a birthday gift

Today was my birthday. I got a number of gifts, all of them of a practical nature. The most important one by far was a new electric can opener. It was a Cuisinart.

It doesn’t look like much, but trust me I needed one. It replaces a very old Rival Model 781/5 electric can opener that’s so old I don’t remember the year I purchased it, or where. It could have come from Service Merchandise, or K-Mart, or Sears, or some other out-of-business department store.


The Rival has served for decades, going back to when my adult children were children.

I literally compared the two by holding one in each hand. The Rival is a lot heavier compared to the Cuisinart. It’s built like a tank. The Rival’s plastic is thicker, there’s more of it, and every non-plastic part on it is thick metal. The Cuisinart by comparison is plastic on plastic and a lot lighter. The handle on top is plastic where the Rival’s is chromed steel. The Rival still works, after a fashion. It’s that it’s taking two turns of the can to fully open it. I’m hoping the Cuisinart works for at least half as long as the Rival it’s replacing. It should. Canned food is now coming with tops that open. Only a very few items come in cans that require an electric can opener. In the mean time I’ll put the Rival out on the garage and see if I can clean it up and replace some parts, and then give it to someone who needs a working one. Or just hang on to it in case the Cuisinart doesn’t hold up as well.

the price of shaving

It’s been a while since I bought a can of shaving cream, sometime in 2018 as a matter of fact. Funny thing is I remember when I bought the last can, it came with that “NEW!” tag because the can bottom was aluminum instead of less expensive steel, and thus wouldn’t rust out in the shower. The can I had before that had rusted out. Today when I went in to get my new can of Barbasol it was smaller by three ounces, but it was the same price interestingly enough. Last year’s can was all of 10 ounces, while today’s was down to 7 ounces.

The reason I don’t buy shaving cream that often is I switch back and forth between electric and razor, tending to use the electric during the week so I don’t spend a lot of time getting ready before I drive into work. Weekends can be more luxurious time-wise, especially when it comes to a nice blade shave. And there are days when I don’t shave at all, thus extending the overall time when I want to get a shave with my razor.

This reminds me of all the other price increases I’ve seen over time, especially with orange juice. There was a time when orange juice came in 64 ounce cartons, until one day they showed up in 57 ounce cartons, but the price was still the same. I continued to buy it for a while until the price increase to over $4 a container, and that was many years ago. Of course both my doctor and dietician where quite happy when that happened, as today’s orange juice is full of sugar, even more so than a soft drink.

This makes me wonder if I should bite the bullet and invest in one more good electric razor, and just forego shaving with a razor all together. It’s not just the shaving cream but he expense of razors as well as the mess of fixing a sink of hot water and a mess to clean up when done.

All this angst over a decent close shave.