Tuesday, June 09, 2009

The Twins

Who needs Hollywood Rebels? I have 9th St. Tattoo and John. John was Spider's apprentice years ago. Spider did the right leg. John did the left. I'm really happy with the work- both are my own original designs. You can get a better (but short) look next time we're on a run or ride together and I'm dropping you.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Imperial Tattoo

Soon I will be getting a new tattoo. I've been working on a design for several months off and on and it's about 99.5% complete. There are several tattoo studios in Columbia. The tattoos I have were done at a place called Dream Catcher, done by a man named Spider. I really like Spider and his work. Unfortunately, at least for my plan, Spider has moved. I think moving was a good thing for him so I'm glad he moved. Now I have to find someone else to do my tattoo. Spider had an apprentice named John a few years ago, and he is a very good artist I plan on finding if he's still around. This decision was finalized yesterday after a visit to Hollywood Rebel Tattoo. I guess Hollywood Rebel is "the" place to go nowadays and several people have recommended it to me. I have been there a couple of times to get estimates on a couple of different designs. The problem is I always get the feeling that this place is too cool and not very welcoming to those who don't seem as cool- like me. When I went there yesterday there were about four guys hanging out in front of the store. As I walked up to the door they just looked at me like "What do you want?" I don't know if they worked there or were just hanging out. So I go to open the door and one guy asked what I needed. Obviously, he worked there so I told him I wanted an estimate. I showed him my work and we began to talk. A moment later, out comes this big guy cussing and throwing a fit talking about how he hates foreigners and how they can't speak English and blah, blah, blah. It was bad enough that the guy I was talking to kind of told that guy to chill out and then asked us to go inside with him where he then apologized for the other guy. I could tell he was a little embarrassed by the situation. We finished talking and we left. I knew at that point I wouldn't be getting any tattoo done at that place. I just can't see going somewhere to have my body permanently altered that has people working there who don't accept others. Language barriers can be frustrating but I felt like asking the big angry guy why he didn't just speak in the foreigners language if English was such a problem. The fact is that a foreigner who can speak English to any standard is doing a better job than an American who can't speak a lick of any other language because he or she thinks that English is the universal language. I love America, but we're not the center of the universe. It's ironic that a place that has rebel in its name actually has people with conformist philosophies. I don't know, maybe it'd be a good place to get a swastika tattooed on my ass.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Messing with a man's vehicle

Some things are valued by women that men don't really care about. Other things are valued by men that women don't really care about and don't understand why men would value them. One of those things to this man is his ride. I've had several cars, trucks, and SUV's in the time I've been driving. Ever since my first car, 1979 Volkswagon Scirocco, I've always taken the best care I can of my vehicle. It's just something I do. Some vehicles don't need as much care. I used to have a Honda Element with plastic quarter panels that weren't painted. I could lean my bikes up against that thing and not worry about any damage. Also, all those vehicles were fairly cheap. I'd take care of them like they were worth much more than they were, but I knew little things happening to them was not a big deal.

Now I have a Honda Ridgeline RTL- the best of the Ridgeline line. This is the nicest vehicle I've ever owned and I see no need to ever go beyond. So I take care of it like I plan to have it until it dies. Maybe 10 years- who knows? So I do what I have to in order to keep it in like new condition. Don't get me wrong- I use it for everything from hauling wood to mowers to furniture. But inside it's a luxury ride: big comfy leather heated seats, lots of room, tinted windows, quiet, and a way smooth ride.

I always walk extra in parking lots so I can have plenty of room to keep others away from my ride. I don't double park- I think that's rude. But I always take the extra precautions to keep it safe.

Yesterday, Leslie and I went to Flatbranch to meet with a group for a friend's birthday. There were no places to park at or around the restaurant so I wound up going to the parking garage. I parked on the end of a row near a handicap space and hugged the line of the handicap spot so anyone parking on my other side would have plenty of room. When we came out there was a piece of shit old rusty pickup parked next to my truck. When I got to my door I could see that the passenger of that heap had hit my door with his/her door hard enough to leave a nice amount of their paint on my door. It had been a hard hit but I guess the angle of the strike was such that a dent didn't happen. Since I was kind of dark in the garage I couldn't see how much damage there was, but I could tell that it wasn't just a matter of the other person opening the door and "oops" it tapped my door. It was scraped hard like, "Hey look at that nice truck I don't have, I guess I'll make a statement with my piece of shit and take them down a notch." As you can imagine, I was pissed. I knew immediately what I was going to do to satisfy my need to even things out. The air was to be released from the tires because what's worse than a flat? Four flats. What's worse than four flats? Four flats you can't fill when the air valves are removed. But... at the request of my wife and her informing me there were security cameras in the garage, I backed down and drove home. When I got home I immediately went into action with my arsenal of car care products. Luckily, I was able to remove the other vehicles paint from mine and buff out the scratches to the clear coat. So I was relieved and satisfied.

It wasn't so much that it happened because we all know accidents happen. It seemed very intentional though. It wasn't a tight parking spot and it could have easily been avoided. The bottom line is this: I do not mess with people, their lives, or their property no matter what value I would personally place on it. It is theirs and I respect that. You know, do unto others as you would have them do to you. I want and expect the same from others. I really just want to be left alone and allowed to do what I want as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else. But when you mess with me or my family or property- it's on and not easy to turn off. I don't get doing things to others that are negative, but I do have a streak of wanting revenge.

The whole situation reminded me of a scene from "Pulp Fiction" that you can view here on the YouTube.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Photos I don't want to see

I just did a photo shoot last night that I've been doing for three years now. It's easy, somewhat boring, and high paying. Shooting photos of local community members presenting scholarships to high school students is pretty easy. You have your American flag and green drapery background. Other than that you just have to position the people so the bad edge of the background (brick wall and advertisement board) doesn't show. Doing a shoot like this is cake. But who does the photos that show up on the side of the Internet sites I visit? I'd like to know so I could punch them in the face. I don't want to see this
when I'm trying to compose an important email. Jeez! The middle shot looks like something from a Tool video. The top one looks like some kind of child molester. If I become a paid photographer, will I do shots like this for money? Probably, but I won't like it.
Here's another one I can't stand: The fat man/woman mid-section shot. This is always accompanied by a diet pill ad. I find this repulsive. I don't want to see it early in the morning when I'm drinking coffee and checking out the weather online.

Sidebar photos need to be of things I want to see. Like this:

ahhh... sushi. Now that's pretty.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Brainwashed Children Visit Columbia

If Columbia wasn't so diverse I guess we wouldn't be lucky enough to attract the attention of those who feel the need to let us know we're all DOOMED! I'd rather live in a town like mine than one where no one cares to protest, march, or assemble because everyone thinks and is the same- or at least pretends to be out of fear. Sort of like the town where I work.
Check out Drew's photos of the latest visitors to Columbia. Here. I wasn't at the march, but I would have liked to have observed it. Probably better I wasn't there- I might be in jail right now. Just can't stand people pushing their morality on me or others.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Drew Piester Photography

I love photography. I'm not very good at it myself because I never put to memory what I read and learn about it and I don't experiment too much. So I'm a hack. Drew Piester is not a hack. Check him out here.
The above photo is not Drew nor did Drew take that photo. I was looking for a photo of Drew or one he's taken but I didn't want to break any copyrights. I did come upon this photo I liked. Connection to Drew: He's a surfer and he's got a dog. I'm a surfer too. I surf I-70 everyday in my truck. I am the bodazapha of the Columbia/Boonville break.

Hope you had a good birthday Barry... Or should I say...Michael?

Or Michael?
Either way, great hair.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Antwane Beefcakes and the Red Beans and Rice

Want to make some good eats on a crap weather day? Make some red beans and rice. I used to live in New Orleans. If you haven't been there you need to go. I've never been to another city in the country that has such a unique flavor. It's not like many other cities that in my opinion could exchange names with another city and still be the same place. Maybe it's the age of the city, the culture, the food, the history... the smell. Whatever it is- it is its own and I loved it when I was there- except for being sick all winter every winter.
My family and I ate a lot of good unique food while we lived there. Champagne brunch at what used to be the the Hilton on the River was one of a kind. I doubt the Hilton is there today after that bitch Katrina came through. I'd like to go back and see what it's like now. Back to the point.I think I will have posted after this post one (if not the only) recipe for red bean and rice that includes photos of the process- and aren't you lucky to have found it. So let's get it on! First you need a helper. This is my helper for the day: Ziggy

He gets really excited about red beans and rice.

Step 1: Get your stuff:
1 lb. red kidney bean (dry- not in a can dufus)
1 thing of celery
1 big onion
1 or two bell peppers (color doesn't matter- unless of course you're "that way")garlic- use as much as you want- I get mine from a jar minced- sorry, I'm not cool enough to chop it up myself. But like the Beastie Boys say, "If you don't like it, then hey fuck you"
1 lb. smoked sausage
few bay leaves
Some thyme leaves- maybe a teaspoon or so.
Worcestershire sauce- some (a few dashes)
hot sauce- I like Frank's or Red Hot or Crystal or Tabasco if you've actually got some down there (and no I'm not talking about your country region- look in your pants)
First you need to plan this meal for the next day. Soak the bean overnight in enough water to cover them. The next day they will look different. Yeah.

Drain out that nasty water and refill it with enough to cover the beans.

Boil the beans for about an hour. Watch out for boiling over.

When you're getting close to the bean getting done, saute' the chopped up onion, pepper, and celery until the onion is just about getting clear. Don't overdo this because you'll be killing the flavor and forever be hated by the vegetable gods who WILL visit you in the night.

Throw all that vegetable stuff in the bean and add the rest of the seasoning. You really need to season it how you like- some like it hot and nasty, some like it smooth and easy. I'm a hot and nasty guy just in case you were wondering.
Add the sausage that should be sliced in about 1/4" pieces. Man, that's some good looking sausage.

Bring it all to a boil again and then turn the heat down to a simmer. There should be movement in the pot while cooking- not a rolling boil by any means, but it should be mixing around. I call it "socializing" It's like, "Hey man, I'm sausage, who are you? Oh I'm bell pepper and I think I like you and your meat." That's nasty, but you're at least smiling now- right?

Now, here's the deal, you need to cook this party for at least 3 or 4 hours. If you don't have that kind of time- wait until you do because it will be better. It will be even better than that the next day after it's all been cooked and cooled down in your fridge. When you are ready to serve it you need to have white rice (or some kind of rice) to put it on and French bread. You put the rice on your plate and ladel the beans over the rice. The bread goes on the side dummy. I really need to apologize for not having a picture of the finished product but by that time Mizzou was about to have their butts out of the NCAA tournament for this year and I had family over and I had a few beers in me. But if you put it all together and it tastes good- you done right. Cheers!

Ghost Bird

The other day in class- actually it was at least a month ago, things were as normal. I was telling all the students how they'd never amount to anything and have a life full of disappointment and regret. All of a sudden Mr. "B", the special ed teacher that claims to work in my class this particular hour, and the rest of us jumped. There was a loud bang and it startled us all. Just a few minutes before I heard pigeons cooing outside. In five years there have never been pigeons on or around the rooftop that is outside the windows of my classroom. Today there were. It made me think that maybe I should put a bird feeder on the roof so when they came to eat we could observe them. Wouldn't that be touching? "Oh look Jimmy, it's a bird at the feeder. Maybe you can talk to it and finally have a friend."

After hearing the birds, things went on as normal, "No goddamnit! I said cross-multiply not divide you fool!" Then was the bang. None of us actually saw it happen, but the results are still there today. I'm not sure what the results are made of, but obviously something was left behind to let us remember the day by.