Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Announcing: a two week vacation!

Hello readers,

Unfortunately, you will have to find something else to read for today and next Tuesday, for I am taking a much-needed vacation during which I will visit with family and friends and eat and sleep and relax and publish absolutely nothing.

The weekly waxy ramblings will return August 7th, with an especially provocative and controversial post that you won't want to miss.

See you then!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Soaked Cycling

As a four-season, all-weather commuting cyclist I am occasionally caught in the rain while riding my bicycle. Sometimes, coworkers and friends openly express their incredulity as I arrive from my bicycle ride in a non-dry state by calling me "insane" or "hardcore."

"You have no common sense at all. What are you trying to prove? Do you think you are too cool to take the bus?" one coworker asked me, shaking her head in disapproval.

I am not sure what constitutes "hardcore" these days, but I am willing to go out on a limb and guess that I do not qualify.

Furthermore, while my sanity may be debatable, I hardly think riding a bicycle in the rain is crazier than relying on the manic MBTA bus drivers careening haphazardly all across the road for transportation.

Plus, it is very unlikely you will ever encounter any smells on a bicycle that will hold a candle to that booze-saturated hobo who just wet his pants sitting next to you on the 39 bus, murmuring angrily to no one in particular while you do your best to avoid eye contact.

Somehow, people have gotten to the point where rain is a terrible and unfortunate thing to be exposed to. Simply getting wet is just unthinkably awful. Shielded from the house to the car with an umbrella, they scurry hastily to avoid getting a single drop on themselves.

Is the rain so bad, though? Once you get over the simple fact that you will probably get a little wet and acknowledge that it's not going to kill you, I would argue that it's not.

I would go so far as to say a ride in the rain can actually be an enjoyable experience--if you have properly prepared yourself and your bicycle. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Fenders. These are an absolute must. If I could offer only one piece of wet-weather gear to a cyclist with none, I would choose fenders without hesitation.

Not a rain jacket or some oversized poncho, not waterproof shoes, and definitely not some stupid handlebar-mounted umbrella. Fenders.

"Why fenders? They don't even protect you from the rain!" you might be saying to yourself.

That may seem like a valid point, as they most certainly will not shield you from the rain falling out of the sky. However, a worse offender than rain is the water in the road.

In the road, the rain pools together with dirt, gasoline, road salt and whatever other surprises lie in the street. Your two spinning wheels pick up the offensive mixture and hurl it into the air.

This road grime, deployed as a spray from your wheels, shoots all over your rear end and back (resulting in the unfavorable "skunk stripe" which is a tell-tale sign of a fenderless cyclist), and onto your shoes from the front wheel.

Even worse, this wheel spray can sneak into the bottom bracket or even the headset, encouraging what could be a long-lasting and expensive bicycle component to corrode and fail much more rapidly.

Somehow, fenders have fallen out of favor and are largely considered uncool to have on your bike. This is likely due to bicycle racing and it's influence on cycling culture (either that, or the fenders clutter up the stripped-down look of your sweet minimalist fixie conversion).

Some people even use detachable fenders, because the sight of fenders on their bike is so unbearable that they would like them removed for all situations save those that actually necessitate protection from the wet.

However, in my opinion once it starts raining the fashion show is over and no one will think you look cool because your bike has no fenders on it. You will just look wet.

Fenders are made out of all kinds of materials. Beautiful hammered stainless steel or aluminum fenders are available, as are fenders made of polished wood or bamboo.

The best fenders these days are probably the plastic ones. With a thin layer of aluminum sandwiched between two layers of tough thermoplastic material, the modern plastic fender is stiff, durable, cheap, and available in pretty much any color.

Also, a good set of plastic fenders won't rattle noisily as you ride over rough patches in the road like some of the old metal ones can.

Put a set of mudflaps on your fenders (commercially made of rubber or leather, although homemade mudflaps can be crafted out of empty beer cans, used inner tubes, or pretty much anything made out of plastic).

A good set of mudflaps helps completely eliminate the spray from your wheels, while being flexible enough to bend out of the way if you go over a curb or hit a sizable pothole.

To keep you dry from water coming from other directions (the sky, for example), a plethora of gear is available. Specialized jackets with high-tech membranes and bicycle-specific shapes and colors are sold everywhere.

The cycling rain jacket market is saturated, in fact, with all kinds of jackets and pants that claim to be waterproof and breathable.

Cyclists have long found that the aerobic workout they are getting makes them sweat, and their waterproof jacket denies them the breeze that normally serves to cool them off a bit as they ride.

This creates a sauna-like effect inside the clothing, rendering the rider a wet and salty mess as they arrive at their destination.

Ironic, considering the garment is intended to keep you dry.

Modern technology has produced cutting-edge fabrics that supposedly repel water, but still allow the vapor from your body to permeate the jacket.

The idea is that the pores of the jacket are too small for a giant-sized liquid molecule of  water to pass through, but just big enough for a tiny vaporized water molecule to get through.

This only works in theory, however. Unfortunately, the waterproof/breathable combo is a myth. It is the holy grail of cycling apparel--forever sought after, but never found.

This is because of a strange thing called "science". While a waterproof/breathable jacket may in fact allow some evaporation to occur while you are wearing it in dry conditions, once the jacket is wet the water-coated pores of the jacket can no longer allow vapor to pass through.

It's one way or the other. Water cannot be traveling freely through the material one way while simultaneously being repelled on the other side of the fabric. As far as the fabrics that man has created so far are concerned, it's impossible.

I have tried the technological wonder-fabrics myself--GoreTex, eVent, Schoeller c_change, blah blah blah. They all make you sweat just as bad as if you were wearing a trash bag as you ride through the rain. Keep this in mind before you drop a cool $400 on that magic jacket at REI.

Obviously, if you are a backpack-wearing cyclist, the garment will not breathe through the backpack. Even a cotton t-shirt cannot breathe underneath a backpack, or it's straps.

In colder weather (too cold to sweat much), rain jackets are typically much more comfortable to use. Also, a lot of these jackets have massive cut-outs under the armpits which you can unzip to allow some air to flow in.

Most of these jackets, however, do not provide you with any coverage for your legs. While rain pants are available, they can be cumbersome to put on and remove (especially if you wear big shoes or boots that can't slip through the pants), essentially requiring a full-on outfit change just to ride your bike.

Worse, rain pants typically cause a magnified version of the sauna-effect you might experience with your jacket. It's more severe in rain pants because your legs are doing all the work when you ride a bike. They get sweaty in no time.

If you wear rain pants over your regular ones only to get wherever you are going with sweat-soaked trousers, what's the point?

I've seen these Rainlegs things available, which are basically waterproof cut-outs for your thighs. They seem like a pretty good idea to me, but I've never tried them myself so don't consider that an endorsement.

Apparently people use them for riding horses in the rain also, in case you or someone you know loves riding Ol' Trigger in a downpour, but hates having wet thighs afterward.

My personal choice for wet weather riding is the famously awkward and impressively ugly bike poncho (or rain cape, for those who prefer to perpetuate their delusional pretense of being a superhero).

While tremendously stupid-looking, a bike poncho is quick to put on in case of a surprise downpour, and actually breathes a little because it's completely open on the bottom. Also, because they hang over the handlebars, they keep your hands and thighs dry without gloves or special waterproof pants.

Besides, once it starts raining, the fashion show is over. Who cares if it's ugly? It's raining!

Bike ponchos are available in that ubiquitous yellow-vinyl raincoat-type material, or in waxed canvas for the pretentious.

Speaking of catering to the pretentious, the Brooks saddle-making company sells a waxed-canvas rain cape at the uniquely insane price of $230, in case you are pretentious and eager to divest yourself of way more money than you need to in order to ride a bike in the rain. Nice!

As a disclaimer, these ponchos are very awkward and unwieldy, especially if you end up wearing it off of the bike.

They will get in the way of every single thing you can possibly do off of your bicycle, ever, with the exception of standing perfectly still.

They do not work well with backpacks. Also, they are designed with a more upright posture in mind; if you have a racing-style bike, the awkwardness of the poncho will be quite enhanced.

The poncho is obviously worthless if you do not have fenders. In that unfortunate case, you would probably be better off without the poncho, because road spray will just soak the inside of the poncho and make you abjectly miserable (and filthy) as you ride.

Rain poncho or rain jacket and pants, when you ride in the rain your shoes are going to get wet. Water sneaks past those mudflaps sometimes, and every time you splash your way through a puddle, it gets on your shoes. Plus, it's raining, so...

