Up & out again

It was good hearing both heat pumps running smoothly early this morning. We’d had one of those borderline nights but decided to stick with electric heat. Other than the occasional de-icing cycle, it worked out fine.

In a couple of days, winter will return to northern Arkansas — highs only in the 30s, lows in the teens and 20s. Friday we’re looking at up to three inches of snow. By Sunday we should be back in a springtime groove.

It’s been one helluva year.

You haven’t seen anything about The Mountain recently because we’ve been away from it the last four days. We’d originally planned to take just the weekend to re-charge, but then Deb got to feelin’ poorly Monday and Tuesday. Since we had the flexibility to pause a little longer, we did.

With the gradual changing of the seasons, our campground has been seeing more guests roll through. Last night we got a new neighbor — a conversion van pulling a small travel trailer set up across the road behind us.

The van wears New York tags. From the trailer’s A-frame fly two flags — on the marching right is Old Glory, on the other side a green flag with a blue field featuring 13 five-pointed stars.

I recognized the banner right away as the flag of the Green Mountain Boys, a militia of the Vermont Republic during the American Revolution.

The Green Mountain Boys reportedly were headed by none other than Ethan Allen. The flag is often called the “Stark Flag” after Gen. John Stark, the “Hero of Bennington.” Coincidentally, the Ohio county in which I was born and raised also was named for Stark.

On our way to The Mountain this morning we stopped to conduct business at the US Post Office in Yellville. We tried to do it online but the USPS website repeatedly refused to let us finish what we’d started. We’d have to do it in person.

To make a long story short, we had ourselves another Chick-fil-A experience — at a post office, for cryin’ out loud. All three postal workers behind the counter pitched in to solve our problem and take care of our business, and they did it with the kindness and cordiality we’ve come to expect ’round here. It’s just the damnedest thing.

Once we arrived on The Mountain we chatted with Deb’s cousin, ran the Ranger to the summit and back down to the cleared area, then chatted some more at the garage. We took the day’s big meal at Laura’s Mexican Kitchen in Yellville — enchiladas for Deb, huevos rancheros for me.

The day was easy and it was good. We’ll head back there again tomorrow morning.

“My first thought is, I’m not goin’ nowhere to fight none of these wars for these politicians. I’m stayin’ at home and when the war comes to Arkansas, I will dig my boots in the ground and I will die for everything I love, and I will not retreat.”

“If this country is invaded and everybody’s sayin’ well, ‘we got to evacuate, we got to leave,’ I will not. I will dig my boots in Arkansas soil and I will fight for the people that I love, for the land that I love and the way of life that I love. But I’m not goin’ overseas to fight.”

Bryce Mitchell, age 27, UFC fighter & cattle farmer from Searcy, Arkansas

The current occupant of the Oval Office, along with his spokesginger, insult the American People daily. Every pronouncement, it seems, either requires us to suspend disbelief or demands that we ignore plain facts and our own experience.

Color me surprised, then, that they haven’t yet floated the “in today’s dollars” argument.

Here’s what I mean. Yesterday’s national average price for a gallon of regular gas was $4.17, blowing past the previous record of $4.11 set in 2008 — but that $4.11 actually is $5.37 in today’s dollars. So gas prices are still 30% below their all-time high.

Put another way, $4.17 in 2022 is like $3.19 in 2008.

Feel better now?

When Doddering Daffy stepped to the podium yesterday we didn’t get any of that equivalency stuff. We did get this:

“Loosening environmental regulations or pulling back clean energy investment won’t — let me explain — won’t — will not lower energy prices for families. But transforming our economy to run on electric vehicles powered by clean energy with tax credits to help American families winterize their homes and use less energy, that will — that will help.

“And if we can — if we do what we can, it will mean that no one has to worry about the price at the gas pump in the future.”

This is what we paid today in Bellefonte, Arkansas.

That’s the very picture of tone-deaf elitism. It’s patronizing, unworkable and patently false. To believe any of it, even to believe it’s a responsible line of public-policy thought, a person would have to be blind drunk.

When I hear green-dream bullshit like that I think about something as ordinary as our familiar drive from the campground to The Mountain. In 40 miles, traveling through farm country and small towns, we see passenger cars and pickup trucks, over-the-road rigs and construction vehicles, sawmills and feed mills, freight trains and tractors and combines and chainsaws and all manner of utility equipment. Every bit of that — plus the buildings in which the People live and work — runs on the same thing: fossil fuels.

That’s what powers this nation. Anyone who proposes to change that by exploiting (or engineering) a crisis is signing the death certificate of the American middle class, along with whatever’s left of small businesses and probably the country itself.

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

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

#LetsGoBrandon #FJB

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