Sunday, August 30, 2009


We saw a GREAT magician show last night!

Thursday morning while listening to our local radio station, our favorite DJ Joe Flood interviewed a young man who was presenting two shows at our restored Lincoln Theater here in town on Saturday, August 29th. He is a magician named Sterling Dietz who has only been practicing the art for four years but recently was the overall winner in the World Teen Magician contest in Las Vegas! He is 18 years old and just this summer graduated from Lynden Washington High School, a town just a few miles north of us near the Canadian border. We both thought that sounded interesting so Pat called and asked for two tickets near the front where we could see pretty well. We decided to go the the show at 19:00 rather than the afternoon show, and she got two in the center section, seats 1 and 2, row A which is right in the front. You couldn't get better seats!

The show was phenomenal! This young man has a great stage presence, works very well with his audience (of all ages) and really seems to know his craft. The show does include others, especially one main assistant, and involves music and dance a bit. He has a website that has a lot more about him including a short video. Take a look and remember, he is just 18 years old now.

I didn't even try to take my camera as I know it isn't right to take photos of these where you can freeze time and look in great detail at what he is doing, so I only have a scanned copy of his poster that he autographed for Pat & I and a scanned image of my ticket. If you ever have the chance to go see Sterling perform his magic, GO!!!!!

Magic of Sterling001
Here is Sterling in one of his outfits.

Magic of Sterling002
Here is my ticket.

We have been busy over the last two weeks, including attending another melodrama play last weekend at the RiverBelle Dinner Theater. I do have photos from that performance but haven't yet had the time to get them ready to post. Hopefully soon. We also have been making some changes that will affect our future lifestyle. More about that later, too. In the meantime, enjoy what is left of summer. We are enjoying pretty nice weather right now and it looks like it may well continue at least for another month.

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Sunday, August 16, 2009


Is summer over?

All the Back To School sales that are going on and articles in the local newspaper would have me thinking that summer is about over. School seems to start earlier and earlier as time goes on. In our area we usually don't have very reliable summer like weather until after about the 10th of July but this year has been different. We had rain the day after we got back from our North Cascades Loop trip in mid-May and almost none since then. The temperatures have been pretty consistently in the 80s with a few days actually into the 90s. Until about a week and a half ago. Since then we have had some rain and cooler temps. But, now the thermometer is heading back up with talk of maybe into the 90s by mid-week.

Often I prefer to take trips after school has started in the fall as our September weather is usually beautiful, but that is also when I hope to go to the Spokane area for a week or so. Eastern Washington is cooler and more comfortable then than it is in the summer and we coastal residents are not used to hot temps. Maybe we will go there and down to the ocean for a few days. But we do need to rebuild the tow dolly in order to safely take the Beetle along and you got to have a tow car.

We did go to the local Skagit County Fair this past week and Pat was a lot braver than me and had a caricature drawing done of her by a artist who was there. I'll post it here and see what you all think of it.
Caricature of Pat
I guess it is okay but I think I like some of my photos of her a lot better. But these things are not done to try to make them an actual portrait. And this was done just two days before she spent the morning at her hair dresser. Oh well.

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Sunday, August 09, 2009


We attended a Melodrama play Friday night

Friday night we attended a play at our local River Belle Dinner Theater here in Mount Vernon. It was billed as a musical melodrama and titled, "He Ain't Done Right By Nell." It will just be there two weekends and then followed by another for two weekends called, "Curse You, Jack Dalton" that I think we would like to also go see. These are summer fare and not full dinner productions so the cost is much less- $14 each plus tax for adults. It was a lot of fun and of course I took some photos, over 150 all together but I've selected a dozen to post here. It was very hard to cut them down to only a dozen but I really feel that is almost too many for a blog post so have limited it to them. I did take a CD with all the photos to the play director yesterday so they will have them. By the way, a blogger friend from Whidbey Island, who produces plays for their local theater down there, is in need of a piano player for a production they are about open. If you or anyone you know might be interested, please click on the link here on my site labeled, Life After NEXCOM and talk with Mary Lou.

Here is what their flier says about the play:
"A gay nineties musical comedy. When Hilton Hays learns that Nell is a foundling and has no right to the Perkins name, he threatens to tell because Nell will not respond to his advances. Nell is too honest to marry the manly hero, Jack Logan, under the circumstances, so she dons her cape and prepares to roam the cruel world seeking a refuge for her broken heart. But wealthy Burkett Carleton has Hays arrested for stealing, and he discovers Nell is his long lost granddaughter."

That is a short summary of the play. There were seven characters and I know one of them quite well through church. I had never been to a Melodrama but it was done as in the past, with cue cards for the audience to cheer, boo, clap, etc. at appropriate times. I guess we could have thrown popcorn, which apparently was done in past years, but I think any popcorn that was sold there was eaten rather than thrown. Anyway, here are some photos, in the order they were taken.

Nell 01
Granny, coming down the step, is the one who found baby Nell in a basket outside the barn when Nell was a very small baby. The lady in the background is a friend of Granny's who is also searching for a Man (for her.)

Nell 02
The Villain, Hilton Hays, makes his first appearance. He is the manager of the local mill that is owned by the absentee Mr. Carleton. Hays is a perfect villain and shows his many despicable characteristics.

Nell 03
Hilton Hays along with the young lady he claims is his girl friend but in reality he is just using her as he does everyone. He does bum $50 from her as he apparently has no cash.

Nell 04
Granny's deceased husband had designed some invention that supposedly will be worth a lot of money. Granny plans to give the drawings of it to Nell as a wedding present but Hilton has become aware of it and tries to bribe Granny to give it to him to check out as he plans to marry Nell. So he says. He goes so far as to offer her cash (that he got from his "girl friend") and Granny is wise enough to take his money but not give him the drawings.

Nell 05
Nell, who has been out walking her blood hounds, makes her appearance and makes it clear that she has no intention of every marrying Hilton Hays. The love of her life is Jack Logan.

Nell 06
Here is Nell and Jack.

Nell 07
This looks a lot like the last one but it is actually a bit later in the play. The two have pretty much agreed that they want to marry.

Nell 08
Hilton Hays overheard a conversation between Granny & her lady friend where Granny admits that Nell was found in a basket outside their barn. Hays, being unable to get Nell to agree to marry him (he wants control of that invention) tells Nell that she is a foundling and has no right to the Perkins name. Apparently in the 1890s this was important as Nell decides that she cannot marry Jack and will just go off on her own. Hays looks around the Perkins home until he finds the drawings, which he then takes.

Nell 09
Nell, dressed in her cape ready to leave, tells Jack that she cannot marry him but he tells her that makes no difference to him and he still wants her for his wife.

Nell 10
Hilton Hays is exposed by his "girl friend" and Jack, normally a pretty calm person, threatens to hit Hilton. Hilton brings out his only true friend, a rubber chicken, which really seems appropriate. While they scuffle, the missing invention plans fall out of his pocket and he is exposed as a thief.

Nell 11
The "girl friend" has contacted her father who turns out to be Burkett Carleton, the owner of the mill that Hilton manages. He and his accountants have found many irregularities with money that Hilton has taken for his own use and have brought the Sherri f to arrest Hilton. While there, Mr. Carleton (my friend from church) notices the locket that Nell wears and asks to look at it. Due to a bunch of problems, one of Mr. Carleton's daughters married, gave birth and then died. Her husband gave away the baby and then disappeared leaving no trace of where the baby went. This locket was Mr. Carleton's daughters and it contains a photo of his daughter. Thus it is determined that Nell is his long lost granddaughter. She not only really has a last name but she is from a rich family!

Nell 12
Here's a photo with the full ensemble onstage singing (remember, this is a musical) at the end of the play.

We enjoyed it and definitely plan to return. They theater returns to their regular dinner theater programs in the fall and the first production will start the day after my birthday in September. That would be a neat gift! Are you listening, Honey?

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Wednesday, August 05, 2009



Our summer continues although the temperatures have definitely dropped from the record setting levels of last week. They are even talking about possibly some rain by next Monday. We are kind of enjoying the cooler temps, especially since we've been involved in activities that have had us spending a lot of time in our computer room which can really heat up. The reasons for this are twofold. Last Saturday we changed our Internet provider from Verizon DSL to Comcast cable which meant we had a lot of people to notify about our new email addresses. I hadn't realized how many places I had that needed to be changed! Anyway, the new system is up and running with download speeds about four times what we had with our 3mbs DSL system. The other reason is that Pat is the editor of the newsletter in our community for our Homeowners Association. They hold their monthly board meeting on the first Tuesday of the month and the newsletter goes out the day after- today. Here is a photo of the clubhouse in our park:

Aerial view of clubhouse
This was taken 12 Aug 2008 by a radio controlled model airplane owned by a friend of one of our neighbors. I have posted a couple of photos from that set but I don't think I included this one. The gazebo where Pat & I were married is at the left side. You can just see part of the roof of the first house south of the clubhouse at the lower left side and our house is the one beyond the one you can see. The large part of the building nearest the camera, with all the windows, is the swimming pool room where the largest privately owned indoor swimming pool in Skagit County is located and it is used regularly. The clubhouse also has a large library, a comfortable reading area with a large TV, a kitchen, billiards room with a poker table and what we call the mirror room. I think at one time it was a dance studio where one wall is done in mirrors and there is a waist high handrail that runs along the wall over the mirrors. This room is used for meetings, parties, potlucks, etc.

LME airiel photo 1
Here is another from that airplane. This shows the north side of the parking lot for the clubhouse at the far left side and some of the homes from the community. There are 120 manufactured homes in the park. They are all pit mounted so are not up in the air like you find in most parks. The requirements for landscaping are pretty strict so all the yards look nice. The common area on this side of the clubhouse has a shuffleboard court and a putting green as well as a large, open grass area. Our annual park picnic comes up later this month and this area will be well used for games such as Botche Ball. Pat & I have used it to fly kites.

I guess that is enough for now. I've got to go and watch some TV.

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