TEA study guide excerpts for the TAKS test

Study Guide pp 1-131 (open this on a computer or iPad, do not print) before answering questions

Answer Key from pp 140-151 (password protected)

 

Now that the new OHMS site is launched I need to take time to streamline it and speed up the loading time. Two essential tools I’ve discovered to measure, analyze, and diagnose problems with site loading time are Pingdom Tools Full Page Test and Google’s Page Speed Online.

Right now the newly developed OHMS site is posting an embarrassing Page Speed Score of 66 (out of 100) when tested by Google. Page Speed Online offers a tiered set of recommendations for decreasing load time and a comprehensive FAQ.

Pingdom’s test provides the total load time (17.3 seconds over a cable modem, ouch!) and lists every file requested by a browser, graphing the list in a chart to show which items took the longest to load. From their analysis I can see that I have plenty of work to do, starting with not loading ajax libraries three times (!). And how did that 79K image get in there? Quite obviously there were many nights of working on the site long after everyone else was asleep!

Almost three months ago I met with the current and incoming PTA Presidents to discuss a new web site for my daughter’s school, O. Henry Middle School. They gave me a wish list of items including an online store for parents to join the PTA and make online donations.

I worked on the project throughout the summer trading many emails per day with them and was proud to make the new site live on Monday, August 8. There are still plenty of holes to fill once teachers and students return, but I am happy with what we accomplished to get launched. Check it out and let me know what you think: http://ohenrypta.org

Way back in the earliest days of the world wide web I was entranced with the notion of being able to publish information that could instantly be viewed around the world. This concept still amazes me, though to kids like my daughter it’s as natural as air being available when you breathe.

My first personal web site was created in the mid-90’s and hosted by America Online. I’ve archived it for posterity. For a trip back in time you can check out Spanky’s Spot. You can even read my senior paper for the UT College of Communication: Auteurist Style and Ideological Views in the Beatles Films of Richard Lester.


When my former Order of the Arrow Lodge disappeared in a merger in 1996 I was saddened to see all traces of its history and tradition vanish from the web. So I built a web site to document their emblems that has grown to include far more. Kecoughtan Lodge Emblems and History now includes emblems and history related to Kecoughtan Lodge 463, Chanco Lodge 483 (that it merged with), and Wahunsenakah Lodge 333 (the Lodge resulting from the merger), as well as the Councils they served as well as the Area and Sections they belonged to.

 

 

In 1999 I created a simple site as a tribute to my Father, Colonel Arthur Leo Chase. I’ve been pleasantly surprised over the years by email from people who knew and worked with him sharing their stories and memories.

 

In the Fall of 2000 I was motivated to create a site that would serve as a directory of web resources related to the hobby of collecting Scout patches when a fellow collector posted a message to a mailing list asking for help recovering his bookmarks after a computer malfunction. The Scout Patch Collector’s Base Camp debuted in November of 2000 on Election Day and continues to receive over 1,000 visitors a month.

 

I was a founding member of Capitol Macintosh, the Austin Macintosh Users Group, and created a new web site for them in 2002. The site was revised a few years ago but you can see my original design courtesy of the awesome Wayback Machine at The Internet Archive. I am especially proud of the Apple buttons that changed color on mouseover!

 

In 2004 I decided to set up a web server on my 1993 vintage Macintosh Color Classic, so colorclassic.com was born. It’s been online ever since. Uptime has been very good with the exception of power outages caused by spring thunderstorms since it’s in my office at home!

 

Sometime in the late 90’s I volunteered to take over administration of my neighborhood association web site. At the time it was hosted on a site run by the local newspaper that had the most clunky and frustrating content management system I have ever experienced. I quickly migrated the site to main.org and it lived there for many years until our content outgrew their space requirements so we parted ways amicably and moved to our own dedicated host. The site was originally located at bhna.net but when bartonhills.org became available in January of 2010 we decided to use that domain. The original site was revised from static content to use WordPress in February 0f 2010. You can still find remnants of the prior version on pages like this with the picture of me strolling my then almost one year old daughter in the annual 4th of July Parade.

 

When my daughter entered sixth grade at Barton Hills Elementary in 2009 she joined the Barton Hills Choir, led by the new music teacher Gavin Tabone who came from Palm School. The Choir rehearsed all summer to prepare for their appearance at the world-reknowned Austin City Limits Music Festival. I volunteered to create a web site to document their accomplishments and provide notices of their upcoming performances. The Barton Hills Choir web site features video, music, pictures, and stories about the choir and receives constant traffic from all around the world. Although my daughter has moved on to middle school  I continue to maintain and update the site as a contribution to our exemplary neighborhood school that is truly the heart of Barton Hills. I am indebted to helpful volunteers, parents, and director Gavin Tabone who provide me with captivating content to keep the site fresh.

 

ranchochase.com went live in 2006 when I got frustrated with the limitations of Blogger and other online services. Unfortunately it suffers from long periods of neglect while I concentrate on all the other web sites I’m working on.

 

Also registered in 2006 was readytoswitch.com which I knew would be a domain name that some sharp marketing person would want for a hot new product campaign. I’m still waiting on the offer.

 

One of my favorite web projects was creating and maintaining a web site for my daughter’s softball team, the South Austin Swinging Bats. The site featured schedules, rosters, season stats, game recaps with photos and spanned two seasons. The site is private but you can view a PDF of a page here to see what it looks like.

 

I created classicmacs.org in December of 2008 to keep track of my growing collection of classic Macintosh computers and document their restoration.  It also serves as a repository of helpful links to sites I’ve discovered with vital information about vintage Apple products.

 

My latest effort is VA-OA.org, devoted to documenting emblems and history related to the Order of the Arrow lodges based in Virginia. To date it includes the pow-wows, conclaves, and similar gatherings of the Virginia lodges, but I have high hopes to expand the scope of the content. While I was inducted into the OA in Louisiana (Ouxouiga Lodge 264), most of the Scouting and OA experience occurred when I lived in Virginia, so I enjoy documenting the rich traditions and history of the lodges based there.

That’s all for now; more sites are in the planning and I’ll share them as they debut.

Back in May I was tasked with creating a music video for my daugher’s sixth grade graduation class, and spent many hours pondering which song(s) to use. In the end I chose no fewer than 8 from the list I posted earlier. Thanks to the wonderful generosity of many parents of the sixth graders I had a bountiful selection of photos to accompany each of the songs.

In case you’re interested, here are the songs that made the cut. I tried to avoid the emotional preachy theme in favor songs with a more uptempo beat. The videos were well received and most everyone who saw them asked for a copy on DVD.

1. All The Way Up – Emily Osment (3:12) – fast

2. Do You Remember – Jay Sean (3:30)

3. Graduation (Friends Forever) – Vitamin C (5:39)

4. Make it Shine (Theme from “Victorious”) – Victoria Justice (3:07)

5. Miles Apart – Yellowcard (3:32)

6. The Climb (Guitar Intro) – Miley Cyrus – 3:56

7. U Smile – Justin Bieber (3:16)

8. You Set Me Free – Michelle Branch (3:11)