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Monday, June 30, 2014

FACE SLAP!! How the HECK Did I Miss THAT!!!

How do you reboot a successful film franchise while NOT loosing your popular characters or the actors who portray them?  Well you take a page from the recent Star Trek play book, with a twist!
In Star Trek, an accidental incursion through the space-time continuum by future Romulans sets off a chain of events that alters history as we know it, thereby allowing the writers to revisit old plot lines with new twists.  Well, in X-Men: Days of Future Past" that time slip is intentional.
(This Saturday Angi and  I FINALLY got a chance to get out and hit the movies!  Unfortunately, I was having a weird day, and was in a mood.  The inevitable consequence being, something was bound to screw it up.  I'll get to that shortly.)
In short, in the near future, Mutant hunting robots called "Sentinels" are created and then modified into adaptive killers.  Eventually they not only hunt mutants, but humans who help or shelter mutants, and even those humans who possess the latent "X" gene that would eventually sire children or even grand children with mutant powers, thus leaving all of Earth a desolate war zone. 
Held up in a Tibetan Monastery the few remaining mutants stage a last minute attempt to alter the course of history, as they discovered the moment in time where everything went wrong.  1973 is the year that they have to reach to stop Mystique, who discovered Boliver Trasks goals for eradicating mutantkind, by unleashing the Sentinels.  She figures, kill him, end the project.  But Nay, nay!  They capture her, and use her mutant ability of shape shifting to upgrade the killing machines adaptability, as her actions of killing him publicly fuel the anti-mutant hysteria. 
Kitty Pryde processes the ability to send a persons consciousness back in time, with the knowledge of the present, to their younger self.  However, the ability to do so is limited to a few weeks, as anything more could harm the person.  Wolverine steps in, as his whole body can continuously regenerate itself, thereby being able to (supposedly) withstand the stress.  (OK.  For the record, the Kitty Pryde I knew possessed the ability to phase through solid objects.  I never knew she could do the whole
consciousness thing!) They succeed, Wolverine slips into his younger self (but as he doesn't really age, he looked the same) and he has to recruit both Professor X's, and Magneto's younger self to stop Mystique from inadvertently destroying the world.
WHEW!  With me so far?
Eventually they not only succeed in altering history, they actually make it BETTER!  Magneto (the younger one) takes it upon himself to destroy not only Trask, but President Nixon and a multitude of his staff, at the unveiling of the Sentinel project on the White House lawn.  Mystique stops him, and at the psychic persuasion of Professor X does not kill Trask, but  instead proves herself a savior of the President and his staff. 
The end result?  Wolverine wakes up, his consciousness having returned to his present body, in his room at "Charles Xavier's School For Gifted Youngsters" and quickly discovers the world is a VERY different place then he left.  As he enters the hustle and bustle of the hallway he quickly recognizes many of his fellow mutants, chief among them Rouge (obviously NOT stripped of her powers), Storm, a fellow teacher and most importantly Jean Grey and Scott Summers (Cyclops) alive and well!'s where I pause and bring you up to speed on the moment my movie going experience was detrimentally harmed!
Once it was apparent that Wolverines history had changed, and I saw Rouge I knew that both Jean and Scott must be alive as well.  I waited anxiously for the "reveal" and as he walked down the stairs they focused on a very red headed lady standing in the Professors door way, with her back to him.  As he approached, she turned and revealed she was in fact Jean Grey, I was thrilled, therefore I did the only natural thing I could think of, I clapped.  Three times to be precise.  Actually, Angi and I clapped each other's hand in a brief rabid fire (yet muted) high five.
Then it happened.
An usher, some young girl with an authoritarian complex, came up the stairs and down the isle to tell me I needed to be quiet, so as NOT to disturb the other patrons!!
I was hushed, demeaned and embarrassed because I applauded!?!?
I wasn't talking on my cell phone or texting.  I was not some obnoxious teenager yakking with my friends, I wasn't some asshole, oblivious parent letting my two year old scream half way through the late show because they were tired.  No.  I applauded!
I was incensed!
To some, such a thing may not be a major issue, but to me, a HUGE movie fan, disturbing my film going experience, after I have paid my fourteen dollars for something SO ridiculous, is inconceivable.  It set me so far off, I almost got up and walked out to talk to the manager!  The only thing keeping me from doing so, was not wanting to completely ruin the evening for Angela, and I also didn't want to miss the rest of the film.  It was tough though.  As it turned out, Angela was JUST as angry, and not wanting to wait to voice her opinion (and also, seeing as she knows me, wanted to stem the tide of the potential onslaught my anger might wrought) got up, walked to the usher, got her name and went to talk to the manager.  She handled it very diplomatically, and very wisely attempted to dissuade me, when I finally exited the theatre, from confronting the manager.
Unfortunately (in retrospect) I did not heed her gentle urgings to not confront the manager.  She saw the look in my eye's however, and realized she was not going to deter me from making an ass of myself.  Much to his credit, however, Cody, the night manager, handled himself very professionally, in light of my vitriol fueled tirade, and merely reiterated his apologies and assurances that the employee would be spoken too.  Suffice to say, later today I will be contacting him and extending my deepest apologies for my atrocious behavior.  Being in business myself, and having had to deal with the repercussions of employees actions, I should have curbed myself, as I have been on the receiving end of tongue lashings in regards to someone else's actions. 
Yep.  I was a real $#!+.
Back to the film.
In effect, what the franchise did, by altering the timeline, was eradicate just about everything that occurred in the original trilogy.  The events set forth in the fourth film "X-Men: The First Class" having been unaltered, sets the path for the obvious sequel.  By obvious, I mean, the traditional Marvel "after ending credits" sequence sets the stage for the next one!  And here, I'll be honest with you, I watched it and had absolutely no idea what it was about!  I actually had to go online this morning to get the skinny.  Turns out "X-Men: The Apocalypse" features an immortal, reality altering Mutant, named....Apocalypse!  The obvious reason I know of the name but NOT the storyline, is that the whole thing unfolded shortly after I stopped reading X-Men.  Sure, I was still in the biz at the time, but I merely gleaned a few tidbits about it from those that followed it.  The one thing I AM looking forward to is that Angel played a major role in that storyline, having changed into "Archangel".  He was always my favorite X-Men character, and his appearance in X-Men 3 was all to brief!  But,as this sequel is to take place in the early eighties, there is no telling which group of mutants will be around (although rumor has it Wolverine will be there, and is proposed to die...but then they said that about the latest film, so who knows!?)
The really surprising part of this film is not only did they introduce a few new mutants, chief among them Quicksilver (which in itself is somewhat confusing as the Avengers franchise has him and his sister Wanda appearing in Avengers 2? (they were in the snippet at the end of Captain America 2, as teenagers, but he was shown as a teenager in  this film in 1973!?!?!))  but they brought back a major portion of all the X-Men, from ALL the movies in this one, portrayed by the original actors!  I mean, Halle Berry as Storm had one line?  Anna Paquin, as Rouge had NO lines, just a brief cameo!  Even Kelsey Grammer as the Beast showed up, went through FULL make up to deliver one casual line to Wolverine  while walking through the hallway!   Very impressive dedication to continuity!
All in all, it was a very nice "happy ending" book end to the original trilogy!
Sorry, but I was in a movie mood this morning! 
And all do respect to my Mother who merely "skims over" the movie reviews!
On to work!
Only managed to get out three new rides Saturday.  We would have done more, we have run out of material.  Well, material we can work with.  We do have a few sitting in Bone Row to build, we are just waiting on the right parts!  Saturday was busy, but not overly so.  I would have to blame the incessant weather for that!
We will dig about today and see if there is anything to play with.
SO, OK... I best get something going, as I feel I have gabbed enough!
See ya all soon!

