Sunday, May 31, 2020

Sunday Will Never Be the Same

I awoke to an absolutely stunning morning. It was breezy, sunny, and cool when rolled out of bed. Celebrated the great weather with perfect Strawberry Pancakes for breakfast. Opted for two Peter Pan kids' albums while I ate and later as I did the dishes. Alice In Wonderland is an enjoyable condensed version of the first book, with nice songs and a read-along book with illustrations that more closely resemble a Marvel comic of the 70's than anything Tenniel. The story and illustrations for Cinderella are more traditionally Perrault, with songs for the stepsisters and one for the prince and Cinderella after she takes off, rather like in Slipper and the Rose.

Spent the next few hours trying to figure out how to write that letter and send it to Rose. I'm not spending money on Microsoft Word when Office works just as well and a lot cheaper, but I don't know if she uses it. Not to mention, the e-mail address I have listed for her is for Hotmail, which was folded into Microsoft years ago. I called her and asked her to text her current e-mail, but I haven't heard from her since then.

Finally broke at 2:30 for a quick lunch. Had yogurt, then went for a walk down the street. Thank heavens, West Clinton Avenue was quiet but intact. The only thing even mildly damaged was a sandwich board announcing Phillies Yummies being open, and it's more likely that someone accidentally jolted the blackboard while putting it up this afternoon. There were pro-Civil Rights messages written on the sidewalk in enormous colored chalk letters, but they were neither offensive, nor causing anyone any trouble.

It was too lovely of a day to be angry for long. (Frustrated and sad that all of this happened, but not angry.) The weather was as perfect as it's going to get in late May. The sun was out, the sky was blue, and the air was warm but neither hot nor humid. Stiff breezes kept it from feeling as nasty as it's supposed to get by the middle of next week.

The day was so nice and cool, I did my first baking in ages when I got home. Whipped up my favorite Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe I got out of Prevention Magazine ages ago. It's good and good for you - it uses egg whites, oil, and whole wheat flour along with the oats. They came out beautifully, just brown and chewy enough.

Listened to a few soundtracks while the cookies baked. The movie version of Xanadu may be as weird and goofy as the other two disco musicals I reviewed last week, but it does have genuinely good music and decent performances by Olivia Newton-John and Gene Kelly. "Magic" and "Suddenly" were the hits, but I like the chorus numbers "Dancin'" and "All Over the World" and Newton-John's lovely ballad "Suspended In Time."

By far the best-known song from The Muppet Movie is the Oscar-nominated "The Rainbow Connection," which perfectly distills the essence of both Kermit the Frog and his creator Jim Henson's upbeat philosophies. Other good ones here include the Electric Mayhem's "Can You Picture That?", Fozzie and Kermit "Moving Right Along" as they drive cross-country, Gonzo's ballad to the sky "I'm Going to Go Back There Someday," and the jazzy instrumental version of "I Hope That Something Better Comes Along" that underscores Kermit and Piggy's reunion in the bus after they find her on the road.

Worked on writing for a while as the cookies cooled. A plump yellow-green frog with circular marks around his eyes like glasses offers to retrieve Betty's golden ball for her, but only if she'll take him to the party and let him eat, drink, and sleep with her. She desperately agrees to it to get her ball back. He insists on riding to the ballroom not in her pocket, where he may smother, but on her shoulder. She can't help but think that his croak seems a bit familiar to her...

Didn't break for dinner until 7. Listened to The Great Muppet Caper while eating leftover Italian Casserole and broccoli. This movie wasn't nearly as bit of a hit as the first one, but it does have some good songs. The first big chorus number for Piggy, "The First Time It Happens," was Oscar-nominated. I also like "Steppin' Out With a Star" as Kermit prepares for his date with Piggy and the Electric Mayhem's "Gimmie the Night Life" as they drive Kermit and Piggy to the supper club.

Switched to YouTube after a shower. There's a few versions of an hour-long Beauty and the Beast ballet there that I wanted to check out. I went with the one from a Finnish ballet company that had gorgeous early 20th century-inspired costumes and some great dancing, especially by the dancers playing the Beast's animal servants.

Finished after tonight's Match Game syndicated premiere with the original Fantasy Island TV show on Crackle. They currently have the episodes of the first two seasons available, including the first season finale "Call Me Lucky/Torch Singer." Richard Dawson plays a gambler who wishes to be lucky at everything he touches. He's thrilled with his success, until his beloved son arrives at the island and claims he wants to be a gambler, too. A pretty lass (Kathryn Holcomb) wants to be a torch singer in the glamorous 1920's like her grandmother was. She does become a successful nightclub singer, and even falls in love with her pianist (Edd Byrnes), but discovers the darker side of the Roaring 20's when she and the pianist become the focus of a turf war between rival gangsters.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Family Fun Saturday

Began a gorgeous morning with breakfast and Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. Daniel and Miss Elainia get into a "Circle Time Squabble" when they both want to sit next to their older friend Chrissie. Teacher Harriet breaks things up before they get ugly and reminds them that, while it's ok to be angry with someone, it's never ok to hit them. Mrs. Tiger again has to remind her son that "It's Not Ok to Hurt Someone" when his little sister Margaret knocks over his block fence and he's upset.

Emily Elizabeth is also upset in the current version of Clifford the Big Red Dog that began last year. She and Clifford have "The Birdwell Island Blues" when her day starts off with her stubbing her toe and spilling juice on her parade shirt. Clifford's attempts to make her feel better just get him angry...and pretty soon, half the island is feeling the blues. It'll take Emily and Clifford sharing a laugh to remind them that bad times pass, and they can make things better by helping friends. When their friend Jack shows him his father's trunk of his travels around the world. Emily turns a ride on Clifford into "The Big Red World," taking a tour around the island to see the many cultures represented by the people who live there.

Worked on that letter and what to write in it for a few hours after breakfast. Rose called while I was looking up letter templates online. Did I want to go over her house for dinner and to discuss the letter and the move? Why not? I hadn't seen them since the Super Bowl, and Rose did want to go over the rent. It would be nice to talk to the family for a while.

Broke at 12:30 for lunch. Switched to Hulu for the original The Powerpuff Girls. This trio of super-powered, anime-inspired six-year-olds fight some of the most unusual villains in animation, as in the first season episode "Boogie Frights." Bubbles, the sweetest and gentlest of the trio, is terrified of the dark. When the Boogie Man and his minions blot out the sun with their giant disco ball, it's up to Bubbles to show that she can survive to bring back the light. When the oldest theater in town is torn down, it unleashes the zombie of disgraced magician Al Lusion. As "Abrakadaver," he tries to hypnotize sensible leader Blossom, but she has tricks of her own up her pink sleeves.

Moved to The Roku Channel for the 2003 Strawberry Shortcake. "Baby Takes the Cake" in the second season when Apple Dumplin' tries to help the older girls with their baking. The girls tell her that she's not old enough yet, despite her protests that she's a "big girl now." She eventually dreams that she's the older girl who has to deal with baby Strawberry and her friends and still make that cake.

Went for a short walk in the neighborhood after I ate. The weather was marvelous today. While still in the 80's, it was breezy and bright and nowhere resembling as humid as it's been the past couple of days. I'm surprised I didn't see more people out and about. There was a young couple sharing a Chik Fil' A lunch at the bench on the boat landing at Goff Avenue and a few kids on bikes, but everyone else must have been enjoying their yards.

Rose picked me up a little after 2. We had to make a few quick stops first. She needed hard taco shells for dinner at Dollar General and milk at WaWa. I waited in the car and messed around with my phone both times.

We went right in the back as soon as we got home. Rose and her husband Craig made up for not being able to go anywhere by setting up a sanctuary in their backyard. They bought the kids a large inflatable pool and created a makeshift patio with colorful vinyl beach blankets, heavy plastic Adirondack-style chairs, and their rainbow beach umbrella. Craig has a block set off for flowers, tomato plants, and herbs. (He mentioned rabbits keep getting into the first two.) My two-year-old niece Finley kept offering me her baby Goldfish crackers, then patted my broken arm and kissed it to make it "all better."

Moved inside while Rose went over the letter and the rent and called Jodie. Finley insisted on sitting next to me on the couch, but she kept trying to climb on my bad arm. Rose finally got her to cuddle me on my other side. We watched the last fifteen or so minutes of last year's animated Addams Family movie and two episodes of What's New, Scooby Doo on Netflix with Khai (who apparently is now addicted to Scooby Doo).

The verdict I'm not moving until late June-July. Jodie can't get anyone to paint until mid-June, and Rose and Craig can only help me move on weekends. I understand why they switched dates again, but I'm still disappointed. I'm off work and am already half-packed. Rose says we still need to figure out what to do with a lot of my furniture that won't fit in the new apartment, especially if Goodwill and other similar places don't reopen. We're also going to finally drop pushing Willa about the furniture. As I tried to tell her, it's pretty clear in the lease that neither she nor her family want anything to do with the contents of this apartment.

The kids were so hungry, Rose made the tacos early. Khai devoured his one taco and bowl of peas and corn. I finished my peas, corn, and two soft tacos with home-grown cherry tomatoes pretty quickly myself. Rose is a good cook, and the tacos came out very well, just the right kind of spicy.

Watched Bubble Guppies with Finley for a little while after dinner. The Bubble Guppies do fantasy again, this time dealing with a dragon terrorizing the Land of Roses. The nervous king insists that they move, but one of the girls may have a better solution.

Rose and the kids drove me home around 5:30. Spent the next hour and a half writing. Charles finds Queen Betty in Malade's gloomy rock garden, among the many people the evil queen turned into statues. Charles admonishes the queen, who is posing as a marquess, to return to the castle and prepare to find the others. She wanted to go to the stables and see her beloved horses...but first, she wants to play with her gold ball, which she keeps with her at all times. It's the only thing she has left that her dear Allen gave her. She's tossing it over the deep well when Charles stumbles into her, and she drops it to the bottom. She's in despair, before she hears a certain croaking voice offering to retrieve it...

