Sunday, August 31, 2008

Gustav Watch, Day 6: Contraflow

We have successfully evacuated to Hot Springs Village, Arkansas. Special thanks to our generous host - my wife's mother and father. Despite the long drive, this is a great place to evacuate - familiar, safe, and with family. I believe that all in all, we were in transit for about 10 hours or so.

In general, southern Louisiana appears to have been evacuated pretty successfully and with creativity. These guys may not have made it very far, we saw them on our road this morning.


And this guy packed up a small village and put it in the back of his Kia. Pretty impressive. It is tough to see but that is a complete town made of Popsicle sticks. I am glad the Popsicle people are safe.

Seriously though, witnessing the first ever full scale implementation of contraflow was interesting. I-49 South was reversed and all lanes were headed north. Note below that across the median, the other cars are moving in the same direction as us. And moving slowly. Traffic was good up until the southbound lanes had to merge back into the northbound lanes.


Here's a view of contraflow in my side mirror.


So that's it! We are now watching via the Weather Channel and hoping that all of our friends and family who stayed behind stay safe. It looks like Gustav might hit as a 3 rather than a 4, which is decent news. I think we will all take any good luck we can get right now.

Departure

We have officially left Lafayette.

The Essentials Are Closed!

At least I get to say: I told you so.

Gustav Watch, Day 6, The Essentials

It may be hard to believe, but the morning of our evacuation started with a run to get coffee at Starbucks. Guess whose idea that was?

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Gustav Watch, Day 5: The Hatches are Battened

It has been a long day of preparation here in Lafayette. We didn't have the ability, tools or supplies to board up our windows so they are taped. Hopefully that accomplishes something. I would say that about30-40% of the homes and businesses are boarded up at this point.




We spent the day securing the indoor and outdoor areas of the house. Tucking away electronics, covering furniture with plastic, buying random supplies at Lowe's and Target, along with thousands of other people making water, batteries and gas precious commodities.


Tomorrow is the day we head out. The storm has shifted projections to the east a little bit and New Orleans has gone mandatory with their evacuations. Traffic is going to be brutal tomorrow but it will most likely be better than staying behind.

Gustav Watch, Day 5: Traffic

Traffic cam of the primary evacuation route headed north from Lafayette is here. Watch closely and you will see us getting out of here, Jozy in tow.

Gustav Watch, Day 5: Mood Change

The mood in and around town is shifting quickly. People in the neighborhood are boarding up windows, we're trying to convince all of our friends to evacuate, Gustav is expected to hit Category 5 status any minute, gas stations are running out of fuel, mandatory evacuations have been put in place 20 miles south of us and the state is implementing contraflow evacuation routes starting tomorrow morning (meaning you can only drive north on the interstate). So all in all, it's abundantly clear that it is "get out of dodge" time.

We have spent the day getting our house as ready as we can and are wrapping up packing tonight so that we are out of harms way. This looks like it could be one of the biggest storms (if not the biggest) to ever hit our town.


Gustav Watch, Day 5: What's that to the east?

No major change to the forecast this morning except for the fact that Gustav officially became a Category 3. It is projected to reach Cat 4 and then weaken before it lands. There are some models that have it turning away from the coastline right as it approaches. Maybe that will happen....

Wunderground has some great images (courtesy of pele and retired). This is the wundermap. What is that to the east? Hanna. Haven't mentioned her yet...just can't wrap my head around the (however slight) possibility that there might be a 1-2 punch coming.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Bell X1 - Rocky Took a Lover

Needed to post about something other than the impending storm. Here's a cool tune that will probably make the next mix by Bell X1. Enjoy your long weekends! I should be posting updates.


Gustav Watch, Day 4, Back Home

Made it back home last night on an empty plane from Philly to New Orleans. Everyone got to lay down across their seats in coach. Pretty interesting. It looks increasingly likely that Gustav is headed for Lafayette but since the storm has yet to enter the gulf, I am holding out hope for an unforeseen shift in the projection.

Right now the path takes it pretty close to Vermilion Bay. For those of you not from around here, that is about 40 miles south of our house (point A below). I think that it is actually projected to hit a little east of the bay (point B below) but it keeps shifting back and forth with each new track.

Looks like we might be headed to Arkansas to play some golf this Sunday.



Thursday, August 28, 2008

Empty

Just boarded a flight from Philly to New Orleans. The plane is eerily empty.

Mobile Gustav Watch, Day 3

So in between multiple work meetings today I am coordinating 18 soccer families in the midst of a tournament and a state of emergency in LA. Gustav has shifted west and is apparently headed right for Jozy! Today is going to be an interesting day. Not that I wish this on anyone, but I hope the forecast shifts again...

Gustav Watch, Day 3 (3 AM Eastern)

It is almost 3 AM Eastern and I am still up...not sure why actually. It has been an incredibly long day for me and I am crashing in a hotel in Philadelphia. Tomorrow morning I head to NJ and then fly to Mobile in the evening. Through this maze of travel, I am keeping a close eye on Gustav and trying to figure out how it is going to impact my travel, my wife's travel to Mobile to pick me up, our tournament weekend, our home, our dog (since we will not be in town we have a special Jozy-evacuation plan in place with our friends), etc...

Things are not looking good for New Orleans right now.


Of course, these projected paths are prone to error. At the bottom of the forecast discussion for this latest projection, NOAA noted:
IT PROBABLY WOULDN'T HURT TO REMIND EVERYONE THAT
THE AVERAGE 5-DAY OFFICIAL TRACK ERROR IS ABOUT
300 MILES...
So it is still too early to tell where this thing is going to land.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Gustav Watch, Day 2

The frequency with which a hurricane enters enters your everyday conversation picks up when the picture looks like the one below. Right now, everyone is still just watching and hoping for more and more data to see where this one is going to land. From the soccer field to the contractor who was at my house this morning, it is one of the first topics of conversation these days.


RAPID INTENSIFICATION COULD OCCUR IN A COUPLE OF DAYS WHILE
THE CENTER IS NEAR OR SOUTH OF WESTERN CUBA. THE
OFFICIAL FORECAST IS REDUCED FROM EARLIER DUE TO THE
INITIAL WEAKENING BUT STILL SHOWS THE STORM BECOMING
A MAJOR HURRICANE IN THE NORTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA.
...BUT IN GENERAL THE UPPER WINDS APPEAR TO BE FAVORABLE
ENOUGH TO SUPPORT A MAJOR HURRICANE IN THE GULF OF MEXICO.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Gustav Watch

For better or for worse, I stop by the local soccer message board occassionally to see the latest news and gossip on local soccer club and high school teams. A lot of the chatter is juvenile and can be safely ignored. Occassionally there are genuine pieces of semi-factual information. And then every once in a while, you are reminded of where you live.

Yesterday, a post appeared about Hurricane Gustav. And yes, I first found out about this storm on a soccer message board site. At this point, I am now checking NOAA's National Hurricane Center Website every couple of hours because Gustav looks big and it looks like it is coming to South Louisiana.



I mention "semi-factual" above because the message board called Gustav a Category 4 or 5 hurricane. It is currently only a Category 1. However, after it passes over land, the latest forecast discussion noted:
THEREAFTER...GUSTAV IS EXPECTED TO BE OVER
WARM WATERS AND IN A LOW SHEAR ENVIRONMENT...
WHICH FAVORS STRENGTHENING


Monday, August 25, 2008

The Grates - Burn Bridges

Not sure what this video is getting on about...and not sure this song is all that spectacular in the end. However, it crossed my path today and I have taken the trouble to hit repeat a few times because it keeps me wondering. So enjoy some catchy pop from the Grates hailing out of Brisbane, Australia. Maybe it will stick.


Thank You Beijing

Last night was the closing ceremony for the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympic Games. The ceremonies were amazing, but they paled in comparison to the games themselves. The struggle and triumph of the athletes, the drama of so many heart-stopping finishes, and the glimpse into China captured my imagination and inspired me on a daily basis. I am not sure what the highlight was for me. There were so many.
  • The Opening Ceremonies and the scale of its composition, its complexity and visual intensity
  • Michael Phelps and his domination of the Water Cube
  • Michael Phelps' mother and her reaction to each win
  • The amazing talent of the Chinese divers
  • Usain Bolt just simply leaving everyone behind
  • Waking up at ungodly hours to watch the US Men's Soccer team struggle...again.
  • Watching the US Women's Soccer team recover from early shock to win a gold
  • Volleyball! Beach and Full Court. Awesome. Dalhausser. Scary.
  • Anastasia "Nastia" Valeryevna Liukin
  • Trying to figure out how old those Chinese gymnasts were
  • Watching Lionel Messi conduct a clinic on the pitch...every game
  • Bob Costas (and definitely not Marcello Balboa)
The list can go on and I am looking forward to London already. Thank You Beijing.




Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Road to Atlanta

As you have probably guessed from the small resurgence of Coach posts on BOB these days, the fall season is in full gear. In fact, my team is headed to Atlanta next weekend for a soccer tournament with over 40 teams registered in our age group! This will probably be the biggest challenge my team has ever faced as we have just bumped ourselves up into the highest competitive level in our age group as the result of our past successes, and we are registered in the highest division of this tournament. We had a busy off-season on the recruitment side as well and have picked up a number of new players. So far, the sum of the parts really does look like it is creating the strongest side we have ever fielded. The guys look awesome and are coming together as a team.

Our practices as we head into Atlanta are already counting down, with only one left. So to ring in the Road to Atlanta, here is the official mascot of the team in all of her glory. Roll Thunder.

Room for Improvement

I know things have been quiet on the Jozy front so here is a quick update. This past Saturday Jozy graduated from the Intermediate Obedience class at Pet Smart! I am not sure if she was Summa Cum Laude or not...but it was probably close. Here is the proud family.

Random coincidence of the week: I appear to have chosen the same t-shirt to wear at both Puppy and Intermediate class graduation ceremonies. Weird.

Room for Improvement: One day later Jozy was in her first day of Advanced Class. Don't worry though, if you come over, she will still jump all over you for the first 5 minutes. Afterwards, she remembers some of the curriculum.

Best actor to use for Olympic voice overs...

Morgan Freeman - Go World

Friday, August 22, 2008

Henrik Larsson v France

Larsson is pretty much 37, five years older than me, when he scores this scissor kick against France the other day. This is an awesome goal. My dream of going pro is still alive...


Would you play, ignore, or steal?

15 soccer balls left on a street in Edinburgh at lunch time. Would you play with, ignore, or steal them?


via The Offside

Thursday, August 21, 2008

US Men Defeat Guatemala in World Cup Qualifier


Our men's team hasn't won a soccer game in Guatemala since 1988 and we have never won a World Cup qualifier...until last night that is, when Beasley hit a corner to Bocanegra to give us a 1-0 victory. It was an ugly game all around with 40 fouls, 2 red cards, blood, riot gear and post game flare ups. Being able to pull an away win out of a game like that is an excellent sign for the team as we move forward. Some other random thoughts:
  • Heath Pearce seemed to really struggle on our left side. So did Eddie Lewis for that matter. Our left side was killing us all game and we got lucky a few times that Guatemala did not capitalize. We need to figure that side of our defense out quickly.
  • How much did you want to kill Carlos Ruiz after he kicked our keeper Tim Howard in the face? Man. I was pissed. Not as pissed as Howard though. Here is Howard in the post game conference:
"I think you would rather have him come and man up and say, 'Look, I don't like you, I’m going to kick you and I’m going to do all that.'" Howard said. "You can almost respect it in a funny way but he has this way about him where he kicks and punches, he's an asshole and he wants to come and be your friend. There’s just no place for it."
  • Our defenders could end up being our highest scorers...Ching looked pretty non-existent until we got the lead and then needed to kill time. He really stepped up his game at that time. But overall, we really struggled on offense which should be no surprise at this point. I think I would prefer for us to find forwards with qualities that are not rip-offs of Brian McBride.

US Women's Olympic Soccer: US Wins Gold!


The US Women's National Team defeated Brazil 1-0 in the Olympic Women's Soccer Final this morning. It was an awesome defensive display from the Americans as they repelled wave after wave of Brazilians throughout most of the game. We seemed content with staying organized in the back and picking our chances for counter-attacks and the strategy seemed to work. Brazil was able to break down our defense a few times but Hope Solo (who will hopefully be able to archive her past controversy with this victory) saved the day.

It was an enjoyable game to watch. In general, women's soccer is technically excellent and the passing game is wonderful - although the US team played one too many long balls for my liking. Brazil's superstar pair of Marta and Cristiane were amazing but just couldn't break our defensive wall.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Arena

Call me a skeptic but I just don't know if Arena is going to be able to right the ship in LA. Maybe he will, and to tell you the truth, I don't have a lot of educated or well informed opinions on the matter. It's just my gut that is talking.

However, I actually hope that he does succeed though.

Do it to me on the email all season...

Courtesy of Pele1410, I'm On Setanta Sports is back - the Special One is in full force. Rooney's appearance is pretty damn funny.


Coach

Coach: So you work a lot. You must be bringing in the dough.
Player: No.
Coach: What's up? You spend it all on your girlfriend?
Player: Yeah (sounding dejected). She's so high maintenance!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Di María vs Netherlands - Messi's Incredible Pass

So soccer fan or not, I do not think you can watch this and fail to appreciate the vision and precision that Lionel Messi has as he plays this through ball to Di María to put Argentina over the Netherlands and into the Olympic semifinals. I was in awe when I watched this happen this morning.

He Is Super


If you missed the 100M Butterfly results from last night, you missed one of the greatest finishes of all time as Michael Phelps tied Mark Spitz for the record of most gold medals at a single Olympics. The finish (a difference of .01 of 1 second) was so close that from most angles, it actually looks like Phelps loses. The half stroke that Phelps took at the end of the race appears to be what made the critical difference. His hands were above water, Cavic's hands were below. One of the commentators on TV last night seemed to be at a loss for words and just screamed out "He is super!" Spitz called it "epic." All around, Phelps has the most gold medals of any modern era Olympian ever.

Phelps and Spitz are now tied in gold medal count at a single Olympic event - Spitz had 7 in the 1972 Munich Olympics and Phelps has one race left to go. Will the record fall?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Olympic Soccer: US eliminated by Nigeria


After waking up at 4 am this morning to watch the U-23 US Olympic Soccer Team get elminated, by themselves, not by Nigeria, I cannot help but ask a few questions as I reflect on the tournament.

1. If you were the referee, would you have given Orozco a yellow? Did the Nigerian player ham up the elbow to the point that he actually caused the red by acting? Now I know that throwing the elbow was plain stupid, don't get me wrong. That is not what I am saying here. I am just not sure if the punishment fit.

2. After watching all 3 games, I think we might have been the best team in our group. So what went wrong? My primary answer to this question is "youth." We played well, had some bad decisions made by young players (some yellow cards, a foul in stoppage time, a jumping wall, an elbow) and were thus eliminated. But in the end, I think we may have been the best team of our group.

3. Will you ever jump in a wall when the shooter is within 20 yards of your goal again? No.

4. Why did Charlie Davies get so little time? He was explosive!

5. After watching our boys play 86 minutes against Nigeria a man down, were you impressed with their effort or did you think it was lackluster? I have to say that I was impressed by their heart, effort and continual opportunistic style of play. Competing at that level with a man down cannot be taken lightly. I think it would be short sighted to not take away some positives from that game.

6. Was it worth the tired days and 4 am alarms to watch these guys play? Absolutely.

In the end, it was a depressing exit from the tournament and it is safe to say that we pretty much got eliminated due to our own mistakes. The US team clearly had the talent to play with the best but they seemed to lack the maturity or focus to pull out victories when they needed. I think the future looks bright and just hope we learn from our mistakes.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Beach Blues

We're headed back from the beach today and I am regretting not taking the whole week off. We had a blast and it was really nice to get away for a couple of days.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Beach

We're headed to Alabama for a long weekend at Orange Beach. I'm looking forward to a little R&R.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Olympics - Opening Ceremonies

I'm watching the Olympic Opening Ceremonies tonight and am completely in awe. The stadium, the scale, the precision and visual complexity of the entire ceremony has been outstanding.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Crossbar Challenge: Adu vs. Bradley

Place your bets.


I Am Rich

I wonder if anyone bought this before Apple removed it from their App Store...

NBC Olympics - Soccer Video RSS Feed

I added the NBC Olympic Soccer Video RSS feed to my sidebar. This may or may not act as a spoiler if you check out my site during the day and are waiting until the evening to catch up on your soccer fix. If that's the case, shout out in the comments and I'll take it down.

Although...true fans are up early in the morning watching the games and playing hooky all morning rather than working.

Olympic Soccer Coverage: Top 8 Plays of the Day

The US beat Japan this morning 1-0! We woke up at 4 am central to watch the game so I am ready for bed already. It was a good game for the US with some creative plays, nice passing and a lions share of the possession. However, they looked weak at times, particularly down our left side and on set plays.

Check out the top 8 plays of the day from NBC Olympics. The Brazilian goal at the end is awesome.









Exclusive Summer Olympics news & widgets at NBC Olympics.com!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

NBC Olympic Soccer Coverage


Here is the complete listing of NBC's Olympic coverage, soccer and more! It all starts tomorrow morning at 7:30 AM EST on MSNBC as the US Women take on Norway. Download this and save the 66 pages of Olympic TV coverage for some proactive TIVO management.

Nocturnal Golf

I am simply proving a point that this sport exists. The post is flagged as personal, so I hope you don't complain about the fact that you don't know the context. But yes indeed, people play golf at night. Click here.

The Weeks - Buttons

Here's a little local rock if you consider Jackson, Mississippi local to Lafayette, LA. I used to drive there a lot (and still do) so I call it "local."

The band's name is The Weeks and this is their song Buttons, which I have had on repeat for about 3 listens. Average band age is 18 years old. Latest album is called Comeback Cadillac and has been released on Esperanza Plantation, a record company based out of Jackson as well.




Monday, August 04, 2008

Golden Kiwi


I have been loving Golden Kiwis from our local Fresh Market recently so I figured I would spread the word. In an effort to find out something about them prior to simply referring you to my new favorite fruit, a Golden Kiwi:
Photo was flickr'd from squeakyrat.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Two Hours Traffic - Stuck For The Summer

Happy Saturday. Check this tune out - its a lot of fun. Two Hours Traffic are from Prince Edward Island and are named after a line in the prologue to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.



Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life;
Whole misadventured piteous overthrows
Do with their death bury their parents' strife.
The fearful passage of their death-mark'd love,
And the continuance of their parents' rage,
Which, but their children's end, nought could remove,
Is now the two hours' traffic of our stage;
The which if you with patient ears attend,
What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.