Real Men…

…and women should have available, and know how to use, either a micrometer or a good caliper that reads in thousandths of an inch and/or hundredths of a millimeter.  I don’t see how a person could get through life without one.  They’re cheap and they last a long time.  A set of hole gauges and snap gauges is good also, but the calipers are essential.


That’s in my book.


Jeff Cooper wrote about some other things;



Before the young man leaves home, there are certain things he should know and certain skills he should acquire, apart from any state-sponsored activity. Certainly the youngster should be taught to swim, strongly and safely, at distance. And young people of either sex should be taught to drive a motor vehicle, and if at all possible, how to fly a light airplane. I believe a youngster should be taught the rudiments of hand-to-hand combat, unarmed, together with basic survival skills. The list is long, but it is a parent’s duty to make sure that the child does not go forth into the world helpless in the face of its perils. Shooting, of course, is our business, and shooting should not be left up to the state.


Or something like that.  I recall he had learning to handle a motorcycle in there too.


My son took it upon himself to row a boat across Hood Canal a few weeks ago without telling anyone.  We saw him heading over, until he disappeared from sight.


I was miffed.  That is, until I remembered some of the crazy things I did at that age (16) like piloting a canoe (two canoes, four people) up one side of Priest Lake in Idaho, by moonlight, and then navigating up the channel to Upper Priest Lake by starlight (after moondown) then landing and setting up camp on a low cliff.  We figured flashlights were for sissies, back then.  Nowadays I carry one.  Must be getting soft.


But I digress.  Being able to measure the difference between .678″ and .710″ can be pretty important, and it’s not complicated.  This sort of thing comes up often while talking to customers.  Most of them have the tools and the skill, but a disappointing minority do not.

4 thoughts on “Real Men…

  1. What, no multimeter?

    I mean, a micrometer is good, but a combination of volt-meter, ammeter, and ohm-meter is also useful.

  2. Should have good tools — must be able to use what they are telling you. A man with a fine Starrett mike who can’t think is way worse off than the guy with a cheapie who can logic his way to the right answer. Tools are not so much without the skill set to apply ’em.

  3. Canoeing in the dark? I guess that’s kid of dangerous.

    Next time you’re up for something truly stupid, try rowing a 9ft aluminum boat from Salmon Beach, across the Tacoma Narrows, to the little beach park under the west side of the bridge and back.

    I told my parents about it later that week and was informed that the footings for the Narrows Bridge have been known to crush and swallow Bayliners if they get too close.

    Too stupid to be scared, I guess.

  4. Every youngster should know how to sharpen a knife, and have at least rudimentary knowledge of basic carpentry, by the time they’re old enough to drive. Preferably by the time they enter high school.

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