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: John Harlan Willis

Both of my grandfathers were WWII veterans and they enjoyed regaling me with tales of their adventures. One grandfather was on a ship sunk in the Mediterranean, swam to shore, ended up in Egypt, and eventually bummed his way back up to England. There are countless of exceptional stories about WWII. I mean, that’s why the History Channel used to be WWII 24/7/365. One such story is the tale of Medal of Honor recipient John Harlan Willis–our Man of Moxie for this Week.

Mr. John Harlan Willis joined the Navy back in 1940 and was promoted multiple times throughout his service. His tour was relatively uneventful until the Battle of Iwo Jima in 1945. (Did you know Iwo Jima means “Sulfur Island”? That’s gross.)

baby-faced bravery

There he was injured and ordered to return to a battle aid station. But men with Moxie don’t easily retreat. Disobeying orders, he pushed to the front through artillery and sniper fire. At the extreme front of the line, he found an injured marine in a shell-hole. There, he calmly began administering blood plasma to the dying marine. But this is where Willis turned up the Moxie to 11.

Having just started the blood plasma, a Japanese grenade landed in the hole, which Willis looked at, shrugged, and tossed back. Then, seven more grenades came flying into the hole in quick succession. So, positively dripping with Moxie, Willis calmly threw back each one.

One handed. Because, he was busy administering a blood plasma the whole time 

Finally, the Japanese figured out that they were in fact battling Babe Ruth (Japanese Kamikaze pilots would sometimes yell “to hell with Babe Ruth!” before crashing their ships. They thought that was a pretty fine insult) and decided to throw a cooked grenade. This last grenade thrown would also be the final grenade, as it exploded in Willis’ hand killing him instantly.

But it doesn’t stop there. Motivated by his valor Moxie, his companions, though vastly outnumbered, rallied and pushed back the Japanese troops. So I’d say Willis’ actions alone justify a holiday. But there are millions more like him. Maybe we should just go ahead and make it Memorial Week.

Cheers to you John Harlan Willis.

(Have a great suggestion for our next Men with Moxie post? Let us know @mancrates )

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.

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.

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 “