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Archive for the ‘Raleigh Events’ Category

Stacy and I have been getting a lot of miles in on our road bikes this summer. One thing that motivates both of us is having an event down the road for which we know we need to prepare. We have a couple of rides were planning on doing this summer. The first is the Team MSFits Ice Cream Ride on June 15. We’re planning on doing their metric century ride (100 Km, 62.1 mi). They offer a shorter, 30 mile route (just in case it’s a scorcher that day and we don’t want to do the long route). That ride ends with ice cream to look forward to at the end, and it benefits the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

We’re also planning on riding in the Velo4Yellow ride on July 20. We’ll also do their metric century route, though they also offer 30 and 100 mile routes. We did Velo4Yellow last year and it was a great ride with lots of support and rest stops. That ride ends with free beer to look forward to at the end of the ride, and it benefits the Livestrong Foundation.

We’re keeping our eye out for other rides too, particularly in the fall once it cools a bit. We did the New Bern Bike MS two years ago. However they raised the entry/fundraising fee to $300 each, which was just too difficult for Stacy and I to raise and/or pay ourselves, especially since we can’t get sponsored by our employers, she’s in social work, and I’m a grad student (we’re poor). That was a fun ride though. We’d like to do a century ride (100 miles) this year, preferably somewhere in the Coastal Plain where it’s flat.

Stacy had a bit of a crash on her bike last Sunday. Luckily it was just bruises, so it will heal soon enough. It was sort of the fault of both of us. I slowed up while approaching a greenway trail bridge that crosses the Neuse River. She swerved to avoid me, and crashed right into a post that prevents vehicles from driving on the trail and bridge. She did a somersault over the handlebars, but was able to ride home. Hopefully she heals quickly so she can both not hurt, and be able to keep training for our upcoming rides.

Anyway, that’s it for cycling talk now (my lunch break is over). For you cyclists out there, keep the rubber side down.

Cheer!

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Hello all,

Stacy and I sent out our annual Groundhog Day card and letter last week to family and a few friends. Since I’ve been a little too busy with grad school lately, I haven’t really updated this blog as often as I should, despite there being a lot of big news in the last 12 months. I’ll repost our letter here. Consider this our “catching up on blog posts” post.

The 2013 Moorberg family Groundhog Day card.

The 2013 Moorberg family Groundhog Day card.

Happy Groundhog Day everyone!

It’s that time of year again when giant rodents all over America come out of hibernation and predict the change of seasons for all of us based on the sighting of their own shadow. That also means it’s time for us to reflect on the last year. This last twelve months have been pretty busy for us. Stacy is still working at the hospital. She’s also been busy working on a variety of crochet projects, including some afghans that will be auctioned off to benefit the Relay for Life. Some other notable projects include an afghan wedding gift for Colby’s mom and husband (more on that later), and some bearded stocking hat Christmas presents for Colby and his brothers.

Colby has been busy with school and research. As you read this he’ll be just finishing up with his preliminary exams for his PhD, and will be preparing for the oral exam to become a “PhD candidate”. He’s also been homebrewing in his free time, making a bunch of different styles of beer and hard cider. Some notable recipes include the “10YR Amber Ale” (a soil science inside joke), the “Hot Mess Pale Ale” (included 10 roasted Anaheim peppers that were soaked in tequila prior to fermentation), and the “MoBro American Black Ale” which was brewed during “Movember” (more on that later) and  included five ounces of hand-picked hops from the Department of Soil Science’s hop field trial plot.

For Memorial Day weekend, Stacy’s sister, Brenda and her kids, and sister, Corey came to visit us. It was the kids’ first time to the coast so we took them down to Wilmington, NC. There we visited the USS North Carolina (picture on the card). We also checked out the North Carolina Aquarium, and then headed to the beach so they could swim in the ocean for the first time.

