Master chef Italo’s seafood pasta dinner tonight
Master chef Italo’s seafood pasta dinner tonight
I’ve stayed in hundreds of hotels (maybe even more than 1000) during the course of my corporate career and in the last fifteen years of consulting. All classes and price ranges too. As a corporate “fat cat” I’ve stayed in places like the Waldorf Astoria in NYC, and the Hotel Bristol in Vienna (just across from the opera house and the Sacher Hotel with its famous Sachertorte). As a consultant-entrepreneur, I’ve also stayed in Motel 6 and the Comfort Inn in…well I can’t quite remember because they all look alike! And everything in between. In the course of these explorations over the last 30+ years, I’ve come to one conclusion….Hotels are almost universally designed and run by people who never actually stay in hotels!
Here are ten sure signs that the people who designed and/or are running your hotel, never stay in one:
I am almost at the end of my Sputnik blade trial and can safely say that this is an excellent piece of Russian manufacturing (unlike, I am sorry to say a lot of what makes it out of that country into the West- thinking Ladas and Zorki cameras!). The Sputnik is sharp and reasonably smooth – not quite as sharp and smooth as the current benchmark, the Treet Blue Special – but pretty close, and certainly close to a par with my recollection of blades such as the Feather. I can’t comment on longevity since I change blades every day – a small treat, and well-affordable given the rock-bottom price of great DE blades compared to cartridge razors such as the Fusion. If the Treet BS is a 9.0 then I would rate the Sputnik a solid 8.0 on my ten-point scale.
Today’s prep was with the Valobra shave stick mated to the discontinued Proraso Red cream for a terrific superlather worked up with the Simpson Chubby 2. Alum block…finished off with Trumper’s Coral Skin Food and a splash of Aqua Velva….mmmmmm!
Leisureguy has written extensively about the importance of establishing proper shaving technique, in both his daily blog and in his wonderful book on gourmet shaving, called…..Leisureguy’s Guide to Gourmet Shaving, available here. I’ve been working on my technique for the last year, practicing with a host of razors and blades, and all I can say is, man, I think I could get a great shave from a backhoe! Some weeks ago I wrote about how I had given up on the Gillette TTO razors because they just didn’t “fit” the contours of my face. Well, today I decided to give my mint-condition vintage Fat Boy another try, this time with my ongoing test of the Sputnik blade from Mother Russia. What a difference a month’s hiatus makes! I got an excellent shave, right up there with my Merkur HD and Slant-bar. Smooth as silk…I could barely feel the blade cutting the beard…but gone it was as subsequent faceturbation revealed. Prep was with my “luxury” combo of Cristalo shave stick, superlathered with T&H 1805 and my new technique of building up the soap lather on my face with the brush (vintage Simpson #10) before charging the brush with cream. Works really well because it gives the beard just a few extra seconds of soaking in the soap lather before adding the cream. The alum block told the tale: no zing, no sting!
Same place, different photographer, different lens, different point-of-view.
Studying the relections
Yesterday I made the statement that gourmet shaving and travel were somehow incompatible – in my experience. Let me explain. Gourmet shaving is about three things (at the very least): Time, place, and pleasure. Pleasure comes from having both the time to enjoy the experience of shaving, as well as the appropriate environment for the various paraphernalia this obsession demands. When I travel its usually for business. I stay in different hotels, each with its own level of amenities conducive or obstructive to shaving in a “proper” frame of mind. Since I am that loathsome creature – despised by purists – the “shower-shaver”, the problem is compounded by the varying levels of shaver-friendly showers in hotels.
I had planned a really luxurious shave day, with my Cristalo unscented shave stick (and I mean unscented – I glued my beezer to the the top of this thing and couldn’t detect any scent whatsoever!) mated to T&H’s 1805 (probably the most incredible fragrance ever invented – YMMV) for a brilliant superlather. But it was not to be. The mailman delivered my eagerly-awaited package from eBarbershop.com, containing among other things, a couple of tubes of Made-in-America Palmolive Brushless Shave Cream. Since I have an upcoming business trip I was eager to try the Palmolive (and also because I just love Palmolive products – must be the Greek affinity for anything with olive oil!). Brushless you say? It can’t be! But yes Virginia, I have found that gourmet shaving is somewhat incompatible with travel – for me – a topic I will write about in a near-future post. Given this change of plan I decided to move into “quickie” mode – commercial shampoo and body wash (Ugh!), MR GLO, Palmolive Brushless, and the Slant-bar with a fresh Sputnik blade. The Palmolive package instructs you to wash the face with soap twice – but to not rinse off the second dose of soap – shades of superlather Batman!
Spadoni writes: “Had not eaten a meal all day , just coffee and two cups of tea . Slice of low fat pound cake . So…food was on the brain . Came home and had a small bowl of cereal and toast, whole grain . Now I know the reason for the photos.”
Bubbles and smoke
Even more bored