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The Great Portland Beard Tally

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  • May 20, 2010
    The Great Portland Beard Tally

    Allow me to preface this blog by saying that I realize fully that I have occasionally far too much time on my hands while on tour.

     

    Amidst a hectic schedule such as Straight No Chaser's, one's mind wanders and one may think to one’s self, "I wonder how many beards I can count today."  This happened to me yesterday while in the beautiful city of Portland, OR.  I shall now present to you infallible scientific proof that there is a prodigious glut of facial hair in this city.  

     

    Having been to Portland last Fall, I recalled how many beards were out on display.  'Twas a place teeming with scruff and flowing with follicles.  My mission this time around was to take a small sample of the city's beards and determine the peak hour at which the most beards could be experienced first-hand in their natural habitat.

     

    As one can see in the legend of the line graph pictured on the main page, the x-axis (horizontal) represented the hours during which the study took place, while the y-axis (vertical) represented the beard count over the course of that hour.  

     

    A system was devised to award points based upon the dispersion of facial hair seen growing upon individual hosts within the population:

     

    1 point was awarded for a full beard,  

     

    1/2 point was awarded for a goatee, flavor-saver, fumanchu, and/or mutton-chop(s), 

     

    Great 'staches were awarded the same 1/2 point,  

     

    2 points were awarded for a drifter beard, or dreard, which is a beard that inhabits the face of a drifter, of which there exists a multitude scattered about Portland. 

     

    No points were awarded to freshly shorn beards, stubble that could develop over time into a beard - such as five o'clock shadows - common mustaches, or noteworthy sideburns.  Fake or fashion beards were thrown out completely of the study if spotted.   

     

    I will analyze now the hourly results of the experiment:

     

     

     

     

     

    10:00 AM - 11:00 AM:  First beard spotted in the Jupiter Hotel parking lot upon awakening.

     

    11:00 AM - 12:00 PM:  Twenty-eight beards seen en route to brunch at Zell's Cafe, within said dining establishment, and on the return walk to the Jupiter Hotel.  Tyler served as assistant beard-spotter during this hour and enjoyed a delightful omelette of the create-your-own variety.

     

    12:00 PM - 1:00 PM:  Post-brunch nap.  No real beards were witnessed during this time, although several existed in dream form.

     

    1:00 PM - 2:00 PM:  Post-nap email, Facebook, and journal session within hotel room.  Only three beards were spotted from the hotel room during this hour, grazing lazily within the confines of the Douglas Fir Lounge's outdoor patio area.  Commentary between beards regarding the work of Jack Kerouac overheard by the observer.

     

    2:00 PM - 3:00 PM:  Ten beards were seen driving cars, riding bicycles, or pushing shopping carts while we rode en route to the venue for sound check.  Note: six of these beards were dreards.  At one point, there stood bearded drifters (brifters) on three of the four corners of a particular intersection (3 brifters x 2 dreard points = 6 dreards total).  This proved the theory that 75% of Portland's intersections are occupied at all times by brifters.

     

    3:00 PM - 4:00 PM:  Post-sound check drive back to hotel.  Lone beard spotted smoking in patio area of hotel, unkempt.  Viewing area moved from the Jupiter Hotel to Grendel’s Coffee House across the street.  Seggie and Charlie facilitated the tally over espressos and discussions on drifting.  Unforeseen viewing obstacles such as tinted car windows, glare, and stray copies of “An Inconvenient Truth” being tossed about in the wind hampered a fully accurate count. 

     

    4:00 PM – 5:00 PM:  After a dizzying 56 beards were spotted in the previous hour from Grendel’s, the observation forum returned across the street to the Jupiter Hotel.  Great ‘stache spotted on host at hotel restaurant.  Waxed at the tips, fantastic curlage.  Prime vantage point from table overlooking sidewalk and intersection undergoing construction, much like a bottleneck in a river during a salmon run.  A staggering 67.5 beards logged during the dinner hour with Seggie serving as assistant spotter.  Delicious lamb shepherd’s pie.

     

     

    5:00 PM – 6:00 PM:  Eleven beards seen searching for refuge as scattered evening showers descended upon the city.  Smell of wet beard fills air.

     

     

    6:00 PM – 7:00 PM:  Three beards spotted outside venue, one owning a girthy Labrador retriever that answered to the name Buddy.  Brooding and mysterious.  The beards, not the dog.

     

     

    7:00 PM – 8:00 PM:  Audience members addressed by observer between songs and encouraged to raise hands if serving as host to a beard.  Estimated 25 beards viewed from stage, congregating predominantly on main floor level.

     

     

    8:00 PM – 9:00 PM:  No beards escaped during intermission.

     

     

    9:00 PM – 10:00 PM:  Much to the chagrin of the observer, a mere 5.5 beards remained for post-show meet-and-greet.  Highlight: David Crosby look-a-like spotted sporting pink polo shirt.  Graceful white handlebar ‘stache and chin dirt. 

     

     

    10:00 PM – 11:00 PM:  Moderately sized contingent of beards (15.5) discussing favorite local organic produce co-op back at Jupiter Hotel. Portly bartender deftly serves drinks to noisy patrons while nesting family of birds sleeps soundly in bushy chestnut beard.

     

     

    11:00 PM – 12:00 AM:  Three beards discuss advantages of Toyota Prius over Ford Fusion around fire pit.  Strains of anonymous struggling indie-rock band overheard on speakers.  Observer updates beard graph on room door and retires for evening, exhausted after observing and cataloging 228.5 beards in 14-hour period.

     

     

    Legal disclaimer: no beards were harmed in the tracking, tallying, and/or presentation of this data.  All inquiries should be directed to the National Beard Board of Investigation and not the parties involved in this experiment.  If you think you have a beard living in your area, consult your local barber.

     

    44
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Ryan_5's picture
on 20 May 2010 - 12:36am

Allow me to preface this blog by saying that I realize fully that I have occasionally far too much time on my hands while on tour.

 

Amidst a hectic schedule such as Straight No Chaser's, one's mind wanders and one may think to one’s self, "I wonder how many beards I can count today."  This happened to me yesterday while in the beautiful city of Portland, OR.  I shall now present to you infallible scientific proof that there is a prodigious glut of facial hair in this city.  

 

Having been to Portland last Fall, I recalled how many beards were out on display.  'Twas a place teeming with scruff and flowing with follicles.  My mission this time around was to take a small sample of the city's beards and determine the peak hour at which the most beards could be experienced first-hand in their natural habitat.

 

As one can see in the legend of the line graph pictured on the main page, the x-axis (horizontal) represented the hours during which the study took place, while the y-axis (vertical) represented the beard count over the course of that hour.  

 

A system was devised to award points based upon the dispersion of facial hair seen growing upon individual hosts within the population:

 

1 point was awarded for a full beard,  

 

1/2 point was awarded for a goatee, flavor-saver, fumanchu, and/or mutton-chop(s), 

 

Great 'staches were awarded the same 1/2 point,  

 

2 points were awarded for a drifter beard, or dreard, which is a beard that inhabits the face of a drifter, of which there exists a multitude scattered about Portland. 

 

No points were awarded to freshly shorn beards, stubble that could develop over time into a beard - such as five o'clock shadows - common mustaches, or noteworthy sideburns.  Fake or fashion beards were thrown out completely of the study if spotted.   

 

I will analyze now the hourly results of the experiment:

 

 

 

 

 

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM:  First beard spotted in the Jupiter Hotel parking lot upon awakening.

 

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM:  Twenty-eight beards seen en route to brunch at Zell's Cafe, within said dining establishment, and on the return walk to the Jupiter Hotel.  Tyler served as assistant beard-spotter during this hour and enjoyed a delightful omelette of the create-your-own variety.

 

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM:  Post-brunch nap.  No real beards were witnessed during this time, although several existed in dream form.

 

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM:  Post-nap email, Facebook, and journal session within hotel room.  Only three beards were spotted from the hotel room during this hour, grazing lazily within the confines of the Douglas Fir Lounge's outdoor patio area.  Commentary between beards regarding the work of Jack Kerouac overheard by the observer.

 

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM:  Ten beards were seen driving cars, riding bicycles, or pushing shopping carts while we rode en route to the venue for sound check.  Note: six of these beards were dreards.  At one point, there stood bearded drifters (brifters) on three of the four corners of a particular intersection (3 brifters x 2 dreard points = 6 dreards total).  This proved the theory that 75% of Portland's intersections are occupied at all times by brifters.

 

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM:  Post-sound check drive back to hotel.  Lone beard spotted smoking in patio area of hotel, unkempt.  Viewing area moved from the Jupiter Hotel to Grendel’s Coffee House across the street.  Seggie and Charlie facilitated the tally over espressos and discussions on drifting.  Unforeseen viewing obstacles such as tinted car windows, glare, and stray copies of “An Inconvenient Truth” being tossed about in the wind hampered a fully accurate count. 

 

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM:  After a dizzying 56 beards were spotted in the previous hour from Grendel’s, the observation forum returned across the street to the Jupiter Hotel.  Great ‘stache spotted on host at hotel restaurant.  Waxed at the tips, fantastic curlage.  Prime vantage point from table overlooking sidewalk and intersection undergoing construction, much like a bottleneck in a river during a salmon run.  A staggering 67.5 beards logged during the dinner hour with Seggie serving as assistant spotter.  Delicious lamb shepherd’s pie.

 

 

5:00 PM – 6:00 PM:  Eleven beards seen searching for refuge as scattered evening showers descended upon the city.  Smell of wet beard fills air.

 

 

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM:  Three beards spotted outside venue, one owning a girthy Labrador retriever that answered to the name Buddy.  Brooding and mysterious.  The beards, not the dog.

 

 

7:00 PM – 8:00 PM:  Audience members addressed by observer between songs and encouraged to raise hands if serving as host to a beard.  Estimated 25 beards viewed from stage, congregating predominantly on main floor level.

 

 

8:00 PM – 9:00 PM:  No beards escaped during intermission.

 

 

9:00 PM – 10:00 PM:  Much to the chagrin of the observer, a mere 5.5 beards remained for post-show meet-and-greet.  Highlight: David Crosby look-a-like spotted sporting pink polo shirt.  Graceful white handlebar ‘stache and chin dirt. 

 

 

10:00 PM – 11:00 PM:  Moderately sized contingent of beards (15.5) discussing favorite local organic produce co-op back at Jupiter Hotel. Portly bartender deftly serves drinks to noisy patrons while nesting family of birds sleeps soundly in bushy chestnut beard.

 

 

11:00 PM – 12:00 AM:  Three beards discuss advantages of Toyota Prius over Ford Fusion around fire pit.  Strains of anonymous struggling indie-rock band overheard on speakers.  Observer updates beard graph on room door and retires for evening, exhausted after observing and cataloging 228.5 beards in 14-hour period.

 

 

Legal disclaimer: no beards were harmed in the tracking, tallying, and/or presentation of this data.  All inquiries should be directed to the National Beard Board of Investigation and not the parties involved in this experiment.  If you think you have a beard living in your area, consult your local barber.

 

Comments

Nesa's picture

This is hysterical! You really do have too much time on your hands!
gingertonality's picture

I'm so glad I decided to read through these old blog posts.
AngieTheCanuck's picture

OMG - I laughed so hard at this blog that I started to cry AND I got the hiccups.
DottieK's picture

Ryan, you are freaking hilarious! I have a beard living in my house!! What if your beard *is* a barber? Then what do you do??
nikki24's picture

http://www.9news.com/news/article.aspx?storyid=141626&catid=339 Notice where Portland landed? Obviously they weren't counting beards!
Stephen Joel Bogan's picture

Ryan, I think you really need to lay off the sauce! lol
jencsus430's picture

yes......you guys do have to much time on your hands.....lol
S. Brandon's picture

Dear Lauren: I am sure we can find Ryan the help he needs when he gets back to central Indiana. Carmel, Fishers, and of course Indy all have vast resources for mental health-related concerns. If you aren't familiar with any, I will be happy to help you do some research. S.
Lauren_6's picture

I literally laughed out loud at this....and then had to suffer through strange looks coming my way because I'm at work....some people just don't like hearing random laughter...haha! All I know is the smile and laugh that this post brought to me was much needed today, and very much appreciated! This is, by far, my favorite post so far from "From the Road." I can't wait to see what's next... And I think I can speak for all of us "Chasers" in saying that we like that you have too much time on your hands during this tour.....otherwise we wouldn't get wonderful posts like this to brighten all of our days!
Dawn in Atlanta's picture

Too much time on your hands? Yes. :-) Maybe the government will give you grant money for your study. I wouldn't be surprised. ;-)
Courtney Fife McNett's picture

Ryan you are HIL-AR-I-OUS!!!!! :) I've already commented on the picture of the graph, but seriously the blog to accompany the graph is more than just icing on the cake..... it's the candles and all the decorations, too! :) You have a talent for writing, and I too believe that if you were to ever publish a book (which I would most definitely buy), it would be a #smashingsuccess!!!! Just trying to get you used to some UKspeak.... the country of course, not the school in Kentucky! :) Really though.... I know we tell you over and over again, but your blogs are so much fun to read and we thoroughly enjoy getting to "spend time with you" on the road!!!! Thanks for taking your time to do some educational research for those of us nowhere near the PacNW!!!! :)
SheriS's picture

Kathy Ahlwardt: You have every right to be very proud of Ryan. His sense of humor is unreal, his voice and how he uses it are incredible, and he married a very special lady that shares so many things with Ryan. It is terrific to have you visit here on the site and be willing to post your comments. There is no doubt all the "members" here on the site are HUGH FANS of the guys and love their music and their humor. Thanks for visiting with us and please come back often!
Kathy Ahlwardt's picture

Kathy, I am for so many reasons.....his humor being just one of them!
Kathy Burke's picture

Ryan, your mother should be soooo proud!
nikki24's picture

Oh my gosh! This is so entertaining!!!!!! I love it! Thank you for sharing your down time with us! My favorite part is "Smell of wet beard fills air." I totally laughed out loud more than once while reading this! Thanks Ryan!!!!
ChaserJulie's picture

This is Epic! But, just one question, Ryan. Why did you wake up in the parking lot of the Jupiter Hotel? (kidding!)
klancy96's picture

Haha! Don't feel alone Jamie & Sarah; I printed it out at work and referred to it for a chuckle on more than one occasion today! He does have a way of making fans laugh! (mostly *with* him but after seeing the new picture from the Hubble movie... maybe a bit AT him...) j/k Love the smiles SNC shares with the fans.
Sarah Liz's picture

Jamie, I am so glad to hear that I'm not the only one who has read this more than once... (had it saved on my iTouch in case I needed a laugh today in the midst of crying babies)
ANNA_8's picture

I work at Doug Fir and was obsessed with tracking your study. I was sad to see it go, but thank you for 2 days of unending hilarity, I think I sent a picture of the door to everyone I know. The folks at the weekly rag, Portland Mercury caught wind of my raves about the graph that they posted it to their blog today : http://blogtown.portlandmercury.com/BlogtownPDX/archives/2010/05/20/its-about-time-someone-made-a-graphical-representation-of-portland-facial-hair So, thanks again! When you're back in Portland, I owe a beer to the researchers who toiled over hours of observations and documentations! Appears that there are a crapload of you in the band, so no freeloaders, only the genius scientists (evil wizards?) will be awarded...
Kathleen's picture

Chin Hairs? None of us "Chasers" could possibly be on that list. Especially as I made my husband promise as part of our wedding vows that he would never let me leave the house with a stray chin hair that I may have missed. And part of the love in sickness and health promise was the additional clause to pluck the chin hairs if I ever lay in a hospital bed incapacitated. Promise me Ryan not to look too closely if I have the nerve to go through a meet and greet line at my next concert. As if I wouldn't be nervous enough as it is, without worrying if I end up as a statistic on Ryan's next graph
JamieLynn's picture

I think I have read this about 4 or 5 times!!! It gets funnier and funnier each time!!! Oh my, Ryan, this is priceless!!!!!! Thank you for sharing your research with us. I guess we can all say we had a hand in funding this 'research' LOL i.e. buy albums, and tickets to the shows. ;-) Is this the start of the SNC Think Tank?
klancy96's picture

As one who loves to coin new words (ie: conflustered- confused & flustered all at once; the state I find myself in often ;), I appreciate you adding to my vocabulary! Brifters and dreards - who knew? :) Impressive ways to keep your mind sharp and filled with all of the knowledge from music to presidents to states on a map........
Dunny's picture

Well, now we know what to do with our free time in Portland! lol. That was an AWESOME concert btw!
Sarah V.'s picture

hahaha! The things you do with free time!!! I can't wait to see you guys tonight!!!!
SheriS's picture

Kathy: You are so right, but you may also have given Ryan a new idea--Glad I've already seen them on this tour! Know I couldn't possible be counted now!
Kathy Ahlwardt's picture

Thank goodness you didn't count the "women" with chin hairs!!! Too old for you???? hee hee! See you Monday!!
EvaD's picture

I love reading your blogs, they really make my day! Looking forward to reading about the next research project, hike, or whatever other mischief you get into!
cebinc's picture

Wow! You have way to much time, that's cool ;) Just wanted to say my daughter and husband traveled 4 hours (from Hermiston) to see you guys in Portland May 18 to see you at Aladdin Theater. My daughter (who is 14) is a big fan of SNC and you guys made her day when you all signed her poster and let my husband take pictures of her with you. Thank you for making her first concert a BIG hit!!!!!!!
S.J.'s picture

So...much...facial hair...Agggh. Hmmm...Does this mean SNC is going to go Lumberjack Edition? I hope not. No Chia Chasers, please. Teewhyveeem.
SingForMe's picture

Never mind you may have too much time on your hands tallying beards and the like, but what about those of us who are reading about such things. I loved the"teeming with scruff and flowing with follicles". Too, too funny.

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