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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
Got a couple of nice gifts for the bike…
I don’t think that title quite works grammatically. What I meant to say is that someone sent me a couple of nice gifts to be used on the bike. These weird-looking panniers, which stick up in the back high enough … Continue reading
Duct tape comes in colors.
Notes from the “People throw away the damndest things” department: A couple of years ago I inherited this very excellent chair from the neighbors. With the addition of Tobie’s bed the Lair has room for exactly one comfy chair and … Continue reading
“Are your videos suddenly working better?”
Got a text from D&L this morning wanting to know if I wanted to go to town. Badly needing gasoline, I said yes. Ever since getting a smartphone recently Neighbor L has become addicted to short animal videos, which has … Continue reading
Almost hit a calf…
All in all I spent nine days going back and forth across the plateau and up and down S&T’s mesa to feed and care for their dogs and generally keep Murphy at bay while they were traveling. I told them … Continue reading
Popping in to say hi…
The past couple of days, except for brief windows of opportunity that tend to vanish suddenly, I haven’t even been able to see the Internet. This being one of those windows I’m thumbing this message out on my (new!) phone. … Continue reading
That didn’t go as planned…
Yesterday was very mild all day. The forecast said rain and the clouds agreed but it never actually rained until about 3 this morning, when it rained real good and now I’m dealing with mud again. Anyway… Yesterday morning I … Continue reading
And once again…
I did a pretty cool thing this afternoon, and in a spirit of unrealistic optimism I took pictures so I could share it with you. But once again and as usual lately I can’t open the blog on the laptop … Continue reading
“Other dogs have been in here!”
I’m spending the next week going to T&S’s twice a day, and I had to admit that I couldn’t guarantee the Jeep could make the trip fourteen times in its present condition. Once or twice, sure, but that’s always been … Continue reading
For the record…
I went to town this morning for the usual monday morning water run, and my phone didn’t work any better near the cell tower than it has for the past several days far from it. It was the only time … Continue reading
Aaand it’s gone again…
(Thumbing this out on my phone again) I’m getting tired of complaining about this. My connection has been so bad today that I’m basically living a pre-internet lifestyle but just about half an hour ago this abruptly improved to the … Continue reading
So it’s not the signal booster…
For the record I’m laboriously thumbing this post out on my phone, because once again although it’s working fine I can’t use it to get the laptop online. I strongly suspect that this is weather-related, even though it’s a still … Continue reading
Hey, it opened this time!
Couldn’t open the blog on the laptop this morning no matter how I tried. Overnight we got the snow we were promised yesterday. Yesterday all we got was wind – lots and lots of really cold wind. Really sick of … Continue reading
Good news, everyone!
The price of eggs is edging down! Not in the crappy little town nearest where I live, of course. That’s been $7.50/dozen for months now. But in the Palace of Food in the biggish town about 35 miles away, it’s … Continue reading
Time to drag this thing to the top of a hill and update the software, maybe…
We have a still clear day ahead of us, it appears – though the forecast says otherwise so I don’t know. The forecasters haven’t been so good lately, except in broad pictures. They said we’d get a dusting of snow … Continue reading
Sorry, I’m having connection issues.
Even when the phone works – I’m tapping this out on the phone – I can’t open websites on the laptop. Happens sometimes when the weather is unsettled, and for the past several days the weather hasn’t been able to … Continue reading
Hey, that works!
Not really surprising, but confirmation is always nice. At this specific moment we’re getting a break from the storm but it’s due back around noon and this morning I ate up the very last of my homebaked bread. So the … Continue reading
And this is why I worry about creosote…
I woke this morning feeling not good at all – I’ve had occasional migrains all through my adult life but this the first time I remember waking up with one. No headache, that always comes later if at all, but … Continue reading
Tobie and the lizard…
I mentioned I have a bathroom lizard which has somehow survived all the way through the winter so far, and somebody asked why Tobie has allowed such a thing to happen. Truth is, Tobie is fully aware of the lizard … Continue reading
Of rivers of mud and expendable power supplies…
So several days ago we got a lot of snow all at once after a deep cold snap, followed by 3 days of increasing warmth and sun. The result was inevitably going to be epic mud. The worst was over … Continue reading
Can’t believe this little guy’s still alive…
He’s been hanging around the shower tub all winter long, sometimes on the windowsill that’s actually a major source of heat during the winter. I can’t imagine what he’s eating, but then again the spiders haven’t died and they eat … Continue reading