Well, we might as well get THIS over with

I shaved today. All over.

Well, not ALL over. Just all over my head. And face.

It’s been over ten years since my chin has seen sunlight without the protective filtration provided by a beard. That’s a DECADE, kids. Some of you reading this right now didn’t know HOW to read the last time I shaved my face.

I’ve got two photos here for you. The first was taken halfway through the shaving process, and I do mean HALF WAY.

What kind of weirdo shaves his beard half a face at a time? Well, the LAST time I did this (summer of 1994) I went from full beard to goatee, and from goatee to moustache, and from moustache to clean. Each stage was educational — especially “moustache,” which is the stage in which both Sandra and I agreed I should remain for as little time as was mechanically possible.

So this time we tried it differently, and the result is that you can see just how much area my beard adds to the lower part of my face. You can also see into our shower behind me. Note that I’ve carefully cropped this photo as close to the relevant “me” bits as possible to spare you the sight of mildew and shampoo bottles.

And now, the SECOND half…

I can still put on a wry face, peering imperiously over my glasses at you, but without the chin-weeds it loses some of its effect. I look like a cue-ball. I look very roundheaded. I also bear a startling (and yes, disturbing) resemblance to Jerry “Tycho” Holkins from Penny Arcade. Somebody dig up a convention photo of that and post a link in the comments — you’ll see what I mean.

(Tycho, if you’re reading this: I SWEAR I’m not trying to steal your mojo. See below)

So… what possessed me to clear-cut the face-forest? It’s simple. The folks at the local LDS Temple extended a call to me to serve one day a week in the temple. One aspect of temple worship is the attempt to keep as many distracting and “worldly” influences outside as is humanly possible, and a very vanilla, conservative hairstyle is therefore part of what they ask of their volunteers. Since I deeply desire the blessings concomitant with temple service, and since the beard appeared to be in the way, it had to go.

You can argue with (or for) the wisdom behind that rationale until you’re blue in the face, and all it will get you is blue in the face. They could have asked me to do any number of seemingly silly, trivial, or non-germane things, and in accepting the call to work in the temple I cheerfully would have submitted myself to the silly, the trivial, and/or the non-germane. It’s not about rationalizing things. It’s about having faith that for acting in a certain way, I’ll be more richly blessed than had I chosen an alernate path.

And that’s really what it comes down to. I don’t believe that religion is something you can choose because you already believe and do everything that religion teaches. If you’re shopping for a church that teaches that everything you currently think, say and do is correct, you might as well just stay home. For me, religion exists to CHANGE the behavior of the devout on his/her quest for ultimate truth.

Okay, that got pretty deep pretty quick. Upshot: no matter how putty-headed I may think I look without it, it was just a beard.

–Howard

90 thoughts on “Well, we might as well get THIS over with”

  1. I like you for Schlock Mercenary. I adore you for your writing. I can’t begin to tell you how much I respect you for your devotion to a deep and abiding faith.

    1. Indeed, I need to update my icons. Drawing a bald, beardless me with skinny, non-zig-zag glasses is on my list of things to do next week.

      I’m switching glasses because, frankly, the bigger lenses of the zig-zag pair seem to emphasize my new lack of a chin.

  2. Dude, I was gonna say “Cripes on toast – it’s TYCHO!” before I even scrolled down and noticed that YOU noticed. You must grow the beard back as soon as humanly possible, if only so that we can tell you guys apart at conventions.

    1. Actually, Tycho just emailed me and asked me to fill in for him at their booth at Comic-Con, in exchange for a massive bag of real money they imported from Japan.

      –Howard
      (did I forget to bracket that with <FICTION> tags?)

  3. I’m not sure a beard counts as non-conservative — my pastor wears one, and he’s not remotely what you’d call a “Buddy Christ” preacher — but if it was personally causing you problems (too much attention to grooming it?) I can see your reasoning.

    1. I’ve been teaching Gospel Doctrine to our congregation for over four years now with the beard on, and nobody seemed to mind. Definitions of “conservative” appearance are going to vary city to city, culture to culture, and age to age.

      So like I said, you can argue for or against the “conservative and vanilla” rationale until you’re blue in the face, and get exactly blue in the face.

      –Howard

      1. Just how blue is that much clearer without the protective hair cover. And I suppose beards (albeit of a larger more unkempt variety) have had a negative press of late.
        (At least Kevyn won’t have to follow the trend!)

        You must do whatever you feel is right, of course….

        And those that do so regardless of personal inclinations have my respect.

      2. Regarding differing definitions of “conservative appearance” – that’s very true. I’m not a particularly good judge of such things. I know some groups where the “Q-Ball” look would be considered very radical, actually. (My default group tends to not really care either way.)

        Oh and ten years? I haven’t cut my hair or shaved more than a trim in over 14 years. For some reason the USAF left me with an adversion to such things! (And I was a pre-teen the last time my Dad shaved!)

        Bottom line: Hey, it’s your face. Decorate it however you like.

      3. Why argue? It’s your body, Howard, but you knew that already.

        Me, I’m not growing a beard. I’m just not shaving. Blood is just *not* my scene.

        At least that’s what I keep telling the grand jury.

    2. Just out of curiosity,

      Was the shave your decision, or was it recommended by your local [insert name of religious figure here] type person.

      the Rev

      1. During my interview with the 2nd Counselor to the Temple President, he told me that unless I had some sort of skin condition, I would be expected to report to the temple clean-shaven (if I accepted their invitation to work there).

        He really was quite nice about it. We talked at great length, and during much of our discussion I was “thinking out loud” about how the beard has been a part of my “image,” and how for a long time I’ve thought that the image was reasonably important to my career.

        I was recommended to the position by my Bishop and the President of the local LDS stake, and in their comments they said “Brother Tayler wears a beard, but would probably be willing to shave.”

        So to answer your question: shaving was MY decision because accepting the invitation to work at the temple was my decision. Had I NOT been required to shave in order to work at the temple, I probably would have chosen to keep the beard.

  4. Wow. That IS a stunning resemblance you’ve got there.

    I don’t really uh, believe in anything in particular, but I do have a great deal of respect (and sometimes envy) for those that do. Personally, I think the beard looked a bit better, but if this is working for you and something that you wanted, then keep it off.

    The question *I* have is, how much of a difference is that going to make on average body temperature? Will you get really cold? Or is it just…different?

    I’d be weirded out if I woke up with all my hair missing. …well weirded out and horrified. Heh.

    1. I went out for a walk sans beard, and I drove around in 60-degree evening weather sans beard, so to answer your question about body temperature: “no difference whatsoever.”

      You shed heat through the top of your head and out your mouth, not through your cheeks. And trust me, a little sunburn on top will throw the thermostat WAY off. If I forget sunscreen while disc-golfing, I’ll run a fever for a day or two while the skin up top figures out how to regulate the old infrared profile.

      –Howard

      1. Ouch. I got a sunburn on the top of my head once, just once, and I can’t remember why it occured, but since I have long hair it made brushing it *excrutiatingly* painful.

        1. Been there. In my case, I had given myself a perfect part for the first time in months…. and I was in San Diego, when I normally live in Oakland.

      2. I’ve allowed myself to get sunburned far too many times through the years (I know, bad idea, I try to be more careful about it, but it still happens at least once or twice a year), but a sunburned scalp has been far worse than any of the others (even the blistering ones). Shampooing it in the shower hurts, drying it after that hurts, and combing it is downright torturous.

        My hair’s going too quickly to shield much on the top anymore, I’m not brave enough to shave it completely like you (I *don’t* combover either, though, I just keep it short), and trying to work in sunscreen through your hair is also immensely annoying. I know they have spray on sunscreen for situations like this, but that was equally annoying because it doesn’t actually dry, it just sits there, drips, and makes me look greasy. And I’m not a big fan of hats. So yeah, I can definitely back you up re: the effects of a sunburn on the top, and it sucks.

    2. Beards are only noticible when it’s really hot or really cold. You can postpone the scarf for a few degrees if you’ve got a nice full beard. But when it gets so cold your nose cries, you have to give up and wear the scarf.

      1. Don’t you kill off Kevyn(s) too! I can’t take that much drama!!! ;-p

        Actually, I’m still really anxious for them to save Tagon, I named this Powerbook tagon, I don’t like my laptop’s namesake being dead. =)

        Come to think about it, though, I don’t have a machine named kaff yet, I should consider using that one next. So far I have machines using the names tagon (Powerbook, primary machine); schlock & breya (low end unix’s for remote use); pd (petey wasn’t available), haban, bunni, and kevyn (the servers that are nearly my entire job).

  5. Whenever I shave off my beard, I go around for a day with only half of it shaved off and the other half still there. The expressions on other people’s faces are great – what a pity I’m graduating from college soon and won’t be able to get away with that in the work force.

    Ah, well. One day, asymmetrical beard styles will catch on…

      1. I think you underestimate what youthful rebellion against cultural norms can produce. I only said ‘catch on’, I didn’t say it had to catch on in polite society. 🙂

        1. Perhaps, although I tend to agree with Jared Diamond’s thesis that youthful rebellion tends to be a peacock tail behavior (“My genes are so good that I can get away with this”) rather than a denial of biological imperatives.

    1. I think that would probably go over fine at my job. My intranet profile has me like that. (Arguably so the photo is always half valid 🙂

      I get no end of ‘cool picture’, etc.

    2. Larry Niven keeps threatening to do an assymetric beard for a convention. Someone I know did it once, when Larry was in attendance, and said Larry studiously ignored him.

      I think next time we’ll have a dozen people do it.

  6. Ooo, time for me to grow something on my face. I can grow it without people thining I am ripping off my cousin. I have the same roundish face you have. Your goatee added some length and gave your chin better definition. It would do the same for me.

    The reason I have never grown a beard is that it itches and took too long to grow. Is there any chia pet goo that would help in growing a beard faster?

    1. I periodically grow one for historical re-enactments. Uncle Sam demands I shave it every 4-6 weeks, so it’s only sporadic.

      It itches badly for about a week as it grows. However…if you intend to keep it for a while, just start with sideburns and moustache, shaving a little less each day, and trimming short so it looks as even as possible. Once past the 1/4″ stage, it should be much more comfortable.

  7. Some day I am going to grow a full beard, and then shave half of it off. I love that look. I shall call it…”Peter’s Look”. And not give you any credit at all.

    Sersiously, the half-way mark looks really cool. And you look adorable all hairless, you little cutie you.

  8. I used to have a beard, but then I got drafted at the age of 27. And my commanding officer didn’t like my haircut, so off with the beard, and I got to practice something that I hadn’t done in 10 years – shaving.

  9. I don’t agree with the shaving of the beard, but it’s yours, not mine.
    But did you really have to shave your chin off too????
    😀

  10. Kid Reactions?

    Your oldest is 9 right? What does she and the other kids think about Daddy without his beard?

    Pirate nearly had a conniption when shaved off his beard and he had only had it three months.

  11. DUDE! You’re an entirely different person! ENTIRELY DIFFERENT PERSON!

    As to the “oh, so that’s what happens” thing, I hear you: I shaved the entire head once (which, ideally, is as close to the beard removal process as I should ever get) and discovered that, um… yeah. Bad idea. Very… very round. Very round.

  12. I look hopelessly baby-faced without my mustache…which is why it takes something extraordinary to get me to shave it off, and I grow it back ASAP. Well, that and the fact that my upper lip is amazingly sensitive to shaving after <mumble> years of not shaving it. I hope you don’ have THAT problem, or at least not for very long.

    I’ll echo the others’ respect for someone who’s willing to live in accordance with his faith…

  13. “Somebody dig up a convention photo of that and post a link in the comments — you’ll see what I mean.”

    Hrmm, that was a bit more difficult than I’d expected. Searching Google Images for “tycho” of course brings up lots of sketches of Tycho Brahe, as well as some Harvard law student’s baby, lots of pet dogs, and a few PA graphics, “jerry holkins” just brings up a handful of PA drawings, but “tycho penny arcade” finds a few pics, so here you go.

      1. I’m gonna have to go with “no” on this one, seeing as the only thing I am to him is just another reader. I’ve never met or even corresponded with him. Heck, I didn’t even have a clue what he looked like before Howard’s reference to the new similarities. Sorry. =p

        1. Oh, yeah, sorry Trygve. I meant “you” as in “Howard”, even though I replied to your comment. Yours was just the most Tycho-related I could find when I was frustrated this morning.

          1. S’okay. I figured that was probably the case. But procrastination from other things motivated me to respond anyway. =)

  14. And here, my first thought was “Gee, Howard looks a lot like Robert Englund, especially in the eyes.” Then I realized that it was from Babylon 5’s episode “Grey 17 is Missing” that the character resemblance was drawn.

  15. Actually for some reason, you remind me of Spencer W. Kimball. Or Yoda.

    But that could be because I’m reading Miracle of Forgiveness right now.

    1. But he’s not green, and his ears aren’t nearly big enough for any Yoda resemblence.
      We won’t mix you up with the Penny Arcade guy as long as you keep your glasses the reasonable size, instead of face-eating size.
      More power to ya!

    1. We could tell you, but then we’d have to kill you, and then we couldn’t go to the temple anymore.

      HA! I love jokes about murder.

      But seriously, I think Howard was referring to peace & spiritual blessings — deeper, thicker happiness — and not some sort of remuniary blessing… unless things have changed since I was a temple worker…

      Hmm. “remuniary” isn’t a word, but “remunerate” is. Stupid language.

          1. Re: Shazam!

            Dang! That wouldn’t bother me, except that his post is dated before mine!!

            The only justice is in the irony that it was a thread about constructed languages.

  16. I shaved off my goatee a few months ago for similar reasons. Not because of a call extended, but because I’ve got this feeling one is coming.

    We’ll see.

  17. Aww.

    I liked you better with the beard, so I was sorry to see that your reasons for shaving it were actually, you know, meaningful, and therefore you wouldn’t be growing it back. (At least not any time soon).

    It’ll be interesting to see the new Howard Tayler icons, though. 🙂

    1. Re: Aww.

      Yeah, I had this flash of insight on my way home from the interview when it occurred to me that by the time I get my beard back, it may very well have changed color.

      The temple calling lasts 2 years. But in that time (assuming I live worthily of such a call) I could also be extended a calling to serve in a bishopric, and that tends to be a five-year call. Oh, and it’s one of few other callings in which clean-shaven-ness is expected. It’s not one I aspire to because of how incredibly demanding it is, but if it happens, I’ll say yes, and then the beard is gone for another five years.

      –Howard

      1. Flashes of insight

        Upon seeing the photos, but before reading your message, my first thought was “I wonder what he did that for?” But as I read, I had to smile: “Ah, the call to serve”.

        Congratulations on the calling Howard! I’m just coming to the end of ten years of service in the Bountiful Temple myself. There isn’t much that I’d get up for at 3:30am, let alone do it nearly every Saturday morning for ten years, but it has been well worth it. I think you’re in for some most enjoyable service.

        By the way, look out for those flashes of insight! My reason for giving up the temple calling is that I’ve been called to serve in a bishopric. 🙂

  18. PS: Good call on inviting the kids to watch. I think I told you already that I had the same “who is this stranger?” experience with my father as a child.

  19. Yup: that’s one round head, all right.
    And now, of course, you look more gently amused, or perhaps fondly stern. It’ll be a good look to use on the kids, no doubt.
    And now, we’ll all be able to tell you and Kevyn apart.

  20. I can understand your reasons for shaving, certainly. But I swear, my first thought on seeing the naked-face picture was “Mr Freeze!”

  21. I like it.

    Personally I think you look better without the beard.

    Mutter.. I can’t find any pictures of Tycho though and haven’t the foggiest idea what he looks like. Well I guess that isn’t exactly true… apparently he looks like you. 😉

  22. One aspect of temple worship is the attempt to keep as many distracting and “worldly” influences outside as is humanly possible, and a very vanilla, conservative hairstyle is therefore part of what they ask of their volunteers.

    That’s very interesting, I wasn’t aware of that aspect of the LDS church. I recently joined the Charismatic Episcopal Church, after being Baptist most of my life. One of the requirements of members serving on the Acolyte, Worship, or Worship Support (audio and technical support) teams is the wearing of vestments. In my case, it’s a floor length black cassock, with a knee length white surplice over it (think black dress with white blouse, at least that’s what I think every time I put it on…). The purpose is draw attention away from our bodies and attire, so that it may be focused on worship.

    Since I deeply desire the blessings concomitant with temple service, and since the beard appeared to be in the way, it had to go.

    You can argue with (or for) the wisdom behind that rationale until you’re blue in the face, and all it will get you is blue in the face. They could have asked me to do any number of seemingly silly, trivial, or non-germane things, and in accepting the call to work in the temple I cheerfully would have submitted myself to the silly, the trivial, and/or the non-germane. It’s not about rationalizing things. It’s about having faith that for acting in a certain way, I’ll be more richly blessed than had I chosen an alternate path.

    That’s been the hardest thing for me to learn in this change of path, submission to spiritual authority.

    On another note, I read your strip every day and enjoy it immensely. Thanks for the time and effort you put into it.

    1. I was an acolyte for my Methodist church for many years, and then an usher for a while. Our vestments were red cassoks with white surplice, though apparently we were odd in that. Many other Methodist Churches Ive visited dont even have their choir wear robes, and use younger children as acolytes. My church used teenagers already members of the church as acolytes, but to each his own.

  23. OMG.. You look just like a cross between Curly from the Stooges and Pugsly from the original Addams Family!

    Kickass, dood..

