Ah So — Ah Sucks!

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Jeremy C
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Ah So — Ah Sucks!

#1 Post by Jeremy C »

I recently misplaced my Durand and while I remain hopeful that it’ll turn up soon, I needed a fix for my older bottles. Purchased an Ah So opener and when I tried it on two bottles (recent vintages, as I was trying to get the hang of it not having used it before), each time I pushed the cork down.

What am I doing wrong?
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Re: Ah So — Ah Sucks!

#2 Post by Chris Blum »

I find....Young bottles sometimes don’t have their corks stuck in the neck as tightly so you sometimes push them into the bottle. After a time, the corks have “seated”, there is enough resistance, and the Ah So type works great.
Last edited by Chris Blum on November 16th, 2020, 7:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ah So — Ah Sucks!

#3 Post by Ed Steinway »

We have used a Monopol Ah So for several years and it works very well, even with older bottles. I hope you find your Durand!

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Re: Ah So — Ah Sucks!

#4 Post by B. Buzzini »

Jeremy C wrote: November 16th, 2020, 7:23 am I recently misplaced my Durand and while I remain hopeful that it’ll turn up soon, I needed a fix for my older bottles. Purchased an Ah So opener and when I tried it on two bottles (recent vintages, as I was trying to get the hang of it not having used it before), each time I pushed the cork down.

What am I doing wrong?
You rocked it back and forth, pushing down through the cork right?
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Re: Ah So — Ah Sucks!

#5 Post by Chris Seiber »

Jeremy C wrote: November 16th, 2020, 7:23 am I recently misplaced my Durand and while I remain hopeful that it’ll turn up soon, I needed a fix for my older bottles. Purchased an Ah So opener and when I tried it on two bottles (recent vintages, as I was trying to get the hang of it not having used it before), each time I pushed the cork down.

What am I doing wrong?
Do you gently wobble or rock the pressure back and forth as you work it down the sides of the cork? If you try to push it straight down it’s more likely to push the cork down.

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Re: Ah So — Ah Sucks!

#6 Post by Jonathan Loesberg »

If you are rocking back and forth, as people are suggesting and the cork slips down, here is the next thing to try: the Ah So usually works down some way before the cork sinks. Lift the cork out a little way, Work the Ah So back down a little, then lift the cork again a little way so that you can grasp it with the thumb and finger of your other hand. That way, you should be able to get the Ah So all the way down. If the cork is really old, though, nothing replaces the Durand because when you twist the Ah So to lift the cork out, you may just rip an old cork apart.

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Re: Ah So — Ah Sucks!

#7 Post by Eric White »

an ah-so is terrific for older bottles, a real life saver for me. As others have said, gentle rocking back and forth is the key, slide the tongs gently one side at a time, back and forth.

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Re: Ah So — Ah Sucks!

#8 Post by Brent C l a y t o n »

It's a skill. You need to practice. I've been trying for 28 years and still haven't figured it out.
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Re: Ah So — Ah Sucks!

#9 Post by Jay Miller »

If you have an ah so you can make a fake Durand. Not as good as the real thing but almost.

First take a waiters friend and insert the screw at an angle. Then insert the ah so over the screw and use that to extract the cork. Done it many times when no Durand is available.
Last edited by Jay Miller on November 16th, 2020, 7:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ah So — Ah Sucks!

#10 Post by Jeremy C »

Nope, haven’t been rocking it. Just gently inserted it. Thanks, I’ll try that.
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Re: Ah So — Ah Sucks!

#11 Post by D@vid Bu3ker »

Jay Miller wrote: November 16th, 2020, 7:49 am If you have an ah so you can make a fake Durand. Not as good as the real thing but almost.

First take a waiters friend and insert the screw at an angle. Then insert the ah so over the screw and use that to extract the cork. Done it many times when no Durand is available.
This works. If you have a Screwpull, the worm piece is an even better supplement to the ah-so.
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Re: Ah So — Ah Sucks!

#12 Post by SteveG »

Here is athe "Durand solution" we use:
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#13 Post by B. Buzzini »

Meursault-head!

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Re: Ah So — Ah Sucks!

#14 Post by John S »

I'll just note than besides the proper technique of rocking it. if you own a "generic ah so" the knockoffs often have thick tines and are awful to use even with the proper technique. Monopol is the only good one. I've tried many knock offs and now just toss anything else. They are about $20.
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#15 Post by Paul R. »

Sounds like a technique issue but you may want to double check the humidity in your cellar.
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Re: Ah So — Ah Sucks!

#16 Post by J a y H a c k »

Jeremy C wrote: November 16th, 2020, 7:23 am . . . What am I doing wrong?
Using an Ah So? Not buying a second Durand? All of the above?
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Re: Ah So — Ah Sucks!

#17 Post by Greg K »

Jay Miller wrote: November 16th, 2020, 7:49 am If you have an ah so you can make a fake Durand. Not as good as the real thing but almost.

First take a waiters friend and insert the screw at an angle. Then insert the ah so over the screw and use that to extract the cork. Done it many times when no Durand is available.
This is my approach as well. Just need to make sure the corkscrew goes it at an angle, as Jay said, otherwise it gets hard.
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#18 Post by Jeremy C »

B. Buzzini wrote: November 16th, 2020, 8:40 am
Excellent. Thanks.
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Re: Ah So — Ah Sucks!

#19 Post by Jeremy C »

Jay Miller wrote: November 16th, 2020, 7:49 am If you have an ah so you can make a fake Durand. Not as good as the real thing but almost.

First take a waiters friend and insert the screw at an angle. Then insert the ah so over the screw and use that to extract the cork. Done it many times when no Durand is available.
I’ll try that, thanks
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#20 Post by Kelly Walker »

Jay Miller wrote: November 16th, 2020, 7:49 am If you have an ah so you can make a fake Durand. Not as good as the real thing but almost.

First take a waiters friend and insert the screw at an angle. Then insert the ah so over the screw and use that to extract the cork. Done it many times when no Durand is available.
I had been using this technique for years before the Durand came out. And the Monopole is the one to have in your arsenal.
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#21 Post by Nate Simon »

Jay Miller wrote: November 16th, 2020, 7:49 am If you have an ah so you can make a fake Durand. Not as good as the real thing but almost.

First take a waiters friend and insert the screw at an angle. Then insert the ah so over the screw and use that to extract the cork. Done it many times when no Durand is available.
Interesting. I’ve always inserted the waiter’s corkscrew straight in, then the ah-so over the top. Does putting the screw in at an angle give you better control of the cork?

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#22 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum »

Nate Simon wrote: November 16th, 2020, 10:49 am
Jay Miller wrote: November 16th, 2020, 7:49 am If you have an ah so you can make a fake Durand. Not as good as the real thing but almost.

First take a waiters friend and insert the screw at an angle. Then insert the ah so over the screw and use that to extract the cork. Done it many times when no Durand is available.
Interesting. I’ve always inserted the waiter’s corkscrew straight in, then the ah-so over the top. Does putting the screw in at an angle give you better control of the cork?
I do exactly as Jay describes, which is why I've never felt the need for a Durand. The screw is just to anchor the cork before you use the ah-so to the job. Going in with the worm at an angle keeps the first tool out of the way somewhat so you can insert the ah-so straight down, and also keeps the first action from pushing the cork down much since the pressure is across the cork, which is beneficial if the cork is at all loose.

Once both are in, put your hand around both handles together and pull them out gently as a complete unit.
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Re: Ah So — Ah Sucks!

#23 Post by M. Meer »

If I feel the cork slipping in, I stop inserting the Ah So and twist up slightly. Then, I continue to rock it back in and repeat until it's extracted.
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#24 Post by Rob_S »

M. Meer wrote: November 16th, 2020, 11:20 am If I feel the cork slipping in, I stop inserting the Ah So and twist up slightly. Then, I continue to rock it back in and repeat until it's extracted.
This. Rock it in and if it's part way down and starts pushing in, twist and pull a bit then rock down again.
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#25 Post by Jay Miller »

Nate Simon wrote: November 16th, 2020, 10:49 am
Jay Miller wrote: November 16th, 2020, 7:49 am If you have an ah so you can make a fake Durand. Not as good as the real thing but almost.

First take a waiters friend and insert the screw at an angle. Then insert the ah so over the screw and use that to extract the cork. Done it many times when no Durand is available.
Interesting. I’ve always inserted the waiter’s corkscrew straight in, then the ah-so over the top. Does putting the screw in at an angle give you better control of the cork?
It lets you insert the prongs of the Ah So just a little bit further.
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#26 Post by Andrew K. »

All of these tips on how to use the Ah So are great. Certainly if you don't know how to use the tool, that's number one.

That said, the biggest problem I had with it with old, soaked corks, especially the high end bottles with the extra long corks is that the prongs aren't long enough and the twist just breaks off the bottom of the cork. The Durand solved that issue for me.
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#27 Post by Kelly Walker »

Well the real solution, outside of forgetting to bring it, is to just buy a Durand.
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#28 Post by Henry Kiichli »

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#29 Post by Scott Brunson »

J a y H a c k wrote: November 16th, 2020, 9:40 am
Jeremy C wrote: November 16th, 2020, 7:23 am . . . What am I doing wrong?
Using an Ah So? Not buying a second Durand? All of the above?
That reminds me that I need a second Durand. [cheers.gif]
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Re: Ah So — Ah Sucks!

#30 Post by Br1an Th0rne »

I utilize the ah so component of the Durand, without the corkscrew, 90% of the time. And I only use it on 20+ year old bottles. If I get the slightest hint of the cork sinking, then it is time to go full Durand!

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#31 Post by Philip G »

Scott Brunson wrote: November 17th, 2020, 3:35 am
J a y H a c k wrote: November 16th, 2020, 9:40 am
Jeremy C wrote: November 16th, 2020, 7:23 am . . . What am I doing wrong?
Using an Ah So? Not buying a second Durand? All of the above?
That reminds me that I need a second Durand. [cheers.gif]
Would that then be a Durand Durand? ;-)
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#32 Post by Jeremy C »

Br1an Th0rne wrote: November 17th, 2020, 5:02 am I utilize the ah so component of the Durand, without the corkscrew, 90% of the time. And I only use it on 20+ year old bottles. If I get the slightest hint of the cork sinking, then it is time to go full Durand!
I almost always go for the Durand on wines older than ten years.
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#33 Post by Faryan Amir-Ghassem¡ »

D@vid Bu3ker wrote: November 16th, 2020, 7:52 am
Jay Miller wrote: November 16th, 2020, 7:49 am If you have an ah so you can make a fake Durand. Not as good as the real thing but almost.

First take a waiters friend and insert the screw at an angle. Then insert the ah so over the screw and use that to extract the cork. Done it many times when no Durand is available.
This works. If you have a Screwpull, the worm piece is an even better supplement to the ah-so.
Screwpull worm + ah so was referred in my circles (affectionately) as the brokedick Durand.
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#34 Post by Anthony C »

Philip G wrote: November 17th, 2020, 6:00 am
Scott Brunson wrote: November 17th, 2020, 3:35 am
J a y H a c k wrote: November 16th, 2020, 9:40 am
Using an Ah So? Not buying a second Durand? All of the above?
That reminds me that I need a second Durand. [cheers.gif]
Would that then be a Durand Durand? ;-)
Bravo sir!

That reminds me, I need to keep dropping the subtle hints to the wife that a Durand is all I really want for Christmas (and patience for all the cases of wine that magically appear at the house).
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#35 Post by Michael S. Monie »

93 points!
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#36 Post by John Danza »

Durands are good, and I'm glad I have one, but I wouldn't buy another if this one broke. The suggestions about a worm plus an Ah-So are easy to do. I've even done it when I didn't feel like digging out my Durand.
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#37 Post by Neal.Mollen »

B. Buzzini wrote: November 16th, 2020, 8:40 am
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#38 Post by Scott Brunson »

Philip G wrote: November 17th, 2020, 6:00 am
Scott Brunson wrote: November 17th, 2020, 3:35 am
J a y H a c k wrote: November 16th, 2020, 9:40 am
Using an Ah So? Not buying a second Durand? All of the above?
That reminds me that I need a second Durand. [cheers.gif]
Would that then be a Durand Durand? ;-)
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Re: Ah So — Ah Sucks!

#39 Post by Mike Hawkins »

Jonathan Loesberg wrote: November 16th, 2020, 7:44 am If you are rocking back and forth, as people are suggesting and the cork slips down, here is the next thing to try: the Ah So usually works down some way before the cork sinks. Lift the cork out a little way, Work the Ah So back down a little, then lift the cork again a little way so that you can grasp it with the thumb and finger of your other hand. That way, you should be able to get the Ah So all the way down. If the cork is really old, though, nothing replaces the Durand because when you twist the Ah So to lift the cork out, you may just rip an old cork apart.
This is the approach I’ve been using successfully for 20+ years. It just takes patience and practice

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#40 Post by Cris Whetstone »

I could never convince myself to pull the trigger on the expense of a Durand. So I just asked for it for Christmas from a family member since I'm not one to ask for things and they didn't know what to give me.

It's been great. Now I'm less concerned about older corks. Juggling a regular wine opener and ah so was never fun. I've broken plenty of corks or had them just push in beyond recovery using the regular tools. It's nice to not have to think about that anymore.

It should be noted that even the Durand is not 100%. Some corks are long and soft from age(*wink wink* *nudge nudge*) and are determined to crumble into your wine.
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#41 Post by Michael S. Monie »

Cris Whetstone wrote: November 17th, 2020, 5:20 pm I could never convince myself to pull the trigger on the expense of a Durand. So I just asked for it for Christmas from a family member since I'm not one to ask for things and they didn't know what to give me.

It's been great. Now I'm less concerned about older corks. Juggling a regular wine opener and ah so was never fun. I've broken plenty of corks or had them just push in beyond recovery using the regular tools. It's nice to not have to think about that anymore.

It should be noted that even the Durand is not 100%. Some corks are long and soft from age(*wink wink* *nudge nudge*) and are determined to crumble into your wine.
I'm glad that you got one and I don't mean any disrespect, but don't you find it amusing the reluctance to spend on a lifetime tool what many here routinely spend on a single bottle of wine? You are certainly not the only one.
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#42 Post by Cris Whetstone »

Michael S. Monie wrote: November 17th, 2020, 5:33 pm
Cris Whetstone wrote: November 17th, 2020, 5:20 pm I could never convince myself to pull the trigger on the expense of a Durand. So I just asked for it for Christmas from a family member since I'm not one to ask for things and they didn't know what to give me.

It's been great. Now I'm less concerned about older corks. Juggling a regular wine opener and ah so was never fun. I've broken plenty of corks or had them just push in beyond recovery using the regular tools. It's nice to not have to think about that anymore.

It should be noted that even the Durand is not 100%. Some corks are long and soft from age(*wink wink* *nudge nudge*) and are determined to crumble into your wine.
I'm glad that you got one and I don't mean any disrespect, but don't you find it amusing the reluctance to spend on a lifetime tool what many here routinely spend on a single bottle of wine? You are certainly not the only one.
None taken. Kind of silly to wrestle with it but I did. But then again it's kind of a crazy price for something so simple and small. [dontknow.gif]
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#43 Post by Jonathan Loesberg »

Michael S. Monie wrote: November 17th, 2020, 5:33 pm
Cris Whetstone wrote: November 17th, 2020, 5:20 pm I could never convince myself to pull the trigger on the expense of a Durand. So I just asked for it for Christmas from a family member since I'm not one to ask for things and they didn't know what to give me.

It's been great. Now I'm less concerned about older corks. Juggling a regular wine opener and ah so was never fun. I've broken plenty of corks or had them just push in beyond recovery using the regular tools. It's nice to not have to think about that anymore.

It should be noted that even the Durand is not 100%. Some corks are long and soft from age(*wink wink* *nudge nudge*) and are determined to crumble into your wine.
I'm glad that you got one and I don't mean any disrespect, but don't you find it amusing the reluctance to spend on a lifetime tool what many here routinely spend on a single bottle of wine? You are certainly not the only one.
The reluctance in my case--and I suspect I'm not the only one--is that the actual device, a corkscrew combined with and ah so, doesn't seem to merit the price, whatever meriting a price means. After all, the two tools separately, even relatively expensive versions of them, would cost well less than half a Durand. In the big picture, though, you are obviously correct. It's just that we aren't all rational about these things. I got mine as a gift maybe three years ago, by the way, and I swear by the thing.

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Brian G r a f s t r o m
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Re: Ah So — Ah Sucks!

#44 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m »

Cris Whetstone wrote: November 17th, 2020, 5:51 pm
Michael S. Monie wrote: November 17th, 2020, 5:33 pm
Cris Whetstone wrote: November 17th, 2020, 5:20 pm I could never convince myself to pull the trigger on the expense of a Durand. So I just asked for it for Christmas from a family member since I'm not one to ask for things and they didn't know what to give me.

It's been great. Now I'm less concerned about older corks. Juggling a regular wine opener and ah so was never fun. I've broken plenty of corks or had them just push in beyond recovery using the regular tools. It's nice to not have to think about that anymore.

It should be noted that even the Durand is not 100%. Some corks are long and soft from age(*wink wink* *nudge nudge*) and are determined to crumble into your wine.
I'm glad that you got one and I don't mean any disrespect, but don't you find it amusing the reluctance to spend on a lifetime tool what many here routinely spend on a single bottle of wine? You are certainly not the only one.
None taken. Kind of silly to wrestle with it but I did. But then again it's kind of a crazy price for something so simple and small. [dontknow.gif]
This is so true. It's an Ah-so ($20, $25 max) plus a long screw (let's also *generously* call that $20). $45. This should be $60, max.. Really, it probably should be $40 - $45. Once the patent expires, I imagine this will be widely available for a third of its current price. $125 is pretty damn crazy, and built-in to that price must be a whole lotta money "for the good idea," which -- in this case -- is worth paying for.

That said, like Cris, I acquired mine by way of gift. I love it, and would definitely replace it myself if the use of a waiter's corkscrew in conjunction with an Ah-so proved to be ineffective.
“All these characters spend their time explaining themselves, and happily recognizing that they hold the same opinions … how important they consider it to think the same things all together.” --- A.R.

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Re: Ah So — Ah Sucks!

#45 Post by Neal.Mollen »

Mike Hawkins wrote: November 17th, 2020, 3:55 pm
Jonathan Loesberg wrote: November 16th, 2020, 7:44 am If you are rocking back and forth, as people are suggesting and the cork slips down, here is the next thing to try: the Ah So usually works down some way before the cork sinks. Lift the cork out a little way, Work the Ah So back down a little, then lift the cork again a little way so that you can grasp it with the thumb and finger of your other hand. That way, you should be able to get the Ah So all the way down. If the cork is really old, though, nothing replaces the Durand because when you twist the Ah So to lift the cork out, you may just rip an old cork apart.
This is the approach I’ve been using successfully for 20+ years. It just takes patience and practice
Well I can rule that out then
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Re: Ah So — Ah Sucks!

#46 Post by Jonathan Loesberg »

Neal.Mollen wrote: November 18th, 2020, 11:16 am
Mike Hawkins wrote: November 17th, 2020, 3:55 pm
Jonathan Loesberg wrote: November 16th, 2020, 7:44 am If you are rocking back and forth, as people are suggesting and the cork slips down, here is the next thing to try: the Ah So usually works down some way before the cork sinks. Lift the cork out a little way, Work the Ah So back down a little, then lift the cork again a little way so that you can grasp it with the thumb and finger of your other hand. That way, you should be able to get the Ah So all the way down. If the cork is really old, though, nothing replaces the Durand because when you twist the Ah So to lift the cork out, you may just rip an old cork apart.
This is the approach I’ve been using successfully for 20+ years. It just takes patience and practice
Well I can rule that out then
I appreciate the joke, but, other than the couple of times it takes to use and ah so correctly, it don't find it takes much patience or practice at a;;. My method for corks that push in too easily, takes none of either. Unless it's hard to grasp something with your thumb and forefinger.

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Re: Ah So — Ah Sucks!

#47 Post by Dave McIsaac »

Neal.Mollen wrote: November 17th, 2020, 10:22 am
B. Buzzini wrote: November 16th, 2020, 8:40 am
"Cork can maintain its integrity for up to 15 years."
So you better drink up all of your Jordans!!
You're the man Dave! I think i speak for all of us when i say that..😎 - John Cabot, BDXI

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Re: Ah So — Ah Sucks!

#48 Post by Jeremy C »

I located my Durand!

Back to being lazy.
Cuth.bert.son

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