Friday, January 17, 2020

My first RV Rally

I'm not talking about my first rally of the year, I'm talking about my first rally ever, where I was an attendee. I didn't come to the rally to work. 
Our very first RV rally ever was the Great North American RV Rally in Hutchinson, Kansas in the summer of 2004. We were there as employees of Coach Connect and we operated the WiFi hotspot for other RVers. We could do that because we had a Datastorm Internet Satellite dish. Since then we've worked at all the major RV rallies by FMCA, Escapees, Good Sam, and many others, plus small rallies as well. Well over 100 rallies over our 16 years of RVing.
We're slowing down our schedule a bit these days, so when we found that it had been over 2 months since our camper had been on the road, we signed up for a Roadtrek get together in O'Leno state park. https://www.floridastateparks.org/parks-and-trails/oleno-state-park
our Roadtrekothers' Roadtreks
Being sociable
Going for a walk in the woods.
So that's what a rally is all about. Who knew?

Sunday, December 29, 2019

The Decade of The Geeks

I've gone down the rabbit hole of looking at our memories for the last 10 years and I'm realizing what a significant decade it was ...

Our First Smartphones

Although the iPhone came out in 2007, it required an AT&T contract and we were dedicated to Verizon, so we had to wait for the first smartphone on Verizon. That happened to be the Android-based phone by Motorola, called "Droid." It came out at the end of 2009 and we both got one.
Here's what we said in our 2010 year-end Newsletter:

Jim just got a new phone for 2020 - The Google Pixel 4XL, not realizing it was exactly 10 years ago that he got his first phone. We dug it out of the drawer so we could take a photo.
Jim's first phone and his most recent

A few of Chris' phones over the years, starting with her Droid 1
As people who are passionate about learning new things, we're sure in the right field with teaching technology! There's something new to learn and teach every day with these.

Riding the Picasa Wave

Picasa, the computer photo management software from Google was the most popular thing we ever taught. Here is our record-breaking live audience for an Introduction to Picasa seminar in August of 2010.
I wrote a book on Picasa, and everywhere we went, we were known for teaching Picasa. In 2009 Google invited us to present a joint webinar on Picasa. It's still available on YouTube.
That all came to an end when Google discontinued the Picasa software in 2016. By then, we had created over 100 tutorial videos on Picasa, a couple hundred articles, and had presented dozens, maybe hundreds of seminars.
Time to move on to Google Photos - Google's Cloud-based photo management system. But, somehow, I don't think it will ever be quite the same as our Picasa teaching days.

Gabbing with the Geeks

In 2010 we started doing little video segments called "Gabbing with the Geeks", the predecessor to our current live YouTube show "What Does This Button Do?"
Here are our first 3 episodes - they're just a few minutes each:











Our Website

2010 was when we first unveiled our website based on the WordPress platform. Before that (2007-10) our membership system was based on code I wrote using Coldfusion (yikes) and a straight HTML website built with Dreamweaver. Don't get me wrong, I'm very proud of myself for having built that, but, a coder I am NOT. To see what our website looked like back then, here's a link to the Wayback Machine and a page from GeeksOnTour.com in 2008.

Our Homes

In 2010 we were still living full time in our first ever motorhome, a 30 foot, no slides, class C.
Our first motorhome, we called Oh Boy! and lived in it fulltime from 2003-2011

We traded in on our 2d motorhome, and called it "Big Boy" We lived in that fulltime from 2011-2017

In 2017 we were able to trade Big Boy in for - you guessed it - "Little Boy" We now live in a townhouse in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and use this little RV to take us to RV rallies about 4 months of the year. 
In addition to RV Travel, we started to travel Internationally in 2015.
2015: UK, Belgium, Cuba
2016? 
2017: Italy, Croatia, Slovenia, Berlin
2018: Grand Cayman Islands
2019: Australia, New Zealand
2020 plans: Liveaboard dive trip in the Maldives (Indian Ocean) with a stopover in Dubai.

What does this Button Do?

