Saturday, October 28, 2023 Website Update (Image Problems)

I have had an intermittent problem for several years with some images not showing on my website.  Google Chrome tends to be the browser that won't display many of the images.  

Back in February, I migrated all three of my websites from Yahoo! to GoDaddy.  I noticed during that time that certain images on were at times not showing.  I decided not to worry too much about it, since the work I did to migrate all three sites was a massive and exhausting task.  I was at the limit of what I could stand doing.

It was reported to me during the last week that images weren't showing on one of the pages.  I checked and verified the problem.  I have checked several times since then, and the images are continuing not to show up on Google Chrome.  Several pages on the site are impacted.  The images tend to be visible on other browsers.  

Click on the images in order to see them at a higher resolution.

This is what I wrote back in February in my post, Website Migration Progress. is on GoDaddy and looks good in all browsers except for Google Chrome.  The problem is that some images are on  Some are also on, but has been moved to GoDaddy, so those images are fine.  For whatever reason, the Chrome browser won't load the images from the Turbify server onto the sites as hosted by GoDaddy. 

On the surface, this makes no sense.  The HTML files for have the full URLs to the images on  The images load fine in the other browsers, just not Chrome.  I have a suspicion what the problem might be, but it's not worth investigating since I'm going to close the Turbify accounts sometime soon.

You might be wondering why many of the images are hosted by the other two sites.  This goes back to the free GeoCities sites that I originally created.  The storage space was limited, and I had so many images for the series book cover art galleries that I had to place a bunch of them on the other two sites.  I have left them where they were placed even though I have had paid accounts for more than 15 years.

It's now extremely obvious to me what the problem is.  The sites are no longer on Turbify and are completely under my control, so the issue had nothing to do with Turbify.  It's that Google Chrome is preventing the images from showing due to them being hosted by another site.  The problem has something to do with a site security error. 

I might be able to pay for a site security certificate to fix it; I'm not very knowledgeable about what that entails.  That aside, just getting the images copied into the file manager for and changing the links on the pages to the files hosted by appears to fix the problem.  That's what I need to do.

581 images have been hosted by and for all of these years.  I know how many since I just downloaded all of them to my computer.  In the coming days, I will get them copied to and will edit the necessary pages to the new image locations.  After I have done that, then hopefully the image problem will be fixed.

Saturday, October 21, 2023

Auctions + Cheap Scarce Books Not Selling on eBay

I am trying some auctions on eBay.  I decided that I might as well get started with the international editions and Nancy Drew blank endpapers books.  An auction is the fairest way to do it, since more than one person might be interested.

eBay Auctions

Both my eBay and Etsy stores are open.

Jennifer's Series Books on eBay

Jennifer's Series Books on Etsy

I reopened my stores on Wednesday morning and have had not one sale.  It's not that I care; it's that I hoped to resume a normal activity in order to improve my frame of mind.  It won't work if nothing is going to sell.  I just don't see the point.  I feel like if nothing other than potentially the auctions has sold by next weekend that I will just shut down again.  I'm not in a good place mentally and for reasons I did not state in my previous post.  

I continue to wonder why series books aren't selling like they did not too long ago.  This has been a problem since early this year.  I have three theories as to why.

1.  Inflation is bad.  This is the most likely reason.  

2.  People just don't use eBay and Etsy like they once did.  I think eBay is probably doing fine, but Etsy is floundering.

3.  Series book fandom has passed the beginning of the end, and fewer people are interested in collecting the books.

Reason #3 is what I fear.  We know that we will lose many collectors in the coming years due to downsizing, etc.  As that happens, interest in series books will wane.  I fear that we are already reaching that point, and I hope I'm wrong.

I am seeing some really scarce books priced low that are getting relisted on eBay and continue not to sell.  I don't mention what I see on eBay since I feel that those who use eBay should get first pick.  However, I'm frustrated about some of the extremely scarce books that are listed and aren't selling.

For example, the Girl Scouts Mystery series by Virginia Fairfax is a top series for me.  It was brutally hard for me to find all six books years ago.  Several of them are on eBay right now, and some books have more than one copy available.  The books are priced cheap, and yet nobody is buying them.  The books are not available online, so this makes no sense.  And yes, I'm mentioning them here because I wish somebody would buy the books so that they can enjoy some great stories.  It drives me crazy seeing these wonderful books being relisted and continuing not to sell.

There are scarce Judy Bolton books and Dana Girls books that I've seen relisted recently.  I think I've seen Rick Brant and Kay Tracey as well.  I'm talking about some of the scarcer stuff.  I also have seen multiple cheap copies of Trixie Belden #36-39 listed in various bulk lots that have not sold during the first few hours they were listed.  In the past, bulk Trixie Belden lots priced low that included the scarce books would typically sell in the first five minutes.  Why the lower interest? 

Why won't people buy the books?  Are they no longer using eBay?  Are collectors no longer interested in these books?  Or is inflation just that bad?  

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Update on Autoimmunity, Selling, Reading, and Car Trouble

I wrote an update around a month ago, but then I never published it.  Here is an abbreviated summary of that post plus the relevant current information.

When school started, I had a minor thyroid flare which resolved pretty quickly.  I then had a health screening on September 5 that involved radiation.  I asked for a thyroid shield.  The technician stopped dead in her tracks and seemed like she had a problem with the request.  She then asked if I knew who Dr. Oz was and mentioned how he had convinced people to use a thyroid shield when it isn't necessary.

I told her that I have thyroid disease and that when I didn't use a thyroid shield in 2016 that it shut my thyroid down for two months and made me deathly ill.  (Deathly ill is not an exaggeration.  I was sicker than I've ever been in those two months.  It was absolutely awful.)  She put the thyroid shield on me and remarked that everyone is different.

How dare she have a problem with my request, and I should not have to explain why.  I am very nervous when I am exposed to radiation even with the thyroid shield on.  I was that sick in the fall of 2016. 

The shield does not block all of the radiation.  It does reduce the exposure by up to 50% and reduces the dose by 2.5 times.  This means that my thyroid did get exposed to radiation on September 5, just at a lower amount than it would have without the shield. 

This is why I felt a noticeable thyroid flare from September 6 through September 23.  Meanwhile, I got the new Moderna Covid vaccine on September 22.  I didn't feel that great the first couple of days.  Aside from that, I seemed to do okay, so far as I could tell.  At least I didn't have a terrible reaction like I did last year.

I then acquired a seemingly extremely mild virus on October 1.  There were no symptoms except for laryngitis.  It's now been over two weeks, and I'm still struggling to get my voice back.  I've had very light congestion, so I know that I have had something.  While I do frequently suffer from severe laryngitis caused by viruses, it was really odd to have it happen when the virus was almost nothing.  I suspect that the laryngitis might be tied to the vaccine, since the vaccine has caused inflammation.

My thyroid hormone levels have been constantly fluctuating up and down ever since I had Covid in July 2022.  I have never had this much instability.  Here's an update to what I included in my post from August 4.

August 2022 - under
September 2022 - over
October 2022 - over
November 2022 - under
December 2022 - under; medication change
January 2023 - under (even worse); dose increase
February 2023 - under
March 2023 - slightly under, felt normal for around 10 days; kept same dose
April 2023 - over
May 2023 - over (even worse); dose decrease
June 2023 - under
July 2023 - under; dose increase
August 2023 - felt normal for a few weeks
September 2023 - under
October 2023 - over

Taking thyroid medication for autoimmune thyroid disease is like chasing a moving target. 

I suspect that the Covid vaccine has caused a flare, just not as bad as what happened last year.  Flares can initially manifest with an increase in thyroid hormone which then becomes a deficit weeks later.  I have lost six pounds without trying, and I do feel mildly wired.  If it doesn't get any worse, then I will keep taking my current dose until I'm tested in late December.  I believe my continuing fluctuation in levels began because of Covid in July 2022.

