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Monday, September 29, 2008

Rankings Bump

Today we had our wrap-up meeting on the Tour of Missouri. It was the last meeting of the year and we received great news about the Tour. Out ranking was bumped up to a 2.HC...Wahooo!!! This means that we are now part of the trifecta officially. The Tour de Georgia, Tour of California and the Tour of Missouri are the highest ranking Tours in the states. YES!

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

Kitty Torture

Heheheeeeee. I HAD to buy the hat to torture my kitties. Chewie wasn't too thrilled with me. Gotta love Halloween costumes.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Kitty Capers

You have to love the crazy things that cats do. One of our cats, Chewie, loves to make a fool of himself. Like all of my cats that I have owned, he plays fetch, tosses his toys around in the air and chases them around. No big deal...regular cat behavior. However, I DO love the fact that he will slide across the wood floor and smack into a wall or chair as he chases things that you throw. Heh heh. He has his very own "toy box" that holds about 20 - 30 toys that he can access at all times. Yes, he does know where it is and does nose through the toys until he gets one that he wants. Now, if I could only teach him how to put the toys BACK.

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*

Chewie's favorite pastime? Climbing ladders. yes, climbing ladders. We found this out when we were painting the walls in our house. Ever since then, if you bring a ladder in the house, he will climb it. I got to prove this to the gentleman that installed all of our fire alarms. I don't know why people don't believe me when I tell them things.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Best Gadget for a Bookworm

Actually, forget the title of the blog. This is the BEST. GADGET. EVER. OK, so I may be a little biased seeing as I love reading so much. I have loved reading since I was about six years old...well, at least that is my first memory of reading. My mom used to take me to the library to check out books and I remember being able to check out as many books as I was old. I was so excited when I was about to turn seven because it meant that I could check out one more book each time. YEP...I have been a nerd since a very young age. I think I liked reading because I was basically an only child. My brother is 15 years older than I am, which basically made me an only child. I wasn't allowed to watch TV during the weekend, and only a few hours on the weekends. Add that to the fact that I was always at one lesson or another when I wasn't home...well, you get the picture. Books became my best friend. You can always bring them with you where ever you go and yes, as cliche as it sounds, they do open you up to an exciting new world.

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 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 . 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

Tour of Missouri 2008

FINALLY...I'm up to date on Tour stuff. this year's Tour = fun, fun, fun! For the second year I was chairman of the Ancillary Events and planned activities again. This year the bike safety rodeo was held at Celebration City. The park was very generous and allowed all of the kids that brought their bikes to get into the park for free. The Taney County Fire Department also came out to help. SO...all in all, it went fairly well. Granted, for the second year in a rained that day, thus lowering our attendance. Did I mention that it rained LAST year also?

The night before the race we had our VIP night at the Landing on a boat. Great food and friends! After the party everyone worked their way over to the stage area where we were having a block party. We had live music playing by the fountains and plenty of people listening. The cyclists stay at the Hilton, which is right on the Landing, and some of them started to filter towards the music. Most of them eventually wind up at Waxy O'Sheas, an Irish Pub near the Hilton. SO....anticipating that, my friends and I started at the music and then made our way to the Pub to mingle with everyone. On the way to the pub we ran into most of the Liquigas Team. COOL!
Of course, a picture was taken.

I suppose I should interrupt my blogging and explain why I said "COOL" about meeting the Liquigas Team. They were the Team that I was pulling for this year. I had been a HUGE Discovery Team fan for years, hence my stalking of their bus last year. After the team ended, a lot of the riders went to Team Astana, along with Johan. Naturally I followed along to Astana along with some of my other friends. George went to Team Columbia so I kept tabs on that too. Well....this year Astana didn't participate in the Tour of Missouri so I decided to pick another Team to follow. In addition to all of the US Teams, there were a few European teams that weren't here last year. I liked a few riders on the Liquigas Team (Italian) already so I decided to support them. Granted, I only recognized a few of the names of the team that they sent to the ToM but hey, they were still Liquigas. SO.....that is how I decided on "my team" this year.

OK, back to the Pub. It was a blast! Steve, a preivious drummer from our show, was playing in the band that night. I only planned to stay for about an hour because I had to get up really early to help set things up for the trike race and the TT. While we were sitting at our table Mark Cavendish, from Team Columbia, walked in. He had won a couple stages already and is inhumanly fast on that bike. Seriously one of the fastest men in the world. My friends kept teasing me (and double dog daring me...are we in grade school?) to get a picture taken with him but I didn't want to bug him since he was with his friends. I was literally almost shoved out the door to the patio where he sat . I was laughing ( and embarrassed) when I looked over to a the table across from us. There sat 3 of the Liquigas riders that we took our picture with. They nodded their heads and raised their bottles to me and then....I left. LOL I was embarrassed enough and figured it was time to go anyway. OH yeah, and I also don't speak Italian.

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, 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 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

Tour of Missouri 2007

I had a great time at the Tour of Missouri in 2007. Because I only had a few events the morning of the race, I was free to be a crazy cycling fan the rest of the day. So....after the Hughes Brothers sang the National Anthem, I was off to the Discovery Channel bus. Wahoooo.

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. 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. =)
OH, so as a sidenote. A lot of the riders made comments on how hard the TT course was and that it was one of the toughest that they had ever ridden. We didn't have the high mountains but the hills made it hard for them to get a good rhythm. Great job Craig and Dathan!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Tour of Missouri

So...I have been dying to blog about the Tour of Missouri but have been trying to figure out the best way to go about it. Do I start from the current day or do I start from the race last year? I wanted to write about how Chicchi crossed the finish line ahead of Cavendish yesterday but thought...hmmm, no one really knows where I am coming from. I'm thinking that there would be questions like...what is the Tour of Missouri? Who is Chicchi? Cavendish? the Sound of Music says, "Let's start at the very beginning".

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

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Wahooo it's melon time! For the second year in a row we decided to add melons to our garden of zucchini and tomatoes. If you have never had a fresh off the vine melon, you don't know what you are missing. The ones at the supermarket are blech in comparison.

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 comments on my position since I was falling at the time. =)~

Saturday, September 13, 2008

About Me

I suppose I should start off the blog with a little about me. Makes sense, right? I'll just give a brief overview and go into more detail when I am struggling for a topic later on.

I grew up in Southern California across from the cliffs in Palos Verdes Estates. LOVE. IT. THERE. I really was lucky to grow up so close to the ocean. I was the typical Chinese child taking piano, tap, jazz, ballet, tennis and voice lessons. ALL Chinese children MUST be over-achievers and given all of the things our parents lacked in their childhood. (If you are Asian you know what I mean. ) I only had one brother growing up, William, who is 15 years older than I am...and no, I was not a mistake!
I played tennis until around 1987, when I broke my femur in a motorcycle accident, the summer before freshman year in high school. After my accident I decided to quit playing tennis because I wasn't recuperating fast enough for my liking. I am very competitive and hard on myself BTW.

In high school I was active in drama and dance mainly. After graduating I went to UC Irvine and studied Environmental Law and then I studied 3d media Art at CSU Long Beach. Oh, after Irvine I had some fun health problems and had to move home for a year. THAT was fun.
After school I worked as an Executive Assistant at PC Liquidator and eventually got married and moved to Branson. More on that later.

Now I live in Branson, Mo and perform in our theatre, The Hughes American Family Theatre. We have a show with the entire family...5 brothers, 5 wives and 25 kids. There are also a few adopted kids that are in the show and dad joins in for the Christmas Show. For now we have no kids but we DO have 2 very spoiled kitties, Tigger and Chewie. Because there is Oh So Much to do out here, I sell products for Close to My Heart and Watkins. I have also been involved with the Tour of Missouri for the past 2 years.

As for interests, I have quite a few. The main ones are reading, cycling, my TiVo, catching up with friends, napping, photography, scrapbooking and cooking. Hopefully blogging will be added to that list very soon.

Giving in

Well, it's happened...I've given in to the blogging world. Honestly, I have been comtemplating blogging, off and on, for the past two years. Most of my friends have blogs and are constantly telling me to do one so that they can keep tabs on me. STALKERS! I think the reason that I have been putting it off is the fact that there isn't always a lot to write about. I had this notion that I needed to write about things on a daily basis. Ummmm, dawned on me that I can write about anything. I can write about current AND past events. I know...brilliant right? It's pathetic...since moving from California six years ago, I think my brain cells are steadily declining. It happens when you move to the Ozarks. UGH

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?