Tuesday, September 25, 2012

My New Friend in Asheville

I have been up in Asheville, NC the past few days riding my bike and chilling at the random RV parks we have been visiting.

After seeing some pictures my dad took of a bug down at the Shower house I had to run down there with my Nikon and grab a few shots.

It just so happened that it was my all time favorite bug, the Praying Mantis. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Praying_mantis

Not much of a post, but I thought I would share. Enjoy!

Thanks for looking! :D -Eric

Sunday, August 19, 2012

2012 National Track Championships!

Last night I got to go observe my first Track National Championship at the new Giordana Velodrome in Rock Hill, SC. Unlike most experiences I have had with being at any stadium, this was the most pleasant and exciting! No, I was not having beer spilled on me by the drunk person at the panthers stadium, or being stuck beside that smoker at the Knights baseball stadium... (Nobody is allowed to smoke at the track) :P I was having pure fun even though the place was packed! I look forward to countless hours out in Rock Hill whether it be spectating, or racing.
Great Night!

The race was high paced! Getting Averages in the 30ish miles per hour and a little wheel touching here and there. Fortunately there were no wrecks!
I must say, whenever somebody new started racing, you could immediately tell whether or not they were going to be the record holder for the night.
Enjoy the pictures! I will give you the winners and podium pictures at the end of my post!

Masters 35+ In first place we have Scotland Leman. In Second we have Gregory Pent. Third, Chris Sugar.

Elite men, In first Zachary Kovalcik, second Stefan Rothe, third Al Urbanski, fourth Liam Donoghue, and fifth Daniel Holt.

Elite Women, in First we have Cari Higgins, second Kimberly Geist, third Elizabeth Newell, fourth Erin Glover, and fifth Mandy Marquardt.

 Thanks for reading! :D

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Art of the Close Shave, Vanished from History

Ever since I was eleven, I was faced with the dilemma of "Why the heck is shaving such a pain?" Seeing that it irritated my skin quite fiercely, causing ingrown hairs and a ton of skin flaking. The chore irritated me so much that I was halfway tempted to just go ahead and wax my face. (Might have been a little extreme, haha! What can I say? I was eleven!) I had tried both the cartridge razors, and the electric. Both with no luck. Always making it a chore to go in and shave.

Well, one day, thanks to my good friend Noah, my dreams of a decent shave came true. Thanks to http://www.artofmanliness.com/ and their article "How to Shave like your Grandpa" Noah showed me how a great shave could be accomplished. Might I add that anybody who is a man, or any boy that is trying to become one should read the articles on http://www.artofmanliness.com/ They are packed full knowledge that everyone should know.

Now you may be thinking, "How random of an article is this!" after writing my last one on bomb shelters... But I believe that every man should know about this way of shaving and should give it a try. Plus, it gives me more time to finish up other articles!

A little history about the greatest invention for shaving that got lost into history. Originally used in the 1920's, through the late 1960's, wet shaving with double edged razor's was very popular. But got forgotten because companies started coming out with aerosol shaving cream, and cartridge razors. Fortunately, the industry has come back alive due to how cheap they are to use, and the quality of the shave.

The greatest reason why I believe wetshaving, is the way to go is because it is so inexpensive compared to using cartridge razors! The most expensive part of shaving with a double edge is of course the razor. Which pays for itself very quickly. Merkur Double Edge Razors on Amazon (This is made in Germany out of very high quality stainless steel. It has a very nice weight making it very comfortable in your hands) and of course you will need blades. Now I tend to prefer the Merkur Double Edge Blades, but everybody is different and prefer different blades. You can buy packs of a bunch of different blades made by different companies. But I usually can get about 8-11 shaves out of a single Merkur blade without very many problems. They are also very comfortable your face. Now might I add, this is where the razor pays for itself. At the time I am writing, a pack of 10 blades is $6.62 making each individual blade a whopping $0.65 each... And again... I usually get 8-11 shaves out of each individual blade. Seeing that I shave every other day, 10 blades last a few months. Talk about an amazing price point! I also like using C.O. Bigelow Shaving Cream from Bath & Bodyworks, which you can get for $5 a tube. It has both eucalyptus and Menthol creating a really nice cooling effect on the face. Used just right, it can last you several months! I also use Aqua Velva Musk Aftershave which is great for whenever I accidentally nick myself and it just smells great! I also use a Tweezerman 100% Pure Badger Hair Shaving Brush. What it does is lathers up the shaving cream and keeps it warm. It also evenly applies the shaving cream to your face, while getting under the individual whiskers making it easier to shave.

A few items from my personal shaving set.
 Now it is very possible to get incredibly elaborate with your shaving. You can get different shaving mugs, shaving soaps, brushes, or some very fancy shaving gear from The Art of Shaving. After a while you realize you have built quite a collection and it is a lot of fun!
Before I close, I would just like to put four rules down.
  1. Take your time and enjoy shaving! It should be enjoyable, not a chore!
  2. Anytime you decide to shave, follow this instruction carefully. Start out shaving with the grain of your beard. Go for hair reduction, not removal. Second, after reducing the hair on your face, reapply shaving cream and then go against the grain. This second step is for hair removal. It is easier on your skin and prevents cuts.
  3. Your wetshaving! Note the word Wet! If the cream starts drying on your face or on your brush, or your skin is causing your razor to sort of stick to your face, and bounce, just get some water on your hands and rub it into the shaving cream. **If you continue having difficulties, even if you apply water and have tried several times, your skin probably does not produce very much oil or you are using too much shaving cream. I would suggest trying The Art of Shaving Four Elements. (Note: This is a whole set, you can buy the pre-shave oil seperately. But I would suggest using the set seeing that all the different creams have the same fragerance. Might I add that lemon is a personal favorite) (Also, if anybody is interested I have three sample boxes to try out their products. Just message me on Facebook!) It has a great pre-shave oil that will lubricate your beard very well providing protection from your razor jumping. Plus, it all smells great and is made out of very high quality materials. It is well worth the money and a whole set lasts for months.**
  4. Have fun! 
 Well! I hope to hear some great stories of how people are making the change to wetshaving! Remember to check out http://www.artofmanliness.com/! Thanks for reading!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Uknown History you can find in the woods of Charlotte, NC

A Tube Station in London during the Blitz.
 London, England. The 7th of September, 1940
This day began the longest bombing raid ever done by man. "The Blitz" as it was called, was started by Hitler's notorious Luftwaffe which continually bombed England until May of 1941. It left from what we can only estimate to be anywhere from 40,000 to 43,000 casualties.

The attack was designed to strike fear into the hearts of the people of England, and for many years to come, the bomb became the source of worldwide fear. This led to the panicked building of bomb shelters and tube stations till the end of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Now this happened way before my time and I do not intend to make you feel like you're back in school. Believe me! I just graduated, and I don't want to feel that way either! I will not bore you with all the details, but there are places here in Charlotte, NC that can take you back in time.  One such place I am about to show you is a shelter built somewhere around the sixties by General Payne (along with several other neighbors who were all WWII veterans in the National Guard).

Originally they planned to build an Olympic sized swimming pool, but later decided that a bomb shelter was a better use of the money. This was especially true since at the time, we were in close range of the USSR's Nuclear weapons during the Cuban Missile Crisis (AKA "The Invasion of the Bay of Pigs").  Looking at the shelter from the street, it looks as if you are looking at a pre-WWII drill pad (only notice the vents in the background).

Air vents.
Around the back you have the usual heavy Iron Door. Now to be honest, normally I do not have the guts to go in to stuff like this. But this time, I could not help myself!
I could tell that the entryway has been previously flooded a few times and the door has been cracked open for quite some time. (And we found evidence of trespassers) I know, I know... You are probably thinking about asking, what is it like in there? A lot of times people had their shelters set up like an everyday living room. Many were furnished with couches, and chairs, and sometimes even beds to keep things comfortable. This shelter had a bathroom with a shower, and a pantry with plenty of food and water to survive for several days. Unfortunately the owners cleared it out, but I will leave what this particular shelter probably looked like, to your imagination.

I believe this could have been where the pantry was.

The leftovers from trespassers!

50x100 Sq. Feet.
Shower, water, toilet, and sink.

Thanks for reading! :D

A big thanks to the owners for giving us the grand tour!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Please bear with me as I get some posts written. Thank you! :)