• Another Gray Airstream Day

    A yes, the pitter patter of raindrops can be heard on the shell of the Airstream even as I type.  Yesterday was a little gray but no rain.  Today it looks like we’ll be seeing moisture for a little while.

    The last time I mentioned the rain I had several comments regarding enjoying it.  Yes, Arizona can always use rain and I can’t argue that for a moment.  It’s only when you’re in a tiny space and you have days of rain that you really wish for the sunny days.  200 sq feet of space starts to feel like a prison cell with prolonged bad weather.  And that goes for any RV.

    Fortunately we’re working with a client again today……which means we’re getting out of the Airstream and headed to town.  Hooray!  Just getting out of the small space on days like this puts a little spring back in my step after feeling penned in.  :)

    So the bulk of the day will be spent at our client’s location.  Re-working an ancient website that has about 5% accurate information, and 95% dated information that isn’t useful to anyone.

    It’s pretty funny when people realize that only one out of 20 items on a list they made in the 90’s is still in their business, and the other 19 just aren’t sold there any longer.  How a site can get so out of date is beyond me, but it happens more often than you think.

    With all of that said, I’m packing up the truck and headed out.  Hope you’re having a great day where ever you are, and that the sun is shining on you (unless of course you want some rain).

    January 21, 2015 • Airstream, Arizona, Notes from Rich • Views: 110

  • Zip Dee Disaster Averted!

    As I noted yesterday, we’ve had some ongoing precipitation over the last few days.  Good for Arizona, not so much fun as a full time RV’er.

    Since rain was forecast for a few days I decided to pull the Zip Dee awning out to give myself a dry space to exit to from the Airstream.  You know, to keep from getting stir crazy inside the Airstream.

    Unfortunately I believed the forecast and worked under the assumption that everything we’d be seeing would be rain.  Last night the rain changed over to snow, and that snow stacked up on my awning.  Glad to say, Zip Dee awnings are some of the best out there.  While there was no damage and the bars held the weight of the snow, the awning did sag massively.  Walking out of the Airstream this morning I found that the awning prevented the door from opening the whole way.

    30 minutes of snow clearing from the awning and all was well.  The rain and snow have stopped and I’m letting the Zip Dee dry out.  Pretty amazing awning though, as the wet snow was extremely heavy and still didn’t damage the awning.

    Lesson for winter camping at elevation?  Always assume snow could be in the forecast and put your awning away every night.  Well, that’s my take away at least!  ;)


    January 13, 2015 • Airstream, Arizona, Prescott, RV • Views: 154

  • Read more than the headline

    Over the course of learning too much about social media last year I kept coming across a lot of information about how much people actually read on the Internet.  For instance, in my first sentence I already lost more than 10% of my readers.  They read the headline and first sentence and moved on.  I have to say, you need to read more than the headline to find out what a story is about.

    From a short interaction like that, did they learn anything at all from my article?  No, most likely they did not.  And at this point in my posting I’ve lost even more people.  Honestly I’ve gone well beyond the number of characters allowed in a Tweet on Twitter, so the super attention deficit folks have already moved on to another headline and first sentence somewhere else.  Fortunately I’m not one of those people, I’m part of the rare group that will read an entire article!

    A Tea Party Example

    teaparty-12Several years ago I did a fun photo shoot for a friend.  The shoot was a fantasy tea party, and if you’re a long time reader you might remember the post.  For those who aren’t familiar with it, you can check out the post here.

    It was a fun photo shoot, and some cute images came out of if.  But then something weird happened a few months later.  Something about the “Tea Party” political movement was going on, and there was a lot of anti-Tea Party stuff in the media.  And while that was going on something happened at this site.

    I started getting tons of Anti-Tea Party comments on my website.  Specifically on the post with the cute and fanciful pictures….which had nothing to do with politics and everything to do with fun.  As it turned out, automated “bots” were spamming my website because I had used the words “Tea Party” as part of my title.  The bots read the headline and that was good enough for them, somehow my site was involved!

    Don’t be a bot

    Now I can understand that the comment bots loaded up my inbox with some nasty messages, and my website with nasty messages too.  The bots aren’t smart.  They were searching for a specific combination of words (my headline) and they knew everything they could know about my post.  Dumb bots totally messed up on that one.  But folks with short attention spans might have made the same mistake as well.

    As I do my own work on my websites and others I often come across comments or e-mails regarding particular posts, and I’m always surprised by the fact that people didn’t read the whole thing.  Their comments indicate clearly they didn’t read the whole post.  And that’s a shame.  Then again, maybe it’s my own fault for being overly verbose on topics, and I really need to work on limiting myself to only the headline!

    Hopefully most readers here actually go through entire articles.  I have confidence in my readership!  Of course, just passing the 500 word mark, I’ve probably lost 75% of the folks who started this article……..

    January 13, 2015 • Notes from Rich • Views: 158

  • Rainy days in an Airstream

    Gray Day

    Getting stir crazy in the Airstream after a few days of rain

    3 gray days in a row.  This weekend has had a New England feel, not an Arizona feel.  Now don’t get me wrong, everyone who lives in Arizona is always happy to see the rain.  Since the state doesn’t get much rain each year, seeing it is an event!

    But when you’re in a 25 foot long by 8 foot wide Airstream….well, you start feeling a little penned in!  One of the major requirements when full timing in any RV, not just an Airstream, is getting outside to have that “extra” space.  Staying indoors all day in less then 200 square feet of space feels a little constraining.

    My last few winters in New England always had over cast skies, super gray days, dark and chilly days….but that’s New England and I was in a sizable house.  Go upstairs, go downstairs, walk into the computer room, head back upstairs again, let the dogs out.  Still plenty of room to walk and stretch out.  When you’re in an RV on those icky days you can find yourself getting stir crazy.  There are only so many times in the day you can re-organize your closets and cabinets!

    So, what do you do for multiple rainy days in an Airstream?  Well hopefully you have a good movie collection along with you.  Other options?  Take a ride into town, walk around a few shops, visit a mall, just anything you can think of to get you out and moving for a little bit.

    The full time RV lifestyle has a lot of perks to be sure.  But one drawback is bad weather days!  Unfortunately for me, Intellicast says I have two more gray days, then we’ll see the sun return for a good while once more.  In the meantime, I need to get out and do something interesting today!

    January 12, 2015 • Airstream, Notes from Rich, Travel • Views: 252

  • Improving your travel photography

    _MG_7596_7_8HDRFor years I’ve been working on my travel photography.  My first real camera back in under grad was a Pentax K-1000.  A rugged little bomb proof camera that could be found in my backpack, the floor of my VW Fox, or sometimes even in my apartment.

    After moving to New Hampshire for grad school I reconnected with my love of the outdoors in a big way.  Free weekends were spent in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, or along the shore line in Maine, or more often than not, at the Kittery Trading Post looking for more hiking gear.

    So yes, my love affair with photography has been over 2 decades now (wow, just made myself feel older).  And over time photography became a business for me, for a few years at least.  Of course, everything changed since that first K-1000.  We’re in the digital world now, and I’m extremely comfortable with that.  But not everyone else is.

    Today over at Living In Tin I’ve started a new series of posts for RV’ers and any other travelers as well.  My first installment of video tutorials for 2015 has begun at Living In Tin.  The first article / set of tutorials?  Lightroom for the Road.  42 minutes of video instruction about setting up Lightroom for the first time, importing images, and learning your way around Adobe Photoshop Lightroom.  This is just the beginning!

    Along with articles about great places to visit, we are now expanding the scope of Living In Tin.  For years folks have followed along with my photographic work here, and have often asked “how did you do that?”  Now with Living In Tin I have a place and format that will fit well with offering more tutorials then I’ve ever made before.  And for long time readers, you remember the tutorials here.  Everyone always asked me, “Why did you stop doing those?”  The simple answer…..they took so much time to put together, and my time needs to be spent on things that offer some kind of return.  With the new site I can finally get back to putting these tutorials together.

    So, travel photography, travel articles, boondocking, tutorials, and more.  Living In Tin is going to see some amazing growth this year!  Pop your head over there and take a look for yourself.  Looking to improve your own travel photography and post processing?  You really need to take a look.  And don’t forget, you can sign up for a free 1 day subscription to try it out!

    January 7, 2015 • Notes from Rich • Views: 159

  • A late start for the New Year

    Cloud Museum

    A vintage car at the Cloud Museum.

    It’s been a few days since 2015 has started, and no posts have popped up here.  Honestly I took a mini mental holiday, but now we’re back into the work mode.  With extremely cold temperatures, snow for 2 days…..well, I just checked out for a bit.  A few good movies were watched, a little bit of video game play occurred, you get the idea!

    Now the winter holiday is over, and it’s back to updates, articles for Living In Tin, and a small client job.  With luck we’ll be working with another medium sized business in a few weeks, but we don’t have a contract in hand yet!

    While we await a final answer from the potential client I’ll be doing more work over at Living In Tin.  The article on the Imperial Dam LTVA is coming together quite nicely, and there are some pretty amazing images that will be included.  In addition to the latest travel article focused on LTVA’s I’m also starting a new series for Living in Tin.  Photography On the Road.  For long time followers, remember all of the video tutorials here?  Well, we’ll be doing bigger ones at Living In Tin in 2015.

    The first new article coming out with a full video tutorial at Living In Tin will be, “Lightroom For The Road.”  It’s going to cover the basic setup of a new Lightroom library, and your first imports into Lightroom.  Each month we’ll be doing a feature on using Lightroom, managing libraries, editing, and more.

    Photography enthusiasts are fortunate these days.  You don’t need a darkroom any more….you need a Lightroom.  Even with a small space like an RV, you can bring your portable photo lab with you.  And it takes very little space to have everything you need.  So you’ll be seeing more about photography from the road, the equipment and software you need, and tutorials on software packages, shooting, and editing images for your next RV trip!

    Get ready for an informative year here at The Airstream Chronicles, and over at Living In Tin as well!

    Oh, and today’s featured photo is one of the shots taken while we were visiting the Imperial Dam LTVA!  Some amazing scenes and stories from that trip!


    January 6, 2015 • Adventure, Airstream, Notes from Rich, Photography, Travel • Views: 151

  • Cheers to 2014, Hello 2015!

    Happy New Year everyone!  Well, not exactly yet.  It is New Year’s Eve here at the Airstream Chronicles.  And oh what an end to an interesting year.

    The “Winter Storm Warning” for Arizona is still in effect.  For a while this morning we saw snow coming down at about an inch an hour.  And apparently a little more is on the way.  Fortunately here at the Airstream we’ve only seen a few inches, and it’s already melting off with a break in the storm.

    The Airstream is nice and warm inside.  With a blower heater and an oil heater, plus the Airstream heat, it’s okay in here.  As usual though during cold weather, the floors are still radiating cold!  Other than that, pretty comfy here!

    2014 was a productive year!

    RLC Design

    Well built websites really do pay off!

    As with any year, 2014 had its ups and downs.  Good months and bad months.  Travel and work.  Moments where it didn’t look like we’d get through a month financially, and other months where we were a little too busy.  Sounds like typical life, right?  And so it was.

    RLC Design did very well this year for our clients.  In total we worked on 9 websites and one commercial photography project.  The great part is we are getting noticed by clients now who realize that not only can we do an amazing job with the work they need done, but what we do is extremely effective in helping small businesses grow quicker than they thought with their Internet presence!  Tomorrow we start on the next!  And next week we’ll be talking with a potential web client about a much larger project.

    With all that said, here’s hoping 2015 will find us scheduling more clients around the country!

    Wrapping Up 2014

    Living In Tin 2014 Photographic Year in Review

    The Living in Tin 2014 wrap up. Be sure to check it out.

    Over at our new site, Living In Tin, I posted a year in review post filled with images from the past year.  Travel, work, more travel…..it’s all there.  And if you’d like to see the images and the story of the whole year, follow this link to “Living In Tin’s 2014 Photo Review.”  You’ll enjoy it.

    Oh, and for those who haven’t visited, Living In Tin was born out of our “National Monuments of the Southwest,” project that we tried to get funded this Fall.  Since we don’t have the funding to do a full book all at once, Living In Tin is the site where we’ll be building all of the information on RV’ing in the Southwest going forward.  Think of it as more of an E-Book project.  And 2015 will see a lot more activity over there, so be sure to check in regularly.

    Looking forward to 2015

    With 2014 behind us, we’re now looking forward to 2015.  More clients, more travel, more “Airstream in motion.”  With today’s information technology, you really can work from almost anywhere.  And you can live there too…..well, that is if you’re home is in tow right behind you!

    Thanks everyone for continuing to follow along here at the Airstream Chronicles.  8 years of documenting full time RV living, start up small business, and just the act of living a little differently than the norm!  I’m thinking 2015 will be our most interesting year yet!


    December 31, 2014 • Airstream, Notes from Rich, RLC Design, Travel, Web Design • Views: 200

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