Ernie’s heat pumps surprised me yesterday. Outside temps slid from a post-sunup high into the low 30s by mid-afternoon. I listened to the units go through regular de-icing cycles, two minutes every half-hour, until well after dark.

When the mercury edged into the 20s I was tempted to switch us over to the gas furnaces, but the electric units kept chugging so I let ’em run. I was curious to see how long they’d go and, honestly, I wanted to make the most of our supply of propane.

It must’ve been 9pm when the front heat pump hit its limit and shut off automatically. (The rear heat pump was still running.) The outside temp was 23°F — pretty impressive.

I have a theory about that.

We’d kept the heat pumps on the last few days and nights, their fans on the lowest setting and thermostats set to 70°F. Yesterday we bumped them up to 72°F and left them there. I suspect it took the well-warmed units longer to detect that it was too chilly to function.

That doesn’t work in reverse, of course — there’s no way the heat pumps would run (from a cold start) with outside temps in the low 20s. Usually we wait for 33°F-ish to switch back from the furnaces.

This morning we had a long wait — it got down to 14°F last night. The good news is that we probably won’t need to go to gas again ’til next week.

Social media make me feel better about myself. Seriously — almost every time I launch Facebook it’s clear to me that I’m smarter, less gullible and have a firmer grip on time, space and reality than many of my fellow cybernauts.

According to Wikipedia, Norm Crosby fathered two children. By the looks of my news feed, however, that number might be a tad low. To wit, from the last week:

  • Please keep the location secrete.
  • We travel with our shits zoo mixes.
  • It sounds like your gas Orphis is clogged.
  • What an amazing filling that must be.
  • I hunt for the meet.
  • I love watching birds. It’s memorizing.
  • Your propane heater is causing your condescension.

I’m not immune to typos myself — you’ll find them here from time to time — but malaprops are a whole ‘nother thing. It’s an endless source of chuckles.

Beyond unintended humor, though, social media bring me heartening reminders. For example, apparently I have a low tolerance for drama (in my own life or anyone else’s). I’m not inclined to use social media to tell you how shitty my life is (even when it is), to whine about how lonely I am, or to bitch-slap (passive-aggressively, of course) a former employer or an ex.

Best of all, social media allow me to exercise my hyper-resistance to “click bait” and conspiracy theories. In my world contrails are contrails, 5G was technologically inevitable and QAnon is the intellectual equivalent of a round room (for adherents and detractors alike). I don’t need to know what my IQ is and no, I don’t want to solve the effing puzzle.

I can live the rest of my life without finding out what kind of potato I am. And for the record, I won’t be shocked by #9.

I don’t do games, either. Ever.

Now I could be wrong, but I have a feeling that describes most Ubi Libertas Blog readers. You have an actual life and a working bullshit filter. That makes you my People.

We ordered in for dinner last night — this is my “Woo Pig ‘Wich” from Jamie’s Local Flavor in Harrison. The menu describes it as “hickory-smoked pulled pork topped with crispy fried jalapeños, onion tanglers, cheddar jack cheese and a sweet chili BBQ sauce.” I added a side of jalapeño roasted corn. It was just as massive and delicious as it looks.

Forty miles east of where I’m typing this, our 10’x16′ shed sits on The Mountain. The last time we saw it was late Wednesday night. It was dark and spitting rain when we put the Ranger to bed, pointed Mercy down the road and headed for the bus.

We’ve yet to see the finished shed in the light of day.

That’ll change tomorrow. The next three days look like winners, weather-wise, here in The Ozarks. We might even make it four in a row, despite predictions of rain Tuesday morning.

We have some “moving in” to do, stuff that ’til now has been stored in Deb’s cousin’s garage or that’s taking up space in the bus. The shed’s eight-foot-deep loft, a platform over the closed end of the structure, will be supplemented later by a four-foot mini-loft, which I’ll build above the double doors. Pegboard eventually will cover most of the interior walls.

It’ll become a very useful space, and not just as a garage for the Ranger. Deb and I are excited about taking this step — the first of many.

Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

#LetsGoBrandon #FJB