Sunday, January 31, 2010

Thousand Trails Treat

After our week at Holiday Travel Resort, our plan was to visit my Dad in Dunnellon before heading over to Brooksville for the FMCA SE Area Rally.  But, Dad said he and Candy were sick with the flu and we should stay far away.

 

So, we came back to Thousand Trails, Orlando.  This feels like home, there’s no extra charge because we’ve paid our dues.  And, when we noticed that there was singing entertainment on Saturday night, we decided to go.

 

What a treat!  Donna Moore was the performer.  She sings and impersonates several well-known divas.

 

Here she is as Dolly Parton:

 

She also did Janis Joplin, Nancy Sinatra, Bette Midler, Tina Turner, and Liza Minelli.  I think her best one was Cher.  I just took the video with our little point and shoot camera, but you should be able to get the idea.  There was quite a crowd too … I’d say about 400 people!

 

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Holiday Travel Resort, an Active Community

I mentioned in my last post that this park had a lot of activities … here’s some photos:

 

People playing tennis

 

Volleyball every day.

 

The indoor pool had water aerobics class earlier.  We were just interested in the spa!

 

And, of course, the computer club is why we were here.  We had excellent attendance for all of our seminars.

 

Here’s Roxie, who put it all together.

 

We had a great week.  Check out the website for the HTR Computer Club and some more photos of our seminars this week. 

 

It’s making us think more about how we should build relationships with Computer Clubs.  The Palm Creek computer club is using our videos for post meeting tutorials … good idea!  See their blog post about it here.

 

Now we’ve moved back to Thousand Trails, Orlando for the weekend.  Getting ready for the FMCA SouthEast Area Rally in Brooksville next week.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Leesburg, Florida and Computer Boot Camp

We’re at Holiday Travel Resort in Leesburg, Florida.  This is a very large and active park.  Nearly 1,000 sites.  I’d say the majority are permanent, park models, but there are plenty of RV sites as well.  Here’s our site:

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They’re on a waterway that we’re told leads to the gulf. We’ll check that out in our Google Earth class tomorrow! Very old Florida feel with the Spanish moss.

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When I say ‘active’, I’m not kidding.  Take a ride around and you’ll see people playing volleyball, tennis, shuffleboard, and softball.  And, our friend Roxie, who scheduled our computer classes here, told us it was difficult to reserve the rooms because of so many activities already on the schedule.  And, she made the arrangements last October!

 

Every seat was taken for our hands-on Computer Boot Camp, and I was very impressed with their eagerness to learn.  Even though we chopped the class down to one day – 6 hours,  I think it went quite well. 

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It sure made us think that, if we just found RV parks/Retirement communities with active computer clubs, we could spend all winter going from park to park presenting these classes.  We just need someone like Roxie at each park to be our champion!

 

To see more about the HTR Computer Club, check out the club’s blog.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Make a Wi-Fi Hotspot with your Cell Phone

Just because I haven’t posted in this blog for a while, doesn’t mean I haven’t been writing.  I write an article every week for RV.net, as well as a Picasa Tip of the Week.  I admit I am being lazy with this personal blog … so I thought I’d repost my latest RV.net article … it’s a little geeky, but I figure some of you will be interested.

 

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If you’ve been reading my posts here – you probably know that you can tether your cellphone (if it’s the right model with the right service) to your computer.  Tethering your cellphone to your computer will give you Internet Access on that computer.  What you may not know is that you can tether it to a router as well.

The Cradlepoint cellular router is very popular among RVers.  Most people use it for their Data Cards.  Plug the data card into the router and configure the router for your hotspot.  Now several computers can use that same Internet connection.  The router that we have will accept a Data Card, an Ethernet cable from DSL or Cable Internet, or a cell phone USB connection.

While we are parked for the season at Paradise Island RV Park in Fort Lauderdale, Florida – we decided to spoil ourselves and get a month-to-month DSL Internet connection.  The telephone cable comes in from the post outside (the yellow cable) and plugs into the modem and then to our Cradlepoint router.  The Cradlepoint creates a wireless network called ‘GeeksOnTour.’  We can both connect to that network and we have Internet supplied by the DSL cable.

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We’re on the road right now, headed toward Holiday Travel Resort in Leesburg, Florida where we are presenting some computer classes.  Then, on to the FMCA Southeast Area Rally in Brooksville, Florida.  As we pulled into our overnight site at Thousand Trails, Orlando – I felt a bit of panic.  I don’t have my DSL Internet here!  I called Verizon before we left Fort Lauderdale and asked that they turn on the Mobile Broadband Connect feature for the two weeks we’ll be gone ($49/mo) but I was wondering if I would remember how to get it set up.  I knew I had to plug the special cable into the phone, and then into the USB port on the Cradlepoint – but there must be something more?

Amazing!  As soon as I plugged the phone into the router – the phone started sending and receiving data.  I turned on my computer – it automatically connected to the GeeksOnTour network – and I was browsing away.  Every once in a while, technology just works, and it is good!  Of course, I’m sure I owe this simplicity to the real geek of the house, my husband Jim, who decided which router to buy and set it up in the first place.

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Jim recently got the Droid phone from Verizon and he has successfully tethered it to his computer via something called PDANet.  But, it doesn’t work to tether it to the Cradlepoint.  He’s still working on it.  I’m holding out for the Palm Pre Plus or Pixi Plus which will have the ability to be a Wi-Fi Hotspot without plugging into anything! 

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Computer Boot Camp at Holiday Travel Resort

We just noticed that the Computer Boot Camp that we're doing at Holiday Travel Resort in Leesburg, FL is *FULL.*

 

Wow - and we had nothing to do with it!  Other than promising to show up and present the class - all the promotion and arrangements were handled by the computer club at the resort, and primarily a special Geeks on Tour member, Roxie Marston.

 

Thanks Roxie!

 

We’ve given this class several times.  When we offer it at the FMCA Conventions – it fills up quick (20 is full for this hands-on class).  But, at smaller rallies we’ve held the class for 4 – 12 people.  Here is a post that tells all about the Computer Boot Camp.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A Long Winter's Nap

It's been cold here in South Florida.  Today it warmed up.  The kids were out on their bikes.  The adults were spraying hoses, washing cars and RVs.  In the afternoon, you could smell the barbeques and hear the music blasting from the pool area. 

It felt like a spring day after a long hard winter :-)  That's one week for S Florida!

There are still some iguanas whose cold blood has apparently turned icy and made it impossible for them to move.  I think they're still alive, but they might not stay that way as the dogs start discovering them.

See Greg Gundy's blog for more on Iguanas ... and some laughs.

Hope it's warm where you are too!

Further your computer education
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Monday, January 11, 2010

Cruising

The whole family, Jim’s Dad & Jim, my Mom and me, Jim’s sister Debbie and her husband, Bob – went on a cruise this weekend.  It was an event arranged by the Parkinson’s Research Foundation – with lots of seminars and activities for learning about and dealing with Parkinsons disease, including Jim’s Dad. 

 

We boarded on Friday, cruised to the Bahamas overnight and saw the sunrise at Nassau.  Saturday, all but Jim Sr. took a shore excursion to Paradise Island and the Atlantis hotel.  It was a beautiful day.  Then, the cold front came in Saturday night with a vengeance!  The seas were to stormy to allow for their normal tender to a private island.

 

Here are the pictures:

 

I didn’t attend too many of the Parkinson’s seminars, but one was an Introduction to Wii!  How quickly that device is gaining acceptance in all circles – young and old, for fun and serious endeavors.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Out of touch

We have only irregular connectivity.
Paradise Island Ferry terminal has WiFi.
Back Monday.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

New Year’s Blue Moon

It doesn’t look blue does it?

 

 

But – it was the second full moon in December, and that’s the definition of blue moon. 

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

We (Jim, Me, and Mom) celebrated by going to the beach to watch the moonrise on New Year’s Eve.

 

 

 

 

This seemed OH so fitting, since we ushered in this decade by sleeping at the beach and watching the sun rise on a new century … I had to dig a little to find these pictures:

 

Decade

These were taken at a friend’s house on the beach.  He had a New Year’s Eve party – then we stayed the night to see the sunrise.  Jim and I slept in our Van (shades of things to come?) Mom slept on a cot outside and was rudely awakened by the sprinklers on New Year’s morning! The upper left picture is of Mom willing the sun to rise with her drum, and that’s me and Jim feeling oh-so-happy to be together and looking forward to a great new century. 

 

Once in a BLUE moon.

My New Year’s resolution is the same as it always is … lose weight, get in shape … but, this time I started before the new year.  When I stepped on my Wii Fit on New Year’s morning I got a really nice reward – I met my goal!

 

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So – now I can say that “Once in a Blue Moon I lose weight!”

Now I set another goal.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

 

I’m also working on a photo album for the whole decade.  I’ll probably put it on my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/chrisguld) when I’m done.

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

*May we all reach our goals … or at least have fun trying!*