Friday, January 11, 2013

The Master Gift Giver.

Gift giving is not my speciality. To give the best gift, in my humble opinion, it must be bought online, shipped to your door, and (as a bonus) be already wrapped; and yes, a cardboard box can be considered 'wrapping'. I'm one of those dads who on Christmas morning is just as surprised as the kids when they open their gifts. Although I will admit that about five years ago I resolved to be more personal, thoughtful, and generous in my gift giving; I failed both times.

So it is a little surprising (or maybe not...) that my daughter is the Master Gift Giver. She doesn't just give a gift, she gives a little bit of her heart in every present. Her gifts are unique, fitting to the personality they are meant for, and filled with character. Years ago I recognized she had this trait and, good parent that I am, actively encouraged her - for purely unselfish reasons of course!

I still have many of the gifts she has given me over the years.

The Christmas of 2012 was no exception. Kaybi, combined with two of her brothers, Will, and Fenton (and spouses) went in together on a wonderful gift for me. They split the cost, but Kaybi did the work (smart brothers that they are..) and it was a LOT of work. (I should mention that while she was making this present her husband was completing a yearlong tour in Afghanistan, she was working an at home job, and additionally working as a mother of two active children 6 and 3 years old.)

And here are the fruits of her labor;
Tombstone's Travels Blog book.

And some pics of the pages.

The famous (infamous?) Christmas tree.
Even though I know how this book ends, I've read through it several times....

Grandson's signature.
Some other gifts over the years;
A couple from many years ago.
If you ever visit, the blog book will be in here.
Thanks for reading!
And thanks Kaybi and Mike, Will and Debbie, and Fenton and Laurie for the great gift!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Cheap Cycle

Warning, Rant follows;
I crashed my bike on December 22, the worst injury is that I had to cancel a trip into Baja scheduled to leave on the next Saturday.

I wanted to get my bike back into riding condition ASAP so I searched for venders who could supply me with the needed parts.
I must say that I've had a lot of positive experiences with many vendors, but my last purchase was anything but happy, here is my story;

I need a right hand foot peg bracket and two other parts for my bike. Cheap cycle parts com
had the lowest price by about 2 bucks.

I go to the DL1000 blow up diagrams and order the three parts after carefully comparing the drawings to the parts on my bike. I was especially careful with the foot peg bracket, checking three times by going from computer to the garage to make certain it was the correct part.

Ok, got the parts ordered, and the Cheap Cycle page confirmation says my shipment will arrive in 7 days or less.

13 days later my package arrives, two of the parts are correct, but the foot peg bracket is wrong. I found out it is wrong by taking it out of the sealed bag and comparing it to the one on my bike. It’s wrong; a little checking reveals it is for the DL650. I then searched the (incorrect) part number on their site and box pops up that tells me “this part also fits the DL1000”. Their system screwed up.

The next morning I call Cheap cycle and get a snotty person on the other end. She refuses to even discuss this problem telling me I need to go to their online return page and handle it that way. Which I do, I tell them I received the wrong part and would like to get the correct one. When I click the send button and another pop up tells me I’ll have a reply in 3 days. 2 days later I get a short and very terse reply to the effect that;

I can return the part, but shipping fees will be at my expense.

They will charge a restocking fee.

If they find the part is undamaged, and in its original package they will refund my money minus the above expenses. (see above where I had to remove the part from the sealed bag to compare with the part on the bike.)

In other words I’m SOL

To recap;

It took 13 days to get the incorrect part

I can ship it back at my expense

I will be charged a restocking fee

I [I]might[/I] get my money back

I won't be using Cheap Cycle again.