What's The Diff?

The things Quicken Loans team members care about and want to share with the world

The Bob Closson Effect

Robertjamesclosson2First, let me preface this post. It deals with two tightly intertwined concepts: Cause and effect, or in this case, effect, then cause.

On this Thanksgiving night, we are reading headlines about the second consecutive evening of terrorist attacks in Mumbai; over 125 are already dead, with hundreds of others wounded. Over ten million people in our own country are jobless, and at least 3.5 million more are homeless. We’ve undoubtedly entered a recession; banks and large corporations are plunging like dominoes, and global economies are in peril. Things are largely expected to become worse before they get better. This Thanksgiving, it may seem there is little to be thankful for.

This is where the “effect” part comes in. Even in our darkest, most dismal hours, we are able to see light and find hope—if we’re willing to look hard enough. No, I’m not talking about that bright spot you may have in your day tomorrow if you’re so fortunate (and daring) to score a 50-inch-television for $700 at the Super Jumbo Mart (that’s determination and a bit of naivety—that same TV will probably crop up for $650 the weekend before Christmas, so hold your horses for now). I’m talking about that peculiar little seed inside each of us that gives us the ability to find something positive in every person, in every day, no matter how dark the clouds hovering above. Even during our darkest moments, there is some light to be found, it’s just ours for the finding. Maybe it’s as simple as a glimmer of sunshine peeking through the clouds on a winter morning—maybe it’s even less obvious than that, but it’s there…keep looking.

Bringing ourselves to overcome the negative (and there seems to be a lot of it these days) is not a solo mission. The strongest, most influential people have values instilled in them by strong and influential parents, teachers and mentors—good leaders make other people into good leaders. This is where that “cause” part of this post comes in. Just short of two weeks ago, my good friend Clayton (THE DIFF M.C.) lost his father, Bob, to cancer. Prior to his passing, I had only met and spoke with Bob once. I was always pretty sure Clayton was the most passionate human being I would ever meet in my life—that was until I met Clayton’s dad. Our first and only encounter was following a performance of “Smokey Joe’s Café” by The Park Players in Detroit (Bob was a 30+ year veteran of community theatre).

Continue reading “The Bob Closson Effect” »

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Happy Thanksgiving from the Quicken Loans DIFF blog!

Happy Thanksgiving from the Quicken Loans DIFF blog

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Ebay’s massive scavenger hunt: the $1 Holiday Doorbuster Deals

Find $1 items in Ebay's Holiday Doorbuster Deals! More on www.WhatsTheDIFF.com

I found this sweet piece of news from one of my favorite money-wise bloggers, The Nifty-Thrifty Homemaker. Sounds like Ebay has got quite the scavenger hunt going on! From Christina:

Ebay is hosting $1 holiday doorbusters for 15 days. (November 24 – December 8) Every day, several certain tems are listed on ebay as Buy It Now for $1 with free shipping. There are items such as TV’s, Nintendo Wii’s, DVD’s, even a jet ski!

The catch? The listings are hidden. You have to search ebay in order to find these great deals. And it’s not as easy as it sounds. During the day, at random times, the doorbuster items will be listed. You have to find it, and grab it before someone else does! I started playing yesterday, and so far have seen 6 of the doorbuster deals. Unfortunately, you can only win one doorbuster during the entire promo, so I have been trying not to waste it on something I only "kind of" want.

Now, each day, 3 types of doorbusters are available; two items (with a certain number of each available – today it’s a Dooney & Burke wallet and a high-end fragrance) and a grand prize. The first day, this was a $1700 TV; the second, it was an $8,000 jet-ski; and today it is a $5,650 mansion playhouse. There are only one of these available per day. (By the way, if you win a prize valued over $600, you must fill out an IRS 1099.)

If you don’t feel like searching, you can enter the sweepstakes to win the daily prizes. All of the info can be found here.

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Quicken Loans Marketing Team volunteers at Rock Financial Junior Achievement Park in Detroit

"Quicken

By Jen Whiteaker

Most of us know the real world isn’t all fun and games.  But the other day, some of us on the Quicken Loans Marketing Team were able to help show a group of students from Pontiac Northern High School how true that statement really is.

Four of us decided to give back to the community and volunteer at the Rock Financial Junior Achievement Finance Park in Detroit. Honestly, we went down not knowing what we would be doing or what the day would be like and were pleasantly surprised when it turned out to be a lesson for us, too.

The Junior Achievement (JA) Finance Park is set up to give students a "real life" simulation about personal finance.  This isn’t your ordinary field trip.  The teachers are given a curriculum to incorporate into their classrooms weeks before they arrive at the park and the simulation is the capstone of that curriculum.

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Chinese Democracy = Free Dr Pepper!

Free Dr Pepper for Chinese DemocracyAxl Rose did it! Get your free Doctor Pepper soda pop all day today!

From the AP:

Dr Pepper is making good on its promise of free soda now that the release of Guns N’ Roses’ "Chinese Democracy" is a reality. The soft-drink maker said in March that it would give a free soda to everyone in America if the album dropped in 2008. "Chinese Democracy," infamously delayed since recording began in 1994, goes on sale Sunday.

"We never thought this day would come," Tony Jacobs, Dr Pepper’s vice president of marketing, said in a statement. "But now that it’s here, all we can say is: The Dr Pepper’s on us."

Beginning Sunday at 12:01 a.m., coupons for a free 20-ounce soda will be available for 24 hours on Dr Pepper’s Web site. They’ll be honored until Feb. 28.

Dr Pepper is owned by Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc.

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Supporting the US Auto Industry

Another pitch from MS&L Digital. As a Detroiter, this one is close to home so I think it’s worth a mention.

From Charlie:

I’m writing today to tell you about what the collapse of General Motors and the American auto industry would mean to the country.

I’m sure you’ve heard about some of the issues facing GM, but did you know that:

  • One out of every 10 people in America is employed in a service that is related to the U.S. auto industry
  • More than 239,000 Americans are directly employed by the (Detroit) Three
  • If GM were to discontinue operations, the cost to local, state, and federal governments could reach $156.4 billion over three years in lost taxes, and unemployment and health care assistance

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The Great American Smokeout and 9 resources to help you stop smoking

Great American Smokeout and 9 resources to quit smokingThe cool folks from Mashable had a great post yesterday to recognize The American Cancer Society’s "Great American Smokeout" – held each third Thursday of November since 1977.

The Great American Smokeout has one purpose – to help you stop smoking. I don’t have to go into the reasons you shouldn’t smoke, if you do. But I recommend reading Mashable’s story on 9 resources to help you quit.

My favorite might be the Quit Meter. Pretty cool.

Remember, only quitters quit quitting.

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Google Flu Trends: The new Vitamin C?

Don't get sick this year! Check out Google Flu Trends. From Quicken Loans DIFF blog - www.WhatsTheDIFF.com

Here’s a sweet little nugget from the Google geniuses to curb all your ailments as the nasty winter season approaches – Google flu trends!

Okay, so it won’t prevent all your sicknesses or lower your fever. But Google flu trends could give you a heads up when the dreaded influenza is headed your way.

From the GOOG:

"Each week, millions of users around the world search for online health information. As you might expect, there are more flu-related searches during flu season, more allergy-related searches during allergy season, and more sunburn-related searches during the summer. You can explore all of these phenomena using Google Trends. But can search query trends provide an accurate, reliable model of real-world phenomena?

We have found a close relationship between how many people search for
flu-related topics and how many people actually have flu symptoms. Of
course, not every person who searches for "flu" is actually sick, but a
pattern emerges when all the flu-related search queries from each state
and region are added together. We compared our query counts with data
from a surveillance system managed by the U.S. Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC) and found that some search queries tend to
be popular exactly when flu season is happening. By counting how often
we see these search queries, we can estimate how much flu is
circulating in various regions of the United States."

Ta da! There you have it. Pretty sweet, huh?

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Brenden Foster’s Last Wish

Someday, when it’s my time to depart from this world I hope I will
have the same strength and positive attitude that Brenden Foster has
about his last week or so of life. He really is an inspiration to us
all. The video and article below from KOMO says it all about this
courageous little guy:

From KOMO News Seattle:
LYNNWOOD, Wash. — Doctors gave 11-year-old Brenden Foster two weeks to live.Those two weeks were up on Wednesday. On Friday, he shared his last wish.Not yet a teenager, Brenden’s time to die has come.

“I should be gone in a week or so,” he said.

Brenden
was the kid who ran the fastest, climbed the highest and dreamed of
becoming a marine photographer. Leukemia took away all those things,
but not his dying wish to help others.

“He’s always thought about others. Never complained about having to go through this, ever,” said his mother, Wendy Foster.

When Brenden was first diagnosed with leukemia, he and his mom began
a new tradition. Every night they list three positive things that
happened during the day, and they have to share a laugh. A chuckle will
do, Brenden said, but a fake laugh will never do.

In the last days of his life, it was a homeless camp, namely Nickelsville, that captured the boy’s heart.

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Quicken Loans Marketing Team clowning around at the Parade Company

As promised, here are some pictures from Friday’s rendezvous at The Parade Company in Detroit. As you can see, we’re just as talented with gingerbread houses as Quicken Loans is with fixed-rate mortgages. After the jump…enjoy!

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Today's Date:
Sunday, February 25, 2018