Monday, December 3, 2007

Relationship Astrology

When Astrologer’s compare the charts of two people, this is known as Synastry. If a software program is used, not all of the interpretations are likely to be exact. Emotional and spiritual growth can circumvent some of the interpretations or one aspect may overwhelm another.
It is also quite important to consider what is called relationship qualification. This is an individual's capacity for a relationship. Here we are dealing with the level of self-esteem or self-love that a person has or reveals. Simply put, how can a person truly love another if there is no love and respect for the self. This is not the vain, narcissistic appreciation of the surface self, but the true love that is deep within and revealed outwardly--which is a spiritual love.
A very common lesson that many of us have during our physical lives is to learn self-love. To understand and learn this, we must often endure rejection. This is when we are subjected to teachers and parents who will verbally abuse us, put us down, state we are not capable, etc.
Once we learn self-love and the more spiritual we become, the more we can associate with others. To understand a person's primary relationship needs and desires, we need to first examine how the energies of the Moon, Venus, and Mars vibrate.
Chart Comparison, or synastry, is the result of placing one person's chart over the other. One simply places the charts so that the zodiac signs line up. Most software places the primary person (Person number 1) as the inner wheel, and the planets of the partner's chart (Person number 2) on the outer circle or wheel.
The Sun forms our conscious sense of being, which includes the ego. The Moon represents instincts and feelings. Women generally identify more with lunar qualities than men, who tend to be connected more to solar traits. A Moon with squares and oppositions may depict people with emotional karma and emotional problems, which can sometimes be quite erratic, especially if Uranus is involved. The Moon also represents balance from the mother. At times we may even act like our mothers without our knowing.
Stress on the Moon from the Sun can create restlessness and fluctuations in close relationships. Beneficial aspects induce balance and emotional stability. A Moon stressed by Mercury can produce nervous tension and excitability, whereas a benefic aspect can provide common sense and fluent communication. Clearly, examining the natal chart is just as important to gain a greater understanding when dealing with synastry.
Individuals who have Cancer planets, 4th house planets, Cancer rising, water Moon, Libra planets, 7th house planets, Libra rising, and Libra Moon, are more likely to be insecure and unclear. It is not surprising the rulers of these signs are the Moon and Venus, so aspects to these planets play an important role. Many of the more stressful aspects to the primary planets in a natal chart can reveal this loss of self-esteem, particularly where they have a relationship to Jupiter, Saturn, Pluto and the other outer planets.
Some of the first things to check in a synastry chart is the Ascendant, aspects to it, the descendant, and the seventh house. Look to those houses where your partner's planets fall. See how the interchange of energy is described by the planetary aspects, remembering that the wider the orb, the weaker the effect. If you have, for example, 7 degrees rising, you may notice that others with whom you feel comfortable often have the same degree of rising. It does not have to be the same zodiac sign and can indicate a spiritual bond. There may be conflicts in certain relationships with respect to lifestyle, but such conflicts are often lessened through this aspect. You may find that the conjunction, trine and sextile are the most powerful.
The sign on the seventh house cusp of your chart will indicate the type of person you are consciously looking for. If you have Cancer on the 7th house cusp, you will desire a nurturing, sensitive individual. Planets residing in the 7th house will modify this portrait. The seventh house is the area that most astrologer's focus on, as this is commonly known as the relationship house. While the sign on the cusp of the seventh house and planets in this house indicate what a person is looking for in a relationship, there may be karmic factors elsewhere in the chart that color this effect. We should not forget that the seventh house is opposite the first house which forms the personal axis. The first deals with our projected personality and the seventh with the personalities of close friends and partners. Aquarius on the seventh house cusp of a person's chart might indicate the need for a more open relationship, but not necessarily sexual. Saturn in the seventh house may show that a person is attracted to a Capricorn or it could indicate a seriousness in relationships and contracts.
Another important house is the fifth house because this is the house of entertainment, love affairs, role-play, and drama. The fifth/eleventh house axis is the social axis. The fifth deals with our personal enjoyment and responsibilities, and the eleventh deals with the larger social side (including social consciousness). The eleventh house tends to be important, especially if a partner's primary planets fall here. This tends to enhance friendliness and social activities.
As the planet Jupiter opens up opportunities, the transits of this planet through the first or fifth house are often periods when love affairs predominate. The first tends to be more creative, while the fifth is more playful. If there is a lot of fire in a person's chart, the fifth house can enhance the desire to conquer another.
The fifth and eighth houses are both related to sex--playful in the fifth and intense in the 8th (particularly if Scorpio is on the cusp and also if Mars and Pluto fall there). On a higher level, the eighth house can reveal the urge for a kundalini release in sex. For some, this energy can provide a healing role.
Other houses will obviously deal with the life initiating patterns they represent. The second house, for instance, concerns personal values. If a partner's Saturn falls in your second house, you may feel that your personal resources are either restricted or consolidated by this person. However, it may depend on how Saturn's vibrations are affected by both charts.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Jupiter's reach can be touching

One day last week, I spent most of the day talking on the phone to relatives and friends in England. I do call occasionally, but talking to so many people is unusual for me. I decided to look at my transits for this particular day, and there it was "Transit Venus sextile natal Jupiter." In addition, transit Mercury was conjunct my natal Jupiter adding to the information flow.
As the largest planet in the solar system, Jupiter is symbolically related to expansiveness, optimism, generosity, a love of freedom, and new experiences. The energies of this planet allow you to grow through impositions and challenges. It also provides a relationship with the universe in the form of religion and philosophy, and it provides a sense of legal justice--whether manmade or natural. Jupiter is considered to be the most benefic of all the planets and finds its attachment in the sign of Sagittarius.
The freedom and new experience side of Jupiter’s energy aligns this planet with foreign matters, either travel or interaction with foreign people. All this may seem a little mundane, but it provides additional information that Astrology does work.
Talking so much on the phone overseas is great for me because I have an Internet based phone from Vonage and it does not cost any additional amount as I pay a fixed monthly fee that includes free calls to Europe.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Another Journal

I've decided to set up another journal to focus on technical subjects, and thereby keep this one more astrological and philosphical. I'll try to update each journal every other week. The new journal is called Efficiency Tech.


Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Columbus Day

There has been a lot of talk this week about Columbus Day, whether we should have a public holiday and celebrate it, or denounce Columbus for being a greedy, exploiting adventurer.
So, one wonders what probable reality would exist for the American Indians if Columbus never sailed to America or if the USA never gained independence in 1776. The 1833 Abolition of Slavery Act in England would certainly have saved some African natives from being shipped over and killed, and perhaps a number of native Americans would have survived.
I sometimes wonder why we celebrate Columbus Day when it was the Vikings who discovered America. The story of the Viking exploration is contained in sagas passed down from one generation to another. Modern archeological evidence has substantiated much of the saga.
Even though the British have a lot to do with what is now the USA, the one thing that the British tried to do was separate themselves from the natives--it was a snobbish thing that actually left many cultures intact, apart from spreading diseases. The Spanish however, slashed their way through South America leaving very little intact.
What is also not commonly known about the British and their empire is that it did not really set out to become one--it set out to trade. Along the way the French tried to rought the British at every port or country, so it ended up sending in troops and taking control.
Certain countries like America were exceptions because individual groups set out to separate themselves from oppression, but trade eventually took over.
There is one thing I do know, and that is I’d much prefer to live in America than Britain these days, the chaos that exists in the UK is alarming.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Wacky Conspiracy Theories

One wonders what backy most of the wacky conspiracy theorist’s are smoking to come up with what are so many unfounded perceptions of significant events that are essentially myths. I'd like to examine some of the astrology charts of these whining conspiracy theorists, as I'm sure one will find some consistent answers there.
People with wacky perceptions would most likely have Neptune stressed in their chart yielding a senseless imagination and social convention. As a lower octave of Neptune, Venus could be included into the mix as well. In addition, such loveless individuals prefer to spread hatred of certain mainstream members of society, particularly those on the far left and right.
I figure that someone with Neptune square Venus would epitomize a loathing of others they disagree with, using conspiracy theories to further their aims. It’s a shame because they are avoiding the karmic debt of learning how to love, express this love, and not expect love in return.
There are many sites listing wacky conspiracy theories, and a good counter to these is:
The 9/11 Conspiracy Theories

Monday, September 24, 2007


Astrological Saturn is the second strongest planet in my natal chart.
In general, Saturn represents experience, tradition, examination of the new, the course of time, and everything that needs time, as well as patience. It is often called the planet of fate. Saturn concentrates everything, even until the bitter end, no matter what is finally left. Its energies symbolize the serious task and moving forward even under trouble and strife.
The most common force Saturn is known for is perhaps restriction. However, this often occurs due the natural law of cause and effect--which Saturn likes to manage. If it signifies obstacles and restriction, it is usually due to an individual having an incorrect personal goal or it is due to a karmic reaction which has been imposed. Saturn is the Lord of Karma (Karma can be positive or negative as a result of promoting or interfering with someone else's free will. It is also a debt to oneself, derived from actions that are aligned to cause and effect). Accordingly, Saturn's placement in your chart can indicate the areas in life that you need to work on.
As I have Saturn rising, meaning that it is close to the Ascendant and in the first house, together with a square to my Sun, I’ve experienced a lot of challenges in my life. However, the effect is somewhat softened by having the planet Jupiter conjunct (next to) the Sun. Still, one very obvious effect is the experience of significant rejection—I was even left alone for an hour at birth while my twin brother decided it was time.
The lesson that I’ve had to learn is that of self-love and self-esteem. For once I had gained a sufficient level of this, I no longer felt rejected. Perhaps one never perfects the lesson(s), but I feel I’ve come a long way.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The "Aphrodite" Syndrome

I wrote this brief article a number of years ago but never did anything with it, apart from sharing it with a few close friends.
Traditionally, Aphrodite refers to the mythical Goddess of Love and Beauty. In today's world, it is often referred to a personality type who possess an illusion of love and vanity. A few of these people can actually communicate (telepathically) one's thoughts to another—often stirring a sexual response in their admired individual. The person they commune with is either a highly intellectual person, or they possess some desired quality.
In reality, what drives such women so afflicted is not love or sex, but an element that has been denied to them in early life. The Aphrodite has generally learned that the only way to get attention is to flaunt certain feelings mentally, and sometimes physically, often not realizing the full impact of their telepathic thoughts, or actions. Tragically, they are misunderstood and often generate in others the Pygmalion illusion of a personal ideal.
The Aphrodite complex also manifests great secretiveness, or denial of their approach to relationships, making assistance difficult without careful understanding.
The reason I'm writing about this subject is that in my past I seem to have formed a connection with women who exhibit the Aphrodite persona. My fairly deep analytical nature and strong desire to understand certain dynamics of relationships together with an empathic sense perhaps prevented me from falling into the Pygmalion effect. The effects of this polarity are quite profound, in terms of telepathic communication, as well as internal and physical responses. I am enough of an empath to know when someone is sending me a message, particularly when certain Scorpio desires are manifested!
I subsequently decided to examine closely what common astrological characteristics were evident in such women to produce this scenario. Here then are some common threads I found with the Aphrodite archetype:
  • A Sun/Jupiter aspect that involves a unique expression of the material and spiritual(so far this has been a semi-square (45°) or sesquidquadrate (135°)aspect.
  • Moon sextile (60°) Mercury that provides the opportunity to communicate feelings and thoughts to another and to sense the deeper moods (interest) of others.
  • Moon in Scorpio: creating a difficulty with any kind of intimacy, especially if it requires making a commitment. Much of this rooted in the past--childhood, heredity or family. Moon in Scorpio often reflects the frightened child or insecure person.
  • A strong Libra/Venus/Neptune/Lilith configuration or placement that creates the Aphrodite desires and/or romantic ideals, illusions of love, and love of those much better or much worse off than themselves.
All of these women appear to have undergone some form of a physical molestation as a child (not necessarily sexual, but abuse). The idealism that is inherent in this archetype also makes for communication of awareness very difficult.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Pluto in the First

