Archive for September, 2017

September 11 – September 17



RANDOM PIC OF THE WEEK

Here’s a shot of a snowy South Dakota day. Don’t laugh. They’re closer than you think!

I have a funny idea for the song “Mad World” so I ‘ve been listening to a lot of different versions of it. Here’s a good one from Alex Parks. Stay tuned for more info about what I intend to do with this song in the future!

Monday the 11th – NEVER FORGET! – It’s really hard to believe that 16 years have passed since the horrible attacks on 9/11. I will always remember where I was on that day. I woke up to a message on my voicemail from my pal Dave in Sioux Falls saying, “We’re under attack!” Where were YOU on that day? I woke up around 2 and drove Roxy over to the groomer’s in my Gran Torino. It was much too hot to walk her, and besides I needed to be at Voice Trax West for an American Airlines session at 3. This round of work would be fairly easy, but sometimes perplexing. The job mostly dealt with recording the names of cities were American flies, and those are a LOT of cities. Some of them are even in Alaska and Hawaii. And some of the names of those cities are tough on the tongue! But thanks to Mr. Youtube and Mr. Google, Paul the engineer and I figured it all out, and approximated the pronunciations as best we could. We finished up around 5 and I drove over to pick up Roxy from the groomer’s. I dropped her off at home, swapped out the Torino for the Mustang and then went to Jack in the Box to get some food. I had forgotten to eat before the session, and my stomach kept ruining take after take with strange noises reminded me that…ahem…I forgot to eat. I got a burger and then went home to take a short nap. I got up later to do a ton of auditions, write Wally’s Week, and then made some spaghetti and watched an episode of “Barnaby Jones” before bed. When I finished the episode I took Roxy out to go potty in the courtyard before we went to sleep around 7am. There were two cute little Mourning Doves sitting on the ground under a hedge. It’s odd that they would be sitting there, but when Roxy saw them she made a bee-line toward them, and they got scared and flew away. One dove landed on a chimney in the complex, and another flew into a tree. Bad idea. As I stood there waiting for Roxy to finish her business, I heard a loud scuffle in the tree over my head. Just then I saw the dove tearing out from the tree with a hawk in hot pursuit. It all happened so fast it actually looked like a duck chasing it. Right then my heart broke. I realized why the doves were on the ground; uncharacteristic for them. They were hiding from the hawk they knew was in the tree above. And Roxy and I helped to deliver it right into the hawk’s claws. I felt HORRIBLE! As I went inside feeling rotten, I remembered back several months ago to the time when a gorgeous Mourning Dove sat on the fence around our pool not moving. I named it “Lovey Dove.” I talked to it and hung around it for a while, and even took some pictures of it. But it wasn’t scared. After staying with it for about 20 minutes, I soon caught a glimpse of a hawk in a nearby tree getting impatient and flying off. I had probably saved that little dove’s life by unwittingly “standing guard.” Lovey Dove was staying put because it knew a hawk was near. It dawned on me that, whenever Mourning Doves are uncharacteristically close to people or the ground, they’re probably hiding from a hawk. I know that now, and from now on when I see that I’m going to stand as close to them as possible without frightening them into flight. Because once they take off, they’re hot lunch. I only wish I had realized it earlier. I went to bed feeling very sad.

