Friday, November 24, 2006

Rack'em Frack'em

Mrs. Guy got a new lease car recently. I may have mentioned it before, but I can’t remember. Her new vehicle is a Chrysler Pacifica.<BR>
We’re going to Florida for a week in December. It will be the second full week in December, in fact. My parents are renting a house at the beach not too far from where my brother lives, so it will be a good chance to do the whole Christmas thing with them (we’ll have to catch up with my sister later).

Mrs. Guy and I have a tandem. I’m just now getting to the point in my recovery when I figure I can start riding on that bike again, especially passenger and all. Don’t worry, I’m about to tie this all together.

Mrs. Guy suggested that we take the tandem with us to Florida. We had already figured on driving the Pacifica.&nbsp; But there’s a slight problem. The Pacifica doesn’t have a rack that we can attach our existing roof rack system (Yakima, if you must know), and you can’t put a tandem on a rear rack, which requires that the bike go on sideways (it’s just too long and would stick way out on both sides). The only way to take the tandem is to put it on the roof.

So the other day I started looking up accessories available for the Pacifica, hoping to find something that will allow me to attach our existing system to it. Most of what I saw was cross rails, which I have from the current stuff I’ve got. I finally found something on-line that looked like adequate side rails on a Chrysler dealer’s web site from somewhere in Mississippi, so I assumed that I’d find that at the local dealer. We went to the local dealer this morning.

I walked into the parts department and told the guy behind the counter what I was looking for. I explained that I didn’t need cross rails, but instead wanted side rails. “Yup, I’ve got that in stock.” So I paid the cashier and off we went.

We spent most of the rest of the day just goofing off and avoiding the malls. We visited friends who work in a modernistic furniture store where I sat in a positively evil reclining chair. It was like a succubus. It drew me in. It didn’t want to give me up. Mrs. Guy had to threaten me to get me out of it. I think I hear its siren call even now. But I digress.

We dropped by the Bike Zoo to say “Hi” and then grabbed lunch at the Chinese/Thai place nearby. Mrs. Guy did some shopping in some of the other nearby stores, so I headed back to the Bike Zoo. We left there and continued to just drive around (avoiding the malls) until about 3:30 when we got home. We pulled the stuff we’d acquired out of the car and I decided to go ahead and see if I could install the side rails on the roof of the car.

What was in the box? Cross rails.

We drove back to the dealership. Then we drove back home to get the receipt that I left in the garage. Then we went back to the dealership. The guy at the parts counter was at least nice about it, and explained that he’d thought the box had the part I wanted, but that there was no picture in his database and the description was misleading. He then proceeded to try to look up the side rails again. He finally asked me if it was possible that what I’d seen was aftermarket stuff, and I had to admit that it was. He didn’t have it or anything like it in his system, and they had no way to order it. It seems that Chrysler calls what is on the car “integrated side rails”, meaning they don’t stick up above the roof and are therefore somewhat useless without buying the Chrysler-specific cross rails and bike rack. Figures. Also, they don’t have anything to accommodate a tandem. Double figures.

We were close to another LBS (local bike shop) and since the Bike Zoo doesn't sell Yakima anyway, I decided to check there for whatever Yakima might have to go on the roof parts we do have. Well, not exactly, it seems. They do show having something. Something that attaches to the Chrysler cross rails. Which I had just taken back. Sigh.

So I decided to look into the other major brand of roof rack systems (Thule, if you must know that too). They do have a system that will supposedly attach to the existing parts. The bad part about that is that I’d have to buy a whole bunch of stuff similar to but not compatible with most of what I already have from Yakima. Well, I’ve got about a week to decide, given that I might have to have some of the stuff special ordered either way I choose to go.

I’m beginning to think it would be less of a hassle to just buy a tandem when we get there and sell it again before we head back.

Trivia Answers for 11/9

1. Name the characters on the front of a box of Rice Krispiestm. That would be Snap, Crackle, and Pop. Mom still makes the best Rice Krispie treats.

2. Where is the U.S. Naval Academy located? It is in Annapolis, Maryland.

3. What archipelago was made famous at the onset of US involvement in World War II? Most people don't readily think of the Sandwich Islands as an archipelago, but it is. Did I say Sandwich Islands? I mean to refer to them by their modern name as our 50th state, Hawaii.

4. What is the name of the location that serves as the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail? The southern terminus, which is the place where most Appalachian Trail though-hikers start out, is Springer Mountain near Amicalola Falls in north Georgia.

5. Before the Euro came along, what was the major unit of currency in Switzerland (e.g., US=Dollar, UK=Pound, et cetera)? GeekCyclist corrected me on this one. Switzerland never actually went over to the Euro, so they are still using the Swiss Franc. Good catch, GC.

Trivia Answers from 11/16

1. Name at least three of the four original members of KISS. There have been a few members that have come and gone (including one who died of heart disease), but the original four were Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley, and Peter Criss.

2. The newspaper cartoon “Snuffy Smith” started out with a different name and a different lead character (it slowly changed over time). Who was that original title character? I still vaguely remember the comic being title "Barney Google and Snuffy Smith", but in my memory it was almost all Snuffy and friends and little or no Barney Google.

3. (fill in the blank) Gropius, Jeanneret, and Mies van der Rohe are often considered to be the fathers of modern _______________. Architecture. I almost included Frank Lloyd Wright, but many consider Walter Gropius, Charles-Edouard Jeanneret (AKA, Le Corbusier), and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe to be the more important from an international perspective.

4. (One from Mrs. Guy) Who narrated “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”? Boris Karloff was the narrator, though he wasn't the one singing the songs. Anyone know who that was for a bonus point?

5. (Also from Mrs. Guy) What platform at King’s Cross does the Hogwart’s Express depart from? 9 and 3/4's. There's even a plaque in King Cross station today for the tourists to see, complete with a luggage cart apparently stuck halfway into the wall.

No comments: