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About sparkyaber

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    Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

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  • Location:
    Andover, MN
  1. I had the same question when I was going to purchase my first hand gun. I researched and fired and held all sorts of them. For me personally, it was to be for target shooting almost exclusively, I say that because as of today it stays in the safe (not for home protection) and I don't carry.I almost bought a 9mm, but a freind of mine talked me into a 40cal then buying a 9mm barrel. Voila! You get to choose which caliber to shoot today. If it matters, I ended up with a glock g23 gen 4 and love it. I have yet to purchase the conversion barrel, just to lazy I guess,probably going to be the lone wolf brand.
  2. For now, no. The retail stores are separate, but this doesn't make much sense, having to have different labels made for all of the products for the different stores, etc. I think it is only a matter of time until the Midwest label goes the way of the buffalo. Nothing is shipped from Midwest's location any more. Everything (whether it says midwest or northern brewer on the package) is shipped from NB's warehouse in Roseville. If anyone has been there, it makes much more sense, it is much more state of the art compared to what midwest was doing in SLP.
  3. I don't check in very often, but was excited to see another brewing thread! It's great to see more folks getting into the hobby. A few more tips and hints: get a hold of John Palmers "How to Brew". Probably the best all around book for any home brewer, from noob to experienced. Another cheap effective cleaner is oxy-clean free. Star san for sanitizer. (Don't fear the foam!) lastly, if you want to get really serious about brewing, keep impeccable records. Write it all down, and keep it organized. Lastly, who else heard that Midwest is now owned by the same company that owns NB? Happened about a month ago. Midwest let a bunch of great people go, some that had been there from the very beginning. I have begun hanging out at Brew and Grow in Fridley more and more lately. Good luck and brew on!
  4. Scott- I was just thinking of giving you a shout out the other day! Let's get together soon. I am back working out of town, but still home on the weekends. You want to come over and brew? I only have 2 carboys with beer in them! 12 empties! Got to get brewing. I was thinking of doing something Christmas weekend or over new years. Give me a call or shoot me an email.
  5. My wife had a 2001 solara hard top sedan. 3.0 liter SLE. What a fun car. The only problem we had with the car were the original tires were garbage, replaced them with 18000 miles on the car. Defiantly nothing with the car itself. We traded it in with 64K on it for a Sequoia when the little one was on the way. Hope she enjoys the car!
  6. The first one or two attempts to drink a smoked beer we a disaster, the third time was a charm. Surly Smoke paired with a smoked pork loin. WOW was it amazing. Nothing I would drink day to day, but a nice treat none the less. Currently enjoying a 2 year old Russian Stout that I think would give Darkness a run for its money. Also a 3 year old Holiday Spice ale that finally became drinkable. It was horrible for the first two years. In between those big beers, I made a low alcohol session beer that has plenty of hop presence. Similar to Brau Bros. Hop Session. These are only in between the new kick I have been on, Laphroaig Scotch. I have tried the 10 year, 18 year, 25 year, triple wood, and quarter cask. The 25 is way out of my price range, 18 year pushes it, but my go to is quarter cask, nose is smoke, taste is smoke with salt, citrus. Finish all smoke and it lingers, super smooth. So many different scotches so little time!!
  7. A little late here, but I finally found a pic of my 2003 Road Star Warrior. Really old picture also. Most "fun" bike I have owned. Lots of really nice bikes here. Photobucket Keep the rubber on the road all.
  8. WOW- what a great post! I think we should all put in perspective, how well we have it here in this country. You all pretty much summed it up (good call slimngrizzly). I would like to add that in my life I can be thankful for my and my families health. The little things can be a bother sometimes, but in the grand scheme of things, that is all very irrelevant. Thanks Scoot!!
  9. Tracy- that has just been my luck with all vehicles. It is kinda funny, if a guy types in duramax problems into any search engine, find the most common ones, I have had them all. Two friends have duramaxes, both have had very few problems. One electrical problem with a wiring harness under the hood rubbing on metal and shorting out (Cheap to fix hard to find), the other had, if I remember correctly, a shifting problem, or limp mode, that could have been expensive, but was also a simple fix. Also, it is paid for, so some problems are still cheaper than a payment on a newer truck. I hope to get about 5 more years from the truck. After that I will probably take a hard look at the fords. The ones that are new now will be in my price range. I am scared of the two prievious diesel motors that they have put on the market. 6.0 and 6.4? As for the 8' bed, keep looking, they are not very common, but they are out there. If that is what you want, wait, one will come up. Good Luck.
  10. Wanderer- don't know if you remember but I met you up on Rush for a clean up a few years back. I still have my LB 7 2003 duramax crew with the long box. I have a pretty extensive list of things that have gone wrong with it. Best thing I can say it has been real good to me the last few years. (Got all the bugs worked out finally?). I have about 140,000 miles on it to my recollection. Things that have been done to the truck: Transfer case pump rub, caught early, put in the aftermarket fix, I patched it still not leaking. Knock on wood. Leaking transmission, there were two common causes for this, fixed them both while I had the tranny out. DDM (driver door module) 3 times. All injectors have been replaced. Lots of wheel bearings and break parts, mostly rotors rusting from the inside out. Ball joints replaced. Power window motor replaced. Rear Axle seals. Blower motor resistor at the worst possible time (middle of a super cold, snowy, road trip in the middle of the night). I think that is about all of the bad. Many of the above may be considered normal maintenance, but some of those were pretty darn expensive fixes. The tranny was the big one, with the injectors covered by warranty. My wife's 2001 sequoia had many more miles on it while needing none of the same maintenance issues. I guess it is not apples to apples, just something I noticed. Now for the good. Like I stated above, the last few years have only been the brake stuff, and the ball joints again I consider these maintenance issues. Other good things, wonderful mileage- we took a trip to Door county took our time, drove the speed limit, and got 22 miles to the gallon. I got over 700 miles on that tank of fuel. Never saw that again, but I can average about 17-18 even 19 under normal driving, dropping to 15-16 when I put my foot into it. This drops to about 14-15 pulling my reata. By comparison, my wifes new sequoia (5.7L) gets about 15 normal driving and about 13-14 pulling the boat. Guess I am saying darn good mileage for such a big machine. Plenty of power. This thing will pull a house, and being an LB7 it is the shortest on HP compared the newer models. I can't imagine needing more. Another thing I like, is the crew cab with the long box and topper. Haul anything I need, anytime, anywhere. 4 big guys, all our gear, and pull the boat. I will never own anything besides a crew cab with a long box again. My personal opinion is that the chevy ride is second to none. It is as close to a car as a heavy duty truck can get. Other things of note, my truck loves Rotella T oil. The diesel oil my mechanic used to carry caused this thing to smoke like crazy from the breather tube(I think this is what you were talking about in an early thread). He switched to a semi synthetic and it was better, only smoking right about time it was due for an oil change. Still not as good as the Rotella. The factory mirrors are a joke. I have carried on since I bought this thing 8 years ago that they were useless when towing anything. I still have not bought the aftermarket super duty style, but it is on the list. Hope this helps a little.
  11. sparkyaber

