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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Resting Easy!

A hearty THANK YOU to our landlords and the awesome trio of contractors who came out and replaced our AC yesterday!  For them, it was a twelve hour job, but they busted their butts and got it done in a day!  When I got home, they were still in the throes of it and the kiddo's were under foot, so Elijah and Kaleb set up the pool (the AC guys were nice enough to lend them their shop vac to fill it up quick!) and monitored the splashing kiddo's while Angi and I set up the Barbecue.  By the time we were ready to eat, the AC was already humming along trying to cut through the heat, so we opted to eat in.  It was sad that after three days of being in that hot house, we all thought 85 degrees was comfortable!!  Thankfully, everyone slept a LOT more peaceful last night!
Yesterday was tantamount to summer.  We go through this every year.  The first few days of a hot spell drives folks to AC sanctuary...
(sorry, in joke)
Then, once they accept the inevitable they start to venture out again.  At least the daring ones.  So, as a side effect we tend to be our busiest in the early AM and late PM.  As a side effect of that we are switching over to our summer hour!  NOW we will be open M-F 9am-7pm, Saturday 9-5! 
Mark your calendar.
It goes without saying, with all that time on our hands in the middle of the day we were able to get some work done!  Got the repairs done quick, then went on to new builds and finished up two SWEET looking men's bikes!  A real nice, Old School Schwinn Hard Tail, and another MTB with a wicked cool paint scheme! 
Today, we have much more goodies to bang out, so with that,

ONLY $85.00!!
ONLY $130.00!!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

New Coke? Or Stem Cell Research?

When Angi and I first got together we never really "dated".  Oh, I asked her when we first met and she excepted but the evening plans were cancelled due to a family emergency on her part.  But we exchanged phone numbers, I gave her a hug and she gave me a kiss ( "who kissed who first" was a hotly debated subject for some years until her mother (who was waiting in the car) reminded her she went there first!) and we both promised we would get together as soon as possible.  A few days later I visited her at her house, by way of drop in, and after a few weeks of phone calls and visits, I knew she was the one I wanted to spend the remainder of my life with and saw no reason to prolong anything and asked her to move in with me.  At that point we did date, a little, and one of the places she took me, wanting to introduce me to some of her haunts in her hometown of Manchester, NH, was a "hole in the wall" video store.  Yes kiddies, this was before touch screens, IPAD'S, Cell Phones and Blue Ray when the relatively new entertainment was VHS tapes.  Now, when I say "Hole In The Wall" I am being quite literal.  In an old brick warehouse, in a somewhat run down edge of town sat an enormous video store!  Poorly lit, on row upon row upon row of hand built wooden racks sat every conceivable movie known to man available on tape.  Even some bootleg copies made from any number of unknown sources.  The whole thing comprised the entire bottom floor of this old building, they had even punched holes through a brick dividing wall in several sections, literally.  Someone had taken a sledgehammer, smashed a rough hewed archway and left it ragged at the edges!  it was the coolest thing!  The other side of the wall had dirt floors that they just tamped down.  I fell in love with the crudeness of the place.  Oh, I had my regular video haunts in my home town, but this place was a gold mine for the videophiles! 
It was with that image in mind that I eventually decided to embrace the other obsession in my life and bring it into our shop! At first I considered cleaning out the store room in the back, put up racks and have them there, but quickly realized the negative connotations associated with a video room in the "back" of the shop, and opted to just expand on the section next to the counter that already held our personal stock of movies we watch around here on a regular basis.  Elijah and I completed it yesterday (although I think we may have to build yet another small rack) and are now ready for business!  So far, we have heard mixed results.  Some think it's cool and we offer a good selection, while some think it is obtrusive and ill coupled with bikes.  I have my trepidations but also high hopes!  If nothing else, and it doesn't work out, we have a ready made "knickknack" shelf!
So here's hoping!
In case you are wondering....

As you can see, a small space dedicated to the obsession!
And for those inclined to shop, here's the skinny...

VHS: $1.00 EACH/A DOZEN $10.00
DVD'S: $3.00 EACH/4 FOR $10.00

Last night, all things considered, was fun.  As the AC is still out at the house (it's supposed to be replaced today!  Fingers crossed) and Angi, being incredibly understanding, sat it out in temps exceeding 90 degrees!  Personally, I couldn't do it!  Oh sure, back in  the day when I was doing construction we rarely worked on a house or office with AC.  More often then not we were running wires and duct work in attics in the middle of July!  So I was used to the heat.  But now, after four years plus of working in AC comfort?  I am a wimp.  So, feeling bad for Angi and the girls and not wanting to face an evening inside, I had the boys run to the store and get the fixings for barbecue and another kiddie pool.  Of course, somehow we lost the pump from the last one (last time I saw it Owen was using it as a gun) so Elijah, Kaleb, Logan and I took turns filling it up (OK, Elijah did most of it).  As the other kids waited for it to fill, we gave them free reign with the hose to drench one another, with Miranda dominating it.  Once air was in, and water filled, they frolicked until well after dark, pausing momentarily to nosh on BBQ Hot dogs and beans.  Once they were exhausted and cranky, we gave them a Redneck bath (hose by the front door) and dressed them for bed, where they immediately crashed.  At that point, it was big people time in the pool, to cool down and relax.  The whole evening defined the term "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!" 
Yesterday was dominated with setting up the movie section, and handling repairs.  Noting new built, BUT we did get in a few gem on trade, and I managed to get them stripped down and prepped for cleaning and assembly! So we should have some sweeties to show you later!
Now, for our public service announcement.  The big "No DUH'!" of the day is, warmer weather approaches!  DO NOT let the discomfort of the afternoon sun dissuade y'all from riding!  It's still relatively comfortable in the early hours and really nice in the evening (just don't forget your lights!).  Adjust your schedules accordingly!
ALL RIGHT!  Now, I gotta git and do my job! 
See y'all soon! 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Sign's of Summer!

