Man’s Best: A Requiem for My Dog

My beloved dog, Zoe, of 14.8 years died on July 2nd of this year. Since then, I’ve been trying in vain to swallow the jagged pill of her loss. Something embedded in my psyche, maybe some twisted cultural norm, keeps saying, “She was just a dog; you’ll get over it.” Something deeper, though, maybe my…

The Benefits of Reading Aloud to Your Children

As I remember it, when I was growing up in Kansas and Missouri, my dad, step-mother, and grandmother would read bedtime stories to me: Aesop’s fables, Little Golden Books, the Bible, and I’m sure there was even some Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as well. I also remember that someone, probably my dad or stepmom, enrolled…

Andelin Family Farm: Baby Animal Days

Spring is finally here— and thank goodness! I love winter and all that comes with it, but given the extremely wet and cold nature of this last one and the fact that I recently spent 12-hours stuck in the snow on Donner Pass, I’m glad warmer weather has arrived. So in the spirit of spring,…

Rhythm & Sol: A Music Career in the Making

When I was around 18 years old, I inherited a 1973 Ovation Model 1111-4 Balladeer round-back guitar. One of my grandmother’s tenants had abandoned it in her rental property in Kansas City, and I happened to stumble across it one summer’s day while I was helping her clean out the storage room. It was a…

The V&T’s Candy Cane Express

Take a journey on the V&T Candy Cane Express to usher in Christmas. Be forewarned: you will be smiling, laughing, singing, snacking and feeling merry.

A Day Out with Thomas: Big Adventure Tour 2018

My son Jameson is now 13-months old, and I’ve learned this is the exact age when a young boy develops a full-blown love affair with vehicles: cars, trucks, planes, and trains. Every large transportation vehicle he sees is currently a “truck” (his favorite word), and “trucks” of every kind litter my living room: an ATV,…

How to Build a Busy Board Step-by-Step

I spent a lot of time growing up in garages. They were the manhood museums of my late grandfathers; they held a half-century’s worth of their work and whatchamacallits. Tools, scraps of metal and wood, sawdust, two-stroke motors, and oil cans tell the story of the men in my family. It was in those garages…

Mother’s Day: A Day to Honor Moms & Edify Sons

I was born May 13, 1982, a mere four days after Mother’s Day. I like to think I was a gift to my mother that year. I’m nearly certain she’d say the same. This year my birthday and Mother’s Day coincide. I won’t get to celebrate in person with my mother since she lives in…

American Traffic

My First Trip to Thailand “Girls?! Girls?!” That was the first thing the Thai street vendor said to me when I stepped off the brow of the USS George Washington. It was the summer of 2011, and we has just pulled into port in Pattaya Beach, Thailand. I was more than excited to finally touch…

The Modern Male Ethos: Improving the Merits of a Man’s Principles

In embarking upon the journey of discussing and hopefully improving the modern male ethos, I’ve offered my thoughts about “Improving the Merits of the Mind” and “Improving the Merits of the Heart”— two worthy endeavors for men and women alike. This article is to be my final installment in my three-part mini-series on male improvement….

The Modern Male Ethos: Improving the Merits of the Heart

I had previously written about the frail condition of many modern men. Sexual misconduct, emotional weakness, and intellectual self-destruction have become the unfavorable hallmarks of a skewed male ethos. To recalibrate our slumping social position, I’ve set out to offer some notes on and examples from men of character and of history to increase our…

The Modern Male Ethos: Improving the Merits of the Mind

When I teach argumentation and persuasion in my English 101 course, I delve into the Grecian modes of persuasion: ethos (credibility or character), pathos (passion or emotion), logos (logic or reasoning), and kairos (timing or opportunity). I always begin, however, with a detailed analysis of ethos. The ancient Greeks believed that if an individual’s ideas…