Movember 2012 – Post Mortem

The Final DayIt’s over ten days since the end of Movember and just over four since I shaved it all off.

I’d like to say a big thank you to those that donated money to Movember via either myself or the team.

£115 was donated through my own mo-space, which contributed well to the £305 raised by my team.

I had intended to keep the mowth until the new year, so that I could show it to family and friends over the festive period but I found that I had grown too attached to it, if that makes sense.

I have an incredibly addictive personality (and no, I don’t mean that once you’ve met me, you just can’t get enough of me)  and far too easily find myself falling into repetitive patterns.

I don’t feel bad about that, we all do it to a greater or lesser degree – I just don’t like it.  Ever since I quit smoking in 2001 I’ve found myself fighting habits as they form.

How is this relevant to killing the tash?

Well, I recently saw the star-studded film Contagion, which contained a wonderful soundbite for those inclined towards hypochondria.

The average person touches their face three to five times every waking minute.

My Selleck-wannabe elevated me to levels way above average, I was stroking that beauty more times per minute than Ron Jeremy stroked… well, you get my point.

I constantly found myself touching it and aside from the fictional chance of catching Paltrow-cultivated brain mush, I found the habit disturbing.

And as the translations of the good book seem to paraphrase from the language of its original scribing:

If thine eye offends thee, pluck it out.

Stop Motion

And so I plucked… well I’m not man enough to use a lady shave or Veet for men, so I shaved.

As promised earlier, I did compose a stop-motion day to day as best I could.

Some of the earlier days are missing but you can see the animation here, on a permanent loop – click for larger version.

One final note of worth.

As the Movember site is winding down for 2012, I thought I’d look for other Ben Sugdens on the site.  I wasn’t disappointed.

There were two others, I don’t think I’ve found either before: The buff tattooed Ben Sugden and the also-employed-in-comms Ben Sugden.

 

Movember 2012 – By Effort of Will

2012-11-16 SmallAlmost every morning this month I have taken a shot of my beautiful chops and the burgeoning moustache that lies within.

I was lacks at first but from the 5th of Movember onwards I’ve taken a shot every day.

I’ve used my flawed (the GPS is crippled) HTC One X and its 10 second auto shutter feature, which gives plenty of time to compose myself waiting for the shot.

Some morning’s it has been a struggle though, I had never noticed before just how bedraggled I allowed myself to look.

Some mornings I look like a forty-something factory worker coming off an 18 hour shift.

By effort of will I end up looking relatively “normal”, normal for me anyway.

For those who are interested, here’s a little morph I set up from this morning’s Mo-Progress shot.

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Movember 2012 – Every Man and His Dog

Ben SugdenToday I have been accused of ageism in my lack of interest in legacy development software and also questioned on the relevance of a inviting a lady to join my Movember fundraising team.

I’ve successfully defended myself on both counts, proving that you don’t have to be a twenty-something to use Visual Studio 2012; and also pointing out that Mo Sistas are an essential part of Movember fundraising efforts.

So I’m a little hesitant at entitling this entry as “Every Man and His Dog”; there are ladies, dogs and cats supporting Movember – I’d hate to think that such a gender specific title offends people.

The title is well intentioned.

A few days ago, I mentioned that so many people seem to be participating in Movember this year that support is spread very thin.

It would be callous and selfish in the extreme to expect everybody to support every single participant who is trying to raise funds.

At the time of writing this there are 312,921 registered participants in the United Kingdom alone.  That’s more than any other country in the world and there are a fair few countries involved.

More impressive than those lofty figures are the numbers involved within my own social network – and most likely within your own.

I’m lucky enough to be classified as a “hub” within social networking/engineering circles (I read a book about it once); with over 700 contacts spread across a range of demographics (although most are LARP types).

And so what I would like to do here is promote some of their efforts too.

It really doesn’t matter who you support to help raise funds for Men’s Health through Movember.

What matters is supporting the cause not the person.

And so I thought I’d profile the proverbial every man and list those people involved in Movember 2012 that I’m aware of.

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Movember 2012 – Day 6

2012-11-06I now have six days lip growth.

This in and of itself is not impressive, I’m certainly lazy enough to have gone longer than six days without shaving.

Normally I have this much beard growth after one of the Lorien Trust mainline events, usually the Gathering.

In fact I often shave down late on the night of returning from these LRP events, making comedy moustaches as I go.

As a blonde (I can prove it) my facial hair isn’t always apparent but it is usually the 5 or 6 day mark that my fuzz becomes unkempt.

It was around the Day 2 shave down that I decided on what I refer to in my head as Guido Style.

It looks like two of my colleagues are going the same way with a musketeer top lip and soul patch.

Closer - Day 6Six days in and the hardest challenge seems to be getting the team together for a semi-regular update – and attracting donations of course.

So many people seem to be doing Movember this year that support is spread thing amongst the participants.

6 Days in 3 Shots

That being said, I am very grateful for those who have donated so far.

As an aside, I have taken to taking a daily shot using the timer-delay function on my HTC One X.

It’s a great camera but a shame about the GPS issues.

By the end of Movember I should be able to put together a nice stop motion animation of my fugly-mug.

If you would like to make a donation then please feel free to donate anything you can to me or my team.

Thank You!

Movember 2012 – The Day Before Tomorrow

Before

Hair Free Lip

Tomorrow, the mo-growth (mowth ?) begins.

Today, I dine out to avoid local beggars “trick or treating” (I wouldn’t mind if they actually wore costumes … or were children).

Unlike my own selfish habits on All Hallow’s Eve, it would be awesome if you could donate to Movember and support me in the soul-bending task of moustache growth in the name of Men’s Health.

I appreciate every man and his dog appears to be doing it these days but that is a good thing! Trust me.

If you don’t donate via me, donate via somebody else – or sign up and try attract more donations through your own efforts.

This is the last of the Movember spam on here for a while.

I’ll probably do a mowth update on Monday and weekly thereafter; although I’ll be keeping my team’s mo-space up to date more frequently.

Movember 2012 – Pre-Mo Team Update

Six of SevenAt the start of the month I mentioned that I had decided to take part in the annual charity shindig that is Movember.

I believe that I also mentioned that I wasn’t doing it alone.

A number of colleagues had expressed an interest in passing, none of them more eager than our Customer Care expert Bradley.

Over the last month, the team has grown to seven of us; with representatives from throughout the business.

Check Your Junk

Remember kids, as my colleague demonstrates here, it is always wise to check your junk!

We have a couple of veterans in our eCommerce guru Danny and bean counter David as well as Jonny and Andrew from the sales team.

The six of us are joined by Steven who sits on the management team with me; seven samurai, ready to wield badly grown ‘tashes in the battle against testy cancer and dodgy prostates.

Today we took a team photo and started out on the long month to come, with much work still to do in promoting our efforts to the rest of the business, friends and family.

The challenge met today was to finally get as many of us together for the team photo as possible.

Colleague Jonny is somewhat photo-phobic – I’m not saying he sparkles in daylight and doesn’t show up in mirrors but he is somewhat camera shy – insisting on being represented by a stick man.

Lord AttwoodThis has given me the added incentive of creating my first ever Order of the Stick style graphic.

Of course it doesn’t sit perfectly in the team shot, which means I may have to create one for all of us.

We start mo-growth the day after tomorrow and would appreciate any and all donations to the team.

Seven Samurai

Movember 2012 – Beginnings

Nice Tash

The first tash that anybody took seriously on me. Whilst a strapping fake, this beauty got me a vote of 8 out of 10 on Hot or Not back in 2005.

The weekend just gone, my family were deeply effected by the passing of an old acquaintance.

I say that my family were effected as it is that which has effected me most of all; rather than the loss of the individual themselves.

In truth, I barely knew the departed, despite having lived next door to him for at least 40% of my life.  My parents however, are of a similar age and currently living through that period where friends and acquaintances start to shuffle off.

The loss of our former next door neighbour seems to have struck them quite hard.

This, more than the death itself, has had a knock-on effect in my own psyche.

A More Recent Fake

This more recent fake is fashioned from my own hair!

I came to terms with mortality years ago and seem to have a healthy reaction to people’s passing; but the effect death has on other people still knocks me for six – I guess I can be too empathic at times.

Now it may seem something of a non sequitur but I’ve decided this year to sign up to Movember and try raise some money for men’s health charities.

The death of my old next door neighbour isn’t the only reason but it’s certainly the proverbial last straw.

I’ve had my fair share of scares when it comes to “Men’s Health” and will no doubt receive more as the years go on.  You don’t take the amount of pharmaceutically produced pills and sub-cutaneous injections as I do daily without expecting something to go wrong in the body.

My posts on the Church of Pfizer should give a clear indication of my thinking there.

Fake Tash Employed

Acceptable use of moustache fakery!

I also have friends of my own that I see living through their own “Men’s Health” issues and it is remarkable that we can talk about these issues amongst ourselves without getting all metro-sexual on each other.

(Although checking my “Junk” still illicits a childish giggle, either in g-mail or the bathroom).

When I was first diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes I spent a week in the urology ward at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.  That’s a tale in itself but the majority of patients on the ward were there because of prostate cancer.  Men twenty years older than me or more, faces flushed a deep crimson with agony as they suffer the humiliating after-effects of their operations only to be told that the surgeon “couldn’t catch it all” or worse, that “it has returned”.

The Folly of Youth

The only genuine growth on here, my first and last attempt at any form of facial hair.

It was prostate cancer that did for my old neighbour.  It went into remission, then returned and finally spread to other areas of his body… a story I am sure many of you are familiar with.

And so I’ve decided to grow a comedy moustache for charity… to be fair any moustache is likely to be comedic on my rosey face.

I am not doing it alone, a few colleagues at work have mentioned a passing interest in Movember over the last few weeks, so we’ve set up a team.

It would be great if you could support us, either morally or financially (with a donation through the Movember site).

The Team Logo

How such a simple adornment can transform a logo into such a gentlmanly image, I will never understand.

We’re doing it with or without support, the aim is to spread awareness of “Men’s Health” issues as well as raise money and some people prefer to concentrate on that – personally I want to raise as much cash as I can for Movember.

I am definitely going to be posting pictures and team updates on the Movember site and will likely spread some of the lip-hair here.

My own Movember page is here: Armaitus on Movember. My team can be found here: Abzorb on Movember.

If I can’t raise funds by growing facial hair what can I do?

In the meantime, I’ve interspersed this post with moustache related images from my own past.