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Cranking Widgets Blog

By Brett Kelly

Semi-home made 'LACKured' media cabinet

Materials: Lack Shelving Unit, Power Drill, 2-1/2 in. Hole Saw, Key Hole Saw, 1/4" brushed nickel aluminum channel, BIN shellac based primer by Zinsser, satin white spray paint, translucent white plexi-glass, plastic oval grommet, Loctite super glue Description: I was inspired by an Ikea hack done by Matt in Portland.

Reader Mailbag: Communication

What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to five word summaries. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. Converting to Roth IRA 2. Going part time 3. Short sell our home? 4. Going back to school 5. Pushy in-laws 6. Healthy but tasty lunches 7. Which debt to repay first? 8. Should we refinance? 9. Underwater loan 10.

The Freelancer’s Cheat Sheet for Collections

Credit: Olle Svensson on Flickr Collections — even the mention of that word puts a sad look on any freelancer’s face. We’ve all wound up with a client who simply failed to pay up. The simple truth is that we’ll probably see more down the road, as well. There’s no set signals that we can look for that will tell us if a given client will pay or not.

Developing Systems That Work

In my fantasy life, I’m an organized guy. In the real world, that’s just not the case. I do my best to stay on top of things — I make lists, use a calendar, ask Kris for help — but there always seems to be something slipping through the cracks. Before we left for Africa, for example, I hid my wallet. I always do this when we go on a long trip.

The 5 Step Process to Complete TV Elimination

“But when television is bad, nothing is worse…Keep your eyes glued to that set until the station signs off.  I can assure you that what you will observe is a vast wasteland.”  These words were said in 1961, by FCC chairman Newton Minnow. When he said this, there were only three channels to choose from; now there are hundreds.  However, I think his words still ring true.

Hero Training: The Chase Down a Purse Snatcher Workout

Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Chad Howse. Awhile back, Chad did an awesome series for us on the basics of boxing. Today he’s starting a new fantastic series on hero training. Every other week, Chad will give Art of Manliness readers a workout based on building the strength and fitness needed to tackle a heroic task.

Confessions of a Manipulator

Photo by Sara Lando Editor’s Note: Welcome to two new members of the TSN family: Matt & Pooja, who together worked on this article. When Matt first shared his stories with me, I felt instantly moved by the raw beauty, innocence and candidness in his voice. I hope some of it speaks to you. Pooja is our new editor.

8 Tips for Feeling Happier During an Unhappy Time.

Every Wednesday is Tip Day. This Wednesday: 8 tips for feeling happier during an unhappy time. At some points in life, it's not possible -- or at least not easy -- to feel happy. However, even then, it's sometimes possible to feel happier.

Spare Change: Tweetchat Today! Edition

Wow. No matter how much I try to prepare, coming back from a long vacation is always a lot of work. It’s very difficult, for instance, to sort through hundreds of e-mail messages to find the ones that are most important. Meanwhile, there’s a blog that needs to be written!

Insights from Warren Buffett’s Letter to Shareholders

For the last few years, I’ve been enjoying reading Warren Buffett’s annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway’s shareholders.

Monk Mind: How to Increase Your Focus

Post written by Leo Babauta. I confess to being as prone to the distractions of the Internet as anyone else: I will start reading about something that interests me and disappear down the rabbit hole for hours (even days) at a time. But my ability to focus on a single task has dramatically improved, and that one habit has changed my life. While a few years ago I couldn’t sit down to work on s

Have You Checked Out the Art of Manliness Trunk Yet?

Several months ago, we started a side blog to the main Art of Manliness site. It’s called The Art of Manliness Trunk. We use The Trunk to post interesting things we find on the internet–cool pictures, links to thought-provoking or inspiring articles that are related to manliness, and stuff about gear.

DIY Dorothy Draper Chests

Materials: Rast Dresser Description: 1) I bought 2 Rast dressers from IKEA, and assembled the tables, except for the drawers. 2) I primed the 'body' of the dresser {assembled} and the fronts of the doors and then sprayed them using RustOleum's black lacquer spray. I did 2 coats to get good coverage.

Eco-chic headboard

Materials: Rykene bed, particle board, hammer, saw, drill, staple gun, cotton fabric, burlap, 8 wooden buttons, an old mattress pad (or foam cut to fit your headboard), strong thread, extra long doll needle Description: My boyfriend and I were tired of our old Ikea Rykene headboard. We wanted something modern and naturalistic and came up with this ecofriendly project.

Unitasker Wednesday: The Rimroller

All Unitasker Wednesday posts are jokes — we don’t want you to buy these items, we want you to laugh at their ridiculousness. Enjoy! Tim Hortons, the Canadian-based coffee chain with a handful of locations in northern U.S.