Archive for July, 2017

July 31 – August 6



RANDOM PIC OF THE WEEK

This fawn was recently rescued from drowning in a lake by a guy and his faithful retriever. The fawn is recuperating at a sanctuary facility and it’s being decided if he should be returned to the wild, or kept safe under human care. Boy is he/she cute!

As we start to wind down our study of great “story songs,” I want you to see this video from an old Kenny Rogers variety special. The band Looking Glass performs the greatest story song of all time (Kurt Russell called it possibly the best-written song of all time in “GOTG;2”!). My pal Elliot Lurie (the lead singer of LG and writer of this song) just sent me a link to this video from his personal archive. I’ve seen versions of this before, but never this clean! Enjoy “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)” by Looking Glass!

Monday the 31st – WHERE DID IT GO? – Hard to believe that 2017 is well over halfway gone. Good riddance. Based on all the icons we’ve lost so far, it’s been a lousy year. I got up at 3 and headed out into the hot day to get my newly repaired laser printer. I picked up my mail at my box, and then went to McDonalds to get some lunch at the drive-thru. I headed over to Staples to buy a “corded” mouse. For some reason, after I got this new computer, there has been so much interference with the wireless mouses that I’ve bought, I decided to go back to the old fashioned wired mouse. I was sick of all the stutters and hiccups. I got back home and re-installed the printer and the new “corded” mouse. When I pulled into my garage earlier, I noticed a lady out back with a pick-up. As I was working in my office area I heard a commotion outside my window. It was that same lady trying to load a huge TV cabinet down the stairs to her pick-up with the assistance of another lady. Neither of them was younger than 50, and neither of them were taller than 5 foot 4. I leapt up from my chair and dashed outside. I feared that this thing was going to end badly. When I got outside they had started down the stairs to the back driveway and I stood behind the front lady (walking backwards down the steps with the large cabinet) to make sure she didn’t fall. Once they got the cabinet down to level ground, I told her I’d take it from here. With her guidance I picked up the cabinet and put it into the back of her truck. Thanks to my recent work-outs with my trainer Natalie, it was actually pretty easy. I actually felt pretty strong! They thanked me profusely and I dashed off back into my house, feeling good that I had done a good deed. I spent the next several hours cleaning out my messy computer desk. Since I was in the mood to re-organize everything and re-install utilities, I figured a good clean-up was only logical. While I was at it, I even did my auditions for the night and got them out of the way. I grabbed a nap, and then got up to burn some music CDs that had originally been stolen from my Gran Torino back in 2016. Luckily I still had the track lists on file, so I burned a fresh set for the Torino (all 70’s songs, of course!) I typed out Wally’s Week, fed and walked Roxy, and then made a Chef Boy Ardee pizza-in-a-box and watched “The Outer Limits” before bed!

Tuesday the 1st – FLORI-DUH! – The weather was so hot and humid it almost seemed like the summer old days in South Dakota. But a lot of former residents of Florida were telling me it reminded them a lot of what THEY remember summer to be! Either way, it was yucky! It rained a bit in the morning, which hardly ever happens here in the summer. But it did make for a gorgeous summer morning sky! Mid-afternoon I did some work on the computer organizing some photo files, and then I went off to Wizard Printing to pick up the finished Elliot Lurie: Looking Glass baseball tees I had screen printed. I headed over to my box to get my mail, and then I went over to the local Ford dealer to get my A/C looked it. It was intermittently blowing warm air through the vents! But they’re so busy I can’t get it in until August 21st! Then I went home and pulled into my garage. I stood outside talking to my next-door neighbors and listening to the distant thunder overhead. I really miss those Midwest summer thunderstorms. But I DON’T miss the hot and humid summers! But the rain in the distance did bring the outside temps down quite a bit. I went inside to start working on designing a logo for our evening service at our church called “Spiritsong.” We’ve decided that we need to “brand” the service to give it its own identity. While I was at the computer, I spent a few more hours scanning some personal family photos that I had recently discovered tucked away in my closet. I did an audition, and then my pal Brittney Powell came over to help me with some scanning and organizing. After she left I decided to grab a nap in the Puppet Room for a bit. I got up later and finished scanning the family photo albums. I ate a little dinner and then hit the hay to be up early the next day for a Voice-Over session.

