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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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Author Archives: Joel
This one’s just about exactly a year old. And it didn’t survive the last couple of windstorms. It would probably be fine as shade cover for camping trips and such, or in a place with milder weather. But the UV … Continue reading
The water tank on top of the ridge is nearly full at last. This afternoon I’ll turn the pump off. And every morning for the past few days I’ve trudged up the slope to see how much the water level … Continue reading
My peals of laughter should not be taken as lack of sympathy, but are entirely to be blamed on the commentator.
Was there anything wrong with it at all, before I started tinkering and breaking things? Because as far as I can tell, the tank is holding its level overnight. I’m beginning to think I just used more water in a … Continue reading
Laddie got me up at 4:30 with an urgent demand, then we both just climbed back into the sack until seven. It’s not that cold, 15o at present, but it certainly feels cold compared to the past mild week or … Continue reading
Stayed in the mid-thirties all day which wouldn’t have been bad at all except for the 40mph+ wind. Went out to walk the dog in just a hoodie and came back frozen after only a circuit of the driveway. So … Continue reading
Heavy wind in the afternoon often means a change of weather, so I woke this morning to see our brief mild spell has gone. There’s a dusting of snow and the weather man (person of undefined gender?) says the temp … Continue reading
I went to have a second look at that scat pile Laddie found this morning. And you know, it kinda looks like cat. We do have quite a few bobcats here, and on one occasion we even accidentally documented that … Continue reading
…because I only get to town once a week and I didn’t get the right stuff the first time. Or…the second time… …but I finally finished repairing/replacing the valves at the foot of the water tank. Sunny and warmish, a … Continue reading
One thing we’ve worked on since the day he arrived: First thing in the morning, as soon as I get my leg on, he obviously needs to go out and pee and I don’t want to have to futz with … Continue reading
Looks like it’ll be headed back to the shop in town, in the fullness of time. I was so pleased with myself. I got the radiator replaced without much delay. New hoses, everything sorted out, no parts left over. With … Continue reading
Regular readers know that Uncle Joel is an inveterate food hoarder. Canned meat in particular, with the exception of Spam which is a weekly staple, tends to get hoarded. Know what bad times feel like and you’ll likely hoard against … Continue reading
My last laptop, on which I ran Linux, gradually became a paperweight because of my neurotic reluctance to update software. I say “I ran Linux” as if to suggest that I’m a spongy but proud computer expert capable of calmly … Continue reading
…have a friend with a backhoe/loader. Neighbor D expressed a desire to come over this afternoon and help me with a new driveway apron onto the wash. Last summer’s flash flood exposed two big rocks in bad places. One wasn’t … Continue reading
This is arguably in poor taste given that I’ve vaguely heard of a winterpocalype devastating basically all of the midwest. But I think of winter proper being composed of the months of December through February, even though it’s not practically … Continue reading
All the time we were having that weather, all the deer and elk disappeared. Don’t know where they go to ride it out. But these game camera pics are dated eight days ago, and here’s a big gang of mule … Continue reading
It’s common for some mail-order chicken breeders to throw a thirteenth chick in with every dozen order, and it tends to be something a bit oddball. In this case it was that one there, and for once it’s a hen. … Continue reading
Maybe a week ago one of the Leghorns snuck out of the chicken house behind my back and got chased by Laddie. Yesterday it happened again, less dramatically. She ran around being annoying for a few minutes and then just … Continue reading
Neighbor D traded his single action for a semiauto, and wouldn’t you know he just had to buy a cheap 1911. But it was an excuse to go shooting, and I think that problem it had with not wanting to … Continue reading