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Posts Tagged ‘Lessons’

My beautiful wife is the Pennsylvania State Foster Co-ordination for the National Great Pyrenees Rescue. For the lay people, Great Pyr’s are very large dogs who were bred to guard livestock. They are also known in the dog world as ‘Gentle Giants’. How did my wife end up with such an illustrious title? After we adopted Clary we were so impressed with the organization my wife decided to give back and asked if they could use some help, perhaps she could field applications and such. And they said, “sure, You are now the Pennsylvania State Foster Coordinator” After reading this and commenting in the comment section below, and of course hit the follow button if you are not already a loyal follower to this blog, you should go visit the National Great Pyranees website http://www.nationalpyr.org and see about adopting, volunteering or make a donation.

Usually when my wife is conducting a phone interview with a potential Foster/Adopter I can be found immersed in the world of the video game Assassins Creed. My ears perk up when my wife gets to what NGPR (National Great Pyranees Rescue) calls the good, the bad, and the ugly. This is when my wife tells the potential Adopter about the traits of a Pyr in order to make sure the victim knows just what they are getting involved with in order to secure a good fit between man and beast.
I can’t help but grin as I listen to my wife go through the litany: the over abundance of the hair, (y’all only think you know about shedding) their need to bark, they are nocturnal, stubborn, expensive, they drool oh yeah baby we got drool! Did I mention the shedding? If you walk them off leash they become a ‘disapyr’! Oh they…dig, jump and climb oh my. Did I mention the hair? Better be ready it’s everywhere.

I find myself wondering who would want such a dog? But then I look at my two beasts and I know, you know, we all know. This my friends brings me to the whole point of this post. ‘What Have I learned From My Dog?’ The following 10 lessons I either learned or already learned but re-enforced by our dogs.
1. There is a lot of shit in life, it works out better for all if we clean up after ourselves.

2. At least once a day find something to bark at, and do so without regret or remorse.

3. I am the Master of my domain.

4. I can yell all I want and it won’t change much. Keep calm, stay strong, take a breath and square up your shoulders. Everything will be just fine

5. Don’t surround yourself with clutter, have a space for everything and keep everything in its place.

6. Don’t go cheap on a vacuum cleaner. Learn to enjoy vacuuming and do it often.

7. Always have something handy to wipe stuff up with.

8. Get up and go out every single day. It doesn’t matter if you are sick, drunk or tired. It doesn’t matter if it’s raining, snowing or blistering hot, go outside every single day

9. Just because you don’t hear it, doesn’t mean it is not there.

10. A little mud never hurt anything.
The following were some of the responses I got from asking the question on Facebook. Both to my friends and the good people at NGPR.
-You have to have patience Dig deep to understand others.

-When you finally figure out what’s going on, it’s not the real story anyway.

-Unconditional love

-Why sweat when you find your stuff in pieces – it’s just… stuff… right?

-Never buy expensive shoes, only cheap ones.

-dog hair is edible

-You can be young all the way up to Your last days.

-Forgiveness, no matter how badly they were treated before they meet you they give you the benefit of being a good person.

-Love is free, give it away often

-How to “rule” non-violently. My Stinson could control an entire pack with a look and a woof.

-Be happy to see everybody.
If you are considering introducing a pet into your family please find a rescue and adopt.

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Doh

Some bits of wisdom I’ve picked up along the way.

1) One of the first times behind the ‘Perfect Magic’ counter at a magic convention I was performing an effect for a customer when two very prominent figures in magic walked up to watch, (Sid Loraine and Frank Garcia).  Suddenly I became a jumble of nerves.  Later Mr. Garcia found me sitting in the lobby and he said to me that I should never be nervous when performing in front of another magician.  “A true magician,” he said,” will always be there to help you. We are after all, a brotherhood.”  I try to remember this bit of wisdom when dealing with people in general.  I’ve got to tell you, I’m not always successful.

2) While I believe it is true that when you fall off a horse you have to get right back on, I am also old enough to realize that some horses are just not meant to be ridden.

3) Yes poop rolls downhill.  But really if you keep your eyes open you can usually step out of its way. Of course there is an equally good chance you are going to get poop in your eye.

4) Stay away from people who say they don’t like ‘drama’ in their lives as they are usually the ones with the most, and create the most drama, and can’t seem to function without it.

5) I’m more of a finesse type person.  I like to approach things slowly and delicately.  However I have learned that there is something to be said about the bull in the china shop approach.

6) I don’t like confrontation.  But you really cannot make a good omelet without breaking those eggs. 

7) The more I look for things to write about, the fewer things I find to write about.

8) Most of the time it is not about blame and it is not always about you.  So when something happens stop trying to come up with excuses as to why it is not your fault.  instead why not try to find resolution for the situation.  

9) There is an incredible amount of value in knowing when to shut your mouth and open your ears.

10) Even though Ghandi said it first, my wife, more that anyone has taught me through her actions, that you really do have to be the change you want to see in the world.

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Doug Henning believed that it was his job to create a sense of wonder for his audience.   

I remember the first time I saw an effect that created that sense of wonder.  I don’t remember how old I was, I don’t even remember a lot of detail. I just remember an overwhelming sense of ‘holy shit’ for lack of better words.

The magician in question went by the name of Israel.  If you asked him he would tell you his mother is the earth, and his father is the moon.  He was just that kind of guy.  He came into the magic shop, (our basement at the time) took off his sandals, sat cross legged on a bamboo mat he had set up and proceeded to perform ‘coins across’ where magically, four coins travel one at a time invisibly from one hand to the other.  This is a standard effect that most magicians perform, and to this day it is one of my favorites. Perhaps it was my age, where I was in my life, his presentation or a combination of many things at once.  But for me that performance created a sense of wonder.  I think (possibly blame) that moment for my inability to escape magic.  

Another such moment happened years later, only this time I saw it from the other side.

Once again I was in the magic shop in Montreal.  A good friend and brilliant magician Romain was helping us out behind the counter as he often did.

For you magi out there who don’t know who Romain is, well suffice it to say he was a student of Slydini, He was a demonstrator at Tannen’s magic shop, one (if not, the) oldest magic shops in the USA, He has an effect written up in ‘Million Dollar Secrets’ by non-other than Frank Garcia. Romain is the Monarch of Manipulation.  He is known around the world and he is a magic icon in Canada…And, for those in the know, he is one of Canada’s top ballroom dancers.

A young girl wanders into the magic shop.  She actually belonged to the owner of another retail shop a few doors down.  Romain is sitting behind the counter and decides to show her a magic trick.  The response from the little girl is indescribable But it was easy to see what was going through her mind.  She was just old enough to know that magicians show tricks, that things just don’t vanish or appear intellectually she knew it could not happen, yet it just did!  And she was young enough that she only recently left that wonderful childhood place where everything is possible and most things are magical.  Romain let that girl know that despite what she had learned, there is still magic in the world. I will never forget the look of wonder on that girls face.  After she left Romain turned to me and said, “Brian that is what this is all about” It was one of many valuable lessons Romain has taught me over the years. 

Romain, if you are reading, thanks for the lessons you probably don’t even realize you taught me.  I’ve been watching So You Think You Can Dance, it is nice to see your influence has gone beyond magic.

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