Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Bike Wheels for Sale

These are the wheels I have up on ebay for sale

My dad gave them to me to save for the road bike I'm saving up for. The thing is, the bike I'm saving up for already has equivalent wheels. He upgraded his, not because there was anything wrong with these, so much as because a salesperson convinced him. As for mileage, he has done one century ride, and he worked up to it for about six months at about 60-100 miles per week.

The wheels are straight and true, and they look new to me.

The details:

SHIMANO WH - RS 10wheel set

  • Alloy rims and hubs with aero spokes
  • Black finish hub shells
  • New wider flange hub and offset rim for increased power transmission
  • 16-spoke front
  • 20 spoke rear
  • Rim wear indivator
  • Speed: 8/9/10 speeds
  • Color: Black
  • Weight: 1807g
  • - Original skewers + Rim tape

    - Minimal rim ware.

    - Hubs are perfect and smooth.

    - The rims are STRAIGHT.

    Sold as-is. no returns.

    Wednesday, January 26, 2011

    Dragonquest, by Anne McCaffrey

    This is the sequel to Dragonflight, the first of Anne McCaffrey's books about the world of Pern. I don't like this one as much. If Dragonflight is Lessa's story, then this is F'lar's story - her Weyrmate (as close as dragonriders get to husbands). The thing is, rather than building to a climax, it is more a series of problems, discoveries, and solutions. It is a good escape to the world and lives of dragonriders in Pern, where bad guys consist of mindless organizms that fall from the sky, and petty sour ornery people who need a time out. There is one knife duel, and a couple of dragons fight to the death, but that's about it for physical conflict. The rest is more political and interpersonal drama.

    This book also reminded me of what I don't like about these books - dragonriders are telepathically linked to animals, which gets a little weird when it comes time for the animals to mate. The result is that dragonriders don't have the same constraints about their sex lives, and there's more discussed and portrayed than I'm comfortable with in this book. No, you're not going to get your kicks off of it, but I wouldn't want my kids reading it until they're mature, and even then I wouldn't recommend it. Sorry to say that I give this one a thumbs down.

    Monday, May 17, 2010

    Fablehaven V - The Keys to the Demon Prison, by Brandon Mull

    This is the final book in the Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull. I wish I could do more to spread the word about how great these books are! It's too bad they didn't get the marketing that Harry Potter or Twilight did - they could have, and they deserve to have, become much more well known. The idea behind the series - magical or mythical creatures have fled to preserves or reservations, as the normal world has stopped believing in them, and these preserves each have a caretaker. The youth characters in these books are the grandkids of a caretaker, and get involved in fighting a conspiracy to let demons out of prison that would destroy the world. The storyline is unique, the characters are believable, the fantasy world in it is different enough from anything else I've read, that I have to give the author full credit for his creativity.

    As the last book in the series, this book does not disappoint. It starts out fast, and keeps going the whole time, with twists and turns and all sorts of fun stuff. I liked the ending too - it leaves me wanting more, but wraps up the story of the books nicely.

    The audiobooks - the first five minutes or so I get a little bugged by the reader - slightly too diminuitive in his pronunciation and intonation. I quickly get used to it though, and he does a great job with the different voices and stuff. This series is a personal and family favorite - right up there, a very close 2nd to Harry Potter. Nice work, Brandon Mull!

    Friday, February 26, 2010

    The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien

    One of my favorite childhood memories is laying in my parents' waterbed (which was too hot to sleep in but great to get warm when you're little) and listening to my dad read the Hobbit. It became my favorite book long before I ever read it myself. My dad did the trolls' voices (turns out he censored things a bit for my little ears) and smaug's voice, and to this day, this story makes me feel warm and safe. I enjoy reading it to my kids too. My appreciation of the book hasn't diminished as I've read other works of fantasy. The lanugage is rich and cultured, and the personalities of the characters seem very real to me. The story is good for bedtime reading to young children because it progresses from adventure to adventure.

    As an audiobook, it's quite good too. The reader, Rob Inglis, does a fair job on the voices. I don't care for his singing so much, but then I didn't care for the songs in the story anyway. 9 out of 10.

    Thursday, January 21, 2010

    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, by J.K. Rowling

    The first audiobooks I listened to are still my favorite - the Harry Potter series, by J.K. Rowling, read by Jim Dale. I've been waiting till the right time to post a review, and even now this is less of a review and more of a blog entry.

    Some of my favorite childhood memories are of when I was little and my older sister and I would lay in my parent's waterbed and my dad would read to us The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien. I loved his voices as he read the three trolls arguing over how to cook the dwarves, as Bilbo taunted the giant spiders that had captured his friends, while he busily dispatched them with Sting, his short sword, and as he risked enchantment by dragonspeech to find Smaug's weakness. It takes me back to childhood every time I read the book, and for this reason, it will always be my favorite single work of fiction.

    Well, now I have five sons, and it's my turn to carry the baton. As each successive son has reached the point where he can follow a complex story without pictures being read to him (usually around age 5) I've read the Harry Potter series to them and the next older brother has followed along for school credit. It's always so much fun for all of us. Tonight I finished reading book 7 to my now 6-year old son. As we read the part where Neville takes up Griffindor's sword, and then when Harry cast "expelliarmus" at Voldemort, my cute boy was so excited he stood up in bed and hooted and cheered.

    There's not much that I enjoy more than escaping into a good work of fiction, and it is one of those choice experiences of parenting to get to share that with my kids. Thanks, J.K. Rowling, for writing such an amazing series of wholesome, rich, enthralling, and engaging books to teach our children the joys of reading.

    It's so much fun to me to share this with my kids

    Monday, November 9, 2009

    Dragonflight, by Anne McCaffrey

    I started reading this series of books in Middle School. The author calls them science fiction, but really I think they have a lot more in common with fantasy - it takes place on a world colonized by earth, but that lost contact thousands of years before. Without modern technology, an agrarian society with the apprentice system is set up. Dragons are basically indigenous creatures that people team with to protect from a sort of deadly rain that comes around every 200 years... Sounds strange huh? They're fun books though. Anne McCaffery was the first woman to win the Hugo award because of this series of books, the Dragonriders of Pern. I enjoy the theme of rediscovering as the characters unearth more history and background - something that always makes books more interesting to me. The characters are fun and well written, and the dragons are dang cool. You can't help but want your own. I think part of my fascination with dragons comes from these books, and they're the standard against which I hold dragons in most other fiction. Christopher Paolini appears to have been highly influenced by the dragons in these books, for example.

    The audiobook is good - Average production quality, no silly special effects or anything. As far as rating where children are concerned, again, probably PG-13, though not as much as Treason, the last book I reviewed.

    Thursday, November 5, 2009

    Treason, by Orson Scott Card

    "A Plantet Called Treason" was one of the first books by Orson Scott Card, and he later went back and edited it and published it again under the title, "Treason." I read this book as a teenager, before I knew who Orson Scott Card was. Every now and then as an adult I would try and remember the title of the this weird book about a planet where scientists were abandoned to pursue their area of expertise with their families, all of whom separated into clans, and bred/developed their knowledge till the genetecist could heal like Wolverine, the geologist could mold and shape stone, the demagogue could create the illusion of themselves as other people, the physicist could control the rate of travel through time around themselves. This is the background to the book. A few months ago it came back to mind, and I rediscovered the name and author of the book, so I decided to get it.

    It's been a long time. Unlike most of Card's work, this book is more adventure and action and a plot that is physically interesting, instead of the psychological drama of the Ender quartet, or the political and intellectual intrigue of the Bean quartet. This one moves along and is fun. It's also quite interesting as far as a thought study on these powers people could develop if...

    There is some sensuality in the book, though not explicitly sexual - more than I would like my 11-year old son to be exposed to, so I would suggest a strong PG-13 rating as a book.

    The audio production is fine - one of the people who reads the Ender and Bean saga reads the whole book, as it's told from first-person perspective. All in all, a pleasant, intersting book. I'll give it 7 out of 10.