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Saturday, September 17, 2011

By the way...

...I'm bald now.  Or, in the more specific, proper term, I'm "bald-by-choice".  I naturally have a Bald 120inna55thick head of wavy hair.  When I was in high school, I used to spend a lot of time with a hot hair dryer and a brush to make said wavy hair straighter.  Since adulthood, I've opted for lower maintenance, and in more recent years, my wife has been cutting my hair.  She would always cut it as short as I liked it and as often as I liked, but it was only perfect for about two weeks.  At which point, the curls would begin to return and no amount of mousse or gel would control it to my liking.  I actually would receive compliments regarding my curls, but it always felt unkempt and unruly. Additionally, I've always liked hats---fedoras and the like---but I've never worn one due to the inevitable "hat head".

For years I'd "threatened" to shave my head, but I never took the plunge.  I was concerned that to achieve a good slick bald look I'd have to shave daily.  I'm not much of a fan of shaving my face daily, so shaving my head too wasn't really appealing.  Ultimately, that was the only thing holding me back.  Finally, I rationalized, with my thick head of hair, I had to periodically fuss with it throughout the day and some days it just simply wouldn't cooperate.  If I had to spend an additional five or six minutes in the shower to shave my head daily, I would still save time not having to perform any further maintenance throughout the day.  My wife provided the final word of confidence by stating, "Your hair grows so fast anyway, if you don't like it, it'll grow out within a month or so anyway."  So on August 21, 2011, the decision was made.  I entered into a realm of freedom known as baldness!

After taking my hair down to a "burr" using my clipper without a guard, I hopped in the shower, lathered up, and scraped the scalp bare using my trusty vintage double-edge Gillette that has served my face so well over the years.  I made a few rookie mistakes, i.e. spending too much time on a virgin scalp trying to ensure complete slickness by making too many repeated passes resulting in some razor burn.  All in all, however, I was very pleased with the results.

I then ventured onto the internet for some tips.  Little did I know there's a wealth of information out there regarding head shaving.  The first place I stumbled upon was  It proved to be a nice informative site providing unbiased information about products and techniques.  It's a great place to check out even if you've been shaving for years.  It's also a very informative those who think they already know everything there is to know about face shaving. You will learn something. recommended other sites, one of which was the invaluable  SlyBaldGuys is a great community of folks who are eager to share their experiences and advice about not only head shaving but many other related topics as well.  The site also helps those who suffer from male pattern baldness and serves as support and encouragement for those with self-esteem problems related to the condition.  For some, shaving their heads provides freedom from feeble attempts to hide their male pattern baldness while others, such as myself, have gained freedom from their hair.

HeadBlade SportSo for the past four weeks, I've been experimenting with different razors and products to obtain the fastest, closest, and most comfortable shave.  I found many guys recommending the HeadBlade Sport.  I was skeptical at first thinking it was a gimmick.  It looks like a cross between a Hotwheels car and a toy spaceship.  (Click thumbnail picture for a larger version).  I probably never would have purchased one had I not come across it in Walgreens for $13.  What did I have to lose?  So, I picked one up and tried it the next morning.  I was amazed.  It fits on your middle finger and you simply swipe your hand across your dome in a motion similar to slicking your hair back.  The result is a very close shave within about 3 minutes after practice.  I've been shaving daily for the past ten days using this ingenious contraption.  I highly recommend it!

Check out this video from HeadBlade spokesman, Jack, giving a demonstration of the HeadBlade Sport:

Sat, September 17, 2011 | link

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My contempt for humanity

Most of you know, I'm an RN that works in a hospital, but I don't work for the hospital.  I work for a cardiologist.  It is not unusual for patients and patients' families to assume I work for the hospital, even though my name badge clearly indicates differently.  I've been known to answer the phone and help out a colleague from time to time, but I do have my own job to do.  As a result, when a patient or family member comes up to me to ask a question, I generally avoid eye contact so they'll ask someone else.  If they don't get the message and proceed with their question, I'll usually preface it with, "I don't work here, but...", and then I'll usually direct them.  I've worked in this hospital for 15 years so, I probably know the answer.

Today, a patient's family member approached me while I was sitting at the nurses desk, looking through a chart.  I have a very effective 'I'm busy' look.  This lady apparently, despite her years, was not familiar with this method of anti-communication.  She proceeded to ask, "Where is the ice machine?"  She asked twice.  The nurse sitting right next to me - the nurse who actually works for the hospital - apparently has honed her 'I'm busy' look better than mine and managed to completely ignore said nuisance. (Thanks Judith). 

So, while getting up to leave the desk, I pointed to the nourishment room, that is - oddly enough - labeled "nourishment room", and told her, "It's over there in the nourishment room."  Because I'm there as her servant, no "thank you" was offered or even implied.  I went my way and she headed for the nourishment room.  I knew the room was locked, and that it requires your pass key (which I have) or the ward secretary to push a button to allow access. Ultimately, this is just one more pointless task the staff must endure, because I cannot see how this has squelched the inappropriate access to snacks by the patients, families, vagabonds, and truants since implementing this procedure. I assumed this person would do what every other semi-sentient being has done since implementing the procedure, and that is to abruptly shake and rattle the locked door handle a minimum of three times before turning around and issuing a perplexed look at the ward secretary thus prompting her to push the button granting access to the snack mecca that is the nourishment room.

About 30 minutes later, I returned to the desk to discover that the nurse who was previously oblivious to everything around her now had an in depth account of the circumstances following my departure.

Apparently, this lady fell apart, sobbing, and ranting to the charge nurse and anyone else who would hear her plight about my complete lack of compassion by directing her to a locked door.  Compassion?  You are able to derive my lack of compassion based on a single sentence uttered from my lips?  A 10 second conversation, the subject of which amounted to a bucket of ice?  If this is how you want to play the game, fine.  I will therefore deduce from our soul-revealing encounter that you are a heartless, self-centered, individual who thinks everyone is around you to be at your beck and call.

Now, before any of you bleeding hearts out there start to tell me how I don't know what she's going through.  Perhaps a loved one is in declining health and her emotions are on edge...

Save it.

I've been on the other side of the nurses desk.

My contempt for humanity is growing.

Tue, September 6, 2011 | link

Monday, September 5, 2011

Only one moon

I suppose Facebook is causing independent, illegitimate, bloggers such as myself to neglect our meek little personal websites.  So, since I believe, someday, Facebook will become a paysite, I'm back.  I'm still on Facebook, mind you.  I'm also on Twitter, for what it's worth.

So, now there is only one moon...

I suppose that statement requires a little background. I have a vision problem that I only notice while looking at bright objects against a dark background such as headlights at night, end credits to a movie, or the night sky.  The problem is such that when I look at the moon, I see a perfect crisp image of the moon with a lighter, blurry, repeated image up and to the right of the "original".

About 5 years ago, I went to an optometrist who diagnosed the problem an astigmatism.  While she felt my degree of astigmatism was mild, she offered glasses.  I asked her about contacts, but she said they didn't make contacts for astigmatism.  Otherwise, my vision was perfect.  I opted for the glasses, but ultimately they never really made much difference, so I rarely wore them.

I'd heard there are now toric contact lenses to correct astigmatism.  Since my first visit with the optometrist, my insurance has changed, so I had to go to a different doctor.  The experience was incredible, to say the least. I saw Dr. Valerie Mace with EyeCare Associates of East Texas.  She confirmed my astigmatism, but again indicated my visual acuity is still perfect.  I told her I wanted contacts partly due to wanting to be able to enjoy 3D movies, a technology that untreated astigmatism sufferers cannot enjoy due to the inherent "stereovision" trick on the brain. Interestingly, she said this was not the first time she'd heard this rationale for an individual's decision to correct their astigmatism.

So, what made this little visit to the optometrist an "incredible" experience?  Never having worn contacts before in my life, I walked out of her office within one hour with perfect vision!  A patient put it best when she said, "You can't even get an oil change done right in an hour." I can't say enough about Dr. Mace and her professional staff.  Now, there is only one moon.

Mon, September 5, 2011 | link

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