So I’ve been under the weather recently.

About two weeks ago, I started having a weird sensation in my chest. It felt like my heart was leaping, the way it does when you go over the curve on a rollercoaster or get startled. My heart would do a strange thump and it would be as if my breath were slightly knocked out of me for a second. It made me feel really weak. No, truth be told, every time it happened, it felt like I was about to keel over and die.

As an overweight man who smokes like a chimney and whose exercise mainly consists of hauling his fat ass and a big laptop bag from home to one of two nearby coffee shops, I was rather concerned, as you might imagine. I ignored it for about three days, and then Rosalie insisted I go to the doctor. So we went to a local cheap clinic, where a nurse put an EKG on me for about sixty seconds before disappearing for forty-five minutes. Finally a doctor showed up with a laptop in his hand, where he — I kid you not — appeared to be Googling my symptoms.

He told me it was heart palpitations and not to worry about it, that 50% of the population gets them at some time in their lives and that it wasn’t a big deal. He told me it was basically a slowed-down panic attack, caused by stress and anxiety. He told me to stop drinking five big coffees every day. That was it. (Except for discovering that I’ve managed to lower my blood pressure from “dangerously high” to “only slightly higher than normal”, which is good.) He said there wasn’t any medication that could help me.

Being slightly suspicious of a doctor who Googles your symptoms while you’re in the fucking room with him, I managed to acquire some Xanax. (No, I’m not going to tell you where. No, I’m not going to hook you up, either. Don’t even ask me.) I reasoned that Xanax is supposed to help with stress — maybe it would help with this.

And it has, by and large: when I take the Xanax, my heart stops doing dubstep beats in my chest. The tradeoff is that it drops my IQ by 50%. I feel like I’m sleepwalking, or like I’m underwater. This is not a good position for a professional computer programmer to be in.

I think maybe I’ve got it sorted now; I haven’t taken any Xanax today and for the first time in nearly two weeks, I was mentally and physically capable of working.

Which has put me in a bad position, because I’m being paid right now for projects by the hour. So I’m playing catch-up. The problem with that, of course, is that it’s nerve-wracking and stressful…which causes my heart to get floppity again, which makes me want to take Xanax so I don’t feel like I’m dying all day, which makes me retarded, et cetera et cetera.

On the upside, I got the basic framework of’s API built tonight, which means the guys I’m working with on the iOS app can start developing it soon, which means one of the biggest assets of Stikki — the ability to get alerts when you’re near a stikki you’ve set an alarm for — will be available. And that’s game changing.

I’ve also discovered that the prices I’m targeting for advertising on Stikki are less than 10% of what major competitors are charging, which makes me think I’ll be able to drum up ad business relatively easily. Since I have no investors or staff, I don’t need a massive number of advertisers. Put it another way: if I can get 20 advertisers paying my rate monthly — 20 advertisers on a service that works globally — my rent and power bill are paid. 100 and I can devote myself to this full time quite comfortably. 1000 and I’m in that staggering realm of “upper middle class” income.

If you believe in God, seriously, pray for me. I don’t think it’ll actually do anything celestially, but I can use all the good wishes I can handle right now. Because money is tight and I’m kind of freaked out.

Which is making my heart go pitter-pat, and not in a good way. 🙂

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