• Welcome to the Chill!

    My mind keeps wandering back to those permanently sunny days in Borrego!

    My mind keeps wandering back to those permanently sunny days in Borrego!

    The colder weather has come earlier this year.  Over the years of living in Prescott I can say this is the coldest November I’ve ever experienced here.  Fortunately we’ll be headed out soon and for a few weeks we’ll be searching for warmer areas.  Of course, looking at the weather maps on my iPhone I’m finding there aren’t too many super warm spots to go!

    This past January I posted an article on Winter Camping in the Airstream.  I think it’s worth a re-read because there is a very simple concept about over wintering in the Airstream…..go somewhere warmer!  This morning that article was in my mind…..It’s a portable home, move it somewhere warmer.  The cold radiating off of the floor wakes me up in an instant in the mornings, and I’d like the floors to be a little warmer!  ;)

    Since we’re paid through the end of the month it doesn’t make sense to head on out quite yet.  Thanksgiving is upon us, and we’ll be off dining with friends on Thursday.  So yes, the chill can be endured a few more days.  :)  But after that?  Yeah, time to think warm thoughts.

    Now, where should the Airstream get pointed?  I’m thinking a few National Monuments to the south of us.  Maybe even a foray into New Mexico.  While Borrego, and the warmth associated with Borrego, has been on my mind, we’ve spent enough time there for 2014 (January and February saw visits there).

    If anyone has suggestions as to places they’d like to see us visit, and then write up over at LivingInTin.com, let us know.  Personally I’m game for most anything, so long as it gets us out of the chill that has covered even the southwest!  If it gets any colder I wouldn’t be surprised to see snow in the area!  And given the fact that I’m now spoiled by warmer temperatures, snow is the last thing I want to be thinking about!

     

    November 25, 2014 • Airstream, Arizona, Prescott • Views: 61

  • Awake at 5

    This morning I found myself rising early.  Still completely dark outside but wide awake.  You know those times when you wake in the middle of the night and start thinking about a project, or something you didn’t finish?  Well, that was me this morning.  The thing is, nothing is “undone.”  We’ve wrapped up with our clients, everything is good, and I should enjoy a few days R&R…….

    But why was I up so early?  Thinking about the next project, the next client, and where we’re headed next.

    One of the interesting things about owning your own business is that it’s hard to “leave at the office.”  And in my case, the Airstream is the office.  Total mix of home and business in an aluminum tube!  So yup, wide awake thinking about finding the next client.

    Of course there are 2 more opportunities in front of me, but neither would pay until I created the products

    Databases R Us

    Currently I’m entertaining 2 different databases for 2 different businesses.  That’s part of what woke me early.  One project sounds very feasible, while the other leaves me with concerns.  Neither is an immediate “must do now,” but the projects are on my mind all the same.

    Of the two projects, one is totally unique, and geared toward an incredible niche market.  It’s the one I’m seriously working through in my mind.  A lot of data mapping to do, but several months to do it in.  That might be part of my sleepless nights.

    Fun with our recent clients

    I have to say, I’ve enjoyed the folks we’ve worked with over the past two months.  Very unique, and very different businesses.  A custom drapery in New Jersey, a flight school in Arizona, and a custom framing shop in Arizona.  Yeah, they’re a little different from each other to be sure.

    With each group we work with, our goal is to create a usable, easy, and informative website.  We also strive to have our clients manage their own content going forward, so they’re not tied to us forever.  Sure, major updates, database work behind the scenes, we’re happy to do that.  But we like to see clients take an active role in their web updates when we wrap up with them.

    The most recent client to finish up was North-Aire.com.  We’ve worked together for over a month now on site development, and the site is officially live as of November 19th.  What was really cool when we had our last website meeting on Wednesday was seeing the updates that North-Aire staff had done to the site.  Not only did they learn how to operate their website, they’ve already gotten involved in tweaking the look and feel of it.  Amazing!

    Thinking warm thoughts

    Well, that’s about it for this post.  And yes, my thoughts wandered all over the place.  It’s still early here, I haven’t gotten enough sleep, and this is what happens when a lot is on your mind and you’re blogging.

    My final thought is simple.  Next client site should be in Southern AZ.  Why?  Because it’s so chilly here in the mornings.  The Airstream needs to seek out warmer climates to be sure!

    November 21, 2014 • Notes from Rich, RLC Design, Web Design • Views: 106

  • My 2014 Birthday Wish

    This morning I find myself keeping warm inside of the Airstream in Prescott once again.  Last year I posted from Cortez, after wrapping up with our first RV Park Web Client.  That post found me 42 years old, and this one finds me at 43.

    For regular followers, you know that last November I was setting out to take a risk once again.  And this year we find the Airstream still on the move, business steady enough to keep me fed, and a few opportunities that look to make an amazing 2015.  All in all, it’s been a decent year.

    As I pondered, “What do I want for my birthday,” this morning I really couldn’t think of anything I need right now.  At some point it would be great to have a home base again, a toasty wood stove, and a Black Labrador once more.  I’ll be building toward that.  But bottom line, seems like I still have everything I need, and that’s good.  So it’s a Happy Birthday indeed.

    My wish for all of you

    Last year I wrote up a wish for all of you who follow along.  And today that wish still stands.  See everything you can, don’t put it off.  Our time is short, so be sure that you’re taking in all of the amazing things available to you!

    For today’s wish, it’s a super simple one.  I wish for a great end of the year for everyone, and for an amazing 2015 for all of us.  Here’s hoping for a peaceful, productive, and successful year for all of us!

    Thanks for following along too.  8 years of blogging from an Airstream (with some gaps of course).  Looks like we’ll be heading into 9 years now.  :)

    November 18, 2014 • Notes from Rich • Views: 146

  • An open schedule at the Airstream

    Cessna in hangar

    Had a great time working with North-Aire Aviation

    As of the 19th of November we’re actually free to take on a new client or two!  So I thought I’d pass that along on this website.  You know, in case you or someone you know needs a really great website!

    This morning I wrote up a post over at RLC Design about good website design.  And I titled the post, “Good Website Design Doesn’t Cost, It Pays.”  If you’ve got a couple of moments I suggest you pop on by the site and give it a read, especially if your a small to medium sized business owner.  That post is for you!

    I honestly think sometimes people really lose site of what it is they’re purchasing.  Often times it seems as though everything comes down to what it costs.  And folks forget there’s a second part to any equation where you’re buying something.  You are getting something for the cost.  You don’t just lose $500 when you buy that jumbo flat panel TV.  You get the TV man!  It goes home with you, it’s yours.  When people get so fixated on pricing they completely ignore the fact that they are receiving something for the price.

    In the case of the work we’ve been doing this year, clients get a lot.  And from client responses all over the country they’ve already gotten back more than it cost them to work with us.  Small investment leads to larger returns.  Oooh, that creates value!  And we all like that.  When we design a website, we do it with the intent of seeing your investment returned to you within a year’s time.  What’s great is we’ve been seeing dramatic results within a few months time instead!

    So if you’ve been thinking about updating your business site drop us a note.  We can’t have the Airstream remain quiet for long you know, busy is much better!  Oh, and a new site right now would have you ready just in time for the holidays!

    November 17, 2014 • Notes from Rich, RLC Design, Web Design • Views: 175

  • 23 degrees at the Airstream

    Fall in Sedona

    Fall in Sedona

    Fortunately it isn’t 23 degrees in the Airstream!

    Yes, last night we hit the coldest temperature yet since we’ve returned to the Prescott area!  And this morning leaves are falling all over the place.  The tree near the Airstream is providing a pitter patter sound much like falling rain, but it’s leaves instead.  Fall?  More like a winter cold snap!

    Full time Airstream living brings you through all of the seasons in a different way.  If you’re smart you stay ahead of the seasons by relocating your rolling domicile.  If you’re a little thick, like me, you find yourself at high elevations with chilly temperatures!  Fortunately it’s toasty warm inside the Airstream (well mostly).  The only issue I find every year when the temperature drops, I’m cold from my knees downs.  The floor really radiates the cold in, no matter how high I turn the heater!

    This morning I find myself thinking about the park we stayed in down in Black Canyon City.  Hot tub, heated pool, warmer temperatures……..I think I’m getting soft!  Must be me getting older, or spoiled by the fact that I can relocate my Airstream home easily, and to warmer climates.

    So here we are, in Fall or maybe even early Winter.  The Airstream is still in Prescott, but not for long.  We’ll stay here through the end of the month, and then I believe I’ll be pointing the trailer South.  I’m thinking about a few National Monuments in Southern Arizona for December.  You know, celebrate Christmas in shorts……?  Ah those are the fun photos to send to family and friends while they’re snow bound in New England.

    Oak Creek Canyon in the fall

    Oak Creek Canyon in the fall

    For the moment though, for those of you back there, we’re experiencing a similar cold snap to what you’re enduring.  That means I’m not running around in shorts, and my tan is fading quickly.  Keep warm thoughts everyone!  And I’ll try to start posting warmer pictures next month!

     

    November 17, 2014 • Airstream, Arizona, Notes from Rich, Prescott • Views: 202

  • Projects winding down at the Airstream

    This week we’ll be wrapping up two projects.  And while that’s a good thing, and our clients are all happy with their final products, I’m always looking ahead.  The tail end of November and all of December shows free time on the calendar right now.  Time to hit a few more National Monuments for LivingInTin.com is a great thing.  But I always like to keep a busy schedule.

    With that in mind, if your business or someone else’s business you know of needs to improve their web presence, let us know!  With some free time ahead of us it would be great to schedule another web build or two!  Better yet, maybe you’re in Southern AZ or NM!  Things are getting chilly in Prescott you know!

    In January we have a client lined up that will occupy the entire month.  That’s why I’m focusing on the next month and a half.

    A cold wind is blowing

    The temperatures have definitely started dropping.  Every night the Airstream heater is turned on.  The heated water hose has been connected to power as we’ve had a few nights below freezing.  And the shower is a little colder when you get out of it.  Getting out of bed and having me feet hit the cold floor always makes me “wake up” instantly!  My mind keeps going back to Black Canyon City, and the park that had the heated pool and hot tub.  I must be going soft!

    The big plus to the temperature drop has to be the great hiking weather.  In between work I find the time to take longer walks.  Sit at the computer for an hour, take a 20 minute walk.  Wrap up for the day, take an hour walk.  Enjoy the cooler temperatures for outdoor activities for the moment, and prepare for even colder weather soon.  That’s what is in my head.

    The cooler temperatures have also reminded me that Thanksgiving is almost here (and Christmas close behind).  It is so much easier to cook in a cool Airstream, so that’s a big plus.  Pies have already been made, homemade pizzas have been a regular feature here, and I’m starting to think about what to make for Thanksgiving this year.  All great stuff.

    For my family and friends back in New England….  I’ll try to keep a regular supply of warm looking photos on hand for you.  And if possible, we’ll roll out to a warmer location in December!

    Well, that’s it for today.  Time to start into the finishing touches for our clients!

    November 11, 2014 • Airstream, Notes from Rich, RLC Design, RV Park Web Design, Travel, Web Design • Views: 226

  • The Cloud and RV Internet

    Technology is changing fast.  Every time I look at a new computer online or pop by a Best Buy or Apple store I see things changing.  One item of interest?  New laptops coming out without a CD or DVD drive.  Why are the taking these out you might ask?

    The Cloud

    Movies, books, music, TV Shows and more are now all out there on The Cloud.  You can stream most anything to your computer now with a fast enough connection.  Oh, and with luck your connection has enough monthly bandwidth to enjoy all of these new Cloud features……

    And there’s the issue if you’re an RV’er who is on the road a lot.  Many people have a cap on their monthly usage.  Plans run at 10GB per month, maybe 20 in some instances.  And if you’re business requires regular internet connection you may find yourself burning through your monthly bandwidth in no time.

    Dear Apple, Are You Kidding Me?

    As most readers are well aware, there are Macs in the Airstream.  I’ve been a Mac user since 2002, not because they’re cool and hip, but because they’ve remained so stable and OSX is built on top of a UNIX platform.  UNIX has been used in telecomm forever as it is a reliable, secure, multi-user platform.  It’s also a pretty small operating system when it comes right down to it.  Well, it was in Apple’s case, but no longer.

    With the latest release of OSX, coined Yosemite, I nearly had a heart attack when sitting down to update to the new OS.  What scared me so much?

    A 5GB download.  The latest update for OSX was 5 Giga Bytes.  That’s huge!  And if I were on a capped plan for my wireless that size of a download could account for 50% of my monthly usage.  Fortunately in my case I have an unlimited plan, but still I was unwilling to draw attention to myself by doing a 5 Gig download.  Glad to say a local friend allowed me to use their connection with Cable One, but my friend also has a cap too of 50GB per month on his cable internet.  So I used 1/10th of his monthly bandwidth.

    For folks who have a bandwidth limit on high speed Internet through a cable provider….I’m sorry guys.  Shouldn’t be that way at all.  They’ve got the capacity, and I can’t see any business reason for such a lame cap.  Back in NH in 1997 I had high speed cable uncapped for a whopping $45 per month.  While in WV in 2013 I had a connection with Sudden Link for $45 per month and it was 45Mbps (blazing fast) that wasn’t capped.  If your provider (cable, telephone company, etc) has a cap, shop around, you’re getting ripped off.

    Back to the story….

    With Apple’s latest release of laptops we are finding ourselves without CD / DVD on our computers.  And now with the latest software updates we’re finding ourselves having to download massive, top heavy updates.  Why have the updates gotten so large guys?  The marginal improvements with each release can’t be that big, can they?

    Storm Clouds

    Don’t get me wrong.  I am a fan of cloud based backups, streaming shows, and keeping all of my devices in sync.  But at some point I think the system manufacturers and programers out there need to reign it in ever so slightly.  Bigger is not always better, and when your customers are capped on network access you really are doing them a disservice!

    If I was your typical Full Time RV’er I’d have a data plan somewhere in the 10 – 20 Gigs a month range.  The 5GB update from Apple would put me at 25-50% of my monthly usage.  Now, couple that with the updates from Adobe and the other software manufacturers I use (when an OS update comes out, updates for my programs come out too) and we’re suddenly looking at another 2.5GB of updates (in my case).

    While the cloud rocks on many levels, it does not rock for highly mobile people trying to live within a bandwidth cap.  Couple that with the fact that everyone is producing bigger files and suddenly your rocket fast 4G plan will be all used up in the first few days of your monthly allowance.

    With the dawn of the net we saw developers working on compressing their programs.  Prior to big broad band we worked on minimizing file sizes, while still delivering quality content.  With the advent of available broadband it seems that tech producers have forgotten about compression, elegant design, and the rest, and have now shifted to thinking, “We’ve got a huge pipe to consumers, go ahead and use it all.”

    I’m sure other RV’ers out there have pondered this.  Big downloads, capped connectivity….what to do, what to do?  At some point something will have to give.  Physical media could make a comeback, or maybe a little focus on streamlined information products could come about (not likely though).

    In the meantime, for my fellow road warriors I have the following suggestion.  Hold off on updates until you’re on someone else’s network.  Make friends in every town you visit, so long as they have banging bandwidth!  Or stay an extra day longer at the park you found with amazing Internet (oooh, like that will happen often).

     

    November 7, 2014 • Notes from Rich • Views: 311

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