RANDOM PIC OF THE WEEK
Destro the Christoween Dog! My pal Jim Ojala’s dog Destro seems to really be enjoying his official Christoween bandana!
“Breaking Away” by Balance came on my iPod as I was working on my Roosevelt Franklin replica Muppet, and it had me bouncing in my chair! This song is brilliant and has so much energy!
Monday the 10th – RIGHT OFF THE RACK! – Since I found my local bank branch temporarily closed last week when I attempted to make a few deposits, I decided to check the next closest branch. I walked up to the doors, but they were locked. Nobody was inside. They were closed. But the sign said they were open until 4. The current time was just after 1. What the hell?! I was furious. There wasn’t any sign saying they were closed or for what reason. So I went to the NEXT closest branch. They were open, but there was a very long line. Luckily, they had enough tellers that the line moved fairly quickly. Third time’s the charm, I guess. I needed to treat myself, so I went to KFC to get some lunch at the drive-thru. I gassed up the Mustang, dropped off a comforter at the cleaners, and mailed off an autographed photo at the post office. Then I got my packages at my mailbox, and I got in the Pluto Peppy Puppet that I bought on eBay. It was still in the original packaging, and looked like it came right off the rack at Woolworth’s in 1974! It’s funny, that even though I’ve always been into collecting vintage toys, I was always happy just to have them in my collection – even loose. I never cared that they weren’t in their original packaging. But as I progress in my collecting, I’m starting to appreciate these items in their original packaging. Why? Because the artwork on the packaging is, in ITSELF, charming and collectible. Hard to believe that when kids got these toys originally they took the toy out of the blister packaging and discarded it. In addition to the Pluto puppet, I bought a Popeye bendy still on the original card, a Popeye slide puzzle still on the card, and a set of Laurel and Hardy figures still in the original bags. I hope this isn’t the start of an epidemic in my collecting life! It could be VERY expensive! I got home to do an audition, and my buddy Jim Ojala brought over the newly-repaired lower half of my “Scarecrow of Romney Marsh” figure. The mannequin’s ankle had broken back in 2019 when it was being transported somewhere. Jim repaired the ankle and brought him back. I reassembled the figure and placed him back in the Chaney Room where he belongs. Later I recorded some more auditions, and then I brought the big ladder up from downstairs. There were some bulbs in one of my track lighting systems that had burned out, and I needed some height to get to them. I replaced the bulbs, dusted off the top of one of my display shelves, and wrote Wally’s Week.
Tuesday the 11th – SUNNY AND 77! – January in L.A. is always wonderful. Especially on days like this one – sunny and 77 degrees! I relaxed all day, did some things around the house, and later I enjoyed dinner with my pal Sara Raftery at the Coral Café. I got home and had a TON of auditions to record, and I did some more writing for my upcoming Muppet replica feature for my website. I made some Buffalo Mac and watched a few episodes of “Sonic Boom” on Blu-ray.
Wednesday the 12th – I VANT YOUR BLOOD! – The first stop was at Quest Diagnostics to give a blood sample, and then I went to the cleaners to pick up my comforter. I stopped at Paty’s and had a great salad on the patio on a gorgeous, sunny day. My old pal Davae Shelton was walking by, spotted me, and we chatted for about 45 minutes. I got home to feed the kids and made a puppet stand for my friend Michelle’s Prairie Dawn replica Muppet. I decided it was time to totally clean out my paint and glue drawer, and I threw out a bunch of old stuff. I organized things and put them in little plastic boxes and now it’s much better. I also started making a tiny, little “skeleton hand” for my Roosevelt Franklin Muppet replica, using armature wire and Magic Sculpt molding epoxy.
Thursday the 13th – REUNITED AND IT FEELS SO GOOD! – It was another one of those lazy, lay-around days. Soon the industry will kick back into high gear, so I’m enjoying the downtime as much as possible. I did some work around the house, and then I met up with my old pal Amanda. This seems to be the year to rekindle old friendships, and it was a blast getting together again and enjoying some catching up over Bob’s Big Boy burgers. Later I recorded a ton of auditions, and made a little “hot dog bun” for the “skeleton puppet hand” for my Roosevelt Franklin replica Muppet. Though it looks like a small hot dog bun, it’s actually a little grooved section that will cradle the end of the arm rod in the palm of the puppet’s hand. When I’ve put the skeleton hand inside the fleece “glove,” and put stuffing all around it, I’ll place the rod in the “hot dog bun” and epoxy it into place. Once it’s set, I’ll have my seamstress stitch the hand to the arm at the wrist and close the hole in the fabric around the arm rod. I somehow lost track of the piano wire that I normally use for the arm rods, but after searching through my messy garage a little bit I found them. I did a little writing, and then decided to make some tomato soup and a sandwich and start in on season 3 of “The Lone Ranger.” I was dreading this because it’s the season that Clayton Moore was removed as the Lone Ranger due to contractual issues. As the story goes, he was enjoying enormous success as the TV hero and, as any successful actor will do, asked for more money for season 3. However, in a classic, bone-headed move of unbelievable stinginess, the producers fired him and hired another guy named John Hart. The idiot producer was allegedly quoted as saying, “He wears a mask. It could be ANYBODY under there!” Boy was he wrong! Luckily, I believe, by the fourth season the producers had realized their classically idiotic mistake and rehired Clayton Moore. He had so many wonderful subtleties and characteristics that were necessary for the portrayal of the Ranger. This other guy seemed out of his league. His costume was loose and baggy, his acting was only adequate, and probably the worst thing, he had zero chemistry with Jay Silverheels, the actor who portrayed Tonto. Sigh. I actually felt kinda sorry for the guy, as he had HUGE boots to fill. This is going to be a very looooong season.
Friday the 14th – MINING FOR TURDS! – The other night when I was out with Roxy in the middle of the night, I noticed that my headlamp gizmo wasn’t working. I call it my Turd Mining Hat. It’s necessary to wear at night in order to locate and remove all of Roxy’s droppings. When I got back inside I removed four screws and opened it up. A-HA! There was a small wire that had come loose from the contact and needed to be re-soldered. I took it over to my pal Jim Ojala’s effects studio so we could reconnect it to the contact. It was fun hanging out with the other guys at the studio and chatting. I went back home to organize around the house. I decided to start in on making the second “skeleton puppet hand” for my Roosevelt Franklin replica Muppet. I also made the arm rods for the little guy. I measured and cut the piano wire to the proper length, put the bends in where I needed them, and cut pieces of wood dowel for the handles. I drilled holes in the dowels, dug a small groove along the length of the dowel so the wire could fit down into the handle snugly, and wrapped pieces of suede around the handles. Then I took sandpaper to the wires to get rid of the oil and debris that seems to always be on piano wire, and to “rough up” the wire to more easily accept the primer and paint later. Earlier in the day I was discussing with Jim Ojala the quandary about whether or not to put the Christoween audible stories on hiatus until next Halloween. I want them to be an annual Christoween treat, so I want to give them a break from public view until then. But there’s also the thought that, since it’s a new franchise and I’m trying to draw attention to it, if I remove them from sight then there won’t be anything “searchable” on the web until next October. Jim suggested doing little trailers that could take the place of the full stories until next October; just to have something up there that can be obtained via a search. So I set about creating 13 little trailers (one for each chapter) that will stay on the Christoween.net website, as well as YouTube. I did the first few and then decided to call it a night. I walked Roxy on our late-night stroll through the neighborhood, and it was a very nice night; not too cold at all!
Saturday the 15th – HOOTING OWLS AND FULL MOON WITH CLOUDS! – Though there wasn’t anything in the weather forecast calling for rain, it turned out to be a sprinkly, gloomy day; perfect for just resting around the house. Later in the evening I got a Domino’s pizza and started editing my Christoween audible trailers again. After my eyes started to blur a bit, I decided to give it a rest and record all the auditions I needed to get finished. Then I returned to the editing program and finished up all 13 trailers. When I walked Roxy again on our late-night stroll through the neighborhood, we were accompanied by a gorgeous full moon in the sky overhead. To make it even more eerie, there were intermittent clouds that would sail across the moon every once in a while. The evening’s magic was made complete by a pair of hooting owls off in the distance. Other than that, it was a gloriously quiet night, and a wonderful night-time stroll. I came back inside to prepare for my usual Saturday night routine of watching “The Saint” and making my Saturday Night Super Saint Salad. But unfortunately, I hadn’t gone to the store recently, so it ended up being a “Saturday Night Super SOGGY Saint Salad.” The salad mix I had purchased was two days past its ‘sell-by’ date and the mix had gotten a bit soggy. But once I added the tomatoes, celery, bacon bits, shredded cheese and turkey to it (not to mention the dressing) it was barely noticeable. But next week I’m going to make sure to go out for supplies on Friday to get FRESH ingredients!
Sunday the 16th – ROCKIN’ RODS! – My pal Edi and I enjoyed a wonderful lunch outside at Paty’s and got caught up on all the news. After lunch I went to get some grocery items, and then went to Staples to get some plastic bins for storing items in my garage. After dealing with soggy cardboard boxes several years ago when my water heater decided to spring a leak, I only have plastic bins on the floor now. I went to Bed, Bath and Beyond to look for a small plastic storage container for my paint and glue drawer, but they didn’t have the size I needed. So, it’s off to Amazon! I got home and put all the stuff away. Since it was a nice afternoon I took the arm rods for my Roosevelt Franklin replica Muppet outside and primed them. I’m glad I roughed the wire up with sandpaper, because the primer soaks right in very easily! I let them dry for about an hour, and then took them outside and painted the rods matte black. With that, all of the components for my Roosevelt Franklin replica Muppet are ready to go to the seamstress’ studio for assembly. I can’t do anything else with it that doesn’t require a needle and thread. The last week of January I’m expecting to take the stuff to Alex In Wonderland’s studio to start working on the assembly. I did some much-needed work around the house (even though there’s always MORE to do, it seems) and filmed myself doing a Riddler birthday video for a fan through Cameo. I enjoyed another great late-night walk with Roxy, with yet another cloudy full-moon over-head. I came back inside and enjoyed a “barbecue bonanza!” I made myself a sloppy joe of barbecue beef, and enjoyed some barbecue potato chips while watching a few more episodes of “The Lone Ranger.”
And how was YOUR week??!!
PIX FROM THE WEEK
Here’s a video of a magnificent L.A. sunrise idiotically shot through a screen on my window. Would somebody please remind me to REMOVE the screen the next time I want to shoot a glorious sunset?! SHEESH!