Musings & Thoughts for Sunday, September 18, 2022, or: The First Hints of Autumn (Florida-Style), and My ‘Exciting’ Saturday Night


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Goodbye to Summer?

It’s beginning to feel like autumn.

No, the leaves on the trees aren’t changing color, at least not this far south, and not with most trees that grow in Florida.

And there is no chill – beyond that of an air conditioning unit set below 78 degrees – that nips the air like the ones I’ve felt in colder climates. I still remember arriving in Sevilla (Seville), Spain 34 years ago this week and although it was still warm during the day, it wasn’t as oppressively hot as it still was in Miami when I left on the evening of Wednesday, September 21, 1988 – and at night, it was cold enough to wear a light jacket if we were outdoors.  (And, of course, I used to live in Bogota, which is over a mile above sea level and the air is colder and thinner.)

Photo by Roberto Nickson on Pexels.com

But even though I have not stepped outside to see – and feel – for myself, the temperature here in Lithia is 80°F (27°C) under mostly cloudy skies. And even though the forecast high is 89°F (32°C), we expect to see light rain showers in our area, so I doubt it will be a scorching hot Sunday.

My “Exciting” Saturday Night

A-10A Thunderbolt II “tank busters” (center image with the blue “arc” symbol above them) make a strafing run against a Soviet unit (as I recall, it was a Russian fire support team equipped with BTR-70s) as several of my units capture one of the eight Objective Zones I ended up taking before the clock ran out at the end of 30 minutes of game time. You can see an M1 tank platoon and a headquarters section racing toward the not-yet conquered OZ in the foreground. Note the cross-shaped shadow of the A-10 on the ground (to the left of the HMMWV HQ section. (All game design elements in this and other screen grabs from Regiments are (C) 2022 Bird’s Eye Games & MicroProse.)

As for my Saturday night, the weather was bad for a while, but the thunderstorms that loomed in the area never made it to Fish Hawk and either dissipated or went elsewhere. As a result, I avoided an “electronics-free” night and was able to stay online and watch TV after 5:00 PM Eastern.

(C) 1977 Metro Goldwyn Mayer/United Artists

I didn’t watch A Bridge Too Far to commemorate the 78th Anniversary of Operation Market-Garden, an ill-fated attempt by the Anglo-American Allies to capture a bridgehead over the Lower Rhine River and hopefully end World War II in Europe by Christmas of 1944. Though it’s a movie with a not-so-happy ending based on the last book of Cornelius Ryan’s World War II trilogy – the other books being The Longest Day (1959) and The Last Battle (1966) – A Bridge Too Far is a movie I like, and before I moved to Lithia in 2016, I would try to watch it on September 17, the anniversary of Market-Garden’s D-Day.

But habits and traditions sometimes change, and my tradition of watching war movies on the anniversaries of the events they portray is, like my life in Miami, a thing of the past. Last December, I did not watch Tora! Tora! Tora! for the anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack; and in June I didn’t watch either The Longest Day or Saving Private Ryan for the 78th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy.

I don’t speak German, but for some reason, I suspected that Der Sumpf means “The Swamp.” A quick Google search confirmed my hunch,
Most of the wargames I play rarely show corpses; here you can see a few dead Warsaw Pact soldiers near these burning BMPs, which are (I think) BMP-3s.
729 Victory Points out of a possible 1000. I’ve done better, but with 40 minutes on the clock, not 30.

I did spend a lot of time on Facebook, playing Regiments – I chose a Skirmish called Der Sumpf (German for “The Swamp”), and the unit I commanded was the 4th Brigade of the U.S. 4th Infantry Division – and keeping an eye on my order of The Only Plane in the Sky: An Oral History of 9/11. I also downloaded some photos of attractive women for two of my computers’ lock screens – no, no nudes! – cos I’m tired of the images that Microsoft offers when I turn on either my desktop (the computer I am using now) or my newer laptop.

This gorgeous woman’s face graces the lock screen of my desktop computer.

Because I played Regiments after I finished off my leftovers from Friday night’s Outback dinner (I had most of my Bloomin’ Onion left), I lost track of the time and ended up staying at my desk longer than I’d planned. It was past 10:30 PM when I finally turned off my computer, so it’s not surprising that I fell asleep watching Star Trek V from its new 4K UHD Blu-ray disc.

That was my “exciting” Saturday night, Dear Reader. It wasn’t a bad night; it was okay if you leave out the “somewhat lonely” part of it, and at least there weren’t any thunderstorms around.

(C) 2019 Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster;

Today I will receive my copy of The Only Plane in the Sky; it arrived at Amazon’s Seffner distribution center in the wee hours of the morning, and the last time I checked, it was Out for Delivery and has a delivery window of between 3 and 7 PM.

Aside from that, there’s not much to tell. I might go watch Andor, the new Star Wars live-action TV series streaming on Disney+. I could watch it either from this PC or my 4K UHD TV, but I prefer the Roku-equipped TV out in the Florida room; the Roku device provides closed captions, while my own devices do not. If the Caregiver’s daughter is not watching her shows on that TV when I’m done with this post, that’s what I’ll do. If she is, well, then I’ll have to either wait till she goes to work at Target or goes into her room to study and do other college-related work.

That’s all I the news I have to share with you today, Dear Reader, 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.  

Photo by u0415u043au0430u0442u0435u0440u0438u043du0430 on Pexels.com

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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