Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A Working Visit to Hilton Head

We knew we would be passing thru the Hilton Head area on our way back to Florida and we had a few days to spare, so we contacted our friend Catherine with the Sun City Hilton Head Computer Club and asked if they were interested in us presenting a seminar on those dates.


Their monthly meeting happened to fall on the day after we could arrive so, we scheduled our Cloud Computing Seminar for the full group, and then hands-on classes for our Smartphone/Tablet topics.  We’re continually revising our topics and welcomed the chance to teach their members on both iPhone/iPads as well as Android phones and tablets.  Within a few hours both classes were full, and there was a waiting list for the iPhone/iPad class – so we agreed to open another session. 

Here’s the Sun City Computer Group at our Cloud Computing Seminar.  See the ‘Cloud’ over Jim’s head?!

The club has a fully equipped computer lab where they teach their own classes all the time.  I hope the residents here know just how lucky they are to have all these resources!  An interesting part of teaching Smartphones and Tablets however, is that you don’t need any computer equipment!  In fact, we had to push the keyboards out of the way so they had more desk space to work with their device and take notes in their workbooks.  We did enjoy using all the teacher presentation equipment and we got in some practice using AppleTV to project the iPad.  We could even enlist a helper to display her iPhone on the big screen while she was sitting at her seat in the back of the room.  They also had a document camera we could use to project our phone complete with seeing our hands so they could see the touches involved.


We made people pick a buddy and gave them exercises to do.  This worked quite well, but we found that 3 hours just isn’t enough time, even though we’re just teaching basics!

We were quite pleased with our workbooks.  They kept us on track and gave students a reference as well as specific exercises to complete.  We might even figure out a way to provide the books so the club could teach our class themselves.  Cool idea don’t ya think?  Wouldn’t you know that a new version of the iPhone/iPad operating system was released the day before our first class!  The books will have to be modified … again.  That’s why we like producing them ourselves … print on demand!  We change them before every class!


Hilton Head Island Computer Club

When the Hilton Head Island Computer Club heard we would be in the area, they asked for a seminar too.  Sure!  When we were finished with the classes at Sun City, we stayed one more day and were able to present the same Cloud Computing seminar to the Island group.

They had new facilities since we were there last.  A nice big room and a Smart TV for display purposes.  And a fast, fiber-optic connection to the Internet!

We still brought our own cloud! Smile

If you look at our calendar and see that we may be coming your way, please contact us to present to your group.  We’ll give you all the details.  You’ll be surprised at how inexpensive we are – sometimes even free!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Military Honors for Jim Guld, Sr. at Arlington National Cemetery

This took a while to get scheduled, but it all came together and quite a few family members were able to attend. 

Jim set up an event page for the day so his Hangout video would be posted there in addition to pictures from anyone who attended.

Family came from Boston, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Florida.  We were so pleased that we could all be together to honor Jim’s wonderful Dad.  First we gathered in the administration building.

Then we caravaned to the gravesite.

It was a bit of a drizzly day, but not so bad that we couldn’t comfortable be outside.  The flag was meticulously folded and handed to Jim’s sister, Debbie.  Taps played and a gunfire salute was offered in the distance.

Then we walked over to where Jim’s Mom, Frankie is already buried – she was in the Navy also.  Jim Sr’s name will be inscribed on the opposite side of the headstone.

Here’s Jim and his sister, Debbie.

And here’s the family group shot.

Please take a look at the event page to view the video and hear Taps! 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

George Washington’s Mt. Vernon

We arrived in the D.C. area with 3 whole days to spare before the Arlington ceremony on Monday.  So we agreed to play tourist for one day and Saturday was just beautiful.  We were staying at the Elks lodge in Alexandria which is very convenient to the harbor where we saw boat tours advertised that take you to George Washington’s Mt. Vernon estate.  Perfect!  We went with the Potomac Riverboat Company.

I love going to places by boat.  I think you get the best perspective this way rather than driving to a parking lot and then walking to the attraction.  Here’s Mt. Vernon up on the hill as seen from the water.

I told you it was a beautiful day!

If you walked around long enough you were treated to a re-enactment of soldiers from Revolutionary war times.

Here’s where George and Martha are buried.

There was also a whole village of tents where crafts were being displayed and sold.  I couldn’t resist taking a picture of a George Washington lookalike though who was using a smartphone with a a credit card swiper attachment to make his sales.  I wonder what the real George would have thought?

The museum was great.  Probably the closest thing to a Presidential museum that exists for George Washington.  I think we can add it to our list of Presidential Libraries visited! I wonder if it is because his time was long before any of us can remember … or was George really as dedicated, honest, smart, and humble as they say?  One of his greatest achievements is stepping down from the presidency when everyone was more than happy to re-elect him again.  He believed in term limits!
Back in the boat and back to Alexandria at the end of the day.

Friday, September 13, 2013

7 Days Cross Country

This is not our normal way of travel, nor do we recommend it!  But, when you have to be somewhere on the other side of the country (in this case Jim’s Dad’s memorial service at Arlington) it’s good to know that it can be done in one week’s time.

Actually, it was kinda fun.  I even drove for about 2 whole hours Smile I could tell that Jim was getting a bit road-weary somewhere in Pennsylvania.  That was after 2,000 miles basically non-stop!  Good of me to relieve him for a couple hours dontcha think?


Day 1:

We actually started in Reno, Nevada.  We’d have to count an 8th day if it were non-stop from the Pacific.  We got a late start on our first day. leaving Melinda and Laird’s around 2-3 pm. 

A lot of straight roads in Nevada!

We found a nice Passport America park in Winnemucca to spend the night.

Day 2:

We both love history and couldn’t resist a stop at the California Trail center near Elko, NV

Then it was on to Utah

And crossed the Bonneville Salt Flats

We made dinner and slept in a Highway rest area just east of Salt Lake City

Day 3:

Wide Open Spaces??

Just because it looks flat, doesn’t mean we aren’t at high elevations!

On into Nebraska

We needed groceries anyway, so we made this a Walmart night in Sydney, Nebraska.

Day 4:

We started the day with a great walk from the Walmart to the nearby Cabela’s.  Beautiful morning.

Then it was back on the road!

When we weren’t listening to a Book on CD (Thank you Melinda!) I was exploring my new iPad Mini and working on how best to teach these things.  It’s such a great size for using while traveling!

We’ve stopped at this museum before.  It’s an archway right over the highway with great exhibits of the pioneers that traveled this same route so long before us.

Now, what were just wagon ruts are superhighways, thanks to President Eisenhower!

Soon, we crossed the Missouri River into Iowa.

But, it was just a little corner of Iowa, then we were in Missouri.

After two nights dry camping, we felt the need for a quiet place with electricity – so we found Sharps RV park in St. Joseph’s, Missouri.

Day 5

We crossed the Mississippi River

And were in

The land of Lincoln indeed!  We’ve spent time learning about Lincoln on a previous trip to Illinois. This time all we saw was cornfields!

And then it was time for

We stopped at a rest area just west of Indianapolis for the night.

Day 6

Although it was fine when we stopped, this rest area filled up with trucks – all running their engines and generally making a LOT of noise.  We didn’t sleep very well, so just got up and got going – it wasn’t even light yet!  We saw the sun rise in morning rush hour over Indianapolis.

Caught sight of a few more cornfields!

And then we were in Ohio.

Boy, it’s getting hilly around here.

Hilly and curvy and lots of trucks.  Must be Chris’ turn to drive!  I made it for a whole two hours before giving the wheel back to Jim!

Was that West Virginia!  Just a sliver of it this time.

Then we’re in Pennsylvania!  We’re still smiling.

Once again, we want hookups tonight!  We found a park called Mt. Morris Trailer Park in southern PA.

Day 7

Into Maryland

Did you know there was an Eastern Continental Divide?

Ahhhh … beautiful scenery

Then we hit D.C. … at 5 o’clock traffic in a rain, thunder, and lightning storm!

We made it to our destination.  An Elk’s Lodge in Alexandria, VA.  And we have 3 days to spare!  I believe in having some leeway in our schedule to deal with unforeseen circumstances – but we didn’t have any!

We’re SO glad that we learned about Elk’s Lodges RV parking.  Nick Russell of the Gypsy Journal RV Newspaper told us about this a long time ago, but we’ve really taken advantage of it this summer!  So many places where we would not be able to find reasonably priced, nearby, RV parks – yet there is an Elk’s Lodge. 

Here’s the summary:

  • 7 days, 6 nights
  • 13 states
  • 2700 miles
  • 325 gallons of fuel, $1,264
  • Avg mpg = 8.4
  • 3 nights @ $0, other 3 total $71
  • 55 hours total travel time (includes stops)
  • 8 hrs/day average travel time

Did you enjoy the ride?

If you want to see the pictures in a larger format, just click on any one.  That should take you to full-screen view.  Then you can use the slide-show thumbnails at the bottom of the screen to scroll thru all the pictures in this blog post.  To get back to the blog, click the X in the upper right corner.

And … there’s even more pictures in our monthly photo album for September!