The truth about tattoo removal

So you’ve been thinking about getting a tattoo removed for a while now. Google has brought you to youtube where you’ve ended up watching lots of cool videos of tattoos getting zapped by laser. Viola! All gone! That looks easy!

Although a picture can speak a thousand words, and a video can speak a million, the thing with words is: they can tell you about the stuff that you don’t see on videos which can be very deceptive. Here are those words.

1. A lot of the tattoo removal videos are done in laser clinics in the US where it’s more prominent to use some form of anaesthetic. But they don’t usually bother with that. Not in Ireland, and not in my experience. You just have to bear the pain like you did when you had the damn thing done. And it’s just as sore, maybe more so. Though it was only after I had a new laser technician that I discovered the first one was a sadist, and it’s not so painful when you a more caring technician who occasionally pauses the LASER THAT’S BURNING YOUR SKIN OFF.

2. These videos make it look like you have one session and that’s it, your tattoo is gone forever. And that is even more deceptive.
– It takes many many sessions to remove, at least a dozen depending on tattoo.
– The first session is the most effective and most noticeable reduction. Subsequent sessions may have ZERO visible effect. I had several in a row where there was no reduction.
– When you see a tattoo magically vanishing in a video, what you don’t realize is what you’re really looking at is a skin coloured blister. When your skin calms down, the tattoo re-emerges almost as strong as it was.

I’ve been going every 6 weeks for a year and a half now, and recently my mum pointed at my (slightly faded) tattoo and said “I thought you were going to have that removed?” oblivious to the fact that I have just finished my full course of my tattoo removal. In fact, I had to have many more sessions than I was told would be necessary.

It was maybe 14 or 15 sessions in all. I stopped counting. And the final result is that the outlines are mostly gone. Pretty much failed at removing any of the fill colour. I have to make an appointment for another round of sesssions with a different laser clinic, who have a machine that might do better at removing the fill colour. Which will obviously cost more.

So – the moral of the story is: be prepared for a much longer haul than those videos suggest.

Here’s the most recent one that I’ve seen:

My story:

There’s nothing quite like a very bad tattoo to remind you just how stupid you were when you were younger. I wonder just how many stupid acts I’ve been able to forget over the years. But there’s no forgetting this one. Only excuse I can give my self for such a stupid tattoo is that I was way under age (no one in the tattoo shop batted an eyelid though). I didn’t want to just pick a tattoo out of a catalogue, I wanted something different and for some bizarre reason, I somehow thought it would be a good idea to have a tattoo of an Adidas logo with my name instead of Adidas. Would love to go back in a time machine and ask myself what the hell I was thinking.

I’ve wanted to have it removed for years now. I’m forever pulling my t-shirt sleeves over the stupid thing which might as well read “Yes, I am an utter moron”.

So I finally scrape together a few quid and make an appointment and a year and a half later, after a lot of sessions, a lot of which had no effect, I just have a more faded tattoo.

Here are some photos taken just after some of the laser sessions.

Before any treatment

Half hour after first session. Some of the lines are faded:

After third session

After Fourth session

Insert 4 sessions here that had such little effect, that I didn’t bother taking any photos.

Directly after 8th session

After 9th session.

And here it is today. After a total of maybe 14 or 15 sessions:

Here’s before and after

I’ll write an update in a few years when it’s gone altogether!

Please don’t say you drive a Morris Minor

morris minor 1

On census day PLEASE don’t say you drive a Morris Minor unless you really do. Because then you’re forcing the rest of us into Morris Minors whether we like it or not. And a lot of us really don’t want to be forced into buying a Morris Minor just because most of the country SAY that’s what they drive. In reality most of them don’t drive at all any more, and really only take the odd lift in a Morris Minor at weddings, and funerals.

“On the question of religion the enumerators have been instructed to guide people to fill in the form to reflect their background rather than their current position. How does this help us plan for Ireland’s future?”

“I’ll use an analogy: imagine a survey on car ownership. The question “Do you have a car?” is not asked; the survey goes straight to “What type of car do you have?” And then, someone who has no car is encouraged to say they have a Morris Minor because, way back, it was the traditional family car. What use would this information be?”

BRIAN WHITESIDE – Think carefully before answering census question on religion


Tell me it’s not just me. Are your dreams just a grey hazy fog of blurry sensation lacking in clarity and continuity? Or are they perfectly clear full-colour glossy images full of detail, like say… Inception. I need to watch that movie again. I just don’t get it. I had the exact same experience with Dark Knight. Found them both to be completely over-hyped action movies with people speaking about them as if they were so much more.

Indeed Inception is an extremely well made, much-better-than-your-average action movie but still. It wasn’t the only thing that jarred with but the dream thing often annoys me. Why don’t they ever make an effort to make dreams even slightly dreamlike? Yes I know in nearly every single movie you’re not supposed to know what’s a dream and what isn’t – but what a fucking cop out. It’s like shooting in the daytime and calling it night. It’s like setting a Vietnam movie in New York. It’s like casting Leonardo Di Caprio as a grown man…. oh, right. Point is: showing someone waking up in a sweat does not turn the previous scene into a dream.

Mark Kermode put Inception at number one in his top five of the year. But if you listen to his reasons they’re more political. It’s because it’s a big blockbuster that isn’t stupid or completely dumbed down. Like say any Michael Bay movie. And indeed those really dumb movies need to be discouraged but that doesn’t make Inception the best movie of the year.

I didn’t hate it – but definitely didn’t love it. Maybe it’s Decaprio. I just never buy the baby face in an adult role. The quality of the plot is debatable. But I think it’s more the setting and mood. It just feels like any other action packed blockbuster.

And I don’t just hate action packed blockbusters. Some of my best friends are black:
Alien or Bladerunner. They’re not particularly intelligent (Kermode’s defining factor for Inception) but they’re toned, dark, moody. Aesthetic masterpieces. Inception and Dark Knight just lacked that final sheen for me. They still spoke the same Hollywood accent as every other action block buster. Astounding special effects. But special isn’t beautiful. And and an intelligent plot isn’t enough. Not for film of the year.

Social media is such a crap name

Social media is such a crap name.

I’ve been dossing on the Internet since I first heard about it. Mailing lists, discussion groups, forums, usenet, whatever. Discussing common interests. Sharing links. Talking shite. Forming relationships. Meeting new friends online and off. And fueling my social life. Hear that? Not substituting my social life with a synthetic one – fueling my real one.

The tools have changed in the last few years now and they have an unfortunate collective title. Social Media. So now every day I have to listen to some expert tit on the radio, or read a quote from some other gobhole who really has no idea what they’re talking about. They see a title ‘social media’, assume the rest, and make total tits of themselves. It’s getting more boring by the day. And the flocks of tits are getting bigger.

It’s exactly like the IDM (Intelligent Dance Music) débâcle years ago. Brilliant music but scoffed at by many because it garnered an unfortunate name that stuck.

Bah, here’s some classic IDM presented to you by the magical tools of social media;


Ever see a stereotype played out to such perfection, that it’s almost comical? Almost. Take this display of begrudgery for instance.

Loud drunk asshole in Chipper:
“So I’ve taken up acting, yes I’m very grand indeed”.

Guy from Fair City, also doing a great job in The Shawshank play;
[Solemly waits for his chips].

Loud drunk asshole in Chipper:
“I’ve started working in the Gaeity recently, I am so much better than all of you”.

Guy from Fair City, also doing a great job in The Shawshank play;
[Solemnly waits for his chips].

Loud drunk asshole in Chipper:
“Oh I love the sound of my own voice, love to shout it from a stage”. (The irony is completely lost on him)

Guy from Fair City, also doing a great job in The Shawshank play;
[Gets his chips, pays politely and leaves quietly]

Loud drunk asshole in Chipper:
[Shouts some direct insults at the guy]

Nope, no begrudgery in ireland, don’t know what you’re talking about, stop that stereotyping.

A hero speaks

I can’t believe this only has 1000 or so views on youtube. Everyone should see this.  Michael O’Brien unleashes a heartfelt anger on questions and answers expressing the rage that the nation are feeling. I don’t think I could do this issue justice without resorting to spitting, fuming and cursing. I am absolutely outraged at every aspect of this. How does one organise a nationwide march? How the goverment and The Catholic Church in Ireland are dealing this will place them in history alongside the Holocaust.

Watch, vent, cry, pass on.

Wash and go

I’ve officially given up shampoo. It’s a load of nonsense, the short n’ curlies have been doing just fine with shower gel for all this time and they’re in much better condition than my head. So that’s it; sayonara shampoo.

I don’t know why we need so many different cleaning products. Scam central. We should just have one big bottle of stuff for cleaning us and one big tub of chemicals for cleaning the house. Ok maybe something a bit milder for wood surfaces – but do we really need a different spray for the kitchen and the jacks!? Of course not it’s a scam. Do you need one bottle of stuff for the sink and another for the shower? No you fucking don’t! So I put it to you; unless you have long flowing golden locks, do you really need shampoo? I don’t. I just wash, and go!

I know what you’re thinking; I should join with this wealth of knowledge. Maybe if they ask nicely.

And another thing. D’you know cat litter isn’t just grit? It contains compounds like Calcium bentonite specifically designed to soak up urine and then go hard.Yet one of the most popular brands, Thomas, doesn’t seem to do this at all, it just seems like a bag of gravel to me! And that’s the brand that’s in every single shop. That’s marketing for you. Get the really cheap stuff in the like of Lidl, it’s the proper stuff.

UI design disaster

The worst piece of user interface design that I struggle with on a daily basis; the NTL remote.

It has nine number buttons, so you should be able to press one of them to see one of the first 9 channels, no argument. But no - you have to hit 1-0-1 to get to the first channel.

Why do the numbers on the decoder have to start with 101!? Why can't they start with 1? And if they have to start with 101 why doesn't the remote start with 101!? Surely this is the most basic of common sense?

And why can't I just hold the plus and minus buttons to go up and down? Why do have to press them 50 fucking times to go through 50 fucking channels of shit?

Piece of shit.

Piece of RSI-enducing shit.


Global E-Commerce fail

Rant, rave, fume, spit. I am so sick of web sites who say they deliver to Ireland, then don’t let you proceed without a valid UK postcode. This is 2008. Sort it out! Don’t make me fill out a big bloody form if it is not possible for me to proceed!

While I’m feeling ranty, I’m also sick of the number of things you just can’t seem to buy in this country. I seem to spend so much time looking for things that you can buy in any other country. If you have a valid postal code!

Screw you you’re first on the list. Yes I just might make a list.

Son of a preacher man

What a plank. I’m going to arm myself with one hundred quid and go looking for him. As soon as he starts I’m going to stand up and say “I’ll give 100 euro to anyone who can prove they are a bad person by chucking this prick through a window.” I really hate these fuckers. Why do they think they have the right to invade our space with their self-righteous and wacky beliefs. They’re so fucking arrogant to assume they’ve found the only true path and have to push it on the rest of us. You can do whatever you want in your own church but keep away from me.

And here’s another thing, I often hear people saying that they don’t like Richard Dawkins because he’s just as preachy as the rest of them. Too fucking right I say. Give these planks a taste of their own medicine.

via ricochet