Friday, August 12, 2016

Return of the Heat Wave

Began the day with breakfast and a trip to Rick Steves' Europe. We skipped across Europe to Greece to visit their Peloponnese region. This turned out to be incredibly appropriate, since one of his stops was at Olympia to see the site of the original Greek Olympic Games. I loved learning about other parts of Greek history even more, from an ancient civilization that pre-dated the classical Greeks by thousands of years to how many Greeks in the 1700's and 1800's were forced to live in the rugged mountains after pirates attacked their villages.

Did writing for the rest of the morning. Luke and Leia explore Ben's cottage. Leia finds a photo of her parents and their older brother Adam at the Cottages in the mid 50's, before most commercial development began on their side of Ocean View. This picture is precious to both twins and to Ben. Their parents died in a car crash when they were toddlers; their brother (supposedly) died in Vietnam.

Ben cleans up Luke's wounds from the fight as he explains the situation. Empire Industries is mainly an oil and chemical company, but they've recently been expanding into entertainment, including buying several luxury hotel chains and a theme park chain. They want to build a huge Vegas-style luxury resort in Ocean View, but most local businesses won't sell. The Imperial Gang is trying to drive vacationers away and force the businesses to sell out.

Ran a travel-themed Three Stooges short as I got organized and made my packing lists for the trip. The Stooges are "A Pain In the Pullman" when the monkey that's a part of their act gets loose and wrecks havoc on their sleeper train. The conductor finds himself in for a very busy night, especially from the pompous singer who doesn't like how the Stooges mistook their berth for his, or that there's a monkey loose in the cars!

I had errands I couldn't put off, including returning books and DVDs. I ignored the blazing heat, finally heading out around 12:30. First stop was WaWa to use the ATM machine. A sign on the door and in the building revealed that I came at a good time. They're going to close for remodeling at midnight on Monday morning. (Which means I definitely won't be able to take a stroll over there before I leave for New England on Monday.)

Had lunch at the Westmont Bagel Shop. The heat must have scared everyone off. I was the only customer, rare for quarter after 1. I had a nice, simple roast beef on whole wheat wrap with lettuce, tomatoes, cheddar cheese, and chipolte mayo. Yum. The mayo wasn't too hot - it gave it just the right zing. It was too stuffed full to finish, though.

Next stop was Dollar Tree. I wanted to pick up cards and a thank-you gift for Lauren and her parents for having me over next week. I also found a box of Kool-Aid Tropical Flavors ice slush bars. I loved the soda and Jolly Ranchers ones I've had this summer and thought I'd give something more exotic a chance.

The Haddon Township Library was also quiet when I arrived around 2 PM. I had absolutely no problems shelving the piles of DVDs. Shelving CD's was more difficult. They had all been moved to one shelf, and I couldn't squeeze the three I had in. I hope that means they're getting new shelving. The CD shelves have had so many items shoved into it at one time or another, it's kind of falling apart. (I didn't take anything out this week myself. I won't be around next week to enjoy them.)

Oh, and the librarians gave me a small bag of goodies for volunteering all spring and summer, which they also did last year. This time, I got three bags of M&M Cookies and a $5 gift card to WaWa. I may see if I can use that gift card on Sunday, before Oaklyn's WaWa closes up shop for a while.

I didn't feel like hiking across the county to go grocery shopping this time. I ended up at the Westmont Acme. (I'll get my schedule at work tomorrow.) Given I'm going to be gone for most of next week, I didn't really need much. Milk for the next few days was the main thing. Refilled the Irwin's Wafers, too. (It's too hot to bake.) I couldn't find the spice wafers. Good thing the lemon wafers are smaller, but just as tasty. Needed deodorant; went with Lady Speed Stick. Found the previous Acme generic brand ground cinnamon on their clearance shelves. Anything else I got were snacks or small toiletries I'll need for my trip. The Acme was a little busier than Dollar Tree or the Library, but not nearly as bad as it could have been. I did get to say "hi" to Angie, a manager who used to work in Audubon but was transferred two years ago.

Went home via Newton River Park. Between the heat and the lack of rain, everything is looking wilted, including the few people. I saw one fisherman and his dog on on a concrete pier, a few bikers, and a flock of Canadian geese. Otherwise, the park was empty. There weren't even any kids chasing each other on the playground.

I wanted to pick up my luggage at Dad's now, just in case I don't have the time on Sunday. Wanted to see how he and Jodie were doing, too. I hadn't seen them since Dad's birthday party. The answer is "not well." Dad's foot has swollen. They don't  know if it's a bad reaction from his chemotherapy (not likely, since it was 3 months ago) or a spider bite (there's certainly been enough of those around this summer) or what. He's going to the doctor's on Monday to get it checked out...which means someone else will be driving me to Cherry Hill, probably Rose, Craig, or Jesse.

Sandy, Dad and Jodie's neighbor, appeared as I was preparing to leave. She had a dusty case of cassettes and 8-tracks for my stepsister Jessa's music-obsessed boyfriend Joe, but she mainly wanted to talk about her current cause. Newton River and Peter Creek are disaster areas. Thanks partly to the hot weather this summer and partly to pollution, the river and creek are covered in algae. It smells like rotten eggs, especially down on my side by Veteran's Memorial Park. Sandy is among the locals trying to hack through the red tape and do something, but it's not easy. Apparently, New Jersey only owns the waterways up to the White Horse Pike. Most of the waterways in Oaklyn are privately owned...and I doubt a lot of people around here have the money for dredging projects.

(And I did borrow the same navy blue rolling luggage case I got from Dad last year. I'll start packing tomorrow.)

Hit the bath as soon as I got home. Oh, did I need this! The tepid water and soothing peppermint bath salts felt absolutely amazing after having spent a lot of the day riding around Oaklyn and Westmont in upper-90-degree heat. Listened to Bing Crosby and read Christmas craft and recipe books and my Wilton Christmas cake decorating book as I relaxed.

Finished off the night with a leftover chicken fillet, a lettuce and tomato wedge salad, and corn on the cob. Watched an episode of Wonder Woman while I ate. "Skateboard Whiz" is from the rather peculiar third (and final) season. Diana Prince is supposed to be on vacation in a small, sleepy Southern California shore town. Her time off is cut short when she discovers that gangsters want to buy out properties in the town and use them as gambling dens. A teen girl and expert skateboarder who was tricked into helping a gambler inadvertently gets an eyeful of the gangsters' plans when she stumbles into their office. Now she's the gangsters' next target...and Wonder Woman has to learn a bit about skateboarding in order to catch those crooks and save the kid.

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