…last night, before heading off for yet another piece of Friday Night Unpleasantness at the King’s Arms with The Englishman:

When I say I’m a “meat-and-potatoes” man, this is what I mean. A decent filet spiced with Salt Lick Rub (imported from the great state of Texas), and potatoes roasted in goose fat. It took 35 minutes in the Aga to create it.

In case you’re wondering, I had Free Market Towers to myself last night; Mrs. FM was off sailing, Mr. FM was doing Capitalist Things in (I think) the Far East somewhere, and the staff had the night off to recover from the Friday Floggings.

Food was courtesy of Waitrose. If I had one of these emporia near my house, I’d weigh 500lbs in a month.

Getting Happy

According to the NY Post, “buying time” can be the secret to happiness. Sarah Hoyt questions their methodology, as do I. Here’s the study’s methodology:

In the study, more than 6,000 people in four countries were given an extra $40 a week for two weeks.
During the first week, the participants were told to buy material goods.
The next week, they were told to save themselves time by paying someone to do their menial, back-breaking tasks.
Ultimately, people said they got more happiness by saving precious time than by buying more stuff, no matter how exceptional it was.

If anyone can think that $40 a week can buy you happiness, they’re doomed to vote Democrat and/or Labour for the rest of their lives. Hell, for $40 you can’t even buy someone’s time to do menial jobs for you, unless you live in India or some other Third World hellhole where labor is cheap. And unless you live in one of the aforementioned hellholes where $40 can buy you someone’s firstborn, you can’t buy much for a lousy forty bucks either. Good grief, a bottle of decent single malt costs more than that, and that won’t last you a week either (if you consume the lovely stuff like Stephen Green or I do).

Most often, the “money can’t buy you happiness” meme is applied to lottery winnings. The usual rejoinder is, “If you can’t buy happiness with $100 million, you just don’t know where to shop” (as witnessed by this picture, sent to me by Reader OldTexan):

But the idea of buying time when you have a boatload of money makes perfect sense, if you have sufficient money. Here’s an example, using the more appropriate sum of $100 million instead of that $40 rounding error.

So you’ve won the Big Lottery. Assume that you’re not going to waste it (on stuff like trust funds for your kids or donations to Greenpeace), and you decide to buy time with it.

Let’s say that you’ve always wanted to own an E-type Jaguar, because if no less a man than Enzo Ferrari called it the most beautiful car ever made, who are you to argue with him? A quick reminder of what we’re talking about here:

Nigella Lawson with wheels.

Now you have the money to afford it; but there’s a problem. You see, beauty doesn’t offset the E-type’s many flaws, to whit:

…which means that the thing often won’t start, the lights won’t work at night and ditto the windshield wipers when it rains, etc. Now if you’re one of those guys who loves working on cars, none of this matters, because you’re going to spend time fiddling with the thing.

Note that I said, “spend time”. If you’re like me, and want to drive the thing instead of fiddling with it and/or wasting time while other people fiddle with it, you’re not gonna get an E-type.

Fortunately, there is a way for people with boatloads of money to get an E-type and be able to drive it pretty much all the time. It’s an outfit in Britishland called Eagle Great Britain, and they rebuild E-types using all the modern techniques and using modern materials which will eliminate the Jag’s problems. If you’re in a hurry, you can get one of their fully-reconditioned E-types and drive it off the lot. If you can’t find one you like (and unfortunately, this will cost you some time), they will hand-build your E-type to the original (or your own custom) specs. Here’s an example:

Suffice it to say that none other than Jeremy Clarkson said that driving this particular E-type was one of the greatest driving experiences he’d ever had — and he’s had a lot.

I’m not to going to tell you the price, because you have enough. (BIG lottery win, remember?)

Just remember, this is all about buying time (which makes one happy, according to the study above) and I would suggest that time spent driving this piece of automotive beauty would be more exciting (and probably less expensive, ask Charles Saatchi) than driving Nigella Lawson. And that’s a hell of a thing for me to say.

Buying happiness just means knowing where to shop. And if you’ve just won a big lottery prize and owning an E-type is your dream, I’ve just told you where to shop for one.

You’re welcome.

5 Worst Things To Find In Your Teenage Daughter’s Bedside Drawer

There can be few things more horrible for a father than to discover what his innocent young teenage daughter is actually up to. Here are the five worst things to find in her bedside drawer, ranked in ascending order of awfulness:

  • a 60-pack of condoms, half-empty
  • a personally-signed photo and love note from some rapper you’ve never heard of
  • a book entitled “10 First Steps To Becoming A Furry”
  • a pregnancy test stick showing positive
  • a letter of acceptance from Oberlin College’s Department of Feminist Studies

Your suggestions on the topic in Comments, please

Good Question

This had me howling:

I remember once having a conversation in a staff cafeteria with a woman who stated without embarrassment that she had a 54-point checklist that she applied towards any guy who wanted to date her. One of the guys at the table (and no, it wasn’t me) asked her pointedly: “And what do you bring to the party?”

As she was not particularly attractive, she had nothing to say other than, “My intelligence and good conversation.”

Afterwards, another of the guys said, “She doesn’t even have those,” amid murmurs of agreement.

Ladies: you need to do a clinical self-assessment of why any man would want to date you, before you draw up your list of desirable attributes in a mate.

Missing The Point(s)

Apparently all these women are desirable, according to scientists, because their figures have the ideal waist-to-hips ratio:

…which only proves that scientists don’t know diddly. None of the women can be called attractive.

Here’s a pro tip from a longtime lecher (that would be me): put Nigella Lawson in the lineup, and those other women wouldn’t rate a single look.

The perfect ratio is: big boobs, small waist, wide hips. Otherwise known as an “hourglass” figure, you pencil-pushing dweebs.

Afterthought: I bet that some of these purported “scientists” were female — which would explain everything.



MS Paint Is Dead — Errr, Wait A Minute

So Microsoft announced that MS Paint was going to go the way of Outlook Express — i.e. die because they just aren’t interested in maintaining the old horse anymore, and it’s to the glue factory it will go.

Then, 24 hours later, after a storm of protest from longtime Paint users, Microsoft backtracked and said that Paint wasn’t going to disappear completely; it would just not be included in future releases of their operating software — it would have to be downloaded as a separate operation.

What bullshit is this? I’ve written before that Microsoft’s corporate strategy team, if they have one, should get a kick in the teeth for fucking over longtime customers just at the behest of Engineering who, despite Dilbert’s efforts, should never, ever be allowed to set policy. And product longevity is precisely what should be decided by Marketing, not by Engineering or Production, because the people most affected will be customers — and despite Dilbert, again, Engineering doesn’t understand customers.

I’ll spell it out for Microsoft (and I won’t need SpellCheck either): you guys are a bunch of fucking idiots.

There are millions of software users who don’t need sophisticated software to address their everyday needs. This is true whether it’s word processing (people who are only interested in writing letters, papers or novels), doing basic budget preparation (households and small businesses) correspondence (people writing simple letters or memos to a few people), and basic photo / picture editing (family photos, articles, blogs) . In other words, LetterPerfect 1.0, Lotus 1-2-3 v.3, Outlook Express… and Paint. In Microsoft parlance, it’s not the bloated juggernaut known as MS Office, it’s the MS Works crowd. And just to repeat the original thought: there are millions and millions of such people and I, one of the earliest Microsoft PC customers, am one of them.

I fucking hate Outlook, Office and (just to be fair) Adobe Photoshop. They’re all too much for my needs, and I’m sick of having to learn to go through a multi-step process just to be able to do something that used to be a one-click operation.

My only comfort is that I’m no longer young, and my time to have to deal with all this nonsense is shrinking. But it gives me no comfort whatsoever to think that Microsoft believes that this is the reason not to worry about me — that I and my kind are a shrinking market, which gives them the right to fuck us, and ignore us.