Clo-vents Chronological: I learn so much

Regret is how I feel about not posting these earlier. Still, life goes on and so I go. All these events have been memorable, and at each one I learn more as I continue on my way, either through technique, talking to people, or myself. Overall, it is 3 x win. Clovent clovents

C-vents:

  • Canada Day and Parade, July 01 2011: Riding, Premier M, J, U, poking fun at people. Used my ruddy turned up blue nose, to good effect. It is not too heavy. Was tired for the P, but happy as well.

  • Kettleby Festival, 2011: My premier twisting event. Some kid called me “dog”, which apparently is a good thing. U not good on grass or steep hills. Used my round yellow nose, very light and comfy, to good effect.

  • Halloween Skating, Scarborough, Oct 30 2011: Had fun skating, used a very large red round. A little too large to stick and started to separate, bobbed up and down too much. Attracted lots of kids, but especially two kids, Mingming and Yeye, whom I have been sitting beside for about 3 months but they did not notice me through that time. Now they say Hi every week.

  • Thornhill Historical Parade, 2011: Crowded, there was no bus at the end of the event, so had to walk. Lots of people, but Ok. Helmet top of 3 toys was too heavy, kept falling off. Performed M for a little girl on the TTC that sat across from me, while all the adults watched. Used my small red nose. Light and comfy.

  • New Year’s Eve, Scarborough Civic Centre, Dec 31 2011: Little Weed twisted and had a great time. He learned a lot from another, Sparky. I did M and J. Used my new small and shiny red nose, light and really comfy. Freaked out a lot of adults, mostly. I met the rest of the SCofC, which I could not do previously. Did M in Mandarin and freaked out a lady and her son and daughter, who ran from me. No, this is no voodoo. Stiff r went over very well, as did Prof’s Night. Fun was had by all.

  • Port Union Winterfest 2012: It was raining and there was a high wind, so everyone was inside. I got lost getting to the event, and parking was terrible. We were late. Little Weed enjoyed twisting, but we ran out of supplies an hour before the event ended. They fed us a burger and drink, which was nice. Few events treat us to food.

  • Scarborough Cubs, B twisting: With Little Weed, Bob and Spiffy. A very fun event but with lots of yelling. The kids were loud. Expected 20 kids, 30 showed up, not enough garbage bags, very chaotic at times. I suppose that is Ok. Next time double the inventory, because there were many pops. Beavers were too small and needy. Their built-in survival mechanism is unsustainable when you have 10 of them. We did vars of dog, mostly. Sword was too hard because their hands are too little. One smart kid in Beavers, he was so happy I let him accelerate, but good for him.

  • Unionville Spring Parade, June 02 2012: Red shiny. Threatening rain, used by Goretex jacket for protection, orange bowl and mop, striped pants but no boots. It turned out to be overcast with no rain, so all was good. Did a bit of 3b j’ing, not too much. Mostly a u event. Some crowding at the end, but it was mostly Ok. The crowd was really friendly, no nasty kids, and it was, surprisingly, a morning event. Easy to drive to, easy to come back, Many Chinese kids, so spoke some Mandarin. Unionville is a nice pretty little town, but seemingly gentrifying. There is less rustic than expected.

  • Highland Creek Heritage Festival, June 16 2012: Blue med round, sometimes had difficulties staying put. Started at the Legion hall, took a chartered TTC bus to the front. A small parade with lots of cars. It was hot. There were two large hills, one over Kingston Road. Overall it was nice, but not much of a crowd. Fewer Mandarin speakers than regular. J and riding U, got photographed. Tired after the event. Road at times not very smooth, so had to be careful.
  • Canada Day, July 01 2012: Shiny red round, At the park at 10:30 after a rocky start. Not a good initial feeling. 30 degrees and humid, so took many breaks. U, J and m. Met a great M with a sidekick. He did a routine called “Fiber Optic”, which looked really good. I’m still researching it. Slack r was popular and getting funnier. Little kids don’t understand but adults find it funny. Getting a rep for the watering can, which is good. I need more space for r, as a little pocket on the shorts is deep but narrow, and the velcro catches. Didn’t do as much variety of M as I thought I would, and fewer cards. Lots of Prof’s Nightmare, Bob gave me a subway, which I appreciated. Shorts need tightening. Shirt got dirty but don’t know from what. In parade I fell and spilled my water, but went back and did not see anything trippable. Huh? I was certainly tired after the day, and still am!

    For the second year in a row a father and his teenage son approach me as the father bets be $5 that he can throw the ball and I will not be able to catch it. I vaguely remember he doing the same last year. He eventually throws the ball from one hand to the other, thus proving his point. I feel sorry for the son and tell him his father should seek psychological help.

  • Thornhill Village Festival, Sept 15 2012: A small parade, started a bit late but not unduly. Met Greg Tarlan riding Darren’s custom Penny Farthing. Dressed in artiste mime, replete with B&W socks, red beret, rode u. Only one hour or so. Did not stay at end of parade, but should have. It was a good parade, but it ended not at the start of the main drag. Pity.
  • New Years Eve, Dec 31 2012: Only 5 of us, including Little Weed, we all did a lot of b’s. Thankfully Bob had an additional pump or I would have been toast. Little Weed did well, and this year there was only one nasty kid.

    One guy thought he could j, so I gave him my balls. He fumbled and it rolled away. His 5 yo daughter ran after it and threw it back to us, 3 times, the last time it ended in the koi pond. I had to run after it and put my hand into the pond for support, just so I could reach it. I was pissed.

    Flubbed the fiber optics a couple of times, I really need to get this down. The disappearing rng on a r was good, as was the stiff r. One little girl was scared of clo, and I did not have time to do anything about it but give her a b. B, j and m is a good combo, as you can vary your presentation greatly.

  • Unionville Parade, June 01 2013: We were 6 strong, but put into the middle back of the lineup. Not good for the walkers. I thought I’d u to the back to check it out and found a whole lot of people that didn’t see us. I’m glad I went to the back as there were Girl Guides and Scouts there. Overall a good parade, about 30 minutes from start to finish, but lots of riding up and down, before and after the parade. I met a lot of nice people and really cute kids. The kids were not scared of me, a good sign. Fairly flat and an easy to ride. I rode back with Sylvia. It threatened rain but did not. I wore some short cut Eddie Bauer rubber boots but did not need them.

    The Knights of Columbus had some that were on horseback, and they took up a considerable amount of space. It was hard to ride through while giving the horses the space they need. A marching band went all the way to both sides of the street, not allowing me to pass. This forced me to lane split them right down the middle. I began imitating the players and the band leader. I hope I did not make fun of them too much.

