Friday, February 29, 2008

Herman's Hermits

There's a lot of fun stuff to do at these rallies. We're usually too busy to take advantage of much of it, but we always try to attend at least one evening entertainment. This year it was Peter Noone and Herman's Hermits. I LOVE them! And, I think he's cuter than ever :-) The best entertainment are those that are also having fun themselves ... or at least look like they're having fun. And Peter Noone sure did. Guess what?! He even keeps a blog! Check out the Peter Noone website. So, Jim took some video of the event and I edited it. Here is the Youtube version: If you have any problems viewing it on Youtube, you can try Herman' Hermits on our Picasa Web Album.
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Geeks on Tour Newsletter: Subscriber #1,000!!

I've been waiting to hit 1,000 subscribers for our newsletter. I think that is an important milestone for our business development. Not that we make any money from the newsletter ... it is free and will always remain free ... but it represents the number of people who know about us and value our information. I think building your reputation is an important prerequisite to making money. Anyway, we did hit one thousand this week, and, as luck would have it the 1,000th subscriber happened to be here at the rally and he attended our Google Earth seminar. So we had to bring him up on stage and commemorate the event by presenting him a gift and taking a picture. Thanks Don! We hope you enjoy the newsletter. And, we had a packed house for the Google Earth seminar too! We just love having an audience! The bigger the better. And, aren't they a good-looking bunch too?!
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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Another day at the Rally

The people who do the morning exercise have been at all the same FMCA rallies that we have. We like them so much that we're willing to get up for a 7am class! To find out more see their website. Our first seminar was a repeat of yesterday's Internet on the Road with Jim teaching. Then came my turn: The weather here has been truly California Awesome! 50s at night, 70s during the day. Brilliant blue skies with those majestic snow-capped mountains as a backdrop. We moved to a slightly less conspicuous (and quieter) spot. Still very close to all th action. Still with electricity. We came home once during the afternoon to find a honey-wagon dumping our holding tanks. We told them that we hadn't ordered that, fearing an unwanted charge, or that someone who did order it wasn't getting it. His first reply was, "Well, I can't put it back now!" He told us that their instructions were to dump everyone in our section - about 5 coaches. Wow, now *that's* special treatment! We found a little park on a hill nearby to walk Odie. Here's the view looking out over some of the RV parking area.
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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Rally Seminars and Blogs

We gave our 'High Speed Internet on the Road' seminar yesterday to a crowd of about 400 people here at the FMCA rally. Here's Jim showing how we can 'tether' our cell phone to the computer and get High Speed (EVDO Rev 0) Internet access. We have a total of 7 seminars to present during these 4 days. That's a record for us. Here's the lineup, 7 and 13 are the rooms we're in: Mon 10:45-12 High Speed Internet (7) Tue 9:45-11 High Speed Internet (13) Tue 11:30-12:45 RVers Need a Blog (13) Wed 11:30-12:45 Safe Computing (13) Wed 1:30-2:45 Photos w/Picasa (13) Thu 9:45-11 Google Earth (13) Thu 11:30-12:45 PhotoStory 3 slideshows (13) In our in-box this morning came the best motivation for giving our Blogging seminar today:
Thank you for your excellent blog seminar at the Gypsy Rally. You made everything so clear. Using your instruction, we have started our own blog, replacing the periodic e-mails which we have been sending to family and friends for several years. We are so proud of our effort that we wanted you to see it. Thank you again for enabling it. Keith & Kathy at: ; Keith Sheffler
Thank YOU Keith! And ... great blog!
We call our seminar, "Every RVer Needs a Blog" and we're working on making that a reality.
I also tell people that I would keep this blog even if nobody else looked at it. It is such a joy for ME! If you tell your stories by sending email to all of your friends, there is no way for you to browse thru the total story. I just love going back to the blog from a prior time and reviewing all the cools stuff we've seen and done. And, what a memory aid! Uhhhh ... what was the name of the park we stayed at that had a replica of Stonehenge? All I have to do is go to my blog, type 'stonehenge' in the search box and I find the posts about those days. Ah yes, Peach Beach - that was the place.
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Monday, February 25, 2008

Our Parking Spot

We've been giving our seminars at this particular rally long enough to get special treatment! The attendees parking lots are spread out over a couple square miles, yet we got parked right at the heart of the place! It never occurred to me that we would get signage here. Nice huh? And, the food stands are right behind us. mmmmmm, barbecued tri-tip and loaded baked potatoes.
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Travel Day

When we left Quartzsite, we knew we would be parked at the Pomona Fairgrounds for 5 days with no hookups other than electricity. We wanted to get our holding tanks dumped, and our water tank full as well as our propane tank. We found the 'RV Pit Stop' that could handle it all! We headed west on I-10, a road we've covered many times before. I didn't think I would take any photos, but these scenes are just to awesome. You see some interesting rigs on the road too. After getting a look at the old guy driving this rig, I have no doubts that he used to live in that VW bus he's towing! I've photographed these windmills many times before, but I still couldn't resist.
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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Quartzsite en route to Pomona

It's 400 miles from Casa Grande to Pomona. That's too far for us for one day! And, guess what is exactly halfway? Quartzsite! So, we got to spend a day with our Quartzsite family. We always feel at home here. The last time our rigs were together was a year ago in Tampa, Florida. We were both in Florida for the winter last year. Now, they're headed to the Seattle area and we're headed back to Florida. Lynne calls this being 'bi-coastal!' It's always a treat to get together. And, it was such a bright sunny day, I had to soak up a little of it. Trying to get rid of this cold. Yes, *another* cold! I don't think we've ever been this sick over a season. Then, I stayed home while the rest went to a weiner-roast at the local airstrip. There are lots of people who fly ultra lights. Check out Lynne's blog to see when she took a flight herself .
Jim caught a pretty nice shot of Saguaro Sunset. Ok, it's time to 'stow and go.' We're headed to Pomona for the FMCA International Convention. We're scheduled to do 7 of our seminars there! Thanks for sharing your home with us Dick and Frankie!
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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Lights Out

The power went out this morning. It was out throughout the entire park, maybe even some of the city. We were sitting at our computers, as usual, when our UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) started beeping at us about the lack of power. Jim went outside and determined that it wasn't just us, nobody had power.

If you've ever been in a power outage situation you know how astonishingly dependent we are on electricity. The advantage of an RV is that it's built to be self-sufficient. We just pushed the button to start up the generator, and we had power again. Yeah.

But the Wi-Fi was out - the Access Point equipment had lost power too. No problem, we have our own Internet with our satellite dish. I love our home! We felt pretty smug. :-)

Then the power came back on.

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Monday, February 18, 2008

Geeks in the Desert

Don Bradner, creator of, is our favorite 'uber-geek'. We're always excited to see him. He showed up at the Gypsy Journal rally last week. His rig is easy to spot. Parked next to friend John Watson, their rigs looked like a satellite farm! Don and his wife, Joy are also avid Geocachers. On Saturday, we joined them for a little exploration right here in Casa Grande. Our friend, Dick from here at Palm Creek joined us with his dog, Sky. It was a gorgeous day. We started out on a 4-wheel road, then hiking on the road, then scrambling over the rocks and thru the desert. Holly - the geo-dog! Dick surveying his domain! Don on the trail of a fresh geocache. Joy and Holly. Odie sniffs out the cache! As always, more photos are on our web album.
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Friday, February 15, 2008

Western Gypsy Gathering Rally

It's over now and most everyone has traveled on. We had great weather ... until today. It rained half the night, making for a muddy mess today. There were lots of seminars at the rally, but we never get to see many other than our own! I made a point to attend the "How To Write Travel & Life Stories" seminar by Alice Zyetz. She actually made us take5 minutes and write something. The instructions were to start with the words "I remember ..." What came out of my pen was "I remember falling in love ..." This little composition turned into my Valentine's day present for Jim. I really enjoyed the seminar.
Lynne and John drove down from Quarzsite to visit us for the day on Wednesday. We put her right to work in our booth! They spent the night, what fun, a slumber party! As always, we thoroughly enjoyed giving our seminars. Here's Jim presenting 'High Speed Internet on the Road.' Joline also came to visit, driving up for the day from Tucson. She got to meet all sorts of other people who stopped at our rig during the rally. (Joline is at the left) I love showing people our home. Many of them don't believe we both live fulltime in a 30 foot Class C with no slides. And, this week was extra amazing. Not only did we live in it, and have our normal offices, but people came by and dropped off computers for Jim to work on, we had guests in our 'spare bedroom', and I did some private lessons with a couple people who brought their computers over and we sat around the dinette. whew! We left a little time for fun too! Here I am in the limbo contest: Here's the winner: Yep, we had a great time! THANKS Nick and Terry! I hope we can work it out to be at your September rally in Ohio.
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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

I don't post anywhere near as much as Chris. Lucky you.

Happy Valentine's Day, Chris.

I love you. You are a wonderful partner.

For all of our friends and family, thank you for being part of our jouney.


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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Wi-Fi and metal buildings

We're here at the Gypsy Journal Gathering and we gave our 'Every RVer Needs a Blog' seminar yesterday. It was so nice to see about 100 folks attend the seminar out of interest in making a blog of their own! Most of the people at this rally are full-time RVers and they understand the power of Blogs for keeping in touch with friends and family. We knew that getting an Internet connection here at the rally would be a problem - there is no 'Fairgrounds Wi-Fi' for us to connect to when we're in the building for our seminar. We have our satellite dish at our rig, of course, but we scoped out the seminar areas beforehand and knew there was no signal there. We made sure to keep our Verizon Broadband Access feature active on our phones so we could use that way to connect for the seminar. BUT - the seminar room is inside a Quonset hut building - made completely of metal. Even though our phones get 3-4 bars right outside the door ... there's NO signal inside. They may have fun ,wooden looking facades, but these buildings are all metal. Not real good for radio signals. Plan B: we see a motorhome parked right outside the seminar building with a Datastorm Internet Satellite dish and we see a wireless network called 'DonsToy'. So, we're off to find Don and see if he'll let us 'piggyback' on his Internet connection for the seminar. "Sure! No Problem" he says. But, actually there was a problem. Just as the cell phone had no signal, the same held true with the Wi-Fi. We had 5 bars outside the door ... none inside. "Network Geek" to the rescue! Jim mounted an antenna on the outside wall and connected it to bridge and router inside - so we had our own Wi-Fi hotspot inside the building. How did he mount the antenna? A magnet!
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Monday, February 11, 2008

Road Trip to the Gypsy Journal Rally

We sure do love to roll those tires ... even if it is only 10 miles! Just down the road right here in Casa Grande is the Gypsy Journal rally. We are here to give our seminars to this interesting group. It is quite an eclectic group who follow the Gypsy Journal. There are big interesting rigs: and little, interesting rigs: Right now, there are about 185 rigs here. Quite a good turnout! With more arriving today. and, there's space for plenty more. It may be just a large dirt field, but there are permanent hookups for each space. 15 amp electric and water for everyone. Really a nice rally setup. Here we are meeting up with our 'old friend' - who we've never met in person - 'Froggi' Donna. She has a blog, we have a blog, and we talk on different RVing forums, so it feels like we're old friends! And, here's Donna's home ... her Lilly Pad! She travels alone and is very involved in the Escapee's 'solo' group. Here's our home: And, here's the guy responsible for it all - Nick Russell of the Gypsy Journal. His blog is one of my favorites. I think this is going to be a fun week! If you're in the area, you can come visit on a day pass for $5. Come on down. Here's a map.
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Saturday, February 09, 2008

A Real Hike

We did it! We took an entire day off and went on a hike with the Palm Creek hiking club. First we drove down to Tucson, then over to a park called Sabino Canyon. By the way ... Odie is feeling much better. He's eating and drinking normally and he's back to his perky self. But, he's not allowed on this hike, so we left him home. The mountains here get up to 10,000 feet! And, they've had a lot of snow so there is water in the streams. That was good news and bad news. Water means full waterfalls, which was the intended destination of the hike, but uncrossable streams to get there! So, we took an alternate hike that went up a little ways. Spectacular views! And, the Saguaro are just *so* unique, I just can't resist taking their picture! and another More photos will be posted on Palm Creek's Picasa Web Album. It felt so good to be outside and getting some exercise. Then, we ended the day with a soak in the hot tub. ahhhh - it's a tough job, but somebody has todo it!
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