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Saturday, May 31, 2014

Oh I Am Going To SOOOOO Need A Daddy Day!

Gave my self a wee break this morning and brought up only three of the kiddo's first thing, leaving Elijah and the wee ones home with Logan (to make sure Elijah didn't go back to sleep) who would come up around noon time before Elijah has to go back to the Carny.  It was nice.  Relative peace and quiet.  Of course, had to referee the constant squabbling between Owen and Rozy, but that has become an almost involuntary reflex from me at this point.  Once the little ones arrived, though, the entire tenor of the place changes.  Miranda, having just barreled through the door after Elijah grabbed his coffee he had carelessly left on the edge of the counter, dousing herself and her fresh clothes.  Thank GOD it wasn't HOT coffee!  
Just fed the lot of them, springing for Chinese. 
Oh that's hilarious!  I opened this page at 9 am this morning, got busy.  Came back at 11.30 started typing, got crazy busy and now it's almost 2!  WOOF!  LOVE SATURDAYS!! 
Guess I best just pack this in and get to some real work!  Have had a plethora of trades come in and NEED to get them pounded out!  Bone Row is getting a wee bit to full!  Need room to get to the VAST video collection! 
See ya soon! 

Friday, May 30, 2014

Time...Really? Not With Kiddo's!

OH YES!  In FULL Daddy mode today!
With Elijah conveniently finding other ways to fill his time, the wee one's are with me today.  Angi is off in PA dealing time with her family, so I've got kid patrol!  Last night wasn't that bad, contrary to popular pop culture, not ALL husbands and fathers are incompetent boobs.  No, dinner was prompt, everyone got their baths and we were even able to squeeze in play time before bed.  Daddy donned a sheet and played "ghost" with the girls.  Of course, in true "Ghostbuster" fashion they used the fact that I was blind under a sheet to pummel me into submission.  OUCH!  Izzy hits HARD!  Once the girls went to bed Owen, Logan and I played a couple hands of Magic (which Logan one, once again!) then went off to sleep.  I settled into TV after that and around one am tried to go to sleep.  No good.  Without Angi there beside me I tossed and turned until about five am before I passed out.  Of course, woke up late after that, at 8 am exactly when my second alarm went off (slept through the first) and then everything went higgledy piggley!
But, we made it in on time, and the kids were hardly late so that's something!
Now, it's maintaining order until some form of relief shows up!
Can't blame them though, they are rather constrained from their normal day activities, and don't like being penned up.  I knew I should have bought that animal carrier!
and yet......
As Miranda has finally drifted off I may actually get some work done!
So with that, a fond adieu'!
See ya soon!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

I'm Leaving, On A Jet Plane (Sung to the tune of "I'm Leaving on a Jet Plane")

Yes, today Angi has escaped the constricting confines of the cacophonous, chaotic compound and is, as we speak, undergoing strict air terminal security to prepare for the first leg of her journey winging her to La Gaudier then on to PA.  There she will meet the entirety of her immediate family, and as with all who are forced to endure such a reunion, probably immediately sense the need for a stiff drink and a lot of alone time!  Hence why, once she discovered the hotel had a pool and hot tub she ran out and grabbed a new pool side ensemble!  ESCAPE!!!!
And, in true "family" fashion, we a made her morning departure a hectic and torturous one!  When she exclaimed "how come you all can't get your $#!+ together?!"  I simply smiled and said "It's like this every morning, we are just a little quieter!"  Of course, Elijah, sensing a chance to be a smart ass added, "Yea.  He's considerate that way!"
Oh.  I have taught them well!
So, with the kiddo's in school, Kaleb meandering about until his school opens, and Elijah and the wee one's here (currently in the back room watching a Disney flick getting hopped up on donuts)  and I am taking, what is sure to be a brief few moments to get my morning work done, before Izzy is going to want to take over the computer to do her lessons on ABC
Oh yes, Angi briefed me on their morning rituals, so I know I have limited time!
Yesterday, was a wee bit quiet.  Oh, we had a lot of looky loo's, but the flavor of the week seems to be cruisers, and I am out of them right now.  Figures.  Had a bunch of them last week,,,and everyone wanted Mountain Bikes!  Ah well, eventually it evens out.
So, we put together two yesterday.  Yes, far cry from the seven the day before, but the Giant I put together was a nut buster!  No....literally.....I had to bust a few nuts off as they were rusted solid!  What did you think I meant?  It was a bike we got in about a month ago. A customer brought it in for repairs but once they realized how much it was going to take to get it running (wheels, tires, tubes, cable, housings, rear derailleur, shifters, head set, seat...) they just said "never mind" and gave it to us.  I had the boys break it down and put it in a work bucket, but I was waiting on the right parts.  Once they came available I took it out and realized some of it was still stuck together as they apparently didn't want to brave the effort of breaking the rust barrier!  Ah well!  Gave me something worthwhile to do with six hours of my time!  As it is a BIG BOY hybrid, definitely worth it!  Then I popped out a REALLY sharp looking aluminum Schwinn MTB!  That one is CHOICE! 
Today, we have another ladies Schwinn roughed out and in need of fine tuning.  After that  Well, lets just see what the girls will allow me to get away with! 
Tonight...will be lonely, but I'll muddle through. Probably send everyone to bed and play video games until I pass out.  Who knows! 
All right, I'd best get at it, as I can hear the girls are giving Elijah a hard time and don't want to watch a movie.
Joy of joys!
See ya soon!

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ONY $120.00!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Let's Get BUSY!!

Oh we DID!
As Angi leaves tomorrow morning for her sojourn to PA, we amped up the production yesterday.  At the last minute plans had changed.  Originally, Elijah was to sit for the baby girls at the house during the day when Angi was gone.  However.  As Elijah starts his new career at the mall (supposedly, that is, as it has been labeled as training) he will be starting Friday afternoon, so that means not only will I have the little ones here, but the older ones will show up after school.  Oh, they behave relatively OK when they are here, but get bored quite easy, and will more then likely require my attention throughout the day.  Needless to say I will have to keep my hands clean while dealing with Miranda (who likes to get picked up a lot)  and won't be able to do much as far as building bikes.  Repairs are OK, as I don't get that dirty doing them.  So in preparations for the downtime, we spent all of yesterday and will do so again today, banging out rides!  And MAN did we get some done!  Seven to be precise!  3 men's 26" MTB's, 2 Ladies 26" MTB's and two kiddo bikes!  NICE!  Also have three more torn down (two of them being combined to make one good one) and a REALLY sharp looking aluminum Schwinn MTB!  That was is SPARKLY!! 
We also managed to pump out ALL the repairs first thing and one of them was a full tear down and refurb on a gorgeous Giant down hiller!  Thanks to all for extending their trust and faith in us!
Oh Chip, by the by, if you are reading this, came across something the other day I think you may be interested in!  Don't have my sweaty little hands on it yet, but as soon as it is I will shoot you an E-Mail.  I think this one is right up your alley!  All our love man!
On the home front.  Much of the same, thankfully.  That's sad when chaos is looked upon as normal.  But in true cliche fashion, on the rare occasion I ever walk into our home and am not greeted with noise, yelling or a cacophony of calamity...I wonder what's wrong.  Of course, in Elijah's eyes I am sure Mom and Dad are the devil, as we had him relinquish ALL of his electronic equipment until he got a paying gig, but he covertly withheld his IPOD and headphones, which he was caught with and quickly relieved of.  Of course he grasped for a loophole as he stated we only specified the phone and PAD....ARRGH!!  Apparently an IPOD, in his mind, does not constitute an "electric device" as you charge it by plugging it into a computer and NOT a wall outlet!
Oh yes...this is the anti-logic we face!
*thud, thud, thud* (me banging my head against a wall)
As stated, I will be working on pounding out some more goodies before we convert the place into Romper Room for a couple days, so talk to you soon! 

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BOYS 20"
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MEN'S 26" MTB!
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MEN'S 26" MTB!
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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Befuddled Tuesday.

Yep, that feeling when you wake up the day after a "Monday" Holiday and you can't remember what day it is!  That was this morning.  When Rozy came in to inform me it was 7:30 my response was a mumbled "" thinking it was Sunday.  Talk about false starts, as I just rolled over, grabbed Angi through our pig and teddy bears and fell back asleep. 
Ten minuets later...
In walks Rozy, a tad bit more insistent this time.  At this point I realized there was a reason for the urgency and went about my begrudged morning rituals.  Not so oddly enough little Miss Miranda was wide awake and mischievous even though she had kept Angi up the majority of the evening, having not wanted to sleep.  The prevailing opinion around our house is the presence of an otherworldly apparition,   "The Blue Lady".  Yes, not sure exactly how this got started, but pretty much everyone in the home insists that they have seen movement, heard sounds, felt things etc.  Me?  Not so much.  But perhaps it is my natural, older age cynicism that prevents me from seeing the same things.
Anyway, off on a tangent there, sorry.
Yesterday, being a holiday, was expectantly Sloooooooooooooow....
Sent the Haro BMX to a new home, had a couple minor repairs, but for the most part we worked on bikes.  Yea, go figure!  Of course, my penchant for demanding quality, self motivation and attentiveness resulted in me having a couple "Daddy Moments!"  As I started the day working on the real sweet K2 comfort bike, I had discovered that not only was a crucial part missing from the clean bucket, but that the other half of it's parts were inexplicably put in another bucket, then placed in a completely different location of the shop!  OH YES!  That kind of disorganization is cause for me to go into a "Daddy language" laced tantrum.  Then of course, that particular bike kicked my butt for the better part of the afternoon, as both the disc brakes AND the front derailleur gave me a run for my money!  Once I finally got her done, I went on to a men's "Daily Banger Special!"  Here again, leading me to another tirade as ALL the parts that had been removed and presumably cleaned were nowhere to be found!  Seems they had been placed in a bucket, misplaced then found and sorted back into store stock!  ARRGH!!!  At this point I threw up my hand, stated an ultimatum forcefully that they had five minuets to find ALL the necessary parts, and I was going to use the restroom!  Apparently that motivated them, for when I returned, all necessary items were in place.  I had to stress that was what was supposed to happen with this many folks in the shop, production should multiply exponentially, not make my job harder!
So, today all is quiet, as the kiddos are back in school and Elijah is helping Mom at the house as she makes final preparations for her trip on Thursday.  Now here's an enigma I don't get.  Last time I took a real vacation was in 1988.  I was visiting Florida (in June of all times) and would be here for two weeks.  I packed the night before.  Angi is going away for five days and started packing...two months ago?  WOW!  Talk about organized!  She has a couple more things to procure and she will be ready.  God love her! 
Elijah, now having been stripped of all his electronic toys and doodads, has FINALLY got the hint that Mom and Dad are serious about him getting a job, and went to the mall to apply for work last night.  He caught wind of a placement with one of those "center of the mall" attractions.  This one is some "Kiddie Ride" Bungee jumping thingy that you see in fairs and carnivals.  So, in effect, if he gets the job tending the ride and helping the kids on and off, the next time I introduce him to someone I have the deliciously Redneck privilege of saying "And this is my son, Elijah, the Carney!"
Oh Joy of Joys!
Now all I have to do is spend my off time in a dirty white wife beater, with my feet in a kiddie pool, drinking a beer shouting at the neighborhood kids "Get off my damn lawn!"
I'm so proud....*sniff*
Now I best get my lower half in gear, and get some more rides put together!

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Monday, May 26, 2014

Happy Federal Holiday Day!

Oh, don't think me to flippant.
See, this time of year is supposed to be in celebration of our service men and women who gave their lives in defense of the American way of life.  Well, I have a couple problems with that sentiment.  First, both Labor Day and Memorial day are synonymous with excessive drinking and Furniture and Automotive sales.  Somehow, I don't think that's what they had in mind,  These people died to defend my right to pursue my dreams, so I work and do what I love.  Second, all the political grandstanding is completely contradictory, throughout many administrations, about how much they respect and honor these fallen heroes, while at the same time bending over backwards to NOT provide the living veterans with the support, respect and dignity they deserve.  So yes, I'm a tad bit jaded.
Saturday, as with any Holiday weekend, gave us a busy morning, with a few bikes finding new homes.  Then, it died.  BUT, that did give us time to really get into the plethora of new rides we picked up and put out three new ones!  A really sweet riding, lightweight Raleigh M55 that was brought back from a particularly gruesome condition.  Also, an OLD SCHOOL Schwinn Sidewinder hard tail which had also been REALLY bad off!  Yes, this was one of the PRE-Wally World ones!  Back when they made them to last!  And rounding it out is a really good looking "DAILY BANGER SPECIAL!" in the form of an 18 speed hard tail MTB!  Today we move on to some equally impressive goodies, starting with a super light K2 Comfort cruiser!  SWEET!!  So stay tuned for these gems!
On to home life! 
Yesterday was a pleasant relaxing Sunday with all the traditional "Rockwell" glee.  Barbecue, playing in the pool, outside games, hours of both Uno and Magic with a couple runs around Candy Land for good measure.  Each time Izzy seriously kicked our butts!  Of course, Logan, now having almost mastered playing Magic is quite an accomplished deck builder as well and even though one round was REAL close, he still managed to mop the floor with me four times!  OUCH! 
"Now, the student has become the master!"
Of course, no weekend is complete without incident.
First, both Elijah and Kaleb to some extant are desperately trying to flex their "independence" and not having to do what Mommy and Daddy say, bringing testosterone to dangerously high masochistic levels.  Time has to be spent in lecture and foot stomping to get them to see the natural course of life.  Kaleb, eventually gets it and comes down from his hormonal high, whereas Elijah, the more sensitive of the two, gets morose, sullen and withdrawn.  Instead of seeing the concern for his future as it is, he takes it as a personal affront and does not embrace it for the motivation it is intended as.  True, I am not a patient man, and have never been overburdened with any sense of political correctness.  I am blunt, honest and to the point, at times to a fault. 
Oh, it's going to be a long road to hoe!
And of course, no family day is complete without some form of injury.  Unfortunately this time around it was Angi's turn.  While the kiddo's were playing in the pool it is only natural for them to have stupendous water fights, with sprays reaching as far as the front stoop.  At one point Angi got up to go inside and hit the step wrong, landing very hard resulting in a very nasty scar on her hip, which more then likely is quite bruised this morning.  Just in time for her trip later this week where she had gone out Saturday evening to buy a bathing suit ensemble specifically for the occasion.  Joy!  She somehow found humor in the situation and stated, when and if her family noticed the scar her response would be "I like it rough!" HA HA HA!!  I am finally starting to rub off on her! 
Once the kiddos were settled down for the evening we rested with a movie, this time around being her choice of the film "Labor Day". (SPOILER ALERT!!!!)   I had rented it for her with the normal batch of weekend films, with the vain hope I wouldn't have to watch it.  I'm not big into heartfelt "loss" dramas, but as she has sat through many a stupid humor film with me, I owed her.  And discovered I enjoyed it.
Screen written, directed and produced by Jason Reitman (Ivan's son) it's the story of a semi reclusive mother and her teenage son who end up being "kidnapped" by an escaped convict imprisoned for murder, who "persuades" them to take him to their home, where he can hide out, recoup from his injures sustained during his escape, then flee.  As the movie progresses you find out the reason for his incarceration was more then the facts divulged at the point of his arrest, and in fact it was an accidental death.  The mother,(Kate Blanchett)  having suffered the inability to conceive another child after her son, eventually falls into a deep depression and her husband leaves her for another woman.  The convict (Josh Brolin) is a truly loving man who embraces both her, her son and even the pushy neighbors handicapped son.  Of course,what you perceive as the ending, with the convict being captured and returned to prison, turns out  NOT to be the ending.  All in all a very heartfelt film. 
OK, now, I best get my Jiggy on and get to work!!
See ya soon!

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Saturday, May 24, 2014

Um...why didn't anyone tell me Summer Vacation was coming up?

Yea.  That sneaking realization that comes over you every year about this time, that very soon, the kiddo's will be free of the constraints of school and in your hair every single day for two months.  Well, not in my hair, but in Angela's.  However the cascading effect, as crap runs down hill, you can rest assured that I WILL hear about all transgressions perpetuated by each squabbling child battling tooth and nail over proprietary rights in regards to Lego's, seating positions or privacy rights, just to name a few.  Of course Elijah and Kaleb will most assuredly be accompanying me to work each day, thusly allowing NO respite from the daily, agonizing chore of trying to rouse them from bed.  A task, which inevitably, due to the tenor and increasing volume of my voice, results in the inadvertent awaking of everyone else in the house.
Thankfully, Angela, having become aware of the impending onslaught, has been doing some online research for low cost activities designed to keep them occupied in both enjoyable and educational pursuits!  Yes, I'll gladly shell out a few dollars each day, to ensure her retaining her sanity!
On to movie reviews!
Yes, last night was family movie night, and in lieu of any good "family" orientated flicks, we went with action, and snagged up a copy of "I, Frankenstein"
In a word "thoroughly disappointing". 
Headlined by Arron Eckhart and Bill Nye I had hopes that, even given it's somewhat outlandish premise, perhaps they could pull it off.  Nope.  See I like Eckhart, and feel he is a truly gifted actor, but in this flick I just felt bad for him!  And oddly enough, when you watch his performance, you get the sneaking suspicion that he knows the product was crap.  It was almost as if, he had signed up for something different, and they threw him a curve ball, and he didn't like it but was contractually obligated to "sell it".  The film is a weak premise, portraying Frankenstein as a Demon hunter, somewhat in cahoots with Gargoyles, who for some reason I cannot understand are divine protectors created by God to protect humanity?  Wait...isn't that an Angels job?  The films beginning gives a "wrap up" of the premise of Shelly's original creation then shows the monster as it burying it's creator, at which point the demons show up to capture the creature.  Then the Gargoyles show up to destroy the Demons and whisk Frankie away to meet the Gargoyle Empress (as they are held up in a big honking Gothic cathedral in Paris). 
Blah, blah, blah.
 Frankie decides he wants to go it lone, then the film brings us up 200 years into the present day, and "Adam" is still at it.
Seems Adam is the key for the head Demon to create an army of fallen demons out of long dead human corpses, by using the same process that created him, to reanimate them (now soulless) so the demons can wage war on all humanity!
Did you follow that?  Yea, me neither. 
The whole thing is framed, directed and executed with such stale and well worn action cliche's and rhetoric, overly dramatic dialog and passé', predictable catch phrases that the viewer KNOWS what's going to happen long before it does! 
And what would be the harm in retaining some of the original concepts put forth by Shelly in her original masterpiece other then the image of the lone, lumbering creature?  I mean, they never get the look right as so eloquently described in the original script, of an opaque, black haired monstrosity.  And maybe I need to go back and re-read the book, but to my knowledge, at no point did Dr. Frankenstein use electricity to reanimate his creature.  No, that was a 20th century cinematic creation, depicted with a laboratory cluttered with Tesla coils.   The original called for alchemy and medical science.   But I'm no literary genius so maybe I missed that part.  Again, the original was not so much an emphasis of science but of the meaning of humanity. 
In the end, this was just another poorly conceived adaptation, and re imaging of a classic that has never been paid it due respect cinematically.
All right, I best get at it, as we are starting to get backed up!
See ya!

Friday, May 23, 2014


Limited time for updates as we are swamped this morning and it's already noontime!  AHHHH!   Flood of repairs for the weekend rides have come in and Elijah is diligently banging away, while I have been processing the latest batch of EBAY shipments!  A couple of the gems we picked up two weeks ago have come off the "watch list" and will be processed out!  Well, at least one of them.  Our Southy friend Dan "AY! YO!" wants it as is for his wife, and I owe him, so, honor bound debt paid!  WHAT UP?!
Alright, on the work front.  Man, ever have one of those work days you are constantly moving, from start to finish but at the end you sit down and feel guilty because it doesn't feel like you did anything?  Yea, that was me yesterday!  As about two dozen items came to close on EBAY I spent the better part of the afternoon doing the whole "mail man" bit.  By the time I finished it was 10 till 6!  Today, I hope to get out some rides, as we are really getting thin again!  Oh sure, Andrew finished up a Dave Scott Haro BMX, that looks pretty sharp, although the wheels have some real odd looking alloy erosion on 'em.  Oh, they're solid, just pock marked.  BUT they are original, and heavy duty so we let it slide!  The road bikes are flying out of here!  Between yesterday and today we moved the Raleigh, the Marin, the Peugeot and the Giant.  Just one little old Trek left.  BUT, today we have more goodies to do up, so Hooray for us! 
All right, I gotta cut it short and get to it!
Before the NEXT batch of EBAY stuff comes due!
See ya! 
Haro "dave Scott" BMX!
ONLY $65.00!!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Never Doubt "The Scruffy"! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaay!

Yea. I KNOW what's cool!
Yesterday, now being a semi expert at navigating EBAY I was off the morning computer time right quick!  Back in the grove of our mainstay, building bikes!  As the repairs were light we got into new builds relatively quickly and had a very rare road bike "DAILY BANGER SPECIAL" built out.  What is a RBDBS you may ask?  Well, it's a fully mechanically re-furbed Road Bike that lacks just enough eye appeal to demote it to the DBS status. Nothing wrong with that moniker mind you, it just means they are not the prettiest bikes around.  This one, a 58cm Giant was well loved  and needed a LOT of TLC.  But when it was over, the accumulation of scratches in the paint, just didn't warrant a real road bike price!  We also have a RARE 26" 3-speed Ladies Cruiser!  This one is a Fuji we have had sitting in the back for some time waiting on the right parts.  Last was a Men's 26 Cruiser, alloy frame that we had picked up a couple weeks ago.  Well, picked up is not the right word.  More like "caught" when the owner all but threw it at us!  LOL!  It was in all sorts of disarray, and when he brought it in for repairs, discovered just how much needed to be done just to make it RIDEABLE, so he gave up, and choose to just buy another bike we had in stock.  When we asked him what he'd like to do with his old bike, he just let it go and land against the bike rack and told us to scrap it.  Well, it being an alloy frame AND a male one (hard to get men's cruisers nowadays) we set it in the back for a future project.  Yesterday, the muse upon me, I dug out the pieces, salvaged what I could, and set upon building ANOTHER Rat Rod!  Oh, I haven't done one of those in a while and I do SO love doing scratch builds!!  This one started with the alloy frame, I dug out a salvageable set of alloy wheels, trued 'em up, then scrounged each and every other piece from.... "THE BUCKETS!!!"  Almost nothing of the original ride was redeemable, so I had to make it all fit.  Got a little kitchey with some of it, as I flipped the bars, dropped the seat (a HONKIN' HUGE one we have had sitting around forever) and a full set of chrome half moon pegs!  Yes, I don't even remember where we got these things but we have had them for almost SIX YEARS!!  They look PERFECT on this Low rider!  When I was done with it both Elijah and Andrew...and the rest of the kids for that matter, thought it was the most ghetto, goofy thing they ever seen!  The chided me saying "it will NEVER sell!!"  "it's ugly!"
I chuckled.
Never question ME bout what's cool!  I am HIP!  I assured them that not only WOULD it sell, but it would do so first thing this morning!
Sure enough, we got three "That bike is SO cool!  Is it still available?" calls and the bike was gone before ten am! 
So...In their face!  These kids today with their hippity hop music, have no IDEA what is cool! 
This morning we also sent the Raleigh "Big Boy" home with a gent who was built for this humongous ride,  so it's been a busy start to the day! 
Elijah is doing maintenance on his bike (well...MY Jamis on loan) as he keeps killing the rear wheel, but OH HEAVENS NO!  It's not HIS fault!!!  (was I obvious about the sarcasm on that statement?) and then he is off to fill out a job application.  Yes, thumb screws in place and the risk of relinquishing control of everything he values in lieu of rent money, has inspired him to get off his keister and start bringing in a paycheck.  Tough Love folks! 
As far as on the griddle today?  Not really sure.  Got to dig through the pile and see what I have to play with and I'll get back to ya! 
All right, we are back at it!  See ya soon!!

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Rhythm Method.

Nope.  Not what you think! 
On any job site folks working in close proximity of each other have to learn an unspoken pattern to move, a rhythm if you will, so as to be as productie as possible.  Now, with three people working in a tight space I am starting to see signs that perhaps we may one day achieve that!  Yesterday we were able to put out FOUR newbies!  Two of them were mjor pieces of effort!  But in the end we got some FINE looking rides out!  Elijah roughed out a "Big Boy" Raleigh touring bike and a gorgeous 98 Marin Limited edition!  As well as doing the final prep of a  SWEET, LIKE NEW ladies cruiser!  We also (and heres where we 'cheated" and boosted our numbers with a consignment piece) got in an absolutely fabulous '87 Trek 560 Pro series!  This guy REALLY took care of his ride!  Recently he had it upgraded wit a set of dbl walled Mavic rims, and a set of Michilline tires, as well as stepping up the drive from a 105 to a 600!  But have no fear, he gave us the original 105's back if you want to bring it back to original!  Elijah also roughed out a Giant road ride, that's sitting in need of new tires.  Originally I was going to give it to Logan, as he needs an upgrade, but once he got on it we realized it was a WEE bit to big!  The paint on it is really rough, but perhaps someone will pick it up as a "DAILY BANGER SPECIAL".
We got a couple of goodies in trade yesterday as well, one of them a males three speed cruiser.  It has been in the shop four times over the last couple of weeks as one of our regulars has been very  nice  to allow his grown son to use it.  Apparently, disregaurd for what a parent does for their children runs rampant, as he has willfully beat this ride to death.  Dad finally had enough and just said "keep it.".  The bulk of the bike is unsalvageable, but the three speed drive and shifter is exactly what we need to finish up a real nice Fuji 3 speed we've had sitting in the back for some time!  HUZZAH!!
Good things come to those who wait!
Angi is getting geared up for her trip to PA at the end of the month.  She is looking forward to seeing her niece graduate, and reconnect with family (not to mention lounge at the hot tub in their hotel!).  It'll be a nice five day break for her.  The boys and I are doing split duty holding down the fort, so THAT will be interesting!  Especially as it is right around the time the kiddos get out of school! 
Had another of those "ten minute rule" sales as well!  I gotta tell you about this one!
Now mind you, I take NO pleasure in any sort of  "I told you so sort of way" about this.
OK....a little.
A very business type of guy came in the tail end of last week looking at one of the Specialized hybrids we had.  Suit and tie type, middle aged, obviously high powered salesman.  I gave him the skinny on the ride, he took it for a jaunt around the neighborhood and really dug it.  Mind you, several folks had been looking at it, and when he told me he was interested but was going to "think about it" I smiled.  Now, in the past, I have not wanted to sound like a used car salesmn and "warn" folks about what will most probably happen should they choose not  to buy a ride they really like when they see it, but in the recent past, we have had far to many folks either disappointed or upset because the rides they wanted were not here when they got back, so I have gotten in the habit of doing so.  When I mentioned to the gentleman that fact, he turned to me and smirked a very "George Bush Jr." smirk and proceeded to tell me that he had been in sales for over forty years and people who say the are coming back to get something never come back!
I tried to explain to him (foolishly not wanting to back down from a challenge) that things around here were a different animal, but he looked down on me as a patronizing parent would, and stated he'd come back in later if he decided to get it and was sure it would be here, and left with a chuckle.
22 minuets later....
A lady who had looked at it the day before, and was very intrigued with it but was short on dough at the time, came in a snatched it up!
two hours later....
The exec showed up, having perused some other local shops and obviously discovered just how much he would be expected to shell out for a NEW hybrid, came back in the shop with a grin, intending to pick up the bike he KNEW was still here, only to stop short at the now void space where the Crossroads once sat. 
At this point, I tried very hard NOT to adopt the self same smirk as I feigned busyness, waiting for the shock to wear off and for him to regain his composer enough to ask "did you sell the hybrid" (as he didn't even turn around to look at me when he spoke)
"Yes sir" I responded through a suppressed smile.
He paused.  Then, still not meeting my compassionate gaze, stated "thank you" and abruptly left.
Bottom line.  We don't DO high pressure sales, and we have NO reason to lie or make false statements about what we do!  Our customers speak for us!
All right folks!  Stepping away from this self aggrandizing back patting fest, I best move on as we got us some heavy chores to do!  Elijah is gonna' love me today as his first task will be "Sorting Spokes!!!!" 
See ya soon!
ONLY $80.00!!
ONLY $170.00!!
ONLY $350.00!!
ONLY $310.00!!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Late Start

Odd start for a Tuesday, all upside down.
Came in this morning and the feet hit the ground running!  Usually I start off with all the computer work, but we had a steady stream of folks coming in one after another.  No complaints mind you!  I'd grown accustomed to the norm of later morning visitors as is customary, and had all but forgotten the summer ritual.  As the warmer weather encroaches in on us, more and more folks do their running around in the earlier mornings and evening hours.  No problem, we'll adjust. 
Yesterday was relatively quiet for the better part, as most repairs came in pretty much all at once.  Had a return visit from the vintage Raleigh we had spent three days re-furbing.  I'll explain.  About one out of thousand bikes we see in here are, for lack of a better term, cursed.  No, I don't necessarily believe all the mystical connotations attached to that statement, but the facts is, there is no better way to describe it.  You fix every obvious issue, but are then confounded by new ones, defying any rational explanation as to why they are occurring.  Once this one was finished, the gent took it out for a ride, prior to which, he topped off the air in the tires.  Perhaps he put a wee bit to much in, but as he was going along he had a catastrophic blow out in the rear (no, we had NOT changed the tire) and this resulted in destroying the rear derailleur, free wheel, cable and damaged the NEW rear wheel we had just put on!  ARRGH!!!  Now, it sits re-re-repaired and we hope for the best!
Once again, I found myself primarily preoccupied with the task of circumnavigating EBAY yesterday, so I didn't hit the repair rack until about 3 pm  with just enough time to polish off the repairs for the day.  Elijah roughed out to new rides, and I will be getting to the fine tuning in a few moments.
We also have to throw together two new rides for Owen and Logan as not only have they outgrown their old ones, but they have pretty much beaten them to death as well.  Plus, now that Rozy has her single, she blows everyone away each morning and they need to keep up.  Full day in other words and it's already half over!  ARRGH!! 
All right, I've done my bit for literary history, now I best get at it!

See ya soon!!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Roto-Rooter: Unclogs Pipes AND Your Wallet!

So, Angi and my plans were shattered for the weekend!
Saturday night, Elijah and Kaleb arrived home a little later then anticipated from their trip to the concert in Saint Pete.  Going there with their friends but having NO clear way to return, it was a "seat of the pants" operation, scrounging up money to pay for bus fare back to downtown Clearwater only  to walk back to the house from there. Yea.  Brilliant.  The ensuing "Dad" lecture took us past OUR time of departure, so we scrapped plans for the evening with the intention of doing it on Sunday.
Heh, heh.  Yea, RIGHT!
Come Sunday morning, around 11 am, after having my morning coffee, I went to do my normal routine, but when I entered the master bath, I found a flood.  Going into panic mode, I ordered up all the towels we had, then checked the water line for a leak.  Nope, wasn't that.  Saturday evening the kids told us that their toilet was clogged and we did the plunger bit that seemed to work.  Obviously it didn't.  Shutting off both water lines, we contact the local plumber (who in hind sight we should have stuck with) but as his price was more then we paid in the past, we contacted Roto-Rooter.  A mistake. BIG mistake!  Some of you may now be asking "why didn't you call the landlord to handle it?"  Easy answer.  With all the kiddo's we have, it is a HIGH probability the cause of the clog was their fault.  This isn't our first time having our lines snaked!  Oh, no, it's always a toy, tooth brushes, socks or some other foreign object clogging it up, so the bills on us! 
So here we sat, waiting for the plumber to arrive.  Finally after about two hours they showed and gave us the breakdown after inspection.  OF course there were three prices dependent upon what they found after each step had been done.  Oh, of course, you are very bright for ascertaining that the final price was the HIGHEST ONE!! 
Oh yea, you take a moment to sit and absorb that.
Now, he was there for an hour and a half, and was a descent enough Joe.  He took the time to inform us of what he was doing, and what inherent defects there were in our sewer line, as it is old cast iron pipes on a house that has settled and altered the pitch.  But in the end we just had to swallow it.
Less then an hour later.
Angi goes to use the restroom, and finds another freakin' lake!!
Immediately Angi called them back as I'm sopping up the water, and she was met with an incredulous operator who immediately went on the defensive, stating that the original reason they were there was because of baby wipes in the sewer line and adults should "know better"!?!?
I saw the look of shock and anger flash over Angi's face as I overheard the conversation, and I took the phone from her as she handed it to me with a look of disgust, as if the receiver had an air of stench to it, and expressed my shock to the operator.  She proceeded to inform me that....
So what they are telling me is I just spent $400.00 for NOTHING!!
OH, the tenor and lilt of my otherwise calm and easy going demeanor DEFINATELY took a dark turn!
They meant to tell me that after only an hour, and no one having used it, they wouldn't fix the problem?!  After some choice words, however,  they checked with the tech and he was willing to come by and check it again. nice.
Turns out, he missed a clog altogether, as he hadn't snaked the line from the master far enough.
In conclusion, take my advice and DO NOT use Roto-Rooter.  Call Dunedin Plumbing, at least they stand behind their work!
Enough of my rant, I REALY need to get to work, as this whole morning has been a BLISTERING Busy day!  We got a truck load of videos in (OK, maybe not a truckload, but over 300 of them) and I gotta find room!  And this lot has some REAL rarities!
Allright, I'd best get at it!!
See ya soon! 

Saturday, May 17, 2014


It's been a while but here's my views on the latest!
No, it's not one of the more recent big three.  Have not seen them yet but Angi and I start a week long movie fest tonight with Spiderman 2, then Godzilla on Wednesday, and (be still my beating heart) next Saturday we go to see a movie I have been waiting for since 1981!  Yes, you may guffaw at such a LONG pre-production stage, but I'm talking since I first read these...

This story is a pivotal milestone in the Claremont/Byrne run of the X-Men and quite frankly one of the greatest story arc's of all comic book history.  I DO hope they treat it with the continuity and respect it deserves.  Rumor has it (SPOILER ALERT) that like in the comic (see cover art for #142?)  in this film, Wolverine dies.  Yes, you heard that right.  Seems Hugh Jackman is getting a little long in the tooth to play the role, and in all fairness there is NOT another actor alive that could do the diminutive anger ball justice.  I applaud Marvel if they kill him off.  Like Heath Ledgers Joker, there could never be another! 
No, these are not the flicks I am talking about (believe me, you WILL hear about them!) but it was the film "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty".  Directed by and starring Ben Stiller, it is in a word, "Brilliant"!  This coming of (middle) age story is cinematically thrilling!  But, if you have a small screen TV, you will not get it's full impact,  as it's made for HD wide screen with a variety of uniquely angled,  panoramic shots.  This movie tells the story of Walter Mitty, a dull gray "nobody" with a hyper active imagination, prone to sudden bouts of reality shredding "space outs" where his mind vividly plays out the "should have said" and "should have dones" in  any given situation. 
Walter works at Life magazine, in the basement, proofing negatives for publication.  He has a long standing relationship with a globe trotting "action" photographer, Sean O'Connell played beautifully by Sean Penn.
 Here, I have to comment on this man.  When he was a younger actor and through his tribulations during his relationship with Madonna, I always thought him an annoying little pissah.  But once I saw his chops in "Mystic River" and "Sam, I am" I was hooked.  In this film, his part however brief on screen, IS the driving force behind the movie.  His lines are few, but he delivers them with such style and impact, it almost drives you to tears.  His weathered face, with every crease and fold an unexplored trail of mystery and eyes that portray both a  youthful lust for life blended with an aged Shamanic wisdom of someone who has "truly" seen it all, you cannot help but hold your breath for fear of missing the "moment".
At the very beginning of the film you get the gist of Walter's pedestrian life in stark clarity, as he sits in a sparse, immaculate kitchen, in an equally boring apartment void of personality as, through the use of  closeups,  you see him balancing his checkbook ( a reoccurring theme in the film).  Clearly, here is a man reduced to the daily pursuit of financial survival.  Later in the film you come to realize that his predicament is predicated by a family tragedy that occurred when he was a young man.  Thus, tearing him from his personal "adrenalin junky"  predilections to a mind numbing string of dead end jobs, all in a vain grasp at paying the bills.
Once he arrives at work, he is informed that over the weekend the magazine had been taken over, and would now be reduced to an online magazine.  Here he meets the inhuman corporate sleazeball "bearded guy" who processes very little intellect but masks it with a sneering condescending manner to all. 
Having been informed that the current staff will be working on the final issue, Walter returns to his basement office to process the final cover photo, only to find that the negative from O'Connell, that is the desired shot, has gone missing.  With no way to contact the photographer, Walter undergoes a harrowing step outside himself where the viewer, having already witnessed a few lapses into his dream world (one of which is a life and death struggle, imagined in Super Hero Epic style, between Walter and "Bearded guy" for the possession of Walters "Stretch Armstrong" toy) has to wonder "is this really happening" or has he "spaced out" as he travels to Greenland in search of Sean.  There, he is forced  to jump from a hovering helicopter, piloted by a very drunk pilot,  into icy, shark infested waters, only to have to fight off an attack from a great white shark with his brief case in order to climb aboard an archaic fishing boat bound for Iceland.  It doesn't slow down from there.  Of course, it being a Ben Stiller movie, there is always room for the befuddled, stuttering moments of quiet comedy where an event or moment leaves his character confused.  At one point, in a dream state, they engage in a poor spoof of "Benjamin Button" that must just be endured, but all is forgiven in light of the remaining cinematic grandeur.  All in all, the simple message of "live for the moment" may seem rather elementary, but is presented in a very endearing way.
On the home front, I find myself banging my head against a wall, sad to say.  Elijah has been back home for a little over a month, and although he comes to the shop with me each day, his grasp of his responsibilities is tenuous at best.  Having been given the ultimatum from the point of his return that he MUST seek paying  employment elsewhere, he has done nothing to procure one.  The truly enraging part is, that on his way to the shop the other day, Kaleb was approached by one of our neighbors.  Seems the gentleman owns a landscaping service and inquired as to whether or not he and Elijah were looking for work.  Should they be interested, he could put them to work the next day.  He gave Kaleb his contact info, but then discovered that Kaleb was only sixteen.  However, he would still hire Elijah.  Once Kaleb excitedly presented Elijah with this information, his response was less then impressed.  Had it not been for the fact that I was there when Kaleb gave him the contact info, I am sure Elijah would have discarded it, unread, with the secure feeling that he would NOT have to entertain the idea of responding.  Of course, I told him he needed to look into it, and gave him the chance to make good the next day and call the man.  He did not.   I just can't wrap my head around it.  Angi was helping take care of her two younger siblings at age five, while also assisting in the maintenance of a household as both her parents worked, and started a paying gig, as soon as she could, at age fifteen.  At one point holding down three jobs AND going to school.  I started my first paid position at nine, and have been working full time, in one capacity or another, since age twelve.  We were both BLESSED with parents, who while enjoying a relatively comfortable income, STILL found it prudent to teach us the value of EARNING what we wanted!  Our parents did an admirable job at providing us the necessities of life, while at times struggling to do so.  We may not have realized it at the time (and in my case I could, at times, be a real prick about not acknowledging their sacrifice) but we were learning the value of work.  Here and now though, we find ourselves struggling to get our kids to embrace the same philosophy.  Oh, there are shining moments, as in Kaleb and Logan, where they  appreciate the need and are even zealous in their desire to make it on their own. 
Angela is a strong woman who embraces the approach of "tough love", then there is me.  The best analogy I could come up with to describe my self is a campfire marshmallow roasting on a stick.  Hard and crusty on the outside but soft and squishy inside.  Now I find myself in the regretable position of having to mimic the same approach.  With fears of supporting this man well into his middle age, and not wanting to dump the entire burden on Angi, I am forced to present an ultimatum, in hopes it will stir him to life and get him back on the job trail. 
Lord.  I'm sure many of you have been bitch slapped with the same realization that there is nothing easy about parenting!
Spent the day yesterday putting the finishing touches on a VERY cantankerous Raleigh rebuild, and we put out a SWEET ladies Iron Horse cruiser.  Also, in pre-production is another two road bikes that will thankfully be under the $200.00 range!  One is a "well loved" Giant, and the other a honkin' "Big Boy" Raleigh, both in on trade from the last two days!  SAH-WEET!!  So keep an eye out for those, my friends!
All is quiet here today, as even in light of everything we are going through with them I was foolishly magnanimous enough to allow them to accompany Andrew (the new guy) to a concert in Saint Pete . I am here almost alone, Owen, the other one on the poo-poo list, is in accompaniment, so I should get a lot done!
It's a GORGEOUS day out folks!  Get off your butts and pay us a visit!
See ya!

ONLY $80.00!!!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Fifty

This morning I had an inspiration!
During the normal hullabaloo of hilariously harrowing hijinks's this morning whilst getting the kiddos ready for school (Miranda has taken to removing her diaper and throwing it at the door to alert me to the fact that  I am not getting her out of bed fast enough!) I had given my keys to the first child dressed and ready to go, directing her to unlock the shed and pull out the bikes.  Apparently, NOT directing Rozlynd to make sure she returned the keys to me was a major screw up on my part.  Of course, in my advancing age my mind is on the blink so I didn't think to ask for them until we arrived at school, at which point I got the scrunched lips, sucking sound and a long, audible "oooooooooo!  Daddy!  I'm sorry!"
Quickly I called Angi, who trotted out in her flip flops and Jammie's to locate said keys, and quickly mustered the troops to get them to the shop for me.
SOOOOOO, the ride to the shop from school was a leisurely one, with no real immediate imperative to get there early.  On the way, I passed the usual gaggle of kids meandering to school.  Some chipper, some with a gate akin to a "dead man walking"  "the green mile"!  (WOW!  Two movie references in one sentence!  I am SO good!) Once to the shop I got a coffee on credit and plopped down in front of the shop and waited.  Funny, how some people seeing me sit there lower their head and quickly walk past, obviously thinking I'll ask them for spare change.  Yes, I dress that well!  While waiting I saw one boy,  elementary school age, quickly scurry across the parking lot, at 8.45 am, obviously WAY late for second bell.  I couldn't help but chuckle at his nervous trot and caught myself saying "if you had a bike you'd be there now".  However, I quickly chastised myself for being a lout.  The boy sported a well worn uniform, clearly two sizes two small and well past any hope of removing the stains in the knees.  Clearly, his folks probably couldn't afford a bike, perhaps not even here!  So it got me thinking!  School is almost over for the year *shudder* but will start up in mid August, so why don't we plan ahead?  Here's my idea.  By the beginning of the next school year we would like to accumulate FIFTY bikes, boy's and girls ranging in sizes 16"-24" to donate to our kids school resource department, where they can figure out the best way to distribute them to the kids who need it the most.  Here's where you all come in!  If you have any old bikes your kids have outgrown or lost interest in, please drop them off at the shop and we will donate the time and materials to rebuild them, then deliver them, en' masse! 
I think it would be a great way to lessen the clutter in your garage, don't you think?
Thanks to the lady who came in yesterday looking to replace an unfortunately stolen ride.  She and her partner are in the process of training for a long road race, and needed something road, but a little heavier then the alloy or carbon ride they will pick up for the race.  Best way to train, really.  Get an older steel frame, build up your strength and stamina, then get on an ultra light and blow away the competition!  She choose the old Peugeot for starters, and will keep an eye out for another!  Also, as always, thanks to all the folks for the continued stream of repairs, ALWAYS a pleasure!
 The "Old School" Raleigh we are refurbing is coming along swimmingly!  That will be done later this morning.  We also managed to get out two newbies!  A 7 speed comfort cruiser and a cute little 20"! 
EBAY has been taking up an exorbitant amount of time, come to find out.  Apparently folks on there don't read the descriptions of the items.  I know this because I seem to spend a lot of time answering questions about them!  BUT, it is a LOT of fun watching heavy bid competition of some of the choice items!  We got a heck of a lot more for some of them then I had anticipated! 
OK, so today, it's back on the Raleigh, then I'm gonna have some MUCH deserved fun rebuilding an old cruiser frame into a Rat Rod!  Been FAR to long since I have done one of those!
So, see ya round the water cooler!
I'm out!

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

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


Another Tuesday under our belt!
Yes, the summer time is in full bloom. 
Luckily, we keep ourselves quite busy.  Managed to put out three newbies and get three more tore down for rebuild. 
Having the new guy AND Elijah in the shop, while it could be assumed would be beneficial, is trying at moments.  Not that they are a problem (aside from having a propensity for leaving their crap lying around, typical teenagers) it's having something for them to do!  Obviously slow day's have their own challenges, but as they are both just learning the ropes, I either find them other things to do (which takes away my concentration) or I take the time to teach them how to do things.  I accepted the fact a long time ago that I am a lousy teacher.  In the time I it would take to show them how to do something I could have it done three times over!  I guess I just have to learn patience and compassion.
It does help, though, when things get busy (and we don't step on one another) and we are able to get through jobs much quicker!
I wish I had more fun to chit chat about, but as I said....Tuesday.
Well, we best get at it!!

ONLY $90.00!!
ONLY $165.00!!
ONLY $185.00!!

ONLY $85.00!
ONLY $335.00!!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

In Remembrance

I will occasionally wax nostalgic in these pages, from time to time reminiscing of my childhood in comparison to events occurring now, most specifically regarding my children, but last night I received a phone call from my sister.  She was calling to give me a "heads up" concerning a tragic event that occurred near our old stomping grounds in Brentwood, NH.
We grew up in the seventies and it was a very different world.  I may sound like an old man when I say this, but it doesn't make it any less so.  My children will sadly never know that kind of world, that freedom or innocence.  Even in the tumultuous upheaval of the Viet Nam War, with all the societal and political unrest,  our little corner of the world kept us blissfully secluded and unaware.   Surrounded by woods, trails and a meandering river that bordered the subdivision, there were endless distractions and entertainment for the neighborhoods younger inhabitants.  No sooner would we return from school, shed our clothes, grab a snack, then we were gone again.  All variety of activities and play would occur.  Of course, being in New England we had the added benefits of "seasons", unlike the two our kids have here, cold and unbearably hot. 
Yes, it was very much like the ideal Norman Rockwell existence, at least that was how it seemed to a kid.  Our neighborhood sported all types of families from middle to upper, upper class.  Every year, the neighborhood all gathered at the local bankers palatial home for a Christmas Party, where he would dress as Santa, take pictures with the children and hand out little gifts.  All the neighborhood parents knew each other (which was not always a good thing) and regardless of what corner or nook or cranny the kids played in, there was someone watching, and quick to step in with parental fervor should a child get hurt or out of line.  Yes, I was usually the one getting hurt, falling out of trees, crashing on my bike, taking the dare to take my sled down the hill through the tree line.  "Heh" ask me about "birch tree Bungie" some time!  HILARIOUS! 
There were all types of kids in that neighborhood as well.   My sister, the boss, would control the play she was involved in, regardless of who was there.  Of course, I realize she would have preferred a younger sister, as she would occasionally convince me to let her dress me up as a sister.  Oh yes, not my proudest moments but it sure does explain Owen's penchant for wearing dresses!   There was the neighborhood bully, as is always the case, but oddly enough in that tight knit neighborhood the majority of his activities were relegated to cruel practical jokes and the occasional "Hurts Donut", not the aggressive beat down.  He of course had his occasional cronies, but they were only lackluster followers.  One of the memories, I had all but forgotten about, my sister reminded me of last night.  The Arkell's lived in a spacious Ranch House, one of the first you saw when you came into the neighborhood, close to the turn off into the "sand pits" (optimum spot for sledding come first snow fall).  They had a large open porch in the front of the house and hanging from it, near the front door was an old fashion Western Dinner Bell.  Every night Mrs. Arkell would come out around six pm and clang the hell out of it.  At that point, as the four Arkell brothers, alerted to the time it was, would bolt for home and dinner.  Everyone else knew, at this point, it was time to go home for the evening.   Stephen Arkell, two years my senior but closest to my age, was a constant in my life at that time.  Not a close friend, but a staple in the neighborhood.  Not a week would pass that we didn't do something together, as was true for all the kids in our little world.  We left the comfort of our Cul-de-sac when I was twelve, and acquaintances like his faded to memory.
Until last night.  Stephen Arkell grew up, married had two  children and was an officer for the Brentwood Police Department.  For all accounts he was a good and dedicated officer and performed his job admirably.  Yesterday afternoon while responding to a "domestic dispute" and entering the home, he was shot and killed.   Information is sketchy, but shortly thereafter the assailant's home was engulfed in flame and exploded. 
Now this event, while tragic, holds a somewhat surreal element to me.  Not just the fact that the victim was one from my most impressionable years but that the assailant was also someone we had gone to school with! 
I wish I could offer poetic conjecture about what it all means, but the words escape me.  It's sad, and tragic and in the end no words or platitudes would give the emotions justice. 
My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.  God rest. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Curse Still Alive, But Thwarted!

It has become a sad, repeating bad joke around our house that almost every Mothers Day has been a disaster!  Regardless of plans made, something has happened, last minute to screw it up!  Last year, the evening before (and morning of) a stomach virus ripped through the house infecting almost everyone.  Instead of enjoying her day, Angi played the part of nurse maid to me and most of the kids.  This year, I was hell bent on making sure she had a day she deserved!  It was met with challenges from the onset as Owen, having been born on Mothers day eleven years ago, would be once again sharing her day.  Last weekend I picked up a bevy of art supplies and had the kiddo's make handmade cards here at the shop after school and they did an excellent job.  The older boys, of course, being in the "selfish stage" (a period of thinking ONLY of themselves that will last, I believe, well into their thirties) opted to not do anything! 
Saturday, on the way home from work, I stopped off and got part of my gifts for her, amongst them a beautiful bouquet of yellow roses.  Yellow roses were the first flower I EVER bought Angi, and more often then not I am unable to find them.  And these were spectacular!  Excited with my find, I eagerly set off for home.  As I pulled into the driveway (in retrospect, in my exuberance, a little to fast!) I hit the drop off at the end of our driveway, and the jarring effect threw the bag holding the rose's into my front wheel, shredding them!  ARRGH!!!!!
I was, to say the least, downtrodden!  When I entered the house Angi could clearly see I was upset.  When I told her what happened, she was very consoling, and instead of being disappointed, went out and gathered up all the surviving pedals and a couple of intact bulbs, and made a very lovely. albeit makeshift, arrangement. 
We then went to Barnes and Noble and Wally World later that evening to get Owen his B-Day goodies, and also a few things for her.  She did however insist that we buy the Over sized Darth Vader Statuette that she had seen prior to Christmas, to display in the shop.  We looked through the flowers there for a suitable replacement, but quickly discovered that Walmart flowers SUCK!!  Most of them looked WAY past their prime, were wilting and the ONLY bouquet that had any fragrance smelled like urine!  I kid you NOT!!  YUCK!!
We settled on a potted plant, that may have a chance at life!
The morning of, we were awoke by the all to familiar raised voices in the room next to ours, as kiddos battled over TV rights.  Rising from bed, I went out to hush them and gleefully discovered that Owen and Rozlynd had taken the initiative to dress up the table and present cards they had made that morning on their own!  It was very sweet.  Angi didn't sleep in to much longer (even though we had both had less then four hours of sleep) Then it was a whirlwind of brunch, Mothers day presentations, Owens Birthday, Pool time, dinner for the kiddos, baths and showers, then I took Angi out for her gift from me, an evening of dinner and drinks.  Originally I had offered to take her to a posh restaurant in downtown Dunedin, but she wished to visit our favorite haunt, Flanagan's Pub.  We had a traditional evening out toast with a shot of Irish Mist, then our dinner.  Being Sunday, it was a wee bit quiet, with no live entertainment, so we opted to call it an early evening and take a walk.  As we went to pay the bill, the Mothers Day Curse reared it's ugly head.  Seems with all the unbridled spending we did Saturday we were a little shy in the account.  Now, we have overdraft protection and it's supposed to pull from savings to avoid this kind of embarrassment, but for some reason it wasn't!  Being unable to do anything there, they very kindly stated they understood and excepted our promise to come in and pay it today.  Angi, of course, was mortified and justifiably upset.  BUT she eventually calmed down.  Of course, not wanting to let us off TO easy, the curse had one more kick before Midnight gave reprieve, and the cab we called never showed, so after three phone calls (and over an hour later) the other cab company showed up. 
I have to give her credit though, with all that she STILL enjoyed her day!
Sure beats cleaning up after sick family!
Saturday, while not as busy as Friday, was fun none the less!  The new guy, Andrew, has a lot of gumption, and having experience with bike mechanics did a pretty good job fitting in.  Having the three boys in here, of course, had it's challenges regarding space to work, but we did OK.  Of course we thank all the folks for coming in, and the trust they extend with their repairs!  One in particular was a real ego boost!  Jeff, a gent recently acquiring a vintage Raleigh touring bike, has been reading the blog for some time, and visited us occasionally.  Wanting to restore the old gem, in his words, he couldn't  think of anyone else more suited to bring his ride back to life!  Thank you VERY much for the trust my good man!  We will proudly restore her vigor!
Today, we have a plethora of newbies to get ready (having torn the majority of them down Saturday) so I would be best served getting my butt in gear!
That is after I go to Flanagan's and pay our tab!
See ya soon! 

Elijah, Kaleb and the new guy Andrew.  Notice who is the only one working?
Welcome to my world! 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Angi's Charitable Contribution

