My recent article; King C. Gillette revisited has been published on The Sharpologist’s blog
I have had several people ask me “How can I get an autographed copy of your book?” Well, good news! Now you can!
I set up an online shopping cart (my first actually) where you can now get a copy directly from me! Just visit this link and place your order. Boom done!! I also included a box where you can tell me how you want me to sign the book (within reason mind you). If you leave the box blank I’ll just sign my name.
Once your order is in I will mail the book as quickly as I can. Usually, they will be mailed in bulk on a Friday or a Saturday.
I can honestly say this post is a bit weird for me. In my whole life, I would never have thought I would have actually written a book let alone anyone who someone who would want my autograph. I am so lucky and I thank you all so much for all of your support.
I just had an article published on the Sharpologist website. Check it out here!
I’m sure you are shocked that I left my”I’ve always done it this way before” comfort zone but I heard once somewhere “Change is as good as a rest” so I decided to try my hand at wet shaving with a safety razor, I’ve seen so many younger men (Younger than me I mean) have picked up this older way performing their daily pursuit of hygiene and cleanliness I thought why the heck ow! So many guys have told me “Get a straight razor!” Sottybut that is no way in the world I will ever be brave enough to use one of those. Having my throat cut from ear to ear isn’t the way I want to start the day!
First I will say this isn’t my first time using a safety razor. My first attempt at shaving was with my father’s safety razor when I was two years old. I had seen “Dad shave and I guess I thought “I want to be like Daddy.” My mother used to tell the story of how I pulled a stool up to the bathroom sink and when she came in the room she said I was covered in shaving cream wearing nothing but a big smile and a steady stream of blood trailing down my cheek. (I still have a scar on my cheek from that event. After this time I was given a bladeless razor to play with.)
As I grew up the disposable razors got better and I began to use one of them. They were cheap and easy to use and they did the job, I used one of them until around 1995 when I discovered Gillette’s Mach 3.
To me, the Mach 3 was the ultimate. It gave me a close shave, didn’t clog up with whiskers like the cheap throw away disposables and the heads were easy to find. They were expensive but I thought “Hey! You got to pay for quality!” So for two and a half decades I pretty much stuck with the old tried and true, Once or twice I tried other razors but nothing compared to the Mach 3.
The last few months I have grown curious about razors and shaving soaps so I have been trolling Facebook groups and watching Youtube videos and I decided to take the plunge.
I spent the morning watching shaving videos, how to put the blade into my new razor, how to lather using shaving soap…etc and in the afternoon I began the process of starting my new shaving life. I sat things up like the men did in the video and I disassembled my razor to place the blade into the device and start shaving.
I removed the razor blade from the package without incident. I even managed to insert the blade into the razor as the man did in one of the videos I watched. His proses went smoothly. Me, not so much. Everything went fine until I tried the tread the handle back onto the razor head.
According to the video, I watched my new razor is a “Three piece” which means the head is in two pieces and the handle is the third. After about 20 minutes of searing and using words that would have made George Carlin rethink the seven dirty words, you can’t say on television (I might have invented several new ones) I put down my new antagonist and decided to take my shower.
I got out of the shower and began trying to thread the three pieces together again. No luck. So I decided to use my Mach 3 one last time until I can figure out how this all comes together. I decided I was going to try out one of my shaving soaps.
I smelled all the soaps to see which one I liked best and to start the process. The bars of soap I tried wetting the sample soap I was given (Man it smells good) I took my wetted shaving rush and began to attempt the butter pat sample wet and began to build a lather. It didn’t work as well as I hoped but I can see if I continue to practice this art I can see where I might be able to master the task.
At first I was a bit disappointed my first attempt didn’t go as well as I hoped but like the late artist Prince said in his song Rasberry beret “They say the first time ain’t the greatest” (I don’t think we were talking shaving but the point is the same) I began to think rarely does anything go well the first time. What makes you a failure is if it makes you quit.
I am going to continue to try and master this new skill…or grow a beard.
Originally posted on my Masonic homepage Upon The Square in 2018
While visiting Alaska I had planned on checking out the various Masonic temples in the cities we visited across the state. We had a very full schedule planned for the 10 days we planned to be in the state so I wouldn’t be able to explore Alaskan Freemasonry as much as I would have like to or to the extent it deserves to be featured.
On our first day, we left Anchorage for the coastal town of Seward. The town’s economy is primarily based on tourism and fishing. There are also a few museums and a historical downtown with plenty of shopping and restaurants. It is easy to fall in love with the laid-back atmosphere of the city.
As we were checking into our hotel I happened to look to my right as I was removing the luggage from our car. Just a few blocks down was this beautiful chapel sitting on a hill, behind it was a mountain and some tall, lush trees. It was like a picture postcard brought to life. After admiring the scene for a few seconds. Then, I went about removing the luggage.
Each time I walked out of our acclimations this little chapel caught my eye. I decided before I left Seward, I would have to get a closer look at this beauty. I snapped a photo, trying to capture the beauty of this scene with just my meager smartphone but the results were good but paled in comparison to actually being there.
Finally, one afternoon I had a bit of free time and decided I would use my leisure time to find the Masonic lodge building in Seward. As a reference, I checked the Grand Lodge of Alaska’s website and I seen Seward Lodge #6 doesn’t actually have its own Masonic temple. They meet in a church building. The lodge meets two Saturdays each month at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Seward. After consulting Google maps, I find that St. Peter’s is the cute little chapel on the hill!
Seward lodge Was chartered in 1916 by the Grand Lodge of Washington #219. In 1981 at the formation of the Grand Lodge of Alaska, Seward assumed the number #6 under the authority of the newly formed Grand Lodge.
Seward lodge met in several places during its lifetime in this fishing village. From 1916-1921 the lodge shared a lodge room with the local Oddfellows lodge on the third floor of the local hotel. In 1921 they moved to the second floor of an office building until the 1960s when they built a building of their own. I couldn’t find documentation on the web which explained when and why they moved from their building and began meeting in the church.
St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was built in 106. In 1908 the church was completed. In 1925 a Dutch Artist Jan Van Emple pained a reredos of Christ’s Resurrection which according to the church’s website says “The $650 cost was raised by popular subscription. This unique work depicts the Ascension as well as the Resurrection of our Lord. The empty tomb is shown against the background of Resurrection Bay (In Seward). Instead of apostles, the painting includes people of Alaska–Indian, Eskimo, trapper, prospector (a self-portrait of Van Emple), and homesteader, underscoring the Church’s teaching to “preach peace to them that are far off and to them that are nigh.” The angels on either side of the Lord are portraits of Van Emple’s two sisters.”
I wish I would have had the opportunity to see the interior of the building in person or visit the brethren of Seward Lodge. I hope someday soon I will be able to revisit and spread cement with the brethren of the lodge.
I’m sure the members of the lodge are proud of their lodge’s unique history and the beautiful building they are fortunate enough to meet in. I am also sure they feel lucky to reside in such a quiet, beautiful little seaside village on America’s last frontier.
Originally posted on Midnight Freemasons September 2021
Saturday I had to visit my local Walmart to visit the pharmacy and pick up a few items. Nothing exciting. Just like I’ve done one thousand times. No big deal. After I talked to the pharmacy tech I found the bottle of body wash I needed and made my way to the check lanes.
As usual there was two cashiers working and the line was beginning to look like they were either giving away free government cheese or Rolling Stones tickets. I looked for the express lane.
Of course the “express lane” had a woman emptying what looked like all her provisions onto the belt for her trip on the Oregon Trail. (Insert your own dysentery or cholera joke here). I’m guessing her schooling wasn’t advanced enough to read the sign that said “10 items or less. So I did the thing I only do in extreme situations: Express checkout.
I have never been a fan of these dang machines. I never like the fact that the store gets me to do the work of one of their employees for zero pay or even an employee discount. I have also never liked how pushy they are (Scan the item! If you don’t do it to her liking she gets pissy Put it in a bag! PUT IN A BAG!) It’s like having a lady foreman standing over your shoulder telling you that everything you are doing is wrong. (By the way, Is is just a coincidence the blasted machine has a female voice?)
When these things first me out I actually got in an argument with one at a local grocery store. I scanned the item. Placed it on the little bagging platform as she said to do. Apparently something went wrong because it kept telling me to place the item on the bagging area. Forgetting I was arguing with a machine I kept yelling “I DID PUT IT THERE!” I got so mad I was about to punch the stupid thing in it’s liquid crystal display face. Luckily for me (and it) the clerk came running up and took over. Needless to say I felt pretty stupid afterward. But she started it.
Saturday I walked up to my arch enemy and swiped the item. Not a problem. I placed the item in the bagging area. Piece of cake. I hit the total button. On the home stretch. I place my credit card in to the machine.
I was having a bit of an issue seeing the screen due to my blindness but I thought I was ready to go then I realized my card was declined. I swore to myself. I have been meaning to replace that card I have just got because the new anti-theft chip doesn’t want to work. Then again maybe it’s working fine. No one even myself can use the frigging thing, I keep trying as I stand three inches from the screen trying to read the display.
After a few minutes a nice young Walmart employee comes up to help me. She starts talking to me like I am 80 years old and my technology skills haven’t progressed since Roosevelt was president (Teddy, not FDR). She is very helpful But I think soon she is going to take me in the back for some pudding a nap until she figures out which home I escaped from.
After several more attempts with the card I am completely embarrassed and I tell her I will just pay cash for the item. The item came out to $4.36 I start looking in my wallet for single dollar bills. After fishing around I find four single dollars and start searching for one more. “I still need one more dollar.” She said in her bubbly caring, don’t upset Grandma voice. I hand her a one and she sweetly hands me my change.
While trying to put the body wash into a plastic bag a dime of my change falls out of my hand onto the floor and rolled under the machine. I deiced to cut and run while I still had a couple of ounces of dignity in me still.
As I turned to walk away a young girl with her, I’m guessing boyfriend, stopped me and handed me my dime telling me I dropped it. I thanked them before they wanted to assist me across the street.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m grateful fr the help. But dang, I am still fairly young (In my head anyway.) But on the bright side I discovered there are still a few good people left in the world.
The other night, March 2nd, I was able to attend my Texas lodge, Lebanon lodge #837. This lodge is always so much fun. The Brethren there are positive, fun loving. They live the tenants of Freemasonry in their everyday lives. I always feel at home when I am sitting in lodge with them.
Despite the current pandemic crisis the lodge had a good turnout. Even with social distancing a good time was had by all and a lot of important work and Masonic education was accomplished.
Not long before the Master of the Lodge, Jeffory Frayser, was a bout to close the lodge he asked that I be escorted west of the altar. I wasn’t sure why I was being singled out but my usual pessimistic outlook figured I was in trouble for…(Insert an your wildest guess here. I will deny the charge).
Once I was at the altar I observed the Worshipful Master, approaching me from the East. In his hand he was holding something but due to my low vision I was unable to ascertain what it was.
Long story short Brother Frayser informed me that because of my work for the lodge with the website, social media platforms and various other public relation duties the lodge voted to present me with a lifetime membership to Lebanon lodge which means my dues are remitted for the remainder of my life. He presented me with a beautiful framed certificate to commemorate this honor.
For those that know me will find it hard to believe but this honor left me speeches. This is something that is rarely done in Texas Freemasonry and I hope that I will continue to deserve this honor.
I want to thank all Brethren of Lebanon lodge who took this Hoosier in and gave me a second home. I can now honestly say I was “raised” an Indiana Mason but I am now a Texan in my heart.
All about the podcast I cohost
Hi, If you haven’t guessed by now my name is Bill. I am mostly just an overweight, middle aged balding guy with a weird sense of humor and a lot of time on my hands.
Most of my days are spent at my day to day vocation. Most of the days I am a “Canine Concierge”. Which means basically I spend most of my day catering to the needs, wants and desires of an overly spoiled Yellow Lab named Happy. I am there when she wants food and water or to go outside or demands a treat (OH! The treats! If she is awake she wants a treat!).
If Happy is satisfied in her needs and desires I spend some of the day cleaning and taking care of my bunker which is hidden in an undisclosed location within a suburban neighborhood located somewhere in North America.
If all of my other duties have been taken care of I like to write. I would like to think I am going to be the next Hemingway, but lets face it I will be lucky to be on the same level of writer that writes the angry rants you read in the letter to the editor column of your local newspaper.
Some of my interests include Freemasonry, antique shaving equipment (Yes really) old TV and radio shows. Mostly anything retro and Apple technology. So you can see how exciting I am to talk to at parties (Especially since I have tried to cut back on my telling of dirty jokes and inappropriate humor)
If I the truth about me hasn’t scared you away yet I invite you to read some of my writing and check out the rest of the site. I hope to keep adding things to it as I can come up with something interesting to say!