Songs About Cars

Songs About Cars

Americans love their cars. So much, in fact, we can’t stop singing about them. Driving, cruising, racing and traveling in cars has long been a theme for both male and female singers. Tracy Chapman sang about a “Fast Car” and Sammy Hagar shouted “I Can’t Drive 55”. Gary Numan sang “Cars” and The Cars sang “Drive”.

Some artists have taken it further though, singing about more specific cars, some including makes and models. Here’s a look at songs about particular cars that have hit the charts.

Hot Rod Lincoln

Released in 1971 by Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, Flying Airmen, the song was originally penned by Charlie Ryan, owner of the Hot Rod Lincoln that raced a Cadillac in the song. The tune included the line “Son, you’re gonna drive me to drinkin’ if you don’t stop driving’ that Hot Rod Lincoln.” They just don’t write them like that anymore.

Little Deuce Coupe

When the Beach Boys sang about a “Little Deuce Coupe” in 1963, they were singing about a hot rod that was already over 30 years old. The little deuce coupe was a classic 1932 Ford that was considered the ultimate hot rod of its time. The song helped create the genre known as “Hot Rod Rock”.

Little GTO

Following the success of Little Deuce Coupe, in 1964 a group of session musicians in Nashville called Ronny and the Daytonas gave the world “Little GTO”. It reached number 4 on the Billboard rock charts. The GTO was produced by Pontiac, with the GTO coming from the Italian Gran Turismo Omologato. The GTO later became a Pontiac muscular car later in the sixties.

Little Red Corvette

Alright, Prince wasn’t really singing about a Chevy when he released Little Red Corvette on his 1982 album, “1999”. He was using the car as a metaphor for a woman who moves quickly from man to man. The theme is evidenced by the lyrics “Move over baby, gimmie the keys, I’m gonna try and tame your little red love machine.” Smooth talker that Prince.

Big Yellow Taxi

This song was written and released by Joni Mitchell in 1970 and released by Counting Crows in 2002. Rather than a song about public transportation, “Big Yellow Taxi” was a song of environmental lament and has turned into a sort of anthem for the cause. Lyrics include the iconic “Don’t it always seem to go, you don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone.” Mitchell is said to have been inspired to write the song from looking at the Pacific Ocean in Hawaii and then looking at the massive paved parking lot of her hotel.

Red Camaro

You don’t have to be a country music fan to appreciate the theme of Red Camaro. The mere sight of a girl driving a red Camaro brings back fond memories for the singer. Uplifting lyrics to Red Camaro include “ Turn up the music loud, take the T-top down, and let the chrome shine.” Now THAT’s a car song.

Whether you drive a Camaro, Lincoln, Corvette, Pontiac or Ford, our team of independent automobile insurance agents has you covered. Let us do the comparison shopping for you. Connect with us today for your no-obligation price quote.

Nine Inexpensive Tips To Get Your Home Ready to Sell

Nine Inexpensive Tips To Get Your Home Ready to Sell

Sure, you can spend thousands of dollars on a bathroom or kitchen remodel, but getting your home ready for sale doesn’t have to be expensive. There are plenty of things you can do yourself (or pay someone to do) that are easy and cost effective. Here are some tips on where to start.

Painting

Dollar for dollar, perhaps nothing has a bigger impact on the price than a gallon of paint. Brighten up those dark rooms and put a coat over those dramatic accent walls. New paint even adds a fresh smell to a musty room.

Clear Space in Cupboards and Closets

Your home can look like it doesn’t have enough storage space if the closets are wall to wall clothes and shoes. Take at least half of what is in there, out and store, sell or donate it. Same thing with cupboards and cabinets in the kitchen and bath. Make no mistake, any visitors will look inside of them.

Clean Windows, Sills and Frames

If you are selling your home, just cleaning the window glass isn’t enough. Take the time to clean in and around the windows, including in-between and the frames. Open and close them to ensure they are in good working condition.

Pay Particular Attention to the Entranceway

Often times, real estate agents will fumble sorting through keys at the front door while showing a home. There is literally nothing else to do in these precious moments than to look around. Make sure this area is pristine and pleasant.

Mow, Trim and Edge

Now is the time to have your lawn, bushes and grass looking as good as they ever have. Spend a few dollars and get your mower blades sharpened and get that yard into shape.

Clean Carpeting and Flooring

Whether you do it yourself or pay a professional, it is important that floors are clean and spotless. Clean flooring makes the home look well kept and clean carpeting can remove any slight lingering odors.

Store Personal Photos and Mementos 

Personal photos and personal items can add to a home’s cluttered appearance. It also can serve as a constant reminder to a buyer that this is someone else’s home. You want to make it easy for them to imagine your home as theirs.

Use Simple Staging Tricks

Take at least the time to stage the living and dining areas with fresh flowers, plants, place settings on the dining room table, a centerpiece and other small touches.

Pay Attention to the Small Things

Multiple small items in need of repair can quickly add up in the mind of a prospective buyer. Look for the little, inexpensive things you can quickly repair. These may include a leaky faucet, broken or missing handle on a drawer, cracked glass in a window or small wall damage.

When buying your own new home, make sure you compare before selecting your homeowners’ insurance. Odds are it is a policy you may have for a long time. Contact one of our independent insurance agents for help.

Tools We Don’t Seem to Use In Business Anymore

Tools We Don’t Seem to Use In Business Anymore

When you think of tools not used in business anymore, you may think of typewriters, adding machines, bells over front doors and even fax machines. There are some other tools we can lose sight of, however, that we may forget to use as often as perhaps we should. Here are a few.

Common Sense

It may not happen in your business, but it certainly is seen in others. The lack of common sense can be frustrating. A company letting their best salesperson go because he or she is making too much money. Charging 50 cents for some extra sour cream on a $25 meal. Putting political programming on a TV in a waiting area. Even with so many restrictions and fine print on a coupon or discount program, to make it a dis-incentive.

Compassion

Nobody expects you to take potatoes instead of cash for payment or to start tabs for every customer who may be a little short, but more businesses could use a bit more compassion. If a client is clearly on a tight budget, look for less expensive alternatives. Perhaps you have scratch and dent items or returns that may help. Look up from the cash register and you may see something else the customer needs.

Friendliness

There is a reason why bartenders and waitresses try to remember the names of their good customers. It impacts their bottom line. People are so used to being treated like a number, even a small amount of friendliness and a smile can set a business apart. People are giving you their hard-earned money for your products or services. That should make you happy…and friendlier.

Referrals

Referrals have long been a tool in building businesses, but it is a tool that is often forgotten. If a customer is happy, they should have no problem sharing their experience on social media or review websites. They may even give you the names of potential customers. We all know word of mouth advertising is effective, we just sometimes forget to use it.

One common sense tool to protect your business is commercial or business insurance. Yet almost half of small businesses don’t carry it. See for yourself how affordable it can be. Contact one of our independent business insurance professionals for your free quote today.

Discovering Your Child’s Hidden Talents

Discovering Your Child’s Hidden Talents

Talented and gifted children often display common traits. Gifted children are often curious, have long attention spans and have good memories. They will also develop language skills early and display an interest in the world around them. But what about discovering their particular talent? What can you do to help identify the hidden talents in your child so you can help nurture them?

Observe the Activities Your Child Enjoys

Does your child like to twirl around the room? They could be dancers. Do they like to run or wrestle? They could be good at sports. Pay attention to the activities your child does on their own. It could be playing with blocks, putting together puzzles or painting and drawing. Often, children will tell us what they are good at, if we watch and listen enough.

Provide a Diverse Array of Opportunities

Talents come in many forms. They can be artistic, athletic, musical, scholastic and more. Provide opportunities for your child to explore each. Keep in mind they may have musical talent but may have difficulty selecting the right instrument. They may be athletic but not be drawn to golf. Let them explore all categories in search of something that clicks. Be cautious not to imprint your own goals onto them.

Expose Them to the Talents of Others

Many times, young people will be inspired by experiencing the talents of others. This could be a sporting event, concert or theater performance. Children have been inspired by watching the Olympics on TV, going to an automobile race or attending a marathon. The more activities your child can see, the more choices they are exposed to.

If you have a family member with talents in art or music, let them share it with your child. Some talents appear to be hereditary.

Life is a combination of luck, circumstance, planning and heredity. One of the aspects of your control is acquiring life insurance. A well-planned life insurance program can help protect the financial future of your family. Contact us to get a no obligation, no cost quote today.

Cities in the US With The Best Public Transportation Systems

Cities in the US With The Best Public Transportation Systems

Those who live in less populated or rural areas in the country may find it hard to imagine that there are plenty of people who live without owning cars. In fact, in some areas, cars are unnecessary and even considered a luxury. These areas usually have superb public transportation systems. Here are five cities where automobiles are an option.

New York City

If you’ve ever driven in New York, you can quickly understand why public transportation is so popular. Busses, cabs, bikes and pedestrians make driving in the city an adventure. Thankfully, New York has a superb public transportation system that includes subways, commuter rail, light rail, buses, and even ferry buses. The city’s public transportation system is effective enough to allow for commuters to enter and exit the city every day from bedroom communities hours away.

Boston, Massachusetts

As one of the nation’s oldest historic cities, Boston has a myriad of old, narrow streets winding their way through a variety of neighborhoods, each with its own personality. It doesn’t help that Boston drivers are notoriously impatient. The “T”, Boston’s efficient public transportation system, helps move people in and out and around the city through a network of subway and rail lines. There are even water taxis to make getting across the Harbor easier. The best way to experience the city, however, may still be the Freedom Trail, a walking trail between some of Boston’s most historic places.

San Francisco

While the city’s cable cars get most of the headlines, San Francisco has an extraordinary bus and light rail system known as BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) to move commuters and visitors in and around the Bay Area. Outlying communities often have their own “Mini” bus systems to help expand transportation into these smaller communities. The BART system encompasses a large area including Oakland.

Chicago

The nation’s third largest city is served by an excellent, multi-faceted public transportation system managed by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA). The city’s famous “L” serves about 800,000 riders each weekday and the system serves 35 suburbs and communities in and around the windy city. Making the city’s public transportation network even more valuable for residents and visitors alike is the fact that the city has two major airports, O’Hare and Midway, which are connected to it. Getting caught in the city’s infamous rush hour traffic will make a quick believer out of you.

Even non-owners can benefit from automobile insurance. Non-owner car insurance can prove valuable when borrowing the car of a friend or relative, when renting a car, and can even lead to less expensive rates should you decide to purchase a vehicle. Non-owner car insurance is less expensive than traditional car insurance and can help protect you when using someone else’s car or when traveling. Contact one of our independent car insurance specialists for details and a free quote today.

Should You Buy or Should You Rent?

Should You Buy or Should You Rent?

There is a lot to think about when it comes to the decision to buy or rent. Some simply don’t want the responsibility that comes with owning their own home. Others are tired of paying rent without building equity. The decision to buy or rent can depend on a variety of factors including personal finances, interest rates, housing prices, flexibility and location. Here is a closer look at when you should consider buying over renting.

Need for Flexibility

Perhaps more than anything, whether you should buy or rent will depend on your need for flexibility. If you are at a point in your life where you want stability and plan to stay in the same location, buying could be the way to go. If you may change jobs, get married, have kids or are unsure of where you will be in a year or two, renting is probably the better choice.

Interest Rates

Low interest rates are a great pathway for buyers entering the market. This can mean a more affordable house or more house for the money. Renters rarely get a break when interest rates are low, but that can be very beneficial for buyers. If you are looking to transition from renter to buyer, low interest rates are a plus.

Housing Values

If housing values increase too much, buying becomes more difficult. If you are renting a place where the rent has remained relatively stable with increasing housing values, you may be better off renting. This often has to do with whether you are renting from an individual investment property owner or a large real estate investment and management company. Some landlords appreciate great, long-standing residents and will work to keep rents lower.

Down Payment

One of the big barriers to home ownership is having a down payment. There are, however, programs for first-time buyers and non-traditional funding methods that can help you get into home ownership. You may pay a bit higher interest rate, but you may not need a large down payment.

Ability to Maintain Your Own Property

If you are purchasing a pre-owned home, you can count on a variety of fixers/improvements to be made. Do you have the skills or inclination to get them done? Some people are handy and some are not. Being handy is a big plus when considering buying your own home.

Keep in mind, home ownership comes with other expenses like property taxes, maintenance, HOA fees and home insurance. Accounting for all of these in your budget can help you make the best decision for you.

If you decide to buy, shop for the best mortgage rate and allow us to assist you in finding the best homeowners insurance policy at a price you can be comfortable with. Contact us to learn more.

All About Banks

All About Banks

When was the last time you were inside a bank? For older Americans, trips to the bank were at least a weekly errand. Today, trips to the bank are rare, and some younger people have never set foot inside one. Between drive-thru’s, online banking and digital financial options, traditional bank buildings have become almost obsolete. That is almost. Here are some surprising facts and features you may not know about banks.

How Many Banks Are There?

In 2020, the FDIC insured about 4,400 commercial banks in the U.S. That is down from about 8,300 20 years earlier. For years, the largest four banks in the country have been Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citi.

How Much Cash is in an Average Bank?

Have you ever wondered how much cash is actually inside your local bank? For security reasons, this is not a number commonly discussed but it is believed that smaller branch banks in less populated cities carry from $15,000 to $75,000 in cash. Larger banks in big cities may have hundreds of thousands of dollars in their vaults. A deposit or withdrawal in excess of $10,000 needs to be accompanied by an IRS cash transaction report form.

How Many Bank Robberies Occur Each Year?

The FBI estimates that there are between 3,000 and 4,000 bank robberies in the United States each year. That is about 10 each and every day. Of the total number of robberies that happen each year, only 1.4% are bank robberies. Most bank robberies occur on a Friday.

How Much is The Average Bank Robbery?

In the United States, the average bank robbery nets about $4,100. On the other hand, bank robberies in England result in an average theft of over $30,000. Both far exceed the net gain from robbing a convenience store, which results in an average take of under $700.

Who Was the Biggest Bank Robber of All Time?

It is said that former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was the biggest bank robber of all time.

Do People Still Use Paper Checks?

The use of paper checks has reduced dramatically since the year 2000 when almost $43 billion in transactions were made by their use. That number dropped by 2/3rds by 2018, but today, billions of dollars are still written in paper checks each year. Just hopefully not by the person ahead of you in the grocery store checkout.

How Much Money is in the Average Bank Account?

When including checking, savings and money market accounts, the average account has about $5,300 in it today. That is interestingly close to the amount of credit card debt we carry. In 2021, credit card holders had an average debt on their cards of $5,668.

If you want to keep a closer eye on your money, start with a complete insurance review and price quote. We are qualified to review your home, auto, life and even business insurance, no matter who issued the original policy. The savings could be significant. Contact one of our independent insurance agents today for your no cost, no obligation review and price quote.

Simple Steps to Better Advertising

Simple Steps to Better Advertising

Is the advertising for your business a well-oiled machine or a patchwork of hit and miss marketing efforts? Most small business owners have little time or expertise in advertising and often rely on media salespeople for guidance. While there’s nothing wrong with having some alliances in the media, there are some basics you should have in place to guide your advertising.

Define Your Target Audience

Define the group most likely to buy your product and services. If you say, “everybody”, you need to give it more thought. You can only advertise to everybody if you have an unlimited budget.

Determine What Makes You Different?

What separates you from your competition? Are you cheaper? Faster? Do you have better service or higher quality products? This is often referred to as your “unique selling proposition”. This is one of the key elements you should be promoting.

What Do People Ask About Your Business?

What are the misperceptions consumers have about you? What do they ask about when they call or email you? These unknowns and misperceptions can be addressed in your marketing to give potential clients a better idea of what it is you do.

Be Consistent in Your Branding

Get a logo and choose company colors. Use the same font in all your printed marketing. Create a tagline that briefly summarizes your mission. If you have staff, encourage “ uniforms” of perhaps khakis and the same colored golf shirts or quality T-shirts. Make sure signage goes hand in hand with flyers and what gets posted on social media. Consistency in marketing is one of the most efficient ways to accelerate the power of your advertising.

Solid marketing strategies can help build your business and protect market share. It is time to revisit your strategies.

Business insurance can also protect your business. It can cover structures, inventory, equipment and vehicles. Business insurance can protect your income and financial losses due to liability claims. Contact us today for your no cost, no obligation business insurance quote. We look forward to assisting you.

Six Things About Your Own Body You May Not Know

Six Things About Your Own Body You May Not Know

How well do you know your own body? As familiar as we may be, there are still a surprising number of facts you may not be aware of. Here are just a few.

How Fast Your Fingernails Grow

If you are like most people, your fingernails grow pretty slowly, at just over an inch a year. That means it could take about six months to completely regrow a fingernail from the cuticle.

What Are Those Grooves Under Your Nose?

We all have grooves under our nose that reach from our nostrils to the top of our upper lip. This is called the Philtrum, and biologists have never quite determined its purpose.

What Determines Your Eye Color?

The amount and quality of melanin in the front of the iris is what determines the color of your eyes. Those with brown eyes have large amounts of melanin in the iris while those with blue eyes have less of the pigment. Melanin also factors in the color of your hair.

How Fast Your Hair Grows

While rates differ slightly by person, hair grows at a rate of about 1/8th inch per week. That means about a quarter inch every two weeks, about a half-inch every month and roughly six inches annually.

What Factors Impact the Size of Your Feet?

The size of your feet (and hands for that matter) are largely determined by genetics, but can also be influenced by the quality of your diet while growing up. To a great degree, feet and hand size are proportionate to height, with taller people generally having larger feet.

Which of Your Body Parts Are Likely To Wear Out First?

Everything else being equal, most medical professionals agree that joints are usually the first body parts to begin to wear out. Joint aches and pains begin in a person’s fifties and sixties.

Another result of getting older is the increasing rates for life insurance. It could even affect your ability to get life insurance at all. The best time to secure life insurance is when you are young and healthy. But even if you are middle aged, you can still likely get life insurance if you are relatively healthy. If you are underinsured, don’t wait any longer. You at least owe it to yourself and your family to get a price quote, and we can help. Contact one of our independent life insurance specialists and answer a few questions. They’ll do the shopping for you.

Collectible Cars: The 1978 Chevrolet Corvette Pace Car

Collectible Cars: The 1978 Chevrolet Corvette Pace Car

You don’t have to have a six-figure savings account or a four-car garage to appreciate collectible automobiles. Classic and vintage cars can be appreciated for their style, uniqueness, and rarity. Some are a part of American automotive history. Such is the case with the 1978 Chevy Corvette Pace Car.

This limited production classic was one of two special edition Corvettes produced by Chevrolet to commemorate the iconic car’s 25th anniversary. The first was a special 25th Solver Anniversary Edition with a special two-tone paint scheme. The second was a limited edition 1978 Corvette Pace Car, created to not only recognize the 25th production year for the Corvette, but to set the pace for that year’s Indianapolis 500.

Keep in mind, this was during the height of the popularity of American open wheel racing. Drivers in that year’s race included legends like A.J. Foyt, Johnny Rutherford and eventual winner Booby Unser Sr. The race was attended by an enormous crowd of 325,000 spectators in Speedway, Indiana with the pole sitter reaching a top speed of over 202 miles per hour to qualify. It was also the first time a Corvette was used as an official pace car for the Indianapolis 500.

Besides being born in such a vibrant time in American racing, what made this Corvette so desirable was its dramatic body styling and extremely limited production run. The car featured dramatic front and rear spoilers, a two-tone silver over grey paint job and special lettering. Among other features, each model has a telescopic steering wheel, T-Top, alloy wheels, and a choice of a CB radio or 8 track player. Its relatively modest 202 horsepower engine could still produce a maximum speed of just over 120 mph.

Chevy initially planned on producing only 300 of the cars but demand was so high, it expanded that to accommodate one car per dealer, amounting to 6,5023 limited edition cars produced. Some dealers kept them for promotion, some auctioned them off and others sold them. Each was quickly accounted for.

Whether you have a ’78 Corvette or an ’18 Kia, we can help make sure your car is insured properly at a competitive price. Contact us for a no obligation price quote today. Our automobile insurance experts can connect you with a plan to suit your needs. We look forward to assisting you.