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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
Came home from the Monday morning water run. Backed the Jeep into its usual spot. Recalled that a hinge bolt on the rear window had come loose and decided I should tighten it while it was on my mind, because … Continue reading
Look what a Generous Reader just sent me! The person who sent it to me has waited a long time for confirmation of receipt, because it got hung up in transit for a while. But it did get here, and … Continue reading
I just got a spam email from Sportsman’s Warehouse, which I think I bought one thing from three years ago. And since it was titled “Spring Shooting Sale,” I naturally clicked. (pro-tip for spammers). And the ammo for their Spring … Continue reading
Spent a lot of time in bed, if not actually sleeping. If this time works the way the first jab did, I’ll sleep like a rock tonight and wake up tomorrow feeling fine. As it is, if I had an … Continue reading
Day after I got the first jab I got away with a headache and a very sleepy day. This time I wish I were sleepy, so I could sleep through the discomfort. Turns out the thermometer I stashed in my … Continue reading
Apropos of nothing in particular, just priming you to be ready to put up with a a bunch of complaints tomorrow, probably.
These aren’t any exotic strays… And naturally they made a beeline for my yard, because “let’s go crap all over Joel’s yard” seems embedded in Angus mix DNA.
…and I always wanted to be ‘in,’ so…
Last summer Ian brought a bunch of fancy metallic targets to the Gulch, for use in shooting videos. It quickly became clear that the bane of our shooting existence was going to be this one full-size Mozambique… The head portion … Continue reading
Warm with NO WIND, which means it should definitely not be mistaken for Spring. Spring comes with knock-you-on-your-geriatric-ass wind, standard. Still, mid-sixties in early March is not to be wasted. March is the month that breaks your heart. So I’m … Continue reading
I come by it honestly – for the first winter the Lair had a ridiculously inadequate free sample of a solar power system that couldn’t even run CFLs in the morning without triggering the low voltage alarm. I was proud … Continue reading
So yesterday SpaceX launched the third prototype of its comically sci-fi looking Starship. It launched beautifully, hovered at 10k above the ground, did its terrifying bellyflop falling-with-style thing, then relit and landed neatly on its tail in a manner that … Continue reading
How to make a practical paper target holder that would go in and out of my car handily was always a problem for me, until 3 or 4 years ago when a TUAK reader suggested another use for chicken wire. … Continue reading
Last week I saw a herd of cattle set up shop around the watering station near Landlady’s place, and naturally assumed they belonged to the ranchers who hold the local grazing lease. I was resigned but unhappy – they run … Continue reading
How not to fill a Zippo… Kind of reminds me of adventures I had when I was a teen, that I sort of kept to myself thereafter. Buried forever in the private mental file marked “things you should never do … Continue reading
I burned the woodstove briefly this morning just to take the chill off. By the time I got back from morning chicken chores it was already out and the iron was barely warm. And before I left I cut kindling … Continue reading
So yesterday on my way to afternoon chicken chores I saw suspicious tracks… Distinctive tracks. Round split-hooved tracks. Cattle tracks. Grrr… I wondered at the timing of this; maybe in a month or two we’ll get some usable grass but … Continue reading
I have a love/hate relationship with primer tools. This is my current go-to tool, an RCBS that works fine, really. Doesn’t need a whole set of individual case holders, which is a big plus. Gives you enough leverage that it’s … Continue reading
No reason to light the fire… …lit the fire anyway. Hey, there was a time when morning fire was optional when indoor temp was in the 40’s, forbidden when it was in the 50’s. But that was more than 10 … Continue reading
I wasn’t expecting any particular controversy over yesterday’s post. I just noticed something on a package I thought worthy of mention, and then I mentioned it. But apparently I broke some peoples’ rules – I actually got an email from … Continue reading