Father’s Day Advice: Act Like a Man For Your Kids

The pursuit of manliness. It seems to come naturally to most but in reality, for most men it is a constant and never-ending journey. Like when a bartender serves your cocktail with a straw. You throw that on the bar because men don’t need sipping accessories. Unless you are in Cabo and they have cool twisty color straws. Those are worth it.

However, there are also times in which you’re going to need to go the extra mile and put on a brave face. This rule applies almost anytime your kids are around. Like when you hit your finger pounding in nails.

Without Kids Around: profanities, followed by squeals of pain and suffering.

With Kids Around: smile and ignore the blood welling under your fingernail

Same with spiders, rodents, etc. As a father the expectation is that you are the brave one.

Or how about when you find yourself in a spicy food situation. What if your kids get you a Hot and Spicy Man Crate for Father’s Day?  But you don’t like spicy sauce. Well the crate is certainly sweet. But the contents… you can’t just ignore it–that’s rude. Your only option is to hitch up your dad-jeans (or perhaps overalls) and load up a mouthful of spicy tastebud-pounding goodness. There will be no crying (false) and don’t you dare utter, “this is too spicy.” Nothing is too spicy for you dad. It’s just perfect and what you always wanted. Keep those sugar packets handy (best remedy). Hey, strong men also cry.

As in all things, play it cool, bite your tongue, and think of your kids.

You think Timmy’s going to come out 100% okay if he’s raised by the kind of a father who can’t even handle his hot sauce? Chances are your ability to tolerate hot sauce will have minimal effect on his ability to handle life’s curveballs.

Or what if you end up with a fish hook in your ear? (Something we discussed earlier.) The only option is to calmly push it back into your own skin, clip the barb and pull it back out. Or don’t, maybe you want to be that new cool dad in the carpool line with the fresh piercing.

This is much more likely to happen if the kiddos get you a Gone Fishin’ Crate for Father’s Day, so brace yourself.

Father’s Day is here.

Men with Moxie: Peter Francisco

There are a lot of notable war heroes. Patton, Leonidas, any of the dudes in Black Hawk Down. But I’ve noticed that so very few of them were from the Revolutionary War. Sure there were some badass Patriots, but no one discusses their triumphs in the manly detail they deserve. I mean, really, how exciting is a bunch of dudes lining up in a row to shoot at another line of dudes?

Yawn.

That isn’t to say the War of Colonial Aggression was without its blood-splattered heroes. Take Peter Francisco–our Man of Moxie for the Week–he was found abandoned as a youth dressed like a nobleman, and was therefore raised as such. Truth be told, even if his parents were rich, they probably still weren’t able to feed him.

Ugly? Maybe. But don’t say it to his face.

Why? Because at age FOURTEEN, he was 6’6″ and 260. He was basically born to swing swords into peoples’ faces. Oh and don’t forget, back then the average height of a man was 5’6″. (Yeah that’s right, the average human height has been consistently rising over the last few thousand years. So if you’re a short dude who can’t find a girlfriend, sorry, but it’s been going on for millenia.)

Like so many youth of the day, Francisco was swept up in revolutionary fervor. He joined the army at 15 and was quickly stabbed and shot a few times. But that’s just a precursor to the triumphs that he would soon accomplish. His first major action was during the Battle of Stony Point where Francisco made a name for himself as a fearless monster. With a dachshund-sized gash in his side, he was the second man in the British base where me managed to manhandle three men to death and capture the ol’ Iron Jack.

Peter Francisco – making stamp collecting manly

Did the grip of injuries he’d incurred all before his 16th b-day stop our Moxie Man from digging his fingernails into the back of war? Not even a little  bit. Not even at all.

He reenlisted and during a retreat following a fierce battle, Francisco noticed a cannon the retreating Americans had abandoned. So, of course, he picked up the 1,100 pound cannon and lugged it to a Colonial-held position.

To put it in perspective: My biggest challenge at 16 was learning how to parallel park.

By this point, everyone knew that our boy Pete was not to be screwed with. But knowing about how unstoppable he was didn’t save anyone’s life at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse. During that battle, someone pinned his leg to his horse with a spear. Instead of freaking out, Francisco grabbed the spear, pulled it toward him, and cut the soldier’s head off. What the hell. And he kept fighting, going on to kill like eleven dudes. That is until he was stabbed in the other leg. Lying in a field bleeding to death, he was rescued by a Quaker who was checking the battlefield for wounded.

It’s a pretty unfair fight when you’re taller than your opponent’s horse.

This is where most men without moxie would have stopped. But Francisco wasn’t done quite yet. In his final enlistment acting as a scout, he was ambushed in a pub by a British raiding expedition. As you’ve come to expect, he killed one of the nine men and injured the other eight, before stealing every single one of their horses and riding away with naught but a bullet wound in his side. But none the matter, at this point he was more musket ball than man. Oh and he was only 21.

