A time to share

Monday, February 26, 2007

Went Hot Tubbin With God!

I really enjoy our hot tub. We have had it for seven years now! We bought it initially to help with Joan's back pain, but now that that is mostly gone...
I often am in the hot tub by myself. Usually about an hour before I leave for work. The night is dark and the stars are out and recently I have been enjoying praying or just marveling at Gods handiwork; The heavens! How awesome are his works. The other night as I was listening to God, he impressed upon my mind the the work of the cross that His Son Jesus bore. It was a small secret He imparted to me but as I thought about it, I think the Holy Spirit began to expand upon the idea.
At first I had a mental visualization of Jesus carrying His cross up the hill to Calgary. I thought of the burden it must have been. Jesus was beaten and harassed and exhausted as he tried to carry that heavy load. He stumbled and fell and needed help to carry His cross all the way up the hill.
My first thoughts of enlightenment had to do with the weight of the burden. How heavy is my cross to bear? How heavy is your cross to bear? How long has it been a burden? Are you exhausted by the length of enduring that burden? Has it beaten you down? Do you have scars from it?
Jesus' cross was not truly his to bear. He bore it for all of us. Wow! (All this is hitting me as I am alone in the hot tub)
As I pondered these thoughts, more kept flooding me. Thoughts like... Jesus had help carrying His cross. He did not ask for help, but was assigned help. Jesus was not too proud to accept the help offered though. Many of us, as we try to carry our cross are too proud or too ashamed to ask for help. Often times others see us struggling with our burden and offer help but we deny them. Jesus did not deny the offer of help, why do we?
Jesus did not want to carry this burden. He asked God His Father to take this cup from Him. But He also said, "Your will, be done, not Mine." This was humbleness. Jesus took up the cross while not deserving it, He endured the cross while despising the shame of it.
We need to humble ourselves. Like Jesus, we need to intentionally take up our cross whatever it might be, and ask for help to endure it daily.
Some of us have a sexual cross to bear. Others might be homosexual, blaming past childhood problems for the way they are, blaming society. Or they blame God and say "I was born this way." It really doesn't matter how or why you are the way you are. It is your cross to bear. Maybe you are prideful, or a thief, or???
We are told to deny ourselves, and take up our cross daily to follow Jesus.Luke 9:23-24 and Mark 8:34-35.
It will be a lifelong burden, but you needn't bear it alone.
Well, that was a hot tub experience to remember!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Tired Saturday

Got up this morning at 9am. Was going to sleep longer but had to pick up Katie from her sleep over at her friend Jeni's. After that we headed to Kent for Katie and Cub's dog obedience class. I think it was our fifth week. two to go. Cub is doing really well. He is the mellowest dog there. nothing seems to faze him much. Katie is learning a lot too. Picked some items from Home Depot on the way home and Cub got a shot at the vets. All is well.

Long Day Friday!

Another of those stay up all day Fridays...
After work I attended a breakfast party for a fellow worker. Frank Turner. He retired Friday! Good for him! About 40 people were in attendance for the breakfast.
We met at Plumb Delicious. A restaurant in the Renton Highlands. It was a nice quaint time together. Mostly men as we work in an environment dominated by males.
Franks wife and daughters were there as well.
After I got home I got to work on building two new magic tables for a special project. They are coming along really nicely! It was a long process. Measuring and cutting. I picked up a lot of nice Oak floor molding from my sister in laws new remodel job. Out with the old and in with the new. I scored all there old Oak molding and am putting it to good use! My table saw to rip them to the exact dimensions I need and then a chop saw for the mitre cuts!
Later My wife and I went out to dinner at Teriyaki Wok. We really enjoy the food there. Got home and hit the sack at about 9:30. These 30 plus hour days are getting to me...

