Monthly Archives: June 2008

Fun Visit

I’m sitting on my stoop, writing and smoking a cigar. I do this most evenings. Some lady walked over from Bistro Cassis, a restaurant a few doors down that has outside dining. I was nervous. Whenever someone approaches a cigar-smoker esecially from a restaurant, the outcome is rarely pleasant. Well, she commented on the “wonderful aroma” and mentioned how it is nice to smell smoke while dining on a French meal. I agree; it makes the experience more authentic (at least until recently, as Paris passed a smoking ban). She asked where I got the cigar, because she wants to pick some up for her son. Occasionally, surprises are nice.

Self-Portrait with Pipe Misses Goal by 2X

When Nelson Diaz put “Self-Portrait with Pipe, 2008” on eBay, he had hoped the price would not exceed $300. The auction, which began at 10 PM on June 15, 2008, ended last night. The winning bid was $745, and the buyer’s identity is not readily available. Despite the fact that the painting sold for twice Nelson’s objective, it is still far below the price the painting would have fetched in a private sale.

 

For those who missed the previous opportunity, Diaz has already begun his next auction, which is set to expire on June 29, 2008. As always, the bidding starts at $1.

 

For anyone familiar with Nelson’s art, this is a real steal. More important, it’s a chance to participate in a revolution. As Nelson fights the art market, he needs the help of those who are not obscenely wealthy and merely want to participate in the thrill of having an original hanging on the wall.

Finally Home

Well, it took more than 24 hours, but I am finally home. It could have been a lot worse. Had I not been traveling on business– with a very understanding hotel– I could have spent the night in the Fort Meyers airport, sleeping on the floor and trying to subsist on fast food as both my Blackberries lost their remaining battery juice. Instead, I was comfortable, ate and drank well and was lent a Blackberry charger. So, I have few real complaints– excpet when it comes to JetBlue.

Friends Don’t Let Friends Fly JetBlue

Here’s the latest: my flight has been pushed back to 1:30 pm. The announcement was made, and no reason was given. So, I went up to the gate and asked why. The employees were not sure. Finally one said she thought it was high wind. In order to find out the reason for the delay, they have to decipher some small codes on the computer screen. I imagine that it must be quite difficult (not joking).

There’s a problem with is situation– aside from the ongoing problem of my not being in New York yet. the inability to decipher the reasons for a delay prevents JetBlue from living up to its obligations under its “Customer Bill of Rights“. As I mentioned in a post yesterday, JetBlue promises:

INFORMATION

JetBlue will notify customers of the following:

  • Delays prior to scheduled departure
  • Cancellations and their cause
  • Diversions and their cause

I find it interesting that delays do not trigger a need to provide the cause, while cancellations and diversions do.  So, let’s even take my predicament out of the equation and try to figure out how, in general, the policy works for cancellations and diversions. Since the folks at the gate cannot readily interpret the information they are provided, how can they comply with the second two bullet points above. JetBlue is simply not equipped to follow its own policy.

JetBlueimply cannot succeed; it can’t engineer successes where they don’t belong. They have built a policy that matches the effectiveness of the staff: destined for failure.

JetBlue’s “Customer Bill of Rights” Is Bullshit

JetBlue has a “Customer Bill of Rights“. According to this policy, I was entitled to:

INFORMATION

JetBlue will notify customers of the following:

  • Delays prior to scheduled departure
  • Cancellations and their cause
  • Diversions and their cause

Yet, somehow I was not notified. Wait, that’s not true. I was notified upon arrival at the airport. Somehow, I suspect this is not how the Customer Bill of Rights was meant to be interpreted. Of course, JetBlue is a bullshit airline. I submitted a complaint to them; I’ll let you know how it goes.

I Am Wood

Okay, enough of the nastiness. It’s time to focus on the positive aspects of my day. I went to the spa today. It was every bit as mind-blowing as you would expect. According to some Chinese astrological system, I am wood (that is my basic element). Further, I am supported by water and contained by metal. It sounds crazy, but if this stuff played any role in my aromatherapy salt bath, massage or clay mask, then I’m now a believer. Throw in a shower that had SEVEN heads(!), and my morning/early afternoon was hard to beat. It is extremely likely that I will return to this destination.

The Migrant Blogger’s “Do Not Fly” List

If the Department of Homeland Security can have a “Do Not Fly” list, then damn it, so can I. If you like to be enraged, consider flying JetBlue. Also, I suggest avoiding the Delta Shuttle if you want to get to Boston or Washington, D.C. anywhere close to on time. Instead, take the Amtrak Acela Express. The price is about the same (sometimes a little cheaper), and door-to-door, it’s faster even when the Delta Shuttle is on time. If you want to save some bucks or have a little extra time on your hands, the Amtrak regional train is a good choice.