Creative Website Ideas

If I were creating a website for a newspaper I would make sure there is not a lot of clutter on the first page. Although people visit the site to find the news they do not need to be bombarded immediately with every story from that day.

The biggest thing that I would do to make the website user friendly and worth visiting frequently is creating user profiles. It would be completely free and separate from subscribing to the newspaper (if that is an option). This profile would give the user options based on what their news interests are and what sections they like to look at everyday. This way when they visit the page it would show them what they are interested in immediately. It reminds me of my grandma and grandpa getting the paper and splitting it up into the sections they want, but the website would do it for them.

After the users have picked their news interests I would set it up so that the story they would find most interesting always popped up in full. I think if the story shows up on its own people are more likely to scroll down and continue reading. Multiple pictures would be included with this story so it would not have too many blocks of text to scare readers away.

A Person’s (politically correct) Best Friend

So I thought a lot this week about what personal story I wanted to share because I didn’t really want to share some sob story, but that’s the first thing I think of. I’d like to tell you that after a lot of thinking I came up with some inspirational story to tell, but I didn’t. I’m going to make you cry and if you don’t at least mist up while reading this story than you probably don’t have a heart. I’m just kidding it’s not that bad. But it is incredibly sad…

Ok, so it was the summer after 7th grade and I was spending the night at a friend’s house during the week. Perks of summer and all. My mom was spending time with our four pound Chihuahua, Rocco, while waiting for her first kid to arrive. (She runs a daycare). She did that every morning, but when it was closer to the children arriving she would put him away so he did not bark at everyone coming in and out.

Well today the first kid arrived early and Rocco jumped out of my mom’s lap and ran out the door. He had actually done this quite a few times in the past few months. He was just too interested in the outdoors. He thought the world was his playground. My mom could not go after him because she had to watch her kids and my stepdad was not home…neither was I and I would feel bad about for a long, long time.

So my little sisters, 11 and 9 at the time, went out looking for him. They found him across the street in the neighbor’s backyard. He had tried to play with their jack Russell terrier, but that didn’t go so well. He had a broken neck and the vet said he’d been killed instantly.

**This is where I would like to put a picture up of Rocco, but he was before social media websites so they are all in print form :(

I think the worst part about this is that my little sisters found him. They were too young to see something like that. Neither of them knew what to do and just ran back to get my mom who went out to find her precious doggy. She loved Rocco probably as much as she loves my siblings and me.

The phone call I received was the worst I’ve ever had to this day. I just kept asking “what do you mean?” over and over again because I couldn’t believe that he was dead.

We had a little doggy funeral and Rocco was cremated. His little box that says “Rocco” Jarczyk is still sitting at the top of my mom’s closet. She wants his ashes to be buried with her. Judge my mom if you want I think she’s crazy too. But I’ll do it for her because I know how much she loved that dog.

This was my first experience with death. I had not lost anyone close to me yet and I was too young to understand what was going on when my other dog had to be put down years earlier. It was really hard to see my family hurting and know that I was the only one not completely traumatized by the accident. I didn’t even have to see him.

I know this probably sounds crazy, but I spent days trying to remember the last time I’d spent time with him or what I’d done with him. It was surprisingly hard to remember when you come in contact with your dog so much on a daily basis and he just becomes part of your life.

Rocco died on March 18, 2004 and we brought home Dexter on March 29, 2004. My mom thought getting another dog would help her grieve. She was very selective about picking him out though…Rocco was the typical Taco Bell looking Chihuahua and Dexter is white with light brown spots. He is also much bigger. Rocco was a tea cup breed meant to be smaller, but Dexter is now nine pounds.

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At the time my mom thought she was going to be going back to work outside the home and Chihuahuas get lonely so ten days after we brought Dexter home we had Daisy. (She came already named that is not my family’s personality at all.) She is black with white spots and also a much bigger breed.

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This seemed to help my family a little bit, but they mostly bonded with my parents. This just brought me much closer to my dog at my dad’s house who was one year old at the time. At first I hated him because he was part jack Russell terrier and I couldn’t get over that, but after ignoring him and “being mean” to him for a few weeks I felt horrible and cried a lot and told him I was sorry for being such a horrible owner. Don’t judge me I was thirteen. We’ve been inseparable ever since.

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Even though I had Dexter, Daisy, and Kobe (also do not judge I was going through a Lakers phase) I still missed Rocco and they didn’t really fill the void. I cried every night for almost a year over Rocco…I don’t know if it’s normal to be that torn up over an animal’s death, but I know it affected m whole family that way.

Ever since then my mom has been crazy about how we take care of our pets. Dexter and Daisy are mean little dogs that do not socialize very well and bark constantly. This is because after Rocco my mom sheltered them so much. Rocco used to ride around in her purse and go everywhere with us. My mom blamed herself for making him fearless so Dexter and Daisy are pretty mean to everyone that’s not family.

They are getting better now though because last May we got another dog. See when my mom feels like she is losing something in her life she replaces it with a dog. My youngest sister went to kindergarten…she came home from a bar with Rocco. (That’s a whole different story). She made it until my brother was going into first grade before she started looking at puppy websites again, but sure enough she realized my brother was going into kindergarten and in 10 years he was going to graduate and Dexter and Daisy were most likely going to die all in the same year. She had a mini breakdown, begged my stepfather a lot, and came home with Blue, a Pomeranian Chihuahua with a blue coat.

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Luckily have Blue is socializing Dexter and Daisy so they aren’t so mean because people were really getting annoyed with them. Buying Blue is how I knew my mom was completely healed after losing Rocco because he is not going to be any more than five pounds, but he still gets to run errands with us and she’s not making him fear everything outside of our home.

He is not even full Chihuahua though and none of them look anything like Rocco at all. Even though that is the type of Chihuahua my mom grew up with I don’t think we will ever have another Taco Bell dog again.

Some News Stories are Just Boring…

I looked at the national news story about Chris Dorner and the investigation ending after his body was most likely found in a cabin close to where the officers set up the search. I say most likely because the cabin burned to the ground and the body found inside was extremely charred and damaged.

I looked at a story from Channel 9 Kansas City and the Los Angeles Times. Honestly, I preferred the story from Channel 9. The paragraphs were in manageable chunks and were very easy to read. I also liked that the first sentence said the body was found instead of just stating that the investigation was over. They go on to say the investigation was over and use the same quote from Sheriff John McMahon, but they explained what closed the investigation first. This appealed to me because I think the interesting part of the story is where his body was found not just that they found it.

I also liked the way Channel 9 news went on to explain some of the back story about the Dorner investigation thus far. The LA Times did as well and I’m not even sure I can articulate why Channel 9’s was better. However, I read that entire article and struggled through the LA Times article even though I read it first.

The very short sentences and small chunks made the Channel 9 article an easy, interesting read while I felt the LA Times article was a chore. It actually felt like doing homework and I never would have read that article, or this story for that matter, if it was the first link I came to.

However, the LA Times did include better visuals including a video. This did not phase my world because I much prefer reading an article and looking at still photos to watching a video. For others those additional materials might have made the LA Times more appealing.

Interesting end to a well covered national news story that has been going on for days. I recommend you read the ending to the story from Channel 9 news…

http://www.kmbc.com/news/national/Sheriff-This-investigation-is-over/-/11664252/18526508/-/c0x7qv/-/index.html

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2013/02/dorner-investigation-over.html

Goalssssss

I have always wanted to start a blog, but I have never made the time for it. My goals for this blog are to find something interesting to write about and keep it updated to gain followers.

We’ll see how this goes…