Atomic Axis’ Green Mobile App allows you to earn Whole Food Coupons

You already recycle, carry reusable bags and water bottles and shop organically, and the benefits are considerable–you feel great about yourself, you’re out saving the world and whatnot. But what if you could earn something more immediate and tangible, like, I don’t know… Whole Foods’ coupons?

Did you say Whole Food coupons?

Whole Food Green Mobile Apps developed by Atomic Axis Whole Planet Foundation’s new free green mobile app, Make Change, Not Waste created by Atomic Axis, an Austin based mobile application development company gamifies learning about eco-actions.  Released in May, this mobile application gives users the opportunity to track their green activity and earn coupons to Whole Foods (which by the way are instantly available to scan on your phone at the checkout) for their actions. Planning on donating those old clothes that have been hiding in the mysterious depths of your closet? You can earn rewards for that.

Performing green actions like buying in bulk, reusing towels and taking short showers earn users of Make Change, Not Waste valuable coupons to green brands like Organic Valley, Alexia Foods and Natures Path. Don’t want to use the coupons on yourself? Not a problem. After earning a coupon, an option is available to donate a percentage of the coupon back to Whole Planet Foundation to aid in microcredit loans. You can track how much money you’ve raised under the “My Impact” tab, as well as bags you’ve avoided by reusing your own. Continue reading

Lake Travis Mansions

When I first moved here in 1984 I drove out Lake Travis and truly fell in love with Austin.  The view from the area around St. Luke’s church was just stunning.  In 1988, I looked at lake lots on Lake Travis–found some for around $80,000 with cute little houses.   Recently, I took a ride out on a friend’s boat and snapped some pictures.  These aren’t $80,000 cute little houses are they–Here’s a few snapshots of how the other half (well ok 1%) live.

Mattress Max's House?

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Greenling – Organic Groceries Delivered to your Door

Today we are talking to Mason Arnold, “Cookie Monster” of Greenling Organic  Delivery.  Greenling is an Austin based company that delivers fresh organic  produce directly to your door.

AroundAustin: Mason what does Greenling Organic Delivery do?

Mason: We deliver Organic and/or Local food right to people’s door.  Everything  is done online.  You browse just like you would at a grocery store, pick and  choose what you want, then schedule it for delivery.

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Justice Pest Services

A critter had crawled into one of our vent pipes in the house and died.  Yuck!  The smell was horrible.  I couldn’t quite get to it…and my wife wanted it out now.  We called a number of services to get rid of it.  Have you considered signing up for our Platinum program….How’s next Monday…we’ll send someone out to give you an estimate tomorrow….An estimate?  I wanted, well much more importantly my wife wanted … that critter out now so the house was usable.  We weren’t in the mood to be upsold and frankly an estimate was just not that important.

A friend recommended Justice Pest Services.  We got Mr. Justice on the phone, and he was apologetic that it would take him till that afternoon to get there to help us.  He had a some appointments that he had to take care of but he’d swing by our house on the way home.  Mr. Justice called me about 30 minutes before he needed someone at the house (none of the I’ll be there sometime between noon  and 5:00.  He was there on time, got rid of the dead critter and the house smelled better.  After solving our problem he offered to help us put screens up on the vents so it didn’t happen again.

Simple customer service from a local Austin business, what a wonderful way to win customers.  I’ve already got Mr. Justice on speed dial for our pest control needs. 

Justice Pest Services, (512) 261-2465,

Need a Haircut

I’ve always hated getting haircuts from hair stylists–I don’t want my hair shampooed, styled, and sprayed with hair spray.  A nice basic haircut is fine, Thank you.  In college I always went to Wooten’s Barber Shop and hoped that the “right” barber chair would open up–get the wrong barber and your hair wouldn’t look good for a week.

That’s not a problem at Alan’s Hair Design–there’s only one chair and Alan cuts your hair every time.  Make an appointment!  Alan has over 40 years of experience cutting hair.  The antique barber chair has been in use for a while longer–over a 100 years.  Alan bought it from the barber that trained him.  Give him a call, show up for your appointment, get a professional haircut in 30 minutes and find out what Alan’s family has been up to (son and daughter both barbers, or a grandson he’s raising)….soon you’ll find yourself rooting for Alan to win the jackpot on one of his Vegas trips.

Alan’s Hair Design, (512) 345-3634, 3445 Executive Center Dr, Austin, TX 78731

BookPeople–Austin’s own bookstore

I go to Border’s and occasionally Barnes & Noble like most people.  However, my favorite bookstore is Austin’s own BookPeople. BookPeople began in 1970 in the student district at the edge of the University of Texas, Austin as Grok Books.  Now at 40,000 SF it’s the largest independent bookstore in Texas.

The store is located on the corner of Sixth Street and Lamar close to other Austin mainstays such as Whole Foods, and Amy’s Ice Cream.  It’s filled with nooks and crannies where you can go hide and look through your favorite magazine or book–my favorite is the barber’s chair on the second floor.  The gift selection is “Austin Hippie” and includes an eclectic variety including incense, statues of Buddha,  Jesus and Sigmund Freud action figures, handcrafted jewelry….

BookPeople also has frequent events that showcase local and national authors.  Authors that have shown up at BookPeople include Amy Henry of Apprentice fame, Kinky Friedman, Deepak Chopra.  Check out the events schedule at their website and definitely check out the bookstore.

BookPeople, 603 North Lamar, (512) 472-5050.

Awesome image viewing program

An Austin based company, Photodex, makes my favorite image management program–CompuPic Pro. My brother in law, Cy, introduced me to this program. I have to admit he had to install the darn thing forcibly on my computer and now I can’t live without it. It easily manages images of every size (Adobe’s Album program choked on the high resolution scans from negatives because of their size). The darn thing is quick, much faster than other viewers. You can tell that people who’ve really worked with digital pictures created the thing. For example, it is easy to rotate the images that come from your digital camera with a single keystroke. Another feature I like is that it has standard image sizes built into the resize function so a single keystroke chooses the size of the image. I’ve used the feature that allows you to quickly create a web album for pictures of family functions–sure makes it easy to share. The software also has a reasonably competent image editor for macro edits like changing the levels, running filters, cropping, etc. For full image editing you still need something a bit more full featured. If you work with digital images a lot, download the free trial version try it out, then buy it and support this Austin company.

How to handle a screw-up

Finally, a business that knows how to handle a screw-up. I dropped off three frames at Binswanger Glass a couple of days before X’mas after they said they’d be ready X’mas eve by noon. I asked them when they’d close and they said 3:00. I was there at 1:20 and they were closed tight. Needless to say I was steamed especially since one of them was a present for Dad.

When I walked in Monday still a bit hot under the collar, the manager, Terry, came out immediately and apologized, and explained that they’d made a mistake and comped the entire bill (it was significant since one of the pieces being framed was rather large). What a positive way to handle a mistake–not denying it, not making an excuse, heck not even waiting for me to ask what they could do. A good lesson in turning a mistake into a long term customer.

I’ve always got the glass for my frames at Binswanger because they are friendly, usually handle the job perfectly and deliver quick results.

Binswanger Glass Co, (512) 454-7755 8733 Burnet Rd, Austin, TX

Send a UT Postcard

Want to send a postcard with a University of Texas theme to a friend. Go to They have some postcards with great photography. Gotta give credit to Jack from ECA for finding this website. Check out Jack’s company if you’re interested in call center services. We use ’em and we’re thrilled.

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