Kindergarten Symbolism

“The problem with kindergarten symbolism is you have a fake thing that makes you feel good and then you have reality.”

– John Ward

I Nearly Dropped $275 On a Razor. Here’s Why I Didn’t.

I’ve been looking for a decent vintage  double edge (DE) razor.  I eventually gave up on finding one at a decent price and went to a website that finds the antique razor you want, cleans it up, re-plates it, then ships it off to you.

I wanted a very specific razor – a 1959 Gillette 195 Adjustable (“Fatboy”) despite the fact that I’ve never used one in my life.  Cost: $275, but I figured it would be worth every penny.

See, here’s one of my major flaws – I’m a contrarian to the extreme.  When people say something is good, I tend to avoid it on the basic principle that people are liars.

So when I first started getting into safety razors 8 years ago, it was recommended to me that I purchase a Merkur 34C as my first DE razor.

I did, and the shave was very good.  Good, but not great.  So I purchased a “twist-to-open” razor (also known as a butterfly razor).  I liked the idea of them.  They’re easy to use, easy to clean, easy to replace the blade.

So I tried a butterfly razor on my head and it was the greatest shave I’ve had in my life.

Those who kept promoting the Merkur 34C were doing so because everyone else was doing it.

Still, I wanted my vintage razor.

So I went to the vintage razor website one more time this afternoon and dropped the exact razor I wanted into my cart.  Before I clicked “purchase”, I decided to have a shower and a shave – and that I would use my butterfly razor just to make sure I was making the right decision of dropping $275 on a vintage razor.

I was wrong.  So wrong.

My head right now is absolutely smooth – not a single piece of stubble on it.  The butterfly razor had no problem taking care of it.

So I’ve closed the website and won’t be going back.  From now on, I will only shave with the butterfly razor.

Being a contrarian and a provocateur has served me well in life.  I’ve become rather financially successful by bucking social norms.  At the same time, it has caused me to make some terrible blunders; advice I should have taken, I refused, for no other reason than I thought I knew better.

Being a contrarian is kind of like a double-edged razor blade.  It can do incredible things for you.  It can also harm you beyond belief.

And the $275 vintage razor?  Nah.  I’ll stick with my $17 butterfly razor thank you very much.



Since the world seems so bent on redefining everything from family to sexuality, I present my redefined identity:

Sex: No thank you, I’m British.  Don’t judge me just because I don’t meet your personal standards of sexuality!

Diet: I am vegan, but I eat chicken three times per week and rib-eye steak four times per week.  Don’t judge me just because I don’t meet your personal standards of veganism!

Sexual orientation: I’m gay, but I’m only interested in females.  Don’t judge me just because I don’t fit your definition of gay!

Political Alignment: I’m a communist, but I believe capitalism is the best way for the worker to create their own wealth.  Don’t judge me just because I don’t fit your definition of socialist!

Gender: I’m gender fluid, but I identify as male 24/7/365.  Don’t judge me just because I don’t fit your definition of what is logical or makes any sense at all!

Stop being so oppressive!  I can identify how I wish and it doesn’t have to fit your definitions to be valid!

You can do it, too.  You don’t need outside validation to be valid.  You don’t need outside definitions to define yourself.  Stop limiting yourself.  Your life belongs to you, not the world at large.

Stop trying to fit into a box.  The moment you embrace the fact that you’re not what people expect, that’s the moment you become free.


I write my personal journals at an old 1940s student desk.  You know, the ones with the flip lid for keeping your papers inside.

I write with fountain pens.  Only fountain pens.  I usually write in blue and have 9 different shades of blue – mostly from Robert Oster Inks, though I do use Noodler’s, Waterman, and Pilot.

I have an oil lamp on my desk that keeps me warm in the winter while I write.  It also provides a surprising amount of light.

And here’s the best part: above my desk is a bookshelf.  On it is a dictionary.  And when I’m unsure of the exact spelling of a word, I pull out the dictionary and look it up.  Sure, I could pull out a phone and look it up, but I don’t permit myself to have ANY electronics in my study (that includes digital clocks.  I rely on my watch – which is not electronic – to tell me the day, date, and time.  Thank God for Orient Watches).

I know cursive handwriting and use it every time I write with a pen.

These things are old fashioned and outdated.

Which is exactly why I love them.