No real biking stuff here, just some random shit you might find interesting, as sometimes happens with these water bottles posts.
- From the NEFAQ* file: Why do I call random blog entries Water Bottles? Easy. I've got thirty water bottles laying around, they have all different random logs on them, you never know exactly what kind of scummy crap they'll contain, and water bottles are always good for a laugh - squirt people, pitch them, they drop out an inopportune times, they don't do a great job with what you'd really like them to do, i.e. keep your drinks cold and actually secured to the bike... Hence water bottles. A lot of situations in life remind me of water bottles - basically functional, sort of a random assortment of shit, not perfect, but it's what you have so you roll with it.
- *NEFAQ - Not exactly a frequent asked question.
- Books I've been reading lately - I'll leave out the serious shit, and a couple books relating to legal writing, and just pitch this really amazing series by Patrick O'Brian, the Aubrey-Maturin books. Remember Russell Crowe in Master & Commander? That movie was loosely based on a couple minor plot elements from books in this series, and took the title from the first book in the series, which it resembles not at all. The books - really 20 books that make out one enormous novel - center on the career of Captain Jack Aubrey and his good friend, Stephen Maturin, who is a physician, spy, and revolutionary in turns. The action takes place around the turn of the 19th Century and is ridiculously historically accurate. The stories are built around some naval battles, some political intrigue, and all the normal problems in life, with an emphasis on how the rigid manners of the Royal Navy and Georgian Society generally made just getting along damned hard. And all the time, there is the skein of the close friendship between the cerebral, complex Dr. Maturin and his best friend, the large and larger-than-life, but not exactly think-y, Captain Aubrey. Each novel in the series follows the heroes as they negotiate some typical major challenge faced by the Naval warriors or spys of the era, with simultaneous narrative threads involving adultery, nagging mothers-in-law, failed attempts at social climbing, fatuous supervisors, drunkenness, and perfidious Frenchmen. The remarkable friendship between the two is also exceptionally portrayed - both work hard to abide by the Man Laws, circa 1805, and properly studied could make a decent primer for teenage young men on how to act among friends. Duelling aside, of course. I have never been so fully engrossed by a story before. I'd recommend you start with the first one if you're interested.
- I bought a new-to-me truck today from CarMax to replace the one that died last Sunday on the way to the Tacchino. I know you wind up paying $500 or more extra with their no-haggle policy. But you know what? I prefer it that way. I'm a ball breaking negotiator. I can put the hurt on people in negotiations. I make a living doing that. But if I'm not getting paid to make 4 or 5 visits to a car dealer prior to inking a deal, I don't want to friggin' hear about it. I *hate* spending 15 or 20 hours of my time to knock some dealer down $2000 on the price of a car. I walked into Carmax today, had a list of 15 specific cars, in stock, I wanted to look at; three different models. I narrowed it to three cars, the pick of each litter; did test drives; selected one; and, worked the finances in about 10 minutes. A half hour later I was signing the papers, and a half hour after that I drove off. Yep, it was probably $500 or $1000 more expensive than what I could have gotten, given enough haggling, playing phone tag, acting coy and hanging around a local auto dealership. I couldn't care less. My time is worth more to me than that, and in the grand scheme of things, I'll happily trade $500 amortized over 5 years to save 20 hours of hassle from some salesman who assumes I'm a moron, and treats me that way. That kind of irritation just isn't necessary. How much is not having a hassle in one of the high stress areas of your life worth to you? And (B), do you think the normal car franchises are ever going to figure this out?
- Spent about 3 hours last night gluing up some Vittoria tubulars to some old Mavic 330 rims. After flatting at Ed Sander, and after hoisting my Salsa Delgado's and Deep Vees one too may times, I decided it was time to give tubbies a try. We'll see tomorrow at Sykesville how they work and whether I'm a clueless glue sniffer, or skillful at Mastickation.