Thursday, August 24, 2006

College or Bust!

A view of St. Mary's campus

I'm writing the blog one day early this week because this afternoon, Betty and I are following my eldest son, Cole, to his new home at St. Mary's. His car is packed from stem to stern with all the things he'll need for the following semester. He moves in to his dorm tomorrow morning and is very excited to start this new chapter in his life. It's a beautiful campus and both Betty and I know he'll thrive in his new environment. No one is a stranger to Cole; he's got a great personality and is one of the most down-to-earth people I know! After we get Cole moved in tomorrow, Betty and I will drive to San Francisco where we'll spend the night and eat at our favorite restaurant, Scoma's.

As mentioned in last week's blog, hot new products from the recent F.I.S.M. convention have begun to hit our web site. The Kikuchi line of metal bending products is outstanding and is well worth your consideration. Also added is Lior Manor's Knight's Tour, a software-based version of this effect that is totally customizable for your presentations whether you work trade shows, stage, or parlor shows. This will pay for itself many times over.

Tony Blanco began his magic classes last week, and the phones are still ringing with requests for the next session, for which he is signing folks up. If you live in the area and are interested in learning magic from a real pro, contact us at 800-407-4040!

In other exciting news, because of Dexter's close relationship with Johnny and Pam Thompson, we are working on finalizing a date for Johnny and Pam to come and do a lecture here at Hocus Pocus! As many of you know, Johnny is not only a comedy and stage performer, he's also one of the finest close-up performers you'll ever see. A true well-rounded performer that you'll not want to miss! As soon as the dates are firmed up, watch the front page of the web site for a special banner to appear with the dates and ways for you to come and see a true legend of magic!

Things are shaping up on the chat board, the Round Table, and hopefully things will be up and running in the coming weeks. We thank all of you for emailing and contacting us with interest in becoming moderators and your enthusiasm for wanting to become a vital part of the boards. We're looking forward to bringing you something new and different than from what's out there right now. Our goal is to provide you useful and positive information to help better the brotherhood of magic.

It's getting busier and busier here as Summer comes to an end. The kids are going back to school and the holidays will soon be upon us. Don't forget, Halloween will be the first holiday of the Fall Season. Start your planning now and don't forget that by adding one or two seasonal effects to your repertoire, it makes your act more topical and more marketable.

I guess that's it for now. Time to hit the road. As always, thanks for taking time to read the blog, and I always appreciate the kind notes you send me.

Until next time,


Friday, August 18, 2006


I am really excited to let you know about some exciting changes happening here at Hocus Pocus. Within the next few weeks, you'll see a nice new look to the web site and the reappearance of the Hocus Pocus Round Table, our chat board that was live a few years back. Due to time constraints and other unfortunate realities, we had to shut it down and focus on other aspects of Hocus Pocus. Now, with a larger staff and our feel for the need to be informative, positive, and helpful, the Hocus Pocus Round Table will reappear in the next week or two. Look for it soon and look forward to contributing. We are always looking for moderators to help out as well, so if you are interested, please contact Tony Blanco at or Dexter at to express your interest. There are other changes taking place but we'll hold off announcing them for now. Needless to say, it's an exciting time here at Hocus Pocus, and we promise that the best is yet to come!

Speaking of the web site, make sure you check out some of the fantastic exclusive products featured, including Lincoln's line of boon writers. This line has been unavailable to dealers until now. Lincoln has chosen Hocus Pocus to be the exclusive dealer of his exceptional line of products, and we thank him tremendously for thinking of us!

We are excited to announce the arrival of Equinox. Thanks to Peter Nardi of Alakazam Magic of England for granting Hocus Pocus exclusive distribution in the United States! This is well worth your time and effort to check out if you are a magician or mentalist. It's perfect for close-up, parlor, or stage work. I like it so much, I took one for myself; it really is one of the best mentalist items I've seen in quite some time!

Paul Romhany

In other exciting news, I just got off the phone with Paul Romhany who, as you know, has released his signature line of products exclusively through Hocus Pocus. He and I have been working on an illusion he has been performing in his act for many years, and now it is a reality to be released through us. Watch the web site in the next couple of days for this new illusion to appear. In the meantime, check out the new Paul Romhany section of the web site, devoted exclusively to his line of very cool items!

We're now less than 1 week away from Cole leaving for college. He leaves next Thursday and is already packed and ready to go to St. Mary's in Moraga, California. He's anxious to move into his new dorm and looking forward to being on the Rugby team. For those of you who don't know, Cole stands 6 feet 6.5 inches tall, and I pity anyone who goes against him in a Rugby match. Betty and I will be travelling there next Friday to check out his new accommodations, making sure he's well situated, and then we'll spend the weekend in San Francisco, which is only a short 20 minutes from his school.

