Thursday, September 26, 2013

Rambling About Balls

It is odd to me that people like round balls a great deal more than cubes. I am talking of course of juggling balls.

Practicing with the CMU Juggling Club has just be great on so many levels. One of the benefits is experimenting with new equipment. In the past we would just have the members of our group to kick around a new juggling apparatus. In the last year if we have been experimenting with something we h
ave been able to pass it around what ever it is with a dozen or more jugglers.

One of the newest thing we have experimented with is the round juggling ball. now you may say to yourself, Self, aren’t all balls round. Well I suppose in once sense you would be correct. We tend to call anything that is the size of a ball a ball. So we have cubes that are balls. I am sure there are some pictures of juggling cubes.

Anyway. It is much easier to sew a cube. I have gotten rather good at it. I can sex a juggling cube in under two minutes. Stuff in under a minute and sew up the stuffing hole by hand in two minutes. We have gotten so good at making juggling cubes that we give sets away to strangers who show up at juggling practices.

The ball pattern we are experimenting is a lot like the cover on a baseball. In face I disassemble a base ball to get the pattern. We upped the size just a little bit. Anyway it weighs the same as our large juggling cubes.

Anyway we have made two sets of round bean bag type juggling balls. One set is being circulated among the younger members of the brigade. The other set I have been using as much as possible. Also it has been passed around at two of the CMU Juggling meetings.

Everyone likes the size except for a couple of the youngest members of the Brigade. They of course being ten have small hands. I think I can scale them down to meet their needs. The only other complaint is the stuffing. We use wooden fuel pellets to fill our bean bags. They are angular and let out dust for the first couple of weeks of juggling with them.

The grains I have found in the strip district have been processed so that they can easily be boiled. This means that is they get wet they expand. They also cost seven bucks a pound. That is the problem with the wooden pellets. If they get wet they expand.

I do know that many juggling balls are stuffed with millet. I don’t know what kind of millet is best. Even so on the up side you can get white millet for feeding birds at Agway stores. They closest Agway store is a bit of a hike It looks like it is around forty bucks for a fifty pound bag. This is a lot more than the three buck we spend for fifty pounds of wood pellets. Also I imagine the volume of millet is a bit less. Which at this point we are stuffing the balls by volume and not weight.

Well that is where we stand. in another week or two we might have a round millet filled juggling ball. Well we will test that bad boy when we get it. If the stuffing is really our last problem this may be the last step to the best possible juggling ball we can make.
So that is more than you probably every wanted to hear someone ramble on about balls. Be safe out there and keep your stick on the ice.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Early Morning Randomness

Still kicking around the idea of writing a book. I have a couple hundred pages of something that I like. Well I like the idea of the story. I am not sure i am in love with how it is working out. I will throw another fourty pages into it and read through it. Maybe this is the one. Maybe it is practice for when i finally get around to writting the Great American Novel.

On other front i am still messing around with knitting. I find myself more fascinated with pattern and individual stitches these days. For what ever reason i don't really have any inclination to make something useful. In a lot of ways it is like the books I have been kicking around for years.

On the clown Brigade Front we are trying to integrate Standing kettle and Birthday Parties into the group. We have also started providing some religious services to a local nursing home. It is nice to see the Brigade getting back to it's roots.

Well just checking in. Be safe out there

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Cleaning the Carpet.

At this lovely hour I am cleaning the carpet in the brigade office. It is always disturbing the shampoo a light colored carpet. Sure you get a nice clean carpet when you are done.When you are cleaning you get to know just how much junk is in your carpet. In a tan carpet the color charge is greater than I would like.

I did not pick my carpet color. I probably would have picked something darker. I am not sure why i am rambling on about this. Over the last couple weeks I have been tryng to spruce up the office. In July we started taking a bunch of shows for money. It has been nice for some of the young people to earn some pocket money. Heck it has been nice for the Brigade to have another source of income.

With the lack of another clown troupe in Pittsburgh we appear to be the only way new clowns will be trained. The sad thing is that there are two national clown organizations in United States that are not interested in having a growing clown community in this area.

I have always though it was important for us to continue the craft of clowning. I just don't know. This does not feel like something our Brigade should be doing. Sadly I do not think there is going to be anyone else to do it.

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