The Usual Whine, No Cheese

Oh, the trials and tribulations (not to mention lamentations) of living in a peaceful village in Britishland.

You see, out in the country there’s this pretty little place which all the local inhabitants dislike because it’s owned by a parvenu  couple, the Horners;  to be specific, multimillionaire Red Bull Racing boss Christian and his equally-wealthy wife Geri (a.k.a. Ginger Spice of 1990s pop sensation Spice Girls).

This would be bad enough, but the Horners do not appear to Know Their Place, and have a desire to build a swimming pool on their property — said property consists of more than a few acres of land, by the way, and includes a stable for their half-dozen horses.  (Okay, it’s a second pool, but apparently the existing indoor one is unsatisfactory because it’s too small and too far from the house.  Whatever.)

Here are some of the comments from the Local Yokels:

“Now we’re going to have to put up with months and months of noisy building work, then years of having to listen to the Horners and their friends partying day and night round the pool in the back garden.”

You have to wonder why it would take “months and months” just to install a swimming pool, but that’s probably a feature of the famed British work ethic and/or efficiency, not to mention the need for repeated (and endless) sign-offs from the village nabobs which slow the whole process to a crawl anyway.  Hardly the fault of the Horners, though.

“A second swimming pool? It’s downright greedy, isn’t it? They surely can’t need two swimming pools. Most people would settle for one, if they could.”

Yes of course we have a right to tell other people how to spend their money and what they should and shouldn’t own.  The Horners also own four cars in a two-driver household;  I’m surprised nobody’s moaned about that, yet.

“The church is only a few metres from their house and if a pool party is in full swing on a Sunday, how are we going to hear the service? I guess from now on, the vicar’s going to have to project his voice a few decibels louder.”

…for those dozen or so people who actually attend Sunday services.  And by the way, that’s a stinking lie.  The church is nearly a quarter of a mile from the house, as Horner pointed out in his permit application.

“I’ve heard this ruddy pool comes with a heat pump too, so that’s going to make a hell of racket.”

Maybe Victorian-era heat pumps were noisy, but modern ones are silent, as I noted when I was staying on Mr. Free Market’s country estate with its enormous, and heated pool.  And given the renowned British climate, it makes perfect sense to heat the pool water so that they can actually swim in the thing for more than two non-consecutive weeks of the year.

“They haven’t really integrated themselves in the village. We barely see them and when we do, they are very aloof in their manner. I’ve no time for either of them.”

Perhaps their non-involvement in village affairs is because the locals are a bunch of insular wealth-envious assholes, or maybe it’s because Mr. Horner is busy running a successful Formula 1 racing team for eleven months of the year while Mrs. Horner is performing all over the world with her band.

I mean, my dear!  These money-grubbing chavs are just Not Our Kind.  Far better to live in genteel poverty, of course.

I know that in the past I’ve often ranted about rich assholes fucking up a neighborhood just because they think they can.  And if the Horners were wanting to demolish their exquisite old country house to erect some Modernist concrete cube, I’d be on the side of the village idiots.

But a swimming pool?

“This is a beautiful village, loved for its peace and serenity. This swimming pool development goes against those values. I’m very disappointed and I urge the Horners to reconsider their plans.”

And I urge the Horners to tell these petty little people to go and fuck themselves.

Still Confused, After All These Years

I confessed some time ago that I cannot tell various public figures apart — even if they look totally different — in that when one of their names is mentioned, their face does not come to mind and I have to look them up to see which one is under discussion.

Here’s the bunch I still cannot differentiate, regardless of time and effort:

One of them’s married to that strawberry-blonde tart with great legs, one was in those Hangover movies, two are Canadian, one’s a Mormon and one owns a Welsh football club [some overlap possible].

Which one is which?

Read more

My Favorite Things (Part 1)

Well hell, if Oprah Winfrey can do it, then by golly so can I.  Okay, a little background:

Every year, the media mogul, 69, shares an expansive gift guide filled with a range of products like kitchen appliances and cooking supplies, furniture and home goods, clothes and accessories, and skin, hair, and makeup items.

And 2023’s is no different. With 109 items in total, this year’s list has ideas for fashion lovers, at-home chefs, food connoisseurs, beauty gurus, and workout fanatics. 

As expected, her list is full of useless shit like face creams and bubble baths:  not the kind of thing on a Real Man’s list unless he’s buying stuff for his wife / mistress / both.

So without further ado, here is Kim’s Favorite Things List (Part 1 — Part 2 next Saturday) with something for everyone.  Oprah did 109 items;  I will only do 100 because unlike Oprah (who had staff to do all the work), I had to do it all by myself.

Aside:  I’m also 69, so there we have it:  battling lists from two Olde Pharttes.

Oh, and one last thing:  all the items below give me a warm & fuzzy feeling when I look at them:  it’s a “favorite things” list and no more.  (Unless you’re very wealthy, it’s not much good as a Christmas list either — unless of course you’re wealthy and want to indulge yourself.)

Buckle down:  this may take a while, but hey, it’s Saturday:  what else are you gonna do?  Let’s kick off with the spendy stuff (all prices are approximate), and there is no order of preference or cost.  It’s all good.

1. 2002 BMW Z8 (4.9-liter V8) — $212,000

Anyone can have a silly Ferrari, Aston Martin or whatever that breaks all the time, for even stupider money.  But there are only a couple thousand of these Beemers left in the world. (And yes, the hard top is removable.)

2. Mauser M98 Standard Diplomat (in your favorite caliber; mine would be 9.3x62mm)   $14,700

…with manly iron sights, of course.  The optional companion piece:

3. Kahles K 3.5-18x50mm scope $3,300
…or, if you’re going to be using your M98 for close-up dangerous game: 

4. Kahles K16i 1-6×24 3GR Reticle $2,200

5. Annual Range Membership (your choice) $600-$25,000
(This is Texas Defensive Shooting Academy — TDSA — but whichever is closest to you.  Dallas Gun Club, FYI, costs $25,000 per annum last time I looked, and there’s a two-year waiting list.)

6. African Hunting Safari (flight, luxury lodge accommodation only;  add $10,000 for several small-game license fees, up to $35,000 for lion, buffalo etc.) $15,000 per person

7. Handmade shoes from Ludwig Reiter (Vienna) $660-$1,200
Buy once, wear for life.

8. Matched pair of shotguns (links in pics) $40,000-$$tupid
…for those of the “Over and Under” persuasion.  But for the more civilized amongst us:

9.  Classic watch (e.g. this Omega Genève from the 1970s) ~$2,000-$5,000

  You may have to search around, but the search is part of the fun.

10.  Sickafus Montana  Shearling Coat $1,700

Unless you live in the tropics.

11. Martin D-35 Standard Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar $3,500

Possibly the best-sounding off-the-shelf acoustic ever made.

12. Saddleback Hardside Suitcase $1,000

13. Zeiss Victory RF 10×54 Rangefinding Binoculars $4,000

14. Browning Buck Mark Medallion Rosewood .22 LR Pistol$600

Add the Vortex red-dot scope, for $300

15. Mini-Moke Classic Electric$30,000
Yeah I know, it’s a damn Duracell car;  but I’d make an exception for this one.

16. Rhino Ironworks Gun Safe$6,000

Ugly as hell;  but how cool is it…?

17. Chiappa Firearms Kodiak (.45-70 Govt) — $1,750

18. Leathercraft Conner Recliner$5,000

19. Winnebago Solis Pocket Camper$150,000

Don’t need much more than that, really.  We are not rock stars.

20. Canon EOS R6 Mark II$2,500

21. London’s Lights (Leonid Afremov, 60″x40″)$900

22. Longines Avigation$2,700

23. DW Collector’s Series Purpleheart Drum Kit$9,000

…add over a grand when you add the cymbals, stands, bass drum pedal and stool.  All worth it.

24. Hacker-Craft Destroyer — $375,000

I’m not even a Boat Person, and I love the look of this thing.

25. Karl Hauptmann Double Rifle (.375 H&H Mag)$40,000

26. Angora Executive Desk$25,000

 27. 1972 BMW 1602 (1600 cc 4-Cyl. 4-Spd manual) — $20,000

Before Beemers got really fuuuugly.

28. Nord Stage 3 88-Key Keyboard$5,500

29. Beretta Mod 74 Target (.22 LR) — $850

30. Orient-Express: Paris to Istanbul$20,000 (per person)

That’s the cost of the Grand Suite;  smaller cabins are (not much) less.

31. 1997 Land Rover Defender 110$66,000

32. Mesa/Boogie Fillmore 50-watt Tube Combo Amp$2,700

33. Seychelles Vacation (Four Seasons Mahé) — $15,000/week

Excludes flights.

34. Five-Rifle Set$1,200

Every so often, J&G puts one of these deals together and at the price, they’re an utter bargain.

