What’s the Difference?

What’s the Difference?

If you are asked, “What’s the difference?” The person may be apathetic, or they may be inquisitive.

On the inquisitive side, many of us go through life with some misperceptions about similar things. So, what’s the difference between…

A State and a Commonwealth?

Why do Virginia, Massachusetts, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania refer to themselves as commonwealths? Is there a difference between a commonwealth and a state? The reality is that the difference is in name only.

Butter, Oleo, and Margarine?

While oleo and margarine are the same, there is a big difference between them and butter. Margarine is made from vegetable oil and is low in cholesterol, or cholesterol-free, and low in fat. Butter is a dairy product and includes a multitude of vitamins. Butter, however, is high in cholesterol and saturated fat.

An Alligator and a Crocodile?

People often refer to these two interchangeably, but there are distinct differences. A crocodile has a sharper, V-shaped nose, while an alligator’s snout and mouth area are more rounded. Alligators tend to be a darker gray or even black, while crocodiles are more green and brown. Crocodiles have a more powerful bite, at about 3,700 psi, compared to an alligator bite of about 2,500 psi. Crocodiles generally live in South Florida and southward, whereas alligators can be found north of the Gulf Coast and in the Southeast U.S.

Knitting and Crocheting

Knitting involves the use of two knitting needles of the same size, while crocheting uses one “hook”. The one hook makes crocheting easier for most, but knitting provides a tighter weave than crocheting. It is why most sweaters are knitted.

A .Com, .Net, and .Org?

Initially, domain names for commercial enterprises were encouraged to use .com for their websites. As websites increased in popularity, .net domains became an increasingly popular choice. Non-profit organizations better identify themselves as a .org, but there are no laws regarding such use. The .edu extension is reserved for schools and educational institutions. Countries also have their own extensions such as .us for the United States, .uk for Great Britain, and .ca for Canada.

A Weather “Watch” and a Weather “Warning”.

Some are frequently confused when their weatherperson uses the terms “warning” and “watch” in the local forecast. A watch means that the conditions are conducive to developing a thunderstorm or tornado. A warning means that a severe thunderstorm or tornado exists and is a present danger. Generally speaking, a watch means be aware and keep an eye out. A warning means take cover.

You should be aware that insurance agents have differences too. For example, there are captive and independent agents. While captive agents only represent the insurance products of the company they represent, independent agents can compare from a network of companies. This could mean more choices and better prices for you. Contact one of our independent agents for your no-obligation life, auto, home, or business insurance quote today.

Five Horses Famous for Very Different Reasons

Five Horses Famous for Very Different Reasons

What did one horse say when meeting another? “Your pace is familiar, but I can’t quite recall your mane.”

Here are five famous horses most will remember for different reasons.


The sports field is crowded with race horses that made history, including Man O’War, Seabiscuit, and, of course, Secretariat. Secretariat was the sport’s ninth triple-crown winner and was so fast, he still holds the record at each of the three crown races he won. Also known as “Big Red,” Secretariat lived a long life in stud and retirement, living to be almost 20 years old.

Black Beauty

The equine protagonist of Anna Sewell’s novel has become synonymous with horses. The book was written in 1877 and has since been adapted into eight different films, a TV show, and miniseries.

Mr. Ed

Every family has its comedian, and in the horse family, that is the fictional Mr. Ed. Mr. Ed was a talking horse made famous in a campy TV series that aired from 1961 until 1966. Owned by hapless owner Wilbur Post, Mr. Ed’s oratorical skills get Wilbur into a wealth of comedic situations. “A horse is a horse, of course of course.”

Spoiler alert: Mr. Ed was made to appear to talk with the aid of a fishing line that was unseen on screen.

Sergeant Reckless

Perhaps the most famous heroic military horse in America was Sergeant Reckless. She served during the Korean War, bringing ammunition to the front lines and rescuing the injured from the battlefield. “Sergeant” was an earned military title won after she was purchased from a Seoul racing barn for $250 in 1952. The decorated horse lived until 1968, when she passed at age 20.


Trigger was perhaps the most famous horse of American Westerns. Trigger was a palomino that stood over 15 hands tall and valiantly served cowboy star Roy Rogers. Trigger was stuffed after his death in 1965. He ultimately was sold to a cable network for $265,000, while his saddle sold for $100,000 more.

Horses have worked our farms, served as transportation, served our country, and entertained us. They hold a special place in our history and hearts.

