Musings & Thoughts for Sunday, July 3, 2022, or: What I Did on My Not-So-Exciting, Not-So-Stormy Saturday

The author, photographed on Friday, July 1, 2022.

Hi, there, Dear Reader. It’s midafternoon in Lithia, Florida, on Sunday, July 3, 2022. It is a hot, sticky, summer day in the Tampa Bay area. Currently, the temperature is 89°F (32°C) under mostly cloudy skies. With the wind blowing from the west at 11 MPH (17 KM/H) and humidity at 66%, the heat index is 98°F (37°C). Today’s forecast calls for thunderstorms to pass through the area, and the high will be 92°F (34°C). Tonight, we can expect scattered rain showers. The low will be 75°F (24°C).

Photo by the author

Last night was relatively quiet weatherwise; those dark, ominous, nasty-looking rainclouds that formed over Hillsborough County yesterday did not bring any thunderstorms with them, at least not to Lithia/Fish Hawk. Maybe it’s because the cloud formations formed so late in the afternoon, or maybe the conditions were not in the “Goldilocks region” for thunderstorm activity, but we did not get any lightning or thunder here. The most we might have gotten is some rain, and I did not notice any of that here, although I’d only hear the hissing noise of heavy rain if we were getting a torrential downpour.

A rare periscope’s eye view of Sverdlov burning as she tries to escape from my torpedo. I think the “zoom” setting on the periscope was 4X. Note how the game designers add a “reflection on the water” effect to the graphics. Game elements (C) 2017 Killerfish Games

By the time I realized that it was not going to be a “dark and stormy night,” it was too late to start a session of Crusade in Europe, so instead I played a Quick Battle in Cold Waters. I created a “sandbox” scenario of an attack on a Soviet amphibious group off the coast of Iceland, a tip of the hat to two separate chapters of Tom Clancy’s Red Storm Rising.

Although I didn’t want the game to be so difficult that the Soviet escorts would detect me easily and kill me before I sank some of the Russian ‘phibs, I selected enough capable warships to make the Battle of Iceland – as I privately called it – challenging. Cold Waters allows players to select which classes of enemy vessels or aircraft appear in a Quick Battle, but because the game randomizes the selection, you never know what you’re going to get, sort of like Forrest Gump’s famous box of chocolates.

For instance, while I did not choose the Kirov-class nuclear-powered battlecruiser (BCGN), I did tell Cold Waters I wanted to include a Kiev-class “tactical aviation cruiser” in the group of surface combatants. I also added the Sverdlov class heavy cruiser and the Sovremenny-class guided-missile destroyer, as well as the Moskva anti-submarine (ASW) helicopter cruiser (CGH). Cold Waters’ randomizer gave me all but the Kiev-class ship.

I probably should have added at least one ASW helicopter or patrol plane, or even a submarine, but as I said, I didn’t want to get my boat destroyed right away. In real life, of course, a Soviet amphibious invasion of Iceland would have included subs and ASW aircraft for additional protection of the landing ships and major surface combatants, but I didn’t want that much of a challenge. I’ll save the realism for the Campaign games, thank you very much.

The Sverdlov speeds away from an Mk-48 ADCAP torpedo, ablaze from an earlier hit by a UGM-84 Harpoon missile. Game design elements (C) 2017 Killerfish Games
If you look closely at the center-right portion of this screenshot, you’ll see the red-colored keel of Sverdlov and the faint trail of bubbles from the cruiser’s screws as our torpedo heads remorselessly to intercept the damaged Soviet cruiser. Game design elements (C) 2017 Killerfish Games

As it was, even though at best I could claim the resulting scenario was mildly challenging – it definitely was not as hair-raising dangerous as Junks on Parade, for instance – it was not “taking candy from a baby” easy, either. For one thing, I had the game set so my boat was 20,000 yards away from the invasion force, which is not so distant that I could not engage ships with torpedoes, but not so close that the resulting battle would have been like clubbing baby seals on the head.

Ka-BOOM! A Soviet supply ship explodes as it is struck by a U.S. submarine-launched Harpoon missile. Game elements (C) 2017 Killerfish Games

I did sink all the warships and most of the landing ships and cargo vessels in the convoy.  Still, one Ropucha-class landing ship, tank (LST) escaped when I ran out of Harpoon missiles, and I decided to just let it go rather than chase it so I could sink the last vessel of the invasion force with a torpedo. (In real life, Iceland-based aircraft or other NATO vessels nearby would have dispatched the lone LST. Anyway, even if that single Soviet ship had reached the invasion area, its cargo of tanks and armored personnel carriers with troops would have not been enough to carry the day in a landing.)

After I finished playing Cold Waters, I ate some leftover fried rice that The Caregiver had set aside for dinner since no one was home at dinnertime, then I watched TV for a while till I fell asleep.

(C) 2005, 2006 Warner Bros./Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

I also ordered the Blu-ray of George Clooney’s Good Night and Good Luck (stylized in the movie’s poster art as good night, and good luck), a 2005 historical drama that depicts the conflict between veteran CBS newsman and TV anchor Edward R. Murrow (David Strathairn) and Republican Senator Joseph R. McCarthy during the “Red Scare” of the 1950s. I ordered it because (a) I have not seen it and (b) it cost only $14.99.

(C) 2022 Kino Lorber/Code Red

I also pre-ordered Maid in Sweden, which is an erotic Swedish-American film from 1971. I have not seen that movie, either, but I saw it listed on as an upcoming release. It was not pricey, either, so voila! I decided to get it.

Here’s the summary:

Schoolgirl Inga goes to visit her sister in Stockholm and is shocked to find her living with her boyfriend, Casten. She succumbs to Casten’s charms, and after having broken up her sister’s love affair, returns home to her parents.

Will it be any good? I have no idea. We’ll just have to wait till next month to find out.

I wish that my weekends were far more exciting than they are; I’d rather write blog posts about going out on a dinner date with a significant other or that I went to see Jurassic World: Dominion at a local theater. After all, I did do that kind of “fun weekend” stuff until early 2020. Heck, I would settle for the kind of fun stuff I used to do when I was younger and not dating, because even then I still socialized with friends and went out to the movies or out to eat at a favorite restaurant – and not necessarily expensive restaurants at that.

Alas, the last girlfriend of record I had was – and still is – a nice woman with a good sense of humor who likes to go out to do the same fun things I like every so often. But we have fundamental differences, too, especially when it comes to consuming alcoholic beverages (I’m a casual drinker, while she drinks too much), listening to loud music from the 1980s (I really don’t mind the ‘80s music, but I absolutely hate it when people play it loud), and sex (I’m a sex-positive person, while, alas, she’s not). Those “wedge issues” were what drove us apart, so she decided to end the romantic relationship – while still letting me live here for affordable rent – and went off to find her present beau.

Well, even though that Ropucha got away, I think COMSUBLANT will be happy with my after-action report. Ah, if only I could get, ahem, other kinds of action on the beach! Game elements (C) 2017 Killerfish Games

Accordingly, instead of reading interesting posts about many fun Saturday nights with a girlfriend and/or cool places I visited in Tampa during a date, you now get maybe not-so-interesting writeups about games that I play, movies I watch, and music I listen to, and so on.

As for today? I doubt that the weather will be as kind to me as it was yesterday; it’s dark in my room as I type this, which means the cloud cover is immense and blotting out the sun. I don’t hear thunder or the hissing of rain outside, so no thunderstorms seem to be in the area. However, a quick look at my Weather app’s Radar screen shows some shower activity in the general vicinity, so again, I can’t count on a repeat of yesterday’s absence of thunder and lightning.

“Rain coming.”

On that note, Dear Reader, I’ll close for now. Until next time, Dear Reader, stay safe, stay healthy, and I’ll catch you on the less rainy 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.

2 thoughts on “Musings & Thoughts for Sunday, July 3, 2022, or: What I Did on My Not-So-Exciting, Not-So-Stormy Saturday

    1. I look at it this way: “Maid in Sweden” might not be as classy as, say, Bergman’s “The Seventh Seal/Det sjunde inseglet,” but it looks like at least it has a plot, compared to what passes for “adult” films in the U.S. It won’t be released on Blu-ray till August, though.

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