A time to share

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Ya Get What Ya Give

I was really tired last Tuesday and Wednesday after fishing. First time out and all, but really the truth is I was down in the dumps. Why?
No fish? Lack of sleep? Tired of working?
All the above?
I was planning on working on my magic routine Tuesday night at work,(I have a performance this Friday at Cutters Point again). I brought all my props , but never took them from the car...
Got home Wednesday morning and tried to sleep, I was exhausted but still, sleep eluded me, I lay there thinking about my magic, what I am doing with it and where I am going with it. I recently read the book, "Magician and the Cardsharp." An excellent book that challenged me to work harder at my chosen passion, magic! And here I am depressed magically. Can't sleep and my mind is working over time. So I got out of bed around 10:30 in the morning which for normal people is around 2:30 am. I wrote down some things...
Every show is the next one!
You do not know who will be there!
Do not think or base your practice time or efforts upon the last one.(
The last show I did at Cutters Point was a small audience.)
They (whoever shows up) deserve your very best!
You have been acting lately as if you can "just show up." That is a sure recipe for failure and disappointment!
Better work harder, rededicate yourself-or QUIT!
Don't look past your next (maybe small) performance!

I then went back to bed, hoping to get some sleep, still it eluded me. I got back up and wrote down the following...
It is an honor and a privilege, nay, a huge responsibility to perform for people. I have lost my focus for performing-getting big headed!
Then this:
People marvel at magic-Be marvelous!
People wonder at magic-Be wonderful!
People get excited over magic-Be exciting!

Needless to say I chided myself and it worked!
I got to sleep and that night I had a great practice session, I also picked up another gig for Saturday!
So, what is my focus for doing magic? My reason for performing? Is it about money? Is it about me? And like, Look at me?
Or is it about astonishing others?
That is what I would like it to be about.
Bringing joy and wonderment to others.
It is a huge responsibility to perform magic, why? Because I owe it to all the magicians who ever went before me to do justice to their and my art. Sounds high lofted, and maybe it is... but I feel it is true.
Remember the first trick you ever saw and your astonishment!? Your wonder? We as magicians have that same ability and should never take it lightly.
So, I am rededicating myself to do better, work harder, be more aggressive towards magic.
Keep the faith!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Weekend sleepless

Tried to stay awake all day Friday, got a lot done in the morning. Mowed some lawns, fertilized, and got the boat out of garage. Swapped kicker motors on the boat. It is ready for fishing. I will be fishing today and this post at this time is pre fishing. I am at work as I type and will probably post this after the day on Puget Sound.
Fell asleep around 4 pm on Friday and woke up around 4am Saturday. Got some things done Saturday and then headed to Finnegan's Irish Pub in Renton. Met up with about 40 of my class mates from the Renton High class of 1977. Last year was our 30th reunion and we had such a blast that it was decided to try to meet more regular.
It wasn't long and I was performing a bit of close up magic for the people! Crazy mans hand cuffs is a jaw dropper! I did a few card tricks later in the evening and found out some things about working close up in a crowded bar that is loud.
Quick hitters are best. I tried to do Sympathetic cards but it is too long and has too much going on, besides, the patter is important to the effect and I was having trouble being heard.
I stayed until 11pm and got home. Again, I had trouble sleeping as my mind wouldn't shut down. Magic and reminiscing with old pals can do that to me! Darcey Teets pictures above is an old friend dating all the way back to grade school. He now has five children and is a real estate agent.
Nick D'Ettore was the best man at my wedding 27 years ago!

He is now a mechanic for the Boeing company. He works on all the automotive equipment, including the fork lifts and tow tractors that I drive. He also is a Harley Davidson enthusiast. He owns his own fix em up shop at his home in Renton.
This nice looking blonde lady is Nancy Marshall. Her and I went thru all the school years together dating back to kindergarten. Not only that but Nancy and I share the same birthday, even more bizarre is the fact that we were born in the same hospital, Swedish in Seattle. Nancy has a twin brother who lives in Hawii.
News Flsh! News Flash! News Flash! FIsh 1, Flynn's none!

A beautiful day on the water. The water was clean and weed free, The sunrise was great and Mt. Rainier was outstanding in the early morning sunshine. We saw one fish caught and heard of two others. A very slow day. Hopefully things will be picking up!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Bout Time

I have been emailing back and forth for about a month now with some fellow magicians.
I have been trying to get some "sessions' off the ground.
Ever since my mentor Tom Frank moved to L.A. (two years ago) it has been hit and miss. Last night we had a group of four of us.

Gary Smith, Jose Floresca, Leslie Thyagarajan and I were in attendance!
Gary took center stage with some great card tricks and excellent teaching.
We worked on Think, Touch, Turn by Ed Marlo, and taught on the Bill Malone 'On the loose' DVD. This is a great effect that happens quickly and silently. Gary has a wonderful ending to the effect that isn't taught on the Malone dvd. I think Gary's ending adds completeness to an already good effect, making it greater!
Also worked on a beautiful no gimmick card rise from a deck. This involved a sweet control from a fanned deck.
Gary also showed us a really nice four ace effect from a book called "Variations Revisited" By Earl Nelson.

Mostly though, we worked on the sequencing and "moves" of Think, Touch, Turn.

We also discussed what we want to do as a group.
I kind of took charge here and suggested we write down all the magic we already do, the card tricks and coin tricks on separate lists, and the things we want to learn on another list and still another list that has all the things in our closet, so to speak. You know, all those tricks you bought that are put away in a box, or on a shelf somewhere collecting dust!
We talked about this group being focused on one or two tricks, working on it for two weeks and showing where we are at with it at the next session. Honest critique and help.
It was agreed that by writing down all the things in your repertoire, past and present, that it would help us to "see" the things we can do and remind us to occasionally re visit some card effects, or coin effects, or rope effects that are great, but have been set aside, and to keep brushing up on them. To keep them ready and handy and polished!
We have chosen to meet every two weeks. The next session is on Tuesday August 5th at Gary's home. ( I think he agreed to that? He said something about "running" it by his wife!)
Gary lives in Renton in Fairwood.
Leslie wants to work on cups and balls. We all agreed to this too, so there you have it, brush up on your cups and balls and card handling's, coins etc.
We are going to have fun and learn a ton!

3 Days Later...

I finished the little outdoor project I have been wanting to do!
Built a little patio type landing area at the bottom of our deck where the stairs meet the ground.
This area has always gotten pretty muddy with the dog around. He tracked mud into the house and up the stairs to the deck whenever it was wet out, which in Western Washington is almost all the time!
I borrowed a special mortar cutting saw from our nephew Brian. He is a landscaper by trade. I got pretty dusty but it all turned out very nice!

What Might One find...

in the apple tree?
Last week I was doing something in the back yard, heading down towards our shed. For some reason I decided to look in the apple tree to see if there were many apples this year.
I noticed a nicely built birds nest. I remember how cool this was when I was a youngster(about three years ago!) so I went in the house and called Katie to come out and take a look.
Well, being fifteen and full of energy, she decides to climb the tree and have a look see inside the nest. Sure enough, she sees two baby Robbins and one beautiful blue egg. We had to shoo momma Robbin away for her to look inside and she wasn't too happy about it.
Katie has been keeping tabs on the little family everyday!Hungry little boogers, aren't they!?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Clown Alley

I had a great time tonight at the clown alley BBQ and meeting in Lakewood. It was held at the home of Bob & Jan Gee.
We enjoyed several clown skits and of course, I got to perform some magic for the group. I was planning on performing 3 fly three, cut and restored rope, and lassoing a card. After speaking with another member, Don, I switched up and did 3 fly, Chinese sticks and the cups and balls.
This was actually my first public performance of Daryl's great 3 fly routine. I have been practicing it for two years or more and not really sharing it. It went really well and the looks on peoples faces and their gasps is all I need to let me know it works well! I wanted to open with it, and get my initial performance of it over with.
The cups and balls is a classic for a reason. Amazing magic, close up and shrieks and oohs and ahhs...
That's why we do magic!

Many of the clowns have some knowledge of magic. I am finding out that the magic I have been taught and learning is at a much higher level than they expect! I need to really know this and believe in the magic I do, and that it is top notch! Because it truly is!
This is an ongoing struggle of mine. Accepting the fact that the long hours and hard work of magic is coming to fruition.
I once heard someone say something like, "most people are afraid of success" while striving to be successful. What this means basically is that we often think we are undeserving of high success. We don't truly, deep down believe in ourselves even though we want to be successful in whatever endeavor we are pursuing. Along those same lines, I heard it said to "fake it til you make it." That means to be bold and strong even though you aren't feeling successful.
The people I am performing for don't know what it is you are going to do, they have no idea that you are scared. So, be bold, be strong and pretty soon you will be feeling all those things.
Beginning is half done! Get that first line out of your mouth and you are half way home!
We had BBQ'd chicken and hamburgers and lots of other goodies. We had a crowd of 15 I think.
Several clowns did a few skits and they are a fun loving bunch. They had Don and I "wear" road cones on our faces(Click pics to enlarge) and look thru the narrow end of the cones to kick a small "nerf" ball to an imaginary goal line. This was difficult because your field of vision was very, very narrow. We each were given a "helper" to direct us to the ball by shouting out left or right etc. Problem for me was my helper kept telling me left when she meant right. I already couldn't see but a few inches and now I'm being incorrectly directed! it was too funny and fun!
Why did I join them? I think we can help each other. I would like to "lighten up: magically, and they do that all the time. I can teach them some great magic and tighten up some of what they are already doing.
I shared with them Dan Garrett's multiplying carrots trick. I used it in conjunction with my rabbit in the hat puppet. First time I've done this bit before. They loved it! I was able to share with them some of how this great effect is done. Enhancing each other as it were!

Finding the Offbeat...

Learning and growing magically...
A whole new language to learn and understand.
Finding the off beat... what does that mean? How do you apply it in magic.
I have heard this term a lot in magic... even been told what it is or rather, when to do the "secret move." Do it on the off beat. When is the off beat?
Slow to understand, comprehension comes slowly. A simple pause, a natural break in the action... the off beat! When the audience relaxes their vigilance. When they laugh, or look up into your eyes...
The Off-beat is a musical term commonly applied to rhythms that emphasize the weak beats of a bar. According to Grove Music, the “Offbeat” is [often] where the downbeat is replaced by a rest or is tied over from the preceding bar". The downbeat can never be the off-beat because it is the strongest beat in 4/4 time.
Well, that doesn't help, does it? :)
Gotta learn this off beat!

Monday, July 14, 2008


This is my younger brother Ted. There was way more to him than a can of beer. We played ball together all the time! Growing up, if there was a ball around, we was playing with it! Later as young adults we played softball. Ted was not very large in stature, but he could hit a ball a long way. His size would lure the out fielders in and Bam! Over their heads for a home run! He had a great arm too!
We would golf together as we aged. Ted had his friends and every now and then, about four times a year, I would join them at their favorite course. Ted loved my magic, exhorting me on always and wishing me well in it. He would laugh uproarously when I performed the cups and balls and the oranges would start appearing. He liked the linking rings too.
I wish you were still with us bro. So many things we could be doing.
We had some great times!

Fun In the Sun

Went golfing last Wednesday with a friend from work. Greg Jenson. He is a really good golfer, probably a 2 or 3 handicap. I like golfing with Greg because he is very positive. He is an uplifting guy. He helps me golf better with just his attitude!some other critters we saw on the course!
Friday Mark Jensen came to our home for a little fellowship and magical discussion time. I pulled a fast one on him! While him and I were out on our back yard deck talking things magic... My wife and daughter washed his Tahoe in the front yard. When we walked him out to see him off, he had an eerie feeling come over him but couldn't quite put his finger on it! Haha!
Mark sent me an email, here in his own words...
I gotta tell you, I had the best time with you. First, it was so spooky, that thing with the truck. I know how some folk feel at the hands of a mentalist now. I had this little crawly thing in the back of my neck as I was walking around the truck. I wasn't really thinking of your comment before we went into the house, I was just kind of slowly walking around the thing, thinking, "Something here just isn't fitting." Yes, you could say you got me, or you could say that your family FRIED ME!!! Thanks so much for both the wash and the fellowship.
Now that was fun.
Finally some time to get the boat out of the garage and get her ready for Salmon fishing. The Kings are beginning to show up. I spent the day enjoying the sunshine and working on our two kicker motors. My neighbor Andy couldn't help coming over and holding my hand as I took the lower end off of the 1975 6HP Johnson and cleaned it up and got the impeller spitting water. Then we got into my 1978 9.8 HP Mercury. It was barely spitting water, so we took off some parts, cleaned them up, replaced them and ran HOT water thru the motor trying to dissolve salt residue that has built up. It seems to have worked pretty well and I will be putting the Mercury back on the boat!
Look! A magic disciple in the making!
Fellows name is Sandy Holt. I work with Sandy right now as he is on third shift for two months. About two years ago, Sandy brought his son to my home and I shared some magic with them. His son got excited and purchased a set of Tom Frank's Phoenix cups and balls. I guess he found out there was work involved so he never got into it after that. Sandy doesn't like it that they spent some good hard earned cash and is getting nothing in return, so he has decided to try his hand at the cups and balls! He has been working hard at it for about four weeks now!
Reminds me of myself four years ago!

Un Nobel Peace Prize

Well, well, well, we finally got some of that dratted global warming everyone is freaking out about! Right on I say! Things go better with Sun! No doubt about it! Plants thrive, humans thrive, what's all the fuss about!?
Scare tactics, Al Gore and company style! Did you know that Al Gore got the Nobel Peace Prize for being a big fat liar! Hahaha... what a joke that is! Do you know who he beat out for the Peace Prize?

There recently was a death of a 98 year old lady named Irena.
During WWII, Irena got permission to work in the WarsawGhetto as a plumbing/sewer specialist.

She had an ulterior motive.
She (being German) KNEW what the Nazi's plans were for the Jews.
Irena smuggled infants out in the bottom of the tool box she carried, and for larger kids. she carried a burlap sack in the back of her truck.
In the back of the truck, she also had a dog that she trained to bark when the Nazi soldiers let her in and out of the ghetto.

The dog's barking covered the kids'/infants' noises. Fortunately, the soldiers wanted nothing to do with the barking dog.
During her time and course of doing this, she managed to smuggle out and save 2500 kids/infants.

Later she was caught, and the Nazi's broke both her legs and arms, and beat her severely.
Irena kept a record of the names of all the kids she smuggled out, and kept them in a glass jar, buried under a tree in her back yard.
After the war, she tried to locate any parents who may have survived, and reunited the family.
Most parents, of course, had been gassed.(That means they were put to death)

Those kids she helped were placed into foster family homes, or adopted.
Irena was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize....


Al Gore won for doing a slide show on Global Warming.
Check it out: http://www.irenasendler.org

Irena Sendler - Life In A Jar

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Loss of a friend

David Ausman.(Dave is on the left in the picture)
I went to Junior high and High school with David. He died Dec. 19th 2007. Dave was 48.
I found out about it because yesterday I was discussing going to Alaska to fish with my friend Dale. I told him I went to school with a guy that owns and operated Gold Coast Lodge(http://www.goldcoastlodge.com) in Alaska. I google searched Gold Coast Lodge and read the sad news that my old high school friend had passed away.
David was a free spirited man. Living his dream. I am proud of him for this. Not many people get to live their dreams. He enjoyed helping others live their dreams by helping them have the time of their lives fishing in the abundant waters of Alaska.
In Dave's own words...
" I'm David Ausman and for the last 25 years, I have been living a dream. I live in a sportsman's paradise! I make my living giving people a wilderness experience far beyond the ordinary. I've watched most of my clients catch the biggest fish of their lives. I've helped most of my clients catch more fish in one day than they ever caught on any other fishing trip they've ever taken. I have guided first place in more Alaskan fishing derbies than any man in Alaskan history. I even rode on the back of a 35 foot humpback whale in scuba gear to save its life after it tangled in a 500 foot rope - and I have digital videotape to prove it."
A little more on the success Dave enjoyed!
"With David Ausman as guide, Guests of Gold Coast Lodge have won the Ketchikan Halibut Derby 7 years in a row! David was "Top Guide in the 1990 Great Alaska Sports fishing Championship. Having guided 1st Place in 8 derbies in 7 years, David Ausman is the winningest guide in Alaska sports fishing history."
I never joined David in that adventure, and now, sadly, I never will.
What can we take from his death to help us go on living? I miss him and I haven't even seen him since my 20 year high school reunion which was just over ten years ago. Why is it that we take things for granted? Thinking that there is time for this and for that? Before you realize it... people are gone. Did you get to wish them well? Say good bye? Did you even say hello? I do not know if David was married at his time of death, I do know that he had a young son in his teens. I am saddened by this... I am getting older myself, at any moment, in the twinkling of an eye, I could be gone. What have I left behind? Have I fought the good fight?
Have I touched anyone? Had anyone touched me? See what these ponderings lead too?
Pick up the phone, get in your car, call someone, go see them.
Who crosses your mind this very instant? Call them! Go do something with them, make a memory!
Sorry I didn't get up to see you and enjoy your dream Dave. You live on in the fond memories I have of us as teenagers messing around and well... not quite getting into trouble, just missing some though, trouble that is.

Independence Day Celebration

Thursday afternoon we loaded up the Tahoe, the daughter, and the dog. We headed South to Ocean Shores Washington. A two hour drive... that took four...
Our friends Dale and Jean own a home on the canal that meanders it's way all over the place in Ocean Shores. It runs into or out of or thru a lake, Duck Lake it's called. A beautiful place to visit. Lots to do, Kite flying, beach combing, bike riding,and just relaxing and being lazy. Lots of good food, and friends were coming in and out throughout the weekend!
Friday morning (The 4th O' July) Dale and I got up early and went golfing at Ocean Shores golf course, the only game in town... I got a bad start on the first two holes, topping the ball on several shots, but eventually settled down and began striking the ball fairly well. The wind kicked up as it often does at this course, Sometimes a helpful tailing wind, and more often than not an in your face three extra club gale. I finished the round with a par on eighteen for a total of 90. Dale did manage to break a hundred, but I won't be telling which side of a hundred!
Friday night on the beach and lighting fireworks, we met up with several friends that also have property at Ocean Shores. The beaches were totally crowded with Independence Day revelers and bonfires all along the coast as far as the eye could see, which in some instances wasn't very far because the smoke was so heavy it burned the eyes to watering!
I had a run in with something called Goldslagger, it is a schnapps type liqueur. Goes down easy, but comes back up nasty.
I don't drink very often anymore, kind of outgrew it I guess... but this night I let myself out a bit too far on an empty stomach. In fact later that night as I tried to get some sleep it got a bit emptier. Not fun. Happy fourth O' July to me! Stupid!
Some lessons go down hard!
Saturday I felt fine, remarkably. Big BBQ planned as everyone was coming to Dale and Jean's for the grit out,and I would be performing a magic show. The day started out cloudy and wet, but by 5 pm, it was a nice calm sunny day. Great food, Salmon, Pork roast, and lots of goodies. I did my show outdoors around the camp fire.
All went well and everyone had fun with it. Lots of laughter and cuttin' up by the audience.
Sunday was a nice, sunny, windy day and we headed to the beach to fly kites.
Had no problem getting the kites up in the air. Strong winds and two stringed kites. I enjoyed maneuvering the kite back and forth across the sky and doing diving and spinning maneuvers. Had a blast. I got a nice? sunburn on my face and forehead.
Took some time and taught Katie how to fly these kites. She enjoyed it as well.
Monday was going home time and cleaning up before leaving. But first some nice breakfast. We enjoyed good breakfasts every day.Katie went for a bike ride on the back of Dales Harley. Her first time on a motor cycle. She came back with a big grin on her face! Said I need to get one!
Even the dogs had a blast!