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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
Everything was fine from waking up until I got a text from S proclaiming it laundry day. Sorting through my dirty clothes I realized I had no idea where my wallet was. Coming on the heels of yesterday’s trip to … Continue reading
Never seems to fail: A windfall comes at just the right time to fill a need. There’s another, “glass half empty” way of looking at that, but whatever. The Jeep had a problem, it highlighted a couple of glaring weaknesses … Continue reading
Y’know, it’s moments in history like this where I watch a bit of news, shake my head, then shrug and get on with my day, thinking “Whatever, I bugged out fifteen years ago.”
“Ladies, let’s have a midnight party at Joel’s place! “In the morning we can hide in the bushes across the wash and giggle at him swearing at all the pies we laid in his driveway!”
It just takes a long time. It’ll be two years in August since Torso Boy came to stay with me. He was oh so very clearly a townie dog, and for the first year I was sure he’d never get … Continue reading
Ten years ago it was the cause of The Onion’s descent into irrelevancy: Their brand of satire simply couldn’t keep up with everyday real-life absurdity. Now we see that even a better class of satire is clearly doomed. Witness: Babylon … Continue reading
I got the funniest damn text this morning. Out of the blue, Neighbor L wanted to know if I needed Neighbor D to drive me to town to get more lug nuts for the Jeep. I replied no, I filled … Continue reading
…but what the hell. Time, I’ve got. The Leghorns have always had the very annoying habit of all laying their eggs in one spot as a flock. This causes breakage and hassles like trying to steal a dozen eggs from … Continue reading
So I took the bike to town late this morning to get some lug nuts for the Jeep… …and met some residents on the way out to the road.
Okay, the Jeep’s right front tire picked up a nail. Jacked up that corner and found the nail easily enough and decided to leave it there till I can take the wheel to town for a proper repair next Monday. … Continue reading
Regular readers will recall me spending much of the late wet winter bitching about the mud on Laddie’s path, in the ashfield at the foot of the ridge. I thought caliche clay made the worst mud, but that was before … Continue reading
A number of commenters in the post below have chided me for not upgrading from the Taurus Tracker I started carrying about three (four?) and a half years ago. And the truth is – I did. Late last year. Regular … Continue reading
…that was before the Internet. He’d probably also approve of specialized online commerce. I’ve marveled before on this blog at commercial websites dedicated to meeting very specialized needs, that seem to do good business. Often you can freely buy things … Continue reading
Somehow it seems I haven’t been getting notifications and there are probably people out there thinking I’m some kind of ingrate because I haven’t acknowledged you. I just got an email from TUAK’s unpaid CFO, who said… So it occurred … Continue reading
Haven’t slept well the past couple of nights for various reasons, so today when not driven by the usual necessary chores I just sort of hung out. Finally got around to baking bread, which I needed, … …and that was … Continue reading
We set up the target stage yesterday afternoon and tested the new hardware… …and then spent a couple of hours in the sun shooting guns and video of guns. Fun! I’m in the wrong business; we went through more ammo … Continue reading
…and it appears that tomorrow is gonna be kinda busy. Fun busy – Ian brought all the toys. Shooting guns and video all morning long. And probably also Saturday. I’ll report as I can.
Hit the ground running this morning, had a bunch of chores and started knocking them out early. I needed to go over to Landlady’s and drop some stuff off, and while there I borrowed her vacuum cleaner. The only other … Continue reading