Hi there, Dear Reader. It’s mid- to late afternoon here (almost 4 PM Eastern) as I write this in my claustrophobic corner of Florida. Presently, the temperature is 83˚F (28˚C) under partly sunny skies. With humidity at 68% and the wind blowing from the east at 9 MPH (14 KM/H), the feels-like temperature is 88˚F (31˚C). This is the forecast “high” for today, so we can expect the temperature to start dropping as the afternoon gradually gives way to evening. Tonight, the skies will be mostly clear, and the low temperature will be 72˚F (22˚C).
I didn’t do much today, I’m sorry to report. Once again, Mr. Late Night Smoker/Gamer in the room next to mine woke me up before 5 AM with his annoying (and alarming) fits of “smoker’s cough.” This is the fourth time this week that my slumber – which isn’t exactly the soundest or most pleasant – is rudely interrupted by the loud and minutes-long bouts of hacking and wheezing. And when he’s not coughing, I can hear him talking into a gaming headset while he plays Fortnite against other people online.
I tried going back to sleep, but it was no use. I have a hard time going back to sleep if I wake up in the wee hours of the morning; I suppose it depends greatly on the reason for getting up. If I have to go to the bathroom to “answer the call of nature,” there’s a 90% chance that I can fall asleep once I lie down and get under the covers. But if I wake up because I hear a sudden noise that is (a) loud, (b) persistent, and (c) annoying, it’s more likely that I’ll lie in the dark, fully alert, and unable to sleep.
The only thing I accomplished today was to complete a Quick Mission in my submarine warfare game Cold Waters without losing my fast attack boat sunk with all hands aboard. I chose to create my own scenario set in the Chinese PLAN vs US fictional world invented by Killerfish Games rather than one of the Single Missions designed by the programmers and writers so I could choose my own sub and create an enemy task force that would be challenging enough for my sleep-deprived brain, but not so powerful that I would – in my present state of tiredness – find the game session unpleasantly difficult.
Don’t worry, Dear Reader; I am not going to bore you with a detailed play-by-play of my Cold Waters session. Suffice it to say, though, that I didn’t exactly make it easy for me to win the Battle of the South China Sea.
For instance, instead of choosing the Navy’s best (and most powerful) sub, USS Seawolf (SSN-21), I chose a late 1980s version of the Los Angeles-class that wasn’t top-of-the-line in 2000 (which is when the missions in this fictional war take place) but also wasn’t the Los Angeles Flight I introduced to the fleet in the late 1970s.
As is my habit when I create Quick Missions, I opted to make this battle an “Intercept a Heavily Escorted Amphibious Force” scenario, with my sub facing off against two Sino-Soviet task forces. One, of course, was the enemy landing force, made up of several amphibious ships and an escort group made up of destroyers and frigates. The second group consisted of the “tactical aviation cruiser” Kiev, the battlecruiser Kirov, several Chinese destroyers, a couple of attack subs, two fleet oilers, and a Soviet frigate.
I did well; by the time the battle ended, I had sunk all but one of the enemy ships – a Boris Chilikin oiler escaped – and managed to sail away after the mission victorious. However, I made a few tactical errors because I was tired and impatient, and my boat, USS Louisville (SSN-724) was nearly lost after being hit twice by enemy torpedoes. (My sub’s hull integrity was at 15% at game’s end!)
Other than that…I’ve not done much of anything. I feel like I wasted a perfectly good Saturday sitting at my desk and staring blankly at a computer monitor and twiddling my thumbs, and maybe I should have tried to write a little more of my novel for NaNoWriMo, but my thought processes are dulled by fatigue and annoyance.
That’s pretty much it for this blog post; it’s taken me almost three hours to write it! So, Dear Reader, I will say so long, and as always, I hope you stay safe, stay healthy, and I’ll catch you on the sunny side of things.