Musical Instrument Museum

First, it is a virtual certainty that I will not post tomorrow.

Second, despite my strong desire to write one million words in this blog, frankly sooner rather than later, today’s post will be sparse and not verbose. I will let photos do most of the talking.


Yesterday my wonderful wife and I visited the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) in north Phoenix. The museum opened in 2010 and if you have any interest in music at all I would recommend that you visit. The building is enormous, contains many interesting exhibits and even has a 300-seat theater where many accomplished performers have given concerts. One of my musical “heroes,” Al Di Meola, will be performing there next weekend.

Without further ado:



Visitors wear a headset and when you are in range of the TV the audio can be heard.



I had to share these photos of the Chick Corea exhibit with David Banner (not his real name), who is a huge fan of Corea’s work. I am admitting to you, as I did to him, that this area left me a little teary-eyed as Corea died in February of 2021.



Here is a custom guitar previously played by the aforementioned Al Di Meola. I listened to the Di Meola audio many times while in the museum.



As shown on the display card (sort of, sorry for the glare) this one of a kind guitar was played by “guitar virtuoso” Steve Vai. I would add that of course Vai is a virtuoso because he studied under Joe Satriani, whom I consider to be the greatest rock and roll guitarist ever.



This is the first Steinway piano ever built, in 1836 as you can see from the plaque. Elsewhere in the museum is a beautifully maintained Steinway that is for public use. I did tinkle on the keys for a few minutes, but I cleaned up after myself. 🙂 Seriously, it is a joy to play a great piano.


I hope you have enjoyed this idiosyncratic photo tour of MIM. I took more pictures than I posted, did not photograph everything we saw and we did not see even half of the museum.

Have a fun, safe and sane Memorial Day.





If you like this blog please tell your friends and share the blog URL ( Thanks.




Jumping Out Of A Dream

As a 60+ year old male I do not sleep through the night uninterrupted. Last night my first interruption arrived early, about 11:30 PM, and happened in the middle of a dream. Although I tried to remember details, sadly all are lost except one: the song Nite Spice by jazz/funk guitarist Ronny Jordan. Even though I am writing this about ten hours later, I still hear the song in my head.

That song permeated the dream and I wish I could remember the particulars because I have the vague recollection that it was a rarity for me, a good dream about happy times. That’s why the line from Diner resonates with me, if you don’t have dreams you have nightmares. I have the latter, anyway, so I might as well try to have good daydreams, no matter how incongruous they may seem.


Speaking of nightmares, this CNBC article reports that Microsoft has warned that Chinese government-sponsored hackers have compromised critical cyber infrastructure in a variety of industries, including government and communications organizations. It is disgusting to me how many Americans admire the Chinese government.

Their entire economy is based on theft of intellectual property. Their government is engaged in a desperate race to raise China’s economy to something approaching first-world standards before their population implodes from the after effects of the one-child policy. It is my fervent view that the less we depend on China for anything, the better off we will be in the long run.


I present this link without comment.


Demographics nerd that I am, I had to present the link to this Associated Press article about the aging of America. One fact jumped out at me: between 2010 and 2020 the number of US residents age 100 or older increased from 53,000 to more than 80,000. (In 1940, that figure was probably fewer than 100.)

I firmly believe that the reason US life expectancy lags behind other wealthy democracies has almost nothing to do with delivery of health care and almost everything to do with Americans’ poor lifestyle choices. If one starts the clock at age 65, US citizens have the same life expectancy as citizens of other wealthy democracies. If you’ve made it to 65, odds are that you are making better choices.

Utah, with a median age of 31.3, has the youngest population in the US. Maine (45.1) has the oldest. I believe that the median age of the population of the zip code in which my wonderful wife and I live is over 60, but–frustratingly–I cannot find that information on the Census Bureau website.


The US is one of just two democratic countries that has a formal debt ceiling. The other one is Denmark and there are no debt ceiling crises there, as this CNBC article explains.

Two points from the piece:


The Danish debt ceiling was designed to be a synthetic constitutional provision, set so high that it would never become a “political bargaining chip,” according to Laura Sunder-Plassmann, associate professor of economics at the University of Copenhagen.

Danish politics is less polarized than in the U.S., with two large and a dozen or more smaller but not insignificant parties represented in parliament.


I think that US federal government spending is out of control. Just since 2015, it has increased from 20% of US GDP to 25%. However, holding the country hostage to a potential default might not be the best way to get spending under control. On the other hand, it might be the only effective way. By “best” I meant most practical and least painless.

Once again, the political divide in this country is the widest it’s been since the Civil War. I think assuming that the US will exist indefinitely in its current form is a dangerous view.








If you like this blog please tell your friends and share the blog URL ( Thanks.





More Ups And Downs



Two days ago, my wonderful wife and I decided to have lunch at one of our favorite spots, a nearby restaurant that serves Greek food. We thought we should take the Maserati. Of course, it wouldn’t start–dead battery.

Thankfully, my “car guy” arrived promptly at 12:30 as he promised during our conversation (we drove to lunch in my wife’s Corvette), removed the battery and promised he would return later in the day to install a new one. At 7:30 he returned and finished the job for what I thought was a most reasonable price. (Thanks again, Stephen.)

Yesterday morning, we decided to go to breakfast and take the Maserati. When we arrived at our destination, I inexplicably decided to park next to one of those concrete berms that, supposedly, exist for pedestrians or just to add some greenery to a parking lot, but actually exist just to damage cars. I NEVER park next to one of those, but did yesterday. You can guess what happened: a long scratch low on the front fender in front of the wheel on the passenger side.

I am still bummed out about scratching the car. I have also learned a valuable lesson: my instincts are usually right and are ignored at my peril.


Score one for justice…this CNBC article reports on a Supreme Court decision, a unanimous one by the way, that hopefully puts an end to jurisdictions seizing properties where the owner owes taxes, sells the property, AND THEN KEEPS ALL OF THE PROCEEDS EVEN ABOVE THE AMOUNT OWED IN TAXES. Believe it or not, only six states (Arizona is one of them) allow private investors to retain equity in properties once delinquent taxes are paid.

The Supreme Court on Thursday revived a 94-year-old woman’s claim that a Minnesota county violated the Constitution by keeping a $25,000 profit when it sold her home in a tax foreclosure sale. The court concluded unanimously that Geraldine Tyler can pursue her claim that such seizures violate the takings clause of the Constitution’s Fifth Amendment, which requires that the government pay compensation when property is taken.

The late Andy Rooney, among others most likely, once said that we need big government as a check against big business. Well, what is going to be the check against the excesses of big government? Although it is obvious to me that the Supreme Court called this one correctly, the court is also not immune from political influences.


On the other hand, this piece from The Free Press is most disturbing. It is titled, “At High School Debates, Debate Is No Longer Allowed.” It is difficult for me to read this piece without becoming incensed. Here is a “summary” paragraph:


“Unfortunately for students and their parents, there are countless judges at tournaments across the country whose biased paradigms disqualify them from being impartial adjudicators of debate. From “I will drop America First framing in a heartbeat,” to “I will listen to conservative-leaning arguments, but be careful,” judges are making it clear they are not only tilting the debate in a left-wing direction, they will also penalize students who don’t adhere to their ideology.”


This story leads into words by Robert Zimmer, the late President of the University of Chicago, one of the few institutions of “higher learning” that actually practices institutional neutrality and allows for true freedom of speech.


“Mr. Zimmer balked at the notion that unfettered free speech would jeopardize the cause of inclusion because it might upset, among others, some of the people who were seeking to be included. “Inclusion into what?” Mr. Zimmer had wondered in a speech. “An inferior and less challenging education? One that fails to prepare students for the challenge of different ideas and the evaluation of their own assumptions? A world in which their feelings take precedence over other matters that need to be confronted?”


Since freedom of speech is a constitutional right, it applies to people with whom you disagree. The “right” never to be offended is not described in the US Constitution.


I feel like I should add some automotive content today, but I don’t have anything about which to write. I don’t really care that much that the first 24 Hours of LeMans began on this day in 1923, 100 years ago.

How about a picture of a car that has been included in every iteration of my Ultimate Garage, one that I might actually be able to afford one day, unlike its stablemate, the LFA?


Driven: Is Lexus LC500 style worth the $100k price tag? | Journal

Lexus LC 500 Convertible 2020 4K 3 Wallpaper | HD Car Wallpapers | ID #16142


In case you don’t know, [everybody chime in] or even if you do, above are pictures of a Lexus LC coupe and convertible. Unlike the vast majority of cars that I have included in my Ultimate Garages, I have driven one of these. (Hard to believe that was more than five years ago.)

To me, these are a great example of “rolling sculpture.” I could see myself buying one of these as a replacement for both the Maserati and the Mustang, especially if I were to buy an LC convertible. So many CARS, just one life.







If you like this blog please tell your friends and share the blog URL ( Thanks.

Up And Down

I think that for most people life is up and down. They have good days and bad days and that ratio usually varies through time.

Some people don’t, or can’t, appreciate the good ones and others fail to acknowledge the bad ones, maybe because they think such days are a reflection on them. Some, of course, dwell on the bad days. Maybe I have no idea what I’m talking about.

In the up and down sub-category of “things only important to me” is blog readership. In general, the number of blog views has declined significantly in the last month or so. However, in the last 2-3 weeks that number has developed a strange pattern: three or four days of somewhat disappointing, but decent, readership and then one day the number of views declines by a quarter or a third only to rebound to the previous level the next day.

Yes, I have too much time on my hands and that fact combined with being an OCD-afflicted math nerd often does not lead to healthy behavior. Still, the fact that yesterday was another one of those “down” days in terms of readership led me to want to write about that today.


This CNBC article is about nearly every state’s attorney general suing a company called Avid Telecom for allegedly violating consumer protection and telemarketing laws. According to the complaint, Avid Telecom facilitated more than 7.5 billion calls to numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry by selling phone numbers, data and dialing software that enabled some “customers” to make mass robocalls.

Although, at present, I am having a bigger problem with junk/spam email than with phone calls, I also receive robocalls. Getting rid of our VOIP service has reduced the number of such calls, but even with “anti-spam” software on my phone, I still receive these calls virtually every day.

I wonder what Alexander Graham Bell would think about all of this.


Rick Rieder is a Senior Managing Director for Blackrock, a large investment company. Actually, it’s the world’s largest as measured by Assets Under Management (AUM). Rieder is also BlackRock’s Chief Investment Officer of Global Fixed Income, Head of the Fundamental Fixed Income business and Head of the Global Allocation Investment Team.

In this CNBC piece from yesterday, Rieder is quoted as saying, “I think the U.S. economy’s in much better shape than people give it credit for…I’ve never seen so much money sitting in cash” with Rieder tying that to much of that cash being deployed when (if?) the debt ceiling situation is resolved. Rieder also said, “There’s this thesis that you will have a dramatic slowdown. When you break down the numbers, it’s just not apparent.”

I am among those who believes that an economic slowdown is just over the horizon. As the Federal Reserve continues its policy of higher interest rates to subdue inflation and as the level of fiscal stimulus is reduced, I just don’t see how such a scenario can be avoided. However, and it’s a strong “However,” Rieder knows much more about the world economy and US economy than I do. I hope he’s right, of course, and that I am wrong. Economic activity is another unavoidable up and down.


A link to this Classic Cars Journal piece arrived in my inbox yesterday. It was the Pick of the Day and it happened to be one of my favorite cars of all time.



This is a 1957 Continental Mark II, listed for sale on the Classic Cars website at an asking price of $49,500. Only 3,000 of these cars were built in model years 1956 and 1957 and even at the then-outrageous price of $10,000 (base prices for 1956-57 Corvettes were under $3,500) Ford Motor Company lost money on every one.

I think that while the Mark II is obviously a creation of its day, by not having the garish fin/chrome treatment of many cars of the late 1950s, its look is timeless. Given their rarity and classic design, they are not outrageously priced, as far as I am concerned. I can’t imagine they’re easy to get serviced, especially since they were essentially hand-built.

I am still toying with the idea of Ultimate Garage 4.0 (despite not receiving any feedback, positive or negative, when I have mentioned this in the past). If I do create 4.0, it would not be until 2024 and would not have as many cars as Ultimate Garage 3.o, which had 14. The Continental Mark II (don’t call it a Lincoln) is a contender for 4.0.









If you like this blog please tell your friends and share the blog URL ( Thanks.


