Friday, May 20, 2011


This week I've been involved in a couple of theater productions. First, I helped with a DDF fundraiser, the annual talent show. We had about twelve contestants and interspersed the acts with skits about 20,000 Leagues under the Sea. We had a kid playing in a kiddie pool on stage with action figures, then had real people recreate his story at the side. We brought in a big yellow septic tank (unused) and had Capt. Nemo inside. He pops out and has adventures with a shark, mermaid, and giant squid.

I got to be stage manager, meaning I had to make sure the props were in place, the talent was ready to go on, and all of the mic stands and instruments were adjusted right. Besides a few minor mishaps (I knocked over a keyboard in front of 50+ people and had to struggle to keep it upright) everything went well. I, for some reason, have always loved fundraisers and the excitement of a stage production. I guess these things let me socialize with people, but with a common goal. I hate just hanging out with people, as I don't know what to say or what to do. In a fundraiser or production, we have something we have to do, so there is no wasted time talking about random topics. I suppose it makes me seem overly obsessed with work, but working and fundraising is fun to me. It is certainly a lot easier than school work, and I don't really have to think very much, just work. It is sort of like a productive way to take a break.

A day or so after the DDF fundraiser, I volunteered to help with the high school drama class's production of The Pink Panther Strikes Again. I wasn't in the drama class, but they needed someone to help with the sound and lights. One of the teacher aides was in charge of the lights, and he showed me how to do the lights. I had one rehearsal to get the cues down, and then we did a public show. It was a lot of fun. I got to use a spotlight to follow characters and use the light board to set up lighting for all the different scenes. Besides I few mistakes, I did okay.

I still haven't finished my New Zealand video, but school is out in about a week, so I should have a lot of time to work on it then. Hopefully I will have some usable footage, but I haven't had a chance to review it all yet.

On Saturday, a couple of hours before my rehearsal for The Pink Panther, I hiked up Mt. Ripinsky with my family and a friend of my sister. There are about four trails that go up Mt. Ripinsky. To try something new, we parked one car at the bottom of one of the trails, then hiked up another one. We would hiked down to are car at the other end. We hiked for a while and came to part of the trail where there was still snow. We had all dressed for warm weather (shorts and T-shirts), so as  we fell into the snow, it scratched up our knees and legs. We went this way for a while and got up to the cell phone tower. I found out that the tower is powered by a gas generator and was loud and stinky. My mom is allergic to exhaust, so it made her sick. I suppose this is yet another reason not to use a cell phone (besides the fact that they affect bees and give you  brain cancer).

Besides that, it was very beautiful. I love high altitude meadows and bogs. I also like the moss covered ground and the granite rocks sticking out of it.

We kept hiking through the snow, but couldn't find the other trail down to our car. It was getting close to the time I had to be back for my rehearsal, so we ended up turning around and going back down the way we came.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Treaty of Waitangi video

I've been sort of busy for the past few weeks, so I haven't had time to post anything. So here's an update.

I finally finished the video of my research paper. Here it is. You can watch it in 720p HD (which is what my DSLR takes), but this won't do any good unless you watch it in full screen. If you don't have very fast internet (like me) you can watch it at 360p or 480p (lower resolutions). To change it, click on 360p after you have started playing it. Make sure to watch the credits, as they are the best part.

Other than that, I've mostly been doing Algebra II. I've just finished exponential and logarithmic functions, as well as linear programming and systems of equations. I only have about week or so left before the final, so I haven't had time for much else.

We've still been going on a few hikes, and I have been trying to walk to school (20 minutes) every day. Just the other day we hiked up Ripinsky again. My dad is out of town for business, but my mom and I hiked up. We didn't get very far, but I got to a spot where you can look out at some amazing rock faces.

There is also a great view of town, and you can see my house. Below is a picture (my house in red) and a cropped, low resolution close-up. The blue is our new, two million dollar cruise-ship bathroom.

We also drove out to Viking Cove, which is a few miles out of town, with a friend. We had Sushi on the beach and watched the Sea Lions and Seals out in the water. The herring and hooligan runs are happening now, so wildlife is abundant.

About a week ago my mom and sister and I went on a walk along one of the beaches closer to town. There were beer cans everywhere, as well as plastic bags, pieces of styrofoam, and other general trash. The next week was trash-pickup week, where you can take bags of litter to the dump and get paid for each bag. My sister started collecting as many pieces of trash as she could, probably more for the money than out of concern for the environment.

Unfortunately, there is a lot of litter in some places around town. I helped edit and produce a short PSA about it with the Takshanuk Watershed Council. You can watch it at their website:

It has been a mixture of sunny and windy, but no rain. The ground is still frozen, since we had very little snow this winter (snow insulates the ground and keeps it warm). We think that rain might help thaw it out.