Monday, May 31, 2021

Memorial Day Matches

Began my Memorial Day with a quick breakfast and two more war shorts. The Pink Panther finds himself in Vietnam without a clue in "G.I Pink." Land mines, cranky drill sergeants, and impossible obstacle courses make him wish he'd stayed home. Mickey Mouse didn't figure into many World War II shorts, but he did do one war cartoon in 1929, "The Barnyard Battle." He has to lead his platoon of skinny rubber-hose mice against a whole hoard of big Hun cats!

Headed to work shortly after the cartoon ended. Other than getting stuck in the register for an hour around 11 because we just didn't have enough help and rounding up recycling, I was outside almost the entire day. Both afternoon baggers called out; they were teenage boys who probably wanted to spend their holiday off with their buddies. Thankfully, the evening bagger did come in (early, in fact), and they recruited another guy from stocking to help me with the carts.

At least it was a gorgeous day for doing outside work. It started out cool, windy, and cloudy again. While the wind never really went away, the clouds started breaking up around 10. By the time I finished work, the sun was out, the day was warm, and the sky was clear as a bluebell. The nice day cleared out our customers, too. Though it never died completely, it was far less busy later in the day than it was in early afternoon.

Hurried home, changed, had a quick leftovers dinner, and spent most of the rest of the night icing up my now black-and-blue toe and watching the Match Game Memorial Day Marathon on YouTube. Match Game Productions put together any episodes featuring service men and women as contestants, from the older Army sergeant with the unusual feathered eyebrows to the eager young Air Force officer who was so delighted when Eva Gabor won her money, he accidentally kicked her toe and broke her toenail. There was also the Army officer who went up against a mother with an exceptionally noisy scream and the Marine chief petty officer who kept getting caught in tiebreakers.

Honor those who fought for our country and to keep the world safe for matching with this hilarious marathon!

Saw Rose outside with her crew and the local kids at one point, getting ice cream from the Mr. Softee truck. Limped out to say "hi." Khai slurped noisily at a vanilla cone with sprinkles. Finley apparently loved the Batman sherbet popsicle with gumball eyes. The other kids jokingly said her face looked like a Smurf after consuming the blue and white superheroic treat. The kids chatted about school and whether they intended to go tomorrow; some of their parents (included Rose) wanted to keep the weekend going and take them out to the zoo or park to enjoy the lovely weather. 

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Chilled Spring

Began a gloomy, rainy morning with Strawberry Pancakes and Donald Duck shorts. Donald vaulted past every-mouse Mickey during the war years to become Disney's number one shorts star. He starred in the majority of their war-related shorts, including "Donald Gets Drafted." Swayed by the glamorous new image seen on recruiting posters, Donald joins the Army...then regrets it when Sergeant Pete makes him stand on an anthill. He's desperate to become a pilot in "Sky Trooper." Pete's not happy with his less-than-impressive flight test...and is even less thrilled when he does make it in the air. 

My personal favorite Donald wartime short is "The Vanishing Private." He's supposed to be painting camouflage on a cannon. Pete tells him to make it "hard to see"...which he does, thanks to invisibility paint. Donald ends up in the paint himself...then takes the opportunity to get Pete back and leads him on a merry chase all around the base. 

"Der Fueher's Face" won an Oscar in 1943. Donald finds himself living in Nazi Germany, without food and working on an increasingly frenzied bomb assembly line. When things start leaning into surreal territory and he starts to crack, he finally realizes how important his freedoms are.

Thankfully, the rain slowed to a mild mist by the time I rode to work. Work was much busier than yesterday, with less down time, longer lines, and not as much help. Also had to deal with a few annoying customers. It did slow down enough by 4:30 that I was once again able to leave quickly with no relief.

Went straight home and into writing. Bill ends up going down the chimney to try to get Brett out. She kicks up the chimney, sending him soaring in mid-air! When he lands, not only is he not hurt, but he has an idea for a new song and wants to do it again.

Broke for dinner at quarter of 7. Made Cincinatti Chili while finishing out the Donald Duck shorts. All Donald wants to do is sleep during a hard day of "Fall Out, Fall In," but first he can't set up his tent, then his fellow soldiers keep him awake. Pete catches Donald after a night out on the town, but "The Old Army Game" takes a more disturbing turn when a bomb goes off and they think Donald lost a part of himself. Donald's taking on "Home Defense" as a civilian aircraft spotter. His nephews don't think much of his work, especially when he mistakes a bee for a bomber. "Commando Duck" is sent into the heart of Japan to, wash...out the enemy.

Took out the recycling after dinner. Turned out to go back inside when my foot slid on one of the pieces of slate used on the path and slammed into the concrete steps. Ouch! The second toe on my left foot is now black and blue and very sore. I can move it and walk on it, so I don't think it's broken, but it doesn't feel good, either. 

Put it on ice while watching Superman shorts. Given the tenor of the comics at the time, it was probably inevitable that Superman would fight the Axis on the big screen as well. "The Japoteurs" steal a huge experimental plane...and Lois, who stayed onboard to investigate. Superman has to rescue both and stop the spies, before they make it out of the country. "The Eleventh Hour" is a fairly mature short for the time about Superman sabotaging the Japanese and how they try to stop him. "Jungle Drums" brings in the Nazis as the Man of Steel helps Lois stop a group of spies from using stereotypical natives to hide their anti-aircraft weapons. A beautiful "Secret Agent" gets help from Superman when she needs to get to Washington with plans belonging to a German spy ring.

Took a shower, then switched to YouTube. I enjoyed those Family Feud Armed Services weeks so much on Buzzr, I re-watched the one from 1989 that ran two years ago. The Marines in particular are so damn funny. I didn't know they had such great senses of humor. They cheered on answers good and bad, expertly trash-talked the other teams, and had some of the best lines.

Celebrate Memorial Day with some of the most hilarious officers to ever join the Feud!

Finished the night at Sundance TV for the only episode of Hogan's Heroes currently available there, "Carter Turns Traitor" from Season 3. Carter (Larry Hovis) has to convince the Germans that he's a chemist who is willing to join the other side. Trouble is, someone seems determined to kill him before he can go through with his real mission - learning the location of a new German chemical plant. 

Saturday, May 29, 2021

The Rain's the Limit

Rain continued to pour down, even as I had breakfast and finished out the wartime Looney Tunes shorts. "Meet John Doughboy" makes fun of the peacetime draft and the army's newfangled methods of taking down the enemy. (Oh yeah, somehow Jack Benny gets in there, too.) "Fifth Column Mouse" is another allegory, this time using mice and a diabolical cat to retell how the Nazis convinced people they had good intentions, and how they took them down after they went back on their word. "Hollywood Canine Canteen" has fun with the real-life hang-outs for soldiers on leave where celebrities would often volunteer to boost morale; look for dog versions of everyone from Bing Crosby to Laurel & Hardy and Edward G. Robinson.

Worked on writing for a while after breakfast and after I got home from work. Bill (Daily) the White Rabbit and Pat (Harrington) the Pig are convinced that the huge arms hanging out of Bill's house belong to a monster. They recruit country singing Bill (Anderson) the Lizard to help them flush this "monster" out. Brett's less than thrilled with this, even if she does think Bill's cute, and tries to figure out a way to dissuade them from sending him in.

Broke for a quick smoothie lunch while running a few more Looney Tunes war-related cartoons. Bugs becomes a "Super Rabbit" thanks to enhanced carrots in order to take down a cowboy who hates rabbits. When push comes to shove, he dons the uniform of a real hero...a marines officer. "Draftee Daffy" would do anything to avoid going overseas, including dodging the persistent Little Man From the Draft Board. Bugs becomes a "Falling Hare" when he tries to keep a gremlin from sabotaging planes and the two of them end up on a plane in free fall.

Thankfully, it was only misting when I went to work. Work started off very busy, with long lines and some frustrating customers. It died suddenly between 2:30 and 3 and never picked up again. I spent most of the second half of my shift working on story ideas. Other than one lady didn't have as much money as she thought on her card and couldn't cover her small order, there were no major problems. It was quiet enough by 6 for me to leave with no relief and absolutely no need for one. The rain slowed to a very soft sprinkle by then, too. 

Changed when I got home, then put on a couple of Popeye war shorts. The Fleischers tossed Popeye into "The Mighty Navy" before the US even officially entered the war, which is why the enemy in this short is nameless. It's more obvious he's fighting the Japanese by the time of "Blunder Below," when he emerges from shoveling coal to fight a submarine. "Fleets of Strength" is similar, only this time, Popeye's taking on bomber planes in mid-air. More common are the shorts where Bluto and Popeye continue their competition for Olive Oyl's hand, like "Kicking the Conga Around" and "Olive Oyl and Water Don't Mix."

Did some more writing, then finished off the night at the Watch TCM on demand site with The Sky's the Limit. I celebrate Memorial Day with this World War II romance about an ace flyer (Fred Astaire) who passes himself off as an ordinary guy to woo a lovely photographer (Joan Leslie). 

Friday, May 28, 2021

Fantasies In the Rain

Began the morning with breakfast and Looney Tunes World War II propaganda shorts in honor of Memorial Day Weekend. "Herr Meets Hare" was the second-to-last war-related short Warners put out before V-E Day, as Bugs takes on a real-life Nazi in the Black Forest. Earlier in the war, "Daffy the Commando" takes down an entire bird-themed troop on his own. "Russian Rhapsody" has "gremlins from the Kremlin" sabotaging Hitler's plane. "The Draft Horse" badly wants to join the war, but discovers that combat isn't as glamorous as he thinks when he finds himself smack in the middle of a tank testing site.

Worked on writing after I did the dishes. Brett enters Bill the White Rabbit's little California bungalow-style house, looking for his gloves and fan. She doesn't find them, but she does find a jar of candies. Sneaking a taste doesn't prove to have been the wisest decision, as she's started to grow again...

Broke for a quick chocolate-banana smoothie and more cartoons around 11. Along with the solo character shorts, Warners also did wartime sketch comedies revolving around life in the barracks ("Rookie Revue") or on the home front ("Wacky Blackout," "The Weakly Reporter"). We also have an allegory on the history of the war and how we intended to end it, as told by ducks, doves, geese, and other barnyard fowl ("The Duckinators"). 

It was just cloudy and a little cool when I headed off to work. Work was busy when I came in and busy around 4 PM...and when it got busy, the lines were down the aisles. We just don't have enough help to deal with holiday weekend customers. I felt so overwhelmed by all those crowds. Thankfully, one of the managers finally got one of the stock boys to come in so I could get out on time.

I'm not really happy with my schedule next week. On one hand, more hours and earlier hours. On the other hand, long hours all week except Sunday, and I don't have a day off until Wednesday (though I do get Wednesday and Thursday off, Wednesday for my next dental appointment). They gave a lot of people off for the holiday, even though we weren't supposed to put in for Memorial Day or the week before off. 

Didn't have a ton of grocery shopping to do after work. Shrimp is already on sale; found a small bowl of cooked, seasoned shrimp with a manager's coupon for dinner. Had a free online coupon for the Acme's generic ice cream; went with Mint Cookie Crumble. Also had good online coupons for cherries, butter, eggs, and mayo. Asparagus was already on a good weekend sale. Restocked milk, strawberries, yogurt, dish washing liquid, tomatoes, bananas, and strawberries. 

By the time I got out, we were in the midst of a nice steady (and much-needed) shower. Thankfully, it wasn't so bad that I was more than damp. I pulled into the garage just as the rain came down heavier. It's been raining heavily ever since. 

Changed after I got in, then watched Match Game PM while I put everything away. There's quite a few jokes about a young man contestant with shaggy hair and a mustache and beard that makes him resemble Grizzly Adams. They're not laughing when he comes up with his own good answer on the Audience Match.

Sale of the Century didn't start out close. The one guy was ahead almost the entire game, even after buying no Instant Bargains or the Instant Cash. The champ came back in the Speed Round, but it wasn't enough to beat him. He didn't have her prowess in the Bonus Round, though...

Finished the night after a shower online with Fantasy Island on Tubi. A famous magician (Bert Convy) is hoping to do his father one better and "Escape" from the notorious prison on near-by Devil's Island. He almost gives up after his first attempt ends with him in the prison hospital, until Roarke encourages him to try again. Two factory workers pose as "Cinderella Girls" with makeovers and new wardrobes. One (Georgia Engel) is happy to find herself a German millionaire who loves her for who she is, but the other (Diane Canova) isn't sure about the handsome young man who keeps trying to sell her on a country club and seems interested in her.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Dolls on a Sunny Day

Began a sunny morning with breakfast and Blockbusters. Came in just as the mother half of a mother-daughter team tried to figure out the Gold Run. She got half the questions right, but couldn't connect one side to the other. They had more luck with a lady in the regular round when the show ended.

Switched to the Watch TCM on demand site for Hollywood Party as I cleaned up from breakfast. I go further into this bizarre vehicle for Jimmy Durante, Mickey Mouse, and most of the comedians at MGM in the early 30's at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Put on Match Game '76 as I got organized and did a few things around the apartment. Things didn't begin well, as normally on-the-ball Richard had trouble with "Bend ___" in the Head-to-Head. They improved later, as Brett sympathized with Ugly Edna and the others came up with some very interesting (and topical) responses to "Women's __," including jokes about Vincent Price and The Fly

Heard familiar voices in the main house as the second episode came on. Rose and Jodie were discussing Dad's "celebration of life" party, aka the post-funeral party we weren't able to have last year. From what they're saying, it's going to be held here on July 31st, and it'll be pretty big, with a guest list that includes most of the members of his graduating high school class and many neighbors. Jodie's having it catered by Anthony's, the restaurant where Rose's husband Craig works, and is trying to figure out where she can rent tents and find bartenders. 

And...they're aware that I have no idea what I'm doing next. Rose suggested looking into smaller apartment buildings in the area. I really haven't had much luck with finding apartments on my own. The one I'm currently in and the one on Manor Avenue were recommended to me by family members and their friends, all of whom have since passed on. The only apartment I ever got on my own was the one in Wildwood with the roaches and the ancient heater and old appliances. At any rate, they did say it'll likely be closer to September before Jodie's able to sell the house and I'll really have to go anywhere.

After Rose left, I headed out to run errands at Dollar General. It was a really gorgeous day for a walk. The sun was out, the breeze felt lovely and cool, and it was hot again, but not humid like yesterday. The grass and gardens are still really dry, though. We're going to need more rain than even the storms we had last night to make things better.

Dollar General was fairly busy around 1 with people picking up a few things as they returned from lunch. I was mainly there for a new thermometer. The old one took batteries I can't find, and the one I bought after that didn't work. Decided I'd try something and bought fixings to make Key Lime Pie, including cream cheese and a graham cracker crust.

Put on Doc McStuffins when I got home. After the whopper of a thunder storm we had last night, I thought "The Big Storm" was appropriate. Doc evacuates her toys to her bedroom, but Chilly and Hallie fall out and get lost. They survive the storm drawing pictures Doc's playhouse clinic, and by staying together. "Spritzy Mitzi" is a hip octopus sprinkler who loves being the life of the water party. She ignores Stuffy's insistence that Doc checks out a pebble stuck in one of her legs...until the pebble breaks the rubber, and she gets a leak.

Dressed the dolls for warmer June weather after the cartoon ended. Molly's Birthday Pinafore with the ruffled rickrack-trimmed sleeves is more appropriate for summer than spring. Josefina is in her Weaving Outfit. Ariel gets (Ivy's) Rainbow Romper and Springfield Collection denim sneakers. Felicity wears a white gown with blue cabbage roses I found at a booth in the Deptford Mall a decade ago. Whitney's in a white early 60's-style tea dress with purple roses and a bubble skirt. Samantha's quite daring in her second Biking Outfit with the tight embroidered Swiss lace blouse and aqua flannel knickers. Jessa wears her white flamingo-trimmed hoodie from a Collingswood art show with the green shorts from the American Girl Girl Scout uniform.

Rose texted me while I worked on the dolls and said she and the kids were at the pool. Stuck my legs in with them for about a half-hour. She pretty much confirmed what she said with Jodie earlier. She also recommended I look into smaller, better-maintained apartment buildings, rather than trying to find another apartment attached to a house whose owners may be more likely to raise my rent or push me out if they change their minds about renting. 

After they left, I worked on writing for a while. Was going to have Brett encounter the Cheshire Cat, but I changed it to her running into Bill (Daily) the White Rabbit. He calls Brett "Carol" (the name of Bob Newhart's receptionist on The Bob Newhart Show) and demands she bring his gloves and fan, so he can start out to the Queen (Betty White) and King (Allen Ludden) of Hearts' croquet game.

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Had ham and sautéed spinach and mushrooms while watching more Match Game '76. Earl, the gentleman behind the Audience Match board, seemed to have a bit of a crush on the pretty new champ today, actively rooting for her. Meanwhile, we get a fairly racy answer on what the Bionic Woman has lubricated. 

Match Game PM came on as I put together cream cheese, Cool Whip, sugar, lime juice, almond milk, and vanilla pudding to make my own version of Key Lime Pie. Bill Cullen returned with Fannie Flagg and Debralee Scott to admire the massive mustache on a bachelor contestant and see Richard drool over a pretty young traveling saleswoman. 

Sale of the Century continues their Christmas week festivities and the close games. Once again, no one got terribly far ahead of anywhere else until the champ burst ahead in the Speed Round. She took the Bonus Round without even the bobbles she made last night.

Finished the night online with two classic TV episodes on The Roku Channel. "Emily By Hart" on Hart to Hart has Johnathan and Jennifer going on a romantic weekend getaway up the California coast. The romance sours quickly when Jen learns that a young reporter she once mentored died while doing an article investigating the crop dusting business her fiancée worked for.

In I Dream of Jeannie, Jeannie's even less happy when Tony is called out to do work for NASA on their third anniversary. He has to bring a can of film to a general in Washington, but Jeannie sees him with a girl and thinks he's on a date with someone else. She switches the film...but that only serves to cause her master worse trouble. 

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

In the Heat of the Day

Kicked off a cloudy morning with breakfast and To Tell the Truth. The first three contestants claimed they were members of a unicycle-riding basketball team. I went with handsome and funny #1, but Peggy and Bill chose more compact #2...and they turned out to be right. The second group represented a man who studied Dracula, vampires, and real-life blood drinkers. This time, it turned out to be super-serious bearded #2. 

Changed into my uniform as What's My Line? began. The first guest was a man who sold machines that mixed martinis. It took them forever to get it; I think Arlene Francis finally hit on it. Gene Rayburn was the only martini drinker in the group and got to try it. (And from what I read, he wouldn't be drinking them for much longer. By the time Match Game began in '73, he apparently started taking some kind of medication that didn't allow him to drink.)

Headed to work before the second guest came on. I spent the entire day alternating between sweeping inside and gathering carts outside. No major problems, other than I was the only bagger until 4 PM. I didn't have the time to do anything but sweeping and the carts until the evening bagger arrived and I was finally able to round up the outside trash and recycling. It got really hot and humid once the clouds cleared and the sun emerged in the late morning, too.

(By the way, several employees at work mentioned today that they're repealing the mask orders for those who are vaccinated in most businesses starting Friday. Turns out it's a degree. They still require them in government buildings, schools, jobs in crowded buildings like warehouses, and public transportation. I might have to wear them on the bus, but I don't have kids in school, don't work in a warehouse, and renewed my non-driver's ID online.) 

Went straight home after work and into writing. Brett bites into one of Nipsey's mushrooms, hoping they'll make her grow taller. They only make her neck grow taller, scaring the daylights out of a little red wren.

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Watched Match Game '76 while eating leftovers for dinner. Janet Lynde of The Young and the Restless and Joey Bishop join Gene, Patti Deustch, and the regulars this week. Things didn't go so well in the first half, with no one scoring until a question about what a giraffe came down with. Later, the panelists helped a lady wearing a "Foxy" t-shirt with the Audience Match question "All __."

Big George Kennedy, lovely Lee Merriweather, and Golden Girl Betty White come in for Match Game PM. Very close game here, though it didn't start out that way. The woman contestant didn't pick up anything until she hit the jackpot on what Dumb Dora brought in when asked to reveal photos of a "heavenly body." Richard had less luck trying to help her with the Head-to-Head question "__ of the Game."

Sale of the Century was also close for most of the game. We had a Christmas theme here, with ski luggage and a ski trip for the Instant Bargains and gorgeous decorations (including real trees) hung around the set. The Speed Round was so close, the only lady won by a question. She made an amazing comeback in the Bonus Round, getting two puzzles in less than five seconds! 

Finished the night online after a shower with two episodes of classic sitcoms at Hulu, starting with season 5 of MASH. Radar O'Reilly is tasked with writing about "The Most Unforgettable Characters" when he takes a creative writing course. He has no shortage of those on the base. Klinger threatens to set fire to himself unless General Potter sends him home, while Hawkeye and Hunnicut pretend to argue in order to make Frank Burns happy on his birthday.

Rose of The Golden Girls is delighted when "Charlie's Buddy" shows up on their doorstep. He seems to know everything about her, prompting her to relate many fond memories of her husband. She suggests they live together...but Dorothy's worried when he wants half the money from her up front. Meanwhile, Dorothy keeps trying to find a dress for a museum gala, but first it's too dull, then it's the same as Blanche's. 

(Oh, and it clouded up shortly after I got home. The storm didn't really move in until around when Sale of the Century was on. It's been thunder storming off and on ever since, though it seems to be off right now.) 

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Spring Breeze

Slept in this morning. For some reason, I couldn't get Goof Troop to work during breakfast, so I settled for an episode of Bluey. Since we had our first "BBQ" of the season over the weekend, I did the episode where Bluey and her family hold one. Bluey and their cousins are doing a pretend barbecue, but they won't let Bingo relax until she brings them the perfect pretend salad.

Moved to Match Game '76 while cleaning up from breakfast. In the first episode, Gene borrows Brett's long string of pearls to go with his "basic blue suit ensemble." The second features a handsome contestant with an adorable smile who bears a striking resemblance to a young John Ritter. 

Switched to Step Lively at the Watch TCM on demand app while making Chocolate-Chip Cranberry Muffins. I go further into this energetic musical farce that was Frank Sinatra's first starring vehicle at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. 

Worked on writing for the rest of the afternoon. Brett runs into a strange shop in a hollowed-out mushroom. A caterpillar who looks like the Match Game "poet laureate" Nipsey Russell leans at the counter, blowing smoke into a shop filled with books of poetry and baskets of mushrooms. Brett doesn't understand his poems about crocodiles and busy bees and Red Kings, or why she's now dressed like a hippie. She just wants to know where her sons are. Between poems, Nipsey manages to tell her that yes, her boys were there, but they got fed up with trying to decipher his meaning and ran off. He gives her mushrooms from his baskets before sending her after them. 

Went out for a walk to CVS around 4:30. It was still pretty chilly, windy and cloudy and cool...which after last week's ridiculous heat, is an improvement. CVS was a disappointment. No dishwashing liquid on sale, and the shampoo and conditioner I wanted were way too expensive. I just ended up walking out with nothing.

Broke at 6:30 for scrambled eggs with spring vegetables and more Match Game '76. Janice Pennington and Bill Cullen continue as Fannie sports a rather unique rainbow-colored beanie, but isn't terribly good with the Head-to-Head. Meanwhile, I'm a bit surprised no one got a certain answer to "__ and Dale" in the Audience Match, but I am a huge Disney fan...

The audience was noisier for Match Game PM. An "aspiring" belly dancer gets a few cheers in the audience, but it's the handsome blond contestant who turns the most heads. They end up in a tiebreaker...but things don't go as well for Charles with the Head-to-Head "Amateur __."

Sale of the Century was another close game. The one woman bought adorable teddy bears for her twin sister's child-to-be, but the champ just barely jumped ahead of her in a high-scoring Speed Round. He just missed the Bonus Round, though.

Finished the night on YouTube for The Real Match Game Story: Behind the Blank. This Game Show Network documentary from 2006 mostly discusses the original 60's and the well-known 70's version of the show. On one hand, this doesn't say anything I haven't already gleaned from Match Game 101, Brett's introductions on the Match Game DVD set, and the Gene Rayburn biography. Some of the interviews are invaluable though, especially with people like Gene, Brett, Richard Dawson, and producer and judge Ira Skutch who have since passed away. (I wonder why there's barely any mention of Charles Nelson Reilly. Was he already sick at that point, or did they have a hard time dragging him away from his one-man show?)

Monday, May 24, 2021

Adventures In Technicolor

Began a gloomy, gray morning with breakfast and Blockbusters. I came in as a lady played a brother-sister pair. They'd only made it to the second round when the show ended for the day.

Switched to Muppet Babies while cleaning up and getting organized. Rizzo becomes a "Puppy for a Day" when the kids want to prove to Nanny that they're able to care for a pet. They find out how hard it is to take care of an animal when Rizzo runs off, won't fetch a stick, and gets sick from eating too much pizza. It's "No Laughing Matter" when Fozzie loses his uncle's joke book and thinks he can't be funny without it.

Headed out to run errands and do the laundry after the cartoon ended. It was windy and chilly...and after the dry heat the last few days, it felt wonderful. No wonder the laundromat only had a few people there. I ran to WaWa to use the bathroom after I stuffed my load in the washer. Picked up a sparkling water and pretzel while I was there. 

My underwear's seen better days. I quickly threw my laundry into the dryer, then walked a block to Family Dollar and bought two packs, one large, one small. Spent the remaining time working on story notes on the cement meridian behind the laundry building.

Spent a quiet half-hour when I got home putting the laundry and underwear away and going over my notes. Had a strawberry banana smoothie for lunch, then made Chocolate Chip-Cranberry Cookies. It's just dried cranberries added to that Oatmeal-Chocolate Chunk Cookie recipe I got out of Prevention Magazine years ago.

Watched Arabian Nights at TV Time while I worked. Universal's first  three-strip Technicolor movie takes us to exotic Persia, as a sultan reads a fairy tale for his harem. Traveling troupe dancer Sherazade (Maria Montez) refuses to marry any but a Caliph. Kamar (Leif Erickson) is so infatuated with her, he tries to get his brother, the caliph Haroun-Al-Raschid (Jon Hall), off the throne. It doesn't work, but his brother pities him when he sees him strung up on a pole. 

His pity proves to be misplaced. Kamar's men attack and nearly kill him. He's taken in by the circus people, thanks to young acrobat Ali Ben Ali (Sabu), who hide him. Haroun eventually falls in love with Sherazade, and she with him, but Kamar is still determined to have her. Not only that, but his vizier Nadan (Edgar Barrier) wants the throne for himself...and will do anything to stop the two brothers and have Sherzade for himself, including selling the troupe into slavery and forcing Sherazade into an unwanted union.

I'm really enjoying the Maria Montez-Jon Hall movies. They're not great art. They're not even good art. What they are is pure Hollywood blarney with amazing sets and costumes, a strong leading lady, and terrific supporting casts, including Shemp Howard and John Qualen as a comic Sinbad and Aladdin. Definitely worth checking out if you love sand-set swashbucklers and Arabian Nights fantasies.

Pulled the cookies out of the oven as Press Your Luck began. Whammies flew thick and fast today, especially in the first half. Turns flew almost as quickly. In the end, the one man just barely one by a few dollars over the other lady and picked up a sail boat and lots of cash for his trouble.

(Oh, and the cookies came out beautifully, just sweet-tart enough.)

Worked on writing for a while next. Re-wrote some dialog to have Brett trying to call out to Red King Goodson and Red Knight Jack Klugman to ask them if they know where her sons ran off to. Jimmie the Dodo claims she needs to find the Cheshire Cat, who knows all and sees all in Wonderland.

I also checked my e-mail to see if Mrs. Stahl sent my Zoom invitation for tomorrow. She didn't...but she did tell me something came up and we needed to reschedule. I e-mailed her back for June 15th. 

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Made a variation on the Fried Potatoes recipe in Molly's Cooking Studio by pan-frying them in olive oil and sprinkling them with Herbs De Provenance as well as salt and pepper. They came out very well, nice and brown, and paired well with steamed asparagus and pan-fried cod.

Watched Match Game '76 as I made my dinner. Janice Pennington, long-time model for The Price Is Right, dodges the flirtations of Gene Rayburn and Richard Dawson in her only week on the show. Meanwhile, Charles draws a crown for the contestant, who'd been doing very well up to that point and seemed to have a bit of a crush on Brett.

Match Game PM was even more fun. This one came from the week featuring two of my favorite panelists who only appeared on the show for one week, sweet Dick Smothers and hilarious down-home Minnie Pearl. Minnie and Fannie Flagg weren't the only southern and western folks to appear on the show, either. The male contestants sported a cowboy hat and the name Buck Rodgers. Richard got top honors with his answer to what a baseball player brought along on his honeymoon. 

Sale of the Century started close, but the champ burst ahead in the second half. He bought an Instant Bargain and the Instant Cash and won the Speed Round by a wide margin. Just barely missed the Bonus Round, though.

Finished the night at Watch TCM with The Secret Garden. I never knew MGM released a version in 1949 until about a decade ago. Margaret O'Brian is Mary Lennox, the sour little girl who comes to her Uncle Archibald's (Herbert Marshall) house after being orphaned in India. Dean Stockwell is her invalid cousin Colin; Brian Roper is Dickon, the Yorkshire boy who cares for animals and befriends Mary. It does largely stick to the book in the first half...but things change a bit in the second half when Uncle Archibald almost sells the house. The scenes with the garden in full bloom are done in Technicolor...and as pretty as it looks, the back-and-forth between the color and the black-and-white shots is a bit jarring. The kids' performances are better, especially O'Brian and Stockwell trying to out-scream each other. 

My favorite version is still the one from 1993, but this has a lot to recommend it too, including the unique Technicolor sequences and a good cast.

Went to Dailymotion for another unusual retelling of a famous children's book. Hanna Barbara did a modernized musical Alice In Wonderland in 1966, with Janet Waldo once again playing Alice. This time, she chases her her dog Fluff through the TV and into an wacky all-star Wonderland. The truly bizarre cast includes Hedda Hopper (in her last role) spoofing her famous collection of hats, Zsa Zsa Gabor as the Queen of Hearts who constantly changes her mind and her verdicts, Sammy Davis Jr. as a super-hip Cheshire Cat, Howard Morris as the game-loving White Rabbit, Bill Dana as the White Knight with a bad Spanish accent, and for some reason, a random cameo by Fred Flinstone and Barney Rubble as the two-headed caterpillar. Great music by Charles Strouse and Lee Adams helps make the weirdness a bit more palatable. 

Sunday, May 23, 2021

The Pool Is Open

Kicked off a blinding sunny morning with Lemon-Strawberry Pancakes and my Peter Pan record and book version of Alice In Wonderland. First of all, it's got some rather cute songs. There's a pretty and dreamy title song, "Curiouser and Curiouser" as she grows and shrinks, and "The  Queen Has Commanded," a chorus number at the Queen's croquet game with the queen ordering everyone executed while Alice throws in spoken commentary on the strangeness of the whole affair. The other unique aspect of this recording is the book, which more closely resembles a Marvel comic book of the 1970's in its design than anything Tenniel.

The Wonderful World of Make Believe is one of my favorite Johnny Mathis albums. Side 2 kicks off with a lovely version of another Alice In Wonderland title song, this one from the Disney animated film. I also like "Sky Full of Rainbows," "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows," and the title number from Camelot

Headed off to work before the record ended. We were a lot busier than yesterday, with long lines...but everything went much faster, too. Other than a few annoying customers, there were no major problems. It thankfully slowed down enough by 4:30 for me to dash out without a relief or a need for one.

The pool area was full of kids and parents when I arrived. I hurried inside, changed, and hurried back out. Apparently, not only did Jodie invite over TJ and his husband Eric and Rose and her tribe, but friends of hers and their kids, too. She, Craig, Rose, and TJ also made tons of food. There were Jodie's succulent, fall-off-the-bone ribs, chicken and beef on skewers, Rose's grilled vegetables, hot dogs for the kids, baked asparagus, green salad, and TJ's tomato and blue cheese salad. The tomato and cheese salad was incredible, sharp and tart, the chicken and ribs were wonderfully moist, and the asparagus was tasty. Rose and Jodie had fruit bowls outside; one bowl was a watermelon carved in the shape of a shark!

After I ate, I changed into my bathing suit and jumped in the water with the kids. It was cold when you got in, but warm for May when you were used to it. Jodie's friends had two girls and two boys. I chatted with them while listening to them chase each other and hit each other with foam noodles and splash each other. I did have to warn them a few times that pushing each other into the pool isn't funny, and neither is intentionally getting water in each other's eyes. Mostly, though, I had a great time laughing at their antics.

Worked on writing for a while after I got out. Brett's more than shocked that the tyrannical Red King is her boss, producer Mark Goodson, and the feared Red Knight is her almost-ex-husband Jack Klugman. Or, it looks like them. She tries to get a better look by climbing on the horse's legs, but almost gets trampled. Jimmie (Walker) the Dodo yanks her out of the way and drags her into the marshes before she's captured, too.

Finished the night online with more trivia shows. Jeopardy was the first hit quiz show to debut after the scandals subsided. Merv Griffith wanted to put the accent back on what people knew, and not what they could win. Three people answer questions on a topic in graduating numbers, from 20 to 100 in the original 1964 incarnation. When they choose a certain monitor that says "Daily Double," they can wager part or all of the money on their answer. The dollar amounts are doubled in the second round. The third round, Final Jeopardy, has everyone answering one question and wagering none, part, or all of their winnings. The one with the most winnings is the champion.

Alas, there's very little left of the NBC 60's daytime version of the show, but it doesn't seem to have changed much over the years other than adding color. As far as I can tell, the 1974 episode here is pretty emblematic of the original run in general. Art Fleming was the genial host.

Fleming stuck around for a 1978 syndicated revival. This one changed things up by eliminating the low-scoring contestant after the first round and completely redoing Final Jeopardy. Here, if the last contestant standing answers a series of questions in one topic. If they get all five questions correct, they win $5,000. 

The changes to the 1978 version were fairly controversial, especially with people who enjoyed the NBC show. The syndicated revival in 1984 returned to the original format, with Alex Trebek taking over as host. This is the one that's still running in syndication to this day, with rotating hosts subbing after Trebek's death in November

My family used to gather around the TV in the late 80's and early 90 as ABC World News Tonight wound down on Channel 6 after dinner. We'd try to guess The Pennsylvania Lottery numbers, then would anxiously wait for Johnny Gilbert to announce THIS...IS...JEOPARDY! and bring in today's contestants. We loved to see who could get the most answers or which categories we were best at. Wheel of Fortune came on after that; we'd see who could get the right letters or guess the puzzle first.

Jeopardy wasn't Trebek's first crack at a quiz show. Far from it, in fact. In the mid-70's, he did two shows that involved contestants answering questions in isolation booths. Unlike the 50's entries, Double Dare and The $128,000 Question were scrupulously watched to make sure they were both on the level. No chicanery here, just people answering tough quiz questions and, in the case of Double Dare, trying to stump a panel of experts with their knowledge. 

My personal favorite quiz show along with Jeopardy has always been Tic Tac Dough. I loved watching it on USA Network in the mid-80's, guessing trivia along with the contestants and hoping they'd avoid that screeching dragon! Like $128,000 Question, this one worked hard to make quizzes safe for big prize winnings again. One gentleman, Thomas McKee, walked off with over $200,000 in prizes (including 8 cars). It was a record in winnings that stood until the era of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Wink Martindale lends his southern charm to the proceedings. 

Trivia Trap is one of the more unique entries in the genre. In this rare Goodson-Todman crack at quizzes, a team of young adults is pit against a team of older folks to see who comes out on top with the knowledge. In this case, the kids won it on a question involving rock music. Bob Eubanks is the mediator in this generational trivia war.

Wish Buzzr would put the 1987 Monty Hall Split Second back on the schedule. As much as I enjoy Body Language, Split Second pairs better with Blockbusters...but I suspect this lightning-fast multiple-choice quizzer may have been a little too dry for morning viewers. Went with an episode from later in the series that didn't look like I caught it during its Buzzr run. 

At any rate, here's some later-day quizzes for your scandal necessary. 

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Red Hot Spring

Decided to try something different this morning during breakfast. Went to Disney Plus to check out Adventures In Wonderland. Anny was a huge fan of this modernization of the Alice stories as a kid in the early 90's, and I remember enjoying what little I saw of it. Whenever Alice (Elisabeth Harnois) has a problem, she walks through her mirror and into the wacky world of Wonderland to find the solution. 

Went with the second episode of the series, "Lip-Sunk." The Queen of Hearts (Armelia McQueen) lost her voice right before giving a speech at a big royalty convention. The other residents of Wonderland search under every rock and tea cup to find it. Alice finally has to explain that "losing your voice" is an idiom, and that the queen is more likely to regain her voice with tea and honey than by an extensive search. 

Headed out shortly after the episode ended. It was only slightly busier today than yesterday. Like I told one customer, everyone's either out enjoying the hot and sunny weather, went down to the Shore, or are waiting for the holiday weekend to do their shopping. Got in and out with no trouble other than a few annoying customers.

Went straight into my own grocery shopping when my shift ended. Took advantage of many good sales online this week, including on cherries, bags of mini-peppers, Bryers ice cream, whole wheat flour, and Kashi cereal. Found a flounder fillet with a manager's coupon and a small, inexpensive container of shrimp. Picked up two red potatoes for a recipe I want to try later this week. Restocked canned pineapple, mandarin oranges, and diced tomatoes, peanut butter, milk, yogurt, dried cranberries, strawberries, and bananas. 

Watched Charlie's Angels on The Roku Channel while putting everything away and having shrimp and Waldorf Salad for dinner. It's "Angels Ahoy!" in the second season when an innocent woman is murdered on an ocean liner after recognizing a convicted murderer. Turns out, someone onboard is using the ship to ferry convicted criminals to South America to escape charges. Kelly poses as the ship's activities director, Sabrina as a criminal looking for passage, and Kris as a passenger, while Bosley romances a lady who claimed she's on the trip after her husband died.

Worked on writing for a while after the show ended. Brett's knocked to her feet as giant horses with thundering hoofs nearly stampede her into the dust. They're lead by the fearsome (and grouchy) Red Knight and the Red King...the latter of whom closely resembles her boss, game show producer Mark Goodson. His men capture the larger animals, while he transforms the smaller ones he deems unfit for his service into stuffed toys. Brett barely avoids their fate by ducking into the tall marsh grasses.

Finished the night after a shower watching Moana at Disney Plus. I go further into this Pacific Islands adventure tale at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. 

Friday, May 21, 2021

Curiouser and Curiouser

Started off the morning with breakfast and Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. "The Big Slide" is at the Dinosaur Playground. Daniel loves it, but O the Owl is afraid to climb those tall steps. Daniel holds his hand until he's able to get all the way to the top. "Daniel Does Gymnastics" for the first time, but he's nervous to try jumping the vault and walking on the balance beam. Henrietta Pussycat, who teaches the gymnastics class, holds his hand and helps him until he's doing better.

Worked on writing for the rest of the morning. Brett swims to shore with Sarah (Kennedy) the Mouse, Jimmy (Walker) the Dodo, and several other birds and small animals. Deciding that Sarah's story is too dull to dry them off, they hold a Caucus Race...which basically means they run around in a circle, chasing each other and occasionally running into each other or a tree. Brett's having a great time and does dry off, and the animals have a blast, too. Brett, however, hears the vibrations of galloping hooves and a horn blast that sounds like the theme of To Tell the Truth that brings an end to their fun...because the fun-hating Red King and his army are here...

Put on Match Game '76 while making a blueberry-banana smoothie for lunch. Betty White walked off rather than hear answers to an animal-abusive question. Later, she scolded Gene for trying to catch a fly while Richard made jokes about the movie The Fly behind him. 

Hurried out shortly after the next episode began. I needn't have hurried. It got a little bit busy around 2:30-3 PM, but we were otherwise dead almost the entire night. It was a gorgeous day, sunny, breezy, and in the 80's. Who wants to go grocery shopping on a beautiful spring day? Not to mention, we're between holidays, with nothing much going on until next weekend. We mainly sold fixings for family barbecues. Other than a few annoying customers, there were no major problems. It died so fast by 7, I was able to leave with no relief and no need for one.

Got my schedule today as well. In good news, three days off (Tuesday for counseling), nothing later than 6. Far fewer hours, though (but still more than I had before the pandemic started), and one of the days I do work is an 8-hour shift. 

Changed after I got in, then got to see the last 10 or so minutes of Match Game PM. Came in as the Audience Match began. Things got off to a strange start when the contestant picked all the celebrities to help her at once, rather than one at a time. She redeemed herself by showing great courage in going with her own heart with the answer to "School of __." Later, Richard helped her with "Father and __."

Things started out fairly close on Sale of the Century. Everyone won or bought something...but the champ pulled ahead about mid-way through and gave the others a thorough drubbing in the Speed Round. He's still having trouble with the Bonus Round, though.

Jodie came in during Sale bearing half of a hoagie she didn't want and a vacuum cleaner. The men are now officially done with the floors...and they do look very nice, all shiny like rich honey. She cleaned up the dust left on my side of the house from their work, and I gave her a small slice of Blueberry Coffee Cake. She doesn't like sugary foods, but she does love blueberries. 

Finished the night online with two bizarre European versions of Alice In Wonderland that make extensive use of stop-motion animation. The Czech Alice from 1989 is the weirder of the two. Alice follows the White Rabbit through a drawer in a desk, and she keeps running into desks throughout her journey. Creatures take themselves apart and stitch themselves together, and Alice turns into a porcelain doll when she shrinks. Too bizarre for me, but it may appeal to those with weirder tastes than mine. 

A French Alice In Wonderland from 1949 is a bit less strange. It begins with Charles Dodgson - aka Lewis Carroll (Stephan Murray) - being scolded by The Vice Chancellor (Ernest Milton) for writing a poem criticizing Queen Victoria (Pamela Brown) and the school's bell. To get away from it all, Dodgson takes the Dean's three daughters, including Alice (Carol Marsh) on a boat ride into the country. He tells them the fantastical story of how Alice fell through the rabbit hole and met a great many strange creatures (who act like the Queen and the people at the school). 

The stop-motion here is more angular and stylized, to go with the boxy stylized backdrops. It does get a little dark when the animals keep chasing Alice. In the story, after she left the White Rabbit's house, most of Wonderland didn't seem to really care where she was going until she arrived at the Queen's croquet party. While not as creepy as the Czech Alice, the stop motion creatures are still odd enough to recommend this one for older Wonderland lovers. 

Thursday, May 20, 2021

A Little Adventure

Began a bright, sunny morning with breakfast and Body Language. Scott Cohen just can't catch a break. Once again, Malcom Jamal-Warner's contestant got almost all of the puzzles right...and this time, they were able to easily act out the Bonus Round clues and win $7,000 too. At least Cohen got to show off his nifty unicorn baseball cap. Blockbusters didn't move nearly that fast. A young woman and a brother-sister team spent the entire show playing three rounds; I think the woman champ finally won in the end.

Made the bed next. The sheet's been falling off again. Loaded another empty crate with a few more stuffed animals, too. I just don't have enough room on my two mattresses for all of them. They keep ending up on the floor in the middle of the night.

I've debated on and off whether I wanted to have an adventure. There was a record shop in Somerdale called Sun Valley Records that looked interesting. I hardly need more records, but it's been a long time since I've had an outing. Besides, it said online that the shop also carried used CDs and DVDs. I thought it was worth checking out. I'm tired of sitting inside. I spent the entire winter sitting inside. Needed to do something, even just browsing around records.

Made it to City Hall in Oaklyn just in time to catch the bus. Got off at the Taco Bell and the back of the giant Wal Mart. I planned on strolling down to the shop...but it was a lot further down the Pike than I believed. It took me more than 20 minutes just to make it past laundromats, pizza parlors, and sketchy convenience stores just to get to a huge WaWa. After I picked up a banana smoothie and a pretzel, I stopped in the parking lot of Dunkin' Donuts to see if I was going the right way. I was. The record shop was another three blocks down. 

Sun Valley Records was far more "hipster" than the stores in Collingswood and Westmont. Though I did see some hip-hop and vocalists mixed in, their specialty seems to be heavy metal and every form of rock imaginable, from alternative to progressive. Most of the records and CDs were new and expensive, but they did have used DVDs, along with candles and incense. The place smelled like a head shop. I've seen the Soap spin-off Benson around, but not the original show. I bought the first three seasons on DVD for 2.98 each and The She-Ra He-Man Christmas Special for a dollar. 

It took longer to get home than it did to get to Somerdale. It was 2:30 when I left, and traffic on the White Horse Pike was already backed up, especially around Barrington, Lawnside, and Haddon Heights. I didn't get off until past 3.

I could hear giggling and laughter from the pool when I arrived home. Jodie came out and said the kids were swimming for the first time this year. Oh, and the floors now won't be done until Saturday. Jodie's staying with a neighbor until then. 

She also handed me a package that came in the mail. The last American Girl Cooking Studio book I wanted, Molly's Cooking Studio, finally arrived after being stuck in Virginia for more than a month. 

Watched Tattletales while I had a snack. Soul singer Dionne Warwick and her then-husband Bill Elliot join Gary Burghoff and his sweet (and very pregnant) then-wife Janet and Britishers Lynn Redgrave and Jack Clark here. Elliot and Warwick came from behind on the last few questions to be the day's big winners.

Worked on writing after I got in. Brett's crying and huge form startles Bill (Daily) the White Rabbit, who drops his fan and gloves on the dry part of the floor. Brett discovers that flapping the fan makes her smaller...small enough to crash-land in her own tears. She swims out an air duct and into the green countryside, where she finds two chatty animals also caught in the pool, Sarah (Kennedy) the Mouse and Jimmie (Walker) the Dodo. The two lead her to shore, assuring her that they have a surefire method for getting dry...

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Had spicy Chipolte Wild Salmon with Waldorf Salad from Molly's Cooking Studio for dinner while watching Match Game '76. Both episodes tonight were among the best of the year. The second episode had Brett calling for her glasses while Gene deals with an especially noisy and unruly audience.

Cleaned up as Match Game PM came on. Hans Conried (the original voice of the Disney Captain Hook and later voice of the Grinch, among others) and Sarah Kennedy joined Betty White and the regulars help a Marine pilot figure out what old Mrs. Perkins collects at the home. Richard tosses out a nice imitation of Groucho Marx for "A Night __." 

Sale of the Century was another close one. Once again, everyone bought or won something, and no one really got ahead of anyone else. The Speed Round came down to the last question; the one guy pushed ahead. He got the Bonus Round on the last question, too. 

Finished the night at TCM with The Belle of New York. I go further into this romantic turn of the century fantasy featuring Fred Astaire and Vera Ellen at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Spring Into Summer

Began the morning with Angelina Ballerina on The Roku Channel. "Angelina at the Fair" has her looking forward to the delights of her local carnival. She's frustrated when her mother insists her little cousin Henry tags along, and even less so when he runs off after they take him through the spooky Haunted House and gets lost. Angelina is so desperate to buy "The Ballet Tickets" to a sold-out show, she'll do anything for them, even sell her velvet cape to the spoiled Pinkpaw twins. Good thing her dad is a newspaper mouse and has a surprise for her in the end.

Went straight to work after the cartoon ended. Work was no trouble at all. It got mildly busy during the 11:30-noon rush hour. Otherwise, we were dead the entire afternoon. I spent most of it outside, pushing carts and enjoying the hot, breezy, and golden upper-80-degree day, or gathering trash and recycling inside and out.

After I got home, I went right into writing. Brett walks down what appears to be an endless hall in CBS Television City. She wants to get into the tiny metal gate with the garden and castle where she suspects her sons may have gone, but first she can't get in, then she drinks a fruity liquid that makes her too big to get in the door. Bawling and banging on the ceiling only scares off Bill (Daily) the White Rabbit and creates a pool of tears that threatens to soak her legs.

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Had leftovers quickly while watching Match Game '76. Gene was more than happy to kiss "new kid on the block" Pat Delaney, but he has more problems getting the question holder to behave. Later in the show, Betty White rolls up his pants legs again when he goes to talk to the upper desks. 

Made Blueberry Brunch Cake as Match Game PM began. With several PM '77 episodes missing due to rights clearance problems, we skip ahead to the show featuring Suzanne Sommers of Three's Company, along with Nipsey Russell and Patti Deustch. While Brett admires a handsome contestant who looks and sounds something like Nat King Cole, Suzanne doesn't appreciate some of the answers to "__ Bunnies" in the Audience Match!

Slid the cake into the oven during Sale of the Century. The champ was ahead the entire show...until the one guy leaped ahead of her in the Speed Round and won on a tiebreaker question. He also had trouble with the Bonus Round, though...

Finished the night online with several truly unique versions of Alice In Wonderland. Alice Through the Looking Glass was a made-for-cable Australian animated movie from 1987. Alice (Janet Waldo) makes her way through the mirror, where she befriends the White Queen's (Phyllis Diller) joker Tom (Townsend Coleman) who encourage her to become queen. She meets many unusual characters along the way, from dinosaur egg Humpty Dumpty (George Gobel) to the kindly White Knight (Alan Young) and vicious Jabberwock (Mr. T). Very cheap and very 80's, with tinny synthesizer songs and the too sweet-goofy jester character not making a lot of sense. Interesting if you're into 80's cartoons or remember seeing it as a kid.

Moved to YouTube for another very 80's look at Alice. Funky Fables from the late 80's-early 90's did a stylized version of Alice with a modern little girl making her way through a familiar world of pig babies and Mad Tea Parties. Alice's running commentary and (then) topical references throughout the episode make this especially funny. 

That Alice isn't the only one to make modern comments on Victorian Wonderland. A Kraft Television Theatre broadcast from 1954 featured Edgar Bergen and his dummy Charlie McCarthy following Alice through Wonderland, ending with Charlie trying to play lawyer for Alice at her trial. This may be even weirder than the Australian animated movie, with Charlie's wisecracks and his and Bergan interacting with the Wonderland characters. Fans of old-time radio and early TV and Alice adaptations may find this worth checking out once if they can get past the degraded and fuzzy kinetoscope on YouTube.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

The Tooth of the Matter

I was reading in bed when I heard shuffling in my hall. There shouldn't have been anyone in my hall. Jodie is still out of town. I told the man who came in to please leave and not come in again. He said he wasn't aware I was home. That doesn't matter. He shouldn't be in my apartment at all, whether I'm here or not. They're not working on the floors in here. I also reminded him to tell his friends to leave the electricity alone in the house, including on my side.

Finished reading and writing in my journal, then got dressed and watched Mickey and the Roadster Racers. Goofy designs "The Goofy Race," with silly obstacles for his friends to take part in. He's hoping to impress his race-designing idol Silly Steve. The Happy Helpers are "Cuckoo for Cuckoo Clocks" when they get rid of Cuckoo-Loca's old clock and buy her a fancy modern one. Cuckoo, though, prefers her original home, sending the trio on a wild search across town to find it.

Switched to Buzzr for Body Language while cleaning up from my eggs and apple. Malcom Jamal-Warner from The Cosby Show and Scott Cohen from The Goonies take part in the show's Teen Month. Cohen got to show off his nifty baseball cap with the fox head and tail, but it did him no good with answering puzzles. Warner's girl answered every puzzle right, though they had a harder time with the bonus rounds.

Headed out shortly after the show ended. My next dental appointment was late this morning. I thought I was going to get a root canal, but the dentist decided that the rotten broken tooth was too far gone to save. I didn't realize how much his yanking it would hurt, though! I screamed when he pulled. He didn't understand why...or why it hurt, even when he claimed it probably wouldn't. And I still need a root canal on my bottom tooth next month, and to talk to the gum doctor.

Wandered around in Dollar Tree and Target a bit after that, just to settle down. I was hoping Target would have lemons, but they were out. I wanted lemons to get the grease off the bottom of my pans. I did pick up soap at Dollar Tree, and water to wash the blood out of my mouth.

Finally went home around 12:30. Watched Match Game '76 while making a Berry-Banana Smoothie for lunch. Lots of cracks at western comedy F-Troop from Richard as an answer to "F __" on the Audience Match. (He called it an imitation of his hit show, Hogan's Heroes.)

Returned to Disney Plus for Bluey. In honor of Jodie recently opening "The Pool," I did the episode where Bluey's dad Bandit takes her and her sister Bingo to her uncle's pool. They're in such a hurry, Dad forgets all their swimming equipment and snacks, which their mom Chili remembers. 

"Trampoline" brought back a lot of memories. Bluey and Bingo try to keep Bandit playing games with them on their trampoline. Like my stepfather, Bandit's archeologist jobs requires him to travel a lot and far. He assures Bluey that she can keep finding fun games to play with her sister, even when he's not there. 

To teach Bluey about the importance of manners, Chili gives her a spear of "Asparagus" that can magically turn the rest of the family into animals. It's all fun and games, until the "animals" wander off from the dinner table and make a mess. Bluey has to figure out how to corral them and change them back.

Called Rose as I put on DC Superhero Girls. It's "#SweetJustice" when Barbara Gordon arrives at school and ends up in detention after a food fight with five other girls, including renown superheroine Wonder Woman. The girls have to figure out how to work together to take down Lex Luthor's building-destroying robots.

I wanted to get my laundry done earlier than planned. She had no trouble with that. I arrived as Rose was pulling Finley's hair into a bun for her ballet class. We watched more Bluey on Disney Junior while her mother searched and searched for bobby pins. Bingo feels left out when Bluey and her new friend Judo play "Butterflies" together. Bluey has to reassure her sister that she doesn't mind her joining them.

Bluey's nervous when Bandit takes her, Bingo, and their border collie friend MacKenzie to "The Creek" to explore. Bluey's not sure about the natural world at first. She's never seen nature beyond her school and backyard. It takes the discovery of a beautiful pond and waterfall to show Bluey how lovely being out in the wild is.

Did Doc McStuffins as I tossed my laundry in the dryer. Doc tells Alma to "Blame It on the Rain" when she leaves her stuffed cow Moo Moo out and she gets soaked. Moo Moo thinks Alma doesn't like her anymore, until Doc wrings her out...and shows her how much Alma misses her. Boomer is normally the bounciest soccer ball at Doc's house, but he becomes "Busted Boomer" when he deflates. Doc has to help him get over his fear of needles, so he can be inflated again.

Puppy Dog Pals came on as Rose took Finley to dancing class (in her adorable fluffy bunny tutu, ears, and tail) and Craig took excitable Cider for a walk. "Cousin Cody" is a nervous pup who is visiting Bingo and Rolly with his humans. The duo take him back home so he can get his favorite squeaky toy and calm down. "Hissy's Toy" is her yarn ball, and she's reluctant to part with it. When their owner Bob accidentally puts it in one of his boxes, the trio and their friend Keia go after him to retrieve it.

Went home during the second half of the second show. Put everything away, then worked on writing. Brett manages to squeeze herself through thorny bushes, but she gets into trouble when she loses track of her sons and falls in a hole. She lands in a Studio City hallway and catches sight of Bill the White Rabbit running in the back. Trouble is, most of the doors won't open...except that tiny one in the back. She sees a bottle on the table and knows she has to drink it to get small.

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Watched more Match Game '76 while throwing together ground turkey, peas, canned tomatoes, pasta, and onion for Italian Casserole. Hammy Dick Gautier and future Touched By an Angel star Della Reece join Fannie Flagg and the regulars to make jokes about Gene's loud plaid coat with the green lining and wish their show and West Coast favorites Jack In the Box a happy birthday. Match Game PM had fun with the upper tier as Dick Martin, Brett, and Charles played "cards" when they were out of a question.

Sale of the Century started out close, but the champ dominated as the show went along. She bought an Instant Bargain and won all the Fame Games and the Speed Round. Had no luck with the Bonus Round this time, though. 

Finished the night with A Damsel In Distress on TCM. I go further into Fred Astaire's first movie on his own at RKO at my Musical Dreams Movie Review Blog. 

Monday, May 17, 2021

Bad Day Blues

Began the morning with breakfast and Muppet Babies at Disney Plus. "Kermit's Big Show" is a version of Three Little Pigs. The others keep trying to improvise, but director Kermit demands that they stick to the book. Nanny finally convinces him that a little creativity can make a story better. Piggy is "The Card Shark" who can't resist a little cheating at a board game. When Rizzo cheats and beats her, Piggy agrees to play fairly in order to beat him at his own game.

Worked on writing for a while after that. Brett's worried about Jack being late and the boys not being packed. Her older son Adam in particular is dragging his feet. They come outside to wait for their father and help her clear the rest of the party guests. While passing Charles trying to wake up Gary, Brett and the boys see what appears to be a white rabbit in a waist coat and carrying a watch...and who rambles on like jumpy Match Game panelist Bill Daily. The boys can't resist taking a look, with their mother following along behind...

Broke for a quick lunch around 11. I was going to make a smoothie, but somehow, the electricity was off. Jodie set the men doing the floor to work today and left afterwards. I assumed they needed the electricity off for some reason and just had muffins in silence instead.

Went straight to work after I ate. Work started out well. I was outside for the first half of my shift, and I wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere else. It was a glorious spring day, sunny, breezy, and in the 50's. We were dead the entire afternoon, and never more than mildly busy. I have no idea why the head manager insisted I be inside during the second half of my shift. I went in for someone's half-hour lunch, and that was it. I spent the rest of the day sweeping and trying to find things to do.

To my frustration, the electricity was still off when I got home. After I let off a lot of frustration, I texted and called Jodie, then called Rose. When I got nothing from them, I tip-toed into the main house. From what I could see, the men were primarily working in the office area around the front door today and never got anywhere near the den or living room. They left the light on in the basement. It took me a few minutes, but I finally found the switches. Mine was the only one shut off. I turned it to on and tip-toed back to my apartment.

That did it. I was able to make steamed asparagus and potato-crusted cod and watch Match Game PM with no trouble. The Season 2 finale brought in stage writer and director Abe Burrows and soap opera beauty Rosemary Forsyth to join Gene, the regulars, and Betty White. While the others figured out what Humpty Dumpty gets when he's drunk, Richard tried to help a gentleman win 10,000 with "__ Ivy."

Called Rose and heard from Jodie during the episode. They were both pleased that I was able to solve the problem with the electricity on my own...but Jodie was upset I went into the main house. She doesn't want anyone ruining her expensive new floors. Rose said I could do the laundry at her house tomorrow after my dental appointment and visit with her and the kids.

Sale of the Century was a super-close game the entire episode. One of the ladies bought both Instant Bargains; the champ hit money cards on two Fame Games. In the end, the champ won the Speed Round by less than one question...and for the first time in ages, finally got the Bonus Round, too.

Finished the night at Shout Factory TV with the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode Escape 2000 (Escape from the Bronx). Some time in the near future, the Bronx has become a war zone, as gangs compete with soldiers in astronaut outfits to keep them from forcing people out of their homes. A huge corporation wants to turn it into part of their plan to make New York into a futuristic floating city. Trash, raging after his parents are killed, joins the gang in their attempt to kidnap the president of the organization and make him see the light.

Hoooo boy. This one is damn strange. An early 80's view of dystopia, made in Italy, and dubbed with some of the worst New York accents I ever heard. The action sequences mainly consisted of people shooting men in silver suits and people flying all over the place during explosions. It absolutely needed the wisecracks from the robots, if only to make sense of the plot.

Did two very different versions of Alice In Wonderland on YouTube. A Hello Kitty cartoon from the 90's did a version that was a relatively accurate condensation of the first book, with Kitty as Alice. Found a Great Performances Alice In Wonderland from 1983 that was a recording of a stage show with sets based after the original Tenniel drawings. Kate Burton is Alice, her father Richard Burton is the White Knight, and the all-star cast includes Eve Arden as the Queen of Hearts, James Coco as the King of Hearts, Austin Pendleton as the White Rabbit, Donald O'Connor as the Mock Turtle, Kaye Ballard as the Duchess, Maureen Stapleton as the White Queen, and Colleen Dewhurst as the Red Queen. 

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Question Me an Answer

Began a cloudy morning with my first Blueberry Pancakes of the year and Wonderland. This Broadway Alice In Wonderland features an adult Alice, who is just moved into a tiny New York apartment with her daughter Chloe after a bad divorce. She reads the book to her daughter...then dreams herself into a distinctly dark Wonderland, with her ex-husband as the eternally rescuing White Knight, a grinning Hispanic Cheshire Cat, hipster Caterpillar, and the evil Mad Hatter, who is determined to take Wonderland from the hot-tempered Queen of Hearts. 

I enjoy this, but I love retellings of famous stories...and I can also see the problems. The story gets a little too metaphysical, with Alice's husband represented by both the White Knight and the Victorian Gentleman who encourages her seek childhood whimsey and remember her own childhood. It's really kind of confusing, more than even Alice. There's also a few too many triumphant ballads in the finale, which probably could have been shortened. 

Headed out shortly after the CD ended. I had cashiering today and wanted to get there on time. It wasn't really that busy when I arrived. It didn't pick up until around 1:30, after everyone came out of lunch and wanted to shop for barbecues. The manager put me in a line with a broken light that wouldn't turn on. I had to run over and call people in, and they didn't always hear me. 

Even after the next manager's shift finally moved me to a register with a working light in the last hour, I had a lot of annoying customers. The last woman was completely unorganized. She had four screaming kids with me and didn't have half of what she needed for her WIC checks (checks to cover food and formula needed for low-income families with infants and toddlers). She kept sending me back and forth to get the things on her checks. During the second run, I ran into a manager, who finally told her she has to get her own WIC check items, no matter how many kids she has with her. Not to mention, I was fifteen minutes from finishing when she came in, and several people in the line left because they got tired of waiting for her. A teenager took pity on me and came in so I could leave on time.

Went straight into writing when I got home. Brett corrals the boys from the kitchen. Jack Klugman's going to pick up her sons soon for their weekend with him. She immediately stops the stuffing-chips-in-you-mouth contest going on. Charles agrees to wake up Gary, while Betty and Allen head on their way. 

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Listened to the soundtracks for Lost Horizon and Doctor Dolittle while I ate. These two major flops have a few things in common. They both featured a leading man who couldn't sing, had songs that sounded better outside of the context of the film, and were overproduced messes laden with stereotypes and miscasting. At least in the case of Dolittle, Anthony Newley and Samantha Eggar could sing, even if Rex Harrison couldn't (and was a pain in the rear end during production). Both also had hit songs that outlasted the production, "Living Together, Growing Together" from Horizon and the Oscar-winning "Talk to the Animals" from Dolittle.

Finished the night online with some of the shows that took part in the infamous Quiz Show Scandals of the late 1950's. Quiz shows were the big thing in 1957-1958, with their difficult questions and major winners. As it turned out, the drama on many of these shows was manufactured. The shows' sponsors gave answers to contestants they wanted to win or lose. 

One of the earliest shows to blow the whistle was The Big Surprise. A contestant who had performed an act of heroism - including Errol Flynn in the one episode remaining - answer questions based after their families, lives, or what they did. Losing an easy answer loses all the money; harder questions, only half the money. This one never got as popular as some of the others and ended before the scandal began, but a contestant did file a lawsuit for her winnings after she asserted she was intentionally fed a wrong answer to take her out. Later newscaster Mike Wallace is in charge of this one. 

Dotto only has two episodes remaining...but unlike the dull Surprise, it's an interesting concept I'm surprised no one's tried to revive legitimately. This is sort of a predecessor to later "guess the drawing" shows like Win, Lose, or Draw and Pictionary, only here, you have to connect the dots via answering questions. The first contestant to guess their drawing is the winner. Or at least, they're supposed to be. A stand-by contestant found a notebook of answers being fed to winner Marie Winn. Her fixed match with Yaffe Kimball is one of those two remaining episodes. (Ironically, Winn would later write a book heavily criticizing children's television, The Plug-In Drug.) Jack Narz was the (innocent) host here.

We've already discussed Twenty-One the week I profiled the careers of game show producers Barry & Enright. One of the remaining episodes happens to be the infamous fixed match between Charles Van Doren and Herb Stempel depicted in the movie Quiz Show. Honestly, some of the faces the men make while trying to come up with the answers are so theatrical and unreal, I'm not sure how people were fooled. At any rate, Stempel wasn't happy with having to give up his time in the spotlight and blew the whistle on the show and the fixes. 

The $64,000 Question began in radio as The $64 Question. The TV version began in 1955 and kicked off the craze. It made stars out of many of its contestants, including Dr. Joyce Brothers. Here, the contestants chose a subject and tried to answer multiple questions based on that subject until they reached $64,000. The show proved so wildly popular, it spun off The $64,000 Challenge, where high-winning contestants came back and played new contestants. Couldn't find much of Challenge, but there are a few episodes of Question around, including one of Brothers'. Hal March was in charge of the original Question

Tic Tac Dough was another fixed Barry & Enright show, at least in its nighttime version. Here, there's no dragon, and the tic tac toe board charmingly clicks when it changes the subject, rather than makes booping noises. The entire episode was just a series of tiebreakers, one after another, as the men obviously try to avoid actually winning. It was so fixed, it was ridiculous. The man with the eye patch apparently finally decided to keep some of his winnings and broke the tie in the episode after this.

Learn about the history of quiz shows - and find out what people will do for $64,000 and fifteen minutes of fame - in these lost pieces of TV's past. (Most of them even come with vintage commercials!)

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Sunshine Harvest

Kicked off a quick morning with breakfast and the latest Muppet Babies episode. Gonzo wants Camilla to be the "Best In Chicken Show" and beat Rizzo and his ultra-cool pink chicken Patch. He tries to dress her up and teach her new moves, but Camilla would much rather do the dances she learned with Gonzo. In the end. he realizes that their moves harmonize best when Camila is herself. Piggy gives Fozzie's toddler sister Razzie her old bracelet, but has second thoughts when she sees all the fun things she's doing with it. Despite Nanny's "No Takesie Backsies" rule, she becomes determined to get it back anyway.

Switched to Tubi for Scooby Doo and Scrappy Doo while cleaning up and getting organized. I know Scrappy isn't popular with most people, but he's never bothered me. He can be a useful pup taken in small doses, as in the first episode of the series, "The Scarab Lives!" Scooby and Scrappy join the rest of the gang to help a comic book artist figure out how his creation the Blue Scarab came to life and started committing crimes based after his next comic book.

Headed out shortly after Scooby left. It was a glorious day for my first Collingswood Farm Market trip of the year, sunny, breezy, and in the lower 70's. No wonder the Collingswood Farm Market was packed when I arrived. While they were allowing more people in and there were musicians performing "Ruby Tuesday" when I arrived, there's still no eating there allowed, and masks are still necessary. The mushroom seller was out of small portabellas and I wasn't going to wait in a long line for strawberries, but I was able to buy carrots, asparagus, and spinach. I also saw fresh green beans and the last of the hearty winter greens. 

Checked out two yard sales after I headed into Collingswood. Bought a lovely bright pink tray with pastel flowers for a dollar and picked up a children's book for free from the first one. Saw nothing of interest at the second.

Turned the bike around and rode up Haddon Avenue to check out Phildelity Records in Westmont. Been wanting to get up there, but haven't had the chance. Along with CDs, DVDs, and their own (better-organized) dollar record bins, they had crates filled with records in slightly better shape for two dollars. I eventually came up with:

The soundtrack for the 1971 Lost Horizon and a double soundtrack for the 20th Century Fox musicals Rose of Washington Square and Footlight Serenade

Broadway cast album for the 1946 Show Boat revival (in it's original plastic!)

Johnny Mathis - This Is Love

The Story of the Rescuers book and record (This one cost a bit more than the others, but The Rescuers is one of my favorite Disney movies.)

After quickly checking out one more yard sale, I rode down to Cuthbert. Stopped fast at the Westmont Acme to grab the mushrooms I couldn't find at the farm market, water, and a snack. They weren't any busier than the Audubon Acme's been these past few days, and I was able to get in and out. Took the long way down Cuthbert and through Haddon Township, but I found no more yard sales.

Jodie popped her head out when I pulled up to her driveway. She's apparently going away until Thursday while the wood floors in the main house are completely redone. I'm to call Rose if I need anything.

After I got home, I put everything aside, then had a Berry-Banana Smoothie with spinach for lunch while trying something different. Cleopatra In Space is one of the more popular cartoons on the Peacock streaming service. It's based after a series of graphic novels about a teen Cleopatra being thrown 30,000 years in the future and being named the one who will fulfill a prophecy as the savior of the Nile Galaxy. She's understandably freaked out by the two teen cyborgs and talking cat who greet her. Khensu, a professor at the PYRAMID Academy, convinces the cat council that Cleo is the one who can save them...but now he has to convince her.

Very strange and original premise, sort of an Egyptian-futuristic Sailor Moon. Cleo could occasionally be annoying and the story didn't always make the most sense, but I suspect both problems would be ironed out as the series goes on. 

Switched to writing after I cleaned up from lunch. Yeah, I started Blank In Wonderland. I do intend to eventually finish Superhero Blank as well, but first of all, this story is intended to be a relatively short one-off. Superhero is going to be a three-part epic. Might as well do Wonderland first and get that out of the way while I'm feeling the need for fantasy. 

Brett's holding a party at her house following taping in August 1976. She's trying to cheer herself up, but she's not feeling very much like partying. She and Jack Klugman are going through a messy divorce that's hurting their two sons Adam and David, especially the former. Adam's an older teen, and Brett has no idea how to deal with him. Charles tries to reassure her that she's doing fine. Richard Dawson, who brought his own sons over, tells her that he's been through his own messy divorce and wants to help keep her from getting as hurt as he did. Betty White and Allen Ludden admire her garden and ask for her secrets to keeping her red and white roses so lovely.

Broke at 6:30 for dinner. Had shrimp, carrots, and pasta with olive oil while watching Alice's Adventures In Wonderland. I go into the very faithful 1972 British version at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Friday, May 14, 2021

Perfectly Spring

Kicked off a late morning with breakfast and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. The Clubhouse "Road Rally" two-parter has the entire gang grabbing any wheeled conveyance they can find to join the race. Pete thinks the Rally is all about getting ahead and keeps rushing past all the fun things the others see on the road and the surprises they find. Meanwhile, Toodles is upset that Goofy's new rescue vehicle is better at helping than he is. The others prove that they need both of them to solve problems.

Switched to Match Game '75 as I did the dishes. Tough guy actor-producer Sheldon Leonard and blonde bombshell Louisa Moritz joins in for this one, which starts off fast with Charles and Brett fighting. Sheldon has even less luck helping the contestant in the Head-to-Head with "__ Shirt." Later, a contestant has no idea who Zorro is, which leads to Gene giving a demonstration of swordsmanship and a near-riot over the panel's too-specific answers.

Made my way out as the second episode began. I needed to run some errands at the Audubon Crossings Shopping Center. More specifically, the only things left that I really need are shoes. My work sneakers and walking sandals are falling apart, and I never did replace my good sandals. I couldn't find anything I liked at Ross or Marshalls, and the one pair of sneakers I did find at The Shoe Depot were too narrow and pinched my toes. I ended up ordering sneakers on Amazon and will probably buy sandals from LL Bean or Lands End later in the summer.

Treated myself to lunch at Tu Se Bella's, the Audubon Crossings pizza parlor. I haven't eaten there in ages. I've been trying to avoid eating out a lot, and not because of the pandemic. I'm still trying to avoid a lot of salt. Once in awhile can be fun, though. I had a slice of white broccoli-shrimp and a slice of cheese with the new Pepsi Mango. By quarter of 2, the lunch crowd subsided, leaving only a few people to come in and pick up pizzas.

At least it was a gorgeous day to run errands. It was even nicer than yesterday, warm, bright, and breezy. I was fine in a t-shirt and shorts all day. I had to assure the bagger that I was at the store to do shopping, not pushing carts! 

Walked back around to the Acme after lunch. I needed to do my grocery shopping and pick up my schedule. Made use of an online freebee for eggs, along with good online coupons for butter, yogurt, and the first US blueberries of the season. Two crusted fish fillets and a container of ground turkey came with manager's coupons. Restocked milk, tomato sauce, mandarin oranges, and bananas. 

Kind of a strange schedule next week. In good news, more hours, shorter shifts, and mostly later hours. Those later hours mean I also get out late, which means fighting traffic going home and racing the twilight. I'm also back to mostly cashiering and just doing bagging on a few weekdays. They likely have too many baggers now and not enough cashiers.

Put on Super Password when I got home and put everything away. Patricia Klous and Orson Bean continue with brand-new contestants, as the previous champion won for his allotted five days. Orson was the one who got his new contestant to the bonus round this time. Once again, Lynda Day George and Christopher George won Tattletales, over happily married dancers Bobby Van and Elaine Joyce and producer, writer, and voice actor Lorenzo Music and his sensible wife Henrietta. 

Went into writing next. "The Ace" emerges from the shadows as Richard Dawson, former host and comedian searching for a job. Match-Up Network program director Allen Ludden is willing to give him a chance. He almost misses it when he's nearly late. He gets in on time to hear theatrical critic Charles and restaurant critic Brett bickering. There's something strange about them besides their ability to drink everyone else under the table, as  he discovers when Charles' handshake is wet and clammy, and Brett's is fiery hot to the touch...

Broke for a very quick Berry-Banana Smoothie dinner at 6:30. Match Game '76 began with Gene discussing dog breeds with a canine-loving contestant, which lead into jokes about what Dumb Dora brought home when her husband wanted to hear "the pitter patter of little feet around the house." Later, Charles scolds the grammar on a question about what someone has to play on a nude orchestra.

Made Blueberry Honey Muffins while Match Game PM was on. Not for the first or last time, Debralee Scott spent the episode happily flirting with a single young man contestant. The woman did much better, getting all six panelists in the first round and going on to answer "Thumb ___" in the Audience Match and raise eyebrows at Joyce Bulifant's canary-yellow feathered jacket.

Slid the muffins into the oven as Sale of the Century began. This started out as another close one. The champ bought both Instant Bargains and finally pulled ahead in the Speed Round. She missed the Bonus Round at the last minute, though.

Ended the night on Paramount Plus with a two-part fifth season Love Boat episode. A writer (Charles Nelson Reilly) and a widow (Charlotte Rae) who got married on a whim spend the cruise in their cabin "Getting to Know You." A newly-divorced couple (Michelle Lee and Tom Bosley) take "Separate Vacations" on two different boats, but find they can't let each other alone. A scientist (John James) wants to conduct "The Experiment" on a shy young man (Doug Barr) to see if he'll be attracted to his girlfriend (Mary Crosby), but it works all too well when she falls for him. 

"The Pride of the Pacific" is on the line when the Pacific Princess competes against the cruise ship the Sun Princess in a series of contests that culminates with Stubbing and the Sun's Captain Norquist (Ted Knight) taking part in a snow-less dog sled race. Not only does Norquist's son Tom (Woody Brown) join the Pacific Princess, but he doesn't know how to tell his father he'd rather be the ship's entertainment director than a sailor.

(Oh, and I did end up ordering shoes from Amazon. It's really the only way I'll be able to find what I need. They'll hopefully be here by Tuesday.)