Later On

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

Archive for July 2nd, 2021

The Quiet Skill of Mass-Market Novels

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I like the thrust of this article: to read thoughtfully the novel in front of you as though it’s a blind audition. Orchestras at one time comprised almost entirely white men, chosen from open auditions (where the musician performed in person before the judging panel). Orchestras some time back moved to blind auditions, in which musicians performed out of sight, behind a screen. The same panels found that they were suddenly selecting quite a few muscians who were women and/or minorities. No one was acting in bad faith, but the unconscious shapes our perceptions, including of what we hear.

So read a novel iitially without seeing the cover or knowing the author’s name, and see what you make of it. After forming your judgment, see who wrote it. That can often add depth, if you’ve read other novels by the same writer (though in that case you probably will have figured out who wrote it).

Katfe Cray writes in the Atlantic:

In dozens of novels written over a decades-long career, the romance writer Jackie Collins sharply observed the role of sex and power in Hollywood. She wrote incisively about abuse in the industry and empowered female characters who found liberation in a male-dominated world. She was brilliant and prescient—and overlooked in literary circles by those who wrote off her work as trashy airport smut.

Like Collins, many authors who write mass-market novels—especially those whose readers are predominantly women, and even more so those whose readers are Black women—are discounted despite their wide appeal. Take Sister Souljah’s influential book The Coldest Winter Ever, which sold over 1 million copies and was beloved by a generation for its nuanced depiction of its protagonist’s community. Today, the work is relegated to the realm of “street lit” and rarely discussed as a classic of American literature. Or, look at the work of Jennifer Weiner, a masterful storyteller, whose books are often dismissed as lacking artistic value. Critics have even attacked the literary merit of Donna Tartt, who has won a Pulitzer Prize, on the basis of her popularity. A few crowd-pleasing authors do escape this trap. Elena Ferrante is perhaps the most notable example, drawing intense loyalty from fans, who sought to defend her name several years ago after her publisher released ironic “chick lit”–style book covers for her works. But many more popular writers are derided than defended.

To take a genre or mass-market work seriously means recognizing the quiet skill in its pages. Books by Collins and Sister Souljah, for instance, slyly analyze the very institutions that aim to undercut them. The romance author Eric Jerome Dickey took a lighter approach. His novels craft vivid portraits of Black women experiencing love and desire and joy.

“To read a [Jackie] Collins novel, as roughly half a billion of us humans have, is to know that sex and power are inextricable. No one mined the dynamics of both as astutely in the late 20th century as she did.”

📚 Hollywood Kids, by Jackie Collins
📚 The World Is Full of Married Men, by Collins
📚 Lucky, by Collins
🎥 Lady Boss: The Jackie Collins Story, directed by Laura Fairrie

Literature’s original bad bitch is back
“Sister Souljah’s books pose a challenge to readers and critics invested in a specific vision of literary ‘Black excellence.’ Some Black authors and booksellers have bristled, at times infamously, at the mass-market appeal of novels like hers.”

📚 The Coldest Winter Ever, by Sister Souljah
📚 Life After Death, by Sister Souljah

When women’s literary tastes are deemed less worthy
“Many novels that do sell well are mass-market genre reads—romance, mystery, and the like—that travelers pick up in airports or shoppers grab off of discount tables at Walmart. Many novels that don’t sell well, meanwhile, are the kind argued over in highbrow publications.”

📚 The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt

The subtle genius of Elena Ferrante’s bad book covers
“While Ferrante’s covers are definitely trite, there’s little about them that’s actually patronizing. There are no flowers or martini glasses or shopping bags on Ferrante’s covers, no high-heeled condescension. There are just images of women doing things that women, in fact, occasionally do: standing still, holding children, being on the beach. And yet, the very image of women doing things now strikes even women readers as unliterary.”

📚 My Brilliant Friend, by Elena Ferrante
📚 The Story of the Lost Child, by Ferrante
📚 The Days of Abandonment, by Ferrante
📚 Fly Away Home, by Jennifer Weiner
📚 The Mare, by Mary Gaitskill

Eric Jerome Dickey made Black women feel seen
“Dickey’s characters—bold, smart women oozing sexuality and vulnerability—navigate interpersonal conflicts using dialogue that crackles with authenticity … In casting the struggles of his characters as valid, he affirmed that the struggles of the mostly Black women reading him were also valid.”

📚 The Son of Mr. Suleman, by Eric Jerome Dickey
📚 Sister, Sister, by Dickey
📚 Friends and Lovers, by Dickey
📚 Cheaters, by Dickey

When I was in the Writers Workshop at the University of Iowa, I took one class from R.V. Cassill, a good novelist and a good teacher. He told of writing some potboilers, so called because they provided food money along the way. He wrote one about love relationships among college students, and he titled it Wound of Love, a phrase that he thought would be racy enough for the bus-station crowd but with a literary appeal as well. (This sort of novel was published as a mass-market paperback, often found in spinner racks in bus stations at the time.)

He was rather proud of that title, but the publisher already had a list of titles, and the novel came out with the title Dormitory Women. 🙂

Written by Leisureguy

2 July 2021 at 8:13 pm

The making of “Independence Day,” now 25 years old

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Still an enjoyable movie, though now streamed only through Disney+. But a good article.

Written by Leisureguy

2 July 2021 at 7:40 pm

Posted in Movies & TV

I just had a new insight re: “Groundhog Day”

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I just watched a clip of Groundhog Day and saw something I had not realized. What triggered the transformation of Phil (the Bill Murray character) was that he got to know — really got to know — the people around him, the sort of knowledge and understanding that implies he spent hours of talking with them and listening — really listening — to them. Those people were to him no longer ciphers or strangers or simple transactional relationship, but rather people he now understood: they have depth and experiences and lives and dreams and regrets of their own. He obviously had stopped thinking only of himself and looking at others only as they affected him, but had grown in understanding and compassion. The connections he made with them are what transformed him. I had not seen that before.

Here’s the clip:

Just yesterday I read that the single most important factor in a long and happy life is having a variety of close and strong relationships — more important than genetics, more important than money, more important than any other single thing.

And in thinking more about it,  I realized that the things Phil knew about those people, from previous conversations, could come only from listening to them and not judging them, just getting to know them. And once you know and understand other people (as individuals), you generally will have good feelings toward them because you understand why they do what they do — that takes the judgment out of the equation, in a way. To understand is to forgive, because when you understand you see the mechanisms that drive the behavior.

Written by Leisureguy

2 July 2021 at 3:42 pm

July’s new free ebooks at Standard Ebooks

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Standard Ebooks is a great service. Take a look at their newest releases of classic out-of-print books, carefully edited (no typos, well-formatted) and downloadable in a variety of reader formats at no cost. Choose the sort sequence “S.E. release date new —> old.” (You can also choose to sort on author name, reading ease, or length.)

I will note again that the free Calibre ebook management app is tremendously helpful: download the ebooks, import them into Calibre, then attach your ebook reader to your computer and load the files into your reader.

I picked up a variety — Richard II, Daniel Deronda, Crome Yellow, The Humbugs of the World, Winesburg Ohio, The Theory of the Leisure Class, and Jurgen. I haven’t read Jurgen (by James Branch Cabell) for years, but I recall the delight I experienced when I read it in high school. The Wikipedia article on Cabell at the link is illuminating. I hadn’t realized it, but when I read the book back then, Cabell was still alive. The image at the right is the cover illustration for Jurgen, which is No. 6 in the Biography of the Life of Manuel series (but reads perfectly well as a standalone work).

Take a look if you have an ebook reader. I prize mine (a Kindle) because (a) I can have a lot of books without having a lot of bookshelves and (b) I can enlarge the type to suit my eyes.

Standard Ebooks has an excellent choice of books by Mark Twain.

Written by Leisureguy

2 July 2021 at 1:59 pm

Sheep Herding in Yokneam

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Yokneam is in northern Israel.

Written by Leisureguy

2 July 2021 at 1:08 pm

Posted in Business, Daily life, Video

Daft robbers

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Paul Brown writes in Narratively (and you can listen to the piece at the link):

The American gangsters entered the British bank at three minutes to closing time on a Friday afternoon. Three men — two brothers and an accomplice — arrived outside, wearing black masks and gloves, horn-rimmed glasses, and narrow-brimmed trilby hats pulled low over their foreheads. They were armed with two revolvers and an automatic pistol. It was 2:57 p.m. on June 2, 1933, and the bank was the Cattle Market branch of Lloyds Bank in the soot-black industrial city of Newcastle upon Tyne in North East England. Outside, at the Friday meat market, butchers and wholesalers closed up their stalls and rinsed blood from their cleavers. Inside, at the end of a busy week, bank clerks tallied up receipts and attended to the last straggle of customers, including apron-wearing market workers and a 15-year-old girl. The masked men pushed through the bank’s double doors and raised their guns: “Everybody stand still and put up your hands.”

The brothers were Joe and Tommy Duffy, a pair of self-proclaimed American gangsters. They described themselves as hardened villains who had run with America’s most notorious criminals and served time in the country’s toughest prisons. They claimed reputations as violent enforcers and armed robbers — and had the broken noses and gunshot wounds to prove it. Now they were bringing the bullet-spraying American bank robbery to sleepy England, where armed robberies were virtually unknown. But their gangster credentials were about to be severely tested. They had chosen the wrong bank, in the wrong city, at the wrong time, and there would be terrible consequences.

Chapter One
Mail-Order Gangsters

The Duffy brothers were American gangsters who had been born to Irish parents in Edinburgh, Scotland, two of a family of nine sons. Joe immigrated in 1923, ending up in Detroit, and Tommy followed across the Atlantic a few months later. Joe was then 20 years old and Tommy — the more rambunctious of the pair — was 18. Joe was looking for work as an auto mechanic but couldn’t seem to find any. Tommy described himself as a “regular little roughneck.” He was a fearsome brawler and hoped to become a professional boxer in the United States. When that didn’t work out, the brothers tried a series of jobs: restaurant dishwashing, skyscraper construction, railroad work. They may also have tried to become farmers. But, according to an anonymous associate who spoke to London’s The People newspaper in 1933, “They soon quit that for the rackets.”

This was the era of the gangster, the bootlegger, the racketeer. Prohibition and a thirst for illicit alcohol were allowing organized crime groups to flourish. Al Capone was waging war on the streets of Chicago. Arnold Rothstein was building a criminal empire in New York. Prominent gangsters, pictured on the covers of newspapers in chalk-striped suits and fedoras, became nationally infamous. The hit movie Underworld, starring George Bancroft as gang boss Bull Weed, was the first of a series of gangster pictures that helped turn their protagonists into glamorous antiheroes.

By their own account, it was the ease of obtaining guns that led the Duffys to become gangsters. They saw an ad in a magazine, sent off $18.73 and received two revolvers in the mail. The brothers became holdup artists, targeting stores and payroll trucks. They also ran shipments of booze over the border from Canada for bootlegging gangs and became linked to some of the biggest names in American crime.

The Duffys ran with Capone’s mob in Chicago and with Rothstein’s accomplice Jack “Legs” Diamond in New York. Tommy claimed Capone offered him a job after spotting him during a boxing match. According to their “ex-gangster” associate, the Duffy brothers always carried guns and were “absolutely callous and cold-blooded.” They also looked the part. “Both the Duffys dressed immaculately,” said the associate. “They wore silk monogrammed shirts and paid as much as £2 for ties and £10 for shoes.” (Equivalent to about $177 and $885 in 2021.)

By the summer of 1926, the brothers were living in New York in a furnished room on the second floor of a red-brick rowhouse on West 11th Street. In early 1927, they held up Nathan Wolf’s drugstore on Eighth Avenue and walked out with $60 in cash. A week later, they robbed the Beck-Hazzard shoe store, also on Eighth Avenue, and took $25. These were relatively small takes, but the brothers would later claim to have committed several more high-profile armed robberies, including at least one bank robbery.

Certainly, their activities brought them to the attention of law enforcement. New York Police Commissioner Joseph A. Warren listed the Duffy Brothers on a lengthy wanted list of holdup gangs, alongside the likes of the Laughing Gang, the Harlem Terrors (also known as the Sucker Gang), and the Headache and Aspirin Gang. Commissioner Warren promised to rid the city of this scourge.

One evening in March 1927, the brothers were  . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

2 July 2021 at 1:00 pm

Phantoms of the Mind: “The Anatomy of Melancholy,” by Robert Burton

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For some reason, The Anatomy of Melancholy ($2 Kindle edition at the link) has long exerted a pull on me. My print edition went in the Great Book Purge (not “Great-Book Purge,” though certainly some include The Anatomy of Melancholy among the great books) before my move north, and though I never really sat down to read it in full, I would dip into its pages from time to time. I thus was interested to see Angus Gowland’s piece about the book in Literary Review. He writes:

Browsing in the bookshop once again, you found yourself working your way through that familiar army of books you haven’t read. Your defences sprang back into action, deflecting the antagonists into their neglectable categories: books for your retirement, books you wouldn’t want seen on your shelves, books you ought to read but know you never will, books that will end up in the charity shop bag, books you once meant to read but now know better, and books you’ve heard of but aren’t sure they are worth the effort (with apologies to Italo Calvino).

It was a good bookshop (of course!), so one of your adversaries was probably The Anatomy of Melancholy. Since its first publication in 1621, Robert Burton’s book has loitered on the fringes of the English literary canon. After initial success – the first publisher is said to have ‘got an estate by it’ – Burton has had a steady flow of reputable admirers, including Johnson, Sterne, Coleridge, Keats, Melville, George Eliot, Woolf, Borges, Powell, Beckett, Burgess and, more recently, Philip Pullman. However, the Anatomy has never quite become a widely recognised, bona fide ‘classic’. For long stretches, the bulk of its readership has been restricted to bibliophiles and scholars. It has had an air of murkiness and desuetude.

Some of the reasons for this are obvious. By any standards, it is a long book (the final version has 516,384 words, including marginalia). Its contents are entertaining but challenging. The rich, meandering Jacobean prose is peppered with quotations (about 13,000 in total), many in verse and many in Latin. It is written as a cento, or patchwork, a form that both conceals and expresses its author’s character (the text is, he says, ‘all mine, and none mine’). The pages bristle with obsolete and arcane language and scholarly references, often to authors and books not well known even in the 17th century. The book is one of the most densely allusive ever written in English or any language. And it is not even easy to say what kind of work it is: non-fiction, yes, but beyond that the genre is elusive (critics have argued endlessly about this to little effect). It opens with a substantial satire, addressed to the reader by the pseudonymous Democritus Junior, before changing into an elaborately structured medical treatise – but one interspersed with digressions where the satire returns. The essayistic writing is infused throughout with moral, spiritual, historical, mythological, literary, geographical and scientific anecdotes and idiosyncratic reflections. It mixes serious erudition with outlandish folklore and absurd comedy, the sacred with the profane, and it is saturated with irony and scepticism. To put it mildly, it is an unusual book, likely to attract only adventurous and confident readers.

Nevertheless, today The Anatomy of Melancholy is quietly enjoying a period of wider appreciation. There have been several 21st-century reprints of the Everyman version, edited by Holbrook Jackson in 1932. There are now Chinese, Japanese, Czech, Polish, Slovenian, French, German, Dutch, Spanish and Italian translations. The appeal of the subject is not hard to explain. The Anatomy was written as a response to a perceived epidemic of melancholy, and parallels with our own crises of mental health and wellbeing, exacerbated now by the conditions of a pandemic, are striking. For some, reflection on our collective predicament has heightened awareness of the fact that we still do not really understand mental health and disease; in a few cases, the limitations of the tools and models of present-day psychiatric medicine and social care have become painfully evident. In such circumstances, the pull exerted by alternative ways of thinking about the mind and its maladies is strong, and it is not surprising that some readers (at least, those allergic to their bookshops’ Mind/Body/Spirit sections) have found their way to Burton. His book is by far the best introduction to the ideas and practices connected with mental disturbance and illness that prevailed in Europe before the advent of modern psychiatry and its orthodoxies – in other words, before the mind was rigorously separated from the body and the soul, and when classical philosophy, history and literature were still widely regarded as sources of essential insight about psychological malaise.

How does the Anatomy speak to us now? Reading it with an eye to the present has some pitfalls. It is tempting, for example, to think that Burton’s subject is what we call depression; this is a mistake, at least with regard to the current meaning of that term in a clinical context. Some of depression’s symptoms can be found in premodern melancholy, yet the latter was a much more capacious category: it included a range of irrational conditions, from persistent anxiety to aggressively violent and suicidal delirium, and also manifested itself in specific forms, such as lovesickness and religious mania. Melancholy could afflict a person’s body, mind and soul with symptoms that were, as Burton wrote, ‘irregular, obscure, various’ and ‘so infinite, Proteus himself is not so diverse.’ It was also embedded in human history, myth and nature, so that he could plausibly ask, ‘Who is free from melancholy? Who is not touched more or less in habit or disposition?’ Burton himself, as he says, was ‘not a little offended with this malady’ and sought ease through literary activity: ‘I write of melancholy, by being busy to avoid melancholy.’

Anyone who spends time with the Anatomy will see that at least some of the forms of chronic inner malaise that have evidently spread during the current pandemic are not as new as they seem. There is no need to reach for novel terms – ‘languishing’ is one recent suggestion – when we already have the expressive and expansive language of melancholy. Of course, the book is full of . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

2 July 2021 at 12:45 pm

5 exercises toward minimum daily requirement

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I do not exercise enough — not just not enough walking, but also not enough weight-training. I found this article by Tim Liu, C.S.C.S. (Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist), to be of interest — enough interest that I might undertake it. He writes:

Just as strength training is the single best exercise you can do after turning 50, I can tell you that the same goes for your 60s. Don’t just take it from me, though. Take from some trainers who are over 60 themselves.

“Many individuals over the age of 60 forget about lifting weights—or think that they can’t build muscle as they age—but that’s just not true,” Valerie Hurst, 61, an FAI-Certified Trainer & Certified Brain Health Trainer, explained to us at ETNT Mind+Body. “By strength training at least two days per week to your exercise routine, you can avoid loss of muscle, and thus stay independent longer by maintaining your strength and balance.”

She’s correct. And as you enter your 60s, you’ll find that a new vocabulary starts to emerge when you talk about exercise. Words like “speed” and “huge gains” start to disappear, while words like “mobility” and “stability”—basic functions you need for a better quality of life well into old age—start to emerge.

In order to age well, I believe that, in addition to walking and stretching—and doing any sort of activities that will keep you on your feet, from gardening to playing golf—you need to partake in at least two to three days per week of basic strength training that targets your entire body. I’m talking about exercise moves that will make your muscles stronger, while also promoting better balance, posture, core strength, stability, and mobility.

In fact, I’d urge you to consider the following workout every day you do strength training. These are five movements that accomplish literally everything I just described. Just remember: Perform 3-4 sets of the following exercises, using the reps noted. And for some exercises to avoid, don’t miss this list of The Worst Exercises You Can Do After 60.

1. Dumbbell Goblet Squat (10-15 reps) . . .

Read the whole thing. Exercises are well-illustrated.

Written by Leisureguy

2 July 2021 at 12:06 pm

Canada is a warning: more and more of the world will soon be too hot for humans

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A few decades ago I read that global warming, if unchecked, would result in the region between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn being uninhabitable. I think we are on track to see that happen in another decade, two at the most. Simon Lewis writes in the Guardian:

The climate crisis means that summer is a time of increasingly dangerous heat. This week in the Pacific north-west, temperature records are not just being broken, they are being obliterated. Temperatures reached a shocking 47.9ºC [118ºF] in British Columbia, Canada. [That temperature record was measured in the small town of Lytton (pop ~1000), most of whose residences and businesses burned to the ground yesterday as a result of wildfire (see photo above). – LG] Amid temperatures more typically found in the Sahara desert, dozens have died of heat stress, with “roads buckling and power cables melting”. [In BC, there were 486 sudden deaths during the heat wave, triple the normal average, and the number is expected to increase as more reports are filed. – LG]

Another heatwave earlier in June saw five Middle East countries top 50°C [122ºF]. The extreme heat reached Pakistan, where 20 children in one class were reported to have fallen unconscious and needed hospital treatment for heat stress. Thankfully, they all survived.

Additional warming from greenhouse gas emissions means that such extreme heatwaves are more likely and scientists can now calculate the increase in their probability. For example, the 2019 European heatwave that killed 2,500 people was five times more likely than it would have been without global warming.

In most places, extreme heatwaves outside the usual range for a region will cause problems, from disrupting the economy to widespread mortality, particularly among the young and old. Yet in places in the Middle East and Asia something truly terrifying is emerging: the creation of unliveable heat.

While humans can survive temperatures of well over 50C when humidity is low, when both temperatures and humidity are high, neither sweating nor soaking ourselves can cool us. What matters is the “wet-bulb” temperature – given by a thermometer covered in a wet cloth – which shows the temperature at which evaporative cooling from sweat or water occurs. Humans cannot survive prolonged exposure to a wet-bulb temperature beyond 35C because there is no way to cool our bodies. Not even in the shade, and not even with unlimited water.

