« December 2004 | Main | February 2005 »

January 10, 2005

Remington Titanium R-9500

In an effort to improve my personal hygiene, my lovely girlfriend gave me a new electric shaver for Christmas: a Remington Titanium R-9500. Actually, it is more than just a shaver, it is an entire "shaving system". I believe that they classify it as a system because it contains several interdependent parts (the shaver itself, its recharging base, and a cleaning device) that are synergistic.

Even though I am not terribly hirsute, I tend to be lazy and gain a day or two of growth. The new shaver has seemed to perform well so far. It is certainly much sharper than my previous electric razor (which I had owned since I was old enough to shave).

The self-cleaning cycle requires a special solution, sold for about $5 from the Remington store. (The Walgreen’s online store sells it for slightly more. I wonder if Remington is selling the solution for low margins, in order to reduce total lifecycle costs for the system.) The extra cost of the solution (which needs to be replaced every couple of months, according to the documentation) imposes a new burden on the consumer. (Previously, straight razors had to be replaced fairly often, while the electric razors were a one-shot investment.) A different business model for electric shaver producers? Or a new feature that functions as a loss-leader, and merely brings customers to the main (and fairly expensive) product?

Several people have suggested making a home-brew cleaning solution. This site suggested using a homebrew that was based a homebrewed Braun Activator solution: 2/3 cup Everclear (grain alcohol), five capfuls of lemon juice, and maybe a couple of drops of silicone. The Remington solution does not smell like lemons (or grain alcohol), and seems to consist mostly of isopropyl alcohol instead.

January 08, 2005

Winter Break 2004-2005

I've continued the virtuous tradition of spending a week or two with my parents (and extended family) in Indiana, over the Christmas season. It is always a good time, and an excellent opportunity to rest, relax, and prepare for the coming year.

I've attached some photographs from the trip below.

The lovely winter scene of Los Angeles (Century City), from Mount Saint Mary's pool. Elizabeth and I went there a week or two before departing for our respective families (in Indiana and Colorado).
My little tree, decorated another year. I've had that since grad school. We had discussed getting a full size one, but time ran out.
We had our Borlik-family Christmas Eve celebration at my Aunt and Uncle's house. Not only was the tree well-stocked with gifts, but we also had the culinary expertise my cousin, Mike Borlik, the sous-chef of one of South Bend's finest restaurants. (Oddly enough, The Carriage House does not seem to have a website.)
That's actually NOT a burqa.
Christmas night, at the Borlik house.
Traditionally, we go to my grandfather's house on Christmas day, and have dinner there.
My dad and I, relaxing after another hard bout of vacation.
My family, celebrating another New Year's Eve.
There is no better way of starting off the new year than with a shiny hat and a measuring cup to hold one's drink.
It is my dad's 60th birthday, and so we had a nice dinner for that too. It was another excuse to get the family together.
The Borlik side.