While surfing the web, an ad came up for this shirt and once I saw it, I just HAD to have it! It’s very much in keeping with the whole Christoween vibe (check out Christoween.net) plus it was on-sale after Christmas! What a GREAT design!!


This is one Christmas song that I had never paid too much attention to in Christmases past, but this year I caught myself humming it a lot. The angelic voice of Karen Carpenter and “Merry Christmas Darling” is a real classic!


Monday the 21st – WINTER SOLSTICE AND A CHRISTMAS STAR! – My pal Sara met me at the Auto Doctor in Burbank so I could drop off my Mustang. I was getting a creaking sound in my steering wheel every time I turned. One of their mechanics is a Mustang expert, and all of their mechanics are classic car specialists. It’s where I’ve been taking my Gran Torino for years. Greg, the Mustang specialist, said that it sounded like a bad bushing. He said often times it only takes a spray of brake fluid to get it to stop creaking. Can it really be that simple? Sara and I went to Paty’s to get some food to go, and then brought it to my house to consume our feast. While she was over she trimmed Spooky’s nails; something he absolutely hates. He screams like he’s being murdered. I like Spook a lot, but I have to be honest. He’s the last cat I’ll ever own. I’ll probably always have a dog. But no more cats for me. I got busy painting some touch-ups on my “star window” – a star field that I’m going to put on my kitchen ceiling. After having my contractor Handy Don bust through my faux ceiling in the kitchen to repair a leak recently, I got a great idea. After the access hole was patched, it obviously would have to be repainted. But why paint it the color it used to be, when I could paint it a whole DIFFERENT color – and put glow stars on it!? I did the majority of the work last week so it would be nice and dry by Christmas Eve. Every Christmas Eve I do a “Creative Christmas” project (last year I started making my Oscar the Grouch replica) and this year I’d be populating my “star window” with lots of glow stars in different diameters. If you remember from last week’s Wally’s Week, you know about all the rookie mistakes I made during the painting. I was determined not to make any more. This time I’d paint the edges with masking tape, but remove the tape immediately after painting it before it had a chance to dry. It worked pretty well. I’m going to scrape off any excess paint with a razor blade. I cut a few glow stars and stuck them up and it looked pretty neat! One of my agents e-mailed me to inquire about a pick-up Voice Over session for Tuesday. But the studio’s all the way over in Santa Monica and my Mustang is in the shop. I don’t take my Gran Torino on the freeways for obvious reasons, and just keep it around for neighborhood driving. I figured Christmas week would be a safe time to take my car in thinking that everybody’s already on Christmas break. But this one session popped up. I don’t do Uber or Lyft, and a cab all the way over there would be costly. So she was able to get it rescheduled after the first of the year. Frankly, I’m not really in work mode this week anyway, so it’s all for the best. Tonight was the night the “Christmas Star” would be viewable in the western sky for a few hours before it moved below the horizon. It’s actually Jupiter and Saturn who are very close together in proximity (at least from our vantage point here on earth) and they’re calling it “The Christmas Star” for obvious reasons. I tried to get a few shots of it but it was very difficult. I did my nightly auditions and later typed out Wally’s Week. I made a pot pie and watched “The Mod Squad” before bed. Leslie Nielsen was the guest star!

Tuesday the 22nd – MUCH MUSTANG MADNESS! – The Auto Doctor called me with a diagnosis for my Mustang. The lower control arms were worn out (which was the cause of the creaking noise) and needed to be replaced. They also discovered a leak near my oil filter adapter. So all must be repaired! I’d probably get my car back late Wednesday afternoon. So I got my Gran Torino out, and after several months of sitting idle, it started right up! It took a few starts to get the gas into the system, but I didn’t need to jump it! I drove to the cleaners to have my car cover cleaned, something I do once a year because it gets filthy. Then, after getting some lunch at the drive-thru at McDonald’s, I got the Torino a nice wash and wax job. Then it was back home to rummage through the garage to try and find the paint that was used to paint the trim in my kitchen. The walls are a flat paint, but the trim and moldings were painted with a slight glossy paint. I’ll need a small quantity of this paint to touch up the molding around my “star window” on Christmas Eve. After busting open a few cans of paint, I found the right stuff after doing some swab tests, and put it aside until I can find a small jar. I enjoyed some “Christmas Nappies” on “The Most Comfortable Couch in the Universe,” and got up later to do some work around the house. I made some spaghetti and watched another episode of “The Mod Squad.” Leslie Uggams was the guest star. Funny, because in the previous episode a different Leslie was the guest. Both were great episodes though!

Wednesday the 23rd – CABLES, CABS & A CHRISTMAS DEBUT! – Last week I called my A/V company about an issue I’ve been having with my system. When I first bought my house I had every room wired for sound, so that anything playing on the main receiver downstairs could be heard in all three bedrooms. But recently I discovered that the audio being fed to the other rooms was very heavy on the right channel, but hardly had any left channel at all. This would happen when I played music off the satellite system. I thought it could be a channel on my main receiver (VERY expensive to have fixed), but I thought it could also be an issue with the auxiliary amplifier that I have that boots the signal to the other speakers. I asked my A/V guy to come check it out before Christmas, as I didn’t want anything messing up my Christmas Eve tradition of listening to my favorite 12 hour radio extravaganza “Christmas Across the Lands” as I worked all through the house on Christmas Eve. But days went by and he never called me back. So in the morning I called him and asked if he had any time to come diagnose it. He said he had forgotten about it and apologized profusely. That didn’t help me much, unfortunately, and I let him know that I wasn’t very pleased. He said he could get his tech over there asap to look it over. I told him I’d be grateful for that. I learned two VERY important lessons from my dad many years ago. First is, “You have to double check everybody, and then double check them again.” I’ve lived by that rule all my life, and it’s saved my bacon on more than one occasion. It’s when I DON’T apply that mandate that I get burned. The second one is to always call in the experts, and don’t do it yourself. Several projects had to be redone in our household after they had been done by novices who worked cheap. And once the experts came in to fix the main problem, and also what the novices screwed up, I learned to go right to the experts from the get-go. Case and point…this very day. Corey the tech ran my system through a few checks, and found out that it was NOT an issue with my main receiver (whew!) OR my auxiliary amplifier (whew!) but rather was an issue with a cable coming out of my DirecTV box. All other sources of audio (radio, CD, etc.) had both channels blazing in my other rooms. But when it switched over to the satellite it had a low left channel. It’s either the cable or the DirecTV box itself. We’re ordering a new cable to try that, and if the problem still persists I’ll call DirecTV for a new box. He said a DirecTV satellite box has two audio out ports – one is digital and is sent out through an HDMI cable (which is why it sounded fine in my living room), but the second audio out is a converted analog cable that was going to the main receiver. If that ends up being the issue, it’s an easy fix! I’m really glad I didn’t go through the hassle of sending my main receiver in for repair, only to find out there wasn’t anything wrong with it! Thank God! That, is why you call in the experts! I never would have come to that conclusion. We also tried sending streaming audio into my receiver from my computer, and it worked perfectly! Which means, that my “Christmas Across the Lands” radio show, that I would be streaming from my friend’s radio station in Sioux Falls, would sound perfect all throughout the house on Christmas Eve! Later the Burbank Auto Doctor called to let me know the Mustang was ready. I called a cab at 4:00, it didn’t arrive until 4:30, and I was hoping we’d get there before the Auto Doctor closed at 5:00. I made it just in time and the Spirit of Christmas Miracles wasn’t done with me yet! I drove the Mustang over to Burger King to get some drive-thru food (it was driving GREAT!) and I figured I’d hit The Christmas House to have another look-see at one of my favorite Christmas traditions before it ended for the year. It’s a modest house in Burbank owned by a professional lighting tech for TV and movies. And every year he decks his house out with an amazing synchronized light show to Christmas music that’s broadcast over his very own lower-power FM transmitter. When my friend Michelle and I saw it a few weeks ago, I was elated that his presentation for this year was a fantastical light show to my favorite Christmas song “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” by Andy Williams. I got to The Christmas House, parked across the street, rolled down my window and started eating my food. But after one of the numbers everything went dark. It looked some sort of glitch. Then the owner came out of the house and walked outside. I yelled, “That Andy Williams number was BRILLIANT!” He thanked me and asked me if I could turn up the radio in my car so he could hear the music. I told him I’d go one better, and I put the top down on my Mustang to broadcast the music to the whole neighborhood. (Like my Torino, I also have a VERY good audio system in my Mustang too) He said that he was going to look at a new entry into the program that he just finished. I said, “I’m going to see a debut?!” He said that he and I would be the first ones to see it. WHAT LUCK! He touched a few controls on his phone and the show started. “A Holly Jolly Christmas” by Burl Ives started, and there wasn’t a flaw in the sequence that I could detect. It was amazing. And just think, I was one of the first human beings to see it! His name is Alan, and I reminded him that we had talked a few times before. We chatted for about an hour about what it takes to mount something like this. He’s also a HUGE Dr. Demento fan! I told him if there was ever any way I could help out to please contact me! I LOVE “The Christmas House!” My friend Michelle in Orlando called me to let me know the dozen roses I sent her as an early birthday gift arrived, and she was very moved by the gesture. Unfortunately, after counting, only 11 roses were present. I guess the flower shop got busy with the holiday rush and overlooked that one. We laughed about it, but I was determined to have the flower shop make good on it. I got home to do some work around the house. There weren’t any nightly auditions awaiting me in my inbox, as everyone has pretty much bailed for the holiday weekend.

Thursday the 24th – CHRISTMAS EVE! – I made sure to be up and on the phone with the flower shop in Orlando at 6am Pacific time (that’s 9am Eastern time) – at the very minute they opened. They apologized profusely for the mistake and offered to bring her a second arrangement and take the first one back. I told her she was already rather attached to the first one for sentimental reasons, and could they just bring her the “12th rose” at some point during the day. He said they would. The maids arrived around noon and it was raining out. I was going to take the Torino out to get groceries, but I just had it washed and waxed and I don’t want to get it messed up. So after the maids left I walked over to my auxiliary garage and got my Mustang out and went shopping. Everyone was in a festive mood, out and about picking up their last-minute Christmas items, and it was pretty rockin’! I came home and unloaded the groceries, and then put the leash on Roxy and we walked over to my church for the annual “Living Nativity.” Roxy always likes meeting the animals there (sheep, goats, chickens, rabbits, etc.) but this year would be a bit different. The church said it would be a drive-thru-only event. But as Roxy and I got closer I heard a voice on a PA system. It was Pastor Louise’s husband Pastor Galen giving a message. When I walked into the parking lot I saw lots of people holding candles, and a singer stepped to the microphone to sing “Silent Night!” WONDERFUL! The usual midnight candlelight service wouldn’t be held this year because of the virus thing, but this “Living Nativity” had turned into an impromptu, mini version! I almost started weeping it was so nice. Of course everyone was keeping their distance and wearing masks (even “Mary” and “Joseph”) even though it was outside. But this was really beautiful. Roxy made friends with a few lambs, a young goat, and Marie the donkey (who I’ve seen many times at the Easter celebrations) really took a liking to her. I got to see people I haven’t seen in 10 months and it was really marvelous. And the weather outside was fairly nice. Because we had rain, the clouds were still around keeping the atmosphere nice and warm. I got home around 7:30 and wired up my system so that I could stream my buddy’s station KKRC-FM in Sioux Falls to my main system. This way I could get “Christmas Across the Lands” all throughout my house all night long. He started running it at noon central time, and since it’s a 12 hour show, it would finish up at midnight central time, which would be 10pm Pacific time. I wired everything up and it sounded amazing! The stream was coming in nice and clear! The show would be rebroadcast again as soon it finished, so at 10pm it would recycle. From 8pm to 10pm my time I listened to the last two hours of the show while I relaxed on “The Most Comfortable Couch in the Universe” and pet Spook, who was curled up on top of me. At 10pm I got right up as the show started its encore broadcast, and got busy with my usual Creative Christmas project! After a snack, I started painting the molding around my “star window” with the white paint. This would allow me to “clean up” the rough edges left by my masking tape errors. I used a very small brush to get as fine a line as possible around the perimeter. I stood on a small step ladder to really hone in on the fine details. Michelle called to let me know that when she got home from work, three roses had been left for her! THREE! So now she has 14 roses! A dozen for every one of the 12 days of Christmas, one for her birthday, and one for the new year. So now I guess we have a tradition…14 roses. We chatted for a bit and then I got back to my “star window.” I have 4 hole punches all with different sized diameters of holes. They are ¼”, 3/16”, 5/8” and ½”. I punched some out of the stickey-back glow vinyl that I have and started mounting them on the ceiling. They look pretty cool, but at the end of the process I realized that I probably could use one-third more stars to complete the picture I am going for. I got a great idea that I would keep the glow paper and hole punches handy, and every time friends came over I’d have them punch and mount some stars on the “star window” – in the diameter they like, and in the positions they want. That way when it’s done, it’ll be a community effort, and something that will remind me of all the friends who contributed to it during its creation. I worked all through the night on it and listened to the radio show. I sure do love that show, and don’t know what I’d do without it each Christmas. As is tradition, I made a Chef Boyardee pizza and settled into bed to watch a movie. This year I chose Laurel & Hardy’s “Way Out West” on Blu Ray. It was fantastic, and by the time I was ready for bed, I got to welcome a beautiful, sunny and warm Christmas morning!

Friday the 25th – HAPPY CHRISTMAS! – After a long winter’s nap, I woke up late in the day and answered some phone calls, texts and e-mails. Then I drove to the Smokehouse in the Torino to get my Christmas dinner to go. I thoroughly enjoyed it, called some more friends, talked a bit to my ‘adopted grandma’ Shirley in Palm Springs, and also called my folks. But as Christmas 2020 started winding down, reality hit. I needed to do some more end-of-the year bookkeeping and settle my accounts for the year. I dug out some sticky-back neon paper I’ve had since the 80’s and got an idea. Back in 1989, I gave a friend who was a printer a bunch of Batman TV series logos and artwork. He printed them on to neon blue, neon red and neon green paper. But then I got to thinking about the big black light in my Tranquility Zone, and the blank, black drawers I had made for one of my shelving units. I took the paper upstairs and turned on the black light, and the paper looked amazing! I went downstairs, got my paper cutter out, and started cutting!

Saturday the 26th – STICKER SATURDAY! – One of the great Christmas gifts I got were 31 vinyl Marvel stickers, featuring many of their most popular characters. This was the traditional 70’s-style artwork, so they all had a very retro vibe. After sticking neon trim on to the dark, Plexiglas drawers in my Tranquility Zone, I headed downstairs and started putting the vinyl Marvel stickers on my metal file cabinets. Sticking these images against a black metal background gave them a nice, subtle look – as opposed to sticking them against a white wall. I was happy with the arrangement of the characters and patted myself on the back for being a “star of stickers.” I worked around the house, cleaned off all the junk on my desk so I could actually do some work, and had lots of mail to sift through. I took Roxy on our usual late-night stroll through the neighborhood, and it was a misty, foggy night. It was beautiful…and quiet out! I came back inside and made my traditional Saturday Night Super Saint Salad and watched another episode of “The Saint” before bed.

Sunday the 27th – “THE OLD MAN IS SNORING!” – By the time I got up the sun was on its way down. I made the pets some food and sat at the computer to work on a few projects. But a snooze on the “The Most Comfortable Couch in the Universe” seemed like a good idea, so I settled in, since nothing else was going on anyway. But after about an hour I woke up to a strange sound…PIT PAT, PIT PAT PAT, PIT PIT PAT PAT – it was the sound of rain on my roof! I leapt up and opened the door to see how hard it was coming down. The sidewalk outside my front door barely seemed wet, and then it happened. BOOM! CRACK! There was a lightning and thunderstorm the likes of which we hadn’t seen in a long time in L.A. – and it was beautiful! Loud and fierce, bright and brilliant, and with torrential sheets of rain pouring down with a hearty wind! This was rockin’! I grabbed my camera and went outside to try and get some video of it. Based on the year we had, I was ready for a nice, cleansing rain – if for no other reason than a metaphoric symbol that the old was being washed away to make way for the new. That’s how I saw it anyway. Unfortunately it didn’t last very long, and soon both the thunder and lightning, and the rain, had moved on. But it started again later and rained all night, but no thunder. Still, it was a very pleasant way to spend an evening – with the smell of fresh rain, the sound of it coming down hard, and just me and the pets by the fireplace lounging around.

And how was YOUR Christmas week??!!


Oops! A birthday dozen minus one!

Ever have those times when you have several boxes of cereal, but none of them have enough cereal left in them for a full bowl? What to do? Well, throw them all together and make a cereal suicide! Marshmallow Fruity Pebbles, Cocoa Puffs and Christmas Crunch!

How do you follow up The Weirdest Thanksgiving Dinner Ever? By having The Weirdest Christmas Dinner Ever, of course!

The best shots I could get of Jupiter and Saturn, aka The Christmas Star

My pal Mr. Awesome gave me a few gifts wrapped in custom-printed Christoween wrapping paper! The paper was just as cool as the gifts inside!

Everything’s laid out for this year’s Creative Christmas project!

Don’t forget to watch this year’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve for a special appearance by Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble! 2021 is the 50th anniversary of Pebbles cereal!

Here is the neon sticker work I did on my drawers in The Tranquility Zone. They look really cool in black light!

I loved seeing a Riddler fan’s Twitter post, and how they made a miniature Riddler shirt for a young Riddler fan!

Flashback to that time I played Santa for our company’s kids’ Christmas party! Long time ago!

The “star window” is coming right along!

We’re ready for a Creative Christmas!

Our “star window” is nearly complete!

Nothing like a post-Christmas/pre-New Year cleansing thunderstorm to wash away all of the madness of 2020.