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A settled nomad living on the edge of Appalachia. I love to listen to music, spend time with my family, and play sports. I'm lucky enough to write code for a living. I'm often accused of having no "filter" as I tend to overshare. I make beer on occasion and try to sample new beers whenever I can.

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Today's laundry care tags are useless. You need a damned decoder ring to understand them.

Banned from /r/conservative

2 min read

I have been using reddit in one way or another for 11+ years. I've never been banned from a subreddit before until this past week when I left this comment:

yeah, paying attention to historical context and meaning is totally childish.

That comment was a little snarky reply to :

But the confederate flag represents southerners, who are also my fellow Americans. This "winners/losers" game is childish, everyone from back then is dead.

I'm not sure why I was banned honestly. But the moderators of /r/conservative sent me a message telling me I was and pointing to my comment. They also said I could contact them if I had a question about the ban.

If you have a question regarding your ban, you can contact the moderator team for r/Conservative by replying to this message.

So I did. I sent this message:

why was I banned? Was I too snarky? I said nothing that violated a rule as far as I can tell.

A little bit later I received this message:

You have been temporarily muted from r/Conservative. You will not be able to message the moderators of r/Conservative for 72 hours.

So I guess I really couldn't ask them a question about the ban.

Overall being banned from /r/conservative will have no real impact on my life. I try to read things from various perspectives to understand how different people view things and I can still read the subreddit when I want. I just can't interact with anyone. I can't ask questions or engage in any kind of discourse with them within the context of a posting.

Dollar Shave Club, Harrys, and Gillette Mach 3 Turbo

4 min read

I'm bald. Not totally naturally but bald nonetheless. My hair disappeared in a weird and awkward way so I just embraced it and started to shave. I don't remember how long ago but at least since 2006.

I typically use the Gillette Mach 3 Turbo (M3T). It's a good cartridge blade and it gives me a consistent and close shave. However, it's expensive. Really expensive. For instance I get a subscription of 10 blades from Amazon for about $22 after tax. $2.20 a cartridge is too much.

A few years ago, when Dollar Shave Club (DSC) first appeared I tried out their blades but I had some issues and I decided to just suck it up and keep going with the Mach 3 Turbo option.

I'm often pretty lazy about shaving my head so that was working out okay. Each cartridge was lasting a pretty long time and I could suck up the cost of the M3T option. However, a month ago I decided to be more consistent with shaving my head again and once again I discovered how quickly that wears out a blade. So I decided to give DSC a second try - but just for my dome and just with the cheap 2 blade option since one of my issues with their four blade option was how hard it was to clear the blades while shaving.

Let's just say the 2 blade option isn't great for shaving my head. To be fair DSC doesn't recommend that option. They recommend the six blade cartridge. The two blade deal just didn't give me a sufficiently close and consistent shave plus the handle is really really light weight. I'm glad they were so cheap since I'm not going to use them. One attempt at shaving with them was enough for me to know I had to move on.

I also bought their shave butter which, so far, is a different beast altogether. It's pretty good stuff. Very good lubricant so my razor, regardless of option glides nicely and both the two blade http://shaved.by/f1QFL">DSC and M3T clear very easily when using it. Seriously, if you're looking for a good shave cream/bar/butter whatever - give it a shot. You might be a pleasantly surprised as I am.

So, yesterday was my attempt to shave with the DSC twin. Today, I bought the Harry's five blade option. It was at Target and came with a weighty handle along with two cartridges for $9 and a coupon for $5 off if I subscribe. I've not subscribed yet but I might.

I shaved my dome and it was about as efficient as the M3T. The handle (rubberized) is a bit harder to keep a grip on than the M3T handle - but it worked well enough. The blades cleared pretty easily with the shave butter and my scalp is very consistently smooth all over. It was a bit harder to shave over the weird ridges of my head vs using the Mach 3 Turbo. I'm not sure why. Maybe the M3T blades flex more or something? Either way I had to spend a bit more time shaving but the end result is very satisfactory.

It was also harder to shave my face with the Harry's blade than the M3T - especially along my jaw and near a scar just under my chin (Hockey). I think I'll keep using the M3T for face shaving and I'll try the Harry's blades for a bit and see how they work out. I may go back and give the "Executive" DSC (six blades) option a try as well. But, for now I'm pretty happy with the Harry option for shaving my head (along with the DSC shave butter).

Once these two blades from Harry's wear out (or just before) I'll order the Executive from DSC and see how it is. If it is as good (or better) than Harry's I'll probably stick with the DSC option (unless I try out an old fashioned "safety razor" and discover how wonderful it is; I'm skeptical).

TAG You're It - A Watch Band Story

4 min read

I've had a fancy watch for about 12 years that came with a silicone rubber bracelet. When the watch was purchased the salesperson suggested some kind of warranty package which we denied and some kind of joke was made about cats eating the band.

TAG Golf Watch

Less than a year later our cat, Grover, chewed on my bracelet a little bit leaving tear in it that made me nervous about wearing the watch out and about. A replacement bracelet at the time was really really expensive so I rarely wore the watch.

Damaged Bracelet

Every year I'd check to see if I could find a replacement bracelet for less and every year I'd fail. The official replacement part's price has come down but it's still over $200. It's crazy.

This year I finally found a non-official aftermarket bracelet for the watch for sale out of England for roughly 60 USD after shipping. I pulled the trigger and ordered it.

The bracelet arrived yesterday and it seems to be nearly identical to the original bracelet with a couple minor exceptions. The OEM braclet has the words "TAG HEUER" embossed on it; the aftermarket has the word "GOLF" in the same place. The aftermarket is slightly thicker than the OEM watch so installing the new band was difficult when it came time to close the final clasp. Also, on the inside of the band on the aftermarket band there are two arrows at one point amidst the pebbled bumps. I'm not sure what those arrows are about.

Replacment Braclet

Overall, I'm pretty happy with the new bracelet and, when I'm not wearing it, I'll be sure to put it out of reach of my cat. He's still around and will probably be happy to chew on the new band given a chance.

If you use Chrome frequently and see it having problems at times there is a fast way to restart it. A bookmark! http://lifehacker.com/instantly-restart-chrome-with-a-bookmark-1789110657

Deafening Silence

1 min read

The silence on facebook amongst my friends concerning the various tragedies of the past 36 hours or so has been deafening.

Is everyone just burnt out? Typically if there is a mass shooting, for instance, I see a lot of chatter about it. Yesterday there were two (the congressional event and the UPS shooting) and I haven't seen a single post directly speaking about those actions. I found the silence on the congressional shooting especially perplexing. Some POS coward attacked our government and nobody seems to care. I don't get it.

Even if folks didn't want to talk about the shootings - I didn't see any discussion of the tragic fire in London which was on my mind all day. The plight of the people in the apartments reminded me of the horror that the victims in the WTC faced on 9/11 - having to choose between an assortment of horrible options and none offered a very good chance of survival.

Maybe the day was just too full of horror so everyone just wanted to ignore it? I don't know; but it was really odd to see nothing about any of it.

Updated my site and fixed the Instagram integration.

Sweet, my website rawlinson.us is now only using - and is auto-renewing certificate thanks to https://letsencrypt.org

Mucking around with @KeybaseIO - it looks pretty interesting. I'm always keeping my eye out for easy to use communications.