How Long Would It Take?

How Long Would It Take?

If you want to earn an Associate’s Degree, it will likely take two years. A Bachelor’s degree can take four years. It can take 20 or 30 years to pay off a mortgage. But what if you have other aspirations or are just curious?” Here are some examples of how long it would take…

To Save a Million Dollars

Not including interest, one would need to sock away $1,000 per month for 88 years to save a million dollars. This demonstrates the power of smart investing and compounding interest.

To Walk From New York to Los Angeles

The road distance from New York City to Los Angeles is about 2,799 miles. If you walked at an average pace of 3 mph, it would take a total of 955 hours to walk the route. Walking 8 hours a day, 7 days a week, it would take a total of 116 days, or four months, to make the trek.

To Grow a Foot of Hair

For the average person, hair grows at about a rate of one-half inch per month. That means it would take about two years to grow a foot of hair.

To Fill a Pool From a Garden Hose

This, of course, would depend on the size of the pool. It can also vary if more than one hose is being used. If a garden hose delivers an average of 19 gallons per minute (GPM), a 10,000 gallon capacity pool would take about 17 hours to fill.

To Fly Around the World Non-Stop

Refueling issues aside, it would take the average commercial airliner about 50 hours to circumnavigate the globe. The question is, unless you enjoy spending two days sealed in an aluminum tube, why would you want to?

To Watch Every Game of Your Favorite Baseball Team for an Entire Season

With an average Major League Baseball game lasting just over three hours and with 162 games in the regular season, it would take 486 hours, or 20 days and six hours. That’s non-stop, 24 hours a day… not including rain delays.

To Watch Every Game of Your Favorite NFL Team in the Regular Season

Since there are now 17 games in the regular NFL season, and each game takes about three hours and fifteen minutes to complete, it would take 55 and a quarter hours to watch an entire season of your favorite NFL team. That’s just over two days non-stop.

To Drink a Full Keg of Beer

This depends on how much beer you drink each day. A full-size keg contains ½ barrel of beer or 15.5 gallons. That is about 165 12-ounce servings. If you drank four beers a day, the keg would be empty by day 42.

How long does it take to get a quote on your auto, home, life, or business insurance? It is probably faster than you think, especially when our independent insurance agents do the shopping for you. Contact us today to get started!

America’s Biggest….

America’s Biggest….

Some blogs don’t require a lengthy introduction. This is one. These are the answers to “What is America’s biggest…”

Convention Center

With a combined total of 2.6 million square feet of exhibit space over four buildings, Chicago’s McCormick Place is the nation’s largest convention center. Orange County Convention Center in Orlando is second, with 2.1 million square feet of exhibit space over two buildings.

Shopping Mall

Shopping habits and the pandemic have greatly impacted mall shopping in recent years, but the Mall of America in the Minneapolis, MN area still reigns as king.

Fanbase

It is estimated that the Dallas Cowboys have over 8.5 million people in America who call themselves fans. This makes them the most popular professional sports team in the country. It is also, in part, what makes them so valuable. The New England Patriots are a distant second.

Casino

The largest American casino isn’t in Las Vegas or even in Nevada. In terms of gaming tables and gambling machines, it is said that WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Oklahoma is the biggest. When it comes to square feet, Foxwoods in Connecticut has the honor.

Stadium

Not including raceways, the largest stadium in the country is at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. It has a capacity of 197,601. It is followed by Beaver Stadium at Penn State at 106,572 and Ohio Stadium in Columbus with a capacity of 102,780.

Gas Station

Fuel and convenience store chain Buc-ees is building mega-gas stations so large and expanding so quickly that this could change at any time. For now, the honor is being held at the Buc-ees location in New Braunfels, Texas. The location is over 66,000 square feet and has the world’s largest car wash.

Ferris Wheel

The tallest Ferris Wheel or Observation Wheel in the United States is in Las Vegas. The “High Roller” is owned by Caesars Entertainment and is located at the LINQ Hotel Resort and Casino. It places riders over 50 stories in the air at its peak.

McDonalds Restaurant

Located near the International Drive tourist district, the country’s largest McDonald’s is a multi-level marvel that is 19,000 square feet. Here you’ll find video games and amusements, along with a menu you won’t find at your neighborhood Mickey D’s. Burger lovers headed to Orlando can also discover the World’s Largest White Castle, at nearly 5,000 square feet. Bon Appetit.

While one could argue whether bigger is better, few would disagree with the fact that more options are better than fewer options. That’s what you get when you insure through our independent insurance company… more choices. You see, as opposed to captive agents that can only offer the products of the company they represent, we work with a network of insurance companies who compete for your business. This means we do the shopping for you! For auto, home, life, and business insurance, compare. Contact us for a no-obligation quote today.

The Indelible Impact of “Happy Days”

The Indelible Impact of “Happy Days”

Starting in 1974 and lasting for 11 seasons, Happy Days was a hit TV series that made an indelible mark on America. It featured the All-American Cunningham family of Milwaukee, with hardware store owner Howard, stay-at-home mom Marion, son Richie, and daughter Joanie. The show was set in the late fifties and early sixties and left behind some memorable moments, sequels, and characters.

The Return of Opie

Child actor Ronnie Howard, who played Opie on The Andy Griffith Show, made his return to TV, playing the role of Richie Cunningham. Richie was basically Opie as a teenager. Howard would go on to a remarkable directing career, giving us films such as Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, Cocoon, Splash, and about two dozen others.

Notable Sequels

Happy Days spawned three notable sequels and two forgettable ones. Laverne & Shirley starred characters Laverne DeFazio and Shirley Feeney, best friends who worked at Shotz Brewery. Penny Marshall, who played Laverne, would go on to have a successful career as a director/producer, giving us films like Jumpin’ Jack Flash, Big, A League of Their Own, and more. Happy Days also gave us the quirky “Mork and Mindy“ spinoff with Pam Dawber and a young Robin Williams. Other shows branching off Happy Days included “Joanie Loves Chachi” with Scott Baio. “Blanksy’s Beauties” and “Out of the Blue”.

The Fonz

Happy Days gave us one of the most memorable characters of the 1970s, Arthur Fonzarelli, better known as the leather jacket-wearing bad boy “The Fonz.” He had a way of fixing things with a snap of his fingers or a pound of his fist. His catchphrase was the simple but effective “Ayyyy”. He would go on to appear in movies like “Scream” and TV shows that included “The Practice” and “Arrested Development”.

Jumping the Shark

The show is also credited with the idiom “jumping the shark.” It referred to one particularly far-reaching episode in which Fonzie jumps over a shark on water skis. It has since come to mean that something has gone too far and is beginning to lose popularity.

Tired of bingeing and streaming? You may want to go back and visit some old friends like Opie, the Fonz, Lenny and Squiggy, Laverne and Shirley, and others by watching a few episodes of Happy Days.

When was the last time you revisited your insurance program? We can help with a no-cost, no-obligation review of your auto, home, life and even business insurance. Connect with us soon for a free quote.

Why Do We Say That?

Why Do We Say That?

Does the early bird really catch the worm? Do loose lips cause sinking ships? What time, after all, do the cows come home? Here’s a look at some old and odd sayings and expressions that seem to have stuck with us.

Raining Cats and Dogs

Two possible originations exist for this expression. The first is the ancient association of cats and dogs with bad weather. The other comes from 17th century England, where streets in heavy rain would flood so badly, they would often carry animals away in the waters.

Buying a Pig in a Poke

Buying a pig in a poke goes back to when traders would sell animals in bags or “pokes” at the local market. Unscrupulous vendors would sell a “pig in a poke” that would actually turn out to be a cat. The lesson is to fully inspect everything before you purchase it.

Hair of the Dog

It is often said that if one experiences a hangover, the ”hair of the dog that bit you” would help. This meant to have a drink of whatever got you hungover in the first place. The expression comes from an old treatment prescribed when a person was bitten by a suspected rabid dog. It was thought that some hair of the dog placed in the wound would help. It didn’t and it doesn’t.

Dead as a Doornail

Originally used in Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, dead as a doornail means certainly dead. A nail that protrudes through a piece of wood and has its point bent back into the wood is said to be “dead” because it is so difficult to remove.

Hit the Hay

This goes back to when mattresses were made of natural materials and those going to bed would literally “hit the hay”.

Loose Lips Sink Ships

This expression from World War II reminded us that unguarded talk could be heard by our enemies and be used against our armed forces. Innocent talk of how, when and where a family member could be sailing during the war, which then, could result in sinking ships.

Until The Cows Come Home

This refers to a long, indefinite period of time. It is said to originate in the Scottish Highlands, where farmers would allow cows to graze in open fields until they were ready to meander back home on their own in the fall.

By the way, the early bird can get the worm. There are, however, often more than just one worm.

Are you getting the most from your insurance premiums? How would you know if you don’t compare? Contact one of our independent insurance agents for your no-obligation quote today.

Triple-Dog-Dare: Odd Food Combinations

Triple-Dog-Dare: Odd Food Combinations

There are some food combinations that just seem to go together naturally. Grilled cheese and tomato soup is one example, with applesauce and pork chops being another. Others, however, can be real head-scratchers. Feeling up for a culinary challenge? Give these out-of-the-box food combinations a try.

Ketchup on Eggs

Imagine sitting at the kitchen table with some fried eggs and pouring a nice slathering of ketchup on top. It is a thing. If ketchup doesn’t have enough pop, try some hot sauce in its place.

Mayo on Hot Dogs

Purists will maintain that mustard is the only acceptable condiment for hot dogs. If they turn their noses up on kethchup, imagine how they feel about putting mayonnaise on a hot dog. There’s a whole group of people, however, who choose mayo as the topping of choice.

Peanut Butter on Celery

Alright, peanut butter makes a LOT of things better, including crackers, bread, jelly, and chocolate. But celery? Maybe it was just a way parents used to get kids to eat some fresh vegetables. A 3 inch stick of celery does make a convenient canoe for peanut butter.

Ice Cream and Potato Chips

There is something about the cold, sweet combination of vanilla ice cream and salty potato chips, or even french fries. The ice cream and fries combo can even be tried at some fast food restaurants.

Cheese on Apple Pie

Face it. Cheese makes many things taste better, but apple pie seems to be a bit of a reach. Don’t knock it until you try it, however. A little cheddar can make it a bit better.

Ham, Cream Cheese, and Sweet Pickles

It may sound odd, but when prepared and served properly, it is toothpick-party worthy. Softened cream cheese and sweet pickles rolled up in ham slices and then cut into mini rolls are surprisingly tasty!

We may all have our own unique tastes in foods, but when it comes to insurance, we have some common needs. Life, home, auto, and business insurance can play an important role in protecting our financial futures. To make sure you are getting value, contact one of our independent insurance agents for a no-obligation price quote today!

Six (Almost Universally) Loved Men

Six (Almost Universally) Loved Men

We recently posted a blog about universally loved women throughout history. Determining a similar list for men is not quite as easy. While, of course, the list is subjective, here are some men who have been appreciated by men and women of their time.

Bob Hope

Hope was a legendary actor, comedian, and patriot who spent much of his career entertaining troops across the world from World War II through the Vietnam War. Hope was an avid golfer who used “Thanks for the Memories” as his theme song and poked fun at politicians both on the right and left. Hope and actor, comedian, and crooner Bing Crosby appeared in 17 feature-length movies together. Unlike Betty White, who made our female list, Bob Hope managed to reach his 100th birthday prior to his death in 2003.

Tom Hanks

Tom Hanks may be the most loved male actor of all-time, playing roles in movies that include Forrest Gump, Cast Away, Big, Philadelphia, The Green Mile, A League of Their Own, You’ve Got Mail, The Money Pit, and so many more. Hanks has artfully dodged getting caught up in controversy and has managed to keep his private life pretty much to himself. It’s hard to believe he got started with a TV show called Bosom Buddies with Peter Scolari.

Fred Rogers

“Mr. Rogers” was beloved by millions of children who watched him put on his sweater almost every day while being the host of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. The show targeted pre-schoolers from 1968 to 2001. A Presbyterian Minister, Fred Rogers, was the genuine, real deal. It is fitting that he was portrayed in his bio-pic by Tom Hanks.

Keanu Reeves

Keanu may be the Ying to the Yang, that is Sandra Bullock. The two appeared in The Lake House, Speed, Speed II, and other projects, and both are universally loved. Even Reeves’ tough, leather trench coat wearing Nero in the Matrix has a certain appeal. Between the Matrix, John Wick, and Sandra Bullock, he has built quite a career.

Robin Williams

While his acting skills may not have quite been A-list, he certainly left us some memorable characters from his career, starting with the innocently akward Mork from Ork in the Happy Days spinoff “Mork and Mindy”. Movies include ”The Dead Poet’s Society”, “The Fisher Kings”, “Good Morning Vietnam”, “Good Will Hunting”, “What Dreams May Come”, “Patch Adams” and “Mrs. Doubtfire”. He was self-depreciating, had a charming smile, and never took himself too seriously.

Bob Ross

Bob Ross brought the love of painting to millions with his “happy little trees”, “happy little accidents”, and larger-than-life hairstyle. His “Joy of Painting” series ran on PBS from 1983 through 1994. His soft-spoken approach was far different from his 20-year military career where he served as a Master Sergeant. Ross always saw the value in painting as the process itself, not the finished product. Original Bob Ross paintings can be found for less than $10,000.

Did you know your independent auto, home, life, and business insurance agents aren’t restricted to offering just the products of one insurance company? They are free to shop a wide network of companies to find you the best value for your circumstances. Connect with us today for your free insurance review and price quote.

U.S. Cities Eternally Linked Together

U.S. Cities Eternally Linked Together

It is not necessarily rare, but it is not common either. There are some cities in America so geographically linked that it is almost impossible to separate them. In fact, we often refer to these communities as one name. Here are six such areas that are seemingly eternally linked together.

Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Minnesota

The list is topped by what is known as the “Twin Cities” of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota. The city’s Major League baseball team is even known as the “Twins.” Located at the confluence of the Mississippi River, the Minnesota River, and the St. Croix Rivers, the surprising twist to the tale is that Minneapolis and a town called St. Anthony originally became one as part of the beginning of the Twin Cities. Minneapolis and St. Paul continued to grow independently through the 1820s, 1930s, and 1940s. Today, it is Minneapolis and St. Paul that share the moniker of the Twin Cities.

Tampa and St. Pete, Florida

So is it St. Petersburg, Florida? Tampa, Florida? Tampa Bay? No wonder we refer to this Gulf Coast area of Florida as simply Tampa-St. Pete. The reality is, St. Petersburg (named after the Russian city) and Tampa are two separate communities on either side of Tampa Bay, a large body of water that serves as a shipping, cruise, and recreational center. St. Petersburg is the less populated of the two cities, with about 265,000 people. The city of Tampa has a population of about 395,000. The city of St. Petersburg is actually home to the Tampa Bay Rays MLB team, with the stadiums for the NFL Buccaneers and NHL Lightening also located in Tampa.

Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina

These two separate communities are both key components of the Research Triangle Region of North Carolina, which includes Duke University. Durham has a population of about 277,000 people, with another 479,000 living in Raleigh.

Winston-Salem North Carolina

Just a mile apart, Winston and Salem, North Carolina existed as separate communities in Forsythe County until 1913, when they merged and became the single city of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The city of about 250,000 is home to Wake Forest University and several other colleges. By the way, the cigarette brands Winston and Salem were named after the cities, and not vice-versa.

Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas City, Kansas

Although the two can often be confused, when most talk about Kansas City, they are referring to Kansas City, Missouri, along the western edge of the state that borders the state of Kansas. Kansas City, Kansas has a population of about 150,000 people, with Kansas City, Missouri, home to 481,000 people.

Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas

The blending of the Northern Texas cities of Dallas and Fort Worth became almost an unstoppable force as the communities grew over the past 50 years. Suburban growth, freeways, and a rail system have now connected the cities forever. Technically, still separate cities, Fort Worth has a population of about 775,000, with Dallas adding another 1.25 million. Those who live here say Fort Worth is more of a laid-back place, and Dallas is more urban.

Insurance blends the factors you may have in common with other people and blends them with factors unique to you. That is why price quotes for auto, home, life, and even business insurance can vary so widely. Make sure you are getting the most value. Contact one of our independent insurance agents today for a no-cost, no-obligation insurance review and price quote today. We look forward to assisting you.

Tread On Me: Five Duties of the Often-Overlooked Welcome Mat

Tread On Me: Five Duties of the Often-Overlooked Welcome Mat

It sits there for years, tirelessly carrying out its duties. It may be made of burlap, rubber, outdoor carpeting, or a variety of other materials to withstand the elements. You may not even fully remember what yours looks like and probably can’t describe it if your neighbor has one or what it looks like. It is the “Welcome” mat, and it is very efficient at carrying out its daily duties.

It Says “Welcome”

First and foremost, your welcome mat greets visitors at your door with a friendly, simple, and humble “welcome”. While your “Beware of the Dog” and “No Solicitors” signs, doorbell cameras, and security cameras may suggest otherwise, your welcome mat says “hello”.

To Serve to Clean Shoe Bottoms

One of the most hardworking and practical jobs of your welcome mat is to allow visitors to wipe their feet before entering your home. What happens from there is up to you, but the welcome mat offers an efficient way to remove dirt and mud initially before entering.

As a Decorative Element

A welcome mat could be patriotic, homey, old-fashioned, or contemporary. It may also telegraph your family’s interests and hobbies, like favorite sports teams or whether motorcycling is your thing.

A Place to Hide the Spare House Key

Sorry if this is a spoiler alert, but tens of thousands of households hide a spare house key under their welcome mat. Hiding a house key under a welcome mat is like using “password” as your online password. By the way, the nearby potted houseplant door frame isn’t much better. Sorry.

To Prevent Slip and Falls

A welcome mat is also pretty efficient at preventing slips and falls. Removing dirt and moisture when entering is one way, but welcome mats can also help gain firm footing easily when exiting as well. This is particularly true in cold, icy conditions. Taking just a minute to stand on a welcome mat when exiting a warm home can allow your soles to cool enough so they don’t start melting the icy sidewalk under your feet when existing.

A welcome mat can be an often ignored part of your home, but it supplies some surprising value, even if it doesn’t include the word “welcome”.

Are you getting value from your home, life, auto, or business insurance? When was the last time you had a review or price quote? We can help. Contact one of our independent insurance professionals today for a no-obligation review and price quote. We look forward to assisting you.

Tips for Enjoying a Beach Day

Tips for Enjoying a Beach Day

Beach days can be enjoyable and rejuvenating. They also can be a hassle. To help you make the most of your beach day, here are some tips that can help.

Don’t Overpack

One of the biggest mistakes families can make is overpacking. Lounge chairs, blankets, toys, coolers, picnic baskets, and towels can make for a challenging set up. Remember, you have to pack all that stuff back up at the end of the day, when you’ll be much less enthusiastic.

Check Tides

If you are going to the beach along the ocean or where tides affect the sea level, make sure you try to schedule a time when tides are low. This allows more room for beachgoers and a less crowded experience.

Bring Snacks or Refreshments

Rather than attempting to pack a full lunch or dinner, plan for snacks, light drinks, fresh fruit, and other lighter fare. This will be easier to pack and carry and will keep your crowd energized instead of sluggish.

Don’t Underestimate the Power of the Sun

Respect the sun by bringing a beach umbrella, suntan lotion, hats, sunglasses, and light clothing. If you or others are getting pink, it is probably already too late.

Limit Toys

Usually, a trowel, plastic beach bucket, frisbee, and perhaps a football are plenty to keep the family entertained. The main focus should be on the water and relaxing. Plus, it is amazing what you can create with a trowel, bucket, and a few pairs of hands.

Make Plans for Clean Up

Preparing for a quick clean up following your day at the beach can be almost as important as preparing for the beach. Bring extra clothes, a small towel or brush to help remove sand, and a bag for wet clothes and towels. An inexpensive plastic garden sprayer filled with water can work wonders in getting sand off of feet and arms. Baby powder also helps to remove moisture from the skin to allow sand to be easily wiped off.

Planning can make life just a bit more enjoyable and stress-free. That is also the case when you count on our independent insurance agents to help protect your auto, home, life, and business. Get the peace of mind you deserve with a no-cost, no-obligation insurance review and price quote.

Modern Antiques

Modern Antiques

It seems both time and technology are speeding up, creating some seemingly instant antiques around the house. You do not even have to be that old to appreciate some of the classic technology that has passed us by. Here is a quick look at some modern antiques you may have around the house.

Scientific Calculators

Calculators, for sure, but scientific calculators, in particular, became critical if you were taking any form of advanced math in high school. They weren’t cheap either, often exceeding $100 at the time. Now you might find them in the dollar box at a garage sale.

DVDs

It seemed like a minute when we went from VHS tapes to DVDs to BlueRay Discs to digital downloads. While many families still enjoy their favorites on discs, and they certainly are still being sold in stores, demand has been waning.

Stand-Alone GPS Devices

When GPS devices for consumers debuted, they were the size of a smartphone, yet all they did was give directions. But they quickly became a necessity, replacing maps. Then GPS began being included in smartphones, replacing the stand-alone GPS. Such is the circle of life.

Tube TVs and Computer Monitors

The problem with old TVs and computer monitors is that they worked too well and were almost indestructible. Many were replaced before their useful life was complete with flat screens. Odds are, if you have one or two around the house, they will still power up.

While many aspects of our lives can change, it is still important to protect your assets and the lifestyle you have built for your family. This is where a solid, efficient, and cost-effective insurance program comes into play. Connect with one of our independent insurance professionals and see how a carefully crafted home, life, auto, and even business insurance program can protect you along life’s journey. Contact us for your free, no obligation review and price quote today.