Yesterday two things happened. The first was I reached my goal for pushups according to a Facebook challenge. The second thing is something a bit more interesting than my ability to push myself away from the ground.
I was playing with The Open Shift exactly as published and it finally clicked! It... dare I say... worked!
Everything Erdnase describes was there. It made a sudden wooshing noise, although with air cushion cards it was more of a Zwoosh! sound. But despite that, the packets transposed instantaneously. I tried it again, Zwoosh! it worked! Again, and again, it worked. It hurt my fingers because of the tension being so great and the release being so strong and absorbed by fingers and cuticles, but it worked!
Just like that, a move that I previously found to be extremely difficult was working. I tried it as a colour change, and it looked good! But one glaring detail shone through. This is NOT a gambling move. It's an interesting approach, and an amazing attempt but this is far from a perfect shift.
So, why do it? Well, that's a difficult question but I suppose personally I m exploring the move to determine how this stuff is meant to look and be done, but on top of that, I do it to keep my hands learning and in shape! Keeping my hands working on stuff and under stress also keeps them nimble. Erdnase discusses this in the Legerdemain section.
The finished card-table expert will experience little or no difficulty in accomplishing the various slights that lie at the bottom of the conjurer's tricks. The principal feats have been already mastered in acquiring the blind shuffles, blind cuts, bottom deal, second deal, palming and replacing, the run, the crimp, culling, and stocking; and his trained fingers will readily accommodate themselves to any new positions or actions.
Although the Open Shift isn't in there, I consider this advice to be of paramount importance! By acquiring the various skills associated with the listed moves and moves that are largely considered difficult utility moves, you will train your fingers in such a way that you will be able to learn something new in an extremely short period of time! This I think is one of the wonderful things about Erdnase that nobody talks about. If you follow his instructions, when you are done, you are left not just with a bunch of old techniques, but with a full training regimen. This regimen makes pretty much every other move or trick you take on feel easy. Your hands are now trained. You can open any book, to any page, and dive in. You get an unfair advantage. A lifelong head start on everything you approach.
That is the dirty little truth of Erdnase.
Today my hands are a little more versatile, a little more ready for anything, and a little more shifty!