Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for February 14th, 2015

On the off chance that a few of my readers like chocolate…

leave a comment »

Take a look at this site.

And no, I don’t think they can deliver today…

Written by Leisureguy

14 February 2015 at 6:07 pm

Posted in Daily life

Clearing out some shaving stuff

with 4 comments

iKon first model (back) and second model (front)

iKon first model (back) and second model (front)

I’ve been convinced to make a video of my lathering since some simply cannot believe that it takes only about 10 seconds to load a (soft, fluffy) brush with (say) a dried-out puck of Mitchell’s Wool Fat, with no pre-soaking of the puck. I do this (a timed loading, and often with MWF) from time to time, but perhaps a video will settle the matter.

However, my bathroom (The Wife has her own) is somewhat cluttered, so today is moving things out. In the process, I am finding various things, and I just came across the very first razor iKon made: solid stainless, like all the rest until the Shavecraft pair, and—totally unlike all the rest—a harsh shave indeed. But somehow he figured out what went wrong, and his second model (which I also have and is shown above) was firmly in the (yet-to-be-named) very efficient yet very comfortable category. The second model was available as an open-comb or with a bar-guard, and I got both; Model 2 (I have serial number 11) also is stainless, and I had it gold-plated.)

Every subsequent razor I’ve had from iKon has continued with the very comfortable and very efficient pattern, but I was in at the beginning, and that first one was a horse of a different color. I’m very tickled to have come across it. Perhaps I’ll try a shave with it—or perhaps part of a shave.

Although the cold is pretty much gone, I do notice today that I tire very easily. But I imagine by Monday I’ll be fully recovered.

Written by Leisureguy

14 February 2015 at 5:27 pm

Posted in Shaving

Excellent letter on Netanyahu’s upcoming speech to Congress

leave a comment »

From James Fallows’s column, in which he quotes a letter from a reader:

I intend to give the Netanyahu-speech situation a rest after this, though there will be more to say on the risks and merits of the underlying negotiations with Iran. (For past items on the speech controversy, follow the links in this post.) But here is one last reader message on the speech itself. It’s from someone whose real identity I know but am not using here. He lives in the Western U.S.

Let’s get the disclaimers out of the way right from the start: I’m Jewish, or at least I was raised Jewish, had a bar mitzvah, and continue to consider myself culturally Jewish.

A substantial portion of my parents’ families died in the Holocaust. One branch survived because they emigrated to Palestine in the early twentieth century. That branch still lives in Israel and they have all served in the Army and many have fought during the numerous wars, starting with independence. My father’s family spent a year as refugees in France until a miracle yielded entry visas to the US. My mother’s family evacuated at Dunkirk. I’ve visited family in Israel twice as an adult. So, if you wonder if I appreciate the importance of Israel to Jews around the world, my credentials are solid.

That said, I remain utterly baffled by the obeisance American politicians pay to a country that, due to the disproportionate influence of fanatic religious parties in the coalition, sometimes borders on the theocratic. Israel’s policies towards the occupied territories are in conflict with international law and US policy, yet we turn a blind eye. Israel is America’s ally when it serves Israel’s interest (which of course is how any rational country behaves, putting its own interests first.)

Perhaps all the more ironic, a frequent anti-Semitic (or at least anti-American Jew) canard is that American Jews place loyalty to Israel ahead of the US (a claim one doesn’t hear applied to western European immigrants, like the Irish, in spite of decades of support for IRA terrorists).So here we have Jewish senators and congressmen, who supposedly place loyalty to Israel ahead of the US because of their religion, threatened with being viewed as anti-Israel for not attending Netanyahu’s circus, yet the Republicans behind this spectacle are not being questioned about their loyalty to the US for apparently placing Israel’s interests ahead of the US. And of course, Netanyahu’s interests and Israel’s interests are not even the same thing.

So, when the cameras show who attends and who doesn’t, who applauds and who doesn’t, let’s not think about who is pro-Israel or anti-Israel, let’s ask who is pro-American or anti-American.

I know from other correspondence with this reader that his aim is not to launch some different sort of re-directed loyalty witch-hunt. Rather it is to ridicule or challenge the general idea of “loyalty tests” and instead to concentrate on the sanest long-run pursuit of U.S. national interests.

To my mind those interests lie with seeing if an acceptable deal with Iran can be found—a prospect that cannot possibly be helped by the spectacle of a foreign leader addressing Congress to criticize the administration’s approach to negotiations, while those talks are still underway. Again, imagine Congress inviting Chaing Kai-shek to address a joint meeting on the problems with the Nixon opening to China, while the negotiations that would lead to the Shanghai Communique were still going on. No American strategist would have thought that was a good idea at the time, and similar logic applies now.  But I’ve made this point already and will move on.

Written by Leisureguy

14 February 2015 at 4:29 pm

Cab Calloway, Bill Robinson, and the Nicholas Brothers, from Stormy Weather, 1943

leave a comment »

Written by Leisureguy

14 February 2015 at 4:23 pm

Posted in Movies & TV, Video

Alabama law—it’s not for everyone

leave a comment »

Amy Davidson has an excellent column on how the law is perceived in Alabama. I highly recommend reading it, but let me quote just the conclusion:

When it comes to marriage, there has been unkindness in Alabama, and already long engagements have been extended. But what is striking is how those scenes are neither universal in the state nor typical in the rest of the country. In almost every other place, marriage, when it has come, has brought no real noise other than that of the couples’ celebrations. Alabama will get there, too, and so will the thirteen states that still lack marriage equality—by the time of the Supreme Court’s expected ruling in the matter, in June, or sooner. The response of state judges, like a wedding itself, has, most of all, provided a disquisition on joy as a choice. While more than forty county offices had closed or were turning same-sex couples away, judges in twenty-three others gave same-sex couples the licenses they needed to get married. People arrived with pastors, and with flowers.

And a footnote: On Monday, when I wrote about the Court’s stay, I mentioned a point of historical resonance. Judge Granade is the grand-daughter of Judge Richard Rives, a federal judge in Montgomery who, during the civil-rights movement, was one of the “Fifth Circuit Four,” a group of federal judges who helped the Constitution become something other than an uncashed, unhonored check in the South. He wrote the decision that ruled bus segregation in Montgomery unconstitutional, in a case that was forced by black residents who had been boycotting the buses and walking to work for months. In response to my post, I got a letter from Byron B. Matthews, who said that he had been Rives’s clerk in the seventies and had heard a story from him about how the mayor of Montgomery once called him with an idea for a “Rebel Bus” company, which would turn Montgomery’s public transport into a private club whose members all happened to be white. Here is Matthews’ memory:

[The Mayor] then said: “Judge, I was wondering if you could answer a hypothetical question that has nothing to do with any case pending before you, as I understand that would not be proper.” He then asked, “What do you think a federal judge would do if a mayor of a city who had been enjoined to integrate a city’s buses instead sold the buses to a private company?” Judge Rives responded: “You are right, I cannot answer ex parte a question about a case pending before me, but since you say your question is entirely hypothetical, I guess I can give you my answer. If that federal judge was me, I’d throw the son of a bitch in jail without a second thought.” The Mayor then said: “Judge, thank you, that’s all I need to know.”

Written by Leisureguy

14 February 2015 at 3:38 pm

Posted in Law, Law Enforcement

How Wolfman Razors are made

leave a comment »

I love my Wolfman Razor: extremely comfortable, extremely efficient, extremely good workmanship, fit, and finish. And I love the unusual knurling patterns he offers.

Here’s how he makes them—with a lot of photos. I got one with a bar guard.

Written by Leisureguy

14 February 2015 at 2:42 pm

Posted in Shaving

Great shaving, comparing Plisson and Grooming Co. synthetic brushes

with 3 comments

SOTD 14 Feb 2015

Perfect result and enjoyable shave: the best of two worlds. (It always puzzles me a little why so many men judge the quality of the shave only by the result. I mention this only because it is Valentine’s Day: paying attention to the quality of experience instead of being focused solely on the outcome is advisable in many areas. Wink wink, nudge nudge.)

Either I’ve learned how to lather Dapper Dragon without having to add water during the loading, or he’s changed the formula somewhat. But today, I loaded both brushes as usual, and had no problems getting a very fine lather. I bet the fragrance is great, but my cold is still enough with me that I didn’t get much of the fragrance this time.

The Grooming Co. brush uses the same synthetic fibers as does the Plisson to its right, but the knots are noticeably different. I was surprised, BTW, at how short the Grooming Co. (GC) brush is in person: I had assumed that the handle was around the height of the Plisson handle and its loft was much greater. In fact, the two brushes have almost the same loft, with the GC’s loft slightly greater. It’s just that the GC has a somewhat stubby (but perfectly adequate) handle. I do think the handle and loft might be in better proportion though—i.e., a somewhat taller handle would look better, though it would not affect performance (on the face: sales performance is another issue).

Both brushes loaded easily. The GC brush has less overall volume—that is, its “bloom” is less—so it feels somewhat denser and is noticeably more resistant to deformation: a stubborn little guy, but that stiffness might be enjoyed by some. I much prefer the Plisson’s softer, gentler feel, however. Moreover, because the Plisson is somewhat squishier, it applies lather to a bigger area per stroke: the GC is kind of mean-spirited in that regard: an unyielding, tight-ass brush one might say. (It’s really not that bad, but when used side by side with a soft, zaftig brush like the Plisson, for me it’s no contest.)

But good lather from both, and the double-comb razor really gave a great shave with a Voskhod blade. I think the double comb does indeed offer some advantages: not a total game changer, but very nice indeed, and with a good handle.

A splash of Paul Sebastian to carry the vanilla theme (and I couldn’t smell that either), and the day is belatedly launched.

I slept 11 hours and do feel better today. The cold is definitely on the way out.

Written by Leisureguy

14 February 2015 at 1:51 pm

Posted in Shaving

%d bloggers like this: