Man Crates Delivers [news of] a Baby

Man Crates Delivers [news of] a Baby
If you’re planning on it– finding out you’re having a baby can be just about the most exciting thing to ever happen to you. Really the only thing that could make it better would be tossing a Man Crate in the mix.
Just ask Tom and Ivory.
Meet Tom and Ivory, all-American couple from Michigan. Tom was away on business in middle-of-nowhere, Wyoming, when Ivory found out she was pregnant. She was excited, but not too excited that she spilled the beans right away. She had the class and wit to design a great plan how to announce the news to her husband Tom. Like everyone else who has purchased one, she found that a Man Crate was perfect for her situation.
So Ivory ordered one of our New Dad Tactical Bags, complete with Baby Owner’s Manual and mustachifier. Although she’d exercised an impressive amount of restraint up to this point, the news was itching to get out. Problem was, it was a Friday. Wisely, Ivory dialed up the Man Crates survival line for help.
Through some FedEx finagling and some negotiations with multiple gods, we were able to get Tom his manly baby bag the next morning. Because Ivory was our first customer ever to tell her hubby she’s pregnant via a Man Crate, we gave her a break.
Ivory spent the her Friday evening too excited to sleep and we spent our Friday night pleading to pagan deities and fed ex. At 10:17 a.m. the next morning, Tom received a package at his door in Wyoming. Having no clue what it was for, he began sifting through the contents of his package. Growing more and more confused, Tom had arrived at the conclusion that his greatest fear had been realized–his lady had bought him a murse.
Cool present Ivory.  A murse. 
But Tom continued digging and opening the package. Eventually finding: a camo baby blanket (Thanks for the camo napkin, Ivory); a camo baby hat (oh sweet a hat that doesn’t fit); and jerky (I mean, I guess I’ll carry a murse if it comes with jerky…).
Finally, Tom found the baby owner’s manual and the mustachifier and it all clicked.
Oh, I’m having a baby!! I HAVE THE MOST AMAZING WIFE… EVER. 
The New Dad Tactical Bag
The New Dad Tactical Bag
So there you have it. Man Crates is there for you during the big moments in your life. Rock on Tom and Ivory. Thanks for letting us be a part of it!
Does your Man Crates order have a fun story behind it? Tell us about it for some discounts / shwag! 

What’s Your Manliest Way to Die?

Everyone gets to choose how they live and spend their time, but very few get to choose how they die. But what if you could? I, for one, have always been partial to the last stand death. Just me and a few war-battered buddies standing tall to face the soon-to-be-victorious enemy. But don’t worry, we’re gonna take as many of those bastards with us as we can.

Sorry. I get carried away sometimes.

So I know the last stand isn’t on everyone’s bucket list. But every man has given their own mortality some thought. For me, the first time was when my bicycle bounced out of a pothole and I almost fell headfirst into an oncoming truck. I remember thinking “oh this would be the worst way to die.” Sometime shortly after I vaguely remember sitting down and watching 300.

There are a lot of manlier ways to die than getting knocked off your ten-speed by a Dodge Ram. Like with a Cuban cigar in your mouth and a Cuban woman sitting in your lap. Or telling Princess Leia “I know”  before being lowered into carbonite. Or any way that Michelle Rodriguez has died in a movie.

But hey, some guys might not want to think about it. Take my roommate. He spends so much time looking into the microwave while it heats his Hot Pocket, he has become statistically very likely to die from exploding Hot Pocket.

For anyone still pondering death, I compiled a list of some manliest’ ways to kick the can.

  • Casualty of battle between Autobots and Decepticons
  • Fist fight with a grizzly bear
  • Slack-lining over an active volcano
  • Last man on earth battling zombies
  • Saving women and children from a crashing Zepplin
  • Alligator Wrestling Championships
  • Eating too much bacon
  • Any death from the movie Armageddon
  • Riding a nuclear bomb destined for evil forces
  • White water kayaking down class 5 rapids in Piranha infested water.
  • Hari Kari
  • Freak swimsuit judging accident
  • Fighting a tiger from atop a hut you made yourself in a rural indian village

 

So You Forgot Mother’s Day…

You forgot Mother’s Day. It’s not like we warned you, right? Oh wait, yeah we did. Whatever, what’s done is done. Doubtlessly you fumbled your way through some pitiful excuse involving a car wreck and a hurt dog…but the damage is already done.

Can you make your way back to Golden Child status? Probably not. But you may be able to get her to start looking you in the eyes again at family functions.

Step 1 – Mend Fences

Remember that fence you blew up with your model rocket all those years ago? Well now would be a great time to actually fix it. Or maybe, just maybe, it’s time to move out of the basement. I know, I know, you’re only 27, but still… At this point, you moving out could be the best belated Mother’s Day gift a mother could ask for.

You were a much better son when you were a kid

Step 2 – Keep The Pressure On

Sick of your brother Dan stealing the spotlight with his shiny BMW and pretty blonde wife? Well now is the time to shine.  Why not turn this Mother’s Day debacle into something positive? Make it Monday brunch. Or Tuesday; since you’re probably busy Monday.  The important thing to remember is that the crowds will be gone and you can really get down to business–how you’re still a great son.

Don’t forget to bring a spectacular Mother’s Day gift that you can calmly explain you didn’t want her to open in front of everyone. What kind of gift? We don’t know – that’s where you’ve gotta do some of the legwork.  Now if you’re talking Father’s Day gifts… then we may have one or two epic man gifts for dad.

Step 3 – Finish the Fight

Don’t let up yet, though. Go BIG. Bring a puppy (or a kitten, I don’t know your mom) to breakfast with an oversized bow around its neck. Buy her a car. If the gesture is grandiose enough, she’ll stop wondering why you forgot Mother’s Day and start wondering why her other son Dan is such an relentless failure.

And you’ll be free to forget Mother’s Day for another few years.

Bachelor Recipes – Ramen Pad Thai

Probably the hardest part about being single and living alone is remembering that you are actually responsible for feeding yourself. Whether it’s forgetting to eat or forgetting to buy groceries, single dudes have it rough. So whenever I run across a great recipe online that doesn’t require excessive shopping/prepping/ cooking/cleaning, I get pretty excited.

Cooking for One- don't mind if I do
Cooking for One- don’t mind if I do

The other day I hit the jackpot. Reddit user IronRectangle shared his version of the poor man’s Pad Thai. I of course tried it first and it may be the greatest inexpensive and quick meal since the McDouble.

The ingredients are simple and cheap. Top Ramen, peanut butter, Sriracha, and three eggs. I picked up a box of 24 packets of ramen for under $5 at my local grocery store and the peanut butter and Sriracha will last ages. As for the eggs, if you buy them in a 6-pack you’ll definitely eat them before they expire.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Boil 2 cups of water
  2. Add the Top Ramen packet. Toss the seasoning, that stuff sucks
  3. Set timer to 3:33 for the noodles because you don’t have time for more than one button.
  4. When the timer goes off, leave the heat on high.
  5. Crack 3 eggs directly into the water, one at a time, stirring them into the noodles.
  6. Finish cooking until eggs look done (1-2 min. max)
  7. Unless you’re a communist who likes soupy ramen, drain the water
  8. Add a large dollop of peanut butter and let it melt on the noodles for a minute.
  9. Mix in peanut butter, and then begin to add Sriracha to taste.

Pad_Thai

You did it! For probably under $.50 you just made a pretty substantial AND relatively nutritious meal! I’ve made it about a dozen times now and I can do the whole process in under five minutes. Even better, total cleanup is a pot, a bowl, and a spoon.

Have a Bachelor Recipe of your own? Share it with us in the comments below!

Men with Moxie: John Wesley Powell

This week’s Man with Moxie is a bit of a throwback. You may not have learned about John Wesley Powell in your American history course, but you damn well should have. Powell was born in 1834 to a poor family. However, this didn’t stop him from quickly obtaining a college degree (no small feat in the middle of the 19th century). Powell then fought in the Civil War for the Union where he lost most of an arm.

Meet Mr John Wesley Powell
Meet Mr John Wesley Powell

But none of this is the reason he is our Moxie man of the week. No, in fact, losing an arm in the Civil War is one of the more tame parts of Powell’s life.