Tuesday the 12th – MOURNING A DOVE! – When hawks have attacked Mourning Doves in our complex before there are telltale feathers scattered all over the courtyard. It breaks my heart to see the surviving dove from a couple hanging around the area with a puzzled look on its face. Maybe I’m injecting too much emotion into a dove’s existence; maybe they just operate on simple instinct. But I can’t help feeling sad when I see a dove wandering around waiting for a mate that will never come back. Sure enough when I woke up at 1 and took Roxy outside, there was the sad lonesome dove from earlier that day. It was flying from chimney to chimney searching for its mate. As if I needed to feel even worse about the situation. But NOW I KNOW! When doves are earthbound, there’s a good reason. And at that point I will stand guard and search for any hawks in the trees above. I’ll throw rocks at them, or do whatever I need to do in order to get them to hunt elsewhere. I also thought about getting a laser pointer and pointing it around in the trees in hopes of temporarily blinding and disorienting them. But I don’t think the commercial laser pointers you buy at the pet store are strong enough. Got any suggestions for a hawk problem? I love Mourning Doves; how they sound, how they look, their gentleness and serenity. Then some stinkin’ hawk has to show up and ruin everything. I know it’s nature’s way, but geez! My first stop of the day was over to Plastic Depot to pick up some little custom-made light stands I had my pal Kyle make for my monster shelf. I needed to move these LED bulbs on gooseneck lamps closer to the backs of these translucent windows in the castle facade. And these little stands worked perfectly! I drove over to Wizard Printing and dropped off some more baseball tees to have printed with the Elliot Lurie/Looking Glass print I designed. Elliot is going to do some gigs soon, and his wife Edi wanted to have lots of shirts to sell at the merch table. I got some KFC and then headed to Voice Trax West for two more hours of recording city names for American Airlines. After the session I went to Bed Bath and Beyond to pick up a few items, then to the hardware store to get an extension cord for my monster shelf lighting, and then I went back home to feed the pets. I got a notification via e-mail that a package I was anxiously waiting for had been delivered earlier that afternoon to my mailbox. So I hopped in the Mustang and headed over to get it. It was some LED lighting strips that I was going to put at the edge of the monster shelf to illuminate the monster figures with traditional underlit “monster” lighting. It was my assistant Sara’s idea and I liked the idea quite a bit. Especially since I can change the “monster lighting” to any color I want! I came back home all excited to work on the project. I found an old aluminum transition strip down in my garage, and cut it to the width of the edge of the monster shelf. Then I attached the strips of LED lights to the aluminum track. This prevented me from having to adhere the light strips directly to the shelf, which would ruin the paint when the adhesive is removed someday. I brought the large ladder up from my garage and started working. I was having flashbacks to working on my monster shelf a few weeks ago when I pulled a muscle in my back. So I was being VERY careful! It turned out really great, and I’m SO happy with it. I did my nightly auditions and then took a brief nap. I got up later to feed and walk Roxy on our late night stroll through the complex, did some more work around the house, and made some chili and watched “Barnaby Jones.”

Wednesday the 13th – BLABBIN’ WITH BURT! – A security guy from my security company stopped by to check out my alarm and suggest some upgrades to the system. We settled on exactly what I wanted to see in the upgrade arena, and we made an appointment for installation. I wanted to bike over to Voice Trax West, but I ran short on time. I drove over to the studio to meet up with my old pal Jim Hulihan of Motivational Media Assemblies. I’ve been working for Jim for about 20 years, almost since the first day I got into Voice Over. He takes a huge truckload of media gear to schools all over the country, and uses clips from movies, TV shows, and music videos to illustrate points to students about safe driving, avoiding drugs, helping others, etc. It’s a great company and I’m always proud to be able to voice the new videos each year. On the way home I stopped by my neighborhood cigar store and picked up a few cigars for the future, and then got a sandwich at Which Wich. I stopped by the hardware store to pick up some more supplies, and then I got home to feed and walk Roxy. Burt Ward’s wife Tracy and I have been communicating lately because of some rare video footage I sent her of her, Burt and Adam together at a Las Vegas convention back in 1990. I chatted with Tracy about upcoming projects for about a half hour, and then Burt got on the phone and he and I chatted about upcoming Batman events, as well as their Gentle Giants dog food; which I’ve been feeding Roxy since I’ve had her. Burt and I talked for about a half hour as well, and he gave me some great advice about feeding times for Roxy. They sure are a nice couple of folks! I grabbed a quick nap, and then got up later to do my nightly auditions. I fed and walked Roxy, and then made some soup and a sandwich to watch the final “Barnaby Jones” episode from the season seven DVD set.

Thursday the 14th – HOW DO YOU SAY THIS??!! – It was up at 1 and on the bike to Voice Trax West for another session for American Airlines. But just when our momentum of recording city names would gain steam, we’d hit a clunker of a city name that neither Paul the engineer nor I could pronounce. So we’d have to stop and consult the internet to give it our best. When we finished for the day I hopped on my bike and headed home. I did some work until my pal Brittney Powell came over to do some work around the house for me. When she left I napped a bit, and then got up to record my nightly auditions. I made some food and started in on “Taxi” season two. Funny stuff!

Friday the 15th – MONSTER SMASH! – Since it was another gorgeous day I hopped on my bike and pedaled over to Voice Trax West for our final day on the most recent project for American Airlines. Though we finished this round, I’m sure it won’t be long before we have another long stretch of sessions. After all, airlines aren’t going away any time soon. When I got home I started getting things prepped for that evening’s activities; going to Son of Monsterpalooza in Burbank at the Marriot Hotel Civic Center. I put together some things I wanted to get autographed and stuffed them into a bag. On the way over around 6 I got some dinner at the McDonald’s drive thru, picked up my mail, and then drove to the Burbank Marriott to park for the convention. I’ve always liked going on Friday night because it’s not as heavily attended as the Saturday or Sunday show, and it’s much easier to find parking. But I was wrong. The lot was totally full, so I had to park across the street in VERY expensive airport parking. Oh well. I went in and found a few friends and started shopping. I bought a Creature from the Black Lagoon “Grave Walker,” and I have VERY specific ideas of how to display it in my home. But ONLY if I can find the right lighting effect I want for it. I also bought some black light posters of the artwork from the old Monster Candy boxes. They were gorgeous! I bought a bust of Shakespeare, similar to the one on the “Batman” TV show, that serves as a bank! When you tilt the head back there’s a slot for coins! I got lots of great comments on the monster bowling shirt I was wearing. I headed home to unpack my goodies and get the house ready for a very important tour on Saturday. I made a Chef Boy Ardee pizza-in-box (YUM!) and watched a few more episodes of “Taxi” from the second season DVD set.

Saturday the 16th – PROUD TO BE A SON! – It was going to be a VERY busy day! I got up at 10:30 and walked to Enterprise car rental to pick up a mini-van that I was renting for a few days. More on that later. I got back home and straightened up the house just in time to welcome Burt Ward’s publicist and his wife, and the owner and curator from the Hollywood Museum on Hollywood Boulevard. They wanted my assistance in a monumental exhibit they’re planning for shortly after the new year. We had a lot of fun discussing ideas, and we all left the meeting feeling very VERY charged up! More on THAT later, too! They all loved their tour of Planet Wallywood. When they left my effects guy Jim Ojala came over to help me fortify the lifesize Laurel and Hardy figures for travel. Jim fabricated them for me several years ago, and he knows where all the joints and weaknesses are. So we fortified those areas with strong duct tape. That way the figures won’t come apart while they take a ride to the event that night. I showered up and got dressed. I loaded Stan and Ollie into the back of the rented mini-van and off we went to the Mayflower Club in North Hollywood. Tonight we’d all be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Sons of the Desert; Way Out West tent, of which I’m a member. Since it was such a momentous occasion, I told the leadership I’d be happy to bring the boys over for photo ops. I got to the banquet at 4 and started setting them up. But people were so enamored of the figures they didn’t even wait for me to get them completely set up! They started snapping pictures of them early! One member was very passionate about picking my brain about getting a set made for HIS house! They were quite the hit! My pal Alex Zsolt was in town doing a concert, so he stopped by to visit and have dinner. My adopted grandma Shirley was brought in by my assistant Sara. We all had fun chatting with other members, playing some of the party games, and eating the delicious dinner. And everyone seemed to really like my custom-made Movie Night bowling shirt. But with all the festivities the evening was getting very long. So when they took a break just before screening their namesake Laurel and Hardy film, I took that opportunity to load the boys up in the mini-van and take off for home. I needed to walk Roxy anyway, but I was getting very tired. It’s been a BUSY week! I brought the boys back inside to the Chaney Room and put them away. Then I got a quick nap. Sara came over later on to help with a few things around the house. My Movie Night bowling shirt was such a hit, I decided to order more of the fabric off eBay to have my seamstress make an entire set of pajamas for those cold, winter nights to come! Then I made some lasagna and watched “House of Wax” in 3-D in my 3-D Viewatorium! It’s a great film, and the 3-D is amazing!

Sunday the 17th – MONSTER CRASH! – Normally I like to spend all day Sunday in bed resting up, but I had too much to do. I got up at 11 and got ready for a return visit to Son of Monsterpalooza. My pals Officer Mark and James from Warner would be meeting Sara and I there. While we hung out at the convention we thought we spotted the great Danny Elfman, making his way through the crowd! I also chatted with my buddy Eric Singer of KISS for a while. He’s a HUGE classic monster fan! I also talked briefly with my old buddy Curtis Armstrong, who by the way is a fellow “Son” (a Sons of the Desert member). I love that it’s finally cool enough out that I can start wearing my custom-made bowing shirts out and about. My Jaws bowling shirt was a big hit at the convention too! We went next door to get away from the crowd and have lunch at the Daily Grill. Before we left for good we took one last pass through the convention. I’m glad we did because I saw a few people I hadn’t seen earlier in the day. I got home and took a short hour-long nap before evening church. I walked Roxy to church and found out that the audio mixing board had given up the ghost earlier that day. They were working off of a smaller one, but it wasn’t quite as efficient as the regular one. Then I got an idea. I had an old Mackie mixing board in my garage for years that has hardly ever been used. I bought it when I first started doing Voice Over work and auditions from my house many years ago. But when simple, streamlined interface boxes were created I abandoned my mixing board because it became superfluous. As I walked my adopted grandma Shirley to my house after church, I got a great idea. I’d donate my mixing board to the church! It was much too heavy to ship to a buyer on eBay, so this was the perfect solution! I packed it up in my car and headed back to the church to drop it off. Then I stopped at Taco Bell to get some tacos for Shirley and then I dropped her off at her home. I went to my house and laid down for a short nap. I was exhausted! It was almost non-stop for the past three days! After a great nap I woke up and did a TON of auditions. I fed and walked Roxy and then got ready for a new week. I made some buffalo mac and watched more “Taxi” season two episodes before bed. What a wonderful week!

And how was YOUR week??!!

PIX FROM THE WEEK

From Son of Monsterpalooza, to Sons of the Desert…you might say it was a very “son-ny” weekend!

The talk of the convention was the newly released news about the new “Halloween” movie that’s coming out next year, with Jamie Lee Curtis reprising her role as Laurie Strode. P.J. Soles played Lynda in that movie, and she laughed when I told her that, given the movie’s timeline, Michael Myers would be about 75 years old! He’ll have to get around to kill people with a walker. You’ve heard the old expression ‘evil never dies?’ How about ‘evil never ages!’

Even KISS’ drummer Eric Singer isn’t immune from the charm of classic monsters!

James couldn’t resist checking out the slick, new Shakespeare bust bank!

Buffy and the Toughie! My pal Officer Mark meets Kristy Swanson, who was looking good!

Even the kids got into the act!

One of the most impressive classic Apes ensembles I’ve ever seen!

Sara, James, Mark and I were joined by our old pal Brian Sikoff!

Make-up wizard Kato takes time out from doing a make-up to pose for a pic.

Former paramedic and fire chief Alan Cowen absolutely LOVED the Laurel and Hardy figures, with a vow that he was going to have his OWN set made soon!

Even my “adopted grandma” Shirley and my pal Alex Zsolt got a shot with the boys!

Every member was given a complimentary SOTD fez along with the price of the meal! Delicious!

Grand Sheik Jimmy Wiley and his granddaughter Cate couldn’t resist a shot with the figures too!

Comedian, actor and former Stan Laurel impersonator takes the stage at the age of 91 and entertains the crowd with his stand-up act!

My pal Alex Zsolt and I enjoy the festivities at the banquet!