Hello again, Dear Reader. It is almost 9 AM as I start this, my second blog post for Monday, October 5, 2020. Outside of my window, it is a gray, cloud-filled day; it’s not raining, but the forecast for today calls for scattered showers throughout the day, courtesy of Tropical Storm Gamma, which is hundreds of miles away in the Gulf of Mexico and mercifully heading away from us. Per my phone’s AccuWeather app, the temperature outside is 76˚F. but with 87% humidity and a northeasterly breeze blowing at 5 MPH (with gusts of up to 11 MPH), the feels-like temperature is 82˚F.
The radar – AccuWeather’s smartphone app has weather radar displays – shows that there are no rain showers in the area, so in theory I could go out for a walk now. However, the reality is that since I did not get much sleep last night (I woke up at 3 AM!), I am sleepy, tired, and in need of a hot shower so I can change into clean “street-ready” clothes. Plus, even though I’ve had a cup of café con leche, I have yet to eat breakfast. Café con leche is helpful as far as being a source of caffeine, but it’s not a substitute for a good morning meal – and right now, to be frank, I don’t feel much like eating.
I still have not come up with a plan for this dismally gray Monday beyond writing posts for A Certain Point of View, Too. I will probably end up reviewing another Star Wars action figure from my collection of Hasbro Star Wars The Black Series figures, partly because I enjoy writing about them, but also because I don’t think I can write anything more complicated than that. Not with only 3-4 hours’ worth of sleep; my mind is already befogged by other concerns, and sleep deprivation just makes an in-depth critique of a book, movie, or TV show as difficult as getting a date with Charlize Theron.
The Brighter Side of Things
I know that right now I am not in a happy place – either literally or metaphorically – but there are a few bits of good news to report from New Hometown, Florida.
If you follow this blog regularly, you’ll remember that yesterday I received a package from Phyllis Salesky, a retired English teacher who once taught journalism and English classes at my alma mater, South Miami Senior High. She stepped down as advisor to the school’s student newspaper at the end of the 1979-1980 school year, so I – who entered South Miami as a 10th grader at the start of the 1980-1981 school year – was not her student. (I also wasn’t a student in her 12th grade English class, in case you wondered.) Nevertheless, she knew who I am – more or less, anyway – and we reconnected on Facebook, where she is now my Tia (Aunt, in Spanish) Phyllis.
Anyhow, Tia Phylilis, aka Mrs. Salesky, was kind enough to send me her original hardcover editions (from 1971 and 1978) of Herman Wouk’s Henry Family duology about a Navy family during World II. The first novel, The Winds of War, covers the years 1939 through 1941, or just before Hitler’s Germany’s invasion of Poland through the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. It comes in one thick hardcover edition.
The sequel (which is really a continuation of The Winds of War), War and Remembrance, covers the rest of World War II from the aftermath of Pearl Harbor to the end of the conflict. That book is so long that edition Tia Phyllis sent me takes up two volumes. I was surprised by that; I remember that my former neighbor and friend, the late George Dijkstra, loaned me his copy back in…1981, I think?…and it was a one-volume edition.
In any case, that was an awesome gift from someone I last saw in person back in 1989 – I was visiting South Miami High under the auspices of Miami-Dade Community College’s Recruitment & Retainment office to give a talk to a ninth-grade English class, and I had to ask Mrs. Saleski where the classroom I was supposed to go to was located. She has had those books in her possession since the 1970s, and she chose to send them to me rather than donate them to a public library or a used bookstore.
(I was going to try to start reading The Winds of War last night, but I was too…preoccupied with other things…so I chose to soothe my nerves by watching The Empire Strikes Back for what seems like the billionth time.)
The other bit of good news is directly connected to this blog. This morning, like at 3 AM, I logged on to WordPress to check my stats and notifications, and I saw this:
On Sunday, October 4, 2020, you surpassed your previous record of most likes in one day for your posts on A Certain Point of View, Too.
That’s pretty awesome, well done!
Most Likes in One Day
Current Record: 38
Old Record: 37
That might not be earthshaking news to many people, but in times like these, any bit of good news is exceedingly welcome.
Don’t you think?
 By the time you read this, it will be past 11 AM Eastern, but it can’t be helped.