Category Archive: Uncategorized

Several Reasons for Having Tattoos

Tattoos, body piercing and several other forms of body modification are currently a fad nowadays. But not too long ago, such forms of art are generally shunned upon by society, equating body piercings to tribes and cults, and tattoos to hoodlums, criminals, and other lowlifes that are up to no good. But in lieu of today’s seemingly liberally leaning society, almost everyone now accepts, once unspeakable things, to be brought out into the mainstream. Chest tattoos for men that is once the exclusive enclave of bikers and side tattoos for girls that were generally reserved for manual workers and prostitutes are now sported on by many people.

Is it good, like almost every one say’s it is today, or is it really bad, like our forebears thought it was? I don’t really know the correct answer to that, and I also am not in any position of authority to stamp a definitive answer, but I do have an opinion on the matter. So why do some people have tattoos on their bodies? Here are several of my thoughts regarding the matter.

Self-Expression

Probably the most common reason people say to justify having tattoos. Self-expression is defined as the assertion or deliberate showing of a man’s own personality in any kind of medium, such as in speech, idea, feelings, and in our case tattoos. Sometimes you ask people with tattoos on why they decide to have one in the first place, and oftentimes they can’t answer it directly, having particularly no reason at all for doing it. Sometimes we are shy, don’t know how to explain things, or can’t really express ourselves the conventional way, and we do it in other ways, those other ways are the classic things that makes self-expressions.

Religion

Some religions, particularly older ones, practice tattooing in line with their performed rituals and religious convictions. Although many religions like Christianity, Judaism, and Islam particularly forbid their followers from having tattoos, several branches of such religions, like the Catholic Croats in Bosnia, who tattoo their children in the belief that tattoos will ward off evil spirits, still use them.

Loved One

Tattoos, being permanent and lasting in nature, is oftentimes used as a remembrance of someone important in your life. Be it someone who is already departed or someone who is presently the love of your life, tattoos are used to somehow give weight or credence to the importance of the person to the wearer. You also put your loved ones, as tattoos, on your body so that they will forever be with you and be constantly reminded of them just by looking at your body.

Drunk, Peer Pressure, For the Heck of It

In other words, you had the tattoo by mistake. Sometimes you were too drunk to notice, or fiercely ogled into doing it, also maybe you were just very curious about what it is that they were talking about, and decided to have one for yourself. Sometimes you were just forced into it by your environment, like in street gangs or in jail, and generally had no say in it.

Good thing there is still a way to remove it, but it will likely be painful and extremely expensive to do it. So if you are really bent on having a tattoo of your own, and for whatever your reason is, think hard and long before you dive into the colorful world of tattoos.

The Healing Process of a Tattoo

So you got your tattoo that you’ve been dreaming about for a long time. You must be really happy, now that you have endured the pain and chosen the right image, I know you know that it would be permanent and would last indefinitely, right? So what now? What else is there to do? Show it off? Or get another one, you might say, but before that, you have to let your present one heal a bit. So how does one go about healing a tattoo?

First off, a few hours after you had your tattoo, remove the wrap around it to enable it to breathe. Wash it over with an antibacterial soap to minimize your risk of infection. After washing, completely dry the area carefully and thinly apply an ointment, preferably antibiotic in nature, over the tattoo. Continue this process for about four days and also try to do it twice a day, one in the morning and another one before you go to sleep. Using Vaseline or petroleum jelly on a fresh tattoo is not recommended, as they tend to pull out color from the tattoo and is very thick, smothering the tattoo that actually needs air to heal.

Around the fourth day, the tattoo will begin to peel. Layers of skin within the tattoo will slightly harden and eventually break up, like what happens on sunburns, which is an indication of the changing of new skin meaning that it is healing properly. You should drop your antibiotic ointment in favor of the application of an unscented lotion to the tattoo, and keep it up until about two weeks. Always remember to keep your tattoo moisturized to prevent the further drying and breaking up of the area which was tattooed. Your tattoo will heal eventually about around three weeks.

Tattoo scabbing is normal. Patches of skin in and around your tattoo will sometimes swell a little bit and form scar like protuberance. It is important not to forcefully remove these scabs early as it may cause the disfigurement of your tattoo and may even result in a skin tear. Remember to keep an eye on the scab not harboring infection, signs of which are being tender to the touch, redness in the area and extending out of the tattoo and when pus eventually oozes out of the tattoo. An appointment with a doctor is recommended during these episodes for better treatment. The tattoo scab, in time, will eventually peels off on its own.

Other important matters to keep in mind while your tattoo heals, is not soaking it in water for long periods of time, as it will unnecessarily expose your fresh tattoo to all kinds of bacteria, thereby increasing your chances for infection. Also keep your tattoo off of the sun, as it will be a big problem if you unintentionally did get your tattoo sunburned. Avoiding of tight clothing that will rub against the tattoo is also discouraged.

After carefully accomplishing all of these, you can now proceed on doing what you plan to do next, either showing it off or eventually getting another one, is up to you. I commend your bravery and adventurous nature in getting your tattoo. Same with other things, your mind must be fully set and have thought about it fully, before you go ahead and did it. As for me, well, let’s just say I am just at the dreaming part of getting a tattoo. Who knows, I might just wake up and get one myself.

Is it Asthma?

I have been recently searching on the internet, regarding the topic of home remedies for asthma, as my little son have been showing signs of having the disease. Although he doesn’t have asthma yet, pending a confirmation from our doctor’s visit sometime this week, but still, he is exhibiting several symptoms of it, like wheezing in his breath, a persistent cough and he also does get tired easily. I really don’t know how to feel about it, because I do not ever want him to get asthma, but at the same time, it’s better for him to get asthma than something much more sinister as his symptoms indicates.

I might be acting a little bit paranoid with these turn of events, but who wouldn’t be, if it is their child who is the one suffering from an unknown illness, it’s a little bit disconcerting to say the least. I hope it’s just a cold or something in the weather that made him act like this. But to be sure, I’m doing what I can, to at least make him as comfortable as possible and also help him with the food that he eats. That is, until we get to consult our doctor, and by then, we will surely know what his illness is, and also what needs to be done for him to get healthy again.

On the internet, asthma symptoms was enumerated as having shortness of breath with corresponding wheezing episodes, tightening of the chest, and uncontrollable coughing that feels as though there is fluid in lungs. It is also said that asthma really has no known source, only that it is probably inherited, and that genetic interactions has something to do with it.

Getting back to my research, I have found out that several food items, and stuff around the kitchen performs well against asthma. Things like coffee or other caffeinated beverages, works well with asthma, by helping open the airways of an asthma sufferer, but I think I’m going pass on that as the patient is still a child. Other examples were the omega fatty acids from fishes, vitamin C, Primrose Oil, onions and even chili peppers have varying curative effects on asthma.

Now the hard part is trying to include these things on his diet, and of making him eat it eventually. I think it will be a little hard, as you very well know the typical diet of a young kid is mainly composed of only two kinds of food, namely fast food and junk food. But I will eventually find a way, I think by either talking with him and explaining things, or maybe sneaking it in with his food.

Maybe I will just keep him in the house until our doctor’s appointment, as the weather outside seems a little bit out of sync, and I too am feeling kind of weird these days. That’s it; maybe the weather has something to do with it. But I really wouldn’t get my hopes up yet, not until a visit to the doctor has been finished.

Dog Paintings

My recent projects are that of dog paintings. I don’t know what drove me to do them, or even if I will eventually sell any of them, but I’m having fun making such portraits. One of my first paintings of a dog is that of our family pet, a Yorkie Poodle named Duke. It was kind of challenging painting him mainly because he moves so much, and can’t stay in the same place for a long time. Yorkie Poodles are one branch of the poodle family which is particularly known for their high energy and silliness among all the poodle mixes. Some say they are little clowns disguised as dogs, so you know the hard time I went through painting him.

Although the paintings that we always see are of peoples and places, animals are also a favorite subject of artists. Painting animals are sort of like a primer to painting people, and they are somewhat regarded as a sort of a training ground for aspiring masters.  Animals, particularly dogs, are very hard to paint, like people, because of one thing, their eyes. The eyes give life to any portrait, and precisely capturing what the eyes really look like, eventually gives the painting a soul.

There are many paintings worldwide that uses the dog as its subject. Some are old and some paintings are relatively new, and I would like to share with you several of them that are influences in the way I make animal art.

Laying Down the Law (1840)

Also knows as “Trial by Jury”, “Laying Down the Law” was an oil-on-canvas painting made by Sir Edwin Landseer back in 1840.The painting was used to satirize the legal profession of that time by using different breeds of dogs, for the composition of the audience, and a French Poodle, in the center, as the judge.

A Distinguished Member of the Humane Society (1831)

An oil-on-canvas painting made also by Sir Edwin Landseer, it depicts a dog named Bob, who was found in a shipwreck on the England coast. Bob, who since relocated near a London harbor side, began a fourteen year career of saving drowning people, was eventually honored as a celebrated member of the Royal Humane Society.

Dogs Playing Poker (1903)

Who would ever forget these series of paintings made by C. M. Coolidge for the then cigar company of Brown & Bigelow back in 1903? In this series of 16 paintings, dogs were put in place of people doing everything from smoking cigars, playing cards and also consoling a sick friend.

Madame Renoir with a Dog (1880)

Made by the renowned painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir, the painting depicts his wife carrying a bouquet of flowers on a boating party, accompanied by two little dogs.  The beautifully done Impressionist art was painted on 1880.

I can go on and on with many more exquisite paintings that showcases dogs. Some very well-known ones, from popular painters, are always showcased in exhibits, but most are relegated to the backroom of art history. In art, nothing is ugly or less beautiful; it’s just not their time to shine yet.

 

Teaching as Passion

The fun thing about teaching again in school, although only on a limited basis, is that you get to live your passion. Art, and everything about it, has been a large part of my life, and I am very fortunate to teach about it. Imagine fulfilling one of your dreams while getting paid doing it, is lucky, to say the least. Although the salary is only a pittance, seeing some of the kids getting interested in it is truly, payment enough for me.

Having the exercise that comes along with teaching is also a good bonus. Nobody really is getting any younger, and any chance for some kind of exercise would be a welcome respite. Imagine having to wake up early during school days, preparing yourself and your lessons that you will be teaching for the day, the walking in between classes and also of gallivanting around campus, really livens up our body’s already sleeping veins. I kind of miss these types of hectic schedules, and teaching affords me the busyness and activities that my body longs for.

What I do not like about it, is the traffic to and from campus. The school is quite a ways away, and I am surely going to pass several busy intersections and traffic bottlenecks on my commute. These things reminded me the reason, of why I did not pursue a job in the corporate world in the first place. Truly everything good in this world entails some form of sacrifice, and to fulfill my dreams of teaching, I guess traffic would be mine.

Another thing I’m not crazy about from working again is the adverse effect it has on my joints, especially my hips. You see, back when I was just a small kid, I kind of fell from a tree and suffered from a torn labrum hip, and had to be hospitalized for a week because of it. I was not operated on, thankfully, as my doctor was a personable one, and suggested other forms of treatment, that didn’t need for me to be operated on and also doesn’t cost much. But it entailed a much longer rehabilitation period and also necessitated on me wearing a kind of elastic band on my legs and hips for support. And although my past injuries are already fully cured, walking in volumes sometimes produces soreness in my hips. I don’t know if it is related to my past injuries or a new one altogether, but sometimes the pain becomes hard to ignore. I have already read about hip flexor pain and how it’s acquired and such, but I think it’s not it. Maybe it’s just my old bones trying to tell me to slow down a bit. And nothing my friendly neighborhood chiropractor can’t fix.

I know I sometimes contradict myself in terms of seeing how one thing is both good and bad. But teaching art is really a passion of mine and is really worth sacrificing for. One has to consciously leave a legacy in this world, if only to say that he really has been here. I will surely continue what I love doing, old bones and all.

 

Typical Excited Pregnant Woman

Funny thing, my sister came the other day to get her already finished pregnancy card announcements, made beautifully by me of course, now she wants to know exactly when they made the baby. How on earth would I know that, I told her? I fully understand her excitement, being this is going to be her first baby, but I think I’m no fortune teller to precisely tell her the things she wanted to know. I told her I think I have something that we could use for this kind of occasion, but I’m going to need to do research on it before I show it to her.

I remember talking to a doctor friend of mine, an obstetrician, during a recent art event in the school I was teaching short art courses at. We were talking about the same thing that my sister asked me about. My doctor friend narrated to me about his patient who also asked him of when her baby became such, as she could not recall having had intercourse lately, add to the fact that her husband is away on work regularly, so she was truly at a loss about it. He pointed the soon to be mom to a website which had an implantation calculator on it, and told her to input what was asked as best as she could, and a rough date on when the baby was first implanted would then be shown.

I called my sister immediately, and told her about it and of where she could find it in the internet. She thanked me and said goodbye like there was nothing to it, so I just put it like maybe she was just having a mood swing of sorts because of her pregnancy and such. But before I can get out of the house to get some grocery, and to my typical amazement, the phone rang again, with my sister on the other end. She said she had visited the website and already had an idea of the date she was talking about. And before I could say “good for you” to her, she was already asking another question.

She said that she was feeling weird lately and wants to know if it was part of getting pregnant. I thought to myself that this time I could answer her immediately, as I already have experienced such things with my wife. So I asked her about what she wanted to know? She told me that she was feeling nauseous and sleepy all the time, and that sometimes she feels that she wants to always eat something particular.

I told her that what she was experiencing, were normal signs of implantation, and that she was really pregnant. And besides of what she was feeling right now, I told her to expect several more symptoms of being pregnant, namely cramping of her extremities, breast changes, fatigue and vomiting. I kept on talking on the phone but she was being silent on the other end, I waited patiently for her to talk, and eventually she did after about five minutes. She said she went to the bathroom because she can’t hold it anymore, and would like me to repeat all that I’ve said a while ago. I rest my case.

 

Upcoming Pregnancy of my Sister

My sister paid me a visit yesterday to bring good news. Although she lives just a couple of miles from us, she said that she wanted to talk to me personally about something. That kept me thinking a little, as to what was it the she was about to tell me, that speaking on the phone will not suffice? But since she said it was good news, I calmed down a little. I got my answer shortly as she announced that she was pregnant!

That’s very good news, I said. It truly was, as she and her husband has been trying for years to get a baby. They both got themselves constantly checked by several doctors, but there was really nothing wrong with them, and yet, still no baby to speak of. They were beginning to give up hope and are already talking about just adopting, that is until now.

I almost fell to the floor when my sister hugged me, good thing I was near a wall, which thankfully saved my fall. She said that the doctor told her it was almost a miracle that she conceived, and also must take all precautions during her pregnancy and avoid unnecessary risks. I told her jumping into me was one of those risks, which was met with the ruffling of my hair and the word “no silly it isn’t”. My sister and I are very close with each other, and I am very much thankful for this blessing that was given to her.

She then said that she also needed something done in line with her upcoming pregnancy, and asked me if I was familiar with pregnancy announcement ideas. I answered in the affirmative, then she just exploded with words about what she wanted done and different sort of ideas that was running through her head. Oh my, I thought to myself, there she goes again. But who can blame her? This was really a momentous event for her and her demeanor really shows it. I also rather prefer her being this way, than the way she usually was when she was having her monthly period. She really hates having her monthly period, as it means that she was not getting pregnant yet, and boy, you really know what crankiness means, when you see her during those moments, good thing there are no longer any more period while pregnant.

After finishing her monologue, I suggested to her several ideas for art installations that she can use for her announcement. Being the resident artist, and happy about the turn of events, I offered my services to do whatever it was that she chooses.

She settled for a card which had the mother and child scene painted on the front, with several handwritten quotes inside, which was also a very fine choice. I told her that, that was really what I had in mind since the beginning, and was amazed that it was also what she liked. We really do seem to have the same tastes in art. I am very happy for her.

 

How To Get Rid Of Bruises

Although I was fairly active as a young man, most of my adult life resulted in a laid back, somewhat creative lifestyle. I never really got into any scrapes with the neighborhood kids like many of my friends and that was just the way I liked it. As an adult, nothing has changed except for the fact that I now live in Los Angeles, which is a change of pace from the farm I grew up on. I consider myself as retired, although I still manage to stay in touch with my love for art.

Because of the fact that a black eye or broken nose were simply not in my vocabulary, when I came across some unexplained bruising it concerned me enough to try to figure out how to get rid of it. I did not have any insurance for doctor visits, so I decided to ask around and see if any of my friends could suggest something for me to use and of course, some of the answers I received were interesting to say the least.

The first person I talked to was my neighbor from across the hall and her answer surprised me, “do you have any butter?” Apparently, this was an option used to treat minor instances of burns and bruises for some time now and although I did have some butter in my refrigerator, I was not sure if this decade old remedy was something I wanted to try, not to mention the fact that I could probably put that butter to better use.

The next suggestion to try Castor Oil was a little disturbing to me, but I listened carefully as one of my Thursday night poker buddies explained the benefits of using this product. If applied liberally on the bruise, the castor oil had certain healing qualities that would initiate a prompt response, I was also advised that this oil could reduce the chance of peeling in the area, which was interesting to note, especially since I never expected that to be a problem in the first place.

Considering the fact that I don’t usually keep vinegar in my apartment, I didn’t think much of my sister’s suggestion to mix it with some water and apply the mixture to the affected area. She informed me that this combination was supposed to increase the blood flow to the bruise and promote healing. I guess if it is as good as my sister said it would be, I could always make a trip to the supermarket, then again what else would I use it for?

Then I remembered hearing a conversation between my mother and her best friend about using comfrey tea soaked in a cloth. I was supposed to apply the concoction to the bruise and if my memory served me correctly, it was also supposed to provide me with a little pain relief, which I did not seem to have. With my list of possible options to deal with the bruise, I was off to the supermarket.

 

Facts About Siberian Huskies

Facts About Siberian Huskies

One of the first facts about Siberian Huskies that people often want to know is whether the name itself is just another name for either the Alaskan Husky or the Malamute. To many, these three types of dogs are considered to be one and the same breed. The truth is, there are really only two breeds, the Siberian Husky and the Malamute. The Malamute is sometimes called the Alaskan Malamute but it is still a Malamute and not a Siberian Husky, which is a totally different breed.

While Siberian Huskies and Malamutes are pure breeds, the Alaskan Husky is not. The Alaskan Husky is a usually a  mix of Siberian Husky, Malamute, and occasionally another breed, typically a Lab. While you may see a lot of Alaskan Huskies, you’ll never see one in an AKC-sponsored dog show, simply because the Alaskan Husky isn’t a pure breed.  There are many mixed breed like the Husky Pomeranian mix or the Husky German Shepherd mix, but for shows people only use pure breeds.

 

Different Dogs With Something in Common

Siberian Huskies and Alaskan Huskies are both used as sled dogs however since both are working dogs. The Alaskans generally fare better over long distances whereas the Siberians are best at the shorter distances. Since they are not pure bred animals, Alaskan Huskies are not bred for show. The Siberian Husky is. It is a working dog, but it tends to be bred mainly for show, letting the Alaskan pull the sleds.

One thing that all three of these types of dogs love to do is work. Each of the types can pull a sled farther in a day than most men can run. Consequently, these dogs need a great deal of exercise and are a poor choice for anyone not willing or able to give them the exercise they need.

 

A Somewhat Fierce Looking Teddy Bear

One of the facts about Siberian Huskies that many are not familiar with is how loving and gentle they tend to be. Perhaps too many people have heard of or seen sled dogs fighting one another, which sometimes happen. Around people however, the Siberian is a good citizen, as long as it has been brought up to be that way. It may be the fact that this breed looks (and sounds) and awful lot like a wolf that make people a little leery of it. The truth is, the Siberian does not make a good watchdog at all. Its looks might frighten a person away, but if that person doesn’t leave quickly the dog is apt to walk over, expecting to be petted. Your pet Siberian may well alert you if there is a stranger at the door, but it might just as easily take the lead in welcoming that stranger into you home.

 

An Independent, Multiple-Person Dog

Another of the facts about Siberian Huskies is that, while they are eager to please, their loyalty sometimes has its limits. The Siberian is seldom a one-person dog. In fact, it sometimes seems as if its best friend is the person who happens to be standing closest to it. They are eager to please to be sure, but only to the extent that what you want them to do seems to them to be a good idea. The Siberian is a very independent dog. While it will take to obedience training, it is not a dog that is apt to roll over or go fetch, unless it has a mind to.

 

Well-Mannered, If There are No Cats Around

The Siberian is a breed that needs to be on a leash when being taken on a walk. Unlike a hound, which is apt to start following its nose in another direction, the Siberian is more apt to take after a smaller animal, such as a cat. That can be bad enough, but it could be even worse if the cat happens to be on the other side of a busy street. Siberians have a definite predator instinct although they can usually be trained to get along with a house cat. One of the problems with walking a Siberian on a leash is that it can take some training to get the dog to walk properly. Put a leash on a Siberian and its first instinct is to pull on it, as if it were attached to a sled. A Siberian can pull very hard.

Siberians also shed a lot, an awful lot according to some owners, and they also have a reputation for being somewhat difficult to potty train. Some will tell you that as a breed the Siberian is sometimes a little ‘quirky.’ In spite of these apparent shortcomings, one of the facts about Siberian Huskies that stands out above all others is that they are simply wonderful dogs. If you are willing to put in the time and effort to care for one, and have a great deal of patience, the rewards can be great. They truly are a beautiful dog and they do love people. If you think the Siberian might be the dog for you, the Siberian Husky Club of America can find a breeder near you. Another option is to adopt one from a Husky Rescue organization if there is one not far from where you live.

Having Hedgehogs as Pets

If you are a person who wants unconventional pets and pets that borders on the exotic, then the hedgehog is for you. Domesticated hedgehogs are small critters, which is almost about the size of your average housecat and looks like a cross between a mouse and a cactus. Mine looks like a little panda bear. They have quills on their backs, keratin quills, which are not prickly to the touch and are different from the quills of porcupines, which is hard and oftentimes sharp. Hedgehogs are docile creatures and are silent by nature, owing to the fact that they are nocturnal animals that prefer to do their hunting or foraging at night and hide during the day. They are also for the no-fuss pet owner like me, as they require very little maintenance, needing only the clipping of its nails and bathing once every month. Of course, their daily feeding, watering and also the cleaning of their cages is a given for every pet owner, but besides that, they’ll be very happy if you just leave them alone. But I always like them around when I paint, many of my works are built around nature and my hedgy is my direct link to it.

Looking for the ideal pet hedgehog for you is not rocket science, just locate a reputable pet dealer, which has long experience in hedgehogs, and you’re almost good to go. But to be sure, upon buying a hedgehog, you must first try to handle them yourself. Make sure they are calm and tame, signs that they are already domesticated. They must be very easy to pick up and not curling into a ball and jumping on you when you come close. A neglected hedgehog is mean towards people and does not like to be touched. Do not buy a hedgehog that hisses or snaps at your hand when you try to hold them, as it indicates that they were not treated very well or are still wild.

Hedgehogs are omnivores; they eat plants and meat, and are very happy to eat present day cat food. You can also feed them insects such as crickets, small grasshoppers and mealworms which are delicacies to them.  Human food can also be given to them like chicken, pork, hard boiled eggs, carrots and almost every type of fruit and vegetable, provided they are first cooked for easy consumption. Care should be taken and do not try to give them milk, cheese or other dairy products as they are lactose intolerant and will suffer digestion problems when given these types of food.

Last but not the least, before buying a hedgehog for your home; make sure it has also a decent home for himself in your house. Typical hedgehog cages should have an area of about two square feet to enable him to move around freely and do hedgehog things. It may be made of wood, plastic or cardboard, just make it is sturdy and tall enough so that he cannot escape. Make him a bedding of strips of newspapers, saw dust or wood shavings, any material that does not get damp easily and also adjusts to their body whenever they lie down. I use Aspen wood shaving as they are resistant to mildew and my hedgehogs seem to like the smell of it. A food bowl should also be present along with a water bottle so they easily can get to their nourishments. An exercise wheel is also recommended to be placed inside a hedgehog cage to enable them to get busy with something or just work up a sweat, because a bored hedgehog with nothing to do becomes dull and moody, and may sometimes develop health concerns. Finally, they need somewhere or something to hide into. Being nocturnal and solitary in nature, hedgehogs find holes in the ground and other dark places to hide or rest in and get away from it all. So make sure they have their own hiding place like an upturned large bowl or mini animal caves that can be bought in local pet stores.

Having hedgehogs as pets can be a rewarding experience for those spunky enough to take the challenge. So take the plunge and get your own hedgy today.