Sunday, February 25, 2024

Sunshine and Matches

Started off the morning with breakfast in bed and listening to CDs. The stage version of Copacabana debuted in London in 1994, and despite being a hit there, it has yet to play New York. I honestly think there's some nice music in this more upbeat version of the 1985 TV movie inspired by his song. "Man Wanted," Lola's big audition number that gets her the job at the Copa, is the one usually noted. It starts slow, until Tony speeds it up, and she turns it into a showstopping dance routine. I also like Tony's two solos, "Dancin' Fool" and "Sweet Heaven," and the two ballads "Who Needs to Dream?" and "This Can't Be Real." 

Did some editing on my Wizard of Blank story for a while before calling for a ride to work. No trouble with Uber today. The one going to work arrived in 7 minutes. The one picking me up going home came in 4, and that was at the tail end of rush hour. No traffic either way.

It was all at the Acme. We were off and on busy for the entire afternoon. Must have been some really good sales. Or maybe they all just wanted to enjoy the gorgeous weather. It was sunny, breezy, and chilly, but not to the degree of yesterday. Perfectly normal for late February. At one point, the broom I use to sweep the floor vanished. Turns out one of the college kids who do bagging thought he was supposed to come in today, rather than tomorrow! Thankfully, a manager set him straight.

Once I got home, I took a quick shower, grabbed dinner, and went straight into tonight's Match Game marathon. Comedienne Joyce Bulifant started off late in 1973, when she was still appearing as Murray's sweet wife Marie on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Joyce was one of the most frequently-appearing semi-regulars, turning up throughout the entire 70's-80's run of the show. Her sunny, goofy personality contrasted well with some of the more cynical or saltier panelists around her, and she always seemed to have a good time, even when Brett or Charles were teasing her. 

She was also well-known for her odd answers that were matched only in their strangeness by Patti Deustch's. They were often accompanied by a long and rambling story barely related to how she got them. Her early dance training served her well during a 1979 episode where she and a contestant did an awesome jitterbug together. 

She could be even weirder on the syndicated show. During the week of the infamous "Kukla Friend and Ollie" answer, she wore wigs to discern her from the other goofy blonde on the show Elaine Joyce. Much later in the run, she sported fancy hats to match squeaky-voiced sitcom actress Sydney Goldsmith. That episode was wild in general. A tall gentleman gave Sydney his boutonniere on her dress, and McLean Stevenson called up his agent - a little Chinese boy. 

Swing your way into spring with the sweetest panelist on Match Game!

Saturday, February 24, 2024

Tattletales and Matches

Started off the morning with breakfast and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Pluto's ball bounces into Professor Ludwig Von Drake's new time machine. It does bounce out, but it's followed by a baby dinosaur. The gang goes on "Mickey's Dinosaur Romp" to find the right parts to fix the time machine and get Dinah home.

No trouble at all with Uber today. It actually took me longer to get an Uber driver in the morning. They arrived in 7 minutes, and I was almost late. The woman picking me up in the afternoon didn't even take 2 minutes. No trouble or traffic either way.

Work was a little busier than it has been for most of the week, to the point where I had a somewhat harder time keeping up with the carts. Other than that, no trouble. It rained this morning, but the rain was long gone by the time I went to work. When I got out, the sun was shining, though it remained windy and cold. I took advantage of a few Rewards Program free coupons online to get cough drops, a 20 ounce bottle of Coke Spiced, and a box of popcorn.

Soon as I got home, I changed and put on Tom & Jerry: Back to Oz. I go further into the second Tom and Jerry/Oz crossover at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Listened to records for a while as I worked on the review. In addition to the remaining disc of The 30 Great Love Songs of the 60's, 70's, and 80's, I picked up more of those Ben Bagley's Revisited records on eBay. I bought a lot with the first titles featuring songs from Cole Porter, Vernon Duke, and Arthur Schwartz. Did the latter two tonight. Favorites from the Vernon Duke disc includes its opening number "The Theater Is a Lady," Joan Rivers of all people performing "Just Like a Man," and Gloria DeHaven's lovely "Words Without Music." Among the good songs on the Arthur Schwartz disc are "Got a Bran' New Suit," "Haunted Heart," and the hilarious "Miserable With You."

Finished the night on YouTube with the Match Game Saturday Classics marathon. Bert Convy goes way back on the show. He appeared on the third week and turned up often from 1973 through 1975. He was around for the week with Lucie Arnaz and Nanette Fabray whose first two days remain lost and saw Gene Rayburn come in wearing that god-awful green plaid suit that was so tacky (even for the early 70's), none of the panelists would even look at him. 

He continued to appear even after he became the host of Tattletales. In fact, he wore a green Tattletales jacket during a 1974 episode to promote the show. He had the habit of grabbing and kissing whomever was within reach - including Gene - whenever a contestant won a Head-to-Head. He did it in an episode in 1975, and again in 1976. His last appearance on the original show was in 1979, when he turned up on a panel with another TV hunk, Robert Walden. They helped a sweet - and very pregnant - woman who somewhat resembled Patty Duke become a big winner.

Convy was originally tapped to host the Match Game '90 revival, and did host the pilots before he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. It's too bad it would kill him within months before the show began. He had an absolutely wonderful time with a format that came closer to the original than the show that eventually played on ABC. Terri Corpley's answer to what the cannibal family bobs for on Halloween instead of apples was especially fun. Terri tried to hide herself and her answer, but Bert said they'd frame it.

Check out another side of the master of Tattletales and Super Password on this hilarious marathon!

Friday, February 23, 2024

After the Rain

Began the morning with breakfast and Bluey. The girls want their "Daddy Robot" to clean up their playroom, but he ends up making even more of a mess. They finally realize when the "robot" overloads that there's some things they need to do on their own.

By the time I got a ride to work, it took them 7 minutes to get there. That was just enough for me to get to work right on time. I had a lot less trouble getting home. Picked up a ride in less than a minute. No trouble either way.

It looked like it rained earlier. The parking lot was wet when I pushed carts. It sprinkled lightly around noon-1 PM, but other than that, it hasn't rained again. There was once again no trouble whatsoever at work. We were quiet as can be. 

Mixed feelings on my schedule. In good news, Tuesday, Thursday, and next Friday off. I expected fewer hours after the schedules I've had for the past few weeks. I am disappointed that, even with no one on vacation, I'm still not doing any floral department work. It's all bagging. I guess they decided they didn't want more help after all. 

Did a little grocery shopping after work. Found Kind drizzled granola bars on clearance and two sliced fresh mozzarella balls with half-price stickers. Restocked yogurt, apples, and popcorn. Had an online coupon for Arm & Hammer laundry detergent, which was already on sale. The Acme put out the new Coke Spiced, which apparently is their raspberry-spice hybrid, earlier in the day. They had a Zero version on a display. I grabbed two. Bought a get well soon card and an Acme gift card for one of my former neighbors at Hillcrest who was diagnosed with cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy. 

(And unlike the previous limited edition Y3000, the Spiced was wonderful. The Zero version at least mostly tasted of raspberries, with a very subtle  hint of spice. Hope this is around for a long time.)

Watched the tail end of Let's Make a Deal when I got home as I changed and put everything away. I saw a few people make deals and trade up, then the Big Deals of the Day. No one got the Big Deal, but I suspect the surfer dude who won a trip to Mexico and furniture was probably happier with that than he would have been with sofas and a stereo anyway. 

Went back out about ten minutes later to run a few errands. Dropped a bag of shirts I didn't want at the clothes bin behind Dollar General, then went across the street to leave the get well soon card in my friend's mailbox. Stopped at Los Amigos Bakery on the way home and treated myself to a vanilla-chocolate-strawberry layer cake slice. It remained chilly and cloudy during my walk, but it never rained again. 

Listened to one of my new record collections while doing job research. Got in the first two records of the 3-disc The 30 Great Love Songs of the 60's, 70's, and 80's set. Some of the "love songs," like the Turtles' "Happy Together" and Meatloaf's "Two Out of Three Ain't Bad," are pushing the definition a bit. Others work far better with the theme. Favorites here include Dionne Warwick's version of "I'll Never Fall In Love Again," "Cherish" by The Association, "Key Largo" by Bertie Higgins, "Sexy Eyes" by Dr. Hook, and one of Air Supply's earliest hits, "Every Woman In the World."

Worked on writing for a while after that. The gate to Televisia City, a collection of shining late Art Deco spires, are shut tight. It's Charles who remembers how to call the gate keeper, who turns out to be Bill Cullen. Bill is an amiable fellow, but he's not supposed to let just anyone in. 

Broke for dinner and Match Game '79 at 7 PM. They jumped back to earlier in the season, on the first day with Foster Brooks and Lorna Patterson. Gene breaks his infamous spray before can kiss her, to his dismay! The others help a contestant with "It's Only __" on the Audience Match.

Finished out the first disc of the WKRP set next. It's "Straight from the Heart" when Herb ends up in a hospital to have his heart checked. He's not happy about being stuck there and drags Les to an X-rated movie instead. The others are all shocked when they find them there, and even more when they all land in jail and learn that Herb has been hiding his heart trouble. Bailey plays poker with him to get him to go back.

Everyone's switching jobs again in "Who's On First?" Arthur poses as Herb in order to make an important advertising sale. Les gets caught up posing as Arthur. Johnny claims he's Andy in order to get out of gambling debts.

Johnny finds a far easier way to get out of those debts in "Three Days of the Condo." He earns a $24,000 settlement when it turns out that California radio station fired him unfairly. Venus insists he invest it in real estate, but the "Gone With the Wind Condos" are too fancy for his taste. He's the one who finally figures out a way to scare the snooty owners enough to get out of his lease.

Jennifer is upset when her latest elderly beau (Pat O'Brian) dies during a date with him. She's even more surprised when she has to execute his will for his greedy relatives. Turns out the old guy was a lot sharper than his nasty relatives gave him credit for...and appreciated Jennifer far more than she realized in "Jennifer and the Will." 

Ended the night with something very different at YouTube. The Wizard of Oz is popular around the world, including in Japan. There have been several anime released over the years, including The Wonderful Wizard of Oz from 1986. The first half of this series is a pretty accurate retelling of the original book, up to and including Dorothy's shoes being silver and the long trip to the Emerald City. The second half ties in a bit of the next Oz book by bringing in Tip (who is a boy here) and Mombi for a few random episodes. Surprisingly, they skip the trip to visit Glinda, cutting straight to her after the Wizard takes off. Honestly, this is charming and even spooky, especially if you've read the original books this is based on.

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Oaklyn On My Mind

Started off with breakfast and Sailor Moon Crystal on Hulu. They finally start to deviate from the original show with the episode revolving around "Tuxedo Mask." Usagi is upset when he announces he's committed crimes in an attempt to find the Legendary Silver Crystal. The girls are even less thrilled when Zoicite, one of Queen Beryl's guards, uses their favorite Sailor V game to brainwash ordinary humans into finding the Crystal for him. Usagi runs off, but she's the only one who can save them when Queen Beryl herself attacks and tries to force the Earth to join her Dark Kingdom.

No trouble anywhere today. Uber picked me up this morning in 4 minutes. They took 7 this afternoon. We did have marble cake in the back room for Acme's Associate's Day, but I mainly spent the morning and early afternoon sweeping and pushing carts. It was lovely when I came to work earlier, sunny and relatively warm for this time of year, in the upper 40's. By the time I picked up the Uber going home, clouds had moved in and it was slightly cooler and far more humid.

Changed when I got home, then went straight into a nap. After I got out, I put on Ray for review while doing job hunting. I go further into this biography of soul musician Ray Charles featuring Jamie Foxx in an Oscar-winning performance as Charles at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

(Oh, and it finally started raining shortly after I started Ray. It's rained off and on since then.) 

Worked on writing towards the end of the movie. Joyce and her friends do finally make it to the gates surrounding Televisia City...but they're shut tight. Charles' knock finally brings out a cheerful little fellow who looks distinctly like Bill Cullen...

It was 7:30 before I broke for dinner and Match Game '79. We get the finale of the original CBS run in this episode. Towards the end, Gene gives Bill Daily his jacket to try on so he can wear it at his wedding. (He must have really liked it. He's seen wearing it throughout the syndicated show's run.)

Finished the night as I worked on my review with the first episodes of the fourth and final season of WKRP In Cincinnati. The season begins with the two-part "An Explosive Affair" as WKRP receives its first serious bomb threat. Andy sends Johnny and Venus to their transmitter to broadcast, but it turns out that may not be the wisest decision. Meanwhile, Arthur is worried that his former secretary (Rosemary Forsyth) may have more than just business and talking old times on her mind.

Mr. Carson is horrified when the staff of WKRP consider joining "The Union." He considers it a betrayal. Les thinks it's a communist plot. Andy has to placate him and his mother while convincing the rest of the staff that there's other ways to get upgrades to their pay and the station.

Bailey's innocent offer of letting Johnny stay at her apartment while his is being fumigated leads to a lot of "Rumors" about what they're doing there. Nowadays, I doubt anyone would care what they did on their own time, but in the early 80's, Bailey in particular gets a lot of flack for it. She's upset when they give her Les' interview show because of it, but finally decides to do the best she can...and that there's no shame in letting the others believe what they want.

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Stranger Than Science Fiction

Started off the morning with a quick breakfast and PAW Patrol. Cap'n Turnbot is counting whales when he spies an oil tanker hitting a rock. The "Pups Save a Bay" when Zuma and Ryder find a way to contain and clean up the oil. Marshall uses his new fire hose to help wash oil off a baby whale. Mayor Goodway is horrified when Turnbot accidentally knocks her great-grandfather's statue into the bay while bringing it back from being cleaned. It'll take a little thinking outside the box to bring the statue to the surface when the "Pups Save a Goodway."

Headed out after that to run errands and test the bike. My first stop was the Haddon Township Library. The books I took out last month were overdue. I have plenty of fiction to read right now, but I did take out a few non-fiction books. I really need to cut down on sugar. I found a book on cooking with less sugar or more natural honey or cane sugar. I've had so much happen to me in the past four years or so, I'm still trying to process it all. I took out a book on grief, and another on fallow periods of "wintering," when we're overwhelmed and are trying to figure everything out.

Had lunch at the Bagel Shop next. It was 1:30 by the time I got out of the library, and they close at 3. I had a vegetable and egg white omelet and a diet iced tea with a chocolate chip bagel and hash browns. The omelet was delicious, with lots of vegetable pieces and stringy cheese. The bagel wasn't really all that chocolatey, but it tasted pretty decent. The potatoes were crisp, but the others filled me up so much that I didn't finish them. There were a few other people there, but I mainly had a nice, quiet lunch.

Headed to Sprouts next. I hadn't been there in a while. I just haven't needed anything, and their prices on most things aren't any better or worse than the Acme. They did have a pack of 4 organic Cara Cara oranges for 98 cents. Grabbed Cascadian Farms granola bars and coconut milk on sale, too, along with more Zevia in grape, creamy root beer, and cherry cola. 

Headed home and upstairs after that. Spent the rest of the afternoon watching The Phantom Empire. In this unique 1935 western-sci-fi hybrid serial, Gene Autry (himself) runs Radio Ranch, where he has his radio broadcasts. He's joined by brother-sister duo Frankie (Darro) and Betsy (King Ross), who have their own group "The Thunder Riders" who do good deeds. Their club is based on the "Thunder Riders" who mysteriously appear from the underground kingdom Murania. Queen Tika of Murania (Dorothy Christy), and a group of professors who want the uranium under the ranch would do anything to get rid of Autry, including frame him for murder and kill him. Meanwhile, there's a splinter faction of soldiers Tika has tried to have killed who want to overthrow the demanding queen and end her reign of terror on their advanced civilization for good.

Uh, yeah. They don't come much stranger than this one. This may be one of the most unusual action films ever created. You have the modern western that looks more like one of Autry's later films for the first half, complete with musical numbers. The second half actually gets into Murania, showing off some impressive futuristic models and costumes for the time. The kids coming to the adults' rescue give it the feelings of a 90's family comedy at times as well. If you like serials or Autry, you'll want to give this a try...but be warned, it's most definitely not your typical cliffhanger!

Worked on writing for a while after the first disc ended. (I'll do the last two chapters tomorrow.) Joyce and her friends head down the hill and through the snow-covered poppies to the Emerald City. They're thrilled when they arrive, but not that the gates seem to be closed...

Broke for dinner and Match Game Syndicated at 7 PM. The first season of syndication ended with jokes about native Texan Holly's cowgirl hat and Debralee not having much luck with "__ the USA" in the Audience Match. For some reason, the second show jumped back to Match Game '79. Gary has more luck with "__ Comb" than the others do with "__ Too Soon" on the Audience Match.

Ended the night back at Paramount Plus after a shower with The Love Boat. A model who is desperate to have the perfect body learns that you can be "Too Rich and Too Thin" when Doc and Captain Stubing discover she  has anorexia. "A Rose Is Not a Rose" when she is a guy (Rich Little) who is impersonating her. Julie falls for him out of a dress, but another man (Arte Johnson) falls for his "Rose" persona. A "Novelties" salesman can't stop pushing his wares on a catalogue executive (Audrey Meadows), even as he falls for her. 

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Night of the Hi-De-Ho Man

Got a quick start today with breakfast and Bluey on Disney Plus. Bluey is supposed to be playing "Hide and Seek" with her family, but she's easily distracted by her other toys. It takes a few minutes, but she finally learns to focus and remember what she was actually doing.

The Uber to work only took 2 minutes to arrive. I was almost late getting out! I don't know why Uber keeps sending the drivers to the house next to the one I'm in. At least I caught him shaking out his car rugs. It took me 7 minutes to get a ride home. At least there was no trouble either way, and I arrived at work just in time.

And that was the worst thing that happened all day. The Acme was slightly busier due to Tuesday being when seniors get a 5 percent discount, but it still wasn't anywhere near crazy. I did have to return cold items and duck around people organizing frozen food in new freezers, but other than that, I once again spent the morning and early afternoon sweeping and pushing carts on a gorgeous, sunny day.

Changed when I got home and got my sister Jessa's birthday card and gift card together, then went back out again. Not only was it too nice to sit inside all day, I needed to run a few errands. Dropped Jessa's birthday card at the post office. I was going to buy stamps, but the line in the tiny building was nearly out the door! I still have a few stamps left. I'll buy them another time, when it's a lot less crazy.

Had more luck at Dollar General. I was there for cheaper pads than they had at the Acme. Grabbed a Dr. Pepper Zero, too. Went in, got what I needed, and went out.

I had originally planned on reviewing Boarding House Blues, a black musical from the 1940's on Tubi, until I remembered I already reviewed it in February 2021. Quickly switched to a similar movie from the same time period that's also currently on Tubi, Hi-De-Ho. I go further into this vehicle for jazz orchestra leader Cab Calloway at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. 

Did some job hunting after that, then worked on writing. Patti finally transforms into her bubble as she explains about Mombi. She's the most evil witch of all of them, and she'll do anything to rule Oz with her fellow wicked warlocks. 

Broke for dinner at 7 PM. Watched Match Game Syndicated while I ate. The name "Edna" is officially retired from use in "ugly" questions during the first episode, due to too many complaints from real Ednas. Bart gets rather violently booed by the crowd after his answer to "Fats ___" on the Head-to-Head is close to the contestant's but doesn't quite match. The second show is the one that inspired my Nutcracker Blank story. Bart spends the episode picking on Debralee Scott under him. She goes to beat him up after he tosses one too many cards at her head, but she grabs him for a kiss instead!

Finished the night at Amazon Prime with The Wild Wild West, which is currently free with a subscription there. It's the "Night of the Vicious Valentine" when older industrialists start dying shortly after marrying younger brides. Agents James West and Artemis Gordon learn they all found their brides with matchmaker Emma Valentine (Agnes Moorehead). Turns out she has an ambitious plot to take over the least before her latest girl falls for the older man intended to be her victim. 

Monday, February 19, 2024

Bigger Than a Bread Box

Began President's Day with breakfast and material from Collyer's Harvest of Holidays. There's a lot more that's known about Abraham Lincoln's early years in the wilderness of Illinois and how he went from a country lawyer to the president during the Civil War than the childhood of George Washington. Though there was an essay on what little was known then about George's younger years, most of his material focused on how he headed the American army during the Revolution and  his presidency afterwards.

Watched Charlie & Lola while having a quick breakfast. "I'm Really Not Ever So Well" says poor Lola. She begs Charlie to stay and cheer her up, even though he promised he'd go out and play football with Marv. He finally has her imagine what's inside of her and takes her to visit them.

No trouble with Uber, even though I left late. It didn't take five minutes in the morning. It took 6 in the afternoon. No traffic and no trouble either way.

No trouble at work, either. I was surprised at how quiet we were for not only a major holiday, but the last holiday Monday until late May. It must have been busier over the weekend. Once again, the floral department had been stripped of everything but the plants and bulbs. It was likely just as well that all I did today was sweep and push carts. It was too nice to be inside anyway. It remains sunny, breezy, and chilly but not too cold or hot for this time of year, probably in the mid-40's.

(Oh, and not only did the head bagger go on vacation this week, but six other employees did as well, for part or all of the week. I can understand the floral manager wanting time off after Valentine's Day, but I'm not sure why anyone else would want off in the middle of winter unless they're big winter sports fans.)

After I got home, I put the laundry in the washer, then took a long and much-needed nap. I've had more and earlier hours than usual for the past week and a half, and the Acme's been really busy. I went down at 2:30 and slept until past 5 PM.

Worked a little bit on writing for a while after I rolled out of bed and put the laundry in the dryer. Patti explains about the witch Mombi and how her magic can bring anything to life and turn anyone into a child. She's one of the truly evil magicians in Oz along with the Warlock of the West and the now-deceased East. She knows Mombi and the Warlock of the West are behind the poppies and worries that they're planning some other attack.

Watched Match Game Syndicated while eating dinner. The Syndicated episodes return with Holly Halstrom's first appearance on the show. She was joined this week by Bill Daily, sweet and towering Jim Staal, and Bart Braverman in a scraggly beard. I was surprised none of them came up with the obvious answer that I did for "__ Action" in the Audience Match, though. (Incidentally, Bart mentioned that the female contestant looked like Farrah Fawcett. I thought she looked more like Crystal Barnard of Wings and It's a Living.) 

Finished the night on YouTube after a shower and bringing my laundry upstairs with episodes of What's My Line? in honor of its birthday on February 2nd. This one goes way back to 1950 as the first of many Goodson-Todman panel shows. A well-dressed and distinguished panel would guess the occupation of three different people. They would wear masks for a celebrity "mystery guest" who would disguise their voice and see if the panelists could figure out who they were.

The very first episode didn't go too well, as almost no one guessed any of the occupations. Columnist Dorothy Kilgalian was on that very first panel. Things picked up when actress Arlene Francis joined the panel a few weeks later, and then author Bennett Cerf debuted in 1951. The final male panelists was initially comedian Hal Block. He was later replaced by Steve Allen in 1953 and Fred Allen in 1954. After Allen's death, the final seat was usually reserved for a rotating star male panelist. Erudite South African journalist John Charles Daly was the original host for the entire 1950-1967 run.

While many of the earliest episodes have been lost to time, the premiere episode and the 1967 finale do still exist. Along with them, we have the 1953 episode where Steve Allen first uttered the show's famous catchphrase "Is it bigger than a bread box?" and a 1959 episode featuring Cliff "Charley Weaver" Arquette years before he became a regular on another celebrity panel show, Hollywood Squares. (There's some nice book ends here. The 1967 finale features the contestants from that very first episode. We find out what happened to them in the 17 years since the first show's debut. We also have a very funny and unique "Mystery Guest.") 

What's My Line may have been old-fashioned on the networks by 1967, but it retained enough fans to be revived in syndication not even a year after it left CBS. It retained Francis and occasionally Cerf, but the rotating male seat was filled by comedian Soupy Sales. Wally Bruner hosted until 1972, when he was replaced by stage star Larry Blyden. Francis and Sales were joined by a who's who of celebrities at the time, including other Goodson-Todman hosts like Allen Ludden, and in the very first episode, Gene Rayburn.

In addition to color, some elements were added to make it less formal and inject more humor. There was no more dressing up; guys did wear suits, but the ladies wore pant suits or simple dresses. When the show ran long, the panelists would play a cute mini-game with four audience members and try to figure out which of the four held occupations listed on four cards. If the audience members stumped all of the panelists, they won money. There would also be occasionally as skit or a demonstration of something the contestant did or made. This version of the show ran until 1974. 

Surprisingly, unlike the similar panel shows I've Got a Secret and To Tell the Truth, What's My Line has never seen another major revival. Apparently, it's not for lack of trying. According to Wikipedia, there were at least five different attempts since 1981 to bring the show back, but none have gotten off the ground. Considering there's talk of reviving Secret, maybe it's time to bring Line back as well. I think there's still a lot of fun to be had in figuring out whether what someone does is "bigger than a bread box." 

Celebrate one of the oldest game show favorites with these classic episodes!

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Out In the Sunshine

Slept in, then got a quick start with breakfast and Charlie & Lola. Lola and Lotta overhear Charlie and his best friend Marv playing their favorite pirate TV show. The dialogue makes the girls believe that the boys don't like each other. They insist "But Marv Is Absolutely Charlie's Best Friend," especially after they see Marv buying snacks with another boy. Lola hopes leaving a card to Marv from Charlie will make them friends again.

Headed out after that. First stop of the day was The Big Event, the bowling alley and arcade in Cherry Hill. The arcade is much smaller than Round 1 or Dave and Buster's, but they're also less expensive, and the few games use far less points. I spun the pirate wheel, pushed both lever wheels, and played a ton of Nerf Arcade. One little boy no more than 5 joined me at Nerf Arcade at one point. He didn't do great, but he had an absolutely marvelous time and was hilarious to watch. I amassed over 2,100 points. Got a cute stuffed popcorn named Arnel who apparently (and appropriately) is a movie lover, a little stuffed rainbow seal, and two fruit Tootsie Rolls. 

Stopped at Dunkin' Donuts and bought a Diet Pepsi, then headed over to the Ellisburg Shopping Center. I had hoped that book store had reopened. Sadly, no. A Wren Kitchen Store opened in what had been Dollar Tree. The book store now held a martial arts studio. The book store would seem to be gone for good. 

There was no way I could hike down Route 70 to Market Place, like I did last summer. It wasn't the weather. It was a gorgeous and sunny, if chilly and windy, day. There wasn't much of a Route 70 left for me to walk down. The right side as you came from Ponzio's and the Ellisburg Shopping Center was being completely refinished, including the sidewalks. I ended up just taking Uber from the McDonald's on the edge of the shopping center. 

My original thought for lunch was The Cheesecake Factory. I took one look at the long line bunched up in their lobby, even at quarter of 3, and decided to save it for a non-holiday weekday. Brio also had a long line and seemed a bit fancy for lunch. 

I ended up at Shake Shack. That might not have been a good idea. Not only were they busy too, but while they have great crinkle-cut fries, their burgers aren't very good. The Shackburger I had was barely one step up from McDonald's. Their fries are delicious, nice and crisp, and I liked the iced tea. I think if I need to eat there again, I'll just get shakes or snacks.

The other reason I ate there is Trader Joe's is right across the parking lot from them. Needless to say, they were insanely busy, too. I just wanted my favorite snacks. Picked up the chocolate-almond butter cereal bars, the coconut strips, and the dried orange slices. All of their yogurt had a ton of sugar. The Iceland-style seemed to be the least sweet.

It was getting late. I had no time for anywhere else in the mall but Barnes & Noble. I walked around for an hour, but I had a hard time picking things I wanted. I just ended up with a work book for women with ADHD and Twilight Falls, the next book in the Shady Hollow Mystery Series revolving around a Zootopia-like town in the woods whose residents are talking animals. They had long lines, too, that moved slow as molasses in January. There was only one register open. Maybe they're having trouble finding help, too. 

At least I had no trouble with Uber today. The one going to The Big Event came in two minutes! The other two took 6 minutes. There was a little traffic on Route 70 and Cuthbert, but no real trouble getting home. 

Went straight into dinner and tonight's Match Game marathon when I got home. For a show as popular as Match Game, their set seemed to always be breaking down. The turntable would go the wrong way, or not go at all. The question holder was forever sliding out of Gene's reach or not going down when he wanted. Lights went out when they weren't supposed to. Earl, the little guy who slid the answers during the Audience Match, fell asleep on the job at least once. Once, the question holder was so stubborn, Gene had a contestant hold it. Gene tripped while doing his Mr. Perriwinkle impression and landed in Elaine Joyce's lap. Some stagehand dropped an orange background instead of the monitor that showed the $5,000 for the Head to Head.

See how a hit game show deals with some pretty crazy breakdowns in this goofy marathon!

Saturday, February 17, 2024

Going Downtown

Started off a late morning with breakfast and Green Eggs and Ham. Michellee initially leaves Guy, Sam, and the Chickargriffe out in the "Rain" after she thinks Guy is lying again. E.B finally talks her into letting them in. While Sam encourages Michellee's crush on Guy and tries to keep the Chickargriffe from flooding the bathroom, Guy and E.B rescue her mother's jar of beans from a group of stuck-up creatures called Giroosters. Guy angrily calls them out for holding judgement on others when they refuse to give the beans back. Meanwhile, rich animal collector Snerz hires a very mean goat bounty hunter to find the Chickargriffe and the men who stole it.

Spent the next half-hour or so figuring out what to do with myself. I originally planned on hanging out inside. It snowed late last night, and rather heavily...but by 1:30, the snow had long ended. It also never stuck to the streets, or anything but the grass and rooftops. It was really too nice to be inside all day now.

I ended up going for a walk into Collingswood. I hadn't been there since the week after Christmas. Apparently, I wasn't the only person who decided to take advantage of Mother Nature's surprising generosity. Collingswood was packed with families, friends, and college students browsing in the thrift shops and gift stores. I peered around the Time Lapse thrift shop twice, but all I came up with was a record. Found nothing at the Clutter thrift shop, either.

Had a brief and simple lunch at GrooveGround Coffee House. I was more cold after my walk through Newton Park than hungry. I just had a raspberry royale tea latte and a blueberry muffin. The latte at least tasted like raspberry, though I probably should have asked for honey. The muffin was nice and moist, but could have done with more blueberries.

After a quick stop at WaWa for money, I headed back down Haddon Avenue. Saw a group of Girl Scouts selling cookies on the corner near the Pop Shop. This time, I decided to try the new Adventurefuls - crisp brownie cookies filled with salted caramel. Very sweet, but  not bad. A peek at Haddon Culinary yielded a busy shop and no finds. I didn't realize the Collingswood Library is only opened until 1:30 on Saturday. I didn't make it down there until almost 3. 

Had far more luck across the street at Innergroove Records. Though they were also busy, I found another cast album I've wanted for a while. Dug five records out of the two dollar crates and one showtune collection that was erroneously included with the dollar classical records. 

Incidentally, I came up with: 

The original cast of The Wiz (This was the splurge at $15. Not only have I wanted it for a while, but a revival is set to open on Broadway next month.) 

Ben Bagley's Jerome Kern Revisited (I love collections of rare showtunes. This is the one I found in the dollar classical stack.)

The Beach Boys - All Summer Long and Spirit of America (I really bought the latter for the incredible cover.)

Original soundtrack for the Disney Alice In Wonderland

The rock collections The 30 Love Songs of the 60's, 70's, and 80's, Unforgettable Fifties, and Gold & Platinum (the last named is an 80's collection) 

My best find of the day was a freebee. I don't know who left a gorgeous Barnes and Noble copy of The Snow Queen and Other Winter Tales in the book kiosk down the block, but they're now one of my favorite people. This is an anthology of the Hans Christian Anderson title story and many other fairy tales and fantasy short stories revolving around Christmas or winter. If nothing else, I had no idea Alexandre Dumas wrote a version of The Nutcracker. I can't wait to look over some of these stories, which range from shorts Dumas and Oscar Wilde to various fables from the Color Fairy Books. 

Soon as I got home, I went straight into a much-needed shower, even before I put everything way. Got organized, then spent the rest of the night watching today's Match Game marathon. Vicki Lawrence was only involved sporadically with the 1970's run of the show. She appeared during the first week in 1973, but wouldn't turn up again until 1978. She did a week on her own that year, then wandered in with the rest of The Carol Burnett Show cast during another episode and ended up playing a round. 

Vicki turned up far more often in the two 90's runs. In fact, she was one of the best things about them. Her complaints and down-home fussing brought a lot to Match Game '90. Towards the end of the show's run, she got into a feud with host Ross Schafer that ended with him falling downstairs and walking with a cane for an episode. She also cut up his fancy tie; he supposedly repaired it with green tape.

The 1998 Match Game is extremely rare nowadays, and with good reason. It hasn't worn nearly as well as the late 90's Hollywood Squares. The panel is reduced to five, the pastel set is butt-ugly, and the host Michael Burger is dull as the paint on the set. The changes made to the show, including selecting nonsensical subjects for the questions, don't help at all, and everyone is trying too hard to have a good time.

That said, it's not quite that bad. The decent panel does help. Vicki's funny as ever, Nell Carter gets some good moments, and George Hamilton gets to throw out a few quips that spoof  his smarmy reputation. Judy Tenuta of the strange answers and tight leggings can be overly shrill, but she can also be hilarious, especially making fun of Berger. 

Have fun with Mama Harper as she matches throughout the 90's in this rare and unusual marathon!

Finished the night with Tom & Jerry and The Wizard of Oz. I go further into this earlier crossover between the cat and mouse duo and a famous Warners franchise at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Friday, February 16, 2024

Sunny Day Before the Storm

Started off a late and quiet morning with breakfast and Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. Dan and his class work together to make a paper dragon. They help Dan with the head so they can all do "The Dragon Dance" for Teacher Harriet. It's "Teacher Harriet's Birthday." Mrs. Tiger encourages the kids to make a crepe paper rainbow and turn their rainbow colored clay into a clay birthday cake.

Switched to Press Your Luck while writing my grocery list and checking my schedule online. The first episode ended with a sweet lady in glasses picking up a trip and a pool table. She did well in the second, mostly managing to dodge the Whammies that plagued both episodes. 

In good news, I have Wednesday and a rare Sunday off next week, and I work until two the entire rest of the week and only for four or five hours. In frustrating news, I won't be in the floral department at all, and Sunday and Wednesday are my only days off. I suspect the head bagger went on vacation this week. At least I still have pretty decent hours for the time of year. 

Karen picked me up a little after 1 PM. I'm still not having a ton of luck. I wish something seemed right. We were able to apply for a clerk typist at Rowan's College of Education, though the application took forever. I was hoping something would jump out. I'd go after what I wanted, if I only knew what that was. 

I needed to do my grocery shopping, and Karen said she wanted to pick up seafood for her husband. She drove us a block down to the Westmont Acme. I restocked granola bars (I had an online coupon for Kind, plus found two flavors on clearance), yogurt, blood oranges, coconut milk, and bagels for work. Found brownie bites for dessert. The smaller containers of store brand disinfectant wipes were buy two, get them for $2.99, which now made them cheaper than the larger containers. Got a gift card for Jessa's birthday, which was earlier this week.

Once Karen dropped me off, I put my things upstairs and briefly went right back up again. The pretzel shop was open today. I wanted to at least enjoy a little bit more of the sunny, pleasantly chilly weather before it snows tomorrow, so I headed down there and got a gluten-free pepperoni-stuffed pretzel and two regular pretzels. It was almost closing time, so the owners threw in three more regular pretzels.

Watched the next Vega$ episode "Yes My Darling Daughter" while having lunch and putting everything away. A bride-to-be (Lauren Tewes) is upset when she sees her late country star father at her wedding. He killed her mother, then supposedly died himself. Dan Tanna interviews everyone who once knew him to find out if he is indeed still alive. Meanwhile, someone out there does not want him to be found, and Dan's librarian sister is visiting from Omaha and looking for a good time.

"Lady Ice" takes Dan into the world of jewel robbery when expensive rubies are stolen from a wealthy sheikh (Nehimiah Persoff) while Dan is off with the shiekh's pretty hostess (a young Kim Basinger). Turns out, this lady isn't as innocent as Dan wants to believe. Her partners think he's distracting her and try to get rid of him.

Worked on writing for a while next. Patti explains that Mombi is almost as dangerous as the Warlock of the West while the guys try to get Avery back on his paws. She was the one who sent the army against the Emerald City. Joyce just hopes she never runs into her...

Watched Match Game '79 after that. Gary Burghoff once again took Charles' place during the last, initially unseen week of regular shows on CBS. Bart Braverman made his first appearance, joined by Elaine Joyce, Marcia Wallace, and Bill Daily. In the first episode, there was a fuss over whether "Cool Whip" matched "whipped cream." Gary was more nervous in the second episode about matching "Comb __" in the Head-to-Head. 

Finished the night on Kanopy with a late dinner and the original silent 1924 Thief of Baghdad. Douglas Fairbanks Sr. is the title thief Ahmed, who stumbles into the chambers of the princess (Julanne Johnson) and falls for her. He poses as a princely suitor to win her heart. She does select him after he touches a rose tree, but he's found out by the ruthless Prince of the Mongols (Sojin Kamiyama). The Princess then insists that she'll choose the suitor who brings her the rarest treasure. Ahmed goes off in search of a crystal ball and a cloak of invisiblilty. Meanwhile, the Prince of the Mongols poisons the princess, forcing the others to find treasures to save her. Even this doesn't stop the Prince from trying to take over Baghdad. Only Ahmed and his treasures can prove that it doesn't matter what you are in life. What matters is having a courageous heart.

Wow. The gigantic sets and gorgeous costumes on this continue to impress today. Fairbanks has a ball leaping around huge turrets and castles and onion domes, fighting puppet dragons and ducking around giant clay containers. If you love silent movies, swashbucklers, Arabian Nights fantasies, or Fairbanks and have time on your hand (it's over two and a half hours), it's worth checking out for the eye candy alone. 

Thursday, February 15, 2024

A Hard Day's Afternoon

Started off the morning with breakfast and Charlie and Lola. Lola claims "I Will Be Especially, Very Careful" when she swaps her new purse for Lotta's fluffy white coat. This turns out to be easier said than done. She has to keep it out of the rain and away from dirt, and then she manages to lose it at the library...

Headed to work right after the cartoon ended. I had an easier time getting a ride there than home. Got a car in 4 minutes this morning. After work, I went through two drivers, and it took the second 11 minutes to arrive. Must have hit rush hour traffic. At least, there was no traffic going to or from the store.

I ended up spending most of the day pushing carts. The head bagger had a family emergency and called out. At least the weather remains beautiful, sunny, bright blue, and chilly, and we weren't insanely busy like yesterday. I didn't get to the floral department until the afternoon bagger came in at 2:30. Helped the manager pull out bouquets of flowers so we could actually have flowers in the floral department. Every single flower in the entire store was sold yesterday. All they had left when I came in this morning was a table of plants. There's no arrangements left in the cooler; it's just vases and containers of rose petals.

Soon as I got home, I changed, then put on A Hard Day's Night while taking down the Valentine's Day decorations. I go further into the Beatles' influential debut film at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Did some job research, then worked on writing after the movie ended. Patti explains that the Warlock of the West isn't the only evil magic-user in Oz. There's also Mombi, a grouchy witch who tried to take over Televisia City with her all-female army. Indeed, Queen Bretta and her court vanished after Mombi's invasion. Patti's worried that she may try again.

Broke for dinner and Match Game '79 at 7 PM. For some reason, they skipped the rest of that week and went into the next featuring Orson Bean, Bill Cullen, and Brianne Leary. Not sure why these originally went unaired on CBS. I like Whew! too, but these were just as much fun. Bill Daily was extremely weird in these episodes. He nearly strips off his clothes before answering "__ File" in the Head-to-Head in the first episode. His answer to a question in the second is so bad and off-the-wall, the ladies end up attacking him.

Finished the night at Shout! TV with Mystery Science Theater 3000. I went with one of the more recent episodes, The Million Eyes of Sumuru. I honestly found the story of an army of women who want to replace world leaders with their own people to be oddly entertaining. Handsome George Nader makes a somewhat more realistic Bond-type spy than the totally at-sea Frankie Avalon, and I actually agree with the robots' female boss that Sumuru wasn't that bad of a villain. Goofy spy caper doesn't take itself seriously for a second and is worth the watch with or without robot wisecracks for the camp value.