Red, white & blue

This is Flag Day 2022. I know, we’re only halfway through The Great Big Identity Fethtival — according to the old bat who’s third in line for the presidency, “Drag is what America is all about” — and that ‘teenth thing is comin’ up fast, but in my America the 14th of June is Flag Day, period.

FDR, globalist that he was, tried to tie it to United Nations Day. Let’s all be grateful that didn’t stick.

Americans who grew up in the ’50s and ’60s, as I did, were raised to respect the flag and what it represents. We stood and recited the Pledge of Allegiance, hand-over-heart, in school every day. We stood when it passed in a parade. Our families flew flags proudly from porches and poles, and we knew to never let the Stars and Stripes touch the ground.

I know that those of us who had the privilege of participating in Boy Scouts learned to fold it with due reverence.

As adults (if we’re worth a damn) we’re incensed when we see the flag burned, walked on or disrespected in any way. We acknowledge and accommodate the birthright to do that, protected by the First Amendment, but we condemn unapologetically the character of anyone who doesn’t accord the flag of the United States of America the honor it deserves.

Since our flag first flew, 37 stars have been added and the country has changed in significant ways (not always for the better). I was born under 48 stars, and since 1959 the flag has displayed 50. I still prefer the 13-star American flag, the original Betsy Ross design, for the purity of purpose for which it stands.

But whether it’s thirteen stars or fifty, my “pride flag” has only three colors — red, white and blue.

(Now someone please tell the bowser who runs DC that there’s no such thing as a 51-star flag, ok? Leave it to a progressive to deface the American flag on Flag Day to make a political statement.)

A bit of an aside — as I said in my last post, on Sunday Deb and I dropped by a local microbrewery. Both of us enjoy craft beers, the way some people savor fine wines or seek out creative cuisine. And almost every time we visit a microbrewery or a brew pub, Deb looks around and says the same thing.

“What the hell happened to men?”

I know she’s not talking about me, but it’s undeniable that micros attract the vermin known as “beta males.” They’re soft, they’re pasty and they’re anything but toxic, the product of a feminized American culture.

I’m not sure where it came from, this willful rejection of classic and necessary masculinity. (Europe, probably.) It’s far more common, I’ve noticed, in left-leaning urban enclaves than it is in more conservative rural areas.

That’s a clue.

While Deb surveys the embarrassing betas — she’s been known to shoot them disapproving looks, by the way — I take stock of the women who accompany them. (I ignore gay couples, which are uninteresting.) These chicks are, virtually without exception, nuts, self-absorbed and apparently incapable of shutting the fuck up. They chatter and prattle without breathing, looking to their domesticated beta only for affirmation.

Betas are great at that, the whole affirmation thing. They care, see, and they make a big production of that. So they tend to attract women who obsess about themselves and dictate exactly how they want their “man” to care.

Anyway, we did like the beer. The validation of us, supplied by our fellow patrons, was a bonus.

The time is coming soon when we’ll be living out of the bus, even though we’ll still be living in the house here at Second Chance Ranch. Clothes, household supplies and all manner of convenience items will be packed away for The Big Move and we’ll commit to an odd sort of minimalist existence.

I confronted that prospect yesterday as I transferred most of my tools from a rollaway in the garage to a three-piece modular toolbox. I’ll be doing the same in my basement workshop later this week, forcing me to rely on the limited selection of tools carried in Ernie.

That’s progress, though it’s being slowed by oppressive heat. A year ago right now we were dealing with a “heat index” as high as 117°F in the Texas Hill Country. Here yesterday it was 105°F. It’s forecast to get even hotter.

Until we brought home the SilverSilverado last week Deb and I had never owned a full-size American pickup truck. (I’d had a few in my previous lives — a 1978 Ford F100 Stepside, a 1980 Dodge D100 and a 1993 Dodge Ram 1500.) The closest we got was a 2005 GMC Yukon XL, which we bought used a number of years ago, and we really enjoyed driving it.

On the way back from picking up that Yukon we stopped at an auto-parts store for floor mats, which it needed. Deb was drawn to a display of small chromed emblems and found one she very much wanted to add to the big blue beast.

It said, simply, “SIZE MATTERS.”

Naturally, we got a badge just like it for the Silverado. We also replaced the truck’s wire-whip antenna with a chrome-and-carbon-fiber .50 BMG cartridge, just because.

The original gold bowtie emblem on the grille was pretty chewed-up and ugly. We considered replacing it, but then we found trim-to-fit overlays in various colors and went that route instead. The kit came with six sheets of self-adhesive vinyl and a razor knife.

I screwed up my initial attempt, misjudging how thin and pliable the material is. I peeled it off, grabbed a fresh sheet and gave it another shot. Lessons learned from the first try paid off.

I slowed down considerably, taking probably three times as long, using my own X-ACTO as well as a hair dryer and a pencil eraser (rather than my fingertips) to work the vinyl into crevices. We’re thrilled with the result.

There is one problem with the truck, discovered during our test drive — the air conditioning doesn’t blow cold. and (since we’re in the middle of a heat wave) and this is one helluva time for that kind of problem. I had an appointment with the dealer’s service department this morning to have it checked.

The techs found a leak in one of the refrigerant lines. They don’t have the part, but it should arrive by day’s end. I’ll go back tomorrow morning to have it installed and the system charged.

And then we’ll be chillin’.

One year ago today, we were cookin’ — the Texas heat last June was no joke.

We had lunch at the O.S.T. (Old Spanish Trail Restaurant), enjoyed Blue Bell Ice Cream at the Bandera General Store and shopped the Bandera True Value Hardware for supplies to help us mitigate sweltering temps inside our bakin’ bus.

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

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

#LetsGoBrandon #FJB