Monthly Archives: November 2011

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve sold on eBay?

 

With technology improving at an incredible rate, people don’t have to leave their house to buy an item anymore. Same goes for selling it. You don’t have to go to a pawn shop or have a yard sale to get rid of an item you no longer need. Thanks to sites like eBay, people bid on items they need or want.

Here are the top 10 most weirdest items sold on eBay. Don’t be too shocked.

10. A Man’s Forehead   – A person put his forehead up for sale as advertising space. He recieved $37,375 to advertise SnoreStop for one month. Are people really that desperate to make money?

9. A Town in Texas   – The town of Albert is notable for its German heritage and laid back attitude. The offfer also included the title of Mayor and a beer garden.

8. Michael Jackson’s underwear  – Michael Jackson’s boxer shorts were sold with a reserve price of $1 million 😮 Those better be gold plated for that price. They had been seized as evidence during a child molestation investigation.

7. The Meaning of Life  – The seller claimed to have ‘discovered the reason for our existence’. The highest bidder paid $3.26. Just remember, Google is free for questions like these 😉

6. A Baby  – Ok, so this one is definitely weird. A couple in Europe put their baby on eBay for 1 Euro as a joke. Who sells their baby on eBay? Even as a joke, this is crossing the line. They briefly had the child removed from their custody and were investigated for child trafficking.

5. JFK’s Shooter’s Window  – The window and frame from the shooter’s nest where Lee Harvey Oswald shot John F. Kennedy sold for $3 million. If you’ve got money to spend, why not.

4. A Used Tissue  – Scarlett Johansson’s cold had a double celebrity value, as she caught is off Samuel Jackson. Ok, I know celebrities are famous and all but to buy a tissue with germs all over it, what are these people thinking. Her tissue raised $5,300 for charity.

3. Ghost in a Jar  – The seller found a jar while metal detecting and was haunted by the contents. The item attracted (hoax) bids of up to $100 million. I’ve got a ghost in a jar too, how much would you pay for that?

2. A Virgin Mary Grilled Cheese Sandwich  – A seller offered a grilled cheese sandwich upon which the Virgin Mary had appeared. It sold for $28,000. If you’re artistic, you can make a career out of selling these things on eBay.

And the winner of the most weirdest thing sold on eBay is…

1. A Man’s Entire Life  – That’s right, a living person’s life. Ian Usher sold his life for about $300,000. This included his house, car, jet ski, job, and introductions to his friends in Perth, Australia. Hope that money was worth it because he’s going to have to start all over again.

 

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever sold?

Information provided by Bing Videos

Does Eating Healthy Drops Life Insurance?

Eating a healthy diet dramatically reduces the risk of many illnesses and makes many more other ailments easier to treat but a healthy diet alone will do little to reduce the premium rates of an insurance policy. Individual insurance premium rates are based on mathematical formulas that determine how likely a policyholder will be to cash in on the policy by filing a claim. Even so, eating healthy does influence insurance premiums in an indirect way.

One reason a lifestyle of eating healthy is not a direct factor in determining insurance rates is that a healthy diet is quite difficult to quantify. One person’s concept of a healthy diet may seem hedonistic to the next or entirely too austere for someone else. Even members of the medical profession offer conflicting information on dietary matters so there remains no one-size-fits-all healthy diet to use as a standard of measure against all others.

The merits of eating a healthy diet may become obvious in a much more indirect way, however, so keep it in mind when comparing insurance quotes for any type insurance. Rates are based on age as well as other issues, such as weight and family medical history.

The actuarial tables that are used to determine insurance rates are based on weight as well as age. Individuals who fall below the desired weight range are more prone to suffer from health issues which shorten their lives as are people who fall in the category of overweight or obese. A low weight can be unhealthy, but the more often than not in today’s society excess weight is a more prevalent concern.

Excess weight can trigger medical conditions such as metabolic syndrome, diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease. All these conditions jeopardize a person’s quality of life and longevity.

Family history may be a contributing factor to one’s predisposition to develop any of these medical conditions but a lifestyle of eating nutritious foods can minimize the chance they will develop in an individual and can usually make the disorder much easier to treat or maintain once it’s developed. Adherence to a healthy diet is usually reflected in one’s weight even when family history appears ominous.

People who enjoy a nutritious diet are more likely to exercise routinely, too, and this factor also boosts vitality, strengthens the immune system, and adds years of quality to a life span. This correlation is taken into consideration whenever insurance quotes are calculated.

When rates are determined, dietary and exercise habits will not be recognized as a point for point advantage in premium rate reduction but their existence will become the advantage when weight is compared against age and family history. An applicant of the same age and with similar family medical history who is of healthy weight will almost always be quoted cheaper rates than someone of the same age and family history but who is not in the healthy range category.

When it’s time for a re-quote, ask your agent if you qualify for a drop in your premium. Stay healthy and not only will your body thank you but also your wallet.

PHH Insurance

Are you a serious gamer?

Lomorin Sars, a 31 year old Colorado resident was arrested on Nov. 9, 2011 for allegedly threatening to blow up a Best Buy when he was told it was sold out of the new release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

Denver’s KUSA-TV quotes police in Aurora as saying Lomorin Sar became angry with the customer service desk shortly after midnight Tuesday when he was told the video game he allegedly pre-ordered earlier in the day was no longer in stock.

Witnesses say Sar threatened store workers, asking when they were leaving and allegedly saying he would shoot them in the parking lot. Sar allegedly also told employees he would blow up the store. Should’ve gotten Battlefield 3 instead 😉

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This is not the first alleged crime involving the popular video game.

Over the weekend in France, men used tear gas to rob a delivery truck carrying 6,000 copies of the game. That shipment was worth more than $500,000.

Talk about crazy. These people are playing too much war games to even fight or kill for it in real life. Time to put down the remote control and enjoy life a little. You’re on this planet for a short amount of time so make it count.

Winter Weather – Property Protection

Cold weather freeze-ups can cause vital fire protection systems to malfunction. Cold temperatures can cause sprinkler piping to burst resulting in major water damage to buildings, contents, and equipment. Pipes bursting can also impair automatic sprinkler systems and leave a major portion of your facility without fire protection.

In the interest of preventing water damage claims for your property, designated key personnel should be aware of freeze protection and emergency preparedness procedures. Utilize Winter Weather Precautions Checklist and Risk Management Guidebook to assist you in building a sound risk control program.

Best Practices include: Building temperature should be monitored, documented and maintained @ 40 F or higher
Perform freeze protection inspections and be cognizant of shutdown procedures
Have a contingency plan with contractors and suppliers
Pre-emergency planning for fire, water damage and snow removal should be established
Boilers, furnaces, heaters and flues should be serviced regularly
24 hour building surveillance
Enforce a no smoking policy
Safeguard flammable or combustible liquids

Water Supplies
Tanks should not leak and pressure should be checked
Water temperature should remain at 42 F or above
Check fire hydrants for proper drainage by outside contractor or water department
Buried sprinkler control valves and valve pits should be marked in the event of heavy snowfall
Fire pump room should not drop below 70 F
Regularly inspect post indicator valve, OS&Y valve, and test header to pump

Wet Pipe Sprinkler Systems
All areas of buildings with sprinkler systems should maintain a temperature of 40 F or above
Cold weather valves should be closed while all others remain open
Windows, skylights and doors should be in good condition and sealed tightly
Check temperatures with thermometer

Dry Pipe Systems
Dry lines should be checked for proper drainage so trapped water doesn’t cause breakage
Check drains located in cold places for freezing
Dry-valve clapper should be properly set with temperature maintained at 40 F or above
Low air pressure alarms should be provided, calibrated and connected to constantly
attended locations
Low pressure switches should be set at 5 psi which is above trip point of dry pipe valve
Air pressure checked regularly with records maintained to indicate normal pressure
Air drying equipment available to supply air to system as designed

PREVENTING HEAVY ROOF LOADING & COLLAPSE
Snow and ice build up can wreak havoc by placing additional loads on roofs and supporting bearing members. Snow and winter storm event severity can be hard to predict depending on the location and geography of your facilities. It is best practice to plan ahead and have a written plan in place when the snow or ice arrives.

Roofs collapse mainly due to weather patterns that produce a cycle of 2 events:
a rapid freeze
a rapid thaw

This rapid freeze and thaw cycling produce weighty snow/ice buildup that places excess stress on your roof. Flat roofs are especially prone to excessive accumulation and build up by the lack of natural grading, pitch and lack of runoff.

