My brother Mark fell in love with cars when he was a teenager... Thirty-two years ago, he made his dreams come true, opening up Campbell's Classics on Highway 183 in North Austin. He specialized in British sportscar sales and repair. I remember a shop full of Triumphs and MGs. I was into muscle cars back then, but he'd let me take one home anytime I liked. I learned to downshift and hug corners, and quickly figured out their appeal. Then, construction made 183 a mess and he moved his business to I35 in Round Rock. A steady stream of gawkers hampered his ability to get work done, so Mark happily sold that location for a tidy profit and moved again. In Taylor, he found a large open building that had once housed the Boot Scoot bar. It became the new home for Classic Street in 2007, and he's been there ever since. Elvis used to perform at the Boot Scoot when he was stationed at Fort Hood back in '58. Mark claims that when he's working late at night, the wind can sound like Elvis crooning a love song. Maybe not so far fetched. I've heard Elvis loved cars as much as my brother does. Classic Street focuses on the '50s and '60s muscle cars and trucks, as well as every kind of classic. A one-of-its-kind, right-hand-drive prototype Triumph TR250 still sits next to his office. If he can stop restoring cars long enough, he may get it to England one day where it will command top dollar. The problem is he stays busy seven days a week, buying, selling, and restoring classic cars. It's a labor of love though. Everyone who works there suffers from OCD (Old Car Disease), the same as my brother does. It just looks like a field full of old vehicles to me, but his fellow enthusiasts show up and claim it's a gold yard. Mark Campbell's cell is 512-255-4556. He's happy to talk with fellow car nuts about his passion anytime, or you can check out www.classicstreet.com to see his collection of cars, trucks, and services.
My old air conditioner gave me seventeen good years, but as it neared the end of its life it was starting to have problems. I figured it might limp along for another year or two, but with my luck, it would kick the bucket about the same time my thermometer hit 103. It's still winter, so I wondered if I could find a good enough deal on a new system to make replacing the old one a no brainer. I called three different companies for bids and had three very different experiences. The first company came out, looked things over, and with a minimum of due diligence gave me a relatively high bid. The second company gave me a detailed pitch on why their company was the biggest, the best in the business, and so always the one to buy from. They ran their checks and covered my needs, but half their knowledge impart was FUD on the way to a sophisticated, semi-hard close. The third company was Green Leaf out of Round Rock. They chose a low key, service-oriented approach, and did a few things the other companies did not... In addition to actually sharing the details of their tonnage sizing data (which opened my eyes as to how much energy I’d been losing through my old single-pane windows), they did a complete air quality test for free. They explained a home is a contained environment that tends to hold in contaminates. They tested for high carbon dioxide and monoxide levels, particulates that might have fiberglass in them (because of the type of vents used), even relative humidity. The good news for me? Every result was in the Green. But, running those tests helped them make sure they could quote me an A/C system that would meet all my needs. On the way to providing a quote, Green Leaf dispelled the FUD that had been thrown at me and brought up an issue with my plenum (that I hadn't said anything about because the other two companies dissed me when I expressed my concerns). Their quote included replacing the plenum, installing a top of the line wi-fi thermostat, extra breakers sized specifically for the A/C, and a specialized surge protector to prolong the life of my new system. It also included the whole house purifier I've been wanting for years. Their competitors quoted 16 seer, single-speed on/off systems with the purifier. Green Leaf’s quote included a 700 increment variable-speed motor system that would make my home much more comfortable. Their quote wasn't significantly higher, but their system was 18 seer, and it was a Trane! They even threw in twenty-four-month financing at zero percent. So, was it worth buying in the winter? That's a big, fat YES! Since I was willing to engage in a little negotiating, it was just like buying a car last day of the month when the dealer still has quota left to meet. In the winter, air conditioning companies are trying to keep their good techs employed. In the summer, they are slammed, so there is little leverage for negotiation. I'd read that the most important day in an air conditioner's life is the day it's installed. Trane is very particular about who installs their systems and, even though it was a Friday and they were there from early morning till almost dark, I had three very experienced techs from Green Leaf spend their entire day getting my install just right. Here's Juan sealing the return cavity. It’s another “white gloves” service of Green Leaf’s not offered by their competitors. Their service manager Brent stopped by in the afternoon to quality check the install and spend a little time with a new customer. I've only had my new air conditioner system for a little more than a day, but my house is already noticeably more comfortable. My new system has lowered my humidity, cleaned my air, and is busy learning my personal preferences. Within the next couple of weeks, it will keep my home comfortable year around without me having to touch the dial. If you ever call Green Leaf, be sure and ask for Darwin. He’s one of the owners and he will take excellent care of you. He's a proud father, so be sure and ask about his four girls. https://www.greenleafhvac.net/ 512-636-9636
I love stories like this. The other day one of my neighbors told me about an ice cream shop in her Wisconsin home town. It used to be a dairy delivering all the milk for the town (back when that was a thing), but nowadays they sell ice cream. Whenever the mercury in the thermometer begins to freeze, they start giving away a scoop of ice cream to anyone willing to drop by their store. This sounds like an exercise in futility, doesn't it? Well, she said people line up out the door and down the street waiting for their free scoop. When she was a little girl, she says she was happy to do the same. I did a google search, and found a link that tells the rest of the story... https://thetakeout.com/wisconsin-store-free-ice-cream-below-20-degrees-1832159705