Heart Palpitations

Obviously, I do not observe Yom Kippur.

The post title does not refer to my reaction to a great car. Instead, I am writing about real heart palpitations: mine.

Being “blessed” with an Ashkenazi Jew genome means I am not predisposed to good health. One condition that has plagued me as long as I can remember is heart palpitations. While I have some structural cardiac abnormalities, these palpitations–more accurately, Premature Ventricular Contractions or PVCs–are not really related to those irregularities.

I have been experiencing PVCs (not polyvinyl chloride) for a few days so I sent a message to my Primary Care Physician and asked him to write a script for a beta blocker, his choice. (Beta blockers interfere with the binding to the receptor of epinephrine and other stress hormones and weaken the effects of stress hormones. Given their effect, they are used to manage abnormal heart rhythms.)

Instead of replying that I had to come to the office for an examination, my physician wrote the script. I am very grateful to have a doctor who doesn’t treat me like an ignorant idiot. Many thanks, Dr. H.

While the PVCs have not disappeared completely and I am dealing with mild negative side effects from the beta blocker, I had a good night’s sleep last night that I would not have had without the medicine. If my previous history is any indication, the PVCs will stop in just another couple of days.


Forty-two percent of 2021 Corvettes were convertibles. That is just one tidbit from the recently released production figures. Eighty-seven percent were equipped with the performance exhaust option; sixty-one percent had the front lift option with GPS memory recall. Below is a picture of a ’21 Vette in the most popular exterior color:


See the source image


That is Torch Red, which was chosen by almost 20 percent of ’21 Corvette buyers. If that doesn’t sound like a high percentage, remember that the car was available in 12 different exterior colors, the most in Corvette history. The second most popular color was Arctic White.

Not counting the first three model years–Polo White was the only color available the first year–red has almost always been the most popular color for Corvettes. Counting Red Mist Metallic, about a third of ’21 Corvettes were in Red. In at least five different model years, more than 40 percent of Corvettes were in a red of some type. Of course, my Z06 is also in red, Long Beach Red Metallic, to be exact.



As much as I am loathe to do so, it might be time for me to finally buy a Windows 10 or Windows 11 desktop. I had originally intended for this computer, running Windows 7, to be my last desktop. However, Microsoft Outlook is no longer working on this machine. The fact that Microsoft is no longer supporting Windows 7 is also a minor factor in the consideration.

I just prefer a desktop for writing and for accessing the Internet and email. I think I will be writing this blog for at least another 15 months, barring any unforeseen events, so I may just have to bite the bullet. It’s not the cost of a new computer that has put me off. They are really quite inexpensive. I just don’t like the thought of my having to jump through hoops to keep Microsoft from collecting personal data, which they do in Windows 10. I also don’t know if Lotus 1-2-3–yes I still use it–will work under Windows 10.

I have already saved my most important spreadsheets in Excel format, just in case. Any computer “geeks” out there want to offer an opinion?







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Wednesday Words Of Wisdom

Once again, from Vince Lombardi:


“We as individuals have struggled to liberate ourselves from ancient traditions, congealed creeds and despotic states. Therefore, freedom was necessarily idealized against order, the new against the old and genius against discipline. Everything was done to strengthen the rights of the individual and weaken the state…and weaken all authority. I think we all shared in this rebellion, but maybe the battle was too completely won, maybe we have too much freedom. Maybe we have so long ridiculed authority in the family, discipline in education and decency in conduct and law that our freedom has brought us close to chaos.”


From last week an article from Hagerty about “records” the C8 Corvette Z06 engine will/could set for production car V-8 engines. Two are the highest redline in an American performance car, but more significantly and one about which I have written, the highest output from a naturally-aspirated V-8.



It should be obvious that this is not a C8 Z06 as they have not been officially introduced. This is my “go-to” picture of a C8 because I really like the color combination.

The LT6, the designation for the C8 Z06 engine, will almost certainly be the last exciting iteration of a naturally-aspirated, internal combustion motor for a Corvette. The E-Ray, supposedly to be introduced the model year after the Z06, will bring hybrid technology to the Vette. If the rumors are true, the ZR-1–with a twin-turbo version of the Z06 engine–will be next and then the Zora, which is supposed to have the twin-turbo engine PLUS electric motors. After that, it’s entirely possible that either the C9 or C10 will be electric only. By the way, the rumors are that the Zora will have 1,000+ HP and 1,000+ LB-FT of torque. Oh, it won’t cost seven figures like the McLaren P1 or the Ferrari LaFerrari.

My head is spinning and my heart is heavy at the thought of being able to buy a new Corvette only with an electric drivetrain. With almost 1.8 million Corvettes having been sold, will Chevrolet make it to two million before total electrification?







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Tuesday Tuesday

Of course, I hear the song “Monday Monday” by the Mamas and the Papas in my head. I will probably hear the song in my head at least for the rest of the day.


This post from Why Evolution Is True is about the heritability of traits, particularly IQ. From the piece:


“One of the big hot-button issues at the intersection of science and politics is the degree to which human behavioral traits, particularly IQ, are based on genes. To be more specific, the one question that can meaningfully answered about genes and IQ is this one: What proportion of the variation among individuals in a population for any human trait (not just IQ, but also propensity to smoke, risk-taking, neuroticism, etc.) is based on variation among those individual’s genes?  The figure showing that degree of genetic determination of variation in a population is called the heritability of the trait, symbolized by h², and ranges from 0% (or 0.0), meaning that none of the variation you see in the trait is based on variation in genes (it’s due to environmental factors) up to 100%, or 1, meaning that all the variation we see in the trait is due to variation among individuals in their genomes…

The upshot is what you’d expect with a high heritability of IQ: the IQs of children at either 15 or in their 30s was much more highly correlated with the IQs of their biological parents than with their adoptive parents…The correlation of adults with their biological families (not the regression slope) is 0.42, a highly significant value, while with the adoptive parents it’s 0.10—close to zero but probably still significant (they don’t say), meaning there may be a slight rearing effect: the IQ of your adoptive parents could slightly affect the adoptive child.”


Once again, while people may have equal rights under the law, all people are NOT created equally. I am not saying that genetics is destiny, but to expect everyone to achieve the same level of “success,” however defined, is the definition of a fool’s errand.


We have still not received “final” word from the at-fault driver’s insurance company although we recently learned the local police department did cite that driver for speeding, meaning we expect the insurance company to assume full responsibility for repairs. Of course, this means the probability of the car being totaled has increased since fixing damage to both the front and rear of the ATS increases the chances the projected cost will exceed the threshold for totaling the car.

In the event the ATS is totaled, C/2 suggested a Hyundai Veloster Turbo like this:


See the source image


In terms of practicality, this car might be the best available given our constraints. The cargo space is almost 20 cubic feet–our minimum acceptable volume is 10–and it has the most rear legroom of any car we have considered. Of course, the three-door concept is a little strange to me. In addition, my wonderful wife and I are not enamored of the car’s looks, although I can’t say the car is ugly, either.

What is the “right” balance between form and function? Of course, every person has a different answer to that question.

Both matter to me, but I want to drive a car that looks good. Yes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. For what it’s worth, Todd Deeken and Paul Schmucker–the hosts of Everyday Driver–were both impressed by the Veloster in N-spec, the ultimate performance version of the car. We would not buy a Veloster N (too rare and too expensive), but would insist on a turbo. By the way, the output of the turbo four is 275 HP/260 LB-FT of torque, which is not bad for a car weighing 2,800-ish pounds.

I welcome any thoughts from you.







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Monday Musings 80

I am still not in the best of moods, so read accordingly.


This post from Why Evolution Is True is about Andrew Sullivan’s (he is a somewhat “famous” author, blogger and political commentator) belief that people are pushing back, hard, against the plague of wokeness to the point where it may be on the wane. The post author is not so sure, but sees some rays of hope.

One of Sullivan’s eight examples is this:


“Both The Atlantic and The New Yorker have just published long essays that push back against woke authoritarianism and cruelty. Since both magazines have long capitulated to rank illiberalism, this is encouraging. And since critical theory is an entirely elite-imposed orthodoxy, it matters when the ranks of the elite crack a little.

Anne Applebaum links the woke phenomenon to previous moral panics and mob persecutions, which is where it belongs.”


I hope Sullivan is right and I know Applebaum is. Still, I think the only solution will be dissolution. I have often thought about in which US spinoff I would like to live. The sad thing is that none of them would probably appeal to me.


Today’s Pick Of The Day in the Classic Cars Journal is…a 1991 Cadillac Allante. The title of the piece is, “Pick of the Day: The Italian Cadillac.”

I suspect most of you reading know that the Allante was a collaboration between Cadillac and legendary Italian coachbuilder Pininfarina. The bodies and interiors were built in Italy and then flown to Detroit in specially equipped Boeing 747s where the rest of the car was installed. That production chain contributed to the very high price of these cars ($54,700 MSRP when introduced in 1987; a 1987 Corvette convertible was $33,172), which itself contributed to the failure of the car in the marketplace. Yes, I must show a picture:


The Pick of the Day is a 1991 Cadillac Allante being offered for sale by its second owner. 


This configuration, with the auxiliary hardtop in place, is how I think these cars look their best. By the way, this is post #1,201 and the 25th in which the Allante is mentioned. Some of you might think it’s the 250th.

To better days…







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Sunday Confession

I’m tired of exercising three days a week. I’m tired of walking an additional x,000 steps a day and climbing at least y flights of stairs.

I’m tired of passing on dessert 10-10 1/2 months a year. I’m tired of only eating one or two boxes of Cap’n Crunch cereal a year. In general, I am VERY tired of being a slave to my Hemoglobin A1C tests.

I am tired of being obsessed with the number of blog views/visitors. I am tired of my OCD/numbers nerd brain calculating how many more views per day I need the rest of the month or the rest of the year to reach x,000.

I have to admit that much of the positive change in mood that came with the move to Arizona has faded. Don’t get me wrong: I am happy to be here and would rather be here than in the mid-Atlantic. It’s just that whatever was missing in my life before the move is still missing. I wish I knew what that was.






Listen To This…


That is the “new” sound of my Z06 starting for the first time in the morning. Apparently, my neighbors hear it very well. Oh well…

Now, look at this:



That is one of the displays available on the Driver Information Center in my car. On occasion, while stopped at a red light, I will flip through the displays. More often than not, the average gas mileage for the last 50 miles is at least 20.0.

One of the reasons for the respectable gas mileage is that driving around here means not having to encounter a lot of red lights or stop signs. Another reason is that I do not drive with a lead foot. A third reason is that some of the characteristics that make my car fast (light weight, aerodynamically efficient shape, etc.) also make it surprisingly efficient. I don’t think cylinder deactivation, which is even included in the LT4 motor, is a large factor in the mileage numbers, but it certainly doesn’t hurt.

Think about that: my car has over 600 HP and almost 700 LB-FT of torque at the rear wheels and yet is usually getting 20+ MPG. At 75 MPH, the speed limit on Interstate 17 north of here, the engine is turning at less than 1,500 RPM. The fact that the 8L90E transmission has two overdrive gears obviously makes for better gas mileage in highway driving.

I hope I am not jinxing anything, but the more I drive the Z06 the more I like it. What the hell: I love my car.



While Chevrolet gets ready to introduce the C8 version of the Z06 next month, this Corvette Blogger article reports that the “E-Ray” Corvette will be a performance hybrid, but more like the soon to be discontinued Acura NSX than the McLaren P1 or Ferrari LaFerrari. (That role, supposedly, will be filled when the “Zora” version of the C8 is introduced, perhaps for model year 2026.) Apparently, the engineers driving the E-Ray prototype were also driving an NSX as a benchmark.

The article speculates that the E-Ray will fill the role of the Grand Sport in the Corvette hierarchy. Whether or not a ZR1 version will be offered is not clear although some leaked production documents suggest it will be offered after the E-Ray, whose introduction has probably been pushed back to model year 2024. The ZR1 is not supposed to be anything but an old-fashioned ICE-powered car although the engine is supposed to be a twin-turbo version of the motor that will be offered in the Z06, which itself will have a naturally-aspirated engine.

Yes, the Corvette is going electric. I am not crazy about that idea, at least not about the idea that one will only be able to buy an electric new Corvette, but it is what it is. I am still convinced that the US electric grid is not close to being capable of handling 50 to 100 million electric cars being plugged in every night, but what do I know? (Yes, that’s a bit of sarcasm.) Hey, that’s why we’re buying a whole-home backup generator.

I don’t think I will post tomorrow. Never Forget!







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Threadless Thursday

More posts from Why Evolution Is True, some of which are hard to believe. This one is about a proposal that New York City schools get rid of honor rolls and class ranks. Another is about a professor at Portland State University who resigned under pressure from his school because he is a harsh critic of wokeness in the US center of the disease. Here is an excerpt:


“Students at Portland State are not being taught to think. Rather, they are being trained to mimic the moral certainty of ideologues. Faculty and administrators have abdicated the university’s truth-seeking mission and instead drive intolerance of divergent beliefs and opinions. This has created a culture of offense where students are now afraid to speak openly and honestly.”


This post is about the difference between equity and equality. My very firm belief is that while people may have equal rights under the law, all people are NOT created equally. Therefore, equity–or equality of outcome, as opposed to equality of opportunity–is impossible and an extremely foolish and dangerous policy goal.

I think many in this country and around the world have lost their minds. I also think it is the ultimate in temporal arrogance to think that the words and actions of people in 1821 can or should be judged by the standards of 2021.


Back to my roots…this article is titled, “Five Weird Facts About The Chevy Small-Block V8.” The ubiquitous SBC has been used in Ford-based hot rods, restored Chevys from the 1940s and almost everything else in between. Chevrolet built more than 100,000,000 of these engines from 1955 through 2002. Actually, while they are no longer built for production vehicles–the current small-block Chevrolet V8 is more of a philosophical descendant than a mechanical one–as the Macs Motor City Garage article notes, the engine is still being produced by General Motors’ Chevrolet Performance Division. Here is a snippet from the article:


“Below right, next to the ’55 Corvette 265 CID V8, is the ZZ6 350 crate engine, which sports a roller cam, electronic fuel injection, titanium intake valves, and other up-to-date features, and it’s rated at 420 horsepower. Just drop it in and go.”


One of the five weird facts listed is about the many number of displacements this engine had, ten according to the piece, ranging from 262 to 400 cubic inches. I don’t think the LS1 engine introduced for the C5 Corvette in 1997 was a literal descendant of the original small-block Chevy. According to the piece it isn’t because its displacement (346 cubic inches) is not listed among the many displacements shown. From The Genuine Corvette Black Book:


“LS1 had the same bore spacing and similar displacement to the 350ci engine family it replaced [emphasis mine], but otherwise was new and state-of-the-art in pushrod V8 design.”


I point this out because this means I have probably never owned a car with a traditional small-block Chevy V8. Of course, the LS engines have become ubiquitous in their own right as the heart of many, many builds. If I am ever in a position to own and to modify a car like the one shown below, I will almost certainly have an LS motor installed:



How many of you have owned a car with a traditional small-block Chevy V8?







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A Most Sobering Dream

Here is the dream that led to today’s post:

Frank Robinson was supposed to make an appearance at some venue, like a large restaurant. Yes, Frank Robinson is dead, but in this dream he was still alive although, apparently, quite ill and this appearance was part of some sort of farewell tour.

I found the venue and walked inside. I waited for some time and at various points figured I should just leave. Then, I noticed Frank’s wife and daughter walking in and they both walked close to me. I said hello to them, but received no response. They both sat down at a large table.

I moved a little closer to the table where they were sitting, but not so close as to be considered hovering. I didn’t know what I should do next when I heard someone call my name. It was Frank Robinson, who was already seated at the table.

I sat next to Frank, who looked old and ill, and we began a conversation. At some point, though, I just hugged him and began to cry. Instead of being dismayed or embarrassed, Frank seemed to be understanding. The conversation continued for awhile, but I didn’t want to be accused of monopolizing the guest of honor so I said goodbye and left.

