Musings & Thoughts for Friday, July 15, 2022, or: Another Hot Summer Weekend is About to Begin

Photo by Nitin Dhumal on Pexels.com

Hi, there, Dear Reader. It is midmorning in Lithia, Florida, on Friday, July 15, 2022. It is a warm summer day here in the Tampa Bay area. Currently, the temperature is 75°F (24°C) under sunny conditions. With humidity at 94% and the wind blowing from the east-southeast at 2 MPH (4 KM/H), the heat index is 74°F (23°C). It is going to be a steamy day, though. The forecast calls for partly sunny skies and a high of 93°F (34°C). Tonight, skies will be partly cloudy. The low will be 72°F (22°C).

As was the case on Wednesday, yesterday’s forecast of temperatures in the high 90s (30s, to my Celsius readers) and afternoon thunderstorms was, as they say in Britain, “spot on.” The storms started later in the afternoon compared to the day before, but they did pass through the Fish Hawk area, and they did cause me to turn off my computer and get to read a book for at least an hour.

(C) 2022 Del Rey Books/Penguin Random House & Lucasfilm Ltd.

Which, of course, was fine. I’m a reader, and I have been a reader for as long as I can remember, so it was not a big deal to be “forced” offline due to the presence of a thunderstorm. After all, my brand-new copy of Mike Chen’s Star Wars: Brotherhood arrived via Amazon Prime yesterday afternoon just ahead of the storms, so I opened the cardboard Amazon box, took my hardcover out, and read the first two chapters during the worst part of the thunderstorm.

After the storms went away – sometime after 8 PM Eastern – I went to the family room, turned on the TV, and watched Hanover Street on my Amazon Prime Video account via the Roku app that’s connected to that television set. Hanover Street is a 1979 war and romantic film starring Harrison Ford (I think this was one of his first leading man roles after 1977’s Star Wars), Lesley-Anne Down, and Christopher Plummer. Written and directed by Peter Hyams (Capricorn One, 2010: The Year We Make Contact), this is a retro film set a year before the Allied invasion of Normandy and features a trope used many times during the 1940s and 1950s – the wartime romance triangle.

I reviewed Hanover Street several years ago on the original Blogger version of this blog, and I don’t feel like re-reviewing it now, but this is what I concluded back then:

“Hanover Street” is a fair-to-middling mix of Harrison Ford-worthy war action and soapy romance that works rather well in the adventure half but falls flat in the love story one.

At this point of his career, Ford was not the superstar of “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark” After he co-starred in “Star Wars,”  Ford appeared in supporting roles in “Apocalypse Now”  and “Force 10 From Navarone,”  These movies got mixed reviews but did not catapult him into leading man status.

Sadly, “Hanover Street” did not help increase Ford’s potential as a major player beyond the “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones” franchises.

As the cocky David Halloran, Ford does well when he’s at the controls of his B-25 bomber.  The rapport he has with his crew is believable, particularly when he shares the screen with his wryly humorous bombardier, Lt. Jerry Cimino (Richard Masur) and his copilot, Lt. Martin Hyer (Michael Sachs).

2nd Lt. Jerry Cimino: Hey, they’re shooting at us! How come every time we fly over they shoot guns at us?

David Halloran: Because we drop bombs on them.

2nd Lt. Jerry Cimino: They have no sense of humor. Can’t you guys take a joke?

As I said, Hyams’ movie has a “retrospective” feel to it; made in the late 1970s, it was made in such a way that except for a couple of “swear words” that would have broken the Hays Code and one semi-nude scene by the female lead – yes! We see her boobies! – Hanover Street could have been filmed in glorious black and white and would not have seemed out of place in the late 1940s or early ‘50s.

This is one of the few films that star Harrison Ford that are not in my home media library, but since Mr. Ford celebrated his 80th birthday on Wednesday I felt like watching one of his movies. I could have, of course, watched one of the four existing Indiana Jones movies, or even one of the four Star Wars films in which Han Solo has a sizeable role, but – nah. I went for Hanover Street.

As for today…

Well, it’s going to be a scorcher outside, and even though I could go out for a walk or sit out on the front porch or something, it’s way too hot for that. Besides, with no friends in the neighborhood or even in the Tampa Bay area, there’s not much fun in going out for a walk solo here in Fish Hawk.

In any case, I’m keeping my eye on my Amazon account; my copy of Thomas Wikman’s The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle: Stories and Tips from Thirteen Years with a Leonberger is in Amazon’s Seffner distribution center and should be marked Out for Delivery within the hour. I will probably receive it between 3 and 5 PM, depending on my driver’s schedule and local traffic conditions. I have seen excerpts from The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle on my friend Thomas’ WordPress blog, so I have some idea of what to expect.

(C) 2022 Thomas Wikman and Thebes Press

Hopefully, other dog lovers and readers will buy a copy; Thomas worked hard to get his book done, and having gone through a similar process when I self-published Reunion: A Story four summers ago, I know how hard it is to get people to part with their money for a book one wrote – and that “one” is not Stephen King, James Patterson, or Lee Childs.

Mom and Yours Truly in my mom’s sick room back in 2012, two years into her last illness and three years before her death in July 2015.

Other than that, I am trying hard to combat the mid-July Blues that affect my mood around this time. The seventh anniversary of Mom’s death is next Tuesday, which, by a sad coincidence, is the day that the Caregiver’s late boyfriend will be laid to rest in Miami. I’m glad I will not be there; I hate funerals, and I am still coming to terms with my mixed feelings toward the deceased and his grieving “widow.” I grew fond of the guy over the time that I knew him, but I am more ambivalent about The Caregiver, who was at one time my Significant Other. Yes, I accept the fact that our personalities were incompatible because of her fondness for booze and overly loud music – just to name two of the superficial wedge issues – and that she was happier with a man with similar tastes and more of shared history together (they were childhood friends, after all).

But still, I did not like being relegated to second-class status and being left to fend for myself (in a house that is ridiculously unsuitable for me to “fend for myself”), nor did I enjoy seeing my ex-girlfriend fawn over “the new guy” as if he was a British Royal and lord and master over everyone else. Luckily, the man was nice and personable, but still. I have never met anyone, ever, who has gotten a divorce or broken up with a significant other, then forced to live with the ex and the new spouse/romantic partner due to financial limitations or physical disability.

Anyway – yeah. I am not exactly feeling that thrilled right now. I miss Mom a lot and wish that I had been able – somehow – to stay in our old house rather than be here.

Yes, yes. I know. I could not afford the repairs that the house needed due to termite damage, plumbing issues, and a balky air conditioning unit that was constantly leaking condensation and causing interior damage to the walls and ceiling on the first floor. Plus, the HOA fees, property taxes, and utility bills – how would I pay for those on my meager Social Security/SSI monthly income? Mom was hopelessly naïve if she thought my older half-sister would “grow up” and cease the sibling rivalry that tore us apart so she could assist me in keeping the townhouse. And she did not have a lot of investments or even a savings account when she died, so I didn’t have that many attractive options besides the Caregiver’s offer to bring me here on the Gulf Coast of Florida.

Photo by the author

Life here is not all bad, though. At least I have my own room, don’t have to pay exorbitant rent, and people respect my privacy and don’t mess with my stuff. Plus, Sandy the miniature schnauzer loves me. So, there’s that.

I don’t have much in the way of news besides what I’ve already written, 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.

4 thoughts on “Musings & Thoughts for Friday, July 15, 2022, or: Another Hot Summer Weekend is About to Begin

  1. Thank you for featuring my book once again Alex. I really appreciate it. I remember the book you wrote, Reunion, it was a very good book. A great story that was not expensive. After things have calmed down with the release of my Leonberger book I am going to make some posts about other books, mostly Leonberger books, but I can certainly include Reunion. Thank you for all your kind help. You had it tough, losing your mom, the complicated caretaker situation, I hope your situation improves.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As a self-published author, I know how tough it is to sell books, especially if (like me) you are averse to self-publicizing your own work. That, I suppose, is one of the benefits of publishing through a traditional book publisher such as Penguin Random House; you don’t have to worry about marketing and advertising. Even though I know you are donating ALL the royalties, I figured I would do my bit to help you sell books. I bought one copy, of course. Now my hope is that a reader of this blog decides to buy one copy or at least tells others about it. Word of mouth, public momentum, and all that jazz.

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    1. Neither was I. I watched it because Amazon Prime Video was streaming it, and I did not feel like watching Ford in a Star Wars or Indiana Jones movie – for a change.

      It’s not the WORST movie ever; it’s better than, say, Behind Enemy Lines. But I would not spend a dime on the Blu-ray or DVD of Hanover Street. (I do give Peter Hyams credit for getting the 1940s movie tropes right, and if he had left out the T&A sex scenes out, it could pass for a period movie IF the haircuts were a bit more accurate. Ford’s hair is much too long for an Army Air Force pilot in 1943.)

      Liked by 1 person

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