Throwback Thursday: A Horse With No Name

America’s “A Horse With No Name” has been the subject of previous posts, such as this one from May of 2021. Along with Al Green’s “Look What You’ve Done For Me” it brought me back to music after I had basically stopped listening to the radio for reasons long forgotten.

Although my birthday is in March I wanted to point out something I just realized: “A Horse With No Name” was the number one song on the Billboard Top 40/Hot 100 on my birthday 50 years ago, 1972. Could that be a reason I am fond of the song? I doubt it, although I have wondered if my affinity for instrumental music could in any way be related to the fact that “Theme From A Summer Place” topped the Billboard charts the day I was born. This is how my mind works or doesn’t.

 

See the source image

 

“🎼 On the first part of the journey

I was looking at all the life. 🎼”

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A link to a post from Why Evolution Is True on the topic of how too many US universities have turned into bastions of wokeness losing all semblance of fairness and respect for expression of diverse opinions. The piece shows an excerpt from the Kalven Report of 1967, a document that still guides policy at some American colleges, but not enough of them, in my opinion.

 

“The instrument of dissent and criticism is the individual faculty member or the individual student. The university is the home and sponsor of critics; it is not itself the critic. It is, to go back once again to the classic phrase, a community of scholars. To perform its mission in the society, a university must sustain an extraordinary environment of freedom of inquiry and maintain an independence from political fashions, passions, and pressures. A university, if it is to be true to its faith in intellectual inquiry, must embrace, be hospitable to, and encourage the widest diversity of views within its own community. It is a community but only for the limited, albeit great, purposes of teaching and research. It is not a club, it is not a trade association, it is not a lobby.”

 

Apparently, Princeton University is having a crisis of sorts started, somewhat ironically, by two undergraduate students who called out the school for repeated violations of “institutional neutrality.” Jerry Coyne, the author of Why Evolution Is True, included the thoughts of a distinguished Princeton professor, Robert P. George. Here is part of what George wrote:

 

“I have made clear that my own preference would be for the University and its units to respect institutional neutrality. I think that such a policy best serves the mission of universities such as ours by fostering for our students as well as our faculty the conditions of robust, civil debate. Where institutional neutrality is respected, no one is a heretic for deviating from an official party line. What the university and its units provide is a forum for the presentation of reasons, evidence, and arguments by people representing different views—a forum in which there is a genuine engagement among equals with no institutional thumb placed on the scales.

To my mind, the best policy is the one set forth in the University of Chicago’s Kalven Report, which was issued in 1967 and whose principles have guided that distinguished institution ever since…”

 

I love the phrase “with no institutional thumb placed on the scales.” Individuals at universities have the right to free speech; the institutions themselves should adopt no official positions. That position makes sense to me, but common sense is not common enough.

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Without revealing too many details, the additional delay of the repairs to the Z06 has ramifications far beyond the return of the car. When/if everything is sorted out, I’ll fill in the facts.

 

#ThrowbackThursday

#AHorseWithNoName

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Lost Wednesday

I don’t want to live in the past (which can’t be changed, anyway), but I don’t really like the glimpses of the future I see. Of course, and for the nth to the n time, history is replete with examples of the folly of human beings trying to predict the future.

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Well, the Z06 saga continues. Last week, the person in charge of the job informed me the parts needed to complete the work were scheduled to arrive this week. Of course, that is not to be. Yesterday, I was informed the parts will not be delivered until the last week of August.

Can you blame me for wanting to wash my hands of the whole thing and get rid of the Z06? I keep thinking about this car.

 

See the source image

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This CNBC article is about the 12 least affordable housing markets in the US. A company called RealtyHop compiled the list based on median household income in each market, median for-sale prices and local property taxes. To encourage you to read the entire article, I am only going to list the five least affordable markets.

 

1. Miami

2. Los Angeles

3. New York

4. Newark, New Jersey

5. Hialeah, Florida

 

Yes, the median home price is higher in Los Angeles and New York than in Miami, but so is median income. In all three of those markets, the share of income needed to cover housing expenses exceeds 80% according to RealtyHop. Talk about being house poor.

