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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
Found this on Oleg Volk’s Livejournal page, which I ended up on while following a rabbit hole involving Leslie Fish, deserts, alternate coffee sources, and misremembered song lyrics.
I did something computer-related! I must be smart! Uh – this is my ‘pooter… …and this is the assorted junk that’s always attached to my ‘pooter. And most of the time I forget it’s even there because it’s poked into … Continue reading
I honestly didn’t know that happened here. Big fat drops of hot water, more or less instantly evaporating on contact. Don’t expect it to ease the heat much, but no doubt it will convert the dry heat to humid heat. … Continue reading
And if they don’t stay outside Torso Boy’s fence, he’s gonna… …well, he’s gonna keep chasing them… …while they contemptuously fly away. Because he refuses to believe quail can fly. Which only proves they’re evil, I guess.
I went outside for a few minutes and came back to find a new Grand Proposal in my inbox… Who does this? I know the blog is a sick-but-not-dead communication form and so if a would-be freelancing writer of ‘the … Continue reading
…that quail are a treasonous danger to the republic, possibly a covert fifth column working for the rabbit (or maybe sparrow, he’s not entirely clear in his messaging) plot to take over the American economy and sap the purity of … Continue reading
I suggested early on that TB might be unhappy about coming home by the end of our stay here, because once upon a halcyon time he had a fenced yard in which he could safely cavort to his stunted little … Continue reading
As regular readers know, trips to any city are not common with me, and not really all that welcome*. And on those occasions when such visits are unavoidable I find myself acting like I’m visiting a completely foreign country – … Continue reading
I give you CForce: It’s Chuck Norris’ water – it empowers you. No, seriously. We found a bottle of this during a fuel stop on the way to the city. I was in the very process of throwing the bottle … Continue reading
This is a house full of no doubt typical household gadgets, some of which seem weird and almost sinister to an old man who’s spent the past dozen years deliberately lowering his tech expectations to what’s supported by his dependably … Continue reading
Okay, I spent yesterday hiding from the sun and the heat, slowly unpacking and de-stressing and generally evaluating what I’ve gotten myself into. By noon two things were clear: It was too damned hot to do anything outdoors beyond the … Continue reading
Laddie fell head over cliché for my host of the female persuasion, who just left for the airport. He is now rushing from door to door, crying piteously. Less secure feelings than mine would be hurt. 🙂
My hosts’ house has a little room not unlike the little room in the Secret Lair, except cleaner and containing within it yet another even smaller room with glass walls and a tiled and drained floor! The purpose of this … Continue reading
…is not where I would choose to be. But some necessary business arose, serendipitously at the exact time I was already going to a city where it could be done. Talk more about it later. In any case I have … Continue reading
Yesterday evening I turned off the well pump, the tank level showing 2000 gallons. This morning I looked at the resting water pressure… …and it’s indicating 19 psi, the highest I’ve ever seen. Probably I could get it a hair … Continue reading
I remember reading about this rifle when it was found and thinking, “There but for the grace of god…” 137-year-old Winchester rifle found in Nevada has new home BAKER, Nev. — A 137-year-old rifle found five years ago leaning against … Continue reading
Laddie was feeling butthurt this morning. He’d had his breakfast and his little walkie around the yard, but now Uncle Joel was suiting up to go away and he didn’t feel like being left alone. He planted himself between me … Continue reading
I dipped the tank this morning and we’re down to about 1100 gallons. The tank capacity is 2400, so we’re below 50%. If I weren’t going away for three weeks I’d have left the experiment running longer, but we do … Continue reading
They passed $800,000 before the end! What a great start for the book and the future of the company! Well done! The book is due to be available for retail sale in October, I believe.