Archive for December, 2013

A New Year Beckons

Posted in Uncategorized on December 27, 2013 by hocuspoc

Happy-New-Year-2014-background-2013In last week’s blog I mentioned that I’d helped my daughter to deck the halls, or at least the front door of my her apartment in anticipation of taking FIRST place in the decorating contest. Well I am happy to report that that is exactly what happened. Renee and Jonathan’s entry won the Decorate-Your-Front-Door Contest with its $50 prize. The spoils of victory was theirs and I was happy to provide some creativity to the effort.

Zachary’s New Radio Flyer

Betty and I bought our grandson Zachary a Radio Flyer tricycle for Christmas. He immediately and temporarily lost his mind. He wanted to ride it inside the house, but the backyard was a better option. Then, quickly the front yard and sidewalk became better choices, and he rode to the corner and back (4-5 houses down) numerous times.

radio_flyer_tricycle

Finally, the neighbors circular driveway was a draw allowing him to work on circular maneuvers, which by the way, with speed and velocity, raised one of the three wheels off the ground! By day’s end, the kid was utterly exhausted and crashed from tricycle fatigue.

Zachary_Xmas_2013

Gearing Down

And speaking of fatigue, Betty and I could sure use some time off. So, we will  be taking all of next week off for some much deserved rest and relaxation. We’re going to stay home and enjoy the coming New Year.

Not to worry though, our capable staff will be here to answer most any questions you may have. And we’ll have some surprises in store for you in the coming year, so stay tuned to our blog and daily updates.

By the way, this will be the LAST blog of 2013.

You, our customer, are appreciated, valued and respected.

You, our customer, are appreciated, valued and respected.

Just a word, we at Hocus Pocus sincerely appreciate your business. We thank you for your business in 2013. It has been a real pleasure helping you find the magic that satisfies, sparks interest and helps you bring wonder to the world. We are grateful for good customers like you, who make our work satisfying and enjoyable.

We look forward to working with you in 2014 and contributing to your enjoyment and success in magic. To you and yours, we wish you a prosperous and happy new year!

May your home always be too small to hold all your friends.

Happy New Year my friends,

Paul

Deck the Halls!

Posted in Uncategorized on December 20, 2013 by hocuspoc

Vintage-Santa-Claus-down-chimneyWe’ve been decking the halls, or at least the front door of my daughter’s apartment in anticipation of taking FIRST place in the decorating contest. Her apartment complex is hosting a Decorate-Your-Front-Door Contest with a $50 prize going to the best entry.

Today the judges will be inspecting and determining precisely who has the BEST decorated front door. And since they are only a FEW entries, I’m hoping we edge out the competition.

Christmas Family Project Goes Into High Gear

When Renee first told me of the contest, I immediately jumped on board this family project. I’ll admit, I was the mastermind that spearheaded the creative concept of making the front door a Christmas mantle.  However, my son-in-law Jonathan assembled and constructed the mantle from scrap Crown molding left over from a carpentry project.

Meanwhile, I visited my favorite junk store finding an old window, a vintage Santa cut-out and a baby cradle to act as a fireplace screen. With the addition of some inexpensive stockings, wreath, garland and the wizardry of Jonathan, I think we’ve got a winner!

Grandson Zachary next to Santa on our contest entry.

Grandson Zachary next to Santa on our contest entry.

If you’re wondering how in the world they’ll use their door, they don’t. They customarily use the back door. That’s why we could attach a large plywood piece and create the entire Christmas mantle setting going whole hog. Hey, even if they don’t win the contest, it sure was fun creating it.

By the way, that’s not an elf next to Santa, that’s my grandson Zachary who’s finally figured out this whole Christmas thing and is MORE than just a little bit excited about Santa’s impending visit.

Taking a Few Days

For the first time ever, we are taking off both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day so that our employees can enjoy the holidays with their families. We will be back, in the office, on Thursday, December 26th.

We hope you get all that you want for Christmas, but in case you don’t, give us a call (800) 407-4040 or visit our website beginning the day after Christmas to fulfill your Christmas wish list.

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Have a warm and wonderful holiday with your loved ones. For now, our wish for you is best captured in this sentiment:

The Magic of Christmas never ends

and its greatest of gifts

are family and friends.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Happy Holidays my friends,

Paul

Ho Ho Ho! It’s Almost Christmas

Posted in Uncategorized on December 13, 2013 by hocuspoc

We’ve really busy. In fact, busier than we’ve been in a long time and I am very pleased about that! We’ve had a record number of packages go out this week, which is VERY gratifying to me. We thank you for your orders.

