About Me

I’m an experienced (in other words, old) telecommunications engineer of 30+ years and father to 5 boys and 5 girls (that’s right, 10 children). As of this writing, I now have five grandsons and two granddaughters and am looking forward to many more of both (two arriving in 2019).

I graduated from Lafayette High School in 1980 and the University of Southwestern Louisiana with a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering in 1984, having lived in Lafayette, LA all of my life up to that point. I then started working for Bell-Northern Research (BNR) in Richardson, TX as a telecommunications software engineer and, although the name of the company has changed several times, I’m still working the same job. BNR became Northern Telecom, which became Nortel, then Nortel Networks (with the acquisition of Bay Networks), which went bankrupt. Today, the company is Ericsson, who bought Nortel’s wireless division, and it’s been 35 years.

I met my wife, Jennie, when we were 12, but we waited until we were 15 to start dating. We were engaged at 17 (during my senior year of high school) and married 2 1/2 years later at the age of 20. Two years later, we were blessed with our first daughter (during my final week of college) and, over the next 20 years, she was joined by 9 more brothers and sisters, including two sets of fraternal twins. We’ve lived on a 30 acre farm since 1998 in a home that we designed ourselves.

Unfortunately, that wonderful marriage ended in divorce in 2018 and the house and farm were a casualty of that mess, not to mention the family.  I’m in transition to a new setup and excited about getting there.  I’m also hopeful that the family situation will improve soon.  In the past several years, I’ve learned that I have some amazing family and friends, without whom I’m not sure I would’ve survived all of this.  Most importantly, I serve a Creator Who works all things for good, even when we can’t understand it.

I like to try my hand at lots of things, so I end up doing lots of stuff that others hire out for. I maintain and repair my own cars, equipment, appliances, etc. I had a significant hand in the construction of our house, and hope to try my hand at it again with my new home.

I’m also somewhat of a connoisseur, so I tend to explore, rather than merely experience, new areas of food, drink, etc. I’ve collected about a hundred root beers looking for the special ones (I like Virgil’s) and discovered ginger beer along the way. My favorite ginger beer is Blennheim Ginger Ale (both the gold and red) and other notables are Reed’s Ginger Brew (both the Extra and Premium) and Fever Tree Ginger Beer. My next endeavor was wine and this has transitioned to spirits and beer. I like red wine, especially Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Bordeaux, and also venture into dessert wines (Tokaji is my favorite). It took a while for me to become interested in beer, but I’ve become obsessed with craft beer and have tried over 1,500 distinct ones.  I prefer sour/wild ales, IPAs, porters, stouts and venture out into American and Belgian strong ales as well. I greatly enjoy sipping on all kinds of distilled spirits, whether it be whisk(e)y, brandy or mezcal, and I still dabble in the first spirit that I explored – rum. I’ve play around with mixed drinks, especially those involving citrus juices, but I’m more of a straight sipper.  When I do mix a drink, then it’s typically an Old Fashioned or Manhattan (aside from the occasional White Russian, since it was my first drink ever).

Finally, I’m a gadget guy. I like electronics and I play around with computers a lot. I’m a big Apple fan, dating back to the original Macintosh and I’ve never owned a Windows PC. I’ve dabbled in web development as well, learning HTML/CSS, Perl and some PHP in the process. I administer my own site and have done so for many organizations that I’ve been involved with. My next experience should be with iOS (iPhone and iPad) and I’ve already waited far too long to get started on this one.

Well, that’s me in a nutshell. I hope my miscellaneous ramblings are beneficial to someone.

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8 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Hi Mark

    Recently came across your blog and am slowly reading through some of your postings. I wanted to send a quick note since it appears that we are neighbors, I live in Plano. I am fairly new to the single malt world, but making up for lost time in a hurry. Not sure if you ever make it down to Trinity Hall (Mockingbird Station) but they have a regular, montly whisk(e)y tasting – typically the first Tuesday of each month. For $25 you get 6-7 tastes plus some small food dishes as palate cleansers. Marius, the owner, is a whisky fan so he has quite an extensive selection of whiskies to try beyond the tastings.

  2. If you’ve been there on a regular basis, we’ve probably seen one another (and if we met previously, I spologize for not remembering!) I will be there with at least one friend, perhaps two. I will try to find you and introduce myself!

  3. I am looking for a telecommunications engineer named Mark Hebert from the Dallas area that participated in the Louisville IRONMAN event in August of 2014. Are you the one or can you direct me to him?

      • That could be him. My wife, Pam, finished the race with a Mark/Marc Hebert. He said that he was in telecommunications and lived in the Dallas area. We believe that he was running in the 40 to 45 age group. He gave her encouragement in the last few miles of the race and she would like to thank him. I’ll leave her name and work email in the verification area. If Marc is the Hebert that we are searching for, please pass either or both email addresses on to him. I have a photograph of him finishing the race, but don’t know how to attach it here.
        In the distant past, I worked with a Dr. Ed Smith who went on to work for Ericsson in North Carolina. Do you happen to know him? Thank You.

  4. Hi. I really like your website. I’m a big fan of whiskey in general. So much so we’ve started sourcing and aging coffee beans in whiskey barrels. Any chance you would be up for reviewing our coffee for your blog readers? I can send out some free samples to you. Awesome site by the way.

    Let me know.
    Thanks.
    John

  5. It just so happens that I’m also a coffee lover, so I’d definitely be interested in some whiskey barrel aged coffee beans. Any special instructions that would be useful (preferred grind, brew method, etc.) would also be appreciated. I’m looking forward to it. Also, I’ve added a “Contact Me” item to the menu for your convenience (an oversight on my part anyway).

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