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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Rock and Roll (With A Steady Back Beat)

Rough night. 
Sat down for Friday Night Movie night, But it took a good hour for everything to settle down!  Once dinner was eaten and the girls bathed, we went to put Miranda down for night, nights.  Of course as is the normal routine, she needs about ten minuets of relative quite to doze off.  Now, a rationale person would not consider this an unreasonable request, however the other children are at times, unreasonable.  No sooner does she go down, do the other three get louder.  WHOOP!  Missing the window little Miss Miranda needed to come back out and run about for a little while later until momma got her back to bed.  Now, trying to settle back down to watch "the Lego Movie", we contended with Izzy's "ant's in the pants" squirming and as Momma was cuddled up to Daddy, Suzanne felt she needed to "claim" her territory by continuously standing up on Angi in an attempt to separate the two of us.  And she was rather persistent.  Eventually Mommy asserted her position and Suzanne eventually got the point.
Finally we all got to enjoy the flick and the kiddo's went to bed.
Now, at this point (around midnight) Mom laid out on the couch as I offered to wait up for Elijah and Kaleb.  They went to the late showing of Transformers and as we don't have latch key kids, we have the only set.  Well, I was under the assumption they'd be home no later then 1.00 am.  WRONG!  Apparently the movie started MUCH later then they had originally told me and as of 1.30 they were "still in the theatre".  At that point I sent them a text basically saying "door's getting locked, we are going to bed, don't wake us."  And we did.
I forgot what a loyal and faithful watchdog Suzanne is.  Around 2.30 we were roused by a loud cord of growls and barks at the boys entrance!  Once I had her calm, I went back to bed.
Miranda, who has taken to the habit of standing up in her crib and rocking it back and forth violently slamming it against the wall until someone comes in and gets her started doing so around 7 am. 
Needless to say once this little rabid Wolverine is corralled, diapered and dressed, you ARE awake!
Sooooo, movin' a wee bit slow this morning!
Well, due to the events of yesterday morning Suzanne is now skittish around the bike, not that I can blame her, and the ride in was difficult at best.  Normally, when you ride, you do sway back and forth  bit, and unfortunately each time I got to close she panicked and a couple times laid down and cringed.  So, realizing that it wasn't going to work, she rode the remainder of the way with Izzy in the buggy. 
Well, yesterday was rather quiet, as is unfortunately normal for this time of year, as the humidity has kicked in, but we are trying to keep ourselves busy.
Did manage to pick up one gem yesterday, though, A sweet GT 24" BMX Cruiser!!  Have not seen one of those in close to three years!  Gonna be real fine when we get her up and running! 
OK, that about does it for today.  Need to find something to do with my time! 
See ya all soon!

ONLY $105.00!!!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Not A Good Start!

Oh I feel ALL kinds of lousy this morning!
Getting ready to head into the shop I couldn't find Suzanne's "runner" leash.  When we come in she likes to run along side of me on my bike, so I have an extra long leash that allows er to remain a safe distance from the bike.  As she is prone to occasionally make sudden stops or harsh darts (SQUIRREL!) I have enough length coiled around my wrist to quickly release while simultaneously braking so as not to harm her.  Well, we had no luck locating the long one so I had to settle for the shorter "walking" one.  I barely made it round the first turn when she saw a squirrel to my left and lunged!  Due to how close she was I had no time to react and I ran right into her!  She let out a horrendous yelp, and I feared I seriously injured her.  I threw done my bike to check and comfort her.  Thankfully there appears to be no injury, or swelling or limp but the part that broke my heart is how scared she was.  Confused as to why I hurt her!  I've been loving on her all morning telling her I'm sorry but she is still somewhat timid.  I feel like a real schmuck!  THEN, as if matters were not bad enough, Angi called when I was chastising myself and asked what was wrong, and of course my anger at myself spilled out.  I am NOT that good at "focusing" myself and berated the kids for taking the leash, as I assumed they did (as they have before) to which she offered to have everyone look "again" for it.  She called me back a short while later having found it, in the wrong place, where apparently I put it last night when I came in.
Imagine the cartoon image of a characters face turning into that of a Jackass.
So all in all I had NO ONE to blame but myself!
Well I'm going to try and focus on something else, so here goes.
Yesterday was a wee bit of a slow one.  The humidity being what it was obviously kept a lot of folks away.  We did manage to (thankfully) find a suitable little girls bike for a gent who has his grand kids down for a couple weeks.  He bought one for  his grandson on Tuesday, but we didn't have anything for her.  He kept checking back as she was being sweetly persistent, wanting to ride with her brother.  Yes, it becomes a priority when a child would rather ride a bike, then sit and play video games! 
Had a few minor repair drop offs and a few looky loo's.  At the end of the day, we also got in a truckload of miscellaneous goodies the primo being an older Cannondale commuter!  Will have to get going on that one shortly!
Also, finished up a FULL mechanical re-furb on an OLD Columbia Cruiser!  Originally I was going to fix it up and give it to Logan, but he wants something sleeker and newer as his next ride.  Worked out fine, though, as a customer came in on Tuesday and fell in love with it as a "sleeper".  Basically a ride that looks REAL rough, but is mechanically sound!  I think he'll like the finished  project!
OK, now we are rolling, feel my mind drifting from the bad...
I did get a bit of exciting news, though, when I turned on the computer and saw the news that Guillermo Del Toro has announced there WILL be a sequel to Pacific Rim!!!!  Yes, slated for a 2017 release it proposes to bring back all the original characters (well, except those that died) Although they didn't say the original cast?  It does make the mind begin to speculate, however.  Obviously, the inter dimensional aliens may have lost the fight, but more then likely not willing to acquiesce to defeat.  I can only assume that this films reality would probably realize this and, having witnessed the true effectiveness of the Jaeger program, have chosen not to disband it, but rather rebuild it as to contend with any potential threat.  Seeing as ALL the remaining one's were destroyed, should make for some "new and improved" designs.  Not to mention, the excitement of seeing where they go and as this IS a sequel, and ALL sequels seek to "out do" the previous!?  WOOF!  Although, I always thought, it would be an interesting look into humanities propensity for "forgetting" history and failure to maintain peace, that once they thought the threat was dealt with, old rivalries and petty international prejudices would raise their ugly head, and the unity obtained through fighting the Kaiju would crumble and the Jaeger technology would be perverted into weapons used against each other!  Thus the Monsters return and the lyrics from the classic rock tune Godzilla come to fruition...

History shows us,
again and again,
how nature points out,
the folly of man!

It will be interesting to see which way they go with it!
Speaking of movies!  Angi showed me the trailer to the upcoming Michael Bay flick, the resurrection of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
In a word... HOLY SPIT!!!  (OK, that's two)  Opening on my birthday we will SO be there!  Thank GOD it doesn't look like a rehashing of the whole "Pizza Spinning" turtles! 
OK, I best get to REAL work!
See ya soon!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Dry Spell OVER!!

For those of you who came in last weekend to find us less the stocked, you can breathe easy!  As always, our fellow Floridians rallied to the cause and brought in a bevy of new goodies over the last few days which we greedily gobbled up and purposefully prepared properly! 
We banged away yesterday (after doing allllll the computer stuff in the am and early pm) and pumped out five more!  The highlight HAS to be the Lowrider Kaleb put together.  This thing was a wreck when it came in, to the point where I actually turned it down.  Yes folks, it doesn't happen often, but there are rare occasions when something comes in that looks SO bad, there isn't even a part to salvage!  This being a lot of custom parts, gold plated, but HEAVILY tarnished, they wouldn't even have worked with another bike.  The seat was about all I good think to do anything with, but the price the customer wanted was too much for just a seat.  Kaleb, realizing I was not going to buy it, stepped in and offered up the moola.  I thought he was crazy to invite that much of a project on himself, but it was HIS money!  Well, he showed me wrong!  After two days of hard work he put out this....

Sweet or what!!!  Check out his touches of personal flair!  The headlamp being used as a reflector and the chain "draggers"!  Yes, you can unlatch them and drag them behind you, just like a true lowrider (although you may not get going fast enough to make sparks!) Yes, he truly showed his skills on this one! 
The ones I put together were more function then form, however.  So he stole the glory for that day!
Today we will start off on the repairs before they start backing up on us, then finish with the current rides in the bone yard as there are only  couple left!  SOOO if you have something you are looking to sell or trade (or HECK even donate!) we will be GLAD to check them out!
Alright, I have jibber jabbered enough and there is loads of work to do (not to mention continuing the "Back to the Future" marathon we started yesterday!)
See ya soon! 

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Look At All The Shiny, Happy People!

Again we thank ALL for making yesterday as exciting as Monday!  Once again I am grateful for all the kind words and reaffirmation that what we do matters to folks!  A clear cut sign of this is the ever increasing amount of referrals that come in!  Pretty much, business is split down the middle half from Craigslist and half from folks spreading the good word!  (Speaking of which, just had a gent we did a brake job for come in and give us the heads up that he sent four folks to us already!) And of course, there is the continuous repeat customers!  THAT is an AWESOME feeling!  We get to see other parents kids growing up on OUR bicycles!!! 
(funny!  Have ANOTHER couple, outside right now.  He bought a bike here last week and brought her in to trade hers up.  She's telling him she wants to check out another couple bike shops first and he told her "there IS no other bike shops!  I will only buy HERE!")
(yep.  He convinced her. They just bought the K2.  Of course, his intelligence stems from the fact that he's from Massachusetts!)
So, yesterday was a Humdinger of a work day!  Kaleb, for some inexplicable reason, opted to come in WAY early and snag the bragging rights to finish the re-furb on the Old School Mongoose BMX.  When I say WAY early, I aint' kiddin'!  7.30 am to be exact!  I was still chasing rabbits in  my sleep!  BUT, once I got in we pounded out a total of six new builds!  And, seeing as Kaleb found me a replacement adaptor for the computer, I can now download pictures again, so you can view their glory. 
Also, right before close last night we got in a BEVY of new VHS movies!  Obviously, the gent was a big time buff in the same hey day as me, as the boxes were chock full of all the classics from the 80's and early 90's with some more obscure ones for flavor!  Over 300 films in total!  SAH-WEET! I look at it this way, they may be "outdated" technology but one of two things will happen, we either will hit the nostalgia market (once folks realize DVD's are crap) or we will end up with one of the worlds LARGEST personal collections of films!  Win/Win as far as I'm concerned! 
No, we are not stopping with the six we did yesterday, oh NAY, NAY!  We still have PLENTY to work with (thanks to all the folks digging out their hidden treasures!)  A gent came in with a Low rider cruiser the other day, with all the turned medal and such (complete with a chain steering wheel) but all the gold plating was WAY dinged up.  I wasn't interested in buying it, though, as it was going to be WAY to much work to save.  Kaleb stepped in and offered to buy it, apparently he wanted a HUGE challenge.  With a little paint help from his old man, though, and I think he may just have outwitted me!  It is beginning to look like a pretty sweet ride!  On top of that, we have more goodies in the bone yard looking for a new lease on life!
On the home front!  Things moving along smoothly, every child doing there usual!  Last night, Suzanne was in rare form, and for some reason around 11.30 just got a burr up her but and went "play crazy".  Elijah, came home from visiting with friends who turned out to have a dog he was petting. 
Whoops!  Suzanne has shown she does not like it when she can smell another dog.  As soon as he walked in the cackles went up and she started to growl, bark and show teeth.  Angi was quick to react (a mother lion WILL protect HER cubs!) and showed her, in no uncertain terms, that growling at her kids is NOT acceptable.  Although, once Elijah took a shower, everything was OK. 
I best get a move on, as I have piles and piles of videos littering the floor I need to put away, then I need to get on to building bikes.
So...will see you soon!!!

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K2 ZED 1.0 MTB
ONLY $110.00!!
ONLY $65.00!!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Parenting: 101

So OK, I'm in one of those mood's!
Oddly enough, for me, it's the rare, heartfelt, warm ticklish feeling that is in part, due to a wonderful lazy Sunday I got to spend with Angi and the kiddo's and Suzanne, that makes the inexplicable tears of happiness swell up.  That and the fact that this morning I was privileged to have a talk I have been waiting YEARS to have with Kaleb!
Anyone reading this blog for any length of time will attest to the fact Angi and I have been put through the ringer with this kid!  All the while though, we knew deep down, he was a good kid.  Just impetuous.  Well, over the last year we have seen him grow, achieve a certain level of maturity and really come out of his self imposed exile.  To even make the moment more memorable was the fact he actually opened up to me about some of the things going on in his life up to this point.  That was stellar!  To me, it meant he has begun to trust me and seek out my opinion.  Of course, the issues revolve around girls and relationships.
In our life together Angi and I both have been on the receiving end of both praise and condemnation for how we raise our kids.  Seems there is a sadly growing consensus, that children should be in charge, where the parents and schools have been reduced to "custodians" with no real power or choice other then to let the kids "rule the roost".  Then there are some of the "old World" holdouts that think it is a parents duty to teach children REALITY!  We stand firmly in the OLD WORLD!

And the following day.
Sorry about the gap, but this blog entry was started yesterday morning around 9.00 am and it took me until 3.30 to write what little I had!  We were SO blessedly busy!!!!  I just gave up for the day as I and the whole crew were banging out goodies past close!

All right...let me see where I was at....

Ah yes...

No, by "Old World"  I don't mean heavy handed, corporeal punishment.  Rather, real involvement, boundaries, limitation and knowing the word "NO".  I have one basic principal I try and teach them (without actually having to spell it out for them) and that is we ALL do or have done things in our lives that have either harmed others or ourselves.  When you are  child, doing such things can be forgiven as the impetuousness of youth, but when you do them as adults, it leads to a great deal of soul wrenching guilt and regret (well, that is IF you HAVE a soul!).   I want them to make their mistakes and learn from them NOW!  My hope being, get the worst out of the way before the severity of adulthood comes around and it becomes less likely they will be forgiven or forgive themselves! 
That's about where Kaleb is right now.  Without having to say it, his actions speak VOLUMES!  Even though their is still the mischievous gleam of impetuous in his eye's (which is NOT a bad thing) he tempers it with forethought, relegating  his more impulsive acts to that of BMX stunts, not to mention harnessing his energy and vitality into more productive pursuits like work and his new found interest into mixed martial arts. 
It feels REALLY good to know there is hope!

As I mentioned we were WHIZ BANG SLAMMED yesterday!  And MAN did it feel GOOD!!!  Right from the moment we opened until past close it was almost non-stop!  A total of thirteen repairs came in and were done!  Picked up ELEVEN new rides and a few are WAY, WAY NICE!!!  Had two special order rebuilds and sent FIVE rides to new homes! 
Oh YES!  Give us more of that!
With the advice of Angela (as I am prone to spoil pets) I have to set certain rules for Suzanne.  When I take her for her nightly walk, we both follow certain rules.  When we leave the house we use the same door each time, and she is to wait for me to exit first.  When we walk, she is to always walk on my right (I'm right handed and that way she is out of the way of any oncoming traffic) and we walk the same route each time (for her to get use to the neighborhood scents as the constant harsh stops to sniff are making my leash arm sore!)   Well the other night, on her final walk before bed, I wasn't paying attention.  Absent minded, I hooked up her leash, opened the door, and stepped out....with her to my left.  I took a couple of steps and the leash went taut.  I faltered for a moment, turned around wondering why she wasn't coming and she was standing steadfast, with her head down looking up at me with  a look of confusion as if to say "what the hell are you doing?"  Realizing my error, I switched hands, moved to the left giving her right hand position to which she raised her head, smiled, wagged her tail and came out! 
So....who's training who?
Last night, when I got home Angela had made plans to go for a ride with Elijah to the mall to get her phone service switched to T-Mobile.  Metro has just gotten so lousy lately, she was fed up.  It's been a while since she really got out and RODE and by the time she got back she was flushed with energy, remembering just how much she missed it.  Of course, no bike ride is without incident, as on their way home, it being after dark, Elijah did not have his lights on his bike and was quickly pulled over by the local constabulary.  As they stood there, his info being looked up to ensure he was not some nefarious nare-do-well, as all cyclist are apparently prone to be, in the eye's of the law, Angi (being rather annoyed at having not only to stop her rhythm but also suppress her natural Irish inclinations to tell the officer what she REALLY felt) having been rudely lectured to by the officer about the necessity of functioning light on a bicycle, noticed a car pass by, in clear view of the other officer who was there that did NOT have functioning taillights!  Well, at this moment the Irish broke and she blurted out "Guess its NOT important for CARS to have functioning lights, hunh?!" 
Oh...I SO love my wife!!
Today, we will be back up to speed, and be pumping out more rides. Feel free to check out the two new one's below!  Now, I need to get to WORK!
ONLY $310.00!!
See ya soon!
ONLY $240.00!!!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

It's Amazing What Honesty Will Get You!

OK!  So here's where I get preachy, self aggrandizing and teach a morality tale all at the same time!
Yesterday we had a very nice lady bring in her old school Roadmaster MTB for some tweaking before the grand kids showed up for the summer. A special shout out to our old friend (not that HE'S old, just that he has been a friend for a long time. Got it?) Dave Foot from way up North, ay!  He has been giving out the good word about us for some time and it resonates to this day.  Dave told her about us and when she had a need, she came in.  Here's where the value of honesty comes into play.  Her ride was dusty but  otherwise in good condition, just in need of a good tune up.  As I was inspecting it, she mentioned she may want to put new tires on it as it had been sitting for while.  I did the pinch test and recognized there was NO sign of wear or dry rot. In fact, the original nipples were still on it.  I let her know in good stead that there was no point in spending the money, especially as the grand kids were only going to be using it for about a week.  This seemed to impress her, as well as the fact that it would be done that afternoon.  She had anticipated having to wait at least a week.  There's another surprise, why does it take other bike shops SO long to finish a repair?
Apparently she was so impressed she decided to bring in  her bike, a very SAH-WEET Panasonic, for a FULL re-furb, hoping to ride with the kids.  So, instead of lying and squeezing her for an extra $12.00 (yes, that's ALL the profit we are going to make on a set of tires) we told the truth and not only made more money BUT got a VERY loyal customer who INSISTED I let her have a handful of our flyer's, as she had ALREADY told a neighbor about us, but she wanted to hand them out at their retirement village meeting house!  And we KNOW how loyal Floridians are to good service and STRONG word of mouth!
So the moral of the story is "Pay heed to the consequences versus benefits of the short term boon, or long term benefits!"
Oh you didn't think I was bored of Suzanne already, did you?
Last night, after dinner, we all settled down for Movie Night.  As the seating arrangements are in flux while still enforcing the left hand rule (meaning that Momma always sits to my left, and I in my corner) Suzanne having become rather territorial as far as I am concerned, kept trying to take Mom's seat.  After a few minuets I had to gently push Suzanne to the end of the couch on my right.  Apparently this was not "cuddle" close enough to me, so with a little huff she jumped down and went to the other side of the sectional.  Well, kids are squirmy and each one wanted to sit with her, which prohibited her from finding comfort.  All the while she kept looking at me, bowing her head and thumping her tail, trying to get my attention.  Trying to stay strong and not allow her too much power in ruling the roost, I did my best to ignore her pleading Carmel colored eyes.  After a few minuets she hopped down from the couch and began to circle the living room adjacent to the couch.  I had thought she was just looking for a place to lay down.  I was wrong.
 Angela enjoys doing silk flower arrangements, so we have a number of lovely bouquets placed about the house.  One of them sits on the lower shelf of a couch table behind us.  Apparently Suzanne thought a gift may inspire me to  amend the seating arrangements, as she came around the corner of the couch and approached me head down, her tail wagging pleading eyes looking up at me...and presented me with a single silk flower gently in her mouth!  She barely disturbed the bouquet!  It was the SWEETEST thing!  Of course she got a big hug and even Angi was so impressed the seating was amended!
Thanks to ALL for coming in and paying us a visit yesterday!  Was a Whiz Bang of a busy repair day!  Eight repairs in and out and even managed to put out one new ride!  ALSO we got in a sweet bevy of vintage BMX rides in!  WOOF!  An old GT, Classic Mongoose and an Unknown.  The last one, unfortunately, had a cracked frame, but had some NICE Old School components on it!  They are attracting QUITE a bit of eBay attention as we speak!  We are going to build up the Mongoose today as it was the most complete!  Today has been a good Saturday so far, bringing in even more goodies!  Hope to have them put out soon as well!
Alright, that about does it for now, and we best get at it!
See ya soon!
ONLY $95.00!!!!

Friday, June 20, 2014

"CRY HAVOC and Let Slip the Dogs Of War!

OK, OK! I cry FOUL!!
Look, I do not berate anyone the right to make a living, but we hear stories like this one FAR to frequently!  And there has GOT to be a better, more honest way to make a buck!
Yesterday, had a visit from a very nice lady, she kind of reminded me of the stereotypical "hip" grandmother.  You know the type, dresses a little young for her age, but clearly has grand kids she's keeping up with, and dresses relaxed but classy.  Her son drove her here in his truck, and in the bed were two cruisers.  One, brand spanking new, the other about three years old but in immaculate condition.  They came in, introduced themselves and stated they had been referred here by "another" bike shop in town, having  heard we buy used bikes.  Sure! She stated she had an "old" Schwinn cruiser she was looking to get rid of and maybe I could use it for parts.  As she's saying this, her son was rolling it into the shop, and all I could see was  very nice looking , solid woman's cruiser.  I asked her what was wrong with it and she proceeded to tell me.
Here's where my cackles went up!
Apparently she had been having trouble with the chain slipping off as she rode and noticed the rear wheel was "loose" as were the handle bars.  She took it to one of the "other" local shops and was informed that her rear wheel needed to be replaced, as well as her entire neck and fork assembly, as they were "bent".  Mind you, this bike is a three year old "Wal-Mart" bike she was a fervent "casual" rider that put in a few miles each day and rode regularly with her two grand kids, and as much as she had enjoyed the bike, she could not justify spending the proposed $147.00 they wanted to fix it!  Of course, this sentiment was gleefully embraced by the salesman as he was MORE then happy to show her his selection of NEW cruisers and make her (in her own words) an excellent deal!  She got a $417.00 bike for ONLY $379.00!
Here's where I got a tad bit peeved, and by the time I finished talking, her, CLEARLY protective son became RIGHTEOUSLY so!
As I inspected the potential buy I noticed two things, and as we spoke I broke out my 15m socket, adjustable wrench and a flat head screwdriver.  As my hands worked a very simple and fundamental repair I explained to them that their problem was in FACT not a big one.  First off, the front end was not bent, merely loose and with a slight tightening of the top nut, fixed.  My hands moved to the rear as I demonstrated, the rear wheel was not "broken" only misaligned.  One quick loosening of the drive side nut, a slight pull back to center, then a good tightening.  And the last remaining problem, a coaster brake rear cog has a metal hoop that locks the cog in place.  This one had popped off, but was still hanging there!  Without even so much as removing the wheel it took a second to reset and pop into place.  As they watched, incredulously, I could recognize reality sinking into the face of the young man as his brow began to knit.  After only about three minutes of work I stood up, handed it to her and said "There.  She's fixed"
She just blinked.  The son frowned.
Taken aback she rolled the bike back and forth, clearly realizing it now worked and  stammered out the question "but why did they tell me it would cost $147.00?"  To which the son added "and WHY did we buy another bike!?" 
I offered my condolences by simply stating that, sadly, it was not the first time we had seen this happen, and that a mechanic/salesman with  good knowledge of bikes can always make a problem seem more and COST more then it really is. 
The son sighed, and turning to his Mother asked "do you WANT to keep the old bike or the new one?"
The answer was very apparent as they said "Thank You" and headed out in search of a return and FULL refund!
So REALLY guys!  Heed this "When it's all said and done, you will be judged by what you did in life, NOT by how much you made!"
OK, OK...I'm getting off my soap box!
Yes, my wife is STILL very gorgeous, and the light of my life, thank you very much!
Elijah, has apparently established quite a following of little ones at work (due to his "cuddly Bear" side he only shows the kiddo's.  Yea, we get the dark, brooding teenager.) and he's been noticed by the BIG boss guy, the owner of ALL the attractions, and he is coming down to visit him and watch how he does what he does.  Apparently his numbers are QUITE good!
Kaleb is continuing on his road of redemption, slowly turning into the kind of decent young man we always knew was lurking DEEEEEEEP beneath the surface.
Owen, is doing his VERY best to annoy any and all siblings, as Logan shows more and more each day just how MUCH of his Dad's propensity for arguing he possesses!  As does his sister Rozlynd possess Mom's Irish.
Oh and a WAY HAPPY HURRAH to our friend Nowell!!  Owner and operator of the BEST place in Dunedin for a pint and dinner, "Flanagan's Pub"  Recently he suffered a stroke, and we have been keeping tabs, well today he popped in to say "Hey!"  He was back out on his first ride since!  WAY TO GO, MAN!!  LOVE that Irish spirit!
Suzanne had a trio of slip ups last night, having been freshly walked and NOT tinkled, waited until she got back into the house to do so!  SO she had to spend a few minuets tied up to the "Tree of Shame".  Hard to be TOO angry with her considering just how damn sweet she is!
And lastly...
Kaleb went on a parts run this morning and ran into a yard sale on his way home picking up some SWEET goodies!  Now, I am SO not one for selfies, but here is my FIRST trio of fun self portraits!  And I am SO keeping the last one to use as a gnat-fly shield! 

Yea.  For Steve Rogers, the "A" stands for America.  For me?  Is stands for....
Ass.....k me later!
"I must have slept wrong because I feel so "Thor"!
Well....The Force didn't work!  Maybe THIS will keep the Gnat's out of my face!"

Thursday, June 19, 2014

How Many Games Are There?

Yea.  I am becoming a MASTER at Angry Birds!
Yesterday started off good.  Sent the Giant Rincon to a new home, and did a couple small repairs (Thank you SO much for the work!)  then...
The clouds rolled in!
Of course, every seasoned Floridian will immediately run for shelter as the big, gray ominous cloud banks loom overhead.  Even if they do not produce rain in the end, folks around here pretty much act as if they are.  Needless to say by about 1.30 we were dead.  The whole PLAZA was dead!  Heck, the whole STREET was dead!  So, having finished everything we could do...days ago...the boys sat on the floor engaging in the new age of communication.  Which is to say, the three of them sat glued to their cell phones, occasionally grunting or sharing short two syllable sentences to each other, all the while hardly ever raising their eyes away from their Facebook screens.  Yes, when James Cameron envisioned his Terminator as the technologically inflicted extinction of man, he was a little off.  I foresee an ending similar to the fate of the inhabitants of "Miranda" from Serenity, "They all just stopped...everything...and laid down and died!" Yes, apathy and anti social behavior will herald the end of man!
(he says while typing on a computer!  Yes, I DO realize the irony!)
Yep.  This is pretty much the way humanity is headed....

STILL looking for goodies to work with.  We did have a couple folks bring in rides to sell, but unfortunately it was of the "thought WAY to much of the value of their ride" caliber.  Yes, Cannondales are nice, but if they are twenty years old, and everything is rusted solid, they are NOT worth $250.00!  No matter how much you may think I am trying to take advantage!  Also saw a VERY nice "Old School" Trek MTB, kept in very good shape (although with a wee bit of surface rust) but when it was new, 20 years go, it sold for under $400.00.  This fact alone makes the asking price of $300.00 unwarranted, not to mention, OUR asking price (when all work was done) would only be around $160.00. 
Then, having been in a particularly jaunty mood later in the day, having been visited by a somewhat rude gent, looking for "our cheapest bike around twenty dollars", I met him with a broad, happy smile and gleefully showed him the awesome little 12" "cars" bike complete with training wheels for only $25.00! 
He didn't get it.  His reaction was one of incredulity, and stated "No.  I meant one that would fit me".
All in all, the majority of the day was spent conquering MANY levels of "Angry Birds: Star Wars", in a vain attempt to conquer the boredom!
Thankfully, this morning we have already acquired another repair, and I hold out hope it will be the beginning of a trend!
I have to admit, I really didn't realize just how much I missed having a dog.  Oh sure, I have to redirect my attentions, as with every new thing, I have a tendency to neglect the REALLY important things, Angi and the kids.  It's all an adjustment.   It was really bittersweet this morning as I got the kids up and prepared for the day.  Miranda got down on all fours and was scurrying about after Suzanne with her tongue over exuberantly wagging out of her mouth.  Rozlynd spoke up and said "I guess she thinks if she acts like a dog, you'll pay attention to her.  OUCH!   Yes, REALITY SLAP!  So I took a few minuets to just hold and play with Miranda a while.   But Suzanne IS impressive.  After only a few days of work, she now recognizes the commands "hold" and "come" and is getting a little better at recognizing "No Rabbits".  It is really neat being woken by her jumping on top of me and licking my face to let me know she has to go "Walkies".  I have to really appreciate Angi for her patience. I did have to insist that Suzanne sleep at the foot of the bed as opposed to on it.  As she tends to sprawl, both Angi and I awoke the last couple of mornings stiff, having slept in rater awkward positions. 
Guess I will break out the tools, blow the dust off, treat the rust from lack of use and take care of this repair.  But I am going to SAVOR it!
See ya soon!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Dog Whisperer

Yes, like a daddy with a new baby, she'd probably going to be the source of Blog material for a while, so just suck it up and read on!
Last night Angi had to step in.  In retrospect, that was nothing but good.
As has quickly become the daily routine, Suzanne comes into work with me each day, giving her a good run to and fro work.  She IS a runner, and likes to "Open Her Up".  Yes, I USE to be one of those judgmental types that thought it was a tad cruel to run a dog on your bike or Rollerblades or whatever. What I didn't notice or know, was there was a GOOD reason folks did this.  If you do not have the facilities to  allow your dog the chance to stretch it's natural compunction, they will not be happy dogs.  So with a little practice she has gotten really good, really quick at trotting along side of me on my bike.  I mean, lets face it, a runners body I DO NOT have!  So far the only real trick is being mindful of squirrels!  Whichever side of the road she's running on she wants to get at them furry tail little varmints!
So last night momma had filled up the kiddie pool and had it waiting for Suzanne when she got home.  She likes to lay down and drink a healthy helping of water after her run.  Eventually Angi and I moved to the outside table near the barbecue grill in the shade and tethered Suzanne to the heavy wrought Iron table leg so she too could get shade under it.  As Angi and I talked we realized there were a couple things we'd forgotten for the evening and as Kaleb (our runner) was at practice, I stated I would go.  So with a kiss or two I mounted Greedo and coasted down the driveway.
At THIS point Suzanne's loyalty to me became QUITE apparent!  Without so much as a leave she stood up and bolted towards me, dragging the 100 plus pound table and all it's contents straight across the yard.  In a way, it was  good test.  Even though the sudden disappearance of Angi's arm and phone support left her temporarily stunned, once it capsized and the leash became free, Suzanne had a moment of freedom, where any dog could have bolted and outrun a pudgy, middle aged man easily!  Even ON a bike!  But all I had to say was her name and she stopped, bowed her head and came right to me! 
HOWEVER.  This incident obviously inspired Angi to take a little more of a firm approach to Suzanne when we took our evening walk.  As I had said before, she is less then focused when I walk her.  As much as I am a sap for my children, so to am I for animals.  I have a tendency to allow her to lead.  Any good dog trainer will tell you that is NOT what you are supposed to do.  So that evening when we went out, Angi went with, holding the leash and directing her to stop and hold until she relaxed and walked beside us without pulling.  She got it pretty quick (although there is room for improvement) as when we were on the last leg of the block, she was not pulling anywhere near as much, and she had gained her focus enough to do her business BEFORE we went back inside.  Yes, my wife cannot only train kids and husbands but dogs too!  And NO, I will not ask her which is the most difficult to train because I already KNOW the answer to that question!
As I mentioned, Kaleb is quite liking his new found recreation of "Mixed Martial Arts".  I may very well have accumulated another expense.  He has been doing so well lately, the outlet for his energies may well be something worth supporting.
Elijah is still suffering the Kid Krud, but best get over it soon, as he is scheduled to work tomorrow! 
Plenty of rest and vitamin C.
Yesterday was quite a bit busier and we thank all the folks for coming into pay us a visit!  Yes, even the disillusioned soul who checked out the really sharp looking men's 26" MTB we have for only eighty dollars  and made the blunt,  ill informed statement,  "I can buy the EXACT same bike at Wal-Mart for only $40.00!!!  Wow. OK, so seriously.  That is, like, wrong on SO many levels!  Needless to say, at the VERY least, I am PRETTY sure Wal-Mart doesn't sell bikes that are five years old, first off.  Second: currently the lowest priced men's 26" MTB at Walmart is the Roadmaster "Granite Peak", and it's $99.97. 
Sometimes, peoples negotiation skills make me go "HUNH?!" 
But, I thank you for the good chuckle anyway!  It was a real Day Brightener!
Thankfully we managed to put out three new rides yesterday!  I won't even bother showing you the pic of the Marin road bike as it didn't last but a few minuets before going to  new home!  We do, however, still have a very sharp looking Bianchi hybrid and a sweet, old school Giant Rincon!

(OH BOY!!  Pause for a second here.  A new twist in Suzanne!  She's laying under the desk as I write, and came out to put her head on my lap for some loving.  Seems she is becoming a good watch dog as well!  Don't know what to think about this, though.  As I was petting her, Owen came from the back (he can move a little light and quiet at time) in a split second her ears shot up, she spun round placing herself between me and the noise and let out a VERY impressive growl (Boxers have the BEST growls!) and warning bark!  Once she saw who it was, however the ears went down and she started to wag er tail!  Wow.  That's loyalty!)

And for the time being that's about all we have to work on!  Several of our regulars stopping in yesterday were like "WOW!  Where did everything go?  Most folks are use to seeing a pretty full store, but I'll tell you that's NOT because we are EVER overstocked!  Oh NAY, NAY!  That's because we are CONSTANTLY rolling stock over, and building more!  Hence why, the two folks coming in yesterday to buy the bikes they looked at the day before were unfortunately disappointed to find they were not here anymore!  Trouble is, and this time of year is infamous for this, we cannot buy ENOUGH bikes to fill the demand!  So, REALLY, if you have a ride you are no longer using....(hint, hint, nudge, nudge!) Bring it on in!
I best go and do...something!
See y'all soon!

ONLY $140.00!!
ONLY $130.00!!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


Definitely readjusting to the households new addition.  Suzanne is a good companion but I have quickly come to notice two things.  First: I'm doing a LOT more walking!  Not a bad thing, maybe wear off a few pounds! Second: Our neighborhood has a VERY active night life!  And I ain't talking Raves and Parties. Primarily Rabbits!  Yes, the title of this entry is "SQUIRREL!!"  but that is a general exclamation in reference to a dogs propensity to loose focus in the presence of tiny furry creatures (Watch the delightful film "Up!" for further understanding).  The problem is, she is SO distracted when I take her for her nighttime walk, she forgets to potty.  Then once inside the house....she remembers!  OY!  Needless to say, we quickly bought rolls and rolls of paper towels and bleach cleaner!  Other then that, she has been a real joy.  Very quickly she has become quite loyal, and does not leave my side.  Had it not been for Angi keeping her occupied last night I might have had to take her into the shower with me just so I could get clean!
Seems the one negative side effect of Elijah's job hit him (and us) unawares.  Working in close proximity to children day in and day out has exposed him to kid germs!  He lasted out almost his entire work week (as today and tomorrow are his day off) but had to come home early last night, looking like death warmed over.  All I can say is he needs to drink less soda and MORE OJ!!! 
Kaleb, who lately (fingers crossed) has been doing rather well, in all areas, has now been invited to engage in classes for Mixed Martial Arts.  Hmmmm?  Of course, its one of those "Try it Free For A Week" deals, so we will see how it goes. 
The rest of the kiddo's are doing OK.  Of course the evening, when we return from work, is a tad bit chaotic, as the new additions return from work with Daddy lends itself to them all wanting to play with her, and thankfully she seems to be getting adjusted.  Day time however, is an equal raucous.  Even though each little guy takes their turn at the shop, Mom has the rest.  WOOF! 
Wish I had a lot of other exciting news to report around the shop, but unfortunately yesterday was very sedate everywhere in the plaza!  It was SO stiflingly humid out, you wouldn't have wanted to spend 30 seconds in it.  A really good rain came later that afternoon to cool things down and we were treated to a FULL, VIBRANT double rainbow right out our front door!  GORGEOUS, right down to deep purple! 
Today, I am putting the finishing touches on a real nice looking Bianchi hybrid.  Everything else is completely caught up with so other then that, we are just waiting!
Please don't make us wait TOO long!  And oh yes!  If you have any kids bikes for sale!  We want 'em!  I have NO idea what happened but in the last two days we have sold all but two of the mass stock we had!  And the only time that usually happens is right around Christmas!  The nice observation is, that both parents and grandparents may actually be starting to put pressure on little Johnny and little Suzy to get off their bloody handheld and get outside for some fresh air and adventure!
WOW!  Here's hoping!
All right, Peace!  See ya soon!

Monday, June 16, 2014

A Boy and His Dog!

In a whirlwind of activity, we now have a dog! 
Last week, while perusing a website for a local dog rescue, regarding a small Jack Russell Terrier that the dog groomer next door is currently caring for, and Owen met and liked, I stumbled upon a picture of my dog, Suzanne.  A Boxer/Lab mix, I instantly fell in love with her.  With Angela's blessing, I sent an inquiry telling them how I felt, and within an hour I got an E-Mail back with a phone number urging me to call.  Apparently, she was impressed with my opinion and urged me to fill out an application.  Suzanne had been a rescue, but as the "foster Mom" had limited capacity and was getting in 18 dogs from Georgia, I could not have communicated at a better time.  We set up a meet and greet for Sunday, but we had not anticipated  that she would in fact be coming home with us that day, until I made the confirmation call Sunday morning.  Thanks to Uncle Chippie for playing driver and ferrying us all the way to lower Saint Pete (the GOOD section!).  When we first arrived, Suzanne greeted me at the door.  Apparently she shared the infatuation as from the get go we got a lot of love.  She was very affectionate and at one point casually climbed into my lap as we sat over paperwork.  Yes, it was a day of many treats!  As Chip drives a pick up, there was not enough room in the cab for all of us, so I opted to ride in the back.  Both he and Angi were concerned I'd be uncomfortable but I assured them it had been a long time since I relived my farm boy youth, and had NO problem in the bed of a truck!  We even got to visit and get the grand tour of "Uncle Chip's Garage"!  What a TREAT!  I am sworn to secrecy and to not divulge the contents, suffice to say it's a Wonderland!  
Once home, there was an obvious moment of overwhelming when we entered the house, as Suzanne cowered behind me briefly from the onslaught of excitement and outstretched hands, but rather quickly she became comfortable and began to explore her new home.  From the beginning Angela set the ground rules.  She is SO cute!  Trying so hard to remain firm in regards to "No dogs on the furniture", which very quickly became "OK, she can lay on THAT couch" which then became "OK, she can lay on that part of THAT couch!"  As the evening wound down, and we took her for an excited walk (with all the squirrels and rabbits in our neighborhood she was quite a handful) we came back in, put the kiddo's to bed and began to settle down ourselves.  Angi's back was bothering her a bit (we really are FAR removed from going anywhere in an automobile, and the jarring ride was a bit much for her sciatica) so she propped herself up in bed for a bit, while I took Suzanne for a final potty run and came to bed.  I set out a blanket at the end of the bed for her, but much to my surprise, as Suzanne rested her head at the foot of the bed looking soulfully at Angi, she actually patted the bed signaling Suzanne to join her!  WOW!!  Yes, Angi is in full sway of her charms.  And she really is a very excellent dog.  She doesn't even bark!  Well, once.  This morning around 6 am she woofed at me once and when I woke, and looked at her asking "what" she wagged her tail and turned her head towards the front door, then looked back at me with a "do you get my point" sort of look.  She was telling me it was time for her morning potty (although I do hope that she moves her schedule up at least an hour!) Thankfully, it was quick and we were able to crawl back into bed for another couple hours. 
To top off the day, Angi gave me the most wonderful Fathers Day dinner, one of my faves that we hardly ever have, Egg Salad Sandwiches!  A New England Favorite! Of course, I was blessed with home made signs and cards.  Actually, I will get the kids tonight, as we were so engrossed in everything else, we ran out of time.  But I did get a most loving one from Angela, not to mention a really cool handmade sign and crown made out of a plastic cup!  SWEET! 
Yep.  Couldn't be a prouder, happier and loved Dad then me!
So, if Suzanne will let me, gonna try and get some work done!
Oh, and as an added bonus, this morning I got in my Greedo Bobblehead, AND my 1996 Greedo Action figure!  COOL!  My old Schwinn is almost done!
See ya all soon! 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Dramatic Differences

