Beer Goggles playing “867-5309 (Jenny)” and “Rebel Yell”

This update features something that inspires me. Music! I cannot properly work on photography or design without music. For the lovely Lindsay’s birthday, I wanted to play a couple songs from the 1980s with our friends in Beer Goggles. Boogs and I love music from the 1980s and she’s never seen me play with a band. It’s healthy to scream from time to time!

Liccardi and Brad Benson Car Dealerships Are Run By Criminals

(First of all, hit “Recommend” on this page. You already know car dealerships are run by criminals.)

I bought my first new car in the summer of 2002. It was a black 2001 Chrysler Sebring LXi. Remember the color. Black. I was so damn happy to finally have a car with a warranty and that “new car smell”. Cost me over $25,000.00 and that was eight years ago.

As the year went on, I started noticing a peculiar thing happening to the clearcoat on the trunk lid and the roof. It was seperating from the black paint and flaking off the car. I took it to Liccardi Chrysler in Green Brook, NJ and they said that it was not covered unless they saw rust. Way to stand by your product. I ended up having to pay hundreds of dollars to have the trunk lid and roof redone on a BRAND NEW car.

According to Center for Auto Safety’s web site:

“Although CAS urged Chrysler, Ford and GM to repaint all vehicles with defective paint for free, regardless of whether the vehicle was purchased new or used, only GM adopted a corporate-wide paint policy that pays all the cost of repair for six years and unlimited mileage. Several national class action lawsuits have been filed against Chrysler. One need not contact lawfirms handling these cases to be part of the class action as the court will order notification of all owners covered by the class if a settlement is reached. “Dateline NBC” did a program on peeling paint on November 2, 1997, and has an Internet website, www.dateline.msnbc.com, from which further information can be obtained.”

Customer complaints about various Chrysler Sebrings with defective factory paint:

Center for Auto Safety responds to concerns over Chrysler’s rapidly deteriorating paint

2001 Chrysler Sebring paint flaking off

2002 Chrysler Sebring peeling paint

I thought it would be smooth sailing from that point on. Wrong. I opened the driver’s side door and some idiot put a hole right through the leather seat. A reckless and avoidable act indeed. Always remove sharp objects like screwdrivers from your pockets before sitting in a car. Especially someone elses car for God’s sake! By this point I had vowed never to return to Liccardi Chrysler. Extreme negligence to say the least. I didn’t even bother contacting Liccardi about the hole they cause because I knew it’d be several more weeks of arguing with them.

Soon the hood, door trim and areas around the windows began losing clearcoat. The car was no longer black. I referred to the color from that point on as “urban camouflage” and steadfastly refused to pay any more money toward a new paint job.

As the years went by I saw hundreds of formerly black Chrysler Sebrings roaming the Earth. A true factory defect if one ever existed! There was absolutely no effort on Chryslers’s behalf to remedy the atrocious paintjob. None.

I drove around the Sebring for eight years and aside from a ridiculous amount of labor replacing spark plugs, it was an ok car in the mechanical sense. Until the summer of 2010.

I was on Route 18 North on my way to work when the automatic transmission died. 160,000 miles and the car was done. The cost of a new transmission was $6500.00 according to Rainey’s Repair Shop. Far more than the value of the car. (Jim Rainey runs one of the best shops around. I trust his work so much that he’s one of few shops I’ve trusted to work on my 1981 DeLorean. The other being P.J. Grady DeLorean in West Sayville, New York. In fact, DeLoreans have no paint. The exterior is stainless steel. Buy a DeLorean and never worry about paint again!)

It was bittersweet cleaning out my car in preparation for it being donated to Kars for Kids. The problems I complained about for years had caught up to the Chrysler Corporation. Today, Chrysler Corporation no longer exists. Years of poor production and waning consumer confidence sunk them. I am glad the market dictated their demise.

Let’s move on to Brad Benson Hyundai. Brad Benson is a former New York Giant who spends a great deal of money on radio ads. Featuring his favorite person: Brad Benson. He is an out-of-touch older gentlemen with the comedy stylings of a shitty diaper.

My brother’s Hyundai Tiberon has had its own bout with a terrible customer service experience. My family dealt with a lot of crap from Brad Benson over the years, so I asked my mom to write about her experiences for this article:

“Car dealerships will do almost anything, promise anything to sell a car. They promise outstanding customer service. When the times comes that you need the service, they have amnesia. Example: bought a car at Brad Benson Hyundai. Were asked to complete a survey and were told that the first oil change would be free. Made an appointment for the oil change; were told that the oil change was only free if we gave the sales person all 5’s (the highest score). I think that’s fraud. Next up: we gave the car to our son. When he needed extensive work on the car he was told that they would not honor the warranty as they changed the policy in 2004 and even though the car was still in the family, same last name and all, they would not honor the warranty. That trip cost him $2000. Oh, and they quoted the cost of the repairs as less than that but when he went to pick up the car it was more. So next time a car salesperson tries to sell you a warranty, tell him/her to stick it.”

Customer complaints about Brad Benson Hyundai:

The “30% OFF sticker price scam” on any new Hyundai

Brad Benson Hyundai employee steals a customer’s identity

Scathing write up on Brad Benson as a person and a business man

Paradise Bikini/Go Model Go/Eventige Fashion Show @ Hudson Terrace

Paradise Bikini/Go Model Go/Eventige Fashion Show @ Hudson Terrace

Paradise Bikini models backstage at Hudson Terrace

Paradise Bikini models backstage at Hudson Terrace

On Wednesday, October 6, 2010 I was invited to photograph a collection of swimwear by Paradise Bikini in a swanky Manhattan venue called Hudson Terrace. I woke up fairly early so I could get into NYC and run a bunch of errands. First stop was Sonic Boom where my friend Steve Melanson works. Sonic Boom is an excellent company that puts out kick-ass video games! He let me dump a bunch of my photography equipment at his desk. I had three bags loaded with camera bodies, flashes, lenses, diffusers…you name it. My back thanks you, Steve!

It was time to grab lunch so I stopped at Twins Pub for a Guinness and a cheeseburger. The cheeseburger was one of the best I’ve ever had and people had authentic Irish accents, which made the whole experience even better.

Then I headed over toward B&H Photo to sell off my old Canon 18-55mm f.3.5/5.6 IS lens. I knew it was time to switch to the Canon 24mm f/2.8 because that night I’d be shooting in an extremely dark environment. I also realized that I had been shooting toward the middle of the barrel of the 18-55mm for quite some time. Why pay the premium on a wide angle zoom if you’re not even using the damn thing as a zoom lens?

I handed out two of my trusty Kodak Zx1 pocket video cameras to Chris and Frantz from Paradise Bikini. Rich from Paradise Bikini had a little flip cam on him. In total, three video cameras at the event. I edited all of the footage into a decent format and uploaded to vimeo. Vimeo is everything that YouTube should be.

Then I went north to visit my friend Jane for some coffee and to catch up on all her wedding plans for January. Interesting fact: She does not want to refer to it as “HER BIG DAY” or “HER SPECIAL DAY”.

Ok time to walk back down to Sonic Boom and pick up my equipment. That was about 30 blocks. Then I began my trek to Hudson Terrace. Another 30 blocks. I underestimated how long that would take carrying three bags, but I was still on time and that’s all that mattered. Got inside and started getting both of my cameras setup. Very low light environment indeed. But I pulled through thanks to the brand new 24mm f/2.8 and my always reliable Canon 50mm f/1.8.

But enough talking about the fashion show. Take a look for yourself at what went down that night.