March 11, 2007

Some things to avoid…

I’ve had quite a bit of experience with things that are mediocre this week… to whit:

The Postman, by David Brin. I knew Brin wasn’t much for characterization or plot/pacing, but of all the books to make into a movie, why the heck did they choose this one? I mean, his Uplift books at least have an interesting theme at their core, which distracts from the cardboard characters and nonsensical plots. Not so The Postman – it’s generic boilerplate post-apocalypic garbage, and it doesn’t even have zombies (zombies make up for a lot, in my opinion). I shudder to think how bad the movie must be. Frighteningly enough, it apparently is getting 4 out of 5 stars on the Amazon user reviews.

4 Rooms. I wasn’t entirely clear on what this movie was about when Sarah and I decided to watch it (her brother ripped us some DVDs for holidays gifts – don’t tell the feds). And I like Robert Rodriguez a lot, and Quentin Tarantino too. But 4 unconnected and nonsensical stories about a bellhop, with grating jazz music and horrifying acting, is not what I was in the mood for. Not even so bad it was good. Yikes.


The Stress of Her Regard
. Given that I read Powers’ most famous book (and briefly talked about it here, I think) first, I should have been prepared for a letdown, but this was a bummer anyway. I mean, the elements (cool long-dead British poets, vampires, Italy) are all in place for a wicked cool story, but they’re the *same* elements, essentially, as in the Anubis Gates, which is much better written. If I’d read Stress first, I might have liked it quite a bit. Given that I read it just a couple of weeks after Anubis, it’s terrible.

-True Temper. Clay (and now Joel) have been waiting for frames. They are large mammals who need LONG toptubes. Enter the True Temper HOX2DT01. 750mm of huge beefy 9/6/9 heat-treated goodness. The best beefy clydeproof downtube on the market, and in this case, the only one long enough to get the job done. I ran out of these in December and ordered another box of 40 or so from True Temper. No problem, they said, we’ll ship ’em after the New Year. Well, guess what? It’s mid-March and I have none. And the seatstays I ordered a month ago? Which are in stock? Last time I checked: “Uh, they’re still sitting here. That’s weird. We’ll send them right away.” A week later, I still have no seatstays. I literally can’t build any bikes (good thing I’ve got some forks to do) until I have them! Thanks a lot, TT!

-Premium Powdercoating. I know it’s hard to change locations, especially when you’ve got huge ovens and all kinds of other crap to move, but they’ve been preparing for this for like 6 months, and I’ve got probably half a dozen frames, plus a bunch of forks and other stuff that are pretty much just stuck in limbo up there. The worst part is that I’ve got no other options right now – taking the frames elsewhere would probably end up taking longer, and they’d probably screw things up for the first dozen or so frames (par for the course, I’ve found). So I have to sit on my hands and keep apologizing to people who are looking out their windows at the nice spring weather wishing they could ride. That sucks.

Ok, bitch bitch bitch. On the plus side, Sarah and I went for a nice ride at Green Mountain this afternoon before it started raining. It was almost dry, too, though we had to walk around a couple of serious mud pits in spots. I got my singlespeed put back together and enjoyed riding that a lot, too. Time to put the travel bike back in the case, I think.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend! Pictures of, like, something for my next post, I promise. And more bike stuff and less books. Maybe another recipe, since blogs about just bikes are boring. Did anyone actually cook themselves some Pad Walt? It’s seriously not bad…