Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Droid and War Tales

It was thankfully sunny when I got up this morning. I had a lot to do, since I put off so much last week. Ran the last of the wartime shorts as I ate breakfast. Despite his popularity during the war years, "Ace In the Hole" was Woody Woodpecker's only war-oriented short during the 40's. Like Donald, Woody wants to fly. His sergeant has him clipping horses instead. He's not a happy camper when Woody finds himself in a plane and does make it into the air.

Universal mostly dealt with war-related matters in non-character shorts. "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B" involves the new bugler of an all-black military camp who gets the troops jumping with his swinging reveille. It's awash in stereotypes, but it's also one of the few shorts I've ever seen depict minorities in the military and features a really swinging version of the title tune. 

"Pigeon Patrol" is more typical. A country bumpkin pigeon wants to prove to his girl that he can be a hero, but he's rejected from active duty. A downed carrier pigeon gives him important papers to deliver. He gets the chance to prove he can be a hero when he has to get past a (very stereotyped) Japanese vulture.

Genial Mickey Mouse was largely dormant during the mid-40's, but he did do one war-related short in 1929, "The Barnyard Battle." The early scrappy, rubber-hose Mickey defends his farm against a battalion of Hun-like cats.

"G.I Pink" moves us forward to the Vietnam War. The Pink Panther has been swayed by the army posters offering power to join up for active duty. He instantly regrets it when he finds himself dealing with cranky sergeants, angry camp mascots, and forgetting where the land mines are.

Cleaned the bathroom while the cartoons were on, and later while listening to Billy Joel CDs. I've put off the spring cleaning for much too long. It's time I started getting it done. Lauren will arrive two weeks from today. Thankfully, it wasn't really that bad in there. The sink was the worst. I also wiped down the tile, both in and outside of the shower.

When the bathroom was done, I packed up my laundry and headed out to the laundromat. I had a really big load, including the towels I just changed. Good thing it was busy, but not so much that I couldn't get a washer and a dryer right away. I worked on story notes while half-listening to Action News on Channel 6.

As soon as I got in, I put everything away, then went right back out. I had some errands to run today, starting with lunch at Friendly's. Surprisingly, they were dead by 1:30, with only one other customer there the whole time I was. My Apple Walnut Salad came quickly, and was nice and piping hot. The chicken was moist and juicy, and the blue cheese crumbles were huge! Had Hunka Chunka PB Fudge with peanut butter sauce for dessert.

The Haddon Township Library was much busier. I had piles of DVDs to return that were literally overflowing in the cart. Lots of audio books and CDs, too. I guess a lot of people took out stuff to watch and listen to over the weekend. 

For the first time in a while, I took out a couple of DVDs. Lego has been doing a series of Star Wars-based specials that largely seem to be parodies of the movies. I grabbed one of them, The Empire Strikes Out, plus the brand-new Lego-Star Wars series Droid Tales.  I haven't seen Witness since I was a child. And they had the Frank Sinatra/Ethel Merman TV version of Anything Goes that came out on DVD a while back. I couldn't resist. 

Stopped at Thriftway on the way home. They were also pretty quiet. I just needed cake mix (their generic brand is $1.59, as cheap as cake mix will probably get at this time of year) and their cheap tea (went with green lemon). They had Skippy Peanut Butter on sale for $1.99. I didn't need it, but that's not a bad price.

As soon as I got home, I went on the computer. The dragons land, letting Wedge and the other members of Rogue Squadron ride them. Their wings can generate enough magic to get the entire Rebel group through the now-opened drawbridge and into the castle.

Meanwhile, Vader has brought Luke to King Palapatine. Luke notices that Palapatine doesn't seem to be moving too well. He insists Luke's friends are walking into a trap and that the dragons will take them out. 

Had leftovers for dinner and watched the first couple of episodes of Droid Tales while eating. These are, indeed, largely satirical Lego retellings of not only the movies, but the Clone Wars and Rebels cartoons as well. As you can guess from the title, all are told from the point of view of Threepio and/or Artoo. The first episode is Threepio's versions of Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, told to the Original Trilogy crew after the destruction of the second Death Star. The second has Threepio and Ackbar following a mysterious figure that has stolen Ackbar's new X-Wing and Artoo, retelling incidents from Revenge of the Sith on the way. 

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