Monday, December 26, 2005

Tool Box Odyssey

After spending a week with my son in Arizona it was time for the homeward journey.

This is where the odyssey of the the tool box started. From 1999 till 2001 I was out of the military and working as a Mechanic. The biggest goal of a starting out Mechanic is not fixing cars, it’s gathering tools. I started with a couple of small tool boxes on a rolling stand, one day our local Snap-On sales devil came by with a 20 year old Snap-On tool box which he was willing to take payments for (on hindsight I should have just bought the 700 dollar Costco one). When I got it, my tools filled it up about half way, each payday being the pack rat that I am, I added a tool here, another there and in seeming no time. I had filled it to the brim.

For a time I was a happy camper but unknowingly to me, I was an unhappy camper and needed more. After a year of funneling my money towards the Snap-On guy, he was starting to figure me as an easy mark. He pulled in one day with a brand new tool box, cherry colored, unlike any other Snap-On tool box ever made, it had a wireless remote and alarm system! This box had been damaged in shipping and a corner was buckled up but Clayton said he would take 2000 dollars off the asking price and throw in a stainless steel top. I was sold…

That tool box was my bride, I loved the damn thing. For 6 months I was an extremely happy mechanic then September 11 happened and caused me to question my life. I had a way cool tool box, a nice job with people I liked but it felt like I wasn’t making a difference in the world so I came back in.

This left my tool box in limbo, as much as I love my mom, she doesn’t show the same values as I do and would have sold it for 500 bucks (or given it away like my first edition comic books to the next door neighbor kid). My suburban is big but even with the wheels off of the tool box, it wouldn’t fit in the back. I thought of my dad but he didn’t have the room, then I thought of old coworker/uncle’s brother in law Jimmy. When I was going to school in Phoenix, I worked at a place called The Thing Shop for my uncle. I made convertible tops and seats for VW Things, Jimmy worked across this table from me and had the most immaculate tool box (he secretly waxed his tool box when people weren’t looking). Jimmy had a high respect for tools and a 3 car garage and most importantly, I trusted him. So I called him up and asked if he wanted a couple year loan of my baby.

4 years pass (3 of those paying off the tool box), the first place I lived were the barracks, then to a couple of apartments, no place I would trust to keep my tool box. Finally I’m married and living in a nice place with a two car garage down in San Diego and it's time to reunite with the Box. Jimmy deliveres the tool box to my uncles and we loaded it up in the back of my pickup with a forklift.

Collin and I drove back trying to get an early start because I wasn’t sure if the truck would fit in the garage with the tool box in back of it. The plan was to go to Home Depot and buy the wood to make a ramp to off load it (with the stainless steel top it weights 630 pounds). Got home 15 minutes after they closed and found out that yes, it does fit in the garage (whew!) Will post pictures of the offloading (if I don’t get squished) but first have to give the son a ride up to Sacramento then have Christmas dinner with Heathers family.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Years!

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