Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Surprise Summer Storms

Kicked off the first day of summer with a Backyardigans sports episode. Pablo, Tyrone, Uniqua, and Austin take part in a "Race Around the World," while Tasha's the judge and announcer. Each of the other kids have won a gold medal in an event before. Austin's worried that he won't get far. This is his first time racing. His friends may have the advantage of experience, but they're only good at one sport each. Not only is Austin a better all-arounder, but he has a fanny pack filled with everything he needs. He teaches the group a lesson in being prepared when he shares the things in his pack with them.

Spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon writing. As it turns out, Rusty Arlington was once the repair man for the Jedi Guards and the royal family. Baron Anakin Skywalker had been a good friend of his, until he pledged himself to Prime Minister Palpatine and was maimed in a fencing match with Ben that ended badly.

This is when Ben also spills the beans about the rest of Luke's family. He has a twin sister. Luke figures it out instantly. His sister is Leia, whom he's felt connected to ever since her arrival back in May. Rusty explains that he and Padme hadn't wanted to separate them, but Ben, Bail, and Yoda felt it was for the best. Padme didn't live to see her daughter's first birthday. Most of Alderaan believes she died of her injuries from Anakin trying to throttle her, but Rusty claims it was a broken heart from her husband's betrayal that did her in.

The trio leave Ben, reassuring him that Luke will face Vader, even if he can't kill him. They head to the Takodana Inn, where the rest of the group is meeting, including crusty old Naval man Admiral Ackbar.

Broke around 1:30 to make salmon scampi and steamed green spring peas for a nice lunch. Watched Charlie Chan In Rio as I ate. Charlie (Sidney Toler) and his "Number Two" son Jimmy (Keye Luke) are in South America, hot on the trail of a woman who killed a man in Honolulu. Their trail leads them to the mansion of Lola Dean (Jacqueline Dalya), a popular singer. She was about to run off with her playboy fiancee (Ted North) and get married, but she's murdered before she can go anywhere. There's a house full of suspects who were there to celebrate her engagement, including her secretary Helen (Kay Linaker), her butler Rice (Leslie Denison), and her cute maid Lilly (Iris Wong) who flirts with Jimmy. The answer may lie with a broken broach and a psychic (Victor Jory) who hypnotized Lola and recorded her under his influence earlier.

Mixed feelings on this one. While I enjoyed the fairly unique premise and am happy Jimmy has more to do than fall in the water, I thought the whole thing with the psychic was a bit much. The biggest disappointment was the lack of use of the setting. This story could have been set anywhere without changing a thing. Nothing felt remotely tropical.

It's been nice to see the Charlie Chan movies again. I used to watch them with Mom on AMC as a kid, and caught them occasionally in college on TCM in the early 2000's. If you like classic detective stories (and don't mind Charlie being played by a white man), for the most part, these are pretty fun.

It was just a little cloudy when I headed to work. Though I spent most of the first hour and a half doing the inside trash and the bathrooms, I was outside for the majority of the evening. Even as I started gathering carts, deep, dark clouds were building up on the horizon. Once again, I got very lucky. I'd just finished getting carts from the side of the building when Mother Nature unleashed her full fury. It was windy, pouring - the whole works. I could barely control the five carts I'd gathered! Thankfully, I went right inside after that for break. By the time I came back out, the rain was down to showers. They were gone all together when I headed home, leaving a humid and slightly cooler night.

As soon as I got home, I jumped straight in the bath. I so needed that after doing more work than I'd originally planned this week. I listened to one of my Reader's Digest Operetta CDs and looked over vintage cake decorating magazines.

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