Welcome to Decadent December! The Cartel is proud to welcome you to the December 2019 edition of the 30 Day Rule and Focus Discussion. If you're new to traditional shaving, or to TSD, WELCOME!!! If you’ve been here awhile you know the drill so jump in and help the new guys get their shave on! So, what is this thread about? Three things, basically. First and foremost this is a TECHNIQUE focused group. All the fancy and shiny shave toys in the world won’t give you a great shave if you don’t know how to use them. That applies to any type of razor from DE safety razor to injector to traditional straights, kamisori, pain sticks, popsicle stick razors, sharp can lids, binder clip razors and all the rest. Second, it’s a COMMUNITY focused group. Everyone here is supportive of the new people learning, the old timers learning new stuff or just working with a new razor or trying to adjust to fix an issue. We support each other and learn together. Third, it’s about SHENANIGANS. Yep, we sometimes drift off topic around here just because we can and it’s fun. As @Bama Samurai stated in the inaugural edition back in January 2015, this is an un-hijackable thread. Go ahead. Try and hijack it. I dare you. Can’t be done. Just like this post. I can wander all I want on this thought and it still goes right back where it belongs in the next paragraph. In fact I'll prove it. Still proving it. Raining again. Or still. We’re not sure which. The Blues are awesome again this year. See? Call it magic if you want. 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. I can also attest to the ability of the 30 Day Focus to adjust one or more areas of the shave, or to open doors to new methods and tools. This month we celebrate DECADENT DECEMBER! What, you ask, is that? As the final month of the year, and what a year it’s been in many ways, I think we should just plain ENJOY our shaves this month. Even if you’re on a strict Rule you can substitute some after shaves and other products around to really get that luxury thing going. If you’re on a Focus or just shaving along to eat cookies and follow shenanigans, this is your chance to pull out your best most luxurious stuff and spend a month with it. We want to see pictures and hear of you using that antique Double Duck, or the Toggle (then you must immediately send it to me for testing), and that High Mountain Badger brush with the MDC…..get the picture? If your absolute favorite brush is the Omega Pro48 and your best ever lather is Proraso….that’s your DECADENCE! Use it! Share it! Let’s remind ourselves that one of the reasons we do this is to ENJOY IT!!!!! By the time New Year’s Eve rolls around we’ll be ready to tackle the next year no matter what it brings! Got it? And, of course, if you want to do something else while following along…..it’s perfectly fine! Well, that’s my introduction for the month. So, let’s get down to the usual business. Wondering what the heck a 30 Day Rule or Focus is? Well, let’s let the one, the only, the legendary and mystical @Bama Samurai remind us. Please rise and remove your hats and hold your favorite razor aloft in tribute. We’ll pause for a moment of revered silence. 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. Anything 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. The cookie of the month is, of course, Holiday Sugar Cookies! 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. Ok, ok, middle agers too. 3. Respect everyone 4. Follow the rules of the forum 5. All razor types and styles welcome 6. Criticize Russian blades, especially Voskhod, at your own peril. The Cartel is listening. And we have spies everywhere. They’re usually passed out drunk, but we get lucky occasionally. 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. 8. You might consider taking it easy on Feathers as well. The Yakuza boys are pretty protective as well, though their leader has been converted by the Russians it seems. Score one for the Motherland! Let's have some great shaves! Welcome to DECADENT DECEMBER! Group hug people!