Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Razor's Edge

Once again much time has passed since I bothered with my skills blog. I think I've been puttering about with this for about 3 years now, it appears that my first post came around October of 2009. That I'm still working on this project rather amazes me, as I have the attention span of a gnat.

Looks as if, regardless of who wins the 2012 election here in the states, the Palin-ocapylse will have to be postponed until at least 2016.  Good that, as it will give me plenty of time to prepare.

I guess it's about time for a check-up on my progress as a potential survivor. And my prognosis is still poor. I have hardly added so much as a jot of useful skills. My singular attempt at gardening was a learning experience (read as utter failure). I've not so much as touched the controls of an airplane, and nobody in their right mind would approach me to perform an emergency surgery on so much as a recently deceased hamster.

Hell, I've not even made much progress on the next volume of my zombie series. So much for all that research! Ah well, I work full time and have other hobbies, zombie 5 will have to wait.

But I have collected a tremendous amount of information in the form of books. My library has exploded as I've found books on topics ranging from farming to blacksmithing. Most of these skills I've yet to really develop in any sort of hands-on manner. The best way to learn is to do.

Last autumn/winter I happened upon the miniseries Gettysburg. If you're unaware, Gettysburg is about the American Civil War battle (circa 1863) that was a major turning point for the Union. What was striking about it was the mad style of facial hair that many of the historical figures had. Everything ranging from the standard beard to wild mutton-chops(sideburns/burnsides).

Upon finishing the series I declared “I wanna do that to my face!”

As I was completely unemployed at the time, so I did. I have a moderately-full growth of facial hair and some of the women in my life claimed that I looked good in a beard. But alas, I landed a new job and was asked to trim up the massive tangled growth on my face. So, I went through a piece at a time and trimmed away and manscaped, collecting pictures as I went, until my face was once again in pristine original condition.

I've discovered something with my aforementioned experiment, I don't really like having whiskers. They're scratchy and have a tendency to catch food. Whilst out exercising during the winter I experienced a damp feeling upon my upper lip. “Oh no!” I exclaimed, “I've developed a bloody nose!” Not so, it turns out that my mustache was the perfect collector of condensation. Really, this shouldn't have been a surprise in the least, but damn I never expected anything like.

Just this morning I realized that there is a daily life skill that I do not have. I don't know how to shave. This is remarkable in light of the fact that I am an adult male who goes clean shaven and that I have a moderately full beard when I do let it grow out. For short stints I've tinkered with growing beards over the last decade or so, but have always employed the modern convenience of an Electric Razor.

And this is where the “I never learned to shave” comes into play. This still seems really sad for a grown man to admit.  I live in a society where facial hair is generally frowned upon.  That is to say that most men are expected to be clean-shaven as the norm.  Strange I must admit, especially when compared to societies that view a full beard as a sign of manliness.

I tend to follow the norm.  Lazy as I am.

The electric razor is functional and fast, if not as effective as a proper straight razor. I suppose it doesn't help that I rarely change the blades – but they cost nearly as much as the device itself, and I'm cheap/poor. But as a tool it does an adequate job of at least taming some of my whiskers, if not leaving me utterly smooth. And I will be honest, I'm never overly concerned with my appearance anyway. The electric razor isn't elite, but it gets the job done well enough and quickly.

More so, and finally getting to the ever so pessimistic theme of this blog, that electric razor requires a source of electricity to make it run... blah blah blah... I don't plan to look like a hipster/hippie/pedophile when the Palinocalypse strikes... blah blah blah... straight razor!

I shall preface the rest of this and admit that I am a wimp. I don't like the idea of an extremely sharp blade running over my face and neck. They aren't amazing either one, but I'd like to keep what I got.

Here's the thing, an electric razor is a lot like an automatic transmission. Fast and convenient. And it doesn't involve a naked blade and visions of my life blood fountaining out of a gash in my throat Sam Rami style.

I've actually investigated the possibility of learning to shave. Youtube is a brilliant invention when the anonymous stupids aren't clogging it up, and I've seen some useful videos on various subjects. Thankyou helpful youtubers – just keep ignoring the worthless tools who add nothing to the conversation.

Ok, so I have a guide as to how to actually shave. Now all I need is the gear. Google, I need you!

Oh. $200 for a shaving kit? And that isn't even the expensive one? (the latter tops out at $3000.00 and comes with 7 razors). Sure, I could find a cheaper kit I am certain. But I don't think I want to goto the lowest bidder with something like a razor. Yeah, fuck that. Money, and my lack of it stands in my way once again.

That and laziness.

That wasn't very exciting was it?  Well, damn.  Did I mention that a solid straight razor can be used as a weapon?  Hells yeah, multi-purpose toiletries!  Give those savage mutant biker bandits that infest the wastelands a proper close shave.  Down to the shoulders.

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