    Once Chinese kid was hanging out on a park bench with his parents, his nose stuck in an ipad. I told him, in Chinese, that he was at an event and there was a lot of living going on, that he could return to his ipad when he gets home. He never said a word, and I did not even think to do a m trick for him. When I think about it now I should have done an intervention, as is my duty as a change agent.

  • Unionville Festival/Canada Day, July 01 2013: Lovely crowd, nice people, well behaved kids. I had a good time. Did the u, balls, r and other m-stuff. I kept it simple. The ripped cards I should have left at home.

    Hunter’s knot was really good. I hooked two kids, who really did not want to give up. Bob said my blue r was too small, and I think he is right. I’ll use a longer demo r. One pre-teen was so determined to do the knot I had to give him an extra 10 mins, with the Dad and daughter parked firmly on a bench, knowing that this will take some time. The more I tricked him the more determined he got. I set a date of one year for him to show me the solution. Yet I did not disclose.

    Fiber optic was a hit and I did not really mess up. At times I was sloppy but I don’t think anyone else noticed. One kid told me he learned Professor’s Nightmare a couple of days ago, so I ran it through with him. Surprised him as I went on to do George Sands/Fiber Optics, which blew his mind with single r, endless loops and popped off middles. The hand scissors went off really well. I did a shpeel about practicing cutting paper with my hand scissors and got some funny looks from the kids. “Is he really telling the truth”? Then I got one of the kids to use their hand scissors to cut the r, which was really funny. He has an interest in m, and I’m sure I kindled it even more.

    A couple of last minute additions to Fiber Optics. One was when you first do one r you grab the long with the other hand, palm the short then smooth with the original hand, in order to show the other end of the r is solid. Right to left to right. It’s pretty impressive yet simple. Another I picked up on Youtube is from the endless loop you double over the loop and put a knot into it, then undo it. The handwork is tricky though, so I’ll need to work on it.

    They had a performer there doing j comedy and 8′ high u. Some of his jokes were good, but some were insulting to families, especially on the topic of paying him. That’s not my style. Well rehearsed, yes, but still in bad taste. You can be funny without the black.

    The crowds were thick at this event, and I often had a crowd surround me. In tight quarters some m-stuff was difficult to hide. Hunter’s know was inadvertently disclosed to a 70yo Chinese guy, on my right shoulder and behind me, within arm’s length of my hand, who promptly took the r from the challenged teen to do it himself. I did not see if he let go the r, but congratulated him anyway. When I took the ends from the teen and it knotted these two made her want to get the knot even more.

    A new addition was the mouth harp, and a hit with the sub-3 crowd. Natural boingy music, it is, and there was some nice jumping going on! Two generations have not seen such a device, and I get to show it! Nice. I need to practice pitch on the thing.

    I did not speak as much Mandarin as I had expected, but that’s Ok. I did greet many in Mandarin, but tricks were in English.

    Dead tired, hit the Finch bus in clo-dress, but not a peep or interest. The driver gave me a smile and I bid her a happy Canada Day! Rode home and jumped the fence. Laid on the hardwood out for an hour, then slowly rose. I was tired. It was well worth the effort.

    Addendum July 7 2013: A lady stopped me in the park and asked me if I ride a u with a red n. She was on the bus I took and saw me ride home from the stop! We had a good laugh, and that is the point!

  • Highland Yacht Club, July 06 2013: First time for this event. Took Little Weed. We arrived at 10:00am but no one was there. They arrived at 11:00 or so. An odd crowd of adults with mental disabilities, their caregivers and family. Most were good but some were close to out of control. I could see the stress on the family members, and their vulnerability. This in contrast to the opulence of the yachts in the harbour was shocking.

    Little Weed had two incidents that he brought to my attention. One was that a lady said she did not want him in her photo. June said that the lady thought LW was scary because he was smaller. June insisted that he join her in photos but the lady persisted. In the end he did move away. This did not bother him, which is good. The other incident was that a very large guy, a patient, came up to him and lightly kicked him in the shins. I was in front of him and present. It was very light but extremely odd. This patient got a good talking to from his family for other such incidents later. We do not know why this happened but it did leave a lasting impression on him.

    While the caregivers and family reacted to LW, the patients had little to no reaction. Again this social norm is broken, though it is one that protects nurtures kids.

    There are social controls on all humans that if, for some reason such as alcohol or mental disability, loosened, allows the inner animal out. While this may be normal I need to be aware that exposure to kids is not desirable. Adults can handle it somewhat Ok.

    We went out on Nat’s yacht, along with his wife. It was a lovely day and nice to be on the water. They really don’t use the yachts very often. Lots of r and rigging to fiddle with, sails to mend and wood to repair. He had a small 7 hp motor to get him around when there is no wind, and two large sails when there is. Near everything was manual. I enjoyed the hour long sail around the harbour. While nice I doubt I would even entertain such a toy.

    The shorts I chose were new and did not have enough pockets. I’ll need to sew some onto the sides. The “kids -> adults” were close to 6 or 7 in chronological age, so m was out, and with so many people I’d say that j was as well. We did do b for some but not very many. It was mostly a meet and greet. One patient said I should dress up next time as she did not recognize me as a traditional c. I id not fit her idea of a c, unlike the rest of my group. Social norms of regular kids, who have no troubles IDing me, do vary here. I wore a black bowler and striped mime-style t, decked out in orange, but no comments either way for dress. One lady liked my orange Converse because she had matching blue ones! The large foot pump I carried was totally inappropriate because it was so large and not portable. As we were walking around this was most inconvenient.

    The big deal at this event was the photos with the C’s. There were those that did not want the polaroids, but most did. They were somewhat shy and some looked scary but none did anything wrong. Facial and body language were all wrong, making it hard to gauge these folk. It was a bit unsettling.

    Overall a mixed bag event and an odd one. I feel for the caregivers and family. They have a heavy weight to carry.

  • Kettleby Parade and Event, Sept 07 2013: Rain the night before, rain during much of the event and clearing as we were leaving. The parade was only a couple of trucks and not much more.

    Red rain boots marked the day as they protected me from the muddy and dirt field, saturated with water. Canada flag shorts were Ok but did not scream out. Did J and some M, of course. In b the pig and teddy bear were a hit. I also did a swan but no one noticed. Cats were also popular. My b cheat sheets were useful.

    My goretex jacket hid much of the top, but the festive shorts and red boots were sufficient. Nice kids. Some M perplexed two girls, one 11 and one 16, and they would not give up. Set up and delivered, according to plan. Some J, not too much, escept to limber up the arms and back, but otherwise very low keyed.

    The r’s M routine went very well, executed a couple of times successfully. The endless loop ended with twisting the short ends onto the loop was very effective. Overall I will add more small details, but it is all there.

  • Thornhill Parade, Sept 21 2013: The watch word of the day is wet, as in steady rain throughout the night and day. Steady 20C, warm. It took less than an hour from parking to leaving.

    Red rain boots yet again, so my feet were dry. Goretex jacket and larger R nose. Helmet with yellow hair. U, and yes, it was slippery to mount. The heavy nose had me using a little extra glue, which was harder to come clean upon return. It all came together quite nicely and I stayed dry until I decided, at the end of the event to remove my helmet and put my hood up. My hood caught a lot of rain water and drenched me.

    No J or M today. In fact, not much of anything as very few people showed up for the parade. I was quite astounded. There were more kids in the parade than watching. These are expensive events to organize and hold if no one shows up. Sad, really.

    Still it was a nice parade, though no one showed up. The u was fun but slippery. I had to be careful. Overall, worthwhile to go, though short.

  • King Township Church, Sept 29 2013: A large church event, repleat with bouncy castles, animal displays and games for the kids. Local religious radio station was present. Not religious as events go. They just wanted to invite the Township to their church. Lovely weather, 20C and clear sun, so excellent day.

    Very coordinated this time. Orange shoes to Bill Blass shorts to pinkish N. Bowler to BW striped tie to striped spats, including striped T. Comfortable yet colourful. J and M. Grass event so no U. Did some b’s, not many. Prof’s NM/Sands/Fiber Optics went over well and I did not make any mistakes. Hunter’s knot was perplexing. I have two black nylon r’s that I uncored for flexibility. Not too stiff nor floppy, so that 2 people can try at the same time. Mouth harp did not go over well, just Ok, and it was bulky. Other r tricks were well received. I do need to work on the lesser known ones.

    I wonder if the r routine is getting too long and putting people to sleep. I’ll need to think about this, as I was going to add to it, which will make it even longer. Slow it down for dramatic effect and clarity and you get an even longer routine. There are twists and knots still to make and then vanish.

    Bob gave me some invis thread to try. It takes some time but maybe we can levitate the short end? That would be fun. I am concerned that the white of the r will show through the thread. Levitating the short end would go well with my routine.

    Overall a nice event for nice people. Lovely kids.

  • Scouts Christmas Party, Dec 16 2013: In Civies, Bob and Sylvia joined me for a B workshop and some M. Crazy disorganized, leaders not leading, kids would not listen to me, so hard to get them going.

    Pumped up about 100 Bs, which was a good start. Leaders and parents helped. Then we started, and in short order the 100 Bs were gone. I should have asked parents to continue to pump Bs, as after the first couple we ran out.

    The group was large so for the M show I divided them into 2 groups. I took one and Bob took the other. The 3 r routine went over well. The stiff r was just Ok, the kids did get it, I guess they were more on the ball than I thought, or just older.

    Hunter’s know really perplexed 4 parents and a scout leader. They stuck with the trick for about 30 mins until they somewhat got a solution. Still not quite, and I did not reveal. I had 3 extra r’s out doing the Hunter’s know, meaning I could not do any other tricks. Need I bring more r?

    I tried the Prof’s Nightmare for the parents and leader, and they figured out the trick. I am unsure how. I will have to think about what I did incorrectly, if anything. One parent was on my side and back, just over my shoulder. Maybe she saw something?

    Rng on r did not work for adults, but worked for kids. Maybe a generational issue? More to think about and work out. The other r tricks were Ok.

    I did not embarrass Little Weed. I saw Kiong, which surprised me.

  • New Year’s Eve, Scarborough Civic Centre, Dec 31 2013: A yearly tradition for both Little Weed and I, the event was as expected. Lots of kids that were very happy and for the most part, pretty well behaved.

    This event is predominantly B, over 600 of them. We were only 5 strong this year, 2 on face P and 3 on B, and this was grossly under staffed. Still, though we were busy the lines were not extremely long. At the end of the night at 10:25pm people were still coming for B’s but we had to call it a night. Why not come earlier instead of at the end of the night? Both our hands were numb and hurting. Little Weed’s feet hurt. Both of us agreed that the event was a good one.

    There was some M I did. My R routine was good, really not an issue now. It is not so long to put people to sleep and interesting enough to capture their imagination. I cut the routine short many times when I realized the kids were uninterested or distracted. I think this is for the better. Sensitivity to how receptive your routine is to the audience is important. One card trick I did for an adult did not go over well as he was uninterested.

    Highlights of R include:

    • propeller left and right with long R while bobbing up and down to the music,
    • showing the 2 R but thumb covering,
    • doing a static R trick with the long R in the middle of the routine. This adds a break and distraction to the routine. Interesting single hand tricks include Pavel’s single know where you through the R in the air, or the R flourish,
    • have kids cut the r with their fingers, though when they do it in the middle to both r you can tell them their scissors are not sharp and they need to practice.
    • Able to do the routine in both English and Mandarin,
    • Telling the kids to check for magnets, as I need magnets to do the trick. While the adults immediately know there are none, the kids continue to try trying different ends to different r’s. Each r has 2 ends for a total of 6 ends, or 6! (6*5*4*3*2=180) different combinations. Eliminate putting two ends of the same r together this leaves 177 combinations remaining. This is funny to watch.
    • Rng on R: fooled kids but not adults. Moving rng to finger needs to be smoother or will be exposed. Putting rng hand under r hand is good, as when r hand is exposed you then expose rng hand right beside it. More rng R tricks?

    I will need to practice the thumb tip. I was only able to deploy it once. I tried 2, one in pocket to switch colours but she pointed to my pocket. This discovery was eliminated when I did only one colour. practice. TT is good because it is effective but also small, reducing hassle and weight. It is also very traditional and simple. All these resonate with my philosophy.

    Wore red suspender shorts, mime long sleeves, Scottish tam hat, B&W leggings, orange Converse, red n. Bags include orange ball bag, red fanny. I had enough space. I could have eliminated cards and one black r. I did not do much Hunter’s. Small secret pockets might be good for hiding thumb tips. Not all my shorts have small pockets, or have fake pockets, so I should consider adding these.

    Overall a great event, and one we do together. Safe, usually nice kids with a good environment. I got a parking ticket this year, which was not good.

  • Unionville Heritage Festival Parade, June 07 2014: The day was just perfect, sunny and warm, clear and with low humidity. Green hlmt, bag and shorts, Red N and check Vans, bw striped shirt and sockings. The Vans are too small and gave me blisters on the achilles tendon area, so boohoo. The U was great.

    A neighbour positively ID’d me, shirt and nose! Not like I have a common look!

  • Highland Creek Festival Parade, June 14 2014: Great day, a little cool in the morning, and just the way I like it. Red shorts overalls, yellow linen shirt, yellow Chucks, bw striped tie and spats, orange helmet with the watering can. Doing the U. Overall it was a very short parade. Going over the bridge from the Legion hall was somewhat of an uphill battle, but Ok. I fell once, on a road crack I did not see. Otherwise the event was great. Met a real looker at the burger place after the parade, who wanted a photo of us all.

    We started out early at 08:30 for a 09:00 check in, but few people were there. The Parade started a little after 10:00. It was well organized. The average number of vehicles, Scouts and Guides, and the odd politician. Unionville is a quaint little town with old facades and new buildings. The streets are somewhat nicely paved, though I did notice more cracks this year. It is funny to notice these small things.

    With a parade you do not get the interaction of a walkabout, but the kids were nice. I did meet 2 in front of their house, 5 and 3 yo, who were a little bratty, trying to take off my N, but they were easily ignored. The rest of the kids were really nice. Lots of Chinese kids, so I was able to speak Mandarin.

    It is a short parade, and was over very quickly. This is too bad. We then walked through town and had lunch. I do like the town.

  • Markham Santa Claus Parade, Nov 29 2014: Overcast with a high of +2C and windy. While dressed in 3 layers up top I was still cold. The sun peaked out a little but was insufficiently warm. Orange windbreaker, matching bowl and Chucks. I tried the white mud boots but they were too stiff to ride the U. Sad, because they would have been so much warmer. The cold crept up the Chucks. Multi-striped pants, thick, with wind protection on bottom, warm enough. I could have used a fleece vest.

    Two lines, and we were in the second. Got to the end of the route and had to walk to the beginning. Still not warm enough. Had to wait over an hour before we started moving. Rode away from C friends so I could keep warm. There were lots of floats and bands. I rode in large circles so I could do both sides of the parade. Long parade, at 3k or so.

    Overall good crowd, lots of happy people and kids, but under dressed. Still, rode about 6k or so, came back tired.

  • Scouts Christmas Party, Dec 15 2014: The usual crowd, a gaggle of kids ranging from 5 to 18. I did not know I was the only entertainment for the night and was glad I invited Bob and Jill, who graciously accepted. Bob came in full C, which was surprising. Jill and I was severely under dressed! We had planned to be in civvies.

    I’m really glad that Bob came with his M stuff, because I had forgotten all of mine. Sad, really. I had thought that doing the same routine two years in a row was a bit much so did not bother. In retrospect I should have bothered, so I owe Bob.

    I bought 300 B and got the parents to blow up 300 B, so the place looked very colourful. Kids and adults had a great time twisting, many in new and wonderful hats and patterns. So many people were happy it did warm my heart. A few kids were scared of the popping but most were not bothered at all. The lessons on B were largely lost. Relaxed they were, and the party went on.

    Little Weed seemed a little perturbed, but went along with it, because this was the third year going, and everyone knew already. He’s such a good sport.

    Next year, if there is a next year, I’ll do my magic as well as the balloons. RB is too dangerous, U is single dimensional, so it’s big M, J and B.

  • Scarborough New Year’s Eve Party, Dec 31 2014: The usual suspects showed up and we had a great reunion, of sorts. This is how we are. B&W Fluvogs, red pants, yellow linen shirt and a red bow tie? Really? Red N and a black bowler. Overall it worked well but we had some struggles coming to a conclusion. Great event but too much B twisting for me.

    Big Weed and I had some wardrobe issues, which highlighted my lack of certain colours and therefore options. I am lacking in blues and especially pants. Most of what I have is geared towards summer, meaning U and therefore shorts. Pants are in short supply. There is an overabundance of orange and light greens, and a lack of blues. I will need to look further. The loud RW&B jacket is not loud enough to scream, just at an annoying boil, and did not put it over the top. In a toned down, muted look it might do, but not full-on C. I need to think more about counter-culture dress, and opposite thinking.

    I also carry stuff. There is my wallet, but also R, stiff R, balls, thumbs and various other but have no pockets to put it all in. I’m not over capacity, as I usually use everything. Carrying bags in complimentary colours are also needed.

    One little Chinese kid was smart enough to call me out on my R routine. Good for him. You really can’t fool all the people and age is not the deciding factor. While I did make some mistakes overall the routine is pretty solid. Of course more practice is required.

    The D’L were a hit with the very small ones, sub 3. I take some electricity from Mum, move it around, eat more, puff it out my ears, and then give it back to Mum. The kid reacted positively. Bob suggested I take energy from the tree and begin eating, then return some back to the tree. That was fun.

    It was really not a M night, not the mix I wanted, the feel was simply not there. Stiff R was Ok, a kid was too close and touched it, so not a good thing. Exposed.

    The Hunter’s know was a hit. He could not get that one, though he was close to not understanding it. There are thresholds for all these tricks and getting one does not mean they will get another. The simple two hand reefer knot one was hard for them to replicate, which caused some laughter.

    I was not able to deploy the rings, any cards, nor the regular T. Next time. My J balls were handy in keeping me lose and breaking up the flow. It also attracted a lot of attention.

    Primal instincts are still important to us. Moving objects attract attention, and so does light. This happens no matter the age.

    Overall a great event an lots of fun. Talking in Mandarin really helped some Chinese kids mellow out. I liked that. Little Weed also had a good time, which is good. No bad experiences contributes to the good feeling.

  • Toronto Police 43 Div Picnic and Open House, May 09 2015

    Apprehensive, and I told B this. Anyway I went and am glad I did. I met Joey the C there, who had a large bag of broken balloons that he reuses to make all sorts of animals. He’s really talented, and friendly.

    Blue shorts and Tilley hat, B&W shirt and spats, orange shoes, white long sleeve to protect me from the sun, Red n, orange and green bags. Did rope, both Hunter’s and Ropesational/Fiber Optic. It did go over well. Did a ton of B.

    The kids were very well behaved, and no bad incidents. We simply wandered around aimlessly, talking to whomever we pleased. Free hdogs, drinks, a slushy. It was a good event. Jill and June got a photo with the Police Chief. Good fun!

  • Unionville Festival Parade, June 06 2015

    A lovely day to walk with a couple thousand people. The kids were friendly and well behaved. Though it started a little cool at +13, it did warm up. Rode the whole parade. No j or m.

    Green h with watering can, blue n and kerchief, white ls undershirt and tumeric sl outer, blue shorts, polka dot socks, blue Chucks with polka dot laces. It was a well coordinated look.

    I should have brought my j b’s to keep me occupied when we were waiting. Once I got started U it was Ok. Bob put the top down, so there was enough sun coming back.

  • Port Union Waterfront Festival, June 20 2015

    Nice turnout and nice people. All but one kid was well behaved. Told the kid that grabbed my N to take a hike, after she repeatedly asked me why I was not that funny. Kids say the darnedest things, but they’re not my kids so I don’t have to put up with it.

    Big Weed set me up for this one. New pants with a very wild geometric on it, cut to capri level and rolled twice (I don’t know why, but it’s a “thing”), bow tie to match. yellow linen ls, bowler, red N, and my B&W leather shoes. These shoes really hurt my feet, and I was hobbling a lot. I’ll need to find out why they hurt so much. Even band-aids on the heel were not sufficient. Anyway, the look was pretty good.

    Twisted nearly 100 B’s at this event. Lots of cats, which take longer. I hung out near a concrete flowing “river”, which was not even 1″ deep that had embedded river rocks. It was a great effect and created a nice flow. The kids loved walking through it, even though the water was so cold. I liked sitting on the edge because often the kids would splash water and I’d get some on my back, cooling me down. I was also at kid level, so convenient.

    I did some M but mainly it was B twisting. It was fun and I’d do it again. The weather was perfect at ~20C, clear blue sky so not too hot. The ls protected me from getting burned. This event might be the highlight of the summer. We shall see.

  • Indian Independence Day, Scarborough Civic Centre, Aug 15 2015

    This was a walkaround for the kids, meet and greet. Mostly B, some M. The kids were on the rough side, some being very pushy and rude. I think this is cultural, and possibly just part of Scarborough. All the clowns made comments about the rudeness of some of the kids. There were nice kids as well.

    Blue shorts, polka dot socks, blue Chucks with dot laces, yellow linen shirt, red dot tie, blue Tilley, 2 orange bags for R and other stuff. Overall comfortable and useful. It was hot initially, so most people stayed in the shade. I drank a lot of water.

    Two kids knew my R routine, so I had to stop. I did get them with the Hunter’s knot, though. They were so perplexed, just the way I like them. A couple of Chinese families also showed up, and I did B for their kids. In one family the grandmother spoke Mandarin but the kids and grand kids did not. Overall a nice event. Fun, somewhat challenging, with the rude kids coming to the fore.

  • 2015 Markham Santa Claus Parade, Nov 28 2015 Six strong, it was fun. We should have parked at 16th Ave and walked south. Cold at 0C and slightly windy, the route felt very long, with a very long but slight incline. Some cobblestones, which made it difficult on U.

    U, orange anorak, BW-wild pants, orange Chucks, BW striped scarf, red n, polka dot socks. Bob bought us black gloves with white tips that had LEDs that lit up!

    The kids were nice and we had a good time. I fell once and my U went for about 8′! Tired at the end of the parade. Not in as good shape as before. Back did not hurt.

  • 2015 Unionville Olde Tyme Christmas & Candlelight Parade, Dec 04 2015 Not a long parade but very jam packed with floats, bands and walkers, all at night. The night parade adds a hint of mystery and it really excites the kids. Unusual. There were lots of people on the street. They seem to creep into the middle from the curb, and squeezes the roadway. I fell once.

    U had a rear red light and a front led. Orange jacket, b/w striped tie, green helmet with yellow, red n, multi-coloured floods, polka s and yellow Chucks. Athletic and mobile. It was cold. Bob and I got there at 5:30, as we expected rush hour to make the trip long, but no, we got there in 15 minutes. Surprising. Parked near the train station.

    The kids were well behaved. Nothing out of the ordinary. Large Mandarin group, lots of kids. We got stuck between a church group in front and a military marching band in the rear, with me doing circles in between. There was a truck in the middle that I had to ensure would not run me over. Overall I enjoyed the parade very much. We’re probably going to add this to our event calendar. Route was Calder/Main on down to the train tracks and train station. Parade length was 466m! A tad short but otherwise very nice.

  • Toronto Police 43 Div Picnic and Open House, May 07 2016

    The weather was pretty good, sunny but not too hot. The kids were mostly good, though there were a couple of pushy parents. Overall twisted over 70 b’s, so not too shabby. Not too scary, even though there were police everywhere.

    Yellow linen shirt, bowler, polka red J Crew tie, blue shorts, red n, left yellow polka sock, right striped sock, left green Chuck, right orange Chuck, really a very different look.

    Did some kid challenges with 2 ropes. It turned out well. They seem to not be used to an adult challenging their intelligence. Did not do my G Sands routine, maybe because I was just not in the mood for it recently. Bob could not make it due to illness/hernia.

  • Unionville Festival Parade, June 04 2016

    Lovely 20C day with full sun. Maybe a little hot. There were more Mandarin parade participants this year, older, and some carrying erhu. It is all good. One lady recognized me as attending for a couple of years! bob out of commission. Lots of Mandarin speaking kids. All kids well behaved.

    Green helmet, U, watering can, orange shirt, yellow suspenders, blue belt, yellow carrying case, green shorts, polka socks, light blue chucks with polka laces, blue bulbous n. Not too hot and easy to move.

    Shortish parade, only 40 minutes or so. Parked at train station, Birch N, Hwy 7 E, Eureka N to end of street, E to train station. Good parking spot.

  • Port Union Waterfront Festival, June 25 2016

    A tad hot at 28 degrees but sunny and a great turnout. Red shorts overalls, blue Tilley, yellow linen ls shirt, blue scarf, striped socks, red leather shoes, new small red n. m, b twisting.

    I really like the venue and the kids are well behaved. We did about 600 b. Fun for all and the kids behaved. No shade but we were beside the concrete stream, so when the kids splashed we cooled down. Got a bit of a small burn. Parked pretty close as we arrived early. It is far from our house.

    A also came to twist. Blue shorts, bw striped shirt, yellow suspenders, polka socks, white vans with red/white tongues. He did very well and more than held his own in twisting.

    Bob was fully recovered and did not even need his chair. Great!

  • West Rouge Family Day, West Rouge Community Center, Sept 17 2016

    Threatening mostly, but with downpours of rain, there were some tents available to keep out the large wet. Overall the event was well run, but the weather kept the kids away.

    Red overalls, orange microfiber, blue Tilley, polka socks, and green/blue odd Converse, orange belt. Tried my smallest red n for the first time and it was a success. Comfy and stayed on.

    Did mostly b, but a lot of m. Practiced my Sands but did not perform it. I don’t know why. Did the red/blue card trick, and even when I showed they were identical, some 7-8 yo continued to point to one card or the other. Hunter’s knot was again popular.

    I did have a good time and look forward to next year. Though they limited us to 300 balloons, we did not even do that many. Pity.

  • Markham Santa Claus Parade, Nov 26 2016

    Lovely day, nice sunny day. Green helmet with blond hair, orange jacket, multi-coloured pants, matching striped gloves and scarf, red n, green Topsiders. It seemed like a very long parade, and he final hill to 16th Ave almost killed me. I really need to train for this parade, and this year proved it. I was more than tired.

    We parked behind the funeral home, near the retirement home, south of the railway tracks. Bob got lost and went north of the railway tracks. It took a long time to find him, but Jill got her SUV and eventually found him!

