Musings & Thoughts for Wednesday, October 13, 2021, or: Shatner Boldly Goes to Suborbit, and My Blu-ray Collection Expands (a Bit)

Hi, there, Dear Reader. It is late morning here in New Hometown, Florida on Wednesday, October 13, 2021. It’s gray and somewhat cool outside; the current temperature is 77˚F (25˚C) under cloudy skies. With humidity at 48% and the wind blowing from the northeast at 6 MPH (9 KM/H),the feels-like temperature is 74˚F (22˚C). The forecast for today calls for light rain throughout the day. The high will be 91˚F (33˚C). Tonight, skies will  be clear. The low will be 72˚F (22˚C). The Air Quality Index (AQI) is 30 or Good.

As I write this, I have my Samsung Smart TV tuned in to the ABC News app. I usually don’t have the TV on when I’m writing, but today many people, including Star Trek fans like me, are watching the news to watch the launch of Blue Horizon NS-18, the second suborbital flight of the New Shepard suborbital flight capsule.

Why the interest, you ask? Because William Shatner, the actor-director best known as Capt. James T. Kirk in Star Trek: The Original Series and seven theatrical films based on the 1966-1969 sci-fi series, will be aboard RSS First Step along with Chris Boshuizen, Glen De Vries, and Audrey Powers.

Not only is Shatner the first living Star Trek veteran to leave the “surly bonds of Earth” – albeit in a brief suborbital flight that will last approximately 10-15 minutes and might not exceed an altitude of 66 miles – but he will be the oldest human to fly on a spacecraft. Shatner, who turned 90 in March, is eight years older than the previous record-holder, Wally Funk, who flew on a New Shepard flight earlier this year at the age of 82.

Right now it looks as though the flight is still “go” for launch; It had been originally scheduled for a Monday launch, but the winds at its West Texas launch site were too high for a safe flight, so…here we are.

Update: It just went up…came down….and it’s really cool.

Today I will receive my Blu-ray copy of 1979’s A Little Romance, which was directed by George Roy Hill and starred Diane Lane (her screen debut) and Laurence Olivier (one of his last roles). It’s a sentimental “small” film about a young couple (Lane and Thelonius Bernard) who go off on a romantic quest to kiss under Venice’s Bridge of Sighs, inspired by the stories of an elderly but amiable man, Julius Santorin (Olivier) that they meet in Paris.

I only saw this movie once when it was shown on a Miami TV station back when I was a teenager and don’t remember it well, but I’m a sucker for sentimental movies – if they are well-made, anyway – and I need to add more comedies to my collection, so I ordered it last Monday cos it isn’t terribly pricey.

And speaking of pricey….

Remember my delayed shipment of The Stand, the second TV miniseries based on Stephen King’s massive end-of-the-world post-apocalyptic horror/fantasy novel? You know, the one that was supposed to arrive last week but got caught in the disc replication/shipping crunch caused by the COVID-19 pandemic?

Well, it was scheduled to arrive on Friday, but apparently that was a “worst-case” delivery estimate in case Amazon received its consignment later than expected. This morning, I got an email from Amazon that brought some cheer to an otherwise cheerless day:

Hi Alex, Your package is arriving earlier than we previously expected. It’s now arriving:

Thursday, October 14

Previously expected:

Friday, October 15

And if that wasn’t enough of a burst of cheer, I received another message from Amazon just a few minutes later:

Hello Alex Diaz-Granados,

You saved $16.04 with Amazon.com’s Pre-order Price Guarantee! The price of the following item decreased after you ordered, and we gave you the lowest price.

The Stand [Blu-ray]

Price on order date:                         $45.99

Price charged at shipping:                            $29.95

Lowest price before release date:                              $29.95

Quantity:                             1

Total Savings:                    $16.04

Although this is not as big a thrill as winning a prize in the Florida Lottery, I’ll take my victories whenever I get them.

Published by Alex Diaz-Granados

Alex Diaz-Granados (1963- ) began writing movie reviews as a staff writer and Entertainment Editor for his high school newspaper in the early 1980s and was the Diversions editor for Miami-Dade Community College, South Campus' student newspaper for one semester. Using his experiences in those publications, Alex has been raving and ranting about the movies online since 2003 at various web sites, including Amazon, Ciao and Epinions. In addition to writing reviews, Alex has written or co-written three films ("A Simple Ad," "Clown 345," and "Ronnie and the Pursuit of the Elusive Bliss") for actor-director Juan Carlos Hernandez. You can find his reviews and essays on his blogs, A Certain Point of View and A Certain Point of View, Too.

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