Thursday, September 30, 2021

Winds of Fall

Started off a quick morning with breakfast and Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. It's "Margaret's First Thank-You Day," and her big brother Daniel is elated when she's given the honor of hanging the first thank-you note on the tree in the Enchanted Garden. When Margaret doesn't feel well and has to be taken home, Daniel's disappointed and sad...until his mom takes him home, and he realizes that what he's really thankful for is his adorable little sister.

Headed off to work just as the episode ended. Most of the day went very well. I had a lot more help this time; they even called the head bagger in early. She took over most of the inside duties until late in the afternoon, leaving me to focus on the few carts. We weren't even really that busy. The weather was too nice for shopping. It was a bit cloudy and windy, but nothing out of line with the time of year. 

Things didn't really pick up until late in the afternoon when they pulled the head bagger to handle the self-checkout registers. Now I had to do everything myself, from taking back cold items people didn't want to cleaning bathrooms and mopping up a leaky floral cooler, and do it all at once. At least two boys arrived to take over the sweeping and carts, but there was still a lot to do. 

Rushed home the moment I finished. Changed, then went online to look up a few rental properties and do some writing work. The Red King gleefully calls for the verdict first; he wants Sir Richard out of the way. King Allen and Bill the White Rabbit point out that's not how it's done and opt to call the first witness instead - Charles the Mad Hatter.

Broke for dinner at quarter of 7. Jodie gave me the last of her steak dinner from Tuesday night; she went out to dinner with her son TJ. I had that while watching Match Game '74. The panelists switch seats as Brett admires a liquor-holding doll given to her by an audience member, Don Adams gets very annoyed with everyone doing imitations of him, and Elaine Joyce points out that if Brett can take years to explain her answer, so can she. 

Made apple crisp as Match Game PM ran. One of my favorite male contestants appeared on this episode, an adorable little older man who sounded like Wally Cox and called himself Tiger. Even the young woman contestant next to him was smitten and joked they were getting engaged after the show. David Doyle got to help her much later with "Pawn __" on the Head-to-Head.

Finished the night with delicious and warm apple crisp and In the Heights. I go further into this celebration of the Latino neighborhood Washington Heights in New York from earlier this year at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Sunshine Days

Got a quick start this morning with breakfast and Hogan's Heroes. The guys are ready to leave when they learn a traitor in the underground may leave their names with Major Hochstetter. Hogan recruits a lady in the underground to dance with him and distract him...which means LeBeau has to give him "Six Lessons from Madame LaGrange" and teach him to dance.

Work wasn't busy, but I didn't have much help for most of the day. At least I got most of the trash and recycling early. They kept calling me to do six thousand things at once in the middle of the day, and I could never decide what to do first! Thankfully, by the time the evening bagger came in at 4, it slowed down again, and he was able to help me push carts for the final hour. At least the weather was perfect for pushing carts, warm, breezy, and golden. 

Went straight home after work. Finished the Hogan's episode, changed, and went online. Rose called me at work; I called her back, but haven't heard from her. Tried calling the realtor, but didn't realize they close before 5. Looked up Oakland Gardens, the apartment building complex next to the WaWa. Supposedly, they're pretty nice...but I heard they can also be noisy and party central, and well, they're next to a WaWa and a major highway.

Got some writing in next. Bill (Daily) the White Rabbit begins the trial by reading the accusation...which turns out to be most of the old Mother Goose rhyme about the queen (or king, in this case) making tarts all on a summer's day. But as Brett's quick to point out, it wasn't the knight who stole them clean away...

Broke for dinner at quarter of 7. Watched Match Game '74 while eating leftovers. Don Adams made his only appearance on the show during a very funny week that also introduced comedienne Mitzi McCall. Don would be happy to keep Brett from peeking at his answers, while Charles tries to figure out the Head-to-Head for "__ Room."

Cleaned up and made Baked Pumpkin Pudding during Match Game PM. A snarky young man livened up this episode, making jokes with Gene from the very beginning. Richard Paul, Daryl Anderson, and Donna Pescow joined the regulars in trying to keep up with him.

Switched to Hogan's as I slid the pudding in the oven. When Buckhalter catches Schultz asleep in the barracks, he threatens to send him to the Russian Front unless Klink can make a real guard out of him. It'll take "The Sargent's Analyst" (aka Newkirk) to bring out the leader in Schultz. 

Finished the night online after a shower watching Charlie's Angels on The Roku Channel. Kris is horrified when a friend is the victim of "The Sandcastle Murders." Someone's killing blue-eyed girls on the beach in Santa Monica, and Sabrina and Kelly are worried Kris may be next. They question the woman her friend worked for who owns a cosmetics company, while Bosley flips burgers and keeps an eye on a muscle-bound peeping tom and a beach patrol cop with his own problems.

Went to Hulu for Golden Girls. "Big Daddy's Little Lady" Blanche is delighted when he announces his upcoming marriage...but she's less thrilled when she discovers the bride is at least three decades younger than him. Meanwhile, Rose and Dorothy enter a contest to write a song for Miami, but they can't figure out how to twine their lyrics and music together. 

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

You Should Be Dancing

Kicked off with a fast breakfast, then made my bed and tidied up for later while watching To Tell the Truth. Gene Rayburn joined Kitty Carlisle, Bill Cullen, and Peggy Cass to figure out which man spent 14 years putting 5,000 coats of paint on one board. The next guest had a less amusing story. He was issued the same license and social security number as a different man with the same name...and ended up getting that man's traffic citations and spending years cleaning up the mess. 

Headed off to work shortly after. Work was pretty much the same as yesterday. I began and ended the day in the register, but spent most of the morning pushing carts and cleaning up a mess outside when they had no morning help. Pushing the carts wasn't quite as pleasant this time. Clouds moved in shortly after I got to work, and it became cool and humid. It rained hard at one point, but by the time I came out for the carts, the rain was gone.

Rose called me last night; I called her back during my second break. She asked me if I called the apartments yet. I said no, but I intended to call the realtor today...and now, it'll have to be tomorrow. She pointed out how nervous I am about phone calls and how long I've put off calling apartments. I had no intention of really calling them. I told her to quit lecturing me. I already feel terrible about not pushing harder for apartments earlier. I know I did the wrong thing. She let me go. If I don't see or hear from her in a week, I'll call her after I manage to get through to some realtors. 

Thankfully, by the time I went home, it was just cloudy. I changed at work to save time at home. Pulled into the garage, grabbed my purse, made sure everything in the apartment was ready, and joined Jodie at her car.

We ended up at Mulligan's Bar and Grill on the White Horse Pike. Dad and Jodie (and Uncle Ken before them) drank here for years. The new dining room is still being remodeled, but there's dining near the bar area. They have surprisingly decent food for a bar. I had wild salmon stuffed with crab, cooked spinach, and roasted potatoes along with a salad. Jodie had a New York strip steak and the spinach, potatoes, and salad. She chatted with a few friends, and we even saw one of my co-workers.

(Incidentally, it didn't rain while we were at Mulligan's, but it started up again shortly after I got home and has been off and on ever since.)

Worked on writing after I got in. Jimmie explains the jury is writing their names on the blackboards, so they don't forget them. Bill Anderson the Lizard has a pencil that squeaks. Annoyed, Brett takes it away. He has to figure out how to write with his finger. 

Let Match Game '74 run as I worked. As Brett Somers teased Joyce Bulifant about her 20's-style outfit, the others tried to help the contestant figure out what Mr. Duffy is upset that someone laughed at and "Snap __" in the Audience Match. Guich Kotch shows off his ten-gallon hat (which somehow migrates onto Gene) on Match Game PM

It was a close race on Sale of the Century. The card sharp champ would get ahead, then the other lady would. No one bought any Instant Bargains, either. The champ just managed to pull ahead in the Speed Round and won a large ruby ring on the Match the Prizes Board. 

Finished the night online with Roller Boogie. I go further into this disco extravaganza with Linda Blair from 1979 at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Monday, September 27, 2021

Waiting for the World to Change

For once, I had a leisurely start this morning, enough to make Banana Honey Pancakes for breakfast. Watched Hogan's Heroes while I ate. Radio operator James Kinchloe learns "The Softer They Fall" when his boxing prowess is pit against Stalag guard Battling Bruno. When African-American prisoner Kinch looks like the better fighter, the Nazis cheat to beat him.

General Buckhalter's niece is getting married, and she wants "Gowns by Yvette." Hogan takes advantage of the happy occasion for loan his tailors Newkirk and LeBeau to make her the perfect plus-sized wedding dress. That dress will make an even better cover for an operative with important information who is being guarded in the same hotel.

Headed out after the second episode ended. I was only in the register for about two hours, but it was long enough for a customer to say she liked coming into my line because I was kind and considerate. Aww, that was sweet of her. 

Spent the rest of the day pushing carts. They had no morning bagger. No one called out. They didn't schedule a morning bagger because there's no one to schedule. The head bagger and I are the only baggers who can work on weekday mornings. The other baggers can only work evenings or on the weekend. Most younger workers who come in are directed to doing online shopping. 

On one hand, I did get to enjoy an absolutely gorgeous day. The sun was shining, and a cool wind kept it from feeling too warm. As I told a customer, it was probably too nice to be inside anyway. And customers were in good moods. I got another compliment from a lady who also said I was a good cashier.

Trouble was, all I had time for was pushing carts, sweeping the store, and checking the bathroom. The trash ended up full and overflowing; when another bagger came in later and tried doing it, the bag broke and went everywhere. It was so full, the mess ended up in three bags. 

Dashed out as soon as I could. I took down the name of Jodie's realtor. Maybe I could impress on her that I need someone to find me a place. Jodie must have told her she has a tenant. She could give me some ideas. 

I never got to calling her. Jodie came in as I sat down at my laptop. The realtor was bringing people around to look at the house from 4:30 to 6:30 tomorrow, and we couldn't be there. She said she'd take me out to dinner. That's nice of her, but it also means I won't get to the things I need to do. I need to call the realtor. I need to look up more apartments. I'd actually like to be able to work on my fanfic.

I did manage to get some writing in. The King and Queen recruit the White Rabbit to announce the case and Duchess Marcia as a transcriber. They find the Doormouse keeping their seats by sleeping on them. Jimmie the Dodo just thinks he's crazy and is missing the show.

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Made a delicious dinner of turkey burgers with tomatoes, zucchini fries, and corn on the cob while watching Match Game '74. Jimmie Walker made his debut that week, throwing his dyn-o-mite answers to the crowd, along with goofy blonde Joyce Bulifant and sarcastic blonde Loretta Swit. They tried to figure out "Port __" in the Audience Match and got to admire Charles looking dapper in a rare suit and tie.

The blonde on Match Game PM was the contestant, a southern belle from Arkansas whose bubbly personality matched her bouncy curls. Alas, though she seemed to catch on later, a question on what the arch is made out of at the oldest McDonald's did her in. Bart Braverman ended up helping the winner with "The Other Side of ___" on the Audience Match. 

Switched to Hogan's Heroes while making Pumpkin Spice Cookies. It's "Standing Room Only" when the guys find themselves dealing with 15 escapees from another camp stuck in their tunnels. If that wasn't enough of a crisis, Klink got in trouble for using camp funds to romance a lovely lady and now has to teach the Kommandant who lost those men how to run an efficient camp. 

Poor Carter wishes he could be in "One Army at a Time" when he's captured by Germans in uniform while on his way to blow up a bridge. After he's quickly promoted, Hogan decides he's better off where he is so he can get the dynamite back.

Sunday, September 26, 2021

The Host With the Mostess On the Ball

Started the morning with a quick breakfast and Wonderland, a weird stage musical version of Alice In Wonderland from a decade ago that inspired my current Blank In Wonderland story. Here, Alice is an adult living in a grimy apartment building in New York, wondering why she can't sell her dark children's story. When her daughter vanishes into Wonderland, she goes after her, and learns a bit about herself and childhood from the strange people she meets there.

Hurried out even before the CD ended. I spent the first three hours of my shift sweeping and doing carts, thanks to the college-age bagger who works on the weekends being late. We were steady but not overwhelmingly busy and had plenty of help until around 2:30-3, when people started coming out of local events. At that point, the lines got longer, and we had to call for more help. Thank heavens everyone was in a good mood, and there were only a few fussy people. It slowed down enough by 4:30 for me to hurry out without a relief.

It was such a nice day, I took the long way home down Nicholson Road. The sun was out, the sky was a brilliant robin's egg blue, and the sun felt deliciously warm on my shoulders. It was about as perfect of a day in late September as one could wish. Gardens burst with marigolds, morning glories, azaleas, and late roses. 

When I got home, I thought I heard someone in the main house with Jodie. I made the bed, but they never came over here. Worked on writing for a while after I changed. The Red King presides next to King Allen and Queen Betty. He's obviously the real force behind Sir Richard's arrest for stealing the King's tarts. Orson the March Hare leads the others to prime seats up front, which Gary the Doormouse is saving for them...but sleeping on them. 

Broke for a quick leftovers dinner at 7. Finally put up the general fall decorations while listening to On the Flip Side. This bizarre TV musical from 1967 had Rick Nelson as a washed-up rock star who gets help from an angel (Joanie Summers) and her four friends The Celestials. Yeah, the plot is weird and kind of silly, but there's some decent music by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, including "It Doesn't Matter Anymore" in the opening, his quarrelsome duet with Summers "Try It My Way," and squeaky-voiced Donna Jean Young trying to make over Nelson with "They're Gonna Love It."

(Too bad research reveals the only place this can be found now is at the Paley Center in New York and the soundtrack on LP and a rare CD. I'd love to review this one.)

Finished the night on YouTube with further explorations of Gene Rayburn's early career. Make the Connection wasn't the only short-lived show Gene turned up on in the mid-50's. He was the game-but-unlikely predecessor to Marc Summers in Choose Up Sides in 1956, a show with kids on two teams doing wild stunts (without slime). Got a bit of a surprise to hear one of the kids choose a kid at home to play for from Wildwood Crest! I think I've only seen one or two other contestants on these shows from Cape May County.

Gene's best-known show, of course, is Match Game. Many people don't know it actually started in 1962 and was a far more staid affair. Gene would ask two teams featuring two contestants and a celebrity captain a simple question like "name a flavor of pudding." Those who matched answers won money. The game was as boring as it sounds, but even at this early date, the right panelists could really jazz up the proceedings. No less than blonde bombshell Jayne Mansfield, complete with little dog in tow, appeared on a week in 1964. A very young Orson Bean made wisecracks alongside her (occasionally at her expense). 

Most of Gene's early output is gone forever, including the vast majority of the 60's Match Game. Several episodes of him hosting the 50's-60's nighttime To Tell the Truth do survive. The one I chose feature three women who claim to be bodybuilders and early health advocates, three former members of the Flying Tigers, and three men who raised geese. (Look for a cameo by Donald Duck's original voice artist Clarence "Ducky" Nash after the geese farm owners segment!)

Gene also hosted Tattletales a few times when regular host Burt Convy played with his lovely wife Ann. He actually hosted the show's pilot, but passed due to other commitments. He has a great time with his fellow hosts Bob Barker and Bobby Van and their wives Dorothy Jo Barker and Elaine Joyce in this episode from 1975. 

In 1973, Goodson-Todman revived Match Game in a totally revamped version. Now there were six celebrities matching two contestants. Winners made it to the Audience Match, where they tried to match an audience survey of a certain phrase. Once they won that, they'd choose a panelist to match with and win the amount from the Audience Match. 

The show started out as quieter affair...but as with the 60's version, Gene and his knack for comedy couldn't be contained for long. By late 1973, the writers started concocting longer and more complicated questions with an eye for salacious double-entendres, and the panelists were a who's-who of comedy, TV, and minor movie stars who knew how to put across a naughty joke. Gene reveled in the nuttiness, acting out characters like Old Man Periwinkle and interacting with the staff and audience. He climbed over the audience to get to the cameras at least three times, including the episode I chose from 1977. 

Though the network show ended in 1979, Match Game was revived again in syndication later that year. The syndicated version ran until 1982...and it could get even crazier, especially when McLean Stevenson joined the cast later in its run. Match Game-Hollywood Squares was a less-pleasant experience for Gene. He wasn't crazy about Jon Bauman as the host - he wanted original Squares host Peter Marshall - and he realized how cumbersome the format was. He still managed to have a lot of fun, as in this episode from early in 1984 spotlighting the now-little known sitcom We've Got It Made

Hope you enjoy this dive into the career of one of TV's most original and hilarious game show hosts! Look for a particularly touching introduction to the syndicated finale by Charles Nelson Reilly from when the episode ran as part of a New Year's marathon on Game Show Network in 1999. Gene died two months before the show aired - the episode is dedicated to him. 

Check out this marathon from last spring for even more classic moments from Gene on Match Game!

Saturday, September 25, 2021

All In the Games

Started off the morning with breakfast, making the bed, and Hogan's Heroes. Hogan and his boys say "Fat Hermann, Go Home" when they think Field Marshall Herman Goering is visiting Stalag 13 with artwork he looted from museums. Turns out that "Goering" is a disguised Schultz, and Marya is behind a plot to retrieve the pieces.

Ran out shortly after the episode ended. My day was one of the easiest I've had in ages. The weather was gorgeous, sunny, bright, and a perfect mid-70's degrees. It was no day for shopping. The Eagles game isn't until Monday night this week, too, and everyone was in good moods. I spent most of the afternoon shelving candy and working on story notes between customers. 

Went straight into grocery shopping after work. Mostly needed to restock after Lauren's visit last week. Bought a salmon cake and stuffed flounder cake for dinner. Had an online coupon for strawberries. Ground turkey is buy one, get one; spices are buy two, get one, and I found rosemary and thyme on the clearance rack. Found whole wheat pastry flour on a major $1.62 clearance. Restocked milk, butter, brown sugar, yogurt, bananas, mushrooms, canned tomato sauce, and diced tomatoes. 

Put on Match Game '75 when I got home and put everything away. TV producer and tough guy character actor Sheldon Leonard and Cuban bombshell Louisa Mortiz joined Gene and the regulars for these episodes. Sheldon in particular was a bit surprised when the lady wanted him to help her with the Head-to-Head. I didn't see as much of it as I would have liked. I spilled some of the flour when I poured it into the container and had to wipe and Swifter it. 

Next up was getting the laundry done. It was a good afternoon for that, too. The laundromat was dead except for one or two people and college football on ABC. It was too nice for laundry, too. I picked up eggs at Family Dollar (where they were slightly cheaper) and worked on story notes outside. 

Watched Buzzr's annual Lost and Found Marathon on my phone outside and at home while putting clothes away, and later as I went online. They started out with three black and white shows featuring unusual hosts, and one at the beginning of his career. It Had to Be You was pretty much "early He Said She Said/Tattletales" with non-celebrity couples. This pilot from 1966 was an early hosting job for Ed McManon, who proved he was better suited to announcing and talent contests. The show moved slower than molasses, the questions were dull, and McManon couldn't inject any interest in the proceedings.

Fred Allen had slightly better luck with his unsold pilot from a decade earlier, Take Your Choice. Despite not being a fan of TV or game shows, both of which ended his long-running radio comedy program in the late 40's, he turned up in a few game shows in the mid-50's. This one has Allen introducing couples who pick questions for their partner to answer. I give it a pass for the lady who threw out a guess as to which state had a particular woman in their Congress. She threw out a random guess...and to her shock and Fred's, turned out to be right. 

Even in his first network show, the short-lived Make a Connection, Gene Rayburn couldn't resist doing comedy. This one is an imitation I've Got a Secret; the "secrets" are how two people (or in one case, a person and an animal) are connected. J. Fred Muggs, the popular chimp on The Today Show, appeared with his handler and a lady who worked with him. He kept swinging all around the set and getting away from his handler, but he sure liked the water on Gene's desk. Xavier Cugat appeared with a chihuahua in tow and Latin musical instruments for the panel to do a number with his then-wife Abbe Lane. Panelists Bennet Cerf, Eddie Bracken, Gloria DeHaven, and in one of her earliest game show appearances, Betty White happily added to a lot of the wackiness. 

Buzzr's still really pushing Whew! It's third pilot wasn't really all that different from the regular shows, other than a brighter color scheme on the Charge board. They also had a regular episode from later than the ones they've been showing with an especially exciting Gauntlet run.

Mindreaders is an oddity from 1979. Two celebrity contestants captain a female team and a male team. They have to guess what their contestants are thinking on three questions (often related to sex). The winning team goes on to guess what ten contestants are thinking in three questions, and then guess what the celebrity is thinking. Instead of returning champions, each team plays three times through. A lot of game show fans aren't crazy about this one and find the format to be cumbersome and the ESP angle to be dated, but I thought it was funny as heck. Dick Martin had a great time hosting. 

Showoffs from 1975 is the ancestor of Body Language and Celebrity Name Game. We celebrated Christmas Day early as Vicki Lawrence, Greg Morris, and Robert Urich mime words for their contestants. Unlike with Body Language, these are just random words, not a puzzle, and each contestant guesses the same words. While Bobby Van is a charming host and the game moved pretty well, I agree with some game show fans that the format was much better in its revamped Body Language version a decade later. 

(Incidentally, the winners here are the hilarious Make the Connection and Mindreaders; Showoffs is a lot of fun, too. The Whew! episodes weren't that different from what Buzzr's been airing the past few weeks. I can see why It Had To Be You and Take Your Choice didn't make the grade; despite their unique hosts, they're pretty boring.)

Had a tasty dinner of fish cakes, salad, and corn on the cob while watching the Whew! episodes and Mindreaders. Slid a pan of Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins in the oven by the time Showoffs ran. Finished the night after a shower with the 2011 Winnie the Pooh. I go further into this adorable adventure for Pooh and his buddies in the Hundred Acre Woods at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. 

Friday, September 24, 2021

Night Adventures

Started off the morning with a quick breakfast and Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. "Daniel and O's Road Trip" on their cardboard Trolley is almost washed out by a thunderstorm. X encourages the boys to make a plan and figure out how to recreate landmarks indoors. X also convinces the duo and Miss Elaina to make "Daniel's Puppet Plan" to craft their own puppets and put on a show.

Switched to Hogan's Heroes while I made the bed. Klink has to "Get Fit or Go Fight" when Burkhalter insists that he pass a physical exam or take the next train to the Russian Front. Klink hasn't done anything more physical than chasing after the guys in years. Hogan and the others do their best to get him back into something mildly resembling fighting shape. 

Dashed out as the episode ended. Work was a pain in the rear. I was in a register all day. Most customers were fairly pleasant, probably due to the gorgeous, sunny weather, and it was off-and-on busy. There were some obnoxious older women who wouldn't help out, and one yelled at me because I put the money near her hand instead of on it. No one else complains about that. Does she think I'm going to steal it? I really got upset. Thank goodness it slowed down enough by 7 for me to leave without a relief. 

My schedule next week is even worse. I don't have off until next Friday. That's eight days in a row! Not only are we having the same staffing problems as everyone else, but ten employees are on leave right now. I know at least two went back to college. Everyone else is out for surgery or non-Covid-related health reasons. I don't know why they couldn't have given me at least Tuesday instead of Friday off. (I asked for Saturday to attend the Collingswood Book Festival.)

Rushed home just as twilight melded from soft purple into indigo dusk. I slammed in, mad as heck. I'm fed up with my job and my family right about now. I'm tired of the ridiculous hours at the Acme and of my family all being at each other's throats. I wish Jodie, Rose, and Jessa would just talk to each other about a lot of things, including related to Dad's death and Jodie inheriting the house. 

Finally changed, grabbed my jean jacket and purse, opened the windows, and slammed back out. I heard loud music on West Clinton as I rode home. A neighbor confirmed it was the Final Fridays block party that happen on the last Friday of every month in the summer, and suggested that mingling and enjoying the show might make me feel better. I waved to her and her puppy, then strolled down the road on a starry night under an inky sky.

West Clinton was a madhouse when I arrived, thick with kids showing off on their bikes and scooters, and parents drinking home-brew beer from Tonewood Brewery. As tempting as some of the food trucks looked, they were also very expensive. I just spent a lot on meals for over a week. I dodged hungry kids at Phillies Phatties long enough to pick up a slice of Alfredo, a slice of bacon and something green, and a can of Mango Pepsi. The "something green" turned out to be pickles, of all things. It was way too salty; I only ate half of that one before tossing it.

Went online after I got home (and closed the windows - Jodie was home and had turned on the air conditioning). Finally decided on the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode Manos - The Hands of Fate. But first, I got to see the second half of that "Hired!" short I caught a few weeks ago, in which the head of a car dealership learns how to be a better leader with his salesmen. The main attraction was a poorly-made, ultra-low-budget 1966 shocker in which a family lost on the highway ends up in the home of a reclusive man known as Manos (Tom Neyman). He's the leader of a cult, with several wives and a strange hillbilly follower named Torgo (John Reynolds). He wants to add the wife to his collection of wives, but his current wives aren't too keen on the idea.

Oh wow. Apparently, this was made by locals in El Paso, Texas on a bet...and boy, does it look it, from long, arid shots of the Texas countryside to the horrendous acting and dialogue, to several scenes that don't make sense (including catfights between the wives). It remained the domain of Texas drive-ins until MST3K revived it in 1993 and it became one of their most popular episodes. (Mike Nelson played Torgo in the host segments; the character was so well-received there, he turned up in several more Mike-based episodes.) It above and beyond needs the wisecracks to make even the remotest sense of anything. 

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Blues In the Rain

Began a gloomy morning with breakfast and Hogan's Heroes. The boys wonder "How's the Weather?" up there when London asks them for daily metrological reports. They first use their volleyball, then dig up balloons. They tell Klink they're for a party, but even Klink has the idea that something is going on...

Headed out shortly after the episode ended. Actually, my first day back at work could have been worse. I got help in the morning from a new bagger, and the head bagger was around for part of the afternoon until she had to take over monitoring self-checkout. 

The rain that threatened since before Lauren left yesterday finally came down around quarter of 12. Though they were mostly showers, we had a real doozy of a thunderstorm around 1:30. Lightning, noisy thunder, rain coming down a mile a minute. Thank goodness I opted to gather the outside recycling at that point (having done the trash earlier). The rain slowed down long enough for me to get home dry, but it's been off and on for the rest of the evening.

Rose called me while I was getting ready to go home. I was going to call her after I got dressed and had a snack...but then a very upset Jodie came in. She wasn't able to convince the realtor to let me stay. They consider this to be an extension of the main house, not a real apartment, because it doesn't have its own address. She's going to have to serve me with an eviction notice, whether we like it or not. She'll be showing the first prospective buyers around tomorrow morning. 

I shouldn't have gotten upset. It's my fault that I didn't find a place sooner. I knew Jodie would put it on the market eventually, and I should have pushed harder in finding an apartment. Jodie said it wasn't my fault. Of course, the house going on the market isn't, but it is my fault that I didn't try harder to find a place way back when she first announced it in January. I'm afraid I'll be stuck moving in with Rose or Mom, neither of whom really have the room for me. 

(Oh, and I did call Rose after she left, around 6, but to my knowledge, she hasn't called back.)

Finally broke to have leftovers for dinner around quarter of 7. Watched Nancy Goes to Rio while I ate. I go further into this charming 1950 Latin-flavored vehicle for Jane Powell at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Autumn Serenade

We began Lauren's last day here with breakfast, tea, and Hogan's Heroes. "The Defector" is a German Field Marshall who wants safe passage to London. Hogan's ready to give it to him, but Hochstetter shows up on his trail. He and the others try to figure out how to distract him while they get the man out of the country.

Switched to Perfect Strangers as Lauren packed and I did the dishes. Larry's convinced he's "Safe at Home" when he buys a high-tech security system to protect his new stereo chair. He realizes how unsafe he and Balki are when they accidentally activate the system and can't figure out how to turn it off.

Balki explains to Larry "I Saw This On TV" when Larry lies to his fiancée Jennifer about ducking out of their date to the ballet. In a hilarious black-and-white spoof of The Honeymooners, Larry is Ralph Kramden, who gets into trouble with his wife Alice (Jennifer) when he lies about attending a bowling tournament with his pal Ed Norton (Balki). It takes Balki to help them out and teach Larry a lesson about fibbing in a relationship.

One of my favorite Perfect Strangers episodes is the swashbuckler satire "Family Feud." Larry thinks it's ridiculous when a member of the Bochilitis family of Sceptos comes to Chicago demanding that Balki fight a duel in a long-standing least, until he insults the man. Balki ends up being the one who has to get his cousin out of the duel, before Larry gets sliced to ribbons.

Jodie drove us out to the Cherry Hill train platform around 11:30. We left Lauren at the station and headed out. I'm glad our trip mostly went very well. We always have a wonderful time together, and this week was no exception.

I got off at my side of the house long enough to bring the trash can up to the patio, then grabbed my bike and went back out again. Had a few errands I wanted to run. The Oaklyn Library was quiet except for the librarian. I said "hi" to her, then took out two Laura Childs Tea Shop Mysteries and Into the Heights for review next week. 

Originally stopped at Dollar General for sugar, but all they had left were the huge containers of Domino's. I ended up spending a little more at CVS instead; also grabbed the dish washing liquid sale there.

Had a quick lunch when I got home while watching more Hogan's. The boys leave "The Empty Parachute" to make the guards think there's a commando loose and frighten a courier into letting go of his locked briefcase. Hogan convinces Klink that "The Antique" cuckoo clock is worth thousands of dollars. It's not...but it will help the boys get vital information to the underground.

Spent the next hour looking up apartment buildings in Audubon. In good news, I found at least three or four...all of which were listed as having no available apartments. I wrote down their numbers anyway. Rose wanted me to call them today, but I just couldn't do it. Between work and my busy trip and everything else going on, I was just too worn out. I took a nap for almost two hours instead.

Worked a little bit on writing when I did roll out of bed. Brett assures Sir Richard's son Gary that his son will be all right...but she's not really sure. The guards hold him back, and the jury doesn't look too merciful, either...when they bother writing down relevant information and not every single thing said by every single being in the courtroom.

Broke for leftovers at 6:30. Watched Match Game '74 while I ate. Fannie's fried egg shirt came in for a lot of ribbing in this episode, or at least, where the eggs were placed on the shirt. Meanwhile, a soft-voiced Frenchwoman proved to be far more astute with the English language than Gene believed, and Charles wondered exactly what went on in his best friend Brett's head.

Began making snickerdoodles during Match Game PM. This 1978 episode featured two of the most hapless contestants who ever turned up at Studio 33. They just could not match anyone. The only reason either made it to the Bonus Round was Charles matched them one time each, and then matched one in a tiebreaker. Richard broke out of his dark mood long enough toss in a few one-liners as well.

Returned to Hogan's Heroes as I rolled the dough in cinnamon sugar. Klink's gleefully asking "Is There a Traitor In the House?" when Newkirk volunteers to broadcast on propaganda queen Berlin Betty's show to London. He's really doing it to relay information after a bombing blows out their transmitters. He falls for Betty when the lady claims to be in trouble, but she's not as innocent as she seems.

"At Last - Schultz Knows Something!" The guys are all desperate to find out where Klink's new job as the head of security at an atomic research facility is. Klink won't talk, so they decide to try a new drug on Schultz to get it out of him. 

Finished the night online with Hart to Hart. In "Vintage Harts," Jonathan's gone into business with an older wine merchant to sell his own inexpensive wine label. After his friend and a young employee are murdered, Jonathan and Jennifer learn that their wines are being marked up as much more expensive by two enterprising employees. 

Incidentally, I heard from Lauren about two hours ago. All of her train trips went fine. The train was about to pull into the station when she got off her phone. I imagine she and her parents have long arrived in Pittsfield by now. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Pac Man Fever

Since we weren't meeting Jessa until later and Jodie put the house on the market today, we began the morning by tidying up, doing dishes, and me making my bed. Had breakfast while Hogan's Heroes was on. Hogan makes "The Big Gamble" when the boys set up a casino to lure in a scientist who may have a piece of equipment the Allies need to win the war.

Balki and Larry become "Defiant Guys" in Perfect Strangers when Balki handcuffs a busy Larry so he can talk to him, then loses the key. Larry's about to have an important lunch with his boss Mr. Burns and Burns' boss Mr. Wainright, which means Balki has to come along, too. He's hoping Balki will be able to sit alone, but then the snooty head of the society department shows up, and they have to try harder to hide that handcuff.

Switched to Match Game-Hollywood Squares as I finished up the dishes. Couldn't have chosen a better episode for Lauren's introduction to the show. This one came from a theme week showcasing the more teen and family-friendly sitcoms either on the air or in syndication at that point. Eddie Mecca and David L. Lander of Laverne & Shirley, Linda Goodfriend and Erin Moran of Happy Days, and Mindy Cohn of The Facts of Life join Police Academy cop Michael Winslow and cool older lady Nedra Voltz for matches and wisecracks. 

It was almost noon when we strolled off to Jalapeno's for lunch. The place was dark, quiet, and perfect to focus on tasty quesadillas. She had chipotle chicken. After two chicken sandwiches this week gave me nasty indigestion, I decided to take no chances and went veggie. They were both delicious and stuffed to the brim with roasted vegetables, chicken, and cheese...and huge. It took us a while to finish.

In previous years, we've always walked the way down the White Horse Pike to Barrington. It's a really long walk, a half-hour or more, and we didn't have that much time. We ended up taking a quick bus ride instead. 

The Barrington Antique Center is a warren of tiny little rooms in an old storefront, with every single conceivable vintage thing you can imagine stuffed in its tiny crevices and many shelves. I didn't see something I really wanted until the last minute. I found a rack with home made American Girl-sized doll clothes. Most of the clothes looked very late 40s-50's in design, with full skirts and simple bodices. I chose a purple floral with black lace for Whitney and a blue gingham for Molly.

The House of Fun, the pop culture collectibles shop that used to be in Oaklyn, moved to Barrington a few months ago. Lauren found its location tucked into a tiny shopping center on the White Horse Pike. Not only is the store a lot newer and bigger, but the ceilings are much higher as well, allowing for far more racks of action figures to be displayed and for better organization. Lauren didn't get anything, but I found a Wuzzle, one of the plus animal-mix characters Disney put out in the mid-80's. There were three, one of which I already had (Hoppo). I went with Eleroo, the sweet purple and pink elephant with the kangaroo's pouch and big feet. 

We doubled back to Clements Bridge Road after that and bought soda at a pizza shop. Texted Jessa to tell her we were waiting for the bus. She cut out the middle man and picked us up in her odd little van on the way to Deptford instead.

Our first stop at the Deptford Mall was Round 1, a huge entertainment center on the second floor. They're an arcade/bowling alley, and while we do all enjoy bowling, we finally decided we only had time to check out the arcade. Most of the games are huge, neon-lit versions of familiar favorites like Pac Man or newer ones like Jurassic Park

There were three rows of cranes in the center of the room. I tried to win a big stuffed Luna and a realistic cat who reminded me of Rose's cat Lynx, but no luck. Did much better with the skee ball machines. I spent a lot of my childhood playing skee ball at the arcades on Cape May's promenade.

Browsed around the second floor of the Deptford Mall next. Deptford's FYE opened a few weeks ago. I found the soundtrack for The Princess Bride, one of my favorite childhood movies, on LP. Searched Boscov's for work pants, but didn't find anything. (I ultimately ordered a pair from Amazon tonight.)

Since Red Robin is right next to Boscov's, we had dinner there next. Jessa treated us to sandwiches and their towering stack of crispy onion rings. Jess had a Guacamole Bacon Burger. I had the same "Bonzai" (Teriyaki-Pineapple) Burger as when I went here with Jessa and Joe a few years ago. It was just as good this time...and just as messy. The pineapple kept slipping out of the bun. Lauren kept things simple with a BLT on a croissant and Chicken Tortilla Soup. 

We strolled around downstairs for another half-hour or so, checking out Box Lunch and a larger Go! Toys and Games than the one at Cherry Hill, but ultimately didn't see anything interesting. Not to mention, it was getting pretty late by that point. Jess just ended up driving us home around quarter after 7. 

We got organized, then I jumped in the shower. Finished the night online with Three Sailors and a Girl. I go further into the first of two movies I'll be reviewing this week honoring the late Jane Powell at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. 

Monday, September 20, 2021

Undercover Angels

My eyes flew open as my cell phone went off across the room. It was Rose, who was helping Jodie load boxes and bins into the garage. She reminded me I need to start calling apartment buildings as soon as Lauren leaves. There's no guarantee Jodie will be able to convince the new owner to keep me on. I never meant to stay here for longer than two to five years anyway, even if Dad lived. This was intended to be a stopgap measure to get me out of Manor. 

I also understand why Jodie can't keep the house. She's explained it a hundred times. I'm guessing some of the neighbors gave her a hard time about selling. I know it's too big and expensive for two people to keep up with. It wasn't meant for two people. It was meant for large families, like most of the others in this neighborhood.

Cheered myself up with reading and writing in my journal for an hour before joining Lauren for Body Language. This time, Jeff Cohen got the smart girl who got the last-minute tie-breaking puzzle. They just missed the bonus round by one word, though. 

We headed out shortly after that. Called for Uber again, since it worked out well going to Cherry Hill last week. This time, the lady drove a blue car and played this really neat gospel music with a tropical calypso beat. We enjoyed her songs all the way to the Market Place.

She let us off at Land's End. We both made good finds here. I finally picked up two long-sleeved t-shirts in turquoise and burgundy, with the turquoise one on sale. She got shirts for work.

Since we know how busy Chick Fil' A gets and there's apparently no branches near Lauren, we strolled down there next. They're still outdoor seating only. People line up at the counter, and they either take your order there, or a manager takes it with an iPad. Maybe it was just as well. The weather was too nice to eat inside, anyway. We both had frozen lemonades and waffle fries. She had a Spicy Chicken Cutlet; I settled for a simple Grilled Chicken. We enjoyed the sunny day and cool winds at the heavy black metal tables on their side patio.

We were in and out of stores for the next couple of hours. Saw nothing we needed in the Christmas Tree Shoppe or TJ Maxx. I picked up Voltron: The Complete Series from Best Buy and a card to say "hi" to Mom from Hallmark. She bought a few more work shirts and clothes for the pool that would dry fast from Nordstrom Rack. I might see if I can check out Barnes and Noble further later in the fall. Talbots and J.Jill were way too expensive for our budgets. 

Caught the bus in front of Hallmark on Route 70; it was only a few minutes late, not bad for the start of rush hour. No problems on the road here, either, no traffic anywhere. We pulled up at Mulligan's Bar on the White Horse Pike around 4; stopped at WaWa on the way home for a Pepsi Cherry Zero and a Double Mocha cappuccino drink. 

The moment we got home, we changed into bathing suits and outfits and hit the pool. It was chillier than yesterday, but not so much that we couldn't slide in and relax. I have to admit, the pool's been a godsend on this trip. Like I said to Lauren, it's infinitely better to relax in the pool than it was sitting in the Manor Avenue apartment listening to Charlie yell at the dogs. 

After the chilly wind finally blew us inside, we changed into dry clothes. I made my Italian Stove-Top Casserole while we watched Match Game '74. The first one had jokes about what Martians from a deli would invade in as little Jackie Joseph showed off her flowered outfit and headpiece. Ever-laughing Kaye Stevens, Bert Convy of Tattletales, and Cuban blonde Louisa Moritz joined in for the second.

Dinner was ready by the time of Match Game PM. Bernie Koppel, Betty White, and Lee Merriweather join in for the last nighttime episode with the original set. Despite his grumpy mood, Richard Dawson still helped the contestant with "__ Sitter" on the Head-to-Head.

Sale of the Century started off a bit closer than it had been, but a lady pool shark pulled ahead early-on. Her reluctance to purchase Instant Bargains paid off when she blew everyone away at the Speed Round. It netted her and her husband a gift certificate for a leather wardrobe on the Match the Prizes board.

Finished off the night online with hour dramas, beginning with The Love Boat. Gopher and a sci-fi-loving passenger (Tom Smothers) are convinced a seemingly quiet librarian (Helen Reddy) is an "Out of This World" alien, but Issac knows better. A model (Pamela Sue Anderson) who wants peace and quiet learns a lesson from a young man (Barry Van Dyke) when her claims that she's married "Boomerangs" back...and it turns out neither of them are what they claim. "The Captain's Triangle" has him trying to convince the bored wife (Sue Anne Langdon) of a retired captain friend of his (Monty Markham) to stay together, even when she throws herself at him. 

Charlie's Angels also encounter supposed extraterrestrials in the second season episode "Unidentified Flying Angels." A young woman turns up at their headquarters claiming her aunt went missing after attending a meeting where she saw a real UFO. Sabrina passes herself off as a reporter from New York, Bosley as a rich husband and Kris as his ditzy trophy wife, and Kelly as an alien to get to the bottom of this sci-fi mystery. 

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Games People Play

After I barely slept at all on Friday night, I desperately needed to sleep in. Didn't get up until almost 11; it was closer to noon before I finally got to making us Banana Pancakes. We watched more Perfect Strangers as we ate. Balki and Larry are "Piano Movers" when Balki talks his cousin into pushing a piano up 10 flights of steps to their friend Lydia's (Belita Moreno) apartment. Not only is Larry concerned about his bad back, but it seems that the piano keeps following them...

We played two games of Othello after the show ended. I found this pristine 1977 edition of the checkers-style strategy game in the pile Jodie intended for Veterans of America back in the winter. I figured Lauren and my nephews would appreciate it more and traded it for a few piles of my own donations. You have black and white chips, and have to place your chip so it turns over the chip to the other color. To my surprise, since I don't usually do very well with checkers and chess, I won both games. Lauren did help me during the first one...but I won the second one, too. 

Went out for a stroll after we finished. We were originally going to check out a small block party at a church on West Collings, a block from the business district. Turns out they were really small. They had a bounce house, a few games for the kids, a couple of food tables, and not much else. We decided there's better food elsewhere and moved on.

Ended up at Phillies Phatties on West Clinton. Shared a medium half-pepperoni, half-mushroom pizza and Pepsis (mango for me, regular for her) for lunch while watching the second half of the Eagles-49ers game. The Eagles were down 7 to 3 when we came in. The 49ers hit two touchdowns, but the Eagles were just starting to catch up when we loaded the remaining pizza into a bag. (The Eagles eventually lost 17-11, but that's a lot better than many of their games last year, and against a really good team.)

Finally decided we were too full for fancy puddings from the Puddin' Palace and strolled back to my place. At least it was a nice day for walking around. Yesterday's slight humidity was replaced by blue skies, warm winds, and dry temperatures. There couldn't have been a more perfect day in mid-September. 

Since Rose and her tribe were in the pool and we wanted peace and quiet, we played Pokemon Yahtzee Jr. first. This is a basic version of Yahtzee with Pokemon characters instead of numbers. We played for over an hour; I just barely beat Lauren, though it was close. 

Got our swim around 5. The water was a tiny bit warmer than yesterday, and even more relaxing. Lauren enjoyed it so much, she slid in and reclined on the pool steps in her clothes. Jodie came around to say "hi" and that she's putting the house officially on the market Tuesday. We'll have to clean up the apartment then. (Considering I cleaned it last Tuesday, that will basically involve me making my bed and putting away dishes and Lauren picking up her things, which she'll have to do anyway because she goes home Wednesday.)

When it got too cold for us to be lounging in water, I went right into the shower. After I finished, we played a long game of Scrabble. She won this one, but she also kept coming up with longer words. I kept ending up with lots of vowels and no consonants (and a lot of Ys). 

Showed Lauren two Match Game episodes while we played. Since we saw an episode involving a riot over an answer in 1974, I showed Lauren an even more infamous incident involving the producer not matching close answers in 1977. In this case, "school" didn't match "finishing school" after it matched "college." Richard Dawson and Debralee Scott were furious, and even Gene Rayburn couldn't keep order. Richard was far happier during a 1975 PM episode where he and Gene made a bet as to whether his "Color TV" answer would be under "Admiral __" on the Audience Match.

Finished the night on YouTube honoring producer Bob Stewart. He originally created Password and The Price Is Right for Goodson-Todman, but got tired them taking all the credit. After they rejected his latest idea for a show involving celebrities giving clues to categories, he left the company to form his own. 

That idea eventually became the Pyramid franchise, by far his most enduring hit as a solo producer. It started as The $10,000 Pyramid on CBS in 1973. It moved to ABC in 1974 for another five years, becoming The $20,000 Pyramid in 1976. CBS revived it as The New $25,000 Pyramid in 1982. I fondly remember watching the CBS version and The $100,000 Pyramid in syndication in the mid-80's. Went with episodes of 10,000 from 1973 featuring Ed Asner and Sandy Duncan and 20,000 from 1978 with Nancy Lane and Michael McKean. Dick Clark is the host of both versions.

One of Stewart's earliest shows as a solo producer was Personality from 1969. It's basically "solo Tattletales." Three celebrities - Jack Cassidy, Joan Rivers, and Flip Wilson in the surviving episode currently on YouTube - try to guess the answers to what the others will say in a pre-recorded interview. They guess how the celebrity responded to a series of questions about the celebrity in the second segment. In the third, they all have to guess how a celebrity guest answered the questions. This one is especially funny because Shirley Jones was the guest...and she and Cassidy were married at the time.  Larry Blyden is the amiable host.

Bill Cullen hosted Three On a Match, the second of six shows he did for his good friend Stewart. All of the episodes currently on YouTube are of the second format, where the big Match Board has images on it and can allow the contestants to win prizes. We also get to see The Big Match, a mini-game giving contestants a chance to win extra money by matching two halves of a dollar bill. Geoff Edwards makes a cameo appearance towards the end of the show to plug his own program, Jackpot

Cullen also hosted Chain Reaction in 1980, which would be his last with Stewart. Here, four celebrities and two contestants call out letters to form words that connect to other words. The first to finish the connection wins. The bonus round would be altered several times during the course of the show's short run; I believe this episode has the second version, with the slightly increased earnings. 

Apparently, Stewart still had Chain Reaction and its "Instant Reaction" bonus round on the brain. Three years later, he debuted Go, a show based around that concept. Here, it's two celebrities (Lynn Redgrave and Richard Gilliland) with four contestants. It's kind of a cross between Pyramid and those "pass the gossip" line games. Four of the team members give clues to a word; the contestant guesses it, rings a bell, and moves on to the next word. It was actually kind of fun, and it's too bad it didn't last longer. Former weatherman Kevin O'Connell was out of his element as the host.

Stewart's last original solo show before his retirement was Double Talk from 1986. Supposedly a revival of another short-lived show of his Shoot for the Stars, it's more-or-less Pyramid crossed with the fill-in-the-blooper of Whew! Celebrities help their contestants help figure out what phrases some similar words represent. The final round is almost a total Pyramid imitation that had the contestant filling in blanks written on "Double Talk" boards.  A bad time slot coupled with ABC's desire to get away from game shows doomed this one; smarmy actor Harry Polic III was hardly the right host to drum up excitement for any of this.

Climb to the top of the Pyramid with the solo creations of one of the most beloved game show producers of all time! (Look for the original commercials on Chain Reaction and Three On a Match.)

Saturday, September 18, 2021

All Summer Long

I didn't sleep well last night. The stomach and chest pains I had a few weeks ago returned. I did feel well enough for a quick breakfast and to throw on a Perfect Strangers episode while we got ready to head out. Larry says "Everybody In the Pool" when Balki keeps picking winners on the newspaper's football pool. Turns out Balki's too good. He picks losers when his co-workers get upset...but then has to save Larry's bacon after he puts Balki's guesses in with a bookie.

Headed out around 11. Thanks to my sleepless night, this was later than I'd planned, but we still did make it for the last half-hour of the farm market. Despite the late day, it was still very busy with people and their dogs picking produce for football parties and fall dinners. Saw pumpkins and winter squash for the first time this season. Opted for vegetables that were easier to carry in my cart - zucchini, corn, red lettuce, a yellow tomato, and an onion. 

We had brunch at Tortilla Press, the Mexican fusion restaurant on Haddon Avenue a block from where the farm market's held. They'd only been open for an hour at that point and weren't overwhelmingly busy. Lauren had a steak and avocado quesadilla; I went with "Pan Perdita," aka French toast with a mixed berry sauce. Yum! Perfectly sweet and just spiced enough, and the berries were amazing...and more to the point, not too harsh on my stomach. Our meals vanished pretty quickly, even Lauren's.

We were in and out of stores for the next hour. I showed Lauren Clutter, where I bought those little angel ornaments for her and Amanda last November. We looked at gift shop Occasionette, Ida's Book Shop, and toy store Extraordinary Ed, but found nothing of interest. 

I did much better at Innergroove Records, even with it being crowded in the tiny store. Managed to dig out:

Original casts of Raisin (1973 Broadway version of A Raisin In the Sun) and Mr. President

Soundtrack album for 1967 TV musical On the Flip Side

WFIL History of Rock Part III

Lauren and I came to the conclusion that what I felt last night and a couple of weeks ago was a rather nasty bout with acid reflux. We stopped at CVS on the way home to find a way to deal with it. I finally picked up a bottle of generic Maalox and a ginger ale; she got a Pepsi Zero. 

After we got home and I took my medicine, we threw on an episode of Hogan's Heroes while getting our laundry together. "Bombsight" has Hogan trying to figure out how he can sabotage the new German bombs when Klink caught Newkirk trying to get the plans out of the safe. It's up to him to keep Klink and London happy...and make sure his resident thief doesn't get into worse trouble.

Check my schedule for next week really fast, too. Ugh. Eight and a half hours the first two days, one of them late, next Saturday early. I'm  not looking forward to going back at all. 

Cheered up with that trip to the laundromat. Lauren had clothes to wash, and it wouldn't hurt me to get mine done, either. They were too busy to hang around, and we ended up with the longer washing machines anyway. This was the perfect time to finally check out Comicrypt. She looked for new Batman stories; I settled for petting the kitties who wandered among the stacks. 

The new pretzel shop two doors down from Comicrypt is finally open. (It was supposed to open back in late June-early July.) Lauren's not a pretzel fan, but I got to try their twist pretzels. Nothing special, but warm and tasty anyway. We enjoyed the pretzel and cans of Orange Crush and ginger ale outside on the concrete curb, enjoying the warm sunshine.

Put our clothes away when we got home, then hit the pool. I was surprised no one was there. Jodie was inside; all of the kids must have been at sports or cheerleading. The water was a bit colder than the other day. I swam for a bit, then Lauren and I kicked and splashed our legs around. 

When we got back in, I changed into dry clothes and made Eggplant Parmesan while introducing her to the current version of Muppet Babies. "Scooter MVP" gets upset when  he loses every sport he plays. His twin sister Skeeter doesn't want him to give up, so she has the Babies lose for him. Now he thinks he's a great athlete, just as big Sweetums comes in with his wild Marshmallow Kickball game. "Rizzo for Mayor" has the rat making all kinds of wild promises during his campaign against Summer. Like many politicians, he's not so good at making those promises come true when he's actually in office.

Returned to Hogan's as we enjoyed our meal. Klink needs a lot more than "The Big Picture" when he's blackmailed by Gestopo officer. Hogan and Newkirk have to get those pictures back, or Klink will keep taking the money to pay the blackmail out of the camp's budget.

Balki and Larry are "Disorderly Orderlies" in Perfect Strangers when Larry agrees to volunteer in a hospital with his eager cousin. He's really after an interview with a football star who was brought in after he damaged his knee. He's desperate to get a hold of the guy, but Balki knows the best way to make a friend...and get what you to be a friend.

Finished the night online with the original version of the truly bizarre British animated spy caper Freddie as F.R.O.7. I go further into this odd action flop at my Musical Dreams Reviews Blog.

Friday, September 17, 2021

Philadelphia Freedom

We started off a gray morning with apple muffins for me and a fifth season episode of Hogan's Heroes. "The Kommandant Dies at Dawn" after Klink accidentally spills Nazi secrets at a party. Hogan and the others have to rescue him in order to get important papers from where they stashed them on his belt to an operative.

Headed out shortly after the episode ended. As we strolled down the White Horse Pike to Collingswood, we noticed a sign stuck in the grass indicating there will be a block party/church fair on West Collings Avenue Sunday afternoon. We tried to think of things to do Sunday afternoon besides sit around and freeze in my apartment. This would be perfect.

Our first stop in Collingswood was The Pop Shop. They closed for a little while longer than some of the other local restaurants last year, but that gave them time to remodel and expand after the South American restaurant next door shut down. They're still painted in pastels, but the clocks that were once on the back wall were likely moved to the new party room, and the bathrooms looked a hundred times better. 

They scaled back on their huge menu, too, but also added a few new things. I ended up with the chicken cheesesteak; Lauren had the Santa Fe grilled chicken sandwich. We got to try their new, delightfully salty and crispy tater tots. We both had ice cream floats for dessert. Lauren recreated her father's childhood favorite, seltzer with chocolate syrup and vanilla and chocolate ice cream. I went with a simple root beer float. They came in cute little mason jar glasses that slightly overflowed when we dug in.

After lunch, we strolled straight to the Collingswood PATCO and hopped on a barely-full train to Philadelphia. Got off at the 8th Street platform. We eventually clamored up the stairs to Market Street. Lauren spied a Ross rather appropriately on the ground floor of the beautiful old Lits Brothers department store building across the way, so we went there next.

The Ross was huge, bigger than even the one in Audubon, and pretty busy. They had luggage in the back of the store along with the usual clothes, accessories, and housewares. Lauren bought a shirt and another sweater vest. I picked up a rainbow-colored umbrella. My orange striped umbrella I got at a yard sale when I first moved here finally broke a couple of months ago, and my blue one lost its holding strap. I needed an umbrella I could carry around on trips.

Turns out it was a good thing I bought it. The clouds finally burst into a fine, light shower, enough for me to open it for us while Lauren figured out where to go next. It faded even as we made our way down a block or two to Five Below.

I'm glad we didn't check out the one in Audubon. It couldn't hold a candle to the two-story store on Market Street. Kids books, toys, and clothes were on the bottom floor. Candy, seasonal decorations, and computer accessories were on the first floor as you came in. I didn't get anything, but Lauren picked up a few small items.

Doubled back to the Fashion District to check out Burlington Coat Factory. They're pretty much the same thing as Ross, and maybe even bigger and more filled with clothing and last year's weird seasonal decorations. This time, Lauren couldn't find anything, and I picked up a long-sleeved pale blue sweater.

Went into the actual mall at this point. While it did look infinitely better than it used to as The Gallery Mall, it's still a bit dark and dreary in there. We checked out a small GameStop, but found nothing of interest and moved on. 

Left the mall and followed the crowds down the street to the big Macy's. This is the historic building that used to be Wanamaker's, until Macy's bought the company. I was looking for socks, but it seems they're remodeling or redoing their intimate apparel and accessories section. We eventually ended up using the bathroom and not much else.

Neither of us ever heard of Primark, the department store across the street and one of the Fashion District anchors. Research reveals it's an Irish-based store, not far removed from Ross, Burlington, and such. It was also mobbed to the gills. You could barely walk around all the people looking for outstanding prices on chunky sweaters, heavy boots, and thin socks. Lauren picked up some of those sweaters. I found nothing. It seems that Primark only started carrying plus sizes three years ago. I imagine any they had in that nut house disappeared weeks ago. The only item I saw even close to my size besides the cheap socks was a black raincoat. Not to mention, the music they blasted in the store gave me a headache. I waited in the main concourse, where I could actually think.

After all that, we figured it was time to go home. Took a full train back to Collingswood. Made a brief stop at PNC Bank for me to use the ATM machine, then strolled back to Oaklyn through Newton Lake Park. Despite the cloudy and cool weather, the park is beautiful, all bottle green ripples on the river and bright emerald leaves waving in the barest hint of a breeze.

When we got in, we rested for a while as we watched Match Game '77. Charles refused to give his Audience Match answer unless the camera was on him...which prompted director Marc Breslow to move it on everyone but Charles, and then over his head! New Year's Eve on Match Game '76 was almost as wild. Charles declared "the final Bicentennial Minute" as a paper mache bald eagle dropped an egg saying "Match Game '77" into his waiting arms. (For the record, "Bicentennial Minutes" were short bits of American history narrated by stars of the time broadcast from 1974 to the end of 1976.)

Buzzr jumped back to Match Game '74 as we settled down for a dinner of leftover salmon and vegetables. The first major riot on the show occurred when Ira Skutch, the show's producer and judge, didn't match "friend" and "girlfriend." Almost everyone had "friend," and they went crazy! Unlike later in '77, Gene was able to get them calmed down, though the girl lost. (They did bring her back a few episodes later to make up for the mess.)

We watched Match Game PM while eating applesauce and I did the dishes. Richard's still a bit grouchy in this episode, the second-to-last nighttime episode before the set changed. Joyce Bulifant got an especially cute answer to what Q hid in James Bond's shorts.

Took a shower after that, then went online. Finished the night with the pirate yarn Moonfleet at TCM. Young John Mohune (Jon Whiteley) arrives at the home of Jeremy Fox (Stewart Granger) with a letter from  his mother. Seems his mother has entrusted him with the boy's care. Fox is more interested in the smugglers who operate out of the title village. The two end up searching for a treasure hidden in the area, a fabulous diamond...but the smugglers would love to get their hands on it too.

Dashing tale with a few good action sequences, though Granger seems a bit stiff as the gentlemanly rogue in love with three different women. Little Whiteley has a lot more fun as the wide-eyed kid caught up in it all. 

Thursday, September 16, 2021

I Get Around

Began the morning with apple mini donuts for me and Body Language. This time, Jeff Cohen's young contestant got the winning puzzle in the tiebreaker. They didn't do so well on the bonus round, missing the last word.

I thought it would be easier - and a lot faster - for us if we took Uber to the Cherry Hill Mall and the bus home, like I have the last few times I went there. I don't know why I couldn't get my Uber app to work. It kept giving me error notices. I finally went on my laptop and reserved a driver through the main website. 

We were picked up around 11:30 by a pleasant young man in a cherry red car. I told him I liked the color of his car; red is my favorite color, and it would seem to be his as well. He had a nice chat with us about Lauren's visit and our vacations as he took us down Marlton Pike and Haddonfield Road to the Cherry Hill Mall.

It wasn't terribly busy when we arrived, allowing us to explore the remaining toy stores first. Build-a-Bear is finally open to the general public again. Lauren bought a tuxedo and a scarecrow outfit for her teddies, while I picked up a pumpkin costume for my Steiff bear Abigail to wear at Halloween. We peeked around Go Toys and Games, but I found nothing of interest, and Lauren couldn't carry the board game she said a co-worker was interested in. Miniso claims to sell Japanese-inspired everyday items, but most of what I saw were stuffed animals, accessories, and a lot of gear for Marvel and, for some reason, We Bare Bears

(We noticed an FYE setting up a few doors down from Build-a-Bear. The Cherry Hill Mall's original FYE moved to Moorestown, and I was pleased and a a bit surprised to see them return. Hopefully, it'll be open the next time I hit the mall)

We had more luck at Bath and Body Works. I finally have the money to indulge in more than one or two of their fancier products. We caught them on the last day of their big all hand soaps for $3.95 sale. I had to get the Afternoon Apple Picking soap scent; also grabbed Autumn Rainfall and Sunshine & Lemons. Lauren and I both picked up mini hand sanitizers with their 5 for $8 deal as well. 

Gray, gloomy clouds moved in by the time we headed across the parking lot for lunch. They did cool things off as a nice breeze blew across the pedestrian walkway over the highway to the Hillview Shopping Center. We took the elevator up; despite the dirty floor, we really didn't feel like hiking up the steep steps.

Had lunch at the 50's-style Silver Diner, just outside of the main shopping center. Lauren ordered vegetable chili and half of a thick turkey sandwich. I went with the same crab cake and Old Bay dusted fries I had the last time Lauren visited in May 2019...and it was just as good the third time around. Like I told her, the Silver Diner franchise is based in Maryland. They know seafood.

Headed for Kohl's next. I didn't see anything here I couldn't live without, but Lauren bought a shirt. Hobby Lobby replaced Babies R' Us next-door to Kohl's...and it was so ginormous, we couldn't figure out where anything was. I'll have to give that one another look when I have more time to explore it. She picked up a couple of bras at the huge Target in the back; I got shredded mozzarella and bread crumbs for the Eggplant Parmesan. 

Went back to the main mall around 3. Checked out their Macy's and JC Penney's department stores, along with the Old Navy next-door to JC Penney. I found nothing anywhere. The only clothes I really need are pants and socks for work, along with long-sleeved t-shirts. Lauren picked up a shirt for work at Penney's and several tank tops at Old Navy. 

We were originally going to have an early dinner at Stone Fire Pizza next to Fatburger's, but they closed early due to plumbing problems. Lauren bought a panini from Saladworks in the food court instead. I was more thirsty than hungry and opted for a pineapple coconut milkshake from Haagen Das. We sat back and chatted at the table until it was time to go upstairs and pick up the bus.

The bus to Camden was only two minutes late, not bad for the height of rush hour. Traffic was fine, not as heavy as it could have been on a Thursday. We arrived at the now-expanded Mulligan's Bar and Grill on the White Horse Pike around 6. Stopped briefly at WaWa for drinks; she had a sparkling Poland Spring, I went with a peach Perrier.

Went right into Match Game '76 when we got home and I closed the windows. Jodie finally got in, and she must have turned on the air conditioning. For some reason, they skipped the next episode, taking us into one of the last shows of the year. Cranky Joe Bishop and smart Elizabeth Allen joined Fannie Flagg and the regulars to help that sweet young man contestant with "Song of __" in the Audience Match.

Flagg stuck around for Match Game PM, this time joined by poet Nipsey Russell and stage legend Ethel Merman. Gene got a bit nervous when he realized the male contestant stood six feet, ten inches! He told him he could have any question he wanted. I had leftover black bean dip for dinner while Richard Dawson got a little too close with the contestant in the last few minutes!

Organized my new CDs into the appropriate binders as Sale of the Century began. For some reason, we skipped an episode and had a new champion, a sweet older lady. The one man bought two out of three Instant Bargains, but she picked up the third and just got past him in the Speed Round. Picked up a shopping spree from the Match the Prizes board for her trouble.

Finished the night at TCM with The Barkleys of Broadway. I got further into the last movie to feature Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dancing together at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Happy Together

I rolled out of bed at 8:30, but read for a while before going into the living room/kitchen at 10. Lauren was up by that point as well. Threw on Body Language while I had apple muffins for breakfast and she put on her shoes and socks. Jeff Cohen from The Goonies and Malcom Jamal-Warner from The Cosby Show lead their teen contestants through guessing puzzles. Warner's correctly guessed the last puzzle and made it to the bonus round.

We headed out shortly after the show ended. Our first stop was, briefly, the Oaklyn Library. I told the librarians I'd bring Lauren around to say "hi." We did that, and she chose a couple of comic books leftover from Free Comics Day.

Our next stop was supposed to be Comicrypt on the White Horse Pike, but they don't open until noon. We trooped over the train bridge hill and into Audubon to check out the used music store Abbie Road instead. Bob, the kindly older owner, was happy to see both of us. We've bought a ton of music from him over the years. Lauren found a Monkees CD set with a previously-rare song and something for her dad.

By that point, it was past noon, and while not as killer hot as for much of the summer, it was still fairly warm, sunny, and quite humid. We ended up at Tu Se Bella's for some of the best pizza in the area. Lauren had a slice of mushroom, a slice of broccoli and shrimp, and a bottle of Pepsi. I had the mushroom, a slice of spinach, tomato, and shrimp, and a bottle of Mountain Dew. They were surprisingly dead for lunch time and a day when many schools had off for Jewish holidays. We enjoyed our meal in peace.

Was in and out of a couple store across the parking lot next. I picked up a cute orange blouse with white stars at Ross; Lauren bought a blouse, a sweater vest, and ginger candy. Neither of us bought anything at Marshalls. She bought more blouses at Goodwill. I picked up CDs and a book of fairy tales. 

Between Goodwill and Abbie Road, I ended up with:

Soundtracks for Star! and Rocky Horror Picture Show on record (Star! was still in its original plastic!)

Original cast CDs for Smokey Joe's Cafe, the Patti LuPone 2008 revival of Gypsy, and the Broadway version of Victor/Victoria

Bob Hope & Friends, 2-disc collection of songs, likely from radio broadcasts, featuring Hope and stars of the era (including Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour.) 

Nipper's Greatest Hits of the 60's, Vol. 1

Stopped at the Acme after Goodwill to pick up snacks. I bought two boxes of Kashi granola bars. She got Nature's Valley granola bars and Special K bars. Found a bag of Garden of Eatin' yellow tortilla chips on sale with an online coupon. We both picked up cans of Bubly for the way home. She had blackberry-raspberry, I had cherry. (And no wonder I easily got this week off. The store was quiet when we arrived, though the carts that the afternoon bagger - who had to work in the morning today because we have no one else - gathered indicated it was busier earlier.)

Walked home after that. Made our way down Nicholson Road to Atlantic, which is a little bit closer to Hillcrest than the Black Horse Pike ramp. Ran into Rose and the kids at the pool. Rose said she took those two bags of items I put in the garage to Goodwill...and was surprised it was only two small bags. Jodie apparently made it sound like a lot more. I got rid of most of my donations last year and when Jodie gave the bags of Dad's things to Veterans of America in the spring. 

Hitting the pool sounded like a great idea to me. We relaxed for an hour with Match Game '77 while I changed into my bathing suit. Lauren doesn't swim, but she did stick her legs in the shallow end. I did swim, and it felt wonderful. It's a little cool, but not freezing, and was wonderful once I got used to it. At one point, we both lay back on the water and the side of the pool, enjoying the cool water and warm sun.

Returned to Match Game '76 while I made black bean dip to go with those tortilla chips for dinner. The first episode had all of the panelists creating their own puppets when a contestant speaks her answers through her own sock puppet. The second introduced George, a sweet, smiling fellow with glasses who became one of their big all-time winners, and just a darn nice guy. 

The dip was ready by the time of Match Game PM. We crunched as Gary Crosby joined Mary Wickes, Fannie Flagg, Gene, and the regulars to figure out "Leave It to __" in the Audience Match. (Oh, and the dip came out great, despite my realizing my onion went bad and not having picante sauce. Tasted just as good with red peppers and vegetable stock with a lot of spices.)

Turned some of those farm-fresh apples into delicious applesauce while Sale of the Century was on. It was between the ladies today. The man won two Fame Games, but didn't get close on the questions. He did better on the Speed Round, but the champ just pushed through. She picked up a lovely pocket watch on the Match the Prizes board.

Finished the night online with Magnum PI at The Roku Channel. A kahuna - Hawaiian shaman - places "The Curse on the King Kamehameha Club" that his friend Orville (Larry Manetti) is involved with. When one young surfer drops dead in the water right before a big race, It doesn't help that Orville suddenly gets sick, too, or that a young female reporter is pushing the curse as a major story. Magnum begins to wonder if the curse is true, or if someone else wants the club to close. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Poetry In Motion

Kicked off my first day of vacation with breakfast and Body Language. They're back on Teen Month, this time with Lisa Bonet from The Cosby Show and Jason Bateman, at that point from The Hogan Family. This reminds me why I had a bit of a crush on Bateman then; he was so wonderfully expressive with his clues! Alas, Bonet's contestant guessed the tie-breaker puzzle. They did go on to win both bonus rounds, in fair time, too.

Called Mom after I ate. I've been meaning to do this for ages. Turns out she never called me because her cell phone and coverage badly needed to be upgraded. Cell phones don't always come in well down at the Shore. She's been going just as crazy at the Cape-May-Lewes Ferry as I have at the Acme. One of the ferries went into drydock during the winter for routine maintenance...that never happened. They couldn't get the parts. They've been stuck with two Ferries and lots of standing-room-only trips during the busy summer season. 

Switched to the fifth season of Hogan's Heroes as I did the dishes. "Hogan Goes Hollywood" when a movie star who joined the Army (Alan Oppenheimer) ends up in the camp. Klink's thrilled to film a propaganda movie featuring him and the other prisoners. Hogan and his boys find this to be the perfect cover for them blowing up a near-by bridge.

I was in and out of the main house with laundry all day. Washed towels and linens this morning before I left, then the blankets. Did the bath mats later in the afternoon. The latter are still drying; I wasn't messing around with the controls on the dryer. 

Needed to run a few quick errands next. Just finished The American Agent this morning, and it was due today anyway. Dropped it at the Oaklyn Library, promising the librarian I'd bring Lauren around sometime this week to say hi. Needed a few things at Dollar General that couldn't wait. My Windex bottle and baking soda box were almost empty. Restocked cooking spray; grabbed a six-pack of Pepsi for Lauren (she loves her Pepsi). I'm tired of scrubbing floors and bought a mop to clean the bathroom floor instead.

At least it was a lovely day to run around. Hot, breezy, and a bit humid, though not to the degree of the heat waves we've had all summer. A few clouds drifted in around the middle of the afternoon, but they drifted out just as quickly. 

Switched out the wash when I got in, then put Shall We Dance on the Watch TCM app while wiping down and mopping the bathroom and kitchen. I go further into this vehicle for Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers with some of the Gershwins' most enduring hits at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

It was past 3 by the time I managed to sit down long enough to have a smoothie and muffins for lunch. Russian spy Marya (Nita Talbot) returns on Hogan's Heroes. Worried that Marya's latest lover is actually trying to get to her underground contacts, Hogan convinces Klink to create "Klink's Commandoes" with them and his men and get them to the Russian Front.

It's an "Unfair Exchange" when a pretty spy from the German Underground ends up in the hands of the Getstopo. Hogan and the boys resort to desperate measures to rescue her - kidnapping General Burkhalter's sister Gertrude (Kathleen Freeman) and trading her for the young lady.

Moved to the second half of Tattletales as I vacuumed and ran the Swifter on the floor. Sitcom pair Patty Duke and John Astin got every question right and picked up the highest total on the show at that point, 650, to the delight of the red section! 

The ladies battled it out on Press Your Luck as I dusted the apartment. In the end, the champ hit too many Whammies. A college student looking to further her school career picked up over 5,000 to put towards her education.

Did a little writing after the show ended. Gary, Richard's eldest son, is worried about his father being on trial. Sir Richard was unable to rescue his men from the dungeon, and the boy fears the Red King may want to lock up his parent as well. Brett and Marcia assure him they'll do everything they can to keep that from happening. 

Broke for dinner a little early at 6. Watched Match Game '76 while I made the bed and cleared leftovers out of the fridge. Brett and Charles made jokes about starting a restaurant with her lacy tablecloth-like poncho in the first episode. For some reason, the next episode skipped the last show of that week and went straight into the next. Orson Bean returns for the first time in a while as the others make jokes about the obvious answers to "__ Pills" in the Audience Match. 

Jessa picked me up as Match Game ended in a very unusual little van. For some reason, it had the steering wheel on the "wrong" side they drive on elsewhere in the world. She said it was a classic car. Classic somewhere, I'm sure, but I'd never seen anything like it. Midnight whimpered in the back seat as she avoided traffic on the back roads and headed past the Cooper Medical building to Cherry Hill.

As it turned out, not only were we early, but Lauren left 20 minutes late. Jessa pulled into the back of Shop Rite's parking lot. We got to chat and admire a gorgeous pink sunset while waiting for Lauren.

After she finally pulled in, I lead Lauren into the apartment. Thankfully, it would seem the late arrival of the Cherry Hill train was the only problem she had. Everything else ran smoothly, with no trouble boarding or at the stations. She gave me the complete series set for Miami Vice, a set of Perry Mason movies, and the 1982 musical version of Popeye with Robin Williams and Shelly Duvall on DVD and loved the comics and knitted stuffed purple pig I gave her. 

We finished the night online. She watched Perfect Strangers episodes; I watched The Love Boat. Isaac hopes "The Starmaker," a concert promoter, will catch his act with three singing maids (The Pointer Sisters) and make them famous. A hunky former football star (David Hasselhoff) is in love with Julie, but she thinks "Humpty Dumpty" loves living in his past glories more. An "Aquaphobic" man (Louis Nye) thinks everyone on board is making fun of his fear of the water, until his caring fiancée (Audra Linley) makes him realize he's far from the only person to be afraid of something. 

Monday, September 13, 2021

Almost Vacation

Started off a fast morning with breakfast and Hogan's Heroes. Finally got to the black-and-white pilot episode, "The Informer." Sergeant Andrew Carter (Larry Hovis) arrives at Stalag 13 to discover a thriving "traveler's aid society" devoted to sabotage act and helping prisoners escape, lead by crafty Colonel Robert Hogan (Bob Crane). Another man arrives with us, one who seems more than a little suspicious to Hogan and his men. They'll have to work together to discredit the informer, before General Buckhalter (Leon Askin) ends their operations for good.

Hurried off to work after the episode ended. Work was pretty quiet for most of the day...but I also had no help. I'd start pushing carts or sweeping the store, only to be told to do something else before I finished what I was doing! Needless to say, I didn't get much done besides the sweeping and the carts. The afternoon bagger did gather the trash and recycling I didn't have the time for, but he forgot to do the sweeping. I had to do that.

Rushed home the second I finished. When I got in, I changed, tossed my uniform in the laundry basket, and took everything down to the laundry room on the other side of the house. Once again, Jodie is out of town, and what she doesn't know won't hurt her. I did my clothes tonight to get my uniform out of the way for the week; will wash my linens and towels tomorrow.

Did a little writing after my clothes went in the washer. Brett's concerned about Richard's younger son. His older son Gary explains the younger boy went into hiding after the card guards took their father into custody and is now hiding in the stands.

Broke for dinner and to put my clothes in the dryer at 6:30. Made salmon with ratatouille (sautéed summer vegetables) while watching Match Game '76. Charles tries to help a lady with "__ Opener" in the Head to Head, while the others all make jokes about the differences between Ronald McDonald and then-senator of California Ronald Reagan.

Richard Dawson was in a foul mood on Match Game PM. It didn't help that the judge and producer Ira Skutch refused to match his answer of "innards" with "stomach." (Sorry Rich, but Ira was right - innards can be other things besides stomach.) He cheered up a little bit for the Audience Match and Gene teasing him about hosting Family Feud by this point. 

Returned to Hogan's Heroes as I retrieved my laundry and made Ginger Molasses Cookies. Carter "Requests Permission to Escape" in the first season finale when his girlfriend Mary Jane writes and says she married someone else. The others send him on a mission to persuade him to stay.

Jumped to the fifth season as I slid the cookies in the oven. Poor Carter ends up in "The Well" when Newkirk (Richard Dawson) tosses a codebook down there. He's the only one willing to fish it back up again.

Finished the night online after a shower with Charlie's Angels. They're "Angels In Waiting" when Bosley, tired of being told he's predictable, plays a game to make the girls guess where he is. The game turns near-deadly when Bosley becomes the target for a mysterious man and a lovely lady who may be involved with an murderer he sent to prison.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

The Price Is Golden

Started the morning with Apple Cider Pancakes and my soundtrack for the 1969 version of Goodbye, Mr. Chips. Peter O'Toole is the title character, a shy teacher in 1920's. His marriage to stage star Katherine (Petula Clark) shocks the staid school where he works, but she brings out his more playful side and becomes popular with his students. Leslie Bricusse wrote some really lovely songs for this movie, including the rousing "London Is London" and touching "You and I" for Clark, the sweet "What a Lot of Flowers" for O'Toole, and hilarious "School Days" for Clark and the boys. 

Work was insanely busy when I arrived and stayed that way the entire afternoon. We had long lines even after the first Eagles game of the season against the Falcons began. Thankfully, most people were in decent moods, maybe because the Eagles absolutely flattened the Falcons 32-6, and day went quickly. It was still so busy at 5, I barely got off on time with no relief.

Went straight home and into writing after I changed. Sir Richard's oldest son Gary is very upset. His father never stole anything more than a kiss in his life! The Queen has his brother there, too, and the Red King has his father's men. Duchess Marcia and Brett are the only ones he can count on to oppose the Red King and his strict "game." 

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Since I had pizza at work, thanks to some nice person who left half of a Pizza Hut pie for everyone in the break room, I just had yogurt and grapes for dinner. Listened to Raggedy Ann and Andy: A Musical Adventure while I ate. Very strange animated musical story of the famous rag dolls chasing after a French doll stolen by a pirate. Joe Raspo's songs are charming even when the plot's at its weirdest, including the ballad "Candy Hearts and Paper Flowers," the sorrowful "Blue" for the Camel With the Wrinkled Knees, the catchy "Rag Dolly," and "I Never Get Enough" for the truly bizarre taffy creature The Greedy.

Pete's Dragon, also released in 1977, is almost as odd. The story of a boy and his animated dragon who are adopted by a lighthouse keeper and his daughter is pretty corny today, but once again, there's some good music. "Candle on the Water" got an Oscar nomination in 1977. I've always liked the touching duet "It's Not Easy" for Pete and the lighthouse keeper's daughter as he explains why his dragon pal is so important to him.

Finished the night on YouTube after sliding Apple Mini Donuts into the oven. Since Pluto TV is honoring next year's 50th anniversary of the Price Is Right franchise, I thought I'd do so as well. The Price Is Right goes back further than most people know. It began as a simple auction game in 1956. Four people put in bids on a luxury item. Sometimes, a simpler item might have a bigger piece of furniture or vehicle attached. The show was a hit right off the bat, running for nine years on NBC and ABC on daytime and prime time. Bill Cullen hosted this version.

Bob Barker took over when Goodson-Todman revived the show in 1972. This time, four contestants start out bidding for an item. That brings them up to play a pricing mini-game. Three games are played. The top winners from those three games gets to bid on the Showcase Showdown, a collection of expensive prizes often revolving around a theme or gag skit. 

The new format was a sensation straight out of the gate. It and fellow game show newbies Gambit and The 10,000 Pyramid helped revolutionize what game shows could be, making them bigger, brighter, and with more expensive payouts. When its popularity flagged in 1975, CBS responded by expanding it to a full hour. The first hour shows were specials that debuted in September of that year. Now six pricing games were played. Two wheels featuring money values decided who would go to the Showcase Showdown. The wheels looked entirely different from the later ones, more like something from a carnival game than the huge glittering later version. 

Barker became synonymous with the show well into the new millennium. By the late 2000's, not only was he beyond retirement age, but several of his models hit him with a harassment suit that somewhat tarnished his reputation. Comedian Drew Carey, fresh off his own TV show, took over in September 2007, and he's been the host ever since. He even kicked off his hosting duties with a rare "perfect" show where everyone won their mini game and got the 1,000 on the Big Wheel.

The 1950's show wasn't the last time Goodson-Todman attempted a nighttime version of Price. Dennis James was the original host of of the 1977 nighttime show, which was played in the same way as the half-hour show. Bob Barker took over for him after a contract dispute. Tom Kennedy attempted another nighttime run in the mid-80's, but it barely lasted a year.

Come on down! Check out the milestones and memories from one of the most beloved game shows on the planet! (And watch out for the original commercials on the 1972 and 2007 episodes...and bad tapes on the ones from 1975 and 1977.)