Archive for April, 2009

Kentucky Derby Weather Forecast From 4.30.09; Dodge Boys Wives Sell Company Just in Time
April 30, 2009

dodge_boys

 

SPC Outlook Fri AM to Sat AM (Derby Day)

SPC Outlook Fri AM to Sat AM (Derby Day)

 

SPC Severe Outlook Sat AM to Sun AM

SPC Severe Outlook Sat AM to Sun AM

Kentucky Derby Weather: (For the most recent update click here) On the one hand, my previous assessment that Wednesday would be generally dry for most people was pretty much on the mark.  The front sagged to the South.  There was rain to the South and scattered heavy downpours to the north but Louisville was in decent shape and Snow White and I had a good time watching the Great Steamboat Race.  There is an important change in the data though for Derby Day and handicappers need to keep an eye on this before wagering.  In fact, I would suggesting holding your bets until Saturday.   This forecast was put together based on data available late Wednesday night.

SPC Severe Outlook Thu Midday To Fri AM

SPC Severe Outlook Thu Midday To Fri AM

Now, we still have a pretty healthy chance for rain on Thursday.  The front lifts back north as a warm front.   The temperatures aloft will again be relatively warm so lapse rates will be weak.  The jet streak across the area should also move out.  But, lower level winds may increase creating a forcing situation in which air is forced upward.  For that reason, the Storm Predicton Center has put us on the edge of the slight risk for severe thunderstorms on Thursday.   If we get storms, they would probably be independent guys and bring the potential for gusty winds.  The moisture in the atmosphere is through the roof so there would be the potential for heavy downpours.  Should one or two of these guys go supercellular, then there could be a risk for an isolated tornado.

Friday 8am

Friday 8am

Friday, we have similar surrounding circumstances but this time we have a cold front approaching.  That guy should create enough lift to create line segments of thunderstorms, some of which could be rather strong.  For the Kentucky Oaks, it is entirely possible that there will be rain from time to time during the races with rain chances and the threat for strong storms near the end of the day.  If race goers are lucky, the front will be pokey enough that the storms would hold off until  after the Oaks race itself.

Sat 8AM (Derby Day)

Sat 8AM (Derby Day)

Saturday is the biggest change.  It had been advertised as being dry on Saturday, squeezing a good day in between unsettled ones as the front slides south.  Well, the front still slides south but there a rather deep low up around the Great Lakes that will be wandering by and from that a trof may extend through the Ohio Valley.  That weakness in the atmosphere as it rolls through may create some shower activity.  Handicappers need to check the drying potential of the track.  I think they’ve done a pretty good job with drainage over the years.  Now, the weakness coming through does show up as rain showers off and on both the 18Z Wed GFS and NAM vertical profile based indecies.  But, since it’s post frontal, the deep and abundant moisture should be south and so I would not expect there to be heavy rain, just passing showers.  Temperatures will top out in the mid to upper 60’s but I think that the biggest issue would be that, if the track is not dry from the Friday rain, then the passing showers would only aggravate the situtation.  If it does dry out, then I would think the conditions would be livable, unless your horse doesn’t like to run in the rain.  Guess here is that the track is taken care of such that it won’t be that wet regardless of the Thursday and Friday rain amounts and that the passing showers or light rain on Saturday will not aggravate the conditions much.  However, keep in mind…I don’t know much about horse racing.  Hold your bets to make sure that the front does indeed move through on Friday night.  I have not seen any data that would suggest otherwise.  Sunday rain chances increase again.

See the severe weather discussion below for Friday 8 am to Saturday 8 am from midday Thursday 4.30.09.

On This Date In History Lots of things happened on this date: Washington’s first inaugural address in 1789, Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” debuted in 1983 and then in 1997, Ellen “came out.” The last two go in the “who cares?” category as far as I’m concerned. I like this one in 1925.

John and Horace Dodge

John and Horace Dodge

Dodge Brothers, Inc. was sold on this date in 1925 to an investment group (Dillon, Reed and Co,) for $146 million and then they tossed in another $50 million for charitable purposes.  $196 million in 1925 would be nearly $2.4 billion in 2008! A! I like this one because it first shows us the derivation of the Dodge Boys. The commercials for Dodge used to say “come and see your local Dodge Boys.” I thought

Walter Built a Cool Building But Timing on Buying Dodge Not So Cool

Walter Built a Cool Building But Timing on Buying Dodge Not So Cool

that modern PC sensativities snuffed that and I always figured that the saying was just from some sexist ad man in the ’50’s. Now I think differently as I suspect the term came from the fact that there were two brothers…the Dodge boys. The Dodge boys died in 1920.  Horace Dodge passed away in January 1920 and John Dodge followed suit in December 1920.  They had never let any of their family members in on the business. In 1921 there had been a slight recession in the stock market. So, the widows of the Dodge Boys were defacto in charge of the company but really had no clue what they were doing and a few years later the 20’s were roaring again. Afraid of another market dip, the ladies decided to sell in the biggest corporarte sale to that time. I suspect that if you take inflation into account, it would still list as one of the biggest. It was a good move for Dodge Ladies too because just 4 years later, the stock market tanked and there is little doubt it took decades for the stock price to recover.  Walter Chrysler’s timing wasn’t so good.  A year before the bottom fell out of the market, he bought Dodge Brothers for $170 million.

I won’t talk too much about this date in 1945 when Hitler committed suicide except to point out some things that may have been missing in your history class. Just before he pulled the trigger, Hitler expelled Hermann Goering and Heinrich Himmler from the Nazi party for not carrying out some of his last, insane commands. That is why he named Admiral Karl Doenitz to take his place and it was Doenitz who ultimately surrendered for Germany. A book by a man named C.L. Sulzberger that I would describe as something for

Goebbels Family Before Dad had Them All Killed

Goebbels Family Before Dad had Them All Killed

public consumption and not necessarily an academic work nonetheless has an interesting observation. He described Eva Braun as “plump.” Never heard of that before. At 3:15 Eva took poison. At 3:30 Hitler shot himself.  Joseph Goebbels had an SS guy shoot he and his wife…not sure if the wife agreed with that…but, I bet shooting old Joe was an easy order to follow. Here’s what I don’t get…they got shot after they poisoned their six kids! What did they do except get born to a moronic man? And then Hitler made sure his favorite dog was poisoned before he killed himself. I guess he thought the dog might talk. This stuff is important only in that people need to know that there was nothing redeeming about these people or their ideas and they were totally warped in every sense. Kids need to know the totality of their insanity before anyone can come and convince them that there is anything admirable or enviable to emulate.

DAY 2 CONVECTIVE OUTLOOK
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
1229 PM CDT THU APR 30 2009

VALID 011200Z – 021200Z

…THERE IS A SLGT RISK OF SVR TSTMS LATE FRI AFTN/FRI NIGHT ACROSS
PARTS OF THE SRN PLAINS THRU THE OZARK PLATEAU….

…SYNOPSIS…
MODELS SUGGEST THAT THE STRONGER WESTERLIES WILL GENERALLY BECOME
CONFINED TO THE NORTHERN TIER STATES EAST OF THE MISSISSIPPI
VALLEY…NEAR THE BASE OF THE AMPLIFIED EASTERN CANADIAN UPPER
TROUGH…TO THE EAST OF A BLOCKING UPPER HIGH CENTER OVER THE YUKON
TERRITORY.  HOWEVER…A STRONG ZONAL JET ACROSS THE PACIFIC IS
PROGGED TO BEGIN DEVELOPING EASTWARD TOWARD THE CALIFORNIA COAST BY
THE END OF THE PERIOD.  GUIDANCE INDICATES THAT A
WEAKENING…SPLITTING SHORT WAVE IMPULSE EMANATING FROM THIS STREAM
WILL CONTRIBUTE TO MID-LEVEL HEIGHT FALLS ACROSS THE SOUTHWESTERN
STATES.  AT LEAST WEAK DOWNSTREAM HEIGHT RISES ARE EXPECTED TO
GRADUALLY SPREAD EAST OF THE CENTRAL/SOUTHERN PLAINS AND LOWER HALF
OF THE MISSISSIPPI VALLEY…THOUGH THIS MAY BE SUPPRESSED
SOMEWHAT…ACROSS PARTS OF UPPER OHIO VALLEY INTO THE NORTHEAST…BY
A SIGNIFICANT IMPULSE MIGRATING EAST NORTHEAST OF THE UPPER GREAT
LAKES REGION.  A COLD FRONT ACCOMPANYING THIS LATTER FEATURE WILL
PROBABLY ADVANCE THROUGH MUCH OF THE NORTHEAST…BEFORE SLOWING OR
STALLING NEAR NORTHERN MID ATLANTIC COASTAL AREAS AND THE OHIO RIVER
INTO THE SOUTH CENTRAL PLAINS.

…UPPER OHIO VALLEY AND MID ATLANTIC INTO THE NORTHEAST…
FORCING ASSOCIATED WITH THE EASTERN CANADIAN IMPULSE…AND A REMNANT
SOUTHERN BRANCH IMPULSE…APPEARS LIKELY TO BE ACCOMPANIED BY
CONSIDERABLE CONVECTIVE CLOUD COVER ACROSS MUCH OF THE
NORTHERN/CENTRAL APPALACHIANS INTO NEW ENGLAND EARLY IN THE PERIOD.
THIS…COUPLED WITH THE POSSIBLE STABILIZING INFLUENCE OF WEAKENING
EARLY DAY CONVECTION ACROSS PARTS OF THE LOWER OHIO VALLEY INTO THE
WESTERN SLOPES OF THE NORTHERN/CENTRAL APPALACHIANS…SUGGESTS THAT
POTENTIAL FOR SIGNIFICANT DESTABILIZATION AHEAD OF THE FRONT
ADVANCING INTO THE REGION WILL BE LOW…DESPITE LOW-LEVEL
MOISTENING.  FRONTAL FORCING COULD BE SUFFICIENT TO CONTRIBUTE TO
THE EVOLUTION OF A BROKEN LINE OF STORMS BY MID TO LATE AFTERNOON
FRIDAY…PARTICULARLY WHERE BETTER SURFACE HEATING OCCURS TO THE LEE
OF THE LOWER GREAT LAKES.  HOWEVER…GIVEN GENERALLY WEAK
LARGE-SCALE MID/UPPER FORCING ANTICIPATED ALONG THE FRONT…STRONG/
SEVERE STORMS PROBABLY WILL BE SPARSE IN COVERAGE AT BEST.

…SOUTHERN PLAINS INTO THE OZARK PLATEAU…
AS A GULF RETURN FLOW CONTINUES…DEW POINTS ARE EXPECTED TO RISE
TOWARD 70F…TO THE SOUTH OF THE SLOWLY MOVING OR STALLING SURFACE
FRONT.  THIS WILL CONTRIBUTE TO POTENTIALLY MODERATE TO STRONG
INSTABILITY BENEATH STEEP MID-LEVEL LAPSE RATES…BUT ELEVATED MIXED
LAYER CAPPING WILL TEND TO SUPPRESS DAYTIME CONVECTION IN THE
ABSENCE OF STRONG MID/UPPER FORCING.  LIFT NEAR THE DRY LINE/ FRONT
INTERSECTION OVER WESTERN NORTH TEXAS OR SOUTHWEST OKLAHOMA SEEMS TO
OFFER THE BEST POTENTIAL FOR THE INITIATION OF LATE AFTERNOON
STORMS.  IF THIS OCCURS…CAPE ON THE ORDER OF 3000+ J/KG WILL BE
SUPPORTIVE OF INTENSE UPDRAFTS IN THE PRESENCE OF MODERATE TO STRONG
DEEP LAYER SHEAR…GENERALLY SUPPORTED BY PRONOUNCED VEERING OF
WINDS FROM SOUTHERLY TO WESTERLY WITH HEIGHT.  ISOLATED SUPERCELLS
ARE POSSIBLE…WHICH COULD LINGER INTO THE EVENING HOURS.
OTHERWISE…STRENGTHENING FORCING ALONG/ NORTH OF THE FRONTAL ZONE
OVERNIGHT…ON THE NOSE OF A NOCTURNALLY STRENGTHENING LOW-LEVEL
JET…BENEATH INCREASINGLY DIVERGENT UPPER FLOW…PROBABLY WILL BE
ACCOMPANIED BY INCREASING CONVECTIVE DEVELOPMENT.  LARGE
HAIL…PERHAPS GUSTY WINDS…MAY ACCOMPANY EVOLVING STORM CLUSTERS
ACROSS PARTS OF SOUTHERN KANSAS/NORTHERN OKLAHOMA INTO  THE OZARKS.

..KERR.. 04/30/2009

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Kentucky Derby Weather Forecast From 4.29.09; Uncle Sam Got Lucky in World War II
April 29, 2009

SPC Severe Outlook Fri 8am to Sat 8am

SPC Severe Outlook Fri 8am to Sat 8am

Kentucky Derby Forecast: (See Most Recent Update By Clicking Here) The forecast for the next several days remains pretty much in line with my previous outlook. The week leading up to Derby Day will be unsettled with a frontal boundary stalled over or near the area for the remainder of the week.  There will be a risk of showers and scattered t’storms each day.  On Friday there is a little wave of energy that runs up along a stalled boundary and strong storms will be possible late Friday into Friday night.   It is not out of the question that the storms may be here for Oaks Day and the running of the Kentucky Oaks race itself.  At this time, it’s too soon to be that accurate with the timing.  However, if storms do erupt in the afternoon in the heat of the day, that will only enhance severe chances.  If I recall correctly, last year there were severe storms all around the place on Oaks Day and we may see a repeat performance.

The result of the low running along the front is that, once it passes, then it will energize the boundary and start it on its way South.  High pressure will build in briefly on Saturday which should make for a mild, but dry Derby Day with highs in the upper 60’s.  Handicappers will have to consider the track conditions from the amount of rain the previous afternoon and night.  I think it drains pretty well and any shower activity that occurs overnight should be over by Saturday morning. Check back daily for updates.   See the SPC Convective Outlook Discussion Below

Tony Soprano Tale Based on True Story?

Tony Soprano Tale Based on True Story?

On This Date In History:  Remember how in the Sopranos that the FBI guys were trying to get Tony to help them out to catch terrorists?  Well, in real life that sort of thing has happened in war-time.  In WWII it has been said that the underworld controlled the docks in New York and that the government turned to the criminal element for national security help to prevent sabotage and capture spies.  Though the veracity of the claim is unclear,  US Navy Lieutenant Commander Charles Radcliffe Haffenden was put in charge of New York dock security and said:

Lansky American Patriot?

Lansky American Patriot?

“I’ll talk to anybody, a priest, a bank manager, a gangster, the devil himself, if I can get the information I need. This is a war. American lives are at stake. ”

When the government approached the mobsters to help  out Uncle Sam with domestic dockside security, bigshot Meyer Lansky, recalled not being too impressed.  He said,  “Everybody in New York was laughing at the way those naive Navy agents were going around the docks.  They went up to men working in the area  and talked out of the side of their mouths, like they had seen in the movies, asking about spies.”    Now, the USS Normadie had been converted to a troop ship and on Feb. 9, 1942 it mysteriously burned while at the New York docks.   The suspicion was sabotage and the event spurred both the mob and the Feds to get together for the good of the country and the story is that the government stayed out of the activities of organized crime on the docks in return for security.

Luciano Happy To Help?

Luciano Happy To Help?

While he never actually acknowledged that he and his cohorts helped out in the war effort stateside, it is notable though that Lansky never denied helping the government.  Anyway, the real boss in the New York syndicate was Charles “Lucky” Luciano who had risen through the ranks of organized crime after arriving in the US as a poor immigrant from Sicily earlier in the century. He earned the “Lucky” moniker by numerous escapes from “hits” put out on him by his competition.   In 1943, Luciano was serving a 30-50 year prison sentence.  The allies were planning on invading Sicily but didn’t have much intel.  Luciano is portrayed as having an allegiance to the United States but he also had a vendetta against Benito Mussolini who had cracked down on the mafia in Italy in the 1920’s.  So, on  this date in 1942 US Naval intelligence asked for Luciano’s help as the Allies attempted to invade Italy. Lucky eventually agreed and the results were spectacular.  With the hundreds of informants attracted with Luciano’s help,

Luciano Deported 1946

Luciano Deported 1946

United States intelligence officers were able to infiltrate Italy’s naval headquarters and get all sorts of maps and documents.  It is said that Luciano’s helpers were even able to convince some Italian soldiers not to fight…but  they weren’t doing much of that anyway as the German army did most of the heavy lifting.  Of course, the invasion was successful and the rest, as they say, is history.

The US Navy tried to cover its trail regarding the work with the underworld but eventually it came out with perhaps the greatest evidence being the inexplicable release of Luciano from prison in 1946 after serving just 10 years of his sentence.  Luciano was deported to Sicily continuing his fame as being Lucky Luciano.

Storm Prediction Center Convective Outllook Discussion

DAY 4-8 CONVECTIVE OUTLOOK
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0358 AM CDT TUE APR 28 2009

VALID 011200Z – 061200Z

…DISCUSSION…

GFS AND ECMWF HAVE COME INTO BETTER AGREEMENT REGARDING FUTURE
EVOLUTION OF UPPER LOW NOW SITUATED OVER THE PACIFIC NW THOUGH
SLIGHT TIMING DIFFERENCES STILL EXIST. CONSENSUS IS THAT FINAL PIECE
OF THIS FEATURE WILL SHEAR INTO THE NRN PLAINS DAY 4 AND BECOME
ABSORBED WITHIN THE CYCLONIC FLOW REGIME ALONG SRN PERIPHERY OF
LARGE VORTEX SITUATED OVER ERN CANADA. THIS IMPULSE WILL CONTINUE
EWD THROUGH THE GREAT LAKES.

DAY 4…COLD FRONT WILL MOVE SWD THROUGH THE CNTRL/SRN PLAINS AND OH
VALLEY FRIDAY AS THE NRN STREAM SHORTWAVE TROUGH ADVANCES INTO THE
GREAT LAKES. MOIST AXIS WILL ADVECT NEWD THROUGH PRE-FRONTAL WARM
SECTOR ACROSS THE OH VALLEY IN ASSOCIATION WITH NEWD MIGRATING LOW
LEVEL JET. STORMS ARE EXPECTED TO DEVELOP ALONG AND AHEAD OF THE
FRONT ACROSS THE MID MS AND OH VALLEY REGIONS WHERE MODEST
INSTABILITY BUT STRONG SWLY DEEP LAYER FLOW WILL SUPPORT POTENTIAL
FOR ORGANIZED SEVERE STORMS. OTHER STORMS WILL LIKELY DEVELOP
FARTHER WEST ALONG THE PROGRESSIVE FRONT ACROSS PORTIONS OF KS AND
OK WHERE STRONGER INSTABILITY WILL LIKELY EXIST.

DAY 5…SATURDAY A SEVERE THREAT MAY PERSIST ALONG AND SOUTH OF
TRAILING END OF FRONT ACROSS PARTS OF TX WHERE MODERATE INSTABILITY
WILL REMAIN. HOWEVER…THE FRONT WILL LIKELY HAVE MOVED SOUTH OF THE
STRONGER FLOW ALOFT WHICH LOWERS CONFIDENCE IN A HIGHER END SEVERE
THREAT.

DAY 6…THOUGH TIMING AND AMPLITUDE DIFFERENCES EXIST…MODELS
INDICATE ANOTHER SIGNIFICANT SHORTWAVE TROUGH MAY MOVE INTO THE SRN
PLAINS WHERE AMPLE LOW LEVEL MOISTURE WILL REMAIN EAST OF DRYLINE
AND SOUTH OF RETREATING WARM FRONT. SEVERE WEATHER THREAT MAY
CONTINUE ACROSS A PORTION OF THE SRN PLAINS…BUT WILL HOLD OFF
DELINEATING AN OUTLOOK AREA GIVEN UNCERTAINTY REGARDING TIMING AND
AMPLITUDE OF THIS FEATURE.

BEYOND DAY 6 PREDICTABILITY REMAINS LOW.

..DIAL.. 04/28/2009

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White House “Scares The Crap” Out of New York For Photo Op; Talking Rarely Brings Peace
April 28, 2009

World War I Protest...What a Waste of Time

World War I Protest...What a Waste of Time

White House Wastes Money for "Classified" Photo Op and Scares Taxpayers Who Paid For It

White House Wastes Money for "Classified" Photo Op and Scares Taxpayers Who Paid For It

Can you Imagine if this was the Bush Administration?  So, on Monday, a large low flying commercial jet was reported flying near New York City.  What people saw was a 747 with two fighter jets near by.   One could easily surmise that there was another attack coming and the Air Force was chasing down the plane.  Or maybe some people didn’t see the fighters and only saw a 747 flying low near the Statue of Liberty,  which is near the World Trade Center.  The public in the area panic and starting running pell mell in all directions.  At first it was reported as a “military drill.”  As it turns out, it was nothing more than a photo op involving one of the planes that serves as Air Force One.  And who approved it?  The Obama White House!  They wanted to get a photo of Air Force One with two jet fighters flying with the Statue of Liberty as a backdrop.  The mayor of New York said he didn’t know about it but some reports say that the military told the city but said that they couldn’t tell anyone because it was classified!  Haven’t these people ever heard of photo shop?  President Obama is telling us how he is going to reign in spending, yet the White House thought it was a good idea to spend untold thousands of  taxpayer dollars to get a photo  and scare the very taxpayers that it are supposed to be serviing.  Ask yourself…wouldn’t the outrage be deafening if this had been the Bush Administration?  Yet…the media seems to be burying the story.  Here’s the take from the New York Times from the NY/region page…not the front page.  Compare it to the Wall Street Journal, which includes video.  The story from Newsweek headline rightly says it “scared the crap” of out New Yorkers.

Jacobs Words Were Useless

Jacobs Words Were Useless

On This Date In History:  Ever noticed how there are some people who feel like that effort or intent is  more important than actual results?  Symbolism over substance.  Today marks such a day because, if that’s not the case, then it would be largely forgotten.  On this date in 1915, World War I (then known as the Great War) raged and the International Congress of Women convened at The Hague in the Netherlands.  The meeting was one of women’s rights organizations and suffrage groups from around the world.  One of the main organizers, Aletta Jacobs, said in her opening remarks that the group meeting would “have its moral effect upon the belligerent countries,”  The conference lasted 3 days and concluded in part “…we can no longer endure in this twentieth century of civilization that government should tolerate brute force as the only solution of international disputes.”  They outlined specific ways of conflict resolution with continual mediation. 

1915 US Delegation to Hague

1915 US Delegation to Hague

Of course, it didn’t work, not in this war or any other armed conflict.  WWI went on for 3 more years. Two decades later we had World War II followed by so many other conflicts.  Now, you might say that if these nations had listened to what is often referred to as the Women’s Peace Conference then these other conflicts wouldn’t have happened.  But, in WWI no one was giving up an inch on the battlefield nor at the negotiating table.  In 1938, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain tried the negotiation route and he ended up sacrificing the people of Czechoslovakia for a piece of worthless paper that precluded a world war.   

WWI Could Not End Until Someone Gave Up

WWI Could Not End Until Someone Gave Up

I mean really…I wonder if these ladies really thought 20 years after their peace conference that one could reason with Adolph Hitler?  Gee…if the two sides had only talked more, wonder what would have happened?    Negotiations didn’t stop Slobadan Milosevic, it was the bombs of the United States Air Force ordered dropped by President Clinton.  When you extend a hand, you have to have a hammer close by.  People like these women meant well.  But they seem to think that having a meeting and bringing attention to themselves does anything when in fact, it does nothing.  Remember, war is defined as nothing more than an extension of political will.  The object of war is to get the other side to quit.  When there is an impasse in talk, the only thing that is left to do is take action if its important enough. Action requires boldness.   However, at the dawn of the 20th century, it became more apparent that the results of action could be devastating and so the total destruction of war became part of the equation….measuring risk vs. reward.

If you look at the Great Seal of the United States.  You will find that in the talons of the Eagle, there is an olive branch as well as a cluster of 13 arrows.  The most obvious representation is that the 13 arrows is for the 13 original colonies.  But, the cluster of arrows and the olive branch indicates “peace through strength.”  The founding fathers knew that a strong nation was one more likely to live  in peace. 

Pragmatism and reality doesn’t seem to disuade or convince folks though because, today there are many associations like International Congress of Women that think they are doing something, that tell people they are doing something and have people tell them they are doing something when, in fact, they accomplish nothing except headlines.  Martin Luther King achieved success through action, although it was peaceful action. ..and I’m not talking about walking around with signs.   The US achieved freedom through action.    The Spirit and words of President Roosevelt do well here:

 

 

You Tell'em, Teddy!

You Tell'em, Teddy!

“It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how

the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”

 

SPC: Not a Big Deal Tuesday

SPC: Not a Big Deal Tuesday

Weather Bottom Line: The pattern looks pretty much holding true to form which is the idea of getting rain with t’storms on Tuesday as a weak front sneaks through.  If you noticed the sky on Monday, the clouds had almost no vertical development.  This would suggest warmer air aloft considering that we got to the mid to upper 80’s and still had no convective growth.  Any jet streaks have also moved out of the area.  With a strong front, then one could get enough lift to create some good storms.  But, in this case, the front is weak and therefore the slope is gentle.  So, it would need some help getting good lift.  But with not much of a good lapse rate and  no dynamics helping, its tough to get good storms.  Hence, you see we have no real severe threat on Tuesday.  Clouds and showers will hold the temps down to the mid 70’s.

As I had previously mentioned, the front doesn’t go far south but it appears that it will probably get far enough south to make for a decent Wednesday.  Having said that, I wouldn’t call it a slam dunk.  The times I got burned the worst on a forecast was when a front didn’t go far enough south.  It will be close.  Thursday, the front returns as a warm front and brings a risk of showers.  Friday, a cold front sags down and rain chances go up again.  I think that Oaks Day is iffy.  I’ve seen some reports being all kinda optimistic but, here’s the problem; the cold front may get hung up over the area which would enhance rain chances.  Then, there is some indication suggests that a wave of energy will run up along the front over us.  Timing would be the issue.  If the wave comes through in the late afternoon, strong thunderstorms are not out of the question.  If it’s in the evening, then, then it may be okay.  The European model wants to take the bulk of the energy well north which would put the threat in the plains.   The GFS is more interested in bringing a threat to the mid to upper Mississippi Valley and part of the Ohio Valley.  It seems to me its a risky bet to call for no chance for rain or a dry day almost any day this week.  Good news is that for the Kentucky Derby, it still looks like that high pressure will build in long enough to make for a dry and mild Derby Day with rain then coming back for Sunday.

 

DAY 2 CONVECTIVE OUTLOOK 
   NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
   1225 PM CDT MON APR 27 2009
  
   VALID 281200Z – 291200Z
  
   …THERE IS A SLGT RISK OF SVR TSTMS SRN HIGH PLAINS AND NRN TX…
  
   …SYNOPSIS…
   SHORTWAVE TROUGH…CURRENTLY LOCATED OVER THE CENTRAL PORTIONS OF
   THE COUNTRY…WILL EJECT NEWD AND DEAMPLIFY AS IT MERGES WITH A
   STRONGER TROUGH MOVING EWD ACROSS SERN CANADA. THESE SYSTEMS WILL
   PUSH A COLD FRONT EWD THROUGH THE NERN QUARTER OF THE COUNTRY ON
   TUE…WHILE THE WRN PORTION OF THE FRONT STALLS ACROSS THE MIDDLE
   MS/SRN PLAINS REGION. ANOTHER TROUGH DIGGING SWD THROUGH ORE/NRN CA
   IS FORECAST TO EVOLVE INTO A BROAD UPPER LOW IN THE PACIFIC NW. THIS
   WILL RESULT IN BROAD CYCLONIC FLOW WITH EMBEDDED SHORTWAVE TROUGHS
   EXTENDING FROM THE SWRN STATES NEWD INTO CENTRAL/SRN PLAINS.
  
   …SRN HIGH PLAINS AND NRN TX…
   FRONT IS EXPECTED TO STRETCH ACROSS NRN TX WWD IN THE SRN TX
   PANHANDLE DURING THE MORNING. SCATTERED CONVECTION MAY BE OCCURRING
   ALONG AND NORTH OF THE FRONT…ESPECIALLY ACROSS THE TX PANHANDLE
   …WHERE STRONGER FORCING IS EXPECTED DUE TO STRENGTHENING LOW LEVEL
   JET/ISENTROPIC LIFT. COMBINATION OF STEEP MID LEVEL LAPSE RATES AND
   MOISTENING ADVECTION ABOVE THE BOUNDARY LAYER INDICATE A MARGINAL
   THREAT FOR SEVERE HAIL WITH ELEVATED THUNDERSTORMS DURING THE
   MORNING.
  
   HOWEVER…THE COMBINATION OF DIURNAL HEATING AND DEWPOINTS IN THE
   50S IN NM AND 60S IN TX SHOULD RESULT IN MODERATE INSTABILITY
   …WITH MLCAPES FROM 1000 TO 2000 J/KG ACROSS THE SLIGHT RISK AREA.
   A SHORTWAVE TROUGH IS PROGGED TO MOVE INTO THE WRN TX BY
   AFTERNOON…AND STORMS ARE LIKELY TO DEVELOP ALONG NWD DRIFTING E-W
   ORIENTED FRONT…REMNANT BOUNDARIES FROM MORNING CONNECTION AND IN
   MOISTENING UPSLOPE FLOW REGIME ACROSS ERN NM. VEERING WINDS IN THE
   LOWER 3KM COMBINED WITH MODERATE 40 KT WSWLY MID LEVEL WINDS WILL
   CONTRIBUTE TO EFFECTIVE SHEAR NEAR 40 KT AND SUPERCELLS DURING THE
   AFTERNOON/EVENING HOURS. ALTHOUGH THERMODYNAMIC PROFILES LOOK MOST
   FAVORABLE FOR LARGE HAIL…STRONG TURNING IN THE LOWER 1-2 KM AND A
   RELATIVELY MOIST BOUNDARY LAYER FAVORS SOME TORNADO DEVELOPMENT IN
   ERN NM AND THE TEXAS PANHANDLE.
  
   OVERNIGHT…ELEVATED STORMS ARE EXPECTED TO DEVELOP NWD IN ZONE OF
   STRONG WARM ADVECTION…THOUGH WEAK INSTABILITY SHOULD LIMIT SEVERE
   POTENTIAL WITH THESE STORMS.
  
   …MID MS VALLEY NEWD INTO THE NEW ENGLAND…
   THOUGH CONVECTION IS EXPECTED TO BE ONGOING ACROSS PORTIONS OF THE
   MID MS/TN AND INTO THE OH VALLEYS IN THE MORNING…WEAK LAPSE RATES
   SHOULD RESULT IN A LOW THREAT FOR SEVERE. IN THE NERN STATES
   …LIMITED INSTABILITY WILL EXIST AHEAD OF ADVANCING COLD FRONT.
   THIS INSTABILITY ALONG WITH AFTERNOON HEATING AND CONVERGENCE MAY
   SUPPORT SCATTERED STORMS ALONG THE FRONT. DESPITE WEAK INSTABILITY
   …MODERATE/STRONG UNIDIRECTIONAL WSWLY WINDS INDICATE A THREAT OF
   ISOLATED WIND GUSTS BETWEEN 18Z-01Z.
  
   ..IMY.. 04/27/2009

http://alphainventions.com/

alphainventions

1st Terrorist Threat Against USA By Islamic Extremists
April 27, 2009

Happy Birthday Earth?

Happy Birthday Universe?

On This Date In History: It was on this date in 4977 BC that the Universe was created according to German mathematician and astronomer Johannes Kepler.  In the early 17th century, Kepler made this calculation and claim.  Kepler is and was a noted and important figure in the development of the science of astronomy and physics.  But, he was just a bit off.  Today, the estimate for the age of the Universe is thought to be slightly different…like 13.7 billion years different.  Remember that next time you hear some scientists who come up with absolutes.

Jefferson Didn't Declare War, He Simply Ordered An Attack On Muslim Dominated Nations...Sound Familiar?

Jefferson Didn't Declare War, He Simply Ordered An Attack On Muslim Dominated Nations...Sound Familiar?

Ever heard of the Barbary Pirates?  They were from the Muslim states of Morocco, Algeria, Tunis, and Tripolitania on the Mediterranean.  In other words, on the other side of the Atlantic.  In the early 19th century, these guys would seize American merchant ships and then ransom their cargo and crew to the US.  President Jefferson got tired of paying ransoms and so he took action.  Interestingly though, the much thought of Constitutionally-minded Jefferson did not ask for a declaration of war.  Instead, as Commander in Chief,  he simply sent the Navy and Marines to invade. 

Barbary Coast 1st Base For Terrorists?

Barbary Coast 1st Base For Terrorists?

The war with the Barbary Pirates went on for about 4 years.  In 1804, with the war still going on, the US Senate had a drunken partyto simply show support for the undeclared war.  Today, they protest.  Anyway, the Americans and some mercenaries, following a 500 mile trek from Egypt, on this date in 1805 attacked Tripolitania and “deposed” the ruler and installed his brother, who was more sympathetic to American interests.  This is where the verse of “to the shores of Tripoli” in the Marine Hymn comes from. 

This paved the way for the end of the first Barbary Pirates War in June 1805.  Many scholars point to the threat from the Islamic extremists in the 18th and early 19th centuries as the first terrorist threat to the United States. And to think, people today think America has never had a Congressionally funded, undeclared war against a Muslim state half way around the world with the purpose regime change before.  And it was Jefferson’s fault!

Happy 47th Birthday Don Dumas, wherever you are.

Weather Bottom Line:  The story remains the same.  Upper 80’s again on Monday.  Tuesday rain chances increase with a few t’storms.  There may be some gusty winds but severe limits will probably not be breached.  The front that comes through on Tuesday will get hung up to our south and then migrate slowly back our way until a cold front sweeps through late Friday, hopefully to clear things out for Derby Day.  I’m not really changing my thinking much and I’m lazy so for more details, look at yesterday’s entry.

alphainventions

http://alphainventions.com/

Ghost of Booth, His Assassin; Miss CA Coverage
April 26, 2009

Booth Wanted Poster

Booth Wanted Poster

On This Date In History:

A new conspiracy theory got started when presidential assassin John Wilkes Booth is killed in a barn on this date in 1865.  It’s kinda interesting how infamous he is.  Americans these days generally are pretty poor when it comes to history yet, this guy is probably one of the better known villains even today.  Not as well known as Colonel Sanders, but still, Booth was quite famous as an actor.  Today, it would be like a famous, good looking actor like Brad Pitt being an assassin.    Anyway, Booth had escaped Ford’s Theatre by jumping from the presidential box to the stage. His spur caught in a curtain and he landed awkwardly such that he broke his leg.  That made it difficult for him to escape and he eventually got cornered in a barn near Fort Royal, Virginia.  However, there is a site that claims that the Ghost of John Wilkes Booth appeared in Chicago and said that he really broke his leg falling off his horse.  Keep in mind that this site thinks there was a Union General “McClennon” and not the proper McClellan, so I’m not sure how much stock to put in it.

Anyway, the orders were to take Booth alive. With the assassin trapped in the barn, the Union soldiers lit the barn on fire to try and smoke him out.  But, before he had a chance to come out, Sergeant Thomas

Booth's Mummy

Booth's Mummy

Corbett stuck his musket through a slit in the barn walls and shot him.  I think  the thought is  the bullet severed Booth’s spine he died.  So, the assassin was killed and the conspiracy theories began.  Corbett testified that he fired a carbine, yet the autopsy showed Booth was killed with a pistol bullet.  When Booth was dragged from the barn, the officer in charge said, “He shot himself.”  Then of course came the claims that Booth really wasn’t killed and that it was all made up.  There is also the theory that Corbett was part of a cover up and that he killed Booth to make sure that the accused couldn’t talk.  That same type of thing came up 100 years later when Jack Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald following the assassination of President Kennedy.   I’m not sure why but someone went and mummified the body of John Wilkes Booth…I suppose as proof that they got their man!

Corbett Could Still Be on the Loose!

Corbett Could Still Be on the Loose!

But, Corbett went on claiming he shot Booth.  So, why did he disobey orders?  He blamed God!  He said that God told him to do it and that his orders from God were ultimate.  He also said that God once told him to avoid sexual temptation.  Instead of avoiding such circumstance, Corbett castrated himself with a pair of scissors in 1858.  He was appointed as the doorkeeper of the Kansas legislature but was dismissed in 1887 after threatening a lawmaker with a gun.  He was committed to an insane asylum (imagine that) but escaped and was never heard from again.  Be careful, perhaps he’s still running around out there somewhere.  Then again, maybe God told him to just go away. 

nolan-ryanOn This date in 1970, Gypsy Rose Lee died and On this Date in 1989,  Lucille Ball passed away.

On This Date in 1990  Nolan Ryan threw is 12th one hitter, tying Bob Feller’s record.  He had a record 7 no-hitters and lost 5 no-hitters in the 9th inning.  My friends and I always went to an Astros game every series they played.  Saw Ryan a bunch of times.  We called him the Big Heater, which I like better than the Ryan Express.

Should Have Answered The Question

Should Have Answered The Question

On This Date in 2000 Vermont Governor Howard Dean signed into law the nation’s first law allowing same-sex couples to form state recognized Civil Unions.  Apparently that wasn’t good enough and now Vermont has joined some other states in making same sex marriage legal.  It is a subject that may have cost Miss California, Carrie Prejean,  her chance at winning the Miss USA title.  The question she received was far tougher than any that the other contestants got and was also presented, in my opinion, for no good reason except to push an agenda.  Not sure why Trump had that character on the judges panel.  But, what most people seem to miss is that the woman didn’t answer the question!  If she had just answered the question, she may have won.  The question wasn’t her opinion, it was about states passing allowing same sex marriage.  All she had to say was that she believed that each state should be able to allowed to make their own laws based on the will of the people, not on courts or judges.  But, instead, she gave her opinion regarding the definition of marriage. So, perhaps she should have lost since she didn’t answer the question…or maybe she should get into politics since politicians are famous for not answering questions.  It’s interesting to see how this is being reported.  The take from Fox News is quite different from the UK Telegraph and certainly, as one might expect, different from the Gay/Lesbian/Trans San Francisco Bay Times.

On This date in 1948 Stevie Nicks was born.  I found a site that lists her as “rocker/druggie”

SPC Severe Outlook Today

SPC Severe Outlook Today

Weather Bottom Line: Okay, we have some changes coming and for Derby Festival organizers it’s not necessarily good.  Sunday we pushed toward 90.  After Monday, the unseasonably warm temperatures will come to an end.  What is happening is that we have a cold front approaching.  But, its bumping into a big fat high in the Southeast and it is not too interested in breaking down much or moving much.   So, what happens is that the front slowly comes through on Tuesday and doesn’t really pass until Tuesday night.  So, rain chances will crescendo on Tuesday.  Now, with that high so fat and happy,  the front won’t move too far south.  It’s possible we have post frontal rain.  The GFS wants to throw out 1.5 inches from Tuesday midday to Wednesday midday.   The NAM tosses out over an inch but starts it earlier on Tuesday and ends it on Tuesday night.  The NAM doesn’t go farther but the GFS indicates rain chances will remain healthy through the rest of the week as the boundary lolligags just to our south and then returns back through the area as another front comes through on Friday.

SPC Severe Outlook Monday

SPC Severe Outlook Monday

The SPC loses interest on severe chances here for Tuesday, in spite of all of the action going on in the plains Sunday and Monday.  The problem is that the air aloft is warm and the jetstream winds slacken off.  So, there is a question of instability.  The vertical profiles indecies support that contention.  However, the GFS is interested in increasing thunderstorm chances throughout the week.  I’ve seen forecasts for Derby Day with a chance for rain but I think that’s the old CYA forecast because it looks like to me from the GFS that a high builds in behind the front for Saturday.   I suppose the question arises from the Euro in that it does have the ridge come in but also has a low coming out of the Southwest with a warm front swinging back up and bringing ample rain on Sunday morning.  My guess is that, should the data hold true, we have good Kentucky Derby weather with mild conditions sandwiched in between rain on Friday and Saturday night or Sunday.  But, the timing of the return flow would be a question and that is why you may see rain chances on Saturday.  It will become more clear as the week progresses.

SPC Severe Outlook Tuesday

SPC Severe Outlook Tuesday

   DAY 3 CONVECTIVE OUTLOOK 
   NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
   0223 AM CDT SUN APR 26 2009
  
   VALID 281200Z – 291200Z
  
   …THERE IS A SLGT RISK OF SVR TSTMS FROM A PORTION OF THE SRN HIGH
   PLAINS THROUGH CNTRL AND N CNTRL TX…
  
   …SYNOPSIS…
  
   SHORTWAVE TROUGH THAT WILL MOVE THROUGH THE CNTRL PLAINS AND MID MS
   VALLEY MONDAY WILL CONTINUE NEWD THROUGH THE GREAT LAKES AND SERN
   CANADA TUESDAY AND DEAMPLIFY AS IT CRESTS UPPER RIDGE ANCHORED OFF
   THE ERN U.S. COAST. THIS FEATURE WILL BE ACCOMPANIED BY A COLD FRONT
   THAT WILL ADVANCE THROUGH THE OH VALLEY AND NERN STATES. TRAILING
   END OF FRONT WILL EXTEND SWWD INTO THE SRN PLAINS WHERE IT SHOULD
   STALL ACROSS TX BEFORE RETREATING NWD OVERNIGHT. CUTOFF UPPER LOW
   WILL EVOLVE OVER THE PACIFIC NW…AND A BROAD CYCLONIC FLOW REGIME
   WITH EMBEDDED VORTICITY MAXIMA WILL CHARACTERIZE THE REMAINDER OF
   THE WRN STATES.
  
   …SRN HIGH PLAINS THROUGH CNTRL AND N CNTRL TX…
  
   FRONT WILL STALL SOMEWHERE FROM WRN THROUGH NRN TX AS IT BECOMES
   PARALLEL TO DEEP LAYER FLOW DOWNSTREAM FROM WRN U.S. TROUGH. SOME
   CONVECTION MAY STILL BE ONGOING IN VICINITY OF THIS BOUNDARY EARLY
   TUESDAY. RESERVOIR OF UPPER 60S DEWPOINTS WILL PERSIST SOUTH OF THE
   FRONT OR ANY REMAINING CONVECTIVE BOUNDARIES AND ADVECT NWWD INTO
   WRN TX AND ERN NM BENEATH PLUME OF STEEPER LAPSE RATES. FURTHER
   DESTABILIZATION WILL OCCUR AS THE BOUNDARY LAYER WARMS WITH MLCAPE
   AROUND 2000 J/KG. TIMING OF ANY IMPULSES EJECTING INTO THE HIGH
   PLAINS FROM WITHIN CYCLONIC FLOW REGIME WILL BE DIFFICULT…BUT ANY
   SUCH FEATURES WILL MODULATE THE CONVECTIVE THREAT DURING THE DAY.
   POTENTIAL WILL EXIST FOR STORMS TO REDEVELOP ALONG E-W ORIENTED
   FRONTAL BOUNDARY OR ANY REMNANT CONVECTIVE BOUNDARIES. OTHER STORMS
   MAY DEVELOP FARTHER WEST WITHIN THE UPSLOPE FLOW REGIME ACROSS ERN
   NM AND WRN TX. THOUGH THE BOUNDARY LAYER FLOW WILL NOT BE
   PARTICULARLY STRONG DURING THE DAYLIGHT HOURS…VEERING PROFILES
   WILL CONTRIBUTE TO SUFFICIENT…35-45 KT…BULK SHEAR FOR SEVERE
   STORMS GIVEN THE FAVORABLE THERMODYNAMIC ENVIRONMENT.
  
