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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
I have another T&S gig starting Thursday, which means a lot of back and forth across the plateau and up their mesa. This morning’s Monday water run was my last chance to gas up for it… …so I poured my … Continue reading
It’s been a remarkably cool not-especially-hot summer so far, what with Monsoon having gotten such an early start. So it’s not that big an issue so far that the Secret Lair can get awfully hot and stuffy in the afternoon … Continue reading
We’ve only had six and a quarter inches of rain year-to-date but the grass really took off as soon as it started to fall, no doubt riding on its many successes during last year’s very wet Monsoon. And the grass … Continue reading
…as I’ve been doing every other month or so, lately, with D&L. Was running low on hamburger so I bought a couple of biggish packages of the good stuff. This morning after morning walkie I had a bunch of chores … Continue reading
I’m working with two different flavors of headache this morning, because last night my always-suspect shower chair… …decided to fold its legs and dump me on my geriatric ass. Which wouldn’t have been so bad, except a millisecond later the … Continue reading
See, this is (only about reason #56,724,968 for) why I became a hermit. You just can’t depend on people. See this? This shouldn’t be here. This should be parked with a gunsmith in the big town about 50 miles away. … Continue reading
Good news! I figured out the electrical problem on the ebike! As quite a number of people suggested and I myself suspected, it was really only a separated connector. Bad news! The connector is nonsensically located inside the bike frame. … Continue reading
I bought my first pair of offbrand noise-cancelling earmuffs as soon as the price came down to where I could kind of afford them. When they wore out I saved my dimes and bought these. Which are wearing out. But … Continue reading
…and buys an obnoxious mouse a broken neck and a quick flight off the cliff in front of Ian’s Cave. She avoided her well-deserved fate for a couple of days – but fell prey to the allures of peanut butter. … Continue reading
One reason I can’t get along very well without a functioning 4X4 is chickens. At present there isn’t any water source on what used to be Landlady’s ridge, which is where the chicken house is. Part of my duty toward … Continue reading
I’m washing dishes with the daily storm building-and rumbling- outside my window. Looked over at Tobie’s bed and found it empty. Looked back toward the bedroom… When the storm actually breaks he’ll be in the closet, as far from dangerous … Continue reading
No, not that kind. It’s been tried, I’m far past hope. But both modes of my transport have taken it into their collective head to fail simultaneously. Granted one has been coming on for a long time and one had … Continue reading
I can barely get out of a chair this morning for my aching knees, and this dumb thing is giving me “ok” smiley faces… Tired of Monsoon now. Though I have to admit the relative cool is nice.
I heard on the Jeep radio yesterday that the US government was not declaring the national economy to be in recession, despite two consecutive quarters of negative growth, for reasons apparently related to their redefinition of the term “recession.” This … Continue reading
Went to town with D&L this morning. And I’m not telling this story to make fun of anyone, other than maybe myself. Just saying: Getting old ain’t for sissies. And part of my ordeal is that I’m about half deaf. … Continue reading
Generous Reader Terrapod sent me coffee that’ll last me well into 2023, at the current rate of consumption… …and Big Brother sent a little something for Tobie… Best-fed living dog in the Gulch, that one…
There’s been a big rat leaving piles of – well, leavings – on my porch every night for over a week. I don’t know why. I do know it grew tiresome. The nice thing about rats? When they annoy you, … Continue reading
The last time I had trouble with one of the ebike’s tires, Big Brother sent me a bottle of this puncture-plugging slime you’re supposed to pump into the tubes. I didn’t use it, because I’ve seen balance trouble with car … Continue reading