Gainesville Ramblings

This is a blog, and thus it barely qualifies as writing, let alone formal writing, so I'd not let it bother you.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Internet Meme Time: Am I a Manly-Man, or simply Self-Sufficient?

Via Andrew Sullivan:

There are two lists going around the interwebs right now that tell you what you need to know to be a man, or self-sufficient. The first, from Popular Mechanics, tells you the "25 Skills Every Man Should Know." Below is the list, with what I can do bolded. Also, I should mention I claim to know it if I am reasonably sure that if I was presented with the task, I could figure it out without looking it up on the internet.

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

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 - This may change very soon
20. Change oil and filter
21. Hook up an HDTV
22. Bleed brakes
23. Paddle a canoe
24. Fix a bike flat

25. Extend your wireless network

This gives me a manliness percentage of...72%. Wow. Apparently, I'm alot manlier than I thought. In that case, remember ladies, I'm available.

I know, it's amazing this man is not snatched up by a beautiful woman.

The second list was drawn up in protest against Popular Mechanics' list. This one presents the reader with 20 tasks that any self-sufficient adult should be able to do in 2007. Same criteria applies to the above list:

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
18. Personal hygiene
19. Do your own taxes
20. Use internet search engines strategically (if you know how to do good searches, you can find any information you need on the web)

And according to this I am...80% self sufficient. I am officially a B- quality adult! Wooo! Now all I have to do is stop living at my parent's.

UPDATE: I just found this list of things Robert A. Heinlein, Science Fiction Author and all around manly man, said that all human being should be able to do:
"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."
OK, Heinlein. You win. I am not a man. I'm pretty sure that however I die, it would not be gallantly.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

And so it goes, so it goes

I should really write here more often. The one time a month I feel like writing, I find myself with pages of things to talk about. And the one thing I've discovered with this blog is that if I write, "I'll finish tomorrow," I never, ever will.

So this is lengthy. Brace yourself.

- The latest news: I've got a new job. I'm now the proud maker of these:
OK, proud is a grand exaggeration. I got the job at Starbucks near my house yesterday after a behavioral interview that was probably the most I've lied in an hour in my life. I could have spent half an hour trying to find an actual answer to "Name a time that you took the ethical high road that was harder than the other paths that you might have taken at a job you had." Instead, I started telling stories, and quite good ones at that. And obviously, they were believable enough, as I got the job.

Some of you may be wondering why I needed this job, as haven't I been bragging about the sweet deal I had working for my dad? Well I did. But my dad decided to ruin it all by herniating two discs in his back. For the last two weeks, he's been writhing in pain on our living room floor, unable to work all that much. This, of course, sucks for both him and me. Him, because of all the pain. Me, cause I want to buy things. So the new job became necessary.

By the way, let me rant for a moment on the state of the health care system in the United States. My parents' insurance, to put it mildly, blows. Since Dad is an independent businessman and has no large corporate structure to help pay for it, his insurance is incredibly expensive and nearly useless. I was there in the office two weeks ago last Thursday when my dad hobbled into his office and collapsed on the floor. There he's stayed, pretty much, ever since. And it takes until this upcoming Friday to finally get him into surgery, even though we've known what's wrong with him for the last 10 days? Thats Fucked Up.

Moving on.

- Baton Rouge. Baton Rouge was a very good time. I did not have a ticket, and in the end, I'm glad I didn't. A few weeks before, I had asked someone by the name of 'LSUJoshua' on the chat board for EverydayShouldBeSaturday's Sunday radio show about places to check out in Baton Rouge. He instead invited me to his tailgate. This worked out wonderfully. I watched the game there, and being the only Gator fan there was hilarious, especially as we were winning for most of the game.
LSUJoshua (on left). As awesome as he is good looking.

Another good decision I had: not buying the incredibly obnoxious Orange and Blue Overalls. Man those things were bad. I'm not a guy who likes drawing the attention of strangers to myself (among friends, I'm an ass. But you know this already). Being the one guy in a muted orange shirt among 7 people in bright Orange and Blue Overalls made this easy. I had alot of people not tell me to fuck off because of this.

A word on the atmosphere of LSU: Everything is much more...confrontational, as well as being much more concentrated. All the tailgating is squeezed into a relatively tiny space. Compared to Florida, where there is tailgating along the whole area of campus, and alot off. This leads to alot more people, which leads to people being, well, assholes.

After 10 hours of having 'Tiger Bait!' yelled at me, and thousands of fingers pointed at me, I started getting really angry. I started yelling back "Yeah, haven't heard that one yet," or "Think of something new already!" It took me a while to figure out what exactly was pissing me off, but I think it was a combination of two things:

1) It was constant, and it was all they had. LSU fans, presumably, went to a fairly good school and got a fairly good education. Something original, or maybe just one or two more taunts would have been awesome, and really shown that those thousands of dollars your parents spent (or you took out in loans) were not put to waste.

2) The pointing. I guess I don't like being pointed at. If the cheers had just been people screaming 'Tiger Bait!' I probably would have been fine. But the pointing that goes along with it, especially when its a couple of dozen people, made me very very angry. I think it probably has something to do with bad memories of middle school, as most of my pet peeves do. But it really got to me, and I was glad when everyone left for the stadium, as I could finally walk around in peace.

But overall, it was a great trip. Great food (the gator was really good), the people were friendly (on a one-on-one basis), and the game good. If the Gators have to lose to the number one team in the country, that's the way to do it.

-The Navy. I'm getting closer, much closer. I had my physical last weekend, weighed in at 199 pounds. This, of course, marks the first time I've been under 200 pounds since, probably Senior year of college. It is also about 13 pounds more than the Navy would like. However, I only need to lose another 2 percent body fat to meet standards. As I've been living entirely on salads, protein shakes, and chicken breasts, combined with running, going to the gym, and doing various other physical activities (changing the oil on a Honda Civic is hard work), I should have no problem dropping that fat. I'm getting measured again on Friday. Maybe I can fool my body into looking thinner. Where'd I put that corset.

- I met Jimmy Carter last week at Costcos. Why the hell he was signing books there is beyond me, but the chance to meet our best ex-president is one you don't pass up.