Sunday Serenade

No, it is not I playing the piano. I wish I could play like that. Sadly, I suspect the brilliant musician who did perform it, Keith Jarrett, wishes he could play it as well as he has been unable to play since a series of strokes in 2018.


How much of your life is under your control? 1%? 99%? I don’t think the actual percentage can be known and, having written that, I also think it varies from person to person. In my opinion, I think it exceeds 50%–although probably not by much, but I know many intelligent people who disagree.

I should have asked that question of the brilliant former high school classmate mentioned here in this post from October, 2021 with whom I had a wonderful 45-minute conversation yesterday. It was the first time we had spoken since high school.

Since he figured prominently in it, when I published the linked post I decided to try to send him the link somehow. I succeeded and we have established an email dialogue that led to yesterday’s phone call. He called while on a family vacation in his ancestral country of Finland. My successful attempt at re-establishing contact with TI led to a new dialogue. (In keeping with this blog’s policy of anonymity for people not in the public eye, TI is all you’re going to get regarding his identity.)

I could conclude that the outcome was under my control. However, I learned yesterday that TI has been trying to at least discover the fates of his high school classmates for the last 6-8 years. If he weren’t inclined, a priori, to reconnect to them, then my attempts would probably have failed. So, how much of the outcome was under my control?

TI has been teaching advanced mathematics at a prestigious university in Europe for more than 20 years. When I asked how he ended up there he said, “They invited me to join the faculty, I visited and accepted.” Again, his achievements, which were not solely a function of his enormous intellect, paved the way for the opportunity, but an exogenous event was the final link in the chain of events that led him there. In addition, his life situation at that time was more conducive to the move than it would have been at other times.

You won’t be surprised by this next train of thought. I think people who blindly follow any ideology and think their way is the only way are oblivious to the multi-dimensional matrix that affects life outcomes. Those who engage in what I have often called impossible distillations of reality are usually wrong because they fail to acknowledge and to incorporate other dimensions or factors.

Once again, the photo of my class in my senior year in high school published in that October, 2021 post:



I was fascinated, but not surprised by the content of this CNBC article titled, “Bye bye, San Francisco: The top 7 U.S. cities homebuyers are seeking to leave.” Without further ado, lists of the five cities with the largest outflow and inflow of residents according to Redfin (I didn’t show either list in its entirety so you will be more inclined to read the piece yourself):


Largest Outflows

  • San Francisco
  • Los Angeles
  • New York
  • Washington D.C.
  • Seattle

Largest Inflows

  • Miami
  • Tampa, Florida
  • Phoenix
  • Sacramento, California
  • Las Vegas


Notice that it’s not every large California city seeing people move away, just the most expensive ones. Taylor Marr, Redfin’s chief economist, said, “The typical home in San Francisco or San Jose now costs more than $1.5 million. Add in today’s 5%-plus mortgage rates and you have a sky-high monthly payment.”

When they can, people vote with their feet. That’s a combination of exogenous and endogenous factors leading to a life outcome, which I suspect is true the vast majority of the time.

Sorry, no automotive content today. Frankly, it is much more difficult to write about cars since all the reporting about new models is about EVs, in which I have little to no interest. Once again: EVs are not the answer, eFuels/Synthetic Fuels are.








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4 thoughts on “Sunday Serenade

  1. I am so happy you have been able to connect with your old high school friend! My own high school, college and military friends are getting fewer and fewer. We need to understand we need to control the things we can control and leave those we cannot to the One who makes straight our path.

    IF we can keep the run amok Federal government out of the automobile market and let the market/demand determine which vehicles we drive, then we will have the choices needed for our needs. Whenever those who think they are smarter than we are, push on us limited choices, i.e. demanding we choose electric, then we get chaos. The market is a better determiner of needs than any government official or politician. They think one size fits everybody. Their minds are too small and their experience too limited to meet the needs of our vast nation. Like I said yesterday, in a nation of our size, one size does not fit all. For instance, the government is pushing the farm equipment manufacturers to replace their diesel powered equipment with electric. How stupid is that? How will you move a multi-ton combine from the field to the shop to charge it when the batteries are discharged? At harvest time farmers run their equipment 24 hours a day for a week or more. How do you charge something that big in the middle of a field, while stopping the harvest that is losing value while you charge the batteries?

    If the “smart” people are worried about the effect of diesel exhaust on the atmosphere, then push for cleaner diesel. Clean sustainable diesel replacement is attainable in algae based fuel production and they use CO2 to help grow the algae. Or brew biodiesel from the waste vegetable oil market. There is a company refining waste vegetable oil into biodiesel in Gilbert, AZ now and making a profit on market priced fuel. One national waste management company runs their heavy duty collection trucks on natural gas instead of diesel making it much cleaner. Oh, but natural gas is one of those “nasty” fossil fuels. Yeah, well you NEED fossil fuel based lubricants to lubricate your monster wind mills.

    Oh yeah, and tell the “smart” people to leave my classic cars and trucks alone. Rant ended……..for now. You can delete whatever part of this might offend your other readers. It is, after all, your blog.


    1. Thanks, Philip. No need to delete any part of your comment, even if I didn’t agree with it. I will not publish hateful comments, but I try not to censor them. However, I don’t think anyone from the Lunatic Left or Neo-Nazi Right is reading this blog.


  2. I had one close high school buddy, and a couple of years after leaving high school and moving to the Midwest, we lost contact. Over the years, I’ve thought I’d like to contact him, but searching would be near impossible online. Not only is his a very common name in the United States, there is a former high profile television star of the same name from the 1980s.
    I’m glad you were able to reconnect.


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