Travel Travails – Confiscated Carry-Ons on Sale

If you’ve ever lost knitting needles, pocket sewing kits, corkscrews or all-in-one tools to the airport security checkpoint, here’s a way to get it back. Well maybe.

Despite 9/11, more and more traveler’s are losing a grip on their goods. The TSA has devised a way to profit from your loss, however small. The confiscated items are sent to various state warehouses to be either reclaimed or sold. However, this isn’t exactly news. The Unclaimed Baggage Center has been selling lost luggage in Alabama for years. It was even featured on Oprah. It just warms my heart to know that someone may be bidding on my too tight shoes (but they were cute), old undies and brand new bathing suit.

It’s not clear if they are also selling confiscated gels, lotions or other liquids that are over 3 ounces. Many people report seeing them thrown into the garbage. But one man’s garbage bag may be another’s TSA shipping container on the way to Tucker, Ga or some other state destination. Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania are saving items with some states even collecting for other states and raising money for their own coffers.

According to the Wall Street Journal, they are now seeking to reunite passengers with their items before selling them. This may come as some relief to those that have lost a precious gift or heirloom. But don’t hold your breath – there are thousands of items retrieved each month.

There’s Also Help Preventing Baggage Loss

There’s a new service that will assist you and the airport in locating your luggage. It’s called “Bags ReUnited”. According to the website it is a free 24 hour Global Recovery system that ” . . . has been created to provide an effective way of ensuring that a lost bag or item can be returned to you.”

The online service provides luggage tags (that can be printed from the web) and when your baggage is found, it sends an SMS (text)/email alert message to you. The instructions on the uniquely coded tags can even be printed in various languages depending on your destination. There are a few other features like maintaining your address book and itineraries online, but there are lots of other sites that do that. You can report your loss anywhere you can access the internet (smart idea to add the url to your smart phone with data access).

It also touts free lifetime registration and protection of items other than luggage. While registration, tag printing and notification are free, Instant Alert (SMS text message to your mobile phone) carries a $4.99 yearly surcharge payable by credit card or PayPal.

So – maybe you haven’t lost that slamming bathing suit (although you had to buy another at your destination) or the custom engraved chopsticks forever. Focus on enjoying your travels and if the luggage security troll eats your stuff, check out these options before you give up hope.

  • Carry-On Items Taken at Airports Find Happy Homes – WSJ.com: http://online.wsj.com
  • Unclaimed Baggage Center: http://www.unclaimedbaggage.com/index.html
  • Bags ReUnited: http://www.bagsreunited.com/Default2.aspx

A Fair and Balanced Review of Ambit Energy

In line with the ever increasing prices of energy and electricity, Ambit Energy looks like a more cost effective alternative to your high electric bills. Given the economy’s volatile nature, chances are low that costs will go down any time soon. It’s either you keep paying for the pricey bills or check out what Ambit Energy has to offer.

What is Ambit Energy?

Ambit Energy was founded in 2006 by two friends namely Jere Thompson Jr. and Chris Chambless. One day, over lunch, the topic of energy deregulation was brought up and they saw the opportunity of providing the market with low cost energy options. From there, the company took off and is now comprised of over 250,000 independent consultants. In 2008, the company had revenue of $200 million while 2009 saw more growth with the revenue reaching almost $325 million.

Aside from offering cheaper energy, the company’s network marketing nature is also a great opportunity for customers to enjoy added financial rewards. All the consultant has to do is promote and sell the brand’s products and services to enjoy the promised rewards.

Energy Services in 12 States

At the core of Ambit Energy’s business mission is to allow consumers to save money. As a retail electricity and gas provider, it offers the most competitive rates in the market serving 12 states in the US. Among these states are:

  • Washington D.C.
  • Illinois
  • Rhode Island
  • Texas
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • New York
  • Massachusetts
  • Pennsylvania
  • California
  • Maryland
  • New Jersey

In addition to its cost-effective services offered for both commercial and residential consumers, the company also introduced the prepaid plan in 2010. Said plan is available in select Texas area offering consumers with flexibility in their energy usage. The plan comes with a smart metering technology for easy monitoring.

Become a Consultant

If you want to earn extra income in addition to saving on energy cost, one way to do it is to become an Ambit Energy consultant. As a consultant, one can start a business by simply doing two things. One is to gather loyal customers and second is to help others do the same thing.

To become a consultant, there is a one-time fee of $429 that must be paid. Doing so allows the customer to join the company’s network marketing compensation plan.

With Ambit Energy, there are no products to sell or inventories to worry about. The consultant only has to promote the services and gain loyal customers in order to take part in the company’s financial reward promises.

The Compensation Plan

Helping consultants earn money with Ambit Energy are the added perks of:

  • Low rates
  • Rewards Program
  • Free Energy

There are also three ways for consultants to earn a compensation. As you invite more customers to try the brand’s low cost services, you can receive residual income in the form of the following:

  1. Bonuses for new customer sign ups
  2. Bonuses when team members sign up new customers

Enjoy Free Energy

Ambit Energy further attracts consultants and customers with its Free Energy program. Both consultants and customers can earn free energy by following four easy steps:

  1. Sign Up for the company’s low cost services.
  2. Refer Friends to also sign up and save money. The goal is to refer 15 or more family or friends.
  3. Get Credit as you refer friends. For every person who signed up, you are entitled to credits that will reflect in your bill or sent via a check.
  4. Share the Wealth by encouraging referrals to also refer 15 or more friends to sign-up so they can enjoy the Free Energy bonus.

Additional Incentives

As only one of the many energy providers in the US, Ambit Energy included in its program additional incentives such as travel rewards to gain customer loyalty.

Every customer is eligible to earn and enjoy travel rewards. For every kilowatt hour usage, the customer is entitled to an equivalent one travel point. When you have accumulated sufficient points, you can choose from a number of travel packages.

One other way to enjoy the travel incentive is to refer five or more friends to sign up. You then get to a travel package that can be worth up to 45,000 points.

What Customers Say

Ambit Energy may be a relatively young network marketing business but it has enjoyed rapid growth over the years. It’s only been around for about 9 years but it has already generated over $1 billion in revenues. Today, it is serving over 1 million customers in the US and more consultants are taking advantage of the business opportunity.

While the company is certainly doing well, customer feedback is one factor to also look into when investigating Ambit Energy. Complaints about customer representatives who misrepresent rewards are common. Questionable rate increases are always brought up as well as an allegedly poor billing system. In the end, there are a lot of happy customers but there are also those who are not satisfied.

Nothwithstanding the above concerns Ambit Energy appears to be a sound company with a successful track record.

Pick 3 Lottery and Pick 4 Lottery Traveling Numbers Can Make Players Winners

There are millions of Pick 3 and Pick 4 Lottery players in the United States and Canada. They play these two lottery games because they can win with them. The Pick 3 Lottery has odds of 1,000 to 1 to capture a Straight Win. The Pick 4 Lottery with that added digit has odds of 10,000 to 1.

Compared to the highly advertised Mega Millions, Powerball, and State Lotteries with their very enticing multimillion dollar jackpots and odds ranging from 125 million to 1 to 195 million to 1 that very few people can win without some major help from Lady Luck, Pick 3 and Pick 4 lotteries are the choice of all these smart lottery players.

Their relatively small comparative jackpots of $500 for the Pick 3 Lottery and $5000 for the Pick 4 Lottery with the same $1 investment can keep players playing and having fun at the same time. These millions of lottery players play their chosen numbers each day, and then go off to their daily routines of work, family responsibilities, and leisure time activities before retiring for their nightly slumber.

The following morning they begin their day by openning up the USA Today or local newspaper in hopes of starting their day reading that their chosen Pick 3 or Pick 4 numbers made them a winner overnight. There is a certain thrill when a lottery player begins his/her day proclaiming one’s self to all the world as “a winner”.

This is not to overlook the fact they are slightly richer than the day before by $500 or $5000 with a Straight Win respectively. Even a smaller Box Win ranging from $40 to $600 can provide the same kind of thrill. A winner is a winner is a winner. And it is always fun deciding what to do with this new extra free money when the players cash their winning tickets.

But as players run their fingers down the list of winning Pick 3 and Pick 4 results from the different State and Provincial Lotteries in the USA Today newspaper or their local newspaper, they make an amazing discovery about some of these winning lottery numbers.

Both the Pick 3 and Pick 4 Lotteries have drawn the same three or four digits. They may not be in the same order, but sometimes they are. Sometimes they appear on the same day and sometimes they appear the next day or even a few days later.

On May 1, 2011 Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont Pick 3 lotteries drew 353 in the Tri-State midday drawing. On the following day the midday drawing in the New Jersey Pick 3 drew the same Pick 3 number, 353. May 2, 2011 also recorded the Tennessee Cash 3 midday drawing of 353. Later that day, in the evening drawing of the California Daily 3 on May 2, 2011 335 was the winning Pick 3 number.

The 274 began as back to back winners repeating itself in both the midday and evening drawings on May 10, 2011 in the South Carolina Pick 3 Lottery. On May 12, 2011 Virginia Pick 3 drew 742. Minnesota Pick 3, in their evening drawing that same day drew 247. In the single draw States with only evening drawings, the next day, May 13, 2011 Washington State Daily Game Lottery drew 274, and on May 14, 2011 the Kansas Pick 3 Lottery drew 472.

These are known as “traveling numbers”. Some Pick 3 and Pick 4 players are not aware of their existence. Some players had seen these occurrences, but didn’t know what to make of them or what to call it. Pick 3 and/or Pick 4 numbers that contain the same digits and are drawn and redrawn in different State or Provincial Lotteries over a short period of time are known as “traveling numbers”.

Pick 4 players find similar occurrences as they looked for their winning numbers. On May 8, 2011 the Michigan Daily 4 evening number was 8269. The next day on May 9, 2011 the Indiana Daily 4 midday drawn number was 8926. These Pick 4 digits put their traveling shoes on again, and on May 12, 2011 in the evening drawing arrived in the Maryland Pick 4 Lottery as 2869. The next day, May 13, 2011 these four digits appeared in the New Jersey Pick 4 midday drawing as 8629 before returning to the Michigan Daily 4 that same evening as 9286.

The neighboring Pick 4 number, 3968, started its travels on May 10, 2011 in the Michigan Daily 4 in the evening drawing. On May 12, 2011 in the Ohio Pick 4 Lottery midday drawing it appeared as 8963. On May 15, 2011 in the midday drawing in the Virginia Pick 4 it was drawn as 8639. Later that same evening in the Delaware Play 4 it came in as 3986.

Just as players see above, these traveling numbers like to visit neighboring States. In the Illinois and Iowa Pick 4 evening drawing on May 8, 2011 the 2798 was drawn. In the very next evening drawing on May 9, 2011 the Missouri Pick 4 Lottery drew the SAME PICK 4 NUMBER, 2798, in the EXACT SAME ORDER.

Pick 3 and Pick 4 traveling numbers can make lottery players winners when they know of their existence and their possible visit, especially from neighboring States or Provinces. Using a proven Pick 3 and/or Pick 4 Lottery System that helps players to discover the possibility that these three or four digits could repeat, improves their chances of winning tremendously.

International Flights From Delhi to Chicago

Chicago is the largest city of Illinois, United States of America. There are numerous airlines which operates their airline from Delhi to Chicago. The city has the second busiest airport in the world which is named O ‘Hare International Airport. Chicago is served majorly by three international airports i.e. Midway International Airport, O ‘Hare and third one is Chicago/Gary International Airport. All these airports make commuting very easy to Chicago from Delhi or any other part of world.

Almost all the major airlines fly from Delhi to Chicago but only Air India, Jet Airways and Major US Carrier has direct flight. It takes near about 15 to 17 hours to reach by direct flights. If you want to take a break and be relaxed then book a flight with one or two stoppage. This will help you to relax your body because it’s really throbbing to be seated in a flight for long duration. People prefer airlines with one stoppage which helps them to be comfortable and unperturbed. Air India, Swiss Airways, United Airlines, Major European Carrier, Etihad, Continental Airlines, Lufthansa, Delta Airlines, etc. have flights with one or two stoppage to make your journey pleasant.

You can book your air tickets at any point of time but prefer planning your trip in advance. This will help you to know all the details of different airlines and you can opt the best one as per your requirement. The prices of the air ticket start from Rs. 30000 and goes up to 170000 depending upon flight to flight. There are 190 flights which connect Delhi to Chicago which encourage the visit of people to both cities.

Whether you are on a vacation or on a business trip this is for sure that you will never be bored with so many things to do in Chicago. If you want to visit the city then take a look to city tour guide and enjoy the visit to historic places. For children Millennium Park, Buckingham Fountain, are the places to excite them. Apart from that you can see Navy Pier’s Ferris wheel, Museum Campus, Chicago Opera Theatre, Museum of Contemporary Art, etc.

If you planning to go to Chicago then plan your vacation at least 15 days before travel to get the best deal. Prefer traveling with the full service airline as the journey is too long and requires better services. So what are you waiting for now? Grab a ticket to Chicago and enjoy your journey.

Prairie Style Architecture – DeKalb, Illinois

I have already discussed DeKalb, Illinois’ most obvious example of Prairie style architecture, the oft-mistaken for a Frank Lloyd Wright work A.O. Anderson House. While prominent it isn’t the only example of the style in the city. In fact, there are other examples of the style by architects much more well-known than John S. Van Bergen. Augusta Avenue is a good place to start, within a block of the Anderson House are two examples of architecture by a key Prairie architect.

1908 – Dr. F.N. Rowan House

At 250 Augusta Avenue is the Dr. F.N. Rowan House, a Tudor Revival influenced structure designed by Oak Park, Illinois architect E.E. Roberts, though it is clearly not full-blown Tudor Revival. The curvilinear dormer seen here was a trademark of his Prairie style work. In fact, if you look, you can see other Prairie influences on the house, the broad, flat roof of the large porch, the porch itself, the overhanging eaves, all elements of Prairie style. Hipped roof are not a requirement. The half timbering, though, screams Tudor Revival. Roberts was an important architect who designed hundreds of homes in Oak Park alone. While Roberts is considered a Prairie architect, he never had any working association with his nearby rival Frank Lloyd Wright and always kept to his own vision of Prairie style architecture. The Rowan House was built in 1908.

1904 – Etna J. Wiswall House

Across the street from the Rowan House, but still facing Augusta, is the E.J. Wiswall House. The Wiswall House is another example of Roberts’ work in DeKalb, this one showing more of a Prairie tilt. While Roberts’ credit for the home isn’t a 100 percent certainty it very closely resembles a Roberts designed home in Oak Park and he is generally credited with having won the Wiswall commission. The house is clad entirely in stucco, features a large, pillar-supported porch, and hipped roofs with broad overhanging eaves; all hallmarks of Prairie style architecture. The house is believed to have been constructed in 1904.

Seemelessly blended with nature, the front door just isn’t where you’d think it should be. C. 1895 Rankin House.

Of the early Prairie style works in DeKalb the Rankin House at 200 W. Locust Street was, perhaps, done by the most pre-eminent architect of the group. The stucco clad, two-story Rankin House may well indeed be the work of architect George W. Maher. Maher was a noted Chicago Prairie style architect whose John C. Farson House (better known as Pleasant Home) in Oak Park has been declared a National Historic Landmark. The Rankin House has a front door that just isn’t where you would expect it. The home was built c. 1895.

The door is along the east side, along with a large chimney.

It’s unknown whether the house was designed by Maher for sure, there are other candidates for its design, it is very similar, along with another DeKalb house at 594 W. Lincoln Hwy, to other Maher commissions.

The layout of the chimney and portico is reminiscent of John S. Van Bergen’s work. 1924 – 115 N. First St..

Another DeKalb Prairie style house is found at 115 N. First Street. This is another example of a home without a known architect, more research is needed. The tall rectangular chimney located on the front of the north facade, near the portico (wiki), is found in the same layout in a 1910 John S. Van Bergen designed apartment complex in Oak Park. Possible evidence of his hand? Hard to say.

The main entrance is located along the north facade, not the front (east facade).

The house is a nice Prairie example, broad, overhanging hip roofs, a large, pillar supported front porch, and a main entrance moved to side in lieu of a lot of glass, allowing the natural light to pour into the structure. The building also appears to hug the ground, an appearance that is enhanced by the building being set into a hillside.

Both sides feature porticos and the home has a Prairie-style horizontal emphasis.

Both the north and south facades feature porticos, and the north facade’s (seen two images above) layout reinforces the horizontal emphasis of the home. The Prairie style house on First Street, with the green tile roof, dates from about 1924.

You can get more detail about all of these houses in the articles linked below. The Wikipedia entries that are linked (mostly by me, for you) will give you more information about the architects and other information mentioned in this post. Enjoy.

Online Resources

*F.N. Rowan House: 2004 Daily Chronicle article

*F.N. Rowan House: Old Photo – 1970s photograph

*E.J. Wiswall House: 2005 Daily Chronicle article

*E.J. Wiswall House: Old Photo – 1970s photo

*Rankin House: 2005 Daily Chronicle article, another 2005 article

*Rankin House: Old Photos – Oldest known photo; 1970s – 1, 2

*115 N. First Street: 2005 Daily Chronicle article

*Wikipedia: John S. Van Bergen, E.E. Roberts, John C. Farson House (all by me), George W. Maher (not by me)

A keen eye will spot other examples of Prairie architecture in DeKalb, something we will explore at a later date. Tomorrow, follow me to the tiny village of Esmond, Illinois.

State of Illinois Franchise Registration and Persnickety Examiners

It is amazing that State Franchise Registration State Examiners like those in the State of Illinois Franchise Registration Examiners Office often believe they are protecting the investor. But really they are not because the over regulation they place on Franchisors means they must raise the costs of the franchises they sell by quite a bit and therefore pass that onto the consumer or investor, thus the State of Illinois Franchise Registration Rules and their persnickety Examiners are hurting the very consumer they purport to protect you see?

I think it is high time that they go read Any Rand. No Regulator should EVER, be allowed in to regulate franchising until they have worked on the Franchisor side of things. Of course when I alerted the State of Illinois Franchise Registration Examiners of this fact they told me that these views of franchisors are perception based? Well, then let me educate you and your so-called “Perception”:

www.ftc.gov/os/comments/franrulestaffrpt/OL-100001.pdf

In my professional opinion regulators abuse laws, divert millions of dollars unnecessarily to lawyers who hide the tools needed for franchisors to by-pass them. The disclosure laws give away too much information to competitors and the 35% of all inquires to the franchisor which are fake. The registrations states and FTC should be fined for Identity Theft in forcing franchisors into over disclosure, which is also helps foreign competitors to more information than is available in the franchisors corporate office, phone records, trash cans (pre-shredder) and computer systems. Consider all this in 2006.

Illinois Health Insurance Plans

The state of Illinois takes very good care of the insurance needs of its citizens. There are public as well as private insurance policies, with different options to suits all kinds of people and their requirements.

Illinois health insurance policies can be classified as PPOs, HMOs, traditional individual and family coverage, children’s health insurance plans, and insurance for people over 65 years of age. Some other specific plans are short-term health insurance, dental plans, Illinois HSA Qualified High Deductible Insurance Quotes Individual and Family, small group health insurance plans, senior health insurance, employer-based group health insurance plans, international travel health insurance plans, student health insurance plans, disability insurance, kid’s health insurance, and the CHIP (comprehensive health insurance program).

Illinois has special insurance polices such as Illinois Medicaid, KidCare, and Illinois Department of Aging – Pharmaceutical Assistance Program, for people who have been denied insurance by regular insurance companies. The Illinois CHIP (Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan) is a state program for people who qualify for coverage under sections 7 or 15 of the CHIP Act. There are three plans under this: Plan 2, Plan 3 and Plan 5. Each plan has deductibles of $500, $1,000, $1,500, $2,500, and $5,000. Plan 2 is available to eligible persons who are enrolled in both Parts A and B of Medicare due to disability or end-stage renal disease, since they are ineligible for all other CHIP benefit plans. Plan 3 is a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plan available only to eligible persons who qualify for traditional CHIP under Section 7 and are not eligible for Medicare. Plan 5 is also a PPO plan available only to federally eligible individuals who qualify for HIPAA-CHIP under Section 15.

Some companies are also offering the guaranteed acceptance medical plans for Illinois residents. The monthly premiums vary according to the age of the enrollee and the number of people being insured. The premiums range from $69.35 for a single 30-year old person to $506.23 for a family in which the enrollee is in the age group of 60-64 years. Other kinds of plans are short-term plans, group plans for employers, tax advantaged health savings accounts and Qualified High-Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs). Some of the most popular Illinois health insurance companies are: UniCare, Anthem, Blue Cross /Blue Shield of Illinois, Humana One, Fortis Short-Term Medical, Celtic, American Medical Security and Fortis Student Select.

While selecting a health insurance policy, understand various terms like the premium to be paid, the limits of liability, the coverage provided, the policy limits, benefits, deductibles, and terms of insurance. Other aspects include co-insurance, co-payments, out-of-pocket expenses, exclusions, lifetime maximum, waiting period, coordination of benefits, grace period and so on. The choice of doctors, specialist care, pre-existing conditions, emergency and hospital care, regular physicals and health screenings, prescription drug coverage, obstetrician/gynecologist coverage, costs and additional services should also be considered. Also get to know the policy’s coverage for planned hospitalizations as well as emergency care.

Other aspects to be taken into account while choosing a health insurance plan are how the plan handles physical examinations and health screenings, vision care, and dental services; what is the care and counseling for mental health; what are the services for drug and alcohol abuse; is there ongoing care for chronic and long-term diseases; does it cover physical therapy and rehabilitative care; does it cover nursing home, home health and hospice care; does it cover alternative medical care like acupuncture; does it cover experimental treatments and therapies, and so on.

The History of the O’Hare International Airport

O’Hare International Airport is located in northwestern Chicago, Illinois, and serves as the primary airport for the Chicago area. Until 1998, it was the busiest airport in the world as measured by number of passengers and until 2005, it was the busiest airport worldwide in terms of landings and takeoffs. More than 66.5 million passengers passed through this airport in 2011 and flights currently reach more than 60 foreign destinations.

Military Roots of O’Hare International Airport

In 1942, a 1,790-acre plot of Cook County, Illinois, prairie land named Orchard Place was purchased by the War Production Board of the United States of America. The government needed an airplane factory for World War II military aircraft production and this was the perfect place to build it. The Army Air Forces 803 Special Depot was also erected there, storing experimental planes, rare planes, and captured enemy aircraft.

The airport was called Orchard Place/Douglas Field during the war and the airport identification ORD remains. When the war ended, aircraft production ceased and just over one acre of land was transferred to the City of Chicago. The City purchased additional land and renamed the airport Orchard Field. It was renamed O’Hare in 1949 to honor Navy Lieutenant Commander Edward “Butch” O’Hare who lost his life defending his country.

O’Hare International Airport Goes Commercial

Since 1931, Chicago Midway International Airport had been the primary airport in the Chicago area. Despite multiple expansions, this airport became overcrowded. The Federal Aviation Administration and the City of Chicago began developing O’Hare as the solution. In 1955, O’Hare opened for commercial air traffic.

The airport grew slowly, expanding in size during the late 1950s and early 1960s. By July 1962, all scheduled Chicago fixed-wing airline service had moved to this airport, causing it to become one of the busiest in the world. U.S. President John F. Kennedy attended a formal dedication in March 1963. By the mid 1960s, more people were passing through this airport in a year than had been processed by Ellis Island in its entire existence, forcing city officials to shift some services to Midway.

For a total of ten years, this airport was voted the best in North America by either Business Traveler Magazine U.S. Edition or Global Traveler Magazine. It was subsequently voted one of the worst for traveler delays by Travel and Leisure magazine. Travelers accept the lengthy delays and high number of flight cancellations in exchange for journeys to exotic international destinations.

Lampert-Wildflower House – Belvidere, Illinois – National Register of Historic Places

The 1838 Lampert-Wildflower House in Belvidere, Illinois, while not as architecturally impressive as, say, Frank Lloyd Wright’s work, is still a fine example of the building style known as “upright and wing”. The fairly common style refers to the nature of the building, which consists of a 2 story “upright” section and wing, or “ell” (wiki). The upright portion of this house was 1838 original, the ell was added during the 1860s.

As I approached the house for photographs, I was greeted by the homeowner, a local artist who operated a gallery/cafe in Belvidere. He invited me to his establishment with promises of a house tour if I showed, but I haven’t been able to get back to Belvidere since. Drats! Oh well, he was a nice person and told me that the home was the oldest extant house in Belvidere, one which he had obviously put much heart and soul into.

The house stands on a block of Lincoln Avenue that is dotted with architecturally significant homes, across the street a stately (it was practically monumental – almost overwhelming) and meticulously restored Queen Anne style house. Down the block is the large 1912 Prairie-influenced J.C. Foote Residence, and the 1842 house that was Belvidere’s first brick home. But it doesn’t seem to matter, because, though small and unassuming, the Lampert House is obvious for other reasons.

The Lampert-Wildflower House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in August 2005 (a distinction not yet afforded the surrounding homes above), included in the listing was the surrounding yard. The yard, which maintains its historic appearance, contains 32 trees and 36 other species of plants, five of those are considered “rare”. The grounds essentially form a sanctuary in the middle of an urban area; the Lamperts were naturalists who maintained the yard for wildlife and plant life alike. Today, the yard is considered “semiwooded”.

I provided information in far greater detail over at the Wikipedia entry for the Lampert-Wildflower House, venture there, or, get it straight from the horse’s mouth: I compiled most of the Wikipedia entry from the National Register nomination form I have below.

Online Resources

*Lampert-Wildflower House: National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form

Illinois Health Insurance Quotes

There are several options for health insurance in the state of Illinois. There are public as well as private plans that are designed to suit all kinds of people. There are many insurance agents and brokerage firms that deal exclusively with Illinois health insurance plans.

These have access to several insurance companies and plans, such as Assurant, BCBS Illinois, UniCare, Blue Cross/ Blue Shield of Illinois, Humana One, Fortis Short-Term Medical, Celtic, American Medical Security, MedPlan Access, Genesis Health System, GE Long Term Care Insurance, and Fortis Student Select Health Insurance. These companies can generate insurance quotes for different kinds of insurance plans, such as individual and family, short term health insurance, dental plans, Illinois HSA Qualified High Deductible Insurance Quotes Individual and Family, small group health insurance plans, senior health insurance, employer-based group health insurance plans, international travel health insurance plans, student health insurance plans, disability insurance, kids’ health insurance, and even CHIP (comprehensive health insurance program) quotes.

Most companies now have online forms for quotes. Basic information such as contact information; personal statistics such as age, sex, height, weight and smoker/non smoker status; details about current health insurance plans; medical condition information and any other additional information has to be filled in. The company would process the data and determine the most suitable plan. There would be rates from different kinds of plans, and different companies to choose from.

Some insurance companies and agents provide different kinds of quote options, such as the instant quote and the custom quote. The instant quote is the fastest kind of application, that provides general information about the eligible plans and their benefits. However, it does not consider the detailed medical history of the applicant, or other insurance underwriting issues. It does not include maternity benefits, or other benefit options. The custom quote, on the other hand, is a more detailed application that considers specific queries and preferences of customers. It covers more insurance plans. Both these quotes can be generated online over the Internet.