Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Final Whiskerino

If you haven't participated or followed a Whiskerino, it is difficult to describe. So, I'm not going to try. I'll just say that there is something in the male DNA that bonds him with brothers who are going through the beard growing and showing experience. The weekend of Feb 19, 2010 was the big party at the end of the final said 4 month long beard growing. We laughed, we cried, we sang "That's What Friends Are For" in the Waffle House at 3:30 am, we were family. I still can't figure out how a few grams of hair can bond so many fantastic guys (and girls) together.
To illustrate the power of this little website. I thought I would intoduce you to this fellow. His moniker is "Bald Beard." I will let the caption for this photo and the comments from other participants tell the story.
Fellow bearded,I must bow out of the competition. For those of you who don't know, I am currently living with -- and dying of -- stage IV colon cancer.I have been asked to share my story on how cancer has affected my faith in and my relationship with God. The story will be told via video to over 10,000 people next week and countless more on the web after that. I am humbled and flattered to be given this opportunity. As such, I want to make this a clear and distraction-free exposition of my thoughts; having a giant beard may not be considered distraction-free.Secondly, my lovely wife is yearning to see my lips and cheeks again. The missus' kisses are far more valuable to me than this contest.But please do not think I am abandoning the beard. The beginning of Whiskerino was the first time I had shaved clean in over eight years. I am a bearded man and will keep my beard (albeit slightly more trimmed) for the rest of my life. And please do not think I am abandoning you all. I have not participated as much as I could have, but I have made some new friends and I appreciate that. There has been much support regarding my cancer treatments and I also appreciate that.If you wish to keep up with my story, you may do so at my blog: again, friends.
Keep up the good work.

robberfly says:
A worthy cause, and not shameful either. My mother died of cancer 6 years ago, so I totally understand where you are coming from. Cancer royally sucks. Stay strong & keep pressing on!
Posted: Feb 19th, 2010 - 7:15am -
mattyc says:
It has been a pleasure growing with you sir. Sad to see you go. Boo cancer. and I will be checking your blog to see how you are doing.
Posted: Feb 19th, 2010 - 7:16am -
mattyc says:
also i'll be praying for you.
Posted: Feb 19th, 2010 - 7:17am -
SoulGlo1976 says:
God bless you sir.
Posted: Feb 19th, 2010 - 7:19am -
Katie says:
Fair enough; trim that beard up and look nice for all the people! Good luck!
Posted: Feb 19th, 2010 - 7:20am -
TheStride says:
Not shameful. I will follow your blog and be praying for you.
Posted: Feb 19th, 2010 - 7:26am -
Fledgling Brewer says:
Thanks for the link. Capitalize on that opportunity! You have the power of hundreds of beards behind you, for what that's worth.
Posted: Feb 19th, 2010 - 7:27am -
jeremiahx says:
For this I can not shame you. You are a great man and an inspiring story. Go change lives.
Posted: Feb 19th, 2010 - 7:33am -
brandon says:
You are a hero. We love you and you and your family will be in my prayers.
Posted: Feb 19th, 2010 - 7:34am -
EdwardTeach says:
The Lord Bless you an keep you, The lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you. The Lord lift up the light of his countenance upon youAnd give you peace, and give you peace. So sorry, but so glad you could be a part of this.
Posted: Feb 19th, 2010 - 7:36am -
K-Chance says:
A note worthy beard, and an eternal man.
Posted: Feb 19th, 2010 - 7:38am -
keifel says:
thank you for sharing part of your journey with us.
Posted: Feb 19th, 2010 - 7:39am -
hale. says:
thank you for being here, and thank you for sharing your story. best wishes to you and your family.
Posted: Feb 19th, 2010 - 7:47am -
The Art of The Beard says:
May God comfort and hold you and your family, and give you peace that surpasses understanding.
Posted: Feb 19th, 2010 - 7:50am -
michaeljstraub says:
Glad you were a part of this! Hope the filming goes well and I wish you the best
Posted: Feb 19th, 2010 - 7:54am -
Patchy Stache says:
Good luck, man. I can't imagine what you're going through, but you must be incredibly brave to deal with it as you are. And trimming/shaving or not...your beard is AMAZING.Safe travels in the future. *hugs*
Posted: Feb 19th, 2010 - 7:56am -
McDooDoo says:
Boo cancer, indeed. No shame here.Be well and be blessed.
Posted: Feb 19th, 2010 - 7:57am -
mims attack says:
your photo from a couple days ago was unreal. mega beard. sad to see it go.
Posted: Feb 19th, 2010 - 7:58am -
Robfrenzy says:
take care, we will miss you
Posted: Feb 19th, 2010 - 8:11am -
jonshell says:
i think @hale said it best. you will be missed.
Posted: Feb 19th, 2010 - 8:27am -
GrapeS says:
mighty sad shame, hope all goes well.
Posted: Feb 19th, 2010 - 8:28am -
Yogi Beard says:
You are the man. Plain and simple.
Posted: Feb 19th, 2010 - 8:35am -
falfa says:
good luck. take care.
Posted: Feb 19th, 2010 - 8:40am -
Sir Walshington says:
Give a great talk. It has been a pleasure whiskerino-ing with you. Big big big love.
Posted: Feb 19th, 2010 - 8:43am -
jeremyokai says:
Good luck man. My mom passed from this in 2001. My heart goes out to you and your family.
Posted: Feb 19th, 2010 - 8:43am -
mackle says:
Obviously, we all wish you the best of luck. Hopefully Whiskerino has provided a worthwhile distraction for you and maybe a bit of additional happiness you may not have otherwise had. Your beard is MASSIVE, so we'll all miss it but making your wife happy and being able to tell your story comfortably and properly is far more important. This may result in "shame" but that's only because there isn't another word for it within the context of the site... it's really just a goodbye.Good luck and godspeed. We all wish you nothing but the absolute best.
Posted: Feb 19th, 2010 - 8:44am -
pcain says:
thank you for sharing. I we follow your blog like we followed your beard. its been a pleasure. Ill be praying for you.
Posted: Feb 19th, 2010 - 8:47am -
mattmarch says:
That is one fine beard. My heart goes out to you also brother. I'll be praying for you and your fam, and am bookmarking your site. Godspeed.
Posted: Feb 19th, 2010 - 8:51am -
Grown Unknown says:
I continue to be amazed and thankful for how Whiskerino opens up a crack across the human experience and lets us learn about life through people we'd otherwise never meet.Thanks for sharing in Whiskerino, and I wish the best for you and your family.
Posted: Feb 19th, 2010 - 8:52am -
Fofe says:
It's been a pleasure growing with you. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. Your beards was a great contribution to the site. Adios.
Posted: Feb 19th, 2010 - 8:54am -
mynameisjason says:
you remain absoutely shameless (in a good way) in my book. i can't imagine being in your shoes, but thanks to your blog, i'm gonna try and walk along side of them for awhile. God bless you and all those you meet. Much love and prayer- -Jason
Posted: Feb 19th, 2010 - 8:58am -
Paragone says:
So sorry to hear you must go but under the circumstances it is definitely not shame. I have been following your story and I only wish you the best in the future. We are all praying for you.
Posted: Feb 19th, 2010 - 9:13am -
Chuck Damage says:
I know it's really in poor taste, but I'm oh so tempted to say 'SHAME HIM!' or something like that.But that would be in very poor taste. Seriously, I wish you the best of luck and I am sorry to see you go.
Posted: Feb 19th, 2010 - 9:41am -
Chuck Damage says:
Also, Kingfave for realz.
Posted: Feb 19th, 2010 - 9:42am -
James A. Polk says:
Thanks for sharing your story. I'm glad you are still sharing the Good News!
Posted: Feb 19th, 2010 - 9:44am -
orangebeard says:
I could say many things but nothing I say is as important that you love Jesus and know Him personally. I look forward to meeting you one day, whether on earth or in Heaven! I will continue to pray for you and your family during this trial. Thank God for Jesus!
Posted: Feb 19th, 2010 - 10:30am -
aaron b says:
Dear @Baldbeard,I am happy to have had the opportunity to grow a beard with you via the internet for the past 111 days. I was aware that you have cancer, but I was not aware of the specifics. I am very sorry to hear this. However, it seems like you have your priorities; family, faith, etc... You have been an absolutely awesome beard and we're going to miss you. There is absolutely no shame in what you're doing. I will be sure to follow your story. Godspeed.Sincerely,@aaronb
Posted: Feb 19th, 2010 - 10:44am -
J-Ho says:
Sorry to see youbow out so close to the end but it's more than understandable. Your beard is highly enviable. Good luck, sir.
Posted: Feb 19th, 2010 - 10:48am -
keeper of the fort says:
God's peace be with you. Praying with you.
Posted: Feb 19th, 2010 - 11:52am -
Smurf says:
Was a pleasure to go a bread with you good sir, no shame here, and to quote from Pink Floyd "Shine on you crazy Diamond".
Posted: Feb 19th, 2010 - 11:57am -
themightyjones says:
Ever since I learned about what was going on with you, you've been nearly ever present in my thoughts. I truly pray God's blessings and peace over you and your sweet family. God bless you, and I'm looking forward to when ever we may meet.
Posted: Feb 19th, 2010 - 12:50pm -
wondermade says:
I'm glad you participated, and I hope your recording session goes well. I look forward to seeing the video, and to keeping up with your living.(Been / will be praying for you and your family.)
Posted: Feb 19th, 2010 - 12:58pm -
Pip says:
It's been an honor to grow with you these months. I look forward to seeing the video; I know what you say will be a privilege to hear.
Posted: Feb 19th, 2010 - 1:11pm -
Dave says:
Its been an honor to grow and show with you. May you and your family be blessed with peace and understanding beyond what we can think humanly. No shame at all brother! May the road rise up to meet you.May the wind always be at your back.May the sun shine warm upon your face,and rains fall soft upon your fields.And until we meet again,May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
Posted: Feb 19th, 2010 - 1:21pm -
ThatGuy says:
It's been awesome growing with you. I wish you the absolute best in your video. Good luck.
Posted: Feb 19th, 2010 - 1:53pm -
johnny says:
no shame whatsoever! be well.
Posted: Feb 19th, 2010 - 1:57pm -
KimJongIllness says:
Sounds to me like you've got your priorities in the absolutely right place.
Posted: Feb 19th, 2010 - 2:48pm -
dizzywizard says:
blessings from here to there.
Posted: Feb 19th, 2010 - 3:13pm -
Poe says:
@BaldBeard crap - I had no idea. I'm sorry for what your going through. In 2007 my wife was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer. We spent a year in New York while she was in treatment. I tried to stay involved with the Whiskerino but as I'm sure you know it was hard. In May she will be 2 years cancer free. I'm thankful for everyday.There isn't much I can say in a comment but know I will be praying for you.
Posted: Feb 19th, 2010 - 3:41pm -
blankenship says:
I'm glad I get to see you across the desk on a near daily basis, gigantor beard or not.
Posted: Feb 19th, 2010 - 7:43pm -
Douggal says:
I know all is in divine order, and you have and will continue to do great things that will help so many. I behold the Christ spirit in you, and wish you and your family the absolute best.
Posted: Feb 19th, 2010 - 8:10pm -
Jar says:
I will be praying for you buddy, thanks for the last 4 months.
Posted: Feb 19th, 2010 - 11:52pm -
shularbrau says:
No shame. Just king. Thank you for being a part of this.
Posted: Feb 20th, 2010 - 12:04am -
ben says:
Posted: Feb 20th, 2010 - 12:05am -
stanislaw says:
wow that's incredible. best of luck and i will definitely have you in my thoughts. good luck!!
Posted: Feb 20th, 2010 - 12:13am -
R E N A U D says:
I am moved by your story and your perspective is amazing. I will definitely be praying for you and hoping for a miracle (big or small).If there is anything Team Renaud can do for you, please let me know.
