Friday, November 06, 2015


The name of my high school was Nova. I graduated in 1971. One of my classmates, Alex Segal, has been adept at keeping in touch with high school friends. Alex now lives in a rural community, just west of Gainesville, Florida called Melrose. She puts out the word of a get-together and lots of people show up! It is called NovaPalooza!
She has enough property that there is plenty of space for us to park our RV in her yard. Such a treat!

We had some very talented musicians in our high school class, and 40 some odd years later, they are still at it. Alex set up a stage in her yard, and our parking spot gave us front row seats, from our living room couch!
41 years is a long time. Here is a picture of me with Steve and Karl in 1970 and now, in 2015. Can you even tell who is who?
This was the second time we have attended a NovaPalooza, so we knew the quality of the music, and Jim was prepared! He used our familiar technology (Google Hangouts On Air) to live stream the entire evening so that classmates who could not be in attendance, could also see and hear the party!
Great fun!
One of these days, we'll do some editing. Meanwhile, here is some raw footage:

We love you Alex!

After everyone left, the stage was still set up. And, our home and office was still parked there! So, when it came time to do our Sunday Show "What Does This Button Do?" we decided to use the stage, and invite anyone still hungover to join us!

And, here's the whole show:

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Monday, October 12, 2015

Dive, Dive, Dive

We've promised ourselves at least one real dive trip every year and this year we booked a week on the Blackbeard Cruises. It was supposed to be a group trip with our New Jersey dive buddies - just like last year - but Hurricane Joaquin put a stop to that. Nassau airport was closed on Friday 10/3 for fear that the hurricane was going to hit them hard, but it didn't, so our flight on Saturday morning was fine. But Joaquin was still blowing and was possibly headed to New Jersey, so our friends cancelled. We missed them, but it did make for a less crowded boat! Only 16 passengers.
Boarding the boat in Nassau
 We had beautiful weather for our week, but the visibility was pretty poor due to the hurricane passing thru. Do not book a trip on this boat if you're accustomed to hot showers and clean towels. You bring your own towels and use them all week. There is one shower on board, but you are honor-bound to only use it for 30 seconds! We didn't even do that. Apparently it is a myth that salt water leaves you sticky! We did rinse off a little after each dive with a hose at the back, but no soap for a week! This is camping on the water.

We LOVE being on the ocean!

Here is a short video, made by Google Photos, that encapsulates our week:

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Saturday, September 19, 2015

Geek Week at Sun City, Hilton Head

This is our third time here. It's very convenient in our travels to and from Florida and the Computer Clubs here are very active. Both the Sun City Computer Club and the Hilton Head Island Computer Club have told us that they will schedule our presentations any time we're passing thru!
We LOVE doing Geek Weeks!

The person who first found us and got all this started was Catherine Tracy. She has been using Picasa and found us years ago by Googling for help with Picasa. So, first stop was dinner at Catherine's house. Man! She is a gooood cook!

The Sun City community has a great place for us to park! They offer a RV/Boat storage yard for residents and it includes 6 full hookup/50 amp RV sites. We generally have the place all to ourselves, and at $22/night it's quite a bargain.

We scheduled 4 sessions during our stay and the first was the hands-on Smartphone Camera class. We sold out with 20 people and were very grateful to have Catherine and Robin as our assistants. They have a great classroom that is always booked during the season. Their computer club offers classes daily. It is so much fun for us to get together with fellow teachers.

Next up was an open Q&A session about anything to do with smartphones and tablets. This was over on the island for the Hilton Head Island Computer Club. Jack Wilfore, our contact for that club, is also quite an accomplished Picasa teacher. We're getting into a habit of taking a selfie with our audience at each of our presentations. We do like to have fun!

That was Wednesday. Then Thursday was the general meeting of the Sun City club and they let us teach about our current favorite topic, Google Photos!

And, here's the little movie we made using Google Photos during the session:

The last day we had another session with the Sun City group at a session they call their "Komputer Klatch" or KK. It was another open Q&A with smartphones and tablets.
We love our Geek Weeks!

WELCOME!! To 22 new Geeks on Tour members for the week. Is this a great way to make a living or what?!

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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Geeks on Tour ... For Sure!

We left Cherry Hill on Saturday morning in order to get to Fairfax VA where we were booked to do a Google Photos seminar for a joint computer club at 1pm. They did a nice job of promoting us:

They had a large parking area marked off for us:

It was a good group - we thought the seminar went quite well. It was also live streamed over the Internet using something called Zoom. If we get a link to a recording, we'll post it here. And here's some comments we got afterward:
We really got a lot out of your presentation.  I intend to use Picasa and Google Photos.  The others, iPhotos, Aperature and Apple Photos didn’t stir up my interest enough to really put the time into learning them.
 Today's presenters were terrific!  Both my wife and I found their presentation to be extremely helpful and very current.  Jim and Chris could not have been any better!
We left Fairfax about 4:30 headed to our next stop in Raleigh, N.C. to do our weekly streaming show, "What Does This Button Do?" We were scheduled to do this week's show at the home studio of Martin Brossman about 270 miles away. We just needed to get on down the road, so we stayed in a Walmart parking lot that night, got our grocery shopping done, and made it to Martin's by 11am on Sunday. He has a nice big driveway!

This is a live show ... aka STRESSFUL! You have to wait until showtime to click the button that reads "go live" and, guess what! The button simply wasn't there! This was our 52d show and we'd never had this problem before. Jim had to quick set up an entirely new show stream. But, he did it! And Martin was great for rolling with the punches. We got started about 12 minutes late, but continued on with a successful show. The topic was the Amazon Echo and Martin runs a community on Google Plus about it. Click the image below to go to the community and learn more.

Here's the whole show (we cut out the first 10 minutes!) You can see all of our shows by viewing the Youtube Playlist for What Does This Button Do?

After the show, we went out for dinner and had a GREAT time with Martin. We are definitely "Geeks-of-a-Feather." He shared with us his expertise on Social Media for Business - and gave us a copy of his book. We shared with him our expertise on Google Photos and gave him our library-on-a-drive of all our videos and eBooks.

Then we got back on the road again sometime after 5. We really don't like to drive at night, and had no place we needed to be for a couple of days, so after a couple hours, we just found a rest area and pulled off. We cranked up the generator for power, threw something in the microwave for dinner, read emails for a while, and went to bed.

Home for the night - 9/13/15
Next stop, Hilton Head, where we are booked for several events. First off, a sold out hands-on class teaching people about using their smartphone cameras.

Then, a presentation for the Hilton Head Island Computer Club (click the image to view their website):

And, the next 2 days we have presentations for the Sun City Hilton Head Computer Club.

Thus is the life of the Geeks on Tour!

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Saturday, September 12, 2015

A Visit to Washington, D.C.

When we left LBI, we gave ourselves a couple days leeway before we had to do a presentation in the D.C. area for the Patomac Area Technology and Computer Society.

We got a late start, not leaving Jimmy's till after 1pm! Did we not want to go?
First stop was to visit Chuck Parker and his wife Nadine. Chuck is a Geeks on Tour member who contacted us and invited us to visit his home since he wasn't too far away, in Columbus, NJ. It's always special to be invited to a home visit so we do our best to make it. It was an easy drive and he lives on a big cul-de-sac so we didn't even have to unhook to visit. AND, they fed us a great dinner. But, best of all was Chuck's compliments on our teaching. He travels in a Roadtrek and attends our seminars at FMCA conventions whenever he can. He also is a teacher himself, teaching a software product to Boat Pilots. He says he tries to emulate us because we teach so clearly. Flattery ... and food ... will get you everywhere!  Thanks Chuck and Nadine!

Since we didn't need to worry about dinner, and we'd only driven about an hour, Jim was fresh and willing to even drive after dark - so we made it the whole way in to Washington D.C. and the only RV park in the are where we've been before ... Cherry Hill. The cool thing about the Cherry Hill park is that there is public transportation right from the park in to D.C. proper. Jim looked at the brochures and decided on a D.C. After Dark tour. That meant we had all day Thursday to get work done. I was thrilled to get to work on an article and a video that's been on my mind for a while.
Article: Picasa and Google Photos: What's the Difference?
Video: What's so special about Google Photos?

So, not only did I get to enjoy an impromptu visit to D.C. but I could do it with a clear conscience because I got my work done!
The evening tour was especially nice because the GrayLine bus picked us up AND dropped us off right at the RV park. No worries, clear conscience, no agenda. We really enjoyed ourselves!

If we are to have Peace on Earth, our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation, and this means we must develop a world perspective.  Martin Luther King, Georgia 1967'
I've been here several times before, but I think this was the best, primarily for being unplanned. Oh ... and we had perfect weather too. The next day we took advantage of the Metro transportation system and just did what we wanted. Jim wanted to go to the Air and Space Museum. And, of course, visit his parents' gravesite in Arlington National Cemetery.

Then we walked, and walked, and walked. My step counter on my smartphone kept beeping and buzzing! It claims I walked a record number of steps that day ... 16,000+ So when, we saw a rack of bikes that could be rented and returned at any number of places, we took advantage!

If you notice any flag at half staff, that's because it was September 11. At one point we saw 2 helicopters and an Osprey fly overhead. Pretty sure that was Marine One and possibly the president.

And, of course at the end of this fabulous day, we needed some sustenance. An outdoor, sidewalk cafe on Pennsylvania Avenue was just the ticket!

And here's a little video I put together using Google Photos

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