Saturday, June 28, 2014

Canada 1

A bit out of order…it is 1:55am on Sat. June 28…..we are at the Swift Current Pioneer days.  It is also the centennial celebration of the town.   That means the large building we performed in last year is being used to hold centennial artifacts and we are in a tent…..can you imagine that a circus in a tent? Well I suppose that is normal, but our tent is 17” high, our trapeze is 20 so we are running it a bit low. That means the kids have to watch their heads, from the floor.   That is a first.

Sticker shock of basic food items is 30-400% the cost of the US. And getting used to kilometers to mph was interesting. No 100 KPh is not 100mph.

One cool thing is there is a frozen pizza company next to our tent giving away free food to promote the pizza they sell in stores.  As a result we have saved tons of moola on lunch with fabulous free pizza.

The first two days have been slow. The weather people have scared people away with threats of t-storms. But instead the weather has been great.  At night it is winter clothes time.  The highest we have reached is 69*.

Now back a few days…..

The first two days have been slow but picking up. I think it has a little to do with the economy up here. Price shock was the first thing to hit us up here.  Imagine anything in the States at 30-4--% their regular cost.

This past week we left on a 1700+ mile drive from Kentucky to Swift Current, Sk Canada. We gave ourselves 4 days because, truthfully, I ain’t getting younger and 6-10 hour drives are way nicer than those old fashioned 19 hour drives. And Google maps never take into account bathroom and gas stops when calculating time for a trip.
The first 1300 miles went by well. We had to race a storm once, that was exciting, but it was generally scenic and nice. But the last 400 or so were excruciating.  The view from the border of Canada to Swift current was green and nice…..but it was green and nice for 400+ miles. Every minute felt three times longer.
Since 9/11 the free crossing between Canada and America has become ridiculously cumbersome; bordering on ridiculous.  Did you know the Canadian border guards wear body armor now?  Really! Who is going to show a Canadian Border agent? Today, all of us, including Titus had to get out of the rv and van and go into a building to have a “background check” on us. I wish profiling was allowed then we wouldn’t have had to wait an hour. Anyways, Titus handled it well and waved to some other poor souls waiting for their checks. I thank God for that because he usually doesn’t like these kind of things.  Just for the record it was because we carried a special visa to allow us to work at the fair up here that they had to do the check; a check that they had already done when I presented the papers for the visa.   Boy is Canada getting to be a wasteful and foolish as America. Back in the 90s we drove over and waved to the agent (one man in a booth as we crossed). In 2010 we spent 10 minutes in the car as the agent called in to check the visas. Today, an hour with a line and only 2 agents to handle it. Canada and America the lands of the free…and I have the permits, taxes and visas to prove it. Kind of reminded me of old German war movies with their check points.  Oh, well, one man’s opinion.
On the way out here to SK we had to try and race a storm, as I mentioned in the last blog.  That was tough enough. Storms are bad roads are the bane of any traveler.  And I have done my share of complaining about roads in many US states. But I will shut my mouth from now on because I met Hwy 39 out of North Portal in SK.  For over 30 miles we rocked, rolled, shook, shimmied and shaked. Several pieces of the rv unscrewed itself and other parts just fell off inside the rv. The ABS light came on and all of us wore frayed nerves. We hit a small town and the roads were acceptable, but then we were back in open country and put up with another 30 miles of vehicle destroying roads. Finally things smoothed out for the most part and our long trek to Swift Current continued, and continued, and continued. I admit the green fields were pretty, but one does long for a building or two to give the eye more to see.

We made it here safely with a detour from some tarmac laying by the locals.   It was only a 10 minute detour through a very lovely old town.  (I recommend Swift current as a wonderful spot to visit. It has charm and fishing.   We are hoping to get some fishing in.)
Friday morning Jim took Kyle as a robot, Miles as a robot, and Victor as a pink gorilla, Wesley as a clown and himself as a stilt walker to the town’s pancake b-fast downtown. They were a hit.

We had two shows today ad both had good, though small audiences. (Tomorrow should be packed.)   Again we had pizza for lunch and snacks. With a guy like Kyle along a free all you can eat pizza is good.

I had to step back in time today to get the show set properly.  I noticed yesterday there were a lot of “forgotten” things, so today I played the good old fashioned dad and go everything straight.

Tomorrow, Saturday, a regional Tv stations wants to do a docudrama about us and will cover the show and backs stage live.  A lot like Discovery did.   I hope to get a copy of the video.

The hardest part of this past two days is we are on the grounds and near the cows.  All night long they seem to like to moo. That has left some of us with bags in our eyes in the morn.

I have many pix and more to share so stand by…..

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Its Fun at the YMCA

We performed at three YMCAs this past week. All three facilities were absolutely beautiful. 
Kyle's family came for a visit after dropping his sister off to college in FL. That was a great time.  The kids gave us a break and we four adults went to the Gandalior, an Italian-Greek restaurant. The building would make Dr Who fans thrilled as it is bigger on the inside (HUGE) compared to how it looks on the outside.   The food was 5 star but the cost was 1.5 stars since it was so cheap....the owner could easily charge twice or three times the cost for the quality.   BTW we met the owner. He is a Greek who came to NY a while back and worked as a dish washer in an Italian restaurant. He knew no English.  He learned English from his Italian boss and now speaks English with an Italian accent.  He was the chef in six months. 
Kyle got a hair cut but got to keep his beard. 
A couple of small thunderstorms passed us by. seems all the big stuff splits and goes around us this year. 
Still mild. The worst we did for heat was around 90 degrees with a bit of humidity. 
Prayers for the folks in Cali. Heard their were a couple of small fires in my hometown.
We have finally to decided and have been given the blessing of my folks to leave Cali for good.  How long it will take is anyone's guess but we are going through the process of having our home listed.   
We have been offered a business opportunity to buy an RV campsite that is very lucrative for a great price, we just have to come up with 20%. So again, with narely a dime in the bank it will be a pure God thing if it works out. And since I am a novice on investment stuff I have been visiting banks and talking with everyone I meet to find out what for in the world of finance and real estate.  For donations please send $100,000 to Victor Kent in small bills or big, dirty or clean we aren't choosy, we can always wipe the dirty ones off.  LOL

 Our Boss at YMCA
 The sound bag from the Discovery shoot on Sunday/Monday

 sometimes the simple things are better than the pro stuff

 These two pix cost my back some pain as I relive an old trick I haven't done since the big kids were little. The older ones insisted I do a few old ones since they meant so much to them. They wanted to pass that memory on.........were are the ibuprofins?

 Three fairly heavy solid chairs interlocked.   This was a spur of the moment balance.
 abut to have my nose whipped.

That is the soap box for a routine we call , "Shake baby shake".

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

That's a Wrap

Howdy Howdy.
I have kept a secret from you all, though I have given you a little insight into it in some of the blogs.
Back in april or so Discovery Network contacted us to do a sizzle reel (a sales reel of a show to use as a sales tool to convince a network to book or buy a show) of our family and show; a docu-drama like Duck Dynasty or something similar to that. They originally planned to tape us while performing at the Festival in Michigan last month but changed dates on us at the last minute.  Though it was a bit embarrassing after setting up everything with our venue and hosts all smoothed over and they re-set the taping date to this past Sunday and today.

The producer flew out from L.A. and with a hired professional film crew taped our shows and family interactions .   We did something similar with them four or five years ago but in the end it didn't work out but the top producer of development stayed int ouch with us and thought it was a good idea to give us another try.     The producer and the crew were absolutely terrific people. They even treated us to lunch at a local sit down joint and paid for the gizzards and chicken livers for our eating contest.

I won't go into great detail since there was so much and it was a long two days.   I will say thanks to the First Christian Church of London KY for allowing us to tape at their picnic. Also to Oh Kentucky Campgrounds for letting us do taping there.   I will also share how we wrapped the taping.   The whole family fully clothed jumped into the campsite swimming pool making a big splash. Now, will our sizzle cause a ripple and big splash for TV?

Kyle got a special treat today. His family stopped by to visit.  They are on a driving trip across America after dropping Kyle's sister off at college in Florida.

The kids gave us a break from them and Kyle's folks and Mami and I went to the new Italian place called the Gondolier. The food and service was great and the price was crazy cheap.  The building itself is a lot like Dr. Who's Tardis; it looks small on the outside but is huge on the inside.   The owner is a hearty man who when he spoke to us sounded Italian but turned out be from Greece.  He came to America a while back and unable to speak a word of English went to work for an Italian man as a dish washer in NY.  Withing a few months he was a cook and was learning English from his Italian boss. Today he speaks with an Italian accent.

Later we took Kyle down for a hair cut but no one touched his beard. He looks cooler now.

The kids had a great time with Kyle's siblings,mostly at the RV Camp pool.

Kyle's family had a hard time saying good bye, especially his little sister. But comings and goings are part of life and the Fosters had to go since my buddy (Lloyd) has work next week.  It was a blessing having them here.

 The boys went back up to the Pinnacles this week. This time it was to the West Pinnacle which is a little tougher to get to so the girls and I, with my bad back, stayed put.  It was national Juggler's day that day and Jim made a crazy video while on the hill.    click on the video below:

 One of my costumes for this year. Since the film crew wanted us in various costumes and clothing I dug this out from deep in the closet.  Popped a button on my waistcoat.

Friday, June 13, 2014


Mami and I (and Vic Jr) drove down to London (KY) to check out the layout for the show we will do on Sunday. Normally we don't do pre checks like this but a major TV network is sending a crew out to tape us for a test reel for a potential series about our family and we wanted to make sure we knew what the venue setting was like so we could set up properly.   We are going to do a church pic nic and we are giving the message. I found that out last week.  I don't mind, in fact, I love it. We have done this type of thing many times. And since we love Jesus we are honored and humbled to have this honor.   The venue is absolutely beautiful. Oh, I can't tell you how luscious and green and quiet it is. 
In regards to the taping, please pray we do well. It would be fun to have a series and represent God in such a material way. And it would be great to have the publicity that comes from such a show and to perform for the world. 
The little ones and Kyle lived in the pool today and Vic Jr had to chase two adults staying here away from our aerial rig. hey tried playing on it.....adults......that material on that thing is very expensive. But the cool thing is a 12 year old yelling at them (he was riding a unicycle in their direction, scared them away to the point of running. 
My mom mentioned to me that she saw commercial that had an electronic muscle stimulator device that might help my back.   Mami went out and bought it at Walmart (It is a TENSdevice....something electronic neural stimulator )   It has done wonders for my back pain. Though it doesn't do anything for the spinal nerve pain, it keeps my muscles relaxed and that helps fight the spasms.   Cool.