S: The Beard Experiment
FC: The Beard Experiment
1: So, way back in the summer of 2009, my good friend Don Selby got married. The usual suspects were there, among them a fair-faced young Kurt Saunders. During the photo session for the bride & groom, we, the wedding party, were hanging out in the limo when we weren't needed. During that time, the subject of my facial hair came up. I didn't have a lot at the time, but it was a bit bushier than I normally have it. I was then asked if I thought I could grow my beard into a comb-over. I replied that I had never tried. And so Kurt, being Kurt, dared me to do it, he even threw in an incentive. I informed him that I didn't need an incentive to do it, I would do it for bragging rights alone...it was my lovely wife he would have to convince. Well, he did...and here we are!
2: Not even one day and look! By the sheer power of daringness, I have received a full head of hair. . . | . . . *sigh* it was just a wig. I was so close...oh well. Time to get things underway . . . | HUZZAH!
3: maybe if I concentrate really hard, it will grow quicker . . . . . . . . *hunnngghhhh* | he's eyeing the beard...did he make a wise dare???
4: during the summer it was fun to hang with our friends and family . . . | . . . and the beard still looks half decent
5: as summer moved into fall, so too my beard began to evolve. It got shaggier and even this short time later (a couple months) Jenn was willing for it to be gone *wink*
6: . . . as the months wore on, the true nature of my facial hair began to present itself . . . . tight & curly. So, while it was growing, it was also getting more and more, well, shaggy. | I've even inspired my boyz!!!
7: . . . and in rolls my 34th birthday and look at that shaggy, dirty thing! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME | (the 'stache makes me look dignified...right???)
8: Did the water at Storybook Gardens do this? | from this... | ...to this!
9: ...ha ha ha... no the water in London, ON didn't do it, but if I swam enough in Lake Ontario... well, you never know what could happen...
10: WHAT WAS IN THAT WATER??????? | hahaha . . . just kidding. Don't worry. That is just a mask I'm wearing to keep my beard from whipping me in the face while I ride my motorcycle (the things you don't think of till they happen).
11: and now...for the big moment. This is the moment you have been waiting for. I will admit though, Kurt, my friend, that I was unable to grow the beast into a combover. I got close (as you will see on the next page), but close only counts in horseshoes and handgrenades (or so I am told). It was an exciting journey. Well, exciting for me. Jenn was less than excited. I grew it for 13 months...she could've done with me shaving it after 8 months. But she is a real trooper and here we are, 13 months later with a Saint Nickly/Civil War Generally length beard! To my wife . . . you truly are the best sport ever!
12: . . . not half bad for 13 months eh?!
13: so close and yet so far | beard of heroes (my nickname) statistics. . . Length : 9" (give or take) Longest single hair : 9" Growth per month : 0.69" Pulled up front length : 7.75" Pulled up side length : 8" Total growth needed (front) : 14.5" Total growth needed (side) : 12" Estimate to finish : 8 more months (21 in total needed) Accomplishments unlocked : too many to count!
14: Beard of Heroes Timeline 2010 August : dared to grow beard into combover : had grown beard for 6 or 7 weeks at this point September : trimmed beard to get even growth : trim set back = 1 month (roughly) October : kept growing November : kept growing : wife starting to complain a bit December : growing still : wife not sure how much longer she can live with it 2011 January : more growth : starting to get mocked slightly at work : lots of people asking questions about it February : 6 month mark - still growing strong : if pulled forward, up to nose : if pulled to side, up to bottom of ear
15: March : still growing April : 8 months! Longest growth to date. : wife really wondering how much longer it will last May : growing : if pulled forward, up to bridge of nose : if pulled to the side, up to top of ear June : growing still but for how much longer? : wife threatens for umpteenth time to cut off beard in sleep : 10 months! : have to put it in ponytail or it blows in my face on motorcycle : 2 hair ties July : Can I keep going? How long will my beard grow before it stops? : wife begging for me to cut it : 3 hair ties needed now August : buddy sent me a link to a beard measuring t-shirt : I am officially somewhere between St Nick and a Civil War General : am using mask to keep beard in check instead of hair ties, look much meaner now September : done!
16: Well, Kurt, the 13 months of the dare were quite exciting. But it wasn't only exciting due to the beard growth...There were birthdays (Deyen '4', Levi '2'), holidays, and firsts (Deyen riding a bike without training wheels!). So, here, for you, are some pictures of those highlights . . .
17: Deyen's 4th birthday... Dragons & Knights!
18: Happy Halloween!
19: Christmas with the London Stolte's | plenty of mischief to be had by all: a gingerbread village from 'How to Train Your Dragon', giving stuffed animals needles, and joyful obsession over clothes!
20: Levi's 2nd birthday! | superstarz!
21: Canada Day creativity at it's messiest!
22: Deyen enjoyed a summer of firsts! | riding a two-wheel bike without training wheels | 1-up! | FISHING!
23: Levi enjoyed his own adventurous summer by scootering and skateboarding with the big kids (and mom) at the local skatepark.
24: No summer is quite complete without a camping experience. We had a great one this year. Canoing and yurt-ing at Silent Lake... | ...eating fresh Ontario peaches with the juice just dripping everywhere, going for nature walks with mom seeing all kinds of beautiful things...
25: ...and of course who can forget fireworks...lots and lots of fireworks along with some tricky... | ...camera work to capture those perfect sparkler twirls!
26: Let the hi-jinks ensue...Deyen & Levi are quite the pair as they explore their world and get into all kinds of joy filled mischief :-)
27: Well, my friend...thank you so much again for the dare. It proved to be fun and memorable; not just for me and my family, but for my community too. It has been quite a shock for them to see me with so little facial hair :-) I hope that you enjoy this book and that maybe, in the not-too-distant future we can see you. Bless you friend! | ps...I have the best wife ever! I just gotta say it again :-) thanks sweetie!