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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
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And I was trying to get some photos of him when there was one of those fluttering thuds that says somebody picked a fight. And when I looked up, the resident black chin was back. This guy, or one just … Continue reading
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The cutting table has returned to the Secret Lair for the building season. Hopefully the last official building season, at least for the Lair itself.
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…eleven months almost to the day after I built it. The last act of the floor this morning was to hold up the ladder as I took the facing boards off the vigas. The facing boards were only cosmetic but … Continue reading
Remember that book kickstarter that was hoping to raise $25,000 in a month? Ian is already obligated to sign almost 700 books and this is only the second day of the month. At this rate that’ll be his new career. … Continue reading
Some assembly required. The delivery guy was actually early. And he called at a rational time in his odyssey into the unknown*, and so taking delivery of the materials – the porch ingredients, plus some stuff for Ian’s Cave – … Continue reading
I need new bread, but also need to keep the mid-day open to meet the building materials truck. So I think I broke all records this morning. Hurried the morning chicken chores while the bread dough was rising, and the … Continue reading
Chassepot to FAMAS: French Military Rifles, 1866 – 2016 This is pretty definitely going to happen, since it’s been in production for years now and also because it is (at this moment) at nearly $40,000 of its initial $25,000 kickstarter … Continue reading
I meant to say this earlier: With a nearly full water tank, the resting pressure at the Secret Lair’s sink is 18.5 PSI. Flow pressure is about 14 and a quarter. Now the trick will be to watch the tank … Continue reading
I mentioned these before – they don’t bloom every year and I had about decided they wouldn’t this time, but I spoke too soon. There are several buds of which this is the first, not quite fully open. Wet as … Continue reading
And now I must risk oversharing. Bear with me, this is sort of stream-of-consciousness. With any luck I’ll resist the urge to hit the Publish button. Most days I think of myself as a pretty capable guy. I can build … Continue reading