A time to share

Monday, May 28, 2007

Jam Camp Weekend

I took off Friday afternoon and headed down Interstate 5 to Portland Oregon. Going to Harmonica Jam Camp. I had very mixed feelings about this. My younger brother passed away Wednesday morning. My older sister and Ted's wife were taking care of all the arrangements and I felt Ted would want me to go and get on with my living. I listened to music on the 3 hour drive and cried a couple of times during the road trip. It was good and healthy to cry for him. I will miss him a ton.
I arrived at the hotel at about 2:20. Camp began immediately at 3pm. Everyone there got right into harpin, harpin on a riff!

Our instructor, Jon Gindick had people drawin on the #2 hole right away.

I think all in all there were about 25 students and 8 instructors. We had jammers from as far away as Austrailia! Several from Canada too...
Mostly men but several ladies too.

It was a long weekend of blowin on a harp. Harp instruction and sleepless nights for this old boy!

I think everyone had a great time, I know I did.

I learned a lot of useful information. Mostly though for me, It all boils down to taking the guidance from several of the instructors
and working on what they taught. I don't know if I'm willing to at this point, but if I do, I know it will be extremely rewarding. Like my magic endeavors of the last three years. I realize that if I apply myself as diligently as I have magically, I will be a really excellent harmonica player.

The instructors were all incredible harmonica players. It was sweet just listening to them.
I was amazed at their competence, not only as players of the harp, but also as instructors. Their patience was really amazing.
I made some new friends and hopefully some of them will become lifelong

Besides being a fantastic harp player, Richard Sleigh played guitar and led an excellent course in "Open Harp Surgery" that I recorded with my video camera! How to repair and tweak your harmonica for optimum performance. It was a great learning experience.

Honestly I don't think I can do justice to the amount of information that was given out. I couldn't even attend many of the "classes" because of my level of playing, I was at a class elsewhere. Boy, I sure wish I could have been in two places at the same time. It was that good.
I didn't go down there with the best preparation I could have. Most of the "campers" were really into playing trhe harmonica and a lot of them play the guitar as well. They are so into it, like I have been into my magic. It was rather inspirational.
I hope I use and don't waste the value that was input into my life over the weekend.

Funny but I realized that to play harmonica you have to learn a different language. Just as in my magic, there is a language that makes the understanding of harmonica. There are names, like giants of the past. These names reminded me of my beginning days in magic when people would say names like Dai Vernon, Max Malini, Brother John Hamman, Alex Elmsley, Slydini, Blackstone, Fred Kaps and the list goes on and on and on... I knew none of these names when I first got interested in magic.
Names like Howlin Wolf, Muddy Waters, Charlie Musselwhite, Paul Butterfield, Sonny Boy Williamson and on and on and on.
But the language. A whole other world! Ha ha ha...
I, IV, V chords, B7, 3rd this and 2nd that.... That's what I mean by not being prepared... Ah well, I had a blast and needed to have a blast!

Friday night after the structured portion of events, I made my way up to Jim DiIanni's room
for some more harp time as he played the guitar for a little bit of a private session with Bruce Bjornson, Jeff Brown and his wife Karen.
I left them at 1am.

I made a special friend in fellow camper Donaleen Kohn.!
She has been playing and taking lessons from her harmonica mentor David Lipkind for about three years. Donaleen plays real pretty music. David was one of the instructors during the camp. His harp playing is mind blowing.
I really enjoyed his ready and eager friendship. I hope to enhance it!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Little brother Ted passed away today at about 8:35 A.M.

I slept most of the day til 11:30 when the phone woke me up.
Wasn't my plan to sleep that long but I had been up for about 34 hours.
Two messages on the machine. One from Ted's wife Rose and the other from My older bro John. Both telling me the same thing.
I find myself crying at any moment. In the shower. Typing on the p.c. Driving down the road. Hearing an old song. No reason at all.
I spent several hours on the computer uploading pictures from the past. A nice long trip down memory lane.
Pictures from our early to mid twenties playing softball.

Many Halloweens with our kids dressed up...

Golf photo's...

Ted's first wedding...

Our fathers visit...

All the Christmases...

Coaching his sons baseball team...

That was a special time for me. Three months, 3 nights a week, spending time with
Ted and Rose, and their son Theo. Thank you for the time together!

Just plain family times together...

Ted's wife Rose has been a work horse and loving mate through this great ordeal.

Thank you Rose. I know your joy... and pain.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Achy Breaky Heart

Got a call at 2pm from my brother in law Terry. He informed me that the decision was being made to take Ted off of life support. The discussion was about when? Today or tomorrow. I said whatever was decided was o.k. by me. I wasn't planning on going back to the hospital. Our daughter Katie was due home at about 2:30 and I wanted to take her bike to the church so it could be loaded onto the truck to be taken to Camp Bishop this coming weekend. I also wanted to drop off some new golf clubs I built for a work associate. Katie decided that she didn't want to go with me as I told her that Ted was going to be taken off life support today or tomorrow. Well we had a good cry together.
After dropping her bike off and enjoying a nice conversation with Pastor Bill, I headed to work to deliver the golf clubs. Matt's excitement was wonderful. I hope the clubs work out well for him...
I arrived at the hospital at about 5:30. I just couldn't stay away. Many relatives are there. Brothers, sister, in laws, out laws, nieces, nephews, and friends too! Quite a gathering.
I was told that it would happen at 6pm... Ten minutes to go. It was a strange event. I was under the impression that when we took him off oxygen and life support that he would immediately go. Not true as I found out. When the breathing apparatus was removed he began to breath on his own quite well. This sure caused some second thoughts on my part. Although I realize his inner body is shredded from all the times he has been repaired with coils in his liver, bands on his arteries, blood transfusions and what all else, it was not a thing to witness or take lightly. My sister mouthed the word "NO" to me. I said to her, "This is merciful." It is time to let him go. I hope this doesn't sound like this is easy or flippant. It IS time to let him go. Time to begin the next phase of the grieving process.

I was so hoping and praying to have the chance to speak with him. I love him so much. I wanted and needed to tell him so. I will miss him at every turn.
I will think of him every time I watch a sporting event that we used to share in. It is time to celebrate Ted's life. Although it was relatively short, it was power packed with fun times and zany moments.
Some serious times too.
I am so thankful for his time in my life.

He taught me the important thing about not taking yourself too seriously...

and to enjoy each moment.
To cherish.

To be less judgemental because you are not very perfect and have a lot of muck in your life.

I spent some time alone with him stroking his hands and face. A hug and a kiss, Some words to take with him, ran my fingers through his hair and cried, because I will miss him and the times we will not share. The golfing together we will not do, the salmon fishing that will not happen. The memories that will not be made. It hurts thinking about it.
I will edeavor to remember all the times we had together. The fun times. Right now as I type these words I am afraid. Afraid that these memories will forever be tinged with sadness.
It is said, time heals all wounds. I have a huge hole in my life right now. I think I will enjoy the moment and pain for a while. I think it will make me a better more loving, kinder person.
Because Ted died in this manner, basically drinking himself to death. Many would assume that he was a worthless, pathetic human being. Selfish, uncaring and many other negative thoughts. Those would be people who never got the wonderful chance to meet him. These of course might sound like flowery words just to eulogize my brother. But truly, to be a friend with Ted was to have a special blessing. Was he perfect? An Innocent? Certainly not. Are you? Am I?

Ted had many fine qualities. A ready smile. A twinkle in his eye. A positive comment always ready to give. Always. A wonderful mischievous quality that is rare. He was a hard and good worker. Somehow, even though he drank enormous amounts of beer nightly. He always went to work and performed.(A lesser man couldn't have made it day in and day out) He was a generous person. Always willing to give of himself whether it be cash, if he had any to spare, or his time and talents as a carpenter, or just to help you move some heavy object.
Now he is gone.
Sorry you missed his blessing.

Too Little, Too Late

Strange happenings lately...
I went fishing Saturday morning with my friend Larry Millspaugh. He took me to this great fishing hole called Lake Kapowsin. A long drive out to the boonies. It was a windy morning. We fished for about 4 hours without much luck. Finally Larry got one on. It was a little trout about 11 inches long. I talked him into throwing it back. That was our only one. We enjoyed talking as we haven't seen each other much in the last five or so years. It was great catching up. Thanks Larry!
Later Saturday night things began to turn strange. Our phone rang. Sometimes I answer the phone a bit strange. I answered, "WHAZZZUP" in a deep raspy kind of way. The guy on the other end of the line turned out to be my older brother John. I haven't spoken to him in seven months. Ever since he dis-owned me for trying to help our younger brother Ted. Anyway, John told me Ted didn't have long to live. He might not make it through the night, and if I wanted to see him I better get to the hospital. Then he proceeded to tell me that I wasn't actually welcome at the hospital so I should maybe not come... He told me that he would try to pave the way with our other family members and that he would call me back. This was about 8 pm. At 10:30 pm I decided to go to bed. No sooner was I in bed and the phone rings again. John had talked everyone into allowing me to come to see our brother. I said I'd be right there of course.
When I got there I hugged Ted's wife Rose and said I'm sorry for hurting her. I meant it too. I did this with several of Ted's children, my nieces and nephews.
Ted was out getting a "Cat scan" and was not conscious. I stayed till about 2 am. I got to see my brother and he was not well. He did not regain consciousness in my presence. It was good to see him though and begin the healing process with my family.
Sunday morning I skipped church to be with my brother Ted, hoping to be there should he awake. I arrived about 10:30 am and stayed til 9pm. He did not regain consciousness. I talked with many members of my family. Now the bizarre. Ted's daughter Melissa who is 27, gave birth to her first child Sunday afternoon around 4pm. How strange is that!? To have a baby while your father is upstairs on his death bed! They had a girl, Paytyn Marie, 5lbs. 15 ounces!
Monday, after getting up in the afternoon, I headed back to the hospital hoping to have the opportunity to speak with Ted. No such luck, he did not wake up. Our older sister Chris had a c.d. with the song "Angel of the Morning" by Merrilee Rush on it. It was once Ted's favorite song. We played it for him a couple of times to see if we could get a response out of him. No luck. Of course, Chris and I tried to sing along, but it was difficult while we both were crying...
Today after work this morning I came home and drove my wife to the airport. She is flying to New Jersey to spend some time with her Aunt Adelaide. She will be gone for a week. I already miss her.
I then went to the hospital to check in on Ted. I spoke with one of the nurses. She is not optimistic about his recovery or awaking. His liver is shot. His veins in his throat are constantly bleeding and and are in shreds. He had a tumor in his liver that is cancerous and has most likely spread. He is not a candidate for a liver transplant. Even if he were to get a liver or half of one, (I offered) The chances for recovery are virtually non existent. The cancer and the veins in his throat are also killing him.
46 years old and battered. It is very sad. I shed many tears.
I hope some good can come from this tragedy. I hope people will learn to live their lives and take some time to "smell the Roses"! I hope some people will turn from their ways and realize they are hurting themselves and others, people that love and care for them.
I have so many emotions right now. Anger, sadness, love, pity, hurt...
Yes, I am angry at my brother for treating himself so poorly that he will be gone at age 46. We shared so many fun times that I am saddened that we will not get to any longer. Love in my heart for the times we had and shared. Pity because it is such a waste of a truly nice and wonderful man. He was a humorous person and truly loved others and was a forgiving, non-judgemental soul.
He had many wonderful qualities that I wish I possessed. It is ironic that each of us wishes we had what others have or were like someone else. Taller, thinner, wiser, brighter, curly hair, straight hair, whiter teeth etc. etc. etc...
I wonder why we cannot be satisfied with the wonderful uniqueness that God created in each of us.
Ted was unique, a character. Hard working and playful. Loving but lost. He had an addiction to alcohol. He is paying a terrible price for it. So are the ones that love him.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Raiders of the Lost Ark?!

Last Sunday we spent the day going through many of my father in laws left behind possesions. Many, many boxes and papers and.... Albert was a navigator during WWII and after the war he became a navigator for Northwest Airlines. He brought home many exotic things during his travels. Most during the 1960's.
This is just one of the things we found,
an old beat up suitcase, something right out of a good mystery novel! But wait... there's more, What treasures might be lurking within??? As we opened it up...
you can see inside several boxes to look into, Oh what fun!
Here is what we found..

Beautiful vases from the Orient!
Old Rubix spy cameras that fit in the palm of your hand,
Rubix cameras were made by Sugaya Optical Works in Japan. The cameras are better made than most of the post war Japanese subminiature production and shaped like a tiny Leica. Unlike the earlier Rubix 'Inexpensive' and Rubix 'Deluxe' the Rubix 16 is 16mm camera using film in cassettes (in pairs, one for the take up of the exposed film). It is not a "HIT" or 17.5mm camera but is part of the family of Rubix/Rubina cameras.

Old lighters and rings and more!
Do you see the Zeiss-Ikon folding cameras in the pictures?

Summertime Summertime

I will be prepared this year!
The past several years it has become extremely warm in my bedroom. It is a southwest facing room and the sun beats on it all day long pretty much... It gets very warm. I was worried about heat exhaustion and maybe not waking up from my slumber some afternoon. I found this on Craigslist!
It is an evaporative air cooler with 3 speeds and much more... I'm excited to enjoy a much more restful summer!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Magic Monday and Golf Tuesday

i performed last night at Monday Night Magic. I was one of four.. When my turn came to perform I jumped up and got right to it. I told a story about my father in law who was a navigator during WWII and how he traveled extensively after the war as a navigator for NW airlines. It all lead up to doing the Chinese sticks. I have a really nice set of Viking sticks. I had a little girl come up and pull down on one of the strings and of course the other one went up as it should. I then had a young boy come up and it didn't work. I asked him if he had a credit card, this got a laugh as he was about seven years old. I asked him if he had a frog hair... this elicited a laugh as well.. anyway, it was a good routine and got the audience involved. I jumped into the Five Mystic Rings with a mention of my Mentor Tom Frank. As I was showing the rings as apart again, of course the key ring and one single were linked. I got a bit flustered and made a joke about this being videoed so we'll just edit that part out. Amazingly, this received laughter as well and a comment about "that's what Blaine does!" This did however cause me to hurry through the routine. After viewing the video, I realize it was no big deal and should still have taken my time. People said I did a good job, but I wasn't sure if they were feeling sorry for me or if it was true...
Afterwards I spent some time with a couple of friends that were in attendance and wowed them with some card work (thanks Steve and Tom).. A young University student asked me to do a card trick for him. I did the Biddle trick and blew him out! SWEET!
My friends were duly impressed too, Larry said, That was awesome. He repeated himself. I then did Zingone 12 card mental problem for him, again he was floored. A young boy of 13 took up about an hour of my time with the crazy mans handcuffs, hot rod and amazing jumping arrow. I finally excused myself from him and joined Steve Amaden, Roger Needham and Leslie T at the downstairs bar for a mini session of sorts. I did "WOW" for Roger and he was impressed. It was a good night of magic!
Went to work afterwards, moved an airplane, (737)
In the morning after work I joined some friends for a morning round of 18 holes at Elk Run near my home. It was a splendid day. Nice sun shine, and Mount Rainier was evident. I shot an 86 and two long bomb putts that fell, one for a birdie and one to save my par.
Life is good, get out and enjoy yours!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

You're Right

Solomon said...
Hey Tim! You aught to post more often. I'm checking every day and there's not a whole lot of new stuff...
Yep, I haven't felt much like posting lately. Bummed out about several things... Petty things I know... being passed over as a SHARE speaker. Something about not getting something when you strive for it, put in a lot of time and effort, but someone thinks it just ain't you...
My younger brother Ted is not doing well, of course I'm not supposed to know anything about that. All my brothers and sisters have turned against me. Keeping me in the dark about his health and well being. Ironic, that I find out about his latest bout with his Cirrhosis of the liver from my son who is in the Marines in San Diego. He hears it from my nephew. I recently had contact with a cousin of mine and the email said that he heard about it from my sister Janet but that he is sworn to secrecy. Sounds like a bunch of petty, childish antics to me. We are all in our 40's and 50's and still acting like little tit for tat children!
Well, now you know why I haven't posted as of late.
On a happier note...
Saturday our son Ryan came home for a few hours and him and I took the boat out for a brief spin on the lake to make sure everything is in working order for the Summer season. The kicker motor needs work and the Big motor may too... ahhh, you know what boat stands for? Break Out Another Thousand... Here we go. He also had tickets to the Mariners game Saturday night so he treated me to the event. Mariners lost to the Yankees 7-2. We enjoyed one anothers company none the less. Thanks Ryan.
Golfed last Monday and Friday too, Today I will golf as well... My back is hurting still but not enough to keep me from the course.
Sold two sets of golf clubs recently. Hope they work well for their new owners.
Monday night magic was last night...
I performed the Chinese Sticks and the Legend of the Five Mystic Rings. I had a bit of trouble with the linking ring routine, so I just started over...
A couple of friends were there, Larry and Vicki Millspaugh. It was great to see them. After the show they hung around for a bit and I wowed them with a couple of card tricks. Specifically the Biddle trick and the Zingone 12 card mental problem. I kid showed up so I blew him away with the Hot Rod, Amazing Jumping Arrow and the Crazy Mans Hand Cuffs, I think I had more fun after the show than before.

My wife has been dealing with a lot lately as well. Her mother has been in and out of the hospital with various elderly problems. She is 87. We have been trying to get her home ready to sell and it has been a chore. Not just the moving and boxing, and cleaning part, but rather the emotional and dealing with brothers and sisters part. The dividing of family belongings and heirlooms and such.
Joan has been a major player in the transition of her mother out of her home and into assisted living care.
So, there you have it.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


My feelings are involved. My pride has been wounded. You think you are on the right path, in Gods will, and people get to decide that you are in or out. You spend three days in their training at a cost of about 800 dollars in lost work time and travel in traffic and gas money etc. Buying their books and then they reject your free willingness to give. It hurts in the heart and the mind. They tell you that during the class time you interrupted a lot. I thought it was an open forum type teaching class. I witnessed everyone speaking out. There were two men in the class, myself and a young fellow who NEVER spoke. He was there with his wife. (Ten women )It was kind of strange. All women. The training was done by 80% women as well. I am not against women teaching at all. I just felt a strong call that we need some men teaching about these "delicate" subjects as well. I have some training speaking in front of people. Having actually been in the Amway business and sponsoring over ten people. Going into strangers homes and speaking. Try that, it will get your adrenaline up. Doing several magic shows for family and friends and some others. Teaching/coaching sports for many years.
I think the people at SHARE are afraid of my strong outgoing personality. I don't blame them. They have been burned in the past. Besides, I can be blunt and abrasive, although I think I can also tone it down and teach as well. Going into the schools where Satan rules is tough work. Having to "tow the line" and watch what you say is scary business. In our state especially where the teaching is all about condoms and the morning after pill. The government and planned parenthood and the A C L U don't want someone coming on their turf and speaking the truth about STD's and how great abstinence is and can be. There is no money in it. People that aren't pregnant don't need abortions.
I was told that I should maybe get into the youth group at my church and spend time teaching some things in that arena to get better equipped for going into the classrooms of our nation. I said that I don't know if I am willing to do that. It is a time commitment that I feel that I don't have right now.
I honestly believe I would be good for SHARE and have some great things to impart to the children of our society. I believe some strong men need be speaking out for abstinence to our youth. If I was able to reach just one young man or boy... to keep them from getting a young teen pregnant. It would be worth it.
I don't know what I am going to do with this yet. Pray for sure. God isn't done with me yet.

Sunshine and Rain

Yesterday was a beautiful Spring day in the Pacific Northwest (The Sunshine)... In the 70's.
I went golfing at Elk Run near my home with some friends, Mike, John and Dan the fisherman ...
Dan and I walked the course and we each had really good front nine rounds. Dan was actually playing WAY over his head... It was great to see him golfing so well. He has been losing weight lately and I think it has helped his golf swing! My lovely wife joined us for the back nine walk... I started out great with back to back pars a bogey, bogey and two more pars before blowing up on the last three holes. Dan mentioned that I probably got tired. Well that was probably true. Having worked all night and then golfing and not taking a cart. I had been using a golf cart alot lately because my friend Mike had knee problems and he takes a cart, so I was joining him, but I think it has been detrimental to my stamina. My back is still sore and so it played a small part in my three hole blow up too... All in all it was a great day and fun and laughter was had by all.

I spoke with our son Eric the marine about three days ago and he informs me that my brother Ted's liver exploded (whatever that means) and he has about 45 days to live. (The rain)... That's about all I know as I have been outcast, cut off and dis owned by my siblings. It is a very sad thing to me. Ted was a great friend and brother to me. I am deeply hurt and saddened that I am "out of the loop." I think my pride is keeping me from delving back into the family matters. It is hard when you stretch out your hand or neck so to speak and it continually gets chopped off. Eventually you must get on with your own life and look after yours.
I have been so blessed in my life that I want those same things for others. It is difficult to stand by and watch people destroy their own lives when they have so much to live for and offer. These are the trying times in ones life when it is hard to know what to do or say. Damned if you do and damned if you don't.
I remember a post card I once gave to a boss of mine. It read:
1: The boss is always right.
2: If the boss is wrong. Read Rule #1.
I have tried to equate this in some way to my actions and concern for the members of my family.
1: I love you!
2: I would never knowingly do anything to harm or hurt you. All I do is always to benefit you in some way. If for any reason you do not see or understand it, see rule #1.
I think God is like this towards us. So often we do not see how, or why He is doing what He is doing. Or why "this thing" is happening to me. But we can be assured that He always loves us and only wants great things for us.

Saturday, May 05, 2007


"I believe we have two lives...
How, what do you mean by that?
The life we learn with and the life we live with after that!"

Recently watched "The Natural" again. That was a line from the movie. It struck me as a pretty true statement. How long it takes each of us to live that learning life varies. Hopefully not too long so you have plenty of time to enjoy the life you live after you learn some things.
Winston Churchill said something akin to this, it went something like this...
If you are not a liberal when you are young, you have no heart, and if you are not a conservative when you get older, you have no brains. Think about it!

Friday Night

Here I sit all broken hearted... just kiddin'
A little out of sorts this week with a bad, sore back. I did golf friday with pastor Bill and some work friends. We had a good time at Riverbend. I shot an 87 and pastor Bill broke 100! :)(I ain't tellin which side of a hundred...)
He also made a nice chip in birdie on hole #3 with his 8 iron! Sweet! I had just birdied #2 with a long 60 foot bomb of a putt! Sweet! I stuggled off and on with my aching back. Funny, but if I swing the club correctly, no pain. That'l teach me!
I am working this weekend and wish I wasn't. The money is good but I am getting to the age where "time" is becoming extremely valuable.
The rain is gettin' old, summer will be here soon and pass too quickly...
Ahhhhh, I must be gettin old... needin some sunshine.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

One week ago today

In answer to my friend Toms query:Feeling any better?

Yes I am... it is 3 am Tuesday, been a week since I slipped, and I think I am over the hump. I still ache a bit. It was as if someone had taken a baseball bat and slammmed me one good shot to the side. No broken bones, only muscle and fatty tissue bruised. Every now and then I am reminded that I hurt myself. I went jogging a bit today with the dog and all was good. But if I reach for something or bend incorrectly, it lets me know! I am planning on golfing this Thursday, guess that will let me know how my back is holding up.

How have you been? I read your blog and am enjoying your many adventures. I will be performing at next Monday night magic, May 14th... I kinda think I will do a two trick set in honor of....
My father in law, which means I will be presenting the Chinese sticks and in honor of you, my magical mentor, I will be performing the five mystic rings...