Monday, November 29, 2021


 I committed to writing a daily blog post until the end of the year. I woke up in the middle of the night realizing that I didn't do that yesterday - Monday. So - I'm writing this morning - Tuesday and cheating by setting the publish-on date to yesterday. Near enough!

Since we work on Sunday with our YouTube show, Monday is our day off. Or at least it feels that way. It feels like a Sunday, we try not to schedule anything on Mondays and we do whatever we feel like. Of course, most days are like that now. Except for our show Sundays, it's hard to ever tell what day it is any more. Oh yeah, there's our Toastmasters meeting on Thursday morning and our Tech-sharing small group meeting on Friday mornings. Most mornings Jim and I look at each other and ask "what day is it?" I have to look at my watch to be sure. That's actually one thing I really like about the Apple Watch - the way it prominently displays the day of the week. Here's my watch face, notice the TUE in upper right:

A screenshot of my Apple Watch. How did I get a screenshot? Press the digital crown and the side button at-the-same-time and let go to see a flash.

Today was the day I promised to start my bookkeeping. I'm bad about bookkeeping. No, worse than that. I just don't do bookkeeping at all. It is the end of the year, and if I want the CPA to prepare our business tax returns, I need to give him some numbers! So, I opened up Quickbooks online (for the first time this year) and started with January. Quickbooks automatically gets all the transactions from our business bank account, but I have to look at each one and enter a category. Then I open the statement from the bank and balance it in Quickbooks. I used to also balance the PayPal statement, and the credit cards, now I cheat. I just make sure to pay off the credit cards from the business account, and transfer all income from PayPal to the Business account. That means that everything related to the business goes thru the bank account - voila! only one account to categorize and balance.  The CPA said he could live with that as long as I also provided the PayPal and credit card statements. Cheating? or Smart?

As much as I hate to do bookkeeping, it surprises me the satisfaction I get from it. I finished 2 months by the end of the day and I was actually in a very good mood. Bookkeeping uses a different part of my brain than my teaching/writing/video-making. It's not creative (at least it's not supposed to be!) When I sit down to do bookkeeping there are specific steps to follow - all I have to do is remember them. Then, when I get to the balancing part, there's proof that I've done something right! When it shows $0 left I'm done, and I know it's done right! There is no such thing as "done" or "done right" in my creative endeavors. It actually feels pretty good. I think I'll do another couple months :-)

My new phone arrived! Two days early. So exciting. Now if I could only get the box open!

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Youtube, Football and M*A*S*H*

 Today is Sunday and we're doing our live YouTube show, Episode 224 of What Does This Button Do? I had work to do this morning as I was less than half prepared for the show as of 8am when I woke up. I rolled over and thought about it a bit. Then I got up and made coffee, read a couple chapters in my current favorite book, "The TAO of Willie" by Willie Nelson. Eventually, I was ready to go to my computer and start working. 

Our show is LIVE. It's not just us talking, we demonstrate stuff on the computer and on phones. Jim has several cameras and he switches among them as I try to demonstrate different things. Live is risky, demonstrations go awry. So I try to have one or two or three pre-recorded videos. I recorded one yesterday and I had one more to make this morning. It's about how to make your Emergency contacts show up on your phone's lock screen. It seems to work a little different each time I go thru the process. Making the video was an aggravating experience, but I got it done. Then we did our show with a mixture of live presentation and the 2 videos.

After our live show, we hold a Zoom meeting for members only. One of our members, Walter, relayed how our show introduced him to the apple watch earlier this year. He got one and just last week it alerted him to the fact that he was exhibiting symptoms of atrial fibrilation. He went to a doctor who put him on some medications and congratulated him for the early detection. Walter credits us with saving his life :-) I don't know about that, but it certainly feels good to hear that people benefit from our teaching. Then we got to chat with all sorts of friends and members. We are so grateful for technology and Zoom in particular!!

When we're done with our work, it's time for Football - the Dolphins are playing the Carolina Panthers. I'm not really a football fan - it's quite a horrible sport , broken bones, multiple concussions, and millions of dollars for no good purpose. But, its a diversion, and many years ago we committed to being Dolphins fans and watching the games whenever possible. When we're on the road, we find a sports bar to hang out in for the afternoon. We actually found the most rabid Dolphin fan we've ever met in Pismo Beach California - it was so much fun. It's hard to be a Dolphins fan when they lose 7 in a row like earlier this season. But that makes it even more fun when they win 4 in a row like right now! 

Jim graduated from Southern Regional High School in New Jersey. One of the star receivers on the Dolphins team right now also graduated from Southern Regional (Gesicki) so he feels an extra reason to cheer.

At one point during the game, a player took off before he was supposed to - offsides. That happens a lot, but they usually don't get as far as this guy did - it made us laugh out loud and Jim said, "That's just like the football scene in the movie M*A*S*H* that always makes me laugh" So, as soon as the game was over, I found the movie Mash on one of our streaming services and we had a little walk down memory lane.

Saturday, November 27, 2021

A typical Saturday

 Very little in our lives is "typical" but today was close. We do our YouTube shows on Sundays. Not every Sunday, but we've done 223 episodes over the last 7 years, so I have the routine fairly well down. I come up with the topic and Jim creates the show on Thursday or Friday - it shows up on YouTube and is scheduled to go live in the future. I start pulling my thoughts together about what I want to teach, then on Saturday, I start the lesson plan. 

This episode will be one of our "HodgePodge of Tech Tips." One of the tips - How to transfer photos from a real camera to your phone - would be very hard to demonstrate live, so I spent some time today making a video that we can play on Sunday.

Here's the notice I sent out to our email list:

Hodgepodge of Tech Tips

Where to put Emergency contacts on your phone, transferring photos from real cameras to phone, backing up phone photos with a USB stick, using Google Photos to delete, when LastPass doesn't work right, magnifying your phone's screen, scanning QR codes, and more...
What: Episode 224 What does this button do?
Where: YouTube here. Also livestreaming on our Facebook page here.
When: Sunday Nov 28, 2021 at 2pm Eastern, (1 Central, 12 noon Mountain, 11am Pacific, 8pm Berlin, and 4am Monday in Sydney 😁)
Topic: Hodgepodge of tech tips
Can't join us live? No worries, the same link will take you to the replay recording.


Jim made breakfast of french toast with strawberries - my favorite. Then, for dinner, he continued his experiment with making pizza. It's getting better! I think I could even call this crust, "thin and crispy" - that's how we like it.

We went for our walk around the neighborhood. It was a gorgeous day  outside.

And, I ended the day watching the Amazon Prime show called Goliath. It's a really good show, starring Billie Bob Thornton as an attorney. Each season tackles a big case, this season - 4 I think - took on big Pharma and Opioids. Wow. I watched the finale tonight. I won't spoil it but just say that the courtroom scenes were riveting, and it really makes me want to know more about where we're at in real life. I had a good friend who died after getting addicted to Oxycontin. So wrong.

Friday, November 26, 2021

New phone

I bought my Samsung note 9 phone about 3 years ago thru Verizon. It's still perfectly good, but I like to have the latest and greatest. Three years is about the maximum for that, so I've been thinking about what new phone I want. 
I also have an iPhone SE. That's a whole other story. I actually love that phone. The people we teach are equally split between iPhone and Android and the bulk of the Android folks are Samsung so I feel the need to have a Samsung. I'll let Jim have the Google phone (pixel) even though I may think it's the best.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 phone

I decided I would get the Z Flip, it's a folding phone and I like the concept. It would be fun to have something different. I think I would use the ability to set the phone on a table and take a selfie. When it's folded, it would fit in my pocket - no need for a case because the screen is protected when it's folded. The camera and other phone functions are no better than my 3 year old phone.
Jim drove me to the Verizon store today and I checked out the flip. I also checked out the S21 Ultra, Samsung's current top-of-the-line "Flagship" phone.
Uh oh, there goes my decision on the flip.

 The S21 Ultra phone's camera swept me off my feet. It has 4, yes 4, separate lenses, from ultra wide angle to 10X telephoto. I tried the display model and the 10X zoom could read a sign across the street. Yikes! Gotta have it.
They didn't have any in stock so it will be delivered next week. Oh boy!

Thursday, November 25, 2021

A very happy Thanksgiving

 I wake up every morning with a smile on my face because life is so good. Today - Thanksgiving Day - is no exception. I reach for Jim, we hug and kiss and smile at each other. Today will be a great day. We're going to Jim's sister's house for Thanksgiving dinner, and she's doing all the work - we're just bringing the wine. 

We tell each other a few of the things we're grateful for - technology is high on the list. Zoom, that has allowed us to continue our teaching to small groups even though we couldn't get together in person. It also allowed us to do presentations to groups that we would never be able to do live. Smartphones and photography which give us something to teach.We have each other, we're both healthy (even the doctor says so - we had a checkup this week) we love our home, and we have the wherewithal to travel when we want.

The time came to get ready to go. We decided to take the RV. It's about an hour drive to Jim's sister's. It's good to exercise the van and it's been sitting for a while. We pick up Devon and make to Jim's sister's about 3.

Smells good! The pilgrims are prepared!

Brother and Sister

The feast

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Feeling Retired

 Jim and I have referred to ourselves as "Semi-Retired" for a few years now. Now I'm working on getting rid of that "Semi." Today is a great example.

I got up at 8:30 and made coffee, then sat down at the computer. Looked at emails, watched a few YouTube videos on the current news. Jim made a delicious scrambled egg with spinach, onions, and cheese breakfast.

Next I went thru our travel itinerary for January and made a Google My Maps of the trip we have planned. This is a trip that is all planned out by Overseas Adventure Travel. Putting the details on a map really helped bring it to life. We signed up for this trip after our Dive trip to Palau got canceled due to Covid. We're keeping fingers crossed that this trip doesn't suffer the same fate.

 In the afternoon, I called a good friend in Nevada and chatted for a while. When she mentioned that she was missing photos from the last few years, the teacher in me jumped up and insisted that she open the Google Photos app on her phone and check a couple of things. That prompted me to write an article, "Organizing your photos with Google Photos – Step 1"

Then, I started thinking about what topics I want to cover in our live YouTube show this Sunday. This has been part of our business since 2014.

So, you see, I don't really want to be completely retired. I need to teach. If I'm not learning and teaching, then I'm not living. And, I'm so grateful that our busines ( gives me an outlet to do just that. But, I no longer have the energy to build a business. I appreciate the people who help support us by being members of, and I hope that some new people see the value of joining, but neither Jim nor I are going to push it. There are other things we want to do.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Writing day to day

 I've never been one for posting to a blog every single day. My friend, Nick Russell does that and I think he's obsessive! But, you know what Nick is? He's a writer! A writer is a person ... who writes! I wanna be a writer.

Today is November 23. The last time I wrote in this blog was September 3. That's bad. I don't need to write every day, but this is my memory - there's got to be more that one entry every 3 months! 

SO - from today until the end of the year, I'm committing to writing every day just to get back into the swing of it. For the most part, I write blog posts when we've done something fun or exciting. We got home on September 3 and I haven't written since. Life isn't always adventure, beauty, and excitement. Sometimes it's just day to day - and that's important stuff too. When we first went into Covid lockdown,  I wrote every day because that was a very unique time. Every time is a unique time and I'm going to write every day until the end of the year.

Hopefully I will go back and write something about the time since September 3 also because we did some cool stuff. But, just in case ...

In September, we took the Roadtrek to the Keys and had a few days of fun

Here's the photo album for September

And, in October we presented seminars in person at a Roadtrek Rally in Sarasota.

Here's the photo album for October.