Oh.  Really?
Wow!  Been a couple days since I poked my head in, and I apologize for that!  See, we have a routine around here, that I obviously have to amend a bit.  When we first get in, I do all my computer work, using a coffee break as an excuse to sit down.  After the run through updating Craigslist, emails, eBay, banking and credit cards I hit the blog and lay down my senseless ramblings.  Well, as summer is upon us, I have to readjust to the way work comes in.  As the mornings are a little cooler, most folks are doing their bike related errands within the first two hours and last two hours of the day.  By the time we serve them, then go on to the repairs, we are in full work mode and go right on to rebuilds.  So as an effect of that...I completely forget my desk duties!
And we thank all of you who have kept us WAY busy!!  We never grow tired of your comments and compliments!  One sticking in my mind really tickled my fancy!  Had a retired couple, taking in their grandson for summer break, looking for a bike for him to use when he was here.  A neighbor of theirs recommended they come and see us.  As they were perusing the stock the young man noticed the 16" orange Schwinn, and fell in love.  The really cool part was (considering just how new the bike looked) when they asked (apprehensively) how much and I told them it was only $40.00, their eyes got REAL big and they asked incredulously "REALLY?!"  Their amazement only increased when I further informed them that when he outgrew the bike they could return it for a 70% trade (minus any damages of course) of the amount they originally paid for the next size up.  OR, they could return it for 50% of their money back, should they wish, when he went back home.  Yes, another satisfied life time customer! 
We have also sent MANY rides to new homes, so much so that pickings are getting a mite SMALL!!  AHHHHHHH!  Pumped out two yesterday, and we are looking for more! 
On the home front!  Seems Elijah is doing rather well in his current position, as the boss man has now moved him up to full time hours and given him the title (in lieu of more pay) of "Senior Operator!"  At the very least he is starting to bring in cash to cover his expenses. 
Kaleb is here full time for the summer and has been doing a good job of keeping himself out of trouble, showing more of an interest in learning how things are done around here.  Thankfully I haven't had to whack him with a wrench in a few days!  He actually spent a day last week with Bullet learning how to lace a wheel.  Of course, he needs more practice (still has the common problem of the incessant humps) but he is one step above me in that respect.  I have laced a few wheels in the past, and quite frankly, I suck at it!  I have NO patience when it comes to something like that!  If I can't do something 100%, I move on.  Just way to easy to replace them! 
Mom, is slowly coming to terms with summer time angst, with a house full of bickering.  The baby girls routine being somewhat screwed up with three other loud mouths in the house hogging the TV time.  Unfortunately for the wee ones, it can't be all "Sponge Bob", "Paw Patrol" and "Bubble Guppies"!  Although they ALL agree on "My Little Pony".  Truth be told, I have even found MYSELF transfixed to the screen when that show is on!  It's kind of hypnotic! 
Angela made an interesting observation this morning as we sat outside enjoying our coffee before leaving for work.  As we looked out over the neighborhood we saw a young man strolling up the hill.  Very energetic and physically fit, he was reading the water meter.  As we watched him weave and bop from side to side flipping up the covers and typing in numbers on his little gizmo, she commented on the difference between his physical stature ad that of the men from the light company.  As she pointed out, the few times she has seen the light company come by to "read" the meter they would just slowly drive through the neighborhood, obviously processing some kind of "radar gun" type of gizmo that when aimed at the house somehow magically registered the meter.  Her observation was that the Electric company guys (the ones driving) were in much WORSE condition (think my belly with about another fifty pounds attached!) then the fit gent walking the neighborhood.
Go figure!
I think you can guess the moral of this story, hunh?
Today, with all repairs caught up and nothing new so far to work with, guess I'm going to have to get creative!
All right, with that, I bid you a good day and see you soon!!

ONLY $70.00!!
ONLY $80.00!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Over 250,000 Served.

And in conclusion, gentleman, I'm frickin' BORED!!!
We have about gone 'round the bend!  To the point of re-re-organizing parts buckets!  Oh, it's not that we aren't seeing folks, and we have sent many a ride to new homes, and kept busy with repairs, but we are just getting so efficient now!  I know, sounds like a weird thing to complain about but we get it all done so quick, we are kind of in a stagnant holding pattern until the next thing come in! Although it does lead to bouts of chaotic behaviour amongst the crew!  Had to threaten them with a wrench to the head a couple times yesterday just for them to chill out.  Three teenage boys in the same place, and language and subject matter can border on offensive.  Even Rozy (who's day it was yesterday) got involved in a boisterous burping contest with Andrew at one point.  Lord I'm glad no one came in during THAT one!  We did manage to put out one newbie.  It came in on trade, got stripped, cleaned, reassembled put out and sold in under one hour. Like I said, efficient.
As the headline pronounces we are OVER 250,000 SERVED!!!  OK, that doesn't mean we have literally serviced that many bikes (although at time it may feel like it!) no, that's the number of reads our little blog has gotten since the getgo! 
Since it's inception we have been viewed in over 100 countries around the world, by a multitude of folks.  Thankfully we have heard from some of them and in most cases it has been flattering, to say the least!  It has also been (to the chagrin of my lovely wife) a reason for a swell of pride in my over laden chest!  Please keep up the looks, and in the future I'll endeavor to provide you with something a little more interesting next time you pop by!
Today, with everything else done, Kaleb and I are rebuilding my old May 1977 Schwinn, "Greedo" (google the date, you will understand the significance. Hint: the name gives it away) into a single speed.  For "sherry and giggles" I'll put up a pick on Facebook when we are through!
All right, Back to it! 
See ya soon!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

There ARE Hills In Florida!

Last night marked the first OFFICIAL day of summer.  Well, at least in our house.  It may seem an odd, almost Redneckish right of passage, but in our neighborhood "Big Trash Pick-Up" is on Tuesday.  That's when the city will pick up anything put to the curb, save toxic or hazardous waste.  Therefore, Monday evening is the BEST day to find hidden treasures!  Like I said, Redneck!  This being the first full week of vacation, Owen brought it to my attention Sunday and since they have no school in the morning we can go out after dark.  Of course, Logan has no interest in such things as our absence allowed him full run of the PS3, a much more suitable recreating activity for one such as he.  Rozy wanted to tag along but she was quite unnerved considering how "dark" it was.  I have to look back VERY far in time to ever remember a time I was afraid of the dark.  I had to have been in the low single digits when I WASN'T comfortable in the dark.  Quite frankly, that is the one and ONLY thing I miss about living in Texas.  Where we lived you needed drive only a few minuets to find a spot, on the right night with hardly any moon, where your surrounding were almost pitch black, to the point of barely seeing your own outstretched hand. Now THAT'S comforting!  But for her, even with all the street lights, and house lights, she needed only look up at the night sky and become very frightened.  Shortly after leaving the house,  taking the first turn onto a different road, she became concerned we were going to be eternally lost and never find our way home as she hovered on her bike close to me.  The encroaching darkness between each passing street light filled her with dread.  After only about twenty minutes her incessant unease compelled me to return her home to safety.  Of course, Owen and I had different plans.  As the trash picking was a bust (nothing but a scant few piles of rotted lumber and tree trimmings) we opted to continue our ride for a while.  What was really fun is we discovered in our own neighborhood a few streets we had never ventured upon, and lo and behold one of them, in a more affluent part, consisted of a long, winding hill.  After exploring the first time, we opted for a down hill race.  Having recently replaced my old Knobby's with a sweet set of slicks, he and I pedaled the flat part furiously then crouched down into an aerodynamic position (well, as much as a plump pear can be aerodynamic) and flew through the neighborhood!  The second and third time down the hill we were both able to hit all the corners with such a fierce lean that no brakes were required!  What a RUSH!  Third time around we tried to NOT stop at the stop sign but use our momentum to get back up the opposing hill without pedaling.  We only made it half way up, but by the end of the evening we were both laughing and cutting up, but in desperate need of a big glass of ice water and another shower.  Well, at least me.  I think little boys LIKE being sweaty and stinky!
All in all, it was a LOT of fun!  I don't get much one on one time with each kid, unless of course I am forced to have to lecture them, and it was just nice to take the little guy out and play.  As much as I may raz on him he is a good kid with a very brave and adventurous spirit.  It's far to rare that I get to let him exercise it!
SO yesterday!  Summer is definitely starting to kick into high gear.  The humidity is starting to stick, and most folk are now doing their biking and related activities either first thing in the AM or in the latter PM.  We were busy from the jump, sending two rides to new homes, and tackling several quick repairs.  Then, with the afternoon heat kicking in, we slowed and used the time to pump out two newbies, but then got busy as the sun dropped lower in the West.  Same thing seems to be going this morning, as we just sent the DK home with a very happy young gent, and we prepare to figure out what we are going to do for busyness. 
I'll find us something!
Check out the newbies below, an I'm going to find something to work on!
See ya soon!

