April 24, 2013

Disposable Razors

This is not a post about personal grooming. It is about adjusting your viewpoint. 

This is not a post about our throwaway society. It is about being open to something new.

On our RV trip I brought an electric shaver. It is OK most of the time. It is convenient, holds a charge for weeks, and gets close enough for most occasions (especially a vacation). But, once every three weeks or so I like to use shaving cream and a razor to give myself a real shave. Unfortunately I forgot to pack any blades on this trip so I stopped at Walgreens to buy some.

As most of us are aware, razor companies pretty much give away the handle to make their money on the blades. With dozens of different styles, once you have committed to a handle, you have committed to a certain blade. They are not interchangeable. Just like office printers where the ink costs more than the printer after a year or so, blades are expensive. For men, Gillette keeps adding blades to each saving head; I think they are up to five per razor blade now. 

My handle is probably 15 years old and uses a two strip blade. Imagine, only 2 shaving surfaces! How primitive  As you might imagine finding that type of blade after all these years is very difficult but I persist, until Betty offered a solution that had never occurred to me: disposable razors.

I kid you not. I knew such things existed but I think of these cheap, flimsy, handles with poor quality blades that nick and slice someone's face when disposable razors are mentioned. Guess what? Disposable razors aren't garbage anymore. Companies has figured out how to manufacture a decent, reasonably priced, disposable handle/blade. Who knew?

Betty looked at me like I had my lights on but no one was home. "You didn't know about good quality disposables?" I think she was wondering who she had married. My excitement at finding a workable solution to my shaving blade problem energized all evening. I even shaved after dinner just to try it out. It worked! And, I smelled good! 

My point is larger than the fact than I have missed a rather common development in the world of personal grooming. It is all about being open to new ideas. 

For well over a decade I have continued to invest increasingly large sums of money in an increasingly futile search for something that has swerved me well in the past, and therefore is just fine for today....even when it isn't.

What other actions and decisions do I stick with out of loyalty, habit, or lack of perceived alternatives? What else is part of my life even when its usefulness is over? Actually, our RV trip is opening my eyes to several ways I live that may need some examination:

* A simple dinner is just as satisfying as one that takes lots of prep time or dirties too many dishes. Plastic plates and cups are sometimes a great choice.

* A nap when needed is a true blessing, but when it becomes a habit there is a need to reassess. I have taken fewer post-lunch naps on this vacation and haven't missed them. In fact, I notice the "extra" time Betty and i have to do something more fun or productive.

* I need to do a better job of controlling my computer/Internet time. Is the lack of a solid WiFi signal important enough to ruin my day? Seriously?

* Habitually I have four cups of coffee a day, though I really enjoy only two of them. On this trip I have had just two cups each day. So, I just have to stop going through the motions at home.

All of this from a disposable razor! 






22 comments:

  1. I wish I could say I can't relate to this, but it is oh so true. That is one thing I fight...falling into habits and routines and forget that shaking up things, reassessing things, and trying new things are all things I need to be aware of. I think sometimes the young people call that being "old"...ha! But it is exciting to "shake it up" once in awhile:)!

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    1. This 3 week trip has been very helpful in exposing certain habits and actions that aren't needed or helpful. I will have to write a follow up post in a few weeks to see if any of it has stuck.

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  2. I am the weird one in that I seem to always ask myself "why am I doing this?" Sometimes I change just for the sake of changing!

    That being said there are things that I have gotten into the habit of but are not really necessary or enjoyable they are just the way I have always done them. You got me to thinking now that I am not as flexible as I think I am (ha).

    That is one nice thing about breaking the daily routine such as you are doing with this maiden multi-week RV adventure. It makes you step back and look at everyday life a little differently.

    I need to end the comment by saying that I have been an electric shaver guy for more years than I can remember. But I do have a disposable (I discovered them years ago) to touch up the spots that I might have missed.

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    1. After using a particular electric shaver for almost two years I was informed you are supposed to change the blades in them, too. Amazing what a difference that made!

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  3. That's the beauty of breaking away from your normal routine - it forces you to view things through new eyes. And to improvise when necessary, which can often lead to breaking an old habit that no longer serves a purpose.

    And by the way, I've recently read that if you dry off your disposable razor really, really well after each use, it should last for months. It's the moisture that ruins them, not the shaving.

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    1. Betty says the same thing: she uses a hair dryer to be sure her disposable is completely dry before putting it away.

      On an entirely different subject I have started leaving reviews on RVparkreviews.com. Thanks for telling me about it.

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  4. What a great post! I also enjoy only those 2 cups--I just got a tiny coffeemaker on sale and with a coupon so I use less coffee each morning now and I am sure it's healthier. (I LOVE my coffee!!) TOO FUNNY about the razors! Yes, a while back I bought the" Venus "razor for gals.. but the cost of those cartridges!!! I have since switched to the LARGE bag of 52 disposables from Costco--they last one year! I think they ran around $15 for the whole bag.

    I relate to all your ideas about "habits", naps, internet,etc.Thanks for a reminder!

    Can't wait to hear more details about RV- ing.Can you share more about the learning curve of setting it up, the pitfalls for newbies,etc?? This sounds strange, but I read blogs of people who bookdock.Where do you dispose of your gray and black water when you do that?? I guess I need to find a serious RV blog and read about this stuff???? But Ken and I love your viewpoint, anything you can share will be appreciated..

    Thanks for taking time to share,Bob! and Betty!

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    1. Madeline, I follow several blogs of full time boondockers, two of which Bob lists here BTW, and I can tell you that with regard to disposing of gray and black water, they have to make specific trips into town to do so, paying a small fee as they do. They also use those trips to refill their water tanks with fresh water. The bigger the rig, the longer between trips of course!

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    2. I have learned that if I am staying in a park for only one night I don't need to bother hooking up the sewer hose. It makes leaving quicker (and less messy) in the morning. Sometimes the rates are cheaper if you only have water & electric at your site. Here at the KOA site in Holbrook I paid $3 less for a site without sewer.

      Betty and I use the park's showers and toilets which also cuts way down on how often I need to empty the tanks.

      Betty used the Venus razor but stopped for the same reason: the cost of the blades.

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  5. OH so very true...just for the record one can have breakfast for supper. LOL ...
    p.s. the hubs says he is up to 3 blades now. We both had a good chuckle over your blog today. Cindy

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it. Tell hubby he is fighting the inevitable upgrade to 5 blades or more! Or, he could just grow a beard.

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  6. Same thing happened to me with dental floss. I hated to floss and avoided it when I could, until I found these little flosser holders in packages of a hundred or so. I'm happy.

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    1. I've never tried them but maybe I should. Like you, flossing is not one of my favorite tasks and I do "forget" more often than I should.

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  7. Good post Bob.

    I think for me it's going to be breaking my TV habit. Lately, I've noticed I'm watching way too much Television when there's really nothing on. Most of the shows I'm interested in come on Public TV or TCM. Other than that everything else is a waste of my time. I'm going to try listening to the radio more, and return to my weekly library runs for some good quality books to read.

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    1. I watch almost no TV since we had all but the very basic cable channels removed. But, my guilty pleasure is nightly Netflix. That gobbles up a few hours every night.

      I still manage to read a book or two a week, but other interests, like guitar playing (see Friday's post for more!) reflect those lost hours.

      I used to listen to this fascinating folk music show from Wales every week on the Internet but fell out of the habit. That is something I should be doing rather than 2 hours a night of Netflix.

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  8. The thing I love about your post is the idea that changing your environment has given you the opportunity to explore many things-behavior, decisions, choices, patterns, etc. And obviously, the you're astute enough to be observe these assumptions. How amazing. I started a game a number of years ago around checking choices I'd made. It started off with food-going back and trying foods I had concluded I didn't like as a child; Cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, and oatmeal have reentered my diet. Green peppers-not so much. It can expand into all areas of our lives.

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    1. I am afraid sweet potatoes are still on my "No, thank you" list. But, how right you are. Changing your patterns and daily schedule even just a little can open someone up to significant change.

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  9. I didn't know there were any other types of blades still available, other than throw aways. Been using them for years.

    Does anyone remember slots in old medicine cabinets for old razor blades?

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    1. I remember those slots and always wondered what happens when, years later, someone has to open up that wall for a repair of some sort. After all, the blades just drop down between the studs and plasterboard.

      I did not make this example up because I needed a blog post. I really had never considered disposables until Betty suggested them. Now, I feel kinda silly for continuing to hunt for Atra 11 blades for all these years!

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  10. What a good post.....have been thinking about how much we seem to be "on automatic" lately in our retirement habits.....and want to change things up a bit in a fun way......you provided some great food for thought.....such as those naps and internet time:).....they occupy a hefty bit of time/space in this house....we each have our specialty, you might say :)!
    Helen

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    1. Hi, Helen,

      Retirement can be am amazing time of exploration and self-reinvention. or, it can become a life that is locked in place by habit and tradition.

      Guess which one is more satisfying? !!!

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  11. Great post! I'm going to make a change to finally get all my "paperwork" in order and switch all my bills, statements etc., to paperless. Might take a while, but I seem to end up with so much paper to "process". The funny part is I can't remember the last time I had to go back and use one the many statements I have in folders.

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