Saturday, June 28, 2008

My Favorite Cereal

Ask my Dad or ask me 8 months ago what my favorite cereal is and the answer would be Kellogg's Frosted Flakes.  I used to love this sugary goodness.  In my pursuit of healthy living, I've found a replacement to Tony the Phony.  That's what my Dad used to call Frosted Flakes since they have the mascot of Tony the Tiger.

My new favorite cereal is also made by Kellogg's.  I really like Low Fat Granola without Raisins cereal.  The name just rolls right off your tongue doesn't it!

This cereal really hits the spot!

The key to this cereal and really anything you eat is how much you eat.  I know that we all have our favorite cereal bowls that could put some popcorn bowls to shame.

Below is the bowl that I used to eat cereal in and my new smaller improved cereal bowl.  To fill up, I just grab some fruit or yogurt to go with the cereal.  It works!100_2698

Give it a try if you want to try something healthier.  It also makes for a great snack without the milk.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

What Do I Do?

Mark-0608When you meet someone new, one of the most common questions is "What do you do?"  For the majority of the times your job identifies who you are and what your passions are.  This definitely holds true for me.  I thoroughly enjoy my job!  I'm passionate about what I do!

So, what do I do?  I get to work with churches.  I help them care for their attendees, members, congregants, or as my daughter would say... peeps by using Fellowship One created by an awesome group of people at Fellowship Technologies

Specifically, I do the following:  Learn the church's processes in several areas of the church that care for their people.  I then configure the software to their needs.  After the church staff and key volunteers have taken required online training, we dig into how to use the software in a day to day basis.  As well, I get to teach them how to use this people care system to truly make sure that they're caring for all of the individuals coming to the church.  The information is there, they just have to know how to use the tool (Fellowship One) to care for them and assist them with their walk with Christ.

I've been working at Fellowship Technologies for nearly 3 years.  September will be my 3rd full year.  I've got to work with over 80 churches during that time ranging from 100 to 16,000 in attendance for a typical weekend.  Each church is the same in their primary goal of reaching people for Christ.  However, they're all very unique with specific needs on how they care for their peeps.  It's for me to learn these creative differences and enable them to continue their processes using a different tool to continue caring for their people.

I truly consider it an honor and pleasure to be in this position.  I am trusted with conveying the use of this tool to all of these churches that will be caring for so many people. 

A funny thing is, a couple of times when I've told people that I work with churches and have paused, I've had people say that they like their chicken.  Wrong Churches!  :)  However, I do like their fried chicken also... especially with hot sauce.  It's, of course, not the healthiest choice for you.

Up above, I'm pictured at one of my churches that I worked with in Ohio.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Car Repairs

My dad was great at dragging me under the car and showing me how to fix his cars.  We did everything from changing oil, spark plugs, brakes, radiator, etc.  My job back then was really to hold the flashlight on that area he was working on.  I was pretty good at that job!  However, that "work on my own car bug" never really stuck with me.  Out of necessity in the past I've changed my own oil, changed brake pads, and other small minor repairs, but these days, I rely on others to maintain my cars.

repairpalThe problem is... do I really know if the estimate that I received is a good honest estimate?  Also, do I know if the mechanic is reputable as well?  I've found a website that will hopefully answer these questions.  RepairPal is a website that provides auto repair estimates based on your vehicle and where you live.  It also lists known reputable mechanics.

Ursula recently took our Dodge Durango in to have the air conditioning looked at since it's not working.  Yes, we're driving around in Texas with AC and we're surviving.  However, we only drive at 2am in the morning.

Anyway, she received an estimate of $1,200 to have the AC Compressor replaced.  Going to RepairPal, I found out that the range of this repair should be between $562 and $907.  Hmmmm... makes you wonder, huh?

Here's some more information about RepairPal from their About Us page:

Located in Emeryville, California, RepairPal was founded in 2007 by a group of automobile enthusiasts and entrepreneurs who were frustrated by the expensive and tedious process of fixing and maintaining their vehicles. They created RepairPal to provide drivers with the most accurate, unbiased, and useful car ownership information available. RepairPal is not affiliated with any automobile manufacturer, dealership, auto parts provider, or auto repair facility.

RepairPal offers a stress-free, time-saving method of obtaining all the relevant information conscientious consumers need. Unlike any other online resource, RepairPal provides impartial, fair price estimates, the most comprehensive auto shop directory, and expert insights and advice from certified mechanics. RepairPal’s unique, patent-pending system relies on multiple sources of difficult-to-acquire proprietary data that has never before been available to consumers.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Skinny Cow

skinnycowI really like eating healthy, however, I still love the taste of food.  One of my favorite vices is ice cream.  It's just one thing that I look forward to.  Of course, it's not the best thing for you with it's high fat content.  I've found that Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwiches are an awesome alternative to normal ice cream treats.  The ice cream sandwiche boasts being 140 calories and 97% fat free!

I cannot remember where I heard about these awesome tasting ice cream treats at first.  It was probably from Ursula who heard it from her good friend - Oprah.  Check them out for yourself!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Vonage Goodness!

vonageI've been using Vonage Phone Service since October 2006 and absolutely love it.  With having family in a few different states it really helps keep the long distance phone bills to a minimum.  As well, with working from home, I get to make all of my calls to my customers for free.  Well not entirely free, but it's included in the monthly charge of $24.99.

Cool Features that I love

  • Money Savings - I love having a fixed cost for my phone bill that has not changed since I started the service.
  • Voice Mail - The voice mail works when someone is on the phone or the Internet is down at the house.
  • Voice Mail - The voice mail actually gets e-mailed to me.  I'm notified immediately if there is a voice mail as it goes straight to my BlackBerry.
  • Portable - I can take it with me!  If I'm on vacation somewhere, I could actually take my home phone with me.  The Internet device is small enough that I could easily pack it up and take it with me.  That would allow me to be able to make and receive home phone calls.
  • Other Cool Features - There are a lot of other cool features that you could subscribe to such as having your voice mails transcribe to text and sent to your email.  Having an additional phone number established in an area where you have a lot of family members.  This would allow them to make a local phone call to call you long distance.

If you've been thinking about getting Vonage or a Voice over IP phone service, please click on this link and enter my home phone number where prompted.  It's a very painless sign up process.  If you don't have my home phone number, send me an e-mail and I'll give it to you.  Of course, you have to promise not to call at 2am or you'll have the wrath of Ursula to deal with!

Monday, June 9, 2008

5K Race Time

The race times were posted on the web today for the Susan G. Komen 5K race.  My official time was 30:48.  I did what I wanted to which was to get my time under 10 minutes per mile.  I beat my previous 5K race time of 31:55.

I placed 22nd out of 28 men in my age group (40-44) and 305th out of 484 runners.  The biggest thing I need to do is to be happy with how well I did.  I cannot and will not get caught up with my finishing position against others.  I know that I won't be breaking any land records.  As long as I'm going further and a bit faster, I'm happy!  Heck... as long as I keep running, I'm happy!

Run Happy!

I miss tomatoes!

Just a little moaning and groaning... I miss tomatoes!  I love them in salads, sandwiches, salsa and all.  I hope they get to the bottom of this problem quickly!  You know it's serious when Ronald McDonald stops serving them in the burgers.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Race for the Cure 5K

Briana-Mark-5kIt was great time running in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5K Race in Plano this morning.  It was a bit early for everyone to get up, but I'm so glad that everyone came out to support me.  I had a blast!

Briana and I did very well.  I beat my time from Cincinnati by at least 1 minute.  I'm not totally sure what my time was.  I was too darn caught up in all of the excitement to start and stop my watch at the Start and Finish lines.  I'm sure they'll have it online as I paid extra for the timing chip.

It was pretty darn hot, but the cloud cover was awesome and there was a nice breeze.  My shirt was soaked by time I finished.

Thanks to Denise for the inspirational email last night.  I appreciated it so much!  In honor of Denise and her love for dogs... our cameraman - Cairo took a picture of just about every dog that he saw.

It was great to see friends from church and from the kids' school.  We all enjoyed getting the freebies after the race.

I cannot wait until my next race!  I'm sure that it won't be for awhile since it's way too hot to run here in Texas!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Happiness is...

getting the latest edition of Runner's World .  Now I have to pace myself and not read it all one sitting.  I MUST control myself!

I'm still digging this running thing!  I cannot wait to run on Saturday morning in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5K Race in Plano.  It'll be a great time!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

What I saw While Running...

I enjoy getting out and seeing the sights while running.  Since I had my own small business specializing Home Theater, Home Automation, Home Gadgets, etc., these types of things catch my eye.  While I was out running this morning I saw an improper installation of an Infrared Camera.  It's attached to a tree which is not totally the problem, but being close to 6' tall, I could easily snip the video cable.  Thus, no evidence of who stole their Mustang that the camera was monitoring.  Not that I would do this!IMG00032 IMG00033

Do yourself a favor, if you're going to invest a few hundred dollars for one of these cameras and a modulator or a DVR, place it higher out of the reach of the bad guys!  The camera would have probably worked fine from the eaves of the house.  As well, the video cable doesn't look too attractive hanging from the house to the tree.

Monday, June 2, 2008

5 Days Until...

I race again!  I'll be running in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5K Run in Plano, TX.  I cannot wait for the race!  I've kept up my training and have run at least 3 times a week.  Saturday was my longest run without stopping/walking of 6 miles.  It was one great hour!

If you live in the Dallas area and like getting up early on a Saturday morning, please come root me on!  It'd be a thrill if you came out!  Download the detailed parking map.

Also, if you'd like to donate to this worthy cause, you can go to my personal page.