In-depth #6: Preparing for the End

Oh dear. I don’t have time for anything these days. These past few weeks, and these upcoming few months, will probably be the busiest I have ever been. With my cadets starting to interfere with my TALONS, life has been difficult as I am trying my best to get the full benefits of the two highly dedicated programs. A lot of things are popping out in cadets, and the fact that I am also playing rugby is making the life of young Addam a tad bit more difficult than usual. However, I wouldn’t have joined if I knew it was all going to be easy. It’s going to be difficult at first, but I’ll live.

There is less than a month before in-depth night, and I can already feel all the stress coming to me. For my in-depth skill, car maintenance, I can’t seem to come up with an idea that will engage mt audience and still be creative. There are some skills that can easily be presented in a fun and creative way without being over the top, and I feel like care maintenance is not one of them. My first original idea was to possibly bring a car to the in-depth night (my family members) and show a hands on demonstration on the things I can do. However, this idea might not work so well because 1. my family members need the cars, 2. people might not be able to see my stand from where they are, and 3. there might not be the right space where I can bring a car. So I felt like that idea would not be the greatest.

So my most current idea of presenting my skills are a bunch of “do-it-yourself” videos, which shows me explaining what you’re suppose to do and shows me physically changing whatever I need to show. I could have a screen that shows the videos on a loop, where some “mechanic clothing”, and possibly bring a few tools to show everyone which is which and what things you need to to which task. I haven’t thought of a hands on activity yet, but hopefully I’ll come up with an idea before in-depth night becomes to close.

I haven’t seen my mentor within two weeks because he has been really busy with school and with work. However, this weekend we will be having a three hour session where I am going to tape all the changes I am going to teach for the in-depth night. My time for learning new things seems to be coming to an end. Now, I just need to constantly practice to perfect these skills. My mentor has been really nice about not being able to see me and all of that. I really enjoy being with my mentor, and it seems as if I can follow footsteps similar to his.

Until next time Talons. P.S. I also took some photos to show you what I’ve been doing!




Where oil is stored


Break Disk


Tire separator




Spare tires



January 22nd 1793: The Beginning of the End

It has been one day since the death of our king, and I am not prepared for what’s coming up next.

His death was not a clean one. There were so many watchers, just chanting and waiting foe the beheading of the man that lead to so many deaths. The man that caused all of this trouble within the people. The man who was the reason that my ribs are broken.

In the middle of one bread riot, the commoners got so out of control that they started pushing people the the floor. Commoners were mad at Josephin and I, so they felt like they needed to push me into a wall, breaking my rib, possibly two. Now I have to work extra hard at making bread; their idea of almost killing a baker wasn’t a smart one.

Ever since the rise of prices for bread, commoners have constantly rioted in the cities of France. People need to be able to live, and without have enough money to buy bread now, how are they suppose to live? Commoners need to realize that the rise of prices in bread cannot simply be changed. There are grains that we must buy, and with bad weather and all, grains cost more money. And my wife and I need to survive in this sad world too.

But I feel like the death of the king will not lead to the world they wanted. People need order, something to look up to. And the king, although hated, was something people can look to to lead their country. I’m not saying that I liked the man, I hated him as much as any other commoner. But it was not the right decision to kill him and start a new government. People do not know what they want, and this Republic idea might ruin France to the ground. I think we should have a new monarch, someone people can look up to and make sure that everyone is equal, the bread prices are stable, and everyone can live.

People are still celebrating in the streets, cheering for the new government, but I think it won’t be so easy. I think the republic will help for a bit, but one people don’t know what to do and problems arises, that’s when everything will fall.

But for now, I am keen on living the simply life with my wife and enjoying my time with some good rhymes. And bake bread for the people as well.



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In Depth Post #6: Even more stuff happens

DSC_0261Once again I’m going to be making a massive text dump where I do over all the things I haven’t had time to mention. This post won’t go into a lot of detail since it’s an extra, it’s more just to show what’s been happening.

When I left off I was in Kelowna, where the water taste weird and as I found out the bikes are just as expensive as anywhere else. Now I’m back at home, and my first order of business is to collect even more parts. This time, I’ll be ordering them through my (old) mentor at his shop. This includes a chain, cassette, brake line, and a chainring. Here’s a breakdown of what these parts are:

Chain: pretty basic, interlocking pieces of metal the have slots which fit into gears, not like an anchor chain, it’s like a skinny motorbike chain.

Cassette: gears lined up beside each other, smallest on the outside and biggest on the inside, placed on the hub of the back wheel. The smaller the gear, the harder it is to pedal, but the higher speeds you can achieve. The cassette that I’m getting is a VERY high quality one, meaning it costs more but it will last longer and feel better.

Chainring: The chainring is the gear on the front end of the chain, attached to the cranks. The smaller this gear is, the easier it is to pedal. This is the opposite of the cassette. The chain ring I’m getting is a new style called a narrow wide. On the chain, each slot for the gear’s teeth are not the same size. They alternate small and large. Because of this, the chainring needs to be shaped to fit into the small slots, and the large slots end up falling off some time because there’s too much space. This means you usually need a chain guide to hold the chain in place, however this causes drag and makes the chain much less smooth. The narrow wide chainring fixes this by having a narrow slot followed by a wide slot, which helps hold the chain in place, reducing the need for a chain guide.

Around this time, I began building my first wheel (remember, this is before my new mentor). The wheel I started on was an old rim we had sitting around, with some equally old spokes. Following a guide I found online, I failed miserably a few times. After lacing it incorrectly, I eventually got it as round as I could. This is when I found out the rim was cracked, and it would have been impossible to finish building it anyways. Good enough for the first try I guess…

After building the rim, I moved on to repainting my fork. I started out by taking the lowers off the stanchions, since paint on the stanchions could do sever damage. Once the lowers were off, I pulled off the nasty old decals and cleaned off all the caked on dirt. Once the lowers were thoroughly cleaned with rubbing alcohol, I sanded down all the major scratches too make sure everything was smooth. After this, I filled the scratches and gouges with an sort of liquid metal, an epoxy that hardens upon application. I then sanded the entire fork with a small grain piece of sand paper, which make the fork a little bit rough so that the paint would stick. I then got out the spray paint, and put on about six coats. A few days later, I found it still needed more paint, and some pars were uneven. I sanded down some of the paint, and made another attempt. I did this three times before getting it finished.


After painting it and letting it dry, I applied the new decals. This was an absolute pain to put on straight with no air bubbles. i found that the trick was to lay down just the corner, the get a piece of firm rubber like a spatula to press it down to get rid of air bubbles. Once the decals were on I got a large sheet of 3M car paint protector,  a thin. clear plastic wrap designed to protect the paint of cars in curved ares. This was an ideal material for me, since it was designed to go around bends. However, it was even harder to apply than the decals, and I found that although it worked fine along large bends, it couldn’t wrap around smaller bends very well. Eventually I got the forks covered in a bit of an awkward fashion by using small strips instead of big pieces, which means it doesn’t look as good but is protected better.


A few days after finishing painting the fork, I got a call from Maple Ridge Cycle saying they got all my parts in. When I came in though, I found that the chain ring was on back-order so I couldn’t get it, and they had accidentally sold my chain, meaning the only parts I could get was the cassette and the brake line. However, I will be able to get the other parts within a week.

Next I built my second wheel, this one would be put onto the bike so I had to do it right (back wheel). When i was lacing the spokes, I made a stop motion animation for the presentation at the in depth night. This made the process more drawn out, but I still ended up finishing it within the day. One issue I faced though is that the spokes are slightly too long, but the rim is double walled, meaning I had extra room so the spokes didn’t poke all the way through. The front wheel doesn’t need to be rebuilt yet, since it already has a good hub in it.

Next up I was able to put on my cassette, bars, headset, grips, cranks and chain ring. The bolts that came with the cranks are slightly too long for the chain ring, but they should work so I put them on anyways. I also got a set of pedals from Overtime Sports on a massive discount, from the regular $85 to $50. I tried putting the brakes on, but it turns out the adapter for the front bike is oddly sized, meaning it doesn’t fit properly. It still works enough to test the bike, but I need to change it at some point. The bike has no chain yet, so I can’t really ride it.

Moving on to mentoring, I had my last session with Dave. This time, we would be re-cutting the bottom bracket. This isn’t a necessary procedure, but it’s still good to have it done. I would have never been able to do it at home, since the tool cost over a thousand dollars, and without Dave I would have had no clue how to do it. The tool is simple enough, it’s two handles on either end of a bar with cutting pieces on them. The reason it’s so expensive is because of how precise it needs to be. The idea behind it is that is cuts new threads into the frame, so that the bottom bracket fits in perfectly straight. Factory made frames aren’t always precise, so doing this is always a good idea. The tool is very finicky, and if you put it in the wrong side, it will ruin your frame. First you chase the threads, meaning you put the tool in and cut new threads, making it much more aligned with the frame. Next you face it, meaning you cut the lips of the frame so that they are flat, meaning the bottom bracket will not be able to go in crooked. After finishing, I had to make sure that all the pieces got cleaned out properly, since the little shards of metal left from cutting could damage the bike. This concluded my (so far) final day of being mentored by Dave.

Claire Lacombe: Journey with Pauline Léon (1789-1792)

mars 1792

A lot has happened over the last few years. France is in utter chaos right now, everything is just going downhill. I’ve decided to quite my job as an actress. I don’t have much savings, but I have just enough to get by. Now I can finally attempt to do something for the women of France.

My friend Pauline Léon

Upon my arrival at Paris, which is only a couple of weeks ago, I met a woman named Pauline Léon. She is one of the six children born to chocolate makers Pierre-Paul Léon and Mathrine Telohan in Paris on September the 28th, 1768, just three years younger than me. Pauline became a political radical after witnessing the execution of leaders of a bread riot. I found out that we share many goals and beliefs, which is why we became good friends in a very short amount of time. Last year in July, Pauline signed the petition at the Champ de Mars, and just a few days ago on the sixth, she addressed the Legislative Assembly on behalf of Parisian women, suggesting that a female militia be formed so that women could protect their homes from counter-revolutionary assaults. I really admire Pauline. She doesn’t care about the discouraging comments others make, she still stand strong and fights for women’s right fiercely. I am very glad we came to be great friends.

Now, reflecting back on the major events that happened over the last three years… Well, as I said, a lot happened. People started to be extremely rebellious and started lots of uprisings. Lets start from 1789. On June the 17th, the Tennis court oath was made. Then shortly after, on July the 14th, one of the uprisings resulted in the Fall of the Bastille. On October the 5th, there was the Women’s March, or the October Days. Just when things were getting a tiny bit smoother in 1790, something unbelievable happened on the June of 1791. King Louis and Queen Marie Antoinette dressed as ordinary servants and attempted to escape from France. Luckily, just when they were about to cross the border, they were recognized by a commoner and was therefore brought back as “prisoners” on June the 25th.

You may have noticed that I didn’t go into much details about these events. If I did, then I don’t know how long it will take for me to finish (to find out more, you can go to the information centre where I heard about all of this. I think it’s called Google or something). I will, however, talk about some rumours concerning the Queen.

Of course, we French people never liked Queen Marie Antoinette, after all, she is from Austria. It is an unspoken agreement that France plus Austria does not equal friendliness (We all go by the equation “France+Austria=disaster”). A mere marriage does/will not change that fact. On top of that, Queen Marie Antoinette dresses in extravagant clothing, some of which are even two times the expense of nobilities. She has her hair done every day and parties numerous times a week. There is rumour saying that the Queen drinks a big cup of hot melted chocolate every morning. I vaguely know how much a tiny piece of chocolate costs, but as I can never afford it, I never take notice of it anyway. Pauline, being surrounded by chocolate since she was young, tells me that a cup of melted chocolate is something only high class nobilities can afford once in a while. She nearly fainted when she heard the Queen drinks a cup every single day. It is said that part of the reason France is in debt is because while we pay our taxes, Queen Marie Antoinette lavishly spends ridiculous amounts of money on ridiculous things. People say that the taxes we pay isn’t even sufficient to pay off the Queen’s activities for two days. It is one thing if our taxes pay off for activities like military, but it angers me that the royals are using it up for their own entertainment. What’s more is our Queen, our “dear” Queen, a woman with riches and rights, aren’t helping all the other women fighting for their rights. Does she not feel any compassion towards her fellow kind?

The King is no better than the Queen. He is captured right now, and I think his life should be ended. He is not helping France by being such an irresponsible leader. I do think he will be finished by the end of this year, as people are angry and still deciding what to do with this “royal”. As for the Queen… I don’t know, if her husband is killed and we don’t want a monarchy, then Queen Marie Antoinette will be stripped of her riches, and that is already the biggest punishment for her. Maybe she shouldn’t be killed as well for her husband’s sin… I don’t know… She is a woman after all…

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In Depth Post #6

I think these two months and the next two months, are going to be the most stressful four months I’ve ever experienced. Not only are April, May and June the most eventful three months in TALONS, but to top it off, I have a huge Piano Theory Exam in May that I need to study for in any free time I have. Doing In depth these two weeks was difficult. I’ve met up with my mentor a couple times for small sessions, but it feels like I’ve had close to no free time. I try to think of photo editing ideas before bed, and I’ve learned that I get my best ideas when I least expect it. I’ve also been inspired by some instagram accounts, and used some ideas but added my own twist.

I feel like Lucien and I have gotten along much better than I even expected. We always joke around, but get lots of work done at the same time. I feel that the better my relationship is with my mentor, the more successful my pictures come out. My family has also been a big help in my In-Depth so far. I always run out of ideas on what I should edit on to my photo’s, but by just talking to my friends or family, I almost always get a new idea.

Lately with my photo edits, I’ve been playing around with layers a lot. Some of the new edits I did this week didn’t turn out well because there were too many layers, and the pictures were too difficult to edit, therefore I won’t be posting them. However, the pictures that were successful took a long time. First I have to take a series of photos, background, foreground,  and any others. I also try to find pictures that I could add items in to make the pictures more appealing to look at.

The photo above took me a long time to make. When I mean long, I mean around an hour just for one photo. It was really hard to take photo’s of me standing in the same exact spot without moving. This photo consisted of around 10 different layers of merging and adding and merging and adding more. I thought the idea of something magical would be fun to do. To get my hair to be held up, I originally had my hand holding the hair, and took a second photo of my hands sown by my side. By erasing parts of my arms I didn’t want to see, it left the effect that my hair was standing by its self. I then added multiple layers of butterflies and I found that it would be interesting to have the butterflies in the front blurry, giving the effect that they’re too close to the lens, and the exposure turns it blurry.


The photo above I found very interesting. The picture is actually my bedroom, and I added the water effect to look like my bed was floating around in the ocean. Although this edit was easy, it has been one of my favourite edits so far.

Below are some of my other pictures from this week:

I honestly don’t know what I want to do for In-Depth night, and that worries me. I might decide to edit photo’s for people, and display all the photo’s I’ve edited. I feel like it would be best if I had a learning moving center so I could take pictures through the night, and edit if anybody wants me to. In-Depth night is only 5 weeks away, and I can’t wait.



Hullabaloo 2014!

Hullabaloo, the BC high school poetry slam, is only a week away, and I am feeling the usual mix of excitement and nervousness that usually goes along with performances like these. I talked quite a bit about it in my last post, so I’ll just update by saying that the team will be working hard up until competition. From the beginning, our mentor, Jacob, had always been telling us what a great time we will have at Hullabaloo, and now that we are so close to the date, it seems a lot more real. In addition to having the opportunity to present my poetry, I am also looking forward to meeting some super talented poets from other high schools in BC. Spoken word poetry is definitely a growing art form, and it will be a great experience to be around other youth who are as interested in it as I am. Although it is a competition, Jacob reminds us that ‘the point is not the points, the point is the poetry’, so more than anything, I am looking forward to performing with the Gleneagle team, and being a part of an event that is larger than anything I had hoped to accomplish in this project. When it comes to my own goals, being exposed to the wonderful variety of poetry that is out there is very important to me, and participating in Hullabaloo will help me continue to expand my experience as a poetry performer and audience.

Of course, in all the time that the team spends preparing for our competition, we also find time to attend other poetry events and slams as well. Last week, Jamie and I had the opportunity to see Sara Kay and Phil Kaye at a Granville Island theatre, which was a just surreal, since I have spent a considerable amount of time watching both of these wonderful gems on YouTube. Let’s just say that I am definitely a fan. You may know Sara from her very popular TEDtalk performance, which if you haven’t seen, you should check out:

I actually heard about their very last minute performance through Sara’s Facebook page, and jumped at the opportunity to see her and Phil’s show. Both of these poets travel all around North America, performing poetry at slams and schools, and have gained a lot of public support internationally. I have never really been star-struck before, but when Sara and Phil walked out, I was have to admit that I was a  taken aback by their stage presence and the way they both spoke onstage. Because it was such an intimate, small theatre, the entire show felt very natural and interactive, which of course passed by all too quickly. I had viewed many of the poems before online, but I was also surprised with some ones that were new to me. Afterwards, Jamie and I lined up to buy Sara’s very newly released book and to have a chat with both of the poets, but most of what I remember was me blubbering over how good they were. We also told them about our current endeavors in the poetry world, and Sara signed off the book with ‘Write on’. And write on I shall.

As In-Depth night is approaching, my goal is to keep all of these experiences in mind, which also include Hullabaloo in about seven days time. By the time May comes around, I look forward to performing my Hullabaloo pieces, as well as presenting my learning from the various performances and events I have attended, which will hopefully bring some attention about this slightly lesser-known performance art. Until then, nothing is really slowing down, and the Gleneagle team will be going full speed until competition!

Honore Mirabeau: Putting the Assembly on My Back

As much as I care about money, I care about my morals and reputation more. I think it is safe to say that I need to cut my ties with the king as an operative. I have already rose to the top of the National Assembly and I cannot risk getting caught at this point. I have done so much for the Assembly, I have even become the president of the Assembly! I foresaw great danger at the Bastille and essentially saved their butts from destruction and a completely unnecessary war, I convinced the king to not dissolve the assembly and I essentially single handedly drafted the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen.

Saving the assembly ‘aint easy!

Recently the king was booted from the throne and is under trial. Wow did this guy mess up. I gave him plenty of advice regarding what he should have done. It was a miracle they didn’t kill him on the spot when they found out he was fleeing! I was his adviser In 1790, I he had just listened to me he could at least retain his position right now, but he is too stubborn to recognize his faults.

Lately my chest has been pounding like mad, I doubt I will live on much longer considering my condition. Until then I will do as much as I can before I… Well yeah.

Mirabeau out.


Jean Sylvain Bailly: Mémoires d’un témoin de la Révolution

November 1791

I regret to say that my turn in this revolution has concluded. As I sit now, in the city of Nantes, I no longer see myself as a player in this game, but a witness to the happenings in France in the past years. Hence the name of my newly written work, “Memoirs of a Witness of the Revolution”. My popularity has considerably decreased in the city of Paris, and the people who once revelled in my leadership have adopted a new mayor, Jerôme Pétion.  It seems that the people cannot forget my actions this year at Champ de Mars, and I am currently paying the price in this exiled life. I am left only to commentate on the affairs of my city and the outrageous rulings of the king, and his weak persistence to convince his people that he can support France in all of its current upheaval.

Though I have limited power left to engage in the political matters happening in the surrounding areas of France, I must say this; the time of the King has come to an end. It is true to say that we have been ruled my a monarchy for years and years, but now is a time of change, so we must do away with old practices. With the drafting of the new Constitution, the support for the King has considerably increased, but it is only the foolish who could possibly believe that the he is the most promising hope for this country.  However, the limitations put on the King’s power, under the new Constitution, is only one meager step  into adopting a more power-balanced society. Yes, indeed, we had  set out to eradicate supreme rule, but no man seems to disapprove of the King’s future position in the governing of our country. We must not lose sight of what we had set out to do when we took the Oath! It is only through doing this that France shall have its salvation, but I regret to say, that my role in this story has come to a close. I can only observe from my place in Nantes, but my heart still stays with the people who I swore Oath with, the people who continue to battle for a country without monarchy. It is the time of the people, and my only hopes for the future is that my previous followers remember the loyalty they swore to me, and to each other. The irony is that, now in exile, I am powerless, but I now leave it in the hands of men and women of France to continue on my efforts.



Maximilien Robespierre: The Monarchy is dead!

I am glad to see so many supporters still interested in my story even after all these years of chaos. I assure you, if we as a nation climb up the steps to democracy, this chaos will cease. What complaints could there be with a government that represents the people?

Many events have happened in the recent years right up to the victorious moment of King Louis the 16th’s execution. I am glad that this tyrant who spills the blood of the valiant French people is finally dead! He had caused the revolutionaries great amounts of pain from the very beginning, which started with the bread taxes and the social inequality in France. He then tried the escape his own country and duties, while plotting with other nations to drive us out. Luckily we found concrete evidence on his plots with the Austrians, more specifically Leopold II in that treasured locked chest.

With the execution of King Louis, the death of the monarchy must soon be coming as well and now we, the revolutionaries can put our plans into action without as much opposition. After the storming of the Bastille, we have the necessary equipment to proceed and we are prepared to fight for the rightful cause. Everything is in place, now that we have the people’s support along with the coming of a new constitution and the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. From here on in, we should soon be able to see greater progress and possibly a forthcoming conclusion.

In this specific entry, one aspect that I would like to highlight is the revolutionaries’ plans for the near future. We are not the chaotic mass of angry people without any order that the royals pose us to be, but in fact we have an objective (one objective that all the revolutionaries can agree on). That objective is “change”. Even though there may be different perspectives within the revolutionaries, all of us want some degree of change. Personally, I believe in a nation based off of virtue, philosophy and justice, but some different opinions within the revolutionaries are starting to form now that our first task of abolishing the monarchy is complete. I hope that my beliefs will be able to push through the crowd of dissenters to pave a sturdier path for this country through only words of persuasion and the desires of the people. I wish to not resort to any other method. My plan is to continue advocating and persuading others of my beliefs through the Jacobins and the National convention. Those such as Georges Danton who cannot see the good behind my words need some more attention though. I will prove to the nation of France that a couple of tweaks here and there won’t change anything. We need to start from scratch right from the roots of our society.

From here on out I feel that we might be entering the final storm before a lasting calmness can be achieved. I feel that trouble is to come from both external nations and from within the revolutionaries themselves. Hopefully this internal strife will be easily resolved so that together as a collective group, we can support France from any external threats. I can see a clear path ahead with the solutions myself and the Jacobins best think this country should revolve around, and I strongly believe that this is the answer we’ve been looking for! Vive la revolution and let us carry on forth!


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In-Depth Post #6

Unfortunately, due to cadets and the garage sale, I have been unable to work on my in depth at all these last two weeks.

What can you do?

Knowing that, and the fact that I still have multiple practices, the provincial drill competition in Victoria, a band competition, normal cadet nights and the practice hikes, I am starting to doubt that I will be able to gain the parts for a robot and program it in time for in-depth night (I haven’t been able to sleep in since spring break).  So I think I need some kind of backup plan that I can do reasonably fast with what I have. My mentor sent me some online books for programming on different programming projects and I think I just might do those.

Obviously since I only have one bread board and micro controller, I am limited to one project, but which one? The PDF included many projects like and LED morse code translator to a virtual trumpet using pressure pads and a speaker. At this point I really am not sure what I could do for the night but I think something interactive or actually useful would be suitable. Also, I obviously have to do something mildly simple as I do not have the time to order parts, I have to work with what I have and can buy locally.

One of the more interesting projects is an automatic tweeter for essentially whatever you want. Im not kidding, anything, for example I can make a twitter account for my dads coffee brewer and find out when I get home when the coffee will be ready. I can do this by registering a twitter app through, then it can tell me some values when I hook it up thought the coffee machine and my laptop. It sounds pretty interesting and I could even serve coffee through my program. Not bad, and if I really wanted I could make an automatic tweeter for my socials, whenever someone comments on my tweets or something. Just and idea.

Another thing I could do is a “mood” activated crystal ball. It takes a plastic ball wired with assorted LED’s on  the inside to display different colors. Then with the specific heat sensors it will change the color of the ball, supposedly displaying you “mood.” It is pretty interactive and I think people will find it mildly intersting.

My ideas and I.

Either way I will figure something out in time for in-depth night. To be fair I think I kind of set myself up for this, but now I know not to pick something so demanding for next year!