Null Sunday

In the interest of full disclosure, I must admit that–at present–my primary motivation for continuing to write this blog is to reach a million words in it. If I can trust the WordPress platform, then before today the total number of words in the 1,700+ posts is about 914,000.

One million words is within reach as WordPress has continued to provide the Classic Editor and, for most of the time I have been writing Disaffected Musings, I have enjoyed writing. However, I am starting to think the blog is becoming derivative of itself. In the brilliant show Transplant, no longer shown in the US but I can watch it on the CTV website via a VPN, the main character remarks during what turns out to be his last session with the hospital psychiatrist, “It seems all I ever do here is complain and I am beginning to hate the sound of my own voice.”

Nothing I write is going to change the public discourse about any topic. Even venting has diminishing marginal returns. Anyway, that’s where I am currently. That ennui is also a reason I am posting less about cars as my interest in them has waned markedly in the past few months.


CNBC aired the annual Berkshire Hathaway stockholders meeting yesterday. The event, attended by thousands of shareholders every year, is often described as the Woodstock of Capitalism.

I watched for 2-3 hours and enjoyed the Q&A session featuring Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger. Sadly, I must report that age seems to be finally catching up to Buffett (he’s 92) as his voice seemed less powerful and, at times, he struggled to find the right word(s) to say.

One thing that Munger said (he’s 99) was very interesting to me, so much so that I tried to record it on my phone. Thankfully, the editorial staff at CNBC also thought it was interesting and included it in this article. Munger said, “One of the inane things that’s taught in modern university education is that a vast diversification is absolutely mandatory in investing in common stocks … That is an insane idea. It’s not that easy to have a vast plethora of good opportunities that are easily identified. And if you’ve only got three, I’d rather be in my best ideas instead of my worst.”

I know people who have positions in 20, 30, 40, even 50 different stocks, above and beyond any positions they hold in mutual funds, ETFs and index funds. It is impossible for one person who is not an investment professional or obsessed with investing to know enough about that many companies to be in a position to invest in them.

While I won’t disclose the actual percentage, I have an investing rule that no single position, be it individual stock or some type of fund, can be less than a certain percentage of the overall portfolio. That rule limits the number of investments I can hold at any one time.

Munger also said this, “We’re not so smart, but we kind of know where the edge of our smartness is … That is a very important part of practical intelligence. … If you know the edge of your own ability pretty well, you should ignore most of the notions of our experts about what I call ‘deworsification’ of portfolios.”

I think that many people fail to accept that they have limits, that the world rarely, if ever, bends to their will. ALL of us are limited; NONE of us is omniscient or omnipotent. I think it’s good to probe your limits, but not good to refuse to accept they exist.


Here is the beginning of this Goodwood piece about the 11 most beautiful cars of all time, “Beauty is a thorny subject in general, let alone when discussed in the context of cars. On the one hand, it’s almost entirely subjective. Taste is infinitely variable. On the other, as certain car designers have told us over the years, there’s a science to beauty and there are cars that garner an almost unanimous veneration.”

I must say that the list is quite impressive and does not include any cars that, to me, have a deficient exterior design. Below is a picture of one of the 11 cars, a car with which I am growing increasingly fond, almost by the day.



This is the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione. Although the company received more than 1,400 orders for the car after the official announcement it would be produced, Alfa Romeo manufactured just 829 of these from 2007 to 2010, 500 coupes (Competizione) and 329 8C Spiders (convertibles).

I think the first time I saw one in person was at a dealership in Pennsylvania that was housed in a former shopping mall. I am 99.9% sure I have a picture of the car on my phone and 99.9% certain I could not find it in less than an hour among the thousands of car photos there. Here is another photo, though, from a different source.



You know I just love the long hood, short deck design. That’s why the design of the C8 Corvette doesn’t appeal to me at all.

The 8C cars, either Competizione or Spider, are available in limited numbers. Currently on AutoTrader, four 8Cs are listed for sale in the US, three convertibles and one coupe. The three that have a price listed are offered at between $300,000 and $350,000. Barring a lottery win or other very large financial windfall, these cars are out of my price range. Still, from Diner, if you don’t have dreams you have nightmares.







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8 thoughts on “Null Sunday

  1. Bummer that you’re losing interest in things automotive. I try to focus on the good in the hobby and not the negative. Perhaps my interest in a more varied list than yours helps for me. Hopefully you will get back some of your enthusiasm.

    As a tangent, how’s the Maserati doing?


  2. A million words! And, at least to me, they’ve all been interesting. Looking forward to a million more _ pls keep on writing. Love your blog. Herb.


  3. We all have limits, recognized or not. I express mine this way: “I know better than to…..” Fill in the blank. One that I wish to do away with is structural welding.

    Of the “most beautiful cars” pictured in the Goodwood article, I will agree with the Ferrari 312 Berlinetta. They lost to the Ford GT-40 but were beautiful in losing. I’d take one for my Ferrari loving grand daughter.


    1. Thanks, Philip. I usually disagree vehemently with some/many of the choices in lists like Goodwood’s so I was surprised that I found none of the cars objectionable and all of them appealing.


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