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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Rainy Saturday

Always putting a crimp in the day for bicycle enthusiasts everywhere, we had a real down pour for a while this afternoon, and as always the presence of dark clouds sent folk scurrying for the safety and comforts of home.  BUT, the morning was a busy one!  Sold the GT to a young gent looking to.. you guessed it, get away from the gas pump!  YAY!  Another convert! Also sold the old reliable Huffy to a young man wishing to cut his bus commute down a little.  Smart man.  Can get from a to b in a half an hour on bike, as opposed to an hour and half on our sorely lacking public transit.  Hey Don't get me wrong, I aint' knocking buses, but around here the routes are few and far between!  Also, got a chance to meet to sweet youngin's and their Mom looking to size up on their rides.  She choose the "Pretty in Pink" 20" but unfortunately had no 18" for him.  It's OK though have a few in the back that will be perfect for him...when we get 'em done!  The repairs weren't their usual flow, for the aforementioned storm.  Most people shelve the desire to ride when the storm clouds move in.  That's OK though, gave me some time to focus on new rides!  Put out four!  OK...I can't lie.  We DID put out four, but three of them needed little to no work, the fourth one though......WOO WEEEE!  This one needed ALOT of work!!  Suffice to say in the time it took me to work the bottom bracket I ran M.A.S.H the movie from opening to closing credits!  Any bike mechanic worth their salt has at least from time to time come across a bike with a personal vendetta against them.  This one, was this years white whale!  A Specialized hybrid, that someone had powder coated and not capped off the threaded areas.  Took some scouring to get the threads clean, as I didn't have the tools to chase them!  Thanks to Kaleb for showing up his dad by coming up with the smart solution, put in a sealed bottom bracket!  Wish I thought of it.  But if that wasn't bad enough, had similar problems with the neck, had to cannibalize three sets of integrated v-brakes to make one good set, went through a real drag issue on the drive train, and on more then a few occasions tools took flight to the melodic chortling of Daddy language!  But, in the end, she turned out to be well worth it! 
So with that I present the four newbies and bid you all a found goodnight!

The Challenger!
Specialized hybrid
ONLY $225.00!!

ONLY $75.00!!

ONLY $145.00!!

ONLY $100.00!!!


Not that it means much to a person who works on Saturday, BUT was a hopping good day!  A gentleman from points way South came up and snagged up the sweet Cannondale R600, for little Timmy.  Hope this young man appreciates the quality of the bike gifted to him and takes real good care of it!  She's a classic! Also sold the "Big Boy" cruiser to Jeff about as soon as the doors opened!  Knew that one wouldn't last.  Had two folks in the shop interested in it at the same time, but he got here first.  Twas OK though, She ended up coming back in later and picked up the pair of Dahon folding bikes for her and her hubby.  And I almost got a chance to hear some sweet cursing in French as he tried to fold it up.  But it was cool, having the original directions helped out tremendously!  Also sold the men's DBS, to a young lady looking to supplement her commute!  YAY!  Another convert off the Oil Companies teet!
I have a lament.  It is a very sensitive subject, I addressed earlier this week.  As I have been somewhat watching the unfolding drama of Trayvon Martin I can't help but be a tad bit bewildered.  As a parent of a couple of problem kiddo's, I have had the inequity of having to stand before judges, teachers, administrators and contend with their misdeeds and illegal wrongdoings.  But never in that time did I try and excuse their actions or seek to condemn those doling out the punishment.  Sure, their are societal factors, peer pressures, stresses what have you  that have an impact on the child's decision making, but in the end they made that decision.  THEY have to face the consequences of that decision.  Their social, economic or race has no bearing on this.  I often times warn my 14 year old that the clothes he wears (baggy, pants down around his ankles) the way he speaks, the way he treats authority impacts perception of him.  And initial perception is how you will be judged.  Is it fair?  Not necessarily, but it simply, IS! In this case, not all the evidence is in.  The "Stand Your Ground" law is in effect, but I would have to believe the investigating officers aren't just washing their hands of the case given this law, and will pursue all evidence and eye witnesses to determine the truth behind this unfortunate outcome.  See, the problem I see here is one I have seen all to often with other kids, whether it be in court or in school, when a parent, oblivious to the evidence at hand, steadfastly defends their child "he/she WOULDN'T do that!" It empowers the child.  When they have no fear of repercussions, the behavior continues AND escalates!  If the evidence at hand is accurate, this young man should not have provoked a confrontation, whatever his feeling of being unjustly harassed or singled out.  I'm truly sorry for what has happened to him, but as a father one of my biggest fears is that my child won't accept the boundaries of common sense, and civil decency and my family and I will be mourning his premature death.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Wax Works

First off, thanks to all engaged in the debate regarding yesterdays blog.  Had many folks come in yesterday, who unfortunately have at one time or another suffered the violation of bike theft.  The only hope I can give them is that as the thefts continue, it would appear local law enforcement is taking it allot more serious, and gone are the days of impounding the bike, rather they ensure it is returned to the proper owner immediately! 
Well after many repairs I was able to get a couple more newbies out (pic's below) but please don't get to excited as they both sold almost immediately.  However we are "soldiering on" and have a nice ladies Diamondback almost done all ready, and then onto the awesome Specialized Hybrid I been dying to dig into!
And before I head back to work, was perusing my Yahoo page and stumbled on these pics of some of Madame Tussauds Wax Museum exhibits.  Now I've never been to one of these places but I've seen pics when I was younger and they always seemed a little cheesy, BUT these ones will blow your mind!  Had they not taken some pic's with the actual people they were modeled after, you would have never known! 






Thursday, March 29, 2012

Enough Is Enough!

