Computer Rants, Meet Me In The Keys, Gigs and Places to Stay in Key West!
It’s good to be back! My old computer fried the motherboard, which destroyed it. I was able to save the documents out of the hard drive to my new computer, thanks to the computer store here in Key West (Office Max) but I’ll be damned if I know where they ended up! I had a blog started when the old computer crapped out, but I haven’t a clue if I know where it is. Adding insult to injury, I now have Windows 8. As I explained to a friend of mine: Going from Windows 6 to Windows 7 was like moving from Alabama to NYC. There are big, but surmountable differences. Going from Windows 7 to Windows 8 is like moving from Wall Street NYC to a brothel in Bangkok. It’s an entirely different language and look indeed. What a pain in the ass. Today I find a file named “Mikel Allen”… hummm what’s that? I open it and it’s a bunch of pictures of men in tight bathing suites. Huh? I guess Mikel Allen is a gay employee of Hewlett Packard? Why is this shit in my brand new (?) computer? I deleted the file, but now, where is the recycle bin?
I also went to buy an iPod. I looked around and found the best price at site called Rakuten. I ordered it second day a week ago Saturday. So I should have gotten it Tuesday, or maybe Wednesday, if it shipped Monday. I keep checking the order and it says “Processing”. Tuesday and Wednesday roll by and no iPod. I sent several e-mail enquiries to them Monday through Wednesday, but no reply. On Thursday I finally get an e-mail from them asking me to contact them, so I called. The representative at their end of the phone was unable to explain anything whatsoever as to why my order wasn’t filled, only that I had to listen to my phone message they left to expedite the order. “Well, I’m on the phone now with you now, Rakuten having suggested me to contact you to expedite the order. What can you tell me?” He goes again “Well you have to check your phone message”. At the moment, I can’t access my phone messages, I explain. He can’t go further than that. “Really? You can’t tell me what’s the issue with my order? Your company asked me to call you to resolve this and you can’t tell me what to do?” This went on for 15 minutes and finally I told the idiot at Rakuten to cancel my order.
Two days later I get an e-mail from them stating that THEY had to cancel my order, due to the fact that they couldn’t verify my address? The address is the exact same as the billing address, what’s the problem? I volunteered that information to their idiot on the phone two days before, suspecting that maybe there was an issue there, but he said nothing. So now I get an e-mail from Rakuten saying they cancelled my order.
Frankly, I suspect that if they say they cancelled the order due to lack of contact from me, it looks much better than me canceling an order because of their sheer ineptitude, bearing in mind I’m talking of a customer satisfaction rating. Let’s make no mistake about it, I cancelled my order with them due to their ineptitude. They didn’t cancel my order, I cancelled my order. Over the years of writing this blog, I’ve never taken the opportunity to rant like this and I’ll try not to do it again! However, I urge everyone to avoid Rakuten.com like the plague.
Enough ranting! Got that off my chest!
Meet Me In The Keys!
The annual event that the Coconut Castaways hold every year, Meet Me In the Keys went off without a hitch! Local Southernmost club President Tammy Hollander and her husband, Marc “The Gopher”, put in tireless hours in order to make sure everything goes off without a hitch, from the local perspective, in addition to their monthly jump ups and meetings. This is a combined effort of all of the Coconut Casaways organizations however, with national club president Julie Unden Engelken out in Iowa and S.W. Florida branch president Bill Akins, going at it literally all year long to put organization and sponsorship in place from their home bases. Additionally, there are all of those assisting the aforementioned presidents and gophers within their respective clubs! Everything went like clockwork. One doesn't have to be Einstein to see all of the potential hoops of fire these people and their able assistants must have to jump through. It has to be a full time job!
I was honored to be in this year’s event and I pulled a surprise in that I dragged Allen “Frankendread” Holland along with me to play steel pans! We played poolside at the Doubletree portion of the event, following Jimi Pappas and John Patti. As I said, I did it as a surprise. When I was asked to play, I was a solo act. Adding Allen was on me, for fun and a good treat for all who attended. Naturally I split my fee with Allen, of course.
A lot of people hadn’t heard Allen before. He uses a different pan than John Patti does, so in addition to being different players with different styles, they are also playing different pans, John with a C pan and Allen with a D pan. The notes are all in different places as well, further changing the overall style. I think everyone enjoyed hearing both players!
The night before was the meet and greet and after that a few of us ended up in room 236 and I had the pleasure of having a great, very long conversation with Jimi Pappas, whom I had never met before. My biggest disappointment was I sent him a message to get together the following week when he was at Margaritaville, only to learn that he had been there the week before! I’m looking forward to his return to the island!
I also had brief conversations with Mike Broward and Paul Roush, who played in the event. In situations like this, schedules often get in the way, so we didn’t get to chat things up as much as we may have liked. Hopefully next time they’re in town we can spend a bit more time together!
Howard Livingston was generous enough to actually cut his gig short at Schooner Whatf, in order to have a songwriter’s showcase of performers in the Meet Me in the Keys event. Had a great time too. What a blast! Thanks Howard! I was on with local performers Ericson Holt and Roger Jokela. Ericson really surprised me. For those of you who are familiar with my song “Island Blue”, which Misty Loggins sang for me, Ericson played keyboards. Ericson is an exquisite piano/keyboard player who made Key West his base about two years ago, by way of Nashville. Imagine my surprise when Ericson arrived with a guitar!
The event closed out on Sunday with a sunset cruise featuring new Keys arrival, Eric Stone. Let me say, if you are ever in Key West, don’t pass a chance to get out on the water! I have several songs about it, as it’s such an inspiring peaceful event. The sunset cruises go for around $35/$40 . There are all sorts of boats that go out, just head down to the waterfront area and do yourself a favor!
The event raised $24,000 for kid's care camp, which makes it all the more special! Hats off to Howard and all who were behind the scenes!
A quick shout out to all the readers in Italy! Thank you so much for your interest in this blog! I hope you all head to Key West and when you do, be sure to read below!
Gigs and Places to Go!!!
I’ve been playing Thursday afternoons at the Sunset Tiki Bar, 2 – 5pm. For July I'll be there Thursday July 4th, 6 - 9pm, Sunday July 14th 2 - 5PM and Saturday the 27th, 2 - 5 What an amazing, laid back place with a true Keys attitude! The Sunset Tiki Bar is privately owned and sits in the back of The Galleon Resort with an incredible view of Westeria Island (nic-name: Christmas Tree Island) and Tank Island (nic-name: Sunset Key). A great place any time of day! A circular Tiki Bar, right on the water and also chaise lounges you can sun out on, right on the dock! Swing by and check it out!
To obtain my music, be sure to check my website for downloads and physical CDs!! This site also has material not available on other sites.
Also available on iTunes, CD Baby, CD Universe, Rhapsody, and Beachfront Radio.
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