A Close Shave

I started shaving when I was about 16 or so. I was self-taught, no father around, so I bought my own razors, I started with one of those Gillette Mach3s and have been using them ever since. I believe they’re up to 5 blades now. Electric was never an option for me, the ease of use was tempting but they just don’t give a close enough shave for my preferences so I muddled through with the disposables.

Ah yes, the disposable razor blade business model.

  1. Make a product
  2. Make an attachment for said product
  3. Charge big $$$ for attachment
  4. Make attachment need replacing frequently
  5. Profit!

Since I was going to have a few weeks off due to the new baby I decided it might be a good time to finally get around to trying shaving with a “old fashioned” safety razor. I’ve read about it before and it has always sounded intriguing but it has also sounded like one of those things that was too much work for too little gain. 20 minutes to shave? Multiple passes? Are you kidding me? It takes me less than 3 minutes with my current setup why change? Also, how could something over a hundred years old be as good as something new and improved? I am the last person to think anything not benefiting from technology is better than something that is.

Still, I wanted to try it. I got myself a simple Merkur Razor and a badger brush. I did a little research and settled on Proraso shaving soap and a good styptic stick. Once I had all the items in hand came the next part of learning how to actually do the thing. I’ve read so many horror stories of knicks and cuts, of bathrooms left looking like scenes from the Saw movies, it was intimidating to say the least. Youtube to the rescue.

After watching the video I felt sufficiently skilled and attempted it myself. I am happy to say I didn’t cut myself once, no blood, no horror. They do call them safety razors, it can be easy to knick an earlobe or lip but with enough patience it’s completely avoidable. And the shave, oh the shave, is wonderful. Perhaps it’s a combination of the new shaving soap and exfoliating brush but it’s the closest, softest, least irritating shave I have ever had. I can’t imagine ever going back. The results are fantastic and even the process is unique. There’s a satisfaction in stealing away for those 15 minutes and shaving in the quiet time.

I recommend everyone try it at least once, I think you’ll find it worth it.

A Close Shave

What I Learned from Iron Man 3

Iron Man 3

Directed by Shane Black

Starring Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Guy Pearce, Don Cheadle.

When you find out that the director/writer of this film also wrote Last Action Hero and The Long Kiss Goodnight¬†you will either be horrified or thrilled. I didn’t find it out until after I saw it and my reaction was “that explains a lot.”

It’s basically a very high-caliber Hollywood hack’s retelling of Iron Man. Shane Black is a Hollywood hack though and so what could’ve been great turns out to be mediocre. Make no mistake, this film hits a lot of the right notes, it is exciting and Downey’s Stark is always mesmerizing. But for me the fact that there was so very little Iron Man in the film that I was disappointed. I’ve heard rumours that Downey is tired of wearing uncomfortable outfits so they were keeping it to a minimum. That they did, and in place of a solid, centered Iron Man, we get a boatload of suits, a seemingly endless supply of Iron Man suits that are all controlled by Jeeves and are not compelling at all. The climax of Iron Man 3 is almost the same as the climax of Iron Man 2, except instead of Stark using his 1 suit to defeat a horde of evil robot drones, it’s the bad guy fighting a horde of unmanned Iron Man drones.

I suppose it makes sense that Stark has a thousand suits ready to go, but, at the end, it’s not about Tony at all, it’s about Jeeves. Who needs Tony Stark when his computer can successfully control a multitude of suits and save the day. In fact, if I were living in the Iron Man universe I would lobby for Jeeves to take over National Security. It could dispatch suits more quickly and effectively than the egotistic Stark could.

As far as Iron Patriot, yes, well, what good is letting the government have a suit when it can’t even track down the slow moving (compared to a suit) helicopter that just destroyed Stark Mansion? Honestly, that is my biggest complaint about the whole movie, it takes a good 10 minutes to blow up Stark’s house, surely either Iron Patriot or even some nearby Air Force jets could be scrambled to catch the helo before it disappeared.

I did enjoy the movie, I enjoy most movies. There’s only been 2 or 3 major Hollywood productions that I’ve hated, most of them made by M. Night Shaymalan, and for the most part Iron Man 3 is a blast. I enjoyed seeing Stark outside of his mansion and however cliche Hero meets little boy is I felt it was really well done. In fact that can be said about the whole movie. It was a perfectly well done cliche of a superhero movie. From the facade of the Mandarin, to Stark shopping and a hardware store and turning into Macgyver, to Pepper saving the day, it was all so very slick.

Iron Man 3 will go down as the most forgettable in the trilogy for me, the first will still be what I consider the best. With how the last 5 minutes of the film went I fear that in the next few years we will not be seeing Iron Man 4 but rather we will get Iron Man: Year Zero.

Not that I am complaining, I like a good slick action film, once in-a-while at least.

What I Learned from Iron Man 3

The Kid: Arrival

Day 1

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

May 3rd, 2013 is the date all the doctors thought that my kid was going to be born. So I adjusted my work schedule and starting on April 23rd I worked ten days in a row to get May 3rd-6th off in anticipation of the arrival of my little one. Due dates are not an exact science though so all I could really hope for the best.

When I got home Thursday my wife and discussed how she was feeling. She was doing reasonably well, the pregnancy up to this point had been a breeze. After reading so many horror stories about pain and the general malaise associated with being pregnant we were both surprised at how smoothly everything went. No real morning sickness, no weird appetite cravings, no unexplained cramps. Pretty much the only thing she experienced was the discomfort of gaining 20lbs too quickly, some back pain, some weariness.

My wife and I are pretty avid movie-goers. We see just about every movie that interests us opening weekend. So of course we were aware that May 3rd was the release date of Iron Man 3. After a little talking about it we decided we would go to the 11:05pm showing that night. One last midnight showing before having our lives turned upside down by the little one.

247997_4762678306097_1397191916_nBraxton Hicks contractions had been coming and going for a couple of days but she never said they were anything too terrible. We are fairly certain the real contractions started during the movie, but they were hours apart, so we went home and went to bed.

Day 2

Friday May 3rd, 2013

Going to a late movie and getting home and being wide awake we really didn’t sleep until 3:00am and were up by about 9:30am, we both find it hard to sleep when it’s bright outside. Friday was all worry and anticipation.

I spent the majority of my time playing with Android apps for timing contractions. She spent most of her time trying to deal with the real deal. They never came with regularity, some 2hrs apart, some 3mins apart. We used heating pads and warm baths to ease her through it but neither one of us slept at all during the day or night.

Day 3

Saturday May 4th, 2013

At 3am the contractions were at about 6mins apart and nearly unbearable. We debated going to the hospital but then they stopped for 30mins or so and we delayed. We finally did arrive at the hospital at 6am and at 7am when they checked she was 7cm dilated.

I cannot emphasize how strong a woman my wife is. She made it to 7cm without a drop of pain medicine and even though I knew she was experiencing great pain she never once cried out or gave me any notion that it was worse than a bad backache. I am the polar opposite, I get a migraine and thrash about in bed wailing for someone to put me out of my misery.

Our first born little girl made her appearance at 5:50pm on Saturday May 4th. 7lbs 2ozs. 19.5 inches. In less than 30 seconds of life she screamed like a banshee and gripped my pinky so hard it turned the tip of it blue. She was strong and healthy and amazing.

The Kid: Arrival