Transplant Returns




The photo shows the posts (Related) that the WordPress algorithm thinks are related to yesterday’s post. Note that one of them was published almost five years ago.

It is a virtual certainty that none of you who read yesterday’s post remembers that one (Random Thoughts From A Random Person) even in the unlikely event that you read it. I am asking that you click the link(s) and read these related posts. It takes only 3 to 7 minutes to read the average Disaffected Musings post.

I am also asking that, if at all possible, you read this blog in your browser by clicking on the post title in your email. When a post is read in another way, such as in the WordPress Reader, I am losing money.


It took a damn virus for NBC to first air the brilliant Canadian medical drama Transplant. (NBCUniversal co-produces the show with Bell Media of Canada.) Another exogenous event, the current writers strike in the entertainment industry, has led the Peacock network to pick up seasons three and four, although they probably won’t begin to air until next summer. Season three has already aired in Canada. As you probably know, my wonderful wife and I were able to watch that season via our VPN.

While the show is not quite the same since the departure of John Hannah and his character (Dr. Bishop) after the second season, it is still an excellent program, in my opinion. Season one had decent ratings on NBC, but not so much in season two. I think the long hiatus didn’t help as the last episode for the first season aired on NBC in December, 2020, but the first episode for season two didn’t air until Spring of 2022. I also think the extreme parochialism of many Americans hurt the ratings as they slowly came to the realization that the show is not set in the US, but in Canada.

For me, only the first season of House was better than the first season of Transplant, but the first two seasons of the latter are the best consecutive seasons of any TV show I’ve seen. The seventh and eighth episodes for the first season of Transplant are the best back-to-back episodes I’ve seen of any TV program. We will watch season four via VPN, but will also gladly watch seasons three and four whenever they air on NBC.




From left to right, Ayisha Issa (Dr. Curtis), Hamza Haq (Dr. Hamed, the lead character), Jim Watson (Dr. Hunter) and Laurence Leboeuf (Dr. LeBlanc). Haq has won the Canadian equivalent of the Emmy as Best Lead Actor in a Drama all three seasons. Issa and Leboeuf have also won that award as Best Supporting Actor in a Drama.


Many of you probably know about the fake, AI-generated picture of an explosion that became viral on the Internet yesterday. That photo, almost certainly created and spread by the Russian “government,” led to a brief selloff in the US stock market. (The fake explosion “occurred” near the Pentagon.)

As amateurish as the photo was, apparently, its impact shows the danger of Artificial Intelligence especially when combined with the scourge of social media. Some companies have developed software that can detect AI-generated images and writings with a 99% degree of accuracy, but social media companies and news outlets don’t have to use such software and don’t. It is only a matter of time before a similar, but better executed, AI-generated hoax causes real damage.


Here is the first paragraph of this Why Evolution Is True post titled, “Required academic DEI statements challenged in court and Wisconsin ditches them.”


“A law school prof once told me [Jerry Coyne, author of Why Evolution Is True] that he thought that required DEI statements for hiring academics was illegal: a violation of the First Amendment.  As “compelled speech,” analogous to loyalty oaths, this is a violation of the First Amendment that’s less well known than “the government cannot prohibit you from saying what you want.” Instead, it’s “the government cannot force you to say things you don’t want to say” stipulation, also legally part of the First Amendment.”


The WEIT post also reports that many similar lawsuits are now pending. As regular readers know, I think DEI stands for Deny Excellent Individuals. NO ONE should be included or excluded from consideration for anything for any reason other than merit. First earn, then receive.







If you like this blog please tell your friends and share the blog URL ( Thanks.


Often Wrong, But Never In Doubt

One time while I was working for the Baltimore Orioles, we had a Baseball Operations meeting about improving the team and we were discussing potential acquisitions. (We had more than one such meeting in my six years there.)

During this particular meeting I was asked my opinion about a specific player by someone with impeccable credentials. I replied that I didn’t know enough about that player and had to study him first. This person then said, “No, you have to give me an answer now.” The President/CEO of the team then said, “Often wrong, but never in doubt, huh?”

The scourge of social media has led to a world where WAY too many people are often wrong, but never in doubt. Freedom of speech doesn’t mean that anyone else has to listen. Freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom from consequences, freedom from being criticized when the speaker is factually incorrect.

