Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Made some money, spent some money, dinner and a movie That was our day yesterday. Here I am at the computer working on a Microsoft Access project for a company in Fort Lauderdale. Interesting isn't it? They get a result from me in a motorhome 3,000 miles away as quickly as if I was right there. Actually, maybe faster, because I didn't take the time to drive in to their office and chat! I love having all that green outside my office window! And, here's another nice sight ... a husband cooking breakfast! After confirming with my client that they received my work and all was well, we took a drive into Eugene to buy Jim a new computer. He's been working with a 4 year old laptop that takes a good 5 minutes just to boot up. Poor guy, since he has the technical skills to keep a computer alive ... he gets to use a computer that should have been buried last year. It didn't bother me that he had an old computer! That is until I had to use it during our seminars! Ok, honey - yes, it's time to buy you a new computer. We decided to do it now because Oregon has no sales tax. Jim researched on the web and decided on a Sony Vaio. Circuit City's website showed that they were in stock in their Eugene store. Yep, here's the one! The salesperson, George, was very helpful, and not *too* helpful. He quickly realized that Jim knew what he wanted and, therefore, didn't bend our ears telling us about all the features. He did convince us to get the extended warranty for 2 years however - it even covers batteries - seems worth the extra $200. And, he showed us where to find the new GPS we wanted too! We really want to give a seminar to RVers on using GPS and mapping software while on the road, so we wanted to have the Delorme software rather than the Mappoint that we normally use. Delorme is much more popular among RVers. So, with an advertised price of $1399 for the computer, we signed a credit card slip for $1800. We will mail in for the $100 rebate. Thanx George ;-) Then we came home to a delightful dinner 'al fresco' with our new friends in 'VanderGlobe' (there used to be a small town called Globe here). Here's another view of VanderGlobe. What a great way to have a summer home! You just need the property, some electric hookups and water. No need to build and maintain a house. And, if you have a few more electric hookups, you got yourself a resort. Here's Bob and Arlene. They have an interesting business. There are fires out here every summer and the firefighters who work there like to collect tshirts that commemorate each fire. Bob and Arlene make those tshirts. They work hard in the summer, then split their time between their houseboat on Lake Shasta and an RV site in Yuma, Arizona. After dinner, Jim got out the projection equipment and we all came to the 'walk-in' theatre!

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Friends of Friends So cool to follow where the path leads ... We're in Oregon and our good friends Lynne and John told us about friends of theirs who have property near Florence, Oregon and that we should stop by and say Hi!! In between our 'gigs' in Newport and Gold Beach it seemed like a great idea to stop by and say hello to Don and Linda - and Chuck! What a great drive down the coast highway. When we started this motorhome adventure, I rememer thinking that one of the most beautiful highways was the Big Sur road on the California coast, but, I wouldn't want to drive it. Hey, this is every bit as spectacular as the Big Sur Coast! Then we followed our instructions to Don and Linda's property. We turned in and were greeted with a warm welcome: And, they aren't the only ones here! There's Chuck and Debbie and John and Bob and Arlene. And a campfire!! Hey Lynne, Hey John. Be glad we're not calling you! Since it's 2am your time! Don really wanted to! But we told him noooooooooooo. Think we're having a good time?
Smile Therapy I've always called Odie 'Smile Therapy' whether he's sleeping peacefully, or playing with a toy around the house, looking at him always makes me smile. But, to see him running on a beach just about cracks my face in half I'm smiling so hard! We're getting ready to go now. Headed south to Gold Beach, Oregon.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Stop and smell the roses ... and the blackberries ... and the salt air ... and the fish ... and the sea lions Yep, we actually *tore* ourselves away from our computers last night and did a little sightseeing. We are on the Pacific Coast in Newport, Oregon: There's a state park called Agate Beach just about a mile away. We stopped there on our way into town. On the walk from the car to the beach there were blackberries! Going in to the historic, Bay district of Newport, you pass this bridge: And, here's the main 'strip'. Notice the mural on the tavern at the left. This is just one of many, many murals we've seen in the small towns of Oregon. There must be lots of artists here. The sea lions have taken over a couple floating docks in the harbor. And, boy do they make a racket! Just like at San Francisco's Pier ?39? Then we went to eat at Mo's and I had the BEST seafood Cioppino ever. Here's the view out the window from our table at Mo's. Sorry I couldn't catch a Sea Lion swimming by with his head sticking up - but they were there!

Friday, August 27, 2004

The Pacific Coast It is truly beautiful here. We went for a walk at sunset last night. A foggy but beautiful night it was. Look real hard and you can see the lighthouse thru the fog in this shot. I'm soooo glad we have a dog that makes us go for walks! I would have stayed at the computer all morning, but Odie puts his nose on my knee and looks up with that "You know what I need to do?!?" look. And what a beautiful morning it was!

We've heard from some of the other guests here that whales have been spotted recently! We might have to spend some more time watching. Or maybe we'll follow a friend's advice and visit a local pet store to buy some whale kibble to lure them in! :-)

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Will work for food! One of the attendees at our Wi-Fi seminar yesterday brought her laptop to the seminar and, afterward, Jim helped her with some specific issues on her computer. This morning we had a knock on our door. There she was with a blackberry cobbler for us. Blackberries are soooo good, and they're in season in Oregon right now. Thanx!! Today we gave another Wi-Fi seminar. Afterward, we helped Maria and Doug set up their computer for Wi-Fi for the first time. What a joy! So often we only see the computers that don't work. Theirs was a laptop that was a couple years old so we recommended they buy a 'B' adapter rather than the newest 'G' type. We plugged it in, clicked OK a couple times, and started browsing the Web! Yes! That's how it's supposed to work. Maria and Doug are part of the growing segment of RVers in the 35 - 45 age group. They both had good jobs in Rhode Island, but they knew they liked to travel. The way Maria tells it, they would go to RV shows regularly and, one day, they found an RV parked in their driveway! Then another day shortly thereafter, they found a 'For Sale' sign on their house. Next, they quit their jobs. That was 2 years ago and they plan to live full time in their motorhome 'as long as possible.' They make their living thru various jobs as they travel around. Sometimes working in an RV park in exchange for a site and some wages. Sometimes paying regular site fees and getting jobs in a nearby town. To people who say, "I wish I could do what you're doing" they say, "Well ... DO IT!" Obviously, part of our enjoyment of this lifestyle is meeting people like Doug and Maria. I previously mentioned Kat, who we met here. She's the one who does the beautiful landscaping. But I didn't have a photo of her. I believe Kat said she's been doing this for 8 years! The only thing she'd like to change is the being alone part. It would be so much more fun to have a 'workkamping partner' she says. Anyone interested? Drop us a line and we'll put you in touch.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Yum! I have just eaten the sweetest, most flavorful ear of corn in my life. I thought I'd eaten some good corn on the cob ... just this year in New Jersey. But, I've never treated my taste buds to corn like I had tonight. I might have to go back to the store and read the sign by the corn - I certainly assume it was some kind of Oregon corn. This was so special, I just had to tell you about it. Yum. I found this photo on the web ... you wouldn't want to see a photo of mine. I munched it dry before I realized that this was the most noteworthy item of my day!
What's that bright light? Could it be? Is that the sun? Why, yes, I believe it is. And the temperature is warming up too. It's been in the 50s - now the thermometer says 70! Maybe I can come out of my shell today.
Let's talk about the weather I'm writing this at 1:30 in the morning because I can't sleep! It's raining. I think I wrote in here before that I like the sound of the rain on the roof of the motorhome. It's gentle, rythmic pitter pat can lull me to sleep. But, this rain isn't falling on the roof. It's slamming into the side. It's storming. The wind is buffeting us and rocking the coach back and forth on its wheels. It's not rocking me to sleep. I'm afraid when we look out in the morning we'll see that we're in Oz! I thought we missed the hurricane by not being in Florida?!?! This one has gone on for 3 nights. It's windy. Weather.com says that the wind is gusting to 44 mph. I think it's more like 80! Y'know that photo of the windswept pine trees on the California Coast at Monterey? Here's what it's like on the Oregon coast! :-) One good thing. The Wi-Fi is working. Stormy weather can certainly affect radio signals like Wi-Fi, I'm a little surprised that it's working right now. Hey. It's quiet. I'm going to try to go back to bed. I hope this isn't just the eye to a hurricane.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Greetings from Rainy Oregon We're back on the coast. The only picture you're going to get is taken thru the window ... cuz I'm not going outside in this! We're actually very happy to see the rain, as I'm sure all Oregonians are, because the fires were raging a couple days ago. Oregon is supposed to have a lot of rain. When it gets dry, it burns! I remember the first time I came to Oregon - 1978. I was living in California and we were very accustomed to brown ... errr ... I mean *golden* ... hills during the summer. I swear that, just as I crossed the state line it turned green. Like Dorothy when she entered the brilliantly colored Land of Oz after the gray Kansas. I thought Oregon was wonderful because it was so green. Then, I learned why it was so green. It rained for the next 10 days! The drive here from Redmond was so pretty. First the Cascade mountains. In case you've never been here, the Cascades aren't like other mountain ranges. Each individual mountain is so pronounced, not like the elevated mass that is the Rockies. This is a volcanic range. It is so very obvious! Here's Mt. Jefferson (I think) just to the north travelling west from Redmond. Looking south from the same road, here's the 3 Sisters. This is the area where our friends Lynne and John used to live before they became full-time RVers. I can see why they liked it. Apparently, they're not the only ones! We hear that the Redmond area has the highest property taxes in the state - perhaps the country. Ahhhh, but there's no sales tax! Although the vistas are spectacular, I think the scenery of the lush forest is just as beautiful. Thanx to the rain, most of the dirt and dust has been rinsed off the outside of the motorhome. Now it's time to spend a day cleaning the inside after that week parked in a gravel parking lot in a dust storm! By the way, I hope you take a look at Tioga and George's blog today because he's at Crater Lake and he posted a spectacular photo. Crater Lake is where one of the volcanic mountains in the Cascades let it's caldera get filled up with water. It's quite unique. And, it doesn't look like our travels are going to take us by there this time around.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

A Lazy Day Most people left the FMCA convention area yesterday. We thought we would too, but we just got lazy. By 4pm we were still here working/playing on our computers. Any campgrounds nearby would be full and overflowing. So we stayed. Coach Connect had taken us to dinner on Thursday night to a restaurant that was SO good, we went back again on Friday. Just the miso salad dressing at the Mustard Seed Cafe is worth the visit! And the Eola Hills Red Zinfandel wine was wonderful. Hey! I didn't post any photos from when Jim and I presented the Wi-Fi seminar did I? We just love doing this stuff. The more questions, the better! After this seminar, we had a mad rush at the Coach Connect free Wi-Fi hotspot. People who learned about it at the seminar wanted to be sure to try it before the convention ended. It was quite an experience this week to help a few hundred people use Wi-Fi, many for the first time. I'm working on writing up our thoughts on the week. I'll post a link to that when I get it done. (later: ok, here it is) So, it's Saturday morning now and we'll be heading back to the coast. The folks at Pacific Shores were too busy last week for us to do our staff training, so we'll be staying there a couple days. Then, it's south down the Oregon coast.