What makes a man? Is he someone who can bring home the bacon? Serve up some breakfast in bed? Be his own mechanic? The answer is all of the above. But guys, before you get overwhelmed, fear not. We’ve compiled a list of handy how-to’s to help you tackle everything from your daughter’s hair-do to reeling in the catch of the day. Check out these how-to’s every manly man should know.
She’s one of your prized possessions: your set of wheels. She takes you where you need to go, so in return, you polish her up, keep her clean and get her serviced regularly. But changing her oil isn’t something you need to leave to the pros. Save yourself some pennies, and follow these simple steps to keep her engine purring like a kitten.
1. Park your car on a flat, level and paved area. Using either a jack with stands or a pair of ramps, lift the car in order to access the oil pan. Note: For safety, engage the emergency break and place a set of cinder blocks behind the rear tires once front is elevated.
2. Pop the hood, and disconnect the battery cables. Locate your oil drain plug. This is commonly located toward the bottom of the oil pan.
3. Slide under your car, and using a socket wrench, slowly remove the drain plug. Be prepared with a drain pan to catch the old oil once the plug is off. Don’t forget to replace the plug once the oil is drained to prevent the new oil from draining out.
4. You may want to slip on some latex gloves for these next steps. Remove the oil filter, which is located along the lower side of the engine. Note: The oil filter needs to be changed after each oil change.
5. Prepare the new filter by lubricating the seal with a small amount of new oil, and proceed to thread the new filter by hand.
6. Add new oil using a funnel. Note: Refer to your car’s manual for the proper type and amount needed.
7. After checking to make sure there are no leaks, lower your car and reconnect the battery cables. Allow her to sit for five to 10 minutes so the oil can work its way down.
If you’ve followed these steps, you’ll be good to go for another 3,000 miles!
Do It Like A Pro
Before you begin, it’s a good idea to warm up the oil by driving around for five to 10 minutes. Warm oil drains faster than cool, but be cautious when emptying the old oil—it will be hot.
Relax, we don’t mean listening to all her troubles, though if you want to score big points you would do that anyway! But one way to really help ease the tensions of your gal’s daily struggles is to help her relax with a good back massage. But what can start out as a good intention can quickly turn into a torture session if you’re not careful. Before you dig your fingers in, take this quick lesson in the art of giving the perfect back massage.
Raking is a simple method to try for starters. Spread your fingers apart, and using your fingertips, begin at the shoulders and “rake” down the back along the spine (but never on the spine). You’ll want to start with light pressure, and as the muscles relax, you can add more.
The fanning method requires you to kneel on either side of her. Place your palms in the middle of her back with your hands facing away from the spine. With a fan-shaped stroke, move your hands from the back up to the shoulder blades. Only apply pressure along the spine.
Once you’ve mastered these two techniques, move on to the circling hands massage. Start at the lower back, and place the right hand to the right side of her spine and the left hand to the left side. Perform gentle counterclockwise circles up the entire length of her back. You can use both hands at the same time or one hand and then the other. Repeat as many times as you’d like.
Oil v. Lotion
Use oil rather than lotion when giving a massage. Oil allows for smoother strokes and is purer to work with because it has fewer ingredients. Try sesame, avocado, sunflower or apricot kernel oil, which can be found in health food stores.
Imagine the scenario: You’ve finally landed the interview of a lifetime for your dream job. You selected the perfect suit that says, “Yes, I am the man you want to hire.” As you give yourself a pep talk and begin to daydream about your larger salary and private office, you realize your suit coat is missing a button. Panic sets in. There’s no way you are hirable looking like this. Your dreams are dashed, and it’s back to the cubicle. But wait! You can avoid this nightmare. Sewing on a button can be performed in the blink of an eye. Read on to see how a tailor’s job can be mastered in a few simple steps.
1.Using about 12 inches of thread, knot it securely at the bottom.
2. Thread your needle, and begin by making a single stitch in the fabric in line with the other buttons.
3.Holding your button about 1/8 of an inch away from the fabric, thread the needle up through one hole and down the diagonally opposite hole. Do the same with the other holes, and repeat four times.
4.Create a pillar between the button and the fabric by wrapping the remaining thread around the 1/8-inch space.
5.Push the needle through a few times, and cut the thread.
6. Button up, and you’re good to go!
Have you walked past your front door recently and felt the hot summer heat radiating in? If you’ve been cranking the AC way up and the front entryway never seems to cool off, it may be time to check your weatherstripping. This little piece of foam or vinyl is responsible for keeping the outside air just where it belongs: outside. If you have an older home and a door without a weatherstrip, never fear! Installing one is as easy as 1, 2, 3.
Before you begin, you’ll need to purchase new weatherstripping. The hardest part will be trying to find some that match your existing door. Try calling the manufacturer of the door first. If that doesn’t work, weatherstripping is usually sold at hardware and home stores, and you will have to eye up which matches best.
1.Make the cut:A weatherstripping kit will come with two longer pieces and a short piece. Measure the length of your door and the width along the top. Mark these measurements on the strip and cut through with a hacksaw or fine-tooth saw.
2.Get it just right:The key to finding the right fit is to mount the weatherstripping so that the foam compresses just slightly when the door is shut. If it is too tight, the door won’t close. Once you think you’ve found just the right fit, tap the nails in just enough to hold the stripping on but not nailed all the way. Open and close the door a few times to make sure it’s properly snug.
3.Drive it home: Once you’ve established that the door can still open and close while at the same time is tight enough to prevent air flow, drive in the nails to secure the weatherstripping. Note: Position the first two nails 2 inches from the corner and then space them out every 12 inches.
Fishing is an age-old “manly” pastime. However, your confidence can take a hit if your entire day’s catch barely fills up the palm of your hand. Reel in the mother lode and catch a largemouth bass every time by following a few pointers.
Think color: Largemouth bass like colorful plastic worms. If they’re just not biting, try a different color until you find what they’re looking for.
Get out of the water: Fish around structures like rock formations and jetty pylons, as largemouth bass tend to congregate in these areas.
Keep quiet: Avoid areas with lots of noise and activity. Largemouth bass seem to prefer peace and quiet.
Chill out: Largemouth bass favor cooler water, so aim to fish early in the morning or look in shadier spots.
There’s no better way to surprise someone than with a gourmet breakfast in bed. But if your idea of eggs is a scrambled up jumble served in a bowl with the occasional shell, then pay attention. Omelettes can seem intimidating, but follow these guidelines and you’ll be serving up fluffy frittatas fit for a king!
1. Combine two or three eggs in a bowl along with a tablespoon of milk. Beat them gently with a fork, but be sure not to overbeat to a froth.
2.Use a pan that is 6 inches in diameter. Any larger and the eggs will spread too far and become thin and dry. Any smaller and they will be too thick to fold.
3.Let the pan heat up for a minute or two before adding either butter or vegetable oil. Tilt the pan to ensure the sides are coated as well as the bottom.
4. Once the butter has melted, add the egg mixture to the center of the pan. Tilt the pan so the eggs are spread evenly throughout, and raise the heat just a touch.
5.As the eggs begin to set, gently raise the edges with a spatula to allow the uncooked eggs to run underneath. Rotate the pan as you do this to ensure all the sides have been lifted.
6.When the bottom appears golden brown and the top is still a touch soft, gently make the fold so that the eggs only occupy half of the pan.
7.Gently loosen the omelette from the pan and serve with toast and a side of fresh fruit.
It’s All In The Details
When to add the good stuff:
Ham: Add to the cooked eggs just before you make the fold.
Cheese: Add to the bowl before you cook.
Herbs: Add to the bowl before you beat the eggs.
Mushrooms, celery, onions:Sauté in butter, and add just before folding.
Prawns: Add to cooking eggs a minute or two before folding.
You’ve been to her tea parties, sat through countless Disney movies, taught her how to ride a bike and probably even played dolls with her when no one was around. There’s nothing you wouldn’t do for daddy’s little girl, right? So don’t let her down when she comes to you asking for some help with her hair. Little girls with long hair love to wear a braid. A few flicks of the wrist and she’ll don a plait any princess would envy.
1. Use a brush to gather her hair at the base of her neck and secure with a hair elastic. Note: Don’t try to use a real rubber band, as it will pull her hair out when she tries to remove it later.
2. Divide the ponytail into three equal sections.
3. Hold the left section in your left hand, the right section in the palm of your right hand and the middle section between two fingers of your right hand.
4. Now, work a weave pattern. Cross the left section over the middle section followed by the right section over the new middle section. Repeat the process until you’ve reached the bottom of her ponytail. Note: It is important to pull the sections tightly enough as you are braiding so that the braid stays together.
5. Once you’ve reached the bottom, secure with another hair elastic and send her on her way.
In today’s economy, many people are thankful just to have a job. Yet, with rising living costs, just making ends meet doesn’t always cut the mustard. Asking your boss for a raise is never a comfortable thing to do, especially if the company isn’t prospering like it used to. But, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to earn a few extra dollars, especially if you’re worth it. Follow these dos and don’ts before you approach your boss. If all goes well, you’ll be climbing up the pay scale in no time.
Do: Research what your current job’s average salary is. Websites like payscale.com create databases of job salaries and can give you a realistic idea of what your occupation is worth. Know this information so you can ask for a reasonable amount.
Don’t: Request a raise that is unrealistic or elaborate. Your boss won’t take you seriously if you demand a number that seems to come from left field. And don’t ask for multiple perks at the same time, such as better benefits and more vacation time. This will seem too demanding and won’t get you very far.
Do: Be prepared to list the number of contributions you have made to the company. You’ll want to show that you are helping the company prosper. If necessary, bring an actual list of sales you’ve made or clients you’ve brought in. Remind your boss why you are valuable.
Don’t: Be too confrontational or too submissive. You don’t want to come in with an attitude that will start you off on the wrong foot before the conversation even begins. At the same time, you need to be confident that you are worthy of what you are asking for. Remember, this should be a conversation between two adult people, so speak like a mature adult.
Do: Be prepared to negotiate. If the company truly can’t afford to pay you more, bring up the idea of more vacation time or a health insurance plan. At the very least, ask if you can have this conversation again in a few months.
Don’t:Threaten to quit. Your boss just may let you!
Imagine this: You’re having a few friends over for dinner. While the hors d’ oeuvres and dessert both look restaurant quality, your vision of a seared-to-perfection fillet for the main course turns into a sticky situation when the fillets not only refuse to be flipped in the pan but quickly proceed to fall apart with no hint of a golden brown finish in sight. Follow these steps to learn how to sear a fish fillet to perfection every time.
1.Choose the right fish. Good choices for searing are salmon, tuna, tilapia and halibut because of their textures and thicknesses.
2.Season your fish, and allow it to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before cooking. This will bring the temperature of the fillet down and allow the heat of the pan to recover more quickly once the fish is added. Note: Browning doesn’t start until the temperature of the pan reaches 320˚F.
3.Pre-heat the skillet over medium-high heat. A cast iron pan with a thick bottom works best. Coat the bottom with oil, and allow to heat. When the oil begins to smoke, it is ready for the fillet.
4.Slide the fillet onto the pan, and leave it alone! Don’t be tempted to turn it too quickly. It will stick to the pan until a golden crust has formed. This normally takes about three minutes.
5.Once a crust has formed, test it with a spatula. If it releases from the pan, it is ready to be flipped. If it still sticks, give it another 30 seconds.
6.After flipping the fillet, monitor the cooking process. Again, leave it alone, and allow it to cook until it appears to be just about finished. Note: You can tell when the fish is cooked, as it will change color.
7.Don’t wait for the fish to become flaky before removing it from the pan. The fillet will continue to cook once it is transferred to the plate, so it’s ok to remove it from the heat before it’s completely finished.
8.Serve and enjoy! If you are going to serve fish with a sauce, add the sauce to the plate before the fish for a better presentation. You want to show off the golden brown sear, not cover it with sauce.