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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Sad Tidings.

The event I have long since dreaded has occurred.  As I have aged, so too have the idols of my youth.  From Sean Connery, to cast and crew of Star Treks passed, they have shown the passage of time.  But the ones who have always remained youthful in my mind conjuring treasured memories from my times in New Hampshire as a child, my sister and I lip syncing their lyrics in an impromptu sock puppet show for our parents, collecting every snippet and scrap of memorabilia I could garnish.  Visiting the libraries micro fiche room coping old news articles and photos, or the occasional album my mother would find me in her travels to Woolworths.  I was not a child so much of the 60's, but I caught their act for years of re-runs.  I am talking of course about the Monkee's.  Yes, the arch typical "manufactured Boy band" that started it all.  Apart from the simplicity of their more bubble gum tunes, their was a frivolity and care free nature that was of great appeal to me through my youth and well into young adulthood.  Further rekindled with their anniversary tour in the 80's which I began somewhat like their "Deadhead" following them from show to show, as best I could.  I had the pleasure of meeting them all save Micheal Nesmith.
Tonight my sister informed me of the sad passing of "The Cute One" David Jones.
My heart goes out to his surviving family, and to the other members of the quartet, Peter, Mike and Micky.
I leave you with this...

Excuse Me, Please watch where you're walking. Thats my heart your stepping on.

There are times when the rewards of parenting are greatly overshadowed by the thunderclouds of youth.  I can VIVIDLY remember some of my less then stellar moments as both child and young adult. Like the time when I was six and tried to drive my mothers Volkswagen beetle...into the garage door.  Surprisingly I was able to walk away from that, not the crash...my mother.  How she managed to remain calm and rather then punish me (well..as harshly as I deserved) comforted me as a cried uncontrollably,I'll never quite understand. Perhaps seeing how distressed I was at my rash and stupid impulsive act soften her somewhat.  When Angela and I began to have children, we (having both been...adventurous youths) knew there were risks.  Risks that our children would too display certain compulsive behaviors, but were more then capable of dealing with your average youthful angst and indiscretions.
Or so we thought.
Kaleb will be spending the next three days on the States dime. 
Still on probation from last years run in with the law (think BB gun and running from the police) he has STRICT guidelines he must adhere to.  Going to school and STAYING there being one of them.  Apparently he had no interest in staying in school today (according to his older brother he's angry with me, because I punished him for stealing?) This coupled with some other issues once again led him to juvie.  And to top it off YESTERDAY was his judicial review.  Having to take a half a day off from work to drag him down to the courthouse and sit in front of judge telling him he needed to get on track and follow his probation to the letter! 
I won't bore you with a tyrannical diatribe about the "problem with kids today" or questions as to how this happens, how can a person hit their thumb with a hammer so many times but NOT, eventually move their thumb!?
Sad part is, when the kids good...he's good.  he's a hard worker, helps around the house and the shop, and if he could just pry his head loose from his ass he'd have a lot to offer.  I just hope he can survive his teenage years.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

He's WHERE!!!!!

Special SHOUT OUT to my sis!  Just got word via Facebook, that i am DEFINITELY in the wrong place at the wrong time!  It's finally happened in my lifetime!  A major motion picture is being filmed in the Mostest Bestus town in the U.S. of A!  My hometown, the prettiest little New England town Exeter, NH!!!  not only that BUT it is a film being directed by JOSS WHEDON!!!!!!!!
Filming started YESTERDAY!  CRAP!  They were casting for extras AND I MISSED IT!!
For those not in the know, Joss Whedon is the one responsible for bringing us Buffy, Angel, the new Avengers movie and most importantly....FIREFLY!!
DEFINITELY will be at the theatre for this one preview, "In Your Eye's"

All's Quiet On the Western Corner....Of North Highland...

Well at least for the morning yesterday.
Surprisingly mad it into work on time, given the fact that the latest wave of childhood maladies has swept through the household, this one being in the form of a particularly NASTY stomach virus.  Keep an eye out on this one folks!  It strikes with little to no warning.  One second the kiddo's looked fine, then in a flash....Well I'll spare you the gory details but suffice to say, we cornered the market on Lysol RIGHT QUICK! Even more frightening was the fact that Angela got it as well, and that is of particular concern given the pregnancy!  But, today seems to be the tail end of it, and God willing, it won't hit this guy, as I can't afford to take time off!
The day started out like one of those "Dear lord...Why did I get up this morning" kind of days.  Further evidence of a potential clash with the new property management was evident when I came in.  A few day's before the "suits" were in to "introduce" themselves and in the ensuing conversation, in a very passive/aggressive sort of way mentioned the tire skid marks in front of my store (failing of course to recognize the multitude of skid marks all up and down the plaza walk) and inquired as to whether or not I "mentioned" to my customers that that was unacceptable. 
Hmmm?
Well, yes.  Should I witness anyone leaving rubber outside the store, or riding bikes INTO the store I do point out that that is not proper etiquette, however NO I did not stand outside posing as a hall monitor handing out citations!  Apparently not hearing or acknowledging my response they smiled and "asked" me to help "keep a lid on it".
OOOOOOOKAY!
ANYWAY!
As I came in yesterday morning I noticed that at sometime during the night someone had pressure washed the walk (in a less then effective manner).  Obviously various patches of paint were scoured up the walk way, however not only was the space in front of my store VERY bare, but all the little paint chips were splattered up my door and windows about 6 feet and the floor inside the shop was flooded.  Curious I walked up the plaza looking where other areas were washed and realized....No paint on those storefronts!
I get the message.
I assume sometimes soon I will be getting a carp wrapped in a bullet proof vest!  Or maybe a horses head in bed with me!
ANYWAY!
As I stewed in my collective juices I was perplexed by the relative calm and quiet in the shop.  Being a Monday I am usually flooded with repairs by noon time, but as of then...nothing.  I kept myself busy though, as there's all ways plenty to build.  It wasn't until after three that we got SLAMMED!  Brian came up from Saint Pete, hungrily swooping up the Trek 7200 we were holding for him!  now he finally has a bike HE can ride!  Big Guy!  A nice family came in and closely inspected the ladies Schwinn we'd put out Saturday, and like what they saw giving it a good home.  A gent looking for a good deal walked out with two of the little girls 12'er's for his granddaughters, and  we sold two more out of "Bone Row" pre-production!  One of them a soon to be sweet Trek 400 Road bike, we had just picked up 10 minutes before!  Also met a lovely woman Mrs. Jane, recently back from abroad where she volunteers as a relief aid.  She is of the European school where you DON'T need a car to get around, but rather she prefers the bi-pedal mode of transportation.  We hooked her up with the "DBS" ladies MTB, fitted out with basket for her goodies!  Loved meeting her and hearing of her travels!  Wow.  To be at ground zero in NY.  Now THAT takes ALLOT of guts!
Managed to put out four newbies, concentrating on the kiddie side of the shop!  One already sold, but got pic's of the other three, and have oodles more to work on today!
So with that...I bid you a fond farewell, and hope to see you soon!

16" Boys Mongoose
ONLY $30.00!!

26' Daily Banger Special
ONLY $65.00!!!
Girls 20" 7-Speed!
ONLY $30.00!!!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Another Week....

Thanks to everyone for keeping us rolling this week!  We are truly blessed to have so many wonderful folks coming in to pay us visits!  Forgive me if I miss anyone in the list, but so much went on and OUT this week I think I lost track!  Suffice to say the stock turn over about five times and I just couldn't keep ahead of it.  Louis and his wife came in today to lay claim to the duo trikes we special built for his folks.  We do so hope they enjoy them.  The red one was a real bear but the blue one went together without a hitch!  Surprises never cease!  Had our daily wave of re-pairs come in and as always not only do we thank you for them, but also for the great patience and understanding you have all shown us, as we are finding it harder and harder to have some re-pairs finished the same day as is our norm!  But ever the real troopers none have complained!  Also like to thank all the folks who have made us a regular stop a couple of days a week still on the hunt for that perfect ride.  I can't tell you how honored we feel when we find out that rather then go somewhere else you are waiting for US to come up with your wheels of dreams!!  I give you a VERY deep bow of respect and appreciation!  I do say have no fear, as we are thankfully starting to get more into the swing of things and building a rhythm as not only are the majority of repairs getting done relatively quickly but still managing to get out at least two newbies a day out!  Should be more now that the three wheelers are done! 
Got out three more today!  A sweet men's Schwinn Ranger, a ladies Schwinn MTB as well as a 20 BMX (need ALLOT more of those!) 
Next week is already lined up starting with a killer Diamondback MTB and a Giant Cypress to name a few!
So as the evening wains on, my lovely wife has deined to humor me in our movie watching tonight and is allowing me to watch MST3000...AT HOME!  ON THE BIG SCREEN!  I love this woman SO, SO much!
Night folks!
20" CHAOS BMX
$55.00!!

GORGEOUS LADIES SCHWINN
ONLY $95.00!!

26" MEN'S SCHWINN RANGER
ONLY $85.00!!!!

Touching Base

New for Saturday!!!!  On consignment!!!  2 count 'em TWO PERFECT, PRISTINE, PRETTY and PRICELESS Dahon Folding bikes!!  These babies are close to 25 years old and look like they just rolled out of the showroom!  Still have some of the packing plastic on them! 
CHECK out the PIC'S below!!!


COMPLETE W/ ORIGINAL STORAGE BAGS, REAR RACK!
ONLY $275.00 EACH
$500.00 FOR THE PAIR!!!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Bragging Rights!

I'll only bother you for a moment.  FINALLY got three wheeler re-build done for Louis (one of them at least0  after many failed attempts to get the rear end to work, i hung in the towel and ordered a new rear axle.  So here's the before and after.  And trust me it was ALLOT rustier then the pictures shows!
BEFORE.  RUSTY HULK

AFTER. TOAST OF THE TRAIL!

Izzy Strikes Back!

Lord.
After a bewildering 6 hours I was dreaming of Bikini Bottom, and Jelly Fish having just digested back to back episodes of Spongebob....until 6.30 this morning!  Yes, our little Izzy, in the throes of teething, got sick around 12.30, just as mom and dad were going to sleep.  As Momma took the last late night, against her wishes I made her go to bed thinking "How long could she stay up?"
Hunh.
Apparently quite a while!  As i tried DESPERATELY to stay awake, while trying to coo her to sleep, she expressed her desire NOT to, and more devastating make sure I didn't by a variety of means.  Poking my eye's should I close them.  Smacking my face should my breath go shallow.  Or the occasional kick to the groin for good measure.  Apparently she doesn't like to stay awake alone!  Finally she gave in and i was (thanks to Momma for letting me do so and Elijah for opening up the shop) able to get a few hours sleep before coming in.  So sorry if I may seem a tad bit dysfunctional today!
ANYWAY!
Upon arrival I was met with today's wave of repairs, spilling out profusely into the showroom floor So I will begin with all the gusto i can muster to get them done, as I STILL have many newbies to build, not to mention finishing up the two three wheelers I had to put on the back burner while waiting on part!
So with that, adieu!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A day late and a dollar short! or I can't read a bloody calander!

Well, once again another year passes and like clockwork I forgot to call my mother on her birthday.
Yesterday.
In my defence I have to say I'm innocent of all wrongdoing.  I'm an idiot!
So once again I prepare myself to tuck my tail firmly between my legs, and call for the celebratory "Sorry i didn't call" call.
If you don't hear from me tomorrow, it's because my ears were bitten off.
ANYWAY!
Today's been one of those...UGH days.
Found out today that there's new property management in town here at the plaza.  NOT quite so sure I'm thrilled with that, given the suits and ties with the broom stick firmly up their...
BUT enough of that!  Hopefully the transition will be relatively painless!
Have managed so far to get out two more gems, and will be working late to get out a couple more.  I don't like to call it a day once I'm on a roll!  So I'll have more goodies to show you tomorrow as well.
With that, better shove off back to the mills!
night!
COOL LOOKIN' DUAL SHOCK 21 SPEED
ONLY $85.00!!

"I LIKE THIS BIKE!"
SINGLE SPEED MENS "BIG BOY"!
ONLY $75.00!!!

Don't Kill The Messenger or The Morale of the Story is....

