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February 2006
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32 entries from March 2006

Flight Centre guarantee it!

We booked our flights to FISM the other day. Because we are also stopping off in London beforehand and the visiting Santa's Village in Finland afterwards, the flights were a little tricky to co-ordinate so we went to Flight Centre. You know, the one's who offer the following guarantee:

Price Beat Guarantee

Bring us a competitor's quote and if it's available we will beat it!

Based on Australian registered businesses and websites.

As it turned out, the lady we dealt with was REALLY helpful and went out of her way for us, but they couldn't quite get the flights sorted. I went back to Webjet and figured out a schedule myself. I emailed the flights to her so she could beat the quote. She couldn't. She said she couldn't even get close and advised me to book with Webjet which I did.

Now here's my question. What kind of a guarantee is that? They promised to beat the competitor's quote, they failed to, and... what happens now? I've written to Flight Centre asking just that. I'll keep you informed of their response.

(Don't forget our new Price Guarantee! We guarantee to beat any other magician's price!*)

(* As long as their quote is more expensive than ours.)


Time to take a moment and do a bit of channel surfing as I see what's going on with all the other magic blogs out there. If I've missed any, be sure to drop me a note in the comments box to let me know about them, and if you go out visiting yourself, let the other bloggers know who sent you!

Magic Interviews is still busy and active with recent chats with Ricky Jay and Teller (though they did go the easy way out offer audio versions with no text of those two interviews). Other recent interviews include Silly Billy, Eugene Burger, Jeff McBride, Andre Kole and Mat Unwin's evil clone David Oliver.

Ace of Spades blog (aka Scot's Magical Mystery Tour) keeps posting regularly with his adventures in performin magic.

People have been saying Glenn Bishop was stopping his blog, but he seems to be firing away more regularly than ever with tricks, routines and stories from his shows.

SwimSean is the "athletic side" of magician Sean Piper. He certainly posted a lot during the Commonwealth Games!

Brendan Croft keeps up regular postings with tales from his performances. It's fascinating to follow his development as a performer.

Mike King keeps up regular posting over at Wizard's Ball. He does seem a little grumpy from time to time, but his opinions are definite food for thought.

Tony Blanco at Hocus Pocus is keeping up his promise of weekly posts. Sure, the main aim is to sell you tricks, but he does offer tips and ideas as well.

Richard Osterlind runs a blog that is more a promotional tool for his products too, most recent posting was March 16.

Penguin Magic is another promotional blog and the level of energy in their posts is amazingly high! They remind me of Big "I'm excited!" Kev.

PeaceLove'sMusings is an interesting blog with it's latest posting being about South Africa's College of Magic.

Coming Through The Haze is an interesting one... he does post regularly!

Magic Mafia keeps on blogging, now in his third incarnation.

The Phantom Notebooks are fascinating reading for those interested in sleight of hand.

Cardopolis is a blog from David Britland filled with lots of tricks.

High on Magic tackles some controversial topics, and Magic Spank continues to do his best to shock as does CrazyManic.

Magic Utopia is a new blogger into bizarre magick.

Magic Bullets is into street magic, but his posts certainly cover a wide range of topics.

Steve Fearson's blog is very much an echo of the man himself.

Intensely Magic seems to be down to one post a month, not bad for someone as cranky as he claims to be. His latest post is about watching a show by Dan Sperry.

Andster at I, Magician tells in his latest post about he's going to be arrested!

Chet keeps up a regular output over at Chet's Mysteries as he discusses a lot of technique.

Scott at Grey Matters has a fascinating collection of posts especially interesting for those who like to combine math with their magic.

Pagliacci continues to put out odd and often amusing posts. His most recent seem to be concentrating on David Copperfield.

MagiCentric is one of my favourite blogs, but Steve gets a little quiet from time to time. His last post was March 21.

Michael Ammar has a blog... but I think it still needs a few more posts in it. If he has a new one at a different address I'd sure appreciate it.

FreelyMental has possibly the dullest blog I've ever seen.

Lazy Magic isn't quite as lazy as many other magic bloggers and he keeps up a regular and interesting line of posts.

Mohana Thoughts has been infrequent of late, but when you consider that the author just had a bad scooter crash that resulted in a coma, it's understandable.

The Magician seems to have died out with it's last post on Feb 9.

Magic Muse has made one post, March 5... it's a start.

Magic Backstage seems to have brought down the curtain unexpectedly in November as did Magic Circle Jerk while Judge Whackster and Sleight Pub stopped posting in September.

Mark Jensen at Days of Whine and Neurosis hasn't posted since January 23, but when he posts, he posts! Possibly the only magic blog that is true to the ideals of the pure blog.

Magic Enigma is continuing to produce posts of the same quality he's generated since he began.

What's happened to Escamoteurettes? John's vanished since his February 28 post.

Chris Lloyd at Magic Tricks hasn't posted since he wished us a happy new year on January 1.

Comrade Conjuror hasn't posted since December, same story with the Sarcastic Magician.

But for every dozen magic blogs that disappear another one pops up to take their place... the latest addition to the world of magic blogging is Dean Atkinson. Welcome, and good luck!

Pandora's Box

Pandorabox_posterI really don't have much of an idea what this show is going to be like... but it's a really cool poster!

All I can tell you is that it will be staged on April 6 & 7 in Caulfield, limited to 250 seats, and we're going to go see it.

If you'd like to find out more or book tickets, go here.

Abra Cadaver

I was all set to tape CSI on Monday night with the episode 'Abra Cadaver' but we got so busy that I forgot to set our VCR! Did anyone else catch this episode about the magician being the prime suspect in the death of his assistant?

It's an interesting plot but so unrealistic... I think you'll find that in most magician/assistant relationships it's the assistant who a much greater motivation to kill the magician than the other way around.

Weak Movie Week

This week is a pretty good week to stay home and rent a DVD. The new cinema releases are nothing if not disappointing. Cry Wolf, The Weatherman and Happy Endings are definitely worth avoiding. We caught Aeon Flux last week... sounds like a disease... sort of felt like one too while we were watching it. I don't think anyone is rushing to see The Pink Panther or The Long Weekend, and When A Stranger Calls has been parodied so often it was a crazy idea to do a remake. (Though for a $15 million movie it's already made $50 million, so maybe it wasn't such a bad idea for the investors at least).

If you do have to go to the movies before Thursday, we recommend A History of Violence, an intriguing plot with an amazing performance by Vigo Mortensen. Firewall, with Harrison Ford, is also quite a good thriller (as long as you suspend your disbelief when you see what all the magic computers can do!)

I'm hanging out for the new batch of films coming out on March 30, especially V For Vendetta. We saw a preview of Inside Man and we thoroughly recommend that. Great plot with an excellent script and some very unexpected surprises (just like a good magic trick!) Zathura will be a good family flick, but Basic Instinct 2 should be avoided at all costs.

Vertigo and The Birds


While we were in Sydney Sue-Anne's brother Glen celebrated his 40th birthday and, to mark the occasion, I joined him on a climb over Sydney's famous Harbour Bridge. (Sue-Anne had already climbed it twice before). I have to say that the bridge climb is probably the most professionally run tourist attraction in all of Australia. The staff are exceptional, the set-up is absolutely top-class, and at no point during the entire 3.5 hour experience does anyone feel scared or apprehensive at all (which was the only disappointment for us thrillseekers *g*). If you ever find yourself in Sydney I thoroughly recommend you book in and experience the bridge climb for yourself.

Though standing on top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and taking in the spectacular 360 degree views was awe inspiring, the fear factor was the only thing lacking. But that was taken care of later in the day when we went to have lunch!

Glenn and I were standing on the foreshore at Manly beach enjoying absolutely delicious kebabs wen I felt what I first thought was Sue-Anne whacking me soundly on the head. Now this is not something that happens often, but at the time I could think of no other explantion. (Maybe, if we'd been at Cronulla Beach, I would have been expecting a blow to the back of my head). As it turned out, truth was definitely stranger than the fiction running through my mind. A huge seagull had spotted my kebab and decided that the traditional approach of walking around my feet squawking for scraps was simply too inefficient. Instead, he dive-bombed the kebab. What I felt on my head was the entire weight of this bird who'd misjudged his target slightly and now had his beak wedged in the same kebab I was taking a bite out of. Now I'm used to doing "the great Australian salute" to shoo marauding blowflies away from my food but this was ridiculous!

A few moments later I saw a second bird hovering over Glen's shoulder. Glen saw his shadow and was about to whack him away when the bird darted out and made for Glen's kebab too.

I'll admit I've never really seen the terror in Hitchcock's classic film 'The Birds' but after experiencing an attack by just one extremely hungry seagull I can start to imagine how it must feel to be the target of an entire flock.