Friday, December 18, 2009

Band Concert

Yesterday, we went to the Arden Fair Mall to do a winter band concert. All four bands played, Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced, and Jazz band. We were there extra early because we thought that it was going to start at 6 P.M. with Jazz Band going first. Instead it started at 7 P.M. with Jazz Band last.

We played jazz, rock, and bossa nova pieces. They were called Hefti's Hideout, Ain't Misbehavin', R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A., and Joy Bossa. We played ROCK in the USA really, really fast. Compared to the 3 other bands, we were extremely small. There were only about 12-14 of us while Beginning band had about 60-100. By the time we got done it was nearly 9 o'clock.

We have a concert at the First Baptist Church in Elk Grove tomorrow. I like playing in jazz band!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Pythagoras of Samos

This week, along with the next, I am going to do a biography on Pythagoras. Some of the information I have already gathered includes some of Pythagoras's early and late life.

Pythagoras grew up on the island of Samos. His mother was a native to the island, and his father was a traveling merchant. Pythagoras traveled with his father as he went on trips to other countries to trade. While staying in whatever country they might be, Pythagoras's father would send him to a philosopher or tutor of that place. By the time Pythagoras was sixteen, he had received one of the most full educations any boy of that time could have gotten.

During Pythagoras's late life, when he was around 40-50 years old, he started a Pythagorean school of mathematics, philosophy, and music, also known as the Pythagorean Brotherhood. The school was located in Samos. During this time he discovered many things, one of which was the Pythagorean Theorem, or the measure of gold.

Friday, November 20, 2009


Pirateer is a board game meant for two or four players. The object of the game is to capture the treasure in the middle of the board, and then take it back to your dock in one of the four corners of the board. In order to take the treasure, you must move one of your ships to one of the bright spaces next to the island, and then put the treasure coin on top of your ship. Each player gets 3 pieces -- 6 if there are only two players.

Pieces are moved by rolling a pair of dice. Movement is limited to left, right, up, and down, unless your piece is within one of the "trade winds". The trade winds are 20 dark, wavy spaces that allow your ship to move diagonally. If a ship enters the trade winds, it is not allowed to move out until the next turn. Additionally, there are triangle spaces on the farthest sides of the board. These are spaces that are called straits and they allow passage from one side of the board to the other.

There are about 10 different variations of Pirateer that give special conditions or rules. We usually play an unofficial variant, which consists of dueling and capturing ships that we made up. Movement and victory conditions are normal, but whenever a ship goes into a space next to an enemy ship, the two can duel. Both players roll a die, and whoever rolls the highest, wins, capturing the enemy ship and the treasure if the losing ship had it.

After playing, we roll up the felt board and put the pieces in a long, metal container and put it away in our game closet.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Jazz Band

Today I am going to go to Jazz Band in Elk Grove. Our Jazz Band teacher is Mr. Khapan, the person who used to teach regular band. I play second alto saxophone. There are three saxophones in our band, two altos and one tenor. We play a mix of rock, latin, and swing music.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Explorit Science Center

A couple of days ago we went to the Explorit Science Center in Davis. They had a new exhibit about communication, featuring Morse code, army flag and hand signals, different languages, and two cans with a string attached. There were also a couple of books for sign language, and a set of stamps for the different hand signals. On a piece of paper, I made a compass rose with a couple of the stamps. On the part with Morse code, there was a chart with all the letters and numbers, Morse telegraph keys, fiber optics, and a small light on either side of the station.

In the regular exhibit area, the downstairs room, there was a new metal sandbox that sloped down and had water running down from a shower head all the way to the bottom of the basin, where it was recycled through the pump back to the top. There were pipes of different sizes and small plastic trees for decoration. You could use the pipes to make tunnels through sand mounds. Joey and I took out all of the pipes and trees and made a meandering river. It wound almost all the way to the bottom, accelerating at the deeper and steeper parts of the river. As a result of changing the depth in one area and increasing height in the other area or decreasing depth caused a change in the velocity of the running water. Once it was done, we added trees to make it look more real.

Friday, October 23, 2009


Yesterday we made slingshots out of rubber bands, felt, and sticks that we found in our back yard. Our dad cut the sticks and then we put together the rubber bands and felt. Once they were done, we were able to shoot across the entire yard (that's about 25 ft.)! It didn't take very long to make them, only about 15-20 minutes.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


For the past couple weeks we've been taking ceramics classes every Thursday. Joey and I are both taking the class. Here we are making pumpkin containers by hand out of clay.

We made birdhouses one week by actually putting slabs of clay together to form one. Then they were fired, painted, and then fired again.

We also got to use the potter's wheel. I made a bowl and two candle holders (see picture above), and Joey made a plate and a couple of bowls. Right now, everything we made on the wheel is being fired. Here is a picture of my cousin Sydney at the wheel. Our cousins Sydney and Emily are also in our ceramics class.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Candle Dipping

Yesterday we got to use the beeswax that Vicky, our landlord, gave us when we first moved in for candle dipping! We melted the beeswax and dipped our wicks in the beeswax one after another. Wilson started to make one, but decided that he didn't want to do it. We dipped the wicks in sets of two, by folding each piece in half. The end of my two candles broke off, so they are shorter than the rest.

Here are the pictures.

This is how they used to make candles in the early American colonies.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Last Friday we went to an Entomology Museum in U.C. Davis. It was more of an actual lab instead of a museum, with actual students and professors working. They had some pinned bugs and live bugs on display, but most of the specimen were in storage in big cabinets in the middle of the room. They said that they have a collection of 17 million bugs, the second largest on the west coast.
The person who was helping us showed us some live bugs.
And over here my sister, Joey, was holding a leaf with a baby version of the bug in the picture above on it.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Sandbox

Today we began making Wilson a sandbox. Joey, Wilson and I helped cut, nail, glue, and screw it all together. All that we have to do now is sand it. The sandbox is about 20" x 20" x 5". We got a 50-pound bag of sand to fill it up, but we need to get a bit more.

Friday, September 18, 2009


Over the past week, my dad and I have been learning how to play Go from our neighbor Randolph. It's an ancient Chinese strategy game. The goal is to capture your opponents pieces and to grab and hold territory. Follow this link for in-depth rules. Follow this link for the general rules and history. As of right now, we don't have a board or pieces, so we're borrowing from Randolph in exchange for lacquering the pieces for him.
Here's my dad and I playing the game. (I'm white).
I won that one by about 50 points (that is normally not too much). The last game we played I won 107-0 (that is a lot)

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Sacramento Zoo

Today we went to the Sacramento Zoo in (obviously) Sacramento. We got to see tons of different animals and learn a bit about each of them.

There were mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. We got to see Jaguars, Lions, Tigers, Condors, Hyenas, Dwarf Crocodiles, Lizards, Poisonous Tree Frogs, Great Hornbills, South African Parrots, Spiky Tailed Lizards, Boa Constrictors, Turtles, Tortoises, Flamingos, Giraffes, Zebras, Orangutans, Chimpanzees, Ring-Tailed Lemurs, Anteaters, Snow Leopards, Bongos, Addaxes, Kangaroos, Otters, Red Pandas, and some kind of lemur who's head looks like a dog's and a body like a cat's.

My favorite exhibit were the Chimpanzees. There were two of them wrestling and chasing each other around on the ground and some other ones watching them and us from the ropes hanging from the ceiling of the exhibit. Also in the primate area, there was this one monkey who was sitting in a very humanoid position. It was actually a bit freaky in a weird sort of way.

Once we were done looking at the exhibits, we ate lunch at a cafe at the zoo and then went to a small play area to rest. Here is a picture of Wilson in a spider cutout. It almost looks photoshopped. He also went into a butterfly cutout along with Joey. All the pictures are on Wilson's blog, so go and take a look!

Friday, September 4, 2009


This week I've been doing a lot of experiments with fire, boiling water, and freezing things.

Fire: I tried to see if I could build a small, contained fire and the best way to do it. The best way is to start it is to light it from the middle, and to make sure enough air can get to it.

Boiling Water: I put candies into a pot of boiling water to see what happens. Once its fully disintegrated it creates little area of yellow bubbles that stay separate from the rest.

Freezing: Most of my experiments that I did went under this category. Most of them comcerned freezing different things different ways. One was figuring out how to make the ice almost completely white. Some other ones were soaking things like paper and freezing them.
One interesting one was putting water, maple syrup, soap, and oil into a small cup and then seeing what happens. Putting it in the freezer only caused the water to freeze, the oil, syrup, and soap just got a bit more viscous. Although it didn't fully freeze, everything stayed separate from each other, even the soap! The syrup was at the bottom, so therefore, the heaviest. Then there was the soap, then water, and on the top was the oil.

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Summer

During summer vacation, Joey, Wilson, and I all got to go to different summer camps. Wilson went to a Waldorf camp, Joey to a girl scout camp called Camp Menzies, and I went to a computer camp. I took the Game Modding: Warcraft III course. Also, both Joey and I went to an aquatics camp at Lake Natoma. Other than that we mostly stayed home.
We still took lessons over the summer. Joey still had dance, Wilson didn't stop taking gymnastics, and I continued fencing and my clarinet lessons. We moved to a new house over the summer.
The picture on the left is of Joey, Wilson, and I. The right one is of me and a couple of the people in my group.

Here are tow pictures from my computer camp. The one on the left is one with me and two of my instructors, "Malarthi" and "Psylocke". Their real names are David and Rebecca. The picture on the right is Malarthi and my my class.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Since Wednesday was officially the end of the school year for us, we gave all of our different teachers presents. We gave them each a glass bowl shaped like an apple, some caramel that I made, and something from Joey. Joey gave each of them something different. For our band teacher, Joey needle felted a clarinet, a needle felted apple for our ES, and then for our art teacher Wilson crocheted a bookmark. Then for my speech teacher, I made a twizzler as a bookmark.

We also gave them all cards. Joey and Wilson collected some fallen flowers from outside for us to smash on top of the cards to get all the color out of them. We used a hammer to smash the flowers onto watercolor paper.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Great Harvest Bread Company

On Wednesday we went on a tour, like the one last week at Chili's. We went to the Great Harvest Bread Company. We got to go in the back to see how they make the bread, grind the grain, and bake the bread.
The owner also showed us how the seeds grow into sprouts and we each got a handful of dough to shape and bake.
At the end we got to ask questions. We all got a slice from a loaf of a cinnamon white chocolate bread for each question we asked.

Friday, May 8, 2009


This week we went on a tour of a Chili's restaurant. We got to order some food (for free!) and then we got to go in the back to see how they make everything and where they store all of the ingredients. We also got to see some interesting machines that are used for things like heating chips, mashing potatoes, and making milk-shakes. They also showed us the inside of the soda machine.

At the end, we got to eat our food. Then we each got a milk-shake and free meal for whenever we come back.

Friday, May 1, 2009

My Science Book

My science book is just like my S.S. book, only for science. The only other differences are that my science book is spiral-bound and is blue instead of red.
My last couple pages were about 5 of the body systems and light. My first one was about DNA.

The systems that I covered in "The Body Systems" are the nervous system, skeletal system, circulatory system, digestive system, and the respiratory system.

My favorite one is the page about light because of how I set it up where the writing is on the sun's rays.