Monday, February 13, 2012

Charles


      The range of colors of the pastel chalks lured him to his easel day after day.  He was in the company of his nanny while his dad and mother were in England visiting relatives.  Charles was an inquisitive boy of eight whose grasp of computer concepts would qualify him for at least an interview with the leading Internet Service Provider. 
     His father had provided him with electronic books geared to boys his age.  His favorite pastime was to create attractive web pages using his favorite software.  It was true that the pages themselves were static because there was no back-end code to link the different parts of them to other pages, but visually they were captivating.
     Rugged terrain backdrops were Charles’ favorites in creating the web pages.  He was a good animator too, so amidst these scenic surroundings were usually cartoon critters, complete with a park ranger.
     Charles liked to take walks and take snapshots of various oddities.  Sole water fountains in the middle of a vast park, low hanging branches off an aged tree, brightened by all the flowers surrounding it, they were all fair game for picture taking.
     As a result of his father and mother’s occupations, Charles was often uprooted from school to school.  When he stayed long enough at a particular school, his nanny rode on the bus with him, both going to and from school.  The school bus just knew to drop her off at their house after dropping him off and to pick her up, before getting him from school.  That was their routine.  His nanny was actually a relative of his mother’s and she paid careful attention to his safety and the keeping up with his schoolwork.
     “Nan, what is your most clearest definition of inflation?”  Charles asked Nanny Liz one day.
     Charles’ biggest stumbling block in his current school was racking up enough points to join the prestigious Future Leaders Club.  You didn’t necessarily have to win at the qualifying events sponsored by the club, but you were expected to participate.
     “Let’s see, inflation is when a car costs three times what it’s worth….because it’s got an inflated price tag on it, do you understand?” she asked.
     “I think so….that was one of the questions of the day for the Future Leaders Club and I can earn 30 points, if I’m able to understand and explain the concept of it….” said Charles.
     “Well, you can provide some examples while you’re explaining the concept of inflation….we’ll just have to come up with some…” Nanny Liz offered.
     “Start me off with an example Nan…” Charles suggested.
     “When the local grocer has hired more helpers during the holidays and has suddenly realized that he’s going to have a harder time balancing his books at the end of his fiscal year because two shipments of carrots were accidentally lost in transport earlier on….well then he might up the price of your favorite gala apples for more than what they’re really worth….in order to break even,” said Nan.
     “That’s an excellent example Nan…”
     “Yes, I liked that one too..”
     “What’s another one?” Charles prodded.
     “Well, say that a popular singer has recently been caught in a scandal and before the scandalous story is released to the public, the singer’s CD albums are pumped up a few dollars.  That’s also inflation, because in reality……because of the soon-to-be-released negative publicity, those CDs will be worth very little.  The unknowing public is in reality paying an inflated price for them….” Nanny Liz continued to explain.
     “What’s another example Nan?”
     “Let’s say that a real estate agent has agreed to sell two parcels of adjoining land to a corporation in the desert, but only one of the parcels has potential for water……Because she knows that the less desirable parcel will sell at below market price, she will inflate the more desirable parcel to increase her profit margin to a healthy level….” Nanny Liz said.
     “It seems like it’s all a matter of circumstance….” Charles concluded.
     Charles had his hopes up of racking enough points to someday join the illustrious Future Leaders Club….then came the news from his folks that they would have to move again…..meaning yet another new school for Charles.
     Charles’ parents, Bianca and Barry were textbook authors in the field of college level computer concepts and their research often took them to worldwide locations.
     The scare in their finances happened when their partners dropped out of their writing agreement and for about three years, nothing of either of his parents works were published.  Their finances were in the red, near bankruptcy.  Barry and Bianca had leveraged everything in buying real estate off the coast of some remote island and the dry-up in incoming funds left them unable to pay bills.
     At first Charles had no idea of his parents’ situation, then Nanny Liz clued him in on what was happening and his world turned completely upside down. 
     Suddenly, because of his parents’ financial situation and also because the number of website designs he had created were amassing, he was now trying to find a way to make them marketable, to make them more attractive and appealing.
     “The common thread Charles!  That’s what I’ve come up with,” Nanny Liz was beside herself with glee at her latest epiphany.
     “What’s the common thread about Nan?” Charles inquisitively asked.
     “Well, when you’re wearing different outfit pieces and you want all the clothes to match, you look for a common thread color……then when you’re designing your web pages, with all the different parts and pieces to it, I suggest you look also for a common color, a common thread color….if you will,” Nan was really onto something now.
     Till that point their discussions had been about politics and finances, but now this was about something fun and different.  It was something about what he was actually involved in….
     Nan continued, “Take all the different patterns and pictures on a particular web page and imagine them to be different outfit pieces, then take a length of sewing thread – a color that will match all of your pieces and make it ‘the common thread.’  All the pieces have to match the common thread and the particular color of that thread will become the ‘accentuating color’ of your web page…”
     “I see….so say the common sewing thread color of a page I’m designing is green, then the accentuating color of that page will be green as well?”
     “Correct, you can have some of the lettering done in green or an animated accentuating flower in that same shade of green as well, even if it’s just a diving line in the same color…” Nan said.
     “I really think that you’re onto something!” Charles said excitedly.
     “I bet your father knows enough HTML code to bring your web pages to life….I’ll bring this up with him and your mother right away…” Nan said.
     While Nan phoned his father, Charles went into his bedroom to count just how many static web page themes he had created…he came up with 52.
     His father and mother were due home at the end of that week and when they got home, they discussed the possibility of contacting some software companies who might be interested in Charles’ designs, now that Charles had understood about the common thread color technique.
     It seemed that there were website page auctions taking place, but only known to a few select website designers.  Upon hearing about them, Barry instantly began working with Charles to implement Nanny Liz’s common thread technique and Bianca began to document the entire process.
     The web pages became beautiful creations that left positive impressions on the general public’s eye.  They knew this because they participated in some of those auctions.  Software companies, Internet Service Provider representatives, and top business people from across the industry attended them and Charles’ designs stood out as some of the more innovative ones.
     His mother Bianca gave names to the different themes and his father connected all of them so that clients could rifle all through 52 of them by means of a slide show.  Of course Nanny Liz offered advice regarding the accentuating colors added to each page.
     Barry and Bianca eventually found new writing partners and continued on with their textbook writing and research, while Charles worked with Nanny Liz to refine their web-page-generating process.
     Nanny Liz summed everything up by saying that, “….although stormy weather tossed everyone astray for a while there,” that however now, “…all is fine with the world again…”

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