Fahrenheit 9/11 becomes first documentary to be the top film earner for an opening weekend, earns record $21.8 million.

Fahrenheit 9/11 becomes first documentary to be the top film earner for an opening weekend, earns record $21.8 million. It deserves the honors too. I saw it on Friday and it’s a brilliant film. I could only wish that everyone with a vote in November would see it.

Topless in the summertime.

I usually like to do something a little different with my hair in the summer. In past years this has generally consisted of bleaching and spiking it, but this year I just went and did something which some people consider somewhat shocking: I went topless, which is to say, I decided to shave myself bald.

Note that this was not done out of some political motivation; I’m definitely about as far from a “skinhead” as it gets, on many levels. It’s also true that head-shaving isn’t now (nor has it been for some time) the domain of skinheads and bikers alone. Walking through New York I see a fair number of people who, like myself, have refused to let their genes decide when and in what fashion their scalps would be visible to outsiders. And while this was, for a few years, primarily a fashion followed by African-Americans the picture of head-shaving these days is very multi-cultural.

There are a few advantages to shaving one’s head, but low maintenance isn’t really one of them. If you think it’s a bother to shave your face in the morning, it’s nothing compared to having to put your head under the razor. It’s not advisable to use electric shavers for that purpose, as those tend to shave less close than a blade, and leave a gray “shadow” which rather spoils the effect. As such one has to add an extra 10 minutes in the morning to the grooming routine; this is not a task to be undertaken too quickly, because shaving nicks on the scalp bleed to a surprising extent, and tend to be very obvious.

However, I think it’s worth it, at least for myself. I definitely like the look, and it’s definitely more practical for someone like myself who likes to swim — not in terms of performance, because I definitely don’t swim at a competitive level now, but mostly in terms of avoiding irritation from chlorine buildup in the hair.

Interested in shaving your head?

Now, if you’ve been thinking about shaving your head, I would say that right now is the best time to do it, at least if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere. This is summer, so if you start now you can have a few days to work on your scalp tan, and you don’t risk catching a chill at this time of the year.

What you’ll need

Should you wish to follow my lead (and that of many others), you have several options. One of them is to have your head shaved by a barber. There’s not really anything wrong with that, except that since you’ll have to repeat that process every day or two you might want to get rid of your locks yourself. For this you’ll need a few things:

  1. A good clipper. You can get this for pretty cheap nowadays.
  2. A blade razor. Not a straight razor (yikes!), but a decent razor, which may be a disposable. My recommendations:
    • The Headblade, which was designed for head-shavers
    • The Shick Xtreme 3, which is a very good disposable razor. You’ll want to have one of those handy even if you use the headblade, to cover things like the area behind the ears and the nape of the neck.
  3. Shaving gel of cream. I recommend Aveeno Therapeutic Shaving Gel. I was very impressed by this product. I can honestly say I’ve never had a closer shave than with this gel.
  4. A non-alcohol-based aftershave lotion with sunscreen. You definitely don’t want to have your scalp face the sun’s rays without the protection it’s not getting from hair. I use Neutrogena Triple Protect Face Lotion which has SPF 20, but there are other good ones out there. Just make sure you use a lotion with some SPF or you’ll assuredly be sorry.
  5. An alun stick in case of nicks, which are inevitable the first couple of times.

You’re probably surprised that I haven’t mentioned a hand mirror yet. The reason is simple — a hand mirror is more of a hindrance than anything else. Head shaving is something best done by feel. This doesn’t feel natural at first, but you’ll soon get the hang of it.

How to shave your head

  1. Start with trimming your hair down using the #1 attachment on the trimmer. This will put your hair within shaving length.
  2. Once the trimming is done, take a shower. There are two purposes to this. One is to get your hair thoroughly wet; the other is to get rid of all the little “shaving bits” that you will no doubt have on your person. Don’t bother with shampooing, as this may only irritate the scalp.
  3. Spread the shaving gel on your head. You really shouldn’t need more than a squirt of the gel for this, unless you have a huge head. Really rub it in the hair.
  4. Begin shaving with the front center of the hair. Take short, straight strokes in the direction of the hair growth (very important). Remember to rinse your rasor often, because at this stage it’s likely to get gummed up very quickly.
  5. Then, do the back. With a regular razor, try holding the head of the razor, as this will give you a better feel. Always shave in the direction of the hair growth. Use your fingers to detect the spots that haven’t been done yet, or that could use more attention. Go slowly!! At this stage it’s likely that you’ll encounter a bump or two on the skin that get cut off by the blade. Those don’t hurt much, but they do bleed quite a bit. Note those so you can cover them with the alun stick later.
  6. Last, do the sides. Don’t forget to pay special attention to the “border area” between the side and the back, because going around with only two strips of hair unshaved would look pretty stupid.
  7. If you’re using the Headblade, make sure to go over behind the ears and at the nape of the neck using your disposable razor, as those areas are a little tough to get with the Headblade.
  8. Rinse your head, making sure to rinse behind the ears. If there’s a spot that stings at this point, it’s probably because you’ve nicked yourself. Use the alun stick on those spots.
  9. Use a small amount of your aftershave lotion, rub in your hands, and rub your hands on your entire head for thorough coverage. Don’t forget the nape of the neck, mostly because of the sunscreen protection.
  10. Admire yourself in the mirror.

That’s about it. Once this is done, go out and enjoy yourself. If you’re going to be in a situation where you’ll be in the sun all day it might be a good idea to bring a hat along, just in case. And if you don’t like the look, just wait a few days — you’ll see just how quickly your hair grows back to what it was. Have fun going topless in the summerime!

I hope this has been of some use to someone out there. If this has been helpful, consider buying some of the goods in this article or some of the books on the right hand side!

Admitting to having dropped the F-bomb in the Senate, Cheney admits to being glad he did it.

Admitting to having dropped the F-bomb in the Senate, Cheney admits to being glad he did it. In the 2000 GOP campaign Bush promised a return of civility to Washington. Perhaps Cheney missed the message. In any case this incident is unlikely to dispel any rumors that Cheney is a mean, petty, vindictive SOB.

A good analysis of what the 9/11 report says about al-Qaeda and Iraq, and what the White House is saying about it.

A good analysis of what the 9/11 report says about al-Qaeda and Iraq, and what the White House is saying about it. How close could the relationship have been if the initial contact wasn’t thought to even warrant a response?