Later On

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

Archive for August 27th, 2021

Age of Invention: The Dutch Supremacy

leave a comment »

Anton Howes has another chapter in his history:

Why were the Dutch in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century so good at international trade?

As I pointed out in my last free post, it was unusual for any nation’s merchants at all to trade internationally by sea — it was extremely risky, after all. The Dutch and the English, by 1600, were the exception rather than the rule. Yet the risks of trade were dealt with in different ways. Being at the mercy of foreign rulers seemingly dissuaded the English from adopting all of the profit-maximising strategies of the Dutch, for example, lest they anger their trading partners; and the threat of other predators, like pirates or enemies, could push the more efficient Dutch ships out of certain European trade routes, like the Mediterranean, where the greater defensibility of English ships, bristling with cheap iron cannon, allowed them to continue regardless. Although the Dutch emphasis on sailing efficiency worked during times of peace with Spain, the English sacrifice of efficiency for defensibility worked whenever else. There was not always a strictly superior strategy for winning market share, at least in Europe.

But there was further afield. By the mid-seventeenth century, although the trans-Atlantic trades were still almost entirely in the hands of the Spanish, the European trade to the Indian Ocean had come to be dominated by the Dutch — which is quite surprising, as they had arrived so late. The high-value exports of the Indian Ocean — particularly pepper — had anciently arrived via the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf, or overland, and then been bought up in Egypt or Syria by the Venetians and Genoese, who then sold them on to the rest of Europe. It was then the Portuguese who had supplanted that trade in the late fifteenth century by discovering the direct route to the Indian Ocean around the Cape of Good Hope. The Portuguese monopolised the new sea route around Africa for a century, almost totally undisturbed by other Europeans, entrenching their position by building forts — occasionally with the permission of local rulers, but often without.

The Portuguese seem to have spread the rumour in Europe that they had effectively conquered the entire region, presumably to dissuade others from even trying to break their monopoly. Even as late as the 1630s, when other nations were already regularly trading there, foreign writers took the time to mock such assertions. As the Welsh-born merchant Lewes Roberts put it, the Portuguese “brag of the conquest of the whole country, which they are in no more possibility entirely to conquer and possess, than the French were to subdue Spain when they possessed of the fort of Perpignan, or the English to be masters of France when they were only sovereigns of Calais.” Quite.

But caring little for the deals of Catholic monarchs — Portugal and Spain had by treaty split the rest of the world in two, as recognised by the Pope — it was seemingly only the Protestant pirate nations who dared impinge on their monopolies. The English found their way into the Indian Ocean in 1579, when Francis Drake plundered his way around the entire globe, having taken the long way around, south of South America, up its western coast, and then all the way across the Pacific. Drake’s foray was soon followed by a series of English expeditions to the Indian Ocean via Syria overland in order to collect information on the Indian Ocean’s commerce and navigation, and to open diplomatic relations with the rulers of India and China. In 1591 the English then managed to get a few ships around the Cape of Good Hope, the Portuguese way (though the voyage was a disaster, with only a handful eventually finding their way home).

And only then the Dutch arrived, latecomers following on the heels of the English, as they had been almost everywhere else. In the 1580s-90s they had copied, zone for zone, the 1550s-70s expansion of English navigators’ range — to Muscovy via the White Sea, to the Arctic in search of a northeast or northwest passage to the Pacific, to the Gulf of Guinea, across the Atlantic, and of course into the Indian Ocean.

They often even used English navigational expertise to do it. A 1598 expedition from . . .

Continue reading. There’s much more.

Written by Leisureguy

27 August 2021 at 6:26 pm

Posted in Business, History

The great migrations will soon begin: 40 Million People Rely on the Colorado River. It’s Drying Up Fast.

leave a comment »

I had thought migrations would begin because of food shortages, but water shortages are even more forceful. Abrahm Lustgarten reports in ProPublica:

On a 110-degree day several years ago, surrounded by piles of sand and rock in the desert outside of Las Vegas, I stepped into a yellow cage large enough to fit three standing adults and was lowered 600 feet through a black hole into the ground. There, at the bottom, amid pooling water and dripping rock, was an enormous machine driving a cone-shaped drill bit into the earth. The machine was carving a cavernous, 3-mile tunnel beneath the bottom of the nation’s largest freshwater reservoir, Lake Mead.

Lake Mead, a reservoir formed by the construction of the Hoover Dam in the 1930s, is one of the most important pieces of infrastructure on the Colorado River, supplying fresh water to Nevada, California, Arizona and Mexico. The reservoir hasn’t been full since 1983. In 2000, it began a steady decline caused by epochal drought. On my visit in 2015, the lake was just about 40% full. A chalky ring on the surrounding cliffs marked where the waterline once reached, like the residue on an empty bathtub. The tunnel far below represented Nevada’s latest salvo in a simmering water war: the construction of a $1.4 billion drainage hole to ensure that if the lake ever ran dry, Las Vegas could get the very last drop.

For years, experts in the American West have predicted that, unless the steady overuse of water was brought under control, the Colorado River would no longer be able to support all of the 40 million people who depend on it. Over the past two decades, Western states took incremental steps to save water, signed agreements to share what was left and then, like Las Vegas, did what they could to protect themselves. But they believed the tipping point was still a long way off.

Like the record-breaking heat waves and the ceaseless mega-fires, the decline of the Colorado River has been faster than expected. This year, even though rainfall and snowpack high up in the Rocky Mountains were at near-normal levels, the parched soils and plants stricken by intense heat absorbed much of the water, and inflows to Lake Powell were around one-fourth of their usual amount. The Colorado’s flow has already declined by nearly 20%, on average, from its flow throughout the 1900s, and if the current rate of warming continues, the loss could well be 50% by the end of this century.

Earlier this month, federal officials declared an emergency water shortage on the Colorado River for the first time. The shortage declaration forces reductions in water deliveries to specific states, beginning with the abrupt cutoff of nearly one-fifth of Arizona’s supply from the river, and modest cuts for Nevada and Mexico, with more negotiations and cuts to follow. But it also sounded an alarm: one of the country’s most important sources of fresh water is in peril, another victim of the accelerating climate crisis.

Americans are about to face all sorts of difficult choices about how and where to live as the climate continues to heat up. States will be forced to choose which coastlines to abandon as sea levels rise, which wildfire-prone suburbs to retreat from and which small towns cannot afford new infrastructure to protect against floods or heat. What to do in the parts of the country that are losing their essential supply of water may turn out to be the first among those choices.

The Colorado River’s enormous significance extends well beyond the American West. In addition to providing water for the people of seven states, 29 federally recognized tribes and northern Mexico, its water is used to grow everything from the carrots stacked on supermarket shelves in New Jersey to the beef in a hamburger served at a Massachusetts diner. The power generated by its two biggest dams — the Hoover and Glen Canyon — is marketed across an electricity grid that reaches from Arizona to Wyoming.

The formal declaration of the water crisis arrived days after the Census Bureau released numbers showing that, even as the drought worsened over recent decades, hundreds of thousands more people have moved to the regions that depend on the Colorado. . .

Continue reading. There’s much more.

Meanwhile, of course, we continue to burn fossil fuels at an increasing rate. Not enough CO2 in the air, apparently.

Written by Leisureguy

27 August 2021 at 5:19 pm

The Kingpin of Shanghai

leave a comment »

A long read, or (at the link) a long podcast. Morgan W.R. Dunn writes in Damn Interesting:

Respectable heads of state rarely admit to keeping company with gangsters. But in April 1927, about 15 years after the collapse of the last imperial dynasty, Chiang Kai-shek and China were at a crossroads. Chiang had followed a murky path to leadership of the Chinese Nationalist Party, the Kuomintang. Although the Kuomintang was rivaled by an assortment of warlords who ruled the provinces as their personal fiefdoms, in Chiang’s mind the greatest obstacle between him and control of that vast and war-torn country was a young Communist Party which, he believed, would soon be nothing but lethal trouble.

So generalissimo Chiang turned to Du Yuesheng of the infamous Green Gang of Shanghai, a criminal brotherhood rooted in equal parts menace and murk. Du was the leader of this criminal enterprise, and the bloated, gleaming international city lived and died by his word. It was the power of death which most interested Chiang that spring. He wanted nothing less than complete power over all of China, and to get it, he was willing to trade the lives of thousands and allow the establishment of a vast narcotics empire. Others might have balked at trading the murder of a few thousand political opponents for this goal, but neither Du nor Chiang felt any such hesitation.

