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


urban foraging report: piece of chicharrón con carne at Lola's, $1.55; corn chips someone left behind, a fig from the tree at Rainier and Maria, and some plums from the footpath along the creek approaching G & G, all free. scored some good deals on Estancia grass-fed beef and ground lamb. [comment]


so, got my 10 cu. ft. acetylene cylinder filled for $24 plus tax today at Praxair in Santa Rosa. on the way back, the bus developed an air leak and we had to wait a half hour or so for a replacement bus close to SRJC. finally got home to dinner at about 2000: carnitas and rice. yum. [comment]


mission accomplished. on the way back to Petaluma. [comment]


finally found the Carpobrotus fruit at the prime ripeness, here at Doran: it has a sweet, gooey center with hundreds of tiny seeds surrounded by the salty flesh of the plant. the dried fruits, which are way more numerous, are more salty than sweet, and have some spiciness. neither had the bitter flavor I always used to notice while eating the leaves. [comment]


finally finished rebuilding the freewheel on my Kinetic bike, Copout in Blue. however, the damned thing still doesn't work; it "freewheels" both directions.

cooking up some meatball sauce and will put the spaghetti on shortly thereafter. having a little Tin Roof zinfandel while it's cooking. tomorrow we start our little campout at Doran. [comment]


made popcorn tonight in the Bennington microwave popper I scored at a thrift store for about $3 some years ago, for the first time in a long time. this experiment was to use organic virgin coconut oil while popping, and add the butter and salt afterwards. came out excellent. ingredients: organic popcorn, organic extra virgin coconut oil, Kerrygold butter, sea salt. basically guilt-free popcorn. [comment]


guess I didn't have to buy a ticket. Caltrain accepts Clipper. $7 to Mountain View. [comment]


4th street sidewalk closed at Catalina; take 5th to Caltrain. [comment]


coffee: $1; slice of pepperoni pizza: $1; 2.5 oz bag of potato chips: $1. I'd forgotten how tasty and affordable a 7-11 breakfast can be. [comment]


the Petaluma public restroom on Putnam Plaza is open in the wee hours of the morning. I had expected it to be locked. however, the light didn't come on. luckily I have a headlamp. [comment]


going to the south bay tomorrow to pick up some welding supplies. anybody wanna meet for coffee or a beer? [comment]


wrote a Bash/ImageMagick script to generate "memes" (what I call netmemes) spoofing USA Uncut's "the opposite of what America does" blather. like those 4chan spoofs of the Brady Campaign's anti-gun propaganda, my idea is to outdo them in their socialist zeal, making graphics that they'll likely accept as their own, but hopefully will come back to bite them in the ass. my first, as generated by the script with no args, has Nicos Anastasiades bragging about seizing money from all bank accounts in Cyprus. it expects the image from Wikipedia to have been downloaded into ~/downloads/ before running. [comment]


voting is a hot topic. lots of anarchists eschew the whole concept, claiming that is simply perpetuates an evil system, but their arguments seem to fall apart when it comes to voting down new taxes and such. boycotting those votes has immediate consequences in the form of new state power.

but let's for the moment assume voting can help and decide how to vote effectively. whipsawing between the two evils of Democrat and Republican candidates has over time eroded all of our rights. both David Friedman and Thomas L. Knapp have mentioned the Socialist Party's "spoiler" strategy as being successful at getting both major parties to adopt their platform, plank by plank. I believe that can work for freedom-minded people as well; voting one's conscience, and making lackadaisical "allies" lose elections, will eventually pressure them into taking our concerns seriously. what else will? [comment]


add to my resume that I can overhaul a Pavoni espresso machine. the group gasket had hardened to where I basically had to chisel it out, and the snap ring had rusted solidly to the top of the group cylinder. I had to first pry out the brass washer and then pound against the remainder of the snap ring to free it, after liberally applying Liquid Wrench. finally the damned thing works without leaks. oh, and I had to clean both screens with a needle, punching out the scale and/or coffee grounds in every goddamned hole. probably less than it takes to fill the Albert Hall though. [comment]


one of the quickest and least resource-intensive ways to mitigate poison oak rash: soak a washcloth and wring it out. stick it in the microwave for 10 to 20 seconds on high, and quickly apply to the affected area. rapidly alleviates the itching. [comment]


so all this time I thought I had to wait until my Tracfone service was almost over before I could reorder and add 90 days. but after reading the FAQ I decided to see if the rollover were really true. ordered 3 60-minute cards from Pinzoo, entered the codes in one after the other, and now I have 275 service days remaining. cool! I won't have to worry about coming back from Mexico just to extend my service. and it cost less than $60 for 9 months. I use the phone so rarely, I don't even care about the minutes. [comment]


so after 24 hours of WD-40, the freewheel stopped binding. but shortly thereafter, it also stopped engaging; now it spins both ways. can't fucking win with this shit. got to move beyond bicycle technology; it sucks rocks.

almost fucking killed myself today tooling down B street with the drysuit in a box for shipping back to the seller. the box was in a big duffel, which started rubbing against the rear wheel. when I figured that out, I swung it up and over the handlebars. promptly I lost control of the bicycle and swung out into the traffic lane. luckily no cars were passing by, so I'm still alive, but my sandal was ripped off by the force of my foot striking the pavement, my left sock was ripped to shreds, and my big toe has a nasty scrape. [comment]


noticed this morning my balls were itching horribly and then realized that they hadn't been for a long time. remember when I was posting about it being a chronic thing? well, at some point it must have stopped; and due apparently to the urushiol contact dermatitis, it's back.

tried both camphorweed (just rubbing the leaves against the rash) and red pepper flakes in heated coconut oil today. the camphorweed, directly, didn't seem to do anything. the capsicum oil took a while to act, but did reduce the itching after maybe a half hour, and lasting for over an hour. worth more exploration IMO. [comment]


used the hot water treatment to relieve the itching. my successful (unchallenged) edit to the Wikipedia article could be one of the greater contributions towards mitigating human suffering I've managed so far. [comment]


tried cayenne pepper powder on my itchy contact-dermatitis skin. doesn't seem to help, so far. [comment]


for 3 days now the downtown Starbucks's ATT wifi hasn't worked on the Android browser; neither the Connect button nor the ad link worked, and the ad at the top of the page didn't even attempt to load. but Firefox was able to connect.

the poison oak finally hit; it's all over my lower back. resisting the urge to scratch, but at times I forget and give in. [comment]


another experiment today, less life-threatening than yesterday's. bought about 1.25 pounds of Progressive Pastures London broil, a bunch each of organic leeks, organic carrots, and organic broccolini, and a half pound of Kerrygold butter, all at Petaluma Market. cut the beef into big chunks and marinated it for a half hour in equal parts homemade kraut juice and soy sauce. then browned it in the skillet with butter, on all sides; added back the marinade, and topped it off with a bottle of Anchor California Lager. salted and peppered, heated it to boiling, then let it simmer on low for about 2.5 hours. partway into that, I added the chopped-up veggies along with the kraut that got into the mix with the juice.

I also made a loaf of whole wheat bread, my usual ad-hockery with the 6 vital ingredients: water, yeast, flour, salt, oil, and sugar. I first tried some of my xylitol but the yeast didn't seem to act on it, so I added some cane sugar. used butter for the oil. baked for a half hour at 350 Fahrenheit.

the stew smelled horrible for the first hour at least but tasted good. it started smelling better towards the end. all in all, it was a tasty and fairly healthy meal. and I've got leftovers to last me till tomorrow night. [comment]


hiked and climbed a cliff to get from Doran beach to the mouth of Estero Americano. got some photos if they came out, might post to Facebook later. [comment]

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