Thursday, October 16, 2008

100 Skills Every Man Should Know (61-80)

This has been fun so far. Here we go!

#61 - Replace a fan belt
I have done this. There are various methods on various cars, so consult a car manual for your car if it is not obvious. Before removing the old one, make sure there is a diagram for installing the new belt.

#62 - Lend a hand
This is a great concept. I used to help my dad by getting tools and holding the flashlight. This is how I started to learn my tools. I encourage everyone else to teach their kids some skills and techniques and how to work with their hands.

#63 - Mix concrete
I haven't done this since college, and did it some when I was little. Don't make too much at once, and really work to get the mixture right before laying it down.

#64 - Run rapids in a canoe
Well, I have only been in a canoe on a few rivers in Indiana. So never needed to navigate some serious rapids, but I also don't really want to. I am not much of a water person, but canoeing down an Indiana river sounds good to me. The mag talks about how to identify rocks ahead of time by looking for "V"s in the water.

#65 - Drive a stick shift
I really think everyone should be able to do this. I could do it when I was young and could barely get the clutch down. I have also tried to teach a few people how to do it. There are two reasons everyone should be able to do this. 1-In case of emergency. This means you don't need to be good at it, but understand how it works. 2-Cars with manual transmissions get better mileage. I hope that my next vehicle has a stick option.

#66 - Escape a sinking car
I would say most people reading this have never needed this skill. I have seen this on TV numerous times. I understand the water pressure prevents the door from being opened once the car is a couple feet in the water. So, put down the windows first thing, or hold your breath and wait for the car to fill with water. Since I would freak with the later scenario, I personally would put down the windows first thing.

#67 - Shoot a home video
I am no expert, but you learn a few things from trying. I also have picked up a few tips from my bro-in-law, who is an expert. Moving slowly is important. Shooting some extra time at the beginning and at the end also help in editing. Also, start big and zoom in slowly if needed.

#68 - Replace a faucet washer
Similar to #60. Not sure why something this similar is split in to two items.

#69 - Shoot straight
While I am probably not as good as I used to be, and was probably only average, we shot rifles a lot growing up. I remember shooting the 22, the 12 gauge, and a high powered rifle. Shooting the later was almost the most fun. The technique I would use sticks the butt tight in to my shoulder, start above the target, and breathe out while slowly lowering on to the target. And squeeze, don't jerk the trigger. The mag says to hold your breath.

#70 - Tie a necktie
While I never learned the full Windsor, I was only taught the half and it serves me well. I have been thinking I should finish it off and learn the second half, which looks easy. The mag talks about how this is a great father-son bonding activity and I look forward to doing this one day.

#71 - Grow food
We had a very large garden growing up and growing food was just part of growing up. I have resurrected this activity the past couple years and do enjoy it. As I do not have great soil, I did have to invest in getting some compost to start the garden. Other than that, it provides cheap and great tasting food. We primarily grow various tomatoes and a few different types of peppers. It is also easier than you may think and if you have contemplated growing your own veggies, look in to it!

#72 - Handle a blowout
I have experienced this first hand, but luckily was not up to highway speeds yet. In high school we didn't keep the best tires on our trucks and while getting on a highway one of them blew out. The most important and hardest thing? Keeping calm.

#73 - Skipper a boat
I have never owned a boat, but in high school I had a friend who had a boat. On occasion, I did take the wheel and knew some basics, but that is about as far as I have been.

#74 - Fly a stunt kite
I don't think I have ever flown a stunt kite, just regular kites. Not quite sure why this is a necessary man-skill. Lame.

#75 through #77 are Military Know-How Skills

#75 - Make a drum-tight bed
Well, I am not a military man, so I don't know their skill. Apologies to my military friends, but I am not sure knowing how to tuck in your bed sheets is a required man-skill either.

#76 - Shine shoes
Yes, I do shine my own shoes. Now that I think about it, mine are due for a cleaning!

#77 - Drop and give the perfect pushup
While I can't do as many as I used to be able to do, I try to always perfect a proper pushup when doing them. The mag mentions "Repeat until ordered to stop".

#78 - Carve a turkey
I am not great, but I have done this before. Grandpa always used an electric knife, which made it look so easy!

#79 - Replace a broken windowpane
It has been a while, but we did replace windowpanes growing up. We have several old buildings on our farm that we had to keep glass in. I can't imagine how a farm with 2 young boys would keep needing to replace windows :)

#80 - Change a single-pole switch
I have done this many times. A couple tips- wrap the copper clockwise so tightening of the terminal does not push the copper out. Ensure no insulation is in the terminal, and ensure no copper is exposed outside of the terminal. Lastly, always pull hard against your work to ensure all connections are tight.

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