Friday, May 30, 2008

What's With This Weather?

Last weekend, Memorial Day Weekend, was a time that is usually spent sitting around the pool, catching some rays, and enjoying a barbecue with your family. Not this year. Believe it or not, it was in the low 50s, cold and windy, and pouring rain until midday Monday. No one could believe it; the weekend before had been 104 degrees! Go figure. Today, as I write the blog, it's a cool 75 degrees outside. Summer, Winter, Spring, Fall? Which is it? Hopefully, the warmer days are just around the corner now. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Tommy Wonder Diminishing Cards

We've been extremely busy this week, even busier than usual for this time of year. The Tommy Wonder Diminishing Cards arrived at the beginning of the week, and all pre-orders have been shipped. We're almost sold out of the first batch and are anxiously awaiting our second shipment to arrive in 7-10 days.

The Gecko is finally here!

Another exciting product is Jim Rosenbaum's Gecko! In the works for over a year, this multi-purpose utility device will vanish, exchange, or cause objects to appear in impossible locations! If you have a few minutes, go to the web site and check it out because later on, we'll be posting a video demo of some of the effects possible with this amazing device!

The Allakazam Hat

We've gotten so much positive response from those of you who have purchased this fantastic item. There are only 5 Allakazam Hats with the included Memorabilia Package available as of this writing, so if you were interested in obtaining one, do not hesitate. When they are sold out, there will be no more as this was a limited run of only 50 pieces. Mine is displayed proudly in a custom made table and display case (seen above), and I proudly showcase it here in the storefront. Again, I can't thank Mark and Nani Wilson enough for allowing Hocus Pocus to bring you this once-in-a-lifetime piece of magical history!

On the home front, Max, Cole, and I built a large planter this week behind our Coi Pond, and it couldn't look more fantastic. Yesterday, five and 1/2 yards of topsoil was delivered, which Cole and Max spent the better part of the afternoon filling the planter. Tonight and tomorrow, we'll spend planting ferns and other greenery to accent the Coi Pond and waterfall. I look forward to it; in my other life, I must have been a frustrated landscaper.

Betty and I checked out the new Indiana Jones film last weekend, and enjoyed it very much. Although it has been met with mixed reviews, we both gave it two thumbs up and hope it's not another 20 years before another.

For those of you who don't know, our very own Mike Giusti grew up an avid comic book reader and collector. Over ten thousand comic books stored in plastic bags and in boxes, he is running out of room at home. And you thought my ball vase collection was bad. His desk at work and the walls behind are all decorated with his favorite character of all time: The Incredible Hulk! Even before the popular television show with Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno hit the air, Mike had over 100 Hulk comic books to his collection, so he knows the character inside and out. The only issue he is missing is issue #1 which goes for more than Mike's entire magic entourage is worth. My point to all this is that there's a new Incredible Hulk movie (they're calling it a requel, a combination of a redo and a sequel) coming out June 13th with a brand new cast, including Edward Norton as Bruce Banner, Liv Tyler as Betty Ross, William Hurt as General Ross, and Tim Roth as the Hulk's nemesis, the Abomination. Mike has been geeking out every time a new movie and television clip is released. I have to admit, as much as I didn't care for the last Hulk movie in 2003, this one looks darned good. It's the Hulk movie everyone wanted to see back in 2003 and much more. Now all Mike has to do is figure out how to dye his skin green. No, kidding; I think he really wants to do this. OK, Mike has begged me to put a link on the blog for those of you who want to check out more:

On a personal note, thanks to all of you who take time to read our little blog and the nice emails and comments we receive about it. I really appreciate it more than you know.

Have a great weekend.

Until next time,


Thursday, May 22, 2008

16 With A Licence To Drive!

We knew the day would come and how fast time has passed: yesterday, Wednesday, my son Max took his driving test and passed it with flying colors. He is now legally licensed to drive in the state of California, so watch out! Last night on my way home, he passed me going in the opposite direction in his Nova, and boy was it strange seeing him alone in his hot rod driving away. To say he's excited about this new aspect in his life is an understatement... You can see it in his face:

Max looking cool in his 1969 Chevy Nova

Off he goes...

This weekend is Memorial Day Weekend, and I'll be taking time off Friday through Monday to spend with my family. I have lots planned including tomorrow, I'll be working in the yard which has become my favorite past time. Saturday, we head over to my sister in-law's to celebrate her son's engagement with a barbecue and get-together. Sunday, graduation parties to attend and Monday, Betty and I are planning on checking out the new Indiana Jones flick. The four days will be nice, but I know they'll fly by, so I plan on enjoying each and every moment.

Speaking of graduation, my son, Cole, will be moving back home this weekend as he finishes his second year of college. He put in several applications for a Summer job and knowing him, he'll be busy from dawn 'till dusk.

My daughter and her fiance, Jonathan, just returned home from Disneyland where they had a great time and enjoyed themselves immensely:

Living la vida loca in Disneyland

Like being trapped in Disneyland is a bad thing...

May has been one busy month for Mike; on top of working at Hocus Pocus, hosting a weekly radio show, performing at restaurants along with all the magic shows he's been booking in 100 degree-plus weather, his band, Smoke Break, has rapidly become very popular. So popular, in fact, that they are in demand and playing live from one to three times per week at prestigious hang outs, bars, and clubs here in Fresno. He'll be spending Friday and Sunday performing magic at his weekly restaurants and then Sunday evening playing with Smoke Break at a wedding for five hours. Good luck, Mike!

From left to right: Mike Giusti (basses, vocals and keyboards), Dean Felix (vocals, guitar), and Jason Adcock (guitar)

Singing, playing bass and keyboards is tricky stuff.

Mike and Dean

Chad Kayajanian on drums and percussion

On the home front, since Memorial Day is around the corner, if you are an online member, we're giving you a heads-up: expect a very special email Saturday afternoon with a special announcement for members only that I'm sure you'll all be pleased to receive. If you are not yet a member, you still have time to sign up.

However you celebrate your Memorial Day Weekend, make sure to stay safe and enjoy it!

Until next time,


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Back From Allakazam!

Well, I'm back! Max and I made a day trip to Mark and Nani Wilson's warehouse to pick up the Allakazam Hats. It was quite a site to see them all lined up in the entryway of their offices. Mark and Nani stayed up 'till the wee hours on Mother's Day by making sure all the Hats were signed and numbered by each of them. I must say how impressed I am in the finished product. Jay Leslie has gone above and beyond even my expectations on quality and craftsmanship. For those who pre-ordered, your wait is almost over as we will begin shipping the Allakazam Hats tomorrow (Friday). For those of you who are still interested, we have less than a few left with the original memorabilia package included, so hurry and place your order soon. I guarantee for those of you who purchased the Allakazam Hat, you will not only be happy but proud of yourself for making the investment. My sincere thanks to Mark and Nani and Jay Leslie for helping this dream project become a reality.

Mark and Nani signing and numbering each Allakazam Hat

Allakazam Hats preparing for their trip home

So, last evening, I was asked to speak about Hocus Pocus to a group called Business Incubator, a Fresno-based business that showcased "Entrepreneur Unplugged Night." It was a casual event with about 25 to 30 businessmen and women interested in the growth, development, and success of local businesses. Of course, I couldn't just go up and talk the entire evening without performing a bit of magic, and since beer was being served, what better way to kick off the evening than by performing the famous Vanishing Beer Bottle trick! It got a great round of applause and enthusiasm from the audience, and the perfect icebreaker to begin my talk. I began at 5:45 PM and before I knew it, it was 7:00 PM. A great crowd with a fantastic Q & A. I really enjoyed myself.

We're still getting a lot of great response from the Aldo and Rachel Colombini Lecture last week. It was a great double-feature with both Aldo and Rachel performing and lecturing. Everyone got their money's worth as the lecture, which began at 7:00 PM didn't end until 10:30 PM. If these two fine lecturers come to your area, make sure you do everything in your power to go see them.

Aldo still Ringing Around.

Rachel Colombini performs and teaches one of her effects

Clowning around after the lecture

Ball Vases? OK, it's been brought to my attention that I may have a small problem. I have a ball vase fetish that just won't relinquish its hold on me. What began as a practical joke has grown into an obsession that I cannot control. I now have over 80 ball vases in my collection, from the rarest of rare to the common plastic version. You name it; I have it! And here's the part that shows I truly have a problem: I want more! Do you have a ball vase you'd like to part with? If so, I'd like to give it a good home with the others shown below. You can contact me via email at or call toll-free 800-407-4040. Please, no calls from Ball Vases Anonymous...

Just a few of the ball vases in my office

But wait; there's more! You can never have enough.

Until next time,


Friday, May 09, 2008

Off to the Magic Land of Allakazam

No blog this week; Paul is traveling and visiting with Mark and Nani Wilson to pick up the Allakazam Hats. Expect a full report and back to blogging as usual next Friday.

Until then,


Friday, May 02, 2008

From Flea Circuses To?

We hit the mother lode! As many of you know, we sell private collections and estate items. We've recently acquired one of the largest private collections of magic we've seen in years! For the past several months, we've been unpacking and putting together hundreds of different effects, from the smallest close-up effect to the larger stage pieces. Some are newer effects, some are from the past, even rare items! Mike and I are finishing up the list of items today so the blog must be brief as the list is massive! This is your heads-up; if you wish to participate in this event, it's simple:

Tomorrow, Saturday afternoon, I will be sending out an email with a secret link to all these great items. Here's the catch: you must be a Hocus Pocus Online Member to receive the email. Don't worry; it's free and your member information stays with us! If you're not already a member, simply click the link below:

Fill out the information, and in a matter of seconds, you will be an official Hocus Pocus Online Member! It's that simple, and to get your taste buds going, check out the photos of just some of the items below:

Footlockers full of magic

So, as you can tell by the photos, we ain't kiddin' around. There's something for everyone, so watch for the email and remember -- all of these items are one-of-a-kind and sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Don't be left out.

Until next time,