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Shave of the Day – the Unkown Shave Soap

Posted by Stacey on November 22, 2014 in Shave of the Day |

Last week I used up the last of my Shaving Yetis Shore Leave shave soap so I needed to grab a new soap off the shelf of my shave cave.

The funny thing is, I can’t remember who made the shave soap that I grabbed this morning! Which is too bad because, in every way it is an excellent soap.

The scent of the soap is very nice mild. I don’t know how to describe it because it’s not overly citrusy or mentholated or any of the usual types of scents I have previously sampled. It is just a soothing and pleasing to the nose scent.

Shave of the Day

Shave of the Day

As for the soap’s performance, I am very pleased to report that the new shave soap did not lather up into a light, airy form like many other soaps do. This soap worked into a very thick and rich lather that went on the skin beautifully – I will say it lathers like a creamy icing that adheres and holds to the beard ready for the blade. The more I worked the soapy brush on my beard the richer and creamier the lather became. A winner.

As you can see in the photo, there are two razors. I typically use the Aristocrat with a Lord blade for shaving my head. Today I switched out the Lord blade for a Pol Silver blade.

Pol Silver Blades

Pol Silver Blades

The Pol Silver Super Iridium blade was one of the nicest and smoothest blades I have used ever. The blade glided across my head without any issues; no bumps, scratches or knicks. Simply put, it was absolutely the finest blade I have ever used on my head ever.

To shave my face this morning I used my Merkur 1904 with my usual Lord blade. All good.

However, after trying the Pol Silver on my head, next time I shave my face I am going to switch out the Lord for a Pol Silver blade.

I used my usual pre-shave and aftershave treatment – my Handsome Rob pre-shave and aftershave. I like the way the oil softens up the beard and today I used a spot about the size of a dime and applied it to the back of my head. This is a change from my normal shave routine and I’m not sure if it was part of what made today’s shave so smooth. Whatever, it was it was an awesome shave.

So to wrap up, the mystery shave soap, the pre-shave oil, the new Pol Silver blades and the soothing aftershave made for a premium shave today. Now to try and figure out what kind of shave soap that it is I was using!!

 

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Batteries Not Included

Posted by Stacey on November 18, 2014 in Life Musings |

Not much of a blog post today, more of a little rant. So here it is – at what point did some marketing asshat decide that the simple toothbrush needs to have batteries?

Electric Toothbrush

Electric Toothbrush

The simple and straight forward act of brushing your teeth now requires a device that requires batteries? What a stupid idea.

What is wrong with the tooth brush that you waggle around in your mouth with your hand?

Thinking about the battery powered toothbrush, what happens when the batteries inevitably die in the toothbrush? Do people realize that they can take a tiny little screwdriver and open up the bottom of the toothbrush to replace the batteries?

And further, if they do know that they can change out the batteries, where do the dead batteries go? What about the people who do not know you can change the batteries?

You can bet they just throw the entire piece of plastic, batteries still inside, all in the garbage.

What a ridiculous idea. I’m always reminded of the age old advice – KISS – Keep It Simple, Stupid.

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The Value of Artisan Produced Goods

Posted by Stacey on November 16, 2014 in Toys and Luxuries |

There is a movement, a resurgence of manufacturing taking place in North America. The resurgence is taking place with small mom and pop type shops. This is a movement away from massive factories with hundreds of workers chained (figuratively speaking, of course) to machines.

People like Railcar Fine Goods – makers of fine denim wear.

Railcar Fine Goods

Railcar Fine Goods

The amazing thing about these jeans, made from what I understand is raw selvedge denim is that you do not wash them very often and you NEVER put them in a machine dryer.

The pair pictured to the right have been worn 384 times! With one cycle through a washing machine!

The thing that makes these jeans even more attractive as they age are the creases that develop in them. I believe it is called “fade”. The deeper the fade, the more street cred you have.

About the jeans pictured here, they are owned by Suzy, a Facebook friend of mine who lives in Texas. Suzy is also part of that resurgence of creating goods. She owns and runs an Etsy shop called The Lazy Leatherworker. In her shop she sells wallets and small leather goods like Field Notes covers, leather bookmarks and other interesting things.

The belt in her jeans is from Sweet Trade, another one of those small, owner operated studio workshops. In their “about” page they talk about working with American sourced goods and how it costs them a little more and takes a little longer but they feel it is the “right” thing to do.

Before you go all “why the promotion of American made goods,” another denim worker I follow is Naked and Famous Denim. These people use only the most unique and rare denim fabrics from Japan. The prestigious mills in Japan, from which they import all their fabric, are committed to producing only the best (and most expensive) denim in the world. Even though they use the finest denims they can get their hands on and everything they produce is made in Canada, you can still get a pair of awesome jeans for $150 or so.

