RANDOM PIC OF THE WEEK
I saw this on-line this week and it sure explains a lot!
While revisiting some old CDs in my collection, I happened across a song my pal Verno Urquiza recorded in the Production Room of 94.7 The Wave when I was working there back in the 90’s. While I did my overnight radio show, I let him use the production room to record some music demos. After I got laid off from the station in July of 1993, I particularly bonded with a song he wrote called “Better Myself.” It served as an anthem to me as I was looking to change my life and discover where my future would lead me. Though it’s in rough demo stage, I still love listening to this song and its positive admonitions. Verno is singing and playing guitar, and I’m playing keyboard on the track. I hope you enjoy Verno’s “Better Myself” as much as I do.
Monday the 15th – THE LAUNCH OF LORD! – Boy did it feel nice to sleep into the afternoon. I didn’t get up until 3pm, and it sure felt nice to sleep in air conditioned comfort after the AC snafu I had on Sunday (see the previous week’s Wally’s Week!). When I got up I did some work around the house, and then headed to my mailbox to pick up some packages. Not only did I get the new back cushion for my window seat (the fabric matched the window seat cushion I had made by the same company several months back), but I also got a new mannequin for my upcoming Jack Lord figure project. I’ve been the proud owner of a complete Jack Lord custom-tailored suit and boots that he wore in “Hawaii Five-O” from 1968-1980 for quite a while. While I’ve been able to get actual life-casts or sculptures of the actors featured in my displays, I never had access to a Jack Lord likeness. But I recently met a guy named Larry Torro; an amazingly talented sculptor and effects master who did a Jack Lord mask for another project. After contacting the original person who commissioned Larry’s work for the Jack Lord project and getting their approval, Larry was able to sell me a copy of his Jack Lord face. It was a beautiful casting in latex rubber. After I got home my effects guy Jim Ojala came over to get the Jack Lord face and the new mannequin so he could begin working on it. It just so happened that Jim has a few free weeks between projects that will allow him to complete my Jack Lord project. I would have used the mannequin that the Jack Lord costume is presently on, but it doesn’t have a head. So I’ll have to use that mannequin for some other purpose later. When Jim left I grabbed a quick nap on the couch, and then got up to record my nightly auditions. I wrote Wally’s Week, edited some new music that I had downloaded by Olivia Newton-John (see previous Wally’s Week) and the group Passengers; which includes Bono, The Edge and Brian Eno, and rediscovered an old song I had long forgotten about called “Better Myself.” I’ve made it my song of the week under What’s Wally Humming. Check it out. I walked Roxy on our usual late-night stroll through the neighborhood and we had a gorgeous orange full moon over our shoulder as we walked. I took a few minutes to watch the moon dip behind the parking structure at the movie studio that’s out my back door. When you really study it, you realize how fast the earth actually moves! I got inside to finish Wally’s Week, make some spaghetti, and watch another “Barnaby Jones” episode on DVD before bed.
Tuesday the 16th – SUPER SHIRLEY & THE STRIPE! – Once again, I didn’t get up until 3 in the afternoon. Of course I didn’t really get to bed until 10am, but that’s how my nutty body clock works. The industry is still in a slow period, so I’m taking this opportunity to catch up on my rest and a few things around the homestead. My car guy Bodie Stroud texted me and said he needed me to make a decision on my Gran Torino right away. As you may know, my beloved Starsky & Hutch-style Gran Torino was stolen from his shop back in January, and it’s taken this long to get it back. There are a lot of extenuating circumstances surrounding the reasons that I can’t go into here, but it’s been very frustrating. They had completely repainted the car from top to bottom because it had been damaged so badly in the theft. But a few months ago they painted the strip incorrectly. I had a template for the stripe that I wanted them to use, but they painted it without me. So they had to sand it all down again and start over. But the template for the stripe I had was inconsistent. The stripe on the driver’s side wasn’t exactly the same as the stripe on the passenger side. What to do? I consulted with a few experts who suggested that I take the template for the driver’s side and flip it, and make it the stripe for both sides. That’s exactly what I told him to do. But still he still wanted me to be there while the paint guys taped it out. I had planned on taking my “adopted grandma” Shirley to the Sons of the Desert meeting to watch some Laurel and Hardy movies. But it looked like we were going to be late. It was necessary to stop by Bodie’s before we went to personally eyeball the laying on of the strip. And boy am I glad I went! Even Shirley helped me eyeball the strip and offered her opinion. All the guys at the garage loved her! The painter outlined the stripe with pinstriping tape, and we made a few adjustments and alterations until it looked right. It’s going to look better than ever when it’s completed! When Shirley and I got to the Sons of the Desert meeting the meeting had already started. Which meant that they had already sung the club’s theme song (I always love doing that!) and had already done the customary toasts to all of the Laurel and Hardy actors and personalities. I love to do the traditional toasts as well. But it was well worth me going to Bodie’s to get my car straightened away. Shirley and I had a few hot dogs, enjoyed some movies, and then headed to the grocery store to get a few items before going home. I got back and did my auditions, worked around the house, made some chili and hit the hay. No time to watch TV tonight, because I had to be up early Wednesday.
Wednesday the 17th – ORION aka ELVIS – IS BACK! – My contractor Electric Bob met me at my house at 11am so he could paint my new garage door. It has to be a certain color to comply with homeowner’s association rules. So while he painted, I got ready for a quick Voice-Over session at Voice Trax West for the University of Texas. But when I got there at my appointed time of 12:30, there had apparently been a mix-up. The session wasn’t going to start until 1! But I had a worker at my house that I had to get back to, so I called my agent and we worked it out so they could take me sooner. It was a quick session and a ton of fun! On the way home I stopped by the post office to stick some letters in the mail slot. But when I drove up their driveway there were lots of available parking spaces. Were they even open? Come to find out, they were open, but it was a particular time of day when they were slow. I wasn’t used to seeing the post office EVER slow! So I took the unique opportunity to go inside and get some stamps as well. Shirley had forgotten to get stamps when we were shopping the night before, and I remembered that she needed some. So I got a book for her and a book for me, mailed my letters and sped off. After a quick stop at McDonald’s for lunch-to-go, I headed to Shirley’s to deliver her stamps. She was very grateful. Then I made it back home. Electric Bob had already finished the painting job and had left. My agents had contacted me about redoing a few auditions I had sent in the night before. I had mispronounced a few things they wanted fixed. One wasn’t my fault, and one was. I guess I need different glasses! I grabbed my new Animal Muppet and headed to my pal Mike Moore’s studio in North Hollywood. He’s a master when it comes to repairs on lots of different types of props, particular puppets. I love my new Animal, but the little tab inside the puppet’s head that manipulates his eyebrows is just a little too short for my index finger. So he’s going to have to cut open the back of the head, extend the length of the tab permanently, and then close it back up. Luckily, where he needs to make the cut is under a thick brush of ostrich feathers (Animal’s hair) so the incision won’t be noticeable after it’s repaired. It was fun touring his studio and get a glance at all the cool stuff he’s working on. I got back and took a short nap. Then I got up to enjoy dinner at Jerry’s Famous Deli with my friends Bruce Kulick and his wife Lisa. I came back home and took a slightly longer nap, and then got up to do my auditions. I was craving Denny’s, so I drove off to get some food to go, and then came back home to send out my movie night invites. Roxy and I took our late-night stroll through the neighborhood again, and enjoyed another full moon overhead. As we were winding up our walk, I noticed the eastern sky. While the moon was setting in the western sky, I made note of the Orion constellation now appearing in the eastern sky. It was good to see it again. We don’t get to see the Orion constellation in the summer time, but as it gets closer to fall and winter we’re going to see it consistently. I guess it’s a seasonal thing. I like to refer to Orion as the Elvis constellation, because I think it resembles the body of Elvis Presley on stage doing a karate pose while he sings. It also gives me comfort to see it, because it heralds the coming of fall. My pal Officer Mark and I recently bought two tickets to see Electric Light Orchestra with Jeff Lynne at the Hollywood Bowl on September 11th. I’m REALLY looking forward to seeing them, and attending the concert will be a “bucket list” kind of thing for me. I’ve been enjoying them since the mid 70’s. I think one of the first 45 rpm records I ever bought with my own money was “Strange Magic.” When I was about 17, I used to put on the album “Out of the Blue” and just chill in my room. A fellow radio DJ gave me a bank of blue lights that he used to use at his personal appearances and disco dances he would perform. I loved turning on those blue lights in my room, listening to the music of ELO, and being transported into another realm while I relaxed. While other friends of mine back then were starting to experiment with drugs and booze, I didn’t need to. I was able to alter my mind, mood and consciousness with lighting and music. Now that I look back upon it, I realized that I was meditating and didn’t even know it! Even today I still enjoy it. In my “Tranquility Zone,” most of the lighting I installed is blue (it relaxes me) and instead of listening to my old record player, I have an iPod to supply the meditational music. I guess everything really does come full circle! I also enjoyed remembering that I wrote an essay as a senior in high school about my “Out of the Blue/Blue Light” experiences for composition class. The teacher enjoyed reading it so much she gave me an “A”! I ate my Denny’s and watched another “Barnaby Jones” episode before bed.
Thursday the 18th – SARA SMILE – Since getting up at 3 in the afternoon was working so well for me, I decided to do it again. I called my assistant Sara to meet me for lunch at Paty’s. While we ate, she told me about her new Go Fund Me campaign to help her with some dental issues she’s been enduring. Poor girl has been through the mill, and as an actress you’re not much without a great smile. If you want to check out her campaign it’s https://www.gofundme.com/smileforsara, and if you can help that would be great too. I picked up some packages at my mailbox, mailed off a package to my friend Panda in San Diego, and headed back home to work on the computer. My friend Jasmine came over to hang out for a bit. After she left I grabbed a short nap, and then got up to tackle my nightly auditions. I also dug into my bookkeeping responsibilities, reconciled my bank accounts, organized and filed my receipts and got it all situated nicely. I gave Roxy her dinner and we went on our nightly walk. I came back inside and did some work updating my database. Then I made some pizza rolls and watched “Barnaby Jones” before bed.
Friday the 19th – “BATMAN: RETURN OF THE CAPED CRUSADERS!” – When I got up at 1:30 it was too hot to walk Roxy to the groomer’s, so I put her in the car and drove her over to drop her off for a much-needed bath. I came back home, grabbed a shower, and headed out for my errands. My first stop was to get some lunch and take it to the car wash. As dirty as my dog was, my car was even dirtier! I went over to Michael’s crafts to see if they could linen-back an old poster that had just been given to me by my friend Bob. But they said the poster was so old they didn’t want to risk putting it through the bonding machine because it gets very hot. I appreciated their honesty. I went to my mailbox to get my packages, and then went back to pick up Roxy at the groomer’s. When I got home I received several e-mails from friends telling me about the teaser trailer that had just been posted on-line for the new animated film “Batman: Return of the Caped Crusader.” It’s a direct-to-video animated film that features the voices of Adam West, Burt Ward and Julie Newmar reprising their original roles! It was fun to watch and it should be an amazing movie! I can’t wait for it to be released in November on Blu Ray! Here’s the teaser… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6xvuhn7pc8 I grabbed a short nap on the couch, and then got up to work around the house. I did some work in my garage reorganizing things, and stashing my portable AC unit back in its storage place. Hopefully I won’t need it again for a very long time. (Read the previous Wally’s Week for more info) I’ve got a lot of garage reorganization to do in the coming weeks. After my water heater leaked, and my garage door was replaced, my garage is a total mess. But it’s going to be a very substantial job! I walked Roxy, made a delicious Chef Boy Ar Dee pizza-in-a-box, and retired to watch “Barnaby Jones” again before bed. I’m LOVING this show!
Saturday the 20th – STAND BY WE! – Late afternoon, my pal Larry and Kerry Strothe came over so I could give a tour of Planet Wallywood to Kerry’s parents who were visiting from San Jose. It was a great time and they enjoyed seeing everything. Shortly after they left, my friends Jeremy and Holley came over for a visit. They were in town from Las Vegas, and they wanted to chat and catch up before my usual Saturday night movie night hubbub started. In honor of Jeremy and Holley’s visit, and by their request, we ran the movie “Stand By Me” on Blu Ray. The last time I had seen it was on VHS back in the 90’s. But seeing it on Blu Ray was an amazing experience. It was a beautifully photographed movie, and the Oregon landscape was simply gorgeous. I had forgotten about how amazing that movie was. As we watched the film, there wasn’t a guy in the room who wasn’t thinking about their own friends they had at the age of 12. I started thinking about my old pal Kent Stolz, and I got very nostalgic. I would love to see him and talk to him again and chat about the fun old days of sleeping over at his house, staying up late to watch “The Outer Limits” and getting a Lu’s pizza delivered to his house. After everyone left I grabbed a short nap, and then got up to prep for the song I’d be singing at church on Sunday. I decided to turn in early and get some extra rest so I was fresh for the service. That meant that I would be enjoying my traditional Saturday night Super Salad on Sunday night instead.
Sunday the 21st – DOOBIES AND NEWBIES! – It sure felt good to get some quality sleep before getting up and rehearsing my musical number that I’d be performing at church later. My pal Bruce Kulick was going to join us later that night and play guitar for the performance of “Jesus Is Just Alright” by the Doobie Brothers. But he sent me a text telling me that he got hung up in Dallas because of weather. He had played with Grand Funk Friday night, and had intended to be back by Saturday afternoon. But the weather delayed his flight so he wouldn’t be back in time. But we still had Luis Oliart playing lead guitar, so we were going to be in good hands. I ran through the song several times, warming up the old vocal cords, and printed out the lyrics. I got ready for evening church, and when I walked in to rehearse with the band they were already running through it. I just walked up, put my lyrics on the stand, and joined in. They are a wonderful group of ultra-pro musicians, and it’s always a pleasure, an honor and a privilege to perform with them. I invited my friends Jeremy and Holley to come to the service and check it out, so it was nice having them there too. Holley and Shirley hit it off really well, and seemed like old friends. They had been inseparable since they met at movie night. The song went really well and the house was rockin’! A big group of use went to the Smokehouse after the service to celebrate Jeremy’s birthday. What a great group of folks! I said goodbye to Jeremy and Holley and wished them a safe drive back to Vegas on Monday. I got back home and took a short nap, and then got up to do a ton of auditions. During my late-night stroll with Roxy, a lot of funny things happened…right out of a Laurel and Hardy movie. A few nights earlier, I had bought a Montecristo cigar to enjoy at some point over the weekend. Since I was singing at church on Sunday night, I didn’t want to fire it up on Friday or Saturday night. But tonight I decided to have it on my walk with Roxy. It’s 3 in the morning so I can enjoy it freely as I stroll through the complex without offending anyone. But as I started to light it, I realized that I had forgotten to have it cut! I didn’t want to go back inside and find my cutter, so I just bit off the tip. I got a mouth full of tobacco leaves, so I’m spitting them out as best as I could. Then I got it lit. As usual, Roxy went to a grassy area and did her business. I grabbed my pooper scooper to pick it up and deposit it in the waste receptacle. But right in the middle of picking it up, the sprinklers fired up and started soaking Roxy and I to the bone. To make matters worse my cigar was getting drenched! I quickly dumped the poo-poo in the container and ran off. But as we walked on, we both air dried nicely. I came back inside, did some work, and got ready for bed. Since I postponed my traditional Saturday night Super Salad by one night, I got ready to enjoy it while watching a new show. The week before last, I finished up watching the old BBC show “The Avengers.” I loved watching an episode of that every Saturday night with my Super Salad, but sadly I had run out of episodes. I consulted with my pal Bob who told me about a follow-up series they did in the mid 70’s called “The New Avengers.” It had a few new actors, but still starred Patrick Macnee as John Steed. I was interested, so I bought the set on Amazon and had it delivered. After watching the first episode, I think I’m going to really enjoy it. And since there are 26 episodes in the series, it will be well into 2017 before I run out (given that I watch one episode a week.) Peter Cushing was in the first episode playing a German doctor. And since the year it was filmed was 1976, it was most likely right around the time he was also doing the first “Star Wars” movie! That was kind of cool to see a “Star Wars” era Cushing. Life is RICH! But spend it wisely!
And how was YOUR week??!!
PIX FROM THE WEEK