Monday, August 9, 2010

Moving On

I'm retiring this blog. It's been a good run. I'm still into bearding, but it has run its course as a hobby. I've merged this blog into my personal blog Toxic Shock Syndrome. To all my bearded brethren I say let it grow. Shock has left the building.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Big Surprise

Originally uploaded by chronic-shock
I promised a big surprise when I got back from the Nats. Well, if you take a gander at the pic, the surprise is obvious. I shaved off the beard. It's bittersweet. I loved the beard and the wife doesn't. Nuff said.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Beard bingo!

While in Bend, OR for the Nats, I picked up the local paper and saw a new game, Beard bingo!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A Hair Raising Experience

in costume
Originally uploaded by chronic-shock
Wow. Where do I start? The first ever National Beard and Moustache Championships in Bend, OR was awesome. I had a blast. I meet many new bearded brethren with whom I partied my ass off.  We all felt like rock stars for a weekend. There was so many people taking pictures and lots of press coverage. was there, Demotix was there, even the Los Angeles Times was there. There are of course YouTube videos. I'm quoted and featured in a video called Bearded In Bend from the local ABC affiliate station KOHD. I even got my picture in the LA Times. My pics of the event are on Flickr and Facebook. Visit the BTUSA website and Facebook for lots more pics and videos of the event. We even went for a Guinness Book of World Records record for the most bearded people in one place. My traveling companion, two time world sideburns champion and one of the coolest dudes I know, Toot Joslin, won the partial beard category. He also held a grooming clinic. Here's the competitions full results. Bearded badass Jack Passion emceed.

The day before the competition was activity day. I choose the Central Oregon Microbrew Pub Tour. Our tour guide, Amanda Gow from Specialized Meetings and Events wrote in an email "I wanted to extend a huge THANK YOU to all of the tour participants for making today's tour the best one I have ever been on."  We were a rowdy bunch. We visited McMenamins Old St. Francis School, Cascade Lakes Brewery and Deschutes Brewery.

The weekend was bookended by my whirlwind tour of the Pacific Northwest, from Reno to Bend and back again!
Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Nats are here!

Originally uploaded by chronic-shock
I'm heading out to the Nats tomorrow. Fifteen months of not shaving culminates into the biggest bearding event of the year. I'm giddy with anticipation. I'm tingling in my nether regions. I'm competing in the full beard category. Check me out in all my curly, fuzzy glory. I'll post all the pics and videos of the event and my misadventures in Bend, OR here on the beard blog. I'm also making a pit stop on my way home to visit my kid bro in Lake Tahoe. When I get back home, I've got a big surprise for everyone!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Less Than a Month Until the Nats!

Here's the latest BTUSA news:

Magnificent Specimens
Saturday was the opening of "Magnificent Specimens," Dave Mead's exhibit of photos from the WBMC last year in Alaska.  The exhibit is at the Chelsea Market in New York City.  It will run there through June.  There was a strong BTUSA presence at the opening, including a film crew from LA.   Details on the exhibit here: magnificent/  Check it out if you can!

Springfield Beard and Moustache Contest
Memorial Day Weekend will see the final, final warm-up event for the Nationals -- the Springfield Beard and Moustache Contest.  It's at the Patton Alley Pub on Saturday night, May 29.  Organizer Christy Claybaker has promised a great time for anyone with or without a beard.  Brighton- and Anchorage-vet Devin Cara and Christy's husband Clay, both of whom will be competing in Bend, will serve as judges.  Proceeds go to the Lance Armstrong Foundation.  See!/ event.php?eid=115300261835815& ref=mf Which Springfield?  Not the Simpsons' one.  This one is in Missouri, Missouruh to some.

Burke Kenny to Judge
And now, announcing another celebrity judge!  FBSM former world champ (many say he should be the current world champ) Burke Kenny will be on the judges' panel in Bend.  "Beards should judge beards," says Burke.  Also it looks like Burke's band, As the Devil Dances, will have their gig in Bend on Friday night, not Thursday as previously planned.  This will be at the big welcoming party at the Old Stone Church to which everyone is of course invited.

Judge Applicants
We have several applications for others who want to judge.  Go to, check them out, and let your opinions be known!
If you'd like to print out some of the posters for yourself, the full resolution images are available

Finally, a reminder:  If you want a super-cool Beard Team USA name tag to show off in Bend, you need to Paypal me $5 by this Saturday, May 15 at the latest.  Let me know how you want your name and hometown to read 
Twitter and Facebook
Beard Team USA now has a much more active presence on both Facebook and Twitter.  Be sure to become a fan/follower to keep up on last minute preparations for Bend.  Also be sure to keep the rest of us posted on your own plans. and

See you soon,

Phil Olsen
Founder and self-appointed Captain
Beard Team USA


I'll be in NYC in June visiting my sister and bro-in-law. We're going to see the "Magnificent Specimens" exhibit. With Burke Kenny judging and Jack Passion MCing, two championship beards are not competing in the Nats, opening the floor for some new blood to be crowned champion.  -Shock

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Friday, April 30, 2010

Carstache™ | Glorious mustaches for cars and trucks

I randomly came across the Carstache™ Car Mustaches website in an email. Here's the Carstache story:

Carstache™ is the global leader in automotive facial hair, delivering the industry’s most luxurious in car mustaches.
We made Carstache™ purely because we think it’s funny and it makes people smile. No other reason. When people see a Carstache™ on the streets they laugh, wave, thumbs-up, fist pump, gun flex, wink wink, kiss kiss, you name it.
Some of you will rock Carstaches on a day to day basis, and for that you are awesome. For most, though, the Carstache™ is a sensational flare piece for events and special occasions like tailgates, birthdays, bachelor parties, Bar Mitzvah’s, Father’s Day, weddings, Halloween, Cinco-de-Mustache, etc… When you drive into a tailgate with a Carstache™ you get free beer, hot dogs, and high fives.
From the Hills of Hollywood to the Plains of Panama to the Alps of Awesometown, let it be known that the Carstache™ has arrived. Your car grille has been naked until now. It’s time to ‘stache up and feel the power!
Carstache™ car mustaches became available for retail purchase on April 12th, 2010. Carstache LLC is located in San Francisco, CA, and each Carstache™ is made right here in the USA.
Awesome is as awesome does…
~ Ethan at Carstache™
They come in classic black, firestache orange, legendary blond, so hot pink and wisdom gray. Check out the pictures that illustrates how cool these things are. If I had a car, I'd definitely get a Carstache.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Trustworthiness of Beards

My friend Euro Rob shared this Trustworthiness of Beards chart:

It's hard to classify me. I have a full beard, which would make me trustworthy. My beard could be considered unkempt a.k.a. "homeless" which puts me in the threatening category. I'm quite hairy and could be considered a werewolf, which is dangerous. I like it that I can't be classified.
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Here Comes the Judge

BTUSA is soliciting online video applications from beard fans to serve as potential judges at the Nationals.  Of course, judges must be unbiased, demonstrate outstanding moral character, and love facial hair.  Anyone who wants to be a judge can submit a video.  See events/want-to-be-a-judge/  Any nudity should be tasteful.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Who You Calling a Hipster?

This article from The Daily Texan makes a case for facial hair's comeback and growth (pun intended) into prominence.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Two More Nats Judges Announced

I bet she waxes her mustache
First it was announced that the man with the world's longest beard would be a judge at the upcoming Beard Team USA National Beard and Moustache Championships. Now two more celebrity judges have been named - CC Barber, Miss Oregon 2009 and Captain Hairy Lewis from Deadliest Catch. I'm not sure what qualifies Miss Barber to be a judge, but when your hot and are awarded for it, who cares? This is turning out to be one hell of an event.
look @ that sweet fu manchu
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

BTUSA News - World's Longest Beard

There are two months to go until the $5000 Beard Team USA National Beard and Moustache Championships in Bend, Oregon!

I have HUGE news.

Have you ever wondered who has the world's longest beard?  According to Guinness, it's Sarwan Singh of Surrey, B.C., Canada.  Now, here is the HUGE news.  Mr. Singh will be a judge at the Nats! Yes, as if the chance to win serious cash were not enough, you now have another reason to come to the Nats.  For all the info you need and to register for this event, please go to right now.  Don't forget to sign up for one of the activities on Friday, since they are first-come-first-serve and you don't want to be left out.

Mark your calendar for May 8.  An exhibit of Dave Mead's photographs from the WBMC in Anchorage will be on display at the Chelsea Market in New York City from May 9 to June 30.  The opening is at 9 pm on May 8.  The exhibit features photos of 54 WBMC contestants including a large number from BTUSA.  Learn more here.

If you have any questions, comments, ideas, etc. please reply to me   Also stop by and leave some comments.  I want to hear from you!

See you in Bend!

Phil Olsen
Founder and self-apppointed Captain
Beard Team USA 

Beard Team USA Logo

P.O. Box 800, Tahoe City, CA 96145 USA 
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Saturday, March 27, 2010

My profile on the Beard Team USA Blog

My profile was just posted on the Beard Team USA blog.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Beard Team USA Nationals News and Updates

BTUSA 2010 Nationals Logo
To All Members and Fans of Beard Team USA,

Plans for the $5000 BTUSA National Beard and Moustache Championships in Bend, Oregon on June 5 are well underway.

Huge Announcement

Online registration for the Nationals is now available! Just go to for everything you need to know. Registration for competitors is $40, which gets you into the competition, two chances to win $1000 (one for winning your category and another in the drawing), and free beer during the event.

Before you register, be sure to check out the options available for activities on Friday, June 4. When you register, you can sign up for a choice of mountain biking, brewery hopping, canoeing, cave exploring, or rafting. All of the activities have limited availability so be sure to sign up soon. Click here for more information about the activities.

Also, note that there are three choices for lodging. The upscale Mt. Bachelor Village Resort offer rooms and condos for a range for prices. Most people will stay at the mid-range Phoenix Inn, which is offering suites to our group for a rate of $109 per night. The budget option is at the Super 8 Motel with rooms for about $70.

If you stay at the Mt. Bachelor Village or at the Super 8, you will probably want to have a car. If you are at the Phoenix Inn, you won't need one, since the Phoenix Inn is right downtown.

Another Huge Announcement

Two-time World Beard Champion (Full Beard Natural) and noted beard book author Jack Passion will not be competing. Jack is going to step aside and give others with full beards a shot at the $1000. Instead, he will be the onstage host of the competition.

Be sure to check for the latest information.

See you in Bend!

Phil Olsen
Founder and Self-Appointed Captain
Beard Team USA


I'll be traveling with two time sideburns winner Toot Joslin.  I chose the Central Oregon Microbrew Pub Tour as my Friday activity. Bend is home to some of the finest award winning microbreweries in the Pacific Northwest. Guests on this excursion will sample some of the finest brews in Oregon. Stops on the tour will include a tour and a tasting at McMenamins Old St. Francis School, followed by appetizers and pints at Cascade Lakes Brewery and a final tasting at Deschutes Brewery. The tour includes transportation, tour guide, commemorative glass, entrance fees, beer tasting and appetizers. With Jack Passion not competing in the full beard category, I've now got a chance.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Happy Birthday beard

Originally uploaded by chronic-shock

My beard is a year old. One whole year of growth. When I set out to grow a beard, I didn't have any expectations of length or shape. I just let it grow. There are traces of red and grey amongst the dark brown curly hirsuted landscape. The wife and I give everything a name, yet I've never named my beard. If you've got any ideas let me know. The mustache became unruly and was impairing my eating, so I trimmed it a month or so ago. I get lots of compliments, mostly from men, but a couple women have praised the facial follicles. I'm continuing to grow the face rug for the National Beard and Mustache Championships which is being held June 5 in Bend, OR. After that, who knows? This is a pic of me and Fletch at a Texas winery. I believe he is reacting to finding wildlife living in my beard.
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Beard Team USA News

Hi Everyone,
Wow!  There is a lot of news! 
Most importantly,  Beard Team USA is undergoing major changes that affect all members.  We are switching to a new email system for team newsletters.  This means that, if you want to continue receiving BTUSA news by email, you must confirm your subscription.  You will receive an email in the next few days with instructions on how to do so.  If you do not confirm your subscription, this will be your last newsletter.
This change comes about because we have grown so big.  We now have 1677 members and 56 local chapters, some of which are more active than others.  With so many members, my computer just can't handle email blasts going out to all members.  Also, I am sure many people are not receiving newsletters because their computers treat them as spam.  The change should overcome these problems. 
If you know of any team members who have not been receiving emails about BTUSA, please let them know they should go to and simply click on "subscribe." 
Our websites ( and are undergoing major changes as well.  Both are now much more interactive.  Everyone is encouraged to drop by and leave comments on any of the posts found on the site. 
Also if you have sent me a picture and asked me to put it on the BTUSA site, but your picture has not appeared, I apologize.  Until now the process of adding the pictures has been very tedious and I frankly have fallen way behind.  Here is the good news -- at the new site you can upload your own picture and biographical information which will automatically be added to the site.  BTUSA reserves the right to edit any content of course. Even if you pic is on the site, I would encourage you to put up a new pic and add or update you bio info.
Coming events:
With four months to go before the HUGE first ever $5000 Beard Team USA National Beard and Moustache Championships in Bend, Oregon, on June 5, there are several warm-up events you should know about. 
February 13 -- Southeastern Regionals, Charleston, South Carolina, hosted by the Holy City Beard and Moustache Society.  Welcoming party Friday night, Contestants and VIP Oyster Roast on Saturday, Competition Saturday night.  Further info here:
February 13 -- All American City Beard and Moustache Contest, Somerville, Massachusetts, organized by BTUSA member Todd Easton and the Somerville Arts Council.  Time: 3 pm.  Place: Precint, 70 Union Square, Somerville.  For more info email Todd
February 19 -- Msiprint's Fourth Annual Beard and Moustache Competition, Austin, Texas. This is Misprint Magazine's gig, held with the cooperation of the Austin Facial Hair Society, a local chapter of Beard Team USA.  This year's contest includes a six-month sprint category.  In true Texas spirit, the AFHS is threatening to secede from BTUSA but for now they are still part of America's team.  For info on the competition, see
March 20 -- First Annual Philadelphia Beard and Moustache Competition, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  A non-gendered, non-judgmental celebration of a love of all things bearded and moustachio'd! Competition will be in several categories, you can sign up at the door, with the judging by the audience, slam-style. Come share your facial hair, drink some local beard themed-homebrew, and meet the Philadelphia beard community!  Location: Studio 34, 4522 Baltimore Avenue.  Time: 8 pm.  Suggested donation: $5.  Contact Roo (; 540.588.4101) or Mica ( with questions.
Planning for Bend is well under way.  Registration, info on lodging, info on other activities, etc. will be online as soon as key decisions are made.  For now, here is the tentative plan and schedule.  Keep in mind it is tentative:
Thursday, June 3 -- As the Devil Dances (featuring former FBSM world champ Burke Kenny) concludes its tour of the Northwest with a gig in Bend. 
Friday, June 4 -- Mountain bike tour ending at the Deschutes Brewery for brewery tour, beer tasting, and the call to order of the Official Somewhat Annual Beard Team USA meeting.  Meeting progresses to other breweries for consideration of agenda items.
Saturday, June 5 -- The Nats take place at the Les Schwab Amphitheater.  $5000 on the line for America's best beards and moustaches. 
Getting there:
The airport nearest to Bend is Redmond/Bend (RDM), served by United, Horizon, Allegiant, and Delta.  For most people, it will be cheaper to fly into Portland.  We will try to organize a charter bus from Portland to Bend, but many people will want to simply rent a car and drive.  It's about 2.5 hours from Portland to Bend. 
Hint:  Allegiant Air offers non-stop flights between Las Vegas and Redmond for only $49.77 each way but only on Fridays and Sundays.  There are always lots of cheap deals from pretty much anywhere to Las Vegas, especially on Southwest.  The Friday flight to Redmond departs at 7 am.  So you will have to spend a night in V*E*G*A*S on the way to the Nats, but that's not a bad idea anyway.  If I were considering this option for myself, I would book right away  My guess is the flight will be full of people headed to the Nats.  You'll miss As the Devil Dances, unfortunately. 
See you in Bend,
Phil Olsen
Founder and self-appointed captain
Beard Team USA

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Hirsuted Valentine's Day Present

For Valentine's Day, the wife got me a cool beard t-shirt from Chop Shop called "Dapper Men". It's everyman's guide to looking dapper on a t-shirt. 141 duds sporting a right gentlemanly combination of hair, beard or mustache with a good majority scoring with all three. The design is from HumanShapedRobot. Can you figure out all 141? Doubt it. If you want to see how well you did, here's the key.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Brand Shock Beard Wine

A friend of mine sent me this picture with the note "didn't know you  had done bearding modeling! ;)". I was young and needed the money. This sweet elixir made from fermented grapes is sold at Trader JoesHe replied "BTW - it was pretty good wine.  Good job maintaining "Brand Shock" as a premium brand." To which I replied "When Joe called and asked if he could market "brand Shock" elixirs in his supermarkets, I said my wine is drank by the same demographic as Cristal. He ordered 10000 cases immediately." My friend, who started his career in marketing, then replied "Thats the plan - D&D - Dismiss & Distinguish Dismiss the competition and Distinguish your brand as the top. That is Marketing 101 and that is Brand Shock!" If you're interested, here's the details of "Dr. Jebediah Drinkwell's Meritage". 

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Whole Family Is Getting In On the Act

Our son's photographer, Photography By Marirosa, has a fun project this year. She's calling it the "Mustache Chronicles". She bought some ‘mustaches’ on a stick’ and all her 2010 clients will get to do a personal photo of themselves with one of them. She says "I want silliness, fun time and a bit of goofiness…at the end of 2010 I’m putting together a book about it!" I think the blonde mustache is a great contrast to my dark brown and red (and some grey) beard. My son looks good with a heavy 'stache. It suits him. I hope he grows up to be a great hirsute pogonologist.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Even Celebrities Are Getting Into the Act

From (the wife sent it to me -Editor): From Goatees to Full Facial Hair: Are Beards the New Leading Man�Must-Have? – Style News - StyleWatch -

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Your Soul Patch Ain’t Got Soul

Before becoming a member of Beard Team USA, I wore a soul patch exclusively. It was facial calling card. Here's a repost of The Beard Coach's research into why it's called a 'soul patch'. I'm going with his recommendation and going to call it a 'jazz patch' from now on.

Your Soul Patch Ain’t Got Soul: "
billy ray cyrus

Seriously… why is that little dab of hair called a soul patch anyway? I’ve just finished trying to research this and I can’t find any satifactory etymology of the phrase anywhere. Here’s what I have been able to gather:

  • “Soul Patch” was first included in the Miriam Webster dictionary in 1991
  • According to a source on the Wikipedia entry, jazz trumpeters of the 1950s and 1960s grew them for increased mouthpiece comfort.
  • Also according to Wikipedia, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, called the first soul patch he saw a “poor, frustrated beard.”

So my theory on the history of the soul patch goes like this. It was the height of the 1950s jazz movement. African-American jazz musicians were getting freaky and white counterculture ate it up. They felt so cool and progressive hanging out at the club and grooving on the new sounds that were being made up on the spot. In the midst of that jazz-induced euphoria, these kids noticed their idols wearing this little patch of hair under their bottom lip, not knowing what reason it served. In an effort to be as cool as the cats on the stage, the guys that were caught up in the scene grew out a little patch to match… and the soul patch was introduced to the non-musicians of America.

That still doesn’t explain why it’s called a “soul” patch. Soul music isn’t really an offspring of jazz. Instead, it grew from African-American gospel crossed with rhythm-and-blues (R&B). And while R&B and jazz can both claim the blues as a parent, it’s hard to detect any resemblance between the siblings. An audible connection is even less present between soul music and its uncle jazz. So, there’s just no soul in a soul patch. I’m going to start calling it a “jazz patch.” You should too.

Real soul music was made by guys with real beards. Evidence:

Marvin Gaye?

Marvin Gaye beard

Barry White?

barry white beard

Isaac Hayes?

isaac hayes beard

There you have it. There is simply no denying the soulfulness of the full beard. You may think that little spot of hair under your lip gives you soul, but I’m pretty sure that the ladies aren’t feeling it. You want to see a woman feel the effects of a full soul beard? Play “Let’s Get It On” at your next house party. I guarantee that at least one of the girls in attendance will swoon and start turning her mind toward certain things…

You want to look like you’re a lovin’ man? Fill in the rest of your beard around that “poor, frustrated” jazz patch.

The Beatles Moustache Index

Reposted from Beard-Revue:

The Beatles Moustache Index: "

It’s not uncommon for me to look at photo of myself and instantly recognize when it was taken because of my facial hair. So too is it true that I see Beatles photos and know what year or recording session it was. The moustachery and bearding of a fellow is as much a clue as their surroundings or the suit they wear.

Thankfully, for folks out there with little bearing on the long-faced Beatles, there is at least this guide.