Wednesday, August 31, 2022

The Last of Summer

Began the morning with breakfast and Charlie & Lola on the Roku Channel. I used to rent this British cartoon about an older brother and his goofy little sister from the Haddon Township Library years ago, but those DVDs are long gone. Lola insists "I Like My Hair Completely the Way It Is," even though it's too long and is getting in her eyes. Charlie thinks she's afraid of getting it cut, but it's really the brush she's afraid of.

Worked on writing for an hour or so after that. Duchess Marcia is the one who finally lets Brett in. They're holding the tea party to distract the Red King and get his scepter. When it's destroyed, that will officially be the end of his power. It's already heavily weakened from being checkmated. Now all they have to do is provide a distraction...

Broke with enough time to change and head out early. I had one more bag of records to drop behind Goodwill. While I might clear out some clothes later in the fall, that should be the last bag of donations I'll be clearing out for quite some time. Got to the Acme with enough time to have a pumpkin muffin for lunch before beginning work.

Frankly, I needn't have rushed. We were dead almost the entire day. I spent most of my shift standing around, pulling sodas and organizing shelves...when I wasn't dealing with people who had WIC cards and didn't understand how they worked or what they were supposed to buy. They sent me out to do carts for a half-hour or so, then pulled me again, despite it not being that busy. At least, the lady coming in for me got off of her break early, allowing me to finish on time.

Which turned out to be a good thing.The self-checkout closed right as I finished because we had no one to handle it.  By 7 PM, we had lines down the aisles and not enough people to deal with them. I had a free online coupon for the Acme generic ice cream and bought Cookies and Cream. I probably should have done it tomorrow. I got into the express line and had to listen to a man complain because he had to wait and there weren't enough registers open and oh, he'll never shop with us again. He should have come earlier in the day if he wanted it to be slow. Better yet, he can try working for us. 

Rushed straight home after that. Had dinner and dessert while watching Match Game '75. We start off with the panel giving some interesting answers for "The Spirit of __" in the Audience Match. Richard had less luck with "Judy __" in the Head-to-Head. Later on, a contestant wearing a glittery butterfly t-shirt jokes she got it from Fannie Flagg!

Finished the night online after a shower with I Love Lucy. Lucy's hoping to learn French from a waiter who works at an exclusive French restaurant so she can order off their menu. The waiter really wants to meet Ricky and audition for him. Ricky claims he has no use for him, until Lucy suggests he do a French-themed show. Ricky's all for the idea, but not for his wife appearing in it. As usual, Lucy finds a way to get onstage in "The French Revue."

Bluey is excited when she and her family hit "The Beach" for a day of fun on the sand. Mom decides to go for a quiet walk...just as Bluey finds a seashell she wants to show her. Bluey learns why her mother enjoys her solo strolls when she has her own adventure following her. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Dolls In the Summer Heat

Got up at 10:30 this time, but wanted to finish Donna Parker: Mystery at Arawak and didn't get moving until past 11:30. Put on the second half of Classic Concentration as I ate breakfast. Apparently, the middle-aged woman won first, but a younger man came back and picked up several prizes, including a diamond necklace and a collection of porcelain dolls neither of them really wanted. She came back to win the next round, and came so close to winning the car! She missed it by two matches.

Switched to Match Game '74 as I cleaned up from breakfast and went through my records to clear out a few more. Micheal Evens, the first Lionel in The Jeffersons, gets to briefly discuss the beginnings of that show and the switch from All in the Family to a show of their own in the opening. The others have a harder time figuring out "__ Johnson" in the Head-to-Head.

Headed out to run errands after the show ended. The day remained pretty much the same as yesterday, warm and incredibly sticky humid. Good thing I wasn't going as far this time. Hit Dollar General first. I liked the sturdy two-pronged metal hook I bought from them back in March so much, I ended up buying another one for the front door. Strolled two blocks down and across the street to CVS for hair clips and a Polar Raspberry Lime sparkling water. (Meant to grab more plastic crates from the back, but totally forgot.)

When I got home, I had lunch, then brought the laundry downstairs and vacuumed. Ran Bikini Beach while I worked and ate. I go further into the third Beach Party movie at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Dressed the dolls for late summer and back to school after putting the laundry in the dryer. Samantha wears her current pink Swiss-dotted dress with the big lace collar with white Springfield Collection socks, her red bow strap shoes from the Spring Dress, and a lacy headband with pink flower. Ariel's in the dress I found her in, a pale blue mini-dress with Swiss lace sleeves and a crocheted vest, along with Springfield collection espadrilles. Felicity also wears a later "meet" outfit, her lavender Traveling Gown with the white stripes and embroidered flowers. Ordered a nifty pink minidress made from fabric "woven" with gold threads off eBay last month for Barbara Jean. 

Put Molly in Kit's blue School Outfit with the high knitted socks and tan Oxfords. Josefina looks lovely in her orange and red print Summer Dress with the three ruffles on the skirt. Whitney is the picture of a nifty 50's girl in the Our Generation Retro "Sweet Memories" outfit with the purple and pink-checked dress, a pink knitted shrug, the slip from her eBay poodle skirt, and white t-straps. Jessa gets to mix-and-match with Springfield Collection capris, the magenta t-shirt from the original 1995 modern doll meet outfits, and the turquoise striped socks and white and turquoise sneakers from the 2004 modern "Ready for Fun" meet outfit.

Had an early dinner while watching more All Star Family Feud. We had the battle of the family shows and comedy-dramas, pitting Love Boat against Eight Is Enough and What's Happening! against Family. Family is the only show I'd never seen, though I remembered Meredith Baxter as the mom from Family Ties, and John Rubenstein was familiar to me, too. 

Turns out the Family that works together, wins together. The wacky What's Happening kids never got close to them. The little girl in Family was especially funny. Her reaction when an answer appeared on the board that she didn't think was close to right was priceless. Susan Richardson of Eight Is Enough got so thrilled when she won the Fast Money, she dropped on the floor and scooted around!

Worked on writing after I finally remembered to bring up and fold the laundry. Tom Kennedy admits that they need to grab and destroy the Red King's scepter. His magic has already faded, but they have to eliminate the scepter to get rid of him.

Finished the night online with another B movie, Battle Beyond the Stars. When the peaceful farming planet Akir is threatened by tyrannical Sador (John Saxton), who destroys planets and kills creatures to use their body parts, the citizens send young Shad (Richard Thomas) out in the delightfully sarcastic sentient ship Nell (Lynn Carlin) to gather bounty hunters who'll defend them. 

He first runs across an insane former scientist (Sam Jaffe) who wants to breed him with his sweet and lovely daughter Naneilia (Darlanne Flugel), but Shad and Nanelia manage to escape. They find a literal space cowboy from Earth (George Peppard) who gives them weapons after Sador uses his Stellar Converter to destroy his original clients, a wealthy assassin (Robert Vaughn) who wants a quiet home, a lizard-like alien named Caymen (Morgan Woodward) who has a score to settle with Sador, and Nestor (Earl Bowens and John Gavins), five aliens bound by one mind who seek adventure. Saint-Exmin (Sybil Danning) is a female Amazon-like warrior who actually finds them when she's looking for a challenge.

To say this is a motely crew would be extremely kind, and no, they don't always get along. In the end everyone, even Nell, learns the true meaning of sacrifice when they all give of themselves and give up the things they want to save the peaceful Akirans from the sadistic Sador. 

Well, if you've gotta rip off something, The Magnificent Seven is as good a movie as any. The Beach Party movies aren't the only drive-in fodder I've found this summer that wound up being surprisingly good. This makes wonderful use of its eclectic cast and a very funny script, especially from Danning as the Amazon-like warrior who wants to show what she's capable of, Carlin as the hilariously sarcastic vehicle, and Peppard as the western-loving cowboy who gets roped into the adventure despite not even being a fighter. The special effects from a young John Cameron are frequently excellent for their era as well.

Is this cheesy? Yes. Is it a Star Wars rip off? Oh yes. Does it matter? Not a bit. I got a huge kick out of this one, but your mileage may vary, depending on how cheesy and low-budget you like your sci-fi. 

Monday, August 29, 2022

Getting It Together

Slept in today. I didn't get up until around 11, and it was past noon before I had brunch. Watched Match Game '74 as I ate. Gary Burghoff started his first week replacing Charles Nelson Reilly while the latter directed a play in New York. Michael Evans, the first Lionel on The Jeffersons, marked his only appearance on the show this week as well. He gets to help out with "__ Beard" in the Audience Match as Gene questions the answer "Red" in the first episode. There are many jokes about Fannie's glittery snake and apple t-shirt in the second. 

One of the things I realized the last two times I moved is I not only have way too much stuff, but it's not as well-organized as it could be. Especially right now. I don't have room for it all. 

I've had some of my scrunchies for over a decade when Mom gave me ones she didn't want. They're way beyond stretched now. I threw away half of them and a pile of too-small clips that didn't really hold my thick hair, along with a bottle of Bath and Body Works "fragrance mist" I never touched. I've never been a fan of perfume. Either you smell good, or you don't. Perfume is too much. 

Headed out to run a few errands around quarter of 2. Rode down to the PNC Bank in Collingswood briefly first. In addition to picking up money for the rent, I wanted 20 dollars as emergency money. I learned a lesson when our system went down yesterday. One should always have at least three methods of payment on hand. Physical money gets lost; computer systems break down. 

Also, this is the second time in less than a month that one of the tellers mentioned upgrading my savings and checking accounts, now that I have real money in them. I'd like to actually do something with my money...but other than buying a house or a condo, I'm not sure what. I've never had real money before. 

Dodged traffic on Cuthbert Road next, heading down to the Haddon Township Library. At least the weather continued to be decent for riding. Hot, yes, but not abnormally so for August. It remained really humid, though. The air seemed to smother me as I pushed my bike past McDonalds and the big apartment buildings and up the steep hill to the Library.

They were as quiet as could be. I may have been the only one in there, besides the librarians. Returned the ADHD books. Settled on a mystery series I never saw before, the muffin-themed Bran New Death. They did have the newest Maisie Dobbs mystery in...but I hadn't gotten to the one before that, The Consequences of Fear. 

Made my way across the street to Target next. Had lunch at Starbucks. The lime-coconut bar and spinach-egg-pesto sandwich were so tasty the last time I had them, I ordered them again. Tried their "Paradise Drink" Refresher. Turned out to be orange-pineapple, with what I suspected were dried orange bits. Oooh, cool, creamy, sweet and tropical.

Mainly wanted to pick up pads. Grabbed the largest bag I could get away with. It was so darn humid, I picked up a bottle of water, too. Found a bin of simple crew socks in the clothes section, very 70's, a thick blend with stripes on the tops and colored heels. Picked up one pair of red with navy stripes, and a pack of brown with pale blue heels, and pale blue with brown stripes. 

Unfortunately, I made the mistake of hitting there during rush hour. The lines wound half-way down the store. I wanted to use the self-checkout lanes, but I ended up in a regular line. At least the teen cashier moved quickly and seemed pleasant. 

Despite the traffic, I managed to hurry across Cuthbert to Johnson and make it home by 4:30. When I got upstairs, I moved the pads into boxes and a plastic container. Shifted the remaining Star Wars books to one plastic milk crate, then used the second for my work clothes. 

Worked on writing for a while after that. Brett is not a cute little blonde girl. She grabs the frog footman who stuck his head out the door by his ascot and says he'd better let her and the guys in, or else. He says the only way she's going to get past the Red King and rescue the others is to get that scepter at the Tea Party the queens spoke of.

Didn't break for dinner until 7. Watched Match Game '75 while I ate. We had a really good game in this episode. A burly-but-sweet gentleman named Henry tied with Carol Bartos, thanks to Arlene Francis matching him despite the audience not approving of his answer! It literally came down to one answer in the tie-breaker questions. Brett wishes she could have equally good luck with "__ Mat" in the Head-to-Head.

Finished the night after a shower with a two-part Love Boat episode from the 6th season. The crew is delighted to be sailing on the ship Stella Solaris in Greece and Turkey. Julie meets up with a young boy she once sponsored, Gregori Papodopolous (Lorenzo Lamas). He's now a wealthy man and is in love with Julie. "Julie's Tycoon" wants to marry her, but she's not really interested and tries to figure out how to let him down easy. 

Doc thinks he's "Papa Doc" when he discovers the wealthy young woman he has a crush on (Jan Smithers) is pregnant. Turns out she's more interested in the crusading journalist (Kiel Martin) who wrote scathing news articles on her mother (Alexis Smith). Vicki plays "The Role Model" for a photographer (David Hedison), but he really wants his model ex-wife (Linda Evans) back. Everyone's shocked when "The Spoonmaker Diamond" is stolen from a Turkish museum. Inspector Akmed Sadu (Jamie Farr) of Interpol thinks it's passenger and gem expert Mark Hayward (Mike Connors), but a southern couple (Harvey Korman and Nancy Dussault) may know more than they're telling. 

Oh, and I put in for my next vacation week today. I'll be visiting Lauren in Pittsfield from September 22nd to the 28th. I can't wait. We always have a good time when we're together. I'm especially looking forward to seeing the New England Exposition, since we didn't get there last year. It's their state fair, and it's so much fun. 

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Alphabet Games

Started off the morning with breakfast and doing a few things on the computer. Listened to the soundtrack from Grease 2 while I worked. The soundtrack is as hit-or-miss as the film it comes from. I still love the opening number "Back to School Again," think the comic sex-ed number "Reproduction" is hilarious, and get a kick out of the Pink Ladies' chorus routine "Girl for All Seasons." However, many of the other numbers have awkward or stiff lyrics, the two ballads are syrupy and dull, and as gorgeous as Maxwell Caulifield is, he can't sing (and sounds awful on "Charades"). I get a kick out of it, but I like the movie, too. If you also enjoy the film, get the soundtrack, too. If you don't, this won't change your mind.

Work was on-and-off steady. It could have been worse on a Sunday...and it's good that we generally weren't that busy. For some reason, our system went down shortly after I arrived. While we could use credit and debit cards again right away after the registers rebooted, it took the food stamp card system nearly four hours to be fixed. On one hand, I only had two food-stamp orders at that time...but they were both huge orders (one amounted to over $450!), and both families had no other method of payment and had to leave their food behind.

Went straight home and into writing after all that. Tom Kennedy, the frog footman who sat outside Duchess Marcia's door in Wonderland, greets everyone here, too...and he's just as reluctant to let them in. It takes a lot of convincing from Orson, Brett, and Charles to point out Brett's newfound royalty status and get him to let them through.

Broke for dinner at 7. Match Game PM featured Bob Barker and Eva Gabor helping out with the questions. Eva made Bob very happy when she claimed he was considered a sex symbol during his run hosting Truth or Consequences in the 60's. Meanwhile, Richard tries to figure out "__ It Away" in the Head-to-Head.

Finished out the night with game shows that ran on ABC. The US Alphabet network actually began as the NBC Blue Network in the early 30's. It was reworked into ABC in 1945 and began TV broadcasting in 1948. (Indeed, Philadelphia station WFIL, now WPVI, was its first major affiliate.) They got a later start than the other two networks and for many years remained a perennial third in the ratings.

They tended to pick up game shows other stations dropped. Chance of a Lifetime started as a general trivia show on radio and during its first run in the early 50's. By 1955, it morphed into an early proto-American Idol, only here, the audience judges professional performers. Dennis James, one of the first TV game show hosts, presided here. Check out the tap dancer and his amazing moves, especially his wild splits in his second routine!

Dr. IQ started life as one of the earliest game shows on the Blue Network. It turned up on TV off and on through the 50's, ending as ABC's contribution to the big money quiz show fad. In the 1958 version, a very young Tom Kennedy reads questions to audience members, who get silver dollars for each correct answer.

The original Price Is Right with Bill Cullen moved to ABC in 1963 after NBC saw declining ratings and dropped it. Cullen's version is very different from the one still running on CBS. No pricing games, no wheels, not even a "Come on down!" Four contestants (or occasionally, as in the episode I have here, three contestants and a celebrity) bid on increasingly large items. The fun was in the prizes, which included items that would be considered luxurious even by modern standards, like a sports car, two pedigreed poodles, or a home in Florida.

Even winning a home in Florida seemed tame compared to the goofy innuendo frequently going on in Chuck Barris' shows. The Dating Game debuted in 1965 and quickly became a sensation for its seemingly-randy game play. A bachelor or bachelorette asks three men or women questions. At the end of the question-and-answer period, they choose which person they want to go on a date with. Winners get an all-expenses-paid date package at some exotic nightclub or resort. 

Many of the bachelors who showed up later became famous in their own right. John Ritter is among the guys looking to date a gorgeous blonde in the second half of this episode...and he's as lovably awkward as he would be in his later career. He even trips going to talk to the girl as the show ends. 

With the success of Match Game on CBS in 1973, ABC dusted off You Don't Say! This had originally been their Password imitation in the 1960's. By 1975, we had a panel of four (probably intoxicated) celebrities helping contestants figure out what a name or phrase is by using other words for it. Tom Kennedy does what he can with the lunacy here.

Match Game also spun off one of ABC's biggest hit game shows, Family Feud. Richard Dawson was tired of tossing out randy answers to silly questions and begged to host. Two families guess answers to a survey given on the board. The ones who get the most answers and the most points goes on to the Fast Money round. There, two family members quickly guess the top answers for a series of survey questions. If they get 200 points, they win big cash. 

The show and Dawson proved to be such a sensation, it continued to dominate the ratings, even as game shows in general declined in the late 70's and early 80's. The episode I chose here seems to be fairly emblematic of the early episodes as a whole, including a big Fast Money win.

By the mid-80's, game shows started to make a comeback...but ABC never really got back into the genre, especially after Family Feud petered out in 1985. Trivia Trap joined it on the schedule briefly in 1984 and '85. This generational war pit older people against young adults answering questions and eliminating subjects based on the other generation's knowledge. Not a bad idea (it somewhat resembles the current ABC game show Generation Gap), but a bit awkward in the execution. The show switched to an all-celebrity format and didn't even last a year.

Too bad they didn't really give Match Game '90 a fair shake. They dumped it at noon, when many affiliates (including WPVI) ran local news instead. I'd much rather watch Ross Schaffer lead Charles Nelson Reilly, Bill Kirkenbauer, and Vicki Lawrence through randy questions. 

ABC dropped game shows all together after the failure of Match Game (and haven't done another daytime game show since). They didn't really get into the genre again until Who Wants to Be a Millionaire became a sensation on prime-time in 2000. In the US version of a British hit, Regis Philibin asks contestants from the audience a series of increasingly difficult questions. They can choose to continue answering questions for larger and larger amounts, or quit and keep what they have. The show offered several "Lifelines" to help with their decisions, like asking the audience or calling a family member for advice.

I remember when this was the biggest thing on television during my last few years in college. It was on everyone's lips; you couldn't go anywhere in 2000 or 2001 without hearing Philibin's catchphrase "Is that the final answer?" Unfortunately, ABC burned out their golden cash cow, running it five days a week by 2001. Not to mention, every game show on TV imitated its intense game play and dark, neon-lit sets. It proved far more viable as a syndicated series that started in 2002 and continues to run with various hosts to this day. 

America's watching wild celebrities, terrific tappers, wacky families, generational trivia wars, and final answers! (Watch out for a bad tape on Family Feud...but 70's daytime episodes of that show tend to be rare. Several shows also come with either their original commercials or the ones from their Game Show Network run.) 

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Cinderella Wishes

Overslept and got a really fast start this morning. I barely had time for breakfast before dashing out. Not helped by some Saturday morning traffic on the White Horse Pike. I just got to work on time.

Ended up cashiering today. Many workers are out with injuries or are on vacation before their kids go back to school. They simply don't have enough help. We did have some crowds in the morning, but it died after lunch time and never picked up again. Even so, I still barely got out on time because the girl I thought came in for me wasn't. And I wish I had an easier time dealing with people. I get so frustrated with myself when things go wrong! I never know what to say to anyone, and I end up apologizing constantly and getting angry with myself. 

Originally planned on taking the long way home, but they're doing road work on Nicholson. Cut through Audubon Park instead. They're the small development between Audubon and Oaklyn. They were created in the early 40's as homes for Camden workers. They're all small one and two story white houses with tiny front and back lawns. Their one and only school closed years ago; it's now the local recreation center and preschool. Everyone must have been on vacation or at work. They were super-quiet. I didn't even see anyone out for a walk or walking their dog. Maybe they were all avoiding the 90-degree heat and hazy humidity. 

When I got home, I went straight upstairs to relax and watch Sneakerella on Disney Plus. I go further into this modern retelling of the beloved fairy tale at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Worked on writing for a while after the movie ended. Charles, Orson, and Lee Merriweather the Cheshire Catwoman finally sing the queens to sleep...but not before Brett asks Queen Helen how to restore Richard's mind and wake up her husband. Get rid of the Red King's scepter, she says, and let Richard use the Vorpal Sword for a courageous act. 

After they disappear, Jimmie the Dodo finds an archway with Brett's name over it. Brett hopes it'll let them into the Red King's castle.

Broke for dinner at quarter of 7. Got to Let's Make a Deal in time for the Big Deal of the Day. This is a rare episode with an all-cash Big Deal, and it went to a young lady dressed as a saloon dancer. She said she was out of work and this would tide her over and allow for a trip to Monty's native Canada.

Looks like Buzzr's running Match Game PM on weekends. Soap opera star Meg Bennett joined Gary Burghoff, Fannie Flagg, and the others to figure out what Mr. Periwinkle and his lady friend do to each other's dentures and what a T-shirt of a mountain looks like on Brett's tomboyish figure. Meanwhile, Richard helps out with "__ Curtain" in the Head-to-Head.

Finished the night online after a shower with a Love Boat episode.  Vicki is upset when "The Captain's Crush" turns out to be a gorgeous movie star (Joan Collins). The tabloid writer snooping around her thinks Steubing may end up being her tenth husband. A woman (Stella Stevens) who is tired of her husband (Monte Markham) constantly abandoning her to play golf rekindles a flame with an old lover (Ron Ely), but it becomes an "Off-Course Romance" when it turns out her husband can join the cruise after all. Another lady, a beauty with stunning curls (Delta Burke), wants to marry her current wealthy hairdresser (Jeffery Tambour in an early role), but first she has to get her ex-lover and hairdresser (Richard Gilliand) "Out of My Hair."

Friday, August 26, 2022

You Spin Me Round Like a Record

I'd just started writing in my journal when my phone rang this morning. My stepbrother TJ finally had the time to bring over the rest of my records...within a half-hour, right before I went to work. I finished my writing and changed quickly, then had breakfast on the porch while waiting for him to arrive. And waiting. And waiting. Turns out he got caught in traffic and turned up right before I had to leave or be late. I thanked him for bringing the box and said to leave it on the porch, and I'd deal with it when I got home.

Work was a pain in the rear again. I wouldn't mind doing carts so much if I could just sweep and do carts. I had to unload not only the trash cans around the outside of the store, but the one by the bus stop, too. The city of Audubon really should do that one. It was an overflowing mess that took me so long to empty, I fell behind with the carts. Got a scolding from the head bagger for not getting to the carts by the Nicholson Road door, though she did apologize later. And I'm not happy that our current head manager is being transferred to another store after barely a month here, and we're losing another manager, too. We're short on help as it is!

Mixed feelings on my schedule next week. On one hand, Monday and Tuesday off, more hours, nothing very long or very early. I do have one late day, though...and considering we're coming up on Labor Day Weekend, I suspect the reason I have those two days off in a row is because I probably work a week straight after that. 

Grabbed a few things after work. I have no idea when I'll next get to the farm market, so I picked up a container of blueberries on a good sale with a digital coupon and a bag of apples. Bought blueberry scones for lunch this week and Kind Breakfast bars for snacks at home.

Heard music and laughter as I rode down Kendall Boulevard in Oaklyn. I forgot today is their Final Friday Festival. On the last Friday of every month between June and September, Oaklyn holds a street fair on the business district in West Clinton Avenue. Chatted with a former worker at the Acme and a manager who got off earlier. They both said not to sweat the trouble with the carts. I did what I could. 

Considered getting something from the food trucks lining the sides of the road. Trouble is, not only are they expensive for what you get, there were long lines. Plus, I decided I wasn't up to the noise after work. Ended up having a slice of mushroom pizza and a slice of tomato-basil-mozzarella and a bottle of Diet Pepsi at Phillies Phatties. There were a few people eating pizza with me, but it wasn't nearly as busy as the street. 

Soon as I got home, I opened that box and carried the records upstairs. It would have been too heavy for me to carry them in the box! Besides, a friend said she wanted to use it for donations. Changed, then organized my remaining records into the empty crates I cleared for them. Children's albums went into one. The other held R&B, country rock, and disco. Also found the disc holder with my home-made CDs I burned off discs borrowed from the library or got from Lauren, including many home-brew Monkees collections, a Wings greatest hits collection, and the original London cast of The Phantom of the Opera.

(Incidentally, I now have everything that belongs to me either in my rooms or in storage. While I appreciate TJ and Rose helping me out, from now on, all of my things either stay with me or go into the storage unit. When I move, they'll be in a truck or a van. It takes too long to get things back from relatives who don't have the time to be delivering them or for me to get them.)

Watched Let's Make a Deal as I worked. Came in as a couple in military fatigues guessed how much certain items were, and what they cost all together. They ended up taking a furniture package instead of the car they were after...which ended up being a good thing, since their calculations were off by more than 40 dollars. While no one got the Big Deal of the Day, I suspect the military couple was perfectly happy with a living room set that cost even more than the package they gave up, and a lady dressed as the Queen of Spades cards seemed thrilled with a sports package she could give to her husband.

Big excitement on Match Game '75 tonight, too. Carol Bartos became their all-time winner to that point, thanks to Fannie Flag's answer to "__ Tie." Fannie also fielded more than a few jokes about her glittery Minnie Mouse t-shirt. 

Finished the night with TV shows on The Roku Channel, starting with Murder She Wrote. Jessica Fletcher isn't happy when an aspiring young screenwriter warns her that the director she works with on a major mystery show insists he'll "Steal Me a Story" cribbed from one of Jessica's books. She goes to the studio to talk to the head producer, only for him to be killed by a bomb left in a package on his desk. Turns out more than a few people weren't too fond of the cynical producer, including the leading lady on the show who wanted out of her contract, his secretary who had been promised an assistant producer job, and the young woman who works with the folksy star and worries about his image. 

Patty Lane has her own problems on The Patty Duke Show. In the season two opener "The Green-Eyed Monster," she dates a handsome young cadet who seems to do everything he touches perfectly. That makes Patty's regular boyfriend Richard jealous, to the point where he asks Patty's dad Martin for advice on how to handle this. Unfortunately, this ends up escalating with the boys constantly trying to top each other, and Patty unable to decide which she prefers. It backfires on her when she can't choose which one to take her to a dance, and doesn't end up going at all. 

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Waltzes and Care Bears

Got another quick start today. Had breakfast, then called Uber. I had my second day at Walgreens. This time, I could do the one in Mt. Ephraim. Apparently, they did inventory yesterday and couldn't have people around. The driver arrived within 5 minutes and got me there in less than ten. 

Arrived early...which proved to be a moot point anyway. The counselor came late. Once again, I pulled expired items, this time in the candy section. He said I did very well, but I don't think I moved nearly as fast as I did yesterday. I only got to the candy, not to anything else they wanted done, and I didn't even finish that. Not to mention, the counselor spent most of his time dealing with crises at work and at home on his phone. At the very least, we got off early again, at around 2. 

Tried to get an Uber, but the first guy I went with had an unexpected Philadelphia trip and ended up canceling. Thankfully, the second one got there in about 8 minutes. The traffic eased up enough for me to be home in ten.

Spent the next few hours resting and watching the 1934 version of The Merry Widow. I go further into this sparkling adaptation of the famous operetta with Jeanette MacDonald and Maurice Chevalier at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Worked on writing for a while after the movie ended. Brett stops Charles and Orson from singing the queens to sleep long enough to find out how the Vorpal Sword can restore Richard. The ladies say it'll take an act of bravery...and that's all the manage before they start to pass out...

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Came in half-way through Let's Make a Deal. Everyone did really well today and managed to avoid Zonks, including a woman dressed as Wonder Woman who got a beautiful brass bed. She traded it up for the Big Deal of the Day...and not only got a lovely TV and recliner, but a trip to Paris and spending money.

Had dessert during Match Game '75. Carol Bartos continues her winning ways during a game show crossover with Bob Barker of The Price Is Right and Arlene Francis of What's My Line? Bob and Charles try to dodge boos from the audience during a question about why Dumb Donald wouldn't see Jaws, while the others attempt to figure out "Pie __" in the Audience Match. 

Finished the night at HBO Max with Care Bears: Unlock the Magic. This is the most recent iteration of the Care Bears, currently running on Cartoon Network's preschool block. Funshine Bear discovers a whole other universe, the Silver Lining. Grumpy, Cheer, Share, and Good Luck go in after them in Grumpy's flying RV. They discover tiny little creatures, the Whiffles, and help cute little Dibble return to them. They plant the Seeds of Caring that spread feelings in Care-a-Lot...but the Bad Crowd is determined to keep those feelings from going further. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Memories of Fantasy

Got a quick start today! Had just enough time for breakfast before calling Uber. Abilities Solutions had me helping out at Walgreens today and tomorrow. They picked me up in 8 minutes and had me at the store on Delsea Drive in Woodbury in 15.

This time, Abilities Solutions sent a much younger counselor who met me inside. We spent the morning pulling dated items. She was a young woman in her late 20's, and we had an enjoyable chat about our families, our lives, our memories, and our childhoods as we worked through the bottled water, the cereal and granola bars, and the cold and flu medicines. We worked so quickly, we had all three sections complete by lunch time. In fact, all we did after lunch was check the end of aisle displays, and that barely took 20 minutes.

She let me go at quarter of 1. There's a lot to see on Delsea Drive...maybe a little too much. I thought of checking out an ice cream parlor across the street or a large Walmart down the road, but there's ice cream at home and I really don't need anything right now. Not to mention, traffic seemed rather heavy around that corner, even at 1 PM. I ended up calling Uber. They arrived within five minutes, a bit of a surprise given the traffic. Once again, I arrived home in fifteen.

Soon as I got home, I went down for a nap. I stayed up late last night and had no other plans for the day. I hadn't expected to get off so early. It must have really worn me out. I went down at 1:30 and didn't roll out of bed until almost 4 PM.

Took the laundry downstairs next, then went online to do some writing. Brett's had quite enough of examinations. So has Lee Merriweather, the Cheshire Catwoman. She appears as the guys make instruments appear, intending to sing a lullaby to the two queens...

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Came up in time for the second half of Let's Make a Deal. Almost everyone did rather well in this episode. A bride and groom won $400 dollars after they realized their calculations on a pairing price game were off. A slice of pizza won $1,100, avoided a stuffed Bugs Bunny, and traded it in for three TVs and a piano. A sock hopper in a pink sweater and circle skirt sobbed with joy when she won gorgeous living room furniture in the Big Deal of the Day.

Had dessert and finally remembered to bring up the laundry while Match Game '75 ran. This was the hilarious episode where Gene's spare microphone went missing, and almost everyone on the panel spent nearly five minutes in the opening searching for it. We're also introduced to contestant Carol Bartos in the last few minutes. She went on to be one of the series' major big-money winners.

Finished the night on HBO Max with The Dark Crystal. The cruel, vulture-like Skelligs and gentle Mystics have ruled the planet Thra for over a thousand years after their appearance...but now, both groups are dying. The Skelligs use the Crystal of Truth to continue their corruption and retain their youth, but a shard broke off when they first appeared. Jen (Stephen Garlick) is a Gefling, the last of an elf-like race whom the Skelligs and their crab-like army the Garthim tried to wipe out. He gets the shard from the astronomer Aughra (Billie Whitelaw), then goes on a quest to restore the shard to the crystal. Along the way, he gets the help of a female gelfling, Kira (Lisa Maxwell), and her little fuzzball Fizzgig (Percy Edwards).

Jim Henson's magnum opus actually used to show up quite often on cable in the mid-late 80's. Rose loved it; it's probably one of the reasons she's such a huge sword-and-sorcery fan. I...didn't get it. The story was just too dark and the characters too dull for me. Nowadays, I have a better idea of what Henson had in mind...but while I do like the creative and intense characters and appreciate Henson's work on those incredibly detailed puppets, I still find the story to be too dark and way too complicated. The very funny Aughra has always been my favorite character. I wish she was in more of the movie. I also like Kira, who frankly is a lot more interesting than the bland Jan. 

This is another one where your mileage may vary, depending on how dark you like your fantasy...because this is pretty dark. Several deaths or near-deaths, violence, the scary uncanny-valley Skelligs and Geflings, and the general dreary tone make this not for young kids. For elementary school age fantasy-lovers on up, this is a fascinating look at a truly unique world. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Summer Day Harts

Awoke to a ringing phone. Vanessa had to change plans for tomorrow. The Walgreens at Mt. Ephraim is apparently doing inventory. She recommended the one in Woodbury. It's closer to her office, and about the same size. It's not, however, closer to me. I finally agreed to just take the Uber there. I planned on taking Uber anyway because traffic on the Black Horse Pike can be chancy at best, and I wasn't sure where I'd put my bike in a small pharmacy. We'll still be at Mt. Ephraim on Thursday.

Went back to sleep for an hour. Watched Mickey Mouse Clubhouse after I read, did my journal, and had a small breakfast. "Daisy's Dance" at the talent show is minutes away, but first Daisy has to fix her broken heel, then the others have to drive her to Mickey Mouse Park. They use their tools and the moves from Daisy's routine to get past herds of dancing animals, march over a very steep hill, and slide through a narrow maze.

Put on Match Game '74 while getting organized. In the first episode, Gene has trouble with his entrance when the set piece he's leaning on keeps moving, even as he's standing on it! In the second, Kaye Stevens runs off to flirt with a handsome contestant as the turntable whirled him away. Jimmie Walker, Lynda Day George, and the others try to figure out "__ Andy" in the Audience Match. 

Headed out for a short walk even as the show ended. Wanted to get out for a while, since I had no other plans for the day besides counseling. Ended up having lunch at Capitol Pizza. I don't know if they were distracted by Access Hollywood or just not listening, but I had to tell them twice I wanted a slice of mushroom and a slice of cheese, and then they still forgot the cheese. And the pizza wasn't all that good, a little too thin in the crust and doughy in the middle for me. I did spend three dollars on the crane game, but other than that, I think next time I want pizza, I'll just make the walk across town and go to Phillies Phatties instead.

Took a short walk down the White Horse Pike and Johnson after that. While not quite as humid as yesterday, it continues to be hot, into the lower 90's. Clouds gathered on the horizon, but they remained just clouds. Despite the rain yesterday, everything remains too dry and brittle. We really need days' worth of the rain we had yesterday, not just a few minutes in the middle of the night. 

Went straight upstairs after I got in. Made my bed, then went online. I've heard rumblings of American Girl putting out a Roaring 20's doll since I got my Samantha in 1993. Not only did they finally get to making her, but Claudie Wells turned out to be a beauty. Claudie's living in Harlem during their Renaissance. Apparently, she lives in a boarding house full of artistic types and everyone in her family can do something special, but she feels like she has no talent. 

She may think she isn't talented, but she sure is pretty. She has a unique facial mold made to more realistically resemble a real African-American girl and glossy shoulder-length curls with the cutest bow in the back. Her gingham dress is simple but appropriate for her age and time, and for once, I'm glad to see the sweater comes with the doll instead of the accessories. Love that said accessories include a note book for art and writing ideas and a vintage Baby Ruth bar, and that her big fancy furniture item is her father's bakery.

Unfortunately, they released no other day-to-day clothing on her initial launch other than a pair of cute pajamas. Her magenta tap outfit fits her story, but three other fancy dresses done by a major designer were "inspired" by her, rather than being real 20's outfits. (Admittedly, the expensive gold dance costume does look like something chorus girls wore on Broadway in lavish revues like the Ziegfeld Follies.)

I really like Claudie. She's a sweet doll, and I love the idea of her stories. However, I'm trying to get rid of stuff right now, not bring more in. I'm going to wait until Christmas and see how I feel. If I still like her, I'll pick up her and her pajamas and dance outfit with Christmas money or tax return money in February. 

Had counseling at 2 PM. I'm pretty much frustrated with everything right now. I want a home of my own that really belongs to me and that I'll only leave if I want to sell it. I've never lived anywhere but houses owned by someone else who could shove you out if you couldn't afford the rent or they wanted it for someone else. Not even when I was a kid. It's why my family moved around so much in the 80's and 90's. We kept looking for houses on Cape Island and in North Cape May we could afford to rent. 

Trouble is, houses are expensive right now. They're expensive everywhere, but they're especially pricey in commuter-oriented New Jersey. As everyone reminded me during my disastrous attempt to find an apartment last winter, I don't make enough money to afford anything. Not only does the Acme drive me crazy, but it doesn't pay me enough to justify putting up with their idiocy. Trouble does have health insurance. That is the only reason I'm still there. I need health insurance. 

Everyone's always pestering me about being too emotional, including Mrs. Stahl. It just comes out. How can I let my intellect take over when it's terrified of the future, of the past, of losing everything, and of what's going to happen? I wish all these evaluations didn't take so long. I want out of the Acme yesterday. It's hard to think when you're so scared. I wish someone understood what it's like to be terrified and angry and frustrated and tired of waiting. Everyone says there's other people going through this, but...I don't see them. I wish I knew who to talk to. 

Wasn't feeling great when I finished counseling. Put on One Hour With You to make me feel better and relax a bit. I go further into this bubbly romantic comedy about a French doctor and his wife whose marriage is tested when her best friend tries to seduce him at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Worked on writing for a while after that. Brett is quite tired of the nonsense questions the queens pepper her with and finally pushes away from them. They insist they're necessary, but Charles and Orson have another way to deal with them.

Broke for dinner at 7. Ate while watching Match Game '75. Dr. Joyce Brothers had a field day trying to figure out Bill Daily's nervous tics and the way Patti Deustch's mind works in this episode. Meanwhile, Gene swipes drinks in the opening, and the others try to figure out "Gin __" in the Audience Match.

Took a shower, then finished the night on The Roku Channel with Hart to Hart. "Murder is a Drag" when Jonathan and Jennifer accidentally take the seats at the opera of two assassins who are supposed to murder a crusading district attorney. They think Johnathan is the hit man, and they won't take no for an answer, including kidnapping Jennifer during a costume party. Max goes undercover in a very unusual costume to help out. 

Monday, August 22, 2022

Rainy Day Angels

Slept in a bit today, which is probably just as well. The dull gray skies weren't promising. Cheered myself up with Bluey as I ate breakfast. After her parents move the crib and a lot of junk out of a storage room, Bluey decides she wants it as her own "Bedroom." She and Bingo are very sweet about it, agreeing to "share" a stuffed animal they both like and sending notes back and forth (until their mom says they really need to go to bed). 

(And...that brought back memories. I was about 9 or 10 when I got my first solo bedroom, much older than Bluey or Bingo. It originally belonged to Anna, but by 1988, I'd gotten tired of dealing with Rose's messes. It was much easier to let the two slobs live together and let me have my own space. Rose and I briefly shared again when we moved to West Cape May in 1991, but that lasted about a year. After Mom had Keefe, they decided he spent so much time in their room he didn't need his own. Rose took his room, and I shared my room with his toys, which I didn't mind at all. He mainly played downstairs in the living room anyway.

We didn't all get our own rooms until we moved to a split-level late 60's-era ranch house in North Cape May in 1995. The girls and I all had rooms on the top floor. Mom used to joke it was like a girl's dormitory up there. After Rose and I went to college and Anny had her son in the early 2000's, Keefe took my room, Mom and Dad moved to Anny's old room from the den, and Rose's room became a combination office, play room, and spare room.)

I left for work a little early. Wanted to donate those bags of toys, records, and collectibles I cleared out on Friday to Goodwill. Between having way too many bags for a ride and the heavy clouds, I took Uber. The lady who drove me dropped me off in the front. I hiked around back, dropped my bags with them, then headed across two parking lots and over to the Acme building for work.

Work is still frustrating. I got scolded today for not keeping up better with gathering the carts. How can I keep up with the carts if I have to take registers, clean up messes, gather trash, and do a thousand other little things too? I wish they'd get it through their heads that I'm only one person. They say "do the best you can," then complain because I'm not pushing the carts fast enough.

At least I was only there for four hours, and by the time it started to pick up, my shift was almost done. Not only did I keep up with the carts, but I was able to sweep the store and bring rolls of tape for the registers up front. I even managed to avoid the weather. I emerged to wet sidewalks around 2:30. It did shower lightly while I pushed carts up front, but never got really heavy. The sun even tried to emerge as I called Uber for a ride home. Surprisingly for the height of rush hour, they got there in 9 minutes.

Went straight into writing when I got home. Brett's getting very fed up with White Queen Helen and Red Queen Fannie claiming she can't figure out their nonsensical questions. The guys are, too. Charles and Orson put their heads together to figure out how to move things along.

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Came up for the second half of Let's Make a Deal. Monty pulled two college students dressed as a cat and a cheerleader to guess each other's weight. They both won money. The cat lost out on a refrigerator, but the cheerleader avoided ending up with a live pig. Being college students, they were both perfectly happy with cash. The Big Deal of the Day went to a gentleman in white tie and tails, but I think a sister duo were far more excited about a trip to the Caribbean than he was about a new living room set and stereo.

Let Match Game '75 run while I had dessert. Announcer Johnny Olsen got a rare chance in the spotlight when Gene called him down to read a question on how he was around for the first game show, Cleopatra's "You Bet Your __." The contestant missed the obvious answer that pretty much the entire panel gave (and the same answer that anyone gave when dealing with Cleopatra). 

Finished the night online with Charlie's Angels at The Roku Channel. They're "Waikiki Angels" when the governor's daughter is kidnapped while on a secluded beach with her husband. The Angels train as lifeguards to put a stop to the antics of a group of beach bums who keep grabbing people and wrecking havoc on secluded beaches. 

(Oh, and the rain returned briefly but heavily around 10 PM. Good. We desperately need it. It's gotten so dry here! I have a friend whose garden is starting to droop badly.)

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Peacock Games

Began the morning with breakfast while listening to Hello Dolly! This is the original 1964 cast album, featuring Carol Channing in her most famous role. David Burns is Horace Vandergelder, the cranky object of her affections. Charles Nelson Reilly got a Tony nod in a rare romantic role as Cornelius Hackle, the clerk who hopes to find adventure in New York; Eileen Brennan was his Irene Malloy. At least two songs, the opening "I Put My Hand In" and the comic march "Motherhood" as Irene, Dolly, and Irene's assistant Minnie Fay (Sondra Locke) try to distract Horace from finding his clerks in their hat shop, didn't make it into the subsequent film. Reilly did so well with "It Only Takes a Moment," the song remained associated with him for the rest of his life. 

Did a little writing after I got organized. White Queen Helen and Red Queen Fannie give Brett an "examination" to test her suitability as queen. Brett thinks it's all nonsense, especially when they toss out rapid-fire questions that really have no answers. 

Headed out shortly after I got off the computer; I had lunch and dinner at work. Work continues to be a pain in the rear. They'll send me into a register, only to pull me when they need someone to gather the trash or push carts...and then they'll pull me again when the lines are long or they need someone to go in for breaks. It's driving me crazy. I have a hard enough time dealing with customers as it is. 

At least I dodged the weather. When I emerged to push carts around 4 PM, the parking lot gleamed with water. It must have rained pretty hard earlier. Thankfully, while it remained cloudy and humid, it hasn't rained again to my knowledge.

Had ice cream quickly when I got home, then took a shower. Finished the night online, watching game shows put out by NBC. The Peacock Network got into the game business earlier than anyone else, having started with them on their two radio networks in the early 30's. Probably their biggest network-owned hit is Concentration. It began in 1958 with two contestants guessing rebus puzzles on a clickety-clack board, and proved to be such a smash, it became the network's longest-running game show when it ended in 1973. Anchorman Hugh Downs lends gravity to the proceedings.

An impossibly young Bob Barker had more fun in LA with Truth or Consequences. This goofy stunt show started on radio in 1940 with original creator Ralph Edwards hosting. By the time this episode aired in 1961, Barker took over guiding people through crazy stunts like finding a prize slip in a pile of laundry or guessing three people's weight. 

Play Your Hunch, another Goodson-Todman panel show, ran through all three networks before settling on NBC in 1959. Four panelists have to guess which of three contestants - labeled X, Y, or Z - have some kind of mark like a beard. On the early 60's episode I found, they also had to decide which photo was really of Grace Kelly and discern between three sculpted busts. Merv Griffith hosted this one, shortly before he left to start his own talk show.

Hollywood Squares began in 1966 and quickly became one of the most popular shows on daytime, thanks to its wacky celebrities tossing out naughty "zingers" on a huge tic-tac-toe board. It ran until 1980, when it became one of the casualties when NBC executive Fred Silverman cleared out three game shows (a genre he wasn't a fan of) to make room for a new talk show by David Letterman...which barely lasted a few months. Letterman's off-the-wall brand of comedy proved to be more suitable for late-night viewers. 

One of the few shows spared from the bloodbath was Wheel of FortuneWheel seemed to be the longest-running NBC show no one talked about. It had been chugging along before the carnage, never being a major hit, but being one of the few games left on the network helped improve its fortunes. They jumped even higher after a syndicated version became a massive hit. 

Joining it on NBC's schedule were a hit, Sale of the Century, and a flop, Hot Potato. Sale originally ran in the late 60's, but it only did moderately well. This time, with Jim Perry as the host, it became a smash, running through the rest of the decade. 

Potato with "dean of game shows" Bill Cullen was their attempt to imitate Family Feud, but with co-workers guessing which topics fit a certain subject. I loved this show when it re-ran on USA Network a few years later, but I'm not sure it ever really found an audience. Changing to celebrity teams didn't help.

Caesar's Challenge proved to be the last daytime game show on NBC to date. Too bad they didn't give it more of a fair shake. I've enjoyed checking out this casino-themed show where contestants have to unscramble words to win big money. 

NBC's contributions to the big-money quiz craze of the early 2000's were a revival of Twenty-One and The Weakest Link. This English import had a group of people trying to complete a chain of answers and reach a goal in a set time limit. Contestants vote for which group member they want to eliminate. Original host Anne Robinson dismisses them with a curt "You are the Weakest Link. Good bye." Like Hot Potato, it began well but faltered quickly and eventually did celebrity episodes before ending in 2002. A syndicated version only ran a year. It was so fondly recalled, a revival with Jane Lynch doing the dismissing is currently running on NBC (and has already outlasted the original). 

Ring those chimes and share the moment with clicking rebus boards, hot potato co-workers, weakest links, sassy celebrities, and spinning wheels! (And look for commercials on many of them, including Hot Potato, Sale of the Century, and The Weakest Link!)

Saturday, August 20, 2022


Got a quick start today with breakfast and running out. At least the weather remains nice for a ride. It's hotter and more humid, but still nothing like the heat we were hit with a few weeks ago. It's really nothing out of line for late August. Maybe that's why I saw a lot of people out and about today, taking their children or dogs for walks or going out for jogs.

Work was a pain in the rear. They started out by sending me out to do carts...but kept pulling me to take customers, sometimes for as long as an hour. Granted, we did have at least two other people bagging in the morning, and I was only alone for less than an hour before another teenager arrived. Trouble is, after he came in, they sent me in for someone to go home, and I got stuck dealing with customers for the last hour. It drives me crazy. Every time I do something wrong, I panic. I never know what to say to people. I can't seem to get the right words to come out of my mouth.

My schedule for next week is pretty bare-bones. I have regular counseling on Tuesday and then two more days with Abilities Solutions, this time at the Walgreens in Mount Ephraim. One early day next Saturday and late day tomorrow, otherwise it's nothing overwhelming.

Had an online coupon for shampoo, conditioner, and cookies. Grabbed those quickly, along with something new I found on a separate display in the soda aisle. Coke just released another limited edition "Creations" flavor. "Dreamworld" has a definite fruit flavor to it, kind of like powdered fruit punch. I tried the Zero Sugar version. Not bad, but I'm not really a fan of fruit soda. I liked the Starlight one better. 

Hurried home as fast as I could. When I got in, I put on the next round of All-Star Family Feud episodes while getting organized and having dinner. "Hollywood Walk of Fame" brought in ten actors and actresses who have stars on the famous attraction. Betty White lead a galaxy of gorgeous older women who included Dorothy Lamour (of the hilarious Road to movies), and two who appeared in musicals I've reviewed in the past year, Arlene Dahl and Gloria DeHaven. The gentlemen included Mark Goodson, the boss himself, Cesar Romero, Keenan Wynn (who appeared in every other MGM movie during the 40's and 50's and did the voice of the Winter Warlock in Santa Claus Is Coming to Town), and poet and singer-songwriter Rod McKuen, author and performer of the lovely Oscar-nominated title songs for A Boy Named Charlie Brown and The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

Betty White knows game shows like the back of her hand. She easily led the ladies to victory in the first episode. However, the boss is the boss. Mark had a harder time, but he finally got the guys there in the second. 

Finished the night online with Tom Sawyer. I go further into this charming 1973 live-action retelling of the beloved Mark Twain novel at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. 

Friday, August 19, 2022

Under the Clear Blue Sky

Began a late morning with breakfast and one of the earliest episodes of Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. Prince Tuesday is "Daniel's Babysitter" when Dan's parents go out for the evening. Daniel is worried at first, but Tuesday assures him that his parents will be back by the end of the night. When "Daniel Goes to School," he's nervous about Dan Sr. leaving him behind at first, but then he helps Miss Elaina find her lost locket.

Cleaned out the collectible Effanbee and Star Wars dolls next. With the exception of three porcelain dolls that mean a lot to me, I really don't want any more collections I can't use in some way, play with or listen to or read or dress or cuddle. Not to mention, the ridiculous and childish furor over the sequels ended any interest I had in Star Wars. I enjoyed those movies...but not only do I think I burned out on them, the fandom just got plain annoying. I don't know if I'm ever going to even finish the Star Wars fanfiction I had planned. I probably will finish watching the genuinely interesting Clone Wars series someday, but that's it. 

Watched The Cat In the Hat Knows a Lot About That while I worked. Sally's upset when she can't "Jump!" high enough to rescue her balloon from a tree. The Cat takes her and Nick to Jumpalaroo to learn how a flea, a kangaroo, and a pair of grasshoppers manage to jump super long distances. The kids want to draw a butterfly's wings, but they keep scaring it away. The Cat and Onslow the Sloth teaches them how to "Slow Down for Sloths" and let the world come to them. 

Switched to Match Game '74 after breakfast. Richard Deacon made his first appearance on this week that also included Gunilla Hudson of Petticoat Junction, Mitzi McCall, and Nipsey Russell. Deacon got a rare chance to help out with "Safe __" in the Head-to-Head during the first episode. In the second episode, Gunilla showed off her jeans with the word "skol" printed on her rear, predating the fad of pants with words on the rear by forty years. 

Headed out on foot shortly after Match Game ended. Wanted to run a few errands in the neighborhood. Got money for a gift card and a banana smoothie at WaWa. Took a nice, long stroll after that down to Dollar General. My recyclable bags were just sitting in an extra-large bag. Picked up a plastic container for them, along with the watermelon-strawberry electrolyte drink mix they finally got in. 

Had a quick lunch when I got home. Watched All-Star Family Feud while I ate.  This time, it was a battle of suburban families, as Leave It to Beaver played Petticoat Junction. The Cleavers would get it, only to not come up with the right answer and lose it. In the end, the ladies of the Shady Rest Hotel not only won, but beat the bonus round by a large margin, too. (And I think I saw Frank Cady swipe one of the Tootsie Roll Pops the players on the end chose for extra money in the end!)

Did some organizing after the episode ended. Listened to Dick Clark: 20 Years of Rock and Roll while dropping the totes and paper bags in the new plastic container. Moved sweaters into a container with one of my blankets, freeing up a tote for the Christmas records. 

Went out for a short stroll around 4 PM. Library boxes, brightly-painted wooden cubbies with shelves of books people can take out or put in, are scattered around the neighborhood between Newton Lake Park and Cuthbert Road. Donated any books I didn't want to two of them. Since I was in the area, I dropped the gift card for my brother and sister-in-law's baby shower at the post office. was a nice day for a walk. The weather remains sunny and breezy, though I believe it's also warmer and a bit more humid than it was. I didn't want to be inside all day and waste such nice weather. Saw a bunch of people out and about, too, including at least four dog-walkers.

Went into writing when I got home. Brett's not happy when the queens talk about inviting people to dinner parties without asking her first. White Queen Helen says they need to get the Red King's scepter, the source of his power, and destroy it, before he tries to recharge it. 

Broke for dinner at 6:30. To Tell the Truth panel-mates Bill Cullen and Peggy Cass reunite for a week of Password Plus. Apparently, I got to see Peggy's first shot at the Alphabetics bonus round all week. They just missed it on the last few words.

Decided to finish up this round of All Star Family Feud specials while I had dessert. The championship pit country gals against suburbanites, as Petticoat Junction went up against The Brady Bunch. Tight game, too, with lots of back-and-forth. In the end, the ladies of Petticoat Junction ruled supreme and beat the Fast Money round again, too. (And interestingly, Gunilla Hutton showed up here as well.) 

Ended the night on YouTube again after a shower with more Laugh-In. The sixth season played with the format a bit. Some segments were dropped pretty early, notably everyone sitting on a set of bleachers, making jokes about the topic at hand. We also got some filmed segments with people trying to make a car move, girls being carried around by a gorilla, and young men losing their taxis to older ladies. Not to mention, Willie Tyler and his dummy Lester became the show's first ventriloquist act and their minority representatives. 

Too bad Police Woman didn't start until a year after the show ended. They might have been able to give Angie Dickenson more to do than joke about being married to Burt Bacharach. Monty Hall got to wisecrack about the weird contestants he's handled over the years on Let's Make a Deal. Plus-sized comedienne Totie Fields fielded a slew of weight jokes and did a recurring skit with her, Dan, and Dick on a deserted island. Michael Landon and Lyle Waggoner filled out the show's beefcake quotient. Frank Welker did animal imitations (and showed why he later took over as the voice of Scooby Doo after his original voice actor, Don Messick, died). 

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Summertime Laugh-Ins

Began the morning with breakfast and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. "Mickey Goes Fishing" to catch Goofy's cat Mr. Pettybone a Big Red Gooey Fish. Pete will only let them rent for 20 minutes, enough time for them to go after those fish. 

Spent the rest of the morning writing. Brett's not happy about being hemmed in between Red Queen Fannie and White Queen Helen, especially after they ask the others to a tea party without inviting her first! She doesn't think their nonsensical rapid-fire questions are going to be much help with proving she has what it takes to be a good queen. 

Broke with just enough time to head off to work. Spent the afternoon sweeping and pushing carts again. This time, we were dead almost the whole day. The weather remains gorgeous, in the lower 80's and relatively dry for this time of year. Not to mention, a lot of people don't have much money right now...and we're in the middle of August. Other than birthdays, baseball continuing, and a few stray family reunions and vacations, there just isn't much going on.

Picked up a few things on the way home. I forgot to pick up ibuprofen at the Market Place yesterday. I've had terrible headaches for the past few days. Good thing it's currently buy one, get one. I love Talenti ice cream, but it doesn't go on sale that often. Picked up two for $6; thought I'd try two "pairings," Strawberry Margarita (strawberry-lime sorbetto) and Bourbon Fudge Brownie.

Put on On the Avenue when I got home. I go further into this backstage romantic comedy about an heiress who takes offense to a skit parodying her, until she falls for its author, at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Watched Let's Make a Deal while eating dinner. Came in just as a couple with cricket hats gave up trying to get a car and picked up an almost-as-nice trip to Mexico. Two people were given duffel bags with possible prizes in them. A young man in a Ghost of Christmas Past costume won cash. The lady traded her bag for appliances onstage. That proved to be smart, at least then. I know people nowadays who would have been very happy with the stuffed Gremlins in the bag! The crickets traded in their vacation for the Big Deal of the Day and got a grand piano, a stereo, and a TV that were likely just as much fun.

Finished the night online with Laugh-In. Many folks tend to be down on the later seasons, but some of the actors in season five and six are as funny as those from earlier in the show. Patti Deustch in particular provided a delightful deadpan contrast to wacky Ruth Buzzi and haughty Lily Tomlin. She makes a heck of a lot more sense in season six than she ever did on Match Game. The guests are equally funny, too. Jean Stapleton and Sally Struthers explain what made All In the Family a hit, Mike Connors parodies his tough-guy image in the long-running detective show Mannix, Don Rickles insults weirdos to his heart's content, and partially-deaf stage star Nanette Fabray makes the show disability-friendly by doing her blackout gags in regular speech and sign language. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Sock It to Books

Didn't roll out of bed until past 10:30 today. It was noon before I got going and had breakfast. Ate while watching Match Game '74. Penny Marshall made her only appearance on the show that early fall. Poor thing seemed like a deer caught in the headlights most of the week, though she did finally loosen up by Friday. Brett complains when Richard eats the apple someone in the audience gave her in the first episode. In the second, Charles and Betty draw matching mustaches on their lips, forgetting the markers had permanent ink. 

Sat down for an hour to finally call the Westville Center for Independent Living. They can't help me with placement, but they will send me a long list of resources. Frankly, at this point, I'm not even sure I want to stay in New Jersey. Not only is this state expensive, but Jessa is the only member of my family who isn't talking about either leaving it all together or moving to different parts of it. As nice as my neighbors in Oaklyn are, I don't really fit in with them. 

It took me twenty minutes to decide where I wanted to go next. On one hand, I'm really trying to save a lot of shopping for when I visit Lauren next month. However, Lauren isn't as heavily into books as I am, and I wanted to check out Trader Joe's again. Since it was past 2 at that point, I called Uber to quickly take me over to the Towne Center in Cherry Hill. The driver arrived within eight minutes and got me there in ten.

Started by strolling over to Shake Shack for lunch. Not sure that was a good idea. Their nifty crinkle-cut fries and the "'Shroom Burger" (burger fixings on a fried portobello mushroom patty) were good, but not worth the price I paid. I really loved their strawberry lemonade, though. Very strawberry and just sweet and tart enough. From now on, I'll get drinks and snacks there when I'm in the area, but will save meals for the larger restaurants elsewhere. 

At least I got to enjoy a pleasant lunch outside on their patio. If there's one good thing that's come out of the pandemic, it's increased outdoor seating. While the weather seemed a bit warmer and more humid than it did over the weekend, it still didn't feel nearly as bad as earlier in the month. Enjoyed sunshine and a pleasant, cool wind while listening to parents with small children chatter at the ultra-modern steel-and-wood-cut tables and chairs.

Trader Joe's is almost directly across the parking lot from Shake Shack, so I went there next. Thankfully, they weren't too busy for them. Picked up soft molasses cookies, chocolate coconut date bars, "PB&J" oatmeal bars, and those yummy sugared orange slices...then went back for what I really wanted there, their salt-free creamy peanut butter.

Strolled across the access road to Towne Center and Barnes and Noble. This store is a little smaller than the one at Marlton. No CDs or DVDs, but they do have a fairly extensive toy section for some reason. I looked at kids' books, but I ended up with one of the more recent Mercedes Lackey Elemental Masters books, Jolene, and the first book in a truly unique cozy mystery series, Shady Hollow. I've seen them set in every place and time possible...but never done as a small-town Zootopia, with animals as the main characters. Apparently, a vixen reporter tries to figure out who in town bumped off a grouchy toad. It sounds different, anyway. 

I originally planned on taking the bus home, but got tired of waiting and ended up calling Uber. Even during the start of rush-hour traffic, they arrived within 8 minutes. Surprisingly, the traffic wasn't really bad, even on Cuthbert Road, and I arrived home in less than 10 minutes.

Had dinner and took the laundry downstairs while watching another All-Star Family Feud episode. The Brady Bunch parents and three grown kids went up against the singers of the 50's music show Your Hit Parade. The singers couldn't hold a candle to a pack of Bradys working together. They killed in the main round, and thanks to some good answers from Florence Henderson, just barely beat the Fast Money round.

Worked on writing for a while after I ate. Brett finds herself hemmed in by Red Queen Fannie and White Queen Helen. Fannie in particular is determined to criticize her. Brett tries to ignore her and find out where her sons are being held and what to do about Sir Richard and his scrambled brain.

Finished the night online after a shower with more Laugh-In. Honestly, I'm beginning to wonder how much of this show I understood as an 11-year-old. There's a ton of topical humor, from blackout political jokes to cracks at the then-new Women's Liberation Movement, that I'm not sure people who don't know much about the mid-20th century will get. Not to mention, some of the jokes and humor, especially racial humor, hasn't dated that well. One punchline from Dick Martin while he and Dan Rowan were in a hot-air balloon got bleeped out in the copy currently on YouTube. 

On the other hand, some other aspects still work today. For one thing, for all the actors I never heard of, others, like Dawson, Lily Tomlin, Goldie Hawn, Jo Ann Worley, Arte Johnson, Henry Gibson, Ruth Buzzi, and host Dick Martin went on to have extensive careers. For another thing, literally ANYBODY who was anybody in the late 60's-early 70's appeared on this show. 

John Wayne, of all people, was in one of the episodes I watched tonight. I'm not sure he knew what to think when an enamored Ruth Buzzi happily jumped into his arms! Jack Benny got lost and tried to ask everyone where Dean Martin's show was. Sandy Duncan played a hapless bank teller who had no idea how to do her job. Charles Nelson Reilly used very bad accents to sell used foreign cars. Dan Rowan had no more appreciation for the weird dinners Jean Stapleton made him than he did for his partner playing golf in the NBC Commissary. 

I'm going to say your mileage may vary on this one. If you're a fan of wacky sketch humor and have fond memories of when it was the hottest thing on network TV or of seeing the re-runs later like I did and can handle some of the non-PC jokes, it's still worth looking up in your Funk & Wagnalls. (It's also very easy to find. Many streaming services run it in full for free, including Tubi and YouTube.)

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Summer Winds

Got up and going with enough time to catch a cartoon before work. Watched more Cat In the Hat Knows a Lot About That as I had breakfast. It's "A Tail About Tails" when Sally and Nick play Pin the Tail on the Donkey and wish they had tails of their own. The Cat takes them to the jungle to show off many different animal tails and their uses. It's a "Sticky Situation" when Nick's drumstick breaks and the Cat takes the kids to visit with Betty the Beaver to find him a new one. The Cat thinks he's found it...but when it turns out to hold together Betty's dam, he and the kids have to figure out how to fix it in a hurry!

In fact, I had enough time for a quick Bluey episode before I headed out. Bandit, the pups' dad, is fed up with stepping on their ton of toys and insists that they donate some to the Aussie equivalent of Goodwill. The girls and their mom Chili protest each one he tries to get rid of, claiming they're "special." When he asks them to show him why "Mr. Monkeyjocks" (a monkey in underwear) is special, they go overboard, kicking him out. He does likewise in pampering the stuffed monkey, until he finally gets it through to the girls that having too much of a good thing can lead to a lot of boredom. 

Work wound up being absolutely no trouble at all. I ended up bagging again. We were on-and-off steady, not bad for Senior Discount Tuesday. I spent another gorgeous day pushing carts, returning cold items, and sweeping the store. It slowed down enough later in the day for the head bagger to leave a register and help me outside. 

I did have trouble with the overloaded outside trash bag in the front trash can breaking on me. Not only is the trash can itself full, but I really wish everyone would stop throwing away their trash from the fast food restaurants behind the store in there. The fast food restaurants have trash cans of their own for that. Took me forever to clean up the mess!

Hurried out with no problems as soon as I finished my shift. The weather was so nice, I took the long way home down Nicholson Road, despite the rush-hour traffic. Even with a stiffer, cooler wind, it remains sunny, dry, and just hot enough for August. 

Went straight upstairs and into writing when I got home. Brett finds herself hemmed in by White Queen Helen and Red Queen Fannie on a stone bench in the garden. The latter is especially critical of her performance as queen. They insist on giving her an "examination" to prove her worth as queen, but she's not sure about that...

Broke for dinner at quarter after 6. Ate while watching Higher and Higher. I go further into this charming romantic comedy featuring Frank Sinatra and Jack Haley at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Finished the night on YouTube with free Laugh-In episodes. Richard Dawson joined the very 60's sketch show in its last three seasons. He added a great deal of dry British wit to a series that already lost several key performers by then. Dawson and his fellow Hogan's Heroes castmate Larry Hovis had a great deal of fun in these episodes, joining Barbara Shawma, Johnny Brown, hosts Dick Martin and Dan Rowan, Karen Valentine, Ruth Buzzi, and Lily Tomlin. 

I got to see Tomlin's classic bits with chatty telephone operator Ernestine and her little girl in the giant seat again, while Buzzi dealt with Hovis being clumsy in a glass shop and tried to figure out where Howard Hughes went in her dreams. Dawson turned up as an aging British butler during dance sequences, read Dracula while the vampire moved in to attack him, did his Groucho imitation with Shawma as his hapless patient, and really seemed to enjoy being flogged as a pirate in one episode. His future Match Game co-stars Charles Nelson Reilly and Fannie Flagg joined James Coco and Henny Youngman for quick blackout gags in the other show I watched tonight. 

I have such fond memories of watching this on Nick @ Nite in the early 90's. They showed it back-to-back with the wacky Canadian variety show SCTV and late 70's-early 80's episodes of Saturday Night Live. (Fernwood 2 Night with Martin Mull joined the line-up a bit later.) Between those four shows, I got to watch pretty much every major comedian who ever appeared in anything from the mid-60's through the mid-80's. I suspect I learned quite a bit about comedy and timing from watching these shows, to the point where I call this my "comedy education." 

Monday, August 15, 2022

Sunny Afternoon

Slept in a bit this morning, then had breakfast while watching Paramount Plus...or trying to. It reset on me. I had to restart Paw Patrol. Farmer Al is trying to clean his barn, so the pups send his animals to residences across town. When the animals run away, the "Pups Save a Sleepover" before a major storm hits. Mayor Humdinger is so angry when he can't win the stuffed bunnies at Mayor Goodway's game booth, he steals all the prizes. The "Pups Save the Carnival" when he lets a pig race around and sets a bounce house on the water. Meanwhile, poor Zuma wants to practice and hit the lizard in the target well enough to win a prize. 

Got a phone call just as I opened my eyes. Turned out to be the Center for Independent Living, which I called on Friday. Vanessa must not have realized that the number she gave me was for the city of Camden, not Camden County. I'll call their offices in Westville on Wednesday.

Worked on writing for a little while after that. Red Queen Fannie (Flagg) and White Queen Helen (Rayburn) join Brett in the garden. They offer to explain to her the ins and outs of being a queen and how to release those spells. Brett just wants to know how to release her sons and get home.

Broke for lunch at 1. Put on The Cat In the Hat Knows a Lot About That at the Roku Channel. The kids want to play a game with Sally's guinea pig, but have no idea what he'd be interested in. The Cat takes them to the jungle and teaches them about the "Amazing Eyes" of llamas, condors, and rainbow boas, and how the guinea pig's relative the cavy loves hide-and-seek. They become "Water Walkers" when they join a bug that can stride on water and see how he gets to the other side of the pond.

Thankfully got to work on time for once...which turned out to be a moot point. I ended up bagging the entire afternoon. In fact, they wanted me to bag because the outside trash was overflowing and the head bagger ended up in a register at that point. For some reason, I had to take the trash from the floral department, too. (The floral department manager could have done that herself before she left for the day.) The head bagger helped me with carts when it did start picking up a little. 

No wonder we were quiet for most of the day. The weather couldn't have been more stunning. Bright blue sky, lower-80's temperatures, soft breezes, no haze or humidity in sight. Who wanted to be in a grocery store on a perfect August afternoon? It was a pleasure just riding to and from work. 

Ran into Password Plus while eating dinner, and then during dessert. Mary Tyler Moore made a rare game show appearance that week. Too bad she didn't appear more often, because she did splendidly, helping a young medical student earn money for her graduate degree. Bill Cullen also did well the one time he got up to Alphabetics. 

Left it on Let's Make a Deal while I got organized after dinner. The show opened with a sailor, a French maid, and Little Red Riding Hood being given dollar bills. The sailor took a box on the floor and got sports clothes and equipment. Little Red went for a door and got a Zonk. The French maid got 1,000. In another game, a chorus girl in a sequined red dance costume and a softball player didn't earn enough money for a car, but the dancer did get a barbecue and outdoor furniture. She traded it in for the Big Deal of the Day and came up with an even nicer trip. The French maid reluctantly gave up her 1,000...and got a beautiful piano, a gorgeous fur jacket, and more money than she gave away in the Big Deal of the Day!

Finished the night on Shout! TV with Mystery Science Theater 3000. Mighty Jack was actually two episodes of a Japanese spy program from the late 60's strung together and dubbed (badly) in the 1980's. I'm guessing the Japanese like their spy programs loud, talky, and full of explosions. Joel and the robots kept joking that they couldn't figure out the plot, and I had no idea what was going on, either. All I know is the second half had something to do with destroying an iceberg, and a group on a genuinely nifty submarine named Mighty Jack would ride in and save the day. Admittedly, some of those explosions were pretty cool, but they couldn't rescue the all-over-the-place script that made no sense and dull performances. 

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Eye on Games

Got a quick start this morning with breakfast before rushing off to work and barely making it in time. That was...the worst that happened all day. We were on-and-off steady, and never more than mildly busy. Considering Sunday is usually one of our busiest days of the week, people are probably still on vacation, are cutting back on groceries, or were at church or family reunions. In fact, most of the people who came in seemed to be shopping for barbecues and church picnics. Got in and out with no fuss whatsoever.

Took the long way home from work. Another reason we were dead was likely the weather couldn't have been nicer. Lower 80's, sunny, breezy, not a hint of humidity. I had a lovely ride. While Nicholson Road was a bit busy and the White Horse Pike had some traffic, Oaklyn was quiet as can be except one other biker and a guy eating a snack on the hill between Audubon and Oaklyn.

Had a snack when I got home while listening to Like Young: Secret Songs for Young Lovers. Every song in this collection is titled or themed around youth and the young. "Blame It On My Youth," "Like Young," and "Younger Than Springtime" may not have been what actual youth were likely listening to in what I believe to be the mid-50's, but pianist Andre Previn and David Rose and His Orchestra still sound charming today.

Took a much-needed nap after I ate. I had a nasty headache, and I'm still worn out. Slept for two hours, from about 3:30 to a little after 5:30, and felt a bit better.

Went into writing next. Orson the March Hare and Charles the Mad Hatter lead Brett into the Red King's domain, with Richard trailing behind them. Brett's delighted that not a trace of the Red King is to be seen...but she does spy two familiar royal faces...

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Put on Moonglow, another orchestra album, while I ate. This one is for Arte Shaw, one of the major big band leaders of the 40's and 50's. "Star Dust" and "Temptation" sound especially good here. 

Finished the night online saluting the game shows of CBS. The Eye Network pioneered many game show tropes, going as far back TV's beginnings in the late 40's. It's first major hit game show was the Goodson-Todman celebrity panel show What's My Line? Four panelists from across mediums try to guess a normal person's unusual occupation. The last or second-to-last contestant is the "Mystery Guest," a well-known celebrity who will often try to disguise their voice in some way. This 1953 episode spotlighted Jackie Gleason, still two years away from Ralph Kramden and The Honeymooners. Arlene Francis and columnist Dorothy Kligalien are among those guessing job titles; erudite John Charles Daly is the host. 

Line proved to be such a smash, CBS went to Goodson-Todman for more of the same. To Tell the Truth has three contestants who all claim to be someone who has done something unique or has an unusual interest.  The panelists here have to figure out who the real figure is. Bud Collyer hosted; Kitty Carlisle and Betty White are among those on the panel in the episode I have here. 

I've Got a Secret is similar to Line, only here, the panel guesses what unusual secret people have. They usually played this one more for comedy, especially once Steve Allen took over hosting in the early 60's. In this 1966 episode, Bob Holliday of the original stage It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's Superman demonstrates to Allen how a man can fly. Allen, however, didn't do quite as well when he got to try it out for himself!

Groucho Marx was one of a kind, and no one would mistake You Bet Your Life for any other 50's game show. It pretty much consisted of Groucho insulting and heckling contestants before reading off a few trivia questions. The real attraction came from watching how Groucho dealt with some of the nuttiest assortment of loonies to ever flit across a soundstage, as in this episode where he sings "O Sole Mio" with two Italian sisters, one of whom doesn't speak English.

All three of the big panel shows ended by the late 60's. They came roaring back in a big way on daytime TV with Match Game in 1973. The original show had middling success at NBC in the 60's, but Goodson-Todman revived it with a larger six-celebrity panel tossing double-entente answers to salacious questions. By the time of this 1974 episode, it racked up record-breaking daytime numbers that wouldn't be seen again until the Luke-Laura wedding on General Hospital in the early 80's. 

Having had success with one sex-driven celebrity show, CBS returned to Goodson-Todman for another. This time, they dusted off their old syndicated He Said, She Said as Tattletales. Three celebrity couples answer questions pertaining to their lives together, especially their love lives. This would be another hit, usually paired with Match Game in its early years. Bert Convy normally hosted, but in the episode I have here, he and his wife Ann played and Bob Barker took over hosting.

Barker spent 35 years as the host of The Price Is Right. This one started in 1972 and is still going strong today, one of two game shows left on daytime television. Decided to save earlier episodes for its 50th anniversary next month and went with one from 1998 I may have seen in college. They went big for their 5,000 episode, offering a car with every pricing game and both Showcases.

Pyramid first debuted on CBS as The $10,000 Pyramid. Like Price Is Right, it helped make game shows safe for big payoffs after the quiz show scandals of the 50's. Unfortunately, Bob Stewart Productions re-used tapes well into the 80's, making early episodes hard to find today. I went with the remaining episode of an all-celebrity week featuring MASH stars McLean Stevenson and Loretta Swit, David Spielburg, and comedienne Anita Gillette. Former disc jockey Dick Clark keeps the proceedings moving. 

Press Your Luck was one of the biggest hits of the early 80's on CBS, and would later be popular on USA Network in re-runs as well. Three contestants answer multiple-choice trivia questions that give them spins. They use those spins on a big board filled with prizes, money...and animated Whammies, annoying little red creatures who take their money. Peter Tomarken is the genial host. Buzzr tends to focus on episodes from 1984-1985, so I went with one of the last shows broadcast from 1986.

They revived Family Feud in 1988 as the lead-in for The Price Is Right. I loved that show! I always looked forward to hearing what wacky answers the families would give today. Ray Combs was the energetic host.

After Feud ended in 1994, Price remained the only game show on the network...until they revived Let's Make a Deal in 2009. Comedian Wayne Brady and his Zonks proved to be such a perfect pairing with another comedian, Drew Carey, and his pricing games, they've been paired together in most markets ever since. The episode here is Brady's second from early October 2009. 

This is CBS. Welcome home to nutty comedians, salacious panels, wacky Whammies, goofy families, and action-packed pyramids!