Saturday, July 31, 2010

1130 miles in 4 Days

That just may be a record for us.  I know we have done over 400 in a day before, but then we stay somewhere a couple of days.  Here’s our route from Louisville, Kentucky to Denver, Colorado:

But, now we are staying a couple days.  We’re visiting our friends Diane and Andy in Arvada, Colorado.  Here we are at their place.  Can you see the view of the mountains in the background?

Diane is about 7 months pregnant.  I am assuming therefore, that I will be able to keep up with her on the 7 mile hike they have planned for use today!

Never AssUme!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Eisenhower Presidential Museum, Abilene, Kansas

Through dedicated hard work and constant planning, we have now completed our visits of all 12 official Presidential Libraries – plus Lincoln’s for a Baker’s dozen!  See list at the bottom of this post.
Actually it was pure luck and serendipity, that led us to the Eisenhower Presidential Museum yesterday :-).  Our original plan was to travel highway 80 thru Nebraska on our way to Oregon, but as we perused the map on our first day headed west from Louisville, we noticed that it would be just as easy to stay on 70 to Denver, then jog north to pick up 80 in Wyoming.  That way we could visit our friends, Diane and Andy, in Golden!  Our Streets and Trips trip planning software indicated a second night’s stop near Abilene, Kansas and Lo and Behold we saw billboards advertising the Eisenhower museum.  Can anyone deny that ours is a charmed life?!

The RVer’s President?

Eisenhower is primarily known as the General who won the war in Europe – being the Supreme commander of allied forces in Europe during WWII, but he was equally skilled at ‘Winning the Peace.’  He governed over a very prosperous time in the United States: 1953-61, and he was responsible for building the Interstate Highway system as we know it the Eisenhower Interstate System!  We could not be traveling as we are if those Interstates weren’t here!  He also revitalized the National Park Service with a 10 year plan called ‘Mission 66.’  And, last but not least, Alaska became a state during his watch.  Here’s a page that lists all the major events of the Eisenhower years.  ‘Ike’ is generally accepted as one of our top 10 American Presidents.  Did you know that our Presidents are ranked?
We love history and biography.  We also love these United States.   There’s just nothing that puts that all together like our Presidential Libraries. Yes, we could watch documentaries on the History channel, but there’s just something about walking the same ground as the President walked, and being surrounded by the actual memorabilia of the time that brings the information to life.
And, sometimes Larger than Life!
There were some pretty impressive murals inside too:
If any of you are WWII buffs, you may already know about the ‘Mulberry Harbors’ built at Normandy to facilitate the invasion.  This was the first time I had learned of these ‘Miracle Harbors.’  What a story!  There was no way to put troops on land without a port, and there was no way the Germans were going to allow any existing port to be taken – so the Allied forces built their own!  After manufacturing all the parts elsewhere, they were towed to Normandy and assembled in a two-week period so that jeeps, tanks, landing craft, personnel and supplies could go ashore.  If you’re at all interested, click the link above to read the story and see pictures.  Given that I’ve seen a 2 block stretch of city street take 3 months to expand and resurface, it truly is a miracle that breakwaters, docks, and floating roads became a reality in two weeks!
There  was so much more!  Actually, now that we’ve visited all the Libraries – I’d be more than happy to go back to each one again!  Here’s the list of all the Presidential museums we’ve visited.  The links take you to our blog post from the day.  If you know of anyone else who might be interested, there is a set of icons at the bottom of the post that you can use to share this via Facebook, Twitter, or just old-fashioned email!
  1. Gerald Ford (BB - Before-Blog)
  2. Richard Nixon
  3. Ronald Reagan
  4. Jimmy Carter
  5. Bill Clinton
  6. Lyndon Johnson
  7. George Bush (Sr.)
  8. Harry Truman
  9. Herbert Hoover
  10. Abraham Lincoln
  11. John F. Kennedy
  12. Franklin Roosevelt
  13. Dwight Eisenhower Tags:

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Headed West

When you pass the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri, you are officially headed west.  We are now ‘West of the Mississippi!’


And the Missouri:

Jim drove a long day – 350 miles – and we stayed at a Missouri State Park: Graham Caves.  We might see the cave this morning, meanwhile it’s a very quiet, pretty campground.


Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Rally – our Last Day

We’ve been here at The Rally in Louisville, KY this week and we’ve been hanging out in the booth. Why the booth?  Because I am one of their authors.  I’ve been writing for them once a week for over two years now.  Here a list of all my articles on  It’s so fun to have all the people come by and say how much they love!  Here’s a group that I made repeat it for the camera:

We’ve had our share of Geeks on Tour fans too – Thanks Everybody!  All of our seminars have had larger crowds than we expected – and we ran out of handouts.  If you want a handout for any of our seminars we encourage you to download them for free from the Geeks On Tour website:

Internet on the Road

How to Make a Blog

Picasa for Managing Digital Photos

GPS Navigation and Trip Planning w/Streets & Trips

Narrated Slideshows with Photo Story 3

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Picasa Seminar

Picasa has become our most popular seminar.  Internet and Blogger attracted 100-150 attendees. Picasa was about 250.  I didn’t think to take a picture until we already had the card out of the camera to demonstrate importing to computer.  But, my trusty Droid could still snap a few pictures, and I put them together in a bit of a panorama.  Click the picture to get a larger view, then click back to come back here.
If you attended the seminar after we ran out of handouts, you can download the handout from our website’s Picasa page.
Today we’re presenting GPS Navigation and Trip Planning, featuring Streets and Trips.  That’s at 8:30 :-(
Then tomorrow, the last day of the rally, we end with our favorite – Photo Story 3 – for making narrated slide shows.
When we’re not in seminar, we’re hanging out at the booth.  They have a live web-cam going all day long.  Check it out and maybe we’ll wave to you!  Actually, the camera is shooting over our heads, but if you call us on the phone we can stand in the camera’s view and wave.
Too much fun!
Oh – and is it as HOT where you are?  Our thermometer read 94 degrees at 8pm last night!  Luckily we’re parked in a spot that has a permanent electric hookup and our air conditioning is working good.  Not everyone here is so lucky.  There are about 2500 RVs here and most of them are having to depend on generators.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Best RVing Stories

If you like to read about RVing, have I got a page for you!  Forget about that novel on your bedside table, this will provide you many, many hours of delightful stories.

RV Centennial Stories at

Did you know that this year marks the 100 year anniversary of RVing?  That’s the theme at The Rally, and there are some vintage RVs here to honor it, the earliest being from 1936!  We’ll take some pictures today and add them here.  And, yes, I had to submit my story as well … actually it’s my parents’ story, since I was only 10 at the time of our first RV trip.

I know I’ve posted this video in the blog before, but I think it bears repeating!  Here’s the video I did about my family’s early RVing days:

And, as long as I'm at it, here's a little video of our current RV home and how we modified it with our offices: And, here's a brief overview of where we've been in this RV so far: In case you're wondering, all three of the videos above were created using Photo Story 3 - a free program from Microsoft. We're teaching a seminar on how to do it (it is SOO easy!) on Sunday here at The Rally.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Rally Days 1 & 2

We started first thing Wednesday morning at 8:30 am.  We had a pretty good crowd considering the early time and that it was an ‘earlybird’ day.  The Rally didn’t officially start till Thursday.  This was our ‘Get Away, Stay Connected’ seminar where we teach about how to Connect to the Internet on the Road.  It used to be a seminar primarily about Wi-Fi and a little of Cellular and Satellite.  Now it’s primarily about Cellular with a little about Satellite and Wi-Fi.  A copy of our seminar handout can be found on our website on the Wireless Internet page. If you look close, you can see my Droid cellphone tethered to the computer.  That’s how we’re getting our Internet connection, and it’s working great.  No Wi-Fi here.

Then, today, we gave our ‘Every RVer Needs a Blog’ class.  Then we hung out at the booth the rest of the day.  One man came by the booth and said his wife came to the blogging class and she went right back to their RV to set up her Blog!  That’s what it’s all about. 

Here’s our site at the Rally:

And, here's the 'hanging gardens' outside the arena where we went to watch the evening entertainment – Bob Newhart.    Wow -  81 years old and still going strong – such a treat to see a legend perform.  Made me want to get a DVD set of the Bob Newhart show.  Ahh, but wait!  I have 72 full tv episodes that I can watch on!

For me, the *best* part of the rally so far was hanging out in the boot with Leslie.  If you’re wondering why we’re in the booth – it’s because I am one of their authors. has an online RVing Blog – like a magazine – and I write once every week.  I am one of many authors, I think they have between 20 and 30.  Here’s a list of all my blog articles.  What’s so cool, to me, is that the Blog is constructed using Wordpress.  It’s one of the reasons we’re confident in Wordpress for construction of our new website.  If it’s good enough for with thousands of pages and thousands of visits every day, then I’m confident it will handle our needs.  Leslie shared lots of Wordpress tricks and tips with me today … geeks of a feather!

Jim took a break from the booth for a while and attended the Streets and Trips seminar by Larry Peterson from Microsoft.  We’ve met Larry at a few rallies now and feel like old friends!  Other ‘old friends’ we checked in with include Phil and Tracey May of TechnoRV who sell lots of cool, geeky toys, including our Picasa Book, and Mike and Terri Church who write the books on travel in Mexico, Alaska and Europe by RV – oh, and so many more friends stopped by the booth or bumped into us in the hallways.  Anyone who thinks the RV lifestyle is lonely has never been to rallies!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

See you at The Rally!


We hope to see you all at The Rally in Louisville, KY this week.  We’ll be hanging out in the booth (#340) much of the time.  Check out this listing of all 278 Vendors and their booth numbers.

When we’re not in the booth, it’s probably because we’re presenting one of our 5 seminars:

  1. Internet on the Road: Wed 8:30 - 10 Seminar E
  2. Every RVer Needs a Blog Thu 8:30 - 10 Seminar C
  3. Picasa  Fri 1pm - 2:30 Seminar B
  4. GPS & Streets and Trips: Sat 8:30 - 10 Seminar G
  5. Photo Story 3 Sun 1pm - 2:30 Seminar E

And, we’re not the only ones giving seminars!  Here’s the listing of all the seminars you can attend at the Rally.


Here’s a video with Brian Brawdy from last year’s rally:

Saturday, July 17, 2010

I love you, man!

“My father didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.”

I read this quote several days ago and thought it was perfect for the way I feel.

You are, and have always been, an inspiration for me.  Your love and support allow me to live my exceptional life.

I wish I were with you today to celebrate your birthday.  I’ll drink a toast to you later.

Don’t let Debbie burn the house down with all those candles!

Thanks for teaching me to love.

Happy Birthday!

Thursday, July 15, 2010


I’m hearing this refrain in my head … think of ‘I’ve been working on the railroad …”

We’ve been working on the website
All the live long day
We’ve been working on the website
Cuz we need to make our pay!
Can’t you hear the errors screaming
This is never gonna work!
Can’t we make it really easy?
Come on, Try Again

Come on Try Again
Come on Try Again
Come on Try Again, Again, Again

Well – you get the idea!

We are determined to re-develop our website using the new exciting web tools available for the Wordpress platform.  One main reason is that we want to have a really easy forum to use for our members.  We have a member forum now – but only a couple dozen of our 700 members use it because it’s difficult. We believe that interaction with our members is so important.  And, if the system is really easy, we’ll be able to add new videos and other content easily too – making it more valuable.  I learned long ago that a business cannot rest on its laurels.  I don’t care how good your product or service is, a business needs constant attention and innovation to stay alive and prospering.  And nowhere is this more true than on the Web!

In case anyone is interested in the details, we are building our new website using 4 primary pieces:

  1. Wordpress platform
  2. Wishlist Member plugin for Wordpress
  3. Suffusion theme for Wordpress
  4. Simple Press Forum plugin for Wordpress

These four pieces are all built to work together, but still – they are from 4 different developers and each is a complex system in it’s own right.  Imagine taking 4 big jigsaw puzzles and trying to make one picture out of them.  Just when we get 2 pieces to work together right, an error pops up from one of the other pieces.  And, most of the time we really don’t know which piece is causing an error – it can take a full day or even a week to troubleshoot any one error.  Then, we get everything working and one of the pieces comes out with a new version!  I feel like we’re playing ‘Whack-a-Mole’!

We’ve actually been working on this since last November – but we’re just now getting really serious.  We had wanted to announce the new site on July 1 – exactly 2 years from when our first membership site started.  That didn’t happen, but we’re hoping for August 1 now.  It will still be – that will just point to different places behind the scenes.

There have been more than a couple times this week that I’ve wanted to give up, say that our site is fine just the way it is!    But Jim wouldn’t let me!  He’s read enough about membership sites on the web and what the new tools offer that he’s getting more determined than me to make this happen.  As is often the case in our relationship … I get something started, but he makes sure it gets finished!  We’re a great team that way.  And, Jim has taken on the task of making the new forum work the way we want.  My job is to make the video delivery as smooth as possible.  And, the payment process needs to be smooth as well … if we could do this all for free, it would be a lot easier to put it together!  But, if we could do it all for free – then we wouldn’t need to do it at all!

Perseverence is the key!  And, I gotta say,when we struggled for two days with a particular problem … it felt soo good when we solved it! 

