February 25 – March 3



RANDOM PIC OF THE WEEK

With the shocking passing this past week of Luke Perry, it brought to mind the hilarious episode when Luke and Mayor Adam West shared a bed on “Family Guy.” RIP Luke. RIP Adam.

When Officer Mark and I were in an Uber heading back to the hotel, our driver was playing this version of King Harvest’s “Dancin’ in the Moonlight.” It’s a great version by the group Toploader. Our driver, a younger guy, had no idea it was a cover. So we told him about the original and he brought it up while we drove back. He said he loved that version too! When I came home I bought the Toploader version right away. It’s a great version!

Monday the 25th – MARVY MONDAY! – When I got up mid-afternoon I got a second appointment with my regular doctor. His assistant that I saw last Thursday didn’t prescribe me the correct cough medicine, and the stuff she gave me was woefully inadequate for my problem. So I’ll go in at 10:30 Tuesday and hopefully get the right stuff and be ready for my upcoming Las Vegas trip. I put the Gran Torino away and got the Mustang out. I drove over to my mailbox to get a few packages, and then met my friend Sara at Paty’s for lunch on the patio to enjoy the gorgeous day. I gassed up the Mustang on the way home, did some work as soon as I got in the door, and then napped all evening. I just have to get my strength back! Luckily it looked like this cold was going to pass fairly quickly. I got up later to do my nightly auditions. Some of them were tough on the voice, given that all the coughing has weakened my vocal cords somewhat, but I managed pretty well. I wrote Wally’s Week, had some chicken soup, walked and fed Roxy, and then hit the hay to be up for my doctor’s appointment and a lunch meeting on the west side of L.A.!

Tuesday the 26th – DOC TAKE 2! – Around 9:30 I sprang awake, cleaned up and headed to my doctor’s office. I had seen his associate last week when I first started to feel like I was coming down with a cold, but being unfamiliar with my particular case (my history of chronic bronchitis and a bout with pneumonia) she prescribed a cough medicine for me that was inadequate. So in order to the get stronger stuff (which is a controlled substance) I needed to see my usual doctor. After hearing my scratchy voice which was fatigued from uncontrolled coughing over the weekend, he quickly wrote me a prescription for the real stuff. I headed over to the westside of L.A. to have lunch with some old friends I used to work with. I drove back home to feed the pets and do a little work, and then I grabbed a nap. I was starting to finally feel better, and the cough was beginning to subside, but was still rough. I got up later and did a bunch of auditions, using the best voice I could possibly muster, and then I made some buffalo mac and watched a few episodes of “The Addams Family” before bed.

Wednesday the 27th – VEGAS PREP! – Since I had a lunch meeting with a few of my agents scheduled at 12:30, I got up at 10 and did a little work around the house. I dropped off my prescriptions at CVS and got the correct cough medicine. Now I could start getting better and hopefully the voice would repair by the weekend for the Vegas Toycon. I headed down to the mid-Wilshire district to meet a few of my Voice Over agents for lunch. We talked at length about the business, about how it’s changed so much over the past few years, and we hatched some strategies about how to accommodate those changes. I drove back home and finished up some things around the house. I started to get ready for my weekend trip to Vegas, printed my packing list, and brought up my luggage from downstairs. I napped for a bit as a light rain started outside…really nice! When I got up later I packed and prepped for Toycon. I drove over to Denny’s to get some food to go and came home to watch a few episodes of “The Addams Family” before bed.

Thursday the 28th – SHIRLEY 92! – Today my “adopted grandma” Shirley turned 92, so I gave her a phone call to wish her a great birthday. She had plans all day and evening with her family, so she was going to be a very busy girl. I headed over to the post office to mail some things, and then picked up a few packages at my mailbox. I came home to pack and finalize my Vegas plans. My house sitter Emily arrived at 8 to take over, and my pal Officer Mark also arrived so we could drive to the airport. All went well; we checked in, got on our flight, got to Vegas at 10:30 and got checked into our rooms at the hotel. Then we went over to a place called the Peppermill to have a late dinner. The music they played on the overhead system had my head swimming. I’m not sure what system it was, but it was great music from the 70’s…but not the usual stuff you always hear. It was peppered (pun intended) with some obscure stuff too. It sounded like somebody had plugged into my iPod and was playing it all through the restaurant. I heard many of my personal favorites and I was elated. I was afraid to go to the bathroom for fear that I’d miss a great song. “Smoke From a Distant Fire,” “Fooled Around and Fell in Love,” “Love is In the Air,” “It Don’t Come Easy,” and even “The Fez” from Steely Dan! I didn’t want to leave! But the night was growing late and we had to get back to the hotel to prep for the convention. The walk back to the hotel was gorgeous; a beautiful Vegas night and perfect weather. I got unpacked and hit the hay.

Friday the 1st – VEGAS TOYCON DAY 1 – It sure felt good to sleep in, though Officer Mark had been busy all morning. He got our wristbands for the convention, and even bought a few 3 day monorail passes to get us around Vegas cheaply and efficiently. We headed out to get lunch and took a spin around Vegas in the monorail. A lady we met pointed out that there was a noticeable lack of birds around Vegas. She had a point. I saw very few while I was there. She said there’s a rumor that Vegas poisons them because they’re considered a nuisance to the tourists. If that’s true, that really sucks. I did manage to find one blackbird who sat in a tree and sang us a great song. Like everyone else in Vegas, he too was a performer. We did a ton of walking around and looking at stuff. I hadn’t anticipated doing quite that much walking, and the Vans I was wearing was making my feet and back hurt. (Not much support in flat Vans shoes) We ate and headed back to the hotel and decided to check out the Toycon, which had just opened at 4. I got a text from my friend Dr. Lou George (we call him “Doom” because of his love of Dr. Doom) who let us know his plane had landed. We’d be meeting he and his wife later for dinner. I headed back to the room to shower off the layer of smoke I had picked up while walking through the numerous casinos during the day. We met at a place called the Sugar Factory where we were joined by my friend Holley, who lives in Vegas. We all had a terrific time and laughed ourselves silly. Officer Mark, Dr. and Mrs. Doom, Holley and I stayed very late. But we had an early morning (and a VERY busy day) planned for Saturday, so we all went to our hotels and crashed.

Saturday the 2nd – VEGAS TOYCON DAY 2 – My panel “I Was Cosplay Before Cosplay Was Cool” was set to start at 10:30. I got to the con at 10 and met up with Doom and his wife, and they were all excited to meet some of his favorite celebrities. He was particularly excited about meeting my pal (and the Greatest Living Voice Actor) Frank Welker at the show, who provided the voice of Megatron in the original Transformers animated series. I couldn’t wait to introduce him to Frank so he could love him as much as we all do. My pal Boz had driven all night from L.A. so he could attend the panel and provide technical support for the slideshow. I did my panel and then went back into the con to find Doom around 11am, as he was due to start lining up for the Frank Welker photo op. But when I found him he was shooting the breeze with Sam “Flash Gordon” Jones! They had become best pals! He was having the time of his life! The Welker photo op went well, and when that was finished it was time for Doom to start lining up for the Peter Cullen photo op (Peter provided the voice of Optimus Prime in the series). I also introduced him to my pals Gregg Berger, Alan Oppenheimer, Bill Farmer and others. When the photo ops finished, it was time for the autographs to begin. Doom had brought several art pieces and figures from home to have signed. He was like a little kid, as he’s never done this kind of thing before. He’s a renowned oral surgeon in South Dakota, and it was fun seeing this well-respected professional enjoying a blast from the past into his childhood! A guy named Tim and his wife, whom we met on the monorail the day before and told about the Toycon, had arrived to check out the convention. They live in Iowa and had come to Vegas to vacation, completely unaware of the Toycon. He told me that he called a friend of his in Des Moines and told him that he met me on the monorail. Tim said his pal retorted, “You know Wally was born in Des Moines, right?” Pretty funny! I had no idea that anyone there knew that! Wild! Since I’ve been enjoying season 2 of “The Addams Family” I had a great time talking with Felix Silla, who played Cousin Itt in most of the episodes. He was explaining to me how the ‘bed of nail’ worked, and how the voice of Itt was recorded. Fascinating stuff! Officer Mark, Dr. and Mrs. Doom and I did some more shopping around the con, but I figured I’d better go back to my room and nap a bit before dinner. After a short nap I got up and started getting ready for dinner. But the dress shirt I brought wasn’t fitting quite right; a bit too tight. From all that…um…muscle mass I was building up I guess. So on the way down to the lobby to catch the cab to dinner, I stopped in at the men’s store in the hotel and found two amazing, perfect shirts. Figuring them to be expensive, I was shocked to find out that they were marked down to 12 dollars! My Vegas luck was holding strong! I put on one of the new shirts and headed to dinner at a place called Mastro’s. There were gorgeous ladies everywhere you looked; all dressed to the nines! It was a fun evening chatting for hours with the gang. We escorted the Dooms back to their hotel, and then Boz, Officer Mark and I hit the monorail back to the hotel. I packed up for a mid-day Sunday flight and slept like a baby!

Sunday the 3rd – FROGS, MOON, DOGGY, KITTY – As it always is on a day I’m flying home, I woke up well before my alarm went off. I cleaned up and packed up the rest of my stuff. I got checked out by 10:45, Officer Mark and I got a cab to the airport, got checked in and had lunch inside until our plane took off. The flight from Vegas to L.A. is only about 45 minutes, and I remember nothing about it, as I pulled my cap down over my eyes and slept the entire time! When running around those cons and chatting with people and getting things done, it takes a ton of energy. So when it’s time to crash, I crash hard. Officer Mark dropped me back at my house, I unpacked and got ready for evening church. Our head pastor Bob Bock was celebrating his 50th year with the church that weekend, so the evening service was very celebratory! Shirley and I went to eat at Paty’s after the service, and I caught her up on the Vegas goings-on, and she caught me up on all her birthday party news. I dropped her home and then came home to nap for a bit. But as I was pulling my car in the garage, I noticed that there was a “singing frog” in the L.A. river outside my house. He was croaking up a storm, and it sounded very nice and peaceful. A few years ago we had a frog who had taken up residence outside our homes when we had heavy rains like we’ve had this year. So I went inside, opened the window in the Puppet Room (the room closest to the L.A. river) and napped like a baby. I had my moon night light on, the frog was croaking, my dog and cat were on the bed with me, and I was completely peaceful. It was nice. I got up later and finished unpacking, did some auditions, and did a little work around the house. It was a fun weekend, but it’s always good to be back home.

And how was YOUR week??!!

PIX FROM THE WEEK

When in Vegas, a visit to the Peppermill is a MUST! Enjoy the tunes…

…I did!

Our afternoon entertainment

Officer Mark got the colorful sliders at Sugar Factory!

Outside it looked like Willy Wonka’s Factory!

Dr. and Mrs. Doom are having a great time! (And they were happy to be out of the sub zero temps of South Dakota!)

The Disney panel was great, and featured my pal Bill Farmer; the voice of Goofy and Pluto, voice of Mickey Bret Iwan, and Margaret Kerry, the figure model for Tinkerbell!

My panel info listed on the directory!

Megatron…in da house!

Doom had struck Megatron’s colors and was elated to get a photo of him!

My new pal Tim from Iowa!

Meeting Felix Silla and getting great “Addams Family” stories was great!

Officer Mark and Bill Farmer get…ahem…GOOFY!

It was a thrill to meet Helga from “Hey Arnold!”

My pal (and dog Odie) Gregg Berger was also there!

Helooooo Green Lantern. This Lantern made me want to run right out and join the Corps!

It was a totally surreal moment when two bodypainted Transfrormers are photobombed by Flash Gordon himself!

The Doom family with the great Frank Welker…Megatron…

…and the great Peter Cullen…Optimus Prime!

Just a couple of South Dakota kids having fun in Vegas!

50 years ago exactly Elvis was taking Vegas by storm with his multi-year residency at our hotel (back then called the Hilton International). The hotel was also used in the James Bond movie “Diamonds are Forever!”

Saturday night and it’s on to dinner in my Bruce Wayne blazer and Riddler ascot

The Dooms enjoy dinner in Vegas

The gang at Mastro’s

Dinner has arrived! It’s Vegas, so let the heavy drinking begin!

Another snappy dresser in Vegas…complete with pocket square!

Even escalator rides are fun in Vegas!

We didn’t want the night to…”drag on!” So we called it a night. What a weekend!!

Here’s the complete “I Was Cosplay Before Cosplay Was Cool” panel from the Vegas Toycon.