Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Record Setting Drive Today

And, we didn't even hit the road till 11am!  We said our goodbyes to Phil, Tracey, Ally, and all their wonderful family who were staying on for a while longer to be there for them.  They also were leaving today - from the campground where so much had happened over the last couple weeks.  We will probably return to this campground when we are in the Indianapolis area again later this summer.  The owners, Steve and Terry were so wonderful, and it really is a nice campground - check it out if you're in the area ... Timberline Campground.

Then we hit the road.  Destination - Long Beach Island, New Jersey - about 700 miles away.  We figure it will take us 2-3 days - we really don't have anything we want to see along the way, so we'll just drive till we get tired and sleep at a rest area, or a Walmart, or Truck stop.

We started in Indiana, then crossed into Ohio, West Virginia, and finally Pennsylvania:

It felt good to be on the road. I even took my turn at the wheel, driving a couple of hours - in three states! - while Jim rested.  Once we got on the Pennsylvania Turnpike - we figured that a Turnpike Service Area would be a good place to stop and sleep a bit.  We pulled into the Sideling Hill service plaza, and were distressed to find that all the Truck/RV parking spaces were Back-In spaces.  HUH!?  I've never seen that, they've all been pull-thru in every other rest area I've seen.  When you're towing a car behind an RV, backing into a parking space is NOT an option!  So, we kept going.

By the time (9:45) we finally found a parking spot at the Cumberland Valley rest area, we had traveled over 500 miles for the day!  Definitely a record.  Now we only have 200 miles tomorrow to reach our destination - Jimmy Lyon's driveway!  This is our favorite spot to park in the whole country.  We will be there for Jimmy's Corned Ham Party.  Then we'll stay thru the week of July 4.  Looking forward to it.

Further your computer education**Subscribe to the Free Geeks on Tour Newsletters**

Monday, June 25, 2012

Define Family

It’s been a sad week.  As Jim wrote in the last post, our friends Phil and Tracey May lost their son Josh in a senseless accident.  Then, within days, we both had to go to a big RV rally in Louisville, KY and do our job.  Phil stayed with us in our motorhome while he worked the rally.  Tracey stayed home while her Dad, who had flown over from England took her place at the rally.  Tracey’s Mom stayed with her at the RV park.  Ally also went to the rally to work the booth and she stayed with another RVing friend (Jim with Blue Ox).  It was probably good to be busy – we actually had a nice time with our slumber parties with Phil and ‘Dad.’ 
Today is the day for Josh’s memorial.
It was a 3 hour drive after the rally to come back to the RV park.  When we got here the place was buzzing.  Several more family members have flown over from England to be here.  And friends from as far away as California have also come.  The park manager put his own 5th Wheel trailer in the site next to the May’s so that their visitors would have a place to stay.
The May's RV with family and friends.  The park owner put their 5th Wheel on the lot next to them so family who flew in from England would have a place to stay.
The May's RV with family and friends. The park owner put their 5th Wheel on the lot next to them so family who flew in from England would have a place to stay.
And we aren’t the only RV Family here either.  RV’s have been arriving all day and filling the place.  People who don’t know about the RVing family might feel bad that the May’s (Phil, Tracey and Ally) are on the road and don’t have family and friends nearby in their community.  What they don’t know is that RV friends have wheels on their homes and can make a community wherever you are.
Other friends from the RV Rally have been arriving all day for Josh's memorial
Other friends from the RV Rally have been arriving all day for Josh's memorial
Other friends from the RV Rally have been arriving all day for Josh's memorial
Other friends from the RV Rally have been arriving all day for Josh's memorial
Gathering for Josh's Memorial
Gathering for Josh's Memorial
As you hear about in many tragedies, you find out some wonderful things about the people around you ..  how good and loving they are.  We are all family when someone we love is hurting.

In case you don't know Phil, Tracey, Ally, and Josh - here's a little video I did about them and their business TechnoRV.  This was taken a couple years ago.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Good Sam Rally

The Good Sam RV Rally is one of the biggest ones.  We were here - also in Louisville - 2 years ago.  And it was just as hot!  In the 90's every day.  Luckily we had a site with electric hookup so we could leave the air conditioner on all day for Odie.  We were really busy with 2 hands-on classes (Photo Editing with Picasa, and Smartphone Boot Camp) on the early bird day, then 2 seminars each day during the rally.  We had one room almost to ourselves for the entire rally.
There were fewer people this time around.  I'd say we averaged about 150 people per seminar and last time I recall about 250.

We really enjoyed teaching about smartphones.  Jim has it set up so that he can hold the smartphone and operate it, while the audience sees what he's doing projected on the big screen:

In between seminars, we hung out by our 'Geeky Tiki' at the CyberLounge area of the Rally.

Back at home, we had house guests - Phil and his Father-in-Law, Ken - stayed with us while they left Tracey and their motorhome back in Indiana waiting for the memorial.  Ken took Tracey's place working their Tire-Tracker booth.  I think staying busy was good for Phil, and we enjoyed our 'slumber party.'

Further your computer education**Subscribe to the Free Geeks on Tour Newsletters**

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day

It is Father's Day.  My son called me first thing this morning to wish me a Happy Father's Day.  So nice.  I can wish him the same now that he is a father, too.  I called my dad and told him he was the best father I could ever want.  And I mean it.  Not just today, but everyday.  Not everyone is so lucky.

We are in Indiana today.  We didn't plan on being here today.  Circumstances compelled us to be here.  We were in Tennessee just the day before yesterday.  We were getting prepared for the Good Sam Rally in Louisville this coming week.
We got a call Friday evening from our good friend Phil May.  Phil and Tracey are TechnoRV.  Most of our RV friends know them and their two wonderful kids, Ally and Josh.  Josh went for a walk Wednesday evening and did not return.  A search Thursday morning located Josh's body on the ground near the river.  Cause of death; asphyxiation.  No answers, only questions.  He was 14 years old, bright and invincible.
We are here.  To be with our friends in their time of grief.  Maybe to distract them just a bit.  Not to diminish the tragedy and loss, but for something else.  I'm not sure what.

The Timberline Valley RV Resort campground owners and fellow campers have been absolutely wonderful.  The local police set up a special fund and generous contributions have come from the community.  A local pilot flew Phil and Tracey to Charleston so they could break the news to Ally and bring her back to be with them.  Tracey's parents flew in from England.  Friends from Chicago came down and picked the parents up from the airport in Indianapolis in the middle of the night.
We spent the day together.  Phil, Tracey, Ally, Tracey's mum and dad, Chris and I.  It was a good day.

A memorial service is planned for Monday June 25 here at the park.

Take nothing for granted.  Enjoy every moment.  Life is fragile.

Rest in Peace, Josh.  We loved you.

Further your computer education**Subscribe to the Free Geeks on Tour Newsletters**

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Flight to fort Lauderdale

We still had plenty of time before our next rally on Louisville, so I decided to make a quick trip to fort Lauderdale to visit mom.  She's doing fine and there's nothing really I needed to do - maybe I'm afraid she'll forget who I am if I don't visit often enough.
Anyway, we had a nice visit. She first greeted me no different than if I had been there the day before. And each day she she said goodbye with despair in her voice like she would never see me again, even though I told her I would be back the next day.
She seems genuinely content at this assisted living facility. And we had a very nice time visiting my dear friend Chris Lorber. Mom loved the royal poinciana tree. The flight both ways was uneventful and almost pleasant.  Everything worked out so well that I may even do this again.
Jim and Odie survived just fine ... But it was sure good to be back and get a good hug!
Mom Loves her trees!  This is a particularly nice ficus right on the property 
Automatic Panorama shot with my Droid Razr.  Spectacular Royal Poinciana in Chris' front yard.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Hanging out in Tennessee

We are Escapees members and we've stayed at the Raccoon valley park before. It's just north of Knoxville and on our way to Louisville where our next rally is.
The weather has been just perfect. Clear and sunshiny. In the 60s overnight and high of about 80 in the afternoon.  Hopefully we'll take at least one day before we leave to see Great Smoky Mountain Natl park.
We have a lot of website work to do as always, plus we're creating a couple new classes for this summer.

Has anyone else noticed how multitasking doesn't work? I started a new project a couple weeks ago and have been getting nowhere with it.  I finally put blinders on, closed email and Facebook, ignored Jim and Odie, put headphones on and got to work. Four days later I had my new online short course on picasa collages done.  I hope people like it. I uploaded one of the videos to YouTube for a free taste.  Doing business on the internet is an interesting dance of doing a lot of work for free in hopes of enticing enough people to pay a little to get the whole package.  It actually can work pretty well because the internet is such a big marketplace, but don't let anybody tell you that it's not a lot of work!
Right now i'm at the airport cuz I decided this is the only time during the summer that it would be convenient to go to fort Lauderdale and visit mom.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Two Weeks at thousand trails

Our membership in thousand trails allows us to stay for two Weeks at a time, so that's what we did. I loved it. Enough time to get work done and still feel ok about taking a couple days to sightsee.
I told you how the Verizon service was pretty good here.  Did I tell you that I  upgraded my phone to a 4g Droid Razr last week? Oh boy, is it amazing, even in a 3g area.  I wrote a lot more about it on our website's forum - www.geeksontour.Tv/forum - in the Droid group. But then! Wonder of wonders! Last week Verizon flipped the switch and turned 4g on for this whole area.  Fast fast, fast.  Our Billing cycle, and the new 4g service started on June 1. By June 3 we had racked up over 6GB!  Like drinking from a fire hose.
Were back on the road today and headed to raccoon valley escapees park just north of Knoxville. Then I'll fly to ft Lauderdale for a few days to visit mom.