Sunday, September 30, 2012

This Week

So what do we do with a week off....well, the little ones did their studies and practiced new routines and new learned new props. I have been doing a lot of sleeping.  I awoke one almost noon one day and found Victor walking easily on stilts while practicing the Chinese Yo-yo. Olivia was riding the unicycle with greater and greater ease and Amelia was practicing some Hula-hoop tricks. Jim was overseeing everything.  It was a real circus in our living room....
Notice the yo-yo thingy. Belle is steering clear. 

They do this almost daily.  Today Midori from Japan, who is back for one more semester of school, is supposed to come over for trapeze fun. And Victor will practice the jump rope on the wire. 

Yesterday we found a gusher in front of our house in the street.  The water main to our house was broken. Three guys show up and using a giant vacuum and a water gun the dug a 24+ inch hole and reached the pipe.  Then without ever turning the water off they put a clamp sleeve like thingy on it an in less than 3/4 of an hour had the whole (hole) thing was fixed.
That's the sleeve thingy. 

Had yet another TV network call to talk about the possibility of doing a reality show about us. We get so many calls from potential shows existing and potential that I can't tell you what network or much else about the call. It all kind of just goes in one ear and out the other.   I suppose I need them to Jerry McQuire me da money...or a lucrative iron clad contract...then I will pay attention.

Just a note: since we've been back I have found TV hard to watch.  Since we hung out with and met people of great caliper this summer who never spoke like they do on TV nor use the vileness and vulgarity that passes as humor on TV  I have grown unaccustomed to the language, topics, and low end comedy that passes today's diminishing IQ television audiences. I actually felt brain cells committing suicide as I watched TV this week.
So what do I do when I am not marketing or sleeping?  I found a great pastor on the radio And on line (, Alistair Begg, and have downloaded his podcasts...solid Bible teachings. And I have great DVDs and Books to read. So TV has really slipped down on my list of things. Watching the men fix the water main was more interesting.

California tour starts this Friday.

More on today later tonight.....

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Home Sweet Home (Well, for a couple of weeks)

Regular readers forgive me for not posting anything in a while. We arrived home from the tour after closing the tour in AZ at the Mohave Fair (That's how they spell it there, not Mojave, like in Cali) in Kingman, AZ.
After being on East coast time with a few pop overs to Central time our bodies kind of went through a pit of shock the three days of the fair and the subsequent days since.   James and Victor went through violent allergies in AZ leading both of them to be in pretty bad shape backstage. You couldn't see it on stage, they are pros.
The rest of us just suffered weird sleeping disorders, moodiness, and strange eating times.
I suppose the physical hit on my body was so much that I didn't suffer that "Back In California Dread" I get when I cross the border from AZ.   Though the $5.00 gas in Needles, CA kinda sucked.
A high point is before driving straight home from Kingman, which we would regularly do, was changed up this year by stopping at a friends house outside of Barstow near Calico at a secret little Oasis where there is a lake, swimming pool, and more. So the kids got a chance to spend one day swimming, sleeping, fishing for catfish, and paddle boating. The sunset was amazing.
We also picked up a puppy for Mami. Little Girl is almost as small as a Tea-cup Poodle and definitely smaller than a toy. She is a scrapper and often instigates play fights with the bigger Belle and Tator-tot and often has to be rescued by one of us. She has totally bonded to Mami and it's wonderful to see them together.  Isn't that a great word "wonderful". I think we use it too much because it has lost it's original intent, to describe something that is full of wonder. And when you see the contentment of both Mami and Little Girl (the puppy) faces Wonderful is the only word to describe it.