When it comes to your auto, home, life, or business insurance, it is no time to horse around. Connect with our professional, independent insurance agents for your no-obligation review and price quote today.

Movies That May Inspire You

Movies That May Inspire You

Movies can make us laugh and make us cry. They can also serve to inspire us to achieve more. Tired of binging films about zombies, crime dramas, or even the nightly news? Want to find a movie to motivate or inspire you? Here are some options.


Thirty-year-old Rocky Balboa is a Philadelphia club fighter who, by a twist of fate, gets a shot at the World Championship title vs. Apollo Creed. Rocky trains by sparring with sides of beef and running the streets of Philly. As the fight nears, Rocky realizes his chances of winning are low, so he changes his goal to “go the distance.”

The Pursuit of Happiness

Will Smith plays a dad who, in trying to provide for his family, invests thousands of dollars in bone scanning machines that prove nearly impossible to sell. He, however, gets a sought-after internship at a brokerage firm, but the internship doesn’t include a salary. After his wife leaves him, he has to take care of his son on the streets of the city. The film is based on a true story, and Jaden Smith, Will’s real-life son, plays his son in the film.

We Are Marshall

This film, based on actual events, follows the story of a town, a college, and its people following the loss of its football team in a plane crash. Matthew McConaughey plays the coach who takes up the challenge to rebuild the team, but not everybody is on his side. McConaughey discovers winning may be important, but it is not always the most important thing, at least not for today.

It’s a Wonderful Life

This inspirational holiday film from 1946 stars Jimmy Stewart as a star-crossed young man who, through little choice of his own, finds himself running the local bank, a local competitor of the mean-spirited Henry Potter. A mishap has the bank coming up short in its accounting, and the blame is on Stewart’s character, who contemplates suicide for the insurance payout. A hapless angel by the name of Clarence is sent to help Stewart, who is shown what the world would have been like if he had never been born.

Inspirational movies can lift our spirits, improve our moods, change our attitudes, and refocus us. Some are based on competition, others on religion, and others on injustice. That usually serves the purpose of making us more grateful.

You can feel better about your situation in life when loose ends are covered by insurance. Insurance for your car, home, life, and business can bring about peace of mind and even help you sleep better. Get inspired to have your insurance reviewed and get a price quote from one of our independent insurance agents today.

Four Ways to Save Money Starting TODAY

Four Ways to Save Money Starting TODAY

As prices rise, many of us are feeling the squeeze. It may be time for you to squeeze back. Saving money on your monthly budget may be easier than you think. It may take a little time and effort, but the results can be rewarding. Here are five things you can do today to start saving money.

Address Credit Card Debt

Not knowing how much you owe in credit card debt and the interest rate on each card is a big part of the problem. You can start by contacting each credit card company and asking for a reduction in your interest rate. If that doesn’t work, you can try to consolidate your credit card debt into a loan with a lower interest rate overall. If that isn’t an option, at the very least, target paying off the credit cards with the highest interest first.

Explore Infotainment Options

If you are like most Americans, what you are paying for cable, internet, streaming, and smartphone services is probably out of control. Consider an over-the-air antenna that will pick up local TV channels and a number of other channels you can get for free. Simple to hook up, in-home antennas can be less than $50 and can provide the basics. From there, choose one or two streaming services. You can also ask your cellphone provider about less expensive plans and if they offer internet hotspot service. You may have to make some sacrifices, but you can literally save hundreds of dollars per month.

Question Your Daily Choices

To be frank, this can be tough. If you smoke, how much do you spend on tobacco products each month? If you drink alcohol, how much are you spending on beer and wine? Are you dining out too often? How much are you spending on delivery services and tips? Sure, you need to schedule fun, but it may be worth taking an honest look at what you are spending money on and if it would be better if you spent that money elsewhere.

Review and Compare Insurance Rates

This is so ridiculously easy, and you will regret not doing it sooner. Contact one of our independent insurance agents and have them review your current auto, home, life, and business insurance policies. Have them compare rates from their network of insurance companies. You could literally save hundreds of dollars per year with just one call. We see it all the time.

Reach out to us today. You could be overpaying by a ridiculous amount of money if you are not comparing. We can help quickly and easily. Connect with us today.

Annual Events That Have Lost Some Luster

Annual Events That Have Lost Some Luster

The calendars of Americans used to be marked by major entertainment and sporting events that generally occurred at the same time each year. These events topped the news and grabbed the attention of the entire country. Over time and for a variety of reasons, many of these events have lost some of their luster. Here are a few.

