Wednesday, October 26, 2005


Effective immediately, this is no longer the home of Eye of the Storm.  Update bookmarks, blogrolls, etc, to

 comment []10:09:15 PM   trackback [] 

  Friday, September 16, 2005

Official Sports Teams

Following the lead of Dr Steven are the official sports teams of Eye of the Storm:

Pro Football: Washington Redskins, first and foremost.  When I was a youngster and my family lived in Italy, I got up at 2 in the morning to watch Super Bowl XXII (the one where Washington scored five touchdowns in the second quarter to thrash Denver).   In the other conference, coming in a distant second, is the Jacksonville Jaguars.  An odd situation with them as I like them for being from Jacksonville, but I don't like the franchise that much, and I am annoyed to no end at how uncritical the local media is of them. 

College Football: Florida State, first and foremost.  When I was young I cheered for all of the schools from Florida (before the aforementioned Super Bowl, I got up early in the morning to watch Miami lose to Penn State, an unpleasant experience that made me question whether I wanted to risk a repeat experience).  But by the Charlie Ward days I was an FSU fan to the exclusion of the other two schools.   Coming in second is my father's alma mater, Virginia Tech.  Thanks to family, I've been a fan of them since the Bruce Smith days through their rise to the top thanks to Frank Beamer.  

Pro Basketball: No preference.  Back in the days of Parrish, McHale, and Bird, I liked the Celtics, but since, I haven't cared much for professional basketball.

Pro Baseball: Baltimore Orioles, first and foremost.  Unfortunately, my family did not move to Maryland until after the '83 season (it was in Maryland that I saw the first baseball games that I remember).  I've been a fan since the days of Eddie Murray, Rick Dempsy, and the young Cal Ripken.  I totally despise Peter Angelos, and was somewhat disgruntled at the thought that every Orioles ticket I bought probably amounted to a small contribution to the Democratic Party of Maryland.  Ah well.  Coming in second is the Washington Nationals.  Definitely helps that the former Oriole great, Frank Robinson, is the manger.

College Basketball:  Like football, FSU first and foremost with Virginia Tech second.  Like baseball, the first college basketball games I remember watching, I watched in Maryland.  Because of that I still have a special place in my heart for the Georgetown Hoyas.  I didn't care so much for the Maryland Terrapins, but I did like Len Bias.  Even though I was only eight years old at the time, I remember the exact moment when my mother informed me that he had died (remember that he was the first round pick of the Celtics, so the anguish was amplified).   That had more effect on me than any anti-drug commercial ever produced.

 College Baseball: Other than casually watching the College World Series championship, I didn't follow college baseball until going to FSU, so Florida State is the only team I cheer for.  Happiest (and saddest) moment is sneaking into Section B for the final games of the 1999 regional. (Click on the black ribbon towards the bottom of the page for an account of that day).

Hockey: Washington Capitals.  Again, a throwback to my living in Maryland during part of my formative years.

Soccer: Don't follow it much anymore.  Adopted DC United as my team when the MLS formed, but I haven't paid attention at all in recent years.  On the international level, I tend to cheer for Italy (assuming, of course, that the U.S. isn't facing them).

Teams I cheer against:

College:  Notre Dame first and foremost.  University of Miami second.  University of Virginia third.  University of Florida fourth. 

NFL: Dallas Cowboys

Baseball: NY Yankees

Jackpotzrebie comment []11:33:13 AM   trackback [] 

  Thursday, September 15, 2005

(Semi) random thought(s) re Ophelia

Daniel Drezner's unfortunately timed Hurricane porn post is appropriate at this time.

Despite all that is going on in the world, Ophelia has remained the big headline on for the past day  Websites of the blance of the MSM give the storm similar prominence.

All of them are in Carolina desperately searching for the money shot.  Hitherto their efforts have been rewarded with a collapsed canopy (at Kure Beach) and the partial destruction of the fishing pier at Atlantic Beach.

A person unfamiliar with the history of hurricanes would assume from the media coverage that this is some sort of first for North Carolina.  Of course, that is not the case.   The stretch of coast from Little River Inlet to  the Oregon Inlet is quite possibly the most storm battered in the country.  Finding examples of recent storms to affect this area in a manner far more significant than Ophelia is an easy task. 

Isabel of 2003 "is considered to be one of the most significant tropical cyclones to affect portions of north-eastern North Carolina and east-central Virginia since Hurricane Hazel in 1954 and the Chesapeake-Potomac hurricane of 1933."

-  The flooding caused by Floyd of '99 (enhanced by the passage of Tropical Storm Dennis over the same area only a couple of weeks earlier) was the seminal event in the history of many small towns along the rivers of northeast North Carolina and Virginia.

