Made in the USA

Buying products that are made in the USA has long been a passion of mine. It can be a challenge sometimes as these products may not be easy to find or may not be made here anymore. In categories such as autos, shoes and clothes, there are many wonderful American manufacturers to choose from. While price can sometimes be more than foreign counterparts, I find the quality of American products is worth it with the added benefit of supporting jobs here. 

From the coffee I drink, to the car I drive, there are numerous opportunities to buy well-made products that are manufactured in the USA. Here are a few examples in men's wardrobe:


Shinola Men's Watches


The Runwell Chrono by Shinola

Randolph Engineering Sunglasses


Aviator by Randolph Engineering

Hickey Freeman Suit


Navy Chalk Stripe Tasmanian Suit by Hickey Freeman

American Trench Socks


Pima Cotton Houndstooth Socks by American Trench

Rancourt & Co. Shoes 


Blake Wingtip by Rancourt & Co.

Try any one of these products when it comes time for your next purchase, not only will you feel good about it, you'll look sharp.


Writers on the Storm

The legendary editor of Charles Scribner's Sons, Maxwell Perkins, worked with writers who became legends such as Thomas Wolfe, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway. None of these men knew celebrity until their first novel was published.

Back then, publishers invested in writers who could build careers. They paid modest advances and worked together to produce literature that could achieve commercial success. Some books would flop, others would yield a modest return, and some would be gigantic best-sellers. The best-sellers would fund the enterprise.

George R.R. Martin

Publishing has changed since then.

An unknown writer presents undue risk to a publisher. To achieve profit they must invest in those titles the industry will support as best-sellers. That said, a writer with an established audience has leverage. For example, the Obamas were awarded a $60 million contract from Penguin Random House for the President's and the First Lady's memoirs. A safe bet by any calculation, but the pendulum for today's writers can swing both ways. 

With a bona fide hit out of the gate, the pressure to follow it up can be overwhelming. One way writers can avoid the sophomore jinx is through a series that rolls like a snowball down a hill such as Game of Thrones and Harry Potter. Of course, a writer can become the series themselves such as Stephen King, Tom Clancy and John Grisham. Since many of the commercially successful books are wonderful pieces of literature, too, where does it leave today's aspiring writers?

J.K. Rowling

While the business of publishing has evolved with the marketplace, the marketplace has itself become more accessible. Backing from a publisher with promotion and distribution can smooth the path to fortune and fame, but it's never an easy path. It's a howling storm out there and writers must put on their boots, fasten their coats, hold on to their hats, and trudge along.