But what do I know? I'm just a twice clicken brown shirt teabaggin tjroll. Right? --PatP

Not now. There are dirty, swaying men at my door. They’re looking for Brian. I need to go deal with that. --Thor

If Joss Wedon was near me, I'd of kicked his ass. --PaulC

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Popular Mechanics List

After a long wait and much ado, I finally present to you the popular mechanics list of things every man should be able to do.

1. Patch a radiator hose
--Yeah. That's a good one. I can't tell you how many times (okay, it's happened once) I've had to do that and couldn't.

2. Protect your computer
--Yep. If you're smart enough to use one, you'd better be smart enough to keep it healthy.

3. Rescue a boater who has capsized
--First time I read that, I thought it said "rescue a boat who has capsized." And I thought "umm... tow it to shore and roll it back over?" Boater makes far more sense though, and I forget how to get somebody out of the water without tipping my own canoe. Rowboat is less tipsy, but canoes are hard.

4. Frame a wall
--A manly man skill, no doubt. Can I do it? No. Do I know who to pay to make it happen? yes.

5. Retouch digital photos
--Absolutely. Personally, I think it's more impressive to be able to re-touch film photos, digitally or otherwise, but I definitely think this is an essential skill for modern man.

6. Back up a trailer
--Oh my God. Yes. When we were looking at apartments, Kerry and I witnessed a stupendous example of a woman who could not back up a trailer. She was driving a semi. What she had to do was drive half-way up a hill with a lane-and-a-half road, then back down the road into a parking lot. Why she didn't just front into the parking lot, I have no idea. Bt she had driven past the parking lot, and a cop was trying to help her back into the lot. The cop wasn't actually doing anything, just looking amused. I have never driven a tractor trailer, but from watching her do it, I feel infinitely qualified to watch someone else do it. Having driven my share of forklifts with unsteady loads on, I think I'm perfectly competent to back up a trailer on a car or minivan. And yes, I think every man should be able to do that.

7. Build a campfire
--Fire’s pretty manly. Every man should be able to make some.

8. Fix a dead outlet
--Can I do it? No. I possess very basic electrictionary skills (meaning I know what a ground is, and not to touch a hot wire, and to turn off the circuit breaker before doing anything), and I think that, given a Home Depot or Craftsman DIY book, I could do it. I think it stays on the list.

9. Navigate with a map and compass
--I would alter this to read simply “navigate effectively without a computer.” Map and compass is good, but you don’t need tools to find the mall. Also, if you can navigate with neither map nor compass, that’s pretty manly.

10. Use a torque wrench
--Sounds like a no-brainer to me, so I say it goes on the list of "things every idiot should be able to do."

11. Sharpen a knife
--Not as easy as you think (unless you actually know). You've got to have a steady eye and a steady hand. Or a tool that does all the angles for you. I have such a tool, and I know how to sharpen without one, AND my knives only come out right two out of three.

12. Perform CPR
-- Yep. Every American should know how to do this. If you don't, take the one-week class.

13. Fillet a fish

14. Maneuver a car out of a skid

--Yep. Once again, I know how, but the one time I needed that knowledge, it was useless, since I was skidding straight forward. You have to know your car to know how to get out of a skid. If you have rear-wheel drive, A) Get a new car. B) Turn your wheel in the direction your car is moving until you feel the wheels catch, then try to escape the impending guardrail action. If you have front-wheel drive, turn your wheel where you want your car to go and hit the gas. If you drive an F-22 Raptor… you’re on your own. If you drive a Colonial Raptor, use your lateral thrusters to steady your ship so it's not spinning. Then adjust your pitch so that your are travelling more or less backwards. Now fire your primary thrusters in controlled bursts until you are travelling forward again.

15. Get a car unstuck
--I guess this is a good one. I mean... traction under the tires, some extra weight on the drive wheels... What's to know?
16. Back up data
--Again, essential idiot skill. Insert thumb drive. Drag, drop, done. Data upped

17. Paint a room
--I'm sensing a theme here. Tape the borders, use drop clothes, apply liberally.

18. Mix concrete
--Dude. Instructions are on the bag. Add water. Pour. The only "knowing how" is what it should look like before you pour it.

19. Clean a bolt-action rifle
--Umm. You never know when you're going to have to clean a bolt-action rifle? I guess? Certainly a manly skill, but essential? I dunno.

20. Change oil and filter
--Yep. I don't know how, but I'm sure I should.

21. Hook up an HDTV
--Uh... Obviously whoever wrote this list doesn't know how to hook-up an HDTV. Find outlet. Insert plug. Done. If you can't figure out how to "hook up" a TV, you need to carefully remove yourself from the vicinity of  whatever computer you’re using right now and not go near one again. Ever. If you can’t figure out TV, you don’t need to worry about this list. It’s beyond you. All of it.

22. Bleed brakes
--I'm not entirely sure I know what this means, but after number 21, I'm only reasonably certain the person who wrote this list knows either.

23. Paddle a canoe
--Another idiot skill, depending on what is meant. Anybody can get in a canoe and propel it with reasonable accuracy. Only someone who knows what they're doing can canoe across a lake and back and not lose feeling in both arms.

24. Fix a bike flat
--Fix, or inflate? I suppose this is more useful than skinning a moose, but I think someone who has no kids and no bike doesn't need it.

25. Extend your wireless network
--Unless you’re an electronic engineer (meaning “you engineer electronics,” not “you are a robot”), it's really a matter of buying the proper equipment. Someone make me wrong so I can retain some faith in the author of this list.

1 comment:

  1. whoops. Just accidentally reposted this cause I forgot that I had already posted it. My bad.