(Click on picture to enlarge)
...sorry for the very unoriginal comic strip. My head exploded so I can't think of anything better right now.


The Day

I knew this day was coming.

It comes for everyone, sooner or later. It starts with small and seemingly insignificant choices, each choice steadily becoming more and more important. Soon, one begins to shiver at the mere thought of the approaching day.

Eventually, one may cry and sniff when one thinks of the day, but these actions only serve to confirm the certainty of that day's approach.

And then the evening before the fateful day arrives, one feels the lump in the back of one's throat, the pain of a headache, the tiredness of eyes, the heaviness of a mind that has finally given up fighting the inevitable.

The day itself dawns like every other day. But it is different from every other day, because of the horrible dread it holds: that horrible hacking and coughing! That tiring sneezing and sniffing!

And now that day has come for me, just as I knew it would. I stand, crushed, incapacitated; beneath that awful weight so lightly called a common cold.


Wasting Time

For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. (Romans 7:15 ESV)


So Organized

When there is so much to be done,
My weapons are a pen and pad
With which I write and write a ton
Of lists (quite messy, I might add).

I stuff them into the drawer, 
And sip my coffee, feeling pleased.
List-writing can be such a bore,
But my mind has been greatly eased.
Two weeks later, I steal a glance
At those lists from two weeks ago
And stare quite as if in a trance
For I have no work I can show.
Then with a sudden, new resolve,
I once more take my pad and pen
And new lists begin to evolve
To be stuffed in the drawer again.


The Happiest Car I Ever Saw....

There is a car with such a wide smile
It has worn for mile after mile
And, although it seems to be wide awake,
I think that its big grin is all a fake -
Because, while I looked and I admired,
I saw that it's wheels are always tired.


Remember 9/11

I heard the rushing, roaring sound
Of planes far too close to the ground
I heard awful, terror-struck cries
As people looked up at the skies.
I saw the planes so swiftly glide -
With the stately towers collide.
I saw the towers melt away,
Beneath the very light of day.
I saw the fierce flames leap up high
And heard thousands of voices cry
- then cease.

I see the tears on every face
Of one who lost a friend's embrace
I see a vengeful anger rise
In more than just one pair of eyes.
I see the orphans' sober gaze
Through the black smoke and filthy haze.
I see the husbands mourning wives
And families mourning loss of lives,
And all through out the city now,
I see sorrow on every brow
- sorrow.

I see the grey ashes and dust
And bent metal taken by rust.
I see the graveyard bare and sad
That once in life and joy was clad.
I see my close friends coughing hard,
Their lungs and limbs and bodies marred
By toxins in that deathly air.
Compassion was what brought them there,
To quench the hellish, fearful flame
And to rescue the hurt and lame
- rescue.

And all throughout the coming ages,
One thing rings out on history's pages:
Remember 9/11.

"Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard." (Isaiah 58:8)


The Trees on Campus

A clump of trees stood high and tall,
They grew within a grey-stone wall -
A wall made up of buildings old,
Constructed by grey bricks so cold.

Yet happy were the trees in there,
Although they missed the forest air,
For they brought smiles to the face
That admired their stately grace.


The shadow land

Upon the pavement grey,
In the soft light of late day,
I beheld the shadow land.

There is no color there,
And all is so bleakly bare,
Yet it whispers of beauty.

The land has nothing new:
Our world copied in grey-blue
And it lacks all dimension.

Now the trees seem more green,
The sky a prettier scene,
And the world much more lovely:

Because of the shadow land.


A row of three,
Bored folding chairs
That put on airs
As if they were
Much fancier.

On another note, I am needing a new camera; my pictures have been getting grainier and grainier.


No Picture Today....

For want of a picture, a post was lost;
For want of a post, the audience was lost;
For want of an audience, the blog was lost;
For want of the blog, HOMEWORK GOT DONE!!!!!
And all for the want of a picture.
(But as it happens, you get a post anyways).


A Dance

I am sorry that the image quality is so bad.... The girl's dress is made out of a piece of shiny origami paper, in case you were wondering.


Thoughtful post

If it is very hot outside, then there is no way I can think.
It is very hot outside.
Therefore, I can not think.

It's a syllogism, and in my dehydrated state, I can only hope it makes sense. The only drawback to a syllogism is that sometimes the premise is wrong:

If cats can fly, then I am a pickle.
Cats can fly.
Therefore, I am a pickle.

The above syllogism is logical, but the result is obviously incorrect. At least I hope it is, otherwise I am a green condiment.


Piano Lessons

Little children and stuffed animals are invariably cute. Special thanks to Bernie, Eddy (left to right, back row), Mildred, and Buzz (front row) for posing at the piano.
And this week, I will really post on schedule (famous last words of every post from now on till September).


Pink Flowers

Flowers courtesy of Mum's garden. I have no idea what kind of flowers they are.


For want of words

I have nothing to say, so here is a happy picture of trees turning green....


Trusting God

Trusting God means that when every single plan I have made and every single hope I had comes crashing down around me, and every single fear comes alive; it is only because God has something greater, better, and more perfect in mind. And for me to protest against this is completely confusing. After all I am nothing, but He created the universe.


Fly Training

I have been discontented with my blog recently. Dis-contented, meaning I am not happy with the content. I have dappled in politics the tiniest amount, conducted interviews with the famed children's author Rodney Richards, and commented on science. Today, however, all of that changes.

Instead of a nice, sometime reliable, technical blog, I am going to post blow-by-blow descriptions of my newest hobby: fly training. I have often lamented that, although monkeys and zebras and mosquitoes are trained for circuses, the house-fly is often neglected. Therefore, I have determined to stand in the side-lines no longer. I have seen my duty and I will perform it aptly, by becoming a fly trainer.

So what exactly does this mean for my readers?

It means that I will post progress daily, including close-ups of my flies' latest stunts, and exclusive shots of their cheering comrades. I will choose the best of my performing flies and name him/her Fly of the Month. In order to boost the self-esteem of my flies, I will issue custom-made t-shirts for the flies, complete with the team logo on it. Eventually, I will be able to split up my flies into several teams and hold aerobatic contests.

In addition, I will dye my hair different colors to reflect my mood and therefore success of my fly training venture. For instance, if I am happy, I will dye my hair blue, and you will know that all is going well. If I am sad I will dye it red, and then of course you will know that I am either bothered by the lack of talent in, say, Sammy-fly, or bemoaning the loss of a now squashed Jerry-fly.

Finally, I will change my blog template to fushia pink and rename it, "Fleet of Flies." Perhaps, if I am especially successful, I will get my own reality TV show; however, I must think first of what is best for my flies.

Today seemed like a good day to start - it's April 1st.


Boring Title

I am suddenly aware of a very sad trend in my recent posts. None of them are particularly happy or lighthearted. I see sad posts, long posts, crazy posts, boring posts - but no posts in which I happily ramble like a sick duck.

Maybe this is because I am attempting to be cold and professional like a fish, and have regarded it my duty to state things accurately and clearly. But now I am wondering, who reads blogs now anyways? A blog, I think, is mostly fun for the author, who can post things on it and grin proudly every time they see their blog glaring down at them from the computer screen. Everyone else glances at it quickly and wonders why they just wasted 5 seconds of their precious time.

Thus said, I could post anything I wanted on here, no matter how absurd, for no one would read a post that had an icy picture and a boring title. In fact, I almost regret not having some astonishing secret to share with the world (or in this case, the small cluster of my smiling fans that I have created in my imagination), to reward whoever was trying so hard to procrastinate their work, or else were so extremely bored with their interesting television shows and fiction books, that they bothered to read this post....

Oh, and while I am at it, I might as well mention a more recent feature residing at the end of my posts. It is called "Reactions" and I think it is for people used to Facebook's "like" buttons. Instead of leaving a nice comment, you can click a button: happy, sad, interesting, or funny - and the nice part of it is, your name will not be attached, so I will not know who clicked "sad" when I write about my nice new pink bunny slippers, nor will I know who clicked "happy" when I write an eulogy to my dead, pet parrot Penelope.

Disclaimer: I do not have a parrot. Nor do I own pink bunny slippers. I think I will click "sad" the day I write about those.



I am in Connecticut again. I like to visit this state, because it is beautiful along the coast, with lots of beaches and boats and bridges. Spring comes earlier here than it does back home, although there was a light dusting (maybe one inch) of snow on the ground this morning. When walking down the road, one sees green grass beginning to peek out and crocuses and other early flowers are already dotting the gardens of several yards. Oh, there is one more reason why I like Connecticut - my sister lives here.

She has a happy little apartment in a complex, and me and my brother, Clevard, have been staying with her this week. My family strictly charged me to blog about my adventures here and post lots of pictures, but unfortunately I left my USB cable at home, so they will have to suffer a plain narrative with no colorful pictures to make it palatable.

As it turns out, that is probably alright. Because one of our adventures is really not something one wants to see pictures of. There is a toilet in my sister's bathroom, like most bathrooms. And this toilet decided that it would be plugged and stay plugged for a couple days, and every time we attempted to flush it, we would end up with disgusting water all over the floor.

So there I am, trying desperately to use a plunger, my socks soaked with the dirty water on the floor, and nothing seemed to be working. That is when I did what any other silly girl would have done - I cried. My sister eventually fixed the toilet and went running around the house, yelling about how she was the "Toilet Unplugging Expert Genius" and accusing my brother of being jealous of the title. She succeeded in cheering me up.

Happily, most of our time has been much more enjoyable. We went on a windy walk and breathed in the spring air, and saw tiny delicate leaves opening on the very tips of trees, and the hard brown ground yielding to the spongy grass. I wake up every morning to hear song birds, and I walk out in the parking lot and hear the distant roar of a train, its loud horn echoing throughout the neighborhood, warning people of its coming. It reminds me of a train track running along the river side that I used to hop around at my grandparents old house, and I still remember the rush of the wind as a train whizzed only a yard from my face.

In the meantime, I am working on calculus and watching an old 70's TV show about the Hardy Boys, which I find highly amusing. I have also been checking the news frequently for any scrap of information on the war we recently rushed into blindly. I am not exactly sure what is going on with that, but I do not think I am the only one feeling clueless right now.

And that has been my week! I am having a wonderful trip but I miss home, and I can not wait to see our woods begin to blossom as the trees in CT have done. I will see two springs this year, and what could possibly be wrong with that?


Theo's Thesis 3

And finally.... THEO'S THESIS!!! 
If you have no idea what I am talking about, then I apologize for putting section 3 up so late, and you can go here for previous sections; newest sections on top, oldest on the bottom. Enjoy!

Aaron settled down in the corner of the office and tapped a beat on the floor with his foot. When he tired of this, he counted the cracks in the wall. It was then that his eyes lighted upon a car magazine, which was soon on his lap and remained there for a while.
Theo, in the meantime, was oblivious to Aaron's irritated noise-making, for he had discovered another problem with his data. Although the papers by Dr. Collins were continually consistent, they ran in direct opposition to those of one of the Doctor's colleagues. To be sure, Dr. Leia Martin was not well-known and her works were hard to find, but nevertheless, they explicitly explained the experimental process Martin had used to reach her conclusion, and it was a reasonable process....
Who was right? Theo could only figure out by running an experiment himself, and as it was ,he was already behind schedule. He considered accepting Dr. Collins' work and getting on with his own work, but his conscience forbade it. He wanted the truth.
His computer beeped at him, and he checked his inbox eagerly. There was an email from his former advisor, in response to Theo's questions.
Theo Quasar, I was surprised to get your note. As far as I know, the papers by Dr. Arlen B. Collins are completely trustworthy. Dr. Collins himself is a widely renowned biologist, whose works are popular reading assignments for biology students in universities across the country....”
The rest of the email was a blur before Theo's eyes. Dr. Collins had to be right. His work was accurate. But what if it wasn't?
Theo?” Aaron piped up, putting aside the car magazine with a sigh. “I'm trying to be quiet, but don't you think we should get dinner now? I'm really hungry!”
Theo glanced at the clock and smiled. “I guess now is about as good a time as any to start eating. I forgot about dinner, actually.”
Forgot...dinner?” Aaron repeated in disbelief. “How could anyone forget dinner?”
I suppose it is a very hard thing to comprehend when you're ten,” Theo laughed. “What do you want to eat?”
Hamburgers!” Aaron jumped up and down.
We can probably find a few at the restaurant down the street. Let me just pack up my work.” Theo shoved several papers into his back-pack and put his laptop to sleep.
My dad doesn't have a back-pack. He has a briefcase. I think mom bought him the briefcase because it matched his shoes or something, and she hid his back-pack away. Dad doesn't know, but I found it in the corner of the coat closet, up on one of the shelves,” Aaron laughed.
Ah, but a back-pack can hold so much more,” Theo said. He pulled his coat out of it and put it on. Aaron looked at him skeptically.
Isn't that what a coat hangar's for?”
Why bother? My backpack works just as well.”
No, it wrinkles things,” Aaron said.
That's why I carry an iron,” Theo said, whipping an iron out of his backpack. 

