Monday, June 30, 2008

Tomorrow is THE DAY

I told you that I've been doing a lot of web programming during the last 2 weeks, now let me tell you more. The first week I was working on a client site. I was hoping to get it completed, but at least I got it to a point where he could see something and work with the interactive piece a bit. The second week was reserved for work on our own website - I had to get the membership part of it working before these upcoming 3 rallies (Safari Rally-Reunion, Country Coach Rally, FMCA Convention) We have a more than a dozen new Tutorial Videos ready to roll out:

  1. 10 videos on how to use Photo Story 3 to make slide shows complete with music, narration and motion
  2. Blogger videos on how to put a photo in your header and a link list in your sidebar
  3. Picasa videos on using Picasa Web Album photos in other websites

For over a year now, we've been planning to make it a membership site, meaning that there is a charge to view the tutorial videos. It's waited until now because 1) I wanted to have enough videos to make it worthwhile and 2)I had to do the programming to make it work. I've come up with a little song. Think of the tune from 'I've been working on the railroad...'

I've been working on the website All the live long day I've been working on the website Cuz we have to make it Pay! Can't you see the members joining Learning all they can Can't you see the members joining All across this land!

Become a member now Become a member now Become a member now and learn with us

Become a member now Become a member now Let us show you how

Ok, Ok, enough applause :-) ... let me continue ...

My definition of success has always been to find something you love doing so much that you happily do it for free, AND to do it so well that people happily pay you for the value they receive. Well, we've got the first part down pat! :-) We love teaching people to use their computers. It's time to get the second part in place before we run out of gas ... literally!

We've been presenting our seminars all over the country. Often we do it for free - sometimes we get paid small amounts. We came up with the idea of making our tutorial videos as a way to reach a larger audience ... like the whole world! People can buy them on CD, or watch them on our website if they have a good Internet connection. At the last couple of rallies we found that plenty of people were happy to buy the CDs! We have now purchased a disk duplicator so we can make even more.

We are hoping that they will feel the same way about paying to access the Videos online. We have a lot of information on our website as well as the videos. Only the videos will require a member login, everything else is completely free, including our e-newsletter and the newsletter archives. We will also have several free sample videos. The way it works is, when you click on a video that is reserved for Members Only, you will be presented with a login form. Once you fill in a valid username and password that video will play. After logging in once, you have complete access to all the videos.

We are also starting a Q&A forum. Only members can ask a question. We are beginning to get more email questions than we can properly handle. We will ask that you post questions in the forum rather than via email. In the forum, we *promise* to respond - and you may even find the answer there without having to ask.

So there you have it! The cost for a one year membership is only $39. And, if you join in initial 'launch' period of July and August, you can get the introductory price of $29! We will 'flip the switch' tomorrow - July 1. Check in to tomorrow to see a new look, more videos, the Q&A forum and the membership program.

Fireflies and floods

I am fascinated with fireflies! I've never seen so many as there are here in Hannibal, Missouri. Magic stardust in the forest!

We had about a 3 hour drive today - through more pastoral Missouri farmland.

Then we hit the rain. Our destination was the Mark Twain Caves campground in Hannibal Missouri. It's right by the Mississippi river, so we called ahead to be sure they weren't flooded. They told us everything was fine, so here we are. Good thing our turn is right here!

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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Lost Valley Lake

Have I told you how much I like this place? Lost Valley Lake is a big place. We've gone for our 2 mile walk every morning except one when it was raining. A nice walk, with a couple of hills to challenge our muscles even! And a place where Odie can cool off about halfway.

After a particularly satisfying accomplishment in my programming work, I could give myself a treat by going to the Spa that is just down the hill from our site. The programming wasn't without its frustrations. But, I have a way of dealing with that too! Jim accomplished some long-neglected tasks too, like tuning up our bicycles. We didn't ride them around here - too hilly - but we usually make good use of them at the bigger rallies and we have 3 coming up. The best thing about this place is the peace and quiet and open space. Jim mentioned the lack of wind as another calming factor. And, the lack of cell phone signal may also be considered peaceful :-) Sorry, if anyone tried to call us these last two weeks - but anyone who really knows us would use email anyway. Jim also checked out the kayaks and we went for a little paddle in the lake yesterday. This is where sweet, mild-mannered Odie puts on his magic cape and becomes ... Kayodie! Here's a panorama that should give you the idea of the pastoral life we've been leading these last couple weeks. We'll be leaving on Sunday. We'll stop at Mark Twain Caves - a park we visited during our first year on the road. It's right across a street from the Mississippi river, but we've checked and they say they are not flooded. Last time we were there, we toured the caves, this time, we hope to take advantage of a Mark Twain stage show. Then, on Monday we are due to be in Amana Colonies, Iowa for the start of the Safari Rally.

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Picasa Slideshow Tutorial Video

Today is my day to post an article on the blog (every Thursday) and I've decided to make this one about putting slideshows into your blog - or any website actually. This post was created while I recorded the tutorial video to show how to do it. I will edit the post when the video is successfully uploaded so you can see it here too.

Sometimes there are just too many photos to post them all. Embedding a slideshow from your Picasa Web Album can be a very handy way to show a lot of pictures in a small amount of space.

Here's the tutorial video that will show you how I put in the slideshow above.p> >

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Ultimate Field Trip

I introduced you to Mary Ann in my previous post. Now, let me tell you a little more. I think it is just so cool that she is home-schooling her 2 teenagers by traveling around the country in a motorhome. Imagine learning about Custer's Last Stand not by reading a textbook, but by visting the Little Big Horn Battlefield. Nothing brings history to life more than standing on the soil where it happened. Or learning about end of WWII and the start of the cold war by visiting the Truman Presidential Library. History is easy, what about math? or geology? Well, for math, they take a self-study course online. And, geology, well ... how about spending time in places like Glacier National park, or watching the Old Faithful geyser in Yellowstone.

In order to make their 'Grand Adventure' (that's their blog, of course) work, Mary Ann and her husband made a deal ... he stays home in Orange County, CA and works. She and the kids live on the road. He meets up with them once in a while. Ooooohh, I don't think Jim would ever agree to such an arrangement do you?! Here's the gang, complete with a friend who flew in from California and is staying with them for 3 weeks.

We really enjoyed talking with them and shared a lot of RVing tales. Jim spent some time trying to get them an Internet connection. They use a Verizon aircard and, as I mentioned in a previous post, our Verizon phones can't find any signal here. They have all the 'booster' equpment though (antenna and amplifier), and Jim was hopeful he could get them going. After much experimentation, he and Mary Ann were able to get a signal that would get them online ... for about 2 minutes. :-(

Have I told you lately how much I love my Satellite Internet? The link is to my blog post that Mary Ann saw (while she used the Wi-Fi in the clubhouse) which prompted her to email us and introduce herself. Who says technology keeps us from real, personal, interaction?! I say it makes it happen!

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Luxury of Time

Some people would think it is insane that we're in this beautiful place, and yet I spent most all week just sitting at my computer. But, truly, it is a real treat for me to have the kind of time I need to do this website work. In thinking back, I actually remember that my desire to build dynamic websites was one of my reasons to sell the house and move into an RV. It's all about time. Something that I think should take an hour or two actually takes 3 days!!

I'm not talking about simple pages that you can build with Blogger or WordPress or Website Tonight or Yahoo or Google Pages. I'm talking about pages that are driven by databases, formatted with Cascading Style Sheets, and powered by Coldfusion programming language. I know, I've just lost about 98% of you out there. The problem is that I get lost too - and I need time to perservere through the learning and the debugging. I had the time this week and it was wonderful.

Not so wonderful if you'd asked me yesterday afternoon. [error] after [error] for no discernible reason was making me think that I was worthless as a programmer. But, at about 4am this morning, everything worked and I'm excited. Perserverence is the key and that takes time.

Jim used the time for good stuff too. I think this is only the second time in our 5 year journey that I've seen him clean out the storage bins. And, since we don't have any cell phone service here, he read up on Skype and gave it a shot. Skype is a service that allows you to make phone calls thru your computer's Internet connection. It's known as VOIP for Voice Over Internet Protocol, and we tried it a couple years ago and were quite disappointed with the performance over our satellite Internet connection. This time he was pleasantly surprised. There is still a slight delay, but he talked to our friend Jimmy in New Jersey for about a half hour - complete with video on the computer. Cool! Meanwhile, since we are in a beautiful place, it takes very little effort or time to get a shot of nature. We used Google Earth to plot a 2 mile walk, and we've been doing that every morning. We also had one delightful visitor. MaryAnn is here in the park and read our post on's blog last week. She followed the link and sent us an email saying she is staying just a few sites away, so she came over with her dog, Mayim, for a little visit. What a joy to hear her story. She is traveling with her teenage son and daughter and home schooling them across America! How cool is that? Check out her blog. Ok, back to work!

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Membership Parks

A comment on my last post asked about our opinion of Membership parks, so I thought I'd write a bit about that. We joined Thousand Trails in 2006. Along with that membership came a membership in Resorts of Distinction. Here's my post from 2006 when we first bought in. So, is it worth it? That's the question we all ask. We paid $6,500 for the membership. Then annual dues for TT is $500, and ROD is $230. Just like a health club, it's a good deal the more you use it. If you don't use it, it's a waste of money! So far, we've stayed in TT/ROD parks a total of 253 nights. If you take the total amount we've paid ($7,230) and divide by the number of nights, you get $28.50/night. That's not particularly cheap, but it's not bad. And, as we continue to use them, it will continue to go down. Actually, at this point, I think we can say the original $6,500 has served it's purpose and we can just count the annual dues going forward. So, to make $730 = $20/night, we need to stay a total of 37 nights per year. You can buy used memberships for a lot less than the $6,500 we paid. Just be sure to do your research. Each membership has different rules. Some only allow access to parks in a particular region of the country, some allow maximum 2 week stays, some allow 3 weeks etc. etc. Make sure there are enough parks in the area you want to travel. Thousand Trails have a lot more parks on the west coast than the east, and there are only a few in the middle. ROD has a few more parks, but they aren't all the same quality. The TT parks are called 'Preserves' and they are awesome. That has been the best part for us is discovering the beautiful settings of these parks. Each site is large. You're really camping, not just parking. And, you can count on a certain level of amenities. Every TT park we've been in has a pool and a hot tub. And, you can count on Wi-Fi in the clubhouse. One caveat ... sites are not all 'modern.' I've heard complaints from folks that have big rigs and need 50amp electrical service. We're small and only need 30amp, so the more natural settings is great for us. Peace River, where we spent the entire season 2005-6, is our very favorite park. If you follow the link - you'll see a place to view a video. This is one of Jim's very first Photostory videos. Here's a slideshow of some of the membership parks where we've stayed.
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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Greetings from a Quiet place

Whenever we're traveling in new territory, we first look for a membership park to stay. We belong to Thousand Trails (TT) and Resorts of Distinction (ROD). Since we've already paid our membership fees, camping is free. That is so nice. So, we made reservations for the one ROD park in Missouri, Lost Valley Lake. We have two weeks before we need to be at our next rally - in Iowa - and we have a lot of work to catch up on. I really wanted peace and quiet for this interval.

WoW! This place is beautiful. It's very heavily forested, yet our site has plenty of open view to the southern sky, so our satellite dish got us locked on to the Internet no problem.

And, that's a good thing, because I have two websites to build and there's no cell phone signal and no Wi-Fi except at the clubhouse. Over the past year, we've talked to people who rave about their cellular Internet so much that I've been feeling silly with our expensive satellite option. I'm not feeling so silly now. Without the dish, we couldn't stay here. With it, we have all this beauty AND a great place to work.

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Monday, June 16, 2008 Rally

The rally was over on Sunday morning with a farewell breakfast. But a few people were still hanging around Sunday night, so Jim got out the projector and screen to show 'home movies.' It seems like everyone was taking lots of photos, so we got our our video camcorder and took quite a bit of video during the week. Jim spent most all day Sunday editing it so we had about a 45 minute show for folks who were still here.

Somebody made popcorn and we had a few laughs watching the events of the week on the big screen.

Although far from a professional production, the video does a pretty good job of documenting the week, especially the entertaining parts, and a few people said they'd like to buy a copy. So Jim spent some more time burning it to DVD and adding a menu etc. If you're one of those people, you can click here and, for $20, you can have the video for your very own! You can see lots of photos on the rally group photo album.

Our first thought was, hmmm, maybe we've hit on something else we can do at rallies to make money!? But, I don't think so - too much work. This rally was pretty special. We only did one seminar so we had more time to participate than usual. And, it was an especially fun rally - lot's of entertainment and audience involvement makes for good video. Although it was about the smallest rally we've been to, I think the participation in each event was exceptional. Most everyone attended every event, and there was only one event planned at any given time. Many larger rallies have so many different things going on that it's a small percentage of folks that go to any one thing. And, we certainly couldn't cover it all.

This morning they tore down the tent, it's really over now. That's Howard and Linda standing in front of their rig. They did a truly awesome job of organizing this, their first rally. I heard nothing but rave reviews from everyone. It's a nice bunch of folks, all brought together by Howard and Linda's website, In addition to Howard's daily blog, and dozens of pages of useful RVing information, there is a forum and chat room that has built the friendships among them. GOOD JOB RV-Dreams! Here's the short version of the video - on Youtube:

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

This goes out to all the fathers in the blogosphere. HFD.

I got a call this morning from Devon, wishing me a Happy Father's Day and I had to think a moment to realize I needed to wish him the same!

Here are the fathers and sons in my family.

I called my dad to wish him HFD. He's the best. I love you, dad.

I got another call a few minutes ago from Lacie wishing me HFD. That was special, too.

A special wish to Tom Van for a HFD. They just changed phone #s and we don't have it yet. (wonder if that is intentional?)

Enjoy the day!

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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Rally work and Rally fun

Whew! It's hard to get even a few minutes to post about all our activities. We did a couple of seminars, one here and one for another rally that happens to be in Branson and called us up at the last minute. Here's Jim talking to someone after our 'Internet on the Road' seminar and showing him the different types of antennas you can buy.

This is really a computer-centric group. Even the entertainment at night featured the 'chatters'. Here are the chat room rockettes! Performing on the big screen:

One afternoon was 'Open Houses.' I took advantage of having cleaned up our rig a little to take a photo of the inside. This is a panorama stitched from 5 pictures. If you click on it, you'll go to the Picasa Web album where you can enlarge it. Here's the hosts of this show, Howard and Linda Payne. Last night was karaoke. I decided to take advantage of the occasion to make an audition video. Maybe I can earn some more money if I found a singing job! OK, I know ... with this audition tape, any job description would need to be, 'Looking for out-of-control woman willing to make a complete fool of herself. No talent neessary!' If you ever see such job listing - you can refer them my way ok?

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Pre-Rally ends, Real Rally begins

We finished our Computer Boot Camp yesterday and treated ourselves to a dinner out at the floating restaurant in Branson called, White River Fish Camp.

When we got back we found more people at their computers! Here's the chat room ... both real and virtual! Ellie, who was in our class, is teaching some people how to use the RV-Dreams chatroom. So, here they are sitting face-to-face and yet chatting in an online chat room.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Computer Boot Camp - Pre-rally

We're trying something new at this rally. Instead of just giving our seminars, we're offering a hands-on session. Hands-on is always a lot harder to manage, but it can be so much more beneficial for the learner. We still present a lot of the same material as our seminars, but then we turn them loose on their own computers with an exercise to accomplish. We also give them our Tutorial videos on CD and, with headsets, they can all watch and learn on their own. Then we all come back together for questions and review.

We have a small group, which is good for the first time. With a little tweaking, I think we can handle 20-30 in this format. Both Jim and I team teach this one so it's a little easier than when I did the 'Ladies Only' hands on class in Palm Creek. That one I limited to 6 students and I was still a little overwhelmed.

What topics to cover is always a tough one. We call it 'boot camp' because it's meant to be at a beginning level, but we want more experienced folks to get something out of it as well - after all, most of us never had this stuff in school. For example, a lot of people who have been using their computer for years never learned how to copy and paste. We consider that essential. Then there are those special laptop things that you never learn when you use a desktop PC. Like how to turn the Wi-Fi switch on and off (what Wi-Fi switch?!) and how to disable that pesky touchpad if you use an external mouse. We spent a lot of time deciding what we believe to be the 'essential' skills for today's laptop user, and here's what we came up with:

  • Session 1 – Word Processing, text editing, saving, managing files
  • Session 2 - How to backup important files to CD, and keep your computer clean and safe
  • Session 3: How to Use Wi-Fi to get online and browse, search, set up favorites
  • Session 4 Know your computer; make & model, operating system, hard drive size, memory size, support website, shutdown and sleep options, what to do when things go wrong
  • Session 5 - How to use Outlook Express or Windows Mail for your email
  • Session 6: How to manage your digital photos and make an online photo album with Picasa (a free program from Google)

Of course, there's lots more but the brain can only absorb as much as the butt can stand! I figure 2 days at 6 hrs/day is the limit for a pre-rally.

One couple in the class, Allan and Jeanne, are brand new fulltime RVers. They left home just last week! And, they want to start a blog. Although we don't cover that in the class, I told them that the skills they learn in the class will prepare them and the specific instructions for making a blog are included in the tutorial videos. So ... we'll be watching!

Ellie already has a blog, here's her post about the class. Pat and Jim also have a blog. Here's their post about the Computer Boot Camp. More photos on my Picasa Web Album .. just click on any of the photos above and then choose next or previous to see more. I understand there is also a group photo album set up for all of us to post photos. I'll have to go check it out.

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Sunday, June 08, 2008

Every RVer Needs a Blog

We're here at ABC campground in Branson, Missouri. We'll be here for a week attending the RV-Dreams rally and giving computer seminars. When we pulled in yesterday, we immediately received a warm greeting from Howard and Linda Payne who are the organizers of this rally. They keep a daily blog, as well as a website with all sort of detailed information for RVers and RVer wannabes. I especially like their forum, where they have developed a community of RVers getting to know each other. I believe this rally is happening as a result of that forum.

As I was reading Howard's blog entry from yesterday, I was struck by how he could introduce you to everyone here by linking to their blog! How cool is that? He doesn't have to tell you anything about each person, he can let them introduce themselves through their blogs. And, we get to know each other through our blog names. For example, the names Ginger and Jesse don't ring a bell to me, but their blog, "Kram-a-Lot-Inn" I'm pretty sure I've run across!

If you've followed us for any length of time, you know that one of the seminars we teach is called 'Every RVer Needs a Blog.' We've taught this seminar to hundreds of folks at FMCA rallies, RV parks, and other rallies around the country. It makes me feel good to know that lots of RVers out there have a blog because we showed them how. I've also heard from many people who couldn't attend one of our live seminars, but they learned how to make a blog by watching our Tutorial Videos. Many of them have listed themselves on our Blog List. Warning!! Don't go to that list unless you have many hours to spare! And, if you want even more, check out There's no better way to get the flavor for this lifestyle than to read a few blogs.

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Saturday, June 07, 2008

The meaning of a horn honking

We had a nasty day on the Interstate yesterday. Teeth jarring bumpy ride and strong, gusty winds. Things were falling inside the rig that never fell before. Even the microwave tried to escape.

In the morning someone passed us while honking their horn. I thought, "oh my god, what's wrong? Has our car unhooked and hit the person behind us?" But, no ... as we saw the people passing us they were smiling and waving. I didn't recognize them, but it seemed clear that it was someone familiar with the 'Geeks on Tour' and were responding to the sign on the back of our rig. How fun!

So, when we heard another honking vehicle passing us later in the afternoon, I expected another friendly wave. Not this time. The people were frantically pointing to the rear of our rig with faces that were clearly saying that something was wrong. Jim immediately pulled over and looked to the rear. Instead of a blue and a yellow kayak on top of the car, there was only a blue one!

Jim started to walk back down the road a ways when a truck pulled over and talked to him. He said that he saw the kayak come off. He stopped and pulled the kayak off the road. He told us that there was a rest area just ahead of us and an exit where we could turn around and go back for it. At the rest area, a trucker waved us down and said, "Hey! Are you missing a boat?" He told us exactly where it was - right by the previous exit. So, we went back and found it. All in one piece except for a couple broken straps!


And, here's Jim retrieving his kayak. He spent the longest time tying them back on, racking his brain on how it could have gotten loose. He's kept them on there around the country a couple times.

So we found a campground a little sooner that we planned. A nice city park in North Little Rock called Burns Park - $16 with Good Sam membership. No Internet from satellite thru these trees! We didn't even try to jockey around ... we were ready for a drink and go to bed!

Today we finished the trip to Branson. Jim did *all* the driving this trip. I brought my laptop to my lap in the passenger seat this time. Got a lot of stuff done! I was going to try hooking up the cell phone for Internet access, but I found enough work to do that didn't need Internet. We've been over this same stretch of road before, so I didn't feel the need to sightsee.

Even without doing any of the driving, I feel wiped out from 4 days of 300 mile days! I really don't like traveling more than 200 miles in a day, and 100 is even better. I also don't like traveling multiple days in a row. We left Fort Lauderdale 7 days, 1,400 miles and $550 in gas ago. But ... we made it. And, it's a little bit cooler here and the wind has died down. Ahhhhhh We have a nice site here. It's so nice when the site and the weather allow you to extend your living space to the outside:

We'll be here for a week for the RV-Dreams rally. Monday and Tuesday we're trying something new. A 2 day computer boot camp - a hands on class where people bring their laptops. Should be fun.

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Friday, June 06, 2008

Same place, different year

One of these times, we need to stay more than one night here! We are following the same route now as we did last year, so we're parking in the same park: Whitten park, near Tupelo Mississippi. It's a beautiful little Corps of Engineers park and I'd love to stay and paddle our kayaks sometime. I think I said the same thing in last year's post! Anyway, it's still beautiful, and we're still able to get Internet on our Satellite dish thru the trees. Highway 20 thru Alabama was quite nice. There was even a dump station at the Welcome Center rest area. We took advantage of that.
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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Outstanding in our Field

Have you ever seen such a big, and empty RV park? We made it to Macon, Georgia today. A little over 300 miles.
We did have to repair the engine's Air Conditioning. When the belt broke, it tore up an a/c hose. Luckily Dad knew a shop he trusted and took care of it for us. Thanks Dad!
I woke up with a cold this morning.
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Tuesday, June 03, 2008


It's a short trip from being grateful to being somewhat pissed off. I felt very grateful that whatever was wrong gave us plenty of warning with the 'check engine' light and the heat guage. Jim simply pulled off the road and turned the engine off. We were OK. I was also grateful that we had Emergency Road Service. We picked up our cell phones, called them, and within a couple hours we were being towed to an RV park. What would we have done before cell phones?

I was also grateful to be in an RV. We cranked up the generator and turned on the 'house' air conditioning while we waited to be towed. We were quite comfortable. Because of our Emergency Road Service, the tow didn't cost us anything.

