Musings & Thoughts for Friday, May 20, 2022, or: Baby, It’s Stormy Outside!


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Hi, there. Dear Reader. It’s late morning here in Lithia, Florida on Friday, May 20, 2022. It’s a dark, stormy, and cool late spring day in the Tampa Bay area. Currently, the temperature is 74°F (23°C) under cloudy skies. With humidity at 90% and the wind blowing from the southeast at 4 MPH (7 KM/H), the feels-like temperature is 74°F (23°C). The forecast for today calls for thunderstorms and a high of 92°F (33°C). Tonight, the rain will persist until late into the night. The low will be 74°F (23°C).

The day has been “dark and stormy” since the early morning hours. It was raining when I woke up at 7:20 AM Eastern Daylight Time, and we’ve already had a few thunderstorms pass through Hillsborough County. A front is passing through Central Florida, and it is the start of the rainy season in the subtropics, so, yes. It’s not going to be a lovely day outside – or for the use of electronic devices connected to a wall socket, for that matter.

For those of you who are interested in what I watched last night: I considered watching either Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace or Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. Yesterday was the anniversary of both movies’ release; The Phantom Menace opened on Wednesday, May 19, 1999, whilst Revenge of the Sith was released on Wednesday, May 19, 2005. I have every Star Wars film – yes, even the 2008 Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated one – so I could have watched either one at any time, even from my PC.

However, I have been feeling melancholic for some time now, and I didn’t want to watch a Star Wars movie. I miss Mom, my old house, and the friends that I still have in South Florida, as well as friends that I watched many of the Star Wars films when I was younger but moved away eons ago, and I thought that viewing The Phantom Menace or Revenge of the Sith would just reopen old wounds. So, I watched part of The War: A Ken Burns Film instead.

Of course, I remembered that I’d watched that with Mom when it was originally aired on Miami’s WPBT-Channel 2, the South Florida PBS station between September 23 and October 7, 2007. I still recall that Mom was so into The War that when a thunderstorm forced us to unplug the TV in her room – to avoid losing the set to an errant lightning strike – right in the middle of A World Without War, the seventh and final episode of the series, she encouraged me to buy the DVD set from Amazon.

The Blu-ray was released in 2012. I’m pretty sure I bought a set via Amazon when I still lived in Miami.

I wasn’t a member of Amazon Prime then, nor did Amazon have a warehouse in the Miami area, so we had to wait a week till we received the brand-new DVD box set. Mom even paid the $78.99 credit card bill – in part because she didn’t want me to pay the bill, but mostly because she wanted to see how The War ended!

I still have that DVD box set even though I prefer to watch the Blu-ray set that I bought here in Lithia, just like I still have my 2004 DVD box set of the original Star Wars trilogy – a 41st birthday present from Mom – in a place of honor on one of my bookshelves.

As I write this, the rain has resumed, so I think the thunderstorms will start popping off in a few hours. I don’t know exactly what I’ll do if we are stuck beneath a cell or – worse – a supercell of boomers. If I use any computer at all, it would be my laptop, and I’d have to run it on battery power only.

(C) 2022 Bantam Books

I could also just read a book – my TBR stack is as high as the Empire State Building – and kill time while losing myself in a nonfiction book – Who Can Hold the Sea: The U.S. Navy in the Cold War, 1945-1960 is the most likely choice – or a novel along the lines of Team Yankee: A Novel of World War III.

If the bad weather consists of “just rain” and no storms pass through the Fish Hawk section of Lithia, I might just stick to my usual “stay at my desk till dinner” routine. Or maybe I’ll watch a few episodes of The Office on my Blu-ray player/TV. Considering that it is the start of our rainy season and we’ve already heard thunder in the morning, this is the least likely scenario, but, hey. A guy can hope, right?

Well, I’ve said my piece, so I’ll close for now. Until next time, Dear Reader, stay safe, stay healthy, unplug your electronic devices in a thunderstorm, and I’ll catch you on the sunny – or at least not stormy – 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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