Wednesday the 2nd – A “DYNAMITE” DAY! – Since I had to be at Paramount Studios at noon for a session, I got up at 10:30 and got ready. It was the final session of a set of recording sessions I did for the second season of “Lady Dynamite” on Netflix. It was a fun run and I loved working with those folks. They said the second season will drop in November. I’ll give you more info about what I had to do with the whole thing as we get closer. Stay tuned! Even though it was hot and humid, I spent about an hour walking around on the Paramount lot. As far as my favorite TV shows go, Paramount is probably my favorite studio. They produced many of my favorite shows, “Happy Days,” “Love American Style,” “Mannix,” “Mission Impossible,” “Taxi,” and of course, “Star Trek!” All the soundstages are marked with plaques detailing the shows that filmed there. In the northwest corner of the lot I found the soundstages for “Star Trek,” “Mannix,” and “Mission Impossible!” Since those were all shows produced by Lucille Ball’s Desilu company, I’m assuming that the northwest corner of the lot was designated as the Desilu wing. As logic would dictate, Lucy’s bungalow was a short walk down the driveway from the soundstages. Even though no evidence of those shows still exists, beyond the demarcation on the plaques, it’s still magical standing there and envisioning all of the activity that must’ve been going on back in 1966 through the mid 70’s. Though I found the “Happy Days” soundstage, I still wasn’t able to find the “Taxi” stage. Maybe next time. I hit Arby’s on the way home and got a few of those amazing pizza sliders! They have so much great food there, I’m really kind of glad I don’t have one anywhere near my house! Watching my food intake is hard enough! I got home and relaxed. It was so hot and muggy that I really didn’t want to do much of anything! I fed the pets and then napped a bit. My trainer Natalie Duran came over for a short workout, and then we enjoyed a nice dinner on the patio at Paty’s. It had cooled off quite a bit, so the evening was quite nice. I went home to do some work, and then grabbed a nap. I got up later for some auditions, and did some work in the Tranquility Zone. I wanted to make little “hiders” for some of the cables and cords around the room. I cut pieces of styrene from a big piece my pal Kyle at Plastic Depot gave me, and mounted them over the ugly cabling. It actually looks quite nice now! I dubbed the pictures I recently scanned on to a few auxiliary hard drives, as well as my main computer. I made some lasagna and watched “The Outer Limits.”

Thursday the 3rd – AN ANDY PRANK?! – When I got up at 1 I had a few last-minute auditions to do. I made my 2pm meeting with a gal named Tracy who had contacted me to ask questions about the Voice-Over biz. It was a nice discussion and I hoped I was able to help her with useful information. It was still hot and humid out, and I was hoping the A/C in my Mustang would hold fast! So far so good. I got home, swapped out the Mustang for the Gran Torino, and went home to do a few more auditions. I fed the pets and then relaxed for a bit. Later I got up for a meeting with Carrie, a gal whom I had met through a couple of Andy Kaufman fan sites. We met for dinner at Jerry’s Famous Deli at 10:15 (she had just gotten out of night class). As we sat chatting in a booth by the front window we had fun watching people walking by the Gran Torino and looking it over. Everyone seems to LOVE my Hutch mannequin that’s in the passenger seat! But one family in particular spent a LOT of time taking photos by the car. I excused myself and walked outside to meet them. I asked the mom and her young son if they’d like to sit in the car and take some photos. She was elated! While they took photos I spoke a bit with her husband. The family was visiting from France, and he said they’ve loved “Starsky & Hutch” since they were teenagers. I didn’t know the show had a huge following in France too, but apparently it did! I went back inside to sit down with Carrie just as our food arrived. Though she and I had never met in person, we ended up chatting for THREE HOURS! Jerry’s kicked us out at 1:15 because they were closing for the night. Then we stood by her car in the parking lot talking for ANOTHER hour! FUN! In fact, it was so much fun, I somehow felt that Carrie had been cast in an “Andy Kaufman-esque” prank, and I was being punked! How could somebody exist that I have so much in common with??!! This had to be a gag! I got home and fed the pets, and was congratulating myself for doing all my auditions earlier in the day and getting them out of the way. I hadn’t counted on a four hour late dinner. Strangely enough, we talked so much I only ate half of my soup! I was still really hungry! So I made a Tombstone pizza and watched “The Outer Limits!”

