Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Rainy Day Blues

Got a quick start on a gloomy morning with breakfast and Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. Dan Sr. refurbished "Daniel's Bicycle" for his son. He has to learn to ride it up a steep hill. It's tough, but he'll keep trying! Prince Wednesday and Daniel learn to hang onto the monkey bars at the playground with Prince Tuesday's help. Likewise, O and Katarina keep doing "Katarina's Magic Trick" until they get it right.

Watched the first guest in To Tell the Truth as I packed for work. Gene Rayburn and Sherrye Henry joined Bill Cullen and Peggy Cass to figure out which teen cowboy was a champion rodeo calf-roper. I thought number one, but Gene and Peggy went with sturdy number 2...and they were right. 

Headed out as soon as they finished the segment. Once again, it wasn't busy in the morning, when it remained just cloudy and windy, but picked up later in the day. It showered briefly once around 10, but not again until around 1:30. And when it rained, it poured. Heavy downpours came down off and on for the rest of the afternoon. I got soaked pushing carts at work, and I got soaked going home. I was supposed to have help today, but that woman also does personal shopping for the carry-out program, and they apparently had no one to do that this morning. I ended up doing all the sweeping and cold item returns and trash until the evening bagger arrived at 4. 

After I got home and changed into dry clothes, I tried to write...but I just couldn't concentrate. I was too tired. Ended up watching Match Game '76 instead while eating leftover pasta and meatballs for dinner. In the opening, Gene strips off the vest under his jacket in the opening, prompting the music department to play stripper music. Gene drops his jacket and does his idea of a stripper's sexy dance. 

Match Game PM was even more fun. A gentleman named Leroy charmed everyone with adorable sense of humor and devotion to Brooklyn (which Bronx native Charles appreciated). He had to try to match with Marcia twice...and then a third time when she had to match "Twilight __" for 20,000.

The game got a little closer on Sale of the Century. Everyone won something, and the women were neck-and-neck almost the entire night. In the end, the champion bought both Instant Bargains, won the Instant Cash, beat the Speed Round, and picked up the Bonus Round money with a second to spare.

Finished the night on YouTube with the first half of the 1936 serial The Vigilantes are Coming. A Zorro-style story of a church organist who dresses as the vigilante The Eagle is given a touch of the bizarre by having him fight a general who wants to be dictator of California and a Russian count who intends to make California part of Russia. Republic's third serial, and already they've got some great fight scenes and cliffhangers, including an explosion in a mine, the Eagle nearly getting crushed by a primitive mine hydraulic, and a Moriarty-Holmes style ending with the stagecoach holding the count and The Eagle going off a cliff. 

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Day By Day

Began my day with breakfast and Body Language. Mindy Cohn and Jamie Farr were the celebrities acting out words for contestants in order to solve puzzles. Jamie's usually good at this, but Mindy correctly guessed a hard puzzle in the last regular round. She did manage to get 700 for her contestant, but they couldn't figure out the words for the big money.

The contestants did better on Blockbusters. The older lady who was a former member of the All-American Girl's Baseball League had trouble with a brother and brother-in-law, but she finally beat them on a tiebreaker. She had fewer problems with the Gold Run, missing only one question. 

Broke before the end of Blockbusters to dress the dolls for Easter, letting it and Match Game-Hollywood Squares run in the background. Samantha and Whitney get cute limited edition spring outfits. Sam wears her Flower Picking Dress and black and white boots, while Whitney is in (Kit's) Springtime Outfit. Felicity celebrates her birthday later this month in her salmon-pink Birthday Dress and Pinner. Molly's birthday pinafore has sleeves that are too short for early spring; she gets her aqua Polka-Dot Outfit instead. Josefina celebrates her feast day last week in her Feast Day Celebration outfit and Heirloom Accessories. Ariel sports the Flower Girl Dress from the late 2000's with a ruffled sweater and Swiss lace espadrilles from the Springfield Collection. Jessa's in the 1998 Birthday Outfit with the purple fruit-print jumper, the t-shirt with the fruit decal on the front, and purple jelly sandals. 

Let Match Game '75 run as I cleaned up from breakfast and got organized. The first episode featured a slightly cruel question about what happened to Allen Ludden at Betty White's barbecue and a lot of panelists jumping or falling out of seats. Major hams Jack Cassidy and Richard Dawson got together to ready a question about the pirate and his matey in nautical-speak in the second.

Switched to Yogi the Easter Bear while making Honey Orange Mini-Donuts. Ranger Smith is horrified when Yogi Bear eats all the candy intended for the Jellystone Easter Jamboree and destroys the Easter Bunny suit. The macho park commissioner's bringing his grandchildren to the show and expects nothing but the best. Yogi and Boo Boo go off to find the Easter Bunny, only to have to rescue him and the Easter Chicken from an extremely weird pair obsessed with plastic eggs.

Made a Chocolate-Banana Smoothie for lunch while watching the latest episode of Mickey Mouse Mixed-Up Adventures. We're in New Delhi, India for "Holi, By Golly!" Goofy and the gang are tasked with taking a guru's all-white artwork to the Museum of Modern Art, but they may not be able to pull it off with all the sudden showers and colorful spring festivals going on! Minnie's enchanted by "The Pink City," but they're really there to see their elephant friend Missy safely to an elephant sanctuary. Somehow, Cuckoo Loca and Daisy manage to lose Missy and run all over The Pink City searching for her.

Went outside after lunch. Though my foot was sore, I really wanted to enjoy the nice weather. I haven't used the hard plastic, phys ed-style jump rope I found at a yard sale since last spring. Tried jumping or skipping down Manheim and back up Reading...but first of all, I could only do it for so long before the rope got caught on my foot. Second, despite the weight I've lost, I'm not quite up to a run yet. I skipped a few minutes, then walked a few minutes. Tried jumping on the walk to my place after I got back to Hillcrest, but I could only manage 15 before the rope got caught again.

Besides, my left foot was too sore to really do much. I can walk on it, so I don't think it's broken. It's more likely I pulled a muscle yesterday. Put it up with ice while watching Super Password. Tom Poston's still on, managing to do a little better, even almost getting his contestant through the Super Password bonus round. Newcomers Janet and Gary Burghoff were the big winners on Tattletales today over older couples Amanda Blake and her animal-taming then-husband Frank Gilford and long-married Gene and Helen Rayburn. 

Press Your Luck didn't begin well for anyone. Whammies slammed the female champ three times alone in the first round. She Whammied out early in the second round. The other woman and lone man were left to battle it out. In the end, he couldn't make enough money after hitting a Whammy. She went home with no Whammies, a TV, and lots of money.

Worked a little bit on writing after the show ended. Richard gets in between the bandit and Gary, asking if he can shoot a clock off the wall behind him. He can, by golly...but Richard can do it much faster.

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Had leftovers while watching Match Game '76. Fannie's poor spelling comes in for ribbing when everyone sees how she spells "Minnie Pearl." (She actually has dyslexia. Bill Daily and Joyce Bulifant do, too.) Meanwhile, contestants named Maggie Smith and Ed Sullivan answer questions about what Miss Kitty from Gunsmoke eats and listen to a few new versions of the think music.

Things didn't go as well on Match Game PM. The contestants had a hard time matching. After they tied, they apparently played at least 3 Sudden Death tiebreakers before the lady won. Sweet Susan Richardson from Eight Is Enough tried to help her figure out Hot as __." 

Settled down with ice and a book as Sale of the Century began. For the second time in two days, the pretty woman contestant dominated the proceedings, buying both Instant Bargains and winning all Fame Games. Had no problem with the Bonus Round, either.

Finished out the night on Amazon Prime with Godspell. I go further into this joyous retelling of the Gospel According to St. Matthew with wonderful Steven Schwartz music at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. 

Monday, March 29, 2021

In the Spring of Things

Began the morning with breakfast and Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. When Mrs. Tiger's about to make a peach pie, she discovers that "Daniel's Allergy" is peaches. Dr. Anna tells him how he can take care of his allergy and avoid peaches. His friends help him avoid them too during a class picnic when he tells them about his "Allergies at School."

Caught a bit of To Tell the Truth while I got ready for work. The very funny Anne Meara took over for Kitty Carlisle in this episode. They were trying to figure out which of three men was a plastic surgeon when I came in. Half the panelists guessed big, jolly number 2...and they were all right. 

Headed off to work shortly after that. Work was quiet when I came in, but it picked up around 11 and remained steady for the rest of the afternoon. That wouldn't have been a problem if I had more help. I was the only bagger until the night shift came in. I had to gather inside trash (thankfully, the outside trash never got bad), do the sweeping, run errands and put cold items away, and round up carts. At least the day was gorgeous for it. The morning's cold and fat clouds largely gave way to sunshine and warm mid-50's temperatures by late afternoon, though the chilly wind remained all day. 

It was such a beautiful day, I took the long way home down Nicholson Road. That may not have been the smartest thing to do during the dinner-time rush hour. They were incredibly busy, especially by the entrance to the mall and senior center. Oaklyn was much quieter. Stopped to fix the strap holding my bike basket up after going over the train tracks.

Worked on writing briefly when I got in. Richard steps up to the bandits when they attack Gene and shove Gary down. He tries to appear to be uninterested, but he's really forming a plan. He tells the men he's not interested in helping anyone, just passing through. The men are ready to push him aside, too, but they don't get that far...

Switched to Match Game '76 while eating a spinach-tomato omelet for dinner. The sweet contestant at the end of this episode too so long giving her answer, Gene ended up sitting on the floor waiting for her. She put it out just before the buzzer sounded. 

Joyce Bulifant was on fire during tonight's Match Game PM. For once, she got every question right in the first round and matched the top answer on both Audience Matches. Of course, she also complained that she had nothing to do in the remaining rounds after having matched everyone. Brett had less luck helping a contestant with "___ Humor" in the Head-to-Head.

Joyce isn't the only blonde who did well tonight. The pretty blonde contestant dominated Sale of the Century. She bought both Instant Bargains, won all three Fame Games, and killed at the Speed Round. Got the Bonus Round with no trouble, too.

Finished the night at TCM's on demand website with the 1959 comedy It Happened to Jane. Jane Osgood (Doris Day) is a widow running a lobster-trapping business in Maine. She's livid when a shipment of her lobsters die because the railroad didn't check them and convinces her lawyer boyfriend George Denham (Jack Lemmon) to take the obnoxious railroad boss Harry Foster Malone (Ernie Kovacs) to court over the matter. They first try to pay her 700, but she refuses it. After Malone appeals to the Supreme Court in Augusta, George takes their ancient train as payment. Malone forces her to pay rent on the train siding, so she goes on television to advertise her plight. He then cuts off all train travel to their town. The townspeople and Jane are ready to quit, but George reminds them that it's important to fight for your rights and what you believe in.

Charming comedy is of interest to me for several cameos from familiar TV faces of the era. Gene Rayburn of Match Game turns up in a brief but funny bit as a hammy news reporter who's in town to do a story on Jane. The then-cast of I've Got a Secret, including Bill Cullen and Jayne Meadows, also get to briefly interview Jane during their show. Day and Lemmon make a cute couple; Lemmon even gets to make a big, dramatic speech late in the movie defending Jane for trying to save her business and calling the townspeople on their cowardice. Some aspects of Jane's romances with George and a handsome reporter (Steve Forrest) haven't dated that well. Otherwise, this is one of Day's better non-musical comedies and is worth swimming the lobster tank for. 

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Rainy Day Games

Was reading The Secret Garden in bed and listening to the heavy rain on my roof when I heard my cell phone jingle. Rose called me yesterday, and I forgot to call her back. She's having Easter outside at her house this year and wanted to know if I could come. I asked for Easter off; we'll see if I actually get it. She also agreed to drive me to and from work. The rain was too heavy for me to ride a bike, and I've had enough of Uber.

Had Banana Peanut Butter Pancakes for breakfast while listening to my 1991 original cast album of The Secret Garden. This operatic version of the story ran for almost two years on Broadway, but it's mostly been seen regionally and in concert since then. (Though apparently there is talk of a revival.) Here, the story adds in the ghosts of Archibald Craven's (Mandy Patinkin) wife Lily (Rebecca Luker), along with Mary's parents and Indian servants, to comment on the action. I really wish they left the focus on the kids where it belonged, and not on their parents and Archibald. While Archibald and Lily do have some nice ballads ("A Girl In the Valley," "Lily's Eyes"), most of the best songs are the kids in the garden ("Wick") and trying to stay together ("Hold On"). 

The rain continued to come down at a good clip when Rose pulled up on Hillcrest. Finley was with her, reading a board book about bugs. She became very upset when her mother had to stop suddenly in Audubon and she lost her book under a seat! I left Rose to look for it while I hurried into the Acme, arriving just in time.

Work wasn't bad when I got in, but the crowds finally arrived around noon. It was a pain in the rear. I couldn't keep up with the long lines. Some meat had labels that hadn't printed right and would ring correctly. I had to call managers to put them through...and there was no one in the meat department on a Sunday afternoon to fix them. 

Thank heavens it slowed down enough by quarter after 5 for me to shut down without a relief. The rain vanished by that point as well, though it remained warm and humid. Rose waited for me when I got out. She had to take me home fast - Finley took a nap, and her 10-year-old brother Khai was watching her alone.

Went straight into writing when I got home. Gary launches himself at the head bandit who pushes Marshal Gene Rayburn around, but the man easily shoves him aside. Richard doesn't appreciate the violence or their rough treatment and tries talking his way out of it...

The rain returned while I worked...and when it rained, it really poured! I couldn't believe how hard it came down. We never did get the thunderstorms Rose mentioned, though we had plenty of wind. 

Had leftovers for dinner and finished Secret Garden after my writing. Went into the shower after I ate, then on YouTube. The only Easter game show episode I could find was from Match Game '75. Brett and Fannie sport ugly Easter hats, which somehow migrate to Tom Bosley and Gene Rayburn. 

As I did on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, instead of focusing on the holiday, I looked for shows with families playing. By far the most famous game shows with family contestants is Family Feud. Thought a Richard Dawson-hosted syndicated episode from 1977 with a gospel-singing family was appropriately religious for Easter. Also did an episode of the Ray Combs Feud from April 1989. 

Families competing against each on a game show goes back a lot further than anyone knows. Keep It In the Family from 1957 is a prototype of Feud. It works in much the same way, only with more typical trivia questions instead of surveys, and big prizes instead of cash. It was also an early TV announcing job for Johnny Olsen; Bill Nimmo hosted.

I loved every version of Double Dare that came out in the late 80's-early 90's, and Family Double Dare was no exception. Here, we have two family teams playing those sloppy Physical Challenges and making dares. Marc Summers is in charge of this incarnation, too.

Combs returns for the very similar Family Challenge from 1995. The only difference in this Family Channel show is there's no trivia or daring here. The family just play sloppy stunts for points until they win. Check out the hilarious "stunt" midway through where the dads have to kiss whatever comes out of three doors blindfolded! (I'm a bit surprised they got away with that one in a family-oriented game show.)

Spend the week before Easter seeing if you can keep up with these wacky families!

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Spring With the Toons

Kicked off a sunny morning with breakfast and Daffy Duck's Easter Egg-Citement. In this TV special from 1980, Daffy gets to introduce three all-original shorts with spring themes...when he's not dodging an animator with a rather dark sense of humor. In the first, he and Sylvester chase a golden egg. The second has him trying to keep Speedy Gonzoles from snatching chocolate bunnies for the children of his village from the factory he guards. Daffy's solo in the third as he tries to get north for the summer without flying.

Did a really quick short on the same disc as I got ready for work. "My Little Duckaroo" is another Daffy-Porky western spoof, this one of The Lone Ranger. Daffy's once again after Nasty Canasta, but this time, he has to beat him in a game of poker, then attempt to arrest him.

Headed out to work shortly after the cartoon ended. Work wasn't bad when I got in, but it picked up at noon and remained busy for several hours. There were a lot of people who couldn't figure out the online sales or wouldn't help bag, holding up the line and driving me crazy. I just get so frustrated when things go wrong. I was so happy when one of the teen girls was able to come in for me.

Went straight into grocery shopping after I finished. Had a good online coupon for butter. The Kashi shredded wheat not only had an online coupon, but came with a coupon on the box and was already on sale. Had an online coupon for the nut and oat milk ice cream pints - went with the already-on-clearance Oatmeal Cookie oat milk ice cream - and a free coupon for a new type of Oikos yogurt. Found a small ham steak with a manager's coupon I'll use for Easter dinner next week. Grabbed raisins for Easter dinner, too. Restocked bananas, apples, milk, and conditioner. 

Not as thrilled with my schedule next week. On one hand, Tuesday and Thursday off and an unusually short (but late) day next Saturday. Not looking forward to the eight and a half hour days on Monday and Wednesday, though. I wouldn't mind bagging so much if the hours weren't so long. 

Went straight home after that, trying to ignore the clouds that popped up this evening. Watched Bugs Bunny's Easter Funnies while putting everything away and making a quick strawberry-banana smoothie for dinner. The Easter Bunny gets sick, so Granny turns to Bugs for help. When he's unavailable, he suggests she talk to the Toons and see if they can take the role. Unlike Daffy's special, this one doesn't really have much to do with Easter. It's more of a showcase for bits of Oscar-winning and nominated shorts like "Birds Anonymous" and "Knighty Knight Bugs."

Worked on writing after dinner. There's a standoff at the bank. Gene, Jimmie, and a very nervous Bill Daily hold guns on the bandits, who have guns trained on them. Richard needs to figure out how to defuse this, and fast, before they all end up dead...

Finished the night online watching Bugsy Malone at TCM. I go further into this 30's gangster story with an all-child cast at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. 

Friday, March 26, 2021

Warm Spring Winds

Began a cloudy late morning with breakfast and the second half of Blockbusters. I came in just as the older woman and former All-American League member won another game. She did even better at the Gold Run, missing only one question. They pit her against a mother-daughter team as the show came to an end.

Switched to Here Comes Peter Cottontail as I cleaned up from breakfast. I go further into the first Rankin-Bass Easter special at this Musical Dreams Movie Reviews entry from April 2019.

Hit the basement laundry room on Jodie's side of the house while the special ran. Figured I might as well get as much as I could done while she's out of town, starting with my clothes from this past week. Went back while they were in the washer and stripped the sheets and blankets off the bed.

Put the lighter spring/fall sheets on and finally remembered to pull out my Easter baskets and plastic eggs while Match Game '75 ran. Handsome high school physical education teacher Ron Valenti turned a lot of heads during his time on the show, especially Fannie Flagg's. He danced with her in her rose sweater, even when Richard won him the Head-to-Head. In the next episode, not only did Fannie continue to flirt with him, but Richard got in a little flirting of his own with young woman training to be a nurse.

Put the sheets in the washer and the clothes in the dryer, then went for a walk. It was way too nice to be inside all day! By the time I got outside, brilliant blue skies poked through fat white clouds. Despite the gale-force wind, it was so warm, I wore a t-shirt, shorts, and sandals with no discomfort whatsoever. It's very much spring in the neighborhood now, with daffodils waving at me in the wind and green grass poking out of the old yellow straw.

Stopped at Dollar General first. Hoped to find nifty Easter decorations, but saw nothing I liked. They were out of the conditioner I'm using, too. Picked up sponges, chocolate chips (which are cheaper there than at the Acme), pale green sprinkles, a new brush, and my favorite pecan roll that only they sell. Strolled two blocks down to CVS in the hope of finding that conditioner. No luck there, but I did get dishwashing liquid and stain remover.

As soon as I got back, I put everything away, then went to check the laundry. The dryer was just about done; the washer finished ages ago. I loaded my clean clothes into the laundry basket, and the blankets and sheets into the dryer. 

Put on It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown as I made a banana-strawberry smoothie for lunch. The Peanuts gang are busy getting ready for the spring holiday season. Sally drags her brother shoe shopping to take advantage of really pre-Christmas sales. Snoopy buys a birdhouse for Woodstock. Peppermint Patty tries to teach Marcie how to color eggs, but Marcie doesn't have a very good grasp of how to hard-boil. Don't bother with the fuss, says Linus. The Easter Beagle does all that. Sally's skeptical after the Great Pumpkin no-show at Halloween. Meanwhile, Lucy would rather color and find her own eggs. 

Watched the current version of Muppet Babies after checking on the dryer. Kermit never won an Easter egg hunt, so Fozzie takes him on "Kermit and Fozzie's Egg-cellent Adventure" to beat the others to the eggs. Fozzie keeps trying to run right at them, ignoring Kermit insisting that they need to plan things first. It takes a disaster underwater to make Fozzie realize how important it is to plan and work together. Animal needs to go to the bathroom, but he doesn't want to miss any of their trip to "Ratlantis" to find the missing treasure. He learns that when you have to go, you have to go after "Animal's Little Accident."

Switched to Super Password and folding laundry after the Peanuts ended. I didn't recognize the lady, but I did know Newhart actor Tom Poston, who seemed to have trouble figuring out the puzzles. Everyone did better on Tattletales. William Shatner and his wife Marcy and George Hamilton and his wife Alanna just barely came out on top over Scoey and Claire Mitchilll. 

Press Your Luck started out quietly, with everyone getting money and no Whammies. We did see a few more Whammies in the second round, mainly hitting the one guy. The eventual winner hit no Whammies and picked up two trips and a silver tea set. 

Worked on my story for a while after the show. The Wild Rider Gang is stealing gold nuggets from the mines in the hills from the bank. They're holding up the pretty teller, as well as Marshal Gene Rayburn and Deputy Jimmie Walker. Richard and Gary walk into a tense stand-off, and Richard has to figure out what to do, and fast...

Between pages, I brought the last of the laundry in from the basement. Finally folded the flannel winter sheets and got the plastic bag I use for my linens back in the bathroom closet, then made the bed and tidied up my room.

Broke for dinner at 6:30. The cheeseburger Jodie gave me yesterday was huge, with a giant pile of fries. I stuck them in the stove. The bun burned a little, and the fries got tough. I ate as much as I could, but they were too big and too much to finish.

Watched Match Game '76 as the food went in the oven. Dr. Joyce Brothers took notes on Nipsey Russell's poetry and Patti Deustch's unique answers while Richard tried to help fellow British woman win 5,000 in the Head-to-Head with "__ Girls." Brett was happier with the handsome fire man contestant who turned up in the end.

Tonight's Match Game PM episode was the last in the night time series. Betty White had a grand time sitting in her friend Brett Somers' seat here, showing off the animal mugs people gave her. This time, it's Bart Braverman doing the flirting with a pretty young contestant while Bill Daily freaks out when he has to help her win 20,000.

Sale of the Century began with the women both buying Instant Bargains and the champ getting the Instant Cash, In the end, she pushed ahead in the Speed Round. Didn't have nearly as much luck with the Bonus Round this time, though.

Finished the night online after a shower with Support Your Local Sheriff. Jason McCullough (James Garner) is on his way to Australia when he witnesses Joe Darby (Bruce Dern) of the infamous Darby family shoot down a man. The Darbys steal gold whenever the shipment passes through their considerable land. 

In need of money after he sees the ridiculous prices in town, he takes the Sheriff job, even though the previous sheriffs were killed or ran out of town. While romancing the mayor's clumsy daughter Prudy (Joan Hackett), he manages to keep Joe in jail, despite lacking bars for the cell and the attempts of Joe's nasty father (Walter Brennan) to free him. Even the hired killers he sends after him and his ragged deputy Jake (Jack Elam) barely ruffles his composure. When the town refuses to help him stop the Darbys from destroying them, he, Jake, and Prudy have to figure out their own way to stop these desert tramps from causing further trouble.

First of two very funny western spoofs featuring Garner, Elam, and wacky sends-ups of typical western clichés. Bennet in particular enjoys herself as the smart but clumsy young woman who thinks Jason is more of a man than any of the miners she's ever seen. This and the similar Support Your Local Gunfighter are highly recommended; both can be found for free at YouTube at the moment. 

Thursday, March 25, 2021

The Clouds Will Soon Roll By

Began the morning with breakfast and What's My Line? Came in right as the panel were about to guess the occupation of a young man and woman from Colorado. Turns out the man was a telephone operator, and the woman installed telephones. (She said her husband didn't mind her being on the poles - his concern was her working with a group of men!) Gail Sheldon hit the "Guess the Audience Members' Occupations" game right on her first try. The panel didn't have too many problems recognizing movie critic Gene Shalit and his bushy mustache, either.

Headed out shortly after the show ended. Though the streets were wet and it was cloudy and cool, it wasn't raining or windy. Maybe the blah day scared people off. We were only busy during the noon rush hour...but admittedly, the managers did have to call for more help to deal with it. I unfortunately had several annoying customers, including some who wouldn't help bag and held up long lines.

The Acme's having a big sale on 18-count eggs this week with an online coupon, and I'd earned enough reward points to get a free carton of 12-count eggs. Figured I might as well get them now, before we get closer to Easter and everyone buys eggs to dye. Found a container of low-salt nuts on the clearance shelves and picked up that as well.

Went straight into Press Your Luck and a snack when I got home. Everyone did well in the first round, hitting only one Whammy and picking up some money and prizes. I felt really bad for the one guy after he earned almost 20,000, only to Whammy out and lose it all. It came down to the ladies; in the end, the winner hit no Whammies and picked up a trip to Las Vegas, a fluffy "flokati" rug, and a motorcycle.

Worked on writing for a while. Richard follows Gary across the street to the remains of the bank. Gary explains on the way that the Wild Rider Gang have terrorized the area for months now. They find them holding up the teller and involved in a shoot-out with Marshal Gene Rayburn as they arrive...

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Had the last of the Irish Chicken Stew from St. Patrick's Day while watching Match Game '76. Buzzr skipped the last episode of the Roz Kelly week (probably because they showed it as part of that comedy marathon on Friday), opting to go into the first episode of the next week with Nipsey Russell, Dr. Joyce Brothers, and Patti Deustch. That crazy contestant is just as wild here, yanking Gene around so much he hid behind the set. Richard was much happier to get a kiss and a hug, even though she gave a terrible answer on his Head-to-Head.

Jack Klugman was the one who went wild on the second-to-last Match Game PM. He sat in his ex-wife Brett Somers' regular seat for the week so he wouldn't have to pay alimony for six months to her. When the Naval officer won in the end, he went absolutely insane, running around the set, spinning the Star Wheel, and dashing around camera people and audience members.

Sale of the Century got pretty wild, too. One of the ladies got the lead early-on and never let go, even after buying an Instant Bargain. She beat the champ in the Speed Round by a wide margin and picked up the Bonus Round money in the last few seconds.

Jodie came in twice, first during Match Game '76, then towards the end of Sale of the Century. She came bearing a Styrofoam container the first time, a plastic baggie the second. She was going away to visit a friend for the weekend and was clearing out her refrigerator. I gladly took the cheeseburger dinner she no longer needed and half a hoagie. She also told me I could do the laundry at her place tomorrow, which will save me a considerable amount of time. (She also seemed intrigued by the end of Sale of the Century and sat down and watched a bit of that with me.)

Finished the night with Street Girl on TCM's on demand website. I go further into this sweet small-scale romance with music from 1929 at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Rhythm of the Rain

Began an early morning with breakfast and Mickey Mouse Mixed-Up Adventures. It's "Mickey's Sporty Day," and the gang is about to take part in the annual Hog Dog Hillympics. Mickey's always won every event...until this year, when Pete set up unusual games in his junkyard. Mickey's disappointed when the rest of the gang all earn gold medals, but finally decides he's happy with having fun and doing his best. Minnie and Daisy say "Go Chili Dogs!" when they coach a local little-league baseball team. The kids are terrible, but with a little practice, the girls have them ready to play Pete's Red-Hots.

Headed out to work shortly after the cartoon ended. It was only cloudy and cool when I left, not gorgeous, but fine for riding the bike and pushing carts. It began showering lightly around 10:15. Shortly after, the rain came down harder, and would remain a heavy shower for the rest of the day. I was the only bagger they had today and alternated pushing carts with sweeping until the afternoon bagger arrived at 4. Got stuck in a register briefly twice, too, once to go in for a cashier's break. The rain still hadn't stopped by 5, so I just rode home and got wet.

Saw a octagonal package with a Swiss Colony label on Jodie's porch after I put the bike in the garage. Opening it revealed two sticks of sausage, two sticks of cheddar cheese, vanilla and chocolate mini-tortes, two bunny-shaped chocolates, a bag of jelly beans, and a bag of pastel candy corn. I knew who it was from. Mom's given my sisters and me gifts from Swiss Colony since the 90's. I texted her and thanked her for the treat.

Went into writing after I changed into dry clothes. The Wild Rider Gang, a notorious group of bandits, are holding up the bank across the street. Deputy Gary Burghoff hurries in looking for help. Richard agrees to go with him...but he and Gary are met with thugs outside the saloon doors, ready to steal from them and make sure that their buddies get away with the loot.

Broke for leftovers at 6:30. Roz Kelly was off Happy Days by the time of Match Game '76, but that didn't stop Gene from reading Fonzie jokes whenever possible. The question about the "updated" version of Snow White brought more than a few racy jokes (sexual and racial) from the panel. We also got Betty White's interpretive dance to the goofy new "think" music.

Brett Somers was away for the last few tapings of Match Game PM, doing a play in St. Louis. Bubbly Betty Kennedy sat in her usual place. Meanwhile, Gene asks Charles to show off his perfectly coordinated red outfit (and the fact that he's still not wearing socks!) and everyone makes Scandinavian accent jokes to a Dutch-born contestant.

Sale of the Century returned to the regular adult players this evening. It started out close, with the lady buying the first Instant Bargain and the champ picking up the second. The Champ pulled ahead in the second half and won the Speed Round decisively. He had no trouble with the Bonus Round, either.

Finished out the night on Crackle with Fantasy Island. A man (David Hedison) has nightmares about suddenly turning into a hideous fur-covered "Man-Beast" and killing his wife. He goes to Rourke to find out if the nightmares are real. Meanwhile, former country singer Charlie Rowlins (Jimmy Dean) takes his sweet daughter Jenny (Wendy Schaal) to the "Ole Island Opry" to become the next country singing sensation. Jenny's more interested in becoming the next great photographer, but has no idea how to tell her dad when he has his heart set on her in music.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Going On the Town

Slept in today. It was almost 11:30 when I finally got to breakfast. Watched Doc McStuffins while I ate. "Celestial Celeste" is a star projector Doc borrowed from school to work on a project. She hears rattling in her projector after Stuffy knocks her off a shelf, but ignores least until her star show goes haywire. Doc and the others finally convince her that our bodies give signals when something's wrong, and we need to be checked out right away. "Run, Doc, Run" has Doc practicing with her dad for a local marathon. She's upset when she turns her ankle on a toy and has to rest it. The others help her fix the lost unicorn, so she can run and the unicorn can find its owner.

Switched to Match Game '78 as I got organized. Gene gives sweet soap star Carol Jones a smooch in the beginning of the first episode. They didn't do nearly as well in the Audience Match, striking out with "Come to ___." We ended with a grinning musician contestant who was a dead ringer for a brunette Peter Frampton. 

The next episode has tape problems and is skipped...taking us straight into the Christmas Day show, one of my favorite episodes of '78. Charles reprises his Santa Claus role from previous years. He's joined by Brett as a little girl on his knee, complete with ruffled pink pinafore and Shirley Temple ringlets.

Headed out as soon as Brett and Charles finished their holiday skit. I've spent almost the entire winter sitting inside. It was too nice to sit inside anymore. It was a bright, sunny, warm day, probably in the mid-60's, perfect day for a bike ride to Collingswood. Cut through Newton Lake Park both ways. Spring's finally starting to show here, with daffodils and pansies popping up in flower beds and new green grass pushing through the old crackly yellow growth.

Collingswood was a lot busier than I figured it would be. Pandemic or no pandemic, it's still popular with workers on their break looking for decent lunches. I opted to explore a few small stores and save lunch for home. Gift shop Occasionette's third location Occasionette Joy Shop replaced the closed consignment shop...and they're pretty much more of the same expensive bath and kitchen supplies and fancy note books. I checked out some of the kitchen supplies, but didn't see anything I couldn't live without and moved on.

Did much better at InnerGroove Records. I haven't gone through their piles and piles of dollar albums and rare titles in months. After over 40 minutes, I finally came up with:

K-Tel - Mindbender (another K-Tel collection of rock and pop songs; came with a second K-Tel collection I didn't see in there until later)

Fred Astaire - Starring Fred Astaire (2 disc collection of songs from Astaire's 30's films)

Ronco - Do It Now (60's rock collection, including the Beatles' "Nowhere Man")

Mystic Music - Instrumental Magic (3 disc 1991 collection of instrumental music, including many TV show themes)

Got home around 3, in time for Super Password. Came just in time to see Vicki Lawrence help an older gentleman blast their way through the Super Password bonus round. She wasn't nearly as crazy about the Ca$hword round, moaning and groaning they announced it. William Shatner and his wife Marcy were the big winners on Tattletales today, over Claire and Scoey Mitchilll and Alana and George Hamilton. 

We also had a new champ on Press Your Luck. One of the guys Whammied out early in the second round, leaving the lady and the champ to battle to the end. In the end, he hit a Whammy and just couldn't get enough money to beat her. She happily picked up trips to Las Vegas and London along with a ton of money.

Worked on writing for a little while after the show ended. Gary Burghoff, one of Marshal Rayburn's three deputies, hurries into the saloon. Owner Fannie Flagg tries to head him off, but he insists to his former teacher Charles that Marshal Rayburn needs help with a gang of bandits who attacked the bank. Richard agrees to help.

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Made pasta, turkey meatballs, and spinach salad while watching Match Game '76. Dry-witted Nancy Kulp finishes out her only week on the show as several contestants took a while to give answers, especially to one about where all the rats in America are. Avery Schriber falls out of his seat to illustrate when the parachute jumper yells "Geronimo!" and Richard and Joyce have some very interesting answers to what thing of a mad scientist's got stuck in a test tube. 

Things get even wilder on Match Game PM, thanks to a crowd of rowdy UCLA college students celebrating their defeat of USC. Fred Grandy tosses around balloons and reminds the crowd that he was a member of a fraternity. The others try to help Brett with a 10,000 "Speedy ___" Head-to-Head.

Made Trailside Oatmeal Cookies  as Sale of the Century's "End of Summer Bash" came down to the wire. The boy picked up the Instant Cash, but the girls got the Fame Game and the Instant Bargains. In the end, the girl who hoped to be an artist just barely won, and picked up the money on the Bonus Game, too. This was the last night of the "Bash," and we got to see all the kids try for the jeep, too. 

Finished the cookies while Classic Concentration ran in the background. The young guy tried, but the woman eventually picked up half the prizes and got the puzzle in the end. She did even better with the second round, guessing the puzzle after only three prizes were revealed! Didn't have nearly as much luck with the match-the-car bonus round, though.

Ended my night with The Show of Shows on TCM's website. I go further into Warner Bros' big early talkie revue at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Monday, March 22, 2021

On a Sunny Afternoon

Slept in this morning, more than I planned. My cell phone ringing finally got me going. That turned out to be a telemarketer, so I read Wings of the Falcon and wrote in my journal instead.  

Ate breakfast while watching Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. "A Trip to the Enchanted Garden" is one of the earlier episodes. Mrs. Tiger needs fresh strawberries to make Strawberry Pancakes, so she takes her boys to the Garden to pick some. Daniel wonders why some seem bare, but his parents encourage him to take a closer look and find the little strawberries growing there. Daniel's excited to make "A Trip to the Crayon Factory" and see how crayons are made. He convinces his father to take photos of the experience for O the Owl, who is sick at home and can't go.

Headed out to work shortly after that. Got there right on time. No problems at work today whatsoever. Did the carts and swept until 4, after which the evening bagger came in and took over the sweeping. The morning bagger was new and didn't know where to put the carts; I moved them to the right places. Gathered trash and recycling late in the afternoon. 

The weather today was too gorgeous for anyone to want to go grocery shopping! It was sunny, breezy, and much warmer than last week, likely into the 60's. I barely needed my much lighter uniform jacket. It's likely most people will wait for next week, with the beginning of the month and Easter, to do their major shopping.

Went straight home and into Match Game PM (I ate dinner at work). Got to see the tail end of the 1980 episode featuring opera singer Diana Soverio, the only opera singer to appear on the show. Caught some very interesting answers to the Audience Match "Topless __" and Brett's comment about Betty's answer to "Tumble __." 

The "End of Summer Bash" continues on Sale of the Century. This time, we had a sweet young lady with an interest in philosophy, a boy who won an award for his science project, and a math-inclined cheerleader who wanted to prove she was more than a pretty face. She got her wish when she came from behind to win the Speed Round after being behind for most of the game. Did very well at the Bonus Round, too.

Finished the night on Kanopy with the original 1920 Mark of Zorro. Douglas Fairbanks Sr. loved The Curse of Capistrano and insisted on turning it into a movie. It was his first costume swashbuckler...and was such a hit, he'd make nothing else for a decade. This is a lot more fun and stripped down than many of the bigger, more bloated epics he'd make later in the 20's. Most of the movie up until the finale is remarkably true to the original book, especially the wonderful opening sequence with Zorro walking in and taking on an entire bar of bad guys with nothing but his sword and pistol. The restored copy I watched was even tinted, with Sepia during the day and blue at night. 

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Spring Is Here

Began a glorious sunny morning with perfectly fluffy Lemon Ginger Pancakes for breakfast and Tune Up for Spring. This is another Columbia Special Products seasonal album, with at least one number (the instrumental "Younger Than Springtime") that repeats from Magic of Spring. Polly Bergen figures into two of the most memorable numbers, "Spring Is Here" and "Spring Will Be a Little Late This Year," the latter with Frank De Vol and His Orchestra. We also get a really vintage recording of Al Jolson singing "April Showers."

Headed out to work shortly after the episode ended; arrived right on time. We were a bit steadier this time, sometimes very busy, but not as bad as we usually get on Sundays. I had a few annoying customers, including my last one. I wish the WIC Checks, the government checks that allow low-income mothers to get the food and formula needed for their young children, we easier to deal with. The well-meaning lady got the wrong cheese for the check. I had to get the right ones. I also had to drag the formula cans out of the locked displays in the front of the store. Thank heavens they got the head bagger to go in for me. I got out just in time.

Took the long way home down Nicholson Road, mainly to enjoy the day. The weather couldn't have been more perfect. Sunny, breezy, blue skies, probably in the mid-50's. Just what it should be in late March. I couldn't have gotten my bike at a better time. Crocuses and jonquils waved to me on the roadsides; trees show the first seedling signs of leaves and blossoms.

Saw a huge Amazon box waiting for me on the front porch when I arrived. The new basket for my bike came a day ahead of schedule! While it's not as wide as the old one, it's deeper, taller, better-made, and the narrower handles fit better over my new handlebars. Once I got it put together, it only took me a minute to get it on the bike. 

Changed when I got back inside, then went into writing. I'm just not satisfied with the opening to the western sequence. It's not moving fast enough. I had Richard come into the bar for a drink, but cut the men at the bar and had Charles the bartender point him over to Gene across the way at the jail.

Put on a couple of records while eating crab cakes, cole slaw, and pasta for dinner. The soundtrack to the 1968 film version of Finian's Rainbow features at least one song, "Necessity," that was cut from the movie. It also has Petula Clark's gorgeous "How are Things In Glocca Morra?" and Fred Astaire's very funny "When the Idle Poor Become the Idle Rich," along with Clark and Tommy Steele's adorable "Something Sort of Grandish."

The Roaring 20's is the soundtrack to a crime show about a couple of cops after gangsters and bootleggers. Dorothy Provine's covers of hits from the era like "Bye Bye Blackbird," "Don't Tell Lulu," and "It Had to Be You" were apparently popular enough to rate at least two albums. 

Finished the night on YouTube with game shows mainly based around picture or word puzzles. Concentration began on NBC in 1958 with veteran newscaster Hugh Downs as host. I went with one of the earliest existing episodes. There's numbers running on the bottom, but that only somewhat distracts from seeing the original rebuses and simpler game play. 

Since Buzzr for some reason only runs syndicated Concentration episodes from 1976, I went with a somewhat earlier one from 1973. The game play is largely the same, but there's more wild cards and "pick one"-type cards added. We also now have a bonus round, where contestants have 10 seconds to answer two rebuses and win a car.

Catch Phrase from 1985 was one of the cutest game shows I've ever seen. Two contestants guess the phrase illustrated on a computer screen, often by a robot named Herbie. If they guess the Catch Phrase, they reveal a panel in a "Super Catch Phrase." If they can guess the Super Catch Phrase, they win a jackpot, then go on to the Bonus Round, where they have to guess the catch phrases of a row of letters and win a prize. It's kind of like a cross between Blockbusters and Concentration, and it's adorable. It seems to have gone over far better in England, where it's run almost continuously since 1986. 

Camouflage from 1962 is also pretty cute. Here, contestants have to find the object hidden in a picture. It's a lot harder than it looks, especially in black-and-white! Chuck Barris tried reviving it in color in 1980, but that version doesn't seem to have gone over nearly as well.

Stumpers! brings Allen Ludden back in for another word association game. Instead of describing words, this time, two celebrity contestants (Dick Gautier and Robert Reed in the premier episode) use clues to describe celebrities or other pop culture phrases. Too bad this show was very short-lived and the tape on YouTube of one of only two existing episodes is nearly unwatchable. It's actually a pretty fun game, and Gautier is certainly enjoying himself.

Dick Clark's first game show was The Object Is from 1964. Here, the celebrity panel name an object related to a person, like "kite" for Benjamin Franklin or "New Year's confetti" for Clark. Surprisingly, given it was also very short-lived, it's one of the few daytime game shows of the 60's to survive intact. I'm not surprised it didn't last long. The game play was slow and a little bit dull.

Comedian Arte Johnson had his only shot at hosting with Knockout. Three contestants are shown words, one at a time. They have to guess which phrase doesn't belong with the others. That will net them one letter on the word "Knockout" on their podium. If they successfully dare an opponent to guess what category the words refer to, they can get six letters on the podium. The bonus round was the same, only this time, they won decreasing money for each phrase added. If they needed all five words to guess the category, they got nothing. Alas, the show didn't work out and is now mostly lost, and Johnson never hosted again. He looked like he had a great time and had a lot of fun with the contestants.

See if you can "concentrate" enough to solve these word and picture puzzles! (Look for bonus commercials on The Object Is, Camouflage, Catch Phrase, and Stumpers!)

Saturday, March 20, 2021

The First Day of Spring

Began the morning with a quick breakfast and shorts in honor of the first day of spring. "Springtime" is one of the earlier Silly Symphonies. It's pretty much just animals eating each other in time to classical music and trees and plants dancing along. The later color "Birds In the Spring" has a mother and father robin rescuing their cheeky baby from the perils awaiting him on the ground. "The Goddess of Spring" is a full-blown mini-opera retelling of "Persephone and Hades" and one of the Disney Studios' attempts to prepare for animating humans in Snow White. (They weren't quite successful here. Persephone is lovely, but dances like she's made of rubber.) 

Headed off to work shortly after that. Was able to take the bike and enjoy a gorgeous, sunny morning. It was likely in the lower 50's, just right for the first day of spring, and windless. Just made it to work on time.

Good thing, too. We were on-and-off busy all day. It would be quiet...then all of a sudden, we'd be hit with long lines of people buying food for barbecues and Easter in two weeks. Thankfully, there were no problems dealing with them. The head bagger came in for me so I could go home. 

Had a little grocery shopping to do. Found a pack of breaded fish and two packs of crab cakes with manager's coupons on them in the seafood section. The Acme had a good sale on a big two pound container of strawberries that was even better with an online coupon. Restocked milk, canned black beans and chick peas, parchment paper, toilet paper, butter, yogurt, oranges, frozen vegetables, bananas, fruit bars, and cereal.

Mixed feelings on my schedule this week. In good news, my days off are on Tuesday and Friday - I won't have to wait six days for a day off this time. Just wish I didn't have a late seven-hour day on Monday and an early eight and a half hour day on Wednesday. 

Headed home after I got off. Classic Concentration began just I got in the door. According to Alex Trebek, the young woman contestant already won several prizes, including three vacations, by this point. She picked up another a cruise to the Bahamas, among other things, easily defeating the young man she played twice. It took her longer to figure out the guess the car bonus round - too long. She got half-way through before the time ran out.

Called Mom to wish her a happy birthday after I changed and put everything away. She's worried about the Cape May-Lewes Ferry where she's a ticket taker cutting her hours due to financial problems. Otherwise, she seemed pretty happy. She's the one who recommended the Electra bike brand to me. Apparently, she has an Electra bike of her own she loves. She said she thought she might take hers out for a ride sometime this week.

Did a little bit of writing after I got off with her. Gene assures Ira Skutch that the gold that came from the local mine is being watched by his two young, eager deputies Jimmie Walker and Gary Burghoff before it goes on the train. Ira doesn't like the idea of two untried deputies watching over those gold nuggets.

Broke for dinner at 7. Watched the first two episodes of the classic Republic action serial Zorro's Fighting Legion as I ate leftovers. Don Diego Vega is in the newly-established Republic of Mexico, visiting his uncle Francisco. When his uncle is cut down, he's asked to lead his new "fighting legion" who'll combat the mysterious Don Del Oro. This huge statue claims to be the god of the Yaqui tribe and is inciting them to revolt (and treating them rather condescendingly) so he can end the republic and be made emperor. Diego Vega takes Francisco's place among the councilmen, one of whom he suspects to be Don Del Oro. 

The only Zorro serial to actually revolve around the original Zorro or take place when the original story was set in the 1820's is probably the best of the "Zorro" serials along with the unrelated Zorro's Black Whip. The interesting story and setting and some great set pieces mostly make up for the Native American stereotypes. 

Finished the night online after a shower with Gay Purr-ee. I go further into the only animated musical to feature Judy Garland at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. 

Friday, March 19, 2021

Comedy Matches

After my long week, I opted to sleep until 10 this morning. Was reading Wings of the Falcon in bed when I heard my cell phone ding. Craig left me a text saying he finally picked up the new bike from Deptford and left it in the garage. I'd take a look at it later; needed to go to the laundromat anyway.

Got up in time for breakfast and Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour. Today was Buzzr's much-touted "Let's Laugh Marathon." Every episode on the schedule today was among the funniest the show had to offer. I suspect Bruce Baum and his fluffy mustache was the main reason the episode on this morning was included. He started off the show with his way of making a kite fly indoors - use a hair dryer. There was also Jayne Meadows' excited reaction when she helped the contestant with the Head-to-Head Match in the end, and a couple of wisecracks from Jayne and her husband Steve Allen. 

Made the bed and did chores around the apartment as Match Game '74 came on. Given it's the one show that's supposed to revolve around comedy, it's no surprise that it was a big part of this marathon. The first episode had Brett and Fannie showing up in feather boas and frilly hats, claiming they just came from Allen Ludden and Betty White's "wedding." Charles, knowing the Password lovers actually got married in 1963, came to their rescue by saying he was their doctor and leading them to their seats. In the second show from 1975, we get the first of two instances where Gene attacked camera people today, in this case to get them from focusing on Avery Schriber eating his answer.

Headed out as soon as the episodes were over. My new bike was a beautiful sky blue Electra, but it needs a few adjustments. The seat was way too low. I tried to raise the seat, but it was too tight. I'd fix it later. Had to move the reflector to get my old basket on...and realized how battered the basket is when I did. Also had to cut off the plastic tie holding on the bag with the paperwork.

Finally hit the road 15 minutes later. It was a wonderful, smooth ride, and a great day for a smooth ride, too. The sun was out, the wind was down to a soft breeze, the sky was almost the same shade of blue as the bike, and it was chilly but not as cold as I figured it would be. Made a quick stop at the post office first to drop off birthday cards for Mom (hers is tomorrow) and my friend Kelly from Wildwood (hers was earlier this week). 

The laundromat was fairly busy, but I was able to get the small, cheap front-loading washing machine pretty quick. Worked on my story notes on the concrete barrier outside while the tiny load was in the washer; bought a soft pretzel and a Chai Macha Smoothie from WaWa after I loaded it into a dryer. 

Went straight into Super Password and a chocolate-banana smoothie for lunch when I got home. Nipsey Russell and Pat Sajack continue their wild week that began yesterday. There were some really funny clues here, especially from Nipsey during the Super Password bonus round.

Tattletales was even funnier. The episode opened with Donald Ross, Patti Deustch's wacky comedy writer husband, taking over as host when Bert Convy was late. After Bert did arrive, we got some interesting answers from Bob Barker and his wife Dorothy Jo and Dick Gautier and his very outspoken then-wife Barbara Stuart. The latter ended up winning on the last question.

Press Your Luck jumped back to Halloween. In addition to trick-or-treating Whammies, we had Peter Tomarken sporting a Frankenstein mask. For some reason, he did a weird little dance over the end credits in the mask, jiggling along to the music.

After I bought a new basket from Amazon, I worked on writing. Ira Skutch, the railroad manager, wants Gene to hire a new sheriff as soon as he can. Gene complains he has no candidates. Deputies Jimmie Walker and Gary Burghoff lack experience, and nervous wreck Bill Daily is more likely to shoot himself in the foot than catch criminals.

Returned to Match Game '78 when I broke for dinner. Had Honey Glazed Riced Butternut Squash with carrots and leftover chicken for dinner as I watched Bob Barker complain because a sweet contestant didn't call him to give an answer to "Come On __." Johnny Olsen did get to repeat his famous line, though! 

Marcia Wallace was the one having trouble in the Match Game PM episode from 1977. I knew there was a reason Buzzr skipped this episode when they ran the 1977 PMs last week. The whole episode was crazy, starting with Gene's entrance looking through a box with peep holes and the first question with whose nude pictures someone tried to sell to Richard Dawson. Lunacy came to a head when Marcia's answer to a question about where Unlucky Louie lost three inches got censored with an "OOPS" graphic! 

One of my favorite episodes of Match Game '76 had fun with country music star "Whisperin'" Bill Anderson. Charles and Brett, clad in cowboy outfits, joined him in the end of the show to perform a sweetly silly spoof country ballad for a delighted Debralee Scott. Richard Dawson had less luck; bad answers got him booed twice by the audience.

I suspect the reason Buzzr held this marathon was because they acquired the 1984 special Television's Funniest Game Show Moments. More specifically, "the funniest moments from Goodson-Todman shows." Bob Barker explained why he feared Samoans when we see very large women practically manhandle him on The Price Is Right. Poor Holly Halstrom's trouble with a refrigerator whose doors refused to close turned up not long ago on the Price Pluto TV channel. Boss Mark Goodson introduced goofy Mystery Guests from the original What's My Line (including Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin), while Bill Cullen showed us kiddie description of words from his short-lived show Child's Play. Oddly, there were only two sequences from Match Game, but they were classics - the "Cuckoo, Friend, and Ollie" incident I watched in full on Sunday and Gene's Freudian slip with a contestant. Richard Dawson discusses some of the nuttier answers he encountered on the original Family Feud

Continued the theme with more Match Game. McLean Stevenson livened up several episodes of Match Game '73, including one where he appeared shirtless after having borrowed suits from the other men all week. Richard Dawson's second-to-last PM episode in 1978 featured a pair of witless contestants who just could not match anyone. The only reason one made it to the Audience Match was Charles matched him and the other contestant each once, then matched the man again in a tiebreaker. 

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Rainy Daze

I awoke to pouring rain and gritty gray skies, both of which continued in some capacity for the rest of the day. Good thing I planned on being inside all day anyway. My phone went off shortly after I awoke. Craig texted me, claiming he wanted to pick up my bike but couldn't find the information in Rose's room, and she was at work. I texted and called him, telling him I needed his e-mail to send it to him. Turns out he did manage to get the info from Rose, but changed his mind and opted to get the bike tomorrow. 

Put on Mickey Mouse Mixed-Up Adventures as I had breakfast. "Petey O'Pete" just launched Clarabelle's flying blender into the sky. Hoping to win money for another, he joins the St. Patrick's Day Rainbow Race. Clarabelle, however, has joined too, and she's just as determined as Pete to win the Pot 'O Gold. Daisy and Minnie offer to help set up the county fair, but "Daisy Does It!" without listening to Cuckoo Loca's directions and makes a hasty mess. She has to figure out how to fix things, before the fair opens.

Switched to the public domain shorts channel on Roku as I took down the St. Patrick's Day decorations. The Fleischer Brothers cartoon "Bunny Mooning" has a pair of rabbits getting married, with every animal in the forest preparing for their wedding. "Butterscotch and Soda" was Little Audrey's first solo short. Famous Studio's most popular young lady would rather be eating candy than her dinner. She's punished by a stereotypical maid and told to stay in her room, where she has a nasty nightmare about eating too much candy and being chased by the licorice. 

Moved to Match Game '78 after the cartoons ended. We started off with comedienne Nancy Lane in the ingénue seat, goofy greaser Jon "Bowser" Bauman next to Brett, and Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Don Sutton between Lane and Betty White. We get a lot of jokes about the Dodgers losing the 1977 World Series to the Yankees and the answers to the Audience Match "__ Pistol." 

The last episode of that week apparently has audio problems and is usually skipped, so the next show gave us a new panel. As handsome as Guich Kooch of the Grand Ol' Opry was, he didn't seem to get the game. Mabel King of What's Happening! just wasn't having much fun. Ken Olfson between her and Marcia Wallace was the only one of the three "new kids" who played decently and enjoyed himself. The set wasn't happy, either - the turntable broke down entirely at the end. 

Took down the St. Patrick's Day decorations and put up what I have for Easter while the shows were on. Got everything up but the cardboard banner. Taped the cardboard chick and bunny hangings on the windows and the door to the main house. The tinsel garlands went over the kitchen/living room window overlooking the hill and creek and the wide window looking out on the street in my bedroom. Most of the stuffed bunnies and Peeps sit either on the dresser in the kitchen or the book shelves in the hall. Patchy the resin bunny statue and the American Girl Easter accessories went on the wide window ledge in my bedroom. The pink felt bunny bell knocker went on the front door.

Went online after I finished. I thought Mrs. Stahl scheduled me to meet her on Zoom at 2, so I signed up for Zoom. Shortly after I signed up, I checked the invitation she e-mailed me...and realized it said February 24th. Called her and admitted I hadn't heard from her. We finally rescheduled another Zoom meeting for May. Meanwhile, I e-mailed her my apologizes and told her about everything that went on with me last year.

Jodie knocked on the door to the main house shortly after I finished online. Do I eat clams? She was making clams and pasta for dinner. Sure, why not? I love seafood of all types.

Put on Super Password as I made a strawberry-banana smoothie for lunch. It's a battle of the mid-80's game show hosts as Pat Sajack of Wheel of Fortune and Nipsey Russell, then hosting the short-lived Your Number's Up, lead their contestants through word puzzles. Nipsey's fondness for poetry gave him the edge, as he easily lead his contestant to victory in the main round and got through the Super Password bonus round with a few seconds to spare. 

Made Chocolate Chip-Raisin Cookies while Tattletales was on. Dick Gautier and Max Adrian managed to find room on-stage for their massive egos and their wives Barbara Stuart and Vonetta McKee. Dick even stuck out his legs at one point to illustrate the question asking if the men would model their bodies, heads, or upper half. Glenn Ford and his then-fiancé Cynthia Lewis were slightly more modest, but the other two couples won. 

Whammies flew thick as prize thieves in Press Your Luck, especially during the second half. Spins weren't nearly as abundant, and neither were prizes. In the end, the champ won almost 5,000 in cash, and her combined total was enough to retire her into the hall of fame.

Worked on writing for a while next, but I couldn't concentrate. Richard Dawson overhears Marshal Gene Rayburn telling railroad manager Ira Skutch that he needs a sheriff. His previous partner Sheriff Landon was killed when he got too close to figuring out what local gang the Wild Riders are after. Skutch just wants the gang brought to justice. 

Jodie brought a steaming bowl of pasta in around 5. The pasta was tossed with herbs, clam juice, small chunks of tomatoes, and tiny bits of clam. I augmented the meal with a spinach salad after I broke for Match Game '76. After the previous episode was taken up with nothing but tiebreaker rounds, Dick Martin finally got an answer right...but Didi Conn didn't, and we had a new champion. She didn't last long. The next man after her got to hear some interesting answers to "Let's __." 

Gene gets pinned in Match Game PM by Ted Lange, who gives him his Russian pin from The Love Boat to liven up his stark black and white suit. He's less appreciative of whom several panelists say Jackie the comic got his bad jokes from!

The high schoolers were very close throughout the first half of Sale of the Century. One boy didn't start pulling ahead until near the end, even after buying both Instant Bargains. He choked up on the Speed Round, allowing the other boy to pull ahead and win. (He also won the Instant Cash.) Unlike the boy yesterday, he did pick up the Bonus Round money.

Finished the night online after a shower with Everything I Have Is Yours at the Watch TCM on demand site. I go further into the only vehicle for married dancers Marge and Gower Champion at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. 

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Out of Luck

Began St. Patrick's Day with Irish oatmeal and a couple of classic Looney Tunes shorts featuring Porky and Daffy. Porky encounters two leprechaun's in "Wearin' of the Grin" who are convinced he's after their gold. They sentence him to wear green shoes that keep on dancing. Porky has to escape them in an insanely surreal nightmare. "Drip-Along Daffy" is a western spoof, with Daffy as the wanna-be sheriff and Porky as his grizzled sidekick. Daffy relates his own script for the swashbuckler satire "The Scarlet Pumpernickel," with Porky in a rare villain role. Porky's in more accustomed territory for the dark game show satire "The Ducksters," with Daffy as a sadistic host who tosses Porky into some nasty stunts. Porky finally finds a way to turn the tables in the end!

For the second day in a row, had absolutely no luck getting a ride. It was 11:30, just as rush hour was starting. There should have been someone out there, but nothing. I tried for ten minutes and got nothing. I finally walked at 11:45 and arrived 20 minutes late.

The rest of work wasn't fun, either. It was busy all day, and we didn't have nearly enough help to deal with the crowds. Many people (including me) just got their stimulus checks and were catching up on grocery shopping. I was tired, frustrated, and not really up to dealing with them. Thankfully, the crowds finally died just as I was getting ready to go home.

I had as difficult of a time finding a ride at 5 as I did at 11:30. There just wasn't anybody out there. I finally gave up after five minutes this time and walked home again. Though it remained cloudy, at least it was a bit warmer, probably in the lower 50's, and not nearly as windy as it has been.

It was so late when I arrived home, I just went straight into dinner. Jodie left me corned beef, cabbage, a slice of rye bread, and a boiled potato. I pared these with the Irish Chicken Stew I began before heading to work. 

Watched Match Game '76 as I ate. The contestant did fairly well with the regular round in the first episode, but she struck out in the Audience Match with a rather weird answer to "Arc __." Charles answered a question in the second episode by drawing a "beauty mark" on his face...which wouldn't come off, as Gene reminded him. (We also got a clear shot of Charles' infamous lack of socks when he put his feet up on the desk.)

A contestant who claimed to be single really turned Marcia Wallace and Brett Somers' heads on Match Game PM. That contestant seemed to be a little more reticent when it came time to actually kiss Brett and Marcia during the Audience Match! The guys are more interested in answering questions about when Dumb Donald tried to sell Christmas trees and how a girl can get attention in Professor Smith's class. 

Sale of the Century began its "End of the Summer Bash," with high schoolers playing for teen-oriented prizes. Our first group was a peppy Latin Club vice president, a cute water polo captain, and a sweet AP leader. The Latin Club girl did buy the first Instant Bargain, but the boy got the second and the Instant Cash and won the Speed Round hands down. He had more trouble with the Bonus Round, though.

Finished out the night with The Quiet Man. Sean Thornton (John Wayne) is happy to return to the land of his birth, Ireland, and buy the cottage where he was born. His neighbor Will Danaher (Victor McLaghlen) resents this, as he intended to buy the property. He's even less happy when Sean falls for his fiery sister Kate (Maureen O'Hara) and wishes to court her. Half the town, including the matchmaker Mikeleen (Barry Fitzgerald), convinces Will that the wealthy Widow Wilane (Mildred Natwick) is in love with him. He does give his consent to the couple's courtship and marriage...but when he learns of the deception, refuses to give up Kate's dowry and her things. Sean doesn't think any of it matters, but Kate wants her inheritance there. Even after they do get her furniture, they still can't wring the money out of Will. It takes Kate's attempt to leave to finally rouse Sean to deal with Will...and prove that being quiet doesn't mean you're not as strong as the next man in the Ould Sod.

Apparently, this was a real passion project for Irish-born John Ford. He got his fourth directing Oscar for this love letter to Ireland, with its glowing on-location cinematography and fine performances by O'Hara, Wayne, McLaghlan, and Ward Bond as the local priest determined to catch a legendary fish. 

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

The Long Walk Home

Had just enough time for breakfast and two episodes of Bluey before work. Bluey's family is on a "Road Trip" to a campground, but Mum seems to have forgotten the girls' tablets. She reminds them that you don't need computers to have fun and shows them how enjoyable life can be if you slow down and take a look. Meanwhile, their father is trying to avoid ending up behind "The Gray Nomads," a slow caravan of elderly people on vacation. 

She and her friends create their own pretend "Circus" while their parents take part in Election Day. When a big St. Bernard boy picks on the others and tries to force the younger kids to play his way, Bluey finds a way to bring him into the game, too.

Not too many problems getting to work this time. It took me a few minutes, but I did get a ride. After directing him through the shortest route possible through Oaklyn and down the Black Horse Pike, I got into work with no time to spare. It was cloudy and blahh and still chilly, though not nearly as chilly or windy as yesterday. 

Work was quiet when I came in, but by noon, it picked up considerably. That was a problem. We were short on help again, including baggers. The afternoon bagger called out. I ended up doing her sweeping and gathering the carts. I never did get to rounding up the outside trash. 

Picked up a few more things on the way out. My mother's birthday is Saturday. I picked up a Barnes & Noble gift card for her. Found a few interesting things on the clearance shelves, including cinnamon and marshmallow-flavored popcorn, a box of Celestial Seasonings (black) cinnamon tea, and a 12-pack box of watermelon sparkling water. 

It was showering lightly when I got out. I tried and tried to find a ride home on Uber. I tried for almost a half-hour. Either nothing showed up as available, or when they did appear to be available, I couldn't get through to them. I got so fed up with it, I just walked home, sparkling water box and all. I was very fed up when I got home, and my arms were (and are) very sore from carrying that full box.

Put on the 1978 Card Sharks as I had a snack and put everything away when I got home. A very funny little old lady in adorable cat's eye glasses started the show by winning a tiebreaker, and then picking up over 4,000 on the Money Cards. Everything seemed to go her way, as she said...until she was defeated by a sweet young man in a beard who said he'd just become a father for the first time.

Worked on as much writing as I could muster after the show ended and I changed into regular clothes. Richard overhears Ira and Gene arguing over the Wild Rider Gang and the railroad, with Gene pointing out that the gang targets people whom the railroad's owner, Senator Goodson, wants to buy land from. Ira claims he doesn't know anything about it, or Sheriff Landon's untimely death after he was looking into the thefts.

Broke for the last of Jodie's beef stew for dinner at 6:30. Watched Match Game '76 while I ate. The older lady is finally defeated by a sweet but nervous younger woman who is calmed down by a gentle Richard. Meanwhile, Gene introduces Didi Conn (now best known as Frenchy from Grease) to the panel, and Brett's keeping track of Dick Martin's bad answers.

Started Irish Soda Bread for tomorrow as Match Game PM began. Debralee Scott and Jonelle Allen start singing "Battle of Jerico" during a question about Joshua and the wall, prompting jokes about selling albums on TV from Charles and Bill Anderson. Another question about Tonto opening a restaurant inspires some racy racial comments from Jonelle and Gene, and another brings out a rant on the state of the New York subway system from Brett. 

Sale of the Century got very close again tonight. The younger guy kept getting Instant Bargain offers and turning them down to keep up with the champ. It was to no avail. He did badly in the Speed Round, and the champ jumped way ahead of him. He didn't do nearly as well at the Bonus Round this time, though. 

Finished the night on TCM after a shower with My Wild Irish Rose. I go further into this biography of Irish-American actor and songwriter Chauncy Olcott as an early preparation for St. Patrick's Day at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Monday, March 15, 2021

Winds of March

Began a quick and early morning with breakfast and my first Easter special of the year. Stuffy is little Glinda's favorite toy, but he's taken to be burned after she comes down with scarlet fever. A sympathetic fairy turns him into The First Easter Rabbit, the symbol of springtime for children around the world. He's directed to April Valley, where the Golden Easter Lily blooms...but may not get the chance to show what he can do when the nasty Zero takes the Lily and lets the valley be covered in snow.

Once again, I overslept, had trouble getting a ride, and was late to work, though not as late as yesterday. That was the worst thing that happened all day. We were quiet the entire morning and afternoon. Other than sweeping up a trail of sugar and rounding up trash, I spent my shift outside with the carts. I wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere else, even with the bitter and blustery wind. It was also sunny and bright, still too nice for inside work.

It took me a while to get a ride home, too, but at least my ride showed up when it was supposed to with no trouble. When I got home, I had a snack while watching Tattletales. Once again, Craig Mullavy and Meredith MacRae and Elaine Joyce and Bobby Van were the big winners. They got almost every question right, even the new round that allowed the audience to match their answers to the celebrities'. 

Everyone got slammed with Whammies on Press Your Luck. The woman Whammied out early in the second round, leaving the two men to battle it out. The other man eventually picked up a trip and a little cash after the champ hit a Whammy in his last turn.

Tried to work on writing after the show ended. The bartender, a gentleman named Charles Nelson Reilly, grumbles about a local band of outlaws called the Wilder Gang. They just killed the town's previous sheriff, and Marshall Rayburn is looking for a replacement. He asks Ira what he knows about the thefts from businesses and ranches, but he claims he doesn't know anything about it. 

Ate dinner while I worked. Jodie knocked on the door to the main house around quarter of 5, bearing slices of pepperoni and mushroom pizza. This is one of those times I'm glad I live alone. No one can complain about me eating pizza over my desk, while working on my laptop. 

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Had celery sticks and hummus for a snack while watching Match Game '76. Betty White kicked off this one by rolling up Gene's pant legs again...leading Lee Merriweather to scoot out and roll them back down. Meanwhile, Charles sticks a "taxi" sign in his hat and calls himself a cab company, while Brett made jokes about the tip of Gene's microphone coming off. 

