Jiminy Cricket pays attention to the probability of participation. (Say that three times fast)
Gene Kelly didn't care if it rained.
Crickets have been on our minds recently. Of course, January isn't typically a month one associates with insects in the Northern Hemisphere. But, for a couple of reasons, we've been thinking about them lately.
Of course, mentioning cricket(s) is a bit of a litmus test for English speakers. We, here in the southern US, immediately think of their chirping sound (God forbid one should get in your bedroom at night). For other parts of the world, a cricket isn't something you hear but something you play. The sport cricket isn't well suited for Americans because we haven't the attention span required to follow a game that may take days to play plus the white outfits don't offer sponsors nor Nike much room to advertise. But we digress a bit...
...you can hear the crickets chirp. Yes, it has been a bit quiet on the windsurfing scene of late. Looking back at late summer early fall, we had a good run of days when the windsurfing ranged from pleasant to great. Sandy's winds were the crescendo as we had almost a week solid of windsurfing including a couple of days when the wind was absolutely ripping. Since then, things have been more quiet than normal. There have been some sessions that have brought out the hard core but not as much as we often see in late fall.
That isn't to say that there haven't been any sessions but fewer that either capture our fancy or are worth talking about.
Also, part of the weirdness of it all is that the weather this winter has been unusual. We do get warm snaps in the winter here. It's not uncommon to occasionally get a warm spell but checking the temperatures recently, they seem more suited for May rather than deep winter of January. It's downright confusing. And, warm weather this time of year doesn't usually produce classic winter winds that make going up to the lake worthwhile.
As most of us know, one can calculate roughly the temperature by the frequency of a cricket's chirp.
It's likely that temperatures and weather patterns will return to a more normal state. The good of our current warm spell is that the water won't be as uncomfortably cold when the winds come back.
Nate Silver is known to many of us as the pollster who got the North Dakota senatorial race this past November wrong. We remember this because he accurately predicted every other national race. His predictions prior to the election brought him scorn in certain quarters but he wasn't the one throwing a tantrum on Election Night.
Apparently, weather forecasting is much the same. Weather forecasters are known to overstate the chances of rain when the probability is slim. Simply, you curse the weatherman much more if you don't take an umbrella and it rains as opposed to carrying it and the day turning out dry.
Silver wrote an interesting essay last September on his blog about weather forecasting: Why Weather Forecasters Are Role Models. It expands on an excerpt from his current book that was published: The Weatherman Is Not a Moron.
Watching a forecast of wind come and go like the Cheshire cat can be frustrating but he does a good job of explaining the challenge of producing an accurate forecast and how sensitive forecasting is to even the data put in the model. You'll enjoy reading both.
Wavesailing in Brazil
And, lastly, we leave you with this classic. Buddy Holly's proto punk collides with Arthur Murray and ball room dancing:
For you young'uns, Buddy Holly's group was the Crickets. He looks older than he was. He was 21 when this was filmed.