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.

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