Sunday, July 05, 2015

The Gillette Shave Club

or, More Shaving Insanity

Insanity, because Gillette would have us believe that $4.50 a month to shave one's face 3 - 4 (their number as flashed light-speed in fine print in their commercials) times a week is a bargain, especially in comparison to other shave clubs.

Insanity because they would have us believe that subscribing to razor blades like one subscribes to magazines is logical, economical and convenient.

Wow.  A pack of blades is such a burden to lug home from Walmart.

A look at the numbers reveals all, o Gentle Reader.  So does nearly 60 years of personal shaving experience.  One can subscribe to Gillette's shave club for $4.50 or so per month, one can buy blades as needed when shopping and pay at least that much per blade, or one can find an alternative.

My alternative is to spend the $12 or so to buy an ordinary retro double edged razor from on-line vendors like Amazon.  It will come with 10 blades.  Each blade, in my personal experience, provides very close and comfortable shaves for an entire month, assuming Gillette's 3 - 4 shaves per week.  If one were to buy a new razor and its blades when one runs out in ten months, one would have spent an average of $1.20 per month for those shaves.  A quarter of the Gillette Shave Club's advertised price.

But wait!  Yes, you savvy shoppers reading this will say there is no need to buy another razor, only blades.  And you are correct.  Thirty seconds of on-line shopping for 'double edge razor blades' will reveal that one can get 100 stainless blades for less than $10.  A math genius will immediately see that 100 blades equals 100 months (8 years) of great shaves, all for less than $10 total.  Or, put another way, $0.10 per month.  

Any home economics student in public school will quickly conclude that spending $0.10 per month on personal  grooming is smarter than spending $4.50 per month for that same grooming.

Your Ostrich Killer is walking this talk.  He laughs out loud each time that Gillette Shave Club commercial runs on TV.  Ladies, that same razor worked fine for generations of females too.  So do a comparison someday.  Get one of those double edge razors and give it a try.  It worked for your mother and her mother, right?

It's early yet, and I've had no coffee.  Out here.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Imitation Game: A Review (And Pan)


Okay, okay.  The Ostrich Killer is no movie critic, and yes I should stop doing movie reviews.  I get it, believe me.  

But this movie really, really got to me.  I'm furious over the $8.50 I had to spend to see it, but at least I had sense enough to not buy popcorn or anything else.  Thank goodness I'm such a tightwad!

Rarely does a movie come along these days that promises to be actually interesting and have a significant story to tell.  So when I saw that this particular movie was up for a number of academy awards and was to portray Britain's struggle to break the Enigma code, I was hooked.  Hey, this might actually be good!  

But I forgot:  Nothing out of Hollywood is actually good.  The vast majority of it is swill with agendas buried in the stories like Trojan viruses embedded in computer code.

Hollywood didn't bother to hide the code in this movie; no, instead they waited until more than halfway through it to reveal it to the viewing audience, a bunch of frogs in a slowly heating pot of water.

The story became one of homosexual persecution in wartime and early post-war Britain, and how it led to Alan Turing's suicide.  It also mentioned how important his work had been.

This despite almost three years ago, serious doubt was raised that he had actually committed suicide.  Doubt aside and apparently irrelevant, the movie unequivocally says he did.  Clearly, they speak from better knowledge than forensic investigators.

I wouldn't have paid good money to go see a movie that tells the story of homosexual persecution in Britain.  Would you?  No?  Well, they knew that.  So they put together a compelling history and used that as the vehicle to tell it to you anyway.  After all, it's a story you need to know, right?

To be fair, a close reading of reviews would have shown that this story was likely to contain some homosexual content.  So that's on me; normally I would have read those reviews.  But this story - the breaking of Enigma - about homosexual persecution???  Only Hollywood.  It's getting to the point where it's hard to find a movie that does NOT contain homosexual content.

Wonderful.  Terrific family stuff.

