A time to share

Monday, November 30, 2009

Magic Moment with John The Magic Guy aka...

John Villareal, and his wife Darlene,
John wanted to work on some magic... linking rings to be precise...
I invited him and his family over for a session between us two and dinner after..
We had a nice time working on the Legend of the Five Mystic Rings. We took our time and watched Tom Frank's dvd of the same name. Every time I watch it, I learn something, a nuance, a subtlety...
Dinner consisted of Flank steak and baked potato...
John's son Andrew, age three came along and man o man... he is a handful!
Andrew took some time to warm up to me... but eventually him and I were great pals! He didn't want to go home.
John shared with me his smaller cups and balls routine, and we worked on a few card tricks too.
Today was a sad day in that four Tacoma police officers were ruthlessly murdered as they sat in a coffee shop getting ready to start there day. A very brutal attack. Unprovoked.
The world is becoming a less safe place daily. I believe the reason is liberalism and it's idea that people are basically good and all things are equal. I think corporal or capital punishment should be handed down. If we would simply enforce the laws we have...

Almost burned the house down...

Yep, that's right. Saturday night after laying down to sleep, I couldn't... so after about an hour and a half of laying there... I got up, took an Ambien sleeping pill... after two more hours of laying there I got up, started eating, Ice cream, Nacho chips, and finally I made some Top Ramen... by the time I made the Top Ramen the sleeping pill finally kicked in because I don't remember making the Ramen, although I do remember eating it and spilling some... I left the burner on on the stove... for about four hours, on high... the cupboards above the stove were real toasty, my wife says the whole kitchen was warm... That is a scary thing.. I will not ever let that happen again.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thank You

Thank you all who are in my life and affected me in a positive manner over the years. Thank you God for my health, the ability to read, the ability to communicate.
The job I have and the family too.
We take so much for granted here in Ameirica, the freedomes we emjoy, The abundance of food, Hot running water...
The freedom to assemble peaceably.
The right to fail, which our govt. is trying to take away from us. The right to succeed which again our govt. is trying to take away from us thru regulations and taxations... I didn't want to go on a rant about our low state of govt...
Just want to be thankful...
We enjoyed the company of Joan's sister and her husband for Thanksgiving. Their son Brian showed up later for dessert. Joan's sister Arlene was over as well.We had lots of food for so little a number of people!
It was a nice time, mellow!
My wife cooked the bird, and I must say, it turned out perfect as usual!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Going thru someone else's life...

Tonight I got a call from my friend Jose... He had some boxes for me that our friend Leslie left behind while he boarded a plane for India, his native land...
The boxes are full of many magical items from Leslie's time here as a magician, and teacher of magic.
Among the many things I found, were some personal letters and cards.
It was sad for me to go thru all of this stuff. Much of it I had to throw away.
But what is really sad to me is that my friend is probably getting divorced from his wife of many years and they have a one year old girl, their first child...
The baby has changed the dynamics of their home and relationship. Somehow it has caused a wedge between them. I do not know all the reasons for this, my thoughts are that Leslie is not made out for holding down a normal job. He is an artist. I never fully thought about that term before... Artist. Leslie is the first real artist I have had the pleasure to know. He is an amazing talent. Painting, magic, teaching and more. So much more.
I find it difficult to put into words how talented he is. I find it hard to understand how it is so hard for him to find steady work. Any high school in America, in fact in the world would be blessed to have him in their art department.
I think he is a few credits short of getting whatever degree necessary to be qualified to teach. It is really too bad because so many people are missing out on a true talent.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Hands, Hands of Stone!?

I realize I have only been serious magically for six years... Man O Man... I have a lot to learn!
Friday I was able to get our gutters cleaned out, Bout time!
Mark Jensen came by the homestead and we enjoyed working on some Michael Weber magic. The more I learn, the less I realize I know!
It is always a pleasure spending time with Mark, he has a way of always uplifting me.
Saturday was an interesting day, I drained the hot tub and re filled it. I am looking forward to soaking up some heat!
I also finally got to our truck... it needed an oil change. Man that concrete is cold this time of year!
Finally I was able to head out! Where?
Some magicians from Portland that I met at the Portland Magic Jam were coming to Tacoma to spend time with the incomparable Steve Dobson.
I have known Steve for several years. Actually I don't know him at all... I have been in his magical presence a few times. I was so Green magically that all he taught and said at the time, went right over my head.
I was excited to spend time with him in his home.
Oh my!
He blew me away. What a great talent he is. I feel like I know nothing magical in his presence. Steve has been doing magic since he was a little shaver of about ten. He is "old school."
His hands when he performs magic are something to behold. My hands in comparison are stone!
My very first lesson in magic, my friend Steve Ameden told me, "soft hands." Tension kills, imagine squeezing a golf club to death and what tension that would do to your golf swing.
I got the point, yet it is an ongoing battle to relax and have soft hands. Training and practice... a never ending journey!
Steve Dobson mentioned that he practices four hours a day. Do I? Hardly... I flit around here and there. His practice is concentrated and methodical. Most of us find that boring, me included, and yet, that is the secret.
Vince Lombardi said, "perfect practice makes perfect."
Michael Ammar said, "practice makes permanent."
How true and how difficult it is to un train the bad moves we develop by not practicing perfectly. Patience is another word that comes to mind.
I have none. I want to be as good as a Steve Dobson with out the effort and work.
What an eye opener the evening was.
Also in attendance at this session was Brian Proctor from Portland.
I had not had the opportunity to see him preform, but someone told me they didn't think much of him magically. Well, I hate that, that makes you go into meeting someone with preconceived ideas.
Unfair to them, and yourself!
Brian's magic was awesome. He did some great fork bending and coin work. He was also very giving of himself, and has a great nature about him!
Others from Portland also were very accomplished magically!
One of Steve Dobson's students was there as well, Andy Vanornum. He has been into magic for a couple of years and under Steve's tutelage for that time. I have watched Andy grow exponentially! Wow!
Very nice stuff!
I am feeling like a hack! Maybe I am one!?
Several of us went to eat at Ruby Tuesdays in Tacoma, we played with cards and coins and talked magic.
John Villareal, AKA John the Magic guy joined us. I had built him a new table and stand for him, and he wanted to pick them up.
I was showing the guys a magic effect known as matrix. The particular matrix I was doing uses four quarters and four cards.
Not having a close up pad handy, it was difficult for me, I was hacking it up but the waitress really enjoyed it and was astonished!
She asked me to teach her how to do that. well, that's not going to happen, but I did do several more card effects for her and her co worker. Soon John joined in the fun, and now we included another couple as audience members...
My point is... that in magic circles... I am middle of the road, but performing for non magicians.. I rock!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Not Quite Magical?

Tonight Katie had her swim team banquet... I had done some close up magic for her coaches about a month and a half ago... they liked it, what's there not to like? Anyway, at the time he said something about doing some magic at their banquet, maybe ten minutes... I said something in the affirmative, but never heard back...
So tonight is the banquet. The Swim coach hands out a questionnaire with multiple choice questions on it, question seven is... Whose father is a magician?
Well, now everyone is told that Katie's father is a magician, and would you come up and do some magic for everyone, Now ordinarily, I'd have something ready, like cut and restored rope, or Acrobatic Knots, or Linking Rings... you get the idea..
My wife is whispering to me, "you don't have to do anything" and other words like "no," and "well, make it short." Can a guy ever get some support here! :)
But what do I have with me that will play large enough for about 75-100 people???
So I walk up and do the one coin flurry with a silver dollar, and it ends with the large 3 inch dollar!
First time ever in public... Of course I drop the silver dollar but it doesn't matter... as it rolls across the floor, nope, can't get lucky and have it actually fall and stay put. it has to roooooooooollllll about twenty feet away. Someone picks it up and tosses it back to me... I continue and finish on a high note...
Got a nice round of applause at the end, and during the routine some nice ooh's and aah's too.
My daughter later whispers to me, "Dad, that's the first time you've done that in public, isn't it?"
I nod yes and she says, "that was really good." "You should of heard the gasps when that first coin appeared."
She has finally gotten proud of her old man and his magic quirk.
Might get a gig out of it too, a lady whose husband is in charge of the AWANA program at a local church is looking for some different entertainment. Well, I'm different!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Coming along

I have been recently building magic apparatus.
Some tables for street performing. Also was asked to build a matching stand.
I didn't want to build the stand, but when I got started, it all turned out pretty nice!
I have a stand that was given to me several years ago by my friend Scotty Walsh, wonder how he is?
Anyway, I copied that stand, used it as a template you might say...
Chad Reibman wanted an oak stand to match his new table.
Well, being a Flynn, and having the "over build Johnny" gene.. I decided it was just as easy to build two as one.
I posted some pictures on Facebook and got some nice responses. Another magical friend emailed wanting a table and a stand. I told him I really didn't want to build the stands as I broke some drill bits and screw heads off in the hard wood that is Oak. He talked me into it with green paper...
John The Magic Guy also wanted a special added something something to his stand. I obliged, and it turned out pretty sweet!
I actually got my wife involved. She sewed the "baggy" that spans the width of the stand when opened. I use this baggy for putting my props out of the way when I have finished using them for their particular effect.

Friday, November 13, 2009


Weekend warrior days are long past, too bad, I really enjoyed all those sports I used to play.
Another weekend of painting for me...
Our bedroom bathroom is up this weekend. It will be a lot easier than the main BR because it is smaller and I already did one last weekend so I am prepared better.

It will be great when I'm done, but the misses has already spot painted areas in our bedroom. Oy!
Guess I know what's coming next! :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Every year my wife gets together with her sisters and bakes a special bread known as Potica berad. it is a long, all day process. I lvoe the bread. We have a loaf on Christmas day and freeze one and eat it on Easter. Lookin' good, smellin' good. Mmm, Mmm!
A Potica Recipe:
2 teaspoons dry active yeast

½ Cup warm milk
1 Tablespoon sugar

Dissolve yeast and sugar in milk let set 5 minutes to activate the yeast.

1 ½ Cups Milk
¾ Cups Shortening
5 Egg Yolks
¾ Cups Sugar
2 teaspoons Salt
1 Tablespoon Vanilla extract
1 teaspoon nutmeg
7-7 ½ Cups All purpose Flour

Combine Yeast mixture and the rest (except 2 Cups of flour) mix add the remaining flour until the dough can be handled without sticking takes 20 minutes kneading by hand, 9 minutes on a mixer with a bread hook.

Put dough in a large greased bowl and cover with plastic rap and let it relax and double in size in a warm environment.

Walnut Filling

1 stick margarine or butter (¼ pound)
1 ½ Cups milk
2 Cups sugar
½ Cup honey
1 tablespoon vanilla
Grated peel of a lemon
5 egg whites

Some variations you can add at this stage:

Instant coffee, Coco to taste and to add color.

Start with milk and Egg whites in 4 quart saucepan (or double boiler) and bring to 120 F, add margarine, zest and honey, then combine the dry ingredients then add it to the mixure, then bring to a simmer.

Take the mixture off of the heat and add 2 Pounds Walnuts, ground fine.

Roll out the dough pretty thin, spread the filling (should not be hot) on the dough and roll it up (Potica)

You want it to end up as a 4 inch diameter cylinder, cut into loaves that will fit in your bread pans. (Good Idea to have a little piece of dough to put over the ends) or you can also use a “bunt” pan

Cover with plastic wrap and let it relax and rise (not quite double in size)

Egg wash the top if you want a shinny top

Bake in preheated oven @ 325 F for 1 hour

Verson 2


2 pkgs. dry yeast
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 cup warm water Sprinkle sugar over yeast and add warm water. Let it stand until twice its original volume.



5 cups flour (4 cups to start, adding additional flour as needed)
1-1/4 cup warm milk
1/2 cup softened butter or margarine
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. dark rum (or vanilla)
1 grated peel of lemon
Pinch of salt

Mix softened butter, sugar and egg yolks until the sugar is well dissolved and mixture is frothy. Set aside. Warm up the milk, mix in salt, lemon peel, and rum, and add to the butter mixture. Form the dough out of the 4 cups of flour, yeast, and milk mixtures. The trick is not to pour in all the milk mixture immediately; use about 3/4 to start with, then add more as the dough forms.

Beat with electric mixer until smooth and elastic. Then keep adding flour as needed, and mixing with a wooden spoon until of consistency that dough can be handled without sticking. Place dough on floured board and knead for about 15 minutes, adding flour as needed to make a non-sticking dough. Place dough in a well-greased bowl; turn dough upside down to grease top. Cover and let rise in warm place for about 1-1/2 to 2 hours until double in bulk. While dough is rising, prepare filling.



6 cups finely ground walnuts (approx. 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 lb.)
1 cup finely ground golden raisins
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp. dry bread crumbs
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 cup honey
3/4 cup thick cream (or 1/2 and 1/2)
1/2 cup butter (or margarine)
3 egg whites, beaten stiff

Mix walnuts and raisins, and grind them together to keep raisins from clumping. Combine all dry ingredients. Warm the cream and honey, and melt the butter in this mixture. Add cream mixture to dry ingredients and mix completely. Fold in beaten egg whites last. Let filling cool as you roll out dough.


Roll out dough on table covered with a tablecloth well sprinkled with flour. Roll out to 1/4" thick, 18" x 24" or bigger. Spread cooled filling over entire dough evenly. Start rolling up dough by hand, jelly roll fashion, stretching dough slightly with each roll. Start at an 18" edge and roll in the 24" direction. Keep side edges as even as possible. Continue to roll by raising the cloth edge slowly with both hands so the dough rolls itself. Dust away any excess flour on the outside of the dough with a pastry brush as you roll. Prick roll with a toothpick as needed to eliminate air pockets.

With the edge of a spatula (pancake flipper) cut off each end of roll to make it the length needed to fit around the inside of an angel food cake pan. Place in well-greased angel food cake pan or Bundt cake pan, being sure to arrange the seam where the roll ended against the center. If you have a two-piece angel food cake pan, it is easiest to roll the loaf onto and around the bottom plate of the pan, and then lower this into the body of the pan. Cover with a cloth and let rise in a warm place until double in volume. Bake about 1 hour at 325 degrees.

Put cut-off ends in greased loaf pans, cover with cloth and let rise in a warm place until double in volume, then bake for 30 to 35 minutes at 325 degrees.

For a shiny crust, brush top before baking with 1 egg beaten with 1 Tbsp. milk, OR brush top with melted butter when taken from oven.

Let stand one hour before removing from pan. Loosen sides and bottom with knife. Turn onto wire rack to remove, then turn over again onto another wire rack to cool right-side up.

Once completely cool, turn upside-down on a cake plate and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Monday, November 09, 2009

"Make Mine Freedom" Cartoon (1948)

Some things never change!
We still have to fight for what is right.
It is gotten to this point, don't ya think!
Watch the whole thing!

Saturday, November 07, 2009


Funny how when someone says "I'm painting today." We think about the actual painting going on, But there is so much more, shopping for product, paint, wall hole fillers, tape, brushes and...
Prep work. Man I hate prep work...
Because I am an impatient person...
I just want to throw the paint on the wall.
Git er done!
I spent the last couple of days painitn our main bathroom.
My wife bought a new light fixture and well... one thing lead to another! :)
Now she's talking about replacing the vanity, and the toilet...
The vanity is needed to be replaced, the toilet... hmmm. It can stay!

Always a Pleasure

Friday I decided to stay up all day.
I did a little house work. Got out the big ladder, set it up in our bedroom and caulked some huge cracks in the ceiling beam. The corners where the wall and beam meet had some huge gaps as well. I am preparing to paint the bedroom and both upstairs bath rooms.
I called my friend Mark Jensen to see if he was up to coming for a visit.
He was!
He arrived around 1:30 in the afternoon. We didn't really do much magic as far as actually sessioning, but we talked magic, and enjoyed each others company. Several cups of coffee too.
Mark wanted to see me perform an effect known as paper clipped. It is a Jay Sankey miracle and I love it.
Mark liked it too and will be putting it in his repertoire.
I shared with him a routine I learned from Silly Billy that uses three silks and a tube. Mark liked it. We discussed Silly Billy's book, "Seriously Silly." Mainly about entertaining children with magic. How repetition plays a large part in that entertainment.
Went to bed early, I think 9pm.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Hymn Time # 129 The Pledge Of Allegiance Red Skelton 1969

We need to get back to being one nation, under God, Indivisible, we need to drop the hyphenated American from American...
The hyphen has divided us, the hyphen promotes racism...

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Halloween '09'

Had a nice magic gig today..
Farrington Court Senior Center, They have hired me maybe 4-5 times.
I find it challenging to develop new material to share with the residents there.
They are a great group to perform for.
Always treat me with love and respect. We have a fun time together.
I am reminded of something my mentor Tom has said many times. Magic is great, and they pay me to do it too.
That is kind of amazing to get money for something that is so much fun.
Yes, it is a lot of work. Props cost money too. Travel time, performing time, but sometimes the rewards are way more greater than the money.
Money is just a barometer, a way of seeing if you are worth anything as a performer, it also puts a value on what you do.
Don't get me wrong, I like money, wish I was independently wealthy, wish money was no object...
It is just that there are so many serendipities to performing magic.
Smiles, laughter, astonishment, fun, meeting people, making friends, money!
Living and loving life along the way!
Here is an example of something i am trying to point out about this giving of ourselves, below is an email I received about a two weeks ago, I have excluded the names because I don't want to embarrass anyone, and I haven't asked permission to reprint it, but here goes:

"Hey Tim,
I've been thinking about you since last Monday and Tuesday when I meant to call you and ask if you were going to the session. I wish I had, I really wanted to go, but I wanted to ensure that you were going. Then I got busy with something and forgot, and the next thing I know it is Wednesday and I am thinking, "damn! I meant to go to the session last night!" How did it go? I hope it was a killer session. Hey, you'll be hecka proud of me; My son had a football game on Thursday and he played awesome. That isn't the point though, the point is that during halftime I was playing with a deck of cards and some kids asked if I did any tricks. Tricks? Why, now that you mention it.... I started doing card tricks for them, and they liked the card on forehead so much he had to go all the way over to the bleachers and fetch his mother. I then did it for her, and she was blown away, too. I had a great time, and my wife really laughed. I don't think she'd ever seen me do so much magic at one time as I did during that halftime performance. I showed them magic, I taught them each something to take away, but I did it individually so they each had something of their very own to work on, and no one knew the secret to any one else's magic. I felt good and I feel like they did, too. Now, why do you suppose I did that? Oh yeah, because when they asked that question, "Hey, do you do any magic?" All I could hear was my friend Tim's voice inside my head saying, "If you tell them no I will strangle you with my bare hands. You had better share some magic with them." Thank you for the inspiration my friend, I couldn't have done it without you.
Take care, pal!"
Man isn't that cool!
I just doubled myself magically!
When I perform, often times I mention my mentor during my show, or am doing the cups and balls, or the cut and restored rope or the Acrobatic Knot or...
And The people that taught me, whether via a book, or dvd, or in person, they are performing with me thru me. In other words, they are performing. Many of these great magicians are now gone, passed away. I often feel it is honoring them to do magic well, to do a piece that they would be proud of, to use their knowledge and expertise to entertain and enthrall audiences today!

Well, that's all about me, but today was about children enjoying Halloween. It is interesting to me how Halloween has changed since I was a boy 40 years ago. (Wow!)
Now parents walk the streets with their children. Many young parents actually dress up and trick or treat too. We bundle up our children and drive them to some "other" neighborhood that is easier to walk or has house closer together.
We had six trick or treaters last night.
Our neighborhood is hilly, and the homes are all different with interestingly shaped yards. But we drive our children to these neighborhoods my older brother calls cookie cutter homes. They have manicured lawns and side walks, street lamps and it is easy pickins' for the children. Up one side of the street and down the other!

Our daughter is 16. She and a friend dressed up as indians. Can I say that!? She actually asked me if it is o.k. to dress up as an indian squaw. Oops, Native American woman.
My wife and her worked together on her costume, home made. That is great!
It was fun to watch them together, doing a project.
Her and her friend trick or treated for UNICEF. Collecting money for that organization. I never did that!
Looks like she did more than just collect for UNICEF!

I liked the candy! (And the pranks, except when they were done to me)