Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Ease On Down the Road

Slept in longer than usual. Match Game '77 was on by the time I got to breakfast. I let it run into Tattletales as I got organized. We had three great couples here, Jamie Farr and his funny wife Joy, Betty White and Allen Ludden, and Eddie Mekka and his girlfriend Shirley Kirkes. The married couples were the winners here, with Jamie and Joy getting every question right. After the first episode, I took my laundry downstairs, watched a bit of the second show, and headed out.

I wanted to run a few errands while the weather remains nice. Stopped at the library first. I mainly wanted to find the first couple of Oz books for fanfiction inspiration. Found a collection of the first three stories. I also picked up the latest Tea Shop Mystery novel, Lemon Curd Killer, and Bibliphile Mystery, The Paper Caper

Next stop was Target for lunch and to pick up a few things. There was a long line of hungry Catholic high schoolers when I finally arrived. I bought my usual spinach-feta-egg wrap and a honey-lemon citrus tea. The tea was on the same menu as the chilled Refreshers drink...but I had no idea it was hot tea! It was in the 80's today, not great weather for hot drinks. Not only that, but there was way too much lemon in it. It was too bitter to drink. I didn't even get through half before I tossed it.

Looked at toothpaste for gums, but decided it was cheaper elsewhere and bought mouthwash instead. Grabbed a pack of vanilla yogurt and decided to try honey-lavender cashews. Snagged a Diet Canada Dry for the ride home. Grabbed some cold packs for my sore toe that I stubbed at the Goodwill on Friday, too. (And forgot what I came in there for, which was laundry detergent. I had just enough for my huge load today.) 

Ran a couple of Daniel Tiger episodes while putting more of my huge laundry load in the wash and getting organized. "Daniel Fixes Trolley," or a toy one, when his mother encourages him to solve his problems himself. He becomes "Problem Solver Daniel" when he and Miss Elainia try to figure out whether to build a block train or space ship and when he and Prince Wednesday want to wear the same jacket to be an alien.

"Daniel Follows the Rules at the Pool" when he's there with his mother. He learns why they're important when he slips while running and Prince Wednesday is reminded that he needs a grown up's permission to go into the big pool. "Daniel's First Swim Class" makes him a little nervous after he nearly falls into the pool. He feels better once he gets the chance to blow bubbles. Katerina isn't happy when they're called out of the pool before it's her turn, but they can't swim during a thunder storm.

Tried to focus on writing The Wizard of Blank. This Match Game take on The Wizard of Oz is set during the height of the show's popularity in mid-1976. Sweet Joyce Bulifant notices a dog rooting around in the trash near Television City. She can't let the poor little dog go hungry, so she decides to sneak him into the studio and figure out what to do from there.

Broke for dinner and Match Game Syndicated at 7. The first episode was the infamous show where a contestant gives such a strange answer to the Head-to-Head question "Cuckoo __," Gene and the panelists almost literally fall over laughing. The second one continues the gags with Joyce's wigs. (Actually, I like her as a strawberry blonde. She looks a bit like Sandy Duncan.)

Finished the night on YouTube after a shower and finally bringing the laundry upstairs with two very different half-hour animated Wizard of Oz specials. The first is from 1991, and it's more-or-less an accurate condensed retelling of the first book. The shoes are silver, Glinda is from the South, the Witch of the North is a kindly old round lady, and they meet Glinda after the Wizard leaves. Dorothy Meets Ozma of Oz is a half-hour version of the book Ozma of Oz. It's pretty much the same thing as the Disney Return to Oz, only here, a rather bland Ozma leads the rescue mission to find the Queen of Iv and her children, and there's no creepy witches who remove heads. 

Neither has the best animation, but they both have other merits. The 1991 special is actually a pretty close adaptation of the original book. Ozma of Oz retains Billina the talking hen and the scary Wheelers, giving it a slightly dark tone (though not to the degree of Return to Oz). Both are worth checking out if you're an Oz fan looking for different adaptations of the story. 

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Sunshine On My Shoulders

Began Lauren's last day here with breakfast and Hogan's Heroes. "The Return of Major Bonicelli" brings back the pizza-loving Italian prisoner of war camp manager from "The Pizza Parlor." He's now Hogan's Italian contact, but he's been compromised. Hogan and the Heroes have to find a way to get him out of Germany...if the sausage and sauerkraut don't kill him first. 

"The Big Dish" was created by a female British scientist turned traitor. She convinces Hogan that she's not playing the Nazis' game, until she goes through with the radar experiments at Stalag 13 anyway. Now the guys have to figure out how to discredit her and destroy the radar, before the Germans down more pilots.

Headed out to lunch shortly after the episode ended. This time, Capitol Pizza was open. Lauren had a slice of mushroom, a slice of pepperoni, and a bottle of Diet Pepsi. I had a slice of cheese, a slice of mushroom, and a bottle of Diet Coke. We enjoyed our meal on the wrought iron tables perched on the curb. Not the best view, unless you like looking at the White Horse Pike and parked cars, but it was such a nice day, we had to eat outside.

Went to WaWa for a treat. I got a cooling Mint Cream Smoothie. She had one of those frozen ice bars that looked like Spider Man. We enjoyed them on the front patio near the trash can. Yum. The mint cream smoothie was just mint flavoring and milk, but it was just strong enough.

We were originally going to check out Comicrypt, the comic book store around the corner from me, but it's closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Made Dollar General our next stop instead. I needed to restock my Sunbelt Granola bars; also picked up a Coke Move Zero. 

It was far too gorgeous to sit inside until Lauren left. We went for a long stroll down to Newton Lake Park to enjoy the sunny, windy, dry weather. There were a few families with young kids running around on the playground. We joined in, flying on the swings and sliding down the smaller, twistier slide. Lauren wanted to see where the dirt path ended, so I took her along behind the houses on Briarwood to the wide green patch of grassy land where it terminates.

After we got home, we snuck in one more Hogan's episode while Lauren finished packing. The Heroes say "Happy Birthday, Dear Hogan" and hold a surprise party for him. LeBeau overhears information that could be of great interest to their Colonel, but they're more worried when it turns out to be a Getstopo trap. As usual, Hogan finds a way to turn the tables.

A friend of mine drove us into Philly around 2;30. Lauren wasn't leaving until 3:56, but she wanted to get there early and have time to walk around. We also stopped at the bank so I could get money for the rent, for yard sales and the farm market on Saturday, and for the toll going into Philly. Despite hitting heavy traffic on the Schuylkill Expressway, we still managed to get into Philly by a little after 3 PM.

I got off with Lauren to spend a little more time with her before she left. We did walk around for a few minutes, but neither of us were hungry, and Lauren had no room in her bulging backpack and suitcase for more shopping. We settled on a bench and chatted until she saw the gate number come up on the announcement board around 3:30. I gave her a hug and made sure she got to her line all right. We had a great time and are already making plans for my visit to her neck of the woods in September.

Considered taking the NJ Transit train to Cherry Hill and picking up Uber from there, but the train wouldn't arrive until 4:41. I didn't feel like hanging around the station that long, so I just called Uber from the station. The cheerful young man arrived in 7 minutes. He had enough sense to take the Walt Whitman Bridge going past Citizen's Bank Park home. There was a ton of traffic going into the city (perhaps the Phillies played a late game?), but only a tiny bit going into New Jersey. I was home by quarter after 4. 

Vacuumed and Swiftered while watching Classic Concentration. A young college-age woman dominated the game I saw, winning both rounds and a ton of prizes. She just couldn't figure out the match-the-car game, though.

Switched to The Great Waltz while going over notes for several Match Game fanfics. I go further into this fanciful 1938 MGM "biography" of Johann Strauss II at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Had dinner while watching Match Game Syndicated. They're up to the wild week with Joyce Bulifant in a variety of wigs, including a frizzy bright orange curly one that made her look like Little Orphan Annie run amok. She wasn't the only strange blonde on that week, either. A very sweet contestant gave a very, very peculiar answer to what a jock centipede wore. 

Finished the night on Crackle with The Silencers. I felt like something weird tonight...and the first of four Matt Helm movies featuring Dean Martin as the suave photographer certainly fit that bill. He's called back to the secret agent business after the murder of one of their agents, the stripper Sarita (Cyd Charisse). He and the department he works for, the ICE, think Gail Hendricks (Stella Stevens) is an enemy agent after Sarita hands a precious computer film over to her. Hendricks is an ordinary woman who just happened to be there when Sarita was shot in the back. The computer file is linked to Chinese mastermind Tung-Tze (Victor Buono), who wants to set the US and Russia against each other and incite a nuclear war. He sends the seductive Tina (Daliah Lavi) to sidetrack Matt, but he and Gail somehow find a way to save the world anyhow.

Whoa, this was a weird one. Weird, incredibly dated in its Cold War plot and treatment of its female characters, and not as funny as it likes to think it is. In fact, this is kind of dark for what's supposed to be a spoof. There's a lot of gun play, blood is seen, and there's Stevens protesting she's not a bad guy, but no one believes her. There's also Buono obviously not being Chinese. It's worth checking out at least once if you love Martin or the imitation Bond spy capers of the 1960's and early 70's if you can handle the violence. 

(Oh, and Lauren got home with her parents around 10:30 PM. Other than the train from Philly to New York being full and getting squeezed in her seat, she apparently had no trouble anywhere. This is technically the end of my actual vacation...but I have another ordinary day off, and I asked for Thursday to do several appointments.)

Monday, May 29, 2023

Living In America

Began a gorgeous morning with the Colliers Harvest of Holidays. Memorial Day began as a way to honor the dead of the Civil War, so all of their material for the holiday revolved around that conflict. "Light Bread and Apple Butter" is the sweet story of a young Union solider and his dog who befriend a southern mother and her children when she helps him out and he chops wood for her. The other stories are all poems, including "The Blue and the Gray" and "Barbara Frieichie." 

