Tuesday, March 30, 2004

It's a Beautiful Day in Paradise Paradise Island RV Resort, that is! Yep, there's a good reason that thousands of people come to south Florida for the winter. The weather really is spectacular. What a gorgeous day. Dick (aka Commander Kayuba) came by to collect Jim and his kayak and go kayak diving. Only one more day of lobster season ... gotta make the most of it! The kayak diving is something we will surely miss. You just can't do it anywhere else. We're in Paradise Island for a few more days. It is so convenient here. We're less than a mile from my Mom's house and only 2-3 miles from Jim's folks. And, the wireless Internet connection is great! I mean, we love our Datastorm that allows us to have Internet wherever we are, but the Coach Connect Wi-Fi connection IS faster. Just for browsing the web there's not much difference, but when you work remotely on client's networks, or you upload files to websites, there's a big difference in speed. Hmmm, I just might take a break from the computer and take a dip in the pool! Y'know, we've discovered that if you don't care about getting wealthy - you really can be rich!

Sunday, March 28, 2004

Kayuba goes to the Beach Today was the day for a Kayuba kayak dive and picnic. Whatever the weather, we gather at John Lloyd State Park at 8am. If the weather permits, we go kayak diving. When the divers return, we have a picnic. This ritual is repeated several times/year. Today represented the last club dive of lobster season. It was also considered by some to be the first dive of the 2004 summer diving season. It was a beautiful, sunny day. The wind subsided enough to make the kayaking doable by 10 intrepid members. The rest of us served as judges of their surf entries and exits! Here's Jim (aka Kayuba Jim) and Dick (aka Commander Kayuba) getting suited up with Odie's help. Here's Nancy demonstrating why I wimped out and did not get wet. Kayuba Jim gets a '10' on his surfing re-entry!! And here are the Judges ... :-) And, here's Captain Kayuba's (Chuck) catch: Jim did OK too! Rick decides to take on a pet: Now it's time to eat. Here's the Commander making his famous chicken wings: Odie enjoys a picnic too!
Baseball We went to a baseball game last night! Fort Lauderdale stadium is the winter home of the Baltimore Orioles and they were scheduled to play the Florida Marlins last night. We have attended this game the last couple years at the invitation of our good friends, Chris and Richard. Richard is a true fan and Chris and I get to 'catch up'. It's always a great night. After they got the power back on, and it stopped raining, last night was great too! When we left at 11 pm Marlins were behind 5 to 2. We heard the shouts from the stadium as we walked back to the car ... I see in the news that the final score was 5 to 4. Now it's Sunday morning and we're off to the beach, hopefully to go Kayak diving with Kayuba dive club. It's been way to windy for quite a while, but it appears to be pretty calm right now. We always check the Webcam at Boca beach so see what the ocean looks like. Still a little choppy.

Saturday, March 27, 2004

Back at Paradise Island So, here we are back in civilization! It is nice to have a sewer hookup ... you can leave the shower running instead of taking a 'navy' shower where you get wet then turn it off while you soap up, then rinse. But, the flip side is that we miss the quiet and privacy of Donna's back yard. You have neighbors on all sides here. But, that also means you can always find someone to 'happy hour' with too. Last night it was Cliff and Marie - you can read about them on their website: CJ and M And, here are Edie and Kurt. I know Edie from Women's Executive Club. She told me about their plans to retire and travel in an RV. I introduced her to Paradise Island and, here they are! They wanted to get a taste of what RV parks are like, so they signed on as Staff here in exchange for a place to park their RV. They're going back and forth right now between their house and their RV. Kurt says he's lost 20 pounds on the 'Workamper Weightloss Program!!" A new Awning! Yep, we got the new awning installed this week to replace the one that blew away in a windstorm. We had the work done at the same place that installed the tow package - American RV and Marine in Fort Lauderdale, 954-523-3677 (they don't have a website - horrors!) And, wouldn't ya know, it's been windy every day since so we're to scared to even put it out!! Here are a couple photos of the installation: Toastmasters Now that we're back in our old stomping grounds, we were able to make it to our 7am Toastmasters club. What a great group! We've really missed them. No matter how hard it is to get up and get there, we always have so much fun and share a lot of laughs with people who like to practice Public Speaking. The group is Earlybird Toastmasters and they've been around for 30 years! I gave a speech this week and won the prize for best speaker! So good to know I haven't forgotten how. And I had to take a photo of Jim - it's the only time he puts on a tie!! We hope to stop at Toastmasters clubs all around the country as we travel. We can find where they are on the Toastmasters International website. And a photo of Odie in his favorite place to be while we're on the road - the passenger seat. "Dog is our co-pilot"!

