Friday, January 19, 2018

the ims show is becoming a bigger and bigger deal for skidmark garage with every passing minute.  i now have a 10x10 booth, i will be speaking on the progressive stage, there will be two bikes owned by skidmark members on display in the vintage bike section, there will be two bikes in the build contest that are owned by skidmark members (one was totally built here), skidmark is hosting the afterparty friday night, and i was just given a spot to put a bike in the shift area of the ims show.  the ims crew is gonna shoot some video of the garage and do some interviews with me and/or a member, and they're gonna kick the skidmark name around in their ads and social media posts as being a part of shift.

add to this pj and jordan being in the competition, and i feel like the skidmark garage name will be on tips of many tongues throughout the weekend.  i'm nervous, excited, and starting to get stressed about being able to deliver.  luckily, pj is gonna let me use his enclosed trailer to haul bikes and stuff back and forth.

my brother, dave, came and hung out all day, today.  it was great to hang out with him.  we didn't get shit done, like i had planned, but nonetheless it was great.  he said he's gonna come back next friday and help set up the show.  i SO need the help.

tim is gonna be here to help thursday and then hopefully through the weekend.  it is shows like this that his value is apparent.  thanks zeus he and neener are around.

mark took photos of a complete tool bench so i can print it and hang it in the back of the booth rather than bringing that entire bike tool bench.  it could be the biggest hassle on the planet.  if i can get this banner printed and in-hand in time...holy time savings!

last night was pretty slow, but the night before was killer.  karl, jt, elliott, jordan, and al were all here at the same time.  it was heaven.  it's what i've always pictured this place to be.  now i just gotta get some money rolling in this shit...

Monday, January 15, 2018

rough day.  had to re-kick out the same friend i had to kick out yesterday.  it seems he's getting some help, though.  so i feel slightly less like a dick.  but i still feel like a dick.

had business proposition come my way that affects my specific model of operation.  i'm not into it, even if it is a way to make money, it's not what skidmark is about.  but should i decide down the road to jump on the bandwagon, i'm sure i'll have that opportunity.

a friend is splitting with her significant other and she confided in me.  that was tough to see such sadness.

old bike barn's greasy dozen looks like it's gonna be killer.  bear and i had a call today and things seem in line.  i'm really excited to be a part of this.

but after the rough start, it smoothed out.  dave nolan was here welding the aluminum tank with ron.  karl was here and disassembled his subframe.  sean harris got further on his triumph chopper.  mark adams may have even started playing with his bmw.  marty and jordan came in and played with their quad some more.

i spent a good several hours just trying to prepare for the ims speeches on the progressive stage.  i was so lost in my focus of things that molly finally stepped in and put me back on track with a simple, "what ever you're doing, it has to be either to keep members happy, or find new members.  if what you're doing doesn't help either of those, than stop doing it."  so simple.  so important.  once she said that, i was able to really focus.

i smell.  i can smell myself.  and i'm out of deodorant here.  sucks.  cuz i smell...

killed a mouse in here.  set a trap and minutes later the little guy got caught.  hate it.  but it's necessary.

pj had an entire engine delivered here today.  crazy fucker.  hope he comes in tomorrow.  having him and dave nolan here at the same time is fun.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

today i had to forbid the return of a friend to skidmark garage.  his alcoholism became such that he hasn't worked in forever and lost a place to live.  he has been making poor decisions for a long time and i enabled all of it by permitting him to booze at the garage.  realizing i am part of the reason he continues to drink, i had to put an end to my part in the enabling.  it was tough.  but he handled it like a man.  he just said, "ok", grabbed his stuff and a beer and left.  i was having heart palpitations about it all morning, and now that it's over i don't really feel any better.  my heart is still racing and i feel like a dick.

dave nolan has been here since 9am with ron copfer welding the aluminum tank together.  i haven't even stopped over there yet because i was so consumed with handling the other situation i neglected to show any love to one of the most important members of this place.

karl came in last night and is here again today playing around with his shovelhead.  i really love having him here.  i wish he could find time to be here way more often, but between being an air force pilot and an airline pilot, dude has no time.

mark has been on a mission to clean up all his bmw parts and get organized and clean.

jt came in with one of his cronies that was at fuel cleveland with him.  jt gave him a tour of the skidmark and soulcraft (jt is a member of both).

thankfully, jim was here this morning to help me ("help" is the wrong word...he did ALL the work) troubleshoot the reznor that wasn't working.  turns out there are two hard-to-find switches inside it that shut it off if the temperature gets too hot.  i had changed the thermocouple and done all kinds of fiddling, but he knew what was really up.  thank zeus.  now i have 7 heaters, all working, all on.  this place is a balmy 50 degrees inside.

maybe now i can focus a little more on listing some rando parts online and make a few hundred extra bucks a month to pay some bills.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

decent day in the garage, today.  warm enough that i turned all the heat off.  some people were riding, today.  dave nolan rode in, actually.  got a new member (wife bought a guy a 1 month gift certificate).  marty and son jordan are here working on their quad.  jordan (big jordan) is here working on his IMS show bike.  dave nolan tooled around with his hardley and pj spent most of the day here with his teeny little suzuki thing.  al was here playing with that crazy goldwing.  had a call with scott at h garage.  ellen from the slovenian parade brought a friend in to see the place.  got a little bit cleaned up here and there.  got a haircut.  shipped the parts that jada removed from the harley frame.

still overwhelmed and underfunded, but at least i was kept busy enough to not dwell on the bullshit.

i'm not happy with the vaporblaster.  when it works, it works ok at best.  when it doesn't work, i get pretty damned annoyed.  that thing cost a small fortune.  and for that dough, it should wipe my ass.  it all too often has trouble with the window squirters, the water recirculation pump goes ape-shit far too often, and their customer service is severely lacking...  for that kind of money, we shouldn't have to continually monitor and make adjustments.  had we paid a grand for it, i'd be a little more understanding of how much work must be put into it to work properly.  but we paid WAY more than a grand.

why the hell can't i simply create a gift certificate?  why should that take more than 2 minutes to google and 5 minutes to make?  instead, i've wasted 20 minutes searching and no time making.  all the sudden i feel totally incompetent and wanna go to sleep.

hopefully can do something helpful with h garage and the kentucky kickdown.  i wish i had enough dough to sponsor shit, but i have zip.  the most i can do is be present and help promote online.  but that's not shit.  i wanna do more.

connected with the woman that runs the women's build show that lucky wheels is hosting this weekend.  i'm hoping that after the madness of it passes, we can discuss maybe having that show travel around to all the CMGs or something cool.  at the very least, i want her to have a similar show in skidmark.

head is spinning.  gotta get out of here.  i'm suddenly accomplishing nothing.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

jada's been here working since 2.  she's swept, cleaned, organized, and is now removing the forward controls and rear brake from an old shovelhead to ship out.  love that girl.

jesse's been hanging out all day.  haven't seen him in a month or two.  looks like he may crash here for a few nights.  he's going through a rough spell.  i'm happy to help him out as long as he can keep his shit together.

tunes are blaring, jordan in wrenching, i'm cleaning...  the place is looking great.  got one more heater up and running in the lounge, the weather is above 6 degrees and the garage is warm.  jordan is working in a t-shirt.

ron came in to do some quick welding for tim.  alex from psi came in to make sure things were in line for the IMS show.  dude's snowmobile broke down while riding across lake erie last week.  he set up an ice fishing thing out there and fucking fished.  he said the ice was almost 18 inches thick.  fuck.  that.

so i'll be on the progressive stage 7 times during the IMS show.  i get 30 minutes each time to pimp out the garage.  making a powerpoint right now.  derek from thunder roads is hooking me up with a 10x10 booth, too.  thanks zeus!  otherwise i'd be wandering around all day.  there's no possible WAY i could afford to have a booth at the IMS show.  simply too expensive.  insane.  he saved my ass.

making fliers, ordered a few t-shirts, hopefully i can get stickers (but i doubt it).  now i gotta submit a guest list to the progressive people.  so i'm coordinating which members will be around for stage interviews on what days, etc...

al said he's coming in tomorrow to finish his goldwing - which i think i'll be bringing to the IMS show as a display piece.  it's pretty fucking cool.  pj said he's coming in, too.

the afterparty is happening here friday night after the IMS show.  it's invite only, so i can't imagine there being more than 60 people here, but we'll see how many najar brings in.  that dude rules.  he's really wanting to help this place succeed.

tim and janeen really helped spark the office clean-up.  it was looking like a full-on hoarder was shacking up in here.  now it's WAY better, although not done.  those two come in here and just knock shit out sometimes.  i love them.

Monday, January 8, 2018

jordan is here tinkering with is IMS build - the cb750a.  he just keeps creating new little things for it.  that means, of course, dave continues to have more powder coating to do.  but he's actually making lots of things for this bike rather than buying them.  and some parts he's just finding laying around skidmark and customizing them.

sean is also here working on his triumph.  it's monday.  he's always here on monday and friday.  -although this weekend he was also here on saturday, which is out of the ordinary.  he doesn't have too much left.

i installed one more radiant heater over the lounge, aimed at the bar.  piped it, but am missing one 90 degree elbow to complete it.  then i'll do the pseudo wiring to get some heat in there for a while before i hardwire all the heaters.  having the heat takes priority over the many hours of scavenging wire and conduit to reuse to hardwire all that shit.

i can't go get the elbow today because the truck broke down last night.  apparently, the fuel pump took a dump.  died on 77, coasted onto grant ave, got a tow to flash from a kind gentleman that happened to be at the bp and needed a few extra bucks.

so i should get it back tomorrow, buy and install the elbow, and then hopefully get the other gas valve that i fried so i can install the last heater (also over the lounge).  this shit needs to be up and running well by the IMS show because that after-party is happening here that friday night.

making the powerpoint thing and laying out my talking points right now.  molly is working on a flier to pass out at the ims show.  wilson is updating the website with new pics.

i toyed with the idea of raising my rates, but was talked out of it.  when i discuss my rates with people, they almost always say i need to charge more.  accountants, members, non members, riders, non riders...  they all say the same thing.  since it's getting tougher and tougher to stay in business, and the price has seemingly nothing to do with the amount of members i have, i figured it couldn't hurt.  but my two most trusted advisors both said i am crazy.  so i'm keeping my current rates for a while.  maybe once people are beating down my doors i'll raise them.  maybe not...

brought in another possible welding instructor, today.  he comes from a long line of welders in the cleveland area.  he should be an asset.  getting ready to talk with all 3 instructors, figure out who has what dates, who can be a back-up, and starting to get people registered.

craig rodsmith has been getting TONS of attention, lately.  he's fucking killing it!  he, justin webster, and josh allison are all beating serious motorcycle ass.  can't believe i met all those dudes.  i hope i get to see rodsmith's place when we go to the mama tried show.  that silly tv show did nothing else but introduce me to some rad builders, and they've all been very kind to me.

the mutt is turning 12 on wednesday.  freaks me out.  when she goes, i'm gonna have a rough go of life for a while.  not looking forward to it.  and not getting another dog if i can help it.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

dude.  it's cold.  some poor fellow from minnesota came in for some hourly membership time to fix the drive shaft on his truck as he was passing through from the east coast.  dave nolan was here to help him along.  as sick as he is, he laid on his back in the snow to help this guy for about 30 minutes.  nolan never ceases to amaze me.

marty and his son, jordan, came in last night as i was leaving to split the case on their quad.  they brought pizza, got online, and had at it.  i had to order some special tools for them to do their job, but i was only too happy to buy that stuff just to see a kid and his dad working on shit together.

thomas is back.  he's replacing the rings on his pistons.  after a rush song played, nolan had some unpleasantries to share with us about rush.  thomas was possibly as offended as i was being a maple head and all.

jt was here and really got his seat cowl looking killer.  more banging with the hammer on the angle iron i welded to the table.  can't believe how good it looks.

sean was in playing with the battery box thing he's making for his triumph chopper.  he'll be back monday.  today was a surprise visit.  he's generally a friday and monday guy.

dave smith came by to have a beer and kill time before an appt.

the heat is working well in here.  most of the area that people are working in is above 50 degrees.  can't wait to see the bill...