A time to share

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Session at Shawn's

Been wanting to go...
but it is a long way in the middle of he week... Excuses, excuses, finally I could resist no more, my friend Jose called me on the phone (no email)and invited me to join him, actually to car pool up to Everett to Shawn O'Donnells restaurant for a bit of a magic session. I have been wanting to see Shawn perform his rendition of the cut and restored rope for a couple of years now. I met Shawn briefly about 3 years ago when Daryl came to town to give his magic lecture. I overheard Shawn talking of it... I recently have been learning the routine, it was sweet to see Shawn perform it, you can tell when a magic performer loves his effect, Shawn definitely loves the cut and restored rope, it was smoooth.
Shawn also performed his cups and balls routine, it was very nice as well, Shawn used the Johnson cups, a wonderful set of brass cups and balls, again you can tell he loves his cups and balls routine. You can tell by the small smile playing across his lips and visage...

Professor Gizmo was in attendance as well, I haven't seen Gary in about a year? I drove up to his place last year in the snow, a long scary drive... At that time we exchanged some ideas, some videos, made some trades and I wanted to pick his brain about the Anniversary Waltz. Nice to see him, I love his sponge ball routine and of course he always has some great "new" gadget or effect he is working on. A real silver dollar! Hmmm...
Jose performed his Sam the Bellhop routine twice, it is coming along nicely. It was great to see it performed live, what a difference it is to see these things live and in person. Jose has a sweet disposition that makes you want to watch him perform because he has a child likeness about him that is infectious.
I performed the Linking rings for everyone, it went real well... Shawn told me I should definitely put that in my act. There was a "new" guy there, Named Bennett, His eyes popped and I heard a slightly audible gasp at the silent ring penetration. Now that's what I'm talking about! YEAH! I did a few card tricks for the "new" guy. In order to teach him the Elmsley count I did a few effects that use the sleight, for example, Twisting the aces, and Jumping Gemini. Jumping Gemini is a mind slayer. It went superb, I amazed myself! When that happens, you know it slayed them! Four cards and a ton of magic!
A fellow name Greg Fleehart (www.gregfleehart.com)was there tonight, I have met him once before at one of Jose's sessions. He has a lot of quality magic to share. Nice work helping Bennett on some double lifts. Greg must know about four or five good double lifts, that tells me he is a student of the craft! He also wanted to know everyones favorite force. He showed us his latest and greatest, I don't remember what it is called but it is a Mark Mason classic type force and it is really sweet!
The evening at Shawn's ended about 10 pm as I had to go to work, which I am proud to say... I was a bit late for!


Saturday, November 24, 2007

Weekend warrior...

Friday morning I got off work and took a golf spin around Riverbend golf course.
There seems to always be this fivesome of old retired guys there. Normally we would let them get out ahead of you because they golf so fast that it is uncomfortable if they are behind you pushing you. I golfed by myself so jumped out in front of them. I ran much of the course. I finished maybe 3 and a half holes ahead or them. They don't hole out hteir putts and play a naice round of ready golf.
I shot an 86 in the mud and slop. Had a good time. I reflected alot about my brother Ted and his passing. Missing him but keeping him alive in my mind. Never to golf with him again saddens me.
Thursday, Thnaksgiving! Always a great feast
and time together. We had Ryan spend the night Wednesday and drove up to Jim and Ellens' for the day!
Ryan is sporting a "No Shave November" beard! He says it is bothersome however. Haha!
David and his fiance, Heidi were there and we enjoyed a nice get together and great food! They will be married December 29th.
Jim and Ellen have been in the process of a major remodel for about a year now! The house is looking really nice and about 95% complete!
Friday morning I met My friend Mike, and we went golfing at Trophy Lake near Bremerton, we had a couple hour frost delay, they started us out in a shot gun type format to accommodate everyone. We started on hole number three. It was a beautiful winter day! Brisk but sunny, very little wind. Mike and I played an extra seven holes because we finished on hole number two so just kept going to finish on number nine! I don't know what I shot because Mike never told me, I think it was anywhere from 93 -96?
Mike paid for my round for some reason. I asked him later why he did that? and he told me that I drove and am always fixing or repairing clubs for him. I thanked him and we move on. That is the kind of relationship Mike and I have. A kind of, everything works out in the end thing.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


Man, I hate it when sleep eludes me, the bane of working the shift I work.
Saturday is upon us and I have planned a lot for this day, Smoking another load of Salmon. Since I couldn't sleep, I got up and took the fish I had brining overnight out of the brine, rinsed it off and began the process.
Waiting for about an hour for a nice "glaze" to form on the fish before actually smoking it.
I placed some ads on Craigslist for Saturday to sell some golf clubs. I have several sets in the garage that I built that need to go. I can use the money for some magical apparatus I want to purchase. I placed some home made signs about the neighborhood as to the golf club sale. Hopefully will get a good turn out and some people will want to give golf clubs to people for Christmas gifts!

Also, am looking forward to cleaning out the white land yacht and transferring the contents to the new mini land yacht!
Should be a fun and full day!

Friday the great

Got off work, slept a few hours, too many, now I cannot sleep tonight, so here I am blogging...
Joan and I purchase a 1996 Chevy Tahoe. It was work associates wife's vehicle. It is a nice ride and was taken good care of. Leather interior, power everything etc. It will be a nice ride to take Katie skiing up at the pass and to tow our Small 16 foot fishing boat.
After picking up the new ride we headed to The Olive Garden for dinner. I had a gift certificate given to me for a performance at a friends birthday party last month. I haven't eaten at The Olive Garden in about 5-6 years. We went there as a group with one of Eric's all-star teams. At that time I wasn't impressed with the restaurant, so haven't been back. This time however we had a much better experience. The food was plentiful and good. The never ending soup bowl was part of our meal. They let you have as much soup as you want, they have three different soups. If you were so inclined you could order a nice meal, eat all the soup you wanted which would fill you up easily and then take you main course home for a later meal. We didn't do that, but it was an option.
It was a good day!

Friday, November 16, 2007

No Pain....

Weighed myself last week...
Scale showed 198 pounds....
course 6 of those pounds were because of clothing, shoes and all the "stuff" I carry in my pockets... (At least that's what I tell myself!)
I never had a weight problem in the past because I was always playing basketball in men's leagues and baseball as well, coaching our children kept me busy too, but my knees won't allow me to play hoops anymore. Maybe if I lose twenty pounds they will!?
So, I decided it is time to start using the weight set and recumbent bike we have...
Osmosis wasn't getting it done.
Started lifting weights on Monday. Riding the recumbent bike every other day.
I decided to start easy with not much weight and build tone and stamina first. Normally I get started and before I know it, I have hurt myself because I am trying to "get there" too fast. That's the problem with us "A" types. Impatience.
So, I am trying to get a slow burn going and hopefully it will last much longer with better results.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Magic Trunk

While at the David Ginn lecture, I met many clowns and a few magicians too. The clowns have an "Alley." I guess this is akin to a magic circle. Anyway, I was invited to attend one of their monthly get togethers. It was last night! We were going to go over balloon tying techniques and balloon animals. The meeting started at 6pm but because of traffic, I got there about 6:20. Seemed like most were a bit late. I didn't get any work done on balloon animal tying. Before I knew it it was 7pm and a magician was there to perform. I was excited to see what he had.
His name was Cary Durgin of BuddandDurgin.com. He opened with some nice rubber band magic, the crazy man's hand cuffs and broken and restored rubber band. Too me it was funny that he opened with the crazy man's hand cuffs because before he arrived, I was doing that very trick for some of the clowns. Weird... He went into a torn and restored card, ambitious card routine, did some sponge balls and a new trick called Wow! He did the hopping half and more. He had good chops and presence. It was nice to watch him and he was enjoyable.
I was asked after he left, how he did some things... but I wouldn't tell.
I was planning on teaching the crazy man's hand cuffs to the attendees anyway. There were about 16 people in attendance, seemed like a good turn out to me. I thought it would be a good trick for clowns to have in their repertoire as they usually must perform while standing and moving about!
A clown whose name is Sally was there and before the meeting asked me if I was a magician. I said, yes and she opened the trunk to her car and showed me a nice magicians case. She said it was given to her and asked if I might want it. Not wanting to offend her having just met her, I said certainly!
We took it inside and it was FULL of magic stuff. Old trinket magic stuff, plastic stuff, hankys, wow, all kinds of stuff.Broken stuff and stuff missing pieces, I recognized some of it, old plastic cups and balls. Linking rings and more... I recommended we open it up to everyone and anyone wanting stuff. It got pretty picked over. I ended up taking the case and all that was left. I'll go thru it and give most away. The case? Well, it will be a nice place to store my magical apparatus that I have at home for the time being!
It was hard to go through all the stuff in the case, going thru someones life and treasures, having to throw most all of it away... is that what life comes down too? I wish I would have had the opportunity to meet the owner of the case and magical stuff inside, to hear him tell his story and watch him work, ahh, I'm getting old myself! If that old trunk could talk!
Thanks Sally, that was nice of you!
Everyone had a good time, and I think I made some new friends!

