Yesterday I went to go pick up some Persona injector blades and unfortunately, the local beauty supply store didn't have any and they've quit carrying them which means I'm stuck with these Schick Injector blades. The only real problem I've had with these are that they are very inconsistent blades. I also hinted earlier today that there might not be shave tomorrow. I'm finding out that is NOT these case either so I will be shaving tomorrow with my Schick Injector razor. This is also my last blog post for 2015. So Happy New Year to all of my friends in G+ and the FB groups:
As most of you know, I recently bought a Keurig 2.0 from a local K-Mart store. Luckily my model was NOT among those that were recalled and they did not even mention the store where I bought in the recall either which was cool. I also bought a reusable K-Cup that allows you to use ground coffee with it instead of the expensive K-Cups. Well it made an excellent cup of coffee, but it needed to filtered and strained before you could drink it due to the oils left in the bottom of the cup. Well while I was out getting my groceries and found these little single cup coffee maker filters in the coffee isle and I jumped on them:
When I said little, I really meant it. Here they are next to your standard filters that you can get anywhere basically and in various sizes:
They fit in there almost perfectly but the sides tend to cave in a little bit though when loading the filter and it made a huge difference in my coffee too:
Here's the secret to brewing perfect coffee with ANY type of coffee maker. Always rinse the filter with hot water BEFORE brewing. There's 2 reasons why you do this. Number one is to remove the paper taste from the filters. The second reason kindly dove tails off the first. Rinsing the filters BEFORE brewing also removes any residue that was left over from the manufacturing process. Doing this before brewing your coffee is a "night & day difference for the better". Your coffee will taste at least a thousand times better and be more crisp and cleaner looking after brewing:
it was a killer cup of coffee to say the least. Much clearer result and a more flavorful coffee.
Today is TTFFC Thursday and it's also the last shave of 2015. I couldn't end 2015 any other way than with my greatest achievement by using a straight razor which needs to be honed a little bit which I will do when I get back from taking my mom to the dentist and paying a few bills if they came in the mail today. Today's soap is a espresso and root beer scented soap called Power Hammer by Through The Fire Fine Craft Soaps. Today's shave was also another "ice rink" which was so close that there will not be a shave tomorrow:
I'm really looking forward to 2016 to see what all crazy scents the artisans throw at us and I'm also looking forward to getting some new stones for honing straight razors with which will be killer and extremely fun. I hope 2016 will awesome to ALL of my friends on Face Book and in the HTGAM google + community.
Today's shave is for a special occasion. Today is Darren Seibert's birthday and in his honor, I thought I would use his favorite soap which is Vision. Darren along with his wife Carrie are the owners of Soap Commander for those of you who are new to the wet shaving hobby and didn't know. Today's shave was pretty good. My injector didn't perform too hot and had a little bit of tugging and pulling so I'll be checking out some different blades today at my local beauty supply store and see if they have any Persona injector blades available. The soap was epic and pretty much saved my face from being cut all to pieces today:
So hopefully some new blades will be better because these Schick blades have been all over the place in terms of results. Some have been harsh right out of the pack and a couple of them have been duds. So far only one was spot on for my beard.
Well after much thought, I'm now on the 2016 buyer's list for the Aluminum version Mongoose razor which costs less than the folding version of the Feather AC razor which is now over $100 U.S. Dollars. I've already seen many shave of the day posts with the stainless steel version and it's a gorgeous razor too. I couldn't afford the $150 dollars stainless steel version, so I opted for the aluminum version instead. Now I did ask about doing a Bakelite version and they said that they would need to make a mold and the plastic wouldn't hold up if dropped which would be my luck. So the "Alumigoose" is in for 2016:
Today is still known as "Tiki Bar Tuesdays" and up next in the rotation is a classic. If you like Scotch Whiskey then you will love the earthy peat moss scent of this soap and paired with Aqua Velva's classic ice blue aftershave, you've got a very refreshing shave. I figured out what exactly I was doing wrong on the stones with this razor which was the stropping motion before honing. I did NOT do it this time around and today's shave turned out to be a comfortable "ice rink" type of shave. I won't be doing any more of that before honing now. Wow what a nice and comfortable shave:
If I can get this good on a common Norton 4/8K combo synthetic water stone, I can imagine what my edges will be like on natural water stones which will be epic to say the least.
2015, wow what a crazy year! Hope you didn't blink because it went fast as well. I really don't know where to begin so I'll just go over some highlights for this past year. I learned a lot this past year:
One of the best highlights was finally getting over my straight razor learning curve and being able to perform a 3 pass shave with no issues and get a great shave. If you told me this in 2014, I'd probably say no way and laughed at you. But if you stick with it for a minimum of 30 days and try various methods out there, you'll get the hang of it:
My best highlight is no doubt setting my first bevel and learning the basics of honing hands down. Once I learned how to do this, I became independent and no longer have to rely on someone else to have a shave ready blade and I no longer have to worry about getting a bad blade either:
I also discovered single edges this past year such as the replica of the Schick Injector you see below which has been an amazing razor provided I don't get a blade that's a dud:
This was 1 of 2 prizes that I won this year out of 5 different contests that I entered. I won this from Zen Shave and the other contest was becoming member 1K and getting a surprise soap. Robert Carey does some amazing work:
My only surviving DE this year that saw a lot of action and abuse, was my Edwin Jagger DE 89. Also I ended my DE blade search this year when I discovered Perma-Sharp DE blades:
What next for 2016? As far as soaps go, I'm just about done at 39 different soaps which includes all of the samples that I have. Plus we'll have to wait and see what lies ahead. In terms of hardware, I'll be getting another 37C slant for not just face shaving which I will get to in a moment. I'll also be looking at getting some more honing stones in 2016. I'm looking at both synthetic and natural stones at the moment, but for now Arkansas natural oil stones are the very top of the list. I'm also planning on getting some new brushes in as well. I'll also be looking to start head shaving here pretty soon. If you follow me on FB or have seen recent photos of me, you will know why. Here lately I've also been looking at the Mongoose razor along with its variants as of late. Basically we'll wait and see how things start in 2016 and go from there.
Today is "Take Charge Monday" which means a Soap Commander product or 2 gets used and for today's shave, Gusto was up in the rotation. This was their seasonal scent for this past summer which is a raspberry pink lemonade scent and it's phenomenal. I'll have to buy another pack of these injector blades before I know it because I'm burning right through them. Now I have thought about modifying this razor to where I can use the Feather AC blades but that would take too much time and I really don't want to ruin the razor. The shave itself wasn't bad at all, but it's not my usual 2 pass BBS or "ice rink" type of shave:
Well that pretty much finishes this honing session off and the 4K side of this stone is now just about gone. So there will NOT be any more bevel setting going on with this stone period. This is now a touch up stone ONLY mainly because it would take way too long to set a bevel on the 8K side of the stone. I'd be there all day trying to set a bevel on the 8K side:
You see these lower grit Norton water stones are softer than what most people hone straight razors with and they wear down even faster when you hone Gold Dollar and Gold Monkey razors mainly because you have to remove more metal than you would on the higher end razors such as Boker and Ralf Aust and what not which is common knowledge basically:
Now when a softer water stone gets down this low, you can still use it. But I would NOT use for nothing more than a touch up or a brief refresh ONLY which would be roughly no more than 10 to 25 round trips at the most. The good thing is that this gives me an excuse to buy more honing stones which brings a "joker" type of smile to my face because I love honing. It's extremely addictive to say the least and a very enjoyable hobby.
I don't know exactly what it is, but this Gold Monkey Triple 6 doesn't do to well on the Norton water stones and I'm guessing it's because these stones are worn out and much softer than what was originally used to set the bevel on it with which was Naniwa Professional (new chosera) water stones and it was finished on Sue Hiro 10K and 20K stones. It still shaved extremely good this morning with no issues, but I had to make 3 passes instead of my usual 2 and I also had to touch up the bottom of my chin twice to get that "ice rink" shave that I got this morning. So I'm going to perform my usual routine only I will NOT be killing the edge and resetting the bevel:
What's really weird about this situation is that I only have 1 shave on this edge since I touched it up last week. This razor should be past evil in terms of being sharp. Once I get my ILR finishing stone along with all of my Arkansas oil stones, I'll be starting from scratch on both razors. My Gold Dollar 208 is fine and has no issues at all. In fact if I were to do this on my 208, it would be too sharp to use and have an even more harsh post shave after using it. This should tell people that NOT every razor will hone the same, even if you use the exact same stones and techniques. In fact this not the first time I've had this issue with this razor. It's happened before, I just can't remember when it occurred and what not.
One of the things I like to do while I hone razors is drink coffee. Even though we do drink a lot of coffee here, we've also wasted a lot of coffee as well. So yesterday I decided to get a new Keurig 2.0 coffee maker and I love it. It's got 9 different brew settings and makes anywhere from a 4 ounce cup of coffee all the way up to a 28 ounce carafe'. The first reason behind this purchase was the fact that this machine along with other brands is just about all you'll find in the coffee maker isle at various brick and mortar retailers. Plus the little "K-Cups" are taking up more and more shelf space while the ground and whole bean coffee are continuing to shrink in terms of shelf space. The other reason is that while we do drink a lot of coffee here, we've also wasted just about as much as we drank if not more. So this will help eliminate that waste and allow us to brew a single cup as we need it. The first drawback is the costs. I had to cash in a Sears gift card that I received for Christmas and put some cash with it to buy it which cost me $148 dollars. K-Mart stores had it advertised at $89 dollars but they didn't have it listed on the sign that you got the discount in the form of points on your Sears rewards card which didn't go to well with me:
The game changer for me is shown just below. That's an officially licensed reusable K-Cup that allows you to use the ground coffee on hand which is a really good thing. It's included in the price tag listed above but if you don't have one and want to use ground coffee, this little device will cost you $25 dollars for the official version of it. The reason I went for this one and not the cheaper models that are available is because I didn't want to have warranty issues just in case I bought a "lemon" and had to replace it. This also prevents you from throwing out your ground coffee as well:
So far these Hot Chocolate K-Cups shown below are my personal favorites and there's a lot more available that I want to try:
These things were nasty. Even with ice and water added to a 4 ounce brew on the standard strength setting, it was still undrinkable:
Unfortunately drawback number 2 is that not every K-Cup will work just like these below didn't. Good thing these specific branded K-Cups were only $4 dollars:
The price tag of the K-Cups will depend on what exactly it is and what brand it is but they're not exactly cheap either which was drawback number 3. All 3 of these boxes of K-Cups cost me just a shade under $22 dollars which is $5 dollars higher than my bulk bag of Dunkin Donut's original blend of coffee. The results are simply amazing and delicious:
So far I'm very pleased with my purchase. And since I don't have any water issues and have a very good performing coffee pot cleaner, I should have very good coffee without the epic amounts of waste when I need it for years to come. I also look forward to trying various other K-Cups that are out there. But only time will tell about this coffee maker. I say if you stick with the Keurig branded K-Cups and buy them in bulk, your actual costs for the K-Cups will go down. That and using the reusable K-Cup will also lower your costs even more.
Today is Soap Commander Sunday and for today's shave I used their Vision scented soap along with the matching balm. The scent on this soap is Aqua, amber and mint and it has an epic post shave feel. Today's shave was also perfect in every way. No nicks, cuts or weepers of any kind and it was also another "ice rink" type of shave as well:
This product line is destined to become a classic.
Today's shave was great. I need to start using Reef Point Soaps more often. This one is good but I do wish that scent was stronger. So far my favorite is Dragon's Blood hands down. But they have several more that I want to try especially their barbershop scented product line. With 2016 around the corner along with some new stuff from some old personal favorite artisan soap makers, it will no doubt be a good year shaving wise:
2016 will also be year of the honing stones for me and I do plan on getting some new brushes.
Today's shave was great. The touch up that I did was needed because I got my usual "ice rink" type of shave, but i did have an issue with getting my neck cleaned up for some reason. One of my favorite desserts that I love to have with my Christmas dinner is apple pie and vanilla ice cream, so I thought my shave should reflect that this year:
To get my neck area cleaned up, I went ahead and grabbed my Schick Injector L1. Plus I also wanted to go ahead and finish off this blade before my next shave. I can go with 5 multi pass shaves per blade if I wanted to, but I don't want to do that so I'll go with 4 or less from here on out:
Speaking of Christmas dinner, here's mine. Honey glazed ham which fell off the bone along with crescent rolls, home made potato salad and french style green beans and I'm having some of Soap Commander's chocolate and mint flavored coffee to go with it:
I'll wait on doing another touch up for a while because it's really not needed just yet and I do plan on getting some stones here pretty soon.
Today's shave was epic and very fitting. Every Christmas Eve, I tear into the sweet stuff we have around the house and I thought what better shave than PAA's Chocolate Bourbon which an old school chocolate cake batter scent with a little hint of vanilla that you get from the oak barrel used to age the bourbon for a minimum of 2 years. So far this injector loves ultra slick soaps and the best shave that I've gotten with it so far has been Steambath Factory's croaps:
Well that was extremely fast and very surprising to say the least. Today's shave was epic and took place this morning around 9 AM eastern standard time. I couldn't have gotten a better shave than what I did this morning with this Schick injector razor. It was an "ice rink" type of shave that I normally get with a straight razor. I showered, shaved, had a cup of coffee and took my mom to the doctor for what we both thought was going to be some tests, but no. It turned out to be a quick out patient surgery to remove a cyst. He was done in an hour and 20 minutes:
The scent on this soap is a warm sugar and vanilla scent with a little hint of menthol and peppermint candies which is amazing. Tiki Bar will still be on Tuesdays with Through The Fire Fine Craft on Thursdays.
Earlier today, I decided to do a quick touch up on my razors. So I grabbed my loupe and looked and it turns out that I made the right call because it didn't look the same on both sides and since I can't remember how many shaves were on them, they more than likely needed a quick touch up. So on the 4K side, I did 5 stropping round trips to realign the edge a bit followed by 15 honing round trips to freshen up the blade and then I did 5 half circles (Gold Dollar 208 only) on the side that was uneven. Then on the 8K side I simply doubled that only I did half of each which was 5 stropping round trips followed by 15 honing round trips and then I simply repeated this again. Then I went back to the 4K side and done 5 round honing trips to clean up the edge and repeated this on the 8K side:
After I did, that I stropped both razors. I did 15 round trips on the scrub leather and after that I performed 30 round trips on the smooth leather. They now look like a brand new mirror under my loupe which is always a good thing.
I've been craving this shave since my Injector arrived and let me tell you, it was epic and very satisfying to say the least. At first it wasn't doing to hot at all and after 2 passes, I put a fresh blade in and that made the world of a difference. So today's shave ended up being a 4 pass BBS shave instead of my usual 2 pass BBS shave with touch ups. Now in terms of the soap's scent, it's a sweet bay rum scent which was discontinued several months back and is no longer available. This blog post is also my 400th blog post in less than a year which is unreal. Most people who do have blogs and are active in terms of posting, don't even come close to that in over a year or even 2 years for that matter which is what's amazing. I never really paid much attention to the post count until I began writing this particular blog post which is really cool:
I also want to say thank you to those who take the time to read my blog and wish them along with their families a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year.
Today is not good at all because I lost my Crown King Sacre' Bleu this morning. Dang it I says. First I started with these containers that you see below and you can find them in the baking section where the aluminum foil and parchment paper is sold in your local supermarkets and various other retailers:
1st I scooped out the soap with a spoon into one of these containers:
This is where things went down hill. I put the soap in the microwave for too long and the following photo is a result of that. I can't remember how long I put the soap in there so please don't ask:
I didn't plan on this happening and I tossed the soap as a result. The good thing is that it gives me an excuse to buy more soap.
Today's shave was really good, but I did get a slight burning sensation due to my sensitive skin issues this morning. Other than that, Ember is a great soap. To me, the scent on this soap smells like Aqua Velva's classic ice blue. It was also nice and slick this morning which is perfect for a straight razor shave. This was also the last day of my 8 day TTFFC binge. Over the next few days, I'll be using my single edge razor and satisfying a few cravings:
This soap and Through The Fire I will not be buying due to my sensitive skin issues which sucks because they're phenomenal soaps and have incredible scents. This is why I hate having sensitive skin. I have to miss out on a lot of stuff due to reactions from them. So I'll be buying 6 out of the 8 samples that I tried in full size pucks. She also has a couple more to choose from that I haven't tried just yet and not to mention some seasonal stuff that she may come out with.
