Welcome to July 2018!!! And what’s special about July? Why, CINCO DE JULIO!!!!!!!!! Our old pal Slash McCoy shows off his popsicle stick razor shave that inspired a number of us two years ago to make our own and declare July 5th as the day we’d all give it a shot. If memory serves, nine or us tried it out the first year and all nine did survive and with no blood that I remember. Or can dig out of the history. Last year was equally successful so, for those who are so inclined, get a couple of popsicle sticks, a DE blade, a stapler and join us on Cinco de Julio for the second annual celebration of semi-insanity and shenanigans!! Now, as always, there is no need to participate in that particular event. And, if you have no straight razor experience I might even discourage it. And, as always, any use of items not normally used in shaving to try and perform a stunt shave is not advised, suggested, nor approved by The Shave Den or any of those affiliated in it in an official capacity. Having said that, let us know if you’re joining in on the 5th! Coming up in mid-July is our meet up in St. Louis (well, St. Charles but close enough)!! Looking forward to seeing some new faces! Final touches on that will be announced shortly. Alright, with that out of the way, let’s proceed to the business of July 2018!!! Welcome back or welcome for the first time!! 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. HEY! I said pause for revered silence! Ok, now you can proceed. 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. Again, if you want to follow the theme in some way feel free. But if you are on a Rule or Focus that doesn’t include the theme we’re totally fine with that. Most of all remember – this is about learning to use the tools and improving our skills so that TECHNIQUE TRUMPS TOOLS!! Here are the rules. Those not following the rules will be subject to penalties to include a visit from Ivan or Igor to correct that stinkin’ thinkin’! 1. New Members always welcome. Start anytime. 2. Experienced Members also always welcome. Notice I stopped calling us “old”? 3. Respect everyone 4. Follow the rules of the forum 5. All razor types and styles welcome 6. Any criticism of Russian steel of any kind will be met with swift and ferocious retribution. Ok, so maybe not so swift. The guys have to sober up first. And ferocious? Well, at least slightly uncomfortable to listen to. Plus their breath can kill charging bears. 7. Any criticism of Feather blades is also subject to the same kind of almost uncomfortable retribution. The Yakuza has started mixing their sake with the vodka from the Cartel boys. Let’s just say it seems to have calmed them down. Let's have some great shaves people! And let’s get it started with a group hug!