Monday, November 12, 2007


Friday night I thawed a load of frozen salmon, mostly humpy or Pink Salmon for smoking on the smoker. yes, it's that time of year when I put it into gear and smoke about 50 pounds of salmon, providing we caught that much this season, and we did!
Smoking salmon is a two step process, brining the fish and smoking it.
May seem like it would be a simple process but actually it is much involved, from the cutting of the fillets to the mixing of the brine and brining the fish to washing the brine off of the fish and finally letting the fish "stand" for an hour or two before smoking, it is a long process.Usually about 16 hours.
Normally I use a "wet" brine consisting of 4 cups water, 4 cups brown sugar, 4 TBLS. Molasses, 1/2 tsp. liquid smoke, 3-4 garlic cloves minced, and a cup of non-iodized salt. This has been my brine that everyone seems to love. A friend of mine gave us some of his smoked salmon recently and the family loved it. So I asked him for his recipe, he laughed and said it is on salmonuniversity.com.
It is a dry brine. Meaning you don't add water. I have tried this method twice in the past and not had good success. The one I used required that you peel off the skin of the salmon BEFORE brining. This is a difficult, tedious process. The fish didn't turn out like his which was extremely good. So I went back to my old standby that has served me well for the last 15 years.
The dry brine I used this time did not require peeling the skin from the fillets. It was rather simple. In a plastic bowl mix four cups brown sugar, one cup non-iodized salt and about 7-8 garlic cloves minced. Place the fish in the bowl skin side down, add the mixture over the meat, then more salmon, layering it meat to meat, skin to skin as you generously add the dry brine in between the layers. The brine absorbs the moisture from the fish and turns into a wet pasty mixture. Let sit for about 6-7 hours. I left mine in over night. Rinse it off and pat dry, then let stand and smoke. Also, I used a pan of Alder chips followed by apple chips for the smoke. Normally I use Hickory to give it a bit more twang.

I love giving it away during the holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

In My In Box

Tim, Do you benefit when I tell you personal stories? It’s time to share another one with you. When I was in college at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, my night job was performing card magic at the Magical Empire. I’d show up in a toga and entertain VIP guests and high rollers for five to ten minutes at a time, while they drank expensive cocktails in the beautiful atrium of the now defunct, glorious structure in Caesar’s Palace. As I look back, this was one of the most creative periods of my life. Over time, I have come to figure out what sparked the creativity. No, it wasn’t the toga. I developed so much sleight of hand back then, because I had a stable outlet to perform and experiment. As I mentioned in the last letter, you can only learn so much about magic in your room. You see how to execute sleights, and you can learn something about making your technique invisible from all angles. But that information, while essential, constitutes only the first skill you need to master to become a magician. Here is a partial list of other requisites needed to transform yourself into a competent magician: -How to approach, and encourage people on the idea of seeing you perform in the first place. -Learn why some magic techniques, maybe your favorites, arouse an audience’s suspicion. Though they look good in the mirror, they should be put away forever. -Talk with people, and listen to what effects they like. -How to be yourself. Have you mastered all of the above items? If you are one of the many who just perform at home, for members of your family, but now have decided to become a more competent magician - you have some work to do. When you find somewhere you can perform a few times a day, for people you don’t know, you’ll find yourself passing through the doorway to your own creative period. You’ll love your new creative identity. Moreover, your ideas won’t just be for novelty’s sake – rather, you learn what works for you and what doesn’t, by the only real method - experience. Then, your ideas will answer questions, and your solutions will solve real problems. Just something for you to think about. Remember that throughout the day, you have plenty of chances to perform for others. Take any opportunity to perform magic for someone in the next week or two. Cheers,Lee Asher Ps. now it's your turn to share with me Tim. Email me about your performance encounter(s), good or bad, and we'll discuss it. Speak with you soon.