  • Unionville Festival Parade, June 03 2017

    A sunnier day we could not have asked for. The kids were out and very well behaved. New blue helmet with watering can, blue upturned n, yellow linen and a white microfiber underneath, red overall shorts, polka socks, orange Chucks.

    I did lots of loops and had to be careful about the trucks nearby. met a juggler from London who was doing fire, but during the day it did not stand out.

  • Port Union Waterfront Festival, June 24 2017

    Strong and blustery winds, but clear skies and 23C weather. Kids aplenty and well behaved. Red baret, b&w striped ls shirt, bl shorts, yellow suspenders, b&w spats, b&w shoes. The shoes gave me a blister, even with bandage and double socks. Uhn. Uke in backpack, pretty comfortable. pump broke but still usable.

    So windy that the cheat sheets for songs was vibrating so much I could not read it. Did b’s and was very successful. Group blew through 600. Did a little bit of m, freaked out a parent, who stepped in to help their daughter when she could not do it.

    It seemed like Bob did not like that we stepped away to practice on our own. We did leave the group for quite a while, while the rest did the work. Not sure if this is ok for future events.

  • 2017 Scarborough Celebrates Ontario 150 Festival, Albert Campbell Square, July 15 2017

    A really nice day at 26C, not too hot and not too cold. Full sun, only a bit of wind, got a bit sunburned. Not as many kids and people as we had hoped. Had 4 of us. We did b twisting, stickers, blowing bubbles, but there was not enough kids to keep us busy. Still, with experimenting with singing and the bari uke, the event came out very nicely for us.

    Blue Tilley, red n, yellow linen ls shirt, blue shorts, orange belt, orange and yellow bags, yellow polka socks, red/white check Vans. Took the bari uke with backpack case. Pretty comfy though a bit weighted down.

    June and I went round asking kids to sing, and did our thing. We did all our songs. It was interesting that so many people really liked singing such simple kids songs and being happy. It seemed to unlock some happiness, now unencumbered, for a short 30 seconds or a song’s worth. Interesting. We need to do more of this, practice more and gain experience.

  • 2017 Ajax Pumpkinville, Greenwood Conservation Area, Oct 14 2017

    The most striking thing about this event was how family oriented it was. The kids and parents were extremely well behaved. The event had an intimate small town feel, in stark contrast to the sometimes difficult Toronto kids. All of us appreciated the more friendly environment.

    The weather was concerning. The morning started with 15C and rain, completely overcast and 40% chance of showers. In the end it did not rain for the event, but shortly after.

    Blue Tilley, due to possibility of rain, Blue n, blue neckerchief, red shorts overalls, yellow long sleeve linen, LS microfiber turtle underneath for warmth, short sleeve microfiber for warmth, striped socks, green Topsiders. Clothing was appropriate and I did not get cold or sick. The event was completely outdoor, on grass and dirt.

    Mostly I did the horseshoe puzzle, but I also did the Hunter’s knot. While I did bring Professor’s, a card trick and others, they were not used. One hit with the 2-5yo group was the rabbit puppet, which enchanted them to no end. I will need to work out a routine for him. A “hiding” routine at the beginning will not work. No matter how contrived adults think of the puppet, young kids do not perceive this deficiency. Very interesting.

    One thing about the horseshoe puzzle is that I gave it to this kid, who while trying to solve it, was bothered by a wasp. He tried to swat the wasp with a swing of the horse shoes, almost hitting someone close by. Best be careful of flying insects and not so smart kids.

  • 2018 Chinese New Year in Markham, Feb 11 2018

    This event was pretty nice, but small, at Markham Civic Center.

    We tried something completely different this time, a bit more formal. B and M only event, so I need not have any microfiber. Anchored with a B&R check jacket, yellow linen shirt, red with white polka tie, black bowler, red shorts, yellow polka socks and really gimpy black red Fluvogs, which just happen to be really comfy though heavy. It seemed to work.

    The new approach to the horseshoe puzzle was more effective, as I did not give away as much. The Hunter’s knot was observed on my right rear side by a parent, and communicated. Fortunately he could not put it together very well and I was able to play it down, but in the future I need to be more careful who is on my right rear. I wonder if I should try to mix it up and do this from my left?

    All the Bs went pretty well. Did lots of small dogs, as it was the Year of the Dog. The variations of heads was well worthwhile. Taught June the parrot. She liked it. Also the monkey head.

    Overall a nice event. Very well behaved kids with no issues whatsoever. We should do this event again. Our inclusion added a much needed sizzle of colour and activity for the kids, who really had little else for amusement.

  • 2018 Family Day Festival, North American Muslim Foundation, 2018 Feb 19 Monday

    Overall it went very well. They paid us, the kids were well behaved, and we all had a good time. There were less kids than we had hoped, but that was really not a problem.

    B&W striped shirt, orange Gap pants with yellow suspenders, B&W boots, red baret. No J, only a bit of M, mainly B. Overall, not stressful in the least.

  • Markham Heritage Parade, 2018 June 02

    We have done this parade so often. So many Chinese kids. Had a good conversation with Kathy’s Hus John about being able to speak Mandarin and having the kids at ease. It happened in front of him. I spoke Mandarin, then he spoke to them in English. They clammed up with him. Overall, it was a parade, I U’d, it was not too long, went slowly sometimes.

    Blue H with watering can, orange sh sleeve shirt, Canada bandana, yellow suspenders, blue pants, orange/red socks, yellow Chucks, blue nose

  • Markham Village Music Festival, 2018 June 16

    A new event for us, b and m all around. The kids were well behaved. There was one Chinese older lady who tried to put her hand into my pocket and I slapped her hand well. She left. Lots of Chinese kids in the beginning, but dissipated as the day became hotter. What started as a warm event really became a very hot day, though there was some shade.

    Met a girl, her sister, brother and mother, who was terrified of c, spent a good deal of time tricking her and sister with the horse shoes. It was funny trying to get her to trust me. She would not even touch my hand, she was so freaked out. Even subtle movements triggered a autonomous trigger response. The hunter’s Knot really threw them for a loop. A lot of fun.

    The horse shoes is a good opening line, but I still need to connect the number range between -1 and +1 to the horse shoes, as people still do not get the connection. The distraction does work. People do see that the loop did come off.

    Blue Tilley, yellow linen shirt, red polka tie, blue belt, multi-coloured shorts, red N, B&W spats, light blue Chucks. N glue somewhat melted and was coming off. I need to clean this up better.

  • Canada Day, Bridewood Mall, 2018 July 01

    Super hot, 36C. We did b, laid around, found some shade, drank some water.

