Tag Archives: Guide

Arm Yourselves With Home-Made Mini Crossbows

So this is what it feels like to rule the world through massively overwhelming force.

Or just the battlefield that is my home.

Yes, dudes, when you can weaponize hair clips, you know you’re on This screen grab is from the video posted by TheKingOfRandom.com and showing you how to create a mini crossbow from hair clips, popsicle sticks, hot glue and twine.the top of the family heap. Luckily for you out there in reader land, I’m feeling in a benevolent mood and I’m going to show you how I learned a method of creating a mini crossbow that can fire wooden matches, either lit or unlit, a distance of several yards.

This, dudes, is how you protect your cube.

Or just annoy the little dudes until they get angry enough to actually build one of their own and start firing back.

Whichever.

A big tip of the hat to my writing pal, The Dragon, for sending me the link that showed me how to create the massive crossbow gap that currently exists in the not-so-friendly-anymore confines of Casa de Dude.

Here’s the clip.

Pretty neat, no?

Pretty neat, yes indeedey oh!

If you’re like me and do better with written instructions, you can go here to download a .pdf listing all the gear you’ll need and the steps necessary to weaponize hair-care products.

I’d love to see whatever you dudes come up with after watching the video and checking out the instructions. Mine didn’t look quite as good as the ones here, but not bad and, even better, it worked.

Thanks to the mini crossbow, I now possess an almost insurmountable advantage in desktop weaponry. I shall rule with my iron fist, velvet glove optional.

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Where In The World. . .

Learning geography doesn’t have to be boring.

Although, honestly, dudes, just typing that sentence above has me yawning. Stuffing your head full of facts and figures and geospatial relationships can put anything to sleep, no matter the caffeine dose or the biochemical load of stimulants.

Or so I’ve heard.

From other people.

Moving on.

Despite the boredom inherent in the academic learning of geography, the global citizens of today (that’s you folks and your young dudettes and young dudes) need to know more than the nearest neighborhood. It helps to understand that when news talking heads are discussing Ukraine and Russia fighting, we know where they are in relation to each other.

The best way I’ve found to instill a if not love of, then tolerance for geography, is maps.

My dad and his wife travel. A lot. What I like to do is find where they’re going to be and then do a little research. My young dudes used to talk with their grandfather before he set off, he’d tell them where he was going and then they’d hit the maps with me to find the country.

We would look at that country’s information and physical layout to think about what he might want to do while he’s there, or what other countries he might want to visit.

The young dudes actually loved doing that and still, to this day, remember some interesting facts about various countries that had played host to their grandfather, yet still exist today.

You don’t have to have a globetrotting relative to play this game, though. While watching some of the World Cup matches, I realized we could be doing the same sort of game, only with countries participating in the tournament.brasila_1000

The good folks at Wired Magazine had the same idea. They went out and secured satellite pictures of every country participating.

That’s Brazil, by the way. It’s a nice little travelogue flipping through the various satellite images. Get your little dudes with you when you sit down to look and see what questions you can answer.

Who knows? You might even learn a thing or three.

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Man, A Tee Sure Would Be Nice Or See Cows

There’s something to be said for ugly.

Mostly that something sounds like, “Eeeeewwwwwww!”

manatees_mother_calf_brandon_coleHowever, there also is something that goes along the lines of so ugly it’s cute. For exhibit 1 in this category, may I present the West Indian Manatee, a resident of many places, including Florida.

Yes, these are the manatees. They are slow moving, ugly and yet graceful in a ponderous roly-poly sense.

Because of their lassitude when it comes to motion (they sometimes will float in the same place for hours, barely moving) and their camouflage that allows them to fade into the water, many manatees are covered in scars all up and down their backs.

These scars come from boat propellers. Captains who aren’t looking out for manatees or who speed through manatee slow zones can zoom right over one of the peaceful sea cows, doing little damage to the boat, but severely hurting the peaceful creature.

Because they are a threatened species, manatee sightings are a rare and precious thing along the Intercoastal Waterway south of St. Augustine, FL, where my family vacations.

Bela Mar manateeWhich makes our latest two sightings all the more exciting.

I saw and photographed a manatee and her calf floating peacefully amongst the shore reeds at a local marina. Then, the next day, my dad caught a snap of this sea cow.

Apparently it has taken up residence beneath a boat dock near where my dad lives and has been seen swimming around in the river shallows several days running.

What a wonderful animal to have nearby.

One of the most-retold stories concerning the Intercoastal Waterway in our family is the time I and my brother-in-law The Teaching Dutchman took my young dudes, Sarcasmo and Zippy the Travelin’ Boy, fishing on the river in a small john boat.

We didn’t catch anything other than a small oyster (long story full of ineptitude), but we did have an amazing manatee sighting. As we were sitting in the boat, a large manatee surfaced less than ten feet away from us. We stopped all activity and watched as the manatee floated there and watched us.

The four of us must have been especially boring because it soon blinked and then drifted below the surface. Only to continue swimming closer, going directly under the boat, its backside bumping into the bottom of the hull, and then surfacing on the other side of the boat. It turned around for one last look and I swear it was smirking at us before it dropped below the surface again and swam away.

Getting an up-close look at the manatee, I came to a rather quick conclusion. If these things really were the basis for mermaid sighting, then either the old-time sailors were appallingly nearsighted or pleasantly size-diverse in their physical appreciation spectrum.

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