Musings & Thoughts for Sunday, January 15, 2023, or: Winter in Florida – Nice, Sunny, But a Bit Chilly


Midmonth Chill

Hi, there, Dear Reader. It’s early afternoon here in Lithia, Florida, on Sunday, January 15, 2023. A cold front passed through the area yesterday morning, and even though temperatures today are higher than they were 24 hours ago (53°F/11°C under sunny conditions as I write this), it’s still chilly – at least for this Florida native son.

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Since I’m still affected by the cold temperatures – one effect being that my kidneys work overtime, and I must go to the bathroom more often – I will not even attempt to write a review of Code-Name Downfall today. I am at my best – as a writer, anyway – when I can focus on a task for a long time; but when I’m distracted or interrupted by outside forces (in this case, the temperature), I can’t concentrate. Good writing requires a single-minded focus and attention to detail, especially when I’m trying to convey why a particular media product (be it a movie, TV show, music album, or book) is good or bad.

Coping with the Cold

(C) 1995 Simon & Schuster

I did make a separate document file on my Notepad app with a list of chapters from Code-Name Downfall: The Secret Plan to Invade Japan- And Why Truman Dropped the Bomb. I don’t always include chapter lists in my book reviews; they’re usually not necessary and I’ve never seen one in a newspaper’s book review. Still, since Operation Downfall is a complex subject, I think a look at the book’s chapter list will give readers a good outline of the 1995 book by the late Thomas B. Allen (the father of science fiction author Roger McBride Allen) and frequent coauthor Norman Polmar. So I am going to include most of the table of contents in my review.

In my younger years, especially when I was in college, I had a slightly higher tolerance for cold weather and could do most of the things I needed to do for school or the occasional English composition tutoring gig. Of course, when I was on campus at Miami-Dade Community College – South Campus (now known as Miami-Dade College – Kendall Campus), the classrooms and the student publications office were heated during the Winter Term, and even at my former home in East Wind Lake Village, my room faced due west and got extremely warm in the afternoons, so if I had to write something on my first home computer for school when I was not on campus, I still could function because I wasn’t fretting about how cold it was.

Sunny (but Chilly!) Spain

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The coldest place where I lived and studied as a young adult was, of course, Sevilla, Spain. I went to school there for one semester in the autumn of 1988, and even though it wasn’t freezing when I arrived in September, it did get chilly and sometimes rainy around mid-October. And, of course, since Spain is farther north than Miami, cold fronts seemed to be chillier there than the ones I was used to. Plus, in most European countries most houses and apartment buildings didn’t have either central air conditioning or heating, so our house mothers often provided us with space heaters.

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Again, because I was 25 going on 26 in the fall and early winter of 1988, I was able to keep up with the coursework in the five classes that I signed up for when I joined the Semester in Spain program, but it was a tad more difficult than it was at my home campus. I still remember using a Brother battery-operated typewriter (with thermal paper!) while writing articles that I had to send back to Miami for publication in the M-DCC South Campus student paper, dressed “in layers” except for my hands. It’s hard to type with gloves on!

Lithia in Winter

It’s not freezing in the house where I am now, but the lower overall temperature does affect my thought process and it makes my kidneys go on overdrive. This is an odd bit of medical info handed down by my half-sister Vicky, who sometimes did get along with me and would share the things she’d learned as a nurse. Since I started this blog post, I’ve already “had to go” twice to the john, although part of the reason is the two cups of coffee that I consumed at breakfast this morning. Caffeine is a diuretic, so between that and the low temperatures…. Well, let’s just say I’m glad the bathroom is just across the hall from my room.  

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I’m also still feeling a bit unwell from that nagging little cold I have, but I seem to have that under control with Vitamin C supplements and doses of Vick’s DayQuil gel caps.

Oh, and I just remembered that today is the 32nd anniversary of the UN Security Council’s deadline (January 15, 1991)  for Saddam Hussein to withdraw his military forces from Kuwait, which Iraq had invaded in the late summer of 1990. I still recall watching television coverage on NBC News and CNN about the ongoing crisis, hoping Saddam would back down and leave Kuwait without a shot being fired, but suspecting that he would not.

(C) 1993, 2023 Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

In other news, I still haven’t watched Groundhog Day. I might watch it later this afternoon, although I’m just glad I was able to snag it in a Limited Edition steelbook and in three formats (digital copy, Blu-ray, and 4K UHD Blu-ray).

I did attempt to watch Star Trek: The Motion Picture – The Director’s Edition, which (in my mind, anyway) is the best version of Robert Wise’s 1979 film, but cold weather also makes me drowsy, so I fell asleep early and almost ended up waking up for good at 3:30 AM. Thankfully I was able to fall back asleep and didn’t wake up again until 7:30 AM, but for a while there I thought I was going to have one of those long bouts of “wee hours” insomnia again.

Aside from that, I don’t have much to tell, so I will close here. Until next time, Dear Reader, stay safe, stay healthy, stay warm, 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.

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