Me and The Others

all of us

France July 2014 Day 1

July 24 2014 

London, England to Paris, France

On Thursday, July 24  2014 I woke up at 5:12 AM… and watched T.V. Then, around 6:30 I left with mother, who as you know is Leanne Fredrick and not a morning person, to go to Saint Pancras Station. That was to get a train which would take us to France. So, at around 11:30 we arrived at a train station in France!

We went to France because I was going to meet my good friend: Olivia Jackson, along with her parents Carolyn and Jay. We were in France at 12:00 noon, the Jacksons wouldn’t arrive until around 3:30. I was hungry, tired, and grumpy; for those reason we ate at a Japanese restaurant, because that should be everyone’s first stop when they go to France *sarcasm*. Admittedly the food was tres bon (very good). Even after the food I wasn’t it the best of moods because it was hot, I was wearing long jeans, and I was carrying a very heavy side bag. We couldn’t get into the flat/apartment I would stay in until the Jacksons arrived; for hours we sat in the shade in a local park.

I practiced French on Duolingo (an excellent language learning app and website) and did quite well. Mom drew the street lamps and we talked irregularly. Then… we got the call… The Jacksons had arrived! For the first time in over a year I saw her and I think I talked non-stop for pretty much the rest of the day.

We dropped off our luggage at the flat. (We have a brilliant place. One bedroom with a queen sized bed, two beds in the other room which is the main room with a kitchenette, table, and door to a toilet. Connecting to the bedroom is a beautiful shower and sink, but no toilet. In all there are four rooms, three beds, a shower, and a toilet.) I changed into shorts and we (Olivia, Jay, Carolyn, Mom, and I) went to see the Eiffel Tower. There was a mile long line to get in and cigarette butts all over the ground. None the less it was a beautiful sight. But… I was hungry again.

I wasn’t the only one, so we went to a five star cafe that I found on yelp, but it was closing in five minutes. We journeyed down a busy street full of highly recommended restaurants. All were packed. Every. Single. One.

We ate (finally) at a delicious restaurant called Giromondo. It was quiet, cool, and delicious. Olivia got steak and I got pasta, both were delicious! When we left it was 10:00, we entered at 8:00 but because it was down stairs all forms of time were forgotten.

We took a peak at the lit up Eiffel Tower, quite a sight. Mom departed for her traveller’s hostel. Home we went, it was 11:00 before we got back and 12:30 before an sleep was had.


Pictures to come.

Write more soon,


Greece 2013 – Athens & Crete

A glimpse into our trip to Greece in April. We arrived in Athens in the evening. We found our hotel and a surprisingly delightful restaurant nearby. It looked and sounded like a tourist trap, Alexander the Great restaurant, but turned out to be great.  Since we were going to be in Athens for only one full day, it was going to be packed full. Jeff & the kids hate this kind of traveling, but I reminded them, it was just one day. Jeff found us a local place with fresh yoghurt covered with walnuts and honey.  I was in food heaven.


Then armed with a downloadable audio guide for the city of Athens, we selected a walking tour from several options in the audio guide, and made our way though the city center, by some lovely churches and amazing ruins.

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Then up the Acropolis (hill) to see the Parthenon. The audio guided walk led us through a series of wonderful narrow paths lined with white washed building and lots of roaming cats.  Eliana must have taken hundreds of photos of cats.

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The problem with crash course sight seeing is that the (my) brain is quickly exhausted and thus tells the body it is exhausted. I wanted to listen to all of the audio guide and read all the signs, but I was overwhelmed so we mostly just walked among the buildings and enjoyed being in their presence. We took in as much as possible then made our way back to the hotel. Where we allowed ourselves to be suckered into a tourist trap dinner at a seaside restaurant. The best part of the dinner was that I got a few good pictures of the harbor at night. I had to take a picture of the modern traveler’s computer spaghetti. Computer, layered with ipad, layered with phones.

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All in all, I am glad we went to Athens, but it is a tired city. The poor city has been beat up by war so many times that is just looks tired. Lots of grey concrete, buildings riddled with bullet holes, and struggling little trees next to graffiti covered walls (Emeline & Eliana are sitting on top of cubes). But with that said, there is amazing history everywhere. Many of the old streets use white marble to create the lines down the road and don’t forget the food.

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The next day we were off on a small plane to Crete, the largest island in Greece and closest to Africa and thus prone to very warm weather. Which was good as we were a little early for the “summer” season. The resort was just opening for the summer as we were there. Each day more deck chairs came out and shops opened for business. It was very windy on several days and not really warm enough most of the time to make swimming enjoyable, but it was a lovely resort that catered to families with an all you can eat kids zone from 11 am – 5 pm, with activities such as table tennis, football, archery etc.

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We ate, relaxed, explored the island and ate and relaxed some more.

One of the highlights was going to Knossos.  This ancient palace would have been to the Romans as the Romans are to us.  A civilization that was well structured thousands of years before them. They even had a plumbing system where water would flow through the “toilet”. Amazing! The place was really big.

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Jeff and I made a valiant effort at running and despite a couple of days of being sand blasted we did pretty well.

Have I mentioned the food?  I met a couple of nice families from England that were also having a holiday there. One family has invited us to their farm in Western England near the lake district.  We are going to be going to visit them later in August.

Camera Obscura, Pin Hole Camera, and Lumen Prints



One of the things I find completely irresistible is someone who has a passion for their art. A home schooling mom friend here in England is into the art of the camera obscura, the pin hole camera and lumen printing. Over the last couple of weekends, as part of the Sydenham Arts Festival, Ky Lewis gave classes on how to make these three things. Her joy and passion in the process and delight in the outcomes are contagious. Picture of Emeline and Eliana’s parted hair listening to Ky’s instructions.



The Camera Obscura is really interesting, it shows how light travels in a straight line. Take a tube or box, then with a small hole in one end and a tube with tracing paper over and adjustable inner tube you can see an upside down image of what you see in the real world.  Look it up online for the explanation as to why. With the use of lenses (“borrowed” from a magnifying glass) you can change the focal length of the image. 1) Emeline looking into a camera obscura 2) Ky’s beautifully made and carved 3) my 1st camera obscura – rustic but works! I even made the lens moveable.

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What is a pin hole camera? For you young’uns, in the olden days before digital cameras, there was film. Film has a solution on it and when exposed to light it can record the image that is exposed. A pin hole camera is just a container with a hole (the diameter of a pin) that lets in light to a piece of film (in this case 35 mm). The images come out upside down and have a bit of a dreamy effect. To get a really clear picture takes a lot of practice. (exposure, focal depth, a steady hand, etc.)

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You may wonder what the round picture is about… that was one of the coolest things. We made the pin hole then held up the piece of metal to my iPhone camera lens and looked at my phone in photo mode to see that the hole was truly round. Neato, don’t you think.

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This was one of my pictures with my matchbook, pinhole camera.  The red dots on top and bottom are where I had light leaks that came in from the back of the camera, thus through the back of the film. I think it is an awesome effect. I also like how the cut edge of the box is so vividly clear while the image is fuzzy.

Lumen printing is a little different, in that you use a larger sheet of Photo paper (this is not to be confused with printer paper used to print photos from your ink jet – Not the Same). You lay objects down on the photo paper and leave it in the sun (UV light) and the exposure makes a print. The paper has to be washed in a chemical solution, rinsed and dried. We used two different types of paper, one that is more grey, the other more red.

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We gathers flowers, grasses and some folks used dead bugs. Eliana found an orange rind and a yellow feather.

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Eliana removing plant debris before going into solution, then a quick picture of mine before going into solution.  What is difficult to communicate in these images is the depth of detail in the some what blurry images. The contrast of detail and fuzzy is fascinating.

The weather was warm, the garden beautiful in its wildness. There was a yummy little cafe with delightful people all around. Learning and creating at the same time…my idea of fun.



I really like to read comics, in fact I like them so much that I read them every day. The only one that updates everyday (with the exception of weekends) is Dominic Deegan one of my very first comics I ever read. There are three basic comics I was recommend by my dad and eldest brother, I read them then read the updates since then. They are: Dominic Deegan, Gunnerkrigg Court, and Girl Genius. Then there’s a fourth I feel committed to this one as it is fairly new and is also really good. It call Take Off but to find it you would need to search Take Off Comic.

Dominic Deegan’s basis is about a grumpy seer and his cat who save the life of a girl named Luna who has a self esteem problem and is disowned by her evil mothers will. Then it turns into Dominic and Luna saving the world with Spark the cat, who can talk being comedy relief. Dominic and Luna make friends and you learn about there families if you want to know more then you should read it. If you do read it, be warned the comic is ending this week after 11 years or comics.

Gunnerkrigg Court is about a red head named Antimony or Annie for short, and her friend Kat. Kat is smart, Annie is adventurous and makes friends easily. Maybe you can see what happens when the two mix but I’ll tell you anyway. Kat is a robot genius and Annie makes friends with a shadow. None of this would have happened if Annie hadn’t transferred to a school call Gunnerkrigg Court. It is a adventurous, hilarious, magical, scientific comic about two girls and a little more.

Girl Genius is a steam punk comic about a unknown heir to to a city who’s old rulers disappeared is a flurry of stories. The main characters name is Agatha. Agatha appears to be a clumsy girl who has anger problems, but not in the way you would expect. That is until she gets robbed, things turn around the story turns into to very powerful gentlemen falling love for her while she reclaims her city. Girl Genius is 11 years old and still going strong.

Take off is a brand new comic that was started one year ago with two updates a week. The comic is about a world in the middle, about one average people, about flying dragons, and contests. I can’t tell you much more other wise you’d be up to date.

The Devil Wears Prada

The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger was a brilliant book by a amazing author. The mix of comedy and seriousness was spot on the ending was divine. In school you are taught that endings should leave you thinking. This one did. Careful there are Spoilers.  In the beginning of you book you meet Andrea a young, badly dressed girl just out of collage who is on her way to a interview for Runway fashion magazine job as the editor’s assistant. She gets the job, she is thrilled because after working only one years with Miranda Priestly you can go anywhere. Andrea wants to write for the New York Times. At first she can’t understand so many things like when ever some accidentally let’s something bad about Miranda they immediately take it back and try to make amends for it as if the boss her self was there. Also Emily, the senior assistant says that they can’t even leave the office unless they consult with each other first, not even to use the bathroom! Ever so quickly Andrea changes along with her social life, like she has none. She grows distant from her 4 year boyfriend and 12 year best friend. She starts wearing Prada and Jimmy Choo, Gucci, and Amoir. She fears the phone calls, jumping every time it rings, fearing it his her devil spawn boss Miranda. The only thing keeping her hanging on is the fact that at the end of her 12 months of service she can get a job where ever she wants. She has been working with  Miranda for 11 months, she has utterly changed she wears fashionista clothing, she has lost 10 pounds, she and her boyfriend broke up, she doesn’t realize that her best friends is a alcoholic. Emily and Miranda are leaving the next day for Paris and Andrea is ecstatic for some peace. Then Emily calls, she is SUPER sick so Andrea has to go with Miranda to Paris instead! It quickly goes south. Just  the day after they arrive in Paris Miranda gets a call saying that she is getting a award later that very day. Miranda then threatens to fire Andrea unless she can write a speech for the occasion. Then when they get there Miranda announces that she is unprepared and refuses to go on stage. Then leaves with the speech. Andrea then goes on stage and makes a fool of her self. That night Andrea finds out that her Lily (12 year best friend) was in a car accident and was is the hospital. Andrea has to make a decision, go home and be fired, or stay and disappoint Lily, her parents, and her ex.   The next day Andrea is told that she is going to the a party with Miranda. On the way Miranda among other things tells Andrea that she sees herself in Andrea. At the party Andrea has a great time, but something bugs her. She doesn’t want to be like Miranda. On the way out Andrea decides that she whats to see her friends, her ex-boyfriend whom she still loves, and her parents, so when Miranda tells Andrea to do something Andrea says no. Then Andrea swears at Miranda then leaves in a Taxi. At he end of the story Andrea is a smart, polite, slightly better dressed, slightly older young woman. I loved Devil wears Prada and would highly recommend it to any one over 13, I would rate it PG13 as there is swearing and smoking among other things. All in all I would give  this book a thumbs up.

Royal Institution

RI or The Royal Institution… Where science lives!

Yesterday Mom and I went to the RI to go to a chemistry class, unfortunately mom hadn’t checked her email and the class had been canceled. So instead we walked through the museum and learned an abundance of things.

Ten elements have been discovered at the RI, and a few pretty well known ones at that. Humphrey Davy was one of the most well known scientists of his age. He discovered that potassium and sodium were actually different so he is credited for the discovery of both. He continued on a scientific career and discovered 3 more elements: calcium, magnesium, boron, and barium. Davy was a brilliant man and had a ego larger than life. In his journals there were signs that Davy idolized Newton. In the time of Count Rumford and Humphrey Davy it was believed that heat was a liquid, silly right. Well they both did, and both went and proved that heat was not in fact a liquid. Count Rumford used his discovery to create a fire place that kept houses much warm than they were before so if you are reading this in your warm house you can thank Count Rumford for his input. The element Argon, also discovered at RI was discovered by  John William Strutt, or Lord Rayleigh, orWilliam Ramsey.. Carl Wilhelm Scheele  or discovered Chlorine and was known as a hard luck chemist as many of the things he discovered other people where given credit for, maybe Davy discovered Chlorine, there is a bit of a argument on that subject . When you look at Wikipedia you see that Davy was connected to of the 10 elements discovered there so who knows. As you can see it is disputed who discovered what, where, and when.

Beta Review

On Saturday I read Beta by Rachel Cohn. I was not impressed. Months earlier I had read the sample on ibooks, it looked promising so when christmas time came and I found I had a gift card to the local book store I got it and only now read it. I will warn you there Spoilers so if you plan on reading it beware. The main reason I didn’t like the was because at the end it all turned out to be 336 page introduction. It had no plot line or goal, a better name would have been “Diary of a Beta Clone” .  The story told of her daily life for at least 200 pages before the really story began. The book should have been 100 pages. The teen beta Elysia is the main character. She is bought by the Governors’ wife to be a daughter, sister and personal trainer of her son. The book is definitely PG-13 as it contains extreme romance, drugs, and blood (only a little blood though). The story was amazing and I liked the idea as is was original. Beta is the first in the series and I do not plan on reading the next. There were a few thing that did intrigue me: one, some other defect clones had started a revolt. Two, it was clearly stated though the book that the people cloned must die but at the end of the book you find out that the person Elysia was cloned from wasn’t dead. In no way what so ever am I saying that Rachel Cohn is a bad writer, she skillfully avoided mentioning the year which I know is a very hard feat. All in all I decided to give the book a thumbs down.

The Mortal Instruments 1,2,3

Recently  (January) I started reading the Mortal Instruments series, now I can’t get the next one till I do my book report so I will right here. WARNING SPOILERS!

City of Bones:

City Bones is the first of a five book series, the main characters are Simon, Clary, Jace, Isabelle, and Alec. At the start of the book Clary sees people follow a boy into a off limits room where they kill him, and his body disappears. This start a long chain of events that last five novels. The teenagers tell Clary they are shadowhunters. The next day Clary is with her best friend Simon when she sees the handsome teenager Jace she slides out side when her phone rings it’s her mom telling her not to come home. In the background Clary hears the door being broken in. So Clary runs home. When she gets home she meets her first demon. She kills it and passes out. When she wakes up she is in the Institute. In the follow weeks she find out that a evil man named Valentine has taken her mother, he also happens to be her father. Simon becomes a rat, tells Clary of his love for her.  Clary figures out that her mom’s good friend Luke is a werewolf and is the leader of the nearby pack. Clary figures out that Alex is gay and has a crush on his adopted brother Jace, but starts going out with the Warlock Magnus Bane. Jace’s father died when he was young. Clary and Jace are in love. Valentine also has the Mortal cup a divine object given to shadowhunters by a angel, it is used to make more shadowhunters. Then at the end of the book Clary meet Valentine face to face. Valentine is also Jace’s father. Then Valentine disappears to the country of Shadowhunters. In the last chapter Clary’s mother has been taken to a hospital but she’s in coma and isn’t waking up.

