A Note To Myself

Until I was in my mid-40s I had total recall. From our teens through our mid-20s Dr. Zal, who also has a very good memory, and I used to play a game with a baseball encyclopedia. The game was “Name The Hitter/Pitcher.” If I had the book, I would say something