Does anything coming out of Hollywood bear watching these days?  I thought maybe Interstellar might be fun.  But no.  Hollywood had to re-invent physics to tell the story.  Ugh.  Where are the Moby Dicks of today?  The Ben Hurs?  Robert Redford did us all a favor with All is Lost, but don't hold your breath waiting for any other Hollywood screenwriters to try this sort of thing.  

I look forward to In the Heart of the Sea, which advertises that it is a true story.  I've read the book.  Herman Melville was inspired by this story to write Moby Dick.  It is grisly beyond compare, and the book was just an accounting of events.  I wonder if Hollywood will content itself with telling this compelling tale in the same manner?

I seriously doubt it.  But we shall see.  But you can be sure your Ostrich Killer will read the reviews first.  I'm tired of being baited and switched, and do not aspire to being frog-boiled again.

It's too late for coffee.  There's a cold beer left on the front porch.  I think I'll go rescue it.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Interview: A Movie Review

Thank You, North Korea!

Unswerving in their determination to release The Interview, Sony Pictures decided in the interest of public safety to only release it through Netflix.

This was because North Korea threatened to blow up theaters full of people who paid good money to watch the movie.

North Korea did us all a favor.  Theaters full of people would have been messy, what with their puking and throwing stuff at the screen.  Blowing them up might have been merciful.  This is an awful picture.

Yes, your Ostrich Killer, ever curious and open-minded, watched this terrible and very badly put together send-up via the Netflix release.  Seldom, if ever, have I seen anything this junior-high level amateurish, this badly scripted and worse acted, this offensive and yes, even trite put up on a movie screen.  It looks like SNL might have mistakenly aired an unrehearsed spoof that didn't work.

I can't even properly describe how terrible this film is.  North Korea did the world a favor by keeping it out of theaters.  Clearly, they are better film critics than those getting paid by Sony Pictures.  Sony needs to tattoo a large red "TI" into the foreheads of the entire crew that proposed this picture in the first place, as well as their enabling conspirators, and then fire them, damning them to an eternity of wandering the back alleys of Hollywood looking for work but doomed to not finding any by the mark of the "TI"(for The Interview) in their foreheads.

So please join me in giving North Korea a big "Thank You" and a smiling thumbs-up.  Say "Amen."

There you go.  Now for another cup of coffee.

The Most Influential Democrat

Yes, it's You-Know-Who

It's amazing to the thinking person, and soooo perfectly indicative of the intellectual vacuum between the ears of the democratic voters, that this man is the most powerful and influential living democrat.

Let's examine his credentials for this lofty position atop the democratic influence pile:
1.  A boff record that includes a large number of prominent / notorious females, many of whom were of legal age and willing.
2.  The first ever 'bimbo eruption' team in any presidential campaign, tasked with identifying, tracking down and silencing the above females.  At least three of these females slipped through the cracks, coming forward and accusing him of flashing, groping and rape.
3.  Redefined the meaning of the word 'sex,' as in "I did not have sexual relations with that woman." Meaning that he got off with her in a way other than one that might knock her up.  Junior high and high school youngsters hearing this quickly concluded that they could also use his line . . . 'Go ahead.  It's not really sex, after all.'  A wonderful legacy for the youth.
4.  The first ever president to lie to a federal grand jury.
5.  The first president to be impeached for lying to a federal grand jury.  Andrew Johnson, in 1868, was impeached for firing his secretary of war.  These two are the only two presidents to be impeached.  Only one of them is a liar.
6.  The first ever president to be disbarred.
7.  The first ever president to be admired by democrats / liberals / media sycophants for his artfully parsed lies and dodges, such as "that depends on what the meaning of 'is' is" and (paraphrased) "oral sex is not sex."
8.  The first ever president to be a person of interest in an 'influence for play' pedophilia investigation
9.  The first president to refuse to release his medical records.

Yes, it's no wonder that he probably commands the highest speaking fees in the world.  The question is, is this due to the 'freak show' factor, or because people actually think this proven and convicted and disbarred liar and perjurer is an honorable and trustworthy presenter of information, one suitable for emulation and whose advice is of great value?

My father once told me that I can do anything so long as it is legal, ethical, and moral.  Apparently Bill Clinton did not get that advice.

It's no wonder that he is a shining icon for the political left and other non-thinkers who live in a hard moral / ethical vacuum.  The only thing he did wrong, to their way of thinking, is get caught.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015



Your Ostrich Killer has too much on his mind today to limit this blog entry to just one topic, so brace yourself.


Despite forty or so years of trying, I have never had a good comfortable shave from a steady stream of electric razors.  So some months back your Ostrich Killer, who happens to be a guy, bought a new non-electric razor.  This particular razor was of a major brand and used disposable cartridges that have multiple blades.  Over time, as you would expect, I used up all the blades that came with the razor.  Now, I don't particularly like these multiple-bladed cartridges; they prolong shaving time at least double because every couple strokes I have to clear the gaps between the blades of skin, whiskers, and shaving soap.  This uses more than double the hot water that, say, an old-fashioned double edged razor would use, because clearing the goop out of the cartridges requires blasting them with high pressure water.  Very wasteful and un-green, to say the least.

I could go on about the gripes here, but let's skip that and instead go with me to the store to get a resupply of those cartridges.  Surprise!  Not only did the store no longer carry the replacement cartridges, they also no longer carried the razor.  So I looked for alternatives.  Lo and behold, there was a whole acre of another brand's offerings to select from.  This brand, which advertises often on television and which also has an entire football stadium named after them, would be happy to sell me shaving stuff.  I could buy a new razor and blades.  For the low low price of only $32 for 8 blades (that is not a typo) and a few more bucks for a razor to use them in, I could be on my way to multiple-blade nirvana.
Or so the commercials would lead one to believe.

Being an old fart, I remembered how I began shaving.  No, it was not with freshly broken flint, nor sharpened clamshells.  It was with a so-called 'safety razor' which was named so, I suspect, to assuage the worries of beginners.  These razors use one single blade with two cutting edges.  A beginner couldn't be blamed for worrying that those razor sharp edges would slice them up. 
Yes, that's right.  This is the razor your grandfather and probably your grandmother used.  So I looked around in the store: none.  I decided to get one, so I conducted a hunt.  Turns out I had to send to China (via the Amazon) to get one.  It came quickly, a stainless steel razor complete with a hard-shell carrying case with mirror and ten stainless steel blades, half of which were made in Viet Nam and half of which I think are Chinese, although I can't read the hieroglyphics well enough to be certain.  It cost $12.  I bought a can of Barbasol, which the store still sold, because I used it over forty years ago and liked it then.

With trepidation I installed one of those blades in the razor and shaved, half expecting to nick myself a few times.  After all, those blades are SHARP! But no nicks.  Instead, what I got was the best shave I've had in over forty years in half the time.  The razor rinsed clean instantly.  A hundred (again, NOT a typo) Wilkinson Sword replacement blades costs (via the Amazon again) $19.  For that same $19 I could have bought up to 5 of those other manufacturer's multiple-blade cartridges.  A hundred blades would shave me for two years, even if I shaved every day, which I don't.  And neither do you.  Admit it.

The title of this topic is Shaving Insanity.  The insanity is paying today's IDIOTIC prices for a shaving system that doesn't do the job as well as the much less expensive, 'legacy' (or Classic, if you prefer) system that your Ostrich Killer, your father, and his grandfather used.

Think about what a single shave costs using ANY of today's high-tech systems.  Compare that to what a better shave, taking less time and using far less hot water, costs using a double-edged 'legacy' system.  I did.  Then I switched.

Allow me this disclaimer:  I do not own stock or have any other financial interest in the vendors I mentioned above.  I'm just a consumer, as you are, and passing along a tip.  Take it for what it's worth.

Five shaves later and the blade is still clean and sharp and shaving like the first time.  It should last several shaves more, easily.  So let's do the math.  Let's assume it lasts for a total of 8 shaves.

Shopping online reveals that bought in quantities of 100, one can get these blades or their equivalent for $11.  Long division not being my long suit, nonetheless this isn't hard.  That works out to $0.11 per blade.  If the blade typically is good for 8 shaves, that's less than $0.02 per shave.  Yes, two cents.  If those 8 for $32 blades that are sold today are also good for 8 shaves, doing long division tells us that each shave costs $0.50.  Fifty cents.

You're welcome.  See?  Reading this blog can save you money!  


In the 2012 NFC divisional round playoffs, the Seahawks were playing the Atlanta Falcons for the opportunity to advance to the NFC championship game.  In the second quarter the Seahawks, trailing at the time, were on the Atlanta 11-yard line.  It was 4th down, one yard to go for a first down.  What would you have done?

Yeah, me too.  I would have kicked the 'gimme' field goal.  Take the 3 points.  Instead, the Seahawks went for it.  They lost a yard.  The Falcons took over the ball on downs.  When the game was over, the Seahawks lost by two points: the final score Atlanta 30, Seattle 28.  That field goal they decided not to take would have given them 3 points.  Everything else being approximately equal, the Seahawks would have won the game and advanced.

Okay.  So one bad play call.  Happens.

Fast forward to Superbowl 49.  You know the play - 2nd down, goal to go from the half-yard line.  Clock stopped with more than 20 seconds to play.  Marshawn has over a hundred yards rushing so far in the game, the Patriot defense is gassed, the Seahawks have the best rushing offense in the NFL, the Patriots the worst defense against the rush in the NFL.  What does Seattle do?

Yep.  You're right.  They pass the ball across the middle.  And you know how that turned out.

Common denominator between the 2012 Divisional playoff game and Superbowl 49's debacle:  staggeringly suspect play calling on a crucial play.  Instead of doing the obvious and something that had a high probability of adding to the score AND minimizing risks, the choices were the opposite.  

Darrell Bevell was the Seahawk's offensive coordinator for both games.  It's his job to make offensive play calls.  Presumably, he did.  And in both these clutch situations, he chose 'cute' instead of 'logical.'

Your Ostrich Killer has written in previous blogs about the cost of attempting 'statement' plays.  These were both statement plays, and statement plays generally do not work out.  They didn't in these two cases.

Everywhere you turn you hear the question "Why not Marshawn?"  Why not give the ball to Marshawn Lynch from the half yard line on second down, against the weakest run defense in the NFL?

I don't know.  It's a complete mystery to me and most others.  Pete Carroll will fall on his sword over the play choice out of loyalty to his offensive coordinator.  He will defend it all day long.  I think he needs to think about his loyalties and possibly adjust them.

The players almost to a man wonder "Why not Marshawn?"  At some point that question is going to fester into an ugly mess and have to be dealt with.  Before that happens, before the players' already eroded faith in their leadership's decision making ability is shaken irreparably, something unequivocal has to take place.

Pete Carroll, bless him, is faithful and supportive to a fault.  But he MUST decide to whom he owes his ultimate support: the questionable play calling coach, or to the 12s.  Because in the end, his support and faith in the questionable play cost the 12s another superbowl championship team.  He HAS to have had deep reservations about the play.  

If I had been drafted to make that play call, it would have been a play action play of some sort, involving Lynch and Wilson, the two best rushers on the team.  I would have done that three times, if necessary.  It was 2nd down, after all, and the Seahawks had a timeout remaining.

Pete Carroll is going to have to deal with the unavoidable loss of confidence that play call has generated, and will continue to generate, especially in the locker room and when thought of in the light of the Atlanta game in the 2012 season's playoffs.

Maybe it's time for a new offensive coordinator, if for no other reason than to show solidarity with the fans, who know perfectly well that the called play was probably the worst possible type of play to call, other than a punt.  And it worked out that way.


Here you go, Roger Goodell.  You're the commish.  You run the NFL.  Tough job.  Your Keystone Kops approach to management is proof of this.  However, it could be easier.  Here's how:

1.  Manage organizations, not individuals.  That means you discipline teams, not people.  You investigate teams, not people.  If people / players offend, you punish the team.  Let the team punish the people.

2.  That said, establish minimum behavior standards for people.  If people violate those standards, punish the teams.  If people commit such grievous offenses that they tarnish the NFL image, 'discharge' the offender AND punish the team.

How would that approach apply to, say, deflate gate?  Easy.
1.  The ball(s) were delivered into the Patriot's responsibility after having been tested and certified to meet standards.
2.  The balls failed those standards after being the Patriot's responsibility.
  -- Ergo, the Patriots are responsible for the condition of the balls.  Punish the Patriots.  If the Patriots are interested in finding out who actually 'adjusted' the balls and why, let the Patriots do the investigating.  But as far as the NFL is concerned, this issue is dealt with and closed.

You're welcome, Roger.  LMK when the check is in the mail for my services.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Marshawn, Belichick, and the NFL Soap Opera

Put ME in Charge!

Marshawn, we all love how you run.  But we deplore your hypocrisy.  You have a charity to benefit the youth of the neighborhood you came from.  But what message are you sending them when:
1.  You ignore what you promised to do when you signed your contract with the NFL (you promised to make yourself available to the media but you do not);
2.  You arrogantly walk into the end zone knowing perfectly well that is taunting and should have, in the playoffs, cost your team a touchdown and fifteen yards;
3.  You grab your crotch when you score, even though you've been fined for that before.

This behavior is telling those youth you claim you care about that the rules don't apply to you, that your word (your signature) means nothing because you're talented and bad and whatever.  Is that really what you want them to take away from your success? That the rich and talented don't have to live by the rules?  That rules and agreements can be broken if you think it's cool to do so?  

If I were the NFL I would sit you for the second half of the Superbowl game as a penalty.  But more on the ineptitude of the NFL later.

Underinflated balls?  Really?  And this AFTER spy gate?  Those balls were provided by the Patriot organization.  Penalize the organization in some meaningful, painful way.  Not just a fine.  The quarterback, at least, knew they were underinflated because he handled them every snap.  For his failure to report the problem, suspend him the next game (the superbowl) with loss of both game pay and superbowl bonus.  Each receiver knew, if they caught balls, that the balls were underinflated.  They elected not to report it.  Bench them for the next game.  Ditto the running backs.

However, money talks.  The superbowl is BIG money for the NFL, so what they will do is invent some harsh-sounding but essentially meaningless and non-crippling punishment.  The superbowl will not be impacted.

So put your Ostrich Killer in charge of NFL discipline.  Here's what I would do:
1.  Develop, implement, and enforce a standard penalty system for infractions.  No more making it all up as we go along, as the NFL seems to be doing.  For example, intentionally breach your contract (like Marshawn does) and suffer an automatic one game suspension - the next game - along with the loss of that game's pay.  Next infraction the penalties double, and include your coaches.  Each subsequent infraction penalty doubles the previous one.
2.  Any felony investigation seats that player with pay until either a verdict is returned or charges are not pressed.
3.  Get rid of 'special' offense penalties - examples include domestic violence, DUI, etc - and let the legal system handle them.  See the next rule for more on this.
4.  Have a clause in all contracts with players and anyone else working for the NFL that "conduct unbecoming to you, your team, or the NFL" is grounds for firing.  A board made up of ex-military officers (who are very familiar with the 'conduct unbecoming' meaning) would preside over any appeals.  This particular clause is about NFL image, and if I'm commissioner of the NFL I want that to shine.  Children are watching, after all, and are easily impressed.  What will they learn?  That everyone has to follow rules and obey laws, or that talent and revenue stream trumps all?

