We gifted ourselves with another “down day,” just because. Deb and I pulled back and puttered around with a few small chores, managing effects of the summer heat the best we can. (I think that’s what sucked the life out of us yesterday.) I won’t pretend that temps in the mid-90s are any sort of relief, though — that’d be like crowing about a ten-cent drop in the price of gas.

We paid $3.699 yesterday, by the way.

That’s one of the benefits of living here. Right now the state with the lowest average price for a gallon of regular gas is Texas at $3.667. Arkansas is in fourth place today at $3.731, and to our north Missouri’s average is $3.789. (The national average is $4.163.)

It’s still an exorbitant amount to pay for fuel, but we continue to enjoy a relative advantage.

Another plus is that armed citizens in Arkansas can, by law, carry a concealed handgun without the government’s permission — so-called “constitutional carry.” That’s been status quo here since 2018, and citizens may begin carrying at 18 (unlike Ohio, for example, which enacted its “permitless carry” statute effective this June and prohibits carry by those younger than 21).

Oh, and here’s a news flash: Nobody ’round here is struggling with pronouns.

I’ve noted before that the area in which we’ve chosen to live is outside the mainstream, both physically and in terms of values. The Mountain is two hours from the closest metro area (Springfield, Missouri), which also is the nearest Interstate highway (I-44). Big cities” like Little Rock, Memphis, Tulsa, St. Louis and Kansas City are so distant as to be irrelevant.

Y’know what else is missing from Arkansas? Major-league sports. In this century pro teams have proven to be cultural poison, guaranteed to be fiscally destructive and nowhere near the source of public pride they once were. In my opinion their absence from the immediate vicinity is a real bonus.

There are a couple of minor-league baseball teams in the state — the Arkansas Travelers in North Little Rock (a two-and-a-half-hour drive) and the Northwest Arkansas Naturals in Springdale (two hours) — but as for rooting interest the only team that truly matters is the Razorbacks of the University of Arkansas.

Woooooooooo, Pig! Sooie!

Collegiate allegiance is common throughout The South, even in states that host professional franchises. The most popular teams in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Florida and Tennessee are college, not pro. Ditto in Kentucky, West Virginia and Ohio, incidentally, along with places like Iowa and Nebraska.

Yeah, we’re in the right place.

Let’s see… what else? Well, before the sun cleared the trees this morning I rolled up my sleeves and swept 13 months’ worth of grime from the Jeep’s interior — gravel and grass and grit from seven states. It wasn’t a full-on detail job, certainly, but the effort brought the Wrangler back within striking distance of respectability.

Besides, it scratched my tidiness itch. And no, the SilverSilverado will never get to that point.

Over on The Mountain this afternoon, Deb’s cousin had his closest encounter yet with our resident black bears. This time it was a sow and two cubs, rooting around and climbing cedar trees just feet from the porch where we were sittin’ yesterday.

One year ago today we let Mercy off the leash and gave her a good workout, exploring the green expanse of northeast Nebraska.

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

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

#LetsGoBrandon #FJB