Tag: Tips

How to Tie a Knot for Most Situations – 12 Knots You Should Know


If you’re like me you know a few knots that get you through most situations. But then you have to haul home an antique Chippendale from the swap meet and you can’t figure out the best knot for tying your tie-down strap to another strap to keep the load secure in two directions.

Fortunately Gear Patrol has you covered with 12 Knots Every Man Should Master. Here are a dozen easy-to-follow videos that show you how to tie a particular knot plus what makes the knot so useful.

Knots covered are:

  • Boating Basics: Bowline Knot
  • Climbing Classic: Water Knot
  • Simple, But Effective: Girth Hitch
  • Great for Camping: Clove Hitch
  • Not Really a Knot: Basket Hitch
  • For Laces Not Lifelines: Square Knot
  • Simple and Strong: Half Hitch
  • Most Reliable: Double Fishermans
  • Another Climbing Stalwart: Flemish Bend
  • A Last Resort: Granny Knot
  • Great In A Pinch: Alpine Butterfly
  • Perfect for Rooftop Tie-Downs: Trucker’s Hitch

Previously on Wild Rye: Know Your Knot – a collection of important knots and how to tie them.

5 Ways to Get a Fresh Start in 2018

brooke-lark fruits via unsplash

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Yes here is yet another post in the “X ways to do X that are so simple that you must be a moron if you’re not doing them already” genre. Only these aren’t insights from your typical productivity gurus.

Five of my favorite ideas for starting fresh:

Opportunities multiply as they are seized. — Sun Tzu

[From Dr. Gabriel Robbins’ Good Quotations by Famous People – an awesome curated group of quotes]

I keep turning over new leaves, and spoiling them, as I used to spoil my copybooks; and I make so many beginnings there never will be an end. (Jo March)
— Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

[From Good Reads]

I know people who grow old and bitter. I want to keep making a fresh start. I don’t want them to defeat me. That would be suicidal. — Robert Wyatt

[From Brainy Quotes]

You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that we call Failure is not the falling down, but the staying down. — Mary Pickford

[From Quoteland]

…to emphasize the afterlife is to deny life. To concentrate on Heaven is to create hell. In their desperate longing to transcend the disorderliness, friction, and unpredictability that pesters life; in their desire for a fresh start in a tidy habitat, germ-free and secured by angels, religious multitudes are gambling the only life they may ever have on a dark horse in a race that has no finish line. — Tom Robbins

[From The Quotations Page]

How to Remove a Fishhook and Other Extraction Tips



Here’s some essential knowledge if you ever plan on fishing with me…via a tweet from Guy Kawasaki…Wired’s How-to Wiki explains how to remove a fishhook from a buddy.

But why stop there? Here are some other helpful extraction techniques you should know:

[Originally posted April 10, 2009]

Why You Should Never Set Priorities

Every time I open my “Big Box of Stuff” – my instant organiztion system that involves sweeping everything under the rug and declare all problems solved – my head starts spinning with the urgency and cataclysmic busy-ness of everything.

I’m fighting the urge to drag everything out and prioritize it.

But not so fast – the danger of setting priorities is that you set yourself up for endless twiddling.

Also, it turns out that juggling too many priorities takes a huge toll on overall success.

[Photo by Dakota Roos]

Anxious? Why “Stay Calm” Might Be the Worst Thing to Tell Yourself

Anxious woman bites nails

What’s your go-to move when you feel yourself on the verge of a freak-out? Telling yourself to take a deep breath and chill out might be exactly the wrong strategy. PysBlog reports on research by Alison Woods Brooks that suggests that hitting the emotional gas pedal might get you into the clear. Subjects who told themselves “I’m feeling excited” out-performed those who told themselves to “calm down” when faced with anxiety over public speaking.

I don’t know why this would work, I don’t have the $12 to download Brooks’ report. A barely educated guess is that anxiety bathes your neurosystem with cortisol, the “fight or flight” stress hormone that makes you cramp up and totally choke when you step up to a podium. And guess what hormone is also responsible for the rush that comes when you’re totally stoked, bungee jumping or riding down a steep hill on your fixie? Yep, it’s cortisol.

What differentiates cold-sweating fear and jubilation? Seems like the physiology might be the same – it’s how you interpret what’s happening that makes the difference.

[Photo via MaxwellGS]

How to Explore the Suburban Frontier: Start with a Calendar

Let’s say that you want to become a Suburban Frontiersman…like Yours Truly. Where would you start? Perhaps you think you might need some gear, a pair of sturdy boots, a handy knife, a trustworthy haversack. But you’d be wrong.

What you need is time.

The Suburban Frontiersman’s life is chopped up until it’s a pizza pie of work, appointments, soccer matches, church, chores and errands. If you want to have any hope of having an adventure in the coming year you’re going to need to put it on the schedule.

What works best for me is to have a rolling schedule with one weekend blocked off for work around the Homestead and the next scheduled for adventure. You can’t be too rigid about this: sometimes you have to flip weekends to attend Cousin Maggie’s wedding and sometimes a group hike will come up on a Homestead Weekend.

Your calendar, whether it’s on your phone, wall or a Google Calendar (which you can share with your family) will help you navigate the wilds of time commitments, golf dates and youngster’s birthday parties to ensure that you have a chance to whet your taste for adventure.

BONUS GEEK LINK – If your idea of frontier is on the world wild web, check out the HTML 5 Adventure Calendar.

Resident Evil: Introducing a New Dog to a Grumpy Older Dog

Yesterday I said Moose had a good temperament. Well, the fangs started flashing when I took him for a walk with our resident dog.

Lilli is a cocker spaniel and is used to having the run of the house. Moose is a monster, mixed breed but he looks for all the world like a Dutch Shepherd. After a cordial introduction the two have begun to scuffle. Lilli may be the instigator but now she is terrorized.

I want to make this work but there are a lot of complex dynamics going on.

Here’s what I’ve learned so far–

1. I need to be in position as pack leader. Outside Magazine

2. I can’t be the pack leader if I can’t create a safe, secure environment for each of the dogs. Dog Whisperer.

This is going to be a big change for me. I’m more comfortable acting as a consultant than as a pack leader.

I have a feeling the dogs are going to require a little more commitment.

Hope Without Soap

Savon de Marseille soap

Could you go for 130 days without soap…washing your body with just water? Richard Nikoley gave up soap and shampoo about six months ago and reports that the results are amazing. His skin and hair are soft and silky. His wife comments that he smells good!

Nikoley’s post begs some questions.

1. What is Soap Anyhow?

Soap is made from processed oils. Originally these oils were animal fat or certain plant oils. Nowadays some soap products are largely chemical based. Soap, Drugs and Rock-n-Roll, featuring Miracle Soap god Michael Bronner, explains the difference.

2. Is Soap Necessary?

For years the advertising industry played on the deepest fears of women, suggesting that the only solution was to douche with Lysol. I believe the recommended procedure these days is to go au natural.

Soap, of course, isn’t really necessary – neither are baths for that matter. It seems that soap is a matter of preference and any number of Spiffy Moms prefer no soap.

3. When Do You Need to Use Soap?

And that’s all I have to say about that.

Via Boing Boing

Swoop, Bang and Grope

I’m on the road again. The road to hell, good intentions to blog my NaNoWriMo novel-writing experiment are lying like dead soldiers on the roadway.

Early on I was going to post about Banging vs. Swooping. Kurt Vonnegut once said (and I swear I heard this on a public radio interview, though I can’t find the source) that some writers are “swoopers,” they simply open the tap and let the words flow across the page. Mark Twain was like this. Said his head was like the water tower at a train depot and he would write until he was empty.

Other writers, like Vonnegut, are “bangers.” They sweat and toil over every word.

Naturally NaNoWriMo, writing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days, lends itself to swooping. Turn off your internal editor and spit out 1,675 words daily and you’ll be just fine.

Now I’m a banger. But for this project I’ve manager to churn out 32,000 words by sheer force. Some of it pretty crappy, like the day when I forced my main character to paraphrase the Spark Notes for Ivanhoe.

At this point I’ve lost my way. I’ve got no clue about my character’s motivation and the whole manuscript has devolved into “he did this, and then he did this, and then he did this…” like a story told by a six year old.

So that’s how it is my friends. Nine days left. 18,000 words to go and I’m like the guy in Run Fatboy Run, bruised battered and spent. Groping for a reason to go on.

Bathtub Snake

When snaking a tub use the overflow plate

When snaking a tub use the overflow plate

Today’s frontier adventure involved snaking out the bathtub drain. First we tried using a Zip-It flexible strip. These plastic drain cleaners are a gross, yet effective way to de-gunk most drains. Problem is that a bathtub drain takes a left turn at Albuquerque, leaving you without much room to move the strip. Liquid Plumber failed us and so did the natural method to unclog a drain with vinegar and baking soda.

Fortunately Google knows all, and I learned that the key to unclogging a bathtub drain is to remove the overflow plate and stopper mechanism, and feed the snake down the overflow drain. I was able to quickly remove the offending clog this way and we’re back to normal drainage.