Saturday, December 1, 2012

Moon Rainbow

November 27, 2012

   The bell rings for the end of 6th period. I pack up my backpack and head out into the stream of students making their way through the puddles of rainwater standing between them and their parents' cars.
   Tanner walks up behind me, "Hey Andy, what's up?"
   "Just going to track. Are you coming?"
   "No, I have to go meet my dad," he complains.
   "Hey Tanner," Tanner's friend says, walking up to us in direction we're going, "did you say you did a full three-sixty skating yesterday?"
   "You mean a whole two pi?" I ask.
   He laughs, "Yeah, a whole two pi."
   Tanner introduces us, "Bodie, this is Andy, Andy: Bodie. Andy's a nice kid, but he says weird things sometimes."
   At track practice we run Garcon, a five-mile loop going up Garden Street and down Constance. On the way up we always get barked at by a big, white, fluffy dog that jumps up on his little sandstone wall. Eric pet the rude guy's head once, but nobody has been tempted to imitate him since. After practice my friend Jared takes me home, and when we get there we notice the sunset. It is a yellow-orange sunset made up of hundreds of small, flat clouds covering a quarter of the sky over the ocean. The orange is even visible reflected from the rainclouds over the mountains in the east.
   I power my way through my AP World notes, eager to go to the Westmont library again. Last week I had gone there and read an article in November issue of Scientific American about the evolution of penguins. They originated over 65 million years ago during the time of the dinosaurs in the lost subcontinent of Zealandia. All that remains of Zealandia since it was submerged in the Pacific Ocean is the island country of New Zealand. In fact, one of the authors of the article I read discovered the oldest penguin fossil known to man in a sandstone cliff of New Zealand.
   I finish my homework just in time for dinner, after which Mom and I watch the first episode of the 4th season of The West Wing. When we're done I go outside and run in the dark to the library. On the way I pass Mr. Chapman walking home from work.
   "Hi Mr. Chapman," I pant, running up to him.
   "Hello Andy, where are you off to?" he asks.
   I start jogging away, "I'm going to the library to read Scientific American!"
   "You're a cool kid, Andy," I hear him say.
   After looking through all the second and ground floor bookshelves for T1.S5, I give up and ask Tyler, a math major who works in the library a lot. To my excitement, he tells me to go look in the basement for them. The basement is full of metal shelves full of reference books without any space to walk between the shelves to get a book. You have to turn a crank on the shelf on the end to move it a couple feet along a track, opening a gap wide enough to walk through. If the last person there left the gap between the A and C books, I get to move five different shelves to reach the books with a call number that starts with T. The Scientific American magazines all the way back from 2000 were in two bound copies and five different magazine holders. I pulled down the third to last magazine holder and found an issue with an interesting cover picture. It was the April 2008 issue, and the cover article was about how plant life would be different on different planets. The first half of the article gave a description of how photosynthesis on Earth worked, and then it went on to talk about the changes in the process that would be necessary for plants to survive on a a planet orbiting a hotter or colder sun.
   Around 10:00 I finish the article, write down a few notes, and head home. Only a few wisps of clouds still remain in the night sky, so I walk the whole way with my head looking up at the stars. The moon is almost full, and it lights up the ground, casting crisp shadows of the leaves and tree trunks on the pale concrete. I reach the end of the gravel path leading to our front door, and I look up at the moon one last time before I go inside. It is directly overhead in the sky and a thin, transparent cloud is passing in front of it. The details of the moon are still visible as it shines through, and it is surrounded by a halo of white light. Circling the light is a fully circular rainbow, starting with violet on the inside, then indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red on the outside.
   I knock on Ruth's door, "Hey Ruth, come see this," I whisper.
   "What is it?" she groans.
   "A moon rainbow!"

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Mercury Mine Fail

On memorial day last weekend I went on a bike ride with Dad, Ruth, and Dr. Sommermann. We rode 18.6 miles and climbed 717 feet. It was paved road part of the way and dirt road for the rest. We were trying to get to the Mercury Mine, but we rand out of time before we had to get the car back to Mom. We looked for two geocaches but we didn't find them, and we stopped at Redrock to swim a little. I smuggled my Super Soaker and a bungie cord in the car and lugged it on my bike the whole 18.6 miles. We turned around at Gibraltar Dam, which was cool looking. I tried to shot Ruth with the Super Soaker from the top f a really big red rock, but the wind was blowing the wrong way, so it wouldn't reach. Too bad.

Our route (You need Google Earth)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Granddad and Deborah's House

The day before yesterday we went to Granddad and Deborah's house on Lake Michigan. One of their two long-haired black dachshunds, LeDoux, was blind, and Scarpa (the other one) was confused because his little brother was getting all this special attention and couldn't play anymore. We went to the beach (Lake Michigan) and Ruth and I swam out to a buoy and back, and then we got in a fight and Ruth went back to the house.

The next time we went to the beach, Scarpa picked out a stick twice as long and half as thick as himself and taught me a game that he used to play with LeDoux but can't anymore because LeDoux is blind. The game involves getting a big stick, taking it somewhere on the beach, digging a a big hole under it, moving it somewhere else, and digging another hole. Eventually the stick would make it back to the grownups and they would throw it somewhere else. We practically dug up the whole beach, and we could have gone for longer if it wasn't dinnertime. On the way back, Scarpa made me carry the stick home, just like he used to do with LeDoux.

This year I discovered that Granddad's house has a basement and I found this cool model car that they gave me to take home:

Grandma's Basement

We got to Chicago today, (The date is wrong on this post; it's supposed to be 6/12/2010) and grandma's house is exactly the same as it was last year, but Ruth and I still explored it again. One of the fun pieces of junk in the basement is broken, but half of it still works. It is made of two rectangular black plastic plates and one clear plate, and it has a whole bunch of little metal nails that slide up and down. It's fun because you can put your hand in it and it makes a metal hand print. We played ping pong in the basement until Ruth got frustrated because I was so bad at it, and we ate pizza for dinner.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Home, Jr. High, and Grandparents

We have been home for 1 1/2 weeks, and I just finished my first week of Jr. High School. I am going to Santa Barbara Jr. High, which has 700 more kids than my school in Mexico, which only had 50. My favorite teacher is Mr. Z, our history teacher. We watched Napolean Dynamite in his class yesterday while we were finishing or projects. We decided not to visit my grandparents this year, even though they got four feet of snow, so they came here.

Saturday, December 5, 2009


Yesterday night there was a ceremony in Plaza de Armas; They were crowning the "Christmas Queen". We didn't watch that, but we came back at  9:30 to see the fireworks. they had made this big metal structure that had lots of spinning wheels and stuff that they set on fire. There was a fence around it, but it just kept the crowd about a meter away from the explosions. It was sending fireworks into the crowd and setting the stuff that fell off of it onto the ground on fire. At one point the S in one of the words didn't go off on time, and a guy had to climb up the flaming thing and light it on fire, but he didn't have time before it ended and the other fireworks started. After everything was over, the S exploded in flames and startled everyone around it. Dad thought it was extremely funny.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Yesterday we went to a science museum in León. They had some cool stuff, like a static electricity machine, a echo chamber, and a 3-D movie I saw before on a field trip to LA. The movie was about a story that scientists made out of these fossils they found.  They had found some amazing fosslils of huge sea monsters that died with their pray still inside them. There was also this towers of Hanoi puzzle that I figured out with Dad's help. There was this contraption with a bunch  of metal rings that spun around that you rode in, called a "Tirotrón", that was really fun. The park outside of the museum had a bunch of train engines that you could could climb around on, too. After the museum we ate at Vips for the thousand-millionth time.