The Dog Days are here! The Cartel welcomes you to the August 2017 edition of the 30 Day Rule and Focus thread. July was a great month and fairly laid back as people were traveling and doing the usual summer stuff. Well, it’s August and that means a couple of things. Number one – the heat/humidity will be in its full glory. Ah, yes, the Dog Days. Number two – school starts up for the year bringing some sanity back to schedules…..and completely blowing up others. Number three – it’s Adustable August Time!! In case the classic commercial up above wasn’t enough of a hint, the suggested theme is on adjustables! Fatboys, Slims, Black Beauties, Futurs, Executives, dare I say Toggles? And, of course, the Russian knock offs as well. If you’ve got ‘em, show them off and give them some face time! Or, focus on a rule or focus that fits you as always. Now, onto the important stuff. 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) 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 ADJUSTABLE AUGUST! So first things first.....group hug………and off we go!