Saturday, May 23, 2020

Accentuate the Positive

Awoke around 7:30 to a massive thunderstorm! Lightning flashed behind the trees, and rain poured down my windows. I rushed out to close the window overlooking the park, then went right back to sleep, soothed off to dreamland for another couple of hours by the patter of rain on the roof.

By the time I did roll out of bed, the rain was long gone, replaced by humidity and clouds. Started my morning with breakfast and something different on Hulu. Sheriff Callie's Wild West is a Disney Junior show about a calico cat who is the law in the little town of Nice and Friendly Corners, where most folks are just that...but occasional mishaps do occur. In "Stagecoach Stand-Ins," Callie's deputies Peck (a woodpecker) and Toby (a talking cactus) are supposed to be taking a load of gold to near-by Riverton...but to do so, they have to drive across Spooky Prairie. The stories of bandits on the plains have their imaginations working triple-time...and now they're convinced that there might be a desperado in that cloud of dust who wants their gold!

Uncle Bun, the owner of the general store, gets the Miner Pig brothers into a "Gold Mine Mix-Up" when he tells Dusty that his brother Dirty Dan says there's gold in Tricky Mine. He wasn't listening to Dan; there's really no gold in the mine. He, Callie, Toby, and Peck have to go rescue the brothers themselves.

Switched to Split Second after the show ended. The contestant on the end of the first episode took a vacation instead of the car, so three new contestants played in the second. Once again, the two women were neck and neck for most of the show, but one managed to pull ahead and win in the speed round. This time, the lady opted to return and try again for the car instead of going for the vacation.

Spent the rest of the morning running wartime animated shorts put out by Paramount's Famous Studios. The Fleischer brothers put Popeye into the war two months before the US officially entered it, in "The Mighty Navy." "Blunder Below" and "Fleets of Strength" make it more clear who he's fighting as he takes on a Japanese submarine in the first and an entire fleet of planes in the second. His only go-around with the Nazis had him trying to deliver "Spinach Fer Britain" while avoiding enemy submarines. He and Bluto competed to see who could build ships faster in "A Hull of a Mess," and he got Bluto to admit he's not "Too Weak for Work" when he poses as a nurse.

Most of Popeye's wartime vehicles were really more playing on the triangle between him, Bluto, and Olive. "Kicking the Konga Around" and "Aloma of the South Seas" are variations on them wooing Olive in an exotic setting. They discover that "Olive Oyl and Water Don't Mix" when leading Olive around their battle cruiser leads to explosive results. Popeye's not saying "Many Tanks" when Army officer Bluto switches his uniform for Navy sailor Popeye's in order to get a date with Olive. Popeye steals a tank to get to her, and ends up inadvertently leading half the Army along with him! Swee' Pea gets in on the Naval antics too in "Baby Wants a Battleship." Popeye has to chase the little fellow when he becomes fascinated with the huge ship he's serving on.

Popeye wasn't the only Fleischers/Famous Studios character to fight the Axis. Given the tenor of the comic books of the time, it was probably inevitable that Superman would take on more than his fair share of wartime villains as well. He rescues Lois from a massive bomber that has been hijacked by "Japoteurs." "The Eleventh Hour" has some marvelous, shadowy animation and a mature story about Superman sabotaging Japanese planes while he and Lois are interred in Tokyo. He rescues Lois from Nazis using Natives and their tribal statues to down planes in "Jungle Drums." In "Secret Agent," he helps a woman spy avoid the ring she had infiltrated and get her crucial information to Washington.

Did as much packing as I could one-armed while the Popeye shorts ran. The rest of the coffee-table books (except for Match Game 101) went into a suitcase for easier handling. All the art supplies and stationary items I won't need in the next month went in one box. Most of the rock records fit in the large floral box I managed to snare from work. CDs went in a couple of smaller boxes, including a shoe box. The linens that were in the suitcase went into plastic bags.

Moved on to lunch by the time Superman was on. Opted for Banana Muffins and strawberries before heading out for a short walk in the park. It's so lush and green out there, especially after a major storm. That wonderful washed scent from yesterday lingered. I continued down the road, going a block before turning back. Surprisingly, the only other person I saw was a shirtless man doing several laps around the park and one guy working on his garden. I guess everyone was either out elsewhere or with their kids.

After I came in, I propped up my arm and worked on hand-written drafts of that moving notice to Willa on my bed for an hour. The hardest part is asking about all the furniture the apartment came with. She claims the apartment was unfurnished, and Richard has said at least twice that they have no interest in anything that was in the apartment before they bought it, but Rose wants me to ask them about it anyway.

Worked on writing for a while after I finished. Queen Betty rallies the others to prepare a plan of attack for getting into the ball. Gene tells Charles about some...unusual...musician friends of his who'll get him into the castle. The "unusual musician friends" turn out to be Jon "Bowzer" Bauman and Sha-Na-Na, who drive the only fairy-tale carriage with tail fins and are willing to take in Charles as part of their group playing at the ball.

Broke for chili and spinach for dinner around 6. Watched Here Comes the Waves while I ate. I go further into this vehicle for Bing Crosby and a times-two Betty Hutton at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Happy Memorial Day! - Here Comes the Waves

Finished the night with more cartoons online. Disney Plus has all four seasons of The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. I went with the fourth episode from the first season. "There's No Camp Like Home" has Pooh, Tigger, and Piglet encountering a family of friendly Heffalumps when Tigger steals the wood from their cabin home to build a fire. The Heffalumps and the 100 Acre Woods residents keep scaring one another, until they all have to work together to rescue Piglet and the Heffalumps' son from being stuck in a tree. Rabbit joins in for "Balloonatics." Pooh borrows a balloon from Christopher Robin; when the others want to use it too and it ends up deflating, they have to explain how it got broken.

Went to The Roku Channel for the 2003 Strawberry Shortcake. Peppermint Fizz learns that you "Win Some, Lose Some" when she takes part in the kids' big games day in order to win Strawberry's garden. She thinks there's something in the soil that allows Strawberry's fruit to grow better than her peppermint herbs and cheats in order to get it. Strawberry and her toddler sister Apple Dumplin' eventually teach Peppermint Fizz that it's not winning or losing that matters, but how we play the game...and playing it with our whole heart.

Free streaming service Tubi now has all three seasons of Jem and the Holograms. A major publisher wants Jem and her girls to appear in "The Rock Fashion Book." As usual, the Misfits are jealous and try first to make their own, then to sabotage Jem's book. When that doesn't work, Pizzazz gets her rich businessman father to buy the book, so they can push the Holograms least until he finds out about his daughter's earlier acts of sabotage.

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