    New Toy

    I picked my new gator up last Friday. I installed my 4000# winch in a few hours on Saturday. Sunday we took it to the lake and put on about 20 miles. I noticed the brakes are horrible! I have heard they are like this when new, and they seem to be getting better, but I hope they get better yet. I can't believe the power this thing has! Great throttle response. I used the winch to pull a tree that had fallen into another one, and it did not even load up the motor. I was also impressed with the suspension on very uneven terrain. As with any JD- great attention to detail and fit and finish. I am really impressed with windshield and the roof system, all quick clamps, allowing them to be removed quickly. So far, very happy with the purchase.
  12. sparkyaber

    New Toy

    Thanks you two! I never thought of the roof! I will make sure to ask the dealer about the towing, as I live in the north metro, but will be using mostly up north. Landscaper, you said you should have gotten the extra warranty, may I ask why? Just the fact that it is cheap insurance, or have you had some issues?
  13. sparkyaber

    New Toy

    My dealer did not mention the 500 dollars toward any equipment, and I did not go for the warranty. I figured it was a little expensive for an extra year. I don't plan on it giving me any problems in the first two years. You all think it may be worth it? Another few questions- What are you all using as a trailer? I have an older aluminum snowmobile trailer, (with brand new plywood), that I will be picking it up on, buy I figure I will be pushing the limit on weight for the trailer. Also, maybe a really dumb question, with regards to the windshield, should I be able to haul this thing at freeway speeds without doing any harm to it? I figured to it to be fine, but I have been wrong before( don't tell my wife ) Thanks all.
  14. Next time try a little, or a lot, of fresh ginger grated in with the garlic, onions and beer. It is amazing what that ginger can add to the flavor of bratwurst.
  15. sparkyaber

    New Toy

    I ordered one of these babies two weeks ago, and will will have it in my possession next Saturday. Options included- bucket seats, premium outdoors package (extra lights, roof, no scratch windshield, seat belt suspension) power protection package (electric dump, front bumper/brush guard, fender protectors), rear ops protector screen, cv protector plates, and big horns with aluminum rims. I ordered the winch and multi mount kit, but changed my mind after doing some snooping online, I found the warn RT4000 (same winch as the JD offering only one size bigger) plus the multi mount kit for less than what JD wanted just for the winch, which did not include any installation. So I saved over 50%, got a bigger winch, but I have to install it myself. Got it all at the place that is known for selling books and also is a larger river in South America. I decided to go with the green and black with black rims. When I take a few pics, I will try to remember to post them here. Pretty excited for next weekend! Any other news on these machines from you folks that have had them for awhile?
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