Because they want to…? (more pictures below)
There’s a myriad of reasons to put stupid decals on your ride, but what might seem stupid to some is not for others, likely many others. And yes, the title of this post is probably stupid too. This article is about our humble beginnings, as well a here-and-there dip off the edge straight into lunacy.
Life on this rock is like drifting through an ocean of change, discovery, and knowledge—while bumping into many things along the way, some that we might not agree with at any given time. As humans we live and learn, and have a strong desire to express ourselves. We want our individual ego to shine while it can, or for some, render shadow. So how can we put ourselves out there, tell to the world our opinion, or just shout!? Myriad ways. Vinyl decals and graphics (what I happen to sell and the purpose for this ramble—and this blog!) are just one of countless mediums to do just that!
Lore and I have been selling these vinyl decals, stupid or just all-out crazy stickers since 1999 (many are too cool and awesome to be called stupid!). It all started when I sold my truck (we actually made two attempts at starting this business—long story), then we used the money to buy an old flat-green Dodge van (nice one actually, it had a 318 motor and wide tires) and a truck load of stereo equipment and boomboxes. Then, a just-do-it attitude, and we put ourselves out there. We set up on the street corner and sold and installed car audio, woofers, entire sound systems! Yep, right outside under a tent, and cars would pull in by the mob full. Business was good, and the competition was angry (another story in itself). We worked seven days a week for the entire Spring, through a 100-plus-degree, El Paso summer, and, made a descent pile of money—coming from someone who previously made two-hundred cash per week before that while working for someone else doing the same thing, well it really was, for us. By year’s end we rented a shop and moved indoors, even began taking a day off once in a while. And it wasn’t long before we added vinyl graphics to the mix. Guess how? Yep, I sold the other car (a car I really liked, my just-painted bright-yellow ’83 Mazda Rx7) and bought a Summa vinyl cutter, plus the software, which cost nearly as much as the cutter itself. I still remember heading into the Post Office then buying the money order and sending it away, before that I had never ever even owned a computer! It was late 1999.
Well, the cutter arrived soon enough, and I had to go get a computer. Dashing out the door after making a few sales in order to afford it, I picked up an old junker and the pawn shop, and the rest is history.
I made some of the stupidest decals you could imagine, and, Lore and I sold some of them!
Lore didn’t think it would work (at least not for the long term), because I was the stereo guy. It was what I did! Oh, could I hook a ride up—with a few 12-inch woofers (even 15s or 18s!) and some amplifiers, a new or used CD player, EQ, car alarm, the works! And customers would roll out with a smile, the massaging bass working their backs through the seat.
I was passionate for at least a decade. I ate, breathed, and slept vinyl graphics.
But life was a struggle and we put in the hours, making stupid (haha, I never really thought they were stupid, and still don’t) but cool decals and signs and vehicle graphics, whatever. We were raising a family, working every day, most years seven days week. And the years went on as if time was pulling us along like a tractor beam. However, things changed when I picked up that book.
It all about the books, learning! Not just saying you’ll do it. Get the book, open it, and do every damn exercise in it until you learn it!
Things were looking up, after I read it. Yes. I did do every exercise in the book titled: PHP by Larry Ullman. Fantastic book! PHP and learning to code. We switched gears from a brick and mortar shop, plus a few eBay sales, and using my newly attained knowledge I built the website from scratch. Full Intensity Grafx is years in the making and every line of code to this day is all thanks to that book (which I recently sold—pretty much gave away—at a yard sale, to another passionate young coder). Today the website, which got in early before all of these WordPress sites that are everywhere, a world where everyone has a website, is still treading water. Some times I don’t believe it!
We make all kinds of stuff. Sometimes I feel like a doctor, confidential with every patient. Together as a team, with Lore’s indispensable help, we have created almost every decal that could be imagined. Well ,not really—the ideas never stop.
Here’s where things get weird. Stop reading now or fall into the rabbit hole.
The world is bigger now, well, at least more full. Ideas are spawning from ideas at an unprecedented rate, like an old man whittling a stick on a porch, ideas are the splinters of wood merging with the breeze and flying away. When will the innovation stop? Never you say? Think again.
I warned you!
Imagine red oil and blue water in a jar, not mixing, while the water floats on top of the oil. Now take that jar and shake it violently. Entropy gone haywire—and that’s what our human civilization doing! There will come a point in time when maximum entropy has been achieved and the liquids cannot be further broken down, hence mixed. We’re somewhere on the uptake now, like Bitcoin on the graph, skyrocketing! And like the water and oil we will reach the maximum possible amount of entropy, and then, the accelerated curve shall begin it’s descent, back to the Stone Age, back to a quiescent realm in the corner of the universe where once had existed a world of people expressing myriad ideas until no more could be contrived.
And they, the humans, used countless methods of expression. Even stupid decals!
We have a tenacious desire to build, expose our unique ego to the world while it’s still alight. And while some might say, “Hey, that’s stupid, why clog up your back window with stupid decals?” Well, it’s what I do, so it’s what I’m writing about right now. I see it as the human condition, we’re a few molecules in the jar, breaking down, splitting up into new ideas. And cumulatively the whole of it all will seemingly grow and grow, forever—until it reaches that point, that is!
Overboard? Lunacy? Maybe, but we as humans will continue to express ourselves for some time to come. And all of the ideas have not been thought up—just yet!
Interested in this form of expression? Use it as your media, head over to Full Intensity Grafx and design a stupid decal! Visit us on Facebook or stop in to say hi, or to give me another idea for an article. If you happened to like my article, by all means please subscribe. I told Lore I’m going to try and write one per day for a year. It has to be relevant to Full Intensity Grafx, but I’m allowed to go off on a tangent once in a while, right?
Here are some more pictures relating to our story…