Ah yes.  We know the onset of summer is upon us as the usual blissful tell tale sign's occur.  Such as the AC unit at the house failing!  YAY!  Yesterday being the hottest so far, the AC was gone.  Luckily, we saw this coming last week and the landlord sent out a company to check the old system that we have been having trouble with since we first moved in.  Thankfully, our new landlord was completely prepared for this and tomorrow they are replacing the entire system!!  Duct work and all!! OK, did I mention before we LOVE our new landlords!!  Hopefully this summers electric bills won't exceed $600.00 a month!!  I gotta give Angi credit though!  No complaints of the heat, no discomfort or anything!  She even declined my offer of putting us all up in a hotel until it's fixed.  Although I think she weighed the unpleasantness of the heat against that of being cooped up in one room with all the kids for two days! 
Thanks to all the folks for swinging by on Saturday!  WOW!  What a hoot!  Sent four home with new families, and a new record, all FOUR of them were the result of the infamous "I'm going to think about it's"  Yes.  When folks come in, really like the bike they test drive but want to "think about it" then ten minuets after they leave someone comes in and buys it, then they come back to find out it's no longer here.  True, this time around only two actually came back, but it was a series of odd coincidences anyway!!
As always we LOVE the referrals!  Keep 'em coming!  Thanks to Steve who not only brought his GORGEOUS Cannondale in to have the second tire replaced, but also brought in a referral directly to us, having a friend bring in her equally sweet looking Cannondale in for full service!  Keep the good word flowing folks!
I have to give the boys kudos for their hard work this weekend!  Saturday, I had a laundry list of things to get done, as we put in the video rack and had to clean up the area it's sitting in, as well as the regular repairs and customer service, as well as starting to do our EBAY listings.  Yep, trying to expand our reach in several directions at once!  The boys really manned up!  Kaleb handled the repairs, Elijah cut the material for the shelves and handled most of the EBay postings.  We also put out three new rides!  Speaking of which, a very special shout out to one of our regulars for donating two of her old bikes.  She has allowed us to service not only her bikes, but her friends and families as well.  Having recently purchased two NEW bikes (no, I don't hold it against her) she gave us her old ones! 
Check out the new rides below!
Now, we need to get back at it!!

ONLY $145.00!!
ONLY $ 135.00
ONLY $175.00

Saturday, April 26, 2014

"If it quack's like a duck...."

And if it smells like a bike shop, it's probably a bike shop! 
Yes, it's that time of year again where the weather gets warmer and we can no longer hang with the doors open, relying on the AC once again.  Normally, when we get really cracking in the work bay with cleaners, degreasers and the wire wheel is running we prop open the back door and turn on the fan. That is, before we accidentally broke the fan.  So now, when the work is afoot we really start to smell like a bike shop!  And a few folks have noticed.  Sorry to anyone who may not like the smell of rubber, grease and cleaners. Occupational hazard.
SOOOO, all my worrying and stressing turned out to be unnecessary.  We met with the Detective and owner of the stolen bikes and they were both very cool.  The officer had done his homework and realized we had followed the letter of the law and were in the clear!  Apparently the delay in reporting the crime was due to the fact that the victim knew the thief and didn't realize that the items had been taken until later.  The officer gave us the option (as the victim had no real evidence that the remaining bike was his) to hold onto the bike, but as I told them, our reputation is worth WAY more then the few dollars we paid for and invested in rebuilding the bike, and released it back to him.  In the end, my paranoia was unfounded.  Perhaps I need to stop watching movies like "Enemy of the State"! 
Today we are busily prepping the area for our NEW movie section!!!!  We have been working diligently all week to lessen the amount of bikes in bone row to make room.  Thanks to Terry for the recycled wood we needed to build the racks!  The boys have moved a couple of the "Some-day-I'll-get-to-them" bikes down to the house, and we are continuing to burn through the rest!  Elijah will be handling most of the rack building, and tomorrow Mom and Dad will be going through our extensive collection and start ferrying them over.  We have been buying movies over the last couple of weeks and gotten some really cool selections.  We realize this is an odd combination to sell in one shop.  One is focused on exercise and activity while the other lends itself to lethargy.  But as we love both?  What the heck!  Not to mention that I tend to cling to the "old" and miss the experience of visiting the traditional  "video shop".  Blockbuster and Hollywood Video don't apply.  But have NO fear, the space allotted for videos is small and will not exceed it's area.  We are STILL a bike shop! 
All right, the boys are back from their errands and now I need to get them going on their tasks as I finish up some repairs!
See ya soon!
Check out the newbies we built yesterday!

Friday, April 25, 2014

No Noose is Good Noose

Sometimes it doesn't pay to be a good guy!
So, yesterday we get a call that always has resonated fear in me.  Seems that three of the bikes we bought over the last month were stolen.  They were sold to us by the same person, and turns out they were part of a larger robbery.  When the detective informed me of this, I had to go back through my records to discover the original purchase date.  See, last year we finally got registered with the same program that pawn shops use.  Hence why we take ID's, fingerprints and all the sellers pertinents, then enter it into the states data base.  Apparently, though, we are supposed to hold the purchased item for 15 days, to give the police an opportunity to review the info.  Thanks.  Good info to have.  Well, as it turns out, two of the bikes bought almost a month ago sat here for over three weeks before we did anything with them.  Inadvertently we held them for over the fifteen day period.  However, when the officer asked me to hold them until he could come down and make an identification, I had to inform him that the two bought last month were no longer here.  They were bought as parts bikes, as they were thoroughly thrashed, but we had just stuck them out back for further determination as to what we would do with them.  This past Saturday and Monday we did the purge of all bikes not to be rebuilt.  When he heard this he became slightly annoyed, asking why I had gotten rid of them so soon.  The other problem is, the alleged owner of the bikes has no sales records or serial numbers to prove the bikes are his.  On top of that, the two bikes in question are two of the MOST common Mountain Bikes sold at Wal-Mart!!  Bikes we see in here every week!  Of course, the whole situation is one of those "hurry up and wait" scenarios where he stated he'd be down here in "a day or so" to check them out and identify (the last remaining one we DO have is more uncommon then the other two) so of course, the nervous worrier in me started to freak out and become stressed and maudlin.  Not wanting to just fester, I contacted the Dept of Revenue to find out exactly how long the waiting period was (yes, 15 days not 30 like the officer proclaimed).  I also spoke with the DoR's lawyer who informed me that we did everything we were legally required to do, and the only time an extension can be granted to the police is if they identify the item as potentially stolen within the first 15 days.  Trouble is, now I have to tell the officer that!  ARRGH!  Like I want to be the one to inform a detective that he has misunderstood!  The whole reason we fought so long and hard to be excepted on the reporting program was to AVOID the possibility of inadvertently buying a stolen bike!  Now, it would seem that diligence and desire to be a law abiding, straight forward establishment has bitten us in the ass!
Unfortunately the nail biting, fretting and fuming (not to mention phone calls and hold time) consumed the majority of my day, and we didn't get a bloody thing done!  Hopefully, I can put this all past me and actually get back in the groove. 
I will take a customary moment, though, and thank everyone who paid us a visit yesterday.  Found homes for two rides and the remaining repairs (all but two) came in and picked up!  Of course, got more in, so that keeps an even balance!
All right, back to work we go!
See ya soon!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Coming To A Crossroads!

I awoke surprisingly chipper this morning!  Equally shocking as for the first time in eons I actually got out of bed on the first ring of my alarm!  My usual pattern is to roll over and cuddle with Angi through four or five "snoozes" until she gets fed up with my really annoying alarm (it's the combined sounds of three alarms, a fire drill, a boat horn and a rooster crowing) and tells me to get out of bed.  I think my happy mood has to do with a most wonderful dream I had last night.  Amongst other things, I was a special guest at a Monkee's concert where Davy Jones sung a song to me (don't read to much into it, it wasn't a love song!) and while at the concert back stage young Miss Miranda only wanted to be with her Daddy.  All my girls, at her age, became aware of me and thus became "Daddy's Girls".  Miranda is the hold out, being firmly in the corner of "Mommy's Girl".  All the more pity for me.  I can hold out and wait for her!  She's worth it! 
Angi of course put on her "suspicious" eye's, wondering what had gotten me so "happy" and was somewhat grumbly that I'd woken her up so early.  The children were equally perplexed as I awoke them in the same urgent fashion as every other day, but they didn't realize until fully dressed with backpacks on and poised to leave, that it was only 7.30!!  I had a good chuckle when their look of shock turned to dismay when they realized they could have slept another twenty minuets!
Getting here early allowed me the time to reorganize our desk and file away the stacks of loose paperwork scattered about.  Just one of many little details I absentmindedly let slide in the interest of getting out more rides!  Speaking of which, we managed to put out three more yesterday!  So we have really started to put a dent in "Bone Row"!  Equally pleasurable is all the repairs we have been getting in, have been finished AND picked up the same day!  So thank you to all for being so prompt!  We are trying like the dickens to clean out that area, making room for videos!  No, not the whole area, as we still need space to stage the repairs, but at least enough to put up a rack and walk in to see them! 
So last night I came to a tentative decision (always up for modification as the whim persuades me).  Angi and I have been talking lately about travel and exploration.  There are many things she wishes to see, countries to visit and I want to be able to give her that.  BUT, responsibilities of work and family preclude any extended vacations, at least for me.  Which I have no problem with.  I really have no desire to go anywhere overseas.  And as she has friends and family in other countries?  At least I can feel safe that she wouldn't be going about it alone. On my end, there are places in this country that I really want to see, and share with our kids.  The Grand Canyon, all of old Route 66, the Worlds Largest Ball of Twine (yes, it really does exist!).  To that end, I may end up negating our biggest life decision (to some extent) and get my licence back!  About ten years ago, when we decided to stop driving, when mine expired, I never renewed it.  Felt it was unnecessary, and just got a Florida ID.   So, the plan is within the next two years, get my driving rights back and purchase a VW Microbus and a small trailer.  Pipe Dream?  Maybe.  We will just have to see!
On to work!
As mentioned, put a dent in the over flow.  Most of the stuff out back has either been built or stripped down, and we are pressing on!  Have a couple last minuet repairs from last night to bang out then it's back to new builds.  We do look forward to seeing you all today, and I am back at it!

ONY $55.00!!!
ONLY $75.00!!
ONLY $145.00!!!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Just Call Me Your Pusher!

SO, about two weeks ago we did some redecorating around here.  Tweaked out the wall art as it were.  We like to give folks something to look at when they visit, the more jumbled the better.  What hangs on our walls is a little insight into who we are, and what people see that interests them is insight into their character.  Some of what we added has far less to do with bikes and more to do with what's inside us.  Three such framed photos are of (not to surprisingly) autographed cast shots of Firefly and one of Nathan Fillion.  It has proven to be an excellent tool to get folks asking questions about it.  Two such individuals came in yesterday, saw the photo, and asked if I personally "Knew" Castle (in reference to Nathans other show) and why was he dressed so odd in the pictures.  OPEN DOOR!!!  At this point I rave on about the best sci-fi show EVER and instruct them to go to Netflix, call it up, and set aside a day to watch the entire 14 episodes.  I have yet to have anyone I have turned on to Firefly come back and say they didn't like it.  It's always the same response "why in the HELL did they cancel it!?" 
Heh, heh...I'll use ANY excuse to talk about Firefly!
Thanks to ALL the wonderful folks who came into visit yesterday!  Sent the ladies 24" cruiser to a new home.  No surprise there!  There about as rare as light beer at a NASCAR race!  Also saw an even heavier influx of repairs as well!  Thank heavens we were able to get through them all the same day!  I was equally impressed that everyone came by to pick them up when we called! YAY!  We managed to get three newbies out as well, but only took a pic of one!  Sorry, the other two didn't last more then fifteen minuets after they were built!  But this last remaining one is  real sharp looking "like New" dual shock MTB!
Well, lightning stuck twice for Elijah.  Another job opportunity dropped in his lap yesterday as a customer came in yesterday asking if I knew any strapping young man who could do some odd jobs around his house.  All I had to do was point at Elijah and say yes!  A few hours a day and he's got cash in his pocket.  Now if I can just get him to stop spending it on junk food.
Speaking of Elijah!  Once he finished his morning work, he went out to run a few errands for the shop yesterday.  Amongst other things, he had gone to Ace Hardware to send out a letter for the shop, then crossed the street to find a copy place to run off more business fliers.  As the Fed Ex store did not do copies he called to tell me and find an alternative.  Apparently as he was talking to me he was on his bike.  No sooner had he ended the call did he hear the "whoop, whoop!" of a police siren behind him beckoning him to pull over.  As he soon discovered, it I apparently now illegal for anyone to talk on a cell phone (or wear headphones) while riding a bike.  So,'s where I have a problem.  I understand, using a cell phone while doing something like driving or riding is not the best idea but..."IT'S NOT ILLEGAL IN FLORIDA!!!"  At least, it's not illegal to talk on a cell phone "while driving a freaking car!?!?!?"  As of today's date, the Florida DMV states, using a cell phone in a car is NOT illegal  So WHY is it illegal for a cyclist to do so?! I mean, really!  What's more dangerous?  A 200 pound man in a 4000 pound vehicle driving at 45 miles an hour getting distracted or a 200 pound man on a 40 pound bike traveling at 10 miles an hour?!?  Seriously!  Florida, you are SO screwed up!!!  I just think the police are getting lazy.  With more and more people relying on bicycles for transportation they see it as a gold mine!  Think about it.  How many "high speed" risky chases will an overweight, lazy cop need to endure when overcoming a cyclist?  Heck. pass a few more silly, superfluous "cyclist" laws and all a half awake officer needs to do is stake out a heavy cyclist area, wait for a rider to breath wrong, flash his lights and sirens, and issue a ticket!  He would barely have to start his car!  It's good business sense!  Minimum effort, maximum output!  So far, for a cyclist, we have to ride with the flow of traffic, so the cars coming up behind us, with the driver weaving to and fro because they are to busy sexting their girlfriend, can run right over us, keep going until they get home, then when caught just say that the cyclist swerved in front of them and it wasn't their fault!  And as the cyclist is now road pizza he can't speak up in his own defense!  Or the rider may get pulled over because they used a crosswalk that WASN'T a cross walk after school hours, or because they dared to use a crosswalk, with the signal in their favor while a crossing guard signaled them to cross, because the egotistical police officer NOT paying attention takes a right hand turn, almost runs over the rider...then BLAMES THE RIDER!!!   Yea.  That all seems reasonable to me!!
Does anyone recognize the covertly disguised sarcasm here?
Sorry folks, I'm not all that down on police officers.  I know many and most are just trying to do their job, but it really does seem slightly lopsided when it comes to fairness for all forms of transportation. 
We have lots to work on, and I need to get to it!
Would love to see you all soon!

ONLY $90.00!!!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Sometimes It Doesn't Pay To Be Nice

Sometimes I hate having a conscience! 
One of my only pet peeves about this job is that RARE customer who has a beef!  It doesn't happen often around here, but when it does I feel a pit open in my stomach!  I know the old adage "you can't make everyone happy" but we really do try very diligently around here to do just that.  Case in point;  In the beginning of January this year a semi regular of ours brought a couple of wheels in to be trued.  I knew from the get go, given how badly they were bent up, that it would be a futile effort, but he stated to just do what I could.  I tried.  But in some cases a wheel is so far gone that when truing you are only "Chasing The Bend".  A couple days later I called him to tell him "no good".  I got no answer.  Here's the trouble.  Nowadays, most folks have a phone in their pocket at all times, but it seems that it's harder and harder to get in touch with anyone!  I can remember back in my youth, the phone was nailed to the kitchen wall, and I could STILL reach people easier!  So after a couple tries, I moved on with my life.  Fast forward to last week.  As I have mentioned before, we have been getting busier and busier and have been endeavoring to keep the shop clean.  To that end, anything NOT viable had to be scrapped.  So on Friday, Terry came by for a scrap run, and the wheels went with him. 
Yesterday the gentleman showed up, after three months fuming that his wheels were not here! 
Now here's where I have to step in and take some responsibility.  I should have called him one last time at least to find out if he still wanted them, but I failed to do so.  And that's on me!  SOOO, I had to start making some calls!  The wheels of course are outdated, and specific to his bike only!  It appears that I will have to scrounge the parts and have them custom strung.  Oh joy.  It's not the money mind you, we want to make it right, it's the fact that some folks (a rare few) seem to think we have a "Self Storage" under our shop name!  Angela, who for full discloser IS the owner AND boss of this shop, has the attitude that I shouldn't take it personally, as every attempt was made when I made the first string of phone calls.  I know she's right, but of course I lament anyways! I do appreciate her attempts to make me feel better last night!
Other then that debacle, yesterday was a real hoot! Started the day off with new builds but as the day progressed it quickly became a scramble to get repairs done!  We did have one odd repair come in though.  Gent had a newer hybrid that he got whacked on by a malicious automobile driver and bent up his front wheel.  We were thankful that we were able to straighten it out.  When he came back to pick it up he was very happy not only that we could fix it but that we could do so very quickly.  As we talked he thanked us for being here and was complimentary while at the same time commented that we were so much better then that "Other" shop.  Curious (and a sucker for dirt) I asked which one.  With venom he said "the place that used to be up on Sunset Point Road" 
Well, I didn't want to reveal and at the same time insult his memory, by telling him "that was us".  I bade he go on and tell me more.  Apparently he had a bad experience with another bike he had brought in and stated that the person who worked on his bike was very arrogant and insulting of his choice in bikes and came off as pompous and aloof.  Well....I can, at times, be accused of being arrogant, but usually in fun and most folks get it.  But in this case I worried perhaps I went to far.  Then, he revealed it was few years ago.  That would have been around the same time we had several "employees".  After a little coaxing I got a physical description out of him and soon discovered the individual he was speaking of was a young gent we had to let go for pretty much the same reasons he was mentioning!  NOW, you know why we don't hire anyone!
All in all it was a good day, as many more wonderful folks came in to visit.  And thanks to the wonderful Snowbird couple who brought in the remaining contents of their refrigerator before they headed out!  I LOVE the fact that they had a HUGE tub of Pesto and a box of Melba Toast!!!  A little sour cream later and that was my TV snack last night!  (although Angela insisted I brush my teeth EXTRA good before bed!)
I think I was an Italian in my past life!
We managed to put out three newbies before the flood of repairs (pic below) and have so much more to go! 
With that, I bid you all a good day!

ONLY $85.00!!
ONLY $75.00!!!
ONLY $35.00!!!

Today is a new day! 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Glucose Aftermath!!!

Happy Post Easter!  I hope everyone endured a pleasant Easter Sunday.  We enjoyed our day with, believe it or not, minimal fighting!  WOW!!  Even fueled by a steady stream of Mommy supplied sugar, everyone was pretty well behaved.  Oh, of course we had a few present related mishaps.  Miranda seemed to think the bottle of "bubbles" the younger kids got were all cocktails, and that coupled with the fruit juice and candy resulted in an ugly red mess offered back up from her stomach!  Thank heavens Angi's lap and then my legs were there to stop some of it from hitting the floor.
We did do one thing differently this year and as it turns out it was a very wise choice in a sort of "No duh!" way.  We ate Easter dinner before the kids got any candy, subsequently they actually ate their Easter Dinner! Then the evening petered out with a hullabaloo of play and getting ready for bed. 
This year was perfect...for me!  Mommy went out on Friday and did ALL the shopping for Easter!  YAY!  As I have gotten to the point in life where all my shopping is done on line!  My beautiful wife stepped in front of a bullet for me and hit the last minute rush for all the below goodies and then some!  Quite frankly, short of having to deal with cranky shoppers I know she preferred not having me there leaning on the cart, head in hand sighing out an incessant stream of "do they really NEED all this stuff!?!?!" 

Saturday was brisk, but even more, it was productive.  Had both Elijah and Kaleb on board, and even though they need a constant reminder that they are here to work we managed to get out four new rides!  We are trying like the dickens to get through not only "Bone Row" but the new addition of the
"Bone Yard" in reference to the bikes chained up out back!!  Yes, there has been a steady flow of newbies coming in and we are trying to get them processed out. 
Speaking of newbies!  The two gorgeous Raleigh road bikes we put out were gone lickety split on Saturday as well as a couple other rides...that I am having a tough time remembering which though!  We also got a SWEET Dimondback MTB in on trade, but that one went first thing this morning! 
SOOOOOO, we are hitting it again today FULL stream! 
Well....after Elijah builds up one of my old bikes for him to ride.  My "Black Beauty" a "Big Boy" framed Jamis ( 74cm!!!!) is currently being switched from a 5 speed to a single (4 to 1 Chip!  Sorry, he insisted!) Of course, he keeps wanting to dig through our many boxes of goodies to trick it out, but I keep having to give him a verbal hand slap.  But he NEEDS a ride.  Since he has gotten back, his mother has been VERY generous to allow him to use one of her bikes (a pristine 71' Ross three speed) but it is so VERY, VERY a ladies bike!  Pale blue, front basket with flowers on the seat! 
Yea, he really needs a guy bike!
So, with that, I'd best get a move on! 
Heavy chores to do!

ONLY $80.00!!

ONLY $35.00!
ONY $50.00!!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Good Golly Friday!

Ever been in a quirky good mood and not know why?  Like you break a smile and the sardonic side of you questions your motives?  Even with gray overcast skies and drizzling rain, it persists.  It may have something to do with Angi and I cutting loose in our best "cranky Yankee" vitriol fest last night.  It's how we vent.  Anyone not in the know would think we actually were angry with one another (oh, I'm sure some of it was based on genuine frustrations) but both of us, for the most part KNOW when the other one is kidding.  It's a great way to just get rid of negative energy.  Any good therapist is probably ringing their hands questioning the ill effect on the children, but even they get it, and at times get in on the act, venting  their frustration over natures choice of parents for them.  Needless to say, their was a lot of sarcastic "friendly fire" last night!  Hey, they have scream therapy don't they? 
ANYWHO!  Today, even with the gray skies, it has been blisteringly busy!  Just like yesterday!  We sent five newbies to new homes and took in a slew of rebuilds!  Thanks to all the wonderful folks for hearing about and choosing us to do their work for them!  We managed to put out only two newbies, though.  Sad, really.  BUT one of them is a WAY COOL classic Raleigh Technium!!  And this one came with a gorgeous Campagnollo wheel set!  SWEET!  FULLY re-furbed and topped off with a NEW set of tires!  Well worth the investment! 
Today, we have dialed the clock back and taken an older "Big Boy"  Raleigh lugged frame and are turning it into an Alley Cat single!  Last week we did a modification on an OLD Schwinn Continental for a gent and set up a 3 to 1 drive train with an 18 tooth rear.  The power and range was SO well balanced (Tip O' The Hat to Uncle Chip for the recommendation!) we decided to do it again on this one!  Even gave it a "garage" paint job!  Gonna get it put together when I get off this thing! 
I gotta admit, Elijah and Angi's idea about a Facebook listing has been a boon!  Many folks have been giving a peek into our day to day, and loads of "likes"!  If you go to check it out, though, when you search, make sure you type in "Re-cycle Bicycles Dunedin"
So without further adieu! 
Come on in and give us a big "Hiddey HO!"
ONLY $35.00!!

ONLY $185.00!!!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Transitional Monkey Wrenches

Do you have any routines?
You know, those quirky little peccadillo's that comprise certain preset moments in your life that for some reason or other have just become.... well, routine?
If it was Angela you were talking to, she would probably say my entire day was comprised of routines. 
Men and women differ in many ways, one in particular that fits my story is bed time.  Women seem to need to "get ready" for bed, while men just get in bed.  Such is why every night as we lay down for slumber I am inevitably the first one in.  Since moving into our new home a couple years back, given the location of the bed in relation to the bathroom, as Angela goes to her side she passes the foot of the bed.  Before we got into the habit of leaving the light on for her, ostensibly so she can see her way back to the bathroom should she have need of it during the night (although, superstitions and left over childhood habits may be more at play as the closet doors must ALWAYS be shut prior to sleepy time (no, not poking fun, I still have to sleep with a Teddy Bear and a stuffed pig named "Albert Einswine"! You should see the pre-bedtime chaos that ensues on the days that Izabella has found her way into our bedroom, and abducted Albert as she "Really loves that pig!  Anyone helping to find him from her hiding spot at night does not fail to point out just how sad it is that I can't go to bed without my pig) Angela would, while passing the foot of the bed, gather her bearing by finding my feet one at a time and I would call out "Foot....foot....corner".  Now, even as the light eluminates her way, she still does "foot, foot, corner".  On the nights where she may not be particularly fond of me due to a diplomatic error I may of inflicted, and refuses to do it, I find it very difficult to sleep. 
So, knowing that story, you'll understand some of the difficulty I am having adjusting to having an employee in the shop! 
For the last few years of operations, due to Angi's back to back pregnancies with Izzy and Miranda, our original plan of having us both working together pretty much went by the wayside.  In response, I had to grow accustomed to doing just about everything around here on my own.  The only way to do that was compartmentalize and establish routines.  Whether or not you can consider it functional is up for debate.  I realize that there are some things I could be doing to help better the business, but at risk of overlooking daily function.  So, sacrifices are made.
Then fate enters.  Elijah leaves his previous emploment and we see an opportunity to teach him the family business.  It has been our intention to hand the business to which ever child(ren) show an interest and aptitude for it.  However it is up to a person who is wholly unfit to teach.  Me. 
My parents instilled in me a strong work ethic.  That coupled with a very male eccentric (if not outdated) attitude that it is a man's responsibility to provide for his wife and family, lends to a long work day.  However, my parents were not the most patient of teachers either.  My fathers philosophy was "If you can't do a job right, get the F@$* out of the way and let someone else do it!"
So Elijah has that to contend with. 
I will give him some credit though.  He seems genuinely interested in trying, and wants to learn.  It's his propensity for being shown something and instantly determining  that he can do it his way and do it better, that will be his downfall.  Yes, a standard teenage malady of "assumption of omnipotence" which leads to locked horns and heated exchanges!  Although, given the very limited space in which we have to work he is starting to learn the dance steps.  For anyone that has worked in an industrial setting, you will know that men in close quarters develop an unspoken form of movement that keeps all parties from stepping on toes or bumping someone into a machine.  He seems capable of recognizing that fact, occasionally having to be reminded by a slight push on his back or shoulders.  He'll get it.
All in all, I have to overcome my own idiosyncrasies to give him the benefit of learning. 
God grant me strength.
Did anyone else have a weird day yesterday?
Not for the reason's I mentioned, but something odd was going on in the cosmos yesterday that wreaked havoc.  Our computer inexplicably just stopped working properly.  We couldn't access anything except blank pages, and the credit card machine was inaccessible for half the day.  My cell phone kept conking out, dropping calls, and on a couple occasions dialed numbers on it's own and wasn't in my pocket?  Then, through a series of inexplicable events, at the end of the day Kaleb came up to the shop to get money for dinner (it was "Waffle Wednesday!"  The kiddo's are going through a phase where they want each evening meal to start with the same letter as the day)  I asked the older boys to bring in the outside goodies, so I could close out.  As we had been unable to access Craigslist during the day to post the bikes we built, I gave it one more try and found out the computer was working again.  As the shopping list was long, I asked Elijah to accompany Kaleb to the store, and I would finish up and meet them at home.  Now, already running about twenty minuets late, I gathered up the remaining children and said it was time to go.  It was at that point I realized that I had not asked for my keys from Elijah!  ARRGH!  When I went to call him, then tried Angela, I discovered my cell phone was not working again!  It kept telling me "Network Not Available!?".  Using the corner stores phone, I made several attempts to reach both Elijah and Angela (they have the same nasty habit of not answering calls from numbers they don't recognize!) Once Angela finally answered she suggested I send Logan home to retrieve her copy of the key.  So I did.  We waited.  He returned (rather quickly) with the key.....that didn't work.  Once again contacted Elijah, calmly requesting he bring my key.
Needless to say, we didn't eat dinner until about 9 pm last night!  I can only assume it had something to do with the moon, as shortly before I nodded off last night, Miranda woke up, with gusto!  Obviously not wanting to go back to sleep, I got her up and put on her shows and grabbed myself a bowl of 3 am popcorn.  Angi, who had been blissfully sound asleep, came out to relieve me, insisting that I return to bed, as I had to work in the morning.  She is very self sacrificing in that way, but I wasn't going to argue.  I knew I could leave Elijah there this morning to give her a chance to get a little more rest, which I hope she is doing right now.
I'm hoping for a much smoother day today!
BUT, the day itself was a GOOD one!  VERY busy, thank you all so VERY much!  We sold the electric bike!  And what a HOOT!  The couple that bought it took a while to conclude that it was exactly what he needed to commute with.   Once they made up their mind, they asked for a couple of minor adjustments while they "went home and got the money"  With a chuckle, they cautioned me that they had "a lot of singles".  Ominous.  When they returned, he was carrying a large candy box under his arm.  She admitted she came with him because she "wanted to see the expression on my face"  This is how they paid....

Trust me, it's a LOT more impressive in one HUGE stack!  Oh we had FUN with that stack!  Check out Elijah's Facebook entries for more pics!  I do a very good Demi Moore impression from "An Indecent Proposal!" 
Yes, as mentioned we were quite busy with new builds, and managed to get out four, with Elijah almost completing a fifth.  So, I best get back to it and get that one done!
See y'all soon!

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Rock 'em, Sock 'em Robots!


Went the sound of my head popping off!  That was the way of it yesterday, and we LOVED IT!
No sooner did we get something built yesterday did it go home with new families!  Thanks to all for making it so!  Built two new gems yesterday, and Elijah got four newbies torn down for rebuilds.  Couldn't keep up!  First was a trade we got the day before in the way of a Genesis Dual shock, that went out with a decent cruiser in trade.  Then, built up an old school "Big Boy" Huffy 5 speed (say what you will about the old tanks, but given the large frame size and heavy duty construction, they are perfect for those of a larger stature) and that one was snagged up even before it was finished! 
Thanks to all the repairs as well!  Had a gent come in on Monday looking to rehab an old Puch he was quite fond of.  She took some work but is now looking and running FINE! As always, we enjoy all the looky loos paying us a visit and especially enjoyed a visit from a gent from up in my neck of the wood's, New Hampshire!  He hails from Portsmouth, and found it very hard to believe I too, was from up there.  It's the accent.  I don't have mine anymore.  When Angi and I moved down South I went to work back in sales.  I learned real quick that in Houston Texas (our first Southern stop...for ten years) they do not trust Yankee's!  You can not be good at sales if the customer doesn't trust you!  Eventually the gent came to believe my lineage, as I divulged key info that only a true Seacoast resident would know. 
Today we have even more goodies to put out, I only hope they are not as time consuming as yesterdays as we NEED to get more put out!
Elijah is slowly getting the hang of things, that is to be expected.  I just need to get him to light a fire under his butt and move a bit faster.
So with that, I'd best get back to it!
See y'all soon!

26" Genesis Dual Shock!


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Would You Like To Be My Friend?

Yesterday induction of Elijah to the ranks of the gainfully employed went relatively well.  Even though he is my son, it will take a little while for me to determine his strengths as far a the demands of this job goes.  Then I'll know where and what we need to work on.  Speed and fluency is definitely right up there!  It's helpful to have someone else taking over some of the required computer time, which I do know he has an affinity for.  As a matter of fact, one of the things he did yesterday was set up a Facebook account for the shop.  Angela tried this a few years back, but unfortunately, as events in life precluded her from being here every day, it quickly became unmanageable.  BUT, once Elijah had set it up, Angi went on line pimping out the site, and got many of her online friends to visit and like.  Yes she has that much sway over the masses!  A very endearing persuasion is she!  Elijah has full sway and carte blanch for the input, (although I do have to do a little proof reading as he doesn't seem to understand punctuation!  He's worse then ME if you can imagine!) So what we would love YOU to do is visit us on Facebook under Re-cycle Bicycles Dunedin FL (ignore the old Clearwater one) we are at 30 likes since last night.  Would be fun to be over 100 before the close of business today!  The gauntlet has been tossed!
SO!  Yesterday was another one filled with repairs and special orders.   Also, worth mentioning is the flood of newbies we got in as well!  And to top it off many of them donations!  We LOVE freebies!  Of course, they always need work but that's what we are here for!  Funny, how some folks can walk in the shop, past the big sign that says "FULL SERVICE! LOWEST REPAIR PRICES IN TOWN! see me in the bay, with a bike in my rack and a tool in my hand, surrounded by bicycles in various stages of disrepair and ask "do you do repairs?"
At times like that Angi's response reverberates in my head "No.  We're a veterinarian clinic."
"Here's your sign!"
We did manage to put two new ones out for sale, and one is another HYBRID!!!  YAY!  Can never have enough of those!  Today, we have a plethora of work to do, so without anymore preamble, we're gonna get to it!
We'll see ya soon!

ONLY $600.00!!
ONLY $165.00!!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Lighting The Torch.

With no small amount of fanfare we have put flame to wick and set in motion the beginning of a mighty legacy. 
Okay.  Maybe I'm overstating things a bit.
But, as  Elijah left his previous employment, and he didn't bother to have anything in the hopper to fall back on (ARRGH!), I wasn't going to just let him lay about waiting for another opportunity for blind luck to drop in his lap.  We decided that at the very least he could while away his hours learning the family biz from the ground up.  Either he will eventually take over  for me, in some fashion, and keep this little experiment going for the next generation, or we will keep him occupied on something other then his IPhone until he does find his true calling.
To that end, I will haphazardly be having him dabble in a variety of the chores required for keeping everything running smoothly! 
First off!  GRUNT WORK!! He's out running errands right now...Heh, heh... But when he gets back I will get him going on some of the computer work I do each morning that takes up an inordinate amount of time, freeing me up to do the whole "Bike Building" thing.  Hopefully, I can get him to come out of his shell, acquire a personality for customer relations and a feel for the biz.
The mechanics of it will take time.  But I'm not going anywhere for a long time.  I'd go stir crazy without the job!
Yesterday, was a load of fun!  Casual house time, And Mommy and Daddy actually got to play a game uninterrupted!  Then we took the kids out for a long walk and some ice cream at "Fritzee Freeze".  Surprisingly, minimal whining about the walk!  Surprise, Surprise.  They sure did sleep good!  After Kaleb and I cleaned the kitchen and fridge and found a way lot of leftovers,  it was decided, Jambalaya for dinner!  Once again, a huge amount of thanks to the Lady Snowbirds for their donation last week of a HUGE allotment of leftover "Sonny's Barbecue" from their "Going Home" party at the rec center!  SERIOUSLY, you want some good Barbecue?  Hit "Sonny's" N, Palm Harbor · (727) 785-5585.  LORD that was good! 
Saturday was, in a word, INCREDIBLE!  I didn't realize until the end of the day (which actually didn't happen until almost 7 pm!) just how busy we had been.  I had two special order, full rebuilds that needed doing, so I wasn't keeping track of everything.  But when all was said and done we sent seven rides to new homes, and the two bikes we bought for the day, ended up selling even before I did them as special orders.
That, with the repairs, made for a blistering day!  COOL!  So, with the expectations of an equally busy week, I need to get a move on and get some more bikes built!
Talk ta ya all soon!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Blathering Blatherskite!

OK, I spent WAY to much time carrying on yesterday, so today's entry is going to be as brief as possible seeing  as I have a flood of repairs already! 
Yesterday saw three newbies go home with new families.  Thanks for giving them good homes!  Now, we only built one new gem for the line but before you jump my hinnie, that was because Elijah and I did some remodeling.  As my lovely wife will often times point out, I never think anything is a god idea unless I come up with it myself.  So I stand duly chastised.  When we first sat down and planned the layout for this store, the north wall in the shop was a topic of debate.  I wanted a rack to display the forks AND one for the handlebars.  Angi thought that it took up too much space and we should instead dedicate it to more floor space for bikes.  I persisted and she eventually threw up her hands and gave me my way.  Obviously, she realized eventually I would figure out SHE was right!  Yep.  She was.  The rack for the forks has always been too big, and never worked right.  SO yesterday, we gutted it, rearranged the whole section, and moved the handle bar rack down and turned it into the fork display.  Now I just have to find space for the handlebars on the wall!  I have to admit, it's a lot less claustrophobic with eight feet of additional floor space!


Yes, much nicer!  As always dear, you were right!
Now I gotta get a move on as I have two full rebuild special orders that have been waiting over a week for parts that just came in yesterday!
Sooooo, see ya soon!

Friday, April 11, 2014

An Evening Tryst

Arrived home last night greeted at the door with Angi dressed up, lovely, in her casuals with hair in a towel and a bright "hello".  Curiosity peeked, but knowing well enough not to question the goings on, as I know when she has something up her sleeve she doesn't want me to try too hard to figure out and ruin the surprise.  After the usual kiddo greetings, I shambled into the bedroom, sore from the day, to discover my clothes laid out on the bed in neat fashion.  She wasn't trying to hard to disguise her intentions.  Given her casual attire and the fact that she had chosen one of my better "Fanboy" T-Shirts, it was rather apparent we were going to the movies.  And what movie would we be going to see?  Well Captain America of course!  Her treat!
Yes, as the movie still shows in the theatres, I am not going to ruin it, merely give my impressions. 
In a word. COLOSSAL!!  Oh, you want more? 
Well, in the past many voiced their incredulity regarding whether or not the star spangled Avenger could carry a flick. 
HE CAN! to talk bout this flick and NOT spoil it? 
OK, Cap, still not acclimating to well to the new generation he was thrust into, discovers through a series of events that he doesn't know who to trust in his dealings with espionage and action.  I enjoyed how they intertwined our history with theirs.  At the end of WWII (in our reality) Both Russia and America worked feverishly in conquered Germany to recruit and spirit away former Nazi scientists, soldiers and spies, integrated them into their respective societies and give them gainful employment.  This is how, in our country, we got among other things, NASA and the CIA.  Well, in Marvels world that also meant "S.H.I.E.L.D", and as in Marvels world (at least the movie version of their reality?) Nazi's were not as big a threat as HYDRA....? 
Oh see where I'm going with this? 
The story, while thoroughly engaging, is not as complex as some of the more elaborate spy thrillers, being somewhat predictable at points, but it serves itself very well. 
What I ALWAYS love to look for in a Marvel flick is,  a) Stan Lee Appearance.  And this one is cute. b) the hidden ending(s) (which, once again, the majority of the audience left even before seeing them!  IDIOTS!) and c) Easter eggs!  (hidden little one-offs, in jokes, and the like)  This time two of the insiders had me whooping in the theatre! (a theatre once again comprised of people that just don't get it!) The first is when two names are mentioned as targets of HYDRA in the same breath, Bruce Banner and Stephen Strange!  Yes, by now you all should know Bruce is really the HULK, but the sly reference to Stephen Strange aka. Doctor Strange!  Oh yea, I am SOOOOO looking forward to THAT movie!  What I found interesting, and none of the other sites I checked this morning mentions it, but was the deliberate mentioning of both Dr Strange and the Hulk in one breath.  See, One of the slated projects from Marvel to come out in the next decade is "The Defenders", one of the lesser known ensemble "group" books, featuring some relative "B" heroes from Marvel.  Well...The Hulk and Dr. Strange were founding members!  And the one that got my biggest applause was the non-Marvel related egg in the form of an inscription on Nick Fury's tombstone " The Path of a Righteous Man..."
NOBODY in that theatre got it!  A TRUE film buff would KNOW that passage is the beginning of Ezekiel 25:17.  The very same passage that was recited by the hit man Jules Winnfield, brilliantly portrayed by Samuel L. Jackson in Quinton Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction"! 
OKAY, Okay...I've shown off enough...sorry.
But there are many other eggs that were SO cool! 
One in particular is the BIGGEST one of all, generating a serious debate between Angi and I at the end of the flick.  I could go into great depth, but I will avoid really spilling the beans and ruining it for everyone.  It would seem to me, if they combine the "comic" histories with the movie histories of some of these characters that one of Marvels more "fringe" heroes "Nomad" might be getting set up for his own flick, if not a prominent place in the pantheon.  To try and quantify the rather complex comic history of both the Captain and Bucky, would take WAY to much space, suffice to say "Bucky and Nomad" have gone through many incarnations (check out Wikpedia for a breakdown of that mess!) and I see a real chance that the regenerated "Winter Soldier", now separated from the "mind wipes" may in fact seek retribution, and become the "Nomadic" hero. 
OK, so now on to gripes.  There ain't many.  Okay...there's one.
Just how much continuous action can go on before our heads implode?
Every flick like this endeavors to deliver "bigger and badder bang for your buck!" while trying to maintain a story.  They do it here rather well, but at times the frenetic speed at which it is delivered is mind numbingly head spinning, and I'm sure we missed a few things.  But it does set up a huge surge in DVD sales!  I have a theory here, though, so bear with me.  Back in the fifties some theatres toyed, briefly, with a new way of movie watching.  Special films were created that were "interactive".  The theatre was equipped with special remotes at each seat and when a certain points in the film was reached the audience was prompted to "vote" on the movies progression.  Majority ruled.  Say a character had a choice to go left or right.  The audience voted and determined which way they went, thus the movie would change it's direction, thereby having a different outcome.  Obviously, this didn't last.  But nowadays, I think they are preparing this generation for the next inevitable wave of interactive entertainment.  Angi turned me onto this latest technology (google 7D entertainment) that actually recreates lifelike images surrounding you.  You are THERE!  It's hard to describe, but you interact with the environment.  Think Star Trek "Holodeck's" but without the physical contact (yet).  The stimulus of such an experience, especially if it was somehow programed to recognize you there?  whoa....  Given the available sensors for a Wi or X-Box video game?   whoa....
I'm just postulating.  But you think this generation is addicted to technology now?   Imagine being able to conjure up any environment, or situation you could imagine, then live it?  I wonder if anyone would ever leave? 
WOW!  I sure took a sharp right hand turn down Digression Highway there! 
In short, this flick is definitely another Marvel Milestone!
Had another very productive day yesterday, beating Wednesday's output by one.  That' right, SIX newbies for your approval!  And we got PLENTY more to go!  Also, going to do a wee bit of reorganizing around here!  Taking out a couple of racks to make room for more rides.  Yea, the handlebars and forks are being pulled into the back room so it's not so cluttered in here.  I'm just holding off until I can get Elijah up here to do the heavy lifting.  Hey, he's gotta earn his keep somehow! 
SOOOOO, with that,I'd best get a move on!

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

As Promised, We Delivered!

By about one PM yesterday we had all repairs (except two awaiting parts) done.  Thanks to those of you who promptly came in and picked up your rides! It made walking in here SO much easier!  Well...for about an hour.  Then the next wave came in!  WAHOO!   Not only did we get more repairs (thank you all so very much for the faith!)  But a slew of newbies ripe for the pickin'!  Once again, it was time to walk sideways!  But, no fear, as we started building in earnest.  The end result is five choice new rides for the masses!  Check these out!  We got two "Like new" 20" BMX'ers, a "Coor's Light" promotional, dual shock MTB.   My favorite of the lot is a classic Diamondback Cross Hard Tail! And for all you fans of the hybrid (and you are many!) we have a NEW Schwinn Trailway.  And I am NOT kidding when I say NEW!  It is last years model but it looks to have NEVER been rode!
Now, even though that is  lot of new goodies we are not resting on our laurels, oh heavens no!  We have a mass of material to work with, and by GUM, we have our work cut out for us today, I tell you!
So without further adieu, I best be on my way!
See ya soon!

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Once again, into the breach!

This morning while getting my coffee, the "Hren's Nest" had the news going.  The unpleasant ongoing story was of the multiple stabbing attack in Pennsylvania.  It's hard, in light of all that has gone on over the last few years in our countries schools, to not feel the all to familiar surge of revulsion, mixed with parental concern.  Then their is the moment when your brain, not wanting to stare to deeply into the eyes of such horror, tries desperately to avert your gaze.  Once it becomes secure in the fact that "it was not your children, not your schools" it quickly fills your thoughts with more "pressing" concerns.  Unfortunately, this time, when they flashed the location of the most recent attack, my brain had a moment of focused pause.  Pennsylvania?  Angela has a niece and nephew of high school age in Pennsylvania!?  But where in Pennsylvania?!  Thankfully, after an hour and a half of unanswered phone calls to the house (realizing of course that Angi is still resting and recovering from Saturday) Elijah was able to find out that it was in fact not their high school.  I listened on to the continual news feed for about a half an hour, but had to turn it off when it was apparent that there was no new news, just the normal, continual repeating of what little info they had.  Once the announcers began reporting "unsubstantiated rumors" and conjecture, I switched off!
The initial opinion was it was in response to bullying.  OY!  If no one minds, I am going to vent my opinion on that, take it for what it's worth. 
Bullying is a regrettable part of childhood growth.  It prepares children to overcome adversity. and realize that the world can be a harsh place.  This of course, needs to be coupled with guidance of how to deal with it.  Avoid? Confront? Defend? Retaliate?  Trying to teach the bully not to bully is like trying to teach a shark not to eat meat!  Mind you, I have no soft hearted pity for any bully.  I was, like many others, an object of bullying through out my school career.  My biggest regret is I did not defend or retaliate.  Luckily, nowadays, we have not had to deal, too much, with bullying.  Our kids are not bullies, but when they become the object of it, they fight back.  No seeking revenge or suppressed aggression and anxiety.  Nope, they tackle it head on and go right for the jugular! I have to give ALL of the credit to Angela, her indomitable will (not to mention Irish lineage) and "in your face" attitude, for their spirit.  Rozy, has been the only one to really have to deal with it to any degree (little girls can be vicious!).  When her brothers are not present to step in, she will handle it on her own.  Although it has resulted in a couple of phone calls from the school.  The general rule I have instilled in the children is "never throw the first punch, but always throw the last".  When I ask the teacher "who started it?" if it was one of mine, they are in trouble.  So far, they haven't been in trouble.  They did the right thing, they defended themselves. Case closed.
 Unfortunately, not all kids have the support, or the personality to stand up for themselves, and bullies smell that.  If my experience as a kid is any test, schools, teachers and administrators were no help.  They would tell you to ignore it and walk way, but suspend you if you fought back.  "It takes two to make a fight"
It takes one A-hole with a hankering to feel superior and one poor kid just trying to survive through the day being backed up against a wall.  That kid who is afraid to fight back for whatever reason, physical limitations or fear of getting in trouble?  I'd have to speculate that out of all the kids in America today suffering the silent torture of bullying, there are a few with a caustic mix of emotions that just keep festering until one day...
We get this. 
The fact that it was a stabbing?  That is a very personal attack, fueled by rage.  He had the knife with him.  I speculate he reached his boiling point and carried it with the thought "just one more time!
Then of course I heard comments about why the school didn't have more security?  Lord!  When are we going to learn, you can't spend all the time complaining about state spending, and want to prioritize pet projects and then have this occur and wonder why?  Funding.  Plain and simple.  Our children's security is not top priority to anyone that writes up the budget! If it were, guards, security stations, metal detectors, cameras, locked doors would all be mandatory. 
Bottom line is (and we can ALL go on complaining about what other people are not doing for our kids) recent events in our life has led me to the conclusion that I need to be WAY more involved in my kids everyday life.  I need to know not only what they re doing but what they are thinking.  Sure, it is NOT easy sometimes when we all have so much else to concern ourselves with.  But you know what, we brought them into this world, it is for us to determine how best to teach them and to raise them.  Sad part is, that personally, my head was so far into my own responsibilities that once I really started to pay attention, I came to realize as annoying as they an be sometimes Angi and I have some really good kids!
Yea, I personalized that a bit, didn't I?  Towards the end there I think I really started to talk to myself!  My advice?  Get to know your kids, as to what kind of person they are becoming.  Don't be all "politically correct" in how you talk to them.  Let them know you are real!  Don't be afraid to lay down the line, keeping in mind they will ALLWAYS try and cross it, but once they do...well, the word "NO" is one syllable and easy to pronounce.   Most importantly (forgive me for getting all sappy) make DAMN sure that regardless of WHO they may become you,very simply, love them.
All right, I'm off my soapbox.
ON to WORK!  Yesterday, although the morning was met with a torrential downpour, not to mention being a bloody Tuesday, was very busy.  Once again, I was consumed with repairs (NOT complaining) the end result was
NO new rides!
I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry....
BUT, after finishing a couple quickies this morning I will be ON TO NEW BUILDS!!!
Keep an eye out for them, got some real beauties!
All right, with that I am History! No, I'm Mythology!  Oh I don't know what I am!  BUT I"M OUTTA HERE!