Not everything is just a matter of opinion. Just because someone doesn’t know the facts about a specific situation doesn’t mean those facts don’t exist. (Huxley: “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.”) Paraphrasing famous writer Isaac Asimov, “A democracy doesn’t mean that Person A’s ignorance equals Person B’s knowledge.”

In one of our recent utility bills was this note, “Carbon dioxide equivalent emissions are about 22% lower for residences using natural gas than for all-electric homes.” OK, I don’t know the source for that data. Still, if you’ve been following the news about a certain US state in the northeast that wants to ban the use of natural gas in new homes, you can understand why I wrote that, especially in the context of this post.

For the nth time, blind adherence to ANY ideology is a road to ruin.


I’ve been meaning to post the link to this piece for awhile. It’s titled, “A Former Pilot On Why Autonomous Vehicles Are So Risky.” The former pilot is Missy Cummings, who left her engineering professorship at Duke University in 2021 to work for the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) in a temporary position as a senior safety advisor.

Here is the first of five questions she answered for the piece:


We are told that today’s cars, with their advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), are fundamentally safer than ever before. True?

Cummings: There is no evidence of mitigation. At NHTSA we couldn’t answer the question that you’re less likely to get in a crash—no data. But if you are in an accident, you’re more likely to be injured, because people in ADAS-equipped cars are more likely to be speeding.


That last sentence is telling, but that thought has been expressed in this blog and elsewhere. People drive less carefully BECAUSE the cars are supposedly safer. The law of unintended consequences strikes again.


The data I’m about to show comes from this piece by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. It reports data on net migration by county from 2016 to 2020. Every year, the US Census tracks movement (and other data) throughout the country by surveying a broad sample of households and records: Among other information, they track their current and previous counties of residence. With those data, the Census calculates a 5-year estimate of the difference between inflows and outflows of residents from county to county. This is called net migration.

A table in the piece shows all US states (and the District of Columbia) ranked by highest ratio of counties with positive to negative net migration. As written in the piece, the data do not show where the new residents came from (or went) or their demographic characteristics. Two of the three states at the top are states with which I have some familiarity:






Of course, Delaware has only three counties, but they all showed positive net migration from 2016 to 2020. By definition, that means people moved to Delaware during this period. Here are the three states at the bottom, not counting DC since it is not a state and doesn’t really have any counties:


Massachusetts (50th of 50 states)

New Jersey



Twenty-seven of the fifty states had more counties with positive than negative net migration. Surprisingly to me, California was one of those states, although just barely ranking 26th. Of course, if two of three counties had 1% positive net migration and the third had 5% negative net migration, then the three counties probably lost population in total unless they had an exceedingly high birth rate.

Maybe I’ve mentioned this before, maybe not. I have been a demographics nerd for a LONG time. When I was 11 or 12, a friend of the family with a high-ranking job at the US Department of Commerce, of which the Census Bureau is a part, gave me a copy of The Statistical Abstract of the United States. I devoured that book. Obviously, the photo below doesn’t show that volume, but it might show the last year the book was available in a print edition.



Even this book shows a little wear and tear. Some interests never completely disappear.







If you like this blog please tell your friends and share the blog URL ( Thanks.




An Outsider’s Opinion

Taxi is one of my three favorite sitcoms. One of the story arcs was when the Latka character (played by the late Andy Kaufman) developed multiple personality disorder. (Yes, that was very funny.)

In one episode Latka becomes Alex (portrayed by Judd Hirsch), the most experienced cabbie of the group and the de facto lead character of the show. As Latka/Alex reports to his shift one day he asks Louie (played by Danny DeVito), the abusive dispatcher, “Hey, Louie. What do you think of the human race? I’d like an outsider’s opinion.” Louie is not bothered by the comment at all and says to the real Alex, “Funnier than you.”

I am an outsider. I was raised by immigrant parents in a house where we spoke almost as much Yiddish as English. I was always the curve-buster in my classes. For much of my youth, reading the encyclopedia was fun for me.

I became a sports fan almost out of self-defense because I had no idea what my neighborhood playmates meant when they said “double play” or “touchdown.” When I somehow began a career in major league baseball, I was an outsider, talking about data instead of “gut feel” and “tools” when evaluating players.