Since returning home I must admit I a have done two things...sleep and spend money. One was easier and nicer than the other. Both the washer and dryer greeted us with noises and leaks. So we now have a new set. Bills were stacked to the ceiling and had to be paid. The emergency room trip for Mami in Ohio back on tour was another surprise since a loop hole in her insurance put all but $100 on us.  Then while driving home we discovered our main van (the Ford) had a tiny vacuum leak. Ford is evil in one sense; the place they put the vacuum canister in their vans. If one went by the book it would take over 10 man hours to get to the can. It is hidden and buried deep between the engine and the inside of the vehicle. So my mechanic came up with a time and money saver....a junk yard can was put in and the original canister was by passed. They moved some hoses around and ballabing-ballaboom. But it was still an unwanted expense. Then of course there is the various little welcome home I need to be fixed or replaced little items like an empty fridge.

A not so welcome home gift was both vans in our drive way were drained of their gasoline while we were away. The security light out front had been damaged as well. But the two security camera's on the roof captured everything. Except the spiderwebs that covered the lenses makes it impossible to tell anything. OH, well.
By now I am sure you are all convinced that show business is glamorous. The fact is with gas prices so high and the surprise bills we are broke again. Ain't that the way it goes.
A point of note is that to travel with only an RV pulling a small trailer (8X10) and a van pulling a trailer (8X13) we clocked our gas at $500/8 hours on the trip until we hit Cali where it jumped to $700/hours. How traveling shows are going to keep going in these gas price times is beyond me.

A nice thing since coming back is that the kids get to back to AWANA and church and see their old friends. Also I have been blessed to spend time with my two best buddies. In fact, we celebrated Uncle JC's Birthday yesterday here with a Japanese lunch and a chocolate roll cake. Bill and I had a great 2 miles or so walk a caught up on things...with much more to go.

Well, next month is our California tour. Chico, Santa Rosa, Calico, and (hmmm) can't think of the other place. Not in a place to look it up so I will post that some other time, maybe.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

We are back in Cali...

Well, we are back on the westcoast just 8 hours from home.  For years our dear friend, Janet, from Calico has wanted us to stop over and visit her at her beautiful home.   Fortune, fate, or just providence brought us here where Mami made an authentic Japanese meal, the kids went swimming and fishing, and Mami got her very own teeny tiny poodle. Not for the show...for her.   And boy is she a cutie.
We are at a lake side home in the middle of the Mojave desert. Yup lakeside.  We will hit the road early tomorrow and if all goes as planned be home by dinner time.
Thanks to all for you many prayers on our travels.

Published with Blogger-droid v2.0.9

Amelia caught one too!

Published with Blogger-droid v2.0.9

olivia caught a catfish too.

Published with Blogger-droid v2.0.9

victor caught a catfish.

Published with Blogger-droid v2.0.9

Mami's new puppy

Published with Blogger-droid v2.0.9

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Mohave...last day

It was a great day for the show and audiences. We had packed seating and standing room only at all three shows.  I however, had a rough day trying to recover from a back spasm from yesterday. I really didn't feel better until after the last show.
I am impressed how fast the three guys tore down the set and had things packed up.  We pull out tomorrow and will stay with friends in Barstow area where Mami will get her little poodle of her own. They have a pool so that's a plus too.
The week has been tough because of the heat and dryness. Jams and Vic Jr have had serious allergies all week and have been pumped with allergy pills, drops, and sprays.  Beyond that and my back it has been a good week of shows.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Day 2...Mohave Fair

Published with Blogger-droid v2.0.9

Since I blew out my back and am under the influence of muscle relaxers and pain pills I will just post pix...I will explain the way great audiences.....packed to the hilt.

 Spike, Me, Chaz, and Louie
 Spike ... experiencing YO
Hypno Joe

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Mohave County Fair

Well...with a steady wind at 15 mph and gust up to who knows we opened our first show. Like many events who hire us the first time the provide one set of bleachers and even though it was 2:30 on a Thur. And our crowd were most seniors and vendors' kids we filled that and had standers.  The temp is 91 degrees so in a way I like the breeze. But it kills some stunts. I.e. Belle the dog wasn't excited about performing but Tator tot was thrilled.
Published with Blogger-droid v2.0.9

Show two had a larger crowd as more families started to show up. In the morning, prior to us having shows there we a million school kids here.  I wonder why they had no entertainment going on for them?  Anyways, between the shows I road the Penny Farthing and it got bug-eyed reactions from folks since most people never get the opportunity to see such a cool bike. I stop every now and a gain and give it's history then ride on.  Even though it is a separate production division of our company we gave the fair a taste of our robot, we usually charge more for him. But it gave the folks here a chance to see him and decide if maybe next year they would want to use him with or without the circus. 

The wind has been insane and the dry weather is killing my cuticles, drying my hair and for the first time this season I had to use chap stick. 

Our third show was fantastic. I knew we needed more bleachers but none arrived and we had over 150 people standing around, sitting on the strange mixture of bermuda grass and gravel made from old black top to watch the show. They really need to add more seats.  The audience was good but made better by a couple of groups of really enthusiastic folks who really got into it. It was awesome. 

The wind died down enough for me to light my tongue on fire, part of the fire-eating act. All day it just blew to hard....Conway (my right mutton chop) got a bit singed at the second show. 


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Arrived in Kingman

It was a short 4 hour drive to Kingman,Az. As we came over the bluff and looked at the valley below, the valley where Kingman is located, we saw nothing but a giant black cloud dumping sheets of water on the town.  We arrived while it was still raining but it soon faded away to a humid afternoon. The kids set up the show while I ran errands like finding mice for Buttercup.
We have an early start tomorrow so I will leave the blog short.  The picture is a horseshoe cactus...little horseshoe nails are the prickles.
Blessings to you.

Published with Blogger-droid v2.0.9

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Route 66

Click on the pictures to make them bigger:

Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, NM. The cars parked here were inspiration for the movie Cars...including Mater. We had to have the plug put in the van's tire back in ky taken out and a real patch fix done at route 66 tire across the street from t
he motel.
If we had known we might had stayed there instead of rving it today.

Ran into a little rain today. We will be in Kingman for the fair by tomorrow.

Weird to be on pacific time.

I am keeping an eye on one of the rv's front tires. It has a little bevel on it or fanning and may lead to tread separation. The van's vacuum leak that is messing with the a/c heats the floor vents in the back but blows cold out the top vents when the rear a/c is turned. Since we want live bunnies,etc at shows it will remain off.

The kids studied most of the day but hit the playground here the second we parked. Victor has to do the dump water hook up so he had to rush through that before playing. Right now he is watching Abbot and Costello on the small dvd player.

Monday, September 10, 2012

pix of today by jim

Published with Blogger-droid v2.0.9

Helicopter at a Gas station

Our westward trek continues and it seems we are still leaving water in our wake as we here from our friends and see on the news that within 48 hours of us being somewhere it rains.
We drove from the cut off to Watonga off hwy 40 in OK  to New Mexico...rain was due there today....we shall see. And rain is due here in Tucumcari in the next cou9le of days....a few storms hit around us. The winds are crazy tonight.

On our drive we saw a full helicopter (rotors aligned) on a semi at a gas station.  We also saw a goodly number of military vehicles (over 100) drive past us along the way. I wanted to stop at the Chik fi la in Amarillo but we were in a sorta hurry today.
You see our fleet is aging. The rv would be hard pressed to pull a tailer all over tarnation anymore and being 13 years old it is ready to become some local fisherman's rig. The van got a new transmission last year but now is showing signs of a vacuum leak that is causing the aircon to default from coming out the vents to coming out the defroster. The hoses I need to check are in impossible to check places so we will hope for the best that is doesn't get bigger and cause engine trouble....the boys are only pulling the
Big tailer over the Rockies tomorrow......
Everyone is doing well. We are feeling the pressure of two less in the troupe. But reports from Miles and CC are all good.

Published with Blogger-droid v2.0.9

Sunday, September 9, 2012


We are in Oklahoma and the winds are not sweeping cross the plains.  It's calm and hot.  And yes the state is on fire. Thank God (for giving man the ability to develop navigators)...we were able to get around the fire that closed HWY 40 Near OK City and not be late to our ETA.   
The only problem with the navigators is that they are not always completely up to date. Going through OKC the thing kept rerouting  me every second.  I knew it was just confused since I knew my route well. But it is funny to watch a machine go bi-polar. 

I am surprised how busy the camp we are staying at is. Again their are a lot of perms or long time residents here. Many are working on the natural gas lines. So they leave their families behind and live in an RV moving along as the work comes and goes. 
Just inside OKC there is an airplane museum with lots of cool planes to see from the hwy. There was even a former Air Force one. 
Oh, As we left Ky the other day we stopped at a junk/gift/antique store. I have become addicted to Horehound's great when my throat is sore on stage.  I have bought it at many store but this little junk yard had the best ever. Oh baby!
I made some at home a few months back....this was the closest to the flavor. 

We are staying at an RV park on the Cherokee reservation area. Even went into the big store near here....almost everything was MIC or MIP (Made in China or Made in Pakistan. So no purchases. 

The only place to buy groceries nearby on a Sunday really gouges yous. $5 for a gallon of milk. 

The only worries we have i that my front driver's tire has a bit of a funny wear on it so I am watching from tread separation. And the tire we had the screw removed from in KY has a sloowwwww leak. We carry a compressor. 

click on any picture to make it bigger

Blogger-droid v2.0.9We

Friday, September 7, 2012

Happy Trails

Mami asked me to tell you a cool story from last week. While at a gas station where we had to pull in the Rv in an unusual manner due to the limited space the man in front of us noticed the Anti Monkey Butt decals and we got to talking. He also noticed our dogs and went back over to his car and brought back dog biscuits for them.

The water at the camp last night was well water and had a strong sulphur smell. we all took fast showers. I bought a second filter at Walmart today. We now double filter our water. Part of the road.

We were going to visit Cynthia and Miles in Berea but went further west instead. When i talked with them later on I discovered neither one would have been able to visit with us so the decision was a good one.

The first few pix are from the camp in Nowhere...pretty but very old and limited.  The gas pump above is in the story below.  Below is the giant pillow at the Yogi Bear camp from today's camp. The rest are all from the tire shop (see story below).

There wasn't much rush this morning to git goin' but there wasn't much to do in the middle of nowhere. So we hit the road at 9:30. As we move south and west it is getting hotter and more humid. As I type this Nowhere,oh is getting rain. That keeps our rain-maker record pretty strong.
Just about the time we left Nick noticed that a trailer tire was down to it's steal belts. We hit a truck stop who lead us to Barker's tire off exit 69 on I72.
They had the tires we needed and they had a pool table in the waiting room. In fact they had many strange relics laying around.  They noticed the AntiMonkeyButt decals so we gave them enough samples for all the employees. They gave us a remote control helicopter for the kids...and lollipops to boot.
That set us back q bit of time and money but we were on our way. 
A little later we pulled into another big truck stop. The type with 4 or 5 pumps per each island with lots of space in between. An old man driving a little silver Toyota was just in front of me as we pulled into the station and he had all 5 pumps to choose. He stopped at the first one. I honked...he did not notice so I had to carefully pull the big rv and trailer around the way my bladder was pretty full.  I got in and made it to the first pump. The pump however was designed by a sadist. As I began pumping it clicked off, every squeeze of the handle got the same reaction,  like when you are topping off the tank. Nick and James took over as I made my dash and splash. When I came out it was still doing it. So I gave up and let the place loose the rest of the sale.
We stayed at that station a while longer for Mami to fix the boys in the van lunch...we were now over an hour later than I wanted.
We made it to central time, and our destination....Yogi Bear Mammoth _ave, ky.  That extra hour gave the kids more time to play. So far this has been the busiest rv camp we have visited this year.  They have lots of specials going on.
Published with Blogger-droid v2.0.9