Thursday, February 21, 2013

End Of February Update

First let's just share these two pictures: (Little Girls (8 Months old...get's her first grooming...before and after.) She was so matted from digging all the time that we had to go really short.
Anti Monkey Butt Powder has re-signed with us as sponsors for 2013. Big thanks to them. Please Like their page on Facebook. 
And here is a joke I found funny......

No back to the serious stuff.

Cynthia has been doing indoor track this year and has been fairing well. Her 4X400 team always seems to place in the top but the great news of the week is in Columbus, Ohio she took first in the 500 meters. 
She is considering doing the hepathalon in the last two meets.  She just wants to throw the big metal ball and chuck a spear. 

Miles has been attending practice for outdoor track which starts in March. He is our distance boy.  He, like Cynthia, are active at their church in KY. Miles helps with AWANA out there every week. 

James saw the sign that describes him at the local pizza place this past week. 

With the dry spell of shows over we performed last week at Centerpint Church in Roseville. It was Dad-Daughter night. Candy galore.  

...and cup cakes and ice creme.  We got to participate as well as perform. We even performed our new Lights through performer trick...Victor was the Victim. 
Here is a shot in our house with Mami as the one getting it. 

 Earlier this week I was hit with a stomach bug for 24 hours.  Tator Tot kept me comforted. 
 Don't forget...we are doing a fundraiser to help support our church sending youth down to Mexico over Easter Break to build homes for the needy...if you are in the area......COME ON DOWN. 

The rest of the week has been filled with doing repairs and upgrades to the RV. We've decided to wait a year to get a new one so we are spiffying this one up. 
Mami has been doing a great job teaching the kids. Each week they meet with other homeschool groups and have play dates, so to speak. today they even went to the Mosquito abatement place to learn about what they do. Next week the have free tickets to the Monterrey Aquarium .  
This past couple of weeks I have been trying to get more active so my show clothes aren't so snug so I have been biking with Olivia and playing basketball with all of them.  In fact, I just finished a game with them and by does my back hurt. But it is worth it.   In fact, while playing two "elders" from the Mormon church stopped by and asked if the kids were my grand kids.  (They are lucky my guns were put away.) I told them they were the youngest of my seven....and I wasn't even Mormon.  Then I gave them that "gotcha" look. I told the we were evangelicals and sent them on their way.  Why they call teenagers "elders" is the only proof need to know a group isn't right. Rename something to mean something else, who do they think they are? Democrats? 
Well...that's everything in a nutshell...

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Getting into Shape for the '13 tour!

After the crazies of 2012 with it's travels taking us all the way to Massachusetts and nine other states in between while dealing with unprecedented fuel and travel cost as well as increases in taxes, regulatory fees, and insurances we really deserved hibernation this winter.  Grant it we didn't really hibernate. We went to conventions, marketed, update and upgrade props and equipment, and did all the thousand little things to get ready for 2013's season.  
One last thing to do before we go into full throttle ...get my gut back down to my show pants size. Yup, time to shed the winter coat.  So recently I have been working out with the kids.  Well, as best as a guy with a tumor in his spinal cord can do. Mostly I have been biking; mostly w/Jim.  But today Princess Olivia and I packed our bikes into the van and after running around on errands we hit the trails that run along the Feather River.   We passed a gaggle of birders with their big binoculars and cannon-sized camera lenses.  A couple of joggers and dog walkers were out enjoying the day too.

We are coming up on what was once a yearly event but we have missed the last two years, Magic for Mexico. My home church sends youth group and sometimes college kids to Mexico over Spring Break to build homes for the needy there. We often donate the use of one of our vans.  But this year we are going back to the old tradition of doing a nice sized show where 100% of proceeds go to the trip for the kids.  It's a character building trip for these kids and it serves the Lord.   I have asked my good magician friends, JC Dunn, Carlos Sawyer, and Bill Jackson to join me.  Jugglin' Jim and  the Kent Kids will also perform.  It will be less a circus style show and mostly a magic show.
If you can make it out please do; you will be helping a great cause.

While we have been enjoying warm days here in NorCal my cousins in CT have had a bit of a rough patch. Below explains what I am talking about. That is my cousin's husband half way down his step shoveling snow the same way Obama shoveled the manure in the State of the Union last night.  Look how high up on their glass door the snow reached.

 Many of you have asked about Cynthia and Miles. They are doing well.  Ky was at the far edge of the big freeze so they fared well. Below are some pictures from Cynthia's Birthday gathering last week.  Miles baked her a cake and they both, joined by friends, had a nice spaghetti dinner.

 Miles, being industrial, went out and booked himself a show back at the college. He Performed a 30 minute show and made some pocket cash ...Below he is swallowing a loooong balloon.

Meanwhile at Home Olivia's Onigiri, and Amelia's Piggy had a tea party celebrating Cynthia's birthday. 

James made the front page of the local paper after doing a very terrific job at reading for kids at a local school as part of a fundraiser.  The publicity resulted in another school wanting to hire him for a regular paid show school assembly for next month. 

More to come on new tricks and stunts in the show. Below is our current Summer tour schedule:
Here is the Summer tour layout so far (still booking shows so this will change as we progress in time forward):
Beech Bend Amusement Park Jun 3-16
Clarksville Fair (TN) June 18-23
Bellevue Festival (OH) June 2 27-29
Willard festival in the Park (OH) July 3-6
Delaware Co Fair (IA) July 9-13
Cherokee Co Fair (IA) July 18-21
Plymouth Co Fair (IA) July 24-28
Breemer Co Fair (IA) One day Aug 1,2 or 3
Mannington Fair (WV) August 5-10
Upper Peninsula State Fair (MI) August 12-18
Mohave Fair (AZ) Sept 12-14
Navajo Fair (AZ) (Robot only) Sept 11-14
More to come and adjustments to any errors I may have made here in dates to come.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Hollywood Pilgrimage 2013

Once a year for the past 5 years on the first weekend in February (for the most part) JC Dunn and more recently Bill Jackson, and I head to Hollywood. More specifically to the Magic Castle. Each year we try to squeeze in as much as we can into two or three days.
This year time seemed to have moved way too fast and we seemed to had done less than any other year. We did get to enjoy a good chunk of the Superbowl in the members only party down in the bowels of the castle and we caught all six performances in the various showrooms on Sunday. On Monday we had a couple of special guest join us. My best friend in high school, the late Paul Simoni's little brother Chester and his model beautiful wife (whose in beautiful matches her outer beauty) joined us. It was wonderful to see the reactions of non-magicians when they see good magic shows close-up and person as we did at the Castle.

Both nights wee ran into a number of famous and not-so-famous, magician friends. We also made a few new friends, like young Siegfried who was on his way down to do his "performance interview" to become a Castle Member. We later found out he did well and was now a member.  

My only regret of the two days is a shame onto myself. I had one too many on Monday night and lost an hour or two of memories. Now, I am not a social drinker. I took up having a shot of bourbon as a muscle relaxer due to a tumor in my spine a couple of years ago. And even then, not every night. As a joke I have a "magician's flask" that seems t never bee empty, but in reality serves less than a 1/4 shot with each pour, with the right glass it looks like more. But that is off the point. In spite of my constant preaching to my kids and others toward temperance I somehow had one glass to many. I am not sure why, how, or when. I suppose I can render a guess as to why: it was the first time since the funeral several years ago that I have had any social interaction with anyone from my dear departed best friend of yor, Paul's, family and my guest that night is his little brother (albeit all grown up).  I think the several hundred memories like when I was sick and missed Paul with a colorful up-chuck by inches, the time we rolled   his truck on the hill behind his house then up-righted it, the target shooting in his back yard, the many times we went cruising or just hanging out,etc., well, I think I let my guard down and bam. Since I come from a family of generational alcoholics (my parents excluded) I must say the whole incident scared and still scares me. To loose ones memory for even a few minutes is scary, but up to two hours. So social drinking has ended for me. With no regrets. You know I don't even remember saying, "good bye" to my friends that night. I am ashamed of myself.

But onward top happier moments. Our walk on the Hollywood walk of fame is always a hoot. Not so much for the touristy things but more for watching the tourists themselves. So much fun to watch. Each year I also try to get my little ones a little souvignier...most are MIC (made in China) and I avoid them but if it is unique and meaningful I will pick them up something. And good ole JC can't be stopped from getting them something as well.  You can't tie that guy down when it comes to stopping him from being generous. I know I've tried. hehehe

Lunch at SoCal's PK Chang's was nice. the food was good but I am still a loyal Tong Fong Low guy. TFL has been around in my hometown for over 100 years. Started by the Chinese show came to Cali to work the railroads and gold mines. PKC's hot and sour soup was not as hot and sour as we liked so I asked the waiter to bring some seasoned rice vinegar and I added it and some spicy garlic sauce to the soup and made it much better. Otherwise the food was very tasty.  And the company of Bill and JC made it even nicer.

Outside of acting the tourist, Chinese food, and the Castle we pretty much didn't do much more this year. Which is odd because we are usually hitting everywhere. Oh well, there is always 2014.