Being an outsider was helpful to me for much my life. However, it is not any more. Not being a part of any “favored” group was a major obstacle in my unsuccessful effort to establish an interesting and fulfilling career post-baseball.

I look at my utter disdain of both major political parties in this country and see the outsider again. Although in some opinion polls many people profess to be independent, in reality it seems to me as though most of voting age are, in fact, a captive of one of the two parties. While I don’t believe in government as panacea, I disagree with most of the policy stances taken by both parties. By definition, my perspective leaves me in the minority and gives me no reason to be engaged, in my opinion.

I also refuse to acquiesce to the pressure to conform, whether in politics, TV preferences (or lack thereof), or automobiles. Although it is likely that Shakespeare had a slightly different meaning in mind when, in Hamlet, he wrote, “This above all: to thine own self be true,” I interpret that as be who you are, even if it means you’re an outsider. For example, I am not going to feign interest in pickup trucks just because they have become very popular in the collector market for automobiles.

I have never seen any Star Wars movie, or any episode of the Simpsons or Game of Thrones and I don’t care. I can’t live my life based on the views of people who are nowhere near as vested in my life as I am. When I am in the coffin or in the urn I’ll be the only one in there. I am an innate outsider and that is who I will always be.


From the entry for May 21 in This Day In Automotive History by Brian Corey:


“On this day in 1901 Connecticut became the first state in the US to pass a speed limit law strictly for motor carriages, officially separating animal-drawn and powered vehicles in the law…Speed limits in the United States had been in effect as early as 1652 for animal-drawn wagons.”


I think speed limits are disobeyed more than any other law in the country. I consider myself to be a law-abiding citizen, but I usually drive a few miles per hour over the limit (think 55 MPH in a 50 MPH zone) as long as traffic allows. In comparison to my fellow Arizona drivers, I am the little old lady who only drives her car to church on Sunday. It is common for me to see people driving at 70+ MPH in a 50 MPH zone or 40 MPH in a 25 MPH zone.

If I mention that excessive speed has been involved in about one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities for the past two decades, you might nod your head, but then think, “I’m a good driver and I can handle driving 65-70 MPH in a 50 MPH zone.” Actually, you can’t. Physics and physiology are stern taskmasters.

Yes, I drive high-performance cars (see below). In Sport Mode, the Mustang is most decidedly not happy at 25 MPH. Still, so far I have resisted the temptation to drive way above the speed limit. My Z06 could probably have reached 200 MPH, but most of the time I never drove it above 55. I guess in this realm as in most others, I am an outsider.







If you like this blog please tell your friends and share the blog URL ( Thanks.


THE Number 32

You’ve probably heard, but Jim Brown–the greatest running back in pro football history and maybe the greatest lacrosse player in college history–died on Thursday at the age of 87.

Given that I grew up in Baltimore I was a huge fan of Johnny Unitas. However, when I imagined myself as an NFL player (hey, kids have dreams), I wanted to be a running back like Jim Brown, even though Brown retired before I started following football. When I started to create my career on paper, I gave myself height and weight measurements that were halfway between the two players.

Given my background and inclination I have to pepper this post with data. Brown led the NFL in rushing (most rushing yards gained) in eight of his nine NFL seasons. Yes, with fewer teams in competition it was easier for any single player to lead the league in a category, but 8 times in 9 years is amazing.

He is the only player in NFL history to average 5 yards per carry and 100 yards per game for an entire career. (As a side note: the last three games of Barry Sanders’ career, in which he gained just 164 yards on 58 carries, cost him that distinction. On a real tangent: I watched Sanders’ last NFL game in person, but like everyone else watching didn’t know it would be his last.)

Brown’s 1963 season was beyond amazing. In a 14-game schedule (the NFL plays a 17-game schedule now), he gained 1,863 yards and averaged an unbelievable 6.4 yards per carry. Historically, NFL teams average about 4 yards per rushing attempt; in 1963 the average was 4.1.

For my football book, the one The Wall Street Journal called without a doubt the best book of its kind ever written, I used a simple Yards Above Average metric to put running back rushing totals in context. Sports analysts argue that, especially in baseball, player performance needs to be compared to something called “replacement level” and not the average. Of course, no one really knows what replacement level is although for baseball it’s supposed to be an average Triple-A player, the minor league level just below the majors. Football’s minor league is college and I suspect replacement level is much closer to average in pro football than in major league baseball.

Brown’s Yards Above Average figure in 1963 was +669 yards. (6.4 yards per carry for Brown minus the league average of 4.1 times Brown’s 291 rushing attempts is 669.) That would have been the eighth best total in the NFL that season! In the season where the murderer who also wore number 32 became the first NFL player to rush for 2,000+ yards in a season, his Yards Above Average was +631 yards.

Brown retired at age 29, having once again led the league in rushing during the 1965 season, to appear in movies. His career total of 12,312 rushing yards remained the NFL record for almost 20 years.

Brown’s life outside of football is more complicated. He is noted as a social activist, but also was arrested at least seven times for assault. Virtually all of us are neither all good nor all bad.


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

– John Donne







If you like this blog please tell your friends and share the blog URL ( Thanks.


Good Will Hunting

A few days ago I (finally) connected the Blu-Ray player to the TV in the den/exercise room. Only one DVD could have been chosen to be the first one played in the Goose Bumps House: Good Will Hunting.

No other movie ever affected me as much the first time I saw it. Yes, in my past I would watch the same movie multiple times, often to see if I had missed important bits of dialogue. Now, I very seldom have the patience to watch any movie. I also haven’t been in a movie theater in at least 15 years.

“Hollywood” does not care about my demographic. I do not want to watch Fast and Furious Part 26, movies about zombies and certainly not movies about comic book characters. Something I believe about Good Will Hunting is that it is actually more like a European film than an American one. In the US, movies are about plots, “We have to kill the villain before he blows up the city.” European movies are about people and how they interact with other people, their situation and, perhaps, how they change.

Anyway, in the wake of watching Good Will Hunting again, I decided I had to buy the closing song, Miss Misery by the ill-fated Elliott Smith. A couple of days later I purchased the entire soundtrack, which does not include Smith’s song. Of course, I can now hear Miss Misery in my head.


Good Will Hunting (1997) | Watchrs Club


On the left is Matt Damon, who starred in the title role and co-wrote the screenplay with long-time friend Ben Affleck. On the right, of course, is the late Robin Williams, who won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in this film. Damon and Affleck also won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.

By the way, I do NOT see myself in Will Hunting or in the character of the professor who keeps Will out of jail, Gerald Lambeau (played by Stellan Skarsgard). I have been accused of that by some people. I recognize that some people have/had intellectual ability way beyond mine and, in addition, that’s OK.


<Rant Of Sorts> Blog readership has declined markedly in May. I know many blogs just run their course, which is why I am trying to keep this one from becoming too derivative of itself. Yes, I originally started blogging for myself, but once the blog developed a decent-sized following, it is difficult to watch that following slip away. People often judge events based on their relationship to the immediate status quo and not against a priori expectations. <End Rant Of Sorts>


I recently subscribed to The Free Press. As such, I receive email notifications about published articles. Here are links to four pieces, which I think you can read without subscribing.


How Therapists Became Social Justice Warriors

Miracles and Madness: Israel at 75

The FBI Didn’t Persecute Hillary. It Protected Her.

TGIF: The Suburbs Are Back!


As has been my recent custom when posting links to Why Evolution Is True (WEIT), I will publish the links without comment. Speaking of WEIT:


Vanderbilt’s Chancellor sticks up for institutional neutrality


I have to comment about this piece in general terms. I strongly believe that institutions of “higher learning” should not adopt official positions on public policy as that has a chilling effect on free speech at those institutions. Of course, individuals have the right to say, pretty much, what they want.


Yes, Disaffected Musings has changed to a blog with much less automotive content. For the nth time, I do not care about EVs, SUVs, pickup trucks, motorcycles, etc. As such, I have a difficult time thinking of new automotive content. I also have a difficult time doing what I used to enjoy: watching car auctions on TV.

Currently, Mecum Auctions is in Indianapolis for its huge annual spring auction. Wouldn’t you know that the first vehicle I saw after turning on the TV yesterday was a resto-mod pickup truck that hammered for $220,000. Sorry, I wouldn’t pay 22 cents for that vehicle.

The auction did redeem itself with a collection of cars all from 1956 and all cars, no pickup trucks. Included in this group was a 1956 Packard Caribbean convertible, a member of my Ultimate Garage 2.0. (It’s been FOUR years since I published that Ultimate Garage!)


See the source image


This car (well, not this specific car) hammered for $140,000. All of the cars were convertibles and many of them hammered for a six-figure price. A 1956 Corvette hammered for $207,500.

John Kraman was quick to point out that most of the cars in this collection, all offered at No Reserve, sold for far more than the pre-auction estimates published in the catalog. That is a rarity, however.

Sadly, it has also become a rarity that I watch any automotive related programming. Shows like Texas Metal and Roadkill have absolutely no appeal to me, but that’s the direction in which the programming has moved. Just like Hollywood doesn’t care about my demographic, neither does Motor Trend, apparently. I will almost certainly not renew my subscription to Motor Trend+.






If you like this blog please tell your friends and share the blog URL ( Thanks.


On This Day A Broken Foot

Yes, I have written about this event before on this day. Please indulge an old man who is struggling for content after 1,700+ posts and 920,000+ words.

On this day in 1972, which was also a Thursday, I broke my right foot playing touch football in the alley behind my house. I jumped to catch a pass and landed on some broken pavement. My foot turned so that the bottom turned up at an awkward angle and a bone was broken.

Even though my playmates were yelling at me to “walk it off,” I knew something was wrong because that foot would not bear any weight at all. I hopped up the back stairs into the house.

Although I knew I would have to go to the hospital, I refused to leave before 8 PM. Why? I had to watch the episode of Dragnet that aired at 7:30 PM on the Washington, DC CBS affiliate. For quite some time, I watched two episodes of Dragnet every Monday through Friday. The first aired at 5:30 PM on the Baltimore NBC affiliate. They were never the same episode.

I watched the Dragnet episode with my right foot soaking in a tub of water and ice. When someone changed the channel to the Baltimore NBC affiliate and the Flip Wilson Show started, I said it was OK to leave. That’s also how I remember I broke my foot on a Thursday. My then brother-in-law drove me and my mother to the hospital, the same hospital where I was born.

My foot was set in a cast that would eventually allow me to walk with it, but I had to stay off that foot for two weeks, which meant using crutches. For some reason, school was closed the next day, but on the following Monday, my mother, my younger sister and Dr. Zal accompanied me to school. My mother didn’t drive–she never did–and my father left too early in the morning to take me to school.

Speaking of my parents, it was not long (less than a year) after this that they separated when my father moved out of the house. One of the last things they did together was to go to Gino’s, a Baltimore fast food restaurant and local icon, on the Sunday after I broke my foot and bring me a giant bag of food.  Even for a big eater like me, they brought way too much for me to consume at one sitting. It was then that I learned that fast food could be refrigerated and reheated the next day.

When I graduated from elementary school in June of 1972, my foot was still in the cast. Because I had quit the school safety patrol the week before I broke my foot, my sixth-grade teacher (who was in charge of said patrol) made sure I did not receive any awards at the ceremony. However, the school principal sat next to me during the ceremony and kept saying things like, “You’re a remarkable young man and I can’t wait to see what you achieve.” I wonder what she would have thought about my baseball career.

The graduation ceremony was held as Tropical Storm Agnes pounded the mid-Atlantic. Of course, you’re not supposed to get a cast wet, at least not in those days before fiberglass casts, so walking outside after the ceremony, even just briefly, meant the cast was doomed. After leaving the school grounds, I went to Dr. Zal’s apartment where we played the song School’s Out by Alice Cooper many, many times. My father picked me up after he closed his gas station at 10 PM and I walked again in the rain. Not long after, the heel fell out of the cast and the cast itself began to disintegrate. That necessitated going back on crutches the last few days before the cast was removed at the end of June.

I don’t think that it’s just the passage of a half-century plus, but sometimes that event seems to have happened in another life and even to another person. Anyway, below is a picture of the elementary school I attended, which was not also a middle school at the time. Things would have been much better for me if it had been, but that’s another story.


Fallstaff Baltimore Apartments for Rent and Rentals - Walk Score





If you like this blog please tell your friends and share the blog URL ( Thanks.