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

Find lost property-Texas Unclaimed Property

Texas Comptroller Unclaimed PropertyOne in four Texans has unclaimed property from forgotten bank accounts, uncashed checks, security deposits and utility refunds. It’s your money.  Over $2.2 billion in cash and other valuables waiting for the rightful owners to claim. It’s never too late to make a claim*. Sound like a bad informercial?  A scam?

Nope, just the Texas Unclaimed Property Site.   It’s run by the Comptroller’s Office and it doesn’t cost a dime to check the site or file the claim (so don’t fall for the nasty scammers who claim want filing fees).   We’ve found money from closed bank accounts, an insurance refund check that didn’t quite make it back to us ($500!), and even money from an overpaid bill.    A tip, when you’re on the site check for money owed to your friends and relatives–they will always appreciate a tip on free money.

We found out about this site via CheapDeep-our local version of Clark Howard.   You can find and like CheapDeep on Facebook

Renewing your Driver’s License?

A little white card in the mail….crud….can’t renew the driver’s license online.  They want to see my social security card.  Last time I saw that card was in high school.  I have never held down a real job and thus never had to produce it.  After digging through piles of boxes, I actually found the card my social security card was attached to…hmmm…wonder if that’ll be good enough.  I went down to the DPS main office to renew the driver’s license and it looked like people were waiting in line for tickets to the Texas-Ohio State game (anyone got any to share?)…crap…looked like a several hour wait.

Here’s a clue…If you need to get your Driver’s License renewed and can’t do it by mail or online I’d highly recommend going to an alternate office such as the one on 1500 Congress (near the Capitol) between 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  I was told by the Sergeant that’s a slow time.  At peak time (lunch) I waited 15 minutes.  There’s parking out front (take quarters). \  Oh yeah take cash/check they don’t take credit cards.  You can find alternate offices where you can renew your driver’s license at the DPS website.

Whew!  Legal again. 

Lake Travis Panorama

One of the best ways to cool off on a hot summer day is to head out to Lake Travis and take the boat out.  This year Lake Travis is extremely low (659′ right now, full is 681′).  So if you’re going sailing especially with a full keel watch out for those sometimes islands.  This time I decided to just take a few pictures. 

If you want to see a larger version of this panorama go to (remember you can use the mouse to scroll, the shift key to zoom in, the Ctrl key to zoom out).

360 Bridge Panorama Shot

I got curious on how to create a 360 degree panorama, and after endless hours of research on the internet I finally figured it out.

I’d like to thank our sponsor MicroAssist for supplying the webspace for this 360 degree panorama of the 360 bridge.  You need QuickTime to view the panorama.  Click and drag your mouse to move in a direction (or use the arrow keys).  Use the Ctrl and Shift key to zoom in and out.

I’m planning a few more panoramas around Austin.  Among the sports I’ve already thought of are:

  • Capitol
  • University of Texas Tower
  • Lake Travis

I’d love to do a couple inside some musical venues, and perhaps one inside Memorial Stadium.  What other places can y’all think of?  Reply in Comments.

Need a Ticket? Call

My mother’s never been to a football game. Ever! I needed to trade in my two tickets for four so she could go see her first football game (yes I know it’s just Rice but what the heck). I called and Austin owned business (1-800-SOLD-OUT) and a few minutes later they’d traded my two tickets for four. is owned by my good friend Randy Cohen–an Austinite. He’s managed to get tickets for all types of events from Longhorn sports, local concerts, Broadway and Las Vegas shows, and even international events like the World Cup. Best part is you can go pick up your tickets at Dobie Mall instead of worrying about whether a ticket broker will mail you the tickets or not.

Another cool Austin business.

Precision Camera & Video — Austin’s own camera store

The internet and digital cameras have caused local camera stores to be slowly pushed out of business to be replaced by the mega New York stores and big box retailers. One of Austin’s camera stores is holding it’s own, Precision Camera. This local store offers knowledgeable sales staff, a great selection, camera service, great development and printing service, classroom training, and even lets you send in photos online for printing. The used camera section is frequently my downfall. The digital wonders are fun but there’s something about well made, mechanical cameras that have been making pictures for generations that captures my fancy. My latest aquisition was an Nikon F3 HP–one of the toughest Nikon’s ever built. If you’re considering buying a camera check out this local store–their prices are highly competitive and the service can’t be beat.

Precision Camera & Video 3810 N. Lamar, Austin, TX 78756

Historical Maps of Texas – A great gift

Looking for a very “Texan” gift. The General Land Office will make you a beautiful copy of historical Texas maps at a very reasonable price. In fact, I’ve seen the same maps at poster stores for as much as 10 times time price. If you live in Austin the easiest way is to just head down to the GLO at 1700 N. Congress Ave., Suite 840 and pick out your map with the help of the friendly staff. If you are a bit farther afield, click on the link below. If you are a map nut like me you might want to consider their Adopt-a-Map program.

General Land Office Map Collection

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