Archive for the skills Category

167. Make Something Out Of Wood

Posted in skills on January 6, 2014 by Allen

MC3_3497Making things with your hands is awesome.  Making things with your hands, with the help of dangerous power tools, is downright badass.

In contrast to building stuff out of metal or plastic, creating with wood gives off the impression of eco-friendliness.  It makes you feel closer to your pioneer ancestors, and no other material smells quite so great.

Your project already exists inside that log over there.  All you have to do is chip away at the wood to reveal it. free-small-woodworking-project-plans

166. Deep Fry a Turkey

Posted in skills, soirees on November 20, 2012 by Allen

The three pillars of cool are: Doing things effectively, doing things quickly, and doing things awesomely.  If you deep fry your turkey this year, you will touch upon these three pillars in dazzling fashion.

The deep frier has taken a lot of flak in recent years now that being unhealthy is no longer fashionable.  When you apply this technology to your turkey dinner, however, you not only create an eye-catching spectacle that the whole family can enjoy, but you also cut 6 hours off your cooking time, freeing you up to spend more time drinking beer and watching football.

165. Get your Camera Out In Time

Posted in skills on August 25, 2012 by Allen

Timing is the essence of cool and a great photograph is the essence of timing.  Nothing highlights your coolness quite like a perfectly timed photo.  Smartphones have made this easier but it still requires skill, patience, and a good old-fashioned knack for knowing when something awesome’s about to happen.

And do it gracefully.  There’s nothing worse than seeing someone madly fumble around with their SLR, nearly choke themselves with the strap, and then awkwardly fire off a shot with the lens cap on.  If you want to take quick shots like a boss you’ve got to know exactly how your spirit stealer works.  Familiarizer yourself with the interface, know precisely which pocket it’s in, do a couple of practice reps.  You want to be able to draw and shoot your camera with the cold-hearted efficiency of a gunslinger.

159. Spend All your Foreign Cash before Returning Home

Posted in skills on November 2, 2011 by Allen

Foreign money looks pretty but it’s pretty useless when it just sits around in your desk drawer back home.

It’s called the Cash Game and everyone plays it on the last day of their trip.  The object of the game, quite simply, is to spend every last baht before getting on the plane.  There are two ways to lose:  #1. Under-budgeting, forcing you to make one last stupid trip to the stupid ATM on the Khao San Road so you can afford the stupid cab fare to the airport and #2. Over-budgeting and shamefully having to visit the currency exchange kiosk and getting jammed on the rate.  Don’t let this happen to you.  Spend wisely.

* Remember to save enough coins in your money belt for at least ten minutes in one of those airport massage chairs.  You’ll be glad you did.

155. Succeed on Your First Try

Posted in skills, sweet videos on August 31, 2011 by Allen

You can do this in a myriad of ways, from landing your first job interview, to throwing a knockout punch, to acing a cross court serve.   Like everything in life, it’s not so much what you do as how you do it.  In the case of cool people, they do it in their first go!

Look, what it really comes down to is time management.  The fewer interviews you have to go to, the fewer shots you have to take, the fewer strokes you have to execute, the more time you’ll have to do cool things.  True, always succeeding on your first try can get a little annoying for your friends but nobody ever said that being cool didn’t come at a price.

Practice makes perfect, but wouldn’t it be better to just skip all that boring practice stuff and jump straight to the perfect?

I wrote this post partially as an excuse to upload this super rad disc golf video that my little brothers showed me.

147. Discover a Way to Effectively Clap with One Hand

Posted in skills on May 11, 2011 by Allen

Question:  How many times have you been at an awards ceremony / graduation / sports event / birthday party / concert when something awesome happens whilst you have a drink in your hands?

Answer:  Every single time!!!

An effective one-handed clap is a skill that exists at the very frontier of cool science. Many have attempted but very few people have mastered it, and it is fraught with danger.  It is a delicate balance of form and function.  You need to be able to create enough sound with only one hand while at the same time not look like you’re having a seizure.

And it’s different for everyone.  Some people can generate enough noise by simply slapping their thigh.  Others have found “good echo” from the crevasse on the side of their buttock, while still others shuck slapping altogether and resort to the two-finger-whistle (this is cheating and super annoying for those around you).

Whichever way is most effective to you…. find it!!!  The one-hand clap is a voodoo art and if you can discover it’s secrets, you’re a step closer to cool.

146. Travel Calmly

Posted in skills on May 5, 2011 by Allen

If you go traveling, this will happen to you:  You will miss your bus, lose your passport, be late for your plane, get ripped off at a night market, eat something dodgy and throw up at least once.

You may also:  Get lost in the jungle, be pick-pocketed, get bitten by a monkey, or nearly die in a para-sailing accident because over there the safety cable is “optional”.

If this bothers you , your trip will just be a hassle.  If you travel calmly, however, these events will become your best stories and they will fill you full of anecdotes and tales to recount for years to come.

P.S.: On my last trip  I was tricked into eating dog, had to leap off a dock onto a departing ferry boat, and lost my shoes and had to go barefoot in Cambodia for a day and a half.  These three stories are on pretty high rotation right now.

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