Monday, July 31, 2023

Summer In Knight Park

After working early and often for a lot of last week, I wanted nothing more than to sleep in this week. Spent most of the morning reading and writing and didn't really get going until around noon. Watched Match Game '77 while I ate. Charming soap actress Tudi Wiggins looked more like your favorite English teacher than the glamorous star of Love of Life, and her down-to-Earth answers brought a lot of fun to this truncated week. She's one of the few one-off soap stars I really wish had returned. Ron Pallio also did well, making me hope that the missing episode from this week will finally be allowed to run. (Apparently, a contestant gave an answer that was randy even for this show.)

Checked a few things online, then headed out on my bike to run errands. First stop was the Collingswood PNC Bank. Needed money for the rent. Rode up to one of the two outdoor ATMs, got the money, went on my way.

It was far too nice of a day to rush home. While a bit more humid than yesterday, it remained sunny, breezy, and about what it should be at this time of year, in the lower 80's. I bought a pina colada smoothie and a soft pretzel at WaWa, then rode two blocks down to Knight Park. 

Knight Park is on a huge triangle between two residential streets and the Collingswood High School. It really is a lovely park, full of beautiful old trees, smooth carpets of emerald grass, and three huge sports fields. I rode on the asphalt circuit around the park, veering off on a side road that pulled up to a playground. It mostly had a medieval theme, with a "chariot" kids could climb on, "dragon" slides, see-saw "horses," and a castle monkey bars set, though there was also a series of metal and plastic bars made to look like a Collingswood store. 

Settled down with my treats to watch everything going on around me. A little girl ducked around the castle and a series of tunnels and dragon ride-ons in a sandy enclosure likely intended for younger kids as her mother kept a close eye on her. Two families enjoyed picnics at red and blue benches on either side of the playground area. Four kids happily kicked a soccer ball around in the nearby fields.

After I ate, I strolled over to a smaller playground set. This one had a log cabin theme and just seemed to be stranded off on its own. It was also a rusty, flaking mess heavily covered in graffiti (though the slide seemed to work just fine). Followed a grove of roses to a boulder with a plaque on it. Turns out Michael Landon had lived in Collingswood at one point. The playground was dedicated in his memory in 1997...but it must have been abandoned when the castle playground was built. A little log cabin-like building stood a few feet from the playground. It was boarded up and also seemed abandoned; it may have been used for storage.

Most of the ground in the park is still wet from the storms we had over the weekend, but I did find dry ground to sit on under a voluminous oak tree. I meditated, trying to focus on the cool wind in my hair that ruffled the leaves over my head and the birds chirping all around me. It was hard to drown out the noises of civilization - cars roaring on Collings Avenue, the kids playing soccer - and in my own head. I tried to push away songs and intrusive thoughts and just hear the sounds of nature. 

Took the long way home through Collingswood and Haddon Township. Rose once told me when I admired the architecture in Collingswood that all of the really nice architecture is in Camden. Personally, I never agreed with her on that. There's some lovely old houses around Knight Park, some of them dating to the 1880's when the park was founded. Passed by a really nifty Art Deco church, too. 

Made one quick stop at Dollar General on the way home. Looked at brushes, but I ended up with more Sunbelt granola bars and a Dr. Pepper Zero. They weren't busy at all, and I was in and out.

Went straight into a very late lunch when I got home. Watched the first two episodes on that Best of Password DVD set while I ate. No wonder Mom loved watching this with her grandparents back in the early-mid 60's. The simple premise has always been addictive. Two celebrities give clues for contestants to guess words. If they earn 25 points, they make it to the Lightning Round. If they guess enough words in a minute, they can earn 200 dollars. 

Looks like Carol Burnett's always been good at this game. She wiped the floor with her friend, boss, and mentor Gary Moore in the first black and white episode on the set, making it to the Lightning Round twice to his once. Betsy Palmer beat the pants of a jovial Dick Van Dyke in the next episode, too. Good-natured Allen Ludden keeps an eye on the proceedings. 

Switched to my cast album for the 1980 Broadway show Barnum while vacuuming and dusting. This goes a lot further into the life of the original "humbug" PT Barnum (Jim Dale) than the later Greatest Showman. Numbers in the second half of the show refer to his attempts to get into real estate and politics ("Black and White") to please his more sedate wife Charity (Glenn Close). The hits were the introspective ballad "The Colors of My Life" and the rousing "Join the Circus" and "Come Follow the Band." I also like "One Brick at a Time" for Charity and the clowns building Barnum's Museum. 

I'm surprised no one thought of reviving this when Greatest Showman was a surprise hit in late 2017. While it did well in the US, it seems to be better-remembered in England. I remember seeing the Michael Crawford London filming of the show on TV as a kid. 

Worked on writing for a while. Good Witch Patti Deustch explains that Joyce saved her little friends the Smurf-Munchkins from being enslaved. Joyce is just regretting having read that comic book from Belgium she found in Patti's dressing room. She's more than a little surprised when the silver shoes that once belonged to the warlock appear on her feet! Patti says they'll protect her now, but Joyce isn't sure about this, even if the shoes are really pretty.

Watched Match Game '79 during dinner. For some reason, they skipped the rest of the Fred Grandy week and the beginning of the next week, going straight into the second-to-last week of the CBS run. Orson Bean and Fannie Flagg join in making fun of Gene's checked suit, with Fannie asking him to make bets on horses! The others try to figure out "__ Giants" in the Audience Match. 

Finished out the night after a shower with dinner and more rediscovered game shows on YouTube. The Match Game Valerie Bertanelli week is far from the only lost game show week to suddenly reappear in the last few days. The Christmas week episodes of the Richard Dawson Family Feud from 1982 turned up on Buzzr last week and this week for the first time since their original run. Unlike with Match Game, I have no idea why GSN apparently ran every Christmas week but this one. There's nothing offensive about them.  

As I've mentioned, game shows are particularly prone to being lost. Until they started turning up in reruns on USA and Game Show Network in the 80's and 90's, most shows weren't thought to have any particular value. Even some long-running favorites like Concentration are almost completely gone. This Tournament of Champions episode from 1967 is one of the survivors.

Short-lived flops have even worse survival rates. The dice game The Big Showdown and the pinball-themed The Magnificent Marble Machine from 1975 have two episodes remaining. The first probably exists because host Jim Peck fell down his entrance steps and laughed it off. The second ably showcases that not-so magnificent Marble Machine that was apparently nifty to look at, but also fragile and capricious. While I can understand why the overly complicated Marble Machine didn't last, I do wish more of Showdown existed. The game play is challenging and fun, and Jim Peck is a doll even after his tumble.

At least they were recorded. Game shows from the 50's and early 60's were broadcast live, or recorded on kinetoscopes, filmed records, that were often junked afterwards. The original Break the Bank started as an imitation $64 Question on radio. Only three episodes remain from its three separate runs on NBC, including one from its reformatting as Break the $250,000 Bank during the height of the quiz show craze of the mid-50's. Host Bert Parks even gets to croon a bit - and very well - during this episode from 1956.

Some later shows have disappeared, too. No one seems to know what happened to most of Sale of the Century's daytime run. Buzzr and GSN only showed early 1988 through the end of the show's run in 1989 and the full 1985-1986 syndicated series, but the rest seems to be missing. Some older episodes apparently did run on GSN in the 90's and early 2000's, like the very early episode I have here. This one replicates the Australian format, up to and including the faces of famous people on the Fame Game tiles. (An earlier version from 1969 through 1973 has nine episodes remaining, though none are currently online.)

Discover more lost bits of TV's past with episodes that haven't been seen anywhere for decades! (Break the Bank comes with its original Dodge commercials; Family Feud has the commercials from its Buzzr cable showing.)

Sunday, July 30, 2023

Dyno-O-Mite Matches

Began the morning with breakfast and something a little different. I never did finish that Classic Fairy Stories CD set I picked up at the Mount Laurel Library book sale in April. The first disk starts off with the original "Brave Little Tailor." Not only does the Tailor get rid of the giant here, but he frightens away the king's servants to win his daughter. "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" is your basic tale of a little girl who wanders into the home of the title character and disrupts their breakfasts. You may not have heard of the Scandinavian tale "The Princess On the Glass Hill." The youngest son of a farmer catches three different horses eating their hay. He tames them and uses them to rescue the title character from the famous slippery glass mountain.

Worked on writing next. The little blue man with the beard calls himself Papa Munchkin and says Joyce liberated his people from the Wicked Warlock of the West. They think Joyce is a witch, but she's hardly that. To her surprise, a bubble drops in from the sky...a bubble that turns into a lady in a blue dress, ginger-red hair with thick bangs, and a familiar nasal honk...

Had a very quick lunch, then headed out around 12:25. Turns out I should have left much earlier. I must have gotten the numbers mixed up in my head. I was supposed to come in at 12:15. I'm not sure anyone even noticed I was late. It was dead when I came in. We were off-and-on steady for most of the afternoon. The only times we got busy was when there were only one or two registers open. I'm still frustrated about letting something so stupid happen. This is the second time I've been suspended. The last time was December 2014. At least they warned me this time, and it wasn't in the middle of a busy holiday season. At least I was able to dash off soon as they finished checking my money.

Finished the night at home with dinner and the next Match Game marathon. Jimmie Walker is still best known for starring in Good Times, a series from the mid-70's about the trials and tribulations of a black family. Other actors from the show, like Esther Rolle and Johnny Brown, appeared too, but Jimmie turned up the most starting in 1974. In fact, he remained popular on Match Game straight through 1991, long after the show was in re-runs. 

Jimmie's endless enthusiasm and eagerness (mostly) tempered his bad jokes and tendency to rile the audience over his bad answers. He was worse about the latter in Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour, often yelling to the audience at the top of his lungs. He was around for that wild week with Tom Poston and Nancy Lane near the end of Hollywood Squares Hour and in 1991 heard Sally Struthers announce that she was doing a voice for a new ABC show, Dinosaurs. (For the record, she was the pre-teen daughter Charlene.)

While Jimmie has yet to clear many of his syndicated appearances, his 70's and nighttime episodes are easily available. He took Charles' seat when he was late for a taping on two days in 1975 and happily hugged a contestant along with Gene when she won in early '76. A question during that wacky week that also featured Roz Kelly in '76 involved what an updated Snow White would look like. Jimmie thought she should look a little more like him. He featured in two classic PM episodes, including the one from 1980 where Debralee Scott spent the episode flirting with a handsome young contestant. They got so into kissing after she gave him a good answer to "__ Turkey" on the Audience Match, everyone tried to break them up and Billy Daily covered them with his coat. Richard had far less luck with a contestant from an earlier PM episode in 1976.

(Incidentally, Jimmie's another one who is still with us today. Most people nowadays know him best as a spokesman for health companies.)

Join in for some dyn-o-mite answers in this wild marathon!

Saturday, July 29, 2023

Harvest Before the Storms

Began the morning with The Busy World of Richard Scarry. Father Cat, Huckle, and Lowly make their own boat for the "Busytown Regatta." They end up being one of the only vehicles able to dodge Mr. Frumble's  out-of-control pickle boat! "Schtoompah, the Funny Austrian" makes his own instruments from junk. Neither his assistant, nor the head of the band Schtoompah wants to join, is all that impressed, until Schtoompah manages to get all the junk out of his tuba! Sally wants to join Huckle and Lowly for the "Busytown Soap Box Derby." Their vehicle has only two seats, but she gets her chance when its flattened, and she's able to repair it.

Headed out to run errands and hit the farm market first. My oldest nephew Skylar turns 19 on Monday. I sent out his card, then dropped Swiss Family Robinson at the book kiosk in front of the Lutheran Church before riding down to Collingswood.

The Farm Market was teeming with people buying food for barbecues, family get-togethers, and birthday parties. It was also teeming with produce. Tables groan with beans, snap peas, peppers, egg plant, cucumbers, corn, tomatoes, berries, and melons. I ended up with cherries, little sugar plums, peaches to share with a friend, apples, blackberries, a thick slice of carrot zucchini walnut bread for lunch, and challah rolls for breakfast this week. It was so hot, I also grabbed a sparkling water from the empanada booth.

Went home, put everything away, and finished the morning and early afternoon watching The Song Spinner as I ate lunch.  I go further into this semi-musical fable about a young girl and a gypsy woman in a kingdom that's banned music and sound at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Took Uber to work. I was less concerned about heat than I was about bad weather later. There wasn't a cloud in the sky at quarter of 1, but I did hear about possible storms in the early evening. The Uber driver arrived in 5 minutes and got me there in less than five. 

Work was even more boring than yesterday. We were dead almost the entire afternoon. Even before the heavy rain finally arrived around 6 PM, there weren't many people around. The only time it got mildly busy was when someone left or went on break and there were two registers open, and even that could have been a lot worse. No problems whatsoever.

Had no trouble getting Uber the second time, either. Though the rain had taken a temporary leave of absence by 7 PM, there were heavy black clouds on the horizon. Thank goodness the guy got there in 6 minutes and got me home in less than 5. Those dark clouds unleashed their fury just as I dashed up the steps to the porch. Thankfully, they didn't last long. The sun was out less than 20 minutes later. 

Had leftovers from the party at work yesterday while finishing The Song Spinner. Took a shower, then finished the night on YouTube with today's Match Game Saturday Classics marathon. With Match Game debuting less than three months after Laugh-In went off the air, it made sense that many of its most popular performers would turn up there as well. In fact, Match Game regular Richard Dawson was also a regular on Laugh-In in its last three seasons. The wacky non-sequitor humor of Laugh-In worked well with this off-the-wall show. 

Dick Martin was one of the most popular semi-regulars, frequently appearing in the first or fifth "smart guy' seat. (Surprisingly, his partner Dan Rowan never turned up on the show.) Arte Johnson had several memorable weeks, including the one with Kukla and Ollie that was just on Buzzr and one from Match Game '90. Delightfully daffy Dolly Martin also turned up fairly frequently, on her own and with her husband Dick. Sweet little comedienne Sarah Kennedy was one of the better players in the fourth "ingenue" seat from 1975 to 1977. Hilarious diva Jo Ann Worley appeared on the show from 1974 through 1991, fluttering her long eyelashes and letting loose with a nutty quip...or a loud aria! The original "Sock It To Me" girl Judy Carne marked her only appearance on the show in a week from early in 1974. She played so well, I wish she'd been able to return.

Sock it to me, baby, because all your favorite Laugh-In cut-ups are matching the stars in this wild marathon!

Friday, July 28, 2023

Lost and Found Matches

Started off the morning with breakfast and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. "Mickey's Comet" is close to the Clubhouse, but they can't find Professor Ludvig Von Drake. The Professor is the only one who knows how to work their telescope, so they all go after him.

Headed out even before the episode ended. The heat index was supposed to reach 100 today, with actual temperatures in the upper 90's. That's too hot for bike rides. I called Uber. The first drive arrived in less than 4 minutes, not bad for 8 in the morning. He did miss the turn-off to the Acme, but managed to get via a U-turn on the Black Horse Pike. 

The Acme's big Grand Re-Opening Celebration was...really boring. We were dead for most of the day. Besides the heat, it's almost the beginning of the month. If people aren't waiting to get their money, they're on vacation or hiding somewhere cool. Even rush hour wasn't bad. The only time we were even mildly busy was the very brief period when there were only two cashiers on. Otherwise, we had tons of help.

There was more going on elsewhere in the store. Nathan's Hog Dogs gave away frankfurters in the deli. One manager dropped two right in my hand. There was a ton of food in the employee's lounge, too. Someone brought in brownies, a pineapple angel food cake, and an apple cinnamon Bundt cake. Morning workers got a huge tray of assorted bagels with cream cheese, butter, coffee, and orange juice. Caterers brought pasta, meatballs, roast beef, rolls, and a Caesar salad later in the afternoon. We had so much food, they let the employees take leftovers home. 

Even with the "Grand Reopening" not going as badly as it could have, I'm still kicking myself hard. I got suspended for letting those counterfeit $100 dollar bills slip through. How could I have done that? Losing four days doesn't bother me. My hours were so lousy before this week, I probably wouldn't have gotten much more than that regardless of what happened. Not to mention, I could use the time to rest and regroup after all the trouble the last two weeks. I'm more angry that I let this happen. We're supposed to check every 100 and 50 dollar bill. I thought I did! I'm beyond furious with myself. And another bill looked iffy today, though a manager did check that. Now not only will no one ever respect me, but I could lose my job.

(And not only that, I work at 11:30 next Saturday. I may try to get up early and get to the Farm Market quick anyway.) 

I still picked up a few things after work. Had online rewards coupons for two free Acme generic Greek yogurts. Grabbed Dannon Light & Fit, too, along with coconut milk. There were no drinks in the employee lounge besides the orange juice and coffee from the morning (and the orange juice was long gone by 5), so I grabbed two bottles of Coke Zero and the Zero version of that Ultimate flavor for $2 each. 

Uber gave me fits, too. I called the guy at 5:20...and it took him over 12 minutes to show up, when the app originally said 8 at the most. I was going to cancel him, until I looked up where he was coming and realized he was probably stuck in heavy traffic. Ironically, he arrived not five minutes after that and was very pleasant. I directed him around Oaklyn's Final Friday block party and down Nicholson Road to the White Horse Pike. I just wanted to get home.

Went straight into writing when I finally got in. Papa Munchkin greets Joyce and thanks her for killing the Warlock of the East. To Joyce's horror, it turns out there's legs under the shed! She protests that she never meant to kill anyone, but Papa Munchkin claims he was about to do harm to them. 

Broke for dinner at quarter after 7. Watched Match Game '79 as I ate. Fred Grandy made his first appearances on the show in what would be the last week to air on CBS...and Gene still teased him about kissing him. Connie Stevens' wild perm also came in for some ribbing. Connie had far more luck helping with "__ Aces" in the next episode.

Switched to Buzzr for their Pick & Play. The Wally Bruner What's My Line? episodes continue. I didn't know Philadelphia had a jazz bagpiper, Rufus Harley, until I saw an episode of I've Got a Secret he appeared in that ran on Buzzr in February. He was darn good, too! The Mystery Guest here was Mel Torme. Rather amusingly, the Mystery Guest in the next episode was former Line panelist Bennett Cerf. Phyllis Newman guessed him right, but he stumped his old friend Arlene Francis. 

Finished the night at YouTube. Today and all next week, Game Show Network will be running episodes 1309 through 1317 of Match Game '78, which have been unseen since their debuts. Valerie Bertanelli refused to clear her appearances until last year...and the tape with her week also included the last two episodes of the week before it and the first of the week after it, plus their PM episodes. 

I started with the two episodes before them. In the first one, Gene puts in a request with Rubin Brothers for a new single-breasted suit, while Nipsey Russell admits there are some jokes even he's reluctant to pursue. I'm also a bit surprised that Gene hadn't heard of the obvious answer to "__ of Steel" in the Audience Match. Debralee Scott didn't do well with "__ Condition" in the next episode, either. (She still got a kiss from the contestant, though.) 

The new episode continued the madness. We're introduced to an older female trucker in the opening, leading to a couple of "mother trucker" gags. Betty White takes advantage of the appropriate music near the end of the the episode to attempt to strip, but Gene Rayburn gets her back in her seat before anything comes off. 

Thursday, July 27, 2023

In the Pink

Started the day with a very quick breakfast before Karen picked me up for the job fair at Rowan University around quarter after 9. We had no trouble on the road this time, and no traffic. She stopped for another client, a teenage girl who was hoping to find her first real job after high school, in Westville. 

It was the same deal as when we went to the job fair at Rowan in late March, but at least the weather was better! Crazy hot, yes, in the mid-90's, and humid, but at least it was raining like it did that day. We were able to pick up one of those golf cart jitneys to the same auditorium where the last one was. I even got to sit up front.

I have to agree with the teenager that the job fair itself was really boring. While there were some businesses there that weren't on the list online, there were also many that didn't come, and there weren't anywhere near as many as in March. I saw Amazon, Goodwill, a church, a couple of local hospitals and health care services, and almost every branch of Gloucester County's government represented, but nothing that interested me. 

No luck on the job front, but it wasn't a total waste of time. Karen and I talked to Gloucester County's Disabled Services. They can't do much to help me find a better job, but they apparently can help me find a better home. If I stay in South Jersey, I'm likely to end up in Burlington or Gloucester County anyway. They're less expensive than Camden County, with more condos and mobile home parks, but still close enough to Philadelphia to have easy access to health care and public transportation. 

(I also ended up with a tote bag filled with information on local disability transportation, twenty pens, two balls, one of those pop-up things the kids love, sticks of hand sanitizer and stain remover, a small squishy orange cone that says "work space," three note pads, a pad with Post-It tabs, a key chain holder, two cloths printed with the map for the NJ Transit trains that I think are intended to be glasses wipers, three bottles of water - I drank one there - and two muffins and three mini Reeces Peanut Butter Cups for the movies later. Oh, and a bottle of Diet Dr. Pepper I got out of a vending machine, also for later.)

Karen took us the long way back, through a lovely park with a unique and sprawling playground. I loved the huge dome-shaped monkey bars and cage-like merry go round. I thought the park was so lovely, I realized I haven't seen parks in other parts of Camden and Gloucester County. I'd love to check out a few of them and see what they offer.

After we dropped off the young lady at home, Karen dodged heavy traffic on the highway back to the White Horse Pike. She let me off at the AMC Cinemark Theater in Somerdale. I thought it seemed a bit out of her way, but she said she wanted to hit up their huge Dollar Tree anyway.

Since we got out earlier than planned, I opted for lunch at Applebee's next door to the theater. Given it was quarter of noon, they were quiet except for the Los Angeles Angels game on the TVs. I went with the grilled chicken version of their Ranch Bacon Chicken Wrap. Yum. Not bad. A bit salty, but the chicken was juicy, the bacon satisfyingly crunchy, and the fries nicely seasoned. Had it with a simple unsweetened iced tea.

Went straight to the theater after lunch and into Barbie. Got there just as the commercials began. My main interest here is Wonka, a retelling of Willy Wonka's origins that looks like a lot more fun than Tim Burton's creepier idea of his backstory. The commercial appeared to be a cross between the Harry Potter films, with their dark Victorian aesthetic, and the 1971 film, with a cute kid running around and it being a musical. It's actually one of two musicals coming out this Christmas I'm dying to see, the other being the far darker The Color Purple

Once again, I won't go heavily into Barbie itself due to spoilers...but yes, I did enjoy it. I think most people were assuming it would just be a cute bit of fluff like the animated Barbie direct-to-video features. What they got was a delightfully subversive meta-commentary on the role of fashion dolls in society over the past 60 years, how men and women are treated differently, and how difficult it can be just to exist as a woman. Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling were the perfect Barbie and Ken, America Ferrera was marvelous as a Mattel receptionist who inadvertently brings Barbie to the real California, and Will Farrell was a riot as Mattel's well-meaning but overzealous CEO. (I also appreciate that the CEOs were not ultimately played as bad guys and really did want to make the kids they sold toys to happy.) 

However, the movie does lean very hard on its feminist message, particularly in the second half. If you don't agree with what it's saying, it's not going to be for you. If you're offended by it being based on a toy line, it's not for you, either. If you're with its girl-power vibe and don't mind its origins, you'll find a lot to love in this candy-colored tale of women who can be anything...including human. 

Headed up the hill to WalMart after the movie ended. I couldn't find one of the things I wanted, which were those Sunbelt Granola Bars. I ended up with the Junkless low-sugar granola bars instead. I did find the Barbie movie soundtrack on LP. There were some terrific songs in that film, from the disco-esque jam "Dance Into the Night" to the Billie Ellish existentialist crisis "What Was I Made For?" It was a splurge at $26, but the 80's style synthesizer score in the movie seemed to require something low-fi. I also grabbed a new eraser for my dry-erase board, and one that was a lot nicer (and more suited to the board) than the cheap dollar store sponge I was using. 

Saw Taco Bell "Freezes" - slushes made from their sodas - on an ad at their drive-through as I headed back down the hill. Thought that would be perfect to combat the murderously hot and humid weather. Grabbed the Baja Blast Freeze before going to wait for the bus. No trouble here. The bus arrived on time and hit no traffic getting back. I did get off further down than I planned, due to the stop bell not working. I wanted to get off at the dentist's office two blocks from my house, but I ended up at Dollar General.

Got organized when I went home, then went straight into writing. Joyce is surprised to meet the tiny blue people who are the residents of those mushroom homes. They closely resemble the characters in a comic from Belgium Joyce once saw Patti Deustch reading to her tiny son Max. The oldest, Papa Munchkin, greets her and tells her that she's their heroine, something she's surprised to hear. She's even more surprised when she sees what's under the shed...

Broke for dinner at quarter of 7. Finished the night with a shower and Miss Sadie Thompson. I go further into this adaptation of the short story and play Rain with Rita Hayworth and Jose Ferrer at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. 

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Walking On the Sun

Started off the morning with breakfast and The Busy World of Richard Scarry. In "Mr. Raccoon's Different Day, he's is tired of his coffee shop customers asking for the same old orders. He wants to make some changes...but Mr. Frumble wrecking havoc on the place when told to watch it may not be what he had in mind. "Mario, the Venetian Gondolier" is tired of his huge melon boat always getting into everyone's way. He wishes he had a little wedding gondola, until a big pig family need a lift to a wedding. Hilda hopes to be "The Best Babysitter Ever" to Pig Will and Pig Won't. Pig Won't refuses to do anything, until he sees all the fun he's missing.

Hurried off to work soon as the cartoon ended. This time, I knew I was spending the day bagging. The head bagger doesn't work Wednesdays, and the regular daytime bagger took today off. Fine by me. I'd still rather be sweeping around tons of people and pushing carts in 94 degree heat than explaining why those people were blocking customers and getting in everyone's way. Everyone's in a tizzy preparing for the Acme's grand (sort-of) re-opening on Friday. They're cleaning and dusting and panting and organizing shelves and taking inventory. Long as I did what I was supposed to do and did it on time, no one bothered me. They even had pizza in the back room for all those workers that they were willing to share.

At least it never rained. We were hot, sunny, and humid the entire day. Not even much of a breeze this time. I must have gone through at least five bottles of water.

After I got home, I went straight into dinner and Match Game '74. Charles is ready for the Bicentennial early in his red, white, and blue star shirt that got a lot of ribbing from Gene, while Brett teases Joyce Bulifant about her pinafore dress. Joyce and Richard get their own digs in later on who the Tidy Bowl Man is by teasing the people next to them and above them.

Match Game '79 started off with Gene admiring Don Galloway's hand-knitted white sweater. Bill gets a lot of teasing about his scraggly new beard, until he starts winning and everyone wonders if the beard has done something for him after all. It ends with Bill and Gene doing a nice little soft-shoe dance. Lee Merriweather does her best with "__ Counselor" during the Head-to-Head on the next episode.

Finished the night on YouTube with Summer School, which is currently free there. Freddie Shoop (Mark Harmon) is a phys ed teacher who is looking forward to spending his summer in Hawaii with his girlfriend, at least until obnoxious Vice Principal Phil Gills (Robin Thomas) corners him into teaching remedial English for the summer or lose his tenure. He has no idea what to do with a motley group of students that includes pregnant Rhonda (Shawnee Smith), jock Kevin (Patrick Labyoreaux), flighty Pam (Courtney Thorne-Smith), uber nerd Alan (Richard Horowitz), sassy Denise (Kelly Jo Minter), and Dave (Gary Riley) and Chainsaw (Dean Cameron), the world's biggest fans of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

He at first takes them on field trips, then does favors for them to get them to study. While they try to pay attention, he pursues the smart American History teacher in the next class over, Robin Bishop (Kirstie Alley), but she's already dating Gillis. The kids still give him a hard time, until he reminds them everything he's sacrificed already to make them study and quits. The kids finally band together to show Freddie what they've already learned and prove that they can pass that English exam as well as anyone.

Pretty typical late 80's summer tale. Cameron and Riley steal the show as the massive horror nuts. The other kids are a lot more generic and Alley doesn't have much to do besides be the designated love interest, but Harmon is so likable, you almost don't mind. If you love other slobs-vs-snobs teen comedies of this era, you'll want to give this one a look as well. 

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Harts In the Rain

I got such a late start, I barely had time to eat before dashing off to work. Turns out I needn't rushed. The manager told me to sweep the store the moment I got in, then wanted me to do returns. In fact, I ended up bagging for the remainder of my short shift. Wish they could have told me that the head bagger ended up going in for one of the cashiers, then helped the many workers and stock people running around, painting and organizing and preparing the store for the big grand opening ceremony on Friday. (And I have to buy a black polo shirt for the occasion. Apparently, they don't just hand them out for free anymore.)

It was a sunny, if hot and thickly humid, day when I headed to work. Even as I finished gathering carts, heavy black clouds were emerging on the horizon. By the time I hurried home, they were very nearly on top of us. I dashed in as fast as I could and grabbed crackers, chips, hummus, and watermelon for lunch. 

Put on Down to Earth while eating lunch and putting my new sheet on the bed. I go further into this bizarre musical fantasy from 1947 with Rita Hayworth as a Greek muse who stars in a Broadway show on my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Somewhere around 2 PM, I started hearing thunder. By 2:30, we were in the midst of a full-blown thunderstorm, complete with hail and torrential rain. It's rained off and on, sometimes heavily, since then.

Went down for a nap after the movie ended. I got up early today and will again tomorrow. I was dead tired. Everything's been so crazy lately, and I'm just not used to working early anymore. Slept for over an hour and felt a little better afterwards.

Worked on writing for a while after that. Joyce is shocked to discover when she lands that she's no longer in Burbank, but a beautiful world of glowing Technicolor green trees with purple flowers and mushroom houses with red and white dotted roofs. She's even more shocked at the feet sticking out from under the shed...and the little blue people who emerge from those tiny houses...

Broke for dinner at 7. I really wish Burr Tillstrom was able to bring his two friends back, even in syndication. The week they appeared on in Match Game '79 (including the PM episode) was too adorable. They admired a sweet immigrant from Peru and helped with "__ Sleeves" in the Audience Match.

Finished the night after a shower on The Roku Channel, starting with Hart to Hart. Jennifer isn't impressed with the antique car Jonathan supposedly bought for her birthday. It turns out to be "Murder In the Slow Lane" when two Brits desperately try to buy the vehicle, and then Jonathan discovers someone killed the man who sold it to him.

The third season opener of I Dream of Jeannie, "Fly Me to the Moon," has Tony and Roger training a chimp to help them pilot a new ship. Jeannie hears them complain about not having a human pilot and turns him into a human (Larry Storch). Not only does Sam like being a human, but Jeannie's gone off to the salon. Even when Tony does manage to get her on the phone, she accidentally turns Tony into a chimp instead. 

Monday, July 24, 2023

When Things Go Wrong

Started off the morning with breakfast and the 2002 version of Strawberry Shortcake. "Toto's Tale" is this show's version of The Wizard of Oz. Here, Pupcake and Strawberry are blown over the rainbow and into Oz, landing on Sour Grapes, the Wicked Witch. Fast-talking Ginger Snap is the Scarecrow, grumpy Peppermint Fizz is the Tin Woodswoman, and Orange Blossom is the Cowardly Lioness. Wizard Huckleberry doesn't know how to get Strawberry home, but the Good Witch Plum Puddin' has the answer.

Hurried out after that to catch the 12:08 bus to Somerdale. It was right on time, and not that full. I had just gotten on and pulled out my cell phone for some music when I saw a text from around 8 PM last night. Karen and I usually get together on Wednesdays or Thursdays, but this time, she wanted to see me on Monday - at 1 PM! It was almost 12:15 when I got off. I just ended up calling an Uber at a dentist's office near the bus stop. Finding a job is far more important than the movies. 

Karen came in about 10 minutes or so after me. (I have no idea where she hit traffic. There was none on the White Horse Pike either way.) We tried to download that application for the Gloucester County Library System, but it wouldn't let us type once we did, and we couldn't print it on Karen's laptop. Had more luck putting in an application for the Camden County Library System. (I doubt I'll get that one. They require librarians and assistants to have a driver's license in order to transport materials. I don't think I could focus well enough to drive, and I certainly can't afford a car.) 

Looks like there's also going to be another job fair at Rowan on Thursday. I told Karen I'd join her. I'm off, and it's only in the morning. I can go there, then hit the movies in the afternoon.

She insisted on driving me down the hill to the Westmont Diner, even though it's only a minute's walk. They were surprisingly busy for almost 3 PM, with a grandfather, mother, and tween daughter coming in as I was browsing the menu. I ended up with a tasty San Diego Omelet with ham, tomatoes, peppers, and American cheese and multi-grain toast. I wanted grits, but they were out, so I got home fries. Only ate half of them, but I did finish the omelet. 

I briefly returned to the Library, hoping to find more books on ADHD or figuring out thyroid problems and how to deal with them. None of the books were recent, and there weren't any I hadn't seen before. I have plenty of fiction books to read at home. I moved on.

Wanted to take Uber back to Oaklyn, since it was getting late. I called them...but I didn't read that they were picking me up across the street. By the time I realized it, they were already gone. Despite what Karen claimed earlier, it wasn't really that hot. It was likely in the mid-80's, normal for late July, with a nice stiff wind and no humidity. I figured I was fine to walk back to Oaklyn, The traffic wasn't even that bad on Cuthbert, despite it being past 4:30 by then. 

Since I hadn't been able to hit WalMart today, I stopped at Dollar General on the way home instead. Picked up a box of Sunbelt Granola Bars and a bottle of low sugar Body Armor sports drinks. I hoped the new Hispanic bakery would be open, but the door was still locked.

Took my laundry downstairs, then tried to focus on writing. I was just too tired. Finally ended up breaking for dinner and Match Game '79 instead. Kukla and Ollie had a lot of fun this week. I wish Burr Tilstrom had been able to talk Gene and Goodson-Toddman into letting him and his buddies visit again. They even did well with their Head-to-Heads, and Brett thought they were adorable.

Finished the night after I brought the laundry upstairs with more British and Australian versions of American shows. Some shows were huge enough to circle the globe, often many times. England's gone through three versions of their Family Feud, Family Fortunes. The original debuted on ITV in 1980 with Bob Monkhouse and ran until 2002. A celebrity revival, All Star Family Fortunes, went from 2006 to 2015. Their current revival started in 2020 and is hosted by popular Italian chef Gino D'Acampo. It plays exactly the same as the US version, with a far less folksy set, no returning champions, and equally goofy answers. Most of Monkhouse's run is currently lost, but the very first episode I have here does exist. 

This was far from the first or last time beloved host Monkhouse would be involved with an English revival of a US show. He hosted two versions of Celebrity Squares for ITV , the first from 1975 to 1979, and again from 1993 to 1997. Once again, same deal as in the US, with equally ribald celebrities. I went with one of the original shows from 1977. I didn't recognize any of the celebrities, but that didn't mean they didn't occasionally toss out a great quip or two, and Monkhouse sure seemed to be having fun.

Blockbusters and Catchphrase aren't the only American shows that were far bigger hits overseas. Wipeout only ran from 1988 to 1989 in syndication in the US, but it was a smash hit for 9 series on the BBC from 1994 to 2003. Though Monkhouse did take over later seasons, the early episode I have here was hosted by Paul Daniels. Once again, same deal as the original. Three contestants guess which answers on a board fit a certain category. If they get the wrong answer, they lose all their money. The player with the least money is eliminated after the first round. The third round has the remaining player trying to guess which answers fit several categories. 

I don't know why this didn't go over better in the US. Maybe it was just bad timing; a lot of game shows were dying in 1988-89. The British version is a real winner. Surprisingly, it doesn't look like it's been revived since 2003 on either side of the Atlantic. Maybe someone somewhere will take a stab at this again.

Fun House is another syndicated series that went over better with the British than Americans. I'm a little jealous that British got to watch this from 1989 to 1999. My sisters and I loved the American version, and this one was just as much fun. It's the same deal up until the last round. Instead of driving weird vehicles or running on foot, the kids here drive miniature race cars and grab chips with 10 or 25 points on them. Their "Fun House" looks less like a house and more like a carnival fun house, with fewer messy stunts and more slides and ball pits. There's also a last quick question after the Fun House run that enables the kids to win a big trip. Host Pat Sharp is just as cute and energetic as JD Roth, and his mullet is even bigger. 

The Aussies had their own fun with American games. Their Blankety Blanks from the Ten Network is as legendary over there as Match Game '70s is here. Wacky Graham Kennedy hosted a panel of Down Under cut-ups from 1977 to 1978 on a set that was nearly identical to the US version. He even had his own Brett and Charles, elegant character actress Noeline Brown and goofy comedian "Ugly" Dave Gray. The show was an equally big hit, only ending after a year because Kennedy wanted out and they couldn't find anyone to replace him. 

Gray was popular enough to get his own version of a US show in 1980, Celebrity Tattle Tales. The game play is identical to the later "all-Quickies" format from late 1974 onwards, with a similar set. The only celebrities I vaguely recognized were a member of the rock group Wings and his girlfriend. Gray did well enough, but apparently, the show only managed four months (though it would be re-run fairly frequently afterwards).

Tattletales wasn't the only US game show to bomb Down Under. Their first version of Jeopardy ran from 1970 to 1978. There was a second version in 1993 that was identical to the US syndicated show, and even featured Tony Barber from their Sale of the Century as host, but it couldn't get anything going and ended after six months. A third version hosted by Stephan Fry is due to start later this year. 

Take a summer vacation to England and Australia without leaving home with these classic trips overseas! (Celebrity Tattletales is in two parts and not in the best shape and Family Fortunes has numbers over the top, but there doesn't otherwise seem to be much of those shows online in the US.) 

Sunday, July 23, 2023

Long Tall Lady

Got a quick start this morning with breakfast and The Busy World of Richard Scarry. Mr. Frumble accidentally crashes his pickle car and has to take it to Mr. Fixit. "Mr. Frumble's New Cars" aren't anything like he thinks when he mistakes a bulldozer, a taxi, and a plane for his vehicle! Ernest the Mountain Goat wants to join his friend Heidi on the mountain patrol, but he's not good at climbing. Heidi is tired of hearing him blow his horn whenever he's in trouble. "Ernest and Heidi In the Alps" discover a better use for Ernest's horn when they end up danging together off the edge of a mountain! Huckle thinks new boy at school Billy Dog looks really mean...but he's the one who causes "Billy Dog's Bad Day" when he keeps running away or tripping around Billy.

Headed out shortly after the cartoon ended. Thankfully, despite ending up in express again, work wasn't anywhere near the trouble it's been lately. We were off-and-on steady the entire evening. Not only did we mostly have plenty of help, but the weather remains gorgeous. It's hotter, but there's still a nice wind, and it remains dry. It's just too nice for anyone to be shopping. It was so quiet by 7, I shut down a little early to put away some loose items.

Went straight home after that and into the shower, then had leftovers for dinner and put on YouTube. Lovely character actress Barbara Rhodes was in the spotlight tonight. This stunning, statuesque redhead was one of the better women who regularly sat in the "ingenue" seat, aka seat 4. She was smart, very funny, and a good player, and dealt with Gene Rayburn and Richard Dawson's ogling well. 

She was also one of the later semi-regulars, not making her debut until mid-1977. As such, some of her best moments were in the later seasons and syndication. She was on that wild week late in 1979 that featured Dear Abby and an adorable little old lady who said Charles was her favorite. Another time in '77, she saw Brett and Charles wear one of Brett's long necklaces around both their necks. (Later in the episode, she discussed her appearance in one of my favorite romantic comedies from the late 70's, The Goodbye Girl.) A later syndicated episode let her and big George Kennedy show how tall they were compared to each other and Gene (who wasn't short himself). She was in that PM episode featuring the sweet southern belle contestant with the golden curls and bouncy personality to match. 

Celebrate the great long tall beauty of game shows with this hilarious marathon!

Saturday, July 22, 2023

Rushed Harvest

Got a quick start this morning with breakfast and more Camp Minnie. "Extreme Minnie Golf" has Millie and Melody showing off increasingly wild putts at Minnie's mini golf course. Those wild putts turn out to be more useful than they thought when they have to get their tent down in a hurry. A squirrel snitches popcycles from Daisy's new ice cream cart in "The Great Treat Heist," but it turns out he has a reason for wanting them. "A Bouncing Baby Butterfly" will emerge from a chrysalis, if Minnie, Daisy, and Cuckoo Loca can save it from the raging rapids and waterfall!

Rushed out to the Collingswood Farm Market after the cartoons ended. It was an absolutely stunning day, sunny, windy, no humidity, and in the lower 80's, just about right for this time of year. No wonder they were packed with people looking for produce and dairy products for barbecues and family get-togethers. Decided to try yellow apples instead of peaches or plums. Also grabbed Colby cheese, blueberries, cherries, and more of those super-sweet multi-colored cherry tomatoes. Made a small bouquet of carnations and sweet William for a friend's birthday tomorrow at the flower seller's. 

Went straight home and into lunch and The Legendary Super Power Show. Mirror Master uses reflective surfaces to trap the Super Friends in the sixth dimension. Asian wind warrior Samurai has his own way of making Mirror Master see a "Reflection In Crime." There's "No Honor Among Thieves" when Lex Luthor convinces Darkseid to help him strip the power from the Super Friends...but he has his own intentions for the powerful alien as well. "Mr. Mxzptlik and the Magic Lamp" has the infamous imp making a thief believe he's the genie of the lamp. They steal everything they can get their hands on, until Batman catches on and figures out how to turn the tables on them.

Work was a little less trouble than it has been the past few days. This time, the problem wasn't the customers. My registers gave me fits. The first register I was in ran out of coins. The second ran so slow, I had to move. To my horror, I also discovered they wanted to count my money at the end of the day. I swear I check every large bill on a machine when I get it. They claimed there were counterfeit bills in my register. I honestly have no idea how that happened. I'm so embarrassed. 

Rushed home as quickly as I could. Changed and went right into Tangled: Before Ever After. I go further into the musical special that introduced the Disney Channel TV show Rapunzel's Tangled Adventures at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. 

Finished the night at YouTube with tonight's Match Game Saturday Classics marathon. One of the first episodes was a tribute to singer Tony Bennett, who passed away the other day. He had one of the longest careers in show business history, dating as far back as the 50's. One question had Richard imitating Bennett singing his best-known hit, "I Left My Heart In San Francisco." The Match Game version was "Brett left her __ In San Diego." 

The remaining shows brought out other members of the staff on-set, even just accidentally. My favorite from this round was my other favorite episode from the end of the CBS run in 1979. One contestant got so excited, she almost literally dragged Gene Rayburn around. Gene dashed behind the set to escape her, but Nipsey Russell had no problems grabbing her for a squeeze! "If you won't take advantage of that jumping," he told Gene, "then I will!"

Charles read about the Rose Bowl being changed to the Vine Bowl, while two guys spray Gene's shoes so he doesn't pick up static electricity in an episode from 1980. Gene learned a few tap dancing steps from a contestant in 1981, and didn't do too badly. Poor Ross Schafer gets increasingly injured after a fall on Match Game '91, to the point where he's in a sling and a neck brace by the end of the episode. Even Charles admired the brief halter top on a beautiful and well-endowed contestant in 1974. A sorority cheering on a question about a sleazy fraternity nearly turns a 1976 episode into a circus. 

The last episode was one of the most adorable later nighttime shows. The male contestant was a little old gentleman who called himself Tiger and was so charming, even the young woman next to him claimed they were engaged. David Doyle just hopes he does well enough with "Pawn __" in the Head-to-Head. (Incidentally, this was the PM episode for the 1979 week with Loretta Swit and Scoey Mitchilll that just finished at Buzzr.) 

Honor a legendary performer and get to know the people behind the scenes at Television City in this very funny marathon!

Friday, July 21, 2023

In the Summertime

Slept so late, it was past 12:30 by the time I finished The Case of the Stepdaughter's Secret and writing. Watched Match Game '77 as I ate breakfast, then Tattletales. On the latter, we had comedian Jack Douglas and his sweet Japanese wife Reiko, Greg Morris and his lady Lee, and soap star Janice Lynde and her husband William Gray Espy. I believe the last-named won, even though they missed at least one question. 

I also checked my schedule while the show was on. In good news, far more hours than the last few weeks, Monday and Thursday off. However, I suspect the only reason I have more hours is that "grand re-opening" event. Most of those hours are very early and very long. There's two 8 1/2 hour days - Friday starts at 8:30! - and a 7 1/2 hour day on Sunday. At least Tuesday, while early, isn't nearly as long.

Headed out after that to run a few errands. I thought, since the Bagel Shop was listed as being open until 3 and it was nearly 2, I'd have lunch there. Turns out they'd already closed their dining room. I was able to get lunch, but I had to eat the spinach-feta cheese omelet, hash browns, Diet Coke, and blueberry bagel with butter outside on a bench. (I also bought three more bagels for breakfast this week to help them clear out their stock.) 

At least it was a decent day to eat outside. It poured late last night, but the streets were dry by noon. That once again cooled things off a bit. It remains humid, but it was also windy and a far more normal for late July lower 80's. 

Made a quick stop at Target. Mainly wanted more of those flavored nuts. Grabbed lavender honey almonds and simpler roasted honey almonds. They already have back-to-school sales on. I found purple glue sticks for 50 cents. Bought a small pair of earphones for $7.49 to keep in my purse for bus and train trips. 

Next up was the Westmont Acme for a few groceries. Ran out of laundry detergent last week. They had Arm & Hammer on a good sale. Had online coupons for cards and wrapping paper. I bought one card for my nephew Skylar's birthday on the 31st and another for Lauren and her parents, just to drop a line in between her visit here and my visit there. Also had online coupons for Clorox Disinfecting Wipes. Grabbed a larger container of Acme's generic wipes for a friend. Grabbed gift cards for Skylar and for my friend's birthday on Sunday. Picked up Propel watermelon mix and water for the way home.

After I got back in, I finished out the remaining two shorts on the Looney Tunes parodies disc. "From Hare to Eternity" from 1997 is more important than its fairly typical Bugs/Yosemite Sam pirate story would indicate. It's the last theatrical Bugs cartoon Chuck Jones directed before he died in 2002, and the only one to feature Sam. (Sam's usual animator, Friz Freleng, died in 1995.) Sam finds Bugs on a treasure he thinks is filled with 14 carrot gold. Bugs almost ends up walking the plank...but in the end, he has his own idea of what's in that treasure box.

The most recent solo Bugs theatrical short (and Sam's most recent short) is "Hare and Loathing In Las Vegas." This 2004 short spoofs the then-building boom in Vegas as Sam literally drops a casino right over Bugs' home. Bugs proceeds to win almost every last cent Sam has in the place. Sam's down to his last nickel, but he won't got down without a fight. Of course, neither will Bugs, and he gets a little help from the Hoover Dam in teaching Sam a lesson. (Incidentally, the animation here was very disappointing, not nearly as fluid as even "From Hare to Eternity." On the other hand, Joe Alaskey and Jeff Bennett made a far better Bugs and Sam than Greg Burson and Frank Gorshin. Gorshin in particular was way too gruff and deep for Sam.)

Worked on writing for a while after the cartoons ended and I put everything away. Joyce is surprised when the tornado sets her and her dog down without much trouble, other than landing on something lumpy. She finally peers outside...and finds herself in a colorful wonderland of dotted mushrooms and little blue people from the Belgian comics...

Broke for dinner at quarter of 7. Caught the tail end of Match Game '74. Sweet contestant Janet Finn continued to win in this episode, with the help of Charles. The others, including kooky married couple Donald Ross and Patti Deustch, try to help her with "Mountain __" on the Audience Match.

The Match Game '79 episodes were among my favorite from that year. The show saw its most unique panelists this week with 50's and 60's puppet favorites Kukla and Ollie. Brett spent the week flirting outrageously with dragon Kukla, while Eva Gabor tried to figure out her own spelling.