As we slow down a bit with our RV travels, that means we are going to fewer RV rallies. But, we get to do our teaching now thru our Live Streaming YouTube show - What Does This Button Do? Our very first episode was in June of 2014.
We are now on episode 183! You can see them all at GeeksOnTour.com/weeklyshow

I can't wait to see what the next decade brings!



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Watch any episode of our Online Show on Learning Smartphones and Tablets!

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Comfortable Anywhere

Chris is working on a remote class on Snapseed for tomorrow so she told me I had to make a post.
We're in beautiful Denver, Colorado for a couple more days before heading back to warm South Florida.

Chris and I were walking back to our airb&b from a fine experience at Tavern Lowry, even though the Dolphins lost (again.)

I was marveling at the fact we've done this all over the world.
Walking back to our temporary lodging or RV site from a sports bar or some foodie/drinkfest. What an incredible life we have! Are we citizens of the world, or what? Everything feels somehow familiar wherever we happen to be.

Where else in the world have we made this stroll together? In addition to every state in the lower 48 and parts of Alaska and Canada, the Bahamas, Ireland, Indonesia, Malaysia, Turks and Caicos, Fiji, UK, France, Belgium, Cuba, Bonaire, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Germany, Cayman Islands, Australia, and New Zealand. Whew!

We presented a couple of sessions for the new Senior Planet Center in Denver about technology and Google Photos last Friday. It was fun. I say "we" but we all know Chris does all the work. She's an excellent teacher and had a receptive audience. She received some nice evaluations and autographed a bunch of her books, Mrs. Geek's Guide to Google Photos!
I love the Art Deco everywhere in the suite. I chose this place for the price and location. It is close walking distance to excellent food or 7-Eleven.


 Here are some shots from around Senior Planet.

The Rocket is on top of an Ice Cream Stand. It was art at Burning Man, we were told.

 Senior Planet is adjacent to Wings Over the Rockies Museum.

I plan on visiting.





Further your technology education**Subscribe to the Free Geeks on Tour Newsletters**

Watch any episode of our Online Show on Learning Smartphones and Tablets!

Friday, October 11, 2019

We found Wakanda

We had several days to get to our next gig. From Moline to Brandon  450 miles. We consider that 2 days of driving, so I started looking for an overnight stop somewhere about halfway and found a casino. Along the way, when we crossed over the Mississippi River, we saw lots of flooding, so we went surprised when we arrived at the casino and learned the RV parking area was closed due to flooding. We stopped for dinner anyway as we checked the map and asked for recommendations for camping.

Wakonda state park is just down the road and we were assured that it was on higher ground and not affected by flooding. Cool.

As we checked in we remarked on our good luck for finding such a nice state park when our planned parking spot had been flooded out. We also had to make some jokes about Wakanda Forever, and how we couldn't wait to tell everyone that Wakanda was a real place after all. I still can't decide if their blank stare was because they were bored with that tired joke, or that they were unaware of the magical country called Wakanda from the black panther movie. Come to think of it, I hadn't seen a movie theatre in many miles.

It was a beautiful campground, very peaceful, and really good internet from at&t so we stayed another night, and I was able to use Zoom to make an appearance at a Google Photos class in Wisconsin and answer their questions. It works so good. It really will make it possible to do more and more work remotely. Meanwhile, we just enjoyed relaxing in our comfy camper and taking walks in the magical forests.





Chris Guld
GeeksOnTour.com
   

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Quad cities club and photo walk

Vicki at the quad cities computer club is the one who started it all. Before Vicki contacted us back in 2011 we had no idea that these computer clubs exist. Come to find out there's an organization called Association of PC User Groups - APCUG.org. Because of Vicki we got on the list of speakers for computer clubs Nationwide, and those clubs have been the bulk of our appearances this summer.
We've been back to Quad Cities Computer Club several times. We will always visit them if we are anywhere in the vicinity. The club has since disbanded, but we still visit as friends.
Ironically, after all my teaching on smartphone photography, Vicki credits me with introducing her to SLR cameras

This year, they got the gang together for dinner and we parked overnight in Vicki's driveway before joining them for a Scott Kelby worldwide photo walk in the morning. It was a bit of a rainy and dreary morning, but it made for interesting shots along the Mississippi.