The rest of his life was relatively uneventful and his death was so inglorious I won’t mention it here. Peter Francisco shall be remembered as a true Man of Moxie. Because while some men fight back by playing dress-up and throwing tea into the ocean, other men fight 9 dragoons in a pub and steal all their horses.

Have a suggestion for an inductee into our MEN WITH MOXIE hall of fame? Hit us up on twitter @mancrates

Why Men Love Bacon

This is about bacon. 

It’s no secret that men love bacon. You’d have to be living under a rock not to notice that an entire freaking bacon industry emerged almost overnight. But the real question that no one is asking is why men love bacon so damned much. Perhaps it’s because that question seems to answer itself. More likely, it’s because everyone’s too damn busy eating bacon to ask why they’re eating it.

credit: xkcd.com

But we reached out to our old friends from the National Bacon Institute of Bacon Research and Development for their input on exactly why men love bacon more than any other earthly substance.

“It’s pretty easy to trace a love of bacon to early man’s evolutionary needs,” explained Bacon Doctor Arnold Henderson, “I mean, men in the Stone Age required delicious food just as much as any modern-day man. Seriously, can you imagine living without TV and bacon? I shudder at the thought.”

mmmmm.... bacon
mmmmm…. bacon

“For our research, we eat hundreds of pounds of bacon a month,” said Greg Stevenson from the warm seat of his Jazzy. “We may have not revealed all of bacon’s secrets, but we’re getting closer.”

Henderson and Stevenson are famous for their innovative and brave research into the long-term effects of cooking with bacon grease on general male happiness. Their paper entitled, “How a Jar of Bacon Grease in a Fridge Can Feasibly Replace Anti-Depressants” nearly bankrupted three major pharmaceutical companies.

So what does the future hold for the future of bacon research?

“We’re making giant strides toward mapping the entire bacon genome. It’s been an ongoing process bringing in bacon experts worldwide.” Henderson explained.

His partner elaborated, “as a layman it may not make much sense to sink more into bacon research than we do into NASA, but trust me, the payoff is coming. Understanding just why men love bacon so much is integral to our ultimate goal as a species. Making more delicious bacon.”

Get your fill

 

 

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! 

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.

May First: The Underrated Holiday

During my sleepless nights, I usually find myself perusing Wikipedia’s “On This Day” section. Late last night,  I was ‘mouth-open shocked’ to discover how big of a deal the first of MAY is.

I know May 1st marks the holiday “May Day,” but when I think about it, all that happens is an image similar to the one below pops into my head. And then I am confused because I have no idea what May Day is actually celebrating, and I have this picture of kids dancing around a pole, and by this point I have started thinking about my next meal.

I am not going to explain May Day as you can look on wikipedia. And the Maypole, well I still don’t understand that. What I do know is that in Germany, an edgy type of maypole tradition exists where if a strapping lad has a lucky lady in his life, he might erect a small maypole by her bedroom window. Still not sure if Freud ever shared his thoughts on this tradition but I wouldn’t be surprised. 

The Maypole. Wait, what is a maypole?
The Maypole. Wait, what is a maypole?

MAY FIRST in itself is a big day without any of the May Day gaeity. Here I have highlighted some of the more notable events that occurred on May 1st.

Maybe the last?
Maybe the last?

Cricket hasn’t captured the hearts of most Americans, but it…. actually no that’s it. I don’t know a single person who partakes in this classy sport, let alone understands the rules of the game. (√ New Years for resolutions 2014)

What can I say? I'm a sucker for secret societies
What can I say? I’m a sucker for secret societies

The Illuminati became mainstream after being featured in hollywood hits (tip of the hat to you Mr. Dan Brown), but did you know that the society was initially founded to oppose superstition, prejudice, religious influence in public life, abuses of state power, and to support women’s education and gender equality. Back in 1776, that kind of ideology was counter-culture and they were outlawed (hence the secret-society angle.) Fast Forward to modern day, their reputation falls somewhere between conspiracy theory and uncertainty and “I want in”.

8 hour work day? Where?  Cheers to Moses Fleetwood Walker for being a game changer / having an awesome name.
8 hour work day? Where?
Cheers to Moses Fleetwood Walker for being a game changer / having an awesome name.

Moses Fleetwood Walker- you have an unbelievably awesome name and it seems like you were also an awesome person. You paved the way for race equality for one of the greatest sports. If he were alive today, I have a three pronged plan on what I would do.

