Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Mish Mash

We are just about two weeks until we hit the open highways and in spite of Oil prices falling below $90 California continues to raise it's gas prices.  These rates didn't even exist when oil was over $150.  I am thinking someone is getting very rich as we hoofers are getting poorer.

As a nice send off our good friend Dean and JC came down from the hills of Paradise to sup with Mami and I at Tong Fong Lows. As always the meal was fantastic and the company even better.  JC and I have lunches together quite often when we are not on the road so this was our last hurrah before we drive off to bring smiles to families across America. Thank you guys!

Like a ghost from the past the evil name of David Lee Jackson from the Los Angelas Spring Fair (Faith Festivals, West Coast Festivals, from Victorville, Ontario, Hesperia, and Huntington Beach. ) reappeared in my life today.  Seems a legal group has gone after him.  One of the major acts from last year's Spring Fair, where he ran off without paying anyone, has already won a suit that allows the courts to put a lean on any property of Mr Jackson's in one of the southern Counties. However, the gentleman I spoke with today is going for the rest, so to speak. David Jackson and his wife Lisa Forsythe Jackson have been, in a manner, hiding from their creditors for over a year now.  I can tell you that any one looking for him he has listed himself as COO of Discovery Agency, inc., an insurance referral company in either Victorville or Ontario.  If any of you still looking for him finds him. Please remind him he owes us several thousand dollars and would love to be paid for services rendered.

As for other avenues of our life all are doing well. Most of our time is focused on graduation and show prep. I can't wait for that road!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

First...thank you to all those who gave their lives, limb, family member, anything and everything for the freedoms we enjoy today.  There is no greater love than someone giving their life for another, especially when that other is someone they don't even know or who have ever met.  Thank you.

Second...It was my hope to attend a ceremony today here in Oroville today but things going on here kept me from going and I regret that.

Third...later in the day (just a few minutes ago) Nick and Olivia modeled their costumes for their new duo act:

They also practiced a bit on the trapeze.  We had the opportunity to meet Nick's new girlfriend. Very lovely young lady.  I know they look superhero-ish but for us that is whimsical and fun. We try to keep the modesty.
In violent protest from Mami (OK, it was really violent...unless looks could kill) I rode the Penny Farthing to keep in practice.  I also showed Nick how to do it. And yes it is all on video.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

R and R or Else!

OK, Mami let me ride the Penny Farthing for the Pub Shots but then it was R and R or else. Since my backs spasm three weeks ago I have had about 20 little spasms and 2 middle sized ones and one that border lined killed me. (figuratively speaking).  Also since the face plant on my first test ride of the bike when I jammed my right arm there has been a lot of inner soft tissue pain and turning a car key takes two hands. So I was off duty.
Bill (Jackson) and I hit the local sports club for a long soak in the hot tub and a relaxing chat in the lounge there. Ran into an old church friend (Mr. Hurt) and had a nice chat with him.
Got a call from CC...she just got home from the nationals and had a blast.
Now it is bed rest for two days to make the wife happy.   I will post today's pub pix below.  Salmon for dinner and a quiet evening.
For those of you in the know I will get my MRI for my back in a couple of weeks. Lots going on back there but I won't let it slow me down....only Mami can do that.   Thanks for the prayers for my friends with the cold and the heart thing. Both are doing better.  Prayers for my back are appreciated.  I also have a magician friend with prostate cancer who could use a prayer or two as well. His name is Tony.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Costumes and Getting back on the horse

As tour time approaches everything is coming together. Today Olivia and Nick's aerial costumes came, Mami has long since made the capes but the unitards were special order. Most circus today goes in for a bit more skin showing than I prefer unless the stunt requires it (for grip for example) so we went kinda of super hero-ish. Nick has a matching one. Nick also has a solo outfit as does Olivia and we will post those in the days to come. 
I should also mention our historic outfit for the Penny Farthing is also put together and I will get pix of that this weekend as well.  On that note the photos below will show a marked improvement over my crash the first day out.  Still Mami worries and sends the kids as chasers on their bikes to make sure I don't crash and if I do to cal 911. HAHAHA.......
The equipment is getting it's check-up, touch-ups and repairs in preparation for the tour and Titus is getting a new treat with anew flat screen for the won't be installed until the very last second since I trust my neighborhood like I trust a politician. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Well, today I successfully mounted, rode then dismounted the Penny Farthing against the wishes of family and friends due to my sore wrist, stiff back and pain pill induced sleepiness. The kids ran through the sprinklers. Cynthia is off to the NAIA national track finals for the 400 hurdles....She will be there for three days depending on how well she does each day.  Miles is hanging with friends. James is in SF picking up ingredients from Japan town for our tour. Earlier he went to Oakland to interview with a church to take over the music and youth ministries in the fall. I put in a few hours in the office and a few minutes under the hood of one of the vans. Right now Mami is in the backyard grilling salmon and trout. A great day in America my friends.
I am only sorry that my planned lunch with my friend JC was called off due to his heart condition that rears it's ugly head from time to time. His wife has a cold too. So keep both of them in your prayers. You would be hard pressed to find nicer people.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Penny Farthing....I rode it, Crashed, and got back on.

The video tells the story. having just recovered from a major back spasm I went for it anyways.  Yes I crashed. But did much better the next try.  I have a lot of practice to go.

Monday, May 21, 2012


Ok, the only this post is called "angel" is because I am writing it as I listen to Sarah McLaughlin's "Angel". I am hoping CC will sing this year on tour. I think it is so very touching. It reminds me of a 'seeking" so desperate for God's comfort...if found will only bring comfort.
In the past she has expressed no desire to sing it because the SPCA used it for that sad abused pet commercial.  I hope this year she will relent.
Those of you in the know I have been suffering one of my worst back spams in years. So bad that I visited the doctor.  That means there were further complications than just the spasm. But I am not ready to share that yet.  I am happy to report that I seem to be improving, finally!  I am even thinking of giving the Penny Farthing a try tomorrow. To My mother, I can only say, sorry, I am still going to try..
With less than a month for tour we are so under prepared. The three week spasm, the heavy kids' schedule, James' work, Miles' Senior year, etc have all contributed to a slow start in preparations. Say a prayer for us. 
This year we have to figure how to keep the weight down so we don't ruin a transmission like last year. Also with gas prices ware so high any extra weight will kill us. Not that we aren't going to get a black eye from BP, Shell and the government. But what can we do.  Send your gasoline card donations to :********
With God's help maybe we will break even. 

Still I love my job. It is driving me crazy that we aren't on the road yet.  There is a peace on the road that doesn't exist at home or any place else. Having the family along makes is even nicer. I know they are all growing up. But in the fashion of olden days it would be so wonderful to have several generations of us traveling together bringing fun and love to the people. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Life is an Adventure

Life is an adventure and a mysterious one at that! Last Thursday, the day before our big kick off show, I had the worst back spasm I have had in over 2 years. I spent Thursday in bed instead of marketing the show to increase sales.
Come Friday I slept late and relied on the kids to get everything to the theater and set up. They are a fantastic group as that is what they did with no need for my supervision.  I was walking around all the way up until curtain time with two canes looking strangely like a giant preying mantis. Shortly before showtime I took my muscle relaxer and pain pill but the pain was still to inedible to go on so I took a swig of bourbon from a flask I carry for emergencies (not drinking emergencies but as a forager it works great for wounds, pain, etc. ). Though still in fantastic pain I did the show and survived. Then after the show I left the kids to clean up and I went straight home to bed.
Now it is late Tuesday night and I got to thinking.  Yeah, my back is still killing me, but my thought was on Mami. She recently has been getting bug bites all up and down her arms,back and a strange rash on her neck.  While I was reading a book by flashlight on Tuesday I decided to shine my light around the bed and to my shock I discovered scores of bedbugs; varying in sizes. I woke Mami and we went on a hunt to kill as many as we could. I did research on them on the internet and today I called the exterminators. it is going to cost a bundle but we have them coming tomorrow.
What an adventure. According to my research the US almost had them eradicated until junk science killed the use of DDT, the only thing know to do  bang up job killing them.  Gosh, I hate the libs that brought about a world wide ban over junk science..

Over the weekend the kids had a fun tea party event at church where they dressed themselves and their stuffed animals up and had a big tea is a pix or two....

Today, as Mami and the gang prepared the house for the inspection, Vic Jr and I drove to the Bay Area to pick up a Penny was called an Ordinary bike until the "safety bike" (those are the bikes we commonly see today) came into being. We thought it would be a fun addition to the show and a great show piece on it's own.

 I should mention the man who makes the bikes also makes cannons.
 The reason the Brits called it a penny farthing was because hte big wheel was like a penny and  the small like a farthing.
Well, I am drugged up as I write this so forgive any typos or incoherent sentences. I'm just glad in this state I did no decide to ride the bike.  Bet it would have made a great picture. 
I see the doc tomorrow.  I will keep you apprised.  Blessings. 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Cinco de Mayo

OK, we don't celebrate Cinco de mayo, but then again, Mexico doesn't either so I guess we are in good company. But we did have a pretty cool day.  We awoke to find out we made the front page  of the local paper.... in spite of our failed attempt for Jim's world record...we will try again next is the link:
Then Mami the three little ones, Miles and James went to "Walk for Life", a fundraiser for the Pregnancy Resource Center. Jim and Miles performed at the event and Mami and the kids went on the Marathon across the Dam.
Afterwards Jim visited the 80th celebration of the Pioneer museum where Jim Balanced a few things like the Scythe below on his face:
Afterwards Miles and I went on an 8 mile walk along the Freeman Bike trail in hopes that I could improve my foraging skills ( my hobby is learning about edible, poisonous, and medical use plants. I did find one plant I didn't know:
On our way back we needed to cross the river and the two choices were a couple of mile walk to the main road or the train bridge. So in hopes of not reenacting a scene from STAND BY ME we jogged the 1/4 mile span in hopes no train would show up.
This was right after the jog.

I have to admit my legs were spaghetti by the time I got home....just in time for a power failure.  A warning to you hikers.....poison Oak is really out there this year. The late rains made for humongous poison oak bushes. 

James' Attempt makes the local paper (link below)

Friday, May 4, 2012

Record Attempt

You may know that Jim has been wanting to tackle the tallest item balanced on his chin Guinness record for some time. The connection design of using wood as joining cleats couldn't handle the flex strength. So we had crane brought out and retried a few days later. We intended on a bucket truck or lift but a regular crane was brought out and the flex problem reared it's ugly head.  So we reset the date to today and changed the wood connector to solid aluminum.  A sizzor lift was brought out and everything went well as far as the new way of lifting the pipe up.  But the weather did not work with us and during the lift just as Jim was about to begin a 25mph gust to the pipe and it crashed to the ground. the cross forces of shear, compression, and flex caused the top 20 foot section to twist and bend at about 30 degrees.
We will be retrying soon.....

Tje two dots on the picture with the lift  is where the top of the pipe is.  Click  on any of the pictures to make them larger!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


A bunch of memories.....
1996 a group of us going to the local eatery after a show. Melisa, my first US female assistant and Forrest my first sound man and his future wife Anne, along with the Dornans and the Logasas.
 Just a publicity picture from Japan.
 Kate and Bill posing with an illusion I built on the deck that is now a dinning room.
 CC, James, Melisa, and Me
 At Valley Hi Country Club in Elk Grove when my hair was just starting to turn gray...see the cool bride of Frankenstein stripe starting?
 Cool Pub pix from Japan.

 Keiko, from "Magic: The Story"...a production I did.
 Escaping in Quincy.
 Pub pix from Japan.

 Uncle Eddie and me back when my hair was brown and he had hair.
 Cynthia in kindergarten.
 At Mt Lassen Bible Camp.

 Miles the Smiling Clown.
 My 2 cylinder van in Japan....Mami is plump with Miles in the oven. James and CC are the two small ones and the older girl is the young lady that assisted in the show.
 Melisa and I in Bermuda for shows.  This was the only time I went to the beach. We were on our way to the airport and we stopped so I could get a picture.

 I bought my Bermuda shorts and socks and tie in Bermuda.

Memories and such

OK we ended last week with the wrong crane for Jim's tallest balance record but we managed to get a good picture of sand castles with the girls.  very cute if I do brag so my self. 
 On Saturday Victor and I went foraging in the hills and found these Puffball mushrooms.  I knew little of them at the time so left them alone but have since discovered they are good eats. So next time. It was a great walk and my legs were spaghetti strands by the end.
 In case you missed it this is Betsy and to quote a song, My house is protected by the good Lord and a gun, and you might meet them both if you come here unwanted son. S&W 44 nickle plated stainless still magnum.
Here is a flashback to 1993...not photshopped. I built a real Thurston levitation and never used it in a show in spite of the cost. Takes too long to set up and use. But it looks good.  It is the same method of the Copperfield Flying Illusion. But his one only goes up and down.  I found it while cleaning out my office today. The prop is rusting outside.
Flashback 1994: Okinawa
Flashback: Jim doing his first show in April of 1994
The levitation again.
Uncle Eddie in Okinawa when he had hair. That was  a great weekend.
I need to you think this is a good addition to our business?