Black Is the New Black

When it comes to fashion I’m not the brightest candle. After all, my “style” has been the same since 2000 and regularly ridiculed by those have some sense. So it took me a whole week in Haifa to realize about half of the young women in nice clothes wore head to toe black and quarter wore a black skirt/pants with a white or gray top. Often the coats were a dark gray or dark brown, not necessarily black. These colors struck me as seeming weird.

On the promenade in Tel Aviv, we walked by a store who claimed the style of the season was white and black. Everything in the store used just those two colors.

Back here in the US, I looked to see if the same trend existed here. Truly people here are a rainbow of color.

I do think the absence of the rainbow of color started to bother me.

And… Yes, there were quite a number of really attractive women which drew my attention. Otherwise I probably wouldn’t have noticed.

QuestionMark v CE/Vista

Two vendors.

Both think the problem must be the other’s fault. Because you know… Their product is perfect. They never have design issues. Ever. So it must be someone else’s fault.

Problem 1:

Upon loading the zip package into the CE/Vista SCORM module, the end user saw:

The SCORM package is not compliant with SCORM Ver 1.2 Conformance Requirements. All supporting schemas must be at the root of the package; the following schemas were not found at the root: [adlcp_rootv1p2.xsd, imscp_rootv1p1p2.xsd, imsmd_rootv1p2p1.xsd] As a result, the package may not perform as desired. Are you sure you want to continue?

I actually feel bad for not immediately recognizing this meant these XSD files needed to be in the zip file. ¬†Blackboard ought to feel bad for having the response this means the imsmanifest.xml in the file was written for a more current version of SCORM than the rather ancient 1.2. I could understand that response if specific items in the file are only relevant in the current version. I don’t understand that response when the same file which works with Vista 3 (created about the same time as SCORM 1.2) works and Vista 8 doesn’t. Sounds more like something changed in Vista 8 to make it more strict.

Fixing the missing XSDs files resulted in a new error:

The SCORM package could not be imported because it does not comply with one or more specifications within the package. The following error was produced: **Parsing Error** Line: 7 Message: cvc-complex-type.2.4.c: The matching wildcard is strict, but no declaration can be found for element ‘lom’. Please inform the SCORM vendor and try again once the problem has been resolved.

Is it wrong to be excited about an error? Dropping the problematic items from the imsmanifest.xml file produces new errors. After five iterations, I don’t seem to be making much progress.

Problem 2:

This SCORM module simply passes to an HTML file with JavaScript some variables to send the user off to the QuestionMark site. It should not this big of a deal.

Somehow Vista 8 is calling the file where it doesn’t exist for the QuestionMark SCORM module but not other modules.

QuestionMark addres:


Known good SCORM module address:


The number after RelativeResourceManager typically can be found under “View File Information” in the file manager. The file name after the number is the name of a file in the zip. Copying the address for the known good let me view it. At this point it seemed logical I could just build the address to the QuestionMark zip manually and see it as a designer (maybe not as a student).¬†Unfortunately, this gives me system exception errors.

Last Solutions:

In trying to solve two problems with one stone, I took the imsmanifest.xml for the known good SCORM module and just changed the href= for resource and file to use the perceptionSCO.html file name for QuestionMark. Still failed to find the file.


I removed all the variables after the perceptionSCO.htm. Now Vista finds the file. It gives me errors about not having the values in those variables, but it found it.

This is stupid.


Project 365: Day 033Two weeks ago I met my mother at the airport to fly to Israel and make our way to Haifa, Israel to participate in the greatest bounty: Bahá’í pilgrimage.

Before making the trip, my life had settled into a funk. Back in 2005, Lacey invited me to her wedding in Chicago at the Bahá’í House of Worship. At the time, my life was mired in a similar funk and experiencing a whole morning praying there gave me both a warm calm and bubbling turmoil. It was the calm before the storm as during the next several months my grandmother lost two brothers sending me on driving trips to Arkansas twice, my gall bladder failed, and I landed a job prompting a move to Athens.

Returning from Chicago, I held no answers… just bouts of turmoil and using thoughts of my time in Chicago to produce serenity. Returning from Haifa, I feel more turmoil and serenity!¬†Instead of a warm calm, I’m feeling like a stranger in my own home, driving my own car, chatting with my own friends. It’s like for a couple weeks I got to experience a different life and feel disappointment returning to my own.

Miscellaneous observations:

  • Pictures of the places I visited in no way prepared me for the experiencing the Bah√°‚Äô√≠¬†holy sites.
  • Clementine juice in particular is genius. Citrus products in general are fantastic.
  • Israelis know the name Ezra particularly well, so they expect the bearer to know Hebrew. Security ¬†officials often wanted to know why I have the name.
  • As much as I read, I ought to read more Bah√°‚Äô√≠ works.
  • I expected to suffer greatly climbing anything more than a couple floors equivalent as the most exercise I get is just a single floor of stairs a few times a day. So we did quite a bit of walking down which was enough to make my calves burn. The trips up were shorter.
  • It is a teeny tiny Bah√°‚Äô√≠ world. I knew Mojan, Eric, and their son were in Haifa. Another 3 Bah√°‚Äô√≠s from Georgia happened to be serving there. A couple others, Delara and Marla, happened to be in the my pilgrimage group as well.
  • Kat recognized me from somewhere upon sight of me in orientation. We didn’t figure it out in our 9 days together. Previously life? Or a connection to people serving or previously served in Haifa?
  • Shawarma… who knew?
  • I was told I am not fulfilling my potential. Instead of working with computers, I ought to be an educator.
  • Mom thought Ezra Jack Keats, my namesake, was black because he used a black child as the protagonist. Guess the web site didn’t exist back when I was born. I’ve known he was originally a Katz for almost a decade.

For a good description of the pilgrimage experience, see Myk’s pilgrimage blog postings.

If the aftermath of this pilgrimage is anything like my visit to Chicago in 2005, then I’ll experience some change. I don’t intend mistake attraction for Haifa as destiny to live there. My attraction to Chicago has never culminated in my living there, so I’m not holding on to imaginations I’ll miraculously move to Haifa.¬†Something like serving at the Bah√°‚Äô√≠ World Center would be the kind of change I foresee. We’ll see. I’m not keen to completely disrupt my life at the moment. Hopefully events will not conspire against me to force my hand.