Riker's Beard

Check this out.  Mrs. Greenbean showed it to me over on the Facebook.

Riker's Beard

This morning I had a great time sharing some observations about ministry with the a group of Methodist Men at a local church.  Before the meeting started, some wise older man came up to me and said, “That’s a nice beard you’ve got there.”  It is wonderful to bump into a bearded Gospel brother.

Right now, according to the Riker chart, I am at 1.5 Rikers.  My beard is cut short and a little cropped on the side, but is higher on my cheek.  Riker’s beard always hangs low on his jowls, where as mine climbs up toward my eye like a vine reaching or the sun.

But a week ago, before I cleaned it up a little for the Methodists, I was at a full 4 Rikers.  When I trimmed it, small mammals came crawling out.  I think I might can get back there before Christmas.

Regardless, we can all admit that growing the beard was the coolest thing that William Riker ever did.

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Tonight I went to the two-hour freshman orientation for my daughter.  It was, maybe, the last orientation I’ll ever attend as she is my youngest and parents don’t usually go to college orientation.  I suppose my next orientation gig will be when they show me around the nursing home my kids pick for me.  Oh I hope it has a coffee bar.

Anyway, I digress.  It was an incredibly boring event, but, as you might expect, there were some things that I found interesting.  Here are some of the highlights.

1.  The dress code continues to be ridiculous.  My daughter still can’t wear bandanas to school.  She was told by one of the teachers, “If we don’t like your hairpin, we will physically yank it out of your hair.”  This school is filled with dress code Nazis.  I’m serious.  The rule book even spells out that it is a violation to wear anything with a skull and crossbones.  So no Pirates of the Caribbean t-shirts.  Oh, and I guess they can’t read my excellent short story, Jolly Rogers.

2.  Speaking of dress codes, the rule specifically spells out that boys may not have beards.  They can have a moustache, but no beard.

From the actual handbook.
From the actual handbook.

Not even a goatee.  Now, as a bearded man I find this offensive.  If a 16 or 17 year old boy, working to fill adequate about his manhood is able to grow a beard, he should be allowed to.  Not only allowed, but it should be applauded and encouraged.  A beard is not deviant behavior.

3.  The funniest moment for me came about an hour into the program.  The principal had just given a passionate speech about how the high school had put wifi in all the buildings, was sparing no expenses in spending new bond money for updated technology, and that every student would be given an iPad.  Then, not two heartbeats later, the cafeteria director stood up and informed everyone that if a kid got more than $10 behind on his lunch bill, he or she would only be given a cheese sandwich and a glass of water for lunch, with the implication that Bruiser and Killer would be by the house later to collect.  How screwed up is that?  We’ll give them an iPad, but not lunch.  The world is so weird.

4.  File this under “Hashtag sarcasm.”  Right before the principal gave this great speech about technology and streaming it seamlessly into the classroom he informed us that students were only allowed to use their cell phones if a teacher allowed it.  Again, the irony is delicious.  We give them iPads, but restrict their cell usage.  Oh, by the way, you can follow all the administration and counselors on Twitter, but apparently you can’t tweet them at school.

5.  I just can’t let this go.  All the talk about embracing technology was reinforced with constant encouragements to visit the schools internet link for student information.  We can check grades, print transcripts, see absences and do so many wonderful things.  The system is called Skyward and just about every school in North America uses it.  Come on people, why not go ahead and name it what it really wants to be–SKYNET, with complete control of everything.

6.  The school really cares if an athlete is falling behind on his grades, because an athlete is not eligible to play if he or she fails and some of the coaches are on board with this.  No mention was made if the school cared if a non-athlete fell behind in grades.

7.    The students don’t know their schedule yet and can’t find out.  So, freshmen are showing up the first day of school with, literally, no clue where to go.  They have to find their name on a big board that tells them which room to go to.  Then, in that room, they will get their schedule.  Now, that is the first time they see their schedule, on the first day.  They may have gotten the classes they wanted, or they might not have.  Sorry, though, schedules can’t be changed.  Literally, a student is stuck with the luck of the draw on the first day for the whole year.  The whole year.  That is messed up.

So those were the highlights.  Makes me very glad that I went to high school at a sane institution, run by people who loved to teach children, at a time when a teenager could actually be a teenager.  Man I miss the 80s.


How does one describe beard length?  Inches might work, or for some feet.  However, mathematics seems sterile for something as ontological as a beard.

Today a post on the Facebooks caught my attention.  It was posted by and featured a beard scale put together by a woman named Danielle to describe her husband’s beard.  Here was her scale:

1.  Sexy stubble

2.  Sea Captain

3.  Prisoner of war

4.  Homeless person

5.  Wizard

I like her little scale.  It is creative.  However, I’m not certain about the “prisoner of war” because, in all honesty, that is a rather nasty business.  It also strikes me that a “homeless person” and “wizard” are only differentiated by the amount of alcohol on the clothing of the beard wearer.  Unless of course said wizard is Gandalf, who very likely might be intoxicated as well.  It might be possible to list, in a biblical context, the wizard beard as the prophet beard.

I think I would take her scale and modify it, just a bit.  I would move “sea captain” down to three and put “bard” at number 2.  By “bard” I mean that wonderful full beard of the academic, writer, and scholar.  A bard’s beard is not as long as a sea captains beard, for it is neatly trimmed and manicured to display its glory alongside tweed and elbow patches.  Then I would add, what might be called, the professional’s beard.  This is the kind of beard that looks good in a uniform or a suit and that fits in at the office.

So, then my modified list would look like this:

1.  Sexy Stubble

2.  Bard

3.  The Pro

4.  Sea Captain

5.  Homeless Person

6.  Wizard (Prophet)

So now, we go to examples and possible new naming.  It strikes me that we could interchange these bearded labels with celebrities or actors in movies.  So, now the list becomes:

1. The George Clooneygeorge-clooney-grey-hair-706bes072710

2.  The FreudSigmund_Freud_LIFE

3.  The Rikeramatterofhonor030

4.  Red Octobersean+connery+hunt+for+red+october

5.  The Melmel-gibson-crazy-beard

6.  Mosesmichelangelo-sculptures-17

The obvious of course is that these reference full beards, not van dykes or goatees or the miniscule and mindless soul patch.

pictures from: (Clooney),  (Freud), (Riker), (Connery), (Gibson), (Michelangelo’s Moses)


Two (or is it three?) times a week my wife and daughters sneak up very close to idol worship.  No, its not Baal or Molech or even Caesar that are problems for them.  It is the television show American Idol.  All three of them have some kind of addiction to the program.  I thought that might go away after Paula left the show.  I was wrong.  Although I must admit Paula Abdul did make the show very interesting.

But when they watch, I must find something else to do.  I just can’t watch it.  Its not that the show is awful.  It is just that I do not like amateurish music.  If I want music, I will listen to the iPod.  So, here is what I should do while they watch idolatry.

  • Take the trash out.  This is my daughters’ job but since they are busy watching television and the weather is so awful, I think I will just go ahead and do it.

(ouch, i can hear the tv in the other room and someone just hit an awful note.  Sounds like a Diana Ross song.)

  • Read.  I may spend some time reading my book.  It is a biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and its amazing.  The problem is the book is a little intense and the last couple of days have already been intense.  I suppose I might do something else.
  • Work on Twitter Account.  I recently tried to reactivate my twitter account.  It had been dormant for a long while but ever since I saw Jack Dorsey at Catalyst I’ve been thinking it was time to get it going again.  If you’re interested you can follow me @jamiedgreening.  What really needs to be done is get my profile pic up.   My Facebook profile pic ought to do nicely.
  • Check out Beard web-pages.  One of the things which humor me is to surf the internet and look at web-pages dedicated to beard and beard growing.  The Beard Coach and All About Beards are two of the best.  Someday I hope to have a truly excellent beard.  I am not there, but I’m working on it.

(Ugh.  I can hear the television in the next room.  Someone tell JLo to be quiet.  She is repeating herself over and over and over.)

  • Work.  I am very far behind in work.  Traveling last week combined with the extra work of starting the Holy Season and various other interruptions in my regular work schedule have put me far behind.  I should be working on the John 7 sermon, writing something serious, or doing admin work.
  • Maybe I’ll just pop some popcorn and write this blog.

Yo Dog.