Feb 112016
  • I can’t remember exactly how I felt the last time I quit caffeine. This time I’ve successfully avoided headaches with timely doses of aspirin, but wow, am I dragging. You know how much you wake up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night? I feel about 10% more awake than that.
  • I’m tired of water already. I need to mix a little natural additive to jazz it up. (Like lemon juice and a few things, not vodka. Heh.)
  • Physicists have detected gravitational waves that Einstein first predicted 100 years ago. Think about that while you’re trying to decide what to have for dinner tonight.
  • Did you know that the Dave Clark was keeping bedside vigil when Freddie Mercury died?
  • My restaurant reviews at Rocket City Mom are set for this month, March, and April. Watch for them.
  • I took my tablets to Windows 10 immediately. But I’ve held onto Windows 8.1 on my home desktop machine because I needed something that wouldn’t work on Windows 10, and that is now resolved. May upgrade this weekend.
  • Cold, clear Saturday coming. What’s the lowest high we’ve had so far this season? As I type, Saturday looks to be in the running for the title.
 Posted by at 3:02 pm
Feb 092016

Loath as I am to contribute to the search engine footprint of the hysterical Cam Newton shriekfest, I will offer one meta-comment.

I am absolutely amazed, and not in a good way, at the depths to which so many people have gone over the last 36 hours to both attack and defend his actions (both on the field and off). Nothing that happened was particularly complex, though we have eagerly manufactured a contrary fantasy.

I wish we so readily sought deeper understanding of things that were actually complicated—and that actually mattered.

 Posted by at 6:44 am
Feb 062016

chisel1I heard from the Chisel Shave Club folks about a month ago. Lauren, a member of their press team, had seen my Harry’s reviews and asked if I’d be interested in trying traditional wet shaving with their products. I replied and let Lauren know that I’d be glad to look at the Chisel Shave Club experience, but that if I wrote a review I would be honest in my assessment of the products, and that I would disclose that I had received them free of charge. She agreed, and there is that disclosure.

The box makes a masculine and elegant first impression. There are wonderful and earthy smells in here, from shave soap, face wash, and such. The brush and the razor immediately feel like items you’ll have for a good while, without even a whiff of cheapness on them.


My initial impression was that this is definitely nice stuff, but am I supposed to bother with all of this every day? How much time do the Chisel Shave Club people think I have—indeed, think men in general have, in the morning? Read on.

I’ve been shaving since 1987, and I’m certain I’ve never used a classic safety razor. This is a hefty chunk of stainless steel. The handle screws into the two parts on top, securing the blade in place. After I loaded it, I eyed it warily for a moment. What if I slice my face to ribbons?


Ha! No worries. I followed the excellent directions, lathering up the brush with the shave soap and spreading it liberally on my face. Then I shaved first with the grain, and then against. So what do we have here?


The shave is excellent. You know that clogging you have to deal with when you use a razor cartridge with multiple blades? That is totally absent from this experience. A simple and quick rinse of the blade every few strokes, more for aesthetics than anything else, was all I needed. A rinse, a dry, and an aftershave, and the smoothness is impressive indeed. (No blood, either!) Also, my skin doesn’t feel or look the least bit angry. I will use the Chisel Shave Club products exclusively until I exhaust them so that I can report on skin effects over time, and post a follow-up comment.

So, as I said above, I was initially skeptical about how well wet shaving would fit into the typical rushed weekday morning. After I actually had the shaving experience, I relaxed on that point a good bit. I think this will probably always take a little bit longer than shaving gel and a disposable razor or cartridge, but I suspect only minimally so when it becomes routine.

The Chisel Shave Club experience is unambiguously one of luxury. Each month, you receive a different selection of shave soaps, blades, lotions, and other related products. The cost is $26.99 to $29.99 per month, depending on the length of the term for which you sign up. The six-month and year plans include the safety razor and the shaving brush, or they can be purchased separately. readers can receive a 10% discount on their first order by using the coupon code BOW10.

Chisel Shave Club isn’t going to win any head-to-head budget battles against more common alternatives, but it’s not designed to. There is a masculine ritual here that I enjoyed and had not experienced before. Are you interested in slowing it down just a bit with a high-quality, “retrotech” solution? Maybe you’ll go to a bit more trouble for something warmer and more satisfying? Maybe you’re a tube amp or mechanical watch kind of guy too? This is a fine experience.


 Posted by at 10:12 am
Feb 052016

I worked with a guy some time back. Let’s call him Steve. I would guess Steve is 58 or 60 now. He’s been single as long as I’ve known him. He’s currently taking an extended vacation somewhere in a tropical part of the world, evaluating it as a possible spot for retirement. He posts beach and sunset photos periodically.

So Steve recently posted a photo of an attractive, and young, woman, calling her his “new friend.” She looked like she might have been 30, but she initially hit me as 26 or 27. The resulting comments were predictable: way to go Steve, how old is she, can she be everyone’s new friend, and so forth.

Now, sensing a golden comedic opportunity, I didn’t want to squander it. So I thought quite a bit before I commented “Hey, maybe she could have you over for cookies and milk and then y’all could play Barbies!”


Now I think the line is quite funny, but I’d have still withheld it had I known he’d take it so hard. But, really, what is the great offense here? How is my comment so different from what went before it? It’s a huge age difference. To be charitably vague, there are likely some dynamics in play here that are generally not in play with two people closer in age. That’s the subtext of the previous comments, just like it is mine, is it not?

So Steve can’t come back with a “yeah, yeah”? A “you’re just jealous that I’m at the beach with her, and you’re at work in cold, wet Huntsville”?

I’ve mentioned before that so far, my taste in women has tracked reliably with my age, and that I consider that a good thing. If yours doesn’t, more power to you both, and all the best.

(But grow a little skin. It’s small to take a smartass jab so seriously.)

 Posted by at 3:43 pm
Feb 042016
  • I decided to watch The Visit, M. Night Shyamalan’s latest, by myself as a Tuesday nightcap. I liked it quite a bit. Genuinely creepy, but keeps a healthy and appropriate sense of humor. If you think from the trailer that you’d enjoy it, you will.
  • It is now clear that the Browns will fire Johnny Manziel as soon as is practical. Yes, he’s an adult, responsible for his own actions, blah blah blah. Even so, I saw Dad as a big problem three years ago, and I still do.
  • On a much more grave football note, it seems Kenny Stabler had chronic traumatic encephalopathy. I hope the equipment and protocol measures we’re undertaking are effective. I also hope we can develop ways of measuring progress without needing a dead football player to do so (i.e. it’d be great if we could tell something useful about CTE from a 28-year-old who’s been playing for five years, which we currently can’t). I’m going to need this problem solved for me to continue following football. Yes, I just said that.
  • I’m losing steadily, and for that I’m thankful, but I’m probably not going to collect on my first foray into Diet Bet. Enjoy, Paula!
  • A new favorite trick: use broad slices of bell pepper as sandwich bread. Works great with turkey and Swiss.
  • We saw a new Prius in the metal for the first time this past weekend. I’m glad we weren’t coming from lunch. Profile not bad, but a face only a mother could love. The outgoing generation is a spectacular sexpot compared to the new one.
  • Mostly seasonal temps on deck, but as I type the forecast is sun and mid-50s for Sunday. Go for a walk before the game.
 Posted by at 10:59 am is using WP-Gravatar