Story Time – SkyGeek Style!

A tidal wave of jewelry commercials is usually a good sign that Valentines Day is approaching. Well, that wave was spotted, and it reminded me of a Valentines Day story I hadn’t thought of in a while. I asked the Chief Geek if I could share, so here goes.

I’ve never been a fan of Valentines Day, for all the classic Hallmark Holiday reasons. Accordingly, a few years ago I began to complain about it to my friend over some lunch. I stated my argument for why I loathed participation in the Day, and my friend agreed to some degree. However, his ultimate response was along the llines of “Either way, you have to get her some flowers or jewelry or something, or else you’re in biiiiig trouble with the girlfriend.”

To this, I responded with “Even if I agreed to partake, it wouldn’t be about buying red roses and candy, it would be about showing her I care. What you rely on roses for, I could accomplish with…I don’t know…batteries. I could give batteries and make it work”.

Well, the gauntlet was thrown down, and the bet was on. $50 that I wouldn’t give her batteries for Valentines Day. Luckily, I had a girlfriend with a sense of humor, so this would be my approach.

On Valentines Day, I arrived at my girlfriends house. She opened the door, and at first didn’t recognize me. I was dressed in plad pants jacked up to my stomach, a tucked in pink shirt, knee high socks, thick black glasses (with tape) and had my hair matted down on my forehead. The kicker – was the closepin on my nose.

I was a full blown nerd with a box in my hand. She immediately laughed and asked “what the heck are you doing?” I responded in a nasally voice – “I’m here to win your heart lass, and I have a gift for you”. I handed her a heart shaped candy box and she opened it while laughing. In the box, in place of all the candy I removed (and ate), was an array of different batteries. Accompanying those batteries, was a “battery identification” card telling her what each battery was for – like in a box of candy. For example,  one set of batteries was identified as “Batteries for your discman, so you can listen to Tiny Dancer (favorite song) whenever you want” – and so on. Along with these personalize battery notes, was a message “I took out the marshmellow battery, cuz I know you don’t like those” (doesn’t like the marshmellow candies).

Well, not only did I accomplish the laughing aspect, she actually loved all the messages and couldn’t have been happier. When she asked why I did it, I told her about my conversation with Jay – and the bet. I was careful to reinforce the fact that it wasn’t about the $50, it was to prove we don’t need flowers and candy to enjoj Valentines Day…because what we have is special.

So it all worked out on that day. My friend Jay was shocked, she was happy – I had pulled it off and made a special day of it. About a year later, turns out the specialness didn’t last…but such is life.

Still leaves me wondering, dressing up like a Geek that day and having so much fun, did that have anything to do with me becoming a SkyGeek?  Never know.

So that’s my Valentines Day Geek story – SkyGeek story now. If any of you out there in SkyGeek land think you have what it takes to pull off giving batteries on Valentines Day, here’ some links to pick up the batteries on the cheap. That, or if you just need batteries (cuz honestly, the stars have to allign just right to pull this type of thing off).

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Down to the Wire – SkyGeek Style

What duct tape is to the HVAC community, safety wire is to the aviation community. If you need something done, chances are…it all comes down to the wire.

Because safety wire is utilized so often, we thought we’d run through some quick points and tips regarding what it’s used for, how to use it, and what the different variations are.

Safety wire has many uses, but the most common application is using it to secure the nuts and bolts of your aircraft. It can also help prevent other parts of the aircraft from vibrating loose – or even off. Needless to say (but we’ll say it anyway) safety wire is incredibly important to have.

Safety Wire can be used for:

  1. Securing nuts and bolts (ie. Carb nuts and Prop bolts)
  2. As hose clamps around the fuel lines, fuel pump, carb, or primer bulb.
  3. Probe clamp replacements
  4. Exhaust springs
  5. The rotary valve tank clamps
  6. Securing your air filters to your carbs
  7. Spark plug caps
  8. Much More

Stainless steel is by far the highest quality material used for safety wire, and it comes in a variety of different thickness. Let’s go over a few of the most common thicknesses and the attributes and uses of each.

.020 is very thin and can bend around almost anything. It’s not as strong as other thicknesses, but it is ideal for safety wiring things where you need to bend the wire around a lot of corners such as light bolts or fittings.

.032 is probably the most common size. It’s easy to work with; it’s strong and should work on anything you might need to use safety wire on.

.041 is extremely strong due to its thickness but can be stiff and difficult to work with for intricate wiring. It won’t tighten around a tight radius; you use it on wide radius turns where high strength requires the extra strength.

When working with safety wire, you’ll come to realize that having safety wire pliers or an entire safety wiring kit is pretty much essential. The pliers / winders make doing the job a heck of a lot easier, a heck of a lot faster and heck of a lot safer. Using safety wire pliers helps to ensure that the safety wire is applied with the right tightness and strength.

Here are a few guidelines to follow when applying safety wire.

  1. The first thing you’ll want to do is torque the nut or bolt to its proper torque. Then align the holes that are going to be used to safety wire the units in place. Be careful not to over torque or under torque, that can be dangerous.
  2. Always install safety wire so that the nut or bolt tightens itself. In other words, the safety wire should come around the top of the bolt or nut and back onto the securing unit so that the safety wire pull is in a tightening manner (direction).
  3. Be sure never to over stress the safety wire. This can weaken the wire and cause it to break under vibration or stress. To avoid this, do not over wind the safety wire. Also, always make sure the safety wire is not cut or kinked, this can also cause it to weaken and break.

Always leave 4 to 6 turns after the loop when cutting safety wire.


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Tom Bodett – SkyGeek Style

Tom Bodett has been faithfully leaving the light on for you at Motel 6 for over twenty years.  Sure, at the beginning, leaving the light on in those rooms may not have been the best idea…some creatures are better left unseen when trying to sleep.

But let’s give them some credit, they’ve cleaned up there act and more power to them.

Well, SkyGeek wants to build on Tom’s model. We want to be your Tom Bodett when it comes to making sure your aviation lighting is all squared away.

So maybe we don’t have great voices like Tom. So maybe a few of us Geeks are more in line with the vocal capabilities of Spongebob Squarepants. That’s not going to stop us from being your go to source for staying in the light – it just means we won’t be tone-pleasant when we do it.

So Tom, you can continue to leave the light on…that job’s still yours.  We’ll just be waiting in the wings to replace it once it’s been left on too long and it burns out.

Got lights that need replacing? Never had em’ in the first place? “We’ll leave the internet on for you…so you can get your lights.” (We’re still working on the tagline).

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Monster Idea from SkyGeek!

Let’s kick things off in 2010 with an idea that will make a “must do” pilot chore a lot easier for you.

As of 10 seconds ago, we like to call this idea “the three headed monster of joy, stress relief and other a-typical monster characteristics”.

This monster idea is to offer you the ability to have all of your aviation charts and maps automatically delivered to your door whenever an update is required.

No more stress about flying with expired charts

No more hassle figuring out / remembering when you need an update

No more time wasted buying and waiting to fly

If you plan on flying in 2010, you’re going to need up to date aviation charts throughout. Why not make things a whole lot easier on yourself and take care of it with 100% automation.

For all those who are going to be interested, there’s a couple ways to sign up.

Option 1: Call 1-888-SkyGeek

Option 2: Shop online using the instructions below.

  1. Head on over to the SkyGeek Chart Section and load up your shopping cart with the items you wish to place on subscription.
  2. Choose the edition you would like by using the drop-down menu and choosing either "Buy Subscription Starting Current" or "Buy Subscription Starting Next"
  3. If you also would like to purchase other items from our site, go ahead and do so on the same order otherwise head straight to the checkout procedure
  4. There is no charge for this service and no advanced payment is required. (However, you must use Visa, MasterCard, AMEX or Discover. Sorry NO PAYPAL)
  5. You pay only the price of the charts plus the flat rate shipping charges ( USPS 1st Class=FREE up to .78 Oz. weight, FedEx 3 Day=$4.95, FedEx 2 Day=$12.00, FedEx Overnight=$18.00) that correspond to the method you select at checkout. If you have other items in your cart during the initial checkout you will pay regular calculated freight rates. The flat rate freight charges apply to all ongoing subscription shipments
  6. Your credit card will be billed only when we send new charts. To Add, Delete or Cancel a FAA Chart Subscription send an e-mail to our “Chart Geek Wizard” at Your subscription will continue until you advise us otherwise.

It’s that easy!

If you need more information, you can visit our Chart Subscription page. Or, you can get started by calling us at the number above or by taking care of step 1 (above) at the SkyGeek Chart Section.

We hope you all like the monster idea; we’re confident everyone will really enjoy the stress free automation.

We also hope everyone had a great new years, and here’s to a great 2010! That’s it for this week, take care!