- Fran of 1996 made landfall as a category three hurricane and was responsible for 34 deaths in North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania.

The three storms were significant enough for each of their names to be retired.

Lest they feel forgotten, allow me to remind the reader of Bonnie of '98 (made landfall as a borderline category three in Wimington) and Bertha of '96 (made landfall as a category two in the vicinity of Wilimington).

The disparity between the amount of coverage being given to Ophelia and the signifcance of the event is staggering.  Hurricane porn, indeed.

2005 Hurricane Season, Weather comment []11:49:48 AM   trackback [] 

Tropics Watch 0915

Ophelia continues to crawl her way to the northeast parallel to the Outer Banks.  Refer to the National Hurricane Center for the latest on her.

I haven't been able to shake the feeling that Ophelia is like Felix of '95 in that she is a storm existing between bursts of activity in the Atlantic.  That is not to say that we will see three storms form on the day that she becomes extratropical (the way that Humberto, Iris, and Jerry all formed on August 22, 1995), but I do think that we will have some more activity as she pushes off to the open sea.

The prime suspect for the next storm is described in the Tropical Weather Discussion thusly:

WITHIN 150 NM OF LINE 7.5N46.5W TO 14N41.5W.

The global models are nearly unaminous in developing this wave into a tropical cyclone (the NOGAPS model hints at one but does not  provide a clear depiction).  They are also in good general agreement over the positioning of the high in the Atlantic; all suggest that it well be centered well to the east such that the storm would have a clear path to head north (and eventually recurve, rather than being 'trapped' by the high and steered towards Florida or the Carolinas).

The caveat to this is that the global models are sometimes over eager in developing systems and therefore have a tendency to turn them north prematurely (such a tendency was displayed with Emily, when the model runs from before she entered the Caribbean suggested that she was a Florida threat). 

In contrast to the global models, the tropical models (such as BAMD and LBAR) suggest that that the system will manage to continue westward into the Caribbean .  While on average, the performance of the global models is superior to that of the tropical models (as the global models are vastly more sophisticated), there are situations in which their performance is better, and this may very well be one of those cases. 

2005 Hurricane Season, Weather comment []9:42:40 AM   trackback [] 

  Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Blogging status

Operations still suspended.

Why? Well, among other reasons, I weighed myself about a week ago.  Came in at 112 pounds.  That is three pounds below the Navy's minimum weight for my height, nine pounds under the weight I came into the Navy with,  13-18 pounds under what I consider to be my 'normal' weight, and 28 pounds or so under my all-time maximum weight.

Clearly, it was time for a break.  Still is.

 comment []9:27:21 AM   trackback [] 

  Saturday, September 10, 2005

Latptop fixed

No thanks to Best Buy or the local repair shop, my laptop is now fixed.  Total cost of repair was ~ $15.

Compaq laptops have a bad design for the plug that makes it very easy for it to become broken if the computer is not set on a desk.  Putting it in your lap, for example, can put upward or downward pressure on the plug that will cause it to come unconnected from the motherboard (because it is only a dab of solder that holds it in place).  It becomes more and more difficult to keep your laptop plugged in and eventually, it won't effectively plug in at all.  Such was the problem that afflicted mine.

So I took it to the local repair place and the kid there said they don't do that sort of repair, all they would do is replace the motherboard (a $600 item unto itself), so he advised taking it elsewhere.  I then took it to Best Buy (where I had purchased it about two years ago) and was advised that I might as well buy a new computer, because all they would do is replace the motherboard.  The person behind the counter also volunteered that they would back up my present computer for $60 (or so).  I politely declined.

Took the computer back home and started unscrewing it.  Unlike desktops, laptops aren't entirely intuitive when it comes to disassembly.  Fortunately, Compaq makes their service manuals available online, so I was able to figure out the steps that I couldn't guess myself.  After completely taking it apart, I went to Radio Shack and bought a 15 watt soldering pencil and some solder.  Soldered the damaged area and then put the computer back together.  Didn't work the first time (partial disassembly found something that wasn't connected) but it worked on the second try.  Everything seems to be working fine.

Needless to say, I am quite happy at the moment.

Jackpotzrebie comment []12:15:30 AM   trackback [] 

  Thursday, August 25, 2005

Gone to backup site

As problems continue to plague my laptop, I've been forced to alternate means for posting for the near future.  For the near future, posts will be at .  Add to bookmarks and rss feeds as necessary.

2005 Hurricane Season, Weather comment []12:15:43 PM   trackback []