Archive for January 2008

Reading blogs is a little bit like watching a dolphin as he travels his wettish world.

Diving deep, with his tail a’flash a’flow a’flipping
In a sweep, rolling waves a’roll a’ripping–

A dolphin loves attention, to be sure. If he had the time, he would likely spend his life above the water, floating up above for some human to lavish praise upon or some child to squeal over. Proof of this is his sage skill in executing flips and spins and graceful arching leaps above his ocean home. And ultimately, he must return to his home in the sea. It is his life, after all.

So is the blogger. Were we able, we would attempt to amuse the masses by blogging sage wisdom, plot, drama, and as much as could be dispensed. In the end, we must dive down again into the sea, travel to the bottom of real life, and only think of returning again to the surface for another show of authorship.

Forgive the dolphins. They hide in the depths to sustain their lives. Forgive us, the bloggers of the webbed sea. We must hide in the coral of real life until opportunity presents itself to post above the surface again.

Well, now I’ve got to sit down and figure out which of the three themes will work. The break-down:

  • AquaTheme – Definitely original. Not too hard on the eyes. Nice, mute colors.
  • Black-n-Blue – The fastest theme I have. It downloads in three seconds compared to the others, which take ten to fifteen. The white text on the black background strains the eyes, though.
  • Blue-Green – A nice, concise theme. It takes a little while to load, but it has some nice gradients and colors.

I want the content to be king of the blog, not the colors or the theme. Actually, the perfect theme for me is one that visitors don’t even notice. Currently, that seems to me to be the Black-n-Blue theme. However, eye-strain is a big issue, and white-on-black text does strain the eyes. Comments, suggestions, insults, money? I’ll take them all now if anyone has any to give.

Reporting live from a university near you, it’s Daquell saying, “School’s in!”

This semester’s round-up involves Speech, Acting, Medieval Literature, Biblical Church Leadership, Greek (round II), and work! After interviewing some of the classes, the consensus is that a good semester is ahead. An exclusive interview with Speech left me with these closing remarks:

There’s no I in team. We’re going to go out there and give you 145%! It’s not about winning or losing, but how you play. No pain, no gain! May the best subject win. Let’s playball!

“More bulletins as events warrant” — Calvin (‘n Hobbes)

From impending pressure of the Web 2.0, Website Optimization, and general gut feeling, I’ve changed my blog template. Every time a blog owner changes his/her template, I groan inwardly. I always think, “Well, that’s fine Charley-Bob, but what’s wrong with the old one!?” Except I don’t really think those exact words, because the owner’s name might not be Charley-Bob. Regardless, you get the gist. Since I don’t really read my blog much, my opinion on my theme doesn’t really count much. So, general opinion will decide.

This week, I will be putting out at least three new themes to try them out. Feel free to give any feedback whatsoever. Actually, if you want to pretend that I am a psychiatrist and you are sitting on a couch saying whatever comes to your mind, go right ahead. Just remember that I don’t have a Ph. D. in psychiatry, so I won’t be much of a help thataways.

As for my own ideas, I’ll save them until Theme Week® is over. Until then… 10-4.

Today was a day par excellence with few surprises. My older sister moved back to school, my youngest sister had a princess tea-party with her friends, and I was as sick as the proverbial dog (don’t ever let a doctor give you a double-dose of the Hepatitis vaccine, no matter if it’s accidental and no matter how safe he says it is).

And our cat almost decided to learn how to fly. She’s gotten into this bird-catching hobby recently, which doesn’t really fly well with my sisters. Today, she convinced herself that the best way to catch a bird is to be a bird, and she went aloft. I saw some motion out of my second-story window in one of our trees. Though I at first passed it off as a hawk, a Red Flag went up. Hawks don’t actually climb trees…

There she was, at eye-level with me, clinging heartily to the tiny upper branches of one of our oaks. The bird had long since flown. Without much remorse, Lila turned and began her long descent to the ground. It was one of those horror moments, like in the movies when Fred the Detective is about to walk into the burglar’s trap, or when you watch a fish dumbly take the bait and seal his doom.

She threw herself down, branch by branch, until she faced only the smooth trunk. Slowly, paw after paw, face first, she started coming down… and then slipped. It was the neatest 180° aerial turn I’ve ever seen executed: catching one or two paws, she stopped the fall and slung herself around before jumping the remaining seven feet to the ground. They say that there’s a fine-line between bravery and ignorance; hunting birds in their own trees seems a given to me!

