Musings & Thoughts for Thursday, June 9, 2022, or: Rainy Thursday, & How I Spent My ‘Hump Day’

Photo by Sourav Mishra on Pexels.com

Hi there, Dear Reader. It is early afternoon in Lithia, Florida, on Thursday, June 9, 2022. It is a hot, humid, and sometime rainy day in the Tampa Bay area. Presently, the temperature is 80°F (27°C) under rainy conditions. With humidity at 80% and the wind blowing from the west at 6 MPH (10 KM/H), the heat index is 79°F (26°C). Today’s forecast calls for thunderstorms to pass through the area. The high will be 91°F (33°C). Tonight, skies will be partly cloudy, and the low will be 76°F (24°C).

I woke up a tad later than usual – almost at 8 AM – so I am a bit behind my usual start time for writing my daily blog post. The Caregiver was already in the master bedroom – which is her work-from-home station for her county courthouse job – and my cup of café con leche was waiting for me at my place on the kitchenette table. It wasn’t ice cold yet, more lukewarm than anything, but I was able to down it rather quickly. I also ate a couple of Fig Newtons – there is no cold cereal here, and we ran out of Quaker Instant Oatmeal packets, so I had to make do with a breakfast of Fig Newtons and a cup of café con leche.

I could have had a worse morning, though. As is becoming the norm in my nighttime routine, I woke up at 4:45 AM to go to the bathroom. Even though I don’t wear a watch or have a clock in my room – other than the ones on my phone or desktop computer, which were not on at the time – I know it was early because (a) our dog Sandy was still upstairs sleeping with one of her humans, (b) except for the lamp in the kitchenette, the house was dark and still, and (c) the clocks in the kitchen told me the time.

So, first I went to the bathroom to do “my business,” then I turned off the lamp in the kitchenette. (Why no one else bothers is beyond my capacity to understand.) I then went back to my room and lay my weary bones on the futon to will myself back to sleep. Luckily, I succeeded – I often don’t – and slept for another three hours.

(C) 1982, 2021 Universal Studios/Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

Anyway, my 4K UHD Blu-ray of John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982) arrived yesterday afternoon at 12:57 PM; I didn’t go to the front door right away, though, so I retrieved the package a couple of hours later. When I picked up the packing envelope to take it to my room I could hear the rattling of a loose disc, so I took the 4K UHD/2K Blu-ray two-disc package out of the envelope, opened the jewel case, and, sure enough, the 4K disc had come loose from its storage compartment. I pressed it back in its place, took the little slip with the digital copy code, and redeemed that in my Movies Anywhere account.

(C) 1982, 2021 Universal Studios/Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

I think I saw the second half of The Thing – which is a remake of director Christian Nyby’s 1951 sci-fi/horror film The Thing from Another World, which was, in turn, an adaptation of John W. Campbell’s 1938 novella Who Goes There? – on cable TV back in the early Eighties. I’ve never seen the entire movie from beginning to end (nor have I seen the Howard Hawks production from 1951 in its entirety), and Amazon has it in stock for $12.95. That’s relatively inexpensive for a multi-format set with a 4K disc from last year, so of course, I snapped it up.

I didn’t watch it last night – nor any of the titles on my TBW list, to be honest – because I chose to try the Liberation of Paris scenario in the Normandy section of Crusade of Europe. This is the longest scenario on the Normandy menu; it begins on June 6, 1944, and has an end date of August 25, 1944 (the historical date of Paris’ liberation by the U.S. and French forces).

I usually avoid the longer scenarios in Crusade in Europe. First, since you can’t save games if you need to stop playing and resume the session later, I must play the game in one marathon sitting. Even with the game on a “fast speed” setting, Liberation of Paris takes at least three hours for a complete playthrough.

The Allied beachhead, circa late June 1944. One American air wing (green and black “airplane” icon) is established in St.-Lo, France, while a British air wing is coming ashore in the Anglo-Canadian sector. Game design (C) 1985, 2022 MicroProse, Atari

Since I played the game frequently for about 10 years on my Apple IIe PC, I remembered that I learned to exploit a fatal weakness in the German forces’ ability to defend a certain target type from tactical air wings to end that scenario far earlier than the August 25, 1944 end date. So, I drew on that experience and ended the Normandy campaign way ahead of schedule.

My final score in Liberation of Paris. Game design (C) 1985, 2022 MicroProse, Atari

Even though I finished the game early and saved myself an hour of playing time, I was not in the mood to watch anything last night, not even Episode Four of Obi-Wan Kenobi. The Caregiver returned from her hospital vigil late – around 9:45 PM or so – so she obviously did not cook. One of her adult children ordered a couple of pizzas from Pizza Hut, so we did have something for dinner last night. If it’s not thundering later I will catch up with Ewan McGregor’s “Ben Kenobi” today.

It is thundering – in the distance – now, though, so I’ll wrap up things here and sign off for the day. 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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