Friday, October 19, 2018

Fall Home Maintenance Check list:

Seal drafts in home
Service furnace & replace filters monthly
Water heater maintenance
Bleed hot water radiators

Protect Plumbing: insulate water lines
Remove & drain outside hoses
Clean gutters & down spouts for leaves and debris
Inspect roof shingles & clear leaves & branches
Clean fireplace & chimney
Lawn care & leaf cleanup
Inspect garage door
Store patio furniture/cover it
Clean deck
Complete safety check on outside lighting
Test smoke detectors & carbon monoxide detectors
Fire extinguishers up to date
Inspect sidewalk & driveway for cracks
Air conditioners out of the windows and stored


Thursday, March 22, 2018

Road Rage! Don't be the victim!

For some people, driving incites a sort of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde mentality. You might feel perfectly fine when you get in the car, but as soon as someone cuts you off in traffic, you become a whole different person—and likely not a version that you're proud of.
In extreme cases, you might experience road rage. Road rage is very dangerous to yourself and those around you. It can result in severe legal consequences, physical harm, or even death!


What Is Road Rage?

Road rage is defined as aggressive or violent behavior stemming from a driver's uncontrolled anger at the actions of another motorist. Some examples include:
  • Hitting their vehicle with your car.
  • Running them off the road.
  • Pulling over, getting out, and engaging in a physical confrontation.
  • Inciting your passenger(s) to fight the other driver.
  • Using any sort of weapon to inflict harm on another driver or vehicle.
Oftentimes, aggressive driving escalates road rage. Aggressive driving is an accumulation of illegal driving maneuvers, often resulting from emotional distress. If you find yourself getting angry and upset on the road, try to notice if you're engaging in any of the following aggressive driving behaviors:
  • Tailgating.
  • Cutting others off.
  • Not using turn signals.
  • Mentally or verbally cursing other drivers.
  • Speeding.
  • Honking.
  • Flashing your headlights.
  • Brake checking.
If you find yourself driving aggressively, you need to take the necessary steps to make sure that it does NOT escalate into road rage.

How Road Rage Starts

Often, those that we're closest to upset us the most. If you find yourself in any of the following situations, it's important to be especially aware of your emotions and reactions, as they can influence how you behave on the road.
Some situations that can potentially result in road rage include:
  • Getting fired or into an argument at work.
  • Arguing with your significant other.
  • Rushing because you're running late to an appointment.
  • Scolding your kids in the car.

Who Gets Road Rage

It seems like everyone is susceptible to road rage, but studies have shown that younger male drivers and people with certain psychological disorders are most prone to engage in aggressive driving and road rage. If you fall into these categories, you should be extra conscious of your emotions and actions on the road.
NOTE: Remember, anyone can experience road rage, and you should not discriminate against those mentioned above.

Preventing Road Rage

Before driving, there are a few steps you can take to ensure you and/or other drivers won't be tempted into road rage. Preventative measures you can take include:
  • Putting on soothing music that you like.
  • Get into the mentality that you are sharing the road, and nobody's perfect!
  • Keep a good amount of space between yourself and other drivers.
  • Refrain from making prolonged eye contact or obscene gestures at other drivers.

Diffusing Road Rage

If you've upset another driver, it's important to defuse the situation as soon as possible. The best way to do this is by showing remorse. You can do so by:
  • Waving to the other driver.
  • Mouthing that you're sorry.
  • Allowing plenty of room for them to pass you.
Be the bigger person. This helps to keep everyone, including yourself, safe. Of course, you should always call the police if you believe you're in imminent danger.
When another upsets you, don't make the situation more difficult than it has to be. Before taking matters into your own hands, you should:
  • Pull over to a safe location, out of the way of traffic.
  • Take deep breaths—maybe even count backwards.
  • Remember you have full control over your own actions and thoughts.
  • Think about the consequences of your actions, should you contemplate exacting revenge on the other driver.
By remaining calm and not taking other drivers' actions personally, you can avoid legal repercussions and accidents.

Consequences of Road Rage

If a law enforcement officer catches you engaging in road rage, you can be charged with a criminal offense. This means that you will need to:
  • Go to court.
  • Pay legal fees.
  • Possibly face jail/prison time.
For all of the time and money that you'll end up losing, road rage is simply not worth it.
In addition, you risk:
  • Damage to your vehicle.
  • Physical harm to yourself and your passengers.
  • Death.
You don't know what other people are capable of or what their state of mind might be. If you succumb to road rage, the other driver could have a deadly weapon, putting you in serious danger.
Bottom line: a few moments of anger are simply not worth a lifetime of sorrow.

Information source:

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

History of Spring:
The vernal equinox takes place on March 20 or March 21 and signals the start of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. During the vernal or spring equinox, the amount of daylight and darkness is nearly the same in length. (The word equinox comes from the Latin “aqueous,” meaning equal, and “nox,” meaning night.)
The vernal equinox occurs on March 20 or March 21 each year and signals the start of spring in the Northern Hemisphere (and fall in the Southern Hemisphere).
The Earth tilts at an angle of 23.5 degrees on its axis relative to its plane of orbit around the sun. As the Earth orbits the sun over the course of a year, different places get sunlight for different amounts of time.
An equinox occurs at the moment when the Earth’s axis doesn’t tilt toward or away from the sun. Someone standing on the equator on an equinox can observe the sun passing directly overhead. Additionally, equinoxes are the only two times a year that the sun rises due east and sets due west.
Six months after the March equinox, another equinox occurs around September 22 or 23 and marks the beginning of fall in the Northern Hemisphere and spring in the Southern Hemisphere. Since the Earth actually takes about 365.24 days to orbit the sun, equinoxes happen around six hours later from year to year, before moving back a day on leap years.
In addition to two annual equinoxes, there are two solstices every year. The summer solstice, on June 20 or June 21 in the Northern Hemisphere, occurs when the sun is farthest north of the equator; it’s the longest day of the year in terms of daylight.
The winter solstice, on December 21 or December 22 in the Northern Hemisphere, happens when the sun is farthest south of the equator; it’s the shortest day of the year. The word solstice comes from the Latin “solstitium,” meaning “stopped sun.”
For centuries, people have celebrated the vernal equinox. At the ruins of Chichen Itza, the ancient Maya city in Mexico, crowds now gather on the spring (and fall) equinox to watch as the afternoon sun creates shadows that resemble a snake moving along the stairs of the 79-foot-tall Pyramid of Kukulkan, also called El Castillo.
On the spring equinox, the snake descends the pyramid until it merges with a large, serpent head sculpture at the base of the structure. While the Maya were skilled astronomers, it’s unknown whether they specifically designed the pyramid to align with the equinox and create this visual effect.
At Stonehenge, the prehistoric monument in England featuring the remains of a circle of huge standing stones, druids and pagans congregate to watch the sun rise on the equinox and welcome spring. However, it’s unclear what, if any, meaning the equinox held for those who constructed the ancient monument, as they left no written record about why or even how it was built.
Among various spring holidays is Nowruz, the Persian New Year, which starts on the vernal equinox. The centuries-old holiday is observed by millions of people around the world and lasts 13 days.
In Japan, the day of the spring equinox is a national holiday called Shunbun no Hi. Some people commemorate the day by tending to the graves of their ancestors.

Information from:

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

NY State Lawmakers Pass School Bus Safety Bills:

The New York State Senate today passed a series school bus bills that will ensure child safety and enhanced communication.

A bill was passed, sponsored by Senator John Bonacic, that increases the penalties for passing a stopped school bus (S.3099A). The legislation would impose a sixty day suspension of a driver’s license if convicted of passing a... stopped school bus two or more times.

This legislation would make the penalties for passing a stopped school bus multiple times the same as penalties for drivers convicted of speeding in a construction zone two or more times.

The Senate also passed a bill, sponsored by Senator James Seward, that would give school districts the option to put their website on their school buses (S.2371). Currently, school districts are only permitted to affix their phone numbers on the rear of the school bus, but with advancements in technology and communication, some school districts have created websites which have become an increasingly important tool for communication.

A third school bus bill was also passed by the Senate relating to “school bus” signs. Currently, school bus signs are required to be illuminated, but this legislation would allow for the signs to be constructed with reflectorized materials. The bill, sponsored by Senator Charles Fuschillo, is intended as a cost-saving measure while still supplying the necessary safety precautions (S.4488A).

Advancements in technology have made the illuminated sign requirement on school buses obsolete. Existing technology for photo-reflectorized coatings and graphics similar to those used on traffic signs will allow for signs to be made economically, with industry-standard materials, and offer advantages beyond the illuminated signs.

The current required illuminated signs are more expensive, both initially and to maintain. New York is one of only two states – the other being Maine – that require this feature. Additionally, these lights accumulate snow and ice and are often times found to be the source of water leaks and leading to structural corrosion. Both of these negative externalities can now be avoided with the use of reflectorized coatings and graphics.

The bills have been sent to the Assembly

What is Covered on Your Home, Condo or Renters Insurance Policy?

Here's what you need to know about insuring your home, no matter where you choose to make it.
Insured Hazards: Residential coverage insures your dwelling and/or personal property against common causes of damage and loss, such as theft, vandalism, fire, lightning, ice, wind, and plumbing malfunctions, among others. However, some hazards will not be covered, including floods, earthquakes, and hazards that affect the land itself but not the building, such as contamination. When considering residential insurance, ask your agent which perils are included in the basic policy, and which may require separate or additional coverage.
Homeowners Insurance: A homeowners policy is typically the most comprehensive form of residential insurance because it covers a house's exterior and interior, as well other structures on the property, such as a garage. The policy will also cover residents' personal property, including clothes, furniture, electronic equipment, and other household items. (Additional coverage may be needed for especially valuable items.)
Before buyers finalize a mortgage, lenders usually require that they purchase a homeowners policy, so if you're in the market for a house contact an agent to start the process. If you already own a home but have no insurance, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners reports that the average cost to insure a single-family home is about $800 per year. That's peace of mind for an affordable price.
Condo Insurance: Like homeowners insurance, condo insurance is usually required by lenders as a condition of the mortgage. However, the cooperative nature of a condominium adds a few twists to a traditional homeowners policy. Usually the building's exterior, common spaces, and some unit structural elements will be covered under the condo association's master policy. The cost of this insurance will be included in the dues paid to the condominium association.
The coverage needed for your particular unit will vary depending on the master policy. Most likely, you will be responsible for buying a unit policy that insures most of the interior elements – including additions, renovations, and improvements – as well as your personal property. Review condominium association documents, like by-laws or covenants, for information on the insurance requirements for unit owners. You can also purchase additional coverage for special assessments against unit owners to pay for repairs to common property or other expenses.
Renters Insurance: When you rent an apartment, your landlord is usually responsible for insuring the building's physical structure, both inside and out.
As a renter, you alone are responsible for insuring your personal property against theft, damage, and loss. And unlike homeowners and condo insurance, renters insurance is not usually required as a condition of occupancy. That means the decision to carry renters insurance is up to you. It's an easy decision to make, though. The average renters insurance policy costs around $12 a month, making it an affordable option for almost any budget.
Loss Of Use And Liability: A residential insurance policy will also typically include coverage for loss of use and liability. Loss of use means that living expenses in excess of your normal daily budget are covered if you temporarily have to live elsewhere because your home was made uninhabitable by an insured event, such as a storm or fire. This may include hotel costs, meals, and other expenses.
Liability insurance covers settlements and claims against you for physical injury to others for which you are responsible, as well as damage you cause to others’ property. This protection is an important part of your financial security.