Monday, October 24, 2016

Jedi Riders In the Sky

The wind continued to howl when I pulled out of the four blankets on my bed this morning. I warmed up with oat bran and Cranberry Flummery for breakfast while watching an episode of Laverne & Shirley. "Haunted House" from the second season has the duo checking out a house about to be demolished, hoping to buy a couch cheap. Shirley's not sure about this. Her brothers have told her about a "hairy thing" that lurks in the walls of the old manor. Laverne thinks she's being silly...until they hear noises while shopping, and the man in charge of the sale and Lenny and Squiggy disappear...

Worked on writing for a couple of hours. As Hank drives Leia and the kids to Skywalker Manor, they have no idea it's already occupied. The First Order Gang is there, along with Professor Snoke, a discredited scientist who has done unethical experiments on mind control. He intends to use the kids and the Solos in his dastardly experiments. He sends the Gang after them, then turns his attention to his prisoner, Poe Dameron.

Broke a little early to bake Cranberry-Chocolate Chip Muffins. Ran an episode of Moonlighting as I ate and got ready for work. Maddie's got enough on her plate during the fifth season without the dead people who turn up in "I See London, I See France, I See Maddie's Netherworld." A man dies in their office...and then a friend of his turns up the next day, claiming he had the other half of a lottery ticket. It turns out there's a lot more to his plot than lottery winnings. Dave and Maddie find themselves chasing a body across town, while arguing over the idea of death and there being something "on the other side."

Work was the opposite of yesterday - steady to quiet when I came in, busy when I left. Once again, we had plenty of bagging help but nowhere near enough help in the registers, and I got stuck in the register more than I would have preferred. And we have a new manager. He seemed pleasant enough, but it means I'm going to have someone new to get used to.

As soon as I got home, I hit the shower to get that out of the way. After I got out, I heated up leftovers for dinner. Continued with Lego Star Wars as I ate. Went back to "Death Star Escape" first. The Fast Build extra was a huge help here. I was finally able to build that mosaic fast enough to get past the part with all the stormtroopers. Got a few more pieces, including one fairly easy one I hadn't noticed before.

Moved backwards to "Escape From Naboo." I didn't realize there were ledges you can jump onto in order to pick up more pieces. I got almost all of them and "True Jedi."

Went briefly back to "Escape From Echo Base." Got a few more pieces, but didn't have the time to finish all of this one.

Ended with the first level of Revenge of the Sith. Woohoo! No wonder Anakin seemed to be having so much fun with this in the movie. Trying the various ships out is a blast, and most of the pieces and the red brick are pretty easy to find. I got all but one piece (and just missed True Jedi).

Oh, and I discovered another rare Star Wars read-along story on YouTube tonight. This is a comic-book style story surrounding C-3PO, set some time after Return of the Jedi (the opening narration mentions that Han and Leia are married by this point). It's pretty darn fun to see fussy Threepio acting like the opposite of his usual self - Han's reactions in particular are gold.

The Mixed Up Droid - 1995 Original Story

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Golden Autumn

Started off a sunny, windy morning with Gingerbread Pancakes and the Laurel & Hardy album I picked up on Friday. There were a few songs (including "Lazy Moon" from Pardon Us and a rather nice version of "Let Me Call You Sweetheart"), but most of the material was short bits from their films. I really wish they'd used longer bits, or more from their shorts. You didn't really get a good idea of what those two were about.

Work was busy when I came in, steady-to-quiet later in the afternoon. I did get stuck on the register more than I would have preferred, despite it not being that busy, but there was plenty of bagging help too. At least most people were in good moods, and it wasn't anything resembling as crazy as last week.

The Philadelphia Eagles were in pretty darn good moods, too. I saw a little of the game in the back lounge area during my break. The score was 0-0 at the end of the first quarter. The Vikings finally got a field goal at the beginning of the second quarter. I turned around for five seconds to write down a story note...and when I turned around, an Eagle was sprinting down the field. They took a punt for a touchdown, then scored a 2-point conversion to bring it up to 8-2. By the time I got off, they were at 21-3. The Eagles eventually ran over their former quarterback San Bradford and the Vikings, 21-10.

It was too nice to sit at home when I finally got out of work. I changed, then headed over to Jodie and Dad's to see if anyone was home. EVERYONE was home. Along with Rose and Khai and Dad and Jodie, I saw Dana, Jesse, several neighbors, most of the neighborhood kids, and to my surprise, Joe and Jessa. Mark and Vanessa had been around earlier. They brought Vanessa's sausage gumbo, which was tasty, but very spicy! I had French bread and butter and a cupcake to cool things off.

(And Jodie said that the reason the Acme keeps putting me in the register, despite my protests, is I'm good with managing the money. I keep everything neat and make sure all the money is organized and ends up where it should be. Well, of course! I don't like it when it doesn't. That's what I do. I just don't like dealing with 800 people at once. I couldn't do Rose's waitressing jobs, either.)

The kids were outside, running around the street and their houses while their mothers talked. I tossed a velcro ball with little Savannah, one of the younger kids on the street. She was so funny. She either would throw it too far, or just push the ball onto the velcro catch thing. She kept losing her little bear shoe! Rose or I would put it back on her feet.

Oh, and Rose has at least two job interviews for legal work, and was requested by a former boss to do some work for him. She's been temporarily back at Anthony's after her last job ended. She sounded pretty optimistic; hopefully, she'll do well.

When I got home, I did more Lego Star Wars. Picked up more pieces on "Negotiations" and "Invasion of Naboo"; got True Jedi in the former. Tried "Bounty Hunter Pursuit," but only got a few more pieces. I am just no good at flying rounds! Did find two more pieces in "Ruin of the Jedi." Saw the red brick, but couldn't reach it. Maybe next time.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Windy Harvest

I awoke to pouring rain. Thankfully, by the time I was up and moving, it was just down to gloomy skies and gusty wind. Ran the first of two bonus episodes on the Captain Jake and the Never Land Pirates disc while eating breakfast. "Mystery of the Mighty Colossus" introduces a shadow-like villain who wants to take over the kids' enormous ship for his own. As they try to fight off this new menace, the kids and Hook's crew disappear one by one into the bowels of the ship. Jake has to solve the ship's many puzzles in order to save his crew and Hook's.

Hook's mother and the grandfather of one his his crew mates bring along a running feud...and the tale of "The Doubloon Monsoon." A whirlwind of coins exists in a gorge in Never Land. To get to it, the crew has to cross some very nasty turf. Grandpa is determined to keep Mrs. Hook from cheating. She's not the one he should watch, though...

It was just cloudy and windy when I headed out to the Collingswood Farm Market around quarter after 10. They were surprisingly busy for such chilly weather. It couldn't have been any more than the lower 50's. It's probably just as well that I didn't need much. A few booths were missing, too, including the one with the live alpaca. I just bought cranberries, small organic Boston lettuce heads, and mini apples.

When I got home, I made Cranberry Flummery (a jelly dessert) with last week's cranberries while finishing out Captain Jake. The peculiar inventor Dr. Undergear returns in "Shark Attack!" This time, he has a shark suit and a team of mechanical sea creatures that are salvaging parts from ships for his inventions. He thinks the Mighty Colossus would be perfect for his inventions. The kids don't agree and do their best to defend their vessel.

Jake and the kids just barely avoid a "Colossus Collision" when they take their boat out to see what all its crazy cannon balls can do. Hook and his crew are out, too. Hook accidentally turns on the engine and ends up nearly crashing into Pirate Island. The kids and his crew do what they can to slow the ship.

