Monday Musings 57

Can a brain return to its “native state” after a half-century? Before I discovered sports at the age of 8 or 9, I read about cars, science, history, countries. Some of my favorite books were just compilations of data, such as information on countries.

This morning, my “bathroom reading” was the 2008 edition of the CIA World Factbook, a compendium of facts and figures about nations, dependencies, etc. Sports books have virtually ceased to be “throne reading material.”

Most people I know, even some of those whom I have known for decades, seem to be in denial that I have reverted to my “native state.” As I have written here before, I came relatively late to the sports world. For the most part, my male neighbors and classmates were following sports by the time they were 5 or 6.

I can assure you that I am not secretly following sports, but pretending not to. I really have little to no interest in sports, anymore. If other people don’t understand or don’t approve, that’s their problem.

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On this day in 1987, also a Monday, world stock markets experienced a pronounced decline. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by a frightening 22.6%. (An equivalent percentage fall today would be almost 6,500 points on the Dow.) The S&P 500 declined by 20.4%. Some “pundits” also believed the decline was unexpected, although the Dow had fallen a total of 10% over the previous three trading days.

Because (or in spite) of action taken by the US Federal Reserve, the stock market rallied strongly on Tuesday the 20th and Thursday the 22nd. While it was almost two years (September, 1989) before the Dow reached its pre-crash levels, for calendar year 1987 it actually eked out a small 0.6% gain.

Because of “Black Monday” equity markets have instituted circuit breakers or trading curbs that temporarily shut down trading in the wake of large price declines. Based upon the idea that a cooling off period would help dissipate panic selling, these mandatory market shutdowns are triggered whenever a large pre-defined market decline occurs during the trading day.

As of the close of trading on Friday the 16th of this year, the Dow was 16.4 times higher than its close on October 19th, 1987. The S&P 500 was 15.5 times higher. A hypothetical investment worth $10,000 in an S&P “index” instrument at the close of trading on “Black Monday” would have a value of about $155,000 today, not counting dividends. If one had removed 40% from that S&P investment before trading resumed the next day, the remaining $6,000 would be worth about $93,000 today.

Unlike the stock market crash of 1929 that precipitated the Great Depression, the US economy did not enter a recession until 1990-91. US GDP grew by 3.5% in 1987 and 4.2% in 1988.

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I assume (everyone knows what happens when one assumes) that by late October, 1987 the 1988 model year cars were available. Here is one of interest to me:

 

See the source image

 

From Car Gurus (crossing my fingers the picture link doesn’t break) a picture of a 1988 Corvette. Chevrolet built 22,789 Corvettes for model year 1988, of which 15,382 were coupes like the car shown here.

The base MSRP for the 1988 Corvette coupe was $29,489; the convertible base MSRP was $34,820. Except for the 125 Callaway-installed twin-turbo cars, costing an additional $25,895, all ’88 Vettes had either 240 or 245 HP. (The Callaway had 382 HP and 562 LB-FT of torque.)

1988 represented the 35th anniversary of the introduction of the Corvette and Chevrolet marked the occasion with an anniversary edition car that was only available as a coupe. The differences in the anniversary edition were solely in appearance; 2,050 of these cars were sold.

In a world where my net worth was 10 or 20 times more than it is today, I might have a C2 restomod AND a C4 restomod. Too bad I haven’t been invested in the stock market since the mid-1980s.

 

#MondayMusings

#NativeState

#BlackMonday

#1988ChevroletCorvette

#somanycarsjustonelife

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Almost…

only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades and nuclear explosions. Or so the saying goes…

Yesterday, while driving back from a “farewell lunch” with some friends/neighbors, we were almost in a serious accident. We had the green, but a car coming from the other direction insisted on turning left into our path. My wonderful wife sped up and swerved to get out of the way and narrowly missed the vehicle and its clueless driver, of which there are far too many on the roads.

I haven’t been feeling well, anyway, for days and the stress of the “almost” accident left me utterly drained. Research cited in the Harvard Business Review in 1994 showed that 60% to 90% of doctor visits were stress-related. I can’t imagine those percentages have diminished, certainly not this year.

A bad outcome for me is that even though I know running is a great stress reliever, when I feel drained due to stress I sometimes skip my run for the day. I have been suffering from extreme fatigue and dizziness for almost a week. I am attributing that to the accumulated stress of selling a house, buying a house, having to make extensive and costly repairs to complete the sale and the unknown of a significant move. I keep hoping that “This, too, shall pass.”

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This gives me a few seconds of happiness…

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Another concept car that should have been produced, in my opinion:

 

 

From this article a picture of the 2005 Chrysler Firepower concept car. From the article: “With the Firepower concept, Chrysler designers set out to transform the thuggish Dodge Viper into a sleek and elegant luxury GT. Chrysler’s 2005 Firepower concept immediately brings to mind that time-honored auto writers’ cliche: the iron fist in a velvet glove…the Firepower combined the brutish Dodge Viper chassis with refined Euro-GT bodywork, a silky V8 coupled to an automatic transmission, and a luxurious, leather-lined cabin.”

Viper enthusiasts are quite stubborn in their affection for the car, but I think that its “thuggish” nature–people have described the car as driving as if it were built in a barn–including lack of ABS and traction control for much of its history and it only being offered with a manual transmission, ignoring the 95%+ of American car buyers who buy an automatic, is the reason that no more than 35,000 Vipers were built during its production run from 1991 to 2017, with a two-year hiatus from 2010 to 2012. (c.f. Chevrolet built almost 33,000 Corvettes in 2017 alone, of which more than 6,000 were the awesome Z06.) It is the automobile business, after all, and even though a car like the Viper can be a “loss-leader” or a halo car, at some point a company has to see, or at least perceive, monetary rewards for its efforts.

The Firepower combined with the Viper might have led to both cars still being sold today. I don’t know how close Chrysler came to putting the Firepower into production. It is sad, but probably true, that cars like the Firepower or the Viper will be phased out and we will be stuck with electric automatons. Not for me…

 

#Almost…

#ChryslerFirepowerConcept

#somanycarsjustonelife

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Cadillac Saturday

On this day in 1902 or not, the first Cadillac was completed. From the Wikipedia article, “Cadillac’s first automobiles, the Runabout and Tonneau, were completed in October 1902…Many sources say the first car rolled out of the factory on 17 October; in the book Henry Leland—Master of Precision, the date is 20 October; another reliable source shows car number three to have been built on 16 October.”

OK, so we’re not sure of the exact date of the first Cadillac. Regardless, for decades the Cadillac name was the most aspirational among American car buyers. Sadly in my opinion, few car buyers desire Cadillac, especially buyers under 40. From Car Sales Base, some data on Cadillac sales:

 

YEAR SALES MKT SHARE
1985 298,762 1.95%
1990 258,168 1.87%
1995 180,504 1.14%
2000 189,154 1.10%
2005 235,002 1.38%
2010 146,925 1.27%
2015 175,267 1.00%
2019 156,246 0.91%

 

Let me say I can’t vouch for the accuracy of the Car Sales Base figures and, in fact, have seen different numbers. For example, if one accepts the 1985 sales figure as a given, data from other sources would peg that number at an almost 4 percent share of the market, not a share of about 2 percent. For illustrative purposes, though, this data makes the point that Cadillac market share is declining to a dangerously low level. From Barrett-Jackson a picture of a lot sold at their Northeast auction in 2016, an auction that my wonderful wife and I attended.

 

See the source image

 

OK, why did I jump to 1949? That was not the first year for tail fins, that was 1948, but it was the first year for Cadillac’s modern, overhead-valve V-8 engine. (Oldsmobile also introduced such an engine for model year 1949.) By the way, according to History of the American Auto by the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide®, Cadillac had about a 1.5% market share in 1949.

Cadillac’s history as an innovator can stand with that of any other company. Their most important innovation was a long time ago, but changed the automobile world forever. In 1912, Cadillac was the first automobile manufacturer to incorporate an electrical system enabling starting, ignition, and lighting. That made the hand crank starter obsolete and made automobiles accessible to many more people.

From supercars.net a picture of one of my favorite cars ever, a car that might make my Ultimate Garage 3.0, if I ever reveal it.

 

See the source image

 

This is a 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham, a car that has been the subject of an In Or Out? post. This car also brought numerous innovations such as the use of air suspension (which in this iteration was a failure, though) and the first automatic two-position “memory” power seats.

Here is a picture of a car that did appear as part of my Ultimate Garage 2.0, the 1967 Cadillac Eldorado:

 

 

The picture is from the aforementioned book by the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide®. The Eldorado, and the Oldsmobile Toronado introduced in 1966, brought front-wheel drive to the American market in a meaningful way.

