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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
Neighbors D and L, both laid up with serious injuries, have been recovering with remarkable speed and ease given their age and the … wide and plentiful assortment of injuries and illnesses they have suffered with in the past few … Continue reading
…and it’s not as bad as I feared at $2500. That’s how much cash I need to raise before anybody will pick up a wrench. That’s for a new transmission: The price for rebuilding the current one could conceivably be … Continue reading
I was able to pick up Tobie’s new harness today… His old one was basically riding on his neck and I was thinking of replacing it even before he chewed through one of its straps. He got really long. And … Continue reading
With indoor temps in the mid-forties, I lit the first woodstove fire this morning. That usually happens in late October or early November, and by now it’s usually standard routine. I’ve been using the bedroom heater for over a month, … Continue reading
Neighbor S met me at D&L’s place this morning just as I finished cleaning their pellet stove, and helped me tow the Jeep to the shop in town. The towing went well, then just as we were trying to maneuver … Continue reading
The Jeep’s transmission has been threatening to hydraulically fail for years, to the point where I’ve always assumed the trans would be the thing that permanently parked it. It started out with a tendency to go completely out of forward … Continue reading
I’ve been going to D&L’s place repeatedly every day for a little over a month, taking care of horse stuff and giving their pellet stove a daily clean. Yesterday they were gone nearly all day at a doctor’s appointment in … Continue reading
…and its absurdity was what made it funny. Now its proven powers of prophecy make it seem sad. Can you imagine that scene in a modern movie?
🙂 A few weeks ago I noted in passing that I didn’t leave my camera and gear in the Jeep because it would take a Pelican case to keep it safe from the dust. For the record that wasn’t a … Continue reading
With the exception of a brief cold snap in early October it’s been a remarkably mild autumn. That ended overnight… …and we just got back from a long morning walky in which Uncle Joel was dolled up in nearly full … Continue reading
It’s not necessarily true.
This morning I spent just shy of $95 on this much fuel… Ten gallons of gasoline and something less than 15 gallons of propane. Don’t know how you guys do it.
And happy as a clam to be back. She had lurid tales of getting stuck in that rehab center, which at first wasn’t bad at all but then they had the covid outbreak and I gather from the story that … Continue reading
Here’s what eight pallets in fairly good shape look like when imitating a stack of firewood…
So Tobie chewed up a strap on his harness the other day. At first I thought it would be a simple fix because I have lots of strapping among my repair stuff, but I had foolishly used up or never … Continue reading
This kid combines the chewing fetish of a typical puppy with the chewing ability of a … well, a combine. Today, the little sonovabitch wrecked his own harness. While he was wearing it. I actually expected to be able to … Continue reading
Next to the wash there’s this one – not a butte, not a mesa, I guess I’d go no more exalted than an erosion feature – that is very pretty in first autumn light. I’ve been meaning to come out … Continue reading
…when they’re forced on you. Yesterday’s experiment with D doing the mid-day horse feeding went so well he decided he’d also take over the 6am feeding. As you can imagine, I begged and pleaded for him to have a change … Continue reading