Thoughts & Musings for August 4, 2020

Photo by Sebastian Voortman on

Hello, there, Dear Reader. It’s late afternoon here in my small corner of Florida, and on this fourth day of August, it is a hot one, at that. Right now, it’s 92˚F (33˚C) under mostly sunny skies; with humidity at 62% and a 9 MPH breeze blowing from the northwest, the feels-like temperature is 105˚F (41˚C). In my old life – the one I led before my mother’s death changed everything – I used to go out for walks in the late afternoon or early evening, and on hot days like today, I would put my swimming trunks on and go to one of our condominium association’s two pools and either swim or lie on a deck chair and read a book while catching a few rays of sunshine. Ah, those were the days, especially in those less stressful years before my mother’s final illness manifested itself a little over a decade ago.

I didn’t accomplish anything today; I had every intention of sitting at my desk to write another book review, but I did not. I had a couple of titles in mind – Larry Bond’s Vortex (1991, Little, Brown) was one of them – but my heart wasn’t in it. Every time I sat at down at my desk to start writing on Word, I’d just stare at my screen and think, Man, I really don’t want to do this right now.

Photo Credit: Amazon Audible

Instead, I spent much of this Tuesday either playing Cold Waters or trying to access my ebook copy of Red Storm Rising on my smartphone’s Amazon Kindle app, but to no avail. Tom Clancy’s World War III novel is in my Kindle library, and I did have it delivered to my phone, my PC, and my Amazon Fire HD tablet. It opens just fine on those two devices, but not on my phone. That’s strange, because all of the other books I’ve downloaded to my phone’s Kindle app open when I access them.

No biggie, I suppose. I can access it on the tablet just fine, as well as the audiobook edition; I just wanted to see if I could read Red Storm Rising from my phone in situations where I don’t have my Fire HD handy.

I used to have the abridged audiobook of Red Storm Rising on audio cassette tape when I was studying journalism at Miami-Dade Community College back in the late 1980s. It was read by F. Murray Abraham, who was famous at the time for his Oscar-winning performance as Antonio Salieri in Milos Forman’s Amadeus. It was all right, I suppose; Abraham did a nice job of giving each character at least the illusion of a distinctive voice or accent. Thus, the Russian characters sounded vaguely Slavic, and Abraham also captured the no-nonsense, almost laconic way that U.S. military personnel talk, especially aboard U.S. Navy warships in combat situations.

But the audiobook was abridged, and back in the days when tape was still the most available format, “complete editions” of audiobooks were hard to find and cost even more than a hardcover did. So as much as I liked Abraham’s reading for Red Storm Rising, I never enjoyed it as much as I did the print edition.

Now I have it as a digital audiobook that I can access from my tablet and – at least when it’s my turn to be online – my PC. My phone? Not so much. I can’t access the Kindle print edition, much less the Audible one.

I love technology. But sometimes it drives me up the wall. Know what I mean?

I love the graphics in Cold Waters. This is a real screen grab from an actual session; a rare periscope view of an enemy vessel exploding as a result of a torpedo hit. (Game elements and graphics (C) 2017 Killerfish Games.)

Published by Alex Diaz-Granados

Alex Diaz-Granados (1963- ) began writing movie reviews as a staff writer and Entertainment Editor for his high school newspaper in the early 1980s and was the Diversions editor for Miami-Dade Community College, South Campus' student newspaper for one semester. Using his experiences in those publications, Alex has been raving and ranting about the movies online since 2003 at various web sites, including Amazon, Ciao and Epinions. In addition to writing reviews, Alex has written or co-written three films ("A Simple Ad," "Clown 345," and "Ronnie and the Pursuit of the Elusive Bliss") for actor-director Juan Carlos Hernandez. You can find his reviews and essays on his blogs, A Certain Point of View and A Certain Point of View, Too.

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