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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
$3 at the dollar store. Just like his old favorite toy, which finally broke under the stress of a great many games of tug’o’war. I was impressed! Oh, the rope didn’t last a month and probably neither will this one … Continue reading
A couple of days ago I started baking bread around noon of a sunny day, and almost the instant I was committed the clouds rolled in thick. Now, I can use the oven on a cloudy day but there’s a … Continue reading
Regular readers know my everyday handgun is an unusual choice. A 5-shot .44 revolver wouldn’t be anybody’s idea of a proper gun for a gunfight, but I live way back in the boonies and don’t worry very much about getting … Continue reading
…also works when the oil is really cold. Remembering this will make you look less stupid. I had an incident 4 years ago where I had to start the Honda generator when it was VERY cold, in front of other … Continue reading
A couple of years ago Landlady gave me a great gift: A french butter dish. It works wonderfully well in summer to keep butter fresh outside a refrigerator. In winter there’s a problem: The only way to load the contraption … Continue reading
Here’s a bit of irony: Tobie used to get excited when he saw me sorting laundry, because it meant a Jeep ride to visit the nice lady who always had jerky treats. Now he gets excited because it means a … Continue reading
It’s already after nine ayem and I have things to do outside today, but… …this time of year it pays to display a little patience. Tobie gets his long walkie, but then Uncle Joel settles down with his second cup … Continue reading
Everybody’s gone to cities to visit their families, and later I’ll make the rounds to do their chores for them. 🙂 Now if only they’d stop sending me Happy Thanksgiving texts. 😀
Baking day! Accompanied by a periodic chore I knew was coming… …the every-few-months filling of the flour bucket. Now: I used to stock roughly 90 pounds of flour up in the pantry, which is enough to fill the bucket three … Continue reading
Normally he’s philosophical about the Monday morning water run. When he sees me fiddling with empty water bottles he knows he’s not going with, and he accepts that without undue fuss. Normally. But this morning he decided a little negotiation … Continue reading
For the past week or two I’ve been sleeping in; sometimes even past six o’clock. Basically, if I wake up and light isn’t peeking over the window curtains, I roll over and try to go back to sleep. But this … Continue reading
There are places here and there in the wash where water comes to the surface. Prior to this summer I only knew of two, but there’s lots of wash I never explored. In the Gulch the wash is commonly used … Continue reading
They all got rounded up and hauled off a month or so and I thought that was the end of them for the cold season. Apparently not so. They’re baaaack. Just chased this bunch out of my yard. I hate … Continue reading
It works at a glacial pace, but it does work. Interested in keeping track of time, I set up the distiller but didn’t turn the flame on till 8am exactly. Not surprisingly, it took a long time for anything at … Continue reading
…from a Generous Reader… Early this year there was a shortage complete absence of distilled water available anywhere, and it went on for quite a while, expending my stored supply. Literally down to nothing but still having a bunch of … Continue reading
This has been on my mind, wondering when the pistol sight would fail me and whether – as per tradition – it would do it suddenly and at a really bad time. In fact I was surprised when the LED … Continue reading
$63.20, or $3.80 a gallon. The good news is that I’m very happy I topped off the bottles when I did, at the end of last winter. Not real common for me to make smart financial decisions: Maybe I’m finally … Continue reading
…sent me this heat-actuated woodstove fan about five years ago. Still works great! The original version of the heat-actuated fan comes from Canada and is quite expensive. Also quite good: D&L have a couple of them in their workshop and … Continue reading