Hot Air Balloon Ride – Up, Up And Away

13 07 2013

Interesting experience and exhilarating ride in a hot air balloon. Montgolfière as we French call it. Christine offered me this first flight experience as a birthday present. Nice gift indeed. www.aerfun.com

Makes me think about “Up, Up and Away” in my beautiful ballon…  a song I must have heard 100s of times. I think it was on the same album as Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In by the The 5th Dimension that played in my childhood home daily there for awhile. Wish I could have incorporated the track in my video but I would have no doubt gotten a take down notice.

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Poland 2013

7 05 2013

Christine is her cousin Iwona’s son Krystian’s godmother. We went to Poland for his communion, a semi family reunion, and a mini vacation. Good times with family. Watch the video…





Trip with Grandma 2013

9 03 2013

Grandma came to see us this winter for a couple weeks. While she was here we took a six day road trip. First we contemplated “donkey ball” soup at Le P’tit Bouchon in Châteauroux and then visited an interesting “modern” museum in the ancient chateau of Rochechouart. Then we visited the WWII martyr village memorial museum in Oradour-sur-Glane. A sobering experience but something one should see to assist with coming to grips with the atrocities of war. Next off for a few days in Lourdes where we visited the Sanctuary of Our Lady, prayed, collected holy water, and lit a prayer candle. Christine and the kids had a chance to go skiing and Grandma and I took in various sights. Some good meals, fun games, and a visit to the Musée Pyrénéen in the medieval château high on a mound in center of town concluded our visit in this lovely town in the foothills of the Pyrenees. Finally off to visit a picturesque medieval fortified town built high on hilltop. Cordes-sur-Ciel and the B&B L’Escuelle Des Chevaliers was quite worth the detour.





Apple Steals – A Letter to Tim Cook

26 12 2012

Hello Tim Cook at the Office of the CEO,

I am compelled to bring my utter dissatisfaction with Apple Customer Support, The Apple App Store, and with Apple, Inc. directly to your attention. I feel that Apple is stealing $130 directly from me and I am seeking restitution. If you were inclined you can read through the entire support case below but here is the “executive summary”.

  • Customer Jeff Windstrup purchased approximately $130 worth of apps from your Mac App Store.
  • The customer change his Apple ID county association and credit card from France to USA.
  • The customer is now no longer permitted to update or redownload his original purchases.
  • Because of this the customer cannot install and use the software he purchased on his new MacBook Air.

The apps I am referring to are available in both the US and French stores. I understand there are different sales rules, legalities, and currencies in different countries. Furthermore, maybe your back-end systems cannot cross-reference these purchases. That said, if I had bought the software on physical media or even downloaded the apps directly from the editor I would be able to install and use the software as expected.

I feel that your customer support unnecessarily ran me round in circles and didn’t take the time to understand my issue. They were obviously copy an pasting phrases in their responses that were at times not relevant or would have made my issue worse. Their false platitudes were in the end infuriating and they left me feeling like you and your company had stolen directly from me.

I can imagine that your company Apple, Inc. is well within its legal rights based either on your terms of service or international sales procedures to deny my request. However, I ask you, is that the way you wish to run your business?

  • To leave your customers without what they purchased.
  • To provide only superficial or non-helpful customer service.
  • To have your customers feeling like they have been robbed by you.

I hope your answer is no and that you will follow-up and do what is right to rectify this.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey Windstrup


I wrote this in desperation after a lengthy and unproductive support case that left me feeling that Apple had stolen $130 directly from me. I did receive a followup by phone where an Apple PR person told me that Apple was within its terms of service and that I would not receive a refund because that was policy. That may be; but it is no way to run a business.

I’m posting this to alleviate some of my frustration and for posterity sake to anyone else having a similar difficulties with Apple.  That said, still for me it was a lesson in futility. I’ll include the entire support dialogue leading up to this in the comments for completeness.





Germany – Luxembourg Summer Vacation 2012

6 08 2012

Summer vacation fun this year at Legoland Deutchland with family. We met Christine’s aunt, cousin, and godson at the interlocking plastic bricks amusement park for a fun packed day. David is now old enough and tall enough to ride all the rides. He and I even tackled the park’s wildest rollercoaster complete with photo souvenir. Gabrielle and the boys got their first driving school instruction and even a practical exam out on the “mean streets” of the theme park’s little city mock-up. They passed the mini motorized course and were awarded their first driver’s license. The next few days were spent in Munich and the surrounding area where we did typical tourist things. Several nice and even noteworthy restaurants, public transportation follies, a fairytale castle, two awesome car museums, an Olympic center, beer gardens, a towering spire and we wrapped it all up with a modern art museum and visit in Luxembourg City. Check our home movie if you have the time.





Stockholm 2012

9 07 2012

Christine and I spent 4 days in Sweden this summer. Swedish meatballs, tourist sites, discovering the origins of the Nobel Prize, hotel accommodations in 1924 luxury yacht moored in the “Gamla Stan” or Old Town of Stockholm.





Canal du Midi – Windstrup and Watkins Spring Vacation 2012

15 04 2012

For the longest time I have wanted to explore the Canal du Midi in France. I remember seeing something about it on TV in the late 80s thinking that I want to do that someday. Might have been the BBC cooking show Floyd on France or some other PBS show at the time. I had no idea I would eventually live in the country not just vacation there. After living in France for 10 years while discussing my younger man’s dream with some friends over dinner I discovered other compatriots who had similar dreams. We discussed it a bit and decided on the spot to just do it. What a wonderful opportunity to discover the mysteries of the canal and the charm of the connected cities together aboard the same “Le Boat”. We all took pictures and I took a ton of video. Click on the image below to see the edited and loosely narrated video of our adventure. Or if you want to simply see our photos in a slideshow click here on the photo book slideshow.