Finding Best Auto and Car insurance

With California car insurance you can indeed save a lot of money. It is extremely difficult to drive in California without having car insurance. In case of any accidents or other serious mishaps you will have to end up giving lots of fines if you are running your vehicle without car insurance. Thus such a huge compensation with money is surely not possible. Therefore, it is always better and wise to have California car insurance to safe guard your hard earned cash. When you are on the road of California and driving your car so vigorously you do not know where you are going to land up at the end. If you cause an accident in any way you are surely in deep trouble. For such an offense you can have to pay a price of $1000. That is quite a pretty sum of money. However, your miseries do not end over here. Along with money you also have to lose your car license. This is what California traffic rule says. Moreover, you car can be confiscated. Do you want more unfortunate things to happen to you? If your answer is no then go for a California car insurance today.

The same goes for Los Angeles auto insurance too. In this case again a mishap on road can indeed be fatal. Moreover in Los Angeles the rate of auto insurance is increasing leaps and bounds each day. The prices of gas are becoming too unaffordable and thus more and more people are trying to save money by finding out ways to curtail the cost of auto insurance. One way you can reduce the rate of auto insurance is by restricting your auto drive within strict miles. You should not drive for too long a way. There are several companies who are taking into account the number of miles being covered by the auto. The more miles covered the higher the insurance rate is going to be. So it is always wise to drive lesser miles in order to save yourself from excessive Los Angeles auto insurance.

After having an idea about Los Angeles auto insurance it is time to gather some information on Los Angeles car insurance and its impending danger on common men. In Los Angeles cars have become an essential part of daily existence. Thus it is necessary for you to keep in knowledge the ways by which you can secure your car and make use of your insurance policy in case of any accidents on road. However, when you are planning to buy a Los Angeles car insurance you can either directly approach a company offering easy car insurance or you can also meet an insurance agent or a professional broker to get in hand a valid insurance for the kind of automobile you are having. So always try to secure your on road possession through a proper insurance policy.

Luxury and Excellence in the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Jeep has outdone themselves for the 2014 model year with the new Grand Cherokee. The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee is a luxury SUV that contains many of the best elements of past Jeep products with new and innovated ideas. Jeep has focused their attention to detail so that the standards are unbeatable.

The interior of the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee is a new level of wonderful. No matter where you are sitting in the SUV, you feel enveloped in luxury and quality. Every detail of the interior has been tweaked, trimmed and accented to shine above all that came before it. From the stitching in the detail to the workmanship on the headliner, there is nothing that has gone untouched and improved on.

It really does not matter, inside or out, what angle you are looking at this magnificent vehicle, you will see the changes and notice the differences. The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee boasts strength and exhumes confidence. Jeep knew the need for advanced lighting and created a signature LED accent headlamps as well as daytime running lamps. The new HID headlamps are extraordinary in that they swivel on winding roads to follow the drivers steering and make it easier to see the roads.

Power does not come cheap and with the price of gas being the top concern with any vehicle on the road, Jeep has recognized a need and met it with the EcoDiesel V6. Not only is the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee’s engine fuel efficient but gives you that efficiency with performance that is outstanding. Jeep has taken into account your needs as well and created it with towing in mind. This Cherokee has adapted the eight-speed transmission that will allow you to accelerate quicker, have smoother shifting all the while maintaining a great fuel economy.

Above all the other wonderful additions to the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee, the safety and security features are beyond awesome. This Cherokee features blind spot monitoring which is always a concern no matter how long you have been driving but even a bigger concern for that new driver in your house as well as a backup camera that allows you to see clearly if there is anything behind you when you put your car in reverse. To prevent accidents from happening there is a “forward collision warning” and if you are involved in an accident there are all the normal airbags as well as side curtain airbags. An emergency 911 call button will signal assistance almost immediately if you do happen to have an accident.

The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee is top of the line in a midsize SUV and has outdone itself at every turn. The developers have executed the improvements like no other vehicle and have rolled them out in one awesome machine. Whether you are having a night on the town or going off-road touring, you will ride in comfort and style like no other midsize SUV can offer. It has been a long time since a vehicle of this magnitude has hit the market with all the changes that this one has.

Porsche announces it has solution to 911 GT3 sports coupes fire problem

Everyone knows that Porsche are “hot” cars, but nobody realized just how hot until two of its 2014 911 GT3 sports coupes burst into flames. As a result, the company has alerted owners of all 785 of the produced cars in February telling them to stop driving them immediately via phone calls and e-mails. In addition, dealers were instructed to stop all orders.

“This was not a recall but a proactive safety measure,” stressed company spokesman Nick Twork, who added that the automaker is also working with the NHTSA regarding the issue. No injuries related to the engine fires have been reported.

In the meantime, Porsche’s executive officer Matthias Müller stated that they “now know the reason-solution to the technical problem, and will be announcing the results to its customers first,” during a recent press conference near the company’s headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany.

For more information drivers can contact Porsche at 800-767-7243.

Discontinued Betty Crocker Rainbow Chip frosting – $25 per can on Amazon

Betty Crocker Rainbow Chip Frosting was discontinued in late 2013, much to the disappointment of many loyal fans. The canned frosting is basically vanilla icing with small bits of colored candies mixed in. It has been a favorite in many households for decades for birthdays, Mother’s Day, Easter, or just because. Now Rainbow Chip Frosting has gone the way of many grocery products and is no longer available.

Fans of the frosting have even started several Facebook pages to voice their discontent and get the attention of the folks at Betty Crocker. On one page, “Bring Back Rainbow Chip Frosting,” members post screen shots of correspondence with Betty Crocker about bringing back the product. On March 9, a member named Tasha received this reply from Betty Crocker:

“Hi, Tasha, We’re so sorry to disappoint. Unfortunately, we discontinued the Rainbow Chip because just not enough people were buying it. We have been overwhelmed by the response from Rainbow Chip fans and are considering our options. Please stay tuned.”

So not really a promise to bring it back, but at least Betty Crocker is hearing its fans. If you are lucky, you might find some Rainbow Chip hiding in closeout stores like Big Lots or smaller, lesser known grocery stores in rural areas. But watch expiration dates. The frosting may have been sitting on the shelf for a while and could be out of date. Big Lots is famous for selling grocery items that are past their best buy date.

Then there is Amazon, where customers can find just about anything discontinued for a price. Currently there are 4 different listings for Rainbow Chip in different offers:

One 16 ounce container. There are 6 offers by different sellers. Prices range from $19.99 plush $5.49 shipping to $449.95. (The last offer is eligible for Prime and is probably a stock-out and the seller is just leaving the listing active.)

Three 16 ounce containers. Cost is $93.97 plus $4.49 shipping and is not Prime eligible.

Four 16 ounce containers. Cost is $49.99 and is not eligible for Prime.

Seven 16 ounce containers. Cost is $21.19 plus $26.30 shipping. It is not Prime eligible.

The best bet for sellers is the first offer of one 16 ounce can. The sales rank is the best of all choices at 14,996. The second offer of four cans is the next best offer, however, this means the seller needs to come up with four cans to make the multipack and that may be difficult since this product is nearly impossible to find.

As for buyers, enjoy eating some expensive frosting.

Yes – sweat the small things

Over the past week, I have visited three gas stations. Each was convenient and the price of gas was the same as other gas stations around the area. Two of the three had a food shop where customers can purchase coffee, an RC and a Moon Pie. Because the local area has had a lot of snow this winter, there was a lot of road salt on my windshield and I wanted to clean my windows. But, at each station, the buckets of window cleaners were empty and the squeegees were dry as a bone.

Gasoline is a commodity and people will search out the lowest price available. Therefore, most gas stations keep the price of gasoline close to what their competitors are offering. So, what is it that makes a customer choose one station over another? It is the little things, like the customer being able wash their windshield.

Customers may not know or even remember who has full windshield cleaners, but they do know when companies treat them well. They may be small but details are important to creating a positive customer experience and are often overlooked. A friendly hello, a “thanks for calling”, a small, unexpected gift or even an honest apology go a long way in creating a favorable customer experience. Moreover, the small extras are not that expensive. It cost nothing to say, “I apologize.” Depending on the number of pumps, a gas station may spend $25.00 per week to keep their windshield cleaners full.

When price is not an issue, customers will repeat establishments that create a positive experience. Even when price is an issue, customers are more likely to repeat business with companies that treat them well. And, sweating the details is one of the best ways of treating customers well.

Traditional grass track speedway racing comes to Placerville Saturday

This Saturday, March 15, Big Time Speedway comes to the El Dorado County Fairgrounds with European-style, grass track Speedway racing. The event debuted in 2013 and provided low budget, maximum participation racing and spectator fun. Classes are not limited to motorcycles, but also include ATV’s and, of all things, riding lawn mowers.

For participants, gates open at 8:30 am and registration is from 9:00-11:00. Entry fee is $20.00, but only $10.00 for each additional class. Racing begins at 12 Noon. Spectators pay only $5.00 at the gate, less than a movie theater ticket, for a whole afternoon of thrills, chills and spills. Be sure to bring your own chairs, shade, and coolers.

The weather is forecasted to be terrific this weekend, so make plans to go check out the merriment and bar banging action. This writer/rider has not yet had the pleasure of attending this event and I find myself wondering if there’s enough time to hop up my Craftsman LT1000 to compete in the lawn mower class. If my schedule allows, I will attend this event, so check back for an Event Report next week. Same time, same station. (Look it up).

Stay tuned and upright,


Ford opts to bring F-series to Ohio

Ford has announced plans to transfer production of its commercial F-650 and F-750 medium-duty trucks from its factory in Escobedo, Mexico to the one on Avon Lake, OH early next year after cutting ties with Navistar International Corp. The two had been working together on a joint venture known as the Blue Diamond Tricking Co. However, Ford has decided to take full control of the F-Series.

“We’re doing this to bring the 650-750 production in-house so that we have complete design, manufacturing and engineering control over our F-series lineup,” stated Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of the Americas. “In addition, moving the work from Mexico will preserve the jobs of 1,600 workers at the Avon Lake factory and honors an agreement Ford made with the UAW in 2011 contract negotiations. No new jobs will be created and Ford’s labor costs will be unchanged by the move.”

In the meantime, Ford will end production of the Econoline (aka the E-series) to clear the way for the Transit Van it is bringing from Europe and will produce at its Kansas City assembly plant in Claycomo, Mo.
There is no word (as yet) as to how long the Avon Lakes plant will be shut down as they look to refit it for the F-series. However, Hinrichs does not expect it to take as much time as it will take to convert its U.S. F-150 plants to produce the new aluminum bodies.

Note: Navistar will continue to use the Escobedo plant to build its own medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks

Pirates not welcomed in Sonoma?

I hate to continue to harp on this, and I certainly do not want to seem like a parrot repeating the same old words, but it never ceases to amaze me how crazy government acts when it comes to restaurants and those who invest countless hours of money, time, sweat and passion into a community.

Fact – Food and government do not go hand in hand. I thought former Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg was a tremendous businessman and Mayor. But banning Big Gulp? Taking on Coca-Cola, all in the shadows of helping people become healthy is a bit of an infringement in that constitutional right, choice.

Let me explain.

Having followed municipal government is my newspaper career, and having dealt with those who sit in those hallowed city halls during my restaurant career, I can attest the combination is definitely based on love-hate, oil-water, good-guy-bad-guy. Full disclosure- I think anyone who throws their hat into the political ring deserves a medal and a mental examination.

Now before the feathers begin to fly, I must state I do not dislike elected officials. I dislike what happens to many of them once they step behind the inaugural curtain, drink the Kool-Aid and change their colors once the oath of office is taken.

For unexplained reasons, health departments, planning commissions, building inspectors and even citizens with an ax to wield look at restaurants as fair game for citations, warning letters and unsuspecting visits at inopportune times to inflict the power of the people.

Take the recent controversy over Burgers and Vine in Sonoma, California. After a historic building was renovated, remodeled, retro-fitted and reopened after being on the rental market off and on for seven years, were the new owners awarded a key to the city? No.

The owners were cited because someone complained the Pirate’s Flag – flying high – two feet – above the building, was not representative of what Sonoma stands for. We wouldn’t want anyone to think a group of Pirates, currently big in Somalia, had taken over the historic creamery.

Has the world gone mad? A controversy in wine country about a Pirates Flag, really.

Last week the ice cream parlor in Sonoma came under scrutiny because the door was too pink. Tell Pink that. She’d love it.

This week it’s the Pirates Flag? Where’s Clint Eastwood when we need him. Or Johnny Depp?

Once, in Deephaven, Minnesota, I had a visit from the Mayor at the time, because someone complained my business, The Cottagewood General Store, did not carry French’s Mustard. To the chagrin of my wife and partner, Karen, I ordered a five year supply of French’s Mustard – 15 cases – and did a pyramid stack in the window, explaining the reasoning behind the display. The complaining individual asked if I could take the display down as he was getting heat from the neighbors who supported the store. I accommodated, gladly.

Few complaints after that.

Now, I am not suggesting that Burgers and Vine’s owner’s ignore the municipal mandate and leave their flag up. Hell no. Take that down.

If the government doesn’t want anyone to eat their burgers or drink their brews under a Pirate’s Flag, I completely understand. Well, not really, but I have a solution.

I think in light of the Pirate’s Flag and in celebration of there being light in the corner again, everyone should wear a Pirate’s Eye Patch into Burgers and Vine to support the new owners.

Please leave the parrots outside. We wouldn’t want the health department to get annoyed.

Nissan Altima: efficient, powerful family sedan

It may not get the kind of attention that some of its midsize sedan competition does, but Nissan’s Altima definitely deserves a look – and a test drive – if you’re shopping for a new vehicle in this niche.

This fifth generation Altima, new for the 2013 model year, offers a heckuva lot of stuff and, while it looks a tad more conservative than the fourth generation model, it’s still an attractive design, good to drive, and full of features.

Nissan Canada’s sample was of the 3.5 SL trim level persuasion, which means it was top drawer and featured the V6 engine as opposed to the 2.5 liter four cylinder power plant of lower levels. That six puts out (an estimated) 270 horsepower and an estimated 251 lb.-ft. of torque, and it’s more than adequate for the lion’s share of driving situations. Power is smooth and the car accelerates well.

Alas, as is Nissan’s wont, it’s saddled with the company’s Xtronic continuously variable transmission (CVT), accompanied in Nissan’s sample version by the paddle shifters the company makes available only on the 3.5 SL version. The paddles are a great addition, and give you a not-too-unreasonable manual mode from an otherwise uninteresting CVT, but for some reason Nissan decided to mount the paddles on the steering column instead of behind the steering wheel – where they don’t rotate with the steering wheel. That means if you’re trying to shift manually while coming out of a turn, you’re out of luck.

What’s with that?

Still, that was my only real gripe about this car, and in the grand scheme of things that’s pretty piddlin’. And there’s plenty of other good stuff on board to help make up for that oversight, including projector-type halogen headlights (Nissan’s sample also had auto on/off headlights), fog lights, optional LED taillights and heated outside mirrors with integrated LED turn signals. And that’s only the tip of the tech tricks.

Keeping the Altima’s body from falling onto its wheels is a nice-feeling independent strut front suspension (which Nissan says features advanced geometry, equal-length half shafts that are “almost parallel to the ground – reducing torque steer”) and a new independent rear multilink suspension design “with improved toe angle control and improved camber angle control” Nissan says “maximizes interior volume while improving dynamic performance and comfort.” It toes the comfort line well, but without any trace of wallow.

There’s also a standard Active Understeer Control and front and rear stabilizer bars, and the electronic hydraulic power-assisted steering offers good performance and feel – as do the standard power-assisted front vented disc/solid rear disc brakes with ABS and Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD). All in all, it all adds up to a pretty nicely driving family sedan.

Base Altimas come with standard 16 inch steel wheels but you can swap them out (not for free, I’m willing to bet!) for 17 inch aluminum-alloy ones. Nissan’s test sample 3.5 SL wore that model’s 18 inch aluminum-alloy wheels.

Inside the Altima is a nice, modern cabin that looks and feels quite up market. It’s no Infiniti, but that’s okay. Nissan says the Altima offers five passenger seating, but as is usual in such vehicles the person stuck in the middle of the steerage section doesn’t get treated as well as the other four passengers – especially those up front, where Nissan says its NASA-inspired “zero-gravity” seats help relieve pressure points “no matter what the body type.” This zero gee concept is fine, and the seats are indeed comfortable, but I never found myself floating out of the eight way power-adjustable heated driver’s seat even once.

Interior tech tweaks include “Advanced Drive-Assist Display,” which features a little high-resolution color display in the instrument cluster on which you can show a variety of things. Nissan’s sample also came with NissanConnect, which features a seven inch color display, turn-by-turn navigation integration, steering wheel-mounted navigation controls and a nice Bose Premium Audio System with nine speakers. And of course there’s Bluetooth for phone and audio.

The new NissanConnect Apps system (which Nissan says is standard on all Altimas that come with display audio and navigation) lets you stay connected when you should be watching the road by letting you interact with stuff like Facebook and Google services. And you can opt for Safety Shield Technologies, which include a Blind Spot Warning (BSW), Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Moving Object Detection (MOD) system. A tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) is also available.

On the other hand, Nissan says its Hands-Free Text Messaging Assistant (another part of NissanConnect), lets you manage incoming text messages via voice control without taking your hands off the steering wheel or your eyes off the road. I only text under extreme duress, so didn’t try this, but I like the idea. The company says it gives you an alert when a text comes in and can read the text to you. It’s operated either by voice recognition or the steering wheel controls and Nissan says you can fire off responses such as “driving, can’t text,” “on my way,” “running late,” “okay” or a custom message you set up.

One really nice thing I noticed with the sample Altima is that, unlike in the last Nissan I drove, the company’s voice recognition worked, and worked well.

Safety equipment includes the usual bevy of bags and belts, including roof-mounted curtain side impact supplemental air bags designed to protect front and rear outboard occupants’ heads. You also get Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) and a Traction Control System (TCS).

The Nissan Altima competes in a crowded segment that’s full of good vehicles. For example, it goes head to head with the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Kia Optima, Hyundai Sonata, Volkswagen Passat et al, all of which have their own joys and their own advantages. Well, and their own shortcomings, too, since nothing’s perfect except my wife. Whether or not the Altima stands out enough from this crowd is a question I can’t answer. But I do know there are plenty of them on the road, so some people certainly notice it.

According to Nissan’s Canadian website, the 2014 Altima starts at just under $24,000 for the base 2.5 liter four cylinder model. The 2.5 SL starts at $28,898, while the V6-powered 3.5 SL (the only trim level available with the six cylinder power plant) kicks off at $32,998, which is pretty reasonable considering that it comes with the technology package built in (includes Nissan Navigation System 7 inch color touch-screen monitor, voice recognition, Moving Object Detection (MOD), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), and Blind Spot Warning (BSW).

For comparison, Toyota’s Camry also starts at just shy of $24,000 and its top of the line XLE V6 version starts at $33,625, while the Honda Accord starts at just shy of $26,000 and its top line “Touring V6” version starts at $33,400. That puts the Altima right in the ball park as far as pricing is concerned.

The Best Veterinarian In Las Vegas? Is Google The Judge?

From the aspect of the internet being a source of exposure for a business, and a way for a company to attract new business and customers, a question will usually arise as far as the quality of the actual services or products provided vs. the level of presentation that is received on search engines. Lets face it, Google is the starting point for most information today. If you just had a pipe burst in your house and there is water everywhere, while you are trying to stop the flow you are probably telling someone to find a plumber as quickly as possible. With no frame of reference to make a decision, most people put on this task will go to Google and pick from the first few results presented. This bears the question, how did Google go about deciding which of those businesses it put in front of you in the ordered list it returned? Are those the best plumbers, or are they placed in those positions for some other reason?

One of the most competitive businesses in our area is the veterinary care business. There are literally hundreds of veterinarians in Las Vegas, and the majority of them have a website of some sort that is giving them a presentation on the internet. However, when you Google “Las Vegas veterinarian” or “best veterinarian in Las Vegas” how is Google deciding which of this multitude of businesses who are all providing nearly identical services gets to be in the first ten results it presents on the first page? Is the list actually showing you who the “best veterinarian in Las Vegas” is, or is the list based on something else? Just to clear a few questions up, Google is not a vetting process, and employs no mechanism to judge the quality of one business or product over another, it only is judging the website and the spaces online that are discussing that particular business. These spaces include other websites and social media sites, review and testimonial sites, chat boards, answer websites and blogs. Google looks at the website of the business itself and combines that information with other information regarding the business that is owner controlled, like the Google + page that is verified by the physical location of the business and the phone number. Google looks over addresses that are listing to see if they match, phone numbers and other technical information, then it looks over the type of information listed on the website and compares it with the type of information presented on Google + in the areas beyond business specifics. Google + functions as a combination local listing service and social media space. The owner (or manager) or a business can go into their Google + page and do far more than just put photos and update business addresses and phone numbers. They can use Google + like they would use Facebook, to share information, pictures, stories, conversations, etc. It is a social experience that Google is analyzing and comparing to the information on the business website, and they are using that information to decide where the website will rank in the results.

For our example of a Las Vegas veterinarian, where in these results is the analysis of the quality of services that are provided by the veterinarian, and how is Google factoring the general public feeling about the services? The answer is literally almost nowhere. When it comes to searches that provide the list of 10 or so results that are “map-like” which are controlled almost exclusively through the development of your Google + page and reviews of the business that are done on Google +, there is almost no vetting that is happening in a real-world sense. Instead, Google is looking at the information that is on the website to provide a ranking. This comes in the form of content that is housed on the site, information about services, and how well the information on the site can answer questions that searchers would have. What this means is that if a person searches on Google for “best veterinarian in Las Vegas” they are going to find that Google returns a list of websites that answer the question “who is the best veterinarian in Las Vegas?” To further elaborate, what this means is that Google is looking to the content on the website to answer that particular question, and if it can find what it believes to be an answer to that question inside the content on the site, then that site will rank higher than another that does not answer the question. This does not mean that simply putting into the content on your website “Who is the best veterinarian in Las Vegas? We are!” is going to get you rankings for that particular question. However, addressing the aspects of content that is on a website that proves that you are better at being a veterinarian than the next competitor will provide better rankings. What are the things that would prove you are a better veterinarian than another one in the same city? This boils down to information about your subject. You can provide information about animal treatment and sickness, information about the veterinary practice and the biographies of individual veterinarians. You can provide local information to prove you are important to the local are of Las Vegas, as in pet friendly hotels or dog parks. This type of approach to the website is how Google is deciding who is better and who is the best.

What can be learned from this information is that Google is not NECESSARILY providing the best veterinarian in Las Vegas in the results that are listed for that particular search. It is providing what it believes to be a good list of veterinarians that provide the best information on the subject of “being a veterinarian” and what information it believes you are looking for. Should you trust that the top result on Google for this search is the best one in your area? The answer is absolutely not. Google is not a human being with an opinion, it is a machine that analyzes words on a website, and takes into consideration words that people say about the website. The best way to choose your next veterinarian is to look through the results and get a sense of the professionalism of the clinic…..then visit in person! Ask people at the local dog parks. Read reviews of the services. Google is just a mechanism to provide a list….it cannot make a good decision for you.