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

And we're Off! After nearly 2 months at Donna's Backyard RV Resort, it's time to move on again. We wanted to spend another week at Paradise Island RV Resort before we took off - say hi to folks and see how the Coach Connect Wi-Fi is going. So we hitched up the Honda to the Motorhome and drove away. Click on the link below to watch a tiny video: Leaving Donnas.MPG First Lesson in Towing I took some detailed photos when Jim hooked up the car so you could see exactly what's involved. It's really not bad at all. Here you see all the component parts. You see 1. the big black (then why do they call it 'Blue' Ox?) of the tow bar 2. the big metal pins sticking out of the front of the car where the towbar hooks into 3. the red electrical cable which connects the coach electrical system to the car so the brake lights and turn signals work on the car 4. the black safety cable that connects the RV to the car as a backup system First you hook the towbar to the pins in the front of the car. You fasten them by running a pin through the lined-up holes in the middle. Then you plug the electrical cable into both the RV and the Car. Now attach the safety cable to both the RV and the Car, and you're ready to go!

Sunday, March 21, 2004

The Showoffs Perform Chicago! Watch out Renee Zellwegger and Catherine Zeta-Jones! The showoffs are here! What a night! Women's Executive Club, an organization that I have belonged to for over 20 years had it's annual fundraiser last night. It was held at the Fort Lauderdale Antique Car Museum and had a 1920s theme. So The Showoffs, a dance group that I've been with for the past few years, performed our special choreography to the opening medley from Chicago. It's a dance that I've been wanting to learn and I'm so glad I had this opportunity. Here's a few of us in our opening pose. I'm the one in the middle, in case you don't recognize me! hmmm, I think I like being a redhead. Thanx to Jim for snapping a few photos during the dance. It's not easy to capture a moving target: There were 7 of us in the dance And, here's our teacher/choreographer John Wittenborn We had a very nice audience: We've been learning/practicing/rehearsing for about 6 weeks, but we need that last rehearsal on location to know our spots on this dance floor. Here we are with John shouting instructions and showing us how. After the performance we posed for photos in one of the antique cars. Here's all 7 dancers: Valerie, Hermine, Denise, Sharon, Cathy, Wendy, and me with John and Russ the manager of the museum: Do you think I'm having fun? And here's a photo (scanned) taken of Jim and me. I think he's having a good time too!

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

I haven't written in here for a while because I've been in class. It seemed a good idea to me to use our last couple months in town to get some good training in. Once we're on the road, my primary work will be website development. I've been doing this for about a year now, but not 100%. For $600, I was able to sign up at New Horizons and take all the web/development/graphics classses I could handle. I'm sure that some people treat this like a gym membership - they go once or twice then get slack and forget about it. Not this time! I've taken 11 one-day classes so far: html 1, 2 &3, Dreamweaver 1 & 2, Fireworks 1, Coldfusion 1 & 2, XML and Flash 1 & 2. Some of it has been review and some has been brand new. It's all been good ... and fun! Flash has been the most different. Click on the link below to see one of the exercises I did in class: Click here to see what I learned to do in Flash! Going to school is so cool. No responsibilities, just learn. And, learning is my passion! You meet nice people there too. One guy, Bob, has been in several of the same classes and we've shared some good laughs. He's a steel drum musician and wanted his own website, so, he took these classes and updates his website after every class. It's looking really good!! www.steeldrummusic.net He's especially proud of the fact that his site comes up either first or second in a google search for steel drum music. And, this is without any 'pay per click' technology! Pretty impressive.

Sunday, March 14, 2004

Windy, dreary Sunday morning. No diving today. I went out yesterday in pretty sloppy conditions. We took the coach over to Markham Park on Friday to dump the tanks. When we got back, the DataStorm was not working. I made a diagnosis after several experiments. A bad transmit modem. A call to Ground Control confirmed the problem. Luckily, I still had the modem from the original install. When Ground Control sent a replacement for the original defective receive modem, they sent a transmit modem as well. I replaced both as a set. Turns out, the only easily transferrable item in the stack is the transmit unit. I plugged it all up and voila! Internet. I sure am glad we didn't have to wait for a replacement over the weekend. We were already making plans to return to Paradise Island just to have Internet. Connectivity is essential for us. More so for Chris. She can get some billable work done. I need it to support Coach Connect users.

Sunday, March 07, 2004

Waterway Cleanup Yesterday was the 27th annual Waterway Cleanup. It's an event by the Marine Industry Association of South Florida. Our kayak/dive club, kayuba, has volunteered for the past 3 years and Jim is the site coordinator for the Bonnet House. Most people never see the Intracoastal side of the Bonnet house property. It is natural mangroves which really collect the garbage that falls off the passing boats. It is our job to paddle our kayaks to this otherwise inaccessible area, climb around in the mangrove roots and pick up the garbage. It's hard work, but it feels good to do some community service. Here's a volunteer doing just that: And, here I am coming back to the collection point with a load that I've picked up. Mom also volunteered for the event. She ran the registration table and handed out tShirts to all the participants. And here's Rick, another kayuba member with quite a haul! If you look close, you'll see a coconut that he's holding up. There are thousands of these washed ashore - they're not garbage, they're natural. Since this one is sprouting so nicely, my guess is that he'll take it home and plant it. Speaking of mangroves and the Bonnet House, you gotta go check out the painting by my good friend Emily. She took up watercolors 4-5 years ago I think, and she's really become good at it. She has a painting called "Mangroves at Bonnet House" and it is currently hanging at the Bonnet House in an exhibit called "Impressions of Old South Florida". You can see it at Emily's website: www.emilyrushin.com then click on Portfolio. My favorite is "Woodland Stream". By the way, I created her website and I'd love to get some feedback from you ... drop me an email and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Donna's Backyard RV Park As you can see, the maintenance crew is hard at work keeping "Donna's Backyard RV Park" clean and manicured! We give it a Five Star Plus rating. Hey! Do you need a license to drive that thing Donna? Any excuse for a picnic We had to go to the dump station again today. Every 4 days is pretty standard. We pick Tuesday and Friday as good days of the week. Luckily, there is a county park (Markham Park) within 5 minutes of Donna's Backyard RV Park, so it's a quick and pleasant trip. Today, we decided to stay awhile and have lunch at the park. Then we took a shower and dumped again on our way out ... maybe we'll be able to stretch another day out of it this time. I wonder how long it takes for the novelty to wear off? I still feel like a kid on Christmas morning whenever we move our home somewhere and can do things like take a shower, in our own shower, while at a beautiful park. It's just the greatest gift you can give yourself. To live your dream. My dream has always been total freedom. There was a time that I thought that meant being alone ... no attachments to a person. Now, I'm experiencing how having a partner (who shares your dream) can enable you to make them come true. And, the sharing makes it that much better. Ok, you can say it ... 'aaawwwwwwww isn't that sweet?' We are just having a great time. And we haven't even 'hit the road' yet!