Today was another lengthy day spent in a hospital room, waiting on news good, ill, or otherwise. As tired as I am, I know my parents have got to be twice as worn out.

–flashback–
My youngest sister, nicknamed Marie, was very sick over Thanksgiving you may recall; during her sickness, the doctors did a ‘random’ MRI which surprised them with a… something… on her brain. Marie had been in the hospital for four days already, so instead of taking action they sent her home to recover from the illness.
—————

Marie was terrified during today’s hospital trip. I chose to ignore any possible outcomes; my parents tried to imagine the best. Right before the MRI was taken, my pastor showed up. He did the usual small talk before summing up an amazing doctrine for a nine-year-old’s level: “The end of this will be good. Even if it’s bad, it will still be good.”

Happy ending! The ‘something’ on her brain hasn’t grown or changed. The professionals think that it might be a low-grade tumor, at worst, which isn’t such a bad thing considering what it might have been. Marie perked up at that news and remained perky throughout the rest.

God is good. He’s showing me that He cares in the spiritual growth of everyone, even little kids. Marie is definitely being stretched in this; however, without these ‘stretching’ times, our lives are nothing but petty attempts at growth. It’s hard–on me, on my parents, and even more so on Marie… but the end is good. Even if it’s bad, it’s still good.

Everyone from time to time has experienced that tingling feeling, that rising of the hairs on the back of your neck, that creepy realisation that something isn’t right. It’s a psychological happening christened the Red Flag in common language.

You may have had such a feeling today. For instance, who is that creeping up behind you?

Anyway, enough abstract musing. Right before I decided to turn in for the night, I checked on the Tale of Wraith Daquell. The site wasn’t showing its content. That’s just fine: I told it to do that because Aeden discovered some new scrolls and wanted to make sure the codex was correct. Using my super-administrative powers, I got past the maintenance screen and was just checking on the site when… Red Flag. Something wasn’t right. I couldn’t put my finger on it. Then I clicked the link.

Sidebar: Writing a book and web-publishing were made in alternate realities. In book writing, one writes the first page, turns the page, and writes the second page. In web-publishing, one writes the first posting, then the second, then the third. And by that time, the first post is buried beneath its newer brethren. How does one rectify the situation? Two solutions: 1) Write the book backwards, 2) 1337 site hax!

The Tale was displaying half of its pages backwards. Not all of it. Just half. The Red Flag discovered, it was torn down, torn apart, and buried next to a very forlorn rock. And that is why, for my Christmas vacation, I have now compiled quite a sum of sleep debt.

Or, more appropriately, in the dark statistics.

The crew played flashlight tag tonight for the first time in months. I go off to school and come back, and my little flashlight taggers have grown up. We had a good turnout: eight whole people showed up. While not as good as previous years, where we had as many as sixteen kids running around the yard screaming after dark, it was quite good considering KnightGames has been disbanded. A neighbor heard me trying to scare some of the players into blowing their cover; she thought I was a burglar and called my parents (we were playing in our yard, though). After my mom explained to her what was going on, she started laughing really loud (probably relief). Then she came out and said hello to all of us.

Oh, yeah, statistics. We scoffed at our long standing standard of one to one-and-a-half hours for the competition; tonight’s games were two hours long! If I had my software handy, I’d make a perky little graph, but this here box of XP doesn’t have anything like that. So, a list is in order:

  • 5 min – first round is under-way. Players are happy and rarin’ to go (+10 excitement).
  • 20 min – round two ends. As confident players get more confident, un-confident players get less confident. (+9)
  • 50 min – beginning of round 5. Somebody asks for the time. (+6)
  • 1:15 min – end of round 7. A long lull follows. Players usually get restless and start a boy-vs-girl wrestling match*. Somebody suggests another game. (+4 for tag, +8 for wrestling or a faster-paced game)
  • 1:40 min – beginning of round 8. This will be the last round. Nobody has patience to play. The men usually go on a sacrificial run to allow the ladies to get to base. Someone climbs a tree. (-1 for tag, +7 for stopping or getting a snack)

So, as time progresses, interest in the tag rounds decreases. We’re usually at our best if we end at about one hour. Then, after the wrestling match ensues, we all go home.

*During the wrestling matches, the men do not attack the ladies except for their sisters. Consequently, the men always lose…

go on record for being the latest I’ve stayed up this Christmas break.

And it will not go on record for being a New Year’s trend: 2008, you’re looking at a cured child who goes to bed at decent times instead of programming all night! Except… for a little relapse… every now and again. For old time’s sake.

And by the by: Happy New Year!