A Lot To Digest

As I begin writing this post–first, I have no idea when I will actually publish it–I am about 110,000 words short of a million in this forum. At the overall average number of words per post in the history of this blog I am 205 posts away, which is doable before the end of the year, but not a certainty.

At the average since the beginning of last year (2022), I am 172 posts away. That number is barely half the average of the first four calendar years I wrote Disaffected Musings (2018-2021) and 57% of the number of posts I wrote last year.

I almost called this post The Quest For A Million, but soured on that as I realized I had much more about which I wanted to write. Still, that goal is there for the taking, even if it means nothing to anyone else except me.


In my very strongly held opinion, people should refrain from commenting on topics about which they know nothing, or next to nothing. (Cliff Claven would not be funny in real life.) One thing I hear from time to time from people who don’t live here is how hot it must be everywhere. When I mention the change in temperature with respect to elevation (I seldom use the phrase “adiabatic lapse rate”) I often receive a scoff. “What difference could it make? So, it’s 100° at your house if it’s 102° at the airport.”

On the first day of the Mecum auction my wonderful wife and I pulled out of the parking lot at State Farm Stadium at 2:15 PM. The display on my Mustang GT indicated the outside temperature was 82°. When we pulled into the driveway at our house, the Goose Bumps house, at 3:15 PM the same display indicated a temperature of 72°.

On the second day of the auction, we left the parking lot at 2:30 PM and the display on my wonderful wife’s Corvette read 82°. When we pulled into the driveway at 3:20 PM (we didn’t have to stop for gas), the display read 73°.

On day three the particulars were: leaving State Farm Stadium at 2:50 PM, outside temperature was 68°. When we arrived home at 3:50 the temp was 55°, granting that our house was on the fringe of an area of rain.

This example leads to a bigger, more important point: if you don’t have command of the facts, then just shut up and listen. (It is better to be silent and thought the fool than to open one’s mouth and to remove all doubt.) This country has descended into a frenzy of shouting, not speaking, without thinking. It’s more than OK to admit that you don’t know something, it can be a great way to really learn something. Once again, freedom of speech (which doesn’t really mean what most people think it means) doesn’t mean anyone is obligated to listen. Freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom from consequences and it doesn’t mean you can’t be called out when you are factually incorrect. People are entitled to their own opinions, but not to their own facts.

I am beyond fed up by idiots spouting off. It also seems that our governments have become confederacies of dunces, to borrow the title if not really the story from the novel by John Kennedy Toole.


What is the significance of this car?



This is a car on which I made a bid without ever having seen it before. It is a 2005 Cadillac XLR that intrigued me when it reached the block at the same time I was returning to my seat. (I am going to publish many of my photos from Mecum in one post after the auction ends on Saturday, April 1.)

I bid $13,000 ($14,300 all in); the car didn’t sell at a high bid of $16,500 ($18,150 all in). Is it a blessing that I didn’t end up with the car? Well, when one considers that it is rare to find an XLR without excessive mileage listed at under $20,000, maybe it is, maybe it isn’t.

Despite my “car captain” (not my wonderful wife) advising me not to buy an XLR and despite my one-hour “epiphany” at the auction that I should buy a C6 Corvette convertible, I am 95% sure that if/when I buy a car, it will be a Cadillac XLR. The heart wants what it wants. Besides, an XLR is in many ways a C6 Corvette convertible.


An extreme example of burying the lede: The European Union, after intense lobbying by Porsche and Ferrari, have agreed to allow the sale of new cars powered by Internal Combustion Engines to continue after 2035 as long as such cars run on synthetic fuels, or eFuels. I am sure that most of the US states that have banned the sale of new “polluting” cars after 2035 will not consider such a rule. That will only open the door for foreign makes to capture more of the US market. Remember that despite the years of hype and lobbying, pure electric vehicles constituted just 6% of all new vehicles sold in the US in 2022.

Maybe I am biased, but I think this EU ruling is a game-changer for cars going forward and an example of common sense winning out. It is beyond a fool’s errand to commit to pointless spending of untold billions to create an EV “infrastructure” when cars can be made zero-emission at the tailpipe by changing head design and timing to accommodate synthetic fuels. I will believe that for the rest of my life.









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Sunday Link Dump

Cousin of Core Memory Dump…


Thanks to Duncan for elaborating on the pros and cons of a Kappa platform convertible. He has owned a Solstice GXP for quite some time. He commented to me that if he didn’t already have “Mean Yellow” he might very well own a Cadillac XLR.

As I wrote to him and in the blog, the XLR is in the lead right now, but that means the actual purchase is almost certainly not in the near future. Our tax refund is not that large (nor should it ever be, otherwise you’re loaning a lot of money interest-free to the government) and we almost certainly have more things to take care of in the Goose Bumps house.


With little commentary here are a whole bunch of links and references to pieces from around the Internet:


From buccocapital: Crypto is a categorical, unequivocal, and absolute net-negative for the world. From the same source: Only further confirms that we’ll be better off as a society when we destroy the malignant cancer that is cryptocurrency.

A link to a Why Evolution Is True post about a Dean of Stanford Law School letter supporting free speech and viewpoint in addition to the Dean putting a DEI administrator on leave.

Two links to CNBC articles: the first about why there may be no return to “normal” for the US used vehicle market and the second about how a significant percentage of investors think the process is free when, of course, it isn’t.


From Motortrend comes a compilation of the all-time ugliest vehicles. Of course, beauty and ugliness are in the eyes of the beholder. In my eyes, many of the vehicles listed are more weird or excessive than ugly. I also vehemently disagree calling the car below ugly:


1974 AMC Matador | U156 | Indy 2019


This is a 1974 AMC Matador coupe. Ironically, an excerpt from the entry on this car reads, “the sad part is that it actually drew praise for its design.”

A vehicle not included in the MotorTrend piece, but one that I usually think of first when thinking about ugly vehicles, is this:


Why the Chrysler PT Cruiser is a Future Classic


This is a Chrysler PT Cruiser. I think these look like upside-down bathtubs on wheels and the fake “woodie” treatment makes it look even worse, in my opinion. Different strokes for different folks, DSFDF.








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PS, this could be the last post for March. Don’t forget this blog; barring some horrific and unforeseen circumstances, it will return with new posts.


Life’s Crooked Path

Today’s post title doesn’t exclusively refer to the duplicitous nature of many people. It also refers to my belief that very few life journeys have a straight route.


One reason I didn’t post yesterday is that my GI tract revolted Thursday night basically keeping me awake until about 5 AM, a time by which I am usually awake, anyway. The culprit was likely, although not definitely, something I ate for lunch. I must give credit to the customer service department of the national chain restaurant where I ate lunch as they quickly replied to my question about the contents of a specific dish.

One ingredient, however, was simply labeled “Spices.” As I know have written, I have an extreme sensitivity to spicy red items like cayenne. A tiny amount of such an ingredient, even if it’s barely noticeable upon taste, can have a hugely negative impact on me.

Speaking of posting, it is highly likely that my posting will be sporadic or non-existent while my wonderful wife and I attend the Mecum auction next week. While we are looking forward to the event, we will have some long days.


The state of Utah recently passed the nation’s first law designed to restrict “social media” use by minors. Two features of the legislation are that companies like Fack Fucebook must verify the age of someone before they can open an account and that these companies are prohibited from using a “design or feature that causes a minor to have an addiction to the company’s social media platform.”

According to some legal scholars, Utah’s new law might not survive a First Amendment challenge. In 1996, the US Supreme Court basically made the Internet a free speech zone in its ruling in Reno v. ACLU. In 2011, the court said a California law limiting the sales of violent video games to minors violated the First Amendment in Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association.

The Supreme Court once ruled that separate but equal was equal and then “changed its mind” less than a person’s lifetime later. In Roe the court ruled one way on abortion and on the recently issued Dobbs decision it ruled another. I am aware of the judicial principle of stare decisis (precedent should determine a legal decision in a case involving similar facts), but we should all be aware that the only constant in the world is change.

In my opinion, revelations by people like Frances Haugen about the inner workings of social media companies should be a relevant consideration in any court case involving usage of such platforms. Yes, I believe in capitalism above all other economic systems, but all systems are flawed and none can be allowed to operate without any restrictions. Of course, the courts are flawed as well.


Maybe Duncan can weigh in on my concerns about operating the manual top of a Kappa platform convertible, i.e. a Pontiac Solstice or Saturn Sky. Philip Maynard has written to me that the top is no big deal. I still have some trepidation about having to exit the car in order to put the top up or down.

I have owned two convertibles, both of which had a power top that operated with the use of a button. Conceptually, it is difficult for me to give that up when I buy another convertible. In all honesty, one of the biggest draws to a Solstice/Sky is simply that it is the least expensive of the three cars I am considering, which means if I want to scratch that itch sooner rather than later, I can.

Buying either a Cadillac XLR or Jaguar F-Type convertible would probably have to wait at least until the beginning of next year. Even though the XLR has never appeared in any iteration of an Ultimate Garage, I distinctly remember saying to my wonderful wife, “I have to own one of these someday,” the first time I saw one at the Dallas Auto Show in 2004.



Via the book Cadillac at 100, Legacy Of Leadership comes this at-the-time performance comparison, according to Road & Track, of the XLR to other similar cars of the day:


  0-60   0-100 Cornering
Cadillac XLR  5.6 sec 13.3 sec     .94g
Jaguar XKR  5.8 sec 14.1 sec     .89g
Lexus SC430  6.2 sec 15.0 sec     .84g
Mercedes SL500  6.1 sec 15.0 sec     .91g


The Jaguar XKR is a ringer in that it is/was powered by a supercharged engine, unlike the other three that were naturally aspirated. The V-spec XLR, the supercharged version, could accelerate from 0-60 MPH in 4.4 seconds. If the cornering number for the XLR surprises you remember that it is, in large part, a C6 Corvette.

Yes, I am now leaning towards the XLR, even if it means I have to wait. Of course, I could change my mind dozens of times between now and a purchase. Remember, life is not a straight path.








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Ford EV Losses

According to this CNBC article, Ford Motor Company reported a $2.1 billion loss in its electric vehicle business in 2022, on an operating basis. The company is forecasting a $3 billion loss in its EV business for 2023.

The company still expects to build two million EVs per year by 2026 and does forecast profitability by then. I think most companies would be excoriated by stockholders for losing more than $5 billion over two years for any venture.

In a related vein, Philip Maynard sent me a link to this piece, now three years old, titled “20 Drawbacks Of Electric Vehicles Drivers Commonly Overlook.” Number Eight states something that I believe is related to one of the true motives for those pushing adoption of EVs, “Ease Of Tracking Your Movements.” As written in the article, “Those systems are designed to track your driving habits, locations, charging points, and so on. Are you sure that you want your every move to be recorded on a server?”



General Motors/Chevrolet have confirmed what has long been rumored: the Camaro, as we know it, will not be produced after the 2024 model year. In fact, the car will not have a full 2024 production run as the last Camaro is supposed to roll off the assembly line in January, 2024.

Sales of the Camaro, Challenger and Mustang have all declined significantly in the past few years. Only the Mustang remains in its company’s plans for the near future.

In 2015, those three models had combined sales of more than 266,000 units, ranking Mustang, Camaro, Challenger. Camaro fell to third in 2018. In 2021 Challenger sales exceeded those of the Mustang, but by then the three cars accounted for only 128,000 units sold.

My favorite Camaro will always be the 1968 model, in terms of looks, anyway. The front vent window was removed and the rear quarter retained its aggressive haunch, which was toned down in 1969. I have never liked the function-less gills in front of the rear wheels on the ’69, either.


