Monday, July 25, 2016

Think Before You Ink

What could possibly be the problem with tattoos?

What's wrong with a bunny on your ankle, or a picture of The Incredible Hulk on your arm, or a 12" square map of your favorite town on your chest?
No room to correct spelling. Oops.

Well......somewhere down the line, you may find it's not really 'you' anymore. That artwork you thought was brilliant when you were 19 may be really lame when you're 25. It might be downright embarrassing by the ripe old age of 40.

It can also be a big turnoff for an employer who sees it. Sometimes businesses aren't keen on employees having multicolored sailing ships or vines trailing up their necks. It might prove so distracting at an interview that it's all they remember about you.

According to Wikipedia, tattooing has been done since about the 4th to 5th millennium BC. It was found on one mummified body found in the Otz valley of the Alps; this guy had about 57 tattoos consisting of dots and lines; they may have had some connection to acupuncture treatments he received. There have also been tattoos found on mummies from Egypt.

So it's been around for quite some time. It's thought they were originally done by burning the skin and then forcing pigments (color/ink such as from plants or coal) into the wound, or sometimes 'just' burning the skin deeply. The marks were usually meant to indicate what tribe a person belonged to, or what their craft was (weaving, metalwork, farming). It could also indicate whether a person was married or single. As more types of ink became available, the method of making tattoos changed as well.

In order for the ink to be permanent, it has to go deep into the lower layers of your skin (remember how you slough off skin all the time? Sunburns, for example?)

Modern-day tattoos are applied by using an electric tattoo machine with needles that rapidly puncture the skin with an up and down motion not unlike a sewing machine.

Because of how the ink is ‘punctured’ deep into the skin, bacteria can easily be introduced along with the ink. A reputable tattoo artist will have taken precautions to use sterilized/disposable needles and wear disposable latex gloves with each client, but you know how germs are. And how much fun would it be to contract hepatitis, syphilis, or in rare cases HIV (the AIDS virus) from a tattoo needle?

Some inks also contain traces of metal, which can trigger an allergic reaction. It seems your skin and your body are not fans of that kind of iron. On rare occasions, those metals can interfere with  obtaining a clear MRI, if you should need one.
                                             Cost of a well-done tattoo vs ...not well-done.

So let’s say you went ahead and got a tattoo even though it might not be your best choice...and now you have decided you’re not as happy about it as you once were. How do you get rid of it?

You have laser treatments, with a dermatologist (a physician who specializes in skin).  A laser focuses light beams on the tattoo that break up the ink embedded deep in your skin and encourage it to be washed away in your system, as well as, in effect, burning the top layer of skin away to destroy the ink on top. People who have had the treatments say it feels like being snapped with a large rubber band repeatedly.

And then, there is the expense. Here is what The Tattoo Removal Shop in Minneapolis says:

"To completely remove a professional tattoo, without risking side effects, takes approximately 10-14 treatments. If your tattoo is homemade or faded, or you have had previous treatments, your tattoo will come off sooner. For a standard, professionally made, tattoo, the final total price for entire removal is typically $1900 to $3800."

And, thanks to new and improved inks, you may find that removing a tattoo completely may not be possible: You might always have a shadow of that picture of a dragon breathing flames on going up over your shoulder and down to your knee.

How many of us have $1900 to $3800 just lying around my house? Would it not be better spent on Twizzlers or ITunes?

Or maybe half a semester's college costs instead of taking out a loan. Just sayin'.

Henna staining (also called Mehndi) is not permanent. It is used to draw designs on the skin and is particularly popular in India, Africa, Pakistan, and Middle Eastern countries. Henna design is often done on a bride's hands and feet the day before her wedding. It comes in a paste form, and at first is a light orange color but then darkens to a dark brown on skin. Henna is also used to turn your hair red. It will eventually slough off the skin in a month or two. Read more about henna staining here:

Here's my suggestion: When you get the urge for some artwork on your skin, invest in some 'permanent' markers and have at it. No bacteria inserted into the skin, and eventually, it will wash away and you'll have nice clear skin again...and it's not going to take a laser and $4000 to make it gone.

Monday, July 18, 2016

A Carnival in Pictures

There was a carnival in town for the 4th of July. Triogenius snapped some pictures--and played with them a little bit-and thought you might enjoy seeing them. Are you going to a carnival this summer? What's your favorite thing about carnivals?

Ferris Wheel at Dusk

                                             The Fun Slide from behind.

Someone doesn't want to go down the slide....
It's not a Gravitron if you can float above it....

                Just some random woman hanging out laundry.
 In the sky.

       Merry Go Round Horses don't know what real fun is.....


               This is called a sepia tint.

                  Ballet on the top of the Kamikaze ride

           Regular serpent.

             Ghostly serpent.


          Not all spirits are gray...

                          Just taking the cat for a stroll in the evening...

                     Someone has the swing ride all to herself.....

Hope you enjoyed the photos. They were taken with a digital camera, then altered by changing colors and tones and transparency. Then I found images using Bing search, re-colored them, blurred the edges, and inserted them into the original photos I took. If you like photography, you can do it, too!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Dive In! Going Away To College

Soon it will be move-in day at colleges across the country. Here are some tips gleaned from people who have been through it:

  • You will not need three sets of sheets, fancy dress up clothes, or 12 pairs of jeans.
  • You will, however, need quarters to do laundry, snacks, paper for a printer, some form of alarm clock,and a watch. Yes, you may be able to use your phone for these...but phones get lost and run out of battery. 
  • If you put reminders on your phone, don't forget to check it!!
  • Many dorms are not air conditioned. A small fan could be a 'life saver.'   
  • Did I mention the need for snacks?
  • Instead of rooming with a friend you've known since elementary school, consider a 'random roommate.' (assigned by the college). You will probably find a lot in common with him or her, and develop a great and possibly lifetime friendship.
  • Call your roommate before move-in day and compare notes: no sense in both of you bringing the same items, such as a small refrigerator or TV. The college will send you your roommate information 2-3 weeks before the semester starts.
        *out of consideration for your roommate, at least keep your part of the dorm neat

  • Join something on campus. Maybe three somethings. You will meet people, you will hear about activities, and you will often score free food.
  • Avoid paying the price for new books. Seek out used instead, making sure they are exactly the books you need (they have to have the same ISBN number, above the bar code on the cover). The campus bookstore will have some used books for sale, as will other students. See if there's a 'local' online posting for books or a bulletin board on campus with used books for sale.  

  • Do you use a 'swipie card' at the ATM for cash? Make sure it will work in your new location, without any fees. You might need to open a local bank account in your new place.
  • Once you are on campus, credit card companies will invite you many times to sign up for a credit card. Don't do it! If you get into debt, your parents do NOT have to bail you out!
  • Be prepared to have no money for at least the duration of your college years. By that I mean: no money. On the plus side, nobody else has any, either.

  • You probably do not need to bring a printer for your computer; there are plenty of printers you can use on campus. You will probably need to provide the paper, though. 
  • At the beginning and end of each semester, there is a virtual furniture store of items left behind by people who can't fit items into their dorms or don't want them anymore: watch for something left at the curb that you can use---free! (A good idea for furnishing your apartment afterwards, too!)
  • Ask someone for directions when you need them. This is not high school: Upperclassmen are very willing to help you out. They haven't yet forgotten what it's like to feel new and stupid.

  • Participate in your classes. Be engaged in the conversation. If you disagree, say so.
  • If you are struggling in a class, speak up for yourself. Seek out tutoring.
  • It's not likely, but if you have problems with a roommate that you can't seem to work out, speak up early, before it gets much worse and affects your life/schoolwork/motivation. Start by asking a resident advisor. In the end, you are both paying for the dorm, and both should be able to enjoy it.
   We interrupt this blog for an important money saving item:

                          Cars at College.........

(1) if you don't really need a car on campus, then don't have one there. You'll save on gas, parking, and maintenance emergencies when you're completely broke. If it's parked and not in use, call your insurance agent and see about dropping all insurance except comprehensive. More money saved-no gas to buy, no way you can get a ticket, and no scraping your windows in the winter!

                   and-the next one can really save you $$$..

 (2) If you feel you need a car while away at college, call and ask your insurance agent whether you get a break on the premium because you are not driving around in a large metro area anymore. Did you know that? It's worth checking out. You may save $5-$10 a month on your insurance premium.
  • Consider buying or making a huge calendar and writing out all dates of tests and projects.  Refer to it daily and budget your study time depending on what's happening.

  • If you are having any health issues, whether it's a physical problem or depression, seek out some help. The campus clinic will be a good start.
  • Instead of running home every weekend, stay on campus and see what's going on.
  • Think of your campus as your new home town, at least for the school year. Get to know it, and see about participating in the community. Maybe you'd like to help register voters. Maybe you could become a Big Sister or Big Brother. You might volunteer at an animal shelter.
  • When you are out at night, always go with a buddy. Tell at least one person your plans.
  • Let your family know what you're doing from time to time-not just when you need cash. They want to know!

Enjoy your new surroundings! Dive in!