Free-For-All Friday 1/27/12

Feel free to make comments and ask questions about local issues not discussed here over the past week.

Comments close on Monday.

168 thoughts on “Free-For-All Friday 1/27/12”

  1. Local places to sell (1) unwanted gold jewelry and (2) a modest coin collection? If anyone has first-hand experience doing either and can recommend a place, I’d be grateful for the information. I asked last week, but it was the tail end of FFAF, so I’m asking again in the hopes of getting a lead. Thank you.

      1. U.S. coins, some dating back to 1880s but mostly from the 20th century. A few gold coins, but mostly silver. Thanks.

        1. You might want to start with a reputable coin dealer to cull out any that may have some value beyond the metal. The gold/silver places are not likely to give you a fair shake on that.

    1. There is a place called J&J Metals in Northlake. It’s on LaVista in the shopping center between Michaels & Moe’s. I’ve never been there myself, but have seen it (& they also have TV commercials).

    2. I did some shopping around to get rid of some gold and got quotes starting at $275. I ended up getting $720 at the pawn shop up by Rainbow foods.

    3. Brett Weiler at Decatur City Jewelers on Clairemont (next to Two Decatur TownCenter and across for the soon-to-be Courtyard by Marriott) buys gold and other precious metals. Brett and his store are one of the treasures of our city. You can see his website at . His store itself is interesting — heated by fireplace — and the jewelry he sells(much of which he makes) is wonderful. In the tradition of local businesses with which we should all develop a relationship, such as Brick Store, Little Shop of Stories and others, I hope you check out Decatur City Jewelers. Certainly give them a visit if your are looking for a good place to sell your gold.

    4. I was going to post a similar question about where to sell a gold necklace. I want to keep the stone by get a new setting and chain. I have no clue about what is the average price of gold. Do all jewlery stores buy gold?

      1. +1 Brett Weiler at Decatur City Jewelers

        He did a wonderful job of resetting my engagement ring – after 15 years of continuous wear it needed a new setting.

  2. Stop by Cornerstone Bank on Clairemont Friday for some hot fresh popcorn and say hello to our newest team member Cassandra Ruffin.

  3. I wonder if Decatur, either through the schools or through Active Living, could get a youth Ultimate Frisbee team going? It seems so Decaturish and it is a super fun sport to watch and play.

    1. +1. I asked my almost 6 year old what activities she wanted to do this spring, and she told me swimming and frisbee. Sort of at a loss on the frisbee… if anyone out there has suggestions for me, that would be great!

      1. Get a Frisbee and toss it with her. Do it in a forest for more fun. In a couple of years she can do Ultimate Frisbee at the 4/5 Academy Exploration Class or Paidea Ultimate Frisbee Summer Camp. It helps if she start now. I am impressed, you could have a budding Frisbee Player on your hands.

    2. I believe an Ultimate Frisbee Team is already in the works at the high school through the efforts of sophomore Sam Diffin and others. (Sam is the son of Decatur H.S. drama teacher Lynn Hosking and her husband, former Georgia State U Baseball standout, Peter Diffin.)

    3. Yeah? How about some pick up games and see where it goes? We’re in. How about Saturday afternoon at one of the parks? Are you on the N or S side? I can think of some good spots south of tracks. Ages 6 – 10? Or are you thinking older?

      Always thought this FFAF would be a good forum to solicit interest for this kind of stuff. Was thinking street or roller hockey myself, but ultimate is a GREAT idea!

      1. I’d like to get in touch with you but need to protect my alias and I don’t want to share phone numbers/addresses, etc. on a public forum. How about this. I will start an Ultimate Frisbee Decatur Facebook page and we can all get together there.

      2. The skates and blades have long since been put away, but if someone gets together a street hockey gathering for us 30- to 40-somethings who grew up playing it, I’m in! I wonder if the old Mylecs are still in my parents’ garage…

        1. Wondering if this is more of a Northern thing. Doesn’t seem like hockey has caught on down here so well.

                1. Now now, J_T, I wasn’t directing yesterday’s comment at anyone in particular, more like a general plea for a little restraint once in a while. Guilty conscience, perhaps? This is officially my “truce” to you so that you can enjoy your weekend and maybe give your tongue holding a rest for a bit.

        2. J_T- If you expand it beyond 40-somethings…I’m in. Just would request that we play either close to Dekalb Medical or have trained EMTs in the crowd. My wife caught wind of this and is on the phone with my life insurance company.

        3. What about hall hockey like you see in college dorms up north? I’d think some of these giant Prairie Moderns, McMansions, whatever have some nice long wood floor halls that would work perfectly! 🙂

          1. My freshman year of college, I lived in a co-ed dorm (segregated by floor, but totally open and unregulated–it was the ’70s, we also had dinosaurs roaming the grounds). Four stories of cinderblock walls and linoleum floors and LONG hallways. The boys liked to go to the girls’ floors and play lacrosse in the hall. Nothing like opening the door to step down the hall to the bathroom (oh, yeah, no such thing as en suite in those days) and having a lacrosse ball go whizzing by at eye level. They thought they were flirting. We thought they were acting like the idiots we’d fled high school to escape.
            See how jolly and nostalgic I am after a double martini?

          2. Actually, my 9 yr old son has been playing hall hockey almost daily since he was a toddler (no McMansion here–just a long hall in our almost 100 year old home). Huge hockey fan with a large imaginary league of teams. He has actually won the hall hockey Stanley cup several years in a row…imaginary teams are no match for him. Would love, love, love if someone started some street hockey for kids around here. Too cheap and busy to cart him to Duluth to play the real thing. My walls and floor can’t take much more of this…

        4. There’s a street hockey pick up game that plays every Wednesday at 7 pm and every Sunday morning at 9 am on the tennis courts at Bessie Branham Park in Kirkwood. My husband plays and they’re all definitely 30- and 40-somethings. And I most certainly keep our life insurance up-to-date, heh.

          1. And this is why I come to Decatur Metro even though some would have my vulgarities silenced. Thanks Daniella! I must now devise a way to obtain and store the requisite street hockey equipment and to sneak out of the house on Wednesday or Sunday!

            1. So street hockey as opposed to roller hockey? I know Emory has an outdoor rink with boards and goals (for their intramural league) way back on the campus past the baseball field by all their recycling dumpsters. I used to play roller hockey over there off and on years ago.

              1. If you’re serious on the roller hockey, there’s a perfect indoor option right down the street from Dekalb Medical– The Church at Decatur Heights rents out their gym. Buy J_T a couple of shots, and I’ll betcha you can talk him into it! :0)

      3. Hey Eric, looks like someone started a FB group for ultimate frisbee. She put the link below. I definitely like the idea of some pick up games. Ages six to ten works… there may be a lot of older kids interested too. We can see who shows interest. Do you know how to play?

        1. Sorry for the delayed response. Yes. I have played. Not competitively (i.e. college club level), though. I only know the basic rules.

          1) You can’t run with the disc unlike football. Gotta stop if you catch it and throw.
          2) If you toss and team doesn’t catch – its a turnover.

          How about 4:00 Sat at Renfroe? 10 or 15 minutes to organize/practice then play? If you have a disc then please bring it…

          Also – I don’t see why this can’t be a parents and kids group. (No hitting and frisbee passing is hard enough even for adults…)

          I’ll check out the Facebook Group.. Thanks for setting that up.

    1. At first we thought it was a tornado siren but after poking my head outside, it sounded more like a home alarm from a couple of houses over. Once that was finally turned off a train rolled through blaring its horn.

  4. Just mailed in my application to be one of President Newt’s original moon colonists. Who’s coming with me?

          1. Nope. Does every liberal (err, member of the Democratic Party) agree with or support everything that comes out of Obama’s mouth?

            1. I was referring to the fact that Republicans are in the process of selecting someone to represent and speak for the party, and so far, enough of them want Newt that he hasn’t folded his tent yet. Ergo, it remains to be seen whether or not he will be, in fact, speaking for all Republicans next fall.

              1. I haven’t seen the video, but I read it was surprisingly good. Apparently, downloads of Al Green songs have skyrocketed.

