Thursday, February 9, 2012

Preparing - Staying Fit - Arguing - Magic JC

So how do we stay fit for the performing season when we are off. Well, we practice on the static trapeze, walk the tight rope, go for awfully long walks, and now we have the kids do gymnastics. Today Victor, Amelia, and Olivia began gymnastic classes to learn tumbling, flipping, trampoline, an acrobatics. I had not stood in that building for something like 12 years. Not since Cynthia was on the team there. Olivia, who not only looks like Cynthia, is athletic ans Cynthia was, is, was is...hmmmmm Cynthia is still athletic!  She had the best form of the three and made it look easy. It is amazing the number of people who go to our church that go there.   I also saw one of Cynthia's childhood friends, Skylar, who now teaches there. 

 Tomorrow we have a upper level meeting with the show to discuss the show's direction this season. Nick will be coming over.  We will also work on building Nick a handstand rig. 

This morning the girls got a special treat. They went to "White Cross".  That is a group of ladies from our church who make bandages and sends them to needy countries. They also do a lot of other good works for the sick and needy in our town.  The girls had a great time chatting and learning how to make those bandages with the ladies. And since they were the only ones under 46 there...way under 46, I am sure they were the little darlings of the group.  But that is how any father would imagine it right?

I have been having an online "discussion" (argument) with a liberal (he likes to call himself "Progressive" when I see Progressive to mean taking us to an Oligarchy system of gov't) over a dumb posting he made on Facebook basically calling Christians, hypocrites because we call ourselves a Christian Nation that ignores the poor.  The whole problem I had was that the statement (it was actually a quote form a comedian who thinks of himself as clever) was based on two fallacies, 1. we ignore our poor when in fact our poor are the fattest well taken poor in the world.  And 2. Christians aren't charitable but greedy hypocrites.  This disproved by many studies and facts which I documented in my argument with him. Read the book, "Makers and Takers".  It will enlighten you.  If you need enlightening....some people like the dark.

We have bought an ad in the local Trivia Pages Book that will appear in many of the local restaurants in our area. Since we are on the road a lot we have discovered that not many people realize we are in the area. I run across lots of people who have heard of us or saw us long ago but didn't realize we were right in their backyard. The price was right and the ad will run for a year rotating four times around the various pages in the book with an article about us going in as well. 

Finally, I had a great lunch with my good friend JC Dunn, magician extraordinaire. We enjoyed Mami's Americanized Goulash. Funny a Japanese woman making and Americanized version of an Hungarian meal. he came bearing gifts, a giant box of apples. We are an apple crazy family so that was nice.  After lunch we went down to our good friends at Comers Print Shop and picked up some ad stuff I needed, including my $1,000,001 Bill.   I blew the trick I tried but JC saved the day with many really nice tricks and stunts for the folks at the shop.  It was a good day.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A video, some art and a six-mile walk!

Since we are in the "off season" the biggest problem is the spare tire problem. Mine has been getting thicker so I have recently took to taking walks. The longer the better, though my body argues with me on that point.  I mixed this chore with other chores. Like I walked around the far side of town to get to the down down area to meet with an advertising man, and I went to visit the local gymnastics academy to look into getting the kids into a class or two to keep themselves nimble and to possible learn a few things for the show, and the obvious health benefits.  I went with my friend, Bill Jackson. And along the way we stopped by a shop or two to browse and even perform a trick or two.  The video here is just me horsing around with magic and stunts. 
We didn't do any blocking or real planning so excuse any angle problems. We'll do better next time.

Happily the walk was broken up by a stop at a restaurant to meet with an ad salesman for a menu trivia ad book thingy you find at many restaurants around town. He was in made his pitch and out of there like wild fire.  So my salad didn't get cold. 
From there we hit them Gymnastics joint and checked on getting the kids in a class. I was amazed at the number of people from my church that go their.  One of them was even one of the coaches. 
As always the final hill up 10th street, the slow non stop grade, got me a huffin' and a puffin'.  I am, however, happy to report that I am not as wiped out as last time (Sunday).
Finally, 20 years ago today Cynthia was born into our family. We are blessed. She reported she is going to eat carrot cake and watch "Remember the Titans" (Director cut) to celebrate.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Here is an old interview

williamsburg part 3

Some last minute pictures I took from CC's Facebook page.

Upside Down - Nature - Etc.

Each day when we aren't on the road the kids are supposed to practice various stunts, tricks, exercises to keep themselves in shape and keep muscle memory. Since I am having everyone learn to stand on their head, walk on their hands and a couple of them learn flips, I thought it only fair that I at least try standing on my head.  It's been a while and I was a little shaky at first but this old fat man pulled it off.   OK when I rolled out I missed the mat and banged my tail-bone on the hardwood floor.   But other than a pain in the coccus, I'm well. I'm sure I will feel it tomorrow.  

The local state parks dept. has a special nature program for home schoolers once a month.  The kids get to learn about nature, conservationism, and animals. Today they got to use cool  microscopes to look up close at butterfly wings, feathers, plant stems, hair, bees faces, etc. Then they had a nature walk. The trail  was peppered with "taxidermed" animals like a rattle snake and a skunk and such. But we did get the treat of meeting a real deer. A doe in fact. She was within ten feet of us and cared less about us as she grazed.  

I loved the look of that old tree behind the kids so I had to have them pose with it.   I also learned a few things on the walk.  I often wondered what the name of a particular pine tree that grows abundantly around  here. Turns out to be the Foothill Pine.  And being from the Bay Area  I was used to the California Live Oak but I either forgot or never new the name of the Blue Oak that is all around the foothills here.  I Also learned about the Toyon, a red berry plant that grows around the area. In fact, it has a nick name, California Holly or Christmas Holly.  Early settlers found this abundant around the hills of the L.A. area and hence named that part of town Hollywood. Cool, huh?  Well the berries are edible  and are sweeter the older and drier the berries get.  The research on the Toyon lead me to a couple of other edible plants in California so I have to say it was a very educational day for me. And when society falls apart search me out and I will fix you a nice Toyon Tea a salad a week earlier you would have weed whacked and thrown away. 

Peek a boo. 

Real, stuffed skunk.  The guide even taught the kids a silly old skunk song from his childhood.  It was cute.   
Each month the kids are given rubber gloves and small garbage bags and they get a special treat if they bring it back filled with litter they picked up at the parks. (The kids are advised against picking up cigarette butts and other not so desirable things that can sometimes be found in a park.)

Olivia took this picture of Uncle JC.  The Magician of Paradise, CA. It was a while back but she insisted I down load the pictures from her camera today so here is one of them....and the next one with Amelia and Tater Tot.

Tea Parties and Magical Walks

As most of America watched the Super Bowl our house was pretty quiet. Instead of adding to my expanding waist-line I decided to attempt the 6 mile loop around our town from my house east back to my house west. With the winter fat building up it was a tough walk and I have to admit it hurt. But it's several hours later and the Tylenol has done it's job.  I enjoyed the walk with  my good friend Bill Jackson.   As a means of refreshment we stopped by a local fast food joint to grab a small bite and a drink. While ordering I performed the Human Block head and some magic and mentalism and won for ourselves a couple of free onion ring orders. When we first went in the store was empty.  By the time we ordered there were two people behind us and they overheard we were getting free onion rings  (well, in fact we did work for them) and they asked how they could get the free rings. They were turned down and we got the skank eye from the lady behind us.   We call that a JC moment because dear friend JC Dunn constantly performs for people and constantly gets little treats or reduced room rates for his tricks. 

Meanwhile back at the house the girls had a guest. A church friend came over for the day and they dressed up, including their stuffed animals and had a tea party. They even baked their own cookies. 
As I limped in from the walk I found that their was one in my family watching the "game" in my bedroom. Miles had the game on and seemed to be enjoying it. Since I had no skin in the game, SF lost in the playoffs. I had no interest.  I did have interest in my bed and I found it most comforting to collapse on it. Even with the game on.  Happily it was over just a few minutes later and then silence.

Friday, February 3, 2012

An Insight into My Mind....and my day...

Friday February 3rd;
Since there are no shows today, no long drives, no meetings, no auditions, and I have finally organized my receipts from 2011 into their proper stacks ready to be but into the "books" (Quicken) I took the first half of the day very casually.

Because I keep late hours (night person) and Mami keeps early hours (morning person) she lets me sleep until I wake-up.  Like I am some kind of celebrity I wake up each morning and cellphone Mami for my coffee...yup, I actually pick up my phone that had been charging all night and call "room service". (About this time Mami is homeschooling the kids.) Shortly after the call my bedroom door bursts open and the three little ones (now not so little 10, 8, 6) each come over and give me a hug and a hardy good morning. Sometimes they are brimming with news about something special or cool that happened earlier that morning. Then comes the coffee. Aw, the coffee! At this same time the two dogs who have been sleeping on my bed are up and bouncing around ready to go out.

Also by that time I have turned my laptop on and checked for any important emails and have begun answering them. Or I have begun scanning various headlines from all kinds of news sources.  I like to compare what stories each of the various left, right and central news outlets are spewing that day. I especially don't want to miss any kind of emergency that we might have missed through the night.

Today I found out Jim Carrey and Steve Carrel will be playing adversary magicians in an upcoming movie. I found out Miley Cyrus will be playing in a movie where she has a revealing sex scene with a guy and a lesbian scene with a girl...bye bye Hanna Montana.  I found out the jobless rate fell to 8.3% but the the number that they used to calculate the rate (the work force level) was adjusted down from 66 million to 63 million.I also discovered  that the rate doesn't include the under employed and the people who have given up searching for work so the real number is around 10% if you count the under-employed and 15% if you don't. (Under-employed are people working part time jobs or people who lost their good paying jobs and now work for minimum wage.)  By the way, that makes over 3 solid years of unemployment above 7%...a record.  I keep an eye on that because if people aren't working, and have no income they can't afford to hire luxury things, like entertainers.

The funniest news I found was about a brawl that happened on Hollywood Blvd yesterday. If you saw my previous blog you will see several street characters who will take a picture with you for tips. Apparently several of them got into a fight over "location" and Capt. Jack Sparrow got pepper-sprayed.  Two days late for us to have caught the action. I would have loved to watch that. You have to see them live to appreciate why I find all this funny.  It seems ever since that singer, Andy Grammer, was discovered on the streets of Santa Monica every street act in America, and beyond, are immigrating to the LA area.

You may have noticed I stayed away from politics. That's because the whole rigamaroll has gotten to be overly dramatic and stupid. Lefties are slamming righties and visa-versa worse thatn ever.  Both sides close their eyes to the flaws of their side and their politicians but are keen to notice the slightest flaw of the other side. Both sides claiming moral superiority when both sides are needing to ignore or lie to maintain that claim....just look at the manipulation of the jobs report. Just what are they basing their morality on? For some it is a slide-rule based on their own feelings. For others it is a rock, a fixed position unmovable regardless of their own feelings.

Breakfast in bed today! That was a nice surprise.

Out of bed and all groomed I hit the "to do list" which today included getting the ingredients for a recipe that will be included in our newsletter so we can take a picture of it...and eat it. Then I dropped off the information needed for the printers to print up some publicity material. Always fun to stop at Comer's Print Shop. I did a couple of magic tricks for them and had a few laughs.  Then it was the bank followed by a stop at the feed store to pick up Buttercup and Mr. Squeezer's lunch, six mice. Walmart was in their somewhere but only because little Tater-tot likes to eat bathtub plugs and needed a new walking harness. He ate that too.

Back home, Olivia has expressed interest in singing "Keep Your Head Up" in the show so I downloaded the music and the lyric for her to practice.

Next comes our big Jelly Bean Taste-off. We have samples of David's Gourmet Jelly Bean from David Klein, Inventor of the Jelly Belly (but frozen out of the company years ago and not given any credit by the company).  He has launched a competitive gourmet bean that is being met by consumers very well. But Jelly Belly has millions of dollars and the word on the street is they have sicked their large corporate structure and their lawyers out to stop the distribution of the beans by threatening distributors. If you recall we met David last week and he is one of the amicable people you will ever meet. He kind of reminds me of my uncle his looks.

We plan on taping the tasting and post it as a video blog.

So welcome to my will be taking a break now.