Guy L. Pace

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These are just notes that come to me at random times.

March 30, 2017

I’ve used leather, jeans, and Cordura fabrics with armor as protective clothing while riding a motorcycle. From direct experience, I can tell you that jeans don’t work. Neither does Cordura work well enough to earn an endorsement from me. Armor is a good thing, though. What I found was that often armor didn’t stay in place well and shifted on impact. The protection doesn’t work when that happens.

Until recently, I stayed with leather as much as possible. You can count on leather to hold together, resist abrasion, and protect your body. But it gets hot.

For those days when I’m just running errands or it’s close to triple digit temps, I have a mesh jacket that has armor strategically placed on elbows, shoulders and back. The Cordura fabric provides some limited abrasion resistance, but the design of the jacket keeps the armor in place and doesn’t allow shifting as much as one of the old jackets I used. It also has a removable liner for cooler weather.

Still, my jeans and chaps combo are my best option, until now. Jeans don’t protect you. They shred the instant they touch gravel, asphalt, or concrete. Jeans in combination with chaps, provides good protection from the elements while riding, reduces the impact of rocks kicked up by cars and trucks, and will protect your extremities in the event of an accident. What won’t get protected is your bum.

Now, that may change. I recently acquired a pair of jeans made of 60% Kevlar and 40% polyester, with additional Kevlar around the seat, hips, and knees. There are also armor pads for the knees, and pouches for armor pads on the hips. The fabric has an incredible abrasion resistance and some claim it is as good, if not better than leather. I’m all for something that will keep the skin on my bones as long as possible.

I’ll be testing it out this weekend.

March 13, 2017

A couple of years ago, I started getting these extremely dry spots on my hands. I’d had an experience with something similar about 10-15 years ago and it finally went away after trying about 100 lotions. This time, I asked my doctor about it and he recommended I go through a series of lotions, using cotton gloves at night to keep the lotion on my hands, and other things.

I spent a lot of time online trying to figure out what this was and stumbled across a reference to Sodium Dodecyl (Lauryl) Sulfate (SDS or SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES).  I started reading labels. Both my body wash and shampoo had these chemicals in the first few ingredients. As did almost all tartar control toothpastes. By the time I figured this out, I’d been through a giant size jar of an expensive cream and about a dozen cotton gloves (one size fits — well not me), and still no relief. Yes, I’d used bag balm. I like bag balm and used it when I milked a cow. But it wasn’t helping. I’d put the cream on at night and wash it off with this harsh detergent in the morning.

I looked in the stores for replacements for my body wash and shampoo. It took some doing. I found Pert Plus did not have these chemicals. It was a little more expensive, but it was worth a shot. Then I found Zest. Welcome back to the bar soap. No SLS or SLES. I bought a bunch.

I’ve used non-tartar control toothpaste for years, when I can find it. It keeps my teeth from becoming sensitive. When I read the label, guess what? No SLS or SLES. Stores that do not carry non-tartar control toothpastes also have large selections of toothpaste for sensitive teeth. Go figure. I had a case of sensitive teeth about 20 years ago. I was discussing it with my dental assistant and he recommended I try a non-tartar control toothpaste. I switched and that problem has never recurred.

This is an “Aha!” moment. Products with no SDS/SLS or SLES don’t cause problems on my skin, scalp, or teeth.

Side note: Back in Navy boot camp, 1974, we had to use Zest soap because it did not leave soap scum in the shower. It made shower cleanup much easier. I then used Zest for many years until I started using body wash. I’m now back to Zest, and am partial to the Aloe version when I can find it.

So, my dry skin problem on my hands disappeared in a matter of a month or so. I use O’Keefe’s Working Hands now to keep my hands moist. I have a jar in the bathroom and a tube at my desk and one on my motorcycle.

Not everyone will have a problem with SDS/SLS or SLES. I may have been very slightly exposed to residual Agent Orange as a result of my ship porting at Da Nang, Vietnam during the war. Or, I may have had a bit too much from using RoundUp or similar things. This may influence my sensitivity to the chemicals in question. But, this experience increased my label reading in stores.

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