Pre Runner-Up Disclaimer: Best Vampire Movie Based on a (Comic) Book Of All Time: Blade, hands down.

That said, check the radness of today's Runner-Up

Ann Rice Autograph - $45 (Normal Heights)

Five bucks says this ad ties to Lestat's somehow....

On to business and the day's Most All-Important Best Of The 'Hood Craigslist Posting Super PWNAGE Action Time:

VINTAGE 80's Master Iron Man Dave Scott Signitured Centurion Road Bike - $230 (ANYWHERE SAN DIEGO)

As I mentioned in the comments section of some blog or another, I have been searching high and low for a new (old) road bike. I want to get into road racing, run some crits and do some of the SDBC weekend rides. Being of the low-income persuasion, I want a good, solid, 80's or early 90's steel road bike. The biggest problem in finding one is that I am 6'2" tall and I need a very tall bike. Bicycles of very large or very small size are hard to find, even for a craigslist sleuth like myself.

When I saw the ad for an old Ironman Master, I nearly flipped. In its day, this was a great bike. Worthy of competitive road racing. For whatever reasons, there are a great number of Centurions in San Diego, though few of them are the good models and fewer still are large enough for me. Suffice to say, I wanted this bike and I was ready to buy it. So I sent out an email.

Immediately, I received an auto-response describing a camera and asking for my phone number so we could talk about buying the camera.

Not wanting a camera, I sent another email to the address attached to the auto-reply. Basically, "um, yeah, so I wanted the bike? Is there some mistake?"

I got a reply fairly swiftly which assured me that the bike was still available and asked for my phone number. The girl, who signed her emails "Kim," told me she would call me. She did so eventually, although not until I was at work, where my phone becomes a sort of perverted watch that makes nearby speakers go haywire. I didn't know she'd tried calling me until I got home to my email, wherein Kim told me she tried calling me three (3) times and that my phone didn't work.

It's usually at this point that I get irritated with people when they want to sell me something and they make it difficult. I want to give you my money. Why couldn't you just leave me a message, Kim? I would have called you back, set up a time to see the bike. Easy.

Anyways, I sent her yet another email saying, "yes, my phone works, feel free to try calling me again. I am still interested, etc." By this time it's Saturday night around 9:30.

She emailed me back almost immediately and told me to call her anytime.

So I did.

"Oh, hi!" Kim said. "When do you want to see the bike?"

"Well, I'm getting out of work tomorrow at five o'clock. Maybe I could see it then?"

'Oh, well, do you want to see it tonight? I'm at Lestat's."

Then her phone died. sigh Since I had nothing to do except watch Sunny with my roommate, I just sort of sat around and waited for Kim to call me back. After about half an hour, she did, and we decided that, after she brought her boyfriend home (because, apparently, he couldn't come along) she'd swing by my house with the bike. She'd been driving around with it all day, hoping someone would call and want to see the it. I guess this is the purpose of the (SD ANYWHERE!) location.

Twenty minutes alter, she rolls by and I go out to see the bike. It's not the bike advertised, not even close. Beautiful frame, absolutely stunning piece of 1980's engineering with hardly a century-ride put to it. The rest of the bike, however, was a nightmare. At some point in this poor bike's history, some ham-fisted mechanic had deprived it of it's race-worthy componentry and built a Frankenbike. Mountain bike handlebars, no front derailleur, low end rear derailleur and no-name brakes; all working together to create this poor, deformed, 6 speed monster. It was probably one of the worst set-up bikes I have ever laid eyes upon. I have very little doubt that neither Kim nor her boyfriend knew much about bikes.

"Yeah, I want to be able to race" I told Kim. "But thanks for bringing it out."

"Well, we could take less money for it" she said. "How about $200?"

The undertones of desperation are suddenly becoming overtones.

I tried to explain that I needed a bike that was ready for racing and that I only had about $250 to spend anyways. It would have taken me another three hundred (300) bucks to get that bike back in shape.

"$150?" she asked, with hints of a pleading tone creeping into her voice. "Me and my boyfriend are trying to sell a lot of stuff so we can move and I just found out I'm pregnant and...."

And I stopped her. I stopped her there because I didn't want to think about buying her bike.

Even though I kind of wanted to, maybe just a little bit.

I don't have the money to restore a vintage lightweight road bicycle. It's not an option. I always want to build up bicycles, from frame to finishing touches, but that's a pricey hobby that one must beware during times of economic recession. But, damn it if I didn't want to give her that hundred-fifty (150) and do what I could to make her crummy week/month/year/life just that much brighter. I don't know if this is my "better nature" speaking up or just some twisted sense of obligation to suffer so that others might benefit. I'd prefer not to dwell on my motivations in the matter, to tell the truth, because I didn't buy the bike.

