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: Alexander Selkirk

By now, you’ve all heard of our Man of Moxie series. Does the name Alexander Selkirk sound familiar? No? How about Roberson Crusoe? Because Selkirk was the guy Daniel Defoe based his famous island survivor on. Often truth is stranger than fiction. Such is the case with Mr. Selkirk.

The Man, The Myth, The Legend.
The Man, The Myth, The Legend.

Fighting on orders of the Queen, Selkirk fought as a buccaneer, pilfering Spanish ships in the South Pacific Ocean. However, on one expedition, he expressed a lack of faith in the vessel he was sailing on. In an act of supreme foresight, Selkirk proclaimed that he would rather stay on an unoccupied island in the South Pacific than continue on in the rickety vessel. Such Moxie…

So the captain obliged, stranding him on Juan Fernández Islands with his gear and nothing else. (Turns out Selkirk was right, as the ship sunk off the coast of Columbia. The crew ended up in Spanish prisons.)

His first days on the island were spent miserably eating shellfish and regretting his decision. Then, to add insult to injury, a bunch of sea lions moved onto the beach and forced him from his recent home. This turned out to be a boon for Selkirk, however, as he soon discovered feral goats that past sailors had introduced to the island.

So, like Greg from Meet the Parents, our survivor man decided to milk these little goats.

Selkirk and Goat
Selkirk and Goat

Oh then he found some wild white turnips, cabbage, and peppers.

So he was eating like a king, but then another problem crept up–rats. Aggressive and hungry rodents began hassling Selkirk at night once he moved inland. So he did what any Moxie Man would do–he domesticated a grip of feral cats to defend him.

You read that right, our man who was living in the lap of luxury, eating goat cheese over a bed of cabbage and turnips, had his own personal “kitty Secret Service.:

At one point during his exile, a Spanish galleon came ashore. Preferring his island prison to a real one back on land, Selkirk managed to evade the Spanish until they gave up looking for him. How did they know he was there? Because he had built himself two huts. The man had a bloody guest hut. I guess it’s true about the British always being ready to entertain company.

Selkirk's Huts
Selkirk’s Huts

Selkirk was eventually rescued by another British privateering ship. Well, they were actually rescued by him. After the crew came ashore suffering from scurvy, Selkirk caught 2-3 goats a day, feeding them and restoring them to health. He probably would have built them all a hut if he’d had the time.

Alexander_Selkirk_Title_Page

 

Ten Manly Movies to Win Back Your Man Card

Your BBQ is winding down. The cooler finally has more ice than beer and everyone’s looking to crash on the couch with a cold one and a manly movie to doze off in front of. Unfortunately, the best you can do is Dances With Wolves. So it’s safe to say that now you’ve definitely lost the respect of your buddies. But maybe it’s not permanent.

The fact is, if your friends find out your manly movies are limited to Michael Bay films that aren’t The Rock, you’re going to have to make a pretty grand gesture to stop the endless jokes. So hit up the local Best Buy (oh who am I kidding, you probably only shop on Amazon, because you’re under 70).

  • Braveheart – they cannot take your freedom. To just put this on loop for the next three days straight.

 

  • Rocky – I mean, this is a pretty standard manly film, but whatever. The only reason I watch it is for the part at the end where Rocky just yells “ADRIAN!” over and over. Shit gets me every time. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tad3NI68dKA[/youtube]

Sylvester_Stallone_2012_2

  1. Rambo – I really want to drive home the point that if a movie has Sylvester Stallone, it’s probably manly enough.

  • Independence Day – Will Smith punches an alien in the head, makes a pithy comment and then smokes a cigar. ’nuff said [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OfPWpEKhgfk[/youtube]
  • Die Hard – I think the letter Homer Simpson wrote to Die Hard sums it up best: “Dear Die Hard. You rock. Especially when that guy was on the roof. P.S: Do you know Mad Max?”

 

  • Literally any movie with Clint Eastwood in it. You name it. (Except Pink Cadillac. Don’t name that. It sounds like a drink- and unfortunately is a movie) 

  • The Mask of Zorro – the best part about having a copy of Zorro on-hand, is that if anyone criticizes it, you get to punch them right in the mouth.

Honorary Mentions:

  • Terminator I, II and III
  • Mongol
  • Tombstone
  • FightClub
  • The GodFather
  • Rudy
  • Gladiator
  • Animal House

There you have it. With even one of these flicks in your collection, you can make sure to impress your dude friends with your manly cinema knowledge. Oh, and stash that copy of Notting Hill/Love Actually under your bed, or they will find it.

I am sure you all have better idea– hit us with them @mancrates (yes we tweet)

Men with Moxie: Vance Flosenzier

We don’t all get a chance to face our own mortality (although we did talk about that last week). Most of us are probably going to die in a hospital bed peeing in a can. But some people reject that fate; like our Man of Moxie for the Week, Vance Flosenzier, the Shark Slayer.

In 2002, Flosenzier’s and his eight-year-old nephew Jessie Arbogast (what’s up with these last names, seriously) were playing at a Florida beach when Jessie was attacked by a 7 foot shark. He was only in three feet of water, but the shark was feeling hungry. He must not have seen the memo that Vance freakin’ Flosenzier was visiting the beach that day.

Because– Vance Flosenzier is crazy, and full of Moxie.

Note: Image Not to Scale
Note: Image Not to Scale

Not hesitating for a moment, Flosenzier waded into the ocean, grabbed the “apex predator” by the tail, and dragged it onto the beach. Because no one gives a crap about a fair fight when your opponent has an eight-year-old’s arm in their mouth.

So there they are on the beach, hot sun rolling off their shoulders, blood soaking the sand. Flosenzier holds the shark down with one foot, watching the resilient shark flop and defiantly struggle to give up its meal. He turns to the park ranger next to him and mutters, “do it.” The ranger pulls out his revolver and fills the shark with hot lead. Flosenzier’s only regret is that the ranger was there in the first place. Otherwise, he would have just punched the thing to death.

Because Flosenzier is a Man with Moxie.

His nephew later made a full recovery, but the shark…no that thing is dead. Flosenzier even went as far to make sure they retrieved the arm and re-attached it to his nephew in the following days. So the next time you see a shark attack, your reaction should be mindless. Grab that Shark tail, take him down, and drag that to the beach.

It’s what any man with moxie would do.

who wouldn’t fight this thing?

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

 

 

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

 

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.

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

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.