A real man...

One thing seems to be a constant between real men, like me, and other less real men.  Real me know how to cut. We know how to cut down a tree, cut the grass, and cut the hair off our face when we cannot grow our real man beards. Men of the weaker breed do not know much about cutting anything. And while the use of chainsaws, ride on mowers and electric razors has become the most popular image of the modern man, it is not the image of a real man. Real men use an axe, a reel mower, and wet shave. All are hard work and require skill to use.

Several years ago I saw a very unique item at a local indoor flea market. Not knowing what it was exactly I bought it for the 5 bucks and brought it home for some google action.  What I had found was a Gillette Safety razor from the mid 50's.
safety razor
This find introduced me to wet shaving and the ways of real men from years past. When I started shaving it was with a 3 bladed monster and a can of foam. I thought, "Why would anyone have to be taught by their dad how to do this?" I realize now that the story of dad teaching his son how to shave correctly began during the days when a razor could kill you. Although not as dangerous as a straight razor, hence the name safety, the double sided safety razor can still leave a nasty wound if not respected. There is also a lot that goes into the proper lather and direction of shave to get your skin baby smooth. Needless to say, it is something that any new real man needs some direction on to do correctly.

The largest underlying issue is that to cut you have to have a sharp instrument. Not very many men I know today can sharpen their knife (or anything) enough to be able to shave hair off their arm. Having two daughters I've always joked with the idea of handing a young man several grits of sandpaper and a dull knife, "Come get me when I can shave hair with it."  Sorry guys, in my mind if you cannot sharpen a knife you cannot properly clean the game and therefor my daughter will starve. I don't like that idea.

Just recently my yard (the best in the neighborhood, like a real man) got an upgrade. Instead of whacking my much beloved blades of grass, I've decided to cut each one individually with a sharpened blade, much like using a pair of scissors. A reel mower rotates 5-7 blades that trap each blade of grass and slice it cleanly as it is pushed forward. Believe it or not there is a small underground following on these push reel mowers. Although they only make sense on manicured lawns under 10000sq.ft. they sell well enough for home depot to carry 3-4 models. The high end ones can cost up to $300 and are made in Germany or by the Amish. But if you've ever seen a mower on a golf course or major league field you would notice that the mowers push 4 free floating reel mowers. That's right, the mowers that maintain the carpet at your favorite course are gas powered precision reel mowers. Only makes sense that if you want a golf course looking lawn that you use the same mower that a golf course uses.

So, men, real men...get out those wet stones, put away those 6 bladed razors and let's get to cutting!