I had an electric outlet installed outside by another company. After about a year, it stopped working. I had not been very impressed with the other company, so I tried this one.
As it turned out, the fault was not in the outlet, but in my understanding of how the circuit had to be reactivated if it tripped. The Boyer Electric person who came out instructed me very carefully that not only the reset on my circuit box in the garage and the one outside, near the outlet had to be reset, but there was also an interim one, inside the house, an unusual setup. He explained the order in which they should be reset and showed me how each one should look and feel. Best of all, he did not make me feel like an idiot for just not knowing this stuff. He said the resets for outdoor outlets can be sort of fussy and difficult, and even professionals can find them so. To top it off, he even gave me his cell phone number and said if I had a question in future about what it was doing and whether I really needed a service call, to call him first and maybe he could talk me through it. Happily, his instructions were so thorough that I have been able to deal with subsequent incidents on my own.
Of course, I was charged for a minimum service call, which was only fair. I felt I got more than my money's worth in instruction, especially since the rep didn't talk down to me in a humiliating way, which he easily might have. The office person I spoke to on the phone was equally nice. I will definitely go back to this place for future electrical needs.
PROS: Know what they are doing, and don't have to humiliate you to show it
My little Acura Integra (with some help from me, with sun in my eyes) had a run-in with a supermarket cart corral, and needed some front end body work. Since this place is within walking distance of my home, I decided to try it. Since my car was driveable, they ordered the parts needed and I could use the car till they had them on hand. Then they called me to bring it in.
The work was done within the timeframe they set, and for the price I had been told. My car had some pinstriping and that was reproduced impressively. It came out looking just as good as it had before my accident, if not better.
The person I dealt with was friendly, professional, and clearly knew his business. I would definitely use this company again.
PROS: Good work, fair prices, handy location, attention to detail
CONS: Awkward parking lot, little scary to get in and out
I want my nice little Lake Forest Park Jo Ann store back! Having one within a few miles of home was super. I could get fabrics, craft supplies, seasonal junk (uh...decorations...) and a myriad of things I didn't know I wanted till I saw them, all close to home.
True enough, this store is so big, there is room for lots MORE of all of the above, but it has the same downside as most supersizing. Many, if not most, of the employees don't know anything beyond how to stock the shelves, so they are very little use at helping with a problem project or making a creative suggestion. Chances are, you will find just what you want if you look here long enough, but come prepared to look, because you won't get much help in finding anything. Though I have usually found the employees to be pleasant enough (though generally useless), I have also run into impatient, rather snotty attitudes from cashiers a couple of times.
They have lots of sales and weekend coupons, but I would rather have knowledgeable help and a smaller store nearer my home. Still, some of this merchandise is not easy to find, elsewhere, and the prices are good.
PROS: Great variety of craft supplies, fabrics, and many other things
CONS: Customer service does not seem to be a priority
This store is a terrific resource for anyone who likes to work with his or her hands, or has craft-minded children or grandchildren. It isn't necessarily going to have a deep inventory in all areas, but it will have at least a modest sampling of materials and tools for just about any craft you can imagine, with a broader and deeper selection in any area that is currently "hot" (right now, knitting and scrapbooking would seem to be two areas that qualify). They have a marvelous selection of artificial flowers and seasonal decorative items, plus various needlework, beading, painting, sculpting, and wood and metal craft items. They have an amazing selection of ribbons, and a fine framing department that can arrange for professional mounting of your treasured pictures or photographs. One thing they have that does not quite seem to fit the usual "crafts" category is a wide range of Wilton cake decorating supplies.
Books and magazines are also available to provide inspiration. Classes and workshops for adults and for children are held periodically, and many of the staff are happy to share suggestions and give assistance in their own areas of interest.
Sales and weekend newspaper coupons are frequent, and prices are reasonable.
PROS: Wide range of basic craft tools and materials
CONS: No fabrics, not a lot of depth in some areas
There are two sides to this long-established business, both part of the same store front. The jewelry side of things is presided over by the mother of the gentleman who repairs clocks and watches on the other side.
The jewelry, both new and some estate pieces, is attractive and appealingly displayed, in a wide range of types and styles.
The clock side of the business is more technically oriented. I have a Seth Thomas oak-cased mantle clock that I inherited from my great-grandmother. The clock had been through a fire and several years before, it had been expertly restored by a clockmaker on Capitol Hill. When I brought it in to the Gillis establishment, it just needed cleaning and adjustment. It was very clear that the owners of the shop truly appreciate and respect fine timepieces. They gave me tips on caring for and moving the clock that have been a great help to me, and they expertly reset the calendar mechanism of my clock, something many shops would refuse to touch.
It can take time and some expense to restore a fine timepiece, but I felt this place charged very much in accordance with the value given.
PROS: Nice jewelry store coupled with outstanding timepiece repair
CONS: Can be expensive, depending on what needs to be done
This pool is one of several taken over by NW Center when King County divested itself of them a few years ago. Since then, funding is tight and the fates of the pools seem to hang in the balance, year by year.
While maintenance could be a little better at times, the young staff (constantly changing as their high school and college schedules require) are enthusiastic and capable, and the regular users of the pool find its conveniently central location in Bothell outweigh any other considerations.
There is a full schedule of shallow and deep water aerobics classes, swimming classes for adults and children, lap swim, public swim and family swim times, and frequent special events such as float-in movie nights. Prices vary, but prices and activity times are clearly outlined on the website at www.nwcenter.org.
PROS: Convenient location, many activities, enthusiastic young staff
CONS: Occasional maintenance deficiencies; it's an older pool
I worked as a volunteer assistant to the reading specialists at this school for several months last year. I was at the school for a few hours a couple of days a week, and had a chance to observe office staff, teachers and students in several classrooms in a variety of situations. I was very positively impressed, particularly by the respect that everyone showed everyone else, students and teachers alike. The polite, caring, gentle attitudes principal Kelly Arimaki fosters in his school are a delight to experience. Here is the school's impressive Citizenship Pledge:
"I promise to be a good citizen at Maywood Hills
by being responsible for my actions. I will treat others as I would want to be treated and act as a positive role model. In addition, I pledge to respect diversity in all people, while recognizing our commonalities."
That's pretty nice, and what is nicer is that they don't just repeat it, they live it. Kids are kids, sure, and they aren't perfect, but if encouraged to behave well, they will, by and large. This school is just not shrugging off bad behavior.
PROS: Strong positive examples for respectful, caring attitudes
CONS: No negatives that I saw
His phone number is (206) 276-2962, but this website wouldn't let me enter that with the Kirkland address.
I have used this handyman on two or three different occasions when I wound up with various little chores that were just a bit beyond me: re-hanging closet doors that had come off their tracks, fixing cabinet hinges that were hanging crooked, repairing a smoke alarm that had stopped functioning. He also made a door to secure my crawl space from critter entry under my deck.
I found him to be good humored and reasonable, charging very fair prices (he does have a minimum fee per visit, which is only reasonable, so if your chores are small ones it makes sense to save them up till a visit is worthwhile). He will tell you honestly if a particular need is not within his area of expertise, and he may be able to recommend someone who can do the work.
I also appreciated the fact that he allowed me to ask his opinion on a couple of things via email before having him come over and charge me a fee.
PROS: Good basic building and repair skills, fair prices
This contractor did a very extensive rebuild of the two-level deck at my daughter's home, and also a rebuild of a deck across the street from my house. The quality of his painstaking workmanship is very impressive, as is the quality of the wood he finds to use, considering the very reasonable prices he charges. He also made very useful suggestions about the best way to increase space on one level of my daughter's deck by rerouting the stairs a bit.
He was a pleasure to deal with, though a bit slow at times. However, the work was so beautifully done, no one was inclined to complain.
He also did some cabinet refinishing and installation for my daughter, since it was his slow season, but decks and fences are his real area of specialization.
PROS: Fine workmanship, excellent materials, great prices.
CONS: Not for you if you value speed over quality of work
For over fifteen years, I went to The Polyclinic to see my primary physician. He was excellent, but I liked the clinic for other reasons, as well. First, it allowed me to schedule tests (mammograms, blood work) at the same time and on the same premises as my annual physical, which was a great timesaver since I lived in a fairly distant suburb.
Also, because so many different doctors worked out of the same facility, my primary care physician always knew a good specialist to recommend when I needed some extraordinary care. I was usually able to get that (colonoscopy, X-rays) at the same place, as well, which greatly lessened the stress of going to a new doctor.
There is also a handy pharmacy and a coffee shop/deli in the building. There is an adequate parking garage, although its spaces are very tight and doctors don't validate parking (at least, mine didn't!). The costs are fairly low, however.
Finally, The Polyclinic made scheduling appointments and handling insurance billing relatively smooth and easy.
PROS: Many care providers in one place, with common access mechanisms
CONS: Tight parking you have to pay for