Blood Sports

As the searing North Texas summer temperatures have begun to slide into glorious fall cool, I received these pics from Mr. Free Market, currently experiencing the usual Scottish weather for this time of year:

Not that it’s stopped him from doing the usual…

Doc Russia’s also Over There, but no reports of his activities.  (He’s probably sleeping outside in the rain, because USMC.)

As much as I enjoy being in Britishland, that weather is best endured by sitting in a warm pub with a roaring fire on the background:

…and with the usual fare at hand:

That’s my idea of roughing it.  I’m too old for all that running around in the rain–freezing my nuts off–falling over screwing up my knee–without ever seeing a deer nonsense.

“So There I Was…”

…up in El Dorado, Kansas — just me, Reader JimW and a whole bunch of other Old Pharttes who love old rifles and such:

…plus boatloads of ammo for said old beauties, so that new shooters and old ones alike could shoot away to their hearts’ (and pockets’) content.

Which I did.

The event is actually a fundraiser for the local WWII museum (which, sadly, I didn’t get a chance to go to, but will visit next year).  The fundraising works as follows:  you pay $2 per round, all proceeds of which go to the museum.  I should point out that all the ammo provided comes from Reader Jim’s personal ammo locker, and the guns from his gun safe, so I hereby anoint this man a National Treasure.

Next year, I will be repeating the trip, and will bring along the Son&Heir.  Let’s make it a Nation of Riflemen event, shall we?  I urge everyone who can possibly make it to mark it in your calendar for around this time next year (Jim will supply the date when it’s finalized).

I need to meet more of you guys in the flesh — let’s face it, we’re all getting older and time is passing by — and this seems to be as good a reason as any, and better than most.

Having done the drive up from Plano (6 hours), I can attest that it’s not too bad from Texas provided that you do as I did on the way back, and avoid I-35 like the plague.  (U.S. Routes 377, 177 and 77 take you almost to the front gate of the range.)  I drove because I took a couple-three of my old ladies (K98k, SMLE and M1 Carbine) in case there weren’t enough guns, but as it turns out, they weren’t needed.

My advice, therefore, if your drive is too long or you’d rather fly, is to fly in to Wichita (ICT) on the Friday, rent a car and drive the half-hour to El Dorado.  There are plenty of hotels available, so accommodation shouldn’t be a problem.  You don’t need to bring any guns (unless you want to), so the flying thing should be limited to the usual PITA nonsense from the TSA goons at the airport.

And let’s have some kind of NoR dinner at one of the local BBQ places in El Dorado after the event — I tried two whilst up there, and both were good.

Watch this space…



You mean, this Milan?


The worst thing is that I didn’t take any of those pics, because I’ve never been to Milan.

Oh well… better get going on my trip up to Kansas.  At least there’ll be fine old rifles to shoot, and there’s not much wrong with that.

Not Another List

Fresh on the heels of the debacle of recommending New York City as a top holiday destination comes this attempt:

The coolest neighbourhoods in the world have been named by the influential Time Out guide, and Norrebro in Copenhagen has claimed the top spot.

I haven’t ever been to Copenhagen, so I can’t comment.  But given some of the other “cool” neighborhoods on the list, my only conclusion is that they’re either on the take, civic boosters, or haven’t actually been there since maybe 2005.  To whit:

#2:  Andersonville, Chicago.  When I lived near there, it was a nice place — just north of the summer bustle of Wrigley Field, I preferred going there in winter — but here’s the latest:

Come summer, Pride Month’s Midsommarfest celebrates Andersonville’s Swedish roots and LGBTQ+ culture. Make a flower crown or don a viking hat, taste Swedish delicacies, and rock out at the Pride stage.

That foolishness used to be confined to the neighborhood I actually lived in:  Lakeview a.k.a. Boys’ Town, where lots of single men lived in neat little apartments with their tiny dogs, and where clubs like The Manhole were the places to be seen.  So now it appears that the rot has spread further north, as these things do.  Pass.

#4:  Leith, Edinburgh.  It’s not bad, although I prefer Haymarket, which is less self-conscious a place (i.e. less precious), and should only be avoided on sporting occasions e.g. when Scotland is playing rugby against, well, anyone.  Okay.

#6:  Chelsea, NYC.  Oy.  To quote the article:  “Little Island, which is a new floating park, The High Line and Hudson River Park have all provided open space for people who needed it more than ever in 2021.”  All true, as long as you avoid the homeless encampments and accompanying discarded hypodermic needles, piles of human excrement and the most aggressive panhandlers in the world.  Pass.

#10:  Richmond, Melbourne.  Yeah right;  visit Richmond and get clubbed to the ground by the most aggressive and Covid-obsessed police force in the world.  Also (according to stepson, who once lived near there), it’s the most expensive place to eat or drink in Australia (“far worse than London”, was the actual quote).  Pass. 

#13:  Dalston, London.  I’ve only ever walked through Dalston, which lies more or less between Islington and Hackney (both haunts of the Tony Blair Set), but be my guest.  South Kensington is more my style, anyway.  Okay.

#14:  Silver Lake, Los Angeles.  Okay, Silver Lake is actually rather nice as it is a wealthy area and therefore pleasant to be in.  However, as with all good neighborhoods in LA, you have to swim through a sea of shit to get to the nice part, and I was last there in about 2007, so gawd knows what it’s like now.  Pass.

#18:  Villeray, Montreal.  Finally, a place I can recommend, if only to visit the Jean Talon Market at its southern corner.  Fine, it’s not the Old City (which is more French than many cities in France), but Villeray is wonderful, as is Plateau Mont-Royal just south of it.  Highly recommended.

Those are just the neighborhoods I know and have visited.  But once again, any list of top places that puts Paris’s exquisite Haut-Marais neighborhood at #36 (??!!) needs to be treated with some suspicion.

Feel free to browse the list and add your comments or recommendations.


As our once-confined cousins seek to escape the surly bonds of gloomy Britishland, and are welcomed back (in a fashion) by President Braindead, they are advised as to where best to spend their sterling in these here United States:

All set for America! Holidays to the U.S. are back — and there’s something for everyone. Take your pick from these top trips across the pond

And the #1 recommendation?

New York City.  In the very same edition, mind you, there appeared the following article  with the headline:

Some recommendation.

Other stupid recommendations are San Francisco (!), Chicago (!), New Orleans and Las Vegas.  (For my Brit Readers, a quick summary:  San Francisco is worse than NYC, Chicago is Murder City, New Orleans is trying to catch up to Chicago, and Las Vegas… oy.  The only reason to go to Vegas would be to do some excellent shooting on Vegas’s many fine ranges, but you can do that pretty much anywhere.)

Other Daily Mail  recommendations are scenic tours (e.g. Grand Canyon and the Pacific Coast Highway), and those are indeed okay, if you’re into that kind of thing.  (If doing the PCH, however, avoid San Francisco and Los Angeles like the plague spots they are.)

So, to all my Brit Readers:  if you do want to escape Britishland over the dreary late autumn and early winter this year, let my Murkin Readers give you their recommendations in Comments.

Better still, wait until April / May next year, when you could enjoy an actual spring and attend things like Boomershoot.  But that can wait for another time.

Parallel Universe

If you publish a list of The World’s Greatest Cities, you need to ensure that your #1 pick doesn’t cause howls of incredulous laughter, coupled with snorts of irritation and open-jawed astonishment.  Here’s Time Out’s list:

When did they take this survey — in 1965?  Certainly, it was pre-WuFlu, except:

Good grief.

If you’re going to make a list of places to visit, try this one instead.  It’s pretty much as full of shit as the first one, though.