   AS THE SLY NOCTURNAL LOW LEVEL JET STRENGTHENS…ISENTROPIC LIFT AND
   DESTABILIZATION WILL INCREASE NORTH OF THE FRONT. THIS PROCESS WILL
   CONTRIBUTE TO A THREAT OF ELEVATED STORMS CAPABLE OF PRODUCING HAIL
   OVERNIGHT FROM THE TX PANHANDLE…NERN NM AND SWRN KS.
  
   …OH VALLEY AND NERN STATES…
  
   INSTABILITY WILL REMAIN LIMITED ALONG NARROW AND MODEST MOIST AXIS
   PRECEDING THE SEWD ADVANCING COLD FRONT. CONVECTION WILL LIKELY
   CONTINUE DEVELOPING SEWD ALONG THE FRONT. ACTIVITY WILL BE EMBEDDED
   WITHIN MODERATE-STRONG SWLY UNIDIRECTIONAL DEEP LAYER FLOW.
   HOWEVER…THE LOW LEVEL JET WILL GRADUALLY WEAKEN DURING THE DAY. AS
   THE BOUNDARY LAYER WARMS…SOME OF THE CONVECTION MAY BECOME CAPABLE
   OF PRODUCING ISOLATED STRONG WIND GUSTS. IT APPEARS INSTABILITY WILL
   REMAIN TOO LIMITED TO INTRODUCE MORE THAN 5% SEVERE PROBABILITIES AT
   THIS TIME.
  
   ..DIAL.. 04/26/2009

http://alphainventions.com/

alphainventions

A Case Against the Death Penalty
April 25, 2009

If Death Penalty Advocates Had Their Way, This Innocent Man Would be Dead

If Death Penalty Advocates Had Their Way, This Innocent Man Would be Dead

On This Date In History:  Here’s an example of why I am against the death penalty.  Before you get too riled up, it’s mainly because it assumes a perfect system and the release of James Richardson from 21 years on Florida’s death row on this date in 1989 illustrates my point.  In 1967, his seven children were poisoned to death after his neighbor came over and heated up a meal for the seven Richardson children while Richardson and his wife were out picking fruit in the fields.  The kids all began foaming at the mouth and subsequently died.  The prosecutor told the jury how Richardson had met with a life insurance salesman just the day before about insuring his whole family.  They had found the poisoned food in the home and the poison behind in the family’s shed.  That’s it…guilty!!  Well, the prosecutor didn’t tell the jury that the insurance salesman came by unsolicited and that Richardson never bought any insurance because he couldn’t afford it.  The jury also was never told that…the neighbor was on parole for…poisoning her first husband to death!!! She was suspected of killing her second husband as well. 

Are All of These Men Guilty? Would You Bet Your Life on It?

Are All of These Men Guilty? Would You Bet Your Life on It?

Fortunately the truth came out and the Richardson got out of jail after 21 years but the man was supposed to go to the electric chair.  There was a mistake.  The prosecutor was a bum, the guy had a crummy defense attorney and the jury was wrong.  It happens in an imperfect system but the death penalty is irrevocable.  If this guy had been killed, what do you tell the family “whoops?”  Where does his wife go for justice?  If the guy was executed, why would a case like that not be negligent homicide for the jury and judge and murder for the prosecutor?  See…that is my point. It’s an imperfect system yet there is an ultimate penalty.  Before you get really really bent out of shape, consider the real problem with this story…the parole of a murderer.  Had that neighbor woman been left in jail to serve her sentence instead of being paroled, it wouldn’t have happened.

Capital punishment is perfect but the system is not.  One mistake is not worth it.  If judges, juries and prosecutors were told they would be held responsible for a mistake in a capital case, do you really think there would be many death sentences?  Life in prison is a greater punishment in my opinion and it at least leaves open a potential remedy in the case of a mistake or like this case, injustice by a wayward prosecutor.  Here’s something else that I find ironic regarding the capital punishment…ever notice the number of people who proclaim themselves as pro-life, yet support the death penalty?  If you say that all life is precious, then how can one be for the death penalty? 

Beautiful Story with Sad Ending

Beautiful Story with Sad Ending

 Samantha Smith became an international celebrity on this date in 1982 as a 10 year old when the Soviet Union published a written response to her letter to Soviet Premier Yuri Andropov in which she asked if the USSR was going to start a nuclear war.  This is a cute, feel good, reflective story until you reach the end.  Samantha Smith died in a plane crash at the age of 13.  Try this link for more:

http://www.samanthasmith.info/

Crockett Tells a Bear Tale

Crockett Tells a Bear Tale

Davy Crockett became famous on this date in 1831 when a play called The Lion of the West opened in New York. He was played by an actor who was famous at the time named Hackett.  Later on books and stuff came out and the mythology of Crockett was born, especially after he was killed at the Alamo.  But, one thing is for certain, PETA would not have been a fan.  Myths that are based on real people usually have a measure of truth.  In Crockett’s case, the references to him “skinning a bahr” (bear) perhaps came from the fact that he once killed 105 bears in Tennessee in one season.  If this is indeed a fact, then its no wonder we don’t see too many bears in Tennessee these days. 

Nice Shirt, Dick.

Nice Shirt, Dick.

No Bowling Shoes!

No Bowling Shoes!

President Truman put in a bowling alley at the White House on this date in 1947.  If you recall, during the election, then Senator Obama went bowling.  Perhaps he knew of the White House bowling alley and thought that practicing on the lanes was part of the audition.    If so, he needs a little help. I think he bowled something like a 37.  Turns out, Truman didn’t like bowling too much either but he had it installed so that staffers could recreate and start a league.  In 1955, the lanes were moved to the Executive Office Building but in 1969, President Nixon had a single lane put back in.  Before he took office, President Obama said he was going to give up on bowling and replace the lane with a basketball court.   Not sure if he’s gotten around to it yet.

Edward R. Murrow might be celebrating his 101st birthday today if he hadn’t smoked so much.

sat

Weather Bottom Line:  If you look at the channel shown above with the slight risk and moderate risk in the middle in the plains, then you  get a fair idea of where the action should be for the next several days.  We’ve got a ridge over the Southeast and the weakness and the jetstream will be oriented from the Southwest through the plains toward the Great Lakes.  Impulses of energy will be ejected from time to time through the region and severe weather will probably break out in that area at varying times.  On Tuesday, we get a front coming through as the ridge breaks down a bit.   Until then, we will see lots of sunshine with highs in the low to mid 80’s.  Snow White and I went to the Reds and the Braves last night.  It was a wonderful night.  The weather for a baseball game in Cincinnati will be outstanding through Monday, when the Astros show up…they better hope for rain because the Astros suck right now.

http://alphainventions.com/

alphainventions

Odd Law: Seduction Illegal! Urinal Dividers Required!
April 24, 2009

On This Date In History:  On this date 1949 Alfred Hitchcock would not have been proud.  Illinois Gov. Adlai Stevenson was not for the birds.  Passed by the Illinois legislature was a bill that would protect birds from cats.  It sat on his desk until he vetoed it.  In referencing his denial of legal cover for our feathered friends, he said “We may be called upon to take sides as well in the age old problems of dogs versus cats…even bird versus worm.  [We] already have enough to do without trying to contol feline delinquency.”  No word on weather or not Tweety Bird made an appeal. 

This Says It All

This Says It All

Now…we all know that Louisiana has had some trouble following Katrina.  Of course, Mississippi was the one that really got hit by the hurricane and suffered great devastation.  You don’t hear as much about Mississippi and its continuing rebound.  Perhaps this little gem may give you some reason to figure out why Louisiana has still has a few problems….and it’s similar to the story concerning Mr. Stevenson.  While there are still many problems and issues to deal with in Louisiana on a yearly basis, the efforts to deal with reconstruction of damaged areas and institute changes to make sure that mistakes of the past will not be repeated one would think would be the primary focus of the lawmakers.  Alas,  on this date in 2008, reports surfaced that the Louisiana legislature had put forth a call for dividers be put between urinals in men’s restrooms.  Seems one of the lawmakers is concerned about preverts in the privy!  Yes indeed.  They have their priorities straight down on the bayou in my state of birth.

Please note that the tv station that posted the story below on the web found it to be of newsworthy importance.  Another example of the media  covering such hard-hitting stories that can only shine one type of light on journalism as a whole.

 Important Louisiana Legislation!

Snoop Might Have Been In Trouble in 1886

Snoop Might Have Been In Trouble in 1886

On This Date in 1886, the citizens of Ohio were finding out what it was like to live in a society in which seduction was  illegal.  It’s rather interesting to note seduction became illegal on what would become known as Earth Day which seems to be in part designated as a day to promote peace and harmony on earth.  It’s really not that big of a deal because the law says that teachers or other instructors were not allowed to have sex with anyone that they were instructing.  That is similar to laws today.  But, this one said that age was not a factor nor whether or not consent was given.  There were similar laws in other states but most of those made it a crime for a man to have such relations with any woman who was not his wife.  The laws were not really enforced much but some guys went to jail.  I guess the women were just scorned, or something.  One guy in Michigan had two of his three counts thrown out by the appeals court.  They decided the second two didn’t count since the woman was no longer “virtuous” after the first encounter.  Then the third count was overturned after the court decided it was medically impossible for two people to take a tumble in a buggy!  A guy in New York in 1867 got clever and beat the system.  During his trial, he simply proposed to the woman and the trial was turned into a marriage ceremony.  Case dismissed!

She Still Loves Me

She Still Loves Me

Speaking of marriage….yesterday marked the fourth year of my bliss with Snow White.  I’m not sure that Snow White would say that say that four years with Dopey and his forever juvenile delinquent cats, Nit and Wit, have been total bliss but she is as joyful and vivacious as ever.  Truly a blessed soul and I am a blessed man.  I’m extending her anniversary present.  Last night we had a very nice dinner at Avalon, where they have changed the menu. You need to stop by if you can.  If you’re coming in for the Derby, it’s on Bardstown Road near Mid-City Mall.  We had Laurie the waitress and she did a fine job as she tutored her young newbee, David, who also did a fine job but she still sent him off to polish silverware.  Rookies always get the lousy jobs. It was a great experience and the food was wonderful.  Today and Monday I have a couple of little surprises as well.  But, guys…a little tip…flowers are always a good way to stay out of the dog house.  Since I”ve been woofing of late…I got her two bunches.

Weather Bottom Line:  I figured out why the SPC was talking about the potential for t’storms from the southern and western part of the viewing area on Thursday.  There were no short waves or anything.  But, there was the warm frontal boundary.  Now, the air was pretty dry around here and I figured that we may get some virga and clouds, but was discounting the rain.  As it turns out, both ideas were right.  We had a couple of elevated t’storms on the midpoint of the boundary but the air below was so dry there really wasn’t much rain.  At the time of the posting, I didn’t look that close at it and I realized the reason for the SPCs contention, but I wasn’t jazzed enough to change the verbiage.  My bad.  Should look at things more closely but its kinda boring. The warm front zooms through, we get warm southwesterly wind and the temperatures go to the mid 80’s through the weekend.  By Tuesday, another rather weak boundary comes through and we get a chance for t’storms…most likely late in the day or evening.

NAM Midday Sat Temps

NAM Midday Sat Temps

Earth Day Passes…Did you Notice?
April 23, 2009

Is The Earth Any Different Now Then When the Crew of Apollo 17 Took This Photo?

Is The Earth Any Different Now Then When the Crew of Apollo 17 Took This Photo?

April 22, 1970

April 22, 1970

Yesterday was Earth Day.  While you may have missed it yesterday, Earth Day has a history that stretches back to 1970.  But, if you read below, you will find that there was a battle between Earth Days at that time, sorta like the battle between Beta and VHS.  The video battle  for home use was won by VHS and the Earth Day battle was won by the April 22 crowd and not the United Nations.  But, now we have Earth Week.  Where did this come from?  Apparently, several cities began taking up the time from April 16 to April 22 as an opportunity to promote energy saving ideas, recycling and other stuff that will save the world.  However, it seems that there may be a battle brewing over this as well.  Seems that UC Berkley, has designated the calendar week for its activities and I hear Oprah promoting Earth Week. Something tells me that Earth Week of the calendar week of April 22 will win out over April 16-April 22. 

Facts or Fiction?

Facts or Fiction?

Here is something I bet none of the Earth Week festivities will tell you about.  Below are links to a story that aired on TV last year. Now,  I was under the impression that documentaries were about truth but this one points out that “An Inconvenient Truth” inconveniently didn’t tell anyone that the producers (Al Gore?)  used computer generated visuals, in at least one instance, to enhance its point.  It makes me wonder how many other images were doctored or how much of a grain of salt needs to be taken when considering the verbiage.  I mean, you do remember the “hockey stick graph” used in the movie was determined to be wrong or fraudulent, depending on your point of view.  Is it the real inconvenient truth that “Inconvenient Truth” has lies of omission?  Anyway, you be the judge.

http://media.newsbusters.org/stories/al_gore_used_fictional_video_inconvenient_truth.html?q=blogs/noel-sheppard/2008/04/22/abc-s-20-20-gore-used-fictional-film-clip-inconvenient-truth

Earth Day

The image from above was from Apollo 17, the final moon mission. I like it because it’s not some doctored up picture and shows the earth as it really is (was).

Pres. Clinton Gave Nelson The Presidential Medal of Freedom

Pres. Clinton Gave Nelson The Presidential Medal of Freedom

Earth Day is rather interesting because there are two people who get credit for its invention.   If you look up International Earth Day, you will find that John McConnell claims to have introduced the idea to the UN in September of 1969.  He said that nature provided the perfect day on the Spring Equinox.  The first UN sanctioned Earth day was on March 21, 1970.  The UN Peace Bell is rung on every UN earth day.  Their website says that the purpose of Earth Day is “to celebrate Earth’s life and beauty and to alert earthlings to the need for preserving and renewing the threatened ecological balances upon which all life on Earth depends.”

But, the media has grabbed on to another Earth Day, April 22.  This first Earth Day was held on this date in 1970. This was the brainchild of Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson who said, “The objective was to get a nationwide demonstration of concern for the environment so large that it would shake the political establishment out of its lethargy and, finally, force this issue permanently onto the national political agenda.”  I guess he had the most juice because most people think of April 22 as Earth Day and political aims seem to have been met in July of 1970, when President Nixon by Executive Order established the Environmental Protection Agency, which some would find ironic.  But there are several ironies regarding Earth Day with one including Nixon himself.

Ironic historical notes about Earth Day:

Happy Earth Day?

Happy Earth Day?

April 22, 1915:  The German Army first introduced the use of poison gas on the battlefield as they fired 150 tons of Chlorine into Allied lines. Happy Earth Day.

April 22, 1992: More than 200 people were killed and 1000 buildings damaged when the sewers exploded in Guadalajara, Mexico after natural gas filled the lines.  The warning signs were there but

Created EPA

Created EPA

apparently the government nor the government controlled national oil company did anything about it. Happy Earth Day.

April 22, 1994: The guy who was perhaps spurred by the first Earth Day, President Nixon, to create the Environmental Protection Agency….died.

BTW…I still think we should be focusing the attention on water pollution more than climate change…but alas…there doesn’t seem to be any money in that.

SPC Storms SW Thur? I don't get it

SPC Storms SW Thur? I don't get it

Weather Bottom Line:  Weather story is still on track.  Look for low to mid 70’s on Thursday.  Friday through Monday, look for highs in the low to mid 80’s.  As you can see above, the SPC is advertising possible thunderstorm activity just to our west and southwest…in fact they have the threat area in part of the viewing area.  I personally don’t get it.  There is some ridging showing up in the afternoon through the evening into early Friday.  This is on both the NAM and GFS.  Even if you don’t get that, I don’t think that the moisture return will be getting going well enough.  I do wonder about airmass stuff this weekend with temps so warm but the next real chance for rain doesn’t seem to show up until something like Tuesday.

http://alphainventions.com/

alphainventions

The Sooners Were Cheaters All Along
April 22, 2009

There's a Long History of Sooner Criminality

There's a Long History of Sooner Criminality

Even Many Oklahomans Recognize The Best Use For Sooners

Even Many Oklahomans Recognize The Best Use For Sooners

On This Date in History:  Millions of people around the world know of the term “Sooners” to represent a dispicable football team that occasionally beats the University of Texas (THE University) at the annual Red River Shootout  in Dallas during the Texas State Fair.  If you  ever get a chance to go, you should.  However, I’m afraid that the experience will be dulled in years to come as Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones talked the organizers of the event to move the game to the new $1 Billion stadium built for the professional team.  It just won’t be the same without the fairgrounds with Big Tex, the corny dogs and midway.  Anyway, since 1945, either one or both teams have been ranked in the top 25 in 60 of the 65 games with the Longhorns naturally beating Oklahoma 58 times while losing just 40 and the fans suffering

True Representation

True Representation

through 5 ties.  Former legendary Longhorn head coach Darrell Royal helped coin the phrase, “a tie is like kissing your sister.”  I don’t think any Longhorn would say his sister was as ugly as a Sooner. So, where did Oklahoma University get the nickname Sooner?  As one might expect, the origination is one of criminal activity, something the Sooner football team has tried to live up to several times over the years. 

In the long, sad history of the United States and its eradication and relocation of the continent’s native (Indian) tribes, the area now known as Oklahoma became somewhat of a clearing house area of the tribes.  Andrew Jackson had been a big Indian fighter in Georgia and Florida.  His methods were often suggested to be

Trail of Tears Map

Trail of Tears Map

cruel and inhuman.  When he was elected President, his first message to Congress in December 1829 made mention of his intention to remove the native tribes from their land.  By 1830, he signed the Indian Removal Act and his successor, Martin Van Buren, followed through on Jackson’s policy and enforced the Removal Act and some following treaties by taking the Cherokees and some other tribes to the newly acquire territory north of what was then Mexico. It was probably the only thing Van Buren did of note as president and it pretty much sucked.   Thousands of men, women and children died of various causes from the long walk to the newly designated Indian Territory.  It was known as the Trail of Tears.

Trail of Tears

Trail of Tears

This land was supposed to be where all of the Indian tribes would be placed and eventually, they were told it would become an Indian State.  But, as usual, what the Indians were told is not what Uncle Sam did.  The Indians settled in much of the territory except for an area in the center.  The railroads started crossing the territory with white men coming in to work and some wished to settle there.  Some illegally took over Indian homes and land.  Meanwhile, in Texas, the cattle industry boomed and the ranchers needed to get their beef to the East Coast markets.  The only way to do that was to get the cattle to the closest railheads which where in Kansas. So, the ranchers illegally drove their mainly Longhorn cattle across the lush plains of the Indian Territory on the trek to Kansas.  People who tried to get into the land or coveted the land were known as Boomers.    Everyone took notice of the land in the center of the territory that became known as the “Unassigned Land,”  but the 1887 Dawes Act was supposed to protect the Indian people.  The US Government tried to enforce the laws but eventually just gave in and acquired the “Unassigned Land” with an eye toward opening it to settlement. 

At Noon, The Land Rush Was On

At Noon, The Land Rush Was On

On this date in 1889 at noon, the land became officially opened for settlement and thousands of whites rushed in to grab their stake.  But, a number of people wanted to cheat…and they were called Sooners, just like the football team.  They were people who went into the area to stake a claim sooner than they were supposed to.  Some even soaped up their horses to make it look like that they had rushed in that day to stake their claim.   By 1890,there were over 100,000 Whites, 18,000 Blacks and 50,000 Indians in what became known to be the Oklahoma Territory.  In 1906, the Indians attempted to create their own state, as had been promised, but the effort failed and on November 16, 1907 the Indian Territories and what had been the Unassigned Land to form the new state of Oklahoma.  Oklahoma is the Choctaw word for Red People.  You don’t suppose those good folks at the Oklahoma University chose their team colors because of that, do you?  Naw…they’re so sensitive which is why they will probably be distraught when the ‘Horns put it too them again in October.  Here are additional Oklahoma Land Rush Images.

Chilly Wednesday Morning Start

Chilly Wednesday Morning Start

Weather Bottom Line:  Tuesday went pretty much as expected.  Remember a few days ago when I kept talking about a shortwave coming through the flow? Well, it came over and a short wave generally is a pool or cold air.  So, Tuesday started with sunshine and cool temperatures.  As the surface warmed a bit, the contrast between the ground temperature and the colder air aloft was sufficient to create clouds and then showers for the afternoon.  If this had been in January, it would have been snow showers.  The short wave will move on and the air aloft will warm so when we warm to the low 60’s on Wednesday in the sunshine, the lapse rates won’t be so steep as to create clouds and so, we will be fine.  And the rest of the week we warm to the mid 70’s Friday to near 80 on Friday and low to mid 80’s on the weekend.  This warm up is due to a ridge building in the east and a trof in the west.  The trofiness in the west will produce little shortwave impulses ejecting into the plains.  With the Gulf opening up somewhat, there will probably be severe events developing in the plains for the weekend into early next week.  We’ll have to see if there is a long wave shift to the east.  If that would happen, then our risk for t’storms or perhaps even strong storms.  But that solution is not showing itself at this time and may not…too soon to tell.

http://alphainventions.com/

alphainventions

Gay Elephant Elicits Anger; Flour Sack Brings Joy
April 21, 2009

 

 

This Elephant Isn't Gay But The Zookeeper Is Probably Happy

This Elephant Isn't Gay But The Zookeeper Is Probably Happy

 

 

A Gay Elephant?  In Poland there is this elephant.  And it doesn’t seem too interested in the ladies.  So, the experts have decided that the elephant is gay and a local politician is furious.  They are spending money on its care even though it does nothing to help in the efforts at conservation regarding the big mammal.  How’s that for gay bashing?  Here’s the story on video (  Gay elephant conservation row | Video | Reuters.com  )

 

Gridley With the Magic Sack of Flour

Gridley With the Magic Sack of Flour

On This Date In History: In 1864, Nevada was in the midst of a silver boom while much of the nation was mired in Civil War.  Reuel Colt Gridley was pitted against Dr. H. S. Herrick in a mayoral battle in Austin, Nevada.  The two made a wager that said the loser had to march over a mile carrying a sack of flour while singing either John Brown’s Body or Dixie depending on who won.  Herrick won and Gridley carried the flour to Herrick while his son played John Brown’s Body

Gridley then had the idea to auction the sack and give the proceeds to the US Sanitary Commission, the precursor to today’s American Red Cross.  On this date in history, Gridley ended up with the high bid of $300.  Gridley then donated the sack again for re-auction.  People in nearby Virginia City didn’t want to be out done so they had a winning bid of $5000.  Then the winner re-donated the sack for re-auction.  Gridley then took the sack across the nation using the same scheme of auction and re-donation.  He took his sack from San Francisco to New York and finally to St. Louis and the Sanitary Commission Fair where he turned the sack over to the Sanitary Commissin which turned the flour into small cakes that were sold for a dollar a piece. 

Commemorative Plaque For Gridley

Commemorative Plaque For Gridley

In total…the bag raised $275,000!  And that was 1864 dollars.  I  suppose today that

Gridley Monument

Gridley Monument

would be several million dollars.  And this was before E-Bay!  Good thing that Gridley lost the election. Who knows? Halleck may have taken the flour and made a loaf of bread. The Nevada Historical Society has the empty sack in its collection and Gridley’s headstone reads, “The Soldier’s Friend.”   It should be noted that Gridley died some 6 years following the magic sack of flour tour and he was nearly penniless.  He had a wife and 4 children and when newspaper editors in California and Nevada found out about his poverty. they raised $1400 for his benefit.  His health deterioated though and he died on November 24, 1870.  The people of Stockton sold small sacks of flour to pay for a monument in Gridley’s honor.  Mark Twain wrote Roughing It, based partly on Gridley.

This story reminds me of the more recent tale of a Canadian who went on e-bay and started trading.  He started with a single red paperclip and 14 trades later he had a house.  I wonder what Grindley could have done with his magic sack of flour had he had the internet.

Lexington Double Rainbow Late Monday

Lexington Double Rainbow Late Monday

Weather Bottom Line:  We had rain for Monday morning and then the sun came out late in the day.  You could see the random showers popping up.  They were cumulus but didn’t really develop all that much vertically, so there weren’t too many thunderstorms.  Just didn’t get enough of a temperature difference between the surface and aloft.  However, because of their random nature and the time of day, there was lots of sun shining through. I told Snow White someone was seeing a rainbow as we drove to Clarksville to the Bass Pro Shop.  Sure enough, the picture above came to the National Weather Service of a double rainbow in Lexington.  Tuesday, as expected, there still should be plenty of clouds with scattered showers.  Then we get to the low to mid 60’s on Wednesday.  Thursday mid 70’s and low 80’s thereafter through the weekend.  One thing we’ll have to watch in the next several days will be a trof building in the west will eject several waves of energy.  At this point, they appear to be getting routed to our west through the central plains but, if the long wave pattern shifts a bit east, then we may be in for some interesting weather as the Gulf will open wide up and plenty of moisture will be moving into the Mississippi and Ohio valleys in the next 4-7 days.  All in all..the weekend looks great.

http://alphainventions.com/

alphainventions