Jul 20, 2009

Going old school

Every month or six weeks, I am out at the grocery store and I wander into the shaving aisle. I bend down to grab a package of Mach3 Razor cartridges and gasp...$17....what a waste of money!!! Then it gets worse, the fact that I travel frequently means that my mach 3 handle needs replacement every 4 months or so. So I figure I am about $200 into shaving annually. Did I mention I hate shaving? I hate shaving.

Ok, time for solutions. I started poking around the internet to see if someone had made a razor that is more affordable, maybe something not available at the grocery store.

I found the answer, brace yourself. Straight razor shaving. The kind your grandfather's grandfather shaved with...old school.

I found a forum (there is a forum for everything by the way), called StraightRazorPlace.com. I learned a lot, and was directed to www.straightrazordesign.com, the owners also founded the forum. I started shopping, and after a slight investment (about the same as my annual shaving bill) I now own a Dovo Straight Razor, Illinois Leasther Strop, shaving soap, shaving cream, badger hair shaving brush, a shaving mug and a "how to" shave DVD.

You might be scratching your head right now...especially if you have ever seen a straight razor. YIKES! To say they are sharp, is an understatment! To test the sharpness of a shaving razor, and to make sure it is "shave ready" you simply pluck a hair off your head, and while holding it in one hand you raise the razor, blade up into the hair, it will cut clean through without moving the hair.

Ok, back to the blog! I have now been shaving with my straight razor for about 2 months, I have expanded my soap and cream selection and picked up another razor just to see the differences. I have also watched many youtube videos, talked to some other locals and have become VERY comfortable with this form of shaving. I have had a few "nicks", but nothing to bad.

Here's the real kicker....I LOVE TO SHAVE NOW! I love it, I wish I could shave 3 times a day!

Here is the system.
Preshave- like an old school barber, sharpen your straight razor with a leather strop...it's theraputic.
1. Take a nice soft towel, soak it in piping hot water and then hold it on your beard until it starts to cool (it's heavenly).
2. Repeat step one a few times...
3. Place a small amout of shave cream in a shaving mug (which has been soaking in hot water so it's warm).
4. Now take your badger hair shaving brush and get it wet under hot water then shake it dry. Now whip that cream and shave soap into a nice fluffy warm lather!
5. Apply generously to your face.
6. Now, very carefully, with very little pressure shave with the grain of you hair.
7. Splash some nice aftershave or better yet some vanilla flavored shave milk...and enjoy the baby butt smoothness!

For more information on how to be more manly, save some money, and actually enjoy the morning shave ritual visit.


You'll thank me!

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Jul 9, 2009

Holden Village and WA trip

Claire's side of the family had a small reunion this year at Holden Village, an amazing old mining town that is now a Lutheran Retreat Center. We spent a few days in Sammamish and then went into Holden (the only way to Holden is via boat or on foot). Tyler and a group of other family members decided they wanted to opt for the "on foot" route to Holden but unfortunately due to snow lingering in the surrounding mountains, that was not an option. Instead, they spend 3 days hiking around in the mountains near Stehekin, WA (the last stop on the Chelan Ferry route, and also only accessed by boat or on foot). After the three days of hiking on the Pacific Crest Trail both north and south of Stehekin, the hikers took the boat back to Holden Village to spend some time with the entire family. Unfortunately we had to leave a little earlier then the rest of the family but still had a terrific time, albeit, short. One of the highlights of the trip was on the bus ride from Holden, back down the dirt road to the ferry terminal, which normally wouldn't be a highlight! A few miles from Holden, standing in the middle of the road was the bear that Tyler was complaining about not seeing...trip complete!

For more information on Holden Village, please visit: