Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day Weekend, originally uploaded by captainjay.

Almost live from Water Island. So I worked this morning but got off
around one . We loaded up some friends and headed over to Water Island
at Joe's for the clam bake and Eric Stone live.

Saturday, May 29, 2010


Rain, originally uploaded by captainjay.

Rain, rain, and more rain. Enough already! It's been raining for days.
The cisterns are full, the hillsides are green, let's see some sun! :-)

Friday, May 28, 2010

Friday Beach Pic

Friday Beach Pic, originally uploaded by captainjay.

Happy Friday! Yea! Three day weekend coming up but we don't have any
plans. Jay has to work, but maybe he can get off early one day so that
we can get out on the boat a little. Otherwise I guess I'm hitting the
beach by myself ;-)

The pic was taken at Marriott Frenchman Cove when we stayed there a
couple weeks ago.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Census craziness

Census craziness, originally uploaded by captainjay.

Finally filled out our 2010 USVI Census form. I heard it was crazy,
but that doesn't even begin to describe it. The form for mainland US
was only 10 questions. Ours had over a hundred for two people! They
are trying to track too much information, income, education, work
history, public assistance, family origins, disabilities, mental
capacity, transportation, it's all over the place. And since there
isn't a real address system here, they don't want the forms mailed,
they have census workers coming to every house to pick up the forms so
that they can fill out the back of the form on the location of the
property. So I'm subposed to just hand over all this information to
some random person that comes to my house asking for it. I'm not
comfortable with that at all! But what choice do I have? None.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Jenny Craig run around

So, a couple weeks ago I decided I would try picking up my Jenny Craig order and doing the paperwork myself instead of paying RushIt $20 to take care of it.  At first $20 didn't sound too bad, but when you plan to pick up two orders a month, for six months (or more), it starts to add up. A friend of mine who has been doing Jenny Craig for awhile, graciously volunteered to be my guide and show me the ropes. It takes three stops and about an hour (could be less if everyone's in a good mood, no traffic and no road construction) to complete the task. There is no money involved, just time. So here it goes:

First stop, RushIt, located beside the airport, next to FedEx. Pick up paperwork.

Second stop, Excise office located behind Seachest. Coming from the airport, the road is a divided road so you have to pass it, turn around and come back. Come in the office quietly, sit down without saying anything and wait until called. A sign on the window tells you to do this. Once you're called up to the window, you hand your paperwork to a lady that appears to be legally blind since she holds the paper two inches from her face to be able to read it. She stamps it and sends you on your way. No joke!

Third stop, Customs office located on the back side of Frenchtown. You can see the building from the Excise office, but there is a fence between them. So, you have to go back out on the divided road (going the wrong direction of course) to the next light, turn around, go back the other way (second time going back down the same road) turn at the light and wiggle your way down some skinny, pot holed filled roads. At the Customs office you have to fill out a form with some information found on the paperwork from RushIt, take a seat and wait to be called to the window. If you go at a busy time and there are several people waiting, it's an honor system to know who's next. When I went, we were the only ones and the customs officers were really nice, so it went really smooth.

Then, finally back to RushIt, so back out to the divided road again, and back to the airport. Turn in the paperwork with all its colorful stamps and pick up the package. Whew! I'm tired again just thinking about. I may just continue to pay the $20. What do you think? :-)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Another beautiful day

Another beautiful day, originally uploaded by captainjay.

It's another beautiful day here in St. Thomas. I did my morning walk
and it was pretty darn hot but now I'm on the boat with an ice cold
water and all is well. Jay has to work a half day and then we're back
out on the water this afternoon. It's pretty calm out so we may try
Botany Bay and then end with Eric Stone on Water Island. Just another
day in paradise :-)

Ice...Jost style

Alright had to take a picture of this. At Gertrude's on Jost, this is how ice is done. The tube coming down into this drum is hooked to a 20 oz Pepsi bottle mounted in the roof. It catches rain water which in turn drains into the barrel. From there it is pumped up into the ice machine. Nothing quite like island engineering.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Great day on Jost

We had a great day out on the boat. Made it to Jost Van Dyke and hung out with some friends. Roti at Gertrude's, yum. Even customs stop in Cruz Bay, we now have full use of the local boater option!

Time on the Water

Jay got a last minute day off so of course we headed straight to the boat! We stopped by Customs and Border Protection and finally got our Local Boaters Option card. This will allow us to go to the BVI without
having to check back in to US customs on the way back. That will make trips over so much better.

The plan today is to head towards St. John and meet up with some friends. Then who knows....maybe Jost :-)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday Beach Picture

This is a shot of Magen's Bay St Thomas, taken last week while we were running around with the Redneck's. It was taken from the overlook.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Iguana eggs

Iguana eggs, originally uploaded by captainjay.

Ok. What is up with the iguana laying eggs in our driveway? Craziest
thing I've ever seen. We're having to park on the other side of the
driveway to avoid running over then. They look pretty bad and I know
none of them will hatch so now what?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Monday morning blues

Monday morning blues, originally uploaded by captainjay.

Well, after 9 days off, I'm back to work. Why is it so hard coming
back? Lol

We had a great vacation. It was so nice to finally get to enjoy a full
week here in the islands... something we hadn't done in a long while.
Since moving here, all our vacations have been spent back in the
states and with our work schedules we really don't get more than a day
here or there to really enjoy the place we love.

So now it's back to reality, but with that view, how can you complain
too much. :-)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Friday Beach Pic

Well, last full day of our friends vacation, sooo many choices on how to spend it, shopping, beach on St Thomas, go over to St. John, just hang here at the Marriott, hmmm what to do? :-). Poor Jay had to go back to work today and yesterday was a pretty large day, hope he's feeling ok :-)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Island Tour

We did an Island Tour with the group. The seas were a little rough, so we thought a land day would be better. We started at the overlook on Skyline, then to Red Hook. We ate lunch at the Big Bambooz, really fun place and good food. Walked over to Duffy's just to get a fun island drink. Then off to Hull Bay, then Island Beachcomber and finish in Frenchtown at Enkai for dinner. It was a fabulous day!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A day of snorkling

A day of snorkling, originally uploaded by captainjay.

Spent the day on the boat, hit three different spots to snorkle. First
was Christmas Cove on Great St. James, then Hawksnest on St. John,
then last stop between Lovango and Congo. The water was a little rough
at times but since all of us are boaters, it wasn't a problem. We had
originally planned on going to Jost Van Dyke but between the weather,
water conditions and not feeling like messing with customs, we just
decided on a USVI trip. A great time was had by all. :-)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Hanging at The Cove

Hanging at The Cove, originally uploaded by captainjay.

Well after two days of boating we are having a down day at the beach.
Tommorow is Jost or St John depending on the weather and seas.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Fun boat day

Fun boat day, originally uploaded by captainjay.

Spent the day on the boat, it was such a great day. While the guys got
the boat ready (clean, gas, cooler, etc) the girls got the fun job of
provisioning. Yuk! But we finally made it to the boat and spent the
day snorkeling at buck island and chilling at Honeymoon
Beach.....ahhhh perfect.

Hope all the Mothers had a nice Mothers Day :-)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Marriott Frenchmans Cove

Our group of friends made it to STT and love their room at the Marriott Frenchmans Cove, the Marriott time share. The view is beautiful! Jay and Rob agree the finish work is outstanding, way above the Grande Bay
on STJ. It's going to be a great week :-)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Friday Beach Picture

This is one of Mary Beth's recent shots. Pretty pretty. She does frame a very nice shot. This is Deb's last day before vacation I have one more before T's mini Red Neck spring tour. Lock up the booze the Schaub's are coming to town.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Marriott Frenchman's Cove

Friends of ours (part of the "Redneck" group) will be here this weekend and will be staying at the Marriott Frenchman's Cove time shares. They got a heck of a last minute deal. Like really last minute, yesterday. They are really excited and so are we since Jay and I are both taking off work to hang with them and act like tourists lol This will be our first time getting to see the Marriott time shares and the beach so I'm really looking forward to it. They originally planned on staying in thier time share at Bluebeard's Castle, but couldn't pass up this deal at the Marriott. So, that means thier condo is sitting empty.....any takers? :-)

Hopefully we have calm seas and clear skies next week because we plan on doing a bunch of boating.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Haze is lifting

This morning

this afternoon
The haze is finally starting to go away! It's about time. :-)

American Airlines Response

Awhile back I posted a letter that my supervisor wrote to American Airlines about the horrible travel experience we had on our recent trip to San Francisco. Well, we actually got a response. I was kinda surprised. Most of it is BS but they did make a couple promises. Don't know if they will follow through with them but we'll see. It's pretty long, so get comfortable before you start reading. :-)


We received your letter and were eager to send you a reply as quickly as possible. Accordingly, I noticed the email address included in your letter and I have taken the liberty of responding to you electronically.

I'm sorry your flight to Los Angeles didn't operate as scheduled when you and your companion traveled with us. I know you were inconvenienced when you misconnected to your flight to San Francisco and had to be rebooked on United Airlines. Without question, we did not provide the level of service you expected.

We wish we could guarantee that planes would always depart and arrive on time. Regrettably, we can't -- but what we can and should do is make every attempt to minimize the inconvenience for our customers whenever our flights are delayed or cancelled. I am sorry that we didn't do a better job of overcoming the challenges we faced that day in order to make your experience a little less trying.

While it is certainly our goal to operate each and every flight as planned, we have the responsibility to make changes to our schedules to resolve problems caused by weather, flight conditions, mechanical difficulties or other operational challenges. Accordingly, we cannot assume financial responsibility for our customers' personal time lost or for out-of-pocket expenses when extenuating circumstances prevent us from operating as planned. I am sorry.

Also, when a customer travels with more than one airline, it is standard practice that the last carrier to deliver the customer to their destination is responsible for processing a baggage claim to conclusion. This procedure was developed to avoid a duplication of efforts and to expedite the handling and settlement of a claim. Since a baggage claim must be filed upon arrival at the customer's final destination, the last carrier is in possession of the necessary information and documents.

Accordingly, it will be necessary for you to contact United Airlines. Personnel with the other airline should resolve your claim and, if appropriate, will then contact us to arrange a settlement.

In addition, the Federal Aviation Administration diligently audits airline conformity of mandated policies and procedures – carry-on baggage restrictions being just one of the areas of compliance assessment. Recently, some audits have pointed out a lack of consistency on our enforcement of carry-on baggage policies. As a consequence, our agents have received additional training related to carry-on baggage requirements and are working hard to consistently apply the associated restrictions. Accordingly, we now must use a more conservative judgment by restricting more carry-on bags than we previously did.

In addition, even if your carry-on bag is within the allowed size, you may be asked to gate check your bag if the overhead bins get full. During the boarding process, the flight attendants have been asked to notify the gate agents when overhead bin space begins to diminish and our agents act accordingly. Nevertheless, if your baggage was within the guidelines when you traveled with us, then we do sincerely apologize that you weren't allowed to carry it aboard with you.

Just to clarify, if your bag fits in the overhead bin or underneath the seat, it does not mean that the item is an "approved" size for carry-on baggage. Our policy is that the one carry-on bag may not exceed 45 dimensional inches (length+width+height).

I am sorry, too, that the manner of "enforcement" was less than courteous. Our gate agents have been given strict instructions to diligently monitor the boarding process as it relates to carry-on items so that we remain in complete compliance with FAA mandates. They are balancing this particular duty (and others) with their dedication to ensure an on time departure. However, from the details you provided, it appears as if our agent's commitment in doing so came across without the level of professionalism that we both would have preferred. There is simply no excuse for rudeness, and I am sorry.

Too, if you were not asked for your itinerary or your final destination then the bag would only have been transported to that aircraft's destination. You would then have to retrieve the bag from the claim area and continue to the next flight.

All this aside, we are not unmindful of your disappointment and as a more tangible evidence of our concern and regret for your disappointing experience, I've mailed each of you a transportation voucher. It may be redeemed within one year of the issue date toward the purchase of a ticket for future travel on American Airlines or American Eagle.

We will continue our efforts to ensure that your overall travel experiences with us are the best that they can be. Your feedback will help us do just that.

I hope you don't mind that I've sent my response via email. Please continue to send us your comments through any communication channel that is most convenient for you. However, we'll get to your feedback faster and respond more quickly if you contact us again via


H. M. Alvarez

Customer Relations

American Airlines

Monday, May 3, 2010

iPhone Repair Island Style

It's alive. Well after a few weeks of watching videos and step by step tutorials, taking stuff apart, ordering stuff, then ordering more stuff the phone is alive.

So how this all started. Bottom line I pulled a Kirsten, those of you that know Kirsten will know what I am talking about, I put the phone in a glass of wine by accident. I won't go into the gory details suffice to say it was a Homer Simpson moment. When I got the phone home I put it in a bag of rice over night, turned off of course, then tried to use it the next day. All was well except for the home button that was not working. So I got on line watched a few videos and decided to tear it down and try to repair it. I had no warranty, you can't insure the phone, and  a new one without a new contract which I am not eligible for is $299 plus freight, so nothing ventured nothing gained at this point. I decided that the home button had wine in it and that was the root of all evil, in the process of trying to remove the home button to clean it, I broke the LCD, so now I need a new LCD and a home button. I got on ebay and started looking at parts, managed to find a complete front end assembly that includes the screen, the home button, the LCD etc all in one. Plug and play I am thinking is the way to go. That assembly cost me $77.98 delivered via priority mail to St Thomas.

So a week or so goes by and the new parts come in. I tear the phone back down, install the parts and we have no joy, at this point I can no longer hear phone calls, more about that later, and the home button is better but not quite right. So I tear it down again, it appears that the little contacts on the circuit board that actually runs the home button have turned green from their wine bath. Also the fiber in the board has basically turned soft and wont hold it's shape. That part also has the port for the docking cable. It has also developed a bit of a green patina that looks good on antique brass, not so good on computer cables. So it's back to ebay and another parts order. This time it's an iPhone 3G Ringer Port Assembly, $22.94 delivered priority mail to St Thomas.

Turns out that if I had ordered this part in the first place and not broken the LCD screen that's all that I would have needed to fix the phone. Things that I learned, 3.5mm in length screws are very small, ribbon cables are very small. I had a lot of trouble with the cable number 3, I actually managed to damage the new one and had to salvage the one from my original screen. That damage was why I could no longer hear phone calls when I installed the new screen. Now I know how to remove the LCD without breaking it. I also learned how to change the battery, this will come in handy soon as Deb's battery is getting very weak. So I still spent less money ($100.92), although more time, than I would have had I sent it back to Apple but now I know how to fix them and odds are good that it won't be the last time I turn a screw in an iPhone given my track record with cell phones. Plus I have all these cool parts, including a spare outer glass, and tools to add to the Junk drawer.

It also helped that I had a loaner phone from work through out this process. Just put my sim card in it and at least had text and voice.


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Carnival Parade

Carnival Parade, originally uploaded by captainjay.

I got to see a little bit of the adult Carnival parade yesterday after
I got off work. I love all the costumes and music. It was hot and
sunny which is better than what it is today, rain and thunder. I'm
glad the bad weather held off until after all the carnival festivities.