If you loan your car, you're loaning your insurance too!

2006 Mustang for sale.
 Recently we listed our Mustang for sale and I wanted to find out how insurance works if you let someone test drive your vehicle. Some people like me may think that if someone gets in an accident while driving your car that they're responsible, right? Wrong! Not in Florida (Check with your individual state and agent.). In Florida you are on the hook if someone wrecks your car. In fact our agent said if a prosepective buyer is driving our car and hit a person or tree, it is OUR responsibility. Because the driver does not own the vehicle at the time of the accident, lawsuits will land on the owner(s). If you loan your car you are loaning them your insurance! So beware if your long lost friend needs to borrow your car or if you let someone test drive it. Please share this with your friends and post your comments below. Don't forget to sign up for my blog updates! Fill in the blank where it says "Follow by email" at the top right side of the page with your email address.

If it's the last thing you do...

Because of recent events in my life, I felt compelled to write this particular article. Around the time when my parents had their fiftieth anniversary, I had the bright idea of doing a video interview of them. I think I realized that my father was not in good health, so I thought I should capture the moment and discuss some family history with them for our family's future generations. I had a basic script layed out from an internet search of suggested interview questions along with my own ideas. While it didn't cover everything, it was all I had to go with. It wasn't long after that interview that my father passed back in 2005. I'm grateful to have this priceless footage to look back on, especially these days.
It was this past July that we learned not only had my mom's lung cancer returned, but it was stage four, the worst stage. Stage four represents cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, outside of the original location. We found out through a fairly routine check up, and we were very surprised because mom seemed to be in good health. She had a clear report just six months earlier. It was a lot to digest along with her six-to-twelve month prognosis. We quickly faced the facts and wanted her to do whatever she wanted while she was still in good health. It was very hard to believe that her body was so sick on the inside, but not showing on the outside. With all of this information thrust upon her, she gently replied "Don't worry.  I'm 80, and I've lived a good life"; "I don't need to do anything or go anywhere"; and "When can I stop taking all of my pills?". It was a blessing to us that she was as ready as she was to face what was coming.
In short order I started thinking that maybe I hadn't gotten all of the information that I wanted from my video interview years ago. Mom and I went through old photos, and I jotted down the names of people who I didn't recognize which included old friends and family who I had not had the privilege of meeting. Still, I felt like I needed more of her life story and my internet search began again. This time it was for a book. I didn't even know what to type in except for "interview questions", and it was very difficult to sift through all of the irrelevant results. Finally, in a local book store, I knew I had found the section that I was looking for when I spotted books about how to write your own autobiography. The light bulb went off, but I was out of time and didn't want to purchase any old book because I was in a hurry. At my next opportunity I resumed my online search with the key words "how to write an autobiography". I came across the perfect book for me and mom. It was called The Book of Myself A Do-It-Yourself Autobiography In 201 Questions. It is divided up into three sections; Early Years, Middle Years and Later Years. It has questions like "This is how people described me as a child, and how I saw myself"; "As an adult, I saw these notable characteristics in my mother";"This is what I predict about my grandchildren". The questions are placed at the top of each page and you have the rest of the page to fill in the answer. Mom kindly humored me by going along with the idea and filled out the pages when she was feeling good enough. At first I thought of doing another video interview using the questions in the book (which you could do), but I decided that she might need more time to think about the answers rather than being put on the spot and on camera. I peeked in the book from time to time to see her progress. I noticed her handwriting getting worse as she went along, but she was determined to get as far as she could for me.
Mom made it through about half of the book before she passed, less than six weeks after getting her prognosis. It is my hope that you find this article inspiring enough that you will pick up this book for a loved one or yourself if you would like to leave your own story behind for your family to enjoy for generations. In a way, it was a gift to know that we had a small window of time with my mom which prompted me to get this book. However, we are not promised tomorrow, so I suggest that you don't wait. Do this for your loved ones now ... if it's the last thing you do.

Who doesn't like up to 90% off stuff!!!

This post will be short and sweet. Short because it doesn't require a long story and sweet because it's a sweet deal! Groupon was launched in 2008 and is a free web service that offers fifty to ninety percent off of the best stuff to do, see, eat, and buy in your city! I've been a member for a few short weeks and I've already taken advantage of a couple great deals. One was for fifty percent off an Angies List membership and another I paid $10 for a $20 off coupon at a favorite greek restaurant! Businesses use it because it's great advertising for them,and they get a bunch of new customers to try them out. So what are you waiting for??? Here's the link: Groupon It's free to sign up and if you don't mind a great deal in your email box daily, then this is for you! I wanted to test it out before I passed it along, so consider it tested and Chris approved!

