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It’s at the printers…

Posted By on October 4, 2009

The last chapter has been written, the final proof-reading has been done, the files are sent…and now we wait for the books to arrive.

It’s hard to believe that within a few short weeks my basement will be filling up with thousands of books…hopefully they won’t stay for long! There has been growing interest in this book, and I only wish I already had copies on hand, as many folks have been asking for it. I guess it’s been a long time coming…

As you can tell, I’ve been adding some things to the website in anticipation of the book’s arrival, things like PayPal buttons and instructions on ordering copies by mail. My wife will be wanting her basement back before long, so I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me now.

Don’t forget to order your copy in time for Christmas - A Fine Day for a Drive will make a perfect stocking stuffer for anyone on your Christmas List. And if you’d like, I’ll even autograph it for you…now that’s service!

Special Website Pricing for A Fine Day for a Drive – $14.95!

Posted By on September 22, 2009

A Fine Day for a Drive will be pre-priced at $14.95 + GST and shipping ($2.00 in Canada via Canada Post). Anyone who signs up on our Notification List will get this price, even if costs go up by the time the book arrives from the printers!

Our tentative release date is early- to mid-November, which will allow time for you to order copies for all your friends or staff as Christmas presents. If you’d like to order more than 5 copies at a time, just contact us and we’ll tell you about any volume discounts that are available. (The more you buy, the cheaper it will get!)

Thanks to all who are signing up already…it’s going to be a busy fall!
-Rick Cogbill (aka Slim Shambles)

Mr. Slim goes to Washington…(or at least state-side)

Posted By on September 17, 2009

The Car Side is now available to technicians in the US! MOTOR MAGAZINE, perhaps the largest automotive trade journal in America, is now hosting the column beginning September 2009, and that pretty exciting news! (more…)

Getting ready for the printers…

Posted By on September 13, 2009

Yes, it’s almost that time.

The final touches are taking place on the book A Fine Day for a Drive, and soon you’ll be able to order your copy. Stay tuned for some changes to our website as we add the shopping feature, so that you can order your book right here online. (more…)

Foreword to A Fine Day for a Drive, by Allan Janssen

Posted By on September 13, 2009

 Rick Cogbill makes me laugh.book_cover_VER3_R1 ThumbNail

That might sound obvious, given that he’s a humour columnist. But I’ve come to learn in almost 20 years of editing that few humour columnists are consistently funny. And when they are, they’re not laugh-out-loud funny. They’re just knowing-smile kind of funny. A select few are nod-and-chuckle kind of funny. Only the very best are spit-out-your-coffee kind of funny. That’s Rick…

When he proposed a humour column for Canadian Technician magazine, promising that it would be both entertaining and informative, I was skeptical. People told me it couldn’t be done. And even if it could be done, it couldn’t last. But Rick and his whacky band of characters have been making me spit out my morning coffee since 1998. You should see my office!

Yes, the situations he describes are ridiculous… but they’re also rooted in a strange kind of reality and are populated with a cast of characters that people can truly relate to. The well-meaning apprentice who has to learn everything the hard way. The grizzled old mechanic who’s seen it all. The blue-collar philosopher who surprises you with a fresh perspective on things.

There are no villains in Slumberland. Everyone has redeeming qualities. Even the customer who twists the truth to earn a discount, and the supplier who feigns ignorance about a duplicate bill. Slim Shambles – Rick’s alter ego – faces them all with weary grace.

The humour comes from a good place. Like most writers, Rick has genuine affection for his characters. He knows them. He’s had coffee with them – many, many coffees – and he tells their stories with a mixture of frankness and fancy. That his columns have been so well received is no surprise to me. He speaks lovingly of a profession that does not always get its due. Rick casts a warm light on the shadowy corners of the auto repair industry to reveal the heroic characters who are meeting life one broken car at a time.

Now I learn that his columns were just a taste of his unique imagination. The full meal – a veritable smorgasbord of fun and adventure – is here, in A Fine Day For a Drive. There is a bigger cast of characters and their playground has expanded beyond the walls of Slim Shambles Auto Repair. Those of us who have been waiting patiently to learn more about Slim’s back story, and about life in Slumberland, have already tucked our napkins and are ready to dig in.

This is a laugh-out-loud book that celebrates the believably absurd. Slim Shambles rides the lead car as grand marshal in life’s giant parade of fools. And I, for one, will gladly take my spot on the sidewalk to watch Basil, Tooner, Beanie, and the rest of the gang pratfall past.

 —Allan Janssen
Editorial Director, Canadian Technician magazine

Check out the chapter samples!

Posted By on August 19, 2009

Take a moment to read some samples of the chapters that will be in A Fine Day for a Drive by Rick Cogbill. Just click on the Sample Chapters tab above.

Latest update on the book…

Posted By on August 18, 2009

Yes, we’re making progress! I’m writing madly every day, and my little team of editors are working furiously right behind me, coming up with all the little things that need to be changed and rewritten! And writing a book is supposed to be fun? (more…)

Welcome to The Car Side online!

Posted By on June 22, 2009



The word is out that Slim Shambles and his crew will be releasing their first book this fall, A Fine Day for a Drive, and you won’t want to miss it!

Slim Shambles Auto Repair, The Early Years…
New material…hilarious stories…fascinating characters…what more could one ask for? (more…)

Chapter 1 – Don’t Bank On It (Complete Chapter)

Posted By on June 19, 2009

The wall phone rang violently, knocking the receiver right out of its cradle. That’s usually a bad sign. (more…)

Chapter 6 – Stairway To Heaven (partial chapter)

Posted By on June 19, 2009

“Cookie,” I declared, “it’s time we bought a motorhome.”

My wife walked over, peered into my eyes and sniffed my breath. “Well, that’s a relief,” she said. “For a minute there I thought you’d taken on some new habits.” She went back to cooking supper. “Why in the world would you want a motorhome?” (more…)