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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
This has taken a really long time. (ED NOTE: Regular readers might be wondering why I seem to be endorsing a rifle product, especially one involving a fancy AR-15. How would the old cedar rat even know about it, right? … Continue reading
…to the biggish town about 35 miles away. Which meant I had to actually dress like a townie… …which is not the problem it was years ago when I lived on 30 bucks a week and wore rags. At the … Continue reading
…repeatedly… I just got back from the Monday morning water run, along with other liquid refreshments… …and since the hens are taking their annual winter sabbatical I intended to pick up two dozen eggs to supplement the usual supply. But… … Continue reading
Inexpertly, but you do what you can. Having achieved hot running water in Ian’s Cave, it’s time for the next step in the all-important Let’s Have a Shower in the Gulch project. As that wall is anything but flat, the … Continue reading
Stayed in bed late again this morning because when I first woke up it was cold outside the blankets and the bedroom furnace was working to keep up. So I did the manly thing; rolled over and went back to … Continue reading
I had one of those adventures going to chicken chores this morning – one of those mornings when you really wish your Jeep had windshield wipers and you end up driving with a hand out the window holding a broom … Continue reading
I don’t do holidays, as you know. But not all my neighbors agree and so sometimes the holidays kind of reach out and do me. That came out wrong. Or did it? (ahem) Anyway – This year I’ve got one … Continue reading
Laddie’s marker may be delayed due to literacy difficulties beyond our control, but Landlady bought three markers and that meant I needed to get to work on the other two… I have a form I built to cast standard pedestals. … Continue reading
The problem with scattering targets around an area you walk through regularly is that you’ll be tempted to shoot at them. Of course that’s also the reason I scattered the targets, so mostly it’s just important to carry practice ammo. … Continue reading
…is just a very counterintuitive thing to do. But I gotta do it. Because I did something I honestly didn’t think it possible to do: I hoarded too much flour. Okay, there’s no such thing as “too much” if doomsday … Continue reading
Mid-summer seems like a long time gone: I just looked up when I put this thing out here and it was only five months ago. It serves more of a useful purpose than you might think, because (reasons related to … Continue reading
People keep inadvertently shooting through the ropes that secure the target stands in case of flood. I just fixed them, and this morning found the rope that actually anchors the whole thing shot through. So I used up about 60 … Continue reading
Today I finally got the final part I need to finally fix the Jeep’s rear window, the gas struts that allow the window to finally stay up without a wooden prop… I’ve had the hinges and the bottom gasket for … Continue reading
On this date: …I broke out a power saw. Landlady told me last month she wanted to do a big (probably multiple) dump run this coming weekend. I remembered that, and have slowly made various preps for it over the … Continue reading
It was such a dry summer the ranchers gave up on the poor ‘grass’ and brought in their cattle halfway through, so I haven’t had much use for my cow spear in several months. I have occasionally eyed it as … Continue reading
With overnight temps in the low 20’s, I was unsurprised to be greeted this morning with the first empty propane bottle on the bedroom regulator. The first of many, alas, because as long as money permits I’m going to treat … Continue reading
Ever since the blog moved to joelsgulch.com, suggesting to anyone who doesn’t bother to look that there may be some sort of business at that address, I have occasionally received the most hilarious spam.
This is how exciting Uncle Joel’s life can be: I found a screw! Found it rolling around on the Jeep’s driver seat when I thought it was gone for good. This screw and its mate have been a problem for … Continue reading