How to freeze your credit and stop identity theft...

Roughly one out of every twenty people in the United States is at risk this year of being a victim of identity theft! Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personally identifying information, like your name, Social Security number, or credit card number, without your permission, to commit fraud or other crimes. It can totally ruin your credit record!

I was a victim a couple years ago. I was on vacation when my credit card company called and wanted to know if I was charging two thousand dollars worth of hotel rooms in Hong Kong! Well I was in Maryland at the time, and my answer was absolutely NO! I'm glad they called to verify the transaction. They declined the sale and sent me a new card. I hope they caught the person. I guess I'll never know.

So how do thieves get your information and assume your identity? Here are some examples: Dumpster diving for credit card or bank statements, skimming devices used to collect your information when you swipe your card in a machine, phishing emails or pop-ups that get you to reveal your financial information, changing your billing address for some of your statements so they are diverted to another address, old fashioned stealing of your wallet, bribing employees who have access to your information, filling out your pre-approved credit card applications and the list goes on!

Now here's the good part. There is a way we can help stop this madness. There will be work required on your part and possibly a small fee. First, you should go to http://www.annualcreditreport.com/ and request your free credit report. By law you are allowed one free report from each bureau per year. This allows you to check for any funny business that is going on right now. Once you know your credit has not been tampered with, you can go to each bureau's website and request a credit freeze. What this does is prevents companies from accessing your credit and approving new loans and credit cards.  The cost is sometimes free, but here in Florida it is ten dollars per bureau for the freeze. If for some reason you have to buy a new car or get a new credit card, you can temporarily "thaw" your credit to process those transactions. The freeze does not affect your current credit cards or loans. Although a freeze may not prevent all types of ID theft, it is the best prevention available at this time. The FTC has more details on credit freezes and how to prevent ID theft.

The credit bureaus are: http://www.equifax.com/; http://www.transunion.com/; and http://www.experian.com/

Hidden Credit Repair Secrets: 3rd Edition has great ratings if you've been a victim of credit fraud.

If you liked this article, please spread the word on your Facebook by using the icon below. Please comment by sharing your stories and input about this subject. Has it ever happened to you? Do you have any suggestions for our readers?

The GOLD in your cell phone, and where it goes after you throw it away...

I'll bet you didn't know there was GOLD inside your cell phone! Check this video out. It's about the life of a cell phone and who gets the gold. We don't need these things in landfills. They need to be resold or recycled. How many old phones do you have hanging around? Your comments are appreciated.

How to get to know your neighbors again...

Do you remember the old days? Or have you heard people talk about the old days when they knew their neighbors? Those were the days before technology took over our lives - back when things seemed simpler and slower. Neighbors got together and supported each other through the good and bad over a pot of coffee or a pot luck dinner. Need a stick of butter or some sugar? No problem!
Now it's..."Do you remember the name of the family across the street?" Forget about borrowing anything now-a-days, because you feel embarrassed to ask since you don't know them. It's kind of expected that you don't have time for your neighbors in today's society. You can get away with a simple "hi" or a wave once in a while and that's about it. It's a tragedy, because you often live around a group of great people with big hearts.

Getting to know our neighbors was a side-effect of a meeting we attended the other night. You've heard of it. It's called Neighborhood Watch. A group of neighbors got together to support each other in a time of increased crime. The meeting may have come from necessity, but it was a welcomed introduction to some neighbors we did not know who lived several doors down from us. We met with a deputy from the local sheriff's department, and he brought us all together, sharing some great information, and a pot luck dinner! Going forward, we'll be in touch with our neighbors regularly about whats going on around us. If we're out of town, we'll have more than one person keeping an eye out! And if we need a stick of butter or some sugar, we know where to go.

I highly recommend getting involved with neighborhood watch even if you don't have a crime issue. It's a great way to come together for a common cause. It makes your community a little smaller by knowing your neighbors. Here are a couple of links...National crime Prevention Council and USA on Watch. Also, contact your local sheriff to find out more about it in your area. Please comment below...

Do you know Screamo?

Our band, Chase Rock, was performing at a benefit concert this past Friday along with two other bands. Our band plays mostly classic and modern rock. www.chaserock.com There were about five hundred in attendance for the show. We we're hoping for more, because it was a benefit for a young man who survived a terrible car accident. His name is Casey, and you can find out more about him here: http://www.caseybicknell.com/ 
Anyway, as the first band took the stage we were introduced to what we though was some type of death metal music. I know I'm probably showing my age right now. The music was like heavy metal with the singer growling into the microphone. I wasn't sure if he was growling words or just sounds. It was the growling part that I didn't get, but the young kids were into it, forming a mosh pit, and doing their thing. It wasn't until my friend's fourteen year old daughter informed me that the type of music we were listening to was called Screamo. I would have named it Growlo, but whatever works. They were nice kids, and everyone had a good time, some with ear plugs. Tell me what you know about Screamo below...

Calling All Coupon Clippers! Did you know about...

If your trying to cut the fat out of your food budget, look no further than CouponMom. It's a website that will tell you what the current deals are at just about any given grocery store in your area. You can even sort the items by % Saved. When you're above 50% or even up to 100%, it feels really good. It tells you where to find the coupons, and what the total is after the coupon is applied. Sometimes the total is FREE. Yup FREE! It's free to sign up too, and you can get an email every week when the new sales hit the stores. Please leave your comments below☺

Bypass the phone prompts to get a human! Follow these steps...

Ever go crazy trying to navigate phone prompts only to get disconnected or go to the wrong department? I found a website that helps us navigate past the automated operator and get to a real human. You may still have a wait time, but at least your getting your human. You can search for specific companies or by an alphabetical list. Most often the phone numbers are rated to let you know what kind of customer service experience you'll receive, along with estimated hold times for each number. Other ways to contact these companies are also found here such as email or online chat support. Who's got time to get lost in the phone prompt maze! Go ahead, give it a try, and let us know what you think. ☺www.gethuman.com

Middle East Chain Reaction; What's yours?

Who would have thought that all of these countries would be part of a chain reaction uprising. It was probably just a matter of time before the people in these countries realized just how bad they had it. With  access to the internet, they can hear and see the truth about the rest of the world now, instead of from a censored state run television station. I think they want a taste of freedom and human rights. Who can argue with that? With this collapse of Socialism in these countries, radical Islamic fundamentalist are probably chomping at the bit to take over. We hope and pray that this does not happen and that the world will be in a better place after the unrest is settled. Do you think the United States should get involved? Personally, I think they should try and settle things themselves. They don't need us interfering with their way of life, unless it gets really ugly. Then I would support NATO in protecting innocent people if that is even possible.
In the mean time, the price of oil is headed north, and here we are as dependent as ever on that liquid gold. To that I say "drill baby drill", or find an alternative energy source that makes sense for us. Meanwhile, we can use apps on our smart phones to find the cheapest gas in town.
What are your thoughts? Please post your comments below...

Shop around for your prescription!

You may have heard this before, but it's true. If you're someone like me who is self employed, you know that finding affordable health insurance with decent coverage can be challenging. Right now I'm on a BCBS plan that leaves much to be desired when it comes to prescription coverage. So when it came time to go to the doctor this week, I thought I would do a little prescription shopping. Because I'm allergic to so many common medications, the choice of antibiotics for me is limited. The antibiotic I normally take for sinus infections is Avelox. It's a costly, broad spectrum antibiotic that could set you back a small fortune. So I set out with my Google search for all my local pharmacies and went down the list asking for the price on my normal ten day dose. "Wow", I said as the pharmacy manager of CVS told me it would be almost two hundred dollars! After calls to about a half dozen pharmacies, Sams Club made my day when they said it would be about one hundred fifty dollars. After all, that was fifty bucks I was saving just by making a few calls. O.k., now I was ready for a trip to the doctor to get my prescription. He was ready to sign me up for my usual dose when I asked if there was any less expensive antibiotics out there for me. He said I could take a combination of two other drugs that would cover almost as many infection types as the Avelox did. In fact, he said they were free at my local Publix! Music to my ears! I didn't ask why or how. I rushed over to Publix, put in my prescription and then bammo, I was off and running with free antibiotics! So remember to call around and ask your doctor the next time you have to get a prescription. It could save you a bundle of dough like me if you don't have a fancy health plan.