Selfie Day 2018 – Work “Uniform”

I’ll be the first to admit I’m not much of one for selfies but I had this one about a week old mirror selfie (hey that counts right?) to show someone just how chill my (relatively) new work place is.

Let’s face it, I live in Texas where it gets insanely hot during the summer. Long stretches in the 100s F/40s C are not uncommon. When people question my love of short shorts, I can’t help but just point out how hot it gets.

As such, I guess I’m kinda lucky I have such a chill office environment. When I can get away with going to work dressed like this – in our company logo polo shirts (which are very lightweight material) and my “Davy” Dukes…

…I can’t complain too much now can I? Half professional, half stay cool in he summer. I’ll take it, especially with my sensory processing issues that cause me to just fry even in moderate temperatures. I swear it is an autistic oddity but oh well.

Happy selfie day everyone. Just don’t take it too seriously and have fun. 😉

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And Now For Something Totally Different…

Well, I told you I’d be doing something wild and crazy today, but just what I’m sure most of you were unaware. Well, I shall reveal that to you.

Let me just say that yesterday was a total bust. Qualifying got rained out after the first round and a friend I was supposed to meet up with for dinner got sick as a dog so that got thrown out of the water too. Bleh.

At least I got a pic with the legendary Jimmie Johnson’s #48 Chevy Camaro ZL1:

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And it cost me nothing. Love this pic – so much it became my new FB profile pic and probably my new Gravatar and “About Me” photo.

Anyway, enough about yesterday – onto today. Today is going to be cold as shit here in No Limits, TX. This Xfinity Series race is going to be one cold motherfucker. Yes, even it gets cold in Texas, but for it to get down to freezing in April? Not so common.

Anyway, ain’t no way I can go bare legged as in the photo above in that cold of a temperature. I have quite a tolerance for cold but not quite that much of one. Alas, I’ve never worn long pants to the races and I have no desire to start now, so what am I to do?

Well, I throw some leggings on under my “Davy” Dukes of course:

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Yep, this is my first time trying the whole “shorts-with-leggings” look but I think I’m a fan. I can already tell they’re keeping my legs warmer than long pants actually and although I’m still not sure about the tightness of them on my legs I do love the softness of the fabric.

What I like is that not only do they keep me warm you can still very clearly see the profile of my legs – which I do regard as my best physical feature. I ran my ass off to get legs like this, I’m gonna flaunt the hell out of it. Maybe now I have an option to do so in cold temperatures such as what we are facing in No Limits, TX today (right at freezing this morning, low 40s F/mid-single digits C at green flag and only topping out in the mid-to-upper 40s F/upper single digits C at the end of the day).

I’ve always been one to do things my own way, and maybe this is just a new avenue for me to express my true inner self. I’m gradually coming out of hiding and more into my own than I ever have and I consider this to be a good thing. It continues to improve my overall satisfaction with life so I can’t complain too much huh?

Well, it’s off to the races for me. Catch you all later!

So have you ever worn shorts with leggings? Did you like the look? Do tell me what you thought!

*Note: Leggings are West Loop brand L-XL size – $5.99 from Walgreens. Fit me all but perfectly – for reference, the shorts pictured above are standard men’s size 34. 

Demonstration: Why Needle Piercings Are Superior

I was changing my earrings this morning and decided to take a second and do this as a quick demonstration for one of the many reasons why needle piercings are superior to gun piercings. Take a look at this picture:

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You see that light shining through the hole? There you go. The hollow needles used for professional piercings actually create a hole. It might not sound pleasant to have a complete chunk taken out of you but it really is much better because that allows the jewelry to be easily accommodated – it just slides right in. Compare this to a gun piercing that doesn’t actually remove any flesh at all and just pushes it aside by forcing a blunt stud through the earlobe (or whatever else you’re getting pierced).

The best analogy I know to compare the two piercing methods is punching a hole in a stack of paper with the tip of a pair of scissors vs. using a hole punch. The scissors don’t actually cut the paper – they tear it and lo and behold you can still fold the torn paper back on itself and close it. A hole punch takes a hole out of the paper cleanly and effortlessly. Then when you go to put said stack of papers in a binder which is easier to put in the binder? I rest my case.

Sure, most people who get gun piercings have no problems, but I’ve know some people struggle to put jewelry in theirs to the point of almost re-piercing it when they change it. I’ve never had those problems, EVER.

Keep in mind this is not a large piercing either. What you see above is just a standard 14g piercing. Nothing special, yet light still shines through it. Good luck doing that with a gun piercing. Most of the time whatever hole is left by those is tiny and why you often have to finagle the jewelry into place.

If this doesn’t convince you I don’t know what will. Please do not get piercings at the mall. Go to your local professional and have it done correctly. It will no doubt me more expensive and slightly more time consuming but the results will be so much better.

Thank you.

Holiday Earring Haul!

As usually happens around this time, my mom asked me what I’d want for the holidays. It gets harder and harder to come up with a wish list ever year because I don’t need/want much. I’m a minimalist at heart, but this year was different because I’d added two pairs of ear piercings to my body modification list and, until now, just had my two starter pairs of captive bead rings. Man did I need some variety!

Alas, here’s where it got tricky. Seeing as how I was pierced professionally in a parlor (this really is the best way to get pierced; mall piercing guns are pure unadulterated evil) with a 14g cannula most earrings are too small to effectively take up the hole in my flesh, while huge gauges are way too big (note: I have no interest in ear stretching whatsoever, at least for the time being). As such, I had to look for some stuff in specialty shops.

Well, with some help from mom in the form of a prepaid gift card I decided to make an earring haul! I did have to look around quite a bit as I didn’t want anything overly feminine and 14g, though being a standard, seemed few and far between with the styles I liked, but all in all I made out pretty well I think:

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So what all does that consist of? L to R are some tribal double spirals, simple twists, double helix and six pairs of 14mm spiked barbells (1 pair each gold, silver, bronze, black, blue, rainbow). I’ve also got three pairs of “screw studs” (i.e. stud earrings that look like Phillips head screws – one pair each gold, sliver, black) that have yet to arrive. That’s OK though as those will probably take up my 2nd hole exclusively and those won’t be ready to be changed out for awhile yet.

I decided to go with the rainbow barbells for now as they’re funky and cool and this was my first time changing my first pair of piercings. After struggling to remove the captive bead rings (and losing one of the beads down the drain in the process – that’s OK though as I doubt I’ll ever wear them again because they’re so hard to put on and take off) the old earrings slid out and the new ones in like butter (another reason to get pierced professionally – the needle takes a chunk out of you to accommodate the jewelry whereas a gun forces a blunt stud through the tissue merely pushing it out of the way) and I think they look awesome:

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They go with the CBRs just fine but I’m sure they’ll also pair with the studs great too; or with double pairs of barbells or even my tribals/swirls. These are universal and I like the spiked ends as they seem to have a more masculine feel.

Man, have I lost it? I’m talking about jewelry like a teenage girl. Oh well; now I know how they feel!

What are some of your favorite styles of earrings? This goes for anyone but especially men as I’m looking for more ideas for “masculine” styles (whatever the hell that means).

Inked Autist Style – Davy Dukes (The Complete Guide)

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So my love of vintage style short shorts is no secret from anyone who knows me or knows of me. Laugh if you must but it is what I love for reasons I don’t even quite fully understand. Maybe it does have to do with being an autist – in my experience with fellow autists we seem to go more for comfort than what’s trendy and we tend to be bothered by a lot of various types of clothing, but I’d be lying if there wasn’t a certain element of vanity in my choice of lower half wear.

Nonetheless, in 2017 it can be hard to source short shorts for us dudes (I really was born too late I think). Blokes down under have Stubbies in plentiful supply as well as various styles of rugby shorts, and I do have some of those in my closet but they are hard to source here. Running shorts are of course in plentiful supply but for everyday wear they aren’t very practical with their lack of pockets of any kind.

Alas, that’s when I took a play out of the book of The Dukes of Hazzard. Old used up jeans will always be in plentiful supply and can be had cheaply from any thrift shop. And they are perfect for modifying into shorts. After a few trials and experiments I’ve practically perfected the art of cutting a pair of “Davy” Dukes – a term I coined as a male equivalent of the ever famous Daisy Dukes. I will say there are some nuances that make it different and somewhat more difficult to cut than the Daisy variety but it can be done, and I am here to tell you how to do that.

