Thoughts on an RV Upgrade


Well, we have been looking at some options for upgrading to a motorhome as opposed to a bigger trailer for our on-the-road-again exploits. A while back, I suggested in a comment to a previous post that we might be considering an upgrade to a Class “C” motorhome - a truck chassis extended to include the amenities of a travel trailer.

But, then we got to thinking about what would be important to us on the road. We both wanted a King size bed (our current Queen size in the trailer is a bit tight for both of us, often one sleeping on the couch/bed) and The Better Half needed more counter space in the galley for meal preparation. Neither of those two options seemed to be available in a reasonably compact Class “C” rig.

We looked at Class “A” motorhomes searching for the king/counter top combination and found a few candidates in the 30-foot long category. We were attracted to the Thor ACE 29.4 because it had a king size bed and a floorplan we liked, but the counter space was a bit limited, but workable, being slightly better than our current travel trailer.

We continued to do more shopping and that brought us to the Forest River 28DS pictured in the (clickable) image above. This unit is still in the 30 foot category as the Thor ACE, but has pop-up and pull-out galley counter top extensions to allow for TBH’s druthers on counter space. The FR28DS floorplan has two pop-outs to accommodate the bedroom in the rear and the living area and galley on the left side.

We are still in the “just thinking” stage of planning, but are pretty sure we’re going to do this eventually. I currently lean toward the FR28DS, but things can change after we go shopping.

I uploaded a couple more views of the Forest River RV:

We will post more on this topic when new information is available and if/when our decision has been made.

Time for Sensible Background Checks

aalphanets.jpgWhen I first saw the headline of an article written by the adopted son of Ronald Reagan, I winced. How could a staunch conservative, like Michael Reagan, say such a thing?

I dialed over to the article appearing in The Patriot Post to see what was the matter with one of my favorite columnists. I read the first few lines of the editorial and was greatly relieved when I read the following quotation:

In the wake of the recent homicidal shooting rampage at an Oregon community college, I’m forced to come to the conclusion that it is high time for common sense national background checks for journalists. It’s time we closed the political loophole and prevented biased, ignorant political operatives from getting their hands on a dangerously misleading national microphone.

David Codrea loves to refer to the mainstream media morons as “authorized Journalists” tongue in cheek, of course. Those of us who have been following the RKBA issue for long, have come to know most journalists to be, as Reagan describes them, biased and ignorant political operatives. All three terms are true; they generally hate and are afraid of guns, are mostly ignorant of the use and operation of guns and are politically motivated in interpreting and reading the news.

In our household, we seldom tune in to the “alphabet” networks depicted above unless it’s for a sporting event we want to watch. Even so, like on NBC, when that idiot twerp Bob Costas gets on the mike, we tune elsewhere until we think he is done with his halftime screed.

Our DVD Database

DVD Database Screenshot

Many years ago, I was working with databases at the aerospace mill. We were writing code to access the database in PHP to support the MySQL query language. Seeing the usefulness of the database for personal use, I took it upon myself to write an on-line interface to track and store records of our DVD collection. I wrote about this a couple of years ago in this post. See the link for details about the input form (clickable image above) and the original capabilities.

The interface as written, had the lack of capability to search through DVDs that we retired. TBH asked me if we still had a certain movie and it frustrated me that I couldn’t search the “retired” entries for the title. I found the answer by manually looking through the retired list, but that inspired me to add a search capability for DVDs in the database that had been retired.

I already had a search capability for the active DVDs, so I modified that area to accommodate the retired DVD search. In the forms() module, I added a checkbox element next to the search text entry:

<form action="index.php" method="get">
<input type="submit" value="Search">
<input name="search" type="text" size="20">
<input name="retired" type="checkbox" value="retired">
<b class="tiny">Search Retired DVDs</b>

The preceding code snippet produces the search form seen on the right side of the input, just below the horizontal line. There is now a selectable checkbox to the right of the search text field.

Next, I had to modify the query() module to switch between a “normal” search and an “if retired” search:

elseif ($_GET['search']){
 $string = $_GET['search'];
 $retired = $_GET['retired'];
 if ($retired){
  $query = "SELECT * FROM dvdtable WHERE title LIKE \"%$string%\" OR remarks LIKE \"%$string%\" AND rating LIKE \"%retired%\" ORDER BY title";
 } else {
  $query = "SELECT * FROM dvdtable WHERE title LIKE \"%$string%\" OR remarks LIKE \"%$string%\" ORDER BY title";

The rest of the process is passing the result from query() to the print() module which loops through the results of query() and outputs found records to the screen. I tested the code with a few examples and it seems to work just fine. By checking the checkbox when searching, it finds results in the retired DVDs records.

None of this had to be done, of course, but it gave me a sense of accomplishment to know that I can still tinker with my old code.

What’s For Dinner?

Filet & Stuff

In spite of a little rain in the area, we managed to pull out the gas grill behind the patio and grill up a couple of Beef Tenderloin (Filet Mignon) steaks. We also cooked up a bunch of asparagus spears on the flat top placed on the grill. Inside, The Better Half prepared her awesome Bacon Zucchini Gratin in ramekins. A slice of tomato for garnish and we had a restaurant-quality dinner!

The Zucchini and Tomatoes were provided by The Better Half’s sister when we visited her in Stockton, CA, a couple of weeks ago. She shopped her garden and brought in a bunch of produce including the zucchinis, tomatoes, okra and several other veggies she had cultivated there. TBH and I have been enjoying the produce here since we returned from our trip to K’stan.

Clickable image.

One Year Ago Today

Old House

I blogged about an important anniversary on the other website that falls on this date, but I realized it has been exactly one year since we left our Kalifornistan house for the last time. We posted The Better Half’s photo (seen above - clickable) last year and never looked back except to see what the new owners had done with the property (out of curiosity). I conclude we got a good deal and they got a good deal.

Anyhow, these two anniversaries just happened to fall on Throwback Thursday.

Supporting Charity While Shopping


We shop at Amazon a lot, since there are no major chain stores in town. When we need entertainment (DVDs) or any other small purchase which we’re not likely to find in town, we turn to on-line vending like Amazon. For about a year now, we have been taking advantage of the utility to support a charity of our choice while shopping. The service adds nothing to the purchase price, but some funds are diverted to the charity we selected. In our case, we support The Second Amendment Foundation.

Yes the SAF is a gun-rights organization which is also a 501(c)(3) tax-deductible charity. Using Smile.Amazon isn’t tax deductible, per se, but as you see from the banner the Amazon website puts up once in a while, there are significant funds going to SAF.

Of course, we donate directly to SAF and our other favorite conservative charities, so we can claim the deductions at tax time. We enjoy knowing that SAF is benefiting from our purchases through Amazon.

I-10 Bridge Repair Progress

I-10 Bridge Repair

The Better Half snapped this (clickable) image of the rebuilt I-10 bridge where the collapse happened last summer. Judging from the truck parked on the bridge and the progress the project crew has made with shoring up the underside of the bridge and lining the wash underneath with boulders, I would say the thing is almost ready to open again, but, that’s not my call. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if it were to be open on our next trip west, possibly in five or six weeks.

There wasn’t much traffic, so the change to one-lane each direction did not amount to much other than slowing to the posted reduced speed limits in the construction zone. Traffic in both directions seemed to flow at almost normal rates.

As mentioned before, we will likely be going to the K-Stan desert again in a few weeks. We will post another I-10 report, if appropriate.

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