There are waterproof shoes available, but unless you really like the shoe I think it seems a little silly to have a special pair of shoes only for riding in the rain. Do you just carry them around on days it might rain, and change shoes when it starts coming down?

Far more practical is to find some way to deal with the rain with whatever shoes you already wear normally. If you have a well-constructed pair of leather shoes, you can apply some Sno-Seal every once in a while and you'll probably be fine.  Some canvas shoes can also be beefed up with Sno-Seal, but you have to be okay with them looking pretty messy.

A pair of galoshes or waterproof boots will certainly do the trick if you don't mind wearing them all day. Just make sure they cinch up at the top (or have laces), or slip under your pants, so you don't have water trickling in through the top.

Alternately, you could get a pair of splats, neoprene "booties", or some other waterproof shoe covers. They slip on over your normal shoes and keep them dry while you get where you are going. They are ugly as heck, but again: once it starts raining, the fashion show is over.

Really, if you want to be dry when you get to your destination then the easiest, cheapest, and most effective solution is to bring a change of clothes with you. Stick some dry pants and another shirt in a plastic bag or something, and arrive five minutes early to change. Simple as that.

Lastly, visibility on the road is limited during rainy conditions. I don't mean it's harder for you to see (although it might be). I mean it's harder for motorists to see you.

If you have lights for your bicycle, put them on for the rain--even if it's the middle of the day. If you don't have lights for your bicycle, well what's the matter with you? Go get some lights, for goodness sake!

With the gray conditions and water pelting their windshield, drivers won't notice you as well in the rain. Anything that boosts your visibility is a big plus.

All in all, riding in the rain isn't so bad. It is not recommended for the many people who cannot conquer their aquaphobia enough to permit being slightly wet for small periods of time (and there is no shame in being one of those people).

If you are brave enough to endure the moisture, you will probably agree that it's not that bad, and can actually be a fun ride. Just remember:
  • Fenders.
  • No matter what you do, you will not stay perfectly dry. The most you can realistically shoot for is pretty dry. Choose your clothing based on how rain-wet you are willing to become versus how sweaty-wet you are willing to become.
  • The waterproof/breathable combo is a myth. Spend good money on a rain jacket because you like it, not because it claims to do the impossible.
  • Your shoes are going to get wet. If you hate standing around in wet shoes all day (I certainly do), then you need to do something to deal with that.
  • Fenders.
  • Bring a change of clothes with you if it seems like the most realistic way to be comfortable after you reach your destination. There is no shame in sticking an extra pair of socks in your bag (although there may or may not be some shame involved with actually changing your socks, depending on how offensive your personal foot situation happens to be).
  • Fenders.
  • Visibility on the road is limited for motorists when it is raining. Turn your lights on (cars should be doing this too).
  • Once it starts raining, the fashion show is over. No one looks glamorous in the rain, whether or not they are trying to ride a bicycle. Bicycle riders look at least as ridiculous as people getting soaked because their cheap umbrella popped inside out from the wind. Be okay with making some style concessions in the name of practicality. Spending a lot of money on stylish rain-cycling gear is a lost cause, because no matter what you do you will look foolish. You will look foolish and wet, and no one will care at all because it is raining and they are probably concentrating all of their mental focus into trying not to get wet themselves.

Don't worry about finding a magical jacket to wear while it's raining. Focus on finding something comfortable, that you like to wear (or at least don't hate).

Get something that repels water somewhat, even if it's not a completely waterproof cycling-in-the-rain-specific jacket. A decent canvas jacket or a even a windbreaker should be fine.

If it eventually soaks through, so what? It beats getting drenched with sweat inside of a rain jacket that makes you look like a Power Ranger.

Besides, you brought a dry shirt with you, right?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Ah, the car horn. Few sounds can trump the annoyance of this boisterous urban noisemaker. All around you, at any hour of the day, countless numbers of motorists pool their efforts together to create an abrasive cacophony of horn honking, filling the streets with a din of sound pollution decidedly appropriate for a world so rude.

People cut loose on their horns for any number of reasons, or sometimes for no discernible reason at all.

I suppose the original and most appropriate use of the car horn is to warn those in your path of the inherent danger of your vehicle barreling toward them. Considering the droves of highly distracted people of all ages that bumble through the streets completely oblivious to the world around them on a daily basis, for this function of the car horn remains very relevant and useful.

More commonly, people use the horn for getting someone's attention for other reasons. For this purpose, it is possible the horn is overused.

People honk if they see someone in the street that they know. They will honk if they do not care for another motorist's driving style, sometimes excessively. Some people honk compulsively when the light turns green and there are other cars in front of them. People honk if they drive by something they like. Cars even automatically honk to confirm that the motorist has successfully employed the remote locking mechanism dangling from their key chain.

Unfortunately, with all these different motivations for honking it's not always easy to tell why someone is sounding their horn. People will pound the life right out of their steering wheels with the passion of their honking, as if their meaning is obvious, with no clue in their mind as to why their message is not getting through.

I have even seen a person honking accidentally. A man waiting at a traffic light was honking his horn erroneously at the car in front of him. He misinterpreted a change in the traffic light and thought it was their turn to go. There he was blasting away at the horn to display his impatience, when really it was only a green arrow that lit up and he still had a red light.

Soon he realized his mistake. He realized, presumably embarrassed, that he was honking for no reason. He held up a hand and mouthed the word "sorry" (or maybe he said it out loud; I wouldn't know). The other car's response? They honked at him.

For many motorists, honking the car horn serves as a complete substitution for talking. Any and all messages or exclamations for other road users are reduced to the same monotone blast of sound.

With only a single note, however, it is difficult to create a message with any meaning more complex than "look at me."

That is what I imagine the car horn saying, because that's what you have to do in order to respond to a car honking. You have to look at it, and try to guess why the motorist is honking. Sometimes it may be obvious, but other times not so much.

Imagine if we communicated this way in our normal lives? We would all run around communicating exclusively by grunting loudly at one another, slightly baffled by the fact that other people can't seem to decipher the meaning behind our grunts.

Because of the overuse of car horns in a typical urban setting, the sound of a horn blasting doesn't really mean much anymore.

People don't even look to see why a motorist is honking sometimes, because who cares? It's probably just another rage addled psycho announcing to the world that he saw the light turn green first. First! First! First! Fiiiiiiirst!

Why has this model never been improved upon? People have been making cars for two hundred years or whatever, but still no one has come up with a multi-tonal car horn to convey different meanings in traffic, or thought to add some other secondary noise-making device, or really tried to improve the inter-car communication at all.

Today's technology could easily support a more sophisticated system. Wireless inter-vehicle communication hardly seems unrealistic.

Imagine if you could point to the car in front of you and say, "I am changing lanes to pass you on the left," and they could hear you. Being able to actually communicate with other motorists could easily make driving safer in many situations.

You might say, "Oh, but people would harass other motorists and say rude things to them from their cars." While this may be true, I think it's worth pointing out that people already do this.

I see people shouting at each other from their open car windows all the time, rage-laced profanity spewing out their mouths as loudly as they can scream.

With some sort of inter-car communication system, at least these angry outbursts would be confined to the insides of people's cars.That would at least spare the rest of the world from their derogatory noise pollution.

At the very least, I think it would be nice if car horns could produce a few other sounds. People could use the less obnoxious sounds for situations like seeing their friends across the street, or announcing their arrival at someone's house for that day's carpool.
I imagine a french horn belting out a couple nice notes, but I suppose it could sound like pretty much anything and it would likely be an improvement.

Imagine if there were a bell you could sound from your car to as you approached an intersection or crosswalk to acknowledge that you realize another person has the right of way and they may proceed through the intersection knowing you will slow down for them, and people universally came to learn that that is what the bell means. It would be useful; instead of a horn that could actually mean pretty much anything, it would be a universally recognized signal.

I am not saying every message you would ever want to convey in traffic should get it's own sound effect. I'm saying I think it's crazy that a hundred years after the Model T, cars don't even have a couple sound effects (besides of course the loud annoying one).

Ambulances, fire engines, and police cars all have sirens, of course. The sirens all sound different from each other, too.

Large trucks, construction vehicles, and buses make that beeping noise when they are backing up.

Many truckers use CB radio to communicate with other road users.

That trolly bus thing that does tours of Boston has a pretty giant bell on it, although they seem to just sort of ring it randomly, with no real message aside from "check out this old-timey bell!".

I guess some models of car do that cheeping noise instead of honking when you remotely lock them, but that's about it--nothing for the everyday motorist to use for communicating aside from the abrasive blaring of the horn.

 You may attempt to lend some relevance to your horn blast by tapping out a cadence or laying on the horn with variable degrees of force, but I really think someone should have come up with a little more by now.

Oh well, I'm sure it's not long now till everyone gets smartphones installed directly into their brains.

We'll just download an app to communicate telepathically with anyone nearby, effectively serving as the inter-car communication that is so sorely lacking from today's car horn.

Until then, I guess I'll just strap as many different horns and bells onto my handlebars as I can fit and rove about enthusiastically hammering out a codified cadence of messages for other road users, shouting verbal translations for all of the bell-horn combinations until my system catches on and is universally adopted in all vehicles.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Classic Shave

Picture a young man's first shave, and you will probably imagine him standing side by side in front of the bathroom mirror with his father. They stand together with lathered-up faces, the father demonstrating the correct way to hold the razor and how to carefully guide it across the face.

Doubtless the son will nick himself a couple times, giving his father the perfect opportunity to show him that little trick where you rip off a tiny piece of toilet tissue and plop it onto the "weeper" to soak up the blood until a clot forms.

Tragically, this tradition is practically obsolete (not the toilet paper thing--people still do that). It has become one of those old-fashioned things people like to think about but no one really does anymore, like the milk man bringing you fresh milk and picking up your empty glass bottles from the front stoop. It's quaint, but it's been outdated. If anything, teaching the son to shave is reduced to a quick two-minute crash course.

The reason isn't because today's fathers are in a hurry, or they don't like to talk about shaving. It's because the modern razor has been engineered to the point where any clumsy, hormone-addled teenager can scrape one across his face haphazardly, and still come out with a relatively decent shave. The razor is no longer an instrument that requires any skill to wield, so there isn't much of a lesson to pass along.

Squirt some of this crap out of the can, smear it on your face, scrape it off with the razor. Easy.

And so you go through life, and that's how you shave: you slather some crap that smells the same as your deodorant from a can onto your face, whip out your fancy three- or four- or five-bladed engineering marvel of a razor blade, and drag it forcefully across the skin of your face, effectively peeling off your beard in one fell swoop. Your face is nice and smooth all day.

By the next day, razor bumps and ingrown hairs have disturbed the peace a little, but usually by the third day your face has healed enough to bear the drudgery of another shave. Shaving becomes a chore you force yourself through every couple of days when you can't put it off any longer.

However, unbeknownst to many modern shavers, shaving was not always this uncomfortable drudgery that it has evolved into. Shaving used to be an enjoyable routine, and a chance for a man to pamper himself without compromising his manliness. What has gone wrong?

The answer: marketing. The modern razor is a great example of how marketing has taken something that was working perfectly fine and have just gone crazy with it. Every year, marketing teams struggle to produce a razor which is completely revolutionary, out-razoring all razors that man has ever shaved with before.

Four blades! Five blades! Maybe six! A special strip of plastic for some added...whatever those plastic strips do! Put some batteries in it, and make it vibrate, or something! Can we get it to automatically dispense that blue crap that smells like deodorant during the shave? Yes!

The modern razor has had the gusto engineered right out of it. The angle of the blades makes it nearly impossible to cut yourself, but also limits the shaver's ability to...well, shave. You have to press the blade forcefully into your face just to get some hair off. Razor blade handles have gotten longer and longer to enable the shaver to purchase some extra leverage with this drawback in mind, where traditional razors had only a few inches of handle to boast.

The multiple blades are supposed to progressively slice your hair down a tiny bit at a time, enabling a close shave from only one pass ("One blade to get close, another to get even closer!"), but actually this isn't all that happens. The first blade latches on to the hair and pull it from the face a little bit before getting through.

This has two unfortunate consequences: first, it's uncomfortable for the shaver. It's why shaving doesn't feel good.

Second, pulling the hairs out from the face causes the hair to be cut slightly below the surface of the skin. While this does make your shave seem closer and smoother, this is also what causes the ingrown hairs and razor bumps. When those hairs grow back, they don't always emerge from your skin in the same way they originally did.

The cartridges for modern multi-bladed razors dull very rapidly and should be changed every few shaves. All those blades clog up with hair, skin, and that nasty blue crap you shave with.

Unfortunately, the cartridges are remarkably expensive; you end up using them considerably longer than you should because you want those suckers to last. What's worse than using a razor poorly designed for shaving? Using a dull razor poorly designed for shaving.

Now, as the marketing madness continues to it's push insane razor design to the max (seriously, how many blades is enough? Just put ten on there, and get it over with), more and more men are realizing that this is one of those cases where the old method was better.

Ah, yes: the classic wet shave. How is it different? Actually, it's different in pretty much every way.

For starters, the lather. Our marketing friends would have us buy some canned gel or cream to spread directly on our faces with our fingers. For the wet shaver, the lather is a much more serious affair.

Using a shaving brush soaked in water, the shaver summons up a frothy lather from a bar of shaving soap or a cream. Some people use a bowl or mug for sloshing the brush about until it's frothing like mad before painting up their face with it.

Once you've got a nice, fluffy lather going, you massage the lather into your beard. The bristles serve to stimulate your face and get every hair coated in soapy lather in preparation for their slicing.

Building a proper lather on your face takes a good three minutes or so, which feels like a long time for anyone used to the simple smear of gel method. Even so, if I could offer only one piece of advice to the modern shaver, it would be to get a shave brush. The benefits of properly preparing your face before a shave cannot be overstated.

That's right, keep your quadruple-bladed technological wonder shaver if you must, but do yourself a favor: get a real bar of shaving soap or a real shaving cream and a brush (traditionally made with hair from badger or boar fur, but synthetic brushes are getting really good these days for anyone with vegan sensitivities), and build up a good lather on your face before you shave.

Once you get the hang of it, you'll find that building the lather actually feels quite nice, and will likely improve the quality of your shave.

But what would a shave be without...well, a shave? To finish the job: a razor.

In my opinion, razor technology stopped improving after the double-edged safety razor, although some purists will settle for nothing less than the manliest of facial landscaping tools, the straight edge razor.

Unless you want to boast pretentiously about the unequaled quality of its shave to all of your less-manly friends, and spend all of your spare time honing the blades to ultimate sharpness on long strops of leather while manliness practically beads up on your brow from the effort, this may be more extreme than necessary.

A safety razor is actually not that hard to use, you just have to be more careful than with a modern razor. The shaver manually controls the angle of the blade with the way he grasps the razor and draws it on his face.

To use one, you have to re-learn some bad shaving habits that modern shaving has taught you. For starters, the razor is meant to be drawn across the face with hardly any pressure at all. This is why the handles on traditional razors are often so short. You really just need to grasp it with a few fingers, like a pencil or a spoon.

A wet shaver makes multiple passes, each pass reduces the length of the beard. It's like mowing your lawn a couple times on progressively lower lawnmower settings, except hopefully not such an insane waste of time. 

The directionality of hair growth becomes very relevant in wet shaving. One must be intimately familiar with the pattern of their beard to properly whittle down the hairs. For the best shave you want to make the first pass with the grain to avoid irritation. Subsequent closer passes may be across or against the grain for extra closeness.

Some enthusiasts have gone so far as to physically map out their beard growth. Like a real map, on paper. I am not convinced that actual beard mapping is necessary, but I suppose it really depends on how advanced your obsessive compulsive mannerisms are.

Double edged razors are simple and easy to maintain. A good one could easily outlive you; plenty of people today are shaving with perfectly good razors from the sixties. They are constantly on Ebay--if using people's old stuff is something you are into, I say go for it.

Replacement blades are about seventy-five cents or so each, making replacing a dull blade very affordable compared to multi-bladed cartridges which cost anywhere from two to six dollars each.

Also, there is considerably less waste, which may or may not be a relevant detail for you, depending on how selfish and closed-minded you happen to be about how much plastic crap people throw away every day because it's become worthless to them.

Wet shaving takes longer and requires some degree of skill and method to do properly. It's sort of like shoe-tying in a Velcro world.

A standard three-pass shave, from lather to final rinse, takes a full ten minutes. Obviously it will take you longer if you shave slowly, or are predisposed to distraction. Ten minutes is like five times longer than the modern shave. If you are a time efficiency zealot, this may not seem worth it.

But really, ten minutes isn't all that much time. You'll find you can actually get a much closer shave than you are used to with far less trauma to the skin of your face. Your face will feel nice when you are through with your shave, instead of feeling like you just rubbed sandpaper on it.

The act of shaving doesn't have to be an uncomfortable chore. It can actually be a very enjoyable part of your grooming routine. Isn't it acceptable to pamper yourself in this, the manliest of rituals?

[Those curious to learn for themselves how to shave I direct here.]