June 14, 2007

Boulder Short Track #1 + more crap ’bout books


Sarah and I raced the first Boulder Wednesday night short track tonight. The short track is a Boulder tradition at this point – it’s been running for 7 or 8 years. The courses are amazingly fun given what the organizers have to work with, there’s always a good turnout, and sometimes there’s free beer afterwards.

But more to the point, it’s great training and good fun. I started poorly, as always, and was working my way into the top 10 or so (I think we had 25-30 guys) when I got a nice goathead in the rear tire and lost too much air to finish the race. Bummer. Sarah did great in her Boulder short track debut, hanging tough and *almost* avoiding being lapped by uber-fast Keri Barnholt. We’ll be back next week!

My facile thoughts about what I read since my last post:
The Kite Runner – great book, though everyone out there already knows that. I think I was the last person on earth to read this. Made me interested enough in Afghanistan to read about it on Wikipedia for almost half an hour!
Futureland – excellent, one of the best sci-fi books I’ve read in the last few months. An African-American take on the (near) future – my only gripe was that the semi-connected short story format seemed a bit clunky, especially at the end of the book when characters from previous stories start (somewhat implausibly) showing up.
The Race – mediocre. Sailing nonstop around the world is cool as shit, but a contest between a bunch of rich guys with tons of hired guns as crew is kinda lame. There was quite a bit of open-ocean sailing history that was really interesting, but the book bogged down pretty quickly once the focus shifted to “The Race” itself. The writing is pretty uninspired as well, so in hindsight, I wish I hadn’t bothered.
Life of Pi – let’s get something straight – I read for escape and entertainment. So I very well might have missed the point of this book entirely (ie, was the whole zoo animal thing just an elaborate metaphor? I have no idea). But while I was busy missing the point, I was quite nicely entertained, so I have to say that I liked this one a lot. I think my favorite thing about this book was the fact that the protagonist was *smart* – he’d do something and I’d think “yeah, that’s a really good idea, that’s just what I would do…” In too many cases in adventure stories, I end up wondering why someone would be so stupid, or not take obvious precautions. Sort of like watching the nubile coeds decide to split up to search the haunted woods for their missing friend – I hate situations where the plot has to be driven by the stupidity of the characters. Life of Pi did not suffer from this affliction, and I’m glad I read it.