Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Hay Rides and Other Horrors

I was so glad to see an absolutely glorious fall morning after the iffy weather yesterday and the rain over the weekend. Put on a spooky Three Stooges short while I ate breakfast. The trio are detectives who encounter "Spooks!" while searching for a kidnapped young woman. A pair of mad scientists intend to switch her brain with that of a gorilla's. The scientists try to scare the guys out, but they have their own weapons - cream pies.

Had just enough time to finally finish Tales of the Gold Wookie before I left for work. Harry finally appears, in time to help Leia present the Swords to Poe, Finn, and Rey. They're going to take them to Coruscant to investigate rumors of a new Starkiller weapon being created by the First Order Company. After that, they're going to find Luke. Leia stops Rey for a final warning. Both women believe that Snoke - and Leia's son Benton, aka Kylo Ren - are planning something big with the Starkiller Ray. They just need to figure out what eventually. For now, they're off to adventure and to find the rest of their group.

Whew! That one took far longer than I'd planned, especially given that it wasn't nearly as long as the two novel-length stories I wrote last year. It'll likely be next winter before I do anything close to that length. The next story on the docket is the last of the backlogged short fairy tales, "Little Red Riding Rose." After that, I'm going to go through some of my original stories and see if I can update or finish a few to possibly sell later, then begin a Star Wars version of A Christmas Carol.

At any rate, here's Tales of the Gold Wookie at my writing blog and Archive of Our Own:

Tales of the Gold Wookie - Archive of Our Own
Tales of the Gold Wookie - Writer's Desk at the Riverside

Did one quick short while I ate a fast lunch and got ready for work. "Pink Plasma" finds the Pink Panther stranded in a haunted castle. A vampire really wants him for lunch, but he just can't seem to get a bite on that pink neck.

Headed to work shortly after the cartoon ended. Work was fine for the first hour. I had just come in to the bathroom from doing the carts when I was called up front. I figured someone wanted me to do a return. No, unfortunately, far from it. Three customers and two managers told me that my bike had somehow been stolen by a black man in red sweatpants.

I couldn't believe it. How? I swear I locked it! Turns out he cut through the lock, then loaded the bike on the front of one of the buses that come down the Black Horse Pike. I was so angry, mainly with myself. How could I have been so irresponsible as to allow this to happen? I need that bike! It's my only transportation, other than the buses. Everyone kept saying that it wasn't my fault, that I shouldn't be so hard on myself. I'm sorry, but it is my fault. If I had locked it better or put it inside, this wouldn't have happened. I was so angry, I couldn't sit down.

The managers called the Audubon police. (Ironically, the police station is less than a block from the shopping center.) One of the managers has a boyfriend who is a cop in Mt. Ephram. She posted the photos of my bike with him. Thank goodness Dad and I did take those pictures of the bike back in March, and I remembered my phone today.

The Audubon cops did finally give me a new bike of the same brand as my old one that they'd previously confiscated from elsewhere, along with a new basket and lock. I love the bike. It's bright red with a tropical palm print. Dare I say, I love it more than the old one. I've been meaning to get a new basket anyway. (And yes, I put this one in the back room and took photos of it right then and there.)

The lock, however, is the same cheap design as the one that was cut. I'm afraid I agree with the meat department manager. It's not going to work. I'll check Target and Wal Mart on Thursday for something better.

(And thanks to the Audubon and Mt. Ephram Police Departments, my managers at the Acme, and everyone who helped out today! Please, if you see that man or my other bike, leave a comment here! Like I said at Facebook, I don't want anyone else to lose their bike this way.)

I spent the rest of the day doing carts and the outside trash. I probably would have even if I were in a better mood. We were dead as a doornail the entire afternoon. It was never even mildly steady. The weather was just too gorgeous! It was windy and a little chilly, but bright and warm when you were in the sun.

I rushed home after work, changed quickly, and went right back out again. Oaklyn was holding a fall hay ride at the park next-door. They were already in progress when I arrived. An older woman gave out free bottles of water, boxes of apple juice, and mini-bags of cheese balls and pretzels while people waited for the hay cart to rumble back to the entrance to the park.

As it turned out, the "hay cart" was pulled by a nifty little blue bulldozer. I got on the second round with several mothers and their children, including two absolutely adorable (and rather confused) infants. Older kids, one dressed as a zombie, ran in back of and beside us. The kids had decorated the park with spooky scarecrows, fabric ghosts, and plastic body parts.

A "pumpkin patch," pumpkins buried in a pile of hay, had been set up on the outer edge of the park, near the slope to the big tree with the strange roots. The kids and I all chose pumpkins and brought them back with us in the hay cart. We decorated our pumpkins with paper cut-outs and sticky foam eyes, mouths, horns, and noses. (I really appreciate the free pumpkin. The one I bought at the Collingswood Farm Market a while back is already getting soft.)

Had a quick beef and vegetable soup dinner while watching Raggedy Ann and Andy and the Pumpkin That Couldn't Smile. I'm glad I dubbed this rare special off a tape that I found at a yard sale a while back. Ann and Andy bring a glum pumpkin that nobody bought to a lonely little boy on Halloween night. The little boy's strict aunt won't let him go trick-or-treating or celebrate the holiday with his peers. The dolls change her mind by reminding her how much fun Halloween is for kids.

Switched to Boo to You, Winnie the Pooh! while making Maple Spice Fondant Patties to give out to neighborhood kids tomorrow and to my family on Friday. Poor Piglet also won't join his friend's Halloween festivities. He's too scared. Pooh says that, in deference to Piglet, they won't do Halloween at all. Gopher, Tigger, and Eeyore cry foul. They and Pooh do what they can to prove to their porcine pal that Halloween is nothing to be afraid of.

Switched to Halloween Is Grinch Night as I cleaned up from the candy-making. I review this one (along with Garfield's Halloween Adventure) at my Musical Dreams Reviews blog.

Halloween Short Subject Special - Halloween Is Grinch Night and Garfield's Halloween Adventure

Went into The Invisible Ray as I went online to chat with Lauren. Dr. Rukh (Boris Karloff) is an astrologist who has created a telescope so powerful, it can pick up light rays that reveal Earth's past history. He shows his skeptical colleagues Dr. Benet (Bela Lugosi) and Sir Stevens (Walter Kingsford) a meteorite that hit Africa millions of years ago, then goes to Africa to find where it hit.

Turns out that the meteor's radiation is deadly. Not only does it make Rukh glow in the dark, but his touch can kill anyone. It's not doing his mind any favors, either. Desperate for a cure, he turns to Benet for help. His friend does create a potion that will keep it at bay, but he has to keep taking it. He does, and uses the meteor to help others, including cure the blind...until he learns that his wife Diana is having an affair with Ronald Drake (Frank Lawton), the nephew of Sir Stevens. Enraged, he passes himself off as dead, then stops taking the medicine. He becomes a glowing killing machine who goes on a rampage of vengeance against his wife and the other members of the African expedition.

Uh, yeah. Wow, this was a weird one. This sci-fi/horror hybrid did have some effective moments, especially in the second half, when Rukh goes on his killing spree. The special effects weren't bad for the time, although Rukh glowing looks more like someone Photoshopped a glowing light around him.

This one was a little too strange for me, but it might be fun if you're huge fans of Karloff or Lugosi or are more into the weirder side of science fiction than I am.

Ended the night with the slightly less-strange The Bowery Boys Meet the Monsters. Sach and Slip go to the Gravesends' house on Long Island to try to get them to use their plot of land as a baseball field for the local kids. The Gravesends are more interested in using the guys for their science experiments or to feed a carnivorous plant than selling them anything. While Sach and Slip dodge murderous robots and a woman vampire out for their blood, Louie and the other two come looking for them and create even more chaos.

Here's a few more spooky vintage Halloween specials and cartoon shorts that I've dug up from YouTube, for your after-trick-or-treating enjoyment:

The Halloween That Almost Wasn't
The Wickedest Witch
Buttons and Rusty In Which Witch is Which? 
Silly Symphonies: The Skeleton Dance
Ub Iwerks at Columbia: Skeleton Frolic
The Ub Iwerks Studio: The Headless Horseman
Disney's Haunted Halloween (Educational Short)
Halloween With the New Addams Family
The Littles' Halloween
The Last Halloween


Just Jenny said...

So sorry to hear about your bike... just awful- and you did NOTHING wrong! What a great town police department to step up with a bike for you! Will also send my thoughts for the loss of your dad. I hope your week gets better! Jen from rockland

Emma said...

Thank you! :)