Saturday, December 28, 2013

A Truly Christmas Special!

I rush down to the television, hop onto the couch, then turn on the TV with the silver and black remote. I fumble with the buttons when I switch to channel 810. I turn to channel 810 just in time for the Doctor Who Christmas special. Doctor Who is a BBC Sci-Fi TV series I have been watching from the first episode. I press the "info" button on the remote and the episode's name pops up. It is The Time of the 
Doctor. I am extremely excited because I was waiting for this special episode to come out for a while. At the same time, I am sad because in this episode, there is going to be a new actor that will replace Matt Smith. He is my favorite Doctor because he is extremely hilarious and he thinks bow ties are cool. I totally agree with him. The new actor is Peter Capaldi. I hope he is as good as Matt Smith or even better.

The Christmas special is exhilarating and cliff-hanging. It is breath taking and goose-bump-rising sometimes, but makes you laugh at other times. It is also super sad at one part, and it almost made me cry (spoilers if I tell you). I think one of the funniest parts is when the Doctor gets transported to a Dalek ship with a Dalek visor in his hand. The episode features past, but not as scary enemies, such as Daleks and Cybermen, to past scary enemies that can make you turn off the TV and hide under your bed sheets, such as Weeping Angels. Daleks are creatures that the Time Lords fought in the Time Wars. Cybermen are humans whose brains have been put in metal suits and removed of all emotions and past memories. Their main goal is to "convert/upgrade" the universe.

Besides Vashta Neradas, Weeping Angels are perhaps the scariest creatures in Doctor Who that you will ever hear about. They are quantum-locked inside statues and have the best defense mechanism in the universe. When you look at them, they become stone, but if you look away, they move unbelievably fast. If they touch you, you are sent back in time. They let you live your life out in a peaceful way. Their self-defense mechanism is also their weakness. If two or more Weeping Angels are looking at each other, then they can never move. That is why they cover their eyes, which makes them look like they are weeping. They are terrifying and make you shudder when you hear the name.

I think this episode almost topped the fiftieth anniversary of Doctor Who special. I can't wait for new episodes to come out. The Christmas special has tons of special effects. There are giant spaceships in space and shooting energy beams at everyone and electric hands and the whole nine yards. They even have a turkey! There was also a very sudden moment when they say the planet is Trenzalore (spoilers if I tell you the importance).

IT IS AWESOME! If you have never seen Doctor Who, I strongly recommend the series to everyone who loves Sci-Fi.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!!! (Good with dinner)

Mmmmm! The smell of turkey is wafting into my nose. I wait for my friend Daniel to arrive for our Thanksgiving party at 4:00 pm. I wait and wait and wait. Finally, it is 4:33 and Ding, the doorbell rings! I sigh with tremendous relief, jump down the stairs, and run to the door. I fumble with the lock and handle and barely manage to open the door. "Hi Daniel!"

"NYA!!" I face-palm. A typical Daniel for a special day. So typical for Daniel. I laugh in joy and he rushes upstairs with me to play.

*          *          *

My mom shouts , "DINNER TIME KIDS!" I pounce down the stairs like a famished cheetah and take my place at the dinner table. The smokey turkey is two seats away. It has flaky brown skin. My mouth gapes open at what looks like a marshmallow yam dish. It is orange with toasted marshmallows on top. I stare in a awe at the stuffing that is unbelievably extraordinarily amazingly cool. It is yellowish-orange. It is a blend of chestnuts, celery, dried apricot, orange pepper, sage, and parsley. It was a very festive dish. Then, I take a final look at the turkey. It is chopped into pieces but its former glory still stands. The string beans are laid out in an abstract pattern and are forest green and the bread is placed in a pyramid formation. They are as yellow as the sun. The beets are luring me in, making me want to grab some and stuff it in my mouth. They are purple like a bruise, but a tasty bruise.

"YAY!" It is finally my turn to grab my food. I stab a couple of pieces of turkey and plop them on my plate. Then I scoop some of the inviting stuffing and put it on my plate. I cut some of the marshmallow yam and dump it on my plate. I ruin the abstract pattern when I scoop out some of the string beans from the bowl. I shorten the pyramid when I take a piece of bread. I instantly start eating the food. I savor every moment of it. The texture of the turkey, the flavor of the stuffing, the gooeyness and crunchiness of the marshmallow yam, the mouth watering moment of eating the stuffing, the sweetness and crispiness of the bread, the crunchy beets, and the tangy string beans are all saved on my tongue. I taste them vividly. My plate, that was once an artist's color palate of green, magenta, orange, yellow, brown, and white was reduced to only white; the color of the plate. Thanksgiving was the best ever!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary! (Day of the Doctor Review and an Intro to Doctor Who)

Woosh! Woosh! Woosh! The TARDIS (Time and Relative Dimensions in Space) makes the sound; the sound of hope that the Doctor is coming to save a planet, a person, history, or just to have fun. The Day of the Doctor, a special edition episode that came out on the fiftieth anniversary of Doctor Who BBC TV series, was amazing, magical, science-y, thrilling, unbelievable, and just AWESOME! !

This episode's writer was Steven Moffat. The movie makes you feel like you are there in the moment, captured as one of the characters, just like the Time Lord paintings. It is also comical and makes you laugh all the time. John Hurt, Matt Smith, David Tennant, and Billie Piper starred in The Day of the Doctor. Matt Smith acts as the most recent, eleventh Doctor, while David Tennant stars as the tenth, and second most recent Doctor. John Hurt, has never acted as a Doctor before, but is revealed as the first Doctor. He is the Doctor that his future selves try to "forget" for what they did. Billie Piper plays as a part of John Hurt's (the "first" doctor) imagination, and a consciousness of the most powerful weapon in the universe. She is Bad Wolf (reference from the series). She played Rose Tyler in the season with the ninth doctor, Christopher Eccleston, and part of the first season with David Tennant. The special episode is very confusing if it is your first time watching Doctor Who, because it references names, people, objects, and planets from earlier in the series. The eleventh doctor's companion does not play too great a role in the special episode until the end. Overall, I thought this episode was the best!!!

I like the Doctor Who series because it is very suspenseful, adventures, comical, sometimes sad, and ends on a hopeful note. It is very interesting and that makes me want to watch each episode over and over again.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Expedition Everest (A closer look at one of the rides at the Animal Kingdom of Disney World)

The smell of fresh salty Florida air blows into my nose. Roller coasters go chugging past me. I am in my neon shorts and my even more neon shirt. If I were to stand against a neon colored wall, I would completely blend in. I hear children screaming in joy. The rattle of metal against wheels go through my head. I shout, “Whoa!” The lines themselves are as long as a mile and the roller coaster ride wait times are three hours. Just a month before my twelfth birthday, my parents took me to an unimaginable place. I am at Walt Disney World, the magic kingdom, the world of wonders.

I wait in line to check into the park. The workers at Disney World scan my room card, which is also my ticket. Then, they tell me to put my finger on a screen. The screen turns as blue as the sky and starts to spin at what seems like warp speed. Of course, fingerprint technology, my eyes spin around aimlessly as I try to follow the spinning. Then it stops and becomes green. A cool escapes my mouth as my jaw is dropped, I see the first roller coaster luring me in, wanting me to sit on its cushioned pads and scream my lungs out. I take the bait. Little did I realize that I would have a new found love of speedy scary roller coasters, and would love them for the rest of my life.

I see the roller coaster close up now. It looks like a minecart that has been carrying a heavy load all day long twenty-four/seven. The gray paint is peeling like a tree's bark. I wonder, “Is it safe?” I ponder a bit more and realize that all roller coasters are dangerous, even the kiddie ones that I used to think were super intense but now look like a merry-go-round. I get butterflies in my stomach. Can I ride this roller coaster? I am afraid of losing my urge to ride this roller coaster after waiting forever. My feet are so sore the pain is unexplainable. I guess this is what Atlas feels when he is carrying the Earth. The cart arrives and I have no more time to make a decision, and I hop in. My dad and I climb in the roller coaster. This trip is a once in a lifetime experience. Do not fail me now confidence. DO NOT let fear conquer me. The hissing of steam is already behind us. We are chugging up “Mount Everest” where Mr. Yeti lives. It terrifies me, yet I am still exhilarated. Finally, we reach the top. We spin in an ark and we reach a part where the tracks are all mangled. The cart is using its last breath to cling to the top of “Mount Everest”. My mind is racing, “Oh, NO! It’s broken!” Then, the roller coaster starts to go backwards. “AHHHHHHHHH!” I am sucked down into the dark abyss of where we came from. Darkness coldly welcomes me, pulling at the minecart and laughing in a manner that only I can hear its hollow metallic laughter, like fingernails scratching against a chalkboard. I can’t see anything, and I fear the ride is broken. Suddenly, we go a different way, so I realize this must be part of the ride. Then, we come to a sudden halt and my stomach slams into the safety bar almost crushing everything in my body. So much for a safety bar. More like a pain bar. We see the shadow of “Mr. Yeti” tearing apart tracks. He screams in rage. He must have anger management issues. Jeez, he rages hard.

Then, the most terrifying moment happens. We zoom forward at an unnatural speed like a rocket blasting off into space. We take a rapid turn and my head slams into the side of the roller coaster, causing me to be a bit nauseous and in pain. I open my eyes and look down. The horror! Eighty feet down are little dots that resemble people. I feel fear crawling up my back like a spider. No. I shouldn't have thought of spiders. I open my mouth and a shout shoves its way out of my mouth and into the air. The fear is like acid, it can’t be stopped, it burns through me and even after I manage to close my mouth, fear is inside of me and the only hope is clenching onto the “pain bar” for dear life! Fear has won, but it is fading away. Excitement is covering up the fear and my eyes grow wide. My hair is blowing back and my eyes are watering. Who cares, I realize how awesome this ride is and forget all about the pain and fear. Oh boy, lets go again.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

BBQ

On Saturday, I went to my friend Bobby's house for a barbecue. Bobby's parents invited my family, along with the familys' of my friends Arnet, Carla, and Nicole. We had a wonderful time.

While Bobby was playing Modern Combat on his iPad and Carla watching a movie on her iPhone, Nicole, Arnet, and I went to the park. It was a nice cool day with a small breeze. It made me feel exhilerated. The three of us climbed a tree. Nicole freaked out because she was scared that she was going to fall, so we told her to climb down.

Ironically, she didn't want to climb down even though she was scared. We told her to sit on a branch near her because she wouldn't fall as easily. Then, Arnet and I continued to climb up. When we were talking, we heard little kids frantically running away because they thought the tree was speaking. Arnet and I laughed so hard we were afraid we would fall off. So, we climbed down.

Next, we played Sandman. Sandman is a game where there is a person who is the Sandman. The Sandman is a person who wants to tag someone. The Sandman can open his or her eyes on the ground, but cannot on the play structure. If the Sandman, however, is on the play structure and a person is on the ground, the Sandman can yell, "SANDMAN!" and the person on the ground will be it.

Nicole tagged Arnet. While I was struggling to get off of the monkey bars near the play structure, he jumped up and tagged me. I was annoyed because I normally never get tagged in Sandman. Now I was it. I rushed up the stairs. They ran to the bottem of the slide and had no place to go but on the ground. Exactly what I wanted.

I slowly tramped forward and I stopped. My eyes were closed so I couldn't see what was happening. However, the slide started vibrating and I knew someone had jumped of the slide onto ground. I yelled, "SANDMAN!" I heard a little "Aww" so I opened my eyes. Nicole was it! However, we had to go in to eat.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Back To School!

Another year of school has begun!

I bring my heavy backpack up the hill to where the classrooms are. I wave to all my friends who seem to have equally bulging backpacks that seem ready to explode. At least I have a rolling backpack. I look for my friends Daniel and Michael. I walk and see some kindergartners screaming and running around while others are pouting because they don't want their parents to leave. Then, I go to advisory and go through elective rotations.

The next day, we are getting our lockers! This time, we get our lockers second, instead of last. I wait in line and jump and spin in circles because I have so much energy. When it is my turn, I look left and right trying to find a middle locker. I am getting desperate as I am getting near the end of the lockers. I still can't find a locker in the middle row. Alas! When I thought all hope was lost I find the perfect locker.

I place a pink sticky note on it to mark that it is mine and rush back to get its combo. I tried it out, but a teacher comes and tells me that it is broken. NO! All my hope is gone as I remove my sticky note from the locker and look up to see if any lockers on the top row are open. WOO! There is a locker on the top row that isn't taken yet.

I place the sticky note on it and sprint to get the combo. It works! I try again to double check. Success! I triple check. I was triumphant! I confirmed my locker decision and shove all of my unneeded binders into it. I dance around and high five my friends who also have lockers.  By coincidence, my locker is in the same column as the locker I had last year. However, since it is a top locker, it has more room,  but is harder to open because I have to stand on my tip-toes.

I finally calm down after the exciting moment of getting my locker and go to my next class. I imagine my locker saying Bon-Voyage to me after I venture into the realms of math class.



Sunday, September 1, 2013

Delta Splash!

A few weeks ago, I went to the Sacramento River Delta with my friends Jack and Samantha. Their dad's company rented a house right by the water. The water was green and smelled like the breeze we get in the San Francisco Bay Area. I thought the water would be clearer, but it was so murky I couldn't even see my own hand in front of my face when I was underwater. After I got into the refreshing air-conditioned house, I threw on my swim trunks and splashed on my sun screen. I pulled on my white shirt and jumped into the hot tub with my friends. SPLASH!

The next day, we went fishing on the dock. I caught a fish and we named him Ralph. Jack's fish was named George. Samantha's fish was named Sasquatch. It was exciting to catch the fish after waiting for so long doing absolutely nothing. Later, we ate the fish for supper. To me, the fish had no taste, but everyone else said it tasted delicious. Fishing was annoying because I needed enormous amounts of patience. We tried everything to get the pesky fish onto the line. We used worms, chicken fat, then bread. It turns out the fish somehow knew the bait was on a hook.

The last day, we went boating! We loaded a big red inner tube that could hold two people onto their dad's boat. My mom rubbed sunscreen all over my face. I scowled because I despise the feeling of sunscreen. Then, I snatched my towel and rushed down to the boat. I sat in the front and waited for the adults to get on board. Samantha and I were the first to get on the inner tube. I carefully slid into a very tiny hole where you are meant to sit. My knees were bent, and I held on tightly to the handles. The boat went slowly at first. I told Samantha that it wasn't very bad but then it instantly went super duper fast! We swerved left and right, creating beautiful trails of white water behind us. The fresh air was blowing in my face and I thought that I was flying. I raised my hands in the air but quickly brought them down again. Sometimes we bounced over waves and we went soaring like birds. As we landed, our backs slammed onto the seat, and our heads would shake back and forth. I held on for dear life. By the end of our turn, my head was shaking and I was debating whether or not to go again. After a couple of turns, we went back to get the Unidentified Floating Object, AKA the UFO.

All three of us laid on the UFO. Jack and I were on the edges and Samantha was in the middle. We went much slower, but laying down it seemed the same speed as when we were on the first inner tube. In fear of rolling off, I clung onto the handles until my hands turned white. Apparently, everyone was doing the same thing. We screamed as we went into the air and landed with a thud. Our legs shook like a seal's flippers and slid off the UFO a bit with every bump we encountered. Eventually, we hit the water so hard Jack flew over the protection guards, and tumbled into the water. However, he was still hanging onto the UFO, and it was very amusing to watch.

After Jack got back onto the bulbous UFO, we went zooming. We pretended that we were on the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars. It felt like we were going at warp speed. We made a joke that if we went any faster, we would open a portal into the second dimension. Then, everyone would be circles and stick figures. We probably wouldn't be able to see each other and it would be a disaster. Luckily, we did not go tubing into another dimension. Instead, Samantha bumped me off the UFO, and I face planted, then got run over by the UFO. It was painful. My hands were sore and it was very difficult to get back on the UFO. My arms and hands were tired from holding on for so long. Despite the fact that the entry was painful, it was very refreshing to get into the cold water on a hot day.

We went a little farther, but then we all leaned forward and the UFO deflated. Jack and Samantha fell into the water. In my desperate attempt to rescue them, the UFO collapsed under me. I was slowly getting submerged in the water. We all laughed out loud. SPLASH!

Sadly, I had to leave. I packed my stuff and said farewell to my friends. I hope to go again next year!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Out in the Ocean

The boat is swaying back and forth and the whitecaps behind us are churning. They make the sound of a fan spinning wildly. The ocean smells like dried seaweed and salt. I am already wearing my swim trunks. I grab my flippers, snorkeling mask, and life jacket and wait for my mom and dad. We are ten miles off the coast of Key Largo, Florida. The water is light green like an emerald, compared to dark green Pacific Ocean. The Atlantic Ocean’s water color is lighter because its salt content is less than the Pacific Ocean. The Pacific Ocean looks like twin sisters with the Atlantic Ocean, but with a shadow thrown upon it.

My family and I are on a snorkeling excursion with other people. The boat gradually slows down and finally stops. The captain shouts, “We’re here!!!” Six people at time slip into the Atlantic Ocean. My family and I are one of the last people to get into the water.
Splash! I already get water in my mask and take it off. I am surprised by how warm the water is. I put my blue mask back on and gasp in shock. I saw an underwater metropolis! Fish of all shapes and sizes were swimming in schools and solo. I saw a blue and black fish that looked suspiciously like Dory from “Finding Nemo”.  I was very careful and it was incredibly hard to maneuver because the captain told us that it was against the law to accidentally or purposely kick the coral or to have any contact with the fish or plants. My legs are bunched up and I use my arms to swim. I see a colorful snail and instantly recognize it as a Chuck Norris Snail. Yes, it is indeed called the Chuck Norris Snail. I saw one when I was snorkeling at Santa Catalina Island. The look and name are stuck in my head because it was awesome. It has a strange name and looked unique. It looks like a tiny alien snail which has a mix of colors on its shell. I continue to swim and come across a huge valley, where no fish roam. I get a tiny bit nervous because of the lack of fish. I feel like there might be a shark that scared all the fish away. I continue to use my arms to swim until I reach the imaginary boundaries which the captain set for us. Suddenly, I see a fish swim right below me and I swing onto my back. I manage to muffle an AH. I hear the horn blow two times. That is the signal for us to swim back.
After ten minutes, we arrive at our second destination. We drop back into the water. It is a bit deeper and I can maneuver much better. I see a mysterious marble hand poking over a hill. I kick towards it and it is a Statue of Christ. A wealthy Italian business man dropped the statue there to honor the sea. I see words written on the bottom of the statue but underwater with no glasses, it is like Lorem Ipsum to me. I was a tiny bit disappointed. We saw scuba divers below us. I look at the statue for a while and continue to snorkel. I try and scream as I see a Hammerhead Shark fin, near a hill. I cautiously swim past that area and see that the shark means no harm. It just wants to be cleaned by the smaller fish that eat the pests off the shark’s skin. I learned in a documentary that hammerhead sharks didn't harm humans very much and went to coral reefs to clean mostly. I climb back into the boat to rest…

The underwater world was awesome and colorful. I gained so much knowledge just by looking and inferring real life. Fish like to eat algae on coral and they did. The fish defend their food and they did. I saw that the food chain was very important for the fish to survive. I deeply understand the things I learned in school, during field trips, and in lectures about the underwater universe. I was amazed because the fish created an underwater community where they all thrived and were happy. I also made a decision to take scuba diving lessons because I love the deep sea.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Kennedy Space Center

On the way to Key Largo, we stopped off at Kennedy Space Center. It is a museum/rocket building/launching center. It was EXTREMELY AWESOME. We saw lots of the original space crafts and I even got to touch a moon rock! We parked in the gravelly parking lot and trudged in the
heat to the air conditioned buildings. NO! We have to wait in line outside for the tickets. At least is was under the shade. Hurrah, we get to go inside. We go through the security station and walk into the building. We walk out the other side and I gasp. Whoa. Five space ships, original and models. All were standing proud and tall in what was the Spaceship Garden. It was incredible.

First, we walked around the "garden" then we moved on to the bus tours. We took a few pictures and got on the bus. We watched documentaries and videos of lift offs. We stopped a couple of times to see manatees and alligators in the tiny river on the side of the road. One alligator was even crossing the road! I had a blast. 

As we got off the bus, we went into a waiting room. They had pictures of explorers and little film clips. There was even a clip from the original Star Trek! Then, we went in a Launch Room. The Launch Room we were in was the actual launch room where they directed the first people to go to the moon on Saturn V. The lights turned down and voices were on speakers. Launch in 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Thrust Engaged... and we have LIFT OFF!!! The windows turned red and the room shook. It was simulating what happened when Saturn V launched.

Finally, we went to the last room ,which turned out to be huge. It had original space ships and models. They had the Saturn V which took up more than three quarters off the room! They had a moon rock that you could touch! In a tiny little room off to the side, they had astronaut suits and Lunar Samples in cases. It was exciting! After we saw everything, we decided to leave and continue to Key Largo.

The Kennedy Space Center was unbelievably cool.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

From Disney World to Key Largo

After four days of riding roller coasters at Disney World, My Mom, Dad, and I drove to Miami to stay for the night. I missed Disney World, but I was sure that I was going to have a blast at Miami. I was wrong. It ended up being a boring place that had a beach with white sand. What was so special about that? The streets were crowded, the lights were bright, and it was plain noisy. I didn't like it at all. I was glad to go back to the hotel at Miami, where I could huddle around my iPad and play. I forget about all the boring things for the rest the night. Then, I placed my iPad on the nightstand, and fell asleep.

Then, we continued to Key Largo. The journey to Key Largo was exciting. My parents told me that Key Largo was much more fun than Miami. They were right! Even the road trip to Key Largo was fun. We saw lots of boats and the Atlantic Ocean was very calm. Once we entered Key Largo, we saw many palm trees. I wondered if Hawaii was like Key Largo. We drove by a boat storage place. There were boats of all sizes that were placed high and low. It was cool. Then, we drove by tons of Wendy's (eventually, we started eating Wendy's there because it was convenient). We went to the hotel and it was tropical like. There were separate little one room cottages where peopled stayed instead of one giant sky scraper (there were no skyscrapers in Key Largo or any of the Keys).

There are kayaks and peddle-boats at the resort. The day we got to Key Largo we got in white kayaks that were very wobbly. I was wearing a black and orange swimsuit. I also had a black and white paddle. I strapped on a orange life jacket that went over my white shirt. KASPLOOSH, KASPLOOSH. The kayaks were wobbly but fun to use. It was getting dark so we went back inside and grabbed a game of Sorry for us to play. Sorry went on forever, so we decided to stop. It was another awesome day in Florida!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Six Flags:Discovery Kingdom

Aghhhhhhh! Rumble Rumble Rumble! The sound of screams of terror mixed with shouts of delight create an unnerving Aieeeeee! That's exactly what it sounds like at Six Flags. It is loud and noisy, but also extremely fun! Roller coasters are all over the park and that is why Samantha and I went there. As Samantha's dad drove into the parking lot, we saw three roller coasters that stood-out. They were, the Medusa, Superman:Ultimate Flight, and Kong. The Medusa is a roller coaster with an extreme amount of  loop-the-loops.
The description that we heard was, " You go up a hill, stop, then zoom down. Then you go back up and are upside down most of the time." We instantly agreed not to go on that ride at all. Superman is a red and blue roller coaster that went backwards and forwards. It also has ninety degree angle drops, so Samantha and I obviously didn't go on it. Kong sounded fun, but last year, Samantha kinked her neck on that ride so we avoided Kong.

We went on Cobra first. It is a mild ride that was very quick but very short. We just did that to get in to the roller coaster mood. Since we got platinum flash passes, we didn't have to wait in line, we got to choose our seat, and we got to ride two consecutive times without getting off. It was fabulous. We rode Cobra twice.

Next, we rode Sky Screamer, which is a ride where you are in chairs hanging 150 feet off the ground swinging in circles. The first time, I was freakishly scared, but the second time was okay. The first time, I held on for dear life. I was holding the bar so hard that if I held it any longer, I would have crushed it. However, if I didn't hold on, I probably would have passed out. LOL.

After Sky Screamer, we went on Roar! Roar is a giant wooden roller coaster that is very rickety and fun. We got in the roller coaster and headed on our way.  Tin Tin Tin Tin. Whoosh. We swept across the rails as we rolled towards the bottom of the hill. It wasn't very terrifying for us, but everything was moving too fast. Both of our brains were shaking around. Samantha and I had major headaches on the ride but when we got off and rubbed our heads, we felt better.

Then we went to a picnic to eat. Delicious. The food was great. I had three chicken wings, one chicken breast, and one hot dog. I also had two cups f lemonade and one ice cream bar. Samantha and I  decided to take it easy and go on Monsoon Falls. It was possibly the shortest ride there! There is a ride up, then a fall, then a splash!! The splash was the best part because no matter what, you would still get wet. If you wore a poncho, you would still be doomed to be soaked through from head to toe.

We walked towards White Water Rapids. It was an okay ride but we didn't get very wet. I think the best part about the ride (if you don't get wet) is to see other people get wet, because everyone laughs and has a jolly good time. Then we went on all of our favorite rides, Roar, Cobra, and Sky Screamer, again before leaving.

It was very late and we had a fantastic time. We rode a lot of fun roller coasters and it was awesome!!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

At Walt Disney World Resort Part 3


1 epcot spaceship earth 2010a.JPGThe third day at the Walt Disney World Resort, I went to Epcot, which is a park that has a huge dome in the center. It represents human achievement throughout the ages. The dome also contains a ride that lets you create your own "future". I went on that ride and it was very fascinating. It told you about history and how everything led to something else in the future. It was like one of the Connections videos that you can watch on Netflix (other movie rentals available). I also went on Test Track.

Test Track is a ride where you design your own car! It is "raced" against the cars that Chevrolet has. Chevrolet has these blue cars that you get to ride in and they go about sixty miles per hour. It was fantastic. We went first thing in the morning to Epcot. When we got to the Test Track building, there was a two hour wait, so we decided to get a fast-pass before they ran out. While we  were waiting for it to be 2:00, the time for our fast-pass, we went on a ride called Mission Space: Orange. It was an intense Space simulation.

I waited in line with my dad. When it was our turn, we got into a tiny compartment. There were buttons that you got to press when they lit up. We pulled down the safety bar and the compartment started to spin. I got very dizzy at the beginning but I got better after a few minutes. The mission was to go to "Mars". We would "launch" off "Earth" and slingshot off the "Moon", then we would be put in "hyper-sleep" and wake up to use the manual controls to land. We lifted off and I got dizzy and almost threw-up. I closed my eyes and my dad told me when to press the buttons. Ugh. It was a nasty feeling. I would have liked the ride if I wasn't nauseous. After Mission Space: Orange, we headed towards Soarin' which was a simulation of flying over California.

We waited and waited and waited. Then, a person who worked at the Walt Disney Resort told us to stand on a number. We went through a door in to a dark but giant room with a lot of ski lifts. We pulled down the safety bar and we went up towards a white dome. Music started playing and felt like we were birds flying over California. It was great! I was sad that the ride was over, but it was time for us to go to Test Track.

Test Track attraction sign.JPGI built a white car that had almost no responsiveness, but was super quick and it failed. Therefore, I built another car that was fast and had responsiveness and was super quick too. It was very good. Then, we went on one of Chevrolet's car's and it was so cool. We went up to 60 miles per hour!

Sadly, the next day we had to leave and I had to say goodbye to Walt Disney World. I hope I can go again. However, the day we left we went to Kennedy Space Center and saw cool rocket ships.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The 4th of July!!!

On July 4th, I went to my friend Nicholas's and Max's house, along with some other friends, George and Will, after watching a long parade. We have known each other for very many years. There house is right next to a boat marina. As a tradition, Nicholas's and Max's parents always host a 4th of July party. The parade seemed longer than it used to be. Perhaps it was longer, or I have just watched it too many times that it just got boring. However, we had a blast. We played "Hunger Games", went swimming, and set off fire works.

As Nicholas, Max, George, Will, and I were waiting for our other friends, Sophie, Jack, and Samantha, we played "Hunger Games". "Hunger Games" is a game that uses foam swords, water bottles, and plastic baggies with edamames in them. Someone would shout "go" and we would run to the center to get our weapons and food, and would run off. You could ally with someone instead being on your own, so I allied with Nick. We were against Max, William, and George. George didn't want to ally with anyone but Max and William allied. George shouted go and we rushed to the center. I grabbed a bag of edamames, a Seltzer bottle, and a foam sword. I sprinted away and was followed by Nicholas who had the same things I did except for the edamames. We ran towards the parking lot and camped there. Then we heard George's voice and ran outside. We took our swords and attacked George in the court yard. We yelled as Nick bashed George with the hilt of his sword and I slashed him in the back. George "died" and became a message bird. We told him to find Max and Will to meet us at the courtyard. Of course, we weren't going to stay. It was a trick that would buy us time so we could come up with a strategy. We used the hilt of the blade to unlock the docks and went in. However, Max and Will saw us. They came after us but couldn't get through the gate. I went behind them using a different gate and we had a duel. Will and I hacked and slashed but attacks were always parried. Then I blocked and hit Will directly in the back causing him to be badly "injured". We ran away leaving Max to tend to Will's "wounds". We spied on them and we attacked them one-on-one again. I defeated Will and Max quit the game. :( . Finally Sophie arrived and we all decided to go to the pool. Nicholas brought water guns too!

At the pool, we had a chicken fight. A chicken fight is when you get on somebody else's shoulders to make a "chicken". Then you would fight other "chickens". I got on Nicholas shoulders and we attacked Max and Sophie. I filled my water gun and squirted both Max and Sophie at the same time. Max had to let go and
wipe his eyes, so he fell off Sophie's shoulders. Hurrah! Jack and Samantha came and Jack teamed up with George. Then Nicholas and I attacked Jack and George. We tried the same tactics but they had goggles on. Nicholas and I decided to charge. Bam! We suddenly were under water. I swam back to the surface and saw Sophie and Max laughing. I got back on Nicholas's shoulders and we charged both of them at once. I gave Nicholas the water gun and he squirted Max and Sophie as I tried to shove Jack off of George. We are victorious! Then we go Bubble Bubble Bubble as they pull as down even thought they didn't reform their chickens. We decided to go back inside and have dinner while watching Chowder.

After dinner, we rested, talked, and had a pillow fight. Then it got dark and George, Will, and Sophie had to leave. We went to Jack and Samantha's Dad's office's parking lot to set off fire works! There was a total of three boxes of fire works, from Purple Rain to the Hot Devil to the Stegosaurus to the Titanic. We each chose fireworks and took turns setting them off using a blowtorch! They were bright and noisy. We also did a few together.

Everybody helped with the grand finale. There were thirty lightning flashes, ten flashing fountains, and five bright eyes. My dad took the blowtorch and knelt down on the ground. He lit all of them at once and walked away. Nothing happened at first but then there was a huge light and a bunch of blue flames and orange sparkles flying everywhere. In the center were the lightning flashes which were like a white aura. Then it was dark again. It lasted about two minutes. It was truly spectacular.

Sadly, Everyone had to go home so we say good bye. I am looking forward to next year!!!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

At Walt Disney World Resort Part 2

The second day at the Walt Disney World Resort, I went to the Magic Kingdom. It looks EXACTLY like Disney Land in California. The Magic Kingdom is split up into "Lands". The Magic Kingdom includes Tomorrowland (my favorite), Frontierland (my second favorite), Adventureland, Fantasyland, and Main Street. Main Street has a plentiful amount of shops and Fantasyland has a bunch of Princess related stuff. Adventureland theme is more Tarzan or Pirates of the Caribbean style. Frontierland's theme is centered around the Wild West. Tomorrowland's theme is "more future and Buzz Light Year" themed.

Tomorrowland  and Frontierland have the most rides of the "Lands". I enjoyed Tomorrowland's rides better because they are more intense and wild than Frontierland's rides. Tomorrowland has two rides that I really enjoyed. They are Space Mountain and a Go Cart Track. My dad and I went on Space Mountain twice! However, the first time was more exciting because I didn't know what to expect. The second time was more predictable. We got into the roller coaster and it slid into a long tube. Blue Lights started flashing and I couldn't even see my hands in front of me. BLECH! I don't like those effects because it is very bright but you still can't see. There was a whirring noise that steadily grew louder and louder. Click. We shot off on to the main track. There were cool lights and stars that shined everywhere. You could even see a galaxy. The ride was short considering the two hour wait. Then, we went to Frontierland.

At Frontierland, We went on Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mining Co. Express. Splash Mountain is based on the a Disney Movie, "The Song of the South" and it has lots of drops. We climbed up a very steep hill for about three minutes then stopped. I looked down and saw a Briar Patch. I raised my hands and shouted, "AHHHHHHHH!!" The boat was free-falling like a skydiver jumping off a plane. It was a thrill, I mean the BIG THRILL. Big Thunder Mining Co. Express went supper fast and had many sudden turns. We climbed up a mineshaft  Chugchugchugchug. Creak. Veeeeeeeeew. We raised our hands up in the air again! It went so fast my eyes started to water. It was exhilarating!

After Frontierland, it was getting dark and there was a Light Parade and fireworks at Main Street.   We saw lots and lots of Disney Characters who were on floats that were covered with lights. We saw a bunch of princesses, Peter Pan, Mickey and Minnie Mouse and more! The fireworks were beautiful and spectacular. It lit up the entire sky. They looked so close as you could touch them!! After the Parade I went back to Tomorrowland to go on the Go Cart Track. It was about one o'clock in the morning when we got back to the hotel. I was exhausted but had a blast.

The third day at the Walt Disney World Resort, I went to Disney's Hollywood Studios. There is only one ride that I thought was intriguing. It is Midway Mania. It is a 3D shooting game based on Toy Story. You get 3D glasses and get to shoot little targets on a screen. It was super exciting. Compared to the other parks, Hollywood Studios is quite small. It was extremely hot. That day we decided to go back to the hotel earlier than normal and rest.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

At Walt Disney World Resort Part 1

The first day we were at the Walt Disney World Resort, we went to the Animal Kingdom and the Blizzard Beach Water Park. At the Animal Kingdom, we saw Asian tigers and monkeys. The Asians tigers were sleeping but seemed very majestic. The monkeys were funny. I saw them swing from rope to rope (they were on an island with no trees). They also went hoo hoo hahaa just like in the cartoons.

I also went on a water ride at the animal kingdom. However I didn't get as wet as I wanted to,so I was disappointed. It was an eighty minute wait and I was really looking forward to getting wet. I got in the raft with my dad and six others, and it started to go up a ramp. Tinktinktinktintktink splash! We landed in the water. Then we spun in circles downward and went back up another ramp. Finally, a steep drop. I hung on as we tumbled into the water, Splash! My shirt got wet. Then elephant statues squirted water at us. Eventually, we went around a turn and got off.

Then, I went on one of Walt Disney's new rides, Yeti Mountain. On the ad, it said that you were on a runaway train in the Himalayas. I was very excited however, the wait was two hours long. We got on the "train" and pulled the safety bars down. Then, the "train" started to move. As we started to go up, I gripped the safety bar very tightly because I am a tiny bit afraid of heights. Then we reached the top. I looked around but there was no drop. Next, we went into a dark and spooky cave. Eventually, we saw light in front of us. It was a dead end. The tracks were mangled and broken. We stopped moving. I thought the ride was broken and my heart started pounding faster. Then, we started going backwards at full speed. We all raised our hands and screamed. The sound of the wind whizzing past my ears sounded like a sonic boom. VOOOOOOOOO.  I retracted my arms from the sky, and held on for dear life. Everyone else did the same. WUBWUBWUB. We suddenly stopped. I went, "Oof" as my back hit the seat-back.

Suddenly, there were squeaking noises, and we saw the shadow of the Yeti tearing up fake tracks. At first it terrified me. Then, the drop we were waiting for, happened. As we were turning, there was a creak, and then a whoosh, as the train free-fell at an eighty degree angle. Then, we pulled up and did a couple of twirls. Eventually it slowed down dramatically. We came to a stop and had to get off. I jumped off and took my fast pass out. I said, "Lets go again!"

I went to the Water Park on the same day. However, I couldn't go on any of the slides because of a thunder storm. It was pouring so badly that I saw a guy's umbrella collapse under the rain. The wind is howling. Fwoosh. The wind blew in our ears. People were scrambling to get inside. Then CRABAM lightning and thunder joined the rain and caused more panic. My family and I quickly went back to our resort and dried off. Wow! What a day!

Going to Walt Disney World

On Friday June 7th, I went to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida with my parents. I was so excited! I woke up, got dressed as fast as I could, and brought my bag downstairs. Our flight was extremely early in the morning so we had to get up at 4:00 A.M. Therefore, I was very tired. I placed my bag in the trunk of my dad's car. I jumped into the car and ate breakfast which my mom had brought in the car. However, I wasn't that hungry.

I dozed for a while in the car, but as we got near the San Francisco Airport, I was filled with energy and joy because I was very excited to finally get on the plane and fly to Orlando. We flew JetBlue. We checked into our flight, then headed towards security. The line at the security station was bad, considering that it was around 6:00 A.M. After security, we headed towards our gate. We waited for about thirty minutes then boarded the airplane.

One of the advantages of flying JetBlue is that the seats are equipped with individual TV's, so naturally we took out our earphones and watched TV.We eventually arrived at JFK International Airport, where we would board another JetBlue airplane and arrive at Orlando International Airport. There was terrible weather at New York so many flights were backed up. Therefore, we had to wait an extra forty minutes.

I watched Cartoon Network on the way to Orlando. I watched Tom and Jerry, and the Looney Tunes Show. I have watched Tom and Jerry since I was very little, but I still enjoy it tremendously. I find it hilarious and very entertaining. The Looney Tunes Show is a new series. I also find it hilarious and very entertaining.

At last, we arrived at Orlando. We took our luggage and went on Disney's Magical Express to Port Orleans Riverside Resort. We arrived at our resort at 10:00 P.M. I took a shower, and fell asleep...

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Santa Catalina Island Field Trip Part 3

The last day, I went kayaking again with another friend of mine, Nichos. After kayaking for about ten minutes, a counselor shouted SPLISHY SPLASHY TIME. We used paddles to push other boats away from ours. When one group fell into the water after being bombarded by water, Nichos immediately jumped onto their boat. Since our first boat was the SS Banana, because it resembled a banana, our hijacked ship became the SS Banana II. We now were twice as deadly if we attacked. Nichos and I rammed into another groups boat. They capsized because of sheer force! We allied with the SS Speed and tripled on a teacher's boat. We tried a pincer move but failed, because our teacher back paddled. We decided to attack the other boats. As we rammed into boat after boat, we got new enemies who chased after us. We were soon surrounded. We couldn't paddle as fast individually as we could together, so Nichos did a leap of faith back onto my boat. As I paddled, Nichos pushed the surrounding boats away. We survived without capsizing, leaving the other boats facing in awkward directions. I felt like we were pirates! I thought Nichos and I were a very good team. I had a blast on the last day. However, I had to leave...

We got on a fishing boat and waved goodbye to the camp director. Then to our surprise, when we turned around, we saw that our counselors were actually on board! We got apples, chips, and sandwiches for lunch. I ate my lunch while the boat was in motion so I didn't have a happy ride. I borrowed some motion sickness reliever from my friend Andres. I took a pill and felt better after a little bit. However, not everyone looked well. Some people were lying on the floor and some were on the tables and some were on the seats. It seemed like everyone was seasick. A few people went and stuck their heads over the water. Finally, we docked at Long Beach. We took a short bus ride to the airport. Our plane arrived at the Long Beach Airport shortly after my friends and I finished playing a game of Yahtzee. The plane ride was not very good. I ordered hot tea and set it on the table. Then, there was a sudden bump of turbulence, and the cup fell over! I retreated as far back as I could from the cup, but some of the steaming hot tea still got on me. It was very painful. Soon after, we got off the plane. We all ran to our parents to say hello. Bye Bye Catalina, Hello Home!

