"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

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

There is NO magic, so let's all be the SAME

Lately I've seen a number of people writing things about tattooing with titles like 'Is the Magic Gone', etc.  They all go on to explain how the magic has not left tattooing and they're still 'wizards'.  Well, I'm here to tell ya that the magic IS gone- that's right, as the High Priest of Negativity, I have to put in my 2 cents.  When I started tattooing (close to 20 years ago), there was a whole heap of magic.  Tattooers didn't talk to people in the 'outside world' about pretty much anything that had to do with tattooing. We kept secrets, and that's what kept it magical.  People got tattooed, and probably watched the process while it was being done, but didn't really know what they were watching.  Now, ya get on YouTube, and everything is explained- usually by someone that only has a slight idea of what the hell they're doing anyway.  Because of the internet and tattoo TV shows, I now have customers ask me questions like "what size needle grouping is that?"  If someone were to ask that question 10+ years ago, a perfectly legitimate answer would have been "None of your damn business", or "it's a BIG one".  I still lie to people when asked questions like this.  I answer with things like "It's a 27B".  There is no reason for customers to really know the answer to questions like that.  The more they know, the less mystery and magic there is.  Now there are 'How to Tattoo' books and DVDs and internet videos.  Every scratcher online is spouting off about how traditional apprenticeships are bullshit.  The old school traditional apprenticeship has been replaced with 2 week tattoo schools and apprenticeships for sale.  These days if there's a shop with 4 artists, there's a good chance that they each have an apprentice- what the fuck is that?  I'll tell ya what it is- it's a bunch of lazy, self important tattooers that don't want to do any of the shit work associated with tattooing.  Well, I still scrub my own damn tubes, set up and break down my station, and do everything else that tattooing involves.  These people are either too lazy or think they're so damn special that they don't have to clean up after themselves that they make more and more tattooers just to not have to scrub tubes.  There was a time when if you wanted to learn to tattoo, you looked far and wide to find a wizard to teach you his magic, and that was pretty damn hard to find. Tattooers knew that the more people they taught to tattoo, the more people would eventually end up as their competition, so they regulated the industry themselves, only teaching someone to tattoo if they needed someone to work in their shop.  Even then it was only if they saw the potential in someone to become a wizard.  Every customer that asked a question about tattooing was seen as someone that may want to start tattooing, and the immediate response to those questions was to NOT ANSWER THEM.  These days, in the new tattoo world full of friendly, emo tattooers, they're less interested in keeping the magic and mystery alive than they are in possibly offending one of their precious customers by not answering their questions.  There is far too much free information that used to not be free- you didn't have to pay for it, but ya sure as hell had to work for it.  That's the problem, it's not something that people have to work for anymore.  If you didn't have to earn it, you don't feel as if you have to protect it.  I know there are people out there that still care about protecting the magic of tattooing- they're friends of mine, but these days, they're few and far between.  The rest of 'em are just interested in the money.  Which takes us right back to why the old breed of tattooers were so intent on keeping secrets- they knew that the more tattooers and the more tattoo shops there were, the less money they would make.  Now, because there are so many damn tattooers, they're all killing each other for customers, so they find other ways to supplement their income, like charging people to learn to tattoo- which makes more tattooers, and it just goes around and around like that.  All the shitty supply companies sell to anyone with a credit card because they are making less money because there are more suppliers.  Now we have gotten to the point where Skin Candy (which is absolute shit) is selling their product in art stores.  I never thought that this would get to the point where people could purchase tattoo pigments at Dick Blick.  It won't be long before they're also selling shitty Chinese made tattoo machines.  Recently, while talking to a friend about the number of shitty shops in my area, he said "You could grow a fancy moustache and just do traditional stuff".  While this is a very funny comment, it is also a very sad observation on the current state of tattooing.  Walk around any shitty tattoo convention these days and you'll see these people- they all look the same and they all tattoo the same- ya can't tell one of 'em from the next, and ya can't tell their tattoos apart.  This idea of looking the same has also extended to the public- they all want the same damn tattoos.  Every customer comes in to the shop with a picture from Google image search of someone else's tattoo, and they're not cool, original designs- they're the same crap I do all day long.  It's not even worth trying to talk people into getting something original anymore because they're so concerned with what their friends will think of their tattoos.  If their tattoos don't look just like the tattoos their friends have, they might be ridiculed- can't have that now can we.  It's far better to be a clone of every other idiot than to be an individual.  Getting tattooed used to be an expression of individuality, now it's done so you can be like everyone else.  So, yes, in my opinion (which I know counts less and less all the time), the magic IS GONE.

Now that I'm done ranting, here's a couple of tattoos.  Both of these are on a friend of mine, Pauly, from Jailhouse Choppers.  First is a Mad Max tattoo that I did a few years ago, but just got healed pics of, and the second is a Santa Cruz Screaming Hand- I can't believe that in 19+ years of tattooing, this is the first time I have done this image, but it is.  The pic is a little bloody, but I'll get a healed one in a week or 2.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Conventions, Political Conspiracy Theories, and other Stuffs

So, I just got back from the Atlanta Tattoo Convention- what garbage.  That show has been on a downhill slide for about the last 10 years or so.  Now, a lot of times, Sundays are the slowest day at these things anyway, but slow doesn't even cover it.  There were more tattooers there than convention goers.  There are certainly people in the Atlanta area that would be plenty pissed to read this, but I really don't care, so....This show is poorly run and poorly promoted.  In fact, I didn't see or hear ANYTHING about it.  How do you expect to get people to the convention if you don't advertise it?  I guess they just don't care- they made their money selling the booths, so fuck it if the working artists don't make any money, right?  WRONG.  Over the years, I have worked a lot of conventions- some good and some bad.  The best ones are the ones where the promoters actually care about the attending artists.  I haven't worked the Atlanta convention in the last 3 or 4 years, and won't work it ever again unless I believe that the promoters give a crap about the artists (if they read this, I'll probably never work it again anyway, but I'm way past caring if I piss people off).  The only reason I even went there today was to see a friend that I haven't seen in a number of years, and that made it worth the trip and the $20 entry fee.  It was good to see ya, Jime.
There was a time many years ago when a tattoo convention was a big event- there were only a dozen or so a year, and people travelled from all over the country (and the world) to attend them.  Not even to work them, just to be there.  Now there are a half a dozen every weekend, and you don't have to go anywhere- wait a few months and there'll be one in your city.  It's the same disease that's affected the entire tattoo industry- too many shops, too many conventions, too many wannabe tattooers, too many TV shows.  The magic is gone, the mystery is gone, and the tattoo industry has been sold to non-tattooer shop owners, TV executives, event promoters, and Chinese suppliers.
You're all probably tired of hearing me bitch about these same things over and over, but it's something that I love and have been doing for 19 years of my life, and I can't just watch it all go down the shitter and not say anything about it.  There are awesome tattooers that are being run out by scumbags that don't care about anything but being the 'cool' guy.  Tattooers that can't make a living anymore because the scumbag down the road will do it for $20- He'll do a shitty job, but people don't care.  It's the new tattoo mentality- it's all about coverage, not quality.  There's a phenomenon thats referred to these days as the Warped Tour Body Suit- kids that are tattooed everywhere that it CAN'T be covered.  It's the exact opposite of what tattooing was when I got into it.  People got tattooed for the love of the art and kept their tattoos hidden, so that they could still get jobs, etc.  Now with the recent popularity of tattooing, people are getting tattooed only in places that CAN be seen- hands, necks, from the elbows down (rather than up).  There's a picture that has been floating around on Facebook that illustrates this:
It's ridiculous, and it disgusts me that this is what tattooing has become.  What the fuck are all these idiots going to do for a living?  They'll become tattooers of course, because we certainly need more of them.  Here's a tip for anyone that wants to make a lot of money a few years from now- go to school and learn how to do laser tattoo removal- it's gonna be a huge business in about 10 years.
While we're on the subject of tattoos, here's something that I did last week- a Barnabus Collins portrait (no, not Johnny freakin Depp):

Now, since it's been quite a while, I'm gonna give ya a little political rant (so, you can all stop reading now and go back to Facebook).

Last week, the Supreme Court upheld Obamacare AKA The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. What is my issue with this? Well, besides the fact that I do not believe that the federal government should be allowed to FORCE American citizens to buy any product, or fine/tax them for not doing so, it is another example of government control over our personal lives, which as a Libertarian, I am totally opposed to.  I don't believe that the Government really cares whether all Americans have affordable healthcare or not, what this really is is an attempt to make Americans more dependent on Government.  The USDA is promoting 'Food Stamp Parties', kinda like tupperware or sex toy parties only designed to get more people signed up for food stamps, thus making them more dependent on government.  They want us to rely on them for everything- the more we rely on government, the more control they have over all aspects of our lives.  Have you seen the idiots in Washington?  I sure as hell don't want them involved in my life any more than they already are- I'd really like to see them a whole lot less involved.  This is not at all what the founding fathers had in mind, in fact, it's 100% what they didn't want.  The problem lies in the fact that Americans have gotten lazy and don't want to take care of themselves, so they are happy to allow the government to do it for them, but they don't realize, or care to see what they are doing to themselves by allowing it.  The more the Government governs, the less personal freedom we have.  I for one value freedom above free stuff.

That Government is best which governs the least, because it's people discipline themselves.  -Thomas Jefferson

Government is not the solution to our problem.  Government is the problem.  -Ronald Reagan

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Helmets, Rhinos, and Dogs

So, today they are having some sort of casting thing for the second season of Best Ink here in Atlanta.  You can probably guess that I'm not going.  But, rest assured, when it airs, I will be here to rip it apart for your entertainment.  
Did another beer label for my buddy Joey.  This one is for his Rye Pale Ale called Rye-Noceros.  Here's a couple of in progress pics and the finished product:

Here's a couple of recent helmets.  The first is finished and has been sent to it's new owner.  The second is an in progress pic of the first helmet I tried spraying- the one that the tape pulled up the paint.  I sanded it all down and started over- I'm gonna keep this one for myself when it's done.

Here's a pic of a tattoo I finished the other day.  The picture kinda sucks because the dog is healed and the flowers are fresh- I hate that.  I'll get more pics when it's all healed up.

Here's a special picture for all you people on the interwebs- a Fathers Day raspberry from Gracie and I.

One more thing- the back in 15 minutes sign Nick made that we use at the shop:

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Negative Approach

So, last night, Negative Approach played the Drunken Unicorn, and it was awesome!  They broke up in '84, so I never got to see them, and thought that I never would.  It was well worth the 30 year wait- it's fuckin' Negative Approach.  Some people might argue that it's not really NA, since the only original member is John Brannon, but NA is one of those bands where the singer IS the band, and as long as the guys behind him are playing the right notes, it's Negative Approach.  And damn, did they play the right notes.  It couldn't have been any better, and they played all the great NA songs (they may have actually played ALL of the songs since their legacy is one LP and one 7"), plus they did an awesome cover of Borstal Breakout.  I didn't much care for the first opening band and spent the time they played their short set in the bar.  The second opening act was the Bukkake Boys, a local Atlanta band that I had never seen. They were a pleasant surprise, playing an excellent set of angry hardcore songs reminiscent of early Poison Idea (Pick your King era PI).  I picked up their LP to add to my record collection, and it's pretty sweet, clocking in at under 15 minutes for 12 songs.  Now I gotta try to track down their first 2 EP's.  Here's a few shots of NA playing....

The guy that I did the St. George tattoo on recently came back, so I got a good healed pic of that.

That's it for now.  I'll find something to bitch about soon....

Monday, June 4, 2012

COC, Ride, Boortz....

So, I've been threatening to do this thing more often.  This time I'm really gonna try to do it.  When I started this blog thing, I was posting about twice a week, eventually it ended up being more like once or twice a month.  I'm gonna try to do it at least once a week- the problem is that not enough interesting stuff happens to me- guess I'll just have to start bitching and ranting more.

Anyway, I went to the Corrosion of Conformity show Saturday night and it was great.  I've written a couple of other blogs where I mentioned that even though Animosity is one of my favorite records, I haven't liked much of anything COC has done since Technocracy.  I also told ya that I actually like the new record.  A year and a half or so ago, they reformed the original 3 piece line up that was responsible for all their best stuff, and toured the Animosity record.  I didn't go, and have been kicking myself in the ass ever since, so I wasn't gonna miss the chance to see them this time- The last time I saw them was somewhere around 87.  The opened with the first song off the new record-Psychic Vampire, then blasted into 3 songs off Animosity- Fuck Yeah!  The set was basically half the new record (sticking mostly to the faster, more punk songs) and half the songs from Animosity.  They also played Technocracy and Deliverance, which was a surprise- I don't really care for that record, but the song sounded great live and with the 3 piece line up had a much more raw sound, plus I prefer Mike's singing to Pepper's.  The also threw in about the first 3rd of Vote With A Bullet in the middle of one of the new songs- thats actually one of the 3 or so songs that I like off of Blind.  The only thing that could have made it better was if they'd have pulled out some stuff from Eye For An Eye, but I'm pretty sure they're never playing any of those songs again.  The band was obviously having a lot of fun playing all the old songs, which was cool to see.  Took a couple of pics of the show, here ya go...

Went riding with friends yesterday.  Started with lunch at a local place- if ya live around here, and you are in the mood for Mexican food, DO NOT go to Cuernavaca on 20.  The food was not very good and the service was atrocious.  The company was good, but I was with my friends- you'll have to get your own.

Cheryl, Jeff, Kevin and Jason.  They all look very excited.

When we got up around Athens, my damn throttle cable came loose, and we ended up in an Eckerds parking lot getting that taken care of.  Here's an excellent shot Cheryl took of Kevin supervising my efforts.

With the throttle cable all fixed up, I go to start Carla back up, and the damn battery is dead.  Luckily, Jason (Big Sexy) has battery issues and rides around with a charger in his saddle bag.  Some electricity borrowed from an outlet outside Eckerds, and we're back on the road.  This morning I sat in the garage for a while and got the throttle cable properly tightened, and Carla's good as new.

Here's a pic of a tattoo that I worked on Saturday.  One more sitting and it'll be done.  Probably could have finished it Saturday, but I had another appointment.  It's a shitty picture, but when it's done and healed I'll get a good one.

My wife has this weird little long haired chihuahua thing and he gets miserable in the heat of the summer, so the other day I shaved him.  He didn't like me very much after that.  He's gotten over it.

Found out this morning that Neal Boortz is retiring.  Good for Neal, bad for me.  I have been listening to Boortz in the mornings for 10 years or so.  It'll be strange not to hear him anymore.  He's also one of the very few Libertarian voices on the radio and he's pretty damn funny as well.  Even my kid likes listening to Boortz- she mostly just likes when he rips into an idiot caller.  If there are any Libertarians reading this, I highly recommend his book "Somebody's Gotta Say It".  Its a good book and a highly entertaining read.  He's also the guy that co-authored the 'Fair Tax Book', which is probably the only reason that a book about taxes was readable.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Here's the Damn Blog...Now Stop Bothering Me.

So, I've been getting messages from people asking where the new blog is and what I'm gonna do now that Best Ink is over.  Well, I was writing this blog before Best Ink, and I'll continue to write it.  In fact, there are 136 blog entries that have absolutely nothing to do with Best Ink.  I've just been doing other stuff lately.  Don't worry, I'll have plenty to bitch about- I always do.  It's something I do well, and often.  There are lots of things that I rant about that I don't care to publish on the internet.  I know that TLC has started airing their 'Tattoo School' show.  I've been told that it is an embarrassing abortion of a show, but haven't watched it and probably won't- remember, the only reason that I even watched Best Ink was that Joe was on it.  I'm pretty sure that I couldn't watch Tattoo School without having my head explode or at least firing off a few rounds into my TV (and I like my TV, so I don't wanna do that).  Basically Tattoo School is a 10 episode advertisement for shitbag Bill Pogue and his shitbag tattoo school- personally I hope his tattoo school burns to the ground with him in it- I hope he dies slowly and painfully.  If by some chance that does happen, I am stating right now that it wasn't me- hoping and doing are 2 entirely different things.

Last time I blogged, I was working on beer labels for my buddy Joey.  Well, I finished the second one and Joey's beer thing went really well.  It looks like the place that held the event is going to make his home brews their house brews- way to go Joey!  Here's a pic of the finished Hoppy McBitterton label:

And here's a few pics from the event:

My awesome kid graduated from elementary school last week- there was a big ceremony.  Back when I finished elementary school there was no hooplah.  I'm pretty sure they just thought "Thank god we never have to see that group of rotten little bastards again".  Here's a pic of her getting her pass to middle school.

Until drama camp starts next week, she has been spending the days at the shop with me.  She's been working- making stencils, copying ID's, filing forms and answering the phone.  She's an awesome front person.  She is also becoming quite an artist, and does a lot of digital stuff- she's been teaching herself to work with photoshop- pretty impressive for an 11 year old.  Last week, she drew a sweet Octo-Bear, which we then stencilled on her arm.

Got tattooed by Nick the other day.  Got a tattoo for the Templars- the band, not the 'Order of...'  Always been a fan.  They're just a great punk rock band.  But I've become a real big fan over the last year or so.  I was first introduced to the Templars by Jamie, and since Jamie died (just a little over a year ago), listening to the Templars always makes me think of him.  So, the tattoo is for a great band and for my lost brother.

Got some pictures of some recent tattooing.  Here's healed pics of some stuff I posted before- the owl and cameos tattoos.

A Thor's Hammer tattoo...

A big reaper- wish I'd have got a better picture.  He said he would email me a healed pic.

Kim's space coverup.  Ya cant see the tribal anymore...

Did this bamboo on a kid.  He wanted it to look like sumi- simple but fun.

One day at the shop, we were kinda slow and Nick made the mistake of saying "I really want a traditional moth coming out of a skin rip behind my ear".  Within an hour, he had this:

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

And the winner is...

OK, so last night was the final episode of Best Ink...
I can't believe I made it all the way through to the end.  It's the first Tattoo (un)reality show I have ever watched, and again, I would not have watched a single episode if it weren't for the fact that Joe is on it.  Ever since the first stupid tattoo show aired, I have had customers constantly asking, "Do you watch (insert dumb tattoo show name)".  My answer (up till now), has always been NO.  Then, they always ask why not.  I start my answer to their question with a question- "What do you do for a living?"  If they reply "I'm an electrician", I say something like, "Well, after doing electrical work all day, do you want to go home and watch it on TV?"  Most of the time they get it.  I do though finally understand the reason people are attracted to garbage like this.  The last couple of episodes have been a let down for me.  Why? Because there were no tears, no meltdowns, and no Joey yellin' at people.  I guess I enjoyed the dumb ass drama- CRAP, I really thought I was better than that.
At the beginning of the show there was a little clip of Alexis saying that whoever wins tonight, wins Best Ink and what a big deal that is.  Lemme clue ya in on something Alexis- it's not that big of a deal.  A week from now, nobody's gonna give a fuck, and a month from now, most of 'em won't even remember.  Plus if you go to a tattoo convention and start telling people "I won Best Ink", no one is gonna fuckin' care- at least not anyone with 2 bits of brain to rub together.
There is no (non)flash challenge.  Instead, there is a portfolio review with some lady from Tattoo Magazine.  This segment of the show was totally unexciting.  She didn't look at their portfolios- she looked at a couple of shitty drawing from each of them and then the segment was over.  I'll tell ya what I would have liked to have seen- Joe reviewing their tattoo portfolios.  I've seen it happen, and it's always fun.  I have been at conventions with Joe when someone walked up to his booth and said something like "I'm a really big fan of your work, and I'd like for you to look at my portfolio".  At which point, I've heard Joe answer with something like "If I look at your work, I'm gonna be brutally honest, so do you still want me to look at it?"  Fuckin' classic!  I would have loved to see Joe rip into their work.
They each have to do 3 tattoos for the final Ink Challenge- all based on love, and they're going to be tattooing people that they have already tattooed during the course of the show.  Not too much to report on the actual tattooing, but at the end of the 3rd tattoo, there is a shot of London, with his gloves still on, picking up his drink and taking a sip- FUCKIN' NASTY!
London wins the competition, which is cool.  Of the 3 final contestants, he is the one that I wanted to see win.

OK, on to real life...
Still working on my buddy Joey's beer labels, and I've been having a lot of fun doing them.  There was about a half a second where I thought to myself "why did I stop doing illustration work", and then I remembered- Art Directors are as bad, if not worse than tattoo customers.  To all my awesome customers- don't get me wrong here- you're great, but there are some customers that are not so great.  Both Art Directors and Tattoo Clients can ugly-up a design real quickly.  You do something that you really like, and then they make changes to it that you absolutely hate.  But, the bottom line is that they're the ones paying for it, so ya do what they want.  Well, in this case, Joey isn't paying for these (I wouldn't take money from a friend that I've known for 13+ years anyway), and he is pretty much just letting me do what I want, which is why they've been so much fun to work on.

Here's a finished pic of the Mud Cat label that I posted an in progress pic of last week:

I also did a small design- a Devil's Fiddle Brewing logo for the necks of the bottles.  I don't know why this thing looks so bright here- it's actually all pretty dull colors- I guess it has something to do with the fact that I had to convert it from CMYK to RGB to upload it...

And, here's a progress pic of the label for Hoppy McBitterton.  I'm hoping to finish this one up tonight, then I need to start thinking about what I want to do for the last one- El Heffe.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Whole Lotta Bloggin' Goin' On

Last week, after talking about Best Ink, I thanked my buddy Joey for clearing the helmets for me.  Going back and reading it, I see that it may have been a little confusing to some folks- I have more than 1 friend named Joe.  I was talking about my friend Joey Holmes, not Joe Capobianco.  Both great friends, both Joe's.  I'm actually working on some stuff for Joey Holmes.  Besides being an awesome painter- he's the one that painted Carla for me, he is also an excellent brewer of delicious beer.  Joey recently took 2nd place in a beer competition against about 200 other brewers- pretty fuckin' awesome. Anyway, Joey has a big event coming up, for those of you that are local, it will be held at the American Tavern in Loganville, and for a measly 10 bucks, you can have all the home brew you want.  Here's a link to the event page on FB for anyone that's interested in attending: Home Brew Party.   Joey will have 3 beers there- Mudcat IPA, Hoppy McBitterton (another IPA) and El Heffe- a wheat.  So, I'm working on labels for the beer.  Here's a work in progress shot of the label for Mudcat.  I'm hoping to get some more work done on this (maybe even finish it up) when I get home tonight.

Now, on to the latest episode of 'Best Ink'...
The show opened with lots of tears from Alexis over the fact that Nicky is gone.  Too fuckin' bad- Nicky sucked, and he was not a tattooer.  Sure, he works somewhere doing tattoos, but that does not make a tattooer, at least not in my opinion (which doesn't count for much, except for here- remember, this is MY DAMN BLOG).
Before the flash challenge, they introduce the guest judge- Porcelain Black.  What the fuck is a Porcelain Black?  So, I went to youtube to find out just what Porcelain Black does- more shitty disposable music for the dumb mASSes.  The flash challenge is actually an illustration challenge, where they have to create an album cover for this dopey twat.  This creature should not be allowed to claim Detroit- that's the home of The Stooges, The MC5, Negative Approach, Laughing Hyenas....bands that rocked and still sound as good today as they did when they came out.  A year from now, nobody will remember this lady and her shitty music.  They'll say "who was that girl with the black and white hair?  Remember, she had that 1 shitty song?"
We go into the Ink Challenge, and Joe gives them a little speech basically telling them to step it up a notch.  The challenge is to do a Michael Jackson tribute tattoo.  OK, I've never liked Michael Jackson.  His music never did anything for me, although I would gladly listen to every MJ song before listening to a single song by Porcelain Black.  He spent his life turning himself into a complete and total freak.  He was a pedophile who named his child Blanket, and I can't say that I gave a crap when he died.
During the tattooing, Jon seems more interested in getting into his client's pants than in doing the tattoo.  At the end his customer gives him a hug with her ointment covered, freshly tattooed arm- fuckin' nasty.
London wins the ink challenge and Charlie gets sent home. 
Now, here's something I found interesting.  It's the first time I was really paying attention to the end credits, and I wrote this down, so that I could remember it.  Here's what popped up on the screen:

The Judges considered input from the producers and Oxygen in reaching their decisions.

Really?  What the fuck is up with that?  So, apparently the judging is not based solely on the abilities of the tattooers and the quality of their work- it's also based on who some stupid TV executives think looks best in front of the camera?  Who they think is a good 'face' for the Oxygen network?  Maybe it's who they think can bring in the most advertising dollars.  TOTAL FUCKING BULLSHIT!  I don't know why I didn't expect this- it's typical Hollywood fuckery- that's how we ended up with Kat Von Douchebag.  Here's a big FUCK YOU to all the Hollywood types and TV execs that continue to rape the tattoo industry and destroy what I love.  You have ruined the tattoo industry, and turned it into a charade- parading around your mediocre, pet tattooers, and turning them into faux rock stars.  You have convinced the world that tattooing is something that it is not and that it should never have been.  In the words of Waylon Jennings, 'I hope your plane crashes'.

Rode down to Community BBQ on Sunday with some friends for some awesome food.  Community BBQ is owned by my friend Stuart and 2 of his friends.  They're trained chefs (Stuart used to be a Pastry Chef at a number of fancy hotels), who decided to open a BBQ joint, and they do that shit right! I had the Brisket, which was awesome.  It was so good that I didn't even think about taking a picture of it till it was all gone, so I'm recycling this pic from the last time I was there.

And, here's a picture of Stuart looking very sexy.

Here's a link to the Community BBQ page- Community BBQ

Did some tattooing recently that I didn't completely hate, so here's a couple of pics.  First is a St George piece that I hope the guy will come back and let me get healed pics of.

Next we've got a coverup of an old Unicorn.  It's pretty much a sin to cover a Unicorn considering how rare they are anymore.  Covering a Unicorn is like killing a Condor.  She said she wanted a Traditional style Day of the Dead girl head- that's a super easy coverup- just do lots of hair.

Last, but certainly not least is Kevin's 'Sweet Ass Tribal'.  Kevin may win the prize for the best stupid tattoo with this one...

Now, I'm no trained chef, but I do have a few specialties, and Italian Sausage and Peppers is one of them.  I made some last night (and I took a picture).  Here's my gripe- here in the south, it is very hard to find real Italian Fennel Sausage- you can get sausage that tastes decent, but it's missing the fennel.  I have found a place, in Dunwoody, called the East 48th St. Market that sells amazing sausage (I believe they make it themselves), but it's hard to find the time to drive 45 minutes each way just to buy sausage.   Of course, when I do get over there, I buy more than sausage because it's the only real Italian Deli I have found in the south.  In fact, I can't walk out of there without spending at least $100.  Heres a pic of my Sausage and Peppers for ya....

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Turtle Soup

Another Wednesday, another 'Best Ink' blog....

Thank god I record these things.  I do it so that I can fast forward through the commercials, but fast forwarding through the stupid opening of this show is a bonus. The show opens and we see Nicky putting a rosary around his neck.  Now, I'm not religious, but this recent fad (I've seen it in the last few years- mostly on very ghetto/gangsta type people) of wearing rosary beads is retarded.  A rosary is used for prayer- specifically the prayers you have to say as penance for your sins- it's a Catholic thing.  You use the beads to keep count of all the prayers you're supposed to say after confessing.  It's not meant to be worn as a necklace.
 For the dopey ass flash challenge, they are told to paint an animal print on a white boot.  It would have been way cooler if they had just let them do whatever they wanted on the boots.  At the end of the flash challenge, they bring in the people that will be getting tattooed, and their pets!  They all want tattoos to remember their pets by.  One of the people is a crazy lady all dressed in pink with her dyed-pink poodle.  There's also a guy with his pet turtle.  He says something about the turtle getting too big and having to be returned to the wild in a year.  Too big? The damn turtle fits in his hand.  Lets get something straight- A dog is a pet, a cat is a pet, even the snake that the 1 person brought is a pet, but a turtle- that's soup.  Snakes, lizards, even fish, will recognize you when you approach their tank- they have personalities.  A turtle just doesn't give a fuck.  I've had a tank with a turtle in it, and I've had turtle soup, and I can tell ya that the soup was way more satisfying.
I always love the way people get all nervous when Joe walks over to see what they're doing.  He walks over to Jon and the first thing he says is "Man, you're slow as hell"- fuckin' great.  At this point, Nicky has by far the worst tattoo.  I don't like this kid- he's definitely not a tattooer in my mind.  He's obviously rattled by Joe's presence over his shoulder- awesome.
Since they're down to the final 5 contestants, there is no more voting for the 'bottom 3'.  The judging starts and, wow, the tattoo Nicky did sucks.  Fuckin' scratchy garbage!  Alexis and Jon are chosen as the top 2, with Jon winning for the week.  Nicky goes home, which is great, because that kid sucks.  Some tears from Alexis because her little buddy got sent home- boo-fuckin'-hoo.
I was a little disappointed that there was no sweet rant from Joe- last week was so good- I want more of that.

Here's some pics of the helmets I put up not too long ago.  Got 'em cleared (thanks Joey), and I gotta say they look pretty sweet.  I decided not to do anything else with the blue one- it looked real nice just the way it was.  The gold/root beer helmet I did a good bit of striping on, and it really brought it all together.  I haven't decided if I'm gonna stripe the green one yet.  All 3 are for sale- they are all Large, HCI, DOT approved helmets, and they are $200 each.  You know your coconut would look sweet in one of these fancy lids.

Went for a nice ride with friends on Sunday- Jeff, Jason (Earl), Jason (Big Sexy- he doesn't know that that's his new name..yet), and Paul.  We rode up to Dahlonega and up the mountain.  We left after meeting for lunch at Hot & Cold Chinese Buffet- it's about 80 miles to where we stopped, so by the time we got to the top of the mountain, I was more than ready for a smoke and a cold drink.  When I opened my saddle bag, I found that my bottle of Vitamin Water had opened up and soaked everything, including my whole damn pack of smokes- crap.  There was also a puddle of 'Energy' flavored drink in my damn bag.  So, while I used the cap to the bottle to bail the sticky liquid out of my saddle bag, everyone got a good laugh, except for me.  I just kept repeating "This is Bullshit, This is BULL SHIT!"  So, here's some pics from the ride, including one of the bailing incident.