To Post Or Not To Post

I must admit that my primary motivation for publishing a post today is I want the number of views for the month of January to reach a level not seen since last January. While it is likely this level would be reached without a post today, I wanted to leave nothing to chance.

One of the reasons experiments in human behavior cannot always be trusted is that when people are aware they are being watched and their actions recorded, many will alter their behavior. This truth is one reason why so-called “Reality TV” is nothing of the sort.

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Speaking of the motivation of human behavior, the following concept ascribed to Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuit religious order, has always resonated with me. “An intolerable disparity between the hugeness of their desire and the smallness of reality.” I became aware of this idea many years ago in David Maraniss’ excellent biography of Vince Lombardi, When Pride Still Mattered.

I wrote yesterday that it is not in my nature to simply accept whatever happens. As someone who once bridged the gap between the hugeness of their desire and the smallness of reality (by fashioning a 20+ year career in major league baseball), I have seen that actions can make a difference. However, actions don’t always make a difference. That disparity is a knife, not a thorn, in my side.

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I have written here and elsewhere that DEI = Deny Excellent Individuals. DEI stands for efforts to “broaden” Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. This post from Why Evolution Is True is titled, “White House plan to foster equity and excellence in STEMM is all about equity, not excellence.” (The extra “M” represents Medicine.) From the post:

 

“Can you increase excellence by increasing equity? That seems to be the tacit assumption of this program, but one for which there is very little evidence. [emphasis mine] The classic paper supporting the idea that diversity itself increases net excellence is this 2004 PNAS paper, arguing that diverse groups do better at solving math problems than groups of high achievers. But this was a mathematical model with no empirical data, and was later found to be fatally flawed. There are no strategies in this document intended to increase excellence by itself, though plenty to increase equity by itself.”

 

The flawed nature of the 2004 PNAS paper jibes with Dirty Dingus McGee’s distrust of everyone, including scientists. In my many years in baseball I discovered that perhaps the most important attribute leading to success was not intelligence or hard work, but objectivity. We are all biased and are all flawed, but I believe we should strive to be objective, which is why I think data is so important. For example, a team that consistently overrates its own players relative to those on other teams will almost certainly fail because they will not see the need for improvement.

“Affirmative action”–at least in higher education–may soon be ruled unconstitutional, anyway, at least until some other iteration of the Supreme Court rules otherwise in 30 or 60 years. The current Supreme Court is expected to rule that admission policies by Harvard University and the University of North Carolina designed to limit the percentage of Asians in the student body are a violation of Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Of course, unless the court narrowly defines its decision to apply only to college admissions, such an opinion could have wide-ranging impacts on the US at large, impacts that can’t really be predicted in advance. As everyone reading this blog knows, I am a staunch opponent of affirmative action schemes as I believe by their very definition they represent discrimination. Meritum Supra Omnes! Merit above all else. First earn, then receive.

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I can’t believe it’s the frickin’ end of January! I can’t believe it’s the end of January and the resolution of our attempt to purchase the “Goose Bumps” house has still not arrived! Here is a photo that partially explains my intense desire to live in that house.

 

 

This is a picture of Four Peaks taken from the “observation deck” on the roof of the house. Although I readily acknowledge that other people have far more pressing concerns, the saga of our attempt to purchase this house is literally making me ill. Of course, one “meta-analysis” study (meta analysis is a fancy phrase for a study of other studies) concluded that five million deaths occur annually worldwide as a result of stress.

 

#ToPostOrNotToPost

#DEI=DenyExcellentIndividuals

#MeritumSupraOmnes!

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Meniere’s Monday

I don’t know if my Meniere’s Disease has become more active because of stress due to the fact that the house situation is still not quite resolved. I have been told just to accept whatever happens. That is most decidedly not in my nature.

I don’t think the San Francisco 49ers can accept that their chances of going to the Super Bowl disappeared when their starting quarterback, and the third QB they’d played this season, suffered a severe elbow injury on their sixth offensive play. I don’t think the Cincinnati Bengals can accept the “do-over” when a clock operator mistakenly started the clock on a Kansas City play or the unnecessary roughness penalty that put the Chiefs in position to kick the game-winning field goal to send them to the Super Bowl. By the way, the latter call was correct, IMO, although I’ve seen officials swallow their whistles on plays like that in crunch time.

The 49ers were also the “victim” when what appeared to be a great catch by the Eagles’ DeVonta Smith that enabled Philadelphia to convert on a fourth down was not really a catch. Wisely, the Eagles hustled to the line after the play, the 49ers didn’t challenge the call and the NFL’s new replay system failed to notice the mistake in time.

Life gives all of us things that are unfair. Whether or not we have any recourse it is only human nature to be angry and for that anger to manifest itself in protest. Hopefully, the protest does not cause more harm. For the nth time:

 

“If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, do we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that.”

– Shakespeare

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That’s probably more football than many of you want to read. I will add that, unlike the apparent opinion of the commentators, Jalen Hurts, Eagles QB, did not look anywhere near 100%. Some of his throws fluttered to the ground short of their target and he could not really complete passes down the field. Hurts only threw for 121 yards on 25 attempts. Also, apart from too many defensive penalties (seven of the Eagles’ 25 first downs came via penalty), the 49ers vaunted defense played well, holding Philadelphia to 3.8 yards per play, compared to their season average of 6.1.

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It’s still hard to believe so many people think cryptocurrency is a legitimate asset or investment. This CNBC article is titled, “North Korea-linked hackers behind $100 million crypto heist, FBI says.” Yes, hackers can steal “real money” online. Still, we have been told that blockchain, the technology that makes crypto possible, is inviolable. Obviously, that is false. Once again, while sovereign fiat currency is not foolproof, at least it is backed by government’s ability to tax and to borrow. What backs crypto? Nothing except people’s faith in it.

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Time compression due to aging is very real. The Arizona Concours my wonderful wife and I attended seems like it was yesterday, not eight days ago. Below is a picture of the car named Best In Show.

 

 

The car is a 1947 Talbot with coachwork by Fagoni and Falaschi. My favorite car, the 1961 Ghia L 6.4 coupe shown below, was given a Best In Class award.

 

 

While the reasons are not that important, because I do accept that I can’t change them, my interest in cars has definitely waned in the last year. I did not watch a single minute of the TV broadcast of the recently completed Barrett-Jackson auction and we did not watch any of the car auction live. We only attended three days of the nine the event was held.

While the recent announcement that General Motors is investing a nine-figure sum in a new generation of gasoline-powered small-block V8 engines might, might, be a sign that US automakers know they will have to manufacture ICE-powered vehicles for the foreseeable future, the severely misguided EV propaganda coming from governments and car companies is just too much for me to stomach.

 

#Meniere’sMonday

#NFLConferenceChampionshipGames

#CryptoIsAScam

#DeathBeforeEV

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Conference Championship Sunday

First, I had a very enjoyable breakfast this morning with GW. Since the blog is still anonymous, technically, and since it’s unlikely you have heard of my breakfast companion, I have chosen not to fully identify him.

He is a high-level executive for a major league baseball team. In 1997, I gave him his first full-time baseball job. He has become jaded about the game and the industry, which is understandable to someone like me who was a pioneer in sports analytics and a “father” of Moneyball only to be booted out of the game for lack of “proper” group identification.

 

I know a lot of NFL fans read this blog. How do I know? On Sundays during the NFL regular season, the number of blog views/visitors is lower than for any other day of the week and most of those that do read only do so after the second game window has ended.

As the post title reads, today is the day of the two conference championship games: San Francisco at Philadelphia for the NFC and Cincinnati at Kansas City for the AFC. The winners will play in the Super Bowl in two weeks.

I have no idea who will win either game. The ankle injury suffered last week by star Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes has contributed to the most bunched odds of winning it all for any NFL “Final Four.” I believe the Chiefs, at home, are only a 1- or 1 1/2-point favorite–would have been a bigger spread without the injury–and I think the Eagles, at home, are a 2 1/2-point favorite.

The only NFL bet I have ever made with a casino was betting on the Baltimore Ravens to win the Super Bowl. Before the 2000 season, I put a bet on them at 30-1 odds because I thought they should only have been 10-1 or 12-1. Lo and behold, they won the Super Bowl that year. I think I bet $50 and won $1,500. I’m not sure, though, because I don’t recall having taxes withheld from the winnings (I think the threshold then was $600, but it might have been $1,200), but January of 2001 was a very tumultuous period in my life as I was getting my baseball consulting business off the ground. I might have bet $20 and won $600.

I do remember sending the winning ticket via registered or certified mail to the Las Vegas casino where I had placed the bet in person. I received the check less than a week later.

I have won enough money on bets at the race track to have taxes withheld when I cashed in the ticket. I once won a large enough payoff (on a straight trifecta, as opposed to a trifecta box) to be congratulated by the clerk at the window.

My father’s second gas/service station, the one where he worked for 25 years, was basically right across the street from Pimlico Race Course. You could hear the track announcer’s call of the races from there. Like my interest in cars, I come by my interest in horse racing honestly although I no longer follow “The Sport Of Kings” closely.

 

2022 - Cincinnati Bengals vs. Kansas City Chiefs | Spielvorschau der ...

San Francisco 49ers vs. Philadelphia Eagles | 2023 Conference ...

 

#ConferenceChampionshipSunday

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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It’s All About Perspective

First…my sympathies to the families of those murdered while leaving a Jerusalem synagogue in a barbarous act of evil by a Palestinian terrorist.

 

On this day in 2001 the Baltimore Ravens defeated the New York Giants to win Super Bowl XXXV, or 35 for those of you who can’t read Roman numerals. At the time, I considered it to be the second greatest day of my life, only behind the day after my wonderful wife and I married, which was the day we arrived in Nevada for our honeymoon.

I was still working in professional sports and was much more vested in the outcomes than I am now. I have written this before, but after the Ravens won the game I made so much noise that one of our neighbors thought I was abusing my wife. We did not live in a townhouse.

However, and even though he is still a big Ravens fan and season-ticket holder, my long-time friend Dr. Hoss does not remember that day fondly. That was the day of his sister’s funeral. She died of complications from anorexia.

Just like five honest people can give five different accounts of the same incident, even people with similar backgrounds and abilities can have different perspectives on life events. Those who think their way is the only way are beyond misguided.

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A couple of links to posts from Why Evolution Is True:

 

From this post:

 

“Here’s a dilemma I face constantly. A lot of material on this site is devoted to opposing “progressive liberal” (i.e., “woke”) initiatives, particularly in science. And I’m pretty much of an absolutist when it comes to freedom of speech on campus, which isn’t exactly an attitude that’s au courant or ubiquitous among progressives.

…Like all people who take my point of view, I have of course been called “alt-right,” “racist”, and even a white supremacist. I brush off those names because they’re just slurs that progressives who lack arguments use to tar their opponents.”

 

Remember that Jerry Coyne, author of this blog, self-identifies as a liberal. Woke is a cult and its adherents are beyond misguided.

Here is a fact from The kerfuffle over “Latinx”Three percent of US adults who identify as Latino or Hispanic refer to themselves as Latinx while 40 percent find the term irksome or offensive. Here’s another excerpt from the piece, “As you may know, “Latinx” was a term developed by academics and promulgated mainly by the self-styled “in the know” progressive Democrats as the plural for people of Latin-American extraction.”

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I found this article on the promise of gene therapy to be very interesting. Here is the beginning of the piece:

 

“When Rylae-Ann Poulin was a year old, she didn’t crawl or babble like other kids her age. A rare genetic disorder kept her from even lifting her head. Her parents took turns holding her upright at night just so she could breathe comfortably and sleep.

Then, months later, doctors delivered gene therapy directly to her brain.

Now the 4-year-old is walking, running, swimming, reading and riding horses — “just doing so many amazing things that doctors once said were impossible,” said her mother, Judy Wei.”

 

This is one of many areas where I part company with those on the Ridiculous Right. Science has brought unmeasurable progress to our lives. When it comes to matters of science, I defer to scientists and not to politicians or entertainers.

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OK, if you insist; here are a few more pictures of cars consigned to the current Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona.

 

 

When I was a teenager I loved the looks of the Jensen Interceptor. I still like the car, but the rear doesn’t look that great to me, anymore.

 

 

I thought this 2008 Aston Martin Vantage convertible was just stunning. I told my wonderful wife, who is a huge fan of the make, that she could have bought this car for many thousands less than she paid for her 2018 Corvette convertible. The Aston sold, all in, for $44,000. Of course, if the deal for the “Goose Bumps” house is consummated, then she can have both.

Here are pictures of two idiosyncratic favorites of mine:

 

 

No, I do not suffer from multiple personality disorder. (At least I don’t think so. 😉) Yes, I like the 1977 Pontiac Can-Am and the Nissan Figaro. Even though many segments of the collector vehicle market do not appeal to me, I think I have eclectic tastes in cars.

 

We will not be attending the auction any more this year. I have become averse to large crowds, so today is out, and I do want to watch the NFL conference championship games live on Sunday.

 

#It’sAllAboutPerspective

#DTTPSHPOS

#GeneTherapy

#Barrett-JacksonScottsdale2023

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Never Forget! Never Again!

I don’t have anything profound to write for today, which is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. As the child of Jewish Holocaust survivors, this day resonates with me more than for the vast majority of the population. As I have written, my father was the only survivor in his immediate family and had to watch the rest of them be murdered by Nazi troops.

I can write that my contempt and outright hatred for anti-Semites and Holocaust deniers burns with the heat of a million suns.

 

“If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, do we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that.”

– Shakespeare

 

 

#NeverForget!NeverAgain!

#InternationalHolocaustRemembranceDay

 

 

Not Everything That Counts Can Be Counted

Not everything that can be counted counts. The post title and first sentence of today’s missive are a somewhat famous remark often attributed to Albert Einstein, but actually of unclear origin.

I think that some people who rely heavily on data analysis to make decisions–for example, like some football coaches–are actually doing so in order to absolve themselves of responsibility. “Well, the analytics said if we did X we had a 71% chance of winning, but if we did Y our chance was only 69%.”

Not all nominal differences in data are statistically significant. In addition, the underlying relationships between variables and outcomes can change as behaviors change, even if they modify only slightly, often before we realize they have changed. Such shifts render “old” data far less meaningful.

Not sure why I was compelled to write about this today. Yes, I see the irony of someone who was a pioneer in sports analytics and a “father” of Moneyball writing about the limitations of data.

Despite the fact some people believe that “machine learning” and “deep learning” will provide the answers to almost everything, I think that even when we have computer chips planted in our brains that can spit out the history of the universe at a billion words a second, we will still fail to correctly predict everything that happens.

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My wonderful wife and I had important business to attend to yesterday that prevented us from attending the Barrett-Jackson auction. I think we will go today, but that is not a certainty.

Here are just a few photos from the auction.

 

 

While they are not affordable for me at present, these C7 ZR1s are becoming more appealing. I could have a 700+ HP/700+ LB-FT of torque car without the risks inherent in after-market tuning.

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We’ll see how this turns out. Below is a picture of most of the letter I received from the GI practice against whom I decided to file a complaint when I arrived late for an appointment and the receptionist refused to do anything to help me.

 

 

Am I just a typical self-entitled American? I don’t think so. A medical practice exists to help patients. Yes, I was late to an appointment (an honest mistake as I thought the appointment was an hour later than actually scheduled), but the receptionist made absolutely no effort to help me. The more I thought about it, the angrier I became. I didn’t file the complaint until six days had passed. I was hoping I might cool off, but I didn’t.

I doubt that anything substantive will result from this, but I had to express myself, nevertheless. Have any of you ever filed a formal complaint against a company? If you don’t mind sharing, I think most of us would like to read about the details. Of course, I once sued a very large American firm, but that’s another story for another day.

 

#NotEverythingThatCountsCanBeCounted

#Barrett-JacksonScottsdale2023

#ApathyOfAmericanWorkers

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Automobile Events Are Good For You

OK, today’s post title is a little tongue-in-cheek and some people wouldn’t be caught dead at any type of car show. That’s their prerogative. However, I do have a small amount of empirical evidence to back the claim made in the post title.

