Eric Thomas

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since Mar 19, 2011
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Northeast Oklahoma, Formerly Zone 6b, Now Officially Zone 7
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Recent posts by Eric Thomas

Thanks for the replies.  Craig Howard, I think I will try your 2xedge razor stropper.  I've worked my way through two complete shaves with the straight razor, with only two or three minor cuts, and I'm beginning to understand why 'modified' beards like goatees, Van Dykes, and curtains were prevalent in the 19th century; they're covering the hardest geography on most guy's faces to work with a Southside Peacemaker (thanks friend from Chicago for that one.)  

I had an age and medication issue with my right (dominant) eye that's going to take a few months to heal, for now I'm effectively one-eyed. This makes working the left side of my face almost impossible.  

It's nice to know it's sleeping in a drawer, ready for duty if I ever need it.  Fun and educational exercise, valuable experience to file away, but I think I'll get a good quality safety razor and try Craig's stropper.  
2 weeks ago

T Simpson wrote:The biggest downside to a straight razor in my opinion is that you can't pack it in a carry on, it has to be in checked luggage.

I honestly didn't think of that. Good point.  
3 weeks ago
I did see the shaving post after I posted this.  Oddly, it didn't come up on a search or I would have posted there.  
4 weeks ago
I've spent most of my 66 years trying very hard to never be beholden to anyone for anything; community relationship building notwithstanding. The recent Covid 'crisis' has caused me to think about some of the little things in life that I tend to take for granted.  I don't like a beard on me.  A couple of days of scrub doesn't bother me, but I have a tough, wiry beard, and once it gets to a certain length, it becomes unbearably scratchy.  It's also hot in the summer.  

I grew up using a double edge disposable blade razor.  Buy a really nice razor handle and then shave until the blade is too dull to give a good result, and then recycle the blades out to the shop for all the things you need an otherwise sharp and thin blade; scraping paint from window panes, peeling masking tape, etc.  I fell into the habit of using disposable plastic razors because I'm naturally lazy.  Didn't take me long before I started to think about the plastic waste [duh] and bought a cheap electric razor.  Got tired of the cheap electric razor and splurged on a very nice, albeit expensive model with an immediately recognizable German name.  It's nice, but it never gives the clean, tight shave as you would get from a blade.  That, and the heads last a few months, and then they need to be replaced (more waste), and they're $35 a pop.  On top of that, all of these are from a place far, far away, made by people that don't necessarily have my best interest at heart, and that, depending on the world's political situation at any given moment, are prone to supply interruption. They're also energy-rich. Even my 'German' engineering comes from there.  The goal is no waste (plastic or money,) no supply interruption, non-electric, good clean shave.  Throw in the desire for a sense of accomplishment, and there you have it.  Old School straight razor.  

I asked around, asked a LOT of guys, couldn't find anyone who actually uses one.  Plenty of "my old man used one, grandpa used one," but no current live users.  I did the usual YouTube thing and found some interesting information, including a number of 'experts' with very full beards attempting to inform me on the proper means and shaving methods.  Hmmm...

Did some research and found one online for about $100.  Solingen steel, Swiss-made, nice composite handle.  A rather pretty, elegant tool with classy engraving.  Should last my life, my son's life, and perhaps his son's life.  

I've been [very carefully] experimenting.  Bought a real badger bristle lather brush, several different types of soaps, including some local homemade soaps.  I bought a quality strop.  Took a nice long hot shower, soaked face [like I said, steel wool ain't got nuthin' on my beard.]  

Some observations:  Canned drugstore brand name shave cream doesn't cut it; it's made for safety razors.  I bought a tube of premium shave 'butter,' it's got coconut oil and lanolin' and some other goodies, you need this for comfort; the lubrication makes it a lot easier.  I have a close friend who makes all-natural soaps & creams working on it.  Angle: low.  Didn't put a protractor to it, but I would estimate about 15º.  Work in short, slow, smooth strokes; hesitancy leads to cuts.  Forget anything that you ever saw in a movie where the guy is wiping the blade across his manly face with enthusiasm.  I am terminally right-handed, the left side of my face presents the biggest challenge. Still working on the technique.  Blade: Never touch it; looking at it cross-eyed will not only dull it, but it will also deform it.  Strop: Before and after, every time.  Storage: Not in the bathroom where you would think, too humid and the blade will rust; keep it somewhere else after stropping and wiping it with a tissue and a little gun oil.  Safety: I don't have any young children around, but you can imagine what a boy would think if he saw it; very bad news.  I haven't gotten to honing yet.  

I'd be glad to hear any other perms chip in with their experiences.  I searched all the forums and strangely couldn't find a single post that's related to this.  Must be a lot of hirsute permies around.  
4 weeks ago
The item that blew me away was the fly traps that use the reusable plastic jar and bottom to hold some water and a little plastic tube of cadaver juice to attract the flies.  I had to show my license (I'm 65.) I could only assume that there are cults of miscreants that sniff cadaver juice in the woods late at night by the light of the moon.  It's truly disgusting stuff, but the flies seem to like it...

PS: I was told it's what's used by dog trainers to train dogs used to search for dead people in the woods or after big natural disasters.  
1 month ago
I got kicked out of the Flat Earth Club. I asked the group if social distancing had driven anyone over the edge yet.  
8 months ago
Imagine if the U.S. suddenly switched from pounds to kilograms, overnight.

There would be mass confusion.  
8 months ago
Guy charges into a bar.  He yells at the bartender, "quick! Gimme a shot of your best whiskey!"  The bartender pours him a shot of top-shelf liquor and the guy whacks it back in one gulp.  Then he says, "Quick!, give me a shot of your best Scotch!"  The bartender pours a shot of fine single malt, and the guy pounds it back and slams the shot glass on the bar.  "Quick! Pour me a shot of your best Vodka!!"  The bartender gives the guy the side-eye, but pulls down a bottle of premium Russian vodka and pours out a shot.  The guy shouts "Na Zdorovie!!" and slams the shot back in his throat.  The bartender says, "buddy, you really shouldn't drink like that!"  The guy looks at him with fizzled eyes and says, "if YOU had what I have, you'd drink like this too!!"

The bartender looks at him with sudden concern and asks, "what the hell do you have, exactly?"

The guy says, "about a buck and a half!"  
8 months ago
From a very successful guy who created an environment where people could actually work hard and prosper.  Jack Welch of GE.  

“The final relationship that cannot be ignored is with disrupters:

They are individuals who cause trouble for sport - inciting opposition
to management for a variety of reasons, most of them petty.

Usually these people have good performance - that's their cover - and so
they are endured or appeased.

A company that manages people well takes disrupters head-on.

First they give them very tough evaluations, naming their bad behavior
and demanding it change.

Usually it won't. Disrupters are a personality type.
If that's the case, get them out of the way of people trying to do their

They're poison.”
― Jack Welch
Not sure this would qualify as a 'recommendation', more like a snap review.  I bought the Wonder Mill about two years ago.  Wife has pulled away from gluten and I along with it for the usual health reasons.  We still make some whole wheat, sourdough leavened loaves now and again.  We only have run Palouse brand hard wheat berries through it.  The literature clearly states a limitation on 'oily' or 'moist' grains, but non-wheat seed products are apparently all right; corn, amaranth, etc.  It comes off the shelf about once a month when a couple of cups of AP flour are needed and the other grain contenders just don't have the oomph of a good slug of gluten.  

Otherwise, it does a commendable job on them, makes a slightly courser grind on the "bread" setting then I would expect in comparison to store-bought bread flour, but it works.  The product comes out disconcertingly hot, despite the instructions and ad propaganda stating that it will "Grind 100 lbs. an hour" "for 10 hours without overheating."  Define 'overheating.'  The output is very warm to the touch, but I never put a thermometer to it.  I'm guessing in the +90ºF range.  You'll want hearing protection if you're going to run it more than a few minutes.  

Cleans easily, breaks down (except for the actual business parts) into smooth, cleanable parts.  It leaves me wondering what moldy, savory bits are sleeping in the actual guts of it.  I just run a half cup of berries and toss the first output.  

Feels good to know it's up in the pantry storage, ready for duty, better than needing and not having.  In retrospect, I might have chosen a manual/external drive motor brand.  

Hope this helps.  

1 year ago