1968 Chevrolet Camaro RS Z28 stripes - American Dream Machines | Classic Cars | Muscle Cars


“Do not go gentle into that good night,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”







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A Looming Victory For Common Sense?

Post number 1,667…

First, Clillary Hinton should have been indicted and so should Orange Drump.


In this piece from Hagerty is the following passage,


Reuters is reporting that the European Commission has drafted a plan allowing sales of new cars with internal combustion engines that run only on climate-neutral e-fuels, “in an attempt to resolve a spat with Germany over the EU’s phasing out of combustion engine cars from 2035,” similar to the plan adopted by California and a number of other states. The draft proposal, seen by Reuters on Tuesday, suggests creating a new type of vehicle category in the European Union for cars that can only run on carbon-neutral fuels.”


Of course, the EU wants cars that can run on eFuels/synthetic fuels to be equipped with nanny-state devices that would prevent such cars from running on “non-compliant” fuels, but one step at a time. If adopted this is a HUGE victory, a victory for common sense, for those of us that want to see cars powered by internal combustion engines remain a viable option. Electric vehicles are not the answer and are certainly not the only answer. Once again, if half the money invested in electric vehicles and their infrastructure would have been invested in the development of eFuels/synthetic fuels, we would probably already be on the other side of the transition. Also, never forget that cars and trucks are only responsible for 20% of global CO2 emissions. The push by the Lunatic Left for electric vehicles has far more to do with controlling the population than it does with the environment.

I doubt that the People’s Republic of Crazifornia will ever adopt a proposal similar to that of the EU, but that will be to the state’s detriment, which will be a good thing as far as I am concerned. Long live the Internal Combustion Engine!



In the same Hagerty article comes the news that the 2024 Nissan GT-R can now be ordered, but only in Japan for the time being. A relevant photo from Nissan via Hagerty.


2024 Nissan GT-R T-Spec Millennium Jade


Doing a currency conversion, CarScoops has calculated that the MSRP of the ’24 GT-R will start at about $105,000 for the base version and increase to $222,000 for the Nismo Special Edition. I have never even sat inside a GT-R, let alone driven one, but would very much like to do both. Call it a Bucket List item, if you will.

I wish I could remember the source, but I do remember that the Nismo version, especially in early model years, really doesn’t/didn’t outperform the base GT-R. I think the former is a “snob good” appealing to people who, for lack of a better expression, have more money than brains. Of course, perhaps Nissan has changed the Nismo to give it significantly more oomph, a technical automotive term. Nissan has promised that the 2024 GT-R will soon show up in the US so pricing should be available before too much longer.


From this Why Evolution Is True post:


“But it’s another thing entirely for scientific journals to take political stands, and this post should show you why. For when you endorse a candidate that liberals like, like Joe Biden, you’re going to turn off the people who don’t like Joe Biden. That’s okay for newspapers, as their readership probably leans the same way as the paper itself. But writing off a scientific journal as “politically biased” has potentially worse effects than writing off a newspaper, for the former can cause people to distrust the science itself.”


The extreme amplification of America’s political divide has caused many not to trust science at all, which has negative implications for all of us.









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A Contrary Contrary Opinion

This recent report from Pew Research is titled “Americans Feel More Positive Than Negative About Jews, Mainline Protestants, Catholics.” In Economics the distinction between stated preferences and revealed preferences is an important concept.

Just like the polls were wrong about the 2016 US Presidential Election and Brexit referendum the same year, I strongly suspect that Americans are not as positive about Jews as the survey suggests. However, I have to admit that the margin between favorable and unfavorable opinions about Jews is too wide to be completely dismissed.

The flip side of this Pew study is another from the same group that indicated Jews were targets of harassment in 94 countries in 2020, a substantial increase from the 51 countries reported in the first year of this survey, 2007. The number of countries reporting Jewish harassment is extremely disproportionate, to the point of dissonance, to the distribution of Jews throughout the world. Eighty-five percent of Jews live either in Israel or the United States. That means 85% of Jews live in two countries that comprise only about 4% of the world population.

In my opinion, the lack of proportionality is a cause of anti-Semitic sentiment. The vast majority of people around the world live in countries with minuscule Jewish populations. I think it’s much easier to develop an irrational hatred of a group if one doesn’t know any members of that group.


CNBC is one of many news outlets reporting that Chrysler Corporation will bring back the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon in a limited run for one last model year. In a clever bit of marketing, in my opinion, the base price for the car is $96,666. (Purely by coincidence this is post number 1,666.) From Dodge via the CNBC article comes a picture of the car.


2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170


On E85 fuel the Demon’s engine is supposed to produce 1,025 HP/945 LB-FT of torque. On regular E10 pump gas, those figures are 900 HP/810 LB-FT.

Just like the first run of the Demon, only 3,000 vehicles will be produced–if supply chains cooperate–for the US and another 300 for Canada. The CNBC article reports that the price of the car can exceed $120,000, but I think it will cost even more, perhaps as much as $150,000. At that price, I’m out.

However, I have–on occasion–looked into buying a used Challenger Hellcat, but not a Redeye or a Demon. This would be a replacement for the Mustang GT and not a companion, not at $65,000+ for a late-model, low-mileage example. Actually, I looked into buying a Hellcat before I bought the Mustang, but was seduced by being able to buy a brand new car AND receive a substantial amount of money in the deal. That would not have happened with a Hellcat in the model years and with the mileage I would have wanted to buy. In addition, we did not live in the Goose Bumps house then and a Challenger would not have fit in our garage. It would now…

The “base” Hellcat engine produces 717 HP/656 LB-FT of torque and without any after-market tuning. However, it is not a dainty car at more than 4,400 pounds. Even stock, my Z06 had a better power-to-weight ratio than the base Hellcat. Let me let you in on a little secret: in my mind (such as it is) if a car has more than 1 HP/1 LB-FT for every ten pounds of curb weight then it’s fast enough. My Mustang GT meets that criterion. My three Corvettes did as well.

One reason I am fond of/obsessed with the new Alpine A110 is that its engine produces 300 HP/251 LB-FT of torque in a car that weighs 2,500 pounds. In case you forgot:




For the nth time, so many cars just one life.







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Where’s The Outrage?!

Before the post turns serious, I want to thank Dirty Dingus McGee (AKA DDM) for his excellent guest post.


From many sources via Why Evolution Is True:


A Michigan man allegedly threatened on social media to kill Jewish members of the Michigan government, the FBI said, and state Attorney General Dana Nessel says she was among those targeted.

The incident adds to recent concerns about threats against public officials as well as reports of increasing antisemitic incidents across the country. It also evokes the plot to kidnap Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer as well as the at-times threatening demonstrations against Covid-19 protocols in the state.

On February 18, the FBI National Threat Operations Center told the Detroit FBI office that a person on Twitter by the handle of “tempered_reason” said he was heading to Michigan and “threatening to carry out the punishment of death to anyone that is Jewish in the Michigan govt.” Any attempt to “subdue” him would “be met with deadly force in self-defense,” the user said.

Authorities traced the Twitter handle to a man named Jack Eugene Carpenter III, who had a protection order against him and had previously been arrested by state police, according to the complaint filed in US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

Carpenter had three 9mm handguns registered in Michigan’s Law Enforcement Information Network (LEIN), the complaint said. One of the guns in his possession Carpenter had “stolen” from his girlfriends, according to the complaint.

Authorities said Carpenter violated an interstate communication law, according to the complaint. He was arrested on February 18 in Texas, a law enforcement source familiar with the investigation told CNN.

The threat against Nessel and other member of Michigan’s state government is the latest of several high-profile threats and violence against Jews in America. According to the Anti-Defamation League, antisemitic attacks reached a record high in the US in 2021 – up 34% from 2020.

