One Hand Giveth, The Other Taketh

From the pictures below you can see that my new wheels have finally been mounted, more than seven weeks after they were ordered and paid for.



For reference, here is a picture with the old wheels:



Yes, I am very happy with the look of the new wheels. Of course, apparently I am not entitled to have everything run smoothly. I was supposed to take the Z06 into the “speed shop” early next week for parts and tuning that would boost horsepower and torque. Some of those parts (get it?) were to be ceramic-coated racing headers.

I received a call Wednesday that my appointment will have to be rescheduled. Why? The company that the speed shop uses for ceramic coating is way behind in doing its work. What’s worse is that the ceramic coating company is soon to be out of business as its owner is retiring and the headers for my car may have to be coated by another company, which will delay the process further.

I’ll ask no one in particular: WTF?


All that being said, I really like this remark by Henry James:

“Excellence does not require perfection.”

Of course, Voltaire’s “Perfect is the enemy of good” is also applicable. Still, life seems to be very far from perfect and, for the most part, far from excellence.

The speed shop manager apologized to me for the delay and we began a very politically incorrect discussion about what is happening with American companies. Political correctness is fascism.


According to 365 Days of Motoring (for the nth time not a secure site AND for the nth time, why?), on this day in 1901 American automobile pioneer Ransom Eli Olds was issued a design patent for his “Vehicle Body”, now commonly called the Curved-Dash Oldsmobile. The story that this car wound up being produced because its prototype was the only one saved in a fire is…well, not exactly the truth. While Olds would later say that all company plans and patterns had been destroyed in the fire, and that only one model had been saved by a brave worker–his curved-dash runabout, actually, the runabout and several other prototypes emerged safely from a fireproof vault.

Also, about 300 orders for the Curved-Dash runabout had already been received before the fire. In 1901, only one American company even produced as many as 1,000 cars for the entire year so 300 orders was a large number in the context of the time.

Anyway…the Curved-Dash Oldsmobile is credited as being the first mass-produced automobile, meaning that it was built on an assembly line using interchangeable parts, as opposed to be hand-built with parts made to fit. Henry Ford is often credited with inventing the assembly line for automobiles. He actually began the practice of using a moving assembly line. From the Haynes Motor Museum, a picture of an Oldsmobile Model R, the Curved-Dash Oldsmobile:


See the source image


This car moved Oldsmobile to the top of the US production chart for 1903 from 1905, inclusive. For example, in 1904 Oldsmobile produced more cars (5,508) than the next two makes combined.

Sadly, Oldsmobile has been defunct for almost two decades. It remains, and will always remain, the only US company that produced cars in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. It built about 35 million cars. This article is titled, “Is Ransom E. Olds The Most Famous Man You Never Heard Of?” He might not be the most, but his legacy is mostly forgotten today.

Have a great weekend…









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8 thoughts on “One Hand Giveth, The Other Taketh

  1. The wheels look good.

    Re: retirement

    I can understand why the owner of the ceramic coating shop is retiring and closing the shop. It is most likely a small, 1-3 man, operation and no one wants to buy him out. There was, until about 3 years ago, a small chrome plating shop kinda nearby to me that closed for that reason. Man was 73 years old and wanted to try to enjoy the few years he had left. Nobody would make any reasonable offer for his business so he closed it up, sold off what he could and scrapped the rest. He did super work, you DID pay for it, and is sorely missed. There is one other I know of, but he picks and chooses what he wants to work on. He is also getting on in years and I expect in a couple more years he will also close. Most younger, 20-35 years old, folks don’t seem interested in these lines of work. We have trouble finding younger folks for our company, machinery moving and installation. We have started posting job openings with tech schools with fair success. But we still have a problem with many wanting to hold their phone at all times. We are paying for BOTH of your hands, if one is holding your phone maybe I should only pay you half? Frustrating at best.


    1. Thanks, DDM.

      As you know, I have written about the plague of brainwashed parents and teenagers who think all 18-23 year olds have to go to college. Of course, in our country drowning in self-entitlement they also want someone else to pay for it.


      1. These days most 18-23 year olds aren’t sure what bathroom they should use, never mind how to earn a living.

        I have no quibble with getting an education at the college level, I have a BS in mechanical engineering but I got it working full time and going to school at night. It served me well getting my foot in the door with a, at the time, Fortune 50 company. Between that experience and the degree, it served me well in future employment. However, many degrees offered these days are useless in the job market. A friend of mine could be considered a “professional student”. Something catches his interest he will find a school that offers a course in it at night. He is going just to gain knowledge, not for employment opportunities. Perhaps if I ever retire, I might do the same.


  2. To quote George Carlin: “Political correctness is just fascism pretending to be manners.”

    The wheels look very good on your Z06.

    The delay in the work can also be attributed to the damn virus and the effects it has had on the labor market, and the delay in production of everything. Sadly the effect on small business, the backbone of the American economy, is devastating. Hopefully, some enterprising person will see the market demand for custom coating and start his own business. Sadly, he/she will have missed the opportunity to get a head start, by not buying the other person’s business. We watch Diners, Drive-ins and Dives on the Food Network and it is surprising to me how many of the featured restaurants have been purchased by the current owners from the previous owner who was retiring.

    To DDM, I wish you continued success with your business and the search for persons willing to get their hands dirty working and to be trained in skills this country NEEDS. I trust your health is improving as well.


    1. Thanks, Philip. I wasn’t aware that George Carlin had commented on the scourge of political correctness.

      Of course, the damn virus has played a large role in disrupting supply chains and work flow, but it’s not the only factor.


  3. Luv the new wheels, my friend.
    As a retired “trades teacher”, I know only too well the misplaced focus in schools on college. In recent years, I’ve met but a few young people who decided to go into electrical or plumbing in my own projects and, of course, had to ask about their career choice.
    Little to no college debt and well-paying jobs are available for those who are smart enough to think about their future instead of which college is the best “party school.”


    1. Thanks, JS.

      I loved this line: “Little to no college debt and well-paying jobs are available for those who are smart enough to think about their future instead of which college is the best ‘party school.'”

      Liked by 1 person

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