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By Laura Stec

Men Are Good For Three Things

Uploaded: Sep 25, 2014

Men are good for three things. I've been reminding friends and family of this for years and it's time to go public. You determine the lineup, but the list is solid.

#1) We all know?

#2) Fixing Things
This includes, but is not limited to: mechanical stuff, hanging pictures and shelves, anything using WD 40, dealing with cars and things with cords, assembling things from IKEA, some IT, and most TV connection things. It also includes a few culinary applications. Oh, and massage.

#3) Ladies Choice
I used to think #3 was definitive like the other two, but have come to learn it is ladies choice. For me, that choice is "heat" ? men are warmer than me. This makes them good for night games, outdoor concerts, camping, etc. If you have another variation to #3 ? please share. Diversity in usefulness breeds survival.

Now back to the all-important #2?men like knives which makes them useful in regards to knife care. On a daily basis, keeping ones knife sharp is a solo process requiring only a knife and steel. Have you picked yours up lately? A steel is that "yet to be removed" stick that came with the knife block you got as a gift when you got married or graduated. Go over and take it out. If you aren't swiping a chef's knife (8" or longer) down a steel / honing rod, at a 20° angle, after every half hour of cutting time, you are doing it wrong. You see, knives have microfibers that bend over after use. In order to keep your knife sharp, you must straighten those fibers back up. But don't sharpen each time this happens because you'll remove too much steel over the life of your knife, and it will no longer be able to hold an edge. See here for an old, not very good video of me demoing the technique, or just google honing knife and watch someone else do it better. Steels make great holiday gifts by the by. Buy "the cheapest one," as Chef used to say. They wear out in a couple years and you'll need to replace it no matter the initial cost.

When it comes time to sharpen, every 6 months or so, you will need a wet stone (boo to the automatic grinders), and? a man is helpful. (Review #2 ? fixing things) They're programmed for stuff like this. Just show them a video and let them have at it. If you are like me and happen to be between boyfriends every now and again, make sure you have a thin metal (i.e. cheap*) blade. You can actually keep these relatively sharp with just a diamond steel (which does take off a little metal), thus possibly eliminating the need for men all together.

Well, at least till the next camp trip.

Or Ikea run.

photo by Christine Krieg

I get my cheaps at Kamei in the City. $5

I own the expensive ones, but have found home with the cheap.

Talking knives here, not men.

Kamei Restaurant Supply
606 Clement St, San Francisco

On another note... the people prevail!

Martins Beach remains open to the public.

Letters of support needed for Martins Beach and Judge Mallach?s decision to "bring down that wall." Khosla may appeal - some say this is headed to the Supreme Court. I am not sure why support is needed - isn't the law the law? Oh well, I guess billions have influence. Hey Scalia and Thomas, that's not in the Constitution.

Please send to:

San Mateo Daily Journal: [email protected]

SF Chronicle: