Archive for April, 2015

April 27 – May 3


Here’s the shot Marc and I took with Russell Hitchcock backstage before the Air Supply concert back in about 1980 or 1981! See! He DOES look a little bit like him!

During my recent speech at the South Dakota Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, I recalled the time when my ex partner in radio crime Marc Elliot and I went to see and interview 80’s balladeers Air Supply at the South Dakota State Fair. Marc bore a slight resemblance to their singer Russell Hitchcock, so as we were walking around the midway people were taking pictures of us thinking we were Air Supply out for a stroll on the midway before the concert. As a joke, when people asked if we were Air Supply, we said YES! We WERE Air Supply. It was a fun prank and we still laugh about it today. Well, when I was back in Sioux Falls I listened to a lot of the radio stations there. One of the stations I loved was an AM 80’s oldies station. And as I was driving around town they played “Lost In Love” by…you guessed it…AIR SUPPLY! I hadn’t thought of that song in years, and quite frankly I had to play it so much when I was a DJ on KELO in Sioux Falls, I never thought I’d ever want to hear it again! But for some reason (maybe it was the crackly, compressed AM signal) the song sounded SO good to me! It brought back a flood of fun memories, and hearing it on AM reminded me of how it sounded back in “the day.” Well, that song is so damn catchy, I can’t get it out of my head. And now, neither can you. ENJOY!

Monday the 27th – A MAN(NIX) FOR ALL SEASONS! – To start the day I went to my auxiliary garage and pulled out my Gran Torino.  I would be heading to Encino to have lunch with the legendary Mike Connors.  He played “Mannix” on the TV show back in the 60’s and 70’s.  Recently I purchased six of his original sport jackets used on the show for my collection.  It took a while for me to make it through the final two seasons of the show on DVD, and pull screenshots from the episodes of Mike wearing the jackets I now own.  I wanted to have photos of Mike wearing them in the series to display next to the jackets in Planet Wallywood. I also wanted to have him sign the photos.  I found five of the six jackets in the series and printed up photos.  He’s a terrific guy and we had a great chat!  Hard to believe he’s 90!  We talked about a lot of fun stuff.  He signed the pics, in addition to a few extras for friends, and then he came outside to check out the Gran Torino.  He loved it!  I drove to the grocery store to pick up some supplies and then went home to write Wally’s Week. It was a very warm day, and the start of a mini heatwave in Los Angeles.  In the evening I grabbed a quick nap, and then got up to do my auditions and plan my week.  We’ve had our fair share of coyote sightings in our complex lately, especially at night, so I’m constantly on guard when walking Roxy at 3am on our usual stroll through the neighborhood.  Well, something happened this night that almost stopped my heart!  On our stroll through the complex at 2:45am, Roxy did a number 2 on the grass.  I laid her leash down on the ground to free my hands to scoop the poo-poo into a bag.  I turned around for just a few seconds to dump the bag in the pet waste can that is supplied by our complex.  When I turned back around to get Roxy’s leash, she was GONE!  POOF! Disappeared!  Not just a few feet away checking out a scent, but gone, gone, GONE!  I panicked, thinking about all the coyote sightings.  I’ve heard about coyotes attacking and eating smaller pets, but I wasn’t sure what they would do with a dog Roxy’s size.  I frantically called out for her and commanded her to heel.  Nothing!  I listened to see if I could hear her or any kind of disturbance.  Nada!  I looked to my left and saw a coyote running in the opposite direction.  My heart sank.  Was there a fight? Is Roxy OK?  I called out for her some more.  And like some scene from a horror movie, the high intensity flashlight that I take with me was malfunctioning due to a low battery.  So I couldn’t even get a good look at anything.  I turned to my right, and sure enough here comes Roxy towards me, wagging her tail and smiling.  She got scolded and received a few spanks for wandering off and scaring the spit out of me!  I’m pretty sure that she saw the coyote wandering through the complex and ran off to follow it.  She may have just thought it was another dog and she simply wanted to say hi.  Sensing that she was on his tail, I believe the coyote ran up the stairs into one side of the complex, and ran down the stairs on the other side to get away.  I think Roxy lost track of him and just came back to me.  There wasn’t any sign of struggle or confrontation. I think the coyote saw a huge dog on his tail and took off.  Perhaps he’ll tell his friends that there’s a huge “Lassie” dog in our complex and to stay away!  Either way, it scared the crap out of me and from now on I’m holding on to her leash for dear life!  I got ready for bed and prepared to watch the final “Magnum, p.i.” episode from the season seven DVD set.  It’s called “Limbo.”  WOW!  What a moving, emotional episode.  If you’ve never seen it, you really should watch it!  I couldn’t believe what happened!  It was one of the best episodes I had ever seen; darn good television!  But needless to say the ending left my feeling confused, sad, and unsatisfied.  Normally when I complete a season of a show I move on to another show.  And then another one, and another one.  Eventually I get around to watching the next season of that show.  But in this instance I decided to break my own rule and go on to the first episode of season eight the next night. I couldn’t WAIT to see how it resolved.  This is why I don’t like serial television, and it’s why I never related to “Breaking Bad” or “Walking Dead.”  I don’t like to wait a long time to see the resolution.

Tuesday the 28th – SCOOTING OFF TO SKYLANDERS! – It was another hot day, and a day I was glad to be going down to the westside of L.A.; where it’s usually 10 degrees cooler than the section of L.A. in which I live.  Before I left I did three quick auditions, and then headed to West L.A. for the session for Skylanders.  I play a character called Threatpack, and there were some additional lines I needed to record for future projects.  It was a great session working with the great Amanda Wyatt.  I hopped back in my car and headed home to do some work.  I grabbed a dip in the Jacuzzi and then grabbed a nap on the couch.  When I got up I did several auditions, worked on my computer and then watched the first episode of “Magnum; p.i.” season 8 to watch the resolution of “Limbo.”  Wow!  What a story!

Wednesday the 29th – RETCHING ROXY! – When I got up around 1 I had some last-minute auditions to record and send to my agents.  I also had a few pick-ups to do on previous sessions I had recorded.  I headed to the post office to mail some stuff, and then met my assistant Sara at Paty’s for a quick lunch.  I got back home and did some work on my computer designing artwork for a lunchbox I’m making.  I have the blank metal lunchbox, but I need to design art for vinyl stickers to put on the sides and the edge.  I also have a thermos that I’ll be putting artwork on.  I took a nap on the couch, but was awakened around 1am by the sound of Roxy puking.  I figured it was just because her stomach was empty and she was hungry.  So I made her some quick food before her usual dinner, but she wasn’t interested in eating it.  I forced it down her, but it came right back up again.  I made her a full meal, figuring it would make her tummy feel better.  But she didn’t eat it.  Around 3:30am she puked again, but this time it was pink and smelled like blood.  That was it.  I packed her up and headed for the emergency vet a few blocks away.  We got there at 4am, but she wasn’t taken in to be seen until 4:45am.  They said they’d run some tests and I could come back for her in an hour or so.  So I took off for Jack In The Box to get some food at the drive-thru.  I sat in my church’s parking lot, watching day break, eating my food.  I got a call from the vet telling me to come back for the test results.  Her diagnosis was pancreatitis; something she had eaten didn’t agree with her.  The doctor said it’s often brought on by the dog getting into something rich or fatty.  I couldn’t for the life of me think of anything out of the ordinary she would have gotten into!  I took her back to my house for an hour and a half, and waited for her regular vet’s office to open up at 8.  The emergency vet was going to fax over all the info from Roxy’s visit to the vet, so when we arrived they would know what the trouble is.

Thursday the 30th – PET AT THE VET! – At 8am sharp I took Roxy to her vet’s office and explained the situation.  Of course they needed to hospitalize her to monitor her condition.  They also needed to run a few more tests.  I drove home and hit the hay around 10am.  I slept  four hours. When I got up I biked to the vet’s to check in on Roxy.  As they suspected her blood levels were spiking and pancreatitis was suspected.  They continued to hydrate her and monitor her condition.  I grabbed a Subway tuna sandwich and headed home to do some last-minute auditions, and a few things for my pal, Emmy Award Winning Writer Troy Thomas from the “Ellen” show.  It was weirdly quiet without Roxy around.  I laid down in the Puppet Room in the late afternoon and drifted off for a little bit.  When I awoke I answered some e-mails and texts.  Not having Roxy around was bringing back bad memories of the feeling I had when Sassie died back in 2011.  Even though dogs may be quiet, they still add a “presence;” an “energy” to the house that is missing when they’re not here.  I don’t like that feeling.  I laid down on the couch and tried to recoup a few hours of lost sleep.  When I got up I had auditions to do.  Then I did some work around the house, cleaned the kitchen, cleaned my desk, did laundry and dishes, and waited for 8am to roll around so I could call my vet and check in on Roxy.

Friday the 1st – OUTPATIENT REGIMEN! – Around 6am I laid down on the couch again thinking I would be up by 8 to call the vet.  But I actually didn’t wake up until 8:30 and I saw on my cell phone that I had missed a call from the vet.  I called back and left a message, and waited for the doctor to call me back.  He got back in touch with me around 9:15 and he said she was doing great!  No further vomiting, though she hadn’t been fed anything for over 24 hours as a precautionary measure.  But just to be safe, he wanted to keep her until the end of the day to keep monitoring her.  I headed back to bed and slept from noon to 2.  My sleep schedule has always been screwy, but this was really messing things up.  I’m glad I didn’t have any sessions scheduled because that could have really messed me up!  I did a few last-minute auditions, and recorded some stuff for Go 96.3 in Minneapolis.  I had a conference call with my pal Scott Sebring and the owner of the local Fast Signs store.  We’re trying to get our heads together on some new signage I’m having made for Planet Wallywood.  Since it’s taken so long to get this done, I’m changing the name of Fast Signs to “Fast-ish Signs.”  This process has been anything but fast!  The maids came by shortly after 2 to start cleaning up the house.  And my pal Brittney Powell brought an actress friend over to do some sense memory exercises in the Puppet Room in preparation of some filming they’d be doing later that evening.  I continued to work on the computer, the maids finished up and left, and Brittney and her friend took off as well.  Around 5:30 I went to get Roxy at the vet’s.  In addition to several medications, I got a case of “bland” food that I need to feed her for the next week.  It’s very low-fat, since high fat foods can cause a repeat of pancreatitis.  I got to thinking.  My cat Spook’s food is very high in fat content to mitigate urinary crystals he gets.  I’m wondering if Roxy got into his food somehow.  I’ll have to be very careful about that in the future.  It was good to have Roxy back, but she now had a full regimen of meds that she would need to take for the next week, and it was a bit like calculus trying to figure out the dosage times.  Some medicines had to be given with food, while others couldn’t be given 2 hours before or after a meal.  It was a real task to try and schedule it all out, but I did it.  I felt ambitious so I cleaned the leaves off my porch.  Though we’re in a drought, I had to hose down the patio a little bit because of all the dust and dirt that had accumulated. If I simply try to sweep it away my allergies will go crazy.  But I used as little water as physically possible.  I got my big ladder out and cleaned the outside of my main picture window by my computer station.  With the rain and wind the window had become mucky, grimy and filthy!  It was a gorgeous, warm evening.  Very much like a night in Palm Springs.  I told Sara I’d meet her at Panera for dinner, but instead of driving I hopped on my bike.  The ride to Panera was a gorgeous one.  The warm breeze blowing through my hair and across my face, the exhilarating feeling of biking down the street as the sun was setting, and the endorphins were all heavenly!  It made me long for another Palm Springs trip. Maybe over Memorial Day weekend??  After dinner I got Roxy some Pepcid at the drug store (doctor’s orders) and biked back home.  It was almost a full moon overhead.  Isn’t amazing that we’ve seen the moon almost every night of our lives, but seeing it rise each night is STILL amazing after all this time?!  I got home and did some more work on Planet Wallywood signage, and then took a short nap.  Short because I needed to be up in time to give Roxy her medicine.  This was like having a newborn; having to get up every so often to tend to the baby.  I was wondering if the Pepcid could be given with her anti-biotic.  I checked on-line and saw no conflicts mentioned.  However, to play it safe, I called the vet’s office and left a message.  I won’t give them to her simultaneously without his approval.  I hit the hay to start in on the final season of “Twilight Zone” on Blu Ray, but sadly there would be none of the usual treats for Roxy during our TV viewing time.  So she stayed downstairs to rest while I watched a few episodes. I think the anti-biotic makes her a bit lethargic anyway.  Just before we turned in I had to give her a few more meds.  But I set the alarm for 11am to give her another dosage of a different medicine.

Saturday the 2nd – FOAM AT 11! – After just a few hours of sleep, I awoke at 11 to give Roxy her “foam.”  It’s a pill I have to put in a syringe, and then add water to.  The water dissolves the pill making it foamy.  This amazing medicine will repair any damage done to the esophagus and stomach from all the vomiting.  It has to be given 2 hours before or after a meal.  I shot the stuff down her throat, and then we went outside to enjoy the day.  Not quite as hot as it’s been the past few days, this Saturday morning was gorgeous!   Nature was as active as ever.  While Roxy sunbathed on the grass, I saw a little lizard scampering across the sidewalk.  It spotted me and stopped cold.  I approached it (but not too close) to get a better look.  We just stood there for about 3 minutes staring at each other.  It was marvelous!  Then a pretty mourning dove flew by and landed on a nearby roof to keep an eye on things.  It began to mournfully coo as it rested in the sun.  A beautiful yellow butterfly fluttered around overhead and gallivanted in the sunshine.  And then the funniest thing happened.  After flying from flower to flower, a curious hummingbird flew down to see Roxy.  It hovered about 2 feet from her face.  Roxy looked up and stared at the hummingbird with great curiosity.  They just stayed there staring at each other for about 20 seconds.  It was hilarious!  We got back inside and I had fully intended to get some more sleep. But I got busy doing graphics work on my computer.  Sara called to say that a local Office Depot was closing and everything was 70% off!  I got cleaned up and headed over to pick up some supplies.  Then Sara and I met for lunch on the patio at Paty’s in Toluca Lake.  I had just picked up the mail at my mailbox, which included a fabulous vintage talking Herman Munster doll, and a talking Popeye puppet.  They originally came out in the mid 60’s, but I bought them on eBay recently.  There’s a seller who specializes in repairing the old talking dolls and puppets, and since I’ve always wanted these, I decided the time is now!  They’re wonderful!  What memories!   After lunch I got some groceries and headed home to work on my Popeye puppet.  For having such a screwed up sleep schedule the past few days, I was feeling remarkably good!  I put away the groceries and got the needle and thread out to do a few little things to my Popeye puppet.  I knew I needed to get a few hours of sleep before movie night, but I couldn’t stop working on Popeye!  We had movie night, and when everyone left I laid down on the couch for an hour.  I had to be up at 3:30 to give Roxy her next dose of medicine.  Then I napped again until 5:30am, and it was time for her anti-biotic and a snack.  Then we hit the hay until her next dosage at 11am!  Whew!

Sunday the 3rd – PUPPET FUN! – The alarm went off at 11am and it was time to give Roxy some more of her foamy stuff.  It would be 2 hours before I could give her a snack, so I hit the computer and started working on designing a spinach can for my Popeye puppet.  The original puppet came with a paper graphic of a spinach can in his right hand, but of course those always disappeared after playing with Popeye for a short time.  I couldn’t find a decent high resolution graphic of the original artwork, so I decided to make my own spinach can art.  I downloaded one that looked pretty good, and set about embellishing it with some more colors and shading.  Originally, the Popeye puppet came with a bubble pipe that you could pull out of Popeye’s mouth and blow bubbles with.  But that disappeared too.  Now I’m on the lookout for a suitable pipe replica…because what’s Popeye without his pipe?  It’s funny, because as a child I LOVED Popeye!  I think my first words as a baby was “pipe eye.”  I’ve continued to love Popeye all through my life, but never once have I ever had the urge to pick up a pipe and smoke tobacco out of it.  I guess those “experts” who say that behaviors learned from cartoons will translate over into real life weren’t right in my case!  I ordered a mini corn cob pipe on eBay and I’ll repurpose that for my puppet’s pipe.  I gave Roxy a snack at 1:30, and then got a few hours of sleep before evening church at 5:30.  Normally during church, I’ll feed Roxy bits of hot dog so she’ll behave.  But because of her strict “bland” diet, I couldn’t bring any along this time.  We got back home and I started working on the graphics for my metal lunchbox project.  My friend Jasmine came over for a bit and we drove to Bob’s Big Boy to meet up with Sara for dinner. I was craving a burger!  Then I came home and enjoyed a dip in the Jacuzzi and a nap until 1am on the couch.  It was time for Roxy’s dinner.  I did my auditions, sent them to my agents, and then worked on the graphics for my lunchbox some more.  I took some photos of some of my vintage toys to use in the graphic layout, so it was a VERY busy evening!  At 3:30 it was time to give Roxy some more foamy stuff.  I took some of my Soakys down from their shelf and photographed them for the layout.  Before you knew it, the sun was rising, it was 5:30am, and it was time for Roxy’s anti-biotics and a snack.  We took a quick walk outside, and then I made some food and watched a few more episodes of “Twilight Zone” from the fifth season Blu Ray set.  One episode was the William Shatner episode…”there’s a man on the wing of the plane!”  Fantastic episode!

And how was YOUR week??!!


Here’s the Popeye puppet I worked on. I stitched down his bib so it would lay on his uniform properly. Then I printed up a can of spinach for his right hand. I also gave him some new yellow buttons. The tattoos were made from adhesive backed vinyl. He’s still missing his pipe, but we’re going to work on that next! Herman Munster sits against the magic metal lunchbox which will soon be transformed to something amazing! Stay tuned

During a visitation at the vet hospital, Roxy looks like she’s ready to go home.