Monday, June 22, 2015

abide in love

The above is one of my early t-shirt designs.  I designed it and had them printed around 1976, when I was eighteen years old.  Last year I found a few of these old shirts in storage and my daughter started wearing one.  There she was wearing a shirt I designed when I was her age.
The design hasn't really dated, and still quite fashionable.  I printed four different designs with that batch of shirts, hoping at the time to start a t-shirt business, they were: Abide in Love, Praise God for His Love, Return of The King and Lady Wisdom.  The first two were simple, playful images and the other two were more involved pen and ink illustration,  I think I still might have a sample of Praise God and the Lady Wisdom shirts.  I have the original art in storage somewhere.  One day I'd like to revisit the Abide In Love and the Praise God for His Love shirts.  They are still good designs for today.

I rarely do t-shirt designs, but they represent my first foray into the graphic design business.  I thought that I would end up having a silk screen shop, aimed at doing original designs...but that never came to pass.  It's nothing that I'd do now, but there's nothing like the feeling of taking an idea, sketching it, inking it and then seeing it in print.  It's especially nice when folks like to wear your very own design.  How cool is that?

One of these days I might revisit and refresh some of these old designs.  I can do better work than this now, but I still pretty much like what I see all these years later. 

Saturday, June 6, 2015

the ordeal in the rearview

A few weeks ago while traveling back from Huntsville, the Buick Century I was driving died.  While stranded off the highway, I called AAA.  I was told that a wrecker would be by within the next 20 minutes and then offered a discount on a rental car.  I still needed to get home that evening, so I said I'd take them up on it.  I was assured that a car would be delivered to my location within the hour, so everything would be fine.  But all was not fine, an Enterprise Rent A Car representative of the 11803 Memorial Parkway SW never showed up.  I waited and waited and no rescue, no car, no such luck.  I had let the tow truck driver leave earlier because I had been assured twice that Enterprise would deliver.

As it turned out, by the time I could reach Enterprise, the Enterprise had closed for the day.  By nightfall, my wife left Gadsden (84 miles away) in my old '73 VW Beetle to bring me back home.  I enjoy  tooling around Gadsden in my VW, but don't quite trust it on long trips.  We were in a pinch that evening and puttered back home at 45 miles an hour. Thank you for nothing Enterprise.

Well, the 2002 Century's block was broken and it was going to cost us $3,640.00 to put a refurbish in it.  Gina and I decided to let it go and sell it for junk. My Malubu had been in the shop getting a paint job from the hail damage in early April. We were down to two cars.  Gina was driving the VW on the home-front and I was using Katie's 2003 Century to make my daily out of town excursions to and from work.  While at work, I got online to see if I could find a place that would take my dead Buick Century.  I found and gave them a call.  They said they would pay me $150. dollars for it and I agreed.  I regret having ever called them.  The 2002 Century's title was in Gina's name - so Gina took off work and drove up with me on Friday to meet up with the representative to sign over the title, and close the deal. 

All phone contact with the representatives over the phone were rude.  We had all day Friday to finish the deal and the people kept saying they had sent an email to the local guy and to call back.  They kept asking us to call back, until they finally told us that it was too late for anyone in the area to do anything about it.  The people on the phone were rude and kept talking over me.  I had to raise my voice and to talk over them.  I won't bore you with the details, but they treat their customers terribly.  My wife and I were inconvenienced throughout the day, lied to and insulted until we finally got through to someone higher up in the company.  I remember my last call, being told that the situation had been resolved and that the order to pick up the car had been canceled.  Canceled?  Resolved?  Dealing with those folks was like stepping into The Twilight Zone.  Where do they hire their phone reps?  I kept asking the lady on the phone, April, that I wanted to speak to her supervisor, but she never did.  She kept saying everything wasn't her fault and I told her that it was her fault if she didn't really resolve the issue by getting someone to meet us where the dead car was.  I don't recall ever being treated so rudely over the phone by so many representatives.  None of them seemed trained in their jobs or friendly.  Unfriendly and rude must be a job requirement for that company.

What a fiasco!  Most folks that know me know that it's hard to get my dander up, but push me, talk over me, blame me, lie to me, and I will give you both freaking barrels.  Next time I have a dead car, I will veer away from  Next time I find myself in need of a rental - I won't count on Enterprise.

I just picked my Malibu up from Drummond Auto Finishing.  He did a great job, great service.  He did what he promised and is such a nice fellow to work with. It was refreshing to do business with someone dependable and friendly for a change.

We still need to find a car for Gina.  Even though that VW was the first car she learned to drive, it's not the one she wants to continue driving throughout the Summer.  I am glad to get this ordeal behind us.  We still need a car, but the worst of our troubles are behind us.