We’re definitely into the Christmas spirit as today is the Hocus Pocus Christmas party.

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We have a special lunch delivered from A.J.’s, our favorite Armenian restaurant in town. The food is truly great and we do a gift exchange, which is always fun to see what people get each other.

A great lunch by A.J.'s for our Christmas Party!

A great lunch by A.J.’s for our Christmas Party!

Best Armenian food in Fresno.

Best Armenian food in Fresno.

Jan, Karen and Isaac enjoy the holiday luncheon.

Jan, Karen and Isaac enjoy the holiday luncheon.

Pedro was our resident mascot for the party.

Pedro was our resident mascot for the party.

Santa's helper, Pedro, got plenty of good eats.

Santa’s helper, Pedro, got plenty of good eats.

Lindsay, Max's girlfriend, showed up just in time to grab a bite.

Lindsay, Max’s girlfriend, showed up just in time to grab a bite.

I got my favorite kind of licorice during the gift exchange.

I got my favorite kind of licorice during the gift exchange.

We said goodbye to Karen as she's off to begin a new job in 2013!

We said goodbye to Karen as she’s off to begin a new job in 2013!

Tim swears he only had ONE!

Tim swears he only had ONE!

Santa even showed up for  the party!

Santa even showed up for the party!

Great Tricks For Christmas Or Any Time!

Although I mentioned several of these effects on a previous blog, I cannot resist but to mention them again as they are so very good.

You’ve got to check out The Final Cut by Scott Alexander & Bob Kohler, the finest Signed Bill In Lemon effect released to date, and 52 Shades of Red, , multiple effects with a card deck that looks like real magic.

The one flying off the shelves at the moment, and that will be difficult to get once the minimal stock we have on hand is exhausted, is Pocket Money by Wayne Dobson.  Check out the video below.

Another Working Magician Visits 

We had a visitor in the shop yesterday, San Luis Obispo magician Rich Ferguson, who was in town performing at one of the casinos for a holiday party.  Rich is a very accomplished and award-winning entertainer, who’s opened for Leno and Jimmy Kimmel, appeared on Ellen as well as countless corporate gigs.

Rich Ferguson stopped in to pay a first-time visit.

Rich Ferguson stopped in to pay a first-time visit.

Rich had never been into the shop and was very impressed with our showroom and collection of all things magic. I suspect he’ll be back again soon. It was good meeting you Rich. Come back any time!

If ever you’re in our area, please stop in and spend some time with us. We welcome all visiting magicians.

Until next time,

Paul

18 Days and Counting…!

Posted in Uncategorized on December 6, 2013 by hocuspoc

Christmas_Banner

I hope you and yours had a very enjoyable Thanksgiving.

Betty and I headed out to my mother-in-law’s house for thanksgiving with the kids. She had a houseful with Cole and wife Amanda, Max and girlfriend Lindsay, Renée and husband Jonathan and my grandson Zachary. And speaking of Zachary, we took him out to meet the big guy, Santa Claus so he could put his order in.

The set-up is great since you and your child get to go inside Santa’s house, closed the door behind you and have a personal session with Mister Claus.  We were somewhat surprised since Zachary wasn’t afraid of Santa at all. In fact, he talked to him for 20 minutes! Usually kids at his age are afraid of Santa, but not Zachary. He spend the entire time telling Santa about the trains he wants and telling him all about Thomas and his friends.

Zachary and Santa sit down for a lengthy chat.

Zachary and Santa sit down for a lengthy chat.

My daughter Renée told me that when she’s out shopping with Zachary and he sees something he wants and she says “No”, he replies with “My papa will get it for me.” And you know, he’s right.

christmas-lightsThe Gross house is fully decorated inside and out and we’ve got the tree up as well. I always insist on getting a LIVE tree since it just doesn’t seem like Christmas with an artificial one.

Black Friday is Good

We had a very good Black Friday and an even better Cyber Monday thanks to our fine customers. As you can see by the photos below, we’re working diligently to get your orders out as quickly as possible.

Over 300 packages ready for the postman. Doesn't include UPS or FedEx!

Over 300 packages ready for the postman. Doesn’t include UPS or FedEx!

Just a reminder, that we have a shorter shopping time-frame this year. So we remind you to get your shopping done early to ensure delivery in time for Christmas. You’ve got about a week and a half left of shopping time left before having to resort to expedited shipping in order to assure a timely arrival by Christmas Eve.

Max fast at work filling orders from Black Friday.

Max fast at work filling orders from Black Friday.

The Final Cut by Scott Alexander & Bob Kohler

Ok, every magician on the planet knows that one of the strongest effects in all of magic is the Signed Bill In Lemon. Every magician in the world also has at least ONE method in their arsenal. So why does the world need yet another version of this class of magic?

Because it’s a practical showstopper strong enough to close you show. The Final Cut is painstakingly designed and expertly produced in the USA by Bob Kohler and Scott Alexander. All you need to supply is the fruit and a cutting implement.

Undeniably, the new benchmark all other Bill-in-Lemon effects will be measured against.

Undeniably, the new benchmark all other Bill-in-Lemon effects will be measured against.

The Top Ten Reasons Every Magician Must Perform The Final Cut

#1 The Final Cut Fools Everybody

Both Scott and a team of Beta testers have proven that our new superior method stuns any audience from laymen to world renowned professional magicians.

#2 Test Conditions

The Final Cut is clean as clean gets. First, the bag containing the lemon are placed into the audience under a spectators control BEFORE the bill is borrowed and signed. Immediately after the bill vanishes you can go immediately to the ending if you desire. There is no delay or extra routines necessary to do work. The ending is perfect. Your hands are shown empty and the performer only reaches into the bag with his fingertips. Yet under these stringent conditions the bill is loaded in just a few seconds.

#3 Professional Grade Indestructible Gimmick

It has no moving parts to fail or wear out. The gimmick will last you for a very long time. Count on putting it in your will.

#4 So Easy To Do Anybody Can Do It

The Final Cut has been created using a very easy to do and direct method you will be able to master in a few hours. It’s hard to believe any routine that gets this level of reaction could be so easy to master.

#5 Speed * Less Than 2 Minutes To Set-up * Less than 2 Seconds To Load

The Final Cut is fast in every way. Preparation time is less than 2 minutes! The load is less than 2 seconds. It’s like a magic rattlesnake bite. But the most important point is that once you vanish the bill you can instantly go to the ending. Once the signed bill is vanished you can instantly go to revealing the signed bill is inside of the lemon.

#6 The Final Cut Is Small In Size For Easy Travel

“The old axiom “Packs Flat, Plays Big” is more important today than any time in history. The necessary equipment you carry for The Final Cut is not only small in size but lightweight weighing just a few ounces!

#7 No Fire Is Used

Over the decades many of us have performed versions of the Bill in Lemon where fire is used. In this modern era it’s rare to perform anywhere where you can use fire. The Final Cut solves this issue by creating comedy destruction without flames!

#8 Works With Any Currency

The Final Cut is practical anywhere in the world. Of course, it works with US Currency. Some countries have bills that are larger, smaller or even made of new age materials besides paper or cotton fiber based money. With The Final Cut, no problem. You can work anywhere in the world.

#9 The Perfect Solution For Stage, Parlor And Close-up

Many performers have to handle performing in situations where they have no control. Your client books you to do a show for 40 people and when you arrive there are 400. The Final Cut is your new best friend as it is designed to be used on large stages, parlor situations, formal close-up and everything in between.

#10 In Depth Training

The training is contained on DVD. It’s like getting a private lesson from Scott & Bob whenever you need it. Included are three stage shows, two are in front of very large audience of 1000. The third show was performed in the legendary Magic Castle’s Parlor of Prestidigitation in front of 75 inebriated adults. The step by step training will have you up to speed in no time.

It is not too far-reaching to say that The Final Cut is the new benchmark all others will be measured against.

Therefore, I cannot more STRONGLY recommend it to you if you are a working pro or a serious entertainer considering a worthwhile investment in your show.

Very soon he'll be here!

Very soon he’ll be here!

As the holidays are fast approaching we are ever mindful that it is you, our dear customer, that ensures our continual success. Trust me, it does not escape our attention that you, as consumers have MANY choices.

We thank you for trusting us with your magic purchases. We value your patronage and fully appreciate your continued support.

Until next time,

Paul