Popular mechanics: 25 skills a person should have


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Wheeler44
September 12, 2007, 07:41 PM
In the October issue of PM skill # 19 ; Clean a bolt action rifle.
They then give a pretty good description of to do it.
:D+1 for PM magazine

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Nolo
September 12, 2007, 07:58 PM
Did they also include shooting a bolt-action rifle? That seems pretty important, too.

pdowg881
September 12, 2007, 07:59 PM
What's the whole list look like?

Rumble
September 12, 2007, 08:02 PM
Whole list appears to be here: http://www.popularmechanics.com/blogs/home_journal_news/4221635.html

I've got most of 'em. Some glaring errors (which I won't admit to, but will immediately seek to rectify :o), but most of 'em.

DMK
September 12, 2007, 08:04 PM
PM is very gun friendly. They often have gun related articles and run gun ads.

Once in a while they'll get a letter from someone complaining and throwing the oh so mature "I'll cancel my subscription" temper tantrum. The editor usually tells them to go suck rocks in a PC way.

Mannlicher
September 12, 2007, 08:11 PM
I passed with flying colors. I could easily suggest other tasks for the list, such as cleaning and butchering animals, growing a garden, tearing down and rebuilding an engine, gas or diesel, or splinting a fractured limb.

Pigspitter
September 12, 2007, 08:15 PM
Darn, I still don't know how to work a tourque wrench

Nolo
September 12, 2007, 08:20 PM
I don't know how to do all the car-related stuff, but that's because I don't drive yet (I'm 16, a little late in coming). Everything else I know.

Husker1911
September 12, 2007, 08:24 PM
Sighting in a scoped rifle would be high on my list. Of course, clearing ANY firearm, to ensure it's unloaded/safe should be known to most any citizen.

bulgron
September 12, 2007, 08:28 PM
I can't say I'm an expert at all that stuff, but I've done most of it at least once, or learned how even if it was a long time ago. The only thing I'd be completely hopeless at is #22, bleeding brakes. But give me a few minutes with the right manuals, and I'd feel confident doing that too. :D

MikePGS
September 12, 2007, 08:31 PM
I saw the magazine at the store today and almost picked it up. The list reminds me of Col. Cooper's list of things every man should know. Its pretty long, so i won't copy and paste it here, but if your interested in reading it click this link and scroll to the bottom http://dvc.org.uk/jeff/jeff13_10.html .

Outlaws
September 12, 2007, 08:39 PM
Darn, I still don't know how to work a tourque wrench

It works like a socket wrench...except you set it for a certain torque value first (say 50 foot pounds) and then when you start torquing the nut, bolt, or screw, you stop when it tells you...some use a felt and heard click. Some use a visible gauge so instead of setting the value first so you just torque until the needle reaches it on a dial. Always reset the value to its lowest value when done.

Most people don't bother to use them on lug nuts, but they work wonders in keeping your rotors from warping when all the lugs nuts are torqued evenly.

ChopperKen
September 12, 2007, 08:46 PM
Passed all but one, Can't back up my puter...Trailers no problem,but not the computer...

CountGlockula
September 12, 2007, 08:49 PM
The List: How to...

1. Patch a radiator hose
2. Protect your computer
3. Rescue a boater who as capsized
4. Frame a wall
5. Retouch digital photos
6. Back up a trailer
7. Build a campfire
8. Fix a dead outlet
9. Navigate with a map and compass
10. Use a torque wrench
11. Sharpen a knife
12. Perform CPR
13. Fillet a fish
14. Maneuver a car out of a skid
15. Get a car unstuck
16. Back up data
17. Paint a room
18. Mix concrete
19. Clean a bolt-action rifle
20. Change oil and filter
21. Hook up an HDTV
22. Bleed brakes
23. Paddle a canoe
24. Fix a bike flat
25. Extend your wireless network

JohnBT
September 12, 2007, 08:51 PM
"5. Retouch digital photos"

I think it should read "Recognize a retouched digital photo."

Zoogster
September 12, 2007, 08:55 PM
Because a semiauto would be too evil! Just kidding, glad they included firearm usage at all.

RNB65
September 12, 2007, 08:57 PM
Robert Heinlein beat 'em to it 35 years ago:

"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."

-- Robert Heinlein in Time Enough for Love.

:)

Omaney
September 12, 2007, 09:05 PM
I could do most and muddle through a few...that whole rescuing a capsized boater however...

TallPine
September 12, 2007, 09:12 PM
25. Extend your wireless network

Heck, I would just like to get mine to work :( Either that, or "extend" the #$%^&* thing right over a cliff.

I can do all the others except #5 and #21 (what the heck is an HDTV and why should I even care ???).

Well ... I never filleted a fish but I've gutted plenty of them. Though to me fish are mostly sled dog food :p What about shooting, field dressing, and butchering a deer? :rolleyes:

I could add about a hundred other things to their list, like falling a tree, or fixing a truck tire on a split rim ... etc ;)

Regolith
September 12, 2007, 09:45 PM
Lets see...



1. Patch a radiator hose
2. Protect your computer*
3. Rescue a boater who as capsized
4. Frame a wall*
5. Retouch digital photos*
6. Back up a trailer*
7. Build a campfire*
8. Fix a dead outlet
9. Navigate with a map and compass
10. Use a torque wrench
11. Sharpen a knife*
12. Perform CPR
13. Fillet a fish
14. Maneuver a car out of a skid*
15. Get a car unstuck*
16. Back up data*
17. Paint a room*
18. Mix concrete*
19. Clean a bolt-action rifle*
20. Change oil and filter*
21. Hook up an HDTV
22. Bleed brakes*
23. Paddle a canoe*
24. Fix a bike flat*
25. Extend your wireless network*

Legend:

Items in BOLD with a star next to it are things I have done and can do.

Items in BOLD without a star are items I haven't done but am reasonably sure I could do with a minimum of prior research.

Items not in bold with a star next to it are things I haven't done but am sure I could do with sufficient research on the internet and/or at the library.

Items not in bold and without a star are things I can't do and would require some training from a professional to become proficient at.

Warren
September 12, 2007, 09:50 PM
A night school that taught this and other stuff would do very well.

CNYCacher
September 12, 2007, 09:56 PM
Proud to say I got all 25. And I don't mean I thought about a few of em and decided "I can probably do that." No no. I have either done or had training in all those.

Heinlein's list is better though, and I don't have all of those down yet. Although I am reminded of my friend "Jeff", a lifelong white-collar boy of unsurpassed self-assurance, despite readily available evidence to the contrary. Case in point: I once handed him a post-hole digger and told him to dig a hole "right here" until the digger sunk up to a tape mark on the handles, which would make the hole about 42" deep. An hour and a half later, "Jeff" had a hole 2 feet wide and a foot deep, attempting to remove a soft-ball sized rock which was in the way of his hole-making progress. I smashed the rock to bits with one anger-fueled stroke of a heavy bar, and he continued his digging. He got to about 36" and went home.

I showed "Jeff" Heinleinn's list once, and he read it over and said "I can do all that stuff." Sure. He is a computer programmer by trade, so I'll give him that, but I have my doubts about the other 21 things.


PS. I haven't read Cooper's list yet. I am feeling pretty manly today and I would like to hold on to that.

Larry Ashcraft
September 12, 2007, 10:06 PM
Kind of off topic, but did anyone see this (http://www.popularmechanics.com/home_journal/workshop/4220505.html)?

That's THR's own Billll.

Thefabulousfink
September 12, 2007, 10:15 PM
I would think a better requirement than cleaning a rifle would be: "know how to safely check and clear a firearm."

Cleaning a rifle is nice to know, but it is not exactly essential for somebody who doesn't own a rifle; however, even those who dislike guns should know how to safely check to see if a gun is loaded and unload it. This knowledge would prevent many accidental injuries.

RioShooter
September 12, 2007, 10:22 PM
23/25

Cleaning a bolt-action rifle is the most recent skill I acquired. I've only been shooting for two years.

never_retreat
September 12, 2007, 10:24 PM
All 25 and a few of them this week. I must say a really detest mixing concrete.

Mental note to everyone needs to take a CPR / first aid class.

Lew
September 12, 2007, 10:25 PM
That's THR's own Billll.

Hey! I wonder if we're related. Similar last name but spelled differently.

Still not sure what Photoshop and HDTVs have to do with being a man.

Wire
September 12, 2007, 10:37 PM
CPR's a tough one - when it helps, there's nothing like it, but it almost never helps.

Eyesac
September 12, 2007, 10:38 PM
Still not sure what Photoshop and HDTVs have to do with being a man yeah, me either...:confused: Good list none the less....

Cannonball888
September 12, 2007, 10:39 PM
I read that article. But can someone explain why it says you should never stroke the cleaning rod back and forth but rather in only one direction?

Mr White
September 12, 2007, 10:56 PM
5 and 6 are my only 2 iffy ones.
I've never used Photoshop but I'm pretty good with Paint. :)
It takes me about 3 or 4 tries to get my boat into the water, but I can eventually do it.

strat81
September 12, 2007, 11:09 PM
Wow, you guys are really hung up about the HDTV thing. Maybe they should rephrase it: "Change the vacuum tubes in your radio." Better now?

And it's not mechanical or electronic, but I think everyone should know how to balance their checkbook (or know how to use software that does it). Oh yeah, and a man should know how to grill a steak or at least a hamburger. No point in building a house after performing CPR on the guy in the truck you just rebuilt only to starve to death.

Neo-Luddite
September 12, 2007, 11:47 PM
I know, it's a great (OK, good) list of practical old and new skills. I'd add this one and nix the HDTV:

Understand and respect the full gravity and meaning of both giving and keeping his word.

zoom6zoom
September 12, 2007, 11:54 PM
OK, so I just filleted a capsized boater. What's next?

MechAg94
September 13, 2007, 12:42 AM
Learning how not to let the bolt action rifle go off while cleaning it would be useful.

Just about everyone working in chemical plants get some CPR training at one time or another. I wouldn't mind some additional first aide training though.

I don't hunt and haven't fished in years. Butchering animals or cleaning fish is a good skill in my opinion.

Framing a wall is not something most would have any experience with. I have seen it done, but have never done it myself.

RoadkingLarry
September 13, 2007, 10:31 AM
All but #3 for me. I would add to that list cooking, basic sewing and laundry.

As for the good Colonel Cooper's list it would be a dauting undertaking for most folks.

Mrs. Hoppes
September 13, 2007, 07:50 PM
I can do 23/25.

I can not back up a trailer unless it is straight back.

I have only seen HDTV in the store.

Onmilo
September 14, 2007, 12:01 AM
What good is framing a wall if you can't add a roof?

If you know how to manuever a car out of a slid, why should you need to know how to get it unstuck?:p

MikePGS
September 14, 2007, 12:13 AM
I did o.k. on the Popular Mechanics list, and pretty decent on Col. Cooper's list, (I can't fly an airplane)which is this:

A young man should be computer literate, and moreover should know Hemingway from James Joyce. He should know how to drive a car well - such as is not covered in "Driver Ed." He should know how to fly a light airplane. He should know how to shoot well. He should know elementary geography, both worldwide and local. He should have a cursory knowledge of both zoology and botany. He should know the fundamentals of agriculture and corporate economy. He should be well qualified in armed combat, boxing, wrestling, judo, or the equivalent. He should know how to manage a motorcycle. He should be comfortable in at least one foreign language, and more if appropriate to his background. He should be familiar with remedial medicine.

Of course, the fact that Col. Cooper says that this should be known before leaving the house ups the ante a bit :D

Hkmp5sd
September 14, 2007, 02:34 AM
The Poplular Mechanic list seems pretty lame to me. Maybe that should be a requirement to get out of Junior High School.

Mrs. Hoppes
September 14, 2007, 09:59 AM
If you know how to manuever a car out of a slid, why should you need to know how to get it unstuck?

Because sometimes your husband will take the van into very muddy areas trying to pretend it's a 4WD off-road vehicle. :p

MaterDei
September 14, 2007, 10:32 AM
Because sometimes your husband will take the van into very muddy areas trying to pretend it's a 4WD off-road vehicle.

Dear, is that you? What are you doing on THR and who the heck is this Hoppes guy?

Mrs. Hoppes
September 14, 2007, 11:01 AM
:neener: ROFLOL

alucard0822
September 14, 2007, 11:04 AM
I am happily surprised the PM list is so easy to accomplish. I was an auto mechanic for 10 years before working for a consulting and leasing firm, and I am a cheap b#$@$d, that would rather learn how to do something myself than to pay for a pro to do it for me.

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