Archive for April, 2017

April 17 – April 30


The other day I was really hankerin’ for some Funny Face drink mix…Choo Choo Cherry to be exact!  Remember these?

The oldies station in Palm Springs played Don McLean’s “American Pie,” all 8 and a half minutes of it, and even though I had arrived at my destination halfway through the song, I just HAD to sit in the car to hear the rest!  A classic!

Monday the 17th – THE GIRL NEXT DOOR AT MY TABLE! – It was fun meeting up with my old pal Bridget Marquardt for lunch at Jerry’s Famous Deli in Studio City.  We caught each other up on what we had been up to and I ran a couple of projects I had been working on by her to get her thoughts.  She’s very bright, and since “The Girls Next Door” TV series ended she’s been very busy with a lot of entrepreneurial stuff.  I went to Fed Ex to ship some stuff to Sioux Falls, South Dakota that I would need for my upcoming visit. I was planning on surprising a good friend of mine who was being inducted (along with the rest of his band) into the South Dakota Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I had been inducted 2 years ago, and this year my friend Bob Japs was getting inducted with his band Precious Cargo.  The lead guitarist of the band, Dan Steinwand, was another buddy I wanted to see as well.  Both Bob and Dan played in my Elvis Presley band in high school.  I was proud that they were both being inducted, so I wanted to be there to support them.  Bob had asked me to come, but I lied and told him I wasn’t able to make it. Secretly our mutual friend Scott Maguire and I had schemed for me to surprise him at the event, and I even got permission from the SDRRHOF committee to introduce them.  This would be great!  I hadn’t told many people I was coming back for fear that word would eventually leak back to Bob and spoil the surprise.  It’s a very small world, after all.  So far, so good.  I went to my mailbox to get some packages, and then I went to the cleaners to get my comforter that I had cleaned.  I went home to feed the pets and do some work.  I grabbed a short nap and then got up to do a TON of auditions in my home studio.  I e-mailed them into my agents and then started writing Wally’s Week.  After I finished that I continued getting ready for my extended vacation, with Leg 1 in South Dakota, and Leg 2 in Palm Springs!  The evening was rather magical.  As I was Tweeting out birthday greetings to Jeff Dunham, the radio station to which I was listening played “I’m Your Puppet!”  When I was feeding my cat Spooky later on the song “Spooky” came on the radio.  It was like somebody was scoring my life with great oldies!  I walked Roxy on our late night stroll through the neighborhood and we heard a nearby hoot owl singing. I shined my light up in a tree from where the sound was coming, and there he was!  He was a cute, little thing. But he sure kept his eye on Roxy for some reason.  I went back inside to do some work, make a pizza and watch a few more episodes of “The Monkees” on Blu Ray before bed.  The dawning morning was overcast and gorgeous; creating a relaxing, blue hue.  My left sinus was acting up again, so I’m wondering if the infection is returning again.  I’m SO sick of this!

Tuesday the 18th – SINUS SUPER SUCKAGE! – About mid-afternoon I woke up and it felt like my left sinus was tingling again.  I also had pain above the two teeth that I had root canal work on.  Could it be that I wasn’t on the antibiotics long enough and the infection is returning?  I have an appointment scheduled with my ENT on Thursday as well as my Endodontist, but I don’t want to wait for it to get worse.  I phoned the Endodontist and asked for a second round of anti-biotics just to be sure.  It would suck to have gone through all this; three months of clogged sinuses and two root canals, only to have it return all over again.  It was being very stubborn.  I headed out to do some errands, and the first stop was to my embroidery place to get some names embroidered on to some fabric for a few new bowling shirts I’m having made.  Then I went over to JoAnn Fabrics to do some shopping.  I went back home to do some work, and then my pal Brittney Powell came over so we could get dinner at Ernie’s Taco House.  My head was starting to stuff up again, as I was feeling the familiar pain and pressure return. RATS! I felt perfect from Palm Sunday to Easter, and was even off ALL medications!  But it seems like it was very short-lived.  I got home and grabbed a nap, and then got up to do my nightly auditions.  I fed and walked Roxy and then made some chili and watched a few more episodes of “The Monkees.”  I don’t know what happened, but the second season episodes have generally been really awful.  Too bad. The first season was really fun!

Wednesday the 19th – 2 BAGS 2 PACK – 2 COOL! – When I got up at 2 I headed to the pharmacy to pick up my antibiotics.  I hit the bank to make a deposit, and then headed back home to do some design work on a new project I’m working on.  My pal Natalie Duran from “American Ninja Warriors” came over for a training session, but given my condition we kept the session short and light.  I grabbed a short nap, and then got up to begin packing for my South Dakota trip, AND my Palm Springs trip.  I’ve only packed for two tandem trips one other time in my life, and I think I’ve prepped fairly well for it. There are only a few “crossover” items I’ll need in both bags. I wanted to get as much done in advance as possible, because when next Wednesday rolls around I’ll be thanking myself profusely!   I made some stew and watched two more AWFUL “Monkees” episodes before bed.

Thursday the 20th – A “MONSTER” OF A DAY! – If the day had been any more packed full of stuff I wouldn’t have had time to breathe!  I picked up my embroidery order, and then headed to see my ENT to get some more steroids and nose spray.  The thought was, now that the infection surrounding my two teeth in the top left was on the run, we would try to expedite the sinus drainage to complete my healing.  I stopped by Wienerschnitzel for lunch, and then sped off to see my Endodontist so he could complete his work on my two root canals.  I stopped by my box to get some packages, and then went home to meet up with my pal Bruce Kulick.  He had some pants that needed repair, and since I was going to see my seamstress later that night I told him I would take them with me and have her work on them.  I fed the pets, did a little work, and then headed to the pharmacy to get my prescriptions filled.  I drove over to my seamstress Karyn’s studio to drop off some work for her to do.  She would work on them while I was in South Dakota and the plan was for me to pick them up on the day between my Sioux Falls and Palm Springs trips.  By 8:30 I was over to record another installment of the “Monster Party” podcast with my pals Larry Strothe, Shawn Sheridan, Matt Weinhold and James Gonis.  They asked me to be a guest a few nights ago, and even though I had a day full of pre-trip activities, how could I say no?  I got home at 11 to finish packing.  My head was stuffy and full of painful pressure, but I pressed on.

Friday the 21st – SLIPPIN’ SNEAKIN’ INTO SIOUX FALLS! – The alarm went off at 7am and I hit the ground running. I left my house at 8:30 and just as I was leaving, my assistant Sara (who would be housesitting while I was away) found out her grandpa passed away.  Of all the rotten luck.  I got breakfast at McDonalds on the way to the airport, checked into my American flight and was on my way.  The flight to Phoenix was short, but I did manage to grab a short nap on the flight. The layover was brief, but it allowed me enough time to get some quick lunch (McDonalds was the only option in that terminal) and be on my flight to Sioux Falls. The flight from Phoenix to Sioux Falls was only 2 and a half hours and it was a good one.  I napped/meditated all the way.  My sinus was only kind of painful, but I endured it alright. The weather was gorgeous when I landed, and it took me no time at all to get my baggage and rental car. I must be living right because the car I ordered on-line wasn’t available so they gave me a free upgrade to a Dodge Charger. NICE!  When I got to my hotel the mini-suite I reserved wasn’t available, so I was upgraded for free to a full suite. WOW!  I didn’t want to travel to too many places my first night in Sioux Falls because I knew my pal Bob Japs was also in town. The chances we would accidentally run into each other were slim, but I didn’t want to take that risk.  I met my family at my sister’s house just outside of town for some pizza.  I figured that Bob would never get out that way.  I also surprised my old pal Dave B. while I was at it.  I texted him and told him to go to my sister’s house because I had sent a gift over for him.  It was a cool Hot Wheels shirt with the Batman logo on it.  I had his name embroidered on it too.  So when I heard him at the door my brother-in-law Roger said, “We have a shirt here for you.”  Then I stepped out from around the corner and said, “I hope it fits.”  He was shocked and surprised and we had a fun chat.  I drove over to my hotel to meet up with my pal Dave R. who was in on the gag, so he knew I’d be coming.  We stopped by my favorite eatery the B&G Milky Way where I got a few sloppy joes and a strawberry malt, and we headed to his house to get sequestered in his basement to talk about music all evening.  Then I went back to my room to get organized and unpacked.  I ordered a Boss’ Pizza and sat in bed reading comics and eating pizza.  I got to bed around 3:30am local Sioux Falls time. It was going to be quite a trip!

Saturday the 22nd – SURPRISE SURPRISE SURPRISE! – Sleeping a full 8 hours felt really great.  No phones were ringing. No crazy dog and cat were jumping on the bed vying for my attention. And there wasn’t anywhere I needed to be until much later.  I met my folks over at B&G again for some sloppy joes (LOVE THEM!) and we saw a former neighbor of ours.  We chatted for quite a while and it was nice.  I went back to my room to grab a quick nap, and then I got ready for the South Dakota Rock and Roll Hall of Fame event.  My pal and former radio cohort Scott Maguire was assigned to be my “inside man.”  He would eyeball the festivities and then text me when it was safe to enter the hall.  I had heard that Precious Cargo was going to be the first band up, which was perfect!  The emcee of the event Mylan Ray had e-mailed me a few days earlier with details of the show schedule.  He said at 5:50 he would be doing a check presentation, and after that he would start in on the bio for Precious Cargo.  He told me when I heard the bio start I had 2 minutes to get into place by the stage for the big surprise.  Scott texted me that it would be a good idea to come in.  I made my way leisurely to the front door and redeemed my ticket at the front desk.  But I heard Mylan in the middle of the bio already!  Things were moving a lot faster than I had thought!  I hightailed it inside and darted off to the right where I could run up to the front of the hall unseen behind a large wall.  I took my place right by the stage left stairs and hid myself behind a curtain. I could see Bob onstage ready to play with his trombone in hand. I gave a thumbs-up to the stagehands and I waited for Mylan to introduce the “surprise presenter.”  When he said, “And now direct from L.A.” – there was a collective gasp in the room.  He said my name and I bounded up the stairs pointing and laughing at Bob.  He grinned and said, “You son of a b—-h!”  I gave him a big hug and then went to find Dan the guitarist to give him a hug too. It was a fun time. I did a short intro explaining how I’ve known most of these guys most of my life and I was so proud to be introducing them. Then they played an awesome set for about a half hour.  As a special bonus, my old pal Jon Michaels (we worked together at a radio station in Sioux Falls back in the early 80’s) was also being inducted.  So it was fun to be there for him too.  Earlier in the day I had teased Bob with several texts telling him “good luck” and “I wish I could be there.”  It was all part of the scheme.  The evening was full of great music and I saw a LOT of other pals from the past.  We had a wonderful time chatting and reminiscing about the days of old. When the event ended at 10:30 a bunch of us met for a late dinner.  We chatted into the wee hours, laughing and remembering all of the nutty things we used to do in the “olden days.”  On the way back to my room the station I was listening to played “Old Days” by Chicago…perfect timing!  Magical!  When I pulled my key card out of the little envelope to get into my room, I noticed that the gal at the front desk had glued a small picture of Jon Arbuckle to the inside of my envelope. That really made my day!

