Monthly Archives: January 2015

Jan 31

Watched “American Sniper” This Evening With the Wife

By Davenport Magical Entertainment, L.L.C. | Atlanta Magician

Well the highlight of my evening was watching “American Sniper” with my wife.  Awesome movie!  Clint Eastwood knocked it out of the park with this one.  Speaking as a veteran who has served in Afghanistan with the Georgia Army National Guard (I did not serve in Iraq) I felt the movie was pretty accurate even though it took place in Iraq rather than Afghanistan.  Some parts were tough for me to watch, but I feel that Chris Kyle is an American hero who went over there and did his job.

I don’t want to give too much away of the movie as I would encourage anybody to go watch it. Excellent film and Clint Eastwood did an excellent job.  I will say one part of the movie that reminded of some things when I was in Afghanistan, was talking to my wife on the phone and having to get her off the phone because my FOB was getting rocketed and we had to run to the bunkers.  That part of the movie reminded me very much of my own service in Afghanistan and I felt it was an accurate depiction.   Other parts of the movie were pretty accurate and similar to my own experiences in Afghanistan.  Overall, I think the taxpayers got good bang for their buck when it came to the producing an excellent military sniper like Chris Kyle.  The training he endured to become a sniper I am sure was very brutal and tough.

Anyway, I give Clint Eastwood’s film “American Sniper” 5 stars out of 5 stars.  Awesome movie.  He is becoming one of my favorite directors.  I have always enjoyed Clint Eastwood’s films.

Jan 29

The Power of A Written Budget Plan

By Davenport Magical Entertainment, L.L.C. | Atlanta Magician

One of the things I have done here recently is really sat down and came up with a budget for both my company’s expenses as well as my family’s expenses.  Boy!  I tell you what, having a budget on paper (or in my case a Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet) really works wonders.  I keep up with my company’s accounting in Quickbooks, but I have never used the software to actually do my company’s budgeting.  I saw in Quickbooks where that appears to be an option that I could do with it.  Rather, I have been using Microsoft Excel to do judge what I can distribute out in monthly income to myself and my shareholders.

I felt that the benefits of budgeting was worth the mention on my blog given that I found a Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet template program that I could use for budgeting.   I can’t remember the exact link where I downloaded the template, but I just googled up “Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet budget program” and loads of links show up.  It appears that Microsoft’s website has several templates people can use.  It’s much easier for me to plan profit distributions to my shareholders now and how much money is coming into the family and exactly where every last single penny is going and where I can save money and cut un-necessary expense.

I also enjoy investing my money.  So another thing I do, is make sure I keep cash freed up to invest each month in a fund of index funds with vanguard (Vanguard is an awesome company in my opinion to invest in with their very low cost index funds which provide adequate returns over the long term). In addition to investing, I like to save and put back money for an emergency cash reserve, that way in the event of unexpected expenses, I can pay for those expenses without going into debt or having to take any money from my investments that are working for me.

That said, I also like to spend “fun money” too.  Having the budget enables me to know exactly how much cash I have available after paying monthly expenses, setting aside emergency cash money and investing some of the cash.  I can also plan ahead for company road trips for when I have a gig to go and perform at and have plenty of cash available as well.

Most of this seems common sense, but I think there is probably a lot of people out there that don’t even have a budget they plan and create month to month and it makes life so much easier.  It certainly has for me.  In the Army National Guard, we had a saying:  “Fail to plan, plan to fail.”  This cliche is largely true in business and in family finance.  Budgeting is key to planning in both worlds.

Jan 28

Took Wife Out To Eat And To See “Lady in Black 2”

By Davenport Magical Entertainment, L.L.C. | Atlanta Magician

This evening was a great day.  Took my wife out to eat at our favorite Mexican Restaurant in Byron, GA called “Casa Mexico.”   Boy did that place hit the spot!  Always love going to that place!  Ordered myself two chicken soft tacos and a chicken burrito with cheese and red sauce on it.  The great thing about “Casa Mexico” in Byron is that they always pack the tacos full, I mean full of meat, lettuce, cheese and tomato.  They don’t scrimp on any of the portions.  I try not to eat too many of the chips and salsa as much as I love chips and salsa.  Reason being is I am watching the calories I take in and am trying to lose about 1 pound a week.  So far, lost a good amount of weight so I am looking and feeling much better (lost about 44 pounds over a period of about a year).  Going through a basket of chips, especially several basket of chips really packs on the calories.  So, I prefer not to eat any chips when I go this particular restaurant and instead just eat the meal.  That way it keeps my calorie count in check.

