Archive for the ‘Strength Stunts’ Category

Shave Update, 12/20/15

Posted: December 20, 2015 in Strength Stunts

The Derby Extra razor blade has impressed me. Big time. I really didn’t feel like it would do so, after reading reviews and hearing the general impression of it. The book on the Derby is that it’s very smooth, and not very sharp at all. The smoothness part: confirmed. The knock against its sharpeness, to me, is not quite as true. Now, I do feel that the blade was starting to show a little deterioration after 3 thorough shaves, but hey, these are about as cheap as DE blades come. You don’t expect them to last in the same way as the premium price brands. That said, the third shave was great. Probably one step down from that “best shave ever” smooth that you will sometimes get, but damn, really excellent. Better than I knew that shaves could get prior to going with the traditional shave gear. I won’t step all over the review (that will already be out by the time this posts), but I’m just tickled.

Other thoughts: Proraso shave soap is just good stuff. I have the white, green, and red, and all of them work wonderfully. I would say that the red may be *slightly* less protective, but the smell is so awesome. The green has that strong menthol happiness that I enjoy so much, and has great protection. The white probably has the best protection, with a nice lemony scent, and a light menthol hit. All of them lather so damn easy and have such creamy suds that I can’t see how anyone would dislike it. That said, I have heard that some people can’t get along with Proraso for one reason or another. Big world. Lots of folks. Opinions vary. Mine certainly have not. If you’re not allergic to it, and can find a scent you like, the Proraso’s highly recommended.

I can now say without fear of hesitation that my day-to-day favorite aftershave is the Renewal Rite-Aid Aqua Velva knock off. A few reasons. 1) It is a dead ringer for Aqua Velva, but cheaper, and with a better dispenser (more controllable flow). 2) Menthol. They are not shy about the menthol, and I love that chill shot on my face. 3) Scent doesn’t become cloying, and gradually fades. Not the case with some other scents, that can end up being just a bit too much after a while. 4) Face feel. This AQ clone seems to hit the magic amount of glycerin, so that your face feels protected and smooth, but not oily or tacky.


I shaved with the Merkur 39C and had a nice maintenance shave, then went into a new test blade, the Super-Max Platinum. The first shave went well, with me using Proraso White and the fake AQ I mentioned above. I have face lathering pretty much down pat at this point, and that’s helping me have good shaves with regluarity. I feel like that eliminates one variable with these tests. If the blade doesn’t perform, I believe it’s *mostly* on the equipment at this point.


I ran through a trio of test shaves with the Super-Max Platinum, and came away with a good respect for that blade. Although I don’t think it would unseat the Personna as my favorite middle-of-the-road blade, it provided good shaves and didn’t draw blood. If those were the most convenient blade to purchase at some point in the future, I wouldn’t shy away from them.

Generally a good week shaving. The Palmolive classic shave cream continues to impress. I think it may be in contention for the most protective lather I’ve worked with. Very comfortable. One interesting thing – I think that it may actually take longer to lather than a few of my hard soaps. It takes a good amount of water titrated into the soap to get it to the best consistency. That said, if it takes longer to work with, it’s only by a matter of, say, one minute during the course of the shave. I wish that I could get the stuff at “home market” prices, instead of having to pay for the import from Europe (which still leaves it as somewhat affordable, if not the outright steal it is in the EU countries). Ah, well. One cannot have all of the things. That’s what they keep telling me. I did see that the shave stick version of the Palmolive was available for a better price. I’ll have to give that a go when my supply of cream dwindles.

A general thing I’ve noticed is that all of the traditional soaps are very efficient. You can get a lot of shaves from one tube/puck/etc. If you’re not compelled to do Great Science and try all the brands, traditional wet shaving is fairly inexpensive. On paper. The urge to try stuff is a siren song that few can resist. We keep trying to find “it” after we already have “it” in our hand. Because we’re a little crazy. Sigh. It is fun, though.

The Super-Max Stainless Blue razor blade was kind of a dud. I stopped the test after the second shave. It just wasn’t justifying my additional time, as I’d already had a sub-par second shave with it. Neither sharp nor smooth, it could only be termed an iffy choice. At least, as far as I could see.

From there, I went on to try a Wilkinson Sword in my Merkur 39C…which was fine, up to a point. Doing a full three pass shave flirted with irritation, however. I’ve been on the fence about a full three pass shave with the 39C, and I suppose I still am. The Feather razor is just better for that purpose. I don’t hurt myself. The Merkur, however, is always a bit of a gamble going beyond two passes. In point of fact, I should to a non-critical two pass shave every time with the 39C. It’s what I bought the damned thing for. It’s just that I sometimes get carried away. Well, the good thing is that I didn’t bleed much, and I can take a day off of shaving to allow myself to recuperate. I believe that, on balance, the Personna blades are the way to go with the big Merkur. Or…maybe the Derby Extra, provided that I decide to get more.

…and that’s about it for this round. See you further on down the road.

Some old friends were in town from Arizona yesterday, and I ended up demonstrating some of my goofy caveman stunts. I shot arrows, bent nails, hoisted sandbags, swung k-bells, pressed big dumbbells, and so forth. It was fun, and I found that, though I haven’t been cavemanning much lately, I still have the knack.

Bent some 60D nails this weekend, just wrapping a hand towel around ’em and going to it in the course of things. I still “got it”.

Hoisted and shouldered the Blue Meanie (150# sandbag) without any drama or injury.

That is all.

Standing Dumbbell Press

Posted: March 22, 2012 in Strength Stunts, Videos

I’ve talked quite a bit about the “press for reps” heavy dumbbell press overhead here on the site, but I’ve never shown you folks any footage. Well, here’s some, albeit fairly crude in quality. Enjoy.

Just thought of the idea tonight.

It’s do-able. Got my friend Jerry to try one (success…he’s pretty tough).

Are they pretty? No. They put a lot of strain on your shoulder joint, too, but man, it’s neat to think up possibly-impossible stunts and then do them.

That is all for now.

In all my days of working out, this exercise had always eluded me. Even at my best numbers on bench press, I couldn’t seem to pull one off. Well, no longer! I tried yesterday, and am able to do a one-handed push-up with either hand. Haven’t tried for two, but yes, cross that one off the list.

I’m pretty stoked, really.

The thing that I’ve found interesting is the way the movement stresses the body. You feel it in places you wouldn’t expect. Like your hip girdle and your off-arm quadriceps. Wild. It’s putting some crazy leverage patterns on your body.

Other interesting stuff:

Long-hold singles on dumbbell shoulder press with 90s.

Long-hold singles on renegade rows with 90’s.

Holding a 63# longbow at full draw, squatting down, and shooting an accurate shot on target.

Cheers to you all.

Here’s a little video of me ripping a phone book. It’s been around for a few weeks, but I haven’t put it up here, so enjoy.

So, then. Here we are, and it’s almost Christmas. Where has the time gone? Somewhere. Down the tubes, perhaps. I don’t even know how many tubes there are, or where they’re located. I’m out of the loop, it seems.

In any case, my stomach woes have seriously abated. Like, nearly back to normal abated, K? I was able to eat pizza, candy, and other things that would have made me miserable over the course of the last week or so. I think that the various treatments have, at last, taken effect. I am mucho happy about it, too.

I’ve been continuing to take it easy, though I have been ripping a phone book here and there. I think I’m just about ready to get back into hoisting things once more, and that will be great. I’ll let you know once I’ve begun.

In the archery realm, I’ve taken to shooting regimented, scored rounds, which has been an interesting and eye-opening experience. I think that my recent, intensive studies about archery, as well as attacking it with greater purpose and forethought, have made me a better shooter. There’s still a long ways to go, but I’m improving, and my bad shots are coming fewer and further between. Which is awesome. There’ll be a lot more about this in later updates, I’m sure, as the bow madness has completely got me at this point.

Hope you’re all well, and that you have a relaxing and fun Holiday Season!

Hey, folks. I know it’s been a while, but I’m just checking in and giving you some idea of where I’m at physically at this point. Let me take you through it as it happened.

First, I had a week in which I was really starting to feel better. That was where we left off in the story.

The next week, I developed about a ten-day back ache that just would not quit. It was a really bad time. I had to take a lot of meds to keep things going that week.

The week after, the trouble moved to the lower abdomen, where I had a minor bout of IBS. Awesome.

From there, I found the trouble spot moving to my stomach, as I had a reoccurance of the symptoms that I had assumed were part of the gall badder issue. Eh…they’re still around, and certainly made worse by stress situations in my environment. Those issues have calmed down a little, but my stomach is still in some turmoil. The stress came from work, of course, and from being worried about my aunt, who was going in for the same operation I just had. She’s 78, see? Anyhow, she came through fine, and is tougher than I am, so she’s cool.

I’m trying some medicine that is for acid reflux right now, though my problem isn’t exactly that. If it doesn’t work, I’ll have to go back to the doc and seek redress another way. I’m hoping to avoid that, but for now, I’m back on very carefully-planned rations, and not eating anywhere near bedtime. That seems to reduce the discomfort, but I’m annoyed with my body that it isn’t doing everything I want it to, when it’s convenient for me.

Anyway, I did a little weight-hoisting today. I can still put the 90lb dumbbells over my head with some facility, and can do the k-bell stuff about as well as I did before. Some heavy movements cause me to feel little, odd sensations here and there, but they don’t seem to be anything more than lights being switched on for nerve endings down in the boiler room.

I have been shooting a lot and making videos, as you may see if you skulk around Facebook or on Vimeo. I’m in good shooting form, which is nice, and I’m doing what I can to make the most of the late-season afternoons. It’ll soon be cold and yucky, and that tends to curtail the shooting a bit.

Finally, my phonebook ripping deserves mention. I am really having a great string of rips. I haven’t failed on a big (1,600 page) rip in weeks, and I’ve been doing one after work every day. It’s sweet.

All right. That’s all for now.

Hope you’re all well.

The Road Back

Posted: October 8, 2011 in Articles, Strength Stunts

As of Thursday, the doctor said that it was okay if I went back to exercising and picking up heavy stuff. I’d been doing some work relating hoisting prior to that, but sort of doing it bashfully, and all had been well. Now, though, I’m cleared to go again. I’ve done a little bit here and there in the last few days, and most things feel just fine.

I swung the kettlebell (53 lbs) around some on Thursday, doing some cleans, goblet squats, rows, and presses over the head. All fine. I tried some bench press, and though my chest is strong, my abdomen still feels weird when I put the amount of torque on it that a good bench arch requires. It might take a few weeks for me to get back to being comfortable with that one. Chest press on a machine? Sure. No problem. Bench, though…not quite.

One interesting side effect of this whole layoff is that I’ve gotten better at ripping phone books. Like…seriously better. The really big books, like the Dex yellow pages, used to be a pretty iffy rip. I four yellow pages in the span of a few minutes last night, and even the biggest of them wasn’t that much of a horror show. The new Dex book, which is just a bit smaller, (say 1400 pages) went easy, and that was after ripping about six other books of various sizes.

I’m planning on taking it light for a few weeks, just trying exercises and slowly building up the intensity. I don’t need to cause myself a reversal of fortune by going too hard, too soon. Still, I’m tickled that I can lift again. I had been dreaming about it at night I wanted to so bad.

Well, that’s the news, and I’ll keep you posted on my recovery.

Happy lifting!