Archive for the ‘General news’ Category

Up Again

August 8, 2011

About a month ago my back went out, and I have been reluctant to get back to it ( pun not intended ). Today I made it back up.
I started using a different wall, one that ends and I can keep going. I can go perhaps ten feet past the support wall before falling, and I had my best fall so far, today. I fell onto my hands and then rolled right over my right shoulder onto my knees; I knew my years of playing football would one day mean something. My back is not protesting yet.
At the Vancouver Madskillz Festival I chatted with John, from Portland, who told me it took him about fifteen hours to get the basics, so I figure I am about halfway there. I managed about a dozen times traveling at least eight feet while not touching the wall – it is coming along fine.


Up On The Unicycle Again

May 10, 2011

Yesterday I worked for about 45 minutes, mostly travelling along a wall. The wall is 16 steps long, and I managed the entire distance four times. I made it about half way at least ten times. Toward the end I was moving along quite a bit faster than at the beginning of the day. I only lost my balance and fell onto my bottom once. Today my legs are not sore at all, which must be a good thing. I am hoping to figure out how to embed Roberts’ video today.
I will be heading out today to try to go just a bit faster, although I am probably reaching the overconfident stage sometime soon. Hopefully I do not end up injured when that phase appears.

Unicycle Video Now Available

April 26, 2011

That is right – Robert came by last Tuesday to video my beginning efforts. Time to LOL. It was a bit more difficult with the camera pointed at me, but Robert managed to put together a great little video. Thanks very much, Robert.

I went out again today and managed about 45 minutes, on and off, and only fell on my bottom once. About half of the time I was practicing idling, and the other half I was travelling down the wall and back again. I managed to travel down the wall three times with the wheel doing four or five complete revolutions. It felt pretty good.

A nice gentleman named Chris was walking by and suggested I both put more air in my tire and raise the seat about three inches. These things helped him when he learned the art about twenty years ago. I am giving them a try.

After about 45 minutes I was somewhat surprised how tired I was. This was harder than it looks. When I told Pam, the bus driver for my return to the house, she asked me the rhetorical question ” And how old are you? “. Okay, so I am not as young as I used to be. I am still going to learn this.

I hope you enjoy the video.

Unicycle 101

April 4, 2011

Last Tuesday I took one of the unicycles in to the service station to put air in the tire, because I could not find our tire pump. Unfortunately the tube was shot, so riding was not in the cards for that day.  On my way home from work on Thursday I stopped at a bike shop and picked up a pump.  Our other small tire unicycle needed air also, but the tube was fine, so I have been on that unicycle three times now, all in the hallway in the main floor of our home. There is a railing to hold onto on one side, and a door jamb on the other.  I am working on both balancing and rocking both forward and backward and, other than a couple of scrapes, I have yet to injure myself ( knock on wood ).  Hopefully it will be sunny one day soon, and I can go outside to play.

Juggling, of Course

March 28, 2011

Again this year, the IJA juggling tutorial contest has me torn in many different directions. Which of the many different offerings should be the priority in the coming weeks? I am again impressed by the all the options, including, but not limited to those by Jordan Campbell, Steve Hoggan and January Thunder. In any event, it will be a great year for new patterns.

My friend Robert and I were chatting today, and he asked if I had yet learned to ride a unicycle. This is something I have thought about on and off ever since Calder learned the skill. Since we have three unicycles in the house. and I am not getting any younger ( at least in body ), this is the year. Robert suggested putting a deadline on the project, and we agreed the last weekend in August is it. I am really looking forward to adding this ability to my routine. I intend to provide regular updates, including new juggling patterns, so check in every once in a while.

I will hopefully be “up” by the Vancouver Madskillz Juggling Festival in June. See you all there, Paul

One Final Drop

August 29, 2010

Hi everyone,
I had a great day at Bowfest yesterday. As always, lots of children, young and less young. A couple of newish keeners, and lots of regulars. Diabolo, devil stick, hoops, clubs, and of course balls dropped all afternoon. Thanks to everyone who stopped in.

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Unfortunately, our membership drive faltered at five families, so I couldn’t justify renting the gym again this fall. Two of our families joined primarily to support my efforts and were rarely able to attend, and although I really do appreciate the support, I needed people in the gym in order to continue. Our other three families did attend, but often no more than once a month, so I regularly was alone in the gym for an hour or more during our time. During this past spring the highest number of people for a Saturday was twelve once, eight another time, but more often it was two or three. It is with the deepest regrets I feel no option but to close the door to the gym.

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For the autumn I will continue to be on the school field at our regular time on Saturdays, as long as the weather remains decent. I will not be there if it is raining. By November the weather will probably be too wet or cold to continue, and that will be it for the Juggling Club.

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I have had a great time with this club. I really do appreciate all the support over these years. It has been a blast. I will continue to drag my stuff to community events, so we will still get to drop together. Thank you all so very much for all the fun. See you around, and thanks for all the fish.                    Paul

World Juggling Day

June 15, 2010

This Saturday, June 19, is World Juggling Day. If the weather is decent we will be outside at the school from 2 – 5, and if not we will be in the Multi-purpose room. Hope to see as many of you there as possible.
Last weekend was the (hopefully) first annual Vancouver Madskillz Juggling Festival. What a blast! Dozens of people from up and down the coast were there as well as from Victoria and Europe. Three days of throwing, catching, dropping and spinning. The folks with the Vancouver juggling club did an outstanding job organizing an awesome festival. I had an excellent time.
Next up for Calder and I is the 63rd annual IJA convention, which will be held this year in Sparks, Nevada, during the last week in July. We are going to have loads of fun. We hope Tobi will be able to join us after he returns from Europe.
During the summer I will be on the school field on Saturdays at our regular time, so come on out and let’s drop together. Hoping to see you all during the next few months. Paul

Family Memberships Growing

March 4, 2010

Exciting news, our family memberships have doubled in the last two weeks. That’s right, we have gone from two families to four, alright, maybe not really exciting, but I am enjoying it.

The Corrigan/Frosts captured membership # 1 very early in the process, followed by the Bryan/Morrisons with # 2, the de Zwarts with #3, and, two days ago, the Kulbidas with # 4. My thanks go out to all of you as this support allows us to continue renting the gym, thus my excitement.

We are really looking forward to the next few months, as we thought that people owning memberships would translate into higher attendance. It was also thought that we might replace some of our older equipment, and maybe invest in more new stuff. It will be interesting to see what our membership decides.

We have the gym booked through April at our regular time from 2:00 – 4:00 on Saturday. On the second weekend in June, the Vancouver Juggling Club will be hosting the Madskillz juggling festival. It will be Friday night, all day Saturday and Sunday, with a public show on the Saturday night. Search for it under the Vancouver Madskillz Juggling Festival.

I am hoping to attend the IJA Convention in Sparks, Nevada on the last week of July. This is a week long event, with a show every night, and workshops all day, every day. Definitely a juggle till you drop event. Fun, fun, fun. Anyway, see you on Saturday. Paul

Membership Set to Grow

December 10, 2009

Back in September, I rented the gym space for our regular Saturday time through to December. The cost for this was about $396, which I hoped to mostly recover with our drop-in jar on a weekly basis. Unfortunately our attendance lagged quite a bit, only once surpassing twenty, and many times with fewer than ten, and once only three. As a result donations were often not there, or five or eight dollars a week. This meant that renting the gym for juggling was costing my family about $100 per month. Together with very low attendance, I sadly concluded the juggling club would have to end.

When I mentioned this to Caitlin she suggested a meeting with some regulars to see if a solution could be found to save the club. As a result Caitlin, Roq, Kim and I met two Sundays ago to explore options.

The first year of the club saw three families each rent the gym for a three month period, thus spreading out the cost. For the second year we decided to have a drop in fee, so that people who came to juggle would support the club, and since lots of people came much of the cost of gym rental was covered. Adopting a system to spread out the cost was felt to be a reasonable solution.

The four of us decided we would sell juggling club memberships on an annual basis, so that people who come regularly could pay once and have unlimited access. People could also buy memberships primarily to support the club, and then come whenever they had the time. Memberships would be available for families, individuals, and youth. There will still be a suggested drop-in fee for those who do not want to purchase membership, but who do wish to support the club on the days they are there.

The first membership has been purchased by Chris and Caitlin for their family; their membership card will sport the number 001. We look forward to selling many memberships, and any money left over after paying for the gym will be used to purchase new equipment, and to replace worn equipment such as our tired peacock feathers. Hopefully this arrangement will allow the club to continue long into the future.

This Saturday we will be in the multi-purpose room upstairs in the school, and next Saturday, the 19th, we will be back in the gym. The gym will be closed over the Christmas break, but we will be back in January. I wish to thank Caitlin, Roq, and Kim for their valuable assistance in helping me find a way to keep the club moving forward. This is great!   Thanks everyone.


August 1, 2009

Last Saturday the Juggling Club met on the grass in Artisan Square, primarily to provide a good venue for the fabulous performance given by Thomas Arthur. But it also gave us organizers food for thought, owing to the extra large numbers of people who came over to try this weird hobby of ours, and because we were so close to that fabulous chocolate cafe, Cocoa West.
Due to the messy construction occurring on on our usual summer juggling spot at the community school, we have relocated to the covered, concrete area near the entrance to the gym. It is less than ideal. Up at Artisan Square we were on the cool grass, surrounded by shade-giving trees, and yet jugglers could find space to toss their props without encountering too much in the way.
The huge down side of the Artisan Square location is the constant car traffic right beside the grassy centre. We almost lost one of our under four year old proto-jugglers to a car, because she decided to rejoin some friends on the other side of the road, without checking traffic first.
So we were wondering if there is anywhere else on the Island, preferably in Snug Cove that has cool grass, shady trees, not too much traffic, and high visibility for the uninitiated to become intrigued by our presence. Suggestions are welcome, either here in the comments or in person to the Juggling Club organizers, Paul and Karai.