Too Many Twists And Turns

While I readily admit that relative to most of the people in the world I have a good life, the fact that our purchase of the “Goose Bumps” house has hit yet another snag brought me to a mini-nervous breakdown last evening. Life is really about the journey, in my opinion, because while we may have local destinations, in the long run we all share the same global destination. It is also very difficult to view the world through the eyes of others.

The twists and turns of our efforts to buy that house (which, of course, include trying to sell our current house) have overwhelmed me. I will refrain from sharing details. Suffice to say while our realtor and my wonderful wife are still very optimistic about successfully completing these transactions, I am far less so. When I received word of the latest snag yesterday, I told our realtor (Hi, K Squared!), “See, I knew something was wrong.”

A line from the great movie Broadcast News always resonates with me. The head of network news says to Jane Craig (played by Holly Hunter) after she argues about assignments for a special report, “It must be nice to always believe you know better, to always think you’re the smartest person in the room.” Her reply is, “No. It’s awful.” Of course, I am not always right–I am human and have never claimed not to be–but I am right more than I am wrong and that is of very little comfort to me.

Not trying to be melodramatic or hyperbolic, but I shudder at what I might do if this transaction is not consummated. In any event, we will know soon enough.


This ESPN article is titled, “How the Super Bowl tests boundaries, including the Constitution.” Here is the beginning of the story:


A LAST-MINUTE paint job to obscure the brand names on food truck tires. A trademark infringement battle over a jolly, anthropomorphic and “superb” owl. A global soft drink giant that missed out on the Super Bowl taking place in its own backyard.

These are just a few of the many ways the NFL has long exerted control over its jewel event. But last Thursday — just 10 days before the Eagles and Chiefs kick off — a Phoenix judge said the league, the host committee and its Super Bowl planning had crossed a line: Violating the U.S. Constitution.

The case in question centered on something known as a “Clean Zone” — areas near the stadium and fan gathering points where companies aren’t allowed to sell or advertise their products unless they are official partners with the NFL…

Last month, however, a Phoenix man filed a lawsuit against the city in which he said this year’s Clean Zone resolution infringed on his free speech by restricting his ability to sell an advertisement on the side of the building he owns downtown. The judge, Brad Astrowsky, agreed, calling the ordinance “unconstitutional” in a decision that was a strong rebuke to the city — and the NFL — as well as a significant step for those who believe the league’s control over the Super Bowl borders on imperious corporate power.”


I think it’s brave for an NFL media partner like ESPN to publish a story like this. I think most fans have no idea how the NFL takes over the host city during the Super Bowl “period.”


Yesterday I wrote that after Transplant and The Good Doctor cease to be produced, I might be done with current scripted network TV. (Actually, I might then be done with network TV, period, except for sports. Of course, Transplant isn’t even produced in the US nor is it shown here anymore.) In this CNBC article about predictions by TV insiders as to what TV will be like in three years, Kevin Mayer–Candle Media co-CEO, predicted, “Next will be the end of scripted programming on broadcast networks.” Maybe there won’t be any such programming for me to ignore, after all.

Actually, I almost certainly won’t watch current scripted TV from any source. Hulu original programming is garbage, in my opinion, poisoned by woke. (We subscribe to Hulu + Live TV.) We will not spend money on multiple streaming sites; it’s just not worth it.

I am not a big TV watcher, anyway. In my very strongly held opinion, TV should just be a diversion and not the center of a person’s life.


These posts don’t have to have photos, but I think they are more widely read if they do. Therefore:



As I will be gone much of the day tomorrow having medical imaging, it is highly doubtful I will publish a post.







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The Early Bird Might Be Sick

Although I will spare you the disgusting details as to why, I have been awake since 1:30 AM. No chance in hell exists that I can go back to sleep tonight so here I am at my computer keyboard.


David Banner (not his real name) wrote this in a comment: “Besides, what’s better than “School Days” these days?”



The title track from Stanley Clarke’s most famous recording, School Days, helped get me through my first year in college. When I read David Banner’s comment my brain immediately started playing the song. Maybe one day I will record his seminal bass solo from that song and post it here. In college, I remember being in awe of someone I did not know that well because he could play that solo.



So, the Unitas post from Concours In The Hills 2023 was not the last from that event. The reason I showed this photo was unearthing this story on MotorTrend about the Pontiac Fiero. From the story:


“The car that would become the Pontiac Fiero was presented to the GM board as an economical commuter car as opposed to a sporty model, its two-seat setup billed merely as a way to keep weight down and fuel efficiency up. It was a successful pitch, and [Pontiac VP Bill] Hoglund was thrown $700 million for his new pet project.”


I have always thought that, reliability issues aside, the Fiero is the rare example of a design that obviously comes from a specific period and yet remains fresh through time. I know that some of these have been “adapted” to look like mid-engine Ferraris. I will never do this (so many CARS just one life), but I can imagine having an expert mechanic/craftsman putting a modern, relatively small but powerful engine into one of these. Of course, the brakes, suspension and chassis would also need upgrading.


Thanks to my VPN subscription my wonderful wife and I were able to watch all 13 episodes from Season 3 of Transplant including the recently aired season finale. (Still, shame on NBC for not airing Season 3, but continuing to broadcast dreck like American Ninja Warrior.) I don’t know whether it’s because we watched the show on a 24-inch computer monitor instead of a 65-inch TV screen, the departure of John Hannah and his character from the show, or a combination of those and other things, but Season 3 just did not seem as amazing to me as the first two seasons.

Don’t get me wrong; we thoroughly enjoyed Season 3. The season finale seemed like just that and not a series finale. It was mid-February last year when CTV announced that Season 3 would be produced. Maybe Mark and/or Rubens Junior can weigh in, but my impression is that the show remains popular in Canada. I will be surprised if Season 4 is not made.

Whenever Transplant and The Good Doctor cease to be produced I will probably be done with current scripted network TV. I/we have been binge-watching The Great British Baking Show and The Dick Van Dyke Show via Roku. Watching the latter reminds me of how beautiful Mary Tyler Moore was.



Of course, The Dick Van Dyke Show could not be produced today as it was not politically correct or woke. What a shame…








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As The World Turns

Yes, today’s post title is the name of a long-running daytime drama, AKA soap opera, that aired on CBS for 54 seasons and nearly 14,000 episodes. The show also has some personal significance as my marvelous mom was watching it, as usual, on November 22, 1963, the day President Kennedy was killed. As I have written in at least one previous post, even though I was just 3 1/2 years old at the time, I remember that day.

As it turns out, since neither ABC nor NBC aired programming in that time slot then (1:30-2:00 PM Eastern), As The World Turns was the last regular U.S. network program broadcast for the next four days. The show was one of the first two serial dramas to be 30 minutes in length as previous soap operas were just 15 minutes.

Anyway…the reason I used As The World Turns as today’s post title doesn’t really have anything to do with the show. Last night, my wonderful wife and I watched a program on the Smithsonian Channel about the 2018 eruptions of Kilauea in Hawaii and Fuego in Guatemala. This morning, I learned about today’s severe earthquake that affected southeastern Turkey and northern Syria, causing thousands of deaths.

Terra Firma (solid earth in Latin) is actually nothing of the sort. I am not a geologist, but I understand that the earth’s crust on which eight billion humans live is like the skin on old-fashioned pudding. The USGS and NEIC record about 20,000 earthquakes every year around the world. According to the Global Volcanism Program, the usual number of volcanoes around the world considered to have continuing eruptions is 40-50. Of course, and although it is extremely unlikely this will occur in my lifetime, I live in a region that would probably be wiped out when the next eruption of the Yellowstone super-volcano occurs.


It’s time for links to Why Evolution Is True. Please indulge me as I intend to quote long passages from two specific posts.