Phoenix was not one of the 12 least affordable housing markets despite the recent boom in prices, although the market here is softening as I suspect it is in most of the country. Of course, it wasn’t that long ago that the 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged about 3%. Now, it is closer to 5.5%. By the way, even the latter figure is not high by historical standards, but people born after 1985-1990 have no clue. Talk about temporal arrogance.

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This post from Pro Football Talk reports that the TV ratings for a recent NFL preseason game (Seahawks-Steelers) were better than the ratings for a baseball regular season game (Yankees-Red Sox or Mariners-Rangers). Oh, the football game was televised on NFL Network which is in many fewer homes (40 million fewer, to be exact) than Fox, the network that broadcast the baseball game.

Professional football is, by far, the most popular sport in the US and college football is second. While I am not mentally salivating, I am looking forward to the return of meaningful football games on TV.

 

#LostWednesday

#SupplyChainDisruptionsAreRidiculous!

#UnaffordablePlacesToLive

#FootballIsKing

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Fading Tuesday

Once again, I have been skewered by the decline in memory with age, compounded by the time of day I am writing this (about 3 AM) and a relative lack of sleep (4 hours). I had thought of a great opening for today’s post, but didn’t write it down and it has been lost.

You didn’t think I was going to write about Elvis Presley, did you? I am far more likely to have written about Babe Ruth; both died on this day but, of course, in different years.

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My wonderful wife and I stumbled upon this sign on Saturday:

 

 

I guess I must now write the obligatory joke. What do toilet paper and the USS Enterprise have in common? They both search Uranus for Klingons.

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Here are some less frivolous photos:

 

 

I don’t know what compelled me to take this photo. I think that from where I was sitting it looked as if the shadow was a real structure in the room. Seen here, it has lost something in translation.

 

 

I wish I knew how to change shutter speed on my iPhone camera. Then again, maybe I don’t.

 

 

The person who wrote the blog L Weaves Words, before an un-fixable issue disabled her access to her own site, used to comment on how amazing the clouds looked in Arizona. I hope she’s reading this.

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It was inevitable and long-rumored: Dodge has officially announced it will discontinue the Challenger and Charger models at the end of the 2023 model year. From this CNBC article about the announcement:

 

2022 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat (left) and 2022 Dodge Challenger SRT Super Stock

 

What can I do except to lament the march of the lemmings that will, eventually, drag all of us over the cliff?

 

“Do not go gentle into that good night…

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

 

I am fading, indeed.

 

#FadingTuesday

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Broken Mooring Monday

Jerry Coyne, the author of Why Evolution Is True, published this post on Saturday titled, “Anne Frank had white privilege?” He admits, “This isn’t a huge kerfuffle, because the morons espousing the thesis in the title aren’t numerous.” Still, he later writes, “But as I’ve said before, there is no object, no concept, no organization, and no activity that cannot be demonized by some crazied Wokesters. Anne Frank, for crying out loud!”

People are entitled to their opinions, I guess, but I want to lobotomize those who hold such views. I mean, they’re not really using their brains, anyway.

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“Everybody Wants To Rule The World” is one of the few non-progressive jazz, non-instrumental rock songs that I like. This post from Why Evolution Is True is about Coyne’s affection for the song, the debate over the meaning of the lyrics and that “this is really a work of musical genius.”

I don’t think I was very familiar with the song until I watched the movie Real Genius. Everybody Wants To Rule The World is played at the end of the film and over the closing credits. In general, accompanying music–the soundtrack, if you will–can enhance or detract from the enjoyment of watching a TV show or a film.

The early seasons of House had some great music, much of which was composed for the show. Transplant also has some great accompanying music as does, believe it or not, Everyday Driver.

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From this Archon’s Den post:

 

A young Math PhD got a job at a research facility.  His boss took him on a tour of the facility.  Nearing lunchtime, he showed him to the cafeteria.  As they entered, his boss yelled out, “47!”  Everyone in the room laughed uproariously.  Minutes later, another man entered, and shouted, “13!”  Again, everyone laughed.

Curious, the newbie asked what was going on.  His boss explained that most of the staff had worked together so long, that they had reduced their jokes to numbers, to save time.  The next day, as he was entering the cafeteria, he bellowed, “Negative four.”  The room dissolved in hilarity.  He looked questioningly at his boss.  “I was just kidding.  Why all the mirth?”  The boss replied, “They’ve never heard that one before.”

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Normally, after taking a day or two off from posting I am full of ideas and end up writing a longer than average post. Today, though, I’m just not feeling it. That’s why I am re-posting stuff from elsewhere. In that vein, here is a link to a Hagerty piece about five vehicles whose value has been increasing longer than any others that Hagerty has tracked. The first paragraph is worth reading and worth showing here:

 

“The collector car market is clearly having a moment. Consider that in early 2019 you could have bought a nice Nissan 300ZX for a bit more than $20,000; today that car is worth nearly $50K. More or less the same story holds true across a variety of price ranges and segments—unprecedented growth in a short time. Much ink has been spilled about what’s driving this appreciation, from pandemic-fueled boredom to the emergence of online auctions to the simple fact that in 2022 certain people will pay wild sums for anything (Bored Ape NFT, anyone?). There’s also been plenty of speculation about when this party might end and how bad the hangover could be.”

 

Two of the five vehicles are SUVs and, as such, are of no interest to me. Let me repeat myself for the nth to the n time: I DO NOT have to be interested in SUVs, pickup trucks, EVs, motorcycles or any other type of transportation. I like what I like and others can like different things.

The most interesting of the five to me is probably this, an Alfa Romeo GT 1300 Junior Zagato; this picture is not from the article:

 

See the source image

 

Obviously, the picture is from RM Sotheby’s. Maybe you can’t tell, but this is a very small car. Its overall length is just 153 inches, its wheelbase is 93 inches and its curb weight is a little over 2,100 pounds. The car, through mid-year 1972 (the car was built from 1969 to 1975), was powered by a 1.3 liter/79 cubic inch inline 4-cylinder engine producing 101 HP/101 LB-FT of torque (gross rating).

I think the design reminds me of a Saab Sonett 3 (pictured below) and is quite fetching. I am under no illusion the Alfa would be a practical car; I just really like the way it looks, just like I am a fan of the looks of the Sonett.

 

See the source image

 

I have to admit that I briefly considered the Alfa Romeo 4C as a car I might acquire if I decide I don’t want the Z06 after repairs are complete. The Alfa name just has too poor of a reputation for reliability, though. The last thing I want or need is another car that has to spend a lot of time in the shop. It was four months ago today that the Z06 first failed to start. I have only had the car in my possession for a couple of weeks since then and it never really ran right when I drove it.

 

As always, I welcome thoughtful comments. I also ask that you share the existence of this blog with friends and acquaintances and feel free to click on any ad in which you have genuine interest. Thanks.

 

#BrokenMooringMonday

#WokeIsACult

#EverybodyWantsToRuleTheWorld

#AlfaRomeoGTJuniorZagato

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Searching For Saturday

Since my wonderful wife retired at the end of last year I really have lost almost all sense of the day of the week. Of course, many would say I’ve taken leave of my senses altogether.

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A brief video of yesterday’s rainfall. WeatherNation reported that Scottsdale, Arizona received 1.85 inches of rain yesterday…in 30 minutes. It rained at our house for more than four hours.

Some might say it is hypocritical for me to like the rain in Arizona, but criticize the rain in Florida. The law of diminishing marginal returns is in effect here as it is almost everywhere else.

 

Annual Averages

Scottsdale, Arizona:  38 days of precipitation, 10 inches

Miami, Florida:        129 days of precipitation, 62 inches

 

Talk about an apples to oranges comparison…there is nothing good or bad but context makes it so. Besides, there are no mountains in Florida that one can watch become covered in clouds and rain or, perhaps, snow.

 

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Do I really need to comment about the attack on noted author Salman Rushdie, 33 years after a fatwa calling for his assassination was issued by the evil leader of Iran? In case you don’t know, the fatwa was issued because of Rushdie’s book, The Satanic Verses. Extreme intolerance is the partner of extreme ideology. I wouldn’t argue if one removed the word “extreme” from the previous sentence.

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Scientific American has lost all credibility as a scientific publication. Here is a link to a post from Why Evolution Is True titled, “Scientific American finds the search for extraterrestrial intelligence racist and colonialist.” Truth is stranger than fiction, indeed.

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This Hemmings piece from yesterday asks, “Is it wrong to permanently modify a rare, original car?” That question is, in itself, a bit judgmental, in my opinion, but the intent is understood. The comments were as interesting to read to me as the article, which is not intended as a slight. By the way, the car at the center of the piece was a Porsche 968 owned by British car vlogger (video blogger) James Martin. I will hold my nose and show a picture of such a car:

 

See the source image

 

Although the likelihood I ever own such a car asymptotically approaches zero, I would never modify a 1930 Duesenberg Model J, for example, unless one counts using 3-D printed parts to substitute for unobtainable originals. HOWEVER, one what does with their car and with their money is their business, in my opinion, as long as it’s legal.

The commenters had different opinions on the issue. Most had the same take as I do.

 

“Personally I would also feel badly about modifying a rare or historically significant car. But I respect every owner’s right to do as he/she sees fit with their property, so I would never give anyone grief over it.”

“That’s the same way I feel. I wouldn’t do it, but they can do whatever they want with their property. Come to think about it, I do get a little ticked off when someone tells me I shouldn’t have done something (or should have done something) with my cars. To each his/her own.”

 

A minority of commenters disagreed, like this person:

 

“We are caretakers, we owe it to preserving the past as intended by the designer to keep it original as “possible”. Excepting replacing maintenance items. To take, say a 1955 Original Buick Century Convertible, and “permanently” modify it like remove the side ports, hood and deck ornaments, etc. to me would be a disaster. You pass on to the hereafter but the “vehicle” goes to others to be “caretakers” of it.”

 

This is an age-old question in the automobile world, of course. I have asked for your opinions on this topic before, but would still like to read your views.

 

#SearchingForSaturday

#MonsoonSeason

#IdeologyIsIntolerance

#ToModifyOrNotToModify

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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1478

 

 

 

Friday Friendly’s Fribble®

Has the quest for alliteration gone too far? When will the madness end? Stay tuned for the next episode of As Rules Of Logic Turns.

By the way, Fribble is just the name for a Friendly’s milkshake. Do you have or have you ever had Friendly’s where you live(d)? They serve meals in addition to ice cream. My wonderful wife and I would dine there occasionally while we lived in the mid-Atlantic.

 

Fribble(R)

 

One meal at a Friendly’s I remember well was when I began my seventh and last semester as an undergraduate in college. My then girlfriend accompanied me and my father up to school–which was about a 75-minute drive from where I lived–and we stopped at the Friendly’s near campus. I did not have a car at that time and my father surprised me by offering to take me to school. He would surprise me again at the end of the semester when he drove to pick me up and bring me home. The meal at Friendly’s was among the most enjoyable of my life.

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I found this story interesting: the purchase of a majority stake in Barrett-Jackson by IMG. I had an interesting text dialogue yesterday with Scott Hoke and John Kraman about this development. I would be betraying their confidence to reveal their thoughts. I think the fact that IMG is buying a majority stake is of great significance. A company like that would not own most of an asset and not end up being in charge, eventually. I learned today that the purchase price was $261 million.

I don’t know anything about Craig Jackson other than what he wants the public to know. However, he might have decided to ease his way into retirement by selling a majority stake in the company. Of course, I could be adding two and two and getting six.

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I am thinking more and more about this car:

 

 

According to the episode of Everyday Driver where this car was compared to a Porsche 718 Cayman and BMW M2 Competition Coupe, the Supra has the fastest 0-60 time of the three at 3.9 seconds. That, my friends, is fast.

It was a big deal when the C5 Corvette Z06 had a 0-60 acceleration time of 4.0 seconds, granting that was 20 years ago. A current-generation Supra is faster, 0-60, than both of my first two Corvettes. Think about that for awhile.

Does it sound to you as if I have already made up my mind to sell my Z06 whenever it is returned and to buy a Supra? I would swear that I haven’t, but maybe I’m not sure about that.

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This CNBC article reports that “wealthy” American households, defined in a SmartAsset survey as those earning $200,000 or more annually, are flocking to the Sun Belt. Not surprisingly, the two states losing the most high earners in 2019-2020 were California and New York. Here are the five states receiving the most wealthy households; you’ll have to read the article to see which states rounded out the top ten:

 

 

  1. Florida: 20,263
  2. Texas: 5,356
  3. Arizona: 5,268
  4. North Carolina: 4,713
  5. South Carolina: 3,967

 

California and New York were each -20,000 or worse. I would never live in Florida under any circumstances, I think the weather is actually awful with the rain and humidity and I really like to look at mountains, but one can understand the desire by wealthy people to live in a place with no state income tax. If they can, people tend to vote with their feet.

For those on one side of the political spectrum who say “Good Riddance” to wealthy people, I remind you that it is not usually an optimal development to have a jurisdiction’s tax base shrink significantly. Despite the refusal by many to accept this basic fact or wish that it was not so, the United States is a federal republic and not a unitary one.

 

#FridayFriendlysFribble

#Barrett-Jackson

#ToyotaSupra

#PeopleVoteWithTheirFeet

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Hall of Very Good Cars: The Z06 Replacement?

First, I have another dream to report. It was a bit strange, but not too disturbing. I dreamt I was in attendance at a large outdoor gathering. The purpose was either unknown to me at the time or has been lost forever to dreamland.

Thousands of people were there from all sorts of disciplines and occupations. I recognized two people: the first General Manager for whom I worked in baseball (who died last December) and the brilliant former high school classmate of whom I have written before, like here.

The two wound up in close proximity and my former classmate tried to strike up a conversation. My former boss seemed totally disinterested and began moving away.

I approached my former boss and began to tell him he had no idea from whom he was walking away. I rattled off my former classmate’s academic achievements, but my former boss moved away from me quite quickly.

As is the case with all dreams I can remember that had deceased people in them (except one), the former General Manager did not speak. I don’t believe that all dreams are just random neural firings with no meaning. I used to have very similar dreams over and over, like driving in my car and realizing that I was lost and in a bad neighborhood. What last night’s dream meant, though, is beyond me.

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Every regular reader should already know the identity of today’s Hall of Very Good Cars member. I mean, I just wrote about it yesterday.

 

 

In case you can’t tell, or even if you can, these pictures of a current generation Toyota Supra were taken at the Mecum auction in Glendale, Arizona in March, 2022. Yes, I would buy one in yellow although I would prefer red or gray/silver.

These cars are built on the same assembly line in Graz, Austria as the current generation BMW Z4 convertible. In an episode of Everyday Driver Todd Deeken remarked, “I’m not sure what would offend more people: that the best Toyota currently made is a BMW or that the best BMW is a Toyota. You’re equally offended.”

The current Supra is basically a BMW, but with Toyota badging. Paul Schmucker said during the same episode, “BMW built a car for Toyota with better steering feel and handling than they built for themselves.”

I would opt for the turbo six engine and an automatic transmission. (Both Everyday Driver hosts had much praise for the Supra automatic.) BMW has developed a reputation for understating engine output; many feel–and have proof–that the Supra is not immune from this sandbagging. Although the stated output for the Supra six-cylinder engine has been increased from 335 to 382 HP, many people have dyno slips showing the horsepower number begins with a 4. The official torque rating is 368 LB-FT. Remember that this car’s curb weight is just 3,400 pounds.

I know their styling is not everyone’s cup of tea, but I have grown very fond of the look of this car. In person, it’s almost as if the car is alive and exuding a strong presence.

I have not decided for sure that I will sell the Z06 and buy one of these. New Supras are not available around here as the ’22s are sold out and the ’23s have not been delivered. Used ones are not plentiful, either. My preference would actually be to buy one from Carvana, but they didn’t have any available cars listed yesterday anywhere in the country. Carvana doesn’t charge any “garbage fees” as my wonderful wife calls them going back to her days in the mortgage business. Also, I can drive the car for a week and if I don’t like it, they will take the car back, no questions asked.

I guess I will just have to wait and see how I feel when my Z06 is returned. If the feeling of trepidation does not wane quickly, I will probably sell the car.

 

#HallofVeryGoodCars

#TheMysteriesOfDreamland

#ToyotaSupra

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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The Reluctant Post

I wasn’t going to post today, giving myself a break after writing for ten consecutive days. I was surprised by the response I received to yesterday’s post (both inside and outside the confines of the blog), There’s Bad Everywhere, in which I wrote about Pete Rose.

I think the evidence is beyond overwhelming that Rose is an awful person regardless of how many hits he amassed in his baseball career. Of course, people are entitled to a different view than mine, but mine was not created out of thin air. I offer this piece by someone who used to be an admirer of his. I realize some might question the motives of the author, but Rose has given the world almost unlimited fodder for articles like this.

That’s the last time I will write about this topic.

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Sometimes I’m a little too quick to permanently delete emails. I don’t want to have thousands of emails in either my Inbox or Saved email folders.

Unfortunately, I deleted an email that had a tantalizing tidbit about the possible release of a new model from Chevrolet; I was going to offer it was the Malibu, but they are still selling a model by that name. An admittedly brief Internet search did not unearth the story.

The reason I thought this merited a mention was that this new vehicle is to be powered by a good old-fashioned Internal Combustion Engine, a 2.7 liter turbocharged V-6, if I recall correctly. Of course, the same article reported that Buick and Cadillac would be “all-electric” starting in 2030 although GM is playing a little fast and loose with that definition by including hybrids. I want to show a brief snippet of a piece about electric cars from someone in another country (Chile):

 

“Politicians are forcing electromobility, regardless of whether it’s technically and environmentally sound or not. This is fully in line with the increasing trend toward technically unfounded, purely political decisions, that are increasingly common in many places of the world.  We are living in a strange age when technology and science are as highly developed as never before on earth, but at the same time the people making all-important decisions are increasingly incapable or unwilling to understand even basic technology and science, and decide by feeling, belief and fashion instead of hard facts.”

 

Bravo! One of the main points this person made is that unless the electricity used to charge EVs comes from non fossil fuel sources, then these cars are not that much better for the environment than modern ICE cars. He also pointed out that no EV actually has the range reported by the manufacturer and that if one looks at the fine print in the ads one will notice a disclaimer like this, “this figure was computed from calculated performance data, or that it is valid with an optional high capacity battery which is not included in the price printed at the top of the page.”

Mr. Chile also wrote, “In short, it’s not a real range you can expect to get under actual, normal, everyday driving conditions. That actual range is shorter, and often very much shorter. Many people who drive electric cars report that with a fully charged battery, the range estimation shown on the dashboard is much lower than the value claimed in the advertising, and that while driving the car the estimation of remaining range drops at a significantly faster rate than the odometer counts up. The final range they can actually achieve is rarely more than 60 to 70% of the claimed range. And on cold days, when they want heating and in addition the battery performance drops, the true range can melt down to 20% of the advertised value!”

I will be, and have been, accused of having a blind spot about electric vehicles. Well, I have no fear of disagreeing with the so-called consensus (I wouldn’t have had a 20+ year career in baseball if I did) and I do not accept politicians forcing their agenda on me. EVs are not the answer.

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No, I still don’t have the Z06 and also have no idea when I will. I send a text to the owner of the shop every two weeks. Two weeks ago he wrote that he had “sourced” the parts and expected them to arrive “any day.” Today he simply wrote that he would “check in with his advisor.”

If you asked me today, I would say it’s highly likely I will sell the car almost immediately upon its return. If I buy a replacement what am I most likely to buy?

 

 

I think I can sell the Z06 and buy a used (2020 or 2021) Supra for about the same price. I have done some research. My biggest obstacle to buying a Supra is that, in reality, it is a BMW despite the Toyota badging.

I sort of wish I liked the look of the current generation Mustang more, but I just don’t. I could buy a low-mileage 2020 or 2021 GT Premium for substantially less than the Supra, and without the taint of a German make, but the cars just don’t light me up.

Of course, I could feel differently when (if?) my Z06 is actually back in our garage. I would like to read thoughts from you on this topic.

 

#TheReluctantPost

#EVsAreNotTheAnswer

#ToyotaSupra

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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There’s Bad Everywhere

I have written about this line from the movie Midnight Run. Once again:

 

Jonathan Mardukas (played by Charles Grodin): There’s good and bad everywhere, Jack.

Jack Walsh (played by Robert DeNiro): There’s bad everywhere. Good I don’t know about.

 

This recent piece from the Philadelphia Inquirer is about a very bad person, Pete Rose. I have had the misfortune of interacting with him on more than one occasion. It is difficult to imagine a more immature, more self-absorbed person, although such people do exist, sadly.

From the first time I became aware of Rose as a young baseball fan around the age of 10, something about him rubbed me the wrong way. I started calling him Pete Blows when I was a teenager. I do not claim to be clairvoyant, so-called psychics are charlatans (talk about bad people), but everything about him has proven my initial feelings to be correct.

I don’t think he should be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, but don’t really care that much about the issue. So many unworthy players have been enshrined that it doesn’t matter who’s in and who’s out. The lifetime hits record? He was a below average offensive player for at least the last five years of his career, far below the average for a first baseman, his position by then. Guess who his manager was the last two-plus years of his playing career? Pete Rose. He put himself in the lineup, to the detriment of his team, so he could break the record. To paraphrase Shakespeare, there is nothing good or bad but context makes it so.

During my 20+ years in baseball I formed the very strong belief that except for their ability to play baseball (that includes their competitive nature), most baseball players are entirely unremarkable people. While a few were exemplary as far as I could tell, Trevor Hoffman comes to mind, some were like Pete Blows. My good friend Bob wanted to know why I didn’t reveal the identity of the person who played a major role in my being fired by the Orioles in 1994. I told him that he is not a public figure and that almost no one reading this blog would recognize his name. I will not reveal the names of some of the other awful people I encountered in the game, but I’ll offer their initials: RJ, DW, and JL.

No one should be worshiped, whether they are an athlete, an entertainer, a politician or whomever. There’s bad everywhere. Good I don’t know about.

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Speaking of bad people and influences: I recently received an email from my brokerage company about the increase in financial scams. As I have written before, I believe that in most cases the success of a scam depends less on its cleverness than it does on the greed and ignorance of its mark. This CNBC article reports on younger people receiving financial “advice” from social media and why that it so dangerous. From the piece:

 

“Nearly half of Gen Z social media users (those aged 18 to 25) say they’ve felt negatively about their finances after seeing posts from others, according to a recent survey from Bankrate.

Frankly, it’s kind of by design; 46% of Gen Zers in Bankrate’s survey admitted to posting things to make themselves look more successful in the eyes of their followers. “And those numbers are likely higher,” says Bankrate analyst Sarah Foster, pointing out that 62% of all survey participants said they thought people they followed did as much.”

