Friday, January 26, 2007

It's Not So Bad

Feels like some catching up to do. It's been quite a week with a lot happening, and I have been doing a pretty good job of focusing on work while at work. Novel concept it would seem for many around here at the office!

Took care of home duty around the house and kids off to school. Anika had court. Busy day, got home and had a Post-It from UPS that they attempted to deliver a package to the house but need someone to sign for delivery. Okay, no information on the package or who it was for. Could have been for Anika? Who knew. Took care of arrangements on to make the pick up at the customer counter at UPS. It's just over on Broadway, not too far from the house, no problem. Dinner, off to dance lessons with Alison, practice some flashcards with Kayla while waiting for dance, over to UPS to pick up package. To my surprise: Bike box from Rivendell. Stop for gas, stop at Target, home around 8:30. Kids to bed, unpack Quickbeam.

Yup, same bike I sent out. Brian did a nice job installing the original headset. No real note, just the Quickbeam and a small box with a new Ultegra headset in it. Okay? Now what do I do with it? I just hung it up in the stand.

Anika was supposed to have had her review with her boss Jean on Tuesday morning and I was going to take care of kid duty in the AM, but her review was rescheduled for the afternoon. I overslept and got to work later than I had hoped. Another busy day at work, home in time to get kids off the bus. The phone rings and it's Anika, she's crying. Her review didn't go so well, in fact it wasn't a review at all. Jean fired her. "What?" We'll talk later.

The kids got home and I told them about Anika, in preparation for a quiet evening around the house. I prepared dinner supplies, but waited to start for Anika to get home. Since I talked with her around 4 and she was packing up her office, I thought she might have been home soon, but then I know better. She talked to some people at the office and was late in getting home around 6-6:30 somewhere.

We had a nice dinner, shower for Alison, homework, etc... Kids off to bed, Anika and I begin to talk around 9, talk until midnight. You'd have to know Anika, but she's one of the most organized, hard-working, honest, trust-worthy people that I know... Simply brilliant. She didn't get fired for "lacking the fundamentals of property management" as Jean said. Sure, we all miss a few things and people aren't perfect, but honestly, there's nothing in the job performance to warrant being fired. In fact, she was probably the most talented property managers that they had. I'm looking forward to the day when I die and can go back while in Heaven to watch the great DVD version of life from many perspectives. The more that Anika and I talk, the more calls and surprised reactions that come in from former co-workers, peers, subordinates, vendors, etc... the more the termination really makes no sense... Unless my theory holds true that it was a "fire or be fired" move. There's been lots of Jean back-stabbing Anika in the ceremonial step on the last person to make yourself look better. Wow.

A blur. Figuring out what to do about finances, kids, work for me, dinner, more conversation with Anika, watched American Idol with the kids while finally working on the Quickbeam a little.

So, based on what happened with Anika and our impending financial pinch... I'm just going to ride the Quickbeam as is.

The Quickbeam
So, I looked the thing over carefully while it hung in the stand. I like the bike, but it's one that I'd be 5 times as pleased with at half the price. As it is though, I like riding it, and cannot really think of something that I would replace it with, so I just suppress the fact that it cost as much as it did.

There's another local rider with an orange QB just like mine. I've seen him riding a few times around the neighborhood and one time at the bike shop. He looked depressed when I saw him, then understood why when I poked my head into the shop to find 3 mechanics looking at the bottom bracket on his frame. The threads were stripped out and the fixed-cup side wouldn't hold. There was some discussion on tapping the threads to fit an Italian thread (slightly larger than the English.) Calls were made and the frame was eventually repaired by Curt Goodrich who I talked with about the problem briefly. The problem was caused by the original construction process when brazed with too much heat. That caused the shell to deform and to be not round. The threads were thereby only partially engaged.

Well, you know what... My frame has the same problem. I was looking closely at the threads in the shell before installing my BB and noticed that at approximately the 7 PM location, there are virtually NO threads. This would explain too why my BB came loose last year and the cranks subsequently struck the chainstay removing the paint. So, I Loctite'd the shit out of it before assembly.

The headset problem... well, I've been here before. Felt great in the stand... I left it alone and figure that I will just ride it as-is.

Paint quality. Bad. Working at the bike shop for 15 years, I've seen a lot of bikes. Almost every bike has a paint flaw. That's a fact, but I am picky. The Quickbeam though is as bad as I've seen one from the factory. The color barely covers in places. Oh well... I touched up some of the scratches that were through to the metal. I just used white nail polish, I don't have the patience right now to try to find some orange. Maybe I will get some Testors paint and paint bugs where the scratches are.

I finished up the assembly last night on the Quickbeam. Used all of the parts from my other post. I woke up this morning on time (sort of) and rode to work. I was surprised and delighted with how nice it was. So, the Quickbeam isn't so bad, I can forget about its flaws (for now) and just ride. It's not so bad.

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