Posted: Feb 20th, 2010 - 12:24am -
mercantilever says:
Shame? No. Just the opposite: honor.Courage, friend.
Posted: Feb 20th, 2010 - 12:40am -
nate says:
God bless you friend. No shame.
Posted: Feb 20th, 2010 - 12:59am -
Ned Kelly says:
Good Luck sir, Ill be thinking of you and your family.
Posted: Feb 20th, 2010 - 2:16am -
Ula O cealleigh says:
Aww man best of luck & thankyou for sharing with us. I hope you continue to enjoy your beard. Its was great to have you part of whiskerino for the time you were here!!Our thoughts & wishes are with you. :)
Posted: Feb 20th, 2010 - 4:12am -
gfmorris says:
Hail to the King. Thank you for sharing this struggle. God bless you and your family.
Posted: Feb 20th, 2010 - 5:43am -
Tolleson says:
There is no shame. Never shame.You are more man than any beard, even yours, could ever hold. To King you is an understatement, for you surely have risen beyond what mere men could hope.My prayers for you and your family are inevitable as they are constant.
Posted: Feb 20th, 2010 - 6:29am -
mu says:
You have been a light and an inspiration here. My family's prayers and with you and your family.
Posted: Feb 20th, 2010 - 6:39am -
mu says:
sorry, "are" with you and your family.
Posted: Feb 20th, 2010 - 6:39am -
Moo says:
God Bless you and your family! Roo and I will keep you in our prayers.....NO SHAME!
Posted: Feb 20th, 2010 - 7:02am -
chadmcclarnon says:
BOO CANCER! It's amazing that you've stayed as involved as you have during all of your treatments...stay strong man, we're all behind you
Posted: Feb 20th, 2010 - 7:19am -
GrapeS says:
i wonder if this could possibly be the first king/shame? i king'd it yesterday when i saw it but never imagined it would happen, congratulations and much luck
Posted: Feb 20th, 2010 - 7:27am -
Ace says:
I pray that your story will touch the masses sir. thank you for being a light.
Posted: Feb 20th, 2010 - 7:38am -
Shotgun Willie says:
definitely a rightful king, sir. may God bless you and your family.
Posted: Feb 20th, 2010 - 8:10am -
Furricane says:
honored and touched. Can't wait to see the video
Posted: Feb 20th, 2010 - 8:22am -
Ozzy Nelson says:
I am sorry I didn't get to king this photo yesterday because I was so busy trying to get everybody where they needed to be for the TD. It is your first photo that have not kinged in probably 2 months which is pretty ironic I guess.I love you man.
Posted: Feb 20th, 2010 - 8:27am -
Philly says:
A well deserved king. My prayers are with you and your family.I look forward to seeing your message.
Posted: Feb 20th, 2010 - 8:40am -
Pastor D Fizz says:
you're an inspiration to us all, we'll be praying for you. Congrats on the King Beard!
Posted: Feb 20th, 2010 - 9:09am -
NoahRienks says:
Kongrants on The King! You story is moving, and you will be in my thoughts and prayers.
Posted: Feb 20th, 2010 - 9:27am -
jmathiasxiii says:
you are a hero.
Posted: Feb 20th, 2010 - 10:59am -
dizzywizard says:
glad you are King:)
Posted: Feb 20th, 2010 - 3:53pm -
irishsquire says:
you are an inspiration,sir. and best of luck. prayers for you and your loved ones.
Posted: Feb 20th, 2010 - 4:01pm -
Crambell says:
Proud to grow with you.
Posted: Feb 20th, 2010 - 4:06pm -
Marko says:
Your story is worth much more. As with others our prayers are with you. Blessings and best wishes.
Posted: Feb 20th, 2010 - 4:07pm -
pcain says:
Congrats on KING! BOO cancer! Yay whiskerino!
Posted: Feb 20th, 2010 - 4:35pm -
darksideblugrss says:
no Shame and glad this got kinged. now spread the word and do great things!
Posted: Feb 20th, 2010 - 4:36pm -
Snuffleupagus says:
Good luck. I look forward to meeting you in a couple of weeks. If you get a chance email me at zachary(at)compasspointlakeland(dot)com so we can meet up at Unleash.
Posted: Feb 20th, 2010 - 6:42pm -
revgoomba says:
I'm so glad Whiskerino has introduced me to you. You are an inspiration and I shall share your story withall my friends.Aw ra best big chap!
Posted: Feb 21st, 2010 - 4:29pm -
Davis says:
my mom passed from colon cancer a little under a year and a half ago, so seeing this hit me pretty hard and reminded me that this is way more than (as i've casually explained to people who asked about whiskerino) "an excuse for dudes to grow beards, hang out, and drink beers." i wish you the best, and we'll all be thinking about you.
Posted: Feb 22nd, 2010 - 5:49am -
SpiceJ says:
I never got the chance to really talk to you. I was mostly ashamed of my lack of beard growth and very intimidated by yours and as well as the other massive beardos here. I read this and started to tear up. It's frightening/saddening/inspiring all at the same time, your story. I wish you nothing but the best on your journey. As I've said, I do not know you too well, but you seem like someone who is worth knowing and has enjoyed his life. Take care and live life to the fullest!
Posted: Feb 24th, 2010 - 9:31am -
O-Train says:
Much deserved king. Thanks for sharing this with all of us. Your outlook and strength are inspiring. You'll be in our thoughts.
Posted: Feb 24th, 2010 - 8:20pm -

Thursday, February 4, 2010

That Was My Skull

Before going to work last week, I wanted to do a few chinups on my new over the door frame chinup bar. Well I stupidly grabbed the verticle support bar instead of the horizontal bar and began to pull up. The top bar across the top of the doorframe slipped off and busted me in the face. As I fell, I hit my back on the dog gate going across the door and busted the back of my head on the floor. When I figured out that the blood was coming from my forhead, I put compression on it and finally got it slowed down.

My x-ray tech daughter Ashlee checked me out and said I need to go to the ER. I didn't believe her. Then I blew my nose. Because there was a new crack between my sinuses and my eye socket, blowing my nose forced air into the eye socket and it blew up. That was uncomfortable and kind of scary, so I ended up going to the ER and got a couple stitches and a CT scan.

I can't help but think that cat is getting me back.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Moral Dilemmas

I haven't posted in forever because I am busy with Whiskerino. I will blog about the Whiskerino experience the first week of March when it is over. Right now, I feel compelled to get some things off my chest.

A couple of weeks ago Mrs Ozzy went to Colorado for vacation. The plan was for me to meet her out there later in the week. Of course, the original plan was for us to go together, but I forgot that I had to be at work that week for training, so I stayed behind. The original plan was also that my parents-in-law were going to come stay at the house with the boy while we were gone. They are in their mid-seventies, but they are in very good health.

So, Mrs Ozzy leaves on Monday, on Tues morning the two big dogs (husky and akita) disappear. This thing happens all the time and they always come back so I'm not worried. We go to bed Tues night knowing that we would wake up in the morning and the dogs would be back in the garage, wore out.

02:00 Wednesday morning I am awakened by what I would describe as a constant yipping. It was annoying as hell and I knew it had to be my dogs so I got up. It was 40 F and raining. As soon as i stepped into the living room I smelled skunk. I turned the flood lights on and saw the dogs circling an animal they had captured. I went outside where the stench was horrific and watched the pawing this creature and yipping, but it wasn't a skunk as I suspected. It was a cat. Crapola. I could tell the thing was injured, but I couldn't tell the extent of it. I got the dogs into the garage and got a flashlight so i could inspect the victim further.

It was still alive, but not doing too good. It's hind quarters were motionless. I stood in the rain wondering what I should do. I am not a cat lover, but if I owned a cat I wouldn't take it to the vet at 2:00 am, so I'm sure not going to take this one. Anyway, I couldn't leave Jr at home by himself in the middle of the night.

As I stood in the cold darkness, rain hitting the hood of my jacket, I felt as if the world were swirling around me and I was alone. I wanted to do the right thing, but I could see a 4-figure vet bill and an angry neighbor. So, I got my shovel and decided I would examine it yet again. I poked it with the shovel. It definitely showed that it was ready to fight, but still didn't move its rear legs. Since it was so full of fight, I thought I would give it a chance to pull through rather than "put it out of its misery."
I went inside and went to bed, tossing and turning, dreaming of it dragging itself to my neighbors door, only to whisper in its last dying breath that it was the Nelson dogs who did this horrible thing.
I awoke early. Still dark and raining I could see the lifeless body at the edge of the yard. The charges were no longer assault, but murder. Episodes of CSI, Criminal Minds, Law & Order, Quincy, Dr. G, Colombo, all ran through my head. I dug a hole. As I carried the body to its grave a heard its tags jingle. To this point I didn't know who this innocent victim belonged to. I had to make a decision. Do I look at the tags to positively ID this John/Jane DoeCat or do I not? I chose not. I said a short prayer and buried my furry friend, knowing that I was now an accessory.

And now, as in Edgar Allen Poe's "Tell Tale Heart" the jingling of those tags grow louder and louder in my ears.