Next and last, a picture of a car that shows both the promise and the disappointment of Cadillac, the XLR:

 

See the source image

From Classic Cars, a picture of a V-spec XLR, meaning this car has the optional supercharged engine. The XLR, first previewed as the Evoq concept in 1999, was almost five years from concept to production, but still had a myriad of quality issues when introduced, particularly in the first two model years, 2004 and 2005.

Cadillac/General Motors overpriced the car so it was particularly vulnerable when the “Great Recession” hit in 2008 and it was discontinued after model year 2009. For example, the V-spec was basically a $100,000 car when new in 2006. A 2006 Corvette convertible, a car that shared much with the XLR, had an MSRP of about $52,000. The base 2006 XLR had an MSRP of more than $75,000.

Obviously, the two markets were not exactly the same, but must have had some overlap, which makes their relative pricing suspect. Yes, hindsight is 20-20, if not better. Still, one wonders what might have happened if the base XLR had been priced at about $65,000 and the V-spec at about $80,000 or maybe $85,000.

As part of a large company, I don’t think Cadillac is in danger of extinction, but I could be wrong. The end of Cadillac would be a most sad day for automobile enthusiasts.

As always, I would like read your thoughts on this topic that, admittedly, I have written about before. As I wrote here, a picture of a beautiful 1948 Cadillac convertible was my inspiration for writing about cars on an almost daily basis.

 

#CadillacSaturday

#DeclineOfCadillac

#somanycarsjustonelife

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Bye-Bye Dunkin’ Donuts

Yesterday, I had intended to take a drive in my Z06 as the stucco repairs have made it impossible to do so. (The crew truck(s) blocks the garage.) The stucco crew was not supposed to work yesterday.

Part of my drive was supposed to include a quick stop at the Dunkin’ Donuts shop (yes, I know they are rebranding as Dunkin’) at which I have stopped so many times in the last 10 years. I was going to stop for a coffee and two donuts, one each for my wonderful wife and me, and not for a “full” breakfast like I usually do. I was also going to give a parting gift (a little money) to the woman who has served me 99% of the time I go there and to the man who almost always helps her. (I think they are part of the family that owns the franchise.)

As always, I was greeted warmly and before I ordered I said that this would probably be the last time I would be in the store and handed the woman her gift. She began to cry. I was surprised and touched.

She gave me six donuts instead of two as well as a number of egg and cheese wraps, which is what we almost always order for breakfast. Everything was on the house.

I don’t know the names of the people who have served me so many times and they don’t know my name. Frankly, sometimes I have a difficult time understanding them as English is not their first language. Still, it is a place in which I have felt welcome for a long time.

We will not be Dunkin’ regulars after we move due, in large part, to lack of proximity. The nearest Dunkin’ is almost 10 miles from our new house; the store we have frequented is just a mile and a half away.

I just wanted to share that story. I will miss the Dunkin’ Donuts store and the people who have so graciously served me for so long. From sandiegoville an appropriate picture:

 

See the source image

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Technically, this is not a Frugal Friday post. Still, I thought I’d show an inexpensive car. From gtcarlot.com and Jim Trenary Chevrolet a picture of a car like one currently offered on AutoTrader, a red 2006 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS:

 

See the source image

 

The AutoTrader car has about 58,000 miles and is in Red over Ebony. We will not buy a car with a black interior, which would be way too hot too much of the time in the desert. Still, for an asking price of $9,990 that’s not a lot of money for a good-looking car with a 300+ HP/300+ LB-FT engine, even though it’s above the Kelley Blue Book® value range.

I am hesitant to write this, but I think that four-door cars are out of consideration as grocery car/taxi after we move. We simply will not need a car to function as a taxi more than a handful of times a year, but will need “grocery functionality” far more often. Why not shop for groceries in a good-looking car with some performance? A car like this or a Cadillac Eldorado also pays homage to a defunct model with a storied history.

 

#Bye-ByeDunkin’Donuts

#2006ChevroletMonteCarloSS

#somanycarsjustonelife

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Unarranged Thursday

If a shortstop loses his range, is he deranged?

 

This CNBC article is titled, “‘Nightmare’ U.S. stock valuations driven by ‘young, dumb’ investors, fund manager says.” The fund manager is Cole Smead, President of Smead Capital Management. Among other things he is quoted as saying, “The buying that went on in August and September is a 10-year phenomenon the likes of which we have never seen, among millennials and in the risk-taking among people that don’t want to own bonds and want to own overpriced U.S. quality businesses, it is of record proportions.”

