Monday, April 23, 2007

Step 1

We purchased a trailer bike that connects to an adult bike and allows a child to ride behind with his own seat, pedals and handlebars. I pried the 5 large metal staples off the box in order to open it. I looked inside, no instructions were easily visible. I pulled some parts out and found a plastic bag that was attached to the rear wheel with a plastic cable tie that had to be cut with a utility knife. I opened the bag, removed the "Owners Manual" (looked like instructions to me). The front page had three sections; Prior to Assembly, Important Safety Information, Tools Required for Assembly. On page 3 under Assembly And Operating Instructions was "Step 1 Open carton, remove contents..." Isn't it a little late for that? My recommendation for wording, "Now that you've opened the carton and removed the contents, let's start with Step 1 Compare contents with part list"?

Important Safety Information: This section is comprised of 16 "WARNING" items each ending with an exclamation point. Have you ever noticed that the more "Warnings" there are, the less apt you are to pay any attention to them?
Warning 3 - "This trailer bike is designed to attach to an adult bicycle with 26:, 27" or 700C wheels!" Wouldn't that have been good information to have on the outside of the box?
Warning 4 - "This trailer bike does not have a brake. Make sure the adult bike brakes function properly!" Really? I was hoping a child age 4-9! weighing less than 75 lbs (warning 5) would be able stop the both of us.
Warning 6 - "Make sure the child riding the trailer bike understands how to operate it correctly!" What's to operate? He can't steer it or brake it.
Warning 14 - "Do not ride barefoot!" I'll vouch for that one. I lost a big toenail as a kid when riding a bike barefoot and the toe got caught between the pedal and the curb as I rode from the street up over the curb to the sidewalk. ("Warning 9 - Do not ride over curbs!" I wish I would have known that as a kid. Like it would have made a difference.)

Tools Required For Assembly:
Adjustable wrench
6mm Allen wrench
I like it when the tools required are few, but you need more tools than what they tell you. Here's my list.
* Adjustable wrench
* 6mm Allen wrench
* Flat blade screw driver (to remove the staples that hold the box together. Of course, you already know this since you got the box open.)
* Pliers or second adjustable wrench (To hold the bolt head while you turn the nuts with the adjustable wrench.
* 2 Allen wrenches smaller than 6mm (To hold the other end of the swivel pin not mentioned in the Parts List or Instructions, but part of the assembly.)

Step 3 Attach the handlebar
3A Unscrew all two Allen-head screws....
3D ...and tighten all two screws securely. IMPORTANT NOTE: As you tighten the screws, alternate among all four to make sure they are tightened evenly.
(It was amazing! You should have seen it. One moment there were two screws and as I started tightening them...BAM! there were four. Just kidding. I wonder if that is what was supposed to happen?

If anyone out there has the second Allen wrench, of the size which I have no idea, I need it to secure the swivel pin (not mentioned in the Parts List or Instructions). We've violated "Warning 9 - Before riding, check that all parts are assembled correctly per the manufacturer's instructions!" Wait a minute, the swivel pin wasn't mentioned in the instructions. I haven't violated it.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Your body's here...

Employee safety from individuals planning harm is a concern these days. Recommendations like "Find the closest office that locks and has a phone. Then call security." Sometimes it may be necessary to use a code phrase when calling security to signal them to come to your location. This is a fairly passive methodology.

Consider a methodology a little more active. Put guns in glass cases like fire extinguishers and locate them in offices at regular intervals. Now the instructions for employees in danger of physical harm are instructed to "Find the closest office that has a gun." When the situation is resolved, call security with the code phrase, "Your body is here and ready to be picked up."

(This post is intended solely for entertainment purposes and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the poster.)

Sunday, April 15, 2007

How many (Fill in the blank) does it take to change a light bulb?

With the recent Don Imus controversy, I'm afraid to insert any specific population group in the well known "How many...does it take to change a light bulb?" question. So, how's this as an alternate question?

Q: How many trips to the home improvement store does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Nineteen

Okay, so I did more than change a light bulb. I remodeled the bathroom. But I did change the light bulb!

Every weekend handyman knows that one trip to the hardware store results in another trip. As we know, something evil always lurks in a home improvement project. This one was no exception.

The man impetus for the remodeling was the counter top. We had decided to go with a counter with a molded sink. The old counter top came out with little problem. But we had discovered that they had feathered in up to about a half inch of drywall compound to make the wall come out to the edge of the counter. The wall bowed slightly. Well, the new counter top wouldn't fit in (or so I thought) with that drywall compound. So I removed the drywall compound. I still had trouble getting the counter top in. I had to remove part of the trim around the door to finally get the new counter top in. Now the back of the counter was too high for the mirror, so that had to be adjusted.

Next we replaced the light fixture only to find that there was just a hole in the wall and no junction box. Well, my new light fixture really needed a box to attach it self to. We started out thinking we would go with a "tumbled bronze" look and then changed to a "brushed nickel".

I removed the back of the toilet so that we could easily paint the wall behind it. While it was out, I removed the cabinet drawers to make it easier to install the counter top and paint. I should have remembered to put the drawers back in before putting the toilet back together. There wasn't enough space to put them back in with the toilet tank installed.

Well, nineteen trips, five stores, twenty one returned items later, the bathroom is finished.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Box it UPS

Barb orders three items from Arbonne all on the same day. Can you guess which shipping container the three items arrived in? Did you guess the large box? Wrong. Try again. The envelope? You know better than that. The small box. Wrong again. Actually, each one came in it's own separate shipping container when all three could have been easily shipped in the small box. With plenty of room for bubble wrap. From left to right, each product corresponds to the shipping container it came in. No wonder this Arbonne stuff is expensive.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Excited pedometer

My participation in a recent fitness challenge at work qualified me for a free pedometer. I'm not sure though if I should wear it. I'm afraid I might "arouse" it. This can happen if I "false" mounted it or possibly my "walking way". My walk isn't that strange is it? (And don't stare at me when I walk.) Maybe I just need to make sure I attach it securely to my "waistband orbelt". What is my "waistband orbelt"? I'm able to program a DVD recorder, but I'm not sure I can program this pedometer.
"Note: 1) Precise instrument it is and be sure operated and maintained properly." You'll notice also that all the measurements are in metric. I guess the Metric Conversion Act of 1975 is finally kicking in. I'm also thinking that the manufacturer of this pedometer is not proficient in English.

* (Click on image to enlarge it. Items in quotes can be found on Features: 3rd line, 2nd line. Note: 1.)

Monday, April 2, 2007

Born To Be Wild

You're never too old to begin a new hobby.