Achievement unlocked

I’m not going to say my three new piercings are painless, or didn’t hurt, because they really did hurt! They’re all 1.2mm so they’ll take a nice range of body piercing jewelry.

I didn’t realise that all three are cartilage piercings! Oh.

They look good with the leather!

I think I’m finished now with the piercings. My only ones are in my ears and I have no interest in any in other places, at all.

As I’ve mentioned before I can’t really have my left ear pierced at the top due to bad practice before as the cartilage is damaged.

Musings and piercings.

So Mrs Loons is buying me three new earrings for Christmas, in the style of the three inner planets. Now that set me thinking, and as someone who has always been a fan of ear piercings and has always wanted a sizeable number up each ear, I think I have a plan.

Hear me out…

Right ear:

1. 2.0mm flesh tunnel or plug in orange (Sun)

2-4. Mercury, Venus, Earth (as purchased by my good wife)

5. Helix – Mars (red anodised labrette)

Left ear:

1. 1.2mm flesh tunnel in orange – Jupiter

2. 1.2mm flesh tunnel with hoop through – Saturn

3. Green anodised labrette for Uranus

4. Blue anodised labrette for Neptune

A cool idea would be to then have the PL symbol tattooed behind my ear really descretely, but that won’t be happening ever, after all that would be permanent – I can’t have the helix on my left ear pierced as it was done with a gun years ago and the cartilage is split

I think I’m going to make this plan so. It involves three more piercings, one in cartilage (eek).

In other news, I met up with the MancMonk yesterday. He was on good form… He was also in Sheffield for a change so outside his comfort zone.

We traveled back in time to the 1980’s and went to Andrews Tea Rooms for dinner. I know I say that in a derogatory way, but it really isn’t. Andrews Tea Rooms are a breath of fresh air in this coffee shop Panini world. Old fashioned food that’s actually really nice.

I got a few looks too! Due to the huge amount of snow we’ve had over the last few days and the need for me to take public transport I decided to take the Fiido in on the tram so I could cycle down and meet him at Rutland Road. The weather mandated my thick leather jeans.

Not only are they really warm, but with the somewhat slippery nature of the ground I just though it was road rash protection in case I did slip. I didn’t though.

And the gigs?

Well yeah we had two gigs over the weekend too. It’s been a few years since we did a double! First in Pennywell, second in Rotherham.

The first gig was a bit of a technical mess. First the snow, which we sort of had a warning about, but when you’re contracted, you have to try and make every effort to get there.

Our first warning was on the A1 as the matrix signs warned us as much. It always amuses me that the matrix signs get more primitive the further north you get. These are just 8 X 6 pixel displays mounted in a frame. Further south you get colour.

We arrived at Pennywell and as soon as we started loading in the snow started. We didn’t get tons of the stuff, but enough to make it slippery getting out of the carpark – especially as the taxi drivers had polished it smooth.

The gig itself was great. Five brand new songs in the set. Unfortunately technical glitches caused some issues. The lighting stopped working about 5 minutes into each set and froze on a single colour, and I snapped a tuning peg on my spare bass.

It was A that snapped, so I swapped it with B as I can live without B, but A is essential.

We arrived home at about 2:20am after a very snowy drive home. I did catch a really cool photo from the van though. You can see Orion at the top, and M42 is quite clearly visible. Not bad for a hand held long exposure photograph from a moving vehicle through a dirty windscreen.

The second gig went a little better. Apart from getting the van stuck in the carpark (a problem solved by buying the local shop out of salt) I investigated and found the cause of our lighting problems from the night before.

The WiFi antenna on the MyDMX lighting controller had been hit and was broken, so the WiFi signal was flaky. Luckily our home router has the same aerial socket so I ran home and borrowed one of those. The gig was only about 15 minutes away so it wasn’t a problem, and luckily I was in the Jag with it’s all wheel drive so the handling in the icy conditions was better than average.

Now I’m back to work. I’m definitely going to go to Doncaster this afternoon and get pierced, but I’ve got two jobs to do first.

Needle Vs Gun

Contains graphic details – don’t read on if you’re squeamish.

My right ear has all been pierced using a needle, 1.6mm to be precise. I’ve now got three holes in it (the third one was done a few days ago).

My left ear has two holes pierced in the 1990’s, and one pierced about three months ago. All three were done with the gun.

So what’s the difference, I hear you say?

Well the gun is a bit of a brute force method of piercing your ear. The piercing of choice is limited to ones that fit inside the gun. The gun forces the stud through the ear pushing aside flesh. The hole is left tighter, and although better for thin jewellery, it’s not as good for body piercing pieces or tunnels.

The needle, on the other hand, is a hollow needle which is pushed through a little slower whilst the skin is held in place with forceps. It’s a more accurately positioned hole, and because it’s a hollow object it removes a tube of your skin and other tissues as it goes through. In my case all three are 1.2mm holes, the lower of which I’ve now stretched to 1.6mm to take a small tunnel piece. The hole in it allows light to shine through, although the angle has to be fairly accurate to actually see.

Which do I prefer?

Well the needle pierced ones have given me the least trouble. They took a little longer to heal, and the top one bled quite profusely when first pierced. They’re easier to get my jewellery into, but I’ve lost small studs (on a couple of occasions pulled through the holes).

The gun pierced ones are much tighter at gripping the jewellery, but I can’t get certain things through the holes as easily without risking injury.

Were I to start again from scratch, I’d definitely opt for needles all the way.

As an aside, when I was about 20 I had the helix pierced with the gun. I’ve since found out that this was totally wrong and cartilage should only be pierced using a needle as the gun risks cracking it. This is what happened to me and I had to remove the piercing permanently.

Final piercing done.

I’m now up at three in each ear, and I also got a small flesh tunnel in my right ear. Just a 1.6mm one. I don’t know if I’ll go much bigger as I hate the look of them once they get too big.

The tunnel was surprisingly easy to put in, I did it with very little palaver and just a little stretching with a 2mm stretching cone. The new piercing on the top did bleed a lot when it was first done. I’ve got blood all over my hoodie!

Another epic ride, and yet it doesn’t feel so.

All the way from my home to Meadowhall whilst towing the Burley Travoy trailer.

22.5km almost – E-Bike set to medium assist for the full journey (I seldom use full assist as I find it a bit too much). About 70% of the battery power used.

Gotta say Meadowhall do a great job for cyclists with the provided racks. The end ones even have sockets for topping up your E-Bike!

Also, it’s amazing how people give you a wider berth when the Travoy is thrown into the argument. They don’t close pass you in cars as much, and they don’t barge past you in the shops either.

Project Camper – Part 1

I’ve been planning to make a cycle camper for a few months now, and having considered many options I’ve decided to go with the fairly popular Coraplas tube version (there’s a few versions of this on YouTube).

It’s a fairly simple design, although I’ve decided to beef up the chassis a little using aluminium and the plastic triple-wall sheeting from a conservatory roof (I know a supplier of such materials) as I’m rather larger than the guy in the photo above.

It started life as a kid’s trailer, stripped down to remove the sides and fitted with an aluminium section A frame to support the structure.

The Coraplas triplewall sheeting is now cut to shape, but that’s as far as I’ve got for now.

The next step is to encapsulate the edges and then create the upper structure using 4mm Coraplas held together with tie wraps, but that’s for another day.

And the critics come forth…

Or at least just the one… “Why didn’t you wear the leather shirt and tie too?”

Sorry chap, but it’s taken me all this time to summon up courage to wear a three piece suit in the presence of friends and now you’re criticising me for not enough leather?

Support might be a better idea eh?

A birthday!

It’s at this time in your life when all your friends suddenly start turning 50. I’ve got a few of these over the next five or so years (including my own!).

This particular one was at a bar in Sheffield. Myself and Mrs Loony, dressed up for a somewhat goth event, and thus, I give you the first time I’ve ever worn my full three piece leather suit, in public, to a party.

Yes I know I’ve worn it for photos before, but this is the first time I’ve ever worn all three pieces together for more than a few minutes in the company of others, and indeed, on public transport.

I did wear a coat over for the journey, not to hide the suit but because it was flipping cold out!

I’ve got to say I love it with the purple iridescent shirt (and for those of you who know me well, you’ll know that this particular shirt is about 25 years old!).

Sadly the only photo I got of the full outfit is a bit blurry, but here you go!

My last seasonal trip to Alton Towers

Winter is incoming and November usually marks my final trip to Alton Towers. I generally like to go the very last Tuesday as the park is often very quiet and quite delightful to be in. Queues never get longer than 20 minutes, the kids are back in school, and the autumn colours light up the park.

Yesterday was no exception. After a few days of what can only be described as truly horrible weather, it finally brightened up and on a day of beautiful brittle sunlight I agreed to meet Prakash there.

The day started with coffee. It’s important to start a day right. The ducks weren’t really bothering us at this point but we sat on the wall in the early November sun and enjoyed a Costa.

With the day started correctly we then headed down to X-Sector and caught a ride on Oblivion. There’s no Smiler at the moment because it’s been offline for a few weeks due to a technical issue, but Oblivion was a walk on, and it was also Prakash’s first ever ride on the coaster even though he’d been and seen it as a kid.

A gentle walk over to the dark forest netted us Rita and Th13teen breaking his virginity on those two coasters too. Last time he’d been the area was probably Ug Land and contained the Corkscrew.

Now the skyride was closed all day, probably being decommissioned for the winter, so instead of the usual ride across the valley to Forbidden Valley we decided to walk to Wicker Man. A 30 minute queue on the sign board turned out to be more like 15 but on the way across we caught this beauty of a photo.

Finally we headed down the gloomy woods path to Forbidden and wrapped up the big six (not 7 as Smiler was closed, and that’s not counting the family coasters) with rides on the classic Nemesis and my least favourite coaster Galactica. You’ll be pleased to know that Nemesis Ladder and Nemesis Bulb are both still there.

After completing the big rides, dinner called – hotdogs – and unfortunately the hotdog stall in Forbidden Valley was closed so we had to walk back up to Wicker Man for those. I don’t mind Alton Towers hotdogs, but ffs, would it kill them to do onions?

Afterwards I took Prakash and showed him the gardens. We got some great photo opportunities!

Of confusing gigs and floods

Yesterday was gig day. I shared a post originally stating that I was playing at North Ormesby Institute.

Well as it happens that was not quite right. As it turned out we were actually booked to play North Ormesby WMC, a very different club two miles down the road.

We only found this out then we arrived at the first club, only to find that a band were already unloading their gear. Checking our contracts ours definitely said the institute, and theirs did too. Our first double booking ever?

Well a quick call to the agent made us aware that they’d accidentally put the wrong club on our booking form and indeed we were at the club two miles away. Problem solved then, and in a way that was acceptable to all concerned!

Ten minutes later we were at the correct club and started loading in. A nice flat load and very easy to get the van nearby. We loaded in satisfactorily and set up our gear in a nice room. Soundcheck was fairly effortless and we were ready to go in plenty of time.

The stage looked good, the gig ran well, very few mistakes or errors, and apart from a slight hiccup with the lighting during the interval where two of the lights decided to randomly turn green it was a great night.

The chips, on the other hand from the kebab shop next door; well the less said about them the better. They would probably have tasted OK if they’d finished cooking them and the fact that I had time to walk almost a mile (to a shop, to buy Strepsils) in the time between ordering and getting them was a joke – seriously – it took them almost 20 minutes to serve us with two portions of badly cooked chips.

We really appreciate the good feedback we got from the club, and as a result we got a rebook for next year. All good then!

On the way home I kept looking out for aurora, but sadly didn’t see any; and we finally got home just after 2, although it was 1 due to the clocks going back.

Today is Hallowe’en, and since it’s my day off I tend to take a lazy one, however today I had a cycle up to Mum’s on the Fiido. It was a decent ride, although sadly most of the route there is on roads which aren’t good just because too many drivers basically are arseholes with cyclists.

Now on the way up to Mum’s I pass under a railway bridge. It often floods under there, and with all the heavy rain last night and this morning it was indeed flooded. I know it well and I knew that I could stick to the footpath which is about 8″ higher than the rest of the road and easily make it through – however as I was just starting through a Renault came from behind me on the road and ploughed through the flood at speed, sending a huge tide of water all over me and soaking my jeans, although I did have a raincoat on so my top half stayed dry.

The Renault moron received his karma though, as about half way through he hydro locked his engine. Solid. Dead. A 2019 registration car, killed by a fool. That will now require a full engine rebuild at a cost of over £4000, and it will probably never be quite the same unless a new engine is fitted.

I would like to say I didn’t gloat, but I did shout to the driver (after the “you f**king c*t” when he soaked me) that I would be reporting him for soaking me, you see, in the UK it is an offence to deliberately wet a pedestrian or cyclist and I have heard that it can be dealt with as a form of assault. I got up to Mum’s and sat in front of her fire to dry off. I’ve also reported the driver. Yeah Karma is a bitch and has already dished out her punishment, but I was fucking drenched. Honestly. I got home and all my clothes went straight in the washer because they smelt like a dirty pond, also, I know my Fiido has an IP rating for water ingress, but what if he’d damaged my bike electronics?

On my way back I went a slightly different route, and was confronted by this.

I poked it with a stick an assessed it to be about 6″ deep, so I went for it. I’ve certainly tested the little Fiido today with the water.

I went through it slowly and steadily, and the little beastie took it in it’s stride.

Tonight is Hallowe’en night, and I’ve already carved a pumpkin. It’s got two sides. One for the kiddies…

…and one for the adults…

And if you don’t know what The Game is, then here you go…

There are three rules to The Game.

1. You ARE always playing The Game because you are aware of it.

2. If you think about The Game, you have lost it and you must tell someone “I have lost The Game” and you are out until the next day.

3. If someone asks about The Game, you must tell them about The Game, and then inform them that they are now also playing The Game.

Oh, and, I made you lose The Game. You can say thanks later.