Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Since returning from the southern most tip of Nevada from the AZ fairs Assoc. Convention I have failed to post a blog for those faithful friends, family, and fans.  I am sorry. A lot has gone on in those two or three weeks. Time seems to just spin sometimes.
I will work backwards.

Today the last (we hope) of the four of us that had the unfortune to catch that stomach bug is in the what seems to be her final day as her body begins to normalize. Mami was the last to get sick with this nasty little nausea-maker. I should point out that Mami rarely gets sick so that proves this bug to be nastier than most. James was the first to catch it and the handed it off to me. Olivia seemed to have a very minor case with nothing more than stomach cramps that did not slow her down in action or appetite.  We aren't 100% sure that she had the bug or just over worked her abs with her Contortionism. We are lucky in the fact that our case seems to be a little less potent than others we have heard about who have caught "the bug". We were able to control the top half of our bodies from reproducing our meals. The other half I will not discuss.  One strange thing that "the bug" did in James, Me and Mami was to give us all strange dreams and nightmares.

BTW, Cynthia is suffering a bug that has the earmarks of a cold with a fever back in KY.  She and Miles come home for the Holidays December 15.

"The Bug" took up most of this past week. Yup, even Thanksgiving. at least for me.  James' was Pre-TG and Mami's was post TG so only I missed out on gorging myself in the gluttony of an over flowing table of tasty treats. I managed a very small plate with very select, mild foods then went to sleep.

Somewhere before and after "the bug" I have been feverishly marketing for the show. After all, we do like to eat and having a roof over our heads is a nice thing to have. We did loose a big regular November gig that we have been doing for nearly ten years to the economy. That seems to be a theme over the last couple of years. So many of our clients are going under, out, or streamlining to survive...if they survived...this economy. But what can one do except persevere.

Over The TG holiday cousins and family and friends came to visit:
 Olivia lives for cheese and flexibility.

Two weekends ago  Jim and I performed for the Museum Row event in our hometown. I dressed the part and rode my Penny Farthing Bike and James wore my 1910's outfit and ran the sideshow "single-O" sideshow tent.  We did the gig mostly out of community spirit and the  town offered us a stipend of sorts. Today I got a bill from the city for "working in the city" and I have to buy a Business license for the city. (I should mention that we call this town our hometown but we actually live in the county.) So much for civic spirit. We did have a wonderful time performing and demonstrating that day though. It was fun.
(These pictures below are from the city of Oroville's Facebook Page.)

Now we get back to the convention. We did rebook a fair from last year. We were told we were the talk of the fair. That was humbling because we were among a world record unicyclist, a Magic Castle magician, a top notch hypnotist and a famous knife thrower and others. I have a lot of respect for all those performers. But we made the paper and we drew the crowds.  And we had fun doing it.
Another fair has expressed interest and a third wants to book our robot.

The convention was as all conventions are busy and slow and ... well, unless you have been to one it's hard to say "and what".  Jim is a natural at these things but I fear I am not anymore. I suppose that kind of marketing and politicking and schmoozing is gone from my veins.

Here is a funny story.  On the night of Nov 12 I could not sleep.  I don't know what it was but I had a bad back day and the pain pills and muscle relaxers were doing their job but a faint echo of the pain kept me awake. So I took a shot of bourbon. That usually, all by itself, would put me out like a baby. And it did...so I thought. What it actually did was create a state of amnesia the next day for me. I woke up the next day and checked my email. The night before sometime, late, I had gone to Ebay and bought a bear mascot costume.  It was one that I had saved in my want list but had no intention of buying for a while. Lesson learned.
Cute costume and it will add to our show but, wow, I don't care how tired I am now mixing medication with bourbon!!!

I was very happy to hear a magician friend from Chico had landed a TV show. It is a 9 part show on Discovery where the claim is showing the science behind magic. The magician is Wayne H. and I saw the 4th episode before seeing any other episode and it turned out to be an exposure show. The masked magician kind of thing with a very loose mask of "science" to excuse the exposing. The four Magicians involved have all at one time or another created a magic trick. However, none of the tricks they created did they expose. They gave away secrets that weren't theirs to give away and then described very quickly and very ineffectively the science that makes it work. I bet you no one who saw the show could tell you anything about the science of the trick but they sure could tell you the secret of the trick.  I admit the show is also mixed with a lot of nonsense classroom science stuff that was likewise inadequately explained. I have since seen one or two other episodes and still hold my conclusion that these guys have crossed the ethical line. 