Sunday the 23rd – YUP…THINGS CHANGE I GUESS! – My folks and I joined Scott and his wife Patti for breakfast late morning.  While we waited for our table I took the opportunity to go next door and do some shopping at JoAnn Fabrics.  I found some really great materials for new bowling shirts.  One was an alternate Froot Loops print, and the other was a cool aqua-colored Jaws print.  After breakfast we drove over to a beer place in downtown Sioux Falls to see Precious Cargo play a short gig. Then my pal Scott and I hit the road to the town of Mitchell, about an hour away.  The road trip is always fun because Scott likes to hear all of the obscure music that’s on my iPad.  Sadly, the trip there was the fun part.  Once I got to Mitchell I realized with sorrow how much this once-quaint town had changed.  My grandparents used to live there and we always enjoyed visiting them.  The home of The World’s Only Corn Palace used to be vibrant and fun.  Now it seemed depressed, and depressing.  I made the mistake of driving by my grandparents’ old house and knocking on the door.  The 30 year old guy who answered seemed like he was half drunk (or on something).  He had a chunk of chew in his left cheek and he didn’t seem to understand what I was telling him.  I told him I virtually grew up in this house and I was asking all sorts of questions about it.  He said the only reason he answered the door was because he thought it was the pizza guy.  The house belonged to his friend who was sleeping because “they had a very hard night.” I could hear my grandparents groaning a sigh of deep disappointment.  The house that had brought me so much childhood joy was now inhabited by individuals whom I can’t adequately describe here in this forum without sounding mean. I walked back to the car totally depressed. As we drove around the whole town seemed like it had slipped into ghetto-land.  Perhaps in the future I’ll remove the M.I.T.C. from the first part of its name, and only refer to it by the last syllable…hell.  We drove back to Sioux Falls and I went to my room to clean up.  Scott and his wife Patti met my folks and I for steaks that were absolutely delicious.  When we finished I stopped by a local nightclub to see my pal Brian (Bob Japs’ stepson) so we could chat about his ambitions in life.  My old theatre pal Tom Simmons was also there to chat, and it was really great catching up with him.  I headed back to my room to order a Boss’ Pizza and relax.

Monday the 24th – A SPLENDID SURPRISE OF MY OWN! – The time difference had finally caught up to me!  I slept until 1:30 in the afternoon!  I picked up Scott and we headed to downtown Sioux Falls to pick up two pair of jeans my buddy Bruce Kulick had ordered. When he was on tour with Grand Funk a few years back they stopped in Sioux Falls to shop.  He found a store on the main street that sold these amazing jeans he loves.  So I told him I’d pick up a few pair for him while I was there.  Scott and I ate lunch at a diner, but because I had been eating nothing but junk the previous week I had a salad.  But after I dropped Scott back at his radio station I was still hungry. So off I went to B&G Milky Way to get a few sloppy joes.  While I was there the manager pointed at me and said, “I don’t know you, but you’re that guy!”  Apparently my frequent patronage of the B&G Milky Way chain was legendary.  Diane introduced herself and we had a fun time chatting about things.  Her lovely young friend Lindsey (a first grade teacher) joined us and we had a lot of fun talking about life in general.  I drove out to my sister Bonnie’s house for a joint, early-birthday celebration. My birthday is on May 6th and Bonnie’s is on May 8th.  So we got together for cake and ice cream.  When we finished my folks and I headed to an Italian restaurant to get dinner, and we were joined by Scott and Patti, and my pal Dave R. Since it was my last night in town I bid them all farewell and headed to the local Fed Ex store to buy a big box to pack some stuff in for shipping.  I was the only customer in the store at that late hour, and as I was picking out a box I heard a voice say, “Well if it isn’t Wally Wingert.”  The clerk walked up to me and stood in front of me and I focused my eyes on his name tag, and then his face. It was my old pal Kirk Ellington from waaaay back in the day!  He used to be a cameraman at the station where I worked on the radio side.  We chatted for about a half hour about all the crazy shenanigans we used to pull.  I guess it was only fair that I get my OWN surprise while I was there!  What fun!

Tuesday the 25th – 41 DEGREES??? GOTTA GO! – I spent the majority of the previous night packing up stuff to ship home (dirty clothes, stuff I had bought, etc.) via Fed Ex.  I also packed up my suit bag for my 6pm departure back to Los Angles.  When I stepped outside to load the stuff into my Charger it hit me…rain and 41 degree temps!  YIKES!  Talk about a perfect day to leave!  I kept focused on the fact that in two days I’d be enjoying sun and 95 degrees in Palm Springs!  I picked up my dad and we went to his favorite burger joint called Bob’s.  He likes it because the grill is only a few feet from the counter and your burger is literally hot off the grill when it’s served!  I love going for Bob’s burgers with my dad.  My mom had taken a trip up north with her sisters to visit their elderly aunt, so my dad and I drove around and chatted on a cold, rainy day.  But it wasn’t so cold that we didn’t need to get a malt at B&G Milky Way afterwards!  I dropped my dad off at his house and I headed to Fed Ex to ship my box.  I finished that and realized I still had three hours until I was due at the airport.  So I went to Rainbow Comics and looked around a bit.  I bought the first three issues of “Batman ’66 Meets Wonder Woman ’77.”  My niece is engaged to one of the Rainbow employees so they gave me the “friends and family” discount. Neat!  On the way to the airport I stopped into see my high school girlfriend Sondee at the store she owns.  It was raining quite hard so business was slow.  But it gave us ample opportunity to converse until our hearts content.  I gassed up the Charger and returned it to Hertz, got my luggage checked in, and made my way to the gate for an on-time departure.  The flight to Phoenix was lovely…lots of room to stretch out and relax.  But the flight to Burbank was hot and crowded. Luckily it was short.  I got back home and immediately started packing for the second leg of my vacation…my drive to Palm Springs!

Wednesday the 26th – BUT WAIT…THERE’S MORE – VACATION! – When I got up at noon I dropped Roxy off at the groomer’s because she was in desperate need of a bath.  She would be accompanying me to Palm Springs that night, so I wanted her to be fresh and clean!  I picked up a few supplies for my trip, grabbed lunch at McDonalds (hey, it was convenient) and then headed to my seamstress Karyn’s  studio to pick up some work she had done over the previous week.  I went to my box to pick up a few packages, stopped home to drop everything off, and then walked to Enterprise to pick up the SUV I’d be driving to the desert.  I rented a cool Chevy Equinox and then went to pick up Roxy at the groomer’s.  I got home and did some final packing.  My pal Bruce Kulick stopped over to pick up his new jeans, as well as the pants Karyn had fixed for him.  But my sinus was acting up so I laid down for a quick nap.  I got up at 8 and packed the SUV full of gear for the trip.  All the way there my sinus was hurting something fierce.  I was starting to entertain the idea that I would need to get the sinus surgery after all.  Roxy and I hit the road at 9:15pm and made it to Palm Springs by 10:45.  I was massaging my face during the entire trip trying to relieve some of the pain and pressure.  I didn’t want to take any pain medication while I was driving.  As is tradition, our first stop was Denny’s to get some food to go.  I tuned into 1270 AM oldies and “Brandy” by my pal Elliot Lurie and Looking Glass played.  Almost as if it was on cue!  Like I said before, sometimes I get the feeling my life is being scored like some kooky made-for-TV movie.  I checked into the hotel and got my usual room 627.  When I got the luggage to the room I noticed that the last 3 numbers on my valet slip was 627 as well. WHAT ARE THE CHANCES??!!  The night time weather in the desert was amazing.  After I finished unpacking and cleaning up, I didn’t get on the balcony to stargaze until about 1:52am.  Everything from 2am to 4am was perfectly peaceful and serene.  But then it started to get noisy with people getting up and driving around to start their busy day. I sat on the balcony massaging my sinuses, though the pain medication I took was helping a bit.  Unlike the sinus trouble I had experienced before, now I had a continual ringing in my ears to contend with.  I watched the morning dawn and turned in to sleep around 6am.

Thursday the 27th – LOST IN THE DESERT! – Since I had the afternoon free I thought I’d go to the JoAnn Fabrics in Rancho Mirage and see what they had in stock.  But the map I saw on-line threw me a bit.  I drove all up and down the 111 looking for the Dinah Shore intersection, but to no avail.  Come to find out, there is no such intersection.  I’m not sure how I could have read the map wrong. I was starting to wish I had a smart phone…or at least a GPS device along.  Note to self.  I was really lost, but luckily I phoned Edi and Elliot and they told me how to get to where I wanted to go.  Luckily I did find some really nice fabric at JoAnn for my Jaws bowling shirt.  But my sinus was hurting again. It felt like my head was a balloon ready to pop.  The brisk desert wind wasn’t helping either.  I got lost on the way back to the hotel, but I was driving through all sorts of areas I hadn’t seen before. So I was kind of enjoying being lost.  I finally made it back to the room just as they were setting up for the Thursday night street fair outside my hotel.  I sprinted down to find the booth of The Pillow Lady.  She had made up about 6 pillows for me and I needed to get them.  But because they’re large I wanted to get them and take them back to the room to stash them before enjoying the street fair on a more casual basis.  With my armful of pillows I made it back to the hotel just in time to meet up with Edi and Elliot.  We took Roxy with us and hit the street fair.  It was a gorgeous night and it was full of fun and laughs.  I made it back to the hotel at 10 and grabbed a short nap.  Roxy was exhausted and she fell right asleep.  We got up around midnight and I went across the street to get an NYPD pizza.  I got it back to the room, fed Roxy her dinner, and I enjoyed my pizza on the balcony while watching the stars.  After I got cleaned up and settled, I hit the balcony to do my nightly meditating and stargazing.  It’s relatively dark out back where I sit enjoying the night, and I was shocked when I saw several enormous birds fly over. At first I thought the wingspan had to be 6 feet across at least!  Was I witnessing a sighting of the legendary Native American Thunderbird?  I was beginning to wonder if Roxy and I should head indoors lest we become an easy meal.  But I was fascinated.  Was it a hawk? An eagle?  What the heck was that thing flying over?  But when the “giant bird” flew a little closer to me so I could get a better look at it with better lighting, I realized with a chuckle that it was nothing more than a large group of small birds flying in tight formation.  But when they flew high, gliding gently on the desert wind, it looked pretty foreboding!  Off in the distance a nightbird sang all night for us, and it was delightful!  The breeze had kicked up a bit, but it was very relaxing and pleasant.

Friday the 28th – DOG DAY! – About mid-afternoon Roxy and I went to the lovely Palm Springs dog park.  But there weren’t any doggies on the large dog side.  There were a few smaller dogs on the small dog side, so Roxy and I went over there. We saw our old pal Kathy who used to work with Rudd Weatherwax and Lassie back in the 60’s.  It was fun seeing her and visiting with her again.  We drove over to Ruby’s and had lunch on the patio.  Then we walked over to Lappert’s Ice Cream to get a yummy Dole Whip!  It’s really fun to see all the attention Roxy gets from dog lovers.  And she loves every bit of the attention!  While I was walking around downtown Palm Springs my ENT Dr. Jill called to talk about my sinus issues. I had left a message on the office’s voicemail about the pain and discomfort I was experiencing.  She said she was sorry to hear the root canals didn’t fix the problem, but she was skeptical that it would have.  So we decided to get me in for sinus surgery just as soon as possible. Their office’s scheduler wouldn’t be back until Wednesday, so we were looking at a possible date in the second week of May.  Until then I’d just have to deal with it as best as I could.  But I’m really REALLY ready to have this over with!  I’m convinced that the infection above the roots of my teeth and below my left sinus was gone, but the sinus wasn’t draining on its own. So I’ll need to give it a little surgical help.  I got back to the room and Roxy and I grabbed a short nap.  I can’t emphasize enough how perfect the weather was!  At 10 I went across the street to NYPD to order a sandwich to go. While I waited a lot of people came up to greet and pet Roxy.  I honestly think if I sat outside on the boulevard with Roxy and a sign that said, “PET ME FOR $1” I’d probably make a fortune!  It might be worth doing as an experiment sometime to see just how appealing Roxy is!  We went back to the room and ate our dinner, and then I went to the upper deck out by the pool to enjoy a cigar and look at the stars.  But it was getting very windy.  And unlike the previous “breezy” nights, this wind was starting to turn a bit chilly.  While I was watching stars all night I actually had to get up and find a spare blanket to use to keep warm!

Saturday the 29th – EARLY EXIT??!! – My pal Ron Chaney and I met for lunch in the “Elvis” booth at Las Casuelas.  It’s the booth that Elvis used to sit in when he lived in Palm Springs. It’s always great seeing Ron and catching up on what’s new.  Then I walked down to get another Dole Whip, and I bought Roxy some treats at Cold Nose, Warm Heart.  I got back to the room and grabbed a short nap before I was due to meet my pal Elliot Lurie at the Spaghetti Factory in Rancho Mirage.  Edi wasn’t feeling well so she didn’t join us, but it gave Elliot and I a chance to talk about just how excited he is to have his million-selling hit “Brandy” included in the soundtrack of the new “Guardians of the Galaxy” movie.  He was at the red carpet premiere and he was telling me a little bit about how the song was used in the film.  I couldn’t be prouder!  Good for him!  He deserves it!  I listened to KVGH 1270 Oldies on the drive back to the hotel.  They were doing their Saturday Night Class Reunion of 1977.  It was fun hearing news clips and music from that year I remember VERY well!  I sure wish that station reached L.A.!  When I got back to the room I took Roxy out for a nice, long walk to enjoy the gorgeous weather.  I just wished I felt better so I could truly enjoy it wholeheartedly!   In fact, I was considering leaving early.  I was due to be there through Monday, but was considering a Sunday evening departure due to my sinus issues. I got back to the balcony in my room just in time to watch a gorgeous crescent moon set behind the mountains.  I enjoyed watching the stars and planets in the sky all night, but I had to break out the blanket again. It was another slightly chilly, breezy night.

Sunday the 30th – SINUS SAYS…SAYONARA! – It sure felt good to sleep in until 3pm!  When I got up I was hungry. So Roxy and I went over to Sherman’s Deli to get some food on the patio.  We sat outside next to the restaurant’s window, and on the other side of the glass, inside the restaurant, was an elderly lady who was giving me the “thumbs up” and pointing at Roxy.  Another dog lover.  I motioned for her to come out and meet her.  After about 20 minutes the lady’s friend came out to meet Roxy and give her a few pets.  Then the elderly lady came out to meet Roxy.  She asked if it was alright to pet her and I said it was totally alright.  The lady told me about a shepherd/collie mix she used to have named Lad.  Then she pet Roxy some more.  Not 3 minutes later, she told me again of a shepherd/collie mix she used to have named Lad. It was then I realized that the nice lady may have Alzheimer’s. But it didn’t matter. I just pretended that what she was telling me was new news.  She was all smiles when she went back inside to join her friend.  I glanced up at the window and her friend was nodding at me with a big smile on her face.  I started figuring out that the elderly lady’s friend may have been her daughter or a caretaker.  The look on her face spoke of gratitude for helping to make the elderly lady’s day a little more special.  That Roxy…what a gem!  We headed back to the room and packed up most of my stuff. I had decided that we would be leaving that evening when the traffic died down.  After a quick nap, we loaded up the SUV, checked out, and h it the road around 8:15pm.  I made it home around 10.  My sinus was horrible all the way; intense pressure all across my forehead.  Even the roof of my mouth hurt.  I was praying that the surgery would come soon.  I got home and unpacked and relaxed. I wish I could have stayed through Monday, but I just didn’t feel like it was worth the trouble.

And how were your weeks???!!


My pal Bob Japs blowin’ on the bone during “Soul Man!”

It’s a long way from playing in my Elvis band in high school! My buddy Dan Steinwand shreds nicely!

I’m not used to seeing The World Famous Corn Palace surrounded by empty streets!

The Elvis mural on the side (done entirely from corn cobs!) is pretty nifty!

This young gent and I played several rounds of fetch-the-tennis-ball at the Palm Springs dog park!

In case of trouble, the Rescue Ranger was on the job!

Here is the little Jon Arbuckle that the gal at the front desk put on my key card envelope. How cool!

Playin’ the numbers! The room I always get at the Hyatt Hotel in Palm Springs is 627. But that was also the number of my valet slip. What are the chances??!!