Max came home from Hawaii Tuesday night at midnight and has told us many stories from his journey. Sporting a new tan and lots of energy, he couldn't wait to lay his eyes on his new Cockatoo Circus. He's hoping I leave early from work today so he can go shopping for a new bird. In fact, as I'm typing this right now, Max is calling me asking if I can leave yet. When I told him that I have work to do, his response was, "C'mon, Dad; you're the boss. You can leave when you want to." Oh, that boy has a lot to learn.

Have a great weekend wherever you find yourself.

Until next time,


Friday, August 11, 2006

Bond, James Bond!

Do you remember when you were a kid, there was that one great toy that you treasured more than any other? Mine was the James Bond Attache Case issued in 1969 and sold through Sears & Robuck at the time. I was 10 years old, and it was at the very top of my Christmas wish list. I played with that thing until I wore it out. Last month, when my friend Chris Kenworthey was visiting, he noticed a vintage Man from U.N.C.L.E. magic kit I had displayed in my private collection. We began talking about the toys we had as kids, and I mentioned the James Bond Attache Case. Lo and behold, he had one, mint and in the original box!!! You know, guys, I just had to have this. Chris and I wheeled and dealed and came to a mutually agreeable trade, and when it arrived a few days ago it was like Christmas time all over again for me. Thanks, Chris!

As you may remember several blogs ago, I mentioned purchasing a Cockatoo Circus from Dan McKeon for my son Max. It finally arrived the other day, and Dexter and I unpacked it all and set it up. It is gorgeous! Max is still in Hawaii until Tuesday but he has called repeatedly checking on the status. He's told me all about his excursions snorkeling, swimming and attending luaus, and when I told him that the Circus had arrived, he was ecstatic! I guess this means that as soon as he gets home it's time to go to the pet store once again...

My daughter Renee arrived last night from Santa Barbara in a U-Haul moving van, ready to move into her new apartment this morning. She starts her new job on Monday, so she's going to have a very busy weekend. It's great to have her back home after being gone for the last 6 years!

I've been getting reports from my sources about some of the new items that were featured at the most recent FISM Convention in Sweden. I've been sent samples and have already placed orders for several effects, so stay tuned to the web site the next couple of weeks for updates. There's one I'm particularly excited about that I think will be one of the biggest selling items this year. When I opened the package, read the instructions and watched the instructional DVD, I was blown away. That's all I can give away at this time, so keep your eyes peeled.

One of our good customers and friends, Steven Steele, visited us yesterday. You may remember him as one of the staff members of the Magic Cafe. He enjoyed his time here at Hocus Pocus and picked up a few goodies to take home with him. We always enjoy it when our customers stop by and visit us as it is good to meet face to face. Remember, you're always welcome here at Hocus Pocus if you're traveling our way.

Thanks for all the nice emails about my recent weight loss. I've actually lost another 5 pounds since my last blog, making it a total of 140 pounds lost, and I guarantee it'll never be found again!

I'm looking forward to this weekend as we're going to San Juan Batista for the day to look at antique stores and have a picnic. So whatever you're doing this weekend, be sure to have fun and enjoy yourself.

Until next time,


Friday, August 04, 2006

135 Pounds & Counting!

I want to thank all of you who have noticed the updated pictures here on the blog and have written and called me to congratulate me on my recent weight loss. Currently I have lost 135 lbs. with only 20 more to go before I reach my goal! I've never felt better, and I have more energy now than when I was a teenager. Thanks again for noticing; it really means a lot to me.

My lucky son, Max, left for Hawaii Tuesday morning with one of his best friend, Spencer, and his family. They had a four-hour layover in Los Angeles, which delayed their flight, however the exciting part is that one of the cast members from the television show Jackass was waiting for the same flight. Max just about fainted when he recognized Chris Pontius, AKA Party Boy, and he took several photos and had him autograph his wallet! Max was so excited that he called us twice to tell us all about it. I spoke to him last night and he enjoyed the day snorkeling. He'll be back in a week, and I'm sure I'll have more stories to tell you then.

On the web site, you may have noticed a virtual FLOOD of new products and exclusives. I haven't been this excited since last Christmas about these new items! The first one that really caught my attention was Toasted, another great Paul Romhany effect that he has been using in his act for the past 6 years. It's got everything: entertainment, comedy, and audience participation, and I highly recommend you check it out on the web site.

Robert Baxt will be here next week to film his brand new DVD to be included in a new effect that we will be releasing in the coming weeks. We're very excited about this project and we believe you will be as well! This is an effect that Robert has used in his act for many years. It's a unique and new twist on an old standard, updated as only Robert Baxt can do it! That's all I can tip you now, but stay tuned to the web site for more information soon.

The temperatures have finally dropped from the triple digits to double digits, and it is much more comfortable. However, I don't expect it to last too long as we are still in the middle of Summer, and there are promises of higher temperatures to come. If you live back East, our sympathies are with you; you've got what we just had!

So, it will be just Betty and me this weekend as all the kids are gone. Maybe it's time to finally go out to a movie, go out to dinner, or all of the above! Whatever you decide to do this weekend, have fun and enjoy yourself.

Until next time,