Ways You Know You Are Getting Older #1

So, I am going through my morning ritual yesterday and whilst shaving my beard I notice a hair that will not get cut.  What the hell?!? I shave over it again and nothing happens – it is still there.  A closer look reveals it is stuck down in a wrinkle. Still there standing up giving me the big one finger salute to my youth.  I think I even hear it saying “Take that tired, old man. I am just sitting down here comfortable in your skin crevice where your blade cannot touch me”. I have to stretch out my skin and shave over him again and “Whap” he is gone. I look a bit closer after I am cleaned up and sure enough… the start of wrinkles.  I am getting old.

Speaking of shaving, here is my kit:

Razor: I have ended up with the old style butterfly open safety razor.  I prefer this guy: Parker 99R <link>

Blades: Shark Superchrome. Other blades seem to be too rigid and easily cause a bloodletting session.

Shaving Cream: Proraso.  I switch between the Sandalwood and Eucalyptus/Menthol. I definitely prefer cream over soap. <link>

Shaving Bowl: Jay’s Clay Shaving Mug.  A great find from my wife on Etsy. <link>

Badger Brush: Any good one but realize you pay for you get – usually.

Lastly, to combat those wrinkles, an orange peel.

Don J Schulte Photography

“What a man can be, he must be.”

“A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be.” Abraham Maslow

This is one of my favorite quotes from humanistic psychologist Abraham Maslow.  It preludes his description of self actualization.  I have a guitar in my closet but I am musically hopeless, I know how to hold a paintbrush but have not mastered it and, while I have written poetry, I feel like my poems are never done.  Maybe my “…can be” is just orange peels. Don J Schulte Photography

ex libris djs: Ships of Oak, Guns of Iron

*Note: On this blog I will be chronicling every good book I read under the heading: “ex libris djs”. I use LibraryThing.com to record my books and thoughts on them. The reasoning of picking Library Thing over Good Reads and Shelfari is another blog post altogether. Books I do not care for will not be discussed unless there is some good reason to delve into negativity. Here is the book I just finished and will be shipping off to my youngest son.

ex libris djs: Ships of Oak, Guns of Iron: The War of 1812 and the Forging of the American Navy by Ronald Utt.

A historical book that is both insightful and an easy read is real treat. Utt does a good job relating the significance of this war in the history of our young nation, especially in the context of the formation of the United States Navy. I probably would not have picked this book up except that our youngest son is a Corpsman in the U.S. Navy. There is pride written into this book but there is also realism. The accounts of the ship to ship battles that became bloody massacres were chilling.

This nation has changed so much in the last 50 years versus the first 190 or so years.  It is always good to look back at a time when every school kid was taught of the events of August 19th. I bet even the most patriotic citizens do not know – I did not.

Looking backward, even in times long ago, you can see the roads and, in this book’s case, the waves to come.

Why?

So, am I going to talk about orange peels and zen mind games on this blog? No.  Maybe somedays.  So why does the daily orange peel exist? There is no other reason than I like to write.  Always have actually, even as a kid.  I have never understood why either.  But I do know when it began.

As a young kid I went out my backdoor with my trusty pellet gun for a walk through the Missouri woods below our house.  I was not really hunting but just rambling through the woods, playing in the creeks.  With the sun in front of me I spotted the black silhouette of a bird on tree limb.  Taking careful aim and raising up about three inches from the bird by the perceived distance, I shot.  The bird fell straight to the ground.  I was not surprised as I had killed birds before but as I got closer my heart sank.  I shot a Cardinal, a bird that I loved.  I can still see the dark red blood on his bright red breast feathers.  He lived for a short while in my hands and eventually I buried him.  I cried.  That was the first time I remember crying out of sorrow.  His blood was on my hands literally that day and figuratively still is.  Later I wrote about all of it.  Years later I wrote a poem about it when I had to write a haiku for a class.  That poem has been through over 100 iterations.  Some memories last a lifetime, as do some poems.