"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!" -Benjamin Franklin

Friday, August 27, 2010

Chest Cover Up Finished

Finished this piece today.  Of course, I got really crappy pictures of it (what's new).  We're actually gonna do 1 more sitting and run through the whole thing- there's a few places I want to add some little details and a couple of spots that need a little touching up.  After that, we'll let it all heal, and I'll get some good pics.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Lamp, a Lion and a Lamb

Did this tattoo today.  The customer wanted a traditional style tattoo of an old lamp post with a banner that says "Every New Day".  He's a semi-regular customer of mine, and a good guy.  He sings and plays Bass for a Christian Death Metal band called Becoming the Archetype.  Not my thing (death metal or the Christian thing), but if you like that kinda stuff you can check them out at their MySpace Page.
All of his tattoos have some sort of Christian theme- I don't quite get the lamp post, but it means something to him so that's cool.  He comes in and gets tattooed about once a year, usually he says, right before they go out on tour.  So, here's a pic of the piece from today and 2 others I have done on him. 

Here's a link to a video of theirs I found on YouTube:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rj51ZEfya64

The Tale of the Spirit Lady (or Why You Shouldn't Talk to Crazy People)

Being a tattooer, you end up interacting with all kinds of people.  Some of them, are just plain bat-shit crazy.  By far the craziest person I have ever had the misfortune of dealing with would be a woman that we refer to as The Spirit Lady.  The first time she was in the shop, she didn't seem to be completely insane, although she did tell us that the spirits had told her to come in and talk to us.  She didn't stay long, and after she left we had a good laugh about the crazy lady and her spirits.  She was what we refer to as a 'walker'.  'Walkers' are, in general, never a good thing.  In Snellville Georgia, there really is no where to walk to- there is no real 'downtown' area where you can park your car and leisurely walk from shop to shop.  All the shops are in strip malls along highways, so unless you have a car, you're pretty much screwed when it comes to getting anywhere.  Whenever we see someone come to the shop sans vehicle, we bump the crazy threat level up to orange.  Generally, it's a drunk or a meth-head or some crazy that forgot to take their medication, and it's pretty easy to usher them out of the shop without any kind of major confrontation.

About a year later, I'm standing in front of the shop one afternoon, having a smoke, and I see this woman walking down Highway 78 carrying a carton of juice.  All of a sudden, she sees me and makes a bee-line for the shop.  Oh Shit.  She walks right up to me and says "I got a proposition for you".  Knowing what I now know, my best plan of action would have been to put out my cigarette and walk into the shop, locking the door behind me.  Instead, I replied, "Oh, really?"  Then she says, "You want publicity? You wanna be in magazines?"
Me: "No, I'm OK, I've been in magazines"
Crazy Person: "I want a crown on my crown, Mr. King has a crown." (she makes a circling motion around her head with her hand)
"We can do anything you have the money for"
"Are you implying that I don't have the money to pay for a tattoo?" (she seems a little angry now)
"Actually, yes, that's what I'm implying"
"I can't believe that you would say that I don't have any money for a tattoo!"
"Well, you just walked up to me and told me you had a proposition for me and that you could get me in magazines.  That's usually the kind of thing we hear from people that don't actually want to pay for a tattoo."
Now, I've finished my cigarette- time to ESCAPE!  So, i turn around and walk back into the shop hoping that she'll just wander off on whatever crazy mission she's on.  No such luck.  Apparently her mission has now become slinging craziness at us.  So, she follows me into the shop and immediately asks, "Where are your crowns?"  To which I reply, "We have lots of crowns- there are some in that rack behind you, but you're not going to find anything that's going to go all the way around your head- that's the kind of thing that we would have to draw for you."
"Well, draw me one!"
"No, if you want us to design a tattoo for you, you have to leave a deposit and we'll work on a drawing for you."
"But, you're not doing anything."
"No, I'm not.  But, I'm also not going to waste my time drawing something for you that you're not going to get and don't have the money to pay for."
So, she turns to Guillermo, who has been standing quietly behind the counter and says, "Will you draw me a crown?"  Now, poor Guillermo has been sucked into the craziness.  He replies, "Sure, I'll draw you a crown if you leave a deposit, just like he told you."
Now, she starts getting a little more unstable, and with a quiver in her voice yells, "Why wont you help me, why wont you draw me a crown.  I just want a crown like Mr. King."
Guillermo looks her over and asks, "Aren't you the lady that came in here telling us that the spirits sent her in?"
Her eyes widen, she stands up a little taller, and declares, "YES!"
Guillermo looks at her and says, "You were crazy then, and you're crazy now."
The crazy comment doesn't even register with her, and she goes on, "I just want a crown like Mr. King!"
I had to ask, "Who is Mr. King?"
"Mr. King and Mr. Mooney- they're the spirits I work for."
"OK, you're crazy and I think you should just leave now"
Now she starts yelling, "I don't want to leave, I want a crown!"
"We're not drawing you anything without a deposit.  I don't know how Mr. King and Mr. Mooney pay you, but we only accept American currency, we don't deal in Spirit Bucks.  It's time for you to leave."
That really pissed her off.  Apparently, you should never say anything bad about the spirits that employ crazy people.  She loses it and starts screaming, "DON'T YOU TALK ABOUT THE SPIRITS THAT WAY- DON'T YOU TALK ABOUT MR. KING AND MR. MOONEY THAT WAY!"
I've had enough, "Lady, get the fuck outta my shop!"
Not a real big loss since it seems that everybody she knows is imaginary.

Eight or ten months go by, and we've forgotten about the spirit lady except for the occasional joke about someone being sent in by the spirits.  It's a slow day and I'm sitting on the couch messing around on my laptop- probably searching YouTube for words like REDNECK or IDIOT or RETARD (because that's how you find the best videos), and I notice a big jacked up pick-up pull up in front of the 4X4 accessory shop a few doors down (you never know when you'll need more KC lights or a battering ram for your redneck tank).  A guy gets out and goes into the store.  A moment later, a woman gets out and comes into the shop- she's crying and between sobs she blurts out, "can I use your bathroom?"  Against my better judgement, I point towards the bathroom and tell her that it's the 4th door on the left (I was trying to be a nice guy).  I notice that as she walks to the bathroom, she's still crying and she's talking to herself.  Right after she goes into the bathroom, the driver of the truck comes in and asks, "That crazy bitch in here?"  He's obviously jacked up higher than his truck on copious amounts of methamphetamine (known in redneck land as 'the go fast'.  As in "Y'all like the go fast?").  I point towards the back and say' "bathroom".  He turns to leave and yells "When that fuckin' bitch comes out you tell her to get outta your shop.", then heads back into the Truck Accessory Store.  The whole time she's in the bathroom, I hear her yelling and crying.  She leaves the bathroom and quickly exits the shop only to curl up in a ball rocking back and forth on the sidewalk.  Guillermo has now come out of his room to ask what the hell is going on.  His room shares a wall with the bathroom, so he was interrupted from working on his drawing by the crying and yelling coming from next door.  I point out the window at the woman on the sidewalk and ask him, "Hey man, isn't that the spirit lady".  Guillermo replies that, no, he doesn't think that's her.  I'm pretty sure it is.  He goes back to drawing.  All of a sudden, I see her pop up from her place on the concrete and head back into my shop- now I KNOW that this is the spirit lady.  She comes in (still crying) and says, "I think I left my phone in your bathroom can I go look for it".  I just point towards the bathroom figuring that the sooner she gets her phone and gets out the better.  Here's where things really start to get weird.  She comes out of the bathroom and says, "It's not in there, can you call 770-XXX-XXXX?"
My response is "No"
"Why won't you call my phone?  I have to find my phone?"
"Because you've been in here before, you're crazy and I just want you to leave my shop"
"I didn't take your phone, get out of my shop"
So, I call the police.  The entire time I'm on the phone with the dispatcher, the spirit lady is yelling "HE STOLE MY PHONE, TELL HIM TO GIVE ME BACK MY PHONE!", so loudly that the dispatcher is having a hard time hearing me.  At one point she asks me if I could tell her to be quiet so that she can hear me.  I reply that I have already tried that, it didn't work, "That's why I'm calling you".  She tells me that she will send a car out, and I tell the crazy person that the police are on their way.
"I told you 3 fuckin' times, I don't have your phone. NOW GET THE FUCK OUT!"
"Good for you, how about you go wait for them outside?"
"Lady, get your crazy ass out of my shop.  I don't have your goddamn phone and when the cops get here they're gonna lock you up for being bat-shit crazy"
Now she's completely lost it, she has a look in her eyes like she might be thinking about taking a swing at me or maybe even trying to bite me, and then she yells "HELLS ANGELS!"
I'm at a loss for words.  I have no idea where that came from.  There weren't any motorcycles in the parking lot- I didn't even own a motorcycle at the time.  So I just shook my head and said "OK".
Right about this time she sees Meth-Man walk out of the 4X4 store and she dashes out of my shop questioning him, "DO YOU HAVE THE PHONE?"
Guillermo, who has been standing by watching the latter part of this exchange is now standing at the front door holding it open so we can hear that he tells her that he does indeed have the 'stolen' phone.  She hops up into the truck and as they're backing out, rolls down her window, and calmly says to Guillermo, "Tell your friend I'm sorry- I've had a bad day"
The cops showed up about 20 minutes later, and were amazed by the tale of insanity.  They told me that if I ever even saw her in the parking lot again that I should call them immediately.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Black on Black Paddle

The paddle is painted with satin black Krylon.  The central design is done with Black 1-shot, and outlined with Medium Gray 1-shot.  There is also striping done in the Black and the Gray.  The pictures really don't do this piece justice.  It's very hard to see the Black 1-shot against the satin black in the pictures.  It's a little more visible in the bottom picture, although it's not nearly as good a picture as the top one.  In person, the glossy black really stands out against the satin black.  If I can figure out some way to get better pics of this, I'll re-post it later (I'm a shitty photographer though).

"Y'all do portfolios" or Stupid Things Customers Say

I have many intelligent, well mannered, nice, respectful customers.  I also tattoo lots of people who are none of the above.  The second group tends to say a lot of really stupid shit- things that we have laughed about time and again over the years.  Here are some of the brilliant utterances from inside the walls of Good Clean Fun.  Some include much needed translations.

"Y'all do portfolios?"
Translation:  Do you tattoo portraits?

"How much yo lettuce?"
Translation:  What do you charge for lettering?

"How much yo faces?"
Translation:  What do you charge for portraits?

"You know I can't read worth a flip"

"You know what trailer I live in"

"I was gonna have someone I know do the tattoo- he tattoos in prison- but he's there for life"

Customer:  "I want a chinese star on my face"
Guillermo:  "We won't tattoo your face"
Customer: (In total disbelief) "Dat man said NO, Dat man said NO!"

"I want a tattoo on the back of my back"

"I'm like a lone wolf...I'm like a lone wolf but I takes care of my pack, 'cause thats my pack, but I'm like a lone wolf"

(After looking at the tattoo I was workin on): "Yeah, dat's what I'm smokin'"

"We had jus' got a new computer, mah wife had got it at the pawn shop- it's real nice, it was like 589 dollars, I don't know about computers but mah wife had set it all up for me- all mah passwords is WANKEY" (Spoken nonstop without taking a breath)

"The spirits told me to come talk to you"  (There is a long story that goes with this that will have to be a later blog entry)

"Sulpher....BAD"  and "Do you take deutschmarks?" (Another possiblity for a later blog)

"I don't know what I wants, I just wants what I wants"

"Aw, you killin' my dreams"

I can't think of any more right now, but there are dozens more where these came from, and we hear more every day.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Crap For Sale

Well, it's really not crap.  In fact, it's all pretty damn cool stuff.
Here's some of the stuff I have for sale on my pinstriping site:

Here's some of the cool stuff I have for sale in my Spreadshirt shop:

And here's some of the really cool stuff for sale in my Zazzle store:

This message brought to you by the office of shameless self promotion.
Now go buy some stuff.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Gold Helmet

Did this helmet for one of my tattoo customers.  Not sure what brand of helmet it is- it used to be white, but he sprayed the gold flake himself.  He had the paint pull up with the tape in a lot of spots around the edges and he sprayed the vents shut.  I patched the spots of white showing through with a little gold 1-shot - not a match, but it looks better than it did.  Nothing I could do about the vents (and it's kinda funny anyway).

Friday, August 13, 2010

Shitty Mood- Poison Idea

Yesterday was a shitty, slow day at the shop, and I was in a shitty mood too.  Every time I sat down to work on a customer drawing, I just couldn't get anything going- it wasn't flowing.  So, I had a totally unproductive day, which doesn't help to make my mood any less shitty.  Today is going to have to be a Poison Idea day at the shop.  Poison Idea is one of those bands that gets me through- it's angry, nihilistic, self destructive punk rock at it's finest.  Forget about your crunchy metal crossover and your youth crew positivity- this is PUNK, real punk made by fat junkie alcoholics.  I bought their 'Kings of Punk' record when it came out in '85 or '86, and 25 years later, it still destroys most of what people are calling punk rock these days.  The cover of 'Kings of Punk' is a picture of Jerry A carving Poison Idea in his chest with a razor blade (and it's not faked).  Around the same time I found a copy of 'Record Collectors are Pretentious Assholes' in a used record store (that's right, an original pressing on Fatal Erection Records).  A year or 2 later, when 'War All The Time' came out, I picked that up.  At the time I thought that it wasn't as good as the earlier records and kinda lost interest in what they were doing (I wasn't even sure that they even continued past that).  Around 1997, I started buying the rest of their stuff, and realized that this was one of the greatest bands ever.  'Feel The Darkness', 'Blank, Blackout, Vacant', 'We Must Burn', 'Dysfunctional Songs for Codependent Addicts', 'Pick Your King'- all great records.  Over the years their line-up had changed, but the singer- Jerry A, and guitarist- Pig Champion, remained through all these records.  Sometime in the mid 90's they broke up, but reformed in '98 with the 'Kings of Punk' line up to record the great 'Learning To Scream' 7".  Jerry and Pig reformed the band again in 2005 to put out 'Latest Will and Testament', proving once again that they truly were the kings of punk.  Sadly, Pig Champion (Tom Roberts) died in January of 2006- R.I.P Pig.  If you think you know anything about punk rock and you don't know Poison Idea, then you don't know shit!  Go out and get some PI records- you won't be disappointed.  My personal favorites are: 'Kings of Punk', Feel The Darkness', 'Record Collectors...' and 'Latest Will and Testament'.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Striped Absinthe Bottles

Here's some striped Absinthe bottles.  The green ones on the ends were done a while ago.  The 2 in the middle were done this morning.  The first 2 I did, I used greens for the 'Green Fairy'.  While the green is appropriate for Absinthe, I decided that they couldn't all be green, so I did something different with the bottles I striped this morning.  I haven't been striping as much lately due to the fact that it has just been too damn hot in the garage, and had a hell of a time striping these this morning.  I am out of practice, and especially on non-flat surfaces.  Gotta start painting in the house.

Oh, they're fun to empty too.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Finished Skate Deck and Jaws Tattoos

Finished up the skate deck I've been working on last night.  Added some Emerald Green striping (the same color I used to outline the leafing), then more Imitation Gold and some Imitation Gold mixed with Polar White...

Took it outside this morning and got some good pics of the finished product in the natural light.

You know, this deck would look really nice on your wall, and it can be yours for $250.

Yesterday I worked on Jeremy's Jaws leg.  Did the scene with Quint in the sharks mouth.  Got kinda crappy pics, but I'll get better pics when it's healed.  For some reason I haven't been able to get decent pictures of anything I've done on this piece yet (maybe it's because I'm a crappy photographer).  Here's a pic of the Quint piece from yesterday anyway, and a couple of the other pieces.

Monday, August 9, 2010

New Deck Part 3 and Ground Zero Mosque

Added some Brass striping to the skate deck I've been working on this morning...

Heard on the radio this morning that the plans to build a Mosque/Islamic Center 2 blocks from Ground Zero are moving forward.  That's BULLSHIT!  I have lived in GA for the past 16 years, but I am originally from NY, and will always consider myself a New Yorker.  As a New Yorker, I am highly offended by this.  I knew people that were killed when the towers came down.  We will NEVER forget the Islamic attack on our country. This can only be seen as a giant fuck you to all of the people that lost their lives in the horrific attacks of 9/11.  Build your damn mosque somewhere else!  I can only hope that the people of NY will rise up and destroy this building brick by brick with their bare hands.  It's time to stop being so damn PC- screw religious tolerance.  These are people whose religion promotes the idea of using women and children as human bombs.  I'm 99% sure that there are no Muslims reading my blog, but if there are, GO FUCK YOURSELF!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Mountain Ride- Wanda is a bitch.

Decided to ride up to the mountains today with my friends Joey and Jason.  Since my parents live up that way, I figured it would also be an excellent opportunity to deliver their new pinstriped mailbox to them.  So, I  bungee corded the mailbox to my rear fender and off we went.

  Took mostly back roads- up through Braselton, then got on the highway till Helen.  Rode through Helen and took 197 around Lake Burton, then hit 76 and took that into Clayton.  Delivered the mailbox and went out for Mexican food with my parents who now have some homeless guy living in their basement.  My parents think that riding a motorcycle is dangerous.  I think that letting some homeless dude sleep in your basement is more dangerous than riding a motorcycle.  I'm pretty sure that you don't have to worry about being stabbed in the night or having your silverware disappear while on a motorcycle.  Then we headed up 441 into Mountain City and rode up Black Rock Mountain.

From there, we got back on 441 and headed towards home.  I was riding behind Jason (on Wanda), when I saw Wanda's side mounted taillight fall off and start bouncing around in her chain.  I signaled to Jason to pull over, and we turned off into a gas station.  By the time we got into the parking lot of the Quicktrip-Racetrack-Kangaroo (or whatever damn gas/convenience place it was), Wanda's chain had fallen off and her taillight was back in the intersection.

We needed to get the bike raised up, so Jason pushed it up next to a parking block, and on the count of 3 we lifted her up and onto the concrete block.  The concrete block worked out real well as an improvised jack.  

With some cursing, beating, sweating, wrenching, and a little blood, Wanda's chain was back on.  We were ready to go, but Wanda was still pissed off, so she decided to start in with her electrical problems.  After some more cursing and wrenching on Jason's part, we were finally ready to set out again.  We ended up taking back roads all the way back just in case Wanda felt like getting pissy again.  Thankfully, the rest of the ride was pleasantly uneventful.  We ended up riding 275 miles, and had good time even with Wanda being a bitch.

Gold Leafed Skate Deck Update

Did some more work on the new deck last night.  Added 2 colors of striping- Imitation Gold and Medium Green...

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Gold Leaf Skate Deck

Started a skate deck last night (around 2 am).  Did the leafing last night (picture on left), then got up this morning and did the striping around the leaf - used Emerald Green (picture on right).  I'll post more pics as it progresses.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Helmets and a Sea-Goat

A couple of months ago, I pinstriped 6 Fulmer V2 Helmets.  They've been sitting in my garage since then- I have 'em listed for sale on my pinstriping site (Stripes and Stuff By Dave).  Today I dropped them off with my friends at Jailhouse Choppers for them to put out for sale.  I dropped them off at noon, and by 4pm they had sold 2 of them- Hell Yeah!  Here's some pics of the ones that sold:

Started a tattoo of a Sea-Goat today.  The customer came in and told me that he wanted a big evil Capricorn tattoo.  Now, since I don't give a crap about astrology, I figured it was just gonna be an evil goat tattoo.  Once I started doing some research for the drawing, I found out that the Capricorn symbol is actually a half goat / half fish creature- that's way cooler than just a goat.  Got the outline of the Sea-Goat done today- took just a little over an hour.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Update on Chest and COC

First off, I got my new clutch cable installed today, so I am back on 2 wheels- Who Hoo!  Big thanks to the guys at Jailhouse Choppers for helping me with that.

Got some more work done on Keith's chest today- 1 more sitting and we should be done.  And, as promised, I am posting some pics of his arm.  Some day soon I'll get him to shave that arm and get some real nice pics, but for now...

I did everything except the tribal stuff- that was there before I started working on him.

COC- Corrosion of Conformity- I haven't liked anything these guys did since Technocracy, but I read on the internet that they are doing some shows with the classic 3 piece 'Animosity' line-up.  I really hope they come to GA, so far they haven't got any shows lined up here.  They did 2 GREAT records- Eye for an Eye and Animosity.  I have both on vinyl and have been listening to them for 25+ years.  They followed up Animosity with an EP- Technocracy, which was a good record- I think it could have been great with a different singer, or if Mike had taken the vocal duties as he did on Animosity.  I believe that the CD has demo versions of some of the songs with Mike on vocals.  They also put out a GREAT EP called '6 Songs With Mike Singing', which had some alternate versions of songs from Eye For An Eye and a couple of songs re-recorded from their 'No Core' tape.  I was never a fan of anything they did after these 3 records, but these are totally worth owning.  Eye For An Eye is classic early 80's hardcore- loud, fast, angry, and it still sounds great today (same goes for '6 Songs').  Animosity was one of the early Hardcore /Metal crossover records.  I remember when it came out and all of a sudden all the metal kids were listening to this and DRI's 'Dealing With It'.  If it weren't for these 2 records and a couple of others (Agnostic Front's 'Cause For Alarm' and the Cro-Mags 'Age of Quarrel' for example), Metal kids would still have puffy hair and be wearing spandex.  Technocracy followed in the footsteps of Animosity, but suffered from kinda weak vocals.  After that they turned into what I guess would be considered Southern-Metal, just not really my thing.  I'm not even sure these records are still in print, but I saw them on another blog recently.  Here's a link:

One more thing- if ya wanna hear a good punk show, check out Black and Blue Takeover on East Village Radio (eastvillageradio.com).  The show is on Tuesday Nights from 8-10pm, but they also have the last year or so of the show archived on the site, so you can listen to the old shows any time you want.  Here's the link for the show's page and archives:

Tool Box

Finished up the toolbox I was working on for my neighbor.  This is for his wife's dog grooming equipment.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Finished Mailbox and the Heat

Finished the mailbox for my parents.  It was a bitch working on this.  It's been pretty damn hot here lately, and aside from the fact that I'm sweating my ass off in the garage, the high temperatures affect the way the paint flows.  1-shot is very temperamental.  They make a 'high heat reducer', but I don't have any.  I may have to start painting in the house.  Been working on a tool box for my neighbor also- it's actually a surprise for his wife- something to keep her dog grooming equipment in.  Having the same paint-flow problems with that- I'll post pics when it's done.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Big Koi

Another one of my favorite customers.  Started this last October, this is the 3rd session- 7.5 hours so far.  Wish she would come in more often, because this is a tattoo that I enjoy working on and would like to see finished.

Cool New Shirt Available Now

Did this design a while back and was gonna use it as a limited edition Good Clean Fun Shirt.  That never happened, so I have decided to make it available through my SPREADSHIRT SHOP on an assortment of shirts.  The design was done from a photo by a friend of mine that has put out a cool book of photos of motorcycles and half naked girls- 2 good things.  You can see some of his stuff here: http://hairbraine.com/

You can get yours here: http://flyingfrog.spreadshirt.com/