I wanted to call my wonderful wife and tell her what happened, but realized that I had lost my iPhone. I wound up in some large building, like a communal living space perhaps, among people much younger than I am. I desperately looked for my phone and began to get very angry, both at losing my phone and at how dependent I have become on my phone. That’s when I woke up.

August 31st was Frank Robinson’s birthday and I was originally going to write a post about him called Three Birthdays Missed instead of what I actually wrote. I guess my brain felt I needed to write about him, even if it is a few days after his birthday.

Given what I have written today, I don’t think writing anything else would be appropriate.





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A Reprieve From The Governor

For the first time in weeks, I woke up today without any new bug bites. Today’s post title, though, was primarily inspired by something I recently read on an “official” WordPress web page. They are extending support for the Classic Editor at least through the end of next year.

The actual verbiage was about supporting the Classic Editor “Plug In.” I have a different path to using it, but I assume (you know what happens when you assume) that my path will continue to work as well.

WordPress management does seem to understand that the new editor is not popular with many users. I still think that if they insist on their ill-advised decision to remove all access to the Classic Editor at some point, then they will lose a significant proportion of bloggers. For now, though, I don’t have to worry. At least not about this issue, I don’t think.


I believe I wrote about this last year or the year before, but on this day in 1899 the first US parade of horseless carriages–automobiles–took place in Newport, Rhode Island. Much else of significance happened in that “last” year of the 19th century. (I am not going to get into the debate that since there was never a year “0” the last year of every century ends in “00” and starts with at least one different digit than the previous 99.)

James Ward Packard built his first automobile in 1899 and ran it in Warren, Ohio in November. Ransom Eli Olds’ “second” company, Olds Motor Works–the one that would make him famous–was established after the merger of Olds Motor Vehicle Company and the Olds Gas Engine Works Company and moved to Detroit. The first issue of Motor Age magazine was published. Freelan Stanley drove a Stanley Steamer, built by him and twin brother Francis, to the top of Mount Washington in New Hampshire.

A Winton franchise became New York City’s first automobile franchise. Also in that year Winton was probably the first US auto manufacturer to reach triple digits in annual production as it produced 106 cars. From a Pinterest page, a picture of an 1899 Winton car:


See the source image


I personally have no interest in this vintage of automobile, but I do very much appreciate their significance. By the way, just five years later (in 1904) Ransom Eli Olds’ company produced about 5,500 cars, more than the next two makes combined (Cadillac and Rambler), and about 50 times the number of Wintons produced in 1899.


“In reality, the risks of getting any version of the virus remain small for the vaccinated and the risks of getting badly sick remain minuscule…In Seattle on an average day, about one of every million vaccinated residents have been admitted to a hospital with Covid symptoms. That risk is so close to zero that the human mind can’t easily process it.”

This excerpt from a New York Times article was tweeted this morning by Brian Sullivan of CNBC. In one state in the wacky West, the governor has imposed an outdoors mask mandate on all people, vaccinated or not. It is obvious that some in government are drunk with the power the damn virus has seemingly given them.

Almost all vaccinated people testing “positive” for the virus are asymptomatic and it’s not completely clear that they’re even carriers. Even if they are, if you’re worried about getting sick and are not vaccinated, then just get vaccinated.


Does anyone have any suggestions as to a potential Cadillac ATS replacement if the car is classified as a total loss by the “at-fault” driver’s insurance company? Once again, we are not buying a sedan, SUV or pickup truck. The car can be no longer than about 188 inches, but must be able to comfortably seat four and have a decent-sized trunk.

I would say the Infiniti Q60 is the leading contender right now. We would not balk at buying another ATS, we really like the car, but they are not easy to find in the coupe version, which was discontinued after the 2019 model year. An AutoTrader search with the relevant criteria generates a list of primarily Challengers (too long for the garage), Camaros (not enough rear leg room) and Mustangs (ditto).

I wish we could buy this:



Hey, it doesn’t really have seating for four. Yep, there’s your problem…







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Q60 Test Drive

A couple of unrelated topics first…I watched the Georgia-Clemson football game on Saturday in its entirety. I cannot recall the last time I watched a live sporting event from beginning to end. The fact that the game started about 5 PM local time helped my viewing.

The last ten seasons or so that I subscribed to NFL Sunday Ticket, I would record the Ravens game (and, sometimes, the Packers game as well). I would wait to watch until I knew I could skip the commercials and the halftime “report” and not “catch up” to the live broadcast. As it turns out, I would often fast forward through some of the other team’s offensive possessions as well, only rewinding if an interesting play occurred.

I don’t watch any sports other than football, anymore. Some of my friends and acquaintances still don’t believe that I don’t watch baseball, but I haven’t watched a baseball game in 9-10 years.

Anyway…I was happy at the outcome of the Georgia-Clemson game as I just don’t like Clemson’s head coach. He strikes me as disingenuous. No, it doesn’t bother me that he is paid $9 million a year; it bothers me that his players aren’t paid at all. I am sure that will change within the next 5 years.

Switching gears, ever since we attended the Mecum auction in Monterey, I have been afflicted with what I think are bug bites of some kind. In Monterey, the first full day we were there was the day before the auction started. We were able to wander the hotel grounds and see many of the cars, but for a large part of that wandering we were walking through tall, wet grass. That night I awoke to awful itching and burning around my ankles, with accompanying raised red bumps, and only after much application of antibiotic ointment and hydrocortisone was I able to fall asleep. Yes, I travel fully stocked with medicinal products.

Since returning to Arizona, though, I am still suffering from itching and small, slightly raised red bumps, primarily on the lower part of my legs. I don’t know if the very wet monsoon season has led to a proliferation in the bug population here. We are enduring an explosion in the butterfly and moth populations. I do know that my wonderful wife has not been afflicted at all.

I have purchased a device that, supposedly, lures insects with UV light, sucks them in with a fan and then traps them on a glue sheet. After it arrives I will put it in the bedroom first and, if it works, I may buy 5 or 6 more and place them around the house.


Even though we have still not heard if our Cadillac ATS will be totaled, we decided to check out a possible replacement, the Infiniti Q60. Some pictures:



These are pictures of a new Q60. Believe it or not, this is one of only nine new vehicles in the entire inventory of this large Infiniti dealer. Of course, that means it’s not really a good time to be buying a car, but sometimes we don’t get to make choices, they are thrust upon us. Here are pictures of the car we actually drove, a 2017 model:



Yes, that is my Corvette to the left of the Q60. One conclusion to which I am inextricably drawn is that cars of recent vintage are, in general, very well made. While the exigencies of the profit margin have led to questionable decisions about specific component use that, at times, have led to recalls, I think a 2017 or 2021 vehicle is orders of magnitude more reliable than a new one manufactured 50 or 60 years ago.

This particular Q60 was not equipped with the twin-turbo V-6, but the single turbo inline-4. 2017 was the last year that engine was available in the Q60.

Of course, given the four-cylinder engine has about 100 less HP than our Cadillac ATS, it wasn’t quite as impressive in accelerating, but the torque is not that far off (about 20 LB-FT less) and the car was hardly a slug. It handled well although, again, not quite as well as the ATS, in my opinion. It was very comfortable, though, and would be no less functional than the Cadillac. I can happily report that the awful CVT is no more and the Q60 does indeed have a “normal” automatic transmission with seven speeds, I believe.

Like our ATS, this Q60 did not have navigation or Apple Car Play; the latter did not become standard until the 2018 model year. The dealer is asking about $12,000 more than we paid for our ATS and unless the car sits in inventory for awhile, I doubt we have any room to negotiate. The 2017 is priced about $20,000 less than the single 2021 model in stock.

Although I like the looks of our ATS, I must admit I think the Q60 looks better. My wonderful wife and I are, of course, waiting to hear about the insurance company’s decision on the Cadillac. It is possible that this Q60 will be sold before we know. A few other Q60s are available in the area, but they are more expensive. In any event, we would be more than satisfied if such a vehicle wound up as our ATS replacement, if we need one. Many thanks to Tanner for taking care of us.

I would like to read any relevant thoughts from any of you.






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