Friday, December 16, 2011

Weather Site

In the last few days I've spoken to someone about a good weather site I use (in addition to weather underground).  You can find it here -  It has many different options - surely enough to satisfy most demands.  Let me know what you think.

Oh, and here's another great weather site -!dashboard;a=USA/AZ/Gold_Canyon

No Updates?

I just noted that I haven't updated this blog in a long time.  I'm sorry, but I seem to spend most of my time on "".  I need to figure out a way to do both.  Hmmmmm.

Regarding the Tiny House, though, I want to replace the carpeting in the LR and BR this next summer.  It's only about 150 square feet, so you'd think the cost to be minimal.  You think?  I was told a few days ago by someone who replaced their carpeting (for a similar sized area) that it cost about $700!  Is that true?  What about those ads saying free installation?  Does carpet cost $45 a yard?  Whew!

Friday, December 9, 2011

HTPC at Meeting

I'll try to bring my HTPC for next week's meeting - will demo some software.  HTPC is a good use of an older laptop.  Let's talk.  Take a look at this site for a little software info -

Monday, December 5, 2011

Santa Claus Is About to Release a Christmas Present

A few weeks ago I received my Kindle Fire. A very nice computer, but the touch screen began to fail this last Friday. Saturday morning brought a few hours of Fire-goodness, but then the screen started acting up again. A search of the web resulted any many sites complaining about the Fire's screen problem. Enough of electronics with problems - today I returned the Fire and ordered the grand-daddy of all tablets - The Asus Transformer Prime. What a machine! I hope I get it before Christmas.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Disaster Recovery

The December issue of Maximum PC has some great tips on recovery from disaster. Look at the article here.  Although Maximum PC does spend a lot of issue space regarding high performance, it does have many articles that can be applicable to the everyday user.  You might want to read a copy sometime.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Backup with Dropbox

If you haven't investigated all the "cloud" backup solutions, start by taking a look at Dropbox.  "Google" dropbox and you'll find many, many links.  I just read a nifty way of backing up with Microsoft's SyncToy.  Go here.

And while we're at it, this site deserves a read, as well.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Just found a new weather program - WeatherSpark.  It is VERY cool.  Make sure you watch the help video - it provides sufficient information to make the site work for you.  Enjoy.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Harris Hawk

Today I was able to hold the camera a little steadier.  Here are some shots of our neighborhood watcher.

The Hunter

This guy (or gal) is perched on a palm tree about a block away.  Much screeching!  He (she? - can anyone tell?) does spend a good deal of time soaring.  We have plenty of food for him in the neighborhood.  Don't let your small pets outside!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Bacon, Bacon, Bacon

I missed it.  Maybe you missed it, too.  Yesterday was International Bacon Day ( Take a look at Lifehacker's Bacon Hacks.  I haven't eaten breakfast today - I'm thinkin' bacon.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Great VoIP Product

Several years ago, we spent a year in Branson, MO.  It was the first place I had access to cable internet.  It seemed so fast that I HAD to have a "telephone" line using this internet - Voice Over Internet Protocol.  The service I chose was Vonage - if I remember correctly, it was about $49 a month.  This included "free" long distance phone calls.  Wow, what a deal.  Fast forward to present day --

We have high speed internet once again.  At least it's high speed to us - 10 Mbps.  This high speed has permitted the use of voice, video, and music.  I've always thought there ought to be a cost-effective solution that would allow us to keep our land line and add a voip, as well.  However, early hardware devices (i.e., ATA - analog terminal adapter) never quite seemed to work, so when Google Voice came along, I was hooked.  Until today, we have used the call-back feature of Google Voice (GV) to make all of our long distance calls at home.  The service is still free!  We rarely use our cell phone minutes because call quality (especially when talking to other cell phones) is usually poor.  Our normal procedure is/was to access the internet via a pc, set up a call with GV callback, then resume the call with our house phone.  This has worked well, but I'm always looking for new technology, and yesterday I stumbled upon (no pun intended) the OBi110.

With the OBi110, I can attach my land line and an Ethernet connection so that either one can be accessed from the house phone.  I can make GV calls directly from the house phone - the OBi110 is setup so that, by default, every phone call initiated utilizes GV.  But, if needed, I can set up a call using our resort's phone system, instead.  And, there's more!  This device will allow incoming calls from either the land line or GV.  The best of both worlds by utilizing a single VoIP device.  There are many other features available with the OBi110 (  It cost only $49.99 at, and with free shipping.  Now, with a one-time cost of $49.99, I get free phone calls all year.  I'm finding several good reviews of this technology.  Try this one -

Times sure have changed.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

New Firmware

Downloaded some recent firmware for my Sony a33.  Here is a shot using some of the new SCN settings.  Don't know when I might use them, but think they're a little cool.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Good Old Days

I've been scanning old photos into the pc and came across this one.  This was taken during our "motorcycle phase."  During this time, we led/created two Gold Wing Road Riders of America chapters, and took several extensive trips around the US.  This picture was at a rally in Lake George, NY.  We looked good, didn't we?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Never Get Tired of Sunsets

I know that sunsets can look fantastic just about anywhere.  But, here they are always great!  I know, I know, it's the pollution, but, still . . . . .

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Does Time Fly?

Donna starts work in five and half weeks!  It doesn't seem possible - we still haven't taken camping trips to the woods.  The early season forest fires, the many days of over 100° temperatures, upgrades to kitchen and bath, Saturday night Phase 10 games, and caretaking, have just caused us to lose track of time.  Well, we hope to take at least one trip - maybe next week.

To you computer people -- make plans to attend the Old Computer Geek Group this season.  It's a weekly meeting wherein anyone can discuss geeky computer stuff, and just maybe, someone in the group can help.  I've been keeping a blog on that subject - take a peek.

AND, for those of you that have google mail (gmail), maybe you should try Google+!!  I can give you an invitation.

Best Windows Downloads

I've updated the Lifehacker link for downloads.  Now linking to The Best Windows Downloads.  All you windows folk, take note.

Google+ Security

Hopefully some of you Old Computer Geeks (you know who you are) are trying out Google+.  If you have some experience with Facebook, then I know you're concerned about security - that's why I left Facebook.  As I've said in the past, Lifehacker is a great site!  They've just created a Guide to Google+ Privacy and Information Control.  You would be wise to check it out.  If you haven't tried G+, then you should.  I have invites.

For all of you OCGG people thinking about the return to Gold Canyon RV & Golf Resort, I want to let you know it's pretty darn hot here.  I'm actually thinking about Winter!  I know, I know - something is wrong with this picture.  How about this - I'm actually thinking about some people returning to the Park!  Donna is beginning her second season as Activities Director in only 5.5 weeks!  We're both looking forward to this next season!

Hope to see you in the OCGG.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Update to Weather Link

Take a look at the weather link in the right column of this blog.  I've changed it to a different site - very informative.  So, whenever you are experiencing severe weather where you live, just click on this link to obtain a snapshot of paradise (well, not all the time).

Saturday, July 16, 2011


For about the last 24 hours I've been trying a new music service (new to the US) called Spotify.  It's been in Europe for a while and has garnered a large user base.  I must say it has LOTS of tracks.  If you can think of a song from your teen years (or earlier), that song is on the list.  It looks a lot like itunes, but does so much more.

It's different than Pandora in that if you select an artist, it can play all the music from that artist.  It does not just play songs that sound like that artist.  A lot of third party sites support the service.  For example, will generate a playlist that "sounds like" or is similar to the artist in question, and it provides access to thousands of playlists created by others.  Quite remarkable.

Friday, July 15, 2011

North Rim Sunrise

I was looking through some old photos today (Trey Ratcliff's current G+ post reminded me of this one) and thought this view of the fire damage at the North Rim was special.  We rose very early, on one of our day's off, to shop in St. George.  Great sunrise.  I've some more of this sunrise in my G+ photos.  Thanks to Trey for the memory.  Take a look at his photo here -

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Saguaro Fruit

It's 115° and the cactus continue to bloom.  The saguaro's now have fruit. Here's a shot -

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Best Mobile Podcasters

My favorite site, Lifehacker, just keeps on putting out the good stuff.  Here's the results of the Podcaster survey -  Lifehacker just put out a new book, it chucked full of nifty information.

Thursday, June 30, 2011


I'm excited about a new Google product called Google+.  Get on the invite list, I think this is a winner!

This will be a great way for the Old Computer Geek "circle" to exchange information.  Check it out.


I'm excited about a new Google product called Google+.  Get on the invite list, I think this is a winner!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Cactus Keep Us Amazed

All of these buds opened up overnight.  What a sight.

Prescott, AZ

Yesterday we drove to Prescott to see the Western Art Show.  Prescott has a great town square, and a Court House that could have been from "Back to the Future".  Great hamburgers at The Palace!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

More Blooms

There are new blooms every morning.  Just when I think it's all over - it starts again.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Waiting for a Jet Airplane ..

We've just spent a week in Arkansas and Missouri visiting family. So tired of hotels - specifically Holiday Inn Express. Last night's hotel, Bentonville, AR, had the worst tv we've seen in a hotel. Very old, small crt that needed convergence in the worst way. Could not tell the scores during the bb game! We stay in HI Expresses because their quality is something upon which can be relied. Except for the Bentonville property.

Just to give us a little nudge out of here - our promised Enterprise rental car discount (as promised by the agent at pickup) could not be obtained because the ticket counter did not open until 10am! All the other counters were open. I guess I could go through security again, but...

Donna is looking forward to dry air again!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

It's Dry

Yesterday was the driest ever recorded in the valley of the sun -- 2% humidity!!! Must be the reason I'm so thirsty.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Desert in Bloom

Today's HDR photo is representative of the many cactus currently in bloom in Arizona.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

New Blog

I've started a new blog on photography.  Take a look at it here.

Photography Hacks

As some of you already know, Lifehacker is one of the best sites that cover a variety of topics.  Here's their recent blog regarding photography hacks.

The FIRST Photo

Here's the first photo on this site.  This was taken last night from our deck - quite a few sunsets appear this way in The Valley of the Sun.  This shot depicts a few more contrails than normally seen.

First Post

This is my photo blog.  It includes links to my photos, favorite sites, and other digital photo news.  Please place this blog in your favorite RSS reader - updates will be made when I'm in the mood.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Another Leaving the Park

Looks like another park model will be leaving. Aloha Park Model Services is removing #452. It's on The View Blvd - should be a great spot to place a new home.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I Saw Him, Too!

I saw him/her this morning as well.  Donna had just got out of bed and said (without contacts) "there's the bobcat".  I grabbed my camera (that now I'm more convinced than ever, needs a bigger telephoto lens) and headed through the back yard toward South Dakota.  Here's one of the shots -

Someday I'll get my photos organized online, but in the meantime, take a look at Chris's bobcat encounter of last night.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Here, Kitty, Kitty

Excellent shot of bobcat on Oregon Trail this last Monday evening.  Chris Johnson's picture can be seen in his complete album of kitty here.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Sony Video

I'm sure this has been around for a while, but someone just sent the link to me.  Very interesting, but according to the video, it's way out of date!  Click here.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

African Bees?

Are these African Bees on Oregon Trail?  I didn't want to get too close.  Keith took the close-up picture.  I don't think he was on a ladder - just a better zoom lens.


Well, I need to mention this at least once this summer - the WEATHER HERE IS FANTASTIC (sorry for yelling)!  Yesterday's high was 85°; it's 75° at the present time.  However, it's expected to be in the low 90s in a few days.
I sure like it.

Other Geeky Links

As long as I'm updating the blog, why not a few more links?

There, that should keep you busy for a while.

Desk Tops

Take a look here for the five best desktop customization tools from Lifehacker.  Give them a try!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

New Blogger Views

Blogger has some new views.  All one has to do is add "/view" to the end of the blog address.

I've put a link for the "snapshot" view under "Interesting Links".


The weather today is cold!  I think we're at 41° presently, and due to go colder.

Found a cool site that you can follow this summer - shows our weather via someone's personal weather station.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

OCGG Meeting Ended for Season

Today was the last OCGG meeting of the season.  Thanks for those dedicated attendees.  I think we'll move back to Wednesdays next year in hopes of getting a few more geeks.  Stay tuned for miscellaneous updates throughout the Summer.

Try Firefox 4!

Getting some good reports on the new Firefox. You might want to try it out.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

OCGG Meeting

I'll not be at the OCGG Meeting this week (3/22/2011), but you can still get together and discuss things.

I've found a web site that provides good information regarding how to make upgrades smoother (I didn't do when I upgraded, but it sounds like a good idea) -

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Snow on the Mountain

We got a little snow today.  Here's a look at the Mountain shortly after the storm.  It's supposed to be near 80° in a few days.  What a winter!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Tiny House Photos

Ok, click here to go to those photos I mentioned.  I'll add comments to them at a later date.

New Camera

Just got a new camera - the Sony a33.  This is probably an excuse to take some pictures of our Tiny House.  So, that's what I'll do.  I'll post them on SmugMug sometime today.  Really.


Release Candidate for IE9 is out.  Looks good!  Several new features.  Give it a try.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Google Searches "Solved"

Don't know about you, but I use Google searches all the time to help in solving problems.  Chances are good that you can find someone else with the same problem and, sometimes, there is a solution.  Lifehacker has a good tip in helping with these searches -


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Last Week's Discussion

Last week was exactly the kind of thing I think OCGG should do - round (or square) table discussions on any technical topics that interest the group.

Let's do it again this next Tuesday at 9:30 am in the Prickly Pear!

Laptop Buy!

Shown in today's paper is a Fry's Electronics ad for a Lenovo laptop.  It appears to be the model G555 or G560, 15.6" screen, 3GB memory, 160GB Harddrive (a little small, but serviceable), web cam, etc.  The price is a low $349.99.  I don't think you can do much better than that for a laptop of this size.

Sales are limited to 1 per customer.  If you're in the market .......

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Nifty Projects for a Tiny House

I love  They cover a variety of topics (I especially like the geek ones).  Today's is a list of space-saving ideas.  For those of us in Tiny Houses, these projects can make our available space seem as big as those other home owners.

Go to this link for the goods -


Thursday, January 13, 2011


Sorry for no recent updates, but this Wintertime fun here at Gold Canyon has kept us busy.  See for what my wife is doing; she tries to update that site daily.

I'm trying to get a computer discussion group going ( and that, along with computer advice/repair, keeps me busy.

Don't worry, I'll have more stuff regarding our Tiny House.  Presently, we're discussing the replacement of all the counter tops!  And just this week, it's getting warm enough to spend evenings watching the sunset (72°).

RSS Update

During one of the last meetings we discussed RSS.  I've found a good link that describes a variety of software available to read RSS.

Here are several other links to a variety of software/services:

How to Rip and Burn your DVD collection -
How to recycle your old electronics -
How to put your Wii games on HDD (techie stuff) -

And not so techie, Why Humans Can't Walk in a Straight Line -


If you have any ideas for future OCGG meetings, let me know.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

This Week's Mtg - RSS

Let's talk about RSS and the readers used to view such things. What is RSS? Go to for additional information.

I use RSS everyday, and I think you will, too. Once you accept the value of the service.

If you already use RSS, tell us about the reader you use.

Several residents received iPads for Christmas (whether they wanted them or not!). Bring yours to the meeting - maybe we could start an iPad group to discuss the MANY apps available.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Tuesday, 9:30 am, Prickly Pear