In 1867, Powell set off to explore the West. Not content to simply walk around amid unknown dangers and potentially hostile natives, Powell’s favorite means of travel was by rickety canoe down deadly rivers. Instead of exploring around the Grand Canyon on foot, he chose to raft down the entirely unexplored  Colorado River and observe the country from there.

Choosing to travel by deadly rapids (with only one rowing arm) instead of walking–now that takes moxie.

Major Powell's famous armchair boat on the Colorado River In the Grand Canyon. August 22, 1872
Major Powell’s famous armchair boat on the Colorado River In the Grand Canyon. August 22, 1872

To add awesome to badass, he approached all of his explorations with an almost comical curiosity. Instead of being intimidated by natives, Powell would engage them to learn more of their culture. On one expedition, three of his men went missing and he suspected that Shivwit warriors were responsible. He later returned to investigate, and once he found the Shivwit tribe, instead of demanding retribution, he simply asked them why they had killed his men. Then they all sat back and smoked a whole bunch of pot. You know, for science.

John_Wesley_Powell_year_1869

No really, while other explorers and expansionists were pushing into the West, slaughtering native tribes and raising general hell, John Wesley Powell was passing around a Peace Pipe with the same guys who had killed three of his men. Now that’s a lot of moxie for a dude with one arm.

The Best Domestic Imported Beers for Your Buck

Forbes
You had ONE job, Forbes summer intern!

Today Forbes revealed that Sam Adams–a popular imported Boston beer–is beating out big name beers. While you may be surprised to hear that such a small, unknown foreign brewery is beating out the big boys here in the States, we thought it represented a great opportunity to tell you about other popular imported beers.

Miller Lite

A fine beer for any occasion, Miller Brewing Company is a small operation running out of far off Milwaukee (mɪlˈwɔːki). The beer they import to the U.S. is a light beer with little to no aftertaste (or before taste, really). Their beer pairs well with any exotic food, from corn dogs to hot dogs to chili dogs–it’s extremely versatile.

Natural Light

Referred to by in-the-know locals as “Natty Light,” Natural Light is an imported American-Style Light Lager sure to please anyone looking for a worldly taste. Natty is unique in that it is traditionally consumed in its native land not in a glass, but through a plastic funnel.

Beer 30

Easily the most exotic brew on our list, Beer 30 is one imported brew that fully encapsulates the best of its homeland. The ingredients that actually go into Beer 30 are a closely guarded secret, but rumors abound that anything from viscera to pure gasoline are used in the brewing process. Taking a sip of a finely imported beer like Beer 30 (which I believe is German for “delicious”) transports you to the gorgeous shores of Prince William Sound or the deep blue Hudson River. At no point in drinking this fine import will you have thoughts of suicide or depression.  

My May the Fourth – There is No Try

Lots of people celebrate May the Fourth–whether it’s by simply greeting people with “May the fourth be with you” or showing up to work in a full wookie costume. This year I decided to celebrate May 4th in the most sacred way possible; a six-movie  Star Wars marathon with a fellow nerd, Trent.

Let’s just say the rest of this post is a cautionary tale. WARNING: SPOILER ALERTS.

Trent and I figured that all six films run a little over 13 hours, so if we started at 7, that gave us plenty of breathing room to take occasional breaks. We planned with snacks, drinks, and as the light grew thin, booze.

7 a.m. – sleeping

8 a.m. – still sleeping

8:30 a.m. – panicked call from Trent, “DUDE WE SLEPT IN”

8:45 a.m. – marathon actually starts

9 a.m. – disappointment starts as the fact we’re watching a prequel truly sets in

10 a.m. – Trent googles the actor who played Anakin in Episode I (Jake Lloyd). We find out that not only does he currently look like this, but he’s also a bit of a jerk.

10:30 a.m. – discover Lloyd was in The Pretender. Geek out about how awesome that show was.

10:35 a.m. – all speaking stops because freaking Darth Maul is fighting TWO GUYS AT THE SAME TIME.

10:42 a.m. – Darth Maul is dead. Nothing interesting anymore.

11:05 a.m. – snack break

11:15 a.m. – Episode II starts. Panic sets in as we realize we still have five films left and it’s nearly noon.

11:30 a.m. – Hayden Christensen makes his first appearance on screen.

11:31 a.m. – drinking starts

11:35 a.m. – Trent and I organize a bad acting drinking game

12:15 p.m. – our Star Wars beers run out

12:20 p.m. – pause movie to call girlfriends for a beer run. Both of our ladies must have been super busy because our calls go unanswered. They knew how we were spending our day.

1:40 p.m. –  after crying through much of the rest of Episode II (including the Anakin/Padme love story that drags on for like four hours WTT?) we finally pop in Episode III.

2 p.m. – by this time we are both admittedly running out of steam, and more than a little buzzed. Trent tells me he’s getting tired of this, so I ask him what Han Solo would do.

2:01 p.m. – lengthy discussion of how badly Han Solo could beat up Hayden Christensen.

2:15 p.m. – Anakin just chopped some guy’s head off. Stellar.

2:30 p.m. – at this point Trent points out that Jedi would be wise to follow the Harry Potter model. That is, keeping young Jedi in school until they’re actually adults. Seriously, you combine a laser sword and untold psychokinesis with teenage angst and expect these guys NOT to lose it occasionally?

3:12 p.m. – General Grievous, easily the coolest prequel character shows up, to many (read: two) drunken cheers.

3:25 p.m. – inspired by the great General, I head to my liquor cabinet to make some top shelf Star Wars cocktail. In my state, orange Kool-Aid and Patrón sounds like a great idea.

3:30 p.m. – orange lightsabers are a hit at the party.

6:00 p.m. – in a panicked stupor, I wake up with the DVD menu of Episode III playing over and over in the background.

7 p.m. – even the prospect of watching A New Hope can’t give us a second wind. We watch most of the film in stubborn silence.

9 p.m. – it’s dark and we’re both sober and tired. Trent looks at me meaningfully and says, “I don’t care what you say, I’m leaving. This is stupid.”

Needless to say, I didn’t finish our marathon. Perhaps one should not mix prequels and originals for the same reason you don’t mix wine and beer. Or perhaps Star Wars marathons are for men greater than us. Whatever the reason is, I could not finish my May the Fourth marathon.

Next year I think I’ll just buy an R2D2 keychain or something.

Classiest Drinks for Guys – Avoiding the Umbrella

No one can simply tell you what the “classiest drinks” are, because that’s the wrong way to look at it. It’s not always about what you drink, it’s about how you drink.

Now Here is a Dapper Bro
Now Here is a Dapper Bro

 

Step 1 – Learn the terms

Sometimes the classiest thing is just knowing what the hell you’re talking about.

Here are a few must-know terms to ordering a drink like a man.

  • Back – a small glass of something like water or soda that will be served with your drink
  • Dirty – when a martini is served with olive juice
  • Dry – another martini term for a martini with very little vermouth
  • Neat – a drink served without any ice or garnish; essentially a shot (some people also use the term “straight up” but those people have seen too many movies)
  • Well – an unidentified bottom shelf liquor you get when you don’t specify your liquor in a cocktail

So now you’re well on your way to not embarrassing yourself the second you open your mouth, but that next second can be tricky.

Step 2 – Know your liquor

Unless you’re a complete lush, you have a favorite booze. Unlike with your kids, you get to pick favorites here. Just don’t pick rum. Like ever. Unless you’re a pirate and then it’s okay.

The rum is always gone for you. Because you ain’t Captain Jack Sparrow.

Once you’ve pinned down the best poison for you, you need to learn more about it. And the best way to do this is, well, by drinking A LOT of it. If you like gin, make sure to order a different gin at the bar every time. Even if it’s in tonic water, you’ll start to pick up on subtle differences. You may not be the smartest guy at the bar, but you will know a hell of a lot about gin, which is better than nothing.

Step 3 – Tip your barman

Sure you’ve got the terms down, and you even know a thing or two about your drink of choice. But classy drinking goes well beyond that. Know your limits. A buzz is one thing, but drunkenness is not a good color on anyone. Just ask any of these beautiful people who had one too many.

 Also, just don’t be weird. Don’t call your bartender by his name unless you know him. And definitely don’t call him “barkeep.” Finally, make sure to tip the man/lady. I usually just do $1 a drink, but if you order something fancy, toss in an extra buck. Because if you take care of your bartender, he’s sure to take care of you.

Have something to say about the classiest drinks for men? Do share @mancrates

Grooming your Groomsmen

It’s a safe bet you’ve never dreamt of your storybook wedding. Because, you know, you’re a dude. But whether or not you planned for it, it’s statistically probable you’re going to get married someday. After you take off that fedora. Go on. Take it off.

That’s better.

Now that you just raised your marriage potential by 100%, it’s time to start thinking about the wedding. One of the hardest parts of being a groom is finding the appropriate groomsmen. You really have to give it some thought before you ask Drunk Lou from college to stand behind you at the altar. And I know Chad was your favorite frat bro, but despite what he believes, he is not god’s gift to women. In fact, he’s not a gift to anyone. Because he’s a sleaze. If your brother ever hooked up with your prom date, it’s safe to say you should leave him out too.

So who does that leave?

Well how about that nerdy dude that helped you swing a C in your stats class? You’re definitely not going to catch him drunkenly slobbering on bridesmade after the ceremony. Or how about that childhood friend who still lives with his parents and posts on your Facebook wall once a day? You should probably just throw him a bone. And the religious guy in your dorm who claimed he “could have just as much fun without drinking” would probably save you some money on the bar bill.

We’d keep giving you wedding advice, but you’ve probably already forgotten what we just told you. Just remember that when you leave the groomsmen gifts until the last minute, Man Crates does rush shipping. But no, we can’t come tie your bow tie.

Fishing: How to Remove a Fishhook from an Enemy’s Ear

Like most siblings, we fought. (a lot) But that didn’t mean we didn’t love each other. We weren’t enemies per se–  it just seemed like we were to the general public. Take, for example, our regular family camping trip. We would find a remote spot to set up camp in the high Uinta Mountains in northern Utah and spend a few days fly fishing and catching salamanders. However, just because we were a million miles from civilization didn’t mean we were unable to produce mischief.

During one trip, my brother and I spent hours poking pin-prick holes into my sister’s waders so when she stepped into a pond to hunt salamanders, she immediately found herself waterlogged and unable to move. Generally it was just fun and games and no one got hurt. That is, until the fishhook incident.

I was somewhere in the neighborhood of double digits, and my brother had just reached his teens. So he was a green Boy Scout, fresh off his first scout camp, and eager to show off his new skills. Unfortunately, I gave him his first chance.

This is not my brother.

Sure, I’d been fly fishing for quite some time, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t still difficult. The rod was like three times taller than me and I still needed my dad’s help every time to get a fish off the hook. And sometimes when the fish weren’t biting, I’d get bored and play Zorro. (The fact that Zorro’s whip was not attached to a long pole had no bearing on my fantasy. Ah the folly of youth.)

Eventually, my luck ran out and during a sunny afternoon of playing Zorro, I ended up with a fishhook embedded firmly in my ear. There were grasshoppers all over the river that year, so naturally I was using a grasshopper fly with, you guessed it, the biggest, meanest hook you could imagine.

After the few moments inherent to childhood pain of thinking, “I wonder if this hurts enough to justify crying,” I began wailing.

However, the only family member in earshot was my brother George. Things were about to get much worse.Lumbering down the riverbed in his waders, he eventually saw the grasshopper firmly implanted in my ear, and a huge grin spread across his face.

“Don’t worry,” he yelled, not breaking his stride. George calmly explained to me that he’d JUST learned how to remove fishhooks in his most recent scout camp. “Lennie had one just like this and the scoutmaster showed us how to get it out. It’s super easy,” he reassured me.

As any anglers out there are aware, removing a fishhook from skin is, in fact, relatively easy. It’s a matter of pushing it through the skin and breaking or squeezing the barb. Then, you simply pull the hook out the way it came in.

See? Super easy.

Easier said than done when you’re an overeager 13-year-old with a guinea pig for a little brother.

Twenty excruciating minutes later, I felt that if my ear was amputated, I’d count that as a win. When my father finally came back downstream, he found what looked like a scene out of Saw–my brother, hands covered in blood, holding me down with one knee as my ear dripped blood all over my face. There was no telling where the hook even was anymore.

Needless to say, I’m much more cautious when I fly fish now. And if I ever hook myself again, I’ll probably just leave it in there.

Fly Flishing, who knew it would lead to a pierced ear?
Fly Flishing, who knew it would lead to a pierced ear?