Thursday, April 30, 2020

Matches In the Rain

Began a gloomy morning with breakfast and To Tell the Truth. Today's contestants were three young men that claimed to be a singer who just won a contest with the Metropolitan Opera. The panelists were divided; Bill Cullen and Peggy Cass preferred handsome number 1, while Nipsey Russell, Anne Meara, and I robust 3. We were all wrong. The aspiring singer was number 2, and he proceeded to prove it with a wonderful aria.

It was showering very lightly when I went to lightly that it stopped by the time I arrived. It continued to shower lightly off and on all morning. I had no problems with that. I spent most of the morning, except for when I had break or used the bathroom, gathering carts. It was actually fairly warm despite the clouds and gale-force wind, and the wind felt just right, not too cold, not too hot. I have no idea how a ton of carts wound up in the middle of the patio; I guess someone didn't tell our new afternoon and evening baggers where they go. I put them out front where they belong, then spent the rest of the day rounding up them and avoiding the ever-present line of people waiting to get in the store.

Changed, then opened a few windows and watched Good Eats: Reloaded while eating lunch. One episode I'm definitely glad Alton returned to is "Use Your Noodle" from the first season. I actually have the original version, but not only did he admit that he used too much water for the pasta, but the episode ended rather anti-climatically with no actual recipes. Here, he included a Parmesan cheese-based pasta sauce dish. Did "I Pie" in the hope that Alton could help me with a dessert I've had a ton of trouble with in the past, Lemon Meringue Pie.

Moved to the next Match Game marathon after I ate. Today's brought in more memorable contestants who appeared from 1976 to the end of the show's CBS run in mid-1979. It kicked off with Darlene London, a gorgeous statuesque blonde who spent the entire week she was on the show flirting with Richard, when she wasn't amassing big bucks. George, a gentle young fellow with a big grin, insisted he'd use his major winnings in 1977 to send his parents on a Hawaiian vacation and give the rest to his church. Elderly Bill Stevens really seemed to enjoy his time on the show in 1979, happily flirting and joking with the contestants. The show ended with a bang as Carolyn Reisner became the Match Game all-time champ with over $30,000 in winnings, including $10,000 on the final day of the CBS run in 1979.

By far my favorite contestant from this run - and possibly my favorite Match Game contestant of all time - was Bertha, a sweet, nervous older woman who appeared on three memorable episodes in 1977. She was shocked she even made it to the Audience Match, and nearly on the floor when she won 500 in that. Gene and the panelists were all so kind to her, bringing her a chair and another one for her feet and fanning her. Johnny Olsen even gave her a cup of water. She ended up going home with over $10,000 too, and deserved every penny.

Here's the full show, so you can watch and play along with Bertha, Carolyn, and other Match Game big winners! Tomorrow at 3 PM, bring your frizzy curls and thick Mario Brothers mustache to a salute to nutty comic Avery Schreiber.

Best Contestants and Biggest Winners on Match Game 1976 - 1979

Stayed on YouTube for tonight's musical review. I've read about the 1956 TV musical High Tor with Julie Andrews as a Dutch ghost who falls for Bing Crosby before, but I never thought I'd see it...until I discovered a copy on YouTube. I go into more details on this rarity at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Musicals On TV - High Tor

I was going to do the laundry today, but the wind got even more blustery shortly after I got home from work, and then it started pouring and would continue to do so for the rest of the afternoon. I'll do it first thing tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Art of Darkness and Fantasy

I overslept this morning and just barely made it into work on time. Good thing I ended up spending most of my 8 and 1/2 hour shift cleaning. Thankfully, this time, I had plenty of help from the new baggers. A sweet college girl helped me clean up a nasty broken bottle of teryaki sauce, and a college boy did the sweeping and wiping down later in the day.

As I waited to clean the men's bathroom around 4:30, the entire Acme suddenly plunged into total darkness! I had no idea what happened. It wasn't stormy outside. The weather was mildly cloudy and windy, but not rainy. They got the generators up and running, but nothing else. Thankfully, it happened about a half-hour before my shift ended, and I was almost done with the bathrooms anyway. I spent the last 15 minutes talking to a couple of co-workers in the back. They were trying to cover and salvage the meat freezers as I hurried out.

Changed, took out the trash, and came back inside as clouds gathered on the horizon and the wind became fierce. Put on Match Game while eating leftovers for dinner. Goofy Dick Martin, sassy Debralee Scott, and sweetly silly Joyce Bulifant joined Gene and the regulars for a week in 1977; here, they got to admire the carnation a woman in the audience gave him.

After dinner, I headed into the back room. I wanted to use those plastic bins I bought yesterday for items I intend to eventually donate to Goodwill, freeing up boxes for the move. Ended up keeping two of my Effanbee dolls and a pair of metal and wood autumn garlands that I may be able to use after all. Squeezed the remaining dolls and their boxes, my previous backpack, a pair of kids' badminton rackets I never use, and a few odds and ends into one bin. The other held most of the photo albums I no longer need and the box with most of the Sailor Moon dolls. (I found the box for Wicked Lady.) That did indeed free up at least four boxes, including one big one. So did packing most of the American Girl dolls' clothing in the bag with the Cabbage Patch Kids outfits.

Switched to Sale of the Century as I finished up organizing. It was a close race between the two guys through most of the episode...but first the younger guy bought two Instant Bargains, then the other got a big 25 dollar card in the Fame Game. The latter ended up bursting through the speed round and winning by a large margin. He opted to come back tomorrow and try for a piano to give to his wife.

Finished the night after a shower checking out something I'd never heard of online. Kanopy had a series of German fairy-tale films made in the 1950's and dubbed over with narration in English by the BBC. I tried one of the stories I'd never heard of before, The Singing, Ringing Tree. It's sort of a cross between the Grimm Brothers' King Thrushbeard and Beauty and the Beast. A handsome prince (Eckart Dux) wishes to win the heart of a lovely princess (Christel Bodenstein), but she's haughty and spoiled. She sends him after the titular singing tree. He gets it from a nasty little dwarf (Richard Kruegar) after he says he can turn him into a bear if she doesn't love him. She's so obnoxious, she can't hear the tree sing. He runs off and turns into a bear at the dwarf's magic kingdom.

Desperate to make her love him, he breaks into the garden and carries her off. She rages angrily, refusing to help out or lay on the ground, claiming she's too pretty for all that. The dwarf curses her too, making her look as ugly on the outside as she does on the inside. Horrified, she finally has to learn to be kind, both to the bear and to the magical animals in the kingdom, in order to restore her beauty and his human form.

This was really interesting. I've never seen a fairy tale movie done in the country where many of them originated. The color was exquisite, brilliant and glowing in all colors of the rainbow. The rest of the production was a little stranger. The huge, obviously rubber goldfish apparently scared several generations of German and English kids, and the bear suit is pretty goofy, too. I do like that it's the princess who eventually saves the bear in the end after she discovers the dwarf's deception, and how she has to become beautiful on the inside for her outer beauty to shine through.

If you're interested, there's several more at Kanopy, including one based around the Grimm's fairy tale The Golden Eggs that I may try later this week.

Oh, and while the Love Boat Match Game marathon did run, it could only do so with no live chat. I'll watch it another time. Things should go much better tomorrow at 1, when they'll be doing the second of a three-part marathon revolving around the show's all-time biggest winners and most memorable contestants.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Sunny Day Matches

Began a sunny morning with breakfast and Split Second. It was a tight race, but a young woman came back and got it in the speed round. She opted to take a trip to Paris rather than coming back and trying for the car. The former All American Woman's League player continues to dominate Blockbusters. She breezed past a pair of sisters, then just got the 5,000 dollars in the Gold Rush bonus round. The lady may have met her match in a set of brothers from Canada, though.

Called Mrs. Stahl after I cleaned up from breakfast. Obviously, I couldn't do Haddonfield just yet. I'm still not entirely sure I'm up to talking to her anyway. Got her answering machine. I suggested we reschedule for late in June after I moved. (She called back later and did, indeed, reschedule us for June 30th.)

Switched to Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood while I finished the dishes and got organized. "Daniel's Bicycle" was once his dad's, but Dan Sr. fixed it up for him. He has a hard time going over a hill at first, but his dad helps him. Later, Prince Tuesday helps Wednesday and Daniel go all the way across the rings. (Bless them - I have a hard time with the rings to this day and certainly couldn't manage them when I was a six-year-old!) Dan and his mom watch "Katarina's Magic Trick" at the Enchanted Garden. Henrietta teaches her daughter a new magic trick to try. Katarina has a rough time getting it at first, but with the help of her assistant O, she eventually gets it.

Went outside...and went right back in with my final birthday gift to myself. I needed a new pair of walking sandals. The ones I bought from Amazon a couple of years ago were cheap and starting to crack. Lands' End's been having huge sales on their summer clothes. The walking sandals I picked up were perfect, comfortable as can be, with straps in a gorgeous coral red color with gray trim. They felt so wonderful, I wore them on my outing.

It was too nice of a day not to head out for a walk. The neighborhood is flat-out gorgeous right now. Trees are all lime greens with cotton-candy flowers. Gardens burst with magenta and lavender hyacinths and brilliant wildflowers. Kids toss basketballs and ride bikes in their own yards. Their parents walked their dogs and pushed their baby siblings in strollers, heading down to West Clinton to order lunch.

My first stop was Dad and Jodie's house, dodging road work on the other side of Hillcrest. Well, actually, it was at the apartment. I saw no one around, so I figured no one would mind if I took a peek inside. Peering through the front window revealed a small room painted yellow. It was only slightly larger than my current bedroom...but I could see the hall Jodie described off to one side, and what was likely the large closet she mentioned. No one was anywhere to be seen, and the room was empty. If there was anyone painting anything, they were on break.

My real destination was Dollar General. They're less-stocked than the Acme on most things. They have no toilet paper or hand sanitizer or wipes and haven't for weeks. They did have quite a bit of cleaner left; I grabbed a vinegar-based spray cleaner. Needed underwear too. Their peanut butter is cheaper than the Acme's. The main reason I was there was for plastic bins; grabbed two medium-sized gray ones.

Put everything away when I got home, then made brownies while watching episodes of Good Eats: The Return. I thought "Wild Yeast Risin'" was extremely appropriate at the moment. Yeast has completely disappeared from stores, thanks to people deciding to make bread rather than buy it. I'm glad everyone's discovered how wonderful making bread is...but there's other ways to make it, as Alton reveals here. His starter makes Cheez-It's-style cheese crackers and Belgian waffles.

(And I know Alton likely intended the zombie apocalypse theme in this episode as a joke, but for many viewers right now, it may be a little too on the nose...)

"Every Grain Old Is New Again" introduces two ancient grains that are currently seeing a renaissance. The Latin American grain quinoa is popular in salads and side dishes. Chia comes off clay busts of favorite characters and into baked goods and sauces.

Finished the night back on YouTube with the next Match Game marathon. The panelists and crew aren't the only ones who get pretty wild. The show's had it's fair share of nutty or memorable contestants as well. Dorothy, who appeared on New Year's Day 1974, got so excited, she accidentally hit Gene and the contestant next to her when she cheered after winning! She got so crazy, even Richard was afraid to go near her. Betty Boop-voiced Marlena from a few weeks later lost her shoe after Morey Amsterdam gave her the winning answer.

Good friends and neighbors Janet Finn and Carol Bartos figured into two of the most delightful weeks of the entire series, and between them became some of the biggest winners ever on the show. Sweet Janet waited breathlessly while ever-dramatic Charles Nelson Reilly delivered the news of her major win, while Richard gave Carol big smooches after giving her the winning answer. Another lady in 1975 promised she'd belly dance if she won money. She didn't, because they played the wrong music...not that it bothered Brett and Betty, who came right out and did their own interpretation of belly dancing.

There were a few memorable male contestants, too. Cop CB Farnsworth proved to be funny and charming during a week in 1974. Handsome high school coach Ron Valenti turned quite a few heads during his three-day stint in 1975, including those of Fannie Flagg and Betty White.

Here's the marathon, so you can enjoy some of the wildest people to ever play Match Game, too! And it looks like tomorrow we'll finally get to hit the high seas with the much-delayed Salute to Love Boat marathon.

Best Contestants and Biggest Winners on Match Game 1973 - 1975

I also watched the 1937 comedy musical Double or Nothing this evening. I go further into this vehicle for Bing Crosby at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Double or Nothing (1937)

Oh, and Rose called while the marathon was on. She got Jodie to push the majority of the actual move to early July, but says I can start bringing over anything I won't need for the next two months as soon as they finish painting. I'm tired of being here and was really hoping to go in early June, but I know Rose and Craig are worried about finding someone to watch the kids. Not to mention, I need to figure out how to break the news to the McHughs and get out of that rental agreement.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Lazy Afternoon

Began a gloomy morning with breakfast and To Tell the Truth. The grandson of WC Fields wrote a book about him in the early 70's; three young men claimed to be him and have had access to his father and grandmother's papers and reminisces about the famous comedian. The panel was divided, but they turned out to be all wrong. Half went for two and half for three, but it was really handsome, laid-back number one.

I got lucky the rain stopped again just as I went to work. Spent the entire day gathering carts. I wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere else. It showered lightly off and on all day, but it didn't really bother me. The only times I went inside were for my break and to use the bathroom. At least we have snacks in the back room again; today, they also had pizza from a local restaurant leftover from a managers' meeting.

Went straight home after work and into a much-needed bath. Ahhh. I desperately needed that. It felt good to kick back and relax, listening to jazz music and poring over old cake book decorating magazines.

My landlady Willa called while I was in the tub. There was a package downstairs. I ordered a new carbon monoxide alarm from Amazon. I know, the McHughs should have ordered it, but I don't think anyone is supposed to be going into anyone else's house right now. It's the same design as the old one, but smaller; it only took two batteries, rather than three.

Did writing for the rest of the afternoon. Gene explains to Betty and the three fairies that he knows where King Allen is - locked away in the evil Queen Malade's stronghold. He orders Charles to bring him a bowl of water. Charles is worried that his powers aren't up to it, but he assures him that they're doing much better, and he should be able to show them what's going on with the king...

Broke for leftovers for dinner at 6:30. The Match Game episode was ironically one of the ones that turned up recently on the Happy Days marathon. Purrfectly witty Lee Merriweather and irascible Pat Moriata joined deadpan Patti Deutsch and the regulars as a sweet gentleman in a bright mustard-colored coat continued to beat all comers. Sale of the Century pitted a pretty young lady against a gentleman and another lady.

I called Rose while Sale was running. Rose finally called back a few minutes later. Turns out Dana and Jesse moved over a week ago. Yes, she has bins and boxes she's willing to lend me. Yes, she can help me move...maybe. Trouble is, if everything doesn't reopen by the time I move, she won't be able to find a babysitter for Khai and Finley. Plus, Jodie's not surprisingly having trouble getting a painter to work on the apartment.

Finished the night switching around streaming channels for a sitcom marathon. The ongoing gloomy weather practically begged for a spooky I Dream of Jeannie episode on the Roku Channel. "My Master, the Ghost Breaker" from the third season takes Jeannie, Tony, and Roger to England after Tony inherits a dilapidated manor house from an uncle. Roger and Jeannie think it's haunted, but Tony believes that the shady real estate agent who told him about it (Jack Carter, who also appeared frequently on Match Game in its early years) may have something to do with it.

Patty and Cathy deal with a less-frightening house guest in the second season Patty Duke Show episode "The Perfect Hostess." The duo are excited to have a third look-alike cousin, breathy blonde Betsy (Duke) staying with them on vacation from boarding school. They're not as happy when she moves in on all the boys, including their boyfriends, and then tries to get between them. The duo are ready to toss her out, but Mrs. Lane knows why Betsy's so desperate to remain with them.

Felix also thinks he's handling a ghost in his and Oscar's apartment in "The Exorcists" from the fourth season of The Odd Couple. He's heard moaning at night, especially after a janitor convinces him that the spirit of the previous tenant is housed in their old air conditioner. A seance only results in Oscar's secretary Myrna (Penny Marshall) finding a pigeon stuck behind a radiator. Felix is still convinced there's something more going on, especially after he hires a flamboyant professional exorcist (Victor Buono) to come in and check things out.

There's already a spirit haunting the lovely seaside cottage in The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, albeit the generally friendly Captain Gregg (Edward Mulhare). He's not thrilled when Mrs. Muir (Hope Lange) catches a young man with a camera (Bill Bixby) poking around the cottage. He claims he's interested in architecture, but he's really "The Ghost Hunter" who tells his colleagues there's a ghost living in the house. It'll take the combined efforts of Mrs. Muir and the Captain to convince this young man that the only ghostly presence in the house resides in his imagination.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Where's That Rainbow?

Awoke to pouring rain out my window. Thankfully, the rain took a temporary leave of absence just as I rode to work. Spent the first half of my shift rounding up carts outside. By the time lighter showers started, I'd moved inside to do cleaning. Surprisingly for a Sunday, we weren't busy. No lines inside or out. The weather may have scared some people off. It's also the end of the month, and we're between holidays. No problems whatsoever; I even had plenty of help.

Went straight home and online. I was going to watch the next Match Game marathon, but the poor guy who puts these together is still having problems with the overloaded servers on YouTube. The marathon never materialized today. I worked on writing for a lot of the afternoon. The next arrival at the Merry Men's cottage in the woods are none other than Queen Betty herself, along with Bobby, Princess Elaine, and the three fairies. Betty refuses to sit and hide while her country suffers...but she does want to find out what happened to her husband...

It was past 6:30 when I finally broke for dinner. Listened to one of my MGM double soundtrack LPs while I made an egg and cheese sandwich and a pasta salad with spring vegetables and chunk cheese. Words and Music was missing the entire "On Your Toes" number as well as "Mountain Greenery," "The Blue Room," and the instrumental "Slaughter On Tenth Avenue." Of what was there, I most enjoyed Lena Horne's ballad "Where or When" and her wonderful version of "The Lady Is a Tramp" and Ann Sothern and the chorus with the plaintive "Where's That Rainbow?"

Most of the Good News soundtrack seems to be intact, though, including the entire "The French Lesson" with Peter Lawford and June Allyson and "Pass That Peace Pipe" with June McCracken and the chorus. I'm also very fond of another big chorus number, "Lucky In Love." (And though it's not listed, Mel Torme gets a solo segment on this one.)

Finished the night with chocolate-coconut pudding pie and the soundtrack from Xanadu. Most critics just think this one is weird, but I consider it to be a guilty pleasure. It does have some genuinely good music. My favorite song here is Olivia Newton-John's gorgeous ballad "Suspended In Time," which she sings towards the end to convince the gods to let her stay on Earth. "Don't Walk Away" isn't a bad number when it's not attached to the out-of-place Don Bluth animated sequence. I'm also a fan of the big dance numbers "Dancin'" and "All Over the World" and Gene Kelly and Olivia Newton-John's charming duet "Whenever You're Away From Me."

Saturday, April 25, 2020

In the Secret Garden

Started the day at work. Except for sweeping the store (which I alternated with the afternoon bagger), I cleaned the entire day. The head bagger spent the day cashiering. I wish I had an easier time of it. It's impossible to keep people out while I'm cleaning, particularly the men. I'll tell them to leave, only to have them tell me that they need to go and can't wait. Sometimes I can get them to hold it if I'm just finishing. The bathrooms always take so much longer than they should!

Went straight into grocery shopping after work. Not only did I not really need much, but I'm trying to not overstock things right now, given I'll be moving in a little over a month. I'm almost out of Pantene conditioner; good thing it was on sale and I had an online coupon. Bought a regular toothbrush until I can find the heads for my electric one. Two of my hair clips broke; found similar ones on sale in the hair section. They didn't have a lot of toilet paper in large packs, but there were a ton of individual rolls. I grabbed one. Opted to make a pudding pie with whipped topping and a graham cracker crust rather than buy ice cream again. Found organic fruit twists that were pretty similar to the fruit bars I bought at CVS last week. Restocked sugar, bananas, oranges, strawberries, vanilla extract, tea, cereal, yogurt, and deodorant.

My schedule next week is something of an improvement. Only two days off this time, Tuesday originally for counseling (though I highly doubt that'll happen now), and early days all week. Same amount of hours, though, and only five or six hours most days. The only day I work 8 and 1/2 hours is Wednesday, one of the head bagger's days off.

When I got home, I threw together leftovers for dinner, then made the pudding pie while watching the 1993 version of The Secret Garden. Mary Lennox (Kate Maberly) is a very sour little girl who has never been loved by anyone, including her self-centered parents who preferred parties in India to raising her. They're killed in an earthquake, forcing her to move to her Uncle Archibald Craven's (John Lynch) lonely manor in Northern England. The grouchy housekeeper Mrs. Medlock (Maggie Smith) has no time for her demands and sends her outside.

There, she hears stories about a mysterious garden that once belonged to her late aunt, who died after a fall from a tree. A robin leads her to the wall that surrounds the garden and the key that opens it. With the help of animal-loving local lad Dickon (Andrew Knott) and later her invalid cousin Colin (Heydon Prowse), she brings the garden back to life...and the garden brings out the life in spoiled Mary and hypochondriac Colin, allowing them to flourish as much as it is.

There were two absolutely gorgeous film retellings of Frances Hodgeson Burnett books in the mid-90's, and this was the first of them. It's not a 100-percent perfect adaptation - why did everyone die in an earthquake in India instead of a cholera epidemic? - but it is beautifully shot on a real English manor and features excellent performances by all three kids and Smith as the grouchy woman who fails to understand why her sickly charges are now thriving. Highly recommended for kids who need a little springtime magic right about now.

Here's another kid's tale, the animated Peanuts film Snoopy Come Home, which I go into further detail on at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews.

Animation Celebration Saturday - Snoopy Come Home

Oh, and YouTube gave Nick of MatchGameProductions so much trouble with the Salute to The Love Boat marathon, he's moving it to Monday. Tomorrow is now an extra-long tribute to the wildest contestants and biggest wins, starting at noon!

Friday, April 24, 2020

Countrified Matches

Awoke to pouring rain, which sounded oddly comforting as I read the Barbara Eden autobiography Linda Young sent for my birthday Jeannie Out of the Bottle and wrote in my journal. I'm soo glad I didn't work this morning! Definitely better to be inside on a dreary morning.

Had breakfast while watching the end of Supermarket Sweep and Split Second. Split Second had another photo-finish race. A hopeful young songwriter was ahead for most of the game. In the end, the sweet blonde lady next to him pulled ahead in the speed round. She didn't pick the right monitors for the car, but was perfectly happy to take a fur coat to keep her warm during her job doing stripper-grams. The former woman baseball player started with the Gold Rush bonus round on Blockbusters, but only got a few questions. The mother-daughter pair going up against her next had more luck, winning the first round.

Switched to Snoopy Come Home after breakfast. I'll go further into that on my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog tomorrow.

Went over my rent three times during the first half of the movie. There is nothing in that 8-page novel about giving 30 days notice, or even what to do if I plan on moving anytime soon. It's mostly variations on "don't make noise, don't damage anything, and we're not responsible if you do." I intend to tell her early next week, either when or right before I give her the rent. (And I highly doubt she ever got around to switching the heat and water over to electric. She was supposed to have done that last year.)

Packed up most of the DVDs on the narrow folding shelf in the living room as the movie finished. I did pull a few like Fried Green Tomatoes I wanted to get around to watching eventually. I managed to squeeze them all in the medium-sized box with the octagonal corners I picked up at work the other day.

Did one a more recent episode of Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood while eating leftover pizza for lunch. "Daniel Learns to Ask First" when he takes a spoon his baby sister Margaret was playing with to use as a drumstick. She doesn't want to give it up, so he has to find an alternate utensil. When he goes over to Jodi's house, she's the one who learns to ask after she takes one of her little brother's carrot sticks and he gets upset. Prince Wednesday discovers that "Friends Ask First" when he takes a book O was reading to the class before he finishes it. Katerina does better, remembering to ask if she can borrow the pig nose from Daniel for her pig costume.

The rain had gentled down to a chilly mist by 1 PM, enough for me to head to WaWa. I needed milk, but of course, they were out of the skim milk quarts. I just grabbed a half-gallon and hope I can use it all. Treated myself to a Strawberry Chocolate Chip Smoothie and bought a cotton candy Chapstick to make change.

As soon as I got home, I finished the smoothie, rounded up my laundry, and went right back out. I had to get the laundry done today. I work all day again tomorrow. To my annoyance, this time, the laundromat was busy. People did wear masks, but they also bunched up around each other. Thank heavens I didn't have a big load anyway. I was in and out in less than an hour. (I'm just glad the laundromat is open. I don't know what I'd do if they weren't!)

Went home, put everything away, and went straight into the next Match Game marathon. Country music stars or performers associated with the genre turned up with surprisingly frequency over the years on the show. Probably the most frequent and popular was "Whisperin'" Bill Anderson, a charming fellow and a very good player who would eventually go on to host a few game shows of his own. Other country favorites who matched wits with contestants included Buck Owens of the Grand Ol' Opry, Mel Tillis (who even performed a bit of his best-known hit "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town"), Connie Stevens, and in the last syndicated season, Irlene Mandell.

My personal favorite country star to have appeared on the show, along with good-natured Whisperin' Bill, was the hilarious Minnie Pearl. She and her flowered hats really livened up a delightful week in 1977 that saw Brett wearing her own flowered hat in tribute. It's too bad they never got her back on the show. She was adorable, and not bad at the game.

Here's the entire marathon, so you can play your twangy gi-tar along with the best country performers around! Tomorrow's marathon hits the high seas as Nick at Match Game Productions puts out his tribute to The Love Boat.

Country Stars on Match Game 1974 - 1982

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Cops and Matches

Kicked off the morning with To Tell the Truth. They had three men on who claimed to be members of the MPAA, the Motion Picture Association. By 1972, they had instituted an early form of the letter-based rating system, but the gentleman said it wasn't enough. Indeed, some of the things he suggested, like printing more information on ads to help parents decide what is appropriate for their child to see and less stringent censorship of R and X (now NC-17) films, did come to pass by the turn of the millennium. The panel was divided on whether it was number 2 or 3; Peggy Cass, Bill Cullen, and I all said 2, who was the most vocal about the censorship, and it turned out we were right.

(What's My Line? was a repeat, the one with the little reverend who uses his amazing karate skills to encourage young people to join his parish. Allen Ludden got it right on the nose after Melba Moore suggested he did individual sports.)

Spent my entire eight and a half hour shift at work outside with the carts. I had no problems with this whatsoever, even though they were repaving the half of the parking lot facing the Black Horse Pike. While that did mean all the cars and carts were bunched in around the Nicholson Road entrance and the one near Arby's, it also means I got to see how a parking lot is paved. They were preparing to lay tar when I got in; the gravel went down around noon. By the time I went home, they'd just finished panting the lines on the now-dry blacktop. It was actually pretty cool. I did spend the last half-hour picking up trash and discarded sanitizer wipes with this nifty little lever thing that squeezes and picks up the trash like one of those dinosaur-shaped grabber things we used to get from the 99 cent store when we were kids.

I was so tired when I finished, I couldn't even bring myself to heat up leftovers. I went for junk food and bought a frozen cheese pizza, more Cheesecake Factory ice cream (Party Cake this time), and a Dr. Pepper. It started raining lightly at about 4:30; the rain picked up as I left and has been going steadily ever since.

Ran the musical Dixiana while changing and heating up the pizza. I go further into this early talkie romance set in the Deep South of the 1950's at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.


Finished out the night with more Match Game marathons. George Kennedy is likely now best-remembered as Lieutenant Frank Drebin's eternally frazzled boss in The Naked Gun films, but he played policemen long before he had to deal with Leslie Nielson's antics. He was starring in the short-lived cop show The Blue Knight when he first appeared on Match Game in 1976. Not only was he charming and fun, but he was one of the best players in the show's entire run. He very rarely failed to match the contestant and almost always had the right answer when called on for the Head-to-Head. Only Richard and Charles equaled his prowess in matching the contestants. He more than once won the contestants some big money, including a 10,000 double win on the Star Wheel in 1980

Here's the entire marathon, so you match along with one of the best police officers in the business. Fans of country music in the 70's and 80's will want to tune in tomorrow at 2 PM Eastern for a Salute to Country, including appearances by "Whisperin'" Bill Anderson, Buck Owens, Minnie Pearl, and Mel Tillis!

The Best of George Kennedy on Match Game Marathon 1976 - 1981

Oh, and Jodie called me while the marathon was on. Yes, I'm moving June 1st. They're hoping to get me over to take a look at the apartment once Dana and Jesse move out. I need to figure out what to do about the wardrobes and extra air conditioner (the apartment has central air) and really hope that Goodwill or some thrift shop will open before then to donate that huge pile of stuff to.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Matches for Earth Day

Began the day with work. Though I did manage to get out and do carts for the first hour, I spent most of the day inside. I cleaned as best I could, but the cashiers kept calling me to return cold items, and then I had to sweep later in the afternoon. The other baggers were doing carts and counting people at the door. It was steady on and off, too.

I managed to snag two more boxes, including a large one from the floral department manager...but they were way too big to carry in my basket, no matter how hard I tried to get them to stay there. Didn't help that, while it was sunny and bright today, it was also chilly and gale-force windy. I even fell off my bike at one point. Thankfully, it only resulted in mildly bruised knees. I didn't even stain my pants. A neighbor who lives down the street finally stopped and said she'd drop them off at my house while I rode the rest of the way home. They were on the curb when I got in.

(And...I'm going to avoid picking up any more boxes until we get closer to moving and everything is more settled. I have lots of small boxes at home and can't carry the larger boxes I do need home on my bike.)

Ran The Lorax in honor or Earth Day while changing and throwing together leftovers for dinner. The Lorax is a little orange fellow who speaks for the Truffula trees, but the greedy Onceler chops them down to make his faddish Thneeds. When the supply runs out, both learn a sad lesson in the damage unchecked "progress" can do.

Finished the night with today's Match Game marathon. Lee Merriweather was crowned Miss America in 1955; today, she's best-known as a TV actress in shows like the detective drama Barnaby Jones and as Catwoman in the 1966 Batman movie. She brought her beauty, charm, and dry wit to the series starting in late 1973. Needless to say, many a man (including Gene and Richard) wished to kiss this former beauty queen, and Richard had to help fend off many an overly amorous contestant!

My favorite episode from this one was one of Lee's last appearances on the show  (by which time she'd become a strawberry blonde) during the syndicated era. In order to demonstrate who the Rockettes were to a British contestant, she and Fannie Flagg got together to do a kickline of their own that was definitely the hit of the show!

Check this one out and see if you can match wits with this purrfect panelist! Bring your Blue Knight and Police Squad badges along tomorrow for the next semi-regular in the spotlight, big George Kennedy, at 4 PM.

The Best of Lee Merriweather on Match Game Marathon 1973 - 1981

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Blockbuster Matches

Began a sunny morning with one of my major projects for this week - clearing the many leftovers from my birthday and Easter out of the fridge. I had the last of the turkey bacon, lemon rolls, and strawberry compote for breakfast while watching Split Second. We had two gentlemen playing against a woman who had been there before, but lost due to Monty coming in too fast with a question. She had no problems winning this time! She didn't get the car and opted to return at the last second.

Blockbusters continued the game between the former All-American Women's League player and the mother and daughter. It was a close race, but the baseball lady made it through in the end. She had a rocky start with the bonus round, but finally blasted through and won $5,000. Two brothers gave her a run for her money later.

Switched to Roku's classic musical channel for Coney Island while making coconut-banana muffins for work this week. I go further into this turn of the 20th century-set vehicle for Betty Grable at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Coney Island

Decided I'd try a different cookie recipe as I pulled the muffins out of the oven. I had rum flavoring left, along with raisins from the carrot cake last week. Added chocolate chips and made Rum Raisin Cookies. While I did burn the bottoms of the first batch, the rest came out perfectly, soft, sweet, and chewy.

Had coconut pancakes for lunch while watching The Odd Couple on Hulu. Felix is dying to appear on the early 70's ABC version of "Password" in season 3. When he learns that Oscar knows host Allen Ludden and his wife Betty White (themselves), he talks him into joining the show as a celebrity. Oscar wants his current girlfriend to play, but it turns out she's not too bright, and Felix ends up joining them. Not only do they play against the genuinely good White (who did indeed meet and marry Ludden after appearing on the show in the early 60's), but Felix keeps giving Oscar clues that are too long and difficult for his buddy to understand.

(This episode is notorious among game show fans for being one of the last vestiges of the early 70's ABC Password still in existence. It's apparently what the show was actually like, right down to the real set, host, and game play being used. The vast majority of this version of Password was eventually erased and taped over, reportedly by the Richard Dawson Family Feud.)

(Oh, and I'm glad I was off today. It started storming around noon and would thunderstorm off and on through late afternoon.)

Moved on to I Dream of Jeannie at the Roku Channel while cleaning up from lunch and baking. The third season episode "My Master, the Weakling" leaves Tony and Roger in the hands of a sadistic drill sergeant (Don Rickles) who makes them work out until they can barely move and run laps in the blistering heat. Shocked at his behavior, Jeannie makes him more like his sweet old aunt who gave out pie and hugs. Trouble is, their unit is about to go on a survival trek through enemy territory...and they're going to need his real survival skills and a pinch of Jeannie's magic to get out of there alive!

Worked on writing for a while after doing the dishes. Gary Scarlet and Sarah Red Riding Hood arrive as Charles and Richard return to the Merry Men's house. After they get over their initial shock of seeing Orson in his troll form, they admit that they heard about the ball and are there to help. Gene's about to outline their plan for attack when they hear another knock at the door...and this one is a bit more surprising...

Finished the night with the next Match Game marathon. Sweet bespectacled Bill Cullen is known as "The Dean of Game Shows." He hosted 23 shows in 30 years, including Blockbusters, despite having a bad leg from a childhood bout with polio and a motorcycle accident. His very first week in 1973 also featured "Mama" Cass Elliott and Brett Somers' grouchy then-husband Jack Klugman and was probably one of the best from that year. He also figured into a memorable week where a sweet middle-aged gentleman won off Richard and got so excited, he showed off high kicks that Fred Astaire would have envied. He also turned up several times in the later 1983 Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour, including on Christmas week with Lyle Waggoner, Jay Leno, and Phyllis Diller.

Here's the entire marathon, so you can play along with the "Dean of Game Shows," too! And keep an eye on the Match Game Productions channel, as tomorrow at 3 PM Eastern will be the purrrfect marathon for former Miss America and Catwoman Lee Merriweather.

The Best of Bill Cullen on Match Game Marathon 1973 - 1983

Monday, April 20, 2020

What's My Matches?

Began a cloudy morning with breakfast and Split Second. As Monty pointed out, it was a genuinely exciting game. The man and one of the women kept pulling ahead of one another. Everyone was matched in the speed round; when the man finally got all his questions, he flat-out won the car without needing to look behind billboards. Blockbusters pit a woman who had once been a real-life member of the All-American Women's Baseball League against a mother-daughter team. The mother-daughter team won the first game, but the lady got the second.

Switched to one of the Roku old-movie apps after Blockbusters. I think I saw the 1950 King Solomon's Mines once, maybe twice on TCM back in college. Victorian beauty Elizabeth Curtis (Deborah Kerr) hires big game hunter Allan Quartermain (Stewart Granger) to help her find her missing husband, who went in search of the fabled gold mines in Africa. He hires native Umbopa (Siriaque) to lead them to the Mines, but his men aren't happy with having either her or the native along for the trip. She's a burden at first, constantly complaining about flies and frightened, but he starts to look at her in a different way as she calms down and enjoys the trip. Umbopa, however, is not what he seems, and the situation among the native tribes at the Mines are close to outright rebellion. Allan and Elizabeth, with the help of Umbopa, his people, and Elizabeth's brother John Goode (Richard Carlson) have to avoid the warring tribes in order to find the fabled mines and discover what became of the lost explorer Curtis.

Like all versions of King Solomon's Mines, this one adds a female character and an unnecessary romance to the mix. Both Umbopa and the trip to the mines are downplayed here; it's really more about Elizabeth, Allan, their relationship, and the gorgeous scenery they pass through on their way to the mines. This was filmed in Africa, with real natives playing Umbopa and the other African characters, and the glowing backdrops add a note of authenticity that the by-the-book screenplay lacks. Too slow and old-fashioned for modern action junkies, but lovers of Indiana Jones-style adventures may want to give this one a look.

Started packing while I worked. Cleared all but three collectible toys off the top of the wardrobes. I really need to dust under there. I'm glad I kept the boxes for my porcelain dolls Cindy Lou, Candy, and Brandi. I only had one Effanbee box, which originally held Cinderella; D'Artangan the Musketeer joined her. Sonia the Russian doll and cowgirl Oklahoma Sal went in the box with Cindy Lou. Got the Star Wars books, small stuffed toys, and Funco Pops toys into the larger Utz's box. Managed to squeeze all the regular music cassettes and Old Time Radio cassettes and CDs into a smaller box.

Switched to Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood while making the bed and eating out of the fridge for lunch. "Jodie Goes to School For the First Time" introduces us to Dan's new buddy, a cute little platypus girl. She's nervous about how different the school is from her old one, until he helps her find things that remind her of home. He's the one who's away from home when "Daniel Plays at Jodie's House." He's not used to her family's traditions, like wearing slippers inside. It's Jodie's turn to help Daniel find things that remind him of home.

Spent the next few hours writing. Gene calls Richard and Charles inside. They need to make plans for the ball. With them are Gary Scarlet and Sarah Riding Hood, along with Orson, still in his demon form. They all agree to help out as best they can.

Finished the night with the next Match Game marathon. Arlene Francis is best-known today for her long-running stint on various versions of What's My Line?, but she also appeared fairly often on Match Game in its early years. In fact, she was one of the panelists on the very first pilot episode, sitting in what would eventually become Brett's upper center seat. (Richard Dawson and Betty White also made their first appearances here.) Not more than five minutes in, Betty incited the first riot of the series when her answer wasn't accepted by judge Ira Skutch and everyone started yelling and throwing papers.

By 1975, Francis was more commonly seen in the first seat on the bottom row, next to Richard. She joined Brett in flirting eagerly with young male contestants, and even grabbed Gene for a huge kiss at one point. She was present the week in '75 where Carol Bartos became the Match Game all-time winner at that point with over 20,000 dollars. Her final appearance on the regular show was in 1978, on a fun week with Dick Martin. (Her final appearance in the series all together was in The Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour; alas, Buzzr has yet to run that week.)

Here's the entire marathon, so you can match wits with the queen of What's My Line and find out if blank is bigger than a bread box! Tomorrow's next semi-regular in the spotlight is Francis' old co-host from the original late 50's The Price Is Right, "The Dean of Game Show Hosts" himself Bill Cullen. Look for this one at 4 PM!

The Best of Arlene Francis on Match Game 1973 - 1978

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Come On Down and Match!

Started off the morning with work. I pushed carts the entire day, and I wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere else. The sun was shining, the sky was a brilliant blue, and if it was gale-force windy, it was also fairly warm, in the mid-60's by noon. A manager suggested I go inside at one point after another bagger arrived to help, but I said no. For one thing, there were already two other baggers inside. For another, it was too lovely of a day to be inside, dealing with frustrated and angry shoppers and frazzled managers. Though it wasn't that busy most of the morning, there was a long line to get into the store around 11:30. At one point, the line was so long, it went into the back parking lot.

(I also discovered another reason we're short on help. Apparently, any worker who is afraid to work because of the virus can stay at home. They won't get paid, but they will get full benefits. At least four people opted for that; a customer service manager who was going to retire in May anyway left early. I literally can't afford it. I rely on my paychecks. The government money will only help for so long.)

Needed a few things after work. I realized I forgot parchment paper and aluminum foil on Friday, and I wanted stamps to send Keefe's get well soon card. I also needed to figure out how to get three boxes, one of them a large one, home. I can get all the boxes for moving I want at work. It's just a matter of getting them home on the bike. I almost lost them in the wind once, but I did manage to balance them well enough on my basket and get them in the house.

When I got in, I changed, wrote down this week's schedule, and had a quick lunch. Listened to Unsung Irving Berlin while I ate. This two-disc CD set from Verese Sarabande is a collection of rare or little-known Irving Berlin songs. Some, like "Roses of Yesterday" and the jaunty "I'm On My Way Home," are less unknown than they are forgotten hits. Others, like the peppy opening song "It's a Lovely Day for a Walk," the sweet ballad "Whisper It," and "You're a Sucker for a Dame" are from projects that never came to fruition. "But I Ain't Got a Man" was written for the movie There's No Business Like Show Business, but dropped when Marilyn Monroe decided she preferred "Heat Wave."

Finished the night online with the next Match Game marathon. Sweet bespectacled announcer Johnny Olsen was a legend in the game show industry, having announced Match Game and The Price Is Right practically since their inceptions. He and producer and judge Ira Skutch made several appearances on Match Game and sort of became semi-regulars in their own right. Johnny even played the game once when Gary Burgoff was late due to Daylight Savings and he had to sit in for him. (He did very well, too!)

Other episodes had him reading questions that revolved around his famous line from The Price Is Right, "Come on down!" Gary responded to this once in 1975 with his hilarious overexcited impersonation of a typical Price Is Right contestant. Johnny also got to smooch Betty White when he was among the panelists and crew who went crazy with that wild contestant in 1976. Bob Barker called on him to recite his famous line when it was the answer to an Audience Match in 1978...but he and Bob weren't overly happy when she didn't ask Bob to answer it!

Here's the entire marathon, so you can come on down and enjoy the antics of one of the most famous announcers in game show history. We're sticking with beloved game show people tomorrow at 4 PM as the spotlight switches to long-time What's My Line and Match Game favorite Arlene Francis.

The Best of Johnny Olsen on Match Game Marathon 1973 - 1979

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Happy Days and Matches

It was raining when I woke up this morning, but by the time I got to breakfast, the rain was long gone. I celebrated with Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. "Daniel Learns about Lizards" when he and Prince Wednesday discover a little green anoli lizard in Dan's backyard. Mrs. Tiger encourages them to study her closer and find out more about her. Animals aren't the only things people learn about. "Daniel Learns About Trolley" when he and his father take a ride on Trolley to see how many people can fit on it and discover how it gets clean and where it goes at night.

Switched to Strawberry Shortcake while making strawberry compote. Rainbowberry is "A Princess Named Rap" in the most unusual version of "Rapunzel" I've ever seen. Rapunzel is a smart tomboy who would rather do things her own way, but her tutor Sour Grapes doesn't think this is proper for a princess. She insists on locking her in a tower to focus on her studies and growing her hair long because that's what princesses do. Rainbow loves learning, but isn't happy cooped up or stuffed into a dress. She befriends Huckleberry and Strawberry when they walk by, and after Sour Grapes tries to move her further away, she shows her that the best way to learn anything is to be yourself.

Headed out around quarter of 11 to run a few errands I couldn't put off. I've been meaning to hit CVS; they're the only place I can find the brush picks I like. They had the brush picks, but not the toothbrush replacements I needed. Also got a get well soon card for Keefe and a bag and Rubix cube for Khai's birthday tomorrow and thought I'd try some strawberry fruit bars that were buy-one-get-one. They were fairly busy for them, but a second cashier opened shortly after I got in the (well-spaced) line.

Next stop was WaWa on the other side of the White Horse Pike in Oaklyn. They were also slightly busier than I've seen them recently. Ordered a roast beef and provolone hoagie, baked chips, and a new Sprite Ginger soda for a special lunch.

Rode by Dad and Jodie's house on my way back from WaWa. I wanted to at least see the outside of the apartment attached to their house. The second floor of the main house stops before the den area that connects the main house and the apartment. Good. I'm usually up late at night, and while I do wear earphones when I'm watching things online after around 10, I also have to move around. Charlie has complained before that I make too much noise when I move, especially at night. Thankfully, it looks like the apartment is just that, with nothing over them. Dad and Jodie go to sleep early; I won't bother them after 10.

My next brief stop was Rose's house. Khai's birthday is tomorrow. There was no one around, and I didn't want to agitate Rose's dog Kelsey by ringing the door bell, so I left his birthday bag on the stoop and moved on.

It was a chilly day for a ride. Though the rain had long-vanished by noon, the clouds and chilly temperatures lingered. At least the neighborhood looks lovely, awash in pale green leaves, pink hyacinths, and sun-yellow daffodils.

Spent the rest of the afternoon at home. A package waited for me in the mailbox when I got in. I got my new lighter twill work pants from Lands End yesterday. Today, the Chic pants I bought from Amazon arrived, along with a much-needed new mouse pad. Not only did I have the old one for years, I spilled tea on it last month and it was finally starting to fall apart.

Ate a quick hoagie lunch, then went in the back room to see what I could round up for packing. I don't have many boxes left, but I also can't figure out how to get them from the Acme on my bike, and anyone who could have helped me get them home is under lockdown. I did go through some of the items I hope to donate to Goodwill when they reopen and found a box to pack up the Star Wars action figures and a bag for the 12-inch dolls and stuffed toys.

Watched Bednobs and Broomsticks as I worked. I go further into Disney's second live-action/animated hybrid film at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Family Fun Saturday - Bedknobs and Broomsticks

Worked on writing for a while after I finished with the boxes. Gene hastily takes his leave and that of the other two men when Ethel tries to get too close. They retreat to Sherwood Forest, where Richard and Charles recover from their injuries. Richard tries to teach Charles how to fence, but he's not only not very good at it, but is still feeling down after the loss of his lute and Brett's kidnapping. Richard assures him that he's good at other things and what happened to Brett isn't his fault.

Finished the night on YouTube. Today's Match Game marathon went for something different - it featured panelists who had appeared on the beloved 50's-set sitcom Happy Days. Anson "Potsie" Williams appeared twice, once in 1974 and later in 1977. (He would also later turn up on The Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour.) Tom Bosley turned up in a memorable week in 1975 that culminated in an Easter episode with Brett and Fannie sporting ugly spring hats. Pat "Arnold" Moriata endured more than one Japanese joke when he appeared in 1976.

Sexy Roz "Pinky Tuskedero" Kelly livened up two weeks of episodes in 1977, including one with an overexcited contestant who kept jumping on Gene...and encouraged the panelists to do the same with each other after she won the Audience Match.  Williams' real-life wife Lori Mahaffery, who played Potsie's girlfriend in the show, was adorable in two weeks of episodes towards the end of the series' run in 1979.

Here's the entire marathon, so you can match around the clock with some of your favorite Happy Days performers! Tomorrow, game show fans will want to come on down and check out the most memorable appearances of the long-time announcer of Match Game and The Price is Right Johnny Olsen.

Salute to Happy Days on Match Game Marathon 1974 - 1979

Friday, April 17, 2020

Good Eating Matches

Began the day with work. I spent the first half of my shift gathering carts. It was a lovely day for it, bright blue and sunny but chilly for this time of the year. I was pulled ten minutes before my break to clean and didn't get my break until almost an hour later. Thankfully, it was a short shift, and one of the other baggers took over doing the bathrooms right before I left.

Did my grocery shopping as soon as I got off. Didn't have a huge order, since I ate out of the fridge for most of the week, but there were some things I needed. My scrub brushes wore out ages ago. I found two on decent sales. Had online coupons for strawberries, sponges, and Parmesan cheese. Never saw The Cheesecake Factory pint ice creams before; thought I'd try their Key Lime flavor. Khai's birthday is on Sunday. I bought him a card and, thanks to the Acme restoring their toy section earlier in the winter, a card game. Restocked milk, buttermilk, honey, whole wheat flour, canned pineapple, and cereal.

Not overly happy with my schedule this week. In good news, three days off and slightly more hours. Trouble is, three of the four days I do work are 8 1/2 hours, and I'm stuck cleaning for two of the four days. They're all early, too. There just isn't enough help in the morning. The days I'm cleaning are the days the head bagger is off or up front cashiering.

After I got home, I changed, put everything away, and ran a few episodes of the new and revised Good Eats. With air fryers now more common, frying has become popular again...but I'm still not willing to try the oil-based variety Alton uses for fish sticks and French fries and fried chicken in "Fry Hard" and "Fry Hard II." Unlike his (fictional) sister Marsha, I'm not concerned about fat. I'm more worried about the mess deep-fat frying makes in your kitchen. On the other hand, the recipes in "Art of Darkness II" using cocoa powder are something I'd actually try, especially the brownies!

Headed out to get the laundry done around quarter of 3. Most people are being encouraged to sit in their cars unless they need to retrieve their loads. I don't have that option...but thankfully, I saw only three people the whole time I was there, and I didn't have a very big load anyway. I worked on story notes and ignored the soap operas and bleating news reports on Channel 6.

Put everything away when I got in, then spent the rest of the night watching the next Match Game marathon. Tough guy comedian Scoey Mitchlll may not have been the best at matching - in fact, he rarely matched the contestants - but he did take part in some of the funniest episodes of the entire series. He switched places with Charles in one 1975 show, and the two spent the games imitating each other. In an episode from 1977, he walked off in the middle of a game to use the bathroom. He and the others encountered a very funny little old man who sounded like Wally Cox and called himself "Tiger" in a PM show from 1979.

Two of his most memorable appearances came from the later syndicated shows. When told to "lay out" after matching a contestant, he literally laid out and took a nap against Gene's entrance! Gene even brought him a pillow. A few weeks later, Gene got angry when he saw him wearing a t-shirt with the logo of a southern California radio station and tore the shirt to shreds (revealing Scoey's muscular body), only to attempt to tape it back together later.

Here's the entire marathon, so you can match wits with the toughest man in game shows! Tomorrow at 4 PM is a "Salute to Happy Days," featuring stars from that beloved sitcom who appeared on Match Game, Look for Tom Bosley, Anton Williams, Pat Moriata, and many others!

The Best of Scoey Mitchlll on Match Game Marathon 1974 - 1982

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Chilled Spring Matches

Once again began the day at work. It was pretty much the same deal as yesterday. I spent the entire morning (save 20 minutes where I cleaned up an iced tea spill) outside with the carts. The weather was a little strange. It was mostly sunny, chilly, and very windy...but somewhere around noon, it clouded up and spit a little. At one point, it even snowed lightly. The snow vanished quickly, and by the time I went home, the sun was back and would remain out for the rest of the day.

I saw a message from Mom while checking my phone during break. My brother Keefe is sick. Mom said he has all the symptoms of the virus but a fever, and his wife may have been effected, too. Keefe lives in Virginia, where he works building ships for the Navy. They can't stay 6 feet from each other in the warehouse where they build the ships. It just isn't possible. I'm so worried. All I want is for him to be all right.

When I got home, I changed and got organized while watching my first Good Eats: The Return episode. I'm not the only one who's discovered the delights and ease of icebox cakes in the last few years. Alton shows people how to make the perfect chocolate-coffee and strawberry cheesecake frozen cakes. While I'm not a fan of cheesecake, the chocolate-coffee cream cake is pretty simple, and I may try it someday.

Worked on writing for an hour after I had a snack. Charles finally drags Richard back to Gene and the ladies. Gene says they'll be going to the ball - all of them. Ethel tries to encourage them to consider letting her daughters accompany them, but they insist on meeting them there.

Spent the next couple of hours with today's Match Game marathon. Along with Patty Duke, Eva Gabor may be the best-known star at the time to have been a semi-regular. Today, she's best-remembered as the glamorous wife who would rather have lived in New York than Green Acres, and for her voice work in The Rescuers films and The Aristocats. On Match Game, she was known for her adorable accent, her odd spellings, and for her utter delight in just being there and having a good time.

She was around in 1979 for the hilarious week that featured the only non-humans to have appeared on the panel, beloved vintage TV puppets Kukla and Ollie. Brett lead a march that included them dancing and Eva singing along. She won $20,000 for a grateful young woman in the Kukla and Ollie PM episode. A young man was so enthusiastic after she won him $10,000 in another PM, he accidentally kicked her toes in open-toed sandals hard and took off her toenail! As Gene said later, she was a good sport about it. She, Brett, and Elaine Joyce helped Gene show off a young contestant's wonderful artwork of birds in a later syndicated episode from 1982.

Here's the entire marathon, so you can match wits with everyone's favorite Hungarian glamour girl, dahhling! And stay tuned for tomorrow's marathon at 2 PM, devoted to tough guy comedian Scoey Mitchlll.

The Best of Eva Gabor on Match Game Marathon 1977 - 1982

I also put on I Married an Angel towards the end of the night. I go further into this unusual romantic fantasy that was the last movie to feature Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy together at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Cult Flops - I Married an Angel

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Salute Your Matches

Began the day with work. I spent my entire shift outside with the carts, and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. For one thing, the weather was amazing today. The sun was shining, the wind gentled down to a breeze, the sky was a searing blue, and the air smelled fresh and clean, even in the parking lot. There's also the simple fact that the last place I want to be is in the store, dealing with frustrated and panicky workers and people who are angry that we're out of many items and limiting others.

Went straight home after work and right into the next Match Game marathon. Gary Burgoff is today best-known for playing Radar, the youngest and most naive member of the 4077th Squadron on MASH, but on Match Game he's probably best-remembered for replacing his former acting teacher Charles Nelson Reilly from late '74 through mid-'75.

He could get as wild as fellow MASH alumni McLean Stevenson, chasing Gene around the studio at least twice and running out to kiss contestants and imitate Price Is Right players. As a follow-up to the episode in 1977 where Gene brought in his toddler daughter Gina and Patti Deustch's little son Max, Gene came in carrying him and Patti imitating their children. Another time in '78, Gene told Gary to go into a "time out" under his desk after giving a particularly bad answer.

Gary continued to appear on the show into the middle of the syndicated run, even after he left MASH. He joined the others in feeling the soft fabric on Charles' shirt in one classic episode. (This is also the one where Charles held up the "boring" sign that is often used in memes.) In another, he teased Charles and Brett about their perpetual arguing.

Here's the entire marathon, so you can salute this Emmy-winner and teddy bear lover! Keep an eye on the MatchGameProductions channel tomorrow, as the next marathon will be devoted to glamorous, husband-gathering Hungarian comedienne Eva Gabor.

The Best of Gary Burgoff on Match Game Marathon 1974 - 1981

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

A Quiet Birthday

Began the morning with breakfast and the final episode of The Yogi Bear Show, "Yogi's Birthday." The sponsor insists on celebrating Yogi's big day with a party on TV. Ranger Smith tells Yogi that he's going to be on a variety show, but Yogi's attempt to learn how to dance and sing end in disaster. When the Ranger does coax him out of Jellystone, he discovers that it's really a chance for all the Hanna Barbara funny animals to come together to celebrate his big day.

Opened my birthday presents after breakfast. Linda and James Young gave me a book on Barbara Eden, Jeannie Out of the Bottle, and a collection of all of the Good Eats: Reloaded episodes made up to this point. Unlike with the Popeye cartoons, I'll try to dole out the latter sparingly instead of watching them all at once. It'll be nice to have something different to watch with the Match Game marathons when I get home from work, and I'm always open to trying new recipes.

Switched to Labyrinth while making orange cream cheese frosting for my birthday carrot cake and pan-frying apricot jam-filled pocket pies. I go further into this dark 1980's fantasy featuring David Bowie singing among Jim Henson creatures at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Cult Flops - Labyrinth

Around 12, I packed my small white Easter basket with the flowers with a tuna salad sandwich, celery sticks, pocket pies, and Popchips. My original plan for today was the movies, but after all the virus craziness closed the theaters, I thought a picnic in the park would be nice. At least, until all the parks were closed. Fortunately, I remembered there's a little green field behind the VFW where members toss horseshoes and enjoy barbecue at outdoor parties. It's bordered by a line of trees and the train tracks on one side and a parking lot on another, making it the perfect isolated space for a quiet, distanced picnic.

There was part of a fence with a sign up in front of the field, claiming that it was closed to vehicles. Not only did it say nothing about being closed to people, but a random truck was parked right next to the back of the VFW. I enjoyed my lunch at one of the concrete tables and benches while listening to the birds and admiring the soft greenery and lavender and sun-yellow dandelions and

Took a short walk over a narrow path through the trees and brambles and over to the train tracks. The view from the train bridge is amazing. You can see straight to the Parkview Apartments in one direction, half-way to the park in the other. The sun was in and out, warming my back, and it was breezy, but not nearly as windy as yesterday. A lone fisherman caught lake trout in a small boat floating off to my right on the Parkview side.

When I got in, I quickly took down the Easter decorations. The general spring decorations will likely stay up until I begin to pack everything for my move. I'll wait to put up the summer items until after I leave.

After I put everything away, I went online to watch the Gary Burgoff Match Game marathon, only to find the guy who's been posting these is still having problems with YouTube and the marathon was postponed until tomorrow. Since I was dead tired and had no other plans, I ignored the lawn mowers and potty mouths going outside and dropped into bed for a nap.

Woke up an hour and a half later, feeling disoriented and still tired. I drowned out the lawn mower by focusing on writing. Richard tries to get Fannie to come to the ball, but she insists that she's not only too well-known at the Palace, but her stepmother would never allow it. Even as Charles drags him away, Richard insists that there has to be a way she can come with them and identify her contact...and of course, dance with him at the ball.

Rose arrived while I was writing, sporting a huge paper bag. She handed me the bag and I handed her the envelope with her birthday card and gift card, and she dashed off. The paper bag held a complete Italian meal. There was enough pasta with tomatoes and shrimp, anti-pasto salad, mozzarella sticks, salad, and crusty bread to feed every stuffed animal and doll in my apartment if they could actually eat, and maybe all the Star Wars action figures, too.

Watched Match Game on Buzzr while I ate. This one was one of the episodes that turned up in the marathon, with McLean kissing Gene and Richard after a contestant won big money in the head-to-head round. The woman champion on Sale of the Century went back and forth with the lone gentleman, even buying a camera to take photos of her new baby at one point, but he pulled ahead in the speed round and won. It didn't take him long to match a trip to the Bahamas in the bonus memory round.

And the guy in charge of the Match Game Productions channel at YouTube has already posted the Gary Burgoff marathon for 1 tomorrow. This time, we really will get to see everyone's favorite teddy bear-loving MASH comedian imitation everyone from Price Is Right contestants to his former teacher, Charles Nelson Reilly.

Monday, April 13, 2020

My Little Matches

Began the day with work. It was raining cats, dogs, pigs, and chickens when I left, and the sky was heavy and leaden. I arrived at work soaked, and pretty much stayed that way the entire day. Though I rounded up trash in the back room and cleaned up a shampoo spill (my hands now smell like coconut-pineapple), I spent most of the day outside. It rained on-and-off, sometimes heavily, through mid-afternoon. Thankfully, the rain was off by the time I finished.

The Acme did a banner Easter, selling off almost all of its Easter merchandise but some candy, a cart filled with plastic eggs, and tons and tons of potted flowers. I guess everyone got their flowers from their own gardens this year. There were at least four carts of free potted flowers in the main lobby this morning. I chose a small purple tulip and a pretty magenta hyacinth; they fit easily in my basket, and the hyacinth smelled sweet and soft, the way spring should.

When I got home, I started my birthday carrot cake. I originally planned on making it a layer cake, but I was so tired when I got home, I decided on a sheet cake instead. Added brown sugar, pineapple, coconut, raisins, and more carrot to the Betty Crocker Carrot Cake mix. I'll make the orange cream cheese frosting tomorrow.

Watched vintage My Little Pony cartoons while I worked. "Escape from Catrina" was the second springtime special featuring the original Ponies, and the first with the Baby Ponies. Catrina is a cat witch who forces her shapeshifting brother and the little balls of fur the Bushwoolies to mine witchweed and make potions that give her powers. When the Bushwoolies rebel, she sets her sights on making the Ponies her slaves instead.

The next two episodes were shorts. The baby ponies are bored. Their mothers amuse them by saying they're going to roll a red rubber ball up the hill, and they should imagine what it might be. "A Little Piece of Magic" called their imaginations allow them to see the ball as everything from accompanying their ballet dances to taking them to a world of toys and games.

A "Would-Be Dragonslayer" tries to attack Spike, but the Ponies save their pink dragon friend. The boy is really a page who wants to be a knight, but none of his good deeds ever work out right. The ponies help the lad find a way to prove you don't have to slay anything to be a real hero.

Found a card and a package in the mail when I got in. The package is from Linda and James Young. I'll open it tomorrow. Opened the card when I got inside. Lauren and her parents gave me a cute cupcake-themed card and 20 dollars.

Finished the night with leftovers and the next Match Game marathon. Patty Duke, then Patty Duke Astin, may be the biggest star at the time to have been a semi-regular. Even today, she's still best-known for winning an Oscar as Helen Keller in the film version of The Miracle Worker and for playing twin cousins Patty and Cathy in The Patty Duke Show. She was later diagnosed as manic-depressive, and this showed in quite a few episodes where she appeared either drunk or more energetic than usual.