    If I shaved, noone would recognize me. Seriously. None of my current friends have seen me without facial hair. Besides, the ghotee is pretty killer lookin in Garb. ::grin::

  24. OK. Here are my two cents… I kind of preferred you with the beard. It suited you. Having said that, there’s certainly a kind, happy face behind it. Facial hair is just that, as I discovered a while back when I decided to grow a beard. About the only effect was that my friends stopped recognising me for a few weeks…

    My two requests are that Kevyn keep his beard, and that we get to see maybe one or two photos from the summer of ’94.

  25. While we have quite contradictory beliefs, I am willing to respect anyone who will go through personal sacrifice for what they believe.

    And my facial hair feels for ya; I just had to get rid of it for completely stupid work-related reasons, but I’m hoping to amend that very soon in the form of better employment.

    If *only* I had what it took to be a self-employed storyteller… You tell stories with pictures, comic-text, and a lump of greenish-brown sentient putty, I write youth-oriented science fiction, but very, very slowly. Like, two chapters a year slowly.

    Well, maybe with time and practice…

  26. Beard

    Hello Howard,

    While I don’t want to impugn your inalienable right to shave, may I ask some questions.

    1. I would strongly suggest that being bald is not at all a “very vanilla and conservative” hairstyle. Short-back-and-sides, *surely*, is a more appropriate hairstyle for esteemed LDS service, no?

    Can you grow your hair back, or has God given you male pattern baldness?
    In any case, the LDS should insist that you at least try to grow back your hair, should they not? And in the meantime, should they not ask you wear a toupee?;)

    2. Jesus (or at least all the representations that I have ever seen of him) had a beard and mustache. (Long hair too.) You can argue that fashion was different in those heady days, but surely this should hold some sway over LDS dictates? Perhaps, Joseph Smith, being clean-shaven himself, overrides that, I’ll admit.

    3. Are these kind of fashion or lifestyle-choice dictates made by the local church, the local temple, or do they come from the LDS Command HQ staff, the Council of Twelve itself?
    In any case, are they influenced by the direct word from God to the Elders who make these pronouncements (a la prayer), or are they interpretations or jurisprudence from the Mormon scriptures. If so, I can’t see any direct reference to facial hair (or lack of) in my well-thumbed Book of Mormon. Perhaps you can point me at the relevant passages.

    Your etc,…

    1. Re: Beard

      1. I would strongly suggest that being bald is not at all a “very vanilla and conservative” hairstyle. Short-back-and-sides, *surely*, is a more appropriate hairstyle for esteemed LDS service, no?

      You may be right, but they didn’t. Or at least they haven’t yet. And I may grow topside hair back. Last time I let it go for a week, I found that I hated it. We’ll see.

      2. Jesus (or at least all the representations that I have ever seen of him) had a beard and mustache. (Long hair too.) You can argue that fashion was different in those heady days, but surely this should hold some sway over LDS dictates? Perhaps, Joseph Smith, being clean-shaven himself, overrides that, I’ll admit.

      The 19th-century Latter-Day Saint prophets and apostles (with the exception of Joseph Smith) also wore facial hair. Fashion was, indeed, different then. The LDS church is not steeped in the sort of orthodoxy that “freezes” our culture in the same way that orthodox Jews and the Amish have been frozen. Today, the Church’s General Authorities are clean-shaven.

      3. Are these kind of fashion or lifestyle-choice dictates made by the local church, the local temple, or do they come from the LDS Command HQ staff, the Council of Twelve itself?

      Dress and grooming standards for missionaries, temple workers, bishops (the presiding authorities over local congregations), and BYU students are set by the First Presidency. BYU is an odd case — in all other cases the First Presidency presides over the hierarchy in which those to whom the grooming standards apply reside. In the case of BYU, the First Presidency sits on the Board of Directors of the University. Thus it is that BYU students who are not members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (something like 2% of the student body) find themselves under those same dress and grooming standards.

      One important tenet of our beliefs is that God speaks to prophets and apostles in these latter days, and that they guide and direct the Church as if He Himself were personally issuing the instructions. All saints (church members) are entitled to personal revelation regarding the validity of the instruction they’ve been given, and instructions regarding seemingly tertiary matters like dress and grooming often get a lot of prayer from individuals who are wondering whether they REALLY need to comply.

      Another important tenet is that of free agency. 🙂

    2. Re: Beard

      As a 1st-century Jew, Jesus presumably had short hair & a beard. According to the New Testament, long hair on men was unacceptable. The earliest artwork of him, 300 years later, showed him clean-shaven & with short hair but are obviously inspired by Greco-Roman artwork of Apollo. Long haired depictions didnt start until the Early Middle Ages.

      Howard: an Indian friend of mine named Vic once shaved the top of his head as the first step to full-shaved, to play Shakespeare in a play. His father, who is bald, laughed & said “Get used to it.” Vic sketched himself beforehand, wondering how it was going to look. At one point he added bumps to the drawing, like a Klingon.

      1. Re: Beard

        Of course, the relativity of “long” vs. “short” hair may have been completely different. It’s been considered that women never cut their hair and, instead, allowed it to grow down to their waists or further, simply putting it up if work required it. Men would have had hair down to their shoulders or around there, probably not touching their shoulders, but more the length of Hasidic Jews or other faiths with longer hair as the norm. Thus, saying that wearing one’s hair like a woman would “is an abomination unto them” states not that it has to be close-cropped, but that it would be above the shoulders. Just stating another hypothesis, of course, here. I mean, Jesus would be unlikely to be popularly depicted doing something his apostles argued vehemently against.

        (Of course, numerous instances do exist of that… For instance, Jesus’s numerous disagreements with certain apostles about the privacy of prayer. Whereas Jesus believed strongly that prayer should be made within a closed, private space, some of the apostles argued for the loud, public type of prayer. Just goes to show that even being a prophet doesn’t mean some jerks will listen.)

        Furthermore, if it’s a faith thing, don’t listen to me. I’m an Agnost, and thus listen more easily to historical scientists than doctrines.

  27. AAAIIIEEEE!!!!!

    I mean… umm… you look nice.

    Heh. : )

    Every few years, I decide to shave, to see what I look like. And every time I do, all my friends react with horror and distress, so I must assume that the sounds of horror and distress are something you say to be nice. So… AIIIEEEEE!!!

    Hmmm… or maybe it’s just that my chin receded long ago.

    Anyway, you carry that look better than I do.

    As far as having done it for religious purposes… I personally don’t feel that the specific religious observance itself is the important part. It’s that one chooses to perform the observance as a declaration of faith. In some faiths, one wears costumes that look funny to outsiders, or they perform rituals. I think most people agree that Creator already knows what you are thinking and whether you mean it or not, and yet, people still pray, and still light candles, and yes, still shave (or grow) beards.

    It’s not the act that’s significant. It’s that we choose to perform the act. It is that we would voice the prayer, or make the outward change. These things can be a sign that we really mean something.

    Many pagans I know speak of “earthing” a working or prayer. Meaning, they do something to bring it from the metaphysical into the real world. I think that the observances we make are like that. They turn something from a thought into an act.

    And also, when we make an outward sign of faith, it may affect or inspire others, or simply show them that we’re brave and serious enough to perform them.

    Best wishes.

  28. Loss of the face pet

    I chose to lose my china-pet in 1990, for a summer, and have been contemplating it again, I admire your courage. 🙂

    On balance, I think you could do a fair ‘Father Muhlkahey’ from M*A*S*H imitation now. :-).

    Love the work, stay focused on product. The easiest thing to do as an independent is to get focused on development (marketing, networking, etc) while focus on product wanes. Just my two bits as one indi to another. (I do analysis and data modeling, my problem is I get bored with what I have done, and get very gee whiz about future opportunities while coasting on what is my core product – leading to a dramatic reduction in income last year – be smarter than me.)

    r.

  29. Put it back…

    Actually, that’s what my wife said when my beard went away. Fortunately for me, I can go from clean shaven to full beard in about 2 weeks.

    Realizing that it is a worldly thing – before you shaved it all off, did you consider just trimming it back quite a bit? Now without either facial or cranial hair, I would find your look even more distracting.

    But then again, I don’t have much of a chin, and so I’ve had a full beard for most of the last 17 years, too.

    I respect your doing this due to religious beliefs. My problem is that, having been dead once and wandering around the hospital for a while during the time the doctors were bringing my body back to life, I no longer have much use for just about any regular mainstream U.S. religion. Budhism, Taoism, and a lot of what both Deepak Chopra and Neil Donald Walsch say fit more with what I experienced – and I had NOT read any of their material prior to my NDE (or DE, if you really want to get picky about it – my heart was stopped for a good 5 minutes, even if they were able to keep oxygenated blood flowing after a fashion.)

    Allow Kevyn to maintain his beard – and continued good luck with life!

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