Archive for June, 2006

Allstate Floridian gives property policies to Royal Palm

Allstate Floridian, a subsidiary of Allstate Corporation, was originally formed in 1996, in the political aftermath of Hurricane Andrew that struck Florida in 1992. It’s purpose was to be a stand-alone company that would help to isolate its parent corporation from severe catastrophe losses in Florida. After years of chaos in the Florida property market, the creation of a state-mandated and state-funded property market, and the insolvency of nearly a dozen property insurers (including others that left the state before insolvency), the Florida marketplace for property insurance was significantly desolate.

Allstate, looking to keep its profitable auto insurance business alive in Florida, resolved to solve this problem with the creation of an entirely separately-capitalized company. It would have its own ratings, its own funding, and most importantly, Allstate Floridian’s losses would stay with Allstate Floridian - ideally, not affecting the millions of other policyholders around the country.

Television Viewing Habits

Steve Pavlina once again has posted yet another good article that I feel compelled to comment on. He currently is in the middle of a 30-day TV fast and while that is good, I’m hoping he, and many others, continue to avoid television much more. As a father of six children, people often question what we “do” since we don’t have a television. I find the question amusing - but first let me give a little background.

Normal Day Productivity

Steve Pavlina has posted a very useful article on how to have a productive normal day. I’ve often thought what he expresses - that our culture is geared toward special events (i.e. graduations, holidays, birthday parties, weekends, etc). We seem to give little thought and planning to the present normal daily life.

We tend to let normal days just slip by, always looking forward to the next event. For me, it has been very difficult lately to have any sort of normal day since my son Obadiah died, so I found Steve’s article helpful.

Are there any Handheld Phones worth buying?

I’ve been helping a client setup a Treo 600 to send and receive email and I started getting curious about these devices. I’ve owned two PDA’s over the years, but after I got rid of my last one a few years ago, I vowed to wait until I could better integrate the device with a phone. I just wasn’t going to be one of those guys who carry a PDA, a phone, a laptop, a thumb drive, etc… you know who you are, guys.

So, I jumped online to see what the latest offerings are and I have to say I’m very disappointed in what is available.

Laura Ingraham is my Second Wife

I created a small shop at Cafe Press to sell one of my ideas. If it goes okay, I’ll do a full-blown e-commerce site and put all my other ideas on there - ideas that, for the moment, are sealed hermetically in my brain.

As a huge fan of Laura Ingraham, I’ve often told folks that if I could have second wife, she’d be my first pick for sure. If you’ve never listened to Laura, you must stop reading this and find what station she is on in your area and what time. If you’ve , you understand why I enjoy listening to Laura so much.

Separating Contacts by New Age and Dark Ages

One interesting thing I did during my recent switch from Outlook 2003 to Thunderbird was to also go through all my email contacts. Anyone who had never sent me an email or replied to an email of mine in the past few years, or who did so traditionally late (like months later), I deleted their email address and made a separate address book for them called “Phone Only”. I have no idea what is with these people. They either hate me and have no spine to say so, or maybe they get an email address and have no clue how to use it. I’m not talking about people with wrong email addresses or mailbox full folks. Some of them actually used to be pretty good friends.

The Switch to Firefox and Thunderbird

Well, after a long day’s work, I took an extra hour to make the switch to Firefox and Thunderbird. It is part of my long-term goal to ween myself off of Microsoft’s products. I’m pretty much an Excel expert so I don’t know how I’ll last in the long run. I’ve been using Firefox for a long while now, but I made it my default browser and imported all my settings and my favorites. Very easy.

My Goals for this Blog and this Blog Only

Darren Rowse, who runs the monster site,, recently put out this little challenge to have bloggers write about “developing goals for a blog”. Darren occasionally will put out “group writing” offers with the bait that he’ll include a link to your article if it is pretty good. The guy gets so much traffic that it is almost crazy so people tend to covet a link on his blog. I purposely missed the deadline for two main reasons (not counting my lack of direction lately).

Water Only Diet - First Day

Technically, I started last night. Here was my stats last night:

Weight: 238
Blood Pressure: 124/85, Pulse 95

I took my blood pressure at Walmart. All I had done was walk from my car to the store and stood near the blood pressure monitors for a few minutes before picking one and then sitting down at the blood pressure machine near the pharmacy. I have no idea why my pulse was kind of high other than general unhealthy.

The New Water-Only Diet that I’m Starting

I hope I don’t bore too many of you loyal readers. I have decided to start a new “water only” diet. And I intend to post my results from time to time here.

First, I hate the word diet, because I’m actually not going to alter my diet at all. This is all based off my longtime belief that drinking more water can “cure” nearly any ailment or problem us humans have. I’ve been very quick to say it, but not very good at living it.

How to Save Money at a Car Dealership - From an Ex-Car Salesman (Part 2)

I’ve been meaning to get back to this series since Obadiah’s death, but just haven’t had it in me. But, I know a lot of people seem to have found this helpful and have been looking forward to the next part. I’m going to try and get through Part 2 of it today.

Today, I’m going to try and cover Step 2 - The First Ten Minutes on the Lot.

Many folks do not understand how crucial the first ten minutes are for them. That is because they do not understand that the whole purpose of going to a car lot is to get the vehicle you want at the price you want. That is the only point of going to a car lot - not to browse, not to check things out, not to get information from a salesman, not to kick the tires. Your only reason for setting foot on that lot should be to get the vehicle you want at the price you want.