I’ve got this pic set as my laptop’s wallpaper.  Can you see what’s wrong with it?

As the Son&Heir commented:  “No room for even a plinking range.  WTF?”

It’s a good point, although there’s enough space to put a clay-tosser for a little shotgunning fun…

…using only non-toxic shot, of course.

I Like This

I remember back when Wal-Mart and their ilk were building stores everywhere, and small-town businesses everywhere were being put out of business by their erstwhile customers falling prey to the fallacy that Price Is King, and lured into the soulless caverns that were Wal-Mart, Home Depot and so on, all for the chance to save a couple bucks on nails and screwdrivers.

I was heartened when I visited Britishland for the first time, back in 1997, and found that there were still plenty of ironmongers (hardware stores) dotted in the main streets of British towns.  Invariably, I’d drift into one, and wish that I lived somewhere nearby because of all the cool stuff they sold, stuff which I hadn’t seen in over decade of walking through Lowes or Home Depot, let alone Wal-Mart.

Let me be clear here:  to men of my generation, hardware stores are to us like drugstores are to women.  Yet while you can find a CVS, Walgreens or Osco drugstore within spitting distance of your house in any town, you will not find a hardware store which caters to men.  Oh sure, drive a few miles and get drawn into a Wal-Mart, only to find that if you want a couple of #2 self-tapping screws for that project on the honey-do list, sorry but they’re only available in the 50-pack, $5.99 instead of a buck for the two you needed.  (And yes, I know all about economies of scale and bulk savings — but at the end of the day, you end up spending six bucks instead of two, and are saddled with four dozen screws that you may or may not need in the future.)

It doesn’t have to be that way.  Here’s a story from, of all places, Wales, where the local ironmongery was about to close its doors after years of serving the town, but the locals, realizing what they might miss if the place disappeared, did something about it.

Note how carefully they structured the financing, so that GlobalMegaCorp Inc. couldn’t sink their ravenous fangs into the place and turn it into something other than what they wanted to keep.

I wish we’d done something like this in small towns Over Here, but that bullet’s gone through the church and we’re stuck with megastores, damn it.

There are about three or four posts that burst the banks of this stream of consciousness, but they can wait for another time.


I read this guy’s story with something akin to dread:

And that’s when I realized that little by little, my phone had gotten the best of me.

I’ve often prided myself on one of the few people not shackled to my phone, but after reading this guy’s story, I chided myself for my arrogance.

As much as I hate to admit it, my phone is now an integral part of my existence, as much as my glasses or my car.

We’ve been one-carring it since the beginning of the week — first, my car had to (finally) get completely fixed after my collision with the highway crocodile a few weeks ago, which meant that while New Wife was driving to and from work, I sat at home, isolated.  Then I had to get some errands done (Rx refills etc.) so I had to drive her to and from work for a day.  Then, just as we were going to pick up the Tiguan, I got this call:  “My check engine light just came on.”

So we picked up my car and dropped hers off, to get the oil changed as well as getting whatever the warning light entailed seen to.  All manageable (except the total repair cost for the two cars — I’m going to have to sell a gun or two, and I’m not kidding), but having one car was an inconvenience, really.

However:  had my phone disappeared on me during this time, that would have been simply catastrophic.  Calls to the auto repair shop, calls to New Wife to organize pickup times… the list of critical calls was far longer than I was comfortable with.  And don’t even ask me how I’d have got through to anyone without my phone’s contact list.

Like many people nowadays, we don’t have a landline phone in the apartment.  But I’m starting to rethink that — or else I’m going to get a no-contract burner phone for emergencies.

This modern life is bullshit, and it sucks green donkey dicks.


Via the Knuckledragger, I see this little exercise:

Get Taylor Swift front row seats, or buy this instead

Given that I would rather be boiled in oil than have to sit through a Taylor Swift concert, never mind caught at a distance where I would be sprayed by her saliva as she mimes her way through her dreadful repertoire, it’s an interesting thought:

What’s a decent way to blow $11,000 (!) instead of a front-row ticket in Hell?

The guidelines are:  assume that you have no debts to pay off, and that the eleven grand is just to be spent on yourself.  What would give you the greatest satisfaction or enjoyment?  (Be as silly as you want;  one of the suggestions in the article was to buy yourself a pallet of Arizona Iced Tea — which for me, by the way, would be only marginally less horrible than the aforementioned concert ticket.)

You can choose to spend it on just one thing, or on several.

Your suggestions in Comments;  my choices will be below the fold.

Read more

Cultural Tastes

This is an interesting topic only insofar as it reinforces something I’ve believed for a long time:

‘Eating with your hands is scientifically proven to improve texture and the flavour of food, as well as a whole host of health benefits. It’s something more people should know about and get to grips with.

‘Many of the world’s most popular foods are eaten with the hands – think burgers, tacos, tortilla, wraps, and wings, so why can’t other foods be as well?

‘Eating with our hands helps to make us more mindful about what we are eating and heighten our dining experience, rather than just thoughtlessly using cutlery like we always do.

‘The fork gets in the way and separates you from your senses.’

Like many South African kids of my vintage, I had a Black “mommy” — technically a live-in housemaid, but in reality much, much more than that.  When I was little more than a baby, while doing the housework Mary would carry me around on her back, held there by a blanket wrapped around herself, thus:

Put a White face on that kid, and you’d have me.  (My feet still point outwards when I walk, a common trait among people carried in this fashion.)

Anyway, I remember asking Mary why Blacks didn’t use knives and forks when they ate.  Her response was interesting:  “How do White people taste their food?”

And she was right.  It really does make a difference.

Now, I’m not going to follow the thing to its illogical conclusion like the guy does in the linked article;  some foods should only be eaten with a utensil — I draw the line when it comes to eating slushy foods like pasta and soup, for instance.  (And forget eating with mouth open, as he proposes — that’s just disgusting.)

But as he points out, we do eat many solid foods with our hands:  pizza, hamburgers and assorted sandwiches are all eaten by hand — and this extends to foods best eaten by hand, such as ribs, sausages and similar delicacies.

As much as I enjoy eating with my hands, I do draw the line at doing so in a restaurant setting (unless at a BBQ or picnic, where anything goes, as it should).  But at home?

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to make my normal breakfast of boerewors, a boiled egg and cheese chunks.

All to be eaten by hand.

And by the way, Charles Spence is a psychologist, not a scientist.

Kettles, Pots And Pans

When it comes to morality, the modeling world is pretty much an untapped pit — unlike the pudenda of its denizens, which have traditionally been tapped more often than kegs at a German beer festival.

So forgive me if I’m untroubled by the teacupstorm of disapproval about supermodel Heidi Klum appearing alongside her (18-year-old) daughter in some Italian lingerie brand.  I know, you want to see what all the fuss is about, so here it is:

Several thing suggest themselves, of course:  Heidi is still beautiful at whatever her age is (couldn’t be bothered to look it up) and her daughter is very pretty, for any age.  And Italian lingerie companies collectively have the morals of stoats when it comes to the age of their models, so I’m frankly surprised that they waited till the girl turned 18.

And speaking of stoatish morality, one of the tut-tutters about this situation has been none other than Ol’ Margarine-Legs herself, Ulrika Jonsson, who in her younger years gave birth to four children by four different men:

“I would never pose with my daughter like Heidi Klum…. it’s wrong and makes me feel deeply uneasy”


And by the way, she has no compunction about featuring herself with her daughter, just on an unpaid basis:

Other people, apparently, share Ulrika’s opinion:

“I wouldn’t model sexy lingerie with my mom”
“Sexualizing your daughter the moment they turn legal is weird”

Ah, such self-righteous bollocks makes me sick. And no Italian lingerie company has offered any of these people, including the wrinkled and rather bedraggled-looking Ulrike, millions of euros to do any of that, so we’ll never really know just how strong their principles are.

Here are the pics which seem to have caused all the ruckus:

I think they’re quite charming, actually.

And like her mother, Lena Klum is gorgeous, with better boobs.