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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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At quarter to eight in the morning I’ve wrenched my back, soaked my boots, worked up a muck sweat that keeps fogging my glasses, lost my temper at my dog, gotten a jackhammer chisel so wedged between concrete and rebar … Continue reading
And in pursuit of that goal, this morning I took a reader’s advice and knocked together an a-frame to take the weight of the jackhammer. And that helped a lot: I got quite a bit done before I ran out … Continue reading
…and I was going to celebrate by riding the ebike up there in the morning, but… …Tobie insisted that the job required a dog. I worked so hard to get him to accept the Jeep that now I seldom have … Continue reading
Tobie and I were taking a nice long morning walkie in the wash downstream from the Lair, when an annoying buzzing began.
When the pipe behind Ian’s block wall sprung a leak I went looking for Landlady’s hammer drill. Couldn’t find it anywhere. She said she brought it back to the city. So… …Since we got Ian’s electrical working yesterday, I borrowed … Continue reading
Somebody keeps asking for a pear tree update. It’s still pearing. We’ll see how edible the fruit is. I’m just thrilled there’s fruit.
Ian’s place has been driving me crazy. First an external spigot that goes through a block wall springs a totally uncalled-for leak – and the only way to fix the leak is to knock a hole in said (filled, of … Continue reading
I went to bed at six last night because I was falling asleep in my chair. Fell right asleep and woke at first light with Tobie asking was I all right. The one wash crossing between me and the main … Continue reading
I got a phone call from a neighbor yesterday, warning me to avoid the wash crossing by the goat people at all costs. “There is no crossing. And pretty soon there’ll be no grader, because [redacted] got it good and … Continue reading
Woke to clear skies for once but the forecast said it wouldn’t last. After Tobie’s early walkie and a quick breakfast I hiked to Landlady’s to pick up the Jeep, took the Bumpy Road to T&S’s and double-fed the animals … Continue reading
Nope. It was hit with a big rock. Which apparently fell during the second of the past several days’ terrifying storms. Normally at this part of Monsoon I can use the wash for a transport route even if the roads … Continue reading
That means twice a day up and across the plateau, then up T&S’s mesa. By whatever means necessary, because the animals don’t have a Plan B. I decided to see what condition the wash crossings and the dirt road were … Continue reading
I lost all my alternate routes, and a favorite place. That’s my driveway into the wash. Or it was. That semi-standing bush used to be several feet from the bank; Torso Boy and I made a u-turn around it on … Continue reading
Everybody’s favorite bird. 🙂
Rained hard last night. So this morning’s first chore was to dig out the front ditch again. Average spoil is five wheelbarrow-loads. Normally I just pile it up out of the way, but this morning I found places where the … Continue reading
Starting Friday I’ll be up and over the plateau twice a day for a week, taking care of T&S’s plants and animals while they’re away on a trip. The plateau is miles away to the east of the Gulch. But … Continue reading
Baking day, before it gets too hot. While kneading dough I stepped back just a little and literally stepped on Tobie. One backs away from the counter carefully while preparing food because – well, big puppy. Of course he’s right … Continue reading
If we’re going to have a wet monsoon this will be the story of my life for a couple of months… The very first good storm that passed over the Lair caused both my drainage ditches to fill with silt. … Continue reading