Category Archives: Smile

Light hearted stuff!

Guide to Classic Straight Razor Shaving

From Classic Shaving

The old-world, masculine charm of the straight razor shave is undeniable. Not since the days of Al Capone or the Old West have high end men’s grooming salons and products been so in demand as they are now, thanks to vast improvements in the technology, service and availability of the classic shave. But straight razor shaving still remains an art, and in most cases should be left to well-trained professionals; however, for those interested, this little practicum will provide you the basics to properly care for your face and skin before, during, and after so you can enjoy the pleasures of the gentlemanly shave.


Prepare the face by showering before shaving. This allows moist heat to open pores and soften facial hair. If you are in the habit of shaving ‘pre-shower’, use hot water, or hot, soaked towels for the same effect. Be patient. Warming and moistening the face properly is an important step for several reasons, but mostly because it provides for a close and satisfying nick-free shave. A couple of minutes under hot towels prepare the skin nicely, preventing razor drag and allowing the barba (facial hair) to soften beneath the skin’s surface.

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Speech on the Fourth of July, 1872

By Mark Twain, What So Proudly We Hail


Mark Twain (born Samuel Clemens; 1835–1910), author and humorist, largely took an ironic view of the world around him, rarely missing an opportunity to poke fun at ceremony, solemnity, and moral self-satisfaction. Our sacred holidays were not immune to his wit. Here, for example, from Pudd’nhead Wilson’s Calendar, is Twain’s entry for July 4th: “Statistics show that we lose more fools on this day than in all the other days of the year put together. This proves, by the number left in stock, that one Fourth of July per year is now inadequate, the country has grown so.” In this satirical jab at Fourth of July orations, Twain prepares his own Independence Day address, for a gathering of Americans in London, July 4, 1872.

Mark-Twain-photo-by-Mathew-Brady-1871-358x426What, if anything, can be said for this mocking speech and its content? Do we as Americans have a tendency for self-congratulation that deserves to be exposed and corrected, or even ridiculed? If so, is this the best way and the right occasion for pointing out the nation’s faults? Should we regret that Twain arranges it so that he was “not able” to give the speech? Does that count as appropriate self-censorship? Whose Fourth of July speech do you prefer, Twain’s or Daniel Webster’s (see above)? Why? Is there a role for self-mocking humor in our national calendar and in cultivating civic self-awareness and attachment? If so, what is it, and how can it best be accomplished?

Mr. Chairman and Ladies and Gentlemen,—

I thank you for the compliment which has just been tendered me, and to show my appreciation of it I will not afflict you with many words. It is pleasant to celebrate in this peaceful way, upon this old mother soil, the anniversary of an experiment which was born of war with this same land so long ago, and wrought out to a successful issue by the devotion of our ancestors. It has taken nearly a hundred years to bring the English and Americans into kindly and mutually appreciative relations, but I believe it has been accomplished at last. It was a great step when the two last misunderstandings were settled by arbitration instead of cannon. It is another great step when England adopts our sewing-machines without claiming the invention—as usual. It was another when they imported one of our sleeping-cars the other day. And it warmed my heart more than, I can tell, yesterday, when I witnessed the spectacle of an Englishman, ordering an American sherry cobbler of his own free will and accord—and not only that but with a great brain and a level head reminding the barkeeper not to forget the strawberries. With a common origin, a common language, a common literature, a common religion, and—common drinks, what is longer needful to the cementing of the two nations together in a permanent bond of brotherhood?

This is an age of progress, and ours is a progressive land. A great and glorious land, too—a land which has developed a Washington, a Franklin, a Wm. M. Tweed, a Longfellow, a Motley, a Jay Gould, a Samuel C. Pomeroy, a recent Congress which has never had its equal (in some respects), and a United States Army which conquered sixty Indians in eight months by tiring them out which is much better than uncivilized slaughter, God knows. We have a criminal jury system which is superior to any in the world; and its efficiency is only marred by the difficulty of finding twelve men every day who don’t know anything and can’t read. And I may observe that we have an insanity plea that would have saved Cain. I think I can say, and say with pride, that we have some legislatures that bring higher prices than any in the world.

Continue reading Speech on the Fourth of July, 1872


Nobody has the answers.
Nobody is listening to you.
Nobody is looking out for your interests.
Nobody will lower your taxes.
Nobody will fix the education system.
Nobody knows what he is doing in Washington.
Nobody will make us energy independent.
Nobody will cut government waste.
Nobody will clean up the environment.
Nobody will protect us against terrorist threats.
Nobody will tell the truth.
Nobody will avoid conflicts of interest.
Nobody will restore ethical behavior to the White House.
Nobody will get us out of Afghanistan.
Nobody understands farm subsidies.
Nobody will spend your tax dollars wisely.
Nobody feels your pain.
Nobody wants to give peace a chance.
Nobody predicted the Iraq War would be a disaster.
Nobody expected the levees to fail.
Nobody warned that the housing bubble would collapse.
Nobody will reform Wall Street.
Nobody will stand up for what’s right.
Nobody will be your voice.
Nobody will tell you what the others won’t.
Nobody has a handle on this.

Nobody, but you, that is.

Never forget, a small group of people can change the world.

No one else ever has.


Micah Sifry is co-founder of the Personal Democracy Forum. He tweets @mlsif.

Change of Pace Tonight: How to get that perfect shave

Latest trends and products to avoid those nicks and cuts

From Today
By Corey Greenberg
Weekend Today
updated 1/30/2005 12:34:21 PM ET

Screen Shot 2014-07-06 at 7.11.45 PMEver since prehistoric man first scraped a seashell across his cheek so prehistoric woman would let him dance cheek-to-cheek, shaving has been a part of the male experience. But even with today’s high-tech razors, lots of men still get nicks, cuts, and razor burn. Today’s Tech Editor Corey Greenberg is here with the latest trend in male grooming that promises a better shave by going back to the old school.

Q: What is the perfect shave and why do most guys get it so wrong?

A: The perfect shave is what all men strive for every morning when they bring their razor up their chin – an effortless shave that’s baby smooth, and without any of the usual skin irritation, redness, and that burning sensation most guys seem to feel is par for the course when it comes to shaving.

Why do so many guys find this so hard to achieve? Because proper shaving has become a lost art. Shaving is one of those glorious male traditions that used to be passed down from father to son, but somewhere along the line, when shaving became more about cheap, disposable razors than a nice, precision-made metal tool in your hand, it became a brainless routine to rush through in the morning without even thinking about it. A dull disposable razor dragged across a layer of foam or gel on your cheeks is a step backward from the past, not an improvement. Now that men of all ages are paying more attention to their appearance, it’s no wonder that the hottest trend right now in male grooming is a return to the traditional wet shave – and millions of men have been shocked to discover that the “old fashioned” method of shaving they thought went out with the Hula Hoop is actually the best quality shave you can get.

Q: What is “wetshaving” and how is it different from the way most men – and women – shave today?

A: Wetshaving is just what the term implies – keeping your face (or for women, their legs) wet with plenty of hot water before, and during, the entire shave. In fact, you should always shave after a hot shower, not before (if you need to shave without taking a shower, washing your face with hot water for a few minutes will suffice). With a layer of hot water between your skin and the lather, the blade skims the surface instead of dragging on it, which is the main cause of irritation, redness, and “shave bumps”.

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The Remarkable Dream by Mark Twain

Note: Regular posting will resume in January.  Enjoy the holiday season!

The Remarkable Dream by Mark Twain

I dreamed last night that I was sitting in my room smoking my pipe and looking into the dying embers on the hearth, conjuring up old faces in their changing shapes, and listening to old voices in the moaning winds outside, when there was a knock at the door and a man entered – bowed – walked deliberately forward and sat down opposite me. He was dressed in a queer old garb of I don’t know how many centuries ago. He said, with a perceptible show of vanity:

“My name’s Ananias – may have heard of me, perhaps?”

I said, reflectively, “No -no – I think not, Mr. Anan

“Never heard of me! Bismillah! Och hone! gewhil – . But you couldn’t have read the Scriptures!”

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Will Rogers Cocktail – Funny Cowboy Ropes A Signature Drink

A change of pace tonight.  From Barina Craft on Tumblr.

Will Rogers

Will Rogers Cocktail Toasts A Man Who “Never Met A Man He Didn’t Like”

The Will Rogers cocktail is a namesake drink with gin, vermouth, orange juice and curacao. Once voted America’s most popular actor, the Will Rogers drink recipe had already been published in the 1930 Savoy cocktail book before his tragic 1935 death in an airplane crash at the age of 55.

In addition to acting in 48 silent films and 21 movies with sound, the cowboy philosopher started in show business performing twirling rope tricks along with a pony act in Texas Jack’s Wild West Circus. This led to extended stints in Vaudeville and the Ziegfeld Follies where he introduced satire into the mix and Will Rogers transformed himself from the “Ropin’ Fool” to the “Talkin’ Fool”.

“Our Constitution Protects Aliens, Drunks, and U. S. Senators.” ~ Will Rogers

Continue reading Will Rogers Cocktail – Funny Cowboy Ropes A Signature Drink

Remembering Fred Tuttle Ten Years On

Fred Tuttle passed away on October 4, 2003.  The world is a much poorer place without the likes of Fred.

Fred Gets the Third Degree

From the Washington Post:
It would be tough to create an effective television advertisement for Fred Tuttle’s U.S. Senate campaign, and not just because of his self-imposed spending cap of $16.

Such an ad would have to begin with Fred, wearing his standard uniform of blue overalls, thick glasses and blue baseball cap emblazoned with his first name, nuzzling against a Jersey cow. (Fred, 79, may lack any relevant political experience and possess only a 10th-grade education, but he was a dairy farmer for decades.) In the commercial, he’d be leaning on a walker, since he just had his knees replaced. He’s also weathered three heart attacks, four cataract operations, diabetes and prostate cancer.

Maybe he could introduce himself, except that with his thick Vermont accent and the absence of several key teeth (lost in a bar fight years ago) his name sounds like “Furry Turtle.”

Continue reading Remembering Fred Tuttle Ten Years On