Saturday, February 28, 2015

Armillary...

...lunch table.  At least that's how the squirrels are using my armillary sundial this winter.  As you can see from the pic on this rare sunny day, it's 1pm, lunchtime is over, and the little buggers did not clean up after themselves.

So the "be a real man" adventure of shaving with a straight razor is coming along.  I think I've finally settled on the right combination of razor and shave cream now, and I'm really enjoying this daily task.

I started with a Dovo shavette, which was pretty good...very lightweight razor, uses disposable single edge blades, fairly easy to use without becoming Sweeney Todd, the demon barber of Fleet Street:
What I didn't like is the little red, plastic, insert they use to hold the single edge, disposable blade...besides looking weird - red, the color of blood, yes? - it's not all that stable and the last thing you want with a straight razor on your throat is for the blade to shift.

Surprise!  Gonna need a bigger styptic pencil for that one...

So then I bought a Solingen straight razor...

...this one is a true straight razor...permanent blade, does not use disposables.  They told me at "The Art of Shaving" store I could use it for 10 or so shaves, then should get it professionally sharpened, and after that it would last for 6 months before needing to be sharpened again.

Wrong...tried it as it came from the store, and it pulled and bit too much...definitely not sharp enough.  So I had it sharpened, and it was better, but still not as good as using a disposable single edge blade.

Began experimenting with different shave creams...brush styles in a mug, hot lather, etc...but just didn't like the shave I was getting...was about to go back to the Dovo shavette when I happened onto this:
That's an AVA Barber straight razor, and I really like it...uses disposable single edge blades, and the mechanism that holds them in place is 100 x better than the Dovo...very solid and secure, no slipping or vibrating.  Plus, it's a little heavier than the Dovo, I like the way it feels in my hand, and love the stainless steel look:
Ok, so it takes a little longer than a safety razor, and yes, I've nicked myself a few times as I've been learning the art and science of this style of shaving...but every man should have a few scars and for crying out loud, don't be such a wuss!  Move toward the fear...

For the ladies in the audience who are puzzled by this, remember: if it has tires or testosterone, you're going to have problems with it.

For the men in the audience who are puzzled by this, I'm writing a book just for you...stay tuned...

Flying away to Palm Springs in the not too distant future...
Can't wait for some sunshine and warmer temps...

Later, mcm fans...

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Love...

...letter from my granddaughter.  Miriam wrote this to me and melted my heart.  What a cutie.

On the collecting front, trifecta complete:
Senior Bartender striker lighter

Bob Adams of www.RonsonRepair.com found and restored this Ronson Senior Bartender striker lighter for me, which "completes" (a relative term for any collector) my Ronson bartender lighter series.


Unlike the touch tip model, with cigarette holders on either side, this one has it in front:

Here's all three of the bartenders together:
That's the Senior touch tip on the left, the Junior maid in the middle, and the Senior striker on the right.

Thank you, Bob!

Already discussed the politically correct issue previously, and the value these have for collectors of Black Americana...part of the "never forget, never again" school of thought.

For me they're simply history, elements of 1930's American culture, art deco objets d'art.

Today we journeyed to Douglas and participated in the black arts of ten pinnery again...
Ok so that's not the Douglas bowling alley...I just like the art deco sign...
Enjoyed our attempts but we were less than excellent, unfortunately...no excuses...we're just not that good...but there were too many mechanical issues with the lane / pinsetters to get any kind of rhythm going, and then the Brady Bunch took the lane next to us and the fun was definitely over after that.  We finished our drinks and called it a day.

Another reason why we need to install a lane in our home...

Later, mcm fans...

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy...

...Valentine's Day!

Hope I'm not violating any copyright laws...that's today's "Brewster Rockit" comic strip written and illustrated by Tim Rickard...love that comic...the guy's a genius and did a perfect job of capturing the essence of this day for most couples...who me, cynical?

Here's a little bit of how we celebrated today:


Roses, cake, and pink champagne...c'mon boys and girls, get your cupid on.

Snowing and blowing today, with temps headed toward zero and wind chills down to 25 below:
Shoveled the deck, sidewalk and front steps and it is seriously cold today...think I'll spend the rest of the day inside by the fire...

Of course, our furry woodland creature friends don't have that option, so I tossed out some peanuts for them today:
Mr. Squirrel enjoying a frozen snack on my armillary sundial.  Might as well use it as picnic table b/c it's sure not getting much use as a sundial in this dark, cold, winter.

Snapped this pic of the Triumvirate of Terror, currently wintering in my garage:
The creature from the Black Lagoon - for whom Marilyn felt sorry in "The Seven Year Itch" - the scarecrow, and of course my favorite, Mr. Bolts.  Hang on boys, All Hallows Eve will be here before you know it...

Saw a good flick last night..."The Rewrite" with Hugh Grant and Marisa Tomei...very clever, upbeat film and def worth a look.
As you would expect in a Hugh Grant rom-com, there are many funny throw away lines...one I thought was particularly clever was when he was commenting on Marisa Tomei's character's consistent optimism:  "It's very American, like country music, or, um, obesity..."

A recent ebay purchase:
Fatima cigarette dispenser...needs a little cleanup and a lid, but allegedly works correctly.  Yet another art deco objet d'art for this mid century modern collector...hhhmmmm...

Happy Valentine's Day, art deco / mcm fans...

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Profiles...

...in winter...reduced to enjoying my Arturo Fuente Hemingway Short Stories in the garage of all places...but as pictures go, that is my best side.

What's wrong with this picture?

re: Profiles In Courage...credited to John F. Kennedy, but overwhelming evidence points to Ted Sorensen, his long time speechwriter, as the real author...which means JFK accepted a Pulitzer Prize for work someone else did.  As the saying around the Senate went, his colleagues wished he had a little less profile and a little more courage.

Coming down with a cold, I think...everything hurts...joint aches, fever, headache...can we please have summer now?  No such luck...two degrees this morning...count 'em, two whole degrees...one for you, one for me.

In spite of the frigid temps, the day started ok...shaved with my straight razor...
...tied my own bow tie (pre-tied are for wusses)...
...and drank my coffee black...
...you know...moving toward the fear...and yes, those are knuckle dusters on my coffee cup...pretty cool.


Bob Adams of www.RonsonRepair.com is working on a couple of items that I'd like to get my grubby little mitts on...one is a double cigarette box touch tip lighter combination...
...love they way that looks...beautiful art deco design from the 1930's.

The other is the elusive Senior Bartender Striker lighter:
 ...have a bad feeling about how much this might set me back...

For someone who claims to be into mid century modern, I sure collect a lot of art deco objets d'art.

Later, art deco fans...

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Happy...

...Birthday!  K's special day, immortalized with a few pics from my Fuji Instax Mini 8 instant camera.  I think she liked the roses:

I convinced her not to eat them, though they do look delicious.

Another snowstorm on her birthday...a fairly regular occurrence.  Already cleared the driveway, sidewalk and steps, and will probably have to do so again before the night is done.

It's also Super Bowl Sunday, not that I really care all that much...don't have a dog in this hunt, so don't really care who wins, Seattle or New England.  Will probably turn the game on, though it's guaranteed I won't watch the whole thing...normally I just check in now and then to see how the overpaid millionaire crybaby prima donnas are doing.

Here's a pic of me getting ready to go outside and do battle with the snow storm:

It's hell getting old.

Been thinking lately about putting together the bones of a book on How To Be A Man*
(*in a unisex world)

One of the subjects will be Learn To Shave With A Straight Razor:
Ok, so it's really a shavette, not a true straight razor...the main difference being it uses disposable blades, so you don't need a leather strop.  Even so, it's one of those manly activities that has fallen by the wayside over time and has contributed to the feminization of the modern day male

It's like tying a bow tie, or a windsor knot, drinking rye whiskey and smoking cigars...something every self-respecting "real man" should know how to do.

C'mon guys...move toward the fear...

Later, mcm fans...