A time to share

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Dinner Time Out!

Went to some friends a-visiting last night! Old neighbors of the wifes' and then to some frinds for dinner.
Ended up going to Anthony's Home Port in Des Moines. no, not Iowa!
Spent some time at their home afterwards chatting and drinking coffee and playing with their dogs!

Movie revue The Pursuit of Happyness

Joan and I went to see The Pursuit of Happyness starring Will Smith and his sons movie debut. We liked the movie. It was a gut wrencher with a positive message about perseverance and hard work. However, It is not the type of movie I normally go to the big screen to watch. It is not "big" and majestic. Usually I wait to see this type of movie on DVD. But it was good time out with my broken footed wife!

You got a dream, you gotta protect it. People can't do something themselves, they wanna tell you that you can't do it. You want something? Go get it. Period.

If you've ever been poor, this movie may be hard to watch. It depicts poverty in America in gut wrenchingly accurate ways. I've been as poor as Chris Gardner, and, like him, I've been poor among very rich people in the Bay Area while trying to work my way up.
Chris Gardner is a loving father and failing businessman. He is chosen for a competitive internship at Dean Witter, a stock brokerage. The internship, which offers Chris a very long shot at a better life, doesn't pay any salary. Chris has to live without a salary for six months while risking just about everything for that long shot gamble.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Bird brains

We have a nice berry filled bush in our front yard. It is full of berries and many birds flock to it to eat their fill. Often these birdsBirds eating berriesrds crash into our front picture window. Here is such a bird. Our daughter went out to get the bird that was unconscious and helped restore it by putting it in a cage until it recuperated enough to fly away on it's own.Release the caged About 30 minutes.
Great job Katie!
Ahh, freedom

Thursday, December 28, 2006

More Painting

With some time off from work... I find myself working around the homestead! That's right, more painting.painting never ends The kitchen finally has a fresh coat of paint. I think it turned out sweet!
Our neighbor Sandy called while I was painting.Frem & Sandy She asked if she could bring us dinner. I asked her if she was clairvoyant? She laughed and wondered why? I said I was painting the kitchen and it was a national disaster area. It would be great if she supplied dinner. Wow! What timing! Au Gratin potatoes with ham in them, Soup, carrots in a sweet brown sugar sauce, and for dessert, jello salad. Right on!A picnic basket
Well needless to say, we filled our bellies!
Thanks Frem & Sandy!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Here We Are...

Well, Christmas is just passed.... And if you believe that, then you missed the meaning of Christmas! People say, "Christmas is over". Meaning that the day of Christmas is now done and gone. But, the spirit of Christmas, Oh now, that's a whole nuther story! We work and stress getting all prepared for the big day. Cooking, cleaning, buying gifts. Basically acting and going berserk. It is quite comical to watch if you can step outside the "action" for a few minutes. Now you/we can relax can't we? That is unless you ran up huge credit card debt buying meaningless and mostly useless gifts for your loved ones. Mostly all your loved ones would really like for Christmas is some of your time. Time with them. Time eating and laughing, time reminiscing. Time playing a game together or going to a movie or to a Starbucks. For most though, we get caught up in the buying frenzy. Hey, I'm guilty of that as well.
Christmas eve, after performing "A King Is Coming." We enjoyed sharing Christmas time with our friends Dale and Jean McDowell and their children Scott and Jeni.
At McDowells Funny photo 2006
Scott's girlfriend Millea was there as well. Chicken pasta, salad, cookies, turkey soup were the menu. Our family and the McDowells have been sharing Christmas eve for about 20 years or so... we exchange gifts, eat great food but more importantly, just spend time together, laughing and sharing, being...
I performed some magic for Millia as she has not seen any of my magic, and she was a fresh victim for me. She was a great audience.
Cups & Balls with Milia 2006
We had my wife's family over for Christmas day and dinner. Our nephews are both engaged to be married this coming year! So they had their fiance's with them. We enjoyed the company of family and warm fires (a little too warm)and my wife and her mother had a race with their walkers! Haha... Chariot races you might say!
Christmas 2006 chariot races
I did not hear from anyone from my side of the family. Merry Christmas to me. That hurts. However, I did not call them either. Merry Christmas! I did repair a golf club for my brother Ted and drop it by his home with a few notes in it explaining what happened from my point of view. That was last week. Never heard from him nor do I know if he even received the package.
Our church finally performed the play, "A King Is Coming".
A King Is Coming
I actually think the extra week hurt us. Not performing last week when everyone was geared up for it was kind of a let down. Like air escaping a big air filled to the max balloon. There were a couple of really noticeable faux pas during the performance. But all in all, it was fun and I think the audience enjoyed the performance. Sometimes the "mess ups" can add to the performance. I think this might be one of those times. People realize we are not professional actors and are there for their entertainment pleasure.A King Is Coming Sherrif Badge and the king of rock & roll
I saw lots of laughter and many smiles while up on stage gazing out at the audience. I hope the message was clear and that God can use our worship celebration to further his kingdom!

Son Ryan had car trouble last week. It was determined that he needed a new alternator.He took his vehicle into the shop and had the work done. Next day he still had the same trouble. He was without his "ride" for several days as the Christmas Holiday closed shops. Yesterday I drove him to Seattle, we charged his battery and drove it back into the shop. Ryan and I enjoyed each others company on the road and had lunch together at a sandwich shop. We walked to half price books and killed some time there. Both of us picked up a few books. Why am I saying all this? Through the inconvenience of Ryan being without his car. A real bummer of a time during the Christmas "season." We had an opportunity to spend time together that we would not have had otherwise. Time spent talking about his future, my plans for the future. Marriage and many other topics. Sometimes we get so angry about our circumstances, or put off by the bad things that happen to us, we fail to see the opportunity that these things often bring our way. I know I was blessed by Ryan's unfortunate car troubles! So was he I think!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Ah, bygone times

This, in response to Tom Franks blog post awhile ago....

For a minute there..... I was brought back to a dingy two room home in West Seattle, real life pizza crust, left on dishes piled in the sink and on the counter. No insence burning, but instead a musty cigar, smoking and smoldering in an ash tray, waiting for it's owner to pick it up and put it between his teeth,Happy Birthday
guests arrive, magicians and future magicians,
A wild bunch at a session
coming and going all hours of the night..some being fooled, some fooling others, a man in the corner taking notes...Randy Sills
Smoke fills the room, music, lightly playing in the background, linking rings, clanging in the living room...
Linking Rings, Rob, Nash and Chad
while others sit around a kitchen table covered with close-up pads of varying colors, and strewn with torn and bent cards that have lived their last...
Session 2006
Awe and laughter prevail as the evening wears on.. The master of the home, pulls out an ancient Chinese coin with a hole in it's center, babbling something about how it used to fit over the ancients head and around their necks...
Magic Trick

Tie the ends together

The lovely clang of copper cups and balls rings out, drawing everyones attention,
Jose, Cups and balls and a great smile!
It's made of a soft metal!
As the routine unfolds, heads nod in knowing love... a fan of cards appears from nowhere, everywhere...Scotty Walsh 2005Nash Fung 2006
One takes his leave as another arrives..A coin flashes in the night as it rolls its lonely way across the knuckles of an acolyte... The coin hits the floor, adding it's sound to the rising chaos.... memories, memories of a bygone time in West Seattle at a friend and mentors home... Those were the days my friend, we thought they'd never end...
or... Thanks for the memories!!!
Randy and Steve (Raku fire & Butter)
The Stones of Tutankhamun

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Still Powerless

Five nights and four days later.... Running on reserve power. Gas fired generator, wood burning stoves for heat. Been some fun as my wife's sister joined us for three nights until her power came back on.Sisters
I remember being in cub scouts as a boy and camping out one night and one of the fathers cooked apples wrapped in tin foil on the coals of our campfire. He had us remove the core and put brown sugar and cinnamon into the hollowed out apple and we cooked them on the hot coals of the campfire! I have always enjoyed that memory. When I got back from Ireland in 2000, I was bragging about how great the potatoes were there. As a joke I made some apples as mentioned above and cooked them for my children in the oven. Before I took them out you could smell the wonderful aroma of baked apples. I told them that they were Irish potatoes. This become an ongoing family joke! Here is a picture of some fun we had while keeping the house warm during this power outage. Irish Potatoes?
Five "Irish Potatoes" in our wood burning stove! HA!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Windy and powerless!

