Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Return of the Sunshine

I awoke to a cloudy morning...but by the time I got moving, the clouds were long gone, leaving a beautiful, sunny day. Since Buzzr no longer runs To Tell the Truth at 8 AM, I opted for one of the Match Game episodes on the DVD set I bought last year. 

The chapter of The Matchless Gene Rayburn I just finished involved Richard Dawson's acrimonious departure from the show, so I did an episode that plainly illustrated why Richard left. At the end of episode 1005 of Match Game '77, Gene asks everyone "Dumb Dora is so dumb, she sent her cultured pearls to ___." Ed Asner and Brett say "college." Charles has to fight for his answer, "scuba diving school." Debralee Scott's answer "finishing school" is dinged and buzzed at the same time. Richard also said "finishing school," which is flat-out buzzed. Debralee and Richard got angry at the judge Ira Skutch. They made so much noise they scared poor Patti Deustch, who just barely gave her answer, "night school" (also buzzed). Charles and Brett tried to make a joke about Charles being the "first victim of the 'school riot' after the commercial, but the damage was done. The contestant lost, and the lower tier kept their answers out in protest for the remainder of the episode. 

Thankfully, work wasn't anything close to that crazy. In fact, not only were we dead for most of the day, but there was plenty of help. One bagger was already there when I came in, and another came in later. Plenty of cashiers, too. I rounded up carts, shelved candy and loose items, and swept the floor. No problems whatsoever. 

By 3 PM, the weather was so nice, I took the long way home down Nicholson Road. So did a lot of other people. The traffic was fairly heavy around the entrance to the shopping center. It cleared out once I got past there, and was gone when I hit Oaklyn. I don't blame people for wanting to be out, on cars or bike or foot. The weather was perfect for late September, blue, breezy, and warm but not really humid.

Changed, had a snack, and picked up around the apartment while watching Buzzr. Elaine Joyce and Bobby Van came from behind to be the big winners on Tattletales. They got the last question after missing two of the first three. For the second time in three days, the young man champ on Press Your Luck was the only one to avoid the Whammies and pick up just enough money and prizes to win. 

Worked on writing for a while after the show ended. While Betty tries to revive her husband, Brett attempts to get Charles out of Malade's hands. Gene thinks there's an easier way...because he and Charles can see lights coming from the city beyond the palace marching towards the garden. Lights held by the residents of Nerdocrumbesia, demanding that their king and queen be restored...

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Had leftover lasagna and a fried egg while watching Match Game '74. Everyone made jokes about Fannie's red glasses sweater in the opening. Betty White made her second appearance on the show that week in the audience to cheer on her husband Allen Ludden.

Started Chocolate Chip Muffins made with ricotta cheese while Match Game PM was on. Betty White came in for a lot of ribbing when everyone answered what you'd do if you had the "Betty White flu." She had less luck helping a contestant win 10,000 with "Policeman's ___."

The muffins were in the oven shortly after Sale of the Century began. The woman champ once again dominated the competition. Only the other lady got anywhere near her. She picked up two Instant Bargains, won two of the three Fame Games, and killed at the Speed Round. She ended up winning a loveseat and sofa; she mentioned she was setting up a new apartment and desperately needed furniture.

Finished the night online after the muffins came out. Started with Hart to Hart, which was mentioned in one of the questions on Sale of the Century. "Rhinestone Harts" are all ready to promote their newest discovery, country singer Lorene Tyler (real-life country singer Charly McClain), nicknamed "The Rhinestone Cowgirl" for her glittery outfits. She loans her newest outfit to Jennifer for the big going-away party the Harts hold her before she leaves for her tour...but someone else is after that outfit, too. It would seem that Lorene's husband and manager isn't what he claims to be, and those rhinestones aren't exactly what he claimed they were, either.

The 4077th MASH division have their own problems in the first episode of the second season, "Divided We Stand." General Clayton (Herb Voland) assigns a psychiatrist to follow the members of the 4077th around to see if they're cracking under the strain of the war and should be reassigned. Henry Blake tells them to behave as normal as they can in order to stay together...but this crowd wouldn't know normal if it dropped a bomb on them. It takes the arrival of wounded soldiers to show the psychiatrist what this crowd can really do when they all work as one. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Rainy Day Woman

Considering how worn out I was last night, I desperately needed to sleep in this morning. It's just as well. I awoke to pouring rain. The rain slowed down by the time I rolled out of bed. Watched Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood while eating breakfast. "Daniel Gets a Shot" when his mother takes him to Doctor Anna's office for a check-up. He's nervous about it, until Mrs. Tiger encourages him to think of something happy. Daniel and O love splashing in puddles on "A Stormy Day," but they don't love the thunder that makes noise and forces them inside. Mrs. Tiger again insists that they think of something they enjoy to distract from the noise.

Tried the new show Mira, Royal Detective on Disney Now as did the dishes and got organized. Disney Junior finally decided to get away from princesses and try something a little more unique here. As you can guess from the title, young Mira is the official detective for Indian queen Shanti, with the help of her goofy mongoose friends Mikku and Chikku. It's up to her to solve smaller cases, like "The Case of the Royal Scarf." Mira's friend Priya is upset that she lost a beautiful scarf she made for the queen. Mira and inventive Prince Neel try to follow the red bag it may have vanished in before figuring out that the answer is closer to home. Mira has to once again help a friend solve "The Case of the Missing Bicycle" when her new vehicle goes missing on a muddy day. The two girls learn how hard responsibility can be when Mira is also tasked with the care of her toddler nephew and has to take him on the case.

Rounded up the laundry as Match Game ran. I've seen the first episode of 1977 before. A sweet young man with the loveliest smile made it to the bonus round, where Richard finally helped him win big bucks in the bonus round. Meanwhile, Joey Bishop would rather spend most of the time being cranky.

Hurried out as soon as the episode ended. I really wanted to get the laundry done before the weather turned bad again. I was in luck. The laundromat was dead when I arrived. I grabbed the washer that took the least time. I was able to buy a Banana Smoothie, fruit, and a pretzel at WaWa for lunch and still dashed back in time to see it on the spin cycle. Worked on story notes while sitting on the concrete barrier, despite a warm and stiflingly humid day. 

Dashed home, put everything away, and went right back out. I really wanted to deposit the check from my inheritance at the bank. I should have waited. Even as I rode to Collingswood, it started to shower lightly. By the time I made it into the bank, we were in the middle of a monsoon. Tried standing under the overhanging part of the bank's roof for 20 minutes, but it just didn't stop.

Made my way as fast as I could a few blocks down to Innergroove Records. I hoped to wait out the rain there and see if I could make a few good finds. My recent windfall allowed me to make a splurge, and I did fish a few decent finds out of the dollar bins as well. I ended up with:

Phantom of the Paradise - Original Soundtrack (Cost me 15 dollars, but since I just bought the movie, I figured I might as well pick up the soundtrack, too.)

Pinocchio - Songs from the Film (probably Disney studio recordings, but it's still the songs.) 

Super Gold Hits (Another 70's collection from my old friends K-Tel.)

Hooked On Classics II

The rain wasn't ending. It just kept on falling hard. I couldn't hang out in there forever. I finally brought my purchases to him around 4:30...and of course, he put them in a paper bag. Collingswood banned plastic, he said. Great. Lovely for the environment, but what about rainy days? Not everyone has a waterproof vinyl bag on them all the time. There was no getting around it. I tried one more time to wait it out under the train tracks, but it continued to pour. I couldn't stay there forever. I ended up riding home in the rain.

Walked in around 5:30, literally soaked to the skin. Everything on me was so wet, it still hasn't dried as of a few hours ago. Changed, quickly left the records out to dry, and went into a short writing session. Brett and Charles convinces Betty to get around being squickish over the slime and just kiss the darn frog already. She does...and he's indeed transformed into her husband Allen, who has a whopping headache and is a little sticky but otherwise fine.

Had leftovers for dinner and made ginger molasses cookies while watching Match Game PM. Dick Martin, Bart Braverman, and lovely redheads Barbara Rhodes and Fannie Flagg joined Charles, Gene, and Brett in this episode from 1979. They tried to decipher the thick Arkansas accent of a sweet teacher with bouncy Shirley Temple curls and helped a young man with "Other Side of ___." 

The woman champ found a formidable opponent in the other woman contestant on Sale of the Century. Once again, they were back and forth all night, even after the champ bought the last Instant Bargain. She finally blew everyone away in the Speed Round and won 3,000 on the match the prizes board.

Finished the night with Strike Up the Band. I go further into the second Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland "let's put on a show" movie at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Strike Up the Band

Monday, September 28, 2020

Quiet Afternoon at Home

Overslept and got a quick start this morning with breakfast and What's My Line? I barely listened to it. I had to wolf down my food, change into work clothes, put on my sneakers, pack lunch, and dash out the door. I just made it to work on time.

It was on-and-off steady in the morning, while it remained cloudy and humid. By the time of my break around noon, business fell off so quickly, I spent all but five minutes of my remaining shift shelving boxes of candy bars and putting a full cart of loose items away. No problems coming or going. It was pin-drop quiet when I headed out.

Took the long way home down Nicholson Road. That might not have been a good idea. I passed road work being done on Nicholson, near the car shop. They diverted the cars down a side street, and I ended up having to go around all the equipment on the shop's parking lot. Also ran into a little traffic in Oaklyn that was backed up as a train went by. Not to mention, while it was sunny by 3 PM, it was also hot and sticky, with little breeze.

I was so tired when I got home, I changed, had a snack, and just lay down on the futon to rest and watch game shows. Dancers Bobby Van and Elaine Joyce join hilarious comedian couple Frenchie and Marty Allen and Ronny Cox and his brilliant chemist wife Mary on Tattletales this week. The Coxes ended up being the big winners and were the only ones to get three out of four questions right. 

Press Your Luck got even crazier. Two of the three contestants - including the champ - got hit hard with Whammies in the first round. By the end of the second round, the guy with the least money and no Whammies was taking no chances. He passed his two turns to the lady next to him with the big bucks...and saw her Whammy out. Despite having a little over 2,000, he ended up being the big winner. 

Managed to sneak some writing in after I peeled myself off the futon. Betty mourns the frog, who was seriously injured when an angry Malade the demon threw him against the wall. Patti the mermaid has splashed him with water from the fountain, but to no avail. Brett finally calls out from her perch on Malade the demon's shoulder that she should just kiss the amphibian, already!

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Match Game ended Charlie Brill and Richard Deacon's run with jokes about Gene leaving his pants at Brett's house and an Audience Match that was really a "___ Blank." Match Game PM returned to weekdays with a really cute episode from 1979 that began with a cameo by Gene's beloved wife Helen and ended with a big 20,000 win. 

Settled down on the futon and worked on crocheting while watching Sale of the Century in its new 7:30 time slot. The female champ just keeps on rolling. The man got a little closer, but she bought two of the three Instant Bargains, won all of the Fame Games, and zipped through the Speed Round. Chose the ski package on the Match the Prizes board.

Finished up the night on the Watch TCM app with another lovely "enchanted" romance, The Enchanted Cottage. Plain and shy Laura Pennington (Dorothy McGuire) comes to the cottage, owned by the grumpy old Mrs. Minnett (Mildred Natwick), just prior to the beginning of World War II. The cottage is all that remains of a burned-out nobleman's home. It was once rented to honeymooners, until Mrs. Minnett's husband died before they could be married. While there, Laura meets handsome and charming Oliver Bradford (Robert Young) and his fiancée Beatrice (Hilary Brooke). She thinks she's out of his league...until he returns from World War II battered, scarred, and bitter that Beatrice couldn't handle how he changed. She helps him recover, and he brings out her beautiful and gentle nature. They eventually marry, mainly because they think they're the only ones who can stand how they look...until their time in the Cottage makes them realize that, no matter what anyone else thinks, they're beautiful to each other.

This was such a sweet, charming little romance! Young and McGuire were perfect as the seemingly "ugly" people with beautiful insides that stay hidden, until released by love. Herbert Marshall, himself a disabled veteran in real-life, played off them well as the blind pianist who can "see" the true love they can't, and Natwick was appropriately grumpy and otherworldly as the embittered owner of the cottage. If you're a romantic or love low-key fantasies, you'll want to head to the Cottage and check this one out. 

Sunday, September 27, 2020

The Eagles Tie Down the Bengals

Started off another cloudy morning with apple-cinnamon pancakes for breakfast and Prime Time Musicals. This Verase Sarabande collection brings together songs from lesser-known TV musicals of the 50's and 60's, some of which no longer exist outside of their soundtrack albums. Along with a few songs that are pretty well-known even now ("A Ride On a Rainbow" from Ruggles of Red Gap, "Love and Marriage" from Our Town) and two songs from Barry Manilow's Copacabana, I enjoyed "One Day at a Time" from the Bing Crosby vehicle High Tor (which I reviewed on my Musical Dreams blog back in April) and "Listen to Your Heart," a sweet ballad from a version of Pinocchio with Mickey Rooney as the puppet and Fran Allison (of Kukla, Fran, and Ollie fame) as the Blue Fairy. 

Switched to Lost In Boston IV while cleaning up from breakfast. This is one of the collections of songs cut from stage musicals - in this case, from shows that played off-Broadway or had short runs. My favorite is the hilarious opening number. "Thirty Weeks of Heaven" is a spoof of early 20th century vaudeville tours that is funnier than anything that made it into By the Beautiful Sea. Other ones I like include "Marking Time" from Pippin, the ballad "A Green and Private World" from the notorious flop Drat! the Cat, and three devastating numbers from the late 70's show Ballroom, "Who Gave You Permission?", "The Job Application," and "Suddenly It's You." 

Went over to Jodie's side of the house around quarter of 1. This time, the kitchen was as full as it's allowed to be at the moment. Rose and Craig were there, with Finley playing with toys in the living room and Khai attached to games on his iPad. Jodie ordered Vodka Pizza, pizza from a local place made with Vodka sauce. Not bad. Very salty. Rose brought lemon and chocolate petit fours. (Jodie really liked the lemon.) There were crackers and various bruschetta and olive spreads as a snack. 

Finley, Rose, and I went out for a walk a little later. Finley hoped her friends next-door would be out, but they all play for sports teams on Sundays. We ended up strolling down the steep hill to the dock on the lake. The lake is mostly covered in algae right now, and not very pretty. Finley and Rose still insisted they saw a turtle and kept looking for them all around the dock. All I saw was bright green spots.

We strolled back up to my place after that. Finley loved playing with my rag dolls and Cabbage Patch Dolls, who now sit at the heavy dark wood doll table Jodie gave me. We played with Luna the Black Cat and a couple of my bears, too.

When we went back to the main house, Rose pulled out the bin of Beanie Babies for Finley to play with. She seemed most interested in the two cats, which made sense, given they have two cats at home. We played with a unicorn, birds, bears with labels on their chests, a walrus, and several cows before I went back to the living room. Said "hi" to Mark and his girlfriend Joya, enjoyed crackers, and sat down for the game. 

By the second half, I was so tired, I just about passed out on the couch. Finally left around 4, just as Rose and her brood were heading out. The game wasn't really going anywhere, anyway. The Eagles and the Bengals ended up tying 23-23.

Spent the rest of the evening watching game shows. Every September, Buzzr has a "Lost and Found" marathon of rare or unusual game show episodes. This year, they went super-rare with black-and-white shows from the 1950's and early 60's. Each show was a Goodman-Todman production that lasted a year or less, and had anywhere from one to four episodes remaining. 

Get the Message and Call My Bluff were variations on Match Game and Wordplay, respectively. Message had two celebrities writing down words to describe a person, place, or thing. The celebrity had to guess what it was. Bluff was funnier. This time, one team gave three different descriptions of a strange word. The other team had to guess which was right. (Interestingly, Peggy Cass took part in both.) Bluff apparently went over far better in England (where it ran for 20 years) than here. 

Say When!! had more in common with The Price Is Right. The contestants chose prizes to match up to a certain amount. Whomever can call "when" without going over wins their prizes. Number Please was Wheel of Fortune without the wheel. Two contestants call out numbers on a board. The more numbers they choose, the more letters will come out. Whomever guesses the words wins the prizes they represent. Split Personality allowed one contestants to choose the clues for the other to guess a famous person. Whomever got the most right would have to guess which two celebrities are represented on a split face in the end.

The final show was a genuine oddity. What's Going On was a huge flop in 1954 that only lasted five episodes, four of which exist. It was basically "What's My Place?" Three panelists have to guess where three other panelists are. The game play was boring and derivative, but this one gets a pass for Audrey Meadows doing a hilarious kick line with an all-male chorus line and Clifton Boardman and tenor James Melton attempting to race antique cars. 

(Incidentally, survey says the big winner here was Call My Bluff. Like Blockbusters, I really wish that one went over better on this side of the pond. It was funny and genuinely delightful to watch. Say When!! was the best of the non-celebrity-based shows. The truly weird What's Going On gets a pass mainly for the funny segments - the actual gameplay was nothing special.) 

Having just come off the daffy Going On, I finished the night with two other shows that mixed laughs and game-play. The Cheap Show from 1978 was a syndicated Chuck Barris spoof of game shows in general. Dick Martin hosted a goofy semi-game that had costumed contestants answering questions. If they missed, their partner got slimed, or hit with pies. Winners of the question rounds got junky nonsense "prizes." The pair who made it to the bonus round did get a genuinely good prize...chosen for them at random by a rat running around a wheel. This one is more weird than fun, although the slime and pies do give you the feeling Nickelodeon channeled a kid-friendly version for their Double Dare a decade later. 

Like What's My Line? and To Tell the Truth, I've Got a Secret got a syndicated revival in the late 1960's. Unlike those shows, it wasn't a success...but it did give Richard Dawson some of his first game show experience. I read about this episode in The Matchless Gene Rayburn and had to see it for myself. Gene's old boss Steve Allen hosted this version of the show where a panel has to guess a contestant's "secret." Good panel here, too. Gene and Richard were joined by Broadway star Nanette Fabray and Pat "Grandma Arbuckle/Ursula" Carroll. 

The first guy's "secret" was pretty nifty - he made an organ out of soda cans. The second took Steve out into the audience as several men stood up in their seats. Nannette guessed they were all named "James Smith." 

Charles Nelson Reilly was the third guest. He admitted he was learning to paint by numbers...and he somehow learned while painting a still life of fruit on the stomach of bikini-clad Price Is Right model Janice Pennington. The ladies nearly fell over laughing when they found out, and Richard just grinned...but Gene practically drooled, jumping all over the place and trying to get at her! It was funny as heck. 

If you need a good laugh, check out these two comic rarities! 

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Rainy Day Harvest

Began the morning with a late breakfast and the 2003 Strawberry Shortcake. Strawberry invites the whole gang on a camping trip in the woods. Most of the kids look forward to it, but Ginger Snap is afraid of the dark. She desperately tries to avoid it, then brings as many flashlights as she can. It becomes "Ginger Snap's Night of No Fright" when she goes looking for her lights in the middle of the dark woods. They allow her to shed some light on her fears...and reveal that what scares her isn't really anything to be afraid of.

Switched to Split Second while getting ready to run errands. Once again, we had two women and a man, and once again, the women completely dominated the show. The lady who one wasn't as lucky as some other people I saw on the show last week and chose money on the prize boards. She opted to return and try for the car again.

Made my way out as the show ended. This is the first time in weeks I've been able to get to the Collingswood Farm Market...but first, I wanted to check out a yard sale. Boy, was that a mistake. It was just piles of junk thrown into old baskets. They had nicer dishes on a table inside, but the kitchen floor was crusted with dirt, and the place was dirty and spooky. I dashed out in a hurry.

Besides, I wanted to get to the Farm Market before it closed. Despite the late hour and the humid and cloudy morning, they were as busy as anyone's allowed to get right now. They even had live music again. I got there so late, the mushroom seller sold out, but I was able to buy other seasonal items. 

Peaches, plums, cucumbers, and New Jersey blueberries are gone, but I saw some of the first pumpkins, sweet potatoes, and winter squash of the year. Picked up tiny apples, a lavender-striped eggplant, a zucchini, sweet potatoes, cherry tomatoes, sweet peppers in many colors, and this year's pumpkin for the house. I always buy a medium or "pie" pumpkin in late September-early October and keep it out until after Thanksgiving or it goes bad, whichever comes first. I never carve my pumpkin - I'd probably end up carving me! Besides, I like having it out for the entire fall. 

Stopped at WaWa next for a treat. I love their banana smoothies. They use real bananas, and it tastes marvelous, creamy and sweet. Went with their Bananas Foster (caramel) Smoothie. Picked up Mountain Dew's Halloween limited edition soda flavor VooDew to drink later. (Incidentally, the VooDew was...ok. Tasted like liquid Skittles. Mountain Dew in general is usually too sweet for me, but I'm glad I tried this one once.)

Took the long way back to Oaklyn across Newton Lake Park. That may have been a mistake. It showered lightly while I was buying produce at the Farm Market, but picked up by the time I hit the park. I was quite wet when I rolled into the parking lot at CVS. I was hoping to buy dishwashing liquid there, but there was none on sale. Ended up with more brush picks and a can of low-salt cashews.

Threw on Match Game when I got home and ate a very quick lunch. This was an episode from earlier in the week featuring Jimmie Walker, ever-laughing Kaye Stevens, and one of Charles' strangest answers. When asked what an old gypsy woman looks into besides a Crystal Ball, his reply was "Cherry." Even he looked a bit mystified at that one. Brett gave him a good smack; Richard just gave him strange looks.

Went down for a nap after I got off at around 2. I'm dead tired. This is the first day I've had off since last Wednesday. Jodie may be utterly delighted I'm working so much, but neither she nor Rose have ever worked retail. They don't know how exhausting it is. Had a solid sleep until around 4, then read The Matchless Gene Rayburn for a half-hour. 

Worked on writing as well as I could, given how worn out I am. Charles finally gets everyone singing, even as Della and Nipsey join Elaine and Bobby in holding onto Malade's fur. Betty's too upset over her friend the frog being knocked unconscious to join them...but they may need her help if they're all going to get rid of this menace...

Broke for dinner at quarter of 7. I had a hard time finding what I wanted for review, so I just ended up watching cartoons as I made baked crusted salmon with steamed broccoli and spiced sweet potato chips for dinner. The Cat In the Hat Knows a Lot About That did three Halloween episodes during its run. "Trick or Treat" from late in the first season is the third and last. The kids are ready to go trick-or-treating, but they'd like to learn some real tricks to get treats. The Cat introduces them to a spider monkey, a coconut crab, and a fruit bat to learn how they get their favorite treats. Nick thinks fighting a dragon would be more exciting than taking care of a child. "King Cecil the Seahorse" teaches him otherwise when he and the Cat take the kids across the ocean to find the perfect place for him to hatch his babies.

Switched to Muppet Babies as I cleaned up from dinner. Rizzo claims it's "Finders Keepers" when he unearths what he thinks are emeralds in the sandbox. The kids convince him that it's better to give something that isn't yours back than keep it. They end up spoofing Indiana Jones-style adventures as they dodge mummies Statler and Waldorf to return the treasure (and try to keep Rizzo from taking more). When Gonzo's friend Potato (an actual potato) lands in the yard next-door, the kids are convinced there's a scary monster over there who wants to eat him. They do everything they can to avoid the monster and rescue the spud...but it's Nanny who eventually reveals that the "Monster Next Door" isn't as scary as he looks.

Finished the night online with the 1987 Snow White. I honor the late Diana Rigg with her performance as the Evil Queen from the Cannon Movie Tales version of this beloved story. 

Family Fun Saturday - Snow White (1987)

Oh, and the rain stopped shortly after I got home. The clouds have been in and out since then, but I don't think it's rained again. 

Friday, September 25, 2020

Foggy Day In Oaklyn Town

I couldn't believe how foggy it was when I woke up this morning. I could barely see the trees and lake from the windows in the living room/kitchen area. White mists rolled down the hill, drifting past limp green and gold leaves and sodden earth. It was kind of spooky, and even unearthly. 

Wasn't much cheered by the tail end of To Tell the Truth. The contestant was a man who'd been incarcerated by the Russians and finally escaped a few years before. Everyone said older number two, who looked like he'd been through a lot, but it was young and sturdy number 3.

What's My Line? was a lot more fun. Henry Morgan, a long-time veteran DJ and comic on radio and TV, got the first one right away - a company made an early videotape of their opening poems. The tape looked nothing like the long plastic rectangles many people used to record their favorite programming over a decade later. It was a thick, heavy square popped into a huge wood and metal TV and console. The next contestant was the attractive owner and operator of an all-woman gas station. Morgan got a little too distracted by guess right. Arlene Francis caught on with her. Henry had more luck with the "Guess the audience members' occupations" game - it was Larry who couldn't get that right! Soupy guessed almost immediately that the Mystery Guest was his fellow TV comedian Jack E. Leonard.

Headed off to work just as Line ended. Once again, work was dead almost the entire morning. It picked up a little bit around 11:30, and I was late getting out due to a large order. Other than that, no problems whatsoever. 

Strolled over to Sonic for lunch as soon as I finally got out. It remained a bit misty and humid, though not nearly to the degree of the morning. It was just warm enough for me to eat outside. I enjoyed a grilled chicken sandwich, tater tots, and a cherry limeade while a couple chatted and another man leaned over his own burger.

Went right back to the Acme to do my grocery shopping after lunch. Had really good online coupons for Simply Almond milk and two cartons of eggs. Dug two packs of tortilla-crusted salmon out of the seafood department. Chicken was also on a good sale; grabbed drumsticks. Restocked honey, pumpkin, white flour, yogurt, bananas, white cooking wine, red wine vinegar, parchment paper, butter, tomato sauce, and those peanut butter-oatmeal-strawberry natural bars I like.

Checked my schedule while grocery shopping. In good news, I have three days off, including Sunday. I'll be able to run errands tomorrow, see the Eagles game Sunday, and rest. I also have fewer hours, but it's not that bad, and it won't hurt me as significantly as it would have this time last year. 

Went straight home after I finished my shopping. Came in time for Super Password. Marcia Wallace is much better at Password than at Match Game, and she proved it by helping her contestant get almost all the way through the bonus round and actually win the extra money for the Ca$hword mini-game. 

Changed and put everything away while Tattletales was on. Jack Carter and his wife Roxanne were far and away the big winners today. No one on Press Your Luck got close to that. All of the contestants were hit with at least one Whammy in the first round, and two wound up with three. The previous champ Whammied out on his first turn in the second round. It came down to the other man and the one woman. In the end, he picked up 2000 that won him the game, along with a collection of early video games.

Worked on writing for a while next. Gene, who is an excellent fencer (and apparently was in real-life), uses a sword borrowed from Richard to hold one of the demons back, while trolls Sir Dick (Gautier) and Sir Robert (Waldon) handle the other two. Elaine convinces Bobby to give Malade's leg a healing hug, which she hates (and to douse her smelly fur with perfume). Charles and Brett sing in the hope of distracting Malade while Fannie conjures up a wind that'll blow her away...

Broke for a simple yogurt and peanut butter-stuffed celery dinner at 6:30. Richard Deacon catches the toupee bug from the previous occupant of his seat Charles Nelson Reilly on Match Game. Meanwhile, Brett struts her stuff after a she comes up as the contestant's answer to which Match Game panelist would be most likely to be a nude centerfold for MAD Magazine

Sale of the Century was even more exciting. The young man champ and the one lady were neck-and-neck the entire show. The other man was behind, until he got two big number cards on the Fame Game board that allowed him to catch up in a hurry. The Speed Round was a real battle. The lady would get an answer, then the champ would. It ended in a tie; she got the last question and won the game. She picked up a cute Norman Rockwell artwork on the match the prize board.

(Oh, and for you Buzzr fans out there, Sale of the Century moves to 7:30 as of Monday. Match Game PM takes over it's 7 PM spot, Concentration graduates to prime time at 8, and Password Plus is now afternoons and weekends only.)

Finished the night online after a shower, watching the 1948 romance Enchanted on Kanopy. Griselle Dane (Evelyn Keyes) arrives at her grand-uncle Rollo's (David Niven) house in London while stationed there as an ambulance driver during World War II. She convinces him to take her into his grand old house, and eventually learns why he's reluctant to leave it. He was raised there with his brother Peltham (Phillip Friend) and priggish sister Selina (Jayne Meadows). Selina plays mother and tries to control everything and everybody in the house, including her father's ward Lark (Teresa Wright), whom he took in after her parents died in a train crash. 

Lark grows up to be a sweet, vivacious young woman despite Selina treating her like a lesser being. She and Rollo have loved each other since they were children, but Selina would rather he focused on his military career and she married a rich Marchese (Sheppard Strudwick). When she lies to both of them and Lark ends up running to the Marchese, Rollo vows that he'll never forgive her. Now he lives with his bitter memories of what might have been...but he can help his niece avoid a similar fate with a handsome young American officer (Farley Granger) who happens to be Lark's nephew.

Jayne Meadows, who today is best known for her comedy work on TV shows alongside her husband Steve Allen, was a revelation as the cold, calculating Selina. I kind of wish they told you what happened to her. You find out what happened to Lark, but not Pelham or Selina. I presume she died alone and unloved in the house. Wright and Niven also do well as the young duo who have always loved each other and always will, despite everything. Samuel Goldwyn surrounded them with a sumptuous production, recreating London in the 1880's and World War II in all its genteel and gritty glory. If you love a good historical movie or tearjerking romance, you'll want to check around for this one. 

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Late Afternoon Delight

Began the morning with breakfast and Won't You Be My Neighbor? This is the 50-minute Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood "movie" that introduces Jodie Platt the platypus and her family to the cast. Daniel's delighted when he sees a moving van pull up to the house next-door, and is even happier when he learns that the family has a child his age, sweet Jodie. Poor Jodie is homesick and misses her old neighborhood, especially when she can't find her favorite book that her mother reads to her every night. Daniel helps her find her book, then introduces her to his friends when everyone goes to the Enchanted Garden for a welcome party.

Switched to Split Second while getting ready for work. Started off with two women and a young man. This time, the guy pulled ahead in the end. For the third time in less than a week, he chose the board with the word "car" on his very first try.

Headed out to work shortly after the episode ended. Work was as dead as it's been all week. We were steady around the noon rush hour, then died out again. Other than I got my break a little late, there were no major problems, and I was in and out as fast as I could go.

Took the long way home down Nicholson Road, despite it being the beginning of the evening rush hour. There was a little traffic around the mall and church, but after that, it was smooth sailing. The weather didn't help. It was damp and gloomy, with heavy clouds lingering over South Jersey. At least the greenery is lovely. There were beautiful yellow sunflower-like blossoms growing on high stalks waving on the sides of the hill going into Oaklyn. 

Found two packages waiting for me when I arrived home. The smaller held Prime Time Musicals. This collection of songs from lesser-known television musicals of the 1950's and 60's is a long out-of-print Varase Sarabande title I picked up on eBay. The other was a biography from Amazon. The Matchless Gene Rayburn was a LOT bigger than I expected, but then again, it has an index featuring not only all of Gene's TV work, but all of the panels on all three versions of Match Game Gene hosted, including The Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour

Looked over the book while watching more game shows. Slightly smarmy George Hamilton and his wife Alana were the big winners on Tattletales today, over comedian Jack Carter and his wife Roxanne and Chris and Carol Connelly. Things went fairly well for the contestants during the first half of Press Your Luck, with everyone picking up at least a little money. That ended early in the second half. The Whammies suddenly flew fast and furious. The one man only hit one and picked up a "heritage tour" across the US and golf clubs, among other prizes.

Worked on writing for a while after the show ended. Sir Dick Gautier and Robert Waldon arrive, ready to pound on Malade for turning them into trolls. They come just in time to see Gene and Bill Cullen use their lights to hold back Malade...and hear more people arriving, including Debralee the Water Fairy.

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Made vegetable lasagna with spinach and eggplant while watching Match Game '74. Charlie Brill joins Jo Ann Pflug, Patti Deustch, and the regulars as hammy Gene poses for his audience on arrival and they make jokes about how the cue card boy Roger spells "cannibal." The young contestant on Sale of the Century just keeps rolling. This time, he was ahead the entire episode, won the Speed Round decisively, and picked up 3,000 on the match the prize board.

Switched to It's a Living on Tubi while finishing up dinner. Cassie has to deal with a "Jealous Wife" in the third season when a woman storms in claiming she stole her husband. Cassie thinks she knows who it is, but gets a real surprise when she realizes that her current flame isn't as available as he claims to be. 

Ended the night online with Pan-Americana on TCM's on-demand app. I go further into this tale of a Goodwill Tour that ends in romance, with stops for numbers from top Latin American talent of the 1940's, at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.


Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Back In Business

Began a sunny morning with breakfast and Sale of the Century. This was a really early episode, when people still chose which number they hoped to find the cards under on the Fame Game. It was also another close game, but the champ just pulled ahead in the speed round. He opted to return when he discovered the next prize up was a gorgeous white grand piano.

Worked on writing for a while after the show ended. Gene and Bill Cullen are having a hard time holding off the three smaller demons, until Della and Nipsey come in to help. Gene waves his wand at them, trying to remind them that they were once wizards, too. Gene can hear footsteps in the distance...and sees light coming from Televisa City...

Broke for lunch at 11:30. Watched Mickey Mouse: Mixed Up Adventures while quickly downed yogurt and a banana. We see the origins of the "Mixed Up Adventures" moniker in "Mickey's Mixed-Up Motor Labs." Mickey's new mobile motor lab can add anything to their racers at any race. Chip and Dale mess around with it before a big parade...and they end up with wacky racers that can fly or have duck's feet. Mickey has to figure out how to use their new abilities to retrieve the parade balloons. Daisy and Minnie go looking for work in "Wishy Washy Helpers." They compete to see whether mine's old-fashioned elbow grease and soap or Daisy's mechanical hose can get the windows on a skyscraper clean first.

Headed to work as soon as the cartoon ended. I spent all of two seconds in a register when I first arrived. They sent me in for someone leaving, and a lady came back from break shortly after. To my surprise, I spent the rest of the day sweeping, gathering carts, doing returns, and helping a new teen bagger learn how to clean up a spill and gather trash. The head bagger always has Wednesday off, and the bagger with the next-highest seniority is on vacation. Fine by me. It was too nice to be inside all day anyway. I got to enjoy a sunny, warm, slightly more humid day and teach a really nice kid the ropes. He picked up doing the trash and especially cleaning really well, too. I was impressed.

As soon as I got home, I changed and had roasted broccoli and the last of the leftover lasagna for dinner. Watched Match Game as the food baked. While Fannie joked about her apple-and-snake shirt, the others had fun with a contestant named "Krash Kilgore," and Gary did several spot-on imitations of his former teacher (and the man who previously sat in his seat) Charles Nelson Reilly. 

Unlike the last two days, it was all about the champ today on Sale of the Century. The one woman did get pretty close in the second half, but he left everyone in the dust during the Speed Round. He picked up a diamond ring on the match the prizes board.

Took a nice long bath after the show ended. My heart may have been happy to push carts again, but my legs were protesting. I was too sore for a shower. The soaking felt great as I listened to jazz and read a book on finding the female power within you.

Finished the night online with Hart to Hart. "Murder Takes a Bow" when Johnathan and Jennifer discover the body of a playwright hours after he gave Jennifer a copy of his latest creation. When his copy of the new play and Jennifer's go missing, the duo leap into action to find out if there was something in the play that the murderer wanted, or if it was the play itself - and the fame accorded a new, untried playright - they were interested in. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Beautiful Day In Fall

Began the morning with breakfast and a couple of Disney shorts in honor of the first day of fall. "Autumn" is one of the early Silly Symphonies, following beavers, crows, and other animals of the field and woods as they prepare for winter. "The Cat's Out" and is chasing birds in the yard...but when he falls, he has a frightening nightmare about the birds, spiders, and trees all growing to twice their size and attacking him.

Donald Duck had two encounters with Chip and Dale set during the fall. "Donald Applecore" wants those two little pests away from his orchards, but the explosives he concocts to get rid of them may do more harm than good. They steal Donald's model boat in "Chips Ahoy," hoping to make it to an island with a tree filled with nuts and restock their own stores for the winter. 

Headed out shortly after "Chips Ahoy" ended. Work was exactly the same as yesterday - steady during rush hour, otherwise dead the entire day. We're in the middle of a month that doesn't normally have much going on after Labor Day, and the weather is just too beautiful for a lot of shopping right now. 

Went straight home when I got in, then back out again after I changed and had a quick snack. I had a few errands to run, starting with a trip to Dollar General. Sugar and peanut butter are cheaper there. Grabbed what I needed as fast as I could and got out.

I didn't linger there because I wanted to get the laundry done. I really don't want to wait for my one day off on Saturday. I'm glad I didn't. They weren't very busy when I arrived at 3:30. It's too nice to do laundry, too. Treated myself to a Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake Smoothie and a pretzel at WaWa while they were in the washer, then worked on story notes on the concrete curb after I dropped them in the dryer. The smoothie was very sweet and creamy, more like eggnog than pumpkin. I enjoyed it while basking in the warm fall sunshine, a fresh wind blowing on my nose.

Took out the trash and put everything away when I got home, then did some writing. Nipsey recites a poem and kisses Della awake, partially restoring her magic. Richard's more skeptical. He's not Fannie's true love. Lee points out that they are her friend...which is why they're able to hug her back to health. (At least until she protests them squishing her.)

Broke for Match Game and scrambled eggs with mushrooms and spinach at 6:30. For some reason, Buzzr skipped almost a whole week - including Charles' last episode of 1974 - moving ahead to Gary Burghoff's introduction as a regular. He was joined by Mike Evans of The Jeffersons, Fannie Flagg, and Joyce Bulifant to try to figure out the answer to "Mack ___." (Hint, Gary, it's not your MASH co-star McLean Stevenson.)

Today's Sale of the Century episode started slow, but ended up almost as exciting as Friday's. This time, the one woman and the champ were neck-and-neck for the whole second half. They both killed in the Speed Round. He won by one question and picked up a reproduction of an antique Italian dining room set on the "match the prizes" board.

Finished the night on the Watch TCM app with Call of the Flesh. I go further into this Latin-set early talkie operetta featuring Mexican star Ramon Novarro at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Call of the Flesh

Monday, September 21, 2020

Adventure Times

Began a beautiful morning with breakfast and Split Second. One of the two women pulled ahead in the second half after the man was ahead and won the Countdown Round decisively. For the second time in four days, the lady chose the car on her first try. Blockbusters started off with the new solo guy winner playing the Gold Rush bonus round. He had a shaky start, missing three questions before running through the rest in record time. He and an adorable father-daughter team were on their second round when the show ended.

Went online after breakfast to work on writing. Brett uses what's left of her magic to hold them onto Malade, while Charles sings in her ear. Brett's vines try to yank Malade to the ground...but Malade reveals she can absorb their powers, and have absorbed the powers she stole from them. She's just growing and growing, but Charles hopes he can gather enough good feeling to stop her...

Broke for lunch at 1 PM. Put on a second season episode of Wonder Woman while having leftover lasagna and broccoli with cheese for lunch. A broke college student (Gary Burghoff) becomes "The Man Who Wouldn't Tell" when he accidentally discovers a formula for a powerful explosive that blows up the lab where he's the janitor. He flees a company who wants the formula for nefarious purposes. The IRC is recruited to find him...but luckily, Wonder Woman gets to him first.

Headed out to work shortly after the episode ended. Work was quiet almost the entire afternoon. It got steady around rush hour, then went right back to being dead. I spent my first hour shelving a half-full cart of returns. It's still too nice for most people to be shopping! We were so quiet by 6:30, I once again left a few minutes early.

Match Game was just finishing when I got in. Jimmie Walker, of course, gave "Good Times" as his answer to "___ Times," and was thrilled when it turned up at the top of the list. The episode ended with jokes about what a strange cowboy did to cows in the middle of a stampede.

Had a simple yogurt and banana dinner while watching Sale of the Century. It was the most exciting episode of this series yet. One of the men would get an answer, and the champ would get the next one. The back and forth went on through the Speed Round, which ended with a tie. The younger man just buzzed in ahead on the last question and won. Like the lady on Split Second, he won a car on the "guess the prize" board on his first try. 

Finished the night with the 1939 version of The Man In the Iron Mask at ShoutFactory's website. King Louis the 13th (Albert Dekker) is shocked when two sons are born to the throne of France. He sends one away with D'Aragnan (Warren William), his most trusted soldier, for the boy's protection. 

Phillippe (Louis Hayward) grows up under the watchful eye of the Musketeers into a bold and sensible young man.  Louis (Hayward), the young prince, becomes a spoiled and selfish king who constantly raises taxes and cares nothing about his people's suffering. He discovers Phillipe when his guards raid D'Arganan's home in Gascony. Louis corrals Phillipe to take his place that day with lovely Princess Maria Theresa of Spain (Joan Bennett) and avoid an assassination attempt. He not only avoids it, but shows mercy to those who tried to execute it and charms Maria as well. Louis is boiling angry when he discovers this intruder is his true brother and has him locked in the dungeons in an iron mask. It's up to Maria Theresa and the Musketeers to free Phillipe from his prison and put the far more beneficial and just ruler on the throne.

Enjoyable bit of blarney with great costumes representing 17th century France and a nice supporting cast. William and Joseph Schildkraut are the stand-outs as the noble, elegant Musketeer whose first duty is always for king and country, and the scheme messenger-turned-minister whose first duty is always to his own interests. Hayward does better as obnoxious, slightly nutty Louie than as noble Phillipe; Bennett is mainly eye candy. If you're a fan of the Three Musketeers stories or a lover of swashbucklers like me, this is worth avoiding the dungeon to check out. 

Sunday, September 20, 2020

The Rams Knock Out the Eagles

Began my second early morning in a row with breakfast and one of my Classic Disney CDs. I picked up this set way back in 2007 with a gift card from Lauren gave me for my birthday, but I had the cassette version of the 4th disc since I lived in Wildwood. Favorite songs on disc 4 include the hilarious "On the Open Road" from A Goofy Movie, "Just Around the Riverbend" from Pocahontas, "Ten Feet Off the Ground" from the live-action musical The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band, and "Enjoy It!" with Maurice Chevalier and Haley Mills from the non-musical adventure yarn In Search of the Castaways

Just made it to work. We were steady for most of the day, not overwhelmingly busy, but busier than we were last Sunday. People must need to restock now that the kids are either back in school, or learning at home and eating more. No problems whatsoever. It died so quickly by quarter after 2, I was able to leave a few minutes early.

Took the long way home down Nicholson Road. The weather was too glorious not to! No wonder we weren't busy. While it was very windy, it was also sunny and a bit warmer, probably in the upper 60's. Nicholson Road was a bit busy, but the only people out in Oaklyn were kids on bikes. I saw one car after I went over the hill and onto Atlantic Avenue.

Put the Eagles game on as soon as I got home. Boy, was that lousy. I'm glad Dad didn't live to see it. He would have complained the entire time. The Eagles were starting to catch up 23-19 when I got home, but the Rams intercepted what would have been a touchdown and ran it in the opposite direction. That more-or-less ended things. The Eagles just couldn't catch up the rest of the game. It's probably just as well Jodie went to Dana and Jesse's to celebrate Dana's 30th birthday and had nothing going on today. I was exasperated enough watching it at my place.

My cookies didn't go much better. I made Apples Rolled In Autumn (apple-oatmeal) Cookies from the one-bowl cookie cookbook Lauren sent me a few years ago. I guess I'm still getting the hang of that new stove. The first batch got way too brown, and a few cookies burned badly in all the batches. I haven't been baking that much. It's been too hot. At least I'll have a few months to get used to it.

Worked on writing for a while after the game ended and the cookies were out of the oven. Princess Elaine wants to heal Malade with her pure magic, but it may not be possible. Malade reveals she has a concentrated potion of all their magic; drinking it makes her even larger and more powerful. Charles calls down below for her to sing, and the others to bring light...

Broke for dinner at quarter of 7. Switched to the Broadway cast album for the stage version of Mary Poppins. There's a lot that's different here, from the "Jolly Holliday" being a romp with moving statues in the park to "Supercalafragilisticexpaldioucious" now set in a shop where words are bought and sold. There's also a rather scary sequence where the kids' toys put them on trial for mistreating them, "Temper Temper." (Apparently, that one was deemed too scary; all current versions of the stage show use a watered-down version called "Playing the Game.") Like the Disney sequel, the stage show also adds a villain, in this case Mr. Banks' former nanny Ms. Andrew, whose strict ways still terrorize him to this day. Of the new songs, I'm especially fond of "Being Mrs. Banks," where she tries to explain why she's having such a hard time with her husband, and the rousing finale "Anything Can Happen." (I do wish they'd kept one of the two ballads, the lovely lullaby "Stay Awake.")

Ended the night with three more vintage game shows, all with celebrity panelists. Started off with the oldest and rarest, Showoffs from 1975. There's a single episode left of this early version of Body Language. Here, we have four celebrities switching off playing charades with two contestants. The contestants have to guess 5 words (no puzzles here). If they can guess the words, they win points. Whomever has the most points after two rounds moves on to the bonus round. Here, the contestants act out three words for the celebrities, winning a thousand for each correct guess. They can stop after two thousand, or try for five. 

The first man didn't think he could manage "princess" and didn't try for the $5,000, but the lady who won later was easily able to perform "razor blade." Karren Morrow, Mike Farrell, Dick Gautier, and Dr. Joyce Brothers were the celebrities...and I suspect the only reason this episode exists is Brothers hurt her ankle doing a stunt and had to be carried everywhere. Dancer Bobby Van took over as host from Larry Blyden, who died in a car accident a few months before the show went to air.

All-Star Secrets from 1979 is even more fun. Eight episodes are known to exist; I went with one from the spring. Bob Eubanks hosts. Three contestants have to guess which of five celebrities the secret describes. In this case, the celebrities were Bill Cullen, Della Reece, John Schuck, Arte Johnson, and Nannette Fabray. One celebrity gives their opinion on whom it might be. Winners split the pot. The bonus round was a "blind item," where the contestants guessed with no celebrity help. I thought this one was absolutely hilarious, and actually kind of interesting, especially with one of Arte Johnson's secrets. 

All-Star Blitz is another Hollywood Squares/Battlestars variant, this one from 1985. Four celebrities try to bluff a contestant; if they guess correctly, they lit one of the stars around a monitor. Each monitor revealed part of a word. If they guessed the phrase the words formed, the won the round. Basically the same deal as Battlestars with squares instead of triangles and a Password element added in. Charles Nelson Reilly is joined by soap opera stars Stuart Damon and Abby Dalton and original Hollywood Squares panelist Rose Marie, and all of them are pretty darn funny. Long-time Squares host Peter Marshall presided here, too. 

Here's all three episodes on YouTube; Secrets and Blitz come complete with their original commercials.

Showoffs (1975)

All-Star Secrets (1979)

All-Star Blitz (1985)

Saturday, September 19, 2020

The Kids In the Neighborhood

Kicked off an early morning with breakfast and the latest episode of Mickey Mouse Mixed-Up Adventures on Disney Now. Having cleared out a ton of junk myself in the last few months, I can really relate to "Enough Stuff!" Mickey's hot dog collectibles are starting to take over his house, and the others all have too much in their houses, too. Minnie convinces them all to hold a "Great Give Away" and give their stuff to people in the town who'll need them...but they find it hard to part with all their beloved things. Minnie's horse Penelope the pony is jealous when Minnie gives champion horse Cassidy more attention for "The Hippity-Hop Horse Show!" Minnie has to assure Penelope she'll always be her favorite.

Headed out to work around quarter of 8. Thankfully, work was no trouble at all. We were on-and-off steady all day. It was too nice for anyone to want to be shopping, sunny and breezy and in the 60's. I spent time working on story notes.

Took the long way home down Nicholson Road and Atlantic Avenue. The weather was just glorious. It may have been a tad chilly for this time of year, but the sky was a deep blue and the breeze felt lovely and cool. That could be why Nicholson was fairly busy, especially around the mall. Things quieted down once I headed over the hill and into Oaklyn. I saw a few kids on bikes outside, but no cars.

Put on Match Game as I changed and had a snack. It was a repeat of the episode from the other day with the question about what Ann Elder does after she eats at Richard Dawson's house. The contestant said "throw up," which didn't make Richard happy! I'm not sure how thrilled he was when Gary Burghoff and Patti Deustch matched him, either.

After the show ended, I settled down for a nap. I'm not used to waking up super-early anymore. Slept until quarter after 4, and probably would have gone longer if I hadn't heard a knock at the door. Jodie brought me some margarita pizza from her lunch. Tomato sauce with fresh basil and blotches of fresh mozzarella happens to be my favorite pizza from Phillies Phatties. I took a rare chance to happily enjoy my treat in bed.

Worked a little bit on writing after I threw my plate away. Brett manages to conjure up enough magic to allow a vine to lift her up next to Charles on Malade's shoulders. Meanwhile, Marcia is raging angry when one of the smaller demons attacks Bill Cullen. She tries to attack him, but can't bring up her own mind magic. Prince Bill (Daily) finally sets aside  his cowardice long enough to leap on the demon instead.

Rose arrived with her kids while I was writing. I joined them around 5:30 across the street at the home of Khai's friends Chloe and Bree. Somehow, we all ended eventually ended up around the corner in another neighbor's backyard. Sandy has a fire pit and brought out sticky buns and fresh popcorn for everyone. 

While the mothers and grandmothers chatted over the fire pit, I played with the kids. At first, Chloe, Khai, Finley, Mary, and Emily jumped on the trampoline. Then they decided to climb a certain crooked-limbed tree in another neighbor's front yard (Chloe claimed they had permission), where they perched while playing Pokémon Go on their cell phones. At that point, we were joined by my next-door neighbors Savannah and Ryan, who rode Chloe's pink scooter and tried to figure out what the noisy concert coming from the VFW on the other side of the train tracks was.

As the day melted into a lovely pink and gold sunset (which Chloe and I admired), the kids returned to Sandy's backyard to play what they called "zombie apocalypse." As far as I could tell, it mainly consisted of Ryan trying to hit the girls with foam pool noodles while they told him not to hit them and tried to keep him out of their hiding spot between bushes and vines and their shed. I took over the black wrought-iron chair and table on the other side of the shed, called myself the General, and declared it neutral territory. All the kids could chase whomever they wanted there.

Finally headed home around 8 PM, when Rose took her kids back and realized just how cold my bare toes were. Finished up the night with a quick yogurt dinner while watching Pinocchio on Disney Plus. I go further into one of Disney's most famous early films at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Animation Celebration Saturday - Pinocchio (1940)

Friday, September 18, 2020

A Pirate's Life For Me

Started off a sort-of-cloudy morning with breakfast and Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. Given the weather we had yesterday, I thought "A Storm In the Neighborhood" was appropriate. A big storm is about to hit the area. The Tiger family invites treehouse dwellers Katarina, Henrietta, O, and X to stay with them while it blows over. Meanwhile, Mrs. Tiger teaches the kids about following the plan for an emergency and holding a grown-up's hand. There's a lot of cleanup "After the Neighborhood Storm," what with downed branches all over and the huge tree blocking the Clock Factory. Daniel and the other kids learn about neighborhood helpers like police officers and fire fighters who keep us safe and help out.

