A time to share

Monday, December 31, 2007

Are You Kidding Me!

Unbelievable weather in the great Pacific Northwest!
My friend Mike called me yesterday and invited me golfing at Druidsglen Golf course in Kent.
I said I would join him. The day was beautiful, the golf was fun and it was a glorious winter day! The last day of 2007, hopefully it is reminiscent of the coming year!

This is the view today from behind the ninth green!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Winter Wedding!

Yesterday, December 29th, David Dowling and Heidi Helgeson wed.The wedding took place at Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church in Seattle. The ceremony was attended by somewhere around two hundred guests, maybe more. It was a very nice ceremony.
David is my nephew on my wife's side. Her sister is David's mother! David is 25 years old and a graduate of the University of Washington where he was a pitcher for them for several years. Dave and Heidi met while attending college together!
The Helgeson family is very musical and a lot of singing was enjoyed by all. A special moment in the ceremony was when the pastor invited anyone who would like to, to come up and sing a special song for the newly weds... Needless to say, about 40 of Heidi's family joined them at the alter. The singing was good and Heidi was greatly moved!
The happy couple exited the church under a double row of sparklers, just as David's older brother Brian and his wife Misti had done at their wedding earlier in the year!
A wonderful reception was held on the MV Skansonia Ferry Boat which is docked on Lake Union. It was a grand affair!
No host bar, disc jockey and awesome food! Salmon, Prime rib, salads and the works. A wonderful wedding cake of many flavors.
My family left about 11 pm. The younger generation??? Might still be going strong!:)


Friday, December 28, 2007

Wonderful Day In The Neighborhood

Thursday was a good day!
Got a call from my friend Dave Whitehead and he said we could replace the brake pads on the front wheels of our Tahoe on Friday, he called back a bit later and asked if today would work around noon? Not wanting to look a gift horse in the mouth... I accepted, then he said, "my wife says you have to bring some magic!" I heard her laughing in the background thru the phone...
I arrived at Dave's and we took care of the brakes, Dave showing me how to do it and I did the second one, all went well. Then into the warm house we went, the boys, Trevor and Trenton excited because Dave's mom "Carrot" had arrived from Port Townsend bearing gifts of many kinds for them!
Soon I was performing card tricks, amazing Dave's wife Ronda, she really doesn't like magic because it frustrates her, Dave has mentioned this to me on several occasions. But Ronda was trooper and had fun being baffled along with the rest of the small gathering.
I ended the magic fest with the egg bag. I used Trenton in the magical mystery and his mouth turned into a great big "O" of surprise when his hand reached into the bag on the third try and found the egg! Now that's what I'm talking about!
I got home around two thirty, Joan was alone as Katie was at a friends, going to spend the night! She and Katie had been out getting their nails done. A good time for the two of them. We are going to a wedding this Saturday, so it was really nice to have them done.
My wife and I chose to go to a movie. We headed to Auburn and watched "The Great Debaters." Starring Denzel Washington and Forrest Whitaker. The movie was really good. A true story of a group of black students and their teacher from an all black college in Texas, in 1935. The debater's from Wiley college broke thru the race barrier of the time by becoming an elite debate team. (Denzel Washington,Jurnee Smollet,Nate Parker, & Denzel Whitaker, yes, Forrest's son) They were so good that they finally were able to debate at some white, er, Anglo Saxon colleges. They eventually took on Harvard and beat them. The movie is a bit hard to watch because of the "race" tensions, but it is one of those movies that needs to be watched. Kind of like Schindlers list. If we don't learn from the past, we are going to repeat it.
One thing is clear from the beginning of "The Great Debaters." Denzel Washington, who directed as well as stars in the film, knew that for it to inspire, motivate, educate, shame and grip, first of all it had to entertain. So he turns the tale of how tiny black Wiley College, of Marshall, Tex., out-argued the white national debate champion in 1935 into a stunner, almost a jubilee of emotion and suspense by the old standards of Hollywood melodrama.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Skiing again...

Katie's second snow boarding lesson was today!
She is a fast learner!
Funny how things that at first seem to be a negative, often turn into a positive blessing.
We left home at about 10:30, trying to get to Snoqulamie by 12 noon, her lesson was scheduled for 12:30. traffic was heavy and a normally 45 minute drive took over two hours, we were late for her lesson and by the time we rented her equipment... well, they decided to let her go into a class at 3pm. My season pass isn't valid til 4pm... the lady named Jen comped me a ticket so Katie and I could ski/snowboard til her class. That was the 1st blessing, the 2nd was that Katie was the only student in her class. That meant basically that she had a private lesson fro two hours!
After her lesson we took a much needed break for dinner and then we made a couple more "runs" and headed home. A Great Day together on the slopes!

Amazing Christmas!

The celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ has never been this amazing for me!
The day was wonderful with a smattering of snow so we could literally sing, I'm dreaming of a white Christmas... the snow didn't stick but it was pretty cool anyway!
Son Ryan spent several days with us and that was a special treat, he has grown into a fine young man. Wow, he is really on a great path! He works, takes care of himself and is a strong Christian leader in his church.
He joined us for candle light services at our church Christmas eve. Everyone was excited to see him, many people he hasn't seen in over five years. It was a nice reunion for him.
The service was good too, all about letting your light shine and lighting someone else's, the more "little" lights we light, the brighter will be the light of Christ in the world!
I got an ipod for Christmas, totally unexpected. I suppose I will have to join the millions of people on itunes now!? The sound is amazing! I also received a special gift from our dog Cub! (Actually Katie) a nice pair of silk boxer shorts that say "Stud muffin" on them, you see, I often call Cub, our dog, Stud Muffin! Kids are great, aren't they!!!
Joan's family joined us for Christmas dinner! Her mom, we wheeled in in a wheel chair, hauling her up the stairs, chair and all! Two of her sisters joined us and one of their husbands... We enjoyed ham and potatoes, and beans and jello. Not to mention a fun time just being together.
I received an amazing (to me) phone call Christmas evening. a call from my brother John, yep, blew me away!
It was a nice call and really showed to me the healing power of Jesus, On Christ's birthday celebration. It was a nice 1st step toward healing some wounds! I know it took a lot of guts for John to call, we talked for maybe 15 minutes and ended on a positive note! Right on!
Not long after that we got a long distance call from Iraq! Yep, Eric was calling at 4:30 in the morning his time! He somehow was awake and on the 8th deck of Haditha dam and on a SAT phone! He talked as long as he could but the phone went dead while talking with his mom. Still it was a great moment on Christ's birthday!
Christmas time is a time for families to enjoy time together, one of the greates blessing this year was the time Katie got to spend with her "big" brother Ryan!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Thursday in the Snow!

Had plans to ski on Thursday with Katie and Ryan.
The day before I had tranny trouble on the "new" Tahoe. Seemed to run better after adding some needed tranny fluid, but I wanted to be sure so I did some research at Schucks. The tranny dipstick had good readings of fluid so I figured I'd give her a go. Katie bailed out on skiing as she was a bit too sore from the day before! Can't blame her, so I met Ryan in North Bend and we headed up to the Pass. There was a 45-60 minute delay because it was snowing pretty hard and some cars got stuck in the lanes clogging them so they had to be removed before traffic could continue, But we got skiing about 5:30 and had an excellent time. The new snow was great. Usually the powder up at Snoqualmie is wet and heavy and doesn't act like the powder you see in all the ski video's. But this night was very nice. Clear skies, 3/4 moon, and new snow! It was nice to relax while skiing, relax? Yep, we only really had one decent run so we just sort of decided to enjoy the snow, the company, Gods great outdoors and work on some fundamentals.
A beautiful night!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Wintertime fun

Got outta bed early yesterday, about 12 noon, I know someone reading this might be wondering...??? That's early? Yep about three hours early.
My daughter had a half day and is now outta school til the New Year!
So I took her up to the mountain and she snow boarded for the first time!!! We had some car trouble on the way up to the pass, thinking it is a transmission low on fluid. We made it to the pass, I bought some tranny fluid and we skied(Me) and boarded til about 7pm. The drive home was uneventful.
It was Katie's first time up and she did awesome, it was a real pleasure to watch her start from scratch and in few hours, she was cruising down the slope pretty good. She is a little sore but has a great time!
Me on the other hand... well, I am getting old and outta shape. I am glad i was with her because it allowed me an opportunity to take it easy. I only developed a mild burn in my quads!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Days Fly by...

Where do they go in such a blur???
Just yesterday I was a young man, no aches, no pains... What? Been about a month since I started working out. Finally feeling like my body is ready to actually put it in gear and really start working out... We'll see!? HAha..
Skiing tomorrow, or shall I say, taking my daughter to the pass and she begins some skiing or snow boarding lessons. I will not be dong much skiing yet...
It should be an interesting and fun time with her.
Lots of snow had been falling the last several days!
Last night we met at Lighthouse diving in Lynnwood for a magic session hosted by the owner of the establishment, Harry Truitt. His son Adam is 15 and a budding magician, heck he's pretty darn good! He recently won a couple of teen magician awards for his Cups and Balls! Sweet. I met Adam and his Father about a year and a half ago. He has been really putting in some time to improve his magic. I envy him being so young and on his magical journey. He was ab it nervous and rushed his performance.
Joining us were Leslie Thyagarajan, Nash Fung, Bennett Haselton and Jose Floresca.
We did a bit of work on the cups and balls after Adam performed for us, going over some moves and nuances etc. Jose and I performed the Linking ring routine by Jack Miller. Jose has been "cramming" for this. I love it! reminds me of myself when I first started working on it. He did a great job too.
Nash has some great card moves, always a joy and he is growing in his "stage" presence as well, He is actually quite funny! He did a stand up presentation involving three magazines and the spectator chooses one and another spectator chooses one and he does a mind reading type effect.
I did a few card effects involving packet tricks as I want to keep them dusted off, Jazz aces with a twist, Marked for life, Sympathetic cards, Sympathetic cards is one I really enjoy, it has the feel of the cups and balls to me. Why? Because it has a beginning, a middle and and end with a great kicker! I performed a medley of four ace effects involving Dunbury Aces, Doc Daley's last trick, Twisting The Aces and finishing it with Jumping Gemini. A lot going on with four Aces.
I have been working on the idea of routining in magic. Getting and keeping a flow, a nice transition from one effect to the next. These four Ace effects transition very nicely.
Dunbury Aces is used to produce the aces while keeping the spectator engaged in a pick a card mystery, you find their selected card and at the same time the four aces are produced, it is a little fun because they are not even aware that you have just set up the nest two effects. That dove tails nicely into the Doc Daley's last trick which I perform twice as people expect you to not do the same trick twice, since the four aces are lying on the table face up, I go into Twisting the Aces, leaving the spectator with his mouth wide open, and to finish them off, I hit them really hard with Jumping Gemini.
The session ended just before ten as I had to leave for work.
It is nice on many levels, not only to perform and practice, but I think the fellow shipping of magicians help to keep you fired up to keep on keepin on!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Daily Double!

Yep, that's right! I left home about 4:15, stopped for gas, and headed to Olympia Wash. Our states capital to perform magic at Hope Community church. It was Wednesday night, there AWANA program(Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed, from 2 Timothy 2:15.
Awana blends Bible teaching, evangelism, Scripture memorization and tons of fun. I was part of that fun for about 150 people, both young and old were amazed, thrilled and down right entertained by yours truly!
Ooh's and Ahh's were heard all night as I performed the Chinese Sticks, Acrobatic Knot, Vanishing Bandanna, and the Cups and Balls! Each performance was to a packed room of about 75 to a hundred. I don't know why, but I wasn't very nervous. Must be all that practicing paying off.
At the end of the first performance I asked the hostess how much time we had left, she said, "we have till 7:10." It was 6:55. I asked the audience if they would like to see one more mystery! A resounding "YES!" was their response, so I went into the outer room and returned with my grandfathers bag trick! ;) It was excellent!
The second "show" went even better, I don't know if it was because I was warmed up or the people were warmed up because of the fun activity they had just come from or perhaps the laughter and murmurings of the group just leaving the room from my show, but it was definitely an octave above the first!
I simply included the Grandfathers bag trick in the set instead of adding it at the end.
That Vanishing Bandanna must be hilarious, cuz the people just laugh uproariously every time!
It is the first time I've had someone come up to me and ask if they could have their picture taken with me! How cool is that!?
The Pastor of the church spoke with me and said, " I heard you just beginning to do these shows, how many have you done?" I replied, Oh, maybe about five or six." He said, "could a fooled me." Which by the way, I most certainly did. :)
Thanks to all the people who responded to my email query about putting together a set.
I am glad I brought extra props, like the Egg Bag and I also brought the linking rings just in case, along with a deck of cards.
Cub Scout Motto: Always Be Prepared!
I got hung up in traffic on my way there, I thought I left plenty early. I wanted to arrive about an hour early to set up, check the sound system to see if my C.D. for the Vanishing Bandanna would work in their sound system.(I brought along a portable c.d. player and extension cord just in case)...
I haven't replaced my cell phone from last August when it took a swim in Puget Sound. My contact lady(Janelle) at the church evidently called my home at about 6pm to see where I was. I arrived five minutes later. It dawns on me how important I(you) are to someone Else's plans. I was booked for a certain time frame and they built their plans around that. It is an awesome responsibility. They were in a bit of disarray because of the flooding to the room I was going to be in, Janelle had emailed me asking if I was flexible? Absolutely was my reply. All they need is for you to be inflexible when they are dealing with 150 plus other people and logistical challenges. It was a great evening for everyone! IMHO.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A True Man of God...

The Rev. Gerald J. Marvel, the motorcycle-riding retired pastor of the First Church of God in Vancouver, died of heart failure Friday in a Vancouver hospital. He was 71.

What a blessing it was to have The Rev. Gerald J. Marvel pastor our church on an interim basis in 2006!
Gerald was 70 years old when he filled in after our pastor of twenty years retired. I was amazed the first time I saw him shuffle his way up onto our stage. I was truly worried he might actually fall down as he navigated the two or three steps.
But OH MY! When he began to preach it was as if John the Baptist was re incarnated in this frail human body.
It was a pure joy to get to meet this fine "young" man of seventy!
He was described to me as "the Billy Graham of the Church of God family."
He truly was. An amazing man, he was a car buff and motorcycle enthusiast who rode in the sidecar of his father's motorcycle, Marvel worked his way from less impressive cycles, like his first Honda Rebel 450, to what he called his 'real hawg,' his beloved Harley Sportster 883." Sometimes, such as during the church's Singing Christmas Tree program, Marvel also brought his Harley, revving it up as part of the show's finale!
I did a magic show on Memorial Day weekend, May. 28th 2006. Pastor Marvel wanted to attend, he was at the picnic, but by the time I came back from the store with some needed props, his wife Lorena had drug him kicking and screaming back to their temporary home for some needed rest.
I had the privilege and honor of hosting Gerald and Lorena, his wife of 50 years,in my home a week later and enjoyed giving them a private magic show of their own.Gerald was one of those rare individuals who always remained a child at heart. His eyes would light up and his face would glow when I did magic for him, or when he talked of the things he loved, like his Harley or God!
He could get fired up too, he didn't pull no punches when it came to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. No milquetoast he. There was none of this beating around the bush or political correct speech in Gerald. I loved him for who he was.
I have been eternally blessed by these people.
God took home one of his best last Friday.
Gerald is now at home!

I sent out an email...

I am having tooo much fun getting ready for a gig coming up on the 12th,
I will be performing twice for a church group of people ranging in age from toddler to 6th graders, and their parents...
The time frame for each performance is 25-30 minutes.
I am trying to put together a nice "set".
here is what I am thinking of doing:
Chinese Sticks
Acrobatic Knot
Ring, Rope & Wand
Egg Bag
Vanishing Bandanna
Floating Card.
I have practiced this and it takes about 20-25 minutes, but I am practicing alone and I know it will either go slower or faster depending on audience participation and my performing speed, with adrenaline, might be faster..
This means I leave out the cups and balls and or the linking rings.
I would like to perform the cups and balls but would have to cut out something, maybe two other effects.
Your mission, should you choose to accept....
Is to send me your ideas and all are o.k.
Love magic and you,
My friend and other mentor, Steve Ameden
sent this suggestion:

Seems a bit too much for 20 to 25 minutes. I've seen performers do the egg bag, with audience participation, that takes over 10 minutes (likewise with the Vanishing Bandanna).
You may find yourself rushing through your set trying to get all the effects in. Doing fewer effects will make you more relaxed and able to interact with your audience.

Because of the age group I suggest:
Chinese Sticks
Acrobatic Knot
Vanishing Bandanna
Cups and Balls

Remember, leave them wanting more.......don't put all your eggs in one "bag"

Talk to you later.

Well, all that replied, said the cups and balls had to stay, and most said the vanishing bandanna must as well.
I am a stubborn soul and wanted to include the egg bag, because it is so charming to have a child perform and the look on their face is so precious...
Finally, I had to admit, and so this is what I replied to Steve:
Well, I think after all the practice I have been putting in to figure out which set to use, because of the time restraints,I have decided to go with the set you suggested, why make myself rush through the magic?! It finally dawned on me, even as much as I love the egg bag and having a kid come up on stage, it would mean rushing through all the magical effects and that is not entertainment.
Thanks again O Wise and Ancient One!
Of course, he had to have the last word:
Excellent choice grasshopper......

Your number one fan

Merry Tossmas - Stoplight with Stuart Shepard

Clever plan to combat Christmas vs. holiday debate

Monday, December 10, 2007

Merry Christmas From Iraq

Just arrived via myspace.com these pictures from Eric. He just finished a nine day mission.
It is really great that he now has a friend from home to share his time with in Iraq, I cautioned him to be even more diligent in his work because of this. Sometimes familiarity breeds an easiness or a lackadaisical attitude that can allow ineptitude to creep in.
I like the Christmas tree, I doubt that they call it a "holiday" tree!

Seen wearing some of the crazy stuff people from all over are sending them!
Looks like they are in good spirits!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Last Thursday Session, Almost?

I invited several magicians over to the house last Thursday, but being the time of year it is, only one was able to come, that being Bennett Haselton.
Bennett is new to magic and wants to get better. I remember my first year in the art. Going to Tom's home for sessions every Tuesday night. Steve Ameden and Tom and many others would fill my head so full of magic that I couldn't sleep.
I kind of did that to Bennett on Thursday, sharing with him several card effects, some coins, and of course the Hot Rod. to Bennett's credit he brought along a video camera and note pad, shades of myself. I have wonderful video of some sessions at Tom's Alki Magic Studio (actually his home)...
Bennett brought along something he wanted to share called "Levitron." A pretty cool magnetic "toy" that takes some work to master, removing small rubber bands and leveling the feet of the device. Once that is accomplished and you learn to spin it correctly, Voila, the "top" floats independently of any attachments! I even stuck a playing card between the floating "top" and the base of the Levitron, and still it stayed suspended in mid air!
Pretty neat gadget!

High State of Royalty?

It was said by Harry Houdini, that to prove you are a magician, you must be able to adequately perform the cups and balls .
In order to join the famous Magic Circle in London, you must pass an entrance exam...
Prince Charles passed his examination, just like every other member must, by performing what is believed to be the oldest trick in the world, the Cups & Balls!Here are the very cups he used!
I guess I am in Royal company then, eh!?
The cups and the balls is the mystery of magic that got me to want to learn and perform. I first ran across this wonderful effect in my early twenties while working the receiving front dock at Boeing in Renton. A friend named Matt Pendergast introduced me to magic by vanishing a cigarette and doing a few coin tricks known as the Scotch and Soda and the Hopping Half.
To Matt's eternal credit, he would not tell me the "secret" even when I pestered him for several days. Finally, he told me to find a magic shop and investigate for myself. That I did and fell in love with the art.
My first set of cups and balls are this plastic set pictured. They came with the barest of directions. My hands were actually to large for the "advanced" maneuvers used in the effect. Not only that but I was confounded by the lack of directions, I did not know there was a magic community out there available for the asking. I performed what some might call "slum" magic for about a year and half. Finally the "bug" left me for a time...
Some twenty years later my pastor, Rick Steele asked for volunteers to set up booths for Treats without Tricks night at our church. I figured this would be a great opportunity to dust off all my old tricks. I got an old book shelf, painted it black and put glow in the dark stick on stars on it. I performed for all that came by my booth. One gentleman wouldn't leave, he fell in love with the magic and just stayed by me, watching me perform the same 6 or so tricks for the children, he was laughing the whole time, enjoying the expressions on the children's faces. His spirit for magic uplifted my heart and was a catalyst for getting me back into the craft. This week I will be performing two "shows" in Olympia at a Wednesday night AWANA at a church.
Who woulda thunk it!?
My next set of cups and balls were a light aluminum set, I used these for several months to about a year. It wasn't long until I purchased a sweet set of Johnson brass cups & balls, these are the cups that a wonderful magician named Michael Ammar uses. I also purchased the Mercury Wand to use with the set. However, being naive about the damage the metal tips on the wand would do,I used the wand to beat on the cups and dinged them up pretty good, not a set for that type of cups and balls routine. OUCH!
Then my mentor Tom Frank introduced me to a nice set of his Phoenix cups and balls. Again, I used these cups and balls for most of a year, working final loads from my pockets, Tom Paid me a huge compliment, once telling me that he knows no one that produces final loads from the pockets better!
The Cups and Balls I use today!I have several other sets of cups and balls, for instance here is a nice wooden set that I might someday use if I ever perform at a Renaissance fair, these cups would perhaps fit into the "period" of the time, Kind of a theme type setting?
For more on the cups and balls, visit:

Thursday, December 06, 2007

A True American Patriot

Arlington at Christmas!

Rest easy, sleep well my brothers.

Know the line has held, your job is done.

Rest easy, sleep well.

Others have taken up where you fell, the line has held.

Peace, peace, and farewell...

These wreaths -- some 5,000 -- are donated by the Worcester Wreath Co. of Harrington , Maine . The owner, Morill Worcester, not only provides the wreaths, but covers the trucking expense as well. He's done this since 1992. A wonderful guy. Also, most years, groups of Maine school kids combine an educational trip to DC with this event to help out. Making this even more remarkable is the fact that Harrington is in one the poorest parts of the state.

The Wreaths Across America story began over 15 years ago when Worcester Wreath Company (a for-profit commercial business from Harrington, Maine) began a tradition of placing wreaths on the headstones of our Nation's fallen heroes at Arlington National Cemetery.

Over that period of time, Worcester Wreath has donated 75,000 wreaths which were placed by volunteers in a wreath-laying ceremony each December. This year, Worcester Wreath Company will do even more to show its respect and appreciation for those who serve, by doing the following:

* Doubling its annual donation to 10,000 wreaths destined for Arlington National Cemetery.

* In addition to the Arlington Wreath Project, Worcester Wreath will donate 2,500 wreaths to the Maine Veterans Cemetery at Togus, and over 1,800 ceremonial wreaths, representing all branches of the armed forces, will be sent to over 200 other state and national veterans cemeteries across the Country.

* For the first time in 2007, ceremonial wreaths will also be donated to 24 veterans cemeteries on foreign soil, and aboard U.S. ships sailing in all seven seas.

* All wreath-laying ceremonies will be held concurrently on Saturday, December 15th, at 12:00 noon EST.

* And lastly, on Monday, December 10th, 51 wreaths will be donated for a special wreath-laying ceremony at each State Capital and 36" ceremonial wreath for our Nation's Capital.

Needless to say Worcester Wreath Co. is by far the largest donor to the Wreaths Across America project and they are dedicated to this project for many years to come. It is a vision that we will one day honor every veterans' memory for the holidays, as a way to show our gratitude and appreciation for the sacrifices made to preserve our freedoms.

Wreaths Across America was formed as a non-profit organization (501-C3 status - EIN 20-8362270) in 2007, in direct response to the many letters and requests from supporters all around the Country, about how they too could get involved and bring the Arlington Wreath Project experience to their local communities.

We invite you to come and participate in this year's wreath-laying ceremonies on Saturday, December 15th, at 12:00 noon EST.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Session at Chads

Tuesday night I was on my p.c. and noticed an email message from Chad Rees, he of WWF fame.
He invited me to a last minute session at his new place in West Seattle, Seems Rob Stephens is in town for a couple of weeks.
I was delighted to get an invite and so headed right over. I arrived about 8 pm. Rob, Brian Masters and Nash Fung were already having a good time.
All these guys are younger than me and I feel, better card finger flingers too...
I had the opportunity to show them a video performance of my show. Nash was impressed, the others couldn't believe I am performing. Funny how we have a tendency to pigeon hole people and put them in a box.
I'm not complaining, I'm just pointing out a bit of human nature. We see people, we judge them, later we find out people have more on the ball than we give them credit for. I am certainly guilty of this and most likely will be again... Human nature being what it is...
Chads girlfriend Dani(sp) was there too, later Brian's girlfriend, Teri arrived. Teri got to be the guinea pig for all our magic. I dazzled her with three of my favorites, Card in box, and of course Zingone 12 card mental. The other one doesn't have a name as far as I know...
Nash did color fusion and it was excellent, Rob
did some crazy stuff I couldn't keep up with, Nash also performed a nice mental challenge using his business cards and eliminating them until I was left with a glass of Ice Water, guess you had to be there! :)...
I performed "signed Card" for Nash, It is a Brother John Hammon effect. Nash new it because Michael Ammar teaches it on one of his ETM Card DVD's... Nash did it better and more fluid and with more pizazz then I. I learned from his rendition. I guess that, to me is what the sessions are for!
I left at about 10:30 as I had to go to work.

Packages For Iraq

I read about them as a kid, these people who had sent their sons and daughters off to war...
little did I ever think I would have a child that would be off to war, across the seas...
When I read about them in history books it was usually a gut wrenching story of despair and loss...
Today in America and the world, it is much different, with instant messaging, email, and instant 24 hour news...
Eric turns 21 a week from Thursday, tomorrow, we have prepared him some goodies for his birthday as well as Christmas. In past times when we were at war, you knew it. Americans were behind their leaders, not so today, we have a split in ideology.
Seems to me when we commit to something we should go all out to achieve it. I mean, try swimming halfway across the lake, or even 8/10'ths of the way, you still drown!
In WWII we had all kinds of rationing, food stamps and the like...
Not today, maintain the status quo, business as usual.
Don't forget your latte a day or the bling bling on your earring... Gotta have shiny sinners on your vehicles wheels... Makes me sick!
We don't honor the men and women who sacrifice their time, talents, and lives to allow us to enjoy the wonderful freedoms we enjoy.
Instead we honor the homosexuals and the Dane Cook's of the world. Amazing what we have become. Quite sad really.
Oh, by the way, what are you getting for holiday?
Doesn't that sound stupid?
It's Christmas my friends.
And it's not about getting...
There are two types of people in this world, givers, and takers...
Which are you?

Monday, December 03, 2007

Letters From Iraq

Here is the latest from our Boy Eric, a man actually, he turns 21 Dec. 13th...
His high school friend Mike Caniparoli joined him last week in Iraq. They played some Baseball together. I coached Mike one season, he told his dad that I was hard on him and didn't like him, his dad said, Tim likes you just fine, he just wears his emotions on his sleaves..
Later, after Mike had been in the Marines for a year, he came to a baseball practice I was coaching, I apologized to him if I had been to tough on him, His reply, 'heck no, Mr. Flynn sir, I wish I would have listened to you more, I would have been a better ball player.'
Now he and eric are together again.
I ask that you pray for them and all our troops,
God bless you,

hey whats up pops how ya doin? mike said that he already emailed his dad, but in case he didnt give him his address it is the same as mine.

anyways, how are things at home? things here have been slow but look to be picking up a little bit. tomorrow i will be going out on about a nine day mission. i wont be working the entire nine days i am just going to another little base that we work at and whatever they need me for i will do. mike is also going out tomorrow for about seven days to another little base. other than that things here are pretty much normal. the three other new guys that came here with mike are all pretty cool. one of the two navy guys is kinda wierd but whatev. the other guy is a sergeant in the marine corps who took over as our kennel master because our other kennel master got fired and moved to another base where he will be in charge of nothing. our new km is a good guy and is running things alot better than our old one. so there are six of us here now instead of five. we had to build an extra room inside our room so things are a little more cramped but not bad. i was supposed to go out with the seals on a three day mission a few days ago but for some reason the infantry unit here is saying marines cant go out on missions with seals. its dumb because at other bases in iraq i know guys that are going out on missions with the seals. plus we go out on missions with other navy guys here sometimes so i dunno what the deal is. we are trying to figure it out right now. im gonna try to introduce one of the new navy handlers to the seals so if for some reason marines arent allowed to go out with them at least he will be able to. he has been deployed as a dog handler to afghanistan before and worked with a seal team there so i know he will be a good candidate for it. other than that ive just been goin to the gym like normal. pretty much staying right around 175 but cutting up a little bit. the weather here is starting to get really cold, especially at night. its good for the dogs because they dont have to work in the heat, but it kinda sucks for us. its cool though i would much rather be cold than hot, you can only take so many layers off but you can always put more on. alright, well i hope everything back home is going great. i wont be able to talk while im out on this mission unless someone has a sat phone, then maybe i will be able to make a call home. i love you all and i will talk to you soon.


ps: im putting a picture of me and mike on myspace because i cant figure out how to attach one to this email.

From: nnylf1@hotmail.com

Eric, Mark Caniparoli Sr. is asking about Mike, they haven't heard from him yet and is asking for his address there, any help would be appreciated. If possible, have Mike email them, also send photo's of you and the Mikester!
Love you

Hook Em Sure And True!

The White Stuff Falleth

Wow, Saturday brought in about 5 inches of snow at our place.
Beautiful, but the rains came and washed it all away.
Ryan and Myoko came out for dinner around 5 -6 pm. My wife made home made bread and Beef Stroganoff. It was a good meal and we watched a movie together afterwards. The movie was Antwone Fisher, starring Denzel Washington. It was an excellent movie, very touching. Highly recommend.
Before they arrived, we went to our neighbors fiftieth wedding anniversary out in Enumclaw, good food and a relaxing, enjoyable time. It is a kick to see people who are seventyish when they were 18 to 24 year olds. You cannot ever imagine them being like that,,, A lesson in humility.....