Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Pack Up Your Troubles

Began a hazy, sunny morning with breakfast, then worked on packing the rest of the books in the bedroom. I finally emptied the crates I had the journals in for the children's hardbacks and the Christmas books. (If I end up keeping them, I'll take a note from Linda Young and buy Xerox boxes for them.) It'll likely be a long time before I need my fluffy robe or the green knitted blanket on the loveseat; they both went in a bag.

Watched Star Spangled Rhythm while I worked. I go further into Paramount's big all-star World War II hit at my Musical Dreams Movie Revues blog.

Star Spangled Rhythm

Switched to Match Game after the movie ended. The episode I caught kicked off with a young fellow who spent five minutes relating his family history, making Gene sit down and take a rest! Later on, everyone gets some hugs after an "Annie" question on the Audience Match.

Moved on to TV Time Action for The Charge of the Light Brigade while I packed cookbooks and the children's paperbacks. Major Geoffrey Vickers (Errol Flynn) is in India as part of the 27th Lancers division of the British Army. His brother, Captain Perry Vickers (Patrick Knowles), is after his fiancee, the lovely Elsa Campbell (Olivia DeHaviland).

There's a lot more going on in India than the Vickers' love lives, though. Geoffrey had befriended the Rajah Surat Khan (C. Henry Gordon), who promised eternal gratitude. Turns out the guy has a weird way of being gracious. After the British troops prematurely withdraw from their garrison to one further away. Elsa's father, Colonel Campbell (Donald Crisp), surrenders the garrison to Surat Khan. Khan then proceeds to murder everyone in the garrison, including British and Indian families, though he spares Elsa and Geoffrey. Geoffrey intends to get his revenge on Khan at the Battle of Baclava in the Crimean War...even if he has to sacrifice himself and most of his regiment to do it.

Hoo boy. Even the movie admits in the beginning that this has nothing whatsoever to do with historical fact. All of the Indians, even the little boy Prima (Scotty Beckett), are played by obvious white people in Indian makeup, and if they're not subservient or adoring of the British, they're bad guys. It's pure Hollywood romance, though Flynn and Knowles do well enough as the battling brothers, with Olivia DeHaviland mostly enjoying herself as the one between them. There's some exciting devastatingly filmed battle scenes, too, including the actual Charge in the finale.

If you love Flynn and/or DeHaviland or old-fashioned action and can deal with the fudged history and Indian stereotypes, you may enjoy this bit of Hollywood hokum.

Went out for a walk around 3. It was a lovely, sunny day, with a cool breeze that kept it from feeling as hot as it has the past few days...but it remained terribly humid. The blue sky showed over Peter Creek, looking as green as Depression glass, but dark clouds built up over the horizon. It was much quieter than it has been, too, with only a few people out in their yards. Everyone must be at work.

There was a letter waiting for me in the mailbox. Willa wanted to show someone around the apartment at 4 PM next Monday. That was fast. More than likely, Charlie's going to be showing one or more of his many buddies living downstairs around. Charlie came up later to confirm it, and we agreed that he could bring up his friends to check it out on Mondays and Wednesdays at 4.

Tattletales had started by the time I got home. This time, Elaine Joyce and Bobby Van came from behind to win, getting the last question to themselves after missing the first two. The champ came on big in Press Your Luck and was the only one to do so. One woman got two whammies and small amounts; the other man Whammied out.

Worked on writing for a while after the show ended. Bill explains the curse on him further. He kept trying to tell the others what happened, but the curse choked him and left him howling, then invaded his entering their dreams at the Summer-Winter Castle. Jo Ann transforms their clothes into a golden town and a fine blue suit, so they can join the other party goers in the ballroom. Brett's determined to rescue her own cursed husband in the garden and separates from the others. Charles, who saw the statue of Prince Jack (Klugman) earlier, agrees to lead her to him.

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Cooked chicken breasts, mushrooms, and scallions in lemon wine sauce and had them with steamed snap peas for dinner. Enjoyed a wonderful summer meal while watching more Match Game. For the first and only time on the 70's-early 80's run of the show, two men competed against each other. George just kept right on winning, and Richard kept on helping him earn money to send his parents on an overdue honeymoon.

The young woman champ did even better on Sale of the Century. She bought an Instant Bargain and blasted through the speed round. The other two contestants got nowhere near her. This time, she beat the Bonus Round and won the money with time to spare.

Finished the night after a shower with Hart to Hart on The Roku Channel. Jennifer's much-married aunt (Eva Gabor) is the target in "With This Hart, I Thee Wed." She and her most recent husband, a spiritual guru, were married for all of ten minutes before he dies from eating poisoned cake. The Harts investigate his retreat, only to discover that his accountant (William Windom) may have been doing a lot more than cooking the books.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Milkshakes and Dishes

Slept in this morning and didn't roll out of bed until almost 11. Put on Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood while eating breakfast. Jodie is "A New Friend at School" when she plays moving with Prince Wednesday, leading Daniel to think Wednesday doesn't want to be his friend anymore. He discovers that even when our old friends play with other people, they still want to be friends with us. Something similar happens when Miss Elaina plays Splatball with Jodie but inadvertently leaves Dan out in "A New Friend at the Playground." He has to remind the girls to include him, and that he and Miss Elania are still friends.

Checked out another PBS Kids show while doing the dishes. Pinkalcious is a creative young lady who adores the color pink. She lives with her little brother Peter and their parents in Pinkville and has very cotton candy adventures with her many friends in town. "Whale Song" takes her and her family on a cruise to find the Great Pink Whale. They find a baby whale, but she seems to have lost her mother, until Pink figures out a way to call to her. Pink's giant "Pinkabubbles" somehow end up floating Peter all over town! She and her friends chase after him in an attempt to get him down.

Switched to Match Game as I started packing dishes. Lovely and smart Jo Ann Pflug came in for a lot of ribbing in these two episodes from 1974. In the first one, everyone went after her with markers to put a mustache after her! They all wished her a happy birthday in the second, and Richard admired her yellow Native American-print t-shirt.

Packing dishes took a lot longer than I expected. I still have the original boxes for my floral dish set and the popcorn bowls that Rodney Walker sent me. I've had the floral dishes and their box since college! Had a hard time figuring out how to get it all in the box, even without the salad plate I broke years ago. Finally gave up and put the mugs in a plastic container.

The popcorn bowls gave me trouble, too. I couldn't figure out how to use all the cardboard pieces and still fit everything in the box. In this case, I left out the popcorn jar (I'll pack that with the kitchen appliances), put the larger cardboard pieces on the bottom, and lined the large and small bowls with thick paper napkins.

Moved to Tubi for Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins after the game shows ended. Having enjoyed Buckaroo Bonzai a while back, I thought I'd give the other cult comic book-style action movie from the mid-80's a try. Sam Makin (Fred Ward), a tough Brooklyn cop, barely survives an attack in his neighborhood. He's recruited by a shadowy government group to be their newest agent. The give him a different face, dub him "Remo Williams," and send him to train with the mystical, soap opera-obsessed Korean Chiun (Joel Gray). Even as Chiun teaches Williams wild stunts like dodging bullets and wet cement, his new friends discover a corrupt arms deal going on within the US Army, calling a reluctant Williams to investigate.

Apparently, this is based after a long-running series of action novels known under the name The Destroyer. Orion Pictures wanted their own American James Bond, but I wonder if it just works better on the printed page. It's too serious for all the lunacy that goes on in it. There's Gray's clearly not-Korean magical martial arts mentor, the underground agency that recruits Williams and bases his name off the bedpan one agent finds in his hospital room, and the dull and complicated secret weapon plot. Ward's kind of boring for a Bond-style leading man, too.

In the end, it lacks the off-the-walls wackiness that made Buckaroo Bonzai weird-but-fun (not to mention that film's crazy cast), and the relatively cheap production curbs a lot of the action you'd find in other 80's movies of this stripe. Only worth seeing if you really love 80's action or the book series.

Had lunch during the first half of Remo Williams, then packed the hardback kids novels during the second. Found a crate in the back that would work for the hardbacks. Just managed to squeeze them all in. I'll have to find something else for the children's anthologies, picture books, and the American Girl mysteries, though. Managed to fit all but two of my folders with printed-out stories and important information that I won't need right away in the shoulder bag I used to use as a carry-on during long trips.

Returned to Buzzr for Tattletales and crocheting after the movie ended. They backed up a bit to 1974 for this week's crowd. The winners were comedian Marty Allen and his salty and very funny wife Frenchie. Three new contestants went up against the Whammy on Press Your Luck. No one hit any Whammies in the first half, but everyone got at least two in the second. In the end, the winner wound up with a car and a stereo, even after hitting two Whammies.

Worked on writing for a while late in the afternoon. Bill (Daily), now restored to his human form, explains to Marcia (Wallace) that he was "Will" who wrote her love letters. His last letter invited her to the Summer-Winter Castle for a date...the day Malade invaded. He'd intended to give Marcia a letter to propose to her, but the jealous queen burned it in the fireplace. Angered when he turned down her proposal and refused to help her root out magicians, she turned him into a wolf and forced him to sniff them out anyway. He finally broke free of her collar and muzzle and ran off to find someone who could reverse the spell, which was how he found the others.

Broke for scrambled eggs and vegetables and corn on the cob for dinner at 6:30. For some reason, the evening Match Game skipped ahead two years to 1977. Cranky Joey Bishop and sassy Elizabeth Allen joined Fannie Flagg and the regulars to liven up the new year, as Richard helps a sweet young man win money for his parents and church and the lights went out just as Fannie tries to give an answer.

Sale of the Century also skipped way ahead to 1988. Now, everyone wins the prize of the day and plays a guess-the-puzzle bonus round at the end, instead of just deciding if they want to come back for more prizes. A young woman bought an Instant Bargain, won the Instant Cash, and breezed through the speed round, but she just couldn't get the extra money on the bonus round.

Went for a walk after Sale ended. I wanted to at least do something outside today! Though it was hazy and humid, it was also sunny and breezy. Strolled over to WaWa for a treat. The lemonade milkshake I bought was delicious! It was probably flavored with concentrate or a mix, but it still tasted of tart lemon. They were really busy, too. I guess everyone else wanted to get out while it was relatively cool. I hadn't seen a line that long in there since February. I slurped it on the way home, passing kids on bikes and adults working in their gardens or walking their dogs.

Finished out the night with my own Match Game mini-marathon in honor of Pride Month before tonight's syndicated "premiere" on YouTube. Gay theater star, director, and acting teacher Charles Nelson Reilly and lesbian writer and comedienne Fannie Flagg are two of my favorite panelists on the show. His wit and knowledge of the arts and her sassy jokes and gags brought a lot to the panels they appeared on. I watch a lot of Chuck, so I did one episode revolving around him and two around Fannie.

Match Game '75 (Episode 471) - Charles returns after a six-month hiatus and does it in the most creative way possible - via flying harness and a stuffed bird!
Match Game '74 (Episode 231) - Fannie's Fried Eggs sweater causes quite a stir.
Match Game '76 (Episode 635) - Fannie turns up in a long, wavy red wig and a Brooklyn accent...and then Brett mentions her parents are in the audience.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

The Empty Bedroom March

Slept in this morning and finished Alice In Wonderland. Didn't get going with banana pancakes until almost 11:30. Put on The Story of Johnny Appleseed while I ate. This is an LP and book adaptation of the Melody Time short, once again with Dennis Day singing all the parts. I've had this one for a long time. It's one of the original 65 records I got from my first stepmother Kaye's collection. She loved all things mid-20th century, including the music, and was a fan of Day. The album largely sticks to the original short...except for one segment that depicts how Johnny befriended the Indians and comes off as very awkward nowadays.

Stuck with Disney but went patriotic with Yankee Doodle Mickey as I cleaned up from breakfast. I listen to this children's album on or before every major patriotic holiday. Mickey, the gang, and a group of kids (including a very young Molly Ringwauld) perform songs like the title number, "When Johnny Comes Marching Home," and "God Bless America." My favorite number is the Armed Services Medley, with Mickey singing for the Marines and the Air Force, Goofy for the Army, and Donald, of course, for the Navy.

Switched to the soundtrack from the film version of The Music Man as I packed up the desk. Most of the papers, sheets of stickers, and the calculator and ruler went into my old laptop shoulder bag from college. The things that didn't fit - two pencil cases, the stapler and staples, the containers of USB ports with many stories on them - went in a box. Left the laptop, pens in the jar, the USB ports with my stories and the letter, and

Although I do have the original cast album for The Music Man too, the film version has the better cast. Hermoine Gingold makes her "Ballzaac" in "Pick a Little, Talk a Little" sound like the worst offense in the world, and Shirley Jones sounds marvelous on "Being In Love," "Goodnight, My Someone," and "'Till There Was You." There's also Buddy Hackett on "Shipoopi" and all those salesman laying into their big rap "Rock Island" in the opening.

Spent the next few hours listening to Hooked on Swing and Turned On Broadway II while I moved my packing into the living room and kitchen. Boxed up the first round of cups and mugs today in two smaller boxes, one a shoe box that still had the tissue paper inside. After that, I pulled out one of the empty crates and used it for the remaining records from the dry sink.

Worked on writing for a while after switching to my America the Beautiful patriotic instrumental music collection. Thorny vines try to keep the group from reaching Marcia. Brett and Jo Ann use their magic to keep it at bay, while the little frog slips under the door and opens the lock. Bill (Daily) the wolf dashes in as soon as the door is open and gives the sleeping Princess Marcia (Wallace) a doggy kiss. Marcia does awaken, but immediately comments that she's not thrilled with waking up to dog breath!

Bill finally admits that he loves her, and she's able to say she does too and gives him a real, human kiss...that transforms him into a short man with brown hair and gentle light-blue eyes. Yes, he's Prince William, and he was the one who wrote Marcia the letters and called himself Will. He wasn't sure how she'd react to the "prince" thing. He wanted her to like him for himself.

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Continued with the other disc of America the Beautiful as I made Peanut Butter No-Bake Cookies. Pretty much the same deal as the Fudgy No-Bake Cookies without the cocoa. Yum! They came out just as well as the chocolate ones, though they did take slightly longer to set.

I was just sliding the cookies into the fridge when Rose called. Evidently, Dad's in the hospital, getting a blood clot removed. Rose wanted to do some laundry and clean up the house a little for Jodie while they're away, but she also had to watch the kids. She asked me if I could keep an eye on them at my side of the house while she cleaned. Sure! Why not? Finley had fun the last time we were there. Rose even said she'd bring a few smaller boxes over.

I'd just grabbed my sandals and grabbed a few stuffed animals for Finley to play with when Rose arrived. She helped me wrap my arm in the car before we drove over there. It took a few minutes - the door sticks - but Rose managed to get all of us through.

It was harder to amuse Khai than it was Finley. Finley was mostly happy to admire the view of the creek from my living room/kitchen, play with Butterbear and the two stuffed My Little Ponies, and climb onto the window ledges and look out to the garden. Khai was bored. He kept grabbing tools and the plunger from the bathroom and pounding on the door to make his mother get her chores done faster. We did have some fun marching around the empty bedroom, turning around and going backwards (though I had to keep reminding the kids not to touch the newly-painted walls).

Khai was also thirsty and kept asking for a drink of water. Good thing one of the boxes Rose grabbed happened to be the shoe box with the mugs and cups I packed earlier! The faucet in the kitchen needed to be attached, but the one in the bathroom worked fine. It also gave me a chance to explore the kitchen and bathroom further and check out the wider shelves and cabinets and all four of the huge closets. (They need to fix the door to the bedroom closet. The kids kept pushing at it and swinging it. The bedroom door sticks badly, too.)

It must have seemed like forever to the kids, but it was really only about 20 or 30 minutes before Rose came back in, sporting a mask. Jodie's really nervous about Dad catching this virus, which is why she's been telling us to stay away. Finley was upset when we had to leave; I assured the kids they could visit when I'd fully moved in.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Once Upon a Summertime

Kicked off a hot, rainy morning with breakfast and the 2003 Strawberry Shortcake. Seaberry tells the girls "The Legend of the Lost Treasure" when Blueberry and Rainbow Sherbet argue over sand dollars on the beach. Long ago, five mermaids found golden sand dollars under the sea. Two became greedy and did nothing but gather them, ignoring their friends. They learn to value their friends more than gold in a hurry when a sea monster captures them and forces them to hunt for more treasure.

Switched to Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood as I cleaned up from breakfast and got organized. It's "Fruit Picking Day" at the Enchanted Garden. Daniel and Prince Wednesday wish they were as tall as Prince Tuesday, so they can get fruit from the highest branches. They learn that it's not so bad to be little when Tuesday can't reach the golden pear that's stuck in a root. "Daniel Is Big Enough to Help Dad' build a playhouse and paint the bottom of the door, though he wishes he could use larger tools.

Went to Buzzr after checking something online. Split Second was a close race today, but the only guy pulled ahead in the Countdown Round and won by one question. He didn't choose the board with the car and opted to return and try again.

Headed out shortly after Split Second ended. I had a lot of errands to run today, starting with a quick trip to WaWa for money from the ATM machine. They were pretty busy, as far as I could tell. Good thing all I needed was 20 dollars for the Farm Market across the street.

Despite it being 11:30 by then, the Collingswood Farm Market was also busy. I caught one of the last bags of mini portobello mushrooms at the mushroom booth before they sold out this time, thank goodness. Found the first ears of corn and New Jersey blueberries of the season. Also grabbed cherries, strawberries, a green pepper, and a cucumber.

Ran into one of the librarians from the Haddon Township Library while I was there. They don't know when they'll be opening for more than carryout...but maybe that's just as well. I can't exactly carry big piles of books and DVDs with my bad arm right now.

This time, I went back to Oaklyn via Bettlewood and Beechwood Avenue. The post office is on Bettlewood, at the top of the hill. Maybe because it was past noon at that point, but they were totally dead. I sent a second letter to Willa via certified mail and went on my way.

The Oaklyn Post Office is a block from Dollar General, so I went there next. I was going to buy more bins, but Rose mentioned she had boxes to give me from Amazon. Opted to hold off on them and just picked up sponges and a strawberry Powerade, along with my favorite pecan roll as a treat. They weren't quite as busy; there was a short line, but it moved fast.

It rained this morning and spit briefly on the way home, but by 1 PM, it was mainly hot, windy, and sticky-humid. The sun came out as I started down Manor, and would stay out for the rest of the day. At least the weather has helped the plant life! The trees are so full and green this year, and the vibrant orange tiger lilies tower over the scarlet rose bushes and rich cobalt blue and purple velvet hydrangeas.

There was a letter from Willa waiting for me in the mailbox when I got home. It basically said "clean the apartment before you leave, because we're going to inspect it and take money out of the security deposit if something is wrong, don't leave any furniture, and good luck in your future endeavors." Pretty much what I expected.

Had a Berry-Banana Smoothie and celery with peanut butter for lunch when I got in while watching episodes of Match Game from earlier in the week. Dancer Bobby Van, Sarah Kennedy of Laugh-In, and comedy writer and comedienne Ann Elder join in for jokes about how Bobby treats his toes when they don't behave and Charles teasing Richard about all the girls now gravitating to him for the Head-to-Head Round.

After lunch, I took a nice long nap. I got up relatively early to go to the Farm Market and had a long walk to get a lot done. Not to mention, it was a rare afternoon when there was no noise around me, no Charlie fussing at the dogs or running the lawn mower or leaf blower. I slept for two solid hours and felt much better afterwards.

Went into writing around 4. Brett, Charles, and Jo Ann the flower fair follow Betty and Allen the frog to a winding staircase on the edge of the Palace, with Brett and Charles arguing all the way. The fussing stops when Brett and Jo Ann claim there's black magic at the top of the stairs, and they both feel sick. Charles offers them his arms to help them up the staircase.

Broke for dinner at quarter after 6. Boiled corn on the cob and threw together Cucumber-Tomato Salad to go with the other breaded flounder fillet for dinner. Ran more Charlie's Angels as I ate, this time from the second season. "Angels In the Wings" brings the girls into the movie business as Ellen Jason (Shani Wallis), the female star of a movie musical in the midst of production, asks for their help in finding out who's behind a series of accidents. They discover that the stage she's filming on is considered jinxed after the star of an older film musical died in an accident there.

Meanwhile, Kris is fangirling over Ellen's estranged husband. He discovers she has an excellent singing voice and gets her a part. Meanwhile, the other Angels learn that the husband has been working with some unsavory types who want money from him, and there's a mysterious figure roaming around the catwalks, reliving the day when his beloved dancing beauty died...

Finished out the night with the Disney movie Melody Time before tonight's Match Game syndicated premiere on YouTube. I go further into this collection of animated shorts from the 1940's at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Animation Celebration Saturday - Melody Time

Friday, June 26, 2020

A Walk Under the Clouds

Kicked off a sunny, hazy morning with breakfast and Blockbusters. The mother-daughter pair rolled through the Gold Rush bonus round in the opening, missing one question...but that was the last time today they had an easy time. The woman solo player became the first person to beat them in over a week. They just came back and won a round when the episode ended.

Spend the next hour switching the Broadway cast album CDs to the binder. With the CDs and the books, those suckers were heavy! Once I move, I think I'll buy more large binders and use them for different genres of music. I have too many CDs for one binder! I'll work on moving the rest after I move. Packed up the remaining CDs after I finished.

Watched cartoons as I worked. Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood has two new services, both of which Daniel takes advantage of. He and his parents discuss what to expect when "Daniel Visits the Dentist," who happens to be his friend Jodie's mom Dr. Plat. Dr. Plat shows him the equipment and answers his questions about what she does. Jodie's nana gives "Daniel's First Haircut" when his fur is getting a little long. He watches Prince Tuesday get a trim and Miss Elania get cute braids before deciding on his style.

I was going to watch Hulu, but it no longer works on my older Roku box, so I went to the Roku Channel and The Cat In the Hat Knows a Lot About That instead. Nick and Sally want to learn how to flutter like butterflies. The Cat takes them to Milky Weed Meadows to show them how to "Flutter By, Butterfly," thanks to Bernadette the Monarch Butterfly and her long journey. The kids are "Pretty In Pink" when flamingos at Goony Goon Lagoon teach them some cool new balancing moves.

Switched to Match Game as I packed the remaining CDs. Noisy Kaye Stevens continued her run, and had a marvelous time doing so, laughing so hard, she cried. By the time a young woman was beating the guy from yesterday on Classic Concentration, I'd loaded up more things I wanted to get rid of into one of the bins I bought yesterday and called Uber to take me to the Audubon Crossings Shopping Center to finally make copies of that letter and have it held officially at the post office.

They dropped me off at the Acme. I walked down to the post office, dodging heavy traffic at the shopping center, to see if they had a copier. Nope, and they had a long line, too. I'd go back later. Had lunch at Sonic instead. My strawberry limeade slush and tater tots were tasty, but the grilled chicken sandwich was tough. I wasn't the only one who had problems with their lunch. A woman called for the manager and yelled that she'd gotten her order wrong the day before. The manager did manage to calm her down and get it settled to her satisfaction, though.

Continued on to the Acme after lunch. One of the managers who was cashiering suggested asking the pharmacy if they'd make copies, since the manager was busy. The girl at the pharmacy wasn't busy, and she had no trouble copies. Picked up honey while I was there, which I forgot on Tuesday.

Tried the post office again after that, but the line was still too long and slow. Went to Five Below at the next building over for a drink and a new pair of larger headphones to replace the one with a bent plug. They were busy too, but they had more lines open. I opted for an orange Powerade and a new larger red pair of earphones.

By this point, it was past 3 PM, too busy to call for Uber. I could walk home faster than any car could come for me. Dark clouds were starting to gather, and the wind picked up and blew harder. I saw a few people out and about, mainly out for strolls or walking dogs. At least the flora's beautiful at this time of year. The leaves were fresh and green, and the Queen Anne's Lace and daisies grew in abundance along the roads.

Dropped one of the copies in the mail box next-door, then went into packing when I got in. Loaded the American Girls and their accessories into the other bin as Press Your Luck ran. Yesterday's winner hit two Whammies but still managed to come out with lots of money and a Miami vacation.

Worked on writing for a while after the show. Brett tells Gene and the trolls to watch her sons. She, Betty, and the frog will follow Bill the Wolf to help him free Marcia from the spell. Charles insists on going with Brett, reminding her that she's gotten into trouble with spells before. Brett tells her sons that she also intends to free their father from the spell he's under that turned him into a stone statue, too.

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Ron Valenti finished up his run on Match Game, charming not only Fannie, but Betty White, too. A question about what happened to Betty White's husband Allen Ludden at her barbecue got a little awkward in the second episode, especially given how Jack Cassidy eventually died. For some reason, the champ from the day before yesterday returned on Sale of the Century, now trying for a jukebox. He blew away the competition, even after buying an Instant Bargain, and opted to come back and try for larger prizes.

Finished the night with The Black Hole on Disney Plus. This 1979 film was Disney's first try at truly serious sci-fi. The crew of the spaceship Palomino is returning from a mission in deep space when they come upon a black hole and a ship that somehow manages to stay just outside of it. The ship is inhabited only by robots and the genius scientist Dr. Hans Reinhardt (Maxmillian Schell). Reinhardt wants to find out what's on the other side of the black hole. Everyone but civilian scientist Dr. Alex Durant (Anthony Perkins) thinks this is a bad idea, especially after they figure out how Reinhardt  stayed alive for 20 years away from Earth. It'll take working together and the help of their robot friends V.I.N.CENT (voice of Roddy McDowell) and B.O.B (Slim Pickens) to get them out of Reinhardt's clutches and away from the lure of the black hole.

Hoo boy, is this a weird one. I remember seeing it on The Disney Channel as a kid and thinking it was strange, dull, and really slow-moving. My opinion remains largely the same over a quarter of a century later. Schell and Perkins as the semi-mad scientists obsessed with the possibilities of the black hole are the only human characters of any interest, though Ernest Borganine has his moments as a cowardly reporter. Robert Forster's stalwart captain is especially boring. The robots have more to do and are frankly more fun to watch, though their attempts at humor come off as forced and unnecessary. The mind-bending finale comes straight out of 2001: A Space Odyssey and sets up for sequels that will never come, thanks to this being a disappointment at the box office.

In the end, I just prefer my sci-fi on the lighter side. If you're more into heavy or darker sci-fi than I am, you may get a lot more out of this one than I did at any age.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Journey to the Center of Oaklyn

Started out a sunny morning with breakfast and Blockbusters. No one can touch that grandmother-granddaughter team. They beat a man and won the Gold Rush bonus round to become the show's all-time biggest winners. The two were working their way through another solo lady when the show ended.

Spent the rest of the morning finishing my DVD project. Had enough DVD cases left to move some of the animated DVDs from books to cases and the remaining Christmas DVDs into books. Moving the Christmas DVDs freed up slim CD cases for the Christmas CDs (and the one Halloween party music CD I have), which made room in the narrow crate I use for them.

Watched My Gal Sal at the TV Times Musicals app while I worked. I go further into this romp with Victor Mature as a popular songwriter in the 1890's and Rita Hayworth as his on-again, off-again muse at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

My Gal Sal

Switched to Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood while having a Strawberry-Banana Smoothie for lunch. "Daniel Feels Two Feelings" when he's happy he can play with his friends, but upset that Margaret has to take a nap. His mother explains that this is normal; everyone feels two things at the same time sometimes. "The Neighborhood Carnival" also prompts many feelings when Daniel is excited by and nervous about riding the Ferris Wheel and Prince Wednesday is happy to play ring toss, but frustrated that he can't seem to win.

Watched a little of Classic Concentration while doing the dishes. A delightful older British woman kept finding prizes, even when she claimed she couldn't remember where they were! She just barely missed the car the first time she went to the bonus round. The second time was the charm; she won the car in the last few seconds.

Headed out to run errands after the show ended. It was off and on cloudy all morning, and I'd debated whether or not to get the laundry done. I didn't really have much to do anyway, so I figured I might as well get it done today. I did the right thing. The laundromat was quiet the entire day, with barely two people seen inside the entire time. Even so, I still opted to sit outside and write notes. Ran to Family Dollar and picked up more bins, too (they had more of the smaller ones).

Tattletales was on the last question when I walked in the door and wiped down the bins. William and Janice were the big winners, even with everyone missing the last question. I folded clothes and put them away while watching Press Your Luck. We had another new champion today. The woman did hit two Whammies in the tense second half, but she also hit a lot of money. The other two kept getting small amounts.

Worked on writing for the rest of the afternoon. Richard, Lee, and the trolls tease Sheriff Ira Skutch about his dripping silk hose and cape, the result of Orson and Debralee dumping him in the moat.  Lee forces Ira to reveal that the slumbering Marcia (Wallace) is being held in the Rose Room on the top floor of the Palace. No one has been able to awaken her, not even Ira. Richard, Jo Ann, Lee, and the trolls hold off Ira and his guards, while Gene takes care of the boys and Betty leads Bill and the others to find Marcia.

I brought up the box with the CD binder pages as I was finishing up today's writing. The box was squashed on one end, but the pages were fine. It was too late to work with them by that point. I'll load up the musical CDs tomorrow.

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Ron Valenti continued his winning streak on Match Game, charming not only Fannie Flagg, but Betty White after the panel changed, too. I have no idea why Sale of the Century skipped way ahead. It could have to do with this being the episode with the show's second 100,000 dollar winner. He bought no Instant Bargains and still left everyone else in the dust.

Finished the night with a couple of oddities. Went to Shout Factory to check out an earlier Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode,  Hercules and the Captive Women. is the third of four Italian "Hercules" sword and sandal epics the show covered in seasons 3 and 4. Here, Hercules has to rescue his friend Androcles, the true King of Thebes, from the wicked queen of Atlantis who wants to sacrifices her daughter to keep the throne. As the robots frequently joked, that's enough plot for three movies! There's really only one "captive woman" (and a captive man) and the production is cheesy and cheap, but it's fun to watch, and the evil queen with the 60's beehive who tried to bed Hercules and keep control of Atlantis was a hoot.

Several episodes of the original 1980's Muppet Babies can be found on YouTube. One is "Journey to the Center of the Nursery" from the fourth season. Nanny teaches the Muppets about how the Earth's crust works when there's an earthquake and Fozzie loses  his skate key. Gonzo takes the kids on a journey to the Earth's core via an elevator to find the key. The kids meet a pair of very hip moles, have a close encounter with a king who wants them to work in his salt mines, and help a little old man try to control all of the earthquake epicenters on the surface.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Four Hands Make Light Work

Began a late morning with breakfast and Molly of Denali. Molly and her friend Tooey help her Aunt Midge with "Sap Season," learning how to collect sap from trees and boil it into syrup. The trio get into a sticky situation when a raven lets their boat go downstream and they have to figure out a way to get back to Qyah. A man from Florida comes to Alaska with the "Book of Mammoths" that claims woolly mammoths still exist. Molly and her father act as guides, taking him into the wilderness to hunt down the mammoth. Molly can't help thinking there's something wrong with the book...but even after research disproves the book's claims, they still introduce him to the real wonders of Alaska.

Switched to Doc McStuffins while doing the dishes. "Take Your Doc to Work Day" has Doc's mom, also a doctor, bringing her along to the office for the afternoon. Doc has to take care of three toys in the waiting room, including a doll who is tired of her curly hair and wants a new style. Alien toy Star Blazer Zero is having a hard time staying on "Blazer's Bike." Turns out his owner put the wrong helmet on him. Doc and the others remind him of the importance of having a helmet that fits.

Had Match Game going in the background as I headed in the back room. It's time for me to clear out my journals. I've written in journals almost every day since February 2007. They now fill three plastic crates and a plastic shoe box! I tore out three fairy tales I wrote around 2017, but I otherwise got rid of all of the journals written between 2007 and last year. I kept the oldest journals from my childhood and college and the ones from the last year. The rest went back into the crates to take downstairs to be recycled when I can lift them.

Went back to Doc McStuffins as I emerged for lunch. Doc and her friends are "Training Army Al," her brother Donny's army action figure, for a trip into the woods with Donny. Bronty's worried that his friend might get hurt, but Al is more than up to the task. Sproingo Boingo is a new Slinky fox toy who wants to make friends. "Sproingo Boingo Takes the Leap" when the Wicked King dares him to jump off a high ledge. Doc fixes spring when it gets bent on his landing, then reminds him that there's better way to make friends than doing something dangerous.

The Roku Channel has the full run of The Cat In the Hat Knows a Lot About That. Sally and Nick want to put up a tent, but it's not going well. The Cat takes them to an ant colony to show how "Many Ants Make Light Work," and how working together at a specific job can make any task work better. Nick and Sally build the "Nest Best Thing" when they ruin a bird's nest and the Cat brings them to a robin who can help them build another one.

Went downstairs and discovered a box laying by the mailbox. The first part of my Amazon.com order had arrived! I bought 100 slim two-disc DVD cases. Moved the TV sets into them while watching Buzzr. Lindsay Bloom and Jamie Widdoes continue their run on Super Password. Jamie botched the Ca$hword mini-game, and Lindsay didn't really do much better on the Super Password bonus round. Scoey and Claire Mitchlll, who were married for years, were the big winners on Tattletales. The woman on Press Your Luck lost to a young man who hit two Whammies and came out with a new game table.

Did some writing after the show ended. Far from being afraid of the trolls, Brett's sons Adam and David think they're cool. Sir Gautier offers to give them a ride upstairs on his back and under his arm. Sir Walden takes Brett herself upstairs, with the others following. No sooner do they get back in the main hall than they run into a waterlogged Sheriff Ira Skutch, whose men just fished him out of the moat. Richard says he'll take on Skutch and cover their escape, but Sir Gautier has other ideas...

Broke a little early for dinner at 6. Quickly ate leftovers, then continued with my DVD project. Went back to Buzzr as I worked. Ron Valenti, the handsome contestant who first appeared at the very end of yesterday's Match Game, turned Fannie Flagg's head when he kissed her after she first gave him the right answer in the Audience Match, then won him money on the Head-to-Head. Meanwhile, Gene's joking about hauling around a heavy old microphone and Ethel Merman is yelling at Brett for her constant chatter. Fannie continued to admire Ron as he won the next round, even though Richard ended up helping him this time.

Things didn't go as well for yesterday's champ on Sale of the Century. No one got too far ahead today. One person would buy an Instant Bargain, only for another to get a money card on the Fame Game board. The new champ finally pulled ahead in the speed round, then opted to come back for that London trip.

Rose called while I was watching Sale. She couldn't open the file with my letter. I thought I saved it in WordPad, but I guess I didn't. I did finally get it into WordPad, and she was able to print off a copy. Now I just need to find a copier to print two more copies, one for me, one to send Willa via the mail. She also helped me take down the five trash bags filled with old flat pillows and DVD boxes and rearrange the other boxes so Charlie can put the air conditioner in.

Finished the night after a shower with more Charlie's Angels. "Angels On the Air" from the second season gives Kelly and Sabrina a crash-course in radio reporting when someone takes a shot at a reporter for a local station. Sabrina takes to the skies as a roving weather reporter to check out the tough helicopter pilot, Kelly becomes the on-air anchor to look into a case involving an abused wife and her husband, and Kris stays on the ground to look into a killer-turned-hippie.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Peaceful, Easy Feeling

Began a hot, sunny morning with breakfast and Blockbusters. That grandmother-granddaughter pair is on a roll this week. They easily got through the man in the beginning of the episode, and the girl only missed two questions on the Gold Rush bonus round. They were just as easily plowing through their next solo challenger, a lady, when the episode ended.

Switched to Molly of Denali as I cleaned up from breakfast. Molly's looking forward to picking blueberries with her parents in their special secret spot, but they end up enduring a "Berry Itchy Day" when she forgets the bug repellent. She ends up calling Tooey to look up how to make bug repellent and learning how to use an index and a table of contents. For Molly, it's "Herring Eggs or Bust" when her cousin who lives in Sitka tells her he's having a great egg harvest, but her mother won't fly her to the coast. Molly has to find people who'll give her mother more reasons to fly across Alaska than for her daughter to have her favorite treat.

Went online to look up a few things, then put on the 2003 Strawberry Shortcake. Strawberry's friend Coco Calypso invites her and the other girls to Seaberry Island to solve "The Mystery of Seaberry Beach." Someone is stealing the seaberries Coco harvests. Turns out that Coco isn't alone on the island...but that someone isn't exactly who she thinks it is...

Returned to Buzzr for Match Game as I got organized. The first episode featured Charles switching glasses with comedienne Chelsea Brown of Laugh-In, then being the subject of a joke about streaking. Football player Rosy Grier joined Charles, Gene, Brett, Richard, Loretta Swit of MASH, and Kaye Stevens of the raucous laugh in the second.

Headed out while Classic Concentration was on. I needed to run to the Acme to do grocery shopping and deliver my disability papers. Picked the right day to do it. I hadn't seen them so quiet since early March. They even reopened the back entrance on Nicholson Road. Everyone's either hiding from the heat and humidity in their air conditioners, in their backyards, or went down to the Shore. I was able to shop in peace. They even had most of their sales; I grabbed mocha almond fudge low-fat ice cream for $1.99. Picked up blue corn chips for dinner later in the week. Found chicken breasts on a good sale with a manager's coupon. Bought a cute doll that unfolds from a cupcake to a bride for Finley's birthday on July 3rd. Restocked strawberries, bananas, milk, cereal, yogurt, tomato sauce and paste, eggs, chocolate chips, and peanut butter.

Long, hot walk today. While it was sunny and breezy, it was also killer muggy and hazy. One man walked his dog, and there were a few kids on bikes or out with friends. Otherwise, the neighborhood was just as quiet as the Acme. Along with the heat, many folks may have gone back to regular work this week or last week.

Came home in time for a quick lunch and Super Password. Jamie Widdowes of National Lampoon's Animal House easily helped his contestant win the difficult Ca$hword, but Lindsay Bloom had a harder time with the Super Password bonus round. Tough Scoey and Claire Mitchlll and witty Bill Macy and his fiancee Samantha were the big winners on Tattletales. Yesterday's Press Your Luck champ won again by the skin of her teeth, taking home a vacation to Orlando and golf clubs only because the guy who had more money than her hit a Whammy at the last second.

Worked on writing for a while after Luck ended. Sir Dick Gautier, who was turned into a troll by the wicked Queen Malade, releases his fellow guards-turned-trolls from the basement prison. They're not as pleased when he nearly flattens some of them slamming into the door! Maid Lee (Merriweather) is more concerned that the human guards may have heard them and starts herding them out, while Bill (Daily) the Wolf asks about Princess Marcia (Wallace), who was put under a sleeping curse before he was captured.

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Had leftover chicken, snap peas, and the last of the banana-chocolate chip bread while watching more Match Game. The 1975 episode brought in Ethel Merman, who seemed to very much enjoy herself...and in the last few minutes, a handsome contestant named Ron Valenti who seemed to really interest Fannie. The female champ on Sale of the Century seemed a lot more nervous and didn't do anywhere near as well as she has the past few days. The one man bought two Instant Bargains and still blew everyone away in the speed round. He too opted to come back and try for that London trip.

Finished the night with Centennial Summer on YouTube. I go further into this rare 1946 tale of two sisters competing for a handsome Frenchman during the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Cult Flops - Centennial Summer

Monday, June 22, 2020

Hot Time at Home

Was up late last night and slept until almost 10:30. It was nearly 11:30 when I rolled out of bed, and almost noon by the time I had breakfast. After I ate, I made Fudgy Peanut Butter No Bake Cookies. It's way too hot to bake, but I was craving chocolate. They came out slightly softer, but otherwise tasted just as good as my first try.

Watched the 1949 adventure film Baghdad on the TVTime Action app. Princess Marjan (Maureen O'Hara) is returning to the Sahara after going to school in England. Pasha Ali Nadim (Vincent Price) claims that the leader of the Black Robes, a renegade tribe, murdered her father. She's determined to get revenge on the group, but everything isn't as it seems. The head of the Black Robes is handsome young Hassan (Paul Hubschmid), who first passes himself off as a camel driver, then a prince. He assures Marjan that he had nothing to do with killing her father and displacing her people, but she doesn't believe him at first. Pasha Nadim has been courting her ardently, but now she's beginning to suspect he's trying to play both sides of the coin...and he may be more treacherous than he seems.

Delightfully campy Technicolor nonsense lets O'Hara and Price go to town as an unlikely desert beauty and obviously villainous desert ruler. Hubschmid, a Swiss actor, makes a charming renegade leader as well. If you love Arabian Knights-style story or old-fashioned swashbucklers, you'll want to take a ride into the desert and check this out.

Switched to making a chocolate-blueberry smoothie for lunch after sliding the cookies into the fridge. Watched two episodes of Doc McStuffins from the second season while I sipped my drink. Doc's plastic turtle Theodore is "Shell Shy" when he has to compete with Hermie the Crab in the Splash Dance competition. Hermie was the most popular toy at the aquarium where they were both purchased. Doc has to fix his bent spring when he pulls his head him, then encourage him to come out of his shell and make friends. Donny's Transformers-type toy Commander Crush becomes "Commander No" when the button that powers his transformations sticks while playing a game of Tickle Tag with Gloria the Giggling Gorrilla and he has to tell her that he has no desire for a second round.

Doc is "Getting to the Heart of Things" after a guy friend of hers leaves his Coach Kay toy for her to repair. Coach Kay is supposed to whistle, but the valve that allows her to is cracked. Doc and the others reassure her that they know what they're doing and her surgery really isn't so scary. Bronty the Brontosaurs is a "Toy In the Sun" when Donny accidentally leaves him in the garden and his paint fades. Doc repaints him while teaching him and the other toys about sunburns and how humans (and fade-prone toys) should stay out of the sun's rays.

Put the TV back on Buzzr in time for Tattletales and Press Your Luck as I used the large box I got last week to pack the adult novels in my bedroom, then used a smaller one for wires, duct tape, and other things out of the antique dresser in the living room. Long-time married couple Scoey Mitchlll and his tough wife Claire were the big winners on Tattletales today, over Bill Macy and his wife Samantha and a couple I never heard of, William Gray Espy and his sweet wife Janice Lynde. The one female contestant on Press Your Luck sure had plenty of it, hitting only one Whammy and ultimately ending up with a Hong Kong vacation.

Went online after Press Your Luck ended. Finally decided I'd use slim double-DVD cases instead of a binder or case for the TV DVDs. A lot of the TV DVD sets already come in slim cases. This way, they'll all look roughly the same. Picked up two sets of CD binder sheets and decided I'd make my own CD case with the binder that was previously my largest photo album. The binder has a pretty ivy-print cover and is in fairly good shape for its age. I threw away the yellowed photo pages and kept the binder.

Got some writing in after I put the order through. Betty and Charles free Brett and her sons, Adam and David. The boys want to hear Charles' impression of Malade, but their mother insists that they have more important concerns at the moment. Gene releases Bill (Daily) the Wolf, who was chained up in the next cell. Bill's worried about Marcia (Wallace), who remains passed out in a room in the castle. It's been over a week, and no one has been able to awaken her from the sleeping spell Malade put her under. Gene assures him that they'll go after her next.

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Had pan-fried flounder, seared snap peas, and tri-color pasta while watching Match Game. Charles was thrilled when contestants called on him twice for the Head-to-Head and never asked Richard once. Proud mother Brett introduced her college-age daughter Leslie, who was in the audience for that taping.

The woman champ just kept right on rolling on Sale of the Century. She won two of the three Fame Games, bought no Instant Bargains, and just barely won the speed round. In the end, she opted to return for the London vacation Jim mentioned would be featured when they switched prizes.

Took a short walk after I checked a few things quickly. It was way too hot today to take one during the middle of the afternoon. Veteran's Park next-door was gorgeous this evening, all soft and shadowy. Two women sat together on a bench and chatted while a man passed me on a racing bike. Lots of kids on bikes tonight too, including one adorable little girl working on riding her pink bike.

Finished the night with an episode of Hart to Hart at The Roku Channel after a shower. "Hart's Desire" is the name of a steamy Civil War romance novel written by Jennifer's former journalism professor (Ray Walston) under a female pen name. He recruits Jennifer and Jonathan to pose as the novelist and her secretary on to accept a romance novelist award on a southern paddle wheel boat. The competition is suddenly a lot less romantic when someone kills the runner-up writer, then targets Jennifer.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Welcome to the New Home

The phone rang before I even opened my eyes. It was Rose. She wanted to come over to look at my apartment and see what furniture I could use and get rid of, and to see if some furniture she has to give me would work in the new place. She would be over in twenty minutes. I dressed quickly and had just managed to get my hair up when she and Finley knocked on my door.

She looked at the furniture while I lead Finley to my bed with the stuffed animals and the dolls. She was really fascinated by the mini-dolls I have for some of the American Girls. She handed me Josefina's Nina. I had to find Samantha's porcelain doll Clara (she was under the desk) and Jessa's Holly Hobbie (on the printer). (I still can't find Molly's glasses.) She loved seeing Butterbear (Rose had Butterbear when she was little) and my stuffed My Little Ponies Bow Tie and Parasol.

I'm hoping to be able to keep at least some of the larger shelves, like the good oak bookshelf in the bedroom, the shelf Rose gave me, and the rack I used to use for CDs. Rose said she might be able to take one black shelf, but they won't need the other. I can absolutely get rid of the smaller half-shelves. With fewer DVDs and CDs to store, there's now plenty of room for books and records on the larger shelves. The cabinet I use for my cookbooks can now be used for books or media storage, too. There's room on top of the kitchen cabinet for my cookbooks.

Along with clearing out media and shelves and figuring out if I can use Rose's futon, the other thing I need for the new apartment is rugs. The new apartment is entirely bare wood floor, with nary a carpet in sight. I have a long piece of carpet that might work in the hallway, and there's the rag rug in the bedroom, but I'll likely need large circle or square rugs for the living room and bedroom. The living room and bedroom windows will need curtains, too. (I would much rather wash curtains than deal with trying to clean blinds, like I did here!)

Finally had breakfast when I got home. Listened to the American Graffiti soundtrack while experimenting with pancakes. Finley insisted on having a banana while she was here. As she discovered, my bananas are getting really soft. I put one in the fridge and mashed another. I also have a ton of blueberries, so I made blueberry-banana pancakes. Not bad. The second one burned a little, but the first was soft, sweet, and delicious.

I originally planned to look up rugs and buy more of those DVD boxes that worked out so well for me. Trouble is, they'd gone up in price and wouldn't arrive by this week. I need the darn things this week. Rose was talking about Craig doing the first round of moving as early as this or next week. The binder I looked at last week was no longer available. I spent two hours searching before I decided I would buy plastic pockets and just get cheap binders...and then, even those wouldn't arrive when they claimed they would, and I canceled the order.

Listened to the original cast of Hello Dolly! while having a very quick lunch. I needed something to make me feel better. Carol Channing was a sensation as Dolly; I do like her "Before the Parade Passes By." Two favorite character actors of mine, smoky-voiced Eileen Brennan and sweet Charles Nelson Reilly, get to introduce "Ribbons Down My Back" and "It Only Takes a Moment" respectively.

Went back on the computer to do some writing after lunch. Sir Gautier hands Betty the keys, allowing her to release Brett and her sons from their prison. As it turns out, Brett's already been trying to break out of the wall via sharp sticks and her sons pranking the trolls. She tells them that Bill the wolf and some more rebellious trolls are being held in the other doors...

I went back to trying to find cases and didn't even consider dinner until past 7:30. I originally considered getting pizza, but I'm not sure if you can just walk in and order, or if you have to order online first. I finally decided it wasn't worth it and went for a walk instead. I had to drop off Dad's Father's Day card, which I forgot to bring with me when we were there earlier. I would have popped my head in, but Jodie's been so worried about Dad catching the virus, I didn't want to upset her.

Decided that I needed dessert before dinner and stopped at Phillies Yummies for a soft-serve swirl cone with rainbow sprinkles. It was hot earlier today, sunny and humid, but by quarter of 8, there was a nice breeze and it had cooled off somewhat. I enjoyed my walk home. So did a lot of other folks. I saw many people out for a stroll or walking dogs.

Finished the night with leftovers and one of the few Good Eats: Reloaded episodes I haven't watched yet. I'll save "Holiday Spirits" and "Whole Lotta Latkes" for the actual holidays, but I've never tried using a pressure cooker before. Alton revised his "Pressure" episode, adding more of his fancy spices and throwing in a recipe for the Thai street soup Pho at the end.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

First Harvest of the Summer

Began the day with a call from Rose. She got my letter, looked it over, and printed it out. Now, we just need to give it to Willa. She wanted to look over the apartment with me, too, and see if any of the furniture she wants to give me will fit. There was a mention of possibly stopping at Target in there, too.

First thing after I finished reading and writing in my journal was breakfast. Did a few black and white Silly Symphony shorts in honor of the first day of summer as I ate and got organized. "Playful Pan" has to stop fire from destroying the forest. "Night" and "Frolicking Fish" show what happens around a pond during the evening and the daytime, while "Summer" has warm-weather animals frolicking and eating one another. "Bugs In Love" are a pair of ladybug sweethearts out for a date at an insect amusement park. When they're attacked by a hungry crow, it'll take the entire bug community to rescue them.

Headed out to the Collingswood Farm Market around quarter of 11. At the very least, they're now allowing people to bring strollers and carts in to carry heavier loads. It's not like they don't have the room! (Still no dogs or music, though.) I saw blueberries, melons, and cherries for the first time this year. Mushrooms were sold out, but I was able to pick up cherries, an onion, and more spring peas.

Went across the street to a busy WaWa for sparkling water. Was disappointed to notice faded and hastily-written "for sale" signs in the Hair Cuttery's windows. I guess those couple of months they lost were too much for them. (Online research later in the afternoon revealed that Hair Cuttery recently filed for bankruptcy, and all the recent trouble didn't help.)

While it remained sunny and breezy on my way home, unlike last week, it was also sticky hot and humid, and heavy clouds built up on the horizon. Despite the warm weather, I dodged lots of people walking, running, and biking in Newton Lake Park. Lots of boaters and kayakers enjoying a trip on the sparkling green river, too.

This time, I went straight home. Had a quick lunch while watching Match Game and Classic Concentration. The former was a repeat of an episode from earlier in the week. The latter pitted two young adult contestants in striped shirts against each other. The boy won, and with only half the puzzle revealed. Didn't help him with the car, though.

Yesterday, I went ahead and ordered three more of those DVD boxes. They were here when I left this morning. I put them upstairs, just in case it rained before I got in. For some reason, two came in one large box, and one came in a smaller box. That may work out better for me - more to pack with! Loaded the comedies, the animated films, and about half of the animated shorts and TV show sets into them. Moved the Christmas cartoons in with the regular cartoons so I could use the slim boxes for the cartoon sets.

Moved to Hulu for Barbie: The Pearl Princess while I worked. This under-the-sea Cinderella tale introduces us to Lumina, a mermaid who has the power to control pearls. Her Aunt Scylla forbids her to use this magic or leave their grotto home, for fear that someone might try to steal her away. One day, her aunt is called to the royal castle for a ball. Lumina and her seahorse Kuda long to see the castle, and they have their opportunity when Scylla loses the invitation. Fefriending a grouchy stonefish named Spike after Lumina caps his spines with pearls, they head into the city to find Scylla. Lumina and Kuda end up hiding in a mermaid beauty shop, where Lunina's pearl hair creations become the talk of the town. She and Kuda get their own invitations to the ball...but even as they dance the night away, they discover a plot by the king and queen's head guard Caligo to put his shy, plant-loving son on the throne. Lumina has to use her powers to rescue the king and queen...and truly figure out where she belongs.

This is more typical of the Barbie specials than Mariposa or Three Musketeers, with its mermaid princess and intricate plot. If you have little girls who love Cinderella or mermaid stories, this one is worth checking out at least once.

Switched to Jem on Tubi after Barbie ended. "Father's Day" is rough on Kimber, whose father died when she was little, and Pizzazz, whose rich dad is alive but mostly ignores her. Clash, one of the Misfits' roadies, invites them to her dad's house in a small town for Father's Day. Also visiting for Father's Day is her cousin Video, who films music videos for both groups. Fed up with Clash constantly bragging about knowing the Misfits, Video tells the town that Jem and the Holograms will play a concert and a new song written for her dad. Trouble is, Kimber's having problems writing that song...until an unexpected father figure rescues her from a horse accident.

Popeye has his own problems with his father. He defeats the strange creatures of "Goonland" to rescue his Pappy, only for Pappy to not appreciate it much. "My Pop, My Pop" is determined to build his half of the ship himself. His son finally gives him a little spinach-fueled help. "With Poopdeck Pappy" and "Problem Pappy" are variations on "Pappy wants to go out and have fun but Popeye wants him to rest." He'll make every sound in town behave to let his father recover from his hangover in "Quiet Pleeze!"

It was originally supposed to rain at 11, but I didn't feel the first raindrops until I dragged the boxes inside, and it didn't really start storming until about 2. Not only was it a noisy, heavy storm, but it lingered, too. The rain didn't stop until nearly 5.

Rose called as I was sweeping the empty boxes into trash bags. I'd forgotten to call her back when I got home from the Farm Market! I was so embarrassed. Jodie called as I was writing. She and Rose said I shouldn't be so hard on myself. She's just about done cleaning and painting. We can look at the apartment tomorrow.

After all that, I did manage to get some writing in. Gene uses his magic to distract one troll, while Jo Ann the flower fairy distracts another. Charles is surprised when Sir Dick Gautier, who has also been turned into a troll, joins them to stop the third. He knocks down one door and gives the others the keys to the remaining ones.

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Had leftovers while watching Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood episodes on families. Katerina, Daniel, and Jodi have to "Find What Makes Your Family Special" as they play over each other's houses. Katerina wishes she had siblings, but she does appreciate all the time she spends with her mom Henrietta. Dan and Jodi's siblings may drive them crazy at times, but they love being the big brother and sister. Dan and the other kids tell their friends what makes their families unique as they draw branches for the family tree in the library on "Family Day."

Finished the night after a shower with The Girl Next Door. I go further into this charming romantic comedy about a father, his son, and the Broadway star who moves in next to them at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Happy Father's Day! - The Girl Next Door

Friday, June 19, 2020

Ah Suburbia!

Woke up a lot earlier than I have been lately to a sunny, hot morning. I just couldn't sleep last night. Had breakfast while watching a What's My Line? episode from 1972. The panel just couldn't figure anything out today. They missed the street car driver, the lady who tested snuff, and the guess-the-audience-member's profession mini-game. I'll give them failing to figure out who the Mystery Guest was. I never heard of Rocky Graziano myself. Apparently, he was a boxer and actor.

Went through my Christmas records and CDs and did a few things online while Supermarket Sweep was on. I think it was one of the episodes from the mid-late 90's. Dave had silvery hair and wore a tie, there were two mini-sweeps at the beginning of the first and second half of the show, and there were more variety in the bonuses brought back during the Big Sweep. Sale of the Century was a repeat of the End of Summer high school tournament I saw a few months ago. The kids all played really well, but a basketball player came out on top and even won 5,000 in the bonus round.

Switched to listing all the furniture I wanted to get rid of by the time Split Second was on...and there's a lot I want to get rid of. Between the four closets (two of them walk-in) in the new apartment and moving my movie and music collection to books and small boxes, I don't really need the extra shelf space anymore. I'll keep the crates for the records, but there isn't nearly enough room for two small and ten large shelves. I had those shelves because there's no storage space in here. The "closets" are tiny holes with no racks or shelves. I should be able to fit the narrower shelves, but the wider ones...I don't know what I'll do with those. There's the wardrobes, too. They won't close to fit in the new place.

Split Second was a repeat of that awesome episode from St. Patrick's Day when the woman not only came from behind to win, but chose the board the car was under on her first try. The grandmother-granddaughter pair just keep kicking rear on Blockbusters. The granddaughter only missed one question on the Gold Rush round, and neither the solo woman nor the solo man could get close to them.

Went to the TVTime Comedy app to watch the original 1935 non-musical version of Ah, Wilderness! while finishing my list and working on my crocheted pillow case. Eric Linden is Richard Miller, the graduating teen in 1906 Connecticut who thinks reading Shaw and erotic poetry makes him very adult. Delicate Cecelia Parker really looks the part of his sweet girlfriend who isn't quite ready for kissing yet. Lionel Barrymore isn't bad as Nat, Richard's wise newspaper editor father Nat; Wallace Beery is a great drunk Uncle Sid. The later movie version Summer Holiday stays remarkably true to the original show, up to and including the romance between Sid and Aunt Lilly (Aline MacManon). Mickey Rooney is the annoying little brother here.

I actually think Summer Holiday has the better cast, but this one is interesting, if a little slow-moving, for fans of the cast or coming-of-age stories.

Had lunch around quarter of 1. Watched Match Game, and then Classic Concentration, while I ate. Orson Bean and Marcia Wallace made their first appearances on Match Game in this episode from 1974. Yesterday's champ from Classic Concentration not only won all the prizes, he finally got the car, too. The funny older lady from Brooklyn that he beat went on to win the next round, though she couldn't get the car.

Went for a walk around 1:30. It was hot, sunny, and humid, probably in the mid-upper 80's. People definately weren't social distancing at the picnic tables on West Clinton or gathered around Elsie's across from WaWa. WaWa itself was thankfully a lot quieter. I treated myself to a chocolate banana smoothie and a soft pretzel.

When I got home, I dropped into bed for a nap. I was up late and didn't sleep in as much as I have been lately. Couldn't even keep my eyes open long enough to watch the afternoon shows.

Awoke in time to do some writing. Lee, Betty, and the frog lead them into the basement, which is the equivalent of a dungeon in the fairly recent Password Palace. There's trolls guarding the entrance, but one seems very familiar...and he may be willing to help...

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Previous big winner C.B Farnsworth reappeared in the audience on Match Game; Brett and Richard even performed a bit of the song they came up with when he was a contestant. Sale of the Century crowned a new champ, a woman who bought two Instant Bargains, won two out of the three Fame Games, and just barely won the speed round when the drummer missed a question. Though she said the organ they had as the first prize was nice, she too opted to return and try again.

Switched to Summer Rental after dinner. After air traffic controller Jack Chester (John Candy) has a near-breakdown at work, he's ordered to take a vacation. The trip doesn't go well at first. They first end up in the wrong house, then discover that the shack they're really staying in is on the direct path to a noisy public beach. Jack gets into a feud with obnoxious local big shot Al Pellet (Richard Crenna) when Pellet bumps him in line at a fancy seafood restaurant. Jack ends up with a sun burn and an injury that forces him to spend time at home and away from his family. He finally signs up to learn how to sail from Scully (Rip Torn), the crusty owner of a seafood joint housed on a run-down boat.

When the owner of their house dies, it turns out that Pellet has bought the house and intends to throw them out. Jack bets the amount of their rent for the rest of the summer that he can beat him in the local regatta. He, Scully and his unusual crew, and the rest of the Chesters work hard to make the Barnacle sea-worthy...and learns that the family who works together, kicks snob rear together.

This is basically a less-quirky variation on One Crazy Summer with a family instead of teens and almost the same ending. Enjoyable enough if you're a fan of Candy or 80's comedies.

Finished the night with another trip-themed episode of Charlie's Angels before the Match Game syndicated premiere on YouTube. "Angels at Sea" from the first season takes Kelly, Sabrina, Bosley, and Jill onto a cruise ship that's been experiencing more than the usual amount of fatalities. The ladies first have to figure out which of their suspects is the killer, then stop the bombs he's planted all over the ship.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

It's Raining Sunshine

Awoke to pouring rain and a gloomy morning. The rain continued as I ate breakfast and watched Blockbusters. No one could touch that granddaughter-grandmother pair today. They dispatched the woman challenger as I turned on the TV. The granddaughter only missed two questions on the Gold Rush bonus round, and she and her grandmother were easily dealing with a new male challenger when the show ended.

Did the dishes, crocheted a pillow case for my couch pillows, and waited for the showers to end while watching Broadway Melody of 1938. I go further into the third entry in the series (and the one that introduced Judy Garland's rendition of "Dear Mr. Gable (You Made Me Love You)" ) at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Broadway Melody of 1938

Had lunch while watching a horse-themed episode of the 2003 Strawberry Shortcake. Honey Pie is excited about being the Grand Marshall of the "Festival of the Fillies" on Ice Cream Island. While Strawberry's friends handle having their own horses, they have to rescue Honey Pie from the devious Licorice Whip, who wants the talking pony for his own horse show.

Switched to the first half of Classic Concentration while getting organized to run errands. An older woman and a young salesman were the contestants this afternoon. The guy barely let the lady get a chance to play. He won most of the prizes, took her only one, and ultimately guessed the puzzle. He didn't get close to winning the car, though.

The rain was long gone by the time I'd started out with the cart, replaced by sun, heat, and humidity. First stop of the day was the laundromat. They weren't really busy, but I had other things to do. I tossed my small load into the slower washer to give me time and headed out.

Family Dollar is a block away. I wanted to buy a Father's Day card. Thought of getting more bins too, but they're out of the really expensive ones. Their sugar is cheaper than the Acme's, so I grabbed some there. To my embarrassment, I grabbed a ripped one. I didn't realize it until I was choosing a drink and stepped into grit...and looked over my shoulder and saw small piles of sugar on the floor. I put the sugar back and quickly told an employee and the girl behind the counter what happened.

My load only had a few minutes left when I got back. Even though it wasn't busy, I decided to once again work on my story notes outside. I'm not sure I trust sitting in the laundromat anymore. Despite the signs on the doors clearly saying you need a mask to get in, one young man doing his wash just a few machines down from me didn't wear a mask or any protective covering. Whenever possible, I will sit on the concrete barrier between the parking lot and the house next-door and wait for my wash to finish or run other errands.

Ran Tattletales while I put my clothes away, then Press Your Luck as I worked on that pillow case. This time, there was a two-way tie on Tattletales between the dry-humored older couple Milton Berle and his witty wife Ruth and kooky Donald Ross and Patti Deustch. Yesterday's champ on Press Your Luck was finally unseated by a woman who had an unprecedented run on the board, winning over 28,000 in cash and prizes without hitting a single Whammy.

Worked on writing for the next few hours. Richard is about to leave when he finds Fannie's crystal slipper, dropped when she hurried off. He brings it with him, hoping to find her again. Lee, Gene, and the frog lead them into a servant's hall, then across the main castle, dodging several guards on the way. It's Jo Ann the fairy who notices the line of demons and trolls on their way to the ballroom, reminding them that they have to find the others, before things get even worse.

Broke for leftovers at 6:30. Match Game brought in dancer Bobby Van and comedy writer and comedienne Ann Elder, and Laugh-In sweetie Sarah Kennedy as the older man contestant just barely beat a very nervous blonde lady. I don't know why drummers seem to do so well on Sale of the Century. A rock session drummer was neck-and-neck with the previous champ for the first half, but he started to pull ahead during the second half, then blew everyone away in the speed round. He too opted to return for better prizes.

Finished the night online after a shower with more Charlie's Angels at The Roku Channel. Once again, the Angels are supposed to be on vacation in the first season episode "Angels On a String." Sabrina claims she met a Polish political leader when he climbed over the railing at their mountain resort to meet her, but he doesn't seem to recognize her later. It turns out to be a double planted as part of a way to discredit the man. The ladies pose as employees at the hotel to find out who did it and where they took the real man.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

To Cherry Hill and Back Again

Began a cloudy, blah day with breakfast and Blockbusters. That grandmother and her granddaughter barely let the first guy get on the board. The grandmother didn't miss a single hexagon on the Gold Rush bonus round, winning in record time. They were having a slightly harder time with a mother when the show ended.

Spent the next hour or so baking. My dark chocolate cake mix became Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies with the addition of butter, chocolate chips, and an egg. I think I put too much butter in. They spread a lot and were kind of soft, though they tasted pretty good.

Watched One Crazy Summer while baking, and later as I went through the rest of my records. Hoops McCain (John Cusack) is talked into spending the summer in Nantucket with his best friend George (Joel Murphy) and his protective little sister and their grandmother (Billie Bird). Hoops falls for gorgeous and tough Cassandra (Demi Moore), whom they rescue from bikers on their way to the island. Cassandra is trying to make money to buy her grandfather's home from wealthy restaurant owner Aquilla Beckersted (Mark Metcalf) and his spoiled son Teddy (Matt Mulhern). He lies and tells her he's good at basketball, which only leads to trouble when he has to go up against Teddy and his abs. He and his friends do help advertise her band gig, but it does no good when the Beckersteads buy the house outright. Hoops and his friends have to enter the local regatta - and help Hoops overcome his fear of boats - to beat these rich jerks at their own game.

This another old favorite that turned up on cable all the time when I was a kid. The quirky cast (including Bobcat Goldthwait and Tom Villard as a pair of unalike twins and Curtis Armstrong as the sensitive son of a military nut) and oddball antics give this a slightly wackier feel than most 80's "snobs-vs-slobs" comedies. If you're a fan of director "Savage" Steve Holland's other movies, the cast, or other 80's summer comedies, you'll want to check this out.

Switched briefly to Match Game and Classic Concentration while having a quick yogurt and berry lunch. On Match Game, Richard found Brett's lost earring in the opening. Later, everyone teased Allen Ludden about his weird answer earlier in the week and admired the beautiful long hair on an Indonesian contestant. The contestants on Classic Concentration were neck and neck in prizes for most of the game, until the woman got a Take and snatched the piano from the man, then got the last couple of prizes and the puzzle. She didn't get close in matching cars on the bonus round, though.

Contacted Uber shortly after Classic Concentration started. They picked me up quickly, and there was no traffic on the road...but the old man who drove me must have gotten confused and dropped me at the Crown Plaza Hotel next-door to Cooper! Oh well. It's a super-short walk, and his early arrival meant I had plenty of time to get there.

My appointment was possibly the fastest visit to the doctor I've ever had. The technician fetched me less than five minutes after I checked in. Dr. Ramerez arrived about five or so minutes after he left. The verdict was pretty much the same as last time. I'm to continue exercising it at home and wearing a sling when I'm out. He spent more time signing papers for work than checking my arm. I'll be returning for my next appointment July 1st. If' it's not quite ready by then, I may need another week or two off. The whole trip took a little over an hour, including both Uber rides.

As soon as I got home, I put the papers inside, then went back out. I wanted to get at least a little bit of a walk in today. So did everyone else. Despite the dull gray clouds and chilly wind, I saw lots of people walking their dogs or pushing strollers. Kids walked together or gathered on their bikes. Passed by one diverse and chatty group of boys on bikes as I headed home down Manor Avenue.

Had a snack and worked on crocheting while Tattletales and Press Your Luck were on. All of the couples on Tattletales this week know each other too well, including two of my favorites from Match Game, Patti Deustch and Donald Ross. The show ended in the second three-way tie in a row. This wasn't the case on Press Your Luck. The champ managed to only hit the Whammy once and came out with a trip to the Bahamas.

Went on the computer and did some writing for a while. In an attempt to streamline the ball sequence, I cut out a lot and went straight to Malade confronting Gene. Yes, she was the one who lured him into the forest and turned him into a tree, having transformed herself into a different beauty. He dodges her fire and uses his magic to fling her into the wall before they head off to find Fannie and free the others.

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Marcia Wallace, who almost never matches the contestant on Match Game, missed only one question today. Meanwhile, we had a new winner, a funny older man who seemed to have a bit of a crush on Brett. The champ just barely made it through on Sale of the Century, winning the speed round despite having bought an Instant Bargain (he said he lived with five guys, and they definitely needed a trash compactor). I thought he was going to take the entertainment center, but he opted to come back and try for larger prizes.

Went online and watched the original 1965 That Darn Cat! on Disney Plus. Patti Randall (Hailey Mills) is a normal teen girl who lives with her older sister Ingrid (Dorothy Provine) and a Siamese cat, named DC (for Darn Cat). At night, DC prowls the neighborhood, frequently causing trouble. One evening, he returns from one such outing wearing a gold watch with the letters "HEL" etched on the back. Patti is convinced that the watch came from a teller who was kidnapped by bank robbers. She convinces Zeke Kelso (Dean Jones), a handsome young FBI agent, to take her case. He sets up headquarters in Ingrid's room, to her dismay, and sends agents all over the neighborhood to follow DC and see where he goes. When that just scares the cat off, Patti convinces Zeke to follow DC himself, despite his being allergic to cats. Meanwhile, Patti has to hold off her dimwitted surfer boyfriend Canoe (Tom Lowell), Ingrid's fending off the affections of dull Gregory Benson (Roddy McDowell), and their elderly neighbors (Elsa Lanchester and William Demarest) are spying on the whole business.

This is another older Disney film I used to watch a lot on The Disney Channel when I was a kid. Rose liked it better than me then, but that may have been because I didn't understand the mystery. Nowadays, I still think Canoe is an idiot (Patti can do so much better) and some details (like Canoe's obsession with surfer movies) haven't dated well, but for the most part, this is a pretty cute way to spend two hours. A great cast helps, including Frank Gorshin and Neville Brand as the thieves and Ed Wynn in one of his last roles as the jeweler who helps Patti convince the FBI that there's more to the watch than they think. If you love comic mysteries, the cast, cats, or comedies from this era, you'll want to go on the prowl to find this one.

Finished the night with the current version of Muppet Babies, also at Disney Plus. Bunsen and Beaker make their first appearance on the show in "Bunsen Knows All." Bunsen may be incredibly smart for his age, but he doesn't know where rubber chickens come from. When he tells Fozzie they come from trees, it leads to the kids all trying to grow a rubber tree to get a chicken from. "Doctor Fozzie" is quickly overwhelmed with patients when the other Muppets decide they'd rather have ice cream than help him out. They finally have to take care of him when he collapses from exhaustion.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Sunny Day Magic

Began another lovely, sunny morning with breakfast and Split Second. It was a tight race between the one man and one of the women. In the end, it was the man who got through the Countdown Round questions the fastest. He didn't chose the board with the car this time, ending up with more money and another chance to return.

Had on Blockbusters while I checked my finances online. Another mother-daughter pair breezed through their first challenger today and gave the second a fair run for their money. They didn't do quite as well at the Gold Rush, though, missing too many hexagons to get it.

Switched to Broadway Melody of 1936 after breakfast. I go further into Eleanor Powell's first backstage extravaganza at MGM in my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Broadway Melody of 1936

Worked on a treat while the movie ran. I want to get rid of my cake mixes. They're full of salt and other things that aren't good for you. I think I'd rather stick to making real cakes and cookies from now on unless a a recipe with a mix is requested. I only put one stick of butter in my Berry-Oatmeal Bars, but maybe one was enough. They're still very sticky! The original recipe called for blueberries. I didn't have enough blueberries to cover the pan, so I added the remaining strawberries. Yum! Very salty-sweet and chewy.

Went out the door as soon as the bars were done. Wanted to get my grocery shopping in today, since I have my doctor's appointment tomorrow. At least the weather is still appropriate for long walks. The sun is out, the sky is a deep blue, and a cool, stiff breeze ruffled my hair. Lots of people out walking their dogs, riding bikes, and working in their gardens, too.

My first stop were the clothes donation bins behind the Acme. To my dismay, they were covered in tape. I had clothes I needed to get rid of. I just dropped the bags behind the bins and figured that if anyone wanted them, they could have them.

Despite it being past 1:30 at this point, I dodged a ton of traffic on my way to Sonic. I didn't know Chick Fil'A was so popular so far after lunch. Sonic was surprisingly busy as well, with more than half the spaces in their lot filled. Maybe everyone's treating themselves now that more of New Jersey is opening. Only saw one other person taking advantage of their outdoor seating, though. I had a grilled chicken, a cherry limeade, and tater tots. Almost lost my straw and a couple of napkins to that strong, cool wind! The cherry limeade and tater tots were as tasty as always. The grilled chicken was greasy and messy and didn't want to stay in the bun. I ended up eating it with my fingers.

The Acme was as quiet as the restaurants had been busy. Everyone must have come over the weekend. A lot of sales were missing, including the generic ice cream quarts I'd been hoping to buy. At least Dannon yogurt is 69 cents. Found cheap breaded flounder fillets, too. Restocked strawberries, blueberries, bananas, milk, butter, brown sugar, black tea, and a new grocery bag after the handle on my previous one broke.

Watched Tattletales as I unpacked, then Press Your Luck while crocheting. There were a trio of genuinely interesting couples on Tattletales today. I came in as tough guy actor Glenn Ford answered a question. He was joined by his wife Cynthia, early TV pioneer Milton Berle and his lovely wife Ruth, two favorites of mine from Match Game, comedy writer Donald Ross and his kooky wife Patti Deustch. They all knew each other so well, all the couples won.

That wasn't the case with Press Your Luck. Everyone got hit rather badly with Whammies on the second half after barely getting any spins in the first round. The winner finally avoided them long enough to get a trip to Maui and a motor scooter.

Did some writing for a while after the show ended. Gene fights off guards with his magic when Queen Betty turns up with her new frog friend. He and Maid Lee insist that they know how to get into the dungeon and past the guards. Gene tells them he'll take them there, then makes them all disappear.

Had a salad and banana-chocolate chip bread for dinner while watching Match Game. Richard Dawson got to do another impression of his character Corporal Newkirk from Hogan's Heroes, this time in response to a question about what they'd have to watch for punishment on that show. Sale of the Century focused on another tight game, with the champ and the one woman going back and forth. In the end, the champ just killed everyone on the speed round, then said he'd come back and try for better prizes later.

Finished the night on YouTube with something a little different. Der Froschkong, or The Frog Prince, is a 1991 German/Czechoslovakian retelling of the Grimms' fairy tale. The youngest princess of the kingdom is an avowed tomboy who would rather wear pants, go out riding, and shoot water balloons with her guy friends than wear a dress or learn to dance for her sister's upcoming wedding. She falls for the cocky, troublemaking prince who once broke her sister's heart, then gets her heart broken when he kisses another girl. To teach him a lesson, a witch turns him into a frog. The spell can only be broken by a girl who remains loyal to him despite danger. There's plenty of danger when the peasants, believing the frog to be the monster from a prophecy, try to raid the caste during the elder princesses' wedding dinner. It's up to the younger princess to keep her promise to this odd frog and keep both of them out of the hands of the angry populace.

The special effects are kind of awkward today - the frog looks awful - and like the Cannon Movie Tales, the story is way too drawn-out. We don't even see the Frog Prince until more than halfway in. The princess herself is charming and funny, especially with her more feminine best friend and lady-in-waiting Rose or throwing quips out at the obnoxious prince. It's not dubbed or subtitled, so I'm going to say on this side of the world, this is mainly for fairy-tale lovers who can use captions, speak German, or like me, don't mind that they can't fully understand the dialogue.

Der Froschkong/The Frog Prince

Monday, June 15, 2020

Are You Ready for the Summer?

Awoke to a ringing phone. Rose called; Finley returned to her regular sitter, and she was now able to look at my letter. I would have sent it to her ages ago, but she never sent me her current e-mail address. She finally managed to text it to me. I dressed quickly, checked my text messages, and e-mailed her my attached later. I still haven't heard from her. If I don't hear from her by tomorrow, I'll call or text her.

Had breakfast while watching Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. Dan makes "Something Special for Dad" when he sees how happy Grandpere's letter makes his father. Daniel Sr and his son make Mrs. Tiger banana bread as a way to say "I Love You, Mom!"

Went to Hulu for Doc McStuffins as I cleaned up from breakfast. Doc holds "Lelani's Luau" when her new hula doll is homesick for Hawaii. Lelaini tries to show everyone the hula, but she's too run down to dance. Doc has to find out what kind of power she needs to hula again. "Karate Kangaroos" are part of a "Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots"-style fighting game. Angus, however, is nervous about fighting his more energetic friend Sydney. Doc insists that they talk it over and find out how he feels about it.

Spent the next couple of hours cleaning the kitchen and going through my spices. Almost all of my spices but the ones I use come from the dollar store. Some of them have been around since I first moved to Wildwood over 15 years ago. Those small bottles of grill seasoning I like are full of salt, too. I ditched the expired cream of tartar, seasonings I don't use, and the grill seasonings that were almost empty. The remaining bottles now all fit in on my minuscule counter.

Watched Meatballs while I worked. It's going to be an exciting summer at Camp North Star in Northern Canada. Wacky head counselor Tripper (Bill Murray) constantly flirts with the female head counselor Roxanne (Kate Lynch) and befriends lonely camper Rudy (Chris Makepeace). The counselors-in-training are a horny bunch who steal camp owner Morty's (Harvey Atkin) air conditioner, listen to the girls under their cabin at night, make out on a camping trip, and help Tripper dump Morty in increasingly weird places. When they're not trying to figure out what their hormones are doing, they're trying to compete with rich Camp Mohawk across the lake. Everyone thinks Camp Mowhawk will win their big Olympiad but Tripper, who reminds everyone that it's just games, after all, and encourages Rudy to do his best when he ends up running the marathon.

I have a soft spot for the first movie in this long-running franchise. As funny as the CITs can be, it's Murray who walks away with the movie. His quips and off-the-cuff announcements over the intercom are hilarious, and his relationship with Makepeace is touching. (His harassment of Roxanne early-on is a lot less amusing nowadays.) All in all, if you're a fan of Murray or are looking for a light summer film for young teens on up, this one is worth checking out.

Went for a walk after I finally finished the kitchen. Other than it being slightly warmer, the weather today was as perfect as yesterday's. Many adults returned to work today, but I saw a lot of kids in front of Phillies Phatties with their bikes and out walking with friends. Strolled up Manheim and past Dad and Jodie's house on Hillcrest, then back down Reading. People chatted with their families on their porches and worked in their gardens before it gets too hot to do so later in the week.

Watched Tattletales and Press Your Luck while having a blueberry smoothie and slice of banana chocolate chip bread for lunch. Gary and Barbara Crosby won Tattletales for the banana (yellow) section, though Tita and Sammy Cahn did come back and get some money on the board after missing all of the questions in the first half. The Whammies flew fast and furious on Luck; in the end, the new champ was the guy who only got hit with one.

Worked on writing for the rest of the evening. Orson the troll, Gary Scarlet, and Little Sarah Riding Hood have literally crashed the party. Sir Bert Convy is with him. He assures Gene that he has friends who are willing to help deal with Malade. Debralee (Scott) the water fairy helps out by making rain in the ballroom, sending most people fleeing.

Didn't break for dinner until past 6:30. Things got really crazy on Match Game, as Gene introduced (and flirted with) the show's camerawomen in a response to an answer given as "cameramen" and Charles joked about Brett's age. The only guy playing on Sale of the Century remained neck-and-neck with the two women, but finally pulled ahead in the speed round. I don't think the previous champ was too upset, though. She bought a trip to Montreal from the Instant Bargains that she said she'd always wanted. The current champ decided he was more interested in the upcoming prizes and opted to return.

Finished up the night with Summer School, which is currently running free with ads on Pluto TV's on demand service. High school phys ed teacher Freddie Shoop (Mark Harmon) is all ready to spend the summer in Hawaii with his girlfriend, until the devious vice principal Gillis (Robin Thomas) tells him he has to teach summer school or lose his tenure. His class is all filled with kids who couldn't pass their English exam, including two goofballs who are obsessed with horror movies, a pregnant girl (Shawnee Smith), a football player  (Patrick Labyorteaux) who'll get cut from the team if he can't bring up his grade, and another girl who is more focused on getting her driver's license (Kelly Jo Minter). At first, he takes the kids to the beach and to the amusement park, then does things for them when Gillis says they actually have to study. It's after Freddy almost quits that the kids realize how much he's done for them...and that the history teacher next door (Kirstie Alley) realizes that he cares more about the kids and seeing them pass that test than he'll admit.

This is another one of those slobs-vs-snobs comedies that I loved seeing on cable when I was a kid. Alley doesn't come off as much more than a love interest and the kids (other than Gary Riley and Dean Cameron as the world's biggest fans of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) are all pretty generic. Harmon, however, is likable enough to carry most of it, especially in the second half when he starts to realize how much the kids are really learning. If you love other goofy comedies from around the same time like One Crazy Summer, you'll probably enjoy this one, too.