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Saturday, March 26, 2016

And THAT'S how you fit a square peg in a round hole!

Since when did Easter hit so early?!
Well, as I just was informed yesterday, don't think the Bunny is hitting this weekend!  Unless Angi pulls a miracle, but given the fact that she's working a booth at Tampa Pride today, and I gotta work AND tonight has been planned for over two years (actually, if you think about it more like 40 years, when I first read Justice League of America) to go and see the realization of every Fanboys dream, the knock down coupling of the celluloid Supes and Bats!  Yes, when I first learned Ben Affleck was doning the cape and cowl I cringed...loudly.
After viewing the trailer some months back? It became apparent that as the older "Frank Miller " inspired Dark Knight, he just may pull it off. They DEFINATELY got the right Superman...and Wonder Woman don't look to shabby either! Elijah, a HUGE Bat man fan went opening night and apparently afterwards called mommy in tears, sobbing "EPIC!!" SO, no, not gonna miss out tonight!
And, as Easter is low on the totem pole of Holidays around here, we'll just put it off until next weekend. Heck, all the left over Easter stuff will go on sale Monday, anyway!  BONUS!
Yesterday saw some torrential rain, so we were pretty much DOA, BUT got in a fresh batch of newbies and we pounded out a total of seven!  SAH-WEEEET!  One already sold, a GMC Denali, five minutes out of the gate, but got some real nice, priced right goodies left!
As I am up WAY to early this AM , (Had to run to store at six AM "UGH" because we were out of coffee, and Angi can't motivate without) gonna hit the shop earlier as I have a special order to put out, then back on rebuilds. Kaleb tore down five yesterday and, parts willing, gonna get them all together.
So, check out your future ride below, and I'm gonna get going!
See ya soon!

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Thursday, March 24, 2016

HEY. Dr. Fate! Take this day and SIT ON IT!

Okay. That was a thing.
Wendsday morning coming home from work I came to find, whilst a few minutes into relaxing and posting before night, night time that all the girls had different plans!  A scant few moments after finalizing my post and heaving my kiester into an upright position, Miranda awoke. Wide awoke!  Took me an hour to get her settled down, and no sooner had she drifted off, did Izzy wake up and wanted to tell me about het day.  Who can resist that angelic little face and baby blues?  So once she was content with the length of Daddy time, she took a shot of milk and drifted off,  Finally thinking I had it made I went into take a shower, only to discover Rozy was occupying my spot in bed! As she has gotten to grown for this old back to carry to bed I had to undertake the arduous task of trying to get her to move to her room.  NOT an easy task for such a heavy sleeper!  Delirious and still sleeping she kept flopping back towards our room and I had to forcefully steer her to her bunk. Finally, with all females in some approximation of proper sleep quarters, I headed to the shower...
Around six AM!

Needless to say...Kaleb opened up!
Fate not done toying with me, I crawled in around 12.30 in JUST enough time to waste an hour on the phone with the Succubuss's at the Department of revenue.  Oh yes, the bimonthly playful romp with these morons who have NOOOO concept of KEEPING NOTES!
Once it was determined that the "encrypted" email they sent was inaccessible (he had to prove it to himself by sending one to himself only to declare in a completely dry, unapologetic tone "hmm, there's no way to access this link"  DUH!!!) And do what I HAD ORIGINALLY ASKED HIM TO DO. and send the bloody info snail mail!!
Could have had the whole thing taken care of last week if they just listened!
Somebody just slap me!
With an hour left to my vices I tried to get on repairs only to find the parts I had ordered turned out to be the wrong ones, well, they sent me the wrong ones, so with a deluge of Daddy language, I set it aside for tomorrow and just cleaned for the remainder of my short time.
Then, to top off the day of fun and frivolity...
I got to the warehouse this afternoon, WAY burnt out, frustrated and exhausted and was not...coordinated.  none to coherent, I took my work list and ambled about for a few minutes, until the floor manager came over, took me aside and in a compassionate tone let me know that someone expressed the concern that...
 I was under the influence!?
After relaying the state of affairs of the last twelve hours of my life, he just shook his head and stated "no, I think you're cognizant "
Sometimes, a group of burly shop workers are worse than a bloody sewing circle!
You can quote me! goes without saying, I didn't get SQUAT done today, sadly, but hope to rectify that later this morning.
And to top it off...I cannot say with conviction if I ever GOT a shower last night!
Hopefully the chipper me will be the one to wake up tomorrow.
Night y'all.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

find my other boot...and I'll join you!

Another beautiful day under our belts!  I say beautiful, not only because the weather was excellent mild riding weather, but because I got to SLEEP IN THIS MORNING!!!  WOW!!!
Kaleb took point (um...yea...he's back in the fold.  DON'T JUDGE ME!!) He's earning his keep at the shop while he looks for permanent work (BWAHAHAHA!!) He can effectively turn a wrench, and is good with the customers, but I have to beat his lay about mooching friends away with a crow bar!  Hey...keeps my batting arm in practice!
Yea, pooped to the tenth power I incoherently passed him the keys from beneath the duvet with one crusty eye cracked open and muttered "I'll be up soon" non commitedly, and passed out.  But, I did manage to drag my carcass in around noon time and bang out a few repairs and a couple newbies before I needed to head to the other job.
Also gotta give a shout out to Dave Foot for the bountiful donations of cookies and pastries!  Left overs from a gathering at their retirement community.  Also to the lady with the food donations as they were headed back up north.  Hey, I. Aint so proud I'm gonna pass up free food!  These kids eat butter out of the tub, so they ain't against ANYTHING edible!
We also picked up a couple new goodies we already tore down and are working on, hopefully out tomorrow.  One is a cool looking Schwinn comfort bike, with a real unique frame!
And as always, thanks ever so much  for ALL the continuing referrals folks happily give out!  Lots of looky loos and repairs, not to mention special orders from folks who were told NOT to go ANYWHERE ELSE!!
That's the beauty of good solid friends; they'll NEVER steer you wrong!  And we know by coming to see us, you'll be so thrilled it will strengthen that bond of friendship!
One such new comer came in this afternoon for a noise in the crank, upon study, we found the chain ring was sharked out, and the chain stretched.  This was enough info to inspire the gent to snag up a new ride, in the way of a sharp Raleigh we'd just put out, and he rode off a very happy Snowbird!
That made the day fun!
Okay friends, I gotta shower and hit the silk, so until next time..
Your friend and mine,

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Monday, March 21, 2016

Another Perfect Sunday!

So apparently Angi has a direct link with Mother Nature, and has her on speed dial!  For the last couple months Angi has been painstakingly planning a big party for all the kids.  It was a combination "All Hands Birthday Party", and Apology.  Last year was so bad financially we ended up having to skip everyone's celebration.  Oh she did cupcakes to mark the day, but couldn't swing gifts or cake or decorations, and she felt pretty sad about it.  The kids took it in stride, but she never forgot.  With great time and effort she planned out a real humdinger of a celebration, setting it for the first day of Spring Break (well, the first day I wasn't working) and had everything done, all ducks in a row (except the food, which needed getting the day before (leave any snacks in the house for more than twelve hours and they would have all been gone before the party!)) She had all the gifts got, rented a jumpy house, tables and chairs, some way cool inflatable outside furniture NOT to mention, an awesome DVD projector, to set up a really neato outside movie theatre, plenty of outside games, decorations galore and plenty of barbeque!
Two days before the party a cold front was coming in, preceded by two days of rain!
We'd been watching the weather report diligently since mid week, and each day the projected  chance there would be rain on Sunday continued to climb!  By Saturday, having already rained most of the day, the outlook was bleak with a 50% chance we would be rained out.  I started making plans to regrettably move the celebration indoors, but in a very calm and collected voice Angi reassured me "It's not going to rain".  Very matter of fact, as if she had the inside poop contradicting the weathermen.  Well, I wasn't going to question (but the back of my brain was still calculating an indoor retreat) and went on with finalizing errands Saturday Evening.  Finally finishing all the prep (and wrapping) we hit the sack at 3.30 am only to be woken by a phone call at 7.30 that the rental company was outside the house with the HUGE jumpy house. 
SO, our morning of prep began, and the whole while I had one eye on the clouds, worried at any point the skies would open up, but Angi went happily about her decorating without a worry in the world.  To my surprise, around ten AM the clouds had all but drifted away, leaving only sunny blue skies, warm air but accented with an almost constant light breeze.  You could NOT have asked for a more perfect day!  The kids and their friends had a BLAST!  It was an all day affair that went off without a hitch (SO NOT like what usually happens!) and aside from a slight altercation between Izzy and Miranda regarding who's gifts were who's (and Owen insistently trying to annoy everyone) it was wonderful!  I even had my OWN treat, by midafternoon, having gorged myself on barbeque, and as Angi sat out front socializing with the parents I snuck into the back yard and took a nap on the big inflatable loveseat!
Hee, hee!
Then, as the sun started to set, the cold front drifted in, and it was just enough to warrant lighting the fire pit outside, and we sat about chatting up the day.  At this point, I asked Angi how she knew it would not rain, she just smiled a peaceful smile and stated "I had a word with God.  We came to an understanding" as if that was all I needed to know. 
Once dark, we drifted out back and with the kiddos snuggled up with blankets and watched the new "Peanuts" movie and brought the day to a close.  After an hour of clean up, we hung outside with the boys and their friends until we ran out of firewood and then hit the sack.
Sure enough, once finished and settling down to bed, the REAL cold moved in accented with rain!
God listened!
SO, on to work!
Saturday, as stated, was rainy, so aside from a few repairs we were quiet, but we did manage to bang out a few kiddo bikes, and a couple adult rides.  A real clean ladies MTB and a mechanically sound (but somewhat scratched up) Fuji road bike, but that one is priced accordingly!
Today, gotta git to the repairs and hopefully a couple more newbies as we are sadly understocked at the moment!  With that, I best git!
See ya soon!

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Monday, March 14, 2016

Yet Another Monday

Well, another weekend come and gone and FAR to quickly I might add!  This weekend we worked a little later on Friday and Saturday to get some more newbies out, well Friday ended up in finishing up repairs, going into Saturday with a clean docket so I could rip right into the newbies.  We managed to put out five, with one finding a new home almost immediately.  What we have left of the new batch is a sweet older Tandem, a LIKE NEW Mongoose MTB, a NOW gorgeous K2 2.3 Zed MTB with a full set of disc brakes and a lightweight alloy frame, and a SAH-WEEEEET 1973 Ladies Schwinn Suburban.  The last one was a BEAR, but only in the sense that it needed quite a bit of rustication (all surface rust from sitting in a garage for twenty years!) and threading the cables for the gearing was quite the task!  I have NO idea who designed these things, but betting the new cable in through a u clip and eyelet was maddening!  With my eyesight?  OY!  Finally got it done, though, and she rides like a champ!
Once the day was ended we entered into our one day off with the pleading hope there would not be much house work to do On Sunday and allow us the time to just chill and take it easy!
Enh.  Not so much!  At some point in the night some punks came on the property and made off with three of our bikes.  Mine, the truck and Logan's.  The only fortunate thing was they abandoned them a couple of streets up.  My only hope is that the idiot little scumbags were unprepared for the fact that the truck is a fixed gear (HEE, HEE!) and perhaps with the unexpected weight of the thing on top of that, when they went to coast I hope they were unprepared, it threw them off and they got crushed by a passing motorist!  HEY, I can dream, can't I!  Not only that, but Greedo has been in desperate need of a major overhaul.  The rear axle recently broke, and if you try and ride it too hard, the chain slips.  The hope there is...the assailant was standing up on the bike when it occurred (as we found the chain off and kinked up around the bike) and he now has NO hope of ever having children! 
One of our neighbors discovered them and let us know, so we were able to retrieve all of them! 
Karma, dudes....karma!
Well, the remainder of the day, while busy, was still slow paced.  We decided to clean out the shed, with the caveat that NOW all bikes MUST be kept put away, and we got rid of a lot of unnecessary garbage to boot!
Then, we just chilled.  One success of the later afternoon was Izzy, who loves to sit in the tree in our front yard, finally was able to make the climb up, unaided!  I was very proud of the little monkeys accomplishment, as she was thrilled too!
Well, other than that, we kept it mellow for the remainder of the day, bringing us into today.
For today, still have plenty to work on, and I'm getting on it now!
Hope to see y'all soon!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Time Keeps on Slippin', Slippin', Slippin'.....

Where did the week go?
Seriously, if it were not for Angi reminding me, I would totally lose track of the day's of the week! 
And it's been an energetic week, to say the least!  The season in full swing, we have been working primarily on repairs, and BOY HOWDY have there been a LOT!  Thank you SOOOOO much for all your trust, not to mention some AWESOME compliments along the way!  And one surprisingly common statement has been bandied about from several Snowbirds making the trek South.  This is the fact that several visitors have actually waited to have their bikes serviced until they get here.  And I don't mean just to Florida but specifically HERE!!
I mean, how bad is the service at your local bike shop that you'll drive 2000 miles for a tune up?
No, I'm not THAT vain!  I know they're coming down here for other things!  My charming personality and rapier wit! Really, the Florida Tourist Commission would really amp up their revenue if they adopted the slogan "Come to Florida and visit Steven!" Oh, I can see the dollar signs now!
So, we did manage to put out several newbies amongst the repairs, but of course, I will only be picturing the one's left, which aint much!  It would appear that more and more folk are taking the ten minute rule seriously, and NOT letting them go once they see them!  Had one yesterday that was a Ten Minute Rule in the minus column!  Had a gent looking at a sweet GT MTB we had.  He took it for a ride, loved it, but then was pondering the purchase when another gent came in specifically to check it out, and I watched the unspoken exchange between the two gentlemen.  The funny thing was, as the first guy was thinking, the second man paused, then moved to pull the bike out to take a closer look when the first guy, without so much as an upward glance, place his hands back on the bike and said to me "I'll take it!"  Heh, heh!  Good call sir! 
Today, I have another ladies MTB that seems more hybridish than Mountain, in my rack, then, time allowing, will go on to a vintage Schwinn ten speed we picked up last week.  Although, don't hope to much on that one, as I have five folks waiting for it to be finished. 
The house has gotten interesting...
Miranda finally has her school assignment, and we went to take her on a tour and meet the staff on Tuesday.  The biggest hurtle is going to be separation from Angi.  Normally, a trial for most children, it is doubly traumatic for a child with autism.  While we were there, and Angi spoke with the teachers as I wandered about the classroom following her, she kept glancing back at Mommy, at times annoyed that Mommy was paying attention to someone other than her.  The school is six miles away from the house, and even though they supply a bus for her, if there are any problems, it's going to take a few minuets to get there on a bicycle. 
Kaleb has, for an undetermined amount of time, come back to the house.  The temp agency he was (or still is?) working for seem somewhat flighty.  Not sure where this is all going, but so far he has been on his best behavior, and you can bet Angi has him under a microscope! 
Of course, this week we have been contending with another bout of kiddie colds, so there strewn about the couches, moaning.  Last night, when I got home all the girls were still up and poor Angi was sprawled on the edge of the couch, half on half off, as if she had just dropped "mid-tending" to their needs.  I had to help her to bed as she kept ricocheting off the walls on the way to bed.
I stayed up until the last girl gave up the ghost and passed out myself.
Bringing us too today!
SO, now I best get a move on as I got some heavy chores to do!
See ya soon!

Monday, March 7, 2016

OK...That's SPOOKY!

First things first!
Saturday was STELLAR!!!  We SOLD OUT!!  Well, almost, we have ONE adult size bike left, but I am pumping out more today, so no worries.  It was a fast one after another going out the door all morning!  The funniest one was a gent who came in with an MTB for a tube change, saw the vintage Raleigh we had, fell in love (his friend had a similar Raleigh, so it just fit) and traded in the MTB towards it.  Also, another HILARIOUS moment in the day...about mid morning, I saw a police car pull in front of the shop and stop.  Of course, at this moment I was doing a mental check to figure out if I had done anything "questionable" lately, and as I nervously pondered this a mini van with three retirees pulled behind him and into a parking spot.  As the ladies got out of the van they exchanged waves with the officer and he drove off.
It turns out, they were looking for our shop, couldn't locate it, so the officer gave them an escort right to our door!
COOL!  But...not sure if a cop knowing where we are is a good thing...or a bad thing...
They ended up picking out a ladies cruiser from Bone Row to have built for one of them visiting.  There reception once it was done was most appreciative because we really brought it back from the dead. 
Of course, as always, thank you to all the folks for the traditional flood of weekend repairs and for being quick to return and pick them up! 
NOW....on to the spooky!
Depending on your thoughts regarding the supernatural, you're either going to be entertained and curious or think I'm a loon, but the following story has happened far to much recently!  Either I am going senile, or something else is going on!
Over the last few months, in conjunction with some odd goings on at the house (witnessed by far to many members of the family AND Suzanne) I have been plagued with a weird string of "where did I put that" occurrences.  Things like keys, lighters, tools (at the house, shop and warehouse) that I would then search for, to no avail only to find them some time later in a blatantly obvious spot that I KNEW I had searched through repeatedly.  Sure, I am getting older and will write a lot off as just not paying attention or being tired, what have you, but the following happened on Saturday and is just WAY to obvious to be ignored.  I have a lot of clutter behind the counter, but do my best to keep it organized, and the most important part of office necessity I have is my notebooks.  Currently I have two going and it's where I write down all the customer information regarding repairs, consignments and one is for things folks are looking for.  Whatever notebook I am working in ALWAYS stays behind the counter in easy access.
Until Saturday.
I had finished a string of repairs and went to call the customers only to discover both notebooks gone.  Rozy and Owen were here that day and I though they may have taken them to doodle in, but neither had them.  What followed was an exhaustive search of the whole shop, and a thorough cleaning of the counter area (best way to find something is clean as you go) but found NOTHING! 
Somewhat frustrated, I consoled myself to the fact that perhaps Izzy had grabbed them on Friday and took them home, and prayed that the customers would call when they curious about their bikes.  Mind you, when we left Saturday evening, I was the last one out, and gave a cursory glance to the counter area for good measure, but nothing was there, just a clean organized area.  And, as it turned out, they weren't at the house either.
Then I came in to the shop this morning...
NO ONE else has a key to the shop, there is only one.  NO ONE (at least corporeal) was at the shop since we left Saturday but lo and behold, what do I find neatly stacked on top of each other DEAD CENTER of a clean desk top!?! It was like whoever or whatever was saying "HA HA!  HERE YA GO!"
Either I am losing my mind, or we got ourselves a spiritual hitch hiker!
As long as the sucker is just mischievous and not malevolent...we'll be okay!
So, as long as I can keep track of my tools, it's off to bang out some rides!
Hope to see y'all soon!  (bring sage, salt and a crucifix)

Thursday, March 3, 2016


Middle of the week wrap up! 
It's been a blustery blur so far, and I completely lost track of the days!  Realizing this morning I hadn't even had time to post the few newbies I had enough time eked out to allow me to build them.  Well, as it turns out, was needless anyway, as they didn't stick around long enough anywho!  For the most part it has been repairs, repairs and for good measure...repairs all week long!  Thank you SOOOO much to all the wonderful folks and their faith, trust and most importantly REFERALS!!  Heh, Heh!  I'm blessed, in the fact that at just the right moment someone comes in to compliment us on our efforts!  Thank you for fueling a Leo's ego!  "EGO MY LEO!" 
SO, no...I don't have anything new to show (and I best remember to edit the "What's Still Here" listings!) as yesterday was spent primarily weeding through the stuff out back.  Yea, it's to the point now that there is NO getting past the pile in the back.  Surprisingly, no one in the plaza has complained yet...but I KNOW they will!  Most of today will probably be spent working on that, but I do have a couple lined up I'd LIKE to get to if time allows!
No worries though, we still have some gems left looking for new homes.
On the home front...
Kaleb had a minor set back, the place he was working for (through a temp agency) filled their quota apparently, and no longer had use for temps.  SOOOOO, he showed up at our doorstep a couple days ago, having lost his living arrangements. *sigh*.  To my surprise, Angi took him back in, I think for the reason that, to his credit, he hit the "Internet Bricks" and started looking for another job right away.  AND, for the time being, he has been very respectful and helpful, so perhaps humility has settled in.
Time will tell.
Miranda has been testing Mama's stamina, quite a bit to be precise.  Her nocturnal schedual has persisted, and even though Angi gets her up each morning with the other kiddos, and limits her nap time, she STILL won't go to bed much before 2 am.   Next week she starts school, so fingers crossed that will help!
OKAY, now, I gotta jump!  New batches of repairs starting to come in so I gotta get to work!
See y'all soon!