In June we took a trip to the North Carolina Zoo for our fourth anniversary. It was a really fun trip, and one of the best zoos we’ve visited. We also did some traveling out of the state for some big events on Colby’s side of the family. In May we flew to Iowa to see Colby’s brother Matt graduate from Iowa State University with his bachelor’s degree in Agronomy. It was nice to have a break and get back to Iowa at the end of the semester to partake in the celebrations. Congrats to Matt!

In September we flew to Wisconsin to participate in Colby’s mom’s wedding. Ruth married her husband, Buck in the end of September in an outdoor ceremony with the foliage at peak colors. It was a pretty wedding, and a great opportunity to see all of the Green family. Congrats to her and Buck!

In November Colby’s grandmother, Dorothy turned 90 years old. It’s quite the achievement! We couldn’t make it back because Colby still had class, but we were celebrating from afar and over the phone. Also in November, Colby’s dad came down to Raleigh to celebrate Thanksgiving with us. All three of us also had a blast that weekend at a NC State football game (two of the pictures on the card).

There isn’t too much news from Stacy’s side of the family, other than everyone is healthy, especially Stacy’s dad who is now three years cancer-free!

Our beagle, Maisie is doing well. She’s had a new buddy for the last twelve months though. Forrester (the tri-color beagle on the card) is our current foster dog with the Triangle Beagle Rescue, and is our sixth foster dog so far. He is a senior foster dog who is around 11 years old. The older foster dogs don’t usually get adopted too quickly, so we’ve had him for a while. If we still have him by the time Colby finishes his PhD, he just might end up becoming a permanent member of the family.

As usual, we’ve done a lot of cycling this year. We took part in just one charity ride though.  We rode in the inaugural Velo4Yellow bike ride in September which raised money for the Livestrong Foundation. Off of the bike, Colby also organized a team in his department for “Movember”, a charity that raises money and awareness for men’s health issues, testicular and prostate cancer in particular. For “Movember”, each of the participants, referred to as “MoBros”, grow mustaches during the month of November. The team of four MoBros raised over $760! Colby also helped out with his Masonic Lodge’s barbecue fundraisers that sell hundreds of plates of Eastern Carolina style barbecue and brought in over $8,000 for the North Carolina Masonic Home for Children, and the Masonic and Eastern Star Home.

As you can tell, it has been a busy year. During all that, Colby has also been feverishly working on his PhD research. He submitted his first paper for peer review last November, but is still waiting to hear any news on that paper. He’s also currently working on finishing up his three PhD experiments, which will be wrapped up by the end of the spring semester. The plan is for Colby to complete the data analysis and writing as soon as possible, successfully defend his dissertation, complete his PhD, publish his current research, and become gainfully employed by the end of 2013. There’s a lot to do between now and then though, as Colby’s PhD adviser would surely tell you.

We hope all of you are doing well, and we’re always happy to get news from home – whether it is over the phone, in a letter, in an email, or on a Google+ hangout. We’d love to hear from you! If you want to keep up with us, Colby posts occasionally on <colbyandstacy.wordpress.com> with big news, or interesting stories and adventures. Colby also has his soil science blog <colbydigssoil.com>, just in case you want to learn about soil science, or Colby’s research.

 Happy Groundhog Day!

Stacy, Colby, and Maisie

So that’s our news from the last 12 months. As it turns out, Punxsutawney Phil didn’t see his shadow, so he is predicting an early spring. However Sir Walter Wally, the groundhog from the North Carolina Natural Science Museum, did see his shadow, so apparently North Carolina is still a ways away from spring weather. Also, Foursquare offered a Groundhog Day badge.

Happy Groundhog day everyone!

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Stacy at the wine tasting counter at Chatham Hill Winery

Today is Stacy’s birthday. We went to Chatham Hill Winery for a tour and tasting event. The tour was lead by the owner/winemaker, Marek Wojciechowski. He was born in Poland and later moved to western New York state, then started the Chatham Hill Winery in 1999. It was a good tour, and it was interesting to see all of the barrels stacked up to the ceiling full of aging wine. An interesting fact I learned is that prior to prohibition North Carolina produced more wine than any other state in the nation. What I did know about NC wine is that the state still produces a lot of wine, and is known most for the muscodine wines grown on the Coastal Plane, and the traditional grapes/wine produced in the Yadkin Valley in the foothills of the Appalachians.

We’ve toured a lot of breweries, so seeing the similarities and differences between wineries and breweries was interesting. My only complaint with the tour was how they kind of ragged on the brewing industry. There were several aloof comments that were perceived as jabs at brewers and beer. In my opinion those comments are only deserved toward the big brewing companies (and when it comes to Bud Light, Miller Light, etc – probably well deserved), not the thousands of craft brewers around the country. Also, the person leading the wine tasting  after the tour doesn’t even drink beer, and seemed proud about that fact. If you are an “expert” in one alcoholic beverage, shouldn’t you know at least a little bit about the most consumed beverage since the dawn of modern civilization? Anyway, that’s the end of my rant.

[Edit on 2-17-12. Note, we received a heartfelt comment from Sara, the person who lead our wine tasting. In that comment, she clarifies that Chatham Hill Winery is in no way anti-beer. My comments in this post were written through the lens of a beer drinker at a wine tasting,  so how their staff’s comments were perceived, and how they were meant may not line up exactly. Take that for what it’s worth. Please see Sara’s comment at the bottom of this post.]

After the tour there was a tasting of many of the styles of wine the winery produces. They started with dry white wines, then dry reds, then semi-sweet, then the sweet, non-grape wines. All of them were good. Stacy preferred the sweet wines. I liked the dry wines. We ended up buying some blueberry and raspberry wines.

We’d recommend taking the tour at Chatham Hill Winery if your in the Triangle Area. They have great wine.

After the winery tour we went home and walked the doggies, then went to a fellow grad student’s, Gina’s, apartment for a dinner get-together. Gina’s husband Robert won 5 lbs of chicken wings in a wing cook-off, so they cooked the wings up and had people bring sides. Since it was Stacy’s birthday we brought some red velvet cupcakes. I also brought some homebrew. The party was also fun, and a great way to top off the relaxing weekend.

For Stacy’s birthday I made her some blueberry pancakes for breakfast, and I got her a bunch of little gifts including jewelry, candy, and of course wine.

Happy birthday Stacy!

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Big Boss's Army Truck

We toured a local craft brewery today. Big Boss Brewing Company is the second largest brewery in North Carolina, and is the largest brewery in the Triangle Area. We have been to their tap room before, but we have never toured their brewery. Their beer is really good (although it usually gives us headaches the following day after drinking only a few). I’d recommend their High Roller IPA or Helle’s Bells Belgium Ale.

It’s a big brewery (for a craft brewery). They produced 6,500 barrels last year and hope to make 11,000 barrels this next year. They’re growing rapidly, but from what they’ve described, they haven’t comprimised their brewing process in order to meet production. They’ve instead brewed on a more aggressive schedule and have been increasing their brewing capacity.

The tour was pretty good. It was loud at the brewing section of the tour because so many people were talking while waiting in line for a $1 beer at the tap area. They then moved into the fermenting, conditioning, and bottling rooms.

A long line for a brewery tour

We were surprised at the magnitude of this brewery tour event. They only do the tour on one Saturday of each month. By our estimate there was at least 500 people there. There were also three food trucks in the parking lot taking care of the crowd. I guess it was the only place for food truck business in the middle of the afternoon.

Here are some more pictures from the tour:

The $1 Beer Taps

Our tour guide at the bottling station

This was a fun brewery tour. It was much more of a community event than other brewery tours I’ve been on. The guys that work there seem pretty cool too. If your’e in Raleigh on a 2nd Saturday of any given month, be sure to stop in for a pint and see what this brewery is all about.

Cheers!

For past brewery tours of other breweries please follow this link

For our Picasa web album from this tour please follow this link

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Aviator Brewing Company Tour

A couple of weekends ago we had a “brewery weekend”. For the weekly grad student happy hour, a bunch of soil science grad students and Stacy and I went to Aviator Brewing Company in Fuquay-Varinea, NC for a tour. A few months ago I bought a Groupon which covered a free tour for two, two drafts, two pint glasses, and an empty growler (64 oz bottle in which to take tap beer home). I used it that night.

Before the tour, which started about 40 minutes late, the grad students that were there indulged in a game of corn hole (known in Iowa as bean bag toss). It is a true backyard sport because it only requires the use of one hand, leaving the other for holding frosty, adult beverages. Here are some pics of the corn hole game.

Aviator's brewing equipment (back) and corn hold board (front)

Stacy (left) playing corn hole against Chris D. (right). Stacy and I won of course!

Colby playing corn hole, beer in hand

Aviator's Corn Hole Board, decorated with a WWII-era airplane girl

We grad students, and a bunch of other beer enthusiasts took the tour which was pretty good. This brewery is one of the faster growing breweries in the area. The brewery first started out in an airport hanger, hence the name Aviator Brewing Co. When they expanded they moved to their current location. All of their beers are named after WWII airplanes if I remember right, which is kind of cool. Unfortunately, most of their beer is not very good. If you go there, only try the IPA and the pilsner; the rest of the beer is pretty bad. We ended up filling our free growler with the pilsner since it was the only one that was good that Stacy could handle.

After we were done at their brewery, we went to Aviator Smokehouse, also in Fuquay-Varina, and owned by the same group as the brewery. We had more of their beers and ate some Carolina style BBQ which, unlike their beer, was actually really, really good. I’d recommend skipping the brewery tour and going straight to the smokehouse, where, if you like, you can still try their craft beers.

Roth Brewing Company 1 yr Anniversary

The next day, Roth Brewing Company (previous post about Roth) celebrated their 1st anniversary. The guys at Roth are a riot and I definitely wanted to help them celebrate the momentous occasion. They sold tickets to the event for $10 for all you can eat BBQ, a commemorative 1 year anniversary pint glass, and one pint of your choice. They also had several bands playing throughout the day and a dunk tank where you could try your hand at “Dunk the Brewer”. Another thing I like about Roth is they are definitely a family business. It was started by two (Roth) brothers and their friends. The whole Roth family was their helping run the whole celebration. The name tags on the parents said “Mom” and “Dad” which I thought was kinda funny.

Later in the night there was a guest celebrity appearance. One of the members of a local band that was playing, Mark Roberts and The Occasionals, is the brother of Kid Rock. Kid Rock sang a few songs with the band, then just kind of chilled the rest of the night. We asked for some pictures and he was more than happy to entertain us.

Kid Rock and Stacy

Kid Rock and fellow grad student Stephen H. (notice Kid Rock is pinching his nipple)

Kid Rock and Colby

Congrats to Roth Brewing Company on their 1 year of making liquid goodness!

Here’s some FB pictures of the “Brewery Weekend”.

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Hello all. We are about a week late posting this stuff but we’ve been kinda busy lately. Last weekend (the weekend of the NC tornadoes) we started off that Saturday morning with the Wake County SPCA K9-3K dog walk. The Triangle Beagle Rescue had a team together and they even had a booth set up for the event. One of the other couples who foster for TBR have a beagle of their own that looks just like our current foster dog CD (pic below). As most of you know, photographing dogs and trying to get them to stay still doesn’t work too well so please forgive the blurry shot… but I’m sure you can see the resemblance.

CD Look-Alike

Here are some more pics from the event:

This was the third SPCA dog walk we’ve done. This years crowd was pretty small due to the forecasted bad storm (which showed up about 3 hours late), but they still met their fundraising goal/needs.

We had to leave early to go to a potluck picnic for the Soil and Water Conservation Society at NCSU. We are a student chapter of the SWCS that has formed and grown over the last two years. We had about a dozen or so people and had lots of fun. It was BYO-meat/protein and everyone brought a side or dessert to share. Everyone grilled their food themselves then we sat to eat together. Afterwords we threw a Frisbee and a football around for a while. It was a fun few hours but we had to break it up early for the incoming severe weather and tornadoes which I posted about here.

The “pole barn”, seen above,   we held the potluck, and it was actually pretty close to the path of the tornado. I heard everything is fine at the pole barn, but we were lucky we broke camp when we did. We left this place at 3pm. At 3:15pm  the tornado touched down in Sanford and we heard all about it on our way home.

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I have just a quick post this morning about the tornado that hit Raleigh and surrounding areas last Saturday. The tornado reportedly touched down in the town of Sanford where it destroyed a Lowe’s Home Improvement store (luckily there was no injuries since the employees rushed everyone to the back of the store in time). It then took a northeasterly track through downtown Raleigh where it caused lots of havoc. There are countless downed trees. Raleigh is “the city of oaks”, but they’re aren’t many left in the tornado’s wake. Homes close to its path almost all had roof damage or worse. Shaw University, a traditionally black university just east of downtown, was hit hard. They actually closed campus for the semester and students will reportedly be graded on what work they’ve completed to this point. The tornado then moved into a warehouse district where pretty much everything was decimated. It then crossed I440 (the belt line) and into Stony Brook, a trailer park, where three children were killed with a tree fell on the trailer in which they were taking shelter. The tornado kept moving northeast and eventually stopped in Rolesville.

Here’s a video of the tornado as it decended on to downtown Raleigh:

One of my Masonic brothers in Millbrook Lodge is a volunteer firefighter. He said he and the rest of his station’s crew worked 36 straight hours after the tornado. He had some really gruesome stories which I won’t post here, but they mostly were about rescuing people from houses that had been blown over.

Stacy and I were at a potluck picnic for the Soil and Water Conservation Society at NCSU (a student chapter I helped start) that day for lunch. The place we held it at was pretty close to the path. Luckily we broke camp around 3pm when we heard tornado warnings for counties west of us. We got home real quick and turned on the news. We watched the tornado live on WRAL until it reached downtown and our power went out. I suddenly realized that without power, internet, or a smart phone I had no way of knowing where the tornado was since we don’t have a battery-powered radio. I called my brother, Matt, who watched the radar for me from the safety of Ames, Iowa. Luckily for us, the closest the tornado came to us was about 2 miles northwest of our place. We only got heavy rain, but no hail or damaging winds. We are blessed in that nobody we knew was directly affected by the storm.

Our power came back on that night at midnight. Raleigh has been slowly putting itself back together. I think almost all of the citizens have power back on now. All of the roads were cleared by Monday evening and all of the stoplights were functioning by Tuesday evening. There has been lots of donation drives going on in the area.

There were tornadoes across the state as well. All together, the death count is 24. I drove down to my research site in Robeson County on the South Carolina boarder. On the way down I40 and I95 I drove over the path of three different tornadoes. The one in Dunn, NC was the worst and biggest. The damage from each tornado ranged from fallen trees to obliterated houses and trailers. Apparently Fort Bragg in Fayetteville was hit pretty hard by a tornado. I haven’t seen the damage myself, but I hope the best for the solders and their families on base.

If you want to read more about the tornadoes or see pictures and videos of the tornado and its after-effects, please go to WRAL’s archive page about the storm found here.

Thank you to all of you who checked in on Stacy and I. We were lucky it wasn’t worse, or closer to our home. I plan to get a weather radio soon, and likely a phone with at least internet capability once I upgrade in the next few months so we’ll be better prepared next time.

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