Four Years…

On this day in 2018 I published the first post on this blog. It’s not much of a post, but I was in shock after discovering that Guck Foogle had deleted my previous blog–and its 600+ posts–because I had the “nerve” to appeal their decision to remove ads. The few dollars I later received as part of a settlement in a class action lawsuit against the Evil Empire was no consolation.

Still, I am grateful to have found this platform. I thank all of you who read this blog, which now consists of 1,300+ posts and over 650,000 words. I guess I’ll keep blogging as long as WordPress enables access to the Classic Editor.

******************

Not that anyone associated with the program will read this, but congratulations to the University of Georgia football team for winning the national championship. While I am not an Alabama “hater”–unlike many/most college football fans–I was hoping Georgia would win. Alabama was defending champion and had won three of the first seven titles under the new CFP system. Georgia had not won a championship since 1980, albeit not a championship earned in a real playoff system.

This is hardly going out on a limb, but I think Alabama head coach Nick Saban is the greatest coach in college football history. His teams have won seven national championships (six at Alabama, one at LSU), the most of any coach ever. In case you don’t know, or even if you do, Georgia head coach Kirby Smart was on Saban’s staff at LSU, with the Miami Dolphins and for many years at Alabama. Last night’s win was the first time in five tries that Georgia defeated Alabama with Smart and Saban on different sidelines.

The current playoff system would not have been possible if some important people had not put aside their own interests and acted in the greater interests of the sport. Unfortunately, the epidemic of acute selfishness that afflicts the US has claimed college football as another victim. The conference commissioners cannot agree on a format to expand the playoffs or even whether or not they should expand. The major obstacle is selfishness, which is so acute that college football is leaving literally billions of dollars on the table in the form of greater television revenue that would accrue to them with an expanded playoff system.

Apparently, the Pac-12 conference, which has not fared well on the national stage in recent years, is the only conference that would support each of the proposed new formats. The current system may “have” to stay in place for the duration of its current agreement, four more years. After that, unanimity would not be needed to change the playoff system and accompanying TV arrangements.

I would be fine with an 8-team system–champion of each of the Power 5 conferences plus three at-large berths–or a 12-team system in almost any configuration. It’s disheartening to see that almost none of the people in charge can see the forest for the trees, even when the forest is paved with gold.

******************

So, what car shall I feature to commemorate four years of this blog? Well, it will be the beautiful, but unreliable car I owned when Disaffected Musings began:

 

 

That is the 2009 BMW Z4 I purchased in May, 2016 photographed on the driveway of our previous home in the mid-Atlantic. I still think the second generation is the best looking of the three Z4 iterations and I also favor hardtop convertibles over softtop.

I know I have written this before, but maybe the child of Jewish Holocaust survivors shouldn’t own a German car. The Z4 was the least reliable car I have ever owned. I was the second owner and the car had 42,000 miles (42,148, to be exact) when I bought it, not an excessive amount.

In the 29 months I owned it, my repair/maintenance bill was in five figures. Not trying to ruin my karma, but in the nearly 34 months I’ve owned my Corvette Z06 the only necessary expenses I’ve incurred have been oil changes, four new tires and a new battery, about $2,000 in total.

Our good friend Eileen (Happy Birthday, Eileen!), who comments on the blog occasionally, owned a BMW while we were neighbors in Texas. Over time, she grew to dislike that car. (By the way, she currently owns a Tesla and she loves it.)

No make is sacred and all makes manufacture cars that are less than perfect. My advice if you’re looking to buy a car, other than good luck because you’re going to need it due to inventory shortages, is to keep an open mind and not lock in on any make or model. Although we neither want nor need an SUV here in Arizona, our Kia Sportage was an example of a good vehicle that we found because we were willing to consider many options.

Here’s to the beginning of Year Five!

 

#FourYears…

#GeorgiaFootball

#My2009BMWZ4

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Munday Mosings

Two nights ago I dreamt that my wonderful wife, her parents and I were dining out. At one point, my wife’s mother said, “This is the last time you will see me.” Then she put her head on the table and began to cry. I reached across the table to hold her hand.

My wonderful wife’s mother died in late October. Any psychologists out there who want to interpret that dream?

******************

I don’t know why this story is sticking in my head. When I worked for the Padres I did a lot of traveling. I accompanied the team on some road trips each season; I attended the Winter Meetings and the General Manager Meetings. I used to visit the Arizona Fall League each year for a week or ten days (I would write that’s prophetically ironic, but our spring training was held in Arizona as well–I guess that’s more traveling) and I even attended a symposium for salary arbitration practitioners with our team counsel and another person, baseball’s soon-to-be wonder boy, Uifp Fqtufjo. That’s an easily decoded cypher for his real name.

Returning to San Diego after one trip and driving into the apartment complex in which I was living, the shuttle driver remarked that it must be nice to be going home. I said, “This isn’t home. This is my most familiar hotel.”

Even after I met my wonderful wife and moved in with her (almost exactly 23 years ago), California never felt like home. To be honest, one reason I accepted the position with the Padres is that I thought the team was going to be moved to Washington, DC and I would be able to go “home.” The best-laid plans of mice and men…

While meeting my wonderful wife was, obviously, the best result from moving to the Left Coast, I accomplished a lot. In the three full seasons I worked for the Padres near the top of the Baseball Operations pyramid, they won two division titles and one National League championship.

 

 

One change I am going to attempt is to be less negative about my situation and about life in general. While my inability to establish a fulfilling and satisfying career after baseball will always bother me, I am trying to remember more positive things.

******************

Speaking of “careers,” I wrote here about how I was offered a job at an auto museum after speaking with a docent for two minutes. Well, the same thing happened again on Saturday. My wonderful wife and I finally visited a local automobile museum after talking about it for months. This museum is in the process of moving to a larger location.

After chatting with the guide/docent on duty for just a few minutes, he insisted I give him my name and number so we could chat more about my working there after the move is complete. I know this sounds arrogant and selfish, but something just rubs me the wrong way about giving away my time. However, in the spirit of being more positive I am considering volunteering at the museum, probably just one day a week.

Here are some pictures from the depleted inventory of display cars:

 

 

Supposedly, Jay Leno keeps asking to buy this very rare 1930 Duesenberg Model J Boattail Speedster. The next car made me happy as it was an Alvis, the make I featured as the “A” car in Cars A To Z.

 

 

Lest you think the remaining inventory consisted solely of pre-war cars:

 

 

If I do volunteer, would it be inappropriate for me to point out that putting the word “convertible” on the sign in front of this car is redundant since all Corvettes before 1963 were convertibles? One of my idiosyncratic favorites was even on display:

 

 

Of course, I prefer the coupe, but seeing a Buick Reatta at an automobile museum made me smile.

Any thoughts any of you have about any of this would be appreciated.

 

#MundayMosings

#WhenHomeIsNotHome

#ToVolunteerOrNotToVolunteer

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Pictures For A Saturday

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then this will be a really long post. Highline Autos hosts a local Cars and Coffee event, usually held the first Saturday of the month, but since last Saturday was New Year’s Day the event was held today. I will show just a fraction of the photos that my wonderful wife and I snapped. Without further ado:

 

 

As most readers know I am a fan of the current generation NSX, which sadly will be discontinued after the 2022 model year, but I also like the previous generation that was built from 1990 to 2005.

 

 

I just love the exterior color of this 1950 Mercury restomod.

 

 

This Ferrari 330 GTC was probably my favorite car at the event.

 

 

Hope you enjoyed the photos.

 

#PicturesForASaturday

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Friday Free For All

My heartfelt condolences to my good friend Bob, whose father died on Wednesday night.

 

I think C/2 had a great idea with Cars A To Z, but the posts receive fewer views than the average post. As I am going to finish the series, I would like to “hear” suggestions how to improve readership.

 

This CNBC piece is about Jim Cramer’s belief that “it’s impossible to recommend Chinese stocks in a hostile communist regime.” The naivete of so many Americans who admire the Chinese government is hard to fathom. Maybe it’s “worse” than naivete.

This CNBC piece reveals Apple co-founder’s Steve Wozniak’s earnest advice: Get Off Facebook. He has been off the “platform” since 2018. He said, “…[T]o many like myself, my recommendation is — to most people — is you should figure out a way to get off Facebook.” Amen!

