Friday, January 30, 2015

Weird Wild West

Started off the morning with the rest of The Wizard of Oz and one more cartoon. There's been lots of animated versions, spoofs, and take-offs on Oz over the years. Hello Kitty Furry Tale Theater did one of them in the 1980s. Hello Dorothy finds herself over the rainbow and on a quest to find "The Wizard of Paws," who'll send her back to Catfish. She's joined by the Cowardly Rabbit (My Melody), the Tin Penguin (Tuxedo Sam), and the Scarecrow Seal (Chip), all of whom want to make some changes of their own. Meanwhile, the Wicked Witchie (Catnip) is after Hello Dorothy's magic collar and will do anything to get it!

It was flurrying lightly as I rode to work...but even as I dodged traffic and construction on the Black Horse Pike, the sun was trying to come out. The sun would be in and out all day. The howling wind  made everything twice as cold as it otherwise would have felt.

Surprisingly for the weekend before the Super Bowl and the beginning of the month, it was only on-and-off busy at work. The lines did get long, but not unbearable, and we had a lot more help. I think a lot of people did their shopping last week, before the weather forecasts got crazy. As of now, we may be getting a few inches this week, but the real concern is bitter cold and more wind. Thankfully, we were slow when I shut down. I had no relief and no need for one.

Went right in the back to get my schedule after I finished. Actually, I have a very nice schedule, possibly the best I've had since the week of New Year's. Nothing earlier than 10 or later than 7. Monday and Saturday are off again. I'll probably do the same laundry/library chores on Monday. If my tax return shows up by Saturday and the weather behaves, I may make another mall run.

Did my grocery shopping next. I was mainly restocking fruit and meat. Found two-packs of lobster cakes with a manager's coupon on them; bought one for dinner. The sales for chicken weren't great, but I needed them, so I picked up more ground chicken and a pack of chicken drumsticks. Restocked grapefruit, bananas, apples, and powdered sugar. Had a hard time deciding on the Quaker sale cereal I wanted. Picked Honey Graham O's, which I haven't seen since I was a kid. (They turned out to not be part of the sale, but I wanted them anyway.) Bought two mouse traps. I've been seeing mice again. (I need to tell my neighbors about that when I give them the rent.)

When I got home, I put everything away, then changed back into my regular clothes. The Acme is having its annual employee Super Bowl party tomorrow. I'm off, but I wanted to bring the cookies I promised a few weeks ago anyway. There was a sign up on the punch-in clock that promised a 20 dollar gift card to the person who brought in the tastiest dish made with bacon. I remembered that yummy bacon cookie mix I had back in the fall. It's long-gone (and I think it was a Target exclusive), but I thought I could pull it off from scratch. So, the Betty Crocker Stir-and-Drop Sugar Cookies became Brown Sugar Bacon Cookies. I replaced the white sugar with brown sugar, added a little honey for flavoring, and tossed in a bag of real bacon bits I bought on my grocery rounds. They actually came out pretty well, just the right salty-sweet, though a few of the second batch got a little burned.

Ran The Lone Ranger while I baked, and later as I ate the lobster cakes and a spinach salad for dinner. The title character is John Reid (Arnie Hammer), a lawyer who has come out west to help his brother, a Texas ranger, track a nasty outlaw. He's also in love with his brother's wife, but she ended up with his heroic brother...and they have a son. Their town, and the land of the near-by Commanches, is being eyed for railroad expansion by a money-grubbing land boss. It turns out that's not all he has in mind when the Reids and their Ranger party are ambushed. Dan Reid is killed, and John is left for dead. He's found by a wandering misfit native (Johnny Depp) who wants his own revenge on the railroad baron for destroying his village...or does he? His talk of spirits that can never die seems more than a little crazy to John, but he takes his advice, makes a mask out of the shirt of his brother, and becomes the Lone Ranger, fighter for justice and silver mines in a very weird frontier.

Ok, now I understand why this was a monumental flop in the summer of 2013. Johnny Depp made one of the worst-looking Native Americans I have seen in a modern movie (and offended many real ones). The plot was way, way, waayyy too long. A story that should have been a tight 90 minutes or so was dragged out to two and a half hours. Despite being in all the ads, Helena Bonham Carter was in maybe 10 minutes of the finished film. On top of all that, there was pretty heavy violence for a PG-13 movie, including two railroad crashes, a fair amount of blood, and lots of gunplay.

As you can guess, I don't really recommend this one unless you're incredibly bored and looking for a long, lazy weekend rental, or you're a huge fan of Depp. Stick to the radio and TV shows for the real "Lone Ranger."

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