Sunday, May 30, 2010

Internet Woes at Thousand Trails Natchez Trace

It is beautiful here in this huge park.  800,000 acres! 

But, there’s one mighty big problem for us … Lousy Internet.

We certainly didn’t expect Wi-Fi at the sites here, but I did check the Verizon coverage map before we came and it showed full digital Verizon coverage throughout the park.  Our site is where X marks the spot – and the dark pink color is supposed to mean there is full digital coverage.  There are plenty of places, even nearby, where you can see big white spots representing holes in the digital coverage – so it seems like an honest map.


Well, it does work – slowly – at 3am!  But, I couldn’t keep a connection with either voice or data at any other time of day. 

So, I brought my laptop up the hill to the Rec Center where there is Wi-Fi.  Even with nobody in the center but me – it was too slow to be useable.  Luckily the Verizon signal is better up the hill though – so I tethered my Droid cellphone to the computer and that’s how I’m able to make this post.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way!

And, surprise,surprise, I can find other things to do besides working on the Internet!  We went for a paddle this afternoon.  This is called the Natchez Trace Wilderness Preserve … and it lives up to it’s name!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Gabbing with the Geeks

My good friend, Melinda, has a special word tattooed on her ankle … ‘Kaizen.’  It means roughly ‘constant improvement.’  She’s a teacher – so am I.  We’re both constantly finding new things to learn and teach as well as new ways to teach it.  For her that meant going from teaching at risk kids in High School, to using horses for ‘Equine Assisted Teaching.’ 

For me it means constantly learning new Web-based technologies.  I’ve been learning a lot about Wordpress, and I think it is the best platform (now) for building dynamic websites.  I don’t want to mess with my current website ( for fear of having dead time in between, so we’re starting a whole new website so we can use the Wordpress platform and Wishlist Member for our membership site management.  This should make it quicker and easier to add and organize our content.  With over 190 tutorial videos and the same or greater number of written articles, I’m getting  a bit overloaded just managing what’s there, let alone adding new stuff.

We especially want to add more features for our members to interact with us and each other.  So, for starters, we made a little video we’re calling ‘Gabbing with the Geeks.’  It’s posted on the new wordpress site (www.GeeksOnTour.TV) and you can leave a comment if you go there to watch it. 


There’s not much else on that site yet.  All our tutorial videos are still on GeeksOnTour.COM.  We’re working on it!

The main thing that prompted us to record a little video was the remote appearance we made at the Massachusetts Good Sam Club’s ‘Samboree.’  Bob Brown is the main organizer for their get-together, and he is also a happy member of Geeks on Tour.  He really wanted us to share our information with his group, but there was no way we could be in Massachusetts in May.  As geeky as we are, we did not come up with the solution (a case of cobbler’s children having no shoes?)  It took Bob to suggest that we use Skype and he would project our video-teleconference on the screen at their rally.  Brilliant!

So that’s what we did.  We were on a campground Wi-Fi Internet connection and they were on a Verizon data card.  The result was a little choppy.  It sure was a great idea though, and one we will continue to pursue and perfect – this was our first try.  We also sent them a club copy of our DVD full of tutorial videos so they were able to play a few of those as part of our ‘seminar.’

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Georgia Veterans Memorial State Park

Nice Spot – Georgia Veterans Memorial State Park.  We stayed 2 nights.  Good Verizon signal for tethering our Droids to do our computer work.
Map picture
Had a nice walk on the nature trail, and a wonderful site right on the water.
I love the summer sunlight!  I was able to put in a full 8 hour workday and still had plenty of time to enjoy the surroundings.  From 6-8am I answered emails and posted to blogs.  From 10-4 I wrote the first draft of our monthly newsletter.  Jim helped me write the article on ‘Have you Been Hacked?’, I wrote about Picasa’s new addition ‘’ and a MS Streets and Trips tip on navigating full screen.  You can get a preview at Geeks on Tour May Newsletter.  Or you can wait for the email which I should be sending out today to all Newsletter Subscribers.
With plenty of sunlight left, we put the kayaks in the water and had a delightful tour of Blackshear Lake and the Cypress Tress in the water.  Here's a video, including the kayak paddle we took thru the Cypress trees. Please be patient for the video to start ... if this high-quality video doesn’t work for you, here it is on Youtube  You can view this video in a larger format by clicking the icon at the lower right (just hover your mouse over the bottom and you'll see the icons)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Safari Class C Collection

Our motorhome is a Safari Class C – they didn’t make very many of them.  We think it’s very special.  Every once in a while we see another.  But, this one in Georgia Veteran’s State Park really took us aback because it even has the same paint job.  It is only 24 foot, meaning they sleep in the cab over and have a large bathroom in the back – where we have a full bedroom in the back and Mom is sleeping in the cab over right now.


hmmm – their’s is also a lot cleaner than ours :-(  It’s the same year – 1997-8 but it only has 63,000 miles on it where we have 125,000.

Here’s our spot:

Other times I posted about fellow Safari Class C’s:

Monday, May 24, 2010

From Home to Home

Being fulltime RVers and not having a house anywhere, we sometimes refer to ourselves as ‘Homeless.’  The truth is that we have *many* homes.  Paradise Island, where we stayed most all winter in Fort Lauderdale, Florida is one home.  We left there yesterday and traveled about 200 miles to Orlando where we like to stay at the Thousand Trails preserve.  We also feel like we’re home when we come to a Thousand Trails Preserve.  The Orlando Preserve is where we joined Thousand Trails 5 years ago and we’ve come here several times since.

Here’s our site.  We’ll stay here 2 nights, then move on.

