Well, I am pooped. We had a fun filled day yesterday celebrating the 4th of July. My wife and I woke up at 6AM and made the two hour drive from Tulsa to the Oklahoma City area to join my family in watching our hometown parade. Also joining us was AoM forum member Eric Granata  and his lovely family. The parade was awesome. It had all you would want in a parade. American flags, military veterans, band music, Shriners, and of course a group of Jedi Knights.
After the parade, we went and saw Wall-E. If you have kids, go see that movie. It’s fantastic. After the movie, we came home, made some homemade root beer, and started getting the food ready. On the menu was a traditional 4th of July meal of hamburgers, hotdogs, baked beans and pasta salad.
Later that evening we bought some fireworks and went to a friend’s house to set them off. We headed home at about 11:00 PM.
What did you all do for 4th of July? Share in the comments.
Now for some links
The Basics of Fatherhood  (@ nytimes) What makes an ideal father? This report by the NYTimes discusses 5 qualities.
The Myth of Boyhood  (@newsweek) An interesting essay on Americans’ attempt to recapture boyhood nostalgia.
Snowball Debt Calculator  This is a pretty neat tool. It will help you figure out which order you should pay off your debts if you use the snowball method.
7 Things You Should Know About Cholesterol  (@ stronglifts) Some interesting facts about cholesterol. Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t bad for you.
The Net Worth Mentality  (@ the simple dollar) An interesting take on how one should approach their personal finances. Instead of focusing so much on knowing exactly how much you make, focus more on how much your net worth is. Focusing on the amount of your paycheck may result in you spending however much your paycheck is. Focusing on increasing your networth will help you get ahead financially.
What’s cracking in the forums
Worst Foods You Can Eat  We have an interesting and heated debate on the topic of soda pop. I think an occasional soda is fine. It’s a treat that should be used in moderation. However, Primus Pilus disagrees. According to him drinking soda is akin to ingesting poison. What do you think?
Dealing With Gangsters  What would you do if you saw a group of hoodlums vandalizing your property? Responses in the thread included running them off with a pump shot gun or bludgeoning them with a cricket bat.
Reminder: Art of Manliness T-shirt Design Contest
Finally, I wanted to remind you all that you have one week left to submit designs to the AoM t-shirt contest . We’ve received a few submissions already and look forward to seeing new ones. You can make submissions to artofmanliness at gmail.com