To set the record straight. 
In December of 2007 with no food in the house, and no money at all we had to figure out how to earn some cash, QUICK.  Poking around the house for something to sell or pawn, we looked at some of the bikes we had kicking about the garage and came up with the idea of fixing and selling them.  A few hours later we had four bikes sitting at the end of the driveway with a "For Sale" sign on them.  45 minuets later we sold all four.
That night, spoiling the kids with a big Pizza dinner, Angi and I started talking.  We still had a few more bikes left, and thought "oh what the heck"
As time progressed the whole thing grew beyond anything we could have imagined.  Angi recognized the potential for what we had created (I still harbored a belief that it was only temporary and that I would eventually return to my previous vocation of remodeling houses) and began to establish policy.  It worked, obviously, because almost eight years later I am sitting in our shop talking to you every day about bikes, among other things, and nowadays couldn't imagine myself doing anything but! 
Bottom line is, we decided (actually I insisted) that everything to do with the business be in her name.  She IS the boss, and I work for her.  Lets face it, statistically speaking, I am seven years her senior and will most likely shake off this mortal coil before her, I don't want their to be any legal harangues!
SOOOOO, it was with that in mind, that last night, when a friend of Elijah's came with him to the house after work, as they were going out for the evening,  Angela informed me that we were hiring him.
Now, when she gives me that look and say "we are" the famous line from Captain Malcolm Reynolds of Firefly resounds in my head "Why are we arguing about something that's already been decided?"  I know that I'd best just get on board.  She has, after all, allowed me to make the majority of the business direction choices on my own, so when she wants to make an executive decision...I listen.
So, this morn, Andrew came in for his first day.  He knows BMX so that may help.  And he grasped the concept that first thing in the morning, stay busy and don't interrupt my "quiet reflection period!"
Yesterday was a HOOT!!  First thing, had a wonderful young couple come in and snag up the Trek 3900!  Not only that, but they donated TWO matching Specialized Crossroads (for some reason I thought the were Giant Cypress's) and then we started talking about babies and kids (they have a matching set of youngins) and of course that's one of my favorite subjects to talk about (and whine about).  I thank them for not acting bored as I prattled on! 
Had several more repairs come in, we thank you all so very much!  And the last remaining finished repairs were picked up as well! 
And here's a bit of Murphy's Law!  We have had two VERY sharp looking HIGH END road bikes sitting in the shop for some time.  A Specialized Dolce and a Cannondale Slice.  High end bikes are NOT our forte' but we got them for such a nice price we put them out, comparatively, very cheap!  BUT, still compared to what we normally choose to carry, they are real popular to look at, but pricey.  As we are now very IN to EBAY, Elijah came up with the idea of listing them, and see what happens.  I figured "what the heck" as it didn't appear we were ever going to sell them!
No sooner had I listed them, did I get a call first from a young lady looking for a light weight "professional" road racer, then a gent called about the same!  Now we get calls all the time, so I didn't think much of it, until the very nice young lady came in to check it out.  She works for the Clearwater post of the US Coast Guard and apparently (this is where my chest puffs up with pride) many of the guys she works with, who have their own hard core riding group have been talking up our little shop a lot!  And told her in no uncertain terms if she wanted to get a really good bike at a REALLY good price she had to come here!  Yep, you guessed it!  She left with the Dolce!  Of course, at this point I'm in a panic thinking that perhaps I'd have trouble removing the item from EBAY, but as it turns out, "no worries"!
Managed to put out two amongst all the hub bub!  Check them out below!
We also raked in several newbies as well!  One of them a SWEET old school Trek road bike!  Lugged frame but LIGHT, and with all original parts!  VERY NICE!!  As well as a BEVY of bangers traded in on some repairs!  So we have our work cut out for us today!
So with that, I'd best sign off and get at it!
See ya soon!

ONLY $110.00!!
ONLY $70.00!!!

Friday, May 9, 2014

and.....CLEAR! "Bzzzzzzzzzzzzt"....beep......beeep.......beep

Looks like there may be some life left in Florida after all! 
As of yesterday morning Elijah and I had finished just about everything we could work on (barring the couple of projects in limbo awaiting parts) and we're just meandering about in a stupor looking for something to keep us occupied, when the trades started coming in!  As well as a couple donations. One, a REALLY BIG Giant Cypress in need of...well...everything, and a classic Mongoose MTB (pre-Wally World) a very nice gent donated stating, "I think I have killed it enough!".  Also bought a couple, a real nice (or will be) light weight Marin Road bike, and a good Banger ride MTB.  Of course those have to sit out the "hold" period before we can work on them and sell them (yay), but at least we are building up supply again!  Of course, that means that Bone Row is starting to fill up again, something we DIDN'T want to happen!  We'd rather get them done and out, to keep the fresh blood flowing, but we do what we must!  ALSO, later in the day, as the weather cooled, folks started coming out and we were graced with several repairs!  Thank you all for your trust! 
And we give special thanks to all the continued referrals!  Had three folks come in and visit us yesterday looking for rides as their friends all but ordered them to come see us first!  How sweet!  Of course, we didn't have exactly what they were looking for but they promised they would visit again until they found it!  That is SUCH an awesome feeling!  To know that some folks would rather wait for US to find them a ride then go elsewhere! 
A special shout out to one of our favorite regulars, Barbra, she has brought every one of her rides in for service here, as well as her families, and even recently donated two of her gems to the cause.  Ever meet a person, who you get little tidbits of info about and you realize they must have led a really interesting life?  Well, yesterday she brought in the neatest little folding bike....

neatly folded in a canvas bag, and stated she was interested in restoring it.  With her grown son by her side (he's about my age) trying to convince her to "just get rid of it" she wanted my opinion first.  Of course, immediately I observed how unique the ride was and suggested she NOT get rid of it!  Apparently she had carried it with her in her "private plane", and now wanted to do something with it to restore it.  Quickly, I ascertained there was nothing really wrong with it except for dry rotted tires, and in need of a tune up.  But, WOW, what a neat little bike!  I'm thankful she DIDN'T toss it!
Also, another one of those "Ten Minuets Rule" sales yesterday!  And I hate it when it is a child left disappointed!  A Mom called yesterday, got directions, drove all the way here, checked out a little 20"er we had, liked it but then choose to "wait" and bring her son by, observing that it probably wouldn't sell before she came back.
Three minuets later....
Gent called, having seen the same bike listed on Craigslist and snatched it up via credit card over the phone.
Later that afternoon.....
She returned with her young son, disappointingly discovering it had been sold.  Thankfully she understood, but the young man seemed a little less then thrilled that his new bike was no longer here. 
Why do I feel guilty in those situations?
Today, we have a 24" cruiser in my rack almost done, then a classic "Power King" three speed, then onto...who knows!  SKIES THE LIMIT!!
It's Friday folks!  It's clear and sunny with the same promised for the weekend!  Best get off your keister and get a move on!  We are here to serve!
See ya!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Florida, the Vacate-tion State.

This time of year I feel like the butt of a practical joke perpetrated by a large group of friends.  You know, you're at a party or gathering, go off to use the restroom or something, then everyone takes off and hides, so when you return you blink a couple times and stutter out "wha...where did everyone go?"
Once the warmer weather besets us, and the Snowbirds fly North the remaining natives shutter themselves away.  Oh, the brave few keep plugging, but it just becomes so darn quiet!
So to try and pass the time, Elijah and I spent yesterday reorganizing the shop and doing some MUCH needed cleaning!  We also, as promised, tackled the "Bone Yard" and started the tear downs, and parts organization. 
I do not like that work, Sam I am.
Once the kiddos came by after school, they sat down and worked on their arts and crafts, so I was up to my eyeballs in....eyeballs.  You know, Googly Eyes, little pompoms.  Yea, that.
Today, we are SO caught up we actually....MOPPED THE FLOORS!!! 
See I have NO problem with being busy, just would prefer if it had a wee bit more purpose.  Like, um...doing a repair or three.  Building a new ride.  Fun stuff. 
One inspiration I did have last night, seeing as I had built up Rozy's vintage single, Logan and Owen seems a little like "what about us?"  So when I was putting up my bike in the shed I happened to look at the homesteads "Bone Yard" (yes, we have one hidden there too!)  and started looking real hard at an antique JC Higgins and an OLD Columbia Jet Fire sagging into the Earth.  All splendor with the tanks, and fenders and chain guards but in SERIOUS rusty disrepair, and started thinking, I have wanted to restore them for some time, but perhaps, for the time being, so the boys can ride something rustic for awhile, I'll do a full mechanical restoration on them but keep the vintage appearance.  For no other reason then eventually they will loose interest and want to ride something newer and flashy, so why put the time, effort and money into a new paint job they will just ding up.  So later this morning Elijah will be bringing up the first one and I think we will have a little fun doing an educational You Tube bit with it!  What the heck!  I'm an egotistical ham, who loves the sound of his own voice who foolishly thinks his opinions matter and people really want to listen to me.  I'd be PERFECT for You Tube!!
Alright...I guess I best...I don't
See ya!