A manly test!

September 14, 2008

In a most appreciated move, Popular Mechanics has issued a list of 100 skills every man should have.  While I take exception to some items on the list, it’s a start:


1. Handle a blowout
2. Drive in snow
3. Check trouble codes
4. Replace fan belt
5. Wax a car
6. Conquer an off-road obstacle
7. Use a stick welder
8. Hitch up a trailer
9. Jump start a car

Handling Emergencies

10. Perform the Heimlich
11. Reverse hypothermia
12. Perform hands-only CPR
13. Escape a sinking car


14. Carve a turkey
15. Use a sewing machine
16. Put out a fire
17. Home brew beer
18. Remove bloodstains from fabric
19. Move heavy stuff
20. Grow food
21. Read an electric meter
22. Shovel the right way
23. Solder wire
24. Tape drywall
25. Split firewood
26. Replace a faucet washer
27. Mix concrete
28. Paint a straight line
29. Use a French knife
30. Prune bushes and small trees
31. Iron a shirt
32. Fix a toilet tank flapper
33. Change a single-pole switch
34. Fell a tree
35. Replace a broken windowpane
36. Set up a ladder, safely
37. Fix a faucet cartridge
38. Sweat copper tubing
39. Change a diaper
40. Grill with charcoal
41. Sew a button on a shirt
42. Fold a flag

Medical Myths

43. Treat frostbite
44. Treat a burn
45. Help a seizure victim
46. Treat a snakebite
47. Remove a tick

Military Know-How

48. Shine shoes
49. Make a drum-tight bed
50. Drop and give the perfect pushup


51. Run rapids in a canoe
52. Hang food in the wild
53. Skipper a boat
54. Shoot straight
55. Tackle steep drops on a mountain bike
56. Escape a rip current

Primitive Skills

57. Build a fire in the wilderness
58. Build a shelter
59. Find potable water

Surviving Extremes

60. Floods
61. Tornados
62. Cold
63. Heat
64. Lightning

Teach Your Kids

65. Cast a line
66. Lend a hand
67. Change a tire
68. Throw a spiral
69. Fly a stunt kite
70. Drive a stick shift
71. Parallel park
72. Tie a bowline
73. Tie a necktie
74. Whittle
75. Ride a bike


76. Install a graphics card
77. Take the perfect portrait
78. Calibrate HDTV settings
79. Shoot a home movie
80. Ditch your hard drive

Master Key Workshop Tools

81. Drill driver
82. Grease gun
83. Coolant hydrometer
84. Socket wrench
85. Test light
86. Brick trowel
87. Framing hammer
88. Wood chisel
89. Spade bit
90. Circular saw
91. Sledge hammer
92. Hacksaw
93. Torque wrench
94. Air wrench
95. Infrared thermometer
96. Sand blaster
97. Crosscut saw
98. Hand plane
99. Multimeter
100. Feeler gauges

I shot a 91 with the current list, and I will probably be adding items in the future to make it more accurate.

Mister Manly


I haven’t

September 11, 2008

Mister Manly

Most unmanly videos

September 10, 2008

Taking a cue form livininsanity, I have decided that it may be helpful to give examples of things that are not manly, so some may learn from the contrast.  Thus, when I ran across the following, it was an immediately obvious starting point.  I suspect that it will be no surprise to anyone that David Bowie is the star of my first unmanly video post, but I still feel the need to caution you that viewing and listening to “I’m Afraid Of Americans” may cause serious mental problems.

Mister Manly

I’ve got a new blog

September 9, 2008

I’ve got a new blog,
one that might make you sick.
Still it doesn’t cost too much,
or post too quick.

All we do is heckle the news,
that’s the trick.
We just like to mock the press,
and give them a kick (in the balls or that general region of their anatomy.)

 Yes, in our copious free time, a friend of mine, Lexinator, and I have been experimenting with a new blog concept inspired by Mystery Science Theater 3000, where we allow the voices in our heads to spout all the stuff we normally repress in response to published news stories.  I’m not sure if anyone will like it, but it’s certainly fun to write.  Oh, and it’s not intended for those with delicate sensibilities.  Actually, I have no clue as to the target audience we are striving to reach, if any.  Feed back is most welcome.

 The News Pays Its Dues

Mister Manly

Variations on a manly theme

September 5, 2008

One of the most manly songs ever is “Six Days On The Road,” by Dave Dudley.  I recently had reason to look up a copy of it for a project, and became interested in all the available recorded variations of the song.  Here are some of the ones I found, starting with the original:

Best I can tell, these are the original lyrics:

Well, I pulled out of Pittsburgh,
Rollin’ down the Eastern Seaboard.
I’ve got my diesel wound up,
And she’s running like never before.
There’s a speed zone ahead, all right,
I don’t see a cop in sight.
Six days on the road and I’m gonna make it home tonight.

I got ten forward gears,
And a Georgia overdrive.
I’m taking little white pills,
And my eyes are open wide.
I just passed a ‘Jimmy’ and a ‘White’:
I’ve been passin’ everything in sight.
Six days on the road and I’m gonna make it home tonight.

Well, it seems like a month,
Since I kissed my baby good-bye.
I could have a lot of women,
But I’m not like some other guys.
I could find one to hold me tight,
But I could never believe that it’s right.
Six days on the road and I’m gonna make it home tonight.

I.C.C. is checking on down the line.
I’m a little overweight and my log’s three days behind.
But nothing bothers me tonight.
I can dodge all the scales all right,
Six days on the road and I’m gonna make it home tonight.

Well my rig’s a little old,
But that don’t mean she’s slow.
There’s a flame from her stack,
And the smoke’s rolling black as coal.
My hometown’s coming in sight,
If you think I’m happy your right.
Six days on the road and I’m gonna make it home tonight.
Six days on the road and I’m gonna make it home tonight.
Six days on the road and I’m gonna make it home tonight.

Mister Manly

Manly gifts, volume X

September 2, 2008

Today’s manly gift selection consists of items to make entertaining large numbers of house guests easier.  These items are manly, as having to put up with so many people invading one’s domain is stressful, very stressful, and while offering refuge in your castle is manly, breaking down and going on a killing spree is not, thus, anything that helps maintain the peace is manly.

The first, and most important, item needed for a high quality evacuation camp is sufficient bed space.  People who have just had to abandon their homes and run for their lives are touchy enough, without the added pressure of sleeping in chairs or on the floor.  That’s where a supply of these,

comes in.  That’s an inflatable air bed, $10 at Target.  Without the air, they fold up into a very modest space, and with air included they provide a surprisingly comfortable place to sleep.  Don’t forget to pickup some cheap fitted sheets for them.  We’ve had 15 or so for several years now, and they’ve survived serious use by hordes of college students, relatives, and dogs (who love these things,) without a single leak or puncture.  They’re also handy to have on hand for sleep overs, camping trips, and those party guests who become unfit to drive home.

If you invest in the air beds, you’ll also need one of these,

which is a rechargeable pump to inflate them.  It’s $22, and you can save a few bucks by getting the plug into the wall model, but freedom from extension cords is well worth the extra cash.

Even if you’re not going to provide full meals for your guests, just the extra sodas, beer, and milk will fill your refrigerator in no time, so you should have one or more of these,

on hand.  That’s a 40 quart wheeled cooler which, for $50, will expand your chilled storage capacity enough to accommodate an extra 5 to 10 people, depending on their consumption rates.  The wheels are important, as it will need to be moved around a lot to accommodate the changing uses of your floor space.

You will find it useful to entertain your guests, to keep the chances of armed revolt down to a minimum.  One of the best ways to do this is by playing poker,


and this item has everything you need.  It may seem a bit steep at $130 with shipping, but it’s got enough chips and cards to support a ten handed game, and packs away neatly into a briefcase sized container for easy storage. 

You should also have one of these,

and other board games, available at Wal*Mart for around $20 per.  If you suspect children may be invading your home, pick up a few that are intended for lower age groups.

One of the prime points of friction in an over full house is the shower.  For some reason, even people who haven’t done anything but eat and play poker all day, insist on taking a daily shower.  Thus, there will be a constant line waiting for their turn as soon as the water heats up again, so, unless you want to spend endless hours doing laundry constantly,

a few dozen extra towels will be worth their weight in gold.  Not, of course, that you should pay that much.  Get the cheapest white towels you can find.  They need to be white because you’ll obviously want to add lots of bleach to the wash cycle.  As an side item to this, you should keep a box or two of plastic lawn bags on hand.  Then you can accumulate the wet towels and take them to a coin operated laundry.  This will save wear and tear to your home appliances, and give some of your guests an excuse to get out of the house.

Assuming your guests drink coffee, a 12 cup brewing appliance isn’t going to be sufficient, so get one of these,

40 cup commercial monsters.  At $55 it’s not that expensive, and they also come in handy at parties.

If you expect to be swamped by several lap top bearing guests, you must have one of these,

wireless Internet routers.  This one is a Belkin Wireless G Plus MIMO Router, which for $40 is currently allowing over a dozen Internet addicted people to share my cable modem connection, with little or know noticeable degradation of service.  I would also mention that, even though we have a fairly large house, which has two stories at the far end, no one has reported any problems connecting.  In addition to those grand features, this post would have been delayed for days, as I would never have gotten enough time on my computer to put it together.

Finally, I have found that a standard kitchen is not really designed to cook for more than 10 people.  One of these helps a great deal,

Which is a Breville Gourmet Grill, available at Williams-Sonoma for less than $300.  Truly, even if you only throw the occasional large party, this is a must have.  It folds up to about the size of a brief case, so it can be stored in a closet until needed.  It functions as a flat grill on one side, and a ribbed grill on the other, so you can cook bacon and pancakes for a dozen or more, and keep you regular stove free for the eggs, grits, and gravy.  It also works as a sandwich press, with enough room to cook two giant creations, or four lesser works of art at once.  Even if your man never plugs it in, it has enough adjustment levers and knobs to make him happy just playing with it.

Mister Manly