Saturday, June 21, 2008

Cycling Movies

So we've all heard about "Breaking Away," right?  If you haven't, then someone needs to slap your parents.  Not for failing to introduce you to this Oscar winning film, but for raising a child in a such a pitiful and meaningless environment.

breakingaway.jpgAs far as films-with-bikes go, nothing beats Breaking Away.  Nonetheless, there are a few that are worth watching.  However, here are three other cycling-related films that I have recently watched.  All are completely different, and all are worth your time.

Triplets of Belleville: This one is about chubby kid who loves riding his bike.  His grandmother trains him and he eventually gets to ride the Tour de France.  He is kidnapped during the race and his skills are used to support a gambling ring.  Sound weird?  Well it is.  But since the movie is animated, you can temporarily suspend your disbelief for the story.  I don't think you'll ever see it on Cartoon 2_seconds.jpgNetwork though.  I am not sure it will hold the attention of a Sponge-Bob loving kid suffering from A.D.D.   It is however, funny, smart, and almost completely without dialog.  What a trip.

2 Seconds: A pro female downhiller loses an important race and consequently her job.  Looking for purpose, she takes a job as a bike courier and meets up with a bike shop owner who was a pro road racer.  Both love cycling.  Our heroine learns from her new mentor the truly important things in life.  If you ride a bike, then you'll relate to this one.

American Flyers:  This one is the only one on my list which is truly about bike racing.  Is about two brothers (one is played by Kevin Costner) who take a road trip to race in Colorado.  The back-story about their family problems and medical issues try to make this a serious film, but falls short.  Watch it for the bike racing.  The rest is just fluff used to tie the cycling scenes together.

Friday, June 06, 2008

My Lawn Rocks

Is your green thumb actually red, dried up, and shriveled?  Are you a lazy bum who wants to spend his weekends on the couch?  Are you completely inept in your ability to properly maintain, feed, and grow a yard that doesn't fuel the housing market decline?  If you are like me, you answered "yes" to all these questions.

lawn.JPGRecently, I decided to go for broke and buy synthetic grass.  That's right, "Welcome to the world of astro-turf, Mr. Spano." Actually, it is a pretty smart decision. There were a lot of reasons why I thought I should go for it, but mostly I was driven by the desire to save thousands of gallons of water, and keep the air free of lawnmower pollution.  (Hey man, we're talking about pulling the equivalent of 43 cars off the road!)  OK, so maybe the truth is that I am just lazy.  Either way, I kinda like the irony of justifying pulling out a lawn by claiming it is "going green."

So how's it look? lawncloseup.JPG Pretty darn good...and a helluva lot better than any lawn I could ever keep!  Put it this way, everyone stops and stares.  Everyone.  I even caught our local landscaping crew driving by real slow, trying to figure it all out.  Of course I can't tell if people are staring at it like they do at J. Lo's butt, or if they are staring at it like the bearded lady at the circus.

At this point I don't really care though.  I don't have to mow or fight weeds ever again...I mean, I am saving the planet!

The company I used was Progreen International.  I don't know if it is the best, but there are certainly no regrets here.