Switched to Split Second as I cleaned up from breakfast. It was the episode that ran during Buzzr's St. Patrick's Day "Lucky Wins" marathon. A woman who resembled a blonde Annie Potts was slightly trailing behind a young photographer for most of the episode, but came from behind to win the Countdown Round and got the car on her first try. The solo woman beat the duo on Blockbusters, but missed the Gold Rush round. She was starting in on the next pair when they ended.

Season 3 and 4 of Benson are currently on The Roku Channel. I went with an episode from early in Season 3, "The Sit-In," while I got ready for work. The local chamber society holds a concert in Benson's office in protest of losing their funding, just as Benson is trying to hold interviews for a new secretary. His previous secretary, Marcy, is moving to Buffalo. The one he chooses as her successor, Denise (Didi Conn), seems a little ditzy, but she's really a genius with numbers. Meanwhile, Marcy wishes someone would take the time to say "good bye."

Work was on-and-off busy, likely thanks to the weekend and some good sales. Some folks early-on in particular were demanding and frustrating, and I was so annoyed and tired and angry. Things got better later, when it slowed down a little. They said I had a relief, then told me to shut down, which I did just in time.

I'm livid over my schedule this week. In good news, more hours. In frustrating news, my next day off is next Saturday. I hate it when I work 10 days in a row! When am I supposed to get anything done? Couldn't they have given me one little day off in the middle of the week? There's at least three or four people on vacation this week, plus a lot of folks took leave when the virus hit and haven't returned. I would give anything for a solid, consistent schedule that's the same from week to week! 

Did this week's grocery shopping after work. I had a coupon for one box of those tasty peanut butter-oat-fruit bars from the Acme's generic "natural" brand; I bought two boxes. Picked up ricotta to make more lasagna, too. Grabbed Crest's "gum detox" toothpaste while it was on sale and I had an online coupon. Went back for free eggs from the online rewards program. Found a container of small scallops in the seafood department. Restocked yogurt, butter, spinach, apples, brown sugar, bananas, frozen peas, grapes, carrots, broccoli, honey, crushed pineapple, and mandarin oranges.

Went straight home after that. Got organized and had leftovers for dinner while Match Game ran. Bart Braverman, many-voiced Arte Johnson, and adorable soap opera star Erica Hope joined Gene, Brett, Charles, and Fannie Flagg to finish out the week in late 1978 as Gene delights in getting his repaired longer microphone back. 

The 6 PM episodes jumped back to 1974, bringing Richard Dawson in with Mitzi McCall, Gunilla Hutton, and Nipsey Russell for the first episode as they all tried to answer the Audience Match "__ Nun." Jimmie Walker, bombshell Lynda Day George, and noisy Kaye Stevens joined in for the second episode, just in time to see Gene have to ride the set to get past the malfunctioning doors!

Made Norsk Apple Muffins while watching Sale of the Century. It was a tight race for the entire game, with everyone winning or buying something and no one really ahead of anyone else. The younger man just barely won the Speed Round by one question and picked up 10,000 on the match the prize board.

Finished the night after a shower with the 1945 swashbuckler The Spanish Main on the Watch TCM app. Dutch captain Laurent Van Horn (Paul Henried) is tossed in prison by the corrupt Viceroy Don Juan Alvardo after his ship runs aground in Cartagena. He and his remaining crew escape, and he becomes the daring pirate the Barracuda to get back at the Viceroy and his people. He intercepts a ship carrying the viceroy's intended bride, lovely and feisty Countess Francesca Alvardo (Maureen O'Hara), who agrees to marry him to keep him from harming their escort ship. The Viceroy isn't the only one who's after the Barracuda. Laurent's former lover Anne Bonney (Binnie Barnes) and a jealous pirate (Barton MacLane) also want their share of the money from looting ships and agree to help the Spanish capture the dashing Dutch pirate.

Henried did this primarily because he was tired of playing stoic Europeans and wanted to do something fun. He got his wish. He's no Errol Flynn, but he is suitably dashing as the handsome Dutchman who sticks it to the man who hurt him by stealing his bride.  O'Hara more than matches him as the fiery noblewoman who comes to understand why Laurent feels the way he does about the Viceroy when her intended ignores her orders and incarcerates the pirates. Gorgeous Technicolor production, too, with nice villains in Barton MacLane and Walter Sleazak. Great bit of blarney if you're a fan of nautical yarns like me.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Silver Clouds and Soft Rain

Began a fast and cloudy morning with breakfast and Sale of the Century. This was one of those cases where the young guy champ was ahead most of the game and blew everyone away at the Speed Round. It was also the week of the prizes revolving around hilarious Indiana Jones spoof skits; in the end, the young man finally decided he wanted to come back and try for a motorcycle fit for a globe-trotting archeologist (or a college student). 

Rushed off to work as the episode ended. I left so fast, I forgot my money and didn't get to grocery shopping today. I needed have hurried. Though it did pick up a bit during rush hour, we were quiet for most of the day. Spent a lot of the time working on story notes with no problems whatsoever coming or going.

Took the long way home down Nicholson Road to enjoy the afternoon, ignoring some traffic around the mall entrance. While not a stunningly gorgeous day, it was relatively cool, very cloudy, and humid. It also wasn't raining, and I haven't had much chance to get out lately. It's really starting to look like fall here. Some trees are already slowly starting to turn colors; flaming orange mums and soft purple asters are appearing in many gardens.

Went straight into writing after I got home, changed, and had a snack. Malade is distracted trying to dislodge Charles from her fur. Meanwhile, Gene and Bill Cullen are attacked by the remaining smaller demons. Gene discovers they're afraid of light when he produces a soft glow with his wand, but it's not enough to stop them from knocking slower Bill Cullen over...

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Ate leftovers while watching Match Game. The panel had a great deal of fun with a question about who falls asleep on the sidewalks in Burbank on Saturday nights, while Nipsey admired a lovely young school teacher contestant. 

Sale of the Century was almost as funny. For the second time in a little over a week, one of the Instant Bargain trips was to near where the champ lived. Jim had to quickly change it from Reno to Palm Springs to convince him to buy. The champ eventually bought two of the three Instant Bargains, blew everyone away in the speed round, and picked up another trip to Puerto Rico on the Match the Prizes board.

Finished the night with the 1949 Bing Crosby version A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's Court. I go further into this time-traveling swashbuckler at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's Court

Oh, and it did finally start raining...around 9 or 10 o'clock or so, by which time I was long online. Sounded like a good, steady shower, too. At least it's supposed to end, or at least slow down, by the time I head to work tomorrow. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Afternoon In Cherry Hill

 Began a kind-of sunny morning with breakfast and Mickey Mouse Mixed-Up Adventures.  Mickey's new gang build "Mickey's New Mouse House" together, but Mickey can't remember what happened to the key! He has to retrace his steps and remember how they built the house to find the key. Minnie's excited about holding "Millie and Melody's Sleepover" at her vacation house. Trouble is, the girls can't decide on anything they want to do, and they both want to do different things. Daisy and Minnie teach the girls and their friends about the importance of compromise.

Spent the next two hours writing. While Richard attends to Lee, the others get Patti into the water-filled fountain. Charles reminds Donald he has to kiss Patti to restore her magic. It works...and when Charles sees how well that works and how much Malade hates it and Bobby and Elaine's kissing, he gets an idea. He asks Brett to dredge up enough magic to get a tree to bend down and pick him up, then allow him to climb onto Malade...

Broke for lunch around noon. Caught some of Match Game '75 while eating blueberries and yogurt. Husband and wife Allen Ludden and Betty White appeared in one of the funniest weeks of the year, along with British comedienne Dolly Martin. Betty White rolled Gene's pant legs up, prompting her amused hubby to ask "Is this what goes on when I'm not here?" A later question about how Betty gives Allen treats like her dogs prompted quite a few jokes about their fondness for animals. 

Called Uber around 12:30. Not only were the prices a lot cheaper than they had been over the summer, they got me there faster, too. I quickly pumped my tires for work tomorrow, then jumped in the car. There was no traffic anywhere, and I arrived in less than 10 minutes, with plenty of time left before my appointment.

Was a bit surprised when a slightly grouchy receptionist handed me a paper mask and said I had to wear it. Up until now, no one complained about me wearing the cloth ones. Other than that, there were no problems whatsoever. It was almost exactly the same as my last appointment in August, only this time they took my blood pressure, too. Eating less salt and moving more has paid off. My blood pressure was lower than it was in May, just slightly above normal, and I'd lost ten pounds. I was in the x-ray room after about five minutes, and in the doctor's office after ten.

This time, the verdict was my arm is almost healed. It's still a little stiff, but I really need to start doing more therapy for it. Other than that, I'm doing pretty well. I'll be going back the day after Veteran's Day in November.

It was a lovely day for a walk down Route 70, slightly cloudy and warmer and more humid than yesterday, but not nearly as bad as it has been. Went past Dunkin' Donuts, many car dealerships, and the Garden State Plaza shopping center. I've been wanting to check out a few of the stores at the Market and Towne Place big-box mall ever since I moved, and since I had no other plans for today, I figured this was the perfect time for it. Alas, the traffic did pick up by then. I just barely dodged cars as I crossed over to Lands End.

I was hoping to find jean shorts at Lands End to replace mine, which ripped in the bottom. Nope, no jeans. Lightweight chambray that would never last a whole summer, but no jeans. I did buy a bright yellow t-shirt on sale, though.

Next stop was Bed Bath and Beyond, the main reason I came. I hoped they'd have gray or yellow bath rugs and a smaller rug for the front door. No luck with the bath rugs. The ones they had for the front of the toilet were a lot fluffier than I wanted, not smooth like my bath mats, and they had no yellow ones at all. I did find a jute rug intended for the kitchen that would work as a mud rug at the entrance until I could find something better, as well as a new comb, door hangers for my seasonal wreaths, a new scrub brush for the shower, and deodorant. (I thought I bought a brush too, but I must have dropped it somewhere in the store. It wasn't on my receipt.) 

After a brief but unfulfilling trip to the Gap, I ended up at Barnes and Noble. They didn't have the biography of Gene Rayburn or Game Show FAQ book I was looking for, but they did have the first book in the 100 Dresses series, about an orphaned servant in a magical castle who can become anyone when she tries on one of 100 enchanted gowns. 

Last stop of the day was Wegman's, a high-end grocery store chain. It probably wasn't the smartest idea to hit them at the height of rush hour, but I needed change for the bus home. Found a half-loaf of rosemary sourdough bread that would work with dinner and an almond-chocolate-coconut health bar for a snack. It was so busy, one of the employees directed me and my two items to customer service.

No trouble after that. The bus was right on time. Despite the slight traffic on Cuthbert Road in Westmont, it actually dropped me off on the White Horse Pike a little early. Treated myself to a too-sweet Maple Smoothie at WaWa on the way home.

Went straight into dinner as soon as I got in. Put everything away, then made honey-glazed carrots to go with my bread and leftover Spicy Chicken Cutlets. Watched more Match Game while I ate. Robert Pine, Loni Anderson, and Bob Barker joined in for two episodes from late in 1978. The 1974 episodes got even wilder. Gary Burghoff chased after a girl he matched in the Audience Match, then leaped at her after he won her the Head-to-Head on an unlikely answer. It took his former teacher Charles to hold him back. Mitzi McCall, Richard Deacon, and Nipsey Russell joined in for jokes about what Kojak does to prepare his bald head for a date in the second episode.

Started making a Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake while Sale of the Century was on. Once again, the champ was ahead most of the game. Though the other man caught up a bit towards the end, the champ bought two Instant Bargains and moved ahead in the speed round. This time, he won 3,000.

Did two quick shorts on my Roku public domain channel while the coffee cake was in the oven. Two children in dire poverty imagine they're "Somewhere In Dreamland," a place where they can have pretty clothes and eat to their heart's content. Three local shop keepers may be willing to help make their dreams come true. Spunky the mule is "Snubbed By a Snob" when a sleek thoroughbred colt won't play with him. He's the one who has to help the horse out of a jam when they annoy a bull one too many times and it goes after them. 

Finished the night online after a shower with two third season episodes of MASH on Hulu. Hawkeye (Alan Alda) describes "A Full Rich Day" to his father over recording equipment given to him by Father Mulcahey. They have to deal with a crazed Turkish soldier who won't settle down to let them work on him, an angry gun-toting soldier who insists they operate on his buddy yesterday, and the body of a distinguished general from Luxembourg who somehow went missing. Radar (Gary Burghoff) worries that "Mad Dogs and Servicemen" may have given him rabies, while Hawkseye tries to figure out why a young soldier who is otherwise perfectly well can't move.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Preparing for Fall

Slept in a little this morning (though not as much as yesterday). Started off with breakfast and Blockbusters. I switched on just in time to see the solo woman champ unseated by a pair of older brothers in a very close game. They just finished and were ready to move on to the Gold Rush round when they ended for the day.

Switched to Muppet Babies while cleaning up from breakfast. Animal is feeling "una-squishiated" (in his words) when Gonzo takes the help he gives him for granted. After Gonzo is disappointed over not having pickles for a snack, Animal becomes "The Pickler" and turns everything into pickles for him. Gonzo's villain Mr. Meanzo joins the Muppet Super Heroes to stop this new villain, before he pickles again! Piggy and Summer seek the perfect presents for their "Friend-a-Versary," but spend time with the guys while looking for increasingly big gifts, instead of each other.

Stripped the bed and put the spring/fall linens and comforter on next. While it's in the upper 70's-lower 80's now, it'll drop into the 60's by the weekend. Switched Dulcie and Carrie the Cabbage Patch Dolls to the new table to see if they fit, which they did perfectly. 

Ran The Cat In the Hat Knows a Lot About That as I made the bed. Nick and Sally are too excited about ice skating the next day to sleep. The Cat's friend Boris the Bear teaches them how they can calm down before resting and prepare for "A Long Winter's Nap." Sally can't figure out why her maple sapling won't grow. The Cat takes her and Nick to meet Dr. Twiggles, "The Tree Doctor," who knows all about what ails trees.

Watched Match Game as I made a Blueberry-Banana Smoothie for lunch and cleaned up afterwards. Allen Ludden and Betty White appeared together on the show for the first time during a classic week in 1975 that also introduced giggly British redhead Dolly Martin to the panel. Richard was more interested in an especially attractive female contestant, while everyone else made jokes about what Sarah Lee did to the Pillsbury Dough Boy at the bake-off and Allen and Betty's fondness for animals.

Put up the fall decorations when I finished lunch. Most of what I have for fall went in the living room or on the half-empty book shelves in the hall. The leaf garland's been falling apart for years. I thought it would work better on the ledge in the bedroom, joined by my heavy red glass leaf on the windows and one of the scarecrows. The hanging fall pillow stayed in the same place on the door of shelves that now hold my baking pans. 

Watched The Bowery Boys while I worked. The guys become Spook Busters when they're exterminators called to work on an old house that once belonged to a magician. They're caught in a series of illusions and pranks that leave them wondering if the guy's ghost stayed behind. The arrival of their friend Gabe (Gabriel Dell) back from the Merchant Marines and the disappearance of Sach (Huntz Hall) and Gabe's French wife makes them realize there's more going on in that spooky old house than just a magician's tricks.

Headed out to run errands after the Boys ended and I put the summer decorations away. The managers of the laundromat were working on fixing the washers when I came in. They changed them to use dollar coins, rather than quarters. There just aren't enough quarters to go around. I forgot to get money and had to borrow two dollars from the managers to go with the two I already had. The washers largely run the same, but the dryers now run in half-hour increments, rather than every 6 minutes. 

Ran to Family Dollar while my clothes were in the wash. I didn't find what I was looking for, which was a hook to hang over the door that would hold my wreaths. Had more luck picking up sponges, iced tea to drink at the laundromat, and more plain blue and green folders to replace the Garfield ones I gave Khai. Sat outside and enjoyed the tea and the lovely, breezy, sunny day while working on story notes.

Caught the tail end of Press Your Luck while getting organized after I got home. I think I've seen this one before. The previous champ Whammied out, and the one man didn't do so hot either. The ultimate champ hit no Whammies and won a game table and a trip, among other things.

Worked on writing after I put the clothes and linens away and cleared out linens I no longer needed. Lee (Merriweather) is still boiling angry at Malade and attacks her, only to be swept into the garden. Horrified, Richard (Dawson) goes after her...and discover Bobby (Van) and Elaine (Joyce) are more interested in making love under the asters than attacking anyone. Meanwhile, the others haul Princess Patti (Deutsch) the mermaid into the fountain to restore her magic and breathing.

Returned to Match Game while having leftover lasagna and sauteed spinach and mushrooms for dinner. For some reason, they skipped a whole week with Penny Marshall and Orson Bean and moved on to the next one. Everyone jokes about a question asking what Ann Elder did during dinner at Richard Dawson's house, while Brett's more nervous about helping the contestant in the Head-to-Head round.

The new champ on Sale of the Century had a hard time today with two new contestants. He was barely ahead the whole time. Jim kept majorly slashing prices to get him to buy Instant Bargains, which worked two out of three times. He did end up winning the Speed Round and picked up a diamond ring for his wife on the Match the Prize board. 

Finished the night online with The Beggar's Opera at TCM's on demand app. I go further into this swashbuckling comic opera featuring Lawrence Olivier as a dashing highwayman at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. 

Cult Flops - The Beggar's Opera

Monday, September 14, 2020

Of Muppets and Harts

My cell phone woke me up around 8 AM. It was one of the managers at the Acme. Could I come in two hours early on Thursday? One of the older women who work in the morning called out. I doubted we'd be remotely busy, but the extra two hours wouldn't hurt.

Went back to sleep, intending to get up in about an hour...but I ended up sleeping for two. Blockbusters was ending by the time I got to breakfast. We had a woman going up against a sister-brother pair, and it looked like she was winning as the game ended. Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour started off with a great panel that included erudite Leonard Fry, cool older lady Nedra Volz, sassy Lois Hamilton, and one of my favorite semi-regulars, author Fannie Flagg.

Started writing around quarter after 11. One of Malade's demons, a Sir Peter Marshall, brings Della to her, while Malade herself collars Fannie and drains both of their magic. Brett and Charles have to figure out how to keep the same from happening to the remaining princesses and their queen!

Broke for a quick lunch at 1. Watched Muppet Babies while I ate a salad and leftover lasagna for lunch. Fozzie is "The Karate Cub" when he decides he wants to join Camilla's "Camilla-rate" club. He goes to Piggy to learn "Camilla-rate," but finds it to be too hard and gives up easily. Piggy and the others encourage him to keep practicing. Rolf the Dog turns up to remind Piggy "Don't Over Duet" when she strains her voice before they're supposed to sing for Nanny's birthday. The others take a Fantastic Voyage inside Piggy to find her missing voice box.

Headed out shortly after Muppet Babies ended. I left so early, I had enough time to buy milk before work and put it in the employee mini-fridge in the back for later. As it turned out, we weren't really that busy anyway. It got a little busy during the 3 PM-4PM rush hour. Otherwise, we were dead almost the entire evening. I spent a lot of the time working on story notes.

Changed and had yogurt and fruit for dinner while watching Concentration. Two women played today; the younger with the big Afro absolutely killed, getting every puzzle right but one and racking up some fairly impressive prizes, including a vacation. She just couldn't get the bonus round ones right, though.

Finished the night online after a shower with another episode of Hart to Hart on The Roku Channel. The second season kicks off with "Murder, Murder On the Wall." Johnathan and Jennifer meet an old friend of Jennifer's in New York. She just got married and offers to have lunch and introduce them to her new husband. He's handsome and charming, but he also runs out in the middle of the meal. The Harts take the abandoned bride back to California, where they discovered the man was killed by the two partners who helped him rob a bank. His partners think Jennifer is the bride who knows where the money is...but they may not be the only ones after it.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Games Eagles Play

Began a sunny morning with perfect blueberry pancakes for breakfast and the soundtrack for the 1969 musical version of Goodbye, Mr. Chips. It's too bad this movie seems to have had major production problems from the get-go and flopped at the box office. Some of the Leslie Bricusse score is really lovely. Peter O'Toole may be miscast as a shy teacher, but he does get to (kind of) sing the sweet "What a Lot of Flowers" and melancholy "Where Did My Childhood Go?" Petula Clark has more fun playing Chips' West End star wife who sings the rousing "London Is London," the hilarious "School Days" with the boys, and and the touching "You and I."

Switched to another soundtrack while getting ready for work. I reviewed Funny Lady back in January when it was free on the streaming service Crackle. The movie is really something of a mess, but it has great music. Barbra Streisand introduces several new Kander and Ebb songs, including "How Lucky Can You Get?", while James Caan sounds surprisingly good on "Me and My Shadow."

Work was surprisingly quiet for the first football Sunday of the year. I expected it to be crazy before the game started, but we were off-and-on steady, not really that much different than yesterday. I guess everyone did their shopping last weekend. It was so dead by 5 PM, I headed out a few minutes early.

(Apparently the Eagles did well against Washington early-on, but eventually lost 27-17.)

Went straight into writing when I got home. Malade orders Sir Jack Narz to drag over Della, whose strength powers have lessened. She wants Fannie, too, but the Princess of the Air proves to be harder to find...

Jodie called around 6. Rose and her family were long-gone, but Jessa was there. Did I want to have tacos with them anyway? Sure, why not?

I was very happy to see Jodie and Jessa sitting together at the island in the kitchen when I came in. I made my soft-shell tacos as we discussed what to do about all the stuff in the house. Jodie said Rose is going to help her try to figure out what goes where. Trouble is...most of the stuff in the house, especially in the basement, isn't Dad's. He and Jodie never properly went through Uncle Ken's stuff after he died in 2012, and there's things that belong to Aunt Jane and my cousins Guy and Samantha, too. Jodie did bring down anything that belonged to Jessa's adopted mother Kaye for her to decide what to do with it, or send it along to Kaye's family in Florida.

Left Jessa and Jodie to settle their differences around 7. Spent the next hour and a half at my place, making Old-Fashioned Ginger Cookies while listening to the last two episodes of I Love Adventure and a couple of I Love a Mystery shows. "Hearse on the Highway" has Doc and Jack posing as truckers to track down a gang of hijackers. They get involved in "The Ricardo Santos Affair" when they're hired to protect a South American ambassador, only to end up crashing in the African jungle with his resentful wife and worried daughter.

"Ricardo Santos Affair" was the last episode of I Love Adventure. I Love a Mystery was finally revived a year later in 1949, with Reggie played by a young Tony Randall. "The Thing That Cries In the Night" has them coming to Hollywood to spend a $25,000 windfall, only to get caught up in the problems of an eccentric and troubled rich family being terrorized by strange, baby-like wails in the night.

Finished out the night on YouTube with more rare vintage game shows. Kicked things off with the original $10,000 Pyramid from 1973. Dick Clark lead McLean Stevenson, Loretta Swit, Anita Gillette, and Daniel Spielburg through three levels of subjects they have to describe to contestants. The game play is largely unchanged from the current version, other than the dollar amounts being smaller. McLean, Anita, and Loretta are just as entertaining here as they were in their Match Game appearances; McLean was especially funny.

Battlestars is an oddity from 1983. Apparently, this is it's second incarnation. It's basically a more complicated form of Hollywood Squares. Contestants land on a number that corresponds to a star. If they correctly guess if the star gives the right answer to a multiple-choice question, they win that triangle. Get three or more triangles, and you win a chance to go on to the bonus round. It's not as easy as it looks, but the contestants were helped by a great panel that included Charles Nelson Reilly, Betty White, Lydia Cornell, and Richard Kline. Alex Trebek was the host here.

Reilly also took part in the hilarious Wordplay from 1987, joined by his friend and Broadway stage star Julie Harris and Magnum PI star Larry Manetti. This time, contestants have to guess which definition of an unusual or obscure word the celebrity gives is correct. This lead to some really creative and funny answers, like Manetti insisting that "Jerry-built" meant "boat made in Alaska." I had a great time with everyone's descriptions, and I think host Tom Kennedy did, too! I'll definitely be looking for more of this one.

$10,000 Pyramid (1973)
The New Battlestars (1983)
Wordplay (1987)

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Return of the Sunshine

I was so grateful to see bright sunshine after the rain the last few days! Celebrated with breakfast and Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. Daniel celebrates the time we spend with grandparents in "Daniel's Grr-riffic Grandpere." He loves visiting his sailor grandfather, who gives him a wooden boat that once belonged to his father and shows him all the fun things that can be found at low tide. "Making Mozies with Nana" brings Daniel over to visit his friend Jodie and her Nana. They teach him how to make "mozies," banana oatmeal cookies. (I may have to try that after Mrs. Tiger's Banana Whirl came out so well!)

Switched to Split Second while getting ready for work. One of the ladies and the one gentleman were just barely back and forth the whole time. The gentleman ended up killing in the second round...but the lady came back and won the Countdown Round. She was about to choose the boards for the car when I headed out.

Work was on-and-off steady the entire day. First of all, it was too nice for most people to want to do anything besides buy barbecue fixings. It was sunny, breezy, warm but not too hot, and not terribly humid. Second, many people may be holding off until right before the Eagles play Washington tomorrow. There were no problems whatsoever, and I was in and out.

My phone went off just as I crossed Hillcrest to my side of the street. Rose called, but Jodie called at the same time. She got back to me after I'd changed and was just beginning to write. Our first checks came today; Jodie gave me mine as I put my bike in the garage. We need to figure out where to put the account, since we have ours in different banks.

Got a little bit of writing in after I got off with her. Gene rescues Charles from Sir Tom Kennedy before he can take a swing at him. Three of his fellow wizards are demons under Malade's control. She orders the remaining two (Jack Narz and Peter Marshall) to bring her Della and Fannie's magic...but those ladies aren't going down without a fight!

Switched to more Charlie's Angles while eating the other half of that pizza cheese steak from last night and a salad for dinner. "Pom Pom Angels" from the third season gets the girls off the football field and onto the sidelines. When members of the Bulldogs' new squad disappear along with their coach, Sabrina takes over coaching new cheerleaders Kelly and Kris. The girls first suspect the squad owner's smarmy son of sending threatening letters with religious overtones, but then Charlie discovers that the squad's publicist had a past that included a mental breakdown and writing a religious column...

Finished off the evening after a shower online with Pinocchio and the Emperor of the Night. I go further into this bizarre sequel to the Disney Pinocchio from TV studio Filmation at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Animation Celebration Saturday - Pinocchio and the Emperor of the Night

Friday, September 11, 2020

Games With My Sister

I was just glad I didn't awaken to rain this morning. I had morning work. Was glad to settle down for breakfast and Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood instead. Daniel is inspired to give the sunflowers his mother grows to his neighbors after Lady Elaine sends her seeds. His gifts eventually encourages the entire neighborhood to give to their friends, causing King Friday to declare it "Neighbor Day."

Headed out shortly after the cartoon ended. Work occasionally got mildly steady, but it was mostly dead all day. While it never rained and it wasn't as humid as yesterday, it was still gloomy and gray. The weather still wasn't appropriate for lingering. I spent a lot of the time working on story notes. Had a few annoying customers; otherwise, no major problems.

I'm not crazy about my schedule next week. In good news, two days off in the middle of the week, Wednesday for my next doctor's appointment. Trouble is, not only do I have fewer hours, but they're either very early or later than I have been getting them. And I'll have to miss the first Eagles game of the year on Sunday!

Dashed home quickly down the Black Horse Pike. I wanted a chance to sneak some writing in before Jessa arrived. Charles is about to ask Brett something when he feels a claw tap him on the back...and he runs headlong into the largest of the small demons. Brett, then Gene, has to dislodge him from the former Sir Thomas (Tom) Kennedy.

Broke at 6 to make Fudgy Brownies for dessert and watch Match Game. Broadway star Robert Morse (who appeared with Charles in the original cast of How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying) and TV favorite Adrianne Barbeau joined Gene, Fannie Flagg, and the regulars for jokes about Gene's wavier early 70's hairstyle and what best friends Charles and Brett would share. (Hint - it's not spouses.) The second episode brought in a very frisky contestant who really, really wanted a kiss from Fannie. Richard and Gene had to hold him back!

The second episode just began as Jessa arrived with her puppy Midnight in tow. Poor Jessa is very upset about everything that's going on. She's convinced that Jodie and Rose don't like her, because they haven't included her in anything that involves Dad's death. I think they don't know how to reach her - physically and mentally. They don't really understand either of us.

She bought a pizza cheese steak and mozzarella sticks, and we shared them while Sale of the Century was on. That young guy went for all of the prizes this time, including 50,000. Once again, no one could get close to him. He bought no Instant Bargains this time, killed everyone at the Speed Round, and became one of the top winners on the show.

We stuck around for Concentration while enjoying our brownies. Jack Narz hosts this earlier syndicated version of the rebus-puzzle-based memory game. The first round is pretty similar to the 1980's version, with less-elaborate prizes. It's the bonus round where this one differs. The contestant has to guess two rebus puzzles in 10 seconds. Get one, and you get 50 dollars. Get two, and you get a car. I've only seen it done twice on the rare occasions I watch this one...and tonight was one of those night. The gentleman won several big prizes (including a nifty clock), then got the car with time to spare.

Finished out the night with more vintage game shows after Lauren left. Bumper Stumpers was a favorite of mine that ran on USA in the late 80's. Two sets of contestants have to guess what a pair of car license plates say. If they earn enough, they can go on to the bonus round. If they guess seven license plates there, they win 2,000. It's pretty cheap for a game show, but the license plates are fun to guess.

Jackpot! was a lot more fun. In the original version from 1975, a group of 12 asks one member of the group goofy riddles with a dollar value. If they answer correctly, the money is added to the jackpot. If one member yells "Jackpot," the person answering and asking the riddles can split the jackpot. In this episode, the girl answering the riddle and the guy who asked it got to split over $38,000! A later jackpot win was also fairly large. (Alas, this is one of only two full episodes that exists today, probably because of that big win.)

Finished out the night before the Match Game syndicated premieres with Whew! Boy, is this one accurately titled. Hanna Barbara did the animated opening, depicting 10 villains who try to take the contestants' cash, rather like Whammies on Press Your Luck. The contestants have to guess which word is wrong in a certain phrase. If they get it right, they charge ahead, or are blocked by villain blocks placed by the other contestant earlier. Getting to the 6th level and not hitting blocks will win them money and the chance to run the Gauntlet. The Gauntlet has a row of the 10 villains from the opening, each holding more blooper questions and blocking the contestant's way. If the contestant answers the bloopers correctly, the "villain" will move their hands and let them pass...and they have to do this in 60 seconds! Maybe that's why the guy who won was so excited when he made it through The Gauntlet with time to spare.

To my knowledge, Whew! and Bumpers exist in full, but aren't shown that often outside of YouTube. As of right now, it's the only way to catch three of the most unique game shows ever on TV.

Bumper Stumpers (1987)
Jackpot! (1975)
Whew! (1979)

And yes, I do remember what happened September 11, 2001. I just started my last semester at college that day. I went into more detail on that in this blog entry from 2015.

Memories On a Busy Day