Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Stupid Trolls and a Straight Shave

Foolishly Defending Preconceived Notions

A short while ago, I authored an article on, which compared Martin De Candre (MDC) shave soap to Williams -- arguably the Rolls-Royce of shave soaps to the Toyota Yaris of shave soaps.

I got some push-back comments from two readers trolling the article. Normally I try not to respond to cranks and trolls, but their comments kind of pissed me off due to their carelessness and stupidity.

Both criticized the pseudo science of my approach. In reality, I simply laid out my methods and my observations. I made and still make no claim of scientific method, which I actually understand, and those blockheads clearly don't.

One of the trolls took issue with my unusual lathering methods. But in reality, I merely loaded my warm, wet brush with soap from a soap cup and then face lathered. Not so unusual, eh, Sparky? What may have confused the simpleton troll is that I explained how I heated my water in a microwave oven rather than letting the tap run (and run and run) waiting for the water to get hot. Obviously this guy wouldn't score high in reading comprehension.

The other troll suggested that he goes through a puck of Williams in 35 shaves, while MDC lasts waaaaaaaaaay longer. Hmm. Okay, well, Williams pucks are 50 grams, while MDC comes in 200-gram quantities. Not much of a shock that MDC lasts waaaaaaaaaaay longer -- although I seriously doubt that any normal Williams user uses up a puck in 35 shaves. That joker must be really wasteful.

Or else his and the other troll's opinions are not at all objective and are primarily influenced by reputation and cost. My over-riding point of that Sharpologist article was that price doesn't always suggest quality. As someone who has a degree in marketing (among other subjects), I'm all too aware that brand image is greatly influenced by price. (For example, I think some apparently  failed shave-soap brands such as Pyrate Cove Soap Works were not successful because they were priced too low! I have re-evaluated three different pucks of this soap brand, and I find them to be every bit as good as MDC, though they were not much more costly than Williams, when you compare cost per ounce. I believe that if such soaps were more expensive, they would have been deemed higher quality and more desirable in the marketplace.) Anyway in this Rolls versus Yaris case, I didn't see much difference between the two soaps -- a conclusion that I didn't originally anticipate.

Since that Rolls-Yaris comparison, I've actually been doing similar comparisons with all my shave soaps, and my conclusions are contrary to my previously stated opinions in this blog. At this time, I believe that virtually all of my hard and semi-hard shave soaps perform about the same. The only major difference is in fragrances.

Once I go through my extensive inventory of shave soap (which may take a long time), I may just go with Williams because it's readily available and inexpensive.

It never ceases to amaze me how some persons react when their preconceived opinions are challenged by someone merely stating his own, individual opinion.  Sheesh!

My Infrequent Straight Shave of This Morning

I haven't had a straight-razor shave in a while, and on a whim I pulled out my Parker PTB this morning. I did a very basic 1-1/2-pass shave that was surprisingly easy given my general use of DE razors much more than my barber or classic straight razors.

Though I'm still a committed DE user, it was fun to have a go with a straight on my beard. (I normally, every week or two, shave the back of my neck with the PTB.)

Happy shaving (and trolling if that's your thing) :-D

Sunday, March 4, 2018

A Great Sunny-Sunday Shave!

I had a very satisfying shave this morning.

My Variant razor provides most of my shaves once a blade
is adequately "seasoned" after four to six shaves per the PRA
process. See for more details.
I continued with my now-standard practice of PRA (Progressive Razor Aggressiveness -- see my article on which today paired a 15th-use Shark blade with my much-appreciated Parker Variant razor. I also used a three-pass process, using the common shaving directions for each pass -- respectively being with grain, then across grain, and, lastly, against grain. My Variant was set on 3.5 for the with-grain pass, on three for the across-grain pass, and on 2.5 for the against-grain pass as well as for the final clean-up strokes under my jawline and on my neck.

Williams is unpretentious but effective.
The soap that I used for today's shave was the unpretentious marque, Williams. (I have an article appearing in the near future -- again on -- that compares humble Williams to the Rolls-Royce of shave soaps, Martin De Candre. Coming soon to web devices near you!)

Off the shelf, not my favorite. But
when cut with witch hazel and having
menthol and peppermint added, the
bouquet and the cool soothing is great!
I got a close, comfortable shave that ended with rinses of cool water and, once my face air dried while putting away my shave gear, I added a splash of my favorite after-shave lotion. My fave after shave is a home-made concoction of which I've written before.

I use a base of about 80% common drug-store witch hazel. To that I add a bit of peppermint oil and menthol crystals, which have to be melted in using a microwave oven. Then I add the remaining 20% liquid from my bottle of Ice Blue Aqua Velva. The result is a soothing, cooling, great smelling (but not overpowering) finish to a really good shave on this sunny late-winter day!

Happy shaving!