  • West Rouge Family Day, 2018 Sept 15

    Did the Bob the Builder look today. Yellow hard hat with pokeball logo, blue neckerchief, orange shirt, blue shorts, orange construction suspenders, yellow polka suspenders, orange Chucks. The weather, at 29C was hot.

    The kids were really nice. Did M and lots of balloons. The horseshoe trick went over very well. I need a smaller ring. Did a Balloon 101 with some teens that was quite fun, 2 guys and 2 girls. The girls were better!

  • Ajax Pumpkinville, 2018 Oct 13

    Really nice event, though at 5C it was very cool. The b would not stay twisted in place! Bowler, check jacket, r nose, rb bow tie, yellow shirt, undershirt, striped pants, tights, polka socks, green topsiders. Backup striped scarf and gloves were not needed. Canvas bag.

    Did horseshoes mostly, tried my 3 rope trick. dropped it! Ah, hell. Then did hunter’s as backup. Did a lot of b repair though, I think that the cold affected the balloons.

    Kids were great. Courteous, parents told the kids to say thanks if they did not. Patient, goods kids. I love them.

  • Guides Agincourt, 2018 Nov 22

    All b teaching. It went very well, and I covered everything. I was surprised that the girls did so well. No pressure, but all was covered. The girls were brave in twisting the difficult ones, but they closed their eyes and twisted. It was funny when the b popped, which it often does.

  • Ajax-Pickering New Year’s Eve, Ajax, 2018 Dec 31

    Really good event. Kids were well behaved, event was well organized, people were all nice. Lots of small kids, much less teens. Family oriented, as it should be. We ran out of b, even though we brought 350. I wanted 450, so would have been spot on. Rained like the dickens.

    Red beret, turmeric short sleeve shirt, lime green tie, red n, multi-coloured shorts, blue belt with green pocket, polka socks with BW John Fluevogs. Duck side bag. Comfy, easy to move. Did m, lots of horseshoe. Did 3 rope to kid but he already knew the trick. Then tricked him with Hunter’s. Fun overall. Also did b, a bit of repair.

    I liked the event. We will try to get this event again. Good people.

  • 2019 Chinese New Year, King Square, Markham, 2019 Feb 02, Federation of Chinese Canadians in Markham

    I did this one on my own as a favour to Doris at FCCM. It turned out very well. Bl bowler, yellow ls short, red n, matching squares bow-tie and shorts, green suspenders, polka socks, B&W Fluevogs. Extending the tie was very helpful. Pretty much all b, with a teeny bit of the horsehoes. Carried the yellow tall pump, after disconnecting the flexible hose. This helped out the speed a lot.

    There were about 150 kids, so really busy for the first 2 hrs. Had a helper that I needed to train, but she did not so many. The kids were really nice, very polite, as were the parents. There was a lot of Chinese language, but many kids only spoke English, and that is ok. I tried to remember the butterfly, but failed. I need to learn this. Surprisingly, though this is the Year of the Pig, kids rarely asked for a pig.

    Doris provided lunch, which was nice. I left with a take-away, which was some biscuits. Again, very nice. The event was King Square, a very large mall. Though there were only 6 stores open, the mall was used more as a venue. It had a square, a PA system and a large backdrop. The mall was quite nice. I rather enjoyed the event, and being a Chinese event, got to use my Chinese. Though it was a risk being alone, I should do more of these FCCM Chinese events.

  • 2019 Chinese New Year, Markham Civic Center, Markham, 2019 Feb 10, Federation of Chinese Canadians in Markham

    Again with FCCM, this time at the Markham Civic Center. The number of kids was about double last year. It was so busy. We went through 500b and ran out an hour before closing. The kids were great. Again, a few Chinese old ladies tried to take a sheet of stickers, so we told them to not do this. Overall an excellent event, well attended, really crowded. It was a lot of fun.

    Red beret, yellow linen shirt, bow tie, yellow n, orange long pants, polka socks, red striped leather shoes, red blue check jacket. it worked well. Mainly did b, but some horseshoe m. Did a single Hunter’s. Used my large yellow pump, which worked out very well. One push and good to go.

    Extremely busy for the first 3 hrs, then it calmed down. No food or water provided. I am glad we brought a little bit. Kathy gave me half her veg salami sandwich, which I did not really taste, I was a bit hungry.

  • Winterfest (Family Day), Maclean Center, Ajax, 2019 Feb 18

    Lots of kids. We gave out over 600 balloons in 5 hours, 3 of us, no breaks. There was a constant flow of kids, but the lines were not too long. Kids were very well behaved. A good mix of Middle Eastern, black, some Indian, white. Well behaved. Hands are still sore from the effort. Overall a really good event, lots of fun, great environment and mood.

    Black bowler, red shirt, matching square plaid floods and bowtie, green suspenders, blue n, bw striped spats, green topsiders. The weather had snowed in the morning, so it was a bit messy.

    Did mostly b, but a bit of m. The smarter ones really get flustered with the m. Printed up a list of possible b, which made it much faster for the kids to decide on what they want. Was able to do a wider variety of b as well, trying new ones and practicing old ones. Will definitely make a list for future events. Must add brontosaurus to list. With constant practice I can grow my list of b types.

  • Balloon Twisting Workshop, Toronto Public Library, Warden Branch, 2019 May 03

    The branch is small, but in our area. We had about 10 kids show up. Chaotic but fun. Most were enthusiastic. The girls were really good, but one guy would not pay attention and basically played with himself, twisting the balloons into a big mass. Oh well. We had a good time.

    Orange Chucks, baby blue floods, red striped socks, yellow suspenders, mime shirt, red beret, or dress down c! We went through 11 balloon animals. Lots of balloons strewn on the floor. Frank discussion about our TPL proposal, and hints for how to improve it.

  • 2019 Canada Day Festival, Ajax-Pickering, 2019 July 01

    A glorious day, and had some great kids. Everything went well, though the traffic was a fright! Blue hat, red n, orange s-sleeve shirt with white ls microfiber, yellow suspenders, blue shorts and yellow Chucks. Did a lot of b and some m.

    Nothing really outstanding, just overall a really good crowd. Small town friendly, really. unlike Toronto.

  • Toronto Public Library, Centennial (Finch/Bathurst), 2019 Oct 05

    We really did not know what to expect, as it was entertainment after a meeting to announce a library redo. Few kids, not well advertised, but the kids liked us anyway. We started and ended with balloons, but there were so few kids. In between we did some songs with Junebug and Kathy. The singing was different and quite enjoyable, though I missed a bunch of chords. One Chinese kid was so cute, he was having such a good time. The kids all got multiple balloons! So much fun!

    Red barret, black white mime l-shirt, yellow suspenders, multi- colour golf pants and red/black Fluevogs, small red n.

  • Ajax-Pickering Pumpkinville, 2019 Oct 19

    A glorious, sunny day, but a bit cool. Held on the Ajax racetrack, It was a large and great venue. The kids were really good, as were the parents. Black bowler, check jacket, yellow ls linen shirt, blue n, red polka dot tie, striped pants, lime boots. We did over 750 balloons and ran out. There were so many kids, and they all seemed to have fun. What a great event!

    The weather was a bit cold, so the balloons were easily breaking. As we ran out of balloons I tried to reuse some of the broken ones, but was stopped by Jill and June because it would attract too many people, causing us grief. Huh.

  • Toronto Public Library, Centennial branch, 2019 Dec 14

    Only 8 kids showed up. Red barret, mime shirt, blue bandana, striped pants, flourescent striped socks, red&black Fluevogs. The workshop started well enough, but the kids were a little slow. I went through many variations of the dog, but then ran out of time for the more complex designs.

    Had an issue with one of the parents, who continued to come in and interrupt the class, and his kids were leaving their places and going to him. I asked him to wait outside until after the class but, in the end, in a threatening tone, said “You better stop that, now!”. I stopped teaching his kids, and told his other kids to leave the eaching area. Such aggressive encounters I would not have dreamed of in the library, and in my workshop. I suppose he thought he had the right to control his kids, but really, this interferes with the kids’ learning. I’m not sure what else to do to prevent such an interaction.

  • Ajax-Pickering New Year’s Eve, 2019, Dec 31

    It was somewhat of a regular event. We were expecting a lot of kids, but, as with last year, there were not so many. I was a bit disappointed, but that is life. Blue beret, red n, multi-coloured golf pants, green suspenders, mime t-shirt, yellow striped ls shirt, b&w Fluevogs. My black pump broke off at the handle, but I had a backup pump.

    There were really not anything memorable. The kids were very polite, as were parents. The crowd is mixed, with black and Middle Eastern, but again, not even a single issue. We did not finish all our balloons. At the end we ran out of kids and went home. Not all events are memorable.

  • Chinese New Year, King Square 王府井, Markham 萬錦市, Federation of Chinese Canadians in Markham, 2020 Jan 19

    This event is a real toss-up, as this is the second year I went on my own. Overall we had really lovely kids and parents, a nice and clean venue, and a good time for all. Red beret, red n, yellow linen ls shirt, white t, marine blue pants and bow tie, check jacket, polka yellow socks, light blue Chucks, green belt and yellow change purse. Overall the event was small, at around 200 kids, but very doable for a volunteer and I. There were no major rushes. A snow storm ravaged during the day, which may be why there were less people. The trip back was really slow and hazardous. I got stuck backing into our driveway.

    We were placed on the second story of the mall, and away from the first floor foot traffic. This was not an ideal location, but all the kids stuff, which just included a colouring station and me, was upstairs. There was a young guy dressed as an orange rat, which was a bit odd. The second floor overlooked the main stage, which was very noisy. I made a sword display on the metal railing of all the balloon colours we had. I will recommend that we stay on the first floor for next year.

    I did ask for a volunteer that I train. Eunice was great. Smart, she learned a lot of balloon styles and then practiced them. She started in accounting and now she’s doing some html. Quick to learn, but pretty quiet and introvert. She speaks a little Canto but no Mando. At the end she went on her phone and pretty much ignored the world. That was ok, when I asked her to do a balloon for a kid she was more than willing. She did continuous balloons for 4 hours until she got bored and the kids petered out.

    As is typical of the near total Chinese crowd, with the odd Phillippina, the kids were all well behaved, as were the parents. As usual I was very surprised, not at their politeness but at the contrast to our Toronto events. It is a bit sad when you think about it.

    As there were few kids, I taught a mother and her 8yo daughter how to do a dog. They were thrilled and very thankful. It was a good experience for all. The kids was actually better than the mother. There were a lot of b repairs, where kids returned in near tears, saying that they came apart. I was more than happy to repair them. Once done they were again very happy. I guess I realized why I do this. Both sides feel happy, which is a good thing.

    One kid refused a balloon because he said it would pop, but I convinced him that a short length of happiness is better than not having it at all. Such a critical message!

    This year the organizer asked me to pose with local politicians. There were a few photogs, who were not identified, so I will need to search for them on the web later. Some low bakgou was provided, which was nice. Eunice got me seconds. Thankfully I brought a ham sandwich and a bottle of water, or I would have died. They did not have any extra water.

  • Chinese New Year, Markham Civic Center, Markham 萬錦市, Federation of Chinese Canadians in Markham, 2020 Jan 26

    I was hoping for a great Chinese New Year event, has the King Square event was a bit of a letdown due to a huge snowstorm. Yet fate was not with me. On Jan 24 China closed down Wuhan due to a novel corona virus. Even though we only have 2 cases in Toronto, this spooked the Chinese community.

    Compared to last year, there were less than 20% of the people. Exhibitors, volunteers and the general public just did not show up. The most kids we had were because they were performing in the event.

    Ugly red/black fluvogs, black/white spats, multi-coloured golf pants and matching bow tie, green suspenders, red shirt, bowler. All done up and no kids. There were four of us. I perfected a new rat design, which was actually executed better by Kathy.

    Overall, a disappointment. We were fed some leftover dimsum snacks, which was nice. I asked a random guy rearranging chairs if he would take our pic. He stammered and hesitated, saying he was busy, and then another guy stepped in and took the pic. It turns out the first guy was the president of the FCCM, but then why hesitate? After the pic the duo rearranged the chairs multiple times, as if trying to work off some nervous tension. Very odd.

    The only people who showed up were the politicians, who spoke to an empty audience of performers an their families, the large scout group that acted like a bridal column, which was weird.

  • Ajax-Pickering Winterfest, Ajax-Pickering, 2020 Feb 17, Family Day

    In summary, a stellar event. Great crowd of 700 kids. Well behaved kids and parents, well organized event, all went very well. The three of us were run off our feet from the 11:00am open to the 4:00pm close, 700+ b’s. Cramped fingers for the next 2 days. Forgot how to do a swan, but then remembered! Did a horse, which took some thinking.

    Yellow brick road bow tie, mustard shirt, red shorts, redblue jacket, red beret,red Spanish shoes, yellow n. It was a different combo but worked ok. The large yellow pump was stellar. One pump an you’re done.

    At the end we had b’s left over, little time and a crowd. The organizers closed the line 40 mins before close. At the 20 mins mark the line had petered out but we had b’s left. I opened the line up again, much to the shagrin of June. She was concerned about sending people away and then accepting others. Next time we’ll close a line, give out b’s, and then if there are b’s left, to open the line back up, until we run out of b’s, or time. That, if clearly stated to June, should be ok for her.

balloons, monkey head

Onward, Forward, Upward

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