Sunday, February 26, 2017

Should Marital Status Affect Car Insurance Rates?

In case you have applied to car insurance recently, one of the questions you probably had to answer was if you are married or single. You might think, what does this have to do with car insurance, but apparently this is one of the factors they use to determine how much you will pay for your car insurance.

According to their statistics, single people are more likely to get into an accident compared to married couples so they use these stats to figure out how much to charge for insurance. Personally I do not think they should use marital status as a way to charge more or less for insurance. It seems too discriminatory as marital status does not really affect driving ability. If something like this can be used to increase rates, where will the line be drawn?

There are certain factors that make sense when determining auto insurance rates, for example driving and accident history, age or experience behind the wheel, and usage such as mileage and location where the vehicle is driven. These things have a strong correlation to how likely someone is to get into an accident. When they start using things like marital status, it brings up the issue of fairness vs numbers.

They can survey statistics on anything and they may find that certain things have a stronger correlation to accidents than others, but that does not mean they should be able to use these things to discriminate. When they use factors such as married vs unmarried, it penalizes individuals who may otherwise be good drivers but just happen to fall into a certain category.

Overall I think insurance rates should only be determined by factors that directly influence the likelihood of a claim. Other unrelated factors should not be used even if studies show that one group may have more chance to get into an accident compared to another.

Do you think insurance companies should be able to charge different rates based on things such as marital status and gender?

Friday, February 17, 2017

What did you do to accomplish your goals today?

As we get older, time becomes more valuable because it becomes more limited. When you are young, you feel like you have so much time to accomplish your goals, but before you know it, age starts creeping up on you and you may find you are older than you feel and there are many things you have yet to accomplish.

I recently found myself in somewhat of a rut, or treading water so to speak. Basically, just living the same routine day to day without really making any progress. This can be ok if you are content with your current situation, but it is always a good idea to strive for more and continue to try to improve your life even if things are already good.

I have never been the most ambitious person, but at the beginning of this year I did take the initiative to type up some goals. I found this helps to give some direction and makes you hold yourself accountable if something does not get done. It helps to get them down on paper or at least in a document so you can organize them, remember them, and keep track of your progress.

Recently I was thinking about how I was not making much progress and asked myself the question, “What did you do to accomplish your goals today?” Immediately I got a reality check of how I may not have been putting in enough effort to achieve my goals. If you are just doing the same thing everyday and not actively trying to imporve, chances are you will not cover much ground on your goals.

This comes into relation with time because as mentioned above, the time we have is limited and with every day that goes by, there is less opportunity to do what we want to do. You hear stories about how people have regrets about not doing more things when they were young and able. You may also hear stories about how people work hard their entire life looking forward to retirement only to pass away shortly after they have retired.

Because of this, it is important to take goals seriously and make a conscious effort to achieve them. In case you do not have any goals clearly defined, I recommend take some time to think about what you would like to do in short term, long term, as well as in general.

For short term goals, they can be things you want to do within the next year or so. These goals tend to be smaller and easier to accomplish. For longer term goals, they can be things that may take several years to accomplish or maybe things you want to do, but are not quite ready for or able to do yet. For general goals, they can be personal qualities you would like to improve upon over time.

Once you have your list, refer back to it often so you do not forget your goals. It can be a work in progress so you can add new goals and check off goals that have been completed. It gives a feeling of satisfaction and pride especially when you are able to check off one your big goals.

Life is short, so don't waste time. Make the most of every day so when you are older, you will have lived a full life without regret of having not accomplished the things you wanted to do.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

2017 Monopoly Collect and Win Game Rare Pieces

Note: This article is for the 2017 Monopoly Game. To discuss the 2018 game visit the 2018 Shop Play Win page.

The Monopoly Collect & Win Game is back for 2017 and here we will be keeping track of the rare pieces needed to win the prizes. Each prize has at least 1 rare game piece and some have a semi-rare game piece.

Stores participating this year include: Alberstons, Safeway, Jewel Osco, Shaws / Star Market, Acme, Randalls, Vons, Tom Thumb, Pavilions, Carrs, Eagle, Pak n Save, Amigos, United Supermarkets, Market Street, Lucky, United Express, and Super Saver.

Game tickets and official game boards can be obtained at participating stores. For official rules and odds of winning, visit the official Play Monopoly website.

Rare Game Marker List:

8B99D*, 8B00E
8C91A*, 8C93C
8D86A, 8D87B*
8E82B, 8E85E*
8Y14F, 8Y16H*
8Z07G*, 8Z08H
9A03B, 9A04C*
9B07A*, 9B10D

* = Semi-rare based on findings

Feel free to use the comments below to post which game pieces you have and which ones you need. 

New comments will be reviewed and moderated before they appear here to ensure quality. Please be patient as it can take up to 12 hours for comments to be approved.

Avoid asking for rare pieces. If someone finds a rare piece, they are likely to win that prize.

Old comments may be removed over time to keep things fresh.

Tip for searching comments: use keyboard shortcut ctrl+F on PC and command+F on Mac.

Note: Do not post links to eBay, they do not allow the sale of monopoly pieces. 

The Monopoly Game runs from February 8th to May 9th 2017. Last day to claim prizes is May 30th. Good Luck! 

Monday, February 6, 2017

Youtube Videos Not Playing, Black Screen, Adblock Issue

Recently I had been having some issues with Youtube videos not working. In Firefox they would play the audio but no video. In Chrome they would freeze up right away and not play at all. I tried updating flash, updating drivers, clearing cache, restarting, you name it, but for some reason the issues continued.

I noticed that it seemed to happen only on videos with advertisements, as other videos without ads were playing ok. I also noticed that if I disabled Adblock Plus, the videos would play an ad and then they would load ok, so I figured it may be an Adblock Plus issue. A little research showed that others were also having this issue.

My Adblock was up to date and it was still causing the issues which was pretty annoying. Instead of trying to modify it manually, I just decided to disable it and install another ad blocker called uBlock. It does pretty much the same thing and so far it has been working out pretty well. It still blocks the ads and now the Youtube videos are playing without any issues.

It will take some time to get a full evaluation of uBlock, but as of now, I would recommend trying it out if you have been having issues with Youtube videos not playing and you have AdBlock Plus installed. It is available as a free add on or extension for Firefox and Chrome.

I have been using uBlock for about 5 months and overall it is pretty good. Sometimes it may cause certain things on websites to not work because it is blocking too many things, but if this happens, usually just disabling and refreshing the website will fix it.

Also it has a feature where it lets you set a filter to block things on a website in case they are not being blocked automatically. For example on the TV Guide website, it would always have this annoying pop up video that would go over the listings you were trying to see. I was able to finally get rid of it by right clicking and selecting "Block Element" with uBlock.

Overall it is not perfect, but does a pretty good job and it is much better than having to deal with ads and pop ups.