Not counting my treadmill workouts I average between 5,000 and 6,000 steps a day walking, according to my iPhone. (My phone is not on my person while I’m on the treadmill.) For example, in 2022 I averaged about 5,300 steps a day.

My wonderful wife and I have attended automobile events the last three days: Sunday at the Arizona Concours and Monday-Tuesday at the Barrett-Jackson auction. I averaged 9,300 steps a day for those three days, despite the fact that I did not feel well on Sunday. Yes, I did also workout on Monday and plan to do so today starting in about 90 minutes.

On average, adult Americans walk only about half as much as citizens of other developed nations. It’s not a coincidence that the US also has the highest rate of overweight and obese adults in that group of countries.

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Before I show some pictures from the past three days, it’s time to show some links to Why Evolution Is True.

 

Matthew Yglesias: Woke [my mark] language isn’t meant to improve society, but to increase inequality.

Ira Glasser: Why we need free speech, even if it’s offensive and hateful

From the second post: “Glasser has just published a very good piece in Spiked that I highlighted above (naturally it’s on a right-leaning site, for the Progressive Left is not so keen on free speech because it can include “hate speech”). It’s hard to get a defense of free speech published in a liberal place.” Oh, Glasser was head of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for more than two decades. The ACLU has become among the worst offenders in trying to suppress free speech when it doesn’t adhere to the idiocy of woke.

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My wonderful wife sent me this picture:

 

 

OK, the source is not objective, but Buffett did say this, perhaps a little tongue-in-cheek, to CNBC’s Becky Quick in 2011. Of course, Congress would never pass such a law and I do think that on very rare occasions, the federal government may have to incur a deficit of more than three percent of GDP. From 1942 through 1945, inclusive, the US government deficit was about 11 percent of GDP. Since we were fighting in World War II I think that was OK, right? <end sarcasm>

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Time for (mainly) car photos:

 

 

The photo immediately above is a 1967 Corvette restomod. Everything about this car just looked right to me. Oh, I saw a person (but only one) wearing a “Save The Manuals” T-shirt. Like the vast majority of restomods for sale here, the Corvette above has an automatic transmission. Just like devotees of stick shifts are probably tired of seeing me write about the demise of the standard manual, I am tired of hearing people like Steve Magnante and even Bill Stephens drone on about how we need to save manual transmissions. In the US, the standard manual transmission is already dead, but no one has the decency to knock it over and give it a proper burial. The market share of new vehicles sold in the US with a traditional manual transmission is now less than one percent.

 

 

I have no idea if the item above, for sale by one of the many vendors in the Exhibitors Hall, is really an old radio or a reproduction. However, I have always been fascinated by very old electronic devices and we were very loyal to the Zenith brand in our house when I was young. “The quality goes in before the name goes on.”

One of the delights in attending car events is the experience of seeing and learning about cars that were previously unknown to me, such as the car shown below.

 

 

As shown on the car card, this is a 1989 Nissan Silvia convertible. Other than what’s on the card, I know nothing about this automobile and had never heard of it prior to yesterday. Like the title of a book by the late, great Baltimore Orioles manager Earl Weaver read, it’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.

 

#AutomobileEventsAreGoodForYou

#WokeIsACult

#Barrett-JacksonScottsdale2023

#EarlWeaver

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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More For Monday

Apparently, I have used this post title once before.

 

Because my wonderful wife and I plan to leave early tomorrow to head to Barrett-Jackson for our second day I have decided to write another post tonight in lieu of one tomorrow. First, this is not the same weather radar I posted this morning.

 

 

We are expecting snow and/or a wintry mix beginning just about as I write this and lasting for a few hours. Seems appropriate given that during our return trip from Barrett-Jackson early this afternoon we briefly received a wintry mix that included some snow.

Second, we were gobsmacked at the size of the crowd today. We never imagined the Monday of Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale would be so crowded.

This post will be more car pictures and less text. Stop the cheering; I can hear it from here. 🙂

First, three pictures of two cars from Lexus, neither of which would be kicked out of my garage for leaking oil. Of course, I can’t really afford the first one.

 

 

The top car in the photo is a Lexus LFA and is a car that will be auctioned this week. I love the LFA and don’t really know why I left it out of Ultimate Garage 3.0. Of course, barring a lottery win I will never own one.

The bottom two photos are a Lexus LC convertible that was shown as part of the Lexus display in the exhibitors hall at the main entrance. If I pushed myself, I could afford one of these, but will probably never own one, either.

The next car is one seen fairly often at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction, especially given only 547 were made.

 

 

This is one of two Buick GNXs offered at the auction. Once again, it is sad for me to realize that Buick once made the fastest American car, and not that long ago really, and now only sells SUVs.

I don’t think a picture will do this car justice, but here goes.

 

 

This is a 1926 Packard Phaeton. The car card read model 443, which–I think–would mean the car has an inline 8-cylinder engine. This same car was auctioned here three years ago.

OK, just one more picture and then I’ll go.

 

 

This picture doesn’t do the car justice, either. This is a 1992 Aston Martin Virage. The car cost $250,000 when new and fewer than 100 were sold in the US.

I have to admit not feeling as much enthusiasm about this event as I have in years past. Whether or not this lack of excitement is due to this being the first time we have attended any Barrett-Jackson auction not as bidders and not with VIP credentials, I can’t say.

 

#MoreForMonday

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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One Two Three Two Three

Of course, today’s post title refers to today’s date. I’m still an OCD-afflicted math nerd.

 

Welcome to cold and snowy Arizona. It’s not snowing at our house, but not too far away.

 

 

The blue patches represent radar-indicated snow. Our forecast high temperature today is just 44° and the area is under a Freeze Warning for tonight. The average high here for this date, remember that we do not live at Phoenix Sky Harbor airport, is 65°.

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I was originally going to title today’s post “Arizona Concours,” but OCD. My wonderful wife and I attended that event yesterday in the cold, but clear, Arizona morning. We splurged for VIP tickets, which meant we could be admitted 90 minutes before the general public. As such, we were actually able to see the cars arrive at the venue. (The VIP tickets also entitled us to lunch “on the house,” but we didn’t stay for lunch. More on that later.)

It was an awesome field of cars, everything from a 1901 Duryea to a 2020 Ford GT. Another highlight was meeting and briefly chatting with Donald Osborne, probably best known for the “Assess and Caress” segment on Jay Leno’s Garage, but someone with impeccable automotive credentials. He is currently the CEO of the renowned Audrain Automobile Museum in Newport, Rhode Island.

I’m sure you want to see some pictures. I could have taken many more photos than I did and published 50 in today’s post. I always have an informal limit to the number of pictures I’m going to show in a post. Anyway, let me start with what was probably my favorite car in the field, a 1961 Ghia L 6.4 coupe.

 

 

Like most such events, the cars were grouped by category. This year’s theme was aerodynamics. I must confess I know nothing about this car other than its looks just blew me away.

A quick Internet search revealed that just 25 of these were produced from 1960 to 1962. Like the Dual-Ghia and the Chrysler Ghia ST Special, these were powered by a Chrysler V-8 engine, although since the first-generation Hemi was no longer being produced, these had a 383 cubic-inch wedge head motor. The output was rated 335 HP/410 LB-FT of torque.

One car literally stood apart from the rest of the field, behind ropes. It was a 1953 Alfa Romeo BAT coupe, number 5 to be specific.

 

 

I hesitate to call the Alfa Romeo BAT cars sui generis because more than one of them were built, but they are certainly very different.

Here are just a few more assorted photos.

 

 

Although it was not the first time I had seen a modern Alfa Romeo 8C, I was almost overwhelmed by the beautiful proportions. I think the move to a mid-engine design has ruined the look of the Corvette. I almost always prefer the long hood, short deck layout.

The way the cars were parked often made it difficult to get a full side shot or even a decent three-quarter view. For example:

 

 

I don’t know what car was named Best In Show; we didn’t stay long enough. Remember, we didn’t even stay for lunch. Yesterday’s event was marred by the fact that I just did not feel well. I know my labs are normal, except for a slightly elevated lipase level, but I do not feel well. I still have to wait 17 days for more imaging. I know I am not an innate optimist, but in the back of my mind, maybe not that far back, I have a nagging feeling that something is seriously wrong. The fact that I have lost 10+ pounds in the last month cannot be entirely attributed to cutting out fried foods, cheese and egg yolks. Wish me good luck because I have a strong feeling I am going to need it.

