Retiring The Track 2:

This will be breaking a lot of people's hearts, but I'm retiring my 1970 Gillette Track 2 to my collection and will no longer be using it. I also will NOT be buying or ordering any more razors either. I like my Gillette Proshield & Proglide and my Schick Quattro razors. They give me a much better post shave feel in less passes & are much more comfortable to use with a traditional shave soap and/or shave creams & a brush than the Track 2 was. When you find the one razor or razors, you tend to stick with them and don't want to try anything else:

I've also tossed my Gillette Mach 3 & Mach 3 turbo into the recycling bin. They got to wear they wasn't cutting and was tugging and pulling something fierce even after taking them to my fire hose strop which is really a hone and not a strop. I'm pretty much done with obtaining razors period. There might be 1 or 2 seasonal soaps that I might get later on but it's doubtful. I'm happy with what I have. I might get a new synthetic boar brush. I'm pretty much sticking with synthetic brushes too which is why you keep seeing my RazoRock 24 mm Plissoft. Unlike my other brushes, my only synthetic doesn't need breaking in, doesn't absorb my lather & doesn't need a lot of soap to make a really nice lather either. Even though I soak my synthetic brush, it doesn't require soaking either.

Honor & The Fusion:

Man oh man today's shave was blissful! Good old Soap Commander has delivered yet another top shelf performance and their "Honor" scent was phenomenal. It's their version of a "Barbershop scent" which is some where between Phoenix Shaving's C.a.D. & Fine's American Blend scents. And to finish off today's shave, I went with the matching aftershave balm which adds a touch of menthol and puts the already epic post shave feel over the top:

The Gillette Fusion was perfect. I was squeaky clean just after 2 full passes & some touch ups. Getting a good if not epic shave is no longer an effort for me at this point. Between switching to cartridges which eliminates getting cut by 90% and shaving less than I was, I've just about have eliminated the need for a styptic pencil & alum block.

My New Retropie Controller:

In addition to a new retropie case, I also got a new turbo controller from Amazon. Sadly it did NOT work on the Xbox 360 but I will try again because it is working great on the Retropie now that I've got a Final Fight game going and have mapped out the controller. I also managed to get the turbo button to work as well. I'll just keep it with my retropie gaming system for now:

Basically it's looking like my Xbox 360 is strictly "Xbox 360 products ONLY" at this point. This is kindly why I got into the retro gaming world with the retropie system. As long as it's equipped with and operates off of a USB cable, I can use it on my retropie.

My New Anemometer:

As someone whom has hunted and has studied sniping, one of the things that I've always struggled with was "wind estimation". The clock system that the military uses does work to an extent. It does NOT tell you how fast the wind is going. The ONLY thing the clock system is good for is direction. In my humble opinion, the wind speed doesn't really change with in 1 mile. BUT the direction does because I've personally seen it. But the speed pretty much remains the same up to a point. After that, all bets are off. This tool takes roughly about 80% of the "guess work" out of it as long as the battery is good. Speaking of battery, this device takes a 9 volt battery so keep and extra one in your sniper calculation kit as I like to call it:

This meter also tells the temperature in both Celsius & Fahrenheit scale and it measures the wind in miles per hour, knots and feet per minute. The only thing this meter doesn't measure is barometric pressure which I kindly wanted. But that's okay because there's other meters out there that also come equipped with ballistics calculator built in. But this will do for now. The bullet when it first exits the muzzle of a rifle really won't be effected by the wind mainly because it still has its maximum velocity at that moment. But when you get around mid range and towards the target when the bullet has slowed down is where you will notice how the wind effects the bullet. That's where using the clock system when reading mirage that occurs in all condition comes in handy along with watching bullet trace and a few other things.

Retropie Case:

As everyone knows, I tried the Nintendo retropie case and it did look great but that was where the positives ended. So I ordered this one and it's awesome. Here's the link to this case: . It fits like a glove and comes with mini screwdriver which makes installing it a snap. It was less than $7 U.S. dollars and is built like a tank:

Like I said, it fits like custom made glove:

I put it together to see how well it fits and to check on something and the info was correct:

You have to take it back apart to gain access to the micro SD card which was no problem:

Micro SD card was reformatted & re flashed and now everything is ready to go:

I couldn't be happier with this retropie case. It's rock solid and performs great and was stupid easy to installed. I should have gotten this one instead the Kintaro NES case.

Mail Call! Wind Meter, Retro Pi case & Controller:

I love it when I get some goodies in the mail. I had forgotten about this mail call from Amazon until it arrived today. I ordered a new anemometer which tells the wind speed and temperature it doesn't tell the barometric pressure though. I also got me another retropie case which came with a mini screwdriver and it installed very easily too. I also got a brand new turbo controller. Unfortunately it does NOT work with my Xbox 360 which is fine because it does work with the retropie:

Here's the way it came packed. It took a while before it got here due to some kind delay:

The wind meter is long range precision rifle shooting. I'm pleased with this mail call but disappointed a little bit with the controller not working with my Xbox 360.

Mildot Master:

My analog ballistics calculator has arrived and it's awesome. This is called a Mildot Master and requires no batteries to operate. It can help calculate a range up to 2000 yards or meters along with angle of fire calculations and it also calculates bullet drop & converts from either mildots or minutes of angle reticles in scopes so there's definitely no wasted real estate on this tool:

It's like an old school slide rule for calculating a firing solution for a sniper. The first thing I noticed is that it's laser etched laminated plastic which means it will last. I've got an old laminated trucker's atlas here that's made from the same materials and I've really abused it over the years including dropping it in the mud and it's still usable and readable to this day 14 years later after I bought it. So I personally know that this beast will last:

I've attached my string and weight to it for calculating the angle which only requires gravity to use. Here's how you use this feature. Let's say your target is 1000 yards or meters away and you are shooting at a 20 degree angle. If you dialed your rifle in at the exact distance you will miss:

So what you do is line the target range at 1000 yards or meters and look at the numbers on the right and just below the target range and you will see what you need to dial your rifle in on the left at the appropriate angle. So if you look at the 20 degree hash mark below the target range and look to the left you will see that you will need to dial your rifle in at 950 yards or meters instead. Pretty slick isn't it? This slide rule does the math for you when you need a fast calculation and don't have the time to pull out a calculator and your smart phone ballistics calculator is dead and needs charging:

Your instruction book will have more details on how to use it along with tips & tricks to be more effective so please keep this around. In fact it can't hurt to put it in a Ziploc bag or some kind of water resistant sleeve or book if you need to until you get use to using it:

So please keep the instruction book. Another sweet tool that's found on the right side is the M.O.A. or Minutes Of Angle conversion. So you can covert the mildots into minutes of angle reticles or vise versa so this is probably one of the best if not the best tools you can get in long range precision shooting along with a few others which I plan to get. The only bad thing is that you have to know the size of the target and you can't use small target sizes to calculate either. If you are in a hostile situation and can't use any electronic device this will be helpful in that regard.

PAA's Shampoo Bars:

Man oh man I love these shampoo bars from Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements. I chose their Cavendish scent which can be seen on the left and it's a true Cavendish pipe tobacco scent. I started using it first and it's simply phenomenal. No more dry itchy scalp and the issues that come with it are also disappearing as well. They generate a ton of lather too. To use you simply rub the bar onto your head a few times and work the lather into your hair and simply rinse:

Right now Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements are the only ones who offer shampoo bars. All in all I'm hooked on these shampoo bars. I will definitely keep buying these. I really can't wait to try the C.a.D. scented puck but it will be a while because I'm really enjoying the Cavendish scented one.

Pumpkin 3.14, Autumn Factory & The Track 2:

Today's shave was awesome & smells very delicious. After a nice, hot & relaxing shower, I went with Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements and their classic fall scent Pumpkin 3.14 which has an incredible hearty pumpkin pie scent. And to finish it off today's shave, I went with their Autumn Factory aftershave splash which is epic. It has more of a sweet pumpkin scent like you would get with a pumpkin custard pie instead of a hearty version. The aftershave also has many different elements to it. To my nose, I think of a fresh baked pumpkin custard pie in late October with the leaves changing color and it's been left near an open window to cool:

The 1970 Gillette Track 2 was nothing short of phenomenal. I got squeaky clean post shave feel in just 3 passes. I got so close today that I could probably get away with not shaving for about a week but if I do that, I would look like grizzly Adams if I did. I also got almost no burn from Phoenix Artisan Accoutrement's Autumn Factory which is NOT normal. It still burned some due to the alcohol, cinnamon & clove but it wasn't over the top like it use to be.

