Friday, February 01, 2008

Asbestos and Appliance Contractors in Austin

Since I've had pleasant dealings with both of these contractors in the last 2 weeks, I am going to recommend them (and write their names here so I can find them again when I need them).

Asbestos removal: Johnny at Action Environmental. 512-745-3688. They helped over the phone before I even hired them by telling me where to get my flooring testing in town, and had extremely competitive prices according to the Home Depot guy I was discussing my flooring woes with. Even better, the came out on a Saturday at 2 to give me an estimate (the day after I called), returned 2 hours later to start work, and were done by 11 PM that night. My only recommendation would be to measure your floors yourself and check their square footage numbers -- I think I paid for more square footage than I actually had, but still got a good deal.

Tracey at Champion Appliance (recommended by Suzy Bates, so this is a double endorsement): 512-336-5800. Suzy had them come out to look at a dryer, and the surprising recommendation was to let it make noise until it broke, then buy a new one (charge? $0.) I had him come figure out an ice maker leak that Ben and I couldn't figure out. Turned out to be trivial, was fixed in 10 minutes, and he broke up the ice that had pooled on the bottom of the freezer so I didn't have to defrost it. Charge -- $65 + tax, which included a year warranty.

Both are small family owned operations. Johnny and his father in law did all the work themselves on the asbestos (although they normally run crews), and Tracey and his wife are their entire operation.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Saveur 100 -- one of my favorite things

Years ago, in a thrift shop, I picked up a copy of Saveur with their top 100 list for the previous year. That list was thrilling -- short democratic paeans to food like the Costco sheet cake (unusual, to me, of a magazine whose title isn't even in English). Well, it's back. And even better, they have the have excerpts of the list online.

I turned down the corner of the first page for "Rancho Gordo Beans" (#2 -- native american beans -- Google's chefs are their top purchaser) and Euell Gibbons (#4, "the grape nuts guy" and a forager; included a fascinating recipe for Grape Nuts Pudding). I had to stop after that because there were just so many good things (Whey fed pork? Quatro leches cake?). Yum!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

New Floors

The flooring saga was finished last Thursday (mostly -- furniture moved in Friday, and we still need to seal it once more) -- only a week late and 20% over budget.

Here's what the new floors look like:

It's 18 inch travertine tiles. Now I have to do something with the brick fireplace so it's not so brick....

(There's a lot of sealer dust on them -- that will go away with the first mopping...)

Monday, January 28, 2008

How to be an undercover hooker

Am I the only one who thinks this would be a fun talk to attend?

How to be an undercover hooker.

Sure hope they record this one and put it online.