The Indianapolis 500

This open-wheel automotive race is known as the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” It suffered greatly, however, from a divisive split with CART and a newly formed Indy Racing League in the mid-1990s. The race suffered from a lack of American stars, lagging attendance, and the growing popularity of American NASCAR racing. While the race still draws hundreds of thousands of spectators to Central Indiana each May, its national interest has waned.

The Miss America Pageant

Featuring women between the ages of 17 and 25. Miss America started as a “Bathing Beauty Revue” in 1921 and was a must-see TV show, hosted by Bert Parks from 1955 to 1975. The event took place each year in Atlantic City, but competing pageants, women’s rights, and changing attitudes led to its decline. Once a staple on NBC TV, it moved to streaming only in 2021.

The Rose Bowl

“The Granddaddy of Them All” became so popular because it annually pitted the two champions of the nation’s most popular conferences in one final, epic New Year’s Day battle. Due to the college football playoffs, the Pac-12 and Big Ten Conference winners are no longer committed to the Rose Bowl. The game has also suffered from the increasing popularity of other conferences, and like in 2023, it wasn’t even played on New Year’s Day. Make no mistake, the fame and surrounding events like the Rose Parade are still huge. They have just lost some luster.

The World’s Fair

While not necessarily held annually, these scheduled expositions are held across the globe. They were created to showcase human advancements and national pride. Throughout history, they left behind such noted structures as the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Space Needle in Seattle, and the Unisphere giant globe in New York. The last World’s Fair to be held in the U.S. was in New Orleans in 1984, and it was a financial disaster. The last one held across the world ended in early 2022 and was held in Dubai.

The Kentucky Derby

Derby Day was once anticipated for weeks. There were office pools, and most could name at least one or two favored horses each year. While private Derby parties have enjoyed a recent rebound, the horse race itself has lost popularity for various reasons, including animal rights issues. It is just as likely today that a mention of the Kentucky Derby may bring a response of “Oh, was that today?”

Black Friday Shopping

It wasn’t that long ago that Americans lined up at retail stores in the early morning hours of the day after Thanksgiving to take advantage of one-day deals. Black Friday sales are now held year-round, online shopping has dominated, and the pandemic has all contributed to the decline of in-person shopping on that single day.

Any day is a good day to review and price-check your insurance. An annual check of your homeowners, auto, life, and business insurance can pay big dividends. Contact our independent insurance agents today to get started.

Ten Most Challenging to Remember State Capitals

Ten Most Challenging to Remember State Capitals

It borders on the inexplicable. Some state capitals are easy for most people to remember, while others are challenging. Ask someone, for example, the capital of New York, and they probably will know it’s Albany. The capital of California? Sacramento, of course. But some states are real puzzlers. Here are what may be the most difficult to remember:


While many will guess Louisville or Lexington, the actual capital of Kentucky is Frankfort. Perhaps one of the reasons it is forgettable is that it has a population of just 28,000 people.


If you think Frankfort, KY is small for a capital city, consider Vermont’s capital of Montpelier. It has just about 7,250 residents as of 2020.

South Dakota

Part of the problem with remembering the capital of South Dakota is remembering the difference between North and South Dakota. While Bismarck is the capital of North Dakota, it is more difficult for many to recall that the capital of South Dakota is Pierre.


In the early 1900s, Sitka was the capital of Alaska. It was moved, however, but not to Anchorage, as many may believe. The capital of Alaska is Juneau. Which is also the only capital city to border another country, Canada.


It may be difficult enough to remember that Washington is both a state and the nation’s capital, let alone that the state capital of Washington State is Olympia.


For such a large state, the state capital of Pennsylvania can be difficult to remember. In fact, naming any other city other than Pittsburgh or Philadelphia may give many a challenge. The actual state capital is Harrisburg, located between the state’s major cities.


It would seem the odds would be Las Vegas or Reno would be the capital of Nevada, but the actual capital city is Carson City. The town has a population of less than 60,000 but still has gambling.


Certainly, a lot of people believe the capital of Missouri is either St. Louis or Kansas City. In reality, the capital city is Jefferson City.


So, if Kansas City isn’t the capital of Missouri, it certainly must be the state capital of Kansas, right? Nope. That distinction goes to Topeka, Kansas. The name, believed to be of Indian origin, is said to mean everything from “smoky hill” to “a good place to dig potatoes.”

North Carolina

For some reason, many people have trouble remembering that the capital of North Carolina is Raleigh. Maybe it’s all the hyphenated metros like Raleigh-Durham-Greensboro-Winston-Salem.

