Tuesday, July 24, 2012

NEAR Rally

We've been at the FMCA NE Area Rally (NEAR) for the past week.  It's a beautiful location in Essex Junction, Vermont.

The blue marker is where we are at the NEAR Rally.  Right next to Burlington, VT on the shores of Lake Champlain

We've had stunningly gorgeous weather this week.  High 70s/Low 80s during the day, and 50s at night.  Blue skies and fluffy white clouds.

RVs parked at Champlain Valley Exposition.  A great place for a rally.
We had a regular booth here, complete with our 'Geeky Tiki'  It's nice to meet people who are already members of Geeks on Tour.  One guy stopped by to say 'Thank You for keeping me company across the country'  Huh?  He told us that he was a truck driver making long hauls, and he would set up our tutorial videos to play as he drove.  He said he learned a lot even though he wasn't watching - just listening.

Our booth with the Geeky Tiki

Bill Golden listened to our videos while truck driving.
One  rally-goer took advantage of our videos and headset at our booth to learn something.
Other Rally-goers let Jim set up their smartphone as a Wi-Fi hotspot.  They were thrilled to learn that they could use this to get their computers online.
Most of the time, however, we were giving seminars.  We had 6 one-hour seminars, and 2 3-hour hands on workshops.  That's what we love to do, but it's time in the booth where we can make some money.  Our schedule left us free to be in the booth for the final afternoon of the rally.  That's perfect - people have seen our seminars and now they want to take us home with them, so we sell them our DVD and website membership.  BUT, on that last day, it was announced that the vendor area would be closed as of noon - just when our last seminar finished.
:-(  No money for us!  :-(

It wasn't a total loss - there were a few early birds who took advantage of our rally special bundle of the DVD plus one year membership for $59.  And we did reach lots of new people who loved our seminars and signed up for our free newsletters. Some of them might become members online sometime.

One thing that always makes me feel richer is spending money like I have it!  You know the saying - I must have money, there's still checks in the checkbook!  So when we were getting some of our handouts printed at Staples and saw the new Google Nexus 7 tablet available on the shelf, Jim and I looked at each other and said, "We have to buy it!"  We already have an iPad - probably the best tablet out there.  What excites us about the Nexus tablet is that it has GPS built in (the WiFi only iPad doesn't) and, it has Google Navigation, the program we love to use on our Droid Razr Smartphones.  I can't wait to see Google Navigation on a 7 inch tablet.  And ... it was only $250, compared to $650 or so that we paid for the iPad last year.

Jim with our new Google Nexus 7 Android tablet
We also splurged on going out to dinner with Phil and Tracey.  We always have such a good time with them.  We start by finding some good beer ... not just any beer will do with a connoisseur like Phil!  I have discovered Belgian beers.  OMG are they tasty!

Then we find some nice place for dinner - Tracey does a lot of research for these things on the Internet, they always seem to know the best places wherever we happen to hook up with them..  Last night we went to Leunigs Bistro.  I had a salad nicoise, Jim had scallops, and we shared a Creme Brulee for dessert.  I can never pass up a creme brulee!

Dinner gave us some time to discuss our next Techno-Geek Learning rally.  I wasn't sure if we would do it at all.  I figure that Phil and Tracey need time to grieve over the loss of their son last month, but ... you can't just sit around and cry, they want to stay busy and they've decided to continue with the RV lifestyle at least for the foreseeable future.  They do want to be near their daughter, Ally, who is in Charleston, SC now.  So, we settled on the first week of October, and we need to find some accommodating RV park near Charleston.

We'll be leaving today and headed for Connecticut where we're doing a Facebook presentation to the PC Users' Group of Connecticut.  When we're finished there, we're headed to Lansing, Michigan to take a class!!  Camtasia, the software I use for the tutorial videos is made by Techsmith, based in Michigan and they're hosting a ScreenCast Camp!  What fun.  I'm really looking forward to it.

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Tom and Leah Van de Bussche said...

When in Michigan if you are near Frankenmuth, you need to stop at Tony's and split one of their famous BLTs.

Sorry to hear about Jim's dad.

Take care,
Tom and Leah

John Huber said...

I know you guys like the East, but you need to make a trip to the West for all of us loyal subscribers! How about Nick's Yuma rally? I need help with my smart phone, and I could share a good bottle of red wine with you guys.

The BooneDocks said...

We were in the same Vermont area at the time of your rally. Isn't Burlington a fantastic small town?

Chris Guld said...

The west is definitely on our agenda for next summer. We won't make it to Yuma though.