By Eric Capstick
The Electric Razor Revelation
Shaving is one of the inevitable chores that I reluctantly perform when I can no longer reasonably avoid the task. Many of my friends shave on a daily basis and I’ve been forever grateful that I have not had to do that so far in my adult life. I’ve always been able to get away with a shadow beard and have not been plagued by the type of growth that returns almost as fast as is cut away. Until recently I had used various forms of razor blade combinations to cut scraggly beards off my face over the years. Double, triple and quadruple blade configurations have evolved over the years to make a better and less hazardous shaving experience but I always dreaded the required act of shaving nonetheless. At one point, in the mid-1990’s, I became so fed up with shaving that I grew a full yet spotty and unruly beard that combined with my shoulder length hair in those days to create a distressing resemblance to Charles Manson. I finally shaved off the beard by the late 90’s and have been laboring even since to keep it in check.
Now, as I write this piece, I am using a Remington R-5130 Flex 360 electric rotary shaver to remove a three-day growth of facial hair. This is not my customary practice but I think it proves a point regarding the remarkable convenience and versatility that electric razors provide. Traditional shaving is a messy process and requires not only a sink and running water but shaving cream or gel as well. The Remington R-5130, and all the other Remington electric razors, are designed to operate with dry skin. No water or shaving lubricant is needed with electric razors. The devices are battery charged and easy to clean using just a little bit of water. The Remington 5130 features three pivoting MicroFlex heads that are capable of handling multi-day growth with comfort and efficiency. Another model, the Remington F-5790, is a Pivot Triple Foil shaver that is designed with the daily shaver in mind. Foil shavers deliver the closest shave for those who perform the task each day, and they are the more effective electric option for precise trimming and detail work. Both the rotary and foil shavers offer easy-to-use trimmers for hard to get spots, sideburns, mustaches and the like. Remington offers an impressive array of model choices for customers in a price range that spans from $12.99 to $159.99 for the Remington R-7130 XLP 360 Pivot & Flex Rotary Shaver with stand. The Remington R-5130 that I have retails for a modest $59.99 and has been a wonderfully reliable and easy-to-use shaving device.
Another thing that occurred to me as I began to use my new Flex 360 every other day or so was that I was using much less water in shaving than I ever have before. The Remington electric shavers require only a little water for cleaning and so a couple of gallons of water are saved with each use. Many people keep the water running while shaving while others fill up the sink and then turn the spigot on for rinsing razor blades during the act of shaving. With electric razors none of this is necessary and the projected energy savings are quite dramatic. In response to my inquiry Remington conducted a survey related to energy and resource comparisons between electric razors and traditional razor blade shaving practices. They projected that, based on five minutes of daily shaving, a Remington electric shaving device uses only 821 Watts of electricity per year while employing a razor blade at the bathroom sink uses 4,015 gallons of water per year. I would say that the electric shaving option is a big winner in the energy and resource conservation arena and that alone provides a good reason to switch from razor blades to electric shavers. Remington also offers a full selection of women’s shaving devices, such as the wet/dry WDF-3600,n which could be handy for a spouse or girlfriend, and maintains an online store that is convenient for reviewing their products and ordering.
Horsing Around in Ariat Riding Boots
Ariat is a boot company that was founded with a simple but comprehensive goal in mind; to become the world’s most technologically advanced riding boots company for the world’s top equestrian athletes. Today, Ariat is the foremost performance footwear and apparel brand for equestrian athletes around the world and will also be the proud sponsor of the World Equestrian Games to be held in Kentucky later this year. While Ariat’s primary focus is on equestrian competition and enthusiast footwear, the company offers a wide range of English and Western designed boots, belts and clothing. They also have produced extensive lines of Work, Motor and Casual products. I suspect that many of the riding boot styles have become part and parcel of the wardrobe for many city-dwellers who wouldn’t ordinarily be caught dead on a horse.
One of the last times I rode a horse was when I was about ten years old. It was at a county fair and I was lifted onto a horse, who was tethered to a rotating steel track, for a ride. There was a huge sludge pile of manure and mud below the well-trodden path that my horse was traveling and I soon spun off the horse into the funky abyss when the saddle slipped down the side of my daydreaming mount. They cleaned me and I was hoisted back in the saddle for another turn or two around the ring. The pungent trauma of that event did not dampen my enthusiasm for stallions, steeds or chargers over the years, but instead provided a reliable and amusingly sweet anecdote about my riding experience over the years.
