Sunday, July 31, 2022

What are Beloved Games?

Got a quick start this morning with breakfast, then writing. Being thrown out of a stained glass window and hit with dark magic has seriously altered Dickie's perception on things. He keeps talking about strange inventions he's created, like a box turned upside-down and gauntlet on the ankles of his horse to protect from shark bites (in the middle of the woods). 

Actually got out to work on time today.  I came into a hot, sunny, humid afternoon...and maybe that's why we were so dead today, especially for Sunday. Like I told a customer, most people are either on vacation, avoiding the heat, or waiting for the beginning of the month. I did have a few customers who didn't have anywhere near enough for their orders and had to put a lot back, and I didn't know what to say to a man who wanted to shake my hand for some reason. Other than that, everything was fine and the day went quickly.

Went straight into dinner when I got home. Listened to A Golden Treasury of Fairy Tales while I ate. Supposedly, Art Carney is among the voices narrating popular fairy tales on this children's album from the early 60's, but I didn't hear him on the first three stories. "The Ugly Duckling" turned out to be the song from the Danny Kaye Hans Christian Andersen. The narrator for "Hansel and Gretel" and "The Three Bears" is primarily female. She provides all of the voices for "Three Bears," even the great big papa bear voice. "Hansel and Gretel" sticks to the more familiar version with the stepmother sending the kids into the woods.

Finished the night on YouTube honoring Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune, which will be getting their own 24-hour channels on Pluto TV starting tomorrow. Jeopardy is the older of the two by over a decade. It began in 1964 as a response to the elaborate quiz shows of the 1950's. Here was a show where people competed to show their knowledge, not to win big bucks - the top prize for years wasn't even in four digits. Genial Art Fleming hosted the original 1964-1975 run and its 1978 syndicated revival. 

Alas, little remains of them nowadays. NBC erased most of the original run, and King's World erased tapes well into the mid-80's. The 1974 color show is among the few online for the NBC run, and the 1978 episode is the only full show I could find for the revival.

The 1978 revival made a lot of controversial changes, like eliminating the lowest-scoring player after the first round and replacing Final Jeopardy with a Super Jeopardy bonus round. The current syndicated version that started in 1984 restored the original rules and final round. Alex Trebek hosted the show from its inception until his death in 2020. The episode I went with here from 1991 is pretty emblematic of the show in the 80's and 90's as a whole.

Wheel of Fortune began in 1973 as Shopper's Bazaar. Its original pilot with Chuck Woolery had an upright carnival-style wheel with only Lose a Turn, no Bankrupt or prizes. The cash the contestants earned throughout the episode went to increasingly larger prizes on another board. By the end of the show, the winner accumulated the most cash and prizes.

By the time it finally debuted with Woolery in 1975, it was retooled into something closer to the show we know nowadays. The wheel now lay flat so contestants could spin it themselves. They still solved hangman-style puzzles, occasionally stopping to buy vowels. Accumulated cash could be used to buy prizes. The winner went on to solve one more puzzle and pick up a larger prize, usually a car or a big cash jackpot. 

While the show had its fans, it was never a major smash hit...until Woolery left in a salary dispute and he was replaced by boyish newscaster Pat Sajak and lovely Vanna White in 1982. Its nighttime show proved to be such a runaway sensation, it led to producer Merv Griffin pulling Jeopardy out to pair with it, and they've been that way for most markets ever since. Even the morning show remained popular enough to continue with different hosts on CBS and NBC until 1991. 

Alas, not much is left of Wheel, either. NBC and King's World didn't treat them any better, though there does seem to be more episodes left of Woolery's run than there are of Art Fleming's. Thanks to Sony not wanting to let pretty much anyone see the shows, even later episodes can be hard to find online. 

Watching Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune together was a major evening ritual in my family. It was one of the few things we did together as a family. Mom usually had ABC on for the World News Tonight after dinner anyway. We'd guess the Pennsylvania Lottery numbers, then would wait breathlessly for Johnny Gilbert's "!" and his announcing today's contestants. We'd then see who could get the most answers right, or who was especially good at a certain topic. When Fortune came on, we'd all try to get the answer first, before the contestants did! 

Relive your own family memories with these classic episodes! (The 1978 Jeopardy episode is in five parts and is not in the best shape, but as mentioned, it's the only one I could find online. Look for commercials and the tail end of a New York newscast on the 1987 Wheel episode!) 

Saturday, July 30, 2022

They Have the Power

Got a quick start this morning with an early breakfast. Today was my 8 AM day. At least the rain had long vanished by 7:30. Indeed, the sun was out, the sky was blue, and while it was still humid, it at least wasn't as hot. 

My 8 1/2 hour day could have been worse. It was off-and-on busy, but not that horrible. It's the end of the month and a gorgeous day to boot. Most people who weren't on vacation were holding barbecues or family reunions. I did panic and get frustrated with a few customers, but no one ended up angry with me. I just wish I didn't get so upset and cause so much trouble, but I'm really not good at dealing with people and their demands. I never know what to say to their questions, and I always end up stammering and stuttering and looking like a fool. 

I actually got my schedule yesterday online, but I confirmed it today. Mostly afternoon work this week, except next Saturday, which is early again. Two days off in a row, Wednesday and Thursday, and more hours than I have been getting...but also another 8 1/2 hour day on Friday. Not only is next week the beginning of the month, but employees are starting to go on their own vacations. 

Wanted to pick up snacks and make use of some online coupons after work. Got one bag of peanut butter cookies for free and a bag of oatmeal raisin for $2.49. With an online coupon and a big sale, a container of Acme generic mint cookie crumble ice cream came to $2.58. Clementines were $2.50 with an online coupon. Grabbed two yogurts, a Pepsi Zero Sugar, a bag of nuts, deodorant, and blueberries, along with making use of a $20 off coupon leftover from the Acme's just ended "Flavor Adventure" online game.

After I got home, I changed, grabbed leftovers for dinner, and put on Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. It's "Nighttime In the Neighborhood" when Daniel dons his pjs to attend a night party at the library. He loves getting to hear all the sounds of the evening with his parents and Margaret, and then playing games and listening to stories in their pajamas with his friends. 

Switched to Tubi for another nighttime tale from The New Scooby Doo Mysteries. Scooby becomes "Sherlock Doo" when he, Shaggy, Scrappy, Daphne, and Fred visit Baker Street in London to join a detective's contest. The winner gets the Blue Carbunkle, one of Holmes' unsolved cases. Shaggy and Scooby are more concerned about the Ghost of Sherlock Holmes that seems to be following them everywhere and leading them to clues.

Moved online after an early shower for Oliver Twist. I go further into this 1974 adaptation of the famous Dickens novel by TV animated action specialists Filmation at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. 

Finished the night at YouTube, exploring Filmation's earlier shows. Having had major success with a series of cartoons revolving around Archie Andrews and his buddies, they got a touch more supernatural with another Riverside High student, Sabrina the Teenage Witch. In the first cartoons I checked out from 1971, she's joined by another group of Archie comics characters, the Groovy Ghoulies. She wants to join the Riverside "Cake Bake," but her witch aunts insist on making their own "light as air" desserts. Archie, Jughead, and Reggie are sure they'll lose the "Hot Rod Derby," until they hit on making Sabrina their mascot. Sabrina's stuck with a werewolf and the rival team, but she helps the Riverdale boys win anyway.

Earlier episodes put Sabrina front and center. It's "Tragic Magic" when the kids earn enough money for their coach's salary by putting on a magic show. Sabrina wants to help Jughead have the best magic act ever, but sunspots in front of her vision keep making a hash of her tricks. Reggie's idea of having "A Nose for News" is to take incriminating photos of his fellow Riverdale students, then force him to do his homework to keep the story out of the school paper. Sabrina finds a way to turn the tables. 

Friday, July 29, 2022

Dolls on Main Street

Started off my morning with breakfast and The New Scooby Doo Mysteries. This is the mid-80's version of the show with Daphne, Shaggy, and the two dogs. By 1984, the gang was back to solving mysteries, though not always men in masks. We meet two of Scooby's cousins in this one, starting with "The Dooby Dooby Do Ado." Dooby Dooby Doo is playing Vegas when he's attacked by a chorus girl who is after the jeweled collar he wears. His cousins, Daphne, and Shaggy have to figure out who wants that collar and why, and who the reporter hanging around Dooby is. "Showboat Scooby" ends up helping another cousin, Dixie Doo, when her river boat is haunted by the ghost of a Southern general whose beloved thought he stole her necklace and ended their wedding.

Headed out when the show ended. First stop was the mailbox on the White Horse Pike to send off my nephew Skylar's birthday card and money. His 18th birthday is on Sunday. Since I was there, I called Uber and had them pick me up next-door to the closed bank. I was at Marlton within a half-hour. 

Yes, I did make it to the Cottage Resale Shoppe this time, after the older man who owned the store pointed me towards the side door entrance. The three rooms were jammed full of all kinds of older American Girl merchandise, and even some off-brand and generic 18 inch doll outfits. Dolls greeted me from the top shelves, while tables held the larger playsets. One set of shelves was devoted to pets; another to the mini-dolls and accessories. 

He didn't have as much in the way of historical clothes as I hoped, but I did make some good finds. Molly's Tennis Outfit was one of the five outdoor-themed "limited edition" outfits released for the Historicals in 1997. It's missing the racket, ball, sneakers, and socks...but it was also only $20, a steal when I've seen it go for anything from $40 to $60 complete on eBay. Found Julie's Calico Dress for Ariel. It was $45 with the boots, bandanna, and tights, but that one usually goes for upwards to $70 complete on eBay. 

Two 50's-style outfits, a red and white flower-print dress with an attached cardigan and a black-and-white houndstooth coat with a velvet collar, were $10 and $6 each. They'll be perfect for Whitney, who has no coat of her own. The older man even threw in a vintage 1994 American Girl Magazine for free, since I came such a long way.

Last week, when I strolled on Main Street, I noticed a deli at the modern apartment building a couple of blocks from Cottage Resale. Went across the street to try it out. They were a small industrial room with sleek modern coolers and displays and heavy wooden block tables under thick black pipes. I had a can of Fresca and an overstuffed turkey BLT that was so big, I couldn't even finish it.  

I saw a Barnes and Noble while the Uber drove down Highway 70 earlier. It was close enough to walk...but not only did I not want to cross the busy highway, but I didn't like the look of the clouds. They were getting heavier by the minute. I just called an Uber again. He took a while to arrive, but got me there in five minutes.

Though not two stories like the stores in Philadelphia and Springfield, it was still big enough for a music and video area and a kids' area large enough to house the bathrooms. I wandered around for almost two hours, just exploring. Found the next story in that Key West food critic mystery series I picked up last fall, Death On the Menu, the 2nd and final season of F-Troop, and Homicidal Jungle Cat, one of two Calvin and Hobbes comics collections I didn't have. 

I got a coupon for a dollar off a Frappuccino at the Starbucks Cafe area, so I figured I'd use it. Bought a vanilla bean Grande and a brownie. Enjoyed the brownie at a small table near the back of the area. Tried to slurp the drink while waiting for my Uber ride, but paper straws weren't meant for frozen drinks. I ended up practically eating it once it got low enough.

It took almost 20 minutes for the Uber driver to arrive at the height of rush hour. Fortunately, the traffic could have been a lot worse. I climbed out of the car just in time. Not more than a half-hour after I made it in the door, it started raining hard. It's been showering off-and-on ever since.

Worked on writing for a little while after I got in. Richard absently asks Brett if her hair's fastened on tightly. Seems the wind in the area is very strong. He says he's working on a way to keep it from coming off...which, of course, leads to Brett joking that Charles could certainly use that for his hair...

Broke for dinner at 7. Watched the last episode of Match Game PM Buzzr will run for a while as I ate. A handsome young college student turned many heads on this episode, especially when he called on everyone in the Audience Match. Crusty Mary Wickes and deadpan Gary Crosby looked on as Charles gets a rare chance to figure out "Amateur __" in the Head-to-Head. 

Finished the night with Star of India at Kanopy. Pierre St. Laurent (Cornel Wilde) returns from his service to learn his lands and mansion were confiscated and sold off by Narbonne (Herbert Lom), the governor of the province, without his knowledge. The current owner, the Dutch widow Katrina (Jean Wallace), tells him she'll return his lands if he helps her find the fabled sapphire the Star of India. He goes to Narbonne's castle and flirts with his mistress (Yvonne Sansom), who tells him the jewel is in his sword. Now he has to figure out how to get the jewel from Norbonne and get him and Katrina out to sea, before Norbonne figures out what's going on.

Preposterous swashbuckler has its moments of fun, especially during some delightful duels near the middle and end of the film. Wilde and Wallace make a decent couple, but Lom walks off with the film as the despicable nobleman. Not the best action movie ever, but worth a look if you're into costume pictures or old-fashioned action like me. 

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Blow Gabriel Blow

Actually had enough time to eat a slow breakfast and still make it to work right as scheduled. Thankfully after all the trouble yesterday and Monday, today went just fine. We were quiet almost the entire afternoon, and never more than mildly steady. I spent the entire day bagging. The head bagger preferred dealing with customers and the self-checkout lanes. It wasn't really that hot, probably in the mid-upper 80's, but it was killer humid and on-and-off cloudy. I'm still happier outside and away from people. I even got the outside trash done. 

Took the long way home again after dumping a small bag of t-shirts in the clothes donation bins between the Acme and Audubon Crossings. It wasn't any busier on Nicholson Road and the White Horse Pike than it had been at the store. Most people are probably either on vacation, avoiding the stifling humidity, or waiting until they get their money next week to do their shopping. 

Went straight upstairs when I got home. Changed and settled down with game shows on Buzzr. Super Password just started when I lay down on my gamer chair. Vermont raconteur Orson Bean and Lori Handler of Gimme a Break were the celebrities here. The astonished look on Orson's face when his partner managed to guess "Aristotle Onassis" on just the word "Greek" was hilarious. His jaw almost literally hit the floor!

Tattletales was even funnier. Mel Torme and his then-wife British actress Janette Scott and World Championship high jumper Bob Seagren and his wife Kam played long-married Gene and Helen Rayburn. In this case, older was definitely better. The two elder couples tied in the end, with both coming up with some pretty darn adorable answers. (Loved Gene's response to if Helen could ever pull the wool over his eyes with anything important.) 

I nearly passed out over Press Your Luck and didn't get to see the first round. The Whammies flew all over the place in the second, knocking the champ out of the running early-on. The one man finally picked up a trip to New York and a sailboat, along with a wad of cash and two Whammies. (He even netted $3,000 for a home viewer.)

Worked on writing for a while after that. Thanks to the Vorpal Sword, Richard does manage to defeat The Red Knight (Jack Klugman). He takes off to warn his master the Red King. The others praise him as they help him to his feet, but he's oddly more interested in the little box he has attached to his horse.

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Watched Match Game '77 while I ate. I didn't know Connie Chung's career went back to the 70's. Apparently, she was an anchor-person in New York when Betty White teased Richard Dawson about him wanting to meet her. Gene was happier teasing Mary Ann Mobley about the fake flower on her choker. The others were more interested in figuring out the tough "__ Ointment" in the Audience Match.

Buzzr went into Match Game PM by the time I finished dessert. This one is from the hilarious week with Minnie Pearl and Tom Smothers. A handsome cowboy named Buck Rogers turned a lot of the ladies' heads, including Brett Somers', with his charming accent and down-home answers. Richard Dawson, however, definitely has the best one for a question about what the baseball player brings with him on his honeymoon.

Finished the night with the 1956 version of Anything Goes. I go further into this in-name-only remake with Bing Crosby and Donald O'Connor at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Oh, and it did finally rain around 9 PM. Good thing I was long at home and online by that point. It was brief, but noisy and heavy. The wind was so fierce, the drafts coming in my window blew down a picture on the ledge and my alarm clock!

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Dolls on a Busy Day

Started off the morning with breakfast before I headed off to work. I wish I hadn't. Work was just as much of a pain as it was yesterday. I was listed as being a bagger today, but I had to go in for two cashier breaks and take customers. I wish they'd make up their minds. Am I bagger, or a cashier?

Took the long way home down Nicholson Road. It was a bright, sunny day, windy and warm, but cooler than it has been. There was a little traffic on Nicholson, but the White Horse Pike surprisingly wasn't that bad. We need more rain. The grass is brittle and dry, and the gardens are starting to droop.

Went home, changed, and went right back out on the bike. I had one more errand to run I forgot about yesterday. My first stop was at the bank. Only person was ahead of me, though there was a fair line in the drive-through. 

Tried a soda I never saw before at WaWa. Fanta usually specializes in very sweet fruit flavors, but I found a "mystery flavor" flavor in a bright blue color that's zero sugar. It was almost...coconutty? With a hint of berry. Not bad. 

When I got back in, I went straight into changing most of the dolls into bathing suits for this hot weather. Barbara Jean and Ariel wear the tropical floral and green and white shamrock suits that came with that Amazon doll clothes collection Lauren sent me for Christmas two years ago. Whitney has a purple Popsicle print suit that's also from Lauren. Jessa's purple and magenta print Island Luau suit is a modern AG outfit from the early 2000's, with a more recent Our Generation top and pale green jelly shoes. Jess's suit, Samantha's navy blue 1904 Bathing Costume, and Molly's 1944 peach suit came from eBay.

Josefina and Felicity come from time periods where swimming wasn't considered ladylike. Josefina's in her pretty beige Party Dress with the sweet flower print and fringed moccasins. Left Felicity in her Summer Gown. I really don't have much to change her into.

Had enough time to catch Press Your Luck as I put the dolls' things away. The Whammies didn't really fly until the second half. They hit the guy in the middle hard, leaving it between the other guy and the one woman. In the end, she wound up with a silver tea service, trips to Mexico and Boston, a camper, a ton of cash, and only one Whammy.

Tried to focus on writing for a while after the show ended. Jack gets Richard on the ground when Charles remembers the Vorpal Sword. He kicks it to Richard, allowing him to knock Jack down. Jack finally rides off in a huff, leaving the others to congratulate him. But he's not quite the same as before...

Broke for Match Game '77 as dinner was being prepared. Southern belle Mary Ann Mobley was very happy when a handsome young college student requested a kiss from her! Tom Poston just wanted to watch. They had less luck with "__ O" in the Audience Match.

Was called down for an enjoyable and large dinner and didn't get to Match Game PM until the second half. Dick Martin and sarcastic Conny Van Dyke joined Fannie Flagg and the regular to figure out "Stranger __" in the Audience Match. Richard had more fun with "Father and __" in the Head-to-Head.

Finished the night with an earlier Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode, Indestructible Man. Double-crossed crook Butcher Benton (Lon Chaney Jr) dies in the electric chair. He's revived by a scientist (Robert Shayne) who hopes to find a cure for cancer, but only renders him mute and indestructible instead. While Butcher looks to get revenge on the lawyer (Ross Elliot) who set him up, the detective on his trail (Max Showalter) falls for Butcher's ex-girlfriend (Marion Carr). 

A genuinely interesting story is brought down by a lot of campy details, like Showalter's constant and annoying Dragnet-style narration, and the story's habit of getting bogged down in all talk and no action. It's too bad, because Chaney's excellent as the angry criminal bent on justice, and Carr's pretty decent as the girl in between him and the law. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Making Changes

Started off the morning with breakfast and more She-Ra. Glitter rescues Bow from the Horde, but all she does is brag about it. She and She-Ra wind up with a lot more than "Small Problems" when the potion a Horde scientist researched for Catra turns out to be a shrinking formula. Tiny Glimmer, She-Ra, and Swift Wing dodge small animals who no longer seem so cute as they make their way back to find a potion that'll reverse the process.

Went online after I finished eating. Made a list of not only all the jobs I was interested in, but all the reasons I wanted out of the Acme. Everyone keeps looking at me like I'm crazy for not wanting free health insurance. Is it crazy to want to be happy at work, too? I need structure and routine, something I don't get at the Acme. I'm tired of the constant personnel turnover, working 20 hours this week and 40 hours the next, having to do six thousand different things at once, and dealing with customers. I've never liked it, and it's only getting worse. I need a job that allows me to make money, have health insurance, and do something that I enjoy and can be proud of. 

Vanessa contacted me via Google Meetings. She basically wanted to know what I wanted out of a job and what my skills and interests are. It's a lot harder to answer the last two than the first. I'm not sure what my skills are, other than reading, writing, editing, and organizing things. I have so many different interests, they're all over the map, from collecting dolls to media history to game shows. She also recommended looking at mobile homes. I tried that in December and January, but there really weren't that many available, and most were in 55 and over parks. I'll try again, now that it's the summer.

She wants to assess my skills and see how well I do in a professional setting by having me work at a series of local businesses. The first will be doing typing and filing for the Collingswood Senior Center on Collings Avenue, a block from the Haddon Avenue Historic District and bordering the parking lot with the Farm Market. I forgot to explain I don't know anything about Microsoft Word or making a spreadsheet or other things you need to know in order to be a secretary. I'll try to explain it when I see her again in two weeks.

Broke for a very quick lunch while watching Classic Concentration. A young woman went up against an enormous former football player with shoulders wide enough to block her and Alex Trebek. She, however, wound up being the one who picked up all the prizes and guessed both games played. 

(Incidentally, in addition to the schedule change next month, Buzzr's going to be running a two-week Password marathon starting on the 9th. If the commercials are any indication, it'll focus on rare episodes and ones featuring either summer words and puzzles, or people named Somers - Marc Summers of the Nickelodeon Double Dare and Brett Somers of Match Game

What I'm excited about are those rare episodes. Looks like Buzzr will finally be showing Bill Cullen's stint hosting Password Plus and the Password '71 episode with Brett playing her hubby Jack Klugman. Password '71 alone is worth the whole marathon. Most of that series was wiped; only 12 episodes are known to exist today.)

Went back online for this month's counseling appointment with Mrs. Stahl. I did explain my ongoing problems at work, but we mainly discussed all the trouble I'm still having with my family. I really wish Bruce, Bill, and Uncle Ken hadn't exerted so much control over their children and especially their wives. They assumed money would fix everything, without training anyone to fill their shoes after they were gone. My mother and stepmother are still reeling from losing their husbands and having to sell their homes. Bruce's house was in the family for generations, and Rose and her family worshiped the pool and were upset when they no longer had access to it. 

My attempt to find an apartment last winter was a farce. No one wanted to do anything. Jodie and Mom said Rose should take me in, until I finally got it through Mom's head that Rose doesn't have the room. Rose was so convinced Mom should take me in and "be a real mother," she threw a fit when she couldn't afford it and still refuses to speak to either of us. I'm sick to death of their mollycoddling...and the mollycoddling from the dads, too. If Bruce was still alive, he would have just co-signed on another apartment for me. The last thing I need right now is for members of the family to keep doing things for me I should be able to figure out myself. 

After I got off with Mrs. Stahl, I went online to ask for my counseling days off next month, then headed out. Wanted to run some quick errands. Stopped at Target to take advantage of a buy one, get one 25% off sale to pick up date bars and try strawberry-mango fruit leather. 

Cuthbert was surprisingly quiet for rush hour. The White Horse Pike was slightly busier, but it still didn't take me long to arrive at WaWa. Got money for my nephew Skylar's birthday on Sunday from the ATM machines and a Oreo mint cookies and cream smoothie and pretzel for a snack.

At least it was a better day for riding around. While it remained cloudy and a bit humid, it was also a lot cooler than yesterday, back into a far more normal mid-80's. Thankfully, it didn't rain until the early morning, and not for long or as heavily as last night.

Got home in time for writing. Jimmie (Walker) the Dodo explains the "Rules of Battle," which seem to mainly consist of getting back up after falling. Richard does manage to beat Jack, barely, but though they part amicably, Jack vows to return and beat him again. 

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Ate leftovers while watching Match Game '77. Sadly, Buzzr skipped the first episode that featured sweet and nervous Bertha, a dear older woman who not only won a lot of money, but captured everyone's hearts as well. She was just as adorable her second time around as the panelists helped her with "Lou __" on the Audience Match. 

Went into dessert as Match Game PM ran. Sarah Kennedy of Laugh-In was on fire tonight, getting most of her answers right for the sweetest Marines pilot in California. Hans Conried looked on as Gene tried to play matchmaker with a stewardess and the Marine and Richard helped with "__ Boiled" in the Audience Match.

Finished the night on YouTube with Anything Goes. I dig further into the 1936 version of one of the two most popular Cole Porter stage shows featuring Bing Crosby and original cast member Ethel Merman at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. 

Monday, July 25, 2022

They Love Paris

Started off the day with a more languorous breakfast than I have had and Doc McStuffins. Dress Up Daisy is "The Lady In the Lake" when she puts on a water skiing show for Doc and her crew. She doesn't think the life vest Doc hands her is fashionable, until she ends up falling in the lake and has to be rescued. The kangaroos from the Kick 'em Kangaroos game are "Black Belt Kangaroos" when Hallie the Hippo teaches them to up their kicking game. Sydney wants to learn more advanced techniques, but he realizes he needs to figure out how to focus first when he hurts himself by attempting a move.

Did some writing after I ate. Sir Richard says he wants to fight Jack, but his speech is garbled, and his mind appears to be a bit scrambled from his fall. He does manage to get the best of Jack, but not after falling over and off his horse several times.

Broke for a very quick lunch. I tried to get another cartoon, but Disney Plus is acting up on my TV. I'd start an episode, but it would either cut out during the credits, or very early in the show. It took me so long, I ran out of time for anything but changing, eating, and getting things together for work. Though it was cooler today, into the lower 90's, and there was a really nice cool wind, I didn't like the look of the dark clouds overhead at all. Ended up getting more rides to work. Thankfully, both rides arrived in less than five minutes both ways.

Work was a pure pain in the rear. Normally, I'd rather be bagging, but I kept having to do 600 things at once. I'd try to push carts, only to be calling because there was a spill. And then, I had to clean the women's bathroom because a homeless woman used it to wash her laundry and overflowed the sink. I wasn't happy about that at all, and I told the manager too loudly and got into trouble. 

Got dinner as soon as I arrived at home and changed, then went straight upstairs and into Match Game '77. David "Bosley" Doyle made his first of many appearances on the show this week. I came in just in time for the male contestant to give a rather bad answer that came with several ribald matches. They did better with "__ Papa" on the Audience Match.

Had dessert during Match Game PM. A sweet young college student had a hard time figuring out what type of animal Tom Thumb might ride in the rodeo. (For the record, I didn't match the panel, either. I said "flea.") Her handsome challenger got some really interesting answers for "__ Bunnies" in the Audience Match, including one that offended ingenue of the week Suzanne Sommers. 

Finished the night on the Kanopy library streaming site with the 1964 comedy Paris When It Sizzles. Screenwriter Richard Benson (William Holden) is supposed to have been writing a script for demanding producer Alexander Meyerheim (Noel Coward). What he's really been doing is slacking off and avoiding work. Secretary Gabrielle Simpson (Audrey Hepburn) comes with her bird and typewriter to help him work on the screenplay, only to find he hasn't really done much yet. Her radiant joy and sweet good nature finally inspires him to get started. She eventually comes up with ideas of their own, turning their "screenplay" in a spoof of every cliche ever seen in any movie of the time, from Gabrielle's vampire horror to Richard's romantic comedy caper. 
Extremely strange caper makes fun of every type of movie in general, including other films Holden and Hepburn appeared in. It's weird and hilarious if you know anything about movie cliches or writing real screenplays. Paramount didn't get it and let it sit on the shelf until Charade came out, but I think this one is equally worth seeing for fans of the stars or genre satire. 

Incidentally, I heard thunder around 4 PM and went in. It's rained off and on ever since, including heavily around 10 PM. 

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Games In the Heat

Started the morning with breakfast and Garfield In Paradise. Garfield's not happy when Jon takes him on a vacation to the ultra-cheap tropical island Paradise World. It doesn't begin well, either. Their hotel is a dump run by a salesman spouting Jack Benny jokes, but he does provide them with a nifty vintage 50's car. Their trip goes a bit better after that...until the car lands them in a village of doo-wop worshipping natives who live near a volcano that's about to go off!

Worked on writing for the rest of the morning. Yes, to Brett's shock, the new arrival is White Knight Richard Dawson. He was supposed to have died from the fall out the window of the White Castle! She's even more surprised when Richard seems addle-brained, falling off his horse and agreeing to a duel with Jack to rescue "fair maiden" Brett.

Headed out early to have lunch at work and pick up muffins for later this week on sale and mini lemon poppyseed scones. Had no trouble with Uber either way. Got a quiet gentleman in 8 minutes this afternoon; got a chatty young woman in less than five going home. It's still way too hot for riding my bike. It hit 100 here today!

Work was off-and-on steady, not too bad, especially for a Sunday. Some people were really funny. A mother and her three teen and college-age sons had the most charming British accents. I should have asked them where in England they came from. Another woman had a toddler boy with a head full of curls and the most precious smile I'd ever seen. He made me laugh so hard!

Not everyone was that pleasant. One group of women wasn't happy when I tried to explain that you can't mix soda brands. You can only mix and match the flavors within the brand. I can't help it if the soda companies don't play nice. I was tired, frustrated, and not up to dealing with them. They said I was giving them an attitude! I honestly didn't mean to upset them! I apologized so much and felt utterly terrible. They ended up not getting the soda at all. 

Stopped to pick up ice cream on the way home. I have a free online coupon for Acme's generic ice cream. Grabbed strawberry cheesecake, along with Talenti's chocolate peanut butter cup on a good sale.

Went home and listened to By the Beautiful Sea while eating dinner and having ice cream for dessert. Lotte Gibson (Shirley Booth) runs a boarding house at Coney Island with her father Carl in the early 1900's. She's in love with Shakespearean actor Dennis Emory (Wilbur Evans) and wants to lend him money, but her father (Cameron Prud'homme) bought a ride on the midway with it. Meanwhile, his ex-wife and her vaudeville star daughter "Baby" Betsy are also at the boarding house. Betsy's no baby, but her mother dresses her that way to keep her working. She's in love with waiter Mickey Powers, who thinks she actually is a child.

I've owned this CD for more than a quarter of a century. I picked it up from a now-defunct music store in North Cape May somewhere around the mid-late 90's, mainly because it was one of the only musical cast albums I could find at that point. I love Booth, but really, this is only so-so. If the extensive liner notes are any indication, they re-wrote the book several times and never did figure out what to do with Baby Betsy. She doesn't even get a song. The hit here is the lovely ballad for Evans "Alone Too Long." I also like Booth's comic lament "I'd Rather Wake Up By Myself" and the ribald cheer-up ditty "Happy Habit" for her maid.

Ended the night after a shower watching game shows on YouTube in honor of Bert Convy, who's birthday would have been yesterday. Convy, a former minor-league baseball player and singer, was probably the only host who came close to Richard Dawson in the "handsome and debonair" category. He appeared on game show panels going as far back as the mid-60's, but his hosting career goes back further than a lot of people realize. He guest-hosted episodes of To Tell the Truth for Bert Collyer in 1968 when the producers were trying to find ways for the show to skew younger. I was more interested in seeing which man was Loretta Lynn's husband Doo after having watched her biography Coal Miner's Daughter in March.

Bert was also a regular panelist on the 70's Match Game, especially in its early years. He made his regular debut on the show during the same week as Brett, Charles, and Betty. I went with an episode from later in the week where he got to show off a fairly rowdy answer.

CBS took note and signed him on to host the celebrity gossip game show Tattletales in 1974 when first choice Gene Rayburn was tied up with Match Game. CBS took advantage of Convy's suave reputation to advertise the show in an unusual way. Convy turned up in a cameo on Match Game kissing a contestant as the turntable brought them in. On The Price Is Right, Bob Barker caught him kissing model Anitra Ford right before a pricing game was to begin! (And apparently, when Tattletales was revived in 1982, The Price Is Right repeated the gag, this time with him kissing Dian.)

Barker and Rayburn both made frequent appearances on Tattletales, with their wives Dorothy Jo and Helen respectively. Bobby Van, who was hosting the charades game Showoffs in 1975, and his bubbly wife Elaine Joyce joined them for a host-themed week. Bert traded off with the other men to host the show, but he took over for the last day of the week. Elaine and Bobby just barely won over the long-married Helen and Gene.

Bert hosted the hit Super Password in the mid-late 80's. I found an episode from 1985 that ends with everyone celebrating his birthday...and it taking Bert, Tom Poston from Newhart, and soap star Leanne Huntley to blow out the candles on his cake! Bert had a habit of blurting out the answers, though thankfully he has enough sense not to do that here. 

I fondly remember watching him host Win, Lose, or Draw on USA Network in 1989. We trade word games for drawing games as two teams try to guess what a celebrity is drawing and what it relates to. Laura Hutton is among the celebrities helping out here. 

The password is...debonair! Check out these classic shows from the most suave and silly MC on television!

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Sleepy Time Gal

The day did not begin well. First of all, I slept late because I was up later than I should have been. It took me forever to find an Uber at quarter of 8 in the morning, too. All of this resulted in my being 10 minutes late for work.

Not that work was much better. We were off and on dead for most of the day. Even when it did pick up around noon, it was never more than mildly steady. I spent the entire day stuck behind a register, and I hated it. It's boring, when it's not draining from having to deal with dozens of people and their demands at once. I know I shouldn't complain, but I'm just not comfortable with it. 

It was steaming hot and humid when I got out. Uber said they'd be there in four minutes, but it was more like 8. At any rate, they did finally turn up and got me home fairly quickly, thanks to their being no traffic anywhere. 

Went straight home and upstairs after I arrived. Put on Match Game '77 while changing and having a snack. This is the episode from earlier in the week where Marcia Wallace and Gene Rayburn throw out a lot of wacky patter. This could have stemmed from Marcia being on a roll and matching half the questions.

Went down for a nap after the show ended. I had really early work today, and I was dead tired when I got off. Slept for almost two hours, trying to avoid the intense heat and get some rest. Still felt tired when I got up, but I wanted to do some writing.

Picked up with my story around quarter of 5. Jack (Klugman) the Red Knight appears riding down the road, but he's distracted by Brett and is knocked off his horse by a tree branch. He continues to insist Brett is his prisoner. She would disagree...and so would another familiar knight coming down the road...

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Watched Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood as I ate. "Daniel Follows the Rules at the Pool" when he and his mother go swimming. He learns why you shouldn't run at the pool when he slips at the base of the elephant slides. Prince Wednesday has to get Queen Sarah Saturday when their ball goes in the main pool. "Daniel's Swim Class" is lots of fun, until Prince Tuesday the lifeguard has to clear them out due to an oncoming storm. 

Finished the night on Disney Plus with The Tigger Movie. I go further into the only Pooh film to focus on his bouncy buddy at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Friday, July 22, 2022

Hot, Hot, HOT!

Got a quick start this morning with breakfast and a call to Uber. It's just too hot for bike riding, especially since I'm not as close to the grocery store as I used to be. They arrived within 13 minutes; good thing I called them a bit early.

Spent most of work either outside, putting away full carts of returns, or sweeping the floor. I became overwhelmed when I had to do at least three or four different things at once, including sweeping the store, putting away full carts of unwanted groceries, and cleaning up two messes. At least I never ended up in a register. The head bagger was more than happy to take customers until the end of my shift. We weren't that busy, anyway. Many people may have fled to the Shore or the Poconos once it got hot, or they're hiding in their pools or air conditioners.  

Got my schedule right after work. In good news, slightly more hours, two four-hour shifts in a row, and two days off, Tuesday for counseling. Since my other day off is Friday, I think I might try Marlton again and finally check out that American Girl resale store. Not looking forward to an early 8 1/2 hour shift next Saturday, though.

Did a little bit of grocery shopping next. Found peach muffins for lunch next week at work and versions of those shortbread cookies with lemon curd centers on the bakery clearance rack. Cherries are on sale with an online coupon. Since Dollar General only has packs of Strawberry-Kiwi Propel mix, I picked up Grape packs. Grabbed a gift card and a card for a friend's birthday tomorrow. 

It continued to be hot, sunny, and sticky humid even when I got out. It remained no day to be running around. Once again, the Uber driver took about 13 minutes to arrive and got me home within five, even with the beginnings of rush-hour traffic. 

Went straight upstairs and into Tattletales and a snack when I got in. This time, we had a clear winner in Ron and Kaye Masak, who got the very last question right. The Whammies mainly hit the one guy on Press Your Luck pretty hard in round one and took out the champ at the last minute. The other woman avoided Whammies and picked up a dice table, a stereo, and money. 

Worked on writing for a while after the show ended. The Cheshire Catwoman (Lee Merriweather) reappears in a tree as Brett and the guys try to figure out what to do next. She insinuates that Sir Richard Dawson the White Knight survived his fall out the window of White Castle...but he's changed, thanks to being hit in the head by the Red King's magic.

Broke to have leftovers for dinner at 6:30. Watched Match Game '77 while I ate. The contestants kept on tying each other all throughout the episode. They played two tie breaker games before someone finally won too late to do the Audience Match. Richard did better with "Vegetable __" in the opening Head-to-Head round.

Monty had even less luck with his dealers on Let's Make a Deal. Another Ann and Andy duo had money, but wound up with a nice fur jacket, luggage, and containers of the St. Ives apricot scrub my mother swore by in the mid-80's. Someone else got money on the Door 4 game, too.

Finished the night after a shower with The Love Boat on Paramount Plus. Captain Steubing is given an award as "Rhino of the Year" by a men's club that does good deeds. Considering they also spend the voyage playing pranks on passengers and generally being annoying, he's not exactly honored to accept it...and is even less-so when he learns they won't have Issac as a member because of his skin color. A couple on the verge of divorce (Kevin McCarthy and Stella Stevens) decide "One Last Time" to give love a shot. A man (Paul Kreppel) hires a sex therapist (Donna Pescow) to show his brokenhearted impotent friend (Paul Sand) that he's still virile, but she wonders if she's doing it "For Love or Money" when she falls for him. 

Thursday, July 21, 2022

The Heat Is On

Began a steamy hot morning with a quick breakfast. It was too hot for bike riding, and will be all weekend. I called Uber. They didn't arrive until nearly 15 minutes after I called them, but took less than five minutes to get me there. I was only a minute or two late getting in. 

Spent most of the day sweeping and gathering carts. The head bagger ended up cashiering most of the day. I don't care how hot it is. I'd rather deal with searing heat and humidity than customers. It was sunny and breezy for most of the afternoon, until clouds started rolling in around 1:30-2. By that point, they pulled me to take the head bagger's place for some reason. They must have thought I was too hot. I got stuck in a register for an hour, but at least it went by fast. My relief was just barely on time.

Thankfully, considering how hard it was to find a ride this morning, my ride home arrived within two minutes. Good thing, too. Those heavy clouds I saw earlier were now on top of us. It rained briefly as I went outside to catch my ride, but nothing really heavy.

Went straight into Tattletales and a snack when I got home. We had a rare three-way tie on this episode. Ron and Kaye Masak are still married to this day, Bobby Troupe and Julie London were married until his death in 1999, and Elaine Joyce and Bobby Van were married until he died of a brain tumor in 1981. All three couples knew each other so well, they all won. 

Press Your Luck wasn't quite that diplomatic. The guy was the only one who got hit by Whammies in the first round. The champ walked out of the second round with money by the skin of her teeth after he Whammied and couldn't make enough back.

Worked on writing for a while after the show. Everyone wonders if their encounter with the Lion and the Unicorn was a dream, until they see Brett holding the tray for the plum cake. Brett's wondering what they're going to do next. Sir Dawson was supposed to lead them through the last square, but he's gone...and then, they hear a fanfare, and horses....

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Watched Match Game '77 while I ate. Comedian David Landsberg and lovely Lee Merriweather toss out interesting answers to what kind of exercise a husband who drinks so much gets. The others help with "__ Armstrong" in the Audience Match, while Gene wonders how irresistible he is and Richard has to figure out "Dollar __" in the Head-to-Head.

Had dessert during Let's Make a Deal. Thankfully, most of the folks were pretty good about avoiding Zonks today. Raggedy Ann and Andy did the smart thing and chose money over going further guessing prices for a car. A cute college student dressed as Minnie Pearl initially won a clock and a stereo, but was happy to trade it in for money to further her education. Ann and Andy got the Big Deal of the Day - gorgeous bedroom furniture. 

Finished off the night with Song of the Islands. I go further into this tropical-set vehicle for Betty Grable and Victor Mature at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

How to Avoid the Heat

To my shock, it was past 12:30 when I looked at the clock next to my bed this morning. I don't normally sleep that late! I guess I really have been that tired lately. 

It was past 1:30 when I finally got moving with brunch and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Goofy returns to the Clubhouse wearing what he thinks is a hat with a pom pom. It's really a nest with an egg in it. He and Mickey have to return "Goofy's Bird" to its mother in the woods.

Spent the next few hours messing around online and doing research. I'm thinking of going further afield next month. Not to Virginia, but I haven't been to Atlantic City since 2016. I used to make the train trip once a summer, but for the last six or so years, either I've been busy at work, or too broke for trips. And in 2020, not only was the pandemic at its worst, but I had a broken elbow and I moved. 

The other trip I'm considering is up the river. A few people have mentioned taking the Transit River Line train up to see various small towns on the Delaware River. Sounds like it might be fun. I'll have to check schedules and see how long the ride will take.

Broke for a very late lunch at 4. Watched Press Your Luck while I ate. Later talk show host Jenny Jones appeared in her second and final day on the show. She did well until the second half, when everyone got slammed with Whammies. In the end, the other woman managed to pick up over 24,000, with two vacations among her prizes.

Did some writing after that. Dick the Lion and Dolly the Unicorn are about to start fighting again when ear-splitting drums start playing out of nowhere. They're so loud, they send Brett, Charles, Orson (Bean) the March Hare, and Jimmie (Walker) the Dodo over a brook and into the next square. 

Watched episodes of Let's Make a Deal between a late dinner and cleaning up from it. The second one was especially fun, as a gentleman in a business suit won a vacation to Hawaii and a lady in a flesh-colored body stocking and flower crown who was supposed to be Eve first picked up a grandfather clock and a stereo, then got designer workout clothes and gym equipment. The big winner was a couple wearing leaves and plastic bags, who traded in money and got a beautiful fur coat that looked terrific on the lady as the Big Deal of the Day.

Finished the night online after a shower with vintage sitcom episodes featuring wacky Bill Daily. Howard (Daily), Bob Harley's (Bob Newhart) neighbor on The Bob Newhart Show, is nervous about his younger sister visiting. He acts like she's a baby, but she's really a swinging 22. He's ready to say "Not With My Sister, You Don't" when she wants to go out with dentist Jerry (Peter Bonerz). 

In I Dream of Jeannie, Jeannie (Barbara Eden) is fed up with her master Tony (Larry Hagman) paying more attention to college football games than to her. She conjures up a handsome man she calls "Tony Millionaire" to make him jealous. It works, to the point where he even calls his buddy Roger (Daily) from Alaska to find out when her birthday is. Tony wonders "How Do You Beat Superman?," until he catches Jeannie's little ruse. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemon Bars

Started off the morning with breakfast and Scooby Doo and Scrappy Doo on Tubi. You can't get much more late 70's than "The Neon Phantom of the Roller Disco." Mystery Inc is visiting LA when an electricity-sucking being cuts off power at the Hollywood Bowl. The trail leads the kids to a roller disco that wants to expand, but now can't, due to the loss of power at their main venue. While Velma, Fred, and Daphne try to figure out what the tar footprints and electrical equipment around means, Shaggy and the dogs dodge the glowing light being. 

Went straight into Match Game '75 after Scooby ended. In the first episode, the contestant was so excited, her jumping around put a crack in the floor! Richard was more nervous about helping her with "Mouse __" in the Head-to-Head.

In the second, Fannie Flagg tried flirting with a handsome contestant, only to discover he really wasn't interested. Brett kept trying even after he said "no," though, and she and Charles made jokes even when they matched the guy. The others tried to help him figure out "Banjo __" in the Audience Match.

Called Mom while the show was on. She sent me a text saying she got my package and was delighted with the card and with having Downton Abbey back. She seems to have mixed feelings on moving back down to Virginia with my brother. They're going to have four people (one a newborn) and two large dogs in a small apartment, and even with my brother's job building boats for the Navy, they still don't have the money for a house. I don't think she's happy with having to drive down there, either. She doesn't handle traffic well.

On the other hand, I think it'll be good for her. She gets along well with Keefe and his wife Julia, and she won't be alone anymore. Plus, as I've mentioned, a lot of her family still lives down there. I did decide I'd be better off not going to his baby shower. It doesn't sound like my sisters are going, either. It's just too much to handle at this time of year. I haven't booked a hotel room in 20 years. It's a lot easier to organize train trips when you're just staying at your best friend's house. 

And no, Rose still hasn't spoken to Mom or me. I've had it up to here with her immature and silly behavior. She's not only hurting herself by cutting us off, she's hurting her family as well. It's not fair that we can't see Finley and Khai - not to them, not to us, and not to Rose, either. She's got to learn that she can't always have control over everything and everybody. Cutting yourself off from people who could help you makes things worse, not better. She's bossed me around practically since she was born. I've had enough of it, thank you. I'm going to do things my way and live my life the way I want to, and if she doesn't like that, I don't care anymore. I still love her as a sister, but I don't love the way she's treating her family.

Soon as I got off with Mom, I called Uber for a ride to Marlton. I wanted to check out that American Girl resale shop on their Main Street. Surprisingly, considering it was past 1 on a killer hot day, I got a driver in under two minutes. The man had to dodge quite a bit of traffic on the Expressway, going past rows upon rows of franchise hotels, chain restaurants, car dealerships, and medical offices.

The Cottage Resale Shoppe turned out to be on Marlton's Main Street, a charming thoroughfare that made a delightfully lovely contrast to the endless big box shopping centers surrounding it. I went up to the entrance...but it wouldn't open. Turns out the shop is only open on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

Oh well. There were lots of other things to see on Main Street. I strolled past beautiful old homes and offices. Some dated as far back as the 1830's, according to the plaques on the sidewalks in front of them. Admired a sweet little white gazebo in a sliver of a park that seemed to be sized just for me. Even did a little tap dance in it, like my sisters and I used to do in Cape May's larger Rotary Gazebo.

Crossed the street to have lunch at Sal's Pizzaworks, a hole-in-wall nestled in a tiny shopping center between older homes. Not only were their thin, crispy slices tasty, they were cheap, too. Two slices of cheese and mushroom pizza and a 12-ounce Ginger Lemon Diet Coke from their Coke Freestyle machine cost me $4.27. Two younger friend pairs were enjoying sandwiches when I came in. I left just as a mother and her children came to order pizza.

Made my way down to the very end of Main Street. I saw what looked like a thrift shop from the Uber car as it headed down the road. Among Other Things was an antique/vintage store not far removed from a slightly smaller Barrington Antique Center, settled in what I suspect was a former garage. One room held nothing but holiday decorations from the 30's through the 90's. Another was nothing but genuine vintage clothing. I even saw a real ruffly 50's prom gown and two big net crinolines, the type that Mom and Linda Young said were itchy when they were kids. 

I made my best find in a room that was wall-to-wall vintage toys, children's furniture, and boxes of kids' books. Mom picked up Alpha Bakery as a promo from Gold Medal Flour in the late 90's. It's a simple baking book for children with recipes corresponding to each letter of the alphabet, from Apple Crisp to Zebra (chocolate and vanilla striped) Cookies. Mom complained it was too simple, and the "Delicious Drumsticks" baked chicken recipe couldn't hold a candle to Merlin's. I do remember some of the recipes coming out well, especially the Chocolate Chip and Honey Bee Cookies. 

Other finds at Among Other Things included three homemade masks to replace the now-worn ones Mom made me over two years ago and three records from the same room as Alpha Bakery

Andre Previn and David Rose & His Orchestra - Like Young

The George Shearing Quintet - The Best of George Shearing

The Golden Treasury of Fairy Tales

The sweet older lady who ran the store (and her tiny fluffy dog) said she always had 20 % off all items sales. Between that and everything I picked being a dollar each, I spent $5.97 on the whole lot. 

Among Other Things was the last building before Main Street turned onto Highway 73. Checking Google Maps there revealed that, not only was The Promenade at Sagemore, the largest shopping center in the area, within walking distance, but there were other stores in between. I thought I'd give it a go. 

Huddled next to Starbucks across the street from Among Other Things was Carlo's Bakery. It was a gleaming white and chrome storefront with beautiful little cakes and massive cupcakes and cookies. I opted to try something I never heard of before. A "lobster tail" turned out to be a crispy pulled pastry filled with vanilla custard. It wasn't bad, if a little too crispy and sweet for someone who generally prefers her baked goods on the chewy side.

Was in and out of Chico's at the next shopping center before discovering they had a Trader Joe's. Picked up more of that salt-free peanut butter, along with spicy candied ginger and cranberry-oatmeal-white chocolate cookies. The lady at the counter was extremely pleasant and seemed to enjoy hearing about my walk.

The next leg of my journey took a bit longer. At least I didn't have to cross the busy highway! By this point, it was past 3:30. Rush hour traffic sped by me as I hiked past TGIFriday's, a local gas station, and an empty elementary school playing field. Walgreens was perched on the edge of series of Virtua Health buildings. I went in quickly for a cold Propel Water.

Turns out Promenade at Sagemore was right across from Virtua. The sprawling brick and glass complex featured mostly high-end shops you'd normally see at an indoor mall. I checked out Ann Taylor and the Loft; was surprised to note that their Talbots was far larger and had a more extensive selection of plus sizes than most of their stores They were still all beyond my budget, though, and I walked out with nothing. 

The very modern, steel and glass L.L Bean was situated at the end of the mall. This store was even bigger, with a huge selection of everything from camping and outdoor gear to luggage to clothes. Their clothes turned out to be too expensive as well, but I had more luck with the luggage and camping gear. Bought a small travel supplies holder for my suitcase, tiny LCD lights to tie on the zipper pulls of my new purse, and a glow stick for working in the dark. 

I didn't get out until past 5. With rush hour in full swing, it took me 20 minutes to get a ride home. No trouble after that, though. We didn't really hit any terrible traffic, and the driver got me back in less than a half-hour. 

Went straight upstairs and into dinner and Match Game '77 when I got home. While the others celebrated Thanksgiving Eve, Orson Bean discusses his role as Bilbo Baggins in the original animated version of The Hobbit. (Which I really need to review one of these days.) 

Finished the night online with Honolulu at Amazon Prime. I go further into this tropical Prince and the Pauper for Robert Young and Eleanor Powell at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. 

Monday, July 18, 2022

One Hot Summer

Kicked off a late morning with breakfast and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Mickey encourages his favorite dog to do "Pluto's Best" when he goes up against big Spike in the Doggy Games. Each dog is tied by the fifth game, but when Pluto shows good sports-dog-ship by helping Spike out, Spike decides that he and Pluto are each special in their own ways.

Switched to Match Game '75 next. William Shatner and Broadway star Julie Harris joined in to figure out "Rick __" in the Audience Match and what goose item a woman's husband stuffs pillows with in the first episode. Fannie jokes that a Broadway producer called her and said she wouldn't be in his plays, while Richard seemingly disapproves of a young missionary who talks about "family values." 

In the next episode, Fannie sports one of her famous t-shirts, this with daisies over certain parts of the anatomy, while Brett jokes about Gene's dapper pin-striped suit being their "wedding suit." William's excited when the contestant chooses him for the Audience Match, but then doesn't give the best response to "__ Nails." There's also the jokes about his answer about what Judy needed to go near a water bed.

Headed out after the second episode ended. First stop of the day was the Oaklyn post office. I wanted to send Mom's copy of the Downton Abbey complete series set back to her. It's on at least three streaming services for free, including Roku and Amazon. The gentleman behind the counter was a little grouchier than the nice lady who was there before, but I was still in and out in less than five minutes.

Since it's a block away, I went to Dollar General next. Looked at a few things, but I ended up just buying a sugar-free Powerade. There was a long line, but one opened when I was there.

Went for a walk after I left. The entrance to the back paths at Newton Lake Park are two blocks from the post office. Went to my left, strolled over two narrow lengths of wooden planks, and found myself at a charming wide, well-mowed field. It made me wish I brought food and a blanket for a picnic. I admired the plants along the edges. Saw a lovely brown and red butterfly with a white spot flutter around tall magenta flowers...but I think I also saw the spotted lanternfly, an invasive bug they're trying to get rid of here. I think I saw thorny raspberry or blackberry vines, too. 

Made my way to the other end and continued down the path. While it was hot and sticky, in the lower 90's, the woods were nice and cool. Everything was so blissfully calm and quiet. Gnats fluttered around the lake, practically begging fish and frogs to eat them, and delicate white moths waggled by my nose. I did see a few people out for a walk and at least one fisherman, but I was mostly on my own.

Put on One Crazy Summer when I got home and had lunch. Hoops McCann (John Cusak) wants to get an art school scholarship, but he's required to write a comic about love. Hoping to get more experience and fall in love for the first time, he joins his best friend George (Joel Murray) on a trip to Natucket. He rescues Cassandra (Demi Moore) from bikers on their way to the island and falls hard for her. 

Her grandfather's home is targeted by nasty rich seafood chain owner Aguilla Beckerstead (Mark Metcalf), who wants to tear it down and build his own condos. Hoops fibs to her about being a good basketball player, which comes back to haunt him after he goes on a date with the girlfriend of Beckerstead's spoiled and lazy son Ted (Matt Mulhern). Even after he and his friends do help Cassandra get the money, Beckerstead buys the property outright. Desperate, Hoops and his friends join the Nantucket Regatta to trade the trophy for the house, and learn a lot about teamwork, loyalty, and chasing your dreams in the process.

Wacky variation on the "slobs vs snobs" comedy of the 80's might be a little too weird for some people, thanks to some really goofy sight gags and over-the-top performances from Metcalf, Joe Flaherty as the military-obsessed father of Hoops' gentle friend Ack Ack (Curtis Armstrong), and Tom Villand and Bobcat Goldthwait as extremely unalike twins. Still a lot of fun if you can run with the satirical vibe and overlook some of the more juvenile gags.

Worked on writing for a while after the movie ended. Brett's amused when Dolly calls her "fabulous monster" and didn't realize she existed. She and the lazier Dick say only the best plum cake will do for such an unusual arrival! 

Dark clouds started gathering shortly after I arrived home. They finally burst while I was writing. It rained loudly and briefly around 5. I believe it rained again later in the evening, although it didn't make nearly as much noise. 

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Ate while watching Match Game '77. Connie Stevens makes her first appearance on the show in an episode Gene spends chasing a fly. Richard Dawson would rather make jokes about the Vincent Price version of The Fly

Let's Make a Deal made a grand return to Buzzr as Monty Hall navigated his way through towering men in pink tutus and ladies dressed as tourists and black cats. Indeed, this was the very first episode of the 1984-1986 run. I don't know why people kept turning down cars. Contestants turned away at least four, including a Big Deal of the day.

(Oh, and Buzzr's next "marathon" has a lot of people up in arms. They're completely revamping their schedule starting August 1st and will be airing shows in blocks. My biggest complaint is they're pushing Family Feud back to late nights again and have dropped Match Game PM, Sale of the Century, and Press Your Luck. Much as I love Match Game 70's, most of the daytime episodes are on YouTube. Them dropping its third hour isn't that big of a deal. Likewise, I don't mind seeing Supermarket Sweep moved to late-nights for the same reason. There's plenty of it online, including its own 24 hour channel. 

I suspect this may be more of a summer stunt than a true schedule shake-up. I'm wondering if they have something big planned for the fall, especially since Buzzr has indicated that Sale, Concentration, and Luck will likely return.)

Finished the night online after a shower with the NBC Mystery Movie series McCloud. Lauren and I never finished watching "Manhattan Manhunt" when she was here; the entire series is currently on Tubi. British director Ted Callender (Richard Dawson) has had his life threatened by someone who doesn't appreciate his arty shows. Former Texas sheriff-turned-New York cop McCloud (Dennis Weaver) tries to figure out who wants him dead, then solve a mystery surrounding a pharmacy theft.

It's obvious these were two episodes strung together; Dawson's character vanishes towards the end with only a line or two of explanation. I'd really love to find the original hour-long episodes. It's still fun if you love the show or the character, but it could have been woven together better 

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Deals Through the Years

Started off the morning with breakfast and a hot, sunny day. I did manage to get to work just in time, which is about the only exciting thing that happened all morning. We're in the middle of a traditionally slow month and are well between major holidays. We were off and on steady all morning, and never more than slightly busy, even during the morning rush hour. The teen girl who came in for me was even on time. 

Went straight home after work. Changed, had a snack, then worked on writing and editing Blank in Wonderland for a while. Dolly (Reed Martin) the unicorn in particular finds Brett fascinating. She thought humans were "fabulous monsters." Brett admits she thought the same about unicorns. Dolly tells her she'll believe in Brett, if Brett will believe in her. 

Headed out for a birthday party and dinner around 5. Came back up much later after a shower. Finished the night on YouTube, running episodes of Let's Make a Deal. Monty Hall finally got the show on NBC in a subdued pilot in 1963. No costumes, but everything else - the wacky animal Zonks, the quirky pricing games - were there from the start. The costumes apparently came in a few years later, as more people fought for Hall's attention.

Very little of the game changed over the years, other than the addition of people in wacky costumes. Monty wanted it to run in prime time as well as in the day. NBC said no, so he moved the show to ABC in 1968 when they were more willing to syndicate it. The ABC version ended in 1976; the original syndicated show ran from 1971 through 1977. 

Deal would turn up in syndication at least three more times. Monty moved it to his native Canada in 1980, but the company that made it went bankrupt within a year. He did a little better back in the US with another syndicated version that ran from 1984 to 1986. This is the version I'm most familiar with, and the one most likely to turn up today, including on Buzzr. 

Hall retired after The All-New Let's Make a Deal ended. Deal was revived again in syndication in 1990, filmed at what was then the Disney-MGM Studios. Bob Hilton was the original host; when he proved to be a little too dull, Hall was brought back. Two more short-lived revivals, in 1996 (as Big Deal) and 2003, only ran for three episodes each and are so rare, I can't seem to find them anywhere. 

Deal finally hit the jackpot on CBS in 2009 in an expanded hour format with comedian Wayne Brady hosting. It was such a hit (and paired so well with the other big CBS daytime game show The Price Is Right), it still runs on CBS in the mornings before Price to this day. The episode I chose takes us full-circle. Brady celebrates the franchise's 50th anniversary by not only bringing back Monty and original model Carol Merrill, but letting Monty take over for a prize game...and showing that, even in his late 80's, he still had the right stuff to make women dressed as ice cream cones very happy. 

Celebrate big deals through the years with these classic episodes! (The tape for the 1980 Canadian episode is barely watchable, but it's one of only two episodes of that series to have turned up in the US.)

Saturday, July 16, 2022

Hot Harvest

Quickly had breakfast this morning before heading out to run errands. It was nearly 11:30 before I made it to the Collingswood Farm Market. Even at that hour, they were elbow-to-elbow with people looking for meat, cheese, produce, and honey for their summer barbecues and birthday parties. Though the flower sellers were already packing up, other booths overflowed with summer fruit and vegetables. I saw eggplant, yellow squash, peppers, corn, blackberries, raspberries, and nectarines for the first time this year. Bought a dozen ears of corn for a friend and nectarines and blackberries for me. 

Made my way across Collingswood past Newton Lake Park to Target next. They were also really busy with families picking up groceries and things for trips to the Shore. All I needed was date bars; found Banana Chocolate Chip Larabars on sale. Looked at notebooks, but ended up grabbing more disinfectant wipes. 

Dodged noon traffic on Cuthbert long enough to make my way down to the Royal Mile Coffee Shop, an almost literal hole-in-the-wall nestled next to an abandoned restaurant on the White Horse Pike, across from WaWa. They basically specialized in hot and canned coffee drinks. Their tea drinks were hot only, not a good idea on a humid 90-degree day. Ended up across the street and down the block at a quiet Dunkin' Donuts for a too-sweet frozen chocolate.

My last stop of the day was Dollar General. I realized after Dunkin' I forgot to pick up packing tape at Target. I want to send something to Mom before she moves at the end of the month. Grabbed a card for her, too, and a Diet Dr. Pepper for a murderously humid and hot day. 

Between the heat and the clouds building up on the horizon, I figured it was time to go home. Went upstairs and got organized while watching Match Game '77. The first episode had Richard and Gene holding a mock "funeral" for Polly Holliday's broken floppy microphone. The second one had Gene pushing their move to mornings before The Price Is Right. Bob Barker was even on the show that week, and Gene teased Roger Dobowitz, a producer and cue-card boy who also worked on Price

Spent the rest of a blissfully calm afternoon working on Blank In Wonderland and the Pinterest page accompanying it. Dick Martin is the cowardly Lion, while Dolly Reed Martin is the sweet, giggly Unicorn. Jimmie the Dodo and Orson the March Hare reunite with their friends there, having escaped the White Castle in the guise of messengers for Queen Betty. They partake of dry white and brown bread when the fighters stop for the day, as Dolly flirts with her ex and reminds him that she won for the moment.

Broke for a quick dinner at 6:30. Watched another All-Star Family Feud episode while I ate. While some episodes of Your Hit Parade, a weekly line-up of hit songs on TV and radio from the 30's through the 50's, do exist on YouTube, they're not nearly as easy to find as Leave It to Beaver. I did recognize Giselle McKenzie and Bea Wain, but the gentlemen were entirely new to me. At any rate, it was a close game, but in the end, Jerry Mathers and his group went on to the Fast Money (and did very well, too). 

Finished the night on Tubi with the 1999 TV version of Alice In Wonderland. I go further into the last "straight" retelling of the famous fantasy novel to date at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Friday, July 15, 2022

How I Spent My Summer Day Off

Started off a nice, quiet morning with breakfast and Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. Dan learns that slow and steady is the way to go when "Daniel Takes His Time" to tape up a drawing for his Grandpere and help him mix his favorite raisin bread. "Sometimes It's Good to Go Slow" when you're on a nature walk with your class. Miss Elaina rushes around so much, she misses seeing the butterfly she so much wanted to admire, plus the many other animals and plants around her. 

Switched to Match Game '75 while finishing breakfast and making my grocery list. The first episode was from the same week as the infamous "Admiral color television" PM incident. A sweet but extremely pregnant contestant has everyone a little on edge, even as Richard helps her with "Hour __" on the Head-to-Head. The second one began the week with William Shatner and Broadway star Julie Harris. Gene walks straight into the camera for an extreme (and kind of scary!) close-up, while he and Richard attempt to flirt with Julie.

Headed out to run errands after Match Game ended. I needed groceries and to get my schedule, so I could call Vanessa later. I did manage to buy most of what I needed. Had digital coupons for pads and yogurt. Grabbed salt-free almonds and found a good sale on Purex laundry detergent. Got Caress soap for half-price off the clearance racks; picked up a few bakery items with manager's coupons. 

I kept waiting around for my schedule to be ready. And waiting. And waiting. It was supposed to have been up at noon, but it still hadn't been posted by almost 2. When I finally got into line, the older man behind me started to make jokes about me and hit on me. I didn't think he was funny at all. I thought he was obnoxious and rude. I dashed out of the store as fast as I could. 

I couldn't help myself. I started crying when I got outside. I wish that damn health insurance wasn't so important! If it wasn't for the free health insurance, I would have left this job ages ago. It's nothing but a pain. People are rude, and I'm tired of schedules that have me working 40 hours one week, 20 hours the next. 

And when they finally did give me my schedule...yeah, it's still bad. Three days off in a row, from Monday through Wednesday, will be a big help to my well being. It won't be a help to my wallet, though. And when I do work, it's early. I would give anything for either a consistent schedule, or one I had more control over! 

Ducked through Oaklyn on my way home. The revamped Phillies Palace (formerly Phillies Yummies) was finally open when I was there, so I thought I'd try it. Originally wanted chocolate chip water ice, but they were out, so I went with a medium strawberry lemonade. Ooh, very cold and fruity, but also way too sweet. The medium was bigger than I thought it would be, too. I enjoyed most of it while watching two teenage girls and their beautiful husky enjoy a treat, then two boys try to decide what ice cream they wanted. (I loved how the boys, who were around 9 or 10, gave a younger boy who was about 6 a high-five.)

Called Vanessa the moment I got home. To my frustration, she assumed I'd be getting my schedule for the next two weeks. I finally made an appointment with her on the 26th. I know I have that day off, because I have counseling with Mrs. Stahl later that day. 

Rested and had a snack while Tattletales was on. Anne Meara and Jerry Stiller have become one of my favorite couples on the show. They're just so funny! They came in second to Darren McGaven and Kathie Browne. (Who knew each other so well, they were married until Kathie's death in 2003.) Press Your Luck got really wild in the second half, when the ladies kept passing turns. One of the ladies got slammed with Whammies twice in a row, which allowed the one guy to sneak in and win with trips to London and Rome.

Worked on editing my story for a while after that. Got so into it, I didn't break for dinner until 7. Watched my last weekday Match Game PM on Buzzr for a while after I ate. It started with some funny moments, including Dick Martin, Brett Somers, and Charles Nelson Reilly playing "cards" (with their blue writing cards) when they were out of a question. Richard ran into trouble when he misheard Gene's "Pall __" in the Head-to-Head as "Paul __," and answers have to be an exact match. He didn't look too happy after that...

Finished out the night after a shower with Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Summer Vacation at Hulu. Buster and Babs spend their vacation riding a raft on the river, dodging rabbit-eating southern possums and alligators while having an epic water fight. Plucky begs Hampton to join his family on their trip to major theme park Happy World Land, then seriously regrets it when it turns out they're the type of smiley-happy family who would give the Osmonds cavities. Fifi is desperate to meet her favorite skunk star, but he's an egotistical jerk who would rather use her. Shirley wishes she left Fowlmouth at home when he takes her to the movies and annoys everyone in the theater with his chatter. Elmyra terrorizes the animals at the local safari park.

My sisters and I were huge Tiny Toons fans, and we used to rent this one a lot in the early 90's, especially during our actual summer vacation. Plucky's vacation from hell is probably the funniest segment, but Fowmouth's bad behavior at the theater and Buster and Babs downriver also have their moments. If you're also a fan of the show (and understand or don't mind some of the topical jokes), this is highly recommended warm-weather viewing. 

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Out In the Sunshine

This time, I actually managed to get out a little earlier. There was traffic on both Pikes, but I still managed to make it to work without being terribly late. I wound up sweeping and pushing carts for the entire day. There was no one to do it when I came in, and when the head bagger did arrive, she wanted to handle customers. Fine by me. Not only were we not busy, but it wasn't a bad day to be outside. Hot, yes, in the lower 90's, and still very humid, but also sunny and breezy. Most people are likely either at the Shore, or hiding from the heat at home. I was in and out with no trouble whatsoever.

Went straight home and into Tattletales after I changed and settled down in my gaming chair. Comedian pair Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara and Darren McGavin of Kolchak and A Christmas Story and his wife Kathie Browne were the last-minute winners today, over Ross Martin from Wild Wild West and his wife Olavee. All of the guys had trouble with a question that asked whether his lady had an easier time making friends with older or younger people. The ladies did better when asked if their husband would fight an unfair parking ticket in court or pay for it. 

Press Your Luck got even wilder. Whammies flew, fell, and tripped all over the place today. They ultimately took the champ out early in the second round. It came down to a handsome young college student and a very enthusiastic grandmother-to-be. He hit a Whammy on his last turn, leaving her with a pile of money, a trip to Hawaii, and a big hug for Peter Tomarken! 

Broke for writing after Luck ended. Charles drags Brett to watch the Lion (Dick Martin) and the lovely Unicorn (Dolly Reed Martin) fighting for the Red King's spare crown. They're not the only ones in the crowd, either. They reunite with Jimmie (Walker) the Dodo, who is concerned for the rest of their friends. 

Had a lovely dinner outside, then came back in for Match Game '77. Fannie talks about a play she did with Polly Holiday in New York in the beginning (I wonder how that went?). Meanwhile, there's some interesting responses to a question about what an overweight ballerina wears. Richard does better figuring out "__ Sponge" in the Head-to-Head.

No less than award-winning play and screenwright Abe Burrows appeared on Match Game PM this evening. He was joined by soap star Rosemary Forsyth and Betty White along with the regulars. It was a good game, with one contestant just barely coming out in the end. Everyone had fun with their answers to "Ray __" in the Head-to-Head...including Gene, who struts something terrible when his name comes up! (Abe Burrows is less-than-amused, claiming they're playing the rest of the game under protest.)

Finished the night online with The Rose. I go further into this harrowing biopic that turned Bette Midler into a star at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Hotter Than Harts

Got up with enough time to do some writing this morning after a fast breakfast. Charles agrees to try to end the quarrel between the lion and the unicorn and get Red King Mark's crown back. Brett goes with him in the hope that they'll know how to get through the next square. 

Quickly wrapped a gift for a friend, then hurried out. While not cloudy at all, it was also hot and killer humid, in the lower 90's. And of course, I got out late and was in a hurry. I arrived there sweaty and just barely on time.

Most of the rest of the afternoon wasn't nearly that bad. It was mildly steady during the rush hours, then totally dead the rest of the day. It's the middle of the week and the middle of a month that really doesn't have much going on after the 4th of July. We're between holidays now, too. 

The only really major problem was, of course, the last customer of the day. She came through with twelve 24-packs of water and six bags of shredded cheddar, but didn't realize she couldn't buy the water with her healthy choice card. Apparently, you can at Walmart, but not at the Acme. She was nice about it, but she still left without buying anything. 

At least it didn't take as long to deal with her as the people who didn't understand how the WIC Card worked behind me! They held up that line for almost a half-hour and didn't end up buying their groceries, either. I wish the government would be better about explaining how these programs work when people sign up for them. 

Oh, and I finally heard from the lady at Abilities Solutions. She of course called me while I was riding to work. I got back to her during my break. I'll call her back on Friday after I get my schedule to let her know when we can talk. 

Went straight home. Changed and had leftovers for dinner while watching Match Game '77. Polly Holliday, best known for playing sassy waitress Flo on Alice, joins Fannie Flagg in making this a southern-fried week. Gene, of course, wouldn't let her alone until she threw out her signature line "Kiss my grits!" Meanwhile, Brett and Charles exchange jackets while Richard has to figure out "__ Onions" in the Head-to-Head.

For some reason, Buzzr skipped the next Match Game PM and ran the one where Joyce Bulifant wore a bright yellow jacket trimmed with feathers that lead to a lot of "Chicken Little" jokes. Debralee Scott was more interested in flirting with the handsome young male contestant. Later on, Richard really freaked out the contestant when he did one of his famous fake-outs while answering "__ Majors" on the Head to Head.

Finished the night online after a shower with Hart to Hart. Max learns that "Ex-Wives Can Be Murder" when his ex, whom he previously believed dead, turns up at the airport. Turns out she's being pursued by jewel thieves who want the stolen diamond necklace she and her brother took from them. They kidnapped Max to exchange him for the necklace...if only Johnathan and Jennifer knew where the lady hid it!

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Summer Winds

Slept in so late, I ended up eating breakfast while writing. Charles tells The Red King Mark and Red Knight Jack he'll deal with the Lion and the Unicorn. The Red King is more than happy to let him deal with them. He'd rather be handling his prisoners than squabbling animals. Brett's able to join Charles after ducking out from behind a tree. She has no idea unicorns even existed. Charles says it's all right. They didn't know humans existed, either. 

Broke to change and rush out to work. It was still sunny when I headed out, but also very windy and far more hotter and more humid than yesterday. It was also lunch hour. Had to dodge some traffic crossing the White Horse Pike and Nicholson Road.

I was so tired, I was a mess at work. I'd give anything for a job with more consistency. I was a cashier for most of the day...except for the hour and a half when the head bagger wanted to work with customers and not push carts. I really wish I could have stayed with the carts. We were fairly busy, not because we had a lot of people, but because our hours were heavily cut and we didn't have enough employees to deal with them. I just kept panicking when people had to put back things they didn't want or didn't understand something on their receipt and held up long lines. I really wish I could talk to these people, but I always end up stammering and stuttering. I just don't know what to say. 

I was a little worried when I got out of work. Thick black clouds moved in about an hour before I finished, and it remained killer humid and very windy. Thankfully, not only did they hold off long enough for me to get home, but it hasn't done anything yet at press time besides look dreary.

Went straight into a late dinner and the second half of Match Game PM when I got in. Came just in time to see a British contestant in a tight Match Game PM t-shirt get help from Scoey Mitchill and Susan Sullivan in figuring out "The Living __" in the Audience Match. Richard didn't have much luck with "__ Mix" in the Head-to-Head.

Finished out the night with For the Boys at Amazon Prime in honor of James Caan, who passed away last week. I go further into this vehicle for him and Bette Midler about a pair of USO headliners who bicker their way through three wars at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Monday, July 11, 2022

The Beauty of a Book

Began a beautiful morning with breakfast and the original 1985 She-Ra. The baker's son overhears Bow telling a story about "The Crown of Knowledge" and Kowl claim he knows where it is. He wants to be a lot more than just a baker and convinces Kowl to show him to the crown. His father, She-Ra, and Bow are worried when he vanishes and follows the duo to the temple where the crown is hidden. Trouble is, Hordak wants the crown for himself, too...

Made the bed while Match Game '75 was on. I can't remember the last time I did that. The fitted sheet was coming off. I don't usually have the time to make my bed, before or after work. Besides, who's going to see it? No one comes up here. 

Headed out around 12:30. There was a book store in Cherry Hill I wanted to check out, but it wasn't near a bus stop. I called Uber instead. The man was there within four minutes; got me to the Ellisburg Circle Shopping Center within five. 

The Ellisburg Circle Shopping Center is the area's oldest outdoor, non-enclosed shopping mall, dating from around the early 60's. (To tell you how old it is, there hasn't actually been a traffic circle at Ellisburg since 1992.) And unlike most shopping centers from the 60's, this one is still almost entirely full, with a nice mix of local and franchise stores. It even retains its original Wildwood-esque slanted signage. 

One of the local stores is Book World, which unlike Inkwood in Haddonfield, specializes in used and discount books. I was surprised at how big they were. Every wall was lined with books and artwork, and books filled displays in the center. I wasn't the only one there, either. A mother brought her two young sons in shortly after I arrived. After they left, I saw two other people who chatted with the owner like regulars. 

Spent over an hour going through all of those books! There were a few boxes of used books in the back, but most of them were remainders of releases from the last decade or so. I ended up with:

Two comic books for the 2015-2017 version of DC Superhero Girls, Search for Atlantis and Summer Olympus. (I previously had the first chapter of the latter, which was given out for Free Comic Book Day in 2016.) 

Two children's chapter books, the historical novel Celeste's Harlem Renaissance and the fantasy novel Serafina and the Black Cloak. 

Serafina was one of two books I fished out of the used section. The other was Parisian Charm School, on learning how to bring beauty and joy into your life the French way. 

The 1920's-set mystery Bright Young Dead

Decided I wanted to check out the rest of the mall after I left Book World. It was a gorgeous day, sunny, breezy, in the mid-80's, and dry as a bone. It was too nice to go straight home. Most of the other stores were the usual ones you find at big-box shopping centers, like Buy Buy Baby. I was surprised to see a Bath and Body Works; they usually prefer indoor malls. An elegant furniture outlet replaced a closed Stein Mart department store earlier this year. Grabbed a gift and a candy bar from Five Below. 

The largest building was taken up by one of two Whole Foods Markets in South Jersey. They're basically the same deal as Wegman's a few blocks down, a high-end grocery store specializing in healthy foods with prices to match. I looked at their bakery, but ultimately ended up taking advantage of a Lavabar sale to pick up flavors I hadn't seen elsewhere, including Pecan Pie and Coconut Cream Pie. 

(It looks like there was also a Dollar Tree in the building next to Whole Foods until very recently, from the still-visible label scars. I wonder why they shut down? Couldn't compete with Five Below, despite it being smaller?)

I considered the Mediterranean restaurant in the mall near Whole Foods, but ultimately ended up crossing the busy highway to enjoy Ponzio's. They're one of the area's fanciest diners, all chrome and fake stonework and tan vinyl booths. They're also one of the only diners in the area with a bar. They date from around the same time as the Ellisburg Circle Shopping Center and look like it, with their slightly space-age fake stonework exterior. 

Since it was 2:30 by that point, I pretty much had the place to myself.  Enjoyed a chicken BLT wrap, home-brewed iced tea, and a cannoli with blueberry filling while reading the comic books. I've only been here once before. To give you an idea of how long ago it was, Dad took me here for lunch when he bought me a new bike for an early birthday present, the one that was stolen from the Acme's bike rack in 2018.

Dashed back across the highway after lunch. I considered further exploration, but ultimately decided I was too tired. Picked up Uber at Whole Foods. They arrived within five minutes, and dodged traffic on King's Highway well enough to get me home in another five minutes.

Went straight into Tattletales when I got home. This time, Marcia Wallace and her then-boyfriend Michael Bell and Orson and Carolyn Bean split the win, over Hal "Mark Twain Tonight" Holbrook and his then-wife Carol Rossen. Whammies slammed everyone on Press Your Luck, especially in the first half. In the end, it came down to the champ and the one guy. He Whammied out on his last turn, leaving her to pick up trips to New York and Hong Kong.

Took my laundry downstairs, then tried to focus enough to work on writing for a while. Turns out, it's the Lion and the Unicorn fighting for the crown who are making all that noise. The Red King orders Charles the Messenger to stop the fight and see what they're up to. When the Red King leaves, Brett opts to tag along.

Broke for dinner at 7. Ate while watching Match Game PM. They ran episode 74 tonight, the one Buzzr ran for the first time since 1977 about a year ago. Gene's slightly insensitive joke to a Japanese-American man early-on makes me understand why it took so long to reappear. Brett's more interested in trying to look elegant with a fan, while Richard figures out "A Pound of __" in the head-to-head.

Wanted to finish out the night after a shower with more of Brett Somers in honor of what would have been her birthday today. Alas, most of her early appearances on live TV anthologies like Philco Television Playhouse and Goodyear Playhouse seem to be gone for good. The earliest appearance I could dig up for her was in a second-season episode of the 1958 crime anthology Naked City, "Vengeance Is a Wheel." She gave an impressive performance in a small role as the bitter wife of a longshoreman whose husband is caught in the middle when he's accused of killing an Italian man by the man's family. 

She naturally played Blanche, Oscar Madison's salty ex-wife on the original 70's The Odd Couple alongside her actual then-husband Jack Klugman. Her last appearance on the show was in the fourth season episode "That Was the Army, Mrs. Madison." Felix flashes back to when he and Oscar were in the Army Reserves. Blanche wanted to marry him, but he couldn't get out unless he managed to clean off his bed, and then Felix had to sneak him out.