Best practices include
Maintain all roofs and keep current with repairs. Winter weather will only further damage any underlayment and the damaging effects of water infiltration will be costly and may cause business interruptions.

Arrange to have all roofs cleared of snow especially where snow drifts are visible. Hire a competent contractor for this dangerous task.

Request contractor to clear any and all roof drains to allow for runoff and limit ponding especially on flat or relatively shallow pitched roofs. Clear pathways to the eaves in situations where there is a pitched roof without drainage pipes.

PREMISES AND FIRE FIGHTING EFFORTS
Removal of accumulation of snowfall from your driveways, sidewalks and entryways is essential to maintain safe access to your facility by emergency responders.

Clear all driveways, sidewalks, parking areas, access ways, bulkheads, portals, entryways and exits to allow for emergency personnel to safely access your premises. Fire hydrants should be accessible and clearly marked with colored marker flags in high snow drifts.

Unoccupied buildings
Vacant, idle or otherwise “unoccupied” buildings or large buildings with unused space (compartments, floors, rooms or basements, etc.) present another set of hazards that an organization must consider for best practice winter weather controls.

Inadvertent releases of water, left unchecked or allowed to flow unnoticed, usually results in extensive interior damage.

Best practices for these situations involve
Maintain fire protection services including water based fire protection services
(sprinklers) – consult your contractor to maintain these systems in service
Maintain interior heat at 40 F or above
Maintain remote (electronic) monitoring of indoor temperatures
Visit and survey daily to verify conditions of building or space
Install water alarms to detect release of water, burst pipe, etc.

Unheated Space
Close main water valves with potable/domestic water
Contract a plumbing professional to drain all piping from water heaters, faucets and
supply piping
Notify proper authorities when plans call for fire protection system (sprinkler) impairment
 
 
Courtesy of  PHLY.com

Deep Frying Turkey for Thanksgiving?

One of the new holiday traditions for many families during Thanksgiving is to deep fry a turkey. Deep frying a turkey is quick, adds flavor and is a welcome change from the traditional method of cooking.

Deep frying a turkey is a cooking method that creates its own dangers and considerations however, and should be done with care and forethought.

Here are some safety tips you should follow before you begin.

  • Ensure that you have a safe location to cook. Never deep fry a turkey indoors, under an overhang such as a balcony, or on a combustible surface such as a wood deck. A grassy area, if available, often works best.
  • Warn children to stay away from the cooking area and restrain or lock up pets. Never leave the cooking turkey unattended.
  • Thaw and dry the turkey ahead of time. A wet or frozen turkey will cause popping and splattering of oil as the water is released into the hot oil.
  • Do not over fill the cooking container. Ensure that you use the proper amount of oil by placing the uncooked turkey in the container and filling it with water. Measure the water line in the container once you remove the turkey and use that as a guide to how much oil is necessary.
  • Ensure that the propane tank is full and has no rust near the threaded fitting or the shut-off valve.
  • Heat the oil slowly and only heat it to the recommended temperature.
  • Insert a hook into the turkey ahead of time to make it easier and safer to handle once near the hot oil.
  • Have a fire extinguisher and the cooking container lid handy. If the oil catches fire, put on an oven mitt and cover the cooking container with the lid to smother the fire. Shut off the burner and allow the container to cool down.
  • Be careful using a fire extinguisher. Standing too close to the container while discharging the fire extinguisher can cause oil to be splattered on everything nearby, spreading the fire and potentially causing burns.
  • NEVER attempt to put out an oil fire using water.

Several other tips will also help ensure that you and your family have a safe and happy holiday season.

  • Create a kid-free zone in the kitchen where cooking or slicing is taking place.
  • Use holiday candles safely.
  • Never drink and drive. Thanksgiving is one of the highest alcohol consumption days of the year.
  • Drive safely and wear your seat belts.
  • Leave for your holiday destination early to give yourself plenty of time to arrive. Check your local news stations for traffic alerts.
  • Be patient with others while on the road. Report unsafe driving, aggressive drivers, and possible drunk driving by calling 9-1-1.

Be safe and have a HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

-From all of us at PHH Insurance

Courtesy of  Maple Valley Reporter

College and Life Insurance

Saving for College

The College Board estimates that the average cost of four years of private college in 2010 will be $180,000. For anyone with children, the estimated cost of a college education can be overwhelming. There are a number of financial models for saving for this huge expense – Life Insurance Info reviews life insurance as a component of college savings.

College and Permanent Life Insurance

One way to save for college education is to have a permanent life insurance plan. This type of policy builds cash value, allowing you to borrow against the value tax-free. This money can be used to pay tuition or other expenses. Keep in mind that any amount borrowed from the life insurnace policy is subject to interest charges and if unpaid at the time of your death, can result in a reduced death benefit.

In addition to the fact that you can borrow against your policy, the very nature of a life insurance policy is to provide protection in the event that you become disabled or die. Without a policy, your family will not be financially protected after the loss of your income. With a policy in place, in the event of your death, your college savings plan is protected.

Term Life Insurance for College Fees

 

The main goal of a term policy is to provide protection from anything happening to your child’s college savings in the event of your death. Term life insurance can be purchased for a specific period of time, or term. Should you die during the policy, your family will receive a tax-free payout that can be used for, among other things, funding a college education.

 

  • Any assets you put into the trust must remain there.
  • Beneficiaries cannot be added or removed.
  • The appointed trustee can only be changed if that person agrees to resign.
  • Irrevocable trusts allow you to enjoy tax savings since the beneficiary of the trust pays the income taxes on any earnings.
  • You lose the option of borrowing against the cash value.

To find out estimate future college costs for your child, visit Fidelity’s website to use the College Planner Calculator to estimate your coverage needs for a college savings plan.

If you don’t have life insurance or would like to add the term life insurance, please call your local agent or visit our website for a free quote.

 

Stop a Cold in Its Tracks

Even though winter hasn’t officially arrived yet, the cold chills have. We already had a freak blizzard with heavy snow and the rest isn’t far behind. If you have a tickle in your throat, cloudy head, or an achy body, you’re coming down with something. Again. The average adult gets three colds per year, each lasting an average of nine days but you don’t have to surrender. Here’s how to stop a cold before it takes hold—and feel better by tomorrow.

As soon as you feel the symptoms, start drinking water or juice. Staying hydrated cuts down on symptoms like a sore throat and stuffy nose. To combat a scratchy throat add half a teaspoon of salt to a glass of warm water. The salt draws out excess water in your throat’s tissues, reducing the inflammation, and clears mucous and irritants from the back of the throat. The rinse also flushes out bacteria and viruses, which may help whether you’re getting a cold or want to prevent one in the first place.

Stuffy nose? Keep it clean. Using a saline nasal spray right after cold symptoms first appear may reduce their impact, studies suggest. And take a hot shower: Warm moisture helps clear nasal passages. If you know you’re getting sick, head to the drugstore within the first two hours. Grab a pain reliever like acetaminophen to fight off achiness. Over-the-counter allergy meds, like Zyrtec and Benadryl, help with symptoms like runny nose and watery eyes; allergy meds that contain decongestants, like Claritin D or Alavert D, will help clear your sinuses and keep you alert, if you need to be.

Don’t like the taste of cough medicine? Skip it and eat honey instead. It works just as well and tastes a lot better. Have one to two tablespoons straight from the jar or stirred into tea. If possible, skip work for a day or two. Your body can fight off the virus better if you’re well-rested. But if you have to go in, it’s not the end of the world. Just steer clear of co-workers as best you can—the first few days of a cold is when you’re most contagious. To keep from sharing your germs, wash your hands regularly or use an alcohol-based disinfectant gel.

At the end of the day, a healthy diet can help fuel the immune system, so choose a dinner that includes protein-packed foods like lean meat, fish, or beans, with a whole-grain side like brown rice and plenty of antioxidant-rich vegetables. Take a hot shower before bed if you’re still feeling stuffy. Then get a good night’s sleep. The next day, if you still feel worse or have a fever, start vomiting, or develop an increasingly bad headache, call your doctor—these are signs you’ve got something other than the common cold (such as flu or an infection), and you may need antiviral medication, antibiotics, or other treatment. Otherwise, keep up the routine for the next few days, just to be sure you kick that cold for good.

Follow these directions and you’ll beat that cold before it even has a chance to spread so that you can enjoy your day 🙂