Free-For-All Friday 1/3/14

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

Comments close on Monday. Happy New Year!

111 thoughts on “Free-For-All Friday 1/3/14”


  1. Does anyone have a hot tub/spa company that they like? We have found ourselves with a hot tub that needs some work and we also know nothing about maintenance or service. thanks!

  2. Best company for purchasing/installing hardwood floors? Also, since I’m trying to match older, existing hardwoods, is it recommended to buy the (oak) floors unfinished and have them stained, or buy them pre-finished in a matching color? Thanks y’all!

    1. We have used Georgia Painting & Design Co. 404.784.5533. Will you be refinishing the existing floors as well? if so, I would recommend getting them unfinished and getting them stained onsite.

  3. We’re in need of a good roofing company for some repair work. Any recommendations? Thank you!

  4. It’s recommendation Friday, I suppose…
    Does anyone know of a good furniture repair shop? We have a couple of broken dining room chairs we’ve rather repair than replace (one being antique.)
    The one we used previously in L5P has closed.

    Thanks

  5. A very important fortune cookie question for the very learned and philisophically savvy DM community:

    On December 30, we ordered Chinese takeout. One fortune cookie was not opened until January 2. The fortune reads, “The star of riches is shining on you this month.”

    Does “this month” refer to December or to January? Meaning, has the star of riches already shined on us, or do we have 28 more days of potential riches-star-shining?

    1. January, absolutely. The fortune becomes effective when the words are received, not when they are sent. Otherwise all the fortunes in all the cookies in all the cookie warehouses in the world would already be expired. What kind of god would do that to us?

  6. Need a new general physician for yearly checkup. Male or female, doesn’t matter.

    Has anyone recently purchased a computer and realized the printer doesn’t work with windows 8? I have 2 of those printers, they both work fine with Vista, and anything below 8 but they are bricks to me. Has anyone found any secret tricks to get around this. There aren’t even any drivers for Windows 8 for they and they aren’t that old! One I only got around to pulling out of the box 6 months ago. Annoying!

      1. How strange. I will have to give it another go. Although that was going to be my excuse to buy a cool new wireless printer this weekend. I’m going to try not to conveniently forget your post.

        1. I bought a cool new wireless printer a few months ago and am completely befuddled by it. Fortunately, I later decided to rearrange my work space so it’s convenient to just plug the danged thing into the computer. The only net gain was getting rid of the separate scanner, freeing up space.

          1. I don’t care if it actually prints or does anything it says it will do. That’s how strong the power of the $20 in coupons for other purchases Best Buy gave me, are swaying my purchase. And look! They’re working exactly as designed!

            xoxo,
            Consumer Sucka

  7. I need someone to tile the floor of my downstairs powder room half-bath. Seems like a job for a good handyman rather than a specialist. Anyone good who would do such a small area?

  8. Does anyone in the city have good internet service at a good price? I live in MAK and I swear that new lines of any kind have not been run for at least 20 or 30 years. AT&T DSL stinks and so does Comcast. I am surprised that we can’t get modern and reliable service in such a dense intown location.

    1. For AT&T, DSL is on the way out and U-verse is the replacement. We have had it for over a year for both internet and TV, and it is much faster and more reliable than either DSL or cable.

      To find out if you can get it in your house, go to att dot com, click on Internet, then the Check Availability button. You can put your address in there and it will tell you if it’s available.

      1. I have been to their website to check. They do not offer real fiber in my area and won’t tell me when they might. Not only that, they cap your usage. I only want internet, we cut the cord and stream or use antenna for TV now. Is there no way to get more competition for our business?

        1. Sorry to hear that’s not an option.

          As for more competition, I think you’re out of luck. High-speed Internet (and TV) infrastructure is so expensive, few companies can afford to invest in it. The cost of equipment, installation of the wires and switches, dealing with local governments, keeping up with changes in technology (remember when DSL was THE technology?) and a myriad of other costs and difficulties make it prohibitive. Even satellite is tough. Back in the 90’s, Iridium spent billions putting 60-some satellites in orbit to provide worldwide wireless telephone service, and failed spectacularly. The satellites are still there, and they are still trying to get things going. But they burn through money like a politician.

          The major telecoms invest billions per year in their current infrastructure to expand and upgrade, and new competition with that kind of cash just doesn’t exist.

          1. Internet speed, both at home and mobile, is an area the U.S. is well behind other developed countries (though geography is certainly a factor; denser areas and isolated pockets like Chattanooga have competitive speeds, though they’re expensive). We get less for the money than users in many other countries.

            1. For wired broadband, those countries that have faster speeds have much higher density and/or have subsidized deployment with government dollars.

              For wireless, the US has the most extensive buildout of LTE network capacity and the highest smartphone penetration. US carriers are spectrum constrained by the FCC and are frequently limited in their ability to deploy additional towers due to local zoning. The majority of the most effective spectrum in the US is dedicated to military applications. Less spectrum yields less capacity. Less capacity yields lower experienced speeds.

              1. Good points. Though on the smartphone penetration rates, the U.S. ranks between 10th and 15th, depending on which study you look at. Countries ahead are much smaller, generally.

        2. Not only that, but they (ATT) will hound you unto madness. My sister lives in Buckhead and a couple of years ago, AT&T convinced her to upgrade to Uverse. Turned out they couldn’t actually provision it at her house, which led to quite a rigmarole getting them to straighten out the billing — take UVerse off the account and charge her fairly for the services she does get (landline, mobile phones, and DSL). Ever since, AT&T continues to hammer her without mercy, trying to get her to upgrade to UVerse. Her response is if they come out and hook it up, then she’ll gladly subscribe to it as previously agreed, but they have to get it working before putting it on her bill. They never take her up on that.

      2. I hate to rain on the U-verse parade, but U-verse is nothing but DSL. DSL with video on demand added. Uverse runs on DSL. U-verse is a mostly a marketing effort.

        U-verse (DSL) is aimed solely at those neighborhoods who:

        1. Are very affluent – Ok so that is most of today’s Decatur, since almost no one else can afford to live here.

        2. So close to the device providing the service that they could actually achieve something better than 3 Mbps. Read that as “those within a couple thousand feet” of either the Central Office or a remote DSLAM (the giant ugly box in your neighborhood).

        3. Contain residents willing to take a “bundle” and be locked into a contract that is nearly unbreakable once you realize how awful the service actually is.

        I doubt you will see FTTH (Fiber To The Home) in Decatur for a L O N G time, if ever.

        1. You are correct, way too expensive to lay FTTH in old, established areas like ours.

          I just upgraded my internet w ATT and they had to run another DSL line to the house to get the speed required — effectively have 2 incoming lines that provide the throughput instead of one now.

        2. “Contain residents willing to take a “bundle” and be locked into a contract that is nearly unbreakable once you realize how awful the service actually is.”

          Not sure I follow you on that one.

          1. Well, I was speaking of three examples. One of them was neighborhoods that are made up of a demographic who will be likely to take the whole enchilada… a bundle. These are more affluent people who really don’t consider that as a big worry and will take a 100.00+ package with 2 year contract without batting an eye. Those are some of the types of neighborhoods where they will run fiber and install remote equipment that is close enough to the users to sustain a fast enough speed to enable the bundle services (mostly video on demand)

            It is a tactic that seems to work- U-verse has eclipsed many competing services in several markets. I believe they now have more video subscribers than Verizon FIOS (according to Fierce Cable). But as I said it will only be offered “where the rich folks live”. They have met resistance in lots of areas by people who do not want that big cabinet in their front yard, or corner, or sidewalk.

            (DSL aka U-Verse) can only work over copper wires. Another reason AT&T will continue to pick and choose carefully where it deploys any future DSL/U-verse is that they are slowly getting out of the wireline business. They just sold off that business in Connecticut. http://www.fiercetelecom.com/story/frontier-acquires-atts-connecticut-wireline-ops-2b/2013-12-17

            Verizon has announced they are discontinuing wireline service in some hard hit Sandy areas. Good bye DSL. Good bye many types of burglar/fire alarm monitoring and other things like pendants telling someone that you “have fallen and you cant get up”. Their choice now will be a box that connects their existing home phones over cellular wireless.

            But isn’t cellular rapidly becoming the choice of many people in this area as well? Bingo- another reason AT&T will not continue to deploy DSL/U-verse. With no wireline phones, there’s no need for wirelines.

            But all that aside, what I asked in my first message was “How much are you willing to pay”?

            If you could pay to get 30 Mpbs service in your home from someone other than Comcast (or AT&T assuming they could even offer it), how much would it be worth to you? $100.00 per month? $50.00 per month? What if it was 50 Mbps, or 100 Mbps? How fast does one ever REALLY need in an average home? What if the monthly service was really cheap- say 19.95 or 24.95, but you paid for the amount of bandwidth you actually used (like your water bill)?

            I believe the actual winner of the Internet bandwidth game will be the Cable Companies.

            This is because they ALREADY have the only true broadband connection to the homes in this area. That little piece of coaxial cable is capable of providing Gigabit speed and several Cable Companies around the Country are already delivering nearly that. All Comcast has to do they have to do is enable it. They have already got fiber running past your house in many neighborhoods. Decatur is a market where this could easily happen, because they have pole rights already and there are very few underground utilities here.

            Just opening a few discussion points.

            1. I’m not even close to expert on any of this stuff, but it seems to me most people would pay fifty bucks a month for 30mbps. For users with a real need for more than that, pricing for actual usage would probably make sense for the providers. Unfortunately, I’d guess cable companies are likely going to make up for a decline in new cable programming subscriptions by charging more for internet access, even at the slower speeds.

    2. The website told us it wasn’t available on our street, even though our neighbors have had U-Verse for a couple of years. It wasn’t until we called and informed a live human of this fact that they came out and installed. Might be worth a quick poll of the hood to see if anyone is already a U-Verse customer.

  9. Just discovered that a new cashmere sweater (worn once) has a small hole in the sleeve. Any recommendations on a place that may be able to repair the hole?

    1. No, but is that a moth hole? If so, you need moth prevention. Anyone got suggestions on what provides the most effective, least toxic moth prevention?

      1. Not sure. The sweater is only a week old and has not even been put away in a closet or drawer, though that does not mean moths haven’t found it. If it is a moth hole, is it doomed forever or can it be cleaned, repaired, and stored properly? I have no idea how to treat my clothes. A Google search suggests I can repair the sweater on my own but…. no.

        1. Don’t think the cause of the hole affects the difficulty of the repair. But repair of holes (i.e. darning) in finely knit sweaters is tough. I’d take it to a good seamstress/tailor on the premise that anyone who can sew well can probably darn well.

        2. Actually, darning is quite a different thing. I would ask at one or more of the best dry cleaners I could find, they are the most likely to know who could repair it for you.

          If you think it might be a moth hole, respond the same way you would if you suspected the presence of vermin in your pantry. Go on a careful search for evidence, i.e., turn out all closets and drawers where you keep wool and/or silk clothing. Use Google to learn about what to look for and what to do if you find it. (Even if you see nothing live, be sure and check corners of closets and drawers for egg cases.) Like everything else pertaining to housekeeping, it’s a gigantic pain in the patootie (IMO). Good luck!

          1. How do you use the term darning? Wikipedia’s definition seems to fit how we always used the term;
            “Darning is a sewing technique for repairing holes or worn areas in fabric or knitting using needle and thread alone. It is often done by hand, but it is also possible to darn with a sewing machine. Hand darning employs the darning stitch, a simple running stitch in which the thread is “woven” in rows along the grain of the fabric, with the stitcher reversing direction at the end of each row, and then filling in the framework thus created, as if weaving. Darning is a traditional method for repairing fabric damage or holes that do not run along a seam, and where patching is impractical or would create discomfort for the wearer, such as on the heel of a sock.”

            But I’m no good at darning and maybe that’s because I’m not only using the wrong term, but the wrong technique! Is reweaving the better term and technique? An outfit that makes reweaving their business, e.g. the business mentioned below–Saul’s Reweavers–seems like the best solution for us amateurs.

    2. We have had great luck with Saul’s Reweavers in Buckhead. They are not cheap but do a fantastic job.

      1. My family has used Saul’s (in Buckhead and Sandy Springs) for YEARS and had good luck with them on most things.

    3. We’re a knitting shop in downtown Decatur and we help people with repairs like this all the time. We have yarn for those that want to attempt the repair themselves, but we also do small repairs like this here. If it’s too big or complicated we also have someone we use for that! It’s usually a $20 or less job depending on the yarn needed and the time it takes to make the repair.

      1. Wow, great to know! Thanks, PaulJama for the question because the discussion is going to come in handy.

      2. This is AWESOME to know–the spousal unit has a couple of moth-attacked cashmere sweaters that I’d been planning on tossing, but now will be bringing to you to see what can be done. Thanks so much for responding to the OP!!!

      3. Not for nothin’ but Sheepish is my favorite yarn shop ever, of all time. (I’ve been knitting for nearly 50 years, so I’ve seen me some yarn shops.) If you knit or crochet or know someone who does, or think you might like to learn how, check them out.

    4. why not take it back to the store? unless its a gift, but maybe you could get the giver to give you the receipt.

  10. Happy New Year ! The Decatur Bulldog Boosters invite you to start 2014 off on the right foot by participating in the 9th annual Run With The Dogs 5K on Saturday, January 11 at 9am. Register online at http://www.active.com (search “Run With The Dogs”) by Friday (1/3/2014) to take advantage of a 20% discounted fee and visit us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/RWTD5k).

    Run or walk this 3.1 mile course through the neighborhoods of the City of Decatur. Challenge yourself or just come out with friends and neighbors for the health of it. Dog owners are invited to bring their canine companions. Long sleeved event t-shirts are guaranteed to all pre-registered participants. All canine companions will receive a special commemorative event kerchief.

    All proceeds support the athletic programs of Decatur High and Renfroe Middle Schools. The Run With The Dogs is the first qualifying event in the City of Decatur’s 2014 Grand Slam Fitness Challenge. Hope to see you there with two legs or six!!

  11. Tried Villagio a few days ago. Major disappointment. Was hoping to have a nice moderate priced Italian option near Decatur.

    Had an “eggplant parmesan” appetizer and the cheese looked and tasted like pre-shredded Great Value mozzarella. about 6-8 shreds on top on was not melted, let alone heated at all, was still cold.

    Entrees were a shrimp pasta with red sauce and a bizarre chicken piccata. Both were on the underside of marginal.

    Service was confusing as server didn’t really seem to know what was on the menu and coordination with kitchen did not seem to go well.

    Usually we will give a restaurant a second chance, but will be hard in the case.

    I am curious to hear other takes on this restaurant.

    1. I thought the kabobs were good. I agree, the piccata was a little strange and hard to eat in that bowl. The parmesan truffle fries were quite good (but not what I’m looking for when eating Italian). We went on $10 bottle of wine night, which is pretty great. Overall, just ok. I will be back though.

    2. That is disappointing, but for the best eggplant app in the city go to Sapori di Napoli. I dream about it. It comes with small green salad and crusty bread. Add a chianti or Peroni and it makes for a good lite lunch.

  12. Need a recommendation for an HVAC repair company/person. Luckily we have heat, but need to get the A/C looked at – and figure out why kid bedroom 1 is a dry sauna, and kid bedroom 2 is an ice box. Have opened and closed numerous vents and with luck. Hoping this is fixable and I can stop dressing one kid to sleep in the summer and one in the Arctic Tundra.

      1. We’ve used Empire for ages. Don’t know if they are the best choice but we’ve never had a reason to change.

  13. Does anyone have a recommendation for a Free-For-All Friday site that isn’t so full of boring requests for recommendations?

    1. We could start a thread about how Auburn is going to trounce Free Shoes U on Monday! And we can also take side bets on whether I actually make it to the game or
      whether the next three nights in Vegas kill me beforehand. If you all don’t hear from me again, you’ll know why…

        1. Wife went to Auburn. I am now contractually obligated to be an Auburn fan too. It helps that I hate UGA, too. But you can call me a poser if you’d like. It beats the other p-word that usually comes out now when people talk about Penn State.

          1. Went to Bama and won’t hold your Auburn affiliation against you. I’d add that unless FSU can stop that ridiculous Auburn run attack, they will have a long night. Can’t decide who to root for.

      1. I like FSU by 17 points, and will bet a “you were right, I was wrong” post on next weeks FFAF.

      2. War Eagle from a jealous ( meaning too cheap to pay that price for championship tickets) alum !

        1. Got em yesterday for just over face value. And will no doubt make up even that price in the poker room this weekend 🙂 Boarding in 10 minutes for our flight to Vegas for some fun before the game!

      3. Have we somehow gotten transported to the dark side of the moon, where New Year’s bowl games are scattered to hell and gone? I happened to notice on New Year’s night that there was not a single football game on TV, and it was completely weird. I’m too old and lazy to have gotten myself in a position to be nursing a hangover on New Year’s Day but if I had, I would not have known how to cope if not able to sip a Bloody Mary and nap to the background noise of ball games.

        1. All about maximizing that tv revenue. But in my opinion playing the national championship game on a Monday night stinks. At any rate, the bowl games will be even more diminished once the playoff system starts next year. Only the two semi-final games will garner interest.

    2. Did you see my fortune cookie question? I think it was a really interesting debate-inducing question, but of course Parker Cross solved it definitively and immediately.

  14. In honor of Keith F, does anyone know a good bathroom renovator? Tile, plumbing, that sort of thing? Thanks.

    1. I used Dennis Delashmit (www.phicompanies.com) for a complete re-do of my smaller bathroom, and I was very pleased with the results. Found him through Angie’s list. His tile/detail man is amazing. Phone 770-256-1618.

  15. A while ago, there was a conversation about SiriusXM subscription fees, and multiple commenters recommended negotiating with them for a lower price.

    Well, I just got off the phone and I want to say THANK YOU for that suggestion! Got a killer promo deal and I also made sure they won’t auto-renew me (forcing them to call me directly when I near the subscription end date, where I can renegotiate the deal).

    DM saved me a whole lotta money!

  16. Anyone had a solicitor from GPB ( Georgia Public Broadcasting) at their door today? Young man on Ferndale and Willow. Didn’t open the door and found it a little odd. Curious if he was legitimate. May call the station to see if this is a new practice.

    1. I’ve heard people say they stopped contributing after the Chip Rogers appointment. They must really be struggling to pay his salary! 🙂

  17. Shout out to Decatur’s own Nicki Salcedo, whose first novel was published yesterday! All Beautiful Things. Yay, Nicki!

  18. Opera is coming to Avondale Estates. Peach State Opera, an artist affiliate of Georgia Perimeter College in Clarkston, is performing Mozart’s comic opera Cosi fan tutte` on Saturday, January 11 at 3 p.m. in the sanctuary of The First Baptist Church of Avondale Estates. Fully staged and beautifully costumed, the opera company has cast professional singers locally and from parts of the country.

    Così fan tutte is a delightful comedy of love and disguise. Don Alfonso wagers Ferrando and Guglielmo that their fiancées, Fiordiligi and Dorabella, will be unfaithful. Don Alfonso enlists the aid of the maid, Despina and the two hatch a plot in which Ferrando and Guglielmo are called off to war, only to re-appear disguised as exotic “Albanians.” The “Albanians” attempt to woo each other’s fiancée with surprising results. What transpires is a mixture of hilarious farce and poingnant drama in Mozart’s comic masterpiece, sure to be enjoyed by all ages. Cosi Fan Tutte is one of the most popular and frequently performed operas in the world today. Join Peach State Opera as we bring our English-language version of this wonderful comedy to your community.

    We’ve extended the Holiday Special for our Avondale Estates (metro Atlanta) performance! $5.00 off adult and senior tickets with promo code “disguise”.

    Hurry, this special ends January 5th!

    Peach State Opera presents Mozart’s Così Fan Tutte
    http://www.xorbia.com

  19. Anyone here do mortgages? I am looking for someone who knows something about “renovation mortgages” or other ways to fund a house addition, ideally on the basis of the final value of the property. Thanks! [email protected]

    1. Jeff Hancock is the obvious choice in Decatur. He absolutely positively will do you right. And has been doing it for many years. 404-371-4500 jeff.hancock {at} sheltermortgage.com

    1. My kids just loved Snowpocalypse a few years ago, sledding down the middle of our street with a bunch of other people from up and down the block. If it rains Sunday, then goes below freezing Sunday night, with snow Monday morning and highs in the mid-20s Monday and Tuesday, we may have shot at a mini-Snowpocalypse!

  20. Would someone please remind me what occupied the space where Greene’s Fine Foods (candy) is now? JUST BEFORE it was Greene’s? Thanks!

    1. For a brief period, it was a bookstore which I think then moved to the corner of the Square (where there’s now a weird variety store) then failed soon after. It was called something like Wordsworth and it asked for donations to survive near the end of its life.

      1. Thank you! We kept thinking bookstore as we munched on our ice cream and gummy bears, but couldn’t recall for sure/which one.

      2. Weird? The market clearly demonstrated a desire to purchase a hot dog, some nail polish, a NASCAR hat, a slice of pizza and a doo-rag under one roof! My 14 year old finds their merchandising inspired.

  21. Just got the robocall from CSD. School cancelled. My tough-as-nails Midwestern Grandpa is raising an eyebrow at my kids from Heaven above.

  22. Looks like CSD just fired up the Wussy 5000 in response to tomorrow’s forecast. All schools closed. (Ha! Galazo beat me to it!)

  23. Decatur High Student Choreography Showcase next weekend January 11th (7:30 pm) & 12th (1:00 pm). For her sophomore school project, our daughter is doing a fundraiser for Decatur City Dance and she’s directing a dance show showcasing a number of student choreographed routines featuring members of the Junior Rhythm Keepers tap group and the Rug Cutters swing group.

    Ought to be two fun shows! Performances will take place at the Decatur School of Ballet location at 141-C Sams Street. Shows are complimentary but donations are appreciated.

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