Garage Sale Bingo

Garage Sale Bingo

If you love going to garage and yard sales, you know there are certain items that you are more likely to see than others. This lends itself to a game within the game…garage sale bingo. Here are easy to find items you want on your bingo card.

Exercise Equipment

From weights to treadmills, you are likely to at least see some exercise equipment on your travels. We are not sure what that says about us, but anyone who likes going to yard sales will testify that it is true.

Bread Makers

We guess once you make bread, you’ve done it and the thrill is gone. Either that or it is much easier to spend a couple of bucks to buy a loaf.

Holiday Decorations

You may find some beautiful hand-crafted vintage items or bags of questionable mini-lights, but almost every yard or garage sale may have some holiday decorations. If you focus on particular items like Santa’s or snowmen you may find some treasures. It may also just be another mark on your garage sale bingo card.

DVDs and CDs

These are a frequent sight at garage sales as technology changes. Discs that at one time cost $15-$20 or more can now be found for 50 cents to a dollar.

Cables, Cords, and Chargers

If you can find the exact one you need, it is jackpot time. If not, you may just encounter a box of tangled cords. Cords and cables and chargers are so commonly found they might as well be a Free Space in garage bingo.

Crutches/Walker

You always hope the previous user got better, but rehabilitation items always seem to have an aura about them. If you see them, it is another mark on your bingo card.

Souvenirs

It is interesting to see where people have been. Pennants, shot glasses, thimbles, plates, and small spoons are just a few of the items they have invested heavily in, only to sell them for a quarter or two.

You can probably add more to the list, including shoes, old computer items, children’s car seats, board games, and loads of other items. Want to add some interest to your next Saturday of going to garage sales? Create your own bingo card or scavenger hunt to add to the fun.

Shopping for insurance may not exactly be fun, but we can make it easier and maybe even more affordable. Contact one of our independent insurance agents for a quote on your auto, home, life, or business insurance.

Getting Your Mind Out Of the Gutter: Fun Bowling Facts

Getting Your Mind Out Of the Gutter: Fun Bowling Facts

Bowling has seen its share of ups and downs. It has given us stars like Pete Weber, Earl Anthon, Marshall Holman, Mark Roth, and others. It has found its place as part of birthday celebrations, proms, and in competitive leagues. Bowling has attempted multiple transitions that included adding bumpers, neon, and day-glo colors, and almost all of us have tried the sport at some point in our lives. Yet, we probably know little about it. Here are some facts about bowling that may surprise you.

The Largest Bowling Alley in the World Is In Japan

The bowling alley with the most lanes is the Inazawa Grand Bowl in Japan. It was built in 1972 and it has 116 lanes all on one floor. It covers an area that is about two times the size of a football field.

How Much Does a Bowling Pin Weigh?

Bowling pins can range in weight from three pounds and six ounces to three pounds and ten ounces.

What are Bowling Balls Made Of?

Bowling balls get most of their weight from an inner core made of powdered metal oxides hardened with a resin and catalyst. These cores are then covered in a choice of three covers; polyester, urethane or resin.

Are There Still A Lot of Bowlers?

Industry experts estimate that about 67 million people bowl annually. It is further estimated that about 1.2 million of those people bowl regularly and competitively in bowling leagues.

Why Do They Call Three Consecutive Strikes a Turkey?

While there is some debate about this, it is generally agreed that early bowling tournaments awarded food baskets and items to participants. These, of course, included live turkeys. Four in a row, by the way, is called a four-bagger.

If you haven’t visited a bowling alley in years, it may be time to rediscover the game. Meanwhile, if you have some spare time, you should also have your auto, home, life, and even business insurance reviewed. An updated price quote could result in savings. Contact one of our independent insurance agents to get started today.

7 Desserts Usually Reserved for Special Occasions

7 Desserts Usually Reserved for Special Occasions

There are hot dogs and hamburgers, and then there are baby back ribs and rib-eye steaks. There is ice cream and cake, but there’s the next level of dessert. Here are seven next-level desserts we usually reserve for special occasions.

Tiramisu

This Italian coffee and cocoa-flavored dessert is made with ladyfingers and includes a whipped mixture of eggs, sugar, and mascarpone cheese. Traditional tiramisu also includes Marsala wine, and chefs have been known to include other alcoholic enhancers.

Cheesecake

Some like it heavy and creamy, others prefer it fluffy and light. It is hard to beat a well-made cheesecake for dessert, even if it doesn’t include a cherry, strawberry, or blueberry topping.

Strawberry Shortcake

Even though it is simple to make, we just don’t enjoy it enough. Fresh strawberries, shortcakes, sugar, and a generous topping of whipped cream are all it takes.

Cream Puffs

Fluffy pastries are filled with fluffy white whipped cream and dusted with powdered sugar. The right whipped cream recipe can be a game changer. Add a drizzle of chocolate if you are really feeling rowdy.

German Chocolate Cake

Coconut, pecans, and sweet chocolate cake are the stars of this traditional dessert that has been a part of many family holidays for generations. This is chocolate cake on steroids.

Parfait

In France, the original parfait is more of a custard-like dessert, while the American version is more custom-made and diverse. American parfaits can be made with layers of custard, fruit, ice cream, nuts, and just about any sweet treat you want to layer in a tall container. When was the last time you made a good parfait? Point made.

Pecan Pie

There are some terrific pies you can have for dessert, including blueberry, blackberry, banana cream, and others. But the best just may be Pecan Pie. It is a sweet, buttery, nutty slice of goodness. A dab of whipped cream on top and it is close to perfection.

Life may not always be perfect. Bad things can happen. Life, auto, business, and home insurance can help make life just a bit more stress-free. Contact one of our independent agents for a free quote on your insurance today.

Classic Commercials :But Do You Remember the Products?

Classic Commercials :But Do You Remember the Products?

Every once in awhile, a regular television commercial rises above the noise and carves out a place in advertising history. Here are a few.

“Pop, Pop, Fizz, Fizz”

This product was represented by a simple cartoon character by the name of Speedy . Its most famous commercial featured a jingle that touted the benefits of the product, explaining, “Pop, pop, fizz, fizz…oh what a relief it is.” The product was, of course, Alka Selyzer, which is still produced to this day.

“Where’s the Beef”

It was hard to go anywhere in 1984 without hearing someone shout out the phrase “Where’s the beef?” The ads starred crusty Clara Peller and became such a part of the culture that she was given a small part in the 1985 movie “Moving Violations.” Clara was, of course, touting the virtues of “Wendy’s” hamburgers.

“Whassup?”

In 1999 and for several years after, guys found themselves greeting each other with the saying “whassup?” The phrase was generated by a company that also gave us talking frogs and beer bottles playing football. Known for its famous Clydesdale commercials, Budweiser also gave us the infamous “whassup.”

“I Love It!”

One of the cutest commercials of the last few holidays is the “I love it!” spots starring a cute young couple exchanging gifts. He invites her outside, where two vehicles are parked. She quickly chooses the vehicle he had intended for himself, ending the discussion with “I love it!”. Do you remember the brand, however? It was a GMC.

Commercials can help make a brand name memorable, but there should be more to a product than a clever slogan. Our independent agents work with a network of companies, some with brand names you’ll recognize and some that may be unfamiliar to you. You can rest assured that each is reputable and well-respected in the industry. You likely want solid protection you can count on. We can help. Contact one of our independent insurance agents for a price quote on your auto, home, life, or business insurance today.

Movies That Scared Us to the Core

Movies That Scared Us to the Core

Movie makers have been out to frighten us since the invention of cinema. Every once in awhile, they hit a homerun with a film that touches a nerve. Here are some examples of movies that scared us to the core.

Psycho

Alfred Hitchcock went to great lengths to prevent the end of his 1960 movie “Psycho” from being spoiled. He bought the rights to the book the movie was based on and then tried to buy all the remaining copies. He kept his cast in the dark regarding the ending until the last minute. There were no screenings, and most dramatically, Hitchcock himself appeared in ads promoting the film, telling viewers no one would be let into theaters after the opening credits. It is hard to imagine how a movie about embezzlement made people afraid to take showers, but Psycho accomplished just that.

Night of the Living Dead

Directed by George A. Romero, this was the OG of zombie movies. Released in 1968, the acting was poor, the script lacked, and the film was dark. It still conveyed a dreary, unrelenting, haunting tale set in rural Western Pennsylvania.

Jaws

Steven Spielberg directed this film based on a book by Peter Benchley about a giant and apparently very hungry great white shark off the coast of New England. It may not have emptied the beaches during the summer of 1975, but it sure kept many people out of the water. People were scared enough to hand over $482 million of their hard-earned money for tickets.

Carrie

In the ultimate lesson in bullying, Sissy Spacek plays the shy Carrie White, a 16-year-old trying to make her way through high school. The “cool” girls have other plans, however. Make sure you watch through the very end.

The Exorcist

What happens when you combine an almost unlimited special effects budget with a horrifying supernatural screenplay? “The Exorcist” was released in 1973 and starred Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Lee J. Cobb, and 12-year-old Linda Blair. The movie was so impactful that many left the theater early and others got ill during the movie. The movie “grossed” (pun intended) over $428 million worldwide.

Are you afraid you may be paying too much for your auto, home, life, or business insurance? There’s nothing to be afraid of when you connect with one of our independent insurance agents. There is no obligation for a review or price quote. Contact us to get started today!

Amazing and Amusing Big Game Facts

Amazing and Amusing Big Game Facts

Do you think you know about football? How about the Big Game? Here are some interesting tidbits about the big game you may not be aware of.

Roman Numerals Were Not Used Until the Fifth Big Game

Technically, there was never a Big Game I, II, III, or IV. Roman numerals weren’t used to identify the Big Game until Big Game V. The others had Roman numerals added retroactively.

The Winning Team is Allotted 150 Big Game Rings

Each Big Game winning team is allotted 150 rings to give to its players, coaches, front office personnel, and even injured or traded players. This means there are a LOT of people with Big Game rings who have never played in the game.

Tickets to Big Game I Were Cheap

Tickets between the Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs in Big Game I averaged $12. Even adjusted for inflation, that would still make them a bargain today at $87. At the time, however, people viewed the tickets as an expensive rip-off.

Only Four Teams Have Never Been to the Big Game

The Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, and the Houston Texans have all never made it to the Big Game.

The Game Was Named After a Toy

Lamar Hunt, owner of the Kansas City Chiefs, is credited with naming the big game after a simple, popular toy at the time. The toy was a high-bouncing rubber ball called the Super Ball.

The Highs and Lows of Big Game Scores

The most combined points scored in a Big Game was in 1993 for Big Game XXVII. The Cowboys defeated the Bills 52-17 for a total of 69 points.

The lowest scoring Big Game was Big Game LII, when the Patriots defeated the Rams 13-3 for a total of 16 points.

No team, by the way, has ever been shut out in a Big Game.

Are you overpaying for your auto, home, life, or business insurance? How would you know unless you compared? Contact one of our independent insurance agents for a no-obligation review and price quote today!

Candy’s Sweet Little Secrets

Candy’s Sweet Little Secrets

Candies, sweets, and bubblegum are a part of American culture. A baseball stadium in Chicago is named for a chewing gum company, and a town in Pennsylvania is known as “The Sweetest Place on Earth.” Here are some tidbits about candy and gum in America you may not be aware of.

It Is Legal to Sell Candy Cigarettes

Although there have been several efforts to ban the sale of candy cigarettes, they remain legal. The largest producer of the confection is World Confections of New Jersey.

Big League Chew Was Invented by a Ball Player

A minor league baseball player and a batboy from Portland created Big League Chew, a bubblegum designed like chewing tobacco. Since its 1980 debut, over 800 million pouches of this shredded gum have been sold. The original demo product actually used an office paper shredder to shred sheets of bubble gum.

The Sweetest Place on Earth

Milton Hershey started his chocolate company just east of Harrisburgh in what is now named Hershey, Pennsylvania. A few years after opening his candy factory, he created a large green space for his employees to enjoy. This is now Hersheypark, a major amusement park. Milton had a reputation for being thoughtful and generous.

It Wasn’t Always Wrigley Field

When William Wrigley Jr. purchased the Chicago Cubs in 1921, the team played at Cubs Park. It was renamed Wrigley Field after the owner in 1927. Today, Wrigley Chewing Gum maintains a 35% market share of all gum sold in the world.

We Love Our Holidays and Our Candy

More candy is sold for Halloween than for any other holiday in America. We spend about $2 billion annually on Halloween candy. Easter is a close second at $1.9 billion, with Christmas accounting for $1.4 billion in sales. Valentine’s Day sales of candy reach about $1 billion each year.

Sweets have long been a way we celebrate and share good times. Even sour candies have carved their niche in the market.

For life’s more sour events, insurance can help provide protection. Life, auto, home, and business insurance are all designed to minimize the financial impact of negative events. We encourage you to get an insurance evaluation and price quote from one of our independent agents today.

The First Airports and Early Air Travel

The First Airports and Early Air Travel

You may not realize that commercial flying is a relatively new experience. We are aware that commercial airports are barely 100 years old. In the United States, the oldest airport still in operation is in College Park, Maryland. It was opened in 1909 and Wilbur Wright himself taught aviators there. While not the first airline to operate, the oldest airline still operating in the United States is Delta Airlines, which started in 1925. Delta started as crop dusters in Georgia named Huff Daland Dusters.

Today’s modern major airports are large open spaces with dining, giant parking facilities, and even some contain hotels and shopping. But what were airports like in those early days?

Many of the first airfields weren’t considered permanent, but were relatively flat, smooth surfaces that could be used to land and take off. These included racetracks, golf courses, farms, and fairgrounds. Early airfields had few if any comforts. Nor did early airplanes. These early places were loud and uncomfortable. Speeds could only reach about 100 mph, and they had to be refueled often. Lack of insulation often made flying a frigid experience.

As commercial travel began to expand, both airports and airplanes began to improve. Some early airlines began to construct their own airports in the late 1920s and thirties. Local businesses, who could benefit from increases in air travel, began contributing to airfields, as did governments. Airfields that started with a gravel runway and windsock added hangars, mechanics, towers, and places where passengers could gather before and after departures and arrivals.

In the 1930s, most flights took place during daylight hours, with pilots relying on landmarks and airmarks to determine their location. The 1930s saw the addition of Morse Code and two-way radios that improved air travel.

Air travel really took off in the 1950s with the “jet age” and the introduction of larger airplanes and jets. Even then, however, and into the 1960s, people viewed air travel as an event and often dressed in suits for the experience.

Times change, and it is important to make sure your insurance is keeping up with those changes. Is your home insurance adequate? Are you overpaying for auto insurance? Do you have enough life insurance and is your business insurance adequate? Contact one of our independent insurance professionals for a no-obligation evaluation and price quote today.

Things You May Not Realize You Can Do In Michigan

Things You May Not Realize You Can Do In Michigan

You may know you can snowmobile in the winter in Michigan or catch one of the four major league sports in the Detroit area, but the Wolverine State is not without its surprises. Here are some things you may not realize you can do in the state of Michigan.

Race Over Sand Dunes

The desert Southwest is not the only place in America to experience racing over sand dunes in America. There are some amazing sand dunes in Michigan. One, “Old Baldy,” at Whitefish Dunes State Park in Sturgeon Bay, soars about nine stories above lake level.

Enjoy Christmas All Year

In Frankenmuth, Michigan, Christmas is celebrated year round, and the celebration reaches new heights during the holidays. Frankenmuth is a cute little town in Central Michigan that is worth a visit anytime of the year.

See the Nation’s Largest Stadium

They call it “The Big House” for a good reason. The University of Michigan Football Stadium in Ann Arbor has a seating capacity of about 108,000 but has held up to 115,000 people for a 2013 game against Notre Dame. It is the largest stadium in the United States.

Drive South to Enter Canada

Most are aware that Michigan is a Northern Midwest state that borders Canada (at multiple junctures). But few realize that you must actually travel due south from Detroit to get to Windsor, Ontario, Canada. The Detroit River separates the two cities, with Detroit to the north.

Dip Your Toes Into Four Great Lakes

There are five Great Lakes, and eight states touch at least one of them. Michigan, however, is the only state that touches four of the five, including Superior, Huron, Michigan, and Erie. The only Great Lake it does not directly touch is Lake Ontario.

Go to Hell

In Michigan, you can literally go to Hell, an unincorporated town in Livingston County. The town has embraced its name and, for a price, you may even become mayor of Hell for a day.

We can sometimes have a preconceived notion of cities and states and what they may offer. It can pay to look deeper. The same can be said for your insurance coverage. Maybe it is time to look a little deeper into your auto, home, life, or even business insurance options. Contact one of our independent insurance agents for an insurance evaluation and price quote. You may be pleasantly surprised by the amount of money you can save.

Cities That Need Clarification to Determine Location

Cities That Need Clarification to Determine Location

Have you ever been to Springfield or Marion? Odds are you may have been to these places…depending on the area you have visited or live. According to the National Geological Society, there are 34 populated areas in the U.S. that use the name Springfield. In fact, there are Springfields in 25 states, 4 of which are in Wisconsin alone. There are 47 towns and 17 counties named Marion in the United States, mostly honoring the “Swamp Fox”, Francis Marion, a military officer in the Revolutionary War.

Here are some other cities that may need clarification to determine their location.

Columbus

It is the state’s capital city and home to one of the largest universities in America. Yet if you don’t add “Ohio” behind the name, Columbus could be in Georgia, Texas, Indiana, or a host of other states.

Portland

Portland has the distinction of being the name of two sizable communities on opposite sides of the country. Most would have to ask “Maine or Oregon”?

Monroe, Jackson, Washington, Lincoln and Madison

The odds are pretty good you probably live within 200 miles of a place named after a president. The odds are also good that you know that place by name, but others would need clarification to know exactly where you are talking about.

Lexington

Lexington, MA was where the first shot of the Revolutionary War took place, but outside of New England, most may associate Lexington with Kentucky. The largest, Lexington, however, is in the U.K.

Athens

If you tell people you are going to Athens on vacation, they may assume you are heading to Greece. You may be traveling to two college towns. Athens, Ohio is home to Ohio University; and Athens, Georgia is the site of the University of Georgia and a half-dozen other colleges and universities.

Details can be important for where you are going. They can also be important in getting the best value for your insurance. Our independent agents have access to a network of insurance companies, many of which specialize in certain insurance products and situations. If you are in search of the best value for your auto, home, life, or business insurance, connect with us for a no-obligation quote. We look forward to assisting you.