Journal Blog - Most Recent Posts

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7/6/2015
2/1/2014 - Delayed: Eryss astrology software
1/29/2014
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
6/7/2012
6/22/2011
6/18/2011

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Monday, July 6th, 2015
06:28:19 GMT


July 3rd was the 34th anniversary of one of the worst mistakes I ever made - being born.

And birthday cakes are getting too darn expensive. Nowadays stores are selling half-cakes for probably around the same price as a full cake used to cost.

So, I informed my family not to get me a cake, and that I'd rather make my own. Then, I went on a rare outing to some grocery stores and searched for cake mixes.


I found all of the available cake mixes objectionable because of things like needless food coloring, and various mystery ingredients, including things with "aluminum" in their names, which I like to avoid because I've heard aluminum might be connected to Alzheimer's.

So, I decided to make a cake from scratch without a cake mix, using whatever recipe is on my box of unsweetened cocoa powder.

Then, at the second store I went to, I saw a can containing pumpkin for pumpkin pie. The recipe on the can looked easy, so I decided to make birthday pumpkin pie instead of a birthday cake.

I love pumpkin pie. Plus, it's probably healthier than the average cake - especially since I went a bit out of my way to avoid things with questionable ingredients. For example, instead of canned evaporated milk with carrageenan in it, I used cans of condensed milk, since it had no carrageenan. I even avoided buying pumpkin pie spice because "sulfiting agents" - whatever those are - didn't sound very appetizing to me.


I was dubious of how it would all turn out, since it was the first time I ever made pies, and, I didn't measure all of the ingredients very exactly - both due to lacking measuring utensils, and because of an adventurous urge to change up the recipe a bit.

Anyway, it turned out I liked my pies more than any pumpkin pie I had ever had from a store or restaurant. (Not sure if I ever had any other homemade pumpkin pies.) Most pumpkin pies are relatively bland, and I guess mine were a bit more daring with the spices.

And, some details for curious astrologers - I took the pies out of the oven at 10:54 PM, July 4th, 2015, and put them in the oven at 9:52 PM. I don't recall what time I started mixing ingredients together.

(I made the pies on July 4th rather than July 3rd because one of my relatives went to sleep rather early on July 3rd, and thus would have missed out on freshly-made pie if I made the pies on July 3rd.)


Since pies and cakes are getting so expensive these days, and I really lucked out with how good my pies turned out to be - maybe selling pies and cakes is what I should do for a living? Lots of people do that sort of thing on Etsy.

However, I'd actually be a lot more interested in automating the rather dull, mostly mindless process of making pies and cakes by building a libre, open source robot chef. :-)

There could be money in that somehow, because in the past few months, I read about a presumably closed source robot chef whose expected price tag (when it's released) might be around 10,000. :-)

I probably would have experimented with robotics and things like 3D printing a long time ago if I had had the money to do so - but, those are yet more things that poverty, and my sleep issues, which exacerbate my poverty, have deprived me of the opportunity to do.


On my actual birthday, I had a birthday pizza (a cheap frozen one we cooked in the oven) instead of a cake.

It was a Hawaiian pizza with small bits of ham and pineapple, which I ate anyway despite theoretically wishing to become a complete vegetarian.

And also despite the fact that if I looked closely enough at the ingredients list, I'd probably see other things I'd find objectionable too.


On July 4th, we had fireworks visible from our house, as usual - probably largely thanks to the fact that our little town has a fireworks store.

And our house actually has a balcony at the back, which I rarely go out on, because I don't have a laptop with a good battery (or good charger), and I'm too obsessed with various computer-related projects, and too frustrated with being trapped by poverty, to just sit around and relax very much.


Anyway, it's a reasonably nice house, even though I'm far more partial to the idea of saving a ton of money by living a more spartan life.

But, no one else agrees with that, and since I'm unable to support myself or anyone else, I'm just along for the ride here unless/until I can figure out a way to make enough money to make life more bearable and make it realistically possible for me to move out. (I don't necessarily really want to move out, but, just being able to move out without it further ruining my life would be nice.)


Anyway, in some ways it would have been nice to have spent my youth in ways that were more fun - but, I find it hard to get very excited about temporary happiness and temporarily increased comfort resulting from money or love or whatever.

My top, quite possibly impossible goal is to figure out how to make existence as heavenly as possible, and achieve eternal youth, beauty, love, infinite wealth, and all sorts of other good things, not only for myself, but for everyone. And also to stop all bad things from happening, even "natural" but disturbing things such as animals eating each other.

I know that's thoroughly unrealistic, but, settling for less seems like an uninspiring drag. I'm sure that even if I were a trillionaire, I wouldn't be totally satisfied.


So, that's another reason why I spent most of my youth focused on things like trying to understand the universe better, such as by privately documenting odd synchronicities, looking into astrology, and spending a heck of a lot of time working on various software to assist me in these goals.

It's sad that I mostly missed out on various typical youthful pursuits - but, I don't entirely regret opting out of even trying very hard at all to have a normal life with more friends, loves, money, and various other "normal" things, like a stove to cook with (which my family didn't even have from 2002 to 2012), and other creature comforts.

We've even been doing without a functional upstairs bathroom, and working faucets in this house other than the bathtub downstairs. We don't even have a working kitchen sink!


Another reason I haven't been as focused on money lately is because my family finally got on Medicaid in summer 2014, and I'm afraid that I would be in big trouble with my relatives if I somehow manage to earn so much money that we'll get kicked off of Medicaid.

I think it's very doubtful that I'll be able to find a way to make enough money that I'll be able to afford to buy mandatory health insurance for me and my relatives, or even to pay the oppressive $325 yearly fee (per person!) inflicted on people with the misfortune of having neither Medicaid nor health insurance, which probably costs a lot more than $325 a year per person. And the penalty fee is going up to $695 per person in 2016.

Absolutely despicable, oppressive, and un-American. Fees like those kick struggling people when they're already down. And everyone should be free not to buy health insurance if they don't want to. I am especially disgusted with the health insurance industry after having watched Michael Moore's documentary Sicko.

So, because of the threat of these huge fees, and the high cost of health insurance, and the high cost of health care if you have neither Medicaid nor insurance, me earning money might actually do me and my family more harm than good - unless I manage to earn quite a lot of money, which might be impossible for me.

So, I'm now even more trapped than I already was, because I'm now afraid to even try very hard to earn money, except perhaps in Second Life.


Nonetheless, I still welcome donations and microdonations, though I'd prefer them to be sent through Second Life rather than PayPal, because I believe Second Life money isn't considered income unless you convert it from virtual currency to real money.

I could be wrong. But, if I ever get large enough donations to be worried about that, I guess I should be grateful to have the problem of having too much income rather than the usual problem of too little.

And perhaps someday, if I can get a bit less obsessed with my own projects, maybe I'll become more enthusiastic about providing services, or listing some goods for sale.


Even when I was much younger, I was aware of time running short, and all good things being temporary. (I'm sure the severe toothaches I had when I was younger and dental phobic contributed a lot to that impression.)

So, all in all, it's probably for the best that I didn't waste too much time and energy on normal goals like trying very hard to make a living, trying to have a love life, etc. (All of which is made incredibly more difficult by my sleep issues, which I now think did even more to destroy my life than my family's financial problems. Except I might not have had enough time to get good at programming if I had been fully capable of being a wage slave, having a normal social life, and reliably and painlessly attending pre-scheduled social outings without being exhausted and sleep-deprived. So, I guess being limited in this way has both benefits and huge drawbacks.)

