Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Tour Prep means Fleet Prep

Howdy, hope you are all well. Those of you in the Polar Vortex please stay warm and safe.

As we prepare to leave the earliest we have ever left on our cross country tour (March 2nd) we are in a rush to get things ready. Not only the practice and development of the routines and the marketing, art, advertising, booking, etc. But all the vehicles need a going over since we are going to put them under a lot of load and work.  Our faithful Ford van that has been the main pulling vehicle, which had to have an alternator replaced in a car parts parking lot last year is in the shop due to a new hum that developed last week.  It's the power steering pump.  But they say it should be fine, it's making the same noise a reconditioned one would make.  So since we are at 200K on the engine I decided to go ahead and change the water pump because to get 2000K out of one is lucky to get more is gambling, in my experience.  No it wasn't the mechanics was mine.   I could drive a van w/out power steering for a month But a dead water pump on the road means, towing, unknown garage, and possibly gouging. So......

The new RV is well but we noticed a small gouge in one tire and the air bed has a small leak so we are taking it in to have those fixed.

The old Rv is being sold. But before we sell it I want to make sure whoever buys it gets a clean nice vehicle so we have replaced some things and fixed some minor things, gave it a tune up, etc.   Two guys stopped by last week seeing the "for sale" sign on it and offered me a ridiculous amount. ( I think they wanted to flip it.)  They were fast talkers and had stuff in their teeth and pushy. I don't think I would had sold it to them even if they offered full asking price since they were so rude.   It was our home on tour for 3 years so I refuse to sell it to anyone like that.

We will replace the old motorhome with a travel trailer so Jim and the others can use it instead of a tent or a hotel.

The puppies are days away from being ready for adoption. They are so adorable and the girls have really become attached to them.   They get their first shots on Saturday so they can be handled by outsiders. They are mostly weened from their mom.   They are lots of fun.

Those who remember Cookie, our first puppy from Little Girl and Tator Tot, is doing really well at his home with  my dear friend JC and Clydean.  He is their joy....and they are his.   When it snowed at their house we visited and found the little guy hopping through the snow.  He is such a cool dog.

No pictures this time.  

More to share with you.  The next entry should  give you a layout of our tour and the trial and troubles and blessings that come with it.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Long Tour Ahead

Happy New Year. OK, I'm nearly a month late saying that. So Happy Chinese New Year. I think that is in a few days.
Anyway looks like our season will start March 8,9 in Louisville, KY. I hope the frigid temps have gone up by then.   Cynthia and Miles have been sharing how KY has been freezing with lots of snow this year. Opposite of our Cali. We are in a drought. Worst in 60 years.

Leaving early is putting all kinds of pressure on getting ready. We bought a new RV and need to sell the old one. Little girl had puppies and they are nearly the age to sell. We have new costumes (everyone keeps growing ..... me horizontally) and those costumes need some decorating before we leave. We also have new tricks, stunts, magic, etc. All being practiced and learned.  The kids all have new routines too. 

 Also the booking and marketing is still going on. We have a few holes in our tour that need to be filled but Jim and I are working on that.  In fact, Jim is pulling an all nighter getting over 1000 postcards stamped and addressed by tomorrow morning.  On Monday the price of stamps are going up, again.  Fortunately we got most of our 3000 or so mailers out before the post office made the move.  Frustrating how everything is going up.  
I booked a small family show for this coming Sunday.  I don't do too many of these anymore. I usually refer them to my two best friends. But, these folks have hired me many times over the early years and how can I turn down loyal fans. And I recall they were always a good audience.   Vic Jr is going along as a roadie.

So why are we leaving so early?  Well, Cynthia is graduating from college. That's right, do you feel old now?  I do.   If we started our tour in late May as has been the case the last few years we all would have had to fly out.  That would be costly. The Scottish side of me decided that if we left early everyone could go and we can get paid to do it.  And besides the Louisville event has been inquiring about us for a couple of years. So it's win win.  Now we just have to fill the time between that gig and the one in late April.  So if any of you know anyone or any gig in the south or in the area of KY (or surrounding states) let us know. No show too small, no fee too big. (I think that was a joke.).

Regarding the Puppies.  The turn six weeks next week and we will put them up for sale the following week. $400 each. Their mom is a 4.5 lb Toy (teacup) Poodle, and Dad is a 5.9lb Toy poodle.

Berea College, Berea, KY  (Pix by CC Kent 2014)

I will be posting more often this year so keep checking back. I will close out this entry with pictures from Miles' trip to Japan over the holidays.....that right we did not get to see him this past Christmas. He spent time with his Grandma and aunts and cousins and dear Uncle Eddie. He gained 7lbs while there. 

With Fu-chan (His Maternal grandma)

Miles, his Auntie Taeko and Uncle Eddie (Just to be clear Taeko and Eddie are not married)

with Uncle Kaoru (Taeko's Hubby) my brother in law

wiht aunt and uncle and Cousin Ryosuke (in glasses) and his wife and daughter

with cousin Sayako....she toured with us a couple of years ago. 

making mochi the old fashioned way. 

with autie Noriko