But I did think about it, if only just for a second. Ultimately, I just said "sorry" and walked back into my house.

I tell myself that my $150 wouldn't have come close to fixing her problems; even if I've been in situations myself where $150 would have been a life-saver. I know it's sadly possible that she just stole that bike and couldn't be less pregnant; even if it's not my place to judge a stranger harshly. I tell myself that I can't be careless with money; even if money's just a fiction and a trifle. I tell myself that it's ok to just care about my own problems for once.

I tell myself these things because they're true. Even so, it doesn't help me not want to cry some after Kim's long gone and I'm knee-deep in classified ads, looking for the next dream bike.

More like this:

Comments

FullFlavorPike Oct. 26, 2009 @ 12:46 a.m.

PS - Anyone selling a 60cm roadie PLEASE contact me immediately. I am out my head trying to find a new bike. My knees are dying from riding fixed AND running every day.

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SDaniels Oct. 26, 2009 @ 1:12 a.m.

Pike, how can you be so disgustingly healthy of habit? Really unbecoming. :)

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SDaniels Oct. 26, 2009 @ 1:13 a.m.

That rubber rat might be the one missing from my Pie-eyed Piper costume!

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FullFlavorPike Oct. 26, 2009 @ 1:17 a.m.

Is that the costume you dress up in when you forge Ann Rice's autograph ? ;)

Nighty, night, Daniels. Got a restau to open in the morn and it's clean the oven-glass day tomorrow. Note correct use of ' in previous sentence. Tiao.

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SDaniels Oct. 26, 2009 @ 1:17 a.m.

"Full Shimano 600 Equipped"

My bike, wh is purple and green, says this; not sure what it means.

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FullFlavorPike Oct. 26, 2009 @ 1:19 a.m.

Shimano 600 was the gruppo (gears, shifters, brakes, wheels, etc.) which was their second best groupset in the 80's. Not quite Dura-Ace, but better than 105. Now known as Ultegra.

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SDaniels Oct. 26, 2009 @ 1:20 a.m.

Ok, good luck on that glass. I recommend Mrs. Meyers' natural essential oils-infused cleaner :)

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David Dodd Oct. 26, 2009 @ 2:41 a.m.

I find it funny in a not-so-funny way, that they left out the "e" in Anne Rice. I know, I'm easily entertained.

Concerning the bike, sorry. I'm also 6' 2", I know what you go through. Fortunately, I'm edging up on 50 years old now, so I have a great excuse to no longer ride. I need to conserve these remaining heart beats, and riding gets in the way of my cigarette and alcohol consumption ;)

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SDaniels Oct. 26, 2009 @ 2:49 a.m.

"I find it funny in a not-so-funny way, that they left out the "e" in Anne Rice. I know, I'm easily entertained."

Well, it's not exactly the screwless stripper pole, but...hey, check out where Pike misuses apostrophes--it's a blast!

I have sometimes smoked when riding my bike, gringo. One gets the strangest looks :)

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David Dodd Oct. 26, 2009 @ 3:57 a.m.

I was going to make fun of Pike's semicolon, but thought better of it. I mean, hell, it's a semicolon. Almost a colon. Good enough.

Picture this, ten years ago:

It's Friday, I grab my paycheck and my backpack and leave unmentioned aerospace company in unmentioned part of San Siego, on my mountain bike. It was a cheap one, I modified it for my height, and I rode quickly. I didn't go with the traffic, I raced it. I never do anything half-assed.

I ride a few miles to the bank and cash the check, then I stop by the liquor store because it's hot outside (it's always hot outside when you ride at fifty miles per hour). I ride a few miles back down to the trolley station and haul my bike on board, taking a seat near it. I take my helmet off, reach into my backpack and tug on a quart of cold beer.

The looks I got!

Riding in Tijuana was an adventure, though. The drivers have absolutely no regard for bike riders. They might as well be targets.

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SDaniels Oct. 26, 2009 @ 4:10 a.m.

"I was going to make fun of Pike's semicolon, but thought better of it. I mean, hell, it's a semicolon. Almost a colon. Good enough."

What da heck is up wit you and the semicolon lately, refried? Not speaking? Not long ago, you wrote a joyous paean to the semicolon--remember?! Now I'm totally afeared for my own semicolons, as though I should shield them from your view :)

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SDaniels Oct. 26, 2009 @ 4:12 a.m.

"unmentioned part of San Siego,"

Never MIND semicolons, we have other issues--with the SS! (And ignore that comma splice:)

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SDaniels Oct. 26, 2009 @ 4:14 a.m.

"...then I stop by the liquor store because it's hot outside"

You should have loudly proclaimed this completely reasonable justification to all seated nearby. Maybe it was because it was a QUART of beer? Quien sabe...(sic?)

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David Dodd Oct. 26, 2009 @ 4:21 a.m.

I think that the semicolon is grossly over-used. It isn't even a fully-grown colon! It's like, the lower portion is still a tadpole. Let it grow up, I say! Give it some time, soon it will loose its tail and become a colon. Which reminds me of the funniest headline I've read in quite some time, from the Orange County Register, no less, in the sports section back in June:

http://failblog.org/2009/10/14/headline-fail-5/

Obviously, the pitcher is Bartolo Colón, but the paper not only failed on the accent, they failed on the headline. Oh those whacky editors! I have some great newspaper stories, but no one seems to appreciate them ;)

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David Dodd Oct. 26, 2009 @ 4:24 a.m.

Sorry about San Siego. "S" is next to the "D". What can I say? I'm a perfect study for anyone studying typos and how we make them.

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SDaniels Oct. 26, 2009 @ 4:56 a.m.

refried now claims:

"It's like, the lower portion is still a tadpole. Let it grow up, I say! Give it some time, soon it will loose its tail and become a colon."

That is adorable; it only makes me love those tadpoles more! ;)

http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/2009/sep/23/cover/#

@comment #54, refried declared:

"Hah! I was reading a great rant against semicolons earlier. I LOVE THE SEMICOLON! ;;;;;

It's, like, you write this big giant rambling sentence that seems to go nowhere but insists on being written and reaches a point where it's far too large to be acceptable but not quite finished; and this happy little thing called the simicolon makes the world whole once again.

By refriedgringo 12:22 a.m., Sep 24, 2009 > Report it

I agree, and have stated as much elsewhere; I won't go on ;)

By SDaniels 12:30 a.m., Sep 24, 2009 > Report it

And...

From a review by SD of one of refried's winning blog entries:

"What a beautiful line, and excellent use of semicolon: "I closed the laptop; I was trapped in my own shining heart.""

Just for fun, from a Jeff Smith review:

http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/2007/apr/26/soul-wit/#

"Vivian's mentor frets about punctuation in Donne's Holy Sonnet #6 ("And death shall be no more, comma, Death thou shalt die"). A comma splice should separate the independent clauses, she contends, because "nothing but a breath -- a comma separates life from life everlasting."

The NCRT production offers visual evidence of this contention. Marty Burnett's scenic design has no "insuperable barriers"; no semicolons. The stage is bare, save for curtains, like those in a hospital, that open and close and change scenes in a single breath."

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David Dodd Oct. 26, 2009 @ 5:03 a.m.

I am, completely and totally, guilty as charged ;)

And, even though I am officially now one hour behind all of you on the other side of the big metal fence (for a week, I reckon), I'm tired and going to bed :)

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SDaniels Oct. 26, 2009 @ 5:07 a.m.

Ok dear--listen, if it counts, I want to read your news stories!

Sweet semicolon dreams to you ;)

PS: I literally have a semicolon, hence my loyalty.

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SDaniels Oct. 26, 2009 @ 5:29 a.m.

[blush] Good mawnin' to you, CuddleFish :)

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SDaniels Oct. 26, 2009 @ 5:34 a.m.

14: That headline is hysterical, as are some of the comments. refried's (intentional?) pun "whacky" fits right in.

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antigeekess Oct. 26, 2009 @ 7:36 a.m.

Looks like there was some quality entertainment generated just a few hours ago; sorry I missed it. :)

It also looks like that rat story may be bonafide. From the interwebs:

"I've told this story before, but it bears repeating: I once went to a party at Anne Rice's house in New Orleans. She was handing out rubber rats at the front door as people entered. That's when she was living in the refurbished orphanage. Drink and shame prevent me from remembering most details of that night. But I can relate that she is one creeeeeepy broad. posted by ColdChef at 8:23 AM on October 24, 2005"

"Several years ago Wendy and I went to the World Fantasy Convention - its always held on Oct 31. That year it was in New Orleans. I don't know how it was arranged, but this one person who was trying to become Wendy's agent managed to get us invited to Anne Rice's Halloween party. She has a very interesting place. Some lovely old mansion. I have to admit I was amused at the party favours - rubber rats."

It also looks like her signature on the rat itself (which does have the "e"):

http://www.kruegerbooks.com/books/sig/rice.jpg

That's a pretty cool gift for somebody who's into Anne Rice, actually. Takers?

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CuddleFish Oct. 26, 2009 @ 9:02 a.m.

I thought it was pretty cool even before you found those stories to verify the provenance! I want the rat!!!!

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