Couldn’t resist posting this. Brilliant!

When I saw James Taylor on “SNL” in the fourth season on DVD last Saturday night, I remembered how much I LOVED his version of “Up On The Roof!” I’ve been humming it ever since! Ironically, the lyrics “got the stars above and the city lights below” don’t make any sense. As a stargazer, I know that the city lights always drown out the starry sky. Oh well, it’s a great song.


Monday the 12th – HOT CAR, HOT DAY! – When I got up shortly after 2 I did some work, and then discovered I had some urgent videogame auditions in my inbox. After I recorded them I got my Gran Torino out to take it for a drive and charge up the battery. It was a pretty warm day out but I didn’t mind. I headed over to Lancer’s in Burbank to meet up with my old pal Daniel Roebuck; legendary character actor! It was fun catching up, but I only see him rarely. And when we DO get together the time flies like crazy! I went to my box to get some mail, and then went home to feed the kids. I did a little work on the computer and then napped until 10. I got up and did my auditions, and then I picked up my pal Sara to go have a late dinner at Bob’s Big Boy in Burbank. I came home to write Wally’s Week and enjoy the gorgeous night! It had actually gotten quite chilly out! It was a beautiful, clear night!

Tuesday the 13th – SHIRLEY AT THE SONS! – Once again I got up just after 2 in the afternoon. I did some work, recorded a few auditions, and decided to put the Gran Torino away. It was going to be a hot week, so once I was convinced the car’s battery was sufficiently charged I put it back in favor of my Mustang. I picked up my “adopted grandma” Shirley around 6 so we could go to the Sons of the Desert meeting. It’s a Laurel and Hardy fan club, and it’s always great to watch some of their films with an audience. When we left I took her back to her residence, and came back home and grabbed a quick nap. I got up later to complete the rest of my auditions for the day. Then I dug around in some old photo files and started uploading some pictures to the Facebook page for my upcoming class reunion. I even dug out an old Super 8 movie I shot back in the junior high days, edited it, and got it ready for posting as a special treat. When I walked Roxy on our late night stroll through the neighborhood I saw a TON of spider webs. Some were really gorgeous! It was chilly out again. When I came back in I made some chili and hit the hay.

Wednesday the 14th – TECHNOLOGY HATES ME – Just after 2 I woke up again, did a bunch of auditions, and then zoomed off to Taco Bell to get some lunch. I was due at Bang Zoom studios at 5 for a three hour session. We’re starting year 5 of the project we’ve been working on. But there some sort of technical snafu with the new operating system the studio had recently installed, which provided me with a lot of distortion in my headphones if my voice went above a certain volume level. I stuck with it for about an hour, but it started to aggravate me so much I simply couldn’t take it any longer. So we stopped down for about an hour while the technical staff looked into the problem. The voice tracks I did sounded great on the finished file, and the sound coming in to the control room sounded good, but the headphone feed that was coming back to me was unbearable. Finally we just switched to another studio which had recently become vacant. The final hour of work in the other studio went very well. Sometimes technical snafus like that just happen in this business, and you’ve just got to roll with them. When I got home my contractor Handy Don met me with a replacement part for my dishwasher. When I had bought the dishwasher a few months ago from the “scratch and dent” section of Sears, Don assured me it was a new unit. But because of a slight cosmetic blemish it couldn’t be sold as new. When I got the paperwork on the unit I remember seeing that the original delivery date was in 2012. So the dishwasher had been sitting on the Sears showroom floor for 7 years. But, it had never been used, so essentially it was new. And it was a top of the line unit that would have cost around $800 new. But I got it for under $300. The dishwasher seemed to work very well, but come to find out, water was leaking under the brand new vinyl flooring I just had installed. The source of the leak was discovered to be a leaky part in the underside of the “new” dishwasher. While the unit had never been used before, apparently a little rubber gasket in one of the parts had decayed while sitting idle in the store’s showroom. Don installed the replacement part he acquired that afternoon in the dishwasher and it worked very well. But because my new vinyl flooring had been propped open with boards, so a fan could dry out the water that had leaked underneath, some of the interlocking “tongues” on the side of the vinyl flooring pieces (which allow it to lock tightly with the other pieces) had been damaged in the process. Now, several slats of the vinyl flooring would have to be replaced. And the only way to do that, based on how these vinyl pieces work with each other, is to disassemble the floor!! Yup, if one piece screws up, you can’t just lift it out and replace it. You have to disassemble it back to a specific point, and rebuild the floor with the new pieces. All this because I wanted to save a few hundred bucks on a “new” dishwasher. I’m NEVER buying “scratch and dent” again…only new! The amount of money I saved on the unit was mostly negated by the amount of money I had to pay Don to come fix the ruptured part, and the money I had to pay the flooring guy to come out and rebuild my vinyl flooring. Not to mention the time the guys wasted having to drive to and from my house repeatedly. Lesson learned. I took a short nap and then got up later to do some more work on the radio show I’ll be doing on August 31st in my hometown of Aberdeen, South Dakota during my class reunion weekend. I edited some more “retro” photos to promote the show, made some buffalo mac, and watched a GREAT episode of “The Mod Squad” before bed.

Thursday the 15th – MATERIAL WITNESS! – After a check of the e-mails mid-afternoon, I sped off to my effects guy Jim Ojala’s studio to drop off a piece I needed to have cast for a project I was working on. Then I drove over to JoAnn to try and match some fabric I bought there back in March. I wanted to make a cool Gran Torino bowling shirt; red with a white stripe running down the right side of the front. It took my seamstress 5 months to complete it, and when she brought it over it was completely wrong. She hadn’t referred to the very detailed drawn-out design I had provided her with. There were stripes running down BOTH sides of the front of the shirt, and the dimensions of the stripes were wrong. So they had to be removed and redone by my other seamstress Shelley. But when Shelley removed the stripes she confirmed my fear that the erroneous stripes had damaged the fabric, and there wasn’t any way to get rid of the stitch holes. If the shirt was going to be saved, the only option was to find the exact fabric (which was in a color I REALLY loved!) and remake the front two panels of the shirt. Unfortunately I didn’t find a match, so I bought some other red fabric that I felt was close, although not an exact match. But while I was there I found some great fabric for a new bowling shirt I want to have made. The best way to describe it is “Go-Go Ghoul.” It features beautiful renderings of glamour girls, but zombiefied! Great fabric for Halloween! I went home to feed the kids, do some auditions, and do some more work around the house. Earlier, the gal at JoAnn told me that I could find the exact name and code number of the fabric in question on my receipt. So I dug out the receipt from March and locked into the name of the fabric. Now I just need to go on-line and try and find it. I will NOT be defeated! I took a brief nap, and then got up later to do some more work and investigate the material. I found some at a JoAnn in Thousand Oaks and bought it. I’d have a friend pick it up for me who lives out that way. PERFECT! I hit the hay to sleep for a short while, because I have to be up at 8am Friday to let Handy Don and Greg the Flooring Guy in to fix my kitchen floor.

Friday the 16th – ELVIS42! – It’s hard to believe that Elvis has been dead as long as he was alive. Today marked the 42nd anniversary of his death. After only a few short hours of sleep, I woke up to let the guys in to start on the floor. Since they didn’t need me, I went back to bed to get some more sleep before I had to be up for my session. When I woke up at noon the guys were gone, and the floor looked amazing. I got an e-mail from the Joann store in Thousand Oaks stating that they in fact did NOT have the red fabric I ordered on their website, so they canceled my order. Ugh! Why was the fabric listed as available if they didn’t actually have it in stock? That’s the thing that bothers me about on-line purchasing. Sometimes the on-line records aren’t an actual representation of what truly exists. So I ordered the same fabric from a JoAnn store in La Canada, who also said they had it in stock. We’ll see if this one gets canceled too. I headed off to my session in Marina Del Rey, got lunch at Chick Fil-A and headed to Side LA – the studio where the session would be held. The Marina is quite a long distance from where I live, and in traffic it seems like it takes forever to get there, so I wanted to allow lots of time. I worked for about an hour and a half voicing a hard-nosed general for a videogame. The directors were in Greece, so it was just after midnight their time! It was a fun session but I learned something important. There’s an old song we used to sing in school about connecting bones to other bones; you know the one I mean. As the general character, it was in the script that I would sing that song. But the producers also had an alternate version WITHOUT the song, because they suspected that it wasn’t actually public domain, as we all had thought. It was interesting news to me, because I had quoted those lyrics myself in one of my kids’ stories I’ve been working on. Now to find out from the experts that the song may not be PD after all, had me thinking about how I could change them in the story so we wouldn’t get in trouble once the stories are published! I drove back home in heavy afternoon traffic and fed the kids. I got a confirmation e-mail from JoAnn’s that my fabric was ready for pick-up! ALL FIVE YARDS! My shirt WILL be fixed after all! My pal Brittney Powell came over and we went to dinner at Barone’s. I got home, took a nap, and then got up to figure out how to rewrite my story. While I slept my brain came up with the perfect way to “cheat it.” My character wouldn’t remember the words exactly, but instead would sing the words he THOUGHT were in the song. Having changed the lyrics just enough, they now resembled a parody of the original song. And legal precedent has been set that protects parody. Satisfied with my rewrite, I sent the new verses off to my attorney and then went to bed.

Saturday the 17th – DRIVING FORCE! – My first stop of the day was to get my fabric at JoAnn’s in La Canada. The traffic was pretty great driving over there so I made it in good time. I got the fabric and also picked up a few yards of some other fabric, and some cool skull buttons. Then I drove over to the Pickwick Center in Burbank to check out my buddy Michael’s Dragonfest convention; devoted to martial arts. I ran into my buddy James there, as well as martial arts legend Cynthia Rothrock; who is an occasional guest at my Saturday movie nights. She was there signing autographs and doing panels. After looking around for a while I went home to clean up for that evening’s movie night. We watched the film “Gilda Live,” which was Gilda Radner’s live show she did in New York in 1979. I’ve always loved her, and I got to thinking that we don’t have a modern-day equivalent of Gilda Radner. With her numerous, totally-relatable, original characters – she just doesn’t have a current equal. It’s sad. She was such a talent! After everyone left I grabbed a short nap, got up to feed and walk Roxy, and then made my traditional Saturday Night Super Salad and watched another episode of “SNL” from the fourth season DVD set. The musical guest was James Taylor and he is ALWAYS amazing!

Sunday the 18th – GOTTA KEEP MOVIN’! – Around 4 my computer guy Brian called so he could ‘remote in’ and remove some old programs from my computer. These programs are incompatible with my current operating system, so they were just in the way. It didn’t take him long to remove them. I went to pick up Shirley for evening church, and after the service we drove to FedEx office so I could have them print the final script for my August 31st radio show. Then we went to Paty’s and had a nice dinner on the patio. While we ate, two gorgeous collies walked up with their owner. Their names were Cash and Jewels, and I enjoyed exchanging collie stories with their owner Chris. I took Shirley back to her residence and then I went home to do some work. I napped on the couch, and got up later to feed and walk Roxy on our late-night stroll through the neighborhood. There were LOTS of spider webs out, and I do what I can to not disturb them so they can catch their lunch. Sometimes Roxy will walk ahead of me and inadvertently walk through a web and destroy it. I feel bad for the spiders because they worked so hard making the web, only to have it destroyed so quickly. They look totally disoriented and confused when that happens. So I try to be careful. I came back inside to do some more work, and then I made a Tombstone pizza and watched another “Mod Squad” episode. On Monday I need to go BACK to Marina Del Rey to the studios of Side LA for another videogame session. I’m ready to spend a lot of time on the freeway stuck in Monday traffic.

And how was YOUR week??!!


As I was heading to bed one morning, I had a nice conversation with a Mourning Dove. Though she wasn’t willing to talk initially, she eventually warmed up to my poor dove impression.