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Born Free

"Man is born free and everywhere is in chains."

The famous opening line of Rousseau provides the metaphor here, perhaps in an unexpected way. It's a glorious first sentence; but the work pretty much goes to pot from there; and there is much less shave content in The Social Contract than would you hope.

So. You've been warned. You really only have yourself to blame if you continue reading. It won't get any better. Might be polemical. Illustrations lacking. And page after page with so little about shaving.

The main point for me is that I don't contaminate other threads with off topic unhelpful nonsense that tries too hard to be amusing. Need to stop that. But do want to participate. Not yet persuaded that the impulse is all or mostly bad.

OK. Part journal. Part self-containment thread.

Beginning at the beginning.

Not really satisfied with the title I've selected. Gave hard looks at, "For Digressors Only," "Digressors Anon.," and "Your Digression is Appreciated." Then I lost my train of thought.

I blame the auto-spell check warning me that "digressor" is not a word. Distracted me. It could be right. And yeah. I could try "-er," but if that doesn't work, what then?

Where was I?

Pleasant shave today with Fatip OC piccolo in nickel. I think the blade was a nacet, might have been a GSB. Indistinguishable to me in this razor. One razor might give a slight nod to one blade or another, but these blades work well for me in everything I use.

Spent a solid 2 minutes working the WMS lather and wondered how people do this every day. Not use WMS. I get that. I mean spend 2 minutes plus developing the lather. It's nice to linger, don't get me wrong.

Made a mess. Cleaned it up. These pucks last me forever. Still tickled that someone can wipe one of these suckers out in less than a month. My goodness. Did I do that?

Reminds me of a little girl professing no knowledge of who might have got into mommy's cosmetics despite being covered, along with walls and a pet, with lipstick. You just have to admire that.

Aftershave splash and then applied a moisturizer. No SPF? Were they raised in a barn?

Where was I. Oh. I meant to tell you. It is spelled "digresser." Damn. Spell check is fascism.
 
Used Arko today. Skin felt a little dry and I applied moisturizer, which I was going to do anyway, and come to think of it, didn't do last night as I fell asleep reading.

Got me thinking that I ought to be thankful that I don't have special skin needs. Occasionally, I read of someone who liked a soap but had to stop using it because it left their skin feeling dry.

If I lived in Aspen, I wouldn't move away because the winters left my skin feeling dry. I might not like the winters. I might find a reason to move. After moving, I might appreciate that the winters didn't leave my skin feeling dry in the new location. But if I lived in Aspen, I'd probably use more moisturizer in the winter, which I'd be happy to do. I'm lucky that way.

Used the Fatip again. Gosh I like this razor. It was a GSB I used yesterday and again today. I think this is the best blade for me in this razor, but it might be a tie with the Nacet.

This public airing of my banality is starting to weigh on me.

Humans having been grooming themselves and each other a while now. Primates much longer. Mammals for a couple hundred million years. It predates speech. We may find ways to centralize things like breathing, eating, sleeping, etc., in order to maintain balance, and grooming is up there pretty high.
 
Straight razor shave with Cella. No runs, no drips, no errors. I understand why the Italians seem to go on strike so often if this is their idea of working man's soap. Every day feels like Sunday.

I contemplate three imaginary formations, morning, noon, and evening, when I shave. My shave needs to be pass worthy of a close inspection through noon formation. If so, it will be adequate for evening formation's more cursory inspection. And no matter how close yesterday's shave, I need to shave every morning to pass at morning formation.

On the uncommon occasion I need to pass a close inspection in the evening I expect to shave again. Sometimes I don't need to, because the morning shave was so excellent, so close. But I would shave anyway because I expected I'd need to, and it couldn't hurt having been so long since morning.

This is a roundabout way of commenting on other people's nuttery regarding BBS. I don't think about it that way. It doesn't motivate me. It isn't the goal. Instead, I have an elaborate nuttery of my own, scaffolding involving imaginary formations with inspections of varying severity and what it takes to pass them.

As mental health notes go. I think it's a tie.
 
So Arko with the same gear set-up. Yesterday's shave, as I intuited, is in the accidentally spectacular category. The morning shave was close enough that it would have passed close inspection in the evening, which I didn't think it would need to when I shaved in the morning, because it rarely would, and if it did need to, I would have planned to shave in the evening, which shave I would have done regardless its necessity come evening for reasons substantial and explained elsewhere.

This reminds me. This journal is taking me from my very important work, in which I establish, beyond any reasonable doubt for all time, in not less than 10,000 pages, that brevity is the soul of wit.

The above, a joke I often tell, prompts exactly one response from every hearer: "Good luck with that." In an act of great self-control, I don't detail to them the genius of their reply. Besides, I have instead dedicated an entire chapter to the genius of their response in my magnum opus on brevity, and I'd hate to spoil the book for them.

More about the shave. Superb. Used witch hazel after-- inspired by its advocates on B&B. An excellent finish. Might even do some chores today to earn the shave I was just blessed with.
 
The piccolo with cella. I'll be grumbling all day about the Italians. What a masterpiece. 2 passes to a perfection which I don't even aspire to. Probably could have quit after one and flown through imaginary noon formation. Then witch hazel. What a treat.

It's going to be difficult to maintain a misanthropic air today. I feel cheated. Ah. There it is.

More tomorrow. I think.
 
I got really lucky today. I cut myself, cartoonishly, on the ear, half inch slice. I was surrounded by darkness and my phone rang and I spooked.

You might be wondering how it is that a fool mishandling a sharp object and doing self-harm is lucky -- but more likely you already know the answer, or at least the nature of it involving what might have been.

1. It was a clean slice.

2. It was on my ear where there are no whiskers, I don't want to think about slicing my cheek or neck like that. I know I just did think about exactly that in order not to think about that, but, well, whatever. Nose, upper lip. More thinks not to think about.

3. I was using a straight and the cut was so clean that the skin flapped back into place. Left a red smile, otherwise, good to go. I think a DE would have gashed horribly.

Anyway, feeling a little spent from a bit of an associated adrenal dump, I quickly finished with the ringer on silent.

Did something I think is funny yesterday, shave related, meant to write about it, will save it for tomorrow if I'm still around.
 
Thank you, Thom. All is well.

I swear there was a tv ad for a hotel chain in Canada a while back. I can't be imagining this. Set in a guest room, it featured some old-time hockey person, presumably recognizable to hockey fans, talking about clean rooms and convenient locations, etc. Then out of the blue, from off screen, a fast-moving hockey puck enters frame and viciously ricochets off his forehead. The old-timer says, "Whoo. That one almost got me."

Worse case I weave a spectacular tale explaining a scar which involves a jealous eastern European prostitute furious with the prospect that I might ever consider being unfaithful and wanting to make her point emphatically with a sharp object. I had thought we were still in the friend zone, not even courting, and maybe, possibly, I smiled at someone in a friendly manner. Like anyone would with a passerby. Big deal. She doesn't own me. And well, you know, her profession does seem to take a position on monogamy.

Know this, it is unwise to say that last part around a jealous eastern European prostitute holding a sharp object, however cordial and platonic and comfortable and respectful the relationship may be.

But, whew, that one almost got me. A blissful predawn shave in quiet and darkness interrupted by a tacky factory ringtone I really should change causing a flinch. Definitely going with the hooker explanation, it's less unseemly.

So. Today my shave was glorious. Can't let go of the piccolo. It's now been three weeks of me wondering what I'll use today and answering the same way and being rewarded. Putting it away, as I did today and each previous, I thought, well, I really should visit another. It's only a razor, after all-- which might be unwise to say around an Italian razor holding a sharp object come to think of it. I do remain flattered that she smiles at me at all, and so convincingly. Splashed on some AS in tribute.

I'll have to get to the funny, I think, thing about Monday another time.
 
The EJ 3one6 played a starring role in this morning's excellent shave.

Thoughts on the razor, and kind of a downer.

I see genius in the geometry of its gorgeous head. The safety bar's outside edge is rounded and comes to form a side perpendicular with the shave angle-- unlike those safety's that come to a sharper edge and/or come to form a side perpendicular with the handle.

Despite its ability to house any blade, accommodate steep, neutral, or shallow approaches, and provide beautiful shaves; I rarely reach for it.

The handle bugs me. Its ugly. Its long for my tastes, off in weight, width, and feel even though the grip is fine.

But the shave doesn't lie, results as good or better than any razor I've used. It might simultaneously be my best performer and the first I would part with.

Best in its class and last in my heart. Why/how does one divest of such a perfect and perfectly blameless tool? There is no accounting for taste.
 
Excellent, close comfortable shave.

Face lathered Arko with a new boar that still smells of dead wet animal after a week of daily use. Not noxious. Not horrid. Now beneath a top note of clean and bright soapiness. Mildly unpleasant. Expected it to have disappeared by now.

Here's the funny thing I did a while ago that I've threated to tell.

I practically bathed in an inexpensive after shave that fails me in that it persists. I like an AS to come on loud and tingly and then dissipate. Not this one, and two out of three is not good enough. I was, for the day, to smell of a cut price would-be strumpet, a full-on Fred Garvin, servicing the entire Quad-Cities Area, Moline, Rock Island, Davenport, and Bettendorf, with male harlotry and all the associated acrobatics if you'll first help me take off my socks and are careful not to aggravate the sciatica I've been dealing with.

Even with a not especially acute olfactory sense, I, myself, experienced a headache. Nonetheless, feeling ten-feet tall and rock solid, I went to visit a friend who recently had covid and had lost their sense of smell. Consider it a wellness check.

She normally has an extraordinary sense of smell, but it had clearly not returned. I did detect she seemed confused. We enjoyed a visit and as I readied to leave a colleague of hers came by. Now I felt ridiculous, my absurd gambit soon to be revealed.

He, too, though, seem confused. What? She noticed and asked. Well, he wasn't sure, it turned out that he too had recently had covid and remained a bit disoriented. They both intuited something, but they couldn't identify its nature or source. Lucky me.

I asked them if their discomfit had to do with smell. They both immediately said, yes, yes, that was it, now that I mentioned it, a smell. I asked them if it might be a perfume. Yes, yes, a perfume, but from where? I explained. They laughed and appeared delighted by my silliness.

Anyway. Wanted to share. I'm proud of that. Spread a teaspoon of joy in an unlikely way.
 
The handle bugs me. Its ugly. Its long for my tastes, off in weight, width, and feel even though the grip is fine.
The beauty of this problem is that it has a simple solution. Put the brilliant head on a handle you love. Trust me. It makes a huge difference. I just sold a heavy a stainless Wolfman handle that allowed me to butcher my face with a WR2 1.25 SB. I do a lot less damage with a Timeless titanium handle. Better still a brass Gillette Comon Bar handle frpm my New Short Comb. It changes the shave completely. Tibam handles are customizable so within his designs you can pretty much dictate your specs. Maybe you already have a handle that could work. Might keep a raxor with traights you sdmire landing on BST.
 
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Thank you @tehnothing. Your solution is the correct one. Yet what is easily executed for some can be difficult for others. Pairing a razor and a handle is a simple exercise in taste for many, and a baffling rabbit hole for others. I know what I like in my hand and to my eye but visualizing and feeling what is not there is hard for me. I want the architect to have done it for me, perhaps especially because I need it so.

And it will remain baffling to me how EJ paired that stupid handle, however perfectly weighted and balanced, with that gorgeous 3one6 head. The best answer I can come up with involves presentation of their logo. As if building a jaguar started with the hood ornament, which, sadly, seems to have been the case for certain model years. I digress.

Today was good enough with a Muhle R41 and GSB. Usually a better, more comforting experience, still excellent. Again, witch hazel finish, I use this a couple times a week now thanks to badger and blade.

This razor is my last and strongest connection to feathers and the only razor for which I ought simply to give up on the GSB. This pairing mysteriously fails me -- where failure is measured on the tiniest of scales. Still excellent, but.
 
Pleasant shave with the R41 and a Nacet. Nice combo. The animal hair when wet still smells ever so faintly of wet animal hair. Any day now, that will be a memory, missed its own way. Moisturizer to finish.

One of the things I think I'm right about is moisturizer. Apply sparingly and frequently. Say, twice a day, most days. And on days when your face devours it, as if quenching a thirst, this does not mean to apply more. This does not indicate a failing or problem to be fixed by rubbing in more. Make a mental note. Check in with yourself. And go on your way. You are, in this moment, adequately moistured.
 
So. In a development hilarious on many levels I made a lousy lather this morning with Cella. I don't really know how. But what an achievement in incompetence, seems impossible, what can it mean, the soap wants to lather and help you shave-- yet I defeated it. Look on my works you mighty.

Anyway. Shave was close and comfortable. Baffling.

The great Ben Hogan once said that the secret to golf was in the dirt. Generations have pondered the inscrutable wisdom of the Golf-Yoda, some to become great champions in their own right. Well.

The secret to lather is in the suds.

So, I present a fool proof procedure for those having difficulty trying to get brand X to lather:

1. Try again.

It's a short list. I admit. And, yes. There's that annoying observation apocryphally attributed to Einstein about the definition of crazy pants.

But I believe in you. You'll figure it out. Try again. You're doing a new thing, acquiring a new skill. Is a teaspoon of patience and perseverance so much to ask?

So, I'll get back on the horse that threw me tomorrow. Cella. Life is a series of humiliations. Add: Dude can't figure out Cella to my list. It just did not want to go on my face and soften and slicken my whiskers. Wow. Clearly, I can do anything.

Maybe they changed the formula.
 
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