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 page generally sucks less using Mozilla Firefox. RSS Feed


2017-01-17-0233Z

some virus is attempting to take me down, but I've so far been thwarting it with probiotics: yogurt and brine pickled garlic and Brussels sprouts. but I've got to lay off the coffee, wine, and beer, something that's very difficult for me. been minimizing it, about the best I'm willing to do. but if the sickness catches up with me, I'm going to wish I'd done better. [comment]

2017-01-14-1834Z

Big Data: the domain of Hadoop, Pandas, and now Apache Spark, is something I've been studiously avoiding until lately, but my current #1 client offloaded me some work in it so I'm grudgingly getting caught up. apparently his client, a Data Scientist, is too busy sciencing data to write code. but it pays well, so I'm riding that learning curve to prosperity. or at least to covering next month's bills. [comment]

2017-01-11-2100Z

sea almond or, as I've referenced it here before as coast almond, is Terminalia catappa. I'm surprised I've never posted its botanical name before.

about to go on a nature hike and I've written down about 30 species I hope to encounter. if I could make a living as a nature guide, I'll drop programming for a living in a heartbeat. [comment]

2017-01-11-0559Z

for a couple of days I was remembering long conversations with a big, dark-skinned guy but couldn't remember a name, the subject of the conversations, or a place where these happened. I finally remembered earlier today that the face was that of a Petaluma post office clerk, the big Samoan-looking guy. but I never had any deep conversations with him. I must have dreamt it.

seeing a lot of Waltheria indica, the fake "marijuana substitute" sold online for big bucks with claims that it is "rare". it's all over the place down here. more than once I saw it and thought I'd found Damiana (Turnera diffusa) because the leaves and flowers are so similar.

the arroyo out by Home Depot is lush with growth right now. a lot of sandia, watermelon vines, growing, plenty of amaranth, "wild" tomatoes, and a lot more, some of which I knew and many I didn't. [comment]

2017-01-06-1941Z

maybe you noticed the other day that I couldn't get the silicone flap back into the snorkel I took apart. you can't push it through, you have to pull it, because pushing makes it compress, and then the tang won't go through the hole. but because the piece is curved, and only about 3/4" inner diameter, I couldn't get any pliers through from either the mouthpiece or the intake.

but yesterday it hit me: just bend the flap, push the plier tip in through the exit, and pull the tang through by pushing on the plier handles. so simple. it took about 2 seconds to get it once I tried in this manner.

that's the problem with most software I've seen. it's not thought through enough. developers go through all these hoops to create a special set of curved needlenose pliers, when if they come at the problem from a different angle, they could solve it with existing tools for a fraction of the cost. [comment]

2017-01-06-1717Z

I jogged up to the molinito today and the roadblock was gone. I don't know the story. the truckers could have given up; there may have been a negotiation; or the government could have sent police and/or military force to break it up. if that was the case, then it's far from over.

getting the banks to hand out 10 peso coins is like pulling teeth, but today I pulled 500 pesos worth. maybe going early is key.

I can see why they don't like handing them out. they probably don't get issued very many because they're no doubt expensive to make. and I'm sure they don't want people hoarding them, which in fact is my intent, but it never works out that way. I always end up spending them when my income isn't coming in fast enough. [comment]

2017-01-06-1137Z

very loud boom a few blocks away, followed by engines revving. hmmm... [comment]

2017-01-06-0256Z

truckers protesting, as I understand it, an increase in the price of gasoline have blocked ports and land routes in Baja California, and perhaps all of Mexico, I haven't investigated much yet. in any case, things could get ugly. I just went and stocked up on a couple months' worth of whole wheat flour, and will go out tomorrow and get some other staples. panic buying hasn't yet hit La Paz in any noticeable amount. [comment]

2017-01-06-0138Z

this Mexican-made hand truck shows some smart engineering. instead of grinding down 3/4 inch round steel stock to make an axle, as I did, they used 5/8" square stock. much less milling to do to reach the 17mm diameter of the most common bearings you find down here. then they turn the ends down to 1/2" and cut threads to hold the wheel on with a 1/2" nut and lockwasher.

I got better measurements to drill the holes in the next pulley: 69mm through the axle, and about 48.6mm point to point along the square. but the sun angle was already too low by the time I got around to it, so I'll have to drill it tomorrow. [comment]

2017-01-05-1740Z

all this time I've been pronouncing gmail as "jee-mail", but it just occurred to me that the Russian pronunciation of 'g' would be more apt. [comment]

2017-01-05-0532Z

watched First Blood again, and confirmed that Rambo's arm is still not in a sling after his jump off the cliff. so I guess I'll remain in this sector of the multiverse. I wish I could find someone who remembers it the way I do. it's just weird.

I can't figure out how this whole thing works. if I died in one timeline, how is it that the "I" that remains remembers how things were in that one? wouldn't this John Comeau only remember what happened in this branch of spacetime? [comment]

2017-01-05-0059Z

today I jogged the 4-miles-plus out to Home Depot, stopping along the way at that newish hardware store before Chedraui, and again at the Mega shopping center. at the hardware store I found really cheap welded 3- and 4-way corner braces for making structures out of 3/4" EMT, and really cheap, about 2 to a little over 3 dollars each. keeping those in mind for future projects. at Mega I dropped my spent batteries in the bin at Telcel, and then got the $20 peso (dollar) meal deal at Mega. today it was fried fish and red cabbage. the amount was equivalent to about 3 fish tacos, of course without the tortillas, so I got a decent meal for my dollar. at Homer's I got some stainless and zinc plated hardware and some other stuff for my vehicle and snorkel ideas.

my latest stab at an entry for the KGC is bolting pulleys to hand truck wheels. I found a bunch of cast pot metal pulleys, made in the good old USA, at Ace hardware for about $100 pesos each, so about 5 bucks. added some 1/4" couplings, and some longer bolts, and after a few botched attempts at drilling holes in the pulleys, have one attached. I'll see if I can do a better job on the other one tomorrow. since I found some longer spacers at the Depot, maybe I won't have to cut off the bulge with the set screw (I know there's a name for that part, but I'm blanking on it now) like I did with the first one.

I can use the pulleys both for propelling the thing by hand, kinda like a wheelchair, and if I can make a rig for a motor, can run a belt to run it by solar power. I have an idea for mounting my solar panel up top, but haven't tested it yet. I bought a bunch of 1/4" threaded rod to make custom U-bolts, because buying the premade ones is so expensive, and they're rarely the right size for what I want.

belt drive is superior in some ways because it's more tolerating of misalignment than sprockets and chains. I can use low-tech slippage instead of high-tech freewheels. and maybe the pulley can double as the disc for a disc brake.

also, when I reached the big arroyo before Walmart, I jogged it as far as the first crossing road. at the Home Depot end I found a couple of those wild tomato plants, the ones shaped like Roma tomatoes, that I've seen for years. debating whether to wait until one ripens and harvest it for seed, or just go with my trowel, dig one up, and attempt to transplant it. [comment]

2017-01-04-1529Z

my last 2 batches of boiled city water have tasted sweetish, nutlike. I don't know if it's something tainted from the city supply or leached from the plastic gallon container into which I poured it both times, still hot, after boiling. but when I switch back to RO water in a couple days, my liver will probably appreciate it. [comment]

2017-01-04-0439Z

"are you bringing any weapons?"

"of course not."

"you're not changing anything."

watching one of the Rambo series I've never seen. kind of funny coming from a proponent of citizen disarmament. [comment]

2017-01-03-0244Z

ah, so it can probably use other ports. thanks, Google.

I'm not ready to block the ports yet. right now, function over security. but once I get a good way to view the cams that is secure, gonna start tweaking the iptables. [comment]

2017-01-03-0221Z

OK, so I'm seeing some UDP traffic, but not nearly enough to account for video uploads:

03:23:29.885091 IP 192.168.13.102.51880 > 101.1.17.22.51880: UDP, length 44
	0x0000:  4500 0048 0000 4000 4011 f67f c0a8 0d66  E..H..@.@......f
	0x0010:  6501 1116 caa8 caa8 0034 0a5c 0107 caa8  e........4.\....
	0x0020:  c0a8 0d66 bd79 0a00 7271 c9ef 2f62 8027  ...f.y..rq../b.'
	0x0030:  6849 8cb1 769d be04 0000 0000 0900 0000  hI..v...........
	0x0040:  542f 85bf 9303 2f00                      T/..../.
03:23:29.887982 IP 192.168.13.102.51880 > 218.30.35.92.51880: UDP, length 44
	0x0000:  4500 0048 0000 4000 4011 6f1c c0a8 0d66  E..H..@.@.o....f
	0x0010:  da1e 235c caa8 caa8 0034 82f8 0107 caa8  ..#\.....4......
	0x0020:  c0a8 0d66 bd79 0a00 7271 c9ef 2f62 8027  ...f.y..rq../b.'
	0x0030:  6849 8cb1 769d be04 0000 0000 0900 0000  hI..v...........
	0x0040:  542f 85bf 9303 2f00                      T/..../.
03:23:29.888179 IP 192.168.13.102.51880 > 220.231.142.137.51880: UDP, length 44
	0x0000:  4500 0048 0000 4000 4011 0126 c0a8 0d66  E..H..@.@..&...f
	0x0010:  dce7 8e89 caa8 caa8 0034 1502 0107 caa8  .........4......
	0x0020:  c0a8 0d66 bd79 0a00 7271 c9ef 2f62 8027  ...f.y..rq../b.'
	0x0030:  6849 8cb1 769d be04 0000 0000 0900 0000  hI..v...........
	0x0040:  542f 85bf 9303 2f00                      T/..../.
03:23:29.888361 IP 192.168.13.102.51880 > 146.0.227.241.51880: UDP, length 44
	0x0000:  4500 0048 0000 4000 4011 f6a4 c0a8 0d66  E..H..@.@......f
	0x0010:  9200 e3f1 caa8 caa8 0034 0a81 0107 caa8  .........4......
	0x0020:  c0a8 0d66 bd79 0a00 7271 c9ef 2f62 8027  ...f.y..rq../b.'
	0x0030:  6849 8cb1 769d be04 0000 0000 0900 0000  hI..v...........
	0x0040:  542f 85bf 9303 2f00                      T/..../.
03:23:29.960728 IP 218.30.35.92.51880 > 192.168.13.102.51880: UDP, length 44
	0x0000:  4500 0048 6dcd 4000 7711 ca4e da1e 235c  E..Hm.@.w..N..#\
	0x0010:  c0a8 0d66 caa8 caa8 0034 ebf9 0207 caa8  ...f.....4......
	0x0020:  0000 0000 bd79 0a00 7271 c9ef 2f62 8027  .....y..rq../b.'
	0x0030:  6849 8cb1 769d be04 0000 0000 0900 0000  hI..v...........
	0x0040:  0000 0000 0000 0000                      ........
03:23:30.100237 IP 146.0.227.241.51880 > 192.168.13.102.51880: UDP, length 44
	0x0000:  4500 0048 2f89 4000 7411 931b 9200 e3f1  E..H/.@.t.......
	0x0010:  c0a8 0d66 caa8 caa8 0034 7382 0207 caa8  ...f.....4s.....
	0x0020:  0000 0000 bd79 0a00 7271 c9ef 2f62 8027  .....y..rq../b.'
	0x0030:  6849 8cb1 769d be04 0000 0000 0900 0000  hI..v...........
	0x0040:  0000 0000 0000 0000                      ........
03:23:30.171686 IP 101.1.17.22.51880 > 192.168.13.102.51880: UDP, length 44
	0x0000:  4500 0048 1396 4000 7511 ade9 6501 1116  E..H..@.u...e...
	0x0010:  c0a8 0d66 caa8 caa8 0034 735d 0207 caa8  ...f.....4s]....
	0x0020:  0000 0000 bd79 0a00 7271 c9ef 2f62 8027  .....y..rq../b.'
	0x0030:  6849 8cb1 769d be04 0000 0000 0900 0000  hI..v...........
	0x0040:  0000 0000 0000 0000                      ........
03:23:30.878257 IP 192.168.13.102.51880 > 101.1.17.22.51880: UDP, length 44
	0x0000:  4500 0048 0000 4000 4011 f67f c0a8 0d66  E..H..@.@......f
	0x0010:  6501 1116 caa8 caa8 0034 a90a 0107 caa8  e........4......
	0x0020:  c0a8 0d66 bd79 0a00 8966 00a1 e65c a176  ...f.y...f...\.v
	0x0030:  a177 ade0 57a1 be04 0000 0000 0900 0000  .w..W...........
	0x0040:  542f 85bf 9303 2f00                      T/..../.
03:23:30.878457 IP 192.168.13.102.51880 > 218.30.35.92.51880: UDP, length 44
	0x0000:  4500 0048 0000 4000 4011 6f1c c0a8 0d66  E..H..@.@.o....f
	0x0010:  da1e 235c caa8 caa8 0034 21a7 0107 caa8  ..#\.....4!.....
	0x0020:  c0a8 0d66 bd79 0a00 8966 00a1 e65c a176  ...f.y...f...\.v
	0x0030:  a177 ade0 57a1 be04 0000 0000 0900 0000  .w..W...........
	0x0040:  542f 85bf 9303 2f00                      T/..../.
03:23:30.879865 IP 192.168.13.102.51880 > 220.231.142.137.51880: UDP, length 44
	0x0000:  4500 0048 0000 4000 4011 0126 c0a8 0d66  E..H..@.@..&...f
	0x0010:  dce7 8e89 caa8 caa8 0034 b3b0 0107 caa8  .........4......
	0x0020:  c0a8 0d66 bd79 0a00 8966 00a1 e65c a176  ...f.y...f...\.v
	0x0030:  a177 ade0 57a1 be04 0000 0000 0900 0000  .w..W...........
	0x0040:  542f 85bf 9303 2f00                      T/..../.
03:23:30.880060 IP 192.168.13.102.51880 > 146.0.227.241.51880: UDP, length 44
	0x0000:  4500 0048 0000 4000 4011 f6a4 c0a8 0d66  E..H..@.@......f
	0x0010:  9200 e3f1 caa8 caa8 0034 a92f 0107 caa8  .........4./....
	0x0020:  c0a8 0d66 bd79 0a00 8966 00a1 e65c a176  ...f.y...f...\.v
	0x0030:  a177 ade0 57a1 be04 0000 0000 0900 0000  .w..W...........
	0x0040:  542f 85bf 9303 2f00                      T/..../.
03:23:30.952986 IP 218.30.35.92.51880 > 192.168.13.102.51880: UDP, length 44
	0x0000:  4500 0048 7f74 4000 7711 b8a7 da1e 235c  E..H.t@.w.....#\
	0x0010:  c0a8 0d66 caa8 caa8 0034 8aa8 0207 caa8  ...f.....4......
	0x0020:  0000 0000 bd79 0a00 8966 00a1 e65c a176  .....y...f...\.v
	0x0030:  a177 ade0 57a1 be04 0000 0000 0900 0000  .w..W...........
	0x0040:  0000 0000 0000 0000                      ........
03:23:31.095703 IP 146.0.227.241.51880 > 192.168.13.102.51880: UDP, length 44
	0x0000:  4500 0048 4492 4000 7411 7e12 9200 e3f1  E..HD.@.t.~.....
	0x0010:  c0a8 0d66 caa8 caa8 0034 1231 0207 caa8  ...f.....4.1....
	0x0020:  0000 0000 bd79 0a00 8966 00a1 e65c a176  .....y...f...\.v
	0x0030:  a177 ade0 57a1 be04 0000 0000 0900 0000  .w..W...........
	0x0040:  0000 0000 0000 0000                      ........
03:23:31.156689 IP 101.1.17.22.51880 > 192.168.13.102.51880: UDP, length 44
	0x0000:  4500 0048 1faf 4000 7511 a1d0 6501 1116  E..H..@.u...e...
	0x0010:  c0a8 0d66 caa8 caa8 0034 120c 0207 caa8  ...f.....4......
	0x0020:  0000 0000 bd79 0a00 8966 00a1 e65c a176  .....y...f...\.v
	0x0030:  a177 ade0 57a1 be04 0000 0000 0900 0000  .w..W...........
	0x0040:  0000 0000 0000 0000

the IP addresses are all registered to Chinese entities. two were APNIC and one was RIPE.

jcomeau@aspire:~$ whois 218.30.35.92
% [whois.apnic.net]
% Whois data copyright terms    http://www.apnic.net/db/dbcopyright.html

% Information related to '218.30.32.0 - 218.30.55.255'

inetnum: 218.30.32.0 - 218.30.55.255 netname: CHINANET-US-POP descr: Chinanet POP in American descr: 201 S. Lake Ave. Suite 604, Pasadena, CA 91101 country: CN admin-c: CH93-AP tech-c: CH93-AP mnt-by: MAINT-CHINANET changed: hostmaster@ns.chinanet.cn.net 20020221 status: ALLOCATED NON-PORTABLE source: APNIC

so it looks like all I need to do is block outgoing port 51880 to stop it, unless it has a sneaky backup mechanism (such as disguising the uploads as DNS queries or something). [comment]

2017-01-03-0208Z

enabled jffs2 on the old Linksys and tried to install tcpdump. 650KB, what? not enough space. so I extracted the ipk file, which is just a tar.gz, and gzipped the binary, and saved it in /jffs/usr/lib, along with the libpcap libraries that did install.

then I created /jffs/usr/sbin/tcpdump:

#!/bin/sh
[ -f /tmp/tcpdump ] || zcat /jffs/usr/lib/tcpdump.gz > /tmp/tcpdump
chmod +x /tmp/tcpdump
exec /tmp/tcpdump "$@"

maybe ugly, but it works. of course you have to chmod +x the above script as well.

now to track down how the Sricam/Floureon cameras are uploading the video data. [comment]

2017-01-01-0045Z

well, I've already started drinking as of about an hour ago, so it's safe to say I didn't and won't accomplish any of my goals for 2016. I didn't pay down my debts any significant amount; I didn't get a "kinetic sculpture", or really any human-powered vehicle built; and kybyz is still unusable for anybody but me.

however, I did manage to live on my $9/day budget, with $3 each going towards food, regular non-food (COSF dues, server fees, gym membership, etc.), and miscellaneous (supplies, tools, personal non-food) expenses. and I wasn't a burden on taxpayers, only on my long-suffering lady.

not sure I'll make any goals for the upcoming year. I never seem to accomplish them anyway. maybe I'll just keep my list of projects, and hack away at them as I find the ambition. [comment]

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