Remembering some state capitals can be a challenge, like remembering to review and compare your auto, life, home, and business insurance. Contact us for a no-obligation review and price quote today.

Rock Bands That Played in Costumes

Rock Bands That Played in Costumes

Perhaps you don’t need a gimmick to be successful in rock music, but for a while, it seemed like it. In the sixties and seventies, many bands chose to wear costumes to add to their branding. Here is a look back at some of the more successful rock bands that performed in costume.

Paul Revere and the Raiders

This band, which had a surprising number of hits in the 1960s and into the 1970s, performed in Revolutionary War-era costumes. Few would have guessed they were from Boise, Idaho. Hits included “Kicks,” “Good Thing,” “Hungry,” “Him or Me,” and others. The lead singer, Mark Lindsay, went on to have solo success with songs like “Arizona” and “Silver Bird.”

Gary Puckett and the Union Gap

One can only imagine the discussions. “Look, we need a gimmick.” I say, “Let’s perform in Civil War uniforms.” “Yeah, that’s the ticket.” They did that and had a nice career with hits like “Young Girl,” “Woman, Woman,” “Lady Willpower,” “Don’t Give In to Him,” “Over You,” and “This Girl Is a Woman Now.” As their success grew, they toned down the whole civil war thing.


Devo consisted of two sets of brothers from Akron, Ohio, and a fifth member, and were best known for their biggest hit, “Whip It.” The band, however, was also known for its futuristic outfits and hats that looked like upside-down plant pots. They would also often bounce around while performing. We couldn’t make this stuff up if we tried.

The Village People

Members included Felipe Ros, Victor Willis, Glenn Hughes, Jim Newman, Alex Briley, David Hodo, and Randy Jones. Few would remember their names, however. They are far better known as the cowboy, police officer, Native American, soldier, construction worker, sailor, and biker. They were from Greenwich Village in New York City and were the Village People. The colorful act gave us such hits as “In the Navy,” “Macho Man,” and the legendary “YMCA.” The original ad to recruit members stated that applicants must be “macho, dance, and have a mustache.”


Rockers Kiss took costumes, and rock and roll marketing, to new levels. Not only did they wear outlandish outfits and platform boots, but they also wore makeup that covered their faces. They parlayed their success into comic books, pinball machines, video games, action figures, and more. Despite all their success, they never had a #1 hit on the Billboard Chart and only had two top-10 hits. They continue to perform to loyal crowds some forty years after initially gaining fame.

Today, bands like Slipknot, Gwar, Misfits, and others continue the tradition of costumes in rock and roll.

When was the last time you had an insurance review? Life changes and your need for life, auto, home, and business insurance can change as well. Contact one of our independent insurance agents for a no-obligation review and price quote today.

Reasons You May Want to Visit Florida’s Space Coast

Reasons You May Want to Visit Florida’s Space Coast

If you are unfamiliar, Florida’s Space Coast is an area along the North Central Florida coastline. It encompasses an area that runs along 72 miles of the coast. Cities along the Space Coast include Cocoa, Cocoa Beach, Melbourne, and Melbourne Beach, Titusville, Rockledge, Merritt Island, Mims, Cape Canaveral, and more. It is perhaps best known as the location of the Kennedy Space Station, NASA, and the Space Force. Port Canaveral is a major shipping port and a port for commercial cruise lines.

Here are some of the reasons you may want to visit the Space Coast

Kennedy Space Center Visitors Center

This is perhaps the crown jewel of tourist attractions in this part of Florida. It is a commercially operated attraction that features a “Rocket Garden,” an actual space shuttle, and virtual flight experiences. Special features include tours and lunches with actual astronauts and bus tours of the Space Center. You can even touch a moon rock!

Gambling Cruises

Don’t have time for a three-day cruise? Victory Casino Cruises offers a several-hour gambling cruise off the East Coast. For a relatively small boarding fee, you can enjoy a four or five-hour cruise and enjoy complimentary drinks while you gamble. Choose from day or night cruises that depart from Port Canaveral.

Melbourne Flea Market

Just off Interstate 95 in Melbourne is a giant flea market where you will find everything from fruits and veggies to souvenirs. Plan on spending an hour or two browsing the hundreds of booths in this enclosed flea market.

Cocoa Beach

Cocoa Beach provides visitors a chance to see cruise ships arriving and departing, views of rocket launches, a vibrant pier with activities, and the World Famous Ron Jon’s, a Surf Shop. The beach sand is soft and inviting and there are plenty of places to grab a bite or beverage.

Playalinda Beach

This is a clothing-optional beach area in Canaveral National Seashore and is also noted for its exceptional natural, unspoiled beauty.


If you need another reason to visit the Space Coast, consider that it is less than an hour’s drive to Orlando and Disney World, Universal Studios, SeaWorld, Gatorland, and a host of other world-class tourist attractions and activities.

Exploring can pay big dividends. The same can be said when you explore new options for your auto, home, life, or business insurance. Connect with one of our independent insurance agents and explore a whole new network of options that just may end up saving you some money. We look forward to assisting you.

First Jobs of Famous People

First Jobs of Famous People

What was your first job? For many of us, it was in our teens and probably had little to do with what we are doing today. For most, their first jobs are more about learning about money, responsibility, and teamwork than they are about building skills or a career.

For some celebrities, having famous parents almost predetermined their careers. Others, however, took a more traditional route. Here is a look at some famous people’s first job.

Dwayne Johnson

What makes Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson so tough and successful? Maybe it was his job as a dishwasher at a restaurant. Dwayne washed dishes for about 8 hours a day, starting when he was just 13. That is likely to toughen anybody up!

Taylor Swift

She may not have washed dishes or flipped burgers for a living, but Taylor Swift did have a job that didn’t involve singing. She apparently had the job of removing praying mantis pods from Christmas trees before they were sold to customers.

Brad Pitt

One of Brad Pitt’s first jobs was also restaurant related. He dressed up as a chicken to hand out fliers and promote El Pollo Loco. Pitt also drove a limo briefly before getting his first real acting jobs in soap operas.

Halle Berry

Although she was named for Halle’s Department Store in Cleveland, one of her first jobs was actually at competitor Higbee’s Department Store in the city. Her very first job was actually selling cookies, which she reportedly hated.


Beyonce’s first job was at a beauty salon, but not as a hairdresser. When she was just six years old, she began sweeping floors at her mother’s salon, a job she continued to perform until she was nine.

The list goes on and on. Barack Obama scooped ice cream at a Baskin-Robbins, Jennifer Aniston sold timeshares over the phone and worked as a bicycle messenger, and Tom Cruise was a busboy. What was your first job?

When was the last time you had your car insurance reviewed? How about your homeowners’ insurance or life insurance? We can even assist with your business insurance. Contact one of our insurance professionals today for a no-cost, no-obligation insurance review and price quote today.

When Did Super Bowl Halftime Shows Become Such a Big Deal?

When Did Super Bowl Halftime Shows Become Such a Big Deal?

Did you know the NFL World Championship wasn’t called the Super Bowl until its third year in 1969? Back then, the commercials during the game were routine (and much less expensive), and the halftime shows were more traditional.

In 1967, for example, the 15-minute halftime show featured the University of Arizona Symphonic Marching Band, with an appearance by the Grambling State University March Band and a performance by trumpeter Al Hirt. Even Anaheim High School’s drill team and flag girls got in on the act.

Grambling State reappeared in Super Bowl II in 1968. The 1969 game was played in Miami and featured the Florida A&M University Band along with a compilation of band members from area high schools.

In Super Bowl IV, the halftime show began to evolve with “A Salute to Mardi Gras” and appearances by Al Hirt, Doc Severnson, Carol Channing, Lionel Hampton, and the Southern University Marching Band. The trend of “featured performers” continued for the next several years, with Anita Bryant and Up with People, Woody Herman, Andy Williams, The University of Michigan Marching Band, and others contributing to the halftime shows. During this period, Al Hirt, Up with People, and Grambling made multiple appearances. There was even a show where comedians Mickey Rooney and George Burns were featured performers.

It was Super Bowl XXV in Tampa, Florida, however, when the Super Bowl halftime show really began to become a big deal. That year, the boy band New Kids on the Block made an appearance, bringing the game to a whole new audience. The halftime show itself became destination viewing in 1991, and continued from that point forward with performances by Gloria Estefan, Michael Jackson, Clint Black, Patti LaBelle, Dianna Ross, and more.

Since then, we’ve witnessed amazing performances by Prince, Lady Gaga, Madonna, and others. It really all started, however, in 1991, when New Kids on the Block made the Super Bowl halftime show a big deal.

Are you making a big enough deal of your insurance protection? You should review your life, homeowners, automobile, and business insurance annually. If not, you could have gaps in coverage or even be paying too much. Contact us for a no-obligation review and price quote today!