypothesis is that the banksters are all-in on the Bitcoin wagon now. that last drive down to $6000 on the 6th, followed by a same-day rebound to over $8000 before closing at around $7740, was their big buy-in. my guess is they're going to be hands-off for a while and let the market do its thing until they decide to crash it again. which may happen at $20k or $100k or who the hell knows. [comment]


harvested the potatoes I planted back in November. 3 very small tubers, not even enough for a side dish.

making small incremental gains in my paid work. I may not get paid in time to make the bills this month. not too worried, I can always take a credit card advance. only 3 more months till I start collecting Social Security.

no new paid responses from earn.com from those programming lists. the Airdrop Recipients and/or Digital Currency Investors lists are still the best. when my last round of 5 applications gets processed, I'll skip the rest of the tech lists and apply for some more cryptocurrency investor lists. [comment]


got accepted for all 5. applied for 5 more, and it looks like there are at least 30 more I'm qualified for. [comment]


to make more money on earn.com, you need to be on as many lists as possible. they don't make this particularly well-known or easy, though. you need to visit earn.com/lists, click [Apply] on each one for which you think you're qualified, and then wait for approval. they cut me off after 5, so now I'm stuck waiting. should have done this weeks ago.

I've been getting a $1 paid message every other day or so. if I could get like 10 a day I'd be doing great. work 15 minutes a day for 10 bucks? hell yeah! [comment]


finally. just took my first dump in over 72 hours. didn't even have the urge in all this time, I just had to force myself to sit there and relax until something came out. [comment]


this afternoon I made refried bean empanadas with the Chata brand Peruvian refried beans and the dough I had made earlier, with beef machaca added, for frybread.

the dough had sat for a few hours, and with the addition of flour to my comal, was easy to shape into a couple of flat rounds that I dumped some of the beans onto. then I closed them up and dropped them, one by one, into the hot lard.

the first one was delicious, although there was a little bit of dough that hadn't cooked. the second waited until dinnertime, and by then it was of course cooled down and not so attractive. fried foods really need to be eaten right away.

still, they satisfied my appetite and got me through the day. I'm getting better at living on closer to a dollar a day than $3 a day. [comment]


tried making chicken-fried "steak" this evening, making small patties out of ground beef, coating them in a simple flour-and-water batter, and frying them in lard. some came out well done, some raw, but I ate them all. hoping for the best.

upgraded my kernel this morning, and haven't had any crashes yet. it was getting so bad by yesterday that almost every time I clicked a link in Facebook or emails it'd lock up hard and have to be power-cycled, then booted into my Debian Stable partition for recovery before booting back into Debian Jessie, my primary partition. [comment]

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