Last month, a man was charged by federal prosecutors with hate crimes after he allegedly shot two different Jewish men in Los Angeles. In January, police said a man threw a Molotov cocktail at a New Jersey synagogue in an arson attempt, and in December, a 63-year-old man was assaulted in New York’s Central Park in what police called an antisemitic attack.


I have to write that I believe this spike in threats and violence against Jews in the US would receive more media attention if it were happening to another group. Major news outlets like the New York Times have become blatantly anti-Semitic.

Those who disagree with my perspective will cite the “outrage” when the piece of shit known as Kanye West used Twitter to issue a threat against Jews and was subsequently dropped by his business partners. He was famous; people like the Michigan person are not, but their threats are just as real, if not more so.


Speaking of the New York Times (and via Brian Sullivan of CNBC), the current administration tried to force the Fed into blaming lack of regulation as part of its rescue statement. Jay Powell refused and wanted to focus on shoring up confidence. How can people still believe in politics as practiced in this country? Whether or not you agree with the Fed’s mandate and activities, it is supposed to be politically independent.

Via Brian Sullivan and from The Wall Street Journal comes the news that former Congressman Barney Frank – for whom the “Frank” in Dodd-Frank bank regulation bill was named – has been working to *ease* bank regulations since joining the board of Signature Bank. Oh, Signature Bank was one of the banks closed in the latest bank crisis.

(Speaking of bank runs and CNBC, here is the link to an article about why investor brains are hard-wired for bank runs.)

WAKE UP, AMERICA! Politicians are not cut from a different cloth than the rest of us, except that they have a greater craving for power. Most of the time their actions are motivated by self-interest, and not “the people’s interest” (whatever that is, anyway), just like the rest of us.


Shifting gears, this post from Automotive American lists 25 of the most notable defunct American automobile makes. My interest in this subject used to know no bounds; as is the case with everything automotive, my interest has waned, but has not disappeared.

In thinking about my current state of mind (don’t try that at home), my current favorite car from this list might very well be the one shown below. I’m sure many automotive enthusiasts would call my choice a sacrilege.


See the source image


I would say that right now, a Kappa platform convertible is in the lead to be the companion to my Mustang GT. I would also say that, despite my history with Pontiac, the Sky Red Line has a slight lead over the Solstice GXP. I reserve the right to change my mind, even if there’s nothing wrong with the one I have although I’m sure most people would disagree with the latter.







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Guest Post From Dirty Dingus McGee

Dirty Dingus McGee, or DDM for short, is the “alias” for a long-time Disaffected Musings reader and commenter. His contributions to the blog have been most welcome. Graciously, he offered the following as a post. You will enjoy this.


Why I still play with cars


Hello folks, I’m a commenter here that goes by Dirty Dingus McGee and the host of this blog invited me to submit a post (you can question his judgement in the comments), so here goes.


In the beginning


I was born and raised in a rural environment so transportation was almost a necessity. The corner store was about 4 miles away, about 15-20 minutes by bicycle for an 8 year old. No movie theater, no bowling alley, no typical entertainment that urban folks take for granted. Even the school district I was in covered almost 40 square miles and only produced a graduating class of 103 students. The school bus route we were on was a 45 minute ride and we were relatively close to the school. For some students the ride was nearly 1 1/2 hours. For any kind of a social life, you needed your own way of getting around. After I got a go cart for Christmas at 8 years old, I discovered the joy of powered transportation. No more huffing and puffing up the many hills in our area on a bicycle. From there on to mini bikes, dirt bikes and a junker car to drive around in the fields and trails (and occasionally sneak out on to the dirt roads in the area) . As is typical for junker cars and older dirt bikes, used by an early teens operator, they were often broken down. My dad helped me with the repairs, sometimes my grand dad, until I was able to handle many repairs on my own. This experience became important when I was getting my first street car. A well used 1962 Chevy Nova was gifted to me on my 15th birthday by my dads brother. 6 cylinder, Powerglide wasn’t going to work out for a car crazed teenager, so the next 12 months were spent building a hot rod. 396 engine, 4 speed, Positraction. I had a neighbor who drag raced and he was a major help, as my dad was not a hot rod kind of guy.


The middle years


That experience, both the good and the bad, led me down the path I ended up taking. Within a year I was building another car, 1969 Chevelle also hot rodded. Both of these first 2 cars went to the dragstrip often, sparking a love of drag racing that persists some 50 years later. From that point forward, I almost always built, or at least modified my vehicles. Over the years I have owned in excess of 200 street legal cars and trucks, at least 75 motorcycles, and many “off road only” vehicles. I have tried my hand at various racing disciplines, road raced a Triumph Spitfire, stock cars on a circle track, motorcycles both road racing and dragstrip, even once drove a friends 360 sprint car when he rented a track for testing one day. Even with these experiences, my first love is still drag racing and fast street legal vehicles, hot rods in other words.As far as drag cars, I have had cars as fast as 8.7 seconds at 150 mph, as mild as 18 seconds at 70 mph and every shape and spec in between. Front wheel drive that ran 10.5 seconds at 130 mph, motorcycles as fast as 11 seconds at 120 mph. Some of my street vehicles have made a few trips down the quarter mile, usually in the 11 to 13 second range. I even had a hot rod diesel truck I used as a tow vehicle for my drag car, that ran 14.5 seconds in the quarter mile.


The view today


Some folks might say I have an obsession, I prefer to think of it as a love of automobiles. Even with all the ones I have owned, and the ones I still do own, there are countless others I would still love to experience. If I had won a lottery I probably would have spent the majority on vehicles. Not as a static display, but something to take out and enjoy. I have always driven every vehicle I owned, as that is the point in having them. It never mattered to me if it was a $500 beater pickup, or a collectable with a value near 6 figures. They are not wall art, even though many would qualify for that title based on their design or condition.


And that’s why I still play with cars. They are my mistress, without the dangers of having an actual mistress.


The last sentence of the post is “typical” DDM in being humorous, but not frivolous. Seems like the post needs at least one photo.








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Arizona’s Dirty Little Secret

Combined, my wonderful wife and I have been driving for more than 90 years. In that time we have had three instances of our windshields getting cracked from road debris. ALL THREE TIMES HAVE OCCURRED IN THE LAST THREE YEARS IN ARIZONA! The latest victim is my six-month old Mustang GT, which was hit yesterday. (The first cracked windshield was on a rental car when we were here for the Mecum auction in March, 2020.) At first, the windshield had a starburst pattern, but the crack quickly spread, is quite unsightly and, of course, is in my field of vision when driving.

After my wife’s Corvette needed its windshield replaced last April we decided to pay a little extra on our auto insurance to have all glass repair covered without any deductible. The big auto glass repair company will be here Monday to replace the windshield on the Mustang. By the way, it was both convenient and frightening that all I had to do when scheduling the appointment was to give the glass repair company our insurance policy number and within seconds they were able to confirm coverage and that I had no deductible.

Our former next-door neighbors, Emily and Chris, told me they have had to replace their windshields twice. A quick survey at the deli this morning indicated that most of the crew that works there has had to have their windshield replaced at least once.

So, what causes Arizona’s dirty little secret? One theory is that the asphalt used for road surfaces here has too high an aggregate content. With a high diurnal change in temperature being the norm here the material used gets loose too easily only to be kicked up by some vehicle ahead.

Another theory is that after heavy rains, like we had before my Mustang windshield was hit, rocks and other debris wash over road surfaces. Regardless of the reason, and Arizona will not change its asphalt formula, vehicles here are very susceptible to having their windshields hit.

I tried to take a photograph of the crack on the Mustang windshield. No attempt yielded a usable picture. It’s probably better that I won’t have a tangible reminder.


My (i)ncomparable niece edits books for a living. These books are usually published for governmental or quasi-governmental agencies. Here is something she sent me from one of those books.



I’m sure this is one of literally millions of examples of “Captain Obvious” passages in government work. People who believe that government is a panacea need an operation to have their heads removed from their rectums.


So, as I glibly mentioned to Philip Maynard in a comment, my choice for Mustang companion is dependent on what day of the week it is. Of course, when he reminded me of the day (Mittwoch or Wednesday; Mittwoch is German/Yiddish for middle of the week) I replied that I had “No frickin’ idea.” Of course, no disrespect was intended.

I will say that, as I write this, the choice is among a Jaguar F-Type convertible (6-cylinder only), a Cadillac XLR, or a Kappa platform convertible (Pontiac Solstice/Saturn Sky, turbocharged engine only). Those cars are listed in order of most expensive to least expensive. The fact that the F-Type was included in the latest iteration of my Ultimate Garage is in its favor, but is not a decision-maker.

IF I buy a car, and I think that probability exceeds 90%, then the likelihood that it’s one of the three cars mentioned above also exceeds 90%. However, the timing of such a purchase is still undetermined.

If anyone has a case to make for any of those three cars or any other relatively recent convertible, for that matter, please feel free to make the case even if you’ve made it before. Many thanks.







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Sort Of Throwback Thursday

Some things never change: on this day in 1190 in York, England, Jews sought refuge in Clifford’s Tower, which was then besieged by a mob; about 150 people were massacred or committed suicide rather than submit to Christian baptism.

Two days ago, in response to a significant increase in anti-Semitic incidents there, San Diego County Supervisors approved a resolution opposing anti-Semitic violence and hate. County Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer said, “It’s really sad to say that antisemitism is on the rise. It’s on the rise in our community and in our country. We’re not just talking about words and opinions. We’re talking about racist lies that are weaponized to fuel violence.” Of course, the setting is particularly sad to me as I lived in San Diego for five years and met my wonderful wife there.

Some things never change…


Well-worn territory…sixty years ago the US was in the middle of the 1963 model year for automobiles. That year is of special significance to me as three of my favorite cars, and three of the most significant as well in my opinion, were introduced. Originally published on the Mecum Auctions website, here are photos of those automobiles.


See the source image

See the source image

See the source image


I don’t need to identify these cars for the automobile enthusiasts who are reading, but I will, anyway. The top car is a Corvette Split-Window coupe from the first year of the second-generation Corvette. The car in the middle is a 1963 Buick Riviera and the one at the bottom is a 1963 Studebaker Avanti.

Stephen Cox asked his colleagues on air at a Mecum auction almost three years ago if they could have any three cars given to them for free, but they all had to be from the same model year, what cars and what year would they choose. My answer, 1963 and these three cars, came to me very easily and ever since then I have thought about the 1963 model year for American cars. My long series, Threes And Sevens, was chosen, in large part, so I could write about that year.

I very much enjoyed writing the 15 Threes And Sevens posts (1927 to 1997, inclusive), but doubt I could muster the energy for another similar effort, anymore. For a very brief time I did consider writing Zeroes And Fives along the same lines, however. Once again, I offer the opportunity for regular readers to write guest posts for this blog and if someone wants to write such a series, I would be glad to publish it.


What do you think of the news that the US has asked ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns popular “social media” company TikTok, to sell its stake or face a ban? Regular readers should be able to ascertain my stance. I believe that the Chinese government is no one’s friend, not even its own people. I have no doubt that ByteDance has supplied or will supply user data to the Chinese government if requested AND as required by Chinese “law.”

This remark by fellow Baltimore Polytechnic alum H.L. Mencken seems appropriate:


“The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the urge to rule it. Power is what all messiahs really seek: not the chance to serve.”


I couldn’t resist publishing this photo from the observation deck on the roof of our new house.



Of course, I have already shown the photo below on multiple occasions.



As always, I welcome thoughtful comments and ask that you spread the word about this blog. Thanks in advance.






If you like this blog please tell your friends and share the blog URL (https://disaffectedmusings.com). Thanks.