 

From this Archon’s Den post, some one-liners:

 

I was reading this book today, The History of Glue….
….I couldn’t put it down.

I hired a handyman to do some odd jobs around the house….
….He did every other thing on the list.

I made strawberry jam today….
….It was a jarring experience.

Women only have two problems….
….Nothing to wear, and no room for all their clothes.

Life is like a helicopter….
….I don’t know how to operate a helicopter.

I’ve heard of a lot of dumb criminals….
….But bakery robbers take the cake.

I think I need professional help….
….A chef, a butler, and a maid should do it.

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This recent article from Classic Cars reveals Goodwood’s list of ten of the ugliest road cars ever. The inclusion of supercars like the Lamborghini Venemo and the McLaren Senna might come as a surprise to some, but as I have written I am not a fan of cars with pod-like styling regardless of performance, which is not to say I agree with the supercars Goodwood included in their list. I don’t think the Venemo is ugly, per se, just overstyled. What do you think?

 

 

Lamborghini’s designers would probably argue that every styling feature on the car serves a purpose. That may well be the case and while I believe that form should almost always follow function, styling matters. I think I object to the large wing more than anything else as I am not a fan of large external air forms on an automobile.

Two cars on the list that many would agree are ugly are the Pontiac Aztek and the Chrysler PT Cruiser. I don’t really want to spoil your (or my) morning by showing one or both of these cars, but here goes:

 

See the source image

 

In this post I shared the exposition of Pulitzer Prize-winning automotive critic and syndicated columnist Dan Neil who named the Aztek one of the 50 worst cars of all time. Neil wrote, “the Aztek violated one of the principal rules of car design: we like cars that look like us. With its multiple eyes and supernumerary nostrils, the Aztek looks deformed and scary, something that dogs bark at and cathedrals employ to ring bells.”

The US car-buying public didn’t like the car, either. General Motors expected to sell 75,000 Azteks a year, but never even reached 30,000–its reported break-even level–in any year. If beauty is only skin deep and ugly is to the bone, then the Aztek is a skeleton.

I won’t show a picture of the PT Cruiser (I’ve tortured all of us enough already), but I think it looks like an upside-down bathtub with wheels. Unlike the Aztek, the PT Cruiser was popular with just over a million sold in the US during its ten model years in production. There’s no accounting for taste?

Feel free to submit a few of the cars that you think fall short in appearance.

 

#FridayFreeForAll

#Don’tInvestInChina

#UglyCars

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Cars A To Z: M

The family whose name is the “M” car never manufactured real road cars, only race cars. The Maserati brothers (five of the six brothers, actually, as the sixth was an artist) had been involved in building race cars since at least 1914. They were building race cars for Diatto when that company suffered major financial difficulties and withdrew from racing in the mid-1920s.

Alfieri Maserati took over the Diatto project and founded Officine Alfieri Maserari SpA in Bologna in 1926. The famed Maserati trident is actually the symbol of the city of Bologna.

In 1938 the remaining Maserati brothers (sadly, Alfieri died in 1932) sold their company to Adolfo Orsi, but nominally remained attached to the company with a ten-year consulting contract. Orsi moved the company to Modena where it remains to this day.

It was under Orsi’s ownership that Maserati built its first real road cars. He wanted to continue to be involved in racing, but felt the real money would be in cars sold to the public.

Maserati has come close to liquidation more than once. In 1968, Citroën purchased a majority stake in Maserati. That partnership led to the amazing Citroën SM:

 

See the source image

 

The SM was Motor Trend car of the year in 1972. Two years later, Peugeot bought about 40 per cent of Citroën as a first step to taking over the company. The new owner wanted nothing to do with Maserati and, combined with the OPEC oil boycott and resulting world economic downturn, it came close to bankruptcy, but was saved by Alejandro De Tomaso, who had built the legendary Mangusta and Pantera as well as one of my all-time favorites, the Longchamp.

Chrysler bought a small stake in Maserati in 1984, but De Tomaso sold the company to Fiat in 1993 after annual sales had fallen below 1,000. It has been rumored that Fiat bought Maserati under pressure from the Italian government to save the latter. By 1997, Ferrari SpA had purchased half of Maserati with the other half still owned by Fiat. The irony of Ferrari owning its former rival was not lost on anyone.

Of course, Maserati is now part of the Stellantis group which was created when Fiat Chrysler (the owner of Maserati) merged with the French PSA Group. Ironically, Maserati is–once again–part of the same company as Peugeot and Citroën, which were part of PSA.

As I have written before, my Maserati obsession started very early, when my age was still in single digits. This rendering was the spark:

 

 

This rendering of a 5000 GTI is from The Golden Guide To Sports Cars, which was published in 1966 and purchased by me in 1968 or 1969 through my elementary school’s book buying program. One look at that and I was a Maserati guy.

Except for the MC-12, Maserati has never really made supercars. They have made great looking cars with good performance. The newest model, the MC20, is closer to being a supercar than previous models. A photo of said vehicle:

 

See the source image

 

I am hoping to see one of these in person before too much longer. Of course, any mention of Maserati has to at least show the legendary Ghibli, the first Ghibli, manufactured from 1967 to 1973.

 

See the source image

See the source image

 

For part of my teenage years I thought this car was the best looking automobile of all time. It still looks great to me.

Even as part of a large automobile conglomerate, the future of Maserati is far from secure. Ominously, worldwide sales fell from 51,500 in 2017 to 19,300 in 2019 and that was before the damn virus. Sales fell another 12 percent in 2020. Even with an SUV as part of its portfolio and the “promise” of hybrids and pure EVs, Maserati seems to have lost its way. I don’t know if any shining knight à la Alejandro De Tomaso still exists.

 

#CarsAToZ

#Maserati

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Wednesday Words

Real knowledge is power.

Ignorance is not bliss.

 

I don’t know how or if the following story is related to those words, but I’m telling it, anyway. I once worked for a small (10-12 person) arbitration/litigation consulting firm. The owner/president of this company loved to say, “There’s a thin line between being a novice and being an expert.” He also used to argue with me about baseball “trivia” and he was never right.

According to my resume/CV my job title was Economist/Data Analyst. (I don’t really know what title I had, if any.) From my resume/CV:

  • Established systems and procedures to evaluate economic impact of product liability issues.
  • Planned strategies and performed statistical analysis for companies in litigation or arbitration to reduce judgment-based error and improve risk assessment.

What is not listed is that I was the de facto head of IT. I made recommendations for software purchases, which were almost always followed, and I purchased hardware. I was also the go-to guy when anyone in the company was having computer issues. More on that later…

I don’t remember which of these two events happened first. One event was that one day I brought in a baseball encyclopedia to show “the boss” he was wrong about a baseball trivia question and that I was right. The other event was after hearing his remark about “There’s a thin line” for the nth time I finally had to reply, “There’s a thin line between being a novice and thinking you’re an expert.”

Perhaps as no surprise I was fired by the president of the company although not immediately after the second event. The day of my firing I was cleaning out my office when the phone rang. I answered and the caller was one of my co-workers, an absolutely strange woman. She asked me about some computer issue. I answered, “I don’t know; I don’t work here anymore.” When she said, “What?” I repeated myself and then I heard her mutter as she hung up the phone.

I like to think that I got the last laugh. I fashioned a 20+ year career in major league baseball (the position with the arbitration/litigation firm was the last full-time job I had before my first full-time baseball job), wrote a book that The Wall Street Journal called without a doubt the best book of its kind ever written, earned two baseball championship rings with my name on them and, thanks to baseball, met the wonderful woman to whom I have been married for 22+ years.

Anyway…despite the plague of political correctness, the woke mob, faux equality and the like, don’t be afraid to display real knowledge. Oh, don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know.”

CRUDE LANGUAGE WARNING:

One reason why the world stinks is too many people talk out of their ass.

 

Sorry, no pictures, no cars and no pictures of cars today.

 

#WednesdayWords

#RealKnowledgeIsPower

#IgnoranceIsNotBliss

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Freezing In The Desert

Look closely at this picture:

 

 

Yep, the local temp was 32° at 6:55 AM yesterday. The red exclamation point indicated that this area was under a Freeze Warning.

Many of those who don’t live here don’t understand the weather. They think it’s hot all year long and that the air is stagnant much of the time, both of which are not true. The average high temperature here at this time of the year is in the low-to-mid 60s and the average low is in the low 40s. A reading of 32° is not that unusual. (The record low for today’s date here, which is not Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, is 27°.) I called the post Freezing In The Desert just to grab attention.

What is true, though, is how much my system has changed just in the 14 months we have lived here. I have become even less tolerant of “cold” temperatures. The indoor temp is in the high 60s and I am cold. I try to turn on the space heater in my office at least 30 minutes before I know I am going to be in there for any length of time.

I know it’s common for people to become less tolerant of cold weather as they age. However, I think that process has been accelerated by moving to the desert.

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From this CNBC article:

 

“Horrific scenes seen in previous Covid-19 waves are “now history,” according to John Bell, a regius professor of medicine at the University of Oxford and the U.K. government’s life sciences advisor.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4 on Tuesday [December 28], Bell analyzed data from the U.K., where cases are breaking records and hospital admissions are at their highest since March. He said that the number of people in ICUs who are vaccinated remains “very, very low.” [emphasis mine]

“The incidence of severe disease and death from this disease [Covid] has basically not changed since we all got vaccinated and that’s really important to remember,” he told the BBC.”

 

Kudos to CNBC for not solely dealing in fear mongering, unlike most of the news media. The emphasis on number of cases is not relevant anymore, in my opinion. However, in the “great tradition” of negativity sells, we will be fed the worst possible spin on the situation.

******************

This Classic Cars piece is about reorganization of the RM Sotheby’s team that leads its auction operations. The reorganization was necessary because many key members of Sotheby’s team resigned in 2021 to start their own auction company, Broad Arrow Group.

If you go to the Broad Arrow website, right near the top is this sentence: “Car collectors and enthusiasts buy and sell an estimated $25 billion worth of collector cars each year.” More countries than you might think have an annual GDP of less than $25 billion, although some of them just have small populations and not all of them are poor countries. (If a country has a population of a half million–a very small population for a country–and a per capita GDP of $50,000, which would rank among the top 30 of all nations, its annual GDP would be $25 billion. US GDP is not that far from $25 trillion with a population of about 330 million.)

Anyway…I didn’t know the actual size of the collector car market until reading this. (Yes, it’s just an estimate.) It is true that the collector car market had a great year in 2021. For example, Mecum had two auctions (Kissimmee and Indianapolis) with total sales in excess of $100 million for the first time in its history.

Of course, much of that “boom” had to have been pent-up demand after the damn virus shutdowns of 2020. How the market will unfold in the next 5-10 years is anyone’s guess. I still hope to buy a collector car as a companion for my 2016 Z06. Where I would store the car is unknown at this time and is the great obstacle. I think it will come down to one of these two cars:

 

 

The top photo is a Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk and the bottom is a Cadillac Allante, both members of my Ultimate Garage 3.0. Once again from the movie Diner, “If you don’t have dreams you have nightmares.”

 

#FreezingInTheDesert

#BooOnTheNewsMedia

#CollectorCarMarket

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Sunday Supplement

I had no intention of posting twice today, but had to share this excerpt from this article:

 

“All around us, the automakers around the world are engaged in a humiliating retreat the likes of which we haven’t seen since, uh, August of this year in Afghanistan. In this case, however, there’s no Taliban rushing forward to take pictures with swimming pools and Blackhawk helicopters. Rather, the manufacturers are rushing to kneel before the “EV,” a device which has yet to prove itself more than a toy for rich people and city dwellers. There is no clear pathway to a national EV infrastructure, nor is it clear just where the materials for all of the batteries will be sourced. In any event, the vast majority of the batteries and electric motors will come from China, so this spectacular act of cowardice isn’t just stupid, it’s also suicidal. Should the people who are “on the right side of history” have their way, tomorrow’s automotive market will have the worst of all worlds: Cars will be cheaply built from ecologically catastrophic materials by slave labor in a manner calculated to primarily benefit a Communist dictatorship, but they’ll also be massively expensive and about as long-lived as a BIRD scooter. Good times ahead, I tell you. [Emphasis mine]

This slouching towards a particularly moronic take on Gomorrah could be stopped in a heartbeat if the automakers were helmed by people with courage, vision, and a willingness to work together. They could declare, as a group, that they have no interest in fulfilling any EV mandates, whether state-based or national, and that any governmental entity that published such a mandate would have to figure out a way to keep going on the cars they have now, like Cuba in 2010. We’ve seen this coordinated behavior out of American corporations for any number of social-justice goals in the past few years—but they won’t do it to ensure their own survival. More precisely, they won’t do it to ensure the survival of their employees, because it’s obvious that all the CEOs will receive a golden handshake on the way out the door of whatever EV-policy has to be unwound by their successors once the realities of supply and demand set in. To wit: There’s not enough supply of the batteries, and there’s statistically zero demand for the cars.”

 

For the nth plus nth time, blind adherence to ANY ideology is a path to disaster. Smug, self-righteous and arrogant people do not have the answers.

 

#SundaySupplement

#EVMandatesWillBeADisaster

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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R And R

One Two Nine Nine…

On a personal level, I think 2022 is going to be the year of R and R: Retirement and Reassessment. Obviously, the first R refers to my wonderful wife’s retirement, which was effective at the close of business on December 31.

I think that 2022 will have to be a year of reassessment for me, a year when I have to decide what interests, what people are really important. It also has to be a year in which I reassess my behavior and my thoughts. Although OCD is hard to overcome, it’s not always impossible.

I guess the start of a new calendar year has some significance. To be honest, though, I have never really considered January 1 as having much importance. For example, during the 20+ years I worked in major league baseball, the opening day of the regular season was really the beginning of the new year, filled with promise and anticipation.

As a person with some “issues,” the structure inherent in a sports season is much needed. I think that’s why I write a post almost every day; writing is an anchor and I mean that in a good way.

******************

This long, but interesting article from Hagerty is titled, “Why is the automotive repair industry in need of so much repair itself?” This passage is quite significant, in my opinion:

 

“Shop classes at the middle and high school level have been the victims of budget cuts for decades, in part due to the required resource investment. Meanwhile, the prevailing message to students from high school staff has prioritized pursuit of academic-focused four-year colleges degrees over trades. Many industries are attempting to deal with this slow take rate for trade schools by anteing up with offers of generous pay, equipment reimbursement, company-supplied tools and vehicles, and other adjustments designed to attract young talent. Yet these are moves that the automotive industry has, bizarrely, rarely adopted. It’s easy to see how such reforms would directly address the current high-turnover environment, as techs either burn out or constantly hop from one business to another, surfing just long enough for the next job offer. Folks with wisdom, experience, and keen diagnostic instincts eventually seek a landing pad with fleets in government sectors, aircraft maintenance, or sometimes an entirely different trade.

This uneven labor trade-off has driven a shortage of somewhere between 10,000 to 20,000 technicians every year, by most estimates. Concerning the shortage over the next five years, estimates ranges wildly on the body count needed: anywhere between 25,000 and 642,000. The result is a recession of reliable, quality shops as service managers scramble to bring enough workers in to meet demand, which has grown substantially during the pandemic. With the valve closing on a supply of newly trained techs, some shops are left with less-than-ideal staff, if they have any at all to hire, further entrenching the troubled state of the industry. A loss of experienced talent in the labor pool results in higher return rates for follow-up work on a job, either due to a workmanship errors or outright misdiagnosis of the issue. Without a well-trained bucket of younger workers feeding into the industry, many shops are unable to hire enough techs to keep up with demand, resulting in long turn-around times and far-out schedule slots for work.”

 

The brainwashing of young people (and parents) that college is the only route to a successful career has been the ruination of millions. “College for all” is a fool’s errand. In reality, for most students college is an investment with a poor return. In addition, student debt has reached the preposterous level of $1.5 trillion in the US. No, I don’t believe in cancelling student debt unless the foolish government programs that encourage and facilitate people to take on that debt are also cancelled.

Although I had scholarships and grants to cover most of the cost of my undergraduate studies, I did borrow a little money. During a period when the average 30-year fixed mortgage had an interest rate in excess of 10% (sometimes far in excess of 10%), the interest rate on my student loans was about 3%. I paid off my loan ahead of schedule, even though with that interest rate differential my student loan could have been considered an asset. (In my case, the money wasn’t loaned directly to me; it was simply “credited” to my college account with the understanding I would have an obligation to repay those amounts with interest.)

Did I absolutely have to take out student loans? Probably not, but they made paying for college much easier. Not to sound elitist, but since I graduated with honors in less than four years with a double major, no one can make the claim that college was a waste of time for me. I do think, though, that WAY too many young people attend college and WAY too few are learning a trade (or trades). That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

That’s also the major reason, in my opinion, why the automotive repair industry is in shambles. I am genuinely concerned that a time might come when getting my Z06 serviced will be very difficult and very expensive.

 

 

#RAndR

#TheAutomotiveRepairIndustryNeedsRepair

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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One One Two Two

First, congratulations to my wonderful wife! As of today she is officially retired. I LOVE YOU, V Squared!

 

Second, some “accounting.”

 

2021 COMPARED TO 2020

TOTAL BLOG VIEWS                      +12%

VIEWS FOR JANUARY-MARCH   +131%

VIEWS FOR APRIL-DECEMBER        -7%

 

In April of 2020–due to the damn virus or other reasons or all of the above–blog views took a quantum leap up. Views for April, 2020 through June, 2020 were 96% higher than for January, 2020 through March, 2020. The level of views (and visitors) has never returned to its previous level, at least not yet.

Still, views for the last three quarters of 2021 were lower than for the same period in 2020. That fact is discouraging. I keep reading that interest in many blogs just wanes over time as a matter of course.

If WordPress abandons access to the Classic Editor at the end of this year, then this “discussion” is moot because I will not use the Block(head) Editor. I would like to think readership has another leap up awaiting, but maybe I’m delusional.

 

Third, although I never watched The Golden Girls or Hot In Cleveland, the death of Betty White (17 days before what would have been her 100th birthday) is sad for me. As I have written before, I think she and my marvelous mom bore a physical resemblance and they were both born in 1922.

“And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”

– John Donne

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To begin the New Year, a beautiful picture:

 

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While acknowledging that “life has become less and less predictable” (it was really never that predictable, in my opinion), Hemmings offers some predictions for the automotive market for 2022.

Hemmings editor-in-chief Terry McGean predicts that interest in vehicles from the 1980s and 1990s will “really gain momentum this year.” He advises readers that if they find a car or truck from that time period that appeals to them, then now might be the time to buy it.

As everyone reading this blog should know, I love the Cadillac Allante, which was available from 1987 to 1993. I mean, I put the car in my Ultimate Garage 3.0 as one of my favorite 14 cars ever. Most people know about my affinity for the looks of the Buick Reatta.

Anyway…this 2018 article from Hotcars gives a list of 20 underrated sports cars from the 1980s. While it would be thought-provoking, I guess, to compare current values to those listed in the article (which put a $10,000 limit on the cars), that is beyond my time and interest. I read articles like this to learn about cars like this:

 

See the source image

 

This is a Toyota Supra A70. In 1987 Toyota introduced a turbocharged engine as an option for this car; with forced induction the engine generated 230 HP/247 LB-FT of torque, which were good figures for 1987. For the same model year, the Chevrolet Corvette engine was rated 240 HP although it did have 345 LB-FT.

Either the market for this car has really skyrocketed in the last 3-4 years or Hotcars.com doesn’t know car values. In the article from 2018 it stated a decent A70 could be purchased for $4,000. Looking online for Supra turbos from 1987-89, I couldn’t find a running example listed at less than $16,000 and some were listed at more than $40,000. I guess I was more curious than I thought, after all.

Do you have any cars from the 1980s and 1990s that grab you? One idea for a blog series that has rattled around in (what’s left of) my brain is to feature cars from specific decades, like Fifties Friday or Sixties Sunday.

Happy New Year!

 

#OneOneTwoTwo

#BettyWhite

#ToyotaSupraA70

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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