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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 left the city, abandoned a goodly percentage of my goods, 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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Songs of Bad Men and Good
Author Archives: Joel
And just to keep me honest – Today started drippy and has become positively rainy. So guess which new thing stopped working on the Jeep, halfway home? I never completely lose. Seems like I never completely win, too.
I saw a comment from Zelda the Zealous, demanding immediate jihad against the Lair’s mice. Took me back to a conversation I had with Neighbor J, just day before yesterday. J has a thing about mice. He has festooned his … Continue reading
…telling me a bunch of money had just been transferred from Paypal. Seems after yesterday’s whining post, four or five people hit the tip jar. Probably enough for me to stop procrastinating and buy those tires. Thanks, guys. That really … Continue reading
But I kind of am. I mean, it’s serendipity of a sort. I never have $300 in the bank. Never. Right at the moment it’s closer to $400, raised from generous contributions to the blog and intended for tires – … Continue reading
Just got a call from the guy at the repair shop. It’s possible – just barely possible, in this frequently dysfunctional little place – that the Jeep will be running under its own power as early as tomorrow. And that … Continue reading
So this morning’s first chore was to dash into town with D&L to talk to the guy at the repair shop about the Jeep. I was going to phone but they wanted to do their regular Monday trip early, so … Continue reading
In the cold, animals can be attracted to the heat of your engine. Always check before driving.
Although we did get a lot of rain yesterday and some snow overnight and the mud is back to being horrendous, it looks like the promised weekend storm was more or less a bust. At quarter to ten the sun … Continue reading
…in the person of Weekender Neighbor S, who called me out of the blue and asked if this was a good time to tow the Jeep to town. I could have wheedled the help out of one of the regulars, … Continue reading
Right at the moment I’m looking at an almost cloudless sky. My charge controller hit float sometime around ten and it’s still there, so the batteries are getting a very nice and well-deserved soak. Which is good, because holy cow … Continue reading
Almost certainly someone will take offense. What would happen if monks under a vow of silence decided to put on a Christmas pageant…
A couple of Christmas presents from past years have proven worth their weight in Gor-tex in the past several days. People gave me these things for extreme cold, which we get only rarely, and I stashed them with my heavy … Continue reading
(For the record, I typed the bulk of this over at Ian’s place – because he’s got juice. Only logged on to post it when my battery voltage got back into the happy zone. Now I’m going to turn everything … Continue reading
Actually it’s closer to noon on the ninth. The fire is still burning, not because it’s particularly cold – it’s nearly 43 out right now – but because it’s so damned damp. My stump socks are out mildewing on the … Continue reading
Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. Our old odd Uncle Joel is getting stranger than ever, now he’s posting pictures of shit. Well it’s not what it is that caught my eye, for clearly it is nothing but a turd. … Continue reading
When I rolled out of the sack this morning the moon was bright and clear, and the sky appeared nearly cloudless. Finally the air began to brighten, and… Frozen fog at the moment, everything’s covered with a fine layer of … Continue reading
From InRange.tv, The Battle at Dragoon Springs.
…and I’m happy to say my moratorium on fire paranoia seems to be holding. Whenever I get the pang, I just clean the stovepipe again. Why not? It’s designed to be easy to take down. This time last winter I … Continue reading