New Year's Eve!

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Ahh, it's New Year's Eve today. I look back in sweet reminisence at the year of 2008. It has been a year of new experiences, new friends, and new knowledge. It has been a good year.

Now, I end this year in thanks, to the people I owe my year to:

To my Parents and Brother -for all your dedication, teaching, forgiveness, and love.

To Aunty S.H., for your wonderful writing advice and ideas.

To BLCS and Tim- for their encouragement and steadfast friendship

To Whitle, for your chess games and friendship.

To my relatives, for their love and critique

To Jian Lin, for prompting me to start my blog.

And most of all, to my Dear Savior, for Your love, mercy, grace, and patience, as You carried me through 2008.

My 1st Tag (at least the first that I've read and done)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Got tagged by the Mark. Now who shall I tag? Ahahahahahahahahaaa!

Choose 4 Friends *Hint* You should alternate between genders *Hint* :

1. Onysha
2. Timothy
3. Jian Lin
4. Benjamin

1. Would you date 1?


2. Has 2 helped you in anyway?

Yes! he's encouraged and helped me in so many ways I'm not gonna list them.

3.Are you close to 3?

Not particularly.

4. Is 4 in a relationship?

Who knows?

5. Can 1 solve a puzzle that you can't?

I don't know, but she can beat me at chess.

6.What do you and 2 have in common?

We're catapult fans. We are boys. We're the same age.

7. Do both you and 3 do the same of anything?

We both blog. Does that count?

8. Would 4 date 1?

Don't think so.

9. Would 1 date 2?


10. Is there anything you don't have in common with 2?

He's hands-on and practical. I'm a textbook-kind of person. Boring me.

11.Does both you and 3 live near each other?

Yes, sorta.

12. Would you throw 4 out a window?

Nah. A lot of work. Anyways, he'd probably be able throw me out before I could get his head through.

I'm gonna tag Wei Lynn, Joanna, Jian Lin, and Benjamin (Timothy doesn't have a blog). Have fun!

Ice Legend: Part I

Saturday, December 20, 2008

This is the continuation of the Polar Bear story:

"Oh Everont! The School-master told me to tell you he wants you in his office. Oh-oh, you're in trouble now."

The polar bear called Everont turned back to see who was calling him. It was Al-Tevan, a small-sized bear known schoolwide as "The Tattler". What an irony, thought Everont, that the word "Al-Tevan", in the polar bear tongue, meant "Truth-bearer."

Everont turned his head menacingly at Al-Tevan, who was thinly concealing his gleeful contempt. The school-master was a stern teacher -a lesson learned quite painfully by the Tattler, and it felt sinfully good to know his rival was in the Schoolmaster's displeasure.

Everont bared his teeth before returning to the gray stone building that was his home and school. He walked briskly past Al-Tevan, and head held high, closed the distance between him and the door. He would not show his fear to his enemy, never! He stoically tried to banish the growing fear from his mind, but like rebels in a stronghold, the fear could not be dislodged.

He passed the door, with its faded stone-carved: Fifth Royal Pernian Orphans' School and Board. Its large imposing letters were painted cherry red, but age and time had reduced the once-pretty shade of crimson to a disgusting tone of dull red-brown, like the color of dried blood.

He gave an involuntary shiver at the thought of the doom that was patiently waiting for him. What had he done? He, now a little slower, walked down the cold corridors until he reached the the Schoolmaster's office. Another involuntary shiver. He breathed deeply, then Everont nervously tapped the door with the back of his left paw, as was the custom of the Pernian Polar Bears.

"Come in," was the laconic reply. Everont opened the door a little, and slipped inside. The schoolmaster was sitting behind his desk. He was a tall, old bear, with small slanting eyes and ears that were strikingly long (for a polar bear). "Greetings, Everont son of Ternovont. Sit down."

The room was austere and Spartan in design. The sparsely set furniture were arranged in painfully neat rows on either side of the small room. The only central furniture was the desk, with a chair for the schoolmaster, and a small fireplace behind it. The fireplace was presently not in use, for it was not winter and coal was not cheap. However, upon this fireplace, was a mantepliece on which rested a sheathed sword. This sword was long and thick, and the sheath was enlaid with great large gems. It was the only decoration in the room.

Everont took a seat on one of the chairs, and looked up meekly at the schoolmaster. His right paw scratched his left wrist, as he always did when he got nervous. He licked the fur a little around his lips, then bowed forward respectfully before greeting the elder bear, "May the great Creator -whom we know little of- protect and bless my Elder."

"And the great and wondrous Creator bestow favor and blessing upon my Younger," was the reply. "You look nervous, Everont son of Ternevont. Would you like to tell me what may be troubling you?"

The young bear scratched his left paw even harder. What should he say? Tentatively, he said, "I-I am concerned that my, um, misdeeds might be the cause of you summoning me. Have I done anything wrong, S-Sir?"

"Do you think you have done anything bad?" the Schoolmaster asked.

Everont jogged his memory. He didn't recall anything particularly bad. He had forgotten to finish reading that poetry the other day, but his teacher had already given him a long lecture for that. Otherwise, nothing. "No, Sir," he said, a little less uncomfortable, "I haven't."

"Good! Because I didn't call you here because you did something wrong."

"You didn't?" asked Everont, quite surprised at his own un-badness. He wasn't in trouble! A burst of great relief poured over him.

"No, not at all," he confirmed. "You're actually a very well-behaved young lad. I called you, rather, because I thought you may want to be our orphan school's representative in the National Squire's Contest." The Schoolmaster's voice was almost amiable now, all the severity gone out of his manner and words.

Everont's eyes widened. The National Squire's Contest was a sports competition that brought young bears from across Pernia to compete for a chance to become a squire in the Imperial Palace. The competion was fierce, but the prize was of such high honor and prestige that only the toughest were allowed to compete. There were qualifying matches and races that determined those worthy of the contest. Upon which, the surviving contestants were tested for weeks through dozens of sports and tests. The finalists; the ones with the highest points, were given the privilege to be trained to become a Ursidian Warrior. They would be trained and tutored in the Palace of the Creshqatarrh, and if they graduated, these warriors would fight along the best of the knights and nobles in the Elite Guard. The thought of it filled Everont with surprise and wonder. Did the Schoolmaster really think that he was good enough for the Contest? True, he had been the winner of the school's marathon contest for two years in a row, and he could outswim and outplay most his friends in a game of Aqua-Poled, but was he really Contest material? There were a couple of other bears that were stronger and better than him, so why had he been picked?

The Schoolmaster seemed to read his mind. "You are one of the best sportsbears in the school, and though there are some of your peers that are faster and more athletic than you, your endurance and determination level surpasses all of them. You have potential, and I see it in you. The preparation for this Contest will be hard, and the life of a Ursidian Warrior is not easy. You see, I was one of them, once -before I got my kneecap wound. The training is excruxiatingly painful, and the teachers may seem harsh. There will be times when you will have to make choices, hard choices, so be prepared. You will have to be quick on both your feet and wits in the Palace of the Creshqatarrh." He stopped, and looked into Everont's eyes deeply for a moment. Then he continued, "The decision to join this Contest is completely up to you, Everont, so I give you the rest of the day and tommorow for you to decide. Choose wisely. So Everont at this I dismiss you, so may the Great and Wondrous Creator bestow Blessing and Favor upon my Younger."

Everont nodded. "And may the Great Creator, whom we know little of, protect and bless my Elder," he replied. Then he bowed respectfully, and left, closing the door behind him.

That's where Part One ends.

The Ice Legend: Introduction.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

This one's an story I thought would be fun to write.

It was winter in the North, and the harsh, icy, bitter winds whipped across a barren, desolate island mercilessly. An ancient polar bear sat on that desolate island jutting out of the wide sea, staring wistfully at the cold stone ruins of some structure that stood on the center of the isle.

The ruins seemed to have been once a mighty building, a fortress, maybe. Its past glory and splendor seemed to have faded into the ice, but it still seemed to stand proudly, regally, amidst its vast habitat of white and blue, not because of what it now was, but because of what it had been.

Beside the ancient bear was his young grandson, who sat, somewhat puzzled. For a young polar bear who had been so accustomed to the guttural snarls and growling gurrs of his bear-clan's complicated tongue, such silence seemed unbearable.

Finally, after a period of time, the Grandson ventured to ask in his small voice, "Grandpapa, why did you take me with you on this trip? It's so awfully lonely out here."

The old wrinkled bear turned from the ruins, and bent his old head downwards, meeting the curious eyes of his grandson. "Well," he said, "I come here because it is," he paused, "part of the story of our family."

"Ohh. That story," the young bear stopped to scratch an itch on his belly. "Could you tell it to me?"

"It's a sad story. You don't want to hear it."

"But I do! I know Papa says you'll tell me the story when I'm bigger. But I am a big bear! Look, my teeth are growing big and sharp, see?" he opened his mouth as wide as he could to illustrate the point, "Couldn't you tell me now?"

The ancient bear sighed. his grandson should know, when he's still young. Some things are harder to understand when you grow too old and fill your head with all sorts of knowledge, he thought.

"All right. Sit by me, Thervin. The tale is a long one, so it's best you make yourself warm."
This is just the intro, I'll continue the next episode . . . someday.

Amazing Grace

Saturday, November 29, 2008

My gourami, our pet fish, has died. It had been sick for some days already, and yesterday, it died. We gave it a proper flushing, since we couldn't give it a burial. My brother sang Amazing Grace. When it was alive, it was a greedy, domineering bully that believed it was king of the tank. But I had sadly misjudged him. It was simply his natural instinct to be a fat, territorial, itchtheoid. In its final moments, I felt a pang of regret and pity. Now the prescence of that gourami is somewhat missed beside my computer desk as I blog this post.

Da Yuezhi

Sunday, November 16, 2008

No, it's not my Chinese name. No, it's not a dish either.
The Da Yuezhi (pronounced "dah yueh-chih") were an Asian tribe that had existed from about 645 BC to 250 AD. The Da Yuezhi called themselves the "Visha". They once lived along the borders of China, which at the time was ruled by the Han Dynasty of China. Unfortunately, the Yuezhi were defeated by the Huns, a powerful neighboring tribe in about 177 BC. According to Chinese records, a small group of Yuezhi escaped west. This brave group traveled across Central Asia, fighting their way through enemy territory year after year, in search of a place to call home. Over time, they grew in numbers, and by the time Christ was born, the Yuezhi had built themselves a strong empire over Central Asia, known as the Kushan Empire. The Kushans grew prosperous due to trade over the Silk Road. The Kushan empire ended in the 3rd century.
The picture on the upper right is a scene of a Yuezhi king and his attendants.
If you happen to have any more information about the Yuezhi or Kushan civilizations, please do comment on this blog.


Sunday, November 9, 2008

Lately I've been thinking a lot. Not that I don't think much on other times, but I guess certain events in my life has made me think more. One of these events has been my turning twelve recently. It sort of triggered me to ask the question: where will God call me to? Does he want me to be a writer? A businessman? A janitor, even. A pastor? Maybe a missionary.

Suddenly I also just have felt a great passion to pray for the unsaved. It's gotten so strong that I have this desire to pray even for people I meet on the street. I'm not quite sure if this is a calling of God for something greater, or simply a desire God put in me.

Whatever my calling may be, wherever I go, whatever the job I take, I want to make God my vision, my passion, my call.

Walter the Toyseller

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Dong! Dong! goes the curfew bell. It is dawn, four weeks since Michaelmas in 1358, Anno Domini. I awaken, pull myself off the straw mattress, and get ready for market day. I grab a bulging frieze bag of my wares I will sell – toys. I gather some victuals for the morning meal, then walk out of the little hovel I call my home. Already the city of London is stirring. Carpenters, goldsmiths, and other craftsmen are opening their shops. Other merchants and peddlers, like me, Walter the Toyseller, make their way to the various markets in town. I make my way to my assigned spot in the marketplace, a sharp corner between two narrow, cobblestone streets. I arrange my wares on the table: dolls on my right, along with the puppets and woolen-stuffed animals. I place my game boards, like merles boards, and fox-and-geese sets, in the middle, so small parts won’t roll of the side. Ceramic figures and the costlier, but prettier, pewter figures are laid lying down. An hour after dawn, I am all set for business. Quite quickly, people start coming into the market. The morning is the time when most of the people come out, so I try to get as many as I can before the crowd begins to leave. The market is noisy, hectic, and smelly, with women haggling with produce sellers for cabbages, and young apprentices running errands for their masters, and the stinking open sewers that are all over the town. With all the noise, it is rather hard to advertise. I must raise my voice to the top of my lungs to be heard above the hustle and bustle. A father and his son pass by, and the son points at the ceramic goose figure. The father did not hear him and continues walking along. About ten minutes later, they return. The father gestures to the figure his son wants and we begin bargaining. Finally after fifteen minutes or so the man is satisfied with the price, pays the money, and gives the toy goose to his son. This process is repeated again and again. Now it is almost noon, and I had finished my victuals already. The curfew bells strikes again; signaling noon, and soon the crowds begins to return to their homes. Business grows steadily slower. Two hours later, the crowd is very thin, so I close shop and return to the cottage I am boarding in. Then I get some well-earned rest before I make more toys for tomorrow.

My Ribbon

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Some thing I made some years back, I think it was a writing assignment:
My ribbon,
Medal blue,
Neat and trim,
Around my present.

A lady
In a


Sunday, October 12, 2008

I turned officially twelve last Wednesday, and this is a metaphor of what I feel:

I turn my slim spyglass to the horizon. I see the notorious Teenage Years. My Ship sways slightly as it passes through that narrow strait they call the Twelfth Birthday. Alas I hit open ocean, and, consequently, a turning point in my life. I stare into the great watery yonder, and wonder where in this vast ocean of life shall I go. I tuck my spyglass into my coat pocket and return below deck. I must ask for God's guidance on where to go.

Elohim the Creator: A Young Poet's Psalm of Praise

Friday, October 3, 2008

You, who made the birds sing,
You, Maker of Everything,
You, creator of earth,
Master of the universe!

You, who knows of all my ways,
You, the Ancient of Days,
You, the designer of all I see,
You, the potter of me!

You, are the Creator,
You, are Elohim!

Eurasian Badger

Scientific Name: Meles Meles

Family: Mustelidae

Occurrence: Europe, Turkey, parts of China,

Diet: Birds, lizards, berries, roots

Groups: 4-6

Threats: Hunting, culling, road casualties

Predators: Adults have few natural enemies, such as lynxes and wolves, though cubs threatened by eagles and foxes

The Serf

Serf Grigori approaches his duke’s palace. He is giving a portion of his year’s harvest to Duke Anatoli Sokolov. Grigori himself has no surname – serfs rarely have last names. Every year, he has to give an agreed amount to the Duke. Well, it is not exactly an agreed amount, Sokolov decides everything.

Grigori sighs. It is only late summer, but already the cold western Russian climate turns his breath into vapor. By law, the serfs have been freed, but the nobles still continue to control the serfs. The tax portion is getting larger and larger every year, building up like a load on his back. He and his family have been growing thinner.

Grigori arrives at the servant’s entrance. The gatekeeper, about the only friend Grigori has in the palace, lets him in. Grigori trudges on to the palace storehouse, and meets the overseer there.

“So, I suppose you have brought me the seventy bushels of wheat and thirty of sugar beets we agreed on?” questions Boris, the Duke’s overseer.

“Yes, Sir,” Grigori replies.

“Very well. And remember, your tax increases to eighty bushels of wheat and forty of sugar beets next time. Now be gone!” Boris commands. Grigori nods and backs out. He returns home.

It is the year of 1916, under the reign of the tyrannical Czar Nicholas Romanov II. Grigori is in his humble cottage. The straw roof has been thinning, and he has no time to repair it. The room is hardly furnished. A table in the middle, a single bed on one corner, and a blanket nearly as coarse as sand. He is not allowed to have anything too lavish, nor can he afford it. Soberly, he shakes his head at the thought of the taxes. The harvests have been bad enough already. He might not be able to support his family of six. When will things get better? He does not know that next year, the Czar will be overthrown.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

My Special Pet
I wish I had a nice little pet,
that's trained and very well taught.
Not the kinds that other kids get,
but a pet that I alone sought.
I'll clean her myself,
(no unpleasant scent)
I'll buy it myself,
to the very last cent.
With a cute, fluffy, tail,
and a snow White back,
and manicured nails,
and the rest is sleek black.
What a beautiful thing,
what joy it'll bring!
Its fragrance is such that poets will sing,
Oh Mom, Oh Dad,
I'd be most glad,
if you'd let me get
a skunk as my pet.

King of Four Quarters

Monday, September 22, 2008

He was called the “King of the Four Quarters” because his subjects believed his empire covered all the quarters of the world. He built an empire from the ancient city of Babylon three thousand eight hundred years ago. He was one of the most brilliant generals of his time. His name was Hammurabi.
In 1792 B.C., Hammurabi became the ruler of the city state of Babylon (see map), a minor city state among many that struggled for power over the fertile land of Mesopotamia, now present-day Iraq. The first few decades of Hammurabi’s reign were somewhat peaceful. During this time Hammurabi heightened the walls of his city. He also expanded the city temple. Despite this relative peace, Hammurabi still had many enemies. The city state of Eshunna ruled to the west. Farther east, the Elamites ruled from Susa (see map). To the far north, King Shamshi Adad was building his empire.

Hammurabi took over Mesopotamia by his strategic genius and his skillful use of a chain of key events. In 1766 B.C., the Elamites invaded Mesopotamia, destroying the kingdom of Eshunna. Then, they waged war against the city state of Larsa as well as Babylon. Hammurabi made an alliance with Larsa. He was a brilliant general, and used his army to crush the Elamites (though Larsa probably did not have a very big hand in that!).

After the war with the Elamites, Hammurabi became frustrated with Larsa’s lack of military contribution in their alliance. So, he attacked Larsa and defeated it. Soon the cities of Eshunna, Nippur, and Isin, and many others, were all under Hammurabi’s empire, and soon southern Mesopotamia was under his control.

After this conquest of southern Mesopotamia, Hammurabi turned to the north. At that time, King Shamshi Adad had died, and Hammurabi easily conquered northern Mesopotamia. It is possible that the main city of Mari surrendered without any fight! By 1750 B.C., Hammurabi had united all of Mesopotamia.

After conquering all the kingdoms in Mesopotamia, Hammurabi set about organizing and running his empire. He dealt with floods, changed flawed calendars, and managed Babylon’s huge herds of livestock. By far the greatest of his achievements was the development of the world’s first set of laws, known as the “Code of Hammurabi.” It was a detailed set of 282 laws he made, “…to bring about the rule of righteousness in the land,” as he put it.

It is quite important to know that unlike many laws made throughout history, these laws applied to everyone, without exceptions. Punishments and privileges varied according to a person’s class, but no one was completely above the law –not even a king. The laws often were very harsh, but the very fact that Hammurabi standardized a set of laws to be used throughout an entire region is remarkable.

Of the 282 laws, here are a few of them:

 If a person steals an object from the temple or the court, he, and the person who receives the object, will be killed.
 If someone caught a runaway slave and returned him to his master, the master must pay that person who found the slave two shekels of silver.
 Be it so a house collapses and someone is killed, the architect of the house would die.
 To pay off a debt, a man may offer his wife as a slave to the person he is in debt of.

In 1750 B.C., Hammurabi died. Hammurabi’s descendants continued to rule Mesopotamia until 1595 B.C., but none left quite the same legacy that Hammurabi had. He had built a powerful empire that stretched over much of what is now modern-day Iraq. He had established the world’s first known set of laws. Today, he is depicted in a marble-bas relief as one of the 23 lawgivers in the Capitol building of the United States of America. Maybe Hammurabi’s subjects were not so wrong in calling him “The King of Four Quarters.”

For a map of Mesopotamia and Hammurabi's Empire, see's_Babylonia_1.svg