Merry Christmas 2016

As I write this entry on Christmas Eve, the family has just finished opening presents. We’re settling in for a relaxing evening, eventually watching the Polar Express (we watched Elf earlier today). I always love a nice quiet Christmas Eve together as a family.

It seems that every year that I get older, Christmas changes from the year before. When I was newly married, and the kids were young, the pattern seemed set forever. However, through divorce, and the fact that kids get older, traditions change. What doesn’t change is the warmth of getting to be together as a family and seeing everyone enjoy the generosity of others. The kids are always grateful for what we get them, even if it’s only a few select things.

We’ve started a new tradition this year of hitting a Chinese buffet on Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. It was a spur of the moment idea on Thanksgiving, but with picky teenage eaters it’s a great way to have bunch of food that everyone likes. The buffet near us is huge and clean, so that makes it enjoyable for all of us, and it makes cleanup easy.

I’m realizing that I’m rambling, so I’ll just end this short entry with a Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday to all of you. The year is drawing to a close, and soon 2016 will be a distant memory. For now, enjoy time with friends and family.

Christmas Eve 2016

It’s Christmas Eve, and it seems like the entire holiday snuck up on us this year. At least this year we have a nice coating of snow to make it feel like the holiday. In fact my plan for my blog post today was to include a picture from my walk on Friday during the snow, but I just couldn’t get anything to turn out right. Partly because it’s more of a sleety snow with the temps having warmed up quite a bit.

It’s been a strange season so far in terms of temps too. I got out for a run when it was -19 degrees F and then Friday went for a walk in the mid 30s. It’s like the season doesn’t know if it wants to be really mild or really cold. At least it’s mild during the time when family are flying in from out of town. I guess I’ll just chalk it up to more climate change as global warming makes everything a bit more chaotic.

It’s going to be a quiet Christmas for us this year, with only a few activities spread over a few days. I then decided to take time off of from work to do… well not sure what really. I’m sure something will come to me during the week, but then it will probably be too late. Seems like the nature of things sometimes.

Wishing everyone who reads this a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holidays! Begin the countdown to me deciding if I will continue this tradition of daily blogging for a third year!

Reddit Secret Santa report

I got my gift from my Secret Santa this week and it was pretty cool. They gave me a bunch of old comics that I have never read, and I think even my kids might enjoy. They also gave me a funny hand written card, and some dark chocolate. The chocolate didn’t even make it an hour after I received the gift before it was devoured.

I sent my Secret Santa an iTunes gift card, a poster of a rocket patent, and an invitation to do some creative writing based on a photo I sent them. I doubt I’ll hear back on the writing aspect, but I wanted to put it out there for them anyway.

Overall, it was a fun time, and I could see myself doing something like it in future years.

Review: ATX Headblade

As most of you know, I shave my head. For decades I’ve used the basic Gillette razor, but lately I’ve gotten a few nicks that have made me question if I should bother to even keep shaving. After one of my co-workers saw the scar on the back of my head from one of my shaving episodes he suggested the ATX Headblade. I’ve had it for a few weeks now, and wanted to share my impressions.

First, the idea of using a wheel to guide the blade is a brilliant innovation. It means that your chance of the blade slipping and slicing your scalp sideways is tremendously minimized. As I’ve used the blade, I have never felt it slip to the side, as long as I keep the wheels to my scalp.

My first impression of the blade itself was that it was a bit more rugged feeling than a standard Gillette blade. The steel felt heftier, which works well when dealing with the rough skin on your scalp. I’ve used the first blade for a few weeks now, and it’s only now that it seems like I should switch it out.

The experience of shaving with the ATX Headblade is perhaps my biggest issue with it. The instructional videos show how to simply drive the blade across your head, and let the blade do its job. However, my head is not perfectly round and smooth, and I’ve discovered this even more when trying to use the ATX. Shaving the top of my head works just fine until I get about 2/3rds of the way back. Trying to get the blade to lie flat enough to make contact with the back of my scalp is a challenge when using it as instructed. Instead, I’ve started using the blade in more of a wheelie configuration. I often need to lift the front wheels up, so that the blade contacts my skull at the right angle to cut my hair.

I’ve also had some issues with using the blade along the side of my face, and behind my ears. These are awkward areas to shave, even with a traditional razor. By taking away the typical handle, I’ve had to learn how to hold the ATX to get it to work right in these areas. After a half dozen shaves, I’m starting to get the hang of it, but it’s not intuitive.

Finally, I’ve also felt like the shave I get from the ATX isn’t quite as close as what I got with a more traditional razor. This could be due to the perceived toughness of the blades, as they might not be quite as sharp as the Gillette blades. I haven’t been disappointed per se, but I’ve noticed the difference.

So should you buy the ATX Headblade to shave your head? From what I’ve stated above you may thing the answer is ‘No’, but despite it’s awkwardness, I haven’t nicked myself yet. I haven’t even felt like I’ve gotten close to nicking myself. That in itself is a bit plus with a blade like this. When the wheels are rolling the blade isn’t going to slip to the side in your hand, which means you won’t get nicked. So despite a few flaws, I can’t say I wouldn’t recommend the ATX.

I’ve been getting more used to using it, and it’s gotten the job done. It’s not any more expensive than a traditional razor, and it has helped to stop my head from bleeding. I’ll probably keep using it for a few more months, as the kit I bought came with multiple razors. Once I’ve got a solid 3-4 months under my belt I’ll decide if I want to go back to a traditional razor, but if not, I feel like the ATX Headblade is a capable blade that gets the job done.