Musings & Thoughts for Wednesday, June 29, 2022, or: A Quick Update from Rainy-n-Hot Florida

Photo by Chris Kane on

Hi, there, Dear Reader. It is midday in Lithia, Florida, on Wednesday, June 29, 2022. It is a sweltering summer day in the Tampa Bay area. Currently, the temperature is 87°F (30°C) under sunny skies. With the wind blowing from the east-southeast at 6 MPH (9 KM/H), the heat index is 94°F (35°C). Today’s forecast calls for light rain to affect the area during the afternoon hours. The high will be 95°F (35°C). Tonight, light rain will persist. The low will be 76°F (24°C).

My (now-in-the-trash) favorite Star Wars mug. (Photo by the author)

According to the tracking information on my Amazon account, the package with my two Star Wars mugs – one is the replacement to my What I Learned from Star Wars mug that someone (no one has fessed up to the deed) broke either on Sunday night or Monday morning, while the other one is a “just because I think it is cool” stainless steel mug which…get this…stirs itself – is due to arrive today before 10 PM (Eastern time zone).

Of course, that same tracking information has not been updated since 8:35 PM last night, when it was scanned in an Amazon facility in Windsor Locks, Connecticut. The progress bar on the tracking page had my package almost at the Out for Delivery mark, but I don’t see how that’s remotely possible. After all, past experience with Amazon orders tells me that even if a package is flown from an origin point outside Florida, it still gets scanned at the first Amazon facility it arrives at. Usually, this would be the Amazon hub in Davenport, but there have been instances when a package will be flown into Tampa International Airport and then trucked over to the Seffner distribution center that services the Lithia/Fish Hawk area.

So, even though I have confidence in Amazon and still expect my Star Wars mugs to arrive today, I would not be Pikachu-surprised if I get an email around 6 PM letting me know that my order will be a tad late and will arrive tomorrow instead.

Stay tuned if you’re at all interested in the Saga of the Broken Star Wars Mug!

In other non-earthshaking news, I have managed to read one whole chapter (plus the Introduction!) in Peter Caddick-Adams’ trilogy-capping Fire & Steel: The End of World War Two in the West. This is a recently published book – in fact, it wasn’t supposed to be “dropped” till next week, according to the pre-order’s estimated date of release – that concludes the narrative that began in Sand & Steel (which focuses on the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944 and continued in Snow & Steel, Caddick-Adams’ insightful look at the German counteroffensive in the Ardennes region of Belgium and Luxembourg in late 1944 and early 1945.

(C) 2022 Oxford University Press

As I have mentioned in previous posts about my infamous – and literal – To Be Read stack, Fire & Steel covers the last 100 days of the Second World War on the Western front. Since I have been reading about World War II for over 50 years, I have either read or owned many books that cover some or most of the same ground that Fire & Steel does. However, Caddick-Adams observes that many authors (including Cornelius Ryan and John Toland) in the past either ignored certain battles in the Allied advance into Germany because they focused on the Anglo-Canadian 21st Army Group and the U.S. 12th Army Group to the detriment of the U.S.-French Sixth Army Group, or add Cold War angst over General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s decision to not send Anglo-American forces to capture Berlin, Nazi Germany’s capital, before the Russians.

Additionally, the author deliberately focuses on the experiences of the Western Allies on the Western front and does not cover the Soviet operations on the Eastern one. Hence the highly specific subtitle for this book: The End of World War Two in the West.  It does, of course, delve into Eisenhower’s decision to not race the Red Army to Berlin, a controversial strategic choice that disappointed many of Ike’s British (and a few American) generals and especially British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who was already seeing Josef Stalin’s Soviet Union as the Western Allies’ next adversary and wanted to make sure the Russians would not occupy as much of Germany as the Grand Alliance had agreed to in the Yalta Conference in February of 1945.

By and large, though, this is a book that focuses almost exclusively on the experiences of Americans, British, Canadian, and French who liberated what was left of occupied Western Europe and crushed Adolf Hitler’s evil Nazi regime in its own homeland.

I am not ready to write a review of Fire & Steel; I’ve only read the Introduction, a prologue, and the first chapter. Rest assured, Dear Reader, that a review is forthcoming.

There’s a lot that’s been happening – such as the reversal of Roe v. Wade, the Congressional hearings on the January 6 insurrection, Ghislaine Maxwell’s sentencing, and the war in Ukraine – but I will not be writing about those today. I am vexed by my Amazon Music’s balkiness with some of my digital editions of music I own, plus I don’t feel like writing on those topics as of late. I have not really sat down to watch news broadcasts the way I used to in what I call “my previous life,” and I don’t have the desire to Google all the necessary facts that I need to write an informed opinion on those topics – at least, not one that I would consider being ethically and worthy of being called solid journalism.

With that in mind, Dear Reader, I will take my leave of you. Until next time, stay safe, stay healthy, and I’ll catch you on the sunny side of things.

P.S. And, just as I predicted, Amazon just sent me a “Sorry, but your package is late” email. It is scheduled to arrive between June 30 (tomorrow) and July 1 (Friday). The only thing I got wrong was when Amazon would inform me of this.

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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