Another Power Out

So it turns out there will be another power out today at six. We don't have a wifi dock or a generator this time because my Brother Jonathan just left to san Diego for work and needed the wifi dock back and the generator, so this time we won't have any internet or power.

Three Different Types of Roman Roads - History of Inventions - Lesson 24

There were three different types of Roman roads: 

  • Private roads which were for Romans who could afford their own private roads.
  • Public (high) roads which were paid for by the government to transport armies or government from one place to the other
  • Branch Roads were roads that branched off of the private roads, and the public (high) roads to go to small villages or towns

My Short Story: "The S&A Detective Agency"

                        <<<<The S & A Detective Agency>>>>

One morning as I woke up to the sound of my alarm clock, I noticed something white lying on my desk. I stood up to get a better look at it. As soon as I got up, I noticed that it was some snow that came through my open window. So I fell back on my bed. A few minutes later, my mom came in and said that Simon was at the door. I told mom to tell Simon that I would be down there in a minute. After my mom left, I quickly got dressed in my winter clothes and went downstairs. When Simon saw me, he said

"Hi Alminy, did you see the snow outside?" 

I told him about the snow on my desk as we went upstairs to my room. When Simon saw the pile of snow on my desk, he said we could push the snow back out the window, so we started to push the snow out the window.

"Wait! what's that?" Simon noticed something in the snow.

 I followed Simon's gaze at a small piece of paper sticking out of the snow. 

"Be careful. We have to pull it out slowly."

 We gently pulled the piece of paper out of the pile of snow. We tried to read what it said, but we could only make out the word 'Water.'

Then we put it on my desk to let it dry. After that, Simon and I went outside, still puzzled. Then we heard a police siren ringing across town. We were lost in thought about the piece of paper that we didn't pay attention to the siren or anything until a car nearly hit us! Suddenly a strong hand grabbed us out of the road and on to the sidewalk. 

"Are you two okay?"

"Yeah, we're okay," we both said at the same time.

The man was big and strong. He looked like he could win a boxing match. 

"why were you two boys in the middle of the street!?! If I wasn't here, you might have been run over!"

 We said we were thinking and didn't pay attention to the road. After that, the man left, and Simon and I decided we should go to Roger's frosty's (Roger's Frosty's an ice cream shop) anyway when we got there, unfortunately, it had a closed sign on its door. But as we were about to leave, Simon suddenly stopped and said 

"Listen, do you hear that?"

 We both stopped. I vaguely heard a ruffling inside the shop, and then we heard a crash! After that, we heard some voices, and then it was silent. But as Simon and I went to investigate the matter, we saw a head pop up from Inside, quickly we both ducked behind a bush. 

"Do you think he saw us?"

 Said Simon, "No, I don't think so."

 I said as I peered over the bush, The only thing I saw was an ice cream machine so I said 

"Okay, it's clear. Let's go to Mr. Riley's house and tell him what we saw."

We left for Mr. Riley's house, who is the owner of Riley's Frosty's. When we got there, we rang the bell, and then Jack the butler answered the door and said

"Yes?..ah! It's you, Alminy and Simon! Come on in!" 

"What brings you to boys here?" Said Jack as we walked inside 

"We came to talk about Mr. Riley's ice cream shop."

 Simon said as we turned a corner and was in the hallway, "are you two going to give Mr. Riley some more advice about what to put in his shop that other kids will like?"

 "No, not this time."

 "Hello, Simon. Hello Alminy, what brings you two here?" Said Mr. Riley as we sat down. 

"We came to talk to you about your ice cream shop."

"Oh? What about my shop?" 

"Was there anybody working there earlier?" 

"Hmm. I don't remember hiring anybody to clean up, but I will have to check my agenda, why?"

 "Well, we saw someone's head from inside your shop."

"ah!  Did you hear some crashes?"

"Yes, why? Do you know who was there?"

"Haha yes I do it must be Jimmy and Jeffry they were always coming here to ask if they can help clean up for some money so I said just this once they could clean up for five bucks each"

"that explains everything."

"come on let's go get some Wad-Fam-Choc-Sod at my ice cream shop."

(A Wad-Fam-Choc-Sod stands for a "World Famous Chocolate Soda") we both followed Mr. Riley out of his house and into his limo on the way there Mr. Riley showed us an old pitcher he said: "look at this it is a pitcher that I found in Israel a long time ago."

(Mr. Riley was an archeologist and had his own museum) "I will put it in my museum tomorrow." 

suddenly we slowed down to a stop, then Jack said, "sorry, there's a police roadblock blocking the road, so we have to go around."

As we were about to turn around, we heard a huge bang, and then suddenly, we could hear voices and some shouts outside. Jack started to drive the car around, and we headed down the road to the ice cream shop. When we got there, he unlocked the door, and we went inside. As soon as we walked in, we heard crashes then we heard a shivering voice.

"H-h-who's there?"

 "It's just us Jimmy," 

"Oh, it's you, Mr. Riley. We thought you were a burglar!" 

"Why are you here? Is it already opening time?" 

"No, we just stopped by to get some ice cream."

We walked over to the freezer, and Mr. Riley pulled out a bucket of ice cream.

"Hmm... I thought this bucket was heavier than this."

"Umm, well, about that." 

"Well, what about that?"

"I umm took a little umm bite out of the umm..."

"The bucket?"


After we ate some ice cream, Simon and I went back home. While we were walking back home, we saw Matthew playing with a new remote control car. 

"Hi, guys." 

Mathew said as he drove his remote control car towards them. 

"Hi Matthew"

 I said as the remote control car hit Simons's leg. Simon picked up the car. 

"Nice car, where did you get it?" 

"My mom and I found it at a yard sale." 

"Can you come to my house?"

"Sure, but wait a minute, I have to tell my Mom."

After Matthew came back a minute later with his remote control car in one hand and a small bag in the other, we head off towards my house. When we got to my house, we went upstairs to my room. As we walked in, I felt a breeze of air hit my face. 

"It's cold in here."

 Said Matthew as he plopped on to the bed, 

"your right, it's freezing in here."

 I said as I looked around the room for the source of the coldness, I spotted the window open a crack, I walked over to close it when I stopped I saw a man looking straight at my window sill, I quickly ducked down, 

"what's the matter, Alminy?"

 Said Simon as he came to the window, 

"get down, Simon."

 I said as I pulled Simon down next to me, 

"why did you do that?" 

"There's a stranger outside looking straight at my window sill."

I peeked back over the window to see if he was still there, suddenly something hit my face, my life flashed before my eyes as I fell down the only thing I could remember was I heard some shouts then a scream, after that, I-I couldn't die now I was too young to die, I had a great life... Goodbye Wor-

"Sorry to interrupt, but you were just hit with a snowball. You didn't die."

 I opened my eyes and sat straight up 


 I said as I stood up blinking 

"I didn't die?" 

"Nope, you were just hit with a snowball from Bratt."

Sad Onion Comics with Screen Recording using OBS Studio

About a week ago I and some of our friends started to write comics, about an onion, which is called "Sad Onion" because he is always sad. The reason he is unhappy is that when he was younger, he saw other onions get chopped up and put into soup, food, etc. A couple of days ago I created a video slideshow of those comics. Here is the finished video: comment if it needs music or sound effects.

The way I made the slideshow is first I put the paper that had the comic on it onto our HP printer scanner glass. On an Apple computer open "Preview" then on the very top of the mac click "File" then click "Import From Scanner" then choose the printer that you put the paper in, then click the toolbar icon, after that crop out everything except the first comic strip then click save. 

After that close "preview" and open Microsoft powerpoint, once open click "New Document" (note: it might already have an open and ready document) then there is a title slide put the title whatever you want it to be. Once you are done click the"new slide" button near the top of the app. After that, click the button that is called "Insert Picture from File" and 

I used a free program called OBS Studio for screen recording.

Power Out in Northern California

Well, starting yesterday the power went out. It will probably be out till this afternoon. But the good news is that we got a generator and a wifi mobile hotspot from my brother Jonathan, so that is how I can write this blog post. We are using the generator for our fridge and sometimes for our coffee makers. PG&E shut off the power to some parts in northern California because the winds could start a fire with a telephone pole coming down.

Before Roman Roads - History of Inventions - Lesson 24

Before Roman roads, the Romans used dirt paths. The way a dirt path would be formed is when someone or some animal walks in the same place over and over, that place will become a path, it will become just hard dirt and rocks, and will overtime knock off loose dirt or rocks. Even small animals like a little dog can make a path as good as bigger animals.

The problem with dirt paths is that it can get muddy after rainstorms, and that can make traveling along a path very difficult, and muddy roads can cause delays for ancient people trying to get army from one country to the other, which can cause for wars to be lost.

An ideal road in ancient times should be able to to do this:

  • Help armies travel quickly
  • Be able to send messengers without delay from the rain
  • Easy travel with big wagons of supplies without getting stuck in the mud 
  • Milestones to tell you how far you are going
  • The road will always stay whether, or not someone has walked on it or not

Here is a video about Roman roads:

Eating Dinner on a Mountain!

Yesterday our whole family, except for Nicholas and my Dad, drove up to a mountain near Shasta lake, I don't know the name of the mountain but, I do know it is somewhere near Shasta Lake because we saw Shasta lake from the top of the mountain. We followed the map coordinates Jonathan sent to us to get to the bottom of the right mountain, then we drove up the gravel road to the top. We had been invited by my brother Jonathan; we weren't the only ones Jonathan invited. He also invited some of his other friends. We had dinner there, and we ate venison stew, rice, and sweet potatoes. It was a beautiful view when it started to get dark because we could see Redding slowly light up way down below. We drove back down when it started to get dark. All of the other cars followed us till we got to the bottom of the mountain then we each went home our separate ways.

My favorite part was when I saw sunlight descending on the lower hills through the separated clouds.

Here is some videos and pictures my Mom took there:

Ts'ai Lun Paper Maker - History of inventions - Lesson 23

Ts'ai Lun was born around 50 AD in China. He is the first paper maker that established paper in China.

The story of Ts'ai Lun is that he started work for the imperial Chinese Government, at a very young age, and he was put in charge of inventing new types of weapons. Ts'ai Lun was so good at his job that he rose quickly in the ranks. Because the emperor especially liked his weapons being the best. 

The current way of writing during his time was on either bamboo slabs or silk. The problem with those is that bamboo is not as easy to store because each slab of bamboo is like one page in a book. The problem with silk is that it was expensive to buy.

Around 105 AD he was inspired to make paper because he saw the paper wasps make their nests with paper. The wasps made paper by chewing wood fibers from logs and mixing it with saliva. With that, they formed their nests.

Ts'ai Lun created paper by mixing tree bark, scraps of cloth, scraps of hemp, and old fishing nets. Then he mixed that with water and mashed it into a pulp. Then he strained out all other the water from the pulp to turn it into paper

Here is the process in a video:

Parchment Compared to Papyrus - History of Inventions - Lesson 23

Parchment was made out of animal skin. The way the Egyptians would have made it is by shaving off the fur of the animal skin, then they would stretch the skin in the sun under tension. The upside of the parchment is that it preserves longer than the papyrus paper and it would not be easily torn apart because it was made animal skin.

The downside of parchment is that it would curl when there was humidity. The way they would deal with the problem is that they would use wooden book covers with straps to keep the parchment from curling.

The ancients were probably using parchment starting in 500 BC 

Here is an example of high-quality parchment book: 

Here is a funny skit about a monk trying to use a book for the first time: