I’m putting my trust in the internet, which is something that I’m not completely comfortable with. Today, I cancelled my subscription to ConsumerReports.org. There was a time when I was buying a lot of appliances and cars and tools and whatnot and it was very helpful, but I’m not buying a lot of stuff anymore. I have everything I could ever want. Ha. But seriously, it’s $30 bucks a year and I haven’t looked at it, but maybe three times, in the last two years. That’s not much value. Besides, there are lots of places on the internet offering reviews and comparisons of various products. Really, every product. There is probably a good chance that a few of them are offering informed, reasonable reviews that have not been paid for, but probably not many of those. So I will take my chances with my next big purchase and go to the internet for what to buy.
ManlinessI picked up, The Art Of Manliness by Brett and Kate McKay, the other day when I was at the bookstore and I haven’t had a chance to tell you about it.
I’m a 47-years old and I’m still trying to figure out exactly what being a man means. This could be because my father died before I was even in school or because I never really looked to my step-father as a role model. Truthfully, I think it’s neither. I think it has a lot more to do with all the screwy messages that we get about what it means to be a manly. What’s important and what’s not. I’ve posted before about the men I considered my role models.
But through the webpage, The Art Of Manliness, I’ve come to confirm my belief that being a man is not being macho, that it’s more about being responsible, resourceful, and respectful. All of these are great things and the website is a wonderful resource for those looking for some continuing education on what it is to be a man.
I already have, Manvotionals, which is a book of wisdom and advice on the seven manly virtues. It’s a good book. I recommend that one. This one, I’ve been meaning to pick up and when I saw it on the shelf I grabbed it and put down the other book I was going to get.
This one deals with ‘Classic Skills and Manners for the Modern Man’ and a cursory glance through it tells me that it too will be a worthy purchase.
It takes lessons from the likes of Benjamin Franklin, Theodore Roosevelt, and others to create a collection of useful advice that every man should have received to ensure that life is lived to its full potential. Survival skills, social skills, character improvement, and all the basics that a modern man should know. Here’s the list from the back of the book:

  • Shave like your grandpa
  • Be a perfect houseguest
  • Fight like a gentleman using the art of bartitsu
  • Help a friend with a problem
  • Give a man hug
  • Perform a fireman’s carry
  • Ask for a woman’s hand in marriage
  • Raise resilient kids
  • Predict the weather like a frontiersman
  • Start a fire without matches
  • Give a dynamic speech
  • Live a well-balanced life
  • So jump in today and gain the skills and knowledge you need to be a real man in the 21st century.

I really like these books and the website. There is a third book, Heading Out On Your Own: 31 Basic Life Skills in 31 Days, that I’m interested in checking out for my three boys. In fact, I may just buy 3-copies of each book and put them together as gifts for each of them. Unforeately, I think I know how that would go:

  • one would say he didn’t need them, and be wrong…
  • one would say nothing, probably be offended, and set them on the floor of his room never to be opened…
  • one would make a humorous comment and never bother to open them…

I would be out a hundred bucks or more and they would not have learned anything, so, a lot like the way things go around here most days. But these books are full of good stuff and even at my age, there is always room for improvement. Besides, someday I’ll have grandchildren to educate.

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