I seldom make posts like this but this guy was just terrible.  I recently purchased a SodaStream machine and of course, I want to void the warranty right away (by not purchasing SodaStream-branded proprietary CO2 refills).  I do my due diligence online and settled on a CO2Doctor manufactured SodaStream adapter.  This allows me to use common paintball CO2 tanks instead of the SodaStream ones.  Well, I order on 11/30/2013 from the eBay store.  The seller claims he ships the “next day”.  I guess the “next day” means five days later on 12/5/2013.  It arrives nearly two weeks after I purchase.

I immediately go and get them filled from a reputable sporting goods store, as stated in his listing on eBay for a few bucks – $3.50 + tax, to be exact.  The first tank fills fine.  The second tank, however, cannot hold the CO2.  The pin/Schrader valve has a slow leak.  I try at another place and they come to the same conclusion; the tank is bad.  I then request a replacement from the seller and he will not budge and is just plain rude.  For all I know, he’s shipping out defective tanks to get rid of his defective stock.

Figures, I should have seen this coming from how he wrote up his eBay posting – using all sorts of accusatory language and disparaging his competition with unfounded claims of grandeur.  In the end, I had to get the valve replaced for an additional $25.  I’m sure you can use any other tanks, though, like the ones available on Amazon, also made in the USA and not “beverage grade” as he claims.  I got the 24 ounce tanks because I wanted to go the longest before getting a refill.  It’s funny that he goes on and wants people to buy his “beverage grade” tanks and then goes and debunks the expensive “beverage grade” CO2 myth.

See this video on YouTube on how defective the tank is.

Bottom line, don’t buy CO2Doctor branded CO2 tanks.  On a happier note, the SodaStream adapter works great but I would avoid purchasing anything from this guy in the future because the SodaStream adapter you receive may be defective and you’ll have to part the sea to get a replacement.

I recently purchased a Garmin Edge 500 Cycling GPS and wanted an “out-front” mount.  Garmin’s own out-front mount mount was an incredible $40; for just a piece of plastic.  Good thing for free enterprise and other vendors.  SRAM makes one called the QuickView Computer Mount 31.8.  This is a much cheaper option at only $17 – shipped.  It works great, as you can watch in various YouTube videos.  The only problem with the SRAM piece of plastic is that it uses a Torx® T25 screw instead of a standard hex screw.  I was worried that out on the road, the mount would come loose from the tapered part of my handle bars and become useless.  Since it uses that T25 screw, I would have no way of tightening it out on the road as a T25 bit isn’t what I usually carry.  I actually have the Topeak Hexus II Multi-Tool and it doesn’t come with Torx® bits.  Reviews online universally pan this Torx® screw…  I wanted to replace this useless Torx® screw with something more conventional.  Fortunately for me, my local Ace Hardware had the exact part I needed!


Read on for more details! Read the rest of this entry »

So, for the first two weeks, I took a trip to Hong Kong.  9 days, terrible weather.  Every day, it was 70-75 degrees F, but with 70%+ humidity, so basically you can sit down and still be sweating.  I visited a variety of sites including Victoria Peak, Sky100, various street markets, elaborated decorated malls, Macau, the Tsim Sha Tsui clock tower, Star Ferries, the MTR system, the Golden Bauhinia Square, Ngong Ping 360 tramway system, and the Tian Tan Buddah.  You can view the photos of my trip here.

Photos from the 2012 Amgen Tour of California stage 1 in Santa Rosa, CA!

Also, some footage of the peloton and race caravan coming through downtown Santa Rosa before heading out to the coast (coming back from Windsor) on YouTube.

I attended the 2011 Fleet Week air show that happened in San Francisco on October 8 and 9.  I mostly came to watch the Blue Angels.

Photos can be found here.

I attended the 2011 Levi’s Gran Fondo and festival in Santa Rosa, California today.  It was amazing with 7,500 riders converging on Stony Point Road and West College Avenue for an 8:00AM mass start.  Also in attendance, besides Levi Leipheimer included Patrick Dempsey, Scott Nydam, Ethan Suplee, Odessa Gunn, and many more!

Check out the video clip montage below (1080p):

And check out some photos here.

Patrick Dempsey and Levi Leipheimer at the 2011 Levi's Gran Fondo Bicycle Ride.

For 2011, I decided to stake out a different location for photos.  Instead of getting my photos inside the event on the ramp, I went over to side streets to get a different perspective of the planes.  I was camped out on Laughlin Road and Slusser Road for most of these photos.

You can check the album out here.

Here’s a sample taken with my new Canon 7D and 70-200mm f/2.8L USM:

Yesterday I attended the 2nd Annual San Francisco Street Food Festival!  I ate some of the best tasting foods I’ve ever had.

First up was Banh Mi from Nom Nom Truck.  Then we went in search of Wise Brothers but they had sold out of everything.  Next was the Big-Ass Sandwiches truck.  Fries in a sandwich, never heard of it!  Last was Cremé Brulee Cart but he was also sold out of almost everything except Café Mocha, boo.  Oh well, next year, I guess we’ll have to get here much earlier.

It was very crowded, but the food wasn’t that expensive.

Of course you can see some photos here.

As with most years, I like to take photos of the larger fireworks displays.  Here are my photos from the Red, White, and Boom celebration in Santa Rosa, CA.  These were taken on Brookwood Avenue behind the fairgrounds.  Click them out!

A sample photo:

Orchard Supply Hardware LogoI went to the Orchard Supply Hardware in Santa Rosa on Friday, June 10, at about 6:40PM.  I wanted to purchase a pair of gloves.  I chose my desired model, size, and was greeted by cashier Elizabeth.  She scanned the gloves and I attempted to pay with my Visa credit card.  She stated that she must look at my identification due to “store policy” and referred me to a manager.

The manager that arrived was named Mark.  Elizabeth explained the situation.  I asked him if this was true.  He said “you don’t know it’s not.”  I told him to produce a written policy that substantiate his statements.  Then I told him I don’t carry ID at all times, VISA does not require supplemental identification to process a transaction, and that he was violating their merchant policy.  He said that he was “trying to protect” my money.  I was trying to give them my money.  I told him that he could check the signature on the pinpad device against the one on the back of my card if was so worried about my money.

After the manager tossed my card down on the counter, he was reluctant let my card be run, but he warned that next time, I better have identification.  He asked me how I arrived to the store and stated, “You better not be driving.”  I told him that I lived close by and I walked.  He then stated that I must carry a drivers license around at “all times” even while walking.  I told him, according to California law, that his statement was untrue, but you must identify yourself to a police officer if asked.  He then said, this direct quote, “Man, you are being really difficult today, I hope you feel better when you’re back on your meds.”  He insulted me, the customer.

I am 100% positive that I was in the right as I have read the Consumerist and have lodged complaints against merchants before with Visa.  I was not trite with my tone and kept my composure during the entire ordeal.  I then requested the corporate phone number which the cashier gave me.

I have contacted OSH through their online store feedback form, informed VISA of the merchant who was not following their merchant agreement, and will call their corporate number first thing on Monday.

I want to let readers know, that regardless of the situation, a merchant cannot ask for supplemental identification to process a credit card transaction and then continue to insult a paying customer.

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