        1. I think it would be a lot quicker and easier to make a list of the politicians that we’d like to keep here on Earth. I would start the list but I can’t think of one…

            1. -1. Great humanitarian, but not the best politician. Of course the next time a corrupt dictator needs a fixed election “certified”, his services will be requested here on Earth.

    1. So this moon colony explains why Gingrich dislikes Obama’s “anti-colonial Kenyan worldview” he inherited from the father he barely knew.

      I also loved the presumption that it would happen by the end of Gingrich’s second term. Such a futurist.

      1. So ““anti-colonial Kenyan worldview”” is meant as a negative? Suggesting that a colonial view is a positive? Um, the horror! The horror!

    2. What’s the over/under on how long it will take for some budding entrepreneur to build an office on the moon and use it as a tax shelter?

      Oh, and its too late suckers! I already got in on the ground floor and bought a big plot of land on the moon from Prices have been skyrocketing since Newt announced his plans!

    3. I wonder how savaged Kennedy would have been if this blog were around in ’61.

      ” I believe this nation should commit itself, to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.”

  5. Looking for a reliable local pest control person who is good at getting rid of “Decatur Squirrels”
    (not talking about the bushy tailed kind ….)

    1. Umm, I’m not sure what a Decatur squirrel is, but have you searched out a 12 year-old boy? We have several in our n’hood and they LOVE their airsoft guns! 🙂

      *big apologies to animal rights enthusiasts…

    2. Call Brian at Zone Pest Solutions — 770-864-8320. He is terrific.

      We have the same problem. I asked the same question in FFAF a few weeks ago and called all of the companies that folks responded with.

  6. I’m wondering how other Decatur restaurant-goers handle the “tip” at order-at-the-counter favorites such as Farmburger, Taqueria del Sol, etc. On the one hand, you don’t have a specific “server”, so it’s hard to know where the tip goes. But, there are still employees that bring your food to the table, bus it, clean, etc…and they usually do a great job. Thoughts?

    1. Doesn’t TDS have a tip pitcher at the register? Also, if you use plastic, you can usually write a tip into your bill when you pay at the register at most of these places.

      But to answer your question, I find leaving that $1-3 dollars at the table is appropriate, if you’ve been pleased with your service. As someone who formerly worked at a “fast casual” restaurant in college, tips were never expected but we certainly appreciated them.

      1. Agree – we always leave a couple buck on the plastic or toss a few singles in the tip jar if we have them handy – they seem appreciated.

    2. As far as Farm Burger goes, the front of house staff splits the tips evenly at the end of the night.

  7. Does anyone have a recommendation for a cat sitter? We want someone to come twice a day and feed and love on our cat while we out of town, and if they’ll bring our mail in as well that would be fabulous. Thanks!

    1. You’ll probably get a million suggestions, but since I’m first, I’ll rave about Bob from Tall Tails Pet Sitting. He’s sweet, my cats LOVE him, and he does come by, play with the cats, take in the mail, and more.

    2. We use Jeanne Flint, 678-427-1826, who also makes very cool jewelry. She’s a great petsitter. When she is not available, we use Frogs to Dogs in Kirkwood.

    3. Tricia’s Petsitting 404-284-1883. Tricia is fantastic, completely reliable, and great with pets, will bring in mail, etc. She has been my dogsitter for 10+ years.

  8. Does anyone know why what appears to have been a fleet of trucks plowing up the grass next to the MARTA tracks on W. Howard, between Melrose and Drexel, either last weekend or early this week? Looks like they may have come out of Drexel and turned around using the Path and grass.

      1. According to their maps, they are not working in that exact area (near the MARTA tunnel opening). I had thought it might be the pipeline subcontractors, but the one working on E. Ponce near the Avondale MARTA station has not left the area in as much a mess as this.

  9. Does anyone have any experience with the new Decatur wi-fi (Brightlan?) Is it reliable and fast enough for Netflix streaming? Looking for an alternative to Comcast…

  10. I have an unwanted ‘friend’ residing in my walls. Don’t know what it is, but it’s gotta go. Can anyone recommend a wildlife removal service?

      1. FWIW, I have called these guys repeatedly over the past several weeks because STG recommended the same company to me a few weeks back. I did not receive a single return call from them. Left at least 4 messages. Maybe they’re just really busy now that the weather has gotten cooler. But I was not impressed. (Although I really do appreciate the recommendation, STG.)

        I finally decided on Zone Pest Solution, and they are really great. Call Brian at 770-864-8320.

        1. Oh-oh, I am really sorry to hear that. I had excellent experience with them last year, as did at least two neighbors I can think of. Will stop recommending them.

    1. I’ve been pleased with Adcock’s Rid-a-Critter, 770 258 8568. They do animal removal followed by animal-damage repair (if needed), and then exclusion work to prevent recurrence…and they give you a warranty.

  11. Looking for a “handy-man” type to build a small 2′ x 4′ -ish retaining wall in my basement. Any local recommendations?

    1. Try Ken Crochet at cell # 404.226.0718. He has done some fine work for me and can handle a variety of projects.

    2. Call Will Sawyer, 828-450-6620. Very nice guy. Dilligent and hard-working.

  12. Anyone else attending the Billy Collins reading Sunday afternoon? I’m thinking a whiskey and a burger at Mac Mcgee’s afterward would be appropriate.

    1. Have one of the free tickets and will try to attend. Maybe time to dig around in my closet for that old flask to bring along?

    1. I really like Dr. Magid on Church Street. He doesn’t have a dental hygienist, so you actually have a dentist cleaning your teeth. And, he is ALWAYS on time.

    2. We love Francis Shaeffer – 404-636-1200. Great guy; great dentist.

    3. I”ve literally gone to O’Shea & O’Shea Family Dentistry for my whole life. My parents and siblings also go there. Both Drs. O’Shea (a father & son team) are warm, friendly and I’ve found very sensitive and comforting to any dental fears. They are at 755 Commerce (the big building there across from Mini Kroger).

  13. Did my once yearly “give it another shot” visit to Java Monkey this morning. Same meek, unenthusiastic persona at the register (seems to be transferred to different employees), same underwhelming coffee.

    1. I’ve never been as big a Java Monkey fan as some. I think they are fine but I’ve always preferred other places like Dancing Goats, the former Indie, the former Cafe Cliche, and Kavarna’s. However, they were consistently open during last year’s snow/ice storm and I am grateful for that! Cross country skiing to Java Monkey remains a highlight of my years here in Decatur!

  14. This was on another message board this morning. Maybe someone in Decatur has seen this dog:

    “One of my customers came in this morning letting me know her dog Hugo is lost! He was riding in the car with his grandad,the window was open and Hugo jumped out. He was last seen near the Anges Scott campus. He is a medium size all black dog. He does have his collar on and a leash is attached. He is also micro-chipped. If you see him or find him please call Ashley at 404-289-5336 or 303-359-9092. Thank you!!”

  15. Since this is Free for All Friday…If anyone out there has ever longed for tortilla chips you can buy at the grocery store that taste JUST LIKE the ones at a Mexican restaurant, try Xochitl (so cheel) chips. The closest I’ve ever had. They have them at Publix ($3.59 bag). The Sea Salt chips are my fav. (I know this sounds like spam…but try them…you’ll see)

    1. On the Border (like the restaurant) makes a style of chips called Cantina Thins that are the closest to restaurant style I’ve ever had. You can also get these at Publix.

    1. Really? Lost dogs, gold fillings, dentists, pest removal, frisbee, moon colonies, chips–that’s about as exciting as it gets here in Mayberry/Berkeley.

  16. For those who are planning for next week (and don’t get CSD newsletters):

    Save the date! Decatur Farm to School Dine Out will be held Tuesday, January 31, 2012 from 5-9 p.m.

    Dine out at a select area restaurant that evening and a percentage of the proceeds will be donated to Decatur Farm to School (DF2S) to sustain its mission of integrating fresh, locally produced foods into the City of Decatur school community’s classrooms and cafeterias. Our “delicious dozen” participating restaurants include Brick Store Pub, Iberian Pig, Cakes & Ale, The Yogurt Tap, Leon’s Full Service, The Square Pub, Universal Joint, Steinbeck’s, Farm Burger, McGowan’s Oakhurst Pub, Sapori di Napoli, and Mac McGee.

    New this year is a raffle with great prizes from Oakhurst Community Garden Project, Riverview Farms and more. Tickets will be sold during the Dine Out and winners will be contacted after the event. Funds raised will go toward supporting teacher workshops, kitchen trainings for our cafeteria partners, classroom and garden projects, and student taste tests. Please spread the word and be sure to take family, neighbors, and friends out for a nice evening to celebrate a great cause, support our local businesses, and enjoy delicious food. DF2S is a branch of the Oakhurst Garden Community Project. Visit us at

  17. For those interested APS has released updated school redistricting maps. Look to me like Inman Park/Candler Park/Lake Claire stay pretty much the same. This may slow down the number of familes from these areas looking to move or do transfers into Decatur schools.

    1. Thanks. Yes I have been following this. Interesting how now looks like the Lin cluster will stay intact. Although option B looks like the north part of Kirkwood would also be included in this cluster, and they would split between Lin and Toomer.

    2. Also, wanted to say that Kirkwood got screwed. In proposal A, the neighborhood stays together, but they get zoned to an underperforming school (away from Grady). In option B, the neighborhood is split, and half get to go to Lin+Toomer/Inman/Grady, while the other half goes to an underperforming elementary.

  18. This probably won’t be very entertaining for Craig1491, either, but it’s what is on my mind right now…
    Why do so many people operating motorized vehicles on two-lane streets feel compelled to drive RIGHT DOWN THE DAMNED MIDDLE of the street? Even when there are no cars parked streetside, no bicyclists or pedestrians in sight…right down the middle. :-#
    I know, quit b!tchin’ and have a cocktail, already. On my way.

    1. Maybe they already had their cocktails? I know it’s not good to drink and drive but somehow I’d feel a lot better if most of the idiots out there at least had that excuse.

      And yeah, I’ll quit my beaching too. It’s Trackside time anywa! [no worries about the driving, I can walk there!]

    2. Most of those people are on the phone. I swear I’d rather be side-by-side on a narrow two-lane (Olmstead Ponce anyone?) with someone with a couple beers in them than someone on a cell phone.

      1. I agree. Especially if they are either dialing, texting, or reading (vs. talking on the phone). My guess is that we are biologically programmed to have some ability to listen to sound and do something at the same time, e.g. cook breakfast while telling stories to the kids, or listening to the radio while driving, or maybe even talk on the phone while driving especially if wearing headphones. But we are not programmed to focus visually on two things at once. Peripheral vision is not adequate.

        1. Actually, more and more research indicates we do not fare well when we divide our attention, even if we are not texting but just talking. the problem is not the diversion of motor function, it’s a limitation on our ability to multitask. Our attention is a zero-sum game — the more different things you’re doing at the same time, the less effectively you will do any of them. The stakes aren’t that high if you screw up while cooking breakfast — it’s not likely that someone will turn left in front of you or a dog will run in front of you and knock the pan on the floor. (Actually, in some households including mine, that latter situation could occur, but the consequences wouldn’t be deadly.) Driving down the road, on the other hand, the margin of error is not just yours to play with. Juggling is a fact of life, especially for parents, but we can choose whether or not to do it when we’re driving. (I don’t mean to single you out in particular, AHID, this rant is meant for everybody.) We’ve only had cell phones for a very few years. Before that, life went on and the sky almost never fell down because we couldn’t talk on the phone and drive the car at the same time. Everybody should put the phone down when they’re in the car.

          If this sounds insufferably strident, then good! There was a time when our society was generally complacent about people driving drunk, and also about smoking cigarettes anywhere and everywhere. It took a good bit of inexhaustible ranting to shift societal standards regarding both of those things. Let the hysteria begin.

          1. I don’t disagree that talking on the phone is a distraction while driving. It’s got both an input and output function so is more distracting than passively listening to the radio. My logical self cannot object if laws are passed to ban cell phone use while operating a vehicle. And if it were illegal, then employers and supervisors would have to understand. In the old days, one could be tethered to work by a beeper but it was accepted that it might take you 20-30 minutes to get off the road and find a pay phone. Now everyone expects you to respond instantly. We need a culture change.

            In the case of texting, dialing, and reading while driving, they are more than distractions–they are driving while blind. Not only is one’s attention divided but one’s eyes are focussed on something other than the road.

          2. And not only are we unable to divide our attention, but recent research has also shown that getting re-focused after a distraction can take up to 30 minutes or so. And since the average white-collar employee is interrupted every 3 minutes these days, you can see why businesses are getting more and more concerned about our constant distractions.

  19. I heard something recently which I thought was interesting. The Walmart at the old Avondale Mall can’t sell alcohol because it is too close to the Avondale High School. Maybe that’s why Walmart wants to build another one so close…

  20. Friends of the Decatur Library are having a book sale Saturday. Proceeds support a number of programs like the “Musical Bookings” concert series, the summer reading program for kids and the purchase of new books and materials.

    1. -1

      Never cared for Yogurt Tap . To me, all their flavors taste the same .

      Very happy to have Swirlin, Twirlin as an alternate choice.

  21. 2012 Oakhurst Wine Crawl
    February 25th 4-7 pm
    Advance Tickets $25
    At the Gate $30
    Tickets are Limited

    1. Interesting. Just finished reading this article in the hard-copy. I know so very little about ADD that I won’t even venture a position on environmental vs. genetic, but the long-term efficiency thing seems almost a given to me. What drug doesn’t a body adapt to over time?

  22. What is the general rule of thumb for putting yard trimmings on the curb for pick up?
    Length, quantity, etc? I am actually out of big paper/yard waste bags. Will they pick up without a bag? I am thinking so, as I kinda remember seeing that sort of things on curbs in the neighborhood… looked on COD website but couldn’t find an exact answer.

    1. They generally will not pick up things that are not bagged. That said, they will pick up fairly large numbers of bag at a time. Another alternative for things that are really big is to wait on your local super trash day, which should be coming up in a few months.

      1. If you’ll bundle clippings in 4′ lengths and tie it up with twine, they’ll collect it. You can also use trash cans. 50lbs max (goes for logs too). Keep things manageable so that they can be easily dealt with, and you’ll be good to go.

        Love our rockin’ Public Works folks! :0)

    2. We learned soon after we moved in that, regardless of what anyone might tell you, they will no longer pick up anything that’s not bagged. At least not from our house..

      1. Maybe it was a fluke– or were you running around nekkid at the time?

        They picked up 3 bundles of hedge clippings and a can of branches for me today from two different locations. (And I went out and filled up the can early this morning just to test it for you! :0)

    3. I put yard waste in large, round trash cans and they always collect it on my regular day. I even toss magnolia tree seed pods out this way but due to weight don’t fill the cans to the top. If I trim larger branches I cut them down to 3-4 ft lengths and stand them in the cans. For larger quantities I do as mentioned below and bundle with twine into a manageable size and stack those near the street. I never use paper bags.

  23. I just saw that there’s going to be a meeting at city hall to discuss a new subdivision in the greenspace behind the houses on Hill St (opposite where adams St dead-ends into Hill St) in Oakhurst. Does anyone know more?

    1. The space that’s sort of surrounded by the dead end of Sterling St., McKoy Park, College Heights, and Hill St.? What would the access be? Sterling St.? I wouldn’t think you could get more than 3-5 detached homes in there, even with small yards. I guess you could squeeze in more cluster homes, townhomes, or condos. Who owns the land? It would have thought it belonged to McKoy Park and/or College Heights.

    2. Maybe worry instead about the homes on Lenore that seem to have stalled mid-project or at least look at them as a cautionary tale.

  24. The most fun you can have sitting in Glenn Auditorium (or most anywhere, IMO) for an hour or so is listening to Billy Collins read and comment about his poems.

    1. I must vigorously disagree. I clearly did not know enough about Billy Collins before attending the reading. You enjoyed it? I suppose it would have been OK if he didn’t have to go and read The Revenant. But he did. And I could not sleep last night, what with the thought of my dogs desiring to bite off my nose or, worse, to unman me…

      1. Don’t despair, you can still try and curry favor. Be sure and do away with any yellow raincoats and monogrammed sweaters. And never, ever, ever make either one of them shake hands without a hand.

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