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Get Your Unix Beard On

Today is the day, my friends. The day where the boys are separated from the men. The day tech support is separated from the system administrators. The day God smiles from on High. What am I referring to? Why, Whiskerino 2009, of course.

The concept is simple. Whiskerino is an Internet beard growing contest that happens biannually on the odd years. As a participant, you take a photo of yourself, and upload it to your account on the site. Other users of the contest will vote on the uploaded pics for the day. The pic with the most votes, becomes King Beard. However, not all is care free. There are some certain rules that you must abide by:

  1. The contest runs from November 1, 2009 to February 28, 2010. You will be required to post a photo of yourself to your account at least once every 7 days.
  2. You must start on Day One completely clean shaven. Sideburns can not extend beyond the earlobe.
  3. You are required to grow a full beard. This means whiskers on the upper lip, cheeks, chin and neck.
  4. You are not allowed to shave the beard until the end of the contest. Trimming, shaping or styling are highly discouraged.
  5. The photo must be of the participant. It is not allowed to be altered in any way. Take the snapshot, and upload it.
  6. Photos must be 4x3 aspect ratio, no smaller than 500px in width. No nudity, profane gestures hateful, imagery, or otherwise offensive content. No more than one image per day can be submitted.
  7. Breaking any of the above rules results in the participant being placed into the Hall of Shame, from which he cannot return. You will be ejected from the contest.
  8. The winner will be chosen by participation in the contest, not just beard growth necessarily. This includes ratings on photos, overall spirit of the contest, attendance and beard style.

So, I'm all in. My wife fully supports my decision (at least until my brother's wedding in December, of which she might want some trimming or shaping done to the beard). I've managed to talk a few of my friends into it as well. So, it will be fun to participate with them, and also make new friends in the contest. I've never grown a full beard before. I've always been a fan of the circle beard. So, this will be a new experience for me.

Further, every Unix/Linux system administrator should be sporting full beard. It's part of our culture. It's who we are. Think of the Greats: Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie, Richard Stallman, Alan Cox, Brian Kernighan, and even Steve Jobs (back in the day) all sport beards (c'mon Linus, where's your Unix beard?). I hope to be able to place my name among them. At least my coworker is fully bearded. Maybe I'll be able to grasp some of the vast amounts of Unix knowledge from him.

I'll later post the URL to my Whiskerino profile page. Because the photos are generally meant to be of the creative style for the contest, I'll be taking that photo, but I'll also be taking a photo that will suit well for a time lapse "camera". This will probably go to my Picasa account, which I'll also provide a link to later. Lastly, for those reading my blog via RSS, you won't be able to get the benefit of watching the beard growth, unless Whiskerino provides an RSS feed to each profile page. I might post a photo here or there on the blog though. We'll see. However, there will be a side bar on my blog showing the daily snapshot of my ugly mug.

In the immortal words of William Shakespeare in the play Much Ado About Nothing:

He that hath a beard is more than a youth, and he that hath no beard is less than a man.
~ Beatrice speaking to Leonato

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