An artist that uses the name Divin_Thanatos on Instagram did these sketches of a few of the Christoween characters. I love them! Follow her on Instagram!

As I was driving around this week I started humming, for no apparent reason, the 1979 Dire Straits song “Lady Writer.” I’ve always been surprised that this song wasn’t a bigger hit. The guitar work on it is phenomenal.


Monday the 2nd – THE HOT WEATHER MADE ME (NOT) DO IT! – There were several errands I would have liked to have done, but the hot weather made me lazy. So I stayed inside most of the day. Since it’s now August the hot, summery weather is here. I was carefully examining the eye pieces for my new 10% Rowlf Muppet replica and I decided that I had a few problems with them. One had a small pit in it, and the other had a small speck on it. I could have let them go, but that’s not my nature. So I got out some fine grain sandpaper and sanded off all the paint and primer that I had applied a few weeks ago. I kept sanding and sanding until both the pit and the speck were gone. They were smoooooth! Once it cools down a bit I’ll re-prime and re-paint them to my liking. I recorded my nightly auditions and then typed out Wally’s Week. Later I made a pot pie and watched another episode of “Mod Squad.” My old pal and church buddy Randy Carver was in the episode playing a philosophy student! I love moments like those when I recognize friends in these old shows!

Tuesday the 3rd – SUPPLEMENTAL SANDING! – Over the past few months I’ve been having trouble finding my new drink of choice – unsweetened Pure Leaf black tea. Most of the places I’ve shopped have had all the other flavors, but they’ve been out of that. So I decided to go to a bunch of different stores until I found a suitable supply. BINGO! First stop I found a bunch! Then I drove over to Jack In The Box to get some food at their drive-thru, and then headed home to eat dinner. I worked on-line for a bit, and then I decided to sand two Cookie Monster eyeballs. I really loved how the test eyeball came out, but because my effects guy Jim Ojala didn’t have the proper measurements at the time for where to drill the hole for the pupil, the hole was slightly too low. I had found perfect eyeballs at Hobby Lobby in the form of chrome-plated plastic Christmas ornaments. Once I snapped off the little hanger, I noticed that the hanger had been attached to a nice little neck on the end of the ornament. This would give me a perfect little stem to seat into an eye support plate under Cookie’s top layer of fur. Unfortunately the plastic of the ornament was much too thin to be of any real use, so I had Jim pour in some liquid plastic and do a roto-cast. That means that only the inside walls of the ornament are fortified with an extra layer of hard plastic, but the eyeball is still hollow. He did this to four ornaments, two that I could use for the eyeballs, and two extra ones in case I screwed up the first two. Sadly, in my experimentation process, I was snapping the stem in and out of a test piece of styrene plastic (which I was going to use for an eyeball support plate) that part of the stem snapped off – leaving it useless for my purposes. Now I was down to three usable eyeballs. That was a good lesson to learn, though. In order to reinforce the stems going forward, I’m going to plug them with a small piece of Magic Sculpt (a two-part hardening molding epoxy) before I seat them into the final puppet. That will keep them fortified and help resist cracking. I was happy with the sanding job I did on the eyeballs, so I took them outside and gave them a few coats of primer to prep them for painting.

Wednesday the 4th – MAGIC CARPET! – It had been a while, so I figured it was time to have all the carpets in the house cleaned; upstairs and downstairs. The company I’ve been using since I moved in 22 years ago this month is Chem Dry. They did a very thorough job. After they left I drove over to Paty’s to meet up with my girlfriend Michelle for a late lunch on the patio. I mailed off some Christoween merchandise to a collector in the U.K., so it took a bit longer at the post office than usual. After dinner I came home to work on-line and do my auditions. One commercial audition had WAAAAAY too much direction. In fact, there was a line of direction for virtually every line in the script. When I see something like that I see a red flag; pure amateur hour! However, I did the audition anyway and sent it in. But it looked like the producer or writer of this script had never worked with voice actors before. Too much over-direction is an insult. The idea is to give a few pointers going in, find the voice you like, and when you get them in the studio, THEN you can give them more specific direction. I painted the newly sanded 10% Rowlf eyes and they’re looking much better. I also put a few coats of paint on the Cookie Monster eyeballs. They were looking VERY good! While Roxy and I were on our late-night stroll through the neighborhood we heard two owls hooting at the same time. It was beautiful! Later I made some barbecue shredded beef sandwiches and watched “Mod Squad.” Even though I went to bed very late, the carpets were still a bit moist. They did a VERY thorough job cleaning them!

