Sunday, October 14, 2018

Elementary, My Dear Gentlemen

It was once again cold and gloomy when I headed to an early work shift. On the upside, it wasn't raining, and it could have been worse. Work wasn't bad when I arrived. While I did gather carts when I arrived, I mostly bagged and did returns. Went back to helping with the carts when it started to get busier around 11:30. We never got overwhelmingly busy (the fact that the Eagles played - very well - on Thursday night probably helped.) I was even able to pick up Oatmeal Squares cereal (Quaker cereals were on sale), Kraft mayo, and multi-grain pasta that was on the clearance rack.

As soon as I got home, I put everything away, changed quickly, and went back out on foot. Every year in early-mid October, Oaklyn holds a Town Picnic in front of the Oaklyn School. They have free food, booths on local services, a photo booth, and games and a bounce house for the kids.

By the time I got there at quarter of 2, I was starved. Thankfully, there was no line. I was able to quickly get a hot dog, a hamburger, a general helping of pasta salad, and a can of Pepsi in peace. I even ran into two of the kids from the neighborhood, Savannah and Brian, and their dad while sitting down to enjoy my lunch.

Dessert was cupcakes at another booth a bit down the block from the barbecue. Girls gave you cups of icing that you could spread on a cupcake and cover with the sprinkles of your choice. I went with a vanilla cupcake with those new blue, green, and white "galaxy" sprinkles. I just bought them from the Acme not long again, but I haven't had a chance to try them yet.

Walked around for a bit after that. The music was mostly dance and pop, but it sure got the kids moving. At one point, some of the older elementary school kids grabbed a partner and did square dances to "Cotton Eye Joe." The toddlers wiggled through several urban dance numbers. They were all just too funny.

After the song ended, I admired the old photos set up on the Oaklyn Historical Society's tables. They were mostly of the Oaklyn School's original students from the 1920's and 30's and of various baseball and basketball teams. One was a sepia-toned photo that showed druggists doing their job, likely in a local store. Another showed the train bridge down by the Manor Bar, including the steps that used to run alongside them but seem to be long gone. (I've seen the wooden supports and pilings over there and wondered what they'd been for, once upon a time. They were for the steps.)

Strolled back down the road to Manor. Made a brief stop at the VFW across the street from my apartment. They were holding a very small craft fair, with several booths lined up near the side of the building. The vendors were just starting to pack up when I arrived. I peered around, but didn't buy anything. It started spitting while I was at the Town Picnic, but the rain seemed to have stopped as I made my way up to my new porch and in the door.

Spent the next few hours writing. Yoda tells Luke that in order to find the bridge, he has to feel it with the Force. He focuses hard...and finally feels the Force create the bridge. While this does allow them to find the massive Weapons Room, it also attracts Palpatine. He attacks both of them the moment he arrives, knocking them down with his purple lightning.

Broke at 5:30 to try another recipe from that one-bowl cookie cookbook Lauren sent me last year. Since I had plenty of pumpkin, I tried making pumpkin cookies. Oh, yum! Other than I put way too much pumpkin in, they came out tasty and sweet...and the recipe made a ton. My cookie jar was really full for the first time in ages.

Finished the night with leftover lentil stew for dinner and four episodes of The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. I bought this set from a yard sale last year, but I hadn't gotten around to listening to it until now. Thought that a couple of mysteries would be appropriate for a spooky day. Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce (who also played the roles in a series of movies) were Homes and Watson. Unlike the later film series, the radio shows were all set in Victorian England and played with the culture of the time, like "The Demon Barber." An actor who is playing Sweedny Todd thinks he may have committed a murder after finding blood on his razors and mud on his boots. Sherlock Homes eventually ends up replacing the stage...but it may be his final curtain call if he can't figure out who the real killer is.

"The Headless Monk" has been seen haunting an old abbey in the English countryside. Holmes and Watson join a ghost hunter who firmly believes in the spirit world in tracking down this most unusual ghost. It turns out that there's something more than spooky noises and an organ playing.

"The Unfortunate Tobacconist" is actually a series of owners of a certain tobacco shop at London's riverside who have all died within weeks of each other. Holmes takes the case after he heard that the original owner and his daughter have set up shop in the building again. He's really more interested in trying to figure out what his brother Myrcoft, who is involved with the government, wants with this shop.

"The Paradol Chamber" is more of a comic story with thriller elements. A female scientist shows Watson and his wife Mary new new time machine that can transport anything to anywhere quickly. Watson is skeptical and calls in Holmes to help him figure out if it's a fake. But it's really a trap set by Moriarty, and it'll take the most unlikely rescuer to free the men and reveal the reality of the "time machine."

And I have to admit, I did enjoy these stories. I've only see one of the Rathbone-Bruce Holmes movies, the original The Hound of the Baskervilles, but these were fun, too. If you're a fan of Holmes (specifically, of Rathbone's run as the famous detectives), you'll want to look for episodes online.

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