Thursday, July 11, 2024

In the Summertime

Began the morning with breakfast and Garfield In Paradise. Garfield's not happy when Jon drags him to tropical tourist trap Paradise Island, especially after their hotel turns out to be a rat trap whose owner spouts Jack Benny jokes. Things pick up considerably when the vintage car Jon rented takes a left turn into a village belonging to natives who worship doo-wop and live by a volcano that is about to go off!

Called Uber soon as the episode ended. They arrived in less than three minutes, and didn't even need two to pick me up going home. There was no traffic either way. I arrived and departed from Cherry Hill with no trouble whatsoever. 

The enormous Cherry Hill Library was having its second book sale of the year this weekend. The sale wasn't as big as the one in April,  nor was it as busy when I first arrived. I actually managed to make it into the room with the children's books and make some interesting finds. The CDs, records, and DVDs were all in one room with the books this time, too. 

Ultimately ended up with six books:

Devil May Care by Elizabeth Peters

Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat During Difficult Times by Catherine May

The Winter of Enchantment by Victoria Walker

The Runaway Princess by Kate Coombs

The Grim Reader by Kate Carlisle 

New Complete Book of the American Musical Theater by David Ewen (The Cape May Library had this copy from 1972 in the late 80's and early 90's. I used to take it out all the time. While it naturally lacks information on shows made after the 70's, it also covers long-forgotten musicals going back as far as the 1870's.) 

Two CDs:

James Taylor - October Road

The two-disc original cast album for Miss Saigon (I had this on cassette at one point, but got rid of it.) 

The two records were early Bette Midler titles, Songs for the New Depression and Live At Last.

Went for a walk after I left the library. It was too nice of a day not to! The haze and humidity had been replaced by blue skies, fresh winds, and a dry warmth that felt wonderfully refreshing after the last few weeks. I saw a shopping center with a bakery and a bagel shop I thought I'd try. Alas, the bakery turned out to be closed for the owners' summer break, but the bagel shop was open. I bought four bagels at the bagel shop and got a drink from CVS before calling for a ride home.

Made my grocery list when I got in while watching Match Game '77 on Buzzr's Christmas In July marathon. This was the episode from early in 1977 where Charles, frustrated that he hadn't been able to dress as Santa for Christmas, turned up in his Santa costume anyway a few weeks later. A semi-amused Gene let him stay in character the rest of the episode. 

Headed back out after the episode ended, this time on my bike. I was originally going to do grocery shopping tomorrow, but the weather is supposed to be terrible. Went in Dollar Tree first to see if they have a bag big enough for a friend's birthday present. They didn't. Had a little more luck at Sprouts. Grabbed breakfast sandwich bars and granola bars, coconut milk, their chocolate peanut butter cookies on sale, and two cans of Culture Pop soda. 

Stopped at the Westmont Diner for lunch. They were fairly busy, despite it being nearly 3 PM at that point. I originally thought of having pancakes, but ended up with a huge "Sunrise Quesadilla" with eggs, sausage, peppers, and tons of cheese. Yum! The hash browns were good, too. Had a pleasant late lunch. 

Went up the hill next to the Westmont Acme. Wanted to try something. I had an online coupon for a free container of the Acme's generic Cool Whip. Found a simple key lime pie recipe on Pinterest that just required Cool Whip, lime jello mix, lime yogurt, and a graham cracker crust. I also restocked yogurt, cherries, those Made Good soft breakfast bars, and Olipop soda.

Took the long way home across Newton Lake Park. I'm surprised I didn't see more people out and about, given what a gorgeous day it was. I wanted to take the path over the hill and up to the Environmental Center, but it was blocked by a fallen tree. I had to be very careful making my way around that!

Watched the second half of The Price Is Right as I had cherries for a snack and got organized. Surprisingly, as these hadn't been announced for the Christmas In July marathon, the episode I saw had Christmas decorations up around the studio. One of the Showcases had a Christmas theme. The other was a spoof of 9 to 5, with Holly as a clumsy, literal secretary who uses the prizes to inadvertently wreck havoc in her office. 

Put everything away, then watched Back to the Beach. I go further into this very 80's spoof of the Beach Party movies featuring Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Broke for dinner and Match Game Syndicated at 7 PM. Phyllis Davis of Vega$ and Charles Siebert of Trapper John MD appeared on the show for the first time in these episodes. Gene's not thrilled when he has a hard time finding his breath spritzer to kiss Phyllis in the opening! Charlie would rather he just kissed his hand.

Finished the night with two of my recent CD acquisitions. Destroyer probably remains the best-known album KISS put out and their biggest hits. It certainly features a lot of their most popular singles, including "Detroit Rock City," "King of the Nighttime World," "Shout It Out Loud," and the smash-hit ballad "Beth." Most of the songs on The Blues Brothers: The Definitive Collection came from their live performances and includes dialogue. It also includes great songs from the 1980 movie like Ray Charles joining them for "Shake a Tail Feather" and Aretha Franklin's "Think." 

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Angels In a Heat Wave

Began the morning with breakfast and The Scooby Doo Show. Scooby and Shaggy are over the moon when the Mystery Machine crashes into an ice cream factory, and they suddenly have all the frozen treats they could ever want. Their sweet dreams turn sour when "The Ghost of the Bad Humor Man" turns up in chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry colors to scare them off. Shaggy and Scooby try to eat their treats and outrun the ghosts, while the other three realize there's a lot more to the ice cream trucks than a place to put popsicles... 

Called Uber after that. Not only was it too hot for bike riding, but I wanted to pick up something at Goodwill after work that I couldn't carry home on the bike. No trouble here. The drive going to the Acme arrived in seven minutes. I got there just in time. The one going home arrived in 6 minutes. We did hit traffic going to work, but no trouble getting home at all (partially because she cut through Audubon rather than going down Nicholson Road).

Work was mostly no problem. We were dead almost the entire afternoon. Despite the ongoing heat, I spent most of the day sweeping or pushing carts. There wasn't a whole lot else for me to do. There weren't that many stray items to put away, either. I did have to clean up a big container of spaghetti sauce someone dropped. The managers kept insisting on using a mop. A mop would have made even more of a mess. One of the pricing managers helped me clean it up with paper towels instead.

Hiked behind the Acme to Audubon Crossings Shopping Center after work. Grabbed the big gift for my friend and a pair of Old Navy jean shorts for me. The same funny older lady who handled Lauren and me kept insisting I should have a cart, even though I had no intention of leaving the sidewalk until the Uber driver arrived. Grabbed a Sprite Zero and a Zagnut Bar at Five Below next door.

Watched Laff-a-Lympics as I got organized at home. The games in "Hawaii" began with a surfing contest. Abu's magic worked well enough for him to get into first place. Huckleberry Hound and Hokey Wolf are proud of their outrigger that can do anything in the outrigger race, but they don't have Captain Caveman on their side! The Daltons have a harder time keeping their craft together. The Viking boat race in "Norway" is the only time all members of the team take part in an event. In this case, the Yogis have a secret weapon - Grape Ape and his extra-long arms. Daisy Mayhem thinks she wins the long jump wearing snowshoes, but then she loses her snowshoes before landing.

Worked on the inventory for the next few hours. Added CDs from the the 5th Dimension, Fleetwood Mac, Debbie Gibson, George Harrison, Whitney Houston, Don Henley, Rupert Holmes, Michael Jackson, Jefferson Airplane, and Billy Joel, and the Dan Fogelberg record I got yesterday. The vast majority of my rock titles came from yard sales, thrift shops, or Abbie Road. Picked up a few from Goodwill more recently. I really need to listen to some of these again. I'm not sure I ever listened to a few titles before I put them away, or I only listened to them once or twice.

I did listen to some of my recent record acquisitions. The Muppet Show record is based around the first season, from the songs and the designs of the characters on the back cover. Among the highlights are Kermit singing "Lydia the Tattooed Lady" (though we do miss that cool Lydia tattooed pig Muppet), Piggy braying through "What Now My Love," Kermit's famous "Bein' Green," and the Electric Mayhem's idea of performing "Tenderly." My favorite number is Robin's sweet "Halfway Down the Stairs" that closes the first side. Gonzo eating a tire to the tune of "The Flight of the Bumblebee" makes even less sense on an LP than it did on the show. Fozzie and Kermit's "Good Grief!" gag routine comes off much better, even if it did annoy Kermit in the end.

I could think of no better follow-up to the Muppets than the wild sound-effects filled world of Spike Jones and His City Slickers. I found a cassette with their music in college and have been a fan ever since. Among my favorites here that are new to me are the spoof melodramatic "None But the Lonely Heart," "Laura," and "Hawaiian War Chant."

Are You Experienced? was Jimi Hendrix's debut album. It was a sensation on release, hitting the top five here in the US. No wonder, with classic songs like "Purple Haze," "Hey Joe," and "Foxey Lady," all of which were huge in their own right. Hendrix's years playing live gives him a raw, wild sound, with a lot of virtuoso guitar work that makes me understand why he's still so admired even sixty years after his early death.

Switched to Match Game Syndicated while eating leftovers for dinner. Buzzr finally got to the week with Bill Cullen and Peter Marshall where only Brett had never been a game show host and never would be. Betty White's car gave her trouble and she was out of breath when the episode began after apparently jogging to the taping. The second had Gene tacking up a "thought for the day" he got from a fan.

Finished the night after a shower with the second season premiere of Charlie's Angels. Kris joins the ladies for "Angels In Paradise," but the happy homecoming is short-lived when Charlie is kidnapped. The wife of a gangster in Hawaii wants the Angels to get him out of prison...and then a rival from Chicago who hates Hawaii grabs Charlie. The ladies are through playing games and find themselves having to negotiate with both parties. 

Tuesday, July 09, 2024

Hot Sunshine Rag

Began the morning with breakfast and The Busy World of Richard Scarry. Huckle and Hilda's friends are disappointed when they have their birthday parties on the same day. They first try to out-do each other with fun things to do at their parties, but it's Huckle and Sally who figure out how to make "The Best Birthday Party Ever." Martha is a peasant girl living in 1400's Germany. She'd love to learn how to read, but books are hand-lettered and expensive. She and absent-minded Gutenberg invent the printing press so "Martha's First Book" is affordable for everyone. Mr. Gronkle wrecks havoc on his roof and Busytown when he's "Locked Out" of his house.

Switched to PAW Patrol while I got organized. We're not the only ones dealing with the heat. "Pups Save a Pool Day" when one of the pipes on the water tower gets bent and can't fill up the community pool. They become "Circus Pup-formers" when a circus car with the animals, performers, and stagehands is stranded and they have to put up the tent and do all the acts.

Headed out to run errands after the cartoon ended. I had a bag of donations for Goodwill. I dropped the bag off behind the building, then walked around and went inside. I did quite well for myself. Though it turns out I already have It's a Wonderful Life, I did find other DVDs I don't have. Got a better copy of A Christmas Story, along with a collection of Oscar-winning Warners animated shorts and a Canadian copy of Airplane II: The Sequel. The CDs were:

Sentimental Journey: Fantastic Forties (A two-disc set of songs from the 1940's)

Halloween Songs & Sounds (Collection of mildly spooky Disney songs, including "I Want to Scare Myself" from Winnie the Pooh: Boo to You, and scary sound effects.) 

The records were: 

Ragtime Fun - 4-disc Reader's Digest set of songs from the ragtime era of the 1910's and 20's

Dan Fogelberg - Greatest Hits

As I browsed through the racks with the pajamas, a flash of soft tan caught my eye. A handsome little tan joined bear sat on top of the rack, nestled among high heeled sandals and wedges. I had no idea how he ended up there, but I couldn't just leave him sitting with shoes. Plus, he and everything else I found but Airplane, the animation DVD, and Wonderful Life had the half-price blue and green tags on them. The Disney CD wound up being 50 cents, the Forties set was a dollar, and the big Reader's Digest collection and the teddy bear were $2.50 each. (I named the bear Caramel, since I have a somewhat similar sized bear named Butterscotch.) 

I really didn't need anything at Ross or Marshalls, so I headed across the street next. The Shoe Factory opened a few months ago appropriately where Payless used to be. Though their wares were better-made than most of what I remembering finding at Payless, they were mainly cheap sandals or flats. I need sneakers for work right now. I left quickly when I couldn't find the New Balances I normally use.

Had lunch a few doors down at Futomaki. Thought I'd try something different. I just had pizza and it was too hot for noodle bowls or tons of Chinese food. Settled down in their calming dark wood and stone storefront for a chicken hibachi lunch. Apparently, this consisted of a salad with a slightly tangy French dressing-like sauce, a bowl of a clear broth with mushroom slices, steamed vegetables and chicken in a teriyaki sauce, and a huge scoop of fried rice. I was too full for all that rice and it was too hot for soup, but I ate everything else and enjoyed it. 

Cooled off at a quiet Sonic with a banana milkshake. There were cars in the ports, but only one other person on the patio enjoying a burger. Yum! Sweet and thick and very banana-tasting. I'm not really that big on their food, but they do make good slushes and shakes.

Cut across Audubon next for a nice, long ride. Which may not have been the smartest thing to do on a day when the temperature rose to the mid-90's. I stopped at WaWa on the corner of Pine and the White Horse Pike for a Propel. Made a second stop at the Family Dollar on the White Horse Pike to buy cards for a friend and her daughter who have birthdays this month. I didn't see anything I liked for my oldest nephew Skylar, who turns 20 at the end of this month. I'll wait a week or two on him. 

Went straight home and into watching Pajama Party after I got out. I go further into this nutty Beach Party movie with Tommy Kirk as an alien who falls for an Earth girl at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Spent the next two hours after that adding more CDs to the inventory. In addition to Fogelberg, artists I added today included the Eagles, Alice Cooper, Counting Crows, Jim Croce, Neil Diamond, the Doors,  Gloria Estefan, and the two home-made Micky Dolenz CDs Lauren sent me when we first became friends in 2004. And I'm not even half-way through the first rock CD binder yet! I'm also beginning to realize how long it's been since I've listened to a lot of these. Some of them I may have put away without ever listening to them. I really should change that. I have a lot of great stuff here. 

Listened to Ella & Louis while I worked. Braying Armstrong and smooth Fitzgerald may have seem to be opposites in style, but they come together beautifully on this album. It's all gorgeous classic ballads like "Isn't This a Lovely Day?", "They Can't Take That Away From Me," "Stars Fell On Alabama," and one that was new to me, the lovely "Under a Blanket of Blue."

Broke for a quick dinner and Match Game Syndicated at 7 PM. We skipped ahead a bit to the week with Scoey Mitchilll, Dolly Martin, and Debralee Scott. There was a great deal of arguing over Dolly's answer for "Bess __" on the Audience Match. Bess Armstrong was a character actress who nowadays is best-known for her work on TV and Broadway. Apparently, Dolly was the only one in the panel who heard of her in 1979. 

Finished the night with more records while I wrote the Pajama Party review. The RCA Grimm's Fairy Tales were very short, often modernized adaptations of familiar stories. Most of them were lightened and updated - Red Riding Hood gets the wolf off her back by telling him he could be on TV, the Elves help the Shoemaker with a new shoe-making machine, and the princess agrees to let Rumplestiltskin be her child's babysitter instead of him stomping himself underground. Ironically, the lightest story in its original form - The Fisherman and His Wife - became the darkest here. In the original story, the wife and the fisherman just become poor again after she demands godhood. Here, she's actually turned into a fish for her greediness. 

That Ragtime Fun collection did turn out to be a hoot and a half. Jo Anne Castle from The Lawrence Welk Show joins several other ragtime and jazz bands to pound out some of the most popular songs of the 1910's and 20's. Jo Anne's best numbers on the first album were "Goodbye My Lady Love" and "King Porter Stomp." I especially enjoyed hearing songs that were totally new to me like "Poor Buttermilk," "The Raggy Fox Trot," "Wolverine Blues," "Chinatown, My Chinatown," and "Sensation." 

Monday, July 08, 2024

The Lady and the Games

Began the morning with breakfast and Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. "Daniel Goes to Day Camp," and even though he and Prince Wednesday are in separate groups, he still enjoys seeing all the sights on a nature walk with Amira, Katarina, and Max. "Daniel's Rainy Day at Camp" turns out to be a lot more fun than he thinks at first. Amira takes the kids under a tent to tie-dye t-shirts and have a dance party while they dry. 

I had a bunch of people to call and appointments to make today, starting with calling Abilities Solutions. Karen said someone would get back to me after the 4th of July. Well, it's after the 4th of July, and I hadn't heard from anyone. My new counselor Sue claims they're still waiting for a voucher. If I don't hear from them within two weeks, I'll call them again and find out what's going on. 

Tried to make a gynecologist appointment, but I didn't see anything open for anytime in the present. I decided I'd go back to that later and made the mammogram appointment. That's just at South Jersey Radiology in Haddonfield, where I had my thyroid checked last year. Honestly, the mammogram sounds like the least scary of the three procedures Dr. Jessica recommended me for. It's not like my considerable chest can't stand a little squeezing. I got a 10 AM appointment on Friday, since I have off that day and had grocery shopping planned anyway. 

Messed around online a bit, then broke for lunch. Watched Laff-a-Lympics while I ate. "The Grand Canyon" starts out well for the Rottens, with Mumbly just jumping past Scooby on the burro race. That was pretty much the last time anything worked for them. Orly Octopus' attempt to knock Huckleberry Hound off his rope for the tightrope race bounces the blue dog into first place instead. Blue Falcon and Grape Ape work together to save a leprechaun from losing his gold to the Rottens in "Ireland." Cindy Bear was the only character who actually made her shot in the hole-in-one golf tournament. Captain Caveman overdid it, and Dinky Dalton accidentally shot himself along with the ball. 

Spent the next three hours after I took the laundry downstairs adding rock CDs to the inventories. Some of these go back even further than the records. I've had Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and the original Broadway cast album for Can-Can since Mom gave them to me for my 17th birthday in 1996. They were my first CDs that actually belonged to me. Before then, I'd been borrowing CDs from Rose. Along with the Beatles, I added CDs from Aerosmith, Jimmy Buffett, the Beach Boys, the Bangles, Bon Jovi, Cher, Chicago, and Eric Clapton. 

Listened to more recently-acquired records while I worked. Starburst and Reflections are K-Tel collections from the late 70's, but that's pretty much all they have in common. Starburst is a 2-disc selection of disco, pop, and emotional ballads. "Smoke From a Distant Fire" by The Sanford/Townsend Band, "Dance With Me," by Peter Brown, "Baby Hold On" by Eddie Money, and "Every Kind of People" by Robert Palmer are my favorites here (and I thought all of them came out a lot later than 1978). Reflections is all heartfelt ballads like "You Needed Me" by Anne Murray, "Where Is the Love" by Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway, and two Barry Manilow hits, "Even Now" and "Could It Be Magic." 

Melissa Manchester is a long time favorite of mine, with romantic ballads like "Through the Eyes of Love," "Don't Cry Out Loud," and "Come In From the Rain" I've heard on the radio all my life. I was less fond of her bluesy version of "Whenever I Call You Friend." That works far better as a fast-paced duet for Stevie Nicks and Kenny Loggins. 

Got off around 6 PM for dinner, Match Game Syndicated, and to finally put the laundry in the dryer. Buzzr picked up with the week featuring Bart Braverman, Dick Martin, and a totally adorable Eva Gabor. Gene was about ready to throttle the contestants during the second half of the first episode and most of the second as they just kept tying and tying. Brett was finally the one who broke it in the second episode. 

I was tired of sitting inside all day. I took out the recycling, then went for a walk. It got into the upper 90's here earlier, but by 7 PM. it was a lot more tolerable. Strolled down Johnson Avenue and around the neighborhood to the Hispanic ice cream parlor. Needless to say on a night that was cooler but still pretty hot, they were mobbed. I had to wait in a long line, but I finally got a gelati, a dessert with layers of soft vanilla ice cream and water ice - in this case, strawberry guava. I think I'll get the strawberry guava separately next time. The soft ice cream was the usual fluffy stuff, but the water ice was incredible, made with real strawberries and guava and not too sweet. 

Took the long way home down Cuthbert and back around to the park. So did a lot of people, now that the heat wasn't quite so oppressive. I saw quite a few folks out walking their dogs and bike riding with their kids or pushing them in strollers. I went up a longer set of stone stairs and aren't sure where I came out, other than it was several blocks from home.

Went straight in the shower when I got home and took the laundry upstairs, then finished the night with episodes honoring Brett Somers, whose 100th birthday would have been the 11th. Brett started off appearing with her then-husband Jack Klugman on couples shows like He Said, She Said and It's Your Bet. Alas, both of those weeks seem to be missing at the moment. The oldest episode I could find featuring Brett in a game show was her first of two weeks on Password '71 with Jack. As she admitted years later on Match Game, Jack had played several times before and pretty much beat the pants off her.

Password was not Brett's game. She spent New Year's Eve 1979 on Password Plus with Ross Martin and Allen Ludden and didn't do any better. Martin kept beating her all week. It would be her only appearance on Plus, and her last on any game show besides Match Game until 2002. 

Brett got started on Match Game because Jack recommended her after he appeared on the show in the first week. He thought it would be a great way for her to get out of the house, but I doubt he knew she'd get a career out of it. She first appeared on the 11th episode and would remain for pretty much the entire rest of the series, straight through to syndication. Though she retired after the syndicated run ended, she did appear on two weeks of Match Game '90 at the request of her best friend Charles Nelson Reilly. 

Tried to go with episodes I haven't really watched as much. She and Jack appeared together three times during the first year of the show, including the week with "Mama" Cass Elliot. The PM episode from 1976 features a twinkly-eyed older male contestant who sure had a thing for her. She saw Gene kiss Barbara Shawarma and Tom Poston wondering why Gene won't do the same for him in a daytime episode from earlier that year. The 1990 episode was her first on that run. She and Charles are as funny as ever, tossing jokes to each other and around everyone else.

Charles and Brett appeared together one last time on Hollywood Squares during their Game Show Week in 2002. Other celebrities who turned up during that week included Wink Martindale, Chuck Woolery, Bob Eubanks, Jimmie Walker, Martin Mull, Andrea Martin, and original Squares host Peter Marshall. The only full episode currently available is the one that Marshall hosted - and he did quite well too, picking up the reigns from Tom Bergeron like he never left. 

Let's lift a glass to the tipisiest and wittiest character actress on television with these hilarious episodes!

Sunday, July 07, 2024

Fashionable Matches

Began the morning with breakfast and some classic jazz on CD. Nefertiti is apparently known for its odd opening number with the horns repeating the melody. I also like two in the second half, "Madness" and "Riot." 

Called Uber after I got dressed and finished eating. It was supposed to climb into the upper 90's, too hot for bike riding. Bad enough I'd be pushing carts. Had no trouble either way. Got the one in the morning in 9 minutes, the one in the afternoon in 7. 

As it turned out, I spent most of those hot five hours pushing carts. We weren't all that busy this morning, and the heat was still tolerable...but by noon, everyone had gotten out of church and were now shopping for kids who were at home all week, and the temperatures had crept into the 90's. I swept and put away cold items too, but the carts kept disappearing. No help, either. The young man who usually works Sundays took today off. 

Cooled off by picking up a few things I hadn't gotten on Friday. The Acme was the only place I could find remotely affordable fish oil gummy vitamins. Found the orange Poppi sodas on clearance for 75 cents each. That was hard to resist. So was a half-price Crest Gum Restore toothpaste. Though I'd try a peanut butter cup "cookie cake," basically a lot of large soft cookies baked together.

Put everything away when I got home, then went into adding the remaining records to the rock inventory. Artists here included Bruce Springsteen, Taylor Swift, the Who, the Vogues, Wings, the Four Seasons, Three Dog Night, Tina Turner, U2, and "Weird" Al Yankovic. Weird Al's entry ends the record part of the inventory. I'll start in on the rock CDs tomorrow. 

Listened to jazz, vocalists, and hard rock records while I worked. There's some good music on that three-artist jazz collection I picked up from Innergroove yesterday. Never even heard of Wardell Gray, but his "Double Or Nothing" and "High and Low" were especially enjoyable. 

That's Life is Frank Sinatra in belting been-around-twice mode. I prefer the softer sell with him. The lovely "I Will Wait for You" and "Somewhere My Love" don't benefit from the belting. The title tune and "You're Gonna Hear From Me" come off better. Face Dances is the Who's first album after Keith Moon's death. I don't know if it's that well-regarded today, but there are some decent songs here, notably "The Quiet One" and "You Better You Bet." 

Tonight's Match Game marathon was originally going to revolve around McLean Stevenson, but the owner of the channel had a hard time getting it through YouTube. He reuploaded the one that revolved around the best suits worn on the show...which ironically, featured McLean prominently in several episodes. He came out wearing one of Gene's plaid coats and looking like he was 90 in one syndicated episode. The pale blue coat Gene gave him was much better. Ted Lange loaned him a suit and a cowboy hat in a later episode that made him look more like he was on the set of Dallas. As Brett told him several times, he had no flair for fashion.

Gene's fashion sense wasn't always so hot, either. His infamous green and red plaid suit in late 1973 was so hideous, even by the standards of the early 70's, the panelists wouldn't even look at him when he came out. The gray-checked suit with the pink bow tie he wore a few weeks later prompted vaudeville and used car salesman jokes from Brett and Pat Harrington. 

He did better once Rubin Brothers started dressing him. Charles used to tease him about how boring his suits were, but I thought he usually looked pretty dapper. He was especially proud of a pair of dapper wing-tipped shoes. He got ribbed for wearing a pair of bright red suede shoes in a PM episode. That one began with jokes about Gene's footwear and ended with Charles, Brett, and Richard Paul singing "Deep In the Heart of Texas" while the contestant ended up in Jamie Lee Curtis' lap. 

He wasn't the only one who occasionally had wardrobe problems. Ted walked into a syndicated episode and demanded that Fred Grandy give him his suit back. He did...right in full view of the audience. Fred ended up stripping down to his shorts and a t-shirt. Gene gave him a vest to make him look slightly more presentable. 

Check out some sweet suits and genuine fashion disasters on this hilarious marathon!

Saturday, July 06, 2024

Hot Jazz Harvest

Began the morning with breakfast and more Scooby Doo Show. "The Chiller Diller Theater" introduces Scooby's female cousin, Scooby Dee, who is starring in the remake of an older thriller. When she's attacked by the ghost of the original film's late star Milo Booth, the others help the private eye who was assigned as her bodyguard figure out who's after her and why. Things get even scarier when Dee is replaced by an imposter, and the kids find themselves trapped in the mausoleum of Milo Booth himself!

Headed out after that to run errands. The Collingswood Farm Market was busy with people buying produce for their 4th of July Weekend barbecues, despite the overwhelming heat and humidity. The summer harvest continues to roll out. Strawberries are gone, but I saw peppers, eggplant, blackberries, plums, local tomatoes, yellow squash, and corn for the first time this week. Bought cherries, peaches, plums, blueberries, and peas for a snack this week. 

Took a short stroll in Collingswood next. I had no other plans and really wasn't in a hurry. Stopped at WaWa first for a Propel strawberry-kiwi water. Bought a container of toffee cashews, a bag of matcha chocolate-covered almonds, and sliced cheddar cheese for lunch at Haddon Culinary and yummy coconut macaroons at Dulce Artisanal Pastry. Innergroove Records was too busy with young record lovers for me to do a lot of exploring, but I did come up with three jazz records, one a classic: 

Muggsy Spanier & Sidney Bechet - Ragtime Jazz

Dave Brubeck Quartet - Time Out

Jazz collection with songs by Charlie Parker, Stan Getz, and Wardell Gray

(The Dave Brubeck Quartet was the splurge at $19.99, but that's the cheapest I've ever seen it, and it was in near-mint shape. I found it right at the front of the jazz new arrivals bin. The owner said he put it out just yesterday!)

I did go home after I got my macaroons. It was just too hot to do much more walking. It jumped into the mid-90's here. It was supposed to rain yesterday, and then today. I never saw rain. Not one raindrop. It just keeps getting hotter. I'm surprised at how busy Collingswood was. I was far from the only person milling around Innergroove, and a big group of young people came into Dulce Artisanal Pastry just as I was leaving. 

Went straight into watching Laff-a-Lympics while putting everything away when I got home. The competition in the "Africa" jungle did not begin well. No one won the jungle boat race, either due to the Rottens' cheating, or them not being able to or wanting to go over Victoria Falls. They all ended up back at the start, with the Rottens in the negative. The vine swinging went better. Dread Baron won this one, though Yogi had some pretty impressive moves, too. Orful Octopus didn't need to cheat to use his 8 legs to make first in the roller skating race through "San Francisco," followed by tiny Pixie and Dixie. The Dread Baron, however, got caught cheating by resident skinny hungry dudes Shaggy and Tinker in the fishing contest. Daisy Mayhem only came up with Jabberjaw, but Auggie Doggie and Doggy Daddy really caught the big one!

Switched to Hello Kitty Furry Tale Theater while having lunch. Kitty is the sweet sister and Catnip her bratty sibling in "Kitty and the Beast." They stay with a pig-penguin (Tuxedo Sam), but leave him to help their father. Kitty, however, realizes how much he means to her and goes back. "Little Red Riding Bunny" is My Melody, a sweet miss who heads out west to visit her grandmother and ends up dodging a hungry wolf (Grinder) and Belle Catnip and her gang.

The reason I did that episode was as a lead-in to Red Riding Hood. I go further into this unusual live-action fairy tale spoof from 2006 at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Did quick cleaning while Red Riding Hood was on. I basically ran the dust cloth over anything that showed. I'm not planning on doing anything major up here for a while. Vacuumed and Swiftered the floors and wiped down the window and electronics.

Switched to records while working on the review for Red Riding Hood. Been wanting to pick up something for Barenaked Ladies for a while. Some of my favorites songs of theirs are on Original Hits, Original Stars, including "Falling For the First Time," "Pinch," "It's All Been Done," "One Week," and the hilarious theme from the long-running sitcom The Big Bang TheoryRagtime Jazz turned out to be less ragtime and more jazzy versions of songs from the 1910's and 20's. I liked "Sweet Sue, Just You," "Lazy River," and "That's a Plenty."

Finished the night with dinner and the Match Game Saturday Classics marathon on YouTube. Gene Rayburn may have loved his long microphone that could telescope up and down, but it caused him no end of problems. It was perpetually breaking, falling apart, or getting lost. Once, Gene lost the ball off the top. Another time, his regular one wasn't working, and they basically stopped the show so everyone could help him find his spare. It literally broke apart in his hands at the end of a PM episode. 

Gene and the stagehands often came up with creative replacements. There was the episode where Fannie drooled over handsome young schoolteacher Ron Valenti that started with Gene hauling around a huge old radio microphone. Someone handed him a lighter old-time radio mic on another show. Another had a paper lightning bolt on his microphone to keep it from crackling. An audience member made him a glitter-trimmed champagne pink microphone. He complained about having to use a short but sturdier microphone in a syndicated episode...but as short and sturdy Arte Johnson pointed out, some people had to deal with a lot more than a microphone being small!

Check out the ongoing saga of Gene and his favorite piece of equipment onstage in this hilarious marathon!

Friday, July 05, 2024

Hot Times Under the Sun

Began a late morning with breakfast and more Scooby Doo Show. It's a "High Rise Hair Raiser" when Shaggy, Scooby, and Fred get a job constructing a new skyscraper, only to be chased by what appears to be a ghost. Turns out the building that used to be on that spot was the home of an old man who was said to practice the black arts and could make himself younger. The girls do research on the site, while the boys dodge the ghost on the girders and talk to his ancient ancestor to find out what's going on.

Went online to check my schedule next. In good news, not as many hours as this week, but more than I've had lately. Early work on Sunday and Wednesday. Late work on Saturday, which does mean I'll be able to hit the farm market that day. Having Thursday and Friday off means I'll be able to hit the Cherry Hill Library for their summer book sale one of those two days.

Did a few things online, then headed out. Had lunch at Geneva Pizza on Cuthbert Road. It's been a while since I've eaten there. Kept things simple with a slice of cheese, a square slice of tomato-basil, and a bottle of Diet Coke. Watched Wimbledon while a dad ordered milkshakes for him and his son. 

I needed to run some errands next, starting at Target. I didn't find the vitamins I wanted there, but I did pick up wet wipes for my purse and stronger suntan lotion for work. I thought one of the granola bars I bought at Sprouts were on sale, but it turns out they weren't. I had more luck with the Bob's granola bars and finding cherry granola cookies on clearance. Found Poppi soda on sale as well. Decided to try cherry limeade and raspberry rose, the latter of which I've never seen before.

Made my way past the Haddon Township Library and a quiet high school to the Westmont Acme next. Restocked my yogurt and popcorn, the latter of which is still on clearance. Kind oat and honey bars are still on clearance, too. Got two Ollipops, two bagels, a bag of blue corn chips, those Made Good soft bars, and a slice of white cake with buttercream icing for a treat. (And no wonder I got off this weekend. None of the stores were busy, not even the Target.) 

Everyone who didn't go away for the holiday weekend may have been scared off by the heat. It was sunny and bright, but killer hot and humid. I cut through the park for some shade, then pushed my bike up the hill. It did feel a little cooler under the bright green canopy, but that didn't really help the humidity. I was sweating like crazy when I finally got home.

Put everything away, then took down the patriotic decorations while watching the first season finale of Vega$. "The Visitor" is Princess Zara (Kim Cattrall), who fled with her father to Vegas after a revolution in their Middle Eastern country. Dan is hired to be her bodyguard when her life is threatened by terrorists. After a woman tries to kidnap the princess and is shot by revolutionaries, Dan and his friend Harlan Twoleaf show her the good life in Sin City, and Dan ends up falling for her...but she wants to see her father, and those revolutionaries aren't about to give up...

Listened to the soundtrack from Thank God It's Friday while working on my rock record inventory. Added p through the first half of s today, including Pink Floyd, the Pointer Sisters, Prince, the Platters, Elvis Presley, the Rolling Stones, Linda Ronstadt, Helen Reddy, Paul Simon, and Bob Seger. I'm hoping to finish with the rock records by tomorrow or Monday, then start adding the rock CDs. Next up will be rock collections and cast albums.

Thank God It's Friday is about as disco as you can get. Donna Summer's "Last Dance" won the Oscar, but there's other good things here if you want to get your groove on. Other favorites include "Love Masterpiece" by Thelma Houston, Sunshine's "Take It to the Zoo," and "Disco Queen" by Paul Jabara.

Watched Match Game Syndicated while eating dinner and putting away records. Rita Moreno got to read a question in the first episode. In the second, Joyce Bulifant and Gary Crosby take up from where Betty White left off by messing around with Gene's trousers cuffs and socks. Gary's not too happy when someone pulls out a poster of the 60's movie Two Tickets to Paris that he starred in. (And I really need to review that.) 

Finished the night on Tubi with two unique retellings of famous fairy tales from the 1990's. Willa: An American Snow White resets the story in the rural Midwest in 1911. The wicked stepmother is an actress who desperately wants to stay young and is jealous of her stepdaughter's budding beauty. She orders her manservant to kill her, but he sends her away instead. She falls in with a trio of performers who put on shows and sell tonics that can supposedly keep one young. Willa eventually falls for the handsome young man who is putting on "moving pictures" in the same towns they play...but not before her stepmother comes back for revenge when those so-called tonics have the reverse effect on her.

Ashpet: An American Cinderella is a bit shorter and a little less scary. We jump ahead to the deep south in 1942, just as World War II began. Ashpet is Lily, who is bullied and treated like a servant by her two hateful and shrill stepsisters and her spoiled stepmother. Her only friend is Aunt Sally, a kindly older black woman whom her stepsisters regard as a witch and beg love charms off of. When they refuse to answer her riddles and go back on their promise to let Lily attend the Victory Ball, Aunt Sally takes matters into her own hands. She gives Lily her mother's dress and shoes and sends her off on a white horse. Lily falls for handsome soldier William, to her stepsisters' dismay. They try to waylay him when he turns up with her shoe, but Aunt Sally knows that love has a way of coming out in the end.

I enjoyed the shorter and sweeter Ashpet slightly more than the spooky Willa, Aunt Sally in particular is an awesome character, and the stepsisters have some good moments, too. Despite their obvious low budgets, they're both worth seeing for those like me who are looking for unusual versions of familiar stories. 

Thursday, July 04, 2024

Star Spangled Lady

Began the morning with the 4th of July material from Colliers Harvest of Holidays. The longest piece here is a segment of Little House On the Prairie where Pa takes Laura and Carrie into town for lemonade and to watch their friend Almanzo Wilder take part in the horse and buggy race. There's also several patriotic poems, The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, and The Star Spangled Banner. Did two short stories from the Disney Storybookland anthology, a version of "Ben & Me" and a prose retelling of Paul Revere's famous ride.

Watched the short "Patriotic Popeye" online while I had a quick breakfast. Popeye tries to hide the fireworks from his eager nephews, but they find them every time. They finally learn their lesson when they get caught on one of the rockets and their uncle has to rescue them.

Hurried out after that for Oaklyn's 4th of July Parade on West Clinton Avenue. The parade was supposed to start at 10, but they were late. They're always late. There were already tons of people running around and settling in lawn chairs when I arrived. Among them were my brother-in-law Craig, my niece Finley, and my nephew Khai. Fin turned 7 yesterday. I'm glad I remembered to bring her birthday bag. She loved everything, especially the pretty purple stuffed pegasus. 

The parade didn't start until nearly 10:30. I took Finley across the street to get free soda, water, small bags of chips, and warm soft pretzels at a tent pitched on the parking lot across from the school, and we got back with still ten minutes before it did start. Motorcyclists on cool red and blue vehicles led the way, followed by kids on decorated bikes and their parents and two local brass bands. Most of the other floats were baseball and softball teams, including one that won the local Little League and was now heading to the New Jersey state finals. Finley was just happy with all the Jolly Ranchers, Dum Dums, Starbursts, and Double Bubble gum those young ballplayers threw. Even I grabbed some candy for later. 

Craig took the kids home to rest after the parade ended, but I stuck around to hear a lady sing "The Star Spangled Banner" (quite well) and the announcement of the winners for best float. Mr. Softee pulled into the parking lot right before the parade started to give out free ice cream. I didn't mind waiting in a long line to get a freebie. I enjoyed my cup of vanilla and chocolate swirl soft-serve topped with rainbow sprinkles as I walked home. 

Settled down myself with a drink and a few more 4th of July or American history-related shorts. Bugs is a "Bunker Hill Bunny" who defends his fort from Hessian Yosemite Sam. "Donald's Failed Fourth" may turn his romantic picnic with Daisy into a disaster, unless he can get the blanket and chairs to cooperate. "Hysterical Highspots In American History" include Christopher Columbus lamenting the lack of cartoons in the New World, a fast-talking Native-American salesman, and two enterprising old maids who somehow managed to divert soldiers to their home during two very different and long-apart wars. 

Watched Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure next. I go further into this sequel to the beloved 1955 Disney movie at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Went back out after the cartoon ended. I enjoyed my Thanksgiving dinner at Mulligan's so much, I thought I'd try them for the 4th. Their turkey burger wasn't nearly as good as their actual turkey dinner. The fries weren't bad, but the burger was nothing really special for $14. I was surprised they weren't busy, either. Guess most people opted to barbecue in their own homes.

By this point, the morning clouds and breeze had long given way to bright sunshine and overbearing heat and humidity. I stopped at WaWa for a much-needed drink. Tried a matcha frozen lemonade. Not bad. Very tart. Cooling, anyway, which is really all I cared about walking home.

After I got in, I made the bed while watching two patriotic Scooby Doo episodes. Tubi now has the mid-70's Scooby Doo Show. This is the show I remember being re-run the most as a kid, and probably the one I remember best. Mystery Inc is in Washington DC to celebrate the Bicentennial and find themselves fleeing into the Smithsonian to avoid a heavy rainstorm. When they're attacked by what seems like the ghosts of famous traitors Benedict Arnold, William Demont, and Major John Andre, they have to figure out what "The Spirits of '76" are doing and why they're running around with wet shoes.

Laff-a-Lympics goes north to "New York" for a Central Park buggy ride. Finley would have loved Blue Falcon's chariot pulled by an alicorn, but I thought Doggie Daddy's normal carriage pulled by a very small horse who turns out to be accurately named Goliath was funnier. The race to put a wreath on top of the Statue of Liberty was even closer. Captain Caveman has his powers, but Orful Octopus of the Rottens doesn't need to cheat with suction-cup tentacles, and there's Grape Ape's sheer size. The Dread Baron somehow manages to win a unicycle race in "Turkey" despite his own outrageous cheating, and the Daltons prove that size - and pure slipperiness - does matter during a swimming relay race in the cross-tides.

Mom texted me to wish me a happy 4th of July right before I left for lunch. I called her on the patio at Mulligan's after I got out. She finally called me back as the second half Laff-a-Lympics ended. As it turns out, they weren't doing anything, either. Keefe apparently had to work on a newly-built ship today. 

By that point, I was bored stiff. I originally intended to walk into Collingswood, but it was too hot for a long stroll, and my legs were still pretty worn out from pushing carts for 7 hours yesterday. Ended up walking through a quiet, shady Newton Lake Park instead, with a stop at Dollar General for snacks and a drink to eat during the fireworks. 

Put on Yankee Doodle Cricket when I got home. Amos Mouse isn't the only rodent who claims to have shaped American history. Tucker the Mouse insists that he originally created the first American flag and wrote the Declaration of "Interdependence" as a treaty between cats and mice, Harry the Cat got Paul Revere's horse going, and Chester the Cricket wrote "Yankee Doodle." 

Rose called shortly after I got in. Did I want to come over for dinner? Sure, why not? I had no other plans. I was just going to eat out of the fridge for dinner. I ended up heading across a quiet Oaklyn to her house instead after the cartoon ended.

When I arrived, I was greeted by Rose's two frisky dogs Oreo and Cider. Oreo is a sweet pup who sure took a shine to me. He wouldn't leave my side for most of the time I was there, laying at my feet and licking my toes. Rose has a stressful job as a lawyer, and she was pretty tired, but she did put out a plate of grapes, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and cherries and a tray of meat and cheese with mini-naan rounds. Craig made tasty burgers, sausage, and zucchini and yellow squash, the latter fresh from his own garden. The lettuce for the burgers was from his garden, too. Before dinner, Finley got to show off the Jurassic Park dinosaurs she got for her birthday, including a remote-control t-rex. 

I hurried out around 8:41. Rose and her family usually watch the fireworks at their house, but I prefer Newton Lake Park. The big grassy area across from the Parkview Apartments is large enough for many people to relax on blankets and not be in each other's way and still get a good view of the show. I wasn't sure I'd have the time to go back for my blanket and the water and snacks I bought earlier, so I just plopped on the grass. 

Not ten minutes after I settled down, I heard the first boom overhead. Glittering pink and green sparkles lit up the night! The fireworks at Collingswood are always gorgeous, and this year was no exception. I especially love the ones that make shapes, the nifty rings and hearts inside each other. Someone set off some pretty big fireworks at the Parkview, too, making it seem like the show was coming from all sides. 

I hurried home the second the last fireworks started to go off. The White Horse Pike is always a mess after the fireworks. While I don't have to cross the street anymore to get home, I do have to dodge all of the people and cars looking to avoid taking the main roads and running into just as much traffic. I was very happy when I finally got home.

Finished the night after the Match Game '76 chat premieres with a vintage Disney 4th of July parade from 1988. It's a shame Disney didn't continue to air their 4th of July spectaculars like they did the Easter and Christmas shows. They're cheesy, but so much fun. Marc Summers and Tempest Bledsoe put more of an emphasis on the actual parade, with units representing different sections of the US, than most of the other broadcasts. We also get Willard Scott riding the Maelstrom (now Frozen) in the then-new Norway pavilion at Epcot, the introduction of Mickey's Birthdayland at the Magic Kingdom (now the circus-themed kiddie ride area of Fantasyland), and a chorus routine at what was then the Disney-MGM Studios (which opened about 10 months after this). Tommy Tune and Rita Moreno lead the dancers through medleys of George M. Cohen songs in front of Cinderella's Castle in the finale. 

If you missed your hometown parade or want to check out Walt Disney World almost 40 years ago, here's the full parade, for your enjoyment!

And here's hoping you had a wonderful 4th of July too, with all the people you love!

Wednesday, July 03, 2024

Liberty Trees and American Patrols

Began the morning with breakfast and The Busy World of Richard Scarry. Billy Dog takes "The Big Dare" when he goes into an old saw mill to see if it's haunted. He learns why it's a bad idea to be wandering around in abandoned buildings when he gets hurt and the other kids have to call Sergeant Murphy. Oliver is the clumsy butler of the Earl of Sandwich. He's in love with one of the Earl's female visitors, but her father won't let him marry her unless he does something important. When he can't find the gloves for their card game, he creates "Oliver's Sandwich" to keep their hands from getting messy. "Pig Will Won't" when he gets a bump on his head and starts acting like his contrary brother...and Pig Won't finally gets a taste of his own bratty medicine.

Rushed off to work just after the cartoon ended and barely arrived in time. Thankfully, that was the worst thing that happened all day. Surprisingly for the beginning of the month and the day before a major holiday, we were steady but not overwhelmingly busy except at the noon rush hour. I was on my own in the morning, but one of the college boys arrived at noon and took over the sweeping. I spent most of the day pushing carts, and my tired legs aside, I wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere else. The weather remains gorgeous here, a little warmer and slightly humid, but not too bad, and with a deliciously cool breeze.

Soon as I got home, I went straight into adding L through O's to the rock albums inventory. Artists I put in today include Bette Midler, the Steve Miller Band, the Monkees, Olivia Newton-John, and Tony Orlando and Dawn. 

Listened to patriotic music while I worked. I have the original 1980 vinyl release of Yankee Doodle Mickey, with "The Liberty Tree" from Johnny Tremain sung by the Disneyland Glee Club and a very young Molly Ringwald belting "This Is My Country" and "God Bless America." My favorite number is the Armed Forces Medley, with Mickey singing for the Marines and the Air Force, Goofy for the Army, and of course, Donald for the Navy.

America the Beautiful is a huge two-disc collection of patriotic music put out by Reader's Digest in 1986 for the 100th Anniversary of the Statue of Liberty and her big restoration. Among the vocal selections are Kate Smith's famous rendition of "God Bless America," an energetic "This Land Is My Land" performed by the New Freedom Singers, and a gorgeous "Shenandoah" by the Robert Shaw Chorale. Of the instrumental pieces, my favorites include "On the Trail" from the Grand Canyon Suite, "American Patrol," and a medley of George M. Cohen songs by Arthur Fielder and the Boston Pops that you can actually hear people in the audience singing along with on the recording,  

Switched to Match Game Syndicated as I finished up the inventory and had a delicious dinner. The first episode I caught was the very funny one where Gene was "shocked" by the question holder, complete with wavy lines on the screen. Charles took his microphone, then claimed he'd "never take over a part that badly acted." Phyllis Diller and Fred Grandy looked on in a later episode as a gentleman in a cowboy hat who tried to figure out "Tonight __" in the Head-to-Head and Diller showed off some pretty nifty wigs, including a beaded one.

Finished the night with two Disney movies and specials from the 1950's centering around the American Revolution. Johnny Tremain is their 1957 version of the 1944 novel (which I'm in the midst of re-reading). Johnny (Hal Stalmaster) is the cocky apprentice of a silversmith in Boston who claims he can make a special silver cup for wealthy Johnathan Lyte (Sebastian Cabot). Johnny is so eager to do it, especially after talking to Paul Revere (Walter Sande), he rushes and does it on a Sunday. Not only does he upset his religious master (Will Wright), he burns his hand so severely that he can't continue as a silversmith.

Looking for other work, he eventually joins the printer of a local newspaper that specializes in articles criticizing England for their unfair taxes. Johnny finds himself running errands for none other than the Sons of Liberty after the laid-back copy boy Rab (Richard Beymer) teaches him how to ride the spirited horse Goblin. He tells Lapham's daughter Priscilla (Luana Patten) that he intends to sell the cup his mother gave him to Lyte, but Lyte thinks he stole it. After Josiah Quincy (Whit Bissell) and Priscilla prove his innocence, he throws himself into getting even more involved with the Sons of Liberty. He even takes part in the Boston Tea Party, helps Revere with his ride, and joins the Battle of Lexington and Concord.

While a lot of characters and incidents were dropped from the book, including Lyte's beautiful daughter, Lapham's youngest daughter Isannah who is attached to Priscilla, and Lapham's other loutish apprentices, enough remains for me to thoroughly enjoy Disney's excursion into American history. Beymer looks a lot more interested than he ever did four years later in West Side Story, while Cabot and Ralph Clanton have a fine time as Lyte and General Gage of the British Army. Despite the DVD copy I found being rather grainy, it's still worth seeking out for fans of the book, American Colonial history, or the Disney historical action movies and TV shows of the 50's and 60's. 

Johnny Tremain was not Disney's first adaptation of a children's novel that revolved around American Colonial history in the 1950's. The animated special Ben & Me debuted in front of the documentary The Living Desert in 1953. The "me" in this case is Amos Mouse (Sterling Holloway), who finds himself helping Benjamin Franklin (Charlie Ruggles) with his many inventions. Putting Amos in the air on that famous kite that discovers electricity is the last straw for the beleaguered mouse. He returns home to the First Church...but Ben needs his help again years later when he and Thomas Jefferson (Hans Conried) have to come up with a certain Declaration of Independence. 

Once again, this does lose incidents from the book, including the entire second half where Amos helps Ben when he's the ambassador to France, but there's enough left to be enjoyable. Holloway makes an especially funny Amos; the animation when he's up in that kite is both scary and absolutely hilarious. Worth looking around for if you or your younger child is a history buff or are looking for unique and patriotic animal stories. 

Finished the night with another patriotic special, Uncle Sam Magoo. I went further into the second Mr. Magoo TV special at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog last year before the 4th of July.

Tuesday, July 02, 2024

People Get Ready

Got a quick start this morning with breakfast and Annie Get Your Gun. I go further into the 1950 adaptation of the hit 1946 musical about sharp-shooter Annie Oakley (Betty Hutton) and her relationship with rival marksman Frank Butler (Howard Keel) at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Rushed out to work shortly after I had lunch and Annie ended. Between this being our senior discount day, the beginning of the month, and it being two days before the biggest holiday of the summer, we were busy for most of the afternoon. I had a hard time keeping up with the carts. They just kept vanishing. No help, either. The head bagger was pulled to replace a cashier who just retired on Monday. I did my best to get all the sweeping, pushing carts, and putting everything away done that I could. 

At one point, I swear I saw an ambulance and paramedics. I was doing carts at the time, so I have no idea what happened there. I think I saw an older woman sitting outside with the paramedics. Maybe she fainted and had to be revived. Also noticed at least three police cars down by the bus stop on the Black Horse Pike a bit later in the day. There was one guy there. Maybe they were scolding him for something.

At least the weather was nice for all this. In fact, it was gorgeous. Sunny, breezy, a little humid, but not too hot like the last two weeks. Probably in the lower-mid 80's, perfect for early July.

Hurried home after work ended. Took out the trash, then went straight in the shower. Finally had dinner while watching Match Game Syndicated after I got out. Gary Collins and Susan Richardson join in to see Joyce Bulifant to give her fourth Head-to-Head answer in a row - and do very well with it, for once. She doesn't do quite as well later with a question about who is really disliked.

Finished the night as I worked on my review with three rock and reggae albums from the 60's and 70's, one a classic, and two from a favorite band that should be better-known. As weird as the Monkees' film Head is, there are some good things on the soundtrack. "The Porpoise Song" and "As We Go Along" are two of Micky Dolenz's loveliest ballads, Mike Nesmith puts in one of his best pure rockers with the hard-driving "Circle Sky," and Davy Jones has fun with Harry Nilsson "Daddy's Song." 

Davy and Micky did Changes in 1970 after Mike left to form his own band, but don't let that put you off finding this album. Micky in particular contributes two of his best later songs, "Midnight Train" and "All Alone In the Dark." Davy's best numbers here are the rockin' "99 Pounds" and charming "Do You Feel It Too?" 

After seeing the Bob Marley biography One Love in February that focused the creation of his album Exodus and the story behind it, I had to hear if for myself. If nothing else, it features one of my favorite of his songs, "Jammin'." There's also the hit title song, "Turn Your Lights Down Low," and "One Love/People Get Ready." This is so laid-back and, well, Jamaican, I'm surprised it's not their national album. It definitely has an oddly gritty and yet tropical vibe that well reflects its tumultuous creation. 

Monday, July 01, 2024

Sunny Day Games

Began the morning with breakfast and Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. "Daniel and Margaret Visit the Farm" with their parents. Daniel's nervous about horseback riding for the first time, but his father walks with him until he's ok. His little sister Margaret is equally scared when she feeds the ducks for the first time, prompting her brother to hold her hand. She's scared of the "Fireflies and Fireworks" at the beach, too. Dan holds her hand until she's used to the fireflies, but the fireworks are too noisy for both of them. Their parents stay with them while they watch. 

Headed out to run errands after the cartoon ended. It was such a beautiful day, I thought I'd walk to Collingswood. It was too nice to rush! It remains slightly humid, but nothing to the degree of yesterday. The heat was now a far more normal for early July lower 80's, the sun was out, the sky was a perfect clear blue, and the wind felt wonderful. Those big green leaves at Newton Lake Park made wonderful shade as I passed by sparkling green water.

First stop of the day was PNC Bank to get money. There was already one person using the outside ATM, and as it was 12:30, I thought it might get busier. I went inside and used the ATM there instead. There was no line, and I was in and out.

There isn't a whole lot open in Collingswood on a Monday, but I did get to peek around Occasionette. The gift shop now has pizza cookbooks, colorful marble chopping blocks, and Collingswood and Philadelphia-themed gift items out. They're fun to look at, but expensive to buy, so I browsed and moved on.

Stopped at a very busy GrooveGround Coffee Shop for a much-needed drink. They had fruit-flavored iced tea for summer advertised on a sandwich board outside. I tried their watermelon green iced tea and a blueberry scone. Oh yum. The iced tea was wonderful, cool and tart without being too sweet. The scone was likewise a little crumbly and not too sweet, either. It was even dusted with flour on the bottom. They do carry a limited assortment of records, but I saw nothing interesting, and they were already so busy with people chatting and working on laptops that I moved on after I finished.

Innergroove isn't open on Mondays, but Collingswood Music is. I waited for a minute while the owner talked to someone before he opened the doors. Took almost an hour browsing, but I finally came up with these records:

The Beatles - Rubber Soul 

Spike Jones - The Best of Spike Jones

The Ralph Sutton Quartet - Jazz at the Olympics (More specifically, the 1960 Squaw Valley Olympics, as all of the songs are winter-themed.) 

The Who - Face Dances

Soundtrack from La Bamba

Went across the street to WaWa to get something to drink for the walk home. Tried their Green Pineapple smoothie. Yum! Green tea, pineapple, and mango. Sweet, but very refreshing.

Speaking of the Olympics, I had lunch while watching Laff-a-Lympics. They started off in "India" with a tiger hunt that went spectacularly off the rails. Shaggy was too chicken to help Captain Caveman look for anything scarier than a cold, while Daisy Mayhem's attempt to pose as a tiger for the Dalton Brothers just ended with them not getting anything. Snooper and Blabber ended up being the winners by default. The Great Fondoo did manage to get his magic working well enough to win the elephant race, though. Speed Buggy naturally trounced the competition at sand sailing in "Israel," while Yogi had the least trouble keeping his boat together in the Reed race, winning the whole show for his team. 

Took the laundry downstairs, then did some job searching and added records to that inventory. Tried looking at some record organizing apps, but in the end, I just returned to making a list. One of the reasons I'm doing this is to figure out when I bought some of these. In addition to still having many of the 65 records Bruce gave me from his first wife Kaye's collection in 2006, I've been buying records from yard sales, thrift shops, and the many music and media stores in Philadelphia and South Jersey ever since. Some of my CDs go back to when I got my first player in high school, around 1995-1996. 

Listened to records while I worked. Rubber Soul was the only Beatles album I didn't have in one form or another. I didn't realize until I got home that this was the US Capitol version, which is missing several tracks. I have the missing tracks elsewhere anyway, and it's still hard to argue with some of the Beatles' best songs, including "Think For Yourself," "Michelle," and "In My Life." 

My love of Motown dates to the Saturday nights I spent listening to the oldies show on my local rock station in the 80's and early 90's. I would tie a ribbon around my waist and another around my head and pretend I was in the 60's or early 70's, when the songs by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles and Martha and the Vandellas were new. Probably the two most famous Vandellas songs on their Greatest Hits album are "Love Is Like a Heat Wave" and "Dancing In the Street." Favorites on the Miracles' Greatest Hits Vol. 2 include "Going To a Go-Go," "The Tracks of My Tears," "I Second That Emotion," and "More Love." 

Finally broke for dinner and Match Game Syndicated at 7:30. Marcia Wallace began the episode by insisting Gene spray her dress to keep it from clinging to her. Brett, Charles, and David Doyle were more than happy to toss out quips about what that dress had to cling to.

Finished the night on YouTube after I finally remembered to bring the laundry upstairs with episodes of my all-time favorite game shows. I've watched game shows for as long as I can remember. Mom loves them too and would often watch them with us when we were little. She told me she watched the original Password and Jeopardy with her grandparents in the 60's and 70's. That's very likely how the revived Jeopardy and nighttime Wheel of Fortune became an after-dinner ritual for my family in the late 80's and early 90's. We'd even make a game out of guessing the Pennsylvania Lottery numbers on Channel 6 before Jeopardy started. We very likely saw the episodes listed here when they first ran.

I resumed watching Fortune and Jeopardy when I was in college, alternating the latter with the late 90's Hollywood Squares during commercials. Whoopi Goldberg led a who's who of wacky comedians, TV personalities, character actors, and comedy writers through delightfully goofy bluffs. Tom Bergeron played off her so well, it was disappointing when she finally left. This episode from 1999 is in honor of Martin Mull, the musician, host, and comedian who passed away over the weekend.

Name That Tune was another show I watched in syndication, in this case on USA Network. I've always loved music, so this one was right up my alley. It was a lot of fun to watch contestants try to guess the Golden Medley and dare each other to name that tune in one note! Loved watching Press Your Luck - and all of those wacky Whammies - on USA too. 

In the late 80's and early 90's, the Ray Combs Family Feud and The Price Is Right were virtually synonymous with each other. They ran one after the other on CBS, and I never missed them when I was home sick or on a summer day when it was too rainy for the beach. I'm pretty sure I watched the syndicated Feud before dinner, too. The two shows were among those that helped me through a very rough time in my life. The episodes I have here are emblematic of the ones I watched and enjoyed as a child, with the Price episode being especially funny. (Check out the huge guy lifting Bob Barker in the air!) 

Though I'm most familiar with the syndicated $100,000 Pyramid, I know I watched The New $25,000 Pyramid on CBS in the early-mid 80's, too. It was fun to watch the celebrities help their contestants guess a subject! Richard Kline nearly beats Billy Crystal's still-existing Winner's Circle record here. 

Of course, I also watched game shows made for kids. We saw one favorite of mine, Double Dare, last week. Fun House was another. Kind of the same deal as Double Dare, with no daring and a race on wacky vehicles before the big bonus stunt course. I actually preferred the run through the Fun House to the difficult Double Dare Obstacle Course. All but the very slowest kids were guaranteed to come out with at least one cool prize or a lot of cash, as they do here. 

Even now, I'm still running across shows I either don't remember well, or never heard of before the last few years. I very vaguely remember seeing the syndicated Match Game in the early 80's. I certainly don't remember it being the funniest, craziest, most delightful game show I'd ever seen in my life. Mom says she watched Password Plus and Super Password when we were really little, but I don't remember Plus at all, and once again only vaguely recall Super. And I definitely don't remember how challenging and fun to play along with they are!

Play along and revive a few memories of your own with some of my all-time favorite games! (And I enjoyed this so much, I will definitely be doing another all-time favorites marathon later in the summer.) 

Sunday, June 30, 2024

Laugh Your Matches Off

Began the morning with a quick breakfast and Swing and Dance With Frank Sinatra. This 1998 CD expansion of a 1950 Sinatra album features some of his most famous songs, including "Saturday Night Is the Loneliest Night of the Week," "I've Got a Crush On You," and two versions of "All of Me." I liked "It All Depends On You," "Nevertheless," and "It's Only a Paper Moon."

The thunderstorms from last night returned...just as I was getting ready for work. This wasn't a day for bike riding. I ended up taking Uber. Got it in 9 minutes this morning and was almost late for work. Surprisingly, given I got off at 5:30 and there was another storm looming, I got a ride home in less than 3 minutes. No trouble either way, not even traffic at rush-hour. I just beat the storm going home. It had just begun to rain a little as I dashed in the house. 

It was cool, cloudy, and killer humid for most of the morning. The sun came out around 2 PM, but the humidity never went away. I spent five out of the six hours I was at the Acme pushing carts. It wasn't bad this morning, but the sun brought killer heat along with the humidity. At least the college-age guys who work on the weekends were able to sweep and get the trash. I got so hot and sticky, I spent the last hour or so putting away things people didn't want inside.

Soon as I got home, I finished the Sinatra CD, then went downstairs for a shower. Finished the night after that on YouTube with today's Match Game marathon. Brett Somers was in the spotlight, likely in honor of her birthday on July 11th. She had a very distinct, throaty laugh that was heard quite often on the show, usually when her best friend Charles Nelson Reilly tossed out another wisecrack. 

It was heard on the several occasions she feuded with the person who ran the buzzer, including when she almost lost her cards and Charles just barely caught them in 1974. There was the time she sat on the bottom tier so her friend Anne Meara could sit next to William Shatner, or her two weeks sitting next to her then-husband Jack Klugman in 1973. Jack would reappear in 1978, well after their divorce. The others held a mock-wedding for them in the last 30 seconds. Or the PM episode Gene spent chatting with a woman who spoken Serbo-Croatian, which he had learned from his immigrant parents. 

Laugh your blank off with Match Game's favorite slightly tipsy character actress in this wacky marathon!

(Incidentally, it's rained at least three more times since I got home, including just as I got online. The last one I heard was around 11. They disappeared after that and haven't been heard from since.)

Saturday, June 29, 2024

Matches In the Heat

Began my morning with breakfast and The Littlest Rebel. I go further into this Civil War-set Shirley Temple vehicle whose treatment of its minority characters makes it extremely controversial today at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Family Fun Saturday - The Littlest Rebel

Hurried off to work after Rebel ended. This was my 7 hour day. We weren't bad when I arrived, but it would be off-and-on busy for the rest of the afternoon. I had no help at all. The head bagger was pulled to take a register. I'd try to sweep or push the carts, only to be called to put cold items away or clean up spills. I couldn't even get to the other carts on the other side before I left. It was hot, sunny, windy, and very humid for most of the day, too. 

As soon as I could get out, I rushed straight home and into tonight's Match Game marathon. This time, we focused on questions featuring two more famous characters, Dumb Donald and Ugly Edna. Later in the syndicated run, the Ugly Edna questions became Ugly Ulfrea, as too many real-life Ednas were offended. Dumb Donald also occasionally offended Patti Deutsch, whose husband Donald could be pretty...unique...himself. 

Both characters started in mid-1974 as the questions became longer and more involved, and were still being used as late as Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour. A Dumb Donald question was heard in the beginning of my favorite episode from that show, the one where the board broke and everyone had to hold their arms in Xs and Os (to Jay Leno's dismay). There was one the first day big winner Carol Bartos first picked up money in 1975, and when Dick Gautier pushed his new movie Billy Jack Goes to Washington in 1976. Gene was more worried about a pregnant woman jumping around. 

You won't be dumb if you check out this hilarious marathon focusing on two of the best-known question characters on the show!

Finished the night with The Lawrence Welk Show as they saluted the USA. The 1971 show starts off with "Thank You Very Much" as everyone appreciates their home or adopted country. Guy and Ralna sing about that "Moon Over Miami" and Ralna gets "Tennessee Waltz" solo. Norma Zimmer and Jimmy Roberts croon about "Beautiful Ohio." Arthur Duncan dances to "Meet Me In St. Louis," while the Hotsy Totsy Boys are "Alabamy Bound." Bobby and Cissy dance to "Chicago" and do the "Pennsylvania Polka." 

The 1981 episode opens with the more stirring "Your Land and My Land." Wide-eyed little girl Kathie Sullivan tells reporter Ken Delo that "Everything's Up to Date In Kansas City." This time, Arthur salutes the California coastal town "Avalon." Lovely Anacani certainly looks like "A Rose In Spanish Harlem." Everyone dances the "Charleston" in a Roaring 20's number, including a surprisingly good Bob Ralsten! Jimmy Roberts admits "I Left My Heart In San Francisco." Guy gets the solo here as the "Wichita Lineman."

Celebrate the upcoming 4th of July and salute the US with Lawrence Welk and his musical family!

(Incidentally, it did finally rain around 10:30-11 PM...and once again, when it rained, it thunder storm, with some really noisy gusts at one point. It didn't last long, though. It ended around 11:30 and hasn't been heard from since.) 

Friday, June 28, 2024

Are You Ready for the Summer?

I slept in and got so caught up finishing Death at High Tide, it was noon before I got going. Had a quick breakfast and made my grocery list while watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. "Donald Hatches an Egg," while the others look for its mother. The egg is a very unusual long, thin shape, prompting the gang to ask everything they know of that lays eggs if they recognize the egg. Most animals lay eggs that are round or oval and small, but not this critter. And then Donald learns that the critter who does hatch from the egg is more likely to eat him than anything...

Let Super Password run briefly before I headed out to run errands, starting with dropping a book in the larger kiosk on Johnson Avenue. Next stop was Target. I didn't see the fish oil vitamins I wanted there, so I moved on. Sprouts wasn't a whole lot better. I didn't like their produce sales, and I couldn't find any cookies on clearance. Ended up with two boxes of granola bars (one on sale with an online coupon), coconut milk, and two cans of Culture Pop soda, also on sale. 

Rode down the hill and past the now-empty for the summer Haddon Township High School to the Westmont Acme. I won't make it to the farm market tomorrow, so I took advantage of online coupons on peaches, cherries, and blueberries. Had coupons for light bulbs (I used my last one on my desk lamp), buy one, get one half-off batteries, and bakery cookies, too. Restocked yogurt, Ollipop soda, and those Kind granola bars on clearance. 

Went home down Lakeshore Drive, past Newton Lake Park. The recent storms has helped the flora somewhat. The grass remains dry and brown, but not to the degree it was last week. It's certainly summer now. The leaves are big and fat and emerald green, and the banks of the lake are choked with greenery.

Went straight into checking my schedule for next week when I got home. In good news, slightly more hours, and not only Monday and the 4th of July, but the Friday and Saturday after the 4th of July off. My only concern is a 7 hour day on Wednesday. Not only will it be early, long, and busy, but it's supposed to get hot again that day and be worse by the 4th. 

Watched Vega$ while I put everything away, and later when a friend brought me a big barbecue lunch. Dan's not sure what to think when a just married bride comes to him in hysterics because her husband has vanished and no one seems to have even remembered he existed. Turns out the young man accidentally got doused with a government chemical that gave him the "Touch of Death." Dan takes on an Army Colonel running a clandestine operation in a so-called dairy facility that seems more than a little shady.

Daredevil Shara Stanley wants to make one big leap over two burning ramps. Her former lover Dan doesn't think it's "The Way to Live," but she insists that she has no insurance and needs the money. Dan gets a friend of of his who is a former engineer (Wilfred Hyde-White) to find a way for her to make the jump safely. The members of her team, however, want her to die in the jump to collect their insurance policy, and are even willing to kill a drunk mechanic to make sure she doesn't find out.

Went back out after the second episode ended to run more errands. I forgot nuts earlier and never did find fish oil vitamins for a good price. I was hoping for gummies. Found nothing at Dollar General or CVS, though I did get lightly salted cashews at the latter.

The real reason I was out for a walk was Final Friday. Oaklyn holds a block party on West Clinton the last Friday of every month between June and October. Not only was it busy with the usual food trucks and local food and craft booths, but this year, they expanded the fair into the parking lot behind the Armed Services memorials. I watched parents chat over fresh-squeezed lemonade, pierogies and lobster roll, and craft beer from Tonewood Brewery, and the kids chase each other, get their faces painted, toss bean bags into two Rutgers football-themed boards, play cute little mini-golf courses, and draw on the street with chalk. 

The food trucks were too expensive, even if I hadn't just had a big lunch, but the shaved ice truck was a decent price for what you got. I bought the largest souvenir cup, filled with granier chunks of ice than water ice and sweet pina colada syrup. Yum. Cool and sweet. It certainly hit the spot on a day that, while far cooler than it has been, wasn't exactly freezing.

Sat on a bench at the brick round near the memorials to enjoy my treat and the gorgeous afternoon. It was as perfect as it gets in June, sunny, breezy, and warm but not overly so, probably in the lower 80's. Two little kids, a brother and sister, chased each other around, the came over and asked me about my shaved ice and was I enjoying it? I laughed and said yes, I was, then told their father they weren't bothering me at all. I thought they were cute. Picked up two soft pretzels from the pretzel shop booth on the way home. 

Finished the night after a shower with Meatballs on Tubi. Camp North Star in eastern Canada has its wildest summer on record. The wacky head counselor Tripper (Bill Murray) leads raids to leave the camp owner Morty's bed (Harvey Atkin) in increasingly strange places and befriends Rudy Gerner (Chris Makepeace), a lonely camper, during their daily runs. The counselors-in-training are more interested in chasing each other and trying to figure out how they can beat their rich, snooty rivals Camp Mohawk in the end-of-the-summer Olympiad. Rudy's early-morning runs with Tripper prove to be more valuable than he thought when he's the only one who can run the grueling marathon that'll break the tie between the two camps.

Murray runs with his first lead role as the nutty counselor who lives to break rules. His hilarious and adorable interactions with Makepeace really make the much that director Ivan Reitman added more scenes with them and cut out a lot of gags involving the CITs. Maybe it's just as well. A lot of this hasn't dated well, including some of the raunchier gags and Tripper assaulting a female counselor (Kate Lynch) whom he later ends up with. 

Still, if you love Murray or the Animal House-esque slobs vs snobs comedies of the late 70's through the early 90's, you'll have a great time this summer with the wackiest group of campers in Canada. 

Thursday, June 27, 2024

The Doctors Have It

Began the morning with two quick shorts featuring Donald Duck, who turns 90 this month, at Disney Plus. "Mickey's Trailer" is a modern marvel that can change the bathroom into the kitchen at the push of a button. Donald would be happier if this didn't interrupt his bath. He and Mickey are really in for a ride when Goofy realizes he's left the car without a driver...and accidentally unlatches the trailer and sends it careening down a mountain! 

"D.I.Y Duck" is the latest short to feature Donald. It's based on the Donald shorts of the 40's and early 50's that pit him against a stubborn object. In this case, it's a lamp that won't work. He runs to the local hardware store and buys a light...but then the lamp doesn't work. Things keep escalating and escalating, until Donald's house - and temper - goes to pieces around him. The animation is obviously made-for-streaming, but there are some funny gags, including his attempts at patching everything.

Soon as "D.I.Y Duck" ended, I headed out for my doctor's appointment. Locked my bike at the rack across from the Collingswood Senior Center, then went to the other side of the street to Collingswood Family Medicine for my doctor's appointment. There were only two other people in the waiting room when I arrived. I signed paperwork and was called about 20 minutes after I got in. Ten minutes after that, a sweet nurse took my blood pressure, and I waited another fifteen or so minutes for the doctor.

Dr. Jessica arrived with Madison, who apparently was working with her as an intern. It was sweet Madison who checked all my vitals, including my blood pressure again. Apparently, it was unusually high. I'm less depressed than I am frustrated and restless. Everything I've tried in the last two years has stalled. I planned on finding a home within six months of moving. It's been over two years, and I still haven't. It shouldn't take me twenty years to find a decent job, either, and now the Acme is barely using me. 

One thing I can control is my health. I keep putting off the mammogram and finding another gynecologist. She recommended two in Haddonfield. She also recommended a gastroenterologist to have a colonoscopy due to Dad-Bruce dying of esophageal cancer. The ladies were mostly worried about my blood pressure, which was unusually high. I figured it was from riding in the heat, but they insisted that I come back in two weeks. I'll make the appointment for the mammogram and gynecologist before then, but I'll wait to make the colonoscopy until I go back to ask more questions. The doctor also suggested I spend at least an hour taking a walk every day. After we talked, a technician took my blood work, and I was on my way. 

I left the bike where it was and did walk to Sabrina's Cafe for a late breakfast. They were fairly busy, but I did get a seat at one of the huge, high tables. I finally went with iced tea and the "Spike, Set, and Game Peach French Toast" off their seasonal Olympics-themed menu. Oh yuuuuummm. Cinnamon cream, fresh peaches, whipped cream, and vanilla syrup top thick slices of brioche. Sweet, but absolutely amazing. It was some of the best French toast I ever had. 

Strolled to Innergroove Records next. I didn't have a lot of time before my next appointment, so I just went through the soundtracks and $2 bins quickly. Did very well for all that. Came up with:

The soundtracks from Thank God It's Friday and The Muppet Show

Count Basie and His Orchestra - The Essential Count Basie

Frank Sinatra - That's Life

Jingle Bell Jazz, a Christmas jazz collection from 1980 with an unusually stark cover (a black and white photo of a city in a snowstorm) 
Hiked down Haddon Avenue ten minutes or so to Kresloff Eye Associates for this year's eye appointment next. I got there with ten minutes to spare. I had enough time to sign a few more papers than I did at the doctor's before they called me in. 

This was a lot simpler, with far better news. I was there for a routine eye exam. The doctor reported a slight tweak to my left eye, but nothing really worth worrying about. Otherwise, no changes, and my glasses are perfectly fine. I think I'll give them another year, then see where we are.

Made one last stop at Haddon Culinary on my way back to my bike. I wanted more of those delicious home-made potato chips I had with my sandwich during my Father's Day picnic. Bought a container of truffle-seasoned chips, bought a Diet Coke, headed out. 

Though it remained sunny, it was also hot and humid, probably in the lower 90's, without the wind that made the heat last week mildly bearable. Not to mention, Collingswood was busy with the late lunch crowd, and my eyes were still a little blurry from my appointment. I just headed home. 

Put on Laff-a-Lympics while I had lunch and got organized. This one started with a bull fight in "Spain." Dynomutt's attempt to go over the bull stalls, while Mumbly putting him to sleep backfires. Cindy Bear uses her feminine charms - and off-key singing - to win the bull over. The Rottens don't do any better in the Gypsy Cart Race, going off the track as Speed Buggy and Hokey Wolf just keep going. Daisy Mayhem and Blue Falcon do better putting a bell on the Abominable Snowman in the "Himalayas," while Grape Ape deals with an amorous Snow-woman. Captain Caveman gets stuck on the Mount Everest relay climb, thanks to the Rottens' cheating...but then he remembers his superpowers!

Switched to Bloomer Girl after that. I go further into this made-for-TV historical musical with stage star Barbara Cook as a young woman in the pre-Civil War era who advocates the scandalous bloomers for ladies at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Listened to CDs and records while I worked on the review. Touch Me Softly by The George Shearing Quintet lives up to its title with mostly gentle ballads like "Just Imagine," "Try a Little Tenderness," "Sundy, Monday, or Always," and the title song. Come Fly With Me by Frank Sinatra is far more lively, featuring classic travel-themed numbers like "Around the World," "On the Road to Mandalay," "Let's Get Away From It All," and "It's Nice to Go Trav'ling." Johnny Mathis performs lesser-known ballads from The Hollywood Musicals with Henry Mancini and His Orchestra, including "You Stepped Out of a Dream," "I Had the Craziest Dream," and two hits from Julie Andrews movies, "Whistling Away the Dark" and "Crazy World."

Put on Match Game '79 while eating dinner. We skip ahead again, this time to the final episodes of the CBS run. Bart Braverman and Marcia Wallace did well helping the contestants with the Head-to-Head in the first episode. In the second - and the last made for CBS - Gene helps Bill Daily try on the jacket he was giving him for his wedding. (Bill must have kept the jacket well beyond that. He wears it several times during the syndicated episodes.)

Finished the night at Kanopy with the classic western The Tin Star. Bounty hunter Morgan Hickman (Henry Fonda) rides into town to collect his pay for bringing in a dead outlaw. Young sheriff Ben Owens (Anthony Perkins) wishes he'd brought him in alive, but otherwise admires the man for his quick draw and his ability to think on his feet. Ben's girl Millie (Mary Webster) wants him to quit, but Ben asks Morgan for advice instead. 

That advice comes in handy when the town's sheriff is murdered by the McCafferty brothers. Owens thinks they should be brought in alive, but the townspeople would rather they hang. Morgan just wants to find the son of Nona (Betsy Palmer) and bring him home safely. He's able to find the kid, but Owens doesn't have as much luck persuading the townspeople to give the brothers a fair trial. Owens is determined to bring those men to trial, even if he has to take on the town bully Bart Bogardus (Neville Brand) to do it.

Intense western with two strong core performances by Perkins as the youth who is determined to prove he's worthy of being a lawman, and Fonda as the former lawman who teaches Owens all he knows. Director Anthony Mann's tight and intimate direction makes the most of the B-budget, and the story was nominated for an Oscar. A must-see if you love the two stars, Mann's other work, or small-scale westerns from the 40's and 50's.