Inherent in Smead’s view is that the bill will come due. He is skeptical that institutions like the US Federal Reserve can prop up economies and equity markets indefinitely. While fear of a sharp market downturn was just one reason I liquidated 40% of our equity holdings in early June, I also think stock prices are “levitating” at the moment.

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Just 77 days remain in 2020! I suspect I am far from alone in hoping that 2021 is a far less tumultuous year. One thought I read that was funny and poignant was, “My five-year plan is to survive 2020.”

Our family lost someone to COVID-19; I hope that six months from now my wonderful wife and I as well as friends and family have all received a dose(s) of a safe and effective vaccine. I have been asked if I will get vaccinated when possible and my answer is “as soon as possible.”

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How about this car?

 

See the source image

 

From hdcarwallpapers a picture of a Buick concept car, the Avista. I have written many times here, and even once to Buick, that General Motors should bring back an updated and improved version of the Solstice/Sky as a halo car for Buick. Of course, something like this would fit that bill quite nicely.

Buick is a popular make in China, a fact that saved it during the GM bankruptcy/reorganization in 2009. I think the Chinese car-buying public would flip over a car like this, especially if it offered a hybrid drivetrain as an option.

I write about concept cars from time to time on this blog. I lament that too few of them are ever put into production. WAKE UP, American car companies! The US is a big country and it’s a big world! NOT everyone wants to drive an SUV or pickup truck! To paraphrase Automobile Magazine, life is too short to drive boring cars.

 

#UnarrangedThursday

#NightmareUSStockValuations?

#77To2021

#BuickAvista

#SayNoToBoringCars!

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Observations For Hump Day

In a TV commercial for an online university the institution’s President says that talent is equally distributed, but opportunity is not. In my opinion, that is sheer, unadulterated bullsh*t. Neither talent nor opportunity is equally distributed. I have written this before: people may have equal rights under the law, but not all people are created equally. Oh, work ethic isn’t equally distributed, either.

I know people who intuitively understand Einstein’s theory of relativity and others who wouldn’t understand it if they spent every day for five years in a classroom being taught about Einstein. I know people who are innately superb athletes and others who couldn’t make a layup more than once in every ten attempts no matter how much they practiced.

I think we all start out unequal and those who succeed figure out what they can do well. Some people have more options than others. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

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Well, I wasn’t wrong after all. It was not a glitch that prevented me from accessing the classic editor in WordPress, but a permanent change in the path that I had previously used. The classic editor is still available, but not from the path I had used for almost three years. Oh, I still can’t stand the new block editor.

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According to 365 Days Of Motoring, it was on this day in 1899 that Literary Digest printed, “The ordinary horseless carriage is at present a luxury for the wealthy; and although its price will probably fall in the future, it will never, of course, come into as common use as the bicycle.” Here are some more bad predictions from this:

 

“Lee DeForest has said in many newspapers and over his signature that it would be possible to transmit the human voice across the Atlantic before many years. Based on these absurd and deliberately misleading statements, the misguided public has been persuaded to purchase stock in his company.” – a U.S. District Attorney, prosecuting American inventor Lee DeForest for selling stock fraudulently through the mail for his Radio Telephone Company in 1913.

“There is practically no chance communications space satellites will be used to provide better telephone, telegraph, television, or radio service inside the United States.” – T. Craven, FCC Commissioner, in 1961 (the first commercial communications satellite went into service in 1965).

“X-rays will prove to be a hoax.” – Lord Kelvin, President of the Royal Society, 1883.

“Everything that can be invented has been invented.” – Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899

“Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value.” – Marshall Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superiure de Guerre

In the prologue to The Population Bomb Paul Ehrlich wrote, “In the 1970s and 1980s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. At this late date nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate…” Yet, never has food been more abundant on a world-wide basis than today. Starvation that exists is largely due to political causes and wars, not overpopulation.

 

Repeat after me: history is replete with examples of the folly of human beings trying to predict the future.

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From Hagerty via Classic Cars comes this piece titled, “Millennials and Zs eager to enter collector car community.” Here is the most interesting passage in the article, in my opinion:

 

“Much of the ‘death of driving’ handwringing by the media in the wake of the Great Recession was based on data showing younger generations were getting their licenses later, buying their first vehicle later, and buying fewer vehicles compared to previous generations at the same age,” Ryan Tandler, survey lead [for Hagerty], is quoted.

“This conflated buying power with demand. The recession hit younger generations harder and delayed a host of major purchases and life milestones. As Millennials aged into greater buying power and started families, their purchase behavior looked more and more like other generations.”

“The lag was due to the disproportionate blow the generation took in the recession and the unique burden of student debt. It took them longer to recover their buying power, but not as long as it has taken the myth of car-hating young people to die.”

 

At a local Cars and Coffee event my wonderful wife and I used to attend before COVID-19, I would estimate that at least half of the participants were under 40. We saw a lot of Japanese cars and cars from the 1990s and first decade of the 2000s, but this event usually had at least 300 cars from all eras and countries.

As long as I have any degree of mental acuity [what mental acuity? 🙂 ], I will almost certainly have an interest in automobiles. I believe that attraction will exist for many people of subsequent generations, but I could be wrong, of course. I can’t predict the future with absolute certainty, either.

 

See the source image

 

From Motoring Research a picture of a car with a timeless appeal, in my opinion: an Aston Martin DB11.

 

#ObservationsForHumpDay

#MythOfEquality

#IfItAin’tBrokeDon’tFixIt

#FollyOfPredictingTheFuture

#AstonMartinDB11

#somanycarsjustonelife

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It’s Tuesday

Baseball Hall of Famer Joe Morgan died on Sunday at the age of 77. My condolences to his family.

When I was a teenager and into my 20s, I was a huge fan of Morgan. Games like APBA and Strat-O-Matic taught me what a valuable player he was. However, when he became a broadcaster after he retired as a player I was not a fan of his at all.

When it came to analytics, Morgan was an antediluvian. He railed against “Moneyball” even though he never read the book and even kept insisting that Billy Beane had written it, although, of course, the book was written by Michael Lewis.

 

 

I was going to quote some of Morgan’s narrow-minded and bitter diatribes against the use of statistical analysis, about how only people who played the game can really know the game, but I decided that would be a waste of space. Besides, despite the widespread use of analytics now in everything from baseball to beer, I heard many of the same things from many people in my early days working in baseball.

One of the reasons for my bitterness is that, essentially, I was right and almost all of the rest of the world was wrong and yet I am the one forgotten today. Remember what that salutation from Michael Lewis says on my copy of Moneyball, “For [me], Who led the way.” Inspired by Bill James, but knowing the value of data long before I ever heard of Bill or read The Baseball Abstract, I was sure that data existed and could exist that would help baseball teams make better decisions.

As has been pointed out by others, a real irony exists in Morgan’s extreme “distaste” for analytics. It is from more modern analysis and understanding that “traditional” metrics didn’t tell the whole story that Morgan has vaulted to the top of the list of “modern era” second basemen.

Anyway…I have tried to be restrained in telling this story. From APBA Blog a picture of Joe Morgan’s APBA card representing his 1976 season, the second of his two consecutive MVP seasons with the Reds.

 

See the source image

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While watching a show on Motor Trend with my wonderful wife (I think the show was Bitchin’ Rides) I wondered aloud about what my father would think of modern advances in automobiles, specifically 3-D printing. Of course, I will never know as he has been dead for more than a quarter century.

I think 3-D printing could revolutionize repair and restoration of cars. In fact, I think it already has. From a post on archer-soft.com:

 

Core applications of additive manufacturing (AM) in the automotive industry

Design and concept of communication High detail, smooth and accurate 3D printed scale models are very often used in the automotive industry to demonstrate designs and concepts of new vehicles. The reason is simple – using CAD models alone is not effective enough to define possible design problems. Such models are also used for the aerodynamic testing of new models.
Prototyping validation Like in many other industries, prototyping is a very important part of the manufacturing process in the automotive sector. 3D printing allows for rapid prototyping in the pre-manufacturing stage. Using AM now is one of the most popular ways to validate a prototype – from a small quickly printed detail to a high detail full-scale part suitable for performance validation and testing.
Preproduction sampling and tooling The specialists of 3D hubs regard this application as the most promising. 3D printing can be used to make molds and thermoforming tools, rapid manufacturing of grips, jigs, and fixtures. This allows automakers to produce samples and tools at low costs and to eliminate future losses in production when investing in high-cost tooling.
Customized parts Additive manufacturing is used by automotive enterprises to tailor the parts to specific vehicles (making them custom and lightweight) or even drivers (e.g. seats for racing cars). This is especially useful when the cost of such unique components is justified by a substantial improvement in vehicle performance.

