Saturday, October 27, 2018

Rainy Day Mysteries and Nightmares

I overslept again, although thankfully not to the degree of yesterday. I did have to rush my breakfast, though. Did a quick Popeye short while I ate and got organized. In "Shiver Me Timbers," Popeye, Olive, and Wimpy find themselves stranded on a ship filled with ghosts who don't want them there and will do anything to get rid of them. Popeye uses spinach to ditch the ghosts.

Rushed out around quarter after 11. It had been pouring all morning, ever since I rolled out of bed. The rain had slowed to a fine mist by the time I made it to Collingswood for the last twenty minutes of the Farm Market. When I arrived, though, there were no white tents in the parking lot, just regular cars. I couldn't believe it. The Farm Market is always open, no matter how bad the weather is. I guessed it closed down early, due to the rain.

Disappointed, I rode down to the Westmont Acme to buy my fruit. They were a little busier than the Audubon Acme was yesterday, but not overwhelmingly so. Pears were cheaper than apples there. I also found a nice little acorn squash. A manager who used to work at Audubon had to find the fresh cranberries for me. I didn't see them on the top shelves of the crisper. Picked up parchment paper, which I forgot yesterday.

Thankfully, the rain had stopped all together by the time I was heading down Cuthbert to Oaklyn. I wanted to see if the House of Fun still had The Rocky Horror Picture Show. While they had reorganized their DVD shelves, I no longer saw that one among them. I left empty-handed.

When I got home, I put everything away, then made a Banana-Peanut Butter Smoothie for lunch. It came out pretty well. Basically, it's the Chocolate Banana Smoothie with vanilla yogurt, powdered sugar, and no cocoa. Very, very thick - should have used more milk.

Ran a few remaining Popeye shorts while I ate. It's a "Fright to the Finish" when Bluto scares Olive on Halloween and makes her think Popeye did it. Popeye doesn't need spinach to turn the tables, just vanishing cream. This time, it's Olive and Popeye alone who are "Spooky Swabs" stranded with ghosts on a ship. Popeye once again makes use of spinach to deal with them.

Switched to making Triple Chip Muffins from the Alton Brown "Old School Muffin" recipe. Watched Framed for Murder while I baked. Shannon Hammer (Jewel) owns and operates a construction business that renovates Victorian homes in a small town on the Northern California coast. Her best friend Jennifer (Erin Karpluck) just opened her own bed and breakfast, the Hennessy Manor. Her Uncle Jesse, who tells colorful stories of his years as a salvage diver, is among the guests. Shannon is horrified when she finds him dead in his home across the street from her. The police think it was an accident, but his house is burglarized, and someone breaks into his girlfriend Althea's (Laura Soltis) car. Shannon and her new tenant, famous mystery novelist Mac (Colin Ferguson), think that one of Jesse's stories may have had more than a grain of truth behind it...and that someone believes he made a discovery worth killing for.

Apparently, this is the first of three (to date) Hallmark movies created around Shannon, all with Jewel and Ferguson. It was a little bit of a disappointment after the Hannah Swenson movies came out so well. While the duo were fine as the tough construction worker and the skeptical writer, I really wish this had used more of the details from the actual books. You don't see other people in town or Shannon's many friends, and you don't actually get to see her at work on a Victorian house. (Though her search for the item Jesse salvaged does reveal that she's more than knowledgeable about her work.) The villain was telegraphed from a mile off. I figured it out in the first fifteen minutes, well before the characters did. Hopefully, the remaining two movies in this series are a lot better.

Worked on writing after the movie ended. Wedge Antilles calls them from his plane alongside theirs. He wants to know what was going on with the laser beams and the destroyed temple. Luke tells him he'll meet him for a explain what happened and interview him for his article. While the others tease Luke about his obvious interest, Harry asks Leia if part of their money shouldn't go into a nice little bungalow for two somewhere in the Hills. Maybe a place where they can raise kids...

Broke at 6:30 to have leftovers for dinner. Ran a couple of Mickey Mouse horror shorts while I ate. "Runaway Brain" is an Oscar-nominated oddity from 1995. Mickey answers an add for "99 hours of mindless work." Turns out the mad scientist Dr. Frankenollie (Kelsey Grammer) meant that literally. He switches Mickey's brain with that of his Big Pete-esque monster! Now he has to figure out how to switch them back, before the monster runs off with Minnie.

That was hardly the first time Mickey dealt with some really weird science. "The Mad Doctor" from 1932 has him in a similar scenario, this time trying to rescue Pluto from the title character, who wants to graft his body with other animals.

Moved on to The Nightmare Before Christmas after a shower. I go more into this bizarre but fun stop-motion horror operetta at my Musical Dreams Reviews blog.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Finished the night with Disney's Halloween Treat. This is mostly a collection of spooky bits and pieces from various Disney films and shorts that either deal with horror or villains. It does feature four cartoons in full or mostly full, "Donald and the Gorilla," "The Old Mill," "Lonesome Ghosts," and (appropriately) "Trick or Treat." We also have a nifty segment featuring Hans Conried as the magic mirror introducing bits featuring Disney villains. (Including the one he voiced, Captain Hook.) A spooky short on why cats are considered a part of the horror tradition looks like it may have come from the original Walt Disney Presents TV show.

My family taped our original copy off The Disney Channel in 1988, and it's been a part of my Halloween ever since. The full version, taped off The Wonderful World of Disney (probably around the same time), is currently available on YouTube, complete with an introduction by then-CEO Michael Eisner.

Disney's Halloween Treat

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