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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
Beautiful morning for a nice long walkie. And I was trudging along, minding my own business, when I came upon some tracks that gave me pause… That’s either a wolf or the biggest dog I’ve seen since Little Bear died. … Continue reading
Last week we got a triple whammy from that storm that crossed the continent… …but by the time it started making the news in places that newsreaders are aware of the sky here had cleared and the temperature suddenly became … Continue reading
What a beautiful morning! It follows a probably miserable evening, where there was high wind and rain → freezing rain → snow, so that the leading edge of every surface looks like this… I had intended to drive to morning … Continue reading
Mid-forties overnight in late January? That ain’t right. And it almost moots half of this morning’s recurring chore… …which was supposed to be breaking up and cleaning out ice from D&L’s horse waterers. They both had doctor appointments and aren’t … Continue reading
The storm has passed. They got more snow in town than we did in the hills, and during yesterday’s morning water run it was funny to watch equipment operators doing donuts in front-end loaders, struggling with an unfamiliar task a … Continue reading
Because I actually saw somebody doing that this morning in the crappy little town where we buy water. Maybe he was just trying to stay warm, I dunno…
…announcing itself with big wind. It was cold enough by the time the storm broke that the snow stayed dry, so I could bundle up and clean everything off with a broom. We even got drifts! Tiny, pathetic drifts, because … Continue reading
The snow has started right on schedule, probably inaugurating the three days of unpleasant weather promised by the weatherman. Shame, too, because the past couple of days were very pleasant by January standards. And yesterday I really wanted to go … Continue reading
Yesterday I casually said it wasn’t even cold enough to freeze the chicken water, and then I went out into the cold wet wind to meet a propane guy at a neighbor’s place. Two hours later I lurched back into … Continue reading
Woke to high wind, which is probably when this wet white stuff dropped. The sky looks like it has cleared except for a high haze, won’t know for sure till the sun comes up. But it’s shirtsleeve weather in the … Continue reading
…and you live a really long time, you might someday manage to look like this Datsun I saw while filling water bottles this morning. It was ironically parked next to a Fiat so new… …that at first I barely recognized … Continue reading
It was a cold weekend, and back when we built the Meadow House we didn’t know as much about the importance of using solar gain to advantage – plus her house is bigger than the Lair. So she keeps a … Continue reading
I couldn’t decide whether this was a ‘real’ deer or a pet. At the end I laughed till I choked. Around here it would have been a dog pack or a mountain lion or something, and the video would have … Continue reading
Slowly and with much grunting and shuffling, moving sacks from here… …to here. Still not convinced pellet stoves were the best way to go, but what are you gonna do.
Landlady came up yesterday, intending to go back tomorrow after we finished the tiling on the shower at Ian’s Cave. And she brought a couple of unexpected care packages. These were both in response to specific recent complaints on my … Continue reading
So yesterday needed to be baking day, giving me a great chance to inaugurate the new oven – or maybe to find out why it wasn’t going to work for me. I did test it in the morning – as … Continue reading
I got my new kitchen stove today! Took much of the day to drive to the big town about 50 miles away and get it, but I got it. And except for the fact that they seem to have gone … Continue reading
AWOMAN A Hebrew colloquialism roughly translated as “I am an idiot.” Commonly used in the Hebrew phrase “Amen and awoman,” meaning “Verily, I am an idiot.”