Thursday, September 14, 2006

Starting to use my brain again

I'd like to thank one of the smartest people I know, Mr. JR Hughson of Microsoft. Check out his blog BACKTALK. JR is a magician friend, we grew up together in Cincinnati. I'm not really sure when he became some sort of personal productivity guru to me, I'm guessing around 1999 or 2000. He started me on the Franklin Covey System and started me blogging well before it was trendy. More recently he sent me a book (which I never thanked him for, so I'm doing that here). The book by David Allen is titled Getting Things Done.

I was having trouble absorbing the new system of "Next Action" vs "Task List" as well as subcousiously fighting the need to overhaul my work space from a mess to an organized environment of productivity and efficient effectiveness. I bought the audio version from the iTunes Music Store and loaded it into my new 2 gig iPod Nano. After listening to it a couple of times, it is making the reading easier. Almost a month ago I bought a 2006-2007 refill for my Franklin Planner and I have been attempting to hose off that crap that's caked on the gears of my brian.

Buster started school last week. I'm going to bed earlier, I'm getting up earlier. After I drop Buster off at school, I start the day with a laser focused planning session. Incorporating Mr. Allen's approach is already showing some progress in my thinking.

So, here I am now. . . again. . . evaluating my life, my dreams and my desires. Looking, more realistically than ever, at my skills and attempting to align them with my goals.

But that's really the problem, for the last few years I haven't had many goals. One goal I did have was to get over the divorce, accept the loss of my children and move forward. Now that I have completed that phase, I'm starting to see a new type of future through the marine layer of my mind.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

David Copperfield • Flying

I'll never forget the feeling of seeing this live for the first time. Front row with my mouth on the floor. I was 20 feet away from him and couldn't see a thing. Just beautiful!


Awesome pic viewed BIG

LA Sunset


To make a short story long

Back to last week, after the evening at the Castle, John, the inventor invited me to another evening of festivities the following evening in Pasadena. I had never been to Pasadena and was very impressed. We met at a Brazilian BBQ called Porte Alegre. There we ate and drank and enjoyed a delicious meal on John. Very nice of him. A couple of new faces at dinner this evening. A doll baby named Natashia, I think she used to be with Hasboro as a designer and knew Dave, John & Steve. She is now the Director of fairy and girlie stuff for Disney and commented that they did a lot of events.


After dinner we went next door to the Ceniza Cigar Lounge, where John is a member of the VIP Lounge and has a personal cigar locker. The more I get to know this guy, the more I like him. We had a smoke while a cigar event was occurring with live music.

Following our after dinner smoke we went to a trendy nightclub in Old Pasadena. Fancy cars and perfect tits, nice asses and I'll pass on the next round. Got to go gang, it's been fun.


In my "In Box"

Hey Tom. I normally would start off by asking how you're doing but being that I check up and read your blog daily, I got that covered. I am so glad that things are working out for you. Polly seems like a real nice gal and you seem to be enjoying all the California life has to offer.

I had a question for you.

I recently saw an effect performed by a Jewish mentalist. His name is Marc Salem and he did the following trick:

Marc gave a small leather bag to someone on stage to hold, and said that the contents would become important shortly. He had a few people in the audience write down numbers on a single sheet of paper. The numbers were then tallied up by another audience member. The sum of the numbers was written nice and large so everyone could clearly see it. To make a long (but, well thought out and nicely done) presentation short, he had a tape in the bag along with a tape player. On the tape, Marc clearly predicts the number.

That's it.

Do you have any idea how this works? In the past few months I have marketed my ass off and as a result I am busy performing. I have two shows now that are well practiced and rehearsed. One package is the mentalist style show and the other magic. As of now in my mental act I do the "88" magic square performance...I'm sure you know of this. Bill Herz and others do this... But here's the deal. I got to know how this one is done. I would love to add it to my mental act.

I know of some mathematical tricks and stuff but nothing this direct. You can see it being done on this video clip. It's at about 10:20 in the clip, that is ten minutes and 20 seconds into the clip. I hope you have some knowledge of the trick and it doesn't turn out to be, in your opinion, a stooge or the like.

Let me know when you get a chance.

Always thinking of you,




Good to hear from you. Glad you're busy and flattered that you read my blog. As for your question about the effect, there are no stooges, it is VERY Direct and I would not call it a mathematical trick. I'll give you a hint on a method that I'm familiar with. The hint is in the form of a question. "How were the numbers tallied?" Also, if you didn't see this live, "How might editing change your complete perception of the the effect?"

Hope this helps.


Sunday, September 10, 2006

Week in Review

Last Monday was Labor Day. Buster was supposed to start school on Tuesday but a snag in his immunizations records prevented that. Evidently California is VERY strict when it comes to vaccinations and immunizations. Buster had already had the chicken pox and TB tests but it was not documented in a format that they were going to accept from his old Cincinnati pediatrician.

Soooooooo, on Wednesday we got his shots to be read on Friday and the results noted, signed and dated in triplicate. For being good natured about the hassle, I treated my boy to a good Mexican lunch buffet down the street from the house. That afternoon SW1 aka Steve Weinstein arrived at LAX. We met later that evening at the Castle.

When I arrived a couple of guys from our party had already showed up and were in at the bar. I went in and introduced myself to the Boucard Brothers. Identical twin brothers, Pat was visiting from Wichita, KS where he is a special task force police officer and expert interrogator with a 99% confession rating. Interesting cat.

John Boucard - President / CTO of Infinite Machines is a friend of Steve's and an inventor. We had a cocktail at the downstairs bar, then I introduced them to Irma the invisible piano player where they tried to stump her with obscure songs.

It wasn't long before Steve, Dave (from Mattel) and his wife Charie showed up. Another round of drinks and introductions. After a bit we went upstairs for a late dinner. In the past the Castle had a bad reputation for mediocre food, I thought dinner was good. My filet mignon (cooked rare) was right on the money. Thanks Steve for dinner!

We got into the Palace of Mystery for the 10PM show and sat in the front row. On the bill were. Larry Wilson, Chase Curtis & Dimmare. It was a good show and our guests enjoyed it.

After the stage show we retired to the upstairs bar where I held court at the close up table and entertained for 20 minutes or so. More drinks, more conversation, more fun.

I'd like to write a bit more about Larry Willson and Dimmare's performances, but I have to get going to work the Promenade. Lots happening at the speed of life!