 

In the ultimate example of Captain Obvious, the author of the article writes that you can’t always trust what you see on social media. However, no matter how outrageous or how false something posted there might be, Pareto’s 80-20 rule suggests that at least 20% of people reading it will believe it. With the way platform algorithms work, I suspect that percentage is, sadly, much higher.

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I did not forget the significance of today’s date and of August 6th in world history. Of course, the latter was the day in 1945 that the United States military dropped the first atomic bomb used in combat on Hiroshima. Today’s date was the day an atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki.

Historical revisionism is everywhere. The truth is that even after both bombs were dropped on Japan and even after the Soviet Union declared war on Japan, the Japanese Supreme Council could not decide on whether or not to accept the Potsdam Declaration. Prime Minister Suzuki, in an unprecedented step, asked Emperor Hirohito to break the deadlock. He decided to surrender in large part because he wanted to spare the country further destruction from atomic weapons.

If Japan was really begging to surrender, as is so often said by revisionists, then why was the Council deadlocked? Why was Japan massing hundreds of thousands of troops on the main island in advance of a potential US invasion? Too many people refuse to let the facts get in the way of their opinions.

 

I have not stopped all automotive content, but as I have written on more than one occasion such content will be less prevalent. I DO NOT have to join the crowd and buy an electric SUV.

 

#There’sBadEverywhere

#StickToTheFacts

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Mellifluous Monday

Mellifluous: Adjective, sweet or pleasant to hear

For about a year I hosted a weekly sports talk show on a small radio station outside of Baltimore. The station was part of the Orioles radio network.

One week I had the privilege of having former Baltimore Colts Art Donovan (the first Colt elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame) and Jim Mutscheller in the studio as guests. Sadly, both are no longer among the living.

I knew Donovan because I was the Associate Producer (as mentioned here, a fancy term for a call screener) for a sports talk show on another station and on Mondays during football season he was part of the show, which was actually conducted in a restaurant and not the studio. He was more than happy to drive out to the small town where I hosted the show and surprised me by bringing Mutscheller along.

Coming out of a commercial break I said, “We’re back with the mellifluous tones of Art Donovan and Jim Mutscheller.” Donovan then exclaimed, “What the hell does that mean? Hey, Bugs, he’s cursin’ on Sunday!” (My show started at noon on Sunday.) I laughed out loud for quite some time.

Artie was never one to hold back. In response to a question about the increase in the popularity of pro football in the late 1950s–for which the 1958 Colts-Giants overtime championship game is given too much credit, in my opinion–Donovan said, “We were at the right place at the right time. Baseball was around, but people were tired of watching guys tightening their gloves and scratching their asses every time they swung.”

I can only imagine what he would have thought of political correctness, wokeness and other similar societal lunacy.

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Speaking of Baltimore sports, today is a milestone birthday for someone with whom I worked in Baseball Operations for the Orioles. To my face, he always told me how much he respected my knowledge and passion for the game.

He called me at home about three weeks after the Orioles fired me in January, 1994 and told me he looked forward to working with me again. I soon found out he played a major role in my being fired by telling the General Manager I was a double agent of sorts by working for a player agent while I was still working for the team. That was false, but since I was an at-will employee, I could be fired at any time for any reason.

This person did become a General Manager for two different teams and was in that role a long time. Still, I was warned about him around 1990 by Birdie Tebbetts while he was a scout for us. Tebbetts had a long and distinguished career as a player, manager (he was Frank Robinson’s first major league manager), scout and executive. Birdie told me that this person would stab anyone in the back he thought was a threat to his ascending to a GM position. As usual, Birdie was right.

At that time, almost no one with my background could have hoped to aspire to being a General Manager. Moneyball wasn’t published until 2003. Still, this person was so paranoid and so ambitious he thought nothing of getting me out of the way.

I have often thought I should let him know that I know of the role he played in my being fired by the Orioles. What would that accomplish, though?

If anyone has any relevant thoughts on this matter, I would like to read them.

 

#MellifluousMonday

#ArtDonovan

#WatchYourBack

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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