Thanks, please come back

Thanks primarily to Hemmings readers who clicked on this link (https://disaffectedmusings.com/2018/05/01/paean-for-pontiac/) that I included in a comment on a Hemmings post about old GM ads (https://www.hemmings.com/blog/2018/05/10/11-down-and-dirty-gm-action-ads-of-the-1960s/), yesterday saw a record number of views of this blog. Thanks, but please come back.

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From classicdriver.com a picture of a Maserati Kyalami, the “bastardized” version of the De Tomaso Longchamp that was produced when De Tomaso purchased Maserati. The resemblance to the Longchamp is obvious, but to me it is not a carbon copy. Do millennials even know what carbon paper is?

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It’s safe to assume these people aren’t reading this

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sentinelese

Have you heard of these people? They live, virtually isolated from the rest of the world, on North Sentinel Island in the Andaman Islands of India. They resist attempts at contact with people from the “outside” world, have no metal-working ability nor have they mastered fire.

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From the late and famous writer and professor, Isaac Asimov:

“Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.’

If you ask someone on the American right about controlling federal deficits, many will answer, “just cut foreign aid.” When informed that foreign aid represents less than one percent of US federal government spending, many of these people will reply, “That’s a lie. It’s like 25 percent. You must be a part of the conspiracy.”

Ask someone on the American left about the same topic and they’ll just tell you to tax the rich because, “80 percent of America’s wealthy inherited their wealth.” When you tell them that 80% of American millionaires are first-generation millionaires, many of these people will reply, “That’s a lie. You must be wealthy.”

Ignorance is NOT bliss.

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OK, what car is this?

From carbuzz.com…the only hint is that it is a concept car.

What Do You Think?

https://www.hemmings.com/blog/2018/05/09/new-ccca-president-we-need-to-be-focused-to-attract-younger-members/

A great post on Hemmings yesterday followed by the usual interesting set of informed comments. Posts like this and the comments that follow are the main reasons I read Hemmings.

The new CCCA president wants to welcome younger members, but is not in favor of changing the time period of cars that qualify for inclusion. The most recent cars that qualify were built in 1948. I think I’m old, but even I wasn’t born in 1948. As I have mentioned before, almost all of us suffer from some form of temporal arrogance. Many people believe that things that happened before they were born are not important. I disagree, of course, but it’s an understandable belief. In my opinion, if the CCCA (Classic Car Club of America, by the way) won’t change the time period of inclusion then it will become less and less relevant as time passes.

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From conceptcarz.com a picture of a 1941 Lincoln Continental. I think this is a classic car and a beautiful car, but so is this:

See the source image

From commons.wikimedia.org a picture of a 1953 Buick Skylark. To me, this is almost the definition of an American classic car, but is too new for the CCCA.

What do you think?

Barrett-Jackson or Mecum?

Although I awoke this morning without a fever for the first time since before receiving the Shingrix vaccine last Saturday, I still don’t feel well. I am very weak and fatigued.

Anyway…NBCSN televises the Mecum auctions, both live and in reruns. Since Mecum holds 10+ auctions a year, it is easy to find one being televised, assuming one has NBCSN on their TV package.

Velocity televises the Barrett-Jackson auctions. Barrett-Jackson only has four auctions a year and Velocity does not show reruns very often.

My wonderful wife and I have attended auctions from both companies. In person, the Barrett-Jackson experience was superior, in our opinion. There was more excitement in the crowd and the pace kept the action moving.

On TV, however, I prefer watching the Mecum auctions. The hosts are knowledgeable, don’t take themselves or the auction too seriously and seem to be having a good time. The Mecum telecasts are fun to watch.

In my opinion, the Barrett-Jackson telecasts are stuffier and the hosts don’t seem to be having as much fun. Despite the presence of the amazingly beautiful Cristy Lee (who isn’t on-screen very much), the telecasts often display a lack of energy.

Of course, all of this is just my opinion. Do any of you watch car auctions on TV? If so, what are your thoughts?

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https://carbuzz.com/features/5-reasons-why-a-manual-transmission-isn-t-always-best

You can figure out what this article is about. The writer, of course, had to insert the obligatory “while we still love manuals.” Manual transmissions are like dodos; they’re going extinct. However, because so many have been made their road to extinction will be slow.

A vaccine kicked my ass

I am still struggling with the aftermath of the first dose of the Shingrix vaccine. Here is a guest post from Dr Maurice:

 

It’s Not What You Make, It’s What You Keep

There is a lot of talk about the shrinking middle class, income inequity, and the lack of a living wage for most people these days. But one of the most important rule of personal finance for me is “It’s not what you make, it’s what you keep”. Whether it is how you finagle your taxes, or how you use other people’s money, it comes down to how you can meet your obligations with the money you bring home. I know of janitors who have retired with million-dollar real estate portfolios, and seven figure earners who go bankrupt.

The first thing is to pay yourself first with an IRA, 401K, savings plans, and incurring the least amount of debt. What is interesting is that how painless it can be to fund these things. The second thing is not to dig a hole for your yourself, with debt or divorce. I could not believe what a difference the ending of child support made in my lifestyle. Also, cutting my debt not only freed up cash, but improved my credit score. When I look at my status, I still have a significant amount of debt left over, but I am fully funding my 401K and getting my company match. Pretty soon, all my debt, including my car loan, will be gone.

What can you do with all the new found free cash, now that you have paid yourself and have cleared the deck? Well, you could have bought Amazon at $80/share back in 2010. Or you could have bought Apple at $5/share. Back in 2008-09 you could have bought the S&P at 600 and change, and the Dow at 8000. You could have also bought foreclosed houses. Free cash means FREEDOM. Freedom to be spontaneous, freedom to be generous, freedom to live and not merely survive. Freedom to get that 1963 Corvette, or to fund a scholarship at your alma mater, or buy your love one a colorless 1.5 carat excellent cut diamond ring. And most importantly, the ability to weather the storms that come with life-and they will come, is priceless, like a pristine Ferrari 250 GTO:

https://newatlas.com/worlds-most-expensive-car-ferrari-250-gto/46407/

Monday Musings

I am still suffering adverse effects from the first dose of the Shingrix vaccine. As such, I do not have the same perspective I have when I am less encumbered by physical maladies.

Becky Quick of CNBC interviewed Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger and Bill Gates this morning. First, a politically incorrect remark: Becky Quick has great legs. Why it’s not OK to express that view but is OK to praise someone for being a great singer is beyond me. Both are products of genetics.

Quick asked her guests about Bitcoin. Here are two comments:

Buffett: Bitcoin is an asset that creates nothing.

Munger: Bitcoin is worthless, artificial gold.

Millennials will dismiss those remarks as being the thoughts of old fogeys. (Buffett is 87, Munger is 93.) However, automatically assuming that anything new, anything created while a person is young and “vital” is progress is also a prejudiced viewpoint. Most of us suffer from temporal arrogance, but many young people of today push the arrogance to new heights. Neither human beings nor their institutions are perfect; therefore, no creation or development is automatically good just because it’s new.

All three men opined that the world is a much better place now than it was, say, 100 years ago. Munger mentioned that cars of today are remarkable feats of engineering in that a car purchased new today can be driven for ten years without any major problems. Buffett and Gates said that the world was less violent, healthier and wealthier than in generations past.

I would like to add that, IMO, a significant reason why people don’t see or acknowledge progress is that it is not in the interest of politicians to acknowledge progress. If the world is better, then why do we need more government programs?

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A picture of a 1964 Corvette convertible I took this weekend at a monthly gathering “sponsored” by a local Corvette club. I LOVE C2 Corvettes. This was the only C2 at the show; most of the cars were C5, C6 or C7 models like the two blue Vettes parked next to the ’64. I grow more determined by the day to acquire a restomod C2 Corvette.

Beaten By A Vaccine

My wonderful wife and I both received the first dose of the Shingrix vaccine. Unlike the older vaccine for Shingles, this one has no live virus and is supposed to be 90% successful whereas the older one was only 50%-60% successful. I know two people who have had Shingles and both said it was an immensely unpleasant experience.

Receiving the first dose, unfortunately, was also an unpleasant experience. Both my wife and I developed fever, fatigue and body aches, not to mention tremendous pain at the injection site. I’m 99% certain we will allow ourselves to receive the second dose 2-6 months from now, but this is not fun. No pain, no gain, I guess although I like saying no pain, no pain.