Later On

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

Archive for September 10th, 2022

Four reasons to study Polybius — most practical of ancient historians

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Iskander Rehman, an Ax:son Johnson Fellow at the Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs, has an interesting essay (that will be a part of the book Classics of Applied History: Lessons of the Past) in Engelsberg Ideas. The essay begins:

In 1609, the great Huguenot scholar Isaac Casaubon presented his Latin translation of Polybius’ Histories to his royal patron, King Henri IV of France. In the elegantly couched dedicatory preface, which placed much emphasis on history’s didactic and moral functions, the learned philologist argued that, of all the ancient historians, Polybius was the most edifying and enlightening on matters of state — and thus the worthiest of examination by the ruler of a seventeenth-century great power with revived pan-European ambitions. Polybius’ august predecessor and fellow writer of contemporary history, Thucydides, was certainly great, but the Athenian’s prodigious talents, Casaubon suggested, had been stymied by the geographically-circumscribed scope of his analysis — which revolved principally around Greece, and, to a lesser extent, Sicily. ‘He was therefore not provided,’ Casaubon contended, ‘with material fully commensurate to his (remarkable) abilities.’ Polybius, on the other hand, had painted on a canvas of truly epic proportions, personally bearing witness to a series of system-shattering events, from the destruction of Carthage to the final subjugation of the Hellenistic world. In so doing, he had provided future generations with the only reliable account of Rome’s rise to hegemony over the Mediterranean — or over what he famously refers to in the opening passage of the Histories as the oecumene — the entire ‘civilised’ world. And indeed, Polybius lived a truly remarkable existence — as a soldier, statesman, captive in exile; a close friend and counsellor to some of Rome’s most powerful men; and, of course, as a historian. It is perhaps not surprising that one of the figures Polybius seems to have identified most with was the peripatetic Odysseus, a man ‘well versed in wars of men and grievous storms’ whose intellect, restlessness, and general roving curiosity he evidently deemed inspirational.

Polybius was born around 200 BC in the town of Megalopolis into an aristocratic family of some repute. At the time, Megalopolis was part of the Achaean Confederation, a grouping of Greek city states which, along with the Aetolian League in north-central Greece — had coalesced to counterbalance the might of a revitalised Macedonian monarchy. Polybius’ father had served as the strategos — or top elected official — of the Achaean confederation several times throughout the 180s BC, and in 170 BC Polybius was elected, at the youngest possible age, as hipparchos, or cavalry commander, the second-highest office in the confederation. While in office, he struggled to preserve a modicum of Achaean autonomy, gingerly walking a fine line between nominally supporting Rome’s war efforts against Macedon, and a tacit policy of military neutrality. This quest for an awkward equilibrium cruelly backfired when, at the end of the Third Macedonian War, he was accused of anti-Roman conduct (most likely denounced by one of his Greek political rivals) and unceremoniously bundled, along with about a thousand other Achaeans, onto a ship bound for Italy. Perhaps partially due to his elevated social status, he developed a close relationship with the sons of Lucius Aemilius Paullus, the consul whose legions had ground down the Macedonian phalanxes at the battle of Pydna in 168 BC. They eventually intervened on his behalf, enabling him to remain in Rome rather than eke out his existence in a dreary rural backwater like so many of his fellow Greek captives. Polybius would come to establish a particularly close, quasi-paternal, rapport with the Paullus’ second son, Scipio Aemilianus. The latter would eventually rise to become one of Rome’s most celebrated statesmen, serving twice as consul and personally overseeing the final destruction of Carthage. In the Histories, Polybius tells us that ‘their acquaintance took its origin in the loan of some books and conversation about them,’— suggesting he may have early on fulfilled something of the role of tutor, before claiming that he and the younger Roman came to ‘regard each other with an affection like that of father and son, or near relations.’

Polybius’ position within Scipionic circles provided him with . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

10 September 2022 at 7:45 pm

The Illusion of Truth

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Why Trump repeats his lies so often (and why Republicans follow along).

Written by Leisureguy

10 September 2022 at 5:25 pm

Mar-a-Lago a magnet for spies, officials warn after nuclear file reportedly found

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Julian Borger reports in the Guardian:

Mar-a-Lago – the Palm Beach resort and residence where Donald Trump reportedly stored nuclear secrets among a trove of highly classified documents for 18 months since leaving the White House – is a magnet for foreign spies, former intelligence officials have warned.

The Washington Post reported that a document describing an unspecified foreign government’s defences, including its nuclear capabilities, was one of the many highly secret papers Trump took away from the White House when he left office in January 2021.

There were also documents marked SAP, for Special-Access Programmes, which are often about US intelligence operations and whose circulation is severely restricted, even among administration officials with top security clearance.

Potentially most disturbing of all, there were papers stamped HCS, Humint Control Systems, involving human intelligence gathered from agents in enemy countries, whose lives would be in danger if their identities were compromised.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence is conducting a damage assessment review which is focused on the sensitivity of the documents, but US officials said it is the job of FBI counter-intelligence to assess who may have gained access to them.

That is a wide field. The home of a former president with a history of being enthralled by foreign autocrats, distrustful of US security services, and boastful about his knowledge of secrets, is an obvious foreign intelligence target.

“I know that national security professionals inside government, my former colleagues, [they] are shaking their heads at what damage might have been done,” John Brennan, former CIA director, told MSNBC.

“I’m sure Mar-a-Lago was being targeted by Russian intelligence and other intelligence services over the course of the last 18 or 20 months, and if . . .

Continue reading.

Later in the article:

. . . During Trump’s presidency, two Chinese women were caught trespassing there on separate occasions.

One of them, Yujing Zhang, was in possession of four mobile phones, a laptop, an external hard drive, and a thumb drive later found to carry malware. In her hotel room, investigators found nine USB drives, five SIM cards and a “signal detector” device for spotting hidden microphones or cameras. She was found guilty of unlawfully entering a restricted building and making false statements to a federal officer, and deported to China in 2021. . . .

Written by Leisureguy

10 September 2022 at 3:22 pm

How Trump Supporters Came to Hate the Police

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Luke Mogelson has an interesting article in the New Yorker. This is an archived copy, so no paywall:

In early August, after agents executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago, Donald Trump’s private club in Palm Beach, Florida, allies of the former President were quick to villainize the F.B.I. Although the raid had recovered more than a hundred classified documents, at least eighteen of which were labelled “Top Secret,” Republican pundits and politicians questioned its legitimacy and denounced the federal agency as a “gang of dangerous criminals,” “wolves,” the “Gestapo,” “the K.G.B.,” and “the enemy within.” Calls for retribution spread online. A forty-two-year-old Trump supporter named Ricky Shiffer wrote, “You’re a fool if you think there’s a nonviolent solution.” Shiffer then attempted to enter an F.B.I. field office in Ohio, equipped with body armor, an assault rifle, and a nail gun. After triggering an alarm, he fled the scene in his vehicle, and a high-speed pursuit ended in a shoot-out with state troopers, during which Shiffer was killed. Three weeks later, Trump gave a speech in which he called F.B.I. agents “vicious monsters.”

Given the broad support that Republicans have historically enjoyed from law enforcement, their escalating hostility toward the F.B.I. may seem paradoxical. Right-wing extremists, however, have always viewed state agents as pernicious antagonists, and so the institutionalization of that mind-set should come as no surprise as the G.O.P. embraces the ideas and attitudes of its radical flank.

In the early days of the pandemic, as Trump supporters began mobilizing against lockdowns and other public-health measures, much of their rage was directed at law enforcement. On April 30, 2020, heavily armed conservatives descended on the Michigan state capitol, in Lansing. Facing off against police outside the barred doors of the legislature, they denounced the officers as “traitors” and “filthy rats.” Some members of the mob belonged to the Michigan Liberty Militia, whose founder later told me that he had created the outfit in 2015, after “seeing what happened with the Bundys.” Cliven Bundy, an elderly rancher in Nevada, had declared war on the government when the Bureau of Land Management impounded his cattle over his refusal to pay outstanding grazing fees. After a tense standoff in which Bundy supporters surrounded law-enforcement agents and trained rifles on them from nearby hilltops, the Bureau of Land Management released the livestock and withdrew from the area.

Following the incident in Lansing, Mike Shirkey, the Republican Senate majority leader in Michigan, condemned the protesters as “a bunch of jackasses” who had used “intimidation and the threat of physical harm to stir up fear and rancor.” Shirkey seems to have quickly realized, though, that such principled nonpartisanship was no longer tenable in American politics. A couple of weeks later, at an anti-lockdown rally in Grand Rapids, I watched him publicly laud the Michigan Liberty Militia and assure its members, “We need you now more than ever.”

In the weeks that followed, resentment of law enforcement intensified sharply, with anti-lockdowners perceiving individual officers as complicit in an oppressive, tyrannical order. “They deserve to wear the Nazi emblem on their sleeves!” one retiree told me of the state police who’d served a cease-and-desist order to a barber violating the governor’s suspension of personal-care services. “People like me used to fucking back you!” a veteran shouted at police handing out citations at a gathering in Lansing. “But you are trash!”

Then, on May 25, 2020, a police officer murdered George Floyd, in Minneapolis. I left Michigan to cover the ensuing demonstrations and riots, and when I rejoined the anti-lockdowners I found that their stance toward law enforcement had undergone a dramatic reversal. That June, I attended a demonstration outside the capitol orchestrated by the Michigan Liberty Militia and a right-wing organization called the American Patriot Council. Ryan Kelley, a co-founder of the latter group, climbed the steps and pointed to several officers who were monitoring the scene. Not long ago, I had witnessed anti-lockdowners furiously berate these very same men. “We say thank you for being here,” Kelley told them now. “Thank you for standing up for our communities.”

The volte-face reflected a larger pattern of contradiction. The original Michigan Militia was created, along with a wave of other white paramilitary groups, in 1994, following the government’s botched attempt to arrest the survivalist Randy Weaver at his cabin, on Ruby Ridge, in northern Idaho. The deadly siege, less than a year later, of the Branch Davidian compound, in Waco, Texas, and the Clinton Administration’s subsequent ban on assault weapons reinforced a right-wing narrative that white Christians were under attack. After Waco, the Michigan Militia ballooned to an estimated seven thousand members. In 1995, on the second anniversary of the Waco massacre, Timothy McVeigh, a white supremacist who’d attended several Michigan Militia meetings, detonated an enormous truck bomb in Oklahoma City, killing a hundred and sixty-eight people. The leaders of the Michigan Militia decamped to Alaska, and the organization collapsed. Over the next decade and a half, right-wing militants across the U.S. remained largely dormant. Meanwhile, under President George W. Bush, the federal government enacted unprecedented infringements on personal privacy and other individual rights while the F.B.I. employed extraordinarily invasive surveillance and investigatory techniques against law-abiding citizens, largely on the basis of their religion. The reason that none of this provoked anti-government extremists was simple: the targets of the overreach were Muslims.

Similarly, . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

10 September 2022 at 1:02 pm

Politics in the US today: Violence and threats of violence, hatred laced with obscenities

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Given what America is becoming, it is no wonder that many Americans are working on a plan B (gift link, no paywall) — to what country they can go if things get worse. And things are bad. Ashley Fetters Maloy reports in the Washington Post (gift link, no paywall) about how one person has threatened a US Representative in Seattle:

10:38 p.m.

Everyone could hear the men on the street. The car, a black Dodge Challenger with gold rims, sped down the block, just past the congresswoman’s house. Two voices shot through the dark. “HEY, PRAMILA,” the first man shouted. “F— YOUUUUU.” Then came the second: “F— you, c—!”

The neighbors knew the car. It was the same Dodge Challenger they had seen several times that summer. But Pramila Jayapal didn’t know this yet.

She was on the couch, watching the psychological thriller “Mindhunter” with her husband, Steve Williamson. It was July 9 in Arbor Heights, a West Seattle neighborhood laid out in neat sweeps of grass and pavement. They paused the show. Williamson got up and went outside. The items on the porch sat undisturbed: sneakers, turquoise Crocs, a dog leash, two hanging plants swaying in the night air. Then they heard the men again. Security footage picked up what the men said and the sound of heavy-metal music coming from the car. One shouted something about “India,” the country where Jayapal was born. The voices were hard and clear. “F—ing c—,” one of them said.

“Tell Pramila to kill herself — then we’ll stop, motherf—er.” Then came a honk. Then another long “F— YOUUUUU.” On the porch, Williamson waved an index finger and went back inside. The men drove off.

Inside, Jayapal picked up her phone and dialed 911. But when she saw the car leave, she hung up before it could connect. Maybe she should contact the Capitol Police, the D.C. agency that protects members of Congress. She wasn’t sure. Maybe she had been doxed. There had been instances of obscene yelling at the house that summer, this she knew. She had reported those to Capitol Police. But she didn’t know then what dozens of pages of police reports and court filings would later reveal — that one of her visitors that night had been there before, in the same Dodge Challenger. She didn’t know that he had driven by her house between three and seven times since late June, or that the other male voice that night belonged to his adult son, as he would later tell investigators. She didn’t know that from the house across the street, her neighbor had seen the Dodge earlier that same evening, or that down the block, another neighbor had seen it, too, just a week before. She didn’t know that the man in the Dodge had emailed her congressional office back in January, to express his distaste for her political party, and for her, the 56-year-old three-term Democrat from Seattle, the chair of the House Progressive Caucus and a high-profile antagonist to Donald Trump.

“I am a freedom loving nonregistered libertarian who votes in every election no matter how big or small,” the man wrote in his email.

“You, Pramila, are an anti-American s—pit creating Marxist.”

“We are incompatible.”

Jayapal didn’t know that his distaste would mutate into action. When she heard the yelling stop, when the men drove off into the night, she had no idea that one of them would be back a half-hour later to yell some more, and that he’d have a loaded .40-caliber semiautomatic pistol on his hip, later seized by police.

On paper, at least, the whole thing was over in 47 minutes. But the anatomy of political violence is more tangled than the events of a single case. Threats against members of Congress have risen year after year, according to data from the Capitol Police: 9,625 in 2021, up from 3,939 in 2017. Officers logged nearly 2,000 cases in the first three months of this year alone. Among the statistics, there are thousands of stories like Jayapal’s, each one unraveling with its own special complexity in the lives and homes of elected officials. . .

Continue reading. (gift link, no paywall) It’s a lengthy article and it shows what the US has become and the overt threat from the Right.

At the link, you can hear an audio of some of the messages Jayapal receives.

Written by Leisureguy

10 September 2022 at 12:49 pm

Antitrust and the Fall of a Cheerleading Giant

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The reputation and market power of cheerleading monopolist Varsity Brands is falling apart under a deluge of sexual abuse scandals. The result is both ugly and empowering.

Matt Stoller has an interesting report in BIG. I subscribe to that newsletter — that is, I pay the subscription fee to get all mailings, not just the free mailings — and I don’t subscribe to very many. The reasons I was willing to pay for this newsletter are: 1) it’s always interesting; and 2) Stoller explained that what he would do with the subscription money was to hire assistants to do more research into these issues in today’s business/governmental environment. I recommend the newsletter.

This report begins:

For the past two years, I’ve been following the saga of cheerleading monopolist Varsity Brands, which is owned by the powerful private equity firm Bain Capital. In 2020, it had what looked like an unassailable highly profitable position, so dominant in its area that CNBC reported that it “stands out as one of the few retail businesses of scale that may also have an Amazon defense,” and private equity firms were looking for ‘Varsity-like’ investment opportunities.

Today, the situation is very different, and my guess is Bain Capital execs wish they had never heard of cheerleading. Varsity is buried under antitrust litigation, new competition from rivals, and most damning of all, a brutal series of allegations of sexual assault by a Varsity-aligned coach. These aren’t isolated occurrences. As Daniel Libit reported in an excellent article in Sportico, and as plaintiffs have charged in their antitrust lawsuit, the sexual abuse stems in part from Varsity’s market power.

In other words, the kingpin of cheerleading has lost its power, and the sport of cheerleading is gradually being cleaned up.

Here’s how it happened. There had always been grumbling about Varsity in the cheer world, but like a lot of affinity communities, the debates had been polarized and understood as a small number of disaffected parents and participants in the industry making noise out of jealousy or frustration. Jeff Webb, the founder of Varsity, was iconic, and challenging Webb was something only fringe-types sought to do. I had no idea about any of that, I’m a business writer interested in antitrust, about as far from the cheer world as you can imagine. But in January of 2020, a colleague watched the Netflix story Cheer. In Cheer, there was a mention of Varsity, followed by a brief discussion of the fear it imposes over everyone involved in the sport. My colleague said, “that’s probably a monopoly.” And told me about it.

I did, and found out that, indeed the firm is run as if it is John D. Rockefeller with glitter in the CEO suite. First, it’s important to note there are two separate sports. There’s ‘sideline cheer,’ which is seasonal and associated with cheering for school sports teams. There are competitions, but sideline is more about school spirit. Then there’s All-Star cheer which is year-round, not affiliated with a school, and is highly competitive. It requires intense athleticism, and is quite dangerous. Varsity controlled both sideline and All-Star, but has more power in the All-Star world.

