Welcome to June 2018!!! June is typically a month without a theme, but.....after some discussion back in April among the group and the interest in having a monthly theme of “drug store” or “basic” gear, I've decided we'll have JUST THE BASICS JUNE!!! Yeah, I hear a few of you asking what in the world that is. Well, think about the razors/soaps/brushes you find in drug stores, discount stores, dollar stores – or that you would expect a rookie to find and start out with. That's the stuff we're talking about. More in a minute....but let's get to the heart and soul of this group. 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.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. If you want to play along with the theme....great! We usually have a lot of fun with that. 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. Well-seasoned member are, of course, always welcome! 3. Respect everyone 4. Follow the rules of the forum 5. All razor types and styles welcome 6. This thread is operated for your edification by the Russian Blade Cartel – no, we're not Russian, nor do we actually have a real Cartel (that we'll admit to in the presence of law enforcement) but we do love Russian steel! (and Vodka) And recommend it. And shed tears of joy when others sing its praises! 7. The Yakuza branch of the Cartel are also active and not to be messed with. Their love of Feathers and things like straights, shavettes and other assorted items is to be respected. (At least pretend you like them. It makes them happy). Let's have some great shaves people! Just the Basics June is here!!! Come on in, grab some cookies and let's get started! Group hug people!