Hi, there, Dear Reader. It’s late morning here in New Hometown, Florida on Sunday, August 1, 2021. It is a hot midsummer day. The current temperature is 89˚F under rainy conditions. With humidity at 52% and the wind blowing from the west-southwest at 8 MPH, the heat index is 100˚F. Today’s forecast calls for light rain and a high of 94˚F. Tonight, light rain will continue. The low will be 77˚F. The Air Quality Index (AQI) is 42, or Good.
Last night I tried to watch The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013), the second installment of Peter Jackson’s three-film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s 1936 novel The Hobbit. I have the Hobbit Trilogy in two box sets (the 2014 Blu-ray set with the theatrical cuts only, and the newer 4K UHD set with both the theatrical and extended editions.), and although The Hobbit is not one of my favorite film trilogies, I thought I’d try out the 4K UHD disc of The Desolation of Smaug.
It was relatively late on a Saturday night – around 10 PM – when I started watching The Desolation of Smaug. And even though I chose the theatrical edition rather than the extended cut, the movie is long: 2 hours and 41 minutes long, to be precise. So, predictably I dozed off soon after Bilbo (Martin Freeman) and his companions sight the Lonely Mountain (where the titular dragon Smaug has his lair) from the forest known as Mirkwood. I managed to turn off the TV and the player with my remote before I fell asleep, though.
I guess I’ll try to watch the rest of the movie later today. It’s not like I have friends to visit or anything truly exciting to do here, right?
I started reading – and I mean, really reading – I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year by Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker earlier this morning. So far I’ve read the prologue and part of the first chapter. As Chapter One begins, the authors recreate, in vivid detail, how Trump ushered in 2020 at his Mar-a-Lago estate/private club in Palm Beach, Florida just as unsettling rumors of a public health crisis in China filtered into the American national security and public health professionals almost by chance. (China, being the secretive authoritarian regime that it is, botched its initial reaction to the COVID-19 breakout, just as Trump botched America’s handling of the pandemic for personal political gain.)
I haven’t gotten too far into Chapter One because I also spent some time shaving and doing other self-care stuff I needed to do. If I don’t watch The Desolation of Smaug after brunch, I will probably read a little more from I Alone Can Fix It.
Other than that, Dear Reader, I don’t have much in the way of news. I don’t interact with The Caregiver all that much anymore these days; she spends most of her free time either doing housekeeping chores or catering to the whims of her boyfriend, so I don’t talk to her as much as I used to. I spend much of the day at my desk, and the only socializing I do is either on Facebook, Twitter, or texts on my phone.
Oh well. As the saying goes, “It is what it is.”