Saturday, December 05, 2020

Bikes and Matches

Slept in for my last vacation day, then kicked off the morning with breakfast and Bugs Bunny's Christmas Tales. Yosemite Sam is a perfect Scrooge and Bugs is Nephew Fred in a condensed version of A Christmas Carol. The second short has Wil E. Coyote and the Road Runner taking their usual antics up north into the snowy mountains. Bugs returns for the third short, as he deals with a hungry Tasmanian Devil dressed as Santa Claus in his house.

Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus from 1975 tells the real-life story of Virginia O'Hanlon, a little girl who wrote a letter to the New York Sun asking about the existence of Santa. Many of her friends made fun of her for believing in him, and her parents don't really know what to tell her. Frances Church, the head of the Sun's editorial department, is ready to dismiss her letter, until a newsboy and his family show him some true Christmas spirit.

After breakfast, I went out to work on the bike. It wasn't raining, but it continued to be cloudy, cold, and very windy. Wasn't really a great day for doing much of anything else. Didn't turn out to be a great day for the bike, either. I got the one bolt off, but no matter how much I fought with it, I still could not get the other bolt off! I spent over two hours fighting with that thing, and it simply refused to budge. I oiled it, banged at it, and yanked at it. Nothing worked. It got colder and windier. 

As Jodie climbed into her car for a dental appointment, she suggested I call Rose for help. I really didn't want to, but I had no choice. I just could not get the darn things off, and I had to change that tire. I went inside and called Rose. She replied about 20 minutes later, after I spent more time messing with the bike. She'd be over with the kids shortly.

It was another 20 minutes or so before she arrived with Finley and Khai. The kids first went down to check out the river while I continued to fight with the bike. I finally turned it over to her and took the kids to my side of the house. Khai admired the view of the river from my living room/kitchen, while Finley played with the Cabbies and tried to play with the glass Mickey Mouse ornament on the tree in my room. 

Verdict - the bike isn't fixable in its present state. Those bolts are too stripped to come off. Rose said she and Craig will hit Lowes or Home Depot to find the right size. Until then, I'm just going to have to stick to Uber.

I wasn't terribly happy to hear that. I wanted the bike back on the road. I didn't mean to strip the bolts. This is what I get for always letting my neighbors fix everything and never having bothered to learn to fix the back tire myself or get the right tools for it. Of course, I haven't had the money for a fancy tool box until the last few months, either.

Lauren sent me a lovely Christmas tree card with a sugar cookie recipe and 20 dollars from her folks earlier this morning. I treated myself to a broccoli and cheese Stromboli from Phillies Phatties while watching Billy Rose's Jumbo on TCM. I go further into this old-fashioned circus tale with Doris Day and Jimmy Durante at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Worked on writing while watching the movie. Captain Tom Kennedy tells the recovering Gene that he's the only known survivor of The Marauder...but he believes that the others are alive. He also believes his older brother Captain Jack Nartz didn't perish when his ship The Concentration was blown out of the water. Goodson wants to bring as many pirates to the gallows as he can. Gene adds bitterly that he was used as a demonstration of what would happen if they misbehaved. 

Broke for gingerbread at 6. Watched The Price Is Right on Pluto TV while I ate. Pluto TV just started running an all-Bob Barker Price Is Right channel on Tuesday. Right now, from the clothes and hair, I'm going to say they're somewhere in the early 80's. Barker's reputation is somewhat tarnished today, thanks to the trouble he had with his models towards the end of his run, but I loved watching the show when I was a kid. It was great to see all the old games again, like Pick a Pair on the Ferris wheel, the Poker Game, the Golden Road, and the Range Game. These are hour shows, so they have the wheels and Showcase Showdowns, too. 

Finished the night back online with another Match Game marathon. This one varied things a bit as the channel saluted prime time soap star Abby Dalton, who passed away on November 23rd. Dalton was a game show fixture going far back as the original Hollywood Squares. She joined Barbara Eden, Walter Matthau, Rose Marie, Morey Amsterdam, Wally Cox, and Charley Weaver, among others, along with host Peter Marshall for a rare 1968 nighttime episode. 

She appeared twice on the 70's and 80's version of Match Game. Her 1974 week was on Buzzr recently. She joined Gene, the regulars, Orson Bean, and Fannie Flagg for jokes about Fannie's weird t-shirt with a woman's face on it and to walk out with Fannie and Brett at the answer of "boobs" for a question. She didn't turn up on the show again until 1981, when the syndicated run was almost done. By far the funniest episode of her week was when Brett showed up late to the Friday episode because she claimed Charles locked her in the bathroom. 

Dalton appeared on less goofy celebrity-based game shows, too. I was also a big fan of The New 25,000 Pyramid as a kid. For all I know, I may have seen the week she played with Roger E. Mosley of Magnum PI. She got her contestant to the Winner's Circle both times, but just couldn't finish the pyramid. Dalton did better playing with Charles Nelson Reilly on Super Password in 1985, missing just one word on the Super Password bonus round. 

Here's the full marathon, so you can play along with one of Falcon Crest's most popular ladies!

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