Yesterday brought welcome relief from the week’s heat and humidity. The mercury never climbed out of the low 70s, perfect for working out in the garage. We’ll enjoy a near-repeat today, expecting a tolerable high of 77°F.
What I didn’t expect was the chill that greeted me when I opened the door at 5:30am this morning — in mid-June, in Ohio, the temp at sunup was a brisk 44°F.
I know it’ll get brutal again later this week so today I was outdoors again, mowing our overgrown lawn and sweeping out the now-empty garage sheds.
The Tacomas we just traded away, though compact trucks, had a bunch of features to helped make the best use of the space they offered. One such feature was an ingenious track system in the bed, four tie-down cleats that could be adjusted to accommodate various loads.
Our seven-year-old Silverado is a more conventional pickup, sporting just four permanently mounted loops on the inside of the bed. (Two of those are blocked by the tool box). Reading through Chevy’s 2015 accessories catalog online the other night I discovered that I could quickly and inexpensively add more tie-down points.
There are nine plastic plugs on the inside bed walls, three on each side and three more up front. Removing a plug exposes an oval hole in the sheet metal, allowing the installation of a tie-down loop that mounts using a toggle design. A pack of four Genuine GM hooks would cost me $85, or I could have nine aftermarket loops for 30 bucks.
I went with the latter. They’re not nearly as slick or as easily moved as are the OEMs, but they won’t be subjected to a lot of strain and I intend to leave them in place. It took me 20 minutes to install four of the gizmos (the other mounting spots are behind the tool box). I saved the rest for spares.
We’ll fit the new bug deflector next week, and that should be the last of the post-purchase accessories — nothing fancy, nothing expensive. Eventually I may swap the paper air-filter element for a reusable K&N (but probably not a complete cold-air-intake system). And I have no doubt that when Deb’s cousin hears the stock exhaust note for the first time he’ll urge us to replace the pipe with something more respectable. But fundamentally this truck is a tool, and so far we’re thrilled with our choice.
So this is Father’s Day. Along with well-wishes and tributes to dads and granddads, some are pointing out that fatherhood ain’t what it used to be — or more to the point, that it’s dropped a few pegs in terms of respect and admiration. To society’s detriment, they say, we value dads less than we do single moms.
And they’re on the right track, though not quite right.
There’s no substitute for a two-parent family, a man and a woman, a dad and a mom. Single parents have an excruciatingly difficult job, of course, and the ones who do it right find ways to include the influence that’s missing with as much stability as possible.
That’s especially important when we’re talking about single moms with sons. I’ve seen it done well, a woman who does whatever it takes to prepare her boy for his proper role in society, and I’ve watched moms raise pale and clingy sons who reflect their lack of positive male influence.
But a disturbing number of traditional two-parent households these days also turn out “beta males.” Why is that?
See, the problem isn’t simply a the lack of fathers. It’s a lack of men.
We’re waist-deep in a feminized culture that’s diluted true masculinity and demeans real men as “toxic.” America is overrun with un-men who only biologically qualify as male — and they’re being indoctrinated to be embarrassed about even that.
If we want to restore fatherhood, first we have to value manhood. And that starts with raising boys who are mentally, emotionally, culturally and practically prepared to become men.
It may be latter-day heresy to say this, but it’s been true since the dawn of time: patriarchy works.
One year ago today, we started packing up to leave the Texas Hill Country. In the morning, we’d be ready to fly.
Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.