Archive for May 12th, 2014

May 12 – May 18


Ummmmmm….what exactly is Taco Bell promoting here?

As I’m sitting around thinking about trying to squeeze in one more Palm Springs weekend before it gets too beastly hot for the summer, this song came to mind. On the side of the Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce it says “P.S. I Love You.” (Meaning, Palm Springs I Love You). And that I DO!

Monday the 12th – DARK SHADOWS DAY 2! – I got up at 9:15 and walked Roxy, cleaned up, then switched my car from the Gran Torino to the Mustang.  I drove over to Elaine Craig Casting in Hollywood to audition for an Experian commercial with Jeff Bennett.  It was a ton of fun!  Since I was in Hollywood I always like to hit Arby’s for lunch. I don’t have an Arby’s anywhere near me, so it’s a special treat.  I headed back home to walk Roxy quickly, and then I went to my mailbox to collect my mail and packages.  I also had to drop by my church to drop off my donation check which I forgot to put in the plate on Sunday.  With the thrill of getting to perform “Let It Be” for Mother’s Day with my pal Bruce Kulick at the service, I plum forgot to put my envelope in the basket.  When I went to the church office, one of the pastors showed me video of the performance on the church’s website.  Somebody else had video recorded the song as well! I headed over to Voice Trax West again to finish up my work on the new “Dark Shadows” audio drama called “Darkest Shadow.”  If you recall, a few days previous I recorded a scene with David Selby (Quentin Collins himself!) at the studio.  Today I needed to record a ton of material with Donna McKechnie, who is playing Amanda Harris…a role she originated on the 1960’s TV show.  She’s famous for all sorts of other stuff though.  Donna was the original Cassie in Broadway’s “A Chorus Line,” and she’s a very accomplished singer and dancer!  But today, we’d be doing the “Dark Shadows” audio drama.  Without giving too much away,  in the story we mention the character of Charles Delaware Tate, a painter who was possessed with dark magic.  In the series C.D.T. was played by Roger Davis, who also played a host of other characters on the show.  The weirdest thing happened (and you know I don’t believe in coincidences!) as we were standing in the lobby of Voice Trax West chatting during a break.  A figure walked by the outside window that I recognized. Could it be?!  I ran out the door and headed in the same direction the figure was heading.  I went into a restaurant named Chin Chin and sure enough, there he was! Charles Delaware Tate himself!  Actor Roger Davis was eating at the restaurant.  I’ve seen Roger in this neighborhood many times, so his presence wasn’t a complete oddity.  But what are the chances that he would be eating at THAT restaurant, on THAT day, at THAT particular time??!!  I introduce myself and told him what we were doing next door. Then I ran back to tell Jim Pierson, the Director of the audio drama, about the random spot of luck!  He went over to say hi to Roger and invite him to come watch the recording.  Roger promised to come look in on everything after his meal.  As we were recording, my character had a line about “Charles Delaware Tate.”  I couldn’t resist the temptation.  My line was something like, “It must be the magic of Charles Delaware Tate!”  Then I paused and continued…”Why not go ask him. He’s eating next door at Chin Chin!”  Everybody laughed. Roger and Donna had worked together many times before, so they really enjoyed seeing each other again.  But again the oddest thing happened…while they were catching up, Jim got a phone call from another “DS” castmember…Nancy Barrett!  He put her on speaker phone and they all had a nice conversation.  Of all the weird things!  Ain’t life rich?  Speaking of rich,  my pal Richard Halpern was also recording some scenes that day, so after the session was finished we went next door to grab a bite to eat at Chin Chin.  What a great day!  I came home and walked Roxy, fed her and Spooky, then did some quick work on the computer.  I grabbed a short nap then got up to enjoy a dip in the Jacuzzi, all the while observing the skies and enjoying the moon, the stars, and Mars.  The moon was getting into its full phase so it was striking!  I came back inside to do some work, do my auditions, and get ready for a session the next day.  I caught another episode of “Magnum P.I.” before bed.  But the thoughts of the day’s activities still left me reeling!

Tuesday the 13th – POOLSIDE ROX – Like the previous day, I got up promptly at 9:15.  When I walked Roxy I noticed it was already a hot morning.  A heat wave of triple digits would be hitting L.A. this week. A little taste of the summer to come.  But since I had just been in Palm Springs for two weekends previously, I was kind of used to it already.  I hopped in the Mustang and drove to Formosa Interactive in West L.A.  This is a rare treat, because when I was working at “The Tonight Show” all those years, I wasn’t able to travel very far out of the range of NBC in Burbank.  But it was great seeing the studio, talking to old friends, and working with the great Keythe Farley.  I can’t tell you the name of the game, nor can I tell you the name of my main character, but he did have a very funny accent and it was a blast to do!  We virtually crafted this character on the fly, which is always a challenge!  They also had me do two other characters whose voices we also made up off the cuff.  I love the challenges of this business. It really keeps you on your toes!  On the drove back home I got some McDonald’s for lunch, put some gas in my tank and air in my tires, and went home to check e-mails.   I also felt like taking a quick nap on the couch.  I got up in time for a 7pm phone interview with an internet radio show.  When it gets posted on-line I’ll provide a link.  It was a blast!  When the interview was over, I went outside to take a swim and a Jacuzz.  But I hadn’t seen Roxy all day and she was being very clingy. So I figured ‘what the heck.’  I brought her out to the pool area to sit with me while I swam.  It was a new experience for her.  She had been around the pool area a few times before, but this was the first time when I actually got in the water!  She didn’t know what to think.  She nervously paced around the pool as I did my laps.  The blue light of the pool reflected up on her worried face.  As I swam I looked up and saw a blue collie staring at me intently.  I explained to her that I was OK and everything was alright.  She was also very nervous when I went into the Jacuzzi, as she was alarmed by the noisy bubbling.  It was funny, but I think I won’t be taking her poolside again. It’s too nerve wracking for her!  The full moon overhead was stunningly beautiful!  What a night!  I came back inside to do auditions, and then go to bed for another early session the next day for ESPN.  I enjoyed a “Magnum P.I.” episode then knocked out.

Wednesday the 14th – THOSE ROTTEN CABLES! – Unlike the two previous days, when I got to “sleep in” until 9:15, I was up at 8 this morning.  I had to be at Mai Tai studios in Burbank at 9 for another promo session for ESPN’s “NBA Countdown.”  The ESPN guys are on the east coast, so it was already noon their time.  But it was a blast. After the brief, half hour session…I got to play with Mai Tai’s mascot doggies.   They’re two Aussie Shepherds called Kaleia and Kona.  They’re beautiful dogs.  I drove over to my seamstress Karyn’s to drop off a few more caps so she could put bat ears on them, and then I dropped by Office Depot to return an HP 8100 printer I had bought. This was the second one.   It was putting all sorts of digital artifacts in my prints and was driving me crazy.  So I picked up a Brother laser printer instead, hoping it would be better.  When I got home I walked Roxy and got ready for the DirecTV guy to arrive.  My satellite downstairs in the Planet Wallywood home theatre was out (even though it was fine upstairs in my room) so we needed to find out why.  The technician told me that when he got up on the roof, the cables were almost completely rotted.   I guess after 14 years of sitting in the sun and weather, that’s bound to happen. So he installed all new cables and I’m good to go!  I did some work on the computer, and then started working on my gun cabinet.  The guy I spoke with at a place called Foam Mart said he could cut foam liners for my gun case, but I would have to trace out all of the guns so he could cut the proper shapes for the insets.  That way the guns will fit snugly into the little shapes and be secure.  Obviously I couldn’t bring all 25 handguns in my collection to Foam Mart and trace them there, so I had to trace them at home on posterboard, cut them out and bring them in to the store.  When I finished I took a short nap, then got cleaned up for the big party at the finale for the Debbie Reynolds auction at Profiles in History.  Over her career, Debbie had been given a countless number of costumes and wardrobe pieces from various movie studios. Her collection was one of the biggest in the world, and for a short time she had a museum where most of it was on display.  But a few years ago she decided to downsize and auction off the collection.  But the inventory was so immense; it had to be auctioned off in three separate auctions.  This would be the last phase of that “purging.”  At the party my assistant Sara and I saw a newly slimmed-down Carrie Fisher, who looked awesome.  We also saw JoAnne Worley from “Laugh-In,” and we took great delight in meeting Jeffrey Jones!  I loved his work in “Amadeus,” “Beetlejuice,” and “Ed Wood.”  We even saw our pal Larry Strothe there and we had fun chatting with him.  Toward the end of the evening I saw my idol and “Garfield Show” cohort Stan Freberg, along with his wife Hunter!  I spent the rest of the evening hanging with them and having some laughs.  Stan did an interview with the camera crew who were there covering the event.  It’s always great to see the Frebergs, and always fun hanging with a legend.  What a great evening. When it was over I stopped to get some groceries on the way home.  I went inside, put them away and started in on my nightly auditions.  The evening was absolutely beautiful.  Warm, summery, with an enormous and bright full moon overhead.  Though the days were hot, the nights were heavenly!   After I walked Roxy on our late-night stroll, we sat by the pool and just looked up at the moon and stars.  Like my times in Palm Springs, it gets very meditative.  I went back inside to make some spaghetti and watch another “Magnum P.I.” episode on DVD.

Thursday the 15th – THEY’RE GRRRRREAT! – When I got up at 11 it was already very hot outside.  The heatwave was in full force.  My noon audition at Carroll Casting was one that I had mixed feelings about.  When Thurl Ravenscroft, the voice of Tony the Tiger, passed away in the early 2000’s he was replaced by a guy named Lee Marshall.  Unfortunately Lee passed away a few months ago from cancer.  And they were now looking for the new voice of Tony the Tiger.  While it’s a great opportunity to audition for a legendary character, it’s always sad to audition under these circumstances.  But it was fun to see Carroll again (one of the best!) and audition.  When I finished I went over to Foam Mart to deliver my cardboard tracings so he could start work on my gun case.  I stopped by Toys ‘R’ Us and picked up 5 Captain Action figures that were on clearance, and then hit Radio Shack to but a new digital voice recorder.  For several years I’ve been making recordings about daily happenings, memories, thoughts and viewpoints about various things.  And also new voices I’m experimenting with.  I’m not really sure if I’m doing it for a future book, my descendants or what.  But when I fill up one recorder, I buy another one.  That way I’ll always have three copies of it in existence for future reference.  The recordings exist on the recorder itself, but I also back them up to my computer as well as a back-up external drive.  I figure if the back-up drives or my computer are ever corrupted, at least they’ll still exist on the original recording devices.  It’s hard to believe I’ve filled up 10 recorders over the years.  After I’m dead and gone my relatives will have a “fun” time wading through all the stuff, but it will give those who I never got to meet a chance to learn about my life through my own words, and not family hearsay or rumors.  I bought some vitamins at my local supplement store, some paint for a new project I’m working on, and then I headed home to do some work around the house.  Around 3:30 I headed over to Studipolis Burbank to do a few hours on the “Bleach” cartoon.  It’s hard to believe after all these years “Bleach” is soon coming to an end.  I believe we’re recording the final 30 episodes now.  When the session was over I sat down on the couch in the Studiopolis lobby to wait for my paperwork, and I nodded off for about 20 minutes. All the running around in the hot weather had zapped my energy!  But the Studiopolis environment is like family, so it’s OK.  On the way home I treated myself to a McDonald’s ice cream cone, and then headed home to relax in air conditioned comfort.  After a short nap, I met with my friend Brittney Powell for a bite.  When I took her home I put the top down on the Mustang so we could enjoy the balmy night filled with stars.  I dropped her off at home, and took the longest way back to my house I could think of.  I wanted to drive slowly to enjoy the beautiful evening and the star-filled sky overhead.  I did some work around the house when I got home, then I decided to make some chili cheese dogs on the grill.  But I did the stupidest thing!  After I emptied the can of chili in the pan, I threw the can away in a new trash can liner.  But since the liner was new it hadn’t been opened all the way.  With the can in the liner I shook it to expand the liner so I could put it in my trash can.  But what happened was a freak accident.  The can (with the sharp lid protruding) flew backwards in the liner and hit the back of my left hand.  My immediate thought was, “Ow, that hurt.”  I looked down at my hand and blood started rushing out of a VERY deep cut!  I said, “Aw crap!”  I put the liner down and went upstairs to clean the wound and dress it.  What a moron I am!  I should have known better than to do something so stupid!  But then I thought how lucky I was.  Had it not been for the thin layer of plastic between the sharp can line and my hand, the cut could have been MUCH deeper.  Plus I may have needed a tetanus shot!  I bandaged it up with some Neosporin and I’ll check it in the morning. Luckily it’s on my non-dominant left hand and not my right!  But I was still disgusted at my stupidity.

Friday the 16th – FREEDAY THE 16th – After a long, hot and busy week of goings-on, it was nice to have a free day to myself.  I slept until 1pm and it was deeeelightful!  I walked Roxy and she enjoyed the hot day by stretching out on the lawn to get a nice long sunbath.  I’m not sure how she doesn’t get toasty with all that hair, but she sure does love the sunshine.   I went inside to set up my new laser printer and I realized I had forgotten to buy a cable!  My pharmacy called me to inform me my Ear, Nose and Throat doctor hadn’t phone in a refill for my nose-spray yet.  Since Dr. Grosh passed away earlier in the year I think his partner Dr. Line has been fairly overwhelmed with things to try and keep up.  So something like this wasn’t unexpected.  I called the doctor’s office again to remind them, and they apologized and sent the authorization right over to the pharmacy.  I hit the road to buy a cable for my printer, and then I hit the pharmacy to pick up my prescription.  My assistant  Sara had to have an emergency tooth extraction done, so I picked up some soup for her and took it to her house.  I picked up a few tacos at Taco Bell and noticed a very odd sign promoting their new black cherry drink.  I had to take a photo of the sign it looked so strange. Check out my random pic of the week to see what I mean!  I headed home to finish installing my laser printer in air conditioned comfort and eat my lunch!  I printed a few documents and they looked amazing.  But when I printed photos…not so much.  Apparently nobody told me that laser printers aren’t so great when it comes to printing photos!  ACK!  I STILL can’t print photos like I want!  I used to print tons of photos on all my old printers.  I’m not sure why I’m just now having so much difficulty.  I’ll find the right printer for me eventually, but this is driving me nuts!  Looks like this one is going back to Office Depot too!  I did some work around the house and took a swim and a dip in the Jacuzzi.  I napped for a bit, then got up to feed and walk Roxy.  I made myself a Tombstone pizza and watched another “Magnum P.I.” episode from the third season DVD set.  I LOVE this show!

Saturday the 17th – NO AUCTION ACTION! – I had signed up with Profiles in History to bid on the Oliver Hardy jacket in the Debbie  Reynolds auction.  According to my calculations my lot would be coming up just after 2pm.  In the old days of auctions, they used to get through about 100 lots per hour.  But I never got a phone call and it was well after 3.  I signed on to their website to watch the auction life, and realized that they were WAY behind where they should have been.  I guess now that the internet is a component in auctions like this, it’s slowed things down considerably.  So I just kept the phone close and waited for the call. It would be great to have a screen-worn Oliver Hardy coat on my Ollie mannequin in the Chaney Room!  I took Roxy outside and though it was still a hot day, the cool down period had begun.  She enjoyed another long sunbath, and after rolling around on the lawn for a while, we came back inside for a treat and so I could do some work.  The maids came over to clean Planet Wallywood while I watched the auction.  I LOVE this stuff!  Even though I wasn’t bidding on anything else, it was still exciting to watch!  I never did get a call from Profiles, but I figured out why.  Some of their absentee bids they had already received for the Ollie jacket went above my previously declared top price.  So there wasn’t really any reason to phone me since I had virtually already been outbid before the auction even started.  It would have been nice for them to tell me that though so I didn’t have to waste a day hanging around.  But still it was fun to watch.  I grabbed a swim and a Jacuzz before movie night.  Many of our regulars were at a convention in San Jose, so we had a smaller group. But it was still fun. We watched “The Conjuring” on Blu Ray and it was pretty decent.  Afterwards I grabbed a short nap, then got up to walk and feed Roxy.  I made a giant salad and watched an episode of “The Saint,” as is my normal routine for Saturday Night Saint and Salad Night!  But to my horror I realized that I’m running out of “Saint” episodes to watch!  I only have 8 more after this. So in two months I’ll be out of episodes!  Unless I delve back into the color episodes, which I’ve already seen before.  Hmmm…I’ll have to think about that.  I have so much stuff to watch lined up in my queue already I may not want to waste time watching stuff I’ve seen before.  When I took Roxy out for potty time just before we went to sleep, I noticed that a huge branch had fallen from one of the trees in the courtyard.  Had somebody been underneath that when it happened they could have been really hurt!  Luckily it fell away from the units and on to the sidewalk and lawn.  YIKES!

Sunday the 18th – SUMMERY SUNDAY! – As is my usual Sunday routine, I slept until 2.  I got up to walk Roxy quickly, then headed back inside for a bowl of cereal and a few more hours of sleep before evening church.  The heatwave was subsiding and it was a lovely evening! Things were cooling off again.  When church was finished I rushed home to meet with my computer guy Sean, so he could work out a few issues I was having with my computer.  He fixed everything to my liking, and said I should return the laser printer to Office Depot as it’s not really for photos. I was starting to figure that out.  So…I guess it’s back to an inkjet printer.  Maybe I’ll try Epson next.  My contractor Terry brought over the finished Tin Man bust he had been working so hard on the past month and it was breathtaking!  He made the costume out of copper sheeting and he did a splendid job!  Now it goes to my effects guy Jim Ojala for painting!  What a great piece!  I took a short nap then got up for auditions.  I fed and walked Roxy and hit the hay early so I could be up for an early session on Monday.

And how was YOUR week???!!


The beautiful Debbie Reynolds looks as fabulous as ever!

This cocky rooster really had something to crow about! What chicken ever gets to go to a Hollywood event?

Carrie Fisher signs an auction catalog.

Rat Pack costumes from “Oceans 11!” Snazzy!

Debbie is all smiles after an interview.

Well…there it is! The great actor Jeffrey Jones (Beetlejuice, Amadeus, Ed Wood, etc.) poses with me at the auction. I LOVE this guy’s work!

Though Jeffrey seems to enjoy posing with Sara much more than he did with me!

My pal, the legendary Stan Freberg, enjoys a Coke and a smile!

Sara latches on to film director John Landis!

It’s all laughs when Stan Freberg is interviewed for the cameras!

Some of the beautiful gowns and dressed being auctioned in the third, and final, Debbie Reynolds auction.

Take a look at these snazzy Rat Pack tuxes again! Swingin’ man!

On the hottest day of the year (so far) Roxy stretches out on the lawn to enjoy some sunshine, and some Vitamin D! What a weird dog!

NOT FOR THE SQUEAMISH! After the mishap with the chili can, it looks like a number “6” has been carved into the back of my left hand! If two more “6’s” appear next to it, I’M CALLING A PRIEST!

Terry’s spectacular work on the new “Oz” Tin Man bust is almost complete, as he’s putting the finishing touches on the Tin Man’s chest piece.

Terry did a fabulous job on the Tin Man costume! Now to get his eyes installed and get him painted that silvery hue!

Spooky the cat says, “Turn out the lights, will ya!?”