MTQ All Stars

Local (or mostly local)

Abele Tractor & Equipment Co., Inc - Abele is an unassuming business off Everette Road.  It was my fortune to find them after numerous calls to other local businesses in an effort to get a snow blower tire repaired.  These guys were a pleasure to speak with on the phone and my wife remarked how warm and family like they were when she picked up the tire.  Thank you, Abele - I hope I don't get another flat for a long time, but I know where I'm going next time I need help with the snow blower or lawnmower.

Armory Garage - For years, John had worked in the Used Car department where he was employed when I first (almost) bought a car at the Armory Garage.  I was recently married with children and I had agreed to buy (contract signed, deposit given) a low mileage 2 door.  I suffer from occasional back pain and was concerned about having to crawl over the front seats to install car seats in the back of the car.  John saw that I wasn't quite comfortable with purchasing a 2 door and allowed me to void the contract and refunded the deposit.  We had an occasion where the valves on the tires went bad and Armory stood by their vehicle (beyond the warranty).  Armory has consistently treated us fairly and respectfully.  We are now up to 3 (new) mini-vans and 1 used car purchased through Armory.  A quick thanks to Ray, Jim, John and Eric who helped us with our most recent purchase.  Tip:  Regardless of whatever dealer you choose, I strongly recommend that you arrange your own financing.

The Blue Ribbon Diner - If you have a family of fussy eaters (or people who like to eat, period), you can't go wrong with this choice.  Prices are very affordable and serving sizes are generous.  I love their Moussaka (Greek), also recommend their Greek dressing on your salad.  Plenty of choices for dessert here.  Who needs a bakery; you can get great cheesecake and baked goods right here.

The Book Nook, Crossings Park - Operated by very personable volunteers with proceeds going to the park and library.  50 cents soft cover and $1. hard cover.  Operates while Farmer's Market is running.  (In general this is Saturday throughout the summer).

CapCom FCU (Federal Credit Union) - Why go to a bank?  The staff and service at CapComm is phenomenal.  They repeatedly go above and beyond.  If you have kids who get great grades and/or love to read, check out their savings programs for kids... my kids consistently rake in $40 each year just by bringing in their report cards.

Comfort Windows, 518-783-3171 - We had Comfort Windows installed in our former house and they were professional and the windows were of good quality.  When we moved to our current home, we were told that Comfort Windows were installed in the 4-season room.  Over the winter a crack developed and I contacted Comfort Windows.  There was not a record of the sale, but regardless a representative came to our home to verify.  They turned out not to be Comfort Windows, but their actions reflect that they are serious about standing behind their warranty.  Additionally, the representative was very helpful and explained how our windows could be removed and where we could go to get the window repaired.

Price Chopper - As I reflected in a past post, this grocer has demonstrated a long term commitment to the local area.  I recently had an experience where a Price Chopper product (macaroni salad) was bad and in response to a phone call, I felt the store manager, "Is***", went above and beyond in responding to this irate customer (yes, I'll confess; I can be more crotchedy than Maxine).  I'd also like to recognize Price Chopper's commitment to provide an incentive for shoppers to use their own bags.  They are the last of the 3 major grocers in the area to do so.

Quality Pools, 518-454-0001, 456 Sand Creek Rd, Albany, NY 12205 There are many places in the Albany area that will sell you cheap pool crap; however, reliable and affordable pool service in the Albany is hard to find (likely due to our very short pool seasons).  This place does not have a fancy showroom, but Won the owner is consistently responsive and fair in his pricing.

Scotia Cinema - What a treat - an independent old time theatre.  While you're there, visit Jumpin Jacks Drive-In and Collins Park.  I also love to visit the Salvation Army Thrift Store while in the area and there is also a Walmart Super Center nearby.

Suburban Construction - 518-213-3394 I have a losing track record when it comes to contractors, but have been satisfied with Mike and his family 2 out of 2 times.  Suburban specializes in roofs and siding and they have done great work at reasonable prices for this work on my home.

Westgate Barber Shop, 518-482-4237 - Pasquale consistently delivers a great old fashioned haircut finished off with warm shaving cream and straight razor shave of the back of the neck.

National (and beyond)

Alside Vinyl siding - several years back, we were doing some home improvements and adding siding to some areas of the house.  We had previously installed some Alside siding that had faded from the sun.  I never believe those "lifetime guarantees," but was pleasantly surprised with Alside who provided great communication and courteously made good on all the faded siding.  I wish more companies behaved like this one!

Blum: As with Alside, I am impressed by the responsiveness of Blum and it is great to see a company that stands behind it's products. My experience has been that if you encounter a problem with a Blum hinge, this company stands fully behind its product and will replace it free.

Loews for their support of Veterans.  Loews has long offered all veterans a 10% discount.

Craigslist - What a great resource and FREE.  Simple to use without annoying pop-ups and uncluttered with crap.

Google - Consistently relevant searches plus so much more (Blogger, Drive, Photos, Music, Phone via Voice) - thank you, Google.

McDonald's - Yeah, I know you're saying "you've gotta be kidding".  Well no; I'm not.  Their value menu makes this an affordable option for everyone, whether you want a meal or just to take a break.  They are supporters of technology, commonly offering free, open wifi.  McDonald's has consistently reinvented themselves, most recently giving their coffee and drinks a makeover...I hear you also saying..."but, but, their food is so bad for you..."  well, have a salad and leave me alone...

Yuengling - All beer is not created equal.  Yuengling consistently delivers fresh, great tasting beer at a great price - I feel like I'm drinking an expensive beer, but the price is about the same as what you'd pay for a Budweiser.  Their lager is a great year-round beer; I also love their Black and Tan.