Sunday, July 8, 2012

Hydraulic Convergence

Rain, rain, go away,
Come again some other day...

That's the #1 rhyme from Great Britain this weekend...

It's raining buckets on jolly old England, and even record rainfall hasn't dampened British F1 fans fervor for their Grand Prix. I looked up the weather for Sunday...of course there's a "Local Severe Alert" for most of the country...

Description, Rain: Further periods of heavy and sometimes thundery rain are expected on Sunday.
Cities affected: Nottingham, United Kingdom; Barkston Heath RAF, United Kingdom; Humberside, United Kingdom; Waddington, United Kingdom; Cranwell, United Kingdom; Donna Nook, United Kingdom; Coningsby, United Kingdom; Wainfleet, United Kingdom; East Midlands, United Kingdom; Cottesmore, United Kingdom; Holbeach, United Kingdom

I like that term "thundery rain"...I hear it in a Cockney accent.

With all the rain on the English Countryside, I was struck by the photo I featured in Friday's blog, "Slowing Flowing Waters" It's the one with the two fans carrying their cooler down a muddy path in rain gear and wearing Brockabrellas.

Brockabrellas? Yes, those wearable umbrella hats are named for their inventor, Lou Brock. That Lou Brock! The Baseball Hall Of Famer, who played for the Chicago Cubs and St Louis Cardinals. Brock is now a coach with the St Louis Cards, and is most recognized as a base stealer, who broke Ty Cobb's career total with 938 stolen bases during his 19 year Major League stint. Oakland A's heist-meister Rickey Henderson later surpassed Brock's record with 1406 stolen bags in his 25 year career.

I thought about Brock and his Brockabrella while watching the Giants at Pittsburgh Saturday afternoon, when a cloudburst drenched the field and sent the crowd scurrying for cover...just the exact situation that Brock pitched the Brockabrella for.

I adhered to my nap plan Friday Night/Saturday Morning and watched P3 streamed LIVE from Silverstone in the UK, run in the dry at 2AM my time, copped a quick nap, and tuned in to SpeedTV for Qualifying at 5AM

I was doin' fine right up until that moment six minutes and 19 seconds from the end of Q2, when FIA race director Charlie Whiting wisely red-flagged the session. I fell back asleep somewhere during the hour and 25 minute rain delay. I woke back up to the awful sound of infomercials, not singing F1 race worries, I'm going to catch the replay tonight.

I switched channels and tuned in the Tour de France. Saturday's Stage 7 was the first Tour stage ever shown LIVE on American Network television. I want to say I've been watching the TdF on TV since 1989, but back in the day it was on cable TV. ESPN, then ESPN2, then Versus which became NBC Sports Network recently.

NBC itself aired today's Stage 7, and will air Sunday's Stage 8 starting at 5AM PDT. Again NBC will show a very generous four hours of LIVE racing.

Stage 7 was a nice difficult "Medium Mountain" stage, without most of the crash drama of Stages 2-6. Friday's "Metz Massacre" forced some more retirements, most notably up and coming Canadian star and winner in May of the 2012 Giro d'Italia, Ryder Hesjedal. Fortunately for Hesjedal, his injuries aren't structural, he'll be mended in time for London 2012, but with the form he brought to the Tour we'll always wonder if he could have won the rare Double, winning the Giro and the Tour in the same summer.

All in all the first week claimed 13 riders, many with broken bones and the worst with broken ribs and a damaged spleen and kidney...that's hard pavement at speed...even in kilometers per...

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