If you’ve been following my adventure with acquiring my dad’s first ukulele, you’ll know that he’s had several ukes throughout his life. He bought one when he was in the Army in Germany in the 50’s, but because of limited space for his luggage he donated it to the Servicemen’s Office so another soldier could enjoy it someday. Here he is goofing around with that ukulele during some downtime.

While I was driving around this obscure song from ZZ Top came on my iPod. It wasn’t a huge hit, but a great song nonetheless. “Tube Snake Boogie!”


Monday the 15th – AAAAAAND…I’M OFF! – The busy week was off to a roaring start. With next weekend’s appearance at Power Morphicon in Pasadena fast approaching, I needed to do a quick inventory check of my available photo prints. If I needed to order additional prints I needed to get the order in by today in order for it to arrive in time for the convention. There were about 5 different prints that I was running short on, so I emailed the printer and got them ordered. I spoke with the computer tech who flaked on me last Friday and he attempted to gain remote access to my computer to diagnose my problem. But for some reason the instructions he gave me weren’t working. So he agreed to come next Monday and look at it in person. I hope he actually shows up this time. Not sure why computer people are so freakin’ flaky. Is it in their training? Like I always say, “You can’t get good help anymore.” I did some other work until it was time to walk to my Voice Over cartoon session. I worked for four hours, and then walked back home to relax. I did a few hours’ worth of work, took a short nap, did my nightly auditions, and then typed out Wally’s Week. I hit the hay early to do another long cartoon session the next day.

Tuesday the 16th – ELVIS 45! – Hard to believe that Elvis Presley died 45 years ago today. Time really flies. I remember hearing the news like it was yesterday. My Tuesday started with a last-minute audition, and I needed to record a quick pick-up line from the session I did in my home studio last Thursday. Before my session I wanted to run a few quick errands, which included a trip through the McDonald’s drive-thru. I feared the worst, as it was 12:30 in the afternoon. But when I got to the restaurant there was NO line at all! Apparently I had just missed the rush. I drove to my box to pick up my packages which included the new yardage of purple fleece for my new Mahna Mahna puppet I’m making. I got back home and prepped for my afternoon session. I walked over to Studiopolis and did four hours’ worth of work on a cartoon. I walked back home, took a quick shower, and then drove to Little Toni’s to meet up with my pal Dan Roebuck. We were going to have dinner with our friend “Bazooka” Joe, our 103 year old WWII veteran buddy and his family. Dan knows the artist who draws the Bazooka Joe comics for the bubblegum, and he had the artist do a caricature of OUR “Bazooka” Joe. It turned out very nicely, and it’ll be a great gift. He presented it to Joe and the smile on his face lit up the entire restaurant! It was a great 3.5 hour dinner, but I was exhausted! I got home and fell asleep in the Puppet Room. I got up later to record my nightly auditions, and then fed and walked Roxy. But she wasn’t doing that well. She was having trouble with her mobility. Poor little girl. I came back inside after our walk and did some work.

Wednesday the 17th – HEAD FAILURE! – Hungry, I drove to Carl’s Jr. to get some lunch at the drive-thru. Make no mistake, even though it’s considered “fast food” it is by no means inexpensive! The meal I was handed was underwhelming. Overcooked chicken strips (that were mostly breading) and overcooked criss-cut fries. Yuck. I went over to Michael’s craft store to pick up my new framed piece, and it turned out beautifully! I walked over to Studiopolis for a two hour cartoon session, and then I came back home to start working on the head for my new Mahna Mahna replica Muppet. I had an appointment with my seamstress on Thursday, and I wanted to have a head done and ready for her to cover. So I’d be working through the night. I created a pattern for the head and cut the wedges of foam rubber. I got them all glued together, and while it turned out to be a really nice little puppet head, it wasn’t right for Mahna Mahna. So I adjusted it a bit but ended up ruining it for any future use. So I redid the pattern and cut new foam wedges. I received the final video segments I needed to complete the little Muppet video project we were doing for a kid in South Dakota, and I took great delight in editing them into the final video. Then I grabbed a short nap. Later I recorded my nightly auditions, and continued working all night on my Mahna Mahna replica Muppet. I got a lot of great work done on him, but as I finished I noticed it was dawn. When I’m working on a puppet the time just flies! It’s certainly not the first time I worked all night on a puppet!

Thursday the 18th – PULLEY PROBLEMS! – After only a few hours of sleep I got up to greet the maids so they could clean Planet Wallywood. Then I did a last-minute audition that required the actor to record 12 different spots! That’s a bit excessive for an audition, but the client wanted to hear range. So, I recorded them and sent them in. Then I sped off to my box to pick up some more materials for my new Mahna Mahna replica Muppet. I hit the KFC drive-thru and then went over to Alex in Wonderland to discuss the particulars about creating the puppet. Alex’s husband Mike is a Mustang expert, so I asked him about an intermittent squeal that was occurring underneath my hood. He said I have two idler pulleys, and both of which were going south. He also spotted a radiator hose that was literally turning to dust! I needed to get to the Burbank Auto Doctor and get some service scheduled soon! I went inside and consulted with Alex about the puppet, and we watched a lot of videos so she could see his size and how he looked. I gave her the puppet head I made the previous night, and I gave her some of the fabrics and materials she would need to stitch it all together. We drew out a few ideas and she started working. She and Mike are also making me some 4 foot tall cartoon cutouts of Mr. Magoo and Popeye that are very similar to the artwork that used to adorn the walls on the set of my favorite cartoon kid’s show when I was a child. The pieces have been completely cut out and primed, and they’re going to start painting them very soon. I got home to do some work, grabbed a nap, and then did my nightly auditions later. I did some work on the computer, made a nice salad, and watched a few more episodes of “The Muppet Show” before bed.

Friday the 19th – TWO DIFFERENT DOCTORS! – With urgency I drove over to the Burbank Auto Doctor to show them the problems with my idler pulleys and they got the necessary parts ordered. I’ll take it in for service on Monday. Then I ordered my booth banner for my appearance at Power Morphicon next weekend. And then I went to my internist’s office to discuss my upcoming colonoscopy, which I need to have every three years due to my genetics. But luckily, they said I didn’t need to have an endoscopy this time, because when I had one three years ago the doctor was satisfied with the results. I had the consultation with the nurse, got the instructions, and they said the scheduler would call me next week to schedule the procedure. It’s something everybody of a certain age needs to do, especially if they’re allergic to cancer. I had fully intended to stop by Paty’s and enjoy a salad on the patio. But I remembered that Wienerschnitzel was on the way home, and a couple of chili cheese dogs with kraut sounded really good. As did the banana split that I could enjoy afterwards, since Foster Freeze is also a part of Wienerschnitzel! After a delicious meal I headed home to start the weekend and relax. Multiple sessions were booking up for next week, and the coming week was promising to be a VERY busy one! It’s great to have an agent now who is worth their salt! I’ll do a commercial session on Monday, another cartoon session next Wednesday, and a video game session next Thursday. Then next Friday and Saturday I’ll be at Power Morphicon for a few hours signing autographs. After enjoying a short nap I did some paint tests on the Mahna Mahna eye cones I made out of foam rubber. I used regular acrylic paint, and while it covered the foam well, it saturated the foam and made them too heavy and inflexible. If the cones didn’t need to flex it would have worked out fine. But part of the charm of that puppet is that the cones need to “blink,” which means they have to retain some spring and flex. I’ll need to figure something else out. I drove the Denny’s to get some food to go, and then came home to enjoy some quiet time on Dead Tree Terrace sky watching. I walked Roxy on our late-night stroll through the neighborhood, and then came inside to enjoy the rest of my evening. I managed to bring YouTube up on the new Blu Ray player in my bedroom, but once it came on I couldn’t get it to stop. The remote was unresponsive; I couldn’t fast forward, rewind, stop, etc. I’ll need to call my A/V guy to see what to do. I needed to completely shut the power down in my system to sever the connection. I watched an episode of “The Muppet Show” and hit the hay.

Saturday the 20th – SATURDAY SERENITY! – The weather was gorgeous and though the temps were warm, it wasn’t hot. It was VERY pleasant! I walked to my stylist’s to get a touch up on my color, and then came back home to relax. I ordered a Domino’s pizza, did a little work on the computer, and spent the rest of the evening relaxing. With the heavy week I have coming up I’m taking every opportunity to relax that I can get. I did some auditions that were due on Monday just to get ahead of the game. Later I made my traditional Saturday Night Super Saint Salad and watched another great episode of “The Saint.”

Sunday the 21st – MY PAL PERRY! – If you remember from last week’s Wally’s Week, I met a puppet builder and designer named Steve Troop at Bob’s Big Boy and we exchanged information. We set up a lunch at Paty’s to talk puppets and enjoy the day. While we were eating out on the patio, a guy walked by with a gorgeous parrot named Perry. When I said the name Perry, the parrot cocked his head and looked at me. He knows his name! On my way out I stopped by the table to talk to him a little more about Perry. He asked me if I’d like to hold him. I declined, but he said not to be scared. I held out my finger and he put Perry on my finger to perch. I told Perry what a beautiful boy he was and his owner told me about the circumstances under which he came to own Perry. I kept talking to Perry and he responded with a loud whistle. When his owner attempted to take him back, Perry didn’t want to go. He crawled further up my arm and wanted to perch on my shoulder. I guess the old visual of a parrot on the shoulder of a pirate is true. Perry’s owner was a young, clean cut guy. So maybe Perry saw me as his visual idea of a potential pirate buddy. We had a good laugh, and I honestly believe that Perry was ready to go home with me! An elderly dog and cat are all that I can handle right now though. But it sure was nice meeting Perry and his owner. Steve followed me to my house for a quick tour of Planet Wallywood. I think he and I are going to collaborate on some puppet ideas, and we already discussed ideas for the Mahna Mahna eye cones. He said that foam rubber dyes very well, so I may dye them orange, color the insides black with a Sharpie marker, and that just leaves the edges left to paint yellow. But I can find a very light, flexible paint to use so the cones don’t lose their flexibility and springiness. Steve brought over some of the puppets that he built, and his abilities as a builder are way above my skill level. It was great seeing his dog puppets that have ears that perk up. They’re magnificent! I took a short nap, prepped for a very busy Monday, recorded an audition, and got a head start by typing up Wally’s Week. During my late-night stroll through the neighborhood with Roxy, I saw her notice something toward the front of the complex in which we live. I wanted to see what she was looking at so I hit the area with my headlamp. I saw four glowing eyes staring back at me about 25 yards ahead. Coyotes! I started walking toward them, turned my headlamp on strobe to scare them, and started clacking Roxy’s poop scoop to create noise. They shuffled off the premises fairly quickly. They had come down from the hills looking for food and water, no doubt. I came back inside and hit the hay to prepare for a very early, very long day on Monday.

And how was YOUR week??!!



“Bazooka Joe” proudly displays the caricature of him that was done by the official Bazooka Joe bubble gum artist who draws all of the comics you get with the gum.

Dan Roebuck and I pose with “Bazooka” who LOVED the artwork!

“Bazooka Joe” stands next to a map of Italy on the wall of Little Toni’s restaurant, and points out the city from where his family originated…Bari!

As you can see, WWII vet and 103 year old good guy “Bazooka Joe” LOVED the caricature Dan Roebuck presented to him.

Starting on the head and eye cones for my new Mahna Mahna replica Muppet!

It was a thrill walking into Michael’s and seeing all of the Halloween stuff on display. Before you decry the fact that it’s “too early,” please note that Michael’s is a crafting store, and crafters need to get an earlier start on all the holidays than normal to ensure they have ample time to complete their projects before the magical date arrives.