Only the Hair-Brained Scrape Their Faces Away

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Gillette. All opinions are 100% mine with my standard disclosure.

I'm a Gillette Pro

I’m not aware of too many men who don’t shave at some point in their lives. Even when there’s a Hagrid-shaggy beard or ’70s-stylish Ron Burgundy ‘stache present, at times we must bust out the old razor and trim the hedges, so to speak. Being the Locker variety of Gnome, I don’t share my garden-loving cousins’ affinity for the proud display of a cascading bundle of whiskers that would only serve to tickle my pale, desk-shaded kneecaps and remind me of the need to shave more often. No, I’m a “once a day” shaver… sometimes even going for a second scrape if I have an evening function to attend. If I don’t do this, I end up looking like some sort of Stone Age, knuckle-dragging troglodyte. Remember Chaka from Land of the Lost? Kind of like that (though perhaps just a hair more hirsute).

I’ve heard from a few of you now that you don’t take your morning shave seriously. There are horror stories floating around online detailing the pain, bleeding, and cursing that some dudes put themselves through on a daily basis. Why are they using old, rusted blades? Why wouldn’t they simply buy a new one? Perhaps they’re clinging to tradition or an “old friend.” Maybe they just don’t like change. Whatever the reason, I personally think it’s crazy to torture your face. I can respect the idea of tradition, but even Tevya would take a pause in fiddling from yonder rooftop perch to ask what the heck is wrong with someone whose heartfelt attachment to a rustic, rusty antique outweighs an attachment to his own face.

As Mr. T would tell you: “A dull blade is a weapon – not a tool – fool!”

And sometimes people get crazy notions in their heads to circumvent the time-honored tradition of the blade, entirely. Scott from Chicago tells us that he once applied an Epilady to his face “just to see what would happen.” He’d heard women complaining about how painful it was, and his response was, “how painful could it possibly be?” As he soon discovered, having “even the shortest hairs” yanked out viciously “by the root” can reduce a burly, high school linebacker into a quivering lump of cranberry marmalade. “I’d be lying if I said I was crying like a little girl,” says Scott, “because I think a little girl would be able to tolerate that level of pain better than I could.”

Scott later joined the U.S. Marine Corps where boot camp was, he says, “a less harrowing ordeal in comparison.”

How do you shave? With the grain or against it (or both)? With an heirloom straight razor that was passed down from your great-great-great uncle (who used it during the Civil War), or will disposables from the 99 cent store do the trick? Do you buy a razor you love and then use it every day until it begs for mercy and falls apart in your hands, or do you slip the barber two bits to take care of business when you go in for a haircut every few months or so? Do you smear a burning chemical depilatory cream on your face, cross your fingers, and hope for the best, or do you maybe just take the most mundane (but sane) approach and replace your blades regularly?

I’m looking forward to trading horror stories. Let’s hear your worst shaving experience, and your views on how, when, and why you “trade up” to something different.

Top $10 Tech

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Gillette. All opinions are 100% mine with my standard disclosure.

I'm a Gillette Pro

We take technology for granted on a daily basis. Most people equate the word technology with computer-related items despite the fact that by definition it extends far beyond that scope. Technology encompasses any inventions, gadgets, doohickies, appliances, doodads, thingamabobs, whatchamacallits, and gizmos that we use in our homes each day. They’re the little things that we have lying around, grabbing to use without even really thinking about. We know they’re there yet we don’t stop to realize how much easier our lives are for having them.

I took a tour of my house and opened my eyes to inexpensive (under ten dollars) tech gems that I take for granted, and was shocked to see how many there were. Here are just a few.

  • Batteries – Can you imagine a world without batteries? Take a glance around you right now and count how many items you see that need a battery to make them work properly. When I did this myself, I was astounded at how many there were. Imagine coming up with alternatives for all of the battery-operated things you use regularly. How much time and effort do you save by having these objects? Before the invention of batteries, we had to power our gadgets with the help of tiny dinosaurs on treadmills, and this could get quite messy after a long day.
  • Toothbrush – Yes, a toothbrush is a type of technology, and one we definitely don’t stop to think about. We simply use it – day in, and day out. Prior to an actual toothbrush being invented, our ancestors likely used their finger or a leaf to clean off their teeth IF they even thought to clean them at all. Imagine how gross you would feel – and look – if you never used one of these simple little pieces of tech. When your teeth feel like they’re wearing sweaters, it’s time to get scrubbing!
  • Earbuds – The next time you’re out in public walking around, make a conscious effort to notice how many people have earbuds sitting in their ears. Thousands of people use these on a regular basis while walking, cooking, cleaning, exercising, sitting on an airplane, or during their commute. We listen to music and podcasts, catch up on the news or our favorite shows, and generally tune out the rest of the world for those few stolen moments of solitude. Even if you’ve got nothing to plug them into, they’re nice for avoiding conversation with street corner tuba buskers and one-eyed spare change hustlers.
  • Gillette Fusion ProGlide – For men and women alike, shaving is something we do without thinking, though this hasn’t always been the case. Before the advent of the safety razor in relatively recent human history, shaving could be a quite dangerous chore that was tasked to experts. I shudder to think about how we would all look without having a simple way to shed unwanted hair -from our chins to our legs to our underarms – whatever the case may be. We want to look and feel our best, and shaving is just one of those things we do to prepare ourselves for whatever lies ahead. Until recently, I never took the time to notice how invaluable my razor is. On the other hand, think of all the gadgets I could have at the ready if I grew a gnarly gnome beard to keep them in!
  • Electric Can Opener – If you cook, you know exactly why this made my list of items. You’re busy whipping up a pot of your famous chili and have to spend fifteen minutes opening several cans of beans, tomatoes, and sauces. With one of these shiny little pieces of technology, that time is cut to just a moment or two. I am convinced it also saves me from having Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in my wrists. I’d make sure to rinse it between peeling open cans of dog food and peaches, though. Just saying.
  • Alarm Clock – It doesn’t matter if you use a traditional alarm clock, your cell phone, or your computer. You still likely use an alarm to wake yourself up at a certain time. Can you even imagine what time people would stumble into work or school each day if we didn’t have some type of alarm clock in our bedrooms? Very few of us have our bodies programmed to wake up automatically. I’d definitely never make it on time to morning appointments without one of these. The rooster I was using annoyed the neighbors, so I made them a nice chicken dinner as a peace offering.
  • Thermometer – If you’re a parent, you are already grateful beyond belief for these tiny little pieces of tech goodness. You can easily tell when your child has a fever. It’s not so easy to tell with the touch of a hand exactly how high that temperature may be. A kiss to the forehead may tell you that the person needs a dose of Tylenol, but it won’t tell you if they may need other medical intervention. Even as an adult, one of the first things a doctor will ask when you call them is how high your fever is running. Without the aid of a thermometer, you cannot begin to give them an accurate answer. Resist the urge to tell your doctor where he/she can stick that damned thermometer, anyway.

When one remembers that technology doesn’t only encompass things you’d find in your office, it’s easy to appreciate the things around us that we use on a daily basis. Each of the items I listed make life a little easier for us. Isn’t that what technology advancements are all about?

What inexpensive pieces of technology lying around your house do you use regularly without thinking about them? Excuse me, I believe you have my stapler…

Braun Pulsonic 9595 Review

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We Pirillos are a hairy bunch. I’ve had to shave ever since I was a young teen. I hate straight razors, and being a Geek… I need gadgets! I’ve tried nearly every brand and razor out there, and am happy with the line of Braun electric razors.

For years, Braun has served me well. They give me the success, comfort and speed that I want out of an electric razor. I’m Italian, and I have a LOT of facial hair. Not only is it thick, it’s also curly. That makes it much harder to get a good, close shave. The hairs curl inwards, back towards my face. I’m also prone to ingrown hairs.

Any time Braun comes out with a new razor, I have to buy it and try it. So, of course, I had to try this new Pulsonic. Right out of the box, I can tell the difference in weight with older models. It’s contoured differently, and definitely lighter. Turning it on, it definitely is louder and vibrates differently. I guess it would have to vibrate differently though, since it boasts a different type of blade rotation called Sonic Pulsing.

Doing a small test run with it, it’s not half bad. I’ll have to give it more time, and get it adjusted best for my face. It appears to get my face nice and smooth in most places, but did leave a few rough patches. The way I measure a good electric razor is by how many times I have to go over my face with it to get it completely clean and smooth.

An excellent little Geeky feature to this razor is the LCD readout. It tells you how much charge is left on the battery, and also what the hygeine level is. That way, you know when the razor is due for a cleaning. Every Braun razor comes with a little cleaning case that you pop it in, and let it do its work.

Before I sign off, I have to link back to an old video of the time Ponzi convinced me to try Waxing my face. Why any sane human being would do this more than once is beyond me. Trust me… don’t even try it once.

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