Then ... a repair service was supposed to be out to see us 'in the morning.' I took that to mean around 9am. If it was just a broken belt, which we felt sure it was, it should be a quick job and we'd be on our way. Well, they didn't get there till almost noon, and at 2:30 the new belt still wasn't operational. They said they would send someone out ... I guess we need to ask next time to send someone who knows what they're doing! Here's Jim trying to help.

We finally did get back on the road a little after 3. The service call cost us $232. The night in the RV park cost $32. Within a couple miles of driving we passed a big Camping World with several service bays. Geez, why couldn't they have towed us there? And, within another few miles we passed the Orlando Thousand Trails - where we could have stayed for free. And Jim saw several auto parts stores nearby. I heard him muttering, 'I should have done it myself.'

Hindsight is 20/20 as they say, and I am still grateful that we are OK. The engine performed flawlessly to get us to our satellite customer, and then on to my Dad's house last night (arriving at 9pm). BUT, the vehicle air conditioning didn't work at all. aaarrrggghhhh So, we're taking the rig to a shop here in Dunnellon today. That could be a big $ item.

I think the lesson to be learned about Emergency Road Service is that, once the emergency is over - meaning we're towed off the highway - we should consider all our options for further service. At that point you don't need to blindly accept what's offered. Live and learn. Or, is it live and make mistakes, and live and make more mistakes?

Check out what was right next door to the RV park ... a Buddhist temple. Maybe we should have prayed?

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Sunday, June 01, 2008

Geeks in Tow

We were on our way, driving contentedly north on the Florida Turnpike. We have a satellite dish to deliver in Bushnell, then planned to make it to my Dad's - just another hour - for the night.

Some things are not meant to be.

First the air conditioner stops blowing cold air. hmmm .. Then, in just a few more minutes the 'Check engine' light comes on and Jim also notices that the temperature is way high. He pulls over and turns the engine off. Since we don't know what is wrong, we're not going to attempt any further driving. We call our Good Sam Emergency Road Service and explain the problem. since this is Sunday (of course) we won't be able to get any service. They tell us that they can send a tow truck and tow us to the nearest campground. We can get a mobile service at the campground, or get towed to a facility in the morning. Ah well. Take a deep breath and thank our lucky stars that we are fine, it's not a fire or anything like that. Amazing to see the tow truck get hooked up. They even have to detach the drive shaft?! I tell Jim to please check that he reconnects it when we're done. Hey .. I barely know what a drive shaft is, but it just doesn't seem like a vehicle will be worth much if it's not connected, right?

The tow truck pulled into the RV park and expertly backed us into a site. We're hoping that the problem is a simple matter of a broken belt.

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On the road again

Chris and Richard gave us a farewell dinner party on Friday night. Here's Jim giving Richard a *hand* at the grill. :-)

In addition to visiting with old friends at Chris' house, we get to visit some of our stuff! I loved this 'Fantasies of the Sea' print by James Christensen. But, when we sold the house and got rid of everything to go RVing, it had to go. Chris agreed to take it, so now we get to visit! Click on either photo above and it will take you to our Picasa Web Album. Then you can click the arrows for previous or next photo and see more from that night. Thanks Chris and Richard! That was a great meal and good company. We finally got on the road Saturday about 3 o'clock! We had that luxury because we knew we were only going to Jupiter. No, not the planet (that's next year :-)! The city just north of West Palm Beach, where our good friend Marie lives. Here we are in her driveway.

And then, I asked her to show us around Jupiter a little, show us where she works etc. Here is a townhouse in the community of Abacoa where she works. I think she's got her eye on it.

And, the beach is just awesome here.

I told her that, as we travel, I always have an eye out for any place I think could be nice to live someday. Jupiter is right up there at the top. It's only an hour from Ft. Lauderdale beach and kayak diving, yet it's out of the heavily populated 'gold coast.' Marie says that Jupiter has a population of about 60,000.

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