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Tropical Storm Bertha

Tropical Storm BerthaPosition: 12.3N 56.6W [10PM CDT 0300 UTC].
Movement: West-Northwest [290°] near 20 mph [31 kph].
Maximum sustained winds: 45 mph [ 75 kph].
Wind Gusts: 55 mph [ 90 kph].
Tropical Storm Wind Radius: 45 miles [ 75 km].
Minimum central pressure: 1008 mb.

Currently about 275 miles [ 445 km] East-Southeast of Barbados.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Barbados, St Lucia, and Dominica.

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Puerto Rico, Vieques, Calebra, US Virgin Islands, and St Vincent & the Grenadines.

Invest 93 skipped the tropical depression stage and became a tropical storm this evening based on data from a Hurricane Hunter aircraft.

Here’s the link for NOAA’s latest satellite images.

[For the latest information click on the storm symbol, or go to the CATEGORIES drop-down box below the CALENDAR and select "Hurricanes" for all of the posts related to storms on this site.]

August 1, 2014   No Comments

This And That

The vacation from noise is over as the military has apparently come up with enough of an explanation of the F-35 engine fires to allow them to fly again. It is amazing that they are considered ‘stealth’ when you can hear the things ten miles away.

A US government spokesweasel showed up on the radio telling me that my government was very concerned by the high level of civilian casualties in Gaza and that Israel has been told to take action to reduce them, while also announcing that the IDF has been allowed to remove tank shells from the US supply maintained in Israel.

If we don’t like what they are doing with their bombs and artillery, why are are we giving them more? The IDF took both high explosive rounds and white phosphorus ‘illumination’ rounds.

The Director of the CIA issued an apology to the Senate Intelligence committee for hacking into their computer system after initially denying that there any evidence that supported the claim by Senator Diane Feinstein. More troubling than the hacking was the fact that it was so easily detected. Frankly the CIA is supposed to spy on people, but they aren’t supposed to get caught doing it.

July 31, 2014   No Comments

I Know It When I See It

So Netanyahu has told the Israeli people that he can’t agree to a cease fire because the IDF hasn’t accomplished its ‘goals’. Since no one has any idea what those ‘goals’ are, Netanyahu is going to continue to bomb schools and hospitals until they are achieved.

Gaza is being bombed because three Israeli teenagers were killed while in the West Bank. Hamas is responsible, despite its almost non-existence in the West Bank.

The Palestinian factions in Gaza OTOH are sending rockets into Israel because they are being bombed and shelled by Israel. The military grade high explosives in the warheads of those rockets comes from the unexploded bombs that Israel drops on Gaza by the the ton.

The total number of Israelis who have died from the rocket attacks from Gaza this century is fewer than the number of Israelis who die in auto accidents in an average month.

One of the sides in this conflict is totally irrational…

July 29, 2014   7 Comments

Invest 93

The NHC is tracking Invest 93 that is moving West towards the Lesser Antilles at about 15 mph. The environment is good for the development of a tropical depression in midweek, and better than it was for Tropical Depression Two.

July 28, 2014   No Comments

Le Tour 2014 – Stage 21 et fini

Tour de FranceÉvry – Paris Champs-Élysées

Distance: 137.5 kilometers.

The final stage, which, by gentlemen’s agreement features no attacks, but a group sprint on the nineth and final circuit on the Champs Élysées. It becomes a parade of the survivors of the race that preceded it.

Giant Shimano provided the bookends: Marcel Kittel won the final stage and Cheng Ji carried La Lanterne Rouge [Red Lantern] as the last rider to finish.

There were no major surprises at the end of a Tour filled with crashes, injuries, illness, and flat tires. Most of these riders will now prepare for the Vuelta a España that starts on August 23rd.

Yellow Jersey Vincenzo Nibali ( Ita – AST – 041 ) [Yellow] 89h 59′ 06″
Green Jersey Peter Sagan ( Svk – CAN – 051 ) [Green] 431 points
Polka Dot Jersey Rafal Majka ( Pol – TCS – 034 ) [Polka Dot] 181 points
White Jersey Thibaut Pinot ( Fra – FDJ – 127 ) 3 [White]

Team: AG2R La Mondiale ( ALM - 081-089 ) [Yellow numbers]
Stage winner: Marcel Kittel ( Ger – GIA – 101 )
Super Combative: Alessandro De Marchi ( Ita – CAN - 053 ) [Red numbers]
Φ Cheng Ji ( Chn – GIA – 107 ) + 6h 02′ 24″ [La Lanterne Rouge]

Top Ten:

1 Vincenzo Nibali ( Ita – AST – 041 )
2 Jean-Christophe Péraud ( Fra – ALM – 081 ) + 07′ 37″
3 Thibaut Pinot ( Fra – FDJ – 127 ) + 08′ 15″
4 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte ( Esp – MOV – 011 ) + 09′ 40″
5 Tejay Van Garderen ( US – BMC – 141 ) + 11′ 24″
6 Romain Bardet ( Fra – ALM – 082 ) + 11′ 26″
7 Leopold Konig ( Cze – TNE – 201 ) + 14′ 32″
8 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre ( Esp – TFR – 169 ) + 17′ 57″
9 Laurens Ten Dam ( Ned – BEL – 067 ) + 18′ 11″
10 Bauke Mollema ( Ned – BEL – 061 ) + 21′ 15″

The Rest of the Top 30:
[Read more →]

July 27, 2014   No Comments

Le Tour 2014 – Stage 20

Tour de FranceBergerac – Périgueux

Distance: 54 kilometers.

This is the individual time trial on a hilly 54 kilometer course. It can alter the order in the general classification, especially the second, third, and fourth positions which only have a 15 second differential. This is why Nibali took two mountain stages, to build a lead that couldn’t be wiped out in the time trial.

Tony Martin won the time trial, which is not exactly a surprise and Alessandro De Marchi was selected as the Super Combative rider, the most combative rider on this year’s Tour.

Nibali gained an advantage on his closest rivals, and Pinot dropped to third place. It is considered very bad form to attack on the last day, but Bardet is only 2 seconds behind Van Garderen and a top five finish.

There is always a bunch sprint at the end of tomorrow’s stage for the prestige of winning the last stage on the Tour

Yellow Jersey Vincenzo Nibali ( Ita – AST – 041 ) [Yellow] 86h 37′ 52″
Green Jersey Peter Sagan ( Svk – CAN – 051 ) [Green] 417 points
Polka Dot Jersey Rafal Majka ( Pol – TCS – 034 ) [Polka Dot] 181 points
White Jersey Thibaut Pinot ( Fra – FDJ – 127 ) 3 [White]

Team: AG2R La Mondiale ( ALM - 081-089 ) [Yellow numbers]
Stage winner: Tony Martin ( Ger – OPQ – 075 )
Super Combative: Alessandro De Marchi ( Ita – CAN - 053 ) [Red numbers]

Top Ten:

1 Vincenzo Nibali ( Ita – AST – 041 )
2 Jean-Christophe Péraud ( Fra – ALM – 081 ) + 07′ 52″
3 Thibaut Pinot ( Fra – FDJ – 127 ) + 08′ 24″
4 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte ( Esp – MOV – 011 ) + 09′ 55″
5 Tejay Van Garderen ( US – BMC – 141 ) + 11′ 44″
6 Romain Bardet ( Fra – ALM – 082 ) + 11′ 46″
7 Leopold Konig ( Cze – TNE – 201 ) + 14′ 41″
8 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre ( Esp – TFR – 169 ) + 18′ 12″
9 Laurens Ten Dam ( Ned – BEL – 067 ) + 18′ 20″
10 Bauke Mollema ( Ned – BEL – 061 ) + 21′ 24″

The Rest of the Top 30:
[Read more →]

July 26, 2014   No Comments

Le Tour 2014 – Stage 19

Tour de FranceMaubourguet Pays du Val d’Adour – Bergerac

Distance: 208.5 kilometers.

A hilly stage with a single Category 4 climb near the end that won’t be much of a challenge after the last few stages. Most riders will want to conserve their legs for the individual time trial tomorrow.

Rain, winds, hail, and flat tires were the main elements of this stage, which ended in a crash that could have cost Peter Sagan his Green Jersey if he had been too injured to continue.

Garmin-Sharp riders took control of the stage with the hard-working Tom Jelte Slagter setting up Ramunas Navardauskas to cross the finish alone.

Yellow Jersey Vincenzo Nibali ( Ita – AST – 041 ) [Yellow] 85h 29′ 33″
Green Jersey Peter Sagan ( Svk – CAN – 051 ) [Green] 417 points
Polka Dot Jersey Rafal Majka ( Pol – TCS – 034 ) [Polka Dot] 181 points
White Jersey Thibaut Pinot ( Fra – FDJ – 127 ) 2 [White]

Team: AG2R La Mondiale ( ALM - 081-089 ) [Yellow numbers]
Stage winner: Ramunas Navardauskas ( Ltu – GRS – 097 )
Combative: Tom Jelte Slagter ( Ned – GRS - 098 ) [Red numbers]

Top Ten:

1 Vincenzo Nibali ( Ita – AST – 041 )
2 Thibaut Pinot ( Fra – FDJ – 127 ) + 07′ 10″
3 Jean-Christophe Péraud ( Fra – ALM – 081 ) + 07′ 23″
4 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte ( Esp – MOV – 011 ) + 07′ 25″
5 Romain Bardet ( Fra – ALM – 082 ) + 09′ 27″
6 Tejay Van Garderen ( US – BMC – 141 ) + 11′ 34″
7 Bauke Mollema ( Ned – BEL – 061 ) + 13′ 56″
8 Laurens Ten Dam ( Ned – BEL – 067 ) + 14′ 15″
9 Leopold Konig ( Cze – TNE – 201 ) + 14′ 37″
10 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre ( Esp – TFR – 169 ) + 16′ 25″

The Rest of the Top 30:
[Read more →]

July 25, 2014   No Comments

Friday Cat Blogging

Just A Reminder

Friday Cat Blogging

You aren’t carrying food…

[Editor: Froggy makes sure I remember the soft food if I'm outside in the late afternoon without it.

Friday Ark

July 25, 2014   2 Comments

Le Tour 2014 – Stage 18

Tour de FrancePau – Hautacam

Distance: 145.5 kilometers.

This is a real bear of a stage that has a couple of Category 3′s in the first half and a pair of Hors Catégorie climbs. The first HC is the Col du Tourmalet which has the 5,000 Euro Souvenir Jacques Goddet waiting for the first rider to reach 2,115 meter summit. Another summit finish at the end of the Hautacam climb. Lots of points for the Polka Dots available.

Blel Kadri took home the €5K but Vincenzo Nibali reminded the field why he was in the Yellow Jersey and won the stage giving him a 7 minute lead over his nearest competitor.

Rafal Majka had to catch up to be the third rider over the top which gives him the Polka Dot Jersey as King of the Mountains. Thibaut Pinot took over second place and increased his hold on the White Jersey.

Heinrich Haussler had to withdraw because of stomach flu, and José Joaquin Rojas was disqualified for drafting a car [riding in the vehicle's slipstream].

The mountains are over.

Yellow Jersey Vincenzo Nibali ( Ita – AST – 041 ) [Yellow] 80h 45′ 45″
Green Jersey Peter Sagan ( Svk – CAN – 051 ) [Green] 408 points
Polka Dot Jersey Rafal Majka ( Pol – TCS – 034 ) [Polka Dot] 181 points
White Jersey Thibaut Pinot ( Fra – FDJ – 127 ) 2 [White]

Team: AG2R La Mondiale ( ALM - 081-089 ) [Yellow numbers]
Stage winner: Vincenzo Nibali ( Ita – AST – 041 )
Combative: Mikel Nieve Iturralde ( Esp – SKY - 005 ) [Red numbers]

Top Ten:

1 Vincenzo Nibali ( Ita – AST – 041 )
2 Thibaut Pinot ( Fra – FDJ – 127 ) + 07′ 10″
3 Jean-Christophe Péraud ( Fra – ALM – 081 ) + 07′ 23″
4 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte ( Esp – MOV – 011 ) + 07′ 25″
5 Romain Bardet ( Fra – ALM – 082 ) + 09′ 27″
6 Tejay Van Garderen ( US – BMC – 141 ) + 11′ 34″
7 Bauke Mollema ( Ned – BEL – 061 ) + 13′ 56″
8 Laurens Ten Dam ( Ned – BEL – 067 ) + 14′ 15″
9 Leopold Konig ( Cze – TNE – 201 ) + 14′ 37″
10 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre ( Esp – TFR – 169 ) + 16′ 25″

The Rest of the Top 30:
[Read more →]

July 24, 2014   No Comments

Le Tour 2014 – Stage 17

Tour de FranceSaint-Gaudens – Saint-Lary Pla d’Adet

Distance: 124.5 kilometers.

This is the shortest stage on the Tour and a definite mountain stage with three Category 1′s followed by a summit finish after a Hors Catégorie climb.

The Col du Portillon, the first climb, is actually in Spain, the fourth country visited on this Tour.

The Tour went down three more riders today. Reto Hollenstein crashed after a kilometer yesterday and went on to finish the stage. Medical examination showed one of his lungs collapsed as a result of his injuries. Simon Gerrans was injured on the first stage in the crash that wiped out Cavendish, and has just not been able to return to form. Simon Spilak dropped out during the stage as the result of a stomach virus that made continuing impossible.

Today was another good day for Tinkoff-Saxo as Rafal Majka won his second stage on this Tour and secured a decent lead over Nibali for the Polka Dots.

The White and Polka Dots are not done deals yet, and the White may not be decided until Paris.

Yellow Jersey Vincenzo Nibali ( Ita – AST – 041 ) [Yellow] 76h 41′ 22″
Green Jersey Peter Sagan ( Svk – CAN – 051 ) [Green] 408 points
Polka Dot Jersey Rafal Majka ( Pol – TCS – 034 ) [Polka Dot] 149 points
White Jersey Thibaut Pinot ( Fra – FDJ – 127 ) 3 [White]

Team: AG2R La Mondiale ( ALM - 081-089 ) [Yellow numbers]
Stage winner: Rafal Majka ( Pol – TCS – 034 )
Combative: Romain Bardet ( Fra – ALM - 082 ) [Red numbers]

Top Ten:

1 Vincenzo Nibali ( Ita – AST – 041 )
2 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte ( Esp – MOV – 011 ) + 05′ 26″
3 Thibaut Pinot ( Fra – FDJ – 127 ) + 06′ 00″
4 Jean-Christophe Péraud ( Fra – ALM – 081 ) + 06′ 08″
5 Romain Bardet ( Fra – ALM – 082 ) + 07′ 34″
6 Tejay Van Garderen ( US – BMC – 141 ) + 10′ 19″
7 Bauke Mollema ( Ned – BEL – 061 ) + 11′ 59″
8 Laurens Ten Dam ( Ned – BEL – 067 ) + 12′ 16″
9 Leopold Konig ( Cze – TNE – 201 ) + 12′ 40″
10 Pierre Rolland ( Fra – EUC – 151 ) + 13′ 15″

The Rest of the Top 30:
[Read more →]

July 23, 2014   No Comments

Tropical Depression Two – c’est fini

The depression has degenerated into a remnant low pressure trough East of the Antilles this morning and no further advisories will be issued.

July 23, 2014   No Comments

Le Tour 2014 – Stage 16

Tour de FranceCarcassonne – Bagnères-de-Luchon

Distance: 237.5 kilometers.

This is a very long stage that starts hilly with a pair of Category 4′s in the first half, and then gets serious with Categories 2 and 3 climbs leading to the HC Port de Balès. The finish is a 20-kilometer downhill run.

Alberto Costa Rui and Simon Yates withdrew before the start. Alberto was diagnosed with pneumonia and is going for medical treatment, while Simon was pulled by the team because of his age and inexperience. Simon was never intended to ride to the entire race, as it is considered too stressful for beginning riders.

A good day for Tinkoff-Saxo as Michael Rogers won the stage, while Rafal Majka managed to take the point for the first Category 4 and put on the Polka Dots.

Romain Bardet had a terrible day and lost the White to Thibaut Pinot.

More of the Pyrenees tomorrow.

Yellow Jersey Vincenzo Nibali ( Ita – AST – 041 ) [Yellow] 73h 05′ 19″
Green Jersey Peter Sagan ( Svk – CAN – 051 ) [Green] 402 points
Polka Dot Jersey Rafal Majka ( Pol – TCS – 034 ) [Polka Dot] 89 points
White Jersey Thibaut Pinot ( Fra – FDJ – 127 ) 3 [White]

Team: AG2R La Mondiale ( ALM - 081-089 ) [Yellow numbers]
Stage winner: Michael Rogers ( Aus – TCS – 038 )
Combative: Cyril Gautier ( Fra – EUC - 154 ) [Red numbers]

Top Ten:

1 Vincenzo Nibali ( Ita – AST – 041 )
2 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte ( Esp – MOV – 011 ) + 04′ 37″
3 Thibaut Pinot ( Fra – FDJ – 127 ) + 05′ 06″
4 Jean-Christophe Péraud ( Fra – ALM – 081 ) + 06′ 08″
5 Romain Bardet ( Fra – ALM – 082 ) + 06′ 40″
6 Tejay Van Garderen ( US – BMC – 141 ) + 09′ 25″
7 Leopold Konig ( Cze – TNE – 201 ) + 09′ 32″
8 Laurens Ten Dam ( Ned – BEL – 067 ) + 11′ 12″
9 Michal Kwiatkowski ( Pol – OPQ – 074 ) + 11′ 28″
10 Bauke Mollema ( Ned – BEL – 061 ) + 11′ 33″

The Rest of the Top 30:
[Read more →]

July 22, 2014   No Comments

Tropical Depression Two – Day 2

Tropical Depression TwoPosition: 13.4N 51.4W [10PM CDT 0300 UTC].
Movement: West-Northwest [285°] near 18 mph [30 kph].
Maximum sustained winds: 35 mph [ 55 kph].
Wind Gusts: 45 mph [ 70 kph].
Minimum central pressure: 1012 mb.

Currently about 675 miles [1090 km] East of the Lesser Antilles.

Further development is not expected.

Here’s the link for NOAA’s latest satellite images.

[For the latest information click on the storm symbol, or go to the CATEGORIES drop-down box below the CALENDAR and select "Hurricanes" for all of the posts related to storms on this site.]

July 22, 2014   No Comments

Where Have I Been ?

In general I’ve spent a great deal of time in bed lately, which is why for the first time in forty forevers there was no Friday Cat Blogging. Because of daily thunderstorms from a stuck cold front the cats are all hiding, and had I managed to take a picture, I doubt I could have processed it for the site.

My coverage of the Tour continues because over the years I have been able to automate the process to a great extent, so it required no more than the minimum of energy I have had available due to the first actual cold I have had in decades. It has really laid me low and I am still dealing with the aftermath.

We finally have our second tropical weather system, but again that is a relatively automated process, so I can deal with it as I regain strength.

I’m aware that Putin screwed up and gave his thugs in the eastern Ukraine an antiaircraft system that they used to take down a civilian airliner, because they are incompetent.

Israel has again decided that the only response to anything bad happening in Israel is the fault of Hamas, which they addressed by bombing and now invading the Gaza Strip.

There is no shortage of murderous stupid people in the world.

July 21, 2014   29 Comments