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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Talk about "just over the line"!!

Before I get going with yesterday's fun and frivolity, a couple SHOUT OUT thank yous I forgot to mention yesterday in regards to the Truck, amongst the Hullabaloo of the Internet crash! (ARRGH!) First, a warm thank you to my lovely wife for being understanding this weekend about us having to work late.  It's a rule in our house, Daddy doesn't work past closing, but she understood the importance of me not being capable of letting something go undone, so was very understanding.  And to Uncle Chippie for the gimme of the three speed rear hub!  We didn't have one with the right spacing, so he graciously dug through the recesses of his garage and found me a good one!  Thank YOU sir! 
OKAY!  Now, on to yesterday (and by extension this morning).  Well, actually, I'll wind the clock back to Friday for a funny tale I neglected to share, in lieu of the more pressing mind crunch, and that's a feature I like to call....
If you recall, while waiting for parts to come in last week, I was keeping myself busy on what was here.  In light of that, I ended up pulling out the classic Fuji "Mt. Fuji" MTB , that had been left here for over six months after some extensive repairs and replacements.  It's something we LOATHE to do, but after the customer had reneged twice on picking it up, then did not respond to my calls for two months, I had to give up the ghost and consider the sweet ride, abandoned.  Cleaned it up, and put it out, priced at what the total of the repairs were.  That was Thursday evening, I posted it, then closed the doors for the day.  The next day, we came in, opened up and had just put the outside stuff up, and began to clean my bay, when in walks a slightly familiar looking man, smiling, and nonchalantly states "I'm here to pick up my bike."  My brain, not fully in gear,  had to ponder just which  bike was he here to pick up, as the only one we had outstanding was a little girls 16" tube change.  He looked at me as if I should know, but I had to stammer out "Which one is yours?" 
Of was the Fuji! 
Six months has passed, and it was like he brought it in yesterday.  When I told him it was behind him, on the sales line, he looked momentarily incensed and inquired as to why it was up for sale!
It rarely happens, but there are times when even I am surprised at the way some people think!
Now, on too the next feature, you may all be familiar with, one of my personal favorites!
And yesterdays was a TRIPLE!!  OH YES!!  Had a gent call earlier in the day, stating he had just bought a road bike, from another shop locally, but then stumbled upon the Puch we had on Craigslist and loved the look of it, so he was going to return the one he had bought and come grab ours.  No worries.  He showed up about an hour later, road tested it, loved it, but then for some inexplicable reason decided to wait, as there was one more he was going to look at. 
No worries.  About fifteen minuets later, another gent came in and the moment I saw his serious riding attire (no, not full spandex but cut off shirt, riding shorts, biker gloves, ear buds and tattoo's) that this guy was a road bike man.  He was banging about on a beater MTB, but as suspected, wanted something a little more serious and aggressive.  Even before he asked, I pointed his attention to the Puch, which he test rode, loved... BUT, as he had JUST moved to the area from Washington State (hence the MTB) he wanted to "check out" some of the other local shops.
Here's where I take pause, in any similar conversation, and am so eager to just, honestly, inform the shopper "don't bother" as he had already made his budget known (under $200.00) and there was NO WAY he was going to find a road bike, anywhere else, for that investment. 
I SO do NOT want to appear the pushy salesman, so I inevitably let it slide with a genuine "good luck"
NEXT UP!  about 5 mins after he leaves, another gent, similarly attired, strides in and even before I can say "boo" asks if he can take the Puch out for a test run.  He's not gone 90 seconds before he strolls back in, sporting a wide grin, and leaving the bike on the side walk, hands over his credit card.
Now HERE'S the funny part! 
About an hour later, the first two gents, returned at the same time!  The first one even held the door open for the latter!! Banging away in my bay, I looked up to watch them enter, both turn to find the Puch, realize it's gone, and like something out of one season wonder sitcom, turn at the same time to look to me, inquisitively and I KID YOU NOT, say IN STEREO "Where's the Puch?"
Oh my GOD it was HILLARIOUS!!! 
They turned to look at each other, in mild surprise, then back at me.  It was all I could do to not burst into jocularity!  Composing myself, quickly, I simply responded that it had sold just a bit ago. 
They looked thoroughly kerflumexed.  I felt a twinge of sympathy for their situations, as I see it FAR too often.  Sticker Shock.  Especially to folks new to the area, when they realize just how much similar styles sell for in this town.  They AINT' cheap!!  Of course, I took their names and numbers, for when we get in similar rides, but it didn't seem to soften the blow any, sadly. 
The remainder of the afternoon was quiet, as expected in the heat of summer, but we had a slight surge towards the tail end of the day, and sent home the sweet looking LIKE NEW boys BMX to a visiting grandson and his VERY doting grandmother.  It's always sweet to see generations together, interacting for the child's best interest!  He was quite excited to have such a cool looking ride!  Even Grandma liked "all the skulls on it"!  You GO girl!
Wrapped the day up on time, and went home and we did all the house chore things, dealt with whatever insubordination that was up to the plate at the time (this time around it was Elijah, and me being DUMB enough to lend him MY Greedo to go to work the previous night (his is still in the back with the thrashed out rear wheel, that he hasn't bothered to fix yet) had decided, when he got off work at 4am to go hang with his buddies (no call, no text) and not show his face until 5.30 pm the next day!  It's lucky for him we had brought the truck home that night, or I would have had to walk to work and NOT been a happy camper!) then it was early to bed.  I was pooped and in a wee bit of pain, as yesterday I let the drill, with a wire wheel get a wee bit too close to my belly while cleaning a wheel (although, my expanded midsection can be a bit of a road block at times!) and it bit me, BAD!

So, a little Advil and it was off to bed for Daddy!
Now, during the summertime, all bedtimes are pretty much out the window.  The kids are allowed to stay up until they drop.  It does make it a little easier in the morning, as Angi is by nature, a night person and it allows her the luxury of a little more sleep in the AM before the raucous starts.  This morning I got up, in secluded silence, got dressed and was having my coffee, when I heard the tale signs of Miss Miranda waking up, in the form of standing in her crib and banging it against the wall.  She was in good spirits, surprisingly for her, who is so not a morning person. I met her outstretched arms, signifying she was prepared to get out of bed.  As she knows the routine, she took my hand and led me to the diaper changing stand, pulled out the diaper and wipes and laid down for me to change her.  We talked as I did so, well... I talked and she giggled and muttered things in Miranda speak.  I finished, helped her up, and she gave me a hug.  Then, pulling away, open her mouth and pointed, the universal sign for "feed me".  Okay.  I went in made her bottle and cereal brought it out to the coffee table, pulled up the foot stool for her.  Then she grunted and pointed at the TV, I popped in "Atomic Betty" and went about finishing getting myself ready for the day.
Now, to understand the cuteness of what follows, you need to know a little bit about one of Miranda's peccadillo's.  At times she can get upset about, well, something, and starts throwing fits, which degrade into coughing which inevitably turns to...well...I already grossed you out with my belly, but suffice to say, what inevitably follows coughing requires the quick retrieval of a bucket, towels, cleaning the floor and a bath. 
This morning, after her needs were met and I was going about my routine, I was passing through the living room, and started coughing.  She was SO cute!  Her face became one of wide eyed concern, said "Oo Daddy" then she dropped her spoon, ran into the kitchen and returned quickly with a sympathetic look and a bucket in her outstretched arms!  OH she is just so DAMN cute!!
Yes folks, it's moments like that which make all the other bull$#!+ melt away! 
WELL HUZZAH!!!  The new owner of the truck, Christophe, just came in, Budget rent a truck in tow and grabbed up the newbie!  I'm not sorry to see it go, only for the fact that, once done, it was a behemoth to move around and those hanging hooks got us a few times!  Although, it was a tad foreboding when he said "we'll probably be in touch in a few months to have you build a second one!  AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!  I'll need the time to recover! 
It was a little weird, oddly enough, packing up the wood working tools yesterday and re-shifting direction back to bike building, I'll tell you!  Once going though, managed to put out three newbies.  One, granted, needed nothing but a pair of pedals, as it is a LIKE NEW little 16" girls bike with trainers, real cute!  The other was a very fine looking example of a vintage Ladies 3-speed, Free Spirit.  I say "was" because it got snagged up first thing this AM.  The last is, what I thought would be, a tear down for parts BMX, but I said "What the Heck" and tried to see what it would look like with a good cleaning.  Turns out, it was mainly just filthy, and the scuffs it did have were nothing more then rubbings, and not scratches, easily removed with a little mineral spirit and elbow grease.  That rounded out our day, and we left ON TIME!!  YAY!
SO, today, thanks to our buddy Bullet, we picked up a few more "gimme's" of "need-to-much-work-to-save" rides abandoned at his shop, and although two were really beyond help, and just good for a few parts, the third is an aluminum frame road bike that now sits in my rack, tore down, and ready for an alley cat refurb!  Got some left over magenta paint, to accent the wheels, and then flat black all around!  She's gonna be a PEACH when she's done!  HUZZAH!!
During our conversation when we arrived, he informed me that sadly, within a few days, he is going to have to go in for surgery, and once out, was going to need a couple month of recovery time in which he can't exert himself or do any heavy lifting.  The upside, at least for Kaleb is, that Bullet wants to hire him for the summer to help run his shop!  WOW!  For those who don't know him, Bullet may be a little gruff  (he's a New York style Yankee) but there is NO ONE in the business who knows more about bicycles than this man!  After he left, I informed Kaleb, if he does in fact get the job to "PAY ATTENTION" and LEARN!  He is a fountain of knowledge and unlike me, has the patience to teach!  Given Kaleb's current level of experience, and working knowledge, he's got a jump, and this could truly be a blessed turning point for the boy!  Here's hoping!
With that, I'd best get a move on.  Been a busy morning already, and I got some chores to do before I can get back to work on the alley cat!
See ya!! 

PS!  Another Shout Out to Uncle Chippie, ever looking out for me, who recommends I wear a helmet, to which I responded my dislike for them, but in passing joked that I would wear one, ONLY if I could find a black one with a hot pink Mohawk on it!  

Guess I'm wearing a helmet!  Thanks for the "Uncle Chips Garage" original, sir!  Although it begs the question, from what, exactly, did the man get furry pink fabric scraps from. Hmmmmm?  Chip, are you living a secret life that lends itself to downtown Saint Pete on "Drag Night" perhaps? 
The mind reels.....

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ONLY $35.00!!
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ONLY $70.00!!!


  1. Last question first: I've no plans to change MY name. Now, about that helmet:

    I picked up the helmet awhile back at a thrift store to test the idea of peeling off the kiddie graphics and re-doing it. Which I did. Worked great. The base black got a coat of matte clear to protect the "Soviet chic" monkey wrench logo on the back of the thing. Kinda looks like the badge for an East German bike mechanics' union.

    After you said you'd ONLY wear a black helmet with a pink Mohawk, the search was on for the pink. Spent a fair amount of time on trips to Michael's' Arts & Crafts before I found a fuzzy pink gift bag at Walmart, which was bought and cut into strips. A little E6000 glue and your helmet was done.

    Dare ya to wear it!

  2. Well, should you ever choose a career in the avant guarde cabaret, may I suggest "Chipperella", and a warrior woman motif (coined from the classic Jane Fonda "B-Movie") And yes, once I get my fat head to fit into it, I will in fact wear it. Perhaps I'll get the clown bike running again, don my special helmet, and wait to see if I get "Baker Acted"! (trust me, I could USE the 72 hour vacation!!!)