It's bad enough when we chain our bikes up on the side of our house, or park them in our garage or tether them to the bike rack at a library or our favorite restaurant only to find them gone when we come back for them.  But this latest stolen bike report send chills up my spine!  Got it via text this morning and it left me both astounded because of its brashness but enraged due to it's innocent victim.  Seems a young lady of sixteen was on her way home but was unaware she was being followed. Upon entering her door the assailant entered behind her, grabbed the key off a peg near the door and took of with her bike.  Obviously the young lady is VERY disturbed about this, I only thank God that nothing worse happened to her. The bike stolen was a Red Huffy 7-speed beach cruiser, with black fork, chrome fenders, a barrel lock (which they usually discard) and a broken bell. Any information you may have please share with us or the police!  This scum bag, low-life waste-of-flesh HAS to be brought in (or strung up).  Our prayers go out to her and her family.
While we are on the subject of crime, all in the news is the unfortunate death of the 17 year old Trayvon Martin.  As expected this has brought an outcry for justice, all laced with the standard "racial" overtones. And to top it off, someone who I'm surprisingly finding myself in wholehearted agreement with, Jeraldo Rivera is stating some REAL common sense advice on the whole thing.  Also, predictably, these comments (google the whole speech) have brought the ire of many a folk on line, to the point of viciousness. 
If I may, I offer up my own perspective.  Long before there were hoodies, when I was a teenager (back in the stone age) I was not what one would call a "conformist'.  I wore leather, torn jeans (this was when john Cougar Mellancamp made them hip) and my hair down to my butt.  Whatever reason motivated me to choose this "self expression" is not important (I'll leave that to the therapists), I only recall my fathers "Old fuddy-duddy" response to the few times a lamented what I perceived as myself being "unfairly, and unjustly" singled out by the powers that be (ie. School administrators and police) for scrutiny and accusations when I in fact had done nothing! ( OK, there were some things I did, but they weren't "illegal".  Seriously!  Riding on the hood of a car, holding onto the windshield wipers (at least in the 80's) WAS NOT illegal!  The officer who pulled us over told us so! ) My fathers reaction was simply "It's the costume's you wear"
Of course this only heightened my pubescent rage, and desire to rebel.  Eventually leading to black overcoats with army boots, BIGGER hole's in my pants, (a brief stint with black eye liner, admittedly, not my finest moment) not to mention earrings, ear cuff's, spiked bracelets, you name it (Joey Ramone eat your heart out) didn't help.  The harassment and preconceived perceptions of my character abound.
My point is, People will ALL WAYS stereotype when it is a safety or security issue.  look at our airports treatment of ANYONE wearing a head wrap or were olive skinned after 9/11.   When you are in a precarious situation with few options and your life or well being is at stake, and you have little to know raw data on the intent of the individual before you, your mind is going to make a snap decision in YOUR best interest.  Now given all the visual data in our lives from the News, movies and such Hoodies can be seen in abundance on episodes of COPS, America's Most Wanted, Law And Order...hey the list goes on and on.  Is it right to stereotype?  No.  But if it's all you got?
This was a tragedy that could have been avoided in so MANY ways! reports are still somewhat conflicting but a few facts are inescapable.  George Zimmerman should have left the gun at home, Should have stayed in his car as the police instructed him, Trayvon should not have approached George confrontational, and if eye witnesses are to be believed he certainly should not have pushed him down and slammed his head into the ground.
In the end, if you choose to be a certain way, or dress a certain way that IS YOUR CHOICE, self expression is a wonderful thing, however you can't be surprise and offended when your desire to make an impression...makes an impression.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Number 44!!!

Ahhh!  One of the most rewarding aspects of our job is the occasional opportunity to recover stolen bikes!  And yesterday was chock full of excitement!  Last Thursday a gentleman came into the shop to ask if anyone had come in and tried to sell his bike.  Seems he had it stolen off his front porch due to the unfortunate time that this one time he had left it unlocked as he went into his house briefly to grab something.  He reported it to the police, then made the rounds to local pawn shops and us.  He gave me a description, and was quite blunt in describing it as a "Piece of junk, with allot of sentimental value".  As it was a rather unique bike (a Fuji Marlboro folding MTB) with electric tapped seat and brake grips,  rusty parts, dry rotted tires, and faded paint not to mention his name gouged under the lower tube, I figured if I saw it I'd recognize it.  Well yesterday, I did.  One of our regular scrap dealers (and an unfortunate pawn of some of the younger low-life bike thieves) brought it by.  All it took was a peek under the bike to see his name emblazoned across, that i informed the young man that "This bike was reported stolen,. and i have to impound it"  I then gave him a lecture regarding his misplaced trust, and sent him on his way.  In his defense though, he is developmentally challenged, and I have talked with his mother in the past at great lengths.  He's a good kid, who helps supplement his mothers social security by picking up scrap, but according to her, associates with a bad crowd, they using his unassuming manner to try and pass off stolen goods. Sad really.
Well, anyway.  As the gentleman had not left his personal contact info, but instead said "just call the police" if it came in, I did that.  Thanks to the Clearwater police officers who came right quick (she's a fellow bike enthusiast and take their theft very seriously) and performed a search to locate the person matching the name on the bike.  Relatively quickly locating him they put in a call, and before you knew it he was quickly here to identify "his baby".  As the report was originally filed in Dunedin with the Sheriffs office, they needed to send a detective down to take the info.  So at one point we had two Clearwater cruisers, and two Sheriffs office cruiser surrounding the store.  Funny how their presence elicits such a "curious bystander" effect. One can only imagine what they thought!  Now as proof of the old adage "a bike will always find it's owner" this was not the first time this bike was stolen.  Seems it has traveled all over the country with this gentleman, and had been stolen once and then recovered in Arizona, and once in Las Vegas, where by chance a few weeks after having is taken and thought lost, he happened upon it in the possession of a homeless man savaging for aluminum cans.   It obviously knows where it belongs!
Happy we could help reunite them!
And while I'm on the happy thoughts, thanks to all the folks who came out yesterday, filling my ears with such wonderful compliments.  Especially the gent who gushed about our "service to the community" and was "glad we were here to stay".  You have now idea how good it makes us feel that our efforts are noticed! 
Well, my solo career has come to an end.  As I have been blessedly beseeched with busyness these last few months I believed it behooved me to bring in beneficial bodies to boost our bustling business, by the by.  A young man, John has begun yesterday, and the first thing I had him tackle was the organizing and prepping of parts!  YAY!  Now maybe I can start finding things again!
Also, after completing all the repairs I managed to get out only one new build!  This one a simple "Daily Banger Special" (although needing a FULL re-furb). So check it out below, as I slide out of the "manager" seat and into the "mechanics" seat!
Have a great day!
ONLY $55.00!!

And our "truth in advertising" photo of the day for what happens when we drive internal combustion....

what we are doing to our planet!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Prepping For The Long Haul

Our little Miss Izzy.
Oh what a cute little puddin'!  Apparently sensing the inevitable birth of her baby sister she has decided to prep us for the inescapable reality of the late night intrusion.  She's gotten in the habit of going to bed with the other ones, but waking up around midnight, FULLY awake and ready to party.  Fortunately last night we were able to get her to go back asleep around 1.30 am, so no Spongebob until 5 am this time.
If nothing else it made me realize that the birthing time is nigh, and in that celabratory fever, I did some shopping this morning for little Miranda, picking up several of the items Angi has been "hinting" we NEED! 
That should buy me a few days peace!  (HAHA just kidding love!)
Ever have one of those days you work and work and work, but don't seem to have to much to show for it?  Yea, that was yesterday!  Only put out one re-build, this a nice (NOW!) ladies cruiser.  A full re-build from a scrap truck find that just seemed to take for ever, BUT the end results were worth it.  PLUS got a GORGEOUS vintage Fuji Avalon, 3 speed ladies touring bike!!  And of course, kept on pounding out re-pairs (thank you so much for your continued patronage!) Started working on a men's Mongoose dual shock MTB, but opted to leave on time last night, as Elijah made his world famous CHUNKY chop suey!  Can't pass that up!
And speaking of Elijah, as proof of the ill-effect of growth hormones in our food supply, he informed me last night that he was weighed in health class the other day and he's tipping the scales at 241!!!!  LORD!  I'm only 232!!  Although he was quick to inform me that his weight derives from solid muscle, whereas I am "fatter" then him.
Thanks kid, thanks a lot! 
So I will be headed off now, moving my "fat" ass to my work station and get some more goodies out!
See ya soon!
ONLY $65.00

ONLY $140.00!!!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

This Is Why We Work On OLD Bikes!

One of the tasks we perform around here is the assembly of new bikes for folks ordering them on-line.  Usually they're some mass produced "Box Store" bikes, bought from "" or what have you, so the expectation for much needed "adjustments" are high.  Usually coming with bent or warped wheel's, bad freewheels, mis-aligned derailleurs, damaged plastic parts, what have you.  But yesterday a wonderful lady, whom had come in last week to meet us and set up an appointment to assemble an import she was soon to receive, brought in a supposed Italian made ladies hybrid.  With  less then sedate anticipation I excitedly tore into the box, eager to begin.  The first thing I noticed when tearing into the large cardboard box, was the forks.  Suntour shock, the exact same ones that come on the Schwinn's we see so readily around here.  Not low-end, but certainly not what I was expecting.  The derailleurs, and integrated shifters, all Shimano, were of the "bargain" genre, the Acera only a step above the bottom line Tourney. And the style and composition of the frame looked identical to all the other newer, mass produced hybrids.  And in the end I had the same issues as aforementioned.  And to top it all kickstand.  Yep, Kickstands are now considered "optional" equipment.
Give me a rusty old scrap bike any day.  At least then I know why I have so much work to do!
Unfortunately nothing new to feature!  Oh wait, that's not true, I did get one ride done, this one a brand new men's cruiser.  I guess the reason I forgot it is it only lasted about six minutes before it sold, but I'll shoot a pic anyway!  We bought it from some folks who originally brought it in for a repair to the bottom bracket.  When they found out it was more then just tightening it up, and in fact needed to be replace due to a broken bearing ring and a gouged out race, they were disgusted as they only had had it for three weeks, they just sold it. Fine by me!
Also like to thank the MULTITUDE of re-pairs that came in yesterday, kept me hopping ALL day!  Hence the lack of new goodies, but have no fear!  I'm caught up with re-pairs and will be going on to finish up some new sweeties!
'till later!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I Take Issue With That Sir!

First off, thanks to all the awesome folks coming out yesterday and making it a BOOMIN' good time!!  Nearly sold out entirely on adult size bikes and clearly have to build allot more QUICK!  Even the two I did put together (sorry, sold to quick to even get pic's) found good homes FAST!  Also, as always, we appreciate all the trust, good will and fine words from the folks happy we are here!  Gosh, you're making me blush!  And as is always the case, had a flood of re-pairs come in as  well (thanks for the trust) hence why I ended up working late, as had a last minute "I need it for work tomorrow" repair that needed to be done!
Had one phone call that gave me a moments pause, however.  A young gent called looking for a ride.  Seems he unfortunately had his bike recently stolen and needed to replace it.  Seems that due to a tad bit of excessive frivolity he is without a license for an undisclosed period of time.  He went on to express his shame and embarrassment that he "had" to ride a bike, but it was his only option in getting to work on time.  His genuine loathing of his veloisitc transport was quite evident in the venomous way he spoke of the inequity.
It got me pondering (or as my lovely wife would say "gave me reason to sit") What is it about an adult riding a bike that shames some folks.  Now when we see spandex clad grownups with the Rocketeer helmets zooming down the Pinellas trail we don't think shame (all right...maybe with some "silly") but  a guy heading out to work at 5 am to ensure his family eats, that's a reason for scorn and ridicule?  Or if someone should decide they no longer want to be part of polluting our atmosphere, they should stick to the relative seclusion of side streets? 
Man has existed for roughly 200,000 years on this planet (as current science conjecture implies) and he did so for quite sometime without the help from Henry Ford.  The first automobile was invented in 1769.  Granted it was steam, but that counts apparently.  The first bicycle was conceptualized in 1493 by Gian Giacomo Caprotti an underling of da Vinci, but it wasn't until 1817 that Karl von Drais was credited for the first practical use bicycle.  I will however take a leap and say that if they could conceive it on paper, it was probably in limited use somewhere prior to that given the simplicity of it's design and ease of construction.  So with that all in mind what's the big deal.  In most countries around the world the bicycle is an excepted if not preferred mode of transportation.  Whether it be out of necessity or common sense they utilize it as practical part of their life.  And in contrast look at the level of problems inherent in the introduction of the automobile.  China, becoming more upwardly mobile has seen a massive increase in the number of cars on the road.  Guess whats happened to their already over polluted air.  The ease of transporting goods not withstanding, can you really say our quality of life has increased, gotten profoundly better with the advent of the auto? Does arriving to our destination a few minutes early counteract the ill effects associated with internal combustion?   Does spending  25% of your working day, on average in traffic endow you with excessive quality time? The list goes on and on, and Lord knows I keep beating this horse, but Hey, I didn't bring it up! 
In final reflection, given all the evidence at hand, I really think those banging around in auto, oblivious to the world around them and the impact they have on it are the ones who should feel shame and embarrassment.
P.S. This has absolutely nothing to do with todays topic, but Angi sent it to me and I think it's hillarious!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Get Ye To A Nunnery!!

I love my wife!
If you are a young man currently entertaining the idea of marriage, I urge you to consider, in your bridal consideration, to contemplate an Irish wife.  I guarantee your life will NEVER be boring! 
If nothing else their strong personality and uncompromising propensity for "speaking their mind" will always be of great entertainment value!
For your consideration:
We've all seen them.  When we we're young men we occasionally caught a glimpse of the young ladies of a certain shall we say lack of virtue.  Quite overtly displaying their endowments for all to see.  Now as young men, some of us would find this appealing (OK, we all did).  And at times we would see the same type of women in magazines and movies that were not of a Christian nature.
But something happens when you get older, when you have daughters of your own.  It's gradual at first almost imperceptible.  We find ourselves less and less noticing them, when in truth over the last couple of decades girls who have no self respect  have become more and more prevalent.  Eventually as you  held your own daughter(s), and watched them grow and mature and you happen to catch glimpse of some young girl dressed like a street walker your reaction is one of "My GOD...that's someones daughter!"
I told you that story, to tell you this one.
Today I found myself having to work as the repairs have once again piled up and I needed to get new stock out.  This left my lovely wife home alone with the kiddos on our day off.  An unfortunate necessity.  During the course of the day a visitor happened by the house.  A young girl from Kaleb school, who apparently knows both he and our older boy Elijah.  To what extant she knows them is in debate.  According to those present she was perhaps 13 or 14 dressed in a bandanna like shirt, backless which apparently was doing little to conceal what lay beneath and defying all know laws of physics AND gravity!  She also had on a pair of SHORT shorts which apparently also acted as floss!  Upon greeting my wife the young (and I use the term VERY loosely) lady asked if she "could talk to Kaleb" My wife paused, looked her up and down and "matter a factly" answered "Not dressed like that!" and abruptly slammed the door in her face!
As I said...I love my wife!
As I said, had work to do today and managed to put out five new goodies too boot!  I have four pic's below (forgot the fifth) so take a gander and come see us tomorrow!
Night ya'll!
ONLY $70.00!!!

ONLY $95.00!!!

ONLY $40.00!!

ONLY $25.00!!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Time, Perception, the Universe, and Everything

OK.  Perhaps the title suggests a much loftier goal or premise then I can deliver.  I will though touch briefly on how we perceive the passage of time.
When one spouts the age worn phrase "Time sure flies when you're having fun" I take that to mean that when you are otherwise engaged you don't feel compelled to "check" the elapsed time.  You merely enjoy the frivolity and only become vaguely aware of times march when your body begins to feel the effect of said gaiety.  Then of course there is the reverse, that when you are otherwise inactive, such as while being engaged in mind numbingly boring tasks, such as school or some dead end job, or waiting in line at some state agency (HAHA!  Hiya uncle Chip!) time seems to crawl at a snail's pace.
From my personal perspective, time seems to run faster when I am working, as their never seems enough time to do all that needs to be done!  Such is why it has been a few days since I have last checked in! 
With everything we are currently having to endure with our fourteen year old's incessant need to, oh how do the insipid counselors and therapist say it....?  Ah yes "discover his identity" ALLOT of time has been lost at work.  I owe much gratitude to my lovely wife and eldest son Elijah for keeping the shop open and going whilst I trounce about from appointment to appointment with Nimnut, having to continuously absorb the phrase's "I don't know..." and "Because..." over and over and over and over,,,
In the end, I think someone, SOMEWHERE NEEDS to create a special "High Endurance" Award, specifically engraved with the inscription "To he who has shown great tenacity and restraint, in NOT dishing out an extreme thrashing of a young teenager" and present it to me with much ado and fanfare, ticker tape parade, key to the city, all expense paid vacation to a mystical place where NO children are allowed, and we parents get to swim in a chocolate fountain, and theirs a full FREE bar, with nightclub acts, can-can girls and 24 hour massages....
But I digress....
Needless to say the whole ordeal has been EXTREMELY taxing on NOT only me, but my lovely 7 and a half month pregnant wife, who is not having any easy go due to stress, but also my eldest who has had to pick up much of the slack left by me not being there, and also the rest of the kiddos who are beginning to think I have disappeared, and only materialize briefly in the morning to bring them to school.  We haven't even had nighttime story time in almost a week! 
It would be manageable, though if it were not for the fact that the boy just keeps trying to get away with what he's not suppose to be doing!
The latest bit was he brought energy drinks to school (no IDEA where he got them) a case of Red Bull and a case of Monsters, and was selling them in the cafeteria.  Now, as much as there was a brief moment of respect for his antreppanuer spirit (as a teenager I use to go to the free clinic and get boxes of condoms for free and sold them at school for two bucks a pop) he had been warned twice that this was unacceptable.  Apparently this time he became upset and hid out in the library for two periods...a clear violation of his probation.  But my frustration was only furthered when I spent the better part of the day TRYING to get in contact with his probation officer, the police, the school  and to this point three days later NONE have returned my messages! 
At this point I could EASILY break off into a pages long tirade about the ineffectiveness of our judicial system, lament over budget constraints or the wailing "children's rights" activists that have bound and gagged the schools and parents in matters of discipline...
But I won't.
(suffice to say that some eastern philosophy regarding the effected application of "public caning" isn't all that "off!")
In the end, the thing that keeps me going is the knowledge that somewhere under that veneer of dim wittedness there is a nice young man who at times surfaces, briefly and perhaps all the effort will eventually pay off.
I swore to my wife when we got together I would never abandon her OR the children...
Although that whole "swimming in chocolate" thing SURE looks good from time to time!

Have been able to put out MANY a new ride even in the light of all of this, but only have three (done yesterday) to show off.  All the others were gone quick as you can blink! Two sweet BMX'ers and a FULL rebuild on a way light "Old School'  Diamondback Sorrento MTB we got it trade.  It was a "locked in the shed for 4 years" wreck when we got it, but NOT anymore!
Also have several new gems I hope to bang out today! 
So hope to see ya'll REAL soon!
ONLY $135.00!!

ONLY $55.00

ONLY $60.00!!
 AND... a couple of our newest strips!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

You Charge How Much? For WHAT!?!

OOOkee, Dokey!
As we have been dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century, and adopted the use of a (*shudder*) cash register (not to mention having to charge and claim tax....) has created the need for coinage.  Before we worked in solid dollar amounts so their was no need.  Well after having exhausted our coin jar at home, I stopped by Amscot (the closest and ONLY financial institution in the neighborhood in walking distance) this morning and inquired about buying some rolls.  Now granted it has been a few years since I had to change bills into coins (it's usually the other way around, usually when the water bill comes due) but when I was told it costs $.50 a roll I was stunned to say the least.  Their quick retort was that the bank charged THEM for rolls of coins. 
Either I am being simultaneously lied to AND screwed, or they are one poorly run business.  Would anyone requiring such a large amount of change on hand be stupid enough to pay an additional $.50 for a fifty cent roll of pennies?  If that were the case may I suggest you install a CoinStar in your lobby and purchase a coin rolling machine.  You know, the same one the BANK uses to roll the coins.  Would save you some SERIOUS bank!
Whilst perusing the Yahoo News prior to checking my mail caught wind of this story from Australia.  Seems a billionaire Mining heiress has been taken to court by her kids because she cut them off from their inheritance, saying that instead they needed to get a real job.  Siting their inability to manage money and their unwillingness to work for their supper, to coin a phrase.
OK, where do I stand on this issue?
tough call.
On the one hand I applaud her desire to make her children understand the benefit and necessity of working a full days work for a full days pay.  And the author of the piece questioned her efforts at raising the kids and had she spent their informative years showing them what it MEANT to work a full day.  She herself inherited her wealth, so had she in fact worked at all in HER life.  Is their more venom in her efforts then patriarchal concern?  The writer also sites how a child living in affluence cannot be expected to put out an effort later in life to support themselves.  Well here's where we enter a "?" area.  Angela and I have shown our kids throughout their lives the necessity for hard work, both at home and at work.  if dad doesn't work, we go hungry, or homeless.  If mom doesn't work at home they don't eat and the flies start to build up a formidable army and yet, regardless of all our efforts, threats and red face tantrums we are hard pressed to get them to put out the effort to do something as strenuous as flush a toilet!  Forget about getting them to WORK!  Our sixteen year old, although helpful to a point with the baby, will be damned to take advantage of work for cash offered by dad at the shop.  After several times of being told "if you want the money you so desperately "NEED" then come to the shop, work for a few hours, and make some scratch!
NOT so much.
Guess he really didn't NEED it.
So where does the Parental example end and the childhood stubbornness begin?
Nowadays kids seem to expect everything handed to them, as an unfortunate side effect of our "instant gratification" life style has seen fit. 
If I may offer a compromise.  Set up a trust, predicated on the understanding that each child has a certain amount of year in which to establish a career, work a length of time and receive a managed trust at the end of that time period.
Hey, think of it as the ultimate "performance" bonus!
Here's the goodies WE worked on yesterday.  The Bonus is yours!


ONLY $55.00!!!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Jump Forward...Move ahead...

Perhaps what Devo was getting at had something to do with daylight savings time.  Did ANYONE remember to set their clocks ahead an hour on Sunday?  Obviously like so many American our phones did it automatically, but on Sunday, our only day off we pay our phones no heed.  Mine sits comfortably off on my dresser, whilst Angelas, while still attach to her like a spare limb, is not given much attention.  We go by the stove clock, which itself is blissfully unaware of the "change"  It wasn't until after dinner (obviously at 7.30 instead of 6.30) as we sat in the front room yammering and playing that she happened to get a call and noticed it was 9.10!  It didn't take long to realize the disrcrepency, and we herded the chitlins' off to sleep.  It wasn't until this morning that the real trouble started when we "forgot" to re-set the alarm clock on her phone and we awoke at 8.30 instead of 7.30!!
Needless to say, I was a few minutes late openning.
Ah well, made up for it though as folks were coming in like gang busters today!  Thanks SO MUCH for the paronage, not to mention the bevy of re-pairs and wheeling and dealing!  Sold the recumbant first thing to Scott.  He came in Saturday and heamed and hawed but realizing a good deal when he saw one was in bright and early to snatch it up!  A young lady to the wise course and instead of sinking $80.00 into getting her old ride fixed up (to be rideable...only) she snatched up the Stingray chopper for a smooth COOL ride!  The Mongoose XR-75 went home with Rick.  We built him up a Giant Sedona, but when coming in to pick it up saw the XR and wanted to bring it home instead.  NO PROBLEM!  I'm sure we'll have NO problem finding her a good home! 
Thanks as always to all the new faces we have been seeing lately.  More and more people are winding their way to the Veloist path!  And they're are choosing us because they "hear good things about us"
Look at me!  I'M BLUSHING!
Managed to get out two new goodies.  Please check 'em out below!
NOW, off to vegitate!

ONLY $70.00!!!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Big Train That Couldn't

Good Morning! 
It's been a couple of days, but forgive me as it has been CAH-RAZY busy!!  Nothing I've built in the last two days has lasted more then an hour on the floor before selling!  I've been pounding them out as quickly as quality maintaining can allow. 
last night was the first night I've been home relatively on time, and that's 'cause it was Family Movie Night and I got the movie Angi's been itching to see, "Hugo"
What can I say about this film but..."enh."
Another Multi Million dollar "eye candy" fest with minimal story.
OK, right to the meat.  Hugo is a Dicken-esque trip into minor Steam Punk territory only set in Paris (where apparently this time around NO-ONE has a French accent, but rather British).  Hugo is a young orphan living in the bowels of a railway station working diligently as the clock keeper.  A vocation he acquired by his drunkard uncle after his father died tragically in a museum explosion.  Hugo is attempting to unravel a mystery he and his father had been working on of an automaton his father discovered in the storage of the museum where he worked. 
Although some of the cinematography is breathtaking in it's complexity there are a few trite plot tools employed I have always found infuriating.  When the protagonist of the film finds him or herself in a moment of emotional or physical conflict and rather then explain or talk to the other parties involved they remain silent allowing the others assumption to win the day, thus prolonging the solution to their predicament until the films inevitable catharsis.  It REEKS of poor storytelling!
The other MAJOR problem I had was roughly in the middle of the film there is an INCREDIBLY sloppy edit.  In the scene when the Inspector of the railway station is walking away from his encounter with the young flower vendor it literally jumps to a pull away of a huge library where Hugo and his young friend are walking along a runway as you hear a voice over of the book seller directing them to a volume regarding film makers. 
It was so bad we had to pause the film and rewind, checking the track counter on our blue ray because we thought there was a glitch in the film!  It made it hard to absorb the scene, as we were all trying to catch up with where the film was taking us.  It was of course at this point, in retrospect you discover the film is no longer about the boy and his father, or the mysterious automaton, but rather a lavish love letter addressed to Georges Melies, prolific film maker of the turn of the century and the father of science fiction in the silver screen.  I won't take the time to go into all his accomplishments, you can google it, but suffice to say certain aspect of his life were either omitted, or altered to fit the script of this movie (another plot tool I take issue with)
I'm sure the folks working on this film thought it a clever vehicle on which to hitch their passions, but I would have preferred they just make a dramatized documentary on his life in which to memorialize him, not unlike Robert Downy did for Charlie Chaplin, or consequently Johnny Depp did (somewhat) for Buster Keaton in "Benny and Joon". 
I hate to be redundant but Yes, technology has allowed us to produce cinematic miracles, but lets start spending more effort on plot and story development and less on trying to perfect computer animated snow.
And now back to work!  Here's what's left of what was built yesterday...
ONLY $70.00!!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Treading Lightly

Well, not exactly my strongest character strength, but I'll give it a shot.
Ouch.  Bad choice of words there.
Current events are not my usual subject matter, but from time to time I feel I want to voice my opinion, throw my two cents in as it were.  Today it's about the atrocity that occurred in Ohio.  Far to frequently have we heard of the apparent "random" killing sprees occurring in our nations schools.  now whether this is a result of media influences, drugs, video games, teen angst or bad parenting is not my focus today.  No, what bothers me is the apparent lack of communication or "listening" that seems to be occurring.  Having not ever personally encountered such tragedy I can not speak from any authority on the matter and I'm sure in the aftermath of it all a lot of confusion must reign.  However, of what I've read the people in authority are not listening to those directly involved.  Parents interviewed say the victims and assailant were unfamiliar with each other.  The chief prosecutor say there was no bullying or drug relation, that in fact it was a random event brought on by an individual  "who's not well".
Adversely the students, an intended victim and witnesses tell another story.  The shooter was targeting the new boyfriend of his ex-girlfriend.  Apparently there was a LONG standing feud going on, reportedly well over a year. The new boyfriend reportedly made several threats to the assailant, and indulge in traditional taunts and bullying.  So much so that the assailant took to bodybuilding in an attempt to ward of the threats.  Now before I go any further rest assured I am not condoning the shooters methods or ideology, nor the results.  The fact that these children are dead, and that this individual felt himself  compelled  to commit these acts lends itself to my rationale.
When the shooting occurred the shooter targeted the new boyfriend, apparently the others just "got in the way".
So here's my query.  Why, with all these witnesses coming forward clearly aware of the escalating threat, was none of this noticed?  Did the school, or the parents intercede?  Were they aware even, that anything was wrong/  Yes, I am starkly aware of the fact that parents can't know or see everything, and God knows, with teachers and administers hands bound tightly behind their backs in matters of discipline, personal involvement etc (hell!  Guidance counsellors aren't even Guidance councillors anymore!  They just handle academics!) But why wasn't anyone listening then or NOW!? 
This whole thing is endemic of our nations current state of youth. 
I wish I could with full confidence point the finger of blame at one source but lets be honest we are all to blame.  From our government who has made an art form out of war.  Aggressive killing tactics meant to settle arguments.  We turn our back on diplomacy, negotiation and compromise in our quest for expansion.  Schools focus more on National test scores to secure future funding and bonuses then the welfare of the children who are their bread and butter.  Parents, consumed with ever increasing financial and personal  stresses have less and less time to spend with their children.  Media and manufacturers know this and produce blood and gore, ever evolving video games and movies because they know parents will dole out the cash to keep the kids occupied, and off mom and dad's back.  We allow food producers to utilized steroids and growth hormones and are ambivalent to the effects these things have on children entering puberty.  Have you noticed that boys are much more aggressive, and Mom, when you take little Suzy to Wall-Mart to buy her her unmentionables, ever wonder why a 13 year old is two sizes and three cups bigger then yours? 
Look, the list goes on and on and on, and in the end, we are left with no answers.  Angi and I, met with the problems of our 14 year old tried the home schooling thing last year, but the system was SO complicated even after 2 weeks we still couldn't navigate it.  Eventually having no choice had to send him back to public.
My point is, take the time to read your kids.  Remember how you felt at that age, the confusion, the fears, the awkwardness and get them to understand that YOU understand.  Opening that door allows them the confidence to come to you and open up.  And please know that problems we have learned as adults to cope with and  are not all that significant to a teenager seem insurmountable.  But above ALL ELSE, shut off the computer, put down the game controller and set the cell phone on vibrate...

