Not By The Hair…

OK, so we’ve established that I’m going to be going to Florida next week for the STS-125 launch (basically almost exactly one week from the time I’m typing this sentence).

Which, hopefully, will be cool, and hopefully will result in me actually getting to see a launch after two unsuccesful trips in the past.

But it will also mean that I’ll be taking three days off work next week, for a total of five days off counting the weekend. And that, kids, means that it’s official Dave Facial Hair Change Time.

It’s a bit of a tradition for me that I use sufficiently long vacations to do something different with the standard van dyke I wear. It’s rare for me to take more than a few days off, so it’s a rare thing. Basically, it gives me the opportunity to grow something out without having to come into work looking like I just forgot to shave that day.

The last time was in September, when I used a trip to Mississippi around Labor Day to grow out a full beard. I left work on my last day with my standard look, and came back afterwards with a decent beginning on a full beard. The biggest change before that was three years ago, when I was clean-shaven for a while. Basically, about a week before taking off, I shaved the van dyke completely off, and went that way for a week. Then, on my vacation, I let it grow back out, returning to work with the foundations of a beard again.

Anyway, since it’s been three years, several people I know have never seen me clean-shaven, so I figured it was time to give it a shot again. My plan now is that this will be a one-week-only thing, and I’ll grow it back out while I’m gone.

But, in the meantime, I’d be curious what people think — better with, or better without? Here are some current pictures of how I look without:

And here’s one from October of the “normal” look and one from September or so with the full beard: