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.
They say, "It don't matter if you've got a lot, you can't be happy till you're happy with what you've got." And that's true. But getting free stuff never hurt, either, so why not enter this week's True Value giveaway! Read on to see how to enter! THE PRIZE:
- Two, yes ¡TWO! $100 gift cards to True Value.
THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. Thanks for entering.
Hi friends - this'll be my last post for the week. I'm spending the rest of the day and all of Tuesday in my workshop, banging out some original how-tos and Christmas projects, (stay tuned), before going into full-on holiday mode on Wednesday. And before I go, I wanted to share the thing for which I'm most thankful for this year:
For some reason, I can't bear to throw out this silly pair of cotton shorts. I've had them for eighteen-ish years, more than half my life. I don't have any particularly good memories of them, and I mostly just wore them as pajamas
If you're anything like me, and 95% of the other men I know, you don't use any sorts of skin care product beyond the occassional aftershave lotion and sunscreen, and perhaps a bit of lip balm. And if that's true, then you, like me and 95% of the other men I know, are terribly, terribly wrong.
The great Dutch thinker Erasmus once said, "“When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes.” And for most ManMade readers, I imagine it's the same. First things first: books, records, and, in particular, tools and supplies for making stuff and completing projects. And then the rest.
Today, we wanna help you with that, so we teamed up with True Value to give you a hundred bucks to spend on tools, materials, and other goodies so you can execute all those great ideas in your head.
File this in your huh folder: The White House brews its own beer, and President Obama has been sharing it along the campaign trail. Apparently, the good citizens of this country are pretty curious, and they want a taste of it themselves.
On ManMade, we've always made the argument to buy high-quality goods made with reliable materials, even if it means you ultimately end up being able to afford less. This applies to men's clothing and style items, which will last longer and be more versatile, and all kinds of quality goods created by skilled workers and artists.
But beyond the ethical and aesthetic reasons, spending a little mre also makes financial sense as well, and will most often end up saving you money in
Time management is unbelievably important essential for any man trying to be his best. That doesn't mean you have to fill your day with as many tasks as you can or build out your schedule with nothing but hustle. It means that in order to be the guy, the husband, the friend, the father, the boyfriend, the employee, the maker, the athlete, the citizen, the artst, the buisness owner, the scholar, the volunteer, the brother (you get where I'm going...), you've got to create the balance that allows you to fit in all the tasks and roles you've incorportated into your life.
And a great way to create that balance? Be mindful
Last week, I got a half-bushel box of peaches from a local farm. They were quite ripe, and some a little banged up, so they didn't feel comfortable selling them, as they needed used that day. I gladly accepted, and after eating at least ten from my hand, set about finding ways to preserve them.
"Your Logo is Not Hardcore" is a new Tumblr blog that seems to have noticed a curious trend in graphic design - namely, that there are a whole lotta logos with Xs in them. Like, a whole lot, and many of them brands and organizations dedicated to men's interests and products.
This week, my pal Gregory, tech editor at the always amazing Apartment Therapy, invited me to participate in their My Tech Top Ten, where writers, artists, designers, and other creatives share the gear and tools that help them do their work and stay organized.
Be a good man.
For many guys in the twenty-first century, aspiring to the "good" part is easy...it's the man part that seems tough. Those who've never been much moved by abstract virtues that aren't sensitive to one's specific context can find it tough to embrace their masculinity without becoming an arrogant jerk.
Last year, ManMade was honored to be a part of the 2011 True Value Blog Squad, where we joined the ranks of talented DIYers, makers, and home improvers from around the internet, showing folks all the cool stuff you can do with supplies from your local hardware store.
Bruno and I had tons of fun last season, so we were very excited to be invited to participate again this year!
There's a current micro-meme that's found its way all over Facebook and the blogosphere, in which there appears a relatively generic alphabetical list of somewhat less-than-dominant foods with the title, "The 100 Foods You Should Eat Before You Die."
In the words of Time magazine's Josh Ozersky, the list "looks like it took about six minutes to think up. You could have created the whole thing while listening to 'Aqualung.' It’s simply a bunch of unconnected foods, listed alphabetically, without any kind of qualifier.
I'll admit...that's a pretty unlikely photo to accompany a post on ManMade. But, bear with me. (Get it?)
It's a screenshot of the funniest site I've found this week, a Pinterest page entitled, "Hairy Chests I Want to Cry On," by comedian Stacey Nightmare. It includes, not surprisingly, some fine, manly chests, but the real gem is Stacey's commentary, including captions like,
- Elliott Gould. I want to shrink down to the size of a thimble & frolic on his chest like a young lamb in the springtime.
- Mike Rowe, I can't decide if I want to cry on your chest hair or lay eggs in it.
- Lee Majors. Remember the Six Million Dollar Man? They paid him by the chest hair.