Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Math lesson

Despite the fact that I teach Physics and used to teach Math, sometimes simple mathematics is beyond my comprehension. The latest math problem to blindside me has been a fairly simple equation, to wit:

2 adults + 2 dogs + 1 (destructive) cat + 1 eighteen month old baby boy

less than 1000 square feet of stuff

Now, I hear the naysayers among you saying that that is plenty of room to cram together all that stuff. Others may want to post comments regaling me with tales of how they grew up in a family of 22 that all lived comfortably and happily in a 12ft by 12ft Tuff Shed. Great. I'm happy for you, but for us the situation is tight.

This is a pretty roundabout way of saying that I haven't been posting lately due to a severe case of the lifestyle pare-downs. I have been posting everything that isn't nailed down on ebay. Want a slightly overripe banana? Do a search, I might have put one up for auction at the rate I'm going!

In case you haven't seen or heard: the new Sledgehammer Charlie's team kits are here and they look awesome! Look for us clad in our new white, orange and gold kits as we train and race this coming year! But you might want to avert your eyes from the groin region if it's a rainy day!

Things are happening as far as the shop is concerned. We have a new logo which now adorns the fresh batch of water bottles we just got in. I have finished doing the stud work in the bathroom, electricity has been run and a new toilet and sink are just around the corner! But the biggest news of all is that we have an official website that will be going live in the next month! You can check it out at lunacyclesnc.com and stayed tuned for the full version.

Lastly, in an effort to get some of you to retire some of your less becoming cycling clothing and to celebrate the coming warm weather that should be here soon (fingers crossed) we are putting ALL of our clothing that is in stock on sale for 20% off! This includes winter clothing and fresh '08 spring clothing!

And now to share a more personal story. I have recently begun to experience the effects of rapid cognitive degeneration. The evidence that I have for this is that by thursday of this week, I will be registered to race in the Burn 24 hour mtn. bike race that will be taking place May 24-25! I have myself on a very strict training program that consists of riding at least one day a week and slowly rubbing my butt with sand paper for 2 hours every night. In true training fashion, I will be decreasing the grit of the sandpaper each week until just two weeks before the event and will then taper the last two weeks with just a scotchbrite pad so that I will be good and recovered for the race! I will be racing as either a duo or possibly a team (what say ye, Todd?), so stay tuned for more details...

Monday, February 11, 2008

on parenting

When we first found out that we were going to become parents, everyone we knew who had a kid said some variation of the same thing: "Everything about your life is going to change." Now I recognized the validity of this statement and even glimpsed the "abandon all hope ye who enter here" veiled pathos in the eyes of some who uttered these words, but I think I'm beginning to plumb new depths in this realm.

Beyond the occasional well-placed and utterly charming kick to the groin that I encounter during a diaper change and aside from the new fad of flinging hard, dense and sharp-edged toys at Daddy when his back is turned, there are a few things that I think we are starting to enter new territory on.

As we live in a small house and an eighteen month old seems to occupy more physical area than the laws of physics would seem to support (it's like the reverse of Dr. Who's Tardis), our two dogs, Kai and Jenny, are spending more and more of their lives down in the basement and in the backyard. This past weekend I finally became fed up with the state of our basement and embarked on "the big push" to bring order to the chaos. Over the course of this effort, I have uncovered one of the greatest mysteries of our time: how can 2 medium sized dogs (combined weight=110 pounds) shed approximately 4300 lbs. of hair in 6 months? Now, my weight estimate of the gargantuan hairball may be off slightly, but I think you see the point. If humans lost this much of their bodies in the same amount of time we would literally look like toothpicks.

As if this discovery were not enough for one weekend in the Moore household, a second more important discovery was made. What we have discovered promises to alter the very fabric of how fathers will view taking care of their sons from this point forward. We've all been there: mom needs some time to herself (or just needs to get away) and Dad is faced with taking care of his eighteen month old son for a couple of hours. After reading Tickle, tickle for the fiftieth time in a row ("Squelch, squelch in the mud. Splish, splash, scrub-a-dub. Gently, gently brush your hair. Tickle, tickle under there." Yes, I have it memorized along with a LOT of others) you are starting to get a little punch drunk. Said toddler looks on the verge of some sort of emotional release that is sure to include crying and you get that panicky, "What do I do?" running on a loop in your head. Let me assure you, this has NEVER HAPPENED to me. Ever. Period. End of story. But, for those poor unfortunate souls who find themselves in this "hypothetical" situation for real, I present to you: Heavy Equipment Videos. Thanks to nearly 30 years of high level scientists working to advance computer technology and the internet, we have the ultimate way to occupy a little boy! I'm not sure how Owen got so into heavy equipment (he has a special fondness for front-end loaders), but thankfully, enough forward thinking (and brilliant) fathers have posted heavy equipment videos to the internet that his obsession can be easily sated. If you find yourself in this position, try it out and see how well it works!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Sheldon Brown

Many people are writing about the passing of Sheldon Brown yesterday. I don't want to do a disservice to Sheldon by describing him, instead I encourage you to check out his unique and quirky website. My thoughts are with his family and friends. Cyclists and cycling lost a truly great lover of the two-wheeled machine.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

No excuses

For anyone with even a passing interest in reading what I have to say, I'm sure that my saying that I have stepped back from frequent posting comes as no surprise. My real job has been claiming more and more of my evenings, making it that much harder for me to keep up with what is going on in the world of cycling, let alone write about it. For example: I haven't even watched 'cross world's yet. For anyone who knows me, this surely is a sign that I am greatly indisposed.

However, I am not unaware of some of the more major happenings in the world of pro cycling and this week saw a doozie. Astana (II- electric Johan Bruyneel-aloo) were utterly dissed by the Giro who decided that the Disco' - uh, scratch that- Ass' Boys would not disgrace the hallowed italian roads with their tainted wheels. Further, ASO is saying that Contador is not a done deal for starting the TdF this year. Oh, that pesky Puerto investigation just won't go away. Interesting in it's exclusion from the Giro is Team High Road who may now have a big target on their back after getting up on their high horse to prove how clean they are. I guess those visits to the hospital to get all of those blood infusions just didn't strike anybody as kosher in Italia.

The big winner in all of this is Team Slipstream who look to be in the catbird seat. What a deal to essentially be a Pro Tour team without all the hassle or expense. Trust me, everyone is going to be tripping all over themselves to invite these guys to their races.

We are starting to get some glimpses of non-winter weather and this week had some truly nice days. Amazingly enough, after weeks of looking like a ghost town, the nice weather brought people into the bike shop in droves. New bikes went out the door like spring had sprung. But don't fret about quiet winters in the bike shop. We planned a bunch of remodeling for this downtime and if you've seen the way we've ripped the bathroom out, you know bike mechanics with time on their hands can be a dangerous thing.

This week I'm going to be going to Asheville for a school conference. The bonus is that I will be staying at the Grove Park Inn for free! I can't wait!