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Jan 21, 2016

Quotes Brought To Life: My Favorites From Zen Pencils

Zen Pencils ClipZen Pencils has taken the time to turn my favorite quotes into illustrated pieces that somehow bring the message to life. Here's Teddy Roosevelt, Robert Frost, and Jacob Riis. Inspiration is just about guaranteed.  

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Dec 28, 2015

Make Your Year Great: 2016 Planned Out Right

Foggy ValleyThis week last year, I was writing about my 2015 goals. Looking back, I ticked plenty of things off my list. At the same time, I missed completely on a few big goals, specifically the outdoor side of things. Here's a new approach to set up this next year right.  

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Dec 21, 2015

Cynicism and Irony are Overrated: I’m a Grown Man and I Love Christmas

created at: 12/21/2015

If you've been on the site this December, you've probably noted our ManMade Musical Advent Calendar series, where we're sharing some of our favorite non-cheesy seasonal songs each day leading up to Christmas. 

This post began as one of those, scheduled for tomorrow. But by the time I got done stream-of-consciousness-ing all over the place, I realized I'd gone off into somewhere more than why I like this chord progression.

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May 18, 2015

12 Life Lessons from Michael Caine

These "Life Lessons" from famous people go around the internet from time to time (and I've even posted some before) but this article from Jack Archer has truly practical advice that's all the more enjoyable to listen to coming from a master of cool...   

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May 15, 2015

Face to Face With the Guy Whose Stolen Bike You Bought

I was suited up. Snow pants, ski goggles, lobster mitts, and long underwear all around. A super-warm super dork, in full regalia, atop my beloved, radiation-green, single-speed Salsa El Mariachi mountain bike. Just another day, mid-winter in Minnesota, doing something that I love: snow-biking.
What's that? Where you live it's warm and snowless in January? Well, gay kaken aufen yam, as they say in Yiddish. Uh, I mean, good for you! But not here. If you don't find a winter sport to do here in Minnesota, then you are liable to go stark raving mad, quicklike, come the fleeting daylight of December.

For me, snow biking has opened up a whole new world of outdoor winter physical activity. I'm not much of a skier, and hockey's not my thing. Ice fishing is a thing; but it doesn't make any actual sense. So when I discovered winter mountain biking, it gave me, well, it gave me a reason to go on living, to be honest. You know... that and my kids. 

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Apr 24, 2015

30 Reasons Your Thirties are Better than Your Twenties

They say a fine wine only gets better as it ages. Guess what? So do you. Being a young adult is awesome. It's all about setting yourself up for success, and forming yourself into the kind of man you want to be. 

created at: 04/21/2015

But, at some point, you actually get to live out those commitments and really embrace the kind of grown-up you want to be. Whoever said "never trust anybody over thirty" must have never gotten there, cause being in your thirties, if you do it right, is freaking awesome.

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Mar 30, 2015

18 Men's Style Quotes that Will Make You Want to Dress Better

Coco Channel is credited with a famous quote concerning women's style and accessories: "Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off." It's good advice, really, and easy to incorporate into many aspects of your life. But most men's style tends towards the more simple, and for many of us, "taking one thing off" actually means we'd be short an item of clothing.  

So then, what are some good style maxims that the average guy can commit to memory to look his best?      

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Mar 16, 2015

How to: 7 Steps to Living a Bill Murray Life, by Bill Murray

Billy Murray

Bill Murray has made a name for himself not just in Hollywood classics such as Ghostbusters, Caddyshack, Groundhog Day, and Lost in Translation, but also as an all-around sweet guy with some playful eccentricities. Whether bombing wedding photos,  crashing college parties and staying late to do the dishes , or giving toasts at strangers' bachelor parties, the man seems to have kept a good head on his shoulders and is always doing something unique.   

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Apr 15, 2014

For Men, Life Just Keeps Getting Better...Until It Doesn't

created at: 04/15/2014

We all know the stereotype of the grumpy old man. We've met him, we're related to him, he lives next door, some of us even have to work for him. 

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Dec 09, 2013

The 75 Things Every Man Should Do

We've all got our personal goals. That collection of things where we won't feel like we've tried to give our best selves adequate space. Career goals, family goals, fitness goals, travel goals...all those things that go into feeling like we've accomplished what we were made to do. 

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Nov 18, 2013

New Epic Study Reveals What Men Need to Live a Happy Life

Seventy-five years ago, in 1938, Harvard University began a study following the lives of 250+ young men to see how the various ups and downs of adulthood would affect their experience. As Feelguide summarizes, "The study’s goal was to determine as best as possible what factors contribute most strongly to human flourishing.  The astonishing range of psychological, anthropological,

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Oct 07, 2013

How to Be Creative

created at: 10/07/2013The fairly broad phrase "how to be creative" seems a bit overly generic and link-bait-esque, but it's actually the latest in the always excellent 

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Sep 17, 2013

What to Do When Lost in the Woods

"A clear head will find itself," begins the "What to Do When Lost in the Woods" flyer published by the U.S. Forest Service, published in 1946. It continues, "finding oneself is a test of a man..." and as you read, you realize that, yes, these are pretty good tips for finding oneself actually lost in the woods, but are equally applicable

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Aug 16, 2013

Friendly Advice to a Lot of Young Men

In 1957, poet, author, and "laureate of American lowlife" Charles Bukowski wrote a poem entitled "Friendly Advice to a lot of Young Men."   

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May 31, 2013

The Rise and Fall of Charm in American Men

This month's issue of The Atlantic features an article exploring how most contemporary men don't have much a relationship (either good or bad) to the "amoral virtue" of masculine charm.   

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Apr 11, 2013

Advice to Young Men from an Old Man

created at: 04/11/2013

Several years ago, a fascinating, and perhaps compelling, post appeared on San Francisco's Craigslist titled, "Advice to Young Men from an Old Man."   

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Apr 04, 2013

What Good Shall I Do This Day?

In his autobiography, Benjamin Franklin outlines a "Precept of Order," a single page in his journal and memoirs that outlines how he should spend his day, "the following scheme of employment for the twenty-four hours of a natural day."

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Apr 03, 2013

How to: Have the Best Day Ever (Hint: It Involves Spending More Time Here...)

There are about 960 usable minutes in everyday, provided you get enough sleep, and a new study suggests there's a much better way to spend it. And the number one item on the list? If you wanna be happier, you should be having more sex.   

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Jan 28, 2013

Why "Gut Churn" Is an Essential Part of the Creative Process

created at: 01/28/2013

You know that ball of anxiety... that little, knotted wad of uncertainty and woe that churns your insides whenever you in the various states of a creative project? 

That's a good thing.         

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Dec 19, 2012

This Year, I'm Reading "A Christmas Carol" and Why You Should, Too!

created at: 12/19/2012

We all know the story. Most of us could recite the narrative from memory, and probably not miss any key points. But, this holiday season, I decided to snuggle up to the original, and read the whole of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. 

And? It's good. It's really good. Dickens is a good writer...duh. It's festive and seasonal, and the template for what many of us think of as an old fashioned Christmas...also duh. But something else happened to me, and I think you should read it, too. Not in the "let's gather 'round the fire while dad recites " 'Twas the Night Before Christmas..." sorta way, but because this is a book about men.   


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