I am manly

I saw an interesting meme on Uncertain Principles (originated by Cut to the Chase). The first list comes from Popular Mechanics 25 Skills every man should know. The list below, my “skills” in bold:

  1. Patch a radiator hose
  2. Protect your computer
  3. Rescue a boater who has capsized
  4. Frame a wall
  5. Retouch digital photos
  6. Back up a trailer
  7. Build a campfire
  8. Fix a dead outlet
  9. Navigate with a map and compass
  10. Use a torque wrench
  11. Sharpen a knife
  12. Perform CPR ((it’s been about 25 years since I took the CPR class.))
  13. Fillet a fish
  14. Maneuver a car out of a skid
  15. Get a car unstuck
  16. Back up data
  17. Paint a room
  18. Mix concrete
  19. Clean a bolt-action rifle
  20. Change oil and filter
  21. Hook up an HDTV
  22. Bleed brakes
  23. Paddle a canoe
  24. Fix a bike flat ((I have too much experience with this.))
  25. Extend your wireless network

I would describe Popular Mechanics as having some amusing stuff like build your own boat (sadly, I couldn’t find the DIY submarine) and interviews with Richard Garriott (creator of the Ultima game and future space tourist), but it lacks depth. The ads aren’t as bad as Popular Science ((I unfortunately received a subscription to PopSci as a “benefit” of purchasing a microscope. I think it’s finally stopped coming.)) , but still feature the occasional “herbal enhancement.” Consider the demographic.

Obviously, few of these items would make my top 25 list. Thus, I found it interesting that “Chase” created his own list twenty things he calls “Practical skills every self-sufficient adult should have.” They’re more sensible:

  1. Know basic nutritional needs & how to plan balanced meals
  2. Hone your sense of direction & navigation so you don’t need step-by-step turns to find a location
  3. Understand types of health insurance & terminology such as OOP max & co-insurance percentage
  4. Maintenance of a personal computer
  5. In-depth knowledge of your employment benefits
  6. Change a flat tire
  7. Wash & iron clothes
  8. Balance a checkbook & manage your finances
  9. Patch holes in walls
  10. Fix a clogged toilet
  11. Jump start a car
  12. Use public transportation to get around
  13. Write an effective resume cover letter
  14. Professional oral & written communication
  15. Basic math
  16. Stay calm in emergencies
  17. Know when to ask for help ((I will spend a lot of time trying to work things out on my own. I only get half-credit))
  18. Personal hygiene
  19. Do your own taxes
  20. Use internet search engines strategically
So I’m 80% manly, 97.5% self-sufficient. Woo!

9 thoughts on “I am manly”

  1. I posted the skills section on my LJ blog. I think I did fairly well. I would have even done well if the question was “in this list, what have you done in the past 5 years?”.

  2. Along with all the information about love and sex the Kama Sutra contains, it also has a listing of the 64 things every educated person should know. Some of these things are suited to a low-tech society (like how to collect rain water in a cistern); some are specific to Indian culture (like how to wind a turban), and some are universal (how to play a musical instrument).

    As a parent, I’ve often reflected on what skills I should make sure my kids know how to do. Back in 1998, I came up with this list:

    * Be able to read music, and either sight-sing or play an instrument

    * Know the basics of every major world religion

    * Know how to sew a button

    * Know how to use a knife, fork, spoon, and chopsticks

    * I hope for a substitute, but until it comes — know how to touch type a QWERTY keyboard

    * Be able to read and understand a basic bus/train/ferry/etc. schedule

    * Be able to swim

    * Know how to make and keep at least one really good friend

    * Know the flora and fauna of the natural world in the area in which one lives

    * Know how to tie basic knots: square, slip, clove hitch. (I wish I knew the bowline!)

    * Be able to read a map

    * Know basic meditation techniques

    * Know how to drive a car — “stick shift” even better

    * Of course, be able to read and write one’s native language

    * Math up to at least algebra

    * Be able to speak another language (it would be very nice if they could read about 25-50 Chinese characters, too)

    * Have at least one really good dish one can cook

    * Be able to make and then stick to, a budget

    * Know how to apologize and thank others

  3. A human being should be able to change a diaper,
    plan an invasion,
    butcher a hog (or bake tofu),
    conn a ship,
    design a building,
    write a sonnet,
    balance accounts,
    build a wall,
    set a bone,
    comfort the dying,
    take orders,
    give orders,
    act alone,
    solve equations,
    analyze a new problem,
    pitch manure,
    program a computer,
    cook a tasty meal,
    fight efficiently and
    die gallantly.

    Specialization is for insects.

    – Robert Heinlein

  4. Um…personal hygiene gets into “prevailing standards of beauty” questions (if I’m female and I’m clean and I haven’t shaved under my arms in 6 months do I qualify as having “personal hygiene? Hollywood says no.)

    I’ll have to think about my own list but I think a little more nebulous skill we should all have is knowing when to be polite and when not to be polite. To much rudeness and you get, well, the society we have now; too little appropriate standing up for yourself and you get…well, the society we have now πŸ™‚

  5. If one takes the literal definition of hygiene, shaving (armpits, legs, face, or whatever else) is merely aesthetic, despite what Hollywood would like to say. As long as it doesn’t bother you or TGF, you’ve nothing to worry about πŸ˜‰

  6. * Cook a meal.
    * Personal hygiene (shaving optional :-)).
    * Grocery store math: if lemons are $1.00 per pound but you can buy ten pounds for $5.00, do you really need ten pounds of lemons?
    * Recognize logical fallacies
    * Understand a bus/train/ferry/airline schedule
    * Change a diaper.
    * Do laundry.
    * Ride a bike
    * Know when you’re in over your head, then ask for help.

  7. OOOOO…I like Cheryl’s last one. As for the 10lbs of lemons…dangerous territory. Mr. Carson will surely come up with some experiment that requires, yes, 10lbs of lemons πŸ™‚

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