What To Say Saturday

The flash drive with my copy of the Action! PC Football 2020 NFL game arrived in the mail yesterday. Like every other piece of mail since the coronavirus situation exploded, the envelope was disinfected and will stay “quarantined” for at least two days before I open it. Yes, there are no documented cases of transmission via mail. Uh, tell that to my OCD brain.

Unfortunately for me, behaviors adopted ostensibly for the crisis will almost certainly continue for the rest of my life. I think millions of people, tens of millions, will develop a type of PTSD that could affect them for a long time, if not the rest of their lives.

I do not pretend to know what is the right path for governments and their citizens to adopt in terms of “normalization.” Some countries, like Sweden, didn’t really lockdown. The government issued voluntary guidelines for behavior while emphasizing keeping a distance from vulnerable segments of the population, like the elderly. The Swedish government’s goal was to reach herd immunity.

In South Korea, the country was also not ever placed under a mandatory stay-at-home order. However, the South Korean government instituted widespread testing and contact tracing. If someone in your neighborhood tested positive, the entire neighborhood received texts naming the person(s) and their address(es). I don’t think most US citizens would tolerate that type of government “intrusion” even if it saves lives. My understanding (blogger engages in frantic Internet search to find articles with data, but comes up empty) is that South Korea has had very low rates of infection and death without the total disruption to the economy that other countries, like the US, have experienced.

Even people with MDs and Ph.Ds in epidemiology don’t KNOW what the “optimal” path for policy is. Their guesses are better informed than most of the rest of us, but they don’t KNOW. However, doing nothing and pretending the situation doesn’t exist is almost certainly not the best course of action.

As I may have written before, my routine has been affected far less than most people. I don’t “work” and I don’t have a large group of people with whom I socialize on a regular basis. Basically, my wonderful wife and I can’t dine out, can’t attend car shows or visit antique stores. Still, perception is reality even if it isn’t. I perceive that my life has been radically altered and some of my behavior reinforces that perception.


Executing a hard turn…how about this as a Corvette companion/grocery car?


Used 2008 Maserati GranTurismo Coupe Kenner, LA 70065 - 550668987 - 4


From this AutoTrader ad a picture of a 2008 Maserati GranTurismo. This BEAUTIFUL car is in Grigio Touring Metallic over Grigio Medio. That’s basically Gray over Gray.

This example has 16,600 miles and the seller, a dealer in Louisiana, is asking $25,880. According to the ad, the Kelley Blue Book® value range is $26,431 to $30,558. It is rare to see a dealer ask less than the low end of this range.

The Maserati GranTurismo qualifies as a grocery car because it has four seats and a trunk. The fact that it has 405 HP/339 LB-FT of torque and is a beautiful car are just bonuses, really. It’s a good thing I’m not Pinocchio because my nose would be growing…

My wonderful wife would prefer a convertible and I would prefer an S spec car, but those cost more money. For a little more than 40 percent of what we paid for each of our Corvettes, we could have a stylish, high-performance Italian car with a Ferrari engine. Neither of us has ever owned an Italian car.

Any thoughts on this car? This is not the Maserati 3200GT that was voted out, 3-2, but is obviously similar. I just want this coronavirus situation to go away so we can proceed with our lives and move to the desert.







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10 thoughts on “What To Say Saturday

  1. I honestly don’t see our lives returning to the normal we knew 2 months ago. The restrictions that have been put in place on travel, social gathering of all types, restaurant capacity and even foodstuff availability will be around for a while. Not to mention the employment, or lack of, of millions of folks and the resultant belt tightening.

    On the sports front ( I really only follow motorsports), is playing games in empty stadiums a sustainable option? Or even 1/3 full stadiums? (I know some teams struggle to have even that many paying customers at times) Gotta have paying customers to be able to keep the venue open and pay the salaries. As for motorsports, same deal. Tracks depend on the 1 or 2 big events each year for their operating capital. I know at the present the big NASCAR track in my area, Atlanta Motor Speedway, wouldn’t be able to have as many spectators due to renting out parking for unused rental cars (I have heard 3000-4000 are being stored there).

    Some of these restrictions effect some folks harder than others. Our companies business has dropped off by about 80% at the moment. Nobody is wanting to have contractors in their facility, and the OEM’s that we work with aren’t traveling.. I know it will eventually pick back up, but I’m not sure to what level. In a typical year I would spend 150-200 nights away from home. My last trip was mid March and I really don’t see me back on the road until maybe July. At that rate I might spend 75-100 nights away. As one of the owners of the company, and having turned 62 last year, I was going to start slowing up on the travel next year. I suspect that will be enforced by the business climate, as much as by my desire.It’s going to be “interesting” I think, and a whole new normal.

    As for the Maserati; I suspect the factory wouldn’t be impressed that it was being considered as a “grocery getter”( not that what they would think matters)

    Sorry about the long response. Sometimes my mind goes in 10 different directions and my fingers just keep at it.


    1. Please don’t apologize for the length of your comments. You make tremendous contributions to this blog.

      I really only follow football. The majority of revenue for NFL teams comes from the TV contracts so as long as they play, the league will be fine. I expect ratings to be excellent this year even with a Presidential election.

      I don’t really expect a return to the status quo ante, either, but I am really struggling with this situation.


  2. There are many folks struggling right now, either financially or emotionally. Many are having a hard time having been declared “non essential” and becoming unemployed. Going from “bread winner” to bread line occupant can be devastating.I’m lucky that my investments haven’t tanked completely, real estate is still ok for the moment, but there is a lot less in the other investments than 2 months ago.Unless I go on a spending spree, I’ll be ok. I suspect 95% of folks don’t have that luxury. Whats getting to me mostly is the boredom. I enjoy where I live, I have my auto and motorcycle projects, but I miss the interactions of in person meetings, both business and socially.

    I didn’t consider the TV revenues. I guess, given the recent trend towards “cutting the cord”, if they are on over the air broadcast they will be ok. But there will still be losses to the host arena. I read once how much a host city made from each home game, taking in everything from from hotel rooms, to beer sales at the stadium, and it was eye opening, in the millions of dollars.Given that loss of revenue, to both the venue and the host city in tax revenue, I believe there will end up being changes. Can’t support a stadium if there is no revenue generated from people not attending the game.

    It’s times like these I wish my magic 8 ball was a crystal ball.


    1. Almost all NFL broadcasts are either on CBS or FOX. Concession and ticket revenue will suffer for a season, but the teams will be fine. Municipalities will, indeed, see a huge reduction in revenue.

      The lessons that should have been learned in 2007-2009 were not learned. Debt is never your friend. Live below your means and f*ck the Joneses. (As in keeping up with…)

      I haven’t worked full-time since 2012. My wife and I have no debt and are liquid. We have nice cars and a nice house, but we bought items we could easily afford.

      When we moved to Texas we were pre-approved for a $350,000 house. Our realtor (may she rest in peace) wanted to show us houses priced at that level. We bought a nice house for half that much. Too many people have eyes bigger than their wallets. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.


    2. The COVID-19 pandemic is the straw that broke the camel’s back. Back in the fall the Fed had to provide liquidity through the Repo window to the likes of JP Morgan. Many countries took hits, but their economies seem to be coming back. So no we will never be “normal” again; the question is how “abnormal” the new normal will be.


      1. Yes, I think “normal” will be a new normal although, unfortunately, if most people didn’t assimilate lessons from 2007-2009, then many won’t now.


  3. While channel surfing yesterday (Saturday) we flashed by ESPN and watched a few minutes of South Korean professional baseball. Just for your information.

    On the car, you’d be hard pressed to put more than a weeks worth of groceries in it, IMHO, Nice car though. This from the guy who drives a Dodge Journey for its necessary hauling capacity and who buys groceries on Senior discount day.

    Stay safe.


      1. The way the grocery shelves have been ravaged of late due to the panic-induced buying caused by the quarantine, you need to go more than once a week and early in the morning just to see what has been restocked while you slept. This in order to possibly find that one necessary item you seek. After the panic we all need to make a list of the essentials and stock up on those to prevent anxiety during the next panic by the herd. Unless of course you are like me and already have a “stash” for just such an eventuality.


      2. The panic buying seems to have mostly subsided in these parts although, of course, I still can’t buy Lysol® spray anywhere. I just won’t go more than once a week even now, especially now as even gloved and masked shopping is an anxiety-inducing behavior of the highest order.


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