Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Eulogy for a Razor

Today, after the eighth day of service, I retired my uber razor, the Fusion. After a slow, smooth shave, numerous rinsings and final "shake dry", I laid the razor to rest. Never more will the inordinate number of blades glide across the skin of my face, nipping tiny hairs as it traverses the path to good grooming.

I'm thinking that I may encase this, my favorite razor, in glass as it lays in state on our bathroom counter. Like Lenin and Mao, mummified in vacuum pack for the world to trek by and view on a pilgrimage.

One day, when the normal number of blades exceeds the number of fingers on a hand, a grandson will turn to his grandfather as they pass my shrine to the Fusion and ask, "Gramps, did people really used to shave with only two blades per razor? Did it take them, like, all day?"

On second thought, I'll likely toss the dangerous part and keep the handle in a drawer until the price of a six-bladed razor refill drops to the price of a barrel of crude oil.

Goodbye, fair Fusion. It was nice while it lasted.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

GeezerChronicles: Razor Update

GeezerChronicles: Uber-Razor, Day 7

GeezerChronicles: Battle of the Blades

GeezerChronicles: Battle of the Blades

Uber-Razor, Day 7

Yesterday was a little hasty, in retrospect. I must have hurried or pressed too hard to get cut, because today was not as bad. There is but one small spot of my lifeblood on my neck.

I took it easy today, and the shave was smoother. But after talking to Mr.V, (he got a Fusion in the mail, too) we concluded that the phenomenal number of blades necessitated a constant "rinse" action that was heretofore unprecedented in the annals of shaving. He noted that the act of plowing through all that lather only clogged it up, calling for the need for the seemingly obsessive/compulsive act.

But, I fear, the end is near. Any nick, slight as it is, indicates that the razor is beginning the inevitable breakdown. Second Law of Thermodynamics. Entropy. The Razor Blade Corollary; no matter how much you like a particular blade (or blades), when used, it (they) will dull, and eventually cut your face to ribbons.

More tomorrow.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Razor Update

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday were perhaps the best shaving days I have experienced in my long and checkered shaving career. I thought that the free, overpriced uber-razor would be so much fluff. Big package, lots of blades, marketing push that rivals Microsoft.

But I absolutely love this razor. The difference between this weapon and the cheap dual-bladers I normally buy is comparable to the Toyota Corolla and the Lexus-whatever-top-of-the-line model. The normal Gillette twin blades are functional and inexpensive. They cut the hairs that grow out of my face. The Fusion King-of-all-razors cuts the hairs, too. But in such a smooth, even, non-nicking way that I dread the day when it no longer performs the function to the high standards that were exhibited on the first couple of days.

Like this morning, for example. I have two small spots of blood on either side of my neck, shouting to me that the Fusion honeymoon is all but over. The slight razor burn rash on the right side of my neck is further evidence that we shall soon part ways.

Not that I don't think it's the best thing since bacon, but there is only so long you can shave with a free five blade razor. Oh, six blades (remember the superfluous blade for those "tricky places"). But at $25 for an eight-pack of refills, I think the five dollar ten-pack of blue disposable twins will suffice. Even though there are a total of 48 actual blades in the Fusion pack, there are 50 actual blades in the pack of blues.

And in a geezer's book, 50 divided by five dollars beats the heck out of 48 divided by 25 dollars any day. Who said I wasn't good at math?

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Happy Birthday, Martha

It’s my sister’s birthday today, February 22. And her name is not Martha. That’s the name that Uncle Curtis called her when she was young. George Washington’s birthday; February 22; can’t call a girl George; Martha was George’s wife’s name…MARTHA.

Growing up, her role was the “Picker” and mine was that of the “Whiner”. She was so good at finding a nerve that she should have been a neurologist. She gave me a karate chop across the nose which elicted the now classic response “YOU COULDA KILLED ME!”, and it was her that picked up on the "I can see the truck from here" phrase, immortalized in our family.

As we grew, she also found the treasures where I failed to see them. After college, I would be in my room drawing, flinging unsuitable sketches to the garbage. She rescued several of them, picked nice frames for them, and hung them in her house. On seeing the picture framed and hung, I was amazed at how little it looked like a reject and how closely it resembled real art. She has framed a number of my pieces and they look pretty good.

Her eye is artistic and she has the potential to create some really nice watercolors, and I hope this is the year she slows down to pursue that pursuit. She recently refinished her original wood floors, so she's mighty handy, too.

My sister has always been a tireless supporter of mine, and she has supported me even when she did have tires. I appreciate that so much.

Happy birthday, Martha!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Battle of the Blades

I got a razor in the mail from the good people at Gillette yesterday. It’s one of those razors with more blades than a ninja movie. Five blades in one row and another on the back for “those tricky places” (their words), whatever that means. I think they are referring to the tight spots next to your beard or moustache or sideburns or eyebrows or ear hairs.

This morning, the magnificent Fusion Razor made its maiden voyage across my face. At first I was torn between fear of the stack of razor sharp steel I was about to drag around on my skin, and disbelief at any benefit the extra three blades could possibly afford in the simple job of cutting tiny hairs.

Intrepidly, I crashed on, lathered up and grasped the new gadget. The first few swipes were smooth and uneventful, careful as I was not to slice my throat or jawline. I noticed that it was indeed very smooth, and the built-in suspension system (thus the $12.00 price tag) kept me from pushing too hard. That prevents razor burn, which is always a plus. As I continued to shave I noticed that I nearly enjoyed the act. I was ever aware, however, that the sheer number of blades, should they decide to rebel, would make for a very dramatic morning, indeed.

My review of the New Multi-Bladed wonder called the Gillette Fusion Razor is favorable indeed. While I still had to go over my face two or three times, the shave was smooth and uneventful, thank God! The last thing you want at 0645 is an eventful shave.

But it’s nearly noon and I suspect that I’ll have to repeat the procedure tomorrow, same time, same place. For the price of the razor and refill blades (8 blades, $25+!) I feel one should have to shave no more than twice a week.

But that’s just one uninformed goober’s opinion.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

SAINT Valentine's Day?

SAINT Valentine’s Day?
I don’t know why the Valentine’s day mania has gotten
so out of hand, but it is clear that there are a bunch
of sick people out there.

It all started Monday, when I took my eleven-year-old
to Wally World to catch the latest Valentine fashions.
She had to pick up something for her friend down the
street and then a couple of boxes for the yahoos in
her class. Thirty-two kids in the class, seems like
rather a lot of kids for one class to me, but
whatever. That meant that there were two boxes of
valentines to cover every last one of them. She
informed me that her sixteen-year-old sister needed a
package of kid valentines, too. I didn’t ask.

So we found the inexpensive stuffed animal without
“love” connotations, grabbed a little wire basket,
some candy and the obligatory tissue paper to line the
basket with.

“Do we need any candy?”, I asked her.

“No, we’re not passing out candy this year...”

Wonderful, we’re nearly done. While on the card aisle,
she couldn’t decide on which box of valentines to get
for her sister.

“Get ‘em both”, I wheezed, “and let’s go”.

So she threw them both in the basket and we sprinted
to the checkout. And we escaped without any major
injuries and the only damage was a bill of $27. Not
bad. I guess. For Valentines. Thinking I was all done
with hooligan duty, I thought it a small price to pay.

Tuesday night while teaching my class, I was interrupted
by the clucking of my cell phone. Knowing that my family usually only
disrupts my class in a dire or near-dire situation that
requires my immediate intervention/knowledge, I
tentatively answered the phone, only to find out that
I was required to stop by the store on the way home to
retrieve a couple of bags of suckers.

On the way home, I stopped into a different (but
exactly the same) gigantic discount warehouse store to
pick up the requested items. I headed back to the
special revolving holiday section where all the
chocolate and stuffed animal treasures reside.

As I hurriedly peered down the aisles to try to find
those suckers, I marveled at the utter chaos that was
evident in those canyons of desperation. As the
vacant-eyed souls clawed through the picked over items
that were originally intended to bring joy to lucky
lovers, I realized that at 9:45 p.m. on the night
before the single biggest forced holiday on the planet
that nobody really wanted to be there. If they had
wanted to be there, they would have been there the day
before. Right? They were there because they had either
forgotten someone or were guilted into getting a gift.

On not finding any suckers in the melee, I passed a
bewildered-looking employee who stood staring at the sad
collection of stuffed bears who were in turn staring at the ceiling with vacant eyes, cute monkeys with footprints on their faces, and broken-stemmed chocolate roses. I commented that the place looked
absolutely molested. He smiled sadly and knowingly.
While I had his attention, I inquired if there were
any packages of suckers anywhere to be found in the
entire hangar. He indicated that the grocery end of
the cavern may hold some.

Well, he was right, and not a moment too soon. The Dum Dum pops were broken into, and the Snoopy Suckers only contained 12 pieces. That was when I spied the Garfield Fruit Pops, 30 to a bag, for $1.26 per.

So, with all the tearing and stomping and clawing and eye-rolling going on, who was this "Saint Valentine", and what was he REALLY known for?

Friday, February 02, 2007

It's A CURSE I Tell Ya!

I had no reason to be “up” or “on” this morning. Dreary, rainy weather, I had a hard time getting out of the house on time, there’s a sick kid at home, traffic turned out horrible (what is usually a 5 minute leg of my commute turned out to be a 20 minute “sit-in” due to a blinking red light).

So when I rolled in to the office at 8:04, there was no indication of the golden moment that would ensue in mere seconds.

Our office manager told me that she left some cat food on my desk, knowing there are a couple of cats at our house. She added, “I have an electric cat feeder if you want it…”

My immediate reply: “I don’t have an electric cat...” drew a scream of approval from the other administrative assistant. One of our clever wordsmiths was coming up the aisle between the cubicles was seen laughing and shaking his head. The victim knew immediately what had happened. Fortunately, she embraced her role as “straight man” and enjoyed the coup along with everyone else.

I am just so glad to have been there to be able to use that corny old smart alecky line on such an appreciative audience. This is like a solar eclipse; the perfect straight line fed, and the punch line comes without even thinking. Heck, I don’t think I could have stopped it had I known it was coming.

Imagine living your life like this; an unending parade of potential set-ups and pay-offs running around in your head all day. Now you know what it’s like to be me.

Thank God you are you!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Caution Yellow

Yesterday I wore a yellow shirt. Apparently not an ordinary yellow shirt, though. This shirt was so yellow, people commented that it seemed to cause a cooking effect on the cornea. And possibly their retinas.

A few also seemed to notice a low frequency hum when I was near, which they attributed to my shirt. Even the cell phone reception was spotty (yes, even spottier than it normally is, thanks Cingular), but I just thought all this was coincidental.

Then the guys from IT came to my cube and asked me to stay away from the East end of the building. I asked why, and they reluctantly told me that my shirt was interfering with the wireless network, and the East end is where the signal broadcasts from.
Pictured is AJ telling me nicely to change clothes or stay away from the East end...

Which is a shame, because I really like that shirt. I had figured we needed a little sunshine on these gray and drizzly days.

Maybe I should test my clothes first at Best Buy in the electronics department.