Anchors Aweigh

To "weigh anchor" is to bring it aboard a vessel in preparation for departure. The phrase "anchor's aweigh" is a report that the anchor is clear of the sea bottom and, therefore, the ship is officially underway.

I had another two-shave day over the weekend: one with Dove Expert Shave to get me out the door, and a complete routine in the evening. It was rough with just the cream, and not completely clean with the hair softened, either, so I canned the Israeli Personna blade. So much for Swedish steel.

Rooting around, I found a "Flying Eagle" to try next. Not wanting to expose myself to its unfamiliar edge, and also wanting a break from excessive skin tension, I selected a razor I haven't used in awhile, the Schmidt R10, to break it in. It's one of the few decent Edwin Jagger clones, representing the "anchor" style of cutting head (developed originally by Merkur) in my collection.

Pretty quickly, I sliced my neck in a place I didn't even know had hair, way down low. Maybe I forgot about the gap, or misjudged where the blade was? But I got my bearings quickly, and was reminded how easy this razor is to use. Even moreso, with a heavy "travel" handle from another razor.

I usually think of this as the razor to use when I am ill. My perspective has changed. It does a lot better under my "perfect" prep regime, and I know better than to struggle for closeness now. I'm more confident in my strokes, and better able to perceive the much subdued tension and tugging cues, which are relatively clear with the classic Gillette designs.

That is why I would still never recommend this razor to a beginner. It would be like learning to drive on a town car or some other "boat." Fine if there's an adult right there, telling you not to push it, but of course you're going to push it. Bumps and burns are our destroyed mailboxes and trash cans. Repeated strokes are our donuts and burn-outs.

Me, two passes and done; out to McDonalds for coffee, and right back home. It is a bit warmer than I'm used to. If I had been aiming to bring my shave about, to an opposite heading from where I was with the Merkur, this would be right on course. Pitch is a little too high here, where it was too low with the older design. Less work to use it, less skin tension, fewer missed hairs in the shady, but smooth, result. I'm not going to be sticking with either razor as my daily driver. Next up, the travel Tech on the old faux Merkur handle, is a legitimate contender.

Old business - one of my new scars shrunk down to a little connector trench between two pores, and the other stayed raised as a scar shaped like a tiny Star Trek emblem. They are both consistent with my skin texture, not really standing out on their own, but I know. Itching: the danger signal. Do not apply rosewater (acid). Will try carbamide, if that ever happens again. (Update: alcohol splash is my standard emergency itch response.)

Last night I used Williams soap to wash my face before bed, and it dried my face dramatically. Not in a flaky way, though I was slightly chapped around my mouth corners in the morning. Like I could feel my face shrinking as I fell asleep. Really neat stuff, and coming back to the shave tomorrow.

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