Winter is around the corner, so we thought it would be a good idea to give you some cheap and handy tips to ensure that your vehicle is prepped for the cold this winter. On average, roughly 24% of all accidents that happen on roads in the US are caused during snowy weather or on sleet covered roads. So it pays to ensure that your car is ready for the cold, and thankfully it doesn’t have to cost that much either! Here are a few favorite cost-effective tips for winterizing your car.
These tips don’t cost much and are generally pretty simple. They involve things such as doing a general motor inspection to see if there are any issues that you can notice (such as leaks, flat tires, broken windshields etc.) and does not refer to getting a checkup by your local mechanic. If it looks like a problem to you, it probably is. You should also consider cleaning off your battery with a bristle-wire brush to remove any green stains. Also, consider replacing your standard window-cleaning fluid with specially prepared winter fluid available at Walmart for only $2 to increase overall visibility on the roads.
Depending on which problem seems like it needs more attention, you should spend your cash appropriately. One important factor that motorists often overlook is their lights and their windshield wipers. We only tend to notice these when they don’t work, so if you’re noticing any slight depreciation in terms of performance during the dry months, try changing them before the winter.
You can get premium quality wipers on Amazon for under $25 and a headlight restoration kit for $20 on Amazon as well. In case you tend to do a lot of off-roading or find that your car overheats during the dry months, then you should also consider changing your air filter, as this will have a serious effect on the performance of your car during the colder months. You can usually find one for about $20 in auto supply shops or online.
Bill and Melinda Gates Are Getting Divorced: An Inside Look at Their Marriage, Foundation, and Life
Many people around the world were shocked and saddened to hear the news of the impending divorce of Microsoft co-founder and business magnate, Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda. We take a closer look at the lives of these two remarkable people.
The Man, the Myth, the Legend
Bill always knew that he wanted to change the world. Gates wrote his first software program at the tender age of 13 years old. From then on, he dedicated his life to transforming the computer system to advance the technology that was available at the time.
Melinda was a top student growing up and at the age of 14, she was introduced to the Apple for the first time. From this moment forward, Melinda was most intrigued by computer games and programming.
She went on to graduate as a valedictorian from Ursuline Academy of Dallas in ‘82. In ‘86, she got her bachelor’s degree in computer science and economics from Duke University. Then in ‘87, she got her MBA from Duke’s School of Business.
Microsoft was no overnight success. It took the software developer many years of learning to perfect the coding, alongside his best friend and co-founder Paul Allen. Bill’s sheer dedication and determination are what made him and Microsoft what it is today.
By the late ‘80s, the company had become the world’s largest personal-computer software company, making Bill and Paul billionaires. But while Gates might be one of the richest people alive, he is also one of the most generous.
Melinda Joins Microsoft
While at Duke, Melinda was a member of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, Beta Rho Chapter. Then after her graduation, she tutored kids in math and computer programming until she landed her first big job with Microsoft.
Her first role there was as a marketing manager where she was responsible for the development of multimedia products. In the early ‘90s, she was promoted to General Manager of Information Products.
An Office Romance
Bill Gates and Melinda French first met when the two were seated next to each other at a business dinner in New York. Melinda later mentioned in her 2019 memoir that she and Bill “talked over dinner that evening” and she could “sense he was interested”.
A few days after, the couple bumped into each other at Microsoft’s parking lot. He worked up the courage then and there to ask for out.
Their First Date
In Melinda’s memoir, she mentioned that she laughed when Bill first asked her out because he asked her to save the date two weeks in advance. She replied, “That’s not spontaneous enough for me. Ask me out closer to the date.”
She gave him her number and went on her way. Bill must have liked her rebuttal because he phoned her just two hours later and asked her to go to dinner with him that evening.
The couple bonded over their common hobbies which included solving puzzles, math games, and reading F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby. In her memoir, Melinda revealed that she made a lasting impression on Bill when she beat him in the first two games they played – a math game and the board game Clue.
Then, after Melinda admitted to the young billionaire that she had already read his favorite novel (Gatsby) twice, he knew she was “his romantic match.”
Inside Bill and Melinda’s Brain
After dating for nearly a year, the couple was met with a difficult decision to make. As Bill said in his Netflix docuseries Inside Bill’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates, “There were only two possibilities: either we were going to break up or we were going to get married.”
Before they even got to this crossroad, their courtship was kept under the radar as Melinda’s mother didn’t approve of her dating the CEO of the company she was working at.
A Logistical Kind of Love
About a year into their relationship, the L-bomb was dropped as Bill mentioned in his docuseries. “She said she loved me and then it was like, ‘Wow, and now what is going to happen.”
Melinda added that Bill “wanted to be married, but he didn’t know whether he could actually commit to it and [run] Microsoft.” Bill relied on his problem-solving abilities to come to the best decision. Well that, and some advice from a very dear friend of his.
Meet Ann Winblad
Ann and Bill used to date before he met Melinda in 1987. Winblad is a software entrepreneur and venture capitalist who shared such a bond with Bill that the two remained great friends after their split.
Time writer Walter Isaacson reported in 1997 that, “Every spring, as they have for more than a decade, Gates spends a long weekend with Winblad at her beach cottage.” The two both disclosed to the magazine that they share their knowledge with each other whilst playing sports togehter.
Ann’s Stamp of Approval
When Bill was deciding whether or not to propose to Melinda, he apparently sought advice from his ex. The Microsoft co-founder admitted to Time in the 1997 story, “When I was off on my own thinking about marrying Melinda, I called Ann and asked for her approval.”
Winblad told Bill she thought the two would be a great match due to Melinda’s “intellectual stamina.” While it is definitely rare to get permission from your ex-girlfriend, Ann and Bill’s relationship grew to an even more rare platonic friendship.
To Wed or Not to Wed?
Melinda reportedly caught him drawing up a pro-and-con list on a whiteboard in his bedroom. You can take a wild guess as to what his list tallied up since the couple got engaged soon after.
Someone reportedly asked Bill, “How does Melinda make you feel?” to which he sweetly responded, “amazingly, she makes me feel like getting married.” And that is exactly what the couple did. In 1994, the two wed in Lanai, Hawaii.
When Bill and Melinda exchanged their vows at the Manele Bay Hotel in one of the most high-profile weddings of the year, he was 38 and she was 29. The star-studded ceremony welcomed guests like billionaire businessman Warren Buffet and Washington Post owner Katharine Graham.
So, it’s no surprise to hear that the bill came to more than $1 million. The couple reportedly booked out the hotel and hired out all nearby helicopters to ensure no unwanted paparazzi would be in attendance.
Details of the Big Day
Business Insider reported that Bill and Melinda said their vows next to the 12th hole at the golf course of their hotel. During the reception party, guests were left speechless by Bill’s quick math calculation to ensure that each person received an equal slice of cake.
When Fortune asked Melinda about what attracted her to Bill, she responded, “his brilliant mind but beyond that, his curiosity.” She went on to say that he also has “a huge sense of fun…”
Starting a Family
The couple was on a trip to China with mutual friends when Melinda discovered that she was pregnant with their first child. As she wrote in her book, she considered not telling Bill on the trip since “this China trip was a huge deal for us.”
She also mentioned that “Bill rarely took time off from Microsoft.” For a day and a half, she pondered the decision until realizing it was in both their best interests for him to know.
When Melinda finally did tell Bill the baby news, he was both thrilled and shocked that she had kept it a secret. As Melinda went through her pregnancy, she dropped another bomb on her husband. She told him that she would no longer work after their first child, Jennifer, was born.
Despite Bill being shocked at first, he came around to accept the decision. Melinda knew that her husband wasn’t going to cut back at work and she wanted to make raising a family her first priority.
Meet the Kids
Four years after having Jennifer, the couple welcomed their son, Rory. Then, three years in, their last baby girl, Phoebe came into the world. While the children of this power couple usually remain out of the spotlight, we do know quite a bit about them.
For starters, Jennifer, 25, is currently enrolled in medical school as she was inspired by her parents to become a doctor. Earlier in 2021, she announced via social media that she got engaged to her boyfriend Nayel Nassar.
While Rory Gates, now 21, prefers to keep his life out of the public eye, we do know that he was a student at the University of Chicago. In 2017 his mother Melinda wrote a piece about him for Time magazine entitled “How I Raised a Feminist Son.”
She praised him for being “a great son and a great brother” and acknowledged his impressive character traits. She also wrote that her only son is “deeply informed about the wide range of issues that interest him.”
This Is Phoebe
Even less is known about Bill and Melinda’s youngest daughter, Phoebe. However, according to sources, the now 18-year-old is an aspiring ballerina who has studied at the top-performing arts institutions in New York.
These include the Professional Children’s School, the School of American Ballet at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and Juilliard. Phoebe shows off her dancing abilities in videos that she posts online, one of which shows her cutting a rug alongside her dad.
Behind the Scenes
Despite the couple’s public success, they have been open about their personal challenges. Melinda said at times their marriage was “incredibly hard” with her giving up her career to be a stay-at-home mother and Bill working 16-hour days.
After their 25-year wedding anniversary, she told The Sunday Times that there were some low points in their marriage where she asked herself if she could do this. She also wrote in her book that with Bill’s crazy busy schedule, “maybe he wanted to have kids in theory, but not in reality.”
The couple rose above the tough times by turning their marriage into a partnership. In their own words, their key to a successful marriage was treating each other as equals.
Examples of this shift in roles included Bill taking on more childcare duties like driving Jennifer to school a few days per week. This was no small task for the CEO of Microsoft at the time who as his wife put it “was beyond busy” and was wanted by everyone.
Knowing Each Other
Bill revealed in his docuseries that “in the case of Melinda, it is a truly equal partner.” He went on to say that they are both very similar in their optimistic approach to life and interest in science. He added, “She is better with people than I am. She’s a tiny bit less hardcore about knowing, you know, immunology than I am.”
Melinda also told CBS News that it is of utmost importance to the couple that “the world understands that we are running this place together.”
The Seattle Mansion
So where did this couple call home? This mansion in Seattle, Washington is worth an estimated (brace yourself) $147.5 million and is around 66,000 square feet in size. In 2009, property taxes on the house were reportedly over $1 million!
The home features everything you could dream of, incorporating the latest smart technology available to the design along with a giant library and some pretty special rooms. The beautiful home definitely comes with a view, as it sits right on the shore of Lake Washington.
The Iconic Trampoline Room
What do you get yourself when you have all the money in the world? Well, duh, a trampoline room. Gates revealed to Ellen DeGeneres that he has a special room in the house dedicated to trampolines.
He also added that he recommended people install indoor trampolines as it’s great fun for both him and the kids. We bet there are tons of more crazy cool rooms in his estate that took over seven years to build.
Setting Up Their Foundation
In 2000, the two set up their non-profit organization – The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The charity was started with the main aim of bettering this world by improving healthcare, education rates and addressing worldwide poverty.
At the same time, Bill stepped down from his CEO position in order to take on a director role of the foundation, alongside his wife. The couple noted that they were motivated to do this after reading a newspaper article that blew their minds.
The article was about how millions of children in third-world countries who die from common diseases can easily be saved and treated in wealthier countries. Bill reportedly sent the article to his son who famously replied, “Dad, maybe we can do something about this.”
Bill said this was a life-changing moment for him and since then, the couple has donated an estimated $36 billion of their own capital into the foundation, making it the largest private charity ever with assets worth nearly $47 billion.
More Good Work
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation granted $1.75 billion to vaccine initiatives and research during the Covid-19 pandemic. If that’s not impressive enough, the power duo co-created the Giving Pledge campaign alongside their friend, Warren Buffet.
This charitable initiative encourages the world’s wealthiest wealthy people to leave at least half of their inheritance to charity. Already, 211 people have signed this pledge, including Mark Zuckerberg and MacKenzie Scott, Jeff Bezos’s ex-wife.
Working as Partners
The power pair made a post in 2018 on their blog Gates Notes, which gave the world a closer look into how the two work together. Bill wrote that while people tend to box the two, seeing Melissa more as “the heart of the foundation” and him more as the analytical one, they actually both share those traits.
He complimented his wife, saying, “ She helps me understand when I can push our teams harder (as I pretty much always did at Microsoft) and when I need to ease off.”
In addition to the renowned philanthropic work Melinda does with her husband, she also founded an investment company called Pivotal Ventures. The aim of this enterprise is to better the social progress of women and families in the United States.
It is also stated on the website that Pivotal Ventures “believe that removing the barriers that hold people back improves life for all.” The venture aims to give equal opportunities to all, in order to better the lives of everyone. What a beautiful sentiment!
The Serene Yacht
With Bill’s net worth at around $91.8 billion, it’s fair to say he has spare change to have some fun with. While the Microsoft co-founder is known to be a modest man, he chose to go all out when it came to purchasing this mega-yacht.
He purchased the Serene for a whopping $330 million. This 439.30 ft superyacht is home to the Gates family during their off time. Wow, talk about the life of the rich and famous!
Life in Lockdown
Bill and Melinda reportedly spent the lockdown period at their home in Seattle with their youngest daughter Phoebe. The couple has spent the last 14 months focusing on global vaccine initiatives but their most recent public interviews and social media posts suggested all was well in the Gates family.
For the couple’s 26th wedding anniversary, Melinda took to Instagram to say ,“I’m still marveling at how full a heart can get. Happy anniversary to the man who keeps me dancing through life.”
Public Displays of Affection
A month after Melinda’s public display of affection, Bill wrote that he “couldn’t ask for a better partner on this journey” on Instagram in celebration of Valentine’s Day in 2020.
Melinda even went on to tell The Sunday Times in January that she believed finding balance was another secret to their happy marriage. She sweetly added. “I’m a terrible cook, Bill’s a terrible cook, but we can both push the buttons on the microwave.”
The Gates Family
In 2019, Bill praised his kids for not only keeping him humble but also for keeping him up to date with what’s trending. He added that if he doesn’t use their social media apps of choice then they give him a hard time about “not paying attention” to their lives.
He went on to say that his youngest daughter likes to communicate through Instagram, while another child prefers WhatsApp. Then in November of 2020, Melinda took to Instagram to post a cute throwback picture of her three children.
Despite how happy and balanced their marriage looked, news of the couple’s divorce recently broke. The power duo took to social media, announcing that “after a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage.”
They went on to say that they “no longer believe (they) can grow together as a couple.” The public is speculating whether the pressures of lockdown and domestic duties caused the split.
Jennifer Weighs In
Their eldest daughter Jennifer also shared a social media post where she mentions this being“a challenging stretch of time for our whole family.” She also openly admitted that she and her family are still processing their emotions.
She went on to say that her parents will still work together at the foundation, except instead of them being two birds standing together, there’ll be standing further apart.