This is more book stuff—about Just Ride, which came out in May and isn’t setting the woods on fire, but is chugging along. At least one of you must be wondering what “chugging along” means. It’s one thing to say it in a sentence like that, but it’s kind of a humble tease, or something like that. A tease masquerading as humble, is more like it.
The first printing was 26,000 books. There has not yet been a second printing, and as I understand it, second printings are much much smaller than first ones. Still, for books of its type it is holding its own. I think the perfect companion books to it are the BSNYC books, which are better written, not because he has a better publisher or editor, but because he is a better writer. He tries to hide that behind the humor and what he calls snarkiness, but he is really good, and his books have shaken things up.
Another new book that is doing well, thank goodness, is Ann Patchett’s What Now?, a book that grew out of the commencement address she gave at Sarah Lawrence College in 2006, and great advice for anybody of any age who’s facing some sort of unknown future. Even if you think you aren’t, you’ll get something good out of this book. But certainly, absolutely, if you know a recent high school or college graduate, or somebody recently laid off work or just out of work, it is perfect. It’s not just good, but it may even help awaken a reading habit, and Ann Patchett has a few other books they can follow up with.
I suppose, speaking of books and authors and that whole world, I’ve got to mention because I’m getting some nice comments about it, that in the brand new NYT Book Review, David Eggers reviewed Just Ride and said good things about it. I had no idea it was going to happen, and the NYT is above my station, but there it is.
We are trying to get out a new paper catalogue by early next year, and about that time, a new Rivendell Reader, too.
I had lunch with Gary Taubes today in the Berkeley part of Oakland. Technically Oakland, but—well, at Barney’s in Berkeley. We both had salads with chicken and bacon, and a nice long general talk about stuff. He looks extremely fit, I’d say.
Did anybody else notice the Symbicort (?) commercial, where grampa and the grandkids head out fishing with fly reels on spinning rods? Did they get the formula for the drug right? Is this a “well, that’s not the point…” kind of deal, where it just shouldn’t matter or bug anybody. Maybe.
Whatsisname Vinnicourov (sp) won the Olympic road race. He looks a whole lot like Sean Virnig, of Rawland. It was a neat finish. I can hate racing’s influence (that’s my rep now, and it’s kind of about right) and still like to watch a finish like that. I’d still prefer to look at a peloton of riders dressed in normal clothing and looking like real people rather than … pro bicycle racers, but that’s OK. And all the bikes are the same now. No gleaming metal and individuality or jewelry on them. No PEOPLE in the making of them, at least none visible. All aero carbon with no clearance and no headset, cold and lab-designed. It’s OK, but that superficial aesthetic part of bike racing has not improved.
I remain wishing only objectively scored (measured, timed, weighed) events were in the Olympics. War-born events from the fighting field, like the original olympics. If I had a child or friend or even a friend of a friend of a cousin competing in synchronized swimming or ice dancing or rhythmic gymnastics, I’m sure I’d feel differently. I don’t like to see people lose, period, and especially not a subjectively scored event after getting an 8.9 from one judge instead of a 9.1.
A customer was international surfing and found this page on Toyo’s site. Toyo has made many bikes for us, and here you can see the first proto-Bombadil:
This bike has been a wonderful bike, on several overnights and on many trails, and currently is all assembled, clear-coated, and rides wonderfully. It’s a 52 x 650B, and we may sell it as is one of these days. Probably to a local so we don’t have to box itup and ship, but that has not been locked in yet. And no price, but it’ll be fair. We’re suffering from crappy cash flow right now, so look for it in a week or so. It will be AS IS, no changes, and there’s no warranty on the clear-coat. The bike is solid, but it’s not for prissies…no offense to anybody, just trying to make a point.
I have been spending a little time in the pool lately in preparation for my next book:
In it, I advocate cut-off blue jeans, hairy bodies and heads, kickboards and truck tire inner tubes, swim fins and cannonballs, breath-holding contests, and playing diving board catch, where the thrower always misjudges and shoots high.