September 18 – September 24



RANDOM PIC OF THE WEEK

And since this past week was Jim Henson’s birthday, he’s a very early and rare shot of Jim and his wife Jane!

For some reason, the entire week I’ve been singing “Mahna Mahna,” as performed by The Muppets. It’s been stuck in my head since the Muppets Take the Bowl show a few weeks ago. Fun song!

Monday the 18th – WORK ETHIC?! WHAT WORK ETHIC?! – What is happening to the work ethic in this world? It seems like nobody cares, even when I’m spending good money for their services. I woke up around 1 to let my carpet cleaners in to do a little spot cleaning. They left a message on my phone telling me that they were held up with another job and couldn’t make it today. Could I be there tomorrow? NO! I cleared this day for them, I can’t just blow off another day waiting around for them. I’ve been a customer of theirs’ for 17 years; I thought I’d get better service. I called them and told them to get a crew over right away, and they agreed. Then, over the past week, my security company has been calling me and bugging me to confirm our appointment for Tuesday so I could have the alarm system in Planet Wallywood upgraded. Today I got a message telling me that if I didn’t confirm for the appointment I made, they’d cancel it. WHAT? I understand a “courtesy reminder” (like your doctor does) but the threat of canceling the appointment was insulting to me. I’m a professional. If I made an appointment I’m going to be here. I called their office and told them I would be here, but I was very insulted by their lack of professionalism. I’m good at my word. I don’t need to reconfirm under the threat of cancellation. Sheesh! While I waited for the carpet guys I did some work. I needed some adhesive-backed foam core, but I didn’t want to have to drive all the way out to Burbank to get it at Hobby Lobby. So I called my local Michaels Crafts. The first time I spent 10 minutes on hold. Then I hung up. I returned the van I rented for the Sons of the Desert banquet back to Enterprise. On the walk back home I called Michaels again. This time I was on hold for 15 minutes. The third time I called and talked to the manager and told her that Hobby Lobby would have given me the answer to the question in 3 or 4 minutes, and they were off their game. I suggested serious improvement if they ever hoped to be a serious competitor with Hobby Lobby. I tried to keep my business local, but they’re making it very difficult. The carpet guys showed up and it only took them about 20 minutes to spot clean my carpet in one area. I fed Roxy and Spook, and then headed to Hobby Lobby to get my foam core. I met my assistant Sara for dinner at Lancers, and even the service THERE was lousy! What’s going on?! On the way home I stopped off at my mailbox to pick up some mail, and then I stopped at the grocery store to get some supplies. I made it home with my foam core and mounted my new Monster Candy black light signs I bought at Son of Monsterpalooza the previous weekend! They looked awesome! Then I recorded my nightly auditions and typed out Wally’s Week. Whew! What a day! I fed and walked Roxy on our late night stroll through the complex, made a Tombstone pizza and watched 2 more “Taxi” episodes before bed.

Tuesday the 19th – SECURITY DAY! – Upgrading my security system in Planet Wallywood was WAY overdue. Today was the day it was getting updated. The ADT guy arrived on time at 1 and while he puttered about I did a last-minute audition. He worked all day on my system and it’s MUCH better than it was before! But I was still tired from the busy previous weekend! So while he worked I napped for a while in the Puppet Room. He was blowing the alarm, making all sorts of noise and commotion, and I heard NOTHING! I was THAT tired! I woke up around 5:30 to feed the pets, and he was still working away. I was supposed to be at the June Foray Memorial/Celebration that evening at the Academy, but time was slipping away. I kept looking at the clock trying to figure out how to make it, but the technician didn’t finish working on my alarm until around 8:30. I would never have made the memorial in time. Oh well, security comes first I guess. And June would have forgiven me. I continued to work around the house to get ready for my buddy Dave Rowe to arrive on Thursday. He’s an old pal from South Dakota, and I’ve known him about 35 years. He was on the Sioux Falls Police Force when I was a radio DJ on an oldies station back in 1982. He also had a side business as a mobile DJ. When I started planning my wedding in late September of 1982 I asked him to spin the hits for my wedding dance. Hard to believe that was 35 years ago this week! I put some new lighting in the Puppet Room and it looked great! I made some hot dogs on the grill and watched “Taxi” before bed.

Wednesday the 20th – GREAT PLATE! – Because I was so exhausted I slept until 3 in the afternoon. I had a last-minute auditions and then sped off to my local AAA office to pick up my new “legacy” license plates for my Mustang. The California DMV offers new plates that look like the old black and yellow plates from back in the 60’s. Since my Mustang is black, I figured they’d look amazing. And when I picked them up, they DID! I got a pizza and some Crazy Bread at the nearby Little Caesar’s, and then went to my mailbox to get some packages. Then I went home and did some work. My personal trainer Natalie Duran from “American Ninja Warriors” came over for a brief workout (my back is better, but still sensitive) and she headed back home to pack for her upcoming trip to Italy. So I won’t be seeing her for a while, but my back should be all better by the time she returns. I worked on doing input for my database, and I organized some receipts. I also worked on tidying up the Puppet Room for my buddy Dave. I fed and walked Roxy, made some stew and watched a few more episodes of “Taxi.” When I turned in early Thursday morning it was raining. GORGEOUS!

Thursday the 21st – ROWE, ROWE, ROWE… – Once again I slept late, and when I got up I did some work and continued to get the house ready for my pal Dave who would be flying in later tonight. I checked his flight on-line and everything was on-time! I dubbed some LPs to CD, and then ripped them into my computer for a cool compilation of Muppet songs I’m making. Dave texted me and said he’s in town! His flight was a half hour early! I hopped in the Torino and headed out to get him. He was really pleased when he saw me pull up. We ate at Coral Café and got caught up on news from back home in South Dakota. After dinner we went out back to get in my car and we saw about 6 guys (ages 17-23) playing catch and smoking pot. Dave, being from South Dakota (and being a former cop) isn’t used to seeing that. So when we got in my Torino, and I started to pull out of my parking place, I hit the siren for about a second. BWA-WOOOOO! The pot smoking catch-players tossed away their weed and scattered. It was hilarious, and Dave will be talking about it for a long time. I said to Dave, “Gee. That was a total accident, Officer. I didn’t mean to do that.” Dave said, “Of course not. You were reaching for the air conditioning and hit the siren by accident.” What fun! We got to my house and we relaxed and Dave unpacked.

Friday the 22nd – CARTOON CRAZINESS! – The maids arrived around 2, and I was getting nervous that they wouldn’t be done in time for me to head to Studiopolis to do voice work on a new cartoon I’m doing. But luckily they finished just in time, and Dave and I headed over so he could watch me work for a few hours. After I finished we headed to my house to feed the pets, and then we went to Jerry’s Famous Deli to meet my new pal Dr. Alan Cowen. We met at the Sons of the Desert banquet, and he wants to get a set of lifesize figures made, just like mine. Dr. Cowen was once a paramedic, and like Dave, he had also been a police officer. They had lots of fun stories to share! Then we headed back home and turned in for an early Saturday!

Saturday the 23rd – SEE ‘EM AT THE MUSEUM! – Right at noon I swapped my Torino for my Mustang, and my friends Scott and Vickie Sebring stopped over so we could go to the Hollywood Museum in Hollywood. I drove Dave, Scott and Vickie to the Universal Studios subway station and we all hopped a subway to get into Hollywood. What a time saver! The Hollywood Museum is terrific, and we got a tour from Steve; one of the curators. Scott and I will be involved in a REALLY big project at the museum soon…so stay tuned! After the tour we ate lunch next door at Mel’s, and then we went across the street to show Dave the famous Chinese Theatre! I stopped over at the El Capitan Theatre to get some popcorn, and then we headed back to the subway platform to head back to our area. I stopped at the grocery store on the way home to get some supplies, and then I spent a while showing Scott and Vickie some footage from the Muppets Take the Bowl performance. Before I knew it, it was time for movie night! Dave told a fun story about the time he drove Elvis Presley during the time he was in Sioux Falls in 1976 for a concert. Dr. Alan told a great story about meeting Elvis in 1970 when he was Elvis’ guest at the International Hotel in Las Vegas. In keeping with the theme, we showed “Spinout” starring Elvis and Shelley Fabares. After everyone left I grabbed a short nap, and then spent all night consolidating my audio Voice-Over CDs into one rack. I labeled the cases and put them away in the rack. It was a HUGE organizational job, and I still have a ton left to do! I made my traditional Saturday Night Super Salad and watched “Tom Jones at Soundstage” on Blu Ray. But it was fairly disappointing, as a lot of the songs he did weren’t very good. Even the old favorites were done in such a style as to make them virtually unrecognizable. But it looked good and the sound quality was amazing! I just wish the music would have been better.

Sunday the 24th – WHIRLWIND WEEKEND! – It was nice to be able to sleep in until 4. Dave had walked to DuPar’s and had breakfast, and visited the Sunday Farmer’s Market. He watched football all day while I slept. We went to evening church, and then my “adopted grandma” Shirley, Dave and I all went to Miceli’s for some good Italian food. When we got back Dave turned in (he’s still on South Dakota time) and I grabbed a short nap. I got up later and did some auditions, and continued my consolidation project for all my Voice-Over CDs and DVDs. I have to be up early Monday morning though for a BIG surprise for Dave. More on THAT next week!

And how was YOUR week??!!

PIX FROM THE WEEK

Former police officer (and Elvis driver) Dave Rowe tells about the time in 1976 when he chauffeured Elvis to and from his concert in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. (With Robo-Elvis keeping a keen ear peeled)

Dave and Dr. Alan added fun stories to Planet Wallywood Movie Night!

The Hollywood Museum has Pee-Wee Herman’s suit and bike on display!