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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Family Dynamics!

 One of the most intriguing aspects of family dynamics is observing children as they grow and slowly witnessing the child(s) adaptation of parental eccentricities and personality peccadilloes.   One such incident this morning made such comparisons blatantly obvious. 
For the first time in several weeks, we actually got out of the house on time!  Quite a feet, given my propensity for sleeping in, and the children for dragging their collective feet.  Not to mention the monumental task of getting the older boys to roll out of bed at a respectable rate.  Usually this requires raised voices and the application of the ever useful plastic Whiffle ball bat!  But this morning, up by quarter after seven, dressed, coffee made and tentatively sipping on the steaming hot cup of motivation everyone rolled out on cue with little prompting.  Further aided by the realization that they may have an opportunity to have a full breakfast with their friends, the younger ones became more motivated.  Of course Elijah's false start, resulted in him drifting over sideways, asleep on the couch.  DEPLOY WHIFFLE BAT!!!  Thankfully it only takes the familiar "thump, thump" on the back of the couch to rise him from his impromptu slumber!  Diapers changed, and all necessary blockades in place to restrain an overly inquisitive Miranda from getting into TO much trouble, the prerequisite mega re-peat movie in the player and all was right with the world.
Thinking I had a few moments to enjoy the remainder of my coffee, I sat at the table only to find my erroneous assumption ill conceived.  Once dressed and back packs in place, the elementary kids began drifting out the front door, unannounced.  Reluctantly handing the ample remains to Elijah I accepted the inevitable and headed out as well.  Now sufficiently early, we took to the streets with the traditional "SIDE OF THE ROAD!" and "TOO CLOSE!"  etc. etc.
Our preordained route takes us out of our neighborhood, then a straight shot to the school.  On this particular morning as we reached the end of our subdivision we came upon a gaggle of their friends also on their way in.  Of course, they drifted to our side of the road and in no time I found myself the chaperon for a group of eight at this point.  As we were riding along (me in the far back, allowing them the time to jabber and me the distance to drone it out) the group paused before a young boy sitting by the side of the road.
I'll pause here for the sad revelation of this young man.  On the outskirts of our neighborhood sits a pleasant looking, unassuming house.  To the uninitiated it would appear as just another family home, but in reality, it's a half way house for "At risk, runaway teens".  This young man does not seem to qualify though, as he is roughly the same age as Logan.  As he is out every morning to meet his ride to school, at the elementary time frame, I can only assume that assessment is correct.  He has a palpable air of solemnness, unfortunate in one so young.  It has always been an unfathomable mystery to me how ANY parent could see fit to harm, neglect or abandon a child.   Especially one so blatantly innocent. 
As I approached the halted gathering, I noticed the young man was performing a magic trick for his rapt audience.  And this is where the evident similarities to Angela and I in our children, became apparent.  Angela is a true believer in all things supernatural and mystic.  An innocence I, at times, envy.  Rozy and Logan take after their mother in this respect.  They were visibly awed at the young mans  display of magical prowess.  Owen, taking after me, the skeptical analytical type, was quick to figure out the true nature of the illusion and even quicker to call him out on it.  I'll explain.  Anyone of our readers who has ever spent a lazy day perusing a book on "beginners magic" or had the good fortune to own a "Magic Wiggle Worm" knows this one.  You attach a thin piece of thread to a small light object (in this case a piece of paper folded into a square).  Attach the thread around one finger, leave some slack, and drape it over the other hand, held above the object.  As you slowly pull your two hands apart the object appears to "magically" float between your two hands.  Rozy, Logan and the rest were dumbstruck, in gloriously innocent glee over this amazing display of his gravity defying powers.  Owen was not so easily bamboozled and impressively called him on it.  He has been surprising me lately with his apparent capacity for creative thinking and quick mind.  But I have to give the young magician his props.  As Owen questioned his ability, the young man, unflinchingly stalwart in his convictions, took his lower hand and waved it under his other.  It was quite impressive!  He did it in such a way as to APPEAR as if it was going directly under the other, passing directly over the levitating object, while in fact, from where my vantage point was concerned, I could see he quite expertly avoided the string!  It was professional in it's execution!  And as Owen stood, reticent in his skepticism the young man closed his hands around the object and said, with a twinge of finality, "TA DA!"
Owen, not willing to acquiesces, demanded he do it again, but the young man, unperturbed, in a sly, sarcastic tone looked him right in the eye and stated "I said....TA DA"
MARVELOUS!!!  I think we discovered the next Criss Angel!! 
Needless to say it's all the kids had to talk about the rest of the way to school!
Yesterday was, blissfully, more of the same!  Busy little bee with repairs (briefly interrupted as I had a parent teacher conference to attend) and managed to put out an excellent riding and even more impressively looking classic Raleigh Mountain Bike!!  SAH-WEEEET!!!  ALSO, took in one heck of a sweet consignment piece yesterday!!  This one is a 2011 Trailmate 3- wheeler that spent the majority of it's time under a tarp!  They bought it 3 years ago and paid $563.00 at one of those "other" bike shops in town (yes, we have the receipt!) and ended up riding it only a handful of time.  And believe me, it shows!  Nary a blemish on it and it still has the excess rubber mold on the tires! Got a gorgeous ladie 26" single speed cruiser as well for all those ladies dying to get their hands on one!   Had many a looky loos in, just wish I had more to show!  Did end up with a "should have gotten it while you were here" story!  Gentlemen came in earlier in the day, looking for a sturdy single speed, cheap.  He checked out the BCA men's Big Boy we had, road tested it, and liked it.  Now, we here at Re-cycle love to engage in the "Art of the Deal".  Our motto is "the only thing written in stone is the Ten Commandments" so we are more then willing to dicker.  BUT, something has to be said for displaying a modicum of dignity in your dealings.  The bikes we put out are priced to reflect what we put into them.  Sure, we make a profit.  We're in business, and without it we'd be on the street in no time.  BUT, we ain't looking to get rich.  With that in mind, when we put out a bike, we DON'T jack up the price so as to appear to give a great discount when we sell it for a few bucks off.  We don't like games.  But if a ride is out at say, ninety bucks, and we have someone who offers us, say eighty we take it into consideration.  But when someone looks at a classic BCA cruiser, MADE in FREAKIN AMERICA....TOO LAST, and gives us a dismissive suck of his teeth and offers us SIXTY!?  Well?  At that point I want to jack the price up to $150.00!  But no, I didn't.  I politely turned down his offer and countered with $80.  He mulled it over then stated he had other places to check, and was sure he could find what he wanted cheaper.  I bid him good luck and he left.  And as always, as if a gift from karma for dealing with the crotchety, a young gent happened in looking for the same type of bike.  After a test drive, he admitted his love for the bike, but wanted to think on it for a wee bit, as he had originally came in search for a bike for his girlfriend.  He departed, obviously to assuage the guilt associated with potentially buying something for himself, only to return a short time later having fully convinced himself it was OK to pamper his own desires, and take advantage of a great deal.  No sooner had he loaded it up and left, did the first gentlemen return in his wake.  Walking into the store with slightly less swagger (obviously having discovered that his erroneous assumption regarding bicycle prices was misguided) and stated "I'll take it for $80."  Now mind you I took NO self righteous, vindicated pleasure in having to inform him the bike had just sold, for full price, to the gentlemen who just left. 
No...really...absolutely NO pleasure!
As the day has gotten going, more repairs are meandering in so I'd best get at it! 
OH, and BY THE WAY!!!  Today is the LAST day for both our "tenth purchase free" event and our "10% Off Service Special"!  So get on down here and take advantage while we are doe eyed and vulnerable!  That' right "Go fer the sweet spot!"

ONLY $140.00!!!

ONLY $270.00!!!!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I Hab a cobd id by dose......

After a long summer I sometimes forget that the change of seasons will eventually come.  Not that there is any DRASTIC change in Florida's weather but it is apparent enough to bring with it the misfortunes of allergies!  Yes, sadly as has been my lament since a very young age, each time the seasons hit I go through a short bought of flu like symptoms!  JOY!  And I ALWAYS forget to prepare for it with vitamins and the like.  Bless my wife for having them at the ready!  She, at least, keeps track of these things!  Trust me, I'd be LOST without her! 
Well, to save me from stewing in my own sickly juices, many a folk deemed yesterday as a good day to take their bikes out of mothballs, take advantage of our 10% off service special and bring down a total of eleven rides for a spit and polishing!  Also, one such wonderful lady, while dropping off her Schwinn for a handle bar replacement and tune up, ended up falling for the "ridable" three wheeler project bike we had just got in, and went home with that one as well!  Had many a looky loo as well!  One such couple, passing through Florida on their way to Mexico (mistakenly thinking they were, in fact, in Tampa) wanted to surprise their grandson with a new bike.  They hemmed and hawed over several choices and ending up settling on the simple coaster brake rear 20" we had.  ALSO! We are one step closer to FINALLY being able to take credit cards!  Yes folks, for YOU our loyal customers (who inevitably FIRST reach for a card at the register) we have been working diligently trying to rectify this!  Going against our grain, Angi opened an account with *shudder* A BANK!  We then only had to field a multitude of annoying telemarketer calls until we were contacted by a representative who didn't talk like he was reading from a script!  Actually (and anyone looking to get into sales should consider this tried and true method apparently LOST on modern day techno-sales) he came into the shop about three weeks ago!  Yes!  A REAL person, REAL contact!  Putting a face to a voice, one on one!  Mano e Mano!!  Canvasing the area, he simply brought in a letter, handed it to me and stated, should I need his services to give him a call.  It left an impression.  Truth be told, that is exactly how our current bank won me over.  Two of their representative account exec's also do canvasing (although I due have a tendency to become nervous when first approached by someone in a suit, with a name badge on a chain, carrying a clipboard!)  But they were very genuine and sincere and did ALL the leg work for us to open the account at Wells Fargo.  Even so far as to go to our house to have Angi sign all the paperwork and start the account, delivering her temp checks and a bank card!  Now THAT'S SERVICE!!! Something MANY industries have forgotten.  BUT!  I'm telling you, the impersonal world we have been forced to exist in for sometime (and I'll remind you I predicted this a few years ago) is imploding!  I see more and more that businesses are slowly coming to realize they are better off reconnecting with their customers and communities on a more grass roots level.  Me, I realized the necessity of getting the cards in here, but had it not been for them coming to me, and showing me that personal, un-pitch like personal service void of platitudes and brown nosing, just straight honest talk between folk, I would have probably just gone with whichever bank was closest to us and whichever card processor the bank recommended.  Even if I have to spend a few more bucks, it wouldn't matter, it's that kind of personal service that makes it MORE then worth it! 
'Cause that's how WE are!  Ever notice, if you call us on the phone, you get a person NOT a machine, with a prerecorded message hocking the latest in sports apparel and 10 gazillion dollar bikes?  That you're NOT transferred through three dazed and confused employees until you reach the person that CAN answer your question?  THAT'S called service!
Also managed to get in a few choice goodies as well yesterday!  Oh Joy of JOYS!  Will be working feverishly to get them up and running today, as yes, like the good little bike jockey's we are, got ALL the service done before close last night!
Yea...we're THAT good!
(OUCH!  Through out my arm trying to pat myself on the back!)
So without further delay (and I've finished my coffee) popping in a copy of MST3K and getting at it!
See ya soon! 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Bissfull Interlude

Well, for us the season has OFFICIALLY begun!  The time is so duly noted, as the arrival of migrating Snow Birds is marked with an annual visit from our Canadian friend, David.  We are one of his first stops each year after they settle into their migratory life here in FLA!  Welcome back sir! 
Yesterday was a break in my norm, and a rather pleasant one of discovery as well.  Having come in with Elijah (as he is still in training to take over the Sunday duties around here) and after he was set up and I did my morning chores, I opted to take Logan on his journey to Kmart to spend his birthday money in a quest to obtain Bakugan's (don't ask).  Also, I relished the thought of getting away from things for a bit, just he and I and our bicycles.   Unfortunately, the quest was for naught, as the coveted "Bakugan" eluded our capture!  Downtrodden, we slinked away.  Well...OK....he slinked.  Me?  I was just happy to be out with him, sharing the moment, luxuriating in the wonderful weather and exploration.  To that end (after we hit a couple more stores on the way back to see if they were hiding there) I suggested a back way to the shop, cutting down Virginia off Main, which curves west heading into Patricia.  It was on that Westward stretch (one I have traveled many times before) that I found myself paying just a little more attention.  In a parcel of land, nestled amongst stately homes and a few retirement villages, was a swath of land reminiscent of a Florida that was.  Reaching to the very edge of the road, and bordered by marsh to the west and a palatial home to the East.  I was first drawn by the lichen rich trees, but as we dismounted our bikes and walked through a small break in  the underbrush we were immediately engulfed in greenery!  As we passed through,  the canopy opened up and we were surrounded by a vibrant array of trees, and moss, underbrush and vine!  As we stood, encompassed by nature, I could not help but be overcome with the sad realization that this was how beautiful Florida once was!  Before man and machine cut a destructive path through this pristine greenery to make way for track housing and strip malls, this unbridled growth must have once covered everything.  It was an amazing escape from the known, and only a mere 5 minuets from the shop!  I cherish the moment I was allowed to share with Logan, and am doubly proud as when he entered the clearing with me, he had noticed a discarded soda bottle, and in righteous indignation lamented it's presence and the uncaring cretin who had discarded there!
ANYWHO!  Back to the here and now!  Have managed to acquire a few new goodies and will be getting to them post haste!  As I played hooky yesterday, really didn't get much done!  Please forgive! 
So with that! Gonna git at it!
See y'all soon!
Here's some pic's I took while basking in this little oasis!

Sunday, October 27, 2013


The only downside to sleeping with your cellphone next to your bed, plugged into recharge and utilizing it for an alarm clock, is every alert tone and phone call is set to a volume akin to a factory steam whistle!  Now, I grant you, phone calls to my phone equate to business and business is a GOOD thing!  It's when you have been up most of the night and FINALLY get to sleep around 5 am that an 8.30 am call can be troublesome.  It's not that we don't welcome the interest in our shop, but have you ever tried to sound chipper and professional when you just woke up?  No, my morning voice sounds like a heavy rake slowly being dragged across a bed of gravel, as heard through a cup of heavily viscous liquid! 
See, here's the skinny.
There is only one problem with having an ultra large flat screen TV, with full Dolby surround sound, and a vicious sub woofer wired up to an open concept living room:  If Mom and Dad are sitting down to watch a major action movie, like...say... Pacific Rim, with HD sound and it's 11.00 o'clock at night when you START the movie?  You have to be REAL careful just how high you set the volume!  For those who don't know the movie (and shame on you if you haven't seen it!) It's a modern day Giant Monster/Giant Robot flick!  Think Godzilla vs. Meca Godzilla, only REALLY, REALLY, REAL-istic!  SO, about half way through the flick there's a conversation going on between two characters, while on the other end of town a major battle is going on between the robots (good guys) and Monsters.  They do the whole jump to the dialogue thing, and I tweak the volume up so we can hear what they are saying (Angi didn't get to see it in the theatre) and I have to go from 14 to 22 on the setting,  then...WHAM!  They switch quickly back to the fight scene RIGHT when the really BIG monster ROARS!  Quickly I hit pause and we wait.  Didn't have to wait more then a millisecond to hear screams then crying emanating from the girls room (Good going dad!) Angi and I rushed in to find all the girls bolt up in various stages of panic.  Izzy was obviously the first to wake, then Rozy, next to her, sleepy eyed, had a look of "What THE...?!  And Miranda standing upright, crying with hands outstretched begging to be picked up and comforted.  (I felt like a COMPLETE cruel jack ass at this point) Worse of all, after Angi quickly scooped up Miranda and held her tightly cooing,  I stepped to Izzy and grabbed her up to find that the sudden, scary, abrupt sound had unfortunately made her wet the bed!  Yes folks, I was ALL shades of self loathing at this point!  The gambit of diapers, clothes and bedding changes done and Rozy being assured everything was OK and yes she COULD go back to sleep, we instinctively knew there would be no getting the babies back to sleep.  Of course, the Butterfly Effect kicked in, "If a child cries in one bedroom all other children awake in stages".  All boys, not already awake, came out to see what the noise was all about.  And of course, as is always the case in situations like this (not the whole loud movie thing, first time for that) no one really gets settle back in for a couple hours.  Eventually the girls settled down and were back to sleep...about four hours later.
So, to make a long story short (TOO LATE!) we had not opted for an 8.30 wake up call.  Tried real hard to go back to sleep, but by this point the little guys were already awake and making a ruckus, so I dragged my bulk from bed and started my day.
It is another B....E....A....Yootiful day outside!  Already sent the cute little Dyno home with a VERY excited young man and have folks coming from as far away as Wesley Chapel and Plant City to look at other goodies.  Have high hopes I'll be able to muster then energy to get a couple more built today (here's hoping).  We did manage to put out another sweet looking BMX yesterday.  This one another classic, a GT! 
We look forward to seeing everyone today!

ONLY $90.00!!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

...and then, as the party guests looked on, I walked across the swimming pool.

OK, maybe not, so much.
Sometimes I ponder whether people only see what they WANT to see, or are too afraid of divine persecution , should they willingly accept the obvious!
So, last night Angi and I were VIP guests at the "Safety Harbor Resort and Spa" for their first annual "Halloween Bash".  It's really not as much a big deal as it sounds.  Angi is doing a part time gig with our friend Daniel who owns his own interior design and decorating service.  They had been contracted to dress up the main ballroom in spooky holiday trimmings.  A job they did FANTASTICLY I don't mind saying.  And as a side note, The spa is an absolutely GORGEOUS establishment!  So much detail and character!  You IMMEDIATELY can't feel anything but welcomed and comfortable when you enter! I didn't want to leave once I had sunk down into an overstuffed leather arm chair just out side the Athena room in an open, atrium style sitting room!
Mind you, I'm NOT a big party person, prone to outgoing mingling and frivolity.  No, I am a sad, set in my ways, couch potato perfectly content to slump into the welcoming nook of my favorite couch zooming out to the big screen.  But I married a VERY lively Irish girl who gets FAR LITTLE opportunity to get out and stretch her legs, being married to an old fuddy-duddy.  SO when she informed me earlier this week of the job AND the opportunity to get out and mingle (she is also a fearless social animal who immediately impresses and makes people both comfortable and fall in love with her) (like the song goes, where her and I are concerned "Opposites Attract"!)) I agreed, for nothing else but her opportunity to strut.  And she did!  Dressed up to the nines in a vampiresque ensemble she looked STUNNING! 
And what did I go as? 
Well.  I am prone to being a tad bit controversial and predisposed to eliciting discomforting shock, attempting to "shake up" the status quo.  In 2004, after the unfathomable occurred, Bush's reelection, I opted to go out as a "Republican Lobbyist".  I dressed in a very sharp looking black suit, accessorized with a 'Bush/Cheny" lapel pin and briefcase.  Of course, my face was painted bright red complete with a very prominent set of horns.  After the birth of young Izabella, my maternal instinct kicked in, so I donned a puffy wig, and knee high red sequined dress, complete with a large set of wings and high heels and went as a "Fairy Godmother" complete with make up while still retaining my beard!  This year, as my inner monologue was fighting with itself over my choice to even GO to such a party, I needed to find a way to make the decision palatable (pleasing Angela, notwithstanding).  Originally, Angela had laid out a costume, designed to make me a "Wise Guy" mafia heavy, complete with leather and dark glasses.  Her rationale, at least I would be comfortable.  As She had gone into work yesterday she contacted me throughout the day, on breaks, raving about what a wonderful, upscale place the spa was.  She was quiet adamant as to how upper class it was, the guests and staff alike being very "proper".  This planted a seed in the back of my mischievous little brain.  I began to contemplate what countenance would TRULY inspire folks from that end of the lifestyle perspective to collectively squirm in their seats.  In so pondering, and working on a shoestring budget, I did a mental inventory of my closet.  In no time I recalled that I owned a natural fiber ensemble of loose fitting clothing that could provide the base.  Once home (and prior to Angela's return from work) I tore through the closet and discovered I had in fact retained a large swath of brown fabric that would provide an excellent cloak.  Trimming the look with a hand sanded walking stick fabricated from a downed tree limb by Kaleb, and a cross comprised of two old wrought iron nails, from Elijah and I was transformed into...

Minus the crown of thorns of course. 
And this is where it became interesting.  I don't believe the look was subtle, but either folks were uncomfortable with the obvious implication or didn't quite "get it".  Some assumed I was a Shepard others thought I was a Jedi.  One gent was under the assumption I was a Mexican?  It wasn't until the evening was winding down, and all those in costume were asked to do a "costume parade" and vote for the best costume, that they asked who I was.  Their was a brief pause of a second or two where, aside from the music, the room fell silent when I announced who I was  then broke into a thunderous boom of approving applause and hoots, sparked of course by my lovely wife initiating the response.    I don't know whether I should be proud or disappointed that I couldn't make more folks squirm.  Oh well!  It was a very fun evening after all, and I was given the opportunity to watch my wonderful wife stretch her legs on the dance floor, and even got up myself a few times to perpetuate the white male stereotype of a "full body dry heave set to music"  Can't wait until next year!
On the work front!
It is an absolutely gorgeous day, once again!  Cool air, bright sunshine, nary a cloud in the sky!  Yesterday, being all befuddled, the chaos spread to the day and inevitably we were a tad bit slow.  Did manage to put out two new goodies, a 26" "DAILY BANGER SPECIAL" ladies MTB as well as a really sharp looking 20" Mongoose BMX!!  Picked up an older Raleigh Road Bike, lugged frame I intend on decking out as a ingle speed, just gotta get the right wheels for it!  But, I still have more that I can work with in the meantime!
So COMEON!  GET OUT OF THE HOUSE!  This IS the weather you have been waiting for!  You have NO more excuses! 
With guilt, properly in place, we'll see ya soon!

ONLY $65.00!!

ONLY $55.00!!

Friday, October 25, 2013

AH, Be Still My Churning Stomach!

Yea, better late then never!
Today is a cluster fudge! 
As with all things, the cosmos has a poor sense of timing!  Today the kiddos have off from school.  And as it happens, Angela has started her new job today.  She's doing a Holiday design and decorating gig with our good friend Daniel (another friend discovered through RE-Cycle) and was up late last night sewing and gluing ghosts with him out of pillow cases.  Add to that my OWN personal frustration as I had to pay a visit to the Largo State Tax Office.  I won't go into the tumultuous details on that, but suffice to say some VERY important paperwork that I have sent them TWICE had been either misfield by them, or sent to the incorrect office.  At the point yesterday when I got a nasty letter saying that they had not received it, YET AGAIN, I informed them that I would be on a bus in the early am to deliver it IN PERSON today!  Once again having to rise at the ungodly hour of 6 am, I was there, at their door as they opened.  BUT STILL had to wait in the front office for 35 minuets!  They just FREAKIN' opened!  How could they be THAT busy!?
I am thankful that the agent I have been talking with, Alfred, has been supportive through all this.  Apparently he is sympathetic to the effect the bureaucratic labyrinth has on us poor commoners. 
Then, as I had missed the earlier bus back, I bit my monetary tongue and opted to call a cab, as Kaleb was sent in this morning to open the shop.  I weep for the disasters that may occur given my extended absence.  As it turns out, the cab I called apparently forgot about me, as after a half hour and the approaching bus would soon be there, I headed for the stop.  Then 15 minuets into my return trip the cab company called to find out where I was!
Sorry, but I would have been out of business LONG ago if I treated my clientele like them!
But now I am here, have cleaned up Kaleb' mess and am taking a moment to VENT before getting to work!
Surprise, surprise!  NO extended movie review today!
As Angi was busy stitching up ghosts last night there was no new flick.  Instead, given the day I had dealing with administrative malaise, I wanted to put in a real "Feel Good" movie (although I lingered briefly over our collection in the "Kill Everything That Moves" section) and ended up with "Ever After".  If you have never seen it, give it a watch.  A very sweet and entertaining retelling of the Cinderella story.  Only this one is realistic!  No quivering, helpless, two dimensional stereotypical maiden who needs a big strong man to save her.  No, Drew Barrymore (LOVE HER!) plays the title role with strength, intelligence and gumption more befitting a woman of that time period.  Let's face it, just how long could a helpless anyone survive during that historical period?  I'm pretty sure the women of that time, even royals, could probably kick any of the tough girls butt's today!
It is an absolutely GORGEOUS day out there today!  Yesterday, folks were obviously in the right frame of mind as we sold...well...I lost count!  But it was BUSY!  And a special shout out to all our new friends coming from "" (yes, FINALLY got that site to work!) they alone picked up three new rides! 
So with that, I gotta git to work on some new goodies!  See y'all soon!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

And The God's Smiled Down Upon Us...

Thank HEAVENS for an excuse to prop open the door and get some fresh air into this place!  After several months of breathing stale recycled air that would make the residents of "Mars Colony" gag, I awoke this morning to  temps hovering at 59 degrees!  WOOF!  Slapped on a pullover, took the bundled kids to school then gleefully put the old chiseled cinder block (the one Kaleb shaped into a heart) against the door!  As we speak I am enjoying a constant, slow wafting of fresh, COOL air!
HOO-RAY!  And better still, for the next week at least, the weather forecast is for cloudless skies with temps in the 60-70's!!!!  Hopefully I can have my upgraded "Greedo" Schwinn ready to go and actually have NO excuse NOT to go on some descent rides! 
Got some more goodies in yesterday, one in trade and a couple pick ups.  The slick black 7 speed Comfort cruiser went to a new home whom I HOPE appreciates the good fathers generosity.  The young man has proven to be a wee bit harsh on his rides but then what thirteen year old is EVER easy on their bike!  He'd outgrown (and outdone) the little Mongoose BMX (believe me, this trade needed ALLOT of TLC) so his Dad upgraded him.  He is truly a much more kind spirited father then I could bring myself to be!  Whenever the boys kill their bikes I remind them they know how to turn a wrench, and can work off the parts!
SPEAKING of the boys!  Our Boy. Elijah finally got his first paycheck in on Tuesday and as predicted, much to the contrary of Mom and Dad's advice, he has very little of it left!  We attempted to advice him to SAVE his money until he got steady work again but, like so often in the past, his disregard for reason shone through!  After paying us back the money he had borrowed he asked if I would mind if he went and got a cell phone.  Of course he laced his decision to get one with the rationale that it would make finding another job easier, and allow him to be in better contact with his parents should he ever have to babysit the kids, in case of emergency (apparently forgetting that there IS a house phone available)  After securing my waders and standing atop a chair to avoiding stepping in the flood of bovine droppings he was spreading, I reaffirmed my opinion that he should SAVE his money.  But, as I have vowed to myself AND his mother, I would not TELL him what to do with the money HE earned.  He is a big boy, almost of legal "we no longer have to pay your way" age and he NEEDS to learn how to handle his responsibilities.
Of course, he took this to mean "SURE!  Go buy the most EXPENSIVE, cool, laden with gizmo phones you can find!"
Of course, as I soon discovered, he never mentioned any of this to his Mother!  Leaving me, of course with the thankless task of telling her.
 So I TEXT her!  Much to her credit there was no yelling or "Mommy Language" involved.  Apparently, unbeknownst to me, she has embraced the "It's his life" ideology!
After returning to the shop he set about exploring his new gadget.  When pressed for information regarding it's cost, he skated the question with answers like "It wasn't THAT expensive" or "well there were phones that cost more".  These kind of responses send up blaring red flags!  Finally acquiescing he stated, in a timid voice, the true cost.
I visibly gagged on a short, high pitched stream of expletive deletives.
Needless to say, the only question I could summon the restraint to express was "Now HOW are you going to pay next months PHONE BILL!?"  Not to mention the blaring incredulity as to WHY he would choose such a dainty, stream line touch screen WITH NO CASE when his job is on a CONSTRUCTION SITE!  I mean, I have been on sites for years and can't recall HOW MANY cell phones I have shattered, broke or dropped in a pail of water!  Even ones as strong as Motorola's!  He had no answer for any of these inquiries.
I hung my head, slowly shaking from side to side, in despair for his future.  BUT, he is going to have to learn on his own.  Not that he will ever admit to being wrong, mind you!
After yesterdays repairs, we managed to put out one new goody!  This one is a super cool classic Dyno Zone BMX!  Also have the Trek 1000 BACK!  AGAIN!  No, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this ride, the last gentleman to buy it, did so impulsively.  Only after riding it for a few miles realized that the hunkered down profile was painful to his recent hip surgery.  SO, to all the folks pining over the ride, IT'S BACK!
Now, on to movies!
Yep, hit Redbox on the way home, as a movie I have been waiting to view finally came in!  "Dead in Tombstone"
Oft times I have lamented over the western movie.  Truthfully, there has not been one I have truly enjoyed since 1979, "The Frisco Kid" with Gene Wilder and Harrison Ford.  But when I saw the previews for Tombstone, I was intrigued, for nothing else then the fact that it was a Danny Trejo film.  Now it's not for what you think.  I am not a big glory hound for heavily violent films that Danny is known for, although I am prone to watch.  But Danny has a way about him I find intriguing. A powerful presence he brings to every film he has been in.   He has to be one of the toughest, meanest looking characters in Hollywood today, perhaps that accounts for him appearing in over 200 movies.  And he is almost 70 years old!  But behind that face there is something akin to an Omnipresent Uncle.  A man that would stand strong at the back of a family gathering, deserving of a great deal of respect.  Someone you could feel assured in as a mentor.  So it is with great sadness I have to lament this latest film.  The actors in the film cannot be blamed for it's lack of appeal.  Anthony Michael Hall plays the bad guy, although stereotypical, very methodical.  Mickey Rourke is entertaining as the Devil and Dina Meyer portrays the vengeful sheriffs widow with grace.  Danny, as always fills the screen.  But it's the pacing and the directors incessant need to overdo the spaghetti western clichés.  Putting an over reliance on the almost perpetual slow motion  and odd camera angels that wears thin within the first half of the film.  Not to mention the frenetic action sequences in poor lighting that became grating.  At some moments with so much going on in particular scenes, and the dull colors of period dress and sets I had a difficult time determining who in fact the characters were!  "Yay!  He got 'em! OH Wait!  That was one of the good guys!"
Danny's character, double crossed by his gang by his half brother (Anthony) is shot by all his gang after a successful bank heist as Anthony has made a deal to take over a newly gold rich town, sending Danny to Hell.  While at that balmy vacation spot, Danny meets Satan (Rourke) who tells him he feeds on evil men's souls.  Danny, not wanting to miss an opportunity, makes a deal with the Devil to send him back, so he can dispatch the souls of his traitorous gang in exchange for his own life.   Revenge ensues.  Mind you, this ain't no Crow movie!  Danny goes back fully mortal.  But then it just gets silly.  Danny has 24 hours to dispatch six men.  But spends more time monologuing, lamenting his predicament, sitting in church and eventually the salon, waiting for the bad guys to come to him.  For some unknown reason he's running out the clock.  Then when they DO show up he sits at the bar giving them the time to set up two Gatling guns outside the saloon.  Then we go through the long drawn out dramatic reveal of who he is, the bad guys disbelief, then he inadvertently gives them the opportunity to seek shelter, get outside and start shooting up the place! 
Yes, it goes on like this throughout the movie, as he slowly picks them off, one by one.  And even though Danny sets up six empty coffins in the towns courtyard in front of the church and slowly starts filling them with the corpses of his victims, the bad guys don't have enough snap to grab the gold and get out of Dodge!  No, worse yet, they go to the mine to get MORE gold...then come back to the town!  All this culminates in a two minutes before midnight showdown in the center of town between Danny and Micheal, attended by all the townsfolk AND the Devil, who willfully redirects all the fired ammunition around their intended targets, forcing the two combatants to "duke it out" to the death! 
All that being said, in spite of it's plot line faults, there is enough grit and faithful portrayal of the time period, mingled with some stylish celluloid moments coupled with some decent method acting that makes this worth a "one time" look.  I give it five out of ten.
I leave you with yesterdays newbie, and now I'm off!  Don't let this day slip away folks! 

ONLY $75.00!!

ONLY $350.00!!!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Vampires, Witches, Shape Shifters?

What's next for Hollywood?  They've taken some cult followed literature and banged out several series of Movies and TV shows based on prettified Hollywood monsters, and started an ugly trend.  Me?  I prefer my vampires ugly and bloodthirsty, not prone to high school malaise and intense brooding over emotional turmoil brought on by denial of their base instincts.  Werewolves became abb exposing super jocks who's clothing apparently morphs with them when they willingly transform into really big cuddly wuddly dogs, as we find, when they return to human form, their cargo shorts are in place to cover up their nether regions!  Then there's witches.  No longer relegated to the deep woods feeding off of wayward children and lost townsfolk, huddling over a big black cauldron mumbling a stream of enchantments in attempts to remove the several warts on their bulbous noses.  No, now they are, yet again, the "pretty, cool kids" with a dark, whispered secret. 
It's enough to want to make a traditionalist upchuck like Jack Nicholson in "Witches of Eastwick"! 
Last night, as it was Angela's turn to pick out the movie, I hit Red Box and surprised her with a flick she'd been wanting to see for some time "Beautiful Creatures".  Yes, another "pretty monster" film.  I love my wife, and as she has sat through many a flick of my choice that more then likely she would have NOT chosen of her own accord, I could only be magnanimous to return the gesture.  Besides, if it got to stupid I could always just pull out my phone and play Candy Crush!
Oddly enough, I didn't play Candy Crush.
Set in South Carolina, the movie opens with a voice over by the male lead, spoken in a accent which I couldn't decide was either really over done or dead on (which would be even worse were it so).  Basic premise (SPOILERS!) A young man entering his junior year of high school (see? SEE!?) has been plagued for several months with dreams of a girl he knows he loves but can't see.  He goes to school, first day and who should be enrolled in but a brooding dark haired girl, a descendant of the towns oldest and most mysterious family, the Ravenwoods (because you can't be a really dark, foreboding family unless your name contains some reference to a Raven).  OF COURSE the other kids in school mercilessly taunt her and being the backwoods, ultra religious fanatics that ALL Southern hicks are (CALM DOWN, that's called ironic sarcasm) they begin prayer vigils in class to ward off the devil.
The love struck, "God-I-want-to-get-out-of-this-hick-town" Ethan is immediately drawn to her.  Fast forward through an awkward teenage courting ritual which, within a few minutes,  results in them professing their undying love to each other, compelling them both to ignore friends, family and a destructive curse alike and makes them willing to sacrifice themselves for each other.
Throw in a backdrop that looks more like the Louisiana Bayou then it does South Carolina, some hokey Voodoo, prerequisite spooky looking mansion (which when you enter, the interior looks like a swank modern day loft apartment in Manhattan) some crumbling ruins, a couple eerie graveyards and you got yourself a recipe for a hit, right!?
Not so much! 
It flopped at the box office, and got panned by most reviewers I read.  Odd thing is most MALES liked it, while females panned it.
I have a theory.
The movie doesn't take itself seriously.  It's an amalgamation of all teen heartthrob monster pic's, throwing in a smattering of Adam's family quirkiness.  The odd relatives (the Mother and Grandmother being more akin to the witches I know) and family in fighting gives it a flare of humor that brought me to one conclusion; this movie is a cleverly disguised parody of all that came before!  I never read the book so perhaps that was not the authors intention, but the director and screen writer either consciously made that choice or the glut of the genre subconsciously compelled them to do so.
The overdone accents, teen rebellion, rapid romance, the families initial revulsion at the two leads coming together then quick acceptance of it's inevitability all screams to me that "NO!  No one would  have seriously intended to be THIS  transparently contrived!  Trouble is, I think they may have been TOO subtle.  See, for parody to be effective with today's audience, you kind of have to slap them in the face REPEATEDLY with a phone book to get them to get it.  Think "Scary Movie 1 through Infinity", "Vampires Suck" or "Breaking Wind" Perhaps the numbers show that most just didn't pick that up OR maybe the movie going crowd has grown weary of revamped classic monsters.
In closing, I appreciated that the film had an ENDING and didn't leave an OBVIOUS out for a decent into trilogy!
Yesterday was by far a traditional Tuesday!  For the uninitiated that means DEAD!  Didn't help being overcast ALL day!  and the clouds didn't even yield rain until well after bed time!  However, the rain brought with it a cold front that has made today BEE-O-TI-FULL!  Still slightly cloudy, but with mild temps and a nice breeze!  PERFECT riding weather!
And thanks to the generous smattering of newbies we picked up yesterday, we got one gorgeous goody out with several more to work with, not to mention a bevy of "cleaning out the garage" parts bikes in as well!  Oh it's like Christmas in footie pajamas around here! 
Watching "Premium Rush" the other day has inspired me.  As my lovely wife usually "shed's" her three speed in lieu of her road bike whenever we go out for a ride together I have opted to bring in my "Star Wars" Schwinn for a FULL re-furb!  I call it a "Star Wars" Schwinn for two reasons.  One, it's "Greedo" green AND it was manufactured in May of 1977, the premiere date for the original film!  I'm tearing her down to a single speed, shedding a lot of the weight, and putting on a 58 tooth chain ring with  three piece adapter.  Gonna log a few miles away from the "lazy boy" recumbent!
But NO spandex!
So now it's off to the races, as I have that cute Dyno in the rack and more to go!
See ya soon! (LIKE TODAY, MAN!)

ONLY $85.00!!!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

"How did he do such fantastic stunts, with such little FEET!?"

I've watched a few films in my time.  In most that feature a cyclist in some form or another, they are usually depicted as a nuisance, a bit player or a victim.  The only exceptions that stand out are "Breaking Away" and "Quicksilver".  Well there's a new one out there and it is a genuine peach!  "Premium Rush" starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt (a sought after A lister a long way from "Third Rock") from 2012.  Just sat down to watch it last night, and honestly I have NO idea why it took us so long!  I heard about this film way prior to it's release and even after the insistence of Uncle Chippie, it took me way to long to finally sit down and view it!
The movie, filmed in a disjointed "real time" format presents an hour in the life of a New York Bike Messenger.  Yes, those often time maligned, two wheel "Pains in the ass" recklessly hustling through congested traffic, terrorizing motorists and pedestrians alike!  mind you, that's NOT my opinion!  I rather admire these daredevils! Wilee (Gordon-Levitt)(Yes, named after the Coyote of Road Runner fame))  is THE top NY messenger.  Wilee picks up a delivery from a prestigious University to deliver to China town.  There he is approached by a corrupt psycho cop, Bobby Monday (played wonderfully by the modern day hybrid cross between Al Pacino and Christopher Walken, Michael Shannon) who WANTS the envelope.  Needless to say, Wilee gets away and the race for both delivery and discovery of the packages significance is on!  And the way it's  filmed is brilliant.  The movie begins about 3/4 the way through the action and a little clock appears in the lower right corner of the screen when it does.  Each time a significant event occurs, the clock winds back, and you get snippets of "What, who and why", then jumps forward again.  Sometimes scenes overlap during the flashback and you catch glimpses of things you have already witnessed but filmed from a different perspective!  I know I am describing it poorly, but when you watch it you'll better understand!  Another unique way they play with time is when Wilee is surging through traffic there are moments of "near misses", several actually, and the film slows as you are included in the characters instantaneous calculation of all available routes of escape.  This results in some macabre yet humorous scenarios, such as him doing a triple gainer off of cab, car and delivery truck (sans Brad Pitt's traffic tussle in "Meet Joe Black"), running into a baby carriage, and bumping into a jogger propelling him backwards to become a speed bump for a delivery truck (yea, that was a WEE bit disturbing for a cyclist to watch!)
The Creators had enough sense to solicit the help of ACTUAL bike messengers on this film. It appears that in several scenes they provide extras as well.  In truth the part of Wilee is played by FIVE people, including Joseph.  Men of particular talents are featured doing a variety of cycling styles, the best of which is Danny MacAskill doing his bit in an impound yard, evading several police, doubling for Wilee!  (check this guys skills on Youtube!  He is AMAZING!) But Joseph is no slouch!  He underwent several weeks of intense training to prepare for the role and it SHOWS in his ability to masterfully maneuver his classic, lugged steel frame Fixie!  Who knew you could "lock-em-up" and skidstop a FIXIE! Brilliant!  Not to mention capturing even the most subtle of "biker" style movements.  The swinging over of his "messenger bag" to get at it's contents was slick! 
Also, a real stand out for me, was the stuntman turned actor (at least for this flick) Christopher Place's portrayal of a frustrated Bike cop, in perpetual pursuit of Wille through the movie. 
Probably one of the most creative marketing ploys was in the originally aired promo for the flick they set up a scene that leads you to believe something intense is going to happen to Wilee in the film, but it ends up NOT being what you think.  But you spend the majority of the film bracing for it, so it really builds up  palpable tension that makes the film, well...a real RUSH! 
Two thumbs way, WAY up!
Yesterday was a real humdinger of a hoot-a-nanny!  Where to begin!  Thanks to ALL the folks coming in and paying us a visit!  Sunday was the start of our NEW winter hours.  To those not in the know (or not paying attention to the two places it is written into the blog) we are now open M-f 9-6, Saturday 9-5 and Sunday noon to 5.  Honestly, it's starting to get darker sooner around here, and they place looks closed due to poor lighting, so I may as well BE closed!  Not to mention, we have been getting SO many requests to be open on Sunday, we needed to make that permanent!  Sent four to new homes yesterday.  Both remaining road bikes quickly left.  The last two remaining 26" MTB's as well!  But HAVE NO FEAR!  Got in more goodies yesterday!  Put out a SWEET, LIKE NEW 7 speed comfort cruiser, a fine looking Schwinn Sidewinder 26" MTB, AND a 2012 Giant Escape, XL frame!  SAH-WEEEET!!!  Not to mention several more "Soon-to-bes" in the wings!  Also got a neat looking, classic GT Dyno Areodyne frame BMX from a couple nice gents who looked like they just came from a casting call for "Duck Dynasty"!  SO without further delay, I bid you all a good day and expect to see y'all soon! 

ONLY $95.00!!

ONLY $280.00!!

ONLY $80.00!!!

Saturday, October 19, 2013


It's good to have friends! We send a Kudos to Debbie's friend for helping her get back on her ride after a long absence.  She had a sweet Trek cruiser in need of some loving and her buddy John stepped up to the plate and foot the bill to get her back up and running.  A seat, some tires, tubes, some tweaking and grease later, she's riding once more!  Also, sold the Mongoose XR-200 to a very understanding dad, looking to find something sturdy for his 13 year old son who unfortunately had his old one stolen.  Hope this one suits him, sir!  Also thanks to all the curiosity seekers and looky loo's coming all the way to check us out.  Appreciate the visits!
Elijah has learned the hard way the necessity of CLEAR communication!  His paycheck (having been held the prerequisite two weeks for taxes) was expected to be direct deposited into his bank account (the one I had to fund and Momma had to run around for half a day to make sure was procured)  Friday.  He actually stayed up until Midnight to see it in his account.  Turns out it was not.  My first fear was "another worker SCREWED by a disreputable contractor" (as I have been on the receiving end of MORE then once) but that fear was allayed.  No, he called their offices on Friday (after I did a web search for their phone number because he never bothered to write it down) and it turns out when he read them his bank account and routing number he got some numbers switched around.  They spotted the error but as payroll isn't in on Friday they can't rectify the situation until Monday.  I will give them credit, though.  The President of the company called after the secretary to apologize to Elijah personally for the oversight, and to assure him it would be taken care of first thing Monday.  Perhaps it's not to bad a thing, as it gives Elijah a couple more days without having to spend all his money.  He has a laundry list of things he "NEEDS" but I'm not sure he realizes just how little money $500.00 is.
Last night of course, was Family Movie Night, sans the big kids.  Yes, in a RARE fit of charity Angela allowed Kaleb and Elijah a night themselves....alone.....without supervision!  Yes, I checked her for a fever and/or mental collapse when I got home.  But, being the fair Mom she is, as Kaleb has been giving her no problems the last couple of weeks and his grades are good she acquiesced as a reward.  Elijah was there for two reasons.  One; she needed a break from his recent attitude of "My $#!t don't stink" and two: keeping Kaleb out of trouble.  To their credit they returned at the pre determined time with a few minutes to spare.
So last night the movie choice's were "Daddy, I'm A Zombie" and "G.I. Joe: Retaliation".  The first one isn't what you think.  A Burtonesque animated flick about a Goth outcast thirteen year old and her odd Mortician father.  She hates her life, hates her father and hates the fact that everyone hates her ( far just about EVERY thirteen year old girl) and running away into the woods crying after another trouncing by bullies, wishes she were dead.  In response a lightning bolt strikes a tree, splits it in half and crushes her.  Wish granted.  From there it just got more surreal, nonsensical and LAME!  Quickly the consensus amongst all those in attendance (Rozy the only hold out) was to just shut it off.  Which we did.  Then plugged in G.I Joe, which as it turns out, wasn't all that much better!
So here goes the panning of this sequel, with all SPOILER ALERTS in place!
When I sat down to watch the original I was sure I was going to think it lame given the premise but turned out enjoying it.  Apparently the original release made enough money, and left enough unanswered question's as to warrant a return.  It did not warrant this disappointment! 
In the original it was CLEARLY established that G.I Joe was, in fact, an INTERNATIONAL group of top soldiers enlisted and trained to be the final response team if nations armed forces failed.  They bunked and trained at an ultra high tech base in the desert of Egypt ready to respond anywhere in the world when needed.  Now mind you, there were A LOT of Joe's there! The original film went to great lengths to establish the characters using some well known actors.  None of them are present in the second film except Tatum Channing's "Duke" (we'll get to him shortly) and  Snake Eye's and NO reason is given as to why theses dedicated, committed soldiers are nowhere to be found (one has to assume film budget played a key part)   Also, there's Cobra.  The super baddies with a clear objective in mind, resulting in the positioning of the Master of Disguise, Zartan in place of the President of the United States.  Now, the elite corps of super soldiers appear to be nothing more then a small "Black ops" force, comprised solely of US Soldiers answering directly to the President.  Not to mention, whereas once their existence was unknown to the general population, they are now the subject of much newsroom chatter.  Their entire numbers now appear to be a paltry 30 or so, with no where near the degree of high tech gadgetry they originally had.
After the assassination of the Pakistani President the Joe's are dispatched to secure a bushel of Nuclear war heads within Pakistan.  After a flawless incursion into their military stockpile they secure the warheads and escape to the dessert where they await extraction. 
All Joe's accounted for, no fatalities, they sit in a dune, in unfriendly territory after just having invaded a MILITARY BASE, and they are awaiting extraction? 
Look, I'm no military strategist, but wouldn't you think that their ride home...WITH THE NUKES would be a wee bit more timely?  NAH!  They're sitting at a beach party, cutting up having brews (and I think a bar-b-que) while Duke and Roadblock have cute witty banter back and forth while having a target shooting contest!?  Did they not understand the term covert?!
After some time the choppers roll in...and start firing.  Now this once elite force is decimated thoroughly because they left themselves in the open, unguarded with the lights on.  And to top it off, Duke bites it!  Yep.  First 15 minuets of the film and the lead hero gets killed.
Well, from that point forward the US President (remember...Zartan in disguise) claims that it was Snake Eye's that killed the Pakistani President so Joe could get hold of their nukes.  So he dispatched HIS elite fighting force "Cobra" to eliminate them.
After the battle there are only three Joe's left, all of which weren't even IN the first film Roadblock (the Roc), Flint (D.J. Cotrona) and Lady Jaye (Adrianne Palicki).  This is Dwayne Johnson's film.  The character of Flint is more cardboard then the original blister packs that held the GI Joe action figures of yore!  Lady Jaye has only slightly more presence, but is used primarily for sex appeal.  But at LEAST they gave her a 90 second back story to establish her character.  Of course there is Snake Eye's (who wasn't in the dessert) and he's got a new sidekick, Jinx.  Now outlawed the remaining Joe's seek to figure out who set them up.  A deduction that takes all of about two minuets and a laptop.  They then solicit the assistance of the original Joe, Joe "Colt" Colton played by Bruce Willis.  And I am VERY generous with the term "Played".  I am  big fan of Bruce Willis (even considering his ongoing feud with another fave, Kevin Smith) but lately he has stated that he is done doing "Action" films.  Heh.  I can see that.  He has a couple cute lines, but for the most part he just kind of meanders through his part, giving little to NO real presence.  Very stale and ineffectual. 
The only really entertaining part is how Zartan/POTUS tricks all other nuclear nations into eliminating their nuclear stockpiles.  (I won't ruin that one for you).  Of course their is the incredibly implausible fact that 5 Joe's, 1 turncoat (Storm Shadow) and a handful of retired military can take down the combined might of Cobra AND the US military, but in true "Good Guy Wins" fashion they do!   But only with the help of the tried and true "Self Destruct" button that every idiot bad guy seems to think is necessary to install on his super-duper weapon of mass destruction!
SERIOUSLY!  Has that EVER made sense?!  Your a bad guy hell bent on taking over OR destroying the world.  WHY would you install a self destruct button?  What?  You think it necessary to install a fail safe, just in case at the last moment, at  the culmination of years of planning, resource building, construction of a monumental device you may get cold feet?!  So best blow it up?
Of course, except for Zartan and Firefly all the other baddies get away (yea, there super soldiers but their not good enough to peck off Cobra Commander as he's hanging out a chopper a mere 20 yards away!)
All in all, as an action flick, it had some good snippets.  If anything else it would have been mildly fun to watch, but as a sequel it fell far short of the mark and for that they need to let the franchise be finished.
SO, now it's off to the races!  Gonna get back at it and hope to see many of you today!

Friday, October 18, 2013

And The Winner Is......

Yesterday was quite a break from the norm!  We had many visitors coming in to say their hellos with a bevy of them being some returning faces from way back in the day!  Still rediscovering us after long absences but it's good to hear that the bikes they bought from us so LONG ago are still up and running and giving their owners joy to this day.  One serendipitous incident yesterday,  was akin to two honored enemies meeting again on the battlefield after a long absence.  Not the customer mind you, the bike.  Let me explain.
Back when we first started doing this out of our garage on North Highland, even before we were really committed to making it a serious business (and I was under the false assumption I'd be called back to work any day) we would scavenge material to use from a variety of sources ( ones!)  One afternoon, on the way back from New Port Richey, and ANOTHER job lead that dead ended, I was on the bus coming down a side street onto Main street in Dunedin.  As I stared absent minded out the window we passed by a small house to the East and I noticed three bikes piled on the side of the road near the next mornings trash.  Excitedly I rang for a stop, got off , grabbed my bike from the bus rack and quickly backtracked to the treasure find for fear another scrapper would reach it before me.  Mind you, this was back when I was younger and WAY more fit then I am today.  Probably would  throw out my back if I tried it today!  My find consisted of two 20" kids bikes, and a 26" neon green Huffy dual shock mountain bike that later came to be referred to as "Lucifer".  I was, at the time riding a late 80's Huffy Hard tail, luckily with a rack and some bungees.  I strapped the two kids bikes across the back, and hoisted and strapped the Huffy to my back, and proceeded (with some strain and a multitude of "Stop and adjusts") the remaining four miles home.  Once there and unloaded I commenced work on the new additions.  The kids bikes were easy enough, needing only the slightest of tweaks and adjustment's.  But Lucifer was another story.  Now mind you, we were in our infancy as a shop.  I'd had no real experience with bike repair before we got in the biz, what little I had was limited to the basic of upkeep.  We had not yet acquired the "Park Tool's" repair guide, and I was only using the most basic of mechanical know-how I possessed to get the work done! (heck! Before I discovered there was such a thing as a crank puller I USE to think the only way to get a three piece crank set off of a spindle was to whack it with a 5 pound sledge until it popped off!) SO this new acquisition was a TRUE test of skill and resolve.  Let's just say, what now only takes us a scant couple of hour to accomplish, then had become a three day endurance trial of EPIC proportions  laden HEAVILY with a myriad of tyrannical bouts of "Daddy language" laced hysterics!  One problem solved only lead to more to be overcome.  But finally after three days of having to "Put it aside and walk away" it was finished.  No sooner did I have it complete did a gentleman come and purchase it.  Oddly enough, I felt a twinge of remorse to see it go so quickly.  Akin to a mother, after a long and arduous labor, having to watch her child be carried away.  (OK...maybe not THAT dramatic...but you get the point)  SO it was with a mixture of fear and respectful awe that I saw Lucifer come back into our shop yesterday.  However, any initial reservations I had were quickly squelched, for two reasons.  First, the needed repair was only a mild adjustment to the rear derailleur.  The second reason was WAY more profound!  The gentleman who had originally purchased the bike was not the same gentleman that stood before me.  That is to say, he had changed dramatically.  See, for the most part, I remember bikes much better then people, sad to say.  But in this gentleman's case I DO remember him.  With all due respect accorded to him, when we first met it was in the early evening of a fall day.  He had walked to our house from the bus stop, and as gently as I can state, he seemed somewhat "Worse for wear".  Very thin, less then clean, appearing somewhat strung out he had obviously "Hit the bottom" as they say.  According to him, as he haggled the price, he had been in jail twice for drug related charges.  The second time a longer stay.  Now released he was in a treatment program and living at HEP.  As part of his treatment he had to gain and retain employment.  He only had a small amount of cash and the wait list at HEP for a bike was too long.  He needed transportation NOW in order to look for and secure work.  Although having heard tales spun before, there was a slight ring of genuine to his story.   So I sold Lucifer for about $20.00 less then the sale price, hoping I wasn't being "taken".  When he came in yesterday, William told me the rest of his story.
After acquiring the bike (remember this was in '08 at the height of the financial crisis) it had taken him almost a month of going to day labor to get even a temp job.  He was honest when he told me that during that stretch there were several times he contemplated trading the bike for a fix.  But he persevered, obviously with no small help from his counselors and "group"  After working a little and getting a paycheck or two under his belt, he stated the cravings became less and less.  After a few months of on again off again work, he had changed his weekly meetings to a different time (to better fit his work schedule I assume) and there befriended another older man.  This gentleman was a subcontractor for a construction firm , battling substance abuse as well.  As they got to know one another and he learned William had some remodeling and tile experience, he offered him a position on his crew for an upcoming commercial job.  At first the work was sporadic but it was enough to show Williams family that he was changing.  They allowed him to move back home in late 2009.  There, even though he had other transportation available, he had grown accustomed to riding his neon green Huffy wherever he needed to go.  In 2010 the company he'd works for began to expand their reach and started taking contracts out of state.  He found him self more and more away from home but still, for the most part,  brought Lucifer along to get around after hours.  Eventually, having reached the position of site foreman, he had a company truck and Lucifer joined him less and less until finally it was stored in his parents shed.  It was in 2012 when the Hurricane hit New York he and some of his crew volunteered to go and assist.  While there, several long term rebuilds were contracted with him in the lead.  It was also in this time he met another young volunteer from Connecticut, Jenny.  Working together, seeing each others fortitude in such grave situations apparently ignited a spark and they were married this past April.  It was in August they got the news that Jenny is expecting.  They returned to Florida last weekend (apparently the soonest they could get away from their responsibilities there) to announce in person to his parents the good news.  It was while here he was to collect his belongings as they are , at least for the time being, returning to the New York area.  Going through his things he "rediscovered" his old Huffy and according to him a flood of memories, both good and bad, hit him.  He stated that it was that bike that not only allowed him the freedom to get his life back on track, but gave him a constant urge to overcome, eventually becoming a symbol of his perseverance.  As he was finished reminiscing and loading it into the truck he accidentally damaged the derailleur, hence his visit.
Now forgive me for being a tad bit metaphysical about the whole thing but here's how I'm gonna view the whole thing.  At a trying moment in my own life battling a variety of unknowns , I found a challenge to overcome, one that I COULD effect the outcome of,  albeit a small one in comparison to his but through that battle perhaps I imbued that bike with a wee bit of my own desire for success.  And in doing, it gave him something tangible to hold onto, to infuse it with his own desire to overcome.  I wish you the very best of success in your life, William.  And for you and Jenny I wish you all the happiness you so richly deserve!
On to other happenings.  FINALLY we have a winner of our "Blatantly Manipulative Sales Gimmick!"  Congrats to Charlie for being our "Tenth Customer Of The Day" yesterday!  He walked away with his purchase FREE!!!  A total value of $32.00 is his, ON US! 
So step right up and try your luck folks!  Be the tenth paying customer today and every day through the end of the month and YOU TOO will walk away with FREE goodies!!!
Now on to work!  Angi came down for lunch and to hang out for awhile yesterday afternoon so I had to pretend like I actually do work around here, you know "when the boss is around"!  Actually got stuff done and built up two new goodies!  One of them being a donation we got in on Sunday. I have NO idea why this kind gentleman considered this find trash, but we welcome the "gimmie".   A pre-Wal-Mart Schwinn BMX, proving Schwinn USE to make good bikes!  Also a light weight aluminum "Hard Tail" mountain bike! 
Today we are onto...not sure, but got several to choose from!
So get on out and head in here to get ready for the weekend! 
See ya soon!

ONLY $75.00!!!

ONLY $90.00!!!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

When The Lunatics Take Over The Asylum!

Happens around the same time each month (oddly enough coinciding with the full moon) when the children's "enthusiasm" peaks and they begin to leak out excessive energy and frivolity, resulting in rather hyperactive activity.  At this point Mom, having learned that as long as no one gets hurt, it's best just to find a relatively quiet corner and let them burn it off.  This is what I was greeted with last night upon arriving home.  Owen and Rozy had erupted in a spontaneous "take-down" match in front of the kitchen door (I think Rozy was winning because she had Owen in a scissor lock).  Izzy had acquired the boys plastic whiffle bat and was chasing Elijah and Kaleb around the couch (laughing all the way, Ho, Ho, Ho) with Miranda taking up the rear and trying to catch up.  Logan, having his mothers propensity for electronic gadgets, had taken refugee on his top bunk and immersed himself in whichever Nintendo created Universe he was currently stationed in.  Through the din I bid my hello's, kissed Angi and quickly retreated to the relative security of our shower.  Upon emerging scrubbed and clean,  all seemed relatively quiet (although in our house that means a low but constant murmur of activity) so I considered it safe to enter the main room. 
But all this gleeful revelry spawned some very humorous happenstance!  SO bear with me as I relate a couple "They are SO cute and funny stories!"
First off, after dinner (a much needed salad, after two weeks of A LOT of carbs!) as is the tradition, the girls go off to Mom and Dad's bathroom for their communal bath.  First I wash Miranda then Izzy.  As soon as Miranda is washed she is removed to be dried and dressed.  She hates to leave  because she likes to give us heart attacks while wet and slippery by trying to constantly stand and climb, having near brushes with the spigot head or drowning.  Once in the living room Angi gave me a pair of footy pajamas that a friend of hers had given her.  Miranda's first pair!  She looked ADORABLE!

  She loved them too and had no problem with the hood (usually she hates anything on her head) which was good as the hood has a cute monster face on it.  Once she was situated I went in to wash Izzy, surprised to find that Rozy had gotten into the bath and had already washed her!  I removed her from the tub and dried her off.  As is customary Izzy insists that I pick her straight up (not cradled like a "BABY"!) and carry her out to get her ready for bed.  As we walked out of the bedroom and turned into the short hall, Miranda happened to come around the corner, head down, exposing the cute little monster face.  Upon seeing this sudden appearance Izzy SCREAMED and quickly scaled my chest, trying to reach the relative sanctuary of my shoulders.  Upon hearing the scream Miranda looked up and Izzy's terror quickly turned to hysterical laughter as she squealed "She's so CUTE!" 
Oh it was one of those rare parental moments, SO adorable, I will cherish it forever!
Now onto the second story.  A combination of "My God I can't believe he's THAT numb" and "Perhaps we should have written it down" stories!
For the last couple of days I have been getting these headaches that Angi's Advil and Tylenol have been unable to touch.  As all the little ones had gone off to bed and it was just her, I and the older boys, we settled down for a flick (ANOTHER Tom Cruise movie "Oblivion") but I couldn't shake this ache at the top of my head.  Angela asked if I wanted to send Kaleb to the store to get me Excedrin as it is my Mothers old cure-all and quite effective at getting rid of this pain so I acquiesced. She explained to Kaleb what I needed and with money in hand he toddled off.  (I will say in his defense, we RARELY have this brand in the house as I hardly ever need it.  For years in fact.)
Thirty minuets later.
He had not returned and just as we were about to mount a search party, we got a phone call.
At this point when one of the boys has been gone "Too Long" on a shopping expedition and we get a phone call, we both look to each other and prior to answering the call, cringe for fear that the voice on the other end may NOT be one of the boys but that of some official in CUSTODY of them!
I breathed a sigh of relief when I realized she was, in fact, talking to Kaleb.  But that quickly turned to a feeling of curiosity as she put her head in her hand, shook it and in a half amused and half exasperated voice said "EXCEDRIN!  E...X....cedrin!"  Once being assured that he understood she hung up the phone, bowed her head and shook it, laughing.
After a moment I inquired as to what happened.  Still chuckling, with a smile, she looked at me and stated "He said he couldn't find what we asked him to get, so he asked the pharmacist.  He says the pharmacist doesn't recommend using what we asked for because Dad's a guy and ESTROGEN'S not a pain killer!!!"
OH YES FOLKS!  I CAN'T MAKE THIS STUFF UP!!!! still, my sides!
Changing the course of this joke fest I want to give a special shout out!  Over the last couple of weeks I have failed to mention all the well wishers we have been getting lately.  A lot of our past customer, dismayed at having gone to the old locale and discovered we were no longer there , are starting to rediscover us.  In no small way due to the fact that they have been passing by and recognize our two wheeled billboard out by the road!  The all to familiar clown bike! They have been popping in to say hello, and express their appreciation for us NOT closing up and that they will definitely be back in the next time they need anything!  Thanks so much for the support folks and we look forward to serving you again!
A very SHORT movie review.
Tom Cruises "Oblivion".  Set 64 years into the future, Humanity has survived an alien attack but at the cost of the planet.  Having to resort to nuclear weapons, we'd all but decimated our planet.  Jack Harper (Tom Cruise) and Victoria (Andrea Riseborough) are two of the last remaining humans on Earth.  He's a Drone repairman, she's dispatch. and their job is to oversea the draining of earth's oceans for conversion into fuel for the remaining humans long journey to Titan.  The Drones are security as some remaining aliens, known as Scav's (Scavengers) regularly attack the various water treatment derricks.  But as in any good Sci Fi flick, nothing is what it seems!
All in all a real GOOD Sci Fi, post apocalyptic yarn.  Filled with all the prerequisite eye candy and human drama of frailty and realization.  Check it out!  Well worth the rental!
Managed to put out one yesterday!  Yes, far from my initial goal.  My only excuse, I was tired and got a wee bit lazy!  But I DO have a real SWEET older Schwinn BMX in my rack and this one has some real decent (pre Wal-Mart) goodies on it!
So with that, I am going to TRY and get somethings accomplished today!
Take advantage of the clear skies and AWESOME weather and get on down here!

ONLY $55.00!!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Action Guy Cliche's!

Well, last night was no break either.  Miss Miranda would have nothing of sleepy time.   After about 3 am my strong wife, being of unfathomable fortitude rose from her slumber to entertain the young puddum, allowing me my rest.  Bless her heart!  Have NO idea how she does this!
Well, yesterday was...well... a Tuesday.  That's kind of our Monday round here.  Every week it's like everyone is starting a real old car.  Once running (Monday) they give it the gas and push it, but once they are finally moving they think caution is the best scenario so they let off the gas a little (Tuesday) but once their down the road a little they realize their destination is further then they think so they give it a little more of a tweak to the engine (Wednesday) until they hit the interstate and really open her up (Thursday) until they hit their destination (Friday) and once arrived take the time to REALLY enjoy their surroundings (Saturday).  So today is Wednesday, "Hump Day" (and so help me, if I see another picture of a camel on Facebook I'm gonna shoot somebody!  It was funny, ONCE people!) and seeing as I got some more goodies yesterday I will be attempting to get them banged out for this weekend!  Managed to put out three yesterday!   That AWESOME BCA cruiser and TWO matching Huffy Road bikes!  HUFFY?! you ask?  Yes.  They may be HEAVY, but for cross trainers, there is NOTHING better to beef up your legs!  And they ONLY cost $75.00 a pop?  A REAL bargain!


Hit Red Box this weekend and picked up a few.  One of them being the 2012 release of Tom Cruise's "Jack Reacher".  Based on the series of books written by Jim Grant, AKA Lee Child.
"In an innocent heartland city, five are shot dead by an expert sniper. The police quickly identify and arrest the culprit, and build a slam-dunk case. But instead of confessing, the accused man writes the words, "Get Jack Reacher." Reacher himself sees the news report and turns up in the city. The defense is immensely relieved, but Reacher has come to bury the guy. Shocked at the accused's request, Reacher sets out to confirm for himself the absolute certainty of the man's guilt, but comes up with more than he bargained for."  (Plagiarized from IMDB)
Much to the chagrin of my lovely wife, she allowed me to view this flick last night.  I say this thusly, as she is NOT a fan of Mr. Cruise (really since the whole Kati Holmes debacle) But I still regularly enjoy his films.  Truth be told the MOST I have ever been white knuckled, spine tingling, eye wincing thrilled was during the skyscraper scene in Mission Impossible 4.  WHAT A RUSH!!
I was not as impressed with Jack Reacher.  As the blurb states, Cruise' protagonist is an ex-military drifter, who has chosen to fly "under the wire" since leaving his duties.  Carrying nothing but the clothes on his back, and his pension money (Western Unioned, in cash) he travels about the country having  no permanent home.  A real modern day "man's man" he takes odd jobs and solves the occasional crime (think Bill Bixby's, "Incredible Hulk") (SPOILER ALERTS APLENTY!) When he sees the news that a young sniper he had prosecuted for unauthorized shootings while with the military in Iraq, has been arrested for what "Appears" to be a random shooting spree, he ventures forth to "Bury Him" as the young man being interrogated for the murders scribbles on a piece of paper "Get Jack Reacher".  The DA and lead investigator call up Reachers record, discover he is not wanted for, or running from anything, but is in effect, a ghost.  And in true Hollywood dramatic fashion, as the two are pondering the monumental task of trying to find someone with the training to NOT be found, who should walk into their office?  YOU guessed it!
The typical investigation ensues, with Jack slowly discovering that not only is this more then it seems, but it is becoming more and more obvious that it is an elaborate frame job, and in fact NOT a random shooting at all, but a targeted hit on one person.  The other 4 victims were a smoke screen.
So here are a laundry list of problems I had with the film, in no particular order.
Perhaps I'm just getting a little to mature for the gratuitous needs of some casting agents to put voluptuous females in lead roles, or maybe it's not so much that, but do they NEED to be dressed so OBVIOUSLY?  Rosamund Pike plays the lead female, Helen.  For the majority of the film she is either attired in a tight form fitting blouse, or a low cut (to the point of making Hugh Hefner blush!) top with the prerequisite "lean forward and pull your arms tight to your side" shots!  OK.  She has big boobs.  WE GET IT!!
I've never understood some "who-done-it" stories where the assailant is revealed in the very beginning, unless the movie is IN FACT a court room drama (think "A Few Good Men").  And it is doubly confusing in this flick.  In the very beginning as you witness the perpetrator meticulously preparing for the crime, his face is never revealed.  Close ups of hands preparing rifle rounds, back of the head shots, worms eye view of feet, close up of a gloved hand putting a coin in a parking meter at the scene of the crime (and exactly WHERE do they have parking meters IN a parking garages?).  But then, at the point of the crime, you see his face?  So what was the initial secrecy for? Because shortly there after as the police storm in and arrest the "Suspect" you clearly see, it's NOT the same guy!  
As all good "Who-done-its" needs a  twist, this one slowly reveals that their is an "Inside Man" helping to orchestrate the plot.  But it's REALLY no secret!  From the very beginning of the film, you can see that the TRUE shooter wears latex gloves through every stage of the crime and it's preparations.  Then, the lead investigator comes onto the scene and as he is perusing the crime scene "INSTINCTIVELY" knows where to look for clues and evidence?  For one who had been shown to be taking extraneous efforts to NOT leave ANY evidence as to his identity, the investigator finds a virtual treasure trove of it!  A quarter in the meter with a PERFECT finger print, fibers, hair samples and most tellingly, as the investigator searches about he knows to look into an unexposed grating for a shell casing, also possessing a perfect finger print.
DUH!  So WHO do YOU think the inside man is!  But that doesn't stop the writer and director from trying to throw in a little misdirection, as they try and make you think it could possibly be the heroines father, the DA. who may be in on the plot.  No dice guys!  You gave it up WAY to quick!
Then there are the misguided set-ups.  I'll explain.  In any good action flick, the good guy has to get his licks, so he can overcome and win the fight.  But this film so BLATANTLY sets them up it's laughable!  And they do it SEVERAL times!  This being a "Tom Cruise" production, he apparently felt the need to eradicate the "Gay" rumors and prove he is a REAL man!  Let the ego flexing begin!  Now, I'm no military man, but I have watched enough action films to KNOW that when entering unfamiliar ground (IE a room) you ALWAYS check your blind spots, before walking in.  He rarely did this, not to mention standing in an open doorway with no regard to his back!  At one point he follows a lead to the home of a co-conspirator.  And here, I should mention, he goes into almost every potential ambush UNARMED?!  As he is now on the second floor, he enters a bathroom and stands staring at a torn down shower curtain (what else would you use to dispose of the corpse of a no longer necessary accomplice) totally oblivious to the toughies creeping up behind him, armed with a baseball bat and crowbar, respectively.  One raps him on the back of the head knocking him into the bathtub.  Now here's where it gets REALLY stupid.  These two behemoth tough guys, packed into a cramp little closet of a bathroom, have Jack dead to rites!  On his back, semi stunned and they start flailing away comically at him, but never hitting him.  No, they keep hitting walls, windows, mirrors, medicine cabinets, EACH OTHER, but NOT him.  Giving him time to gain his composure and beat the tar out of each of them. At one point pinning them to the floor on top of each other and beating both unconscious with each others heads (OK...that was a LITTLE funny). 
Then, there's the grand finale.  The "Man Behind The Curtain" some heavy Russian business man and the big Heavy (plus the prerequisite, dispensable group of lackeys) having captured the helpless heroine (who also did the cliché "stupid thing the good guy told her NOT to do so as to NOT get caught" but then got caught) awaits Jack at an open pit construction site.  PERFECT place for an ambush.   Jack solicits the help of a recently acquired ally to act as sniper, who in turn hands him a weapon (why Jack didn't bring his own is your own guess) in the way of a Bowie Knife?  Daring entry into the compound ensues, the lackeys are dispatched and Jack takes possession of a very formidable semi automatic.  Yes, once again he enters the foreman's trailer NOT checking his corners, realizes it's the WRONG trailer, sees a map, finds the right trailer, dispatches THOSE lackeys and hides in ambush for the head baddie, the REAL sniper.  Now here is where this idiot proves he's JUST as stupid an ex-jarhead as Jack, as he walks out of the trailer, into the brightly lit open, looking down at the bodies of his "Rent-a-thugs" and just....freakin...stands...there!  Giving our star ample time to sashay up behind him, point the muzzle of his formidable fire arm at the back of his neck, and orders him to drop it.  Which he reluctantly does.  He steps back against a girder, with Jack at point blank range, having him dead to rites then raises his weapon....and tosses it aside!?  Oh for the LOVE OF....
Here we enter into the rutting, testosterone fueled, Mano-e-Mano, fisticuffs.  The final smack down as Jack unleashes a torrent of pent up aggression against this really bad man!  Look, in any fight sequence, if unarmed it's only natural you're going to resort to hand to hand in order to survive, but the whole "Settle it like a man" thing kind of hit it's peak in "Lethal Weapon" when Mel Gibson took down Gary Busey.  Personally, I like the casual "WOW, that's a really big bad guy.  I better shoot him" approach Harrison Ford took in "Indiana Jones".  But that's me.
In the end, this one is just a little to overdone with well worn "action flick" scenarios, and contrived plot lines, and transparent twists to be of any real value! I give it two and a half stars.

ONLY $90.00!!
Now, I'd best be back at it, but leave you with pics of yesterday's goodies!
See ya REAL soon!

ONLY $75.00 EACH!!