Monthly Archives: April 2012

Battleship Alabama

We visited the Battleship Alabama today. It is anchored near Mobile, Alabama and is about a 45 minute drive from where we are camped. It is quite an impressive sight and they certainly don’t build them like that any more. But that is probably just as well. It was a brute-force solution to the problem of naval warfare and although sophisticated for its time, technology has passed it by. The Alabama saw distinguished service primarily in the Pacific during World War II and it was placed in harm’s way frequently. It was decommissioned in 1947 and brought to Mobile in 1964.

Battleship Alabama 2

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Naval Air Museum, Pensacola, Florida

The Pensacola Naval Air Base is the home of both the Blue Angels and the Naval Air Museum. During the winter when we were in Carrabelle, which is about 70 miles east of Pensacola, we could hear fighter jets nearby many times. I was able to see a pair of them only once, and it looked like they were literally playing hide and seek in the clouds. Even though they were loud and sounded like they should have been just overhead, they were so tiny against the clouds that they must have been close to ten miles away and were probably over the Apalachicola National Forest.

Blue Angels
Blue Angels

Today we visited the Naval Air Museum which has an incredible collection of airplanes spanning almost the entire history of Naval air power. The sheer number of planes and helicopters that was on display was overwhelming and there must have been over a hundred different models on display. Many of them had been rescued from the bottom of lakes and oceans, and one had even been buried under a basketball court. They all have been lovingly restored to as close to their original condition as was possible.

Pensacola_9
Planes and helicopters at the Naval Air Museum

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Becoming a Texan

When the opportunity came up for me to retire early and we were thinking about what we should do, the first thing that both Susan and I thought of was to spend most or all of our time traveling in a RV. Part of the reason for this is that we have always enjoyed our travels with our trailer and never felt we had enough time available to travel. Part of it was because there are so many parts of this country we had never seen that we wanted to see. The final part, though, was that the thought of retiring to our home full-time just plain creeped me out, big-time.

Although financially we are in reasonably good shape, it was clear from the beginning that we could either afford to keep our home or a RV, but not both. Oh, I suppose if we really stretched, maybe we could have both, but then how would we be able to take care of a house while we were gone? And realistically, since we would be spending far more time in a RV than in a house, why bother with a house at all? The major problem with not having a house however, is that governments and corporations really, really don’t like it if you don’t have an address.

You can’t have a drivers license if you don’t have a “real” address. You can’t get a license plate for your car if you don’t have a “real” address. You can’t have car and RV insurance if you don’t have a “real” address. I considered, for a very short time, using one of our relative’s addresses as “our” address, but I am pretty sure that whoever’s address we used, they would get tired of forwarding our mail to us very quickly. We would also possibly be putting them in some legal jeopardy too, because although we would be using their address, we wouldn’t really be residing there.

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I-10 Causeway between Lafayette and Baton Rouge, Louisiana

On Saturday we were traveling east on Interstate 10 between Lafayette and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. There was an 18 mile section that was all raised causeway and bridges. Our GPS insisted we were over land, not water, but below and around the roadway it was all water and swaamp. I have to admit to being impressed by the amount of work it must have taken to build this 18 mile section of freeway. I took these photos with my cellphone camera while driving (carefully).

Louisiana_Causeway_2 Louisiana_Causeway_1

 

My new computer desk

Ever since we moved into our motor home full time I have been using the kitchen table as a desk. This has worked, but the table really isn’t at the right height for typing. I have also had to pull the printer or scanner out of a cabinet whenever I need them, plug them in, and then return them when I was done. During the winter I spent some time looking at different RV computer desks on-line. Many RV owners have them custom built but finding a craftsman that is both capable and available is a problem. While we were in Red Bay we tried to hook up with one who was highly recommended by other Tiffin owners but he was booked out months in advance and mostly too busy to even return our phone calls.

On-line I found a number of companies that made computer desks that were for RV’s and also thought about how to adapt a regular computer desk. Among other things I wanted a desk that would still be useable with the slides on our motor home pulled in and that put a significant limitation on what would and would not work. I finally found the website for Bradd and Hall (http://www.braddandhall.comand really liked the design of one of their computer desks. I thought about replicating the design using a two-drawer legal-sized file cabinet and a keyboard drawer but finally decided that it would be better to have a desk that fit in with the cherry cabinetry we already have in the motor home.

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