‘Mr. Kookbox’ is About Nole Cossart and His Experimental Journey into the World of Wooden Surfboards

A modern take on Tom Blakes early surfboard designs known as the kookbox. Nole Cossart of the @apiary_ was featured in the most recent Surfers Journal going in depth into his life and his passion for building and surfing these boards in waves previously deemed too heavy.

Film/Edit: Trent Stevens (@seawolfcollective)

Location: Ventura, California, USA

Are You Ready to Rise Up as a Dad (or even as a Single Parent)?

It’s 4:50 a.m. and I’m waiting at Denny’s for Rob Otto.

Rob has been a family friend plus a math tutor and mentor to my teenage son for quite a while.  I met him because his wife used to babysit my son before they got married.

Rob has also been a good friend while I’m going through a divorce, a really ugly one.

Why 5 a.m.?  That’s the only time both of us can get together.  We eat breakfast and talk.

This time of day doesn’t bother Rob… he’s a graduate of West Point Military Academy and a former officer in the Army Airborne Rangers.  5 a.m. is “sleeping in” for those guys.

Today plays out the same as usual… Rob shows up at 4:59 sharp.  He listens to me, points out passages in the Bible that give the answer to the problem we’re talking about, and he listens some more.

It’s an amazing gift and blessing.

God bless Rob and the few like him. It’s rare to find someone with wisdom, toughness, honesty, humility, and honor.

Need Rob in your life? Read on to see how you can meet with Rob at any time of the day or night to become a leader in your family.


Seems like a lifetime has passed but those breakfast meetings were only 8 years ago.

Back then Rob held me accountable to stay on a straight and narrow path to try and get my kids through divorce.

He also gave me super advice about raising my kids – doing it as a leader with Jesus Christ and His teaching as the foundation and guide.  That hasn’t made me into “Super Dad.”  I’m still just a sinner that is God’s work in progress.  But it has made a difference.

My oldest son is now 24, married and a member of a church, in the Marine Corps, and a Business Management major with great grades at the University of South Carolina.  He’s my hero for many reasons; but, mostly because 8 years ago he was being driven to total failure with little hope to turn it around.

Rob was a big part of laying the foundation underneath my son, and under me as a dad, before and during tragedy, loss, and ruin, so that my son could transform himself, with God’s help, into a squared away, solid man.

Now Rob has compiled that wisdom and more into a book he’s just published:

Rise Up! For Dad’s Who Want to Lead Boldly

It’s amazing how close Rob’s book hits home.  My story as a beginning father isn’t much different than most men, even Christian men.

When Rob asked a Sunday school class of married couples how many had seen their fathers take the lead in spiritual matters in their childhood homes. Only four people out of fifty raised their hands. He is convinced that most of us did not see a good example from our fathers in this particular area.

Most guys simply don’t know how to be the spiritual leaders their families need.  The attitudes and action weren’t modeled for them so they weren’t taught what to do.

That was certainly the case in my childhood.  My mother was expected to be the spiritual leader when I was growing up and so I expected that in my marriage. My drastic mistake.

There are many other reasons men don’t step up to lead their families the way they should.  They are outlined in the book, not to beat men up, but to let you know you aren’t alone.

Rob will get you started with what you need to know to lead your family, especially your children, boldly.  He provides a lifelong approach for a family with kids of any age still at home.

The book includes:

>> All the reasons you aren’t the spiritual leader you could be. Some will be very familiar.  Page 15.

NOTE: The book is not about judging you.  It’s a pat on the back and a helpful point in the right direction.

>> Why your wife and children need you to be the spiritual leader in your home.  Page 30.

>> God commanded fathers to teach their children about Jesus and His Truth, not churches and youth pastors. Churches and pastors are partners in the process, but should not be expected to be in charge of leading our children.  Page 39.

>> Why we should instruct our children. Page 53.

>> You are not too late!  Even if your kids are in high school, it is never too late.  Learn how!  Page 65.

>> Do you want your relationship with your wife to grow stronger?  Lead and grow now!  Page 90.

>> See actual conversations inside Rob’s family to learn how spiritual leadership works, even in awkward situations.  Page 126.

>> If you do your job well, your children will be well grounded in their faith for life and have a worldview based on truth, not what is portrayed on TV or other wrongful influencers. Page 160.

>> How do you and your family respond to storms?  Page 188.

>> What are the benefits of your leadership?  Page 202.

There’s a lot more to this book than what I’ve shown above.  These are just examples.

You’ll be surprised at the depth of teaching Rob’s book offers.  And even though the topic is thoroughly researched and scripture based, it doesn’t read like a textbook.  It’s actually entertaining.  It “sounds” like Rob.

Another surprising aspect of the book is that you can apply these principles even if you are a single dad or single mom.  Your children, AND YOU, will be blessed greatly!

If you do what’s in this book, you’ll gain from a lifestyle change that will amaze you.  I’ve seen it in action in Rob’s family, with my 24 year old, and with my youngest son, who is now 4.




RISE UP! For Dads That Want to Lead Boldly
By Dr. Robert Otto


Dr. Robert Otto is passionate about encouraging men to be the spiritual leaders their families need. He knows from experience how powerful role models are as men learn to lead. Robert graduated from the United States Military Academy. He is an Airborne Ranger and served as an Infantry Officer in the Army. He draws on this wealth of leadership experience in his speaking and writing.

Robert earned a PhD in Family Therapy at Nova Southeastern University. He is on staff at Spanish River Counseling Center in Boca Raton, Florida. He and his wife, Shannon, serve as associate staff with Campus Crusade for Christ’s Military Ministry. Together they conduct marriage seminars at military installations around the country, teaching and encouraging military couples. Robert has been active in leading men’s Bible studies, teaching a Sunday School class for young families, and speaking at church retreats.

Robert and Shannon have been married since 1993. They live in Boca Raton, Florida and homeshool their three children.

Get This Guy Off the Beach!

Mike’s been spending way to much time at the beach lately:  Running, swimming, surfing.  Time for MORE CLIENTS!

Mike is a specialist in writing, the Internet, social media strategy, and most importantly, Brand Journalism.

If you need a freelance writer to work on some projects, contact Mike today!


Separation of News and Advertising is Over

Journalists claim there is a wall between news and advertising.  

Somebody in the newsroom better inform the publisher and executive producer because that wall hasn’t been there for a long time.

With NBC Nightly News actively doing “news” segments on their own programming, NBC with their “Artist in Residence” program and promoting it on the Today Show and evening news, major market newspapers covering their own events and activities, etc., advertising and news have not been separate for a while, no matter what the editors and beat journalists say.

Sure, some organizations have a stronger line than others, but let’s face it, with traditional publishers dying faster than dinosaurs, that line is getting fuzzier all the time, and in many cases, it’s gone.

A local affiliate in the West Palm Market is selling “news packages,” produced by their news production crews, on products and services and showing it on their air as news during news programs.  They’re infomercials!  Guess they’re running out of car crashes to cover.

Boca Raton production companies, home to the infomercial industry, have been selling “news packages” to companies and claim that they air on PBS, Discovery, Lifetime, and other cable channels for over a decade.  They even have marquee named news hosts like Hugh Downs and others.

Think about the newspaper real estate section (when there was one). The “advertorial” that looks like news is written by the advertisers. Magazines sell display space and “content space” all the time – including Newsweek.  As a marketer, you can negotiate a cover for many magazines – all it takes is cash.  The line isn’t there let alone a wall.  And most in the public don’t know it.

They can have “Contents produced by the advertising department” on the page or website all they want, but very few read the fine print.  And that’s OK with both the publisher and advertiser.

I had to laugh when my 11 year-old daughter read a weekly column by a real estate editor 5 years ago and she looked at me in shock when she said, “Dad, this guy plagiarized your article!”  She had read the article on my laptop at home while I was working on it the week before.  The editor used it word-for-word.

I explained how that section of the paper worked.  As the director of marketing and public relations I spent a $ million a year advertising in that paper so they gave us columns with the editor’s byline, cover stories, and inside advertorials.  Then she said, “His picture shouldn’t be at the top of the article, yours should be.”

My daughter’s right.  Maybe we ought to stop faking it.   Honesty in the media?  That’s a novel idea.

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