Tuesday, April 04, 2017

When Mother Nature Can't Make Up Her Mind

To my surprise, it was perfectly sunny when I awoke this morning. The National Weather Service originally said rain all day here. In fact, it was already in the lower 60's by 10 AM. I celebrated the nice weather with Butterscotch Oatmeal Pancakes and Bugs Bunny's Easter Funnies. The Easter Bunny is sick. Granny wants Bugs to replace him, but he's busy making his shorts. He takes her around to the rest of the Toons to see if one of them can do it.

The first Looney Tunes spring special is really more of a showcase for Termite Terrace's Oscar-winning work than Easter. We see segments from the winners "Knighty-Knight Bugs," "Birds Anonymous," and "For Scentimental Reasons," along with favorites "Hillbilly Hare," "Robin Hood Daffy," and "The Rabbit of Seville," among others.

Since it wasn't raining, I started out to the laundromat around 11 to get that done. I didn't have a really huge load, anyway. Had a nice chat with an older woman and a mom with an adorable two-year-old daughter while working on story notes. I was in and out in less than an hour.

It's been in the 50's and 60's for nearly two weeks now. I think Mother Nature's saying it's time to break out the spring clothes. I could use a couple of blouses and t-shirts, maybe a new pair of warm-weather work pants. Definitely need socks, as soon as possible. Otherwise, I'm pretty set for clothes. Swapped the heavy faux-leather purse for the lighter woven purse.

Ate a quick yogurt and apple lunch while running another Three Stooges shorts. Shemp joins the guys for "Tricky Dicks." They're detectives who have to find out who killed a local man. With suspects like a British organ grinder and a monkey and a file drawer that keeps sliding out, this is going to be a very tough case!

The clouds had begun gathering as I ate. The shower began as I was making my way down Johnson Avenue in Haddon Township...and it ended shortly before I arrived at Rite Aid, hoping to find Rogue One. Couldn't find it there, so I moved on to Dollar Tree. Needed sponges and cards for Rose's birthday (this Friday) and Khai's (the 19th). They were really busy, with a line that snaked across the store, only one cashier, and some cranky customers.

The Haddon Township Library was even busier. The DVD cart was overloaded. There was a huge pile of audio books and CDs to shelve. (Oddly, the new releases cart was not overflowing. I only put one book back.) I put DVDs, CD's, and audio books away, organized the DVDs, pulled DVDs that were on hold, and moved TV DVD sets to the rack where they belong.

There were so many new kid releases, I couldn't choose between them and ended up taking out a lot of DVDs this week. Among the new children's sets were Mickey and the Roadster Racers, a new space-themed Cat and the Hat Knows a Lot About That set, and a western-themed Scooby Doo movie, Shaggy's Showdown. Will finish out the Harry Potter series this week with both parts of Deathly Hallows. Also grabbed 42: The Jackie Robinson Story and Leslie Howard's last movie before his death in World War II, Pimpernel Smith.

Grabbed a couple of books on the way out. While I've read all of the Anne of Green Gables books that concentrate on the title character, I've never done the final two books in the series about her children. Thought it was time to at least say I'd read the whole series - started with Rainbow Valley. Princess of Glass is a riff on Cinderella by the author who did Princess of the Midnight Ball and Snow and Ice, Sun and Moon. I've loved several of the film versions of Neil Gaiman's work, including the underrated Stardust, that I've seen. Decided I'd try some of his books, starting with Neverwere.

By the time I was heading home across Newton Lake Park, the sun was out and the clouds were vanishing. They'd be in and out the rest of the day, but to my knowledge, it hasn't rained again. The park's beautiful now, the banks spread with yellow buttercups, the trees awash in tiny white flowers. It was fairly busy with kids walking home from school, dog-walkers, and fishermen. I finally pulled my bike up a set of steps to Haddon Township and rode home from there.

Did a little bit of writing when I got in. Ben agrees to use his Force powers to lower the hangar door so they can leave. Luke and Henry are more concerned about how they're going to find Leia. Henry finally comes up with the idea of knocking out guards and stealing their uniforms.

Finished out the night with a nice dinner of poached chicken legs in balsamic sauce (water, home-made mushroom stock, balsamic vinegar) while watching episodes of Mickey and the Roadster Racers. The successor to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse really only has the basic Disney characters in common. The interactivity was dropped; the Clubhouse has been replaced by Mickey's Garage, where Mickey and the gang get their new roadsters ready to go. While the edutainment aspect has been lessened somewhat, a few episodes do have some lessons on world history and geography. Meanwhile, Minnie's Bow-Tique is now the Happy Helpers. Minnie, Daisy, and Cuckoo Loca drive around in Minnie's van, looking for people who need their help.

The DVD set featured the first three episodes of the series, plus one random one. My favorite episodes were the ones that got out of the town Hot Dog Hills where Mickey's Garage is and into the wide world for some unique racing. Daisy briefly becomes a Cabellera when Donald loses his voice and she ends up singing with The Three Cabelleros in "Mickey's Perfecto Day!" While they're in Madrid, the girls bet the boys that they can't win the race in their Happy Helpers van (and beat El Horace - Horace Horsecollar making a rare appearance) in "Running of the Racers." A trip to Rome pits them against Piston Pete in "Race for the Rigatoni Ribbon." The girls try to help an Italian tour guide impress a snobby travel author in "Roaming Around Rome."

Mixed feelings on this one. I'm not a big racing fan, so the car racing theme really does nothing for me. The girls' Happy Helpers shorts feel kind of arbitrary, too. On the other hand, I'm glad to see the interactivity go, replaced with more interesting, action-packed, faster-moving stories with somewhat sharper scripts. And I really like the emphasis on world culture and history, which gives this show an unusual edge for a kids' program.

This is a brand new show - according to Wikipedia, it just debuted in January. They largely seem to be making a good start here. Let's see if this one can beat the ten-year run of Clubhouse.

No comments: