Sunday, July 11, 2010

Post Cup, Post Contest, Post Beard

Alas, the World Cup 2010 has finally come to an end in South Africa. I'm going to miss the sound of vuvuzelas buzzing in my ears and the daily thrill of the game. Well, not really. I was only paying attention because of the ongoing World Cup pool being held back at corporate HQ. I'm happy to report that my dad and I were 2 of, I think, 6 that picked Spain to win. It now comes down to how well our selections panned out in the semi and quarter finals. I hope I won, the hordes of cash "poker chips" will help offset the cost of shipping the three books to the winners of the Land's Edge flash fiction contest.

Congratulations again to the winner Mike Robertson of Missouri for his story Festival of the Lift, to second place David Barber of Crieff, Scotland for The Millennium Princess and finally third place to K.M. McElhinny of Ohio for her story The Light and Shadows of Independence. You will be happy to know that an intrepid member of the Land's Edge staff dropped those in the mail on Thursday. The package to Scotland was going to cost so much that we considered offering the boy to Canada post in trade. They would have nothing to do with it. Not because of slavery laws against such actions, but because they had heard that he eats so darn much! We have opted to ship Mr. Barber's package via the cheapest means possible: solar powered fishing boat. And the propeller is broken. And the skies over the Atlantic will be cloudy for weeks...

A shout out also to the honourable mentions: Pedro Gully, Cathy Olliffe, John Wiswell, Anthony Venutolo, Michael J. Solender and Anton Gully. My heart-felt appreciation to everyone who entered the contest, even those whose stories were not selected. You are all a valuable part of the process.

Also, a big thanks to the lovely ladies who helped me judge the submissions. Laurita Miller and Ellen O'Toole added another dimension to the process and I couldn't have done this without them. I look forward to continue working with them in the future.

And while I'm in the thanking mood...I'd also like to thank everyone who took the time to advertise this contest. Be it by email, carrier pigeon, blogging or Twittering. It was all very helpful. Remember: networking is good. I tried to keep up with the re-Tweets on Twitter and thank those in question. If I missed any of you, consider yourself thanked. You all helped make this a success (at least in my books).

We on The Rock have been moaning about the late arrival of summer this year. It has come at us with a vengeance the past few days. As my father-in-law would say, "It's some shocking hot today!" High temperatures and humidity have had many here shedding their winter parkas, exposing their pasty, white underbelly.
In celebration of the weather I decided to shave off my beard on Thursday (to the annoyance of my wife). This is the first time I've shed the winter coat in 3 years. It's a nice change, but my tendency towards laziness will rear its ugly head and longer intervals will pass between shaves until the beard is back on. I figure I now look 40 years younger and bear a striking resemblance to Tom Selleck, where Sean has been laughing at me, saying that I now look like Saddam Hussein. Not true, I protested...he had black hair. And a beret.

I present you with the photo below. Consider it 'freshly killed', taken a mere one hour ago. Please pass along your opinions below. Beard on, or beard off? Loose paper bag over my head, or plastic garbage bag, tied off at the neck? Thumbs up or down?


Susan Cross said...

I'm! I'm just smiling out loud! Okay, a cross between Tom Selleck and Saddam Hussein, maybe. I like the beard. Either shave it all off or leave it all on. My husband finally shaved his mustache for the 1st time since he was a teenager. His face is so naked and handsome. I fear that I look like his mother--well older sister now; he looks so much younger.

K.C. Shaw said...

You look just like yourself, but without a beard! :)

I like the beard, but you look just fine without it too. I bet your face will be cooler during the hot summer days.

Rebecca Nazar said...

I'm an all or nothing gal when I comes to a guy's facial hair. My vote's for full beard, or clean shaven. No mustache. I'd tell Tom and Burt the same too. : )

Cathy Olliffe said...

Thanks again for the contest! A lot of fun, fer sure.
As for the beardless wonder:
I'm with Susan and Rebecca... it's all or nothing for facial hair. Shave it off! Take another picture! Then we'll have another go at comments. Right now you kinda look like a cop.
You mentioned something on my blog about shaving and I was like, huh? What's Alan smokin' today?
Ya got nice hair, I'll give ya that.
I was thinking that tonight I'll shave my legs and ask readers what they think, shaved or unshaved.

Laurita said...

Well, that's just great. How am I supposed to know you without the beard? Although, I must admit, the moustache alone does look good. And cool. Good for these "Large" days, as my grandfather would call them.

Helping judge the contest was my pleasure. Hopefully we will have many more opportunities to argue over words. :)

Bukowski's Basement said...


kathryn said...

Yeah, I'm thinking the mustache has to go as well. I'm sorry....but what I say, goes.

If you absolutely hate the naked face, you can grow it back at the same time...and have that temporary straggly-sexay look the guys sport these days...before they shave clean again.

I'm a "pro-clean-shaven guy" gal...and you are 100% correct: it takes EASILY 20 years+ off. Probably more w/the mustache gone....I'm just saying....

PS: I don't suppose OUR opinion would matter more than your wife's....would it??

Natalie L. Sin said...

Beardless is good for summer. I sweat enough as it is, and I've never had a beard ; )

Sue H said...

I expect if you're anything like my OH the beard will be back on in no time - he's just lazy and thinks shaving's just another thing to fit into the busy daily routine. (was funny when our son reached the age of having to learn to shave and his Dad had to teach him the basics...;-p )

On balance, I think I prefer the view WITH the beard - but maybe that's because I've got used to you looking that way - sorry, I am no help whatsoever ;-)

Alan W. Davidson said...

Susan- Stop laughing! My wife prefers I keep the beard as she likes it better when I'm older looking. And stop comparing yourself to your husband's's kinda creepy...

KC- Nice call. I know that my dad shaves his beard off and grows it back all the time. I don't even notice either way.

Becca- Thanks, nice to be talked of in the same sentence as Tom or Burt. Glad Wilford Brimley didn't come into the conversation anywhere!

Cathy- "You look like a cop." I hear that a lot. Second on the list is, "You look like a porn star." And thanks for the hair compliment. It's real, honest. I'd say skip the leg shaving poll.

Laurita- "Large" days. I hadn't heard that expression. Thanks for the moustache compliment. Ummm...look for the guy 40 years younger!

Ant- Thanks, man. Good ego boost for me.

Kathryn- I shall mark you in the 'kill the white worm column.' As noted, my wife wants me to keep the beard on 365 a year. But if enough folks say the same thing you never know, maybe there's strength in numbers!

Nat- Thanks for sharing that. In some circles, it would really increase your fan base!

Sue- Sounds like your husband has the same shaving opinions as me. Thanks for the feedback, all opinions are good.

Karen from Mentor said...

Of course you look great, but as far as facial hair goes...
I'll vote with the others...[strength in numbers] All off or all on.

I just went to lunch with a friend I've know 20+ years and I thought, man he's got a nice mouth why did I never notice that before? Answer: He'd shaved his mustache for the first time in 30 years......
So Alan...
What's lurking underneath your mustache bwana?
[inquiring minds and all that]

"porn star" made me spit coffee.
Thanks for the entertaining start to my morning.

PS: I went over to visit Ellen. Thanks for the introduction. *waves at Ellen*

katey said...

It's most certainly some shocking hot today!

The contest was brilliant-- thank you so much for taking it on and bringing it to all of us. And I've always wondered what you looked like under there. The beard will be missed, I'm sure, but I'm impressed all the same!

Laura Eno said...

I think you look fabulous no matter what you do with hair, beard, mustache. The Empress of the Galactic Universe has spoken!

Entre Nous said...

Keep the beard, all or nothing kid here as well! More importantly, dark colored shirt for photos, the light shirt washes your face out.

Incidently I love the country in which you live. I had a chance to see it when I was driving down the St Laurent Seaway but missed the ferry. sigh. Story of my life!

Michael Solender said...

The silver fox, very dashing Alan. Who knew you had a chin!

Alan W. Davidson said...

Karen- ixnay on the facial catepillar. Sorry to hear about the coffee spillage. A terrible waste.

Katey- Thanks! Glad you enjoyed the fine reads. I'm sure it's only a matter of time 'til the beard rears its ugly head.

Laura- Thanks for the kind words, your majesty (I've dropped the cheque in the mail...)

Entre- I hear 'ya. You've joined the vocal majority. Good point about the shirt. I was going to wear a grey shirt but figured it really made me look paler and grayer. Guess that applies for this shirt as well.

I have never been along the Seaway, but have been to Montreal and Quebec City. Canada is pretty diverse from coast to coast. Kind of like a few different countries joined together. And missing ferries is a part of life living on this big island!

Michael- You are very kind sir. I am concerned, though, that a hunter will shoot me for my fine pelt (when in season, of course).

Danielle Ferries said...

I vote for clean shaven.

I don't have a lot of interest in soccer/football, however, I was keenly following Paul the Octopus's "selections".

Anonymous said...

That picture has put me in mind to do some beard-shaving myself.

I just gotta lace this half bottle of whiskey with the knock-out drops and find a suitable homeless man.

BTW - next contest, and I'm just throwing this idea out there, Amazon gift certificates. They're the universal currency of blogger writing contests.

Speaking of which, I see the Clarity of Night mega-event is kicking off in around a week. You going to enter this year Al?

Jen Brubacher said...

I feel a little unqualified to have an opinion here so I have to say, just listen to your wife!

That said, I'm with Cathy. To me, RCMP have moustaches. And vice versa. ;)

Mark Kerstetter said...

I like the beard, but that could be because I'm too wimpy to grow my own.

Hi Anton!

DEZMOND said...

you know, Alan, if you would shave those mustaches off as well you would drop at least ten years of your age :))

Anonymous said...

Did someone say something?

David Barber said...

Alan - Firstly, thanks for hosting the comp and I look forward to receiveing my book within the next lifetime. :-)

Secondly - I prefer the beard, although the 'tash' still looks great, you had a certain "Oliver Reed" look about you with the beard.

Anyhow, as a saying goes (don't know where it comes from but) "you look as young as the woman you feel!"

Not about for a week or so (My blog post) so take care and 'speak' soon.

Alan W. Davidson said...

Danielle- I shall count your vote. Paul the octopus and I agreed that Spain would win the cup. Neither of us won any money.

Anton- Duely noted about the gift cards. Can save a bundle on postage. I hadn't heard about the contest. Will look it up.

Jen- I would have joined the RCMP. Except I don't look good in red. I always listen to my wife...acting on it is another matter!

Mark- The beard's been coming in since I was 16 (even as a wimpy kid in school). I understand that you and Anton are developing quite a repore.

Dez- And I thought that losing 40 years for the beard was a good start. At this rate I will be back at birth!

Anton- You again! Isn't it past your bedtime?

David- The wait won't be too bad. Hopefully it will get there by that start of September (depends on how often the carrier pigeons stop to take a crap). Hmm...Oliver Reed. As in 'Gladiatior' or as in 'Women in Love?"

Have a good week off (unless it's work).

DEZMOND said...

yep, you shall be our own Benjamin Button, now we just have to find you a Cate Blanchett :)

Kat said...

Just sprinkling some fairy dust here Alan...

Poor, Poor Whiskers...:(

Hope it didn't hurt when swooshing down the drain. :D

Whiskers was your cat, right? :p

Terri Tiffany said...

I'm partial to moustaches as my husband has worn one forever!

John Wiswell said...

Smiling out loud here, too. Thanks again for the honorable mention, Alan.

The photos are disturbing me. With every one you look more like my last Lit teacher in college. Dan, is that you?