Last week, I reported to you that we appeared to have our caching issues behind us.  My optimism was, unfortunately, premature.  The June 12, 2020, version of our homepage reappeared for non-logged in users one day after my weekly update.  After engaging in further research, I contacted our webhost to see if our problem was, as it appeared, a server-side cache issue. Our webhost confirmed that the problem was on their end and cleared the dastard cache file in question on Wednesday afternoon.  Since then, The New Leaf Journal has been in perfect working order.  With the caching problem truly (I hope) behind us, I resumed working on site improvements and posting content.  Below, I will go through our new articles from the week and discuss the newest feature for the site – The New Leaf Journal Guestbook – for our final week-in-review of June 2020.

A pigeon walking toward the grass on Roosevelt Island - just like The New Leaf Journal moves toward greener pastures after cache problems.
A pigeon walking on Roosevelt Island. Like this pigeon, The New Leaf Journal is walking toward greener pastures. Photographed by N.A. Ferrell on June 7, 2019. Retouched for publication by V. Gurbo.

New Content

After getting the webhost to clear our website cache, Victor and I resumed posting new articles.  Although we were limited to three articles due to the technical problems, I think that you will find our new content well-worth your time.

Victor’s Boutique Guitar String Reviews

Victor posted his review of three boutique guitar strings.  This is, however, not a typical review of guitar strings with star ratings.  Instead, Victor not only reviewed the strings, but provided extensive background information about the three very interesting guitars in his collection that he tried the strings on.  In a sense, his 1920 Gibson L-Jr received a very nice 100th birthday present.  Victor’s review and guitar discourse is accompanied by gorgeous pictures of the instruments with strings.  This article is a worthwhile read for all, but I have a feeling that guitar-fanatics will enjoy the stories about his instruments along with his analysis of the high-end strings.

Persona 4, Coffee, and Children

Persona 4, a very long Japanese role-playing video game that was originally release in 2008, is one of my all-time favorite games.  Prior to the launch of The New Leaf Journal, I drafted an article about one of my favorite quaint scenes in the game involving giving coffee to a six-year old girl on a school night.  Although I planned to post the article eventually, it was not a pressing matter since Persona 4 had last been re-released in the United States in 2012.  However, a couple of weeks ago Atlus re-released the re-mastered version of Persona 4 for computers.  With Persona in the news, I could hardly forego the opportunity to strike while the iron is hot (those who played Persona 3 may see what I just did there).

My article, which comes with a couple of photographic compositions retouched by Victor, does not pre-suppose any prior knowledge of Persona 4, and the game’s story may be of interest to people who do not play games or give coffee to small children on school nights.

Necessary Compensatory Ideologies

Back in 2018, I bookmarked an interesting passage from an article in National Review by the esteemed historian and commentator, Victor Davis Hanson:  “Because Europe did not invest in its military commensurately with its size and wealth, it adopted the necessary compensatory ideology that war itself was obsolete.”  (Emphasis added.)  Rather than examine transatlantic relations generally, I focused on Mr. Hanson’s use of the phrase “necessary compensatory ideology.”  This article, also from my early draft archives, is a quick read befitting Mr. Hanson’s punchy line.

New Features

I added a couple of new features to The New Leaf Journal this week, to be introduced below.

The New Leaf Journal Guestbook

As I promised last week, I implemented a Guestbook for our website.  It is currently accessible through the header menu.  You may use the Guestbook to post comments, questions, or to just introduce yourself.  All comments will be placed in moderation prior to publication.  Victor and I may respond to Guestbook entries once they are published.  To learn more, please see my post about The New Leaf Journal Guestbook.

Estimated Reading Time

You will notice that most of our new content has an estimated reading time field above the text.  The estimated reading time will be standard for our content.  I will gradually implement it in some of our older content.

Looking Forward

Over the next week, I will focus on posting content related to our upcoming Independence Day.  In addition to patriotic content, I also expect to publish the first New Leaf Journal book review and an expose on men who deplete the water level while washing sidewalks with a hose.  Victor also plans to post some new content this week. 

Victor and I are working together on a couple of key design elements for the site.  First, we are working on creating a site logo, which should be live in the very near future.  Second, we are looking at implementing a slider menu for the site homepage.

I will also work to finalize the plans for our email newsletter with an eye toward having it ready within the next two weeks.

After a couple of weeks of technical issues, The New Leaf Journal appears to be back up and running at full capacity.  While I will keep working to refine the site and add some new features, I very much look forward to spending more time producing content for our readers.