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


2015-05-22-0159Z

shaving with my pocketknife is pretty much down, except I can't get a close shave where it matters most, in the "kissing zone", the moustache and chin areas. I still have to use a safety razor for that, and have the problem of unclogging it after each shave. finally came up with a solution for that: the same ear irrigator I use for wax removal. fill the bulb and squirt it against the clogged blades, it cleans them fairly quickly with a minimum of water. before it could take over a gallon, waiting for it to get hot then sometimes still couldn't get enough pressure from the faucet. now I just have to remember to take one of these with me on trips. [comment]

2015-05-21-0644Z

went to Whole Paycheck to make a custom trail mix for the race, something with a good blend of carbs, protein, and oils without lots of sugar. I settled on organic saltines, pecans, and hemp seed. we'll see how it works out.

taking along 3 dromedary bags, one for water and flotation, the others for flotation only. if these can keep my bike above water, I won't have to use my drybag as a float, which always causes it to leak.

pretty sure I won't have my low-tech recumbent ready in time, so looks like it's going to be Copout in Blue again this year. [comment]

2015-05-19-1850Z

two persisting pains: one in my right foot, in the tendon and/or muscles running from front to back of the foot, that spikes when I jog "front-strike". the second is my neck and/or upper back, which only bothers me when I make certain motions, that I've had since I swam in the river to test my drysuit a few days ago.

counting down the days to the race, it doesn't look probable I'll have a vehicle other than Copout in Blue, the old Huffy bike that has had numerous parts replaced since the last race. but there's still a chance. and I might come up with something to keep Copout above water without using my drybag as a flotation device, which does not work well at all and causes water to seep in every time. [comment]

2015-05-19-0158Z

had one of these samosas in Guerneville the other day. got to make 'em someday. [comment]

2015-05-18-0456Z

so it was over 3 miles, almost 3.5. that last blog entry was made at Studebaker's coffee shop in Kelseyville, wifi key mintmocha1, where I walked after the pain in my right foot got so bad I couldn't justify jogging any longer. got back to Petaluma late this afternoon and went to the market for dinnermaking materials. it was an unqualified success. I ate about 10 soaproot shoots which I grilled along with the steaks. they were somewhat bitter but quite palateable regardless. now I'm waiting for fsck to finish on my netbook, which died while sleeping over the weekend. oops, it just finished. time to get back into the Matrix. [comment]

2015-05-16-2231Z

took me about an hour and a quarter to get to Kelseyville from a campsite at Clear Lake. I jogged as far as the junction of Clark and Gaddy, which might make my 5K for the year. my tablet died of course so I can't verify. [comment]

2015-05-15-2122Z

changed out the rear wheel a few days ago, and today finished drilling an M6 stainless bolt with a 5/64 cobalt bit for a new rear brake bolt. Copout in Blue is ready for this year's race in case I don't make something better in this final week. [comment]

2015-05-14-0604Z

renewing my passport cost me just under $111.00 so far, before postage. the 6-page form was $0.61 at Staples as submitted over the web. their clerk couldn't find it for a couple minutes though. apparently web orders don't go into their normal queue so they have no record of it at the local store.

the photo, which my lady took for me and which I submitted to epassportphoto.com for their free download, cost me 29 cents to print, plus 2 cents tax for $0.31 total, I picked up at CVS pharmacy on my way back home. I had to wait about 10 minutes or more there, since the lady who works the photo department was doing something far more interesting than servicing customers who were waiting to pay, so two other clerks eventually had to take over the boring part of her job.

anyway, that beats the snapfish deal I blogged about a few years back, for which I had to pay postage and wait a few days. but that might still be the best bet back in the desert where I lived then. [comment]

2015-05-12-2208Z

#TIL one can pay the full trip on Sonoma County transit even if it means multiple buses: e.g., I can pay $3.05 on the 20 or 22 to go from Sebastopol to Petaluma, changing at the Santa Rosa transit mall to the 44 or 48. just don't want to lose the transfer. [comment]

2015-05-07-1829Z

in addition to the public restroom made private, two benches in Putnam Plaza have been removed; benches paid for in good faith by people in memoriam to loved ones or simply to do something beneficial for others. perhaps they are just off somewhere for repairs but I don't know. I sense a war on the local homeless population. [comment]

2015-05-06-0052Z

went up on the hillside while still light and rescued my chair. it's ready for tonight if I decide to camp out.

changed out my wetsocks for normal socks to give my feet a chance to dry out and breathe. but it seems possible to wear them for extended periods, and the baking soda kept athlete's foot fungus at bay. [comment]

2015-05-05-2020Z

I think there might have just been a glitch in the Matrix. I saw a cat drive by, then another cat that looked just like him. it may have been the same cat. [comment]

2015-05-05-1704Z

I'd forgotten that the freewheel is borked. jogged to the bus station and got on the 101. but it was the 101 south, and emptied my Clipper card. the driver gave me a transfer, with which I just got on the northbound bus, but I'm still out a few bucks. [comment]

2015-05-05-1517Z

quick update on the feet: the baking soda is working well. no stinkfoot and the constant moisture of the wetsocks has no apparent ill effect, in fact the cracked skin on the heels might be softening. but it just seems so unnatural and counterintuitive.

also, a few small grass stickers did get stuck in the fabric between the socks and the sandals.

I plan to bike to Sebastopol today for my orientation to Chimera. [comment]

2015-05-05-0352Z

went to my campsite about a half hour past sundown tonight. it was still light enough to see my gravity chair in the next site over, but not light enough to avoid the poison oak. so I left it until I can go back in sunlight. I also verified that my wetsocks resist being penetrated by grass stickers, and that I probably didn't get into poison oak the other night. [comment]

2015-05-04-2209Z

figured out how to save money eating, at Whole Foods of all places. in the bulk section they have a "lentil curry soup mix" in which the lentils are pre-cooked. all one need do is add to boiling water and let it sit for a few minutes. up front they have a water dispenser and a microwave, so voila! instant lunch for about 50 cents. I noticed also they have organic Mary's chicken livers for $3.99 a pound, which could be cooked the same way, but it would take a lot longer.

of course, that wasn't enough to fill me up, so I'm stuffing my face with much more expensive raw walnuts and pistachios. still, I should end up full for about $5.

cops just arrested two guys outside, guessing for shoplifting. there but for the grace of brains and a conscience go I. [comment]

2015-05-04-1555Z

in my dream I was in Russia but it was low-G. I could skate easily on hardwood floors. I thought a truck was coming at me across a rocky field but it turned out to be a cargo box full of produce, maybe a ton, simply tossed by the workers after filling.

my feet feel damp inside the wetsocks but I want to give the experiment a good chance so won't take them off just yet. [comment]

2015-05-04-0124Z

changed out the baking soda in my underarm guards after about a month of use, the last week or so without even showering. they work unbelievably well. I still want a better way of fastening them at the top, as these tarp clips I'm using now are too big, and cause me pain when a shoulder strap pushes down on them, but as far as function goes I can't complain.

also trying something new, baking soda in my new hydroskin wetsocks, in an effort to mitigate athlete's foot fungus and resulting stinkfoot. [comment]

2015-05-03-2312Z

forgot to note that 5/8" is also the size of a lot of heavy-duty fencing material. not sure yet how to tie that into the sculpture ideas.

Petaluma apparently no longer has a public restroom at Putnam plaza. while the sign still indicates it's there, a smaller paper sign on the door itself contradicts it and says it's a private bathroom for the patrons of Food Bar. and long after Food Bar was closed, I saw someone with a key, probably from one of the other food or drink venues, going inside. make it impossible for homeless to find a place to pee, and then you can lock them up for public urination. I hate that. [comment]

2015-05-03-2007Z

Petaluma, when the bars start closing Saturday night, can be a scary place. I was walking back up the hill after a pint at McNear's when a pickup truck of noisy drunk white guys hooted at me, "hey baby" and "how much for that Indian"? they crossed the intersection, but a few blocks later another car drove in behind me, on the wrong side of the road, with seemingly the same bunch of guys hollering "Indian". they followed me, harassing me for another block or two before they disappeared.

this morning I heard a quail doing its "wow! wow!" lookout call, then looked up the hill and saw two nice, plump quail waddling down the hill towards me. haven't seen the little buggers for 6 months. nice to be back among friends.

night before last I attempted to sleep in my little hideout on the hill. someone had taken my gravity chair, but left my luggage, saw, and jacket. I was able to stay reasonably warm for a while, but without the chair I couldn't get level so was too uncomfortable to sleep for long. I'll have to go look during the day sometime. I doubt it's gone from the hill, some schmuck probably took it to his own campsite.

yesterday I was poking around Friedman's and made a discovery: 5/8" threaded (and presumably unthreaded) rod fits almost perfectly into 1/2" galvanized (and black?) schedule 40 pipe. just requires some filing on the welds, for which I bought a rattail file. went out to the parking lot with a bunch of rod, pipe, and fittings like side outlet tees, side outlet elbows, and crosses (none of which I knew existed in threaded fittings), and 4 wheels with 5/8" bearing ID, and prototyped a simple vehicle in about an hour with no cutting. of course it doesn't steer, but it's indefinitely reconfigurable and I'll figure something out. [comment]

2015-05-03-0744Z

had two tacos de cabeza from the Tres Hermanos truck outside Copperfield's on Kentucky St. good, though a little pricey at $2 each. but if you're hungry late at night, it may be your best option downtown.

now having an Anchor Steam at McNear's. Eagles' One of These Nights on the jukebox. [comment]

2015-05-02-1928Z

a few well-placed cuts to the battery and battery compartment of my cellphone enabled me to install it backwards, i.e., with the contacts not touching, so I can carry the phone in my pocket without it accidentally turning on and automatically calling 911, which it has done many times. luckily I didn't cut into the lithium, or the other coffeeshop patrons would have had quite a show. [comment]

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