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7/6/2015 (Journal)


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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!

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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