A time to share

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Countin' Em

My blessings that is!
I couldn't sleep today, got up around quarter to 12 in the morning, early afternoon. Wide awake, been reading a great book called "Maximum Entertainment" by Ken Weber!
Wow! Oh MY!
Got me thinking about my magic, where I'm going with, how to make it better, greater..
But the coolest part about waking up early was the phone call...
Had I not been outta bed, I would have missed it. Joan was out of the house returning things, shopping, running errands, the phone would have rung four times and we would have gotten a message, maybe...
I was already on the phone talking with my friend Jose about the Maximum Entertainment book when the beep came over the phone signaling that I had another call, I asked Jose to stay on the line, (he didn't) because I had another call, he said, "no problem."
The call was from the woman that Katie baby sits for, her name is Lisa, she wanted to tyell me that Katie and her four year old daughter were dropped off at the lake. (We live next to Pipe lake)but more importantly she wanted to tell us how great Katie is! How that even if she didn't need a baby sitter, that she would want Katie in her daughters life. She said that when her daughter grows up, she hopes she will be a young lady like Katie. Lisa mentioned that Joan and I must be doing great things and that Katie is proof of that!
What did I say? I said, yep, She's awesome!
Lisa went on to say something about being able to learn from Joan and my example on parenting.
I asked Lisa if she wouldn't mind writing that all down and sending it in an email so we could share it with Katie. She thought that a great idea!
So here I was, kinda bummed about not being able to sleep, and this wonderful thing happens in my life!

Monday, June 29, 2009

You know how I love

Had some friends over Sunday after church for some great food and relaxing fellowship.
The repaired Hibachi was doin' it's thing!


Friday, June 26, 2009

Friday long

Today is Friday, I decided to stay up all day. I had some help in that decision by leaving my sport bag at work this morning. I drove all the way home, opened the back door of the car to retrieve the bag and bring it into the house, and... it wasn't there on the back seat. It has been there for five years straight, what the ...
Oh man, I gotta drive all the way back to work and home again!
Con found it man!
I got a cup of coffee on the way back in to work... got my bag and headed home. Because of the coffee, I was a little wired when I got home. Lot's of things I can do.
I emailed Mark Jensen to see if he wanted to come over and play. Just like when I was a little kid!
He did, and arrived in the afternoon... sweet, we chatted for a while, I showed him my photo album from World Magic Seminar and we got into some magic together. I shared with him some video of Chris Mayhew, some awesome card sleights I have recently been working on. If I can get these two sleights down, watch out!
It was a good day, just spending time with my friend.
He showed me his new card prediction effect he got from Dean Dill, it's called The Revelation, it is a sweet effect, "Someone draws a picture of (any) playing card and that actual card is found to be inside an envelope which has been in plain sight the entire time!"
Dean showed it to me when I was at World Magic Seminar in Vegas in March. It was too expensive for a one trick pony. But it is an awesome effect. Very well thought out and very nicely packaged.
Mark does some nice things with a file... he files down the edges of his playing cards. He first showed this to me about four years ago, I liked it then and I like it now... Haven't figured out what the purpose is for smoother edges yet, but I'm sure after he reads this he'll let me know! Mark gifted me on eof the files.
Marks cell phone kept going off, his three children couldn't leave him alone. I think we got in about three hours of play time before he jetted off as Mr. Chauffeur.
It was great seeing him again!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

No Way Jose

Yes Way!
Jose held a magic session last night at his home. I arrived just after seven pm. Leslie Thyagarajan was already there.
We launched right into some rubber band magic. Leslie has all that stuff mastered. Very nice!
Leslie has a very nice persona when performing his magic.
It wasn't long and Mark Storms arrived.
Mark jumped right into a wooden matchstick effect by Wayne Houchin. I personally don't like burning my tongue, but hey, if that's your schtick...
Mark did a nice job with the effect and returned to it later in the evening for a new comer, young man from Hong Kong, calls himself Bill.
The session was nice in that lots of teaching going on, little things like touches to make the magic more magical.
Before Bill arrived, I pulled out my new set of linking rings made by Owens magic. I wanted to share them with Jose as he has some rings and has learned a couple of routines. Mark asked me to perform my ring routine so I launched into it. Jose liked a few of the "moves" I have incorporated into the routine, Mark said it was really smooth, guess I fooled them! :)
Bill performed a nice gamblers card routine Ala Darwin Ortiz. Everyone got a five card hand and returned them to the deck, he faro shuffled the deck, re dealt the cards, everyone got their original hand back except the dealer, (Bill) he got a Royal straight flush.
Since we were on a gambling theme, Mark shared an easier way to do the same effect.
I joined in with a nice ten card, two hand gambling effect by Joshua Jay called 2-4-2.
Both Mark and Jose liked it, and wanted to learn it, so we walked thru it a couple of times!
After that I did John Mendoza's Routined Poker Mental effect. This brought up lots of discussion about strengthening the ending. It was funny because I must have done some good acting because Mark really believed I lost his card in the deck.
Mark went over his Coin/card matrix. Jose eagerly worked on the routine as it has been some time since he toyed with it and had lost the sequencing.
We played with the idea of a kicker ending using a Jumbo coin and how to bring it in at the end under cover of some cards. It was fun brain storming.
I shared a three phase coin routine I have been working on and it went pretty well, I like the idea of routining effects together into a cohesive whole. I also demonstrated this idea with a four effect routine, combining Dunsbury Aces, Dr.Daley's Last Trick, Twisting the Aces and finishing with Jumping Gemini.
I know that wisdom tells us to only do a three effect routine, but Jumping Gemini is so strong, and so much magic using just four cards.
It was nice to meet Bill, he is a pleasant young man, and looking to get out and perform. He is struggling getting his "foot in the door" as he has been in America only three years and doesn't know a lot of people.
He has studied much of Darwin Ortiz' stuff. Not a bad place to study, maybe I'll hit his stuff a little harder. Where does one find the time?
Malone, Ammar, Ortiz, Joshua Jay, Paul Harris, Daryl, etc. etc. etc...
I had to leave about 10:15 as I work nights, I Hope the guys enjoyed the session as much as I.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Dang nab it

Well, as often happens in life....
Two steps forward and one step back...
I have been enjoying? my work outs lately with P90. My wife has been doing most of them with me and is actually pushing me at times which is great.
Last week our son Ryan was in town and him and I did a workout together, his workout.
I attempted to do some squats with about 120 lbs. on the bar, not a lot of weight, but I have been doing lots of squats in the P90 program without weights, along with lots of lunges. My plan is to get ready to go into P90X in September or October.
Well, after doing the squats with the wights, my left knee swelled up, not too bad, but...
So, I am cruising along with my workouts, losing about ten pounds, looking fitter and feeling great, muscles getting some definition and tone, and Monday night, my wife and I did a sweat workout and my knee is now really bothering me. Feels like it did years ago when I went in and had it scoped.
My plan is to lose enough weight to give my knees some relief and this happens...
I am pretty bummed about this.
Just getting going, and wham!
probably gotta take a break and I don't want too.

Suffer the little children...

That's how it is sometimes... when you perform for children, it is like you are suffering, hahaha.. the saying means to allow them to come into His presence,
I did a show yesterday, with little or no sleep. I did a great show ans had plenty of energy too, my speaker system and microphone were all working and I was hitting my spots!
I showed up early to prepare and was ready for anything, or so I thought! haha...
The city of Fife allows my clown alley to use one of their buildings for our monthly meetings, no charge, so our alley gives back by doing things for their summer camp program which is every Tuesday during the summer. Probably just a baby sitting program for working mom's instead of day care...
My contact person didn't know what she wanted me to do, either walk around magic or a stage show. So I came prepared to go either way!
She decided on the stage show. I was glad for this because that is easier in this type situation, at least for me.
I set up and was glad I have been a student of the craft, bringing extra material. I noticed right away that my yellow rope I like to use for the cut and restored rope routine was not available, this means that I cannot do the next effect because the one segues into the other... now I'm thinking what to put in their places, this is about 10-15 minutes of my show, but low and behold, in my doctors bag I had two rolled up lengths of yellow rope nicely placed into zip lock bags, and so... I was prepared after all! Sweet!
I am learning that there are just some effects that I have to eliminate from the show for children. The linking rings I do is one of them. I don't know if it is the patter that I use or the ring routine itself, but either way, I think it will be for more mature audiences.
Other than that, the show went really well.
Them kids are a very curious lot.
They all want an orange when I'm done. Then they find out they're fake oranges. Ha.
The young girls are better behaved than the boys and just as precious as you can imagine.
Boys will be boys... if we just let them!
Great time.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Dog man

My wife found this article in a local paper last week.

(click to enlarge)

She was at Les Schwaab to have our tires rotated. She had an hour wait and was browsing thru the Maple Valley/Covington reporter and ran across it.
We were totally unaware that it was in there.
Eric was training in San Antonio when this piece was reported.
Pretty cool!

Giving back

Last Friday I went to the Covington Multi Care facility to give blood.
Puget Sound blood people were there and I am on their emailing list. They also call me periodically.
I actually do not like to receive their calls, but...
Someone's gotta do it!
I have AB positive blood, which is rare in a positive kind of way.Type AB-positive blood is called the "universal recipient" type because a person who has it can receive blood of any type.
Usually they want me to give plasma, but it is a long process, about an hour, and they have to be set up for it. They take my blood out of my body, run it thru a machine, extract the plasma and return the blood. I have done that several times, but it involves me driving about 20 miles each way and it is inconvenient for me.
My AB positive blood, In addition to donating to the same blood group; plasma from type AB can be given to A, B and O; plasma from types A and B can be given to O.
Why did I tell you all this? Because I believe we owe it to our fellow man to help them out when we can. Today, I have an appointment with about 35 children in Fife. They are summer day campers. I will be performing magic for them for about an hour to an hour and a half. This is not a paid gig, and I will have to get outta bed in the middle of my night to do this. In fact, I have been tired a lot lately. I am thinking it is because of the blood donation last Friday, and working out on Sunday with weights and yesterday doing some good cardio sweating... either that, or I'm getting old! Lol.
I am tired already just thinking about it. It will be a 60 mile round trip. I am not trying to boast or sound like I'm whining here, or looking for kudo's.
Many wonderful people have put into my life over the 50 years I've been here. Coaches as a child. Parents, other's parents and recently some wonderful magicians giving freely of their time to help me learn the craft.
Besides, sometimes it is just plain old good karma to do nice things for others!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Boeing Medical

This morning I was required to take a physical at Boeing Medical. Sort of...
It's not a true physical because they do not draw blood nor must I fast beforehand for 12 hours.
It's more like a test to see if you are still qualified to do the work you are hired to do.
Since my job requires me to drive a mobile craneat times... they figure I should be fit enough to do it.
They test my hearing, my eyes, and motor skills. I had walk on my toes, my heels, and with my feet end to end. Touch my toes, bark like a dog, and pant like I liked it!
They asked me questions about my parents and how they died. The lady asking the questions is really out of shape. I felt like this was an intrusion.
I find it ironic that a fat, over weight person tried to give me advice on being, and staying healthy. Guess if you read it in a book, it gives you the right too?!
This is the same thing that has happened throughout Boeing. They hire managers that are book learned out of college, and then they become your boss. Having never done your job, when you go to them with a challenge, they haven't a clue. Or worse, they try to change the way you operate because they think it is better, not fully understanding all the things it takes, and the ramifications of your work, the whys and wherefores of how come you do things this way, and in this order!
Then you show them or tell them, and they are offended.
It was tough to sit and listen to a woman tell me this and that about my health, when she herself is in sad physical shape. Kind of like Doctor Spock writing a book on child rearing while never actually rearing any himself... Haha..

Monday, June 15, 2009

Relaxin' Evenin' Kabob!

To celebrate Ryan's 25th Birthday...
We debated whether to go out to dinner or BBQ...
Joan was out shopping so I called her and asked her if'n she would like to do Shish Kabob's for dinner?
We haven't done much shish kabobin in our BBQing, so it was touch and go... well we decided to do it and it was a nice blessing for us.
I fired up the old Hibachi pot that I repaired last year. I actually had to do some more repair on it last week as I noticed another broken piece of pottery. Saturday as I was preparing for all the guests, I decided to paint it too, it was nice day out and I had a can of green spray paint.
Looks almost as good as new.
Worked great too.
We enjoyed eating outside as the weather was perfect, about 70 degrees.!
it was nice to just have family around with Ryan. He has been running around all over town since arriving last Friday.
Him and Katie went for a short drive and when he got home him and I took a nice, needed dip in the hot tub as we had worked out earlier in the day!

Graduation/Birthday Party

Sunday we got up and attended worship services at Nextstep Fellowship in Kent. Great sermon and a good worship.
Hurried home to begin preparing for a bout 17 guests and family.
Ryan's future in laws and several of his friends were coming to visit and enjoy a BBQ!
We met Miyoko's parents and grand parents as they arrived. Very nice, pleasant people. Easy going and that made it nice to relax and "let our hair down" with them.
I think we were a little nervous to meet them. Maybe they were too?
Since there were so many other people together it might have made it easier, we weren't in each others face the whole time. Or maybe they are just great and loving people.
That's probably it.
We enjoyed good weather and great food. Lot's of laughter and smiles, some inside stories about Ryan and Miyoko too.
Ryan has a friend who purchased my magical services last December at an auction at his church. He just got married and has a nine year old daughter. They moved to China because his work takes him there, but they are in the Seattle area for two weeks and were invited over to the party. Ryan suggested it would be a good time to make good on his auction purchase... I agreed, and about 8pm or so I put on a wonderful magic show for everyone. Lot's of laughter, ooh's and ahh's, and fun humor and good feelings!
Like my friend Tom Frank says, making people smile!
I am often worried about performing in my own home, kind of like tootin' my own horn, or "look what I can do."
But when children, and the child in adults begins to loosen up and have a great time, it becomes so much more. It becomes about making lasting memories for others.
Not many people have actually seen magic close up or in their own hands.
Magic done well, with audience participation and when an entertainer can get past the magic and actually entertain, that is when artistry in magic is created. When that moment happens, lasting memories are made that others will cherish, and remember with a smile in their hearts for the rest of their lives!
That's Awesome!
To hear a child giggle with delight as Destiny did while helping me with the egg bag routine is priceless.
Sometimes, it is I who am totally uplifted.
What a wonderful thing this magic can be!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sometimes... I'm Awesome!

Had a show this afternoon at Silvercreek retirement and assisted Living. A senior center in Puyallup.
The people there treated me great!
I have a magician friend whom I spoke with about the gig recently and I invited him to come watch me perform. He was busy and had this to say, "I have done my share of retirement homes.... don't care too much for those, they usually don't get the joke till after the show(LOL)....."
I have a blast working for those people, they are always respectful, most of them get the jokes and they love the attention, so you get this really great love affair going back and forth.
Maybe they are just attention starved, and that makes them very receptive to magic or anyone paying them attention. But the people that work at these places always tell me how great I was and we want to have you back etc...
Anyway, I had a great time, put some smiles on some faces, enjoyed some laughter and made a few bucks to boot!

Golfing around

Wednesday afternoon Mike and I golfed Druidsglen. Nice hot day.
I still got the ugly hooker thing goin' on. I even decided to aim down the right side and still... I shot another 95. That's what happens when you have trouble finding the fairway! It's called a fairway for a reason, lol...
Both Mike and I birdied the 15th hole, Mike sunk a great long winding put of about 60 feet and I sunk a little side hill slider of four feet. All the pressure was on me as he sank his snake before mine.
All day Mike was blasting his driver up the gut, we get to the 18th hole and he is all worried about landing his drive in the water, I talked him into blasting it up the gut, that's exactly what he did to, leaving himself about 220 uphill to the pin. Of course I figured I'd have some "draw" to my drive, so I naturally aimed down the right side, and Naturally I get no draw... lost ball. Teed up another and poked it down by Mikes ball. I hit a three wood onto the fringe of the green and two putted for a tainted birdie six!
Had a great time.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Clown Alley

So you want to be a clown eh?
Not me, I wanna be a magician!
Had our alley meeting last night in Fife. I performed Vanishing Bandanna and Egg Bag.
I taught the Vanishing Bandanna. Probably no one will get it because I didn't have the props there to sell, but we'll see.
We had fun with "Team Building."
Lots of games and...clowning around.
Farm animal noses and old MacDonalds song, each person making noises like the animal nose they were wearing, I was a frog... go figure.
Toilet paper unrolling races and much more, we had a single balloon tying animal competion practice.
Donald examined the balloons and taught us some of what the judges would be looking for, uniformity of legs, ears etc.
Who woulda thunk it!?

Sunday, June 07, 2009

La Weekend...

Friday I tried to only sleep for a few hours, hoping to get some stuff done during the day and to make sure to sleep later that night...
Well, I got to sleep around 8 am, and ended getting up around two in the afternoon, a little more sleep than I wanted. I washed both the car and the Tahoe and enjoyed a nice evening at home.
Saturday, I woke up at 3:30 in the morning, got up, ate some left over chicken pasta that was delicious, and then waxed the car in the garage at about 4:30 am. Weird huh!? I listened to my iPod so as not to wake anyone else. Started crying when I head Sheena Easton sing "Wind Beneath My Wings." That song is a tribute to my mom, although I am sure they didn't know it at the time. I listened to it three times in succession. Thinking of my mom who has been gone for 16 years now and how she was awesome and really a strong, wonderful woman. I also reminisced about my younger brother as I listened to the music. He has been gone now two years. I miss him a ton too.
Katie met up with Ryan's girlfriend to go on a hike up Rattle Snake Ridge. Joan drove Katie to see her and I decided to clean the gutters. While up on the roof top I thought I might as well clean the skylights too. Several gutter spikes were coming loose so I got a hammer and pounded them back in.
Next I cleaned all the outside windows and some of the inside ones as well. Next week we are having company, and well... a good excuse to get some "Spring" cleaning done.
Between washing both vehicles on Friday, waxing the car Saturday and cleaning windows, my back began to tighten up. My wife took me out for a coffee and it really got bad.
I crashed on the couch for few hours with a heating bad on my back. We rented the movie 7 pounds starring will Smith. Really a great movie and a tear jerker.
So here it is Sunday, woke up at about 5:30 am. Got up, made a nice egg omelet and getting ready to go to church.
Going to be a long day, gotta work tonight at 11 pm and sleep arrives tomorrow at about 7 am.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

25 years ago and counting...

Our eldest child, Ryan was born 25 years ago today!
Happy Birthday Ryan!
What a joy you have been to your mother and I!
With pride we tell of you.
With joy we see you when you come home!
With love we think of you!
You are very special in our lives and the lives of many others!
Love ya!

Golf on Monday,

Late post for last Monday.
Mike and I went to Druidsglen and golfed 18 holes. Nice and hot weather. I was striking the ball extremely well... Too well it seems as I was putting too much into it and the ball was sailing, sailing over the trees off to the right... Had a little bit of a pull hook! Hit some balls about 20 or more yards further than I ever have before too, I wonder if losing about ten pounds and working out, becoming more agile and limber has anything to do with it?!
Mike says it is the hot weather, and while that may have something to do with it... I don't think it can account for the two drives of 300t yards..I also hit a five iron about 200 yards and when I finished my swing, I noticed that the club actually hit the back of my leg. This surprised me, and the ball flight was totally cool. Like a cannon shot!
I am hoping it is the loss of weight and the working out!
I will carry on as my wayward son...

Friendship Bread!

A fellow at work brought me some friendship bread. It was pretty good. It is a recipe made by the Amish people.
You get a bag of this mixture, mush it every day for ten days, add some sugar and flour and milk on day 6, mush it and then add some more ingredients on day ten, bake it and make some bags of this liquidy stuff to give away and hopefully you will have everyone making Amish friendship bread in about two weeks! Lol...
I am on my second go around!