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After having a recent disaster with a tradesman I thought it would be cool to list the businesses I have used and would recommend to others. If you do contact one of these businesses, let them know you found them on this web site.
Auto broker, California: Clay and Company - 916 885-7077
Lots of friends have used the Clay Company with terrific success. I've bought four cars from them. Call them up and ask Karen for a price - she'll give you one over the phone.
Home Mortgage: Fremont Bank - 800 359-2265
I've used the no-cost (zippo, zero, nada) refinance with Fremont about twelve times in the last 20 years. It's a great deal with very little fuss. Their latest deal is an over the phone refi for current customers who have excellent payment history. They call you and two weeks later someone comes to your house to sign the paperwork. Maybe I should invest in this bank!
Real Estate Agent, Saratoga and surrounding: Suzanne Wong - 408 341-3146
Three transactions so far and she shepherded them each from start to finish. I'm very happy.
Custom Suits, all over the US: RM Rock - 818 571-7625
He travels around the Western states taking measurements and letting you choose fabric for a Hong Kong tailor to custom make your suits and shirts. Made to order suits fit great and feel good. Give him a call and get on the mailing list for the next time he's in town. These suits cost only a bit more than off the rack, a lot less than Hickey Freeman - and they fit me a whole lot better than that damn HF from Nordstroms that I never wore because it was tailored so badly.
CPA, Saratoga: Cathy Petersen - 408 741-1412
I really enjoy meeting with Cathy, I just don't enjoy paying taxes.
Moving Trucks: Budget
For God's sake don't use U-Haul. Check out my journal page for more info, or just ask your friends.
Imperial Tea Court, San Francisco
Richard and Pat turned us on to this place. It is fun to visit and they sell a zillion types of tea. After lots of tasting, my personal favorite is the highest price Dragonwell - you can taste the difference.
A/C Repair, San Jose - Ernesto (408) 996-9198
This guy was just a great guy to talk to. He really knows his stuff. He fixed my air conditioner and didn't charge me an arm and a leg. In addition, I learned a lot!
Plumber, San Jose - Van (408) 262-3667
Van has done many jobs for me over the years. Very quiet competence. He works clean, fast and solidly. He's also a general contractor.
Marble Refinishing, San Jose - Marble Doctors, Doug Johnston (800) 986-2725
The black marble was in terrible shape and they put it all back right. Nice job. Not cheap, but very well done.
Online I use the BassProShop to buy crank baits and plastics. Watch for their rod and reel specials.
In town I shop at Fisherman's Warehouse 1140 S DeAnza, San Jose 408-873-0113. They have a fantastic selection you can fondle while you shop.
Custom Ink did my "Protect American Values Vote Democrat" t-shirts in 2005. They were fast and of good quality. I really liked their interactive designer.
Kayak is my favorite site. I feel like I get the best information here. They don't sell the tickets, they just do the searching. Personally I like that. With other sites if there's a problem you have to call the site - and that's tougher than calling the airlines!