Accounting / Tax Preparation
Alexandra L. Miller, CPA, P.C.
7403 E. Tanque Verde Road
Need a good CPA? Alex Miller is your gal. Highly professional. Most helpful in resolving taxing issues before they become a problem.
Acupuncture / Chinese Medicine
Dr. Clare Zhang, PhD, MAcOM, Lac
6650 N. Oracle Blvd. Ste. 100 & 2930 N. Country Club Dr.
I have spinal stenosis, a degenerative bone condition that results in a narrowing of the holes in my vertebrae that my spinal cord runs through. This narrowing causes pressure on and inflammation of my spinal cord. The opening in my vertebrae where nerves exit my spine and run down to my hips & legs have also narrowed, exacerbating the problem.
In my case, the narrowing is accompanied by bone spurs that poke and irritate these nerves. In addition, I have a couple of bad discs. Lucky me.
Also associated with spinal stenosis is extreme pain and very limited ability to walk. If I walk more than 50 yards or stand for more than 2 minutes, my legs go numb. Shortly thereafter, my legs collapse and I’m on the ground. I don’t like that.
I have had two back surgeries to correct the immediate problem and both were successful. However, within a year following each surgery, the condition simply cascaded down to the next vertebrae. Consequently, I’m reluctant to have more back surgeries.
So, on the advice of a friend who has been treated successfully by Dr. Clare when Western medicine failed to help, I made an appointment.
I know of several people who have been helped by acupuncture, including my 93-year-old father and my younger brother. I have since talked with others who have been helped by Dr. Clare.
However, my condition is so severe that Dr. Clare’s treatment could only render very short-term improvement – a day or two at the most. Nevertheless, I think she is very professional, knowledgeable, and dedicated to her craft. Definitely recommended.
Automotive Service & Repair + Automobile Collision Repair + Automobile Dealership + Automobile Rental Company + Automobile Insurance
Fletcher’s Tires & Auto Service
Holmes Tuttle Ford
USAA Auto & Property Insurance
When we moved to Tucson we had a Ford Aerostar. Fletcher’s at Grant & Silverbell was the only place I ever took it for tires, shocks, and general service. They kept it going for 144,000 miles and I never had a problem with it on the road. Then in 2008 we traded it in for a new Ford Edge at Holmes Tuttle Ford Dealership. Got a good deal! :)
When our Ford Edge warranty was up at 40,000 miles (except for drive train warranty at 60,000), I began taking it to Fletcher’s just out of loyalty.
Most recently (April 2012), I needed new tires. Fletcher’s outfitted our Edge with their best Michelin Tires.
I had not driven a mile on those new Michelins when I noticed a considerable increase in road noise.
A week passed and both my father and Ms. Karen said they noticed that the road noise was louder than before. So I called Fletcher’s and spoke to Steph, the manager. He told me that I could bring our car back in and he would personally check it out.
In the meantime, some lady smashed her car into the passenger side of our Edge and my very excellent insurance company, USAA, suggested I take it to 911 Collision nearby on the west side. So it was almost three weeks before I could get the car back to Fletcher’s.
What I was particularly pleased with is that 911 Collision was able to match the body paint exactly. When I got our Edge back it looked good as new. That is until I realized there was a lot of black grease all over the interior. Great :(
Robert, the 911 Collision manager, came out to look at the situation. I could tell he was horrified and embarrassed. At Robert’s invitation, the next day I took our Edge back to 911. They rented another car from Enterprise for me, again the Enterprise shuttle picked me up and took me to their Wetmore facility, and I took off in a nice Mazda sedan for the day while 911 detailed the interior.
I must say, renting a car from Enterprise on Wetmore was a slick, hastle-free experience. These folks are friendly and efficient.
Anyway, when I got our Edge back, the interior looked new again. :)
The next day I drove to Fletcher’s to deal with the road noise issue. Steph, with me in the passenger seat, took it for a test drive and said they would put a different set of Michelins on – no charge. Great! :)
This they did and Steph & I took the car for a spin. We both agreed – much quieter. Then Steph said, “However, it sounds like one of the rear wheel bearings is going out.” Great :(
I checked with Holmes Tuttle Ford to make sure wheel bearings are still covered in the original power train warranty. They were. Great! :)
Holmes Tuttle Ford Service Manager Mike had his guys check it out. Come to find both rear wheel bearings were bad and would have to be replaced right away. Except Mike had to order the parts and that all was going to take a few days.
I explained to Mike that Ms. Karen & I were scheduled to go on a 3-day road trip the next morning and that we had hotel reservations that we could not cancel.
Service Manager Mike said, “No problem. I will make a rental car available to you – no charge.” Great! :)
But wait. I explain to Mike that we would be traveling to Southeastern Arizona on some unpaved back roads and would need a high-clearance vehicle. :(
Without hesitation, Mike said, “No problem. Enterprise Rent-A-Car has an office right inside our showroom. They will have a Ford Escape ready for you. (Escape is Ford’s smaller version of the Ford Edge.)
Enterprise had my paperwork ready and in a few minutes I drove out with a nearly new Escape. Slick! :)
Four days later, I returned the Escape (well-made, good handling, & terrific gas mileage), and picked up my now quiet-riding Edge. Through the whole process, I didn’t pay a dime, except for the first new Michelins, and our Ford Edge is like new again.
Jim’s a happy camper! :)
2005 W. Ruthrauff, Ste. 161
The sign on the door reads: “Not your grandfather’s barbershop, but it could be.” And so it is. Swade is an old time barbershop with the kind of friendliness and personal attention your grandfather would have expected from the barbers in his hometown.
When I first moved to Tucson, I tried several barbershops, but was never really satisfied until I found Swade.
Paul Potts is the owner and an excellent barber. He has three or four other barbers working with him. Pros all.
I have a beard, which makes my every-three-weeks visit to Swade a tad more complicated than an ordinary lowering of the ears. Also, I expect my barber to use a straight razor for a clean shave and well-defined lines.
Each haircut and beard trim ends with either a hot or cold towel, my choice, and a shoulders and neck massage. I always leave happier and more relaxed than when I walked in.
The specialties of the house include:
- Style cuts
- Family cuts
- Straight razor shaves
Paul has some merchandise for sale and other specialty services. Stop in at Swade Barbershop and he or one of his barbers will explain them to you.
Pueblo Dental Center
David Drabs, D.D.S.
1000 N. Silverbell Road
In our family, Dr. Drabs is referred to as Dr. Painless. He does first-rate work – cavities, crowns, etc. – but goes to great effort to make sure we are as comfortable during a procedure as possible. I’ve gone to Dr. Drabs ever since I moved to Tucson almost 10 years ago (as of May 2012). Definitely recommended.
Eye Wear / Glasses
4545 N Oracle Road
For years prior to having cataracts removed from both eyes (2011), I was a patron of LensCrafters on Oracle across from the Tucson Mall (not the LensCrafters in the Mall). Every year or so, I would need a new prescription and corresponding new lenses for my frames.
Two years before having my cataract-clouded lenses replaced by spiffy new plastic ones, I was again in need of new glasses. But this time, my order got screwed up, actually twice, causing me to wait for several hours instead of the usual one-hour turnaround.
Lloyd, the owner/manager, extended his apologies but told me that I could pick my glasses up the next day.
I explained to Manager Lloyd that the next day I was scheduled for my second back surgery in the early morning and that I would not be able to drive for at least 3 weeks.
Without hesitation, he said that he would bring them to my home in a few days when I got out of the hospital. And he did.
I am impressed by businesses that render their product or service to my satisfaction the first time. However, I am particularly loyal to those who don’t get it right the first time, but go out of their way to make sure that I am a satisfied customer.
Eye Exams / Eye Surgery
Dr. Thomas Ginman, Optometrist
Office inside of this LensCrafters
4545 N. Oracle
Dr. Timothy Hodges, M.D. Eye Physician & Surgeon
1502 N. Tucson Blvd.
As Dr. Ginman’s office is inside of this LensCrafters, it was convenient to have him examine my eyes for a new prescription. When he did my eye exam in 2011, he told me that I have cataracts. Not plain ol’ ordinary cataracts either. But the fastest growing kind.
I asked his advice. And after some discussion, he recommended I see an eye surgeon.
I can be fairly forgiving of a business that screws up the first time, so long as they rectify the problem. But when it comes to my eyes, I want it done right the first time. No exceptions. So I asked Dr. Ginman who he would go to if it was his eyes.
He recommended the surgeon who had performed the operation on his eyes, Dr. Timothy Hodges, M.D.
Long story short, Dr. Hodges performed the surgery on both of my eyes. First the right, then two weeks later, the left. The procedures were quick and painless. And now I have 20-20 vision and only use cheap drugstore cheaters to read very small print. Both of these specialists are first rate.
Firearms / Firearms Training
Marksman II Pistol Institute
1280 W. Prince Road
Several years ago, when our two youngest grandsons were about 12 & 13 years of age, I took them to Marksman II for firearms training. Marksman II sells guns & ammo, provides NRA Certified Firearms Training, and also has an indoor pistol range. There you can rent a pistol for the range and buy ammo.
The training session lasted about 5 hours. First, Tracy, the instructor, made us familiar with the various parts of a pistol, had us disassemble and re-assemble one, and then started on detailed safety issues. He was particularly good at answering the boys’ questions.
After about 3 hours of classroom instruction, we broke of lunch. An hour later we re-assembled at the indoor firing range where we were given ear-protection, a 38 caliber pistol, and some ammo. Tracy recited the rules of the range and then the boys blasted away at paper targets for an hour.
I forget how much the training was, but it wasn’t much. And it included everything but lunch.
I am not a gun nut. But I do believe that by the time they get to be 10 or 12, every youngster should know how to properly use a weapon and handle it safely. Guns are too prevalent and too dangerous for them not to be properly instructed. Marksman II: highly recommended.
La Casa Mexicana
204 S Park Ave
If you click on the name of this store above, you will be transported to the Contact Us page of their website. The picture of a door you will see is the original front door to our main residence that La Casa Mexicana made for us.
Now the story. Martha Mendivil owned Aqui’ Esta in the Lost Barrio. Years ago we ordered a new side door for our casita from her. It was beautifully carved from alder and has held up remarkably well, given Tucson’s extreme fluxuation of temperatures and intense sunlight.
So, when it came time to replace the two original front doors, we went back to Aqui’ Esta. Except by now Martha had retired and sold the business to her daughter, Luz Marina Mendivil, who had changed the name to La Casa Mexicana.
We had a fairly extensive discussion with Luz Marina about what we wanted in terms of wood type and carvings. We wanted them to be made of a wood that would hold up to the elements for at least 20 years. And mesquite is prohibitively expensive.
Ms. Karen gave Luz Marina her drawing of a sun for Luz Marina’s craftsmen & artisans to replicate in wood for the main residence. In charge of the craftsmen and artisans, and an artist in his own right, is Luz Marina’s half brother, Gerardo Olmedo. They have two workshops, one across the street from their Lost Barrio location and another in Nogales, Mexico.
Custom doors such as these take a while, but eventually Gerardo came and installed the new doors. They were magnificent.
Since then, I don’t believe any guests have come to our house without commenting on how beautiful our doors are and asking where we got them.
However, after about 6 months we noticed that both doors had developed substantial cracks. The wood was splitting. Gerardo came to investigate. He looked puzzled because he expected the wood to hold up as it had on many other doors he had made.
But he concluded that they may have received a shipment of uncured wood. But it could have been any number of factors. Nevertheless, Gerarldo apologized and said he would replace both doors – no charge.
I did not take Gerardo’s promise lightly. Not only because of the wood, but also because of the highly skilled wood carvers needed, I knew that making two new replacement doors at no cost would be a heavy burden for their little company.
Unlike most people who would find excuses to avoid doing the right thing because of the expense, Luz Marina & Gerardo did the right thing despite the cost.
Time passed and Marina searched the country for appropriate wood. She received a shipment of cedar, but it wasn’t right. Eventually, she received a shipment of alder.
This time, Gerardo was taking no chances. He changed the way the alder door planks are held together so they couldn’t split no matter what.
When Gerardo arrived to install our new, new doors, we were delighted. Again, that same high quality craftsmanship and attention to detail.
Installation required Gerardo to spend a lot of time & energy modifying the door jam, but when he was finished, the new, new doors fit perfectly.
La Casa Mexicana, located in the Lost Barrio, makes and also imports fine Mexican furniture and accessories. If you want to see examples of their quality workmanship, go to their showroom. Or, even better, go to Theresa’s Mosaic Cafe’ behind the McDonald’s at Grant & Silverbell and have yourself a fine Mexican meal on one of the beautifully carved dining tables made by La Casa Mexicana.
Luz Marina’s La Casa Mexicana is highly recommended!
Hospitals / Surgeons
Tucson Medical Center / Dr. Jeffery Barons
Oro Valley Hospital / Dr. Kevin Bowers
I had four major surgeries in a four year period. Dr. Jeffery Baron works out of TMC and twice cut a 7″ long, 5 inches deep hole in my back. The first time he performed a laminectomy on L4 & L5 and fussed them. The second time, a couple of years later, he performed a laminectomy on L3. Both were successful. The only problem now is the stenosis has migrated to adjacent vertebrae and I’ll most likely have to have Dr. Baron work his magic one more time.
Dr. Kevin Bowers works out of Oro Valley Hospital. In between my back surgeries, he replaced my arthritic hip joints with shinny new titanium implants. Excellent workmanship.
Compared to TMC, Oro Valley Hospital was like going to a first-class resort & spa. On the other end of the scale is Northwest Hospital on La Cholla where an ambulance took me following an “incident”. The staff there allowed me to writhe in agony for days before they would give me the medication I needed and demanded. I cannot think of any circumstances where I would agree to go to NW again.
The Pain Institute of Southern Arizona
Reid Bullock, M.D. Board Certified
4582 N. First Avenue
Try to image a torturer jabbing an ice pick into your hips over and over relentlessly. That’s the kind of pain I was experiencing the most recent time I visited Dr. Bullock (2011). To say that I was desperate would be a gross understatement.
Over the years, and in between surgeries, Dr. Bullock has given me epidurals, injecting a powerful steroid directly onto the area in my spinal column with the greatest inflammation. Within a day or two, the pain is substantially reduced. But the effect only lasts 8-10 weeks. And eventually, the procedure doesn’t work at all. That’s when I would start looking for a good surgeon.
On my most recent visit, Dr. Bullock not only gave me an epidural, but also blasted that area of extreme inflammation with 6 minutes of radio waves. This deadens the nerve at the source of my pain.
Of course, if he had killed the nerve, I’d never walk again.
It has been 11 months as of June 2012 and I have been nearly pain-free ever since. My legs don’t work well, but at least the pain is under control. The good doctor says the benefit may last as long as a year and a half.
If you suffer from chronic pain, Dr. Bullock is the man to see.