Monday, May 23, 2011

Saving hundreds of dollars -- using an iPad 2!

A good friend of mine, through the judicious use of his iPad 2, pretty much paid for the device last week. I thought his story was so cool that I want to share it with you.

My friend Ron needed some repairs made to his vehicle, after having it towed to the dealership when it wouldn't start that morning. After waiting for the mechanic to complete his diagnostics and assessment, he was informed that the estimate for all materials & labor came to $1750.00. Whew!!

So Ron used his 3G iPad to take a photograph of the written estimate. Then he used the White Pages app to locate several other repair shops in the area. Using that information, he sent the estimate as a FAX (using the email-to-FAX service) to those shops, requesting they respond with a more competitive estimate of the work required.

Within 20 minutes, Ron had received quotes from two other locations via his iPad that were $500-600 cheaper than the dealership. Ron showed them to the service manager saying, "Over the years, I have done all my business with you but your estimate is just too high. I hope you can make an accommodation given these quotes I have so that I can continue bringing my vehicle here for service."

It took about 15 minutes for the service manager to come back to Ron with an adjusted estimate that came in at $1100 -- beating the lowest quote from the other shops.

It just goes to show how having a highly functional and versatile tablet device like the iPad can make a difference in your everyday lives. And the $600 savings? Well, I think Ron is treating himself to a few new tech gadgets, of course!

Could this have been done with a laptop? Certainly! But in the time it takes just to boot up a laptop, get the webcam ready, and google the repairs shops, the iPad would have already completed those tasks (and you'd be playing Angry Birds while waiting for the responses).

You can't beat having a portable, powerful, and magical device like the iPad at the ready. It's all that, and has the potential to be even more given the vast number of apps available and the creativity of the one who wields it!

I am an iPad wielder. Ron is an iPad wielder. Do YOU have what it takes? :)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Thoughts to catch up on

Bet you thought I had dropped off the blogosphere, eh? Yeah, well it has been exactly a month since my last post on this blog, but a lot of stuff has been going on in my life which has been keeping me so busy that I kinda let the blog dangle for a bit. But now I am back!

So what have I been up to? Well, I will attempt to recount some of the more interestings things and leave the rest on the editing floor.

Ryan made Honor Roll! Yep! Ryan was on the Honor Roll for the Fall Semester at his middle school. I was bursting with pride at his achievement. He worked very hard this school year and it really paid off for him. Last month, he asked me to go with him to the school's Honor Roll Breakfast for family. We enjoyed a nice pancake breakfast together and I got to watch him get his certificate. It was a special day for him (and for me too)!

Getting Fit! Starting this year, I decided to start working out -- walking, strength training, etc. In March, I added running to my list of activities. I am finding that I really enjoy running. First on the treadmill and now outdoors. I even ran (well actually ran some, walked some) my first 5K in April! I think I am hooked! In fact, I am running another 5K this Sunday, May 22. I feel good, and it adds to my overall goal of living a more healthy, active lifestype. I even set up a second blog just to chronicle my journey down this path: In fact, I have been posting to it more often than I have here this past month. (Oops!) Check it out!

A few Hospitalizations Not me, but in my family. Ryan had to go into Children's Hospital for a week in early May to address some gastronomical issues. He was a real trooper and got through the experience alright. He was discharged on Mother's Day, which was awesome because it made that day even more special for my wife Christi. He is back to his old bouncy self now!

Unfortunately, Christi ended up in the hospital exactly a week after Mother's Day. Go figure! She is still being treated and I ask your prayers as we work through this difficult time. She is improving but it is still unclear as to what the doctors are going to do and when she might be coming home.

Entertainment So in the midst of all of these things, we have tried to find ways to have a little fun! In April, Christi and I went to see a good friend (and Ryan's Godfather) in the musical "Guys and Dolls". A really fun show. And Tony, the lead male role, was fantastic! In May, we all went to see a CYT Production of "Godspell" which was very well done as well! It was nice seeing so many friends from CYT there and watch the young performers! Brought back good memories of Laura when she performed with the group.

We also saw quite a few movies over the last month: Fast Five (Cars!), Thor 3D (Awesome!), Rio (Fun!), Source Code (Great!), The Conspirator (Intriguing!), Battle: Los Angeles, and The Adjustment Bureau. Yeah, we like to see movies as a family or on 'date nights'. We are looking forward to seeing Pirates of the Caribbean 4, The Hangover Part II, X-Men: First Class, Captain America, Super 8, Harry Potter, Green Lantern, and The Tree of Life.

Graduations! I have lots of great young adults who have graduated this year so far that I want to send a 'shout out' to: Corey Noe, Amanda Ossler, and Kylie Noe. Congratulations to you all! And there are more coming in June as well -- Abbey Kolarczyk, Kirsten Noe, Carol Koelling, Bryan Jones, Matt Andrews, and so many others! It is always a joy to watch kids from your youth programs grow up into amazing adults!


Well, I think those are the major events in the past month. Stay tuned for what's coming up in June. The biggie? The Episcopal Youth Event (EYE) in Minnesota!! I am going and it is going to be phenomenal!!! And I will totally be blogging about that right here!