Journal Blog - Most Recent Posts

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2/1/2014 - Delayed: Eryss astrology software
11/4/2013 - No good eclipse pics; restarted old Twitter account; new Tumblr account; news of Astroblahhh Desktop
6/24/2013 - More eBay Items
6/10/2013 - Started a forum and a Tumblr blog
5/28/2013 - 4 eBay Items
6/6/2011 - July 1st: Upcoming solar eclipse/new Saros series & possible release date of Astroblahhh Desktop v2.0


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Delayed: Eryss astrology software
Saturday, February 1st, 2014
04:51:04 GMT

I did get started preparing the Windows AutoHotkey* version of the Eryss astrology software for release, but, it's still not ready, so it's going to be late. Sorry about that.

Hopefully I'll get it done sometime in February.

Edit, Feb. 5, 2014, 8:05 AM EST: I don't know if I can even manage to do that, and I don't even really want to try anymore.

I've been having an incredibly difficult time trying to concentrate on it, probably mostly because I still feel so uneasy about my situation. I'm tired of living in continual fear because of having little idea if or how I can ever make enough money to support myself.

And, though maybe releasing free astrology software would somehow help my situation, there are probably a lot of other things I could do that are more certain to help me.

Also, though some people think announcing things publicly is a good strategy for putting pressure on yourself to increase the likelihood that you'll achieve goals - I think for me, announcing my plans and made-up deadlines actually makes things harder.

I don't like feeling burdened with any feeling of obligation to do what I said I was going to do, and I think it actually made me procrastinate and avoid it even more than I already was.

So, it's probably better if I just spontaneously do whatever without announcing things in advance.

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Wednesday, January 29th, 2014
04:44:20 GMT

I still haven't even started cleaning up the Windows AutoHotkey* version of the Eryss astrology software.

But, I think it's still entirely possible I will get that done by February. I feel like trying.

Recently, I found this amusing page: Review of Astroblahhh.Com

Quoted from there:

Review of

Generated on Nov. 10, 2013, 4:12 a.m. is ranked #944047 in the world according to the one-month Alexa traffic rankings and 2 out of 10 according to Google Pagerank. The site was founded 141 months ago. has the potential to earn $564 USD in advertisement revenue per year. If the site was up for sale, it would be worth approximately $3337817 USD. is rated 3.6 out of 5.0 by StuffGate.

I got a good chuckle out of the idea that Astroblahhh.Com would be worth over $3 million dollars if sold. :-)

I wonder how it got the idea that Astroblahhh was founded 141 months ago - 11.75 years ago, or a few months into 2002. Actually, I did start Astroblahhh.Tripod.Com in July or August 2002. But, I didn't buy the Astroblahhh.Com domain name until May 2006.

The Alexa ranking above seems probably mistaken. Anytime I've checked Astroblahhh's Alexa ranking (usually only several times a year), the ranking has never been better than around 5 million.

Currently, Astroblahhh's Alexa ranking is probably the best I've ever seen it: 4,999,192.

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No good eclipse pics; restarted old Twitter account; new Tumblr account; news of Astroblahhh Desktop
Monday, November 4th, 2013
00:36:48 GMT

This morning, I was outside waiting for the solar eclipse almost the entire time it was ongoing. The sun finally emerged from behind the trees around maybe 7 AM. I took numerous pictures, but, the sun doesn't look eclipsed in any of them. None of them are interesting enough to post right now.

Around perhaps 7:05 AM, I and a relative even got a piece of paper, poked a pinhole through it, and shined the sun through it onto another paper, but, even that didn't look eclipsed.

On Oct. 23rd, I restarted my old Twitter account: Apollia.

And on Oct. 16th, I started a second Tumblr account:


The difference between that and Eryss.Tumblr.Com is - Apollia.Tumblr.Com is more wordy, and I might someday post personal things like pictures I took, and there, you can even submit questions and other things to me, for possible posting.

Eryss.Tumblr.Com is less wordy, and more devoted to mostly visually nice/nifty things, though sometimes I reblog amusing quotes there too, for the sake of variety. And sometimes music.

I'm currently totally obsessed with updating Astroblahhh Desktop. I've been making it into a PHP-GTK* desktop app (which will run nicely using Astroblahhh GLMP-GTK or Astroblahhh PH-GTK)... while also keeping it fully functional as software that runs in your web browser, with surprising success.

Someday, I will probably use massive parts of it in a new CMS (content management system) I might write someday. (Or, perhaps instead I'll call it a WRS - website revision system.) Once that's done, maybe I'll update my websites more often.

Or maybe I should just install an existing CMS (or WRS). I checked out a lot of different ones a while back, maybe early this year, and I think the two I found most interesting were Concrete5* (seemed pretty intuitive and user-friendly as well as powerful) and ModX* (complicated/confusing, but interesting).

I tried to figure out Drupal*, but, unlike ModX, I found it complicated/confusing in a way I found frustrating rather than intriguing. But, Drupal is so widespread and popular, I suppose it might change a lot and become more appealing to me someday, so I will eventually check out newer versions.

Someday, I should release the stable version of Astroblahhh Desktop which I haven't significantly changed since maybe Sept. 2012. I'll call that Astroblahhh Desktop 2.0. Then, the hybrid PHP-GTK/web version will be Astroblahhhh Desktop 3.0.

Astroblahhhh Desktop 3.0 is already far better-designed than the previous versions. It's a lot more object-oriented now, and I find it a lot easier to understand.

The redesigns were inspired in great part by what I learned from the wonderful programming book Code Complete* (2nd edition) by Steve McConnell. The redesigns were also inspired by how horrendously unmanageable Astroblahhh Desktop was getting as it grew.

Astroblahhh Desktop prior to 3.0 is a lot like a big ball of mud* and spaghetti. It's actually amazing it works as well as it does. (Praise be to the Flying Spaghetti Monster*?) Astroblahhh Desktop 2.0 is horrible under the hood, but works well enough that I've been mostly happy to continue using it until Astroblahhh Desktop 3.0 is ready to use.

The website, and the PHP-GTK2 Demystified ebook sold there, have been invaluable resources.

Without them, I probably would have been stuck in the Stone Age, barely able to figure out how to do anything with PHP-GTK.

Another incredibly useful thing has been the free, libre, open source concept mapping software VUE (Visual Understanding Environment)*.

Even though Astroblahhh Desktop 3.0's object-oriented design is easier for me to understand, it's still easy to get lost in, and maintaining a VUE map of its parts, functions, etc. as I code has been giving me a very useful and detailed overview.

Still another incredibly useful thing has been the free, libre, open source virtual machine software VirtualBox*. Running Astroblahhh Desktop inside a VirtualBox with no internet connection, I no longer am as paranoid about the possible privacy/security issues which Astroblahhh Desktop (and/or my server software configurations) might have.

But once the PHP-GTK version of Astroblahhh Desktop is done, I won't even need to run Astroblahhh Desktop inside a VirtualBox anymore. However, I will still probably keep running VirtualBox a lot anyway, because that's the best way for me to run my favorite code editor, Notepad++*, which is still for Windows only, unless I'm mistaken.

Frustrated with how convoluted Astroblahhh Desktop still is, I experimented a little with the renowned Emacs* editor to see if that might possibly help me, and I suppose it might, someday. It's another thing that's complicated/confusing to me in an intriguing rather than entirely frustrating way. But, I still don't feel like investing that much time/effort into learning about it, so, I've just been continuing to use Notepad++.

Yet another thing I've found helpful (but which you have to pay for) is MOG*, the online streaming music service. All you can eat music for about $5 a month (or about $10 a month if you need it on a mobile device, which I don't). It helps me code.

I think MOG might be the cheapest but most satisfying, highest-audio-quality way for me to hear an immensely larger variety of music than I've ever heard in my life. (Though I don't stay continually informed about music services and their respective quality levels and prices, so, I could be wrong.)

You might think YouTube* would adequately fulfil that craving of mine, but, actually, for years, I've avoided listening to much music on YouTube because I've often been unsatisfied with YouTube's audio quality.

I'm still probably pretty far from finishing Astroblahhh Desktop 3.0. I'll be surprised if I finish it before the year is over, but I hope I will.

Anyhow, I guess there's not much else I feel like saying publicly about my life, it's pretty boring.

Things are less bad financially for now, but I'll never be totally at ease until I figure out some way to reliably make adequate amounts of money. I hope I can figure that out someday. But, figuring that out (especially in this economy) is often difficult even for people who, unlike me, aren't shy, have no sleep issues, and who don't mind selling closed source stuff instead of (or in addition to) free/libre/open source stuff.

But, at least my chances are much better than they used to be, because I've come quite a long way since Sept. 2007, when I first started learning PHP.

Astroblahhh Desktop 3.0 will be the most easily-installed, and probably easiest to use version yet. So, perhaps people might actually use that version, and perhaps like it enough to donate or, better yet, buy something from me. (I still probably ought to look into selling physical items through sites like Cafepress*, Zazzle* and/or Lulu*, perhaps featuring some of my own abstract art, or photos.)

Astroblahhh Desktop 3.0 will also be some proof of my greatly-improved coding talents, especially when contrasted with Astroblahhh Desktop 2.0 and before.

And I'll be able to use parts of it in all sorts of different projects.

OK, that's all for now, I guess.

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More eBay Items
Monday, June 24th, 2013
16:24:30 GMT

Finally, more eBay items are for sale - now through my relatives' own account.

My family's eBay auctions

Actually, 3 of them are just those same collectible bed sheets by apparently well-known designers.

The new items that are currently up are Civil War-era photographs or "cartes de visites" (CDVs). More items will follow, such as probably jewelry, more photos, and perhaps more collectible sheets.

However, since eBay has major selling limits for newbie sellers, and I also have stuff of my own to sell, I'll probably be selling more stuff through my own account soon - both my own and relatives' items.

My eBay auctions

The little concertina fortunately got sold, although for much less than we hoped.

As usual, I welcome purchases of goods and services, and donations or microdonations.

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Started a forum and a Tumblr blog
Monday, June 10th, 2013
16:38:33 GMT

Well, the air conditioner problem is resolved now (as of Saturday, June 8th).

Walmart has a good return policy which even lets you return things to a different Walmart than the one you bought from, so, I was able to return the defective air conditioner and got all of my money back. Even the $19 for the 3-year warranty I bought was refunded.

Then, I got a working air conditioner from Lowe's - a slightly cheaper one ($159 instead of $164) by Frigidaire, with actually more BTUs - 6,500 instead of 6,000. So, that worked out well, at least.

But, unsurprisingly, I'm still plagued with money problems, and I'm not at all sure how to solve them, or even if I can.

Anyway, though - I started a forum over at Eryss.Com:

The Eryss.Com Forum

Here's the announcement post from Eryss.Com:

The forum has a section of boards for just my own items and services for sale, auction, barter, or donations. As I write this, it's empty, but, I guess I'll probably be adding to it soon.

I've been looking for an eBay alternative because I think eBay's 10% final value fees are too high. I finally decided to just create my own alternative.

Perhaps I'll put up something more elaborate in the future, like a customized version of the free/libre/open source online auction software WeBid, which is under the GNU General Public License.

But, that's not likely in the very near future.

I also started a Tumblr blog:


It doesn't have a specific theme, not even astrology. It will probably mostly feature trivial and/or humorous things.

As usual, I welcome purchases of goods and services, and donations.

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4 eBay Items
Tuesday, May 28th, 2013
07:07:33 GMT

I listed 4 items so far on eBay for my relatives.

Items for sale from xyzzy_2

At some point I'll probably list items of my own.

All there is so far is a little concertina and 3 collectible old bed sheets, apparently by well-known designers who I had never heard of.

The money from those will ultimately go to my family, but their sale will help me as well, since I live with my family because I've always been too poor to move out.

The empty socket remaining after having my tooth extracted is healing fine. Once I found that out last Wedneday, I felt comfortable enough buying an air conditioner.

So, at Wal-Mart, I got a 6,000 BTU Arctic King air conditioner. (Would've preferred a brand I'm familiar with, but, that's all they had, and it seemed like a waste of time, energy, and gasoline to search elsewhere.)

But, unfortunately, it turned out to be defective, similar to the problems described in this Amazon review.

It made my room bearable, but doesn't cool as well as my old 5,200 BTU air conditioner which broke used to. So, will have to return it sometime.

Been sleeping and eating poorly lately because of all the stress.

As usual, I welcome purchases of goods and services, and donations.

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Thursday, June 7th, 2012
04:30:17 GMT

Hello, world. I guess I'm finally going to start updating this site more often. (Which won't be hard to do - I just have to update more frequently than once every 5 months. But hopefully I'll do even better than that.)

As for what has been going on with me - well, this is as autobiographical as I wish to get. ;-)

Things are far from perfect, but on the bright side, some aspects of my life are in some ways better than they've been in years (or ever). Lots more time and energy now, and a bit more inspiration, among other improvements.

So, I'm much more likely to post useful and/or entertaining updates from time to time.

I hope everyone is doing well and sorry for neglecting this site so much. Thanks for visiting, and thanks to the few who have sent donations, that cheered me up a lot. :-)

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Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011
23:03:32 GMT

OK, I changed my mind. I guess I won't take a long vacation from updating this site.

I just would like to reiterate that donations are extremely welcome.

Edit, 8:06 PM. By the way - sorry, but Astroblahhh Desktop will definitely not be released on July 1st, because it probably won't be done by then, and even if it is, I ought to test it out for a longer period of time.

Edit, 6/23/2011, 8:25 AM. Edited some mopey stuff out of this post. I really ought to focus on productive and positive things instead.

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Saturday, June 18th, 2011
18:22:51 GMT

I just wanted to announce that I'm taking a long vacation from updating this website. (Except I might or might not release Astroblahhh Desktop in the relatively near future).

Perhaps if my situation improves, I'll feel like updating this site someday.

Donations and requests for open source, public domain software are welcome.

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July 1st: Upcoming solar eclipse/new Saros series & possible release date of Astroblahhh Desktop v2.0
Monday, June 6th, 2011
20:53:18 GMT

I made some progress with Astroblahhh Desktop, but it's still going to be a while before it's releasable.

I know I said "I think I'm going to avoid posting anything at all" until I finish something (like Astroblahhh Desktop, the AMODB, or some Perl scripts), but, I guess I'm not actually going to do that, since here I am, posting before I've finished anything. Why? I don't know, just a whim, I guess.

I guess I'll just avoid writing/posting anything that requires too much thought, or which seems too important to write hastily.

Anyhow, I recently read that the upcoming solar eclipse on July 1 is the start of a new Saros series, so, I thought it would be cool to release Astroblahhh Desktop around then, if I'm able to get it done that fast.

Two (totally non-astrological) links about the eclipse:

As for what the eclipse and new Saros series mean astrologically, I don't know. I just think it would be cool to accomplish something important (well, important to me, anyway) at the beginning of a new Saros series. :-)

The NASA link above says: "Each series typically lasts 12 to 13 centuries and contains 70 or more eclipses."

By July 1st, Astroblahhh Desktop probably still won't have all the features I want it to eventually have. I very much doubt I can finish them all in such a short amount of time as less than a month, so I'm probably not even going to try to do that.

Instead, I'm going to just make sure the features that already exist are working properly in both Windows XP and Lucid Puppy 5.2, fully update the manuals, etc., then maybe work on some newer things if there's time and I feel like it.

Happily, it's already mostly functional in both Windows XP and Lucid Puppy 5.2. It's a pity that it's fussier about memory in Lucid Puppy 5.2, but overall its performance has been mostly satisfactory, except when running overly broad queries (without enough filters to narrow down the search) on very large databases. And the more free RAM I have available in Lucid Puppy 5.2, the better it tends to work.

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