Yesterday I had the wonderful experience of driving a manual Fiat up and down a single-lane highway through the mountains of California with a special lady I was trying to impress. Luckily I only stalled the car at two points, but I think stalled it about 8 times at both of those points and that is not an exaggeration. It was fairly emasculating for me, but she seemed to enjoy my shame...
It's an interesting contrast. Vodka is among the most simple and pure of spirits, distilled many times to show off the basic essence of its grain (or potatoes) and water source. But perhaps there's no other bottle that carries with it such a variety of contexts in which its imbibed. Because of its straight-forward, back-to-basics presentation, you can drink vodka like, say, a college student who wants to mask the taste. Or a James Bond-inspired martini drinker who hasn't learned about gin yet. Or for its, um, less-hangover-y nature and overall lower impact to your systems the next morning. And countless other ways.
Or, you could drink vodka like those people who invented it - those from Northeastern Europe, where long, cold winters mean grapes won't really grow, and the best source of sugar to ferment and distill are hardy cereal grains.
I've recently become fascinated by the artistry that goes into objects that I interact with on a daily basis but normally consider too quotidian to think about. And manhole covers definitely fall into that category. They're an essential part of any city's infrastructure and their design and manufacture isn't something that should be overlooked. And now, thanks to this National Geographic short, you can pull back the curtain and see how the majority of manhole covers in the US are made... in India.
Enjoying a glass of something strong is a good way to end the night every now and then. But do you know how to actually get the best out of the experience? Here's a quick and dirty take on how to get the most fun, flavor, and enjoyment.
Why anyone would pay for a bottle of vinegar and oil-based salad dressing is beyond me. Homemade vinaigrettes should be a staple in every kitchen, and they're super easy to make. It's simply a matter of memorizing one easy recipe, then adding and adjusting seasoning to fit any meal.
So, the anatomy of a vinaigrette... and some other nerdy facts that will leave you feeling like a true gourmand.
Last Wednesday I committed the absentminded sin of locking myself out of my apartment with the only spare key also locked inside. It was late at night and the realization of the struggle that was about to be rest of my evening was bordering on overwhelming. Luckily I’d left the bathroom window slightly ajar and after some clever thinking and a little jimmying, my buddy and I were able to take off the screen and slip through.
I once ran into a dude at the leathercraft supply shop, who was talking to his friend about all his big ideas, and telling his buddy what to get. He threw a wood handled stitching awl into the basket, and stated, "Oh, yeah, man. You definitely need this. It's like a handheld sewing machine." Not quite, overzealous and under-qualified craftsplainer.
I'm always looking to improve my skill sets, but I'll be the first to admit that welding has always seemed like a daunting task to start. The pieces of info that I'd picked up over the years is mostly that it's expensive, dangerous, and has a steep learning curve. From what I understand, some of that is still true, but for a ManMade reader and someone who has a level of proficiency picking up new skills, it isn't as hard as it may seem.
Perhaps you want to make your sweetheart a little something special. Perhaps you've got an idea that you want to share with the world in paper form. Perhaps you simply haven't found the right notebook size and style.
Then you, my friend, should learn how to bind your own book!
The butterfly spline is a prominent way to shore up a damaged piece of wood in a way that shows off the joint instead of hiding it. Take a look.
Leather possesses so much creative potential, particularly for everyday use and carry items that work well with a long-lasting and rugged masculine aesthetic.
And? It's not hard to get started, but does require a few specialty tools; those that sorta bridge the gap between garage toolbox and traditional sewing kit.
UPDATE: ManMade has released an original series on the basics of leather crafting. Check out all the posts right here.
If there was ever a truly American food tradition, my vote goes to barbecue. This unique culinary tradition is quite a hot button issue in the "barbecue belt," which extends from the Carolinas through Tennessee and Georgia then into Missouri/Kansas and Texas.
On ManMade, we love to offer simple tips to look your best on a budget: basic advice to spend money wisely, wear things well, and invest in quality pieces that will never go out of style.
And then there are those other kinds of lists: the ones that detail the
Ah...whiskey. It's mostly just grains, mashed up and fermented, then distilled and aged a bit.
But, when you think of all the different grains - barley, rye, malted barley, malted rye, wheat, corn - plus all these distinct flavors that occur during the fermenting proces and, particularly, the aging process, which results in the various kinds of whiskey - like bourbon, Canadian whiskey, single malt Scotch, blended Scotch, Tennessee whiskey, Irish whiskey, Japanese whiskey...it's a lot to get your mind around.
There are all kinds of men's fashion articles out there - such as which sportcoat or blazer to own if you're only gonna buy one, the most versatile shirts to own, and ten classic pairs of boots for any season. But, those are all based about specific items of clothing, or shopping advice on how to look sharp. Which are great, but what about some more basic knowledge about how to avoid looking goofy, or how to wear what you already own to its fullest?
I didn't really learn a lot about "domesticity" as a kid. We didn't have shop or home ec in my high school, and my family weren't huge cooks or builders or sewers. All my interest in those sort of things came later, when I decided I wanted to learn.
But the one thing I got from my family? How to get stuff clean, and in particular, how to do laundry. I remember my first year of college, studying in the residence hall laundry room, and getting asked over and over by my dormmates, "What am I supposed to do now?"
The true DIY and craftsters don't just use all the cool toys and materials - they want to know how they work.
So, bone up on your sewing machine saavy - sure, everyone knows that there are two sources of thread, but peep the above animation to see exactly how the two become tangled.