March 2009 checklist check…

Two weeks ago I made a post saying what I was hoping to achieve on my two week trip to South America. This trip:

South America March 2009

If you missed my previous post, you can see all my photos at

First I said:

I’ve been to all these locations before, but I plan to do new things in each. For example, I’ve not seen the King Penguin rookery on the Falklands Islands. Should be a fun place to take photos and a good location for a continuing video project I have on the go which should be finished by the end of the year.

In Buenos Aires I only went to places I’ve been before. I did, however, go to those places at the right time, and met up with a handful of Argentine jugglers. Back in December I tried this and failed. I unexpectedly made a video of the Berlin Buddy Bears.

Berlin Buddy Bears in Buenos Aires

Berlin Buddy Bears in Buenos Aires

In Montevideo everything was closed, it being a Sunday, so I only went to places I’ve been before. I did, however, see an annual horse parade, entirely by accident. It was pretty cool:

Gaucho Horse Parade

Gaucho Horse Parade

Also in Montevideo I broke the wide angle lens for my camcorder. That was really dumb.

In the Falklands I did a walk on a route I’ve walked before to a destination I’ve visited before. But I did it with a different person than last time. And I did get a video of me juggling penguin catches in front of a penguin.

Jackass Penguins

Jackass Penguins

In Ushuaia I took a taxi to a place I’ve visited before, then walked up to a glacier I’ve walked to before. Here I dropped a juggling club down a crevasse.

Martial Glacier

Martial Glacier

In Punta Arenas I visited a cemetery I’ve visited before and a building I’ve looked at before.

Punta Arenas Cemetery

Punta Arenas Cemetery

In the Lake District of Chile I took a trip to a river I’ve visited before. But this time I looked at a waterfall instead of going river rafting. On the way back I went horse riding beside a lake opposite a volcano. I’ve never done this before. It was amazing.

Osorno Volcano

Osorno Volcano

In Valparasio I simply left the cruise ship and took a taxi to the airport. I’ve done that before too.

So, in all, my plan to visit new places from ports I’ve visited before was an abject failure. Despite that, I had an awesome trip, enjoyed every minute, and the long term video project (which is obviously just me juggling in different locations around the world) is coming on really nicely.

Next up, point by point:

  • Read three novels and record three episodes of the SFBRP. The novels are all on my iPod Touch, so this will be the first trip I do sans paper books. I hope it works out.

  • I read two novels and reviewed none. I did do one SFBRP episode, but it was about series of books. This means I have two episodes still to record. The Stanza ebook software is working well, and not having to carry books is a real blessing.

  • Do the forth edit on my “Edward” novel. I need to rearrange some chapters and rewrite a few pieces. I hope this only takes a few days. Then I’ll be able to email it out to my second round of readers to get masses of positive feedback to boost my ego.
  • I did all the major editing I needed, plus another full edit of spelling and grammar. I’m currently doing a last spelling read-through before sending it out. It seems 18 people have requested to read it, and this in itself is an ego boost. I hope, once I finally release the final draft, there will still be people interested in reading it who haven’t already read it.

  • Do the first major edit on my “Monster” novella. I don’t expect to get this finished, as there are huge amounts still to write, let alone rewrite.
  • I got to chapter 14. There are 39 chapters. But I knew I wouldn’t get this finished.

  • Think up better working titles for the above two stories.
  • Nope. I’m going to ask the readers for title suggestions.

  • Video my new ring juggling routine, and maybe put an edited version up on youtube.
  • I mentioned in this post that the ring routine uses a lot of colour changing effects. Unfortunately the exposure setting on my camera switched to automatic and both the white and red sides of my rings, being the brightest thing on stage at that point, burnt out completely. So they change from white rings to white rings. In the second show I made a really stupid error; I skipped ahead in the routine and did a pancake throw instead of a flat front throw, spoiling the whole colour change effect completely.

    I’ll get it right next time. Or maybe I’ll just record it at home with no audience.

  • While I’m videoing my show, I may get a better version of my 3 Ball And Video routine than is currently available online.
  • I did this! I just need to edit the video and upload. This will have its own post.

  • I’m taking some silicones, so will work on my standard bounce juggling skills.
  • I only did this a few times, as I couldn’t find a good place to practice. One spot was great to start off: a dance floor in an empty bar just 10m from my room. Until a lady from the spa asked me to stop. Apparently there was a massage room directly below where I stood force bouncing 5 balls off the floor.

  • Also I hope to make a video of “air bouncing”, which means juggling patterns where I intentionally make balls hit each other in the air and bounce off in predictable ways. I’ve whole lists of these tricks, but have never performed them because they don’t look very good from any kind of distance. And they are really hard.
  • I didn’t even start this one.

  • Make some new backing music for a club routine. I have some fun drum samples I want to include, but it will mostly follow the electronic video game vibe.
  • Nor this one.

  • Oh yeah, I’ll probably perform four shows too!
  • My shows went down really well. I ran long on both of my main shows though. I’m meant to do 45 to 50 minutes. In the first show I did 67 minutes and in the second, even when trying to cut it down, I did 64 minutes. Thankfully my show is good enough so the audience don’t notice the length, or just don’t care about the length. Either way, running long isn’t good, so I need to cut 10 minutes out of my main show. I’m not sure what to cut… I like it all!

    Conclusion: I declare the trip a success!

    Hey, this isn’t a scientific study, I can conclude what I want. I’m not going to count up points for or against in this one. I had a great trip, got lots of work done (even if it was work I didn’t plan on doing before I left), met new people, and made new friends.

    New SFBRP – many science fiction series

    I get loads of books suggestions for my book review podcast. Many people suggest books I’ve read before. I don’t mind this, as if I liked the book the first time out I’d be happy to read it again and review it again.

    However, lots of people have suggested not single books, but entire series of books. The thing about series is that they’re a real time commitment to get through, especially if I’ve read them before. And especially if I’m going to review each book in the series.

    Also, how do I review the second book in a series? I have this problem with Hamilton’s Void Trilogy. Talking about book two without spoiling book one is really hard.

    So, to preempt having to explain these and other issues with each person who emails me recommending entire series I’ve read before, I took a SFBRP podcast episode to talk about and do mini reviews for all of the below series (in no particular order):

    Stephen Baxter:
    Xeelee series
    Manifold series

    CJ Cherryh:
    Merchanter novels

    Isaac Asimov:
    Foundation series
    Galactic Empire series
    Robots series
    Robot mysteries series

    Douglas Adams:
    Hitchhikerís Guide to the Galaxy

    David Brin:
    Uplift series

    Frank Herbert:

    Orson Scott Card:
    Ender series
    The Shadow Children Sequence

    Peter F Hamilton:
    Nights Dawn
    Commonwealth Saga
    Mindstar Rising
    Void Trilogy

    Iain M Banks:
    The Culture

    Gene Wolfe:
    The Book of the New Sun

    Philip José Farmer:

    Steven Donaldson:
    The Gap Cycle

    Vernor Vinge:
    Deep Sequence

    Larry Niven:
    Ringworld / Known Space

    Kim Stanley Robinson:
    Mars trilogy
    Californian Coast series

    Alastair Reynolds:
    Revelation Space

    Frederik Pohl:
    The Heechee Saga

    Arthur C Clarke:
    Space Odyssey series
    Rama series

    Tad Williams:

    James Blish:
    Cities in Flight

    Jack Vance:
    Planet of Adventure

    Robert J Sawyer:
    The Neanderthal Parallax

    Robert Zindell:
    A Requiem for Homo Sapiens

    Dan Simmons:
    Hyperion Cantos

    Can anyone think of any other science fiction series I should read? Or think I might have read but forgotten about? Send emails to or leave a comment below.


    I don´t have much time to post here, but the cruise is going well. I did two shows last night, and both went down a storm with the audiences. Unfortunately they both ran for over an hour, and I´m only meant to do 50 minutes. Thankfully the my show seems to be entertaining enough to keep people in their seats and awake and laughing until the end.

    Today I did a bit of videoing of myself juggling on a glacier. I slipped and skidded to the bottom of the ice. I dropped my clubs on the way, and one bounced out of sight. As far as I can tell, it fell down a small crevass. I now have only 4 clubs when I need 5 for my next show. Normally I take a spare of every prop, but I thought “I´m not going to go losing a club…” Turns out I can.

    I may post that video on youtube some time.

    Novel editing is on track. If anyone wants to read the (maybe) final draft of “Edward (working title)”, give some feedback and help me come up with a better title, send me an email

    Reading and podcasting isn´t going so well. But I have something to talk about that might be quite fun…

    Next update in a few days time!

    Berlin Buddy Bears in Buenos Aires

    The mascot of Berlin is the bear. To prove the point, hundreds of large fiberglass “Buddy” bears were made to decorate the city. They proved a big hit, and now they ravel the world almost as much as I do, although at a slower rate.

    I found them all lined up in Buenos Aires, and they made me think of home. I decided to take a picture of every single one. Each is painted to represent a different country, so there are quite a lot. Instead of uploading all the photos individually I made this video. It runs through all the photos twice so you can get a better look.

    Music by Goran Bregovic.