• The Beard Remains


    It’s approaching mid-December and I still have the “beard” I grew last month during our Beards4Boobs fundraiser. I’ve kept it for a number of reasons:

    1. Every time I see myself in the mirror I’m reminded that I haven’t announced the winner of the Name That Beard contest yet. I really need to do that, because someone did win and there is a prize to be awarded.
    2. Neither my wife nor my son has inquired as to just when I plan on shaving.
    3. I’m curious to see whether another month of growth will fill in the sparse bits.
    4. I may want to go all Joaquin Phoenix at some point in the near future.

    In case you missed it, we managed to raise just over $3,900 in November, thanks to our fuzzy chins and the generosity of our sponsors. I’ve also heard rumors that a Beards4Boobs t-shirt will soon be available for purchase, with a portion of proceeds from each sale going to the Breast Cancer Research Fund. Not coincidentally, Pete DiLillo, the man whose beard attracted the most sponsorship dollars will soon be receiving one of these t-shirts in recognition of his awesomenity…awesomnambulance…awesomeness.

  • The Great Internet Detox (2009)


    Chris Miller calls it “The Great Information Detox”, but I’m going to go with “Internet Detox” this year. No Twitter or Tumblr, no Facebook or Flickr, no blogging or reading RSS feeds—not until 2010.

    Before I go, I want to thank everyone who participated in How Not to Grow a Beard Month this year. More importantly, thank you for spreading the word far and wide about Beards4Boobs, and for bringing in donations to fund breast cancer research. Last week, I was wondering whether we’d hit $2,000; yesterday morning I thought we might not hit our goal of $2,500; I went to bed last night happy that we’d managed to exceed the goal by nearly $200; this morning, I woke up to a final total of $3,663.23! My flabber is officially gasted. So a huge “Thank You” to everyone who participated, putting their scruffy cheeks and chin on display all through the month of November, and another huge “Thank You” to everyone who sponsored a beard. You are all awesome, generous people who clearly have much love for boobs in your hearts.

    That’s it from me until January. I hope your holidays are happy.

  • How Not To Grow a Beard Month 2008: The Halfway Point


    As we approach the middle of november, the beards on display at HoNoToGroABeMo.org are…well, I don’t think words can really do them justice, so here are a few of my favorite photo submissions from the first half of the month. Many, if not all, of the photos below can be clicked for embiggening.

    HoNoToGroABeMo: Bob, Day 01

    Day One: Bob kicks things off with his Creepy Stare theme, which has continued through the first two weeks.

    HoNoToGroABeMo: Kris, Day 04

    Day Four: Is this really the face of democracy?

    HoNoToGroABeMo: Chris, Day 06

    Day Six: Chris has already gone over to The Dark Side of The Beard.

    HoNoToGroABeMo: David, Day 08

    Day Eight: I am convinced that David has only two facial expressions. This is the other one.

    HoNoToGroABeMo: Nev, Day 10

    Day Ten: Nev shows off his pearly whites. In the United Kingdom, “jammyknashers” is common slang for “teeth”. 1No. Not really. English is a beautiful language.

    HoNoToGroABeMo: Wesley, Day 11

    Day Eleven: Wesley survived this vicious gargoyle attack, but just barely.

    HoNoToGroABeMo: Jeff, Day 12

    Day Twelve: Emo Jeff is emo.

    HoNoToGroABeMo: Gus, Day 12

    Day Twelve: Gus is more beard now than man; twisted and evil.

    Finally, we have an honorable 2“Honourable” for you, Nev. mention from Day Seven, featuring far, far too much Jeff.

    HoNoToGroABeMo: Jeff, Day 07

    1 No. Not really.
    2 “Honourable” for you, Nev.
  • HoNoToGroABeMo vs. NaBloPoMo


    Beardless Kris (HoNoToGroABeMo, Day 1)Oops! I went to bed early last night and completely neglected to post anything here, which means that—two days into the month—I failed National Blog Posting Month! Boom! Done!

    I suppose I could back-date a blog entry (WordPress certainly has the capability), but that would be cheating, so I’ll just bow out with what little grace and dignity I can muster.

    On the bright side, not feeling compelled to post something here every day will give me more time to blather over on the How Not To Grow A Beard Month site, something I’m sure everyone is looking forward to.

    As of this writing, there are a total of seven official participants in HoNoToGroABeMo, six of whom have actually posted on the site. An eighth individual has expressed interest, but I don’t know if his ID has been created yet. These are the men whose chins will transform from barren to lush in the coming weeks:

    1. Me. Yeah. Still.
    2. Bob. The Cynical Optimist.
    3. Wesley. The Cyclical Apologist.
    4. Chris. The Optimal Synergist.
    5. Jeff. The Subliminal Optometrist.
    6. Nev. The Longitudinal Psychologist.
    7. Gus. The Duodenal Cosmologist. 

    It’s not too late for you and your facial hair to get in on the action! As official arbiter of the event, I will allow late entries, especially to braggarts who claim that they can grow a full beard in a week or less. It’s time to put that boasting to the test, gentlemen! Drop me a line and I’ll see that you get an account on the site!

  • HoNoToGroABeMo is Go!


    Beardless Kris (HoNoToGroABeMo, Day 1)November is upon us and the month of blogging and beard-growing has begun! Over at the HoNoToGroABeMo site the first handful of photos and blog entries are already up; the amount of freshly-shorn cheek and chin on display is…mildly disturbing, to be honest. The question of whether the faces of the participants can survive the chill of November has led me to wonder whether the event ought not be moved to late spring or perhaps even early summer, but the die has been cast and the liability waivers signed, so the rest is left to chance, Mother Nature, and the responsible utilization of scarves.

    Here’s a quick rundown on the roster so far:

    • Me. Originator of the event and first to shave.
    • Bob. The cynical optimist and creator of the HoNoToGroABeMo website.
    • Chris. My co-overlord at The Secret Lair, whose face has not seen the light of day since before the Clinton administration.
    • Wesley. Mastermind responsible for such podcasts as Volcanicast, Stargate Cafe and The Log of the Crimson Lein.

    There are rumors of additional participants to come, but I don’t want to put anyone on the spot until they have officially cast their lot in on the site. If you, too, would like to get in on the hot, beard-growing action, leave a comment and I’ll see that you get an account on the official site. We’ll have an invitation system in place shortly (I hope), but as with any newfangled web wonder, there are a few kinks to work out before everything is running smoothly.

  • November: The Month of Months


    ‘Round about the last week of October, there’s usually a flurry of activity here as I announce what sort of insane challenges I’ll be embarking on in November. National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo) has topped the list for the last several years, followed by National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) and finally, a challenge of my own making: HoNoToGroABeMo, which is what we call How Not To Grow A Beard Month in these parts.

    My attempts at writing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days have been largely unsuccessful. Even when I managed the word count in 2005, I abandoned the story without a resolution; my protagonist fleeing across the desert and the man in black following. 1No. Not really. This year, I’ve decided to leave the writing to those with more determination (and story ideas) than I.

    Blogging every day for a month was, all things considered, a walk in the park, especially when I combined it with daily photographic evidence of my inability to grow a proper beard. I was already planning to do NaBloPoMo again this year, but when my friend Bob unveiled the HoNoToGroABeMo website it was like combining two great tastes that taste great together. 2Chocolate and cheese. Now my genetic disinclination toward facial hair and my proclivity for aimless babble form up, becoming the Voltron of pointless, month-long pursuits! 3Form blazing beard!

    The website, if all goes well, should be operational by the end of the week, at which point anyone who wishes to join us on our mad crusade can create an account. I’m told the features will include not only a blog, but a place to post photographs of what passes for progress throughout the month. I suspect that my own attempt (futile though it is destined to be) will be chronicled both here and there, perhaps through the utilization of some manner of imported cross-posting technology.

    1 No. Not really.
    2 Chocolate and cheese.
    3 Form blazing beard!
  • How Not To Grow A Beard: Day 30


    And there it is, the result of thirty days of not shaving. Impressive, it ain’t, but I wasn’t expecting it to be and that’s why the name of the event is “How Not To Grow a Beard Month”. Whether I make this an annual event or not really depends on whether I’m able to get the damn thing off tomorrow.

    To recap:

    HoNoToGroABeMo: Success!
    NaBloPoMo: Success!
    NaNoWriMo: Dismal failure!

    I’ll gloat about those first two and let Rob handle the gloating on the third.

    Tomorrow there will be one final blog post from me and then the pixels go dark until 2008. As Chris Miller has already hinted, you can expect a new podcast from us sometime in January.

  • How Not To Grow A Beard: Day 28


    Only a few more days of silly beard pictures and it’ll all be over…or will it? The beard is definitely coming off in December, but I think I’m going to have some fun with it first. Stay tuned for ever-increasing levels of foolishness.

    In non-beard-related news, I’ve started packing up my stuff at work. Swarthy men wearing swarthy shoes will transport boxes of my stuff from the building in which I currently work to the building in which I’ll be working starting on Monday. The new place is closer to home, but I’ve heard there are random alligator attacks in the parking lot and that bands of gnomes steal the toilet paper out of the third floor men’s room. Since I’m going to be working on the first floor, the gnomes don’t really concern me. On the other hand, I’m horribly allergic to alligators. One bite and I start bleeding all over the place; it isn’t pretty.

  • How Not To Grow A Beard: Day 25


    I’m about to head out the door to record my final Volcanicast of 2007. The show will continue through the end of the year, but I’ll be sitting out due to contract negotiations my Month of Radio Silence, or what Chris Miller calls the Great Information Detox. Just because I won’t be co-hosting the show doesn’t mean I won’t be listening; I listen to every episode, whether I’m on it or not. 1If I’m on an episode, I listen to it twice. That’s right, I love the sound of my own voice that much.

    Today’s HoNoToGroABeMo photo is me pretty much straight out of the shower. As the end of November approaches, I’m realizing that my beard is, indeed, great…provided I’m going for that scraggly, uneven Unabomber-meets-Charles-Manson look. Yeah, I’ll be shaving it off come December unless something miraculous happens, like a blood transfusion from Sam Elliott granting me mutant beard-growing powers or perhaps being bitten by a radioactive member of ZZ Top.

    1 If I’m on an episode, I listen to it twice. That’s right, I love the sound of my own voice that much.
  • Foodstuff: On the Matter of Pie (Part the Second)


    How Not To Grow A Beard: Day 20
    Yesterday’s discourse on the virtue of pie was a bit of a bait and switch, and for that I apologize. My original intent was to extol the virtue of several pies that—though they cannot compete in any realistic sense with the culinary perfection of a properly-prepared pumpkin pie—I enjoy a great deal. Unfortunately, I ran out of time.

    The first hurdle faced when engaging in a serious discussion of pie is one of classification. While I touched on the distinction between dessert and non-dessert pies yesterday, the problem of classification is incredibly complex, even if we limit ourselves to only dessert pies.

    At first blush, it seems a simple matter to separate pies into three categories: fruit, berry and custard. However, this immediately leads to questions as to how pumpkin pie is classified, as it is both a fruit and a custard pie. We have also entirely failed to take into account cream pies, such as those originating in Boston, but the introduction of a fourth category leads to even further confusion as the proper classification of the banana cream pie becomes an issue. Confusion abounds and we’ve yet to touch on the pseudo-pies, those whose crusts are filled with pudding or mousse.

    Allowing for hybrid pies goes a long way toward making more precise classification possible (e.g. strawberry-rhubarb is both a berry and a fruit pieSort of.), but berry enthusiasts will undoubtedly claim the strawberry contributes more to the flavor, texture, and overall enjoyment of the pie. That anyone who would make such a claim is clearly batshit crazy is completely irrelevant to the discussion, but does paint a fairly accurate portrait of the average berry pie fanatic.

    Unfortunately, even in the example above, there is room for argument. Rhubarb is not a fruit; it is only classified as such because of how it is eaten. Now before the vegetable contingent pipes up on the matter, let me say this: rhubarb isn’t a vegetable, either, so shut your pie holes. Rhubarb is an herb.

    Let me repeat that: rhubarb is an herb. We haven’t even gotten to sweet potato pieRoot vegetables? Do we really need to go there? yet and already we’ve got to take herbs into consideration. It boggles the mind.

    So far we’ve got fruit, berryYes, I realize that berries are technically fruits. But not all fruits are berries, so they’re different, okay? Let it go, will ya? This is hard enough without you nitpicking every damn thing I say., vegetable, herb, custard, cream, pudding and mousse.

    And nut. Damn pecans.

    Am I forgetting any?