1,000 Posts!

It is coincidence–synchronicity, if you prefer–that the 1,000th post on Disaffected Musings is written and published on the 20th anniversary of the Baltimore Ravens first Super Bowl win. Yes, this is post one thousand!

I thank those of you who have been along for part, most or all of the journey. Frankly, I don’t know if I have another thousand posts in me. The carrot that might get me there is a million words.

Since the average post length for 2018 was fewer than 400 words, even though the average since then is over 500 (552, to be exact), for the history of the blog the average is still fewer than 500, but not by much. Through yesterday’s post, number 999, I had written 494,222 words on this blog.

The thought of writing a million words on this blog is appealing. I would need to average about 505 words per post for another thousand to reach a million words.

If anyone has any topic about which they want me to write, whether it’s about automobiles or not, please feel free to let me know. Thanks again.


So far, so good…I am referring to the 2015 Cadillac ATS that we purchased on January 16 and that was delivered a week ago today. In this recent stretch of precipitation it has been our go-to car. To refresh your memory:



It is extremely comfortable to be the driver or the passenger and, frankly, much easier to get into and out of than our Corvettes. That’s not an issue now, but at some time in the future it may be.

The only problem is parking the car in the garage when you are by yourself. Although the car has front parking sensors, we have not yet learned to judge when the car is far enough in so the garage door can be closed behind it without hitting the items on the tire stop in front. Oh, besides a visual display the driver seat starts to vibrate when the front of the car approaches a perceived obstacle.

One odd feature is that, unlike almost all other American cars, the gas filler door is on the passenger side. The Alpha platform on which the car is built was designed in the US and is manufactured here.

I think it’s a shame that the ATS coupe has been discontinued by Cadillac in favor of two very similar four-door sedans. I mean similar to each other although they have similarity to the ATS. If the CT4 and CT5 have the same ride quality and comfort as our ATS, then they are probably nice cars to own, just not for us.


Some more pictures of our recent snow and its aftermath:



This morning almost all traces of snow are gone even from the nearby mountains. I took many photos of roughly the same view as the shot on the bottom and had a difficult time choosing which one to show here.

I am still in awe of the scenery around here and the snow just added levels to that awe. I hope that feeling never fades.







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Car-Garage Convergence

I did not live in a dwelling with a garage until I was 38. Even though I was renting the house, I felt like I had “made it.”

Fast forward a few years…the house in which my wonderful wife and I lived for most of our time in Texas had a 3-car garage, but we “only” had two cars. After we moved to the mid-Atlantic, we lived in a house with a 2-car garage, but we had three vehicles.

Fast forward to now…



Our 2015 Cadillac ATS was delivered yesterday. (Many thanks, Austin.) I did not want to take a picture from the rear and show our license plates. Can’t be too careful these days…

While the garage is smaller than a 3-car should be, after removal of lots of “stuff” we are able to park three cars in it. We have a 3-car garage with three cars, as it should be. Yes, we took the ATS to the grocery store yesterday and it easily handled our purchases.

I actually drove it for the first time and it was impressive. The car is comfortable, chock full of features like lane departure warning and is surprisingly nimble. Here is a better picture of the Z06 and the ATS:



Wish us luck with our new vehicle. Hey, just wish us luck and I will do the same for you.


The nearly $1 billion Mega Millions annuity jackpot could be won this evening. At our age, my wonderful wife and I would take the cash, which is about $720 million. Even assuming paying about 50% in taxes, that would leave a sole winner with $360 million, free and clear.

Arizona is, unfortunately, not a state in which a lottery winner can remain anonymous, unlike the state we left. The conventional wisdom is if one should find themselves in this position, tell as few people as possible and set up some legal entity that does not bear the name of the winner(s) to claim the prize.

This should surprise no one, but I have already set up a spreadsheet with the numbers 0-9 and the letters a-z each assigned a random number. If the miracle happens, I will recalculate the random numbers thousands of times and then sort by that number. The six or eight characters that appear at the top will be the name of our trust to claim the prize.

Like I wrote yesterday, we have no debt, a good net worth and are not spending money we can’t afford to buy lottery tickets. The ticket displayed yesterday cost $6. Spending $6 to have a chance to win $360 million, no matter how small that chance, seems reasonable to us. As I have said to my wonderful wife hundreds of times, “Wouldn’t that be something?”








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A Surprise Addition To The Family

My wonderful wife and I certainly did not plan on this happening…no, she is not pregnant. We are both way past the age for that.

First, somewhat of a detour. Do you remember this car?



While on a “fact-finding” mission yesterday, look what we found:



The top photo was taken at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale in January, 2019; the bottom was taken yesterday while we were out test-driving more cars. Yes, it’s the same car, “The Blue Meanie” as I have dubbed it. What a small world!

I bid on the car–a custom 2014 Corvette convertible–at the auction and just missed winning it as my bid of $65,000 ($71,500 all in) was the next-to-last bid. Ultimately, the car was purchased for $77,000 all in. The car is being offered for sale for not much more than that, about $79,000.

At the dealership with “The Blue Meanie” we test-drove a Lexus RC and, holding my nose, a BMW 435i convertible. While it was a beautiful car (in Orange!) and drove well, the back seats in the RC were, indeed, too small to be useful. In fact, after we returned from the test drive, the manager asked us what we were looking for and then told us that the RC was not really suitable for four adults. Also, the asking price on both cars–above $30,000–was more than we wanted to spend.

This dealership was an independent without a large inventory and too many SUVs and 4-door sedans in that inventory. We were treated well, but they were trying to sell us a car.

We stopped for lunch (Jack In The Box drive-thru that we ate in the parking lot, I’m up to 44 tacos) and afterwards I suggested we see if we could find another Cadillac ATS coupe to drive. We were simply gathering more information, or so we thought.

While I drove, my wonderful wife found an ATS coupe not close to where we were or to where we live, but it was listed at what AutoTrader called a “Great Price” so we decided to see it. We arrived at the third largest Toyota dealership in the country in the middle of a big sales event.

Supposedly, this place had about 100 salesmen working yesterday. Anyway…we arrived and then notified the salesman who came out to see us that we wanted to see and to test drive the 2015 Cadillac ATS coupe in their inventory. Here it is:



We took the car for a test drive and after we returned we asked for some “privacy” (not that we could actually have any in that setting) so we could discuss the situation. My wonderful wife has learned some things from me about negotiating and made what I thought was a fairly aggressive offer for the car. To our surprise, after the obligatory “I have to see my manager” they accepted our offer, almost 10% below the “Great Price.” I guess the offer wasn’t that aggressive, after all. However, I never expected to buy a car with a purchase price beginning with a “1.” That 2015 ATS is now ours although we still haven’t picked it up as we need to arrange a wire for the rest of the purchase price.

I also never expected to buy an ATS with the 3.6 liter/217 cubic-inch V-6 engine (321 HP/275 LB-FT of torque), but that’s what we bought. The color is called Majestic Plum Metallic and although the interior is black, the car’s windows have a decent amount of tinting.

This ATS drove very well, like the other one we drove. It is well-appointed and has usable rear seats and a decent-sized trunk. It has four new tires with a date code indicating they were manufactured in the 38th week of 2020.

I am under no allusion that the dealership didn’t make a healthy profit on the car. That’s their business and as long as we are happy with what we paid, then they are entitled to make a profit. Thanks to Austin for taking care of us and yes, I am aware he wanted to make a sale.

When we woke up yesterday we absolutely had no idea we would end the day with another car in our possession. Wish us luck with our new car.







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No, I haven’t forgotten the 50th anniversary of the Baltimore Colts winning Super Bowl 5. You can read the linked post to read about my experience that day.