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36 entries from February 2009

Josh Duhamel in 'I Dream of Jeannie'

The 'I DREAM OF JEANNIE' movie is back in pre-production. After the disaster of 'BEWITCHED' they've decided to trash the "updated" version of Jeannie and go back to a more traditional story based on the TV series.

We all know who should play Jeannie, but specualtion is rife about who could play Major Nelson. Seems most of the fans want Josh Duhamel. How would he fit the role? Let's see...


Heading to Beijing for FISM? Good luck!

As you know, I've been organising a tour group to Beijing FISM for Aussies who plan to attend the World Championships of Magic.

As I've run National Festivals and International Magic Conventions before, I felt this wouldn't be too difficult.

1 - I contacted an expert tour organiser who explained that everyone really needed to leave from the same city and stay in the same hotel to make this work. Problem - people were not only departing from different cities, but at different times too. Plus, some couldn't afford to stay at the "official" FISM hotel.

2 - I studied air timetables and came up with a way that people willing to leave at the same time, could all end up on the same flight with Qantas. I contacted Qantas Group Services and (once we were within twelve months of our departure date) they gave me a quote of over $2,000 per person. At the time, that was several hundred dollars more than booking the same flight through a travel agent.

3 - FISM promised all group organisers we would get advanced notice when the hotel bookings were about to open and we could get special group discounts buying rooms in bulk. Didn't happen. Suddenly the rooms were bookable online on the FISM website... at only marginally cheaper rates than if you booked direct with the hotels themselves.

4 - Alan Watson put me in touch with Graham Bennett of Singapore Airlines in New Zealand who came up with a great group price of $1750 per person. It was a fair price, but the airline is much nicer than Qantas. We came up with a great schedule where everyone could leave from their home city and meet up in Singapore, where we would all fly together in Beijing. Problem: You could book individually with Singapore and get a slightly cheaper airfare than if you travelled with the group. Plus, "due to the current economic situation", many in our group had decided they couldn't afford to go to Beijing, while a dozen others decided to fly in earlier to sightsee, or to continue on to 'Magic Live' in the USA... so our flight plan no longer worked for them. We now had too few people to qualify as a group.

5 - I searched Webjet to find alternative flights for our group and came up with flights on Qantas from Melbourne and Sydney which were $1384 and $1473 - which we posted on our Tour Group page. Last week we booked our flight. We decided to go via Sydney so we could escort a first time FISM traveller and booked QF105 - Friday July 24 departing Sydney at 10.10am and arriving in Beijing at 8.10pm. If we left from Melbourne we'd have to stop off in Hong Kong, so it was nice to get a direct flight. (Plus, coming back Beijing direct to Melbourne is a nightmare - remember this???) In true Qantas form, two days later QF105 ceased to exist. Instead we are on a flight via Hong Kong...

There are well over 30 Aussies in our group heading to Beijing, a new record for FISM, and we all hope to have a great time over there. However, with airlines facing hard times "due to the current economic climate", we can expect a few more flight changes and cancellations between now and July.

Our Tour Group still exists... and many are joining us on our escorted tour to the Great Wall of China on the day after FISM, and though we won't be flying together or staying in the same hotels...(?!) they are all getting email updates filled with travel tips, advice, and handy hints about travelling in China.

As for handy hints about travelling TO China... well, good luck!

Overheard in a back street in Blackpool last night

 "You…. Wanna party?"


"Maybe.. what are you offering?"


"I can do a quick trick for ten pounds, a routine for fifty, or the whole party for a hundred and twenty."


"Do you provide latex balloons?


"Everyone at the party gets a latex balloon, and if you can't get it up, I've got a pump."


"Can the kids watch?"


"Are you sick? Who do you think I am??!!"


"Ok, ok…. So… what do I get for a hundred and twenty pounds?"


"I start off with a stripper deck, then it's balls over the head. I produce my ten foot pole, while you hold my wand, and if it goes floppy we can do a little palming instead. Then we finish with out of this world. I can use an electric deck if that turns you on, but strictly no bottom dealing without fanning powder."


"I.. might be interested in a little… Head Box."


"You want illusions?"   (He clicked his fingers and a guy dressed head to toe in leather appeared).


"You wanna see my Bo Staff?"


"Well I was kinda interested in getting Impaled…"


(A hooker walked around the corner and approached the trio)


"Anyone want some straight sex?"


(The guys looked disgusted and left in different directions)



Magic News

A couple of brief Magic News Flashes!

1 - Graham Etherington has just announced the price of magicians' rope is about to undergo a big price rise. Expect to pay approximately double the price you have been paying for rope from Graham in the future.

2 - Paul Romhany will be lecturing here in Melbourne on April 10, Keeps your eyes on this blog for details as soon as they come to hand.

3 - Jade is joining us at FISM in Beijing!!! He and his new wife April are registrants 1233 and 1234. FISM is filling up fast!