Tuesday Coda

No, I did not misspell soda. A coda is the closing section of a music composition or literary work.

Yesterday I received the check for the significant amount due in the transaction in which I traded the Z06 for a new Mustang GT. The Z06 saga and purchase of its replacement is all over including the shouting.

Compared to what I had spent on repairs to the Z06 and buying the Cascada, I have recouped more than half that amount AND I now have a desirable brand new car. While I am still not flush with cash, I can breathe a little easier.

 

 

All I want is an ownership as free from hassle as possible. I will not have any modifications done even if they wouldn’t require ECM tuning. If 450 HP/420 LB-FT of torque in a 3,750-pound car is not enough for someone in his early 60s, then I really am hopeless. The sound alone makes owning the Mustang GT worthwhile.

 

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Here’s a video unrelated to automobiles:

 

 

This was, indeed, a precursor to an intense rainstorm yesterday. Mother Nature neither knows nor cares that the official end of the monsoon season was September 30.

Although the storm blew away many of the items we had in the front yard for bulk trash pickup week–which usually happens every four weeks–the rain was welcome, as always. I know that this year’s monsoon season did not deliver as much rain as last year’s as the 2021 version dumped so much rain on us that, at times, the level of our swimming pool actually reached the pool deck. That did not happen this year.

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Sorry, Lyle, but here is a photo of one of my favorite landmarks in the area, Four Peaks:

 

 

While lack of a view of Four Peaks cannot realistically be a deal-breaker when we move to a single-story house, it sure would be nice to have. It’s like a five-car garage; it would be great to have one, but such houses are not usually available in the range of what we would want to spend. Thanks to my wonderful wife for taking and sending me the photo.

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This remark from Robert Hutchins, former President of the University of Chicago, is right on the mark, in my opinion:

 

“A university is a community of scholars. It is not a kindergarten; it is not a club; it is not a reform school; it is not a political party; it is not an agency of propaganda. A university is a community of scholars.”

 

So many institutions of “higher learning” have strayed very far from this concept to the detriment of all of us, ultimately, although I will not live long enough to see all of the awful repercussions. A university…is not a political party; it is not an agency of propaganda. Amen!

Sadly, here is an example of how universities–in this case, its students–have become clueless; yes, the link is to Why Evolution Is True:

 

Professor in Maine demonized for teaching that humans have two sexes; students walk out and demand her suspension.”

 

Although dozens of conditions exist that can cause a baby to be born with an ambiguous gender, as best as I can tell from my admittedly brief research, in no way does the proportion exceed 1% and some studies suggest the ratio is even smaller. It just speaks to the hypocrisy of ideologues that those who demonize climate change deniers as ignoring science do EXACTLY THE SAME THING when it suits their a priori beliefs.

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I do pay attention to the word counter at the lower left when writing a post. Yesterday, because of the word count I deliberately excluded mentioning the anniversary of Bobby Thomson’s (yes, I spelled his last name correctly) famous homerun (“The Giants Win The Pennant! The Giants Win The Pennant!”) in 1951 that did, indeed, win the National League championship for the Giants and send them to the World Series.

I am going to cheat the word counter by showing you something Bill James wrote in his legendary book, The Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract.

 

 

Yes, the Giants hit 11 homeruns against Ralph Branca in 1951 and beat him six times. The reference to Earl Weaver is that he was the first manager, as far as anyone knows, to make sure data was compiled on specific batter-pitcher matchups and to use that data in lineup construction and pinch-hitting decisions.

The first 2-3 years I worked for the Baltimore Orioles, the team Weaver managed although he was retired by the time I started working there, one of my job responsibilities was to maintain the “Weaver charts.” While the data was stored in a computer database by this time, I still had to manually look at every scorecard from every game and to manually input changes in the data. At some point, this task was given to someone in the Public Relations department. I never trusted the data after that, but that’s another story for another day.

Today, such data is probably available to almost anyone with a computer. It certainly is available to all major league teams. Remind me to write about my reports on Left/Right tendencies for the opposition before every home stand and road trip.

 

#TuesdayCoda

#DesertRain

#FourPeaks

#RobertHutchins

#EarlWeaver

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Munday Mosings

I have to say that I am impressed with Carvana. We signed the paperwork to sell the Cascada yesterday, a Sunday. The payment for the car was in my bank account by 5 AM local time. (Yes, I was up at that hour. I usually am.)

It’s just one transaction, but Carvana seems to be able to function when so many American companies are unable to do so. Again, I wish they sold “classic” cars, but I am not buying anything in the near future, anyway.

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Some photos to start the week:

 

 

No points for guessing where we had lunch yesterday.

 

 

The cloud in the center looks like a big head to me. I never said I was sane.

 

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A link to a CNBC piece that warmed my heart: “Facebook scrambles to escape stock’s death spiral as users flee, sales drop.” Laura Martin, an analyst at Needham, said, “I’m not sure there’s a core business that works anymore at Facebook.”

Fack Fucebook!

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Not all automobile executives are jumping on the EV bandwagon. In another article that brightened my day, this piece from Hagerty reported on Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda’s continuing skepticism over “pie in the sky mandates” such as the one issued by California in August, six days before asking EV owners to reduce their charging because the grid couldn’t handle it. What the hell, here’s a big chunk of the article:

 

“Speaking with reporters during a dealer meeting in Las Vegas, Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda expressed skepticism over pie-in-the-sky mandates such as California’s total ban of gasoline-powered cars in the state by 2035, according to a report from Automotive News. The mandate, which was recently adopted by Washington state and even more recently New York state, doesn’t seem possible, according to Toyoda. “Realistically speaking, it seems rather difficult to achieve that,” he said. Electric vehicles are “Just going to take longer than the media would like us to believe,” he continued.”

“This isn’t the first time that Toyoda poked holes in what many believe to be the future of the automobile. In September of last year, Akio Toyoda expressed similar skepticism about the inevitability of autonomy as well as the electric revolution. While automakers [are] continuing to chase more efficient and eco-friendlier EVs, Toyoda’s remarks feel like a welcome reality check for the prevailing market forces that seem to think the various issues with EVs—where the materials come from and the rising costs of battery vehicles in general, to name a few—will magically sort themselves out in a few short years.”

 

A welcome reality check, indeed.

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Another CNBC article, this one about the 10 least popular US states to move to. Only one state surprised me on the list.

 

The 10 least popular states to move to in 2022:

  1. New Jersey
  2. California
  3. Illinois
  4. New York
  5. Connecticut
  6. Utah
  7. Maryland
  8. Rhode Island
  9. Louisiana
  10. Virginia

 

Utah was first in percentage gain in population among all states from 2010 to 2020 so its inclusion here is surprising to me. States 1-5 are all high tax jurisdictions. When they can, people vote with their feet. In a federal republic states are allowed to have different tax regimes. I have lived in two of these ten states and would NEVER live in either one again.

 

#MundayMosings

#FackFucebook!

#EVsAreNotAPanacea

#PeopleVoteWithTheirFeet

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Farewell Cascada, We Hardly Knew Thee

Yes, I sold the 2019 Buick Cascada I bought in late June. Here is one last picture:

 

 

While I don’t believe in excessive distillation of reality, I do believe that K.I.S.S. is usually the best approach to life. I didn’t want a convertible as much as I thought and since acquiring the Mustang I was not driving the Cascada that much.

I sold the Cascada to Carvana. They paid me 40% more (yes, 4-0) than the offer from a local dealer that buys cars and the process was very easy. Again, simpler is almost always better than complicated. My wonderful wife and I were at the Carvana “dealership” no more than 10 minutes as I had completed all of the “paperwork” online and simply had to sign a few documents.

I would imagine buying a car from them is not much more complicated than selling one. Too bad they don’t have cars like this in their inventory.

 

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Let’s see…defending national champion, Number One ranked and (obviously) undefeated Georgia escaped with a 26-22 win at unranked Missouri, a team whose two wins are against Louisiana Tech and Abilene Christian. Number 17 ranked Texas A&M lost to unranked Mississippi State 42-24 (the Bulldogs will now almost certainly be ranked; Update: Mississippi State and TCU are now ranked). Number 18 ranked Oklahoma was destroyed by unranked TCU 55-24. OK, maybe Oklahoma was never quite that good.

Number 21 ranked Minnesota lost at home to unranked Purdue. Once again, life is a Monte Carlo simulation. Only one event has a 100% probability. I don’t want to say that any college team can beat any other college team, but within a conference, almost anything can happen. The three upsets about which I wrote, as well as Georgia’s narrow win, were all intra-conference games.

Until the official College Football Playoff (CFP) rankings start being released every week, the other rankings only exist to add excitement to college football. I remember when only 20 teams were ranked every week. Why do you think it’s now 25? These rankings are not created by a “higher power.” Once again, unranked teams beat ranked teams all the time.

I did enjoy watching Georgia-Missouri and, again, did not really have a dog in the fight. I turned the game on in the first quarter with Missouri ahead 3-0. I did not think Georgia would come back to win, but they made some adjustments in their run scheme and offensive line blocking, in addition to just stepping up their game. I think they outgained Missouri 300-100 in the second half.

I really can’t wait for the CFP to expand to 12 teams, even though one of the motivating factors is just to get Notre Dame in every year. (In case you can’t tell, I am not exactly a fan of Notre Dame football.) I think the national championship will end up being the second highest rated TV program every year behind only the Super Bowl.

 

#FarewellCascada

#CollegeFootballUpsets

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Did You Miss Me?

OK, the post title is sarcastic. In the grand scheme of things my blog is close to the quintessence of nothing. Still, it is important to me and, I hope, is of some importance to those who read it on a regular basis.

As I have written ad nauseam I am struggling with the direction of the blog. I do not want to turn this into a political blog, a blog about old cars or just a random collection of facts. Given that I have no interest in SUVs, pickup trucks or electric vehicles–nor do I have to–automotive content will simply have to be a smaller part of this blog going forward, no matter how much longer I keep blogging.

I apologize if it seems I lean too heavily on links to Why Evolution Is True. I just find Jerry Coyne’s blog to be very interesting. I also wish a tenth as many people followed Disaffected Musings.

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The Z06 saga is over. (I buried the lede again.) Stephen, the owner of the shop “in charge” of the repairs but not actually doing them, texted me on Wednesday (the 28th) that the parts needed to finish the repairs were supposed to arrive on Thursday.

My wonderful wife and I decided to get everything out of the Z06 that we needed, most importantly the license plate. We did that early Thursday morning. The young tech doing the repairs was sure he would finish that day and he did as the parts did finally arrive. The Ford dealer from whom I purchased the Mustang acknowledged receiving the Z06 that afternoon and promised to begin processing the large payment I am owed from the transaction.

I must admit that I had no pangs of nostalgia or regret seeing the Z06. Yesterday was 24 weeks that the car first failed to start. Enough was enough.

I must thank Stephen for his patience and perseverance. I am not a patient person, by nature, something I demonstrated when I called the Ford dealer on Tuesday and gave them an earful because my position was that since they had the title to the Corvette they owned the car, meaning I had paid for the Mustang and was due the amount owed to me ASAP. They disagreed and they had all of the leverage. Fortunately, the end of the saga was much closer than any of us thought.

When Stephen visited me Thursday evening, bringing the aftermarket headers from the Z06, he implied (or maybe I am inferring incorrectly) that General Motors is having more difficulty with its supply chains and logistics than other automobile manufacturers. With the exception of a few foreign vehicles, I have only owned GM cars; well, until I bought the Mustang. I can’t say Stephen’s words were a surprise, but they were a disappointment.

Without revealing details that are not mine to share, he told me about his future business plans. We also discussed my obsession with the Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk and not only did Stephen offer to help me find one, he offered to store it at his shop and even be involved with the restoration/modernization. By the way, a 1963 model recently sold on Bring A Trailer for just $9,000, not counting the 5% buyers commission.

It is 90%-95% likely that I am going to sell the Cascada. I don’t want a convertible as much as I thought and if I can’t depend on a new car to be reliable, then I am SOL, anyway. Of course, between the amount I am owed on the Mustang purchase and how much I will receive for the Cascada, I could buy something affordable like a Gran Turismo Hawk and have plenty left over, some of which could be spent on the car.

Onward and upward!

 

 

#DidYouMissMe?

#GoodbyeZ06

#somanyCARSjustonelife

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Well, It Worked

No, I am not addressing someone with a given name of Wellington. In this post from July I revealed that I had signed up for a VPN primarily for one reason: so I could continue watching the Canadian TV show Transplant. Although I had to hold my nose and use the Internet browser I had refused to use for almost five years (long story), my wonderful wife and I were, indeed, able to watch the first episode of Season 3 yesterday. That episode originally aired just last Friday.

Even if NBC decides to air Season 3 episodes they will not be broadcast for months after their original airing in Canada. So, how was it? From a technical standpoint no issues occurred while watching the show. There was no buffering, no skipping. As for the episode itself, I thought it was good, not great. I don’t think the show will be quite the same without the character played by John Hannah, Dr. Jed Bishop. Dr. Bishop was the Chief of Emergency Medicine and trained most of the doctors working for him. The new Chief is being portrayed as a “progressive bureaucrat” without any previous experience in Emergency Medicine.

I did say a couple of times to my wonderful wife, “I can’t believe it worked and we’re watching the show.” Now, if I could just figure out a way to cast the show from my phone to the big-screen TV in the bonus room. No, we did not watch the show on a mobile device, but on the decent-sized monitor for my desktop computer.

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Speaking of Canada, the Canadian government confirmed yesterday that noncitizens entering the country–including professional athletes–will no longer be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 beginning in October. The mask mandate for airplane passengers and crew has also been dropped. The Canadian government is still recommending that people wear masks, particularly in crowded environments such as planes and trains.

While the “pandemic” phase of the damn virus seems to be coming to an end, the endemic phase will probably be with us for a long time. While modern humans seem to have very short memories, I still think that some changes in how we work and live will be long-lasting.

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Speaking of professional athletes, while he seems to be “stuck” on 60 homeruns, Aaron Judge–whom I mentioned in this post from September 25–was the subject of this comment yesterday from Bill James: “Unfortunately, I am unable to celebrate the successes of ANY Yankees, but I do have to grudgingly admit that Aaron Judge is perhaps the greatest player I have ever seen. PERHAPS, I said. Don’t take it to the bank.”

Judge is currently leading the American League in the traditional Triple Crown statistics–batting average, homeruns and runs batted in (RBI) in addition to runs scored and more meaningful metrics such as on-base percentage (OBP) and slugging percentage (SLG), since he leads in both OBP and SLG he obviously leads in on-base plus slugging (OPS), as well as advanced metrics such as Wins Above Replacement (WAR). What is WAR? It is an estimate of the number of additional wins a player’s team has achieved above the number of expected team wins if that player were substituted with a replacement-level player, a player who may be added to the team for minimal cost and effort. A replacement-level player is not as good as an average player.

An esoteric tangent: since the distribution of talent in major league baseball–in all professional sports, really–is not a normal distribution (that is a statistical term and not a value judgment) more players are below average than above average. I learned that from Bill James. While the concept made sense theoretically, I didn’t fully believe it until I started working in major league baseball and began performing analysis of player performance on a regular basis. Even eliminating players with insignificant playing time, more players were below average than above every year whether it was in hitting or pitching performance.

I once had what turned out to be an impossible task in trying to describe this fact to my colleagues at the Baltimore Orioles. Even after explaining the difference between the mean/average and the median, they did not understand the concept. Was I really that far ahead of my time? I don’t know the answer to that, but I do know that I was using statistical methods to help a major league team make decisions in a full-time job 15 years before Moneyball was published.

 

 

#WellItWorked

#BillJames

#IAmAMoneyballPioneer

#somanyCARSjustonelife

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Muddy Monday

The mud is all in my head, as in muddied thoughts with no clear direction. I wasn’t going to post today, but OCD.

 

Here are links to three posts from Why Evolution Is True:

 

More ideological bias: the National Science Foundation gives grants for people to document what the NSF already claims to know

Sundance and others cancel a talented filmmaker for “Islamophobia” and “white saviorism”

The DART mission: A U.S. spacecraft will hit an asteroid this evening (7:14 EDT), trying to change its orbit

 

For the nth time, the author of Why Evolution Is True (Jerry Coyne) is a self-proclaimed liberal, but rails against the excesses of the Lunatic Left. Wish someone who is a self-proclaimed conservative would speak out against the Radical Right; maybe someone has, besides George Will.

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You’ll never see this story reported in the mainstream media. I do not know how much validity these claims have because I am not a scientist. However, neither are Schmocasio Schmortez, Theta Grunberg or GoreAl.

I firmly believe that the push to “Carbon Zero” is based at least as much on the old socialist/communist agendas of redistributing wealth and income and establishing firm governmental control over individuals as it is on environmental concerns. When I see how much of this so-called policy is based on punishment and not problem-solving, I can’t help conclude otherwise.

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I found this Hagerty piece from last week to be very interesting. It is about each generation’s favorite classic cars. Here is the picture (I hope the link doesn’t break) from the top of the article:

 

 

When someone of my generation (the Baby Boomers) calls Hagerty about an insurance quote, the car most asked about is the 1972-84 Corvette. If that’s reported correctly, then–of course–that spans two Corvette generations.

I wonder how many people call for a quote on a car like this:

 

 

#MuddyMonday

#IdeologyIsAPathToRuin

#FavoriteClassicCars

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Sports Sunday

I have often heard it said that of the five senses it is the sense of smell that evokes the strongest memories and emotions. For me, however, it is the sense of hearing, more specifically, hearing music that elicits the strongest reactions. I stumbled onto this yesterday. It is the closing theme for This Week In Baseball around 1980. I must admit getting a little teary-eyed hearing it for the first time in decades. (I sometimes have a similar reaction listening to the classic NFL Films music from the 1960s and 1970s composed by the late Sam Spence.)

First, I think it is a magnificent piece of music. Second, it brought back strong memories of a time long ago that seemed much more innocent, even though in hindsight I must acknowledge that is probably a romantic fantasy. It was a time when anything seemed possible. It was also a period when I was just a big fan of baseball, before I became a baseball executive and consultant and certainly long before the baseball industry discarded me like last week’s trash.

Many people in my life still, deep down, don’t believe that baseball is not a part of my life, anymore. The fact that it is not doesn’t mean, though, that it was not an important part of my life in the past. The past can never be changed.

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Speaking of baseball…I think it’s worth noting two accomplishments. The first is Albert Pujols becoming just the fourth player in major league history to hit at least 700 career homeruns. (That’s in the regular season. The cheat, philanderer and all-around jerk, Alex Rodriguez, reached that level if one counts the playoffs.)

Pujols’ first major league season, 2001, was also my first as a baseball operations/player personnel consultant for major league teams after having worked in two full-time baseball positions for a total of 10+ years. He had one of the greatest seasons for any rookie in history, made even more impressive by the fact that he had played just one season in the minors and most of that at a level far below the major leagues.

After his rookie season, many in the game felt that Pujols and the Cardinals, his original and current team (with stops in between), were lying about his age, believing no 21-year old could be that good given his lack of minor league experience. Since he’s having a good season 21 years later, that belief seems false, at least to me. I think it’s extremely unlikely a 45- or 47-year old could still be a productive major league hitter.

 

Jackie Robinson, Albert Pujols and the Greatest Rookie of the Year Winners | Bleacher Report ...

 

The second feat to mention is Aaron Judge becoming the sixth player to hit 60+ homeruns in a single season. He is the third New York Yankee (after Babe Ruth and Roger Maris) to do so; that represents all of the times a player has reached 60 HR in the American League. The three National League seasons (Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds) are tainted by the stench of steroids.

Judge also has a good chance to win the old-fashioned “Triple Crown,” which is when a player leads his league in batting average, homeruns and runs batted in (RBI) in the same season. With baseball expanding from the “original” 16 teams to its current 30, it was thought that winning the Triple Crown was a virtual impossibility. However, another baseball prodigy, Miguel Cabrera, reached the feat in the American League in 2012.

We now know that of the traditional metrics, on-base percentage (OBP) and slugging percentage (SLG) are more important than batting average because they correlate better with scoring runs and winning games. The number of homeruns, while significant, is kind of a narrow focus and RBI are as dependent on the ability of teammates to reach base and run the bases as it is on any given hitter. The great Branch Rickey once remarked, “RBI are not only misleading, they’re dishonest.”

OK, that’s probably more than enough baseball for most of you. Time for football…

Although this seems to mystify many casual fans, two more ranked college football teams lost to unranked teams yesterday. These “upsets” happen every year. The rankings are not compiled by a “higher power” and anything can happen in any one game. Actually, the only rankings that really matter are those created by the College Football Playoff (CFP) committee and those don’t begin until late October, I believe. (C’mon, 12-team playoff!) The other rankings exist solely for the purpose of increasing interest in the sport.

While Texas Tech beating Texas was an upset, Miami losing at home to unranked Middle Tennessee State was a real upset. The Hurricanes were a 25-point favorite and the Blue Raiders had never previously defeated a ranked team, although they have only played at the top collegiate level since 2000. To add insult to injury, the University of Miami athletic department paid MTSU $1.5 million to play the game. (Yeah, college football players shouldn’t be paid. My ass…)

 

The word counter at the lower left starts with an “8” so I am going to sign off. As always, I welcome thoughtful comments.

 

#SportsSunday

#AlbertPujols

#somanyCARSjustonelife

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Desert Pictures For A Saturday

I don’t think I’ve mentioned that the new Mustang GT I bought is the first new car, as opposed to used, I’ve owned in 11 years. The last new car I acquired was a 2011 Infiniti G37x coupe. The longer I had that car, the less I liked it. I know I have written that and the following before, but the CVT–Continuously Variable Transmission–was just awful and I could not ascertain how bad it was during a 15-minute test drive. Here’s hoping I don’t eventually feel that way about the Mustang. So far, so good.

 

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I don’t know if it was the title, but yesterday’s post did not inspire readership. In general, the surge in blog views and visitors of which I have written seems to have faded. I can’t explain why just as I can’t explain the surge, which lasted about four weeks, in the first place. I welcome thoughtful feedback and constructive criticism.

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OK, here are the pictures. Sorry, Lyle.

 

 

The first two pictures were not taken on the same day.

 

 

 

Nope, that rainbow is not Photoshopped in; I don’t even know how to use PhotoShop. Given how ominous the skies looked yesterday afternoon, the amount of rain we received was a disappointment. That rainbow sky made up for it, though.

 

#DesertPicturesForASaturday

#somanyCARSjustonelife

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Fighting Words For Friday

Human beings are, for the most part, tribal and that’s OK–IMO–because that’s how we evolved. Most people are motivated by self-interest most of the time and that’s OK–again, IMO–because that’s part of our survival instinct. HOWEVER, like all paradigms those are not always appropriate. Devising a life strategy that looks out for one’s self and loved ones without screwing over others sounds easy, but it’s not always. Knowing when one must deviate from normal behavior, however that is defined, might be the most difficult part of being human. Oh, I can’t stand the bromide “We’re all in this together.” In reality, that is usually not true and is just a flimsy rationale for ceding freedom to monolithic government.

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I have a thought experiment. Think how elegantly sober quiets unruly actors’ delinquency.

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When they can, people vote with their feet. From this Why Evolution Is True post from today:

 

“As I [Jerry Coyne] reported recently, there’s a mass exodus of draft-age Russian men from their country, either avoiding being called up in the new mobilization of 300,000 reservists, or fear that they will be called up in a second and universal mobilization.

 

Turkey already was among the countries that received a large exodus of Russians at the beginning of the Ukraine invasion. Many were fleeing the crackdown at home, including the criminalization of dissent, with speaking out against the invasion or even calling it a war now carrying serious penalties. Others worried about the impact of international sanctions and Russia’s growing isolation on the economy and their jobs.

Now, a new wave may be beginning, and while the exact scope of it was not immediately clear, the rush for plane tickets and the long lines of cars at the borders were indications that the prospects of an expanded conscription have alarmed a swath of Russian society.”

 

Tell me again why it’s good for government “leaders” to have unchecked power.

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I have seen a few of these around here lately.

 

nissan, Gt r, Godzilla, Au spec, r35 cars, Orange, 2016 Wallpapers HD / Desktop and Mobile ...

 

In case you don’t know, or even if you do, this is a Nissan GT-R. If I had continued the Hall of Very Good Cars series this would have been included.

While I don’t think it’s an ugly car, it’s not the looks that earned its inclusion and it is true that if it were more stunning in appearance to me it might have been an Ultimate Garage car. It is the car’s drivetrain that is most impressive, IMO.

In current base spec–although Nissan is no longer selling the car in many markets due to new government regulations–the 3.8 liter/232 cubic-inch, twin-turbo V6 produces 565 HP/467 LB-FT of torque. The GT-R is also all-wheel drive. In 2019 Nissan produced just 50 units of a special model called, not surprisingly, the GT-R50. Using the same engine, but with larger diameter turbochargers, a heavy-duty bottom end and modified intake/exhaust, output was increased to 711 HP/575 LB-FT. Godzilla, indeed!

As for the future of the GT-R, let’s get it straight from Hiroshi Tamura, long-time head of Nissan’s sports car program.

 

“A case study [about electrifying the GT-R] has already started. Actually it has started so many times – again and stop, again and stop – but the point is, it depends on customers’ motivation and feeling. Are they going to chase something like that?”

 

Many industry observers believe that Nissan’s next top of the line sports car, whether it’s actually called the GT-R or something else (the R36?), will be a hybrid, but probably not a pure EV. As Tamura said, he’s not sure customers in this market segment want an all-electric vehicle and he believes battery and motor technology needs to get smaller and lighter to be more suitable for a sports car, in order not to compromise its weight and handling.

I would very much like to drive a GT-R although I seriously doubt I will ever own one. (I’d settle for the Z06 nightmare to be over so I can be paid what I’m owned on the trade for the Mustang GT.) Have any of you ever driven one? We would like to read your impressions.

 

#FightingWordsForFriday

#DTTS

#NissanGT-R

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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It Really Never Ends…

Until it does, I guess. Yesterday I received a frantic call from a sales manager at the Ford dealership where I bought the Mustang. He said that the dealership that actually is in possession of the Z06 claimed they didn’t have it. His calls to the person who owns the shop “in charge” of the repairs went un-returned. (I will not deal with the service department of the local Chevrolet dealer. I decided to use another local independent shop for the Vette, a shop I had used before, after the debacle with the other dealer that had the Z06 for eight weeks and returned it not in optimal running condition. The owner of the independent shop then farmed out the work to the local dealership and he did inform me that he was going to do so.)

I was then involved in a three-way text exchange. The result was, I think, that the Z06 repairs will not be held up waiting for factory parts–it turns out the ETA on them has “gone missing”–and that either aftermarket parts or no parts will be used. You see, the only things missing are the Corvette’s secondary catalytic converters. I believe the Vette is the only car sold in the US with two sets of cats.

You probably don’t remember, but in the summer of 2020 those were removed by a shop in the mid-Atlantic that worked on my car. The Z06 easily passed Arizona emissions without the secondary cats. I know I mentioned to the person “in charge” of the repairs here that we didn’t need to re-install them, but he thought it would be better to do so as that would make the car completely stock.

I am not an attorney and don’t know if the Ford dealership can still unwind the deal for the Mustang even though they have the title to the Z06. What they can do is to delay cutting the check for the substantial amount they owe me until they have the car in their possession, even though it’s literally next door.

This picture is running through my mind:

 

 

I have long called my own personal version of Murphy’s Law the Johnny Astro Syndrome. When my wonderful wife and I married, the best man, Dr. Zal, made a toast during which he announced that the Johnny Astro Syndrome is over. If only that were true.

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Does the name Bob Babbitt mean anything to you? How about the Funk Brothers? Babbitt (given name Robert Kreiner) was a bass player who for part of his career was part of the Funk Brothers. The latter was Motown’s backing group of musicians from the time the company was founded in 1959 until the company moved its headquarters to Los Angeles in 1972. The actual roster of all of the musicians who were ever part of the group is unknown.

Babbitt, named the 59th best bass player of all time by Bass Player magazine, played with Dennis Coffey (another Funk Brothers alum) and the Detroit Guitar Band. They had one gold single, Scorpio. That song features a great solo by Babbitt and one that was very long in the context of its day. With the caveat that this is not the greatest mix ever–the bass is often almost completely drowned out by percussion and Coffey’s pizzicato of sorts–AND that I do not own the rights to the song, here is that solo.

 

 

I cannot describe the impact this song had on me. I had always leaned towards instrumental music, but this song was a revelation. As I am writing this, I hear Babbitt’s solo in my head. Here is a description from notreble:

 

“Babbitt’s approach to the bass break in “Scorpio” is a great example of development, space, and phrasing in a groove-based solo. He often rests between restating the initial groove of the song and adding funky embellishments, allowing the listener to hang on between the phrases with great expectations of what is to come. Over the course of the solo, he builds momentum with busier rhythmic lines and finally ushers in the rest of the ensemble to return to the head of the tune.”

 

From Wikipedia a picture of the late Bob Babbitt:

 

Bob Babbitt in 2004

 

Of course, as soon as I finish writing this post I will have to listen to Scorpio and maybe play the bass solo by itself as well. After you finish reading, go listen to some of your favorite music.

 

#ItReallyNeverEnds

#JohnnyAstroSyndrome

#BobBabbitt

#FunkBrothers

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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