August 27, 2007

Wade & Butcher day

Rooney small style 1 brush
Trumper's Rose shaving soap
Hand American strop
Wade & Butcher 8/8 razor "The Celebrated Hollow Ground Razor for Barber's Use"
Pinaud Clubman aftershave

WBCelebrated_TrumpersRose.jpg

Continuing yesterday's Rule Brittania theme is the justly famous W&B "Celebrated".  Wade & Butcher was by far the most prolific of the Sheffield razor manufacturers, and were exported throughout the British empire and the U.S.A.  Their razors marked "Celebrated" are fairly collectible today, as they were W&B's finest razors made at the peak of that company's existence.  There were at least four different W&B "Celebrated" razors that I am aware of:  The "Celebrated Hollow Ground Razor for Barber's Use" (pictured), the "Celebrated Hollow Ground Razor for Gentleman's Use" which is similar-loooking but much more hollow ground, the "Celebrated Razor for Barber's Use" which was a wedge-style razor, and the "Celebrated India Steel Razor".  These razors were made in a variety of sizes; I've seen them as small as 5/8ths of an inch and as large as 10/8ths of an inch.  This particular example is 1" even, and was probably the most common size in the "Barber's Use" model lines.  It shows the grinding ribs of a double hollow ground razor, but these are very shallow - in profile it's nearly a wedge, and this makes the razor very heavy.  This style of large, heavy wedgy razor is commonly nicknamed "meatchopper" or simply "chopper", due to its similarity to a meat cleaver.

The original razor would have had wooden or vulcanized rubber scales, but this razor has been fitted with some very attractive Giraffe Bone scales by Robert Williams.  Although the giraffe bone scales are heavy, they actually help improve the balance of the razor when shaving, making it feel lighter and more maneuverable than the original trim.

WB_Victorian_Cross.jpg


This razor would have probably been made in the 1860's - earlier razors were the wedge type grind, and later razors were much more hollow ground.  In the detail photo to the right you can just see the Victoria Cross on the blade underneath the word "use".




The brown rectangle below the soap bowl in the top photo is a barber's hone.  This one is a Dubl Duck combination hone; the brown side is the fine-grit side, and the other side is a light-gray coarse-grit side.  This razor needed a bit of a touch-up before shaving so I gave it about 20 laps on the brown side before shaving, and that seemed to do the trick.

Posted by: mparker762 at 08:34 AM
Post contains 415 words, total size 3 kb.

August 26, 2007

Wade & Butcher day

Rooney small style 1 brush
Trumper's Violet soap
Hand American strop
8/8 Wade & Butcher frameback razor
Pinaud Clubman aftershave

WBFrameback_TrumpersViolet.jpg

This particular razor is an extremely old fellow.  Wade & Butcher made razors from 1818 - 1890, so it's well over 100 yrs old.  Instead of being hollow-ground, this razor has flat-ground sides with the spine left thick, so it looks sort of like a sharpened "T" in cross section.  The frameback style largely went out of production in the late 1830's as improved grinding methods were developed.  Another detail that helps date this razor is the way the blade tapers from the far end  (the toe) back towards the shank end (the heel).  This tapered style of blade was common before the 1830's when blades were ground out of triangular pieces of steel.   This particular razor also lacks the characteristic "VR" mark of razors manufactured during the reign of Queen Victoria.  Though precise dating is difficult, the combination of tapered blade, frameback grind, and lack of Victorian markings would seem to indicate that it dates back to the reign of William IV or possibly the first few years of Victoria's reign.

Whatever its age, it is an incredible razor - far and away my favorite Sheffield razor.  Later Sheffield razors seem to be made of softer steel, and take a different-feeling edge that may be due to the use of cast instead of forged steel; this is the only Sheffield razor I own that compares favorably with Solingen or American razors in terms of sharpness and edge retention.  When I got it off of ebay it show very few signs of having ever been used.  There are a few spots of corrosion on the blade that look like alkaline etching from shaving lather, but the bevel is as narrow as my razors that were purchased new.

The brush and soap are also British, though thankfully of much more recent vintage.  The respective firms are both old respected establishments.  George Trumper opened his barber shop in 1875, and R. A. Rooney started making brushes in the 1700's.  All in all this morning's shave is a nice homage to British shaving from the days when the sun never set on the British Empire.

Posted by: mparker762 at 09:21 AM
Post contains 376 words, total size 2 kb.

August 25, 2007

Lovely Complex #20

Word gets out to the gang...
LC20_01.jpg


Off for a little romantic studying...
LC20_02.jpg

But Mimi interrupts.  She's a giraffe too (and a model!), and has had the hots for Otani for years.  When Otani is around she's cute and charming in that jailbait-schoolgirl kind of way, but when Otani isn't around she's pretty disturbing...
LC20_03.jpg

Did I say disturbing?  I meant psychotic...
LC20_04.jpg

That girl's gonna kill somebody someday...
LC20_05.jpg

Eventually the mask slips off in front of Otani...
LC20_06.jpg

Otani sends her packing, but trouble awaits...
LC20_07.jpg

Or at least it would if Otani weren't so dumb that he's had to take summer remedial courses all through high school.  I'm not sure why the teachers weren't rolling on the floor laughing when they read this.

Not a bad little episode.  Kind of light on the comedy, but the lack of weepiness on Koizumi's part was a nice change. And Mimi's confession helped trigger Otani to seriously think about the things he loves about Koizumi.

Posted by: mparker762 at 08:00 PM
Post contains 162 words, total size 2 kb.

August 21, 2007

Potemayo

What do you get when you cross a demon-possessed feral cat and a beagle?

Potemayo!

snorf?
'sup

Potemayo-chan!
snacky cakes!

Posted by: mparker762 at 09:44 PM
Post contains 17 words, total size 1 kb.

August 20, 2007

Lovely Complex #19

Great episode.  The comical couple is still feeling their way after the upending events of the previous episode.  Otani wants to keep things secret so he won't get ribbed by their friends.  Koizumi is on cloud 9, here seen skipping amidst floaty hearts...
/images/anime/LC19_1.jpg

First day-to.  World Games.  It ain't going well, and Koizumi's needing some TLC...
/images/anime/LC19_2.jpg

And gets it...
/images/anime/LC19_3.jpg

WTF?
/images/anime/LC19_4.jpg

Turns out the camera crew snagged some human interest to spice up the games.   So much for keeping it a secret...
/images/anime/LC19_5.jpg

But he gets over it.  Here seen (re)introducing Koizumi to his ex-girlfriend.  Yeah that's gonna make Koizumi's day.
/images/anime/LC19_6.jpg

But trouble is on the horizon...
/images/anime/LC19_7.jpg

Mimi's a young-un too.  2nd year middle school, which I think makes her 3 yrs Otani's junior.  Otani doesn't seem to be terribly interested, but with that battle aura she's unlikely to be deterred by minor quibbles like that.

Good episode.  I was hoping Koizumi would stop the incessant crying now that Otani's finally come around, but I guess the hormones are still cranking.  Still, there was plenty of comedy to keep the mood light.  And unlike High School Days the series is unlikely to end in major bloodshed.

Posted by: mparker762 at 08:20 PM
Post contains 197 words, total size 2 kb.

Lovely Complex #19...

... is on it's way down now.  Updates coming soon, but right now I'm in the middle of a happy dance.

Oh, and I got some pop rocks for the beagle.  Hilarity ensues tomorrow.

Posted by: mparker762 at 06:24 PM
Post contains 37 words, total size 1 kb.

August 19, 2007

Kare Kano WTF

So now I've got to try and track down the manga.  The anime just peters out in the middle of the preparations for the cultural festival, with nothing whatsoever resolved.  Lots of distractions by new characters, lots of hints on how the various relationships are trending (some good and some bad) but that's it.  argh!

Hmm, looks like the anime ends somewhere around vol 11 of the manga, out of 21.  So only halfway through... double argh!

Posted by: mparker762 at 01:24 PM
Post contains 80 words, total size 1 kb.

Tug of War

Strawberry taffy and one hungry beagle

Almost there...
Tug of War


Success!
success!

Posted by: mparker762 at 09:32 AM
Post contains 12 words, total size 1 kb.

C-Mon Day

Rooney small style 1 brush
Trumper's Almond shaving soap
Hand American strop
5/8 C-Mon Special #1 stainless
Taylor's of old Bond Street Bay Rum aftershave

The problematic C-Mon has finally been brought to heel.  Great shave with no irritation.  The Trumper's Almond is a nice (though odd-smelling) shaving soap, and this particular soap and bay rum aftershave combine to produce a really intoxicating post-shave aroma.
more...

Posted by: mparker762 at 09:30 AM
Post contains 67 words, total size 1 kb.

Onegai Twins

Looks like Stephen Den Beste is considering Onegai Twins.  Not a bad choice, but definitely odd given his queasiness over something like Onegai Sensei which was after all your garden variety boy-falls-in-love-and-marries-alien-teacher story, only without the tentacles.  Onegai Twins is a somewhat more disturbing story involving a love triangle between an high school boy (Maiku) who was orphaned as a child, and two orphan girls (Karen and Miina) who move in with him each claiming to be his sister.  Their sole link to each other and to the house is a photo each one carries showing Maiku and a girl in a little plastic kiddie pool in front of the house.  All three are emotionally scarred from life in orphanages, though Maiku seems the most normal of the bunch.  Unfortunately both girls develop crushes on him, though Maiku is mostly oblivious to this.  For Miina this crush is semi-acceptable in my eyes as she is roughly Maiku's age, but Karen's crush is definitely icky.  For both girls however this crush triggers a crisis that lasts most of the series.  Both of them grew up in orphanages wishing desperately for a family, but now that they have one they face the irony that both of them love Maiku, but one of them will get him as a brother whle the other will be free to pursue him as a lover and husband.  "Pursue" because Maiku is oblivious to the girls' feelings for him and has his own interest that he's pursuing.

Fortunately the interminable agonizing "We might be related, but we might be strangers" discussions between Karen and Miina tends to take place in the bath.  And ultimately, the resolution to the story is pretty satisfying, though the OVA bonus summertime episode actually spoils this feeling a bit.

I've only watched Onegai Sensei once, and though I enjoyed it I've never felt the urge to go back.  But Onegai Twins has a better story and much more emotional punch despite the occasional ick moments.

FWIW, the only real connection with Onegai Sensei is that it takes place in the same rural town, and the three kids are attracted to the town when they spot the house in their photo in some of the news coverage of events in Onegai Sensei.  Many of the characters from Onegai Sensei are back again as Maiku, Miina, and Karen live in the same town and go to the same school that was the centerpiece in the earlier series, though these carryover characters tend to play a comparitively minor role in Onegai Twins.

Posted by: mparker762 at 08:17 AM
Post contains 429 words, total size 3 kb.

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