We're in Dublin, Virginia, and have decided to continue onward for a wee-hours arrival in Knoxville. I'm taking over driving, so there'll be no more blog updates. :) The photo is from yesterday at the Floomer cabin, when I caught a rock bass. (The hand pictured is my dad’s.)
A tropical wave off the African coast has the potential to develop into the first serious tropical system of the season. For now, it’s just a disorganized mass of clouds with a moderately low pressure, but the computer models are predicting that it’ll become Tropical Depression 4 as early as Monday. For now, it’s known only as Invest 90L.
The SHIPS intensity model has “90L” approaching hurricane strength — it would be named Hurricane Dean — in 120 hours. The track models show it moving in the general direction of the Antilles islands, as storms in that part of the ocean tend to do, but the computers diverge wildly in predicting the hypothetical hurricane’s ultimate destination: “At one extreme, a harmless course recurving up the North Atlantic. At the other, a duplicate of the 1998 hurricane Georges Ã¢â‚¬â€ grinding over all the Greater Antilles, crossing the Florida Keys to the Gulf, then heading for Mobile Bay.” I believe this is where Fark.com would insert the headline “EVERYBODY PANIC.” But seriously, folks, it’s waaaay too early to put any stock whatsoever in such forecast details, with regard to either track or intensity. For now, this is simply an area of disturbed weather worth watching, but certainly not yet worth hyping, let alone panicking about oil prices over. (Seriously, WTF?) Invest 90L could very easily turn out to be nothing. Or something. It’s far, far, far too early to say. Just stay tuned.
If the wave does develop, it’ll be the season’s first Cape Verde system… just what you’d expect around mid-August. The 2007 hurricane season continues to evolve right on schedule, or a tiny bit ahead of it, despite what Drudge and other agenda-driven conservative websites would have you believe. Here’s an update of the climatology-versus-reality chart that I posted last month:
P.S. Incidentally, Charles Fenwick — who is way more knowledgeable about this stuff than I am — also published a post last month, similar to mine, criticizing the “slow season” nonsense that Drudge and others have been peddling. This isn’t about global warming, people; it’s about telling the truth.
I’m totally bummed I don’t get to see them in concert this summer. Oh, well. Hopefully next year.
Gina Glocksen, my American Idol Season 6 crush, got engaged on Tuesday when her boyfriend Joe Ruzicka popped the question on stage at the Idols live show in Rosemont, Illinois, near their hometown of Naperville. Congrats, Gina & Joe!
The Skyline Drive was beautiful -- and we saw a bear! Now, on toward Roanoke, and maybe all the way to Knoxville. We shall see.
Revealed on a bathroom-stall wall at a gas station in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. I finally see the light! Heh.
Doesn’t it look… pleasant?
Jay noted yesterday that I’ve been having too much fun hanging out with the family to blog the last couple of days. But it isn’t just the amount of fun that’s been keeping me offline — it’s the location. There is absolutely no cell-phone service, not even analog roam, at the Floomer cabin on Pleasant Lake, so I haven’t had the opportunity to blog (or look at the blog, or read comments, or check e-mail, etc.) since we arrived Thursday afternoon. I thought I might get a signal when we were in Dolgeville for awhile yesterday, in which case I could have at least moblogged, but alas, no. So until we returned to civilization (a.k.a. the interstate highway system) this morning, I was Internet-less for about 44 hours. I managed to avoid suffering any major withdrawal symptoms, though I did get a little bit twitchy around 9:30 PM last night. ;)
In all seriousness, we had a fantastic couple of days at the cabin, and the lack of Internet was probably a good thing on balance, as it kept me focused on enjoying our wonderfully laid-back family time rather than immediately blogging about it. :) One of the many fun memories I made in the last 48 hours is of sitting out last night under the stars, making smores and then watching for Perseids, of which I saw three — one of them a fireball! — or maybe four. (The possible fourth meteor was a bright flash that didn’t seem to move, so at first I thought it was an Iridium flare, but apparently it wasn’t, so now I’m guessing maybe it was a meteor heading directly toward me, such that I couldn’t see its movement through the sky.) I also saw what I think was the Envisat satellite; it looked like the Space Station or Shuttle, but those weren’t scheduled to pass overhead at the relevant times, whereas Envisat was. Alexis saw it, too. [UPDATE: Upon closer inspection of the star charts, I think it must have been the Meteor 1-31 Rocket, not Envisat, that Alexis and I saw. The 1-31 crossed the Big Dipper, which the object we saw definitely did, whereas Envisat did not.]
I didn’t get any pictures of the star-(and meteor- and satellite-)gazing, but I did take a bunch of other pictures, some of which I’ll post later (along with more Buffalo pics). For now, here are a couple of shots of me and Becky posing in front of the lake this morning, first with my parents and then with my cousin Alexis:
Also coming later: some video from our tribute to Tommy Makem on Thursday night. As promised, my mom brought her guitar, my dad brought his tin whistles, and we sang some songs in Makem’s honor. ‘Twas a good time.
Now we’re en route back to Knoxville, and after another week away (and 17 of the last 22 days away), we’re definitely looking forward to seeing our cats, our dog and (especially) our bed again. That said, it will probably be a two-day drive home, with a stop tonight somewhere around Roanoke. Google Maps says it’s a 14-hour drive, and we’re planning to make it a little longer by getting off I-81 for a brief stretch this afternoon or evening so we can take the Skyline Drive through Shenandoah National Park. So I’m guessing we’ll end up getting home tomorrow afternoon. You never know, though: if we get close enough to Knoxville before, say, 10:00 PM, Becky will probably want to press on and get home tonight, even if it means arriving in the wee small hours of the morning. She loves our bed. :)