Archive for me

Need to switch your State Farm Agent? Read here.

This is a little random in terms of content on my site but I could not for the life of me find the information to transfer my State Farm insurance policy over from my existing agent to another one. Here is how you do it.

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  1. Call 877-277-8098 and tell them you want to transfer your policy. They will verify your information and note the account that you will be transferring the policies to another agent.
  2. Send an email to agentselection@statefarm.com with the subject line of ASR
  3. Include the following in the body of the email
    1. A statement saying that you want to transfer the policy over to the new agent, listing the new agents name, address, and phone number
    2. Your policy numbers
    3. Your phone number on the account
    4. Your address on the account
  4. Send the email!

You will get an email request from the system and then someone from State Farm will email you with an estimated ETA on how long it will take to transfer the policies over to the new agent.

Hopefully this saves someone else the time that it took me to gather this info!

Still Alive and Kicking! Early 2015 Update

I am glad to see that I still am getting traffic on the site and that my posts have been helping people!word cloud for year 2015

My last posts were about going my own way and doing the eJuice and IT consulting on my own. While it was a fun time for a few months after parting ways with my last employer I accepted a great offer from a client that I had worked with in the past. Since early January I have been working as an IT manager for a trucking company here in IL. I have to say that this is the one job that I would have given up the freedom of working for myself for. It’s been a few months now and I have to say that this is a great fit for me both mentally and professionally.

What about the businesses?

Now you are probably wondering what is happening with the eJuice business and the consulting, let me elaborate on that.

My eJuice business (H4KJUICE) is still going strong. I have reduced the amount of shops from 4 to 1 so that I can focus on boosting online sales and developing flavors. The one shop (Smoke Rings Etc in Bloomington, IL) that I continue to do business exclusively with has been fantastic in helping to shape the brand and improve the quality and image of it as a whole. I am very happy with them and it is a joy to see the brand taking off so strongly down there in Bloomington. I have a few new flavors in development right now and expect to have at least one of the three released by the end of April

As for the IT consulting this is how is has been since I have had a full time job and I still have been maintaining my loyal clients (some that I have had for over 10 years). They keep things interesting and I keep the ones that I enjoy working with.

Just some random things

All in all I am very happy with the changes that have taken place. I don’t put too much out there but in addition to the professional success I met a lovely woman that I am building a relationship with. Could she be the future Mrs. Hoogland? Only time will tell but I have a good feeling about her.

I should also say that I have also been working on improving my health in 2015. I am down about 45lbs as of the time of writing this and I plan on getting down another 35 to get to my goal weight. I also started running for multiple reasons and even have 2 5K runs coming up in the next few months.

In addition to all that I actually started keeping a freshwater aquarium at home and have really gotten hooked on that. I started with a 20 gallon that a friend of mine gave me and at the beginning of the month I upgraded to a 60 gallon and have it fully stocked. Who would have thought fish would be so entertaining? I certainly didn’t and was wrong.

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Site Direction?

As for the direction with this site I will be writing more technical articles to not only help others but to also help keep myself current with technology happenings. Thank you for reading and I hope your 2015 is off to a great start as mine is! Stay healthy and always be improving yourselves!

Vaping? Whats the big deal?

As a lot of you who know me know I am very involved with the vaping community here in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. I started a small eJuice company called H4KJUICE back in July 2014 (I also build box mods under this name). I often get people that don’t understand why I love vaping so much. Is it to look cool? Is it because I constantly need something in my hands? Is it just another thing I am getting into only to stop in a few months? No.

Let me tell you the story of how I started vaping.

My ex-girlfriend used to be a smoker for a while and she would always try to sneak one in when we would go out with friends, especially at bars. I randomly decided to pickup a Blu disposable ecig from Walgreens to give to her to try and see if it helped with the cravings, it did. After that I purchased a starter kit from Adirondack Vapor for her since the refillable ones are cheaper in the long run (and create less waste). I have enjoyed Hookah for a while now and when it came in I decided to give it a try. I found that the flavors were much more delicious than Hookah and it was far less work.

After that I ended up getting my own setup (a kanger 1100 EGO battery and a mini protank 2). I started trying out ejuices and was immediately hooked. One of my friends added me to a Facebook group that was for vaping and they held meets every month. Through these meets I gained more experience and knowledge about the different kinds of equipment that people use to vape with. I went to Vape Bash this year and picked up my first dripper. I could go on for hours about all the different equipment that I had but I won’t.

The thing that keeps me in vaping is the community. I am in the ECR subreddit, I have a Facebook group for Chicagoland Vapers now, and I frequent all the local shops in the area. As with any group there are people that are not the best but I would have to wager that 90% or more of people in the vaping community are very nice and generous people. I have seen people give others hardware when they lost theirs in fires or they got stolen. I have seen many people help other vapers get jobs and even give them money when they are down on their luck. I myself give people ejuice all the time when they can’t afford it because I don’t want to see them go back to smoking. The vaping community as a whole across the world is more than just a hobby. It is about community and helping other people out. You can see this in most brick and mortar shops as well and it keeps people coming back.

In this short time I have met some of the nicest and genuine people through vaping and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Thank you everyone. Vape on and keep being awesome. I am beyond grateful to have my vape family in my life.

Embarking on the entrepreneur lifestyle

Hello there everyone! I am not sure how many people still visit this site as I haven’t been very diligent in updating it since my job that I have had for almost 4 years has kept me very busy. In the past 2 weeks I have had a lot of major life changes and I am embarking on my own with 2 separate businesses now.

As you may know I always have something going on the side whenever I had a regular “9-5″ job. Since I am no longer with them I am going my own way and starting up my IT consulting full time now (Desktops, Servers, Networking, Web Design, etc) as well as a new venture that I launched in July 2014 that has become a new passion for me, H4KJUICE. H4KJUICE is an eJuice company primiarly but I also sell custom built, high output vape boxes, aka box mods.

I will be adding more information and pricing for flat rate IT services in the next few days. I am currently looking around for a regular IT job just in case this doesn’t go as planned (however just in the week that I have been doing it things are going very well). I will give this a go as long as I can sustain it and if all goes to plan this will be my new “job”.

As for H4KJUICE I am expanding the stores that are carrying the eJuice and already have 4 official shops and there are 2 more pending. I plan on adding on at least 1 store per month. If you are a shop please contact me at Tim@H4KJUICE.com for pricing and selection. The H4KJUICE store will be migrated from the Square shop and be fully integrated with the website in the near future. I will also be adding on supplies to build your own box mods.

In closing there is a lot happening and I am looking forward to it all! Thank you to everyone that has been providing me with business on the IT side and the eJuice side. I couldn’t do this without you support and I thank each and every one of you for helping make my dreams a reality. On that note it is almost 2AM and I need to get some rest.

A ‘misfit’ finds a perfect fit – #TBT Daily Southtown Article about yours truly

This was an article that made the front paige of the Daily SouthTown on September 2nd, 2007 about my computer business that I run (not full scale anymore). Just wanted to share it with the world!

Alsip teenager’s computer-building business a rousing successSeptember 2, 2007
Publication: Daily Southtown (Chicago, IL)
Section: C –ALL
Edition: e
Page: 1Misfit. Nerd. Oddball.
Back in the fourth grade, that’s how Timothy Hoogland‘s classmates thought of their brainy peer.They teased him. They excluded him. They shunned him for what makes him special.

So Timothy’s mother pulled him out of school and started teaching him at their Alsip home.

About the same time, Timothy’s grandmother gave him an outdated and broken Commodore 64.

“My parents weren’t going to buy me a computer, so if I wanted one, I had to get (the Commodore) working,” he said.

The two events changed Timothy’s life.

“Home-schooling allowed me the flexibility to do what interested me,” he said. “I could do three days worth of schoolwork at my own pace in one day, then spend two days working on computers.”

When most of his former classmates were just starting high school, Timothy launched a home-based consulting business, House of Bugs Computer Services or HOBHQ.com.

“I did it just for fun,” the young entrepreneur said. “I didn’t think I’d make a career out of it.”

Now 18, he and his two employees (his brothers Jeff, 16, and Doug, 14) build about 150 computers a year and repair dozens more.

He charges about $400 for a basic budget system and upward of $1,000 for high-end gaming systems, his specialty.

“Everything is customized, tailored to the customer,” he said.

Timothy also handles bigger jobs, such as building DJ and karaoke systems, installing point-of-sale terminals at restaurants and wiring networks at body shops.

Meanwhile, Timothy started taking classes at Moraine Valley Community College at age 14.

He will graduate in a year with two associate’s degrees — in management information systems and computer sciences/IT security — and 10 certificates.

He also works at Moraine as a technical aide and sometimes fills in as a substitute teacher.

Timothy’s latest venture isn’t about money.

For sheer enjoyment, he hosts LAN parties for fellow gamers.

These events are BYOC: Bring Your Own Computer.

Short for local area network, the gatherings can have three souls or thousands plugged in, eyes glued on flickering screens, clicking buttons in a frenzy.

They play first-person shooter, strategy and role-playing games, such as Counter-Strike: Source, StarCraft and Guitar Hero.

Yes, the room may resemble a reunion from the short-lived sitcom “Freaks and Geeks.”

And newcomers and non-gamers might find it hard to recognize the appeal.

Timothy swears, however, that group gaming gets the adrenaline pumping.

“It’s exciting and intense,” he said. “It’s a thrill when you have all these people right there and you’re playing against them.”

Timothy’s first LAN party was on New Year’s Eve in his parent’s garage. A dozen people participated.

Twice as many gamers showed for a June 13th gathering in a rented room at Senese’s Winery.

He expects about 50 people — ages 14 to 40 — tomorrow at the Labor Lan Party, which is expected to run from 11 a.m. until after midnight at Zante’s Lounge in Palos Hills.

It’s $20 to play. Lunch, dinner and snacks are included.

“Hunger can kill a LAN party,” Timothy explained.

Moraine is sponsoring the event and supplying a cache of networking equipment.

Winners will receive hard drives as prizes.

“The parties give gamers a chance to connect, network and meet in person,” he said. “It’s great to be around people who have the same interests.”