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Doe a Deer a Female Deer

Last Friday the 16th was my 29 year anniversary at Boeing! Weird! mixed feelings. I'm old! I'm not that old! Wow! Where did the time go? I was only planning on working here for 5 years! What about my dreams wants and desires?
Have I fulfilled any of those?
Absolutely! I live the American dream, the white picket fence, (so it's brown, white and chain link!) The two and a half children, yeah, I know, we have three! And we have a dog. I have a beautiful wife, a decent job that covers the bills, a bit of extra money at the end of the month, rather than the other way around. You know, where you have more month than money!
Last night a doe (female deer) was on the Boeing property, kinda walked in by the guards I guess. It was inside the Renton field area, which means it had to figure a way out since the whole area is fenced. The Renton police were called and between a Boeing guard and the police we were able to shoo the lost animal thru a large open gate. Hope it didn't get hit by a car.
Over the many years here at Boeing I have seen many animals, rats, cats, dogs, pigeons, rabbits, turtles, (they come out of the river) beavers, muskrats, raccoons, coyotes, osprey, and Salmon running up the river. Many times there are so many seagulls that it is a danger to aircraft taking off and landing on Renton field.
I think the funniest "animal" I've ever seen was one night while towing a 757 jet plane across the bridge at the mouth of the Cedar river where it empties into Lake Washington, a coyote was standing still staring at us. (you must envision this, it is about 1am, pitch black except for the lights on my tow tractor) The coyote refused to move, it was to our right near the lake, but in our tow path. I slowed the tow down to a stop and asked a wing walker if it was real? He shrugged his shoulders. I said here throw this at it. I handed him a hammer which he pitched towards the offending critter. it didn't budge. We realized it was a stuffed animal.
Behind us a female Boeing guard had her revolver pulled from its holster, now there's a funny, scary thought! The animal was someones taxidermist coyote affixed to a wooden platform. We moved it aside and continued on our way.
Well, the next night I again had to tow a plane over this bridge and again the offending critter was in our way, we set the beast on top of the hood of my tow tractor and I took him home. I placed him in our front yard garden. It was comical to watch people slow down as they drove past and their heads turned to look at our new friend.
Come to find out that the animal was on the Renton field for a purpose. The manager had placed it there to keep birds off the runway. A little communication would have helped! I returned the furry fellow and he is still there to this day, a little tattered but still scaring the birds!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Dairy Queen

Katie got straight A's again
so off to Dairy Queen we went to celebrate. 8th grade, what a time that was! Way to go Katie! Good work!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Ah What a Lucky Man

I am...
We don't go in for Valentines day much anymore...(just a wee bit!)

when you've been married for 25 years, it just doesn't have the lustre it used to, besides the commercialization of the event really bites! People having to be told to tell the one they love to tell them they love them... Walked into safeway and was disgusted by the overwhelming display of red, pink, and white balloons. The candy boxes etc. Enough to make a guy throw up! All the commercials on T.V and radio practically willing you to go out and buy that special someone a diamond or gold necklace, tennis bracelet, or ring... Most people haven't even finished paying off their debt from the commercialized adulteration of Christmas! It's enough to make a guy SCREAM! I think I just did!
Now, don't get me wrong. I am a lucky man, and I love my wife tremendously. She is awesome and we make a great couple. We have enjoyed each other, and grown so much together over the years.She has really learned to let her inner self out...

We enjoyed a special time out last night.(not Valentines day) Our daughter was away at a friends,Katie's getting to be just like her! and we went out to dinner at Dukes Chowder house, just the two of us. It was nice. Excellent food, and excellent company!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

One Hundred and Forty Plus years

One Hundred and Forty Plus years and it still continues today!

We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God.

We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!
— Abraham Lincoln, March 30, 1863

How It all Started for me

I started doing magic in my early 20's. I did what Philemon would dub slum magic. Hopping half, Scotch and Soda, penetration frame, hot rod, jumping gems and a cigarette vanish via the magicians secret weapon. I played with magic for a couple of years, never getting serious, heck, I had no idea there were clubs and many others teaching and performing. I was just having fun amazing friends and family with this "trinket" magic stuff! Somehow I got away from magic for about twenty years. Maybe it was lack of interest,magic was hard work, children, the daily grind of life, I dunno. But I am living proof that you can resurrect your magical dreams. I was fortunate to find Tom Frank and his magic shop and his willingness to freely give of his time and talents. Toms misfortune, his losing his magic shop through an ugly divorce was for me an unlikely magical boon. Because of that negative time in Tom's life, Steve Ameden and I proposed the idea of meeting with Tom in his home once a week, we would supply the dinner and Tom graciously accepted the offer to teach us magic during these wonderful evenings! Thus the Alki Magic Studio Tuesday night sessions was born, like a Phoenix rising. These sessions lasted for a year and a half and ended when Tom eventually moved to Los Angeles. Several of us are trying to copy Tom's model for these sessions but try as we might, there truly is only one Tom Frank. However, Jose Floresca has been opening up his home once or twice a month trying to keep these sessions alive in the Seattle area. For a time Scotty Walsh and his girlfriend Gina hosted sessions.
So the spark that Tom ignited is still floating around out there, waiting patiently for a little blow of wind, or a breath of life to turn it back into a roaring blaze! I too would be willing to host a session now and then.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Monday Night Magic!