From this post:


Here’s the ending of Andrew Sullivan’s latest piece on the tendency of the American Mainstream Media to force every story into a preexisting ideologican narrative. I summarized his piece in the Nooz yesterday, but couldn’t resist adding his conclusion:

We live in the freest, most multiracial democracy in the history of the planet. Of course traditional prejudices linger, ebb and flow, and the past has helped define the present. But they do not come near to definitively describing the infinitely fascinating interactions between all of us, in every possible combination, our shared humanity, the cross-racial friendships and marriages, our individual personalities, our different upbringings. They cannot account for the extraordinary changes since the 1960s. The transcendence of race and sex and orientation happens all around us every day — and reducing our entire world to these allegedly irreconcilable abstractions of “hate” is a pathological distraction from reality. [emphasis mine]

And reality is so much more interesting than the dogma the MSM now brings to almost every story, almost every time. You don’t have to ignore racism’s enduring effect in society. But you can see the world in a lens other than the neo-Marxist vision of permanent, zero-sum group-warfare in which some groups are always the oppressor and some the oppressed.

Journalists used to do this — searching for truth rather than enforcing pre-existing narratives, alert to the surprising “specific” more than the predictable “structural” and “systemic”; and be alert to the twists and turns of this diverse culture, rather than constantly returning to history to insist it’s always repeating itself. And you know what? Readers were interested, rather than bored, engaged rather than condescended to — and the press thrived.

Now look at it. The US media has the lowest credibility — 26 percent — of 46 nations, according to a 2022 study by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. And “moral clarity” journalists seem intent on driving it even lower.


“But you can see the world in a lens other than the neo-Marxist vision of permanent, zero-sum group-warfare in which some groups are always the oppressor and some the oppressed.” Sadly, way too many people can’t or won’t see the world any other way. They act like it’s 1823 or 1923 instead of 2023. Of course, the piece is a strong indictment of the US “news business” as well.

In a related vein, here is a remark by comedian/political commentator Bill Maher as quoted in this post.  “The problem with communism – and with some very recent ideologies here at home – is that they think you can change reality by screaming at it.” Yes, I realize that using boldface is often interpreted as virtual screaming.

Switching gears, here is the link to a Why Evolution Is True post titled, “What’s killing new music? Old music!” The post refers to an article by Ted Gioia, an American jazz critic and music historian. This passage was both informative and uplifting to me.


“Old songs now represent 70 percent of the U.S. music market, according to the latest numbers from MRC Data, a music-analytics firm. Those who make a living from new music—especially that endangered species known as the working musician—should look at these figures with fear and trembling. But the news gets worse: The new-music market is actually shrinking. All the growth in the market is coming from old songs.

The 200 most popular new tracks now regularly account for less than 5 percent of total streams. That rate was twice as high just three years ago. The mix of songs actually purchased by consumers is even more tilted toward older music. The current list of most-downloaded tracks on iTunes is filled with the names of bands from the previous century, such as Creedence Clearwater Revival and The Police.

. . .Never before in history have new tracks attained hit status while generating so little cultural impact. In fact, the audience seems to be embracing the hits of decades past instead. Success was always short-lived in the music business, but now even new songs that become bona fide hits can pass unnoticed by much of the population.

Only songs released in the past 18 months get classified as “new” in the MRC database, so people could conceivably be listening to a lot of two-year-old songs, rather than 60-year-old ones. But I doubt these old playlists consist of songs from the year before last. Even if they did, that fact would still represent a repudiation of the pop-culture industry, which is almost entirely focused on what’s happening right now.”


Jerry Coyne notes that the audience for the Grammy Awards has declined by 75% in the last nine years. As I have written, I strongly believe that the phrase “American music” is an oxymoron.


I’ll finish with what I call the Unitas photo from The Concours In The Hills this past Saturday. By that I mean it’s the 19th (and probably last) photo I will publish from the event. In case you don’t know, or even if you do, the legendary Baltimore Colts quarterback wore number 19. Thanks for reading.









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The Dream And The Reality

Last night I dreamt that I was talking to someone about travel and was all excited to share the details of a trip to Europe that my wonderful wife and I had recently taken. Although the details of the trip seemed clear to the “dream” me, when it came time to share them I could not actually do so. The reason was that the “real” me knew we had not taken that trip and the “dream” me became aware of that.

Was my brain trying to process the line “An intolerable disparity between the hugeness of their desire and the smallness of reality” that I wrote, not for the first time, in this post on January 31? Am I just crazy?! I HOPE this will not ultimately describe our efforts to buy the “Goose Bumps” house.

Yesterday’s most enjoyable trip to the Concours In The Hills is an example of that disparity, in my opinion. I suspect that the vast majority of attendees can only dream about owning many of the cars on display.

On that note:



This is a Pontiac Solstice GXP coupe. Yes, some of these were produced as coupes. For model year 2009 and the extremely truncated model year 2010, a total of 1,280 Solstice coupes were produced, 858 of which were in GXP spec.



As the owner of this car was only too happy to point out, this was not the same 1977 Pontiac Can Am sold at the recent Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona. The owner derided that car as “a piece of shit” and said his Can Am had received a frame-off restoration.



This post is being written later than usual, but yesterday’s was published very late in the day primarily due to the fact that we had attended The Concours In The Hills. That late publication time seemed to negatively affect the number of blog views. Just commenting, not criticizing.







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Concours In The Hills 2023

T minus 5 days until imaging.


On a beautiful day when the temperature reached 77° in Fountain Hills, Arizona, my wonderful wife, her father, our friend Dan and I attended the annual Concours In The Hills. Last year I believe attendance reached 50,000–more than the population of Fountain Hills–with about 1,100 cars on display. This year, I think attendance reached 60,000 with probably 1,200 cars.

Without further ado:



Even in white, not one of my favorite exterior automobile colors, this 1970 Maserati Ghibli made the biggest impact on me literally giving me goose bumps. That must be “a thing” for me these days. (Nope, no update on the “Goose Bumps” house. We are waiting for just one more event, which we hope and think will happen in the next 4-5 days.)



You don’t want to know how many pictures I took of this car. Its inclusion in my Ultimate Garage 3.0 seems most appropriate.



The Citroen SM was Motor Trend Car Of The Year for 1972; Citroen was out of the US market by 1974. A real shame, IMO.

OK, I’ve reached a double-digit number of photographs. I will try to show some of the US cars tomorrow and/or the day after.





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If This Shirt Could Talk



This post is a departure from the norm, whatever that is. If we both make it that long, August of this year will mark 25 years I have owned this shirt. How do I know? I bought the shirt in Montreal while on a road trip with the San Diego Padres in 1998.

I did not make many road trips with the team, but this trip–three games in New York against the Mets and four games in Montreal against the Expos–took place around the July 31st trade deadline. Padres’ General Manager Kevin Towers thought it would be best if he stayed in San Diego in case any trade talks heated up so, basically, I went on the trip in his place.

When we arrived in Montreal, I realized I did not have enough shirts for the trip so I went to a store close to the hotel and bought this Tommy Hilfiger shirt. In those days, I would never wear a shirt twice without washing it. These days, I am not such a stickler.

The trip was hardly a smooth one. Although the Padres had a double-digit game lead in the National League West, they/we lost two of three games to the Mets and only split the four games with the Expos, a team that finished with a won-lost record of 65-97.

That was hardly the worst of it. After the last game against the Mets, the bus driver got lost on the way from Shea Stadium in Queens to Newark Airport. We wound up driving around in the Bronx. We even drove by Yankee Stadium twice. I am not a believer in omens, but a feeling came over me that we would be back at The House That Ruth Built. In fact, we were as we won the National League championship and played the Yankees in the World Series in October.

When we arrived in Montreal at about 3 AM, the bus driver got lost and could not find our hotel. Our traveling secretary asked the bus driver to call his dispatcher and get directions. He refused to do so. I’m not sure why he pulled the bus over, but when he did I thought our traveling secretary was going to attack the bus driver.

Most of us got out of the bus. We then saw a young man walking, apparently at the end of a long shift at a restaurant, and the players mobbed him to get directions to the hotel. They also gave him a lot of money; about $1,000 if I remember correctly. As it turned out the bus driver had pulled over just three or four blocks from the hotel.

