Monday, May 12, 2008

What I've Been Shaving With

The allure of the straight-edge razor with leather sharpening-strap has always captured my imagination, but my instinct for self-preservation is still too strong for me to take that leap. However, after a recent tip-off by a friend of a friend, I have found the next best thing, the so-called "safety razor."

I went with a Merkur double-edge model safety razor, which features a butterfly-style blade enclosure and metallic finish. In addition, I went on eBay and found a deal on a Vulfix brush, and I got some shaving soap from Kiehl's. Getting the best shaving cream is extremely important - almost as important as picking up a styptic pencil at your nearest pharmacy. The first five times I used this system, I accumulated a lot of nicks that bled surprisingly profusely. The styptic pencil stings a little, but it stops the bleeding immediately.

The advantages of the safety razor over its safer, modern cousins are subtle. Now that I've gotten decent at using it, the shave is a little closer than with the current Gilette technology. Mostly, for me though, it's the ritual and the process. The single blade gives you a sensory feedback that the Fusion cannot match - you can feel the blade scraping the hair off your face in a pleasing way. And those of us who think of razor blades as "Laibson-Gabaix shrouded attributes" will be interested to know that, in the world of safety razors, the handle is expensive, and the blades are almost free. I am looking to fully recoup my investment relative to Gilette blade purchases sometimes during the 2009 calendar year.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The firm handshake

Those of you who know me know that I like a firm handshake. And I like to return such a handshake in kind. There's nothing more off-putting than rearing up to shake someone's hand only to get a cold, clammy, noodle-like response, or, even worse, the other person's group around your fingers instead of your hand. Yahoo! News reports today on a study that proves, using correlations in data generated by a dubious psychology experiment, that having a strong handshake causes you to get a better job!

The author of the study said
We probably don't consciously remember a person's handshake or whether it was good or bad," Stewart said. "But the handshake is one of the first nonverbal clues we get about the person's overall personality, and that impression is what we remember."
I consciously remember every handshake I've ever had. And rest assured, I judge people by it.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Micah Owings

Young Diamondbacks pitcher Micah Owings, who, in his second year as a starter is pitching extremely well, slugged .683 last year.  This year, after 20 plate appearances, his OBP is almost .500.  It's becoming pretty clear that the guy can really hit.  The Diamondbacks acknowledge this point by pinch hitting him, as when, yesterday, he hit a game tying pinch hit homerun.  

So why the hell does he bat ninth?