Oh, also…

Like a phoenix, rising from its own ashes, I’ve metaphorically crawled from my own ashes and am now proudly doing something that is completely unlike the previous two careers that I’ve had… ehem…

I’m an actual 737 aircraft mechanic.

With everything that I and my family have endured over the past five-ish years, I’m kinda proud of that.

No, I don’t have my A&P licenses yet.


They’re not at all required as a mechanic at an MRO. But that absolutely doesn’t mean I’m not going to get them. They’re just on hold with the timing of the whole offer/acceptance/start/onboarding with Boeing.

Once More Unto the Breach

Okay, perhaps a bit more dramatic than the comparison with combat and battle than was invoked in Shakespeare’s Henry V.

How about this:

Second verse//Same as the first

I missed out on two weeks of lab time way back at the end of Gen-A, six terms ago, when my wife had Covid. Way back before vaccines were available for it. I had to remain away from the campus to prevent spread and missed out on some critically important lab time because of it.

Fast-forward to now, and I finally have all of my lab time and projects complete and even have time caught up on the Airframe time that I needed to tend do.

So, great news, I’m all caught up.

But sometimes it’s two steps forward and one step back.

We’ve had four people out with a positive Covid tests in our rather small group of 14 — no idea about the 1st year students (about 30) or the other half of the 2nd year (about another 15). The three that were out are, to my understanding, planning on being back tomorrow.

But the administration has shut down our campus for a week.

So, we’ll be back next Thursday. We’ll have the shared frustration of all trying to get bare minimums on time needed to finish this last four weeks of the program.

No, wait… minus a week.

Last three… three weeks of the program.

Tool Truck Vendors, Part II

I had posted previously about the second consideration for tool truck vendors — Mac Tools in this case. I need a set of 12-point, universal, SAE sockets for a Powerplant course I’ll be starting next term.

I had noticed that Mac Tools had updated their inventory* and indicated that they were taking orders for those sockets. So I ordered them.

I received an instant (automated) order confirmation.

Then nothing.

Days passed. The days turned into weeks. Heard nothing. No tracking number. No charge to my card. Nothing.

So I contacted Mac Tools and ensured that it was canceled so I could resume my search.

Then I returned to Genius Tools and noted that its site, too (at the time), definitely indicated it was in stock. Click. Purchase. Confirm. Multiple automatic emails (order confirmation and such). Charge to my card.

And it arrived in a few days.


*Mac Tools, when acknowledging the request to cancel the order, said, “SMU72TRA is still on back order…” Wait. What? You said it was out of stock, so I postponed. Then you said it was in stock. So I ordered. Now it’s out of stock? Hmmm… something fishy in their application of web technologies.

Safety Third?

Ideas first

Tools second

Safety third

I’ve started learning [Ideas first] about oxyacetylene welding [Tools second] and the moment I walked into the welding lab, this caught my eye…

Let’s just put this gas-can right here.

Flames. Acetylene gas. Oxygen. And a plastic gasoline can at the oxy-acetylene welding station.

Safety third.

I can’t help but wonder if this is an education tool to see who sees it and reacts to it.

Tool-Truck Vendors…

I had previously admonished the use of Tool-Truck vendors.

I had remarked:

As a student or just starting out, do not buy the ‘best’ tool that can be had nor anything from some mobile tool [truck] purveyor.

Instead, buy the cheapest thing you can find that meets the actual needs you have right now. Not needs you think you’re going to have in the future. Learn to use it appropriately. Care for it. When it breaks or wears out, if repair isn’t plausible, then look for the best tool that in your learned and gained experience will meet your specific needs.

2020-09-02 – AMT Tools List

Fast forward a bit and I had posted another portion of the tools list that was rather expensive, and then another bit that would eventually be required for the Powerplant program. Some stuff was easy to come by. But a few other things, not so much.

Those pesky 1/4″ drive, universal/flex 12-point SAE sockets. [Insert satto voce annoyance mumbling here]

I’d have thought that there would be many plausible inexpensive options. Sure, the list specified “Genius Tools” and a specific product number. One could go over to the site and read all about it, but also see that it said “Out of stock” and to call some specific telephone number.

Okay, so let’s see where else we can find something comparable in the $35 – $50 range. Sure, metric sets were available.

Yet virtually nothing in US-aviation is metric. SAE only.

Oh, look — here’s a 3/8″ drive set of 12-point universal SAE sockets. Might be helpful. Maybe. But they’ll be taller and may not fit into tight space.

The list does specify 1/4″ drive… and as time progressed, it seems that they were extraordinarily rare. And over the months that I had waited and tried repeatedly, I wasn’t getting any response from Genius Tools.

I said I wouldn’t do it… but, let’s go look at Snap-On… hmm… $296. And Mac Tools? $310.

That’s more expensive than the $40 that Genius Tools had promoted the product at. About $263 more! But it’s becoming increasingly evident that it was extraordinarily unlikely — bordering on myth.

What’s Your Value?

Then there’s the question of how much one’s time is worth. How much has it cost in the perhaps 40 hours that I’d expended to save that $263?

It seems I’ve already spent about $263 of my time in tracking down something cheaper. Do the math and it works out to $6.58 per hour.

So, here are the options:

Mac Tools

7-pc. 1/4″ drive SAE Universal Socket Set – 12-PT – 1/4, 5/16, 11/32, 3/8, 7/16, 1/2, 9/16: $295.99

Snap On

6 pc 1/4″ Drive 12-Point SAE Flank Drive® Shallow Universal Socket Set – 1/4, 5/16, 3/8, 7/16, 1/2, 9/16: $309

Looks that the Mac Tools offering is less expensive and includes a 11/32″ socket as well, so, ready to drop coin on it… son of a


Awaiting a response from Mac Tools, or I’ll ring them when I’m done with chores.

Update: I looked over the Genius Tools page this morning while hammering out this post. On their product page, they now include a promising Add to Cart button. Quite a step up from the previously-used “Out of stock, call this number” note. So, I eagerly click it and…


I see what you did there. No doubt you were getting inundated with calls looking to purchase it, but instead you’ve removed the contact number to request it.