Du Yuesheng’s life began in misery. Before it was all over, it would take him through unspeakable power, obscene wealth, international infamy, and final obscurity. At the time of his birth in August 1888, the Manchurian Qing dynasty, China’s last imperial government, was rapidly waning, and Du’s birthplace witnessed one of the Qing’s greatest humiliations.

As the Qing’s power failed throughout the 19th century, foreign colonizing powers embarked on a series of wars to seize as much Chinese territory as they could get their hands on. Among them were the United Kingdom, France, Italy, the United States, Germany, the Netherlands, and Japan, each of which had steadily carved out chunks of China’s coastal cities. Officially titled “concessions”⁠—in that the Qing had formally given them up, albeit at gunpoint⁠—a string of foreign settlements soon sprouted along the length of China’s coast. In these enclaves, expatriate Westerners built their own homes, schools, factories, and governments, insulating themselves from all things Chinese while extracting staggering profits from the steady stream of labor pouring in from the surrounding regions. Foreign residents of the concessions could not be tried by Chinese courts, paid no Chinese taxes, generally held no respect for the ailing empire, and spent their days surrounded by the comforts of Europe, America, and Japan. Meanwhile, beyond their walls, China’s vast population grew ever more destitute and desperate.

Shanghai, at the mouth of the Yangtze River, was the crown jewel of these colonial cut-outs, with France holding one concession and Britain and the U.S. jointly governing another. Home to thousands of “Shanghailanders,” as the city’s foreign-born residents called themselves, it was the envy of Asia, home to the region’s wealthiest companies, and the premier destination for anyone who wanted to have a good time east of India and north of Singapore. Besides wealth, the vacuum left by the deboned Chinese legal authorities meant the city offered a limitless supply of sex, drugs, gambling, and practically any other vice imaginable. With no unified immigration system, Shanghai was the only city in the world without any bothersome need for visas or official residence permits, and free from anything like vigorous law enforcement outside of the well-preened streets inhabited by the well-to-do. Shanghailanders from the treaty powers⁠—those countries with a seat on the powerful Shanghai Municipal Council⁠—were willing to tolerate all manner of decadence outside of the residential districts, so long as they were free to take part as they pleased and it didn’t upset the all-important banks and commercial concerns which steadily filled their pockets to bursting.

In contrast, Gaoqiao, a small town which has since been swallowed up by Shanghai as the metropolis sprawled steadily outward, wasn’t much to look at in the late 19th century. Positioned on the far bank of the Huangpu River, opposite the looming skyscrapers of the International Settlements and the commercial sector, Gaoqiao was home to just a few of the many thousands of Chinese porters, servants, merchants, and others who kept the city running. The district they lived in, Pudong, was the most desperate slum in the country, home to the millions of workers who streamed into the province of Jiangsu surrounding Shanghai, without whom the most wealthy, and corrupt city in China would have ground to a halt.

When Du was a boy, his parents were among them. . .

Continue reading. There’s much more.

Written by Leisureguy

27 August 2021 at 5:10 pm

Out of the Woods: Buzz Martin, the Singing Logger

leave a comment »

Casey Jarman has an interesting article in The Believer about a subculture that was unfamiliar to me. He writes:

In photographs, everything about Buzz Martin looks unnaturally large: big nose, big forehead, big lamb-chop sideburns that draw attention away from the big ears behind them. “The Singing Logger” was seldom photographed without an ax or a guitar, probably because his lumpy hands hung awkwardly without something to hold. He wore his flannel shirtsleeves rolled up near his shoulders to reveal formidable white biceps offset by tan, leathery forearms that once measured seventeen inches around—the same size as Andre the Giant’s. His top three shirt buttons never seemed to find their loopholes. It’s hard to tell, from the old album covers and family photos, whether the deep lines on Martin’s face were wrinkles or scars. In the declining years of the timber industry, in the logging camps of the Pacific Northwest, Buzz Martin’s legend grew to Paul Bunyan proportions; he was a larger-than-life symbol of the logging world’s values, its resilience, and its screwball humor.

For about a decade, beginning in the late ’60s, the Singing Logger found enough success as a minor country-music star to hang up his lumberjack’s cork boots and tour bars, logging camps, and music festivals across the country. In his brief career, Martin wrote what would become nearly the entire canon of modern logging music. On his six albums—all released between the mid-’60s and early ’70s—he wrote forty-four original songs; nearly two-thirds are about logging.

Singing about blue-collar work has always been a rite of passage for country singers, but in the middle of the last century, a notable group of songwriters made their careers producing songs about a single occ­upation. Marty Robbins was a suburban kid turned racecar driver who made it big performing songs about gunslingers and cattle ranchers. Red Sovine, a former hosiery factory supervisor, found fame singing intensely melodramatic songs about the lives of long-haul truckers. But unlike many of his peers in the often-superficial and showy genre we’ll call “occupational country,” Buzz Martin was a direct product of the world he sang about. He approached his subject with a keen eye for detail. Martin preferred emotional realism to melodrama, and if his songs glorified the logger as a hero, just as often they painted a punishingly bleak portrait of the job. He wrote from the perspective of a keenly self-aware insider, resulting in a discography—most of which has been out of print since the ’70s—that provides a rare glimpse into a famously closed and protective segment of blue-collar America. Buzz Martin didn’t just document logging culture, he narrated the slow death of the Northwest’s biggest industry and the broken people it took down with it. Then, after a brief bout of fame, Martin returned to the wilderness and never came back.


Martin was born in 1928 in what has been described alternately as a tent and a “hops shack” in Coon Holler, Oregon, a hamlet so small it doesn’t show up on maps. Martin sings that as a dirt-poor kid he picked berries and scavenged for bottles with return deposits in order to buy candy and new clothes. In the late 1930s, he began to lose his sight, and at age thirteen he was sent to the Oregon School for the Blind, in Salem, where he first picked up a guitar. While at the school, he received a corneal transplant and regained his sight. Martin told friends and family that his new eyes had come from a dead prison inmate.1

His father, Harry, died while Martin was away at school. His mother, Stella, died shortly after his release, when he was fifteen. Martin didn’t speak much about his parents, and never sang about them. As a teenager, he went to live with his sister and her considerably older husband, a musician and amateur instrument-maker named Bill Woosley. They lived in Five Rivers, a tiny community at the midway point between the Willamette Valley and the Oregon Coast. The closest town was Alsea, a now-dilapidated truck-stop town in the thick of the Siuslaw National Forest. The family cabin did not have electricity—though there was a battery-powered radio, which was used only for listening to the Grand Ole Opry—so they complemented logging work by playing music of their own. Martin, with encouragement from his sister, quickly became the singer of the house.

Martin was eighteen when he began working in the woods. . .

Continue reading. There’s much more. You can find many of his songs on YouTube.

Written by Leisureguy

27 August 2021 at 5:02 pm

Posted in Daily life, History, Music

The War in Afghanistan Is What Happens When McKinsey Types Run Everything

leave a comment »

Matt Stoller writes in BIG:

I had a piece ready to go on Lina Khan’s attempt to break up Facebook, but I think it’s more important to talk about the competence problems revealed by the war in Afghanistan. There are monopoly elements involved, but there is a more basic question at work that keeps coming up, whether it’s the Boeing 737 Max, opioids, Covid mismanagement, or anything else of social importance. Do we have the competence to govern ourselves anymore? There’s also a follow-on question. Will this loss spur genuine reform of our McKinsey-ified elites who failed so spectacularly?


  • Other People’s Money, or why Wall Street itself is getting ripped off by a monopolist that charges 25 cents to send an email to investors.
  • Other People’s Money, or why does getting an email of your college transcript cost $9?
  • In Texas, hospitals are using Covid to try and suppress nurse wages.
  • What happened when the Centers for Disease Control hired Boston Consulting Group to run their vaccine rollout?
  • Sony builds an anime monopoly.

This is my first newsletter in three weeks. I was on vacation. I won’t normally have absences like this, but honestly, I was burned out. Don’t worry, I’m refreshed, and I have a good issue queued up for early next week, and some fun ideas going forward.

And now…

“The Pervasiveness of Over-Optimism”

In 2017, Netflix put out a satirical movie on the conflict in Afghanistan. It was titled War Machine, and it starred Brad Pitt as an exuberant and deluded U.S. General named Glen McMahon. A fitness fanatic nicknamed ‘the Glanimal’ by his crew of adoring frathouse henchmen, McMahon is modeled on the real-life military leader Stanley McChrystal, who ran the surge in Afghanistan before being fired for saying disparaging things about Obama administration officials (including then VP Biden) on the record to Rolling Stone magazine.

In War Machine, McMahan comes to Afghanistan with a spirited can do attitude and a frat house of hard-partying yes-men, after having ‘kicked Al Qaeda in the sack’ running special operations in Iraq. He is obsessed with inspirational speeches and weird bureaucratic box-ticking, under the amorphous concept of leadership. This kind of leadership, though, isn’t actually working with wisdom and foresight, but is more like management consulting. Prior to arriving in Afghanistan, for instance, McMahan created a system, with the acronym SNORPP to coordinate military assets. At night, he cozies down to read books on management excellence, the kind that Harvard Business Review publishes as sort of Chicken Soup for the Executive’s Soul. He is also the author of a fictional book with the amazing title, “One Leg At a Time: Just Like Everybody Else.”

And yet his mission is unwinnable, which everyone seems to understand except him and his small team. McMahan constantly makes awkward speeches that make no sense, with the tone used by untrusted executives at corporate retreats. “We are here to build, to protect, to support the civilian population,” he told his troops. “To that end, we must avoid killing it at all costs. We cannot help them and kill them at the same time, it just ain’t humanly possible.” His character reflects what the actual government watchdog charged with overseeing the war in Afghanistan called one of the central problems with the U.S. effort, “the pervasiveness of over-optimism:”

If McMahan himself is a naive fool, he is surrounded by cynical bureaucratic opponents. As he seeks support for his new strategy of putting troops in Taliban-held provinces, he is gently ignored by the President of Afghanistan, who is a drug-addicted hypochondriac, and mocked by State Department and national security aparachnicks, who are striving cynics urging McMahon to just falsify numbers to make the war look a little better and not embarrass President Obama. Troops on the ground are demoralized and confused. No one actually believes in the mission, but dammit, McMahon is gonna get it done, whatever ‘it’ is. When McMahon tries to give an inspirational speech to ordinary Afghanis in Taliban-controlled territory about how the U.S. is going to bring them jobs and schools, one responds by saying he like jobs and schools, but please go away so the Taliban won’t retaliate. “The longer you are here the worse for us. Please go.”

It’s a hilarious, and extraordinarily dark movie. It also rang true, because it was based on the work of no-bullshit journalist Michael Hastings, who was perhaps the most honest reporter about the military establishment. And, as life is true to fiction, McChrystal, the general who Hastings profiled in Rolling Stone with an embarrassing story that led to his resignation, is now a management consultant (and board member of defense contractors). He runs inspirational ‘leadership training’ at the McChrystal Group, which is McKinsey with military branding.

In fact, McChrystal and much of our military leadership is tight with consultants like McKinsey, and that whole diseased culture from Harvard Business School of pervasive over-optimism and finance-venture capital monopoly bro-a-thons. McKinsey itself had involvement in Afghanistan, with at least one $18.6 million contract to help the Defense Department define its “strategic focus,” though government watchdogs found that the “only output [they] could find” was a 50-page report about strategic economic development potential in Herat, a province in western Afghanistan.” It turns out that ‘strategic focus’ means an $18.6 million PowerPoint. (There was reporting on this contract because Pete Buttigieg worked on it as a junior analyst at McKinsey, and he has failed upward to run the Transportation Department.)

I bring War Machine up because of today’s debate over Afghanistan. While there is a lot of back and forth about whether intelligence agencies knew that the Taliban would take over, or what would happen if we left, or whether the withdrawal could be done more competently, all you had to do to know that this war was a shitshow based on deception and idiocy at all levels was to turn on Netflix and watch this movie. Or you could read any number of inspector general reports, leaked documents, articles, talk to any number of veterans, or use common sense, which, polling showed, most Americans did. (Marine vet Lucas Kunce gives a nice rundown of the problem in this interview). I mean, it’s not like a major international media outlet printed a multi-part expose, which became a handy book, detailing the fact that everyone running the show knew it was an unwinnable mess nearly a decade ago. Oh, wait

In other words, the war in Afghanistan is like seeing management consultants come to your badly managed software company where everyone knows the problem is the boss’s indecisiveness and cowardice, except it’s violent and people die.

I mean, U.S. military leaders, like bad consultants or executives, lied about Afghanistan to the point it was routine. Here are just a few quotes from generals and DOD spokesmen over the years on the strength of the Afghan military, which collapsed almost instantly after the U.S. left.

In 2011, General David Petraeus stated, “Investments in leader development, literacy, marksmanship and institutions have yielded significant dividends. In fact, in the hard fighting west of Kandahar in late 2010, Afghan forces comprised some 60% of the overall force and they fought with skill and courage.”

In 2015, General John Campbell said that the the Afghan Army had “proven themselves to be increasingly capable,” that they had “grown and matured in less than a decade into a modern, professional force,” and, further, that they had “proven that they can and will take the tactical fight from here.”

In 2017, General John Nicholson stated that Afghan security forces had “prevailed in combat against an externally enabled enemy,” and that the army’s “ability to face simultaneity and complexity on the battlefield signals growth in capability.”

On July 11, 2021, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said that the Afghan army has “much more capacity than they’ve ever had before, much more capability,” and asserted, “they know how to defend their country.”

Basically, look at this photo below, imagine them in camouflage, and that’s the U.S. military leadership. . . .

Continue reading. There’s much more.

Written by Leisureguy

27 August 2021 at 3:33 pm

Walk and all

leave a comment »

A good walk on an overcast day (so no sunglasses, no hat): 4.2 miles in just under 1 hr 16 minutes — 3.3mph, 107 steps/minute = 8.9 aerobic points (after adjustment for using Nordic walking poles). These are some plants I pass on my regular route.

Now home and just made this salad dressing, extremely tasty and oozing with healthfulness. So my lunch will be a red-cabbage salad with various things, including avocado and walnuts (see my salad checklist).

It’s good to get to the point where the walk provides energy instead of draining energy.

Written by Leisureguy

27 August 2021 at 12:36 pm

Posted in Daily life

World’s first autonomous, 7MWh electric cargo ship to make voyage with zero crew onboard

leave a comment »

Scooter Doll writes in Electrek:

A Norwegian company called Yara International claims to have created the world’s first zero-emission ship that can also transport cargo autonomously. The Yara Birkeland electric cargo ship was first conceptualized in 2017 but now looks to make its first voyage with no crew members onboard later this year in Norway.

Yara International is a Norwegian company that was founded in 1905 to combat the rising famine in Europe at the time. The company created the world’s first nitrogen fertilizer, which remains its largest business focus today.

In addition to its perpetual battle against hunger, Yara focuses on emissions abatement and sustainable agricultural practices. While the company wants to continue finding success in feeding the planet, it believes it can also do so sustainably.

To combat toxic Sulfur Oxides (SOx) and Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) emissions from diesel engines on ships, the Norwegian company created Yara Marine Technologies. In 2017, the company began conceptualizing the possibility of an autonomous, fully electric ship to rid of toxic emissions altogether.

Today, the Yara Birkeland is afloat in Norway, named after the Norwegian researcher who discovered the ability to add nitrogen to fertilizer. Now, the electric cargo ship looks to complete its first journey without a single crew member onboard.

According to a report from CNN, the Yara Birkeland electric cargo ship will make its first autonomous voyage between two Norwegian towns (Herøya to Brevik) later this year. While there will be no crew onboard the cargo ship, it will still be closely monitored from three control centers onshore.

To begin, the loading and unloading of the ship will require humans. However, according to Jon Sletten, plant manager for Yara’s factory in Porsgrunn, Norway, most all operations will eventually operate through autonomous technology. This will eventually include autonomous cranes and straddle carriers that help move containers on and off the ship.

The focus on autonomy lowers to cost of operation for those transporting goods, while the fully electric cargo ship simultaneously battles carbon emissions.

The electric cargo ship features a 7 MWh battery capacity, powering two 900 kW Azipull pods, as well as two 700 kW tunnel thrusters, delivering a top speed of 13 knots (~15 mph). The current cargo capacity on the Yara Birkeland is 120 Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit (TEU) or sixty 40′ shipping containers.

The zero-emission ship was . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

27 August 2021 at 9:01 am

After the Rain, an Ascension to a perfect shave

with 2 comments

After the Rain is one of Declaration Grooming’s Milksteak soaps, and a fine soap it is. My Keyhole synthetic seemed to love it and loaded itself with a lovely lather. Three passes with Phoenix Artisan’s terrific Ascension double-open-comb razor left my face totally bereft of stubble, ready for Latha’s Post-Shave Splash. A fine way to start any Friday.

Written by Leisureguy

27 August 2021 at 8:24 am

Posted in Shaving

%d bloggers like this: