Sunday, May 10, 2009

Another Myth

What's the deal with mom and pop sports shops? My experience, over the last couple of years, is that, not only do chains offer a better selection, but they also provide a much better service. I have had bad experiences with a couple of bay area bike boutiques. Not bad enough to mention them here by name, but quite disappointing nevertheless.

On the other hand, whenever I visit Sports Basement in Sunnyvale, or Performance Bike in Mountain View, I am getting an A+ service from passionate, knowledgeable and courteous employees. They provide good advice, they fix my bikes, they fit Emma with the optimal wetsuit, and they treat me well.

Go big business!

It’s a Painting of a Girl in a Shell

After burning through a small stack of physical (i.e. "real") books, I finally got to read on my Kindle 2 a first fun book: the only other item I had purchased for my Kindle is a reference book, which one doesn't read linearly, cover to cover.

The fun book is Passion on the Vine: A Memoir of Food, Wine, and Family in the Heart of Italy, by Sergio Esposito (yes, he of Italian Wine Merchants). It's a lovely, well-written book. I'm almost done reading it, so I'm slowing down to prolong the joy and delay the inevitable.

The only downside with Passion on the Vine is that it makes me hungry and thirsty, constantly craving hearty food and good wine.

Using the Kindle's "clippings" feature, I can share a passage:

And then there is unjustifiable beauty. It’s personal beauty, imperfection, ambiguity. It’s beauty you cannot argue for because you have no material proof, only your own certainty. This was the magnificence of Bartolo’s wine. It was constantly morphing, evolving, impossible to know entirely. You could experience it an infinite number of times and you would never be able to master it. This was the true beauty, the kind of great art that transcends its time and invites its admirer to continue searching within it for the answer to some unknown question. It wasn't a catchy pop song or a girl in a makeup commercial. You couldn't pin it down by saying it smelled like rose petals. That was as reductive and senseless as looking at The Birth of Venus and saying, “It’s a painting of a girl in a shell.”