I traced Varsity’s market power to three basic maneuvers. The first was buying up most of the cheerleading competitions in the country, so that entering a competition meant dealing with Varsity. The second was secretly creating and running the nonprofits that govern the sport, such as the U.S. All Star Federation, which gave Varsity the power to write rules for and organize competitions, scheduling, camps, and ancillary services like insurance. And the third was cutting deals with gyms to block rivals. Gyms are where teams of cheerleaders train, and gym coaches tend to have control over what uniforms athletes must buy. The company gave gyms who bought their uniforms from Varsity preferential treatment and special rebates.

One key result of Varsity’s scheme is inflated prices to the end consumer, which is why Bain bought the corporation in the first place. If there was cash to grab, Varsity tried to grab it. For instance, Varsity makes it very hard for parents to watch videos of cheerleading competition except through the firm’s specific expensive streaming service. There was the practice of ‘Stay-to-Play,’ where Varsity would force athletes to stay in a specific hotel if they wanted to enter a competition, with Varsity likely getting rebates from that hotel in the process. The net result is that today it can cost up to $10-20k a year to be an All-Star cheerleader. [! – LG]

After I wrote up Varsity’s monopoly power, I got a deluge of feedback. Experts were astonished that cheerleading could be monopolized, as were reporters and enforcers involved in ideological debates over the reach of antitrust law. As Harvard Law professor Einer Elhauge put it, “If something as naturally decentralized as cheerleading can be monopolized so easily, it really demolishes so many Chicago School premises.” From the cheer world, parents, coaches, ex-coaches, equipment producers, former cheerleaders, all came out of the woodwork and said, essentially, you have no idea how bad it is.

What was striking about what I heard from them was two things. First was the fear. A lot of people asked me not to use their name, for fear of retribution. I thought that was weird, I mean it’s not the CIA we’re talking about. But still, lots of people were really afraid, as cheerleading was their community, and in some cases, their livelihood. Webb, and his senior team, was socially, economically, and politically powerful in that world. And very scary. The second was the undercurrent of gossip about huge sexual harassment and assault problems, perhaps Larry Nasser type scandals. There were files floating around, but I couldn’t verify them and I knew others who knew how to do that kind of reporting were looking into the problem. So I held off.

Shortly after this first article, antitrust lawyers filed a host of cases against Varsity, which have since been consolidated into one case in Tennessee. Some of these lawyers did so after watching Cheer and recognizing, as I did, that there’s a monopoly at work. Others read my piece, and thought it made a good case. These suits led to a second article in March, titled ‘The Coming Collapse of a Cheerleading Monopolist.’ I included a lot more detail about what people had told me, as well as the new cases.

The antitrust actions went forward, and last year, a judge ruled in an initial motion that Varsity is in a pretty weak legal position. It turns out, what CNBC praised the firm for establishing – a moat against competition – might be illegal. Meanwhile, rivals that Varsity had bullied into acuquiecense saw the antitrust suits and the chatter in the industry. They started new competitions, and challenged Varsity’s control over cheerleading contests. These new events were super-charged during the pandemic, and while Varsity is still the leader, the firm now has less leverage over gyms and event producers.

But there was more. Victims began speaking out, including the kids who had experienced sexual assault by coaches and famous cheerleaders. Seven months after my first article, Marisa Kwiatkowski and Tricia L. Nadolny at USA Today detailed a massive scandal of rampant sexual abuse in the industry.

There’s a high-profile aspect of this scandal; Netflix’s Cheer celebrity Jerry Harris was arrested for producing child pornography involving young cheerleaders, with complaints about him seemingly ignored by the main cheer governing body. But the scandal is more far-reaching than just Harris. What Kwiatkowski and Nadolny found was that over a 100 convicted sex offenders who had raped or assaulted children or otherwise engaged in sexual misconduct were allowed to work in the cheerleading world, and the two governing nonprofits of the sport – USA Cheer and the U.S. All Star Federation (USASF) – did not put these sex offenders on their list of people banned from the sport.

These cases and the reporting changed how the cheer community discussed its internal affairs. The key was to have disinterested people actually looking at the business model and legal framework of the industry. In January of 2020, I was a total outsider. I didn’t know anything about cheerleading, and didn’t care about who won whatever competition. To me the cheer world looked like any other consolidated industry, a relatively small group of people under the thumb of a firm exploiting its market power.

When I showed that the problem with Varsity was that it used various schemes that were similar to many other monopolists, it changed how people in the cheer world understand their situation. The antitrust framework gave credibility to the faction that had been complaining about Varsity Brands as more than just some jealous gripers. Suddenly, parents who didn’t think much about cheer except that their daughter was on a team with her best friends started asking, ‘hey why is this so expensive?’ as the lawsuits added further legitimacy. All of a sudden, people in the cheer world could speak in a language that carried power, not cheerleading gossip, but anti-monopoly terminology. Varsity was no longer just an organizer of cheer competitions and a provider of apparel, it was a powerful wrongdoer.

This series of events is something I never expected, that reporting on an antitrust case could help foster the courage to come forward with other, adjacent bad acts. But what is important to remember is that the Sherman Antitrust Act isn’t just a civil statute, but a criminal one. In 1890, Congress made monopolization a crime. This Varsity story shows why that is. The ability to monopolize doesn’t just create the ability to extract extra cash, it fosters dominance, and a lack of accountability. When children are involved, that means bad actors can engage in sexual abuse without being stopped.

And now, Libit reported, Varsity is swept up directly, named, along with Bain Capital, in . . .

Continue reading. Bain Capital is, of course, Mitt Romney’s old company. (See also this report.)

Written by Leisureguy

10 September 2022 at 12:11 pm

Wilkinson shave stick with the Duke, German 37, and Blenheim Bouquet

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A commenter mentioned he’d use his Wilkinson shave stick, and that reminded me that it’s been a while since I last used a shave stick, so I brought out the Wilkinson for today and lined up 6 others for next week.

In the past, although I love Grooming Dept Moisturizing Pre-Shave, I have not used it with shave sticks, since the pre-shave then mixes directly with the soap (as I rub the stick against the grain all over my wet and pre-shaved stubble). But today I felt very reluctant to skip the pre-shave. So I took about 1/10th of a smidgen of Moisturizing Pre-Shave on my finger — an amount much less than what I normally use — and rubbed with all over my wet stubble, continuing the rubbing to work the pre-shave into the stubble. Then I rubbed my stubble again after wetting my fingers. Only then did I take the shave stick and rub it against the grain all over the stubble to make a thin layer of soap on my face.

I wet my Simpson Duke 3 Best brush, shook it until it was merely damp, and started working up the lather. That seemed to go pretty well, but I did not get so much volume as I would like/expect, so I added a driblet of water to the brush and continued — and wow! that did it! The lather sprang forth and filled the brush and covered my stubble. I was totally satisfied by the lather, and pleased to learn that I could use the Moisturizing Pre-Shave even with a shave stick. The pre-shave really does make a big improvement in my shave.

But wait! There’s more! I picked up my RazoRock German 37 (which, truth be told, I find better than its ancestor, the Merkur 37, despite the German 37’s lower price (but superior design: 3-piece is better than 2-piece, in my book (literally))). Here’s what I was surprised to discover: the very small amount of Moisturizing Pre-Shave, and the resulting very thin layer of it on my face, produced (at least this morning) a better shave than I got when I used a full smidgen. Huh. That’s good to know.

When I used a full smidgen for each shave, my tub of Grooming Dept Moisturizing Pre-Shave lasted me 508 days (1 year 4 months 23 days). I presume that if I use a deci-smidgen, the tub will last 10 times as long: 5080 days (13.9 years — sometime in August 2036). I’m not sure I’ll last that long. I feel sheepish now that I bought two spare tubs, one of which I’m now using. I wonder whether I’ll get to the other. (I note that in 2036 I’ll be the same age as was Queen Elizabeth when she died.)

At any rate, I am pleased to make two discoveries in one shave: 1) I can use Grooming Dept Moisturizing Pre-Shave with a shave stick; and 2) the pre-shave works better if I use less.

The blade in the German 37 seems to be newish and still very sharp, as shown by how smooth and comfortable the passes were and how easily the razor wiped away the stubble, encountering no resistance at all.

A splash of Penhaligon’s Blenheim Bouquet with a couple of squirts of Grooming Dept Hydrating Gel finished job. A great Saturday shave. I’m set for the weekend.

The tea this morning is Mark T. Wendell Organic Bold Leaf Pu-Erh Tea: “This offering is an organically grown, full leaf black tea version of Pu-erh tea. The dry leaf of this selection is dark and rich in appearance. Upon brewing, you will notice the unique damp, earthy scent characteristic of a fine black Pu-erh. Our Organic Bold Leaf Pu-erh tea has a smooth, deeply fermented flavor that puts this selection in a class all its own.”

Written by Leisureguy

10 September 2022 at 11:35 am

Posted in Caffeine, Shaving

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