Thursday night about 5:40 pm the power went out at our home. As I write this it is Sunday afternoon about 2:30. Still no power. I was lucky and blessed to have a friend lend me his 2000 watt generator. We have been able to run our refridgerator and our freezer to keep our food from spoiling! Thanks Dave and Ronda! Also, We have two wood burning stoves and they are keeping us nice and cozy. We are also very fortunate that our water heater is heated with gas. So, we have hot water too!
The past several weeks Katie and I have been practicing for our church play for Christmas. It is called "A King Is Coming" It is about the confusion of Christmas and it's true meaning. Santa Clause does not even rate a cameo. However, King Kong, King TutKing Tuts Fans
and Elvis the king of rock and roll are mentioned!Elvis & His Daughter
We were going to perform today but the church is still without power and so we postponed the play til next Sunday. So if you were planning on enjoying this play and missed it because of a power failure, be sure to join us next week and get the power back in your life!
We enjoyed a different sort of church service this morning. We all gathered in the fireside room. So named because of the fireplace there. A fire was lit and we all sang Christmas carols accappella. A sermon was preached by brother Bill Vincent about Christmas and it's meaning. Amazing how Santa Clause was left outside again in the cold. Find the spirit of Christmas!
Elvis & Fans
Elvis & Aubrey

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Graduate!!!

Hallelujah! Ryan graduated from The University of Washington a few days ago. AND amazingly, they didn't screw him up to bad as far as their liberal agenda! Must be because he comes from good stock and attends church regularly!? Ryan "walked" on June 10th.They allow students to walk in the commencement ceremony if they are within a quarter of fulfilling their necessary requirements.
Ryan received a Bachelor of science in Civil Engineering. He has worked extremely hard in this field which requires a ton of upper level mathematics. Civil engineers are the people who work on designing bridges, roads and such structures. Ryan tells me he is undecided on what he wants to do with his immediate future. He has been very active in his church and there campus ministry programs, spending two months last summer on the University of Boise campus, helping further their campus ministry program. While there he had the opportunity spend some time with some family members he had never met before. The summer before last, Ryan spent a month in Canada and a month in China helping to build up some campus ministries there as well.
We are very proud of him!

Tuesday Night Session

Cups and Balls and rope tricks were the topic of discussion last night as Jose Floresca opened up one of his rental homes for a great teaching session! I invited a young man named Adam whom I met at the Day of Magic about two months ago.
His father brought him. Adam is part of the Ring of Fires youth magic learning program. He performed at the Day of Magic. I shared with him the cups and balls routine I used to do at the Day of Magic. Last night I showed them the latest routine I do which has a lot of Gazzo's stuff in it! They were thrilled by the ending! John Logenbaugh arrived as well. He is looking for some stage magic to do for a New Years party. Isaac Louie arrived and taught us all some cool rope moves.
Louie and Jose ropes
He also did some pretty ring and rope stuff and helped perfect the striking vanish that we were all playing with.
I followed up Isaac's rope routine with one of my own, actually it is Slydini's rope routine with the Professors Nightmare ending.
Me teaching Professors Nightmare
Jose showed us his two cup routine.
Jose, Two cup routine
It is a work in progress and I think it really suits his personality. All our magic is a work in progress. We need to get out and perform!
All in all, we got a lot done in two and a half hours. It was nice coming in with a focus to our get together.

Friends and Neighbors

Our neighbors found out a few days ago that my wife broke her foot. They were delivering a chocolate cheesecake to us for a Christmas gift. Frem saw my wife standing at the top of the stairs with her crutches and remarked about it. Today his wife cooked us a wonderful dinner consisting of Beef Stroganof, mashed potatoes, Macaroni shrimp salad, and Asparagus. It was all really well done and we enjoyed it immensely! We enjoyed the chocolate cheesecake for dessert! Thank you Frem and Sandy!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Sunset at the North Pole!

A scene you will probably never get to see, so take a moment and enjoy God at work at the North Pole.This is the sunset at the North Pole with the moon at its closest point. And, you also see the sun below the moon. An amazing photo and not one easily duplicated.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Still Painting!

My body is aching from painting the popcorn ceiling.. Using an extendable 8 Ft. Pole. The torque required to push the paint into the popcorn is such that I actually broke the first aluminum pole I bought causing the roller to come crashing down on me with an audible crack? Luckily I had the entire floor covered with a blue tarp. My shoulders and arms are vibrating from the workout, in one sense it feels good. In the other, OUCH! An all day project! Or two or three or 4-ever! Our ceilings are somewhat vaulted and are at all weird angles making it even harder. This is the second time I've painted them, so the paint is sticking much better. The first time a lot of popcorn came raining down on me.
Today I tackle the walls. Hopefully this will be easier on my old bones!
Day two. Progress but ran out of paint. We bought only one can of paint for the walls. We didn't want to spend a lot of money only to find out the color scheme was not good. So, we found out we like the wall paint. It seems like it will be "softer" and this is good. I think it looks good with the doors now being a "Dove White." I taped up some door casing to really get a good feel for how it will all come together. It is going to be a BIG change. Very nice.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Good News, Bad News

My wife went to the foot doctor yesterday to have her broken bone looked at. Come to find out the break is deeper than first realized. So they gave her an air cast and said that she cannot put ANY prssure on it for 6-8 weeks. The good news is that the bones at the break are perfectly aligned so that the healing of the break should go really well! Also, her arms will get stronger as she has to weild the crutches for a lot longer than she thought. A minor positive to be sure, but hey! Gotta find the silver lining!

Paint, Paint Everywhere...

Took all the interior doors from upstairs down to paint them.
Before, Dark Brown
What a process. Two coats of primer, two coats of finish paint. Drying time in betwen each coat. Painting alll the door jambs. Replacing the door knobs and strike plates. Now all the walls need painting and the ceiling too! Seems liek a never ending job.We chose a nice Dove white for the doors and the jambs and the molding.
After, New Looking
The doors were a dark brown. This will really change the appearance and ambiance of our home. It will be an interesting change. I think it will affect all our moods in a positive way!

Diversionary Session

My friend Jose opened up his home tonight to host a magic session. Thanks Jose, I needed to get out of the house! Randy, Jose and I were the only magic enthusiasts to attend. We went over some basic/not so basic card sleights. Worked a bit on the Twisting the Aces routine. I shared a couple of tricks, like Wayne Houchin's Indecent.Mr. Flynn
And shared with Randy the Mind Reader trick...
Randy is interested in furthering his repertoire in the realm of coin magic. He demonstrated some of the sleights he has. They are better than he realizes but wants to be able to do more in that area... Don't we all!? :)
Jose has been diligently working on some card shuffling techniques. They are coming along splendidly! He has a nice "memorized deck" routine with it and has callouses because of the effort to learn a new sleight! We are all realizing how much work and effort goes into what is perceived by an audience as trivial or easy. Hours of work just for a two second sleight.
Makes you appreciate those that have gone before... We played with the cut and restored rope.
Randy & Jose, Two Card Monte
Two card Monte and more. It was nice to get back into the swing of things. Sadly, with Christmas right around the corner, it looks like it will be awhile before we can reunite!

Friday, December 01, 2006

How Much Is That Doggie In The Window

All I Want For Christmas

We woke up to this nice Christmas list the other day. It is hand made from our daughter!All I want for Christmas!
This is the kind of thing you treasure, because when they grow up.... you'll never get these again. She has been wanting a dog for a long time. This Christmas may not work as we need to secure our back yard first. A few years ago during a wild wind storm, several trees blew down and took out our chain link fence. We have never replaced it. Perhaps it is time. I am reminded of an old childrens song...