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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Mad Skills



There's a lot of skills that are nice to have. Some skills used to be common and are fast disappearing. Other skills never were common and are worth knowing. I think it's great to learn new things, not just the important skills, but silly and frivolous tricks too.

How many new drivers can drive a stick shift? Good to know and could save you some grief. It doesn't take a zombie Apocalypse to be useful. I once got a ride to a bachelor party. My driver proceeded to get very drunk. I stayed sober. He was handed me the keys and it's a good thing I knew how to drive stick.

If you know how to drive stick, might as well learn how to start a car on compression. Over the years I've started quite a few cars with dead batteries using that trick.

Here's an old skill that's quickly dying: the ability to write good clear cursive that other people can read. Many schools no longer teach it. It's a skill that takes a lot of practice to get good at. I learned under the stern guidance of nuns wielding rulers. A lot of preppers like to learn old skills. Good handwriting should be one of them. I still take notes with pen and paper. It's low tech, but it works.

Why not learn a silly skill just for heck of it? I taught myself how to juggle. It amuses kids and keeps me entertained. (Okay, I'm just a big kid.) No real expensive equipment is needed. As a bonus, I developed much better hand/eye coordination.

When I was a kid my dad taught me how to throw knives. It rarely has real practical value, but it's fun and looks impressive.

There are a lot of good useful skills to develop, but why stop with the ones every prepper talks about? Learn some dying skills, and then learn some fun things. Nothing wrong with a little fun, and there might be benefits you've never imagined.

-Sixbears

27 comments:

  1. Here's some suggestions:

    Chainsaw ice sculpting
    Card flipping
    Piano playing

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=9jiKYtyDg5c#t=233s

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    1. All fun suggestions.

      At one time pianos were the center of households. Often now they can be picked up for the price of hauling them away.

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  2. And if you learn a dying skill, pass it on to as many people as you can!

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    1. Good advice Gorges. Then it won't be dying anymore.

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  3. Like you mentioned, the entertainment value alone is worth the effort! And it looks cool!

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    1. Nothing wrong with being able entertainment yourself and other people. Great stress reducers.

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  4. I think we went to the same school! Not nuns but they used rulers too, little square one about 3/8" square...that hurt when they hit you on the end of your fingers. I want to get to grip with calligraphy, not easy when you're left handed, even if you were tought to write under duress!

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    1. Our rulers had metal straight edges. I've friends in the SCA who are all about caligraphy. Very popular in that crowd.

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  5. Phyllis (N/W Jersey)March 31, 2013 at 5:38 AM

    Morse code, tying knots and origami are all fun to lean, too!

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    1. Morse code is pretty useful and you can build some pretty low tech transmitters and receivers to make use of it.

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  6. Good thoughts. I try to learn one new thing a year. Last year it was basket weaving. This year I'm going to try tatting. I know how to drive stick shift and can change a tire. Can cook on a wood stove or in a fire place. Lots of other things I can do but I don't want to take up more space. Oh, and our state does teach cursive.

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    1. People have no idea how important baskets really were back in the day. Really made life a lot easier for people.

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  7. witching (contrary to the Amazing Randy) and lock picking. I know, I'm a little odd. :-)

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  8. I used to have a lot of special skills but have lost most of them.

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    1. Naw . . . you've just figured out how to get other people to do them. :)

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  9. type setting
    homemade gunpowder
    splicing rope
    hangman's noose
    caulking wood boat seams
    using a slide ruler

    ahh, endless "old skills" to relearn..

    like a pit trap for texans

    Wildflower

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    1. a Slide rule is an amazing and powerful tool. My father in law used to work for IBM and would get solutions quicker than the wiz kids with computers.

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  10. I need to refresh my sewing. Thanks for the reminder!

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    1. You are welcome. My aren't we all having fun?

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  11. My father, since passed, was born in '26. He had me at the ripe age of 49 - I was born in 74 - and he foresaw the computer trend as early as the late 70's. He purchased me my first computer, an Atari 800xl, the original keyboard type that plugged into your TV (I typed my first program in "Basic") when they first came available. He also pressed me till I learned to type.

    I wonder what skills I should be identifying now as necessary for the upcoming decades?

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    1. It's something to think about. Don't forget to do some fun thiings too!

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  12. My picks: Bowyer, Fletcher, Cooper, Distiller, Blacksmith, Gunsmith. I could add primitive electronics to that also as I had good successes with making transistors and other components from scratch. Come TEOTWAWKI, I'll be broadcasting on the AM band with low parts count radio transmitters.

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  13. Awwww, you never taught me to throw knives! I do gotta practice my target shooting, though. And campfire cooking...

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