Mail Call: Lukie Games:

Man lots of goodies came in today. My Mortal Kombat collection is now complete. I've gotten all that I want to get game wise now. So unless I do a Raspberry Pi retro gaming build, this is the very last video game based mail call that I will be getting. I don't need anymore games at this point. I also picked up the classic Street Fighter 2 Turbo Hyper Fighting as well:

I also managed to get a couple of controllers:

It came packaged better this time around instead of the bag like last time and the best part is that it's one day early from the scheduled time:

All in all I'm pleased with this video game mail call and I'm happy to say that my gaming collection is complete. I'm done and have gotten all that I want to get in terms of retro gaming. The only other thing I can see myself getting would be Sniper Elite 4 on Steam and I'm waiting for the price to come way down on it before downloading it. $213 dollars is way too much money for a game.

C.a.D., Cavendish & The Quattro:

Today's shave was nothing short of Phenomenal! First, I started with a nice, hot & relaxing shower using Phoenix Artisan Accoutrement's shampoo bar in the Cavendish scent which was simply epic. The deep rich Cavendish pipe tobacco scent was beyond belief and the lather that came off the shampoo bar was amazing. I had no trouble rinsing it and it did an amazing job at getting rid of my dandruff and it also moisturized my scalp. Shame on you if you don't have one of these shampoo bars. Next I went with PAA's C.a.D. shaving soap which has an incredible 1970's Barbersol canned shave foam scent which screams classic barbershop scent. And did I mention that it's 10 times stronger than the original? And to finish off this epic experience, I went with the matching aftershave splash which is legendary: 

The Schick Quattro with a fresh blade is one of my best razors. I ended up getting another "ice rink" post shave feel in just 2.5 passes. I have missed having this scent in my shave cave and now that I have the matching aftershave splash, you will be seeing this more often. I use to pair C.a.D. shave soap with Fine's American Blend aftershave back in the day mainly because I could never obtain a bottle of the matching aftershave which I now have.

Mail Call! Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements:

Today's mail call is from Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements and it's pretty sweet too. I ordered 2 shampoo bars (C.a.D. & Cavendish), Pumpkin 3.14 shave soap to go with my left over Autumn Factory from last year which is a little over half of a bottle & I finally got the full matching set of C.a.D. in terms of the shave soap and aftershave which is my all time favorite scent from PAA:

They're still fast as usual and packed for nuclear war which is a good thing. Post office is extremely rough on packages. I ordered all of this on Monday and here it is Thursday and I have product in hand and it was an observed holiday Monday which means banks & post offices were closed:

I'm tickled pink with this mail call and can't wait to place my next order. They've got a few old classics that are still around that I want to try.

My New Preshave: Cremo Chill:

Earlier today while I was buying blades, I decided to go ahead and try Cremo cooling shave cream and I'm glad that I did. It's one of the best preshave creams you can use with a shave soap in my opinion. First you get a peppermint scent which is awesome but it doesn't last very long at all and the menthol chill is excellent. The scent does NOT clash with the soaps:

The slickness was really good not that my soap needed any help but this stuff puts it over the top. This will be used before each and every one of my shaves from now on.

Mountain Man & The Mach 3:

Today's shave was pretty good. Stirling Soaps and their Mountain Man scented soap pretty much saved today's shave and kept me from getting cut far worse than I did. Gillette has fallen back onto some old & very bad habits. More on that in a moment. The scent on this soap is Stirling's take on Creed's Silver Mountain Water cologne which is insanely exspensive. So if you want this specific scent and not break the bank, this soap is perfect for you. And to finish off today's shave, I paired it with good old Pinaud's Clubman:

The Gillette Mach 3 & Mach 3 Turbo must go. I switched these blades out twice for new blades and they still got me. A brand new blade shouldn't grab me like that. And BOTH new blades really tugged and pulled a lot which shouldn't happen especially if they are new. The Gillette Track 2 doesn't do that and neither does my Gillette Fusion or my Shield razors. The Schick Quattro also doesn't do that either. So I will be getting rid of the Gillette Mach 3 series.

Turkish Bath & The Shield:

Tonight's shave was great. After a nice hot & relaxing shower, I went with Jeeves of Hudson Street and their Turkish Bath scented soap which is now called "Barbershop". The scent is a "1920's era Barbershop" scent with a really deep & rich tobacco top note. And to finish off tonight's shave I went with Stirling Soap's "Barbershop" scented aftershave to add a little sweetness to the post shave aroma:

I went ahead and installed a fresh new blade on my Gillette Shield & it had no issues at all removing my 5 day old barbed wire beard. In fact it only took 2 passes to get that sheet of ice post shave feel. I also had almost NO stinging or burning with the styptic pencil or the aftershave.

Retrobit Trio:

Well after some shock & a little disappointment today, I went to Pinnacle Shopping Plaza in Bristol, TN and purchased a Retrobit Trio from G2K Games. I'm glad that I did. It was worth the $75 dollars that I paid for it. I wanted the red & black color scheme and the packaging was really awesome as well. The first thing I noticed was that it's very light weight. It probably weighs less than half of what my Super Nintendo does:

It comes with 2 controllers that resemble the Super Nintendo but the plugs on the end are scary similar to the Sega Genesis. Also included is a combination of the old school AV cable that these game systems had & the S-Video cable that you use to be able to buy extra for it back in the day. Everything has went to HDMI cables & USB style plugs now:

They do offer an adapter for playing GameBoy Advance games & my uncle Frank did buy an adapter so my cousin could play his Sega Genesis games using the Super Nintendo slot. My uncle Frank & my cousin Paul are really rough on everything especially electronics so this is not surprising for me to hear but I'm glad that they do make that just in case my device malfunctions:

The front panel looks really cool and sleek and it's spring loaded which means you simply press it to open the front panel to gain access to the extra controls which are really awesome:

Inside the front panel you will find Nintendo, Super Nintendo & Sega Genesis controller ports which means you can use all of the controllers that were made for these systems and that's a really good thing. I use to love the Nintendo Advantage & Super Nintendo Super Advantage arcade style controllers they made for both the Super Nintendo & Nintendo systems especially for the fighting games like Final Fight, Street Fighter 2 Turbo and a few others that I had back in the day. Another thing you will notice is a controller selector which you need to use of you plan on using system specific controllers. There's also a region selector which allows you to play video games for these systems from Japan, Britain & Europe. I think that in of itself is awesome. Back in the day if you bought a Super Nintendo game from Japan then there was a 95% chance that it wouldn't work at all on your system because you had to buy a separate machine specifically for that game. This region selector eliminates that and allows you access to more games such as Final Fight Guy which was Japan & NeoGeo only back in the day. There's also a reset button and you simply turn the power switch on to the system you wish to play. Oh before I forget, these controllers will work for all 3 systems which is also a good thing because you had to buy specific controllers back in the day as well. I never knew that Retro gaming would take off like it did:

If you are wondering how it looks here's a screen shot of Final Fight. And unlike in my previous blog post, the picture is excellent and the sound is spot on as well. Plays like a brand new Super Nintendo and the controllers feel excellent. I can't hardly tell the difference between these and the original Super Nintendo controllers at all:

I definitely recommend getting this system. It's totally worth the money and it is simple to hook up and use. The sound is excellent and I can't wait to see how they did with the Sega Genesis & Nintendo sound system. They nailed it with the Super Nintendo. The graphics are also clean and very crisp refined much better than they use to be in some cases. So if you are in the market for some classic video games & don't want to do a Raspberry Pi 3 computer build, this is definitely in your wheel house and these games are extremely affordable now in most cases. I paid $17 dollars for Mortal Kombat 2 at Lukie Games this past Saturday and the 1st time I got it back in the early 90's, it was well over $60 U.S. Dollars easy.

My SNES Failed:

Well I tried ladies & gentlemen. As I suspected if it worked, it would be half way decent at best. Well I was NOT expecting it to work at all but got quite a shock when it did. I first tried Final Fight and when I heard the sound of it, I tripped out in a good way:

The sound was beyond belief if not perfect. But as you can see below, the picture was awful. It also had trouble playing the game itself. So I tried Mortal Kombat 2 and it was almost as bad and I just bought it. So for this Super Nintendo to fire up after being in storage since the mid 90's and being exposed to both the elements & extreme temperatures is simply mind blowing:

This Super Nintendo has been out in the rain and everything. Mainly because I didn't think back then that these types of games would make a come back like they have. So I ended up getting a Retrobit Trio today from G2K Games.

Mail Call: Lukie Games:

Today's mail call is from Lukie Games and it did help some. More on that in another blog post. To get my Super Nintendo up and running, I needed a power supply & AV cable. I also got a couple of specialty bits because I'm dealing with old cartridges that might need some internal care for various reasons that would take too long to list:

They could have done better at packing the order than they did because UPS is really rough on packages like this:

I also needed a new controller & I went ahead and bought Mortal Kombat 2 again:

I was very pleased with my purchase & service and all of these items worked very well under the circumstances but that's going to be my next blog post.

TTFFC Mixed & The Quattro:

Good old Through The Fire Fine Craft by Maria Arman delivers yet another top shelf performance. This is my "Mixed Soap" and the Play it again Sam which is Lime & Ginger Ale seems to stand out which is incredible. It reminds me of Canada Dry Ginger Ale with a hint of fresh squeezed lime juice. And to finish off this shave, I paired it with Pinaud's Clubman aftershave which seems to pair perfectly with this soap:

The Schick Quattro was great but it was also the last shave on this blade which I have to get more of because I seemed to have forgotten to buy some. I also went ahead and switched out my Track 2, and both the Mach 3 & Mach 3 Turbo. Those are as cheap as DE blades are and I can really afford to switch them out after so many shaves and now that I'm no longer shaving daily or frequently, they will last quite a while so my costs go down even further. Now I can't do that too much with the Fusion blades just yet but it's looking like I'll be able to with in the next few months. I also can't do it with Gillette's new Shield blades either. Those are $25 dollars for 4 and are my most expensive & comfortable blades to date.

American Blend, Coffe & The Turbo:

Tonight's shave was great. After enjoying a nice cup of Dunkin Donuts black decaf coffee, I went ahead and took me a nice hot shower which is one if not the best prep you can do before a shave. I then decided to satisfy my craving for a barbershop scent and went with Fine's American Blend and I finished it off with the matching aftershave:

The Gillette Turbo was great but I could tell that it needed a bit of stropping. So after doing a 2 pass shave, I took it to my fire hose strop & then both sides of my leather strop. So we'll see how it does the next time I use it and there's no telling when that will be. My next shave will probably be either on Wednesday or Thursday later this week. I get a much better shave experience when I go longer between shaves. I'll say this much for Fine's soaps. Go light on the loading and use extra water. You will get a much slicker & better lather if you do.

My New Shave Schedule:

Old habits die hard but this one I was glad to get rid of which took me a while to. For a number of years, I was required to shave daily and after I became disabled, I kept shaving daily. So one day I decided to wait a couple of days and it made a huge difference for the better. And ever since then, I've been shaving just about every 2 to 3 days. So me doing daily shaves has come to an end:

So from now on, I'll be shaving every 2 to 3 days since I'm no longer required to shave daily. The cartridge razors are doing a phenomenal job for me. Between good prep, using a shave soap & brush, along with this shave schedule, I've been getting phenomenal shaves with zero irritation.

Proraso Green & The Track 2:

Today's shave was great. It's also Friday which means Proraso Friday is in effect. So I went with the modern day classic Proraso Green which has an incredible Menthol & Eucalyptus scent to it which is just what my sinuses needed today. And to finish off today's shave, I went with a nice healthy dose of TN Dickinson's Witch Hazel and then I put the icing on the cake with Pinaud's Osage Rub which puts the post shave feel over the top:

The 1970 Gillette Track 2 was really good. I managed to get a squeaky clean post shave feel in 3 passes. It's been a while since I've used this razor and the blades did slightly tug a bit. So after I finished my shave, I took the Track 2 to my new fire hose strop for 10 passes and then I followed that up with 5 passes on the rough leather and 10 passes on the smooth leather. So that should have more than freshened up the blade that I have on the Track 2. If not, I can always put a new blade on there. It's got quite a lot of shaves on it.

