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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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First propane purchase. It’s down almost fifty cents a gallon from last winter, making it only too much rather than far too much. Guess I can save the difference to buy holiday ammo for good girls and boys…
Took a long truck ride for nothing. Nobody there, nobody answering the phone. Try again next week sometime. I did get to help Neighbor S load drywall, but that’s the only useful thing I’ve accomplished so far today and a … Continue reading
Sometimes I think I take this ‘hermit’ thing too far. If I’m remembering correctly it has literally been years since I last visited the big town about 50 miles away. But today’s the day. I’m so excited my stomach is … Continue reading
The vital coffee-brewing portion of the waking-up procedure was unimpeded this morning.
Somebody in the previous post suggested that there was probably water in the kitchen regulator, freezing overnight. I had already come to the same conclusion and so was not surprised when… …I removed it and water poured out. Somehow it … Continue reading
Or at least I always try to. When I get caught without a Plan B or when I reach for Plan B and it lets me down, I give serious thought to fixing that for next time. Because! That’s why. … Continue reading
I haven’t been paying attention to the weather forecast so this came as a surprise. So far we hadn’t had so much as a little sleet with our rain – except for one brief cold snap it’s been very mild. … Continue reading
Neighbor L is going through horse withdrawal. It’s been a week now since they went away and she says she’s down to checking on them through the windows no more than six or eight times a day now. And they’re … Continue reading
I woke up at around 3:30 as normal, took care of some physical impediments to further sleep and laid back down. At some point I dozed off and found myself in the Gulch driving to Ian’s place. There I found … Continue reading
Pretty morning here at the Gulch… Tobie and I had a nice frosty walkie, then Neighbor L wanted to go to town. Now, I always schedule 15 minutes to get from here to D&L’s place through the wash, takes longer … Continue reading
Yeah, I know – I took this pic right after most of the kindling had burned down and before I stoked the stove for actual heat. It’s a process. The process is kind of a pain in the ass, but … Continue reading
Texting is an unalloyed blessing to introverts, I think we can all agree. Basically everyone who lives in the Gulch meets that description or they’d live somewhere else, so most remote communication involves texting. It was such a comforting alternative … Continue reading
The day dawned almost completely clear, after all the rain of yesterday and last night… …and when I came ’round Ian’s place I found my frozen meat pretty much all thawed. Cold, not yet ruined, but very not frozen. There’s … Continue reading
It’s been such a dry autumn that actual rain came as a shock. Seems unnatural to have water falling from the sky. What’s with that? Also… A shoutout to Generous Readers who are the reason I possess rain gear. Don’t … Continue reading
Four elderly batteries turn out not to be enough to run Ian’s system. It would boot up but not stay running for more than a short time, and this morning I finally figured out how to display the error message… … Continue reading
Sorry. Life kind of came at me from all sides this week but I think I have a good grip on it now. Could be wrong.
Woodcutting season is officially closed. I have put away the power tools, raked up my mess and hauled it to the burn barrel. I’m not entirely comfortable with what I’ve put up, but winters in the high desert are episodic: … Continue reading
From day one, Tobie decided that my bedroom made him very uncomfortable. Little Bear liked it. Torso Boy liked it – and in fact insisted on sleeping in the bed. Tobie finds it repellent. I expected him to get over … Continue reading