My Reply to Lee:

I do benefit from your stories.
Personally, I think it very important to perform as often as possible for others beside family and friends.
Most of the stuff I do is for work associates.
I am fortunate to have lots of hours at work to practice and watch dvd's. (I am on an on call type basis) I can bring in my video recorder and use it as well.
Part of the challenge for me is that I have a full time job, a family and that I am 48 and got into magic at age 44.
These may all just be excuses, but I think that people who start into magic as younguns and develop into maturity in their teens have many advantages. They do not fear as much. It is like trying to learn to ski or ride a bike at age 5 and growing into it, or trying to learn at age 40 plus. I don't know, maybe these are all self imposed limitations.
Trying to find your own niche is a challenge as well. Where does it end? Rope magic, card magic, coin magic, mentalism, balls, thimbles, rings, and on and on...
Easy to not get a focus.

I have been "cramming" in magic for four years. I met you in Seattle when you brought Michael Ammar to lecture at Seattle Magic (now gone).
I was fortunate to be able to spend every Tuesday night at Tom Franks home for a year and a half. To me this is a critical piece to the puzzle of why some people move forward in their endeavors and others do not.
An example from my life will illustrate this point.
I was about thirty and at work when a fellow approached me selling a book, tape and a harmonica for a fun raiser. I surprised him by agreeing to purchase the set. But more than that, he invited me to join him during breaks and lunch to practice. He had been playing himself for about a week or two at most so he wasn't that far advanced than I, harmonically speaking. It soon became a healthy competition between each of us, pushing each other to become better.
I think that many young magicians find someone to do this in their lives. I have read so many stories of guys like you and Tom Frank (My mentor) etc. that this must be a key ingredient to your success.
So, now I am trying to find gigs, recently performing at a senior center, our church, and two birthday parties. Generally I don't perform "card" magic at these venues as cards aren't easily seen from a stage. However, after or before the gig, card tricks are great!
Trying to become well rounded in the magical arts.
One more thing, I would love to mentor someone or a bunch of someone's. So many have given to me magically, I want to give back. That would also force me to perform and be diligent and to be "perfect" in teaching others.
So, I love this journey, and I thank you and others for your hard work and love for the art as well.
In Magic,
Tim Flynn

Monday, November 05, 2007

Work & Magic

I had to work the weekend, actually I choose too, hard to turn down time and a half and double time once every three weekends...
I got up early Sunday morning and drove to Lakewood to be a part of the David Ginn Christmas Magic Workshop.
I have read a couple of David's publications and wanted to meet him. He is considered one of magics foremost children entertainers. For about forty years David has performed and taught his brand of magic.
Christmas is a special time of year to perform magic and takes special props and routines for a magician.
I really don't have any Christmas magic so wanted to see if there was something for me at the workshop.
The workshop was about 6 1/2 hours long and jam packed with information. Also appearing was a magician from Canada named Steve Harmer. They did a great job performing and explaining things. I am looking forward to getting the dvd. I couldn't remember everything.
They had a ton of props for sale too. Wish I had a bunch of money because there were some great bargains.
The workshop was well attended, I think there were about 40-50 participants. I think most people there were clowns, although none were dressed as such. Many clowns perform magic as well.
One of my favorite effects was performed by Steve Harmer, it was his six bill repeat with a great story line about getting vs. giving at Christmas.
David Ginn is quite an entertainer. I don't know if my personality lends itself to entertaining children very well. I don't know if I can act goofy enough?

Oh well, I got a ton on my plate as it is....
They sold out of most everything they brought.
It was a good workshop.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

In My in box

To: Ryan Flynn

hey bro whats up? your last email made me laugh man, the whole time i was reading it. that was great. i remember some of those times. great times. what did you do for halloween this year? honestly (i dont mean to sound depressing) but it was really just another day here. it was kinda funny because a few places had halloween decorations up. like the chow hall had carved watermelons instead of pumpkins (there arent any out here). i went up to get chow yesterday and i see this red seedy slush on the ground. im wondering to myself what it is when i look up a few feet and see watermelons carved with all kinds of different faces. it was funny, i guess you make do with what you have at hand out here. it was funny to talk to some of the guys i know here. id be like "hey happy halloween" and usually they were just like "what?... OH YEAH ITS HALLOWEEN!"

anyways, how is everything else back home? i heard you and myoko are in love (katie's words, actually i think mom's according to katie, so who knows). well regardless, its good to hear you two are doing (very) well. she seemed like a real nice girl when i met her, i dunno if i spelled her name right though. so what else is new? anything exciting goin on? everything here is pretty normal. i talked to some navy seals the other day, though, and they are really excited about working with a dog. i think in a couple weeks im gonna start doing missions with them so i know that will be crazy and cool. they have a little more freedom here and they dont get so much attention when "things" happen on their missions. i dont know exactly what to expect, but i do know a couple guys that have worked with them in the past and they say things move pretty fast, ill have to learn a lot, quick.

well, thats really all thats happening here. still just going to the gym everyday and trying to eat as much as possible. ive gained some weight out here (i think im at like 175 now whereas when you saw me last i was 165). its hard sometimes but im pretty consistent. i hope you are doing well. let EVERYONE know i said hi and happy late halloween lol. i love you bro.




It's Wednesday morning, October 31st, Halloween, 2007. I was thinking back to some of the fun times we had on different Halloweens. I remember dad taking us around to those neighborhoods by the golf course, Glacier Park, Eastwood Forest, anywhere the houses were spaced within five feet of each other, maximizing the houses that could be hit while minimizing time and effort; a development with few hills was also a valuable find. We were some of the last kids out.One Halloween, I recall us running from house to house in the pouring down rain until 9:30 or so. Our pillow cases were weighing us down, full of candy and sopping wet! Finally, we'd get home, throw open the mouth of our cases, and dump all of our candy out on the living room floor, careful not to mix piles. The hard-earned spoils of that year's Halloween. Then we'd begin the task of organizing each acndy by type; chocolates in one pile, taffy in another, Skittles and Starburst in their own, and lastly, a separate pile for the king size bars if we were lucky enough to score any. We'd methodically organize until mom pulled us away and sending us to our rooms. She thought we were going to bed, but it was always tough to sleep after a night like that.

My candy would undoubtedly be gone first. I would fill my lunch bag with candy for the following few weeks, sneak into my room to take a piece or two, take some more after dinner, and sure enough, two weeks out all of my candy would be gone. If not gone entirely, it was effectively gone as I'd be left faking excitement over my 20 remaining packs of m&m's and 15 "party size" plain Hershey's bars. In contrast, it felt like your stockpile went on forever, some years past your birthday. If I remember right, there were even times when you never finished it, donating your leftovers to the candy bowl in the third drawer down in the kitchen cupboards. This killed me! How you held off for so long, I never knew.

I hope you're doing well, brother. This e-mail is to the many great memories that we've shared. I am thinking about you constantly and miss our conversations. I hope to be hearing from you soon.

With love,


My reply:
Thanks Ryan for sharing this.
Good to know you have great memories of bygone times. I did kinda crack the whip on you guys didn't I.
I remember teaching you boys to cut across the lawns rather than to keep coming down the walkway to the sidewalk to maximize time, energy and distance. Gotta get all the candy you can when the gettin is good. :)
We had some great times trick or treatin, Man it was cold some nights though. But all the frozen ears, wet umbrellas, hot chocolate and tired sore feet were worth the effort and memories. Trick or treating with Nick Halford, and I think once or twice we went with Michael your cousin. Do you remember trick or treating in the old neighborhood before we moved to Maple Valley? Going with your cousins from Ted's and John's family? I remember times when you were real little that you were impatient waiting for Eric cuz he was not as fast as you.
On a larger scale, I hope you and Eric and Katie have fond memories of Thanksgiving and Christmas and fourth o July's!
I sure do. Soon you will be making new memories of these 'holidays.' Perhaps with a family of your own, hopefully we will all be a wonderful part of that too.
We love you both so much.
Thanks for the memories,

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Long Halloween day...

Well, after work yesterday morning, or is it still this morning, my days often run together...
I headed to Seattle to take my hands on crane operators test. A test I feel is sadly lacking in purpose. We would never operate a crane in the conditions they use for the test.
Anyway, I drove the crane for a bit and the instructor gave me a few pointers which I needed and I barely passed the test. I'm good to go for two more years, scary isn't it?!?

We stayed home this year and handed out candy, actually I slept til 6:30 pm and my daughter handed out candy. She had a friend over and I think we got like ten trick or treaters.
Pumpkins carved by Katie

and Joan