If you are in lockstep with those of us on the cutting edge of technology, you have noticed that Gmail and Facebook are in a continuous state of improvement: Every month it is more difficult to use either one of them.

This week a friend posted a picture of my wife, Marsha, The Almost Perfect Woman, on Facebook. It was not visible on my screen, and when I tracked it down, cropped it and pasted it on my Facebook page, not only could it not be seen, but I think it must have infected some of my other pictures so they could not be seen, either.

It is only a matter of time before Facebook and Gmail will be improved to the point where they are completely dysfunctional and when we want to communicate with someone we’ll have to go back to telephones and the post office – or walk downstairs and speak to them face to face.

If you have been paying attention you have certainly noticed that our entire society is moving toward a cataclysmic gridlock where nothing works and there is nothing anyone can do about it.

Last fall I was conned into buying a heat pump. A nice man from somewhere Down East, who pretended to be an old friend, contacted me and said he’d hook up a heat pump for me if I’d buy one. When I went online and had a Mitsubishi heat pump shipped to my home, he vanished.

Someone said that there was a heat pump scam in Maine and that the perpetrators are now in jail. It might be the same guy and it might not be, but because of him I have a brand-new heating and cooling unit. For two months I’ve been trying to find a local person willing to install it. My friends in the business very correctly point out that because they didn’t sell me the pump, there can be no rebate and no warranty. When I counter by saying I don’t care about a warranty or a rebate, they quickly find more reasons why they don’t want to touch it.

Large companies many miles away seem eager to install this energy-saving device for me, and I might end up working with them. But wouldn’t you rather support a local business? Another reason to shop locally is the $90 an hour for six hours of travel time for each man.

Yesterday I heard of a heat pump technician in town with the necessary skills. As I stood on his doorstep he told me that he was booked solid for the next 14 weeks. You would have asked him the same question I did: “Why don’t you double your rates?” Well, he works for contractors.

When I want someone to patch my henhouse roof or jack up the sagging floor in my ancient house, it is obvious that we are living in the best of all possible economic worlds: No one has the time or desire to do it.

To top that off, I live in a town where mere millionaires are second-class citizens. Money flows like water into the hands of any technician able to paint a phone number on his pickup.

Within 9 miles of our home there is so much renovating to be done in the homes of the super-rich, the rest of us have learned to live with leaky roofs and sagging floors. Every time one of these completely renovated homes is sold, everything is torn out and the tear-it-out-and-throw-it-away process is repeated. Fortunate indeed are those who are on deck when a truckload of practically new kitchen cabinets unloads at the town dump.

The handwriting on the wall is clear: It took me over four years of begging to get Jim, the expert, to jack up the sagging floors in my 208-year-old house. The heat pump might be an antique before it can be installed.

Yes. I could have jacked up my house, but it wouldn’t have been done right – the way a professional would do it.

It’s the same way with this heat pump. I could put it in. Boring a hole in the wall and fastening it up there is monkey work and well within my realm of expertise. But only a technician who has done it before knows how to hook up the mysterious pipes.

An option might be hiring a technician in a consulting capacity. It would be worth quite a bit just to be told what could go wrong. YouTube videos are also an option.

There is no question but what I can install a heat pump.

It might not work when I do. But if it does, please don’t call me for help with yours. I’ll already have more work than I can do.

The humble Farmer can be heard Friday nights at 7 on WHPW (97.3 FM) and visited at:


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