Prayers needed for my good friend Bill. He was in a fender bender, or in this case a fender tear-aparter accident in Chico. He is fine but his van's front fender and bumper have seen better days. Well, in spite of the  people he hit claiming to be fine at the scene, even to the police they have hied that sleazy Australian lawyer on the back of your phone book to sue the pants off Bill.  The letter from them reads like a script from a 70s CHiPs episode where the schister Lawyer tells his clients what to say and do so they can get rich.   We certainly hope no one is really hurt but this whole situation just stinks. 

I know this entry is filled with a lot of bummers and sounds a little down beat. I apologize. Life, however, can be just that way. Since the last writing America has lost Twinkies and Ding Dongs. So as you can see life can just be a bummer sometimes.   But I end on an upbeat note. In-spite of all the crazies and  let downs, bugs and bummers I now there is a God. A God that is way bigger than me, after all he created the cosmos, he would have to be pretty big. Yet he promises that not a bird falls from the air or a hair falls from my head that he is not unaware. So I rest in a confidence that I rest in Him. 

Well, back to work. I have a lot of work to do. Got to get the bookings coming in so off I go..... 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

AZ Fair Convention

Back for our thirst time here in Laughlin, NV, Vegas for old people win RVs.  Last year Mami and I came here. This year it is James who is with me. He is a natural with the meeting and creating contacts. He also get's to play the part of the Robot. We wanted to promote the robot more this year.
In fact we had him where a pith helmet and carry a Nurf shot gun for the "jungle" theme costume contest today.  I wore a Butt flap (loin cloth) and appeared as George of the jungle who has let himself go...that picture is coming. I made it to the final two in the judging and came in 2nd to a guy dressed in a Banana suit from Walmart....
Steven Rosen (a nice guy and great balloon twister) made this Anti  Monkey Butt Powder Monkey for me... including the red bottom. Great job. 

A great compliment came on the first day. A performer friend of ours who we've know for a while finally saw our show this summer. When I ran into for the first time this year he told me that he had a comment on our show but it may come out wrong. He said he wasn't sure what he had expected our show to be but having finally saw it he said that we had a surprisingly good show that was really entertaining.  He said he doesn't know how to classify our show (magic show, circus, vaudeville, etc) because it was so unique. 

I heard from home the dogs are missing me and protesting with pee and "tootsie rolls" .When Mami asked Tator Tot, while holding him like a baby, if he missed me he let out an obvious long loud sigh. Isn't that sweet. 

Last night at the Convention it was bowling night. I left my bag at the hotel and while bowling I had three back spams. No bag meant no pills so I hit the bar and Bourbon saved my night. I ended up bowling the best in our group, 135.  Jim was on my team as were a lady name Peggy and a gent named Mike. Both from different fairs. Both great folks. 

Today, beyond the costume thing, there was a showcase and performers demonstrated their talents. Scot Land (Marionettes), The Great Godfrey (Magician), Matt Baker (comedian juggler), Leaping Louie (the cowboy lasso, etc. act), and a bunch of musicians. 

Jim holds a real die in front of the 4' die in front of a hotel. 

More to come...