I finally broke down and attended the Monday Night Magic show held at 3rd Place Books in Ravenna. It is an event that happens on the second Monday of each month. The show started just after 7pm. I met my friend Steve Ameden there. Steve has been working on getting me to perform at the Monday Night Magic venue for a while now. I told him I would go and see what it is all about! So, that is what I did. I think I will be performing there next month on March 12th.
We were entertained by four magicians doing various bits of magic. Another friend, Roger Needham
was performing strolling magic before the show.
The performers were, Frederick, Don Bloomer, Philemon and Payne. There was a nice audience of about 25 people of varying ages. A pretty relaxed atmosphere to dip my feet into magically.
The venue is a perfect place for budding magicians like myself to get there feet wet and for experienced magicians to try out new material. The audience gets a free magic show, so it is beneficial for everyone.
Frederick started off with several effects, a card trick and a sponge ball routine with audience participation. Next up was Don Bloomer. Don did two effects, the first was an esp card trick that was nice involving a spectator. It was a nice effect. I liked it, but the place is noisy with the kitchen making food and preparing hot coffee drinks for patrons. Don could have been a bit louder.
Philemon entertained us with a trick that used the Deal or no deal theme from television.
He used five envelopes and had a spectator choose one and worked down to one envelope. Insde the envelopes were, two cents, a nickel, a dime and a quarter. The "money" envelope had a dollar bill which turned out to be a one hundred dollar bill. Needless to say, lady spectator got her two cents worth and Philemon kept his hundred. As a parting gift, Philemon gave her a lottery ticket for the next days lottery.
Payne, or Master Payne was next and he mentioned that he was trying out new material for next week when he will be in Venice Italy. Payne shared with us a coin trick that is a coins in handkerchef effect. I was surprised when he actually dropped the coins onto the floor. Just goes to show you, anyone can mess up. I'll get my chance next month! It is actually a beautiful effect. I'm glad he was able to get that performance out of the way. He then did a two cups and ball routine. Paynes masterpiece, the cups and balls. All went well as expected. That rounded out the evening.
Afterwards Steve and I enjoyed discussing magic and such for about an hour as I sipped on a carmel Macchiato.
The drive home found me making a detour over to the Fort. that is what my son Ryan calls the place he is living at with seven other young men! We jammed in his room with him on the guitar and his friend Vong and I playing harmonicas. I did several card tricks for Ryan's friends as well. Now I am at work. Quite a full day I must say!

Weekend News

Friday was a looooong day! Got home from work about 6:30 am. Had to wait for daylight so I could begin to swing a hammer. Nailing up 130 fence boards took a long time. My wrist became sore, really sore. I am officially entering into geezerhood! The fence turned out nice though. It took me a good eight hours to nail up the boards and saw the top of the fence and another hour or two to finish the gate. It was dark as I finished the cutting of the top of the gate, my daughter holding a flashlight for me!

It is nice to be finished! Still some work to do on the chain link fence, mainly stretching the fabric and attaching it to the posts and top rail. A neighbor was supposed to meet me Sunday afternoon but... seems he forgot.
Saturday Joan, Katie and I took Cub to his dog obedience class at noon. The place was closed, no class because the instructor was sick. I cannot understand why no one received a phone call informing us that class was postponed. A simple courtesy over looked. There goes three or four gallons of gas in my gas guzzling suburban.

We went to our nephew Brian's wedding later Saturday evening. He married a lovely young woman named Misti!

The wedding ceremony was held at Bastyr University chapel. It is ironic because Brian used to go there for Catholic services. The place has changed hands and now it is a non denominational church building. The wedding was nice. Afterwards the bride and groom left thru the upraised arms of the guests holding sparklers. Here is a picture of our son Ryan and his date Miyoko.

The reception was a wild party affair held at the Lake Union Cafe. Open bar and LOUD music. Like I mentioned earlier, I am getting old. Once there was a time when I would have fit right in to this scene, not anymore. I have come to realize that excessive alcohol actually dulls the senses and is a depressant. Rather than heightening the experience it dulls it!
We enjoyed a prime rib dinner and family and friends.

I have been working hard on a magical effect known as the anniversary waltz. I wanted to perform it as a special gift for Brian and Misti. It was difficult to find the right time to share it with them. I also feel that they think of my magic in the realm of "uncle Bob's magic." This has been a concern of mine for awhile. Getting my magic to the next level. I believe it is there, but it really doesn't matter what I believe, it is the audiences perception that is relevant.
I did perform the trick for them, just the two of them, I was practically screaming over the loud music. The ending floored them both. Quite startling! I left them with a special souvenir/remembrance of their special day!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

It Was Like Fireworks going off

For the last week I have been training a fellow employee, John O'Malley to move airplanes and work out on the Renton field with me...
Hasn't been much to do but we did move a couple of planes...
I decided to use Mr. O'Malley as my personal magical audience for the last four days.
Card tricks the first couple of days, some coin work as well.. last night consisted of the acrobatic knot and ring, rope, and wand, the legend of the five mystic rings...
Tonight, I floored him with the cut and restored rope, the floating card, and of course my personal favorite the cups and balls...
John isn't very demonstrative while I performed for him, but the cups and balls with the six oranges revelation with the melon under the hat kicker had him rolling in his chair.. he said it was like fire works going off, it got bigger and bigger and kept growing like fireworks into a crescendo at the end like the great ending to a fireworks display!
It doesn't get much better than that!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Rails are up!

Woke up three hours early again today....
Got the rails up on the back fence today... Sweet! The fencing project is coming along. Most of the back breaking work is finished. No more digging! Yahoo! Had seven bags of 80 pound post mix to return. Never had bought it in 80 pounders before, always used 60 pounders, guess I had a few too many! Drop them off at Home Depot today and pick up the fence slats. Get them nailed up and that's 98% done! At least in the back. Still figuring out the chain link on the South side of the yard. Need to use the comealong to stretch the fabric. That's what they call chain link fencing, Fabric. Pick up a new gate and the end will be in site! Then back to working on the interior of the homestead! Finish up the floor molding and a bit of painting still to do.
Finally got our Mens Bible study back in gear. It has been awhile, but last night we had our study in Romans 8:17-39. We had a new member and all was very enthusiastic. We ended the evening in a lively discussion about Gods fore knowledge and predestination. We will be tackling this thorny issue in two weeks at the next Bible study.

Dale, Jean and their daughter Jeni came over Friday night for a hamburger BBQ.(Chocolate covered strawberries for dessert!)

We enjoy their company and they got to meet the new addition to our family. Cub!
Dale and Jean are a good audience for me to test out new magical feats of wonder on. Jean seems always ready to giggle and Dale is always ready with a nice big smile. I performed the Anniversary Waltz for them as I think I may perform it at our nephews wedding next Saturday. They both liked it, a lot.
We all had a good evening. My wife returned her walker today and is getting along pretty good with her walking cast. It is nice to shed the crutches and have her almost back a hundred percent!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Beautiful Day!

Woke up, fell outta bed, dragged a comb across my head......
Woke up early today at 12 noon... Three hours early... It was a gorgeous winter day, The sun was shining and the thermometer was registering a blistering 44 degrees, seemed warmer as the bright sunshine played mind games with me...
Took a quick shower and made a nice hot pot of coffee. Grabbed my trusty post hole digger and got to work. Needed to dig four more holes so I could put the posts in today. Gotta work the weekend, so time is short and need to git er done while the weather is holding, rain and concrete work don't go together well...
I had all the posts (9 in all) in and cemented by 3:30, HOOYAH! Took another shower cuz I was going out to dinner with my friend Steve Ameden.

We are working on a magical project together of mammoth proportions! I met Steve at 7:30 at the Burien Vinces pizza, Steve treated me to a chicken Parmesan dinner! Sweet. We did a few card tricks for each other, talked life and magic. I like Steve, he is a Seattle motorcycle cop. He is a straight shooter and has great input into my magic.
Thanks for dinner!