RANDOM PIC OF THE WEEK
Mr. Awesome got me this cool Iron Man gauntlet lamp for Christmas. It’s very cool, and I’m giving some thought to where it might be best displayed in Planet Wallywood!
In the early days of the whole virus thing, when we were being told to stay inside, Felix Cavaliere (the former lead vocalist of the Rascals) was urging us to go outside and enjoy “A Beautiful Morning.” I stumbled across this terrific video that sounds utterly amazing and is gorgeous! I hope you enjoy it! Get out there and enjoy! Especially if it’s sunny and breezy!
Monday the 28th – VIDEO VOO-DOO! – How did that song from The Carpenters go back in the 70’s? “Rainy Days and Mondays Always Get Me Down?” Well, I wasn’t down, but it was Monday and it was definitely raining – all day. I did a tech test for an upcoming “Invader Zim” virtual panel that would be happening through Galaxy Con this coming Saturday. Everything worked great and I was ready to rock! I was looking forward to it. My pal Scott’s wife Vickie had been in quarantine after she had been exposed to somebody with the Wu Flu, but when her test came back negative she brought over her annual Christmas cookies – which I always look forward to. Normally she’ll bring them over during movie night just ahead of Christmas, but since I haven’t had an official movie night in about 10 months, she just dropped them by, we said hello through the screen door, and I had some delicious cookies to enjoy heading into New Year’s! I chatted with friends on text, on the phone and on-line, and ordered up a Domino’s pizza. Early in the evening, as I was typing out Wally’s Week, the rain let up, and then stopped entirely. After looking through the edits I had done a year ago of some home movies on my Windows Live Movie Maker, I discovered with horror that (for some unknown reason) many of the directories in my session had been wiped! That meant that the program “forgot” where to find the source of the video segments in my computer! Add to that, the captions I had written for the video clips had been moved all around. Not sure why that happened, but I’m suspecting it happened during some Windows program update somewhere down the line. Rats! That meant that I was going to have to go through every one of the editing sessions I did, re-direct the program to find the source videos it could access, and go through segment by segment to re-align the captions. TEDIOUS! I spent several hours teaching the program where to find the folders where the videos were hosted, so it could put them back in the edit. Aggravating at best. And I was only done with the first few edits! AAARRRGH! I made some up and a sandwich and watched another episode of “The Mod Squad.” So far I haven’t been that impressed with the fourth season episodes. I realize they were trying hard to be edgy and non-formulaic, but what they were trying wasn’t working very well. Still, the show went for a fifth season, so it must have been embraced well back in the day. I was sent the complete segment for the Pebbles Cereal commercial that will air on “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” this Thursday night on ABC-TV. I provided the voice for Barney Rubble, so I was very excited to see it!
Tuesday the 29th – MISSED IT BY THAT MUCH! – After driving all the way to my bank to make a deposit, I realized that they were closed! What? I wanted to make an end-of-year deposit. Maybe they closed early and I was too late in the day? I drove by the craft store to get some paint, but they were closed too. Was every closed on Christmas-to-New-Year’s week or something? I stopped by CVS to pick up two prescriptions, but they only had one. I asked about the other and they didn’t find anything. Strange. Then I went to the grocery store to pick up some more roasted chickie for Roxy, but they were out. I drove to my box to pick up my packages, mailed off some bills, picked up the cover for my Gran Torino at the cleaners, and managed to find some chickie at another grocery store. As I drove home on this very sunny, very windy day – I laughed at how many people were wearing masks as they walked alone – outside – in the sunshine – in the wind. Virtually nobody but nobody gets a virus transmitted on a sunny, windy day. It’s damned near impossible. Especially walking alone! If you know the actual science of it. According to Dr. Kelly Victory, a front-line doctor in this whole virus thing, UV light kills 99.999% of viruses virtually on-contact. Like Dracula caught in the morning sunlight. And with the wind blowing around, that junk is getting dispersed around pretty well anyway. It shocks me how many people just are happy to walk around dumb and happy – comfortably numb – without knowing anything about facts and science – or doing any research to edify themselves. UV light is what hospitals use to clean their environments and instruments. And what, kiddies, is the greatest source of UV light in our solar system. THE SUN! Obviously, you should wear masks inside if there is a group of people around, because over 75% of transmissions happen INSIDE, because of all the recirculated air (ie-stores, planes, homes, etc.) Banning outdoor dining here in California was illogical, considering that it only accounts for 1-3% of infections (according to the City of L.A.’s OWN data). But hey, logic went out the window a long time ago. I got home to do some work, and to spend more time with my editing software trying to repair all the directories to teach it where to find my original video files. Once they’re repaired, I’m going to re-output them in high definition quality, in case this ever happens again (God forbid!).
Wednesday the 30th – BANKERS BONKERS! – While conducting an intensive search on my bank’s website to find an open branch in my area, I realized that they were pretty much ALL closed down! WHY?! Only ONE lone branch was open for in-bank business, so I hopped in the Tornio and headed over. Ironically it was right next to the grocery store I was at the previous day. But when I arrived, the line of people was out the door and down the block. NO. THANK. YOU! What sort of numbskull closes all the bank branches in L.A.’s valley area the week before a New Year? I called my accountant to see if the checks had to be deposited by the end of the year, or just written by the end of the year. He assured me that putting them in soon after the beginning of the New Year was fine. So I got some food at Panda Express, ate it in my Torino as I watched the line of people at the bank slowly wind down, and got the heck out of there. My bank was going to get a very angry Tweet when I got home. Poor planning for sure! All we’re being told by the media is to socially distance. So how is shutting down all the bank branches, and clustering all the customers into one location at all socially distanced? Madness. Maybe their branches should social distance! It’s like the craziness of going to the airport to check in for a flight, and standing six feet away from the people around you during check-in. But once you’re on the flight, you’re sitting a foot away from the same people! Has nobody thought about the illogical optics of this craziness? I mailed some stuff off to my folks, picked up my packages at my box, drove home to feed the pets and do some work, and then I drove to Little Toni’s restaurant to pick up dinner for the evening. My pals Mark and James came over to have some food and watch a few movies and catch up. We watched the 1984 classic “Bachelor Party,” (which didn’t age very well, I’m afraid) and “Caddyshack” (which is still just as funny as the day it was released). I had Mark and James cut some glow stars and put them up on the kitchen ceiling. Mark did a hidden Mickey, like those you find all around Disneyland. I did some work and then got ready for bed. Tomorrow my A/V guy is bringing over a brand new cable for my DirecTV box to try and fix the “right channel only” problem I told you about in last week’s Wally’s Week. Hopefully this will fix the problem of not getting stereo music from the satellite box in all my rooms.
Thursday the 31st – SMOKE DETECTOR? A LOST BIRD? – I was awakened by the sound of a chirp. The kind you’d hear when the battery in a smoke alarm is going dead. But all the smoke alarms in my house are hard-wired, so I didn’t understand what was happening. In my ‘roused-from-sleep-abruptly’ haze, I ran around the room trying to find the source of the chirping. I thought it might be the batteries getting low in my alarm clock. Even though the clock (which is also an iPod dock) runs off of a wall socket, there are batteries in it as a back-up when there’s a power interruption. Since the state of California has had a fairly difficult time keeping the power on over the summer (ready for that exclusively electric car rule in 15 years, Cali?!) it didn’t surprise me that my alarm clock probably used up a fair amount of the battery back-up power in my unit. So I replaced the batteries with a few AAA’s, and tried to get some more sleep. The chirping had stopped. My A/V guy came over with the new cable, which unfortunately didn’t fix the problem. I have to get a new DirecTV box, which will be an hour and a half out of my day trying to get those idiots on the phone. You see, a DirecTV satellite box has two outputs – one is an HDMI digital output that goes directly into the TV, but also has an analog composite video output that can be converted with a specific type of cable for any secondary feeds. That was the one that has the lousy left channel. My A/V guy powered it down and rebooted it, and it actually fixed the problem for a while. We were elated. But then the left channel audio disappeared just as quickly as it reappeared. I figured with all of the power outages we’ve had over the summer, the box would have been power cycled many, many times because of that – and yet the problem persisted. So I didn’t hold out hope that a power cycle would fix it. Nope. I’m going to have to get a new box and try that. I worked on my computer for a bit, and even though it was sunny out – it was fairly cold and windy. As I got deeper into New Year’s Eve, I had a last-minute request come in for a Cameo video. They wanted a New Year’s greeting from The Riddler. I wasn’t doing anything anyway, as normally we have a New Year’s Eve gathering at Planet Wallywood to usher in the New Year – but not this year, so I set up some specific lighting, got out some Riddler-specific props, and shot a fun video that I edited and sent back right away. Had fully intended to nap a bit but be up at 9pm in time to see the Pebbles Cereal ad run on “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” but when I woke up and glanced at the clock it was 9:15. RATS! Oh well. That’s what the internet is for. And sure enough, just a short time later, the entire segment was posted on their Facebook page and easily accessible. One of the great things I love about Voice Acting is getting to voice a legacy character like Barney Rubble on those rare occasions. I’m talking about characters I’ve loved since childhood, that now I’m getting the opportunity to voice. In the past I’ve done Popeye, Wimpy, George Jetson, Astro, Hadji, Mr. Magoo, King Tut and the Riddler from the 60’ “Batman” TV series, and now Barney Rubble. It’s the first Mel Blanc sound-alike voice I’ve been hired to do, since I can’t do any of his other characters (except Marvin the Martian). I spent a lot of time reassembling my edits in my Windows Live Movie Maker program, and I walked Roxy on our late-night stroll through the neighborhood and enjoyed a nice cigar to bring in 2021. I made some hot dogs on the grill and watched another “Mod Squad” episode. Happy New Year!