If the Pluto is within eight degrees of the Ascendant (as mine is), the characteristics of this planet will be significantly increased. In addition, any other planetary aspect will play an important influence (I have a grand trine to the MidHeaven and the Moon). A planet in the first house, close to the Ascendant, is referred to as a rising planet. If you have Pluto rising, your gaze and view of the world will be sharp and piercing. Pluto in this house of identity suggests that you may be rather obsessive with respect to your impact upon the world. There is a tendency to take things rather seriously and seek out your appropriate mission in life. It is during this search that the intense and dynamic energies of this planet reveal themselves in significant ways. Such ways may be a significant rejection of arbitrary authority or an acute yet deep understanding of life, one which is analytical, reserved, and sometimes critical.
While there are many more characteristic’s of this placement, I’m drawn to the significant rejection of arbitrary authority trait. This is because not only do I have this, but I remember that one of my favorite comedians has this also. John Cleese’s birthdate is October 27, 1939. His time of birth is generally listed as unknown, although some sites give a time. I’m inclined to think that he has Pluto rising as he has often stated his dislike of arbitrary authority. He has even devoted a lot of time making management training films because of this trait.
There are many video clips of John Cleese on YouTube.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


There are a number of different charts that Astrologers talk about. The most common is often the natal or birth chart. Then there is the transit chart—the position of planets on a given day and compared to the natal chart. Other charts can be progressions, synastry which compares two individual charts, and a few more.

The Meaning of Transits:
Astrology involves an understanding of a combination of individual energies, and as such, the meanings provided may not always hold true. Sometimes, we need to understand a greater picture of what is going on. Bad experiences may not happen, but if they do, it is important to learn from them.
The moving planets continuously form angular aspects to the fixed position of your natal planets during your life. When specific angles are created, this forms the basis for personal forecasting. The angles used are actually harmonic ones, and the most commonly used angles are the conjunction (zero degrees), the sextile (sixty degrees), the square (ninety degrees), the trine (one-twenty degrees), and the opposition (one-eighty degrees). There are lessor used angles such as the semi-sextile (thirty degrees) and the quincunx (one-fifty degrees).
I’ve been mentioning recently certain transit conditions and how they might be affecting me. I don’t often look at my transit chart as I feel that one shouldn't become obsessed with what may happen in the future, because life can be boring if it is made immutable! However, as I’m examining my feelings and experiences to the world, I’m paying more attention than usual.
Tonight when I started this entry, I noticed that the chart for 11:45 PM for August 27, 2007 is quite lit up with a grand square, mystic rectangle and of course numerous oppositions. With most of the challenging planets being the inner planets and the beneficial aspects occurring with the outer planets, this might indicate that anyone born with this chart could experience a number of everyday challenges yet have the capacity for spiritual evolvement.
When I look at my transit chart for the 27th, I see that a new mystic rectangle is formed with Venus replacing the Sun and the Moon is conjoining Neptune, so instead of feeling estranged from my family, I called my son and spoke for a while earlier today.

Monday, August 20, 2007


I’m in a long process of re-landscaping my front and rear yards and one of the projects I’m trying to complete is to lay some artificial turf, of the putting green kind. I managed to order some turf at a fantastic price, but it meant I had to raise the height of the area by an inch and a half. Anyway, after a day of moving and leveling a cubic yard of sand I was outside watering the plants and my neighbor who is 92 years of age came out for a chat.
This guy is incredibly nice, and he has been suffering some medical problems of late that required two hospital stays. I had already sensed some of his problems and one additional problem seems that he has a lot of anxiety. He was mentioning that he has no hope, nothing to look forward to. In a light hearted manner I responded that the older we get we really don’t need hope so much, but what we need to look forward to is comfort—whether it is some form of entertainment, a trip, enjoying someone’s company or food.
He found this philosophy somewhat amusing yet he agreed that this was better. I don’t have his horoscope chart to examine, but I know he has a Libra Sun. The anxiety or worry factor in a person’s chart can be depicted in a number of ways. One of the more striking factors is for those with Virgo, Cancer, 4th or 6th house planets. Some of this can be alleviated with a strong Jupiter or fire element (especially Leo, Sagittarius, and Aries trines).
So with my handle of "Loaded4th" I’m a candidate for anxiety. However, I’m fortunate that I have a grand fire trine, which allows me to bounce back very quickly. In my study of Metaphysics, I read a lot Silver Birch and Seth Speaks books. One of the more interesting lines by Silver Birch was that perfect faith allows an individual to rise above any trouble -- this would (symbolically) be performed by facing the Sun (an emblem of the Collective Spirit) and say:
"I am a part of the Collective Spirit. I am indestructible. I am eternal. I am infinite. That which is finite and part of the world of matter cannot touch me."

You can read my metaphysical reference at
Farley Malorrus has some radio topics on Silver Birch at:
So what makes me so painstaking, conscientious, and profound about my work (including the yard), well, some of it is due to a Sun-Saturn-Pluto-Ascendant combination.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Mystical Rectangles

I wrote a couple of weeks ago about the Moon-Uranus energy that is going on in my chart. Today I've noticed that there are some additional complications to unravel.
The transits of the Sun, Mercury and Neptune are forming a mystical rectangle to my natal Moon/Lilith conjunction and Uranus. The Sun-Mercury conjunction is opposing Neptune and my natal Moon opposes Uranus. So the two sets of opposing bodies are forming trines and sextiles creating a long rectangle. The Sun-Mercury transit trines (120 degrees) my Moon, and sextiles (60 deg.) to Uranus. Neptune trines my Uranus and sextiles the Moon/Lilith position.
Mystical rectangles are supposed to focus energy to empower an individual to achieve a specific goal, and as a transit trigger the formation of a new direction or the steps to take to make major changes in overcoming any challenges depicted by the planets involved in the natal chart. In my case, the good old Moon-Uranus opposition!
As the Sun, Mercury and Neptune are triggering this mystical rectangle, I suppose one must examine the kinds of energies these planets are exhibiting on the Moon-Uranus opposition. At it's best, the Sun-Mercury-Neptune energies depict poetic imagination, sensitivity and agility. At the other extreme it can be vague, absent-minded, and easily misled. In a transit, it can be either a time of some inspiration out of the blue, or mentally confused, or inept.
As these transits are forming assistive aspects to the Moon-Uranus position, I have to think they should be more on the positive side. However, the complicated snag is that the Moon, Venus and Saturn have formed a conjunction in late Leo and are squaring off on my natal Mercury position. Mercury in my chart is in Scorpio and sits quite close to Mars and Venus on either side. So the next step is to understand what these transiting planets mean individually and how they might influence my natal Mercury.
Moon-Venus-Saturn is an energy that is serious about love, possessive, sympathetic about tragedy, and security-minded. In other words it tries to rationalize feelings and affection. The down side of this energy is that it can easily generate disappointment, or be snobbish about who one loves. At its worst it can be cold and frigid (remember Mick Jagger's song "She's so Cold"?). As a transit it is generally a moment of commitment in love--or facing the facts bluntly.
In thinking about all this, I'm trying correlate if and how any of this is fitting into my life. Well, I have been having thoughts that my family does not really like me, which is probably not true, maybe they are just preoccupied. I'd rather know these things than ponder them. A lot of the news is certainly making me more serious about things and sympathetic about certain events. I've actually been kept awake for two nights while two young girls across the street have seemingly invited a stream of young men to visit--and of course they drive up, motor roaring, music blaring, slamming their doors. Their parents are away and with all this stuff going on in my chart I'm thinking shall I just wait for the parents to return and have a word, or should I call the police.
Normally, I would just call the police, but notice how that Sun, Mercury and Neptune is kicking in creating some vagueness in my decision, or at best some inspiration not to rock the boat too much. There are a number of other things going on that seems to correlate to my present transits...

Tuesday, August 7, 2007


To me, empathy is an interesting word. Traditionally, it is the ability to sense, feel and sometimes react to another’s emotions or inner circumstance. All people have empathy, but the level ranges considerably. Many high level empaths do not know how to process many of their feelings received from others, resulting in adoptive behavior, strange reactions or just confusion.
Empathy is often confused with clairsention (The ability to clearly experience the physical sensations of another beyond ones own feelings). Empathy is a sense beyond the five senses, and generally deals with emotive feelings and thoughts.
One noticeable relationship an empath will discover is the ability to perceive the clairvoyance of a psychic, or group of psychics, particularly if they have not developed their own psychic ability.
An empathetic sense is generally a gift, but can be developed. In order to channel these vibrations effectively, it is important to meditate into a personal neutral zone in order to ground oneself and divorce any empathic relationship with one's ego. With further development, an individual can learn how to process these energies effectively in order to understand and interact correctly with others. Being an empath, as well as being able to process vibrations effectively, provide an important aspect in truly helping others.
However, much depends upon the type of vibrations between an empath and another in order to process and determine their circumstance.
The reason I'm rambling on about empathy, is because I experience a fairly high degree of this energy. Although I don't connect with very many people, when I do it's rather strong. Just this past week, I've had quite strong perceptions and awareness of a neighbor who is 94 years old and is having some medical problems.
In an Astrology birth chart, people who have the planet Neptune sixty or so degrees away from the Ascendant tend to exhibit strong levels of empathy--which I have.
As I'm in a period where I need to relax more than usual, I found the following song on Google Video. It's a beautiful Welsh lullabye (called Suo Gan) and the translation is below: 

To my lullaby surrender
Warm and tender is my breast
Mother’s arms with love caressing
Lay their blessing on your rest
Nothing shall tonight alarm you
None shall harm you, have no fear
Lie contented, calmly slumber
On your mother’s breast, my dear
Here tonight I tightly hold you
And enfold you while you sleep
Why, I wonder, are you smiling
Smiling in your slumber deep?
Are the angels on you smiling
And beguiling you with charm
While you also smile, my blossom
In my bosom soft and warm?
Have no fear now, leaves are knocking
Gently knocking at our door
Have no fear now, waves are beating
Gently beating on the shore
Sleep, my darling, none shall harm you
Nor alarm you, never cry
In my bosom sweetly smiling
And beguiling those on high

When I watched the movie "Empire of the Sun" I was so drained from the audience reaction, I’ve never been to a movie theater since. Strangely, I worked with a guy once whose experience closely matched the young boy in this movie. My mother, who is now on the other side, sang this song when she was a child.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The Moon – It’s Stronger than I Thought

The strongest planet in my natal chart is Pluto, and fortunately, it’s pretty well aspected forming a grand trine with the Moon and Mid-heaven. My Moon however opposes Uranus and the North Node.
In a horoscope, the Moon represents cultural and ancestral aspects that shape our instinctive behavior. Because such feelings spring from the unconscious mind, they have a connection to past lives and early cultural conditioning (related to the Moon's matriarchal or nurturing influence, that in early years leaves a deep impression on our subconscious). The Moon is considered female and is strongly associated with fertility and intuitive feelings. Receptive and intuitive people often have a strong Moon placement. The Moon also symbolizes the home, the family, and the mother. It also reflects the horoscope bearer's resonance-the way a person's feelings vibrate with themselves and others. There is an old saying that refers to a person with an excellent Moon as being well received. In physical terms, the Moon is often associated with body fluids, the stomach, and memory. In the zodiac, the Moon is attached to Cancer.
With my natal Moon in opposition to Uranus, I can be rather unpredictable, detached one moment and friendly the next. A greater emphasis is placed on freedom as the Moon is in Sagittarius (5th house). Because I also have a heavy Saturn in my chart, I tend towards being a recluse, which the Moon-Uranus energy does not like leading to various tensions and very unusual illnesses.
People with a Moon Uranus opposition seem to fall into emotional triangles and have an aversion to being involved with certain groups or individuals who might make demands that infringe upon their personal freedom--and I really relate to this energy. Add to this the North Node indicating a contrast between my feelings and my soul's purpose. This struggle can result in an over-sensitive reaction to others and an inability to efficiently organize one’s life. Perhaps because of this, I’ve found myself developing special talents to make a disciplined, well-organized, and concentrated effort in specialized and rather esoteric areas. I have to say that I’m not discouraged by the absence of any recognition for my ambitious undertakings, partly due to my preference for isolation.
As an aside, I’ve noticed that a lot of Astrologers have either oppositions or trines from a primary planet, such as the Sun or Moon, to Uranus.
All this brings me to the focus of this entry—I’m having a rather long transit Uranus squaring my natal Moon. If I’ve developed the necessary growth from the lessons of my Moon-Uranus placement in my birth chart, this transit should not really affect me. I think it is affecting me more than I would like, but not as bad as it could be. I seem to have done well in certain areas, but not in others. I am being confronted with numerous problems that is making me rather tense, so I guess I need to get back into some t'ai chi or certain forms of meditation to address my nervous tension.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Al La Carte TV?

