Archive for the 'notions' Category

Breaking in the New Portable Grill

Pit Boss Grill On Site Grillin

When we traded in our Georgetown Motorhome for the new rig, we left the grill that was part of the outdoor kitchen module in the old RV. That left us short of a very important component for camping - an outdoor grill. So, to rectify that shortcoming, we bought a replacement grill, the Pit Boss.

We burned the new grill in at home (per recommended user manual instructions) when it arrived a couple of weeks ago. A few days later, we grilled a two-inch thick T-bone steak on it in order to get a feel for how the Pit Boss would perform. That went well and The Better Half and I enjoyed the steak. The (clickable) image above left is new grill being burned in.

This past weekend in California, we initiated the first road trip usage for the grill. In the (clickable) image above right, you can see the setup in the campground with the attachment to a propane bottle with the grill on a folding table alongside the RV and yours truly in the act of grilling a pork loin inside of the stainless enclosure.

We had a lesson learned while grilling this time in that this two burner grill gets a LOT hotter than our grill at home and requires a lower flame setting in order to keep from scorching the meat. Regardless, the dinner was great.

Red Classics

Red Classics

The Better Half and I went into old town today, where, on Frontier Street, the Classy Classics were again assembled. TBH took this (clickable) image of the “red end” of the display where the three classics were parked.

This weekend is “Gold Rush Days,” an annual event featuring the old cars on Friday and a parade and Senior Pro Rodeo on Saturday. Display booths and a carnival surround the Community Center all three days of the weekend.

We had an absolutely gorgeous day today with temperatures in the high sixties and low seventies. Unfortunately, however, there is a 50% chance of rain on the parade tomorrow.

TBH and I still plan to walk the quarter mile from our house down to the parade route in the morning but we will bring our umbrellas just in case.

It’s Time to Deal with the IRS Again

tax.jpgNow that the supporting documentation is here, it is time to proceed with the preparation and submission of the 2016 tax return. We did a quick estimate in January and found that we’re not getting very much back, if any at all, from the IRS. We probably owe some to Arizona as well, so we may not file the state return until April.

We usually try and withhold at a rate which causes us to either pay a small amount or to get a small amount back. Last year, however, there were some changes in our “big tax picture” which should have caused a larger refund, but due to lower than expected medical/dental treatments, we didn’t quite make the cut for deducting medical expenses. Bummer on one hand but good on the other that we were healthier last year.

So, today we start the official preparation of the returns. With the tax program we use, it should expedite the process and get to the finish line soon.

Satellite RX to Go

Deployed Stowed

You may have read here and on the other blog about our new motorhome. Having graduated form an “entry level” RV to this new one encouraged us to ask for a number of desired add-ons, one of which is satellite TV reception.

Since we are already DirecTV™ customers, we opted for the Winegard™ satellite system which is DTV compatible. In the clickable images above, you can see the rooftop satellite dish deployed and in the stowed position.

I got the satellite antenna system and the DTV receiver activated today. I first had to turn the satellite dish control on and it began auto acquisition of several satellites in the “constellation” of geosynchronous birds. That process took a while with the system retrying several times before locking on. But, when that was complete, it was all downhill. I got on the phone with the DTV folks who walked me through the rest of the setup.

After that process was complete, we now have very satisfying HDTV reception on the three TVs in the motorhome - a 48″ TV in the parlor, a 32″ TV in the bedroom and another 32″ TV behind an access door outside on the passenger side of the rig for outdoor viewing. I verified that all were working as advertised.

Having the satellite system gains us independence from the limited and often flaky cable access in many of the RV parks we have visited, and, in fact, we can now camp in areas with no hookups and still be able to enjoy our TV entertainment.

Last Hitch-Up for the Layton

Last Hitch-Up for the Layton

I hitched up the trailer to the pickup this afternoon in anticipation of taking it to the dealer where we will be trading it in, along with the Georgetown 30X3 gas coach, on a new 36 foot diesel pusher. The dealer is in Mesa, AZ and we will be towing the trailer there in the morning (it’s now Monday Evening 1/23/2017).

Later in the week or possibly early next week we will be taking the Georgetown to the dealer when our new coach is available. We might have had all this behind us by now, but the weather has been such that a) the new coach couldn’t be transported from its location in Colorado and b) we wanted better weather to make the trailer trip to Mesa. Tomorrow should be good weather for both purposes.

What’s for Dinner?

Grilling with Probe Dinner is Served

A few weeks ago, our local butcher concession in the supermarket had a sale on whole beef tenderloins. I bought a smallish one for far less money than one would usually expect to pay. After bringing it home, I carved it into steaks and roasts, one of which was a small Chateaubriand. We stored the meat in our garage freezer.

We grilled the Chateaubriand outdoors today using a temperature probe to get the desired “doneness” of medium rare. The Better Half prepared the sides of mashed potatoes with gravy and a medley of snow peas and carrots. It was quite a delicious meal, even if we do say so ourselves.

There is still quite a bit of beef left in the freezer for future use. We have been known to use tenderloin cuts for such dishes as Beef Stroganoff, Philly Cheese-steak Sandwiches, Burritos and so forth. All good.

As a bonus, here is how to prepare Tofu:

  1. Unwrap the product
  2. Throw it into the garbage being careful to properly recycle the wrapper
  3. Grill up a couple of Beef Steaks
  4. Enjoy!

You’re welcome.

Beyond Hope

Beyond HopeIt was six years ago that we posted a photo of the sign in Hope, Arizona, at the town limits declaring “YOUR NOW BEYOND HOPE.” At that time, we pointed out the grammatical error of using “your” instead of “you’re” on the snarky sign.

Clickable Image: Beyond Hope Updated Sign

Well (I assume), the good folks of the Hope township’s only RV park, recently updated the sign with the corrected version and (of course) with a plug for their business. They also have posted American and Arizona State flags on either side of the sign stand.

Hope is only one small town out of several that we pass in the Arizona Outback along US 60 on our way to California and Back. The Better Half took the photo as we were returning from a recent visit.

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