Author: montytx

Dealing with Bad Granite Countertop Sub Contractors in Dallas

Isaac Villareal Granite Installer Dallas

Notice the plug cover under the faucet in the center.

As a Remodeling General Contractor I am constantly trying to side step unscrupulous contractors who do poor work and then won’t stand behind it. Today I would like to call out Isaac Villareal a Granite Installer here in Dallas. Isaac can’t follow directions and doesn’t speak enough English to do the job right. I contracted Isaac to do a large granite install involving a kitchen and a bathroom. First off I showed him the bridge style faucet my client wanted to use which has a hot and cold side, but no middle hole. While it is a small detail to drill 2 holes instead of three, he managed to screw that up. Luckily my client agreed to put a cap in the center hole and move on rather than what another week for a new slab to be cut.

A few days later we discovered a large 12″ x 12″ area on the bar that had been unnecessarily buffed with a grinder and the high gloss sheen had been diminished. I assumed Isaac would fix it. I was wrong. After stopping by a lazily two weeks later he said he was going to have to re-template the project and order more granite. Then poof, he disappeared and simply could not be reached. He would not answer a dozen phone calls I made to him, respond to voicemails or answer my text.

This is what I call a shitty contractor. I run a top notch business. I always fix my client’s issues and expect the same from my subs. If you can’t run your own business without screwing over your clients then you need to be out of business and instead flipping burgers at Mc Donalds.

To be fair, I screwed up. I made the mistake of trusting this moron, Isaac Villereal, to do a good job and paid him when the job was “done.” Little did I know he can’t keep his grinder off the polished surface of granite.


Avoiding Lake Lewisville in the Texas Drought

lewisvilleI’ve been silent on my blog for almost a year for personal reasons, slaying a dragon, so to speak. I do feel like commenting on Lake Lewisville and just how bad of shape it is in. We decided to test the waters this past weekend and spent several hours at the lake just hanging out on the beach and doing minimal boating around. Well, wouldn’t you know it on the trip back to the dock, dead center in the the lake, in 30 feet of water, we hit the top of a tree. I am not sure why the Army Core of Engineers did not clear out the trees in the main part of the lake, all I know is that at 6pm on Sunday we were stranded with a spun out hub in my prop. What is a hub you ask? It is a piece of plastic that sits between the prop shaft and the prop, it is designed to give if you hit something. Well, while I would expect to hit something in 5-10 feet of water, I would not expect that in 30 feet at full throttle.  I feel lucky that nothing more happened, but I am angry that the lake is even open at this point. It is around 68 percent full and clearly is a death trap for the wrong boat. If you are thinking about visiting the lake, don’t. There are better choices until the drought passes and it refills.

Adding Weights as a Yogi

I have been practicing yoga for 14 years and my practice has slowly progressed in that time. I have had plenty of setbacks, from back problems to a MCL knee injury to hyper-extending the same knee while skiing. One thing this does is help me keep a humble perspective on my yoga practice. I am a type A personality, and I like to push myself, but due to my injuries, this is not always possible. My body ebbs and flows more often as I approach my mid 40’s, and it recovers more slowly.Simply put, I have good days and bad days. I have begrudgingly accepted this slow decline as a part of my life, but while I have to age, I don’t have to give in and become a 40 something year old with an out of shape body, a beer gut and low energy.

This year has been a pretty good start for me. While I am fighting tennis elbow on both arms and a wrist problem, my older injuries are not kicking up too much of a storm. This has allowed me to start my goal of lifting weights 3 times a week with a focus on my chest, arms and shoulders. I am a couple of months into my routine and thus far I am happy with the results. I don’t want to over bulk up, that is not my goal, but rather I want to tone up and develop a more cut look.

That brings me to my yoga practice. Yoga is great at developing legs, abs, shoulders and bi/triceps, but is abysmal at chest exercising. That is what led me to cutting back on yoga and adding more weight lifting to my routine. If you are a guy peaand want flexibility and muscles I highly recommend you consider yoga 2-3 times a week and lifting 3 times a week. Adding these two very different styles of exercising together will produce nice results. The big upside, I have found, is that arm posses such as crow, side crow, and peacock are much easier to hold.

Since my right wrist is tender, I try to avoid putting too much pressure on it. I discovered the other day I could do peacock with just one arm under me rather than both. This is because my arms are stronger from the weight lifting I am doing. I also can do side crow just using my left arm for support and my right arm just for balance. So if you are looking to take your yoga practice to the next level, I highly recommend integrating weight training into your regimen. This will dramatically improve your inversion practice.


Why I love my Amex Gold Card

I have a gold Amex card and I am not a big fan of the $150 annual fee, I feel like I golddon’t get enough from the card versus what I pay to possess it. Of course, it is a step down from the platinum I had in ’07 and ’08 til the economy made me rethink every nickel I spent as a small business owner and I had to dump 6 employees and my warehouse to survive the tsunami that is our current economy.

Fast forward to 2012, I knew I needed a new vehicle and I had to decide between a car and a truck. Oh, how I wanted a GMC pick up ( it would have been my third in 20 years), I can’t begin to tell you how those commercials pulled at my strings to make me want sugar coated, prettily colored rice with yummy marshmallows in a bowl of succulent milk. I kept looking at those pickups like a cactus looks at chapstick, I simply had to have one.

But, at the end of the day, I decided a really fun car would offset my disappointment

cactuswith not getting a new truck. So I got an Infinti instead, the absolute opposite of a GMC Sierra( why can’t American car companies make a good premium car anymore?). GM would be disappointed of course, and the cacti would not get Chapstick to slaver all over themselves, but at the end of the day I realized, why would I want to buy a new truck so I can trash it up with my construction business? I store all my tools in the back seat. I jump in my truck frequently with a screw driver in my back pocket and end up slicing a hole in the seat.  My current truck smells like fries, ass, and foot. This is the ideal smellesborg if  you are single and ever have to put a date inside the cab .

Did I mention the Spring hail this prior year pounded my area beyond recognition and totaled out the truck (along with everything around me) and really added a touch of “white trash” to my previously blemished work vehicle? Well, since the hail my truck looks like the ugly cousin of Fester. Which is fine with me, as long as it runs. Unfortunately for me that has changed recently.

Seven months ago I swapped out the old fuel pump for a new one. The truck has run great until this past month. Twice I have driven to a habitat job site only to end up stuck there cranking the engine while it mockingly refuses to turn over. Quite a pain in my ass to say the least. Twice I have had to have the truck towed home. If you are wondering why I didn’t fix the truck after the first tow see this post. This is where my Amex comes into play. I found out that I get 4 tows a year at $25 each. That’s a hell of a nice bonus from the card, which has already paid for itself this past month and definitely makes it my favorite card for sure. So, if you own an older vehicle a gold card is a great way to cover your rear if you ever get stuck anywhere.