Work was steady. It could have been a lot worse, especially given the traffic I saw later in the day. The weather may have scared some folks off. It started raining shortly after I left for work, and continued showering on and off for the rest of the afternoon. I got stuck behind the registers a lot more than I would have preferred. We weren't that busy. It might also have been because, for once, there were plenty of baggers and lots of people to help with carts.

I limited my grocery shopping to peanut butter and ground turkey on a really good sale. I don't have much money. I did get my schedule. I wish I wasn't back to that same 4-hour-day schedule. I need more hours. At any rate, Tuesday and next Friday off, Tuesday for counseling.

Did a little writing when I got home. The kids are all waiting for Hank and Leia to pick them up for the Halloween party. They're all going as characters from the Judy Garland Wizard of Oz (which was re-released that year). Hank is well-known archaeologist Indiana Jones; Leia is Thumbelina. (If you know anything about Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher's filmographies, you'll know why I chose those costumes for them. ;)

Made Cincinnati Chili from Kit's Cooking Studio while watching one of the Bowery Boys horror-oriented movies. They think they're "Master Minds" when they discover that Sach's toothache gives him the power to see into the future. They turn him into a top Coney Island attraction...but he also attracts a mad scientist, who wants Sach's amazing brain for his half-human monster.

Concluded the night with two rounds of Lego Star Wars, both repeats, Did much better with "Chancellor In Peril." Got True Jedi and all but one piece. (Still couldn't find the red brick, though.) Just missed True Jedi on "Most Eisley Spaceport," but I did get through the part I had problems with before. Also got all but one of the pieces here.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Plundering the Book Sale

It was still sunny and a little too warm for the time of year when I got up this morning. Did some Captain Jake and the Never Land Pirates while eating breakfast. A rescue in a snow land takes the kids "In the Heart of Coldness" when a penguin tells them that his friends have been kidnapped by a frozen pirate. The pirate wants them to find "The Heart of Coldness," a gem that'll allow him to freeze all of Never Land.

"The Remarkable Beardini" is a magician who was released by Hook and Smee. They want him to tell them how he works his magic, but a magician never reveals his secrets. He's not happy when he learns the kids have found his invisibility ring and attacks them to get it back...until Jake apologizes for taking it.

Started out around 10:30 for today's errands. The Oaklyn Library looked like it was hosting a knitting club when I arrived. A group of older women sat around the main table, discussing pearls and needles and pulling colorful knitted squares out of handbags. I didn't want to get in their way (or listen to their political talk), so I organized the DVDs and left.

Besides, there were other things I wanted to do today. I made a quick stop at WaWa to use the ATM machines, then rode back down the White Horse Pike to Oaklyn's City Hall. Locked my bike behind City Hall at the fire house, then waited for the bus to Voorhees at the shaded bench. Thankfully, they were actually close to on time, for once. There was no traffic on the way, and I had no problems getting off at the Voorhees Library.

Twice a year, the Voorhees Library holds the Camden County Library System's annual system-wide book sale. They started a day earlier this year, on Thursday. They were already a little picked-over when I came. I saw no good DVDs or CDs. Wish they'd organized the fiction better. I really had to search for fantasy, sci fi, and mystery novels. On the other hand, they weren't nearly as busy as the last few times I went there, either. (It being noon by the time I arrived may have been part of the reason.) The kids' books area was actually empty.

I finally walked out with three records:

The original cast of the 1978 burlesque revue Sugar Babies, featuring Ann Miller and Mickey Rooney

Soundtrack for the 1950's TV musical The Adventures of Marco Polo, with Broadway star Alfred Drake

Collection of Laurel & Hardy material, including songs and routines from their films and shorts

And four books:

The Spirit of Christmas Book Six (craft/cook book collection)

Betsy-Tacy and Tib, by Maud Hart Lovelace (I heard people at the AG Playthings board mention this tale of a trio of best friends in the early 1900's and thought I'd try it)

Shadows of the Empire, by Steve Perry (Basically, what happened between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. I've read this, but not since it came out. At one point, Keefe had the Xizor and Dash Rendar action figures. They're long gone - they weren't among the ones he gave me.)

Laced, by Carol Higgins Clark (one of her few books I hadn't gotten to)

And the lady at the table up front gave me the whole pile for 3 dollars. Not a bad haul for what they had, really.

Had lunch across the street at the Voorhees Town Center's food court. There wasn't really much to choose from. Several of the booths were closed, including the barbecue place Lauren and I ate at the last time we went to the Book Sale together. I considered Qdoba, but I just had tacos for dinner last night. Ended up with Burger King's Homestyle Burger, fries, and a Diet Coke. Very disappointing. The fries were ok, kind of big for fast food fries, but the burger was flat and obviously fake, with nuclear cheese and practically no vegetables.

The rest of the Voorhees Town Center wasn't much better. The only remaining stores were Bath and Body Works, an Italian import store, Claire's, the Hot Topic/Spencer's imitation Adventureland, the cookie booth, Victoria's Secret, the arcade, Kay's Jewels, PayLess Shoes, and the anchors Boscov's and Macy's. Even that great Hallmark was gone. Except for Boscov's and Macy's, the second floor is entirely local offices or medical services. A lot of the decor is dark and drab, and quite frankly, no arcade or cookie booth can keep the place from looking a bit depressing.

I did browse in Boscov's and briefly in Bath and Body Works and bought a few mini-cookies, but I really don't have much money left. I ended up taking the 2:14 back to Oaklyn. They were a ten minutes late arriving. When they did arrive, the driver told me her money feed machine was broken. I ended up getting a free - and very full - ride home.

After I got off in Oaklyn, I turned around and went back a couple of blocks. I'd remembered that I badly needed light bulbs. The halogen bulbs at Family Dollar were expensive, but they were still cheaper than buying one CFL bulb. Also grabbed a can of mandarin oranges for 80 cents.

Did some writing when I got in. Rey and Artie end up getting along like gangbusters, thanks to Rey's mechanical bent. They finally head out after finding out from Artie that Luke is at Skywalker Manor and is up to something. Hank offers to take Leia home, then talks her into going to the party with him, much to her amusement and delight of the kids and Charles.

Broke for oat bran and roasted Brussels sprouts for dinner while continuing Captain Jake. "Escape From Ghost Island" has both Hook's crew and the kids ending up at the title island, which only appears at night. Smee and Hook turn into ghosts when they touch a ghost pirate's treasure. The pirate turns Jake into a ghost, too. He wants them all for his ghostly crew! Jake, Hook, and Smee finally turn the ghost's own powers against him.

"The Island of Doctor Undergear" introduced me to a mechanical pirate the kids apparently found floating in the sea and put together. They go to an island shaped like a gear to find a new part for him. Turns out he was originally intended to be a henchman for Dr. Undergear, a mad scientist. Undergear's parts make him into an evil lackey! Jake makes a mechanical body of his own to fight robot to robot.

"Rise of the Pirate Pharaoh" takes us to the desert, where a mummy pirate is giving the kids a tour of his world. They accidentally unleashes a mummy pharaoh who sends a hoard of scarabs to scare the kids and their wrapped up friend away. They fight off the scarabs, then find out why the pharaoh really wants them gone.

Captain Hook gets involved in a take on "The Midas Touch" in "The Golden Hook." Unlike King Midas, Hook becomes obsessed with his new hook that can turn anything into gold and doesn't listen when the kids and Smee try to explain it's a bad idea. Jake has to use his own magic to get the hook away from him, before he turns them all into gold!

Finished the night with a call to Mom. I hadn't heard from her in ages, since I visited the family in July. She's still working long hours at the Ferry. The nice weather has kept them unusually busy for mid-fall. Dad's a bit better, at least enough to go visit Grandma Ann with Anny. I told her about the remodeling and the changes at the Acme and having dinner with Dad and Jodie. She mentioned she made a French apple pie. She was the recipient of most of the apples Anny and her brood gathered on that apple-picking trip last week (just like Jodie got Rose's apples).

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Taco Thursday

Today was my first early work shift in a while. Other than the ongoing remodeling, it was no trouble. I did a half-hour of carts when I got in and another one right before I went on break. Otherwise, I attempted to do returns. I really wish they hadn't opted to rearrange everything along with the remodeling. It doesn't bother me so much, but a lot of our customers don't want to have to get used to the way the store is organized again. Thankfully, we were never that busy and for once, there was plenty of help on a weekday.

The floral department manager gave me some good news yesterday. They're opting to expand the Floral Department and put that up front instead of the unnecessary Starbucks. It'll probably replace the weekly sales displays and self-checkout area that are at the entrance now. They're already building at the former display area, which is mostly boarded off.

Picked up a box of brown sugar quickly on sale, then headed home. Ate leftovers for lunch while watching Captain Jake and the Never Land Pirates. The show finally acknowledges that Captain Hook and his boys weren't the best villains by downplaying their roles and creating an entirely new, far more menacing bad guy for the special "The Great NeverSea Conquest." Lord Fathom is an evil mer-wizard who wants to take over the entire NeverSea...and eventually, Never Land! He finds an emerald that gives him control over the creatures of the NeverSea and allows him to lock up the rightful rulers.

Meanwhile, Captain Hook and his crew and Jake and the kids are both looking for The Mighty Colossus. The legendary pirate vessel destroyed an enormous sea serpant, but went to the bottom of the Never Sea after doing so. Captain Hook wants the treasure it was supposedly carrying. Jake just wants to see the famous ship and learn more about its captain. He gets his wish and his chance when the kids' beloved ship Bucky is damaged. They get help from all the pirate captains in the Never Sea to raise the Colossus and prove Jake to be the strong-hearted pirate captain he'd always dreamed of.

Did writing for the next few hours. Hank's huge friend Charles appears with Baby, whom he found wandering the streets. Rey finds the message on Baby's collar. They take the dog and the paper to Leia Organa-Solo. After Leia tells them she knows Artie Baker, a friend of Luke's, she confronts Hank. The kids are hoping for romance, but despite a promising start, they end up discussing their son being involved in the shootout and Poe's kidnapping instead.

Artie turns out to be an eccentric, very small inventor. He's created a robot that looks like a huge Swiss army knife, but is really designed to hold secrets and communicate with other robots. A red light on its dome flashes, even though none of Artie's other robots are operating and there are no others in the area. He reveals that Luke is in New York, searching houses...though he's not sure why.

It was just getting dark and cloudy when I rode over to Dad and Jodie's around quarter of 6. Jodie's Taco Thursday was in full swing. She had hard and soft tortillas, seasoned ground beef, sliced tomatoes and onions, shredded lettuce, and hot sauce and sour cream out. I didn't have a big lunch and ended up eating four of them, three soft and one hard. (I'm not a big fan of hard tacos. They tend to fall apart.)

Chatted with various members of the family, including Dana, Jodie, and Rose. I didn't know Rose was a Flyers fan. This is their 50th season - today was their 50th annual home opening game, (Disappointingly, I later discovered they lost to the Anaheim Ducks, 3-2.) She suggested going to see a home game some time. I'd love to! I've seen Phillies and Eagles games live, but never the Flyers.

Glad I got to see everyone. Khai mostly watched It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown on DVD and The Loud Family on Nickelodeon while playing with his mother's iPad. Rose brought a Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake, made from our mom's own recipe that she used to make for the Ugly Mug bar in Cape May when she worked there in the 80's. It was just as good as Mom's was when we were kids, chocolate-y and rich.

Rose also reminded me that I really need to call the family in Cape May County. I haven't since I went down there with her in July. They did just get past their busy season. Dad-Bill apparently hasn't been doing so good, but it's more than likely he won't do anything like resting and is probably driving Mom nuts. He and Anny apparently went up to visit Grandma Ann in upstate New York. Grandma Ann is cool. She's my only grandparent left. As Rose said, she has a tendency to spend money like it's going out of style (gee, wonder where Dad-Bill gets that habit from), but she's funny as hell and tells great stories.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

A Glorious Indian Summer

It was sunny and hot when I got up this morning. Had breakfast while watching a few more Cat In the Hat episodes. "Let's Go Fly a Kite" takes us into the air when the kids notice clouds moving. The Cat has them fly a kite in a windy valley to show how wind works. "Water Walkers" are bugs that seem to "walk" on pond surfaces, thanks to tiny bubbles in the fuzz on their feet. "Minnie Meerkat" shows the group how meerkats dig tunnels to stay safe and watch out for one another.

Spent a few hours writing before work. It's the next morning, and the kids and Hank are worried about Poe. He never came home the night before. Hank's partner Charles shows up with Baby. The puppy is scared and dirty...and carrying vital information. Rey finds a piece of a map on her collar. It looks like part of the Bowery, but she can't tell which part.

Work was a bit of a pain. Despite it not being that busy, I kept getting called up front throughout the first half of my shift. Doing returns isn't easy, either. They're rearranging the store. Most things have been moved. I don't mind it so much, but it does means returns are going to take a bit longer than usual. I was glad I got to spend the last two hours doing returns, even if it wasn't that bad. It was too nice of a day to be inside anyway. The weather remains breezy and hot, probably in the lower 80's.

Finished out Cat In the Hat while eating leftovers for dinner. "No SSSweater Is Better" than a snake skin, as Nick discovers when they encounter a snake in the desert. Nick's reluctant to give up his favorite sweater. It's his lucky sweater, but it doesn't fit anymore. He feels better about letting it go after hearing about how snakes shed their skin when they outgrow them. "The Rain Game" takes them to the rain forest. Sally wants water for her garden, but the rain doesn't reach past the dense tree tops. They have to fly through thick leaves - and past several different varieties of animals - to find rain.

This time, I managed to finish eating before starting Lego Star Wars. I finally had enough gold bricks to get into the last bonus round. It's a second version of the Lego Town. I just couldn't figure the whole thing out, even with a wide variety of characters to choose from. I'll look that one up online and go back later.

I also discovered you can actually go outside the main hub. I did build a few things, including a track with coins, but there was one area I just couldn't figure out how to open. I'll return another time.

Did better with the regular rounds. I had a harder time with the "Count Dooku" boss round than the General Grievous one last night. Did get the red brick, but not all the pieces, even after going through twice. Was able to find all the pieces on the last round in Return of the Jedi, the one where the Falcon blows up the Death Star. Tried "Through the Jutland Wastes" again, but only got one more piece.

Oh, and happy birthday to my best friend Lauren Miller! I'm so embarrassed I forgot to send her something. I'll get cookies out to her next week.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Libraries and Chocolate

Began the day with breakfast and one of the few Halloween specials I own that I hadn't yet gotten to. Halloween Is Grinch Night is one of the odder Dr. Seuss specials. A sour-sweet wind sends the Grinch on the prowl with his cart filled with his wild, surreal scares. Young Eukariah Who gets lost in the mountains, and after encountering the Grinch, takes it upon himself to make sure he and that freaky cart never make it to Whoville.

Didn't get to the laundromat until past noon. Though every washer was full when I came in, it soon calmed down. I spent most of the time working on story notes and ignoring soap operas. One woman complained that one of the larger, round-door washers was leaking. I have no idea. I use the smaller, cheaper ones.

As soon as I got home and put everything away, I went right back out again. My first stop was Phillies Phatties for lunch. It was about the only lunch I could afford. I had a slice of cheese pizza, a slice of mushroom pizza, and a can of Mountain Dew Baja Blast. It was such a lovely, warm day, I ate it outside, on the wooden picnic tables on West Clinton.

Studio LuLoo was open for the first time in weeks. The woman who runs it says she's been in California and isn't around much anymore. She's talking to the city of Oaklyn to find someone to take over the spot and continue to run it as a rec center/after school and weekend spot for kids. She had a treat for me - a huge box of sugar-free dark chocolate-sour cherry bars! There were tons of them. They're giving them away for Halloween, she said. Well, sure! I love dark chocolate and cherries, and the no-sugar wouldn't scare me off.

I tried one on the way down West Clinton. Oh, yuumm! I didn't taste the Splenda at all. I tasted dark chocolate and bits of dried cherry and chocolate chips and Krackle pieces. There wasn't even a weird aftertaste. This box was too good (and too big) not to be shared.

Cut across Newton Lake Park on my way to Westmont. It was a glorious day for a ride, breezy, sunny, and maybe a bit too warm for mid-October, probably in the lower 80's. Not surprisingly, they were fairly busy with people going for strolls, walking their dogs, tossing Frisbees, and sunning themselves on the black metal benches.

The Haddon Township Library was busier than I'd ever seen it! Besides the fact that it was almost 3 PM by then and many kids were getting out of school, they were doing a kids' craft class that had them making their own paper for books. It was apparently also Take Photos In the Library Day (or something like that). The head librarian took my picture holding an "I heart Library" laminated sign as I worked on finding items for holds. Shelved the few kids' DVDs, too. This time, they all fit except one J title and two L titles.

Took out a few things. I've been looking for more ideas for my fairy tales, both fanfiction and originals. Found a collection called Around the World In 80 Stories in the kids' area. I've always loved reading fairy tales and folk lore from many different parts of the globe.

The library continues to get more new animated sets in. Jake and the Never Land Pirates was reincarnated earlier this year as Captain Jake and the Never Land Pirates. Found the first set I've seen from that today. They also had another Cat In the Hat Knows A Lot About That disc, this one weather-themed.

It was so late by the time I headed out, I just decided to put up with the road repairs on Cuthbert and take the short way home. Wanted to check out something one of the librarians told me as well. It would seem the Thriftway across the street from the Library closed suddenly about two weeks ago. It was empty when I went by there.

I'm disappointed, but not surprised. They were never terribly busy, even during holidays and rush hour. They were originally located in a much smaller building down the street on Crystal Lake Road. I suspect they probably should have stayed there. I don't think they ever really adjusted to the larger building. I did buy a few things there, notably toilet paper, eggs, and whole wheat flour, but neither their prices nor their selection were all that great. There's tons of competition in the area, too, including three Acmes, two Shop Rites, Price Rite and Aldi in Camden, and Wegman's in Cherry Hill.

When I got home, I made scrambled eggs with scallions, mushrooms, green peppers, and cheddar cheese for dinner. Watched a few episodes of Cat In the Hat as I ate. The kids want to know the order of the colors in the rainbow so they can paint rainbows for their moms. The Cat introduces them to a king who wants a rainbow of his own in "Chasing Rainbows." Faced with a "Puddle Puzzle" when the puddle they were playing in vanishes, the Cat takes the kids and the Fish into a cloud to see what happens to water when it vaporizes. Nick and Sally say it's too hot to play, but the Cat has a friend who knows a little about "Fun In the Sun." Helga the Hippo teaches the trio how she cools off in the steamy jungle.

Finished the night with writing. Went back and added a scene with the mysterious, gray-bearded figure Rey saw in the haunted house. He orders his golden robot assistant to not tell his sister he's hoping to reopen the house as a school. He doesn't want anyone to burn this one down.

Poe has more trouble talking to Detective Lor San Tekka. He gives him a clue as to where Luke Waller is hiding...but the First Order Gang attacks them. Poe sends the message along with his dog Baby before he's captured by Kylo Ren.