Wednesday, September 15, 2010

School and life...

...have gotten in the way of me keeping a regular posting schedule.  I'd rather continue to live life then write about past experiences (call me crazy).

Once I returned home from camp I had less than a week to prepare for school.  I made the most of it, and what was left of my summer 'freedom', by seeing friends, reading books, watching movies, and getting in as much basketball as my injured knee would allow.

But you don't care about any of that.  You want to know what's happening with this blog.

A friend of mine had a brilliant suggestion- simply scan my notebook into my computer and post it.  And that's exactly what I'm going to do.  It means I won't be able to edit it for spelling or grammar but lets be honest- I've been doing a craptacular job of that anyway.  So, this weekend I'm going to scan in as much as I can and post several days all at once.  You'll get the feel of the journal, and all it's messiness, and I won't have to worry about keeping a posting schedule.



Monday, September 6, 2010

Back from Camp!

Last night I returned home from being an instructor at Sorcerers Safari, Canada's only magic camp.  Every year, for the past 9 years, I've attended SS and every year its one of the highlights of my magic experience.  The kids are passionate and eager (some of them are downright awesome) and the staff and special guests are people I'm lucky enough to call my friends.  Superstars of the magic world, world champions, authors, producers and people who have contributed in every aspect to the art come together to help the next generation learn and develop, and it's wonderful thing to behold!

Photo courtesy of Dennis Gorya.  I didn't ask his permission to use it but he didn't ask my permission to take it so... :)

The special guests this year included Dan and Dave Buck, Wayne Houchin, Aaron Fisher, Lee Asher, Shawn Farquhar, Greg Frewin and Eric Leclerc!  As you can tell from clicking any of the links- these guys are amazing magicians and a blast to hang out with!

Showing off for the ladies... alright, it was magic camp- showing off for the lady.

As great as magic camp was though its nice to be home.  I promise the next update is coming soon.


Monday, August 30, 2010

Away again, and a change in format.

Hey everyone,

I'm heading up north to be an instructor at Canada's foremost magic camp, the Sorcerer's Safari, and I won't be home for about a week.  This means I won't be posting on here for a few days.

Of course, anyone who's been following the blog knows this isn't anything new- I promised to post daily at 8pm and while I started strong, life, as it is prone to do, has often gotten in the way.  So I'm changing the format- I'll be posting weekly now, still at 8pm, every Friday.  This means we'll be following a new schedule, but a schedule I can keep.  So, check back weekly to find out what's been happening!


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Day 11- New Friends

Today was an interesting day... in a very good way.

First, the sun finally came out which was beneficial because it dried my equipment and 'brightened' my mood.  I made some Red River (which was great) then headed out on a 7.3km hike.

The hike was really nice, and I enjoyed ever moment of it.  I was well rested and cheerful from my rest the day before and it made all the difference.

I took a break at one point to climb a small mountain (or rather a large hill) to get a panoramic view of the lakes I had stayed at, the Lake of Two Rivers and Starling Lake, and the view was stunning.

 Insert clever caption here.  Or not.  Who actually reads these things besides me?

As I continued my hike I met a man named David who was doing his first solo trip.  He was doing one night, trying to get over his fear of being alone, and he told me about the private plane he owned that he wanted to use, one day, to fly to a remote region to camp out in.

Once I had finished the hike I got directions to the highway where I waited to hitchhike. 

 Would you pick me up if you saw me?  You would?  LIAR!

I don't know why I just assumed someone would pick me up but after an hour I felt like Raskoloniskov (from Crime and Punishment)- I developed a disdain for humanity and resented being in a situation where I was forced to rely on anyone's good will.  Suddenly a card stopped, I could hardly believe it- it was the people who had given me directions earlier!  Their names were Jane and George, a nice older couple, and they were there with their middle-aged daughter Sarah.  My faith in humanity had been restored!

They dropped me off at the entrance to the camping ground and after registering I hiked over to my site.  I was so tired by then, and having skipped lunch, that I just dropped my pack on the ground a lay down.

A man approached me and after telling me his name was Gary Cartilage he asked me if I could use a beer.  At first I said no, as I'm not really a beer drinker, but he insisted.  I'm glad I did- it was a Moosehead Beer and it might have been the best thing I've ever had to drink.

My blog- promoting alcoholism since 2010.

Gary introduced me to Bill Robinson and then their respective families.  We spent a long time talking about camping (all of them were very knowledgeable), life, and every topic in between- God, work, fishing, beer, ghost stories, etc.  Their wives were very sweet and their kids very polite and friendly.

They invited me for dinner (which was wonderful) and then to their campfire afterwords.  After some cold drinks, food, and great conversation I hit the bed (With my new inflatable air mattres- a gift from Bill).

Dinner with the Cartilages.  I'm so lucky they kept Kosher...

This was a wonderful day.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Status- 3 day hiatus.

I'm all about living life to the fullest- my philosophy is that all experiences are friendly and profitable, all men wholly and all days divine. And this blog is all about sharing my experiences with you.

For that reason I won't be posting until Monday.

Why, you ask?  Because this weekend several of the world's greatest magicians are coming to Toronto- David Blaine, Bill Malone, Michael Weber, Bill Kalush, Ricky Smith, Derek Delgadio, Rafael Benatar... and Mr. Steve Forte (one of my long time heros).

Subsequently I will be spending every waking moment I can spending time with these gents.  While you wait for my next post- only a few days away, I urge you to watch this video of Steve Forte.  It'll blow your mind.

Check out Steve HERE.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Day 10- Bumming Around

When it rains it pours... literally.  I woke up late this morning (7:30am) because the sun, responsible for signaling morning, was not out.  Since it was also drizzling I decided, in lieu of my difficult day yesterday and today being a day off, to stay in bed.  I read, mopped up puddles (this tent is no longer waterproof!  This brings up a valuable point- you rally do get what you pay for with camping gear.  It seems like for every dollar you spend you can add another small percentage of enjoyment to your trip.  Case in point- $20 mini-stove?  Can't even boil water.  But I digress.) and generally loafed around until 11.  Had it not been for the rain and dampness it would have been heaven.

 This was, for three weeks, my home entertainment system...

Unfortunately the rain still hasn't let up, meaning fire making was quite difficult (though I did it) and everything I own is damp.  I cannot tell you how much I'm looking forward to having a warm, dry towel (I've been forced to use an extra pair of boxers :( ), a soft mattress, and friends.

Also, and this surprises me, I'm eating very little (compared to normal).  Even with all the hiking I'm eating one helping of stuff, not my usual two.  And I'm both content and satisfied.  When I start the second half of my trip (the big 16-dayer in the Western Uplands) I plan on bringing a lot less stuff :) (oh, and Canisbay lake, where I'm headed to tomorrow, has a laundromat and shower facility.  I can't wait!).

You know what robs you of your confidence in surviving the terrain?  Hearing a tree 'randomly' snap and fall in the woods.  If you stop and listen it actually occurs fairly frequently.  This got me thinking- what is one falls on me, while I'm sleeping?  Assuming it doesn't kill me (a possibility) it would still shatter some bones.  What would I do with a broken ankle when I'm miles away from the nearest person?  Am I strong enough to crawl 7kms to find help?  I hope I don't find out.

The rest of the day was gloomy.  The drizzling never stopped the the sun never broke through.  I spent most of the day reading, playing with my cards, and ducktaping the tent (to, I hope, prevent future leaks).  I f the rain comes down hard though, and it will at some point, I'm screwed.

This was the lake I stayed at.  I climbed to a summit peak the next day and got this photo.

Tomorrow I do 7.5km which is a pretty good few hours, then I get to Canisbay.  This assumes someone will give me a lift at the highway, or else it'll be... gulp... about 17km.  It'll be highway, so a lot easier, but stll- I don't know if I'll make it  (not with 80lbs on my back!).

I didn't see anything interesting today as the rain kept most things seeking shelter (I assume).  Its 8:30pm now but since there's no sun it's already dark- I'll be hitting the sack soon.

That's what "tired" looks like.


I didn't post last night...

...because I was at a CPR training course and a staff-meeting for the summer camp I will be attending in 2 weeks.

I didn't think anyone actually read the blog, other then my mom, but it turns out several people do.  I know this now because I got several messages asking where the blog post was!

Sorry people.  I'll try not to let it happen again.

As an apology here is a wonderful photo I took of a sunset.  Can you imagine how nice it was sitting out on rock, drinking tea, while watching this?  Amazing.

 I've actually commissioned an artist to do a watercolor of this... I'll post photo when it's done.