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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

Smithology: Perhaps we should run to the parts store and buy more Brakleen

Five minutes after I get to the shop, I am at work. This is not my day job. It was once and won't be again, and that's fine. I enjoyed working on cars for a living but was never quick enough. And anyway, it is a Sunday, and there is work to do on my [...]
https://www.hagerty.com/media/opinion/smithology/smithology-perhaps-we-should-run-to-the-parts-store...
21 REPLIES 21
Snailish
Instructor

A couple of the shop shots I thought looked really interesting. Enough to warrant an article/video with a walk-thru tour telling us about the place.

Then I noticed the "getty images" tag so I suppose they are stock images and we'll never get that tour. Oh well.
LeggeraCreative
New Driver

I love it. You can always tell when a writer is a Mark Twain fan, too. And that’s a compliment. No one loved the word “precipice” more than ol Sammy Clemens
Tango42
Pit Crew

"he needs to empty the spit valve"....I just spit out some coffee. That may be my new favorite saying right there. Another great one Sam - can relate 100%
MWL
Intermediate Driver

And as a trumpet player, I can personally relate to that as well!
danhise
Advanced Driver

Trombone for me. A tad embarrassed at the amount of spit that would puddle beside my chair. I tried to think of the puddle's size as a measure of my devotion to the brass section.
Grumpyoldcoot
Intermediate Driver

Jazz drumming for me. A wise choice, made when I was 12 years old. No spit valve to worry about; just keeping the beer cold and an extra pair of sticks is within the standard of care for my aging bodd..
audiocage
Advanced Driver

I can understand how this might all seem like a problem to those unfamiliar with the ways of the garage. Though they may not understand, we can all assure them that the garage time, as described herein, is perfectly serving its true intention. Everything is as it should be.
MWL
Intermediate Driver

Let's see that photo of you at Gateway!
danhise
Advanced Driver

That was great fun, Sam. I am aware, of course, that I booted up here to send some frightfully overdue email responses. But first, Mr. Sam. Always. @thatsamsmith is a delicate, middle-aged fellow with dangerously enervated self-regard; he must be boosted! Sacrifices must be made. The emails will wait.
cyclemikey
Detailer

This hits so close to home that I can't even...
AH3K
Intermediate Driver

Ain't it amazin', though... I could swear I stacked that group of used washers up, the other day... Sitting on that beat-up stool the wife found...that I thought I didn't want (Cool... she actually got me something I can use IN THE SHOP!) Oil spots... yeah, I thought I'd better put that pan of old anti-freeze MORE out of the way, but it's just easier to kick it....and get my pants wet...'sides, the ants like it and they get rid of it (themselves too). Yep... sometimes on a windy night, I just love to sit in there, listen to the wind rattle the sliding doors, and remember sittin' in my Uncle's "machine shed" (shop), that Eau d'cologne of brake fluid, old gas, diff oil, baler twine, and that warm scent of the air compressor.... yep... doesn't get much better.
Tinkerah
Engineer

Getting away from the kids to sort hardware might seem like a poor use of time but is actually building a reserve of resistance to throttling them.
DougL
Detailer

This may explain why you were not fast enough to be a professional mechanic!
Grumpyoldcoot
Intermediate Driver

Thanks for the laughs and creative writing, Sam. Really enjoyed your article!
RallyeRalph
Detailer

Hey Mr. Smith, I don't want to see you running against me for president of the Procrastinator Society which I am going to be next year or the year after. But it sounds like you could succeed me some time down the road. Our problem basically is that anything that needs to be done requires something else being done first which requires etc., etc.
Gary_Bechtold
Specialist

That steering wheel in wrap needs to be set free!
gyashko
Intermediate Driver

As I read I kept thinking: "Yes, yes, yes, BUT... When you first walked into the garage, could you remember what you came in there for?" (What's really sad is when you have to ask yourself that question and you're in the bathroom...)
farna
Advanced Driver

I can relate! I'm always buying a part I know I'm going to need soon (nothing critical... most of the time), then stashing it in the shop. I have a shop 15 minutes away on my brother's farm, and I don't get over there enough! So two months after stashing said part, I FINALLY have a free day! Perfect day to go do that bit of work on the hobby car. Get over there, spend an hour or more trying to find said part, and end up spending half the day going to get another, or ordering another. Not a lot of 63 Rambler parts in the stores these days, though mine is a resto-mod with some newer parts... late 80s and early 90s... some of which are usually not in stock but available in a day or two... So can't get that work done! Naturally I run across the originally purchased part once the new one has arrived, sat 2-3 weeks in it's stashed space, and I finally get a day to go put it on. Usually lay my hand right on it within minutes (ok, sometimes hours, days, or weeks) of installing the most recently bought one! Naturally it's been six months or more, can't return the first one... and probably won't remember where it was stashed if I need another... but I just KNOW I have a spare in here somewhere!!
TG
Technician

I think 'I need Brakleen' once - then for the next five trips to the parts store, I keep buying Brakleen even though what I needed the second time was penetrating oil - then I remember 'I need penetrating oil'.....
TingeofGinge
Intermediate Driver

As someone who's definitely been fixing that rust spot on the Miata's rocker for the last 3 months, I, too, should probably get more brakleen.
hearsedriver
Detailer

i can relate. did you mention how much fun we have during shop time?
you forgot to mention all the time we waste/spend looking for that item which you know you have, and it is always RIGHT THERE, always, but now it isn't, but then you find stuff you lost previously or forgot you had.....
plus, up here we call it "beer oclock" and it has no set time range