Saturday, June 24, 2023

Rainy Harvest

Started off the morning with a quick breakfast and Charlie & Lola. Lola and Lotta ride everywhere together on tricycles, but now that Lotta has a new big-girl bike with two wheels, she's having a hard time keeping up with her. Charlie gives her his old bike and teaches her how to ride as she wails "Do Not Ever, Never Let Go." Lola's having a grand time, until Lotta shows up riding with no training wheels. Lola discovers how much harder it is to ride without them when an accident nearly sours her on the idea of riding bikes at all. Charlie finally figures out a way to get her back on the road.

I wasn't sure what I was going to do today...but when I saw that it was only cloudy and killer humid this morning, I figured I'd be fine to run errands. I did take my rain coat, just in case. Stopped at WaWa in Collingswood first for money and a drink. Tried the Coke Freestyle machine and got a Coke Zero Cream Soda. Frankly, it tasted less of cream and more of chemicals. Vanilla is better.

Even with the iffy weather, the farm market across the street teemed with people buying produce, meat, and honey for their graduation and birthday parties and for kids who are now out of school. Saw the first peaches, peppers, cucumbers, and New Jersey blueberries of the season. Ended up with cherries, blueberries, strawberries, snap peas, cherry tomatoes in many colors, and honey.

It started to shower as I rode across Oaklyn to Cuthbert Road, enough to put my jacket on. Thankfully, while the Westmont Acme was busy, it wasn't that bad. I mainly wanted strawberry jam, yogurt, coconut milk, and fresh mozzarella "pearls" that make perfect little snacks. Found blueberry scones on the bakery clearance racks and had an online coupon for bakery cookies - went with peanut butter chocolate chip.

Had a tasty yogurt, strawberry, and scone lunch at home while watching Silly Symphony shorts to celebrate the start of summer. "Flowers and Trees" was the first three-strip Technicolor short, and it likely won an Oscar for that alone. Two trees in the forest love each other, but when an old tree tries to burn them out, the animals of the forest attempt to put out the fire. 

Most of Disney's earlier black-and-white summer shorts, like "Night" and "Summer," were just animals dancing and eating each other in time to the music. "Playful Pan" starts off that way, but once again almost ends with the woods burning down. This time, it's Pan who intervenes and takes down the flames. "The Spider and the Fly" and "Bugs In Love" also have a community rescuing lovers from an interloper. Flies save them from the title spider, while various crawly critters rescue the girl and boy bugs from a hungry crow. "Frolicking Fish" eliminates the lovers, but keeps the community rescue, this time from an octopus just out of a trunk who is bent on wrecking havoc.

Switched to Supermarket Sweep on Buzzr while finally putting addresses and events into my new address book. I believe this episode was from the mid-90's. David Ruprecht is wearing a weird tie, the ladies have flatter hair, and we still have the same "extras" on the Big Sweep. In fact, there was no bonus round on this episode. The thrilled winners at the end of this tournament won a cruise to Mexico. Ruprecht was even briefly seen singing with them in a sombrero over the credits. 

Stuck around for Sale of the Century. Prep Week pit three college students against each other. A smart boy in a mullet pushed ahead of both girls, even after buying a makeover and limousine ride, a TV and video package, and the Instant Cash. Though the sweet blonde who wanted to be a math teacher caught up to him, he just barely beat her in the Speed Round. He had a lot more problems with the Bonus Round, though.

Switched to Huckleberry Finn after that for a rest. I go further into this 1974 adaptation of Mark Twain's most controversial novel with Sherman Brothers songs at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Worked on writing for a while after that. Completely redid the opening. I now start with Joyce in the air, trying to keep the dog from jumping out a window. She's in a shed, flying over the rainbow and into a strange place she's only seen in her dreams...

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Watched Match Game '74 while I worked. Jokes abounded when the contestant got "Tiger __" in the Audience Match after having an interesting answer involving "tiger" earlier. She and Richard didn't have nearly as much luck with "Watch __" in the Head-to-Head.

Finished the night on YouTube with today's Match Game Saturday marathon. Character actor and comedian Bart Braverman was in the spotlight tonight. Bart made his first appearance in 1978, a few weeks after Richard Dawson bowed out. He remained a semi-regular through 1981, even after his show Vega$ ended. Bart had a lot in common with Richard, including a smarmy kind of charm and the tendency to flirt outrageously with every pretty woman who came near him. He was also one of the few male panelists who worked well in all three seats, though he was usually seen in Brett's right in the first. 

One person who did not appreciate his idea of flirting was Debralee Scott. He spent a week picking on her when he sat in Charles' seat over her in 1980. By Friday, she was so fed up, she got up and actually pounded on him before he grabbed her for a kiss! There was also the time in syndication when Gene got into an argument with Charles and was knocked over. Bart grabbed his microphone and briefly took his place to read a question, sounding more like a race track announcer than a game show host.

Bart made one last appearance on The Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour in 1984. He bore witness to that wild Too Close for Comfort week, including being stuck with bonkers Jm. J. Bullock and Arsenio Hall in the upper tier. He still played well at Match Game and didn't seem to have any trouble with Hollywood Squares, either. 

(Incidentally, unlike many of the panelists, Bart is still alive today. He's been retired since 2012, though.) 

Join Bart in chasing girls, hosting questions, and fending off Brett's advances in this wacky marathon!

(Oh, and after all that worry about it raining all never rained again after I got home. In fact, the sun came out later in the afternoon, though I heard it remains heavy and humid.)

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