Last Tuesday was Flag Day, and I’ve always loved this shot that I took during a trip to Palm Springs several years ago.

“Hey You!” Here’s a great song by Bachman-Turner Overdrive that I heard in passing over the weekend. I love this group and I love this song!


Monday the 13th – HERE IT COMES! – Over the weekend I hadn’t been feeling very well. I wasn’t sure if it was because of the bleach-based cleaner my maids used last Friday (see last week’s Wally’s Week) or because of the high-pollen days we had. But I was feeling poorly enough to call and postpone a session I had scheduled for a video game in Culver City. It was the first day of a two-day session scheduled, so I’ll see if I feel well enough on Tuesday to at least be able to do one of the days. I drove to Pro 8 to pick up my buddy Troy’s reel of 16mm film that he had digitized. I’ll pack it up and Fed Ex it back to him as soon as I’m better. I went to my box to get my mail, and then had a salad at Paty’s. But as I sat there eating I started feeling worse and worse. By the time I got home I had decided that I had been stricken with a sinus infection; I had almost all the symptoms. I looked up the list on-line, and of the 10 symptoms mentioned I had 8 of them. I contacted the director of Tuesday’s session and told him that I unfortunately needed to postpone that one too. I left a message on my doctor’s office voicemail and took a nap. I got up later to try and do some things around the house, and I put a pizza in the oven. But it got a little overdone because I realized my sense of smell wasn’t working very well. Loss of taste and smell were on the symptom list of a sinus infection. The only two symptoms I hadn’t experienced yet were chills and fever. I chatted with my pal Bob for several hours, muscled through my nightly auditions, and dug out all the medicine I would need to get through this.

Tuesday the 14th – DOCTOR DIRECTED! – During a telemedicine visit with my doctor I explained the entire chain of events leading up to my present condition. He thought the bleach incident from last Friday may have brought on a sinus infection, and it’s now turned into a cough. On top of everything else, all of the infected junk in my sinuses drained down over my vocal cords and had given me voice problems. I went to get my prescriptions at the CVS, and hit Jack In The Box for some food on the way home. I slept some more, and got up later to struggle through a few auditions. I scanned some checks for an upcoming deposit. I’m hoping the steroids and antibiotics will help me feel well again soon. I’ve also been taking Nyquil to help me sleep. Later I made soup and a sandwich and watched another episode of “Circle of Fear.”

Wednesday the 15th – IT CONTINUES! – The weather had turned pretty humid, which is pretty rare in L.A., and I took the opportunity to sleep most of the day. I took all my medications at the appointed times, and later I tried out a few auditions. The cough was getting worse and had made my voice pretty rough. I made a salad, though I really couldn’t taste it very well, and watched another episode of “Circle of Fear.” I’m almost done with the entire set. It’s been a good series so far, and I’m not sure why it didn’t make it to a second season back in 1973.

Thursday the 16th – ATROPHIED! – As is usual, the next phase in this sequence is coughing up all the junk. I felt like the sinus infection had now turned into bronchitis (which happens a lot) but luckily the antibiotics I’m on will kill that eventually too. The meds are definitely working. I chatted with a neighbor who had just returned from a trip to Amsterdam, and he had the exact same thing I had; sinus and respiratory issues. We discussed how a lot of people are going to start getting sick now that everything is opening up again. When you don’t give your immune system something to work on it will essentially atrophy. I was worried about that at the beginning of the big meltdown over two years ago. (It’s like that old George Carlin bit about how the immune system works. Hilarious!) For over two years we’ve been sheltering our immune systems against invaders, but as a result they’ve all gotten weaker. Now that people are getting out again, our immune systems have to relearn how to fight stuff off. Stuff that could have been easily fought off three years ago is now giving our immune systems a difficult time, because they’ve grown so weak. It’s like not having gone to the gym for two years, and then when you go back you immediately hit the 300 pound weights. Obviously you’re going to get hurt because your muscles have atrophied over the past years of inactivity and they’re not ready for it. So, I suspect more of these simple colds and flu will be returning soon. I tried to nap, but the rattle in my lungs kept waking me up. It squeaked, squealed, rattled and buzzed and kept me from enjoying the sleep I needed. It was a lot like the loud rattle in my lungs that I experienced during my bout with pneumonia back in 2014. VERY annoying! I had a consultation for my upcoming colonoscopy scheduled for Friday, but I called the office and postponed that. In an effort to try and reduce the rattling I got out my little steamer and steamed like made. Hopefully the steam will help the Mucinex-D loosen all of that gunk and get rid of it. It seemed to work very nicely, as I was able to get a little sleep eventually! I e-mailed my doctor about the possibility of coming in for an X-ray to see if I had pneumonia again, but unlike 2014 – I actually felt pretty good this time around. Back in 2014 I felt like I was almost dead. But even though I was feeling generally well, I always hate the “lung cleansing” phase of these illnesses.

Friday the 17th – IMPROVEMENT! – Thank God I got some good rest and was able to sleep all day. Things are definitely improving. I’d like to get out on Saturday and get some things done! I ordered a pizza from Domino’s in an attempt to feel normal. But after having been a Domino’s customer since the 80’s – it’s sad to say – but I think I’m done. At least I’m done with my local provider. I always order a thin crust pizza with extra sauce. But the last several pizzas I’ve gotten have been very dry, and my request for extra sauce is almost completely ignored. This pizza was the final straw. Not only was it cold when it arrived, and not only was there NOT extra sauce on it, but there was NO sauce on it! I’ve complained to the local store as well as the corporation before, but nothing ever seems to improve. Now, instead of ordering your pizza through the local store directly, you have to call a centralized ordering system and then THEY send the order to the local store. As one would guess, this does NOT streamline or simplify the process, it only makes it muddier. I managed to choke it down and didn’t feel in the mood to call the centralized number again to complain. But in the future, I think I’ll look around for other restaurants to patronize. My sniffer and taster are not completely back on kilter yet, but I could still tell that the pizza they sent me was subpar. I did some light work around the house in the evening, napped on and off, and once my head cleared I felt pretty good!

Saturday the 18th – COOL SPELL! – The next few days will most likely be the last few cool days we’ll have as we head into summer officially. It was a perfect weekend! When I went to take Roxy out for a stroll my neighbors told me about their hummingbird drama from that morning. A few baby hummingbirds had fallen out of the nest onto the ground below, because it became too small as they grew larger. Their cat brought one of the babies into the house, and they quickly rescued it from the cat’s mouth. They tried to put the babies back in the nest, but it was much too small. So they constructed a little “nest box” with an open top so the mother could still fly over and feed them. But because the top was open, one of the babies kept trying to fly out, and would flutter to the ground. They were afraid that another cat would grab it, or that somebody would inadvertently step on it, since the baby bird is so small. They called a local hummingbird rescue resource for ongoing information on what to do. It sure was cute seeing the little birds sitting on the ledge waiting for their mom to come feed them. I drove over to see my friends at Alex in Wonderland to pick up a special wood base that they cut for one of my display cases. It will be a yellow brick road base for my Wizard of Oz figures and puppets. I stopped over to the grocery store to get some supplies, and stopped by my mailbox to get my packages. One of the packages that arrived was the new Dark Crystal lamp I ordered back in 2020. It took two years for it to be completed, but it was finally here! When I unpacked it I was disappointed to learn that it could only be powered by batteries and not a wall outlet. But still, it’s pretty cool. Once I got home and got everything put away, I put Roxy in the Mustang and headed to Paty’s to take her to lunch. I hadn’t had her out to lunch in quite a while, so this would be a real treat. It was a gorgeous day and she enjoyed being in the backseat with the top down. But because of her leg weakness from advanced age, it was very difficult getting her in and out of the car. But she loved being at Paty’s and enjoying some grilled chicken for lunch. When I got back home I settled the Dark Crystal lamp into the Tranquility Zone, and I started working on getting the Oz base to fit into my display case. It needed to be trimmed a little bit to fit, but once I made the cuts it fit nicely. Then I spaced out where the figures will stand, and where the puppets behind them will be placed. I made the marks on the board where everything will go, and I’ll take it back to Mike’s to have him attach the yellow brick road panels to the base and trim it to fit. Then I’ll paint it, install the armature wire supports for the figures, and the T nut supports for the puppets, and it will be finished. Though it felt good to be somewhat back to normal, I didn’t want to push it. I grabbed a short nap, and then got up later to do a little writing on a new puppet video I’m working on with friends. A doctor friend in the Midwest told me about a young Muppet fan with cancer who would be spending her summer in Minneapolis getting a bone marrow transplant from her twin sister. It sounded like a fun, worthy project – so I started plotting out some fun ideas based on her likes and interests. Later I made my traditional Saturday night Super Saint Salad and watched an episode of Roger Moore in “The Saint.”

Sunday the 19th – WHAT? WHAAAT?!! – This would be the last nice day we’d have for a while, as the high temp was about 75. It was gorgeous. The average high for the forthcoming week would hover close to 90. It sure was nice enjoying the weekend and not having to have the A/C on all the time. Even though I was feeling much better I had a new development to deal with. My right ear plugged up when I was in the shower and it wouldn’t unplug. I tried all the usual remedies, but it was very stubborn. I laid down for a bit, and when I got up it had cleared a little. Clearly there was something in there that was rattling around, and moving into different positions would dislodge it temporarily. I met my pal Sara for dinner at Barone’s, as I was looking forward to a really good pizza after my disappointing Domino’s debacle from a few nights ago. It was great food and fun, but my right ear was still plugged a bit and was quite annoying. I got home and napped for a bit in the Puppet Room with my cat Spook. I got up and did a few auditions, worked around the house for a while, ate some leftover Barone’s pizza, and planned out the new week. I would be working in Culver City on Tuesday and Friday on the video game in order to make-up for the lost days when I was sick last week. I’m finally feeling better and ready to go!

And how was YOUR week??!!



The baby hummingbirds anxiously await mom to come with food.

The new Dark Crystal lamp is pretty sweet!

The sauceless Domino’s pizza I choked down.

My new Wizard of Oz base is just a tad too big…

…but after a few trims and cuts, it slides right in!

All of my Mego Oz figures are spaced out and their positions are marked. Stay tuned!