One such episode in 1977 had her briefly "hosting" the show when Gene asked her to read a question. In a nighttime episode, she helped a pregnant woman who looked a little like her make it to the bonus round. In later syndicated episodes, she envied the brief dress worn by Dallas actress Charlene Tilton (and the curves that filled it) and acted as another replacement for Brett when she was away doing a play. She also figured into a memorable later syndicated episode where Gene gave Charles fashion advice and everyone tried to give the contestant an answer for "The Royal ___," only for him to choose an answer on his own that really didn't make much sense.

Here's the whole marathon, so you can play along with both sides of this Oscar-winner! Tomorrow's marathon switches the focus to another MASH alumni, Gary "Radar" Burgoff.

The Best of Patty Duke Astin on Match Game Marathon 1975 - 1981

Oh, and at one point when I was baking, the storms came back with lightning and thunder reinforcements. That was the last time it's rained at press time. It looked like it might do it again around 5:30, but it never did. By 4, the sun even came out. It's supposed to be nice tomorrow, in the upper 60's.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

It's an Easter Match, Charlie Brown

Began my Easter with work. I spent the entire morning cleaning the bathrooms and wiping doors and credit card machines least, when I could get into the bathrooms. People kept going into them, and I had to wait for them to leave. It did get busy around 10:30-11, but was quiet by the time I finally finished at 2...and I saw why when I dashed out the door. A long line of people waiting to get in stretched around the side of the store, and from what I could hear as I rode by them, not a single one was happy. They were only letting ten people in at a time, and the store closed at 3 today.

Goes without saying I was happy to get home. As soon as I arrived, I opened the Easter present Mom sent me. It was an adorable egg-shaped box of See's Candies. (Mom must have sent them before they closed - their website says they're not shipping online right now. Either that, or her box came from elsewhere.) She also sent me a floral mask for work.

Ran It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown, as I started an early dinner. The Peanuts celebrate the spring with trips to the store for new shoes, Snoopy buying his buddy Woodstock a bird house, and Peppermint Patty's futile attempts to teach Marcie how to color eggs. No need for all the fuss, says Linus. The Easter Beagle does all that. Sally's understandably skeptical after the incident with the Great Pumpkin at Halloween. Lucy would rather color and hide her own eggs.

My Easter dinner was the bacon and cheese quiche from Julie's Cooking Studio, with yogurt instead of sour cream, Mexican shredded cheese instead of Swiss and cheddar, turkey bacon instead of pork, and added spinach and mushrooms. Oh, yum. It came out perfectly, just the right blend of salty and savory. Probably the best pie I ever made.

Switched to The First Easter Rabbit while starting Glazed Lemon Rolls. This Rankin-Bass 2-D animated tale of something of a cross between Frosty the Snowman and The Velveteen Rabbit. Stuffy (Robert Morse) was little Glinda's favorite toy. He ends up on a bonfire pile when she comes down with scarlet fever, but a fairy takes pity on him and turns him into a real rabbit. He's now the Easter Bunny, symbol of springtime and ruler of April Valley...if he can get around Zero, who wants to unleash permanent winter on the valley!

Moved to the next Match Game Marathon while the rolls rose, and then while they baked. Comedian Bill Daily is today best-known for his sitcom work, including prominent roles in I Dream of Jeannie, The Bob Newhart Show, and Alf, but game show fans know him as one of the wildest of the show's stable of semi-regulars. He threw noisy tantrums whenever the audience got too rowdy and gave answers that matched Joyce Bulifant's in their strangeness (and lack of matching). He traded jackets with Gene in one syndicated episode, then complained about his chair being too short in another.

Bill was present for two of the show's most memorable contestants. He was there for the final week on CBS in 1979, when that lady Carolyn won over 30,000 and became the highest-winning contestant in the show's history. Later that year in the syndicated version, a woman in the Head-to-Head round answered "Cuckoo ___" with "Cukoo, Friend, and Ollie," and did it with utter confidence. Gene laughed so hard, he nearly fell all over the stage, and the panelists were all falling over laughing, too. Bill would later relate in Match Game 101 that they had to stop taping, everyone was laughing so hard. (She meant "Kukla, Fran, and Ollie," the puppet duo, who appeared on the show earlier that year. Poor Robert Walden eventually gave what was likely the definitive answer, "cuckoo clock.")

Here's Bill's marathon, so you can attempt to match his wild answers yourself! And come around tomorrow at 3 PM for the next semi-regular in the spotlight, talented and sassy Patty Duke.

The Best of Bill Daily on Match Game Marathon 1973 - 1982

And I hope you matched yourself a wonderful Easter, no matter where you celebrated it!

Saturday, April 11, 2020

When You Believe

Began a sunny, windy spring morning with breakfast and Daffy Duck's Easter Egg-Citement. Daffy avoids an animated with a peculiar sense of humor as he stars in three original shorts with springtime themes. He and Sylvester chase a golden egg in the first cartoon. The second has him trying to keep Speedy Gonzales out of a chocolate bunny factory. He's solo in the third as he tries to make his way north without flying.

Work's made further restrictions. Now everyone has to wear masks to get in. I started out the day pushing carts, but spent the rest of it cleaning. I'm not fond of cleaning, but it has to be done. It's really more trying to explain to people why we're so short on certain things. There's flour and sugar, but no yeast, and the toilet paper keeps vanishing. The vast majority of our Easter candy and novelties were gone, too. Looks like the Easter Bunny will make some kids happy this year, even if they can't leave their houses.

I had a little Easter shopping of my own to do. Had a coupon for free hamburger buns from the Monopoly game. I'll make tuna salad sandwiches for my birthday picnic and bring a small bag of Popchips and sticks of celery and carrots. Picked up raisins and orange juice for my birthday carrot cake and potatoes for Easter dinner. Rose's birthday was last Tuesday. I bought her a card and a gift card and will give them to her when she brings my Italian dinner. Found two more flounder fillets on sale; had online coupons for tangerines and beef hot dogs. I loved that pint of coconut milk ice cream I had a few weeks ago so much, I thought I'd try their toasted coconut flavor. Restocked milk, brown sugar, yogurt, peanut butter, chocolate chips, strawberries, and oatmeal.

Mixed feelings on next week's schedule. Thankfully, I have two spread-out days off, one on Tuesday for my birthday, and fewer hours. However, the hours that I do have are very early in the morning, and I have to work Easter. The head bagger always goes on vacation the week of major holidays. She's been here far longer than the rest of us and works twice as many hours as the rest of us do. She's not the only one, either. At least five people are using vacation weeks before our vacation cycle starts over in May, and others simply can't come in with everything going on.

Went home and put everything away while starting Bugs Bunny's Easter Funnies. The Easter Bunny is sick, and Granny hopes that Bugs will replace him. Bugs is too busy making cartoons to help, so he turns her towards the other Toons, who show her some of their very best shorts to convince her to give them the job.

Worked on writing for a little while. Charles finally convinces Fannie to tell them what's going on. Malade's not holding a ball to have a little fun. According to Fannie's contact at the Palace, it's a trap to lure the Queen, Princesses, and wizards out of hiding. Trouble is, she can't go. Her stepmother won't allow it, and someone may recognize herself, that is...

Broke for dinner at 7. Made almond-crusted flounder and sauteed spinach and mushrooms while finishing up Easter Funnies, then watched Easter Parade. I discussed this springtime-set musical meringue with Judy Garland and Fred Astaire at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog last year

Easter Parade

This year's Easter review is Dreamworks' only theatrical animated musical to date, the stirring retelling of Moses leading his people to freedom Prince of Egypt.

Prince of Egypt

And after you've enjoyed those, here's even more Easter programming for your at-home spring holiday:

The Bernstein Bears' Easter Surprise
Disney Silly Symphonies - Funny Little Bunnies
A Family Circus Easter
Buttons & Rusty Meet the Easter Bunny (A Chucklewood Easter)
The Smurfs' Springtime
Thumpkin & the Easter Bunnies
Ice Age - The Great Egg-Scape
Easter Is
The Jack Rabbit Story: Easter Fever
Follow That Bunny

And the guy who posts the Match Game marathons had trouble getting one of the Bill Daily episodes through YouTube...but it seems to be ready now. Celebrate Easter with one of the craziest of all panelists, eternally nervous Bill Daily, at 1 PM tomorrow!

Friday, April 10, 2020

Dolls and Matches

Began a sunny and very windy morning with breakfast and Split Second. It was another photo finish, but this time one of the ladies pulled ahead in the speed round and ended up killing the other two. Her luck continued into the bonus round, where she found the three car boards on her first try.

Went online a little early to pay some bills, then watched a rare morning Match Game syndicated premiere. The same fellow putting out the marathons has also continued to debut regular episodes in sequence. The one this morning was especially funny as the other panelists tease Gary Crosby (Bing Crosby's singer son) about a rather bad 1961 movie he appeared in, Two Tickets to Paris.

Match Game Syndication 220 - "Two Tickets to Paris with Gary Crosby"

I also decided to give Hulu a shot while I was online. They're one of the many streaming services out there, with a lot of good shows and some decent movies in their archives. One of those movies at the moment is Prince of Egypt, which I wanted to cover for Easter. I'll discuss it further at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog tomorrow.

A long time ago, possibly as long as five years ago, I found a note book at a yard sale filled with recipes cut from magazines and newspapers likely going as far back as the 70's. Tried one of those recipes today. Trailside Oatmeal Cookies is basically an oatmeal-peanut butter cookie with chocolate chips and butter. It's also supposed to have raisins, but I had none on hand. Oh, yum! The bottoms of my first batch came out slightly too dark, but the rest were fine, nutty and chewy and sweet.

After a quick lunch, I dressed the American Girl dolls for Easter and spring. Whitney is in the pink in Kit's Springtime Dress, pink shoes, and bobby socks borrowed from Molly. Molly wears her aqua polka-dot skirt and blouse and white t-strap shoes. Samantha is also in a limited-edition outfit, her magenta and pink Flower Picking Dress and black and white button boots. Ariel gets the simple white and pink Flower Girl Outfit and sandals. Felicity celebrates her birthday this month in her salmon-pink Birthday Dress and and floral pinner apron. Jessa wears the original late 90's modern Birthday Outfit with the thin-strap fruit print jumper over the t-shirt and purple jelly sandals. Josefina's birthday was last month, but she still gets to wear her Feast Day Celebration turquoise skirt and ruffled camisa (shift).

Spent the rest of the afternoon watching the Marcia Wallace Match Game marathon, including while eating tacos for dinner. Sarcastic Marcia came via The Bob Newhart Show, where she played Bob's super-efficient secretary. Today, she's best-known as the long-time voice of Bart's cranky teacher Ms. Krabapple on The Simpsons. It probably won't come as a surprise to discover she and Brett became fast friends, as they shared a similar salty sense of humor. Sometimes, Marcia could get a little too salty; one of her answers on a PM episode got bleeped out. In another 1977 episodes, Gene and Richard used the freckles on her frequently-bare shoulders to play tic tac toe.

She's another one who did some of her better work in the late 70's and early 80's. She showed off those shoulders when people wrote in complaining about her constantly wearing tube tops. In another episode, she got to sit in Brett's center seat when her best friend was off doing a play. She also got a huge 20,000 win on a PM episode, and a fairly large 10,000 on a 1981 show.

Here's the entire marathon, so you can see Marcia's witticisms and antics for  yourself! Tomorrow's marathon will revolve around her fellow Bob Newhart cast member, eternally nervous Bill Daily.

The Best of Marcia Wallace on Match Game Marathon 1974 - 1981

Rose called shortly after I went on the marathon. She and Craig aren't doing as badly as some of their neighbors. Rose does law work for the government and is considered an essential worker (though she's not working as many hours as she used to), and Craig's helping Anthony's, the fancy Italian restaurant where he works, with their take-out meals. In fact, Rose offered to bring me an Italian dinner from Anthony's for my birthday present. Aww, that's perfect! I can't carry a huge dinner home on my bike, and my apartment is so far off the road, it's hard for most delivery people to find.

Jodie called during dinner. Turns out Dana and Jesse were able to buy the house they wanted online, and I'll be able to move June 1st after all. I did argue with her over cable. I don't want cable. I don't need cable. Her offer of free cable is nice, but the Internet provides everything I need. Cable is an 80's relic. I don't need 500 channels, just whatever I can get off the streaming companies and the football and hockey networks.

Thursday, April 09, 2020

Thunder and Matches

Began a sunny, breezy morning with Strawberry Pancakes for breakfast and Buzzr. Split Second showcased a real nail-biter of a game, with all three contestants neck and neck for nearly the entire speed round. One of the women finally pulled through in the end and opted to take a beaver fur coat rather than the car. A college student had no problems getting around a pair of sisters on Blockbusters, but just couldn't make a row fast enough to win the bonus round.

Switched to my Music of Spring LP while making the bed. The songs here aren't quite as related to the seasons as the ones on Tune Up to Spring are. I suspect numbers like "I Could Have Danced All Night" and the title song from Camelot were included because they were popular at the time,  not because they related to spring. Still, some of them were pretty good, including two instrumentals from Broadway hits, "Younger Than Springtime" and "Wouldn't It Be Loverly?"

Headed out after I finished the bed. I really wanted to get the laundry done. It was a gorgeous day for it, sunny and blue if not quite as warm as yesterday. The neighborhood looks wonderful, even if few people can see it, with pale green leaves and purple and white hyacinths popping up everywhere.

I picked the right time to do it. The laundromat was empty when I arrived, and I only saw two people the entire time I was there. I really wanted to get my load done as fast as I could. I didn't like the look of several ominous dark clouds on the horizon...and neither did Channel 6, who managed to squeeze thunderstorm warnings in between stories about the virus.

Needless to say, I rushed home as soon as my laundry was out of the dryer. I'd just managed to get everything upstairs and bring my recycling downstairs when the wind turned into a gale, and it started to pour and thunder! Channel 6, for once, was right that the storms were fast-moving. They were in around 2 PM and long-gone by 3.

While it is supposed to get cooler tomorrow, it'll return to the upper 50's and 60's after that. I don't think I'll be needing my thick corduroy pants or turtlenecks for a while. It was time to pull out the warm-weather clothes and pack up those intended for colder temperatures. Since I'll hopefully be moving in a few months, I also pulled out my largest suitcase and packed up towels and linens I won't need before then, as well as my bathing suit and pool towel. Dad and Jodie said they didn't intend to open the pool this year. (I was surprised they opened it last year.)

Watched The Cat In the Hat Knows a Lot About That while having a quick Orange-Banana-Coconut Smoothie for lunch. Sally and Nick want to make a surprise salad for Nick's mom, but she keeps popping into the kitchen. The Cat takes the kids to meet Twitch the rabbit and her babies to show them how her "Thump!" alerts her family to approaching danger. Bucky the Squirrel shows the kids how to find things they have "Squirrled Away" by using markers to remember where they hid them.

Spent the rest of the night online with another Match Game marathon on YouTube. Wacky McLean Stevenson of MASH only showed up during the very beginning and very end of the 70s Match Game's run, but he livened things up every time he appeared. In 1973 alone, he turned up in a contestant's desk in one episode and went shirtless in another. He chased Gene around the studio and vigorously smooched him, Richard, and the contestants in several '74 shows.

By the end of the syndicated run, he'd become the permanent replacement for Richard Dawson. His antics were very welcome, whether he took over hosting a show for Gene (twice, once briefly), let Ted Lange of The Love Boat dress him as a cowboy in a fancy suit, or accepted fashion advice from Brett. He also had a memorable bit in the show's final episode where a contestant insisted on kissing him, whether she won or not...and really got into it when she did get it!

Here's the full marathon, so you can enjoy all of McLean's wild host-chasing lunacy! Tomorrow's focus switches to my second-favorite female panelist after Brett, delightfully witty and sarcastic  Marcia Wallace.

The Best of McLean Stevenson on Match Game Marathon 1973 - 1982

Finished the night with the 1973 film version of Jesus Christ Superstar. I go further into this Andrew Lloyd Webber religious rock opera at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Jesus Christ Superstar (1973)

Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Out In the Sunshine

Began a sunny morning with breakfast and Strawberry Shortcake on The Roku Channel. "Toto's Tale" is actually Pupcake's story, as he narrates the tale of how he and Strawberry were blown into a strange land by a tornado. There, they met the Scarecrow (Ginger Snap), Tin Woodsgirl (Peppermint Fizz), and Cowardly Lion (Orange Blossom), who help get Strawberry to the Emerald City and dodge the Wicked Witch of the West (Sour Grapes).

In fact, all these Match Game marathons are giving me some great story ideas, like the one I got watching Joyce's episodes last night. Joyce finds a puppy outside the studio that needs a home and smuggles him in. Clever Charles suggests she find a place to hide him, while Richard, whose heart is more tender than he'll admit, says he'd take him home to his sons. Bill Daily is terrified he'll be found out, but Brett is more level-headed and suggests she find Gene and see what he says. When Ira the producer and judge threatens to send her new friend to the pound, Joyce flees the studio, only for Gene to convince her to return. There's a big storm coming.

Joyce and her puppy dart into a storage shed on the property, which is then lifted in the air and sent over California...and indeed, to a bright, colorful land Joyce has never seen. The redheaded Witch of the North (Patti Deutsch) tells her she rescued her little blue people from the evil Witch of the East and gives her the silver slippers left behind to protect her. She's told that the Wizard of Match will help her get home. Along the way, she meets a fussy, bespectacled scarecrow, a British tin woodsman who claims he has no heart, and a terrified little lion who is nervous about everything. Even when they managed to avoid the schemes of the Warlock of the West, they learn he's imprisoned Lady Brett, the Witch of the South, and they must free her and destroy the Warlock.

No idea when I'll get to this one. I was either going to do the western or the Star Wars spoof next, but this one is intriguing, too. We'll see what happens.

Work was a total pain. I started the day cleaning. Wouldn't have minded moving out to do carts around 11:30 if they hadn't taken the guy who was supposed to be cleaning and had him counting people going into the store. I had to do carts and sweep the store on my own, and I have no idea who got the cleaning done before the evening bagger arrived at 2. We were very low on help. Our vacation cycle restarts in May, and a lot of people will be taking their use it or lose it time this week and next week. I used the last of mine in January.

I was too tired when I got home to do much more than change, eat a snack, and watch an episode of Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. Considering I was more than a little annoyed with a lot of my co-workers for not having more help this morning, I could relate to "Daniel Gets Mad at Dad." Daniel gets upset when his dad says they need to go to the post office and he can't play at the playground, and then when Margaret plays with his favorite stuffed tiger. Dan Sr. gets him calmed down and reminds him that you can be angry with someone and still love them. "Daniel Gets Mad at His Friends" when Miss Elania spills red paint on his full-body tracing; she's not too happy either when he accidentally rips hers. Teacher Harriett reminds the two that even when friends fight, they're still friends.

Attempted a little writing when I went online. Fannie's startled to find two gentlemen in the kitchen, to say the least. Charles cuts off Richard's flirting by asking her about her father's work. Fannie's stepmother and stepsisters are desperate to get in with high-level members of the court. She listens in on their conversations and passes her findings to Arlene and her contact at the Palace.

Finally gave up and had a quick leftovers dinner around quarter of 7. An episode of Match Game from 1974 featured not Charles but a big, hearty gentleman named George Kirby on the end. Brett was left to spar with Richard and a nasal Morey Amsterdam.

Sale of the Century featured a man who had won everything on the matching board but the big car. Alas, he didn't get it. The one woman got a money card in The Fame Game, bought no prizes, and jumped ahead in the speed round. She ended up matching a sauna.

Returned to Strawberry Shortcake as I went online. Their version of "Sleeping Beauty" has Strawberry as the princess cursed by Brambleberry Fairy (Blueberry), who believes she was deliberately left out of her christening party and won't listen to the page (Banana Twirl) who says she wasn't. Apple Fairy (the grown Apple Dumplin') makes it so she only sleeps, but the other fairies can't figure out how to break the spell. It takes Prince Huckleberry to convince Brambleberry to forgive the others and remove her curse.

Finished the night on Crackle with Charlie's Angels. They're "Cruisin' Angels" when Charlie puts them and Bosley in charge of hiring a captain to bring his new yacht down to the Caribbean. Bosley's horrified when the yacht vanishes while he's on a date with its interior decorator (Beverly Garland), and is even more puzzled when it reappears the next day. Turns out the yacht is being used as part of a plot to smuggle gold to a dictator in South America, and everyone from mercenaries to lackeys of the dictators want that bullion back!

Oh, and it seems the McLean Stevenson marathon took longer to upload than planned, so it'll be shown tomorrow. Tune in at 4 PM Eastern for some of everyone's favorite ex-MASH surgeon's wildest antics!