Saturday, March 31, 2007

Last class, Last visitors

The season is coming to an end. We had our last seminar here at Peace River on Friday. It was fun to have a small group we could 'chat' with after our seminars with 600+ folks at the FMCA! And, Jim had his last 'help-desk' session in the clubhouse. Here is Benita, who was just thrilled to have the one-on-one help. She also took our 'Blog' seminar and learned how to make a blog. This will probably be our last weekend here and we're hosting our last group of friends. Glenn, who has been threatening to visit all winter long finally made it. Perfect timing! Because Diane and Andy are also visiting this weekend to get their Datastorm installed. And Glenn, Diane, and Andy are all our friends from the Kayuba dive club. Diane and Glenn and I have the same kind of camera, just slightly different models and attachments. So we spent some time on our beautiful nature trail here, taking photos and comparing notes. When they get around to posting their photos, you'll see Diane's on their blog, and you'll see Glenn's on his Picasa Web Album. When we leave here, we'll visit family in Fort Lauderdale for a couple weeks, then start heading west. There is nothing on our schedule right now until the next FMCA convention in Redmond, Oregon in August. We're searching out rallies and RV parks along our route to give more seminars. If you're planning a rally or staying at a park who might like to host us - send an email to

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Back in Peace River

We are back 'home' again now. In the Peace River Thousand Trails park for a couple weeks. It is much more peaceful now. Instead of being full with about 400 rigs like it was 2 weeks ago, my guess is that there are about 200 rigs here now. Yet, the weather is perfect. I think this is the best time to be here. It's in the high 50s at night and 80 during the day. We parked in a different site, closer to the clubhouse, pool and pickleball courts. We even tried our hand at pickleball yesterday. It's fun. Diane and Andy are going to be visiting this weekend and Jim will install a Datastorm Internet Satellite dish on their motorhome. I think we're going to make them into our poster children for Internet access on the road. They've used just about every method over the last 3 years and finally realized they needed a dish. We've been telling them that since the beginning!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Play Time - Paddle to Caladesi Island

We worked hard for 4 whole days! It's time for a vacation don't you think? Thursday was the last day of the FMCA convention. Friday was a travel day. We drove 365 miles to the Tampa/St. Pete area to visit with Lynne and Johne. Then we played all weekend. There's lots of waterplay available in the Tampa Bay area. We decided to paddle to a small island called Caladesi. You can't get there by car. Here it is on Google Earth:

What a great day. Notice the motorhome on the beach. Pretty nice day camp eh? Hey George, are you watching? Kayaking to Caladesi Island

Paddling to Caladesi Island

For those of you who wonder how I dare take my precious camera out on the water. Here's a photo of the case I keep it in when I paddle. Jimmy gave me this Pelican case as a gift. They are really THE best way to keep equipment safe and dry. Thanx Jimmy!

Pelican case to keep camera dry

Finding a Geocache.
From Blogstuff 2007
The girls play in the Gulf of Mexico.
From Blogstuff 2007
The boys find a shady spot.
From Blogstuff 2007
We find a canoe trail thru the mangroves.
From Blogstuff 2007

Saturday, March 24, 2007

FMCA Rally - Last Day

I did it! I made it to the exercise class at 7am. I know - I need to post photos to prove it. So, here they are: These folks from PFIT have been at every FMCA convention I can remember and they're great. I feel so good after following their exercises. You can tell they're professionals and they really like what they do. Besides, they're a husband/wife team too ... we relate! I also wrote about them at the last convention. We had two more seminars. In the past, attendance has been low (40-100) on the last day. People are starting to leave, or they're deciding what coach to buy, etc. But this year, we had at least 400 attendees in both the Picasa seminar and the Google Earth. I asked how many of them had attended one of our other seminars and most of them raised their hands. Can I call that a following? It sure was cool! I wonder if they would sit in the front row if they knew I would take their picture in the Picasa class?! We stole a few minutes on the last day to see the exhibit hall. Jim really liked this little grill attached to a slide out drawer. How handy! Then, that night, we attended the Oak Ridge Boys concert - Jim already posted about that. I just want to add a thank you to our sponsor, Beaudry RV. Because of them we had really good seats! So - the party's over. Here's a screenshot of the Google Earth map with the Datastorm Users listed. This shows 31 satellite dishes, but, we saw lots more. The fields are returning to their empty state. Check out the line of RVs below. No, they're not parked. They're waiting in line for the dump station. See all the photos of the convention on Jim's picasa web album. Next FMCA convention ... Redmond, Oregon. Rally Day 3 (part 2) <-- a=""> --> Rally Finale, Oak Ridge Boys

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Oak Ridge Boys

The entertainment tonight was a group from the late 70's and 80's. They were in Branson, Mo. last night and will be somewhere in Tennessee tomorrow night. These guys were playing to the right audience. The Reaves Theater was filled with an enthusiastic crowd of RVers attending the FMCA Convention. The harmonies were wonderful to hear. The Mighty Oaks Band was excellent. The Oak Ridge Boys have been together 30 years. It would not surprise me to see them go another 30. Posted by Picasa

A Beautiful Day in Perry, Georgia

We had a great day yesterday. Lots of compliments from people attending the seminars, and people literally bowing down to us at the computer help desk after we fixed problems that had eluded many others. We just floated home on a high, ready to relax with our wine. But wait, just take a look at that sunset! We gotta go back and take some pictures. The weather had been just glorious this week in Perry. A convention planner's dream. Take a look: A Prevost sunset. Rally Day 3-part 1 <-- --> Rally Day 4

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

New Bloggers!

Yesterday's schedule had no seminars, so we worked at the computer help desk all day. Keeping our skills sharp - seeing so many different computers and issues. Today we had our 'Every RVer Needs a Blog' seminar. We had another good crowd. And, by the time we got home, two new Blogs had been created and added to our list on GeeksOnTour! Wow - it is so gratifying to teach people how to do something and then see successful results. Check them out: The Traveling Farrars Spilsbury Travels Jim and I love doing this. In each seminar one of us 'drives' the computer and the other stands up and presents. It works really well. We're a good team. And, I wanted to mention one woman's comment at the end of class. I particularly enjoyed it when she said, "I was about to ask my daughter to help me make a web page, now I'm going to make one and show her how!" Rally Day 2 <-- a=""> --> more of Rally Day 3

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Scenes from a Rally (FMCA)

Just a few hours earlier, this was an empty field. Dozens of volunteers are trained as 'parking assistants'. They do an amazing job to take a steady stream of RVs and get them parked systematically in these empty fields. They label every location with Lots and streets. We're in Lot VE. Jim tells me to white out the t and we'll be in LoVE. awwwww Plenty of grassy area to walk Odie. Lots of Datastorm dishes around. Jim counted 31 who were located on the Datastorm Users map. This is how they provide power.

And, here we are.

We had much fun at the reception last night. We met old friends from Palm Creek RV, and we made new friends with Duane from Passport America . We've used the Passport America discount camping with great success in all our RV travels. Now they're embarking on a new venture called I've just joined it and I'm real curious to see how it goes. It's a a FREE social networking, information and entertainment site created for campers and RVers. This morning we were hoping to go to the exercise class, like we have at rallies in the past. I could have sworn it's usually held at 8am - but it was 7 :-( No way we were going to make that. Unfortunately, the free donuts and coffee was open at 8 and on our walk. Oh well, so much for good intentions.

Off to work at the Computer Help Desk.

Rally Day 1 <-- -->Rally Day 3

Monday, March 19, 2007

Seminar Crowds

It's been a busy day here in Perry, Georgia. Two of Jim's seminars today, High-Speed Internet and Safe Computing. Check out this crowd! And, here's Mr. Geek himself (yes, that's defrag on the screen behind him. This is the Safe Computing seminar): Now we're off to an appreciation party. --> Rally Day 2