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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!"


  1. Ok, last thing first:


    And you know you GOTTA Wear 'em to and from the shop! (If only to embarrass the kids AND the dog.)

    Now then: You really do need to NAME the shop that pulled that evil scam. Sure, we can all guess who it might be, but we might also be wrong. Name names, if you can, or at least make sure we don't guess wrong. I don't want to be one to send ANYONE their way.

    And about Elijah: In the two times I happened to be in the mall when he was working, I saw THE SAME KIDS lined up to ride the ride. So yeah, he's got a fine way with the wee ones, and certainly deserves all success.

    But you knew that.

  2. I understand your sentiment regarding the "other" bike shop. And as much as I would like to expose the perpetrators of such a heist, I cannot, in good conscience, do so. See, I may rail against Boutique bike shops, but they do serve a purpose and a clientele, that NEEDS their service. There is stuff they an do, we cannot. Not to mention in our very beginnings we were LAMBASTED by the majority of bike shops around here, being bad mouthed and rumor mongered as for some reason they perceived us as a threat. Now, after eight years, for the most part, they play fair. And just because one or more of their employees may not be the straightest shooters, it's up to the owner to figure that out and deal with it in their own way. Hopefully they will do the right thing. I will say (as I know where you thoughts would logically take you) the shop in question, this time around, is NOT "That One" on the Trail!