What can a dirty artsy old man do to keep busy in Key West?

For one, he can find hot chicks to swim naked around in the canal behind his house in the name of art. This was just released a few weeks ago and is scheduled to be shown in a few of the galleries in the Keys. Think “artsy boobs”, meets escapism.

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For an even more interesting look (at artsy boobs) check out the behind the scenes video

Makes me really wish I had a sunken boat in a canal behind my house!

Interesting Read about Ron Paul… Yes, Ron Paul.

There is an article about Ron Paul in this month’s Esquire magazine.  While I did manage to learn quite a bit about Ron Paul in the article, and perahps I dont’ think he is as goofy as I once did, I found this infographic to be the most entertaining.

  Esquire Magazine Conservative Map

President Obama, Sarah Palin, George W Bush, and some of my other favroites are displayed! :)

President’s Day Brew

I had off yesterday for President’s Day, which I used to take care of two important things, my house and my booze.  First up was the house, following my win against the termites, I applied two coats of Drylock to my previously untreated walls, refreshing the general area.  That being completed for the day, and I a beer or two in, I switched gears to the booze. After all, I did have to let the paint cure! One of the biggest pains for me is where to put fluids as I’m transferring them.  There are beer buckets, and carboys of wine and potassium metabisulfite, it’s always a process to rack or move something.  So I finally broke down and purchased a spigot for some of the empty juice buckets, drilled the hole, and verified that it doesn’t leak.  This should make things much easier/faster.  In addition, I treated myself to an auto-siphon,  picked up two gallon jugs for some test batches of fruit wines, and who knows what.  After the tortuous process of peeling the labels off of what seemed like a billion bottles (or just over a case), I started to sterilize everything.    Next I racked the Syrah into a bucket, cleaned the carboy, put the wine back in, then added some chitosan for clarity.  Just to note, I previously added a bit of potassium sorbate as well as MBS to kill off some fermentation and avoid fizzyness.  After that, I decided to bottle the batch of Bavarian Wheat I’ve had going.  I’m a bit nervous about it, I left it in the primary bucket for 21 days, it was COLD down there, and I think it needed a bit more time.  It smelled great, can’t wait to taste it.   I also, started up a 1 gallon batch of “White grape raspberry wine” and some “Ginger Beer”.

Why I’m done with Starbucks

So I’m upset with Starbucks, to the point where I’m done with them until at least, 2012.  Considering my office is in the same parking lot as a Starbucks, where I love the people, that says a lot.  The short version of the long story goes something like this.  For the past 4 years that our office was in this location, since the owner’s of the company I work for also goto SBUX daily,  I’ve been purchasing them gift cards for Christmas.   This year, I decide to spice it up a bit more than the standard plain off the shelf card, what a mistake that was.

On December 10th, 2010 I placed my order, which included an extra $8.00 charge, which I was able to accept as I thought my gift would stand out more to them.

On December 12th it shipped, under the auspice of taking “6-8 business  days” from the Starbucks website and my order email, which has since been changed on the website, not sure about the order emails.

On December 22nd, I email them and explain that it’s now been over 8 business days and the order has not arrived, and inquired if it had been returned or lost.   There is no response for a few days

On December 23rd, I call support, and I’m rudely told that it’s 7-12 business days, and there is nothing they can do since it’s USPS.  Also, it’s “unreasonable to question” why it takes an envelope over week to travel anywhere in this country.   Worse case scenario, Seattle to NJ, will only take a few days at best.  I explain my displeasure with the entire situation to the service rep, who acts like he doesn’t care, but claims he will let his supervisor know of my displeasure with the entire process, per my request.  The CSR did not offer me any type of ticket number.

On December 24th,  get a response to my email sent on the 22nd, they say wait until the 12th business day then contact them again. This time, I get a ticket number.

On December 28th, I respond to the email explaining how I have now been embarrassed in front of my employers, and quite upset with the Starbucks brand.  I request in the same email that the cards be reprinted.

On January 4th, I respond to the same email asking if there is any status change or if anything has happened. All the while keeping the subject line intact with the order info, as well as all ticket numbers.

On January 5th, I get a response saying to call, with yet another ticket number, so I do.  On the phone, all of my existing ticket numbers don’t help her find any real information, so I give her the order string.  She tries to find me in their system, to see if I have a Starbucks card, then gets snippy with me for trying to explain that they are shipping to my office. After about 30 minutes she’s able to tell me that the cards were “signed for, then redeemed”.  I ask her how they could be signed for if they are just plain USPS, and she’s unsure, then ask her when they were used or redeemed. Again, she’s unsure.  I’m now told that this will have to be escalated, however I can’t speak to anyone about the issue, but she’s got a ticket full of the info, and of course a new ticket number, and someone will contact me with the resolution.

On January 19th, since I have not heard a word back from any supervisors I call back, and a very nice woman tells me there is an update to my last ticket I’m to be refunded because they are unable to reprint custom cards.  I explain to her that so far this has been going on for well over a month, and I’ve now spent about two hours of my life on the phone trying to resolve this, she is very apologetic and agrees that the entire thing is a mess.

On January 27th, a week and a day later, I contact my credit card company do charge back the initial charge.

On February 1st, someone calls me back and says “we see you disputed the charges, but we are going to send you coupons for a free coffee”..

I’m not going to sit here and rant and rave any further, but those of you in my office, and anyone in my personal life knows all about how badly this one was botched.  My recommendation is don’t’ bother wasting your time with Starbucks support staff, and especially don’t bother with custom gift cards. In short, thanks for screwing up my office Christmas and making me look like an ass Starbucks.

At least I’ll save a ton of $$ by either buying coffee elsewhere or making my own.  Now enjoy this funny, and freshly updated video: