Tuesday, October 14, 2008

100 Skills Every Man Should Know (41-60)

To keep this moving, here we go.

#41 - Put out a fire
I have never needed to do this in an emergency, but I have put out fires before. The mag is mainly covering how to properly put out a small fire in your home. We get trained on this yearly at work and we are taught the PASS method. Pull the pin, Aim the nozzle, Squeeze the handle, and Sweep the base of the fire. Of course, the only way you can be safe by knowing this in your home is to actually have a fire extinguisher!

#42 - Move heavy stuff
Yeah, yeah, lift with your legs, not with your back. But, the mag is actually covering a method for moving things which requires a strong blanket. Basically, put the thing in the blanket and lift the corners of the blanket. I prefer some good gloves and some grit!

#43 - Change a diaper
Um, I think I can say I am good at this now :)

#44 - Drive in snow
While growing in Indiana and driving trucks at an early age, driving in snow is something we were taught at a young age. Keep the revs down, down-shift to assist in smooth braking, and if possible, get some additional weight over the drive tires (which you can only really do with trucks and a few cars).

#45 - Remove bloodstains from fabric
While during my childhood I didn't really have to mess with this, I since have. Immediate cold water and try to avoid rubbing. Not really sure if this is a must-have skill, but it is good to know.

#46 - Fell a tree
This skill amazes most people. It really is a lot easier than it appears, but being wrong can be costly. It also requires, for a larger tree, a sharp chain and works better if your chainsaw skills are good. I have dropped quite a few trees in my day.

#47 - Ride a bike
Do I really need to address this? Yes, I can ride a bike.

#48 - Conquer an off-road obstacle
While I have never been in a true off-road course, I have navigated plenty of terrain with trucks and tractors. I think this gets to the true idea of this being a skill, not one's ability to get through an actual course. Taking certain terrains at an angle is key, as well as using the lowest gear possible.

#49 - Whittle
I have never really made anything of substance, I have whittled some objects before. Mostly, sticks for cooking and sharpening pencils in the workshop.

#50 - Install a graphics card
Yes, I can do this. Not sure if it is an essential skill, but most people should know how to do this.

#51 - Hitch up a trailer
I have been doing this since I was little too. Don't forget to cross the break away chains and test your hitch! Tougher for most people- backing up a trailer. Although I find it easy, most people really struggle here. Tougher yet- backing up a hay trailer. If you even know what I am talking about, you understand.

#52 - Sew a button
I learned this before going to college when I learned how to do laundry. I would say this is an essential skill as it is pretty easy and saves a lot of hassle. Don't know how? Ask your mom!

#53 - Throw a spiral
I actually didn't know how to do this until a couple years ago. We never played football growing up, we played basketball and baseball. I am still not great, but I do know some technique for a spiral. I really don't think this belongs on the list, but it is a way for a guy to get embarrassed easily.

#54 through #58 are Surviving Extremes

#54 - Lightning storm
If you can hear thunder, you are at risk of being hit. The mag talks about not touching anything in your home that my be attached to ground, but that seems pretty extreme. I do try to avoid taking a shower even though the Myth Busters busted that one. I also turn off the desktop computer during storms to prevent possible HDD damage.

#55 - Flood
With the cars and vans that most people have, driving out of danger is not a good idea. They are too light and risk being swept away. Look for flotation devices and know which way to get to higher ground.

#56 - Tornado
I have had to navigate a few of these in my day and the two times I was close, I did not have a basement. When I was younger, we had one get very close to the house; close enough to throw a large tree on the house. At that time, we huddled under some blankets in the bathroom, the only room without a window. The mag mentions that a car is not a safe place to be either.

#57 - Cold
I have never had to worry about freezing to death anywhere, but I have learned not to exert enough energy to build up a sweat. You can generate some heat by stretching and pushing muscles against one another (called Isometrics, the mag taught me that term).

#58 - Heat
I have never been in a life and death situation regarding heat, but I have been in circumstances where I knew to be careful (e.g. the Australian Outback). Water and cover are key.

#59 - Home-brew beer
I have to admit I never got in to this. I have friends who do it, but I never did. I am not quite sure this is an essential skill, but it is a cool one. As popular as this has become, there are several guides to doing this that may not yield great results but would let you say you have brewed beer.

#60 - Fix a faucet cartridge
I have found that plumbing is a skill that very few people have. Key to fixing a faucet is keeping your parts in order when taking things apart.

Let me know your stats!


seeree, phd (jan 09) said...

two comments:
1. put out fire. remember that you should never use a carbon dioxide fire extiguisher on a paper fire because the paper on fire will go everywhere. use water on paper. demonstrated by the hideous safety video that circulates in labs at the beginning of every semester in Brown Building at Purdue. And usually for a chemical fire, dump sand on it. But not likely to run across one of those except for in a chemistry lab.
2. even better than cold water to get out blood stains is hydrogen peroxide. lots of bubbles result, and no stain.

Mike Lowe said...

In the kitchen salt or baking soda tend to be handier than sand and easier to clean up than an ABC dry chem.

Daniel said...

Nolan wants to see these mad skills in action. Prop him up in the garage and show him how to fix a water heater. Never too early to start :)