I'm sure that no mundane goals would satisfy me in the long run - so, it seems best to focus on my not-so-normal, perhaps paranormal (or spiritual) goals, since I doubt there are many mundane ways - by which I mean, ways which wouldn't involve miracles or divine intervention - to make the universe a heavenly place. (Though learning to lucid dream, or to pre-program non-lucid dreams, might be an entertaining fictitious way of being able to experience heavenly things.)

Perhaps science alone could result in things like drastically lengthened lifespans and the end of age-related sickness, withering and death. Etc., etc. But, I think I might be far more delighted by actual inexplicable Jesus-style miracles than by scientific cures. :-)

Even so, if I have no luck figuring out how to get miracles to happen or how to get faith healing to work (maybe I'm simply too agnostic for it to work?), I might eventually have to take much more of an interest in what science and medicine are up to with regards to extending lifespans and enabling old people to remain physically young.

I probably should already, because my parents (and others I know) are getting older, and it would be nice if they could stick around and not have arthritis and all this other crap they have to deal with.


Anyway, I actually have quite a lot else to write about. I could even literally write some books (which I'd like to release free/libre on the internet, as well as perhaps offering physical copies) - but, too much of what I have to say is still too private to post publicly. Oh, well.

I'll probably be releasing another update of Astroblahhh Desktop at some point. It will be version 2.3, unless I unexpectedly end up adding even more to it.

I also really want to release some more editions of the Eryss astrology software, even the AutoHotkey version of Eryss for Windows. And probably a PHP-GTK version too.

Or better yet, a command line version, web version, and PHP-GTK version, all in one. :-) That's also what I'm trying to do with the not-yet-complete Astroblahhh Desktop 3.0, and the CMS (content management system, for lack of a better term) that I'm inching toward really building.

WordsPlatz, my own blogging software, is pleasant and easy for me to use, but it's pretty limited compared to what I have in mind, and also pretty limited in comparison to what Astroblahhh Desktop (even the released version) already is now.


In other news, people are finally reviving the long-idle PHP-GTK project, and the official PHP-GTK website has been significantly updated for maybe the first time since 2010!

http://gtk.php.net

I'm very happy about this, because I always thought PHP-GTK was too cool and useful for everyone to just abandon it forever. I'm so fond of PHP-GTK that eventually I would have probably attempted to revive it myself, if no one else was going to do it.

Not that I would necessarily be able to get very far with such an attempt. :-) But, who knows. I have a lot more confidence than I once did, because I'm amazed at how useful and functional Astroblahhh Desktop and my Puppy Linux Setup Kit have turned out to be. (But I'm still not at all certain I could make an adequate living if I really tried.)


I have been too preoccupied with my own private goals to focus as much as I ought to on making my software easier and more intuitive for people other than myself to use.

But, hopefully the day is coming when I will turn my attention more toward doing that.

And, once I have a content management system (or whatever) I'm happy with, I'll be able to update my websites more effortlessly.

Which hopefully will both help the world, as well as somehow improve my financial situation.


(Addition, 3:34 AM EDT: Despite my cynical view of life, even I have to admit my life is actually now better than it has ever been before.

Even transiting Pluto opposition my sun - a transit astrologers usually fret about - turned out to maybe correlate with some actually very good things. But, most of those things are too private to write about currently. A shame, since the things I can't write about are far more fascinating than probably anything I ever publicly posted. But perhaps someday, I will be able to reveal more.

Anyway, just thought I'd add this, so people don't worry that I'm depressed. I'm actually less depressed now than I ever was since childhood. :-) )


Again, donations and microdonations are welcome, though I'd now prefer them to be sent through Second Life rather than PayPal.

And someday, goods and services will hopefully be available.

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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: Analizitar.com: Review of Astroblahhh.Com

Quoted from there:

Review of Astroblahhh.com

Generated on Nov. 10, 2013, 4:12 a.m.

Astroblahhh.com 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. Astroblahhh.com 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. Astroblahhh.com 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:

Apollia.Tumblr.Com

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 kksou.com, 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:

Eryss.Tumblr.Com

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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