ENTRY 0011, April 9, 2004
For the 3 or 4 of you who actively look up my blog, sorry
for the delay in this submission. I had a massive load of work
toward the midpoint of March. In addition to the normal
end-of-trimester panicky students turning in masses of make-up work and
calculation of grades, I had my own classes. Normally a Grad
Student in a position such as mine would take 4 units. That's one
big class or two little ones. I took 10 units. That's 2 big
and 1 little. Needless to say I just about went nuts. In
the last two weeks of the quarter I had four different papers that
needed final revision and submission. It was not pleasant around
here. I was insanely busy and pulling out my already-thinning hair.
Sheila was rather patient with all my "Sorry, I gotta do this
damn schoolwork" remarks.
It took me weeks to recover my sanity. I am now almost normal.
I am also winding down my spring break. When you are an
spring break is the time for drunken misbehavior (Well, more than on a
normal weekend at school.) Now that I'm a grown-up, spring break
is the time for recreational home repairs. This week was spent
preparing the kitchen floor for new flooring. What we had was
some form of Lee-Press-On-Tile over the original 1950's linoleum.
My task was to remove the press-on tiles. Amazingly it took days
to accomplish this. Some of the tiles were rather
tenacious. Now that they are gone, the next step is to prepare
the substrate for tiling. We have selected some beautiful Italian
tiles to cover the floor. It will be a bit of a job, but will
probably not involve as much cursing as removing the Lee-Press-On-Tiles
did. Once it is done, we will have a gorgeous kitchen
floor. Until then, we have really old, heavily gouged
If ever Sheila's and my spring breaks ever line up, we are out of
here! London, Paris, somewhere. While that may be fun,
Spring break is one of the few times I actually get stuff done around
here. So maybe it's a good thing that we don't have aligning
I did indulge myself in one thing this break. I got my tattoo
About a year ago Sheila and I got tattoos #3.
Hers was a claddagh, an Irish symbol for love, happiness and
hospitality. Here it is, as it appeared about 2 hours after the
It was still a bit fresh, doing the whole blood-oozing thing and
At the same time I got this:
any event, I never wanted just a plain rocket sitting on my calf.
It needed to be somewhere. So I decided that I was going to put
it somwhere in space. Eventually I decided on Chesley
Bonnestell's "Saturn as viewed from Titan":
So I went back to Johhny Hammer, the guy who has done most of our
work. I gave him the picture, a white-line version of the picture
and my calf.
Here's Johhny, applying the design:
I spent two hours kneeling in a barber chair, holding very still as a
series of seven extraordinarily sharp needles entered my skin 60 times
per second. Rough calculations lead me to this conclusion:
Johnny actually spent about 2/3 of the time applying needles to
skin. That means about 80 minutes spent in actual
tattooing. That means about 4,800 seconds. At 60 hz, the
needles hit me 288,000 times. However, Johnny did the VAST
majority of this using a 7 needle unit. That translates into just
over 2,000,000 punctures on my delicate calf. At times the pain
was amazing. Other times it was pretty much just a dull
sensation, like getting a whole bunch of static shocks on a very dry
Here is stage one:
He's done the basic black outline and shading of all the bits.
parts are not ink, but irritated tissue and blood.
Finally, after two million punctures, the image was finished!
The rocket has a subtle bit of grey shading. You can't tell, due
to the tissue damage. I will post another picture when it heals
I am pleased.
So, between getting stuck with needles and scraping up the floor, it
was a successful spring break. Even if there were not enough boobies to
Anyway, what's new?
-Bush is still a lying moron.
-Much more information is coming out that seems to indicate that Bush
really didn't care about Al Qaeda too much. Not until September
-We have lost a WHOLE BUNCH of soldiers in Iraq this week.
Apparently, there are some people that still hate us over there,
despite what the president might wish.
-We still have two working rovers on Mars. That is Too Cool For
-Kerry is the heir apparent. Perhaps in November we can elect
somebody competent. Of course, independent election observers
state that we are no more ready for the 2004 election than we were for
the 2000 elelction. Meaning that Bush can steal this election,
-The FCC has suddenly become puritanical. To the point where
Howard Stern has been dropped by Clear Channel. So, saying
naughty words and sexual innuendo is verboten, but spouting lies and
filth like Hannity or O'Reilly is perfectly okay. We need a
-I'm taking a class on teaching geology in the classroom. It's
pretty cool, but a lot of it is redundant. I am getting some good
Well, I gotta run.