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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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“This is what real action to stop gun violence looks like!” gushed ol’ Bernie as a foreign head of state apparently banned all further gun violence with a wave of her majestic scepter. Bernie thought that was a fine idea, and saw no reason at all anyone would object to what he seems to consider an obvious and common-sense approach to lawmaking.
Except Landlady noticed a factor that sailed right over my head at the time…
“Bernie Sanders wants to put absolute power in the hands of…Donald Trump? I’m glad to see they’re getting along better.”
Landlady came up yesterday evening, and to my surprise announced that she had care packages! I wasn’t expecting anything at all, since the two packages I knew about missed the deadline. By hours, because Uncle Murphy is a dick. Won’t be another for a month.
But care packages there were! Continue reading
Last year Big Brother bought me a reconditioned MacBook Air. It is … I believe it’s the fourth laptop computer I’ve owned in the past fifteen years or so and the closest to a new one I’ve ever owned. Laptops are handy for cramped spaces and they’re less power-intensive than desktops but the fact that none of my former laptops had functioning batteries never bothered me because I never took them anywhere. Why would I? I never go anywhere. At least nowhere that requires a computer.
But this morning my equipment left me high and dry when it tried to update the iPhone’s operating system just when the cabin’s cellular signal and Uncle Murphy played me a dirty trick. The phone failed to “synch,” whatever that means, and while the phone still seemed to work fine I could no longer use it to connect the Mac to the internet.
Every time I rebooted the Mac it tried to update the phone. And it failed every time. I was getting a little hot under the collar: If it were just a problem with the phone I’d stick the thing in my pocket and climb to the top of the ridge. But I can’t take my desk up th…(red face)…
Any typos in this post should be attributed to the fact that I’m clumsily holding the ‘pooter on my lap in the Jeep’s driver seat. It’s working again.
But forget the NRA. It’s the gunowners you have to worry about. As some other old fool said many years ago…
“Banning” requires no physical action at all, and is quite simple to do. Even Clinton managed it. If you mean confiscation, well, there you’ve got a problem.
Have you noticed, Bernie, that every time one of your comrades makes a play to take the guns away, AR sales go up? Do you think those people are buying those guns so they’ll have something expensive to turn in when you send the goons around to collect’em? Really?
Picture this, now, Bernie – people who have trouble just keeping a roof over their heads suddenly get a hard-on for a spendy black rifle every time you or Barry or Nancy wave the red shirt and declare you’re gonna ban’em: Why is that, do you think?
This isn’t frickin’ New Zealand, Bernie. This is America. We’re descended from bootleggers, smugglers and gun-toting traitors, and before you got hold of the college campuses we wrote songs about it. Not everybody here went to college, Bernie, and not everybody who goes to college buys the bullshit. Do you really think this is going to end well?
Hell, who am I trying to kid? You’re a commie – after all the blood-soaked history of world communism you’re still a commie. You probably do think this will end well.
Oh! Yeah, baby…
I confess to my shame that I was never any good at all at long-range precision shooting – I’ve had a couple of rifles that were more competent than I ever was but never found access to training for one reason or another mostly having to do with cluelessness. But a real “send it” rifle video with my coffee can still get me started in the morning – even though my bashed-in rotator cuffs and glaucoma-dimmed eyes give me the excuse I need to not have to pretend I could use it if I had it.
I’m intermittently getting drips from the front of the Jeep’s engine, even after replacing the thermostat housing and gasket. So Monday I brought home a gasket and a new tube of sealant, and we’re trying it again…
I have to chuckle at myself over how much bitching I’ve done in the past few months. On most earlier years a winter as harsh as this one has been would have driven me right out, if I could have found another place to go. But it was actually very comfortable most of the time, because I’ve finally – and with a lot of help – achieved a place that keeps the cold out and the warm in – and a separate bedroom and that vented space heater I can run all night is absolutely What I Needed. Yet I bitched about winter – not because I was freezing, but because it went on so consistently that I was stuck indoors for day after day and I was bored. Normally winter is kind of a nice break, an excuse for a fundamentally lazy guy to take a load off and read a book without guilt. But this was way too much of a good thing.
And now at last the temperature has moderated, the rain/snow is a little less constant, I can go outdoors without suiting up like an astronaut, and it makes more sense to do stuff. Today’s kind of damp and I think it’s going to rain off and on all afternoon, but that’s okay – it’s just Spring.
I hauled firewood to Landlady’s place during morning chicken chores, then spent much of the morning going around with my loppers and recip saw clearing brush away from my most common roadways…
…and went back to it after the horses. I don’t know if a lot of this was this bad in the autumn and just didn’t bug me, since it couldn’t have gotten this overgrown just over the winter, but lately it seems like there are branches all over the place reaching in through the windows and trying to take off the antenna. Plus of course the ridge road and the wash have grown quite a few rocks over the winter. Today I got a lot of that sorted out, and soon I’ll go back to doing it on other roads for a little bit of actual money.
And right now I’ve got all the outdoor chores I wanted done done, so I”m going to spend the afternoon baking bread and sitting. 🙂 My stump is sore.