35. Breitling Transocean Day & Date$3,500
…or you can drop an extra $5,000 and get it in gold.

36. Mont Blanc Meisterstück Around the World in 80 Days LeGrand Fountain Pen — $1,000

37. CZ 457 Varmint MTR .22 LR$850

Same hole, all day long.  And for its glass:

38. Trijicon Huron 2.5-10×40 30mm BDC$700

39. Fazioli F308 Concert Grand Piano$290,000

To my ears, the best-sounding grand piano of them all.

40. Viking River Cruise:  Amsterdam – Vienna$7,500 (per person)

41. Fender Precision Fretless Bass — $2,500

My #2 choice for a bass guitar.

42. Wiesmann MF4 Roadster / GT — $150,000

…if you can find one, that is.

43. FN 49 Luxembourg Contract (.30-06) — $2,100

Shoots smoother than a Garand.  Still regret losing mine in the Brazos.

44. Stetson El Amo Premium 500x$1,100

45. Driven Pheasant Shoot (UK) — $1,200/day
Assumes a 20-bird tally per shooter. Ammo, food, booze etc. not included.

46. Colt Single Action Army 3rd Gen. (.45 Colt) — $5,000

47. Roland JC-120 Jazz Chorus Stereo Amp$1,250

… unchanged since the 1970s, it’s one of the longest-lasting and most popular guitar amps ever, and deservedly so.  As is the next one:

48. Fender ’68 Custom Twin Reverb Amp$1,800

One of the cleanest-sounding guitar amps of all time.  Except when you don’t want it to be, and then it gets dirtier than Miley Cyrus on a Saturday night pub crawl.

49. Longshore Tides Dolores Bar Cabinet$4,500

50. 1975 Rickenbacker 4001S — priceless

Why is it priceless?  Because that’s mine, is why.

Next week, the “budget” 50 favorite things.


One last Halloween thing, before we consign it to the trash heap of 2013.  Actually, it’s one of the few things I don’t mind too much about this stupid event:  the way celebrities go out of their way to make even bigger fools of themselves than we know they are already.  That said, there are some benefits, especially when it comes to showing the flesh.

Take Mrs. Ozzy Osbourne, for instance:

…who was actually copying some else’s “costume”:

Oy, Sharon…

Then there’s Heidi Klum, who went the other way this Halloween and actually covered up (as opposed to being semi-naked most of the time):

Then there’s Jonathan Ross (“Wossy”)’s daughter Honey:

Okay, I’ll need to make amends for that one (no man should):

Okay, that’s enough of that.


Turns that occasionally-funny Brit comedian Russell Brand has been a Naughty Boy:  shagging women all over the place, molesting women on set, hosting orgies, groping strange women… all the stuff that makes Teh Wimmynz angry.

Golly, if only there had been some kind of clue,,,

I remember him being interviewed by two stern TV female journos on, I think, Faux News.  As much as they tried to shame him, or make him look like a fool, he just overpowered them with wit and savage mockery.

At the end of the interview both women gave identical statements:

Then there’s this tragic tale… try not to giggle.

Women just love a Bad Boy, and our Russ is now being pilloried for actually being one.

Stupid Argument

Loath as I would ever be to bestow any kind of acknowledgment to the Ginger Whinger’s Duchess CaringSlut, on this issue I am firmly on her side.

The Duchess of Sussex once wore diamonds grown in a lab on a royal jaunt, but jeweller Eddie LeVian is not impressed. 

‘I’m concerned people think it’s the same as a diamond,’ he tells me at the Tower of London, where his brand Le Vian hosted a show. ‘It’s misleading.’

Of course, he makes his livelihood pimping overpriced rocks for the ghastly De Beers diamond criminal cartel, so of course he would sniff at “man-made” diamonds as not being “the real thing” — although they actually are.  Even if they were grown in a clean laboratory somewhere instead of having been hauled out of the ground by child laborers in Africa, their chemical composition, their hardness and appearance make them real diamonds, absolutely indistinguishable from their bloody African cousins.

Which of course makes the diamond industry quake in their expensive handmade boots, because it means the end of their tidy little cartel which has established itself by dint of creating an artificial shortage through the imposition of “controls” mostly illegal — ask yourself why De Beers doesn’t have an office in the United States (RICO coff coff ).  And gawd forbid that diamonds should be priced at even semi-precious levels rather than as the horribly-overpriced geegaws they are.

So while the Duchess Formerly Known As Third Actress From The Right may well have worn said manufactured gems because of Evil Child Labor Exploitation — not actually a bad reason, for once — the fact remains that all the pouting about the diamonds being fake is being driven, as always, by the greed and self-preservation instincts of the fucking awful diamond industry.

Who are far, far worse a cancer on society than the Markle creature could ever be, try as she may.