I wish we could have stayed longer. Next year we are going to Pinnacles National Park in Central California
and I hope I have even more fun there!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Santa Catalina Island Field Trip Part 2

The second full day at Catalina Island, I went hiking and kayaking. Hiking was considerably boring because we didn't see anything but cactus. We had to be very careful not to prick ourselves. Our counselor carried a machete to chop up dangerous shrubs that were blocking us. I think the highlight of hiking was going down steep hills with ropes. It was sort of like zip lining with our feet on the ground. We went one by one, each one with their own speed and strategy to get down. I, sadly, was last in line, but got to watch people go down. Sometimes it was amusing, sometimes it was pointless, but eventually, it got to me. I looked down and grabbed hold of the thick rope. I leaned back, and went down. I dodged and jumped over cacti and prickly flowers. After leaping over an exceptionally large patch of cacti, I stumbled and slid a couple of feet. I grabbed hold of the rope just in time. I was about to fall when I reached backwards and my fingers gripped the rope. The rest of the way was less steep and I had no trouble at all.

I also went kayaking. Kayaking was definitely not boring. Kayaking was my favorite activity. We sat on open-legged, yellow, two person kayaks. My partner was Daniel. As we sat on the kayak, a wave was slowly building up. We got our paddles, and were launched. We went right through the wave, soaking us from head to toe.  We paddled as far as possible from the shore, trying not to get washed onto the beach. We kayaked to the pod of kayaks, where we all gathered. Our boat was called the SS Barracuda. We paddled ahead of the main clump near the front, where all the fast kayakers were. Then, the SS Sharpoon zoomed towards us and we had to swerve to avoid a collision.

Suddenly, a counselor yelled, "SPLISHY SPLASHY TIME!" We jumped off our boat and into the cold ocean. We swam to the nearest other boat, the SS Mollusk, and grabbed hold of their boat. We capsized them and they were left with an upside down boat. As we were trying to get back on our boat, the crew of the SS Mollusk wanted revenge. They swam behind our boat and pulled. We rolled back into the ocean, and our boat was floating upside down. We didn't have enough strength to get it up right, so we climbed on the belly and stood up. At least it was sunny. Suddenly, everyone said, "Chicken Fight". The goal is to knock the other person into the water. I jumped up and my partner toppled back into the water. We tried one more attempt to right the boat and it worked. We got on to find that our paddles had floated away. As everyone else in the group was paddling back to camp, we started back to camp without our paddles. We laid on our stomachs, and as Daniel kicked, I paddled with my hands. Eventually, we were left behind, and we got into the water and both kicked. However, luck was on our side. A counselor rescued us and tied our kayak to their's. The other counselors found our paddles and gave them to us. Daniel and I zoomed back ahead of the rest of the boats which had headed in the wrong direction. We saw a sea lion pop up in front of our boat, look at us, then swim under us. We looked at the water, saw the sea lion, felt a bump in the boat, then the sea lion was gone. We landed on the beach first, and had to help carry the heavy kayaks onto the wet beach.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Santa Catalina Island Field Trip Part 1

Last week, May 20 to May 23, I went to Santa Catalina Island for a school field trip. It was an overnight, four day field trip. Santa Catalina Island is twenty-six miles off the coast of Long Beach, California. We took a plane, a bus, and a boat to get there. We snorkeled, hiked, and kayaked. I had a blast! There were eight kids per "cabin" (they were similar to tents).

The cabin had small bunk beds and had a bumpy wooden floor that was covered in sand. There was also no light in the cabin. There wasn't even candlelight. We had to use flashlights and it was annoying because it caused us to have one hand full all the time. The cabins were diagonally placed and my cabin was situated closest to the beach so we could hear the crashing waves at night. We ate food at the food court. It was located right next to the beach where you can find tiny little sand crabs.We could take two minute showers everyday or we could not take a shower one day and take a four minute shower the next day etc. This is because of water conservation.

Snorkeling was very fun. On the first full day, I went down to the Waterfront, or Snorkel Shack, as I call it, to get my wetsuit and snorkel gear. Normally, when you go snorkeling, you don't need to wear a wetsuit. However, at Catalina Island, the water is quite cold and to stay warm for a long period of time, we had to wear extra thick wetsuits.In addition to keeping us warm, they acted as a personal floation device. It took ages to put on the blubber like wetsuits, but it was worth it. The wetsuits were 2-piece, so we had lots of trouble because the suit was extremely tight when it is dry. After putting on the blubbery suits, we had to put the snorkeling masks on. We washed them and then put them on. Shortly after, we waddled like penguins to the edge of the water. Then we back waddled into the ocean. As I looked down immediately after I got into the water, I couldn't see anything. Our counselor explained that there was too much sand near the beach so we swam farther out. Then we came across a kelp forest.


The kelp forest was vibrant with life and many fish were seen. First, we saw a huge school of Blacksmith fish. Then, we saw Garibaldi fish. They were eating parasites off the Giant Kelp. Giant Kelp can grow up to two metres a day! I thought that was amazing! The Garibaldis paid us no attention as we glided by. Then, out of nowhere, a Ray leaped from the sand causing us to stare in awe. Then, I looked to my left, and a piece of kelp glided towards me. However it was moving at an unnatural speed. As I looked closely, I realized it was an octopus! I looked around to signal my friends, but as soon as I looked back, it vanished. Darn it! I looked down to the sand and saw a leopard shark sweep across, scattering many fish in all directions. Then there was a bubble and as I looked to my right, I saw a harbor seal swim by. As I got out of the water, I was shocked by how much life was underwater.

I was exhausted after being in the water for a full day but I was looking forward to the next day!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Apple vs. Microsoft

Many people are arguing about whether Apple is better, or Microsoft is better. I don't think you can argue. Apple is a hardware and software company. Microsoft is a computer software company. They sell products that make computers work! We can only compare them based on their software.

Personally, I think Microsoft's software is better. When you buy a Mac with the new Mountain Lion or other type of software, it doesn't come with much productive software. Just Finder and Safari and the Trash Bin (possibly more I have forgotton). When you buy a PC with Microsoft software, it comes with File Explorer, Internet Explorer, and the Recycle Bin. Very similar.     However, when you run things or download things, Apple software makes it more complicated than it should be. I am not trying to discourage you about buying Apple products.

An example of how downloading things is harder on Mac's is Minecraft. When you want to download Modifications, or Mods for short, you have to find Libraries, then find Minecraft.jar, then unarchive the java script, then unarchive the Mod into a folder, copy  the info into the Minecraft.jar folder, then log in to minecraft. With Windows, you just drag the folder into the already un-archived Minecraft folder, then you are done. There are more steps for the Mac. This goes for many things.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Flu

You may wonder why I am writing about the flu. I am writing about the flu because I had the flu about a year ago, and it was awful. As I was thinking about what I should write about the flu, I came up with a poem.

The flu is a nasty little bug,
It can sneak to and fro,
It attempts to get into your body,
Where it seeks to go,
Your eyes are flashing up and about,
To look for this miniscule creature,
Who is invisible to nearly all,
It bulldozes all in its path,
For a little virus,
It takes days to defeat, the malicious bug,
But next time it may come back again,
this time in another form,
And hopefully you're prepared,
Because it is like a storm

When I had the flu, I was weak and pale. It was hard to even take a step from my bed! Therefore, I spent the worst days of the flu in my bed. Eventually, it started to get better so I could get up to go to the dining table (not that I had much of an appetite). It felt like I had to learn to walk again. It took about an hour to get used to to the motion of walking. Not only were the symptoms bad, the medicine itself was disgusting. It was so icky that the description makes me feel like I am tasting the medicine all over again. It had like a slimy texture and it tasted very mucky and bitter. It almost made me cough all over myself. Then the miracle happened. I felt the flu retreat and I felt renewed with strength. I felt cured. I started to feel better after a week and the flu was defeated!

Portal Party

On April 28, Sunday, I will go to a Portal party my friend Aidan hosted. Portal is a fun video game that requires you to claim a "portal gun". You must use the "portal gun" to make your way through many test chambers to defeat the final boss, Glados. During the game, you will start to unravel secrets. Therefore, the game is less confusing as time goes on. In the game, everybody is a robot except you. The storyline is...

