Pure Gonzo Engineering

Thursday, September 29, 2005

I learn something new every time I get tattooed

So last night I got my new tattoo. See the pics below. I showed up around 3:30 and my new artist Kalib was consulting with a guy about fixing some redneck tattoo that he had. I filled out my paperwork saying that I understood the risks in getting tattooed and that it was in fact a permanent process. Kalib pulled out the finalized drawing with the changes we had discussed on Saturday. I was impressed immediately. My old tattoo artist never had anything done before hand, mostly because the shop was located a stones throw away from the UW-Madison campus so he was constantly tattooing. I doubt in Pekin, IL they have as much work. Anyway, he had it all drawn up and had done the lettering on a computer so it was perfect old school style and centered perfectly.

He got set up, and we proceeded to place the stencil on my left forearm. It took four placements to get it to look right. It was difficult to judge because I have girly forearms and the tattoo was wide enough that it began to roll down the sides of my arm.

It had been about a year since I’d been tattooed so I was a bit nervous. It’s like women and childbirth, you can’t really remember pain so you’re willing to do it again. As soon as the needle hit the skin for the outline I felt better. The outline took about an hour and forty-five minutes. Kalib went over several of the lines twice to ensure they were solid and striking. One of the things we chatted about during the outline was how Old School tattoos really test the skill of the artist because they employee the very basics of tattooing to look the way they do: Strong lines, and excellent shading.

We took a brief break and I took a leak while Kalib consulted with a 18 year old girl who wanted to get a heart with flames on it that said “I burn for you” under it. After about ten minutes we resumed with the black shading.

The shading process of all the various colors took another hour and a half. We talked a bit more about this and that. Kalib is 24 years old, same as me, and we had a lot of similar interests, Hunter S. Thompson, Metal music, tattoos. Also the piercing artist and the counter guy stopped by every so often and talked to us. We finished up just before 7:30. I was amazed by how good it looked. It’s one of my best. I gave Kalib a 20 for a tip and layed down the rest of the 300, worth every penny.

The care instructions they gave me, differ from how I’ve previously cared for my tattoos. Normally I’ve pulled the bandage after 3 hours and then just left the tattoo exposed to the air for the rest of the healing process keeping it moist with lotion. The way they suggested is to keep it covered in plastic wrap for the first couple weeks with A+D lotion on it. This will prevent it from scabbing over, and the skin will just kind of flake as it heals. I’ll follow their advice because I want this tattoo to be amazing. All is right with the world, right now.


Act five, Scene five

Macbeth up in his castle, straight up ghetto gangster style waiting for his own impending death.

"Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death.
Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow;
a poor player,That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more:
it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing."

I hope I can get my significance on in some way shape or form.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

My new tattoo (The Flash brings out how brilliant it is) Spans about 8 inches of my forearm. Posted by Picasa


My new Tattoo (Old School because I can be) Posted by Picasa


Monday, September 26, 2005

I feel good today

I’m going to get a big tattoo on Wednesday. My wife suggested that I get one because I’ve been getting more and more depressed lately, worrying about this and that. It’s been over a year since I got one, and I guess I’ve been going through withdrawal. If you don’t have a tattoo then you won’t understand. I’m going to get a big, fuck off, old school, Sailor Jerry style tattoo on my left forearm. It’s going to have a banner on it with some words (you’ll have to wait till Wednesday night for those).

We went to the tattoo shop on Saturday, and just looked through flash till I found something I liked. Then my wife and I just talked about what to change about it to make it my own. It was just nice being in a cool tattoo shop. We showed up too late to have it done on Saturday, so I set up an appointment for Wednesday. I’ve felt better ever since. I’ve told people at work, and they just look at me like I’m batty. I feel even better.


Thursday, September 22, 2005

The Downward Spiral

Every great society has its downfall. Empires follow stages from inception to their eventual crumble. The Mayans, The Aztecs, The Romans, The Greeks, The Chinese Dynasties, all of them masters of their day. They don’t exist now though. Today, we are the Romans. America dominates the world. Our ideas, our language, and our commerce controls how the rest of the world goes about its daily business.

So what will be our downfall? In my opinion, it will be 24-hour news networks. Not just Fox news and it’s bullshit, but all 24 hour news networks. Last night prior to about 5:00pm Central Standard Time, all these assholes were talking about was the hurricane and how people were evacuating and how devastating it had the potential to be and blah blah blah blah blah lets fill more fucking airtime.

Suddenly, there was a new tragedy to focus on that was much more exciting. An airplane with its front landing gear turned 90°. Oh shit! It’s going to have to land in a few hours let’s focus on that now. Who wouldn’t want to be on the air when the Hindenburg goes up in flames? We may get to see a live plane crash. Then these dickheads start talking about how well trained the airline personnel are and what might happen if the strut breaks and blah blah blah blah lets fill more fucking airtime until this baby crashes and some people die.

Then when the masterfully skilled pilot was able to gracefully touch the aircraft down and slowly put the front landing gear in contact with the ground, you could hear the disappointment in the newscasters voice as the plane rolled to a stop, not on fire, all 140 people safe. What a bunch of bastards. 2 hours later it was back to the killer hurricane. What a bunch of dicks. Fuck all those 24 hour news douche bags. There’s my prediction, they’ll end up destroying us all.


Monday, September 19, 2005

Friends, Romans, Countrymen, Lend me your ears

My wife and I were talking last night about how we don’t really have any close friends here. We both have friends in Peoria, but none that we would classify as best friends, or close friends like we’ve had in the past. The kinds of people you can just go over and watch TV with. You don’t have to have a set plan of things to do. You just enjoy each other’s company and insight into the normal things in life.

For my wife, it’s difficult to make friends because she works with people who have lived in the area their whole lives and already have very close circles of friends. My only excuse is that I’m weird and have distinguishing taste when it comes to the people I hang out with. Most engineers aren’t any fun to hang out with (usually way to conservative for me)… so I don’t.

My best friend ever in the history of me was Jay. He and I were good friends all through school, starting in second grade. We were thick as thieves, especially when we were stealing things. He was an only child, and I was the only boy in my family, so we had almost a brotherly relationship. We had a lot of fun times, but when we went to different schools, we lost touch. We still talk once in a while, but it’s infrequent.

When I went to college, I had two good friends, JJ and Ehron. JJ was a fellow student (Liberal Arts though, not a boring engineer), and I met Ehron when I was doing janitor work at Meriter Hospital. Now that I’m in Peoria, I’ve begun to drift apart from them as well. It’s a fucking Greek tragedy.

I’ve always said that tragedy shows you exactly the kind of person you are, it also shows you how strong/weak your friendship is, whether it be a car accident, psychotic roommate, or an attempted suicide, that shit either makes you better or it breaks you.
Anyway, this place feels more and more like a prison every day, with walls that keep on getting higher. I seriously need to get back into therapy. HA! That won’t make me any friends. Eh (shrugs) I play someone normal on TV.

Labels: ,

Friday, September 16, 2005

Gonzo Engineering Hits the United Kingdom

As I’ve been saying in previous posts, I had convinced the management of Opposite of Dog that it would be a good idea to send myself and several other individuals to England to visit one of our suppliers since no one from our company has ever seen their facility.

On Saturday, I departed from Peoria at 5:55 am and flew to Chicago. I had some breakfast and chatted with the other two guys I was traveling with. One of them was a cool guy from purchasing in his mid 30’s. The other was a bit older than me, but I would learn on this trip that he was a major douche.

We flew to England in a 777 which was nice because in coach it has 2-5-2 seats, and I was at the end of a 5 row with no one next to me until the guy at the other end of the 5 row, so I had three seats to spread out in. The 8 hours went by pretty quickly. I had bought a portable DVD player for the trip, so I watched a few different movies in-between getting fed the “gourmet” airline food.

We landed in Heathrow at 10:30pm London time. It took an hour and a half to get through passport control due to the fact that several large airliners had landed at relatively the same time. Now it was midnight, and all the shuttle buses to the hotels had stopped running so we needed to get a cab. No problem in a big city airport on a Saturday, Right? No, it took us another hour to get a cab. I swear the same five cabs kept picking people up and dropping them of and returning. So we finally made it to the hotel at about 1:30 in the morning. I was still on Central Standard Time so I couldn’t fall asleep until 3:00am. I was hoping to wake up and explore London in the morning before we had to checkout, but when the wakeup call came at 7:00am I just couldn’t get up.

A representative from the company we were visiting picked us up at 11:30 and drove us to Lincoln, which is about 2 hours northeast of London. Lincoln is a neat little town that has a really old section to it with a castle built in 900, a HUGE cathedral, and some old Roman arches and walls dating back to like 90 B.C. Luckily we had some time and got to explore all of these things and also drink some proper English beer in some local pubs.

There was also this statue in the cathedral that had no face, and a huge penis and feet. I made one of the guys take a picture of me pointing to the statue’s huge package because my wife and I always take obscene pictures of things we find on our travels, especially phallic things.

We went to bed relatively early that night because we had to go work the next day. I ate some shitty English food for breakfast the next morning, and then we were off to visit the supplier. The day went well; even though the first plant we went to I wasn’t particularly interested in. We wrapped up around 3:30 and then the representatives of the company drove us to the second facility, which is near Manchester. On the way we stopped at a pub to eat dinner and have some pleasant conversation. I love the English accent; hence I love chatting about anything with English people. It’s just fun and interesting.

The next day we went to the facility I was most interested in. Captain McDouche I was traveling with almost had a heart attack over how this facility was set up. I agreed that they had some room to improve, but he wanted to stop getting stuff from these guys, and I just told him he needed to chill and understand exactly what engineering was asking from this product and what they were actually delivering. He still didn’t understand, but I don’t think he ever would.

McDouche is a Peoria local so he has a warped view that Peoria is actually OK and doesn’t suck. His dad also works for Opposite of Dog, so it can do no wrong and is always right. He was actually worried about how much we were paying for things. Fuck man, we’re here on business for a billion dollar company, who gives a fuck if breakfast costs 13 pounds?

When I got back to the hotel I took a swim, and then went to this Tai restaurant. It was really good. It was about the best thing I had to eat while I was there.

The next morning, I flew back to Chicago via Manchester. My flight back to Peoria was delayed because our flight attendant didn’t show up on time. I was pretty pissed because I just wanted to be home.

Yesterday, I felt really good because I had been in the Liberal haven that was England for 5 days. We had a big type meeting first thing on Thursday, and it just put me in a rotten fucking mood about work. Our upper management are such tools, I have a hard time not vomiting all over when the shit starts coming out of their mouths.

Anyway, it was a good trip. I had fun. It was even better because it was free. I’ll put some pictures up in a bit.

Labels: ,

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Retirement Plans

I was watching Inked last night with my wife, and I told her how jealous I was of the tattoo artists because they had visible hand and neck tattoos. I can’t have visible hand or neck tattoos because I work in the conservative world of engineering, and tattoos are “bad” and “uncivil” and “unprofessional”. I’m particularly jealous of the hand tattoos that have two four letter words tattooed on the fingers so that when you make fists at someone, they can see the two words. For example the classic “love” and “hate” hand tattoos.

My wife said that I shouldn’t worry that eventually I could get hand tattoos. She came up with the fantastic idea that I could get them when I retire. Now if I was my dad and retiring at the end of the school year I would only have to wait 8 months, but unfortunately I have to wait about 31 more years until I can retire.

What will I get tattooed on my knuckles when I retire you ask?



Tuesday, September 06, 2005

700 Miles of Fun

So I went back to my Birthplace this weekend, the lovely and scenic Wisconsin Rapids. I had to take the truck because I was picking up a sweet old roll-top desk, a changing table, a dryer, and a crib. I decided to splurge before I left and buy a K&N air filter for the truck in an attempt to get better gas mileage. Typically I get about 17.5 mpg on the highway. With the new filter I got about 19 mpg, not too bad for a V8.

On Saturday my Dad and Brother-in-Law ditched me when they went golfing without me. I don’t really golf anyway, but it was just the fact that they went without even seeing if I really wanted to go that got to me. After they got back, my Brother-in-Law and I went to go see “The Forty Year Old Virgin”. If you haven’t seen this movie yet, drop what you’re doing tonight and go see it. It’s the funniest damn movie I’ve seen since “Old School”. Seriously, go see it. I haven’t laughed so hard at the movies in a long ass time.

On Sunday we had grilled some steaks and my parents had some friends over. They’re teachers, so their friends were my old teachers. My High School Spanish teacher and her husband to be exact. I grilled the steaks because I’m a fucking grill expert. I don’t actually know if I am or not, because maybe people just say that the steaks are grilled well because they don’t want to hurt my feelings. Who knows?

That night I had this dream where I was just bawling like a baby. It was just all night long, I dreamt that I was crying. I think it’s because I feel pretty distant from my parents. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. When you push away as hard as I did, people are going to take some steps back.

The next morning we loaded all the shit into the truck, and I headed back. I had to take a detour to Milwaukee to pick up the dryer and crib. I finally got back home in just under 8 hours. It only took 5 to get there.
In 5 days I go to England for “work”.


Friday, September 02, 2005

Hungry people don't stay hungry for long, they get hope from fire and smoke as they reach for tha dawn

So I'm reading about the shit that's going down in New Orleans and I'm really just disgusted. First I make the observation from the photos that our "liberal" (yeah right) media has on it's websites that almost all the people still trapped in New Orleans are poor African Americans. The unrest is coming from these people because they don't have clean water and food and a place to shit. Shouldn't we have dispatched 1000's of boats and helicopters and trucks and all kinds of other shit to help these people? Naw, we'd rather bitch about gas prices and write a check so we can get a deduction on our tax returns. Would the response and its timeliness have been the same if this had happened in an area full of rich white people?


Thursday, September 01, 2005

Emotional Rollercoaster

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

My wife hadn’t felt the baby kick in a couple days so she called the doctor. They told her to come in today so they could listen to the heartbeat on the Doppler. I called her halfway through the appointment and she told me they couldn’t find the heartbeat and were trying something else and she would call me back when she found out more. I was freaking the fuck out for the next 15 minutes. The longer it lasted the worse I thought it was going to be. I couldn’t handle another lost pregnancy. I grabbed my cell and went into a back room at work and called her again. When she picked up her voice kind of cracked and my heart dropped.

She said everything was fine though. They had found the heartbeat and heard it. The baby was also moving. She just couldn’t feel it. I was relieved.

Sorry for the blurry picture.

From New York on top of the Statue of Liberty
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Labels: ,