Thursday, November 30, 2006

How many email addresses do you have?

I counted mine and came up with 8. How did this happen? I like simplicity. Having 8 addresses is not simple. Well, when Jim and I got married in 1998 we wanted a website, so we got We set up two email addresses at that domain: jim and chris. Then, when we set up our corporation: Guld Systems, Inc., we grabbed and made two new email addresses there. Then, we did work for a couple other companies and we both got email addresses at their domain. I set up a gmail account in order to use Google services, a Yahoo account for their services and a Microsoft passport account email. And now, we've come up with a new name for our current business ... Geeks on Tour. You guessed it,! I'm chris at Should I get rid of any of the others? Chris at is getting over 100 junkmails every day. They all go to my junkmail folder - so it's manageable. I like being chris at It's been part of my identity for 10 years and it's still my identity. Plenty of clients know me as chris at - that's what is displayed on the opening page of programs I wrote for them. How about I just swear to not make any more?

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Does your dog do this?

When Jim and I get up in the morning we go straight to our computers. There comes a time when Odie insists that it's time to go for a walk. He'll stare at the door for as long as it takes to get us to open it!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Movie Night

Since the weather has turned warmer, we figured it was time for Movie Night. Greg and Marilyn have the DVD for the movie RV, and Jim said he'd set up our equipment outside. Add some more people, a couple bowls of popcorn and some citronella candles and we're all set!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Google Earth Seminar

Jim presented his Google Earth Seminar here at the park the other day. Here's just a little sample of what he showed: Fly to Peace River, our winter home, using Google Earth. If you don't see a spinning globe below - click here.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Potluck Thanksgiving

That's how RV parks do Thanksgiving. The park cooks some turkeys and all the RVers bring side dishes. We had about 150 people there, overflowing the meeting hall onto the grass outside. Luckily the cold weather had turned a little warmer and it was beautiful. I love potluck. You get the best food that way. Jim's and my wedding party was potluck! It's my favorite way to eat - a little of this and a little of that. Then Jim watched some football on the TV in the rec hall for the afternoon. Dolphins have now won 4 in a row! And I enjoyed the sunshine and sat outside to read a book. Plenty to be thankful for!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Meet Greg and Marilyn

While we're staying here at one place for a while, I thought I'd introduce you to some of the neighbors! We met Greg and Marilyn at our WiFi seminar and that same night they invited us over for 'pot-stickers' (they were really yummy). Here they are trying to enjoy 'camping' even tho it's *cold* outside. Greg and Marilyn are brand new 'full-timers'. I asked if they'd ever RV'd before and they said, "no". The first night they ever spent in an RV was in their own, brand-new, 43 ft, 4 slide Dutch Star motorhome. Wow! That's a major leap-of-faith I said. Their response? "Yeah, well, we like adventure." That's for sure. They had a successful business in Maine for many years when they were in their 40s. Each year they'd vacation in the winter by going scuba diving in Central America - Honduras and Roatan to be exact. After their last vacation, back in Maine, they found themselves dreaming about Honduras so much that they pulled up stakes and moved there. They sold their business and home in Maine, built a new home in Honduras and semi-retired. After 5 years and a couple devastating hurricanes they decided it was time to head back stateside. Where did they settle? Cape Coral Florida. In an attempt to recreate their jungle habitat from Honduras, they learned a lot about landscaping and developed a whole new career. Then they managed their property and several others thru 5 more hurricanes! No wonder they're ready for another adventure! Greg really wanted a Catamaran, but Marilyn convinced him to stay on dry land. They're still waiting for their house to sell, but all systems are go for traveling the country for at least a couple years, hopefully including Alaska. I hope to get them set up with a blog in the next few days, so you can follow their travels too. Later ... Ok, you can follow Greg and Marilyn at

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Morning Walk

Here's the view as soon as we walk out our door. Then, just take a left and we're on the nature trail. And, you can even sit and meditate if you wish, overlooking the Peace River. That is, as long as you don't mind the feeling that someone is looking over your shoulder.

Picasa Web Albums

From 1st Peace Riv...

We gave our first Picasa seminar here at Peace River yesterday, and, as part of the class we uploaded photos taken during class to a Picasa Web Album. The photo above is part of that album. You can click the link after the word 'From' to go to the album.

When you're viewing a picture in the album there is a link at the right to 'Embed in Blog/MySpace'. I clicked on that and it gave me the html code for the photo above. This is an interesting option for hosting photos for a blog. It still has them hosted at Google's free servers, but at least it's at a url that is mine ( rather than the that you get when you let blogger upload for you.

Yikes! There's just TOO many choices, with more available every day. I think I'll go for a walk.

Friday, November 17, 2006

"Beginning of a Beautiful Friendship"

As Rick says to Louis in Casablanca, "I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship." That's how we're feeling here at Peace River. We attended our first staff meeting this morning. Jim's been 'working' 3 hrs/day for the last few days, helping people use the WiFi in the Adult Lodge. We gave our first seminar today with about 15 attendees. Pretty good for one day's notice. Debbie, the manager, came in and took a picture. I gave her my camera and she asked everyone to turn around and smile. One of the few photos where you see both Jim and me giving the seminar, because, usually I'm taking the photo. Thanx Debbie. This was our WiFi seminar which we offer for free. But, all the rest of our seminars, we're charging $15/person. We'll be giving 2 seminars a week all season long. Picasa, Blogs, Safe Computing, Google Earth, Email on the Road etc. We feel so at home here. I'm sure it's going to be a great season - I'll have the schedule posted soon. Our neighbors asked us over for happy hour this evening and there was one other couple as well. There was lots of great conversation and laughter. The other couple asked, "So, how long have you known Greg and Marilyn here?" ... Since they pulled in yesterday! Here's the flyer that's posted around the park about Jim's job.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Blogger Beta

Blogger is undergoing major changes right now. I've been using Blogger to publish this blog for over 3 years. There have been some minor changes and improvements over that time, but this one is big. They are totally changing the way the back end servers do the publishing. It's called 'dynamic'. I understand the concept because that is what I do with databases and Coldfusion on the web. It is generally a very good thing. It will mean much faster and more dependable publishing. HOWEVER - there is one major hurdle that I don't like. In order to use the new dynamic publishing that is being done by their backend servers, you must use their front end servers ( to host your blog - it makes sense - they can only dynamically control servers that are under their control. My blog is currently hosted on, space that I pay for, it's mine. If I start posting on the then everything 'lives' on blogger's servers. I don't like that. Actually, I could live with the blog entries themselves living on blogspot, but not the uploaded pictures. What I want is to be able to publish my blog on blogspot using their new dynamic publishing, but have the 'upload photo' button allow me to upload to my own host. If you didn't understand a word of that ... and you want to :-) ... read on. You see, the pictures don't actually live in the blog post itself, they can live anywhere on the web and the code in the blog simply refers to them. Let me give you an example. I'll show you two pictures and tell you where they 'live' on the web. The picture of the boy and the horse 'lives' at (a website I created). It has absolutely nothing to do with and nothing to do with blogger. I simply happen to know the complete address of it's location and I can enter the html code to display it here on my blog page. (not something you normally want to do, by the way, copyrights apply - don't sue me ok?) The picture of the little girl with the stuffed alligator 'lives' on A website of RVing friends of ours. It happens to be a picture of me :-). You can read about it here if you want. So, what's all this mean? Well, as long as those pictures continue to 'live' at the addresses I am referring to, you'll see them show up here. If Horses for the Spirit should ever move, or if should ever go away, the pictures will no longer exist and you'll see those annoying little red x's instead. When Blogger publishes your blog to their servers, they upload your photos to their servers as well. That scares me. Who knows when they might have to replace a server and relocate files? When it's all for free, I just can't trust them to maintain the proper addresses so my picture references work for years to come. If you've been following Tioga and George recently, you've already heard about this. He switched to Blogger Beta recently, and he's lost all his pictures from 2003. I actually don't think it has anything to do with Blogger beta - I think it's coincidence that the free servers that hosted his 2003 photos just bit the dust. For 2004-2006, he's hosted his blog and photos on his own website. Now he says he's going to publish *both* ways. I'm not sure how he'll do that, but it sounds interesting. Blogger beta will still work to publish via ftp - but then, you're not getting the advantages of their new 'dynamic' publishing. I'm going to wait to the last minute to switch to Blogger Beta. Meanwhile, I keep watching. Here are some good places to keep on top of what's going on: Blogger Help Official help from Blogger/Google Blogger Buzz Official Blog about Blogger by Google employees Blogger Support Users Forum Official User forum Report a problem BloggerTalk 3d party blog about blogging, with a user forum Beta Blogger for dummies 3d party blog about Blogger Beta Testing Blogger Beta 3d party blog And, I'm sure there's lots more, but that's enough for now. More than you probably ever wanted to know!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

How can you be in two places at once?

sound When you're not anywhere at all? It's actually so very, very easy with the Internet. But, first I must tell you where that sound clip above comes from. Firesign Theatre is a radio/sound effects/comedy/story telling group that provided me with almost as many wasted hours of entertainment during college as the Internet does now. They were almost a cult in the early 70s. When Jim and I first met (in the early 90s) there was one conversation where I said something like 'Oh, how can you be in two places at once ..." I knew I was quoting Firesign Theatre, but I didn't think anyone else would. Jim came right back with, " ... when you're not anywhere at all." Ah yes, love at first quote. So, anyway, back to computers. The last few days we were in Fort Lauderdale. We left the motorhome in Zolfo Springs. That means that all my computer equipment was in Zolfo Springs (I have a desktop) when I was in Fort Lauderdale. We were going to be staying at my Mom's and she has a nice computer and a fast connection, so it's not like I'd have withdrawals or anything - I can check my email via webmail. The only problem would be if one of my Website customers needed a change on their website. All my web development tools are on my desktop. I would only be gone a few days - but I know there are times when they need a change made, and they need it NOW! So, just in case, we left my computer on, we left the satellite dish up on locked on signal, and we left the remote control software running. Sure enough, I got a call Monday morning with a request to put a message onto a customer's website ASAP! I told them it may be a couple days - they were disappointed but understanding. Then, crossing my fingers, I got online on my Mom's computer and browsed over to Log Me In, the remote control system that I am currently using. I entered my username and password and, voila! I saw a screen with a link to my desktop computer in the motorhome in Zolfo Springs. I clicked on it, entered another username and password and I was in business. It was as if I was sitting at my computer in the motorhome in Zolfo Springs. I brought up Dreamweaver, opened the client's web page, added the message, and clicked 'upload'. Think about it, I was using the Internet to bring my computer screen to me. Then, using my computer (250 miles away), I used the Internet to upload files to a webserver somewhere else on the Internet. 2 places?! Hey! I can be 3 or 4 places at once! If this sounds like "Remote Assistance" or "GoToMyPC" or "PCAnywhere" that you've used before, you're right. I've used all those too - and love them - especially GoToMyPC. But, I use it so seldom on my computer, I'm not willing to pay any kind of monthly fee, no matter how cheap. offers a free version for just that purpose. I never cease to be amazed at what the Internet makes possible these days. Duluth?! Bucko, you can get Tierra del Fuego on this baby!2places.wav

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Kayuba Sunday

Pure coincidence, the same Sunday that we planned for Devon's birthday celebration, our dive club Kayuba planned a dive and picnic at John Llloyd State Park. Cool. We'll go picnic, but we probably won't dive. The weather has been very poor and we're just driving in the night before ... etc ... etc. Well, the weather report for Sunday was perfect. How could we pass up the opportunity to go kayak diving? Hey Dick - do you have a couple full tanks we can borrow? The weather report was true. Here's the beach. The amazing part is that there actually *was* a beach. The last time we were there, the ocean began just past the sea grapes. Now it stretches almost 100 yards! There's been some major beach renourishment going on here. Erosion is still at work on the new beach though. Now, here's something you don't see every day. People snow-skiing on sand. This beach is just east of Port Everglades as well as Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood International airport. Pretty dramatic sight. Let's go diving! If you don't know what I mean by kayak diving - this post is the best place to start. Make sure to click on the videos. We got 4 lobsters on Sunday. And Jim's going out again today. I have an appointment with an old client here in town to do some database work. Then, we'll head back to Peace River tonight.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Happy Birthday Devon

A great thing about living at Peace River is that we're only 3.5 hours away from Ft. Lauderdale, so we can come over for family events like Devon's birthday. My Mom's away, traveling in Namibia, so we're staying at her house and left the motorhome at 'home'. We all gathered at Jim Sr.'s house to wish Devon a happy 23d. Unfortunately, he had a really bad cold. You could tell he felt pretty miserable. Add to that the fact that he brought all of his sweet family, and you get the picture that he didn't get a whole lot of attention. This is Lacie, her daughter Aiva, Jo Ellen (Devon's mom) and Devon's new baby - August James (AJ). Teaching computers to a 3 year old is easy! The similarities between baby and great-grandfather are unmistakable! Oh yeah ... Happy Birthday Devon! Hope you feel better.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Veterans Day

We had a short ceremony to commemorate Veterans Day. At 11 am on 11/11 the park manager, Debbie, asked everyone who was interested to gather at the flagpole. We sang the national anthem and recited the pledge of allegiance. I like ceremonies. We have too few in American society. Not being religious, we don't get the every Sunday ceremonies of church. So this was cool. Debbie read some Veteran's Day information to the group. At one point, she had all the veterans come together and face the rest of us so we could applaud them. A pretty impressive group. And then we went inside the 'meetin' hall' and Jim read a paper on The Unknown Soldier. We're glad to be part of this. Thanx Debbie. Watch the Photostory 3 Movie that Jim put together of this Veteran's Day.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Foggy Morning

Here's the view we woke up to this morning. This is really one of the very nicest parks we've stayed in over our 3 years. And ... we get to be here for the whole season! Cool. Hopefully there will be some rain sometime because, right now, the river is too low to paddle.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

aaaaaahhhhhh - Settled for the Season

We're doing something different this winter. We're in Florida and we're gonna stay thru March. We're 'working' at Thousand Trails Peace River Reserve. We stayed here in August and really liked it. We traveled 11,500 miles this year (not counting air and ocean travel to Fiji), and loved every minute. Yet it also feels really good to know that we're sitting still for a while. In traveling around this country we've learned a bit about weather. We've learned that a lot of places actually get hotter than Florida in the summer time and EVERY place gets colder that South Florida in the winter time! So we're 'doing' Florida this winter. But not where we normally stay in Florida. We're at a campground in the middle of the state - Zolfo Springs. I put 'work' in quotes above because it actually sounds a lot more like fun. It's often called 'workkamping'. Here at Thousand Trails, they call it Member Worker Program. Basically you put in some time to cover the cost of your site. Sometimes you clean the bathrooms, sometimes you work in a kitchen, sometimes you work in the office. They've assigned Jim to put in his hours at the adult recreation center helping other guests with their computers and the WiFi! Is that what you call the briar patch? And, we'll be offering our seminars here, on a regular basis, all winter. Cool! So - here's home for a while ... We're gonna like this.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


We try to keep politics out of our own blog. Today is election day. We already voted using absentee ballots. Many of us RVers do that. I believe in Freedom. Freedom is what makes this country great. I see our freedoms being eroded. We should not give up the freedoms guaranteed in our great Constitution to make us "feel safer." I Support Our Troops. Military leaders are saying this administration is not doing that effectively. America deserves better leadership than what we have now. That is my opinion based on serious reflection and diligent research. Terrorists cannot "defeat" America. No power on this planet can.

Florida Bicycle Trails

We woke up to a gorgeous morning at my Dad's in Dunnellon. 75 degrees, clear sky, bright sun, cool breeze. We looked at each other and said, "Let's go for a bike ride." Dad and Candy joined us. But Dad cheated and rode his cute little scooter. Just riding around their neighborhood is beautiful. Every home is different and there are lots of views of Lake Rousseau. According to the scooter's odometer, we rode for 7 miles. When we got home, we called our friends Diane and Andy. They're RVing in Florida right now and they do a lot of bicycling. We wanted to report our ride hoping they would be proud of us! They said, "Oh, did you go on the Rails To Trails that starts right there in Dunnellon?" Uh, no. What Rails to Trails? So, we looked it up, and sure enough ... the longest paved bicycle trail in Florida starts right here in Dunnellon. And, guess what? There are a couple geocaches right on the first section of the trail. So, Jim loaded the bikes back on the car and we drove about 5 miles to the trailhead. Actually, this trail is not a 'Rails to Trails'. It's part of Florida's Office of Greenways and Trails. How cool! What a joy to have a paved trail with no cars! And the geocaches gave us an excuse to stop. Unfortunately we didn't find them. :-( This second cache was called 'Slugger'. I think we were in the right general spot. Don't you? But we didn't find this one either. Oh well, it will give us a reason to go back again sometime. Maybe after Jim gets himself a new GPS huh? We biked 7 miles in the morning and 11 in the afternoon! Pretty good for a couple of computer potatoes. Florida is a great place to bike ... it's flat!