Hi, there, Dear Reader. It is midday/early afternoon in Lithia, Florida, on Friday, March 11, 2022. It is a hot spring day here in the Tampa Bay area. Currently, the temperature is 86˚F (29˚C) under sunny skies. With the wind blowing from the south-southwest at 13 MPH (21 KM/H) and humidity at 65%, the heat index is 88˚F (31˚C). Today’s forecast is more fitting for summer than spring, even in subtropical west-central Florida; during the day, we can expect partly sunny skies and a high of 88˚F (31˚C). Tonight, skies will be partly cloudy. The low will be 73˚F (23˚C).
This morning I checked both bestbuy.com and target.com to see how my pre-orders of the West Side Story 4K UHD sets are coming along. The Best Buy-exclusive steelbook is – as I write this – listed as “Readying for Shipment” and has an estimated time of arrival (ETA) of Tuesday, March 15. Target’s Art Edition set has a similar “Preparing to Ship” status, but a later ETA; Target’s most optimistic estimate has this variant of West Side Story arriving no sooner than Monday, March 21.
I’m less worried about the Collector’s Edition set from Amazon. That order is marked on my Orders page as Not Yet Shipped but has an ETA of Thursday, March 17. It’s possible that it will get here on the 17th or the 18th, of course, but with some exceptions (usually pre-orders from Paramount Home Media Distribution), Amazon’s delivery forecasts are often “worst case scenarios” and my stuff gets here before the e-retailer’s ETAs.
The one outstanding Amazon order that is bugging me is my pre-order of Deutsche Grammophon’s John Williams and the Berliner Philharmoniker: The Berlin Concert – Deluxe Edition. The drop date for this four-disc set (two audio CDs, one video Blu-ray, and one audio Blu-ray) was March 4, and Amazon has not yet shipped it, even though I put in the pre-order on February 1.
I checked on my order’s status this morning; it still says, “Not yet shipped We will email you when we have an estimated delivery date,” on the (natch) Not Yet Shipped section of my Amazon Orders page. Puzzled by Amazon’s slowness to ship this order, I went to the site’s Customer Service page and initiated a quick online chat with an automated “chatbot.”
I won’t rehash the conversation here; suffice it to say, Dear Reader, that Amazon says my order of The Berlin Concert will ship soon and that I will get an email from the company with a delivery window.
I was hoping to have a more concrete answer, but I suppose I’ll get The Berlin Concert – Deluxe Edition eventually.
I don’t have a great deal of other personal updates, other than to say that I’m still in a deep funk six days after my 59th birthday. I didn’t feel like celebrating it then – the war in Ukraine has affected me deeply because, as someone who lived through the last half of the Cold War, I always suspected that Russia would be led by an authoritarian dictator (which is what Vladimir Putin is) and that, sooner or later, there would be a military confrontation between East and West in Eastern Europe.
Granted, Putin’s war in Ukraine is not a NATO vs. Russia war – in that respect, the Kremlin was somewhat savvy in its choice of target. Ukraine, after all, is not a member of NATO or the European Union, so the West has no obvious casus belli to intervene with, as the current cliché goes, “boots on the ground.” If Putin had, instead, invaded any of the three Baltic States (Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia), that would have activated the western alliance’s Article Five and committed all NATO members to come to the invaded country’s aid. By invading Ukraine, Putin sidestepped that, and since the U.S. and other Western countries are politically divided, there will not be much domestic support for a U.S.-led military effort to help defend Ukraine’s nascent democracy from Putin’s plan to topple the Zelensky government and make the country a Russian satellite state a la Belarus.
There are other, more personal reasons why I’m unhappy, but I don’t feel like writing about them today. I suspect that regular readers of A Certain Point of View, Too know some of the particulars anyway, so it’s not a huge, undefined mystery.
It’s time for me to grab some lunch, take a shower, and get into clean clothes, so I’ll just close for now. Until next time, Dear Reader, stay safe, stay healthy, and I’ll catch you on the sunny side of things.
 I go by “Meteorological Spring,” which began on March 1, rather than “Astronomical Spring,” which starts on March 20.