By Clay Riness —
Not that anyone cares a flying fig about the details of my daily grind, but I got to thinking about a few items I use every single day, things that maybe a lot of guys don’t. I’ll dispense with the ubiquitous items we all use … silverware, smartphones, toilet paper. You know, that stuff.
First on the list is a symbiotic quartet: a robust treadmill, my Kindle, Bose headphones and Netflix. My knees don’t like (running on) asphalt and I don’t favor gyms because I don’t much care to have people see me binge watching “Xena: Warrior Princess” or “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” (Not to worry, I also watch a plethora of other stuff like historical fiction, sci-fi and classic westerns. There’s no lack of available content these days.)
The origins of this daily ritual rest in a fall I took in early 2012, which resulted in a lower spinal injury, some nerve damage and a case of drop foot. Overweight and in poor condition, I resolved to get my heath back in order. Once I regained the ability to walk, I began using a treadmill every day, even getting to the point of running, with the absence of boredom made possible by streaming video.
According to my machine, I have racked up almost 10,000 miles to date, and that’s not including the vigorous 30-minute walk I take every morning for my dog’s sake. So … woot!
Next on my list is my culinary cutlery. For better or worse, I do most of the cooking in my family, and over the years I’ve developed some pretty slick knife skills despite once having sliced a lentil-sized divot off the tip of my middle finger while processing an onion. (That was a bloody mess, and one I hope to never repeat.) If you seriously cook with any frequency and passion, you know two things to be true: There’s nothing like a high-quality chef’s knife, and cooking can be very therapeutic. Another plus, I like food.
Another item, which I carry with me at all times and use every day, is my little, well-worn Victorinox Classic. You know, the tiny Swiss pocket knife with the toothpick, tweezers, scissors, nail file and diminutive blade. It’s truly a multitasker. At my age I’m long in the tooth, so I can’t take a bite of a single thing without the need to dig between my choppers and extricate the leftovers that have wedged themselves there. I once read a review of this tool in which the writer said, “Nice little pocket knife, but I don’t get what the toothpick is for.” Apparently, he was a lot younger than me.
And finally, something most men don’t use every day, moustache wax. I wear and maintain a Victorian Era-style moustache, and let me tell you, it’s work. When I get out of the shower it looks like I’m wearing a mini afro on my upper lip. So, as in days of yore, I turn to the most logical solution; I tame the shrew with good old moustache wax and a pocket comb.
Rather than pay $12.95 for a stingy tin of it, I make my own by melting beeswax and petroleum jelly (1 oz. wax plus 24 grams jelly) and then adding essential oils. I favor sweet orange as it’s inexpensive and pleases my olfactory palette. The aforementioned recipe makes about eight small tins of the stuff, or about a year’s worth for me. Pretty slick trick.
So there you have it, some useless information about one man’s daily grind and a few of the things he can’t live without … and a few minutes you can never get back.