Sometimes messages, regardless of how clear and concise they are dictated, get lost.  A few days ago I was working on the awesome Gravity Liberty.  A super light, 21 speed hybrid commuter.  Super sharp looking.  As it was laying in pieces, prepped for reassembly I was visited by a woman looking for just such a bike.  She was obviously enamored with it, and asked how much.  Learning the price, she informed me she had no money, but could I hold it until the first when she got her check.  Our "on hold' policy is necessarily quite firm.  50% down, and we hold it for 72 hours.  Period.  It may seem contradictory to our otherwise easy going nature, but suffice to say that after almost 5 years out of all the folks  that had  asked us to "hold" the bike for a day or two without a deposit, 0, yes ZERO % ever came back.  That's not fair to the other folks serious about wanting a bike, who missed out on what possibly been their perfect ride (all modesty aside).  Not to mention our ever present storage limitations. 
ANYWAY!
undaunted, she stated she'd try to get the money, and hoped it would still be here when she came back.  As fate would have it an hour or so later a gent from points North came in to pick up a Raleigh we built for him, but liked the Gravity better, and a mere 10 minutes after it was finished it was gone.  He left a happy camper.
Well, the lady from before returned just prior to close and was less then happy.
Less then happy ALL OVER THE PLACE!  Shouting a string of profanity and epitaphs at me, she could not understand why i did not save the bike for her on the vague assumption that she would return for it.  Needless to say the parking lot did not appreciate the amount of tire rubber she left on it as she sped away.  I am sorry that she was unable to get the bike she wanted, however we have learned through trial and error that it's only fair to all that it be first come first serve.  We do, however hold a bike for anyone who sees it on Craigslist or this blog for the length of time it would take them to get here.  SO, with that in mind please, don't assume that something will be here by the time you get here!  If you see something you like CALL, and ask us to hold it while you get here.  We'd be more then happy!
Speaking of NEW things, I FINALLY got caught up with the latest wave of repairs (thank you, thank you, thank you for keeping us SO busy!!) and managed to get 3 almost 4 new gems out!  Check 'em out below!
With that, I'd best be getting to it, as I have an ever growing dance card!
and remember, "If the women don't find you handsome, at least they can find you handy!"
LIKE NEW LADIES 26" CRUISER
ONLY $70.00!!

SWEET MONGOOSE XR-150
ONLY $95.00!

MANS 26" 7 SPEED CRUISER
ONLY $75.00!!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Impromptu Movie Review!!

In retrospect, i should have probably just gone to bed, but the opportunity to sit up for a little while with Angi was to good to pass up.  As we had rented this latest film last week and never got around to watching it, we popped it in, kicked up our feet and gave it a watch.  "Apollo 18".  Think "Blair Witch" in space, but with out the incessant jerky movement.  BlairWitch was a directorial and marketing masterpiece.  Truly a low budget stroke of genius if you consider the pre-quell in the form of the mockumentary released on the Sci-Fi channel that cleverly posed as a "this is FACTUAL, real life footage of the haunting of Berketsville.  Then the movie was released in small run theaters to a limited audience to create a HUGE buzz.  The film was then sold to a major studio who let it leak that it was all a hoax, therefore taking the thrill, and appeal out of the film, which then became nothing more then a film students senior thesis!  STUPID! 
ANYWAY!
13 years later the whole "actual lost footage" conspiracy cover-up approach is overdone (think Paranormal 1...and 2....and 3?) so when this film used the ploy it was pase', redundant and silly.  BUT, I will admit I enjoyed the combination of film cuts from one style camera to another, the ships on board Westinghouse cameras, the POV suit mounts, and assorted others.  Definitely giving it a genuine feel.  As well as the subtle "caught in the corner of the eye" movement, then fish-eyed highlighted critters. 
(CAUTION:  SPOILER ALERT) The film was augmented for us, though as at the moment the American astronaut exploring a pitch black impact crater for the missing cosmonaut, as his flash camera highlights the VERY dead corpse Kaleb had quietly come up behind us to say goodnight causing both momma and I to jump out of our skins!  Of course the film also gave Mom and I pause for debate as I am of the camp that believes we landed on the Moon, while Momma believes we landed in Arizona! 
ANYWAY!
The whole "Alien Critters hiding in the darkness" ploy is OLD!  These little guys apparently camouflage themselves as, yes you guessed it....rocks.  Waiting for their prey to pick them up and, yes...enter the body of their host taking them over.
Hold on.  I refer you to my incessant need to find natural plausibility in  ANY species.  Exactly HOW MANY organic life forms ARE walking around on the moon?  Every creature in the known and UNknown world requires food to survive.  Even those that can hibernate, EVENTUALLY have to eat.  So is the film maker trying to tell us that this species evolved void of sustenance in the HOPES that an organic life form would eventually evolve to a point that they achieved space flight, aimed for the moon and landed, so they could have a SNACK?!  Even if these guys crashed landed from another world (and trust me...they didn't look like they themselves possessed inter stellar star drives) they would have dies out long before we got there. 
In the end, on film technique alone, it's worth a look (if there's nothing better on).
SO, in closing a special shout out to all my fellow Conventioneers who have obviously been checking out the blog entry devoted to them.  Thanks for the comments, and yes next year Owen WILL be leashed!

Monday, February 20, 2012

DAMN CHICKEN!!

Got the call from poor Daniel today.  He returned the rental van this morning and got held up and late for work due to the damage to the front end when we had our unfortunate run in (pun intended) with the poultry.  Their gonna zap him with re-pairs and as it's under the deductible, it's out of pocket.  Yay!  So we have that to look forward too.  I should have listened to Elijah and have Seth Greene turn it into a Robot Chicken so I could train  it to work and make up for the COST! 
ANYWAY!
Did anyone get the number of that truck?  Today has been a blissful blitzkrieg of bikes!  Had the goodies left on my doorstep this morning then had another gent drop off another truckload an hour later.  Plus a few more bought as well.  Also a special shout out to all the folks trusting us once again with their re-pairs as those are piling up as well.  Basically leaving my walk space more of a CLIMB space...

Yep, that's just from today, NOT including the six outside and the 8 hidden behind the counter!  Again, WOOF I say!  But NO WORRIES!  We are blessed to be busy and should have it all cleaned up and done before the end of tomorrow!
Thanks to the couple for coming in earlier and falling in love with the twin Suedes.  They rode and enjoyed the feel, but opted to think about it.  Good thing they didn't think to long.  Steve came into pick up his Raleigh but saw the Suede's, as HE ponder between one of those and the Gravity I'd JUST put out, they returned and quickly gobbled them up.  No harm no foul though, as it turns out he liked the Gravity even better and took that home.  Once again leaving me strapped for Stock.  but AGAIN no worries!  Have MANY,MANY,MANY to choose from! And am working on a SWEET Del Sol as we speak.  SO without further ado, I'd best spend the last few minutes on that as today is....
STEVEN AND ANGELA'S
20TH!!!
yay!  Yes, it's true folks a woman ACTUALLY stuck with ME for 20 years!  Boggles the mind, Hunh?
So, have a great evening and we'll yak later!
GORGEOUS, GRAVITY AND GONE!
SWEET RALIEGH HYBRID!
ONLY $165.00!!!

Who gave That Kid Coffee!?!

woof.
To any and all who came by this morning to find us closed, I apologize PROFUSELY!  For some unknown reason Izzy would NOT go to sleep last night!  In a vain attempt to assist Momma, I put her to bed and attempted to lull the little one to sleep to no avail.  By 2.30 am Angie was back up to rescue me.  I stuck it out until 3.30am stubbornly, but couldn't go anymore.  poor Momma was up until a little after 5 am.  Needless to say the house was higgley piggley this morning and Elijah, having not gone to sleep until late either missed his wake up call and I found him asleep in bed at 7 am.  He offered to take the kiddos to school so I could get a few more minutes.  Well that was my downfall as I fell back asleep and didn't wake up until 10.30!!!  SORRY, SORRY, SORRY!!!  It has been A LONG time since I screwed up so bad!  As we speak I am pumping a copious amount of caffeine into my system and will hopefully be able to function shortly as I have SO much to work on!  Speaking of which, when I  finally got to the shop this morning I found a pile O' bikes in front of the door with a "For Donations" sign pinned to it!  Thanks to whomever left the goodies! 
So I'm gonna fuel up, pop in the DVD collection of MST3000 I got as a prize at the convention and go to town!  Hopefully will have a bevy of treats to show off this evening! 
Again SO SORRY for any inconvenience my nap may have caused!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

In The Wake Of MEGA-CON 2012!!

The words that first come to mind in describing the experience is the classic musical phrase "The More things change, the more they stay the same."
Well...almost.
Megacon is an annual celebration of all things fandom!  Fandom being the illegitimate step child of the entertainment media, specifically Sci-Fi, and fantasy.  But more then that, it encompasses all the sub-genres, and cult sub-cultures that embrace it's fantastic glory!  Represented are the groups you have all come to some familiarity with over the last decade thanks in part to the incredible strides in Movie magic, IE:  Comic books, Tolkienism, Vampires, Denizens and demi-gods of the video game worlds, to some extent anime and lest we not forget Zombies.  But happily we saw present Steam-punk, the more racy side of Romero's vision Zombie-fetishism (please...don't ask.  Suffice to say the women led around by chains in full make-up...) and a myriad of other cult classics I am sad to say unfamiliar with.
It was to say, SHOCKING to see the ever growing number of fans flooding the Orange County Convention Center.  We got there on the dot at 10 am, found a relatively close parking spot and in the walk over were treated to a wide range of INCREDIBLY well planned, and handmade costumes of every type.  Check out a few pics below and then see all in the album!  The boys were immediately fascinated by everything, and not at all intimidated or passive.  Three LARGE ballrooms were dedicated to the dealers, and some artists, as the conference rooms around the periphery were dedicated to speakers, and stars of the industries signing autographs and photo-ops.  The sheer volume of humanity vying for breathing room was rather daunting as I suffer from a very mild case of Enochlophobia (fear of crowds) at times having to escape to the relatively safe confines of the periphery (or bathroom).  But More so, was the corralling of the kiddo's.   At several points we lost Owen briefly (being so short he'd be in front of us one second then "DIP" and he was gone) and Kaleb, not paying attention continued walking when we stopped and before we could call him disappear into the swelling mass.  My displeasure being I witnessed by a Dwarf, R2D2, Jango Fett, Darth Vader, and The Cockroach Doctor from "Monsters Versus Aliens" .  The Cockroach helped us look. 
After this, things got on an even keel and we enjoyed the day. 
We met a very wonderful artist  Manuel Aguilera, and his wonderful wife who did awesome characters sketches of the boys.  Elijah and Kaleb as Spawn and Ghost Rider, and Logan and Owen as Ash and a ominously vicious Pokemon who's name escapes me.  There was a nice gaming area set up where Elijah attempted to construct a HUGE Lego castle, and Owen and Logan DECIMATED a table battle board (neither the Axis OR Allies saw it coming!).  Kaleb, keeping to his normal MO, charmed the many scantily clad Heroines about the room.  (I'll speak on their presence later)
Upon emerging into the second dealer room I became vindicated for my steadfast diligence as I discovered what appeared to be the only vendor supplying "Firefly' memorabilia and quickly became his best friend as I began giddily and rapidly pointing out "I want that one...and that one...and that one...." eventually walking away with a pleasantly plump parcel!  Some of which currently adorns the shop.  Each Boy found his own niche of fandom, gleefully.  Logan's eyes popped from his head as entering the main hall he was greeted by the Pokemon Pikachu Volkswagen Beetle, and even more so when he came upon the many tables selling Pokemon wares and more importantly the Video game tables.  We patiently stood by as he eagerly delved through the piles.  I was quite proud of him as after being granted the money to buy two Pokemon figurines and a game cartridge for his DS, he pensively looked at me and said "that's all I'm going to ask for Daddy.  You've spent enough on me."  GOD!  Melts your heart.  But even though I had no problem, he was true to his word and asked for nothing more.  Elijah, although having to be denied the chance to purchase the 18 inch Alien figurine for $150.00, found a few choice graphic novels he would enjoy.  Owen, was FASCINATED by the folks dressed up as GI Joe's, Halo, Call of Duty and such, constantly trying to handle and touch their weapons.  One character, Snake Eyes gave him one of his sidearms.  A gift we ALL rapidly grew to regret.  Kaleb, once again although briefly enthralled with the more graphically violent aspects of the genres (zombies, Freddy, Jason) was more then content to follow around the aforementioned Fem Fatalles.  And all the boys were treated, nay PRIVILEGED at the impromptu pleasure of the unannounced visit to the vendors floor by the ALL MIGHTY himself!  The ONE the ONLY father of the Silver Age and beyond...
Stan "The Man" Lee!!  EXCELSIOR!  Upon being a mere two feet from him, I had to brace Elijah as he almost fainted.  I know exactly what he felt.  I felt the same way 25 years ago when i sat across a round table dinner with him in Boston, Mass.  Truly, it was if a Christian sat for mulled wine with Jesus.
While at Manny's table as he worked on the boys sketches, Daniel opened the conversation regarding "Warts and All", the comic strip I write about our family, and they showed an interest.  Manny's wife asked for the website, and Manny suggested we attend a seminar at 6.30 about the Independent Self Publishers.  Peaked, we did so.  After going back to the van for dinner and to rest our feet, we returned to sit in.  It was entertaining and informative, but several of the questions offered up by those in attendence  were aimed at the demise of the comic book industry, some speculating that as a printed art form it would be dead.  Apparently the vast numbers attending the convention did not disprove this theory for them!  Well I think, with no undo modesty i can offer up a unique perspective.  This was the first convention I have attended in almost 20 years.  When I worked them, although big at the time NEVER entertained so many guests.  EVER.  It was one or two ballrooms sporting many facets of Geekdom, but was occupied primarily by boys to men, most clutching at their purchases or their treasured collectibles brought to have signed, or to trade, looking very much like the ideological "Nerd that lives in his mothers basement type.  The only women you saw their were primarily girlfriends "humoring" their beaus.  But NOT here!  Easily the percentage of male to female were easily split, and these ladies were mostly NOT their in feminine support of a male, but very much actively engaged in their obsession of choice.   And to the inquiry as to whether or not women had a viable, marketable interest and involvement in the field?  Back in the 80's and 90's the artist and writers in attendance were ENTIRELY male, even in the burgeoning Independent titles.  After walking down their rows in this convention the percentile was easily in the 40% or better.  And these weren't no "Strawberry Shortcake, Betty and Veronica types!  Yes, the industry will change.  It MUST! But more voices, female, minority, homosexual are all coming to their own within it.  The formats will change.  More virtual and interactive mediums are being played with every day.  Panelology and picture graphs have been around for Mallinia and will be around for a long time to come. 
ANYWAY,as it turns out Manny was right behind us.  We talked briefly and he offered up some very helpful tips about getting viewed and exposure, as well as referring me to some valuable references.  I gave him a copy of our mini comic and after reading he blessed us with a wonderful string of glowing compliments urging me to stay in touch. 
WOW!
After heading out we did a stop at Mickey D's and all still hopped up and excited created a scene.
At this point we headed home around 10.30 and capping our evening off at a moment around 11.30 on a lonely stretch of I-4 as the conversation wained, the boys slept in the back and I began to slowly drift off...
We hit a Chicken.
SO, in affect WE alone discovered the answer to the age old inquiry...
"Why did the chicken cross the road?"
"To Dodge a Ram!"
Thank you!  I'll be here all week!  Don't forget to tip your waitress.

Here are some choice Pic's, but check out the lot of pics on facebook at Steven Atherton, and check out the album "Megacon 2012"!

"Snap you like a twig!"

Green Lantern, Versus Joker!  Party On Dude!

Yes, He can Walk In It!

Tony Stark briefly lost his face plate.
This Boy Is In Hog HEAVEN!



Starting younger and younger!

Screwball, Batman!  Corner Pocket!

"I'm awake and ready to party Orlando...FANBOY STYLE!"

"Never has there been a more wretched hive of scum and villainy"

The Battlefield PRIOR the Owen/Logan onslaught!


Help me, Owen-wan Kenobi, your my only hope!

The Cockroach that helped find Kaleb

Owen!  Don't join the back side of the force!

The All-Mighty!
Stan "The Man" Lee!


Ahhhhh, How Sweet!  Our own little Mercenary!

We were treated to an interpretive dance number upon leaving

although....I'm NOT quite so search on how to interpret it!

And Now a few of the ladies more then willing to pose for Don Juan Kaleb...


Friday, February 17, 2012

TWINS!

No, no!  Don't panic Mom, Angie's not having twins.  But to all those wonderful folks who have been coming in lately asking for either higher end bikes, or pedal forward designs...BOY have we got a SWEET deal for you!  Acquired today from one of our regulars, he finally talked his parents into getting rid of their matching pair of Giant Suede's!!!  YEP, that's right!  A GORGEOUS comfort cruising hybrid with pedal forward design for relaxing cruising.  They bought 'em brand new and on their maiden voyage, out for 5 minutes the husband decided he didn't like them (just a balance issue.  He wanted a three wheeler) and they garaged them in climate controlled comfort until they saw the light of day TODAY, when Louis brought them here!  So now we offer them up to you!  Check out the pics below.
On the new stock front!  Not so much.  Bought  ALLOT more today, I was actually standing outside for over half an hour as one truck after another pulled up to unload a bevy of new beauties!  Once again the shop is littered (neatly) with gems to be!  So fear not, dear Veloist we shall have more SOON!
Tomorrow is the big day!  At 7 am the boys and I head off with our bud Daniel to Orlando for MEGACON!  The Fanboys three days of worldwide recognition (my Spock T-shirt hangs pensive and waiting for it's debut) as the boys will experience the world I lived in for almost 30 years!  I will most assuredly have pictures O' Plenty to share!
Well, with that I'd best be off, I have another one in my rack that hopes to be done for tomorrow!

NIGHT!



LIKE FREAKIN' NEW!!!
2005 GIANT SUEDES!!
ONLY
$300.00 EACH/ $550.00 FOR THE PAIR!!





Thursday, February 16, 2012

Interesting Anology, Doctor. Seeing as a Stallion MUST be broken in order to reach it's full potential.

Yep, it's official.  I'm a wuss.
When Angela and I first started having kids I was much more steadfast (bull headed) in my world views (narcissistic BS).  After a little while in each child's life i determined when sufficient time had past to make it mandatory for them to go to bed at night.  Initially with the first few kids I had to sit on Angela from "rescuing" them.  Some of them adapted easily and within a few days were leading US to bed at the appointed time.   Some were a little harder.  Rozy was simple, a day or two of mild fussing at around a year and a half, and she'd pass out on cue, some nights having to carry her to bed should she be up past nine.  So now as Izzy has struck the year and a half mark (and a little more) I decided last night that after three days of momma staying up till way past 2am in order to entertain her enough was enough.  At 9 when the rest of the kiddos were going to bed she was going with. 
I never knew such loud noises could come from such a small package.
After Rozy vacate the room, to hide her bed beneath her brothers spare pillows, and we reassured all the other kids that we weren't killing her, mom and dad sat pensively in the living room, feeling akin to Dr Mengalas assistant (the one with the guilty conscience).
After 10  Minutes I broke.
Once she started wailing "Dada!" I felt an icy hand grip my intestines and "RRRRIP"!!  Rushing to her Mommy and Daddy lifted up a red faced quivering mass and held her for all we were worth.  Several peanut butter cookies and milk later she nestled betwixt us on the couch, as we cooed and coddled her until she fell asleep, willingly around 11.
We are now ASSUREDLY aware of who rules THIS roost.
All I can say is if this is any indicator of what I'm going to be like in my Twilight, my grand kids are going to be SO spoiled!
On to work!

TOP EXCUSES WHY I DIDN'T PUT OUT MORE STOCK YESTERDAY!

1: Many a blessed re-pair came through our door (thank you!)
2: Many needed BUYS came through out door (thank you)
3: Many a customer with inquisitive, thought provoking inquiries.
4: Parts for Louis's 2 three wheeler full re-build, re-paints came in (before and after pics tomorrow!
5: Parts for Steve's Raleigh re-build came in yesterday.
6: Parts for Susan's Fuji came in yesterday.
I did manage to get out one though.  A simple 10 speed MTB "Daily Banger Special"
Today probably won't be much different either for the above mentioned reasons.  Each one of these projects HAS to be done before Saturday as i won't be here, and I don''t won't these poor folks to have to wait until next week.  So with that, I bid you all a good day!
"DAILY BANGER SPECIAL"!
ONLY $55.00!!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Man Of My Word!

Well, I said i would be putting out some more stock, and that I have!  YAY!  Finally got the paint projects through the final coats and will apply the clear before leaving.  However i managed to put out two new goodies as well, thank Heavens!  About time as the store front has become QUITE barren!  ARRGH!  First up is a sweet looking black single speed men's cruiser with a custom chopped bob tail rear fender.  (OK, desperation is the mother of invention.  I was fresh out of a matching rear, so I cut down another front to match!  Looks cool though!) Next is a killah! Old School Diamondback BMX.  Straight rear brake, double walled aluminum rims and a ALL ORIGINAL!  In Super FINE condition!  Now on the rack is another old school single speed cruiser.  And more to come!  (fingers firmly in the crossed position!)
Now, I need to get moving for V-D Day!
night!
CRUISE IN STYLE!!
ONLY $65.00!!!

OLD SCHOOL DIAMONDBACK!!
ONLY $110.00!!!

Valentine's Day: The Skinny

Some may accuse me of being an old curmudgeon, a little less then the emotional type.  Not necessarily true if you count persnickety, and crotchety as an emotion, but on this special day of mass produced, wrapped in a pretty red package (and if you value your life containing something that is at LEAST a 1/2 karat of sparkly) Hallmark sentiment I extend to you kind reader the TRUE story of the inspiration for this Holiday.  Saint Valentine.
He was a Roman Priest at a time when there was an emperor called Claudias who persecuted the church at that particular time,  He also had an edict that prohibited the marriage of young people. This was based on the hypothesis that unmarried soldiers fought better than married soldiers because married soldiers might be afraid of what might happen to them or their wives or families if they died.
 We must bear in mind that it was a very permissive society in which Valentine lived . Polygamy would have been much more popular than just one woman and one man living together. And yet some of them seemed to be attracted to Christian faith. But obviously the church thought that marriage was very sacred between one man and one woman for their life and that it was to be encouraged. And so it immediately presented the problem to the Christian church of what to do about this.
The idea of encouraging them to marry within the Christian church was what Valentine was about. And he secretly married them because of the edict.
Valentine was eventually caught, imprisoned and tortured for performing marriage ceremonies against command of Emperor Claudius the second. There are legends surrounding Valentine's actions while in prison.
One of the men who was to judge him in line with the Roman law at the time was a man called Asterius, who's daughter was blind. He was supposed to have prayed with and healed the young girl with such astonishing effect that Asterius himself became Christian as a result.
In the year 269 AD, Valentine was sentenced to a three part execution of a beating, stoning, and finally decapitation all because of his stand for Christian marriage. The story goes that the last words he wrote were in a note to Asterius' daughter. He inspired today's romantic missives by signing it, "from your Valentine."
Valentine's martyrdom has not gone unnoticed by the general public. In fact, Whitefriars Street Church is one of three churches that claim to house the remains of Valentine. Today, many people make the pilgrimage to the church to honor the courage and memory of this Christian saint.
"Valentine has come to be known as the patron saint of lovers. Before you enter into a Christian marriage you want some sense of God in your life -- some great need of God in your life. And we know, particularly in the modern world, many people are meeting God through his Son, Jesus Christ."
"If Valentine were here today, he would say to married couples that there comes a time where you're going to have to suffer. It's not going to be easy to maintain your commitment and your vows in marriage. Don't be surprised if the 'gushing' love that you have for someone changes to something less "gushing" but maybe much more mature. And the question is, is that young person ready for that?"
"So on the day of the marriage they have to take that into context," Father O'Gara says. "Love -- human love and sexuality is wonderful, and blessed by God -- but also the shadow of the cross. That's what Valentine means to me."
Well, there you have it.  Personally , with all do respect to my beautiful wife, I don't need a special day to be reminded that I am loved and that I love.  I have a wonderful wife and 10 lovely children who remind me every single day.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Outdated Movie Reviews and Sunday Brunch


Is it a new week already?
oof!
Well yesterdays day off was one of peace and reflection.  In other words Mom and Dad were to popped to pop for a day out!  We slept until noon, got up, did the house picking up thing (you know where you spend three hours to keep the house clean for 10 minutes) Then did a Sunday Brunch.  As with all meals at our table it degraded into a silly free for all where upon completing what they were going to eat they began to pick and play at what was not.
case in point...
NEXT ON FOX...
IMAGE OF PAC-MAN APPEARS ON EGGO!
Yep!  pretty much normal.
Then as the little ones scattered from the table conversation between Angi and I and the older boys fluttered about until it landed on movies.  Having just picked up a re-release copy of Gremlins on DVD and the kiddo's having seen it for the first time, we began comparing movies from our generation VS theirs.  Granted the technical advancement in Hollywood movie Magic has propelled by leaps and bounds but personally the art of the Mega Block Buster of my day in Miniatures, set design, matte paintings and make-up will always win out.  But in all fairness the sheer spectacle of the boundless limits provided by computer generation was what made the Super-Hero fly, if you get my drift.  not only that but the alien disaster movie, that the conversation eventually focused on.  Having recently watched "Battle: Los Angeles" and "Skyline" they held them up as shinning examples as the pinnacle of the "Alien Conquest" genre.
hmmm.
I had to disagree.
First a couple notes. 
1: there WILL be spoilers!
2: (side note)
What happened to the friendly alien movies?  Short of supporting role aliens in Star Trek (remember Diora Baird as the Orion Slave Girl in the new film?  now THATS a friendly alien!) movies like "E.T." "Batteries Not Included" and so on seem to have gone the way of the Dodo to make room for the "decimate the palnet, destroy or enslave the population, and steal all the natural resources the planet has to offer" movies.
hmmm?  Come to think of it, that whole scenario IS a little more topical...don't you think?
Short of the seminal "Cloverfield"  (A Blair Witch-esque perspective of an inter-dimensional Cuthulu- like monster popping into down town New York to enjoy the night life, BRILLIANTLY portraying the panic and anarchy brought on by this "close-encounter") I think the producers and writers in Hollywood have forgotten the George Lucas quote " A Special effect without a story is a pretty boring thing."
So here's my take (for what it's worth) on the two landmarks the boys pointed out.  First the worst of the two. 
Skyline (2010) set in LA (go figure) a group of good looking 20somethings meet up for a hip Birthday bash.  Ad mist the hyjinx at the posh residence of one of the protagonists, amidst the high schoolish love dramas, a "surprise; alien attack takes place.  The alien ships, emitting bright rays of light, that upon looking at, they anaesthetise your brain and draw you up to the awaiting ships.  Shock troops and Leviathan mixtures of biology and technology storm the cities searching for stragglers.  The would be victims of course do their utmost to ward off capture, and at one point think the best course of action is to try and outrun the alien onslaught via the use of one mans Ferrari.  Hmmm?  I'm not sure it was rated to outrun these beasties.  Needless to say, it is ineffectual.  The chaos continues and in the end the two remaining characters make it to the roof top (yes, seriously.  The ships are hovering overhead, in broad daylight and they think this is the best place to be!  I would have opted for the boiler room closet!) At this point as the awaiting U.S. Military is decimated, the couple are drawn together, embracing into the awaiting ship.
Now personally, I think a fresh approach had been reached here.  Minus all the obvious Hollywood ploys at dramatic tension, I would have ended it there, with a bright white dissolve as they disappear into the bowels of the ship...roll credits.  Every now and then the human race should fall.  I believe that kind of ending, at times resonates strongly and leaves the audience talking about it longer, but as it turns out, you are brought aboard the hellish alien "Body Shop" where the humanoid like alien hulks hang upside down in a grotesque cocoon of fleshy membranes, as robotic arms akin to an automotive factory hoist up the humans and (forgive the blunt recap) tear the brain and spinal column from them, discard the body down a deep shaft and insert the icky goodness into an awaiting "drone" alien.
I'll stop here for a moment and offer an observation.  When designing and creating an alien, I feel you  MUST allow for so  semblance of natural evolution, adaptive or otherwise.  How could a species evolve that requires an alien brain to function?  Who designed the technology to facilitate this?  If these creatures were in fact the underlings, the shock troops of some higher species, where were they?  They should have at least shown another type of creature, perhaps in a control booth twisting some knobs or something, to give that impression.  Yes, this was a MAJOR sticking point for me!
ANYWAY, as the brain of our would be male hero is inserted into the skull of the alien critter, a battle for motor control of the beast ensues as he looks upon the squirming body of his pregnant girlfriend, at which point he takes control and attempts to save her.
End.'
Credits.
Obviously leaving room for a sequel should the box office gross warrant it.  Lets hope not.
On to "Battle: LA"
Aliens attack!  In this film science is taken a LITTLE more seriously.  Storming the beaches, our newest alien menace enter the atmosphere in what appears to be smaller "ships' and upon breaking through the atmosphere plunge into the oceans (and good Science major will tell you hitting the water uses it to quickly cushion and dampen the impact.  At which point shock and awe troops decimate a "day at the beach" as seen on the local news cast.  Watching the newscast, of course is the military who quickly set out to offer resistance.  I skip ahead.  Now on the ground, a small contingent of soldiers set out to evacuate survivors before the big missile launch.  Led by Michael Nantz (Aaron Eckhart) a troubled LT. back from over seas where a decision left his troops dead, they engage in a fierce urban battle filmed gritty, in POV perspective that does leave you breathless.  The conflict gives way to a cathartic "coming to terms" encounter over the LT's combat losses and his new troops.  Ending in a emotional plea for their understanding and commitment to follow and trust him.  It plays REAL well!  My only problem with this film, again lies in the scientific and more importantly battle tactics of the aliens.  Far superior in armaments they have one MAJOR flaw!  Their unmanned (or is it Un-aliened?) air support are controlled by ONE central transmitter.  NO BACK-UP?!  Which our human heroes figure out, and destroy.  At which point the ground troops can't even communicate with each other.  Once destroyed the aliens try and make a run for it? 
Well, at least in this case the acting and story are a little more palatable so I'd have to say it was worth the watch.
But in the end, I'll always re-watch Forbidden Planet and Star Trek ANY day!
WOW!  I'm long winded!
As all re-pairs are caught up, I will be moving onto the re-paints and special orders.  Hopefully, as paint dries, I can FINALLY get out some new stock.  here's Hoping!
And as a side note I'll be reminding of you through out the week, this Saturday we will be open 9-5.  Angi and the girls will be watching the shop, as the boys and I are headed to Orlando to partake in the MEGACON!  Yes!  A geeky Fanboy paradise of three days of media blitz fandom!
All right, now off to work!




Saturday, February 11, 2012

Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men!

As much as I wish I had a bevy of new bikes to picture below, alas it is not so.  Today was more of the same wonderful busy-ness.  Another stream of repairs came flooding through the doors, and I thank you all SO much!  And also thanks for the fact that more then half were by referral!  SWEET!  Love it when the good word gets out.  Obviously finding new homes for bikes was minimal as we have so few orphans left!  The GT...oh wait, I didn't even have that one listed did I?  No, we still have the blue one, this was a ladies we got in yesterday and filled out a wonderful ladies wish list.  Now her and hubby can ride together!  Thanks to the lady who came in and fell in love with the Mongoose BMX for her son!  In her words "Rather pay $50.00 here then $130.00 at Wal-mart!"
YES!  heh heh!
Well aside from all the wonderful visitors we got to chat with today, I don't have a whole lot to yack about.  So I guess I'll be shoving off.  Gonna go have some Sushi with Momma.
Peace!

Tranquility

Last night was the release of the latest twilight saga installment on DVD.  Walmart was throwing a "Release Party" as the movie became available at Midnight.  Yes you guessed it, My lovely wife, being a devout "Twi-hard" was there with bells on.  Our second Eldest Elijah went with to offer moral support (and to keep her from getting bumped in the rush).  They arrived at 10 pm to get a prime spot at the head of the line. They were third in what was described as a LARGE line of dutiful fans ranging in age from 7 to 70.  The gentleman in front of my wife was described as  "easily in his 70's" and when she matter-of-factly stated "You can't be here for the DVD release?" he smiled and said "Nope! Blue Ray!"  This gave her a chuckle. 
And where was I during this festive occasion?  Well not wanting to leave the other children at the house that late at night with only their older brother, I opted for a quiet night of peace, tranquility and reflection.  After such a busy, busy week i thought it prudent to take some time to quietly reflect on all that has transpired, a carefully orchestrated "think tank" in order to formulate a more organized "plan of action" for the weeks to come.
OK.
Ya got me.
I turned on Netflix, called up a Mystery Science Theatre 3000 mini marathon and played Dominoes on PoGo. and spoiled myself!
ANYWAY!
on to today.
I stayed a little later last night and got close to complete on all the repairs as I REALLY want to get to work on all the goodies we've got in over the last couple of weeks!
Here's hoping!  hope to see ya all REAL soon!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Surreality.

Woof.
All I can say is...
woof.
I have to thank all the great folks who made me run ragged today!  LOVE IT! 
The only downside to the busy, is nothing new for the sales floor.  ARRGH!  Yes the plan for the day was to get out more stock, but not so much.
Sorry,
Thanks to the young lady who came in today and FINALLY gave a home to the vintage Schwinn Typhoon.  Nice to know it will be loved.
Also had a visit from the past today!  My old boss and friend Rick happened to pop into the shop today to play catch up.  Pretty shocking.  Haven't seen hide nor hair of him in over 4 years.  Guess he heard about us through some folks in his hometown of Saint Pete and was in the area and put two and two together as he lunched at Subway.  He's the project manager for the local Habitat For Humanity and apparently their doing a development in the area.  Real walk down memory lane!
Thanks to Daryl, our newest friend for his wonderful compliments and desire to "Do business with us, and NO ONE else".  Seems our rantings here on these pages remind him of an old friend.  The memory is a nice one.
Well, tomorrow is already jam packed with four full re-builds, three re-paints and 8 repairs so you'll forgive me if I sign off early.
See you all then!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Three Generations Of Testosterone

Well today has brought us that much closer to completion of the renovations.  Only One thing left and finishing the decorations (which will probably be an ongoing transformation) and we'll be done!  My dad came back down to help with the parts rack along with Elijah, who has become quiet involved with his building construction class.  It's really heart warming (not to mention relieving) to see him involved and interested in the trade.  With a slight bit of trepidation and my fathers guidance he showed us his acumen on the power tools (skill saw and miter saw) and I'm proud to say he still has all his digits! Like any beginner craftsman he has a little work to do on measuring his cuts (it's not me, the wood is warped!) but all in all he did a superb job!  And it was a real treat for me to see him working with his grandad.  This family has 6 generations (and maybe more) of sawdust in their blood, and it's hard to resist the calling.  I will say for him, he discovered the love it on his own.  Yes, we're putting in showroom access to our myriad of parts selection for easy pickings.  Hope to have the bins filled with re-furbed parts before the middle of next week, then it's on to sorting and categorizing all the little bearings and bolts (YAY!  No more fishing for what the customers need!)
Thanks to every one coming in to visit today too!  Even though Angie, all the kiddo's and grandad and grandma were there, you could hardly move!  Thanks as well for the bevy of repairs as well!.  As is now the norm, stuff just doesn't sit on the floor to long to the point of being sold right off the repair stand!  Started work on a Raleigh Hybrid and no sooner did i have it stripped down then Steve came in from Bay Shore and put his name on it.  Also sold the little 20" 7 speed to Dawn, a returning customer.  Our "wish list" is filling up right quick as well!  No fears.  We hope to fill them within the next two weeks. Did manage to put one out today, though.  A SWEET looking old school Trek 800 Antelope MTB, 21 speed.  A great light weight ride if you don;t mind the original Bio-Pace chain ring.  Takes a little getting used to.  After the Raleigh's done I have to sweeties already prepped and ready.  A nice looking men's Schwinn Ranger and an even nicer looking Diamondback, later model.  Didn't even remember that i had them stashed in the backroom until we "accidentally" cleaned it out today! 
So with that, I best be getting to bed!  Busy day tomorrow!






THE FINISHED PROJECT, MINUS THE PARTS BINS OF COURSE...AND THE PARTS.

SWEET TREK 800 ANTELOPE
ONLY $135.00!!!