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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
Twice a day for the next five, I’ll be going across the plateau and up T&S’s little mesa to tend their dogs and horse. I really wish I could show you this house – there are other impressive houses here … Continue reading
I haven’t been in Landlady’s house for two weeks, since her last visit. My bad – since (if I remember correctly) she’s due this weekend or actually this evening, I let myself in this morning to check for mice in … Continue reading
But this is my least favorite part of the woodcutting process right here… It took less than an hour and a half for Uncle Joel to cry halt on cutting pallets apart with a Sawzall. In that time I dismantled … Continue reading
Legal Experts Warn Amber Guyger Verdict Could Set Dangerous Precedent Of Police Officers Not Being Allowed To Shoot Anyone They Want Guyger and her legal counsel relied heavily on the “But I was a cop” argument as well as the … Continue reading
I’ve been preparing since yesterday for today’s big trip to the biggish town about 35 miles away, where there would be lumber and ammo and meat and distilled water and assorted other groceries. Showed up at D&L’s right on time … Continue reading
The first of the month is Battery Day, in which I go around and top off all the battery cells at Landlady’s, Ian’s and my places. Since the big chickenhouse is attached to Landlady’s powershed, I was also able to … Continue reading
So how come I’m so cold this morning? Maybe it’s just a subconscious reaction to the date. Winter isn’t the physical ordeal it used to be, what with incremental improvements in the Lair finally achieving real-house-like standards. But I still … Continue reading
Just sayin’… …and also I need to wash it with vinegar again.
Okay: as of just after noon today, the water tank is absolutely as full as it can be*. One more molecule would fall right out the overflow pipe. I just took this picture: The pressure is higher first thing in … Continue reading
“What the hell is wrong with all the people standing around photographing this?” Insert chest-thumping drivel about what would happen if anybody behaved this way (bravely facing down a little old lady with a walker!) around here…
…Uncle Murphy wouldn’t be on it. Had a few move-it-around chores to knock out this morning. First I had to move the cutting table from the Lair to the woodlot so I can chop up some knocked-down pallets for firewood… … Continue reading
Another reason I don’t get as much use out of the bike as I should, given the changing season… …I’m a soft touch.
I took a trip to the dollar store with D&L this morning, and before I even went home to put the groceries away I took the bike out for the specific purpose of taking this picture… We’ve crossed a hundred … Continue reading
I have a bridge over the drainage ditch for the gully behind the Lair. It used to be for the burning barrels, and now it’s for the woodshed. Since I traditionally knock them together out of whatever’s lying around, they … Continue reading
The Lair is down to just a couple of die-hard hummingbird freeloaders, everybody else presumably having headed south for the winter. And after they’ve sucked this last feeder-load dry I’m going to take it in, clean it up and store … Continue reading
If it seems as though I’m not posting very much or with any real enthusiasm lately, it’s not because of any loss of interest in the blog. It’s just that nothing really happens here most of the time, most of … Continue reading
So now I’m sitting in D&L’s pickup outside the surprisingly well- attended physical therapy joint in the little town nearest where we live, waiting for Neighbor D to finish up, and it’s likely to be quite a wait because I … Continue reading
…it rained. Although several gullies ran into the wash, there weren’t any cloudbursts up on the plateau so the wash proper never ran. Would have been surprising, given how dry it’s been overall. Lots of mud on the road but … Continue reading
The monsoon season, which is normally over by now, almost entirely gave us a miss this year. But it has rained all day today. Never especially hard and sometimes only a drip; the gully to the east of the Lair … Continue reading