Theo flopped down on his bed, his stomach hurting from the greasy hamburger he had consumed for dinner. He was used to nice bland food, like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. He was just beginning to consider his work again when Aaron called from the living room.
Theo! What time is it?” Aaron asked, looking small as he lay beneath a sea of red race cars dotting his comforter.
It's only 10. Why?”
What time is it Florida?”
I don't know.”
Theo, I miss mom and dad. Do you think they'll call?”
I expect so. Try to get some sleep. I have to bring you into school tomorrow.” Theo went back into his bedroom and lay down again. But this time, he wasn't contemplating his work....

The door had been left ajar, and through the crack, Theo could see the light of the hall shifting in. He rolled over onto his stomach and stared out the window at the beautiful, starry sky. The dark, grey clouds were swirling like ghosts around a bright, silvery moon, and he was sure that one of the ghostly forms was that of a ship, sailing on a sea.
A loud noise from downstairs startled him and he sat up in bed to listen. It was his parents arguing. The arguments had grown more regular lately. It had started from an occasional thing and gradually become a weekly occurrence. Now, he could hear them every night when they thought he was asleep. He covered his ears to drown out the noise and felt a hot tear stream down his face. He tried desperately to swallow back his tears, but they kept on coming. He was angry with himself, for at ten years old, he was almost a man, and men don't cry.
Even though it was no surprise to him when his parents announced their divorce the next day, the news didn't hurt any less. He loved his parents and he could remember when they had been happy together. He could see the Christmas tree all lighted up, and his mom and dad laughing together as he tore open his presents eagerly.
It hurt still more when his dad left a week later, never to return. Their home would never be the same, and the last thing Theo heard about his dad was that he had a girlfriend and had moved to California.
Mom, what time is it in California?”
I don't know,” mom said, although Theo could tell that the real reason for her answer was that she didn't want to know.
I wish dad was here. Do you think he'll call?”
I wouldn't count on it.”

(C) Copyright Curious Cognitive Content (CCC) - March 17, 2011


Thoughts on Japan

March 11, 2011

The news has been ablaze with reports of the devastation in Japan after an earthquake of magnitude 8.9 occurred just off the shore of Japan, earning it a place among the top five most violent earthquakes on record worldwide. Violent aftershocks, with magnitudes reportedly as large as 7.4, shook the islands, and a massive tsunami washed Japan's shores and caused evacuations along the North and South American west coasts.

On March 12, the outer structure of Unit 1 in the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant experienced an explosion that triggered fear of radioactive contamination. Although the reactor itself remained intact, it appeared to be functioning at abnormal levels due to lack of proper cooling, and residents were quickly evacuated from the area. Soon afterwards, the other reactors in the nuclear plant showed signs of overheating. There have been more explosions, exposures to radioactivity among plant employees and health-workers, and growing concern that the disaster will prove as tragic as that of Chernobyl.

Besides nuclear concerns and causalities, there have been reports of up to four missing trains, and thousands of people missing in various coastal towns. In one shocking report, it was estimated that up to 9,500 people in a town with a population of 17,000 were missing.

This tragedy is unspeakable.... And for all we know, it may get worse. It has gotten worse. Even if the calamity were to stop making news now, and no more casualties were to be had, the calamity would continue for many years. Many people have lost everything - families, friends, homes, possessions - and the rebuilding and healing of Japan will be a long, sad process.

I am calling on my fellow Christians to pray for Japan - to pray that this tragedy would not be in vain - to pray that the heartbreak and insecurity of all those involved would be used by God to bring them to an understanding of the Love of the Savior, and to find security and refuge in Him.

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling." Psalm 46:1-3


Farewell, Discovery!

I have avoided posting about things happening in the world, as the news has been mostly sad, weird, or simply puzzling as of late. Perhaps I will eventually post about the unrest in Wisconsin or the state of protesters in Libya, but right now I mean to call to mind the end of a once glorious and unparalleled age for the United States, as the last of the shuttles is retired with no replacement.

Shuttle Discovery is to be launched today (provided there is no unseen delay), on its last flight to the International Space Station (ISS).

Hopefully with the increase in space craft designed by privately owned companies, such as SpaceX, space travel will continue and even increase within the coming years. And in time, this type of space travel may dwarf the shuttles in comparison. But until then, a moment of recognition for the engineers and scientists who designed these shuttles, and the astronauts brave enough to fly in them (14 of whom never made it home), not to mention the countless others who worked behind the scenes, is never out of place.


Reaching Up

The world just keeps on telling me
That if I could reach up high
I'd touch my dreams like they were clouds
In the beautiful blue sky.

And though I try to believe them
I'm finding that by and by
My arm just isn't long enough
To be reaching up that high.

And I'm reaching up
And I'm reaching up
But all I'm feeling is air
My dreams are slowly dissipating
Not like I was anticipating
Just when I began to care.

I'm seeing a man dressed in rags
His bare feet leave drops of blood;
I see that in his hands and feet
Are the nails that drew this flood

He's reaching out and he's calling
"Oh, won't you follow me, too?
The road is hard and long and rough,
But I'll be right beside you."

And I'm reaching out
And I'm reaching out
And I feel his hand in mine
My dreams are slowly dissipating
Just as I was anticipating
And I don't really mind....

(C) copyright January 2011 - Curious Cognitive Content (CCC)


On cannibal mice and dumpster sleds

Both are in our garage right now.

Our garage pets, as we fondly call our mice, have been known to swipe the peanut butter from the mouse traps without triggering the mechanism that shuts on their tails. We are very proud at the skill of our pets, as they constantly risk their lives for a scanty portion of food.

Sometimes, however, one of our pets gets careless. Then there is a mouse carcass, a blood spattered mass of fur. Although we try to dump these carcasses as soon as they appear, there are those nights that we can not get to it. And this is where the mystery begins.

The garage doors are shut, and the window is closed. And on one side of the garage and one side only, the mouse carcass is slowly consumed. The next morning, we find half a mouse, and if we leave over night again, the entire mouse is gone. But if the carcass is on the other side of the garage, the carnivore does not seem to consider it worth the effort.

And thus our conclusion was this: we are experiencing an invasion of cannibal mice.

The dumpster also sits in our garage. It is very smelly like most garbage dumpster, and looks like a large black rectangle standing vertically upright on the ground. In the back of it are two good-sized wheels, used for wheeling it down the driveway come garbage day. At least, there used to be two wheels.

One of these wheels must have been disgusted with its job. Not too long ago, my brother was wheeling the dumpster down the driveway when a wheel popped off and would not stay on. We found that if we kicked it back on its axle every five seconds on its trip down the driveway, it tended to be fairly usable.

Gradually, it grew looser and looser, until one day, it decided to fall off just as the garbage truck came around, and our obliging trash-guys decided to take our wheel along with our other garbage.

Then my brother had to unicycle our dumpster down the drive way. I can only imagine that he found it hard, as wheeling a heavy, smelly thing down a long drive way on one wheel, seems to imply that the majority of the weight and smell was on him - not the wheel. Perhaps that is why he did not seem too upset when that wheel fell off also.

Now we have a dumpster sled. My brother still employs the last wheel when necessary, but he stores this wheel in the garage so that no one can mistake it for garbage. So maybe, just maybe, the garbage collector will have pity on us and give us a new dumpster soon....



This is the start of a New Year - and consequently, a day with a cool numerical pattern. But besides the numerical pattern of 1/1/11 (which will be beaten by 11/11/11 sometime this year), nothing else seems to have changed.

New Years Eve has always been slightly disappointing to me. In the US, people sit up until past midnight, drinking alcohol at loud parties, so they can usher in the new year with a horrible headache and blasted ear-drums. They watch a crystal ball slooowwwly descend on a pole, and think this is the best thing that has happened to them all year.

Now it is the first day of 2011. The economy is still bad, wars are still happening, and my bedroom is still a mess. The sun rose like it did every day of 2010, and the snow outside is melting. What has changed?

Nothing has changed. And therein lies a miracle. Why has the sun not stopped shining? Why do we still associate snow with winter and warmth with summer, as we have for centuries? Why is my heart still beating this morning? Human beings are so fragile. Life is so short. Why am I still alive?

"...[I]n these last days he [God] has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power..." (Hebrews 1:2 - 3).

And my knowledge of the Gospel - that Jesus died to save the sinner that rebelled against him, and that he rose to show that we are saved indeed - my knowledge of this wondrous Love will make me want to change the way I live this New Year.

And thus my resolutions will not be based on the changing of one digit in the number we use to measure years, nor on my past grievances I wish to fix, but on the Love that Jesus had for me, and the love I have in return.

Happy New Year!