Had breakfast while watching more Hogan's Heroes. The second-to-last episode of the series has the Heroes saying "Look at All the Pretty Snowflakes" when they're recruited to shovel out a road so German soldiers can get past. Hogan wants to start an avalanche and block the soldiers, but then a nasty German general chains them together. The Heroes make use of their musical abilities (including Bob Crane's real-life drumming talents) to create enough noise to bring that snow down...with a little help from Klink and his cold!

We headed out just as the episode ended and made our way down Johnson to Cuthbert Road. Not only is the Cherry Hill Mall close enough to take the bus, but I didn't think there would be anyone out to drive us on a major holiday anyway. The bus was about five minutes late, not bad for one of the biggest holidays of the spring. There was no traffic on the road and no trouble. We arrived in Cherry Hill around quarter after 12.

Soon as we got in, we cut through the mall to the exit next to Nordstrom that's right across from the pedestrian bridge over King's Highway. Honestly, someone really needs to repair that bridge. The bridge itself is fine, but the windows in the elevator entrance were boarded up, and the elevator itself doesn't seem to be working. I pushed the button three times, and it never appeared. We just hiked up the steep stairs and across the bridge.

Lauren was the one who noticed the cards and crowds in the parking lot of the SilverDiner. There were almost as many classic cars there than there were at Collingswood on Saturday. It would seem the Silver Dollar Diner sponsored a "breakfast" car show Memorial Day morning. Alas, by the time we got there, they were shutting down. We admired a few cars and moved on.

The Silver Diner is a little chrome-and-neon eatery overlooking the hill across from the Cherry Hill Mall. They're a Maryland franchise who does diner-style food with sustainable ingredients. Lauren had a Ribeye Philly Steak. I went simpler with the Grilled Cheese Classic Combo with bacon. Oh, yum. I think Lauren somehow ended up with my Cranberry Ginger Sauce, but the sandwich tasted fine without it. It was filled with ooey gooey cheese on thick sourdough with just crunchy enough bacon and thin, salty fries. They were out of their fancy flavored sodas, so I went with a definitely different mint-cucumber lemonade and Lauren had raspberry iced tea. 

Made our way across the parking lot to Kohl's next. While they were in better shape than they were the last time I was in there, neither of us found anything. I mainly wanted to go to Target to pick up AAA batteries for that little game system I got from Round 1 on Wednesday. Also grabbed two bags of those yummy doughnut-glazed almonds. We both found Diet Mountain Dew sodas. 

Strolled back over the bridge to the Cherry Hill Mall around 2 PM. We were in and out of stores for the next couple of hours. Browsed in Go! Calendars and Toys, Build-a-Bear, and FYE, but found nothing of interest. I picked up a soft white nightgown with red ribbons and a pretty red and yellow flower print from the Macy's Backstage Area. Lauren hit up the clearance racks and found two pairs of trousers, three blouses, and a sweater for $28. (One of the blouses was a dollar!) I grabbed chinos for work and a green long-sleeved shirt on clearance at JC Penney. She picked up a really nice suit, once again on clearance. She found a nice jacket at Nordstrom, but I just went to the bathroom.

Cherry Hill just opened a tiny shop devoted entirely to Squishmallows, the popular pillow-like stuffed animals with their own names and personalities. We planned to just browse here, too...but then I saw a cute little stuffed dachshund in a hot dog roll I thought was too funny. I thought he'd be great for my niece Finley's sixth birthday in July. Since it was a buy one, get one half-off sale, I bought two cheerful cherries on a key ring hanger to keep on my purse. Lauren got a stuffed purple drink and a reversible black and purple bucket hat. She thought the drink was grape soda, but it turned out to be the cutest cup of bubble tea outside of Japan.

Lauren went back to JC Penney to use the bathroom. I settled down and snacked on almonds until she finished. The exit closest to the bus is right next to the upstairs JC Penney entrance and Old Navy. Our bus was about ten minutes late, once again not bad for the height of rush hour on a major holiday. It hit a little traffic going into Westmont, but nothing horrible. We were back at Johnson Road by quarter after 6.

Soon as we got home, we dropped everything off, then went right back out again. It was too nice of a day to hang out. It's still sunny and bright, but a stiff, cold wind kept it from getting too warm. In fact, it was downright chilly when we made our way up to Crown Chicken and Gyro for dinner. We both ordered the tilapia sandwich, with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and fries. I had a Diet Dr. Pepper; she got a Diet Canada Dry. Oh yum. The sandwiches were crispy and hot, with slender fries so perfectly salted, I had to agree with Lauren that they were even better than McDonald's.

Threw on The Price Is Right: The Barker Era when we got home as we put everything away and Lauren packed to leave tomorrow. Bob found himself dealing with one very strange contestant who kept changing her bid and never seemed to know what she wanted to bid. Not only did she finally make her way onstage, she actually managed to get to the Showcases. She made a bid way higher than the audience approved of, but changed it when they moaned and groaned...and they actually turned out to be right, for a change...

Finished the night on Amazon Prime with Jumping Jacks. I go further into this military comedy featuring Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin as paratroopers at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

And I hope all of you had an equally fun holiday weekend! Lauren goes home late tomorrow afternoon, but I'm off for another two days after that, including Thursday for several appointments. 

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Play the Game

Began a gorgeous morning with breakfast and Hogan's Heroes. "It's Dynamite" that the Germans are keeping in the cooler at Stalag 13, and it's making the prisoners very nervous. Hogan thinks they can use it to their advantage and create their own munitions dump, if only the trucks didn't keep disappearing. He and the guys have to figure out where the dynamite is going, and how to sneak it out under the nose of the Gestopo. 

Soon as the show ended, I called Uber to take us to the Gloucester Outlets. He showed up within 8 minutes. Despite it being nearly noon, there was no traffic on the road, even the highways. We arrived there in about 20 minutes. 

The gentleman couldn't pull up to the curb...because it was blocked by two food trucks. We ducked alongside one with flames on the side selling barbecue. Food trucks were everywhere in the main courtyard, and so were people. Children chased each other and played games on the Astroturf "green," while their parents window-shopped nearby. It was a totally different scene from when I visited the Outlets in early February. It was cold and windy that day, with no one around and nothing going on. Now, the fountains gurgled, the intercom played 90's and 2000's hits, and people milled around, checking out Memorial Day weekend sales on the sidewalks in front of the stores.

Lauren and I made our way to the back of the complex for lunch. Friendly's is one of two meal dining options at the Outlets. (The other is Starbucks.) I had the same Pick 3 meal I did in February - an unsweetened iced tea, a chicken quesadilla, and a crock of broccoli cheddar soup. Lauren had the soup, Diet Coke, and a grilled cheese. She had coffee ice cream with peanut butter sauce for dessert (and said it worked surprisingly well). I had Viennese Mocha Chunk with chocolate sauce, whipped cream, and a cherry. 

We spent the next couple of hours exploring stores and the many sales. I found a cute peach t-shirt with a flower print, a brown and tan checked blouse, and a pretty salmon blouse with narrow crocheted trim on the shoulders; Lauren bought two shirts for work. The line at Old Navy was too long and daunting for me, but Lauren picked up a few tank tops. We did better at the Gap. I found a sweet t-shirt with a cherry print and a peach cardigan. She got two blouses. 

I did the best at Lane Bryant. They had a rack of winter clothing marked down to $6.98. Found a gorgeous crimson velour blouse and an adorable Fair Isle-style red and blue snowflake print cardigan. (Lauren wanted a sweater with a similar print, but the only size they had left was too big for her.) Though I might have bought the blouse anyway at its original $40 price, the sweater had been $76! I saved $93 on that sale. 

Peeked at a few toy stores next. Adventureland was elbow-to-elbow with young comics fans; we found nothing there. Didn't see anything at Go! Toys and Games, either, though we had a few giggles at some of the pranks and Swiss army-type tools. Toys & Socks is what it says in the title, a store filled with Squishables and novelty socks. The stuffed animals were too expensive and I prefer plain socks, but Lauren did find some novelty socks she liked. 

Headed across the street around quarter of 4 to Dave & Buster's, which is in a freestanding building on the other side of the parking lot. They're basically the same thing as Round 1 with a larger sports bar replacing the bowling alley, fewer cranes with smaller prizes, and cards that can be tapped on the machine instead of just swept across. Spent the next hour running from giant Galaga and Space Invaders to ring toss and skee ball. Surprisingly, since I used up most of my points last time, I wound up with 1,772. Guess I am better at ring toss than I thought. I chose a sweet little Jigglypuff who was only 900 points and opted to save the other half for when I visit Lauren in September. Won a strange blue roll-like cat stuffed animal from the crane and a blue rubber duck.

Though it was 5 PM when we got out, we weren't ready to pack it in yet. I thought we could take a second look at the Deptford Mall on our own. Got an Uber driver in five minutes. Once again, there was no traffic and no trouble getting there.

We went straight to the food court for dinner. I had an easier time deciding than I thought. We already did Mexican, Chinese, and pizza this week, and I had tons of cheese and grease at Friendly's. I decided to go with something totally different. Tried a "souvelaki" with pita bread and a Greek salad from the aptly-named Pitas and Salads. It was just grilled chicken on skewers, but it was delicious, a bit salty but grilled perfectly. The pita was nice and soft, and other than having to fish out the olives (I'm not a fan of olives), the salad was tasty, too. Lauren had a chicken cheesesteak, fries, and a lemonade from Charley's. 

There was one part of the mall we didn't really check out with Jessa the other night. The only store we missed there was Box Lunch. They sell t-shirts and other pop culture paraphernalia for popular franchises, mainly anime, Harry Potter, super heroes, and Disney characters that don't often turn up in their official merchandise like Robin Hood and Bambi. We considered buying Winnie the Pooh sweaters before finally moving on.

As it turned out, we didn't have as much time at the Mall as we thought. Box Lunch locked their doors as  we stepped out. Other stores already had the bars pulled down or their own doors locked. I forgot they close at 6 on Sunday. I ended up calling Uber. The driver arrived within 15 minutes. There was some heavy traffic on the highway, but it moved fairly fast. We got home within a half-hour.

I finished out the night online honoring the men and women of the Armed Services for Memorial Day. The Match Game Classics marathon showcased Armed Services contestants from the Match Game series of the 80's and early 90's. Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour had several members of the Armed Forces as contestants. A handsome sailor who turned up late in the run turned quite a few heads; an Army man didn't do as well. 

One of the best weeks of Match Game '90 was its Veteran's Day tribute with Marines as contestants and in the audience. It also debuted amid a run of ABC soap stars appearing on the show. Lovely Karen Whittier and sarcastic Brit Fiona Hutchinson of One Life to Live were adored by the Marines, who cheered everything they said and did. Karen proved she was more than a pretty face by doing well at the Head-to-Head three times in a row. Meanwhile, Bruce Baum showed off some of his nutty inventions and Scorch and his puppeteer Ron Lucas flirted with Fiona. 

Here's the marathon, so you can enjoy all of the later antics with the Armed Services for yourself!

Family Feud did at least one Armed Services week during Richard Karn's run in the mid-2000's. It wasn't as elaborate as the ones during Ray Combs' series - the Coast Guard didn't play, for one thing, and there was no ultimate championship - but it still had a lot of funny moments. Once again, the Marines seemed to have the most fun, especially against the Air Force on the third day. 

Here's the entire week, so you can play along with Karn and some of the funniest people ever in uniform!

Oh, and we're going to spend Memorial Day and Lauren's last full day here at the Cherry Hill Mall.

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Hot Time In the Old Town Today

Started off the morning with breakfast and an episode of Hogan's Heroes from the first season. "Happiness Is a Warm Sergeant" when Schultz gets drunk while in town with Newkirk. Newkirk is supposed to be seeing the dentist for a toothache, but he's really getting parts for Kinch's radio. Klink fires Schultz for being negligent in his duties, but his replacement is a little too military for the Heroes' taste. They have to figure out how to get Schultz back and get a downed flyer out of Germany, all under the nose of the new sergeant. 

Headed out and down the street around quarter of 11. We cut through a quiet, lovely Newton Lake Park and down the road to Collingswood. Today was their annual May Fair. Every year on the Saturday before Memorial Day, they hold a huge, blocks-spanning fair on the section of Haddon Avenue that runs through the town. They were already mobbed at 11, with music playing at stage on the corner of Collings and Haddon. 

Our first stop was the Farm Market. On the day of the Fair, they're on a side street. Ducked through another crowd watching a juggler and magician perform his act, then around the big booth from the farm in Cherry Hill. The Farm Market was so packed, we could barely move. I was hoping for spring peas, but they only had strawberries. I bought a pint of those, and we headed back on the sidewalk.

As we made our way to the other side, we ran across the booth selling crocheted stuffed animals. I've bought Lauren gifts from her before. We both did very well. Lauren got a purple pig and a lavender kitty. I found a bear done in navy and burgundy and a pig in yellow and berry-colored yarn. The piggy is Berry Muffin, and the bear is Burgundy.

The reason I wanted to take Lauren to the fair was to show her the Classic Car Show. It's nearly five blocks and more than a 100 cars ranging from a 1910's Ford to a 1992 truck. Lauren took many pictures. Her favorite was a 1970 Plymouth Roadrunner the same shade of purple as the irises in local gardens. I liked the sporty Camaro in bright red-orange. I saw a Cheetos-themed car, and a bright pink and white Chevrolet with a tray of food on the window that was popular with little girls.

Strolled around the booths next, at least as well as we could with the crowds. I didn't buy anything else, but Lauren found a cute bucket hat in a blue and white print. She burns easily, but I suspect her corduroy baseball cap may have been too hot for the almost 80-degree day. 

I needed to stop at PNC, since it's on that side of Haddon Avenue. The inside ATM had a long line...but no one was at the outside ATMs, and the drive-through was likely closed, due to the fair. We both picked up money and moved on.

We don't have kids and didn't really need to stick around for the midway. The train is a block from PNC, so we figured it was time to get away from the crowds. We bought our tickets, and though there were quite a few people there, the train to Haddonfield still wasn't even half-full. It's a less than five minute trip to Haddonfield, anyway. We walked off at their underground train station.

Haddonfield is known for its wide variety of restaurants, including the British Chip Shop. We've eaten there before when we were together, and I hadn't gone there in a while. Unfortunately, when we got across the street, we discovered they were closed for the Memorial Day Weekend. 

No matter. The Bistro across the street and a block down is just as good. In fact, it's really my favorite place to eat in Haddonfield. They were busy, but it only took about 5 minutes to be seated in their shady outdoor area. Lauren had their enormous Italiano panini sandwich. I had a "Chocolate Hazelnut Dream," a crispy waffle topped with bananas and Nutella. She let me share their tasty fries that were more like thick chips.

The reason we came up to Haddonfield to begin with was the RAM Arcade. They recently opened in a small storefront on Haddon Avenue. Jessa mentioned them last night, and we thought it might be something fun and different. Like Pastime Pinball in Vermont, this is a working museum. It has a lot more than just vintage pinball games, though. The games I saw today ranged from the 1978 black and white Space Invaders to the 1991 Simpsons arcade game. Among the games I played today were Q-Bert, Mr. Do's Castle, Donkey Kong Jr, Pac Man, Dig Dug, Galaga, Frogger, Asteroids, and Centipede. I actually did best at Q-Bert. At least, I got to the second round, which I don't think I've ever been able to do before. There were four pinball games in the back, but only Black Knight and No Fear worked. I played them, too, along with a carnival-themed shooting game.

(Incidentally, if you're looking for something fun and inexpensive to do with older kids and teens to distract them for an hour, I highly recommend this place. It's only 8 dollars for an hour session, a steal in pricey Haddonfield.) 

Since the train tracks are on the other side of Haddonfield, we decide to walk back to Westmont. It was too nice of a day to be inside, anyway. Though it was warmer, it also remained sunny and dry. The stiff wind felt great as we hiked down Haddon Avenue. 

We wet our whistles at Primo's Water Ice in Westmont. They're one of the best water ice and ice cream parlors in the area, with a wide variety of flavors. Lauren went with sugar free lemon. I had their creamy coconut. Yum. Tasted like real cream of coconut. Lauren said her lemon was so good, you couldn't tell it didn't have real sugar. We enjoyed our treats on a bench outside, listening to two other sets of women and a mother and her children chatter and eat their water ice and ice cream.

It was past 4 when we finished. Samaritan Thrift closes at 3, but Phidelity Records stays open late on weekends. We explored the shop far more thoroughly than I did a few weeks ago. Lauren came up with a pile of CDs. I found a set of Mae West's best movies (including My Little Chickadee and I'm No Angel), The Brass Bottle with Tony Randall and Barbara Eden, and A Manheim Steamroller Christmas

Made our way across Haddon to WaWa after we got out for drinks. We'd considered going down to the small Target, but it was nearly 5:30. Rush hour on Cuthbert is no fun at any time of the week, but it's especially a pain on weekends. I ended up calling Uber. That may have been the smart thing to do. He picked us up in less than a minute and dropped us off in less than five, even with the traffic.

Spent the next few hours after we got settled in watching more Hogan's Heroes. "The Scientist" is captured Frenchman Henry DuBois, whom the Nazis are forcing to work for them. LeBeau and Newkirk have to pass themselves off as scientists in order to get the real DuBois and his daughter out of the country. (And I suspect Robert Clary resembling a French Jerry Lewis was intentional, considering the popularity of his movies in the 60's and with the French.)

After they inadvertently let the money needed to pay off an informant burn up in their stove, Hogan, Newkirk, and LeBeau concoct "The Great Brinksmeyer Robbery" in order to get more. Hogan romances the young woman whose apartment abuts the bank and gets her drunk, while the other two get the money and even repair her wall.

"Hogan and the Lady Doctor" puts the Heroes under the orders of Dr. Suzanne Lechay, a noted French chemist on the run from the Germans. She turns herself in to them in order to have access to a lab where they're working on a synthetic fuel. Hogan doesn't like her doing it when the Getstopo takes over the lab, but she insists on it. He and the guys find a way to help her out anyhow.

We switched to Season 6 for "Kommendant Schultz." Schultz is given the run of Stalag 13 for a while...and proves to be such a tyrant, Hogan and the boys tries to find a way to get him pulled from duty. He's not to be persuaded, though...until Klink comes back.

"Eight O'Clock and All Is Well"....except maybe for the new prisoner who is making everyone a little nervous. He seems legit, but the Heroes have been fooled before. They find a way to keep him off their trail and blow up a major supply train.

Klink lets the prisoners make "The Big Record" and put out recordings to send home. Hogan has other plans for the equipment besides sending messages to their families. It may come in handy to record a top secret meeting going on the mess hall that no one will let them near.

Finished the night online after dinner and a shower. The Match Game Classics marathons resumed with a salute to Dick Gautier. Best known for being the original Conrad Birdie in the Broadway Bye Bye Birdie and for playing Hymie the Robot on Get Smart, Gautier's enormous ego, goofy sense of humor, and excellent artwork on his cards really livened up his appearances from 1973 to 1977. He was a good sport about being on the receiving end of teasing, too. In one of my favorite episodes from 1977, the lower tier played the upper tier when they all matched the contestant. Funny as Richard was playing Brett, it was the ladies who stole the show. Fannie Flagg was a perfectly hysterical Charles Nelson Reilly, and Jo Ann Pflug was a riot as Dick, complete with huge smile.

Bring your best artwork along to join this hilarious look at one of the show's funniest hunks!

Tomorrow, we take another longer trip, this time to the Gloucester Outlets to walk around there and check out Dave and Buster's. 

( the time I finally got online, it was too late for reviews. I'll do it tomorrow.)

Friday, May 26, 2023

With a Little Help from My Friends

I wanted to show Lauren Sailor Moon after she won that huge stuffed Luna on Wednesday, so we started off the day with an episode from the fourth season, "Drive to the Heavens: The Dream Car Fueled With Love." Ami jumps to conclusions when she sees Mamoru with a young widow. Turns out the woman was just repairing his car. She's working on a classic car she and her late husband were repairing before he died. Ami starts helping her, and she gets the Guardians involved. The widow is going to need more help than just car repair when she becomes Hawk Eye's next Target...and he poses as her husband to get her to give up her dream.

Jessa picked us up around quarter after 11. Our first stop of the day was the Barrington Antique Center. As I did the last two times I visited, I found something right away. A handsome teddy bear with thick velvety reddish-brown fur perched on a pretty painted children's rocking chair. Despite his beautiful fur making him look more like my collectible bears, he was only five dollars. I named him Velvet, after his super-soft and fluffy fur. I was the only one who found something here. We had to wait a little while longer for Jessa, who was sorting through bins upstairs.

The House of Fun is in Lawnside, only a few blocks down from the Antique Center. They were the same delightful jumble of vintage and collectible action figures, toys, board games, DVDs, books, comics, and stuffed animals as ever. Once again, I was the only one who came up with something. They had a nifty four-disc set featuring all of the Universal Flash Gordon serials, packaged with a small book explaining more about the comics and its characters.

Next up was lunch at the Deptford Mall Red Robin. I saw several families among the groups chattering away, making me wonder if some schools got off early for Memorial Day. We shared a tower of crispy onion rings. Lauren had sliders and a Raspberry Limeade. I had a half-tea, half-lemonade and a "Red Robin Gourmet Cheeseburger," meaning a basic cheeseburger with tomatoes, onions, lettuce, and pickles. You get to choose your own cheese; I went with my favorite, provolone. Jessa had a "Tycoon Burger" with truffle oil and cheese and an iced tea. I should have asked for mine done medium rare instead of medium. It was slightly chewy. Otherwise, it came out just fine. Came with those yummy highly seasoned steak fries.

We walked around upstairs for a while after lunch. Jessa and I didn't find anything at Boscov's, but Lauren picked up a few shirts. Lauren and I found The Jetsons: The Complete Series on sale at FYE. I took advantage of a buy-one, get-one 50 percent off sale to also pick up the original Fletch with Chevy Chase. 

Deptford also has a Round 1 Arcade, replacing what used to be the top half of a Sears; we made our way there next. I spent the next hour running from spinning wheels to Mario Kart Deluxe (I somehow ended up playing Walugi) to Nerf Arcade to Pac Man. Had far more luck with Bust a Move than an updated, 3-D Centipede (I was never great at the original version, either) or an enormous Space Invaders. The skee ball machines are working again, so I had a couple of go-arounds with those. Did surprisingly well at the ring toss game. Tried the cranes many times, but never did win anything. 

Went back up front to check my card and see how many points I had...and got a bit of a shock when the card recharge machine showed over 6,400 points! I swear I had a little over 2,000 on Wednesday, and that was before I got Kiki. I checked three times on three different machines, and it was the same. I have no idea how I got all those points. I guess I did better at the ring toss than I thought. I chose a large, squishy pale blue stuffed dragon-like creature, a miniature video game console with 150 8 bit games, and a Felix the Cat key chain holder and still had at least 3,500 points left. I decided to save the rest for when I visit Lauren in September. 

(Incidentally, I named the squishy dragon BubBob, after Bub and Bob, the dragon brothers of Bubble Bobble and Bust a Move. He looks a lot like them. I couldn't remember which one was the blue one, so I named him after both. I looked it up later, by the way - Bob is the blue one.)

Checked out the department stores next while I got over my shock. I didn't find anything at Macy's, but Lauren came up with a few shirts. I grabbed a daffodil-yellow t-shirt to replace the one I got bleach on a year ago at JC Penney, but the other two didn't have as much luck there. 

Jessa suggested checking out a few thrift shops in her area next. The first one was basically the same deal as the Barrington Antique Center, a lot of little rooms and dealers all in one huge store. Unfortunately, we arrived 15 minutes before closing time. We all looked around quickly, but that wasn't a lot of time to do any real searching. 

We had more luck at the Woodbury Goodwill down the street. They still had an hour left, giving us plenty of time to look around. I did really well, too. Picked up a good pair of khakis with pockets for interviews (the ones I ran into at the department stores had no pockets) and a nice Lands End yellow print tank top, along with a CD set and two records I've wanted for years: 

Remembering the 60's (A four-disc Reader's Digest set of easy-listening 60's hits. Most of my 60's music tends towards harder rock and pop.) 

A Sondheim double feature - the original Broadway cast of A Little Night's Music and the original London cast of the revue Side By Side By Sondheim

(And the CD set was one of the tag colors of the day, so it was half price.)

Jessa finally dropped us off in Oaklyn around quarter after 7. We had a quick pannini dinner while watching Match Game Syndicated. None other than Dear Abby made her first appearance as a panelist in this episode, prompting a kiss from Gene she seemed to enjoy. Brett didn't do as well with "St. Louis __" in the Head-to-Head.

Finished off the night online with Mystery Science Theater 3000. Robot Holocaust is one of the many post-apocalyptic movies of the 1980's. Robots staged a rebellion in the near future, enslaving half of mankind in the one remaining city. The other half live a hard-scrabble existence in the wastelands outside the city. The entire world is run by an entity known as the Dark One, whose followers include the fanatical Valaria (Angelika Jager). Neo (Norris Culf) and his clumsy robot sidekick join Deeja (Nadine Hart), one of the outsiders, to help rescue her scientist father from the Dark One and break his hold on the slaves. 

Hooo boy. This is the most obviously cheap 80's action flick I've ever seen. Of the actors, only Jager comes across as the nasty lady who will do anything at all for the Dark One. Everyone else is either bored or just doesn't want to be there, the dialogue is either stiff or way too silly, and the story is a mess of cliches seen in other sci-fi films of the time. Mainly recommended for fans of low-budget sci-fi films or those who like their films entertainingly bad. 

Checked my schedule when I got home. Surprisingly, not many hours next week. On one hand, we'll be past Memorial Day, and we're not usually busy the week after a major holiday. On the other hand, it is the beginning of the month, and there's a lot of events coming up, including Father's Day and high school graduations. I did ask for Thursday off for several appointments, but I got Wednesday off as well. At least I'll be able to rest and clean up the rooms from my vacation. 

Speaking of vacation, tomorrow is Collingswood's annual May Fair. Lauren is a big classic car fan, and I thought she'd get a kick out of the Car Show. Jessa mentioned there's a new retro arcade in Haddonfield, too. We'll check that out and have lunch there after we hit the Fair. 

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Better Shop Around

We started off a somewhat earlier morning with breakfast and more Hogan's Heroes. Hogan finds himself "Up In Klink's Room" when he fakes a rare disease to join Klink in the hospital. He and Newkirk are really interested in getting information from a wounded informant. 

I wanted to get an earlier start because we were going further afield. Called Uber around 10 AM to take us to Marlton. They arrived in seven minutes. Thankfully, there was no traffic anywhere on the road, not even on the highway. The driver pulled up at the Cottage Resale Shop within a half-hour.

I'd wanted to check out this American Girl resale store again since I first explored it last summer. It's a tiny little shop embedded in the side of an otherwise ordinary 20's-era cottage. The owner's two energetic Springer Spaniels charged in when they heard our voices. They were only used to their papa, and they wanted to play! Lauren laughed at their antics, while I found Kit's original red Christmas dress and a second Molly's Underwear set for Kit on the historical outfit shelves, along with a random petticoat in a bag of damaged or stray outfit pieces. (I don't think Kit ever had an underwear set of her own. Molly's time period is so close to hers, I figure she can get away with it. And the petticoat will go to Felicity or Josefina.) 

Our next stop was a couple of blocks down and across Marlton's historic Main Street. I loved Sal's Pizzaworks when I was there last July and wanted to introduce Lauren to it. It's a hole-in-the-wall nestled in a small shopping center between larger, older buildings. For all their small size, they not only have outdoor seating, but an up-to-date Coke Freestyle machine. Lauren had a pepperoni slice, a broccoli slice, and extra-lemony Sprite. I had a mushroom slice, a broccoli slice, and Dr. Pepper Cherry Vanilla. Our meals only cost us about 5 dollars each. We enjoyed it on their patio, letting the strong wind blow over us.

Our next stop, Among Other Things thrift shop, was only a block away on the end of Main Street. This long building filled with everything from vintage 50's prom gowns to 80's and 90's children's books isn't as big as the Barrington Antique Center, but it still has several rooms to explore. Lauren didn't get anything here, but I found a vintage book of prince and princess fairy tales and a genuine 80's off-brand Cabbage Patch Kids outfit, a red checked blouse with a sail boat print and bow-trimmed jean shorts. It'll be perfect for my girlier Cabbie Dulcie. 

Made our way down the street, past two large shopping centers. We did check out Chico's, but found nothing of interest. I wanted to stop at Trader Joe's for those yummy peanut butter and chocolate and chocolate and almond butter cereal bars I like. They didn't have the sugared orange slices I've loved every time I went there, so I went with dried, sugared coconut strips and mandarin orange pieces instead.

It was a less than ten-minute walk down to the Promenade at Sagemore. At least, unlike when I visited there in July, the weather was perfect for a long walk. Sunshine and blazing blue skies, with a strong wind that kept everything nice and cool. I'm not sure it even got out of the 60's. We passed a gas station, an elementary school with a huge playing field and playground, and two pharmacies before we arrived at Virtua Health. Cutting across their parking lot took us to the street between it and the Promenade.

The Promenade turned out to be a bust. They're a lovely, modern brick-and-glass shopping center with lots of fancy name brand stores like Talbots, Anthropologie, Ann Taylor, and The Loft that we can't afford, and other than Talbots, don't really carry my size anyway. Didn't do any better at L.L Bean this time. I'm not going camping anytime soon, don't need more tote bags or backpacks, and their clothing prices aren't great. 

The only thing we did there was go to the bathroom. The Promenade cleverly made their own bathrooms by partitioning off the bathrooms of an unused restaurant. It definitely had been a restaurant once. The "seating area" was booths without the tables, and the orange, green, and blue-striped partition looked like the walls of a chain eatery.

By 3:30, we were tired of looking at fancy stores that were beyond our budgets and finally settled down on a bench to rest and figure out what to do next. I looked up area shopping centers on my phone to see if there was anything more to our liking. I'd wanted to check out the big mall with the TJ Maxx across from the turn off to Main Street, but didn't want to cross the busy highway to get there. Circumvented that problem by calling Uber. The driver arrived in fifteen minutes and got us there in less than five.

The sprawling Marlton Crossings Shopping Center was really more to our taste and budgets anyway. I saw everything there from Michaels to an Arthur Murray dance studio. We didn't find anything at TJ Maxx, but we did see a Rocket Fizz on the other side of the mall. So that's where they ended up after the Westmont store shut down! Rocket Fizz is an eclectic candy store focusing on penny candy, rare candy imported from England, hard-to-find older candy and chocolate, toys, and novelty sodas. Lauren bought a container of gummy root beer bottles, a Flake chocolate bar from England, a fruit soda, and a Beanie Baby giraffe. I filled a bag with my favorite sugared fruit slices, grabbed an English mint Aero "aerated chocolate" bar, and a small bottle of New York Seltzer in French Vanilla. Hadn't seen those since I was a kid. 

We decided to try something different and had dinner at Joe's Peking Duck House. It was small but elegant, with red patterned tables and yellow lanterns giving off a soft glow on the ceiling. We shared a pot of tasty hot tea and a bowl of sticky white rice. Lauren had jumbo shrimp with walnuts and broccoli. I had sweet and sour chicken (something else I haven't had in years). She shared her broccoli with me. For once, the plates weren't too full. We finished everything but the bowl of rice and two sweet and sour chicken nuggets.

It took 7 minutes to get a ride home, not bad considering it was still rush hour. Everything was smooth sailing until we got into Westmont. The lady driving hit traffic on Cuthbert, which meant that a one-minute drive became fifteen. It was fine once we got past the corner of Haddon and Cuthbert. 

Once we got in, I texted Jessa to tell her when we wanted to meet tomorrow while Lauren put on more Hogan's Heroes. Given our lunch today, "The Pizza Parlor" was rather appropriate. Italian stalag manager Major Bonicelli (Hans Conried) is at Stalag 13 supposedly to learn how Klink runs a model camp. What he really wants to do is get out of Germany. He's a loyal Italian, but isn't a fan of war or the Germans. Hogan convinces London to call the Newark pizza parlor owned by the father of one of the prisoners in order to get his pizza recipe, then uses said pizza to win Bonicelli over to their side.

Finished out the night online after a much-needed shower with You're Never Too Young. I go further into this remake of the 1942 comedy The Major and the Minor featuring Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. 

Tomorrow, we're going to hit Barrington and the Deptford Mall with Jessa. And next year, I think we'll forgo the Promenade and just figure out how to get across the street to Marlton Crossings.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Philadelphia Freedom

Started off the morning with breakfast and more Hogan's Heroes with Lauren. Hogan, LeBeau, Newkirk, and Carter find themselves on "The Swing Shift" when they bomb a newly-minted factory that makes bombs and parts. Newkirk is made the foreman...until he's accidentally drafted into the German Army, and nearly winds up as a guard for Klink at Stalag 13. The others do their best to help him out of it. 

Switched to the second half of Press Your Luck on Buzzr while we got organized. The one lady screamed so loudly when she hit a trip to Paris, Peter Tomarken joked she broke all the windows at CBS. Alas, she hit a Whammy and wasn't able to keep her vacation. The young man who won picked up a trip to Tahiti, a speed boat, and a pile of money. The next episode had just begun as we finally headed out.

It was a gorgeous day for a walk and a train ride. Though it was slightly humid, it was also sunny and breezy, with a perfect blue sky and upper 70 degree temperatures. We made our way down the stone steps to Newton Lake Park, cutting through there on the way to Bettlewood. Stopped to watch a couple of turtles swimming and floating happily in the green waters near the bridge on our way.

Our first stop was the Pop Shop for an early lunch. They tend to fill up at lunchtime, but around 11 AM, there were only a few older couples and mothers with young children there. Lauren tried a "biscuit scramble," scrambled eggs with vegetables and cheese and a biscuit with chipped beef. I had the same plate of pancakes, scrambled eggs, and bacon with fruit salad I did last time. The bacon was still good, and this time, they actually scrambled the eggs, but I still couldn't finish those huge "Betty" pancakes. Lauren did finish hers, though.

No visit to the Pop Shop is complete without their award-winning ice cream concoctions. Lauren had an ice cream soda with Diet Coke and coffee ice cream. I had a Reeces Peanut Butter Cup "Blaster," peanut butter up chunks in soft serve chocolate ice cream. Yum! Sweet and rich, with tons of big peanut buttery pieces. The waitress even threw in extra chocolate syrup. Lauren seemed to enjoy her ice cream float, too.

Spent the next hour or so exploring stores in Collingswood. Occasionette is a wonderful gift shop...that's also pretty expensive. We oohed and ahhed over their adorable food-themed stuffed animals, but ultimately moved on. Lauren didn't find anything at Clutter, but I fished the children's book Ben & Me off their book shelves. I didn't see anything I really wanted at Time Lapse, but Lauren picked up two Care Bears figures from the 80's that she collects. 

Made our way down to the PATCO station around 1, picking up the train there. The car was only about half-full when it rumbled down the track. We had a quick and relatively quiet ride into Philadelphia.

Got off at 13th Street. Lauren, who has a better sense of direction than I do, directed us around a few corners until we arrived at Macy's. Finally found out why they were remodeling when we were here last year when we discovered half of the second floor had been turned into a "Macy's Backstage" for off-price items. I found a pair of good, simple black flats. I've wanted good shoes for years, but they never had rubber soles or pinched my feet. These were a little narrow, but bearable. Also grabbed a fancy journal for $4.99 at the checkout desk. Lauren said she picked up a few shirts from the Backstage area.

Strolled down a busy Market Street to Primark next. They generally don't have much in the way of plus sizes. I saw some button-down shirts and lots of Disney t-shirts, but decided to wait on more clothes shopping until we get to the New Jersey malls. Lauren ultimately decided the same, and we moved on.

I wanted to show Lauren Reading Terminal Market, a popular jumble of food booths and gift booths housed in the old Reading Terminal train station and train stalls. It was busy in there, too, and while we enjoyed looking around, most of the stores sold food. We'd had plenty to eat in Collingswood, and neither of us were really hungry. We used the bathroom and ducked out.

Doubled back to the Fashion District mall initially to check out Burlington Coat Factory...but their entrance was closed and barred. We checked other entrances, but they all said no entry. It was odd. We saw people inside, and merchandise. Finally gave up and checked out the similar Shopper's World instead, which opened late last June. It's basically a nicer, better-organized Burlington. Lauren picked up two turtlenecks. I found a big pack of hair bands for $1.99.

I had so much fun on New Year's Day at the Round 1 upstairs in the Fashion District, I suggested to Lauren that we go there next. It's not as big as the one at Deptford, but it does have some games they don't have. Found a whole row of pinball machines along the wall near the bowling alley. Didn't do too badly on Guardians of the Galaxy, but couldn't get anything going with Star Wars. Found their skee ball machines hiding in the back and did those, too. Played Space Invaders and Mario Kart Deluxe, doing Pac Man on the latter. Lauren earned enough points to get a huge stuffed Luna. I decided to save half my points for Deptford and went with another medium-sized Beanie Baby, this one a gray-stripped kitty named Kiki with a pink sparkly bow. 

By that point, it was 5 PM, well past time to head out. We made our way across the mall and past the closed Burlington to the PATCO station under the mall. Maybe we shouldn't have waited so long. The train to the suburbs was jammed to the gills. I took one of the last seats. Lauren stood all the way to Collingswood.

Had dinner at one of our favorite restaurants in Collingswood, Tortilla Press. Lauren enjoyed a chicken and avocado wrap. I also had chicken and avocado, but in a quesadilla. She got berry lemonade. I tried a virgin margarita that proved to be way too sweet. 

After we got in, we put on Match Game Syndicated while we got organized. They're up to the first day with Kirstie Alley and the day leading up to her arrival. Jamie Lee Curtis made her first appearance on the show, prompting a "new kid on the block" kiss from Gene. The contestant who played before Kiristie proved to be totally hapless. Her seat broke, and Gene had to fix it. In the second episode, she took so long to answer a question, Gene lay down and took a nap!

Finished the night switching around online. Went to Hulu first for Sailor Moon Super S. Lauren and I aren't the only ones picking up new styles today. Usagi and her friends are crazy about a handsome young fashion designer and his trendy clothes in "We Love Fashion: The Stylish Sailor Guardians." The designer himself is less satisfied with his work. Fish Eye of the Amazon Trio thinks he can be the man's muse, but all he does is demand more of his time. Usagi provides the real inspiration when she asks him to do her a favor. 

Moved to Paramount Plus for The Love Boat. A young gold-digger (Dorian Lopinto) hoping to avoid her mother's fate of poverty fakes a posh background to get a snooty dilettante to marry her...but learns that "Win One, Lose One" when she meets a man from her hometown who doesn't care who she is. Gopher and Issac can't believe a nerdy youth (Ron Pallilo) is "The $10,000 Lover." A man from a world record book (James Darren) claims if he makes love to one more lady, he'll get $10,000...but then the kid falls for a sweet woman (Gina Hecht). Doc, for once, doesn't want the lady when his friend from college (Jim McKreil) tells him to "Mind My Wife" (Jill St. John) during the cruise. 

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Cheeseburger and Tacos In Paradise

We started off with a couple of Hogan's Heroes episodes while I ate breakfast. Lauren's been watching this  with her parents, and she's really gotten into it. We started off with "How to Catch a Papa Bear." When Newkirk is captured by the Gestopo along with a local Underground unit, Hogan and his men spring into action. One of the Underground members is a traitor, though, and they're going to make sure that person gives the wrong message to the right people in order to break out their British friend. 

It's "Klink Vs. the Gonculator" when he catches the boys working on what they lead him to believe is a highly secret weapon. It's actually just a fancy rabbit trap Carter built to catch meat for their dinner. Hogan, however, thinks it'll be perfect to bring in an electronics expert they need to get out of the country.

"To the Getstopo With Love" brings in the most devious interrogators the Germans can come up with - three gorgeous ladies. They're easily able to charm the prisoners into revealing every secret they know. Hogan and Kinch get information from London that could help them turn the tables on these lovely menaces.

Headed out shortly after the episode ended. Strolled down the White Horse Pike and Market Street in Audubon to our first stop, the used media store Abbie Road. The sweet, gregarious owner Bob knows both of us personally and always gives us good deals. I had a long chat with him about my current troubles with find a better job; Lauren told him about her parents. We spent so much time searching through his piles and piles of media, we were there for more than an hour and a half. Didn't start out to Audubon Crossings again until past 1 PM. 

It was a gorgeous spring day, sunny, blustery, and hazy blue, perfect for a fast-food picnic at Sonic. We both had cherry limeades and tater tots. I went with the regular cheeseburger, with tomatoes and pickles. She ordered the Toast Double Cheeseburger, but they were out of toast, so she had it on a regular bun. A few workers from the stores in the area had lunch at the patio when we came in. Two stylish ladies in tight outfits ordered food and bantered with the server while we were there. After they left, we pretty much had the place to ourselves.

Were in and out of stores for the next few hours. I didn't find anything at Game Stop, but Lauren picked up the fairly new Atari 50, a collection of both popular and rare Atari titles in honor of their 50th anniversary. Didn't do very well at Marshalls or Ross. Lauren didn't find anything at Marshalls, either, but she picked up a turtleneck, a shirt, and two pants for work at Ross. And while she didn't find anything at Goodwill, I came up with a never-worn pair of black capris and two 99 cent CDs.

Hit the Acme next to stock up on snacks for the week. I was out of that snacking mozzarella I really like, and I kept forgetting to buy popcorn. Grabbed the last container of those tasty black jam grapes, too. She chose gummy candy, Crystal Lite raspberry lemonade mix, a Pepsi Zero, and a bag of Chex Mix. I bought them here, plus the plain black bag you get free with a five dollar purchase and an online coupon. After we got out, I decided to save time and called an Uber to get us home. He was there in ten minutes; we were back in five. 

(And no wonder I easily got the week off. The Acme was stone-cold dead when we were there, even with three registers open and no one at the self-checkout.) 

Oh, and between Abbie Road and Goodwill, along with the food and the capris, I picked up: 

The original cast albums for Snoopy: The Musical (CD) and Redhead (record) with Gwen Verdon.

The 1974 K-Tel collection Dynamite (record) 

Sammy Davis Jr. - Greatest Hits (CD)

Elton John - Captain Fantastic and the Dirt Brown Cowboy (CD)

Bilboard Top Hits 1963

A 20-CD collection of Fibber McGee and Molly old-time radio shows

Swingers Original Soundtrack (CD)

Barney Miller: The Complete Series

The Best of Password (An older version of the set I bought Mom for Christmas three years ago.)

Laverne and Shirley: Seasons Four & Five

Once we got in and put everything away, we went right back out. It was just too nice of a day to be hanging around inside. I took Lauren the other way down East Clinton to Newton Lake Park. By that point, it was 4:30, and many families were out fishing, biking, or letting the kids run off steam. We strolled past them, enjoying the shady emerald green canopy as we headed down to the dirt path and up to the road past the post office. 

Had dinner four blocks down the White Horse Pike at Jalapeno's. Thankfully, their service seems to move a lot faster at dinner than at lunch. Lauren enjoyed three big tacos stuffed with chipolte chicken. I went with a huge shrimp burrito and small cup of black beans. Yum, yum. My burrito was very tasty, filled with rice, cheese, and tiny little grilled shrimp. Lauren seemed to enjoy her tacos, too. She ate all of them, at least.

We stopped at the Dunkin Donuts two blocks away for dessert. I was surprised at how many donuts they still had out at 5:30 PM. I suspect they were, too. Lauren ordered an iced coffee and a chocolate frosted donut. I got an iced chai latte (that was way too sweet) and an apple-filled donut...and Lauren and I later discovered we'd each gotten one more donut than asked for. The girl may have been trying to get rid of them. Cool. We have dessert for tomorrow, too.

Watched Match Game '74 while we got settled. They skipped the rest of the Anson Williams week and went straight into the week with magic-loving Juliet Mills and South American hunk Alejandro Rey. Rey's presence inspired a question about what would stop the Flying Nun from taking flight. (He was a regular on that show.) There was also a crack about what type of monster Brett would be hired to play.

I finished the night online. Watched The Caddy at Paramount Plus. I go further into this golf-themed Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis vehicle at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Jeannie has her own problems in the fourth season of I Dream of Jeannie. "Have You Heard the One About the Used Car Salesman?" Jeannie asks Roger when she's swindled by a fast-talking used car dealership owner (Carl Ballantine) after bringing Tony's car in to be repaired. She finds a way to humiliate the man during one of his commercials. She also avoids the advances of Major Bellows' over-eager nephew Homer (Bob Hastings). 

Tomorrow, we're going to make a trip to Collingswood for lunch and into Philly to check out the Macy's and Reading Terminal Market.

Monday, May 22, 2023

Crazy World

Started off the morning with breakfast and the 1980 Dr. Seuss special Pontoffel Pock, Where are You? After he's fired from his job at the dill pickle factory for making a simple mistake, Pock, a "schnook" by his own admission, wishes he could get away from it all. His wish is granted by a fairy who gives him a magic piano. Pushing on a button will allow the piano to travel where the button directs him. He first visits an Alps-like town in the mountains, but they don't appreciate his showing off. His second trip to the Middle East introduces him to Eefa Neefa, an "eyeball dancer" he falls in love with at first sight, but he loses her when he leaves. The fairies chase him all over the world, trying to bring him home, but all he wants is to return to his Eefa Neefa.

Headed out to Dollar General briefly after the cartoon ended. Lauren likes Sudoku and crossword puzzle books. I always get a few for her when she visits. Also grabbed yogurt and a Coke Zero Move. I hadn't planned on going out earlier, but it was such a nice day, I had to. At that point, it was sunny and blue, maybe a bit on the humid side, but nothing outrageous, and nicely breezy.

When I got home, I vacuumed and pushed the Swifter in the rooms and on the stairs while watching Match Game '77. Suzanne Somers continued her week as everyone tried to figure out "__ Knot" in the Audience Match. Buzzr skipped the next two episodes, going into the week with Sarah Kennedy, Betty White, and Hans "Captain Hook" Conried. They discuss Betty White's new self-titled show in the opening...which, despite what Gene says, was a major flop that only ran four months. 

Let it continue into Tattletales as I dusted the main room. Totie Fields and George Johnson just couldn't get anything going in these episodes. They got close after coming back from nothing in the first one, but Rita and Jerry Vale took that one. Olavee and Ross Martin took the second.

Switched to the soundtrack for Victor/Victoria while finishing the bedroom and having lunch. The LP puts its best groove forward, starting off with Julie Andrews and Robert Preston's delightful duet "You and Me" that's probably the best number in the film. I also like Andrews' ballad "Crazy World" and her big chorus routine "Le Jazz Hot." 

Put on the first season of Sailor Moon while washing the window and wiping down the TV. "The Summer, the Beach, Youth, and Ghosts" is what it says on the tin. Rei, Ami, and Usagi aren't too happy when their summer vacation starts off in a dilapidated Victorian hotel run by what appears to be Universal monsters and the beach is so private, there's no cute guys. Things take a turn for the strange when Ami befriends a young girl with psychic powers. Her father wants to develop them, but they go out of control after he puts her under hypnosis. 

I was watching Super Password when a friend agreed to help me pick up Lauren. We left around quarter of 4. Surprisingly, considering it was the start of rush hour, we ran into no heavy traffic anywhere, not even in downtown Philadelphia. She circled 30th Street Station a few times before we found a place to park outside the station on 30th Street.

I'd just gotten out of the car to check if Lauren had arrived and was walking in the door to the station when I almost literally ran into Lauren coming out! She'd just gotten in. We had a good laugh, then walked down, loaded her luggage into the trunk, and made our way off again. This time, she avoided any traffic, going over the Walt Whitman Bridge and past Citizen's Bank Park and Xfinity Live! We also went past the Acme, which had a fairly full parking lot (and made me very glad I wasn't there). 

Once we got in and Lauren dropped off her luggage, we went right back out. I'd been inside for several hours, and Lauren had been on trains and in stations since 1:30. Besides, I wanted to show her our new WaWa. She got a coconut-mango drink; I went with a tasty mango-banana smoothie made with fresh fruit.

Spent the next few hours upstairs, watching more Match Game. Match Game '74 brought in Anson Williams from Happy Days for his first week, along with Fannie Flagg and ever-laughing Kaye Stevens. While Brett ranted over how impossibly young Anson looked, the others admired a pinafore made by the first-grade students of one of the contestants. (And they did a wonderful job on it, too!) Things got a little naughtier in the second episode with the answers to "Strip __" in the Audience Match.

Richard Paul, big George Kennedy, and slightly ditzy Judy Landers joined in for Match Game Syndicated. Gene happily gave her Judy a kiss, even though she'd appeared on the show before. Richard Paul has his own way of avoiding the madness over him - the flaps on his fireman's hat. Charles complained about the dinger being off-key in the second episode. Richard Paul has more luck playing the game with the audience in the end of the episode. 

Finished the night on Hulu with more Sailor Moon.  "Shining Summer Days: Ami Under the Sea Breeze" takes all of the girls, Chibi-Usa, and Usagi's little brother Shingo to their local beach for some fun in the sun. Tiger's Eye pursues Ami, to the annoyance of Shingo, who has a crush on her. Ami, however, is not easily persuaded. When Tiger's Eye attacks Shingo, it brings out the other girls...and puts Ami's pure heart at risk.

Oh, and tomorrow, we're taking our usual first day walk around Oaklyn and Audubon. It's a great way to settle in and check out my immediate area. 

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Kids and Games

Began the morning with breakfast and The Backyardigans on Paramount Plus. Tyrone, Pablo, and Uniqua can't decide what to play, so they let Tasha decide. They're disappointed when she goes with a tea party, but Tasha's "High Tea" turn out to be anything but docile! She leads them through the jungles of Borneo, helps them cheer up the grumpy Emperor Austin of China, and takes them for a ride across the Gobi Desert in search of the perfect cup of tea. 

Headed out shortly after the cartoon ended. My 8 and 1/2 hour day was...mostly kind of boring. It was off and on busy, only getting bad when I'd have to jump into the express line so the cashier there could go on break and we'd be down to one or two lines open. Of course, things didn't get bad until she went home, and I had to go in for her during my last hour and a half. The people in the express line were often rude; many of them had far larger orders than should have been in the line, but either didn't or wouldn't hear when I told them they didn't belong in this register. After all, there was only one other line open. I couldn't get out of there fast enough.

Went straight into dinner and Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour soon as I got home. They were already into the Hollywood Squares second half by the time I changed and settled down with leftovers. I recognized Pat McCormick and Mark Russell, but the contestants were different. The winning contestant from the Match Game half was so small, very tall Jon Bauman got on his knees to talk to her! 

Finished the night after a shower with YouTube and more kid's shows, this time revolving around stunts. The long-runner champ for kid's stunt shows is, of course, Nickelodeon's Double Dare. Kids dare each other to answer trivia. Anyone who can't answer takes the "Physical Challenge," a messy stunt. If they get the challenge, they win the money. Otherwise, the other side gets the money. The winners take on the Obstacle Course, a series of difficult stunts for gradually larger prizes. Simple but addictive, this ran from 1986 to 1993 and saw revivals in 2000 and 2018. I went with an episode of one of its two spin-offs, Super Sloppy Double Dare, which was the same thing with slightly messier stunts.

The wild success of Double Dare spawned many imitations. My sisters and I were equally big fans of Fun House in the late 80's and early 90's. We looked forward to seeing it after school in syndication, and after 1991 on Fox. Same deal, only with no daring, and kids ran through a house filled with obstacles looking for prize tags instead of a linear course. The announcer Tiny was kind of annoying, but host JD Roth was really cute.

Dr. Fad, also from the late 80's-early 90's, was another favorite of ours. We looked forward to seeing it early on Saturday mornings, usually as the last show before the cartoons started. Real-life inventor Ken Hakuta (who merchandised the wildly popular Wacky Wall Walkers)  held two contests for kids to show off their best inventions. The winning kid got a trip to Epcot. In between, there would be segments detailing the history behind popular toys and games (here, we learn about the Superball) and the fads and fashions of a given year (1969 in this episode). Hakuta was an energetic and fun host, and we loved not only seeing what kids our age could come up with, but learning about fads and toys of the past, too. 

Kids played stunts for prizes as far back as the early 50's in shows like Choose Up Sides. Gene Rayburn was the unlikely host of this New York-based stunt show that had two teams of kids playing themed stunts against each other. Gene surprisingly did pretty well with the kids, and they all seemed to have a great time with the stunts. They even handled the rather creepy mechanical wall figure who announced the stunts well.

Shenanigans from 1964 has more in common with the later Family Game Night. Basically an advertisement for Milton Bradley games, here kids run around an oversized game board, playing mini-games inspired by Milton Bradley's products. (Some, like Operation, can still be found today!) Stubby Kaye was the genial "Mayor" of the board.

The syndicated Xuxa from 1993 replaced the trivia with music from its Brazilian pop star hostess. This was based on a popular Brazilian kids' show Xuxa also hosted that was more variety than straight game show. Between stunts, Xuxa leads the kids in several songs in her native Portuguese, shows off kids who have unusual hobbies or careers, and introduces celebrity guests. I don't know what the original show was like, but between her odd co-hosts in slightly creepy animal costumes and Xuxa herself being a bit bland, this came off as more than a little strange. 

Nickelodeon's Slime Time Live! from the early 2000's did more-or-less the same thing between weekday Nick shows. Here, though, the emphasis was firmly on the stunts (and hitting everyone with pies). Kids also got to call in and answer trivia about pop culture and the Nick shows airing that day. Energetic Dave Aizer hosted. They were filmed at what were then the Nickelodeon Studios at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida - in fact, they might have been some of the last things filmed in them before they closed.  

I remember occasionally catching these between Nick shows in college and largely enjoying them, and I know a lot of people who grew up during the early 2000's who have very fond memories of it. The "episode" I have here is an extra-long series of games from between new episodes of several Nick Toons (including Invader Zim and The Fairly Oddparents) strung together. 

See kids run wild and crazy and create the next big thing in these wacky games!

Oh, and yes...thank heavens, I am now officially on vacation! I have a lot to do before Lauren comes tomorrow, though, including running errands. 

Saturday, May 20, 2023

Fantasy In the Rain

Started off a rainy morning with breakfast and Charlie & Lola. The kids look forward to their trip to the beach to visit their grandparents. They always make the biggest sandcastle they can. Lola's not happy when another girl takes her shovel and tries to help out. "But We Always Do It Like This!" she protests, until the girl accidentally knocks over part of their castle. She and her brothers offer to help rebuild it. After they turn it into a sand city, Lola finally admits that sometimes, it can be fun to vary your routine and bring others in on things.

The rain continued to come down hard as I changed for work, and it was hot, humid, and muggy. This was no day for bike riding. I called Uber. No trouble there either way. Got both drivers in less than a minute, and coming and going arrived in three minutes and got me where I was going in five. Arrived early enough to pick up coconut milk, which I forgot yesterday.

Work was off-and-on busy, likely due to the weather and our continuing lack of help. It rained through most of the morning and early afternoon. There were a few grouchy people, but most folks seemed to be in pretty decent moods. Once it slowed down later in the day, I was first pulled to do returns, then to take some quick online slideshows I'd put off, then sweep and very briefly do carts. Got out with no trouble whatsoever.

(Incidentally, it wasn't raining when I got out of work. Thought it remained humid and warm, the sun was trying to come out. It wouldn't rain again until past 11:30.)

Changed when I got home and upstairs, then went right into Pinocchio on Tubi. I go further into the 1976 TV retelling of the famous Italian fantasy novel featuring Danny Kaye as Geppetto and Sandy Duncan as the little wooden boy at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Had dinner and a lovely tea party downstairs with friends, then finished the night on YouTube. I've been hoping more Shirley Temple Storybook Theater episodes would turn up for a while. Apparently, someone uncovered a few more black and white episodes last year. "Dick Whittington and His Cat" retells the story of the poor British lad who comes to London and becomes the servant for a wealthy man and his sweet daughter. He buys a cat with his only penny, and while another servant berates him for spending his money, the cat ends up saving them all when she catches all the rats in the Sultan's bedchambers.

"The Emperor's New Clothes" also trades fantasy elements for a more comic story. Here, the con artists who trick the Emperor into giving them jewels for a supposedly "invisible" cloth that only those who aren't fools can see are a prince from a poor kingdom who wants to marry the Emperor's daughter and do so without starting a war. The princess would rather he didn't humiliate her father...but it does finally teach the Emperor to laugh at himself and his pompous, war-mongering advisors, and that compassion, not clothes, are what truly make the man. 

I really hope more of these turn up soon. Even when they're not one hundred percent faithful adaptations of the source material (like "Dick Whittington"), they're still well made and acted for TV, with some cute songs in "Dick Whittington." Look for Sebastian Cabot as the Sultan in "Dick Whittington" and the Emperor in "Emperor's New Clothes."

I'm not the only one going on vacation next week. Lawrence Welk and his musical family went on a trip to Europe and around the world in songs about Europe and travel. The Lennon Sisters join in for "Vacations & Travel" in 1966 as they sing about taking a "Sentimental Journey" and Bobby Burgess and Barbara Boylan do a lively square dance to "Wheels." Jo Ann Castle's delighted with her many beaus who want "Jo Ann In My Flying Machine." Jo Ann and the Lennons claim to Joe Imel that "All I Need Is a Break," and even bring along Jo Ann's piano to prove it.

Welk and his family did their musical European tour in 1974. Norma Zimmer sings about "Wonderful Copenhagen," while real Mexican Anacani performs the Spanish number "La Paloma." Bobby Burgess and Cissy King also get their Spanish on with "La Cumparsita." Arthur Duncan taps over to Germany for "Danke Schoen." Bobby and Cissy also do the "Liechtensteiner Polka," with help from Myron Floren and his accordion. 

By 1980, they were back to the US for another "Vacation Show." Guy and Ralna are "Leaving On a Jet Plane." Kathy Sullivan wonders "Have I Stayed Too Long at the Fair?" Tom Netherton joins a bevy of Hawaiian beauties for "This Is the Moment." Arthur Duncan trades the Rhine for the Pacific Ocean as he dances to "San Francisco." Jack Imel and Mary Lou Metzinger are more than happy to get their kicks on "Route 66," while hobo Ken Delo claims he's "King of the Road." 

Go around the world and across the US without leaving home with Lawrence Welk and his musical family!

Friday, May 19, 2023

Of Queens and Guardians

Started off the morning with breakfast and Sailor Moon. It's a "Nightmare In Dreamland" during the first season when Luna reports that people have been disappearing from a local amusement park. Usagi's thrilled to go, but Rei thinks there's something more sinister at work here. They learn the importance of working together when they have to defeat the creepy mechanical princess who is taking the guests' energy, including Ami's.