A 35C wet-bulb temperature was once thought impossible. But last year scientists reported that locations in the Persian Gulf and Pakistan’s Indus river valley had already reached this threshold, although only for an hour or two, and only over small areas. As climate change drives temperatures upwards, heatwaves and accompanying unliveable temperatures are predicted to last longer and occur over larger areas and in new locations, including parts of Africa and the US south-east, over the decades to come.

What can governments, companies and citizens do? First, cut off the supply of ever more extreme heatwaves by halving carbon dioxide emission this decade, then reaching net zero emissions by 2050.

Second, prepare for the inevitable heatwaves of the future. Emergency public health planning is the initial priority: getting essential information to people and moving vulnerable people into air-conditioned locations. Heatwave forecasts should include wet-bulb temperatures so that people can learn to understand the dangers.

Plans should account for the fact that heatwaves intensify structural inequalities. Poorer neighbourhoods typically have fewer green spaces and so heat up more, while outdoor workers, often poorly paid, are especially vulnerable. The rich also buy up cooling equipment at high prices once a heatwave is underway and have many more options to flee, underscoring the importance of public health planning.

Beyond crisis management, governments need to invest in making countries function in the new climate we are creating, including the extremes. In climate policy terms this is known as “adaptation”.

Of paramount importance is energy supplies being resilient to heatwaves, as people will be relying on electricity for cooling from air-conditioning units, fans and freezers, which are all life-savers in a heatwave. Similarly, internet communications and data centres need to be future-proofed, as these are essential services that can struggle in the heat.

Beyond this, new regulations are needed to allow buildings to keep cool and for transport systems, from roads to trains, to be able to operate under much higher temperature extremes.

Many of these changes can meet other challenges. Retro-fitting homes to be energy-efficient is also the perfect opportunity to modify them to also keep us cool. For example, installing electric heat pumps to warm houses in the winter means that in the summer they can also be switched to run in reverse to work as a cooling system. Cities can be kept cooler with green roofs and more green spaces, which also make them better places to live.

The final task is future-proofing agriculture and the wider ecosystems we all ultimately rely on. Heat can cause havoc with crop production. In Bangladesh, just two days of hot air in April this year destroyed 68,000 hectares of rice, affecting . . .

Continue reading. There’s more.

In the meantime, the GOP and fossil fuel companies and working together to get more CO2 in the atmosphere so it will become hotter and hotter.

I fear for my children and especially for my grandchildren. The world will not be a good place in the future because humans as a species seem incapable of taking effective action, betrayed in many instances by the efforts of the wealthy to increase their wealth whatever the cost to others.

Written by Leisureguy

2 July 2021 at 10:43 am

Nancy Boy, Ascension, and Shave Den Rose Patchouli

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Our heat wave is well over — in my apartment right now it’s 72ºF. (This building, like many around here, has no air conditioning because, prior to global warming kicking in hard, there was no need.) A great relief to feel a cool breeze come through the open window.

Ryan commented on my previous SOTD post about his technique in using Grooming Dept Moisturizing Pre-Shave:

I take a pinch of the product, and I liquefy it in my hands, which I know the directions say not to. I then massage it into the stubble, lather, and shave. I am pleased with the product, and I will be buying more when it runs low.

I gave that method a try this morning, and it does work pretty well, but on the whole I prefer to use only the fingertips of one hand to apply the small dab of pre-shave. However, one thing I have observed over my now relatively long life is that people differ, and among other differences, they have different preferences. I respect those differences: they’re real. As Rudyard Kipling wrote in his poem “The Neolithic Age,”

“There are nine and sixty ways of constructing tribal lays,
           “And every single one of them is right!”

That phrasing seems more elegant and less gruesome than “There’s more than one way to skin a cat.” “Tribal lays” refers to the ballads, songs, and narratives that define the lore of the tribe — more info here. (Rudyard Kipling made three visits to Victoria (in 1889, 1892, and 1907.)

I’m reaching the end of my little travel-size Nancy Boy Signature shaving cream, but still have enough left for a good lather. This product is exceptional in lather quality, skin care, and fragrance: highly recommended. My $35 silvertip shaving brush from Whipped Dog did a fine job.

The Ascension is a remarkably good razor. The more I use it, the more I like it. It’s both comfortable and efficient, and I don’t recall ever getting a nick when using it — certainly no nicks this morning.

A splash of The Shave Den’s Rose-Patchouli aftershave, and the final day of the work week starts very well indeed — hoping you are the same.

Written by Leisureguy

2 July 2021 at 9:03 am

Posted in Shaving

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