I launched a sale today at www.howtoyoyo.com.  It runs until the end of April and involves a whole new set of yo-yos that haven’t been offered for sale on the site before.  They are all priced below retail (kind of the definition of a sale really), but then you ALSO get 1/2 price shipping if you order one of the sale items.  I know!  It’s so exciting I’m about to pop.  No one likes paying for shipping though, so it’s actually pretty cool.

 

Check out all the hot yo-yo action at the April Yo-yo Madness headquarters.

Yes, you read it correctly.  Not only is there a U.S. Pizza Team, but they have a National Pizza Spinning Contest, AND I was asked to be a judge.  I know what you’re thinking.  All those years of judging yo-yo and juggling contests turned out not to be a waste of time after all.  They were actually the necessary training that brought me to this moment.

 

The trials for the US Pizza Team have several different divisions: Largest Dough Stretch, Fastest Pizza Maker (dough only, but it’s 5 of them), Box Folding, Culinary (making an entire pie, judged on taste etc.), and the big event, Acrobatic Freestyle.  I was invited to judge the Acrobatic Freestyle.  It was really cool.  There were 4 competitors, each from a different pizza shop in a different part of the country.  Competition was serious, but friendly.  I was a little worried about my preparedness, so I watched a bunch of videos online to get an idea of what were common tricks, and what were the tough ones.  The winner was Giorgio Giove from Staten Island NY.  He rocked it out.  He had an awesome accent.  For his trouble he won a trip to Italy to compete in the World Pizza Spinning Contest.  Yow.

The winners of the Acrobatic Freestyle Competition.  Giorgio is the one on the right with the big smile.

 

The contest took place inside the Wisconsin restaurant association trade show, and it can often be hard to find food you want to eat at trade shows.  There’s usually something that you don’t want to eat that you could buy for $25, but something you actually want is another story.  One of the best parts about being at the pizza contest is that there was a full pizza kitchen right there, so we had hot fresh pizza at our fingertips.  I was really sad that I couldn’t stay for the following day when they were doing the culinary contest.  I have always wanted to eat pizza contest pizza… seriously… ever since I heard that it existed I have wanted to eat some.  Major bummer that I had to miss it, but I had to get back to PA for some other business.  Maybe next time.

Chris Green, U.S. Pizza Team Trainer, and his likeness on a pizza box.

My certificate of appreciation, gift box full of U.S. Pizza Team loot, and real live contest pizza dough.


Cake Balls are pretty labor intensive, but they look great and are delicious too. I think that this is a desert that is all about the decorating. If you just want something yummy, quick, and easy, you should eat frosting with a spoon. If you want to do some fun decorating, Cake Balls/ Cake Pops are the way to go.  You can learn how to do it yourself with the book:  Cake Pops from Amazon or your favorite book seller.

I just learned that March 5-6 will be the last Juggle This juggling festival to be held at Pratt. The convention is getting the boot. It’s very sad. Come join the fun for the last one. I’ll be there.

The Ultimate Battletop Championship is a contest that Alan Gray, Eric Wolff and I designed to see if upper lever top-spinners could break each other’s tops.  So far no one has managed it, but we’ve realized that we would need crappier tops.  In order to get the best players to participate I decided that we needed an awesome trophy.  So for each contest I make a mechanical trophy where one top breaks another top, and the winner gets to keep it forever.  Here is the trophy for this year’s contest at the MadFest Juggling Festival in Madison WI.

First the video:

Then the photos:

Trophy for the 2011 Ultimate Battletop Championship: Wisconsin by markhayward534, on Flickr

Trophy for the 2011 Ultimate Battletop Championship: Wisconsin by markhayward534, on Flickr

Trophy for the 2011 Ultimate Battletop Championship: Wisconsin by markhayward534, on Flickr

Trophy for the 2011 Ultimate Battletop Championship: Wisconsin by markhayward534, on Flickr

I have the honor of being asked to be a part of the Holiday Vaudeville Show at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC this month.  The show is two nights, Dec 26th and 27th at 6:00pm, and you can watch it live on the web here:

http://kennedy-center.org/programs/millennium/

I posted this on facebook a while ago, but I wanted to be sure I could find it again easily if I needed to.  Modified vans that range from the slightly odd to the totally bizarre.  I love them.

http://speedhunters.com/archive/2010/11/07/gallery-gt-gt-japanese-vanning-madness.aspx

I have reached a new plateau in my semi-fame. This is even better than when a kid put my photo on his birthday cake.  I got a facebook message and a photo text telling me about it last night.  My buddies Takeshi, Jack Ringca, and Drew Tetz are on the road right now with the Duncan Heritage Tour and yesterday a kid showed up to their demo in Brookfield WI in his Halloween costume, dressed as me.  Fake glasses, cool-guy shirt, hat, and a markered-in soul-patch beard to boot.  Just to make sure everyone knew who he was, he was wearing my current trading card like a name tag.  Awesome.  I am so honored.

He saw me at the Wisconsin State Fair this summer, and has gotten really into yo-yos lately.  Apparently I gave him a trading card at the fair.  Here is the photo he was working from:

The back of my new trading card:

and here is the front:

Both of these videos are a collaboration between me and Takeshi Kamisato.  I was the idea man, camera man, and robot wrangler, plus I did some initial editing.  Takeshi came in with his powerful editing skills and made them good.

No!  Don’t Do It! (Robot Chronicles part 2)

and

Searching for Something (Robot Chronicles part 3)

There is still one more part to come.  With a little luck, I’ll finish it in the next few days.

Why robots?  Aside from the fact that robots are AWESOME, a while back I had the burning desire to make something.  I had only a limited workshop and no big plan , but when I found cheap wind-up robots I knew I was onto something.  I bought a whole bunch of them, and started playing around.  I posted the first video a little over a year ago, then sent off a small sculpture to a show made up of art made by yo-yo players at the Steve Brown Gallery.  I’ve had the footage for these two videos for a while, but just got back to them.

Eye Robot.  Get it?  When he walks, the yo-yo bounces.

My buddy Christopher Wilde just let me know that one of my Artist’s Books, called Handwriting, is now listed in the Kohler Art Library online collection.

To see the listing, just go to the University of Wisconsin Digital Collection and search my name.

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