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Matt OConnell " Cap'n Matt "
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From MSN's analysis of Facial Hair:
"If your guy is a mustache-man, he deserves major props. The 'stache is the only difficult part of a beard, making it hard to eat, kiss, etc. ... For a man to voluntarily take on the hardest part of the game ... it's a sign that he bows to no challenge, least of which being the number of negative stereotypes that so unfairly haunt the mustache."
'Nuff said.

There was a day Scott had no 'stache.  Check him out and follow him, too, as he tries hard to match the old man.
There was a day Scott had no 'stache. Check him out and follow him, too, as he tries hard to match the old man.

Week 1.  (Weak one...)
Week 1. (Weak one...)
It's Baaaack!  Yep, once again that creepy thing above my lip will be growing for the next month (well, already just 3 more weeks) FOR THE KIDS!  Check out the picture at week one, and yes, it's really there.  Confirmed by already being relegated to pecks on Barb's forehead vs lips, the light pecks accompanied by her grimmace.  Ah, the sacrifice.

But you know it's worth it.  I know my goal's conservative.  Let's crush it like we did last year when we raised over $1,600 for the M4K charities:  ASK (supporting children with cancer), SCAN (Stop Child Abuse Now); Children's Hospital Foundation and FeedMore.  As a group we 120 or so guys with 'staches gave over $150,000 last year.  Determined to better that.

Check out Scott's page as well to see how he's faring against the old man.   He's the one who got me into this and I keep beating him.  And wander around the site to check out some of the other cast of characters doing this.  It's a hoot and it's FOR THE KIDS!

I'll keep you posted.  Let's Grow This Thing!!!

Very Weak 2 - Come on.  It's really more noticible than this!
Very Weak 2 - Come on. It's really more noticible than this!
Week 2, and THANK YOU so much to those who have contributed.  SO appreciated my me and ultimately, The Kids!  That's what it's all about.

Well, that and having Fun with Facial Hair.  Or at least some of you are having fun laughing at (OK, with) me.  Me, not so much other than the fun of helping out the kids.  Barb's questioning whether even the forehead peck is acceptable.  I may be relegated to a handshake pretty soon.  That's not so fun.  As I was going into an Auto Parts store, held the door for a man exiting and he just stared at my upper lip like "What the hell is THAT?" as he passed.  Come on.  An auto parts store is where men go to grunt and be men.  And real men grow mustaches.  So clearly my attempt to date is pretty weak.  No fun there.  And so far, not a single woman has given me a compliment on it.  Usually I get at least a couple.  No fun there.  Maybe next week.  At least I haven't yet scared any children (that I know of).

But hey!  It's for the kids!  And that IS the fun of all this.  When we gather on 12/2 at the 'Stache Bash and hand out those big checks to our charities?  THAT's fun.  (Well, so's the beer, of course.)  So thanks for helping me have fun whether through your moral or monetary support.  Check back next week.  Maybe it'll be a little more impressive.

Let's grow this thing!

OOPS!!! (Not a quote, the only thing I can print here)
OOPS!!! (Not a quote, the only thing I can print here)

Isn't that what Charles Schulz had Charlie Brown say when he was terribly upset?  Well, that's about all I can publish here, because the words that came out of this sailor's mouth this morning can't be repeated in this public blog....

I'm currently on the road at a conference.  My daily routine is to shave in the shower.  At home I have a mirror.  In the hotel that's not so.  You can see the pic, I'm sure you can see what's coming.  So as I'm mentally going through my approaching day, my mind is nowhere on my shaving.  I do it by rote and feel exactly the same way daily 48 weeks out of the year.  Unfortunately, this is one of the 4 weeks where I actually have to THINK about what I'm doing, or at least see that upper lip caterpillar in the mirror to remind me to THINK about what I'm doing.  Well, when I felt the tug at the bottom of the stroke down my cheek that told me I'd run into a little more facial hair, only then did I THINK, "Oh, Shit"  and then a few, no MANY, other choice words mostly directed at myself and my level of intelligence emanated from deep within.  As Ralphie's dad did routinely in the movie 'A Christmas Story', I wove a beautiful tapestry of obscenities that floated up and out of the hotel and is still hanging over the entire east coast (at least).

I stared and stared and stared trying to figure out how to salvage the atrocity.  Other than a Hitler 'stache (clearly not an option and in violation of M4K rules in any event), I had nothing.  Now it's gone.  To an inglorious end down a lonely hotel drain to a eulogy of more obscenities regarding my feeble intelligence.

But the growth will rise again!  At least a 2 week growth until the 'Stache Bash.  And I might even get an extra day or two of real kisses from Barb.  (Grasping at straws, here, looking for any silver lining...)

A life lesson learned that I'll take with me every year now going forward.  I used to think I did my best thinking in the shower.  Probably still will except, now, for Novembers.  Fair warning re future expectations for me during that month.

It's a New Day!  A New Half-Month!  Let's grow this thing!  And THINK!!!  It's For the Kids!!


Week 4?  How about 1.5 (again)
Week 4? How about 1.5 (again)
OK, here's the awful truth and progress as it actually is entering the final week.  Oh, the shame!  But in actuality, at least I never got all the way to the gross look of past years, and haven't scared any children.  And you all have gotten me ahead of last year's final already.  And there's more to hear from!  THANK YOU THANK YOU!

Now, even if you've already contributed, and even if you're not so inclined (no harm, no foul, of course), please go to the Welcome page, scroll a bit to the CHARITY CHALLENGE and submit a vote for The Greater Richmond ARC.  That's the non-profit where I work as VP of Employment Services.  I don't work with kids, but we have a slew of programs that do.  And M4K has added 4 kids charities this year that will receive some benefits on a sliding scale based on this vote.  So give us a boost and cast a vote.

I'll be back with a final after our 'Stache Bash this Friday.  THANK YOU again for your support.  Let's Grow This Thing!  It's For the Kids!

Makes me look younger, don't you think?  (Courtesy Doug Payne)
Makes me look younger, don't you think? (Courtesy Doug Payne)
$207,650 !!!  That's what this crazy group of guys raised this year.  Epic!  And thanks to many of you, we contributed $1,766 toward that final tally (which, again, beat Scott). THANK YOU, THANK YOU!  And the kids THANK YOU!

It's amazing what I was able to accomplish in only two weeks after my mid-term disaster, don't you think?  Unfortunately it's now all gone until next year.  Who knows what I'll be able to accomplish in a full month?


The winner and son.
The winner and son.

Recent Contributors

MaryBeth Grimes Amount: $ 100 Date Received: 12/2/2016
"Clearly the manliest of the Midlo based O'Connell's"
Michelle Mayo Date Received: 11/30/2016
"Good Luck!"
George Voelker Amount: $ 50 Date Received: 11/29/2016
"Way to go, Matt!"
Philo McGiffin Amount: $ 128.72 Date Received: 11/28/2016
"Absurd, Captain. Absurd. Even with your mishap, you call that a mustache, Sir?!?"
John Welch Amount: $ 50 Date Received: 11/24/2016
Matt & Kerry Daniel Amount: $ 50 Date Received: 11/22/2016
"Great Job Dad!"
Cara Coffman Amount: $ 25 Date Received: 11/22/2016
Nick Payne Amount: $ 20 Date Received: 11/22/2016
"Grow that 'stache!"
Friends Of Matt Amount: $ 50 Date Received: 11/21/2016
Bill Sabo Amount: $ 28.72 Date Received: 11/18/2016
"To grow faster try concentrating harder!"
Demis Stewart Amount: $ 50 Date Received: 11/18/2016
Julee Fletcher Amount: $ 100 Date Received: 11/18/2016
"Happy to contribute, even with your recent faux pas! May the stache quickly return!"
Jule Mueller Date Received: 11/18/2016
"Matt, You know if is harder to grow hair as we get older. So good luck and put lots of conditioner on those hairs to keep them soft- that might get you more than a handshake."
Adam Stauffer Amount: $ 500 Date Received: 11/17/2016
Steve And Marilyn Sztuk Amount: $ 50 Date Received: 11/16/2016
"You rock that Moustache for the kids Matt! We would pay Steve not to grow one."
Clay Stabler Amount: $ 28.72 Date Received: 11/16/2016
"Matt-stache looking good!"
Mark And Patty Minnick Amount: $ 50 Date Received: 11/16/2016
"Thanks for the effort. Maybe Scott can "grow" up to be like you."
Michael Foley Amount: $ 25 Date Received: 11/16/2016
Marshall W Butler Jr Date Received: 11/10/2016
Kasia Grzelkowski Amount: $ 50 Date Received: 11/9/2016
Tom O'Connell Amount: $ 100 Date Received: 11/9/2016
"Why is it that fuzzy caterpillars come to mind at this time of year?"
Brooke Umstattd Amount: $ 25 Date Received: 11/8/2016
"Go, MP, go! Miss you! "