I did not intend to keep my eBay and Etsy stores closed for very long when I shut them down in August.  How I've felt and certain events have caused me to be disinterested in selling books. 

I knew that fall break was when I should reopen, but I didn't know if I would be up to it.  As of two weeks ago, I was strongly against the idea of returning to selling books.  I've been slowly talking myself into it for the last two weeks.  I finally reached the point a few days ago where I felt that I could stomach selling again.

Please note that I'm still not wanting to sell; I just think that I can tolerate doing it despite my disinterest.  I also feel that getting back to a normal activity will help get me into a better place mentally.  Therefore, I reopened both of my stores this morning before I left for work.  I had the time since I woke up 2 1/2 hours early feeling wired (this after a 12-hour work day each of the last two days that should have exhausted me - yes, I must be overmedicated!).

Both stores are now open.  My current listings are the ones that I had in early August with nothing new added.  If I can motivate myself, I might add some listings in the next few days.

Jennifer's Series Books on eBay

Jennifer's Series Books on Etsy

I continue to be extremely unmotivated to read books.  The interest just isn't there, with one exception.  This may sound pathetic, but I continue to be obsessed with the Keeper of the Lost Cities series and am now reading the set for the third time.  I have a new focus and am looking for clues about another character.

I will have another series of posts on the Keeper books once I finish up this third reading of the books.  I wrote rather enthusiastically about the books back in the spring.  The series isn't perfect; nothing is.  The main drawback is that in the later books some conversations are excessively long.  It's just too much.  That aside, I love the books and am having a blast looking for clues.

I also remain frustrated with the Keeper of the Lost Cities fan base, which is a bit toxic.  Many fans seem unhappy about everything.  I don't understand why people have such high expectations for a middle-grade children's book series.  The books aren't perfect, and I'm not sure why people expect them to be perfect.

Finally, if you have a General Motors vehicle, you really don't want to have any repairs that require parts.  The GM workers are on strike, and no new parts are being made. 

My 2018 Chevrolet Malibu displayed the check engine light on October 2 and handled differently than usual.  I took it in to be checked.  The car needed a new sensor, and they didn't have one.  They called around, found a sensor in another state, and had it shipped in.  I finally picked up the car on October 11.

On October 12, the check engine light displayed again.  I was annoyed at the car.  I felt that it probably had been repaired but that something else was also wrong that hadn't been diagnosed.  I got the car in on October 14, knowing that they wouldn't check it until October 16 since they have very few mechanics on the weekend.

Apparently it was a major undertaking to figure out why the battery wasn't receiving enough charge.  They finally found that the negative battery cable wasn't transferring a charge.  And of course they didn't have a negative battery cable.  I became a bit worried when they told me that they were about to call around the country and would call me back later.  Oh, joy.

I got lucky.  They called back 20 minutes later to tell me that they found a negative cable in California and that it would be shipped in.  They'll get it around this weekend, so I should get the car back next week.  Of course it shouldn't be this hard, but I assume that they are getting me a "General Motors certified negative battery cable."  That way they can charge more.

If you have a General Motors vehicle, try sweet-talking it.  Be kind to it.  You want it to behave until the GM strike is over.

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Keeper of the Lost Cities #9 Stellarlune Now Available in Paperback

I already had the entire set of Keeper of the Lost Cities books on Kindle plus all of the books up through #8.5 in paperback.  I was not intending to purchase #9 Stellarlune in paperback until I heard about the short story that is exclusive to the paperback edition.  

This statement by Shannon Messenger was posted on her Facebook on September 12:

Hey Everyone! I know you’re all patiently waiting for book 10–and I know it’s taking me a little longer to write it because I grew a tiny person this year.  So I wanted to give you a little bit of new content to help fill the void—and I chose to include it in the paperback because I was a paperback reader as a kid.  My family couldn’t afford hardcovers, and hardcovers are usually the only books that get to have special bonus content in them.  So this is my gift to all the kids who’ve waited a whole year for the paperback to come out.

On the same post, Shannon's assistant made this statement.

And this story is extra awesome—not just because we get to hear all the feisty thoughts of our favorite fiery girl.  Or because it’s longer than a lot of the other bonus stories that Shannon has written.  But also because it reveals something that *might* be important to the rest of the series. 

Oh my gosh!  I also read somewhere that the short story has to do with Fintan, who is a character that I'm currently trying to figure out.  Yes, I'm still obsessed with the series.

Needless to say, I decided that my paperback set needed to have this book added to it as well.  Now I have all of them in softcover.

My book arrived today in Amazon's sorry envelope packaging.  The cover has a number of surface impact marks from the insufficient packaging.  No matter; I don't need a perfect copy.  I just need the short story!  

I really prefer to read these thick modern books on my iPad.  I took my phone and photographed every page of the short story.  I managed not to focus on the words as I made the photos.  I did see a few phrases here and there, but I managed not to spoil myself.  

I am also okay that my copy of the book is a little rough, since I had to open the back cover more than I would have preferred in order to photograph the pages.  I had to do 29 pages, so I no doubt added a little bit of wear to the book.

After I finished photographing the pages, I placed them in a photo album.  Voila!

I made sure that the resolution of the image is low enough that the pages cannot be read.  I then went back and smudged every image so as not to give the appearance that I could be sharing anything.  I won't violate copyright.  I love this series so much that I want the author to get everything she is owed for her talent.

After I got the photo album set up, I then read the story by flipping through the images.  It was great.

As with the Forgotten Secrets of #9 Stellarlune, the reader gets no context regarding what is revealed.  I will have to mull it over and will probably read the short story multiple times in the near future.  I love trying to figure out where this series is going with the story.  It's So. Much. Fun.

Thursday, October 5, 2023

Books Purchased at the Fall Better Books Sale

Today was the members-only presale of the inaugural Fall Better Books Sale in Oklahoma City.  Today's sale had around 25,000 books.  The regular library book sale in February typically has 800,000+ books.

I knew that I would not likely find many series books at this sale today, simply because the large February library sale no longer has many of our old series books.  They are just getting to be too old and scarce to show up in great quantity like they once did.

Even though I knew that I could not possibly find much, I had to show up just in case.  After all, the books offered at the Fall Better Books Sale are books that would have shown up at the next large library book sale.  Also, I believe that the purpose of this sale is to get excess books sold, since the February sale has too many books to put out at the beginning of the sale.  For that reason alone, I knew that I wouldn't find much.  They aren't going to offload all of the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books at this sale if the purpose is to get rid of excess books.

Here are the series-related books that I purchased.  (Always click on images in order to see a larger version at a higher resolution.)

The books were only marginally worth purchasing.  Swiss Chalet is in bad shape.  A few of the others are in rough shape.  Mainly, I wasn't going to leave without some series books, so I selected what I felt had some merit for my needs.

I also picked up these three Keeper of the Lost Cities books just because I like the series and again, I was going to buy something.  After all, I took the day off work and waited in line for nearly two hours.  I wasn't leaving empty-handed.  I also got to eat a small serving of free ice cream.  Woo-hoo!

After I had selected all of the above books to have something to buy, I then checked the cookbooks.  Clearly, someone donated their entire collection of comb-bound cookbooks to the library.  I purchased most of them.

I will sell them in small bulk lots with similar books grouped together.  I will group by region and type.  A lot of people collect them.

The sale runs October 6-7 from 9AM to 5PM at OSU-OKC, 930 N. Portland Avenue in Oklahoma City.

This is what I didn't purchase.  

Follow this link for some more pictures.