General Disappointment

Story of my life! Poking around Leisureguy's blog (say what you will about his shaving instructions, the man is a voracious reader in liberal politics), I found my way to an interesting report about men not participating in the labor force. That is, men like myself.

As it happens, I've been struggling with committing to a job application this week, a work at home opportunity for medical data processing. My wife's stepmother is a higher-up in medical office work, so I have a pretty good sense of the prospects and job security. I happen to be supremely qualified for this particular one, basically cataloging cancers. Indeed, the first career aptitude test I ever took, back in prep school, said I should be in data processing. (And we didn't even have the internet, in those days!)

I'll tell you the problem. Progressive though I am, the powers that be are hell bent on leading us back to the Clinton 1990's. I was there as a journeyman typesetter, another kind of skilled worker, enjoying pretty near the same kind of pay progression. And it sucked. Classifying workers as specified cogs in the corporate machine makes them appear to be replacable. They used to send some typesetting to outside help -- probably working at home -- and picking up that shitty work was our #1 daily source of stress. It ground the gears until the whole outfit flew apart in a labor dispute and subsequent sale of the company. Just another capital transaction, to economists. Total life disruption for working folk, as the presses went idle. My job ended up in India.

Hospitals apparently are a stronger anchor for jobs. But from the information before me, despite some insight from Obama's leadership (they are absolutely right, I'm not doing housework all day) they still don't get it. Their unpaid training ("free education") is aimed at young adults with no kids: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., plus four hours homework, for ten weeks. But really that's just grooming for the subsequent abuse, as you're expected to keep the same schedule at work, confined to a room in your own house. (Though hopefully, professional development/continuing education doesn't take 4 hours a night.) Really makes you glad you sold your soul to the bank to "own" the whole property...

Now, I'm with the late Gore Vidal, on the Republican Party being "as dead as the Whigs in 1846." I was an independent before the wars, and still am, in my own mind; I just vowed never to vote for that one party, ever again. But, f--, Democrats: YOU'VE GOT TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT ECONOMIC INJUSTICE. Or it won't work -- I won't work. Skilled workers won't ever eat shit and poop money, no matter how deep the collusion between government and corporations.

So when I hear some fascist spout off about gays or women, I do know where they're coming from. In many ways, liberation has ruined the workplace. Nor will I let black voters off the hook, for poo-poohing Bernie (at least as CNN told it). Not helping the cause, my equals! For every sucker willing to get in line for this stale, old, capitalist American dream roller coaster ride, we'll all be waiting that much longer. (For JUSTICE.)


Was I going to say anything at all about shaving? Let's see... my face is certainly geting dry and flaky with all the glycerin I've been giving it, in toner and balm. I gave up on the heavy BD191 handle and switched to my favorite, Schmidt R10. I had to be sure, because the handle nut is of larger diameter, and will scrape a circle of brass into the baseplate. It looks alright, I think.

I've also been playing with a new shaving popsicle made of crabapple pectin, just some cloudy dregs I saved, leaving it to settle in the back of the fridge. I didn't get much this year, from just some knotty accidents of pollination on a few branches, but it was almost as thick as the commercial stuff. Pectin is an emulsifier that can form a natural polymer, and so an interesting material in all areas of bathroom research. With a prep of Vit. D oil, cured witch hazel, pumpkin juice, and the pectin, it seemed to make an alcohol-free shaving gel! But I chickened out and put Williams on top, for a gentle CCS. That damn razor fooled me into overshaving again the last time, so I continue to struggle with myself in relation to the low angle.


  1. Not to rub it in, I am getting close to the end of my working career. D-Day for retirement is within four years. I talked with the investment advisor the other day and after it was over I asked; "So what you are telling me is I can start back talking my boss, huh?" He said; "You bet!" My wife then replied; "Just try and I'll knock your teeth into next week!"

    Yes, dear.....

    I too have been suffering from the drop in humidity. Down here in S.E. Texas humidity ranges in the upper 200% during the summer, so when things cool off and especially when the heat is turned on in the house, my skin dries out and my shaving goes to pot. I've been working on a post about that, but being trapped in the middle of a plant turnaround, it has been slow to materialize. I would suggest avoiding glycerine based soaps and try those with high oil and cream contents. I found that if you have a thirsty soap needs a lot of water to get a lather you just about bet it's going to suck the water out of your skin. At least that's my perception.

    Every tried shaving with Brylcream? (Just kidding!) :-)

    1. Congratulations on being one of the lucky few to have a "career"... my wife is the one keeping us afloat. She seemed to thrive in middle management, which I hear is the worst position of all. But now she's the boss, condemning me to be a secondary earner at best. I declined to participate this time, but it sure would be nice to be on the right end of the middle class. I want one of those tubs that lets you swim without going anywhere... wouldn't that be symbolic!

      It's a subtle perception, and I'm not entirely sure either, what exactly glycerin and soap do to my skin. I feel like the liquid pushes inward during... perhaps the best characterization of the Marangoni effect would be to say that it pulls itself in, as if paddling the natural moisture out. But it also leaves a more water-permeable tissue when the tide recedes; together with the preceding physical disruption (flakes), the net effect is decidedly "dry."

      I'm pushing for more epithelial thickness when I use glycerin, and the pectin might be the key, because boy oh boy, did it leave me soft! But if it means I can never shave close, I won't stick with it for long. Might as well have an electric, or shave with a BiC.