Started making Lemon Ginger Muffins while Match Game PM was on. Joyce Bulifant and Jo Ann Pflug showed off their sexy sides in the opening, while everyone else argued over what a guy in a coffin did while producer and former singer George Jessel gave his eulogy. Everyone kisses pretty much everybody else in the end when she wins, but announcer Johnny Olsen is more than a little surprised when he gets in on it, too!

Slide the muffins in the oven just as Sale of the Century began. This was another really close game. Everyone won or bought something...but the other man came back in the Speed Round to win. He beat the Bonus Round with seconds to spare, too.

Finished the night with Darby O'Gill and the Little People on Disney Plus. Darby (Albert Sharpe) is the aging caretaker for a lord's estate in Ireland. He lives there with his pretty daughter Katie (Janet Munro), who claims she's more interested in taking care of her father than in local bully Pony Sugrue (Kieron Moore), no matter what his elderly mother Sheelah (Estelle Winwood) thinks. Darby's chief interest is in capturing the king of the Leprechauns, Brian Connors (Jimmy O'Dea). 

He doesn't know how to explain it to Katie when he loses his job to young and handsome Michael McBride (Sean Connery). He begs Michael to let him tell it, but he doesn't get the chance before he finds King Brian himself. After a narrow escape, he's able to capture Brian and convince him to grant three wishes. Darby thinks he doesn't know what he wants...but he realizes after Katie comes down with a fever and is threatened by a banshee with a death coach that his daughter and her happiness mean more to him than any gold or wishes.

This used to turn up a lot on The Disney Channel in the 80's and early 90's, especially around St. Patrick's Day. The finale with the banshee used to freak me out as a kid, and as dated as the special effects are for that part, it's still pretty spooky today. The effects used to make Brian and the leprechauns shorter than Darby come off much better. You really do believe he's talking to wee people. The performances are splendid too, especially from Sharpe as the old man who may not be as daft as everyone believes, and O'Dea as the crafty king of the wee folk. A must if you love fantasy adventures or tales of old Ireland. 

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Laughing Games

The first thing I saw when I opened my eyes this morning was the clock...which said 7:38. My work shift began at 8 AM! I almost leaped out of bed and rushed around the apartment, eating and dressing as fast as I could. Unfortunately, I couldn't get an Uber driver that quickly. I ended up being 20 minutes late.

The whole day was really a pain in the rear. Work was quiet when I got in...but by noon, we had long lines down the aisles. Not only was it busy, but we didn't have enough help to deal with the crush. Two people up front called out, and I heard employees say that more folks called out elsewhere in the store. It was a sunny day, and though windy, it was still relatively warm for March. I just got so worried about dealing with all those people! Thank goodness it slowed down enough by 3 for me to shut down without a relief.  No trouble getting home, either. I got a ride in 5 minutes.

Went straight into writing when I got in. Charles hands Richard a whiskey. He asks about a job in the area. Charles tells him to ask Marshal Rayburn and the man from the railroad office. The man is Ira Skutch, who also came in on the train with Richard. Richard moves to ask them what's going on when he hears them argue about a gang of cattle rustlers operating in the area...

Broke for dinner at 6. Made Oatmeal-Raisin Pancakes (which I wasn't able to have this morning) and celery sticks with leftover hummus. Listened to Donnybrook! while I ate. This musical version of The Quiet Man was a flop on Broadway in 1961. The cast, other than Eddy Foy Jr. as the matchmaker, isn't in any way distinguished, and the songs are more 1961 showtune than Ireland in the 20's. That said, the songs for the second couple, "I Wouldn't Bet One Penny" and "Dee-Lightful Is the Word," as well as the opening and closing number "Sez I," are pretty fun.

Switched to The Music of Spring as I got set up to take a bath. This is one of two spring Columbia Special Edition seasonal records I own. Only listened to side one. There's some especially good instrumental pieces here, including the Ray Conniff Orchestra's version of "Younger Than Springtime." 

Took a bath for an hour. I can't remember the last time I took a bath. I haven't had the time. It felt absolutely wonderful. I listened to one of my George Shearing CDs and looked over one of my self-help books before leaning back and just enjoying the music and the water.

Spent the rest of the night watching comedy game shows to cheer me up, and as a prelude to Buzzr's Let's Laugh Marathon on Friday. Groucho Marx's You Bet Your Life was a comedy show wrapped around a tiny bit of trivia show. Groucho would riff on his contestants, then ask them a few questions after he's finished with them. In the episode I chose, he's met his match in a very feisty little old lady who knows how to keep young - by telling Groucho what he can do with his trademark cigar!

Ernie Kovacs had a little more luck on Take a Good Look. This spoof of the panel shows popular at the time started the same as I've Got a Secret, with a contestant who has an unusual secret or occupation. We then see a skit that may or may not have much to do with the contestant at hand. The first skit with the Native Americans may be a little offensive to some folks nowadays, but the second with Kovacs as the earliest known classical Greek newscaster is still hilarious to this day.

There's been a few versions of Make Me Laugh. I went with the syndicated show from the late 70's-early 80's that was the last hosting job for Bobby Van before his 1980 death from a brain tumor. Three stand-up comedians try to make three audience members and a celebrity guest laugh. Bill Kirkenbauer, later of several sitcoms, and The Unknown Comic from The Gong Show toss out the schtick in the episode I watched. 

Random Acts of Comedy from 1999 is a short-lived Family Channel variation on Who's Line Is It Anyway? David Alan Grier joins a group of improv comics as they act out a random who, what, and where. Two contestants have to guess what they're acting out. Wish there was more of this around. What's on YouTube is pretty darn funny, especially their first skit with Fabio and the bonus round that has them switching musical genres. 

Liar's Club is an early form of Wordplay. Instead of making up wrong descriptions of obscure words, here, comedians and comic actors make up descriptions of odd objects sent in by viewers. Allen Ludden, better known for Password, is a strange choice for host. The panel - including Larry Hovis, Buddy Hackett, and Ludden's wife Betty White - are more game.

I just had to include an episode of Match Game. There's so many to choose from, but I went with an early syndicated show from 1979. This one is notorious for a contestant giving what may be the craziest answer to a Head-to-Head bonus round in the history of the show. It's so wild, Gene and the entire panel burst into laughter on hearing it. 

Laugh into spring and play along with some of the goofiest people to ever appear on game shows! (Look for the original commercials on You Bet Your Life, Take a Good Look, and Make 'Em Laugh.)

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Take Me for a Ride

Started off a quick, sunny morning with breakfast and the original My Little Pony special, Rescue at Nightmare Castle. When two of her friends are captured by an evil demon who wants to turn them into dragons to pull his chariot, feisty Pegasus pony Firefly (Sandy Duncan) heads to Earth to get help. She comes back with Meghan, a young girl who protests she isn't what they need. Meghan's a lot tougher than she claims, especially with the help of the Rainbow of Light the ponies pick up from the Moochick (Tony Randall).

Got up later than I should have and got a later start calling Uber. They originally said the driver would be there in six minutes...then suddenly, when I checked seven minutes later, it was twelve minutes! Even with the drivers going the right way, I was still ten minutes late to work.

Thankfully, that was the worst thing that happened all day. We were on-and-off steady at work, but never overwhelmingly busy. There were a few fussy customers, but most were in good moods, happy to be enjoying decent weather after our long messy winter. I didn't have a relief; a manager was nice enough to come in and finish a customer so I could get out on time.

It cleared out enough by 3 that grocery shopping was no trouble at all. The Acme's having one of their periodic "Buck a bag" vegetable sales. I grabbed cherry tomatoes, celery, bananas, a grapefruit, those baked pea snacks I like, and a bag of cole slaw and a potato to make Irish Chicken Stew on Wednesday. Picked up raisins for Irish Soda Bread and breaded flounder for dinner tonight. Restocked milk, fruit bars, whole wheat flour, butter, and ground turkey.

Not thrilled with my schedule next week. Very early and long day tomorrow, and I work at the register on Wednesday as well as the weekends. One of the regular cashiers went on vacation this week. Not to mention, my next day off isn't until Thursday, though I have Thursday and Friday off, the former for counseling.

Had a hard time getting a ride home. It took me three tries, and the lady couldn't get there for 22 minutes. Thankfully, unlike the one in the morning, she didn't make me wait any longer than that, and was pretty apologetic about it when she did arrive.

Put on Muppet Babies when I got in and started putting things away. "Lone Eagle" introduces Baby Sam the Eagle in a little star spangled sweater vest. He does enjoy hanging around with the kids, but really prefers reading on his own. The kids think he doesn't like them and do everything they can to try to get him to play with them. They form "The Fellowship of the Rainbow Yo-Yo" when they fear they won't be able to share a beautiful old yo-yo Nanny lets them play with and go on a quest to the top of a volcano to get rid of it.

Worked on writing after I changed and had a snack. Richard drops Robert off at the offices of The Match Up Times, then hits The Peacock Saloon for a whiskey. The bartender is a tall, nasal-voiced fellow with glasses and a dimple in his chin named Charles Nelson Reilly, who sends him to Marshal Gene Rayburn in search of a good job. 

Broke to make pan-fried breaded flounder, noodles, steamed green beans, and a spinach salad for dinner. Ate while watching Captain January. I go further into this nautical Shirley Temple vehicle at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. 

Finished the night online after I wrote my review with two episodes of The Lawrence Welk Show on YouTube. Of course, I had to watch the "Irish Show" from 1979, with the ladies in green peasant dresses and the men in vests, caps, and tweed jackets straight out of The Quiet Man. There's some outstanding dancing in this one, including two delightful Irish reels. "Fashions and Hits" showcases the clothes and songs of the 20's through 1971. The winners in this one are Bobby and Cissy's amazing jitterbug to "In the Mood," and the girls in 50's poodle skirts, joined by an unusually energetic Welk himself for the polka "Hoop Dee Doo."