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Another New Tool and Some Recovery Time


Hey, there! OK, so I ordered ANOTHER new tool - this one a specialized tool for creating N-strippers or negative strippers, with a concave edge. I've only seen negative strippers in action on videos, but there's something very cool about them and I'm eager to learn more.

I had surgery almost two weeks ago to correct a problem I was having with carpal tunnel syndrome. All this work with hand tools, crafting hand-altered playing card decks for magicians, took its toll, but there's some genetics in there as well. But there's good news - the surgery appears to have been a success. Yesterday morning, I had the stitches removed. There's a small increase in the pain, but it's to be expected and it's tolerable without medication, so yeah, I'm doing pretty well, all things considered. I'm already shuffling playing cards again - it's great physical therapy for strengthening the tendons in the hand. (You start with plastic decks first because they're more pliable, then work your way up to thin paper stocks and finally to something thicker like a casino grade stock with no embossing!)

So, what's up with projects? There's three I'm juggling at the moment.

1) Lorenzo Gaggiotti's Ravn Series 3 decks should be ready soon, and I'll be cutting his stripper decks. It's relatively small compared to some of the projects I've done in the past, but I'm looking forward to it and think the exposure will be good for me.

2) Murphy's Magic Supplies is interested in placing a larger order for three new deck types, but I have to create a new demo video for them first, using another magician. That's temporarily on hold for the moment - the magician in question gets pretty busy with bookings this time of year, so he'll not likely be free until the New Year.

3) I'm in talks with a magician who designed a marked deck - he's interested in a stripped edition of it. If that goes through, it could be big, but time will tell. Keep your fingers crossed!

Everyone, I hope you enjoyed the Thanksgiving/Black Friday/Small Business Saturday/Damned-If-I-Know Sunday/Cyber Monday weekend! In addition to my new tool, I ordered some of David Blaine's new cards, some high-end dye markers with bendable colors (yes, they're for marking playing cards!) and a hard drive for backing up my MyCloud drive's data.

I don't know if you're familiar with Western Digital's MyCloud drive series, but they're very cool little devices - it's a network hard drive that's Internet-addressible, which is a fancy way of saying you can have access to your files from anywhere you have Internet access using an encrypted connection on whatever devices you use without paying monthly fees to use someone else's cloud storage and with limits measured in terabytes, rather than gigabytes! When I finally get it set up and running at full potential (the darn thing has a LOT of features for a hard drive), I'm hoping to get a second one to set up remotely - likely at a friend's house several hundred miles away. There's an old expression in computer circles about how if your backup is kept on-site, you aren't REALLY backed up in case of a disaster. Everything from our entertainment to our family photos to our e-filed tax returns reside as little ones and zeroes on some widget or another in our homes. A fire, flood or break-in could go from bad to worse if that data becomes irretrievable - having a backup somewhere off-site can keep a bad day from becoming a terrible one.

If I don't post between now and then, have a great holiday season, everyone!


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