First things first, you need to start with the right type of jeans. Avoid loose fit or baggy jeans. Not only are they extremely loose in the leg but also the crotch. Men’s pants naturally have more room in the crotch to compensate for the male anatomy but even so there are different levels of this. I’d also advise staying away from skinny jeans as they could have the extreme opposite problem. Regular fit jeans would be preferred but I’ve successfully altered relaxed fit as well, albeit with a little more compensation that we will talk about later. Of course inseam length matters not since it’ll be hacked off anyway.

So with the right pair of jeans in hand, now we need to gauge length. Ideally you have a pair of running shorts or something you like the length of to gauge. Put the jeans on and then put those on over them and place a sticker or a mark of some kind to tell you where to cut. Otherwise you can measure the waist to the bottom of the outer leg, assuming you want them to sit on the same height on your waist. If all else fails you can go blindly but start conservative and trim as needed to get to where you want. In my opinion, they should be as short as possible while still covering your ass but you could maybe tease with a little cheek if you want.

Now here’s the tricky part. Remember where I said men’s pants have a roomier crotch? You have to compensate for this. If you just cut straight across you’ll cut the crotch off entirely. As such, as you near the crotch you’ll want to follow the contour of it. When you are finished, lying flat your Davy Dukes will look almost like boyshort style underwear. The degree of taper required will vary based on the fit and make of jeans but will always be there. See these two examples:

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But when you put them on your anatomy will fill them out and you’ll have a small, but definite inner inseam:

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Once you’re done here then you can do any extra slight trimming needed to even up the legs or remove some longer sections. It just depends on how anal you are about that kind of thing.

The last decision you have to make is how to deal with the front pockets. I personally leave them as is as to me they add character and retain their functionality but you can if you wish cut them flush with the leg and sew them so they don’t stick out. It’s a matter of what you wish to do.

That’s all there really is to it. As you wear and wash them for the first time they’ll develop a fringe. Once you get that, you might consider putting in a horizontal stitch to hold the fabric together. I’m no good at that kind of thing so I avoid excess unraveling by hand washing and air drying my Davy Dukes. Doing this will cause less unraveling and prolong their life.

That’s really all there is to it! Pair them with your favorite T-shirt or sleeveless shirt, or wear them alone without a shirt on the beach or at a pool as a cover for your Speedo (I don’t care what anyone says, nothing beats a Speedo for maximum comfort and mobility while swimming). Above all, enjoy the breeze on your thighs that can only be found with short shorts and stay cool. Long shorts serve no purpose. So why wear them?

A couple of examples (sorry for the poor image quality; I had to do a video recording with my webcam to catch these poses – and yes, this is my first time posing shirtless in decades; I’m still a touch pudgy but that’s OK):

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Oh, and if anyone tries to judge you for what you’re wearing, this is what you do:

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Embrace something different and don’t be afraid to tell society where to stick it. Make yourself a pair of Davy Dukes; you might just enjoy it (and no, you don’t have to be Autistic to rock the look; I promise!).

So what did you think of this guide? Are you a Davy Dukes loving man or are you dating or married to one? Let me know what you think.

Fall/Winter Tattoo Preview!

So for those who’ve been anxiously awaiting the preview after I alluded to it in my video blog, here’s the current sketch:

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I decided to get a tattoo symbolic of my love of change bell ringing – one of my favorite hobbies (my British readers will know all about it). After the last two months of back-and-forth this is what the talented Jade drew up for me. I wanted some stained glass and a bell, but she took it to another level with the addition of the silhouette. That was fucking killer.

This will be going on the ribs as mentioned, which I am VERY nervous about. I’ve heard the ribs really fucking suck pain-wise, but I’ve heard other people claim the ribs aren’t nearly as bad as they’re reputed to be. I guess I’ll find out; if all goes well phase one will go down this weekend (black/gray) with the completion of the coloring to happen around a month later. This one will definitely be a two session tattoo and I’ll definitely be having some Vasocaine on hand if it just gets too shitty to cope with.

Wish me luck as I go under the needle again!

Tattoo Topic Tuesday – Touch-Ups

For this Tuesday’s tattoo topic I’m going to briefly discuss the concept of touch-ups, what they are, what they aren’t, why they are sometimes needed (and how to minimize the need for them!) and some etiquette surrounding the topic.

So first off, what exactly is a touch-up? Put simply, a touch-up is just that – it’s like putting touch-up paint on your car when you get a scratch or chip in the paint job. The artist is going back and filling in, darkening, whatever spots that might not have retained the ink well or have deteriorated overtime.

In a perfect world, a tattoo would be 100% perfect the first time around and you’d be good for life but we don’t live in a perfect world. Our bodies naturally try to reject the ink as it is a foreign substance and because it can’t it instead dispatches our immune defenses to try to carry it away. Since the ink particles are so large our white blood cells and antibodies can’t engulf them very easily to carry them away so the ink remains. However, over time those ink particles do break down to the point they are able to be carried away. This is why old tattoos appear faded and “weathered,” though if they have been well cared for they should still have definition.

Of course, there are ways to slow the weathering process down, most notably religious use of sunscreen as UV rays break down the ink particles thus accelerating fading and weathering. Also, occasional use of a daily moisturizing lotion will keep your tattoos looking fresher longer as dry skin will also contribute to fading and weathering (and this is yet another reason to drink plenty of water!!!). Also, with the advancements in tattoo inks themselves they are higher quality now and don’t break down as fast. Nonetheless, you can’t completely stop the process.

So this is one reason why you might need or want a touch-up. If your tattoo has faded to the point of losing definition and saturation and you want to bring it back to life, a touch-up is in order. The only way to bring it back to its former glory is to add more pigment. Depending on how faded or weathered the tattoo is this could be just refreshing it in some spots or it could mean a complete re-do of the tattoo as thought it were a brand new tattoo. Just keep in mind though that a tattoo is, in essence, a colored scar and the 2nd time around as you are tattooing over what is essentially scar tissue it will be somewhat more painful than the original application. Also, depending on how extensive the touch-up or re-do is, it could be just as expensive, if not more so than the original. Just another thing to keep in mind. As with the original tattoo, you should not haggle on price (it’s insulting and rude) and don’t go cheap. If at all possible you should go to the original artist.

So that’s a long-term reason a touch-up would be required. There are also some very short-term reasons. Due to the nature of human skin, there is no such thing as a perfect tattoo. The canvas is not flat, there are imperfections in skin and tattooing is a very messy process. Sometimes it can be hard to see at the outset if a certain area has taken the ink (especially true of light graywashes and white ink where blood, plasma and the abrasions can obscure ink). It can also be hard to see if the artist has completely covered an area and if some areas might have actually lost a little bit during the healing process. These are all factors that could contribute to needing a touch-up in the short-term. Case in point, some spots on my wave required some touching up to refine.

Now, just as there are ways to minimize the need for long-term touch-ups, there are ways to minimize or eliminate the need for short-term touch-ups as well. I know I’ve raved about this particular product so many times on here, but it’s worth reiterating: Saniderm preserves the tattoo during the healing process and your tattoo will heal with darker blacks and more vivid colors than the antiquated healing methods (the stuff really is magic, I’m telling you). Beyond that, of course don’t scratch an itching tattoo or pick away at any scabs that might form. These could all pull out ink. Another note is to not take too hot of a shower or bath as that will cause your pores to open and could possibly cause a tiny bit of fresh ink to seep out.

Any artist worth his or her salt will do a short-term touch-up at no charge, but it is my view that you should still tip the artist for his/her time. However, you should wait until the tattoo is completely healed before assessing the need for a touch-up. If in doubt, consult with the artist. You might be happy with the tattoo but the artist might see something he/she wants to add some definition to or embolden (and if they do don’t question – I was happy with the wave as it was but after Jada went back and touched it up it does look even better). I of course want to be happy with my tattoos but I also want the artists behind them to be happy with them. We are walking billboards for their work after all and I want to wear and display artwork that they are proud of as well.

So that’s a brief discussion of touch-ups. By all means, I welcome discussion in the comments section. If you’ve had touch-ups or re-works of your tattoos please share your experiences.