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Allow Me To Share My Selected Briefs...

This will be quick.
Very busy day!  Thought I'd be banging out some goodies but re-pairs came in unabated (thank you so much!) Only managed to get out one, But MAN!  This is the Cadillac!  The one everyone yearns for!  A Sun EZ-1 21 speed Recumbent!  In on consignment (but I needed to do some work to her!) it's a STEAL for only $400.00!!!  New...well I'll let you google it.  You'll be floored!
All right, more tomorrow...I need a shower!
ONLY $400.00!!!

The Further Adventures of Civil Service!

Notice a pattern here?
Query; Just what inspires a burgeoning college student, swept away with the anticipation of a promising life, and with so many vocational options available, to choose the civil or social services?  What is inherently wrong, chemically, in their thought processes that compels them to make this choice?
As a historically critical example, Adolph Hitlers father was in civil service.
An extreme example, no doubt but when met with the complete apathy, bordering on anti-social behavior of the majority of people occupying the claustrophobic cubicles of many a state, federal or city building, you begin to wonder just what in their training prepares them for the thankless hum-drum existence they must endure.  Obviously that frustration is back lashed upon their unsuspecting charges.
Their are, by my experience two types of individuals occupying these edifices.  The predominant specimen is that of the aged, bureaucratically well-worn middle aged "what have I done with my life" types.  Those who clearly must collate, staple and file in their sleep.  Their relative indignant silence only briefly interrupted by short, curt inquiry's, quickly returning to their lackadaisical ministrations.  Then there's the pert, chipper fresh faced "just out of school" hopefuls, hell bent on bringing a fresh approach to the "inner workings" of the establishment.  Full with the promise of "making a difference".  Hmmmm.  Must be a mantra taught, but when the realities of their stalemated, dye-in-the-wool, redundancy becomes all to apparent to them they become specimen number one.
Sad, really. 
Obviously anyone coming into the shop yesterday and saw my eldest minding the shop, and not greeted by my handsome mug (*choke* hold on...had a hard time coughing that last line out!) figured out I was elsewhere.  Well that "Elsewhere" was another blissful trip down "Social Services" lane, as we are dealing with our 14 years old "issues".  Suffice to say that nine hours of our lives were once again thrown into upheaval in  a vain attempt to help him "see" the errors in his judgements.  I'd like very much to hold hope that he will finally "get the message" but I am certainly not taking a Polyannish approach to the whole ordeal.  Daddy Dearest will most definitely be required to sit on the boy in order to get the point across.
While there the first hour was spent in an office measuring 9 feet square, with no windows and apparently no working fan or AC.  No questions were asked while the sun shinny lady ticked away at her archaic computer, intermittently cursing it's existence and the ineffectual programs employed by her superiors. The only interruptions being when other employees came in briefly to complain about the same issues.  After about 45 minutes we signed a few papers, then waited another 15 minutes while she attempted in vain to raise someone on the inner-office phone system.  Eventually her perseverance paid off and we were ushered quickly through a labyrinth of hallways and doors to a waiting room. 30 minutes later we were greeted by another lady (this one specimen 2) who led us back through the Labyrinth to a relative position two doors down from where we originally were.  Here we endured 90 minutes of further "history" only to be informed that we would have to schedule another appointment to finish as she had another appointment coming in.
At this point I was to numb (and my ass had LONG since fallen asleep) so I acquiesced.
That couple with the 5 hours on a bus made for a WONDERFUL day!
God willing all will be back to normal this week and I can refocus my efforts back on work!  Once I get a few repairs done, I will delve head first into some new goodies!  Have much to build and get out!  So thanks for listening to my ramblings. It was therapeutic.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Glad Tidings!

WOW!  What a phantasmagorical superior Saturday!
SOLD OUT!!!  Well, except for the fold ups!   BUT that's OK, They're waiting for THEIR owners to finally find them!!!  Every bike has their perfect match.  Some just take longer to locate them. 
Where to begin!  The Physiofit went to a young gent who was "Heavy on the Covet" to quote George Carlin.  He's been in three times checking it out, and we finally came to an agreement on price Saturday!  See, like I said, EVERY bike has their owner...some are just a little more stubborn then others!  HAHA! the Diamondback went out first thing to a young man who had been shopping around for the last few days for the perfect ride.  Another one suffering from "Sticker Shock" at some of the other local places.  Does my heart good to see the look of relief on the folks faces when they realize they can get a good bike in great condition and not have to take out a small loan!  The "two "DBS"'s we had disappeared quicker then you can blink as well.  And I know there were more in there as well but I am a tad bit brain fried as it IS Sunday and I am in here working to try and get out more goodies for Monday as we will be open but I won't be here, as I have to drag Kaleb to "Appointments"...please DON"T ASK!
ALSO, very refreshing was the fact that we had SO many new folk's yesterday who "Didn't know we were here"  but loved what they saw and will be in again.  Met a couple nice blokes in for parts, rebuilding a Mongoose.  They stumbled on us after coming from "another' shop where the wanted WELL over $200.00 for just a fraction of the stuff they needed.  Well not only were they able to find EVERYTHING they needed it only cost them $74.00, AND they got a couple pieces for another bike thrown in as a bonus.

Are we great or what?!
I'm gloating aren't I?
ALL RIGHT, I'll stop!  I gotta git back to work anyway!
Have a great rest of your weekend!
Oh, by the by, here's two more goodies put out last night!
ONLY $70.00!!

ONLY $80.00!!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Another Self Righteous Old Fart Rant!

What is it with the American "Group" Self-Conscience?
For a week or so while doing my shopping or perusing the Internet, I have been met with a deluge of memorials and testimonials to Whitney Houston.  What a talent she was, and how much she gave to the world, the beauty of her music...etc...etc.  Same thing when Micheal Jackson had passed, and still to this day will you find mention of him and the goings on behind the scenes in the ever unfolding drama of his demise.  But what strikes me as odd is, why are we celebrating, memorializing or even caring about the demise of a drug addict and a pedophile?
Forgive me if I sound heartless.  The passing or loss of any (OK...most) human life is regrettable and unfortunate.  Especially of those who have contributed to society.  And I am WELL aware of the fact that every human has their peccadillo's and more then one skeleton in their closet.  But when such perversions, illegal and/or immoral activity is SO in the public eye, why do we forgive it?  If Joe Average were to date, have relations and marry his own daughter he would be ostracized by society and if she were under age would be locked up and quickly married to Bubba the wife slayer!  But Woody Allen still makes movies?
Even in the political arena!  NASA and the CIA were founded and staffed by ex-Nazi's, and Georgie-Boy Bush is on the lecture circuit?!  And NOT in prison?!
If my wife fell off the wagon and was indulging in a drug binge, she would be locked up and all her friends would more then likely disavow any knowledge of her, and yet Demi Moore is pitied?  Robert Downy Jr.  one of my favorites, had a LONG history of drug problems, eventually landing him in the stir.  BUT, he got out, he got clean and his career has flourished.  You have to admire that.  THAT is the the kind of example that should be lauded and revered, who's career should be honored
Look.  I find it very hard to feel any sympathy to anyone indulging in narcotics.  I would have made a LOUSY drug counselor.  My experience with it is VERY limited.  About 8 years ago after suffering a back injury at work the doctor put me on some pain meds and bed rest.  Neither was appealing, and the drugs really didn't take away the pain or help me function.  That's when a neighbor offered me up some Oxy.  After taking the first one within an hour I was able to move and felt numb, tingly and TOTALLY peaceful.  My lovely wife said it was the nicest I had ever been!  I thought "What's the harm?"
Well the harm was, within a few days, i found one wasn't cutting it.  The pain was returning sooner so I upped the dosage thinking "What's the harm?" after a few more days, as the dosages continued to increase I ran out of what I had.  Revisiting my neighbor, I inquired if he had anymore.  His regrettable answer was "No" but he could get me $10.00 a pop!
Little diodes in my brain started to click on.  incredulously I had become something I loathed, and was scantly aware.  I was seriously considering dipping into my meager income to support a drug habit?!?!
Needless to say practicality (not to mention revulsion) saved the day, and I respectfully declined.
My point is, we ALL have a choice.  We all have the where-to-all to suppress urges and desire that are counter-productive to our health and well being.  Not to mention that of the people who we love.
So why is it that we hold "celebrities" to a different standard?  Forgive them their excesses while admonishing those of others?  If drugs, pedophilia, murder, adultery, theft, political meanderings are unlawful for us...they should be for all.

Friday, March 2, 2012

A New Direction For Civil Service!

I have had another epiphany!
"Oh Ho!!  Please tell us!"  you say?  With pleasure!
Whilst sitting in limbo awaiting my sons release (having to go in for his appointed arraignment today at 7.30, leaving at 6.  Yes I KNOW their are folks who do it every day....but i don't.  'Nuff said) it struck me that I realized how cities, states...countries even could make the necessary yet banal, sometimes downright infuriating experience of performing these civil tasks easier perhaps even enjoyable for the average citizen.
Think one word...
Yes Folks, as revolutionary.... perhaps even anarchic a concept this may seem, please shelve your shock!   Stay your admonishment.  Still your rebuke of heresy and  hear me out!  I beseech you!!
(sorry...took a butt load of overkill  this morning)
Take an ethereal walk with me.  Let go your corporeal being and imagine....
You find yourself burden with the unavoidable task of renewing a licence.  Or perhaps having to take a trip to the Social Security Office.  Before the implementation of my splendid concept it would have been a foreboding journey, but now?  A placid engagement.
Walking into whichever state or city orifice (WHOOPS!  Sorry EDIFICE is what I meant to say!) You are met by "Greeters"  they politely in a sing song voice inquire which department you are there to visit.  Once established these matronly employees, dressed comfortably in spring patterned Moo-Moo's, or a house frock trimmed with a single strand of pearls, accompanied by a starched white apron hand you a square plastic chip.  It measures 4 to 5 inches square, color coded to match the department you await, along with a number.  The top has a single perforation.  She then inquires if you'd prefer the lounge (fully equipped with barker lounges, La-Z-Boys,  multi channel Flat screen TV's, a full DVD Library, a lavishly stocked Coffee bar, with a sumptuous selection of pastries and a full staff of Messuse (whats the plural for Masseuse? Masseuses?  Masseusei?) OR you may take advantage of the "Nap" rooms.
These secluded rooms lining the periphery of the main office house several "semi- private" beds.  Memory foam mattresses, with simple higher end hotel grade sheets, pillows (memory foam of course) and blankets.  Soft classical music or perhaps "Nature Sounds" are piped through your private speaker, set at a low volume.  Once you've settled in, your guide closes the curtain partition and hangs your number chip from the curtain rail.  Once your number is reached one of the matriarchal ladies quietly enters the nap room, softly pulls back the curtain and gently nudges you softly calling your name.  Perhaps the more heavy sleepers will require a parting of the loose hair and a slight kiss to the forehead.  Once awoke, she leads you to your appointment.  And as you finish your business, content and relaxed you are once more greeted on your way out where they hand you a brown bag lunch, a hug and a kiss on the forehead, a tussle of the hair and a hearty "Have a NICE day dear!  Come again!"
Would that be to much to ask?  I mean I don't see ANY reason why we couldn't allocate the funds to support this concept?  And think of all the retiree's who would benefit, financially for these job opportunities.  I mean tips alone!  It opens up a whole new industry for hotel workers!  Seriously...Write your congressman and champion this initiative~!
I'll Stop.
But like they say "if you can't find the humor in it...It'll make you go postal!"

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Long....LONG day!
The bliss of parental responsibility interrupted our day for a few hours.  Thanks to my older boy, Elijah and Logan for coming into watch the shop while i dealt with things.  In the end, didn't get much done.  Put out two new goodies, though!  One of them is a SWEET Diamondback Wildwood MTB.  This one's tricked out with a nice set of bonterager street tread!  The other is a fine example of the "Daily Banger Special"!!
Now, without further prattling, i bid you goodnight.  I have to be up again at 5.00am.
ONLY $55.00!!!

ONLY $145.00!!!