Our Picasa eBook is our first test of the capabilities on the new site. 


The eBook is an example of what Wordpress, and Wishlist Member allows us to do … we are able to put links in the eBook to the tutorial videos. Your $10 purchase, not only buys you the eBook, but also a special limited membership that allows access to those specific videos.  Really cool.  A video book if you will.  As long as you’re connected to the Internet, you can read the book and, at specified places, click a link to watch a video that shows you how to do what you just read in the book!

Ok, enough yakking … gotta get back to work.

I’ve been working on the website … all the live long day … Tags: ,

Monday, July 12, 2010

Gabbing with the Geeks: Connecting to the Internet with Droid


Coming to you from Indiana, Jim and Chris talk about their summer tour of RV Rallies:

  1. The Rally – July 21-25 in Louisville, KY
  2. Family Motorcoach Ass’n (FMCA) Convention -  August 11 – 14 in Redmond, OR
  3. Gypsy Gathering Rally – August 30 – Sept 3 in Elkhart, IN
  4. Escapade – September 12 – 17 in Goshen, IN

Then they show you how they connect to the Internet by Tethering their Motorola/Verizon Droids. Tags: ,

Friday, July 09, 2010

Thousand Trails - Indian Lakes

We stayed at this same park last year ... right about this same time.  It’s huge.  Plenty of walking trails thru the woods … Odie really likes that … and plenty of roadway to go for bicycle rides, Jim and I really like that. 

I took advantage of the beauty shop located at the park’s camp store building and got a haircut.  I got a haircut here last year too!  Once a year, whether I need it or not!  When you travel all the time it’s a treat to go to the same place.

We’ll be here for about 10 days.  We’re working on our website and preparing for our seminars at The Rally.  There’s no Wi-Fi here (except at the cafe) so we’re depending on Verizon and our Droids tethered to our computers.  Jim says his is working great – mine is pretty pokey but it does work.

Hey, if you already saw the post about Kentucky Horse Park, go look again (it’s just 2 posts back) I added a little movie with a great clip of a horse playing Tether Ball.  They call it his ‘Jolly Ball.’ :-)

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Vote for Dee

image IT would be so wonderful if Dee could win a new kitchen!  This is a promotional event for a South Florida kitchen and remodeling company.  They will remodel the kitchen of the winning entrant.  All she needs is your votes. Vote for Dee at the Panda Kitchen Contest.

I have known Dee since the early 80s – we used to go to aerobics classes together.  Then she came down with a rare nervous disorder and she’s been in a wheelchair ever since.  Uninsurable, Dee makes her living as a copywriter – a darn good one!  Some of the language on our website (you can probably spot the best-formed sentences) is by her. 

Another thing she’s good at is cooking.  If she wins this kitchen makeover – I look forward to a spectacular dinner when I’m back in Fort Lauderdale!  You can vote once every day.  Just click on Panda Kitchen Contest and search for Dee.  Click the button to View Story and Vote. 


Oh – and if you need a copywriter, leave a comment here and I’ll put you in touch.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Happy Fourth of July from Kentucky Horse Park

Since they are Kentucky natives, we asked our friends at RV-Dreams for suggestions of where to stay.  The Kentucky Horse Park was high on their list .. so, here we are!  The Wi-Fi is $15/day! But, luckily, the Verizon Data signal is strong here, so we are both online by tethering our Droids.
We rarely make reservations anywhere, but big holiday weekends bring out the hordes to all available campgrounds – so we like to make reservations and get parked well before the holiday.  Here’s our site.  I’ll take another picture on the Fourth to show you how there are no empty spaces then!

The campground is adjacent to the Horse Park.  It looks like a great place to go bike riding, so Jim spent most of our first day here working on the bicycles.  They’ve just been hanging on the  back of the car getting rusty for quite some time now.
Good Job!



We’re also spending a lot of time on our websites, trying to get the whole membership site converted to Wordpress and Wishlist member – see our latest “Gabbing with the Geeks”.  It feels kind of sacrilegious to be sitting inside our RV at our computers working so hard, when there are hundreds of people here on a pilgrimage to the outdoor, fun, campground lifestyle for the Holiday Weekend.  But, then again we get to enjoy that lifestyle when they go back to their offices – so we figure turnabout is fair play.
We will take some time off on the Fourth to watch the fireworks which commemorate our wedding day 12 years ago!  12 of the best years anyone could possibly wish!  And, I feel like we’ve only just begun.