Thursday, April 29, 2010

Geocaching by Droid

Using our Droid phones is like a treasure hunt all in itself.  Jim has been spending lots of fun time just exploring the uses for his phone.  The latest one is Geocaching!  It’s been so long since we’ve gone geocaching.  Now, with the Droid – we might just get into it again.  I’m writing an Geocaching article for our Geeks on Tour Newsletter right now.  If you are a subscriber – it will be in your inbox soon. 

This is the park where we take our morning walk with Odie.


And here’s Jim hunting for the Geocache using his Droid as the GPS.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Pool Party

Pretty sad that we’ve been at this RV park (Paradise Island) since October and have not made use of the wonderful pool.  Two reasons come to mind:

  1. It’s been kinda chilly *all* winter
  2. It’s been crowded *all* winter

Now the snowbirds have all but disappeared, and we’re getting the hot, sunny weather and warm nights that endear me to South Florida.  So – we invited family and a few friends to come to a Pool Party on Sunday.  I think our prime motivation was to have Devon and family come visit.  We haven’t seen them as much as we’d like this season, and we know the little ones (AJ – 3, Aiva – 6) enjoy the pool.  As it turned out, they were the ones who couldn’t come.  :-(  But, we had a good time with the rest of the family and friends.  The group even included some grandkids … Here’s Steve (Dick and Geri’s son) tossing Jake into the pool.

I actually caught Marie mid-air as Steve threw her in.

No more pictures … I didn’t even bring my camera to the pool.  I just enjoyed eating and swimming and chatting with friends – some of whom I”ve known for over 25 years. 

I have the pictures above because I always have my cell phone with me (Droid) and it takes decent pictures.  It even automatically geotags them.  Meaning … if you go to the web album you will see a map at the right.  Click on View Map, and you’ll see the photos taken with the Droid are placed in position.

Where the Droid *really* came in handy was for music.  The RV park has a nice stereo system for playing music around the pool – but who is going to get the CDs and keep them going?  Well – instead of CDs Jim plugged his Droid into the sound system and set it to play favorites from Pandora, the Internet radio station.  That kept us in wonderful music for several hours!

I figure that you know, if you’re reading a geek blog – even a family pool party is going to have some mention of geek stuff :-)

I’ll leave you with a few more pictures of the beautiful flowers that are blooming around here now:

A Bottlebrush tree:

A Tabebuia - that’s what uncle John said it was, and I double checked on the Internet – he’s right!  aka Yellow Trumpet tree.

And then, just one of the many, many perfect hibiscus around here:

Friday, April 23, 2010

Blog 2 Book

Just one year of this blog – 2005 – is about 200 pages after using Blog2Print.  To have them print it in soft cover would cost $78.  I’m really tempted.  Is this cool or what?  Just a couple clicks and all those blog posts get formatted nicely to fit on printed pages

Hmmm – the image below is supposed to be a live preview of the book.  You click on the green arrows to go to next/previous pages.  Either it isn’t working, or it just takes a long time. 

Here’s a simple screen shot of a sample page:


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Flowers and Plywood Boats

Wow – it’s been a whole week since I’ve posted here!  We’re in Fort Lauderdale.  Time goes so fast when you’re parked in one place.  I do post a little more often on my personal facebook page … it only takes a second to write a few words there.  Jim’s facebook page has a couple posts this week as well.  We usually use our Droid’s to post to Facebook because it’s just a couple clicks.

Speaking of our Droids we’ve written a few articles on about them – if you want to read more:

  1. Droid Watches Traffic
  2. GPS Navigation with Netbooks and Droid
  3. Internet by Droid

We thought we would be out of Florida by now – the RV-Dreams rally was our departure then we’d keep on going.  But, it worked out so well to take Mom with us, then come back … so here we are.  Our next rally is the RV Safety and Education Clinic on June 3 in Bowling Green, Kentucky.  So we’ll stick around here until time to go to that.

There’s certainly plenty to do!  I go over to Mom’s nearly every day and walk around her community.  It’s quite nice.  Here’s the lake in the middle:

The Flowers are quite spectacular right now.

I really need to take my good camera over there one of these days.  The photos above were taken with my Droid.

On Sunday, Jim participated in the Plywood Regatta with the Kayuba club.  It’s an event sponsored by the Marine Industry to teach young people about boating.  They are all given the exact same materials … some plywood … and they must fabricate their own boat, then paddle it around the Dania Beach Marina and Whisky Creek.  The Kayuba club is there to be safety boats.  Jim posted a couple photos on his facebook page.

Mom and I got there just in time to go to lunch after all the work was done!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Cool Parks

Map picture

On our way back to Fort Lauderdale from the RV-Dreams rally, we had no idea where we were going to stay.  The Georgia State park that Howard and Linda stayed at sounded pretty nice … Crooked River State Park in Georgia.  But, since we didn’t get on the road till noon – it was just too far a drive.

Using my Droid for Internet browsing, I found another Georgia State park just off I-95 and just south of Savannah – Fort McAllister.  It was GORGEOUS.  And all the sites were pull thru – the kind that parallel the road off to the side.  It makes so much sense. 

You can click the red pushpins in the map above for more info on the parks.

I just love it when my office has views like this:

And nice views when we open our front door too!

We decided to take our ‘family portrait’ here.

And, the Azaleas were in bloom just outside the park!

We like to spend the last night before Fort Lauderdale at the beach.  Our normal place is Sebastian Inlet State Park, but I called from the road and they said they were FULL.  OK – we stopped at the Florida Welcome center just over the state line and picked up all sorts of literature.  I found an interesting sounding park with beach access at Cape Canaveral.  It was perfect!  Operated by the Port Authority at Port Canaveral – it’s called Jetty Maritime Park.  A little pricy at $42, but for one night on the beach – what the heck!

There is even a bar and grill within walking distance of the park … a RonJon’s Resort!  So, we took advantange and didn’t have to cook any dinner last night.

Usually, when we need to get somewhere in just a couple days, we don’t bother finding cool places to stay.  We just get out the Passport America book and pick someplace convenient and cheap.  Two things conspired to make us put out the extra effort this time, 1-having Mom with us, and 2-taking Howard and Linda’s ‘How to Pick a Campground’ seminar at the rally.  They try to find campgrounds with what they call the ‘IT’ factor.  Campgrounds that have *it* are cool.  And, as they described in their seminar, they spend a lot of time researching. 

So – we tried it – I think these two parks have the IT factor and I’m glad we spent the time to research!  Thanks RV-Dreams!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Rally’s Over

Rally’s are our work … but, boy!  I don’t think I’ve ever had so much fun working!

This is a small rally where everyone feels like family.  Most of them have gotten to know each other thru the RV-Dreams website and forum.  Howard and Linda who run the website and the rally want everyone to feel like family, to learn about Fulltime RVing, and to have fun!  They know how to do it.  The entire group (100+ people) had dinner together all 4 nights. Two nights were catered dinners, one night was a chili cook-off, and one was potluck.  All were scrumptious.

In addition to the Show-and-Tell gadget night, there was a Family Feud game night.  What a hoot!  The questions were all RV related.

My favorite night was the Sock Hop! I *love* to dance and yet I never seem to get the opportunity. So I danced till I could hardly walk at this Sock Hop. I saw lots of cameras flashing - I hope I can point you to someone else's photos of that night - although I'll probably just be a blur! Here's a couple shots I took with my Droid.  Pat and Jim in their 50s best:

Linda was SMOKIN’

The rally finished with a Farewell Breakfast this morning.

Great Job RV-Dreams!  Can’t wait to see how you top this next  year!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

More RV-Dreams Rally

We gave our Picasa seminar yesterday.  Here’s the collage we made during class:

If you use Picasa and don’t know how to make collages like this, our ‘Show-Me-How’ Video on Collages happens to be one of our free ones, so check it out.

Today we give our ‘Every RVer Needs a Blog’ class.  I don’t expect a large turnout on this one because so many people here already have a blog!  We’ll try to get into some of the advanced stuff (like using Live Writer), but we promise that anyone can make a blog after attending this class, so we keep it focused on beginners.

Here are some of the blogs of people here at the rally.  These links are to the main blog page – to see entries about the rally you need to be looking at the April 7-11 2010 time frame.

Friday, April 09, 2010

RV-Dreams Rally

We made it to Longs, SC and the RV-Dreams rally.  Linda and Howard Payne started the fulltime RV lifestyle in 2005 and started the website to go along with it.  They have developed quite a following and this is their third annual rally.  We attended the first one in Branson, MO in 2008.

Their enthusiasm for the lifestyle and for having fun with their many friends is contagious.

I know it’s a lot of work to put on a rally, but they don’t let it stop them from enjoying themselves.

A lot of the rally is seminars about the fulltime lifestyle.  Many people come here because they are thinking about becoming fulltime RVers – it’s a great way to learn.  We’re doing 3 of our seminars: Internet on the Road, Managing Digital Photos with Picasa, and Every RVer Needs a Blog.  We had two whole hours for our Internet seminar yesterday and we used every minute of it!  The choices have increased so much over the last couple years. 

The second night’s gathering was all about gadgets.  Attendees were encouraged to ‘show and tell’ their favorite items.  I especially liked this silly invention that allows toilet paper to roll from the top *or* the bottom just by a swivel.

Here’s Mom and Jim walking over to the meeting hall.  Except for a storm in the night – we’ve had great weather.

See the RV-Dreams Blog for more.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Charleston, SC

I really shouldn’t title this post Charleston – we didn’t see much.  All we did was pass thru.  But, we did stop and took a water taxi ride.  Pretty cool way to spend a couple hours. 

A public area with museum, aircraft carrier exhibit, and boat tours are all located at a place called Patriots Point.  It was right on our route – so we stopped to see if there was anything we could do with just a couple hours.

Water Taxi!  Cool.

What a nice view this gave us of the bridge over Charleston Harbor.

We had a nice lunch at East Bay Deli, and walked a few blocks on Charleston’s streets.

Then we got back on the Water Taxi and finished the circle of the harbor.


I had wanted to take a tour of Fort Sumter - the little island in Charleston Harbor where the Civil war began. We didn't have time for that, but we did see it:

A beautiful day.  Then we continued on our way and made it to Longs, SC and the RV-Dreams rally.

Monday, April 05, 2010

St. Augustine

We only have one day here, and it’s beautiful weather, so we figured on going in to St. Augustine and taking the standard trolley tour.  As Mom and I were walking Odie around the RV park in the morning, a woman came out of her RV waving some paper at us and asking if we were staying for the day.  Turns out she had tickets for the Trolley that she couldn’t use as they had to leave.  That’s the way this lifestyle is – magic moments just string together.

So, we were off to the Trolley tour to see the oldest city in the United States. 

The Fort – Castillo San Marcos:

The historic hotel, now Flagler College:


Inviting eating and drinking establishments

The ‘Mile Zero’ marker for the Spanish Trail – St. Augustine to San Diego.

And, a special treat – the Easter Parade:

The main reason we stopped here for a day was to see our friend Glenn, who lives not too far away in South Jacksonville.  We got to see his new office setup … he ‘out-geeks’ us by a longshot!

Then we went to dinner at a great place on the water – Clark’s Fish Camp.  There’s *lots* of water around Jacksonville with the St. Johns river and all its tributaries.

We’re off today headed for Charleston, SC.  We’ll only have one night there as we need to be at the RV-Dreams rally on Tuesday – it’s not far from Charleston in Longs, SC.