Monday, April 02, 2018

Kayak Diving

It's been windy in South Florida. Even though the weather looks perfectly beautiful, it needs to also be calm in order to be a good day for kayak diving. March 30, the last day of lobster season was a calm day. We didn't have any obligations for the day, so ...

That's all I'll say because I've said it all before - we love kayak diving. Here are lots of past posts about kayak diving.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

March for our lives in Parkland, FL 3/24/18

We participated in the #MarchForOurLives event in Parkland. It was an emotional day.

On February 14, 2018, Jim and I went out for a Valentine's Day breakfast at our favorite breakfast place, Commercial Point Cafe. When we were leaving, we noticed a Blood Mobile in the parking lot and, since we had no other obligations that day, decided to take the time to give blood. This is something we used to do regularly before we took to the road in 2003. So, it's been 15 years, and we picked today to give blood again. Did we have a premonition? No. But, later that same day, a shooter blasted away at a high school nearby, killing 17 and injuring many others. I can only hope our donation did some good.
Back when I was a lawyer in California in 1980, I debated gun control, my research showed that a gun you own was MUCH more likely to be used against you than to protect you. I just can't believe that our country loves guns so much they can't even ban semi-automatic rifles used in so many mass shootings. In fact, they were banned from 1994 to 2004 - how could we let that ban expire? I hope these kids from Parkland are indeed the tipping point to say that gun culture has reached its peak and it's time for the pendulum to swing the other way. We were happy to have the opportunity to support them in the march.
I see our gun culture as a public health issue, the more guns, the more gun deaths. It's hard to change culture, it takes time, but it can be done. Look at cigarette smoking. Not that long ago, every bar was filled with smoke ... not now. I have hope that we can begin to change the gun culture.Just a thought - if you really want a weapon for self-defense, aren't there non-lethal alternatives? Stun guns? That way, you could have it available at all times without fear that you'll kill someone by mistake, or that a child will get hold of it and kill someone by mistake. My Dad slept with a gun under his pillow. He also drank a lot ... I tried not to think about it. One night a police officer came to his door, he thought it was a burglar and shot. Luckily, he missed.
I recently read an account of a tourist in the US who was pulled over for a traffic stop, being from Australia, his nature was to be friendly and get out of his car to greet the police officer. He did not know that police have to assume everyone has a gun! What a shock when the officer had him down on the ground, hands up. Actually, it seems to me that police should be the biggest proponents of gun control. They are the most at risk.
Here's a comedian's sketch on guns in the US that I think makes great points. If you're offended by the F word, don't watch.

Monday, March 19, 2018

FMCA Convention in Perry Georgia

We figured out that this year was our 26th time presenting seminars at the FMCA national conventions. Back in 2004 we were there presenting seminars for Coach Connect, a company who installed WiFi in RV parks. After they went out of business we were invited back to FMCA on our own and Geeks on Tour was born in 2006. See this blog post for more history.
This year, the convention was held at the Georgia National Fairgrounds in Perry, Georgia. Here was our seminar line up this year:
  1. Technology for Travelers
  2. Smartphones: What does this button do?
  3. Google Photos: What to do with all those photos?
  4. Smartphone Photography
  5. Create your online travelogue
  6. See descriptions of all our seminars on this web page.

We got off to a bad start waking up at 6am to a freezing 29 degrees. We had always needed to be at our table by 7am on the first day to take registrations. We were there by 6:45 only to find the building wouldn't open till 8 ... grrrr, I mean brrrrr.
We survived that and gave our first seminar to nearly 400 people. We had to squeeze our normal 90 minutes of material into a new 60 minute format ... I talked fast! But we got some great feedback, like this:

That's what it's all about!

FMCA has always been limited to motorhomes, but they just recently opened up membership to trailers as well. I had a brilliant idea to convince my friend Alex, to join FMCA with her Casita trailer and come with us to the rally and help out at our table.
To my surprise, she said yes! And, she was  great help. We stayed at her place near Gainesville the night before and then followed each other up the road to Perry the next day.
Alex with her Casita and our Roadtrek on the way to Perry.

Alex helping out at our table
 It was a very busy week, and lots of fun seeing old friends and making new ones. Sometimes it's both old and new! One woman attended several of our classes and she came up to me more than once saying, "How do I know you?" "You look SO familiar." We couldn't come up with anything, but on the last day, she gave it another try and asked, did you go to high school at Nova?
OMG - Yes, I sure did. And so did she. Nancy was the captain of our drill team, the Titanaires, and I was co-captain - way back in 1970. Will wonders never cease? She now lives in Georgia and enjoys traveling by RV - and learning more about using her smartphone!

Here's a little Google Photos movie to sum up the week.

Oh geez, I almost forgot ... I have to tell you about the funny way our trip started.
So, we parked at Alex's house overnight before traveling up to Georgia. On tuesday morning, I considered leaving Jim alone and riding with Alex to give me quality time to catch up with my old friend. I was a little uncomfortable though and told Alex that I'd like to start out on the road with Jim, then arrange to meet up at a Walmart somewhere and I'd switch to ride with her the rest of the way.
When I told Jim he said, "I'll be fine, you go ride with her"
I went back to Alex's house, thinking she was inside. She wasn't there - her husband said, she's out in the truck. Oh - ok, but I'd better use the bathroom before we go.
Well, when I came out, both Jim and Alex were gone!
Alex thought I was with Jim, Jim thought I was with Alex, and both of them left me!

Thank God for cell phones! I was able to call Jim and make him come back to get me.

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Friday, March 02, 2018

Home in La Florida

There just isn't any place better than South Florida in winter! Did you know that the state gets it's name from the spanish word for flower? La Florida - land of flowers. And, it is so true. These are right in front of our building. (photos taken with iPhone 7+ and may be edited in Snapseed)

We love showing people our favorite parts of Fort Lauderdale, and there's nothing better to us than a water taxi ride. Chris and Charles Yust were in town just for one night before boarding a cruise ship in Port Everglades. It was a beautiful evening, so we took them for a ride!

Here's a little movie of the evening. Loved it! We're so glad Chris and Charles were here to give us an excuse to do our favorite thing!

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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Thinking about our Business

People love the logo on our t-shirts: Geeks on Tour. It's a rare waitress/waiter that doesn't ask us about it. "What is Geeks on Tour?"
Well, it's our business. We're Geeks, and we tour the country teaching technology to other travelers. "Cool," they say. "What exactly do you teach?" Well, we started traveling in a motorhome in 2003 and saw the need for fellow travelers to understand technology. We've both been computer professionals since 1983, teaching people how to use their computers, but now it's almost all about smartphones and tablets. Google Photos is our real specialty, it's the best way to manage all those thousands of photos we take these days.
By this point one of two things is happening:
  1. Their eyes are starting to glaze over and they just want to know if we're going to be ordering dessert.
  2. They're getting out their phone and want to ask us some questions about a problem they're having, and they're full of questions about our lifestyle
Our business is hard to describe because it is uniquely ours. We never designed exactly what the business was, we just kept evolving.
People who do know our business often don't get us. Some think we only teach newbies how to turn it on, what is a text message, how to send an email - real beginner stuff. Others assume we are experts and can troubleshoot any problem they're having with their device. Neither is correct. We get quite a bit more advanced than for beginners, and, although we're pretty good at troubleshooting problems, that's not our focus.
We are Geeks Who Teach. We don't wait for people to ask us questions, we come up with lessons meant to teach concepts about these devices and help people continually get better at using their phones and tablets. We have a specialty in Google Photos and teaching people about taking great photos with their phones and then what to do with them. We teach on our website. Our travels around the country are more for promoting our website. We make our living from people subscribing to the website.

  • We are not for everyone. We don't teach business applications, just the fun stuff like pictures and maps. We used to say we teach how to Plan, Preserve, and Share your travels. But, you don't have to be a traveler to want to learn this stuff. 
  • We are for people who really like to learn. They think these devices are fascinating and they want to know all they can. Not just how to do the basics, and not just how to fix specific problems. We find our biggest fans are other teachers. They understand. Teachers like learning! That's why we do it - our passion is learning. The best way to learn is to teach.
  • We are not for young folks, they don't think smartphones are fascinating - they just are! They are digital natives who don't question what to do with them, they just dive in.

Anyway, we've been thinking about how to impart all of that in some simple card. Here's what we've come up with, let us know what you think. This is two sides of a "Rack Card" (what I'm holding in the photo above) designed using

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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Teaching at Riverbend

Riverbend RV resort was actually one of our very first teaching RV related jobs - even before we were Geeks on Tour. We were working for Coach Connect, the company that installed their WiFi. We were there to teach them how to use it. It didn't work great then, and 15 years later, they still have problems. WiFi just isn't meant to work in large outdoor areas like an RV park! We can't wait for 5G.

This time around we were invited by people who stay there and have seen our seminars at FMCA rallies. We are teaching:
  1. Smartphones: What Does This Button Do?
  2. Google Photos: What to do with all your pictures?
  3. Technology for Travelers
  4. Create your online Travelog

Here is the photo album from this visit to Riverbend.

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