The DEMML™ blog is about the Distributable Educational Material Markup Language™,
an XML standard being developed by Grant Sheridan Robertson.
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Saturday, April 15, 2017

The site is back up at


Personal Update

It has been a very long time since I have posted anything on this blog, or done anything with DEMML™. An awful lot of life has gotten in the way over the years. Some of it was nice for a while but then ultimately didn't work out. I followed my heart and ended up moving around the western half of the country a lot over the course of several years, and ultimately found myself single, broke, and without a job or even a car. My son was kind enough to let me stay in an unused room in his house here in Austin, TX. Two very good friends gave me enough money to sustain me for a little while. I went through a period of bad depression, and even did a stint in a VA psych ward due to a bad reaction to psych meds. I got so broke that I couldn't afford to renew the domain names for my DEMML™ web-sites. Plus, I was so depressed I figured I would never be able to finish DEMML™ anyway. So, I let the domain names go and squatters glommed onto them.

It has been a long, slow slog, trying to dig myself out of the hole I had gotten myself into. I weaned myself off of those psych meds once I realized the only reason I was still taking them was to avoid the withdrawal symptoms. I finally got a barely tolerable job with almost liveable pay. I tried living in an RV to save money on rent because rental rates here in Austin are really high. Unfortunately, the RV that I could afford at the time was just too crappy and I ended up getting a minivan and an apartment. But the cheapest apartment I could find was costing me almost $1000 a month, including utilities, and the summer A/C bills hadn't even kicked in. I was saving money, but only a little each month, with little buffer for emergencies. So, I decded to move into my minivan. I've been "vandwelling" for the past few weeks now. It's actually not too bad. I have a little bed on one side, and all my stuff is in tubs. Naturally, I had to get rid of a lot of stuff. But it is good to minimalize every once in a while. I have a safe place to park every night, where I know I am welcome. And I go to the local state park for a shower every day. Considering that I spend most of my awake time either at work or in a coffee shop, my life is not too different from what it was before. Plus, I get to eat breakfast next to a waterfall nearly every day.

The reason I need to save a lot of money, and fast, is because I need to get my butt back into school. The sooner, the better. I'm fifty-six now, and not getting any younger. I've already lost over seven years trying to make a relationship work and then recovering when it didn't. I really, really don't have any more time to waste. I am convnced the best way for me to get DEMML™ implemented and accepted is through academia. I have five credits left, to finish my Bachelor's (a combined degree in Computer Science and Education), then I want to start on a Master's degree in Information Scence, and ultimately go on for a Ph.D.

So, for now, I am saving money, making sure my minivan is reliable, and trying to figure out my next steps. I also really need to sharpen my programming skills so I can write code that makes use of the standard. Most people have trouble grasping the benefits of the standard if they don't have anything to actually look at on the screen. I am also tring to figure out which graduate program to try to get into. I have a lot of anxiety, so everything gets pretty overwhelming pretty fast. But I'm doing the best that I can. The way I see it, I have only one item on my bucket list, and that is to finish DEMML™.

DEMML™ Update

Now that I can at least see daylight at the end of the tunnel that is my personal life, I am finally working on the DEMML™ website again. the domain name was released by the squatters so I registered it. And I decided I could afford at least minimal hosting. So the site is back up. I had to make a few modifications because it was originally at a .org domain. The squatters want way too much money for the and domains that I used to have, so those will just have to wait.

I am not working on the standard at all right now. My priority is to get myself prepared to get back into school. I feel I need to learn a lot more about the principles of information organization before I do any more work on the standard.

This post is Copyright © 2017 by Grant Sheridan Robertson.

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