Stayed on Buzzr to finish out the night after a shower with more of their Pick & Play marathon. The Wally Brunner What's My Line continued here. You should have seen the look on Gene Rayburn's face when he realized that the first contestant was a belly dancer dubbed "Little Egypt!" We also had a gentleman who sold fake beards and mustaches. (Soupy's goatee looked silly, but Wally's mustache was rather dashing.) The Mystery Guest on the second episode was Allan Sherman, of "Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah" fame. 

Patty Duke and her husband John Astin played against each other for the first time on Tom Kennedy's run of Password Plus. Patty was always excellent at this game. She outplayed her husband by a county mile, including making it to the Alphabetics bonus round.

Press Your Luck had some of its most exciting episodes of 1983 tonight. The second round on the second episode in particular was absolutely insane. The one woman and the other guy kept passing spins back and forth, amassing more and more cash in the process. The poor champ barely had the chance to play. The guy eventually won a car and a vacation, along with more than $11,000 in cash. 

Thursday, July 20, 2023

Bad Day Rising

Started off the morning with breakfast and Greenwich Village. I go further into this Roaring 20's tale of a young composer to comes to New York to sell his big concherto, only to be convinced to write music for a big revue instead, at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. 

Did some job hunting during and after the movie. I saw a library assistant job listed at the Gloucester County Library's website...but first, I had to dig around the county website for the application. And then, of course, I couldn't get the printer to work. It kept saying there was a filter error. Huh? It worked fine just two days ago! I changed the black ink, plugged it in and unplugged it, and it still kept giving me that error. It must have come from the updates I did to my laptop yesterday. 

And then, I looked for something else on my phone...and discovered two calls and a text from Karen. Apparently, she did send me a text about getting together earlier in the week, but I never got it. She assumed I'd be there. I was only just getting up at 10. My rooms are in the way back of the house from the front door. You don't hear anything. I never heard her knocking. I was so horribly embarrassed! I left the phone in my lunch bag earlier and didn't take it out until just then. Karen said it was her fault for not sending me another text, but I should have texted her, too. By the time we figured things out, it was too late to do anything. I told her I'd text or call her tomorrow with my schedule for next week. 

Tried to cheer myself up with more Looney Tunes during lunch. "Carrotblanca" is probably the closest thing to an actual movie satire on the disc...and it's worth the disc alone. In addition to Bugs as Rick Blaine, Penelope is Ilsa, Pepe Le Pew is Captain Renault, Sylvester is Victor Lazlo, Daffy is Sam, Yosemite Sam is the Nazi officer, and Tweety is a perfect Ugarti. Bugs interrogating Sam is hilarious, as is the very changed ending. "Little Go Beep" is likely on the disc because it's an extension of the Baby Looney Tunes TV franchise, and the only cartoon from that series to be released on the big screen. Tiny diapered Wile E Coyote uses toys, water-launching rockets, and jack-in-the-boxes to chase a cute little Road Runner in a walker. 

Hurried off to work after "Little Go Beep" ended. Boy, do I wish I hadn't. Work was a royal pain all around. My very first customer had trouble with her health food card and held up the line for over 40 minutes. She ultimately took it well, but the line had to be moved elsewhere, and I was a panicky mess when she finished. I kept getting people who had similar problems and, unlike that lady, didn't have the money to pay and threw a fit. There was also the couple who bought over a hundred boxes of cereal I had to ring up one by one. (And I suspect they were probably going to Camden chop-shops.) Not to mention, my break was almost 40 minutes late, due to me being the only on a register by 5 PM and there being no one around to call.

Thank heavens it died enough by 7 for me to shut down a little early to return some cold items. I did that, then raced home as quickly as possible. At least the weather held out today. It was still humid, but was a bit cloudy and cool in the morning. Even after the sun came out later, the slightly cooler temperatures remained. It's in the mid-upper 80's here, hot but nothing like the crazy triple-digits they're seeing in the west and southwest. 

Went straight into dinner and Match Game '79 after I got in. Today's episode was one of my favorites of the year. Joyce Bulifant joined a contestant who claimed to be a champion senior dancer for some really awesome jitterbugging. 

Finished out the night at Shout TV with Mystery Science Theater 3000. The She-Creature is the reincarnation of a beautiful lady (Maria English) who has been hypnotized by a scientist (Chester Morris) who wants to use her to get revenge on those who spurned him. On the upside, the poorly-lit sets are rather atmospheric and moody, and that She-Creature costume is genuinely creepy. The acting is terrible across the board, though, especially from Morris, who spends a lot of time standing and staring, the sets are cheap, and the dialogue is stiff and silly. The robots seemed to have fun with it; ultimately, not the greatest thing ever, but worth a look for fans of 50's horror or campy horror from the 50's and 60's. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Tropical Tales and Toons

Started off the morning with breakfast and more of The Busy World of Richard Scarry. Huckle hopes the clock he bought his mother will be "The Best Birthday Present Ever." Things don't go so well when he's in an accident, and the clock, his bike, and its bell are all damaged. He takes them to Mr. Fixit the Fox to repair...but Mr. Fixit was rather notorious for his repair jobs not turning out as he planned. "Patrick Pig" is the only lad in Ireland who only says "oink." Three chatty gentlemen suggests he kisses the Blarney Stone to gain the power of speech. "Grouchy Mr. Gronkle" is an old boar who hates children and lives in a rundown house with a pond he won't let anyone near. Huckle, Sally, and the local kids figure since his broken gates are open, the pond is free to use. Mr. Gronkle thinks otherwise...but they end up helping him in the end.

Did some job hunting for a while, but didn't come up with anything. Tried writing, but didn't do so well with that, either. I've started The Wizard of Blank again. Joyce admits that she hopes Ira hadn't sent the guards out to where they are. She brought her dog friend into the studio, but they hadn't appreciated him being there.

Broke for a quick lunch at quarter after 2. Watched more Looney Tunes parodies while I ate. The next round of "spoofs" were satire in title only. "Chariots of Fur" is a typical Wile E. Coyote-Road Runner match-up that ends with Wile E trying to throw lightning at the Road Runner, only for it to turn on him. "Pullet Surprise" pits Foghorn Leghorn against a hungry Pete Puma. Foghorn gets around Pete and his appetite by claiming his hens can disappear or outrun him.

Headed off to work soon as the cartoon ended. I debated all morning whether or not to take my bike. It hadn't rained since the night before. It was hazy and humid, but neither hot, nor wet. I figured I was safe. I took my raincoat, just in case.

Work continues to be a pain. People's cards don't work and they end up putting back part or all of their order. They ask me about things I can't explain or don't know enough about to explain. I just can't make the words come out right. And of course, I ended up in the express line again...and by my last hour, I was the only one open, which made no one happy. Thank heavens they sent one of the teens in for me right on time.

The rain continued to hold off as I raced down the Black Horse Pike. It remained hazy and hot but not rainy. The heavy showers didn't finally arrive until around 10 - 10:30, after I'd long been at home and online. 

Had dinner while watching Match Game '79. Comic drunk Foster Brooks and Lorna Patterson of Airplane! joined in for one of the wilder weeks of the year. Foster gives away the tricks of his act, while the others try to figure out "The Cheap __" on the Audience Match.

Finished out the night exploring programming on Paramount Plus. I haven't seen the original Hawaii 5-0 since it turned up occasionally in re-runs during my childhood. There were so many episodes to choose from, I kept things simple and ran the first episode of the first season, "Full Fathom Five." Two con-people take rich widows into their confidence, then kill them for their money. Officer Danny "Danno" Williams (James McArthur) questions using a woman with young children as a phony widow in a sting, but Steve McGarrett (Jack Lord) is adamant that the woman can do her job. 

Lucy would love a tropical vacation in sunny Florida on I Love Lucy, but she and Ethel only have limited funds to join their men on a fishing trip. They're "Off to Florida" with a British lady (Elsa Lanchester) who offered them a ride. Turns out the lady's all for roughing it and expects them to have brought sleeping bags and their own food and know how to change a tire. 

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Toons In the Summer

Slept so late, I started things off with brunch and Down Argentine Way. I go further into this tropical treat with Betty Grable and Don Ameche at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Switched to more Looney Tunes spoof shorts while eating lunch. "Rabbitson Crusoe" washes up on a tropical island, only to be pursued by a shipwrecked Yosemite Sam. Bugs finds himself playing Schzerade telling tales of his adventures to a picky sultan via clips of his older shorts in "Hare-Rabian Nights." Daffy Duck takes on horror cliches and possessed duck dames in "The Duxorcist," a paranormal satire originally made for the feature-length film Daffy Duck's Quackbusters. Bugs has his own go-around with horror when he learns all his usual enemies have been replaced by pacifist robots who turn his usual short into an "Invasion of the Bunny Snatchers." 

Headed out to work after the last short ended. Work was off-and-on busy, and probably only that because today is our Senior Discount Day. It was hot and hazy, but once again windy and not terribly humid. There were some really annoying people, including a woman who was really obnoxious about having to put away part of her order because she couldn't afford it, and another who threw a fit because she read the signs wrong on the meat sales. One says "4 for 20." The other is just "buy four of the same meat, get money off." The coolers aren't even near each other. And I landed in express yet again, when all I ever do there is panic. I was so happy when it slowed down enough for me to leave with no relief and no need for one.

Oh, and they're still working on the store. The floor in front of the registers leading past the floral department to the entrance had been cemented, but the tiles were missing. I think I also figured out why the last week of July is blocked off when there's absolutely nothing going on this month besides Independence Day. I heard someone mention a grand re-opening event. Why there would be a grand re-opening event when we never closed and just had some remodeling done is beyond me, but whatever. 

Went straight home and into dinner and Match Game '79. Scoey Mitchilll seemed a tad cranky in this episode. He wouldn't even look at Fannie when she had to give an important answer, assuming she'd give a comic one that wouldn't match. (She didn't. And considering I can count the amount of times Scoey matched on one hand, he's not one to talk.) Gene's more annoyed with a broken button on-set that had to be haphazardly taped, while Loretta Swit isn't happy with the rubber snake someone stuck in Gene's pocket. 

Finished the night on YouTube with the Mystery 7 marathon. I came in for a second season 90's episode of The Newlywed Game, then a first-season one with Bob Kroger. People kept saying how terrible the first season was, but frankly...other than the change of set and host and a few strange games, I didn't see that much difference. I'm not the biggest fan of that franchise to begin with. The later 2012 UK Blockbusters was infinitely more interesting. Glad to see the mid-70's syndicated Concentration with Jack Narz, too. Buzzr dropped it last year, and I miss it. 

Here's the marathon, for your enjoyment!

Monday, July 17, 2023

Cherry Hill Games

Started off the morning with breakfast and The Busy World of Richard Scary on Tubi. This long-running cartoon was an adaptation of the many stories Scary wrote about Busytown, a cheerfully goofy city of talking animals. "The Talking Bread" that says 'mama' frightens Baker Pig and his daughter, until Irish dog cop Sergeant Murphy figures out what's really doing the talking. "Coucous, the North African Detective" is a master of disguise who figures out just what will lure Pepe the Gangster and his Dirty Rats into a trap. Lowly Worm, Huckle the Cat, and Huckle's father are "The Three Fishermen." They have more luck catching junk than fish, until Mr. Cat inadvertently discovers the right bait. 

Headed out after that. I enjoyed my trip to the Cherry Hill Library so much on Thursday, I decided to not only repeat it, but explore the area around it. Called Uber at quarter after 11. The charming driver picked me up in 3 minutes. We had a nice chat about my plans and how I want a home of my own all the way down King's Highway to the library.

The Cherry Hill Library is by far the largest of the suburban Camden County libraries. It's also one of the most recent, having replaced a very 60's building in 2004. The third floor was an extensive children's library that included a play area and a study room for teens. I peered at American Girl books in with the young readers and their picture book biographies. The ground floor where the sale was held last week had no books, only meeting rooms and art and local history galleries. 

The adult books and audio and visual media were all on the main floor, and the rows of them seemed to go on forever. They had shelves and shelves of DVDs, video games, and CDs. They even had vinyl for rent. I haven't seen records for rent in a library since I was about 10. The book stacks were beyond the reading room and computer area, and they went on for even longer. I admired the rows and rows of mysteries, the smaller sci-fi section (at least they had newer Mercedes Lackey!), and the many entertainment-themed reference books.

Finally headed out around 1 for lunch. There was a tiny Mexican restaurant in a house right next door to the Library. Even with one waitress who had to watch an energetic little boy, their service was still faster than Jalapeno's. They boasted authentic Mexican dishes, and I'd certainly never heard of pumpkin flower quesadillas before! The quesadilla was folded over and not cut. It was more like a folded-over pancake or an omelet. The flowers did turn out to be tasty, but either the thick, stringy cheese they used or the sauce was reeeallly spicy! Good thing I decided to try horchata, a super-sweet rice drink with nutmeg on top that tastes like liquid rice pudding.

The Big Event was a short two-block walk down King's Highway. This is basically a local version of Round 1 with the formula in reverse. The bowling alley was huge, while the arcade was tiny. It also had many of the same games as Round 1, including the hit-the-clown throw game, Crusin' Blast, the pirate spinning wheel, the monster-pull wheel, the Nerf Arcade shooting game, and the Lane Master bowling game. Most of the games besides the cranes used far fewer credits than their Round 1 counterparts for less money. I spent 30 dollars, got 86 credits, and managed to amass over 2,770 points in 40 minutes. They even had prizes that were just as good as the ones at Round 1. I chose an adorable Squishmallow lobster named Simone for myself and a round fluffy penguin to give to a friend's daughter for a late birthday gift.

I originally planned on repeating my trip to the Bookyard book store at the Ellisburg Shopping Center, since it was only a block from The Big Event. Google claimed it was "temporarily closed," but the empty store and lack of signage didn't say "temporary" to me. Unless they're moving into the former Dollar Tree, they're probably done. I ended up buying water at Five Below and moving on.

Despite it being a very hot day, into the lower 90's, and really hazy, it otherwise was rather nice. There was a decent breeze and no humidity. I figured it would be easier for me to walk down Route 70, rather than take a bus or call Uber again. That was probably a mistake. Not only was it rush hour on one of the busiest highways in Camden County, but a lot of that highway was in the midst of being repaired. There was also a stretch going past a cemetery with no sidewalk. Needless to say, I was tired and a bit foot-sore when I finally stumbled across the road to the Towne Center.

Relaxed for a while and went to the bathroom at Barnes & Noble. They were fairly busy with kids and their parents looking for a place to cool off and pick up their summer reading. I finally just ended up with installments in two paperback mystery series, Dough or Die by Winnie Archer and Deadly Director's Cut by Vicki Delaney. 

Couldn't pass through without stopping at Trader Joe's. Wanted their tasty PB&J and almond butter-chocolate cereal bars. This one had those yummy dried oranges slices I love. Grabbed their soft molasses cookies, too.

Since the bus stopped right in front of Trader Joe's, I took the bus home. It was perfectly on time, which I appreciated during the height of rush hour. Other than someone blasting music on their phone the entire ride, there were no problems. I got off at Johnson Avenue in Haddon Heights and walked the rest of the way.

Relaxed for a while and took the laundry downstairs, then watched Match Game '79 during dinner. Gene and Fannie discuss the Love Boat episode they both starred in during the first episode. David Doyle does his best with "Now and __" in the Head-to-Head. Scoey Mitchilll got a rare case of the giggles towards the end over an answer. In the second episode, Charles teases Brett about looking like Annie Hall, but is less amused when he gets "Pinch of __" in the Head-to-Head. 

Finished the night online after a shower (and finally remembering to get my laundry out of the dryer). Gene eventually did three Love Boat episodes, of which the first was his turn with Fannie. "Love Me, Love My Dog" has him as a gentleman who falls for a lady (Fannie) who snuck her beloved dog Cricket onboard. Cricket doesn't seem to think much of him, until he saves the dog when it goes overboard. Meanwhile, a lovely lady (Debbie Allen) has to make "The Decision" whether to stay with her fiancee or go with Issac. A "Poor Little Rich Girl" former waitress who inherited money (Maren Jenson) thinks an old flame (Dennis Cole) wants her fortune. Captain Stubing and Julie help the guy prove otherwise.

Moved to YouTube to check out the history of Tattletales in honor of host Bert Convy's birthday next weekend. Tattletales actually began in 1966 as an unsold pilot, It Had to Be You. Four young couples have to guess which of their spouses told a story related to their life. Ed McManon was the unlikely host here.

Goodson-Todman retooled it three years later as the syndicated show He Said, She Said. At first, one celebrity couple joined the regular players. By 1970, it was all married celebrity couples telling ribald stories. Joe Gargiola was the amiable host.

He Said lasted a little over a year, but Goodson-Todman still had faith in the material. They reworked it again, this time into Tattletales for CBS in 1974. By this point, any idea of using regular contestants had been dropped in favor of celebrities and their spicier stories. The original format from Had to Be You and He Said were joined for the first few months by "Tattletales Quickies." Host Bert Convy would ask the three couples a question. One half of the couple would guess what the other would say. If they said what their partner said, they won cash. The couple with the most cash at the end won the game and the cash for the red, blue, or yellow (banana) section. 

Needless to say, couples who were already comedians really shined in this format. Some of my favorites include battling duo Charlie Brill and Mitzi McCall, warm and lovable Anne Meara and Jerry Stiller, wacky egotistical Dick Gautier and his sarcastic wife Barbara Stuart, diminutive frizzy-haired Marty Allen and his smart wife Frenchie, Dick and Dolly Martin, Betty White and Allen Ludden, and Scoey and his pretty and sensible wife Claire. Meara and Stiller and Gautier and Stuart were joined by dancing twosome Bobby Van and Elaine Joyce on the very first episode. 

The series did well as the second half of a celebrity-themed game show block with Match Game, but CBS kept moving it around. It moved three times in 1975, but still managed to keep viewers. One last move to mornings in 1977 finally did it in. The original show ended in 1978. A  concurrent syndicated nighttime version barely lasted a year from 1977 to 1978.

CBS requested a revival in 1981, and the show came back in 1982. Though many of the couples had by this time passed away or divorced, others were still around, including Dick and Dolly, Anne and Jerry, and Charlie and Mitzi. Even in its original time slot at 4 PM, it never regained its former viewers and was replaced by Body Language

(A third revival, About Last Night, debuted on HBO Plus last year. Alas, it barely lasted 8 episodes before HBO Max started to pull the plug on original shows left and right.) 

Listen in on celebrity secrets in these hilarious looks at relationships in the mid-late 20th Century. 

Sunday, July 16, 2023

Rainy Day Matches

Started off the morning with breakfast and that 3-story Peter Pan LP. Ironically, Peter Pan didn't really use that much of the original story. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was better, a full-on musical that retained the original ending with the prince accidentally knocking the apple out of Snow White's mouth. (Although, perhaps due to time, this is also the only version of this story I know of that lets the Evil Queen get away with everything. She doesn't dance herself to death or fall off a cliff.) The Gingerbread Man was nearly a comic opera retelling of the frisky cookie figure who runs away and gets chased by half the county, with barely any dialogue. 

Switched to The Story of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom while getting ready for work. This is just a condensed retelling of the second Indiana Jones movie, with dialogue and stills taken directly from the source. For a kids' record put out by a Disney imprint, it surprisingly retains some of the darker elements. There's almost the entire opening in the nightclub (including the violence), references to Indy and Willie's relationship, the human sacrifice sequence, and most of the ending with Mola Ram on the bridge. It's still dated and still not for younger kids, but if you love Indy, it's fascinating to hear.

It rained heavily all morning. The rain had slowed a bit by 12:30, but it continued to fall. I ended up calling Uber. No trouble there. The driver arrived in 7 minutes and got me there in less than 5.

Work didn't go that smoothly. I ended up in express again. Not only were there only two lanes (and self-checkout) open for most of the afternoon, but people are still having trouble with their cards. I get so flustered when something doesn't work and I end up with a long line. People say I'm too hard on myself, but if I was, I would have been more careful. At least my relief was right on time. 

The rain was gone by the time I finished and it was much cooler, but it was also still humid, cloudy, and wet. Thankfully, my Uber driver arrived within four minutes after the first canceled. She also got me home in less than five minutes.

Finished the night on YouTube with dinner and an early Match Game Sunday Classics marathon. Since the show's producer and judge Ira Skutch was mentioned in Roger Dobiwitz's interview several times last night, he was the focus here. Like Roger and Johnny Olsen, he appeared on camera so often, he too was something of a semi-regular in his own right. He usually turned up either when a question had to be substituted for one that had been answered too early or compromised in some way, or when there was a question on the ruling. He was a tall blonde man with high cheekbones and a fondness for pastel leisure suits with gold chains dangling over his neck. 

Ira's decisions have come into question many times by panelists and viewers alike. The School Riot wasn't the first or last time he'd have to explain one of his rulings. At least once, he reminded them of why he couldn't match "man" and "game show host." There was also the time Donald Ross and Patti Deustch argued him not matching "spot" when he matched "A Little Yellow Spot." He even showed up briefly before Carol Burnett and her crew did in that wacky episode. 

He was just as likely to be right, though. More than once, he was hit with not matching "friend" and "girl/boy friend," including in 1974 during the week with Jackie Joseph. I do agree with him there, even if his ruling nearly ended in a riot. A friend can be anyone. 

Match answers and butt heads with the show's notoriously finicky producer!

(Incidentally, not only has the rain stopped, it hasn't been seen since then. It's cooler in my rooms, too. I'm fine without the air conditioner.)

Saturday, July 15, 2023

Hot Harvest

Got a quick start this morning with breakfast and more Camp Minnie. Everyone's feeling "Pier Pressure" when they're supposed to be getting their water skiing badge. They have to learn in a hurry when the speedboat breaks off part of the pier and sends them off across the lake! Minnie's not sure what to do for her big dance in the talent show. She discovers that "The Bow Must Go On" when a butterfly dancing breezily in the wind gives her the answer.

Hurried off to the Collingswood Farm Market around 10:30. Despite it being hot, sunny, and humid, it was still packed with people buying produce for barbecues and summer pool parties. Purple reigned supreme as plums and eggplant made their debuts. Cherries are back in larger quantities, too. In addition to cherries, I picked up little nectarines, cherry tomatoes, snap peas, blueberries, three doughnut peaches to share with a friend, and the softest and moistest loaf of oat-honey bread I've ever tasted. (Also tried a lemon-poppy seed muffin from another booth, but it was much too dry. I didn't finish it.) Grabbed Propel at WaWa quickly for the way home.

Scouted around the Internet looking for jobs while watching Return to Oz. I go further into the 1964 animated sequel to the 1961 show Tales of the Wizard of Oz and Rankin-Bass' first animated special at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Switched to Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood while enjoying a honey-and-peanut-butter sandwich on that amazing bread and cherries for lunch. It's harvest time in the Neighborhood, too. Daniel and Prince Wednesday want to help on "Fruit Picking Day," but they're too short to reach the fruit in the orchard. They're reminded it's not so bad to be small when their hand are the only ones that can reach the Golden Pear Queen Sarah requested. "Daniel Is Big Enough to Help Dad" paint the door of his new playhouse and help Mom hold the handle on a cabinet while she glues it on.

Headed out even before the cartoon ended. Work was a pain in the rear. We just didn't have enough help for most of the afternoon. It was me and express again. There were long lines off-and-on. If people weren't complaining about that, their cards wouldn't work, or they didn't buy the right things. I kept panicking over those long, slow-moving lines. I didn't want to cause trouble. I was so glad when I was finally able to shut down almost at the last minute without a relief.

Didn't really need much in the way of groceries this week. I mainly wanted coconut milk. Got two low-sugar yogurts on sale, too.

Went straight home and into leftovers for dinner. Watched shorts from that Looney Tunes parodies set while I ate. "Jack Rabbit and the Beanstalk" is an older Bugs short from 1943. Bugs goes up the beanstalk to get himself some massive carrots and ends up giving their giant owner the run-around. He dodges the Sheriff of Nottingham in "Rabbit Hood" from 1949 after he caught Bugs poaching carrots. Little John keeps showing up when he isn't wanted, but Robin Hood himself never appears...until a certain swashbuckling Warners actor associated with the role makes a cameo in the end.

Switched to YouTube after a shower. I went back and forth between Bruce Forsyth's Play Your Cards Right and Classic Concentration on the Mystery 7 marathon and a Match Game Productions interview with game show producer Roger Dobowitz, who was a cue card boy on the 70's-80's Match Game. Roger had mostly fond memories of not only that show, but of producing Price Is Right for many years and creating several mini-games for that show. 

Dobowitz also made occasional appearances on camera as well, as we saw in tonight's Match Game Classics marathon. Usually, Gene dragged him out to tease him about his spelling, like when he wrote "cannibal" as "cannible" and "parachute" as "pair of shoes." There was also the time in 1977 when Gene and Richard brought him out to be frisked in the beginning of the show, for some odd reason. Gene even pulled up what I suspect was his undershirt. I'm not sure Roger had any idea of what was going on. 

Celebrate one of the game show's greatest champions and a favorite of Price Is Right and Match Game fans alike in this very funny marathon!

And here's the interview with Dobowitz and the Mystery 7 marathon too!

Friday, July 14, 2023

Where's the Rain?

Started off the morning with breakfast and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. "Minnie's Pet Salon" is ready to prepare everyone's pets for Pluto's All-Star Pet Show. Minnie has to help everyone with their jobs, from Daisy overdoing the bubbles and she and Bella the Puppy getting tickled by bubbles to helping Pluto retrieve three frisky kittens.

Went for a short walk after that. I needed granola bars and a birthday card for the daughter of a friend at Dollar General...and just to get out. It was still hot and humid, yes, and the breeze had died down, but it was also still sunny and bright. 

Spent the next few hours after that doing research and finally finishing what's now Friends and Blank. Brett decides to have a drink on it and invites Betty out later, since Allen is filming Liar's Club. Betty also suggests bringing Charles, who is between boyfriends. Brett thanks her for lending an ear, and they head off to the studio.

I need to start focusing better. That short story should not have taken this long! At any rate, it's now posted at my Writer's Desk at the Riverside blog. I'll return to The Wizard of Blank tomorrow or Sunday. 

Got my schedule online. It's almost exactly the same as this week, with slightly earlier hours on Sunday and Monday and Friday off. I once again work at 1 next Saturday, which means I'll be able to continue to hit the Farm Market before work. I'd also like to return to Cherry Hill and further explore that enormous Library and the area around it. 

Switched to Charlie & Lola while having a really quick lunch. "I Spy With My Little Eyes" everything around me, says Lola. She's playing "I Spy" and is observing everything. Charlie's off to swim class, so she plays with her imaginary friend Soren Lorenson. Their spying somehow leads Lola to believe that there's a pack of wolves moving in next door.

Headed off to work soon as the cartoon ended. We were off-and-on busy, and likely only had long lines due to their being two lines open for the majority of the afternoon. And of course, I ended up in express again. Thankfully, I missed dealing with most of two annoying older women who hadn't read the prices on the meat and got the 4 for $20 and Multi-Package Meat sales mixed up. The two coolers aren't even that close to each other. Their cards wouldn't work, either, but at least they had the money to pay. 

Thankfully, the teen who came in for me was early. Dark clouds gathered even as I rode to work, and the wind picked up considerably. I raced home fast as I could go. (Incidentally, it did finally storm...around 12:30 - 1 AM, long after I'd gotten home and online.)

Went straight into dinner and Match Game '79 when I went upstairs. Loretta Swit, Scoey Mitchilll, and David Doye join in to hear Charles quote Toscanini twice as Brett teases him about it. The audience gets in on the lunacy too, with one woman performing "See You In September" after the contestant gives that answer to "See You In __" in the Head-to-Head.

Finished off the night with more Pick & Play from Buzzr. Once again, they kicked off with Match Game '78 featuring Joe Gargiola, Debralee Scott, and some unique camera angles. We then got two episodes of What's My Line. The mystery guest from the Larry Blyden episode was character actress Maureen Stapleton. Joan Rivers marked one of her earliest appearances on a first-season Wally Bruner episode. The contestant on Classic Concentration had far more luck with matching the cars in the episode from 1988 than they did on the later show yesterday! Contestants also did well on Press Your Luck in 1983. The ultimate champ dodged Whammies completely and picked up $8,200. 

My favorite episode from tonight was the second Tom Kennedy-hosted Password Plus, which was one of the funniest from his run. Tom and celebrity player Jim Perry argued over whether the Pyranees mountains were in South America or Afghanistan. Tom came out with an encyclopedia before the Alphabetics round and revealed they're actually in Europe. Jim stomped out, grabbed the encyclopedia, tossed it offstage, and stomped back off!