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Popular Mechanics (magazine for the cool AV nerds, I'm guessing) got together to decide just who is a MANLY Man. They came up with their list of 25 skills a Man is supposed to have. Killing a spider? Not there. Making fun of a guy's mother in a fresh clever way? Nope. Understanding a Cover 2? Nada. Not even getting your Redwings made the list. What did make the list...well, I hope Popular Mechanics is not right. Or I am not much of a man.

25 skills a man is supposed to have

1. Patch a radiator hose - The odds of me even finding a hose are maybe 10 to 1. The odds of successfully patching it.....Duck tape?

2. Protect your computer - I have spent much of the last two months proving how ill equipped I am to protect anything. After dozens of hours of scans and re-scans and the like, I finally got it down to several .dll Error Messages when we log on. Eventually it will surely kill the computer, but I'll live with it, for now.

3. Rescue a boater who has capsized - This has to be a trick question. How hard could it be to pull them out of the water? Is this an ocean? Do I have to realign the boat? I'm suspicious with how easy this sounds.

4. Frame a wall - "It wasn't me, Officer! The Wall did it!" Other than that I got nothing.

5. Retouch digital photos - Unless you mean "Look through a stack of pictures, then look through them again," I'm out. All my digital photo manipulation takes place in MS Paint, and it shows.

6. Back up a trailer - As I read this just now I was picturing a hot-shot Trailer cop, who refuses to call in for back-up. Actually, I maneuvered some pretty bulky equipment working for Delta, so there's a chance I could manage this.

7. Build a campfire - I'd like to think that with my giant brain I could figure this out. However, knowing me, I'd probably use my giant brain to figure out how to fly off the deserted island.

8. Fix a dead outlet - Well, you need a sign out front with a good LED. Oh, wait: that's fixing a dead outlet mall. Dude, sometimes I can't even figure out outlets that actually work.

9. Navigate with a map and compass - This I can do. Fold a map, maybe not, but I can read one, baby. What's a compass?

10. Use a torque wrench - I know what "torque" is, and I know what a wrench is (I think), so I bet I'd have a good shot at picking a torque wrench out of the toolbox. How hard could it be to use one? I'm gonna say yes, I could do her do it.

11. Sharpen a knife - Dude, I have the Miracle Blade III (the Perfection Series) knives. They NEVER need sharpening.

12. Perform CPR - The one area where I am a thousand times better than any of you, and have been for years. Why? Because long ago I realized that the CPR training they give is wrong. Finally they agree with me. The Red Cross has discontinued the breathing training, because of how useless it is. It's not that they don't have breath, it's that they aren't moving at all! The only thing that matters is the heart, and that means beating the crap out of them. Supposedly, if you're not breaking a rib, you're not doing it right, and while I've never actually beaten someone's chest with a fury, I'd like to think I would be up to the challenge.

13. Fillet a fish - With my Miracle Blade III (the Perfection Series) Boning and Fillet knife I have no doubt whatsoever that I could do this with ease. The question remains: would I ever willing touch a fish? No. How about fillet a pork chop?

14. Maneuver a car out of a skid - Is there a single skill with more disagreement on what's right? When I was learning to drive, they taught "Turn with the Skid." Then it was "Turn the steering wheel in the direction you want to go," which may be the same thing, but isn't really any less confusion. The real secret, of course, is to reduce your speed in the first place, so you don't get into skids, and if you are in one, stay off the brakes, and shift the transmission down to low, if there is time. There is not much on earth more momentarily frightening than fishtailing or hydroplaning, but I think panic + going too fast causes 98% of skids.

15. Get a car unstuck - I am criminally bad at this. No really. Literally. Read for yourself. If I had to do it now, I would try to get the car rocking to gain momentum, or else just call the tow truck.

16. Back up data - You'd think with the time I've lost everything I would be better at this, but sadly, no. I can burn a backup CD fairly well, but I never seem to have them.

17. Paint a room - I have only done this once; I sucked.

18. Mix concrete - I actually rule at this one. I worked for a Marble and Granite guy one summer, and learned how to mix lime, cement, and grout anything that moves.

19. Clean a bolt-action rifle - Pipe cleaner? No, really. I got nothing.

20. Change oil and filter - I can look up "Lube and Go" on Google Maps, but I don't think that's what they mean. I don't know, dude. Could I even fit under a car?

21. Hook up an HDTV - I'm not sure if I could do this or not, but I'd sure as hell love to find out.

22. Bleed brakes - Those two words next to each other look very strange to me. I know I'm going to sound silly asking this, but why would you want to make brakes bleed? Do they owe you money?

23. Paddle a canoe - Oh, I can give a paddlin', baby. Never been in a canoe, but I got my paddlin' down just fine.

24. Fix a bike flat - My dad explained this to me when I read him the list. It sounds like the most complicated thing on Earth. You wouldn't believe me if I repeated it.

25. Extend your wireless network - Extend it where? I can sort of set up a wireless router, although I need help creating a WPA password and all that jazz. But I'm assuming extending it means making it work for a larger area? How on Earth would I do that? Rabbit ears? Table leaf? Magnets? I give up.

There were few maybes in there, but I think I only came out around 20% I am so not a Popular Mechanics MANLY Man. How'd you do?

Dragon's 2008 Emmy Dresses

This year's Emmy Awards were a bit of a bore but the fashion almost made up for it. Almost.

Here are my picks for the Best of the Best.

10. Mariska Hargitay was stunning in her yellow Carolina_Herrera gown.

9. I'm not usually a fan of Nicollette Sheridan's fashion sense but she got it right this time in her royal blue Angel Sanchez gown.

8. Marcia Cross went old Hollywood with this gorgeous Elie Saab ankle length dress.

7. Julia Louis-Dreyfus was red HOT in this gorgeous Narcisco Rodriguez number.

6. Kyra Sedgwick always turns heads but she was especially stunning in this bejewelled L'Wren Scott cocktail dress.

5. Kate Walsh never looked better in this sexy and snug Zuhair Murad gown.

4. Heidi Klum wore several gowns on Sunday night but this Armani Prive metallic gown was my favourite by far.

3. America Ferrara was adorable in this vintage black strapless gown.

2. Brooke Sheilds a fashion queen? Who knew! I loved, LOVED, this Badgley Mischka gown.

1. Oliva Wilde stole the red carpet in my favourte gown of the night. This Reem Acra dress was perfection and Ms. Wilde wore it well.


2008 Fantasy Football Team Names

The NFL started last night, which means that Fantasy Football started too. I wrote about my pathetic team this year on my blog. But that doesn't stop me from being hopeful, as is the sports enjoyer's curse. And it certainly doesn't stop me from shamelessly using my league-mates to fashion this top ten list. [For the pictures, I typed their team names exactly into Google Images. Don't blame me if you don't like what came up.]


See 2007 List

#12 ROFLsberger - This was a dumb name LAST YEAR, which not only makes it boring, but old [I had to add "sexy" to the image search. I think we're all glad I did.]

#11 Raegan's Red Dogs - I know Raegan is the daughter of the Team Owner, so I cannot say anything too inflammatory, but he had a Raegan theme last year, so, meh.

#10 Chad Ocho Cinco's House of Pancakes - I got tired of "Ocho Cinco" about five minutes after I heard it. The team name does not inspire much more confidence.

#09 The Memester's Union - I have to give some points; it took me five minutes to figure out what the name even was! (The owner is wicked smaht, causing me to think "Memester" might be some astro-physics term. Finally it dawned on me that the word "memester" did not rhyme with "semester," but "Teamster," which means the title is actually clever, except: A) I was in the Teamster's Union once, and have unhappy memories, and B) I'M ALMOST SURE THE "MEME" HE SPEAKS OF IS THE KIND OF MEME THAT IS NOT A &((^*(((&*^%^ MEME AND ALWAYS CAUSES HYPERION TO LOSE HIS *&^)^&*^%!!!!!!!!!11

#08 The Clock Strikes 31:01 - This name honors a recently departed father, so I'm not going to hate, but a name's a name, and not knowing the story, it just doesn't do much for me. [btw, the picture already said "the hat was my idea;" I didn't write it in]

#07 King of All Wild Things - Another "honor thy child" name. What happened to the days of honoring filthy inside jokes, dead empires, and sluts? (Or, in the case of the Lady Jane Scarlett, all three?) This name would have been "fresh" in 2003. Now I just move on.

#06 Endcat - Another craze that is a bit past its prime, but it's hard not to love that guy. One word team names are always cool, too.

#05 Byzantine Red Apples - Finally, some history! Byzantine is a great word, if for no other reason than you can use it in almost any context (as an adjective), and the odds are great the other person will have no idea you're making up the usage. I'm not wild about "Red Apple" though. Lot of red in this year's names. [I had to add "sexy" to the Byzantine Red Apples" image search, but it's still pretty impressive.]

#4 Okinawa Red Storm - Speaking of which, we get to the second name honoring the departed father, but this one speaks to me. (Maybe it's because I know the backstory.) I LOVED Red Storm Rising, one of the best war books ever written, and the Okinawa angle just makes it all the more exotic. Kudos.

#3 Dinosaurs, Gravity and Other Myths - This is fabulous, although one could wish he'd added "Infinity" and "Objective Woman" to the list. Now that I think about it, I'm sure the science-minded team owner was mocking people who don't believe in dinosaurs or gravity, but it remains fact that A) no one has ever seen a dinosaur and B) Gravity is a force, and just a description of one at that. No one really has the faintest clue what's actually going on. For all we know Gravity DOESN'T exist, and the observed phenomenon comes from something else entirely. Always worth remembering: The total accumulation of science is, historically speaking, just the latest list of "facts" and "knowledge" that has yet to be proven wrong. [Not sure how Dinosaur AND Gravity is being depicted in the photo, but I like it.]

#2 Division By Absolute Zero - I am wild about this name, although, it would have been EVEN MORE CLEVERERER to say "Division by Minus Two-Seventy-Three Kelvin." I joked with the team owner that this was the only Division he had a prayer of actually winning. (hee hee.) Moreover, I maintain you CAN divide by zero. We just haven't figured out how. [I guess Google Images thinks that Division by Absolute Zero will destroy the earth?]

and the number one Fantasy Football Team name is......

#1 Savage Tribe of Ice Whores - If you had to guess, which one do you think is mine? Okay, okay, I had last year's best team name, but I stoutly maintain that it has less to do with the judge's conflict of interest than in fact that I'm a Naming Machine. Face it: I am the Adam of our age. I like the word "Savage" a lot, and Tribe will (I think) become the word I am most known for five or ten years from now. (HYPERION'S LIFETIME FORESHADOWING!!!) As for Ice Whores, it was an old band name for some of the Monkeys, and I like it because it works on three (count 'em 3) levels. First, you have Hoar, which means icy to begin with, so, homonymmy goodness right there. Then, you have ANOTHER homonym, in eyesore, and Lord knows any team of mine is bound to be a snaggle-tooth bunch. (Just look at the woe-begotten trim I let into Monkey Barn.) Third, and, and most importantly: Ice Whores. I mean, C'mon! Is there a more tantalizing (or scary) proposition than that? And they're a savage tribe to boot? Of course it's number one. Could there be any debate? (no.) Even Jesus agrees.