Wednesday, February 01, 2012

On the Bedside Radio

I slept in this morning and didn't head out until quarter after 11. Today is my only day off this week, and I wanted to get some cleaning done in addition to making this week's Haddon Township Library run. I may have picked the wrong day to be doing things indoors. It had rained some time overnight - my porch was still wet when I got up this morning - but by 11, the sky was clear, the breeze was soft, and it was ridiculously warm, into the lower 60s. In early February in Southern New Jersey.

With weather like that, a ride through Newton River Park was mandatory. Needless to say, I was far from the only person rolling along on the paths, either. Parents watched their children play on the playground. I dodged myriad dog walkers, joggers, and couples strolling together on their lunch hours. Even the Canadian geese were out and about, enjoying a nice, lazy swim on the river.

With all that, you probably won't be surprised to hear that the Haddon Township Library was quiet when I arrived. There wasn't much to do, either. Who's in the mood for DVDs when the weather's gone crazy? I mostly concentrated on reorganizing the kids' DVDs. Had a nice chat with an elderly man has I shelved the adult DVDs. He was delighted with the Library's huge DVD collection and was considering dropping his cable in favor of renting movies; I told him it was a great idea. That's what I do. I don't even bother with NetFlix. I either rent from the local libraries, or I buy used movies online or at FYE. It's probably a lot cheaper than NetFlix or cable.

I wasn't going to take out movies this week, since I don't have a lot of time on my hands, but they had a couple of animated films I've been wanting to see. I took out last year's reboot of the Disney Winnie the Pooh, a new half-hour special based after How to Train Your Dragon, the odd western Rango, and the live-action TV movie depicting how the Mystery Inc crew met, Scooby Doo: The Mystery Begins. (I've been debating the last named for a while. I liked the second live-action Scooby movie, so I decided to give the TV movies a chance.)

Made a quick stop at Rite Aid on my way home. I wanted to get some medicated pads for that nasty callus on my left small toe. I saw a sale on a radio alarm clock that you can also hook your iPod up to and decided to try that, too. I've had my boxy white alarm clock since high school. The numbers still work, but the buttons are sticking, and the alarm is annoying.

When I got home, I had a peanut butter and apple butter wrap and a salad while watching the Bowery Boys movie Bowery Buckaroos. After lunch, I swept a small pile of sticker balls off my porch, then headed out for a walk. It was way too nice for the indoor DVD workout I originally planned. It was so nice, when I got home, I swapped my errand-running sneakers and socks for my thick brown walking sandals.

I was far from the only person out and about in Oaklyn. The kids were going home even as I made my way down to West Clinton Avenue. Some of them wore sweaters or hoodies; others had removed their sweaters and jackets altogether and were in their shirtsleeves. I followed their lead for the rest of my walk. I was too warm in my pale blue hoodie sweater!

I ended up at the park behind the Oaklyn School. I haven't been over there for a while. There were lots of kids running around the playground. Parents pushed their youngest offspring on the swings. Older boys played a rowdy roller hockey game in the gated-off skate park. Ducks drifted past on the river, enjoying time with their own families.

After I finished my walk, I finally got to the cleaning. I did a quick job of the kitchen, vacuumed, made the bed, and threw my Animators' Collection Cinderella's hair into a ponytail. Her hair is such a curly mess, it looks much better up than it does down. I got the idea from a Disney doll collector's forum and highly recommend it for any collector with a Cinderella doll who isn't display only, or for a mother whose child is tired of dealing with Cindy's curls.

Ran Scooby Doo: The Mystery Begins while making a simple tuna salad and home-made yeast rolls for dinner. (It was too warm for the tuna casserole I'd planned for tonight!) The first half is pure Breakfast Club - four very different teens (drama queen Daphne, brainy Velma, jock Fred, and misfit Shaggy) wind up in detention when Shaggy tries to bring his dog Scooby Doo to school and the girls get tired of Fred making fun of them. They all discover just how much they have in common when their school is attacked by a group of very real ghosts. Their leader, however, is a lot more human, but the kids have been expelled and aren't allowed near the school. Can they all find out who is leading the paranormal attack on their high school, without getting into deeper trouble...and discover that friends come in all shapes, sizes, and species?

Much to my surprise, I quite enjoyed it. It naturally lacks the elaborate special effects of the theatrical films, but this might be to its credit - it looks more, well, cartoony. While the CGI Scooby isn't as well-animated, he does look much closer to Scooby in the regular show, too. Since this diverges from the cartoon "canon" in several respects (ignoring A Pup Named Scooby Doo, for starters), I'd still start the little kids out with Pup Named or the original show and save these for older kids who liked the other theatrical Scooby films or have seen every other available version.

Oh, and I finally set up the new clock radio tonight. Larger than the old one, but very nice and sleek. I have popular local "mix" station (a mix of oldies and some new music) B101 on now.

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