Levi 501s

Levi 501s

Some might think that is a lot of cash for a pair of jeans. But keep in mind these are produced right here in Canada using premium quality denim.

Compare the $150ish price to the internet price of $60 I paid for my raw denim Levi 501s (pictured to the left) and I see the value in supporting the smaller, home grown artisan-like people who are producing goods.

The cool thing is that the internet has made it so that artisans are available and accessible to a much larger marketplace making their chances of success that much greater.

Anyway, enough rambling away by me. All I am really saying is, before going to a mall and buying mass produced goods, consider buying from a small shop. It may cost a little more but typically you are receiving premium quality goods and equally important, you are putting your money into the hands of the person who made the goods and that is just all-round good for society.

Oh one last thing, my Levi 501s in the picture above have been worn since May, about six months ago without once being machine washed. I sat in my kids’ pool one hot summer day with them on but that is it. They are developing a beauty of a set of fades.

One more last thing, the belt in my 501s is from the guys at A Simple Leather Belt (I love their belts and the story behind how they are made!).

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VAG Forbidden City Exhibit

Posted by Stacey on November 6, 2014 in Community Events with Comments closed |

Last weekend I went with the family to downtown Vancouver to visit the Vancouver Art Gallery.

The display that is currently being featured is called The Forbidden City: Inside the Court of China’s Emperors. It is a display all about a secret city somewhere in China. The exhibition offers a glimpse into the iconic and long-hidden era of Chinese cultural history. For five centuries Chinese emperors called the Forbidden City (1416–1911), located in the heart of Beijing, their home.

The Forbidden City

The Forbidden City

I’m not exactly sure where in Beijing the Forbidden City is located because, well it’s secret and forbidden for me to tell you that.

I have to admit that the Forbidden City exhibition really did not work for me. I just did not feel engaged to the exhibition.

Unfortunately I was unable to get any photographs because there was a sign saying no photography.

Taicu Bell

Taicu Bell

I did manage to take one photo though. It was of the Taco Bell. I was very surprised to see though they made a typing or spelling error and they spelled Taicu Bell wrong.

My girls were excited about going to see the art gallery because they know that the food trucks frequent the Vancouver Art Gallery.

For this trip to the VAG they chose to have a sandwich from the food truck called Mom’s Grilled Cheese Sandwiches.The sandwich  was very good.

At least it looked good. I can’t really say because the kids ate it all up before I could even get a chance to have a bite.

More of my style of art is the exhibition about to open at the Art Gallery at the Evergreen.

The exhibition of Erin McSavaney’s work will feature a series of paintings and audio works that show familiar but rarely remarked upon landscapes, carved out by privately-owned cars across cities. These are places where the cold concrete geometry of highway corridors and thoroughfares intersect with the unrestrained, organic forms of nature.

In McSavaney’s paintings, the division between the varying shades of grey hard-edge walls and asphalt roads is frequently ruptured by the encroachment of overhanging green trees and the eccentric dark shadows that they cast.

In each of his audio compositions, McSavaney has created pieces that at once, with eyes closed, create aural landscapes on their own while also, with eyes open, provide a soundtrack to the collection of paintings.

The McSavaney exhibition opens at 2pm on Saturday, November 8th at the Art Gallery at the Evergreen in Coquitlam. I may be heading over there on Saturday (opening day) so if you see me, be sure to say hello.

  • Evergreen Cultural Centre
  • 1205 Pinetree Way
  • Coquitlam

 

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Prostate Cancer – not Prostrate Cancer

Posted by Stacey on October 27, 2014 in Community Events with Comments closed |

This year alone, 26,500 Canadian men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. One in seven men in British Columbia will develop the disease and 4000 men across the country will die from it.

The Prostate Cancer Foundation of British Columbia is coming to Dogwood Pavilion on Friday, November 14 at 1:00 p.m. to help people learn more about this disease. The community is encouraged to come to this free presentation to find out what prostate cancer is, forms of prevention, and the signs and symptoms of it.

The presentation will also cover the foundations research, community resources and support groups. This presentation is free, however; pre-registration is required. To register and for more information, please call 604-927-4386.

As a side note, there will be no actual testing of men’s prostate glands at the presentation on November 14th.

The Dogwood Pavilion is a City of Coquitlam recreation centre for adults 50 and older, located at 624 Poirier Street, entrance off of Winslow Avenue.

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Coquitlam Improving Waste Diversion

Posted by Stacey on October 22, 2014 in Life Musings with Comments closed |

Although the people of Coquitlam are just three months into the new solid waste collection program, it is already yielding positive results in waste diversion.

Waste Diversion

Waste Diversion

One of the major goals of the new solid waste collection program was to increase participation in the City’s green waste program thereby reducing the amount of compostable trash going to landfills.

To provide an early indication of the effectiveness of changing to the automated bi-weekly garbage collection, city staff compared the amount of garbage and green waste collected curbside in July and August, 2013 with the same two months in 2014.

The 2014 months showed approximately 39 per cent less garbage collected while the 2014 green waste collection increased by nearly 40 per cent.

If you have questions or concerns about the new program you can call the City’s Engineering Customer Service at 604-927-3500.

Additionally, the Curbside Collection Schedule & Reminder service is available to provide a weekly reminder by phone, email, text message or Twitter. Learn more and sign up at www.coquitlam.ca/curbsidecollection.

Something to note, cart size exchanges – with no cart exchange fees – will continue until the end of December, 2014. Starting in 2015, a fee will be charged for any cart exchanges.

For more information about solid waste collection in Coquitlam, visit www.coquitlam.ca/curbsidecollection.

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Bulb Planting at Como Lake Park

Posted by Stacey on October 20, 2014 in Community Events with Comments closed |

Coquitlam’s Park Spark program is hosting a community bulb planting event at Como Lake Park on Thursday, October 23 from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Neighbours, school groups and local businesses are encouraged to stop by Como Lake Park to help plant flower bulbs around the park. Volunteers will be able to work alongside City gardening staff and other community members to create a beautiful spring-blooming display.

All necessary equipment and bulbs will be supplied. All you have to do is arrive at the south parking lot, off Gatensbury Street and be ready to get your hands dirty and ready to do some planting.

All those who are interested are welcome to participate.

For more information about the Park Spark volunteer program visit www.coquitlam.ca/parkspark.

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Chimugukuru: Japan Benefit Concert

Posted by Stacey on October 17, 2014 in Theatre with Comments closed |

Last night I had the very good fortune of attending a Taiko drumming event in Burnaby at the Michael J Fox theater. The drumming event was a fundraiser to support children in Japan who became orphans after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Taiko Drumming

Taiko Drumming

The drumming was an amazing display of not only musical talent but also an awesome display of athleticism.

Seeing the drumming in real life was truly mind blowing – I loved it, absolutely loved it.

One of the highlights of the show for me was the Dragon dance. The two dragons were unbelievably realistic in the way that they could move and dance. More “WOW” moments in fact they actually frightened me a little bit – I suppose it was not really frightening but it was just so realistic that it was, well, exciting, exhilarating? Overall, this was a truly mind blowing experience. So fantastic.

Aside from the awesome and amazing drumming, dancing and singing, the most amusing part of the show was watching the theatre ushers continuously moving around the theatre telling people that they were not allowed to take pictures.

The ushers were poised at the top of the theater and as soon as they saw a little light come on from someone’s phone/camera they would come running in a crouched over position down the theater aisle and quickly tell the people “no photos allowed.”

You will notice that I do not have any photos of the performance to go with this blog post.

I chose to not take a picture, after all we weren’t allowed to.

However I do wonder what would be the harm in a few pictures being taken of this performance? Would it not serve to publicize or better make aware the public about the amazing performances that these that these groups put on?

I understand the whole copyright type thing. I do understand the desire to protect your artistic performances. But I’m wondering if there would be more benefit to some of the lesser known organizations to actually allow audience members to take some photos and share through their social media channels.

Just food for thought.

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Haunted Halloween Events in Coquitlam

Posted by Stacey on October 15, 2014 in Community Events with Comments closed |

Coquitlam has Halloween events for everyone in the family, from preschoolers to teens. Celebrate this ghoulish holiday at one of these fun events:

Friday, October 24, 2014

Haunted Howlawe’en at Poirier Community Centre

On Friday, October 24 from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., Poirier Community Centre (630 Poirier St) is hosting a Haunted Howlawe’en party for preschoolers (1 – 5 yrs). Be prepared for creepy arts and crafts, spooky activities and a ghoulicious dinner. All family members who will be attending must register. Adult participation is mandatory. For more information about the event call 604-927-6041. The fee is $5.00 per child and $6.00 per adult. Register online or over the phone using barcode 481845.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Halloween Spooktacular at Victoria Community Hall

Calling all goblins, ghosts and creatures of the night! On Thursday, October 30 from 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., Victoria Community Hall (3435 Victoria Drive) will be transformed for a spooktacular evening full of halloween activities for kids 6 – 12 years old. There will be Halloween games, pumpkin carving and prizes for the best costume. Hot dogs and light refreshments will be served. Cost to participate is $6.00 per person. Please pre-register online or over the phone using barcode 490069. If you don’t get the chance to register beforehand, don’t worry—all are welcome! Just show up to enjoy the fun.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Preschool Halloween Howl at Pinetree Community Centre

On Friday, October 31 from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Pinetree Community Centre (1260 Pinetree Way) is hosting a Halloween Howl for kids 2 – 5 years old and their caregivers. Gather up your little one and get your costume on for a morning of creepy crafts, spooky games and more! Cost to participate in this Halloween adventure is $5.00 for one caregiver and one child. Register online or over the phone using barcode 490067.

Pinetree Youth Centre Halloween Party

Youth 11 – 18 years old are encouraged to drop by the Pinetree Youth Centre (1260 Pinetree Way) for a Halloween Party on Friday, October 31 from 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. There will be pumpkin carving, haunted dodgeball tournaments and zombie face painting. This is a free event, so just drop by!

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Marlondo Leather Weekend Duffel Bag

Posted by Stacey on October 7, 2014 in Toys and Luxuries |

Now that I am back to work at my day job and getting paid, I felt safe about adding a new leather bag to my collection for the family weekends-away that we occasionally enjoy.

Marlondo Leather Weekended Duffel

Marlondo Leather Weekended Duffel

I have grown tired of seeing plastic bins loaded in the family wagon when we travel so I decided to get a new Marlondo Leather Weekend Duffel Bag.

As usual, I will be upfront about my overall impressions of this product and say that although I have a couple suggestions for improvement, this is an excellent quality bag, especially for the price of $400.

This new Marlondo Leather bag is a very versatile bag. As soon as my five year old daughters saw the bag they opened it up and climbed inside it. Although with 45 pounds of child inside it was difficult for me to carry, the straps felt strong enough to hold the weight.

Once my daughter was out of it I loaded it up with clothes and – this thing is voluminous. I mean I can fit a ton of clothing into it! This is definitely a very practical bag for a long weekend away with the family.

The leather and the pigs skin lining have a lovely feel. The leather is thick and waxy and provides me with the confidence my investment in this bag will be a long term one.

End View

End View

I like the feeling of the pig skin lining as well. It has no plastic or synthetic feel to it all. It feels organic.

All the stitching is very nicely done with top quality nylon thread. The evenly placed stitches and rivets at all stress points add to the feeling of quality that this new bag carries with it. The seams are all stitched with straight lines where appropriate and where the stitching follows the contours of the bag it does so perfectly. Impressive.

Top View

Top View

One of the leather bag companies that many smaller leather workers look up to is Saddleback Leather. A key piece of the Saddleback Leather philosophy is that they make bags, as much as possible, by using one piece of leather. The idea being that a single hide is significantly stronger than having a seam along a potential stress point.

The fact is though, this is a very expensive way to make leather bags. It takes a larger portion of a hide to cut single out large single pieces.

To avoid that increased production cost, Marlondo Leather does not use the single piece of leather production method. As you can see in the photo below, there is clearly a seam running the length of the duffle bag.

Bottom View

Bottom View

I sincerely doubt that the seam along the bottom of this bag will ever let go or weaken in anyway. That there is a seam on the bottom of the bag is a non-issue for me. The fact is, the Marlondo bag is significantly less expensive than the Saddleback bags primarily because of simple cost saving measures like this one.

Wrinkled Leather

Wrinkled Leather

If Marlondo Leather is trying to take on Saddleback Leather as a top quality leather bag maker, he will need to be a little more judicious in the leather he chooses to use. As you can see in the photo above, there are a significant number of wrinkles on the leather that this bag is made from. That is because this is a piece of leather from further down the hide – closer to the cow’s belly or leg where stretches and wrinkles will naturally occur.

To be clear, these wrinkles are not going to have an impact on the life span of the leather bag but I know that when people buy a bag like this one they expect closer to perfection than this piece of leather.

The wrinkles do not bother me in the least, but I know that others would not be as accepting of this piece of leather. What I do is mentally compare the price of this bag to the Saddleback Leather bags.

To the bottom line – this is an excellent quality item that could use more attention to detail. I love the feel of the leather and I have every confidence that it will last me as long as I want to use it. The nylon stitching is as near perfect as anyone would expect and the hardware, including all the d-rings and the dog-leash style clasps on the shoulder strap are very substantial.

I like this bag. I really like it. I also like the comments I get when I carry it around town. People gravitate to it, like they do to many of the leather bags I carry, and they want to know more about it.

After I actually load my new Marlondo Leather Weekend Duffel bag with clothing and gear and head out of town to the mountains I will do a follow up report. For now, I am just going to enjoy looking at this beautiful new addition to my leather bag collection.

 

 

 

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