Electric Razors

I’ve used an electric foil razor for shaving for most of my life. When I was a teenager I tried safety blade razors, but they were too abrasive on my skin, and I still cut myself frequently. My grandfather bought me a foil razor which lasted until I was in grad school, and worked well.

For most of the time since then I’ve bought foil shavers from Remington, but I’ve been increasingly unsatisfied with their products. Also, replacement parts were increasingly hard to find locally. A couple of months ago the razor – which I didn’t like as much as the one it replaced a few years ago – started failing, so I bought a new one, which I liked even less. I gave it a try for a month and a half, but it just wasn’t doing the job.

So I did some research online, and the consensus seems to be that the Braun Series 7 razors are the best you can get in the realm of foil razors. So I ordered a 7-720 and gave it a try over the weekend.

And holy cow does it work well. It’s quieter and much more effective than either of the Remingtons. I suspect replacement parts will be a bit pricier because the shaving cartridge is a single unit rather than separate blades and foil, but if it holds up in shaving quality then it will be well worth it.

I bet I’m soon going to wonder why I didn’t switch to Braun years ago. (The answer is that I was cheap and didn’t want to spent that much money on a razor. Being cheap is its own punishment.)

On the left, the Remington razor that died 2 months ago. In the middle, the Remington I replaced it with. On the right, the Braun razor I started using on Saturday.
On the left, the Remington razor that died 2 months ago.
In the middle, the Remington I replaced it with.
On the right, the Braun razor I started using on Saturday.

Averted Cartastrophe

The worst part was the waiting, not knowing whether my car would still be drivable, or if it would need a new engine, and thus need to be replaced. Because I wasn’t going to throw a new engine into a 15-year-old Honda Civic that I’d been considering replacing anyway. But if it were toast then I’d need to find an alternative way to work for a few days until I could rent a car and start looking for a new car. Unless I just wanted to go buy another Civic to keep me going for a couple more years.

The cracked radiator is by far the worst problem I’ve had with this car. Next worst would in cost have to be replacing the struts, but they never went bad to the point of inconveniencing me. And after that is mundane things like a dead battery. That’s pretty good. Hondas are very reliable cars.

So I was on edge most of the day waiting for the dealer to get back to me as to whether the engine had been damaged due to running hot. The temperature gauge had been pegged in the red when we got back from San Francisco on Thursday, but it had only been five or six miles since we’d first smelled what we learned was coolant steaming from the crack. And then another two miles or so in the red driving it to the dealer – apparently low-50s morning temperatures aren’t cool enough to keep the engine cool.

Finally I called them, and the advisor got back to me that the leak test showed no problems with the engine. It seems my car is nigh-indestructible, and it should keep going for at least a while longer.

Which means I’m gonna have to get that oil change and new windshield wipers later this month after all.

I think its days are still numbered, but that number is not zero. Not yet.


A Lot in a Day

Debbi and I took today off to go up to San Francisco to go to Cal Academy and a few other places. So here’s the obligatory panorama from the Academy’s living roof:

(click for larger image)
(click for larger image)

On the drive home, Debbi remarked that she smelled something like maple syrup. Then she smelled it again as we got close to home. I looked down and the temperature gauge for my car’s engine was pegged. Fortunately we were only blocks from home. I opened the hood and it looks like there is a leaky seal or hose, because steam was squirting out above what I think was the radiator. So, off to the shop it (hopefully) goes tomorrow.

Inside, I found that one of the cats had pooped on the carpet. Hopefully it’s just some transient diarrhea, but we’ll keep an eye on them.

Moreover, Debbi seems to be coming down with a bad cold and plans to stay home from work tomorrow. Hopefully it doesn’t find its way to me in the night – I do tend to get sick when the temperature changes for good in the spring and fall.

On the bright side, I think I’ve figured out how to fix our outdoor accent lights, which have been going on and off erratically at night. And we got to watch the Giants advance to the World Series.

So it should all work out. Worst case, if this is the end for my trusty car, it’s given me 15 years of mostly trouble-free service, which is about all one could really ask for.

Most Played Songs

The top 10 most played songs in my iTunes library, probably dating back 10 years or maybe more:

  1. “River Out of Eden” by Frameshift, from Unweaving the Rainbow (2003)
  2. “Mandelbrot World” by Jack Foster III, from Jazzraptor’s Secret (2008)
  3. “Journey’s End/The Traveller’s Lament” by Magenta, from Home (2006)
  4. “The Seventh House” by IQ, from The Seventh House (2000)
  5. “A Crack in the Ice/Pins and Needles/Double Vision” by Arena, from The Visitor (1998)
  6. “End on a High Note” by The Flower Kings, from Paradox Hotel (2006)
  7. “There Was a Time” by Spock’s Beard, from Octane (2005)
  8. “Squonk” by Genesis, from A Trick of the Tail (1976)
  9. “If The Sun” by Glass Hammer, from If (2010)
  10. “Believe/No Place For the Innocent”, by Pendragon, from Believe (2005)

This is a pretty representative list of my musical tastes over the last 10 years, largely neo-prog rock with a smattering of other proggy stuff as well. These ten are tracks which I am more inclined to just pick and listen to because I really, really like them.

This list would have looked very different in years past. In 1991 it would have been dominated by Jethro Tull and The Who, while in 1999 you probably would have seen Sonia Dada and Collective Soul. I (re-)discovered progressive rock in 2001, stopped listening to commercial radio, and prog has dominated the list every since.

Weird that Home is the only one of the ten albums not available on the iTunes Store – Magenta seems to have only a couple of albums available there, and not their best ones.