Archive for November, 2006


Posted in Uncategorized on November 24, 2006 by hocuspoc

And what an extreme it is… After such a relaxing and refreshing Thanksgiving Day with my family, it is completely opposite here today. The phones and faxes are ringing off the hook and my email program is working overtime, bursting at the seams. Looks like this is gearing up to be one of the best holiday seasons ever, so it’s back to work for now; we’ll resume the blog next week.

Until then,



Posted in Uncategorized on November 17, 2006 by hocuspoc

It’s almost here. Thanksgiving, that is. It’s a good time to reflect on what you are truly thankful for. I know I’ve said it before, but I’m very thankful for everything that I have. I have a beautiful and intelligent wife, four terrific kids, a wonderful home, and a great business! The great business part is due to all of you who continue to support and nurture Hocus Pocus. Without you, Hocus Pocus could never have grown as it has. So, I am truly thankful for all of you!

This Thanksgiving, my good friend Robert Baxt will be spending the holidays with us at our home here in Fresno. We’ll begin Thanksgiving by going to my mother in-law’s house, as we do every year. There’ll be a huge feast of great homemade Armenian food and drink. My eldest son, Cole, will be here for Thanksgiving along with his girlfriend, and he’s looking forward to a home cooked meal after a couple of months of college food. After my mother in-law’s, later in the afternoon, we’ll be going to my cousin Karen’s house to celebrate once again. All in all, it will be a very full day, in more ways than one! As you sit at your Thanksgiving table this year, do yourself a favor and take a moment to reflect on all the goodness in your life for which you are thankful.

If you have Thanksgiving photos or memories you wish to share with us, send them to for a future blog consideration.

Until next time,



Posted in Uncategorized on November 10, 2006 by hocuspoc

Sometimes in life, we take things for granted. It’s human nature to get caught up in the day-to-day routine and lose a little perspective. Every once in a while something happens to bring the proper perspective back into view. Such is the case for my good friend, Craig. We’ve been friends for many years. Last week, he was here to pick up some magic as he does every so often. He was telling me how he wasn’t feeling well and was on his way into the doctor’s office for some tests. Well, the tests have since come back, and Craig found out that it is cancer. When he called me Monday to tell me the results, I could hear the fear in his voice and I was speechless. You see, my friend Craig is only a few years older than me, and he is a physical fitness fanatic. Never in a million years would I have guessed that it could happen to him. All of a sudden, life can change dramatically. It made me think to myself that my little day-to-day problems weren’t nearly as important. Perspective. It’s all something we lose sight of. It’s a shame it takes something like this to shake us back into reality. Craig knows that I am here for him should he need anything, and he is keeping a positive attitude that will definitely come in handy over the next few months as he begins extensive chemotherapy.

Veteran’s Weekend is here, and I can’t help but think about perspective again. Think of all the veterans, past and present, who have given so much of themselves for us to live in this great country. Some have given their time and others have given the ultimate sacrifice. If you see a veteran this weekend in a parade, on the street, or a gentleman or woman in uniform, walk up to them, shake their hand, and say thank you. I guarantee you positive results.

Last week, I told you about my daughter, Renee and Gene Simmons making an appearance at the department store at which she works. She and her boyfriend, Will, brought this picture by along with their cute little puppy yesterday, and I thought you’d enjoy seeing it:

Will, Gene Simmons, and Renee

From Hong Kong to Fresno, magician and inventor Alan Wong made a special trip to see us this past weekend. Alan showed me many new effects that Hocus Pocus will be carrying exclusively. One of the most exciting new items we will have is Alan’s new Dream Lock. This was a huge hit at the recent FISM Convention. When Alan demonstrated it for me, I was completely fooled by it and had no idea how it was done. You can see this on the web site HERE and stay tuned for other Alan Wong products next week.

My good friend, Bob Kohler, has just released his closer for the past 18 years, The Human Phone Number! He introduced it at last weekend’s MindVention in Las Vegas and completely sold out! Hocus Pocus is a proud BK Pro Line dealer, and we’ve been selling them like crazy on our site. Interested? You should be, so check it out HERE and HERE!

So there you have it. Don’t forget to keep in mind the word perspective and try to keep it in check. I sure am.

Until next time,


And So It Goes…

Posted in Uncategorized on November 3, 2006 by hocuspoc

This morning, I received a very sad email from my friend, Jay Leslie, informing me of the death of one of magic’s most revered performers. James Swoger passed away on November 1. Jay was like a son to Jim and always had great stories to tell about him. Just a few weeks ago at the Magic Castle Swap Meet, Jay was saying that Jim was not doing well, but you really are never prepared for the inevitable sometimes…

James Wesley Swoger, born January 26 1918, died November 1, 2006

If you never saw Jim swoger perform magic, you missed it. He had the wonderful ability to perform each effect as though it was the first time. Those who watched his manipulation with coins, balls, rope and cards were mesmerized. He hardly ever performed the same routine twice.

His moves were a melody of motion where no one cared how he did it; they were more interested in what came next. He was a true artist. He was especially proud of the fact that he headlined 18 convention shows with his sleight of hand. He had a loyal following of friends and students who often drove across the country to spend time with him. Once, Del Ray called the party he was supposed to be at and told them his car broke down because Del was trying to learn a rope move that Jim invented and Del needed to know…right then. Jim Swoger’s nature was very gentle. He tried very hard never to say anything negative about anyone. He always made people feel good about their skills and encouraged them to become better because it was what they wanted to do. We say goodbye to a man who lived and breathed magic, who was a walking encyclopedia, and was the nicest, kindest gentlest man you could ever have the chance to meet. He is survived by his wife Betty, his daughter Andrina, her daughter Stephanie, his son Jim Jr., and his other unofficially adopted son Jay Leslie.

Robert Long from Wichita, Kansas

In happier news, we received a visit from Robert Long of Wichita, Kansas, who was traveling through California performing school show assemblies. Robert has quite a busy schedule as he was leaving here to travel to Oakhurst then San Francisco and on to Redding, California and on from there. He spent several hours here with us and made several purchases. I think he was a little overwhelmed by the size of our building and all the merchandise displayed throughout. Remember, any time you are traveling through California and wish to make a special visit to Hocus Pocus, you are always welcome here.

The new Kevin James Snow Animator 4.0

In other exciting news, we just listed the brand new Kevin James Snow Animator 4.0 and the long awaited Floating Rose, now available on DVD! These are the perfect items to include in your show, especially with the holidays right around the corner! The new Snow Animator features smaller props that all fit into a hat-sized carry case, quieter and more powerful motor, and most importantly, a reputation that you will have wherever you go! Check them out on the web site!

Another product we’re excited about is a Hocus Pocus Exclusive entitled Matrix Mirror! There are only 25 custom made for us, and when they’re gone, we won’t be getting any more. It’s perhaps the perfect stage penetration effect that will have ’em all scratching their heads! Check it out on the web site as well…

The holidays are a-comin’! Can you believe Halloween’s already over and Turkey Day’s just a few weeks away? And to bring it all in perspective, Santa Claus will be coming to town before you know it! This year’s really flown by! It’s really true: the older you get, the faster time flies!

Touchdown! The high school I graduated from is Hoover High. Our big rival at the time was with Bullard High, which my son, Max attends. Tonight is the infamous Battle of Barstow, named such as both schools reside on Barstow Avenue, just a few miles apart from one another. This is a rival that has lasted more than 40 years, and it’s the most contested football rivalry ever! Needless to say, I’ve been needling Max all week long about how my old Alma Mater is going to kick some butt! He doesn’t find the humor in it. After tonight’s game, we’ll see who has the last laugh.

Remember, if you haven’t done so already, be sure to visit and sign up for the Hocus Pocus Round Table Chat Rooms. They are literally bursting at the seams with lots of discussion on magic, and your input is valuable! Visit the forums at:

Well, that about covers it. Have a great weekend.

Until next time,