A way that seems right unto a Manival

by the Night Writer

After a brief vacation (every man needs one from time to time), the Manival returned this week with edition #15, hosted by Discovering Dad. I didn’t notice it was up right away, but once I did I read through the week’s selections. Here are some of my faves:

A couple of decades ago I wrote some advertising and catalog copy for a mail-order steak business. I learned the ins and outs of great cuts of meat and what each cut was best suited for. After a morning of that exposure I was ready to throw down a couple of bacon-wrapped filet mignon, even though my budget could barely handle a quarter-pounder with cheese. Reading Know Thine Bovine at Primer Magazine brought back happy memories of those days, though.

The Reader Challenge: David post at I Am Husband was already familiar to me as I had read it (and commented) during a regular visit to that blog. It deals with the common issue of wives disliking their bodies and the effect this has on the relationship.

More happy memories were stirred by Dad of Divas’ Teaching Your Child Entrepreneurship as I recalled the early development of Tiger Lilly’s head for business. And if you’re going to teach your children how to succeed at business then you should also help them learn the important lessons about debt offered by The Common Man in his post, In Your Debt.

Finally, you know I’m going to be partial to posts by Tom at Being Michael’s Daddy — Levels of Understanding — and by Kevin at Return to Manliness — Never Use Eight Words When Four Will Do — because they are in a similar vein as my Fundamentals in Film series and my Manival #1 post on three-word sentences that will endear you to your wife.

I’m sure you’ll find your own favorites when you browse the rest of the submissions for yourself.

“Just Manny being Manny” — but how about “Manly”?

Manny Ramirez of the Boston Team Manny has one laudatory skill: being able to hit a baseball. Perhaps he would benefit by checking out
Manival #14. It’s back “home” this week at the blog that launched the Manival carnival, The Art of Manliness. As usual there’s lots of good stuff and several different categories to explore, especially if you’re Manny Ramirez.

For example, check out Dr. Awesome for valuable advice and important rulings on what is or isn’t manly: this week’s topic concerns long hair. In addition, as the summer winds down and the play-offs draw near there’s still time to review a list of “Top 10 Summer Activites for Dad & Kids” from Discovering Dad. And if you’re into naming the “best” and “worst” of anything you’ll probably like “The Best Foods for Men” at Fat Man Unleashed (oh, Manny!) and “The Worst Karate Move I Ever Learned” at Martial Development (I wonder if this involves knocking down the club’s 60-year-old Traveling Secretary?).

There are also plenty of good posts for those of us non-All Stars who might still like to take our game to another level. This week I want to call special attention to two Manival articles: Monday Morning Amour over at A Good Husband. You should definitely read the other Manival entries as well, or — as Twins’ announcer John Gordon would say — “Touch ’em all!”

Manival #12 at Miserere

Miserere got an early jump in launching this week’s Manival, but that just gives you more time to read this week’s selections. In addition to post from your favorite writer in the night, there is a great 3-part series from this week’s host on Child-Rearing in a Culture of Death/Discipline and Responsibility/Character Training. There are tips on how to add spice to a ho-hum marriage and an article on the “tipping” point in a marriage. You can also find out about going “man-camping”, which sounds like a step up from your “man cave”, but you should read both and find out for yourself. In fact, read them all!

Man(ival), what a week

I was too busy vacationing last week to contribute an entry to this week’s Manival, and I’ve been so busy with other things this week that I’m a little slow in calling your attention to this week’s host, I Am Husband. If you’ll go over there you’ll see that the carnival is doing quite well without this clown (me). There are several fresh posts from some of my new favorite bloggers, plus nice work from some new contributors.

Of course my attention is going to be drawn to a post entitled “Why My House is a Diva-Dome” by Dad of Divas. He writes authoritatively, but his daughters are much younger than mine so he has little idea of what’s coming. I could tell him (or he could read about it here) but why spoil the fun? I’ll also second the recommendation from this week’s host that you read the “Real Men Dote” (@ Trey Morgan)and “What Dads Really Think About Porn” (@ Discovering Dad). There’s lots of other good stuff as well about Marriage & Family, The Character of a Man, House and Home and other Miscellaneous Manliness (including another funny trip to Dr. Awesome’s mail bag.) Dude, check ’em all out.

“All men must make their way come Independence Day…”

There’ll be light blogging here during the holiday weekend as most of what I’ll be doing that is blog-related will be behind the scenes. There’s plenty for you to read, however, in The Manival #10 (The Independence Day Edition) hosted this week by Brett at The Art of Manliness.

There are several posts from regular Manival contributors, plus a lot of material from others who are new to the fraternity. This week guy’s are trying to answer questions such as “What Does Religion Mean to Your Marriage?”, “Why Doesn’t She Want Sex Like I Do?”, “Is Chivalry Dead?” and whether it’s okay for a man to wear Crocs or clogs.

There are also posts on how a man can be a lighthouse for his children, how to help your kids develop decision-making skills and a humorous look at how one guy is trying to establish family traditions. There’s a lot more than that as well, so celebrate your independence from the man-numbing popular culture by going to the Manival link above seeing what these guys (and a gal) have to say!

Whoa-ooh here it comes: The Manival #9

Wouldn’t you just know it, it’s the shortest night of the year and I’m hosting Manival #9. What does the summer solstice have to do with anything? Well, since I’m the Night Writer, that means this is the shortest window of opportunity for me all year — and there were 36 entries into this week’s carnival to be read, reviewed, accepted or rejected!

I’ve tried to make it easier for readers to sort through these by organizing the posts into categories and providing a brief description of each article (or maybe just to prove that I read them all). There are 22 linked here; the ones that were excluded were also interesting and well-written but were eliminated for one of two reasons. 1) Multiple submissions from the same blogger (I didn’t know until I hosted that the Manival limits you to one post per person per week). 2) The topic was interesting, but not “manly” enough; that is, the topic was general enough to be relevant for a large audience, but not specifically geared toward men. That sounds arbitrary (because it is), but hey — my week, my call.

I was having a tough time picking a favorite from so many worthy entries but, wouldn’t you know, the last entry under the wire blew me away. Man Up: Power by Corey at The Simple Marriage Project. Read it first, or read it last, and see if you don’t agree.

On the parenting front, David B. Bohl examines The Difference Between a Dad and a Father on his Slow Down Fast blog.

Tony Chen gets “in the zone” with Tiger Woods and I are Pretty Similar over at SavvyDaddy.

Charlie Kondek goes from Thomas the Tank Engine to “Infinity and Beyond” in examining how his son is learning to distinguish good and evil in Daddy, What Does Evil Mean? at Virile Lit.

Totally Consumed is totally touching in Father to Son: an open letter on leadership.

Dad of Divas offers the thoughtful post Time In a Bottle, reminding us that no one has yet figured out how to get that time to stay in the bottle.

Babbo examines the dark twists on the path to enlightenment in his post Was Buddha a Schmuck? over at Daddy Brain.

Oh boy, just in time for the Solstice, Derek offers 10 Things To Do With Your Kids This Summer from the Man Page. (The article link works fine, just don’t try to go directly to his blog’s home page because the stupid Bill Engvall audio file will crash your browser – or at least it did to mine, repeatedly. But I’m not bitter. Update: Derek fixed the site, click away).

Inspired by these, I’ll link to one of my older posts about a painful, but valuable, lesson my daughters and I learned in Duty is Ours. Results are God’s.

Looking to beat a manly retreat from the hustle and bustle of daily life? James Hills has a series of posts on “Man Trips” or “mancations”, including a review and interview regarding a Stogies and Sticks golf package at the Arizona Biltmore, on his Man Tripping blog.

Dr. Awesome keeps the Male Bag, I mean, Mail Bag, open with another advice column, this time on the topic of what qualify as manly Careers. (Advance warning, male hairdressers may want to start calling themselves “hair wranglers”.) You can check it out on To Every Man a Manswer.

I think you can expect Russ to fully accept any bouquets or brickbats that might come his way from his Accepting Responsibility post over on Escaping Enlightenment.

Doug Rutter asks a question: do you want to “have” kids or “raise” kids in his post Koke has Man Shoes on his self-named blog.

Kevin submitted a couple of good selections for this week’s Manival, but I chose his tribute to Tim Russert, not because of it’s timeliness but because the inspiration Kevin received is timeless. (While you’re on the Return to Manliness blog you might want to look around for his “Top 10 First Date Conversations.”)

With a blog named Stormbringer’s Thunder, and his own straight-forward manly name, you can be sure Bob has little time for sissies in his post What About the Guys? (Bob seems like the kind of guy who never got in touch with his feminine side, probably because of a restraining order it took out on him).

Dustin at dBlogit gave me two posts to choose from and I selected Why Men Hate Chick Flicks And How to Avoid Watching Them. Though some of his criticisms of chick-flick cliches could also apply to more manly buddy-type action flicks, the clincher is he also offers great escapes for when a chick-flick appears inevitable.

There’s a reason the classic TV show Home Improvement featured tools prominently: tools are manly. Andrew from Primer magazine submits a list of the 10 Tools Every Man Should Have, so make sure you’ve got what it takes.

