Musings & Thoughts for Wednesday, April 13, 2022, or: A Hump Day Update from a Weary Blogger

My new Lenovo IdeaCentre
My new Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO 3 “all-in-one” PC. My “wallpaper” is a screenshot from “Cold Waters.’ (Photo by the author)

Hi, there, Dear Reader. I am still trying to take what I call a mental health break, so today’s post won’t be about anything substantial. So if you were hoping for another serious essay about the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a review, an update on my creative writing endeavors, or the usual stories I tell about my life before my move to the Tampa area…well, you’re going to have to wait.

Every time I buy a new computer, it takes me between two to seven days to get used to a new keyboard/mouse/operating system. And as I wrote in yesterday’s post, getting used to a wireless mouse was easy because I have been using that type of mouse on my laptops – I’ve owned three, and I still use two – for 13 years, give or take a few months.

I like this new wireless keyboard better than I liked my conventional USB keyboard. It’s a bit smaller than the keyboard it replaced, but the keys respond better and don’t get “stuck” when I type or hit the directional (←↑→↓) keys to move my cursor). And, although I know that I’ll have to replace the battery every so often, I now have a desk that is bereft of wires. I always hated it when the wires to the mouse and keyboard would compete for desktop space or got in each other’s way. With these wireless wonders, that bit of annoyance is now gone.

Part of my Amazon Music library.

Yesterday I used my Amazon Music app; I can’t write without at least some music playing in the background. I usually listen to either classical music or film scores; songs with lyrics usually distract me because I like to sing along, especially if I hear one of my favorite songs. I don’t have that issue with purely instrumental compositions because I’ve almost always written stuff while I have some music playing in the background. Heck, sometimes a particular piece will inspire me to write a story or, if I am already writing something, a composition will become So-and-So’s Theme in my mind.

I have also tried playing a few missions on my favorite Steam game, Cold Waters. The game runs well – I would even say it runs better – on this Windows 11 PC. Maybe it’s wishful thinking on my part, but it even looks a bit sharper on the new and slightly larger monitor. Of course, the game itself has not been upgraded or updated with new downloadable content, so the version of Cold Waters on this machine is the same version I had on my “dead” computer.

A screenshot from Cold Waters shows a Chinese warship as it is hit by one of my Mk 48 ADCAP torpedoes. Game design and graphics are (C) 2017 Killerfish Games.

However, since I have a brand-new keyboard and mouse to get used to, the way I drive and fight my boats is affected by how I use the keyboard and mouse. As a result, since I’m still getting used to a new monitor and its two user-interface peripherals, it’s like I’m playing Cold Waters for the first time.

I love the graphics in Cold Waters! I rarely use the periscope, but sometimes I do, and sometimes I capture dramatic images like this one of a Chinese (or Soviet) ship burning in the distance. Game design and graphics (C) 2017 Killerfish Games

In brief, I played the scenario Junks on Parade, which is set in an alternative version of the year 2000 and in a world where the Soviet Union still exists but is a shadow of its old Evil Empire self. The two dominant powers here are the People’s Republic of China and the U.S., and a war breaks out between them in this Cold War-turns-hot version of history.

I wrote a post about Junks on Parade last fall, so I won’t get into too much detail about that mission. I will say that each time that I try Cold Waters on any computer that is not the one where I learned how to play the sim, I always have a few days in which I don’t do well until I get used to a new screen/mouse/keyboard combo. Eventually, I get better once I’m acclimated to the new tech stuff, but, damn, this morning I lost USS Seawolf without accomplishing my mission to destroy a Chinese invasion fleet heading toward the west coast of Taiwan.  

As they say in The Godfather, my loyal submarine crew and I are sleeping with the fishes.   

Part of my Movies Anywhere digital movie library.

What I have not tried yet is to watch any of the 67 movies I have stored in the “cloud” via Movies Anywhere. (I have some Paramount movies, such as the Indiana Jones, Star Trek, and The Godfather series, stored in Vudu, since Paramount, Lionsgate, MGM, and a few other studios are not Movies Anywhere participants, so I have more than 67 titles in digital form. Movies Anywhere holds most of my digital copies, though.)  I probably should, but part of why I need to take a mental health break is because I spend too much time in one room; watching a movie on this computer would defeat that purpose.

I could choose a movie and see how it looks on this brand new 24-inch computer screen, watch it for a few minutes, then pause it and exit the Movies Anywhere app. So, I think I’ll do that after I post this on WordPress.

Well, I don’t have anything else to report, so I’ll close for now. Until next time, Dear Reader, stay safe, stay healthy, and I’ll catch you on the sunny side of things.

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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