You wake up in a bedroom, but instead of getting up to get breakfast, you have a robot knock on your door. You get up and open it. A tiny robot, Wheatley, who hangs on the ceiling comes in to tell you it is time for exercise and arts class. He leaves the room and you are left alone. A voice comes on. It screeches, "When the buzzer goes off, look down." You look down. Then the voice continues, "Now look up when the buzzer goes off." You look up. "Perfect. Now stare at the painting on the wall. When you feel like you are well exercised and have learned about art go back to sleep." You go back to sleep.

When you wake up again, everything is broken and run down. The lights aren't working and an alarm is on. Wheatley barges in without knocking and says, "I'm gonna move your room. Tell them, the last time you saw the other test subjects they were fine." Then the room starts moving, and the walls and ceiling collapse. You look and there is a humongous iron sliding door in front of you. Wheatley announces, "I am going to open the door, hold on tight!" The door screams as it opens and as the room goes through, the room shudders. You jump off and land on cement but you are fine. That is when the testing really begins...

You get a primary portal gun, which can only shoot one portal at a time. Then the testing elevator rises and you step in. The first level is easy, a few portals and you are done, but as you go on, the levels get harder and harder.


Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Aerodrome Tournament

Veeeeer! Planes explode in the air as enemies shoot each other down. Planes catch on fire and their elevation cables snap. The planes in World War I are fighting to the death. I was at the Aerodrome tournament. This was my first time there. I played two rounds. Each round consists of two games. My school, Bentley School, played against the Sunnyvale Middle School. They were very good. I lost two games and tied two games.

At the beginning, it was very loud and was hard to hear people who were talking to me. As soon as the game began, the crowd was silenced. Our hearts were pounding. As I was flying, I tried shooting people down. I succeeded in shooting enemies and wounding them but not killing them. Then I ran out of ammo and tried running off the board. One of my opponents saw me and blasted me from behind. It was irritating  The second game of the first round, I almost got a kill and a bunch of points. The problem was, I lost the kill to friend Max, who stole the kill from me. The third game was awesome! I got a kill on my own. However, I ran out of bullets so I couldn't continue. I flew off the board. The fourth time, we tied and nothing special really happened.

Sadly, we lost the Aerodrome competition but it was good to be there. I gained lots of experience and I hope to go again next time!

Hold the Line!

Another semester of historical games has begun! Now we are playing Hold the Line. Hold the Line is a game based on the Revolutionary War. There are two sides, the British and the American. The soldier types are regular infantry, dragoons (cavalry), militia, artillery, light infantry, and elites. When you are adjacent to an enemy, you can choose close-combat or to shoot. If you choose close-combat, it takes two of your action points instead of one. However, you have a better chance of hitting the enemy. When controlling regular infantry, militia, elites, and artillery, you can move one hex each turn. If you are moving a dragoon you can move three hexes per turn and if you are moving a light troop, you can move two hexes. When shooting with regular infantry, militia, artillery, dragoons, and light infantry, you roll three dice. If you are shooting with an elite unit with a health rank three or more health, you roll four dice. The dice tell you if you hit another person.

I have played three games of Hold the Line and won them all. So far, my friend Daniel and I are the only ones that haven't lost a game of Hold the Line yet. I think I will be playing against him next week. I feel excited that I can play against my friend who probably has a strategy that is as good or better than mine. My strategy is to spread my forces out like my fencing teacher taught me. I will spread my pieces out, and as he starts to meet me in combat, I will compact my forces and bash through the thin layer of enemy forces. Then as he is continuing to come back together, I will start to move to encircle his forces.

My past strategies were attacking from both sides then chomping down on the enemies. It was very effective and was efficient. I hope I can win my battle against Daniel if I am going to battle against him next time.


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Spring Break

This week, March 31-April 6, I was off from school. I played with my friends Arnet and Jeevan. We played Lego's together and prepared for the Lego Zombie Apocalypse. Jeevan, Arnet, and I all had survivor groups. Arnet and Jeevan's groups were the largest. They were the first to be attacked by Lego zombies.

Jeevan's base got destroyed and many of his Lego people died.  Arnet's base was overrun by zombies. I had to run to his aid and help get the remaining people away from the infected base. Many of Arnet's people died and became zombies, or got bitten and had to have amputations. Eventually, almost everyone was crippled or dead in Arnet's group. Only my group was unharmed because they were experienced fighters from the Old Lego Wars.

After fighting and defending against the zombies, other Lego people started taking advantages of zombies attacking us. Jeevan's miniscule army was wounded again and again, and I had to defend Arnet's army constantly. Since my group was small, I could only defend one ally at a time. After Lego hours of fighting the zombies ceased to come. Many people were sprawled on the floor because they were tired and sore.

I had a fun Spring Break and I cannot wait till Summer Break which is three months long!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

A Friendly Reunion

On Saturday, March 23, my friends Michala and Nichola came to visit from Canada. About 5 years ago, they moved to Canada. Since then, my friends Nicholas, Max, Jack, Samantha, and I never saw them again. The seven of us used to live in the same neighborhood and grew up together. That Saturday, they came to visit and we went to a party for them! We played with Nerf guns and played tag.

When we played with Nerf guns, we split into two teams. Nicholas, Max, Nichola, Jack, Michael, and I vs. the other team, Victor, David, Liam, Riley, Samantha, and Margo. During the game, if we got blasted by a bullet, we would have to lay on the floor and pretend to be dead for ten seconds. Then we would rise and put our hands up so we could return to our base to re-spawn. Nicholas had a Nerf assault rifle, Max, Jack and I had Nerf pistols and Nichola had the "LIVE" ball. The "LIVE" ball is a ball that can make you invulnerable to anything. It would also one-hit-kill some one if you chucked the ball at them. If you touch a teammate with the "LIVE" ball when they are on the ground,  they re-spawn without traveling back to their base. Michael was our spy. Even though he had no weapons, he sneaked into the enemy base and took all their weapons. That was the turning point in the game. They were defenseless and our team beat them. 

We also played two versions of tag. The first version of tag we played was hide-and-go-seek tag. If you were tagged, you would be out for the round. The first time around, the tagger thought everyone was tagged but then I shouted at him, "HEY! I am up here!" He looked up and saw me on the roof of the house. Everyone laughed and the tagger screamed back, "How did you get up there?" I replied with an answer that nobody expected; "I climbed". He couldn't get me, so to make it a fair game, I jumped down and ran around. The tagger couldn't reach me so I stopped. It was hilarious. He expected me to keep running so he ran right past me. Eventually, he tagged me. 

The other version of tag we played was banana tag. You had to tag someone in the back, and if both people tagged each other at the same time, they would "roshambo". I wasn't as good at this game, but I was still  quite decent. I didn't watch my back as often as I should have and would be tagged unexpectedly. Most of the times I was startled when someone sneaked up behind me and tagged me, then ran away.

I had a excellent time playing with my friends. I also made new friends and it was a very happy evening. However, I am sad because Nichola and Michala have to go back to Canada, but I hope I can see them again soon!




Sunday, March 17, 2013

Skiing (Again!)

I went skiing with my dad again at Tahoe. I was extremely happy when I heard that we were skiing at North Star again because it is my favorite resort. We went on Friday night, March 8th, and skied on Saturday and Sunday. In skiing, the difficulty level of a slope is labeled by a color on a sign. We started out on a green run (easy) then moved on to blue runs (harder) and black runs(hardest). We did this pattern for both days because we did green runs to warm ourselves up, blue runs for the joy of skiing, and black runs to challenge ourselves. The green run we went on is named The Gulch. I thought it was strange that it was called The Gulch because the run didn't resemble a "V" shaped valley. Actually it looks like a savanna (the run was flat and had small bushes) that was coated with snow and ice. However, The Gulch also has lots of rocks in some places.

We skied mostly on blue runs. Many of the blue runs were easy for me. My dad and I had no trouble traveling down the mountain. The lifts to blue runs weren't as crowded or cold as the last time we were here. We got many blue runs in. There are hard blue runs that have many shrubs, but we skied on them anyway. The blue runs with shrubs were hard because sometimes if we weren't careful, we would hit a shrub and fall. I didn't like these runs because the shrubs often tangled your skis together when you tried to get up.

The black diamond runs are tough, brutal, and mean. If you fall, you will probably tumble another two meters before being able to sit up right. That happened to me once. However, if you don't fall, the black runs are pretty fun. The trick to not falling is to be relaxed and calm. When you go down a path and you know it is a black diamond, you are most likely scared. When you are scared, your adrenaline starts pumping through your body and making you more cautious. Caution can be good and bad. The good part is that when  you are cautious, you are aware of your surroundings. The bad part is you are not paying attention to your skis. Your ski tips might cross making you fall. This is all from experience.

We went on multiple black diamond runs and they all very fun because we didn't fall! This is the last time I will ski for the season. I hope I can go back to North Star or another challenging resort next season!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Foos-ball Championships

On Saturday, February 23, 2012, I went to my friends' school. Their school had a fundraiser and my friends' parents wanted to go eat at the party at their school. We were dropped off at the school's extended care room. There, my friends Jack and Samantha showed me around. There was a foos-ball table and a lot of people were crowding around it. Four people were playing the intense game. Two people were trying to defend the ball from getting into the goal but the others were attacking fiercely, spinning the handles that connected to the little fake people on the board. It was a game that made everybody sweat, wondering who would win. The score was nine to nine. Whoever got the ball in the opposing teams goal would win the tournament. At last there was a finishing kick and the ball zoomed into the goal shooting out the other side landing on the floor.

At last it was Jack's and my turn. Samantha was the referee and we were competing against two other people. They were Blake and Shavia. We were fighting with all our might and at last, the ball went in to their goal. One point for us, none for them. Then they went all out. The ball evaded my defenses and Jack couldn't hit the ball in time and it tumbled into the goal. This happened continuously until the score was nine to nine. We fought and beat the ball closer and closer to their goal but they beat it back. At last the ball managed to get past them and it got closer, and closer, then closer, then bonk! It landed in their goal. We won the championships!

Jack and I were filled with joy and we danced around. I was rewarded a paper crown and a virtual cupcake and Jack got the same thing. Then Samantha announced us the best foos-ball players of the foos-ball season. I had lots of fun and hope to go again next year!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

USA Open Piano Competition

On Wednesday, 2/13/13,  I competed in the USA Open Piano Competition. It was very fun. I got to select from a variety of pieces and each had their own little recital. Then, the judges would have to decide who the winner would be from people who played the same piece. The judges would go somewhere and talk about everybody's playing. They would choose who would be in 4th, 3rd, 2nd, or 1st place. Each recital is code named with a section, and for some reason, a precious rock. I played in the recitals, Treasury of Romantic-Sapphire, Treasury of Baroque-Ruby, and Open Solo-Junior Pearl.

I like the Treasury of Romantic best. The songs have dynamics that change often making the music cheerful or sad. I played A Little Neapolitan Song by Tchaikovsky. It is a cheerful song with a mellow tune at the beginning and a fast and exciting tune near the end. The ending notes are grand and loud. This is one of my most favorite pieces by Tchaikovsky. 

Everyone was nervous. Some tried to calm down by playing games and a few were looking around bored and glum. As the judges walked in the door, everybody went silent. As the judges announced the winners, I was shaking in fear, scared that I would not get a place. Then they announced my number, my name, then what place I came in. I got 3rd place! I stood up with a big smile on my face. I bowed. I was very proud of myself, but I will work harder, to get a better place next time.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Diplomacy

Another season of Historical Games has begun! Now we are playing Aerodrome and Diplomacy. I like Diplomacy better because you can make alliances with other people unlike Aerodrome, where you are on one side only. The goal of Diplomacy is to capture all of the supply centers in other countries.

When the game starts, you have three supply centers. You also have two armies and one fleet. Each army and fleet starts out on a supply center. I am playing for Austria/Hungary. There are 2 turns per section in the game. The sections are called years. The two turns are the spring turn, and the fall turn. You can only capture supply centers in the fall. If you capture a supply center, you can build an army or fleet, in any of the supply centers in any unoccupied supply centers you own. If you capture 2 supply centers, you can build 2 things-so on and so forth. If you lose supply centers, then one of your armies or fleets must be taken of the board-so on and so forth. This is called the fall build.

In Diplomacy, my friend Daniel and I "allied" with Michael, one of our friends. He wanted to take out Italy but we wanted Italy too. Daniel and I agreed to take out Micheal, who was playing for Turkey. Daniel was playing for Russia. We were both adjacent to Turkey so we started taking Turkey's supply centers one by one. Daniel took the supply centers on the coast with one of his fleets, and I took one out with one of my armies. Since I also wanted Italy, I rowed my fleet to Venice and bottle necked my friend Jordan, who was playing for Italy. At the same time I captured Venice, Jordan lost one of his armies and I gained one. By that time it was the end of the day. We will continue next week...

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Skiing

I went skiing with my Mom and Dad during the New Year's week. It was super fun. The first ski resort we went to was the Tahoe Donner Ski Resort which is located North of Lake Tahoe in California. Tahoe Donner Ski Resort is a small resort so it has very simple runs. I went there because I haven't skied since last year so I needed my muscles to get used to skiing again.

The first run I went down was called Mile Run. It was boring because Mile Run was super flat and I had to use my poles to push myself. The second run I went down was The Bowl. It was not flat but not too steep. I skied down with ease and didn't fall. I also skied down Walt's which was a very easy run. The last run I went on for the day was Fire Break. It was rated a black diamond at Tahoe Donner Ski Resort but it didn't look difficult or scary to me. I had a lot of confidence and went down by parallel zigzagging. I was proud of myself. I went back to the condo my parents rented.

The second day, we went to North Star at Tahoe. North Star was less than a twenty minute drive from where my family and I stayed. North Star is a beautiful resort but the runs are tough because the mountains are very tall and steep. It is a very nice resort because it has many up-scale restaurants, shops, and even a movie theater. The service was friendly and helpful.

The first run my Dad and I went down was Logger's Loop. It had a terrain park so we didn't like it. We tried a different run but it also had a terrain park. Later we found out that most of the runs on that particular mountain had almost all terrain parks. It was freezing cold. After the first couple of runs I couldn't feel my fingers or feet. We decided to ski on a different mountain and we went down a run named Sodergrens. We didn't realize it had so many moguls until we were half way down the slope! I liked the challenge but I felt tired because my legs were sore. My dad didn't like it at all. I continuously dodged the moguls and my dad kept falling. Eventually we got to the bottom. We were both exhausted. My Dad and I agreed to not go on that run again. We skied down the runs, Upper and Lower Pioneer, because we were familiar with them. They were fairly easy runs and my dad and I had no trouble at all.

The third day, New Years Eve, we went to North Star again. We tried different runs like Lumberjack and Lower Main Street. I also went on Upper Grouse Alley which was a black diamond. At North Star the black diamond runs are very hard and it took me two tries to go down with out falling. Upper Grouse Alley was super steep and looked very scary but the snow was groomed and not very many people were on the slopes that day. I also went down Powder Bowl. I didn't enjoy that run because I couldn't get around the moguls and I kept falling. That was the last run I did. I was very proud and happy with myself for skiing on a black diamond. My Dad said that my skiing skills have improved since last year.

On New Years Day, we went home. I hope we can go again this season...

The Hobbit: Movie Review

I thought The Hobbit was a very well directed movie. It had the right amount of action, humor, and adventure. The Hobbit is about a hobbit named Bilbo Baggins. He is selected to go on journey to help the dwarves reclaim their homeland from a dragon. At first, Bilbo shakes his head and refuses to go. However, after the dwarves  leave with the old wizard, Gandalf the Grey, he runs after them. They march on their way to the Lonely Mountain, the last kingdom of the dwarves.

The Hobbit was a very interesting movie because it tells the story of an amazing creature who once lived in peace, but ventured out to the unknown woods. He never gave up and always was a happy hobbit.

I liked this movie because the story line is every interesting. The movie seemed to have a balance of all the aspects a movie needs: humor, adventure, reason, and action.

The Hobbit is split into three parts, so I can't wait for the next one!