Musings & Thoughts for Sunday, October 2, 2022, or: Weekend Update, Part Two


Photo by Nextvoyage on Pexels.com

It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood….

It’s late morning here in Lithia, Florida on Sunday, October 2, 2022. I went outside briefly to take an empty Pizza Hut box to the trash bin that’s parked in front of the garage, and it was somewhat nice out there. I did not linger on the driveway because I was still in pajamas and wasn’t wearing shoes, but aside from some fallen trees and broken fences, I would not have known that Hurricane Ian had paid our area a visit (more like a drive-by one).

On my block, and at the time I stepped outside, there weren’t any groups of neighbors staring disconsolately at the piles of debris in front of their houses or streets flooded ankle-deep with standing water left behind by the storm.[1] Nor did I hear the sound of gas-powered generators, chain saws, or leaf-blowers, partly because it was still relatively early in the morning, but mostly because we never lost electricity – although there were a few times when I thought we would – and most of the trees and fences on the block withstood the winds of Ian.

I used to go for long walks in my old neighborhood back in Miami.

I also noticed that the temperature is beginning to drop a bit, at least by the standards of the subtropical regions. As I write this (10:56 AM Eastern Daylight Time), the temperature outside is 80°F/25°C, and it’s sunny and clear. Only a few weeks ago, the temperature would be in the mid-80s/high 20s by 11 AM and in the low 90s/mid-30s by mid-afternoon. And even though we are still under a flood watch, there’s no rain in the forecast and the high-temperature today is expected to be 87°F/31°C.

If I wasn’t so freaking unmotivated, I’d take a shower now, get dressed, and go for a walk. That would be the sensible thing to do. I don’t do “sensible” stuff when I’m depressed, though, and since I tend to follow the path of least resistance, I’ll probably just stick to my “stay indoors all-day routine.” The most that I will do is take my shower since I do feel a bit better afterward.

About Last Night

Hinds in action. Game design elements in this and other screenshots are (C) 2022 Bird’s Eye Games and MicroProse.

Last night was almost – but not quite – a repeat of Friday night. I – predictably – played a few Skirmish missions on Regiments, once as a commander of a Belgian armored unit, and, for the first time since I bought Regiments in August, once as a Soviet tank regiment commander.

I played as the Soviets first, and I ended up defeating a West German army unit in the Grasleben setting. I didn’t change my playing style; I don’t think I used Soviet tactical doctrine at all. If I did, it was purely by coincidence and not by choice. I merely selected two initial Objective Zones, distributed my forces as best I could, then attacked both as hard and often as possible.

Just as I do when I am in the role of a U.S. or West German commander, I used my helicopters quite a bit and tried to choose at least one task force that fielded the Mi-24 Hind attack helicopter. The Hind fascinates me, even though I am not fond of either the former Soviet Union or the Russian Federation, so naturally, I wanted to see how I’d do if I had them as “arrows” in my quiver.

Since I first saw this Soviet helicopter in Bill Gunston’s The Encyclopedia of World Air Power in 1980, I have been oddly fascinated by the Mi-24 Hind. (Screen grab from the “Regipedia” reference page of MicroProse/Bird’s Eye Games’ “Regiments” game.

Although Hinds, like any of the attack helicopters I’ve used in Regiments and similar games, going as far back to the late 1980s/early 1990s when I played M1 Tank Platoon, are powerful and useful assets on the battlefield, they are not invincible, especially when the enemy has good air defense weapons. The West German unit I tangled with had those, and consequently I lost several Mi-24s, mostly to Gepard flakpanzers.

Casualties-wise, this was a fairly even battle, with just enough of an edge over the Blue Force to avoid it being a Pyrrhic victory. I did lose a lot of Hinds, though!

Still, the Hinds performed well in battle, as did my T-80 main battle tanks. And since I used the same tactics I use as a NATO commander, I won a Total Victory with my Red Force.

As for my experience with the Belgians in NATO, I won another Total Victory with my Blue Force, but it was a costly win. The Belgian unit I commanded had no helicopter support. It also did not have an adequate infantry fighting vehicle in the same category as the American Bradley or the Russian BMP, so even though I beat the Red Force decisively, it was a costly victory.

As you can see, I’d rather play as the Blue (NATO) countries. Belgium, though, needs to invest in better weapons…and in helicopters!

Overall, while I appreciate that many games that I own allow me to play as either a U.S./NATO commander or one for the “other side,” I prefer to play as a Western/American than a Warsaw Pact/Chinese commander. I will, of course, play as the Red Force leader in Regiments from time to time, but I will always feel a bit conflicted about it.

A George Pal Double Feature

(C) 2022 Paramount Home Media Distribution

In the evening, I received the first of several pre-orders I had made in July: Paramount Presents: The War of the Worlds (1953) and When Worlds Collide (1951) Limited Edition, which is a multi-format release of two 1950s science fiction films produced by George Pal. One, The War of the Worlds, is making its 4K UHD debut; When Worlds Collide, which was released in theaters in 1951, didn’t get a 4K release but it’s a remastered Blu-ray.

I have the ’53 The War of the Worlds in the Criterion Blu-ray, but I bought this set because I like the video and audio quality of 4K UHD better. Additionally, the subtitles are easier to access on the 4K by Paramount Presents than on the Criterion Blu-ray. Finally, I’ve never seen When Worlds Collide in any format, not even on late-night TV back in the 1970s and early ‘80s, so….

For those of you who are interested in learning a tad more, here’s the Paramount Presents blurb on the back cover of the Blu-ray packaging:

Two of the most iconic Science Fiction epics come to Paramount Presents in this out-of-this-world limited-edition double feature from producer George Pal. Making its 4K UHD debut, WAR OF THE WORLDS is an Oscar-winning adaptation of the chilling H.G. Wells novel. Then, get ready for impending disaster, when a runaway star signals the destruction of Earth in WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE, included on Blu-ray remastered from the original film elements. Both are essential Technicolor masterpieces from the Golden Age of Hollywood, delivering eye-popping visual effects and unmatched sound design.

Because the package arrived so late yesterday – it was dropped off on our front porch at 7:23 PM – and I didn’t check my inbox and read the “Your package was delivered!” email till 8 or so, I didn’t start watching The War of the Worlds until I had finished playing Regiments, and that was after 10 PM or so. I was tired, though, so even though I was happy to see that this edition has easier-to-access subtitles, I still fell asleep and will have to rewatch the movie later today.

Two of the most iconic Science Fiction epics come to Paramount Presents in this out-of-this-world limited-edition double feature from producer George Pal. Making its 4K UHD debut, WAR OF THE WORLDS is an Oscar-winning adaptation of the chilling H.G. Wells novel. Then, get ready for impending disaster, when a runaway star signals the destruction of Earth in WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE, included on Blu-ray remastered from the original film elements. Both are essential Technicolor masterpieces from the Golden Age of Hollywood, delivering eye-popping visual effects and unmatched sound design.

I am also expecting the arrival of two closely related items: Peter Bergen’s Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for Bin Laden from 9/11 to Abbottabad and the DVD edition of the HBO documentary Manhunt: The Inside Story of the Hunt for Bin Laden, which was executive produced by Bergen and originally released in 2013. Both items are now Out for Delivery, so I should have them here later this afternoon.

Speaking of the afternoon, it’s now 1:30 PM and I still must take my shower and change out of my jammies. I could, of course, choose not to do that, but I’m a creature of habit. So, I’ll close this post here and wish you a placid, restful Sunday.

Photo by Victoria Akvarel on Pexels.com

[1] These were sights that were common in East Wind Lake Village, the gated community that was my home in South Florida from February 1978 to April of 2016, after every storm that struck the Miami area from 1992 to 2015, which was the last full year that I spent there. The ankle-deep water in the roads also happened a few times when we had long-lasting thunderstorms and the drains got clogged by fallen leaves.

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.

5 thoughts on “Musings & Thoughts for Sunday, October 2, 2022, or: Weekend Update, Part Two

    1. If Ian had remained a Category Four storm, the glancing blow we got would have been worse. As it is, there are still several thousand Tampa Electric Company (TECO) customers without power. There might also have been a few deaths, too.

      The rest of Central Florida and, of course, the Ft. Myers/Punta Gorda area got hit worse, though. I read one report that said that Coast Guard divers inspected one house where all inside had drowned in the storm surge.

      I would never buy a beachfront house. I like the beach just fine, but buying a “house on the water,” as the phrase goes, to me is like playing Russian roulette.

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