ONLY $105.00!!!
ONLY $95.00!!!

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Real Deal!

OK, so I'm  little late in my posting today!  I have two reasons! 
First, seems that some bigger, badder Internet carriers are infringing on the neighborhood and seem to be drowning out my Wi-Fi.  Took me until only a half an hour go to be able to get a signal!  So to Bright house I say go fu....nny yourselves!
Second, and much more pleasant reason, we have been VERY busy little bee's this morning!  Thanks to all the folks for coming in to pay us a visit, not to mention pick up a couple new rides AND some DVD'S!  I hope the gentleman who picked up the copy of Vamperella will give me a shout out and tell me if it was as bad as I had assumed it would be!
Also, this morning, I received another welcome affirmation that we are doing it right!  I'll explain.  One of the sad truths in American business today is the waning adherence to "Quality".  I refer to my recent experience with Roto Rooter as a good example of what I mean  (5/19/14).  It is our firm belief that if you build something, service something or sell something you MUST stand behind it!  Basic wear and tear aside, you HAVE to back it up!  This is why we offer the Fool proof, FULL no-hassle 1 year warranty.  However, even after more the seven years it still tickles me when a good majority of folks look upon this as "window dressing" or "mouth music".  Thankfully, not many of the rides we sell come back in for warranty work (I do hope that this means the rides are holding together) but a few do.  Of course, I hold no grudges against the folks that come in and clearly their demeanor and body language speaks to the belief they have that we are in some way going to renege on the warranty and blame THEM for the problem and try an charge them.  Yes, sometimes it happens that someone is just HARD on a bike, but in most cases they realize that they were the reason that something broke, and don't quibble.  And at times, a part just fails.  Case in point, this morning a young lady returned with the Huffy cruiser she picked up about a month ago.  Her chain busted a link and through off the tension. When they attempted to remount the chain it off set and loosened the rear axle.  When she returned today she brought her boyfriend (husband) in with her, doing his very best to be intimidating,  Oh not threatening or physical or loud or anything like that, just "present" arms folded across his chest watching us.  Heh!  Body language says it all.  Once I finished the tube replacement I had been working on, I set the cruiser in the rack and within twenty minuets had it up and running again.  Removing it from the rack I wheeled it up to them with a "There ya go!".  At this point the gentleman puffed out his chest preparing for battle as the young lady tentatively asked "How much was that?" Oddly enough he seemed rather confused and disappointed when I said "Nothing, the warranty covers it!"   A sudden look of "So why am I here" came over his face.  In the end, they left seemingly impressed that someone actually honored their word.  A rare commodity in today's business world apparently!
I have to give a brief MOVIE REVIEW!!!
No Spoilers in this one!  The movie in question is "Robocop".  Now, from the get go I was hesitant in watching this one.  The reason being is I am getting a little tired of remakes and reboots.  Hollywood is getting a wee bit lazy as they bring out and dust off some old "classics", especially the
Sci-Fi/action films.  The obvious reasons being, as they have so vastly improved the special effect they use old tried and true films to showcase the new technology.  Mind you, I use the term "classic" very tongue in cheek in regards to the original Robocop.  When I saw the original I was a little less then impressed.  Oh sure, the young teenager in me thought in unique and exciting, but the believability stretched ones imagination, an it was a tad bit quirky and juvenile in spots.  The though that an entire city could be so completely overtaken and subjugated by gangs was ludicrous, and the villains themselves so overly stereotypical and prone to senseless act of destruction and brutality was just silly.  Not to mention several unnecessary bouts of catch phrases and posing to make it laughable.  So I was completely unprepared for the remake as it was actually good!  All special effects aside, this one actually IMPROVED the storyline AND the acting 1000 fold!  This one even surpassed the recent remake of "Total Recall" in over all quality! So, OK, you have been informed
As the day marches on, we will be working on a few trades we got in this weekend.  They came later in the day, unfortunately, so we couldn't bang them out in enough time.  Once again, we are just so very ahead of the game right now, we are searching for things to do! 
All right, I'd bet get at it and do something!
See ya soon!

ONLY $65.00!!
ONLY $115.00!!
ONLY $45.00!!!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Birds of Paradise

Funny thing happened on the way home the other night.
As I closed up shop the other night I was in the process of bringing in the last "outside" item, when I was assailed with the furtive squawking of competitive seagulls.  Apparently some careless clod had discarded their leftover takeout, obviously from the side of their car, in the parking lot, and two seagulls were engaged in a rousing chorus of "MINE! MINE! MINE!"  The container itself was closed, but their were some other debris they found very appetizing, next to it.  As they danced about each other, grasping for each little morsel, an attentive crow, lazily circling overhead, perched atop the adjacent sign pole and calmly watched the hyper active gulls ballet.  Within a scant few seconds, the crow effortlessly drifted down right between the two others with a calm demeanor, almost ignoring their presence.  Even though these birds are quite similar in size and stature, gulls must be the cowards of the avian world, and crows are akin to James Dean or the Fonz, because they immediately scattered away, only to circle around and land several feet away and continue their incessant screeching.  The crow was nonplussed.  Even more impressive was this handsome creatures intelligence!  Once he had retrieved all the remaining morsels from the ground, he turned his attentions to the latched Styrofoam  container.  With a slight cock of his head, he seemed to quickly figure out how the thing worked and with an effortless poke of his beak and a flick and push of his head he had it unlocked and wide open.  The gulls, looking on in perplexed wonderment, hopped and squawked more fervently at this point, amazed at the delicacies he unearthed.  Although he had no intentions of sharing until he had his fill.  Once he had satiated himself on what little was inside, he turned his attention to a small sauce container.  This was one of those little plastic pints with the lid firmly attached.  At this point I was in awe of his adeptness, and wondered if he could figure out how to get THAT thing open.  My silent question was answered quickly, as he pinched the lid with his beak and gave one quick snap of his head, separating the lid from the cup!  Of course, whatever was in their turned out to have no interest for him and as calmly as he swooped down was as calmly as he lifted off and flit away.  The two gulls, still incredulous to what they had just witnessed, quickly swarmed in to investigate that which he discarded.  Apparently they found it no more appealing then the crow, and with a string of squawks, disappointingly fluttered away, yelling at each other the whole way!
Fascinating what you can witness when you take the time to watch!
Yesterday was steady, but as before, we keep getting through things too quickly and are left with little to do!  The Bone Yard is now COMPLETELY empty, cleaned, raked and ready to be refilled.  Bone Row now only comprises 5 bikes, all of which awaiting pick up.  The parts buckets have all been refilled with the tear down goodies, EBAY is up to date and I don't think we could even sweep any more!  WOOF!  Luckily, I ran into our resident scrap guy, Terry, and inquired as to whether or not he had anymore lumber kicking about as we needed another shelving unit for the movies!  OH YES!  We have picked up ALLOT of collections over the last couple of weeks, and I'm getting a little tired of how cluttered all the milk crates acting as shelving, look!   So Elijah and I spent a few minuets yesterday afternoon putting up another one, and today I will spend some time reorganizing all of it!  Not so much a chore for me, as my mild OCD really LOVES to organize! 
We have a full compliment of crew here today, and I have them puttering doing "Busy Work".  Oh they LOVE me for that!
We did pick up another goody this morning on donation, needing a lot of work, and it's currently in tear down getting a new lease on life.
OK, so now I best get 'et it! 
Remember, get out and RIDE before it gets to hot to do it!  Then, grab some movies, set up the trainer in front of the TV and ride some more!
And here's what we got out yesterday!

ONLY $90.00!!
ONLY $140.00!!