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They say that Louis XIV had the inscription Ultima Ratio Regum cast into all the cannon of the French Army. It means “The Ultimate Argument of Kings,” and that always struck me as one of the most honest and up-front things any ruler or would-be ruler ever said. “We can dress it up prettier than this, but when it comes down to the unvarnished truth this is what it’s about: You’ll do as I say or I’ll send my goons to kill you.”
I thought about that for a long time. If there’s an ultimate argument, it seems only logical that there must be an ultimate answer. For years I thought the ultimate answer must be the bullets in my rifle, but it never seemed quite right. I’ve got bullets – he’s got frigging Cannon Balls. I mean, if there were three hundred million rifles throwing bullets at him, then maybe. But we all know that’s not going to happen. So if there’s an ultimate answer to his ultimate argument, it sure as hell ain’t bullets.
It finally came to me – and that’s when I abandoned the city and most of my stuff, and gave all that was behind me a good stiff Randian Shrug.
The ultimate answer to kings is not a bullet, but a belly laugh.
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Author Archives: Joel
Augh – Summer’s first grassfire is here.
Or – well, not here here. Somewhere far upwind. Normally they don’t bother me… …but on top of my allergy woes this is a misery. My eyes are so sore and swollen I can barely see.
Hymn to Breaking Strain
My favorite Kypling poem, by means of Leslie Fish and friends…
Found him coiled up outside Ian’s door when I came up for my evening shower. Mature bullsnakes are docile as can be but babies, being less the masters of their world, can get salty when scared. Still don’t have any … Continue reading
Last Day of May
Hanging out, not getting anything done but filling handkerchiefs. Not sleeping very well. About semi-conscious the past few days. May is still my favorite month – but I’m reminded of the downsides. Still… …even if I can’t smell the flowers … Continue reading
I don’t know what the visuals have to do with the song, it’s just the only video I could find with the right audio. Happens to be my favorite Leslie Fish song.
My big boy…
I was just reading some two-year-old posts about when Tobie came to live with me, since it’s been almost exactly two years. Came upon the story of how he told me he wanted his own bed… Generous Reader MM promptly … Continue reading
You fell victim to one of the classic blunders!
The most famous is “Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line.” But only slightly less well known is this: “When your gigantic bag of free food has been replaced with a mousetrap, don’t stick your … Continue reading
“Oh yeah. I can do that now.”
Never fails: May is my favorite month but sooner or later some species of amorous plant is going to get my nose streaming. And here’s me out of any real antihistamine, and Monday four days away…Wait! I can do this … Continue reading
“Who run Bartertown?”
Oh, there’s something in the air and it’s got my nose running day and night. All last week was rainy, and now it has turned clear and hot. Something’s spreading pollen and it has gone straight to my sinuses. Surprised … Continue reading
And there it goes again.
I sometimes wonder if the managers of the crappy little food store in the crappy little desert town nearest where I live have even bothered to quantify how much of what ought to be their business they’ve driven to the … Continue reading
Tobie-proofing the muffins…
Tobie may not be the champion counter-surfer of all time but he has every other dog in my personal experience beat hands-down. And so… …Precautions are required. I always have to bunker the eggs anyway. You bet he can reach … Continue reading
Somebody lose a piece of rainbow?
Seen during today’s morning walkie…
First-world problem in a third-world setting…
This really annoyed me… I needed my digital caliper for the first time in a long time, only to find its battery dead. Okay, no sweat: the battery didn’t owe me anything and I have a Plan B dial caliper. … Continue reading
Somebody asked about the goat people the other day…
One other thing happened during this morning’s bike ride. I’ve had to watch out while going past the goat peoples’ property because their dogs (there are now three but that won’t last) have taken to chasing cars and of course … Continue reading
Great morning for a bike ride…
Hardly beautiful, will probably rain later. But it’s still cool and first thing in the morning there’s no wind to speak of. And for the first time this year I rode the bike from Ian’s to town to Ian’s, no … Continue reading
It’s like some weird tradition at this point. The bucket trap on my porch* never catches just one mouse. I get why they’re attracted to it: If you have a bucket of water sitting around overnight in the desert further … Continue reading
My favorite flower, a beautiful sunrise, and damn but the phones keep getting better.
These little barrel-shaped cacti aren’t very common around here but I seek to know where they are in my stomping grounds because a) they are absolutely paved with the most evil spines ever: Surgically fine and brittle and hooked and … Continue reading
And maybe the horse will sing.
I was reminded just now of a story I heard a long time ago. Looked it up so as to get it right… Nasrudin was caught in the act and sentenced to die. Hauled up before the king, he was … Continue reading
We didn’t get everything right…
I know this will come as a complete surprise and I hope most of you don’t lose faith in me and my friends as building contractors. But yeah. The truth is none of us had a freaking clue. It’s a … Continue reading
Pear Tree Maintenance
Say what you will about the pear tree, it’s certainly hardened to local conditions. In 2011 and 2012 we planted a whole bunch of fruit trees in what was supposed to be a veritable food plantation on Ian’s property. We … Continue reading