 

#OneTwoThreeTwoThree

#ColdAndSnowyArizona

#ArizonaConcoursd’Elegance

#GhiaL6.4

#WishMeLuck

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Is General Motors Hedging Its Bet On Electric Vehicles?

First…even with outdoor temperatures in the 30s and house thermostats set in the 60s (those are Fahrenheit temps in case those of you in countries that use Celsius are confused), I woke up about 2 AM completely drenched in sweat, so much so that I had to change my T-shirt. I can only surmise I had a hell of a nightmare. Fortunately, I don’t remember any of the details.

 

As reported in this CNBC article and elsewhere, General Motors has announced that it will be investing nearly $1 billion in four production plants to support production of components for electric vehicles and its next generation of V-8 engines. Would any company, even as one as large as GM, invest a nine-figure sum in a technology it will discard in a little more than a decade? The author of the CNBC piece (or his editor) writes, “It’s a signal that the company will keep relying on gas-powered vehicles for the foreseeable future.”

Of course, GM and all automakers (except Tesla) will have to rely on gas-powered vehicles to sell in the US. Despite the years of hype, the excessive propaganda from governments and media about the alleged need for all of us to drive electric vehicles, in 2022 pure EVs accounted for only 6 percent of new vehicle sales in the US.

In this post I wrote about a Hagerty story on a KPMG survey about automobile executives becoming more realistic about how quickly EV adoption would occur. Akio Toyoda has been very outspoken, and very brave to do so, about how EV mandates by governments are completely unrealistic.

I will believe this for the rest of my life. EVs are not the answer; synthetic fuels are.

 

 

Yes, the car shown above is not a GM product. It is, of course, my 2022 Mustang GT.

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Speaking of synthetic fuels, this CNBC article by the same writer is about Porsche’s beginning production of e-Fuels (a politically correct way to say synthetic fuels) at a plant in Chile. From the piece:

 

“Company officials say e-fuels can act like gasoline, allowing vehicle owners a more environmentally friendly way to drive. They could also use the same fueling infrastructure as gas, compared with the billions of dollars in investments needed to build a network of charging stations for electric vehicles.” [emphasis mine]

 

The zealot lemmings simply assume the money to build EV infrastructure just exists. Synthetic fuels will require NO infrastructure spending and will achieve the same result. As I keep writing, the push to “go green” is not really about the environment, but about smug, self-righteous and arrogant ideologues’ quest for control and punishment. I become more sure of that every day.

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Let’s see if I can display this image:

 

 

The recently concluded Mecum auction in Kissimmee, Florida surpassed $200 million in sales for the second consecutive year. Prior to last January, no automobile auction had ever exceeded $180 million in sales.

Of course, part of the reason for the record-setting sales volume at Mecum Kissimmee 2023 was the record size of the docket, about 4,200 vehicles. That is an average of about $56,000 per vehicle.

My favorite car from the auction, and a car that Mecum has previously offered for sale, was probably this one.

 

See the source image

 

This is a 1955 Chrysler Ghia ST Special, of which four were built. Unlike at least one previous Mecum auction where the car did not sell (I believe at a high bid of $450,000), the car sold at Mecum Kissimmee, all in, for $770,000. If I could afford it, which I cannot, I would spend a million dollars on this car.

In general, and as I have previously written, American cars from the 1950s are really starting to appeal to me. IF we are successful in buying the “Goose Bumps” house (and we should know much more about that in the next 2-3 days), then I might just buy such a car at some time in the future. While the bodywork for this car is Italian, the drivetrain is American and the car doesn’t look that different from Chrysler products of the same time period, just a bit more streamlined.

 

#IsGeneralMotorsHedgingItsBetOnElectricVehicles?

#EVsAreNotTheAnswer

#2023MecumKissimmee

#1955ChryslerGhiaSTSpecial

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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PS, for the first 20 days of this month, the average number of daily blog views and visitors reached a level not seen since last January. Of course, part of the reason is that I have posted every day this month except one. I’ll keep writing as long as you keep reading. Is that a deal?