Man Blog Extraordinare

Ok guys, we’ll admit that most of our staff are women; save for the designers who created the whole “For a Good Time” campaign (thanks Jeff and Carl) and Jared, our lawyer, who is kind enough to play in the sandbox nicely with us and read our blog (Jared…you are reading this, right?) We know that guys aren’t in charge of buying gifts, or birthday cakes or probably even gifts for their Moms anymore. SHAMELESS PLUG FOR WIVES: yes, we do it all for you boys. And that means that alot of our blog posts don’t even make your radar. We didn’t think about this too much until one of our loyal followers and dear friends told us so.

Meet Roman. An unremarkable, ordinary guy. The guy you stand behind at Small World. Sit next to on the train. See at the kid’s soccer tournament. We say ordinary (s’cuse us Roman, you know we love you) because he doesn’t live on Hodge Road, doesn’t drive a flashy car or wear designer jeans. He’s your best friend type. He’s the guy who helps you move furniture, has you and the family over for pizza and beer and has those tidbits of knowledge that you should know, but somehow don’t. Best part of all…he’s a sharer (sound effect: awwww – inserted here) But the cool thing is he shares the cool stuff. He pokes fun at big wigs, had exceptional taste in the ladies (Hi Laura, his lovely wife), does the dad thing better than most and knows something about ( just about) everything. And well, I guess that does make him remarkable as he made our radar and we think he is, well, a .great. guy (and he writes well too!)

Anyway, he’s cool and he’s agreed to help us out by sharing his stuff with the PScoop community.

This post is timely as I just had a conversation with a good friend. Her daughter got a simple answer wrong on a test. Something about a native tribe and a location. I had no knowledge of this ancient tribe nor the location she mentioned. The daughter did however write an awesome essay whereby she cited the fact that with a GPS she could have located this tribe in a heartbeat. She is seven. The point of the question was the skill of map reading..soon to be lost on Generation Z. Long, long intro short…Roman has an angle to share that we felt, well, was worth sharing.

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The Great Outdoors :: By Guest Blogger R. Horoszewski

gpsIf you’re addicted to your GPS and can’t drive to the corner store without plugging in the address (so you can hear that soothing female voice say “Turn left in 100 feet”) then I have a challenge for you – put it away, buy a map and a compass and become a real man.

I get a kick out of what seems like increasingly common stories about people turning left into: a pond, incoming traffic, a house or store or someplace else common sense says not to –simply because “the GPS said to”.

Don’t get me wrong – a GPS can be a literal lifesaver if out in the deep wilderness or to save time if navigating around an unfamiliar city when the clock is ticking, but it seems people are more and more NOT learning which way is north, south, east or west let alone know how to use a compass. rangerI’ve got several hand-held compasses made by Silva. My higher end one is a Ranger which runs about $55 and can be used to measure angles of inclination of a hill, the magnetic declination can be compensated for, has a closing cover with spotting mirror, map scale and a luminous dial amongst other features. At the other end of the spectrum I’ve got a few Polaris models (about $13) that I have for teaching Cub Scouts how to use a map and compass. I’ve also got a great story about how I got my friend and I “unlost” in his boat, in the fog, using a navigational chart and the boat’s compass when he forgot to bring his GPS along. He was skeptical but amazed when we landed almost dead on target despite the pea-soup thick fog.

A compass is a surprisingly easy thing to master yet can appear more complex. It takes but a few minutes to learn how to correctly use it. (note to men: reading manuals REALLY HELPS) A really fun, challenging outdoor activity is orienteering; its finding your way with a map and compass, raised to an art form. Google “US Orienteering Federation” for more info. If you’ve never used or even seen a US Geological Survey Quadrangle Map (or USGS quad map as they say) they are really pretty cool: the show roads, buildings, topography, parks, and a host of other features. A section of the one covering my area in NJ is shown below.

quad map

If you can’t quite wrap your hands around a compass. I get it. But get a map. Hang it on the wall. Show your kids where you live in relation to nearby towns & cities. World maps are facinating to us all. Can YOU show us where Namibia or Brussels or Paraguay is?

I’m all about technology. It’s making life easier for sure. But sometimes old school is the way I roll.

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The writer of The Balanced Guy is not particularly balanced, but he’s definitely trying to be. He makes the effort by not only doing “guy stuff” but also spending time with his three sons and wife while attempting to remain informed about the world around him. He and his family live in the Princeton, NJ area. Bookmark and visit often http://thebalancedguy.blogspot.com/


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