And here’s Mom toasting the evening on our walk down to the Lake.  What you can’t see in this picture is the horseflies!  I don’t remember them being a problem here before – must be the time of year – but they were vicious!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

6 New Tires – Ready to Roll

We have almost 8,000 miles planned for this summer and Jim wanted to ride those miles on Michelin tires rather than the assortment we had, so he drove our home to the tire store this week while I went over to my Mom’s house.  We hit the road today, just going a couple hundred miles to the Orlando Thousand Trails.  I’m anxious to know if I feel the difference.
Mom likes traveling with us in the RV so much that she’s coming with us for the first leg of our trip … to Bowling Green, Kentucky.  We’ll be presenting seminars at the RV Lifestyle, Education and Safety Conference from June 3-6.  Then, I”ll fly back with her and stay at her place for a couple weeks while Jim stays alone with the RV in Kentucky,  I think our belief is that, after a period with 3 people together, an adjustment time alone will bring us back to normal? 
On Friday, we finally got the weather needed for a kayak dive.  Jim’s been out a couple of times recently, but I haven’t been since last October.  I’m SOO grateful for that day.  If you’ve never been diving, it’s probably hard to imagine the pure joy and contentment that is brought on by being weightless in warm ocean water – no talking – no listening except to your bubbles and your own thoughts.  It is my meditation.  See this past post for more description on why we like kayak diving so much.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

It’s about Time

Life just hasn’t been very bloggable lately.  But I figured it’s about time I posted something.  And, since we’re leaving in a week, it was also about time that we got the grandkids over here to the pool.  Luckily this time they were available.  In fact, the whole family was available.  So Jim cooked chicken wings and mini hamburgers and hot dogs for Devon and the kids, Lacie, Jo Ellen, John, me and mom.  It was a nice time.

Here's Devon (Jim's son) with his 'mini-me' AJ, Jim's grandson. So cute.

And Jim’s daughter-in-law Lacie

This is what it’s all about … Gramps time.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Two Web-based Conferences in One Day

Yesterday was truly Geeky!  A web-based meeting with Google in California, and a Webinar we presented with the folks at Mobile RV Academy in Texas. All from the comfort(?) of our RV in Florida.

In the afternoon I was part of a Web ‘Meetup’ with the folks at Google’s Picasa group.  The founders of were also there and they answered questions about this latest acquisition of Google’s.  How exciting that must be to have your company purchased by Google!  And, it’s pretty exciting news for Picasa users too. allows you to do even more editing to your pictures than in Picasa – and it’s completely web based. 

But the cool thing for me was to be part of this meeting in California without leaving my RV in Florida.  I just browsed to the specified web address and logged in – I could see Jaysie from Google, who we met last November on our visit.  I was a little scared at first that they were going to ask everyone to turn on their webcams and be visible … I was not presentable!  I was able to ask questions, and I got to ‘meet’ some of the ‘Top Contributors’ from the Picasa Help Forum – like Don Lind who is not only a wealth of information but really takes the time to fully answer the questions.

Then, last night, both Jim and I were connected via Go To Webinar to the folks from Mobile RV Academy and an audience of mostly Workamper News members.  We (mostly Jim) presented our entire Connecting to the Internet on the Road seminar.  One and a half hours!  It went great.  It was recorded – we’ll probably be able to make it available for our Geeks on Tour members soon.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Happy Star Wars Day!

May the Fourth be with You!

Just heard that on the radio … thought it was so cute.

Hot and sunny is the weather word here in South Florida.  The only thing that keeps it from being perfect in our eyes is the wind.  Actually, its a delightful ocean breeze, but it makes the ocean too choppy to go kayak diving.  It’s been either cold or windy all season  - so I haven’t been diving since last October :-(  Sure hope I get at least one chance before we leave. 

We will be leaving on May 21 … giving us enough time to leisurely work our way to Bowling Green, Kentucky for the

RV Lifestyle, Education and Safety Conference in Bowling Green, KY 6/3 – 6/6

We will be presenting our regular seminars: Internet on the Road, Managing Digital Photos with Picasa, and How to make a Blog PLUS two new seminars, GPS and Navigation, and Email on the Road.

Hope to see some of you there.  If you’ve ever heard of Life on Wheels – the RV Education program – then you’ll have some idea of what to expect in Bowling Green.  You can see a complete schedule of all the education being offered at:  I hope we have time to attend a few of these too!


Webinar this Thursday

If you can’t make any of our live seminars – we’ll be doing a complete ‘Connecting to the Internet on the Road’ seminar online this Thursday evening.  It’s a 75 minute Webinar presented by Mobile RV Academy

More info and Register for:

75 Minute Informational Webinar - Terry Cooper w/Expert Guest Jim & Chris Guld of Geeks on Tour

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Polynesian Festival

Mom happened to see a notice for a Polynesian Festival and she cut it out of the paper.  What a treat! Right here in our city of Oakland Park (in the Greater Fort Lauderdale area.)  And, it was at Jaco Pastorius park, named after a jazz musician that Jim was familiar with – apparently a local boy.  Jim had just been reading about this park named after Jaco because of his tragic story.  Successful musician, killed in a bar fight.

Anyway, the festival and the entertainment were provided by the Polynesian Cultural Association.  Jim and I, Lynne and John, and Mom took a few hours yesterday afternoon and enjoyed the festival.  Mom even dressed in her Polynesian best.

Come to find out there is a dance studio where you can learn to do this dancing … Ooooh that would be so much fun.

Samoan Bouncer?  Actually – this guy was very friendly … he danced and made baskets too.

Face painting was also a popular activity for the day.

Here's a short video: