Wwinkler and others:
The forum is great media for sharing thoughts, but awful for easily communicating what is acceptable, unacceptable to the user.
In my case, I don't want to "build a waterproof box" outside that I have to get power to. I don't want indoor components located out in the weather, and I would rather not invest in a good quality outdoor amp, and then have to lug a Cd player, DVD player, MP3 dock, etc. inside/outside each time - that seems like a lot of work when all of those things exist 20 feet away inside the house. Burning all of your music to CD or DVD may not seem like a hassle to some, but to me that seems out of date and extremely limiting when things like Pandora and Digital Music channels are readily available - again in my case just inside the house.
So - looks like from the opinions that are expressed here, some people seem to think parallel/series will work, provided the wire gauge is adequate and the connections are quality. Some people think that sound quality will degrade past an acceptable level if I try to do this.
Based on all I've heard, I think I'm going to try this. Zone 2 left and right channels of my 130 Watt Onkyo TX-DS787 receiver wired with 12 gauge shielded speaker wire through the foundation to a 300 watt-rated outdoor grade volume switch, soldered there, and on to 4 sets of TIC GS5 outdoor omni speakers run in parallel/series off of single 14 gauge shielded wire, the farthest about 200 feet from the receiver. I'll solder the speaker connections as well. I'll seal everything up with duct tape and bury it - and we'll see what happens.
Stop me if you think I'm headed off a cliff...