RANDOM PIC OF THE WEEK
I love this!
This past week one of my favorite “chill” artists released a new album. Last Friday William Orbit released “The Painter,” and though there are several great tracks on the album, I’ve fallen in love with “Planet Sunrise.” I can’t wait to get back to Palm Springs for some relaxation time on the balcony of my hotel room, chilling to this song (and many others!)
Monday the 22nd – DORITOS DELIGHT! – A computer tech that was recommended by my new Voice Over agency came over to do some tech work and give some advice about my back-up system. I have a huge external drive that’s supposed to back-up all of the updates on my computer every week. But the past few months it hasn’t been backing up because the drive has gotten full. But the drive isn’t supposed to ever get full, as it’s just supposed to be a regularly updated, mirror image of my computer as it stands in its present form. The computer guy who initially set it up is no longer returning my calls, so hopefully this guy can make it work. I just don’t see why this is so difficult, as the concept is pretty simple. THE MISSION: Once a week at an appointed time, the back-up drive is supposed to look at my computer, analyze the changes made on my system over the past week, update those changes to the back-up, and be done. It seems to me that it’s become way more complicated than it needs to be. Roxy’s groomer stopped by to give her a nice bath. I did a Source Connect test to check my line quality with a nice studio engineer in New Jersey. This was in preparation for a Voice Over session I’d be doing later that afternoon. As I continue to do work on my new Mahna Mahna replica Muppet, I’m doing tests on pieces of foam rubber to determine the best method for creating the blinking eye cones. I dyed some small pieces of foam rubber (Rit dye works really great on regular foam rubber!) and then colored one side of the foam black with a Sharpie. Then I made a small cone and painted the edge of the cone with some acrylic paint. It’ll be interesting to see how it comes out. I was sent some interview questions from an on-line publication about the legacy of The Riddler character and the popularity of the Batman Arkham games. Then it was time to connect with the Doritos people and record the voice tracks for the new commercial. It was great fun and I can’t wait to see how the commercial turns out! When I finished I got cleaned up and headed to Foam Mart to get some supplies; some small sheets of foam rubber, some adhesive, adhesive remover, etc. Then I took my Mustang over to the Burbank Auto Doctor to have them replace the idler pulleys, as they were making noise and beginning to malfunction. My pal Sara picked me up at the mechanic and we went to lunch at Lancer’s in Burbank. I went over to Hobby Lobby to get some orange dye so I could make the eye cones for my new Mahna Mahna replica Muppet. The plan is to dye them orange, color the insides black with a Sharpie, and then color the edges yellow with latex paint. I think this new puppet is going to be a big improvement over the one I had made 10 years ago. Sara took me home and I ran some hot water in the sink, poured in the orange dye, stirred it around, made sure the foam eye cones I had made were nice and saturated with water, and put them in and stirred them around for a while. They turned out beautifully! Nice and even, and bright and vivid. This foam really DOES dye well! I grabbed a short nap, and later I got up to do my nightly auditions, work on my computer, organize my bills, and then hit the hay.
