Free-For-All Friday 7/27/12

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

Comments close on Monday.

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76 thoughts on “Free-For-All Friday 7/27/12”


  1. Since we’re staying put for the foreseeable future, we’re thinking about refinancing our home mortgage. Anyone have a recommendation for someone to refinance with? Anyone you think we should NOT go with? TGIF!!!

      1. +1. Because I had such a good mortgage refi experience with BBT, I moved all my accounts there.

        1. What’s your opinion of the online serives at BBT?

          (I work for a financial serivces software firm, and I’m neither criticizing or bragging, just curious.)

    1. If most of your income is from a W-2, you should be OK just about anywhere. Just shop around with 3-4 companies and get the best deal.

      If you are self employed, then it is a little harder to jump through the hoops and you need someone to be your advocate, so I would suggest hiring an independent mortgage broker.

      Whatever the case, get it done. Mortgage rates are at like 3.5% right now. They will never be lower!

    2. What about using your current lender? Having recently gone through the process with Wells Fargo, we had an easy time in part because we already had a mortgage serviced by them.

    3. I highly recommend SunTrust. Great home town bank (Atlanta is the corporate headquarters) and they have a local branch in downtown and are active supporters of many local Decatur events.

      I have had an excellent experience doing a re-finance with them over the past couple of weeks.

    4. Shop around and get the best rate. Doesn’t much seem to matter since whoever you get it from will probably sell it to someone else. Ours has been sold twice in the last three months.

    5. Best guy ever: Todd Colvin at Fidelity Bank. I and my friends have financed with him many times. He has great rates (which you should shop regardless); however, he also: A) provides you with some excellent tools to consider your options and B) the process is smooth and well managed.

      I have family members in real estate and he beat mortgage brokers the family had worked with from a business perspective for years…

    6. Not sure if you only wanted a local recommendation. I went with ING Direct with all the loan application on line and any paperwork the Underwriter needed I just faxed it to them. The closing was held at my house and my only responsibility was having a witness there to sign one piece of paper. The loans they have are automatically autodrafted biweekly with a lower rate than I could find elsewhere. Without doing a thing extra I have already paid a good bit more towards principle than interest and I haven’t even had the mortgage a year.

    7. I used Jeff Hancock of Fairfield Mortgage and was very happy as well as impressed with how quickly it all went through.

    8. We’re working with George P. at Fidelity. He’s so customer service driven, with no hidden fees and has done exactly everything he said he would. We’re very pleased!

  2. Looking for recommendations for a electrician to install some smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Small job.

      1. Second Rod’s recommendation of Larry Holland. If you can stand the accent that is – really, it’s not his fault that he’s originally from Boston 😉

  3. Any advice for what to do with a stray cat and her 5 beautiful kittens that we found in our back yard a few weeks ago? Thinking of taking them to LifeLine in Avondale or FurKids (no-kill shelters). They appear to be about 6 weeks old….
    (Anybody out there want a kitten??)

    1. FurKids was on the news the other day. They were saying that they have several hundred animals right now, and are totally full…. so are not taking any more animals. I think the situation at PAWS is similar. Unfortunately, with the economy the way it is – more people are relinquishing their pets because they can’t afford to keep them or have to leave their houses. Plus, adoptions usually go down in the summer due to people travelling. AND, we have just finished kitten season, so there are tons of kittens around. All leads up to an overwhelming homeless pet problem. Try local vets, sometimes they do adoptions. And please make sure to get momma spayed! There are lots of low cost options in the area.

    2. I thought I had heard that FurKids was full… I’ll check with LifeLine then–the mother cat isn’t ours; she’s a stray cat that just happened to choose our back yard to have her kittens! I have a feeling she was abandoned. I think I remember seeing that LifeLine had low-cost days for spaying and shots–but 6 cats! That’s going to be expensive no matter what!

  4. My house is “musty” and my clothes smell musty: this damp, dusty smell. What should I do? Get a dehumidifier? Turn up the AC more? Help, please!

    1. Either would work, but dehumidifers are loud, put out heat and must be emptied daily. I have one in my basement though, and it certainly helps. The A/C needs to run enough to cycle the inside air out, so try turning it up (by up, I mean a cooler setting).

      But, as soon as I walked out of my house this morning, I noticed the outside air had that damp, musty smell. It is humid as hell right now, and it won’t last forever.

      1. Yeah, my hair is huge. The humidity is massive high. My hair gets bigger the more humid it gets. 300 years of Southern breeding gives you that talent.

          1. Me, too. More precious than rubies are the hairdressers who know how to cut hair so it stays civilized through all kinds of weather. (I currently go to one who thinks in terms of “winter cuts” and “summer cuts” for me, to avoid fighting against the humidity.)

        1. To paraphrase Sally in Peanuts, I love the “naturally curly” look I get with this humidity.

        2. As a guy with hair straighter than, say, Dan Cathy (tee hee), I have had the great experience of never dealing with this problem.

    2. I kind of disagree w/DawgFan. I used a dehumidifier in a house w/o air conditioning where I lived (here in Atlanta!) for several years and it was great. I used the water that I collected to water plants and while it was a little loud, it was more of a white noice sound.

      Also, I was told by a person with a background in electrical engineering that the worst thing for an a/c unit is humidity as it makes the air so much harder to cool; and that using a dehumidifier along with a/c was the most efficient way to cool your house.

      If you google the cost of using a dehumidifier, it’s really not cheap, about 50 cents a day, but if you can run your a/c at a higher (warmer) temp and maybe less often, then I think you still save money.

      Also, getting all that wet air out does help enormously with the musty smell.

      And having said all that, it’s so hot that maybe nothing will really make it better — except maybe October!

      1. Spend a little extra for a dehumidifier that you can set, whether 45-50% or higher. Ours in the basement has an economy setting as well, but I leave it at 45-50 during the summer, and shut it off in the winter.It will save you money on operating costs down the road.

  5. I am never going back to Chick-Fil-A. I asked them to hold the pickle and they wouldn’t.

    1. Aw man, c’mon DM, I know damn well I would’ve been moderated for saying that!

      FM Fats, props, I actually LOLed.

    2. LOL. Actually, adding a pickle is a sure-fire way to ruin a good sandwich. Do you hear me, Community Q?

  6. “While I love to go to Leon’s, why is it always so HOT?”

    Lots of windows would be my guess as to why. But everyone’s AC is struggling to keep up right now. I haven’t been in a single restaurant the past month that was nice and cool.

  7. This has nothing to do with anything, but one of my biggest pet peeves…
    Businesses that go around and scotch tape flyers or cards to my mailbox.
    Then, no matter how carefully I remove it…it pulls the paint off of my mailbox and shortly afterward…rust! STOP THE MADNESS!!
    Sorry…I had to vent. I feel better now.

    1. That is against federal law – suggest you contact the Postal Inspection Service and let them tell that to whoever made the flyers.

      1. From what I understand, it depends upon whether it is placed on the mailbox or the post. Mailbox is a no-no, post is OK. Our neighborhood newsletter is placed on our mailbox, which is technically illegal, but I still appreciate getting it. So I would be careful of causing a crackdown.

      1. Yeah, but if you click on “How to Get It” on that page, you’ll see it’s only available in Kansas City. They won a contest.

  8. We’re new in town and looking for a great chicken restaurant with crisp waffle fries and fresh lemonade. Any suggestions? Thx a bunch!

  9. If you can live with home fries instead of waffle, Sweet Melissa’s has got you covered. They close early, but they’re open on Sunday.

  10. We can choose a gas provider–is there an alternative to DeKalb Water & Sewer? Their ineptitude cost me $4,000 last year when they turned the water on at our new home and didn’t bother to monitor the meter for 30 seconds to see that the water was filling the crawlspace. All the copper pipes had been stolen.

    Now, they send us a bill while we’re out of town for five days–the first bill–which we pay a day later than the due date that is three days after the bill arrived. We pay it immediately, then they shut off the water the following day anyway. That was yesterday. I call the so-called “emergency” number and I’m told I need to talk to billing and that it may take until Tuesday to restore service.

    I’m from NYC and I grew up in NJ. Imagine the cast of the Sopranos getting really pissed off at each other. That’s the language I am actually using here in the real world to describe this utility company.

    1. We had a similar situation last year. Posted it on DM and the mysterious forces of the universe seemed to take care of it. Hope they work for you!

    2. Grab the right tools out of your garage and you can turn it back on yourself. Not too tough, really.

    3. I had problems with DeKalb Water, and here’s how I solved them.
      After going into the office and sitting around for hours for several times to talk to someone, and not fixing the problem, I wrote a letter and send it to EVERY county commissioner and Burrell Ellis, too.

      Writing a letter to the politicians helped. My problem got solved. You can’t get nasty, but be persistent.

  11. So, how did you like the Opening Ceremonies? (Just want something new in the “Recent Comments” column. But also interested.)

    1. Since NBC didn’t stream them, and since we recently cut the cable cord and our rabbit ears can’t pull in WXIA, I didn’t see them. But I’m sure Atlanta’s were better.

    2. My family decided we are tired of huge Michael Jackson style extravaganzas. Not necessary. But we loved the parade of athletes by nation. It was colorful with lots of human interest stories but not too slow. We even learned some new countries.

    3. I’m hesitant to say anything critical because I can’t even begin to imagine what it takes to organize something like that, so I’ll say cool, but just OK. Stopped watching shortly after the fake Queen & James Bond helicopter drop.

      This has nothing to do with the director or show, but the little kids (many who were obviously disabled) were signing and singing their little hearts out to the British anthem, and when they showed the Queen immediately after they finished, she didn’t crack a smile, not even a thumbs up for them. Kinda bugged me. it was probably the biggest day of their lives, and a little enthusiasm from the person they were singing about, and to, would have been a nice gesture.

      1. Yeah, I thought the same thing. But, I doubt Queenie knew she was on live TV, but how could ANYBODY not smile when those adorable little children were singing and signing for her?

        But I was tired and fell asleep before Sir Paul. Is it online anywhere? I want to see Sir Paul!

  12. I need a recommendation for a repair person. I have a galley kitchen and need the ceiling replaced. Does anyone have a good person to suggest?

  13. People with an Acura, where do you go to get it serviced? I’m thinking about taking it to Avondale Independent but that building looks really shady.

  14. Decaturites: someone must know something about this!

    At a dinner party tonight our hostesses told us about their experience at the recent Brandi Carlile concert at Chastain (on the 27th, I think.)

    During the encore Ms Carlile asked the audience if there were any young guitar players in the house. Eventually a young woman emerged, took the guitar from Ms Carlile, and acquitted herself more than respectably.

    The young woman said her name was Laurie (Lori?) and that she was a student at Decatur High School.

    Pretty cool, no?

    Does anyone know about this?

    1. I have a friend who was at the concert and can confirm that YES a DHS student played and was given the guitar, but my friend didn’t catch the name of the student.

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