On this day 75 years ago my parents married. They were living in a “Displaced Persons” camp in Austria. In other words, they were refugees.

People in this country, especially younger people, have no frame of reference with which to understand what happened during World War II. As a result, they lack a genuine perspective on events. I am trying to be polite writing about this. What I really feel about the cluelessness of most people is extremely impolite.





10,000 Miles, A Confession And More Pictures

I was lucky in that I was able to be at a red light when this picture opportunity presented itself:



Yep, 10,000 miles on my Z06. You are reading the speedometer correctly; it peaks at 220 MPH. I don’t think the car can go quite that fast, but I bet it could reach 205-210 MPH. Of course, I will never drive it anywhere near that fast.

Reaching 10,000 miles in total means I have driven the car 5,600 miles since acquiring it and about 1,800 miles since moving to Arizona. Tomorrow is 22 weeks that we moved into our house here.



OK, I never know if these audio or video files will work until I publish the post. If this works, please feel free to skip the first 30 seconds. Yes, that is my car as the last of the three #mystarcar cars in this segment shown on the Mecum broadcast on Thursday. My confession is that I have rejoined the world of Twitter (handle of @Boulders2021).

My main reason for opening another Twitter account is the no doubt futile hope that I can use the platform to drive traffic to the blog. I am following far fewer people than the first time I was on Twitter; I want to avoid getting sucked into flame wars and avoid seeing things in my feed I don’t want to see. Being able to “participate” in the Mecum broadcasts in albeit a very small way is a very small reason I decided to rejoin the platform.


OK, some more photos of the scenery around here, man-made and nature-made:



Yes, the Jaguar F-Type is dirty, but still an incredibly beautiful car.



Can you see the metallic finish on this yellow Lambo? I did the best I could under the circumstances.



Is this car worth roughly $400,000? Of course, that depends on the person.



As “johnbo” points out in his blog, if your browser lets you then you can enlarge these photos for better viewing. You can do the same on a mobile device although the pics won’t look the same on a 6-inch screen as they do on a 20-inch.

As my fount of prose runs dry, I suspect I will show more photos for the rest of the time I am blogging. I guess a million words will not be reached before I end this blog.









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OK, I screwed up big-time today. I originally published this post with a typo in the post title AND in the URL. I guess we’ll see how that affects readership.



Fractious Friday

A follow up to this post: American Jews are under assault from both sides of the political “spectrum.” The neoNazi faction of the extreme right loathes Jews as they loathe anyone who is not exactly like they are. The moronically clueless SJWs of the extreme left also dislike Jews. Why? My theory is that the relative success of Jews is a stick in the eye of their belief that only government can help those they feel are disadvantaged. Almost all of whatever success Jews have achieved in the US has not been the result of government programs. The clueless SJWs also perceive Jews to be part of the oppressor class. Ironic, isn’t it?


In 1900, nearly 18 percent of males born in the United States died before their first birthday; today, cumulative mortality does not reach 18 percent until age 62. That’s a fact. It is my very strong opinion that only two developments explain that radical improvement: modern sanitation and modern medicine. In this country, most people are not really living healthy lives.

Politicians need to play on people’s fears and exaggerate, or even invent out of whole cloth, problems so politicians will seem to be needed. If things, in general, are getting better then why do we need more government programs? That might seem like an odd thing to write in light of the last year, but the last year is an exception.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Think for yourself!


This CNBC article reports that Rolls-Royce hit a new sales record in the first quarter of 2021. They delivered 1,380 cars in the first three months of the year, a 62% increase from the same period last year.

The Cullinan SUV (yes, Rolls-Royce makes an SUV) and the new Ghost are especially popular. From a picture of a 2020 Rolls-Royce Ghost:


See the source image


I tried to capture a picture of the Ghost from Rolls-Royce’s website, but was unable to do so. Of course, Rolls-Royce is really “just” a division of BMW and has been since 2003. The cars are still built in the UK, though.

The base MSRP for the Ghost is $332,000. I like this copy from the company website: “All-wheel drive establishes newfound versatility and on-road dynamism without compromising the Magic Carpet ride.” (Of course, now I hear the song “Magic Carpet Ride” by Steppenwolf in my head.)

In this part of Arizona, seeing a Rolls-Royce is not that uncommon. Of course, the luxury make sales complex about 10 miles from our house sells and services Rolls-Royce. Maybe I’ll take some pictures of the Ghost and the Dawn, the two-door Rolls-Royce, the next time I’m down there.

Do any of you have a desire to own a Rolls-Royce? I would have been afraid to own one in the mid-Atlantic, but not here. Yes, I hope I am not jinxing myself or my wonderful wife. Move or no move, it is still hell to live inside my head.








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Yom HaShoah

Today is Yom HaShoah or Holocaust Memorial Day. I have a strong connection to the Holocaust. My father watched his family murdered by Nazi troops (you don’t want to know how he survived). My mother and her parents escaped from their little Polish village just days before the Nazis burned it to the ground. (Of course, there’s the sad tale of my uncle who survived a concentration camp only to be murdered when two pieces of sh*t robbed his grocery store, but that’s another story for another day.)

The Holocaust DID happen and, sadly, it could happen again. The recent spate of attacks on Asian-Americans is a disgusting manifestation of the large swath of ignorance that cuts through American society. What no one reports, however, is despite the fact that Jews comprise just two percent of the US population, they have been the victim of more than half of the hate crimes in this country every year for at least the last five years.

It has been said by people like Mark Twain that Jews are the victim of their own success. How is it, exactly, that so many Jews who came to the US in the late 19th and early 20th centuries were so successful, given they suffered enormous discrimination, did not speak English upon arrival and there were no government programs to help them? Well, I have my own theory, but I do not want to incite a flame war. Suffice to say no one should ever become successful by doing nothing except playing the victim.

Never Forget! Never Again!







Walkabout Wednesday

From Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary: walkabout; noun, a short period of wandering bush life engaged in by an Australian aborigine as an occasional interruption of regular work

I hope this blog is a daily walkabout for those who read it. Also, today’s post is EXTREMELY random or wandering.


My wonderful wife and I watch episodes of Frasier on Cozi (via Hulu + Live TV) from time to time. Yesterday, we watched “The Last Time I Saw Maris.” From a synopsis of the episode:


After a relieved Niles learns that Maris’ mysterious three-day disappearance took her on a shopping spree to New York, Frasier tells him to demand an apology from her instead of giving her a welcome home gift. Niles takes his brother’s advice and reads her the riot act, but when he later refuses to apologize, Maris asks for a divorce.


Frasier telling Niles to confront Maris leads to Niles smashing all sorts of vases and statuettes. He then says, “Smashing things is therapeutic.” I can relate: I think this happened a few months after I had been fired from my first full-time baseball job. I bought an answering machine, but one without tapes. It was a “newfangled” electronic type that digitally recorded my greeting and incoming messages.

The problem was that no matter how many times I recorded my greeting, 24 hours later it was gone. I would record the greeting, play back the greeting, and then play it back again a few hours later. It was always gone the next day.

I don’t know what catalyst caused me to do the following, but after the 15th or 20th time the greeting disappeared, I yanked the machine out of the wall, threw it down the stairs and then proceeded to smash it into hundreds of pieces with a hammer. I have to admit that felt good.

Oh, in a 2006 poll taken by Channel 4 in the UK of professionals in the TV industry, Frasier was voted the best sitcom of all time. I have all of the episodes on DVD and have streaming access to all of them on Hulu. Frasier, Taxi and The Big Bang Theory are my three favorite sitcoms ever. I think the phrase “modern sitcom” is an oxymoron, now without exception with the end of The Big Bang Theory in 2019.

Also, while I acknowledge that Seinfeld had moments of comic brilliance, its internal motto of “no hugging, no learning” left it a bit short compared to other sitcoms. The occasional poignant moments make the comedy better, in my opinion.

The word is that a Frasier reboot will begin airing next year on Paramount+, a streaming service. Sorry, I’m not going to pay more money every month just to watch one show. Three of the service’s main offerings are channels I would never watch: Comedy Central, nickelodeon and MTV. I will be quite happy occasionally watching an “old” episode.


Yesterday saw blog views from the usual countries outside the US (Canada, France, Malta, Nigeria) except one: Chile. The South American nation was second in views by country behind only the US and more than half of the views for the year from Chile happened yesterday. From Wikipedia a map showing Chile’s location:


Chilean territory in dark green; claimed but uncontrolled territory in light green


The green slice of Antarctic land shown is claimed but uncontrolled territory. Chile is about 2,700 miles from north to south, but only about 220 miles at its widest east-to-west point.

The strongest earthquake ever recorded (M 9.5) happened off the coast of southern Chile in May of 1960. From this NOAA report:


This earthquake generated a tsunami that was destructive not only along the coast of Chile, but also across the Pacific in Hawaii, Japan, and the Philippines…The number of fatalities in Chile associated with both the earthquake and tsunami has been estimated to be between 490 and 5,700. The Chilean government estimated 2 million people were left homeless and the damage was USD $550 million [my note: almost $5 billion in today’s dollars]. In Hawaii, the tsunami caused 61 deaths, 43 injuries, and USD $23.5 million in damage… The tsunami hit the Pacific coast of Japan almost a day after the earthquake causing 139 deaths and destroying or washing away almost 3,000 houses in the Hokkaido, Aomori, Iwate, and Fukushima Prefectures. Waves observed in Japan were higher than other adjacent regions nearer to the source due to the directivity of tsunami wave radiation. At least 21 people died in the Philippines due to the tsunami.


Waves as high as 35 feet were observed more than 6,000 miles from the epicenter. Oh, the earthquake lasted 10 minutes, an extraordinarily long time for such an event. Anyway…if you’re reading, thanks to those of you who read Disaffected Musings from Chile yesterday.


David Banner (not his real name) sent me a text in which he wrote, “I don’t get an EV Hummer…that’s like a sugar free donut.” Yes, GM is going to reboot the Hummer brand as an EV AND is introducing an EV Silverado pickup truck. My response to his text was, “LOL! It’s 2021 and come hell or high water most “car” companies are going electric. What better way to engage in virtue signaling than to produce an electric Hummer?”

For the nth time, I realize that some form of “alternative” power for cars will become the dominant paradigm some time in the future. I also realize that most of the market still wants to buy cars powered by Internal Combustion Engines. For at least the next 10-20 years, a significant market opportunity will exist to cater to those buyers. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Of course, I’ll be sticking to this car for some time to come:



Since I am now fully vaccinated, I may speed up the timetable for the second round of modifications (Modificata!) to increase engine output. The powertrain warranty expires in about three months and since the shop is booked 8-10 weeks out, will it really make a difference if I get the work done a couple of weeks before expiration?

I have babbled on enough today. For only the third or fourth time in the three-plus year history of this blog, a post is 1,000+ words long. I hope you have enjoyed it.











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Toothsome Tuesday

I have grown to really like some of Starbucks’ food offerings. My favorite is probably this:


See the source image


These are the Egg White & Roasted Red Pepper Egg Bites (picture from Starbucks). I don’t know if a serving equals one or two, but they’re 170 calories a serving with 11 grams of carbs including 3 grams of sugar (I am diabetic, remember, even though my diabetes is “well-controlled” in the parlance of medical practitioners), but 12 grams of protein.

Compared to when I was 30, I probably eat only about 20% as much beef. I no longer eat dinner, which was almost always some type of beef. After we left Texas in 2008, we pretty much stopped eating at steakhouses. I can’t say whether or not we’ll resume in the near future given the number of high quality steakhouses here. Since most of them are only open for dinner, probably not.

I have no desire to go full vegetarian and certainly not vegan. Sometimes, I just have to have an In-N-Out burger. Sometimes, I really want a milkshake. I certainly can’t say that my dietary evolution has had a global component. It’s just that I crave different things now that I am older. It’s also in the best interests of my health not to eat too much red meat.

I suspect not too many readers are under 40. How have your dietary habits changed, if at all?


I don’t know why I am writing this today, but not long after I moved to California in the mid-1990s I began a personal journal or diary, if you will. I didn’t write every day, but I wrote on most days.

I often worked long hours; during a homestand it was common for me to arrive at the office at 9:30 AM and not get home until 11 PM. I never developed a social infrastructure outside of work so keeping a journal seemed like a good idea.

Usually, one of the features of my entries was a Song of the Day. I guess I thought about my journal because my earworm issue is getting worse, seemingly by the week. I was originally going to call today’s post Overriding The Earworm because when I was younger I never had songs I didn’t like stuck in my head. I would hear songs in my head, but they were songs I couldn’t wait to hear after I got home from work.

No, I no longer have the journal. I kept it on a computer and when I sold it, I wiped the hard drive. When the inevitable day comes that I stop blogging, I wonder if I will still write, but just for myself.


Random neural firings lead to…1951 in the US auto industry.

As the Korean War intensified, auto production cutbacks were ordered by the federal government and its National Production Authority. A railroad strike in February temporarily cut off supplies of key raw materials. Even with all of that, 5.3 million cars were produced although that was about a 16 percent decline from the record year of 1950.

Chrysler introduced two “firsts:” its first-generation Hemi engine and Hydraguide power steering. From a picture of a 1951 Chrysler New Yorker Newport:


See the source image


Later in the decade, Chrysler would offer the first American engine with at least 1 HP per cubic inch, the optional motor for the 1956 Chrysler 300B, but I digress…

Studebaker first offered a V-8 engine in the 1951 model year. The 232 cubic-inch (3.8 liter) motor was only offered in the Commander line; the Champion was offered with a 169 cubic-inch inline-6. Commanders accounted for about 46 percent of Studebakers produced in 1951.


See the source image


From a picture (I hope) of a 1951 Studebaker Commander convertible. These accounted for only 3 percent of Commader sales in 1951.

Random neural firings are slowing down. Have a great day…










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Monday Musings 65

On Friday, the US Department of Labor reported that non-farm payrolls rose by 916,000 in March, a much better performance than predicted by those entities that make such predictions. The unemployment rate fell to 6.0%. (Of course, revisions will no doubt “change” those numbers.)

Just for comparison, when was the last time France had an unemployment rate of even 7 percent? Just before the “Great Recession.” That country’s unemployment rate has only been below 8 percent in two of the last 30 years. Excessive regulation of its labor market is the primary factor for that poor performance.

The blind zealots who want governments to control everything are also deniers of facts.


According to this Corvette Blogger piece, Chevrolet/GM delivered 6,611 Corvettes in the first quarter of 2021. Corvette deliveries have not been that high in a first quarter since 2015. In addition, all four GM US brands (Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC) had double-digit year-over-year increases in retail sales. Oh, they’re not selling a lot of electric vehicles.


See the source image


From a Chevrolet dealer a picture of a 2021 Corvette in Elkhart Lake Blue Metallic. Of course, my first Corvette was in Blue, Electron Blue Metallic, to be precise:



C5 and C6 Corvettes are now among the best performance car bargains anywhere. This is not a Frugal Friday post, but one can find C5 Z06 Corvettes in the $25,000-$30,000 range and C6 Z06 Corvettes in the high 30s. The C6 Z06 was powered by an engine of legendary displacement, 427 cubic inches, even though it was based on small-block architecture. Output was 505 HP/470 LB-FT of torque. C’mon, a 500 HP car for less than 40 grand! What more could you want?!

Obviously from autogespot, a picture of a C6 Z06 Corvette:


See the source image


I will always have a soft spot for C5 Corvettes as one of those was my first Vette, but I have grown to like the looks of the C6 more. I would probably rate the C6 as the third best looking generation, behind the C2 and the C7. Anyone else care to offer their hierarchy of Corvette generation looks?









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Slippery Sunday

For those of you who celebrate today as a holiday, I hope the day is infused with meaning and fulfillment. For the rest of you, I hope you have a good day, too.


Originally, I was going to show a table of blog views over six-month periods. I don’t know why I think any of you is even one percent as interested in such things as I am, but that won’t stop me from writing about it, even if I don’t show any tables.

Suffice to say that the six months that ended March 31st had the highest average of daily views in the three-plus year history of this blog. The average was 33 percent higher than the average for the previous six months, which itself was 80 percent higher than the average for six months prior.

Blog views for October, 2020 – March, 2021 were 172 percent higher than for October, 2018 – March, 2019. I began this blog in January of 2018; blog views made a quantum leap up in October of that year so I used the six months beginning then as the base period for comparisons.

All that being said, I believe that the last six months will represent the high water mark for views and visitors. With about 20 percent of the US population being fully vaccinated against the damn virus–and with 88 percent of blog views originating from the US–I suspect people will spend less time on their computer or mobile device reading blogs.

Last April, at the beginning of the “lockdown,” blog views made a quantum leap up; remember that the average number of daily views increased by 80 percent for April, 2020 – September, 2020 compared to the previous six months.

I suspect that a year from now I will no longer be blogging. I turned off the automatic renewal of my WordPress account, for example.

My fount of ideas continues to run dry and if fewer people are reading, then I probably will lose my motivation to write. Remember that I have actually been blogging regularly for five years, three-plus with this blog and the last two years I had a blog on the Evil Empire.


Once again, today’s automotive “topic” was inspired by looking through The American Auto by the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide®. I don’t know why I just realized this so concretely today, but I am a big fan of American cars of the immediate post-fin era, say 1961 to 1965. Yes, I am also a big fan of cars like the Jaguar E-Type, which was introduced in 1961.

Some relevant photos from the aforementioned book:



Of course, the middle of this period saw what for me is the most significant model year in American automotive history, 1963. In this post I related something that happened during a Mecum auction. Stephen Cox asked the crew if they could have any three cars given to them for free, but they all had to be from the same model year, what cars and what year would they choose. For me, this was an easy answer and here are the three cars from 1963 with photos from Mecum:


See the source image

See the source image

See the source image


In case you don’t know, [Everyone Together] or even if you do, from top to bottom: Buick Riviera, Chevrolet Corvette Split-Window, Studebaker Avanti. When I published that post last July, many of you graciously offered your own choices. Oh, if you are a car fan I highly recommend The American Auto and Encyclopedia of American Cars, both by the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide®. As far as I know, the latter has not been updated since 2006, but the former has an edition published as recently as 2015.

Once again, and as is always the case, I open the floor to thoughtful comments.







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Well, at least the WordPress editor didn’t act up today…




My wonderful wife and I received our second shots against the damn virus yesterday. Other than arms more sore than after the first shot, we are experiencing no side effects.

The fact that so many people are refusing to get vaccinated is quite frightening. The virus will continue to have hosts, to replicate, to mutate and, eventually, to become less affected by vaccines.

Five minutes on the Internet does not give anyone the knowledge of a bright person who has spent decades in medicine. Why people believe politicians before scientists is beyond me. I go back to Henry Kissinger’s famous remark, “Ninety percent of politicians give the other ten percent a bad name.” How about, “Idolizing a politician is like believing the stripper really likes you.”

Still, given the CDC guidance from yesterday that fully vaccinated people can resume travel with “low risk” I am hopeful of soon returning to some activities that we have avoided for more than a year. Maybe we’ll get out of the Arizona heat for a few days in August and head to Monterey, California for the Mecum auction.


Don’t ask me why the 1940 model year is today’s automotive topic. The idea came to me while I was perusing The American Auto by the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide® and this picture “spoke” to me:



Given my inspiration for writing about cars began with a picture from the same book, I decided that ignoring such “motivation” would be foolish. Graham had introduced America’s first moderately priced supercharged car in 1934 and then America’s first supercharged six-cylinder car in 1936.

Graham partnered with Norman De Vaux, General Manager of Huppmobile, who had purchased the tooling for the 1936-38 Cord 810/812 Westchester sedan, to bring out the supercharged Hollywood, but with rear-wheel drive instead of the Cord front-wheel drive. Hupp also sold a similar car, the Hupp Skylark.

1940 was the last year Cadillac sold automobiles equipped with a V-16 engine. All V-16 Cadillacs had a price of over $5,000 in 1940 while no other Cadillac cost even $4,000.

Even though Cadillac showed a concept car with a V-16 motor in 2003, the beautiful if prosaically named Sixteen, we will almost certainly never again see a production 16-cylinder automobile engine. Not that many years ago, when I still had daydreams about starting a car company, I thought about a hypercar powered by a 2,500 HP V-16 engine. Ah yes, what is life without dreams?

Of course, the 1940 model year saw the introduction of one of the most significant innovations in automotive history, the Hydra-Matic automatic transmission. Jointly developed by Oldsmobile and Cadillac, the Hydra-Matic was first available in Oldsmobiles in May, 1939 as a 1940 model year car.

I have not been able to find out what percentage of 1940 Oldsmobiles were equipped with Hydra-Matic, but I can tell you that 30 percent of Cadillacs had it in 1941, the first model year it was available in the Caddy. I can also tell you that in the truncated 1942 model year, almost half of all Oldsmobiles had Hydra-Matic.

I will once again offer my opinion that in the US the traditional manual transmission is already dead on its feet, but no one has had the decency to knock it over and to give it a proper burial. More new electric vehicles are sold here than vehicles with standard manuals, and the share of electrics has plateaued, at least for now.

Yes, Cadillac is offering a manual in its Blackwing cars, but in my opinion that’s strictly to appeal to those who buy German cars, a segment of the market that still has a double-digit percentage of drivers who want a manual. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.


Of course, the clouds of war were already visible in the US by 1940. It was in that year that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt appointed General Motors President William Knudsen as Chairman of the Office of Production Management and member of the National Defense Advisory Commission. Knudsen, who was born in Denmark, served with distinction for the whopping salary of $1 a year.

In January 1942, Knudsen received a commission as a lieutenant general in the US Army, the only civilian ever to join the army at such a high initial rank, and appointed as Director of Production, Office of the Under Secretary of War. In that capacity, he worked as a consultant and a troubleshooter for the War Department.










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