Thursday, November 8, 2012


Sorry for the long silence. But we don't post as many blogs while we are in the slower winter months.
We closed our big show traveling out last week w/a trip to SoCal for our annual Calico Ghost Haunt. Normally we do 2 weekends but the organizer wanted to try something different for the first weekend, breaking out 16 year tradition). The shop owners and many of our fans were not too happy. I even got several emails and Facebook complaints about us not being there. The act they brought in were a couple of portly men who present a so called horror magic show that included a fire-eating routine where one of the gents zips down his fly and sticks a lit fire-eating torch into his crotch. Calico is primarily a family oriented place and the people who told me about this said they were aghast at their show. Not seeing or knowing them personally I have nothing personal to report. However, the people who own the shops and restaurants up there complained that the show there was so bad it drew small crowds hence small sales.
It was humbling when we returned the second weekend and were greeted by nearly everyone with hugs, hearty hand shakes, and then immediate gratitude that the other act wasn't back.
Our schedule was a unique one this year. We always did night shows but this year we weren't scheduled to do any. Again the shop owners were not happy. Our night shows always drew more than 600-1000 people watching. That means hungry, thirsty folks waiting for the show to go on, not to mention eating and drinking during the show and after. They lost revenue. So on the Saturday one of the owners asked me if he could contract us for a night show. I said sure if the town approved it. He handled that end and told me they had so we did our night show and we had quite a crowd...and the shop keepers made a little bit more that night.
I am only guessing but since the evidence is strong I have to say our treatment was a sort of petty revenge. Last year we had a night show the same time the Hypnotist had his show at the bottom of the town. We had 600+. He had 13 and didn't do a show. So the boss asked me to start our night show 30 minutes early, end 30 minutes early and announce the hypnotist. During this conversation I suggested she think about another hypnotist since there are so many out there that would perform if only one person showed up (we meet so many in our travels). A private 30 second or less suggestion. In the mean time a young man from the theatrical world who was running some of the events mid town was livid that a performer would do what that guy had done. "The show must go on" wasn't a cliche or saying to him...it was in his dna make-up. So he let everyone know of his dissatisfaction.  Word got back to the hypno-dude that someone was spreading bad press. He must have assumed it was me. But I hadn't seen his show and all I knew of him was what the boss-lady told me and my suggestion for a better performer.  At the close of last year one of the shop owners asked why we did our show earlier then push the crowd out fast...cutting into his possibility of more income. I told him what my boss-lady had asked me to do and that I had suggested a perfomer who would go on regardless. He told me that I had made a booboo....the hypno dude and the Boss lady were lovers. OOPS! Hence payback? (I say that because a month later hypno dude sends me a series of messages via facebook that trashed me for what I suggest to boss lady and that he could see to it that I would not perform there again. ...I saved those messages.)  Isn't show business fun.

Since November is light on bookings Jim and I decided to volunteer to be a poll worker. Yo know patriotism, giving back to society. I was an inspector (manager) and Jim was a VSS (Voting systems specialist...in control of the voting machines). We worked different precincts.   It was educational. Like within five minutes into the job I could think of how a slime-bag or group could easily pull off fraud. Cali's system is so flawed I am sure, just because so many human hearts are un-tempered by morality or ethics. Many are in it for their guy (or gal) to win that the means justifies the ends. Regardless, it was a fun 16 hours on vote-night and since it was steady it went by fast. We pot-lucked with the other poll workers for snacks and meals.  My crew included 4 older women and one hippy-like free spirit 19 year old who has already lived with a beautiful woman in LA an been homeless on the streets of SF and Oroville. He told me his write-in vote was a protest vote, he wrote in the name of a dead British turned French turned exiled anarchist.

Since back I had a wonderful lunch of Pho noodles with my best friend JC. It is always fun to get together with him. If ever there was a kinder man who's heart is bigger than the moon, I have yet to find it. And he always has to make people's days by doing magic ricks and jokes for them. Never has anyone been turned off by him. He is just that kind of kind guy.

Also since returning I have had a long hike with my other best friend, Bill Jackson. That was yesterday and boy do I ache today. I love our conversations. We talk of many things but it is our talks of Christ and the Church that are the best. He is so knowledgeable in theology and in magic (illusions) it is like walking with a human encyclopedia.

On Halloween we performed for our 7th time at First Baptist Church in Elk Grove. What an honor and blessing. We mix a little God-talk and perform our hearts out for them. I think we are one of the only acts to set up trapeze in a church main hall.

 10 minutes before the Elk Grove show I found Wlado.
 Little girl loves to dig....and get dirty.
 Amelia and piggy....mummified.
 Katie came to visit the girls. They love little Katy She is a sweetie.

Calico Ghost haunt.

 Buckeyes on our hike
 click on th pictures to make them bigger