Friday, September 16, 2005

The Excitement Never Ends!

The title says it all! The response to the first and second Estate lists has been overwhelming, and we can't thank you enough! The shipping department hit an all-time record by shipping just over 700 packages alone in just 5 days! The other exciting thing is all the new and hot items hitting the storefront as we gear ourselves up for the holidays. Be sure you continually monitor the web site as Mike updates as fast as his fingers will allow!

Next week brings two exciting ventures: first, the beginning of Fall, which we all welcome here! Ah, the smell of the Autumn leaves, the crisp air, the holiday, the cool weather; it truly is my favorite time of year. The second is the semi-annual Magic Castle Swap Meet trip. Mike & I will be gearing up early Friday morning and driving to Southern California, where we'll take in the day and spend the evening at the Magic Castle. Since we won't be in town, the Friday blog will be moved to Monday where we'll share the experience and photos with you. We'll be having our usual Friday lunch with the entire gang at Musso & Frank's, and we'll be sure to be first in line for the Swap Meet. If you're also planning on attending, make sure you stop us and say hello! Mike will be snapping photos of the trip and making his usual scene. We'll also be celebrating Carl Ballantine's birthday. Carl still actively performs and acts in movies. In fact, recently, he was in a Vaudeville Revival Review with Robert Baxt:

Robert Baxt with Carl Ballantine before the show

The sign says it all!

Of course, Carl will be the guest of honor, as he usually is for our luncheon. However, this time, we'll be surprising him with a few gifts. I'm sure he'll keep us all entertained and in stitches like he always does... If you'd like to send Carl birthday wishes, you can do so by emailing them to me here at, and I'll print them out and give them to Carl for you personally.

On the home front, my son Max has now taken a huge interest in cars. Even though he's only 13 years-old, he's already gone online and shown me several different vehicles he wishes to purchase... Of course, each one is a gas-guzzling, insurance person's nightmare! I just nod my head and repeat my stock line, "Sure, Max. No problem."

As for me, I received a clean bill of health from my doctor -- NO KIDNEY STONES! HOORAY! Thanks again to all of you who sent remedies, text, books, etc. who suffer from the same condition. It's much appreciated. The only problem is no more soda for me! For those of you who know me, I eat, sleep, and breathe Diet Pepsi. Well, no more... In the long run, the trade-off is good. I wonder if this is what it's like to quit smoking as my hands and fingers are constantly working and moving and my employees seem to think I'm a little edgy.

Our own Mike Giusti performed at the Atlantis Hotel & Casino last week and received many standing ovations. He has no idea what he's doing differently in his show to garner them, but he's not questioning it! After his last show, he invited the audience to his suite for a farewell after-show party. The party lasted until 6:00 AM, and Mike looked like he'd participated in a triathlon the following Monday. Mike's a very talented performer, and we're very lucky to have him as our web master in the midst of his many other projects!

Mike's show at the Atlantis Hotel & Casino in Reno, NV.

A view from the stage pre-show

The after show party in Mike's suite!

As I sit here and write the blog today, I'm watching the doorway to my office be completely blocked by stacks of packages ready to be received by UPS! I really am lucky to have such a loyal group of Hocus Pocus customers like yourselves that enable me to do what I love best. So, I thank you all so much and will keep you updated as the days go by.

Now, I've got to go find a gift for Carl.

Until next time,


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