Sunday, October 30, 2016

Autumn Was Warm

Began a sunny and rather warm day with Zucchini Pancakes (made to use up the last of an old zucchini) and more Halloween specials. Raggedy Ann and Andy and the Pumpkin Who Couldn't Smile is a rarity from the late 70's. The rag dolls cheer up a little boy by bringing him an unhappy jack-o-lantern who thinks he'll be overlooked on Halloween night. But first, they have to get past the boy's grumpy Aunt Agatha, who refuses to let him join the spooky fun.

Switched to the Looney Tunes as I did the dishes. Bugs Bunny's Howl-oween Special is another collection of bits and pieces, revolving around Witch Hazel chasing Bugs. No full shorts, but it does at least use horror and Halloween-themed sequences that fit the holiday.

My DVD copy comes with the classic short "Hair-Raising Hare." Bugs has his first encounter with Gossamer the Monster when he's lured to a castle by a mad scientist who wants Gossamer to have a rabbit lunch.

Did a couple of shorts as I made Zucchini Muffins and got ready for work. Popeye and Olive are "Spooky Swabs" in one of the last of the Famous Studios Popeye shorts. They find themselves marooned on a ship, surrounded by ghosts who really don't want them there! Popeye uses spinach to make short work of them. It's a "Fright to the Finish" when Bluto spends his Halloween making Olive believe Popeye is the one trying to scare her. Popeye proves you don't need spinach to turn the tables. He claims that "I Don't Scare," but Olive is superstitious. Bluto tries to scare Olive out of going on a date with his rival.

"The Flying Sorceress" is a later Tom & Jerry short from the 50's, and almost a solo outing for Tom. Tired of being yelled at by his owner for the mess he and Jerry make, he moves out. His new human turns out to be a witch, completely with broomstick. Tom thinks he'll have a little fun flying...but the witch doesn't like that one bit!

Work was very busy all day. The Eagles didn't play until later, but we are coming up on the beginning of the month. They had me bagging early on, at least until that one new manager went home and his replacement realized the carts were totally empty. Even having three people outside at one point couldn't keep them full. They pulled me in again after lunch, but it didn't last long. The carts just kept vanishing. It wasn't until around 3:30 that it really started to slow down even a little.

At least it was a nice day for gathering carts. In fact, it was really too warm. It was supposed to rain later, but at that point, it was sunny and breezy and hazy. It was more like mid-late spring than mid-late fall.

When I got home, I went on the computer to do a little writing. Luke explains to the kids what he's doing there and what really happened to Andrew Waller and his wife Patricia. It was a mistake. Ben Kenobi didn't mean to hit Andrew into the fire. The First Order Gang - and most of the area - has it all wrong. Simon Palpatine manipulated Waller, using the new mind-control methods of several of his proteges, including Snoke. Waller, under the name Darren Veder, was corrupt, easily bribed, and completely ruthless...and totally under Palpatine's thumb.

Luke is about to tell them about his school when Snap gasps and goes to get the others. There's a strange apparition seemingly floating down the hallway...and it looks like Poe...

It was still sunny when I got home, and well into the early evening. I really have no idea where the storm came from. One moment, there was a beautiful red and purple sunset out my window. The next, raging wind was blowing the door to the back room open and I was shutting windows that were now letting torrents of rain in. I even heard thunder at one point. The rain didn't last that long. All that's left at press time is heavy gusts.

Broke around 6:30 to have leftovers for dinner. Ran Mad Monster Party? as I ate. This is one of the few full-length stop-motion movies done by animation studio Rankin-Bass, best-known for their holiday specials. Dr. Frankenstein (Boris Karloff) wants to bring together all the famous monsters of filmdom for a convention. He plans to announce he's going to turn over his role as head of the monsters and all his secrets - including a new formula that could destroy life - to his nephew Felix Flanken (Allan Swift). His comely assistant Francesca (Gale Garnett) and the monster and his mate (Phyllis Diller) are jealous and will do anything to make sure Felix doesn't inherit. Their schemes backfire. Felix is a nerdy pharmacist who doesn't really want the job anyway. He and Francesca have to escape the others when she calls the one monster who could really do some damage.

This is one of the most bizarre animated films I've ever seen. When Phyllis Diller is the least-strange thing on the screen, you know you're in for a wild time. Jokes about the odd plot aside, this actually has some really nice animation, even better than Rankin-Bass' usual TV work, and surprisingly catchy music. (I'm especially fond of Francesca's two songs, "It's Our Time to Shine" and "There's Never Been a Love Like Ours.") If you like horror and the Universal monster stable and are willing to try something a little outside the box, this campy black horror comedy is worth digging around for.

Finished the night with The Monkees. Rankin-Bass aren't the only ones in the mid-60's who had fun with the Universal monster roster. The wacky boy band has a close encounter with a group of monsters who have lured Davy into a trap in the second-season episode "Monstrous Monkee Mash." Mike Nesmith finds himself having to rescue his three friends from becoming the proteges of Dracula, the Wolf Man, and Frankenstein's monster.

Tried something a little different while the Monkees were on. Betty Crocker's Cooky Book also has recipes for candy. I've wanted to try Pudding Clusters for years. It's just pudding, sugar, evaporated milk, and nuts, dried fruit, or chocolate chips. I used the pumpkin pudding I had from last year and added spices (I have no raisins or chocolate chips) to make Pumpkin-Spice Pudding Candy. Unfortunately, I ended up burning the bottom of the pan. Seemed to have come out well enough, if very sticky. It was too goopy to put into clusters, so I took their alternate suggestion and firmed it up in a pan instead. I hope it tastes ok. I want to give it to Khai and his buddies from the neighborhood as a special treat tomorrow.

Oh, and darn it! The Eagles just barely lost in overtime to the Cowboys, 29-23.

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