Today's shave was great but I did have a slight reaction to the soap because it does contain sandalwood. But I can tell it's going to be like the same situation like I have with PAA's pumpkin 3.14 and Autumn Factory which my skin has a slight reaction to it in the beginning, but be completely clear in 2 hours due to the clove oil. This has an incredible scent to it. I kept getting a smokiness along with a toasted marsh mellow and for some reason, I also kept getting a toasted banana scent which is really cool. As far as the actual shave goes, I got another "ice rink" type of shave yet again which is always a good thing:
That's day 7 of 8 for my Through The Fire Fine Craft binge. After I finish tomorrow's shave, I'll be getting a Soap Commander and Tiki Bar fix satisfied along with a chocolate fix from PAA.
Earlier today, my mother decided to clean the bathroom which usually means I have to reorganize my soaps which is no big deal at all because it reminds me of how many soaps I have. But today I heard an awful crash earlier when she did not ask me to come in to help out. That sound usually means she's dropped some soaps. Since this is my hobby and to help make easier on her, I moved my soaps to my room around a 25 year old stereo system that no doubt does NOT work. I have 31 full size pucks and 8 samples which totals 39 soaps which is quite a bit and a lot more than I thought I had and gives me an excuse to buy a small cabinet or shelving system:
Unfortunately, one of the containers mom dropped was my Crown King Sacre' Bleu and when she did, it split all the way across the bottom of the container. I don't know if you can see it in this photo or not but I managed to get it realigned as best as possible. There's no way I'm trusting this to hold water now to bloom it, so what I'll do is get a Ziplock disposable container and put a custom label on it so I'll know what it is:
The only real frustrating part to this situation is that I've asked and even told my mother to let me know when she's cleaning the bathroom and I'll help move the soaps and cabinet and she never does. I don't know the real reasoning behind it. I just know that she does not ask and never really plans on asking either. So this should help out quite a bit.
Well after shaving with it for nearly a week, I can confirm that it was definitely worth buying this razor. It cost me $22.99 with free shipping due to Christmas coming up here shortly. Despite what other people have written about this razor, I think it does NOT feel cheap at all. The first thing I must point out is the head of the razor. It's very thin and does an exceptional job at cleaning the moustache area and its size allows it to get in the nooks and crannies and clean them out. There's only 2 drawbacks to this razor. The first one is the factory blade is a dud and has to be replaced which takes no time to do. The second one is it's a light weight razor and could use more weight behind it. This razor's handle curves inward which makes getting the correct angle very easy and makes for a great shave that you soon won't forget. Now in my previous blog post, I miscalculated my shaving costs which will be listed below:
The blades are not bad in terms of costs at all. It costs me $5 U.S. Dollars here locally for one pack of 7 blades and I got 5 multi pass shaves out of 1 blade so lets do a little bit of basic math here. 7 blades multiplied by 5 shaves per blade equals 35 shaves per pack of blades. Now if you were to take your cost of $5 U.S. Dollars and divide that by 35 shaves and your shaving cost would be $.14 cents per shave which is extremely reasonable and way below what Feather/Kai DE blades which is up to $.50 cents per shave. But when you compare that to today's cartridge cost of $1.75 per shave, it's dirt cheap. My usual DE blade costs are $.08 cents per shave with a DE and it's FREE with my straight razors at this point because I now hone my own straight razors and have upwards of 30+ soaps. Loading these blades is fast and stupid easy. You simply take the tab of the injector case and insert it into the top of the razor head as seen below:
next you simply slide the little button on top of the injector case back until it allows a blade to pop up and simply slide it forward until the old blade pops out on the opposite side as seen below:
On the bottom of the injector case, you will find a small slot for used blade storage as you can see below which is a good thing if you have small children around:
In terms of shave quality, in my humble opinion it's one of the best shaves you can get with a single edge. For me it's a 2 pass shave with a few less touch ups than normal for a true BBS but this will vary due to different beard and hair types. But considering how hard it is to get the vintage version and the fact that they never stopped making these blades like they did with the razor until here recently, it's no surprise that this was and is a very popular razor. Plus the Vintage version can get very pricey especially when dealing with antique stores and restored versions at various online vintage retailers. I looked at an adjustable version of this razor not long ago and they wanted $75 U.S. Dollars for it on one of various online retailers and the one I found in a local antique store had a price tag of $90 U.S. Dollars for it and it wasn't in the best shape either and needed restoring which can cost quite a bit in of itself. So if you want an injector style razor that still has a vintage feel to it without spending an epic amount of money, buy this razor. For those who feel that there's no substitute for the Vintage which I do get, I wish you the best. Now in terms of obtaining blades for this razor, you can find them just about everywhere except in Walmart stores. They're the only ones who don't carry them for some reason. You can find them at CVS/Walgreens pharmacies, some local supermarkets have them as well which is where I get mine, Rite Aid etc.
Today's shave was great. I couldn't have asked for a better shave than I got today. It's not quite as smooth as I would like it but that's because it's the last shave on this blade which is about normal. 3 shaves per blade multiplied by 7 blades = 21 shaves per package of blades. Now if you divide that by $5 dollars per pack of blade that should give you a total of $.24 cents per shave which is very reasonable to say the least. Now for the star of the party, TTFFC's "Cut Throat" soap is phenomenal and will be going in the shave cave. It's got a 1930's Clubman Style Barbershop scent to it. Pinaud's Clubman and PAA's Clubguy go perfectly with soap apart from the matching aftershave splash and balms that Maria Arman also makes which is also phenomenal:
These blades have been made long before I was born and I'm 38 years old and they don't intend to stop making them anytime soon. At $.24 cents per shave that puts them just a shade below half of the Feather/Kai DE blades which cost me $.50 cents per blade. My most economical shave is indeed the straight razor especially now since I've learned how to hone and that I no longer have to send it out to be re honed. Once you get 7+ soaps which is one for each day of the week, your shaves are now free. Yes that's what I said, free shaving as long as you don't buy anymore soap or hardware (which is extremely hard to do). My Perma-Sharp DE blades only cost me $.08 cents per shave. So that puts the Schick Injector at my 2nd most expensive shave behind the Gillette Fusion cartridges. The Fusion Pro-Glide carts cost me $1.75 per shave and they're extremely uncomfortable after 2 shaves even with a traditional soap and brush.
Today's shave was great. I nailed it on the stones with this edge. A nice and buttery edge in terms of comfort, but no hair left behind after 2 full passes and a few touch ups on the neck area. I used my standard honing method which seems to work best for me. As for the soap, get it. It's another grand slam and will also be added to my shave cave. Every soap that I've tried that Maria makes has been a hit including her bath bars which I used the matching scent yesterday. Clubman or Clubguy aftershave goes perfect with this soap because it's a citrus based barbershop scent and plays very nicely off the scent of both Clubman/Clubguy:
And for a cold winter day here with some light snow in the forecast tonight (no accumulation), I got really thirsty and I also needed a caffeine fix, so using a friend's Chemex coffee brewing method with my drip coffee maker, I brewed me a pot of coffee this morning:
when you're pushing 40 years of age and have chronic acid reflux issues, there's not much you can drink. I have a choice of 3. Bottled water, coffee, or tea. Alcohol is out of the question and so is soda. It's now been over a year since I've had a soda. It's really not hard to give up if you have acid reflux because the suffering that soda causes after drinking it, usually helps keep you from drinking it.
Today's shave was epic and these Schick Injector blades seem to get better with use because I got BBS with just 2 passes and some touch ups in my usual trouble spots. The scent of this soap is green apple, vetiver, and gingerbread cookie. Brut really doesn't go to well with this soap due to a lack of sweetness and the vetiver really pops out at you in this soap along with the green apple. So far every soap that I've tried from Maria has been a winner and ends up being added into my shaving soap arsenal. So with that being said, you guys need to check Maria's products out. Here's the link to her website: http://www.ttffcraft.com/ :
Before I shaved, I also used her "Wisp" (citrus style of barbershop) scented bath bar and it's epic. Smooth clean feeling after use and it does NOT dry out my skin at all and it lathers really well:
Her bath bars have made me a customer for life because they really agree with my skin very well and I like the post shower feel you get with these soaps.
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