April 24, 2004

The Wizard's News
April 24, 2004

What's new on the site

Three new Ask the Wizard columns were posted this month.

I now have a privacy policy posted on the site. It says pretty much what you would expect, that the only information I collect is email addresses for this newsletter and that I do not share these email addresses with spammers or other businesses.

Many readers have asked about back issues to The Wizard's News so you can see back issues here. First I should say that you must bookmark this link because the link is not on the website. The reason for that is that the newsletter is a special thing for my subscribers only, not for anybody who just wanders to the website. I know it is not much but I like to provide at least something unique and special for my newsletter subscribers.

I'm also now selling text ads on the site. The first few have sold briskly. If this goes really well I wouldn't mind getting rid of the banner ads eventually. There is more on this below.

The Wizard in China

This month I had hoped to regale you with stories about Macao.  Unfortunately the closest I came to Macao last month was about 400 miles away.  My wife and I were in Shanghai for a week and planned to make a side trip to Hong Kong and Macao.  However at the time I applied for a visa to China I didn't know I needed a second visa to get back into China from Hong Kong or Macao, despite the fact both cities are now on Chinese soil.  As I learned, for almost all purposes except the flag Hong Kong and Macao are separate countries from mainland China.  So instead we made a short trip to Guilin, one of the most scenic parts of the country.  Since this is supposed to be a Vegas and gambling newsletter I won't bother you with the story of that.  My next trip to China is scheduled for August 22, 2009, at which time there will be a total eclipse visible along a horizontal band through central China.  I'll try to hit Macao that trip, so be patient with me.

REVIEW: David Copperfield

When I got back I had the fortunate opportunity to see David Copperfield from the second row at the Hollywood Theatre in the MGM Grand.  The show was courtesy of a professional gambler friend of mine who is well comped at that casino.  As somewhat of a magician myself I was very enthusiastic about going.  To tie into my China story I did lots of street magic in China and it was a huge success.  My fellow Americans are much too cynical and difficult to impress by comparison.

 To get back on topic, David Copperfield was even better than I had expected.  Unlike the mainstay Vegas magicians there were no comedians, jugglers, or showgirls.  Copperfield is a no-nonsense magician who went from one major illusion to the next.  Most magicians have a spectacular illusion at the end of their show but Copperfield does them from beginning to end.  However I also have appreciation of the simple slight of hand magic like card tricks and there was little of that.  The only simple trick was making a duck appear and disappear from a bucket. 

Copperfield appeared more relaxed and approachable than he appears on television.  He was also funnier and did a better job of exchanging banter with the audience than Jerry Seinfeld did when I saw him a few months ago.  Although I have seen all the Masked Magician shows and have a "secrets of magic" CD I got on eBay I still had little or no idea how most of the illusions were done.  The price of tickets is steep at $97 for evening shows and $79.90 for matinees, not including taxes.  Even if I had paid full price I still would have left happy.  My grade for the David Copperfield show is a solid A.

Text ads now for sale

My webmaster Michael Bluejay told me that I could be making a lot more money by adding some text ads on my site.  Text ads seem to be all the rage these days and Google certainly seems to be doing well with them. In fact I would not mind replacing all the banners with text ads if I could sell enough of them. That would please Bluejay since he hates anything that blinks and he won't stop complaining to me about the animated banners. The first few text ads sold briskly so this is doing very well so far.

Rates for text ads start at $360/mo. with a generous one-month minimum so advertisers will not have to make a long-term commitment. Ads run on the whole site, just like the banner ads. Here are the complete advertising rates (link removed). If you prefer to pay per click then that is available for as little as $2 per click.

I will offer a one-time special through this newsletter of the first month free if the ad runs for at least three months, and the 2nd and 3rd month are prepaid. 

Please note that I will not accept advertisers which are adult sites or sites that give bad gambling advice. To find out more about advertising opportunities please see my advertising page (link removed).

This time I have no Internet casino plugs this time but please keep playing the advertisers.  That is ultimately what supports the site.  

That's all. Until next time, set your expectations high.