Thursday, July 09, 2015

Out West With Backyard Kids, Mice, and Baritones

Began a hazy, humid morning with one of my favorite Backyardigans episodes, "Blazing Paddles." Uniqua is the sheriff in Ping Pong Mesa, a town where everyone loves to play ping pong. Tasha, Tyrone, and Austin are its citizens. This little town is a peaceful place...until Bandit Pablo rolls in! He wins all of the kids' paddles, including Uniqua's. She has to hone her ping pong skills in the desert in order to defeat Pablo's "Bandit Slam-It" move and get her job back.

Mickey and Minnie are also heading out west in one of the last black-and-white Mickey shorts, "Two-Gun Mickey." Mickey's a cheeky cowboy who tries to flirt with tough-minded cowgirl Minnie, but she's having none of it. For once, she has the sense to fight with, then run from, nasty bandit Big Pete. When he finally outruns her, Mickey comes to her rescue.

Work was only slightly busier than yesterday. Everyone was worried about a huge storm coming our way. Once again, I stood around quite a bit. I did get a compliment from a very sweet older woman earlier in the day...but I had trouble with WIC checks again. A couple hadn't looked in the right place for the pasta they just started to include on the checks. We had to look three times to find it. And then the check-cashing machine, which hadn't been working that well all day, decided to crash. Taking the plug out and putting it back in helped. My relief was late - I barely got out on time.

I spent the rest of the evening at my apartment, avoiding the smothering humidity. Made a tasty meal of poached salmon on withered spinach and cucumber and tomato salad for dinner. Not bad. I messed up the spinach and put it in at the wrong time, but it still tasted pretty good.

Ran Let Freedom Ring while making dinner. Nelson Eddy steps out of traditional operetta territory for this rousing western tale. He's Steve Logan, a lawyer who returns west to find that his father Tom (Lionel Barrymore) is being run off his land by a corrupt railroad owner (Edward Arnold) and his henchman (Victor MacLaglahn). He seemingly goes along with the railroad owner...but is really posing as The Wasp, who writes newspapers that attack the railroads for being cruel to their immigrant workers. Now Steve has to find a way to get his papers to the public and avoid the railroad men, or they'll put his presses to bed for good!

Gets a little too preachy about Americans' rights at times, but otherwise, not a bad western. If you're a fan of Eddy or Scarlet Pimpernel/Zorro-style secret identity stories are willing to try something a little different out west, check this one out at the Warner Archives.

Oh, and we finally did get a thunderstorm...around 8:30, by which time I was long at home and online. Looks like that'll clear out the precipitation for the rest of the weekend. It may rain a bit early next week - we'll see what happens.

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