THEY met on the local hot rod scene. They saw one another at tattoo conventions around the area, comparing bikes. They looked like heavies, a band of Hells Angels, with nicknames equally tough: Mike Tattoo, Big Ant, Johnny O, Batso, Sal, Angel, Des.
They meant no harm. Clad in leather, inked to the hilt in skulls and dragons, with images of bloodied barbed wire looped about their necks, they shared something else — a peculiar tenderness for animals, and the intensity needed to act on the animals’ behalf when people abuse them.
“I’m a vegetarian,” said Mike Tattoo (real name Mike Ostrosky), a former bodybuilding champion with a shaved head, great arms covered in art and a probing clarity in his blue eyes. “And Big Ant has in his backyard three guinea pigs, a couple of rabbits, birds, cats — and fish everywhere. But just because a person has tattoos, they wouldn’t come running with us.”
The group became a little larger over the course of about 15 years, with various animal-loving, tattooed bikers in the New York area joining the conversation. One member, Angel Nieves, a 47-year-old retired city police detective, grew up in the projects on West 125th Street and remembered taking in strays from the streets as a boy, as did many of his cohorts. He owns a tiny, white bichon frisé named Cris.
Having run in crowds where animal abuse was rampant, often involving pit bull fights, the men volunteered at shelters and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty Toward Animals, and they tried to solve cases of missing or abused animals that other organizations had neither the time nor the resources to address.
Next month, the bikers will begin a program in the city’s public schools to educate children about being kind to all animals, even the less attractive breeds. They will be accompanied by Elwood, a small, hairless Chihuahua mix judged in an annual California contest to be the World’s Ugliest Dog.
A middle-aged man wearing pyjamas is being pushed in a wheelchair down a sidewalk by an assistant. He is gaunt and frail-looking. His skin seems to be peeling. His fingernails are a sickening shade of yellow-brown.
Beneath a red Marines baseball cap a surgical mask is visible, covering the bottom half of his face. A pair of large sunglasses shield the top.
Barack Obama spoke to an audience of 84,000 at Mile High Stadium, on August 28, 2008 in Denver, CO.
A young boy creates in his thoughts a poem in which he aspires to be an airplane pilot so that he can flee from his existence in an HIV stricken African slum.
Grab the guitar and play along with top Christian bands! Shred those riffs or blast the bass…you add a unique sound to the solid Christian rock. But watch out: if you can’t keep up, the artists will take a break and stop the music. Crank it up and try again – you’ll soon be rockin’ with the best while praising the Lord!
*Features hit songs from popular Christian rock bands – (see list below)
*Includes wireless USB guitar controller.
*Two guitars can be connected at the same time, so two guitarists can play together – either on the same track or one on lead, the other on bass.
*Players press the fret buttons and strum on the strum bar in time to the color-coded notes as they scroll onscreen.
*Offers over 50 songs with 4 levels of play per song – from easy to expert. Beginners start slowly, but soon their fingers will be flying; – just like a real guitarist.
*Onscreen lyrics reflect Christian values. Vocalists can sing their hearts out as their friends play the guitar.
*Record keeping lets players store high scores per song and unlock new songs in sets of six as they progress through the game and post their scores online.
*Players can also earn new guitars with richer sounds and different effects.
*Works on Windows and Mac computers.
INCLUDES: CD-ROM game, wireless guitar controller, USB wireless adapter, detachable neck strap. Requires 4 AA batteries (not included).
Piehole Comment: Whoa!
Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) addresses the Democratic National Convention after formally accepting the Vice Presidential nomination.