Saturday, November 10, 2018

Windy Harvest

Started off a windy, sunny day with oatmeal for breakfast (which I burned) and more war-themed cartoons. The Fleischer Brothers dropped Popeye in the war even before the US officially entered it. "The Mighty Navy" has Popeye end up peeling onions when he can't follow orders. He shows he has the right stuff for the Armed Services when he takes down two (unnamed) enemy ships. "Blunder Below" is basically the same deal, only this time, Popeye is attacking a submarine filled with (stereotyped) Japanese soldiers.

Most of the Popeye war cartoons were more typical variations on the love triangle with Bluto and Olive. "Kicking the Conga Around" had them in a dance battle when Bluto escorts lovely senorita Olive into the conga, but Popeye insists he can't dance. It takes spinach to get him up and moving. "Olive Oyl and Water Don't Mix" when she visits the duo on their battleship and they fight over her again, this time making a mess of the ship in the process.

Headed out to the Collingswood Farm Market around 10:30. The Farm Market is on it's last two weeks. There were more craft booths than produce booths on display, but I did still manage to pick up some things. Grabbed small Fuji apples, cranberries, and broccoli rabe. I thought I'd try the rabe at home this week after the sandwich I had at Amato Bros yesterday was so tasty.

It was cold and windy when I was out riding, barely in the 40's. At least it was also much sunnier than it has been. It was perfect for riding to the Baptist Church in Oaklyn to check out their own craft fair. Their basement was lined with rows of hand-made jewelry, knitted baby blankets, and used toys. I decided there wasn't anything there I desperately needed and just ended up with a bag of snickerdoodle cookies from the bake sale upstairs.

Went home briefly next to put my produce away and finish out the Popeye shorts. "Many Tanks" lands Popeye in the Army when Bluto throws him into his uniform in order to take over his buddy's date with Olive. Popeye drives a tank to make it to his date, leading the entire Army on a crazy chase. He wants to deliver "Spinach Fer Britain," but a Nazi submarine gives him a hard time. Bluto's the one giving him a hard time when he insists he's "Too Weak to Work." He's really just bored. Popeye disguises himself as a nurse to get his big friend back on track.

Did the Superman war shorts while I made my grocery list and got organized. Given the tenor of the comic books of the time, it was probably inevitable that the Man of Steel would go up against the Axis on the big screen as well. "Japoteurs" has Superman rescuing Lois from a bomber that's been hijacked by Japanese spies. "Eleventh Hour" features some wonderful, shadowy animation to go with the relatively mature story of Superman sabotaging Japanese planes while he and Lois are prisoners of war, and then him having to rescue her when the Japanese put her up against a firing squad. Both cartoons are marred by stereotypes that are slightly less caricatured than the ones in the Popeye shorts. "Jungle Drums" has similar problems with stereotypes, this time of the African natives who believe a Nazi is a god. "Secret Agent" is the only Superman cartoon to not feature Lois. The Man of Steel has to safely get a woman with information on a German spying ring to Washington DC.

Went out again around noon, this time in the opposite direction to the Acme. I needed a much bigger grocery trip than last week. Had an online coupon for Quaker cereals; bought Cinnamon Life. Bags of mandarin oranges were on sale; got them instead of bananas. Restocked cream of mushroom soup, chocolate chips, powdered sugar, condensed milk, butter, yogurt, canned mandarin oranges, crushed pineapple, tuna, cooking spray, conditioner, deodorant, whole wheat flour, and skim milk.

Got my schedule while I was there as well. Strange but decent hours this week. All mornings this time, including two very early days and three days off. I rarely get Sundays off; I never know what to do with them. Nothing is open that day.

Ran a couple of Walter Lanz Studio shorts from Universal while put everything away and made an Orange-Pumpkin Smoothie for lunch. Woody Woodpecker's only war-themed short was "Ace In the Hole." He wants to be a pilot, but his sergeant has him shaving horses. His antics when he does get in the air makes the sergeant regret ever having seen him."21 Dollars a Day (Once a Month)" uses toys to spoof the peacetime draft. (Look for brief cameos from Woody and Andy Panda here.) The peacetime draft is also poked fun at in "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy from Company B." A black trumpeter gets his base jumping with his swinging revel. The stereotypes here run hard and fast, but this is one of the few cartoons I know of to depict minorities in the military, and it does feature a great version of the title song.

"Pigeon Patrol" is a more typical wartime outing, and the first appearance of Homer Pigeon. He wants to become a carrier pigeon, but he's too small. He gets his chance anyway when a messenger goes down, and Homer is the only one who can deliver his papers. He has to get past a (heavily stereotyped) Japanese vulture to reach his destination.

The Acme called me while I was cleaning up from lunch. Could I come in tomorrow? I agreed to go in from 12 to 4. While a Sunday off would be nice, I really need that extra money.

Switched to Scooby Doo as I put together a buttermilk bread pudding with the French bread. "Loch Ness Mess" is from The New Scooby Doo Movies and re-teams Mystery Inc with the Harlem Globetrotters. The kids are visiting Shaggy's Uncle Nat, who has a mansion outside of Boston. They invite the resting Globetrotters to join them. Uncle Nat would be happy to have them, but the ghost of Paul Revere and a sea monster in the near-by bay are keeping him awake. The kids and the basketball players have to figure out what's really going on here, so Uncle Nat can get some sleep.

Did some writing while the bread pudding and slices of pumpkin were in the oven. Leia gets to take Nephew Fred's role in this story. Anakin pretty much disapproves of everything his outspoken daughter has done with her life, starting with her taking over her mother's charity and ending with her marriage to former pirate-turned-businessman Han Solo. Leia defends Christmas to her grouchy father and attempts to invite him to dinner with her husband and son Ben. Anakin refuses to go. He gets even angrier when she brings her mother up; her death is a sore spot with him. She does greet her brother warmly before leaving her father to his work.

Finished out Scooby Doo while eating leftovers with bread pudding for dessert. The remaining two episodes are shorts from The New Scooby Doo Mysteries, one of the Shaggy/Scooby/Scrappy/Daphne shows from the early-mid 80's. "Scooby Ala Mode" is closer to the rest of the series in its format. The two kids and two dogs are invited to a prestigious French cooking school, but end up having to catch the ghost of a former chef who haunts their catering hall. "Who's Minding the Monster?" is more of a straight horror-comedy. Shaggy and Scooby agree to babysit the child of Dracula and his wife while Scrappy and Daphne look for evidence of Frankenstein being real. Shaggy and Scooby think they have the easier job, until they see what the kid really is in the moonlight...

(And...unless you're a really huge fan of the 80's Scooby cartoons, I'd avoid this set. While the 80's cartoon episodes are new releases, the Globetrotters episode isn't. It's also false advertising. There's nary a skeleton to be seen in any of the episodes. The villains are ghosts or monsters.)

Finished the night after a shower with Anchors Aweigh for Veteran's Day weekend. I go into more detail on this 40's MGM extravaganza at my Musical Dreams Reviews blog.

Anchors Aweigh.

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