The End of Summer! But not of great shaves!! The Cartel welcomes you to the September 2017 edition of the 30 Day Rule and Focus thread. August was another great month around here and, again, fairly laid back as people were traveling and doing the usual summer stuff. But school’s back, the days are noticeably shorter and, well, it’s September. That means Labor Day weekend right on top of us, then settling into the routine of autumn. It also means it’s SEptember!!! Single Edge September has arrived and it’s the month we dig into our dens for the Gems, Schicks and all other single edge razors in the collection. Of course, shavettes would qualify as well along with Artist Club and…..the original single edge…..those traditional straights!! For those of you who don’t own a single edge razor now’s the time to find your first! Or, just grab whatever razor you want to get better with and run that Rule or Focus! In addition to SE – we’re also declaring Drug Store After Shave month!! Think any after shave you can find in a drug or grocery store. Aqua Velva, Brut, store brands, Clubman etc. And if you want to find some drug store shaving cream, then why not? Let’s celebrate the good old days! If you're new to traditional shaving, or to TSD, WELCOME!!! Jump in and let the friendliest and most knowledgeable bunch of people you'll ever meet help you along. Ask questions, show us your gear. There's nothing about shaving we don't like to see and hear. Even if you are just starting with a VDH razor and soap, we value you along with everyone else and we want you to become a part of this great community. It won't take long for the enablers within each of us to have you loaded down with razors, soaps, cremes, brushes and enough blades to sink the Titanic. Including the chunk of wood that Leo could have fit on with Rose. As one of the charter members of this thread, from January 2015, I can attest to the ability of the 30 Day Rule to build basic technique that provides the basis for the use of the 30 Day Focus to sharpen skills and develop new skills altogether. Our quest is, as always, to be able to develop technique so solid and strong that we can overcome any tools that may be at hand. The great overarching philosophy is "Technique Trumps Tools." The only caveat....."unless the tools are defective." One can't use a broken blade or a razor that won't lock the blade down and expect success. My personal mission has always been to push the limits of the tools, and my skills, to find out what, if anything is defective. Most of you have remained sane and found instead new and wonderful ways to shave. Some, perhaps unfortunately, have followed my lead lately, but hey, no pain no gain. At the same time, practice makes perfect, and we have already learned how bad equipment can be and still produce a great shave with proper technique. Now, on to the facts in the words of the one, the only, @Bama Samurai : (Please rise) (Take off your hats) (Seriously, do I have to mention pay attention?) (Ok, be good and we’ll hand out extra cookies) The 30 Day Rule (designed to build solid technique or learn new technique) 1 brush, 1 soap, 1 brand of blades, 1 razor, 30 Days. The rule is really that simple. It seems boring, but this is probably the most straightforward way to learn for a brand new shaver. This is the exercise that really allowed me to clearly see the interplay between the four elements. It is highly recommended for newly converted shavers and more experienced shavers who have a problem that defies resolution. This exercise eliminates variables and will likely solve any problem you may have, with a strict scientific approach.Any thing that strays from these simple guidelines is not a rule, but rather a focus (not that there's anything wrong with that!) The 30 Day Focus (more flexible, for exploring and comparing) This is a less rigorous exercise, designed for exploration and comparison of gear and technique. This is the most common exercise on the thread. Generally the elements are rotated one by one to allow clear observation. Examples of focus areas include brush types, blades, soaps, razor variants, or technique foci as a standalone. These are the suggested guidelines, and serve as a starting point for the discussion each month. Any thematic elements are up to each individual. We believe that if you've ever sought a great shave, you have something to offer. And if you're searching for great shaves, we will definitely try to help. If you are new to TSD, I believe you've landed in a great place. Everyone here participating would love to answer your questions and help you get the most from your shaving. We are very glad you're here! So, if you're new, stop in for a cookie and meet the crew. If this is old hat, welcome back, and let's rock another month out. Rules are the same people. 1. New Members always welcome. Start anytime. 2. Old Members always welcome. (Maybe I should phrase that “experienced” members) 3. Respect everyone 4. Follow the rules of the forum 5. All razor types and styles welcome 6. You may not say anything negative about Russian blades, especially Voskhod. The Cartel is listening. 7. Don't think we don't hear when you badmouth Rapira either. We're vodka loving wannabe Russians, not blithering idiots. Well, ok so sometimes.....and Ivan.....well you get the idea. Let's have some great shaves people! Welcome to SEptember at the drug store! So first things first.....group hug………and off we go!