Monthly Archives: May 2012

Father’s Day : Presents to make BOTH of you happy

I Love DadWith Father’s day just a scant few weeks away I thought I would take a moment to help the ladies.

You know how things go…you have a nice house and try to keep on top of things.  But the gutters need cleaning, and the bookshelf that your husband was really interested in making (instead of buying) is still missing two years later.

You’ve tried hinting, making a start on the project in the hopes he will follow suit, and even the occasional late night pillow lecture, but with no luck.  What can you do?

Simple…It’s all about the tools.

Men are seemingly pre-programmed to want to use tools.  It’s in their blood.  Give a man a sharp stick and he’s going to find something to poke with it (there’s a joke in there somewhere, but I’m not touching it) and so it is with quality tools.

Sirens CallTry it.  Fire up a chain-saw in the back yard and watch in amazement as men are drawn to the sound from miles around.  Like a siren call they just can’t ignore it.

You can use this knowledge to your advantage, and Father’s day is the perfect time to appear loving and move those projects along at the same time.  Here are a few suggestions:

  • Need those gutters cleaned?  A pressure-washer with a big red ribbon on it is all you need.  He’ll be just looking for an excuse to show how powerful that sucker is.  All you need to do is periodically Oooh and Aaahh at the impressive results, and maybe just wonder if it could do a nice job on the dirty patio too.
  • Need that book shelf finished?  A nice router or table saw will make light work of whatever piece he’s been stuck on for a while.
  • Do you have a loving geek?  Ask him to set up an on-line to-do list.  He will happily spend hours taking care of tasks on there just so that they can tick the box and have it send you an email of completion…at least for a while.

But before you rush out there are some basic rules about buying tools that you will want to follow:

  1. Buy tools that HE wants.  You’re going to have to think carefully here.  If he really wants a table-saw and you buy him a cordless drill then you could be sending the wrong message.  Some simple probing, or even outright calling his friends (yes…guys actually don’t mind people asking what they want) will save a lot of angst later.
  2. Don’t buy cheap tools.  If he doesn’t think it’s cool, and can’t show off to his friends, then he’s unlikely to use it.  Better to find out what he thinks is cool, or even let him buy it himself, even if it costs a bit more. Remember, if you “let” them buy an expensive tool then you can always get a few more chores done later by pointing out that they spent all that money and now don’t use it.
  3. Know his limits.  If your husband has no idea about engines then you might not want to buy him a 2-cycle machine that requires careful pre-mixing of liquids flammable.  There are usually electric / rechargeable options available these days that don’t need an engineering degree to use.  If he’s a gear head – get him the most powerful machine you can!

Pick the right power tool this year and you can show you love him enough to understand his real wants and get those honey-do tasks done all at the same time.  And what could be better than that this Father’s day?

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Filed under Life - or something like it, The Human Condition

The happy secret to better work – So good I had to share

People that know me know that I love to listen / watch TED talks.  They are always interesting, inspirational and eye-opening.  But today’s voyage into TED was simply so good I had to share .

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Filed under Education, Life - or something like it, The Human Condition

Impressed? I don’t think so.

Last weekend I had a very enjoyable date night ending with a late night trip to Starbucks for a post dinner cappuccino.

The car park near Starbucks is often frequented by a motley crew of giggling teenage girls attended by a group of lads trying impress with their machinery.  You know the sort of thing – hatchbacks with outrageously large end cans and Ford F-150 trucks sporting huge chrome pipes rising vertically from behind the cab.

Tonight was no exception and we had to navigate past this pool of hormones to make our way home.  Since I have pretty decent car I was treated to the assembled crowd shouting “BURN OUT!” at the top of their lungs and, since I was in a good mood and feeling mischievous, I thought “Ahh…Why not?”  I was, after all, renowned for my ability to rear wheel steer my car with ease at the many car control events I had attended. This was going to be a piece of cake…

Making a right turn onto the main exit road I gunned the engine handily and popped the clutch, fully expecting the familiar feeling of a rear end coming around under an impressive show of power that would  put these whipper snappers to shame.

Instead of the expected squeal and smoky burnout what actually happened was that the car grabbed maximum traction and, without any wheel-spin at all, shot forward like a scalded cat!  

Inside the car was no better as Joanne’s cappuccino gave a display to rival Old Faithful  as coffee shot out of the sippy-cup hole, impressively coating my crotch, seats, windscreen, wife and just about anything else within a 3 foot radius with its hot, sticky contents.

Of course I did what any red-blooded male would do in that situation – I kept going, looking straight ahead and trying to pretend that was what I wanted to happen all along.

Alas…I had forgotten the golden rule…if you are going to try a burn out remember to turn the traction control off first!

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Filed under Automobiles and motorcycles, Life - or something like it, The Human Condition