Hi there, Dear Reader. It’s mid-afternoon here in New Hometown, Florida on Sunday, March 21, 2021. The temperature is 60˚F (15˚C) under cloudy skies. With humidity at 82% and the wind blowing from the west-northwest at 6 MPH (9 KM/H), it feels like 58˚F (14˚C). The rest of the afternoon should see partly sunny skies; the high will be 68˚F (20˚C). Tonight, skies will be partly cloudy. The low will be 56˚F (13˚C).
I went to bed rather late last night, or more accurately, early this morning. The last time I checked any clocks in this house it was 12:37 AM, and I watched half of Ready Player One on my Amazon Prime Video account after that. I stopped the movie after its The Shining sequence because I felt a teensy bit drowsy, but it turns out that I wasn’t quite sleepy yet, so I read a chapter of James Holland’s The Battle of Britain: Five Months That Changed History; May-October 1940, a 2012 paperback edition of the British historian’s 2011 nonfiction book about the aerial battle that ended Adolf Hitler’s chances of winning the war against the Western Allies before his planned invasion of the Soviet Union.
I don’t wear a watch, and all of my electronic devices with clocks were turned off, so I have no idea when I turned off the light on the first night of Spring 2021. I do know I got up once whilst I was still dark to “use the facilities” and check on Sandy the Wonder Dog, but I managed to fall asleep and stay like that until 9:00 AM.
Since today is Sunday and the last day of the weekend, I’m trying to take it as easy as I can. This means, “No reviews, no working on the screenplay!” I love writing, yes? But sometimes it’s good to just relax. Besides, the workweek starts tomorrow, so it’s not like I’m going on a permanent hiatus.
On Books: Some of my favorite novels
“Picking five favorite books is like picking the five body parts you’d most like not to lose.”
― Neil Gaiman
I am probably not going to choose an exact number; doing so will probably mean I’ll be here for a while, and I want to avoid that like I’d avoid the coronavirus. So I’ll just list some of my favorite novels here.
All of the plot summaries are from Goodreads.
- As Time Goes By: A Novel of Casablanca, by Michael Walsh, 1998. A daring journey of adventure, courage & romance, traversing the world from Casablanca to Lisbon to New York to London to Prague & then Paris, expanding & intensifying the classic movie Casablanca.
- Summer of ’42, by Herman Raucher, 1971. In that particular summer Hermie was fifteen, wildly obsessed with sex, deeply and passionately in love with an “older woman” of twenty-two. Summer of ’42 is the story of Hermie and the lovely Dorothy, of Hermie’s frantic efforts to become a man, and of his glorious and heartbreaking initiation into sex.
- 11/22/63, by Stephen King, 2011. Jake Epping is a thirty-five-year-old high school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching adults in the GED program. He receives an essay from one of the students—a gruesome, harrowing first person story about the night 50 years ago when Harry Dunning’s father came home and killed his mother, his sister, and his brother with a hammer. Harry escaped with a smashed leg, as evidenced by his crooked walk.
Not much later, Jake’s friend Al, who runs the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to 1958. He enlists Jake on an insane—and insanely possible—mission to try to prevent the Kennedy assassination. So begins Jake’s new life as George Amberson and his new world of Elvis and JFK, of big American cars and sock hops, of a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and a beautiful high school librarian named Sadie Dunhill, who becomes the love of Jake’s life—a life that transgresses all the normal rules of time.
On the Way from Amazon
In November of 1983, ABC aired director Nicholas Meyer’s The Day After, a 122-minutes-long made for television film about the effects of a nuclear war on an American community (Lawrence, KS) in the Midwest. This was Meyer’ first (and so far only) TV film and it was commissioned by the network to raise awareness of nuclear war’s horrible human costs at a time when tensions between the U.S. and the Soviet Union were high. Starring Jason Robards, Jr., Jo Beth Williams, Steve Guttenberg, and John Lithgow, The Day After was and remains the most-watched TV movie in U.S. history, with an estimated audience of over 100 million viewers.
I was one of those viewers, but I was not aware that The Day After was available on Blu-ray until a few months ago when I was looking for some films by Nicholas Meyer that were not related to Star Trek. (You might recall that Meyer directed Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan – the movie he made before agreeing to helm The Day After – and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. I passed on Company Business – a movie that Meyer admits was not well-made – and decided to get the Blu-ray of The Day After when I saw it listed as available on Amazon. The price wasn’t too bad ($19.99 plus Florida sales tax), and since I only remember a few things about the movie, it’ll be like seeing The Day After for the first time.
Well, that’s all the news that’s fit to print, as The New York Times used to say on its masthead, so I’ll just close for now. I hope you’ve had a good weekend, and remember: Stay safe, stay healthy, and I’ll catch you on the sunny side of things.
 This is another of the Blu-rays which had an unused Movies Anywhere digital activation code which should have expired; I bought the Blu-ray of Ready Player One in 2019 and forgot about that digital code insert. Since I was able to activate the even older digital copy of E.T. last Friday night, I figured I would try the one for Ready Player One. It worked!
 I would have preferred to get the hardcover edition, but the price for that is nearly $40.
 That having been said, I can still mention the GoFundMe that we have set up so we can make the best movie that we can. If you want to donate to our campaign, you can do so here: Popcorn Sky’s next film.
 It’s also the first Western depiction of nuclear war to be seen on Soviet television; Gostelradio, the state-run network, paid ABC $25,000 for the broadcast rights early in 1987 after a round of difficult negotiations with ABC, which had produced the film and subsequently distributed The Day After to other countries around the world, including Poland, which was the first Soviet-bloc nation to broadcast this controversial but important film. Gostelradio, following Mikhail Gorbachev’s new glasnost (openness) policies, agreed to air The Day After without any commentary on the subject of The Day After and abided by ABC’s stipulation that the Russian-language translation of Edward Hume’s script had to be true to the original English-language version.
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