This is true. So true.

This is the second week in a row where I’ve been humming a song I heard while watching “The Muppet Show.” On the episode that featured songstress Anne Murray as the special guest, she sings a song called “Walk Right Back” that’s very catchy. Instead of just posting the audio of the song, I’ll post a link so you can see the actual interchange she had on the show with the Muppets.


Tuesday the 6th – SUMMER IS OVER?! – Yesterday was Labor Day, and Labor Day traditionally signals the end of summer. But somebody forgot to tell summer. We’re going to have record-breaking heat this week with triple-digit temps expected for a while. Since I’ve lived here it’s been typical that we have about two weeks of triple-digit temperatures every summer. They just came a little bit later than usual this year. And speaking of Labor Day, it used to always be an end-of-summer tradition to watch the Jerry Lewis Labor Day telethon for the Muscular Dystrophy Association when I was a kid. Last week I posted some photos from a previous MDA fundraiser we did as superheroes 34 years ago. Back in the day, every person in America had their TV tuned to the telethon at some point during the multi-hour extravaganza. And as usual, at telethon’s closing, they would show the final total amount raised on the tote board. We all waited with breathless anticipation to see if a fundraising record would be attained again this year. Then a very tired, very teary-eyed Jerry Lewis would sing the song “You’ll Never Walk Alone” while the world watched and cried right along with him. It was quite an experience! As I’m winding down watching season 4 of “The Muppet Show” in my nightly TV viewing, one of the musical numbers featured a multi-legged centipede walking in the rain singing “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” The irony struck me that I would happen across that particular episode and song so close to Labor Day. Maybe the spirit of Jerry Lewis had something to do with it! The irony of the coincidence of hearing that song on Labor Day weekend certainly wasn’t lost on me. I got up early to have lunch with my friend Tuesday, but upon glancing at my phone for voicemail and text messages I saw one from her asking to postpone. She got a very complicated audition in from her agent and she needed to focus on that all afternoon. So I just spent the afternoon lounging around the house, doing some work, and finalizing a few things. The back-up of my computer to my external hard drive finally stopped after almost a week of non-stop churning. Though the progress message on my computer said it still had about 16 hours to go, the back-up process stopped. Worried that I might have done something to affect its cessation, I phoned my computer guy to have a look. He remoted in and looked, and determined that it was completely backed up. Whew! That was a long, arduous process. We spoke about some tech options to enhance the back-up process in the future. I took a short nap, and then later recorded a bunch of auditions. I worked on reconciling my receipts and bank statements, and I paid some bills. I made some barbecues and delved into the DVD set of “The Magician” with Bill Bixby from 1973. I’m really going to love this show! The pilot episode was fantastic!

Wednesday the 7th – “IT’S ALIVE!” – The intense heat isn’t very conducive to making me feel active. So I lounged around most of the day. My 14 year old collie Roxy actually seems to like the heat, so I took her out to enjoy the day. I think the warmth feels good on her old bones and joints. It might be why old people move to Palm Springs when they retire. I got a call from my mechanic at the Burbank Auto Doctor about my car, and the message was simply, “It’s alive!” They’ve been waiting for the new computer to arrive for my Mustang, and it’s been a few weeks until one could be located. Apparently they’re very rare. But they acquired one and installed it in my car. I’m looking forward to getting my Mustang back! Thursday could be a very good day. I may get my car back and I’ll be going to a premiere of a documentary for which I was interviewed back in 2019. The doc is all about autograph collecting, autograph collectors, and the business of selling signatures. It’s cleverly called “Hollywood Signs” and it’s finally finished and ready to be seen after a few years of delays while the world melted down. I went to CVS to pick up a few things, and then I bought some grocery items at the store. I got home and put everything away and napped. Later I did an audition for a TV commercial Voice Over, and then walked Roxy on our late-night stroll through the neighborhood. It was a warm, gorgeous night with a golden almost-full moon. It was so perfect out, that after I put Roxy back inside, I set up my chair on Dead Tree Terrace, cracked open an ice cold iced tea, and enjoyed a nice cigar while watching the sky and relaxing. There was a cool, comforting breeze that helped to make the evening even more enjoyable. By the time I came back inside I noticed that it was 4:30am! I had been out there enjoying the evening for almost 2 hours! It was an amazing time! I made some spaghetti and watched an episode of “The Magician” before bed.

Thursday the 8th – ODD EVEN-ING! – This very, VERY odd day started with a call from my mechanic letting me know that the computer they installed was faulty. When they turned the AC on, it turned off. When they turned it off, it came on. Something was wrong with the programming. I’ve always thought adding computers to cars was a horrible idea, and this is one of the reasons why. So, it’s back to the drawing board as we wait for ANOTHER computer to arrive. The good news was that clouds and rain are coming by Friday night which will put an end to your long string of triple-digit temps. In the evening my pal Officer Mark came over to pick me up for our drive to Beverly Hills to attend the “Hollywood Signs” documentary premiere. Our plan was to get to the area where the theater was located and look around for some food. But in that particular area of B.H. there are literally no restaurants on Wilshire Boulevard for miles! And miles. And miles. And miles! Finally we happened across a McDonalds, so we cut our losses and went inside (it didn’t have a drive-thru). This is where the odd evening began. When I walked in I saw people standing around away from the counter. Since social distancing is still a thing with some people, I’m never sure if they’re actually in line to order, or they’re just standing around waiting for their order to arrive. I asked a lady, “Are you in line?” She said she was. So we determined that the guy standing behind her was the end of the line. Officer Mark and I lined up and got ready to order. But when the guy behind the counter said, “Next person in line,” the lady didn’t move. I was confused. I said, “Are you waiting to order?” She said she had already ordered and she was waiting to get her food. But when you ask somebody if they’re in line that normally means you want to determine if they’re waiting to order. Why would she be in line to receive her order when they simply call out a number when her order is ready? There’s no waiting in line needed. Bizarre. Then the guy behind the counter was not only behind a Plexiglas barrier, but he was wearing a mask and had a very thick accent. I looked up at the screens that normally feature the menu so I could make my selection. But the screens didn’t have any menu information. It was nothing more than a series of videos featuring beauty shots of all the food you could order. I was just trying to find a cheeseburger combo meal. But in speaking with the guy behind the counter, I wasn’t understanding anything he said. When we finally determined that what I wanted was a “number 7,” I ordered, paid and stepped aside to wait for my food. While Officer Mark and I were seated at a table eating our food, I saw the unending stream of pretty videos on the TV screens touting their amazing ice cream desserts. There were dancing Oreo cookies, and a shot of a cold, delicious Oreo McFlurry that looked delightful. After our meal I went back to the counter to order one, and the masked, thick-accented guy said they didn’t have ice cream. Really? I just spent a half hour watching a hypnotic video about how great their ice cream treats are. Bizarre!! We got to the theatre and parked, and when we walked up to the ticket window our friend Elliot Lurie arrived. We got a few pictures and hung outside chatting. When I talked to the gal behind the ticket window and gave her my name for the guest list, she handed me a ticket and a mask. A mask? She said wearing masks inside was mandatory. WHAT? Still?! Sure enough, a posted sign stated that a theatre mask mandate was still in effect. This lady had shoved a mask through the ticket slot with her fingers. I had no idea where those hands had been, but her fingers had most likely just handled money, as well as untold other dirty things. And wearing this mask she shoved at me was going to keep me safe from a variety of nasties? Hardly. I told her I had my own mask, and dug through my bag to find one. Officer Mark asked what was going on and I told him that masks were still mandatory for this screening. He didn’t seem happy at that news. He told me he had checked the theatre on Yelp recently, and the reviews weren’t very good. It was stated that the theatre’s air conditioning was nonfunctional. More bad news. Sitting in a non-air conditioned theatre wearing a mask didn’t seem like a good idea to me, so this could be a very short evening. When we donned our masks and walked into the theatre’s lobby it was easily a hundred degrees in there. I bought a Diet Coke, some popcorn and some Reese’s peanut butter cups. When we walked into the theatre to find our seats it smelled like a gym. Even through my mask I could smell the odor of people sitting around sweating all day. Yup, a very short evening was in store. It was not at all the fault of the producers of the documentary, as the theatre they engaged for the screening had fallen short. I opened up my Reese’s peanut butter cups and they were completely melted. Utterly useless. When the producers went to the front of the theatre to welcome everyone, it was clear the sound system wasn’t working either. Apparently the guy in charge of the AC was also running the sound. I felt rather bad for them, as this was a very big night for them that they had no doubt anticipated for a very long time. When the movie started the sound was so loud it was literally uncomfortable. And the theatre’s sound system was NOT state of the art. The film’s audio sounded loud, shrill and flat. Was this a secret experimentation in torture techniques? The film was fantastic, but I could only take about 20 minutes of it. I was literally sweating through my shirt, and I know Officer Mark was sweating as well. It’s most likely why the place smelled like a gym…people sitting there sweating in the seats all day. We quietly got up and left and headed outside. Once we got outside and stood in front of the theatre, the bank across the street flashed the current outside temperature of 89 degrees. Officer Mark commented that the 89 degrees felt cool compared to what we had just endured. I felt really bad for the producers of this film, as I know the people who stayed to watch the whole thing were miserable. Never again. All in all it was a very, VERY weird evening. We talked about the odd series of events on our drive back to my house. It was good to be home. I relaxed for a bit, and then opened up my e-mail to see what I had for nightly auditions. There was only one, and it was for a video game for a very large franchise. But the character voice would be very vocally stressful, so I deleted it and passed on it. I’m getting to the point in my life where I just don’t care to take those kinds of roles, no matter how big the franchise is.

Friday the 9th – RETIRE THE BLACK BEAUTY?! – My mechanic called to let me know that the replacement computer for my Mustang wouldn’t be in until Monday or Tuesday of next week. Fingers crossed that THIS one will actually work! That meant that I needed to keep my rental car for a few more days. I would be driving my Gran Torino during a routing Mustang repair process, but with the weather topping out over 100 degrees every day it wasn’t a good idea to drive an almost-50-year-old car without good air conditioning. So until the weather breaks I’ll have to keep my rented pick-up truck. Since the Mustang has been in the shop quite frequently over the past few months (battery and alternator problems, decaying hoses, two bad idler pulleys, and now the computer) I got to thinking about it logically. Next year my Mustang will be 20 years old. It’s a gorgeous classic with only 81 thousand miles on it. But still, over 20 years things are simply going to cease operating. In my mind I entertained a future of having to have my Mustang in the shop about once a month, and having to rent a car to get here and there. So I started pondering the concept of retiring my beloved Mustang and relegating it to “classic” status. It could be parked in my auxiliary parking lot next to the Torino! I’m very serious about buying a new car (nothing fancy, just something new and reliable) and keeping my Mustang and Torino as fun cars, but retiring my Mustang from “daily driver” status. I honestly think it’s the most logical thing to do. And given all of the troublesome news this past week about the state of California coming up short on supplying an adequate power supply for people’s air conditioning needs during a heatwave, I’m going to avoid an electric vehicle at all costs! The state of California can make all the rules about going all electric that they want, but the simple fact remains that the infrastructure in this state isn’t adequate to even keep air conditioning on during a heatwave, let alone charge everyone’s vehicles. I sense an all-electric car future for California is very, VERY far off. I napped most of the day, and though it was still warm and humid, it did start to rain. I spent a very lovely evening napping on the couch with Roxy and Spook in tow. We had a fan on in the living room providing a gentle breeze for us. I had the windows and doors open to hear the rain fall. It was wonderful! Later I did some work around the house; dishes, laundry, etc. I drove over to Denny’s after the rain subsided to get some food to go. I came back and ate my dinner and watched another episode of “The Magician.” In addition to being a great show, it’s so much fun to see the character actors of the day in these episodes! Even though the weather had cooled considerably, it was still quite humid out.

Saturday the 10th – HOT ROD ROX! – On my way to have a late lunch with my pal Scott Sebring, I stopped off at my mailbox to pick up a few packages. One of the packages was a doggie wheelchair gizmo I bought on-line to help Roxy on those days where she was having mobility issues with her back legs. There’s no guarantee that she’ll like it, or even want to use it, but a little extra help in the hindquarters for a 14 year old collie can’t be a bad thing. After lunch at Paty’s on the patio, enjoying a nice, cool cloudy day, we came back to Planet Wallywood so he could help me set up a new audio interface I ordered for my computer. The other interface I had been using was quite old, and while I got a lot of good use out of it, it was starting to add odd artifacts to my audition files. Things like pops and clicks were sneaking into my sound files and sometimes it was very difficult to edit them out. So this new interface should do the trick. After testing all aspects of my audio recording capabilities (one can’t be too careful with this kind of thing) Scott took off, and I grabbed a quick nap. Later I decided to start assembling Roxy’s wheelie mechanism. But it was a bit like building a rocket ship; very confusing. The instruction manual wasn’t laid out in a logical fashion, and it would get ahead of itself quite often. It would show you how the mechanism is supposed to look, but not tell you how to get there until a page later. Luckily I relied upon my own knowledge and logic of how these things should be put together so I could fill in the gaps in the instruction manual. The weather was still very humid and I might have been a bit premature in turning off the air conditioning in the house. Roxy seemed very uncomfortable and restless. She was having a tough time walking. More bad news. She began a new thing of walking in circles. After a cursory look on the internet, it looks like she might have CCD; Canine Cognitive Disorder. This could have happened because she had a minor stroke, or it could just be another sign of advancing age. It said that when a dog gets confused, distressed or uncomfortable they will circle around because it brings them comfort. She was doing it inside the house, but she also did it on our walk outside as well. She’s also been drooling quite a bit of late, which I wrote off to a byproduct of the warm weather. But it mentioned that excessive drooling is also a symptom of CCD. It’s very sad to see this once vibrant, majestic dog slowly decay. But that’s part of dog ownership. The worst part. In case she was experiencing some pain that wasn’t evident to me I gave her one of her pain pills to calm her down and help her rest. I made my traditional Saturday Night Super Saint Salad and settled in to watch another episode of “The Saint” before bed.

Sunday the 11th – CHRISTOWEEN ’22! – As is usual, I rested most of the day. When I got around later I started prepping for this year’s Christoween season, which will start October 2nd and go through Christmas Day. This is a 13 week observance that is tied into my book series called “Donnie Druthers Christoween Capers,” that I promoted like crazy last year. Hard to believe it’s that time again, but one of the things about creating an evergreen, perennial property like Christoween, every year it’s dusted off and re-presented to hopefully find a whole new group of followers who may have missed it last year. My pal Alex was in town for a concert, so when he finished his show he dropped by to spend some time with Roxy (I told him it might be the last time he gets to see her, given her condition) and we could go grab some food. We drove to a restaurant called the Coral Café, which I thought was open late, but by the time we got there they had closed already. With limited late-night eating opportunities we headed to the only place I could think of locally that would still be open and hopping – Denny’s. We had a nice time at the Denny’s from which I always get my to-go orders, and it was a bit odd actually eating IN the restaurant. After we ate I had Alex drive me to my auxiliary parking structure so I could fire up the Gran Torino. It had been a while since I had it out, so I was worried that it wouldn’t start and would need to be jumped. But it fired right up, much to my amazement. Now that the weather had cooled it would be fine to drive the Torino around while my Mustang was still being repaired. That way I could take the rental back and save some dough. I got back home, napped for a bit, and then got up to do more Christoween stuff. I noticed that the sun was starting to rise, so I made a point to stay up a little longer until the local Enterprise office opened so I could take the pick-up truck back. In the event that somebody needed to rent some wheels for the day I didn’t want to waste time getting it back so others could possibly use it. Given how limited the supply of rentable cars is, I wanted to help out as much as I could. But when I got to the rental agency they said the truck was flagged with a recall notice, so it was immediately going into the shop for repair. I walked home on a gorgeous, cool fall morning, cleaned up and hit the hay.

And how was YOUR week??!!


Sign? Don’t mind if I do!

My pal Elliot Lurie was the guy who got me involved with this project, so we were very much looking forward to seeing the final product!

Unfortunately the theatre was so prohibitively hot, it melted my Reese’s, and we didn’t end up staying long.

But we were able to catch my first segment in the film.

The continuing saga of the repair process of the broken Oliver Hardy mug – Once I rejoined the remaining pieces of the handle with Gorilla glue, I covered the entire handle with an epoxy putty called Magic Sculpt. After it cures it’s like rock! You can sand it, prime it and paint it to satisfaction.

Once the handle was sanded and primed, I painted it a nice satin black. It turned out great, and it’s more sturdy now that it was when it was originally made!

Meanwhile, as I’m shopping for groceries, a very familiar voice and song are heard in the overhead music system!