I’ve made the decision to cancel my cable TV service because there are too many ads which are too loud, there’s too much paid programming, I can’t select specific channels (a la carte cable) and what I have is very poor variety and quality entertainment—even from over 100 channels!
It seems that an hour of television can carry about twenty minutes of commercials. Add all those Paid Programming sessions and I’m paying $75 a month to essentially have ads thrown at me. Considering that cable providers interject local ads, I figure that they must be making more than the oil companies.
I plan to make better use of my time and if I want to watch the News, a movie or a documentary, there are plenty of Internet videos to choose from. I’ve noticed that there are a lot of web sites providing World-wide streaming of TV and Radio stations. However, I’m not comfortable with sites that charge a one-time fee as I’ve noticed that they don’t list any channels.
C-Span, Fox News, BBC and ITV all have a decent amount of news clips.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Global Warming?

I received a call the other day from someone doing a survey on behalf of our local city council, regarding "Global Warming". I don’t usually accept cold calls of any type, but this subject rather intrigued me. One of the first questions was, "What do you think about Global Warming?" Like most of the questions, it was clearly slanted towards a narrow chain of thought that suggested global warming is a reality, the city should become "green", and this survey was going to prove it one way or another (or garner enough support to implement a "green strategy").
I consider that I’m reasonably rational, even though I have my emotional moments (due to a loaded natal 4th house, mainly covered by the astrological sign of Scorpio—hence my handle here). However, the idea that a local governing body wants to act on global warming when the jury is still out on whether the current events are really man-made or due to natural phenomena, such as a cyclic trend, a number of volcanic eruptions or some other action, is premature, at the very least.
Don’t get me wrong here; I’m a very strong environmentalist, who puts his money where his mouth is. My astrological profile suggests an emphasis with making things more efficient and I’ve spent many years working with alternative power such as small wind turbines, solar power and other energy saving activities—all in my spare time. I ride an electric bike and share a Prius.
I’ve spent countless hours working with LED lights, electronic control circuits and motion sensing devices; my outside Christmas tree has been lit for many years with LED’s run by solar powered batteries. I even have an electric golf cart, which I’ve converted to manually switch from 36-volts (running) to 12-volts for charging and powering house lights. The cart, which has a high-powered solar panel on top, connects to a 12-volt line that runs the length of the house.
I’m probably the only person in the immediate locality who does not turn onthe air-conditioner. Instead, I use a large fan to extract the heat from the attic, and I’m working on ways to make this self-powered. I could probably write a book on the number of projects and things I do to reduce my carbon footprint.
With such a background, you might be wondering why I’m seemingly against this push to place global warming at the top of everyone’s agenda. Simply put, it is because this is the wrong reason. Pollution and unnecessary waste should be our top priority; we should be using energy wisely. Energy has only recently become, financially and politically, a noticeable problem. For years, only the industrialized nations were using what seemed to be an infinitely available resource. With so many nations like China and India increasing their need for energy, not only has pollution increased globally, but the increased demand has sent the price of oil and certain other commodities skyrocketing.
Therefore, we all need to be more efficient with energy, not because of some recent catch phrase that is being used for political purposes, but because it’s the right thing to do.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

A Windows PC Replacement

As a veteran of PC operating system that goes back to 1981, I’ve always used Microsoft operating systems (after the demise of CPM). Even though I’ve dabbled with software code, I’m more of a user, spending a lot of time with various applications.
I’m the kind of person who likes to have some control of my environment, and with PC’s it’s changing both look and feel as well as configuring it to accommodate the style I’m used to.
With the advent of Windows XP and now Vista, I’m going to abandon Microsoft simply because the direction they seem to be taking is akin to the Macintosh environment. This is the environment for simple users where the operating system is tightly structured and customization is extremely difficult. For the limited changes that can be made, the familiar steps have vanished in favor of having to make intensive research to figure it out (if at all).
I first got a clue when Microsoft updated it’s office product from the ’97 version, with the hiding of certain menu items, and using those ridiculous added arrows. For a power user like myself, I get quickly frustrated if I have to use additional mouse clicks that are really not necessary.
Even though I have several PC’s, I do have Windows 98, XP, and (uh!) Vista. I’ve recently been doing a lot of Audio processing, and unfortunately, MP3 players like the Zen series requires XP. However, I’m drawing the line at Vista, it’s the worst Operating System since Windows ME (and please don’t start me of that OS). Vista is so bloated that most of the code must have been written in Basic, and the notion that this OS alone must have a minimum of 2G bytes of RAM and a high end system is ridiculous at this point.
I just love my Windows 98 environment, I keep regular backups and if I have to change the system, it’s a breeze to port over and change all the drivers. I just go into safe mode and delete all the devices in the Device Manager, then after a reboot, the system loads all the new drivers.
I’m not really interested in security, as I have hardware and software firewalls, an Anti-virus that does not run in the background (I manually check things). This together with the ability to restore myWin98 system in minutes, carry out a full defrag in seconds, boot up and shut down much faster than later Windows OS’s with faster processors will keep me going with this OS for years.
However, I do have to keep up with the times if I’m going to be able to keep up with the ways things are going on the web I have to have a system that will accommodate the changes that continue to occur. After some research about what to do, I decided to use a Linux based system that has a Windows98-like desktop. I was quite excited to find out that Kubuntu is one such system.
I made a Ghost of my Win98 system from the drive first as I reformatted the disk. I decided to use the partitioning and formatting feature of Kubuntu's install routine to prepare the drive. I manually set up the following partitions and space:
Partition  Format  Size  Type           Name
1          FAT32   20GB  Primary Active System
2          Ext3    4GB   Primary        SWAP
3          Ext3    56GB  Primary        EXT3

I aborted the installation, rebooted and placed my backup of Win98 onto the Fat32 partition and checked it was OK.
I then installed Kubuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn onto the drive, and it took me a while to figure out I had to keep the Fat32 drives listed otherwise Kubuntu does not recognize them (unless one knows how to mount them). I rebooted and ran the updates. Because I wanted maximum flexibility, I also installed the Ubuntu Desktop. This gave me the Synaptic Package Manager, Evolution E-Mail and a few other packages I wanted. I'm amazed with the variety of packages that are available and so easy to install, such as an Office suite, Audacity and Fontforge.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Saturn/Mars Double Whammy transit squares

I'm experiencing transit Mars Square my natal Saturn, and a transit Saturn Square my natal Mars. What's the significance of this?

First of all and in general, if Saturn in the natal chart is under stress, you're going to feel more of an effect than someone who does not have their natal Saturn under stress. However, if you've overcome the particular lesson(s) of having a stressed natal Saturn, then this period could be like any other day.

The usual effect of this transit square can be an indication of ambitions not being fulfilled. It may also indicate that the balance between a desire for success and personal growth is slanted too much towards ambition and material security. Many of these restrictions are usually imposed on you by men or authority figures.

Another effect can indicate a period in which obligations may be forced upon you by others. If some form of hardship or ill health occurs, one must try to understand what the Lord of Karma (Saturn) is informing you. Maybe you are holding in too much stress regarding other people's approach to life?

While I can say that this double whammy of a transit has not been too bad, I can say that I've had to call the police 5 times in just 4 days and this may not have much to do with this transit per se, as transit Uranus square my natal Moon may be more of a factor in my being more impatient than usual.

I made 3 calls during one night when some 80 odd teenagers descended to a house in the next block and created all sorts of mayhem such as driving too fast, playing loud music and when a fight erupted, one youth started to take it out on the neighbors mailboxes, kicking them over and breaking them.

I live in a very low-crime city, and neighborhood, so this event was rather unusual. The other events were due to unnecessary noise, which the police finally dealt with.

So I'm obviously still holding in too much stress regarding other people's approach to life which brings me back to the double whammy transit. My hiatus hernia is giving me a lot of pain of late. If you don't know what a hiatus hernia is, it is in my case a birth defect, which allows the gullet to remain open and contents of the stomach to flow freely back up. Even though this was operated on in my early 20's to close it, it has re-opened and the combination of scar tissue has made it extremely painful at times and inoperable.

I'm going to have to work harder at resolving this issue of other people's approach to life, but it's so hard when other's selfishly violate your personal space with their vehicle bass booming music, or their gas powered engine that roars up the street at full throttle, I just wish more people would embrace a higher level of social consciousness.