The day after I had purchased the shirt, I wore it when I went to the movies in the afternoon with Jerry Coleman–long-time Yankees infielder and long-time Padres broadcaster–and Ted Leitner, long-time San Diego broadcaster. We decided to see Steven Spielberg’s newest film, Saving Private Ryan.

The three of us were emotionally affected by the movie to a place beyond crying. I think Coleman, who had been a Marine Corps pilot both in World War II and the Korean War, was moved to a emotional state he had never before experienced. The three of us had to sit in the theater for 10-15 minutes after the film ended in order to compose ourselves.

After the series ended in Montreal we boarded the plane to San Diego, which would have to make a stop in Kansas City. While there, police apprehended two criminals in the airport and we had to leave the boarding area for quite some time.

On our approach to North Island Naval Air Station, we were too late to land at San Diego’s commercial airport that I will not refer to by name since it’s named after an ardent Nazi sympathizer, we had a very low ceiling and turbulence. I thought Tony Gwynn, who did not like to fly anyway, was going to pass out. We actually landed twice as the plane bounced after the first touchdown.

My wonderful wife also had a role, via a phone call, in this road trip although we were not yet married or even engaged. In order to spare her embarrassment, I will refrain from sharing the details.

The next time I accompanied the team on a road trip, to Houston for the National League Division Series playoff, I received dirty looks from a few players. “Oh no, we’re doomed” one of them said to me, only partly in jest, I think. Some baseball players are very superstitious.


I don’t know why I was compelled to write about this today, but I have had the idea to write about the shirt and the road trip where I purchased it for quite some time. I hope you enjoyed the post.





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PS, for reasons that will be apparent I will not be writing/publishing tomorrow’s entry until late in the day.


Many Thanks

January of 2023 did, indeed, reach a level of blog views not seen since January of 2022. Many thanks. Time for the monthly plea: please keep reading, please tell your friends about this blog, please feel free to submit thoughtful comments and please feel free to click on any ad in which you have genuine interest.


So, Tom Brady has retired again and swears “this time it’s for good.” I respect his accomplishments, but I respect Father Time even more.

The genuflection of the football talking heads about how, in one scenario, Brady was going to re-unite with coach Josh McDaniels in Las Vegas and carry the Raiders to the Super Bowl made me ill. Brady is done and his retirement is a tacit admission of that fact.

Father Time is undefeated.


From this post comes this pearl of wisdom:


There are two ingredients in trail mix….
….M&Ms – and disappointment.


As I have written, I think that the person who invented M&Ms was a genius. If my imaging next week is all clear, the first thing I might do is to buy a large bag of Peanut M&Ms and finish them in a day.


I am going to show a few landscape photos. I must admit the writing well is much drier than normal today. It is also likely that, barring some important development, I will not post tomorrow.




An irrational fear has left me reluctant to publish specific updates on our efforts to buy the “Goose Bumps” house. We may be very close to the finish line, but my motto is that until something is done, it’s not done. I’ll just leave it there.






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To Post Or Not To Post

I must admit that my primary motivation for publishing a post today is I want the number of views for the month of January to reach a level not seen since last January. While it is likely this level would be reached without a post today, I wanted to leave nothing to chance.

One of the reasons experiments in human behavior cannot always be trusted is that when people are aware they are being watched and their actions recorded, many will alter their behavior. This truth is one reason why so-called “Reality TV” is nothing of the sort.


Speaking of the motivation of human behavior, the following concept ascribed to Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuit religious order, has always resonated with me. “An intolerable disparity between the hugeness of their desire and the smallness of reality.” I became aware of this idea many years ago in David Maraniss’ excellent biography of Vince Lombardi, When Pride Still Mattered.

I wrote yesterday that it is not in my nature to simply accept whatever happens. As someone who once bridged the gap between the hugeness of their desire and the smallness of reality (by fashioning a 20+ year career in major league baseball), I have seen that actions can make a difference. However, actions don’t always make a difference. That disparity is a knife, not a thorn, in my side.