As we see, 3D printing can be a key to car model evaluation and cost-saving for automakers.

 

Many restorations are hampered by lack of parts for older cars. It seems as though 3-D printing could fill much of that void. I guess some “purists,” people whose views are similar about cars to what Joe Morgan’s were about baseball, would argue that using a 3-D printed part ruins an original car. I would ask that if a restoration of a classic car is being held up by the unavailability of five parts, parts that can be created using 3-D printing, should the restoration never be completed? From pursuitist.com a picture of a car where this question could be relevant, a 1935 Duesenberg Model SJ convertible.

 

See the source image

 

So, what do you think? Would it be OK to finish a restoration of a car like this using 3-D printed parts?

 

#It’sTuesday

#JoeMorgan

#MichaelLewis

#3-DPrintingAndCars

#1935Duesenberg

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Monday Musings 56

WordPress, the platform that hosts this blog, defines a week as Monday through Sunday. For the week ending yesterday, the number of views/visitors for Disaffected Musings was the highest since the record-setting week of May 25-May 31. Thanks and please keep reading. Oh, time for the commercial: Please feel free to tell your friends about the blog and to pass along the URL (https://disaffectedmusings.com), please feel free to click on any (or all) of the related posts at the bottom of each post, please feel free to “Like” any post and to submit thoughtful comments and please feel free to click on any ad in which you have genuine interest.

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On this day in 1920, 100 years ago, the legendary racehorse Man o’ War raced for the last time, winning the Kenilworth Park Gold Cup, which was actually a match race against 1919 Triple Crown winner Sir Barton, although no one used the term “Triple Crown” at that time. This was the first horserace to be filmed in its entirety. Man o’ War did not win the Triple Crown because he did not race in the Kentucky Derby.

Thoroughbred racing and the Triple Crown were not the same 100 years ago as they are today. Samuel Riddle, Man o’ War’s owner, skipped the Kentucky Derby because he felt, and he was not alone at the time, that horses should not race a mile and a quarter early in their 3-year old season.

The Blood Horse named Man o’ War as the greatest race horse of the 20th century with Secretariat at number two. I respectfully disagree, but appreciate the impact Man o’ War had on racing and on American sports in general. His funeral service in 1947 was nationally broadcast on radio. From America’s Best Racing, a picture of Man o’ War:

 

See the source image

 

I just don’t think one can compare a horse foaled in 1917 when probably 5,000 foals were born to one foaled in 1970 when almost 25,000 were born. (Yes, in the context of horses “foaled” and “born” are essentially the same word.) However, Man o’ War’s impact on thoroughbred racing endures as his sire line continues to excel through horses such as Tiznow and Tiz The Law.

My father’s gas/service station was so close to Pimlico race course that one could hear the track announcer. In the mid-1990s I was part of a group that owned a racehorse and she actually won a couple of races for us. The waning of my interest in sports in general applies to horse racing as well, but I still watch the Triple Crown races and the Breeders Cup.

Is anyone reading a fan of horse racing? I would very much like to read any comments you might have.

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Our move to the desert is supposed to be getting closer. Part of me will not believe it until (if?) it happens, but I think part of me is getting anxious. Without getting into disturbing detail, for a few days I have been suffering from what could be physiological manifestations of anxiety.

How can I calm down? Well, my running usually helps, at least for 4-6 hours, but so does this:

 

See the source image

 

From owlshead.org a picture of a 1967 Corvette convertible with the auxiliary hardtop in place. I think that is the best automotive shape in American history, much like I think Secretariat is the greatest racehorse in American history.

I estimate the probability of my buying/building a restomod based on a ’67 Vette as very low, but not zero and not as low as the odds of winning the Mega Millions or Powerball. What is life without dreams?

 

#MondayMusings

#Mano’War

#1967ChevroletCorvette

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Sunday Miscellaneous

I had another weird dream last night, a dream that a tree had fallen in our front yard. The tree had come completely out of the ground and the root system was visible. The only hitch was that the way the tree was laying in the yard, it could not have come from our lot. Explaining why that is so is unnecessary, only the point needs to be made.

In the aftermath of Tropical Storm Isaias, many trees were downed in this area. Many of those had come completely out of the ground and their root systems were visible. The storm even spawned two tornadoes in this state including the one with the longest recorded tornado path in state history.

 

 

In our almost 13 years of living in the mid-Atlantic, we have experienced blizzards and severe tropical weather. Where we are going we are very unlikely to experience any of those events. That sounds OK to me; I’ll take four months of heat as the “price” to pay.

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I will probably post every day until I can’t. Yes, that sounds like a tautology. What I mean is that in the near future I will be unable to post for 10-15 days while we move and get settled into our new house, get set up with utilities there and so forth.

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I wonder how long it will be before we see one of these in the desert…

 

See the source image

 

From formulamotors a picture of a 2018 Ferrari 812 Superfast. As I wrote here, we saw more interesting cars in 3-4 days in the Phoenix area than we would see in a year here in the mid-Atlantic. Given the automotive stimuli overload, it’s possible we saw one of these and it was “lost” amidst all the automobile eye candy.

Yes, if you have to ask then you almost certainly can’t afford it. OK…the base MSRP is about $340,000. As handsome as the car is, I see a distinct resemblance to the C7 Corvette, side “scallops” aside.

IF I could afford one and had a place to park it, I would probably own a Ferrari. Yes, if I could afford one then it is likely I would have a place to park it. The Portofino was included in my Ultimate Garage 2.0 and the California, the Portofino’s predecessor and the best-selling Ferrari in history, was part of my first Ultimate Garage.

I admire and respect the engineering and performance of current Lamborghini models, but the company is part of VolkswagenAudi. I just don’t think I could get past that association and buy a Lambo, assuming I could afford one. Frank Sinatra supposedly remarked, “People who want to be somebody buy a Ferrari. People who are somebody buy a Lamborghini.” Of course, he said that a long time ago, well before Lamborghini’s integration into the Shitlermobile company.

What sayeth thee? Would you buy a Ferrari if you could afford it? Would you make a cross-country move if you really wanted to do so?

 

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Yin And Yang

Yin and Yang

 

The Chinese concept of Yin and Yang is about how seemingly opposite or contrary forces may actually be complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, and how they may give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another. (It’s not Ying and Yang, people; it’s Yin and Yang.)

Last night I had a dream that I would describe as Yin and Yang. I was in a hotel by myself, apparently devoid of money and the only clothes I had were the ones I was wearing. Naturally, I was distraught. A young woman who worked behind the front desk somehow sensed my situation. She whispered to me that she could help. “I shouldn’t be doing this, but nobody will know.”

She pulled out a small metal box, which I assumed contained the hotel’s petty cash, and I thought she was going to give me a few dollars. Instead, she handed me a large number of $500 bills. (Are these bills even in circulation, anymore?) Obviously, I was extremely grateful and asked her if she was sure she could do this. She just nodded; I thanked her and left with the money although I felt guilty.

The dream continued with my going home and telling my wonderful wife what happened. She didn’t believe me until I showed her the money. She was also grateful and yet felt a little tainted.

Part of me thinks this dream is a sign that I see the move to the desert as a gift leading to a better life for us, but also that I feel guilty about “leaving behind” people who are important to me. Does anyone reading care to offer an interpretation?

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From this post by Colin Windell comes this picture of the new color available for the Lexus LC, at least in South Africa.

 

 

The color is called Blazing Carnelian. Except perhaps for the front grill (dubbed “the cow catcher” by critics), I think the LC is a masterpiece in automotive design. The car has appeared in both editions of my Ultimate Garage.

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From Corvette Blogger comes two pieces of news (Yin and Yang?); the first is that due to COVID-19 causing a disruption in the supply of parts and assemblies, the Corvette production line will shut down for about a week through Monday the 19th.

The second bit of news is a “spy” photo of a 2022 Z06 in camouflage being tested at Grattan Raceway in Michigan. It is not my intent to violate any copyrights by showing this picture.

 

 

From Corvette Blogger: “The 2022 Corvette Z06 is rumored to be powered by the LT6 flat-plane-crank V8 that is currently powering the Corvette C8.R race cars. The engine has been rumored to produce somewhere around 650 hp and 600 lb-ft of torque from the naturally-aspirated 5.5L 32-valve DOHC engine.”

I have speculated before in this blog that the current base LT2 engine for the C8 could, emphasize “could,” be the last pushrod engine offered in a Corvette. Why would Chevrolet/GM put in the time, effort and money to develop DOHC architecture and yet continue to produce an “old-fashioned” pushrod engine? My 2¢.

 

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