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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
…which just happens to fall on Christmas. I have long rebuffed the idea of any sort of slow cooker at the Lair for the obvious reason that things that make heat with electricity are notorious power hogs. Granted that I … Continue reading
Cold, windy but sunny today. No matter what and no matter how, this had to be baking day and I got an early start in hopes of using the waste heat to get the Lair toasty early. I succeeded only … Continue reading
A Christmas gift from neighbors who know me too well…
D&L have doctor appointments in the big town about 50 miles away, which means their dogs and horses are at the mercy of my pitiful ministrations… Feeding the horses always includes going around cleaning up horse apples, and this time … Continue reading
Sorry – I swore off political filler but this one made me laugh very hard.
Sun’s out: Yesterday afternoon got warm enough to melt off quite a bit of remaining snow cover, and last night got plenty cold enough to freeze all the resulting moisture back out of the atmosphere. The result was a nice … Continue reading
9 o’clock this morning found me very punctually waiting for a propane guy to come do propane stuff at a neighbor’s house. I can’t describe to service people how to get to the Gulch, so sometimes I have to wait … Continue reading
In spite of Lair improvements that help me make it more livably warm, so that winter isn’t quite the drawn-out emotional event it used to be, I still pay a lot of attention to the coming and especially the passing … Continue reading
Quite unexpectedly, Christmas came to the Gulch yesterday. A nice card with some strange green paper inside. Wonder what it wants? Amazon gift card which immediately got used… One from Landlady, who knows me well… …and a big box’o’food from … Continue reading
…and it struck a little early. According to the forecast I saw, yesterday was supposed to be colder than Friday and then today was supposed to go all to hell. That would have been reasonably good timing, because yesterday evening … Continue reading
I have four pair of nice new winter jeans. One’s not even out of the package yet. Only one pair has any real time on it since I bought it halfway through last winter. And Tuesday evening that pair came … Continue reading
I woke this morning to the sound of rain on the roof… …and since it really clouded up overnight the temperature outside wasn’t even freezing. Which meant that for the first time in days I had nowhere I had to … Continue reading
And that’s a perfectly good reason to do it, in my humble opinion. Only a few months after I moved into the Secret Lair, for reasons having to do with thoroughly poor woodstove and pipe choice, I had myself a … Continue reading
For some reason the Jeep just goes through batteries. I think it’s probably because it never really goes anywhere and so the battery is never really fully charged. But that’s just a guess. Anyway, we seem to go through this … Continue reading
Over a year ago I dumped a bunch of stovewood at the barn above Landlady’s house during the annual woodcutting festival. Today I hauled the last of it down to her porch. I brought my saws along, having deliberately not … Continue reading
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