Moved on to Sheriff Callie again while I cleaned up from earlier. "Horseshoe Peck" doesn't think he's good at anything, until he discovers he's great at horseshoes...and then he brags and becomes a poor winner. Callie has to teach her wayward deputy that it's about how you play the game. When Peck and Toby lose "Callie's Gold Nugget," Peck has to think pretty fast to figure out how to replace it.

Finished the night online with Red Riding Hood. I go further into the last of the Cannon Movie Tales of the 1980's at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Family Fun Saturday - Red Riding Hood (1989)

Friday, May 29, 2020

Springtime Heat Wave

Began a humid, cloudy morning with breakfast and Split Second. It was a very close game between yesterday's champ and two of the women. In the end, the taller of the two women won both the regular and the Countdown round. To her surprise and mine, she chose the right board for the car on her very first try!

She wasn't the only one who won big this morning. That solo lady ran through another Gold Rush bonus round on Blockbusters, only missing one question. She had less luck with a grandmother and her teenage grandson, who beat her on the first round before the show ended.

Spent the next two hours working on drafts of that letter to Willa, then looking up letters to landlords online to get a better idea of what to write to her. I mainly need to figure out how to ask about the furniture that came with the apartment. I don't think she or Richard have any interest in them - Richard has said as much - but Rose insisted on asking. I may see if Charlie wants the wardrobes downstairs eventually.

Broke for lunch around 1. Had yogurt with blueberries and strawberries while watching Classic Concentration. A college student and a lady with 9 children made it to the bonus round today. The young man came so close to getting it, and with only 35 minutes, but he missed the last match. The lady got nervous and didn't get as close...but she did get the regular puzzle with more than half the squares still on the board!

Went for a walk after lunch. Strolled around the park first, admiring the emerald greenery and the sparkling creek. It must have been too hot and humid for most people to be out and about. I saw no one but me in the park, on the train tracks, or behind the VFW. The view there was incredible, clear enough to see all the way to the Parkview Apartment buildings, but I couldn't stay long. I heard a train choo-choo in the distance. I already had a run-in with a car. Didn't want to deal with a train, too. Thankfully, I was long inside by the time it passed through.

Took a nap when I got in. One of the things I'm hoping to do while I'm on leave is catch up on my sleep! I'm up with Lauren a lot, and I've spent a lot of the last few months chatting with her late or working very early. Slept almost two hours and felt pretty good afterwards.

Worked on writing for a while after I rolled out of bed. Sir Bert assures Charles that he has help...including Bill Cullen, who has arrived and is in the kitchen. Charles parks his horse with Clifton and tells him he wants to look for the others, assuring his friend that he will be back in time to sing the first number for the ball. He then sees what looks like Queen Betty wandering around and opts to follow her...

Broke for dinner at 6. Had leftover tuna salad with greens and tomatoes while watching the end of the Match Game Misspelling Bee. Ethel Merman got the spelling error in the first episode - she got "stomach" wrong. I think a few people had them in the second.

Sale of the Century crowned another new champion tonight. Last night's champ bought new tires he claimed he badly needed, but otherwise couldn't get anything going. He kept going back and forth with the other man, who ultimately killed everyone in the speed round. He too decided to come back and try for other prizes.

Finished the night after a shower with TV show episodes on Roku. In "Pretty Angels All In a Row" from the second season of Charlie's Angels, Kelly and Kris leap into the world of beauty contests when a pageant host in Iowa tells Charlie someone is scaring off his contestants. Sabrina and Bosley pose as reporters filming a documentary on the pageant to get the low down on who wants to win the contest that badly.

Jeannie has her own problems in the black-and-white first season of I Dream of Jeannie. Tony has just made her promise to stop helping him...right before he's kidnapped by Chinese spies who want the information he has a on a top-secret project. Unable to help him, Jeannie turns to Roger, who tries to convince Dr. Bellows of what's happened. Meanwhile, Tony has to figure out how to keep the spies at bay without Jeannie's magic.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

The Doc and the Sheriff are In

Awoke to a hot, rainy, humid morning. Ate breakfast while watching the tail end of Split Second. The woman champ from the other day met her match in the only gentleman, who ended up winning the Countdown round. He picked money in the bonus round and opted to return for the car. The solo woman finally defeated the brother-sister pair in Blockbusters. Not only did she win the 5,000 in the bonus Gold Rush round, but she made quick work of middle-aged twin cartoonist brothers right after.

Switched to cartoons after I cleaned up from breakfast. Hulu features Disney Junior kids' shows, including Doc McStuffins. In the first season episode "Blame It on the Rain," Doc's friend Alma is upset when she leaves her stuffed cow Moo Moo out in a storm and she gets soaked. Doc and her crew managed to dry out Moo Moo, but she's nervous about returning home after Alma forgot her. "Busted Boomer" is a deflated soccer ball that's scared of needles. Doc and the others help him get over his fear so he can be inflated again.

Sheriff Callie's Wild West is another favorite of mine from Disney Junior. "Callie Asks for Help" in the first season, in a story old tortoise Tio Tortuga tells about how Callie ran around so much trying to help her friends, she created - and then got stuck in - Helping Hands Canyon. "Peck's Trail Mix Mix-Up" happens when Callie's woodpecker deputy Peck thinks someone stole his trail mix...but the trail of nuts he follows turns out to have more than one surprise at the end.

Spent the next hour or so seeing if I could make the bed and change the sheets one-handed. Yes, I could. I probably should have waited until after I moved, but it's going to get too hot soon for the heavy comforter, and it already is too hot for the furry deer blanket. Not to mention, it'll be easier to move the light summer sheet set and light quilt I got from Mom last year than all those blankets, and I really wanted to wash the spring/fall set before the move.

The rain slowed enough to head out by quarter of 1, though it continued to shower enough to need an umbrella. It must have scared everyone off. I didn't see much of anyone around when I was walking to the laundromat, just a few really dedicated joggers. The rain finally stopped all together shortly before I arrived at the White Horse Pike, enough for me to dash across the street to WaWa and treat myself to a York and a sparkling Peach Perrier.

Neither WaWa nor the laundromat were busy. The only people I saw in the laundromat were two repair guys who were tearing out the walls of the office, exposing the office and adding a great deal of light to the main room. I did my laundry, went over my story notes, and ignored them and the news going on about the virus on TV.

Put everything away when I got home, then had yogurt for lunch while watching game shows. Jo Ann Worley didn't get as lucky helping the college student through her final bonus round on Super Password. Though Fannie Flagg and Dick Sargent did pick up quite a bit of money on the last question, married couples Patty Duke and John Astin and Pat and Bill Daily were the winners on Tattletales.

Worked on writing for a while after Tattletales ended. To keep Ira from trying to go after Charles and Clifton, Debralee the Water Fairy makes waves appear in the river he landed in that chase him off. Sir Bert Convy, the guard at the door, tells the men where to take their horses...and assures them that his dear old friend Gene Rayburn contacted him, and that he and his friends will help in any way they can...

Broke for dinner at 6. Since it's too hot to bake meatballs, I opted to turn my ground turkey into Italian Stove-Top Casserole. Sauteed chopped onion and minced garlic in olive oil, then added chopped green peppers, the ground turkey, tomato sauce, and dried basil, oregano, and parsley. Boiled pasta and added that, then topped it all with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Not bad. A little dry. I think I'll add chicken or vegetable stock in with the pasta next time. Had it with broccoli boiled in the leftover pasta water.

Continued with the Match Game Misspelling Bee as I ate. The first episode had Gene sporting a bright red jacket in honor of the Bicentennial in 1976 that prompted several jokes from the panel. There were a couple of things misspelled in the second, starting with Fannie's "spaghetti and pizza." One of the most infamous misspellings on the show actually turned up on the Audience Match. Whomever posts the answers for the Match somehow turned "soup" into "suop." Along with the jokes from the panel, Gene actually borrowed a marker from someone and fixed it right on the board!

Finally got to breaking up the banana sherbet from last night and pureeing it in the blender. Oh, yum. It was amazing, just the right cold, fruity sweetness. I may even increase the cocoa next time to make it even more chocolaty.

There were three new contestants tonight on Sale of the Century after last night's contestant went home with all the prizes. In the end, the one guy really only won because he hit two money cards on the Fame Game board and bought no Instant Bargains. He decided he wanted to save for a gorgeous grand piano and opted to return.

Finished the night online with The Apple. I go further into this truly bizarre disco biblical allegory at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Cult Flops - The Apple

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Flying Dreams

Began a hot morning with breakfast and Blockbusters. A young woman played a handsome young married couple. It was a close game, with neither having the advantage. The woman won the first round, only to see the couple just barely get the second. They were mid-way through the second round when the show ended.

Switched to cartoons while I did the dishes. Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood begins at school, with Dan, Katerina, and O pretending that they have to defend their castle from Prince Wednesday the Dragon. But "Daniel Wants to Be Alone" and do some drawing when they get too noisy. At home, he has to find "Daniel's Alone Space" when his family keeps interrupting his attempts to read and draw by himself.

Moved to Molly of Denali as I made my grocery list and got my cart and bag together. Molly and Tooey are excited to pick strawberries from their friend Trini's garden, but they discover that the garden is flooded. Turns out that "Busy Beavers" have built a dam at a near-by pond. They first try to remove the dam, but when the beavers rebuild it, they have to think like beavers to divert the stream from Trini's garden. Trini is hoping to earn her first Explorers badge on a night-time camp out when they go on a hike to find nocturnal animals in "The Night Watchers." Molly, Trini, and Tooey's group easily find the first two animals, but it takes more searching, and a lot of persistence from Trini, to figure out what the third animal is.

The only errand I had planned for today was a grocery store run. I was originally going to go shopping on Friday, but it's supposed to get stormy by then. I'm glad I changed my mind. The day was sunny, bright, and a little humid, not a bad day for a long walk...which may be why the Acme was pin-drop quiet. There were no lines inside or out, and I walked right into a register with no waiting. I found ground turkey with a manager's 30 % off coupon. Checking boxes in the cereal aisle revealed that Kashi had the lowest salt. I went with their tasty Cinnamon Harvest wheats. Coconut milk quarts were on sale in the breakfast food aisle, too. Grabbed blue corn chips to go with dinner tonight. Decided I'd try a bag of spring greens this time for leafy greens. Restocked strawberries, cherries, blueberries, bananas, carrots, scallions, mouthwash, parchment paper, and yogurt.

Had the yogurt with blueberries, honey, and strawberries when I got home. Watched Password Plus and Super Password while I ate and crocheted a yellow dish rag. Marcia Wallace did much better on Plus than she usually does on Match Game; Robert Foxworth joined her. Orson Bean and Jo Ann Worley celebrated with a Minnesota college student who breezed through the Super Password bonus round and won $5,000 on Super.

Tattletales started just as I pulled out a few overripe bananas. It's too hot to bake now, but I still wanted dessert. Made banana sherbet from a low-fat dessert cookbook that required bananas, yogurt, sugar, and vanilla. I replaced the rum that was also called for with a few tablespoons of cocoa. Today's winning couples were gay pals Dick Sargent and Fannie Flagg and goofy married couple John Astin and Patty Duke. (Prolific, too. Astin and Duke had five kids, three from Duke's first marriage, including MacKenzie and Sean Astin.)

I'd just put the banana sherbet into the freezer as Press Your Luck began. No one did well on the first round. The two challengers ran into Whammies and won nothing. The lady champ with the big glasses did get hit with a whammy, but she was the only one who managed to pick up money. She eventually ended up winning big in the second round, picking up two vacations and a bedroom set that put her into the show's Hall of Fame.

Worked on writing for a while after the show ended. Ira angrily tells Orson to put him down so he can get the rest of his men to the ball. Orson gleefully opts to throw him over the treetops instead. When Charles and Clifton do arrive at Password Palace with Debralee the water fairy on their heels, they find Ira sputtering in the moat. Deb sends angry water fowl after him before he can recognize the two men on horseback.

Broke for dinner at 6. Made Tex-Mex Black Bean Dip with blue corn chips while watching Match Game. The Misspelling Bee continues, along with Carol Bartos' run as champ. In fact, she became the show's all-time big-winning champ at that point in the first episode, with help from Richard Dawson and his uncanny ability to match in the Head-to-Head round. Along with Fannie, Bob Barker was the one who fully admitted he couldn't spell this time.

Carol wasn't tonight's only big winner on a Buzzr show tonight. Tim the musician champ went for all the prizes, including the big jackpot, on Sale of the Century. He won them by a wide margin. No one else got close to him, especially in the speed round. I believe he would remain the show's biggest champ during it's run, and would be the only one to win everything before the show changed to add bonus rounds.

Went online to watch The Secret of NIMH free on YouTube after a shower. Mrs. Brisby (Elizabeth Hartman) is desperately worried about her family. Her son Timothy (Ian Fried) is sick with pneumonia and can't get out of bed, but the plow will be coming through soon, and they'll have to move. On advice from local busybody Auntie Shrew (Hermoine Badderly), she visits the majestic Great Owl (John Carradine), who sends her to the rose bush near the farmhouse. The bush is the home of a society of super-intelligent rats who escaped the NIMH laboratories. Most of the rats, including their leader Nichodemus (Derek Jacobi), want to move to a safer place where they won't have to steal what they need anymore. There's a splinter faction lead by crafty Jenner (Paul Shenar) who thinks they're fine where they are and refuses to upset the rose bush. Mrs. Brisby gets caught in the middle of the intrigue when she convinces the rats to help her move her home. With the help of a magic amulet and her own good heart, she and the rats learn the importance of courage in the face of danger, and that there's no stronger love than that of a mother.

One of my favorite movies since childhood. As much as I enjoy Anastasia, An American Tail, and The Land Before Time, I consider this to be Don Bluth's strongest solo effort. The animation is lush and detailed, the characters are strong and memorable, Jerry Goldsmith's score is stunning, and the story is unusually thoughtful and mature for an animated movie. This is a must-see for families with older kids and young teens who can handle the darker themes.

Finished the night at YouTube before and after the Match Game syndicated premiere with episodes of The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. "Vanessa" (Shelley Fabares) is a beautiful young woman who bears a striking resemblance to her great-great-grandmother, a woman whom Captain Gregg once loved. Trouble is, she wants to buy the cottage, meaning the Muirs would have to leave.

Claymore proves to be more of a problem when he becomes "A Pain In the Neck" after a slipped disk leaves him unable to move. The Muirs and the Captain cater to his every fussy whim, to their annoyance. The Captain insists that Claymore wants the attention, but Carolyn thinks he's lonely and needs to be around people.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

A Glorious Day In the Neighborhood

Started off a hot, sunny morning with breakfast and Split Second. This time, there was no contest. The woman champion did have a bit of a run from the other woman, but she blasted through the speed round before the other two barely had time to answer. They seemed to have reworked the bonus round a bit as well. Instead of just picking boards and either taking the car if you get it or what you get if you don't, contestants now get money if they don't win the car. They can keep the money, or keep coming back for the car and to win more money...which the champ ultimately did.

Spent the next two and a half hours wrangling with the darn printer. It just won't hook up to the internet. I have no idea how to do it. My laptop keeps recognizing it as a different model and won't show the actual one, no matter how hard I try. I keep typing in codes on the back, and it won't recognize them. I think I might see if I can pick up a new one somewhere along the line instead of continually fighting with this one.

Finally gave up again and called the Cooper Orthopedics office. After waiting for 15 minutes or so, I told the lady on the phone about my problem with the printer and that I was hoping to e-mail the paperwork to Dr. Ramerez. Turns out, all he needed was a state ID number from the top of the paperwork and he'd easily receive it and be able to send it out.

Had a quick lunch of blueberries, yogurt, and celery with peanut butter while watching Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood at PBS Kids. Dan's excited about "The Family Camp Out" with his dad. Katerina wants to come too, but it's supposed to be for kids and dads, and she only has her mom Henrietta. Henrietta and the dads remind the kids that families come in all shapes and sizes, and that moms can be dads, too. O the Owl has a similar dilemma in "A Game Night for Everyone." The library holds a game night for moms and kids, but his mother is his uncle X. X also insists that families are different, and they have no problems joining in the fun.

Went for a long walk around the neighborhood after lunch. Summer has finally started to make its way to New Jersey. Gardens are in full bloom now, helped by the tons of rain we've had and the many people who have more time to tend to them. The trees shading the street are brilliant shades of emerald, and the sky was a deep, soft blue. No wonder there were so many people out walking dogs, kids throwing basketballs in their yards, and teens biking with their siblings.

Rested my arm for a couple of hours after I got in while crocheting a dish rag and watching shows on Buzzr. On Password Plus, Elizabeth Montgomery of Bewitched set a record by getting her contestant through the bonus Alphabetics round in a little less than 30 seconds, twice as fast as anyone else. Orson Bean and Jo Ann Worley lent their own brand of odd wit to Super Password. There were some pretty strange couples on Tattletales today, including one - Fannie Flagg and Dick Sargent - who were actually gay buddies rather than married. Ever-nervous Bill Daily and his sensible wife Pat ended up being the big winners.

Worked on writing for a while after Tattletales ended. Orson, now twice his regular size, is happily wrecking havoc in Holly Woods. Gary and Sarah help him by setting a barrel on fire, then taking longer than they should to put it out. Debralee the water fairy sends Ira into the river to keep him out of trouble before sending Clifton and Charles on their way.

Broke for dinner at 6. Had pan-fried flounder, steamed broccoli, and pasta while watching more of the Match Game Misspelling Bee. Allen Ludden, of all people, was the one who misspelled the word in an episode from that classic week in 1975 where he and his wife Betty White appeared on the same panel. The second episode turned into something of a game show crossover, with Bob Barker of The Price Is Right and Arlene Francis of What's My Line? catching a spelling mistake from Fannie.

That musician champ just keeps right on rolling through the competition on Sale of the Century. He bought a washing machine Instant Bargain, but seemed nervous during the speed round and would have tied if the other guy hadn't missed a question at the last second. Instead of taking all the prizes available, he decided to do something no one else had done before and return tomorrow for the huge cash jackpot, too.

Finished the night braving the camp lunacy of Can't Stop the Music at Amazon. I go further into one of the most notorious cult flops of all time at my Musical Dreams Musical Film Reviews blog.

Cult Flops - Can't Stop the Music

Monday, May 25, 2020

Honoring Those Who Fought for Our Country

Began Memorial Day by sleeping in. It was past 11 when I read a couple of pieces from the Colliers Harvest of Holidays anthology book. Memorial Day began as a holiday to honor Civil War soldiers, which is why all of the included material revolves around that conflict. "Light Bread and Apple Butter" is a touching short story about a young Union soldier who convinces a skeptical Confederate housewife and her children to give him a meal when he asks for it, instead of taking it. They also had several poems, including "Barbara Freichie."

Had brunch while watching Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour and Match Game. I came in just as Match Game-Hollywood Squares was on the Super Match. The regular Match Game continued in 1978 with Bob Barker, Loni Anderson, and Robert Pine. Robert showed where his son Chris got his charm by flirting with several contestants, even as Gene and Bob flirted shamelessly with Loni.

Headed out around 1. It was a decent day, partly cloudy and a little breezy but warm. Even if I couldn't do anything else for Memorial Day (and wouldn't be able to anyway because of my arm), I still wanted to may my respects to Oaklyn's fighting men and women at the Memorial Park. Surprisingly, there was no one there when I strolled over, not even people packing beer at Tonewood Brewery across the street. Someone must have come earlier; the pedestal that held the memorials was filled with red, white, and blue wreaths from the mayor and his people and several local military associations. I did a moment of silence and a silent prayer before moving on.

Since I was over there, I strolled down Goff Avenue to the boat launch at the end of the street. No one was there, either, other than a few people working on their gardens. The boat launch is steep, but it's worth walking down there for the spectacular view. If you look to your right as you come down the concrete path, you can see all the way to the Ben Franklin Bridge.

When I got home, I settled down with a simple fruit lunch and relaxed while watching more wartime shorts. Woody Woodpecker only starred in one war-related cartoon, "Ace In the Hole." He joins the Army to become a hot shot pilot, but the sergeant has him shaving horses. He really regrets what happens when Woody does get in the air. "Hysterical High Spots In American History" spoofs everything from Columbus discovering America to the then-recent peacetime draft.

Two of their one-off shorts spoofs that 1940 peacetime draft. "21 Dollars a Day (Once a Month)" depicts a toy army performing the title song, with cameos by Woody and Andy Panda. "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B" shows what happens when a popular jazz musician ends up in the military and really gets his barracks hopping with his swinging wake-up call. The African-American stereotypes fly thick and fast here, but this is also one of the only cartoons I know of to depict minorities in the military. "Pigeon Patrol" is the more typical story of a country bumpkin bird who takes over flying important papers to military brass and defeats a Japanese vulture in the process.

Donald Duck also joined the Army in a series of shorts made between 1942 and 1944. Like Woody, he'd hoped to get into the air, but Sergeant Pete has no such plans. He makes Donald stand at attention on an ant hill in "Donald Gets Drafted" and tried to get him to parachute out of a plane in "Sky Trooper." Donald gets Pete back in "The Vanishing Private" when he discovers an invisibility paint and leads Pete on a frantic chase all over the base looking for "the little man you can't see." Pete in turn tries catching an AWOL Donald in the act in "The Old Army Game," but the "old shell game" almost turns deadly for Donald when he thinks he's lost his other half.

"Fall Out, Fall In" has Donald having trouble putting up his tent, then sleeping when his fellow soldiers' snoring keeps him awake. Huey, Dewey, and Louie make their only appearances in a wartime short in "Home Defense." Donald takes their stripes when they play a joke on him when they're supposed to be spotting airplanes...but the joke is on him when he mistakes a bee for a plane. He takes on the Japanese in "Commando Duck" and proceeds to, wash...out the enemy.

By far the most famous of the Disney wartime shorts is "Der Fuehrer's Face." This unique short uses surreal images and more caricatures to depict Donald's nightmare about slowly going crazy under the brutal Nazi regime. This won an Oscar for best short in 1943; it did show up occasionally on The Disney Channel when I was a kid, usually on a nighttime show like Mousterpiece Theater where the context could be explained.

Mickey Mouse didn't figure heavily into Disney's World War II shorts, but he did do a short in 1929 that spoofed the previous war, "The Barnyard Battle." Despite his skinny rubber-hose physique, Mickey manages to taken on an entire army of Hun cats one-pawed.  Skipping ahead 50 years, The Pink Panther ends up in Vietnam without a clue in "G.I Pink." He annoys his superior officer so much, he eventually sends him to the Navy!

Worked on writing for a while after Pink ended. I redid the sequence with Charles going to the ball. He's now accompanied by town crier and real-life R&B musician Clifton Davies. As the two pass through Holly Woods, they notice smoke and hear screaming. Turns out there's a troll on the warpath...and Charles knows who he is...

Broke for Tuscan Tuna Bean Salad on a bed of spinach for dinner around 6. Watched more Match Game while I ate. The theme for this week is "misspelled words, either on panelists' cards or the Audience Match board." Brett, Charles, and Anson Williams all spelled "Coconuts" wrong, and I think Fannie (who's dyslexic) may have gotten something wrong, too.

Went for another stroll down the block after work. This time, I just made a quick stop on West Clinton. Phillies Yummies opened on Friday. They're the local ice cream shop, and like most small outdoor ice cream shops, only do take-out business and have outdoor dining. I limited my treat to what my arm could handle, a small cone piled with swirled vanilla and chocolate soft-serve ice cream. Enjoyed my sweet treat as I strolled home.

Finished out the night with tonight's Match Game syndicated premiere on YouTube and a couple of TV shows elsewhere. Started with Charlie's Angels on The Roku Channel again. The third season episode "Angels In Springtime" have the girls investigating a posh women-only spa where a wealthy former stage star just died in an electrical accident in a Jacuzzi. Sabrina poses as a dietitian, Kris as an aerobics instructor, and Kelly as a guest to find out whether the accident was actually murder and what the killer was after.

Hulu currently has all 11 seasons of MASH. I figured there could be no better show to watch on Memorial Day. Went straight down the middle with an episode from season 5, "The Nurses." The nurses are frequently at odds with head nurse Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan (Loretta Swit), especially Nurse Baker. When Baker wants to spend a night with her new husband, Hawkeye, Radar, and Hunnicut arrange to have them use Hot Lips' tent by claiming there's a sick man who needs it. Hot Lips isn't happy at first, but she and her nurses come to understand why she's so strict with them.

And I salute all real-life soldiers and medical personnel, men and women, who fought and died for our country on this Memorial Day.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

All American Weekend

Began the morning with Banana Oatmeal Pancakes and my Rainbow Brite kids' album to cheer up the blah weather. There's some surprisingly good songs here; my personal favorite is Rainbow's insanely catchy country-flavored ode to her flying horse, "Starlight-Rainbow Brite." The opening "There's a Rainbow In Your Heart" also isn't bad, and Rainbow's fuzzy buddy Twink gets the Irish-inspired "In the Twink of an Eye."

Spent the next few hours wrangling with the computer. I did get the ink, and it went in fine. After just wouldn't print. The laptop kept coming up with the wrong model, no matter how much I tried to change it or make it come up right. I kept entering numbers to get it synced with my internet, and it wouldn't take any of the numbers. It printed the diagnostics fine, so it wasn't the printer itself. The printer is a decade old, and has never synced well with any laptop I've had in that time.

Finally gave up on it around 1:30. Had yogurt with blueberries and strawberries for lunch while listening to another kids' album. Yankee Doodle Mickey is a patriotic Disney release from the early 80's. Like with the Rainbow Brite album, there's a few gems. The Disneyland Glee Club does a rousing "Liberty Tree" from their movie version of Johnny Tremain. A very young Molly Ringwald gets "God Bless America" and "This Is My Country." My favorite here is the Armed Services Medley, with Mickey singing for the Air Force and the Marines, Goofy for the Army, and of course, Donald for the Navy.

Cleaned up while starting my other patriotic album. America the Beautiful is a 2-Disc set released in 1986 in time for the remodeling and 100th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty. I remember it being a huge deal that year. They broadcast the reopening on the networks and everything. I listened to the first disc, which was the only one to feature some vocal music. Along with the title song, we heard "This Land Is Your Land" and Kate Smith's famous version of "God Bless America."

Went for a walk to WaWa after I finished the dishes. It suddenly got too nice to be inside. The clouds from this morning vanished by noon, becoming a gorgeous, warm day. I wasn't surprised to see lots of people out and about, from kids throwing balls in yards to families on bikes to young couples out walking their dogs.

WaWa was as busy as it's currently allowed to be. I decided to treat myself to a Peach Banana Smoothie. Drank it on the way home as I passed people working in their gardens and mowing lawns that had suddenly grown long again after the rain we had this weekend.

Took a nap when I got home. Lauren's been on shorter hours at work, and I've been up late with her for at least the past two weeks. Not to mention, I've just had a long couple of months, up to and including the broken elbow. One of the things I'm very much looking forward to doing in the next six weeks is catching up on my sleep!

It was past 5:15 by the time I rolled out of bed. No matter. Still got some writing in. Charles asks the head of the group of musicians, Jon "Bowzer" Bauman, if he'd mind having another performer. Not at all, says Jon. They'll even cover for Charles when he helps the others rescue Brett, Bill the Wolf, and Brett's sons from the dungeon basement.

Moved onto the rest of America the Beautiful as I had leftover chili for dinner. There's some classic material on these discs, which is why I always listen to at least the first record on every patriotic American holiday. Side 2 of disc 1 features The Grand Canyon Suite and a live medley of George M. Cohan songs you can clearly hear the audience singing along with. "American Patrol" kicks off disc 2, while side 2 boasts the theme songs of the various branches of the Armed Services, including "Anchors Aweigh" for the Navy and "The Army Air Corps Song" for the Air Force.

Finished the night online with Now You See It at Buzzr after tonight's Match Game premiere on YouTube. The blonde lady champ had no problems beating out two other women and getting to the final round...but that final round always seemed to make her too nervous. The most she won off the final round was 700 dollars.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Accentuate the Positive

Awoke around 7:30 to a massive thunderstorm! Lightning flashed behind the trees, and rain poured down my windows. I rushed out to close the window overlooking the park, then went right back to sleep, soothed off to dreamland for another couple of hours by the patter of rain on the roof.

By the time I did roll out of bed, the rain was long gone, replaced by humidity and clouds. Started my morning with breakfast and something different on Hulu. Sheriff Callie's Wild West is a Disney Junior show about a calico cat who is the law in the little town of Nice and Friendly Corners, where most folks are just that...but occasional mishaps do occur. In "Stagecoach Stand-Ins," Callie's deputies Peck (a woodpecker) and Toby (a talking cactus) are supposed to be taking a load of gold to near-by Riverton...but to do so, they have to drive across Spooky Prairie. The stories of bandits on the plains have their imaginations working triple-time...and now they're convinced that there might be a desperado in that cloud of dust who wants their gold!

Uncle Bun, the owner of the general store, gets the Miner Pig brothers into a "Gold Mine Mix-Up" when he tells Dusty that his brother Dirty Dan says there's gold in Tricky Mine. He wasn't listening to Dan; there's really no gold in the mine. He, Callie, Toby, and Peck have to go rescue the brothers themselves.

Switched to Split Second after the show ended. The contestant on the end of the first episode took a vacation instead of the car, so three new contestants played in the second. Once again, the two women were neck and neck for most of the show, but one managed to pull ahead and win in the speed round. This time, the lady opted to return and try again for the car instead of going for the vacation.

Spent the rest of the morning running wartime animated shorts put out by Paramount's Famous Studios. The Fleischer brothers put Popeye into the war two months before the US officially entered it, in "The Mighty Navy." "Blunder Below" and "Fleets of Strength" make it more clear who he's fighting as he takes on a Japanese submarine in the first and an entire fleet of planes in the second. His only go-around with the Nazis had him trying to deliver "Spinach Fer Britain" while avoiding enemy submarines. He and Bluto competed to see who could build ships faster in "A Hull of a Mess," and he got Bluto to admit he's not "Too Weak for Work" when he poses as a nurse.

Most of Popeye's wartime vehicles were really more playing on the triangle between him, Bluto, and Olive. "Kicking the Konga Around" and "Aloma of the South Seas" are variations on them wooing Olive in an exotic setting. They discover that "Olive Oyl and Water Don't Mix" when leading Olive around their battle cruiser leads to explosive results. Popeye's not saying "Many Tanks" when Army officer Bluto switches his uniform for Navy sailor Popeye's in order to get a date with Olive. Popeye steals a tank to get to her, and ends up inadvertently leading half the Army along with him! Swee' Pea gets in on the Naval antics too in "Baby Wants a Battleship." Popeye has to chase the little fellow when he becomes fascinated with the huge ship he's serving on.

Popeye wasn't the only Fleischers/Famous Studios character to fight the Axis. Given the tenor of the comic books of the time, it was probably inevitable that Superman would take on more than his fair share of wartime villains as well. He rescues Lois from a massive bomber that has been hijacked by "Japoteurs." "The Eleventh Hour" has some marvelous, shadowy animation and a mature story about Superman sabotaging Japanese planes while he and Lois are interred in Tokyo. He rescues Lois from Nazis using Natives and their tribal statues to down planes in "Jungle Drums." In "Secret Agent," he helps a woman spy avoid the ring she had infiltrated and get her crucial information to Washington.

Did as much packing as I could one-armed while the Popeye shorts ran. The rest of the coffee-table books (except for Match Game 101) went into a suitcase for easier handling. All the art supplies and stationary items I won't need in the next month went in one box. Most of the rock records fit in the large floral box I managed to snare from work. CDs went in a couple of smaller boxes, including a shoe box. The linens that were in the suitcase went into plastic bags.

Moved on to lunch by the time Superman was on. Opted for Banana Muffins and strawberries before heading out for a short walk in the park. It's so lush and green out there, especially after a major storm. That wonderful washed scent from yesterday lingered. I continued down the road, going a block before turning back. Surprisingly, the only other person I saw was a shirtless man doing several laps around the park and one guy working on his garden. I guess everyone was either out elsewhere or with their kids.

After I came in, I propped up my arm and worked on hand-written drafts of that moving notice to Willa on my bed for an hour. The hardest part is asking about all the furniture the apartment came with. She claims the apartment was unfurnished, and Richard has said at least twice that they have no interest in anything that was in the apartment before they bought it, but Rose wants me to ask them about it anyway.

Worked on writing for a while after I finished. Queen Betty rallies the others to prepare a plan of attack for getting into the ball. Gene tells Charles about some...unusual...musician friends of his who'll get him into the castle. The "unusual musician friends" turn out to be Jon "Bowzer" Bauman and Sha-Na-Na, who drive the only fairy-tale carriage with tail fins and are willing to take in Charles as part of their group playing at the ball.

Broke for chili and spinach for dinner around 6. Watched Here Comes the Waves while I ate. I go further into this vehicle for Bing Crosby and a times-two Betty Hutton at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Happy Memorial Day! - Here Comes the Waves

Finished the night with more cartoons online. Disney Plus has all four seasons of The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. I went with the fourth episode from the first season. "There's No Camp Like Home" has Pooh, Tigger, and Piglet encountering a family of friendly Heffalumps when Tigger steals the wood from their cabin home to build a fire. The Heffalumps and the 100 Acre Woods residents keep scaring one another, until they all have to work together to rescue Piglet and the Heffalumps' son from being stuck in a tree. Rabbit joins in for "Balloonatics." Pooh borrows a balloon from Christopher Robin; when the others want to use it too and it ends up deflating, they have to explain how it got broken.

Went to The Roku Channel for the 2003 Strawberry Shortcake. Peppermint Fizz learns that you "Win Some, Lose Some" when she takes part in the kids' big games day in order to win Strawberry's garden. She thinks there's something in the soil that allows Strawberry's fruit to grow better than her peppermint herbs and cheats in order to get it. Strawberry and her toddler sister Apple Dumplin' eventually teach Peppermint Fizz that it's not winning or losing that matters, but how we play the game...and playing it with our whole heart.

Free streaming service Tubi now has all three seasons of Jem and the Holograms. A major publisher wants Jem and her girls to appear in "The Rock Fashion Book." As usual, the Misfits are jealous and try first to make their own, then to sabotage Jem's book. When that doesn't work, Pizzazz gets her rich businessman father to buy the book, so they can push the Holograms least until he finds out about his daughter's earlier acts of sabotage.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Walking In the Rain

Slept in again and began a cloudy morning with breakfast, then did some baking. I read that oatmeal is one of the foods that's good for high blood pressure. Baked them into a cookie recipe from the Pillsbury cookie cookbook Anny gave me a couple of years ago. The recipe actually called for raisins as well, but I had none. The first batch was a little too brown, but the second was perfect, chewy and just sweet enough.

Every year around Memorial Day Weekend and Veteran's Day, I always watch war-related shorts and cartoons to honor our fighting men and women in the Armed Services. Started it off with Disc 2 of Looney Tunes Gold Collection Vol. 6, a showcase of Warners wartime cartoons. Ironically, "Herr Meets Hare" was the second-to-last wartime short as Bugs bedevils Nazi Minister Goring months before V-E Day. Daffy also went up against the Nazis in "Daffy the Commando" from 1943.

More common were shorts that revolved around one-off characters, like "The Draft Horse" who desperately wants to join the army, or the Gremlins from the Kremlin trying to down Hitler's plane in "Russian Rhapsody." There were also shorts that were a series of skits depicting life on the homefront or in the barracks. I loved the woman mechanic who fixed a giant machine with one bobby pin in "Weakly Reader" and all the doggy celebrity caricatures, from Bing Crosby to Laurel & Hardy, in "Hollywood Canine Canteen." Two shorts, "The Ducknators" and "Fifth Collumn Mouse," were allegories on how the US got into the war...and how we intended to end it.

My favorite Looney Tunes wartime shorts featured Daffy and Bugs and turned up on the third Looney Tunes Gold Collection. Bugs spoofs the Golden Age of Superheroes when he eats carrots that give him fantastic powers! He goes up against a rabbit-hating cowboy and his horse, but when push comes to shove, he turns into a true hero - a Marines officer. Daffy dodges that persistent Little Man from the Draft Board in "Draftee Daffy." For once, Bugs goes up against an antagonist who gives as good as they get in Falling Hare, a gremlin he catches sabotaging planes. This little fellow is no pushover and does everything he can to get Bugs off the plane, including sending it into freefall!

By the time I grabbed yogurt with blueberries and a banana for lunch, the clouds had burst. No matter. I saw kids in the park earlier under umbrellas. If kids could go for a stroll under umbrellas, I could, too. I got lucky. The rain was slowing, even as I walked out the door. It never vanished completely, but it wasn't heavy enough to do anything besides make me a little damp, either. It smelled rather pleasant, like fresh-dug earth or clothes out of the dryer. Everything is so bright and beautiful. The leaves are big and green; the irises are velvety purple and gold. I went by Rose's house, but didn't see anyone and assumed they were all working in the back.

Settled down to relax for a while after I got in, watching Super Password, Tattletales, and Press Your Luck...but I didn't really do much relaxing. Figured I'd better call Mom and tell her what was going on. She wasn't happy that I didn't call the police about the car accident. I figured it would just make things worse. The lady was upset enough, the car and bike were fine, and I didn't realize I was hurt at the time. I just wanted to take my spilled cherries and go home. Speaking of home, Mom is still off of work at the Cape May-Lewes Ferry. They haven't been anywhere near full capacity since all this started. She says she's hoping they'll start sending out more ships this weekend.

Rose called me about 20 minutes after Mom did. She handled my getting hurt a lot better than I thought she would (and certainly better than Mom did). Her main concern was my not being able to move. I'll see what I can do about packing things one-handed. Some things may have to wait to be packed until next month. She wants me to to write the letter giving Willa 30 days notice next week. She also fussed about my not calling her for a ride to Audubon or Cherry Hill after I hurt myself. I figured the fewer people involved in this, the better, especially with everything going on right now.

Finally got to writing after Press Your Luck ended. Jo Ann (Pflug) creates an equally lovely purple gown for Elaine, to the delight of her and Bobby. Queen Betty doesn't care as much about fancy gowns. She wants to give the others their assignments for the ball, so that the evil Queen Malade doesn't find out what they're up to...

Broke for chili-stuffed mini-peppers and spinach salad at 6:30. Match Game had Richard Dawson showing off his own sequined patch on his shirt in tribute to Fannie Flagg's famous sequined sweaters and blouses. The musician champ continued his run on Sale of the Century, buying a grill and recording equipment and still leaving everyone in the dust during the speed round. Despite his seeming interest in a Virgin Islands vacation, he still opted to come back for the car.

Finished the night with a couple of TV episodes on streaming. The first three seasons of Charlie's Angels can currently be found for free on the Roku Channel. In the first season episode "Night of the Strangler," someone is using clown rag dolls to strangle models. His first victim bears a striking resemblance to Kelly (Jacklyn Smith), who immediately gets herself hired by the philandering photographer (Richard Mulligan) who had an affair with her. Jill (Farrah Fawcett) follows his smarmy partner, while Sabrina (Kate Jackson) deals with the fussy backdrop designer.

Hulu has a nice collection of vintage CBS and NBC shows, going as far back as I Love Lucy. One of the show's more famous episode was also their only flat-out musical, "Lucy Goes to Scotland" from season 5. After seeing Brigadoon, Lucy wants to go to Scotland to find her MacGillicuddy relatives, but Ricky forbids it. She dreams that she does go to Scotland...and learns that the people in her family's home village have been sacrificing MacGillicuddies to a quarrelsome two-headed dragon (a hilarious Fred and Ethel). She's hoping that a familiar Scottish-Irish lad (Ricky) will help save her, but he seems oddly reluctant to help out.

Lucy's not the only one who dreams of far-off places and other times. In "The Medicine Ball," from the first season of The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, Carolyn Muir comes down with a strange illness. Not trusting the young, inexperienced doctor, the Captain gives her his own brew. She dreams she's at a lavish ball in his time period. Claymore and the rest of her family can't see her...but he can, and he can give her his fondest dream and dance with her.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

The Warmth of Springtime

Began a sunny, breezy morning with breakfast and Split Second. Three new contestants graced the stage today after yesterday's champ apparently opted to take a vacation instead of trying for the car. It was another neck-and-neck battle, mostly between the two women. In the end, the lady who won also decided she'd rather go to Miami than try for the car again.

Spent the next few hours trying to sign up for temporary disability money. You'd think the state of New Jersey would have learned to make this easier after all the trouble people have had over the last few months with unemployment. It took me 20 minutes just to find where the application was...and then, after I applied, they told me I had to print out the application and give it to my doctor to approve of! My printer has been acting weird ever since I got it. It never wanted to sync up with my old laptop. Ironically, it synced with my new laptop just fine, but was now almost completely out of ink. I ordered ink from Amazon and decided I'd try again on Saturday (when the ink is supposed to come) or Tuesday.

It was nearly 1:30 when I broke for lunch. Watched two Good Eats: Reloaded episodes while enjoying oranges and banana muffins. Alton originally worked with ground beef in "A Grind Is a Terrible Thing to Waste"...but while I like his idea of frying his burgers instead of baking them, there's still no way I'd do it. His meatloaf is closer to my style, sans some of the hotter peppers. (Incidentally, I only use ground poultry. People complain that ground turkey is too dry, but it and moister ground chicken can be equally tasty as meatloaf, burgers, and in casseroles. Pork gives me indigestion, and beef is bad for you and makes a mess when you cook it.)

As a fellow southerner, "True Grits" is closer to my heart and palate. I love grits and sometimes buy containers at the Acme when they're on sale. I've never tried the Italian cornmeal polenta, though I may have to try it after this episode.

Headed out around 2:30-quarter of 3 to get my laundry done. I really didn't have very much, but I wanted to test a few things. First of all, I did want to clean the last work clothes I'll need for a while. I also wanted to see how doing the laundry one-handed worked out and test the cart I bought years ago for hauling items during walks in the neighborhood.

The walk went very well, even though I ultimately found it to be easier to pull the cart behind me instead of pushing it. Though the laundromat wasn't too busy when I arrived, I still went across the street after the clothes were in the washer to treat myself to a strawberry-banana smoothie from WaWa. It was too nice to be inside the entire time! The sun was out, the sky was a searing blue, and it had risen to the lower 80's despite the gusty winds. WaWa was a little busy with people picking up treats as they went for their daily walks or on their way home from work, but far from overwhelming.

The laundromat was busy when I came back in. I stood outside to finish my smoothie, and it was still busy when I came in. I guess it's gotten too hot for most people to sit in their cars while the laundry is in the washer. I worked on story notes and tried to stay away from people as much as possible.

Did some writing when I got home. Joyce makes Fannie look like a princess in a blue and green ball gown and crystal (not breakable glass) slippers. Richard is enchanted by her and wants to be her escort, but she heads him off. Jo Ann creates an equally lovely purple gown for Elaine.

Tried something different for dinner tonight. I had half of a bag of small sweet red and yellow peppers and a container of leftover chili in the fridge. I was originally going to fill the peppers with cheese and bake them...but why not fill them with chili and cheese? The result was amazing, sweet and savory and slightly spicy all at once. I think I'll do it again tomorrow and get rid of the last of the mini-peppers.

Buck Owens and Gloria DeHaven finished their run on Match Game by helping to break a tie after two episodes. The musician champ continued his run on Sale of the Century. A college student got ahead of him at first, but he jumped ahead by the half-way point and blasted through the speed round. Once again, he opted to return and try for a vacation to the Bahamas.

Finished the night after a shower with The Gang's All Here. I go into the last musical vehicle for Alice Faye, featuring surreal numbers by none other than Busby Berkeley, at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

The Gang's All Here

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

The Verdict Is

Slept in this morning. Buzzr was on The Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour by the time I got to breakfast. Michael Winslow, the noise-making comedian from the Police Academy movies, really livened up this week. Gene could never quite figure out what those strange sounds were behind his back!

I did what packing I could with one arm while the 70's Match Game ran. Most of the boxes I have here are too small for the books, pans, and DVDs I have left to pack. Two narrow boxes proved to be appropriate for my high school yearbooks and a trio of scrapbooks I haven't looked at in a while. One was dried flowers, menus, and other assorted paraphernalia from a trip to Montana in 1995. A narrower scrapbook held all of my articles from high school and college newspapers. The third held articles and photos of Remember WENN (and my attempts to save it) and the re-releases of the original Star Wars movies in 1997.

Came out for a quick yogurt and fruit lunch as Classic Concentration was in full swing. A young woman from Boston (with the accent to prove it) did very well at the main rounds, winning a computer and a trip to Spain, among other prizes. She just could not figure out the bonus rounds. Even with almost a full minutes, she wasn't able to match enough spaces for a car.

Called Uber during the second show. Turns out the Cooper Orthopedics building in Cherry Hill was directly behind the Crowne Plaza Hotel just off the Cooper River Bridge. The big, hearty gentleman picked me up around 2, driving me down the Black Horse Pike and through Pennsauken to Route 70.

(I might have to ride down to the Pennsauken side of Cooper River Park sometime once my elbow heals. It was really lovely there, with the elegant park row house, memorials, and lots of people running around, jogging, or bike riding.)

Neither the traffic nor the ride were as bad as I figured they would be. The car pulled in around 2:15, an hour before my appointment. To pass time and get some exercise, I went for a walk around the building. The large brick building was an X-shape, and while not huge, the exterior was clean and a pretty good size. I saw a well-kept outdoor dining area; it was empty, not surprising given it was well past lunch.

Finally opted to just go to my appointment early. On entry, the sweet nurse at the door took my temperature (a normal 96.8) and basically asked if I had any of the virus symptoms. Unless you count the usual pollen and dust-based sneezes, I did not. She pointed me in the direction of the elevators, which I took after a quick stop at a spotless bathroom. In fact, the entire building was very spotless and very modern, with lots of chrome, plastic, and curved lines.

As soon as I came in, the lady on duty gave me a few things to sign. The nurse had to wait for me to finish, but as it turned out, she and the doctor were able to see me early. No wonder. I saw maybe three people in the building who weren't working there. It was pin-drop quiet. There wasn't even anyone in the waiting room.

The nurse revealed why everything was so new and clean when she took my vital signs and I told her about my impending move. Turns out they just moved, too. The building only opened two weeks ago. I explained to her what happened with the car accident and my arm before she went off to get the doctor.

Dr. Ramerez turned out to be a young fellow, probably no more than early 30's, and very pleasant. He showed me the x-rays e-mailed from Cooper Urgent Care. Yes, my elbow was fractured, but it wasn't a bad break. I'd wouldn't need anything more than the bandages and sling Urgent Care gave me, but I would need the six weeks off from work to recover. I'll be seeing him again to check it out in two weeks. I picked up the note from him for work before I headed out.

Since I had the note, I took Uber to the Audubon Acme so I could deliver it as quickly as possible. They once again weren't busy, with no lines inside or out. Probably a good thing. Display items around the store had been moved in the back or to the side, likely in order for the floor to be polished tonight. I turned the paper over to a manager, then bought some more bananas, a green pepper, cherry tomatoes, a small bottle of hand sanitizer, and a buy one, get one deal for large Acme-brand band-aids.

I checked my phone after I got out of work. Turns out Rose tried to call earlier while I was just getting out of my appointment. Tried to call her as soon as I got in, but I ended up leaving a message. Jodie called me while I made bacon spinach salad for dinner. I told her everything that happened today, including what the doctor related at Cooper Orthopedics. I assured her that I'd try calling Rose again tomorrow and would sign for unemployment first thing tomorrow morning.

Watched the evening Match Game episodes while eating dinner. Giggly Judy Landers of the detective show Vega$ proved to be better at matching than one might think in the first episodes from 1978. The second hour of episodes jumped back to 1975. Buck Owens proved too laid-back for the show and didn't seem terribly interested in the proceedings. Gloria DeHaven was more game and did a little better.

At one point, one contestant got a difficult question about why Tarzan wouldn't wear a white loincloth. She and the panel had such a hard time answering the question, they turned to the writers backstage to find out what the definitive answers were. Among the answers were "virgins." When Gene jokingly said "will all the virgins stand up?", the entire back tier got to their feet! (I know Brett and Gary had kids, and I'm pretty sure Buck probably did.)

Settled down to crochet a new dishrag while watching Sale of the Century. The musician champ got a run for his bargains by the other gentleman, who just barely lost to him in the speed round. He likely wouldn't have won at all if he hadn't gotten 25 dollars from the Fame Game board. He opted to come back again and try for a Caribbean cruise instead of the sapphire bracelet.

Finished the night watching The Adventures of Buckaroo Bonzai Across the 8th Dimension on Pluto TV's on demand service. Bonzai (Peter Weller) is, among other things, a musician, physicist, and pilot who has just created a device that can pass through solid matter. It would seem the device can also transfer from one dimension to another. On his first test drive, he picks up  goo and what seems to be a small alien. Turns out there's a whole lot more where that came from. He and his rock band and adventurer buddies The Hong Kong Cavaliers discover that the insane Dr. Emilio Lizardo (John Lithgow) once crossed into the dimension as well, and now is involved with a race of beings who want to create an explosion in Russia that would start World War III! It's up to Bonzai, his friends, and lovely Penny Priddy (Ellen Barkin) to save the world from this very peculiar alien menace.

When you have John Lithgow, Christopher Lloyd (as an alien), Jeff Goldblum (as one of the Cavaliers), Dan Hedaya, Vincent Schiavelli, and Ellen Barkin in the same movie, you know it's going to be weird for the ages. Apparently, neither critics nor audiences knew what to make of it in 1984, and it wound up being a fair-sized flop. I thought it was hilarious, with a great cast making the most of the truly bizarre material. If you love the cast, 80's adventures, or are willing to take a chance on a really odd sci-fi comedy, give this one a try.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Spring Winds In the Neighborhood

Began the morning with breakfast and Split Second. Monty introduced three new contestants today, after yesterday's champ finally won the car. One of the women was clearly ahead the entire time and breezed through the speed round. She opted to return after she failed to get turn up the car in the bonus round. Blockbusters featured a solo woman bookshop worker and a brother-sister team. The woman won the first round, but the brother-sister got the second. They were half-way through the tie breaker when they ended.

Returned to cleaning after I ate. The kitchen desperately needed to be scrubbed, especially the stove and around the sink. It goes without saying that I've eaten at home a lot in the last month and a half. While I understand the importance of helping the economy, I'd rather save my money for other things besides restaurant delivery. I've mentioned the difficulty most delivery people have finding this place, too.

Watched Footlight Parade while cleaning. I go into more detail on this early 30's spectacle with Busby Berkeley choreography and James Cagney dancing at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Footlight Parade

Switched to PBS and the most recent episode of Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood as I ate lunch. Daniel wants to do a move that's as cool as Miss Elainia's cartwheel when the wheel at the county fair turns up "trick." It's Elainia's father Music Man Stan who finally insists that "Daniel Does It His Own Way" and find a trick that's his alone. Jodie keeps imitating Elainia when she and Dan visit her, to her annoyance. She finally discovers that "You Have Your Own Way," and you don't have to imitate anyone else.

Went out for a walk after lunch. It was a gorgeous day for it. Sunny and warm, but not killer hot. The gusty wind blew me down Manor as I strolled past rose bushes bursting with shell pink, magenta, scarlet, and creamy yellow blooms and spicy-scented, velvety purple irises. Children rode past on their bikes; their parents and older siblings went for their own strolls.

Since I was out, I thought I'd go check out the progress on my new apartment on Hillcrest. At least, as well as I could. They're finally working on the ancient rode and sidewalk down there, and took out the trees in front of Dad and Jodie's house doing it. I could still only see through the one window, and the bedroom remained the same peach color. There don't seem to be too many other windows. The ones in the back were up too high to peek through, the ones on the side were too small to peek through, and the ones next to the front door were too dirty to see anything.

Switched to vacuuming when I got home, which I could easily do one-handed. Turned to YouTube for Strawberry Shortcake's Housewarming Surprise while I worked. I'm not the only one getting ready to move. In this original 80's special, Strawberry is also preparing to move into a much larger home. To celebrate her move, the other residents of Strawberryland invite the friends from other lands she made on a trip around the globe. They each bring one of the recipes from their own homes as a housewarming gift. The Peculiar Purple Pieman and his partner Sour Grapes will do anything to get the basket of recipes, including grab it with English twins Lem and Ada hiding inside!

Rested with Super Password and Tattletales after I finished with the vacuum. Tried writing for a while after the shows. I thought it would be easier on my arm to write in the living room, but I just couldn't get comfortable. If I sat on the couch, I couldn't get my laptop close enough to see the writing or find a place for my mouse. If I sat at the coffee table, I couldn't find a place for my legs.

In one way or another, I did manage to do some writing. The ladies are impressed with Bobby and Richard's fine new outfits and want their own new gowns. Fannie insists she still can't go to the ball, but Gene says they'll need her to identify her contact who'll lead them to the basements to rescue the others. Joyce the nature fairy claims she'll be able to make her an absolutely gorgeous gown that will make her the talk of the town...and unrecognizable to her stepmother...

Jodie called while I worked. One of the neighbors saw me poking around at the apartment today. She says the bedroom will eventually be painted gray. I'm not the only one who cleaned the kitchen today, either. She said she scrubbed the stove and the refrigerator earlier (the latter of which Dana had apparently left very dirty).

Broke at 6 for dinner. Ate scrambled eggs with cheese, spinach, and mushrooms and turkey bacon while watching Match Game. Bert Convy and Mary Ann Mobley finished out their run in the first episode. The second brought in Avery Schreiber of the bushy hair and mustache and Patti Deutsch of the unique answers as Gary Burghoff gave one of Brett's wigs a try in the opening.

Rested and enjoyed Sale of the Century after dinner. Though a woman tried hard, neither of the newcomers could get past the musician champ from yesterday. He retained his lead for most of the episode (even after buying a pair of folding bikes) and blasted through the speed round. In the end, he opted to return another day to try for a fancy stereo system.

Finished the night with The Prince and the Pauper on Disney Plus. This 1962 adaptation of the Mark Twain historical novella was originally shown in three parts on Disney's Wonderful World of Color, but is usually seen as one film today. Sean Scully plays both the young Prince Edward, the son of Henry the Eighth, and his impoverished double David Canty, who learn a lesson in how the other half lives when they switch places for the day. Guy Williams, Zorro himself, was the swashbuckling rogue who helps restore Edward to his rightful throne. It's fairly lavish for a TV movie, apparently using the same split-screen techniques that worked out so well in The Parent Trap. If you love swashbucklers or remember the Wonderful World of Color broadcasts, you'll want to give this one a look.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Winds of Adventure

Began a cloudy, windy day with breakfast and Split Second. The woman champ had some tough competition from a female car engineer and a magic enthusiast. By the time the show ended, she and the other woman were neck and neck. No one pulled ahead in the speed round...until she managed to answer three questions on one go! Since she was on her fifth day as a champion, she won the beautiful red car outright, without having to turn boards

As soon as I finished eating, I went in my bedroom and went through papers, looking for the name of the doctor I went to in January. Didn't find them, but I did unearth very old tax documents going back to 2007 and all of the paperwork from when I hurt my ankle in 2012, along with every bill I ever got from Mrs. Stahl.

I'd no sooner given up and was looking up her name online when Cooper Urgent Care called. It took a few minutes, but we eventually scheduled me for a 3 PM appointment on Wednesday at the offices on Route 70 in Cherry Hill. They originally suggested Voorhees, but the Uber ride will cost less going to Cherry Hill.

Went for a walk after I got off with them. The weather was cool, cloudy, and quite windy, but that didn't stop parents and children from jogging together, children from riding their bikes or playing catch in their yards, or people from walking their dogs. I strolled down Goff to check out the view over the creek to the Ben Franklin Bridge, then went down Ridgeway and back around to Kendall.

One of the mayor's recent emergency comm phone calls mentioned some small, distant services being held at a new "Memorial Park" for Memorial Day. The "memorial park" was a dusty block of some greenery that took up part of the parking lot across the street from the day care center and next-door to Tonewood Brewery. The large granite and bronze memorials to Oaklyn residents who fought in the two World Wars, Korea, and Vietnam had been moved from the Library's front lawn to a large platform surrounded by tall metal light posts. A third plaque was for the VFW's contribution to the park. Even with people loading cases of beer across the street to deliver to local families, it still felt very peaceful there.

After I got home, I had yogurt and strawberries lunch, then cleaned the bathroom as well as I could one-handed. I had no trouble with the toilet bowl or the sink, but kneeling down to scrub the bathtub proved to be more difficult. At least my big new scrub brush took care of the tiles much better than the old one did. I should have done the cleaning at least two weeks ago...but not only have I been short on time, but I've done so much cleaning at work, it's the last thing I feel like doing when I get home.

Went to Hulu for one of the Barbie specials I haven't seen in a while. Most people wouldn't think of Barbie and swashbucklers in the same breath, unless she's playing the princess. Barbie and the Three Musketeers has her taking the D'Artagnan role of Corinne, the newcomer to Paris who wants to be a Musketeer, but is more-or-less laughed off by the more experienced members of the force. It doesn't help that she has bad encounters in town with romantic poetess Araminia, sensible and mercenary Renee, and fashionable Viveca. Turns out they're maids in the palace, and after they settle their differences, they give her a home and help her find a job cleaning.

One day, as the girls are dusting the chandelier near Prince Louis, it comes crashing to the ground! Corinne finds that the rope was cut, and there's suspicious gems around that aren't broken glass. No one believes their claims that the prince's life is in danger...except elderly Helen, the oldest maid. She takes it on herself to train the girls in the art of being a musketeer and allowing them to foil the evil Regent Phillipe's plot to take over the throne.

This one, oddly, has some things in common with the Disney film of the 90's, including Tim Curry as the voice of the villain and the girls rescuing an impossibly naive prince from certain doom. It's also one of the very few Barbie movies where no magic whatsoever comes into play, and she doesn't encounter any fairies or princesses. This one is so cute, I almost wish Mattel had adapted more kid-friendly classic action to balance out their girlier early efforts.

Switched back to Buzzr for Tattletales after I finished the bathroom. Adam 12 cop Martin Milner and his wife Judy joined goofy Mitzi McCall and Charlie Brill and more glamorous southern belle Mary Ann Mobley and her laid-back husband Gary Collins. Oddly, considering they're usually pretty good at this, Charlie and Mitzi didn't get a single question right today. Long-time married couple Gary and Mary Ann (who would mostly remain together until his death in 2012) wound up winning the most money for the "banana" (yellow) section.

Spent the next few hours writing. Gene manages to whip up uniforms for Bobby and Richard that make them look worthy of being a prince and his entourage. Now the fairies have to create gowns for Queen Betty, Princess Elaine, and Fannie to not only hide them from Malade, but make them equally attractive to the members of the court...

Broke to finally make that Spinach Bacon Salad for dinner at 6. Watched Match Game as I ate. The first episode finished out Ed Asner and Trish Stewart's run, as well as the nutty male contestant Lyle's time on the show. The second jumped back a year to 1975, with Gary Burghoff replacing (and imitating) his former teacher Charles Nelson Reilly. Arlene Francis gets very hot and bothered over Gene, while Brett's more interested in the male contestant.

Sale of the Century began the run of one of the most famous contestant ever on that show, a jovial drummer and session musician. He beat the competition by a wide margin on the speed round and opted to return to try again the next day. Concentration pitted two women against one another. Ultimately, both went to the bonus round, but neither won. They were allowed to do a second bonus round to try to win some money to take home.

Finished the night on Disney Plus with The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men. Robin (Richard Todd) becomes an outlaw after his father (Clement McCallin) is killed by an arrow from one of the men who work for the new Sheriff of Nottingham (Peter Finch). He hides out in the forest with his men, including towering Little John (James Robinson Justice) and minstrel Allan-a-Dale (Elton Hayes), in Sherwood Forest. They steal from rich nobles who pass through and give some of the money to the poor of Nottingham, and save the rest to ransom King Richard from Austria. His brother John (Hubert Gregg) would rather his brother didn't come home and keeps doubling taxes. Queen Eleanor (Martitia Hunt) is more concerned about her lady-in-waiting Maid Marian (Joan Rice), who keeps sneaking out to see Robin and bring him information. She's eventually caught, which leads Robin and the others to rescue her as one of their own.

I haven't seen this one since it turned up on The Disney Channel occasionally when I was a kid. It's not the worst version of the story out there, but Rice in particular is a bit stiff, and it lacks some of the charisma and bravado of the Errol Flynn version or the authenticity and good humor of The Sword of Sherwood from a decade later. I do like the unique angle of bringing in Queen Eleanor as Marian's boss. Most retellings of Robin Hood make her a minor figure at best. It was fun to see her deal with John's simpering and figure out what Marian was up to with her sweetheart.

Sunday, May 17, 2020


I was up late with Lauren last night and tried to sleep in, but I couldn't make it past 8:30. Oh, well. Plenty of time to finish Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, write in my journal, and have a nice breakfast.

Was glad to have the time to make blueberry pancakes for breakfast, along with tea and cherries. Listened to my K-Tel albums while I ate, and throughout the day. K-Tel is a Canadian company that puts together collections of whatever songs happens to be popular at the moment and releases them for cheap. (They still release them online to this day, according to Wikipedia.)

They were at their height of popularity in the 70's and 80's, when their infomercials selling the albums were as notorious as the songs themselves. Nowadays, the K-Tel albums are a treasure trove of forgotten and barely-remembered hits, from "Makin' It" by David Naughton (from Meatballs) to "Thank You For Being a Friend" and "Devil Woman." They always make me feel energized, even when including ballads like "Sad Eyes" and "Heaven Must Have Sent You."

As soon as I got the dishes washed, I headed out. I had to bring the note from the doctor to work. At least it was a decent day for a walk. While not as sunny or warm as yesterday, it was breezier and far from cold. I passed lots of people who were also out jogging, walking dogs, or riding their bikes, enjoying the nice day before the weather turns wet later in the week.

To my surprise, the Acme wasn't busy at all when I came in. There wasn't even a line outside, and the bored bagger counting people said there had been maybe once, and it wasn't long. The manager on duty took one look at my arm in the sling and figured out what the doctor yesterday didn't - I was going to need the full week off, and probably longer. I still gave her the paper to turn over to the head manager, who had already left for the day.

Picked up a few things I hadn't gotten yesterday that I thought I might need now. Pretty well restocked vegetables yesterday, but I thought celery sticks would be good for snacks or lunch. Can't hold floss the right way anymore, so I bought a bag of floss holders. Finally broke down and bought one of the larger containers of split chicken breasts - they were just that cheap. Grabbed more yogurt for lunch this week and milk for breakfast. Shredded cheese was on a good sale - I thought it would be easier to use shredded than try shredding it myself.

On my way home, a family sitting on their stoop waved hello, and noted my busted arm. I told them I'd just turned in my papers to work...and I was actually feeling quite upbeat. I've been stressed and frustrated and annoyed at work for weeks, more than usual. If a busted arm gets me away from all that and at home like the rest of the world, so be it.

After I put everything away and had my lunch, I thought I'd try using my laptop in bed in order to elevate my arm better. It didn't work. I couldn't elevate the arm, balance my laptop, and keep my mouse from wandering into the folds of my blankets. I finally gave up and moved to the roll-top desk.

Research on local orthopedics offices revealed that most of them weren't open on Sundays. Oh well. I'll try again tomorrow morning. I'm not going to call the rest of the family until I make that appointment, either.

I'm not asking for a ride. I'll splurge and use Uber. This isn't like when I hurt my ankle in 2012 and really did need someone to drive me everywhere. I can walk just fine to get the laundry done or make quick errands. I'm also not in as bad of a place financially. Between my paychecks, the stimulus check, and my tax return, I do have some money in the bank, and my food stamps are at least twice what I spend in a month.

Even if I wanted to spend money...besides the fact that there still aren't a lot of places people can go, there isn't much I need right now. I bought most of what I needed for my birthday. I'd rather spend 30 dollars to get Hulu, Disney Plus, and Amazon Prime at home. Not to mention, I'll be moving soon and am trying to get rid of stuff, not buy more. And most of all, I'll finally have the chance to stay at home and avoid this virus, like everyone is supposed to still be doing.

Switched to fanfic work around 4:30. Joyce (Bulifant) the nature fairy gives Charles his costumes and horse back. To his surprise, the costumes are now much nicer and better-made than they were before. He has clothes he can wear to the evil Malade's ball. Gene does the same for Richard and Bobby, turning their woodmen's outfits into fine uniforms.

Broke for leftovers at 5:30. After I ate, I thought I'd try making Red Velvet Chip Cookies with that cake mix I bought on Friday. It was a revision of a simple recipe I found on Pinterest, adding two teaspoons of buttermilk to the original oil, egg, and chocolate chips. Oh yum. Deliciously sweet, tangy, and chewy.

Finished the night online exploring Disney Plus. I canceled my subscription back in late January-early February, but now that I'm bored at home, I thought I'd give it another try. Checked out a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse episode I hadn't seen before. "Mickey and Minnie's Safari" take them down the river on Cap'n Pete's boat, past the Goofy-shaped rock, around the banana tree, and down the rainbow path in order for Minnie to take a photo of the rare hula hibiscus. The hibiscus only blooms once a year, so the gang has to hurry...and of course, ask for help from Toodles in getting around the obstacles they find on the way.

Last week, Buzzr swapped Body Language with the mid-70's game show Now You See It. This 1974 CBS show is basically a word search played for money. Four contestants play as two teams. One guesses the row an answer is in; the other has to decided what number the word starts. The winning team is separated into solo contestants and play against each other, trying to find words in one row of letters. The winner of that goes on to play the returning champion, and that winner plays the final speed round for an increasing jackpot and gets to come back.

In both cases, the challengers just could not overcome the returning champ...and neither champ I saw was able to win the full jackpot. (Though host Jack Narz did say one champ won the jackpot on a previous episode, as it had to be reset.) Not a bad idea for a show, but the format was cumbersome. They might have been better off keeping it as teams, or doing it solo from the start and eliminating a round.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

The Unkindest Break

Began the morning with breakfast and Rick Steves' Europe. Rick takes a trip through France's Loire Valley, exploring ancient Medieval castles and vast Renaissance chateaus, both the home of kings and queens for centuries. Kids will probably be happier at Leonardo Di Vinci's home, where they can run among and play with some his most famous and unusual inventions.

Headed out as soon as the episode ended and I took some aspirin and wrapped my arm in a bandage. At least it was a nice day for a long walk, much nicer than it's supposed to be next week. The sun blazed overhead, the sky was a brilliant robin's egg blue, and the bare hint of a breeze stirred my hair. While still warmer than it has been, probably in the 70's, it wasn't quite as hot as yesterday.

Just like last time, there was no one at Cooper Urgent Care when I arrived. I quickly signed in, told the lady at the desk what happened, and was whisked into a room. The first nurse, clad in a plastic mask and gloves, took my vital signs and temperature and asked me what happened. A doctor once again checked my blood pressure. A young man lead me to the x-ray room, where he took photos of my arm.

Watched Flea Market Flip on the DIY Channel until the doctor returned. Verdict - yeah, it's a fracture. No wonder it won't bend. She gave me a signature to get out of work for the week and told me I'd have to see an orthopedics office. She also repeated Dr. Jessica's warning about my blood pressure being too high and eating better. After she brought a packet of papers, I got a tetanus shot, had my arm bandaged and dressed and placed in a sling, and was on my way.

Stopped at WaWa on my way home for lunch. Opted for a turkey hoagie with spinach and tomato this time. Limited my drink to a Pineapple Perrier. Surprisingly for 1:30, they weren't busy at all. The lunch crowd must have been long gone. I was in and out.

Put on Match Game as I ate. The first episode was another one from that week in 1978 featuring Jack Klugman and his sort-of-ex-wife Brett Sommers battling it out. The second went further back to 1976, as Ed Asner and Lynn Deerfield joined Betty White and the regulars in dealing with a nerdy good ol' boy and wacky Lyle, the strangest male contestant ever on the show.

By the time of the third episode, I was nodding off. I didn't sleep well last night, probably thanks to the pain in my arm. I was originally going to wait until Charlie stopped blowing fuzzies off the roof to take a nap, but I was just too tired. I finally opted to ignore the leaf blower and snuggle down into bed.

I must have been really wiped. I went down at 3:30 and didn't wake up until 6! Had leftover lentil stew over spinach for dinner while watching Mr. Bug Goes to Town on YouTube. I go further into the tale of bugs trying to save their community from humans and a greedy beetle businessman at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Animation Celebration Saturday - Mr. Bug Goes to Town

Did two episodes of Tattletales a bit later in honor of Jerry Stiller, who passed away at 90 from natural causes this week. Stiller and his wonderfully sarcastic wife Anne Meara appeared several times on the show, notably with Dick Gautier and Gloria Stuart and Elaine Joyce and Bobby Van on one week early in 75, and Stuart, Gautier, Greg Morris, and his wife Lee in another. At this point, the show still used its original format, with one couple guessing a clue as to what their spouse might say on a subject. Meara and Stiller's down-to-Earth warmth made a nice contrast to the more glamorous or traditionally sexy couples around them.

Finished the night on Shout TV with another Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode. Mike and the robots explored another Russian fantasy epic, The Sword and the Dragon, while playing Dungeons & Dragons and creating their own topical comedy variety show. The complex plot of this one I think had a warrior helping out his king with a Mongul invasion, only to be betrayed and lose his family years later. After the Mongols invade again, he's released from prison, only to end up fighting his own son. This one has more in common with cheesy Italian epics like Hercules and lacks the fairy-tale romance of Jack Frost. It absolutely needed the wisecracks, if only to make sense of the plot. (And that "dragon" only shows up in the last 20 minutes of the film and is barely used.)

Mystery Science Theater 3000 - The Sword and the Dragon