Monday, September 29, 2008
According to the VS. channel, the Tour of Missouri is the fastest growing Tour in the states. Not too shabby for only being in its second year. Hopefully it will continue to grow in popularity and we can keep getting those sponsors.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
I decided to sweep under one of our cabinets the other day. OK, so I haven't done that in about 8 months or so. It's in the formal dining room and we generally don't go in there. The cabinet is about 3' X 1.5'...not the hugest of areas. This is the collection of toys that I found under it: 7 balls, bumble bee toy, eeyore stuffed magnet, big furry mouse, small mouse, stuffed stocking toy, 2 mini boxes of nerds, 3 hair ties, 1 fake snake, 1 plastic pull top, a pen lid, and 9 q-tips. *sigh*
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Now, reading is great because it helps you with your spelling and vocabulary but...did you know that it can also be bad? I'm one of those crazy people that can read a book a day, sometimes two. Now, this tends to be a very bad thing when you are staying up at all hours trying to finish a book. I always tell myself, " OK, I'll just finish this chapter and then I'll stop." Yeah, right! I get to the end and then think "I'll just start this next chapter" and then the cycle continues. This was especially bad in college when I was supposed to be reading my actual course books. What were my teachers thinking? Did they not KNOW that I had much more exciting things to read? Sheesh! Needless to say, in college I had to force myself to stop reading "my" books until after finals.
OK, so the gadget....it is The Cybook by Bookeen. SO COOL! It's one of those digital readers that there are so many of. Amazon has the Kindle, which you may have heard of. However, that thing is ugly and you are forced to buy the eBooks from Amazon. I found some online comparisons and settled on the Cybook. The Cybook allows you to buy eBooks from anywhere and also reads PDF files. You can also bookmark different pages in your books. I bought mine from Booksonboard.com . They had a great price and also added store credit to the deal. I think they sometimes have a special where they also throw in a memory card that has a lot of clssics loaded onto it. The Cybook is nice because it is so compact and also has a cover. I can fit it into my purse and take it with me everywhere. You can load hundreds of books onto it and can also buy a memory card to hold more (I also have a 2GB card). It's about the size of a paperback but is only 1/2" thick. The screen is nice because it uses e-ink and is not back lit. There is no strain on your eyes like when you read your computer screen. It's like you are reading a regular book but much lighter. I love the fact that I can choose from any book and just read at my leisure. It's great when I am early to a meeting or am just sitting around.
Now, don't get me wrong...I'm still a book nerd at heart. I love my tangible books and have literally over 1000 books. Yep, I've got my own library! Some are I loved my from my childhood. I will still continue to buy hard back books of my favorite authors but will also buy the eBook versions of those I think. Case and point, the Twilight series.
So...if you love reading like I do you should check out that link that I posted. It is the BEST GADGET EVER!
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Branson was again the stage with the Time Trial Course. The tour organisers wanted us to keep the same course because it went over so well the year before. Before the TT we had the Trike Race again but, instead of celebrities, we used mascots from around the area. After the trike race I was off to see if I could find Debbie at the Columbia bus. When I got to the parking lot I couldn't find her so I walked around and saw Rory Sutherland and decided to get his picture. He writes a witty blog when he races and I always make sure I read the new posts to get a chuckle. After that I tried to find the Liquigas bus. To my disappointment I couldn't find it. I was a bit confused because I thought they would all be in the same parking lot. Eventually I saw a few riders and then saw 2 men with team shirts talking to the food people. I decided to ask them where the Liquigas riders were since one of them spoke English. He told me that they were on the other end, across the street, and that it wasn't that far of a walk. I showed him the picture that I had taken the night before (I had it printed up that morning....loooove 1 hour photo) and asked him if he thought the guys would mind signing it. He said that they would love it and that I should go over there. After that he rode off on his BIKE. Ummm, yeah, not far with a bike but walking? With my short legs it took a little while. Hehe.
Eventually I got over there and to my dismay, there was only one other team over there. Now, normally I'm fine with that but, well.....now I felt like a stalker. Because it was so out of the way there were only a few other people over there. I couldn't try and blend in with the other crazy fans because I was pretty much the only one. AWKWARD!!! OH yeah, and I don't speak Italian as I stated earlier. Well, I saw the guy that told me how to get there and he told me that he would translate for me and would help me out. His name was Rory and he was great. When I got there Jacopo and Da Ros were warming up for their ride while the rest of the team was still in the hotel. I got their signatures and then sat around waiting for the other guys to show up. So....for a little while I was the dork sitting there, like a stalker, waiting for photos and autographs. *sigh* Yep, dorkdom at its best. The Team guys were nice and offered me a chair and something to drink while I waited. Now, normally I am the most talkative person in the world. I will talk to anyone. Those of you that know me...stop laughing. Shhhhhh. SO...the talkative person was actually silent and a little shy since there were only a few people that spoke English and I didn't want to bother them. Eventually the rest of the team made it out there and I was able to get them to sign the pic. I also got to take a pic with Chicchi. YAY...the Man is a great sprinter. He had come in 3rd in the first two stages of the Tour and was currently in second place. Anyway, he warmed up for a little while and then got ready for the ride. Meanwhile, at one point, Rory left to get a Mountain Dew so...there I was, alone with Chicchi and no talking. Talk about Awkward. I would have loved to talk to him but... there was that whole language barrier thing. I also didn't want to take a lot of pics because it was a bit obvious since I was the only one there. I think I need to learn a bit of Italian if I want to hang out with Liquigas again. LOL Eventually Chicchi got ready to leave for his ride and Rory gave me a lift so that I didn't have to walk. He also invited me to sit in the team car behind Chicchi. WHAT? So....I was really tempted and would have loved to go but I get really carsick. The ride would have been on windy roads for around 45 minutes and then back down. I didn't think it would be nice of my to projectile over Rory's head as he drove. Seriously....really bummed that I missed out on that one. Chance of a lifetime and I blew it. I saw Chicchi as he was riding up to the ramp for his ride. He saw me and aimed his bike at me and he rode by and that was that. About 15 minutes later I watched him ride his TT and wished I was in that car. =(
I watched the rest of the Tour online on Justin.tv. They had a great feed and chatroom with alot of the same people each day. It was our own little online cycling fandom. I had a great time chatting and watching with them. The last day of the tour was GREAT! There was going to be a sprint finish and I was still pulling for Chicchi to win a stage. I had typed his name in bold letters when everyone was "pulling" for the rider they wanted to win. I was screaming and yelling when he crossed that line ahead of Cavendish. WAHOOOO AMAZING!!! Everyone figured Cavendish had it again since the guy is so stinking fast. So, when Chicchi crossed the line I was thrilled and told them that I called it. LOL That man has quads and those quads beat Cav!!! Also, Roman finished with the White jersey. What a great way to end the Tour.
I hope you enjoy the pics that I have in the slideshow. Some of the pics were taken by my new friend, Amy. She is from the boards and is friends with Debbie. Great gal! She was taking pics and writing a blog about the Tour. Thanks Amy!
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Throughout the year I had kept in touch with a few friends on the Paceline Forum and was planning on meeting up with them at the Disco Bus. It was Discovery's last year and we wanted to make sure that we had a chance to get pictures and autographs. It was great to put a face to the names of the people that I met on the forums. Debbie also brought a Thank You banner for Johan ( the team manager), signed by people from the forum, to thank him for his work with the Discovery Team. I spent most of the day with Debbie at the bus in the HOT sun. We took plenty of pictures of the team and even got a pic taken with Johan. Wahooo. We also were given Discovery Channel water bottles to take home. I bought a Discovery t-shirt for autographs and had fun working on getting it signed.
Levi won the Time Trial and George was still in the yellow jersey. For those of you that don't follow cycling, they were both on the Discovery Team. YAY. So...off to the awards ceremony I went. I had a few things to do so I told Debbie that I would catch up with her later. On my way to the ceremony I was taking pictures with a friend on the TT ramp when someone tapped me on the shoulder. I turned around and was face to face with George and Levi. Ummmmm...uhhhh, hi? They wanted to know how to get to stage. I pointed them in the correct direction because apparently... I had lost all speaking ability. LOL However, my friend had my camera at the time and snapped a great picture of George as they took off. NOW, had I actually had control of my brain at the time, I would have asked for a picture with the both of them, but no...frozen solid and in shock. Yes, I realize, they are just people too but, well, you don't expect to turn around and see them face to face.
The ceremony went off wonderfully. The Branson Landing, where the event was held, is on the waterfront. It has a beautiful fountain, designed by the same people that did the fountain at the Mirage in Las Vegas. When Levi got his award the fire was shooting out of the columns and the fountains were going off. It looked very impressive. So, I'm standing at the rail with the t-shirt in my hand hoping to get Levi to sign my shirt, getting smushed between all of the other fans. All of a sudden, Levi walks off the podium and hands someone his flowers. This person proceeds to walk past everyone and then puts the flowers in my hand. Ummm, ok...SHOCK? AWE? So, I wound up with Levi's flowers to take home.
Needless to say. I had a blast at the Tour of Missouri. I got to meet a few friends and went home with some great souvenirs. I wasn't able to get all of my signatures on my shirt so Kelly, one of the Tour organisers, took the shirt with her and got the rest of it signed for me. I got it at our follow up meeting later that year. =)
Monday, September 15, 2008
For those of you that don't know me, I am a HUGE cycling fan. I'm not quite sure when it started. I have always loved watching sports. I still remember watching football games with my brother and dad and my mom asking what a touchdown was. My love for sports grew over the years as I watched various sports on TV and attended games...OK, so I don't like watching bowling or golfing. Sorry, not my cup of tea.
Things changed when I got married. My schedule became a little strange because of the show schedule, and....ummm, well, Adam just doesn't watch sports on TV. I decided that I needed to pick one thing to follow and just go from there. My choice? The Tour de France! Adam knows that for three weeks , every July, I will be glued to the television. I will be waking up at 4 AM to watch riders climb L'Alpe D'Huez. I will be taping various stages when I miss a stage due to a show. The TV will always be tuned on to the Tour, even if I have already watched the stage, as background noise. I completely immerse myself in the Tour and make up for my lack of watching all year. Some may call me crazy. I like the term "dedicated".
A little over 2 years ago I found out that we were going to have a Tour of Missouri cycling race. (Picture the Tour de France but 1/3 the length and no killer mountains ). My first reaction? YES!!! I MUST be involved! I called up Craig, my friend that owns the only bike store in town, Downhill Bikes and asked if he knew anything about it. He told me to call Dathan to see if I could get involved. Dathan is the Chairman of the LOCs for the Branson leg of the race. I went to the next meeting with the Local Organizing Committees (LOC) and was basically told that I was now the Ancillary Events Chairman. Ummmm, ok.....ummmm, what exactly are ancillary events? I later found out that it was comprised of random events, school education and the health fair. Gee, is that all? SO....I went to the meetings and met a lot of wonderful people as we planned for the inaugural Tour of Missouri.
Branson was given the Time Trial for its leg of the race. Craig and Dathan made a killer course that showcased a lot of our Ozark hills. As for the events that were planned. We had a Bike Safety Rodeo for the younger kids the Saturday before the race. The day of the race we had a Celebrity Trike Race and the Hughes Brothers (WAHOOOOO) sang the National Anthem. They were told that it was the best Anthem that they had heard at a race! YES! We so ROCK! Of course there was the normal block party the night before and all of the events the day OF the event. I'll write about that in the next blog and will add pics. For more info on the Tour you can go to http://www.tourofmissouri.com/
Sunday, September 14, 2008
We found out just how fast watermelon vines can grow and also learned that they eventually take over your yard. The bigger the fruit, the more crows we collected in our yard. Soon they started pecking and eating them, no matter how big or small the melons were. Grrrr Crows are EVIL! This year we decided to get motion sensor scarecrows. *snicker snicker. The scarecrows are basically high powered sprinklers that you can shoot down the crows with. =) Worked like a charm.
Our biggest melon in 2007 was 40 pounds! This year we had a 31+ pound yellow watermelon. Because there are only the two of us ( the kitties don't count because they don't like watermelon), we handed out fruit to our family and neighbors. I hope you enjoy the pictures. I was trying to balance myself on the yellow watermelon so....if there are any dancers out there...no comments on my position since I was falling at the time. =)~
Saturday, September 13, 2008
So...this blog will sometimes have current events but will probably mainly consist of things things that come to mind. I tend to be sarcastic at times so please keep that in mind.
Now...what to write about first?