The Gentlemen’s Ten – Blogging (The Hard Knock Life)

blogSo, you want to enter the world of blogging. It seems simple enough – right? All one has to possess is a valid e-mail address and a password. From there, you select the appropriate blog software, and soon you will be publishing your work on the Internet. Again, it seems simple enough – right? Well, it really isn’t. I’ve been blogging since 2008 and I am here to tell you this: it is serious work. Serious work that does not reap a financial reward, well, at least not immediately if you choose to follow a monetary route. Work that is sometimes – scratch that, almost always – thankless at the start. That is, of course, until you have worked tirelessly to establish a regular reading audience. Yes, maintaining a blog is difficult. And today I’m going to share the ugly, not so glamorous side of it. This isn’t a post about how to make money (I get that a lot) or, well, how to make money – seriously, I really get that question a lot. Nope, this post is simply about the trials and tribulations I have experienced as a blogger. So, without further delay, here is what you can expect if you decided to take the blogging plunge.
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Style & Substance – Florsheim by Duckie Brown Saddle Shoe

IMG_0092Just in time for spring, I can now open my shoebox containing my Florsheim by Duckie Brown suede saddle shoes. I was able to get my hands on this pair last autumn, as they were on sale for a killer price. However, as soon as they arrived on my doorstep, so did Old Man Winter. No worries, I kept these beauties tucked under the bed until the time was weather appropriate. And with 50 degree weather on the way, I can safely announce that winter is finally going on its seasonal hiatus. Oh the joy.
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Heritage – Shirley Chisholm

Shirley Chisholm

  • Born Shirley Anita St. Hill on November 30, 1924
  • Graduated from Girls High School in 1942
  • Earned Bachelor of Arts from Brooklyn College in 1946
  • Earned Masters of Arts in Education from Columbia University in 1952
  • Director of the Hamilton-Madison Child Care Center from 1953 to 1959
  • Educational consultant to New York City’s Bureau of Child Welfare from 1959-64
  • Representative for New York State Legislature 1964-68.
  • First African-American woman elected to Congress in 1968 representing 12th Congressional District, New York, 1969-83
  • Authored Unbought and Unbossed in 1970
  • Co-founder of the Congressional Black Caucus in 1971
  • Co-founder of the National Women’s Political Caucus in 1971
  • First African-American to run for President of the United States in 1972
  • Authored The Good Fight in 1973
  • Awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree by Smith College in 1975
  • Purington Professor at Mount Holyoke College from 1983-87
  • Inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1993
  • Chisholm died at the age of 80 years old on January 1, 2005

Standard Recommendations – The Tie Bar – Cotton Madras Necktie

The Tie Bar Madras TieThe Tie Bar has become my ultimate go-to source for quality and inexpensive neckties. Seriously. And here is some serious truth: Whenever a necktie garners my attention in a magazine or on the Internet, I immediately visit The Tie Bar online to scour the myriad of patterns, colors, and materials in an attempt to duplicate the necktie of interest. Yes, I really do that. Because, for the low price of $15.00, their neckties are ridiculously good. Given that fact, my present tie collection is heavily stocked with their merchandise; much to the chagrin of my darling wife, as she thinks I own too many neckties. But can a gentleman possess too many? Well…probably. Nevertheless, that being said, I have added another Tie Bar beauty on my must-have list. Comprised of 100% cotton and rocking an impossibly audacious of color and pattern, this offering was constructed with spring on the mind. And spring is coming – I’m just going to ignore those snowflakes fluttering outside my window right now. So, my order is being placed tonight. Those colors are just too awesome to pass up. Sorry Stephanie – I love you.

Standard Recommendations – Ted Baker Polka Dot Necktie

Ted Baker Polka DotGranted, spring may have officially arrived yesterday, but the temperatures have retained a wintry feel that echoes early January. Nonetheless, the season has technically shifted, and the gentleman would be wise to prepare his spring attire for the upcoming heat wave. Okay, perhaps that is a stretch, but it would be intelligent to get the proper gear ready. Now, despite the warm weather that will soon be arriving (we hope), it might be a little premature to emancipate the shorts and tee shirts from the closet. That being said, plenty of gentlemen will still hold fast to their suit attire. However, the dreary days of winter will soon be forgotten, and a lighter touch will be required when we decide to get suited and booted. And usually that lighter touch arrives in the form of playful, whimsical accessories that temper the seriousness of your standard business suit. That being said, I came across this fun Ted Baker necktie being offered online by Von Maur. Yes, polka dots are still popular; and the boldness of those dots, along with the vibrant colors, are just enough to loosen up a stiff suit – if just a little bit. Bonus: Currently it’s on sale for $39.00, which is reasonable given the brand and design. So, check it out. Von Maur offers free shipping with a no hassle return if it doesn’t tickle your fancy. For more purchasing details, visit Von Maur HERE for more information.

The Standard #24

BooksThe intellectual gentleman recognizes the power of education, and he champions its virtue. He fully understands that knowledge is the beginning of intellectual growth & prosperity. He understands that the proper use of his knowledge can transform distant aspirations into touchable reality. His success hinges on steadfast labor and the unequivocal dedication to achieving educational excellence. Each gentleman has this ability – the ability to set meaningful goals and accomplish an array of tasks that he has undertaken. A gentleman’s potential is but a ready seed, thirsting for the water produced from sweat, and sometimes – salty tears. What, you thought it would be easy? Nothing worth the labor expended ever is.

Seriously, educating oneself is paramount, it is key. And through education, one begins to realize that no goal is too precipitous to climb and conquer. And understand, goals do not plateau, for learning does not cease once adulthood is reached. Learning does not abruptly halt once the classroom is a faint memory or college professors stop instructing. Grow your knowledge because knowledge is strength for the body, mind, and spirit.  Read a book. Watch a documentary. Seek out educational courses offered at a local community college or center. Make every attempt to continuously exercise your mind. So gentlemen, grow your minds, pursue your dreams, make them a reality, and once you are there – don’t stop growing.

The Standard #3

harlemThe knowledgeable gentleman comprehends that his image does not begin with how society views him. Rather, the gentleman’s image begins with how he sees himself. He alone determines and dictates the manner in which he is presented to the world. When he gazes into the mirror, the reflection of greatness should readily greet him. It does not begin with the clothing he chooses to attire himself in, nor the vehicle he selects to navigate city streets. Not the place of employment where he makes a living. Not the amount of money presently residing in his bank account. Why? Well, because character starts with his self-worth. His esteem is not erected upon a mountain of biodegradable materialism – subject to decay and waste. No, the gentleman’s image is based on gentlemanly fundamentals that are concrete and certain. Virtue. Honor. Principle. Forthrightness. The Gentlemen’s Standard.

Just In Time – 3 Simple, Elegant, and Stylish Men’s Luxury Watches

Baume &  Mercier CliftonFinding the perfect watch for you is something largely akin to finding the Holy Grail – it’s a long journey, but one that is certainly worth taking because there are few luxury accessories that provide more of a window into a man’s sense of style than his choice of timepiece. Needless to say, owning a luxury watch is a symbol of status, but this doesn’t mean that it has to be an in-your-face type of accessory; one that everybody has to notice so you feel justified in shelling out a large sum of money on it. In my opinion, some of the finest men’s luxury watches on the market are of the understated variety – the ones which let their quality speak for themselves.

Let’s take a look at three of the best:

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