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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
Question answered: You cannot ride the bike up Landlady’s hill – not in the lowest gear with the assist turned all the way up. I rode the bike to afternoon chicken chores, racing the rain. Got down the hill easier … Continue reading
How’s this for a beauty shot? I put the rear rack on first thing this morning (started to do it day before yesterday when I assembled the bike, but the allen-head bolts were none-too-high quality and I needed to come … Continue reading
Oh boy, did it ever rain last night. Both gullies near the Lair, and also the gully closer to the wash, let go for the first time this season. Unfortunately, as often happens during heavy rain, there was a mudslide … Continue reading
I’ve spent all day slaving over a hot keyboard working on Ian’s galley proof. (which needs some editorial changes, of course, but is generally excellent. This is the first time I’ve seen the page layout and photos, and they’re great.) … Continue reading
Big Brother decided I needed alternate wheels… It’s an fat-tired electric bike! Some assembly required, and I’m anxious to get to it but obligated to work on editing proofs for the moment. No hurry, really, because… …that battery needs to … Continue reading
The galley proofs for Ian’s book have come down… …and so we’re frantically giving it its very last edit pass. So far it looks great: I’m less than 100 pages in but only have 3 notes. Ian reports he’s been … Continue reading
Guess I’m just not a proper communist.
Time will tell how fixed it is, but it’s back. The new water pump certainly sounds better, or at least less bad. But while I’m uploading pix I have my kitchen timer counting down 15 minutes and then we’ll see … Continue reading
Daddy Long-Leg spiders keep getting themselves caught in my sink. The Lair is infested with’em this time of year. I don’t know how true it is, but they say that pound for pound a Daddy Long-Leg is one of the … Continue reading
I really don’t need those extra two older batteries, which are now bypassing the inverter and running my 12v lighting and bedroom ceiling fan. The plan was to eliminate them and free up some powershed space. But I slept on … Continue reading
🙂 Yeah, I got nothing today.
Complete, with no untoward arky-sparky. This is a job Less-Confident Joel could find excuses to put off for a week. I did it with thunder overhead. Also included some cable-routing improvements that have been sitting on the cabinet for a … Continue reading
(Okay, it’s Monsoon season. The cell signal is finally letting me type this but while I normally lace the post with pictures, they’re not happening this afternoon so bear with me.) Boy, I’ve sure spent a lot of time away … Continue reading
I’m getting old, maybe… Big Brother’s monthly care package contained a couple of packages of something called tortelloni, which I never heard of but it seems a lot like ravioli which I like. So I cooked some up for lunch, … Continue reading
…the truth is I love to say I told you so. And I had told him so. The morning I brought the Jeep to the dysfunctional little shop in the town nearest where I live, the owner practically rolled his … Continue reading
…First ensure that the post is not mocking those links. Seems like lately I’m getting a lot of spam emails trying to get me to help people sell things I don’t believe have any value. Latest example… Reading it I … Continue reading
I enjoy shooting. I guess you could say I like guns. But I’ve always found there to be something kind of cold-blooded about the development of the first machine guns. And this is arguably the very first one… This “Prototype” … Continue reading
I checked the game camera after dumping a bunch of dog food at the watering station yesterday (untouched) and found over 1100 frames recorded, plus a whole bunch of fresh elk sign. So I swapped out the mem cards, pretty … Continue reading
I’ll honestly go ahead and admit I don’t recall ever asking myself this. It’s just always been a jackknife. From my earliest memory my father and uncles and brother-in-law all carried them and I wanted one. But that is kind … Continue reading