I have written here and elsewhere that DEI = Deny Excellent Individuals. DEI stands for efforts to “broaden” Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. This post from Why Evolution Is True is titled, “White House plan to foster equity and excellence in STEMM is all about equity, not excellence.” (The extra “M” represents Medicine.) From the post:


“Can you increase excellence by increasing equity? That seems to be the tacit assumption of this program, but one for which there is very little evidence. [emphasis mine] The classic paper supporting the idea that diversity itself increases net excellence is this 2004 PNAS paper, arguing that diverse groups do better at solving math problems than groups of high achievers. But this was a mathematical model with no empirical data, and was later found to be fatally flawed. There are no strategies in this document intended to increase excellence by itself, though plenty to increase equity by itself.”


The flawed nature of the 2004 PNAS paper jibes with Dirty Dingus McGee’s distrust of everyone, including scientists. In my many years in baseball I discovered that perhaps the most important attribute leading to success was not intelligence or hard work, but objectivity. We are all biased and are all flawed, but I believe we should strive to be objective, which is why I think data is so important. For example, a team that consistently overrates its own players relative to those on other teams will almost certainly fail because they will not see the need for improvement.

“Affirmative action”–at least in higher education–may soon be ruled unconstitutional, anyway, at least until some other iteration of the Supreme Court rules otherwise in 30 or 60 years. The current Supreme Court is expected to rule that admission policies by Harvard University and the University of North Carolina designed to limit the percentage of Asians in the student body are a violation of Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Of course, unless the court narrowly defines its decision to apply only to college admissions, such an opinion could have wide-ranging impacts on the US at large, impacts that can’t really be predicted in advance. As everyone reading this blog knows, I am a staunch opponent of affirmative action schemes as I believe by their very definition they represent discrimination. Meritum Supra Omnes! Merit above all else. First earn, then receive.


I can’t believe it’s the frickin’ end of January! I can’t believe it’s the end of January and the resolution of our attempt to purchase the “Goose Bumps” house has still not arrived! Here is a photo that partially explains my intense desire to live in that house.



This is a picture of Four Peaks taken from the “observation deck” on the roof of the house. Although I readily acknowledge that other people have far more pressing concerns, the saga of our attempt to purchase this house is literally making me ill. Of course, one “meta-analysis” study (meta analysis is a fancy phrase for a study of other studies) concluded that five million deaths occur annually worldwide as a result of stress.







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Meniere’s Monday

I don’t know if my Meniere’s Disease has become more active because of stress due to the fact that the house situation is still not quite resolved. I have been told just to accept whatever happens. That is most decidedly not in my nature.

I don’t think the San Francisco 49ers can accept that their chances of going to the Super Bowl disappeared when their starting quarterback, and the third QB they’d played this season, suffered a severe elbow injury on their sixth offensive play. I don’t think the Cincinnati Bengals can accept the “do-over” when a clock operator mistakenly started the clock on a Kansas City play or the unnecessary roughness penalty that put the Chiefs in position to kick the game-winning field goal to send them to the Super Bowl. By the way, the latter call was correct, IMO, although I’ve seen officials swallow their whistles on plays like that in crunch time.

The 49ers were also the “victim” when what appeared to be a great catch by the Eagles’ DeVonta Smith that enabled Philadelphia to convert on a fourth down was not really a catch. Wisely, the Eagles hustled to the line after the play, the 49ers didn’t challenge the call and the NFL’s new replay system failed to notice the mistake in time.

Life gives all of us things that are unfair. Whether or not we have any recourse it is only human nature to be angry and for that anger to manifest itself in protest. Hopefully, the protest does not cause more harm. For the nth time:


“If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, do we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that.”

– Shakespeare


That’s probably more football than many of you want to read. I will add that, unlike the apparent opinion of the commentators, Jalen Hurts, Eagles QB, did not look anywhere near 100%. Some of his throws fluttered to the ground short of their target and he could not really complete passes down the field. Hurts only threw for 121 yards on 25 attempts. Also, apart from too many defensive penalties (seven of the Eagles’ 25 first downs came via penalty), the 49ers vaunted defense played well, holding Philadelphia to 3.8 yards per play, compared to their season average of 6.1.


It’s still hard to believe so many people think cryptocurrency is a legitimate asset or investment. This CNBC article is titled, “North Korea-linked hackers behind $100 million crypto heist, FBI says.” Yes, hackers can steal “real money” online. Still, we have been told that blockchain, the technology that makes crypto possible, is inviolable. Obviously, that is false. Once again, while sovereign fiat currency is not foolproof, at least it is backed by government’s ability to tax and to borrow. What backs crypto? Nothing except people’s faith in it.


Time compression due to aging is very real. The Arizona Concours my wonderful wife and I attended seems like it was yesterday, not eight days ago. Below is a picture of the car named Best In Show.



The car is a 1947 Talbot with coachwork by Fagoni and Falaschi. My favorite car, the 1961 Ghia L 6.4 coupe shown below, was given a Best In Class award.



While the reasons are not that important, because I do accept that I can’t change them, my interest in cars has definitely waned in the last year. I did not watch a single minute of the TV broadcast of the recently completed Barrett-Jackson auction and we did not watch any of the car auction live. We only attended three days of the nine the event was held.

While the recent announcement that General Motors is investing a nine-figure sum in a new generation of gasoline-powered small-block V8 engines might, might, be a sign that US automakers know they will have to manufacture ICE-powered vehicles for the foreseeable future, the severely misguided EV propaganda coming from governments and car companies is just too much for me to stomach.








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Conference Championship Sunday

First, I had a very enjoyable breakfast this morning with GW. Since the blog is still anonymous, technically, and since it’s unlikely you have heard of my breakfast companion, I have chosen not to fully identify him.

He is a high-level executive for a major league baseball team. In 1997, I gave him his first full-time baseball job. He has become jaded about the game and the industry, which is understandable to someone like me who was a pioneer in sports analytics and a “father” of Moneyball only to be booted out of the game for lack of “proper” group identification.


I know a lot of NFL fans read this blog. How do I know? On Sundays during the NFL regular season, the number of blog views/visitors is lower than for any other day of the week and most of those that do read only do so after the second game window has ended.

As the post title reads, today is the day of the two conference championship games: San Francisco at Philadelphia for the NFC and Cincinnati at Kansas City for the AFC. The winners will play in the Super Bowl in two weeks.

I have no idea who will win either game. The ankle injury suffered last week by star Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes has contributed to the most bunched odds of winning it all for any NFL “Final Four.” I believe the Chiefs, at home, are only a 1- or 1 1/2-point favorite–would have been a bigger spread without the injury–and I think the Eagles, at home, are a 2 1/2-point favorite.

The only NFL bet I have ever made with a casino was betting on the Baltimore Ravens to win the Super Bowl. Before the 2000 season, I put a bet on them at 30-1 odds because I thought they should only have been 10-1 or 12-1. Lo and behold, they won the Super Bowl that year. I think I bet $50 and won $1,500. I’m not sure, though, because I don’t recall having taxes withheld from the winnings (I think the threshold then was $600, but it might have been $1,200), but January of 2001 was a very tumultuous period in my life as I was getting my baseball consulting business off the ground. I might have bet $20 and won $600.

I do remember sending the winning ticket via registered or certified mail to the Las Vegas casino where I had placed the bet in person. I received the check less than a week later.

I have won enough money on bets at the race track to have taxes withheld when I cashed in the ticket. I once won a large enough payoff (on a straight trifecta, as opposed to a trifecta box) to be congratulated by the clerk at the window.

My father’s second gas/service station, the one where he worked for 25 years, was basically right across the street from Pimlico Race Course. You could hear the track announcer’s call of the races from there. Like my interest in cars, I come by my interest in horse racing honestly although I no longer follow “The Sport Of Kings” closely.


2022 - Cincinnati Bengals vs. Kansas City Chiefs | Spielvorschau der ...

San Francisco 49ers vs. Philadelphia Eagles | 2023 Conference ...





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