Filthy Lucre Part 2

Back when I could afford it, I used to contribute $5 a month to Michael Yon and a couple other writers because I thought that they were doing a worthwhile thing — and I support Chris Muir’s Day By Day strip because his is the very first site I visit, every single day, and as such he deserves my support.

Now, of course, I am but a poor pensioner and can’t do that anymore, which sucks. Now I’m the guy who needs to make some kind of income from my writing.

As threatened in Saturday’s post, here’s the next thing.

Several people have suggested that I set up a subscription service so that Loyal Readers could contribute towards this goal, so over in the Blog Roll on the bottom right of the page, you will see this link:

If you enjoy visiting my back porch regularly, please go there and make a contribution. I’m not asking for large sums of money; for cash flow purposes, I’d actually prefer a monthly sub of just a few dollars,  which will also make it easier on your wallets. (For those people (like me) to whom it’s important, note that it’s not through PayPal, because I think those hoplophobes have had enough of my business.)

My daily traffic is nothing like my old website’s, but it’s still high enough that if most of you help me out this way, I won’t have to become a greeter at WalMart or drive drunks home at 3 in the morning with Uber.

Among other things, your support will enable me to go to the SHOT show in Vegas for the first time, and report back on the gunny goodness I find there.

And when my regular monthly income reaches a decent level, I’ll set up a patron-only podcast (frequency TBD) as a reward for your patronage, as an adjunct to Splendid Isolation.

Please note that I have no intention of setting up a paywall on this website: the daily output of (inter alia) snarling invective, beautiful women and gun worship will continue to flow unabated for all to see.

And speaking of beautiful women, allow me to post another finalist for Nigella Lawson’s replacement: Sela Ward.

More of her to follow…

As always, I am grateful for your support.

Stupid Idea

January is a crappy month, especially in the northern hemisphere: cold, dark skies, short days, no Christmas holidays to look forward to, and (in the U.S.) the prospect of filing your tax return.

Which makes me wonder why people would want to make the month even more miserable by suggesting that this would be a good time to cut out those things which can alleviate our misery (“Veganuary”, how cute; and “Dry January”). What infamy is this? As if January isn’t shitty enough, now we have to add itching powder to the hairshirt by giving up meat and beer?

It’s only 7am as I write this, yet I feel a nagging need for steak ‘n (butter-fried) eggs, washed down with a Bloody Mary — and we’re not even halfway through the month.

I am getting so sick of people trying to change our lifestyle and behavior “for your own good” — it’s like living with Gwyneth Paltrow and Chuck Schumer in your house, with no earplugs to drown out their endless nagging do-goodery.

Leave me the fuck alone.

Clearout

After having spent nearly all of the past six months living out of a suitcase — and quite comfortably, too — I’ve come to the realization that I (still) have too many clothes — and this after a major pruning of the old wardrobe after selling the house and moving into Doc Russia’s guest quarters.

I read an article somewhere that gave a good guide to deciding which clothes were necessary and which weren’t, involving hanging one’s clothes with the open part of the clothes hanger hook facing forward, and after wearing the garment, replacing it with the open part towards the rear. At the end of the year, those still facing forward (i.e. had not been worn for a year) would be candidates for Goodwill.

I’m not sure I need that, because I’ve also discovered that having gone from size 44 to size 39* trousers over the past year, that part, at least, will be easy. As a good friend said, when seeing me in my old 44 baggies, “Kim: it’s time.” And it is. I’m still overweight — another dozen or so lost pounds is definitely on the agenda — but  at least I don’t look like a beach ball trying to hide under a handkerchief anymore. Which means a bunch of the old tent-y shirts are going to have to go, too.

Fortunately, I was able to replenish my shirt collection in both Britain and South Africa. I discovered that Marks & Spencer’s XXL casual shirts fit me, which wasn’t always the case, and they actually had colors which don’t make me want to spew. On the advice of a friend, I bought in addition two pink shirts — one wag called them “aggressive salmon” — because the style was excellent and the color doesn’t make me look like Elton John on safari. In South Africa, prices were astonishingly low thanks to the USD : ZAR exchange rate, and it being summer in the Southern Hemisphere at the moment, the several shirts I bought there are going to be perfect for the north Texas heat come July and August.

Likewise, I found some excellent trousers at M&S and all those baggy cargo numbers I’ve been wearing for the past dozen-odd years are going to find a new home, either in the trash can or at Goodwill.

I know, I know: all this talk about clothing makes me sound like Perez Hilton or one of those other fegelehs, but I don’t care. The plain fact of the matter is that I enjoy dressing well — always have — and my two-and-a-half decades’ worth of corpulence took that small pleasure away from me.

“Dressing well”, of course, means “no short pants ever, regardless of the weather”, which is why I was able to resist buying a pair of these magnificent things in South Africa:

No man should.

I did, however, also purchase some fine footwear in both Britain and South Africa, viz. tan half-boots in London:

…and a pair of magnificent veldskoens in Pretoria (where they’re as common as slip-slops in Brisbane):

The essence of the latter is that they should look battered even when brand new, and I think you’ll agree that these are a perfect example thereof.

I love good shoes (I know, I’m sounding gayer by the minute), and in addition to the cowboy boots I bought before my trip Over There and the wellies I bought in Hardy Country, these will be excellent additions to the old wardrobe.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to the closet. (Oh, shuddup.)


*Yeah, I know: still too fat for 38 and too skinny for 40.

Question Of Taste(s)

Home again, with absolutely no trouble at Heathrow from the TSA (Brit version) on this occasion. (Getting through DFW was another story, but that’s a tale for another time.)

Just as when I arrive in a foreign country, my first instinct is to dive into the local food and drink — e.g. Wadworth 6X and steak ‘n kidney pie in Britishland — the first thing I did when arriving back in Texas was to gorge myself on BBQ, washed down with copious quantities of bourbon. (Doc Russia seems to be in league with Mr. FM to destroy my liver. I love my friends.)

This morning, it’s the turn of Noosa yogurt with honey, and Krispy Kreme coffee. Yum yum.

I’m back: tanned, rested and ready. For what, I’m not quite sure.

On My Way

Yup; by the time you read this, I should be in the air somewhere between London and Dallas. The Great Sabbatical of 2017 has come to an end.

Now it’s back to reality. This should be interesting…

 

Off The Beaten Track

Unless I have actual business to take care of there, I avoid large main streets like the plague. Notorious among the avoidees is London’s Oxford Street, which is a shitty thoroughfare full of tourists and other scum, all taking selfies and being fleeced by the stores selling the most awful tat (British for tchotchkes) while they try to persuade themselves they’re having a great time in the world’s best city.

Fach.

My advice: turn off the rotten thing as soon as you can — as I did when I walked down Soho’s Wardour Street, which is a narrow lane full of interesting places…

…such as the Pickle & Toast, which specializes in cheese toasties (grilled cheese sandwiches, to my Murkin Readers):

Exhausted by having had to walk a block down Oxford Street, I badly needed a cup of tea so I went inside.

I ordered my cuppa, and then sat down to drink it and relax awhile — but the smell of sourdough toast was too wonderful, so I ordered a cheese toastie. This was also because the place does not use just any old cheese, no sirree. This is the stuff they use:

It’s Quicke’s Cheddar, from Devon; and the sandwich looks like this:

Good grief. I could have eaten three, and the rest of the menu looked just as tasty — and they serve breakfast too, but I got there just too late. To say that this beats a Big Mac on Oxford Street is to utter the understatement of the century.

And just so we’re all clear on the concept: I could have eaten at about a dozen different places along Wardour Street, and I probably would have had just as good a time and just as good a meal. Now you know.

Delenda est Via Oxonium.