1. After balsa/paste stropping my razor, testing it and nicking myself on Saturday, I took a couple of days off shaving. It's good to do this once in a while, imo, and I'd been so enthused about str8 shaving that I hadn't been resting the old face at all. Today, on the third day, I stropped with a three day beard and prepped. I did the full preparation as outlined by Kyle, which for me is more thorough than normal, much more.
2. My silent mental mantra has been sttrrettccchhhh the skin. I figured with careful approach and a lot of stretching, things will go well. In fact, I've convinced myself that as far as technique goes, stretching is most important.
3. I noticed as the shave began that the right cheek near sideburn stroke was going smoothly and really cleaning the whiskers right down. Going surprisingly well. Nice wet lather, sharp razor, lots of beard, smooth stroke. I cleaned up that area and moved centerward. On the next stroke as I approached the jaw with no tug whatsoever, I felt the tell-tale bite. Aside from my razor test of a few days ago, and that was just from a purely stupid approach angle, it'd been weeks since I cut myself. Darn!
4. This told me two things: 1) that my razor has sharpened up nicely and my balsa and stropping technique are not doing harm, are perhaps adequate. 2) As my razor dulled over the weeks, as my enthusiasm increased, my technique got sloppy! It made me want to stop right there and put on the styptic. Gotta be more careful! This made me nervous about shaving.
Over and out.