Saturday, April 09, 2016

April Showers Bring Snow Days

I had enough time for a couple of cartoons today before heading off to work. "Springtime Serenade" introduces us to a later, cuter Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. Oswald and his fellow farm and forest critters are delighted by the return of warmer weather and start spring cleaning. A grouchy groundhog is determined to spoil their fun with his cold weather predictions. "Slide, Donald, Slide" pits the irascible duck against Spike the Bee in a battle to see whether they'll be listening to baseball or a classical music concert on the radio.

Oswald wasn't the only one baffled by today's weather. It was snowing and raining a little when I headed to work, but not heavily. According to my customers, it started to pick up by 10:30 and continued with larger, fatter flakes through 2:30. I never saw any of it. I was at the register all day, dealing with customers who were annoyed by the weather that just didn't feel very spring-like to them. I don't know what they were fussing about. The snow here never stuck the ground and mostly amounted to very pretty rain.

It was down to heavy showers when my relief came in for me at 4. Even as I was riding home, the snow returned. It didn't last long, though. The rain continued through the evening before finally stopping somewhere during dinner.

I went right into writing when I got in. King Palapatine addresses his demon slave for the first time. He can see the merits of turning Luke to the Dark magic. He also reminds Vader that he'd made a bargain with him years before - in exchange for power, Vader would give Palapatine his daughter. Vader has yet to fulfill that bargain. The half-demon swears he's sending men after his wayward child and he will have her, her strong magic, and the prosperous Kingdom of Aldran.

Watched most of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang while having turkey meatloaf and sauteed escarole and mushrooms for dinner. The Millennium Falcon is far from the only vehicle to have "more than a few surprises" in her in fantastic cinema. Chitty was once a turn-of-the-20th-century race car. She's rescued from the junkyard by an eccentric inventor (Dick Van Dyke) and his two children. On a trip to the seaside, he spins a very strange tale for his kids and his friend Truly Scrumptious (Sally Ann Howes). It seems Chitty is wanted by the nasty Baron Bombhurst (Gert Frobe), who desires a flying car and to off his annoying wife (Anna Quayle), in approximately that order. A kindly toymaker (Benny Hill) helps the family bring justice to Vulgaria and rescue the inventor's father.

Overlong but generally enjoyable late 60's fantasy has too many slow minutes and some pretty strange ones. This is offset by the charming performances of Howes and Van Dyke and the Sherman Brothers' lovely score, including "Truly Scrumptious," "Hushabye Mountain," and the Oscar-nominated title tune.

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