Hoosier High School Basketball Hysteria

In Indiana, Hoosier hysteria is a way of life.

Though you won’t find it in the dictionary, this phrase is well known and describes the excitement surrounding Indiana basketball – specifically, Indiana high school basketball. My staff and I witnessed the hysteria earlier this month at the Fifth Annual High School Slam Dunk and Three-Point Championship at Carmel High School, sponsored by American Family Insurance.

HS Slam Dunk

This event featured 16 outstanding high school seniors – eight young men and eight young women – from all over the country, competing in a one-minute three-point shooting contest. The senior boys also had just two opportunities to demonstrate their creative, challenging slam dunk skills for a panel of Indiana celebrity judges in the Slam Dunk Championship.

When we walked into the gymnasium, the energy was electric. Spectators from all over Indiana came out to witness and support the athletes demonstrating their amazing talent. This night had the potential to be history-making for some of these young players as they competed, hoping to become one step closer to pursuing their dreams. The cheers were deafening as Carmel senior Ryan Cline made it to the finals and won the three-point competition with 22 points in the final round (one and two points are awarded per shot).

Everyone from my office was thrilled to attend this event, as each has a love for Indiana basketball. Basketball brings together the old and young, boys and girls, urbanites and those from tiny rural communities. We gather at homes or at a restaurant to watch the games. And whether you live in the city, suburbs or on a country road, chances are, there’s a basketball goal within a rock’s throw.

More than half the homes in our neighborhood have basketball goals in their driveways. We see kids gathering nightly to play. I grew up playing in the neighborhood, on my high school team, and later with a group at our church. Our son has played basketball the last two seasons and this year I coached his third grade team. A basketball goal was a must-have feature on our “wish list” when we purchased our home late last year.

One of our office’s licensed producers is Noblesville, Indiana native Tom Coverdale, Mr. Basketball 1998. He was asked to judge the Slam Dunk Competition with four others including Boom Herron, running back with the Indianapolis Colts. Tom says in Indiana you are basically born with a basketball in your hands. Every kid dreams of playing for their high school team and in college. The state has a following unlike any other state when it comes to basketball. The atmosphere at Carmel High School was no different.

Bobby Plump, John Wooden, Larry Bird and Steve Alford all began pursuing their dreams in a high school gymnasium in Indiana. Hoosiers take great pride in remembering these young men before they were legendary players, and we feel a connection to their success.

It was an honor and a thrill for us to be involved in the High School Slam Dunk and Three-Point Championship representing American Family Insurance. This event allowed these young athletes to demonstrate their athleticism and to “dream big.”

Whatever becomes of them as they pursue their basketball dreams, we will be able to say, “we were there” when it began.

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The Opposite of Growing “Pains” at AmFamPOB

tom birthdayIt’s been an exciting start to the new year.  The agency has almost doubled as we welcome TWO licensed agents to the team.  January 4th, licensed agent Tom Coverdale joined The Patrick D. O’Brien Agency, bringing years of experience and wonderful energy to the office.

Cindy

 

 

This February, Cindy Herr-Pino, already an amazing asset to the agency as our director of business development, passed her home, auto, life and health licensing exams.  Now, as a licensed agent, Cindy is able to not only promote the agency and it’s products, but she will be consulting and advising customers to find the best products to fit their needs.

 

Here’s some pictures of Pat and Kelly assembling Tom’s desk.  Future AmFamPOB employee?

Kelly kelly desk Kelly desk2

Another desk has been added for Cindy.  This time, Tom was recruited to help with the heavy labor.  (Kelly was on a break).

desk pat and tom tom vacuum

Great job, guys – the desk looks great!!

Cindy2

Cindy and Tom are excited to work with you.  Contact us to set up an appointment.

– S.O.
The Patrick D. O’Brien Agency

 

Should You Buy a New Car?

hondaWe’ve had our 2011 Honda Odyssey van for 4 years.  It came straight from the factory and had 4 miles on it when we drove off the lot.

With a very little interest rate, about $12 of each payment is now going to interest and the rest is going to principle.  It will be paid off soon and that’s a great feeling.  We haven’t had any issues with the vehicle and we weren’t considering trading it in until we received an offer in the mail from the dealer.  It seems this model is popular on the used car market and they are eager to get us into a new vehicle ($$$).  I gotta say, it’s tempting.

However, no car payment is tempting too.  We feel we’re in a good spot with a relatively “new” vehicle but when should we buy a new car?

I did some research and Edmunds.com says it’s almost always less expensive to repair a car than buy a new one.  They say a new car typically loses an estimated 22 percent of it’s value in the first year and your existing car has already taken that depreciation hit.

On the flip side, if trips to the mechanic are costing you too much money and time from your work or family and you don’t want to worry constantly about future break downs, a new car may be worth the investment.  New cars are safer than ever with many safety equipment becoming standard on new vehicles.

Edmunds formula to making a decision is if the cost of repairs is greater than either the value of the vehicle or one year’s monthly payments, it’s time to buy another vehicle.

I asked Pat about the cost of insurance on an older vehicle v. a new one.  Would our insurance premium go up or down if we bought a new vehicle?  Of course all rates depend on the driver’s driving record and the type of vehicle (sports cars really do cost more to insure) but he said a newer car would cost more to insure (there are reasons and I’ll let him break it down for you).  But if you are in the market for a new care, the good news is, it’s also true that newer vehicles may have newer safety features that can lower your premium.  It’s important you research what your rates may be on a vehicle you are interested in purchasing before you buy.

IMG_4744In our case, the van isn’t that “old” and we have the most recent safety features such a side air bags, the back up camera and a lot of what I’d call bells and whistles on it: Navigation, DVD player, bluetooth, auto start = all awesome features when toting around kids (and when I want to learn my Jazzercise routines on long road trips).

Not having a car payment soon and keeping our premium low is more attractive to me right now than a new vehicle that’s going to depreciate thousands of dollars the minute I drive it off the lot.  And, according to Kelly’s Blue Book, if I wanted to sell the van to a private party, I could expect to receive just over $21,000.  Not a bad chunk of change should I change my mind in the near future!

Are you in the market for a new car?  Call us and ask what your insurance premium would be so you can factor the total cost of a new vehicle into your budget.  We’d be happy to assist you.

-S.O.
The Patrick D. O’Brien Agency

 

 

Can an Insurance Agency Office be “Pretty”?

Pat doesn’t spend a lot of time decorating or thinking about colors and texture.  He’s focused on meeting with customers and tending to the details of their insurance coverage and needs.

However, Pat, Shannon and Edna spend a lot of time at the agency – it’s like home away from home.  Customers and colleagues visit often and we want them to feel comfortable and welcomed when they are in our office.

So after scoring deals from our favorite consignment & bargain stores; accepting a family member’s cast off, and using a little elbow grease, here’s what you’ll see when you visit our office.

We hope you like it!

-S.O.
The Patrick O’Brien Agency – Fishers, IN

Below:  Purple chairs (Shannon’s favorite color), table and flowers from our favorite consignment store, Consigned by Design.  Canvas wall art from Home-goods; Pillows, lamp and vase from Target.

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Below:  A hand me down buffet table paired with decor found at Home-goods (in one whirlwind trip) becomes a space to store industry periodicals and a peg board displaying upcoming events, customer thank you notes, and inspirational messages.

finished table

(Here’s what the table looked like during sanding and after paint).

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painted table

Road Trip Essentials for Kids

Road tripIf you are heading out of town soon and driving with kids, a large chunk of your packing list is dedicated to what you’ll need inside your vehicle to keep everyone fed and entertained so you don’t have to STOP.

I could “Google” and “Pin” much more but here’s my favorite list of what to pack and what to do to pass the time in the car.

Activities:

  • Books, magazines, comics, activity books.  Bring books they’ve never read before.  Goodwill has LOTS for just pennies.
  • Sketchbook, notebook, washable markers, twist up colored pencils (no sharpening needed)
  • Games, such as the license plate game or travel bingo
  • disposable cameras so they can take pictures – or a digital one if you trust them with it.
  • Free up space on your smart device and let the kids make recordings along the drive.  Or use a good ol’ tape recorder: Let the kids produce a vacation broadcast
  • Pre-stamped blank postcards (find them at the post office), which your kids can decorate, or postcards bought on the road; have your children write to friends, relatives, even pets
  • Doodling doodads: a small dry-erase board, Etch A Sketch, Magna Doodle, tic tac toe board.
  • Pipe cleaners, easy origami, and other scissor-less craft supplies
  • Portable DVD player and DVDs; don’t forget headphones!
  • Books on CD for the whole family, such as the Harry Potter series or “The Chronicles of Narnia”.  Rent them free from your library.
  • Scrapbook envelope—entrust your children with the responsibility of collecting postcards, ticket stubs, and brochures for a scrapbook
  • Create your trip map and track it with the kids. Print a map off Google maps & insert it into a plastic sleeve.  Use a dry erase marker which will wipe off nicely.

Food:

  • Individually packaged, crumb-free snacks such as bite-sized goldfish crackers, raisins, string cheese.
  • Hard-to-bruise fruits such as apples, grapes and berries; or try fruit roll-ups.
  • Trail mix, which will leave kids feeling full longer (and keep fingers greaseless)
  • Reusable bottles filled with water

Miscellaneous:

  • First-aid items, such as Neosporin, bandages, anti-bacterial wipes, Tylenol, sunscreen, and Dramamine
  • Grocery bags to collect trash
  • Easy wipes & hand sanitizer
  • Change of clothes, in case of accidental spills
  • A blanket for spur-of-the-moment picnics at rest areas—and naps
  • Jump ropes, football, frisbee, baseball gloves, and balls, etc. so energetic little travelers can tire themselves out at rest stops!

What has worked for you on road trips with your kids?  Did you consult Pinterest like I did?  Check out our Pinterest board for more ideas on road tripping with kids.

– S.O.
POB Agency