Tuesday the 23rd – DEALING WITH A FINICKY 19 YEAR OLD! – After waking up I checked my voicemails and found out that my Mustang was ready. I filled out a contract from Monday’s Voice Over session, and took Roxy out to go potty before I got a ride to the mechanic’s to get my Mustang. But the striker in my front door got stuck in the door jamb and wouldn’t retract! I was locked in! So I had to go around the back. Sometimes that happens with door knobs. The inner workings malfunction and get stuck in the striker receptacle. In this case, the knob needs to be disassembled and the striker needs to be pulled out. But my ride was here so I didn’t have time to do it now. My buddy Mike arrived to pick me up, and he was with his wife Alex, from Alex in Wonderland. She’s the wonderful seamstress and designer who has helped me make most of my Muppet replicas. They drove me to the Burbank Auto Doctor to get my Mustang, and then we went to Lancer’s to eat lunch. It was good to have my car back again! I went to Foam Mart again to pick up a few more supplies. I was looking at the arms on my Robin the Frog replica Muppet and I realized that he was looking a little too buff. So I bought some appropriately-sized foam cord (cylindrical material made from a type of foam that I’ll place in his new arms) and a few other things. I stopped by a sign maker to pick up the banner they printed for my appearance this coming weekend at the Power Morphicon Power Rangers convention. I picked up my packages at my mailbox, got some ice cream at Baskin-Robbins and headed home. But a few hours after picking my car up at the mechanic’s, it was starting to act strangely. It was “rumbling” when I accelerated, and when I was at a stoplight it seemed like it wanted to die. I called my mechanic and turned around and went right back in. At first they thought some moisture might have gotten into the spark plugs during the replacement of one of my hoses. Then they thought one of my fuel injectors may have gone bad. The hooked up my car’s computer to the diagnostic panel to see what was going on. Apparently one of my cylinders was stuck open, flooding my car with fuel, which would explain the smell of gas and the rumbling. The new injector they had delivered didn’t fix the problem. Then they started to think that my Mustang’s computer was going bad. Uh oh. My car will officially be a classic next year (20 years old) and while it only has 81k miles on it, the parts ARE all getting older. So I needed to leave the car overnight again and get a ride home from Sara. If my car needs a new computer it will be close to a week before it’ll be ready to roll again. It looks like I might need to rent a car for a while. Sara came to get me and take me home. I grabbed a screwdriver and took out the broken door knob, disassembled the inner workings of the knob, and removed the striker. I won’t have a door knob there for a while, but I have a deadbolt that will keep it secured. It seems like there’s some new crisis I have to deal with every week. I threw the broken knob and assembly in the trash and made a note to buy a new one at the hardware store tomorrow. It was not my day. I spent about 3 hours at the mechanic’s office as they were trying to determine the cause of my Mustang’s problem, and it was hot and sweaty. I’ll find out tomorrow what they determined. I took a shower to decompress and grab a nap. Later I recorded an audition and made some soup. I planned out my list for the Power Morphicon convention this weekend, as I wanted to make sure not to forget anything. Around 3am I went out to Dead Tree Terrace and sat there to enjoy the quiet evening under a starry sky.
Wednesday the 24th – BRAINDEAD! – Well, the computer in my Mustang needs to be replaced. This will require a special mechanic to look up my Mustang’s VIN and acquire a suitably-programmed computer for that model of car. Then the computer needs to be installed and the bugs need to be worked out. This will take about 4 to 5 days. I recorded a last-minute audition, and then walked to my local Enterprise to see what they had available to rent. The ONLY thing they had left was a Nissan pick-up truck. So…I took it. I drove to the hardware store and bought a new door knob for my front door, went to Subway to get a sandwich, got home to enjoy a quick lunch, and prepared for a session. I walked to Studiopolis for my final session for a new cartoon. It was for a show I’ve worked on for many years, and this session was for the final few episodes. The ending of the show was so fantastic I was literally cheering in the studio when I watched it! I’ll tell you more later after it’s released! I walked back home, fed the pets, and relaxed. I took a short nap and then got up later to record my nightly auditions. I filled out a contract for an upcoming Voice Over session, made some buffalo mac, and watched a few episodes of “The Muppet Show” from the fourth season.
Thursday the 25th – SESSION #3! – This was a VERY busy work week! On the way to my video game session I stopped at Taco Bell to get some lunch, gassed up my rental pick-up truck, and headed to the studio to spend 3 hours working on a video game. When I finished I got a few grocery items, stopped by my mailbox to pick up my packages, and headed back home to feed the pets. I grabbed a quick shower, as I was feeling very grimy, and went over to Miceli’s to enjoy a “goodbye and good luck” dinner for my friend Brittney. She’d be leaving L.A. this Saturday and moving to Texas. After a fun but sad dinner, I came home to nap. Later I did my nightly auditions (which included some fun singing things), and prepped for Power Morphicon on Friday!
Friday the 26th – LET THERE BE (PUPPET) LIGHTS! – The day started with a telemedicine appointment with my doctor, and then my pal Mike came over to install my new door knob. He also helped me install my new “L-shaped” track lighting system upstairs to illuminate my Muppet replicas. I love showing them off, but I felt they needed better lighting so visitors could get a better look at them. We found the overhead beams in the ceiling, and Mike drilled the holes and attached the lighting track. I was scheduled to do a Voice Over bit for a sitcom at 2, but they emailed me and said they might be ready for me as early as 1:30! So I got on my computer and just waited for the high sign from production. When they texted me that they were ready, I got on Zoom and recorded all the audio files locally. They directed me over Zoom, and when the session was finished I edited the final audio files and sent them over. Then I got cleaned up and packed up and headed to Power Morphicon in Pasadena. It was fun meeting all the great folks at the convention. I got back home around 8:45, walked and fed Roxy, made a pizza and took a short nap. I was told that if I brought my Blue Psycho Ranger helmet and kept it on my table, it would be a big attention-getter at the convention. Since the helmet (which was made for me by a fan) is up high, I needed to get a ladder to get the helmet down. Even though I wasn’t the guy in the costume in the show, the fans still love seeing the props at my table. Since Mike put the lighting track up earlier in the day, I placed the electric cord in these little plastic conduits I bought at the hardware store. Then I attached the conduits to the ceiling and the wall to hide the electrical cord. It looks much cleaner and presentable!
Saturday the 27th – POWER MORPHICON – DAY 2! – My pal Sara was supposed to go to the convention with me to assist, but she texted me that she wasn’t feeling well. So I contacted my pal Brandon to have him set me up with a substitute assistant for my table. I drove to the con and hit a little traffic snag, but I still made it relatively on time. My pal Mike and his daughter were there, so I gave them their badges and we went inside. I met some more really nice people and had a very fun day. Because I wasn’t able to acquire a dog sitter for the day, I could only do a short four-hour signing session. I needed to get back home and walk Roxy. After all she’s 14 years old, and has the bladder of a 14 year old dog. I left the con at 4 and headed home to settle in. Let the weekend begin! After a busy week with car problems, four big Voice Over sessions, and a convention, I was ready to relax for a few days! I did a little work around the house, put the Blue Psycho Ranger helmet back on display in my house, took a short nap, and then got up to enjoy the evening. It was a gorgeous, cool night (is summer over already?!). I took Roxy out for our late-night stroll through the neighborhood and enjoyed a nice cigar. I came back inside to make a salad and get ready to watch my traditional episode of “The Saint.” It was a weird episode about boxing; not one of my favorites.
Sunday the 28th – KAUFMANIA! – One of the guys I met at the convention, who was assisting a few of the Power Ranger actors, mentioned to me that he loved seeing my Andy Kaufman collection on-line. He asked if he could see it in person while he was in town. I said I’d be happy to show it to him, so I met up with him for dinner at Chin Chin after the convention ended. We had a fun time talking about Andy Kaufman. He’s only 30 and he’s just starting to learn all about this enigmatic comic performer. After dinner I gave him a tour of Planet Wallywood and he really enjoyed seeing everything. After he left I took a short nap, and then did my nightly auditions later. I scanned some checks for some bank deposits, paid some bills, and did some accounting and bookkeeping work. It’s going to be nice having a few days off over the next week!
And how was YOUR week??!!
PIX FROM THE WEEK
OK, this is a weird one. I found the Doritos commercial I voiced this week on-line. It turned out great I think. But the commentary after the commercial is ALSO me. But while the commercial is voiced by the REAL me, the post-commercial commentary was done using a simple text-to-speech program that I voiced several years ago. Real Wally…meet AI Wally! I can honestly say this was a career FIRST!