Popular, Practical Manliness
Posted by Peter Lawler
Here’s POPULAR MECHANICS’ list of 25 skills every man should know. I know about 4 of them. If Dr. Pat is right that our techno-prosperity is on the eve of destruction, I don’t have much of future.
1:28 AM / September 19, 2007
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I think I have 8 or 9 depending on how strict you want to be. Either way, Peter, you're up at 1:28 am reading popular mechanic which means that something is terribly wrong.
I've actually done 16 of them, 8 I think I know how to do. I have seen someone patch a bike tire. I might be able to figure it out given the right tools and enough time.
I wonder how many of the low-tech things I would have done if I was 10 years younger, or how many of the computer related things if I was 10 years older?
My husband must be a super man because he can do all of them--of course he is an ex-Marine and a State Trooper...
That stuff is easy. Take #2, for example--"Protect your computer." I just keep mine indoors. Last one is "Extend your wireless network." Yes, of course:I go for a walk every day--and this is complicated?
This list looks like a good basis for a Dangerous Book for Men. If you do not know those things, consider a course of remediation beginning with the wonderful The Dangerous Book for Boys.
Honestly! Even I have done at least 10 of those things on that list. Though, really, who needs to know how to hook up an HDTV? You all must live relatively disaster-free lives to have avoided needing to know most of those other, more needful skills. Lori, did your husband learn those things in the Marines or on the job?
I don't even know what some of those mean. "Frame a wall"? Is that like hanging something on the wall that's framed?
Of course, I once ruined a perfectly good lawn mower by forgetting to put oil in it.
Peter, you sissy! I'm up to six, and still rising...
But the list should include:
1-properly shoot a layup with either hand on the dead run.
2-properly serve in tennis.
3-field a 50-yard punt with 11 crazed guys bearing down on you.
... but you see where this is going.
Kate--He learned them in both places, but also from his grandfather who used to take him hunting, camping, work on cars, etc... Maybe the reason so many young men today are lacking some of these more practical skills is that they aren't spending the quality time with their fathers like they used to...but then, that is a whole separate topic :-)
Lori - The absence of fathers in families IS a whole other subject, but certainly related. Yet Ralph's suggestion might be the sort of thing learned in neighborhoods, which seem to be vanishing, too.
John, to "frame a wall" is to build a wall. Here is a site that tells how. Now you will know. Another site says anyone can do this if he does not take a nap after dinner for a couple of weeks. It is NOT one of the things I know how to do, though I watched a carpenter frame a wall once.
* A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."
Robert A. Heinlein
Well, Roy, I like the RAH list a lot better. I could conceivably do about half of those, and I would mind know how to do the others, except for hog butchering.