Sixth time’s a charm…?

So far we’ve been thrilled with Artie, our SilverSilverado — it’s the right vehicle for us, ideal for The Move and, we believe, for The Mountain. What’s not ideal is air conditioning that keeps crapping out on us.

It happened again Thursday, less than 24 hours and 15 miles after emerging from the service department. I took it back again Friday morning — my fifth visit, if you’re keeping score — and firmly encouraged the service advisor to do another dye test, paying particular attention to the inlet and outlet welds on the condenser itself (a common weak spot).

They did as I asked, and that’s where they found a refrigerant leak. I returned early this morning to have a new condenser installed.

The service advisor warned me that the job would require six to seven hours’ labor, so I grabbed a cup of coffee and a handful of snacks (thoughtfully provided in the waiting area) and settled into a comfy recliner for what promised to be a long wait. Less than three hours later, however, I was on my way again, fingers crossed that this fix sticks.

I paid exactly nothing for the work, of course, since it was covered by a “We Owe” agreement. Three work orders still showed what parts and labor would’ve cost me, and that was sobering — almost $2,500.

Although we dodged an expensive bullet, I suspect that somebody in the used-car department will get called on the carpet for putting this truck on the lot with air conditioning that didn’t work (and needed costly repairs). I’m glad we took that test drive, and I’m especially grateful to Deb for flipping switches and checking functions while I assessed the Silverado’s roadworthiness.

The bottom line — two weeks and six visits to the service bay, during which the truck’s AC had five dye tests, three evacuations and three recharges, A line was replaced, along with two sets of seals and a condenser. Other than the compressor, at this point almost the entire front end of the circuit is new.

All that’s great, but only if it keeps chillin’.


I can’t close this post without commenting briefly on current events. As SCOTUS approaches its summer break the flurry of new decisions continues, and today brought another significant victory for Liberty.

Kennedy v. Bremerton School District is the case of a football coach who was fired in 2015 for kneeling to pray on the field. Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch delivered the Court’s majority (6-3) opinion, which opened,

“Joseph Kennedy lost his job as a high school football coach because he knelt at midfield after games to offer a quiet prayer of thanks. Mr. Kennedy prayed during a period when school employees were free to speak with a friend, call for a reservation at a restaurant, check email, or attend to other personal matters. He offered his prayers quietly while his students were otherwise occupied. Still, the Bremerton School District disciplined him anyway. It did so because it thought anything less could lead a reasonable observer to conclude (mistakenly) that it endorsed Mr. Kennedy’s religious beliefs. That reasoning was misguided. Both the Free Exercise and Free Speech Clauses of the First Amendment protect expressions like Mr. Kennedy’s. Nor does a proper understanding of the Amendment’s Establishment Clause require the government to single out private religious speech for special disfavor. The Constitution and the best of our traditions counsel mutual respect and tolerance, not censorship and suppression, for religious and nonreligious views alike.”

Here’s the last ‘graph of the opinion:

“Respect for religious expressions is indispensable to life in a free and diverse Republic — whether those expressions take place in a sanctuary or on a field, and whether they manifest through the spoken word or a bowed head. Here, a government entity sought to punish an individual for engaging in a brief, quiet, personal religious observance doubly protected by the Free Exercise and Free Speech Clauses of the First Amendment. And the only meaningful justification the government offered for its reprisal rested on a mistaken view that it had a duty to ferret out and suppress religious observances even as it allows comparable secular speech. The Constitution neither mandates nor tolerates that kind of discrimination. Mr. Kennedy is entitled to summary judgment on his First Amendment claims. The judgment of the Court of Appeals is Reversed.”

As regular readers of Ubi Libertas Blog know (or have deduced), I’m not “a praying man” myself. Still, I celebrate this decision with gusto — it’s a win for a good man, a win for actual constitutional rights (over those invented by the anti-American Left) and, most important, a win for individual Liberty.

If you’d like to call it a win for POTUS #45, too, I can’t argue with that. Trump is responsible for appointing three justices who’ve helped restore the high court’s constitutional integrity. Liberty-loving Americans are heartened by what we’ve seen.

Progressives, on the other hand, have been convulsing since Thursday’s decision asserting Second Amendment rights and Friday’s ruling that dismissed the contrived “constitutional right” to murder children. Now, with a third major decision upholding the First Amendment right of even State employees to pray in public, leftists have flown into a collective [sic] fugue.

They’re unglued, they’re unhinged and oh, are they ever pissed. They label the Court “illegitimate” — even as it manifests greater legitimacy than it has in many years — variously calling for packing it (with liberals) or disbanding it altogether.

It’s all dishonest and absurd. Many of my friends on the Right are amused and feeling pretty cocky — and that, I’m here to tell you, is a mistake.

First of all, these leftists are hateful, and they hate us. They mean us harm. Truth is, they want us dead. Don’t underestimate what they’re capable of.

Second, overconfidence breeds complacency. Four months out from mid-term elections that Republican candidates should win in a walk, conservative complacency will hand progressives a prize they haven’t earned — and then Democrats can have whatever they want.

Trust me, the Left will never relent. And neither should we.


One year ago today we had a very good 230-mile run, ending up at the KOA in Joplin, Missouri.

It wasn’t a perfect spot, but it had the virtue of being more than halfway to our destination in northern Arkansas.


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

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

#LetsGoBrandon