Switched to Match Game '77 after I ate. Suzanne Sommers joined the lunacy for her first and only week on the show. While this week is also, sadly, missing an episode, there's enough left to get the idea that, other than Gene's drooling, she mostly enjoyed herself. The first episode had Gene kissing "the new kid on the block." The second brought in a lady from Alaska to show how they apparently kiss up there.

Spent the next few hours talking to Karen and helping her with applications. She needed information for references. I gave her Lauren, Amanda, and an older friend from nearby. It took me a while to find Amanda's number. 

Let Tattletales run while I worked and made my grocery list. I really like Totie Fields and her husband George Johnson; they're one of the funniest couples on the show. They joined singer Jerry Vale and his wife Rita and Ross Martin and his wife Olavee, with the latter eventually winning.

Headed out around 2. Dropped off a book at the library kiosk down the street, then rode across Newton Lake Park to the Westmont Acme. Grabbed a bag of oatmeal cookies on sale, and a bottle of Propel for the road. I won't be getting to the Collingswood Farm Market this week, so I grabbed strawberries, and more of those jam grapes, too. (And didn't realize the latter weren't still on sale.) I enjoyed that chunk of farm market cheese so much, I bought mini fresh mozzarella balls for a snack this week. They're having a buy-one, get-one sale on their generic shaving lotion, too. They could have been worse. There were at least three lines open, and no lines at the self checkout, which I used. 

By the time I got out, it was nearly three. The kids were out of school and all over the park. I rode on the street there. Headed up to the White Horse Pike to the soft pretzel shop for two pretzels and a can of Diet Pepsi. 

Returned to Sailor Moon when I got home. Usagi is determined to get tickets for a romantic cruise, but Rei is the one who ends up with them. Worse yet, she finds Usagi annoying and asks Ami along instead. Usagi sneaks along anyway. Luna's not happy about that, but it turns out to be a smart move, as "The Luxury Cruise Ship Is a Trap." The evil Jadeite and monstrous water sorceress Titus are stripping couples in love of their energy. The girls reveal that you don't need to be in love to get rid of a water-spouting menace.

Checked my schedule after I got everything put away. In good news, yes, I got my vacation time, at least for next week. Bad news is I work for 8 1/2 hours on Sunday. They couldn't have given me a little time to get ready? I'm going to be exhausted on my first day of Lauren's visit. 

Did some writing after that. Fannie suggests to Richard that he go upstairs to her...establishment...sometime when there's less shooting. He considers taking her up on that option.

(And to be honest...I'm considering dropping the western again after vacation. It's not working. I can't figure this out at all. I'll either do The Wizard of Oz with Joyce Bulifant as Dorothy or the Allen and Betty Beauty and the Beast, both of which I have more ideas for and should be a tad easier.)

Speaking of, switched to Match Game Syndicated during dinner. These episodes introduce a very funny older British lady who apparently wrote poetry. Her nutty answers and charming accent really livened up the show. We also had an argument to see whether Brett Somers or Debralee Scott had the better Mae West imitation. Patty Duke did the same question in sign language, which she was fluent in after starring in The Miracle Worker twice and doing it on Broadway. 

Finished the night on YouTube with the Universal action tale Sudan. Nailia (Maria Montez) is made queen of an Egyptian kingdom after she goes out among her people to find the rebel leader Herua (Turhan Bey). She's rescued by rebels Merab (Jon Hall) and Nebka (Andy Devine) after she's put on the block. She gradually falls for the handsome rebel while helping to fight off the evil Horadef (George Zucco). 

I really need to find more of the Montez/Hall costume action films. I've loved all the ones I've come across, and this is no exception. None of them are great art, or probably even good art, but they're all great fun. Montez in particular makes a fiery queen of the Nile. 

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Angels In the Neighborhood

Started off the morning with breakfast and Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. Katarina is upset when Margaret plays with her brother, but won't play with her. Mrs. Tiger encourages her to "Find What Makes Your Family Special." She loves to dance with her mom, Henrietta Pussycat...and she gets her mom all to herself. Jodi Platt sometimes gets annoyed with her twin toddler brothers, but she realizes having twin brothers is pretty special, too. It's "Family Day" at the library. Each family in the neighborhood draws their portraits on leaves attached to a cardboard branch, then inserts it into a paper "tree." Daniel isn't sure what's special about his family, until he realizes having a baby sister and being tigers who roar together is definitely cool.

Karen picked me up at 10 minutes to 10. We were still trying to get the Federal Aid form done when Karen wanted to print it out. She called a librarian over to help her try to hook up her laptop to their system so she could print from there. It didn't work, but we did hear the librarian talk a lot about what she does and how hard it is to deal with the public. Both women came to the conclusion that, before I make a life-altering decision about school, maybe I should talk to local libraries and archives and ask questions about their jobs. I also need to push getting a part-time job as a library assistant or archival assistant to get more experience.

On one hand, yes, we probably do need more information...but I'm not really sure what else I COULD do besides some form of library or archival work. I do know I need to get out of the Acme as soon as possible. I loathe the job, and have for twenty years. I can't handle retail. And I really want to make enough money to buy an apartment or a condo and get out of the attic as soon as I can.

I wasn't in the best mood when I came home. Spent the next 40 minutes looking at jobs, and then having lunch while watching Match Game '77. It's too bad the last two days of the week featuring Eva Gabor, Joyce Bulifant, and Gary Burghoff are currently lost. The episodes that exist are adorable. I love Joyce's answer to why pirates go crazy for Long John Silver's sister's chest and Gary's imitation of his former acting teacher Charles.

I was late rushing out on the bike...and of course, half-way through, that loose chain came off. Got lucky that a cop stopped and helped me. Even with his aid, I was still fifteen minutes late to work.

Not that it mattered. We were dead almost the entire afternoon. The only times we had lines were when we were short on help and only one or two registers were open. I did have some grouchy customers, and at least two people put back significant chunks of their orders when they were short on funds. Other than that, there were no major problems. I spent a lot of the day shelving candy and got off with no trouble whatsoever.

Took the long way home down Nicholson Road to enjoy a gorgeous, sunny day that was windy and much cooler than it has been, barely in the 60's. The rush hour traffic was pretty strong on Nicholson and the White Horse Pike, but once I went up the hill and into Oaklyn, the traffic vanished. 

Soon as I got home, I went upstairs, changed, and rested while watching Reveille With Beverly on YouTube. I go further into this World War II B musical featuring Ann Miller and some of the best big bands of the 40's at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. 

Went back online briefly to look at jobs after the movie ended, then had dinner while watching Match Game Syndicated. For once, Brett gets to pick on Charles by giving him the award for stealing her answer...which, of course, he hadn't done. David Doyle does his best to help the contestant with "__ Speaking" in the Head-to-Head.

Finished the night online after a shower with Charlie's Angels. They're "Hula Angels" in the fifth season when the owner of a hula-themed girlie show in Hawaii is held for a million-dollar ransom his wife can't afford to pay. Julie and Kris join the show as go-go and hula dancers, while Bosley and Kelly ask around to find out if the guy had any enemies and where his money went to. 

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Wild and Crazy Comics

Overslept and had to rush breakfast this morning. Didn't have the time to do much more than eat, dress, write quickly in my journal, and hurry out. At least I rushed into a nice day. It's a bit cooler than yesterday, probably in the upper 60's, but still sunny and windy.

I wish I'd stayed outside. Though we weren't really that busy today, we didn't have much help, either. And of course, the express register had been running suuuppper slooowww since yesterday. My register was also a little slow, but not like the express lane. There were also several people who had trouble with cards, and several more who complained because we unexpectedly ran out of the plain black bags we're selling for free with an online coupon. Another lady whined about the bag rule in New Jersey. It's been over a year, and people are still fussing about that. Thank heavens it slowed down enough by 5 for me to get off without a relief.

Went straight home and into writing. Brett's determined to help out. She's from the country. She's been shooting a gun since she could pick up one. Richard tells Fannie to evacuate the Peacock Saloon, but Fannie insists she has, er, "clientele" upstairs. And moving Foster, the town eccentric, after he's had a beer or seven is nearly impossible.

Broke for dinner at 7 while watching Match Game Syndicated. They finished off the first week with Eva Gabor, Bart Braverman, and Bill Daily with a contestant named Jack Daniels. The Audience Match "Yes, Sir __" prompted a lot of jokes, including a topical one about a Middle-Eastern politician, along with everyone singing "Yes Sir, That's My Baby." Debralee Scott, Dick Martin, and David Doyle came in for the next week, as they tried to help a contestant figure out what snapped, crackled, and popped on a contestant who ate too much cereal.

Finished out the night on Pluto TV with The Disorderly Orderly. This Jerry Lewis vehicle from 1964 has him as Jerome Littlefield, an orderly who badly wants to be a doctor. Trouble is, he's a little too empathic with the patients and ends up suffering their aliments too...and he's really a rather big klutz. Nurse Higgins (Kathleen Freeman) and head of the sanitarium Dr. Howard (Glenda Farrell) knows he means well, but wishes he wouldn't try quite so hard...or make such a huge mess wherever he goes. Jerome's empathic abilities are put to the test when his high school crush Susan (Susan Oliver) is brought in after a suicide attempt. Not only is he possibly the only one who can help her, but she ends up helping him more than either of them know.

This comedy-drama is a bit of an oddity in Lewis' cannon. The slapstick with Lewis trying to clean up around the sanitarium and feeling everyone's diseases is played for broad comedy...but there's nothing funny about Susan when she's brought in. Susan's depression and the doctor's attempt to bring her out of it is rather dark for one of Lewis' vehicles. It makes for a weird juxtaposition with the wacky finale, with everyone chasing stuffy boss Mr. Tuffington (Everett Sloane) all over Beverly Hills an crashing at a grocery store. This is also about as 60's as you can get, with Sammy Davis Jr. singing the title song over the credits and Edith Head doing the costumes. 

If you're a fan of Lewis, this is one of his better 60's solo vehicles; some of the darker elements aside, not a bad introduction to his solo work for casual viewers, either.