Max Brooks World War Z – Exclusive Give Away

Man Crates has teamed up with World War Z author Max Brooks to equip the freedom fighters of the pending zombie apocalypse. Armed with the definitive guidebook on zombie survival and a ton of other zombie survival gear from Man Crates, we’re helping those bold, brave few defend humankind from extinction.

So enter the giveaway below to win an exclusive Max Brooks signature Zombie Annihilation Man Crate, including a signed copy of World War Z, and take a stand for humanity:

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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: 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 )

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! 

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!

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.

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?