ENTRY 0018, December 29, 2005
It has been over a year since I have updated this blog. I decided
that I could not let 2005 pass without udating this thing. Why
has it taken so long? There is no single answer. Here are a
1. I have been unbelievably busy with my Graduate studies. My
thesis, titled "Enhancing Evolution Education Through the Teaching of
Critical Thinking and Inquiry Skills" has been taking up a lot of my
2. I have been unbelievably busy with school stuff. We have a new
principal, and she has made quite a few changes. This has taken
some adaptation on my part, as well as a larger investment of time.
3. I have been unbelievably busy with home improvements. I am
finishing projects that I began years ago, plus beginning others.
4. I have been using the time that I would have used for writing blogs
surfing the web, particularly to www.somethingawful.com.
5. I was like many other bloggers, and just sorta left it. It
seems that most blogs out there have not been updated in months.
I don't remember the statistics exactly, but only a very small
percentage of blogs are updated bi-weekly or more often. More
than half have not been touched in six months or more...
Personally, I think it is a combination of all of these. I'm
bet that Sheila will say that #4 is the correct answer. She's
So, today is Sheila's 39th birthday. She had no plans in
particular, but had chosen to play the day by ear. Her mom
decided to take us to dinner the night before, and we had a grand
time. But today, no plans. Well, we got up she had her
plans. Tattoos. We have had the ideas for our latest
tattoos for a couple of years now, and the time was right. We
went to see Johnny Hammer at Empire Tattoo (this is a link to their website.
It's still new, so it's kinda lame.)
Here we see Sheila's shoulder, pristine and ready for the tattoo.
Here is the pattern. Sheila has selected a Tudor Rose, overlaid
with a Union Jack.
Johhny begins to apply the ink to skin, using a cluster of five needles.
Here is the tattoo, about 75% completed.
And the final rose. The Union Jack will be added at a later date.
Then it was my turn. I have been a fan of space exploration,
movies and science fiction. I decided to combine all three in my
latest tattoo, which comes from Georges
Melies' film "Voyage Dans La Lune" which was shot in 1902. It is
based on Jules Verne's novel From
the Earth to the Moon. The image came from the poster that
advertised this 12-minute masterpiece. I adapted the image three
or so years ago, and have been messing with it ever since. I am
happy with the image. Will it look as good when it is on my skin?
Since this was going on my chest, I had to remove the shirt which
covers my pasty-white flesh.
I sit with the pattern in place, waiting as Johnny sets up his
Johnny begins the process of inking. He explained to me that this
area of the body would be more sensitive than the entire calf that I
got in early 2004. He did not lie.
(You can't tell, but my jaw is really clenched. Hard.)
A close-up of Johnny working.
A brief break so I can relax and Johnny can change his gloves.
And a bit later, finished with the big lines.
At this point, both Sheila and I think that the picture is great. But
Johnny tells me that he needs to do the shading. The difference
It's hard to see, but the image has some great shading. The red
comes from irritated tissue, and will block the wonderful, subtle
shading work for a week or so.
I admire Johnny's work.
Then Johnny covers the tattoo with plastic wrap and I get
For people who have never had a tattoo, I must recommend one. It
is an amazing experience. Does it hurt? Yes. A
lot. However, people often do not understand why we would subject
ourselves to this. To understand their mindset, you must
understand that most people equate pain with suffering. This is
not true. When you get a tattoo, volutarily submitting yourself
to getting poked with a needle thousands of times, you understand that
there is pain, but not suffering. It can become almost euphoric
in a way. I guess it is all the endorphins that start flowing.
Next, I'm going to start getting tattoos of the signatures of
scientists I admire...
what's new? (Or, more precisely, what has happened since I last updated
this blog, just over a year ago?)
-Bush is still a lying moron. The evidence is coming in that he
lied far beyond what we ever suspected.
-We still have two working rovers on Mars. That is still Too Cool
-Just after Christmas last year a 9.0 earthquake struck the Indian
Ocean. This, in and of itself caused little damage.
However, since the quake was below the sea floor and was really
powerful, it set up a massive tsunami. This wave washed
over entire islands, wiping out towns and villages from Indonesia to
Africa. All told, more than a quarter of a million people were
killed. As I write this, there are still 30,000 people missing.
It is presumed that most of them were washed out to sea. We may
-Terrorists hit London in July, while we were onboard an oceanliner,
heading from Helsingborg, Sweden to Southampton. (Click here
for more details of that trip.) It was a dark day. 53
died, many on tube lines we regularly take when we are in London.
However, as one World War II vet observed "These terrorists attacked us
with four bombs. They were trying to scare us? Hitler
dropped hundreds of bombs on us every night during the Blitz. If
that didn't frighten us, why would their pitiful attempt?" That is the
-The quote I put just above I got from an old gentleman I talked to at
the 60th anniversary celebration for the end of WWII in London.
Amazing celebration, and just days after the attacks. 250,000
people gathered together to honor those who served in the war.
-Hurricane Katrina smashed into the Gulf Coast, killing lots of people
and doing BILLIONS of dollars in damage. FEMA, the government
agency designed to help out in such circumstances, seemed to have no
plan of attack, and failed to react for days. They made a bad
situation FAR, FAR worse. When confronting the boss of FEMA,
Resident Bush was quoted as saying "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a
job!" Brown resigned in disgrace days later, when the extent of
his incompetense was revealed.
-Arnold, the Governator of KALEEFORNEEYAA set up a special
election. He ran on a platform of being friendly and trying to
unite everybody. Then he sets up this election where he attempts
to pass several draconian new measures. One thing he wanted to do
was muzzle the unions. It seems that unions tend to spend
political money to fight big business, who are also spending political
money. He wanted to make it a requirement that the union had to
get permission from each member before spending any money on
politics. No such restriction on business... He also wanted
to take control of the budget. If a "budget emergency" were
declared, the governor would have the ability to make any cuts to any
program he chose, to relieve the emergency. That would give him
carte blanche to cut billions from the education budget, as he wanted
to do, with no oversight or recourse by anybody. Of course, he
could only do this of a "budget emergency" were declared. And who
declares a budget emergency? The governor, of course.
- Gas prices spiked at nearly $3.00 a gallon here in SoCal. They
are now down to just over $2.00. I nevre thought I would be happy
to see gas prices hit $2.00 a gallon...
Of course this spike in prices hit everybody hard. The oil
companies explained that they were passing on the increased costs of
crude oil. But Exxon/Mobil posted $9 Billion in new profits for
one quarter. Hmmm.
-It turns out the Resident has admitted to ordering wiretaps without
warrants. Apparently the courts might have said "no" to some of
them so they decided not to ask. It will be really interesting
for him when a bunch of suspected terrorists get released because the
evidence used to hold them was illegally gathered. Explain to me
how Mr. Bush is protecting our freedom?
It is now 4 in the morning , and I have to go to bed.
Well, I gotta run.