I recently got back into cowboy boots for the first time in years and chose a pair Ariat Heritage Horseman cowboy boots in a round toe model. These boots are extremely comfortable and feature exclusive ATS (Advanced Torque Stability) technology that provides support and cushioning as you walk, promoting good posture and reducing fatigue at the same time. The Ariat ATS composite shank design in these boots reduces skeletal and muscular fatigue. The boots also feature mid-foot support that helps to reduce metatarsal stress. Such design features are what Ariat is talking about when they clearly state that their chief goal is to become the most technologically advanced manufacturer of riding boots for the equestrian world. Other features include a forked shank that allows for a natural forefoot flex as well as a shock-absorbing gel forefoot cushion that reduces skeletal impact stress on knees, hips and the lower back. For me, this is just what the doctor ordered and I have enjoyed wearing my Ariat Heritage Horseman boots with absolute comfort and ease. The Ariat Heritage Horseman is a riding boot that can also be worn simply for the sense of style and personality that they provide. The Heritage Horseman is constructed of full grain leather and has a low horseman heel and shaft. The ATS design elements provide three times the support of traditional riding boots. There is also a moisture-wicking, anti-bacterial liner in the boot that wicks sweat away and works to block odor. The lightweight composite shank helps to maintain balance and proper body alignment at the same time that it makes wearing the boots an enjoyable and refreshing exercise. The Heritage Horseman is constructed with an earth leather foot under a fancy stitched 11″ leather shaft as well as a convenient spur ridge for the true horse-riding cowboy. They look great and the broad round toe, in my case, is an extremely comfortable and pleasing feature.
Unlike other cowboy boots that I’ve worn the Ariat Heritage Horseman does not leave my feet and legs feeling exhausted after a day or night on the town. Rather, these boots almost seem to refresh my legs when I wear them and that has been quite a revelation for me. The Ariat Heritage Horseman retails from $149.99 and represents a long-lasting and gratifying addition to any shoe collection. These boots will last a long time and will only get better with age. Check out the full line of Ariat products on their website and see if you can’t find a little bit of the cowboy or equestrian in you!
Neutrogena for Men and Good Old Lubriderm
Johnson & Johnson, the world’s premiere consumer products giant, has developed a product for virtually every conceivable grooming or body maintenance need that a man, or woman, may require. It’s remarkable really when you stop to consider the vast array of over-the-counter products offered by J&J. They have leveraged their commitment to research and science, J&J is also the eighth largest pharmaceutical company in the world, to create innovative and healthful products that are readily available to consumers and seem to address the vast majority of common grooming and therapeutic needs. Recently, J&J has leveraged the long-time and highly regarded Neutrogena skin product brand by developing a variety of new products designed exclusively for men. Neutrogena for Men was an instant winner for me because I have distinct memories of how much Neutrogena and Lubriderm meant to my mother when I was growing up in the 70’s. Mom would not be caught without a bottle of Lubriderm Daily Moisturizer, or maybe it was the Neutrogena face lotion, around the house. Those bottles of lotion were like a salve on mother’s psyche and she would rub it into her hands and after a long day of work and interactions with her rapscallion sons and young daughter. I knew, way back then, that Neutrogena was the real deal. It was good stuff. Now, as I use it, I realize that the Daily Moisturizer lotion feels good and has a soothing effect when you rub it into your skin. There is now an additional version with SPF 15 as part of its composition. J&J seems to have made a dedicated effort to include various SPF sun-protection options in all of their skin products. The Neutrogena For Men line offers products for facial care, shaving, sun protection, body and bath lotions and gels, and hair care. And they are all solid, painstakingly research and developed products. Neutrogena For Men sun protection products include an Ultimate Sport sunblock spray with SPF 85, or other SPF ratings, as well as an Ultra Sheer Liquid sunblock with SPF 70. This line also offers a variety of daily cleansers in liquid form such as the Deep Clean Sport facial cleanser and body wash as well as the new Deep Clean Sport On-The-Go Cleansing Wipes, both of which are quite convenient and pleasant to use. Another Neutrogena product line isSkinID, offering oil-free body wash and skin smoother and other products for acne prone skin. This product is set up for online or phone ordering after conducting a skin evaluation.
The full line of J&J products address almost every possible human need, running the gamut from Baby Care (yes, men do take care of babies), Skin and Hair Care, Wound and Topicals Care, Oral Health Care, Women’s Health, Over-The-Counter Medicines (such as Tylenol and Benadryl), Nutritionals and Vision Care. Many of these products are household names, such as Visine, which now comes in Tired Eye formulations as well as Maximum Redness Relief for those who get little sleep or perhaps participate in medical marijuana programs. Then, of course, there’s Listerine, Neosporin (an old standby for good old Mom as well), Bandaid, Motrin, Caladryl, Bengay, Zyrtec, Imodium, Pepcid and Nicorette among literally dozens of other brands and hundreds of other products. And there is also the time-tested hair regrowth treatment, Rogaine, for those who are not yet convinced that bald is beautiful. A new initiative by the company is Acuvue brand contact lenses that are designed as disposable lenses for daily use. And, lest I forget, J&J is also the company that brings you K-Y lubricants, now marketed in a suggestive Yours +Mine package for couples. Johnson & Johnson, it seems, has left no stones unturned. Check out the full and comprehensive line of J&J consumer products, as well as their medical devices, diagnostics and prescription products online if you’ve got an itch or two you’d like to scratch.