…that would drive those gun grabbers who make their bones demonizing the AR-15 into convulsions…
The older ones are C&R eligible. 😀
No background check, no waiting period, delivery right to your door – if you have a C&R license, which virtually every curio & relic collector does. Surely blood will run in the streets every time two geeks get into an argument over the same Krag Jorgensen!
We haven’t had a lot of wind for the past few days, so tracks in the wash haven’t been automatically wiped out…
Having finished with Torso Boy, I went up the ridge and had a nice hike along the western cliff to the main road…
More digging this afternoon, when I expect to finish the drainage ditch behind the cabin. Tomorrow’s supposed to be even warmer than today, but with thunderstorms which will bring back the mud. So that’s incentive to finish my digging project before the rain.
That’s right! I…failed to complete digging out the drainage trench behind the cabin. But I did make progress, and one more good session should finish it. Then I need to do something a little more elaborate about … the bridge over the drainage trench behind the cabin, which allows me to run a wheelbarrow to the woodshed. Because that’s my boring life, and I don’t find it the least bit depressing.
In international news, I learned last night of a terrifying video from the southern hemisphere superpower of Venezuela, apparently a month old and purportedly released in a no-doubt-successful effort to terrify American Marines into incontinence and mass desertion…
I read around a little in the evening to try and find somebody who’d admit this is a parody, but supposedly it’s serious as a heart attack. Personally I’ve seen militia group videos that were far more intimidating, and most of those groups aren’t all that serious in actual fact. But hey! We take our amusements where we may. Maybe when these guys successfully sneak out of Venezuela and into California, they can get jobs as Antifa trainers?
…trying to get through a high school algebra test. But he appears to be having more fun.
“What’s the point of this, exactly? Oh, this tunnel thing is cozy, think I’ll stay here for a…what does she want now…I wonder if any of those people have a biscuit?”
h/t to Wendy
It hit sixty degrees today! And no wind, light cloud cover … time to dig out the back ditch.
The drainage ditch from the gully behind the cabin had filled up with silt again thanks to those two big ash deposits. It’s the worst kind of mud I’ve ever encountered, and now I wish I’d given it a few more days because I worked harder than I really needed to. But I got the ditch clear from the 90o turn at the top of the ditch to the graywater drain, which you can sort of see in the lower left-hand corner of the ditch in the photo. There’s quite a bit left to do downstream from there, but that’s mostly brush-chopping rather than mud-digging. The ow-my-back part is done now.
Also got quite a lot of yard clean-up done, both wind debris and just junk that piles up because “I’ll get to that when it’s not a foot deep in slush.” All in all it really turned into a fairly productive outdoor day. 🙂
Yeah, another post about the weather. Sorry – we’re sort of betwixt and between here and nothing of any real interest is going on. Not great for blogging. But we’re getting out of the crappy weather brought on last weekend – this is the first morning all week I haven’t burned wood, and the inside temp is already up 10 degrees. And I feel pretty good, so started out the day with a nice long walky.
But otherwise I’m really only here to touch base.
I keep forgetting the sink works. Went to boil some water for dish washing this morning, and reached for the water bottle.
It’s been less than a week, and prior to that I went over two months without running water so certain things have gone wanting – like scrubbing porcelain. Much easier when water comes out of the faucet and you don’t have to haul every pint. So I spent some time with the, um, facilities today. Good news: Unlike the last time I lost water for a while, the toilet valve didn’t pack it in this time – though it did give me a most disconcerting rattling moan the first time I pressurized the pipes. Bad news:
A seal must have dried out and shrunk or something, but I’m getting a trickle from the sink faucet. Just a seep, really, but it’s already laying down a layer of calcium on my nice cast iron sink. I need to replace the damned thing or it’ll start forming stalagmites.
Also, and speaking of calcium…
I spent a whole gallon of cleaning vinegar and three hours’ time today trying to clean the scale out of my Real Flush Toilet and this is how far I got. Monday I can get one of those scraping stones, but that’s not going to cut it alone. I’m going to get more vinegar, empty the bowl of water and then see if straight vinegar will do it. Or at least that’s the only thing I can think of…
We’re still up to our collective ass in mud, but if you get out soon enough it’s just nice crunchy ice under your boots.
So I got a nice walkie this morning, for the first time all week. Haven’t decided what I’m going to do with this promised sunny day, which is also supposed to be about ten degrees warmer than yesterday – and no wind!
It’s another coldish, cloudy day – though without all the snow and wind that made yesterday such a perfect day to stay indoors with the curtains shut and the woodstove roaring. Too much mud to consider wanting to go for long walks and embrace the suck, but I’m not going to huddle in a corner and sulk over it. So,
I’m not out of bread yet, strictly speaking, and proper frugality would normally demand that I wait till tomorrow for this. But this is the perfect day: Baking warms the cabin without the need to futz with the woodstove, it’s calming and familiar and produces a pleasant scent.
It took a long time for me to get the hang of this – for years, baking was kind of stressful because the first part was strenuous yet tedious and I could never be sure how the rising was going to go. Somehow or other, though, through repetition over a really long time, it became a happy and pleasant part of my week.