Archive for the 'simplifying' Category

In or Out

May 8th, 2014

Using the outdoor kitchen/shower area.

Oh, look! Van pictures.

That’s dinner cooking in the outdoor kitchen/shower. To turn it into an indoor kitchen, just close the door. Indoor showers are not suggested.

The propane fired stove (Coleman PowerPack 1-Burner Stove) is attached to a board which folds down when not in use. We’d been talking about doing this before we even got the van. It is just as cool as we thought it was going to be.

Ninja Shower

The shower (Eccotemp L5 Portable Tankless Water Heater and Outdoor Shower) is also propane fired so the insulated wall behind it is covered in aluminum for fire protection. Between the shower and a 31 gallon water tank sits a water pump (Flojet 03526 144A Triplex Diaphragm 3526 Series Automatic Water System Pump).

Open the door, throw up a tarp, turn on the water pump, get naked and fire up the shower. It’s soooo much nicer than a solar shower.

Bleeding Edge

May 31st, 2012

So, for some reason I was pretty lax about shaving my legs for the last XX days. When I finally did it I killed razor after razor(3.5!). I tried resharpening them with the denim method. That’s where you rub the razor (opposite direction of shaving) down the leg of a pair of jeans about 20 times  and then rub them up the leg another 20 times. I wasn’t happy with the results. I am also not happy with the price of razors. What’s even worse is the temptation to purchase disposable razors instead of just the blade, because they are cheaper that way. Oh, the horror of tossing all those razors in the trash when they are used up. Once again, I contemplated just getting a straight razor and learning how to use it. But only dudes use those right? I decided to do some research.

People are still using straight razors. Even chicks. They are relativity inexpensive ranging from just a couple of dollars for a low end one to over $300 for a top of the line one. Considering how much many of us spend on disposable razors and blades, as a straight razor(with proper to stropping and honing) will provide a life time of shaves, even the high end ones are a bargain. As a starter straight razor, most people suggest the Dovo Shavette @ $24. But, I didn’t research it very much. Once I ran across the double edge safety razor, I stopped looking at straight ones.

Gillette safety razor patent drawingThe double edge safety razor (DESR) is what our parents and their parents used. As their name implies, they are a lot safer than a straight razor. Though a straight razor might have more uses. The DESR is reusable, but its blades are disposable. How are they different from the ones most of us buy now? Well for starters, only the single sharp, thin sheet of metal gets replaced, not the whole head. Also, the blade replacements are only $0.05 – $0.40 each. With less waste, it’s the green choice. In some places, given the proper disposal container, you can even recycle the blades. I haven’t tried one yet, but word on the street is that they give a closer than the disposable 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and yes even 5 bladed (now with batteries! sham-wow)* razors. No clogging; one blade doesn’t get clogged with hair and lubricant. Less razor burn too! There’s also less packaging for the DESR blades. You can get a cardboard box of 100 for less than $10. The double edged safety razor wont have RFIDs in it.

I can’t say much more as I have never actually used a straight razor nor the DESR. However, I am pretty much sold and will be keeping my eye out for them (as well as carbide lanterns, dutch ovens, and the Ovenette) in antique stores. I will get one online if I don’t find one before our next amazon order.

*The same company that owns Gillette owns Duracell.