The Manival has a fine tradition of including “How To” posts. This week Cory Huff has some great advice on “how to shoot yourself in the foot” with The Ultimate Guide To Winning An Argument With Your Spouse at A Good Husband.

A wise man I know often says, “You can be happy, or you can be right.” Hayden Tompkins carves a trail for you over similar ground in How to De-Escalate Your Marriage at Persistent Illusion.

I beg your pardon; may I suggest you read Use Your Manners by A Husband on the I Am Husband blog? Thank you.

Andrew Scotchmer has to literally walk the talk (or talk the walk) as he uncovers the benefits of becoming bilingual in Do You, Parlez-Vous? at Complete Kaizen. (And no, GSL – Grunting as a Second Language – doesn’t count).

GP offers a great photo and a reflection that dreams — and grace — do come true in a post entitled Zen of the West.

If you’d like to be part of Manival #10 submit your blog article using the Manival submission form.

Something Manly This Way Comes

I’ve been asked to play host to Manival #9 next week. Use the link here if you have a post from your blog that you’d like to share that has insight, humor or edification (or all three!) on the ways of men. You need to send these to me by Monday, as the Manival rides on Tuesday!

I’ve found a lot of new and interesting blogs by participating in this carnival. It’s been surprising and encouraging to see how many men are using their talents and keyboards to inform, entertain and encourage other men and women. Apparently I’m not the only one that has noticed. The Pioneer Press ran an article this week about The Art of Manliness
Dad Gone Mad
Gunfighter: A Modern Warrior’s Life
A Good Husband
The Man Page
The Simple Marriage Project
To Every Man a Manswer
I Am Husband
Stormbringer’s Thunder

Can I get an Amen?

I’m teaching this weekend at Inside Outfitters, so I’ve got to do some work on my message. As such, no posting tonight other than to let you know that Manival #8 is up and running over at The Man Page.

Some of this week’s contributions include a post on How to Have Toe-Curling Sex; Decreasing Your Likelihood of Being Hit by a Meteor; Golfing Your Way to a Promotion; and What Parenting Has Taught Me About Copywriting. There’s also a post from a blog called “Dad of Divas” that you just know I’m going to have to check out.

You should, too.

A real “man’s lady”

You may have heard a guy being described as a real “man’s man”, but a regular and insightful contributor — wise in the ways of manliness — to the weekly Manivals is actually a woman. Hayden Tompkins at Persistent Illusion lays things out in a direct and refreshing manner. As to why she spends so much time on this particular topic, well, I think I’ll let her explain it:

People wonder why, as a woman, I am so dedicated to topics of ‘manliness’ and being a man.

Chances are if you aren’t a man, then your life partner is a man. Whether you want to be a better man – a more inspired husband, an involved father, a successful businessman – or be with a better man, you are probably aware that there is a lack in this country of material on what it means to be a man.

As being a 50’s era breadwinner and head of household is no longer what it means to be a man, so too is retreating from responsibilities and letting the woman of your life handle everything. Being a man today means strength coupled with flexibility; self-knowledge, without ‘forcing’ this self on others or sacrificing it for the sake of your partnership; and fully experiencing life with an open heart, authentically, without cutting your beloved out.

Support of the ‘menaissance’ is critical in creating the breathing room needed for men to take chances and transform their lives and their relationships.

And with better men come better women and with better women come better men and with better men come better women and with better women…


Manival #7 is up

The 7th Manival is up and running this week at The Simple Marriage Project. There are four categories this week, and there are several very interesting sounding posts under each. The categories are Fatherhood/Parenting (which includes my own “Dad to the Bone” post), Marriage/Relationship, Recreation, and How-to Guides for Men.

I haven’t followed any of the links yet, but how can you resist titles such as “You Don’t Mess Around with Dad”, “The ‘I Don’t Want To’ Trap”, “Things You Don’t Scrimp On” and “7 Vital Characteristics of a Man”?

These past seven weeks have been very encouraging and enlightening for me as I’ve seen the depth and wisdom of men are pouring into the blogosphere. Just when you think the culture, and perhaps even yourself, have become totally self-indulgent and gratuitous you discover that there is a well-spring of wisdom, humor and a desire to serve if only you know where to look. I suggest you go take a look at the Manival series.

The previous Manivals can be found at the following links:

#1 @ The Art of Manliness
#2 @ A Good Husband
#3 @ Schaefer’s Blog
#4 @ The Art Of Manliness
#5 @ The Care & Feeding Of Man
#6 @ Building Camelot