As I reflect back on this past month I am reminded that I live a charmed life.  I have many wonderful friends, family members and the best job in the world.  This blog is mainly for me to look back and reflect on. Although I do document many of the fun events I do, it’s hard to capture the sentiment at times.  During my shows I get so many accolades, laughs, and smiles. My favorite situation is when I turn non-believers into believers and or fans.  I am thankful for all of this.

nonnie-papaJuly began with a visit to my grandparents home in Edgewood, TX.  They’ve lived there practically since I was born. I have many fond memories from their homestead.  Seen here is an older picture of them I recently found.  I stayed there often as a child and played in the woods, fed ducks, rode the tractor with my Papa, fished, rode dirt-bikes, etc.  My family and I have celebrated many a Christmas there and other events.  I remember nothing but good times whilst amongst them.  It was a pleasure to visit again and have a nice lunch.  My grandparents are getting older and their health is waning and I’ve always known that tomorrow is promised to no one.

On the 4th of July my wife and I flew to Seattle, WA and were greeted by a friend.  He took us to our hotel in the city, Hotel Vintage, and afterward we saw a few sites and had a nice Indian curry.  Afterwards he took us to the home of an older war vet who had a nice place on the lake.  This gentleman, whose name escapes me, was on the crew that worked on the last plane that flew and crashed in the ocean during WWII.  He showed us a video about the plane, the crew, and it was befitting to do so on Independence Day.  The cherry on top that night was watching the fireworks aboard a ferry that was shuttling us back closer to our hotel.

EMPseattleThe next day we took in many sites around Seattle like Pikes Place.  What an awesome market place.  Every square inch was crowded with people watching the “fish tossing” and taking in the other shops as well.  I was pleased to find a magic shop there that was promoting my upcoming lecture.  From there we found a famous eatery where we dined on clam chowder and then we made our way to the famous Seattle Space Needle.  Adjacent to the Space Needle was the EMP museum (seen above) or the Experience Music Project.  The structure inside and out is an attraction itself.  I’ve been to the Guggenheim in Bilbao, Spain that was built by the same architect Frank Gehry.  The museum was pricy as far as museums go but we enjoyed it.  It’s filled with music history, sci-fi horror collectibles and even had an exhibit dedicated to mythological magic in movies.  Click to watch a  video about it here.

Mendenhall-GlacierThat following Sunday we hopped aboard the Norwegian Pearl cruise ship to begin our Alaskan cruise.  This was our fourth cruise to vacation on and the ship was very nice.  However, the ships beauty paled in comparison to the grandeur of the scenic coastlines and our picturesque ports of call.

Our first stop was Juneau.  We had scheduled a seaplane to fly over some glaciers, but due to the weather, all flights were cancelled.  So we scrambled and booked another excursion instead.  We toured a salmon hatchery, were taken to a Mendenhall park showcasing an awesome glacier and then were treated to salmon bake.  The hatchery was interesting.  The Mendenhall bright blue glacier was most impressive.  The salmon bake food was delicious and once we found the warmth of a heater and some new-found friends the night improved.  These new friends witnessed some of my magic and paid me for the privilege.  Now I can honestly say that I’ve worked professionally in Alaska and can cross it off my list.

eaglesOur next stop was Skagway.  We took a raft ride down the Chilkat river.  That part of the country contains the largest eagle preserve and we counted around 40-50.  The water was very shallow so the eagles simply waited aground and walked over to the water to grab a fish.  It wasn’t at all majestic, with the birds wings spread far and swooping down like I had imagined.  The young lady that steered our raft was an excellent navigator, guide and athlete.

fjords-seaplaneThe next stop was Ketchikan.  We had just planned to walk around the town, but since our seaplane ride was cancelled we booked another.  We flew over the misty majestic fjords for an hour or more and landed the plane on a secluded mirror-finish lake.  We all hopped out onto the seaplanes float supports and took in the beauty.  After that we took to the air, saw mountain goats on top of some impossibly high peaks and landed back at the main docks a little later.  We took in the town’s atmosphere and shops. We were impressed with all of the local art.

The last stop was Victoria in British Columbia.  This is one of our favorite places on Earth.  We took a bus tour of the city and visited the enchanted Butchart Gardens.  It was nice to see this theme-park of flowers lit at night.  The band on stage was playing old 50’s songs and many in the crowd were dancing.  It’s a happy place to say the least.

marvovichAboard the ship we ate like royalty, saw many fun shows, walked about the ship inside and out, and attended many art auctions.  We attended the art auctions for cheap entertainment and to learn about different styles and artists.  We won three different artworks!  We also bought a painting by Marko Marvovich.  It’s called Blue Moon Over Venice.  I love the style of the painting, the scene, the color scheme and also the hidden story within.  A gondola at night is being steered under the Bridge of Sighs in Venice.

Our cruise was one week long and returned to the Seattle port.  My wife flew home and my new friend there took me to a motel.  The motel was horrible but I stayed the night.  The next night I moved to a new cleaner and safer place and did my lecture in Seattle that night.  It was a small but fun crowd.  The next day we took a road trip to Portland, Oregon and walked about the town and had lunch.  I performed some magic there and lectured in a nearby magic shop that night.  The shop, Dave’s Killer Magic Shop, had only been at its new location one week but was very organized, well put together and huge!  The hosts were very accommodating.  The lecture crowd was big and so were sales!  I flew home the next day and can now proudly say that I have performed in 44 of the US states.

Once home I had a plethora of shows to perform.  One took me to the Dallas Country Club, one took me to the swanky Altitude bar atop the W Hotel (formerly known as the Ghostbar), etc.  I did many casino themed party shows for a medical group.  Plus I worked a few birthday parties here and there.  Also my Boston’s gig on Wednesdays and Fridays is going strong with lots of regulars.

QCOThe big news is that I released my sixth instructional magic DVD titled Quadrare Caan Opus.  It’s an effect I’ve used for years in certain stand-up shows.  The effect marries the Magic Square routine with the Card at any Number plot.  The disc is getting rave reviews thus far and sells are brisk.  Click here to learn more about it.

Plus some of the Scam School episodes I filmed in Austin awhile back are airing.  Several are shot and in the can and will be released over the next few months.  One of them revolves around a puzzle that I had custom-made of wood called the Consecutive Conundrum.  See the puzzle box by clicking here.  See the episode below featuring myself, Brushwood, and guest star Justin Willman who did a stupendous job: