Tag Archives: better living

Turn Your Brain Off


This guy. This guy gets it.

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Posted by on January 14, 2009 in humour, Uncategorized


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How to Clean Your Vintage Razors

I just put up a new instructable on how to clean your vintage razors!



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Merry Christmas from Uncle Albert

Merry Christmas Wet-shavers!

Edit: Recipe modified for safety!  I reduced the percentage of Essential Oils due to safety concerns.

As an extra special gift for the holiday season, I’ve decided to give something back to the community that has given me so much. I present to you the Open Shave License (OSL) and a little something extra.

Open Shave License:
Any recipe presented under this license is to be considered freely available to the general public and anyone using the recipe is entitled to change and or modify the recipe in full or in part as they see fit. The recipe is free for both private and commercial use. It is to be understood that any person or entity presenting a recipe under the Open Shave License (OSL) requests that any new recipes derived from the original recipe bear some form of acknowledgement to its origin.

And now, without further ado, I present to you:

Uncle Albert’s Amazing Solid Cream Shaving Cake — Atreides Scent

(This recipe presented under the OSL)
4oz. Life of the Party(tm) Natural Clear Olive Oil Soap (Special Suspension Formula)
5 drops Lemon EO
5 drops Jasmine EO
2 drops Lime EO
6 drops Clove EO
3 drops Allspice EO
3 drops Anise EO
4 drops Lavender EO
3 drops Cedarwood EO
7 drops Sandalwood/Vanilla FO
35 drops Almond Oil
1/2 teaspoon Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay (Bentonite)

Mix the oils in a small cup.
Melt the soap base thoroughly.
Stir in clay until well dispersed.
Stir in oil mixture.
Pour into mold.
Wait impatiently for soap to harden.
Remove from mold.
Place puck in mug.


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Father Knows Bupkis

I am not a man-child. Well, okay, maybe I am a man-child– I mean, I do occasionally dress up like a pirate and run around my back-yard with my best friend— but I’m not really a hopeless child in a man’s body, more of a youthful man with a “childlike” attitude toward life, not a “childish” one. There is a difference between the two.

If you watch very much television these days, you are familiar with the man-child stereotype. He’s usually overweight, hopelessy helpless, and really a bit of a doofus. He’s the guy who plays the part of husband/father on nearly every sitcom to be made since the early 90’s. He’s part of the reason that men are having a harder time finding their role in today’s society.

When I look at the television shows of my youth, particularly the popular shows, I notice some striking differences to the current television trends. Let’s look at a few examples, shall we?

The Andy Griffith Show– Andy Taylor was a real man’s man. He knew how to shoot a gun, but as a level-headed law man, he didn’t carry one unless it was absolutely necessary. It wasn’t because he was against the use of guns, in fact, I’m reasonably sure that a guy like Andy probably owned more than one gun for personal protection and for sport–it’s just the he commanded so much respect from those around him, that there were few situations he couldn’t resolve peacefully. He was the type of man who had most of the answers and knew were to find the ones he didn’t. He was a man to look up to, a single father who took care of his family and his friends. He knew his role.

The Beverly Hillbillies– Jed Clampett was not a learned man. He didn’t have much education, nor did he have a great deal of sophistication, but he did have a heart and he tried to provide for his family using the means he had available. He used what he knew about the world, and what he knew about basic living to make a better life for his daughter, his nephew, and his mother-in-law. He also didn’t let money change him. I always got the impression that Jed didn’t have a lot of use for money, and would have been just as content living in the hills and huntin’ for some food for the rest of his days, but when he had the opportunity to offer his charges a bigger oyster, he put aside his own needs and wants and loaded up the truck–“Californy” bound. He always approached every dilemma with a moral scale and weighed it out, and opted to do the right thing, despite the cost, never truly falling victim to those who tried to sponge off him, and always staying true to who he was a man. In the Clampett home, Jed’s word was law, and everyone respected him. The kids knew that if they did wrong, there would be consequences, and when they did wrong, there were. Granny, very much like a kid, often voiced her differences with Jed, but he never got bitter about it. Respecting his elders, as all good men and women should do, he would quietly shake his head and smile, knowing that ultimately, things would turn out okay. He was a man who knew his role.

The Cosby Show– Heathcliff Huxtable was the dad everyone wanted. He was a successful doctor who loved his family. He often acted a fool, but he was never really portrayed as a genuine fool. His family loved and respected him and his wife, Claire. A fan of jazz, he had culture. The man had art hanging on his walls and he appreciated a stylish sweater. He always had time for his family, taking every opportunity to instruct his children in moral behavior, without talking down to them. He loved and respected his wife, and she knew it, because he said it, he showed it, and he lived it. He wasn’t just a good father and husband, he was a respected member of the community, too. Even the friends of his children called him Dr. Huxtable and looked up to him, seeking his advice. He knew how to take charge when needed, and also knew when to step back and let others live up to their potential. He was a man who knew his role.

The Dukes of Hazzard– Uncle Jesse Duke, the patriarch of the Duke family, was another man who set a good example. Even though he wasn’t a man of great means, he graciously took in his troubled nephews and his niece, giving them a home and a moral compass. Granted, he was a former moonshiner, but, when he made a deal with the Government of the U.S. of A. he stuck to it. He didn’t run ‘shine any more, and that was that–he was true to his word. He taught his nephews and his niece the importance of being trustworthy and honest, and he did it gently. You seldom saw Jesse lose his temper, and when you did, he still wasn’t moved to violence–choosing instead to use his brain to find a solution to his problems. A common theme on the show was Uncle Jesse’s standing as an upright and respected citizen of the corrupt Hazzard County. Not only did he take every opportunity to give moral and proper advice to those around him, but if you watch carefully, you’ll notice that there was never a meal eaten in the Duke household that didn’t begin without a prayer of thanks– it was even right there in the opening credits! Go ahead and watch them–I won’t tell. Jesse Duke was a man who knew his role.

Today, television and movies are frought with men who don’t know their role. Their families step beyond the bounds of respect and treat the men like bumbling baffoons; and the men fill those roles nicely. When no-one shows them respect, they lose the respect of the one person who matters, the respect of self. The men in these newer shows seemingly do everything they can to prove their detractors right, and they do it well. Now you, dear reader, may be asking “why all the fuss?” Well, I’ll tell you why. Our young men are growing up, bombarded by images of men who don’t know how to care for their families. They are constantly shown images of men who can’t show emotion. Young men are flooded with images of men who simply won’t control their lusts. Our lads are exposed to the idea that there is no dignified way for a man to express anger. They simply don’t see what it is to be a real man.

The real question is, “Why is this happening?” What is it that makes writers write the man as idiot? I think it’s because today’s writers have lost touch with manliness themselves. They write what they know. When you live in a society that rewards sensless behavior, and holds no-one to the consequences of their actions, how can you know anythinig else?

Another factor, and I’m sure I’ll catch some flack over this, is women’s lib. Now, I’m all for women being independant, and working if necessary. I have no problem with working moms, and I’ve known many strong, capable women in my life. However, as women take on more and more roles that have traditionally been held by men, the roles have become more undefined. Now, men don’t know where they stand. Call it political correctness if you like, but men are afraid of being labled as sexist, and are trying ever harder to “get in touch with their feminine side.” The catch is, that if you listen to women long enough, you’ll note that many miss the chivalrous, manly men of yesterday–they want their cake, and they want to eat it, too.

Don’t be afraid to step up, men. Do the right thing. Not sure what a real man is? Watch “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Watch “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Watch some reruns of the “Andy Griffith Show.” These feature “real men.” Do you know what your role is?


Posted by on August 14, 2008 in better living


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Thanks for the Cuppa!

I’d like to take a brief moment to say “Thanks” to TWGW. She gave me an awesome anniversary gift for our 6th. She found an online survey about the Senseo coffee pod machine, and after filling it out, discovered that we qualified for a free one! Granted, we did have to pay $15 shipping and handling, but otherwise, it was a $70 coffee maker for free.

It arrived Thursday, along with a box of assorted pods, a canister for keeping them in, and 3 $20 off coupons to give to my friends. For those not in the know, the Senseo coffee machine uses individual “pods” to make coffee, one 4oz. cup at a time. Actually, if you use 2 pods you can make a full 8oz. mug of coffee. The beauty is that it makes your cup in about 30 seconds with a nice frothy surface.

While I drink my coffee black, I found that it made for a slightly weak java, not necessarily a bad thing, mind you. I’ve heard complaints that 1 pod makes coffee too weak, and 2 pods is too strong, but I’m happy with it. I’ve only used the decaf and the “Paris” sample so far, but I was generally pleased with it’s quality. I am by no means a coffee connoisseur, but I found it to be a quite passable cup of brew. I was surprised to find that 4oz was actually a good sized portion, just enough to satisfy my craving for a little of the magic bean. At only one (half)cup of coffee per pod, I can see where it could get a little expensive, but the expense is countered by the convenience of a perfectly sized and well brewed portion of coffee, with very little cleanup.

I’ve read where some people are making their own pods, and I’ve seen where you can buy reusable pods, though I suspect that’s a messy option. I have a drip coffee maker that makes one travel sized mug of coffee and uses a small metal basket filter, and cleaning it is a royal pain. While I like conservation, and think we should reduce waste in general, I can’t overlook the convenience in this simple design. Thanks again, honey, I love it.


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