Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Insurance shopping

So, for the first time in over 10 years, I find myself looking at new insurance companies. I have been a faithful Erie Insurance customer for over 10 years. However, in the past three years I have seen some large rate hikes (10-15%/year) including one that I feel was handled dishonestly. Every year I have called my insurance agent and last year I didn't even get a call back. So, while looking for new insurance I decided to start with another Erie agent. My call seemed to be fruitless as once they heard I was with another Erie agent they lost all interest in helping me. So, I am now looking outside of Erie now...mostly because of their agents. I found these complaint ratios from the North Carolina Department of Insurance nice to have when evaluating new companies. It seems to me that those companies with below a 0.5 complain ratio seems to be on the "good" side. I also find the rate calculator on the DOI site to be useful.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Derick and Emily's wedding

Well the madness is now over. Anna made it down the aisle as the ring bearer. My wedding day duties as best man were complete. More importantly, Derick and Emily are married and on their way today to honeymoon on a tropical island. Congratulations to both of them!

We used both Google Docs and Google Wave when I was helping Derick and Emily coordinate things. That was a learning experience, and I now know when Docs is useful and the few times when Wave is useful. Google Docs provided both help managing the guest list (and emailing people for their updated address information) AND a basis for RSVPs forms. The idea to use these in this way largely came from a Google employee's own experience in this video.

Derick and Emily certainly had a fun reception. They had an inflatable bouncehouse at the reception, the XL Fun House from They had EyeFi cards to automatically upload pictures from a couple cameras up to a slide projector. Unfortunately, this didn't work quite as easily as hoped. The technology will soon catch up and I am sure we will see this at more parties soon.

It was certainly a memorable experience and I think with the amount of cameras, there will be plenty of memories available to be shared. Here are some great ones that ended up on twitter:

And finally, them leaving...