Archive for June, 2010

Kidney Stones: 10 Me: 0

Posted in Uncategorized on June 25, 2010 by hocuspoc

As the kidney stone battle rages on, I seem to be losing ground. Last week’s procedure, although successful in my doctor’s eyes, have led to an unforeseen but possible side effect, and of course, I’m lucky enough to now be the recipient of said side effect. So there is now pain and pressure on my right kidney and I’ve been running a low grade fever as a result. My doctor has advised me to ride it out and, believe me, when he told me of another option, his first suggestion is the best, so I’m riding it out. So now, he’s prescribed what I affectionately term “the happy patch,” which is worn 3 days at a time to help control the pain. However, after reading the side effects (4 pages worth), I’ve decided to hold off on this option during the week. Perhaps later tonight, I may give it a whirl, I don’t know yet. I’ll keep you posted.

This week, the response to the Extreme Multiplying Bottles has been overwhelming, and we have officially sold out of our first shipment. Not to worry, however; we’ve already contacted the manufacturer, and they have already begun making more for our next shipment.

I just got off the phone with David Regal, and we’re excited to say that we’ve purchased the remaining inventory of his brand new effect called Passport. You should do yourself a favor and check it out here and watch the online video! If you’ve ever wanted to perform a signed card to wallet effect with no sleight of hand, palming, or other monkey business, this is the effect for you! Not only is it a great effect, at $60.00, it is a steal. But you’d better get yours before July 22, because the price will increase to $80.00, so get yours now!

Every day, more private estate and collectible items come through our doors, and just yesterday, we were fortunate enough to obtain a Future Perfect Prediction Chest by Alan Wakeling and Jim Steinmeyer. As you may know, this was a limited production piece when it was made available several years ago, before Alan passed away. It has not been available since! Now is your chance to obtain this rare gem before it vanishes forever.

As this week comes to a close and the temperatures begin to rise to the triple digits, I realize that next weekend is the Fourth of July already. This year has truly gone by quickly so far… No sooner will the Fourth of July fireworks end, a few days later Betty and I will be off to San Diego to the IBM Convention. If you are planning on attending, stop me in my tracks and be sure to say hello. As always, I’ll be looking for new and unique items to bring to you soon afterward.

I’ve gotten such nice emails and phone calls from all of you concerned about my health; it is incredibly appreciated. Hopefully, by next week, I’ll have a handle on this thing and I can wrap it up and put it behind me.

Until next time,

Paul

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Round 2

Posted in Uncategorized on June 17, 2010 by hocuspoc

Let’s get through the unpleasantries first: you may recall several weeks ago, I was down for the count with kidney stones. Having one procedure then, I was keeping my fingers crossed that the doctor’s trusty laser had blasted it completely away. 2 weeks ago, I went back for a follow up and an x-ray, and he felt it looked good but suggested I have a CT scan, just to be sure. So, in I went to lay inside the big tube for the scan. Several days later, it was back to the doctor for the results. At this time, I was feeling pretty optimistic about the outcome. That is, however, until the doctor walked into the room with a concerned look on his face. When I asked him if the stone was gone, the next words he uttered were, “Well, Paul, let’s just look at the CT scan together.” Oh boy. This, I knew, was not good. Sitting down and looking at the scan, he pointed out the piece of the stone that weren’t able to blast from the first procedure. But that’s not the worst of it; he proceeded to show me 2 other spots that we didn’t know were there that turned out to be more kidney stones! Oh, but wait; there’s more! He then showed me the scan of my other kidney and yeah, you guessed it, there’s another stone there! Sigh. So tomorrow, I go in for a different procedure where they will knock me out and strap some electrical device to my side, and for an entire hour, send electrical currents into my kidney to try to break up the stones. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this will wipe them out. And then, in a few weeks, after I recover from this procedure, I’ll go in again for my left kidney. If you’ve ever had kidney stones, you know exactly what I am talking about, and for those of you who have never had them, I hope you never do!

But enough of that, let’s talk about what’s been happening here at Hocus Pocus! Several months ago, my good friend, Ray Lum, sent me a link to a set of multiplying bottles he had found on the Internet. When I saw the picture of the bottles, I instantly knew these were completely different than anything I had ever seen! After exchanging several emails with the manufacturer, and exclusive deal was struck, and I am extremely honored to say, that the bottles are now here, in-stock, and ready for immediate delivery. 5 minutes after Mike made them visible on the web site, a set was sold!

Extreme Multiplying Bottles by Keisuke Hanada

Introducing the most beautiful set of Multiplying Bottles we’ve ever seen!

Famed Japanese magician, Keisuke Hanada, has created the Rolls Royce of multiplying bottles! Just check out the photo above, and you’ll know exactly what we mean! His trademarked finish makes each bottle look like glass. You can even perform this within inches away from your audience, and they would never know the difference (just take another look at the close-up inset picture). In all our years, we’ve never, and we mean NEVER, seen a finer set of bottles!

Each bottle is meticulously spun in aluminum and features the inner lip for ease of handling and final pour feature as per the Ken Brooke bottles, now long unavailable. The detail on the labels themselves is incredible!

We so strongly believe that this is the finest set of multiplying bottles you’ll ever purchase, we are offering you an unconditional money-back guarantee (ask for details). That’s how much we believe in this product!

In stock for immediate delivery, check them out and order them HERE.

This week, we’ve gotten a great response to our latest ad in MAGIC Magazine and the video we put up last week of the Hocus Pocus Showroom regarding private estate and collectible items. We’ve had several phone calls and emails regarding many of the items featured in the video. We even had one customer who walked us through item by item as he purchased them via phone conversation! Believe it or not, we’ve even had more of these items come in this week. One of my very favorites is:

Sir Nility Ventriloquist Figure by Robert McRay

I’ve long drooled over Robert McRay’s ventriloquist figures. To actually obtain one via a private collector this week was one of my highlights. (Between you and me, I don’t care if this guy sells or not.) He looks great sitting in my office, and I’ve kind of gotten attached to him already.

FATHER’S DAY

Every year I publish this about my father because it comes from the heart and truly epitomizes who my father really was. I reflected last year on Father’s Day and my father and thought I would share it with you again, especially for the new readers of the blog. As I read it aloud to myself, it is just as powerful now as when I originally wrote it. Enjoy.

Can you hear his words of wisdom? I’m talking about your dad, of course. How many times have you gone to your dad for help, advice, or just to talk? Where would we be without our dads? I noticed that it’s time to recognize all the dads around the world because, as you are probably already aware, this Sunday is Father’s Day! Let me tell you a little bit about my dad:

Image hosted by Photobucket.comMarvin Gross, my dad.

My dad was instrumental in the creation of this business, believe it or not! When I was a mere 18 years old and decided I wanted to be in the magic business, my father was right there supporting me all the way. He taught me to work hard and do what it takes to be successful and not be afraid to go the extra mile. Although he may have had his doubts about my success in the business at first, he never once voiced them. Not once! Instead, he supported me, helped me get a bank loan, and he even came and helped me paint the walls and hang shelving at my first store! I learned from my dad how to be a good businessman, but more importantly, how to take care of my children and how to be a good husband. He was always the best audience whenever I got the newest magic tricks and wanted to perform them. If I could fool him, I knew it was perfect. If not, back to the drawing board.

My dad had a great sense of humor and was always the center of attention at any party or get-together he attended. He attracted people like a magnet. He stood a full 6′ 6″ tall, a bit intimidating when you first saw and met him, had a boisterous voice, however, he had a heart of gold. He would give you the shirt off his back and the last dollar in his pocket without hesitation if you needed it. He was honest, hard-working, and never selfish. He had literally hundreds of friends who I didn’t even know, and he was never a stranger anywhere he went. He was always there for my sister and me no matter what we were going through! Always supportive and overly patient, a trait of his I wish I had inherited, he was a great provider, and we always had everything we needed and then some.

He worked long hours, sometimes up to 14 hours per day, sometimes weeks on end without any days off to make sure his family were well taken care of, and he never complained. No matter how busy he was, he always had time for his family.

When we were kids, our Father’s Day tradition was to let Dad sleep in on Sunday morning followed by the breakfast of his choice! Then we would go visit my grandparents, and the highlight was going to Foster’s to get a Root Beer Freeze! Sounds simple but it was a great time for us all!

It has been 21 years since my dad passed away, and I still think about him every day. Referring to his words of wisdom whenever it comes to making a life or business decision, I always find myself reflecting and repeating the words of advice and love he always gave me.

So, this weekend, my entire family will be here on Father’s Day. We’ll have a barbecue and enjoy each others’ company in the outdoors. I can’t think of a better way to spend my Father’s Day weekend. So, if you’re a dad, happy Father’s Day, and if you can, wish your dad the same.

Until next time,

Paul

Great Graduations!

Posted in Uncategorized on June 11, 2010 by hocuspoc

Well, another week has gone by and we’re finished with all graduation ceremonies. It seems like, for the last month, it’s been a whirlwind of graduation, parties and celebrations. Three weeks ago, my oldest son, Cole, graduated from St. Mary’s College and just a couple of days ago, my youngest son, Max, graduated from high school. Max will be attending his brother’s Alma Mater, St. Mary’s in the Fall. We’re very proud of both our boys.

Cole and Betty

Max, Betty, and me

Now that graduations are officially over, it’s time to get back to the magic biz. We’re still working feverishly on completing the inventory list from the recent acquisition of an out-of-business magic store. I have to tell you, I’ve never seen so many sets of Cups and Balls in my entire life! Like rabbits, they seem to multiply around me. We have copper ones, alluminum ones, mini ones, combo sets, wooden sets, you name it, we have them. Hundreds of them! And if that’s not enough, we have even more sets of crocheted balls to go with them! We have every color, size, and shape imaginable. Maybe it’s time someone invented a trick just involving those crocheted balls. I think we have enough of both to lay them end to end to cover the globe one time! So, if you need a set of cups and balls, I’m your guy. Call me. I mean it, call me!

Lights, Camera, Magic

Last week, Mike took a Flip video of the Hocus Pocus Showroom only just to give you an idea of how much stuff is here. There’s so much stuff that we are having a hard time moving about in the showroom from time to time, and Mike couldn’t even capture it all on video. Remember, this is the showroom only and not the warehouse. That’s a video for another day. So take some time and get ready to walk through the Hocus Pocus Showroom below:

I hope you all enjoy your weekend. The weather here is scheduled to be in the 80s and 90s, so you know where I’ll be: in my back yard enjoying the sun and relaxation.

Until next time,

Paul

A Magic Wonderland!

Posted in Uncategorized on June 4, 2010 by hocuspoc

Just when it seems like a week can’t get bigger than the last, IT DOES! As you know, last week we had a truck deliver several items from a private collection. Over the weekend, I called my good friend, Tim Mannix, and asked him to drive up from Southern California to help with unpacking and setting up several large illusions. I also needed his help for what was about to happen later that day when we received a ton of consigned items from a recently closed-down magic shop. There were thousands of items that had to be counted, organized, and placed into inventory. Needless to say, Tim and I are STILL working on just that. It’s like Christmas time here: a virtual magic wonderland; every time we open another box, we see things we haven’t seen for ages. Need a Collector’s Workshop Gumball? How about a Kevin James Snow Animator? Wolf’s Magic Balloon Wand? Over here is a Collector’s Workshop Khyber Kobra. Well, rather than listing these things, see for yourself in the pictures below:

Tim and I organizing and entering into inventory all these items!

Not one but hundreds of sets of cups and balls

Think we’re ready for Vegas?

More illusions, more great stuff from the collection

More illusions

Need a large Square Circle? We’ve got two of them!

A great vintage Girl in Drum illusion

A couple of Thayer pieces

Oversized, custom Wiz Kote

Tim finds Kevin James’ Living Hand illusion

John Gaughan Thin Model Sawing

Howard Hale Comedy Legs Table. This thing is immaculate and gorgeous!

Right now, everywhere you look, you can see magic, and we’re STILL opening boxes and finding great things. It’s going to take weeks to go through everything, but it’s going to be a labor of love for sure. We’ve never had the amount of inventory than we do right now. Check out the pictures, and if you see something that interests you or if you don’t see what you’re looking for but wonder if we have it, give me a call at 800-407-4040 or email me at sales@hocus-pocus.com. Also, next week, Mike will be updating the 360 Degree View of the Hocus Pocus Showroom, so be on the lookout for more great magic.

Oh, look: another box!

Until next time,

Paul