Friday the 1st – HOSPITALIZED! – Since I was having so much fun around Planet Wallywood with various solo New Year’s activities (I still need to get to filing and storing away my 2020 receipts!) I didn’t get to bed until around noon. But I had nowhere to be so why not? After snoozing for a few hours I got up and talked with a lot of friends on-line and on the phone. I found out that my mom had gone into the hospital because of a pulled muscle as she was working around the house. But my sister intimated that it might be a little more serious than that. The New Year wasn’t starting out very well for my folks, I’m afraid. They’re going to keep her in the hospital overnight for observation. I worked on my editing program reassembling everything that was lost. It seems that in the time line of captions, something happened where there were miles and miles of space put between them. So I’m discovering that some of the captions still exist, they just moved far apart. Some were still accessible. But others were completely moved out of the timeline all together, and will need to be recreated by hand. This means I have to go find the finished file I made a year ago, and match it scene-by-scene when I recreate the captions. This is nuts! And nobody can seem to tell me why this happened?! But stupid stuff like this seems to happen every time one of those random updates happen. I also have to reinstall my photo editing program, and make some other adjustments. Later I made lasagna and watched “The Mod Squad.” It was a weird show about the three main characters being trapped in a cave in the desert by a crazy old man. The fourth season…ugh.
Saturday the 2nd – ZIM ZANINESS! – Thanks to the folks at Galaxy Con, the “Invader Zim” on-line reunion and panel was an absolute blast! We all had so much fun! It was good to see the other actors from the show, as well as my old pal Patty who moderated. The 45 minutes went by WAY too fast, and it was fun talking one-on-one with some of the show’s fans after the panel was over. I was contacted by a buddy who’s a celebrity manager, to ask if I would help facilitate the sale of some of a particular celebrity’s unwanted collectible items through an auction. I told him I would be more than happy to help out, considering that the celeb in question was an idol to me in my teenage years, and is a legend and an icon. He said he would have the celeb (with whom I’ve met many times in person, and have even been to their house) call me to discuss it further. VERY exciting! I ordered a Domino’s pizza, did some work around the house, and later I fed the pets and continued work on my lost video edits. I made my traditional Saturday Night Super Saint Salad and watched a fantastic episode of “The Saint” before bed. Roger Moore was a legend!
Sunday the 3rd – PHUNNY PHONE TAG! – The outgoing message on my cell phone hopes to discourage spam calls. I say something to the effect of, “If I don’t recognize your number, I won’t answer, so leave a message. If you’re cool, I’ll call you back.” Since I sleep most of the day on Sundays, the celeb missed catching me in the afternoon to chat on the phone. But they left a hilarious message that said, “Well, at one time I was considered cool.” I had to save it for posterity! This one was a keeper! I would make it a point to call them back on Monday. I spent most of the evening working on the video edits, and at one point the program froze altogether. I wasn’t able to save my work, or shut the program down. So does that mean that all of my arduous work would be lost to the ether? Crap! This program is starting to really get on my nerves! I shut off the computer and went to bed, hoping that by the time I got back to it the next morning, it would have corrected itself and all would be good. Fingers crossed.
And how was YOUR week??!!
PIX FROM THE WEEK
I made a major realization on New Year’s Eve!
These guys make me laugh! Just like my real family!
In case you missed the big reveal on “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” here’s the Pebbles Cereal ad.