Greetings, Dear Reader. It’s mid-morning here in New Hometown, Florida on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. The current temperature outside is 72˚F (22˚C) under mostly sunny skies. With humidity at 89% and the wind blowing from the east at 7 MPH (11 KM/H), the feels-like temperature is also 72˚F (22˚C).
The forecast for the rest of the day is a repeat of yesterday’s; cloudy conditions will persist for much of the day, with rain showers expected in the evening hours. The high temperature is expected to reach 83˚F (28˚C). The outlook for tonight, besides the low temperature, calls for a mix of clouds and rain.
I tried to watch my John Williams in Vienna concert Blu-ray in my room last night, but it was not an enjoyable experience. First, my room is situated between two occupied bedrooms; one – which was originally the original location of my study before The Caregiver’s oldest son moved back home after he broke up with a young woman with whom he shared an apartment – belongs to our college freshman (The Caregiver’s daughter). The other room is the oldest son’s room, which of the four rooms on the ground floor is the third largest. The walls aren’t exactly thick or insulated, so I try to keep my TV’s volume at Sound Level 6 or sometimes less in case the college girl is studying, or if her older brother is sleeping.
Naturally, this isn’t the ideal concert video-watching situation, not even for someone blessed with good hearing. I’m hard of hearing, so watching John Williams in Vienna with the TV at Sound Level 6 – don’t ask me how many decibels are in Level 6 but trust me…that’s on the lower end of the volume scale – and without the enhancement of the soundbar wasn’t exactly the ideal audio-visual experience.
Still, I was able to watch about a third of the concert – which was filmed in Austria’s capital about a month before the COVID-19 pandemic hit Europe and the United States – until the smoke alarms in the house were triggered by acrid smoke coming from the kitchen oven. Apparently, The Caregiver’s New Guy was using the oven to finish preparing dinner, unaware that some grease drippings from sausages someone had grilled at some point over the weekend lay on the bottom of the oven. (I warned The Caregiver about this on Sunday, but she rarely pays attention to what I say these days.) Of course, the heat of the gas-fueled oven ignited the small pool of grease, which in turn created enough smoke to set off the fire alarms throughout the house.
So…yeah…watching that concert was like a bad instance of coitus interruptus. I was so disappointed that (a) I stopped the Blu-ray before Maestro John Williams and the Vienna Philharmonic (or, auf Deutsch, Wiener Philharmoniker) performed the eighth piece on the program, Theme from Jurassic Park and (b) lost my appetite and skipped dinner.
It’s a pity, too, because the images on the Blu-ray – filmed at the Golden Hall, House of the Society of Friends of Music in Vienna by cinematographer Wolfram Zöttl – are absolutely stunning, even on a mid-range HDTV such as mine. The five-time Academy Award winning John Williams – who at 88 is only four years younger than my late mother – is still actively composing and conducting, though he doesn’t travel overseas as much as he used to, and he looked to be very much in command of the Vienna Philharmonic, which he was conducting for the first time in his long and illustrious career.
If I can, I’ll try to watch John Williams in Vienna out in the Florida room tonight. That is, if The Caregiver doesn’t decide to play her Andrea Bocelli DVD for the New Guy while sharing alcoholic drinks all night.
As for my plans for the rest of this Wednesday? I think I’ll go take a shower and get dressed as soon as I post this, then go for a walk to my favorite refuge from this house. If no rain is imminent, I might take a book and sit on a bench in the park to read for a while. Back in Miami, when I was my mother’s primary caregiver and during my all-too-brief period of semi-independent living after Mom died, I used to walk to one of the two pools in the complex, book in hand, and lie back on a deck chair and lose myself in a history book or a novel for an hour or two, then come home rested and relaxed.
I don’t think I’ll stay out that long here; I still don’t feel like this is my neighborhood – despite the fact that I’ve been here for over four years – and don’t have any friends outside of my immediate “family circle.” But I do need to get out of the house and see green grass, the sky – cloudy as it may be – and even the occasional neighbor or two.
On that note, then, I’ll take my leave of you, dear friend. I’ll be back later with another post. Till then…stay safe, stay healthy, and be kind to others.
 I also don’t have my best TV in my bedroom/study. I do have the best TV I first bought several years ago for “The Pad” in Miami, but even though it’s a Samsung HDTV, its resolution is midway between the low-end 480p and the top-of-the-line 1080p…720p. My best TV (a 4K UHD set) is now in the master bedroom occupied by The Caregiver and from which I was unceremoniously evicted when she started dating The New Guy.