Plan A) try to meet him

Plan B (in the event plan A doesn’t work) stalk him

If both A and B have failed or resulted in a restraining order– Plan C) create a Man Crate for him and his career with the Toledo Blue Stockings.

 

Screen Shot 2013-05-01 at 1.42.39 PM

Enough said. I love that airlines have food. And I love airline food.  

 

Screen Shot 2013-05-01 at 1.42.03 PMToo soon. Just never forget.

 

Screen Shot 2013-05-01 at 1.41.44 PMAs a child born in the post-polio epidemic, thank you Jonas Salk. As for Guam, keep predicting the US Presidential Election results with your straw vote because 100% of the time, you guys have been right every time.

 

Screen Shot 2013-05-01 at 1.41.00 PM

Mush Mush! Naomi “ridin solo” Uemura, your trip was not easy.  As records say, during the 4th day of his trek, a polar bear entered his camp, demolished all his food, and pressed his nose against Uemura. Understandably pissed, Uemura was ready for the bear who came back the following day (which would be his last day) as Uemura shot him dead.

Screen Shot 2013-05-01 at 3.54.09 PM And to round out this crazy day, we have Pope John Paul II beatified (blessed). Fun Fact: PJPII beatified more people during his papacy than any other pope in history. Bin Laden was killed. Huge deal. Not going to explain further or project my personal political views.

And to cap it off, I saved the most notable for last.

Screen Shot 2013-05-01 at 6.50.06 PM

It’s true. Most people drink water. But I am not most people. I ate water. Happy May Day Folks. Celebrate accordingly.

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?

 

Summer Drinking Season: Do’s and Don’ts

Summer is upon us gentlemen. It’s time to embarrass our loved ones with pasty white legs and too-short shorts. Time to make commitments we’ll never keep once we see our winter gut in full daylight. But most importantly, summer is a time to enjoy a cold drink. There’s a reason Corona changed their entire identity to idealize sipping beers on the beach. But you must be even safer drinking in the summer than any other time of year because of just what’s at stake–your manliness. Think you’re Rico Suave because you ordered a mint julep? Or that you can drink that frilly drink if you just remove the mini umbrella? Think again. Here’s a few tips to get you through this confusing and…colorful time of year. Summer drinking season is upon us gentlemen.

Don’ts

  • Mini umbrellas. In fact, if your drink is served with anything but alcohol (or maybe a lime) in it, you should probably just send it back. This applies to mini swords, swizzle sticks, and twisty straws. 
  • Fruit. Sounds good doesn’t it? Sitting on a warm beach, sipping a drink and occasionally snatching a chunk of pineapple from your glass. Well, unless you’re a 3rd century Roman concubine, lazily eating booze-besotten fruit is not going to be a good look on you.
  • Unless it’s mixed with Coke, avoid rum. You’re not a teenager sneaking drinks from the liquor cabinet and you’re not a sorority girl taking shots, so why on earth are you drinking rum? Put. It. Down.
  • A bar is still a bar. Just because it’s warm and the patio furniture is outside of your favorite bar doesn’t mean you’re in Cabo San Lucas on Spring Break. So don’t order anything that’s going to make the barman look at you sideways, or that pisco sour may have more than an egg in it.  

Dos

  • Drink Corona. Seriously. Have you had a Corona on a beach?
  • Take shots of tequila, like everywhere. It doesn’t matter if it’s warm and sunny or Minnesota–it’s summer and therefore copious amounts of tequila MUST be consumed.
  • Order margaritas. Blended. With salt. C’mon, how badly do you want to pull over at that snow cone shack every summer? But you don’t, because you’re not a pedophile and would therefore feel weird standing in line with a dozen 8 year olds. Well now’s your chance. (And hey, it’s yet another great opportunity to drink tequila.)

Man Crates’ Spring Cleaning Guide – Putting the “pro” in Procrastinate

Spring cleaning is upon us once again, gentlemen. And unless you’re a groundskeeper or a farmer (which many of you probably are), it’s likely not your favorite time of year. So why not procrastinate a bit longer and read our handy Spring Cleaning Guide?

Step One – Procrastinate

We must say, we’re proud of you. You’re already ahead of the curve, as you’re on the internet procrastinating instead of cleaning out the rain gutters. Nevermind the fact that the last rainstorm damn near flooded your basement because the torrents of water weren’t properly channeled into a clean rain gutter–wet leaves are gross anyway. So don’t feel the need to leave, Man Crates is a safe place.

Step Two – Make a List of Excuses

Sure, I know Step Two is just a subset of Step One, but keep in mind, I’m still on Step One and I’m kinda milking it.

The important thing here is to be organized. Someone, be it a wife, roommate, or girlfriend is going to assault you pretty soon here and if you aren’t prepared, you’re in serious trouble. So make an itemized list of all the reasons why you can’t rake off that weird crust that developed on the lawn over the winter.

Here’s an excellent example:

ManCratesApproved

“Honey I need you to clean up the yard and all you’re doing is lying on the couch watching ESPN Classic.”

“My dear, it should be clear I’m merely adjusting my back. I have an important racquetball game with Ron in accounting tomorrow, and if he wins he gets my parking spot.”

That interaction? Man Crates Approved.

Step Three – Make a Real List

Eventually all good things come to an end, and your wife is bound to figure out that you would never play racquetball with Ron in accounting because that guy is a major tool. So you’d better get your plan in order.

You’re probably pretty good at making lists by now so I trust you can lay out which things you need to do first. Like putting out the hammock. And then stress-testing the hammock. Be sure not to shirk on this one–safety is paramount. Then of course you’ll need to take down the Christmas lights because that old batty woman next door keeps sneering at them. And because it’s like, April.

Remember not to rush this list. Step One is never really over when you’re spring cleaning.

Step Four – Feel Accomplished

Let’s be honest, Spring Cleaning is a bit of a joke. It’s more like “work relatively hard for a few hours on a warm Saturday so you can justify neglecting the yard for another month.” But don’t let that stop you from taking a serious load off around 4:30 in the afternoon. Drink a beer on the half-assembled yard furniture. Why not make it three? You could grill a burger…but you’re tired; and more importantly, the grill is still crammed deep in the recesses of the shed.

So just dial up Domino’s. You’ve earned it gents.

Top 5 Manly Skills To Know This Holiday Season

Society’s characterization of ‘being a man’ has transformed over the centuries. In today’s modern world, there are many things our father’s (father) would’ve known how to do that the contemporary man in this tech-enabled age has since forgotten.

But with each coming year, the holiday season arrives and reminds us that the basics haven’t changed—and to that end; you should never stop being a man. To survive the season with your manliness intact, here are the 5 basic skills every man should possess.

If you don’t have these skills in your arsenal, you’d better get cracking. Because as GI Joe has taught us, knowing half the battle.

1. Make a holiday toast
Toasting isn’t easy, but every man should be endowed with the verbal skills to charm an
audience. An elderly Hungarian priest once captured the essence of a good toast in one simple phrase ‘a good toast should be like a mini-skirt, just long enough to cover the essentials, but short enough to remain interesting.’

2. Carve a Bird like a boss.
It’s holiday mealtime and your knife is poised to begin- will you look at the beautiful bronzed bird and weakly whisper, “Please do not let me maul this beast.” Or will you rise to the occasion and assert your manhood as you deconstruct the bird FTW.
The manliest of men are the ones who carve the turkey; it’s a timeless tradition and a job usually left to grandpas and dads. So grab your knife and cutting board, and step up to the plate.
Here’s how: http://chicken-recipes.wonderhowto.com/how-to/howto-carve-turkey-infographic-way-0122436/

3. Chop down a Christmas Tree
Chopping down your own tree is easily the manliest thing a real man can do to test his mettle at this festive time of the year. But before you get into the holiday spirit by felling your own pine, you must
know your escape path and when the tree starts to fall, use it. Here is what not to do…
http://www.urlesque.com/2010/01/13/tree-removal-fails/

4. Talk football.
The holidays mark the ‘beginning of the end’ of both the college and NFL seasons. And there’s no simpler way to say it: every man needs to be able to talk football. Whether your living room turns into a Pentagon War Room every weekend or you haven’t watched football since you caught a scene from Varsity Blues on TBS a few years back, now’s the time of year where you at least need to get some basics down. If you’re watching college football, the story this year is Notre Dame in the National Championship game. Fighting Irish fans think it’s well-deserved; most everyone else thinks they caught some generous breaks. Know your audience, choose a side, and debate vociferously.

5. Open a bottle of Champagne
I know what you’re thinking — it’s the holidays and we should be talking manly drinks, isn’t this a clear cider, rum & eggnog time? Or perhaps for the adventurous man with an international flair — a glögg occasion? Well, yes — and as a sidenote, if your drink has an umlaut in its name, you’re doing it right. So why champagne? Well, it lends itself well to celebratory environments so you’ll likely find yourself around it more than a few times this holiday season. Nearly every champagne bottle arrives with someone asking for help opening it. To open properly; remove the foil, check for wire, hold the neck of the champagne bottle and slowly begin to loosen the cork by twisting the bottle. You must hold onto the cork the entire time so it doesn’t come flying out and hit your fiancé’s great aunt in the eye. As you allow the cork to slowly ease out of the bottle, you will hear a gentle “sigh” rather than a “pop”. While a refined technique, there is a more manly alternative: use a sword http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ye28n_aJspA “