Are you as tired of the NFL soap opera and amateurish handling of misconduct as your Ostrich Killer is?  Then send Roger Goodell a link to this blog post.

It's too late for coffee.  I think I saw a beer in the refrigerator . . .

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Ferguson Experiment

Who Will Show Up?

The authorities investigating the shooting of a black thug in Ferguson, Missouri are about to release their findings.  These authorities include federal snoops, federal race baiters from the DOJ, grand juries, and even the DA's office.

They have tried strenuously to find fault with the officer who shot that thug.  According to rumors, they have failed to uncover any violations or culpability, and their release of these findings is expected any day now.

Many expect there to be riots in the streets.  By whom?

Not by anyone who cares about the rule of law, that's certain.  No, if there are riots, they will be by the following types of people:
1.  Kool-aid drinking followers of the professional race baiters (the Sharptons, Farrakhans, and Jacksons, for example.  Oh, and let's not forget the Race Baiter in Chief, Mr. Barack Hussein Obama who sent three DOJ officials to convey his condolences at the funeral of that thug.  It's easy to determine where his sympathies lie.)
2.  People looking for an excuse to steal from businesses.
3.  People looking for an excuse to get away with property destruction and personal violence.
4.  People angry that someone doesn't give them for free what someone else worked to earn.

What do the above types of people have in common, speaking statistically here - acknowledging there will be some exceptions?
1.  They would not be rioting if the thug had been white.
2.  The rule of law does not matter to them.  What matters is skin color and opportunities to loot.
3.  Aside from the professional race baiters, the crowd will be predominantly made up of the functionally illiterate, the unemployed, public school graduates and drop-outs, and - dare I say it? - black.

If the above predictions come about, and I hope they do not - then the black community at large will have to answer for their failure to find constructive ways to address the racism within their own ranks, and cure it.

Will they?  

Thursday, September 11, 2014


Let's Look At This Logically

You knew your beloved Ostrich Killer would step up and figure this out for the rest of the world, didn't you?  Okay, you were right.  So for the folks who never read this blog, here is how things are:

First, we have Roger Goodell saying to the best of his knowledge, before Monday no one in the NFL Commissioner's office received or had seen the tape we've all seen now.

Next, we have a 'police official' saying that he sent the tape to the NFL Commissioner's office, and he plays a 12-second tape of a conversation that he says proves someone - a female - in the commissioner's office had watched it.

Here are the choices:
1.  Both are lying.  This is actually impossible, as a moment's thought will make obvious.  So let's reject this possibility.
2.  The 'police official' is lying.  If so, then the taped phone conversation is also a fake.  
3.  Roger Goodell is lying.
4.  Neither is lying.

Your Ostrich Killer is coming down on the side of saying that the truth lies behind door number 4 - neither is lying.

Why?  Goodell is an honorable person, based solely on his record.  One has to assume that a police official would also be honorable.  So if both are being truthful, what actually happened?

Someone in the NFL Commissioner's office short-stopped that video.  And my money is on the guess that this person is the source of the video that wound up in the hands of TMZ, probably for a high price.

Anyone who has ever worked in a large organization knows perfectly well that information does not always flow freely, due either to negligence or agenda-polishing - an agenda such as lining one's pockets, as is likely in this case.  

There you have it.  When this is all sorted out, here is what you will see:

1.  A person in the NFL Commissioner's office will be identified as the person who failed either purposely or negligently to forward that video to Roger Goodell.  That person will be fired.  Anyone else in the commissioner's office who knew of the video will be fired.  The head of that particular department in the commissioner's office will be fired.
2.  Roger Goodell, being honorable, will offer his resignation because a leader is responsible for all an organization's successes and failures.  It is not a sure thing that the owners will accept his resignation.  If he did not lie, where is his failure?
3.  TMZ will raise their advertising rates.

See?  Simple.  Three cups of coffee is a true clarifier.  You're welcome.