BOO!! It’s OCtober!!! The Cartel welcomes you to the OCtober 2018 edition of the 30 Day Rule/Focus thread. SEptember was a hit with a lot of fantastic SE razors in play as well as the usual assortment of straights and classic and modern DE’s. We also showed off a wide variety of Stirling soaps and products and that made it an even better month! I appreciate everyone who participates in this thread and am proud to be your mostly fearless if normally confused unofficial leader and janitor for the group. In OCtober we trade in the SE razors for the OC razors. The open comb models come out to play for those who choose and we get to see some classics both old and new. OC’s are a favorite of mine and I look forward to using my collection of them for the month. If you have some OC’s, break them out and give them the month to shine. Can’t wait to see some great gear out there. In addition to open combs we are also adding Oleo Soapworks as the theme soap. A number of us in the group have tried Oleo’s El Caballero, partly due to the generosity of our favorite Marine, @DouglasCarey, and there are a few other varieties out there as well. If you have some Oleo Soapworks soaps let them shine, or feel free to allow me to enable you to order some. Don’t want to go that route? Then it’s “Odds & Ends” soap month as well. We all have those soaps that we like and keep in the den but don’t use all that often. Break them out, dust them off and give them some love this month. Don’t want to do either Oleo or Odds & Ends? That’s ok. YOu won’t offend us. There’s never any pressure to join in the theme. It’s still all about learning to shave, tightening up technique, trying new things and enjoying shaving YOUR way. Technique trumps tools! So pick your tools and let’s get going! 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 Dollar Tree razor and a cheap soap we value you along with everyone else and we want you to become a part of this great community. Watch out for the enablers hiding among us. (Actually it’s all of us) Those guys will have you stocking up on new stuff before you know what hit you! Devious bunch these Cartel groupies. 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) (Take off your hats) (Seriously, do I have to mention pay attention?) (Ok, be good and we’ll hand out extra cookies) (And yes, I’m aware of the recent “cookie debate”. Trust me. They’re real) 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. Again, you’re free to follow the theme or go your own way. 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 (seriously, we have them) 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. Don’t be shy. 2. Previous/older/original/experienced members welcome as always. We know you aren’t shy. 3. Respect everyone. Opinions are for sharing and learning. 4. Follow the rules of the forum 5. All razor types and styles welcome 6. After recent consideration, negative opinions about Russia blades will be allowed. Please be aware that the blade Cartel and Yakuza do employ spies. However, they’re usually drunk so probably no worries. Let's have some great shaves people! Welcome to OCtober!! So first things first.....group hug………and off we go!