Sunday, September 25, 2011

Too Much Fun?

Ever since we saw a portable Tiki bar outside an RV in a New York campground, Jim has wanted one.  I saw it, thought it was really cute, and then forgot all about it, but he, apparently, has just been dreaming about this Tiki bar.  So, while we had access to space, tools, and stores at the Jersey shore, Jim started putting this together ..

The Tiki Bar collapses into a package of the plastic shelving, and a roll of the bamboo and tiki torches.
We had a party the last night at the shore, and the Tiki Bar looked soo cute!

So, I told Jim:  "Gee, sweetie, that's *really* cute, but what the heck are we going to use it for?"
"Well, it can be part of our booth or table at Rallies", he said.
"What in the world does a Tiki Bar have to do with computer training?", I replied.
Not much, but it's fun:

And you can never have too much fun!

We're in Celina, Ohio now at the Gypsy Journal RV rally. Friday and Saturday we gave our hands-on computer boot camp class.  It went really well.  We only had 5 registrations, 4 couples and one single, so we didn't make as much money as we'd like, but it was a joy to teach!  We could go into depth, and really answer everybody's questions.

Although it is a serious class, we try to have fun at this too.  For example, when people tell us that they get frustrated with their computers, we warn them to control their frustrations ... then show why with this video:

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Week is Not Enough

We had a great time at the Jersey shore.  Everyone should be so lucky as we are to have a friend with a big driveway, right on the bay - and across the street from the ocean!

Sunset on the Bay

Playing in the waves on the ocean
Jim is from here, so there were lots of friends to visit.

Jennifer, Rich, Danny, Jim and Judy ... have known each other for over 40 years.

We only had one night left, so we had Jimmy take us for a boat ride, around the bay, to the lighthouse and inlet, then to dinner at a restaurant you can go to by boat.

Captain Jimmy of the Sea Lyon!
Thanks Jimmy!  We had a great time.  Next year, we need to plan a month!

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Saturday, September 17, 2011


Folks I meet often ask where I grew up. My standard answer is that I never did grow up. LBI is where I spent the years of my life they are referring to.

Long Beach Island is a special place.

My family moved to the Island in 1963 after my dad retired from the Navy. I moved away to Florida in 1985, but there is an allure here that regularly entices me to return. Chris has come to love it here, too.
September is my favorite time to visit. The weather is prime and the crowds are gone. There is one small RV park on the south end of the Island, but I have an old dive buddy friend with a roomy bayfront house and big driveway where we can park the rig.

The Island is a summer resort and escape from the Philadelphia and North Jersey urban areas. Tourism is the main industry. Construction here has been hit hard by the economy. Back when I lived here, the year round population of the Island was not more than 5,000 and the summer population was over 100,000.

My 40th High School reunion was this year. Southern Regional H.S. is on the adjacent mainland and served a huge area of southern Ocean County, including the Island.

I keep in touch with many of my old friends and family still in the area.

Facebook was instrumental in getting us together for this reunion. Alumni from all over the country collaborated and organized the event using Facebook and conference calls.

One of the things I get to do while visiting the Island is to go fishing.  Several of my friends are avid fishermen.  I am not.
I caught a "plank fish" which needs to be filleted with a power saw.  The flounder was delicious, however.

Tonight we have invited many of our friends for a special feast.  Blog post and pictures to follow.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Cross Country Travels

This isn't our preferred way to travel, but it wasn't as bad as I expected.  Maybe because our new rig is a better ride, maybe because we had a couple special stops along the way, but Wyoming to the Jersey shore was accomplished in an easy 9 days.  Taking pictures was not a priority since we were covering territory - traveling east - that we had just seen in traveling west.  But I can't help but snap a couple here and there with my Droid phone since it's always with me.  Because the Droid is also a GPS (and I have the setting turned on to add GPS coordinates to pictures), Picasa shows me a map of our last week shown as picture spots. The image below is a screen shot, but when you're using Picasa, you can click those little red baloons and see the pictures associated.

In addition to the special stop in Moline for the Picasa seminar, we also stopped in Elkhart, Indiana where our Gypsy Journal friends, Nick and Terry Russell were parked.  We hadn't seen them since last December in Florida and we decided that a 'Nick Fix' would do us good.  Besides, they just bought 2 new iMac computers and we had to see them!  We will be at their Gypsy Journal rally at the end of this month, but we're all so busy then that there's not much time to chat.  It was great seeing them, and their 2 new family members!  Those computers sure are pretty with their large, beautiful screens.  And, I really liked the touchpads instead of mice.  It's more like using an iPad or Droid type of touch screen with the pinch moves.

If you don't know about Nick and Terry and their Gypsy Journal Newspaper, you owe it to yourself to go take a look.  Nick is such an amazingly good writer that his daily blog attracts several thousand readers every day!  They have been fulltimers for over 10 years and are instrumental in teaching a lot of folks about the best way to enjoy the RVing lifestyle.  We originally met them when they were instructors for Life on Wheels.  Now, we have presented our seminars at their rallies for several years, and are proud to call them friends.  Their Gypsy Gathering Rally in Celina, Ohio September 25-30 will be our last rally of the season. We're offering our Computer Boot camp, plus 10(!) other seminars throughout the week.  You can see the complete schedule by clicking on the link to their rally page.  If you haven't signed up  yet ... what are you waiting for?

Back on the road after Elkhart, our only destination was Long Beach Island, on the Jersey shore.  But, as it turned out, we had one more stop to make.  We filled up with Diesel fuel in Ohio just before the Pennsylvania state line because we didn't think we'd see the $3.69/gallon price again for a while.  About 20 miles down the road the 'Check Engine' light came on - plus a couple other lights we didn't recognize.
What do those lights mean?

Jim took the next exit and turned into the first parking lot he could find while we searched for a Chevy dealer using our Droid smartphones.  Luckily there was one not too far away.  Their service department would be closed by the time we got there, but they said we could park in their lot overnight and they'd check things out in the morning.
They mean we get to spend the night at camp Chevy Dealer!
No other bad indicator lights were on - it wasn't overheating or anything - but the speedometer didn't leave the 0 mark as we drove and their was NO power.  On several hills before the dealership, we were concerned that we would not make it to the top.  But we did.  The next morning, the service guy found the problem - 4 broken wires.  So, the engine goes into what is called 'Limp Mode' whenever an error condition occurs.  Learn something new all the time!  They soldered the wires back together, we paid $200, and we were on our way.

After successfully negotiating the flooded landscape of eastern Pennsylvania, we finally made it to the shore. Here's our parking spot for the next week!  And, we're off to Jim's high school reunion tonight.

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Thursday, September 08, 2011

Quad Cities Computer User Group

Last night we presented a Picasa Seminar to the Quad Cities Computer Society in Moline, Illinois.  It was the first time we've given our seminar to a non-RVing group.  Vicki from the group contacted us several months ago.  She said that several Internet searches for help with Picasa ended at our Geeks on Tour website.  Since her group had several people needing help with Picasa, she wondered if we would be interested in doing a remote, Skype, webinar for her group.

Sure, but wait a minute, where did you say you were?  We checked the map and noticed that Moline, Illinois was right on our route from Gillette, Wyoming to New Jersey ... how about we do a regular, live seminar?  Her response .. Cool!
Here's Vicki with Judi, the President of the group.

They advertised the event in the local newspaper - billing us as 'Internationally known experts'  :-) and had a great response.

We really enjoyed ourselves, and loved all the comments from computer group folks.  We might be seeing more computer clubs in our future!  Here's what Vicki, and another attendee posted on our Facebook page:

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Sunday, September 04, 2011

Lots of Work, Lots of Fun

I'm sure you've heard the saying that, "If you find a way to make your living with something you love to do - you'll never have to work a day in your life." 
Or something like that :-)
We are living proof.  We were as busy as we could be this past week - thus the lack of blog posts - but I also can't imagine having more fun.  Here are a few pictures of the seminars we presented at the Escapade this week:

Our Picasa: Beyond the Basics seminar

Our Facebook Seminar

Our Streets and Trips seminar
All five seminars we taught this week had really good attendance, and I think they *all* came by our booth too.  I'm surprised that I didn't lose my voice by the end of the week!  We loved every minute! 

We also had some time to get together with Phil and Tracey from TechnoRV and made further plans for our own rally.  We have an  RV park booked!  It's in Bushnell, Florida and the dates are April 22-28.  We've set up a public Facebook event that you can see for further details.
Don't we look like we're working?!
A couple of other items of note from the Escapade: Jim became a member of the Elks. There are Elks lodges all over the country that have overnight parking facilities for RVs.  We look forward to taking advantage of them now.  Meanwhile, Jim is a proud member of the Gillette, Wyoming Elks Lodge!  We also met Don and Pat of They find Wineries, Vineyards, and Farms willing to let RVs park overnight on their properties.  Talk about right up our alley! 

We left Gillette yesterday and are puting the miles on in order to get to the New Jersey shore (Long Beach Island) in time for Jim's 40th High School reunion on September 10.  No time for sightseeing, but I did snap this shot of Devil's tower from the window!

Devil's Tower as seen from Highway 90 in Wyoming

We do have one stop in between.  We agreed to present a special Picasa seminar at the Quad Cities Computer Society in Moline, Illinois.  It's right on our route.  See the news article about our appearance.

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