Munday Mosings

For the fifth post with this title…my wonderful wife asked our server, “Is the beef for the taco salad spicy?” He replied, “No, it’s not spicy at all.” He either lied or was misinformed; the beef in my taco salad that was yesterday’s lunch was spicy.

I realize that eating at a “Mexican” restaurant carries the risk–for me–of spicy food, of the vile weed cilantro being used in many dishes. Still, when the server replies that an item is not spicy that should be good enough.

My GI tract has been unhappy since lunch yesterday. Perhaps I should have sent the item back after the first bite, but figured the sour cream would at least partly mitigate the spiciness. In terms of mouth feel it did, but the sour cream didn’t fool my stomach.

I recognize, of course, that here in Arizona the Latin American influence in food is significant. I also know that, in general, American restaurants have been making their food spicier for a long time.

My first experience with this was while I was working for the Baltimore Orioles. Not far from Memorial Stadium was a grocery store, with which I shared a name, that also made sandwiches and other “prepared” food items. Every Thursday was taco salad day.

I went almost every Thursday, either with friends or by myself. One Thursday the sauce that one could pour over the salad was much spicier than it had been previously. Of course, I didn’t know that until I had returned to the stadium. I ate very little of the salad that day.

Figuring that experience was an aberration, I dutifully returned the following Thursday for taco salad day. Much to my chagrin, the sauce was very spicy once again. I asked someone at the store about the taco salad sauce and they said they had recently changed the recipe. I never ate the taco salad again.

If you like spicy food, then by all means eat it. DON’T assume that everyone else likes it or should like it. Using Pareto as a guide, I would estimate that about 20% of Americans don’t like and/or can’t tolerate spicy food. Tyranny of the majority is still tyranny. OK, maybe tyranny is too strong a word in this context, but those of us in the 20% should still be able to dine out.


Speaking of the Baltimore Orioles, for whom I worked from 1988 to 1994:



These are the first two pages of the annual statement for the pension plan that pays me every month and has since August, 2015. I also receive this statement from the San Diego Padres. Yes, I find it odd that for 2019 and 2020 the funding target attainment percentage was 100% while last year’s was 107%.

I could not live on my pension alone, but it’s a nice income supplement. As to why I started receiving it almost as soon as I was eligible, I spent months calculating the Net Present Value (NPV) of the pension stream at age 55–the first age I could begin collecting–and assuming I live to 80 using all sorts of fixed and variable discount rate models. The NPV hardly varied regardless of when I would start receiving the pension. As I have recounted, I decided to begin collecting on the day that most closely matched my last day as a full-time baseball operations employee and that I wanted to make MLB make nearly as many payments to me as possible until they put me in the ground or in an urn.


I am reluctant to make generalizations, but I strongly suspect that many wives would ask, “Why do you need another car?” or “Why don’t we have just one car?” if their husband indicated he wanted to buy a car and a less than practical one, at that. My wonderful wife, however, is encouraging me to buy one and even suggested one I had sort of dismissed.


See the source image


From Mecum Auctions a picture of a 2007 Cadillac XLR offered at their Houston event in 2019. I must admit that I was in awe of the looks of this car from the first time I saw one at the annual Dallas Auto Show.

I was put off by the price, which is why I bought my second Corvette in February, 2007 instead of an XLR. While they’re not really cheap used, I can almost certainly buy one in the $25,000 range.

With my Z06 still in the shop, having only one car at our disposal has been an inconvenience. As for a grocery car/taxi being more practical, the number of days in a year when we might want to “carry” passengers is in single digits and, believe it or not, the Z06 is more than adequate as a grocery car especially considering we buy a lot of our groceries on Amazon.

My wife is wonderful, indeed.









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8 thoughts on “Munday Mosings

  1. So my wife’s “check engine” light came on this weekend while I was out of town. She thought it was her “check oil” light-don’t ask, she’s a highly trained nurse. Of note is that her car DOES NOT HAVE A DIPSTICK, only a sensor/memo on the infotainment system that tells you the status of the oil. Not sure I agree with this, but that’s the way cars of the future are heading I guess, whether ICE or EV.
    Anyway, I believe families if they can should have one more car than the number of drivers. I am trying to get my wife, who God knows how got a great tax refund, to consider getting a convertible with a stick shift, so that when the “check engine/check oil” light comes back on, we will have a spare.


  2. ” it’s optimal to have a spare car.”

    “A” spare? (Grins) I know, I’m an exception to that. But I have the room and the resources so why not? And with the cost of vehicles, both new and used, in the stratosphere, I know for most folks having 1 good one is all they can do.

    Interesting you posted about your pension. As I’ll be hitting 65 soon, I need to make some decisions about a few thing; sign up for SS, what about my Roth and conventional IRAs, how best to manage my stocks, what about my ownership in our business? I never worked for a company long enough to be vested in a pension, so withdrew my contribution when I left the company. I do still have the ESOP from GE, which was reconfigured as a DRIP at no charge to me as I was a “victim” of a facility closure, as part of my stock holdings I’m undecided about the SS. I’ve been paying in since 1971 so not sure what the best plan would be. I suspect if I wait, I’ll leave money on the table so to speak. Reason being, while many folks treat their body like a temple, I treated mine like an amusement park over the years. And now I’m paying for it with various aches, pains and general health issues. And if I shuffle off this mortal coil sooner rather than later, that SS money is lost to my estate (other than the $250 death payout). I reckon I’ll help my financial adviser with the next purchase of his new Mercedes, and make an appointment to see him fairly soon.


    1. Many thanks, DDM. Yes, I wish I had the space for multiple spares, but I have to play the hand I’ve been dealt, at least as of now.

      Glad to read that you didn’t sign up for Social Security at age 62. Most financial “experts” think that is almost always a mistake, but 30% of people sign up at that age. You seem like an intelligent person to me, so I suspect you’ll make a good decision about Social Security and the rest of your financial assets. If you’re really concerned about your health, then factor that into your decision. If you were born in 1957 (I’m extrapolating, perhaps incorrectly) then what SS calls your “Full Retirement” age is 66 years and 6 months.


      1. You are correct in guessing I’m in the class of 57.

        In all reality, the couple hundred dollars a month difference in SS payout is inconsequential for me. And the monthly payout is under my normal weekly income (averaged out yearly). I don’t “need” that money, but see no need to NOT get it.

        I’m sure I can find something totally frivolous to piss it away on. 🙂


  3. Beware of electrical issues with the XLR as they eat batteries especially if it sits more than gets driven. Also, look for oil leaks prior to purchase


    1. Thanks, Bob. I had heard about the electrical gremlins, but not about oil leak issues. Of course, it is highly likely I would buy such a car sight unseen as they are overpriced in the local market. I have found XLRs of similar year and mileage $8,000-$11,000 less expensive elsewhere in the country than here.


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