Thursday the 5th – REALLY ROXY? REALLY?! – As I launched out of bed I saw with horror, a small wet spot on my bedroom carpet. Roxy had an accident on the newly cleaned carpets. Rats! This means that she’s most likely getting incontinent (since I always walk her right before we retire) and I’ll have to put her in doggie Depends every time we go to sleep. Ugh. Michelle came over after her photoshoot for her new headshots and we went out to Smokehouse for dinner. Learning from my mistake of last week, I called ahead for a reservation this time! As usual, the food was fantastic! We got to Planet Wallywood and relaxed. I did my auditions, and then I showed Michelle a movie called “Magic” with Anthony Hopkins, Ann-Margret, and Burgess Meredith. It’s one of my favorites. I thought she’d be creeped out by it, but she wasn’t.

Friday the 6th – AS THE CROW FIGHTS! – The maids were expected between 1 and 3, and I had gotten up to greet them. But shortly after 1 the maid service called and said the ladies were very delayed and that they wouldn’t be able to make it until around 4. So I got ready to run some errands so I wouldn’t be sitting around the house until then. I had received an e-mail that the doggie dental service that I always use had a few openings for that afternoon, so I called and got an appointment for 2:30. Roxy hadn’t had her teeth cleaned in about a year, so it was time. I got her over there, they cleaned them up nicely (no anesthesia) and after 10 minutes she was good to go. I got her back home safely, and then I headed back out to find some specific screws that I wanted to use for my Cookie Monster’s pupils. The way they get his pupils to spin on his eyeballs is by seating a tiny screw at the top of the pupils, and fastening it into the eyeball. When the puppet moves the pupil spins off axis and looks like wiggly eyes. Brilliant in its simplicity. In my stash, I had found one tiny black screw that was perfect. I’m not sure where it originally came from, but neither the guys at the hardware store nor the folks at Kit Kraft could identify it. Rats. Now I have to go on a new search mission. The thing I liked about that screw was its super-thin shaft and smooth threads. It was perfect for my purposes. I picked up some more vitamins at GNC, a couple of nice cigars at my neighborhood cigar place, and then I pulled into my garage just as the maids were arriving. Great timing! After they left, and as the weather cooled off in the early evening, I went outside to put another coat of paint on my Cookie Monster eyeballs. I heard all sorts of ruckus with the neighborhood crows. In our area there is a ton of wildlife. I particularly enjoy watching and listening to all of the birds, given that our area is so lush with trees and greenery. I most enjoy listening to the Mourning Doves. I find their sound soothing and they’re fun to watch. But occasionally a hawk will come by looking for a quick hot lunch. When I see a hawk lurking in the trees overhead I try to discourage their presence. I clap loudly, shout, and throw things at them. They eventually leave if I persist. The other day I was talking to a neighbor and I spotted a hawk overhead in a tree hunting for prey. I did my usual scare routine and it left. My neighbor informed me that the area crows usually gang up and chase the hawks out of the area. I had never seen such a thing before, nor could I understand why the crows would do that. But as I was spraying my Cookie Monster eyes out behind my garage, that’s indeed what I witnessed. Several crows were squawking and were in hot pursuit of a beautiful hawk and they flew directly over my head with lightning speed!! The hawk was indeed gorgeous, but I was glad to see him leaving. In fact, I caught myself cheering on the crows! They all flew off in the distance, while other crows sat in the trees overhead squawking. Then the hawk came back and was in pursuit of a single crow. The crows in the tree above took off to help their comrade. It was quite a sight! But all was quiet and no sign of a hawk anywhere! I really hate seeing the mass of Mourning Dove feathers after a hawk has come to dine. Good job, crows! Next time I see you around, I’m going to treat you to some leftover French friends or almonds! I went inside to poke around in my stash of screws again, and was able to find several more of those thin black screws! BINGO! After the Cookie Monster eyes had dried, I carefully drilled a tiny hole into the eyeball, and seated the black pupil with the thin screws. NICE! It worked perfectly! I made some spaghetti and watched another episode of “Mod Squad.”

Saturday the 7th – POP STOP! – After resting all day, my pal Officer Mark picked me up in the early evening so we could go visit Galco’s in Glendale. They sell all sorts of vintage candies, toys and soda pop varieties. I love their selection, but I was most interested in stocking up on Dublin Red, the alternate Dr. Pepper. However, shortly after arriving we found out they were all sold out of Dublin Red and were expecting a shipment soon. Rats! But that didn’t stop me from stocking up on all sorts of OTHER great sodas for my “whine” cabinet. I was first introduced to Galco’s when I was taken there for my birthday. I’ll check their website to see when the Dublin Red has returned to their stock, and then go pick up a few cases before it sells out again! We headed to a diner in Pasadena for dinner. The last time I was there I had a delicious hamburger, but for some reason the enchilada on their menu looked like it would hit the spot. In my culinary adventures I have learned not to order Italian food at a Jewish deli, and not to order Mexican food at a diner. But against my better judgment, I ordered a quesadilla and the enchilada. Bad mistake. I should have listened to my little voice and gotten the burger. It was very lackluster, but at least hanging out with Officer Mark for a few laughs was a great time! I got back home and did a little work and relaxed. Later I did some work around the house and, being the first Saturday of the month, I prepped for Laurel and Hardy Theater. This is the time when I allow myself to take a trip to yesteryear when I was 13 years old, huddled in front of the tube on a late Saturday night to see which Laurel and Hardy films the local TV station would air. Eating leftover pizza, a bag of gas station popcorn, a banana flip, and drinking Pepsi on ice out of one of the two ceramic Laurel and Hardy mugs my mom made me at her ceramics class. So to honor the nostalgia, I made a Chef Boyardee pizza (a taste of my childhood!), and popped some popcorn. I iced up my Stan Laurel mug (Yes! I still have those mugs my mom made!) and rummaged around my stash to find a banana Twinkie; the closest thing I’ve found to the taste of the old banana flip dessert cakes. I watched three two-reel shorts, just like they used to air on Saturday night on KABY-TV in Aberdeen, South Dakota. I watched “Be Big,” where Stan and Ollie try to bail out of a weekend trip with the wives to Atlantic City when they learn their lodge is throwing a stag party in their honor. Then I watched “Chickens Come Home, where Ollie’s running for Mayor but an old girlfriend blackmails him with a scandalous photo. And finally I watched one of my favorites (because it’s about a dog) called “Laughing Gravy.” That’s the one where Stan and Ollie’s little dog Laughing Gravy gets them into trouble with the landlord of their apartment. At the end of the film, the DVD showed the ‘missing alternate ending’ that was removed from the film. But as I watched it, it seemed very familiar. I had seen that before. Was it possible that the alternate ending was the one used for the old TV syndication package back in the 70’s? The original ending has Stan and Ollie getting kicked out on a cold winter’s night by the landlord, but just as they’re leaving a cop shows up to quarantine the building for smallpox. The landlord is unable to get rid of Laurel and Hardy for two months! But the alternate ending has Stan getting a telegram that awards him an inheritance of a thousand dollars (GASP!) if he leaves Ollie. I really do love these films!

Sunday the 8th – DAY OF REST! – And that’s EXACTLY what I did! All day, in fact. Later I did some auditions, worked around the house and moved Spook’s cat house out of the Chaney Room and back into its usual position. However, I’ve noticed of late that Spook doesn’t spend too much time on it any more. Perhaps because he’s older he doesn’t like all the climbing. I sure liked having all the extra room in my workspace without the cat house while the carpets were drying. So if he’s not using it, I may end up giving it away to a family with a much younger cat. I drove to Denny’s to get some food to go, and came home to enjoy a nice cigar while I walked Roxy on our late-night stroll through the neighborhood. I ate dinner and watched a Christmas episode of “Mod Squad” that was really quite good. I saw my old pal Bill Bassett in the episode. Fun!

And how was YOUR week??!!


I used a white-grey for the Cookie Monster eyes, and it takes to flash very nicely. For puppet eyes, I always avoid true white colors because some lighting can make them glare too much. So I always choose an off-white color of some sort.

Just me and Donnie Druthers, hanging out! This is some fabric I had printed that I’ll turn into plush figures someday.

The candy assortment at Galco’s is fantastic!

I’ve got my cart full of goodies and I’m ready to check out!

Quick! Time to head home to enjoy all these terrific treats!

I’m sorry to have to announce the death of my biggest fan.

Back at Planet Wallywood, Roxy and Officer Mark enjoy a quick photoshoot.

My “whine cabinet” is well stocked again. (I call it that because I whine if any of these items are missing)

The Cookie Monster eyes are all finished and ready to be installed into the puppet when it comes back from Alex in Wonderland. (Note: I was shooting this in a mirror, so the pupil scheme is backwards).