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Gonzo

Publisher
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Status Updates posted by Gonzo

  1. I'm so freakin' pissed.  If you receive the Sept. issue of Brake and Frontend you'll notice a cover story about diesel particulate filters.  The weird part is that there is no author to the story listed.  Well, that author is me.  I did NOT authorize this story to be printed again (originally printed in 2015) and it's obvious that they don't want YOU to know who the author is because there is NO mention of it anywhere.  I'm currently seeking something to be resolved about this.  Mainly, because this is my lively-hood  since I was forced to sell my shop (due to health reasons)... So, why am I telling all of YOU about this for???   I need your support. Call the Babcox magazine and complain on my behalf.  I'm seeking restitution for this blatant attempt at making money using my writing skills without any recognition by publishing this without my name attached.  These stories are there to sell advertising and how they approach new clients.  It's also how I introduce myself to prospective clients who are in the need of a writer/mechanic... which is exactly my status at the present time.  So, if you want to help out an fellow mechanic/writer... call them and bitch them out for me...  thanx in advance.  and... if you're wondering... there is NO agreement with Babcox on 'owning' and reproducing an article.  It's strictly a hand shake deal... which is not binding in the court of law.   Basically put, NO they DO NOT own the story... but they seem to think they do. (I've already talked to a lawyer) 

    1. xrac

      xrac

      What a sneaky, lowball, scandalous move on their part. Shows they are thieves with no integrity at all. 

    2. Gonzo

      Gonzo

      Andrew Markel (the editor) called me.  He tried to play it off as if they (the magazine company) had all the right to do whatever they want.  When I mentioned to him about not putting my name on the story his answer was..."Don't need to. We own the story."  I said, "So, I guess if I find something that you wrote and just threw it out there without any recognition... you'd be fine with that too?"  He hung up on me.  Gee... what's that tell ya??? 

  2. Vision is next week.  I'll be there from Thursday until Sunday.  Who else is going?  

  3. To all my fellow shop owners and friends here at ASO, today is a day that I knew had to come along sooner or later.  I've closed the sale on my repair shop that I started with my own two hands nearly 34 years ago.  I hope the new owner becomes a member of ASO too.  I'll still be around and for those followers of Gonzo's Toolbox ... don't worry... I've got lots more stories to tell. 

  4. Well, might as well make it official.  I'm selling the shop and or parting it out.  Most likely parting it out.  After much thought has been put into it I've decided to go the route of writer/teacher for my next leg of automotive.  After 33 years of running a shop I guess you could say... I've seen it done it and own lots of T shirts. 

    Equipment wise I've got most everything up for sale.  Including a few specialty tools that aren't even around anymore.  Such as a gauge tester for anything from 95 on back... Very handy.  I'll try to put together a list... but if there is something you'd like to know if I have one... send me a message.  I'll get back to you. 

    1. Show previous comments  1 more
    2. Gonzo

      Gonzo

      Yep, a bit hard to swallow.  Haven't find a buyer, either it's been priced wrong, or there isn't a buyer for this type of shop.  But, I agree, for me... closing the shop is the best action to take.  If I was ten years younger I'd be back at it and under the hood.  But, not now.  Slowing down, is just one part of getting older.  The other is, I really enjoy the teaching as well as the writing.   

    3. skm

      skm

      as one door closes another one opens.. I know it must of been a hard decision, well maybe lol.. but looks like you have many more doors opened in front of you. I look forward to reading and hearing your new adventures. Don't worry I am sure you will catch a rant from me every once in awhile keeping you in touch with the craziness you smartly decided to leave behind.

      Good luck bud! 

    4. Jeff

      Jeff

      Good luck Gonzo...maybe ya could team up with Sum Guy and supervise his mobile services! LOL. Be well friend.

       

  5. Week 7 from busy shop owner/mechanic/writer to an open heart surgery survivor.  

    Just started rehab.  Oh what fun that is.  Picture this, I'm in a room with a bunch of 90 year old guys with pace makers and wearing a bib with your first name on it which holds your heart monitor while barely pedaling their exercise machines and googly eyeing the pretty nurses.  Yea, those heart monitors are recording their real heart rates.  LOL.  Me, I'm trying to get my strength back so I'm concentrating on keeping the rpms up and let the nurses watch the screen and tell me when I'm over doing it based on the heart monitoring I'm also wearing. (Yea, mine says Gonzo on it) 

    I've got one more day of teaching, which I've got to admit I think I'm really cut out to be a teacher.  Did a quiz on naming A/C components (which is part of the class schedule) along with several A/C gauges mocked up that they have to give the most likely diag. on what the gauges show. (Hi and Lo gauge readings) Then. they have to draw a complete A/C system using a fixed orfice tube and all the components, and direction of flow, showing the liquid and gas.  

        Out of 15 students. 12 got a 100. two with 75, and one kid got a 60 (he has only showed up three or four times. and the ones that got the 75 come in late everyday)  I think that's a pretty good return on a teachers effort if ya asked me. 

    Anyway, I can't go back to the shop until the middle of Sept. according to the doctors. So. I've turned in anything that I have to pay a monthly or weekly fee, such as uniforms, and any other rental type stuff including any cleaning services etc...   no sense in paying for something I'm not using. 

    Come mid Sept.  I've got to decide... go back to work, run the shop, maybe hire in, maybe not.  Or do I sell out, sell off. and retire.  Assuming my other side line work, manual writing, webinars, column, and sub. teaching is a better way to finish out the last of my working years.  Heck, I might even be able to travel a bit and visit all you guys that read all the crappy stuff I write. LOL  The real sad part is its most likely that I probably won't make a whole lot on the sale of the shop or equipment due to the economy, but I've got some really great equipment that has been well cared for considering only one person has operated and cared for most of it. (namely me)

    Any thoughts and words of wisdom or suggestions would be encouraging.  It's a tough decision to make after 33 years in business.   

     But, it's truly something to even be here... when you considered I actually died on two different occasions as they tried to fix my heart problem ... I've got a lot to be thankful for. 

     

    1. Show previous comments  1 more
    2. skm

      skm

      Follow your heart! I know yours is still on the mend but once it gets stronger you will make the right choice.. Remember all good things must come to an end, but with every end there is a beginning . Take your time decide what is most important in life and go from there. Sometimes we need to stop and smell the roses or at least slow enough to get a whiff as we pass by !

    3. Gonzo

      Gonzo

      Financially this is a mess, but fortunately I'm managing.  It's looking more like a sell off than a sale.  I'm almost certain that I won't be going back to the shop to work. For many reasons, but here's a perfect example of things I can't control coming through the front door of the shop until they've presented themselves.  But by then... the blood pressure has gone up.  My wife was down at the shop taking care of some paper work when a rather rude guy walked in the lobby even with the closed sign up and a note about my condition.  He tells her, "I've been here five different times already and the door has been locked where is he? I need my electric seat worked on!"  My wife explained to him the situation but that didn't seem to phase him.  "So when is he going to be back?"  She told him that I was more than likely not going to be back but maybe in a consulting aspect sometime in Sept.  That wasn't good enough for him.  He wanted something NOW.  She finally had to ask him to get out. He storms out the door ticked off and muttering something about the BBB. 

      It's those kind of "daily" arseholes I seem to run across, that are really making the decision for me.  People and their attitudes like this guy, are one of the many reasons your blood pressure can climb.  I don't need it, don't want it, and don't want to deal with it.  Time to cool down, slow down, and relax away from all the stress.  Doctor said, "Lower your stress."  I think I'll take his advise. 

       

    4. skm

      skm

      I hear ya ! People even my wife doesn't understand the stress these kind of people put on you, and then the worst ones are the waiters.. I can't stand them , I get out of my car with my hands full off stuff (lunch etc) and they are approaching me asking me stuff or just saying " I wanted to let you know I am here" well no shit sherlock I can see you ! I usually walk right by them without saying a word.. but when they are there it always makes the job harder since you have them breathing down your neck, some things like taking door panels off and stuff like that at times is a little rough and makes a lot of noise like things are breaking. I don't need that with the owner over my back, then you feel rushed or pressured even though they tell you no rush .. yea no rush then why the hell are you still waiting here. no rush means you can drop it off and pick it up when I am done. It is a lot more stressful than people think that is for sure.

       

  6. 5 weeks after open heart surgery and I'm doing great, feeling better every day.  Lots of aches and pains, but... it beats the alternative.  Still can't drive, hopefully tomorrows doctor appointment will change that.  Next, is to see if the doc. will let me play golf soon.  Hopefully I can at least get outside, goof around on the putting greens and hang out with my buds.   I'd like to thank all everyone for all the kind words and prayers.  This is a very challenging thing to go through and friendship that you've all showed me makes it a lot easier to get through.     again... thank you.  

    1. Show previous comments  2 more
    2. Richard

      Richard

      Great to hear that you're doing well. Don't over do things and as hard as it maybe, follow your doctor's orders !!!

    3. Gonzo

      Gonzo

      Here's the latest;  I've been allowed to drive and I can at least putt and light chips on the golf course.  No shoulder and waist involved twisting.  Which also means no driving stick shifts or even casting a fishing pole.  My full release to play golf is the second week of Sept.  Then, I can take a full swing.  I'll probably swing like a beginner...LOL... so much for my handicap.  At least I can now officially use the geezer T box.  LOL 

      I'm substitute teaching for 2 weeks, teaching A/C to newbees.  Should be fun.  I'm still doing my column and still working with the Haynes corp. writing and editing their latest repair manuals.  Since I've been out of the shop I've already done two manuals for them. They asked if I'd like to do it, I said yes.  It's turning into my major income.  All from the comforts of home too. 

      Working on a new radio show starring yours truly too.  But, it's a slow process and may never get off the ground.  In fact the week I went into the hospital that same Saturday I was supposed to be doing the pilot to the radio show.  Bad timing I guess. However, I'm supposed to be going to Ohio in a month to do some video work for the magazine company I write for.  I'll be doing one minute info spots that will go out on the net.  

      Other than that, I'm super super sore right now.  No surgical pain just the results of the surgery pain.  You name a muscle from your neck down and from the waist up it hurts.  It hurts to bend over, stand up, or reach for something.  Walking and talking... no big deal. Well, still get hoarse if I talk to long.  That crazy sword swallowing trick they do tears your vocal cords up.  LOL.

      Anyway, that's about it.  As you can tell, I haven't exactly been just sitting around waiting to heal.  I've been as busy as I could be to get started on rearranging my life.  Now... just sell the shop.  

    4. Jay Huh

      Jay Huh

      Glad to see you are recovering well. I've been gone from the forums for a while so surprised when I saw this post. This industry is really taxing on health- high stress and my family has a history of heart conditions as well.

  7. Had an 02 Explorer in today with a door ajar light stuck on.  The guy had it at another shop who charged him for a door jam switch but it came right back on.  They told him to come see me.  I've got an IDS, but it's been so long I forgot which cable to use to get into the security side of things.  (that's where you can see all the door ajar switches)  well, when I finally got it all figured out and saw it on the screen the other shop changed the wrong switch.   What I'd like to know is how in the HELL did they determine which switch it was without properly diagnosing it.   I think they guessed..and guessed wrong.  

    1. xrac

      xrac

      That is like a doctor amputating the wrong leg. 

  8. Anybody listen to Carm Capritto pod casts?  I've done two of them with him. Look for Remarkable Results Radio on facebook for details. 

  9. new twist on things.  I've been writing the Haynes repair manuals for several years now.  But, they've thrown me a new ball to play with.  Writing the scripts for the videos they've shot.  Geez, what's next?  Director, producer, sound man?  Everything from timing belts to tires.  whatever they send me in video I write a script for it.  amazing...  

    1. xrac

      xrac

      Sounds like Haynes should just put you on payroll. 

  10. HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOE! ! ! 

  11. Heading to Kansas on Friday for the Vision Convention.  I'll be there until Sunday.  Anyone going?  If so, look me up.  I won't be hard to find. 

    Great classes, super expo, and plenty of places to have a cold one.  

    1. Jay Huh

      Jay Huh

      I wish I could!!! I will try and make it a priority to go next year

  12. Anybody in the South Dakota area? My son is going to be attending his next year of college there. Madison, South Dakota

    1. Joe Marconi

      Joe Marconi

      Sorry Gonzo. Us guys from the Bronx never really go west of Jersey.

    2. Gonzo

      Gonzo

      To think I've got to drive out there in January... some kind of nut put a college in the middle of no and where and my son wants to go there. Oh well... should be interesting.

  13. OK, you can turn the heat off now... I'm somewhere between well done and fried crispy. Over a 100 degrees for two weeks now...enough is enough!!!

  14. Hope everyone is busy. I know I am. Had two days in a row that I worked late just to finish out some jobs. Hate the heat, but love the work.

    1. Joe Marconi

      Joe Marconi

      We are going to close June on the upswing. Could be one of our best!

       

  15. Getting hot this week, I don't mind the heat... it's the hot that gets me. LOL

    1. Gonzo

      Gonzo

      100 degrees today. Office A/C needs a recharge man... it's hot! ! !

    2. xrac

      xrac

      I feel sorry for my guys. WE are swamped with cars.

       

  16. Just got back in town from an extended Memorial day weekend. Got the boy back from college, played some golf, and stopped in at a few automotive repair shops. Pretty cool. Hopefully the shops I stopped at will check out ASO now that they know about this site.

    1. Joe Marconi

      Joe Marconi

      Spread the word! ASO is the number 1 source for shop owners around the world.

  17. Taking an extra long weekend break. Heading to Colorado to pick my son up from college, visit with my daughter in Boulder, play a little golf... and just relax for a while.

  18. Spent the last two weeks revamping the website www.gonzostoolbox.com. Should make it easier to find stories and tech articles. Let me know what ya think of the changes. Also, check out the Trivia page videos.

    1. skm

      skm

      LOL, love the videos haha..Site looks really good tons of info and fun stories.. But when I clicked on buy it I didn't see the shop HAHAHA.

       

  19. I've seen slow, and I've slower. But, in all my 30 plus years I haven't seen it this slow. It's all over town too. weird.....everybody said it's slow.

    1. Show previous comments  4 more
    2. skm

      skm

      Been slow for 2 weeks, now today I am slammed

       

    3. Jeff

      Jeff

      Talked to the tool rep and 2 parts guys yesterday. It is slow everywhere here.Hope it picks up next week!

    4. Gonzo

      Gonzo

      now, I'm covered. every bay full, and not just little projects. crazy how it goes from dead to super busy. never get used to it even after all these years.

       

  20. http://remarkableresults.biz/e109/ This is the link to the interview I did with Remarkable Results Radio podcast. Pretty cool
  21. Here's a link to the interview I did with Remarkable Results Radio.

  22. Spent Monday working with one of the engineers from Zenith Motors at my shop. Zenith Motors builds air port shuttle vans that are 100% electric based on a Dodge platform. Impressive stuff. Had to learn to read computer binary because all there info on their laptop program doesn't use voltage or values most mechanics use. Crazy...but cool

    1. Show previous comments  2 more
    2. Gonzo

      Gonzo

      The engineer they sent is the same guy who worked out the software program to fake the factory PCM to think it still was talking to an engine. Because they still use the factory A/C control head, ABS, etc... The gas gauge is now the voltage level, and the tach. is the amperage load. All done with tricking the computer by manipulating the signal to what the PCM could understand. Hundreds of pages covering every single code has been covered. Oh... and the engineer that did all of this... he...

    3. Gonzo

      Gonzo

      is only 28 years old. Impressive to say the least.

    4. Joe Marconi

      Joe Marconi

      Wow, that's above my pay grade. Very impressive!

  23. Doing a radio interview on Thursday with the Remarkable Results radio show. Should be a hoot.

    1. Tires Too

      Tires Too

      I stumbled upon Carm a few weeks ago. There is some great content on his site, Joe was on a while ago.

    2. Joe Marconi

      Joe Marconi

      Gonzo deal Gonzo! I did one too. Lot's of fun and worthwhile.

       

    3. Jeff

      Jeff

      Surrounded by celebrities!

  24. What a night in Oklahoma. Tornado touched down about 5 miles from my house. My wife and I were at a restaurant at the time... which was only a mile from it. I actually saw the tornado drop out of the sky while I was having a beer and eating chips and salsa. The rushed all the patrons to the backroom. It passed us in about 20 minutes. Then, we reordered or meals. LOL... what a night. Wife can't say I don't take her anywhere exciting now. LOL

    1. Jeff

      Jeff

      Whne I lived out near the panhandle we did some amature storm chasing. They are amazing to wathch.

  25. Not that I want to complain...but I will. Got a 05 Mazda RX8 in with a service code. The dealer looked at it twice but all they did was turn the light off. I scanned it and found the secondary air valve shoddy. Oh, wait... Now I know why the just turned it off.... ya gotta pull the intake off to get to it. %*#&(@ Mazda! Why didn't ya just move it to a different location!!!



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