Friday the 4th – FRIED-DAY! – Having only gotten to bed at 8am that morning, I had to be up at 11 for a noon meeting with a few “Tonight Show” alumni. It was fun having lunch with Scott and Barbera and catching up on everything that was going on in their world. I drove the Torino over to Staples to pick up a few items, and then swapped the Torino out for the Mustang. I got on the computer and did some more photo editing, and then I grabbed a few hours’ worth of sleep before my evening meeting! I got up around 6, fed the pets and got ready to drive down to the Fairfax District to meet my pal Mark Evanier for dinner. I wanted to hear all the stories from his recent Comic Con experience, as well as everything else he’s been working on. He’s responsible for hosting the memorial for the great June Foray who passed away a week ago. It’s a ton of work. He also gave me the tour of his house. It’s always fun perusing the collection of another avid collector like me. After enjoying his collection and some yummy Italian food, I came home and got busy with my photo editing project again. Though I was running on only a few hours of sleep I didn’t feel that badly, so I continued working throughout the night. I was excited to watch the final “Outer Limits” episode from the first season DVD set, but it was really awful. It was very pretentious and overly artsy. But to be honest, only about 6% of the episodes were bad from the first season. The rest were absolutely amazing! I enjoyed my soup and sandwich and got to bed around 8am on Saturday morning.

Saturday the 5th – JOE @ JERRY’S! – A few weeks ago I met up with my old pal Joe Garner for lunch and a tour of Planet Wallywood. We used to work together at the Westwood One Radio Network back in the late 80’s, so we have a lot of catching up to do. We may even work on some new projects together, as he is now a bestselling author! After lunch I stopped to get some groceries, and then headed home to put everything away and prep for movie night. We watched “Kong: Skull Island” on Blu Ray and it was a hoot; TONS of fun! Literally! After everyone left I grabbed another nap on the couch for a bit, and then took Roxy out for our late night stroll through the neighborhood. The heat and humidity had broken, so it was a very nice, cool evening. I came inside and did some work, and then made my traditional Saturday Night Super Salad and watched another episode of “Hee Haw.” Sadly, I only have two more episodes on the DVD set after this. I wish they would release the entire series, but it would be a monumental undertaking!

Sunday the 6th – SEDATED ON SUNDAY! – As is my usual routine on Sundays, I didn’t get up until 3 in the afternoon. It was a gorgeous day, and Roxy enjoyed lying out in the courtyard sunbathing. We got back inside and got ready for evening church. We’re technically still on hiatus, and we’re in brainstorming sessions discussing ideas for making the evening service more accessible and giving it a wider appeal. My “adopted grandma” Shirley didn’t make the service, so we didn’t have our usual “post-service” dinner. I got a text from Carrie that she had caught a cold, so our tentative plans for dinner were off. So it looked like I had the evening all to myself. Feeling a bit fried after the busy past couple of days, I took advantage of the break and went home to relax. When I got up I did a few auditions, and then checked e-mail. The “Sons of the Desert” Laurel and Hardy fan club that I’m a member of asked me to bring my life-size Stan and Ollie figures to the big 50th anniversary banquet in September. I was ecstatic! They will make for a great photo op! I think I’ll leave the figures to the club in my will, so after I’m not here any longer Stan and Ollie will be regular fixtures at the meetings. After all, I’m sure the club will be around for decades – even after I’ve left this mortal coil in the distant future! I just hope the figures hold up well over time! I fed and walked Roxy, and then went over to Denny’s to get some food to go. I started watching the seventh season of “Barnaby Jones” on DVD.

 

And how was YOUR week??!!

PIX FROM THE WEEK

One of the nice things about my wacky schedule, is that I can witness both amazingly beautiful sunrises…

…as well as sunsets! The clouds make for muggy conditions, but gorgeous visuals!

Standing outside the soundstages that produced some of my favorite TV shows is mindboggling and magical!

The hot and humid weather has been playing havoc with my sensitive sinuses…so when that happens I become CAPTAIN COLDPAK!