Afterwards, I took the wife out to see the movie “Lady in Black 2.”  Both the wife and I love horror films, but I didn’t think I would enjoy this particular film too much.  I mean, it wasn’t horrible but it’s not my kind of horror film.  I knew my wife really wanted to see it, so I took her to go see it.  It’s basically a continuation of the first “Lady in Black.”  Without giving too many details away on the movie, I will say the movie takes place in World War II England.

To keep a short story, short, in my personal opinion, I would not pay to watch the movie.  However, this particular horror film seems to appeal to some elements of what my wife likes to see in a film.  To keep things fair, I will say my wife really enjoyed the movie and she felt the movie was worth the money.  But I guess “Lady in Black 2” is more of a film that appeals more to women who enjoy a good mystery with some supernatural elements in it.  As a guy, I really enjoy war films like I am sure I would enjoy “American Sniper”  (have not seen it yet) where my wife enjoys films that have a lot of romance and mystery in them.  Anyway, I would rate this movie as a film that is good to take a wife a girlfriend to if your wife or girlfriend enjoys supernatural mystery type films, but it’s not a film I personally would love to go watch.  I just went and watched it because my wife wanted to go see it!  To me, it’s important to take my wife out now and then.  Well I am going to close this blog post here.  Thanks for tuning into my blog and I hope all of you have an awesome evening!

Jan 26

Didn’t Make It To The Movies Today

By Davenport Magical Entertainment, L.L.C. | Atlanta Magician

Wife and I didn’t make it to the movies today.  We are trying to get the matinee showing of “Woman In Black 2” but I got too busy and we missed the 5:00pm showing.  Wasn’t able to take my wife out to her favorite restaurant either.  So, we are going to do it tomorrow.   Has anybody seen this movie “Woman In Black 2?”  Is it any good?  Wife and I are big horror film fans, but it’s got to be good for me to enjoy it.

When I was younger, being a child of the 80s, I liked to watch the “A Nightmare On Elm Street” movies.  I liked the first three “Nightmare on Elm Streets” but I think after the third one I started losing interest and they were overdoing it just to make money.  But the first three were awesome!  Classic 80s horror film in my opinion.  I guess some of the old timers would probably talk about “Frankenstein” as the true classic horrors, but I was just talking about 80s classic horror films.

This kinda reminds me of a video game I purchased about a month ago for my wife (my wife enjoys playing video games as well) called “The Evil Within.”  It’s a horror film type video game.  Haven’t had the time to really play it but I kinda played the very beginning a little bit.  I was impressed with the game personally so far.  I thought they did a good job making it a horror type game from what I could tell of the very beginning.  When I do play video games, most of my time is spent playing Dragon Age Inquisition (a most excellent game worth every penny if you are into Fantasy RPGs) and Far Cry 4 (another excellent game if you are into true open world RPG video games).

Anyway, eventually, I plan to get into “The Evil Within” when I have time.  My wife only played it once and she hasn’t gotten far, but that’s because she hasn’t had much time to play it either.  Anyway, I hope to hear some of your comments about the movie “The Lady in Black 2.”  I’ll let you know what I thought of the movie after I watch it tomorrow so you guys can stay tuned to my blog.  Not that I am going to tell too much about the movie, but just give my very general opinion of the movie after I finish watching it.  I guess I am being a movie critic here!  You guys have an awesome evening!

Jan 26

Good Day With The Family Today

By Davenport Magical Entertainment, L.L.C. | Atlanta Magician

It’s been a good day with the family today!  Had my brother in law and sister stop by and visit with us.  Wife gave my nephew and two nieces late Christmas presents.  We didn’t have a chance to give our nephew and two nieces any Christmas presents this past December because the wife and I flew up to Vermont to visit her side of the family.  So, on my side of the family here in Georgia, we got the opportunity to give them their Christmas presents today.  We were happy to spoil the kids!

Brother in law and my sister gave my wife and I some cash to go spend on whatever we want.  We decided we would go to our favorite Mexican restaurant in Byron and then to a movie afterwards.  We’ll be doing that tomorrow.  Can’t remember the exact name of the restaurant but we go there all the time.  Just looked up the name online here.  It’s called the Casa Mexico.  Awesome restaurant with awesome prices!  You can’t beat the value you get for your dollar from the place!

The movie we’ll be going to see is “Woman in Black 2.”  Both my wife and I are horror movie fans.  I’m not so sure I am going to be a big fan of this movie or not.  We watched the first one, but I can’t remember the details of the movie too well!  I have a terrible memory!  But my wife really wants to watch the second one, so we’ll be going to that particular one.  So, it should be a fun night out tomorrow with the wife!  Really looking forward to it!

In return for me going to watch “Woman in Black 2” the wife is going to go with me to watch “American Sniper.”  A movie I am certainly looking forward to watching.  I have always really enjoyed Clint Eastwood’s films.  I think Clint Eastwood is fast becoming one of my favorite directors.  Not only was a great actor playing the macho tough guy in his past movies, but he’s a great director.  I enjoyed some of the movies he directed like “Unforgiven.”  He acted in that movie and from what I understand, he also directed it.

I watched the movie “Lone Survivor” and it was a great movie as well.  “Lone Survivor” takes place in Afghanistan whereas “American Sniper” from what I have been told takes place in Iraq.  When we go watch the movie “American Sniper” the wife and I won’t be going out to eat because I don’t want to waste money either when we have plenty to eat at the house.  Main reason why we are going out to eat tomorrow is because I simply enjoy taking my wife out to someplace nice every now and then and I know she really likes going to our local Mexican restaurant in Byron.  Well, I hope y’all have an awesome night and looking forward to a great movie week!

Jan 23

The True Masters of Investing and War

By Davenport Magical Entertainment, L.L.C. | Atlanta Magician

I have to say, in my view, Benjamin Graham was the true master of investing.  Much of his ideas and experience came while investing during the Great Depression of the 1930s.  I have been reading his book “The Intelligent Investor” and it’s one of the best books that I have read.  It’s right up there with Sun Tzu’s “Art of War.”  My two favorite books of all time with timeless wisdom in it is Sun Tzu’s “Art of War” and Benjamin Graham’s “The Intelligent Investor.”

Much of Benjamin Graham’s ideas of investing center around the preservation of wealth and getting an adequate return.  Very simple principle yet a principle that many either don’t follow or fail to achieve.   He defines investing as “any operation, after thorough analysis, that promises a safety of principle and an adequate return.”  Anything else, according to Benjamin Graham, is nothing but speculation.  It’s important to not that his definition of investment doesn’t say “stellar, outstanding returns that ‘beat the market’ so that you can brag about it at friend’s barbecues.”  Nope, it says “adequate return.”   Wealth doesn’t come overnight and is not instant.

Sun Tzu’s Art of War centers around the prevention of war rather than fighting a war.  Most people misunderstand the Art of War thinking it is written to teach how to wage war, but in reality, it is a book about the prevention of war.  You can take his teachings and apply to business and just about any aspect of life really.  An excellent Asian Taoist book with much wisdom.   I hate to cut this blog post short, but it’s time for me to eat some supper!

Jan 23

The “Herald of Andraste” and Dragon Age Inquisition

By Davenport Magical Entertainment, L.L.C. | Atlanta Magician

Anybody ever played the video game “Dragon Age Inquisition?”  It’s a pretty awesome game in my opinion!  So far, it has had an excellent story line with also a lot of secondary missions in the game.  But the story line has been pretty awesome as well as being able to build one of three characters from the ground up.  I own a PS4 PlayStation and have about 2 terabytes of memory installed on it.   This gives me plenty of hard disk space to install plenty of games.

During the game, the character you create in the story line comes out of this green looking fade that did great damage to a local town.  Initially, in the story line of the game the town residents blame you for what happened but then after battling demons and monsters and successfully closing a fade, you are hailed by people as the “Herald of Andraste!”  I guess some sort of “chosen one” who was sent by a divine being to save the world your character is in.  I don’t want to ruin the story but as the story line progresses it gets pretty good.  You’ll have to play the game to learn more about the main campaign story.

In the game, you can choose like to be one of three different type characters (rogue, mage or warrior) and each character has some different variations like with the rogue you can be like a melee type rogue or an archery type rogue for example.  As the game progresses you get other characters who are NPCs but are part of your party as you adventure off and help you battle bad guys and with the story line.  Those characters level up with your character and you can choose the new skills of those other characters as well as your own character.

Graphics on the game is pretty awesome.  I haven’t played the other Dragon Age games, but I think with the new generation of gaming consoles, “Dragon Age Inquisition” is currently the best game out there on the market right now.  You can end up spending a great deal of time playing, but very enjoyable game with awesome graphics as well.  Two thumbs up if you ask me!

Jan 22

Back To Blogging Again!

By Davenport Magical Entertainment, L.L.C. | Atlanta Magician

Hi there everybody!

It’s just me again, William Davenport.  I haven’t been blogging in forever.  Now, I am starting back in a serious way.  I had been spending the last year really get a lot of things in place for company and mastering marketing for my company on Gigmasters, Thumbtack and Gigsalad.  Really built up a good reputation on those websites.  But I think I have mastered marketing in those areas so here I am blogging on this website.  If you haven’t joined my email list, I encourage you to do so.  I plan to offer some deals that are only offered to my email list.

My children’s magic show is much more improved.  Now, I am offering “Brillo the Dog” as part of my children’s show.  Of course, I still do strolling close up magic for company events, adult birthday parties and I have even performed at trade shows up in Atlanta and business sales meetings.

Boy!  I tell you what, my Christmas was AWESOME!!  How was your Christmas?  My wife and we went up to Alberg, Vermont to visit family up there.  We rented a house on Lake Champlain and it was somewhat frozen over closer inland.  You could look out onto the lake and see the ice fishermen.  I even got the opportunity to visit one of my favorite places in Burlington, Vermont, which was, THE QUARTERSTAFF!

I am a big board gamer and one board game that really stands out to me right now is called Conquest of Nareth.  This is like a D&D Fantasy like Risk Conquest board game.  It kinda goes where if you take over some territory, the territory can have a dungeon in it and each army has some heroes that you can send in to that dungeon to try to beat the dungeon and get the magical treasure at the end of the dungeon.  That magical treasure can then be used by your army on the board to give it some advantages against other armies and conquer more territory.  Pretty cool concept eh?  The guy who works at Quarterstaff in Burlington, Vermont explained it to me.  He gives the game a high rating and I think he was giving it his honest rating and not just only trying to sell me the product.  So, I haven’t played the game yet, but I certainly hope to.

Any of you guys board gamers out there?  Here in Georgia, I go over to my Vigilantes in Warner Robins, GA to sometimes play Arkham Horror.  My wife and I play the game.  Not a bad game once you master the rules.  Fantasy Flight can really make a lot of rules in their board games but once you get the rules down pat, their games are bad and offer something different.

However, I think one of my favorite games, which is different from Arkham Horror has to be Betrayal at House on the Hill 3rd Edition.  Simpler rules, but excellent “Haunted House” themed game with one player being the traitor in the game.  A lot of strategy for everybody and teamwork is required by the players trying to beat the traitor.   Anyway, I would love to hear some comments from some of you guys on what your favorite board games are.  I’ll be sharing this blog post on my Facebook account which is https://www.facebook.com/DavenportMagicalEntertainmentLlc

Anyway, my Facebook page can use some more likes so please, go ahead and send some “likes” my way on my Facebook page!  Y’all have an awesome evening, errr, morning!  It’s pretty early in the morning errr late at night about 2:30am that I am writing this blog post.  Been really busy today!