Vision & The Gillette Shield:

Today's shave was great. Sorry for the delay folks, I had to take my mom to the doctor today and we didn't get back till just now. My mom has walking pneumonia. Earlier today I went with Soap Commander which is my top artisan brand of soap and I also went with my personal favorite, "Vision" which has an incredible aqua, amber & mint scent. Then I finished it off with a nice double dose of my "go to" splash and then I went with Soap Commander's matching aftershave balm which adds a touch of menthol to the already over the top post shave feel:

The Gillette Shield was great. I had that sheet of ice post shave feel after just 2 passes. My next shave of the day will probably be on Sunday. I find that shaving less tends to lead to a much better shave experience and almost no irritation occurs when I do.

Derby Shave Stick & The Black Diamond:

Today's shave was good but I have to quit using DE, single edge & straight razors. More on that in a moment. Today I tried 3 new things and all 3 were really good. The first was the Derby Shave Stick. It reminded me of Arko in terms of performance only with a much better scent which is kindly a classic clean soap type of scent. And to finish off today's shave, I paired it with a nice healthy dose of Thayer's Cucumber Witch Hazel which smells like a freshly sliced cucumber:

The other thing that I tried today for the first time was an ILR edge on my black diamond straight razor. It was good but almost deadly which is why I have to say adios to the traditional wet shaving razors. My first pass went extremely well and then things went down hill from that point. My against the grain pass told the same sensitive skin story I've been experiencing over the past few months and it had been 2 days since my last shave. The final pass is what woke me up to a fact that I had been ignoring for the last 6 years which is the side effects from long term anesthesia. My hands started shaking and come really close to being deadly as a result. So unfortunately, I have to quit using DE safety razors, single edges & straight razors and it sucks too.

Lemon Chill & The Fusion:

Today's shave was great. After a nice, hot & relaxing shower, I grabbed Stirling Soaps and their lemon chill scented soap which has incredible lemon meringue pie scent to it. This soap is doing a better job at getting rid of my sinus issues than my cold medicine is. And I finished off today's shave with the matching aftershave balm which is also helping:

I'm too sick to use a DE safety razor or a straight razor so I grabbed my Gillette Fusion which was excellent. I have an extremely close and smooth shave that resembles and feels like a sheet of ice which I got after performing 2 passes. I don't know when my next shave is going to be because I'm still pretty sick even though I've been taking some cold medicine.

The Muhle R41 1st Impressions:

The Muhle R41 is an awesome razor. When you mention or ask someone in wet shaving what's the most aggressive razor you can buy, this specific one is the 1st that gets mentioned and rightfully so. So lets get started. First the packaging is excellent. This razor was made in Germany:

The shave was great but very aggressive. I can feel the blade on my skin. I also don't recommend daily shaving with this specific razor. It's that aggressive:

It's also a 3 piece which is a good thing. I did come with a Muhle branded DE blade but I want keep it in tact so I went with a Feather DE blade:

The instructions and brochures that came with it are mostly in German :

This razor had no problem removing my 4 day old beard. The fit and finish is nothing short of phenomenal and the grip is also excellent. It is some where in between light & medium weight. It's not as light as a bakelite razor is but still weighs less than a DE 89. The price tag starts at around $56 U.S. Dollars depending on where you go. In addition to not shaving daily with this razor, you also don't really need to go against the grain either on your 2nd and final pass. I regret going against the grain on my 2nd pass from now on, I will only do 2 with the grain passes. All in all, I'm glad I bought this razor.

American Blend & The R41:

Today's shave was great. Today I went with Fine Accoutrements and their American Blend scented soap which has an incredible scent to it. The scent is based on YSL Rive Gauche Pour Homme (2003). And to finish off today's shave, I paired it with the matching aftershave splash:

The R41 was really good. 2 passes at the most is all you need. I did make a bit of a mistake and went against the grain on the second pass. The next time I will only do with the grain passes with this razor because it is very aggressive and has no trouble removing any beard.

Retiring The Track 2:

This will be breaking a lot of people's hearts, but I'm retiring my 1970 Gillette Track 2  to my collection and will no longer be u...