The Three Amigos

by Steve on January 30, 2014

The oldest of the clan was mercifully set free from his failing body today, it having endured almost 15 years of Lab stuff (swamps, ice, mud, ducks, and more water than a fish). He joins his two younger brothers from different mothers who I’m sure gang-tackled him as soon as he crossed the bridge.  This is how they will always be remembered:

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And from one of his last trips to the swamp (taken several seasons ago):


RIP Crash, run like the puppy you thought you were. Sorry about all those ducks I missed over the years, you deserved better ;)

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Classic Auto Restoration

by Steve on December 3, 2013

This is a review of a local auto restoration shop owned by Doug Hartman and now operating out of Harpersville, AL.  I’ll do my best to keep this objective and let the facts/images speak for themselves even though this is a very personal issue with me: I grew up in the 1962 Buick Special convertible that is the subject here. Or more accurately, the victim.

1962 Buick Special convertible prior to restoration. 1962 Buick Special convertible prior to restoration.

Last year I delivered the Buick - along with some patch panels, OEM replacement rocker skins, and a complete 1962 two-door hardtop parts car – to Doug’s shop which was then located in Westover, AL. I had already disassembled the car, including pulling the motor, gas tank, interior, hood, front fenders, radiator support, all trim, windows, etc. Essentially the car was ready to start working on. I went over the car with him and his crew, identifying the areas I knew to be bad. There was a lot of rust due to Ohio winters and road salt. Plenty of old bondo to cut out – that’s what the parts car was for.

He had the car for several months and I made progress payments totaling over $10,000. Initially I visited the shop often and was pleased with the metal work then I got busy and let my guard down. Meanwhile shop personnel changed and the project went south.

I took the car back twice for rework and was about to take it back again when I decided to cut my losses and take it elsewhere for evaluation.  I ended up having the car completely reworked. The gallery of images that follows illustrates what we found as we reworked the car after Classic Auto Restoration had “finished” their version of a restoration on this Buick:

This was my experience, yours may vary. All I can suggest is if you decide to trust Doug with a car, put your expectations in writing and keep a close watch on the progress. Buyer truly beware!

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September 16, 2013

Sam, Goose, and Pinch all reported in from DC.  They’ve all been in harm’s way far more than I and in distant corners of the world. Warriors all, trained to fight and lead, to defend against all enemies foreign and domestic. I dare say none ever really expected to see the domestic version materialize as he […]

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The Case Against Syrian Action

September 4, 2013

Remember Libya and how the UN fixed that little problem? Well, the fix didn’t take. Expect much the same from launching missiles on Syria. Go read up on Libya. H/T to Perry for the link.

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Obama’s War

August 28, 2013

The shed has been a quiet little shack the last few. I haven’t found anything worthy of wasting energy on of late. Society seems hell bent on shredding the last ounce of decency left in the republic and I wanted no part of it but now the liberals have pulled me out of the shadows. […]

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Selective Censorship

June 27, 2013

Paula Deen did what? She uttered racial slurs at some point during her life? And because our media and our culture are bound by such high standards we now must wipe any trace of her existence off our screens and shelves? Personally I can’t stand the woman, her voice is like fingernails raked down a […]

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June 6, 2013

The Normandy American Cemetary and Memorial, final resting place for 9,387 US servicemen killed during the invasion and ensuing operations. The Wall of the Missing contains another 1,557 names, some have been recovered and identified over the years, their names marked with rosettes. They gave their all. Take 18 minutes of your day and watch […]

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Back in the Saddle

May 27, 2013

Tucked in the back of an Aviat Husky amphib reminded me of another time and plane: the T-34. The rear seat in the Husky has a stick, throttle, and rudder pedals so once safely airborne I got some flight time. It took a little effort to get the feel for coordinated turns again and my […]

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May 27, 2013

Remember those who died protecting what we hold dear. Today is their day.

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March 26, 2013

Let’s stop the BS shall we? “Sorry congress critters, you’ll get no pay until you do your job. Look it up in the Constitution, you must pass a budget, it’s what we hired you for and therefore we can fire you for lack of same.” Met an FBI agent when I was trying to buy […]

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