Thursday, October 26, 2006


It snowed in Denver a few days ago, but that was just a little one. Today we got the first real snow. Some were using the word "blizzard" but it really wasn't that bad. It was good snowman snow though, so two of our employees here at One Way Street took it upon themselves build a couple of snowmen out front. They were even equipped with puppet arm rods.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Puppet Festival - Columbus, OH

This weekend I got to go to the One Way Street puppet festival in the Columbus, OH area. It's been several years since I've been to this festival, so it was great to get back. It seemed we had a lot of new puppet teams this year, but it was an energetic group and we had a lot of fun!

Never thought I'd see the glowing disembodied head of Regis Philbin show up at a puppet festival, but here it is. This prop was a part of a blacklight performance in the song competition.

Gene Cordova is a great ventriloquist and Gospel magician. He was a part of our teaching staff for the Columbus festival.
These three young ladies were the finalists for the lip synch challenge.

Grove City Nazarene has been our hosts for this festival for many many years. They have an amazing facility! Every time I go back something is new! The awesome pre-school area was new since my last visit.

And to top it all off...right outside my hotel was a White Castle! I grew up in the Midwest and miss these slimy little square buggers.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Greetings from the Czech Republic

One Way Street was paid a visit today by Petr Gruber from the Czech Republic. Petr has been in communication with one of our puppet builders for awhile, and came by for a visit on his current trip to the US. It's always exciting for us to see what God is doing with puppet ministries around the world. Petr showed me a video of their group performing in a school. He provided live translation for me as we watched the program. Hopefully we'll get to see him and his group again sometime in the future!

First Snow

Well, after 12 years in Denver I've gotten used to the October snow. We got our first yesterday. It wasn't that big of a snow, no need to bring out the plows (not that officials around here do that sort of thing...even when they should).

Monday, October 16, 2006

My Old Illinois Home

A very strange thing happened yesterday when I was just surfing the internet. I was at just randomly searching photos. You know, typing in names of people I know and seeing what popped up. I decided to search for photos of my hometown, Wheaton, IL. I was surprised to see that one of the photos that popped up was of a house that looked very familiar. I followed the link and it led me to the website for a reality company (Schulenberg Reality). Investigating further I found that the photo was of the house I lived in from age 1 to 7, and it turns out it was up for rent. I have a lot of fun memories of that house, it was weird to suddenly see it pop up on my computer screen.

The Beast Raban

I did some drawing this weekend and was really pleased with the way this one came out. This is my take on The Beast Raban, one of the chief baddies of House Harkonnen from the book Dune. I've been slowly working my way through reading the Dune novels (in this case the word "reading" means "listening to the tapes in my car"). I have to admit, there are many times I end up saying "Huh" and having to rewind. They are pretty complex, mixing sci-fi, religion and politics. I've been enjoying them, however. It's probably been close to a year since I finished the last one, though. Time to get at it again. I'm a slow reader, even when I'm listening to a tape.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Rare Muppet Skits Available on DVD

It's just been announced that the complete first season of Saturday Night Live wil be available on an eight disc DVD set on December 5th. Here's the story over at DVDActive. The episodes will be presented in their complete form. This is of note to puppeteers like myself because one of the regular segments from the first season of the show were skits involving a group of strange Muppet characters, created by Jim Henson for SNL. The skits are rarely seen today, and they were definitely more adult in their themes. However, the puppets were a design that was kind half way between the Muppets of Henson's previous work (The Muppet Show had not debuted yet at this point) and the creatures he would create later for films like The Dark Crystal. It'll be interesting to check these DVD's out.


Last night I was thrilled to get to go back to one of my favorite restaurant's in Denver, Gregorio's (1910 Wadsworth in Lakewood). The food is great anytime, but the time to go is Thursday nights. Starting around 7:00 they have a great Mariachi band. My son went nuts dancing around to the music. We had a great time!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Lego Ice Cubes

This is genius, just plain genius. The folks at Lego present an ice cube tray that makes ice cubes in the shape of legos! The ice cube maker in my freezer has been broken for months, now I don't want to fix it!

Hat tip to Cali over at Geek Brief on this one.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Hammer Heads of Oz

I don't claim to be a great artist, but I'm working on it. I've always loved to draw but have never been much more than a doodler. So I've been trying to improve my skills lateley. This picture is a character from the original book "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" known as a hammerhead.

Monday, October 09, 2006

No No's

If you're in the Denver area, or may be soon, you may want to check out a great scarfing establishment called NoNo's. My family and I ate there Saturday night. I'd been several years since my last visit, and first to their new location just off of County Line Road, about a block East of Santa Fe. This is one of the best restaurants in the Denver area folks. The menu has a Southern/Cajun flavor to it. Plus it's a rotating menu, so there's always something new. We had a great time there. Just feast your eyes on the shrimp creole I devoured shortly after this photo was taken.

Goin' to the Zoo

I love going to the zoo! Always have. When I look at the exhibits at a zoo I just think, "Wow, look what God did!" It amazes me to read about each animal and learn how God made each one in a special way, to be able to live and thrive in their own environments. It also reminds me that God is the father of all creativity. Looking at animals you can see God's eye for beauty, his skill at functional design, and sometimes even his sense of humor.

Saturday we headed over to the Denver Zoo. Denver has a great zoo! My family and I have been members for several years. In the last couple of years, the zoo have made some fantastic improvements like Predator Ridge and Primate Panorama.

Here are a few highlights from our visit

Remember what I said about God's sense of humor? The penguins will always be my favorites!

I have to admit it's a wee bit intimidating to realize that fellows like this bear are native to this state I live in.

These have to be the two strangest creatures I saw at the zoo all day! They even followed me home.

Rocky Mountain FCM

This weekend was the annual training conference sponsored by the Rocky Mountain chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Magicians (FCM). I was able to participate in the Friday evening performance. We performed "Stand" with some Stretch-A-Belly Puppets. It was also fun to get to see some of my favorite people in the world of Gospel magic.

David and Teesha Laflin were a part of the program as well. I've worked with the Laflin's at many of our One Way Street Puppet Festivals. No joke, I count them among the best Gospel magicians in the world.

It was also good to see Mel LaMar. Mel never ceases to amaze me. He is a skilled illusionist, ventriloquist and juggler, but his main passion is spreading God's word. I've known Mel for over 12 years, but he surprised me with something I've never seen him do before... balancing a tennis racket, a can of tennis balls and a giant tennis ball on his chin, while juggling three more tennis rackets!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

What is Squonk?

I've often been asked, "What is Squonk and why do you use that name on the Internet?" Well, waaaaaaay back in college, my first ever e-mail login was Squonk. So I've always used it, but what is it?

Squonks are creatures of legend, kind of like Big Foot, or the Chupacabra. It's a rodent-like creature which is very ugly. The squonk recognizes this fact and cries continuously because of it. The creatures are sought after by hunters because they are very hard to capture. When cornered, the squonk supposedly dissolves completely into a puddle of tears.

Now I know what you're thinking, "this guy must have a pretty low self image." Just hang on.

I first came across the word as the title of a song by the band Genesis. It is from their 1976 album called "A Trick of the Tail." The song is about these strange little creatures. So, since I was a fan of the band, a fan of the song, and just thought the word sounded cool..."Squonk" became my favorite name to use online.

Joining the "New Media"

Well, this is it. I've officially decided to join the so called "New Media." So I decide to start blogging and wouldn't you know it, I can't think of anything to write. Doesn't really matter I guess, this post is little more than an experiment to see if I can actually figure this thing out. As long as smoke doesn't start pouring out of my computer some more interesting posts should follow soon.