It's been a while since I wrote a random freestyle post. Most have been themed or centered around a single topic. Well not today folks!
Below, you'll find a general life update, stats about my first YouTube book review, my experience -- so far -- with TIES, and a design update for The Magic Café 🤫. Keep reading for all of the details!
I'm currently sitting in the café at my local Barnes & Noble, just unwinding from the normal day-to-day. They don't have power outlets here, likely to stop people from camping out all day; so, I'm limited to however long my laptop's battery lasts -- which is anywhere between 45 minutes and 2 hours, pending how aggressively I type and/or if I dare open up a website like YouTube or Instagram.
On my mind lately has been how many post ideas I've had, and how little I've actually posted. Some have been time-sensitive and I didn't get to them. Other "to come" posts are ones that I've wanted to post for a while, but others keep bumping them down my queue. While I could post more frequently, it would monopolize my time so for now, the current schedule's what we'll stick with. I might write an extra post every now and then if I get a free minute, but no promises.
I recently posted my first video book review on YouTube! The review is of Simon Aronson's Try the Impossible, a book that I read twice throughout the month of January.
I've posted a handful of deck reviews already, and those have been pretty fun to do. They don't take terribly long to produce either. Maybe 15 to 20 minutes to record, another 20 minutes of editing, and then going through the whole upload-and-post dance. Effectively, under an hour for a single deck review -- unless I want to include any B-Roll type of stuff, like cardistry or other flourishes. Then, the time increases.
Conversely, this book review... wow. So the idea for the book reviews that I film is to not only discuss the book, but also to demonstrate one or two of the routines from it (if it has any, of course). Well, this review took me around an hour to film. Then, somewhere between one to two hours to edit. What was the end product? A 23 minute video!
It's my longest video to-date and honestly, it came out much longer than I expected. I'm happy with the video overall though, but I have plenty of notes to make improvements for the next one I do. Hopefully they won't all take as long.
As a little sneak peak, my next book review will be on The Card Classics of Ken Krenzel. I read it a few years ago and have skimmed it again since then, but I'm rereading it cover-to-cover right now and taking much more detailed notes. My original impression of it has changed, stay tuned to see how!
When I was at MagiFest a few weeks ago, I wore an elastic (re: TIES) everyday. It never really came into use while I was at the convention, but I did get a chance to use it when I was out to eat. I had a used napkin on the table randomly move on its own, without interaction from me!
I know at least once when a couple saw it and started whispering together, so that was fun. All of the other random times, I don't know if anyone actually noticed or not. Nobody ever approached me though, so maybe not, or maybe they just didn't believe what they saw.
My recent Nashville trip, I did the same -- except I used it to knock over an empty plastic cup. Unfortunately, all of the people around that actually saw it were rather intoxicated and didn't notice that my hands were nowhere near the cup, they simply thought I was clumsy (or drunk myself) and knocked the cup over by accident. Go figure =P
All of that said, I broke -- and lost -- 5 elastics during those two trips. One snapped the one time I was preparing to actually show it in a trick (in Nashville) and I wasn't wearing a backup. The others, well, let's just say that I never once remembered that they were on my wrist when I took off my jacket... and I never saw them again.
I recently started browsing The Magic Cafe again. I created an account a few years back and thought I'd be there a lot more than I was... and, well, I wasn't.
The past few days, I've been on there daily -- even interacting a bit. I know, I know... that's not really newsworthy.
However, I bring it up because the website itself is just horrible. The content is great, and the people are people (I don't actually know them and haven't been around long enough to know them, so they're just people). The website though, it's outdated even by 1998's standards. It functions, and as a forum it's straight to the point, but I'm missing a lot.
As such, and as you may or may not know, but I'm an engineer so writing code is something my day-job requires. I decided to work on some front-end changes to the site and using an extension in my browser, I've been effectively upgrading my experience on the site. I'm going to keep tackling it and once it's a bit more modern, I'll share. I think you'll dig it =]