Later On

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

Another soft-skin shave, and I think it was La Toja

with 2 comments

First, I want to thank again Chris R who in a comment pointed out the use of the timed release to avoid camera shake. This morning was overcast, plus I had to be at the supermarket by 7:00am, so I was taking this photo around 6:15am (not much daylight), and the lighting in the apartment is not bright. But the 2-second timed release delivered a crisp focus and without the glare lighting of a flash.

I’ve been noting shaves that result in my skin feeling particuarly soft and supple and trying to guess at the cause — The Dead Sea shaving soap was one, and the Declaration Grooming + Chatillon Lux was another. I recaled that La Toja boasts wonderful skin-conditioning properties (see this earlier post), so I brought out my La Toja shave stick (and aftershave, though I suspect any magic resides in the soap).

Good prep and took my time with lathering. Since it’s a two-day stubble on Mondays, the shave already is set to be pretty good, and I went with the excellent Fine slant — totally wonderful if you keep the handle away from your face.

Three passes — a little resistance, so it gets a new blade now — and the result is again a totally smooth, soft, and supple skin. La Toja aftershave may also have helped — it’s quite a nice aftershave — but I credit the soap (for reasons found at the link above).

I really enjoy starting the week on such a positive note, and the local supermarket is getting their routine polished. One thing that has greatly improved service, and something I hope they will maintain, is using a single queue for multiple servers. This drastically cuts average wait time — plus it is fairer (first come, first served). See, for example, this post. I’ve observed that most post offices seem to have adopted the single-queue/multiple-servers model, as have banks and airlines. For some reasons, though, supermarkets have, until now, resisted. I hope that they continue it post-pandemic.

Queuing theory is fascinating and counter-intuitive. In this post, I quote a brief piece on queuing theory. From that:

Suppose a small bank has only one teller. Customers take an average of 10 minutes to serve and they arrive at the rate of 5.8 per hour. What will the expected waiting time be? What happens if you add another teller?

We assume customer arrivals and customer service times are random (details later). With only one teller, customers will have to wait nearly five hours on average before they are served. But if you add a second teller, the average waiting time is not just cut in half; it goes down to about 3 minutes. The waiting time is reduced by a factor of 93x.

Why was the wait so long with one teller? There’s . . .

There’s more.

Written by Leisureguy

20 April 2020 at 8:55 am

2 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Michael,

    I always enjoy your posts (and I have the 6th and 7th editions of you fine book, as well). The queueing theory post was fun, and the relationship between the Poisson process and the exponential distribution is an intimate one, since the waiting times between Poisson events is exponential. (I often reflect on a post you made a few years ago about the Gaussian Curvature of the surface of the face and that you must have studied Differential Geometry at some point in your mathematical education).

    I hope you and your wife stay healthy!


    Peter Strand

    20 April 2020 at 9:16 am

  2. Many thanks for your kind comments. The Gaussian curvature remark was about the DE blade — since it is a plane (in effect), its curvature is zero, so that if you curve in in one direction (over the hump in the baseplate), it cannot curve at all in the other direction, so as a result the cutting edge is rigid. SE blades don’t enjoy this feature, so they achieve rigidity via blade thickness.

    I never did get into differential geometry, just picked that up in my reading. Real analysis was as far as I got in that direction, and that seems more like abstract algebra.



    20 April 2020 at 9:32 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: