Welcome to NOVember! But, you ask....what does NOVember really stand for? Well, for some in the world it’s “no-shave November.” Yeah, that’s not us. We have traditionally called it No Variation November – meaning we choose one setup and work with it the entire month. Kind of like a Rule. Well, it is a Rule but we call it something else in November. However, through the normal daily discussions and brainstorming that goes on around here (granted, there are some storms smaller than others) the idea of a “No Repeat November” has been suggested and I say, why in the world not? So.....we have two possible themes for 2018. If you want to use one razor, one soap, one brush, one blade etc. and set up a hard and fast Rule for the month – it's No Variation for you. If, instead, you have more razors, soaps, etc. than you can safely store and want to use a totally different setup every day then it’s No Repeat November for you! Obviously, if neither of these themes appeals to you there is always the “unfocused focus” option available, or, in keeping with the NOV of the NOVember we could call that.....No Thank You to your silly themes.....I’ll just shave my way, thank you very much. And that, my friends, sums up NOVember 2018!!! And now that that’s out of the way, let’s begin with our formal intruduction. The Cartel is proud to welcome you to the November 2018 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 feet wet. Well, not really, that would mean they have a serious problem with how to shave around a sink…..or the shower….or else their plumbing is just really bad. So, what is this group about? A couple of things, really. First and fore most 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 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. 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 NO Variation November. In other words, we encourage you to pick one razor, blade, soap, brush, and use it the entire month. Or mix and match soaps and brushes with that one razor and blade. Or use one straight. Or two…..get the idea? And yes, a true “no variation” is really just a rule, but you might want to use it to learn a new razor. Or just do what you want…it’s your shave and you are more than welcome to freelance around here and enjoy the shenanigans and cookies! Show off your best and favorite gear and make the rest of us run out and buy it because they it’s so awesome! It’s called enabling, remember? And, this is an un-hijackable thread, remember? You won’t throw us off. Much. Well, that’s my introduction for the month. 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. 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. (Don’t like being considered “old”? Too bad, I know your birthdate.) 3. Respect everyone 4. Follow the rules of the forum 5. All razor types and styles welcome And now, in a major announcement and in honor of your votes from OCtober – there will be no cookies this month. We’re having DONUTS!!!!! Enjoy the glorious goodness that is fried sugar! Mmmmmm....mmmmm....good! (Apple Fritters are the Czar’s weakness) Alright boys and girls. Let's have some great shaves and good times. Group hug!!!