City of Ashes:

City of Ashes is the second book in the Mortal Instruments series. Valentine is back and this time he has a greater demon on his side. During the book Simon becomes a vampire. Clary discovers she can make new runes (tattoos shadowhunters put on them selves as it will enhance something: speed, balance, sight, ect) The inspector, a person of high rank with a grudge against Valentine,  and Jace for being Valentine’s son.  Valentine steals the sword by killing a entire city. Then he starts killing children that are half demon half human in order to make the sword evil. At the end of the book Clary is kidnapped by Valentine. The inspector jumps in front of a sword to save a Jace’s life. Jace then kills the greater demon, lets Simon who is dying drink his blood so Simon can live. Then Jace distracted Valentine long enough for Clary to draw a rune that destroyed the ship on witch they were all on. Finally the other shadowhunters pull though and save them from drowning just as the sun rises. Unfortunately vampires turn to dust when the sun touches them. But somehow Simon survives.

City of Glass:

City of Glass is the third book in the series. Clary has just gotten word of how to get her mom out of coma but to do that she must go to Idris. Jace doesn’t want Clary to go so when a attack happens and Jace, Isabelle, and Alec have to go without her he is joyous. But Clary is determined to go to Idris so she makes a portal and goes with Luke. After a near death experience Clary meet the family friend of Alec and Isabelle his name is Sebastian. He seems to be in love with Clary but she can tell something is off with him. Jace and Clary also find out that Valentine made his son a monster, a part demon and his daughter part angel. Jace feels broken so he leaves to kill Valentine. Not long after Clary’s mom comes to Idris. Clary figures out that Jace isn’t Valentine’s son he was just raised by him. While Sebastian who is the actual son of Valentine gets away. Valentine plans to either send hundreds of thousands of demons to kill all shadowhunters, or they must bow to him. The leaders of Idris are about to admit defeat when Clary remembers a way for shadowhunters and downworlders (, Fairies, Warlocks, Werewolves, and Vampires) can work together. She must also give Simon the Mark  of Cain so the other vampires won’t kill him. After the fighting starts she portals to the lake which is also the Mortal Mirror. She gets there just after Valentine finishes the circle. He plans on summoning a angel and commanding the angel to kill all the shadowhunters. Clary is tied up so she can barely move. Jace comes back after killing Sebastian. He plans on killing Valentine but instead Valentine kills him and summons the angel anyway. Valentine asks the angel to do his bidding but the angel sees the evil in Valentine and kills him. The angel offers Clary one thing. She asks for Jace, and gets it. After Valentine’s death all the demons left and battle ends.

Three seats

Today around 9:30 we (My mom and I) left the house after saying good bye to my dad. We walked to and through the common. We talked about what we were going to do that day and dogs. We met a French Bulldog. Then we walked down a street, the cars rushing past us. We crossed the street and walked into a building. This building happened to be the nearby court of justice. We were there to watch a few cases as I want to be a lawyer. We went through security without a problem. Then we entered Court 2 without looking at the schedule. We go there around 10:05 and sat there until 10:30 when the cases started. It was interesting to watch from out booths behind glass. Between us and the lawyers there was a glass room.  When the first case started a guard brought in a 30 something man. Then I notice the door in the back of room opens and two women and one man came out and sat in the seats in the back. The seats were black leather and looked important. Well… yes they were important, in fact the three people who sat in the chairs were crucial. They gave out the sentence. We watched the mans case and the one after that then we got some food. At this point it was between 11:30 to 12:00. This time we entered court 1. We were just in to see a young man, no older than 25 get a sentencing of a LOT of community service hours. Then was Mr. Brown who was charged with threatening someone. The biggest difference was that there was no glass room that the defendant stood, everyone in court one came in of their own will. After Mr.Brown’s sentencing came the most stereo typical car thief I have ever seen. He had a bald head and big eye brows he wore a hoody and was the only person to plea not-guilty, he did it on three charges. All car theft he was accused of selling them for parts. He asked to be tried by the crown court so we didn’t find out what happened. Last, but not least was a man arrested with being drunk and disorderly, when they searched him they found cocain and meth. However we didn’t see his sentence either because they couldn’t find out if he had a record or not. Then we left. I hed to get out because I just couldn’t sit still, even though mom said she had no idea I had been moving.

Visiting California part 1

For 3 weeks I visited California. In this post I am going to cover week 1. Friday the 14 week arrived. I don’t remember it at all so I’m betting I was exhausted. The weekend little did I know was to be the longest time of rest during the whole trip. Once and only once did we visit someone. We went to my Grandpa Pat’s house (Sorry Grandma) we saw our Aunt Bev who was visiting from Florida and we met my grandpa’s boyfriend. I believe we also saw “The San Jose Fredrick”. That includes Aunt Donna, Uncle Ryan, Cousin Christopher, and Cousin Zachary. We also saw my 90 something great grandma.

Monday was a huge day… My iPad Mini arrived, and I also went and saw one of my best friends. Heh We went to Santa Cruz and had a sleepover with the Hildingers including Lee, my friend, Trish, his mom, Eric, his dad. We jumped on the trampoline then I went and “watched” Lee’s polo. I put the ” ” s because he on the opposite side of the pool so I couldn’t actually see him. Eli had a sleepover with a friend.

Tuesday: Woke up very early like 6′ or so. Walked with Lee to school hoping to spend some him but also to surprise my other best friend Olivia, unfortunately she was at 0 Period choir so I didn’t get to see her. The majority of the day was spent jumping on the trampoline with Eli. Except since I couldn’t shadow Olivia at school Trish offered to let me go with her when she had yard duty, so I did and was able to see everyone who I hadn’t see in over a year! I had a great time there.  Since when Lee got home he had to do homework. After he did that evening’s homework we jumped onto the trampoline until we had dinner then went back out and literally jumped until we had to go inside. It was pitch black sort of dark and our toes were frozen. Then we went to bed – Jet lag may or may not have had something to do with our exhaustion. 🙂

Wednesday: Woke up early again and walked to school with Lee and his best friend Alden, who birthday is the 19 of December. Jumped on the trampoline until around noon then went to my other best friends house, Meiya and  her mom Terri who is like the aunt I don’t have. (I have 2 aunt just non like her.)We played the day away and went to sleep still hearing Meiya’s beautiful piano playing.

Thursday: Woke up. Got dressed, ate breakfast and went with Meiya to school. If you ever get the chance to go or send your kids to Montessori, do so! Every Thursday Meiya’s class goes to “The Farm” which is A Farm! That week Meiya’s group was cooking. I helped with making the lasagne while a few other kids made brownies. There were extra noodles so while the food cooked the kid (me included) went to play and eat extra noodles! We could go anywhere on the farm! We played tag until the bell was rung then suddenly everyone ran to the basketball court. Once I got there I found out that the last one there has to write their name with their butt! We ate delicious lasagne, or at least anyone who wasn’t full of noodles. Then after cleaning our own dishes we were led down to a field that over looked the valley and the teacher read a famous poem to us. Then were told to run or walk along a path down hill then up hill till we got back after that we could play some more. We played tag and even though there was a bit of a mix up it was still fun. Ever since then I’ve been getting email’s from a boy named Ben who goes to Meiya’s school. That night I slept over with Meiya again.

Friday: Friday was the end of the world. We saw Andreas (my brother) Then went to Edge house hold. The Edge’s are Isabella (a girl my age with pink hair), Her brother Atticus (Eli’s age), His younger brother Quentin (Younger then Eli or I, I think he is like 7… I think) And Brooke (Mom’s friend and their mom).  Anton and his girl friend came. Terri and Meiya were there. We ate pizza there for it was called: End of the World Pizza ! Oh yeah. We went back to San Jose and slept at grandpa and grandpa’s house.


Warning has yet to be edited!