Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sticking it to The Man

Sorry for the delay, but a hectic soccer schedule and a short bout with the creeping crud has kept me from posting.

In my persistent quest to simplify the details of my life I was finally able gain a small victory on two fronts.  Gaining the moral and monetary high ground in one miniscule part of my life has given me the impetus to achieve even more.

What was this change, you may wonder?  Ah, something so innocuous it seems hardly worth mentioning.

It is, in a word, shaving!

Yes, that mundane, near daily, bit of necessity for the well groomed man of the 21st Century.  No, I did not simply cease to scrape off the previous days sprouting of stubble.  No professorial beard, goatee or Van Dyke on my chin, thank you.  A change so subtle it was monumental in it's simplicity.

I changed my razor.  That's all.  Now I know what you curious readers are thinking.  The latest and greatest multi blade marvel of modern miniaturization arrived with the Sunday paper  and miraculously whacked off the weekend growth in one fell swoop.  Buddha knows I love my technology.  Between the iPod with 8000 songs, books, podcasts and movies and the iPhone slung low on my hip prepared for instantaneous retrieval, I am smitten by the conveniences of modern life.

But no, in this case advancement was not the answer.  It was reverting to a delightful bit of retro hardware - the Double Edge Safety Razor!

Believe me, this was not a decision that was taken lightly.  No sir, after weighing the pros and cons of the various ways to butcher my classic visage, it was time to take the plunge.  The overall determining factor was my inherent frugality.  That's right, monetary efficiency won out over concerns of disfiguring injury.  To whit, I could either purchase a fresh pack of refills or a brand new double edge razor for the slightly.  Hmmm, a conundrum to be sure.

But in the end choosing a chrome plated, solid brass, machined shaving instrument (including 10, that's right, 10, free blades!) won the day.  Especially considering the environmental impact of assembling a multi layer, multi plastic, plastic packaged 5 blade pack of Gillette's disposable finest.  Not only was I ordering something physically more substantial, I was GOING GREEN at the same time!

A few days later the razor arrived.  Already prepared with shaving soap and boar hair brush, I elated at the prospect of imminent death!  Over the years I had reduced shaving to it's bare essentials: in the shower with a bar of soap.  No mirror required since the face has not changed in almost 30 years of scraping.  Hardly the traditions you want to hand down to your offspring, eh?

So the experiment began.  Step out of the steamy shower, work up a good lather with the brush, apply generously and away we go.  Ten minutes later and my countenance was both whisker and blood free.  Ten minutes of glorious isolation from the world at large.  Ten minutes to contemplate the universe.  Ten minutes to refresh the spirit.  Ten minutes to decide on a cocktail.

One week later I said goodbye to blade number one and ordered a pack of....100. That's 2 years of shaving, for the princely sum of $17.  7300 minutes or 122 hours of contemplative solitude. Or 14 cents per hour.  I think I'm worth it.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Buford T. Justice in hot pursuit

I was going to discuss the discovery of 'wind' as a weather event, but the events of the day took me off track.

Another day of thrills and chills has kept us on the edge of our collective seats here in the Midwest.  For the third time, we have been treated to the exploits of law enforcement (LEO's in NCIS speak) engaging in a manhunt.  Bringing the full resources of two states worth of police presence to bear, a lone gunman killed one, injured two and is currently still on the lam.  Patrol cars, aircraft, helicopters and who knows what else have been quite busy this afternoon.  And soccer practice was cancelled! Oh, the humanity...

And since this is not the first incident, we've become quite inured to the potential dangers.  Hell, I haven't even bothered to lock and load to defend the homestead.

The first incident occurred  many years ago when we first moved in.  Night time greeted us with circling helicopters and search lights scanning the yards and former corn field behind the subdivision.  Apparently an Illinois convict had escaped and was headed into Indiana.  Chicago radio hosts often jest at us hicks over the border, but it seems they have a bit of trouble holding on to their bad guys.

Event two was another escapee coming up from "The South".  For some reason these miscreants seem to think they can evade and blend in here.  Maybe they are following the underground railroad to Canada.  Whatever their reasoning, I have a hard time fathoming how they think they can hide out here in Mayberry.  I suppose that's why they are on the wrong side of the law.