The Sophomore Slump

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Hopefully next time I use this same concept for a post that I do better. Here I created titles for my Special Reports. I made it a thumbnail gallery because the idea is that I want it to act as if you’re flipping covers to the next.

You can also find these blog posts by on my menu tab.

This is my submission for Weekly Photo Challenge: Cover Art.

I used a free app called Phonto.

The Sophomore Slump Recommends

Movie: Silence of the Lambs – “I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.” … ‘nough said.
Music: American Idiot by Green Day – A conceptual rock opera that begs you to listen to it from start to finish (except for last track – not really part of the story). It includes two 5-part epic songs, both in time lengths and brilliance, “Jesus of Suburbia” and “Homecoming”. It’s no wonder this album was turned into a musical.

Featured Blog

This blogger is all over the globe browsing the atlas. Let Juliann be your tour guide in Browsing the Atlas. Here’s one for you – Crafty in Korea.

Weekly Photo Challenge 2013


February – FORWARD









September – UNUSUAL POV

October – HORIZON


December – GRAND

This year, I decided to discontinue participating to Weekly Photo Challenge. Check out the similar post pattern last year – WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGES 2013. I still think the challenges are great tools to motivate and instill post ideas and creativity, to keep up with your blogging frequency, and, in many ways, get in the WP community. Especially for beginners, I really advise the writing and photo challenges.

All images are from my posts this year only. That is with the exception of July. I took those from Sunset View Park in Okinawa. All images were taken from either California or Okinawa, Japan.

I want to extend my gratitude to all of you who became part of this blog. Thank you for the appreciation, for following my travels and adventures, for sharing your thoughts, and for those of who shared my posts to other portals like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I love the fact that even though I was away for 4 straight months, and then I came back and still have an abundance of friendship, loyalties and support from all of you who visit my blog. That was such an amazing thing, a relief and a joy.

My Top Ten posts that were posted this year can be seen in the front page and will remain there for the first half of January. #1 is PEOPLE.

Thank you so much. Happy New Year! Arigato Gozaimas. Akemashite Omedetou!

WPC’s: I want to feel things…

I want to feel things…

I RESOLVED in seeking more hikes…


I want to feel things…

ILLUMINATION in the City of Lights



…really feel them.

Witness something UNIQUE


my wildest dream.


I want to feel things … really feel them.

To connect. To KISS.


To rekindle with the one I LOVE.


To go back HOME.


I want to feel things, really feel them.

How’s that for an ambition?

I want to go on and keep moving FORWARD


Related Post:

Weekly Photo Challenge 2012

January – Simple


February – Down


March – Unusual


April – Arranged


May – Sun


June – Summer


July – Movements


August – Growth


September – Wrong


October – Silhoutte


November – Geometry


December – Changing Seasons


Weekly Photo Challenges

Here I let Weekly Photo Challenges sit for a little as I give way to post prolonged drafts and ideas I had been harboring i.e. a poem post, a DIY post, a bests and worsts post, home residence post, etc. And now I collected enough overdue Weekly Photo Challenges into one super post.

I do suggest participating to Weekly Photo Challenges. It’s a great medium to boost readership and to get to know a good part of WP community. If not WPC, there are other challenges available as well like Jake’s Sunday Post, Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge, IT’s Weekly Images of Life, Frizztext’s A – Z Challenge, Aisa’s Travel Theme and Marianne’s CBBH Challenge. I think I’m done participating to Weekly Photo Challenge. I have so much in my plate, and that I’ve been missing a lot of it or being late for it. Also, for a long time I’ve only been doing an average of 2 posts a week. I don’t want Weekly Photo Challenge dictates the nature of my blog.

BIG: LACMA [Los Angeles, California]

FOREIGN: International Houses [Balboa Park in San Diego, California]
This collage doesn’t do justice to what the location offers. You have to get in to each houses to get the full experience.
Seen: From top left, counterclockwise – Norway, Ireland, Spain, Czech, Sweden China, Ukraine, Germany, Israel, Puerto Rico, Scotland and Philippines

Geometry: Walt Disney Concert Hall [Los Angeles, California]RENEWAL: The Strip [Las Vegas, Nevada]

Las Vegas

GREEN: Sespe Creek [Ojai in Ventura, California]

Sespe Creek in Ojai

THANKFUL: My Community [The Sophomore Slump v. 2] *sticks tongue out*
 My Community
Changing Season: Matilja Creek [Ojai in Ventura, California]

Thank You WordPress geniuses for improving their gallery feature.

EDITED: The new WP gallery is not that great afterall. Now, I’m forced to show the pictures one by one. I’m sure WP will do something about this.
Or I have to settle for a width-length instead of having my widgets to the right.


Weekly Photo Challenge?


Here’s to a very old post from an old-time blogging friend. I remember this photography excellency very well – Weekly Photo Challenge: Unusual. Gerry has been an all-over-the-map blogger providing us outstanding posts and being highly visible to many blogging sites. As a matter of fact, he has two blogging sites- Gerry’s Space and Writing Hell. To take great note, he won from participating the National Novel Writing Month Challenge. A blogger, a novelist, a consistent challenge master, and a music composer! Gerry surely is a stand-out creative blogger.


Last Call…

REFLECTION: San Juan Capistrano [Los Angeles, California]

San Juan Capistrano

I’m only going to complete Weekly Photo Challenge this year.

DIY: How to make a Parachute Bracelet (550Cord Bracelet)

Don’t be alarmed, you are still viewing The Sophomore Slump. I’m very excited to compose this special report of a post. I actually planned to publish it 10 posts out before I hit my 200th but I just can’t resist.

550-cord bracelets or Parachute bracelets are usually or popularly worn by military personnel. It’s unisex, mostly men actually. Online, it ranges from $5 to $20 or higher. The coolest thing about this bracelet is that you don’t have to worry whether it’s fake or not, and rest assured that it doesn’t rust. 550 cords are strong and sturdy. It has a minimum breaking strength of …dum dum dum dum… 550 pounds. It was originally used in the suspension lines of US parachutes during World War II.

What you need?

  • A scissor, knife or a Gerber ***Safety Note*** Be careful when working with scissor or a knife.
  • 2 550-cords, one much longer than the other
  • lighter, or a candle ***Safety Note*** Be careful when working with fire.
  • Button

There are less than 15 Quick and Easy Steps. I can’t believe I put ‘Quick and Easy’ steps, such a typical tactic to lure people. Seriously, once you get the hang of it, it gets really easy. I can make one for 10 minutes. I do it when I hike, when I’m watching a movie, when I wait for my laundry to finish, whenever I drive …oops, whenever I’m at a Rest Stop.


Take the smaller 550 cord (lanyard – let’s call it fancily as ‘lanyard’ from here) and fold it in half.

The Small Lanyard

Cut it in a way that it fits your wrist or whomever you’re making it for. Yey for me using ‘whomever’. Was the usage even right? Add extra length for adjustments, or for ‘waste factor’. Look at the picture as your guide. If you can’t do that, kindly give yourself a slight slap on the right cheek ….of your face. *BIG GRIN* just lightly, safety is paramount in making the bracelet.


Take the longer lanyard, spot the center and make a square knot around the smaller lanyard. Pull it as tightly as you can. See the picture…

Leave a small loop where the fold meets on the small lanyard. Later on, that is where the button is attached to. You can look at the end result (very first picture). If you can’t make a square knot, ask your parents what it is.


Place one side (first side) of the long lanyard over the small lanyard.

The First Side

Just like so. If you can’t do that, go ahead and give yourself a slight slap on your left cheek …


Take the second side of the longer lanyard. Go over the first side and under the small lanyard. Making an “e”.

Make an “e”. The second side.

Again, over and under…

Over and Under

STEP 5 and 6:

Bring the end of the second side and go under the loop of the first side.


Then, bring both sides up and pull both sides outward. Pull it as hard as you can.


It should look like that -like a pretzel. I know pretzels are yummy, but don’t eat this lanyard. This is not a recipe. Once you pull it, you should see that you just made your first design.


STEP 7, 8, 9 and 10

Redo the loops on the opposite side. Keep doing it until you reach almost at the bottom.





You should leave room for ‘waste factor’ or that added length you made in STEP 1.


STEP 11 and 12:

Cut both sides of the longer lanyard.


Then burn both ends using a lighter. We all should know not to play with fire. Do this in a well-ventilated area and free of flammable materials like paper, gasoline, or your partner’s temper.


STEP 13 and 14:

Take the button. Be practical. Get it from a used clothing. Be creative, you can use all kinds of buttons. This is actually the only hard part because you have to scrape off the center of the button to make it into a single hole. Use the knife to scrape off the button. Or, simply find a one-hole button.


Insert both ends of the smaller lanyard into the button. Sometimes, you have to use a pen to stick it in, or any pointy objects.


Then burn the ends together. Whenever you’re burning the ends, don’t your use bare hand but you can use the scissor to flatten it out. Here…


STEP 14:

Presto! You’re done! Just attach the button to the loop that you made on the small lanyard.



This post is part of the Weekly Photo Challenge: Mine. My blog is primarily about my travels. This time I posted something that is MY creation. Well, it was taught to me, and it became my leisure. I’ve given them away to close friends, even neighbors, and other acquaintances. Indeed, it is perfect for gifts, or giveaways. If you can’t keep up with my quote-end quote Quick and Easy steps, 3rd graders proof intructuons, first slap your face on both cheeks and then there are Youtube videos for you to visually follow.

For Parachute Bracelet Advance… You can also mix and match different colors of 550 cords. Instead of a button, you can also use clips or snap ons. You can also attach this to a watch. What I taught is Parachute Bracelet Basics. Maybe, a part deux in the future.


Part 2: How to make a keychain and parachute bracelet with buckle

Part 3: Tips and Tricks

WPC’s: People are poetic…

People are poetic…

People are poetic…


People are poetic…

and the best part is…



People are poetic…


and the best part is…


People are poetic…

and the best part is…



they don’t even know it.



Here is …. (drum roll please) … eliz with Musings: Color me Poetic. Of quotes, inspirational words, fitting wonderful images, engaging discussions, overflowing thoughts, relatable life perspectives, humanity, some humor and a whole lot of characters, Mirth and Motivation is your blog to check out. This blog urges you to think, to feel, to hear your inner voices, to taste life, to see things in a different light, and to speak your mind. Get to know her, and she’ll assure you that you’ll hear from her sooner or later. An all-over, all-around, prolific blogger, Eliz and her blog that suggesting you to Motivate, Elevate, Laugh, Live Positively… This is certainly one for the gold.


Sorry for the flooding of photos, I completely go out of a whim and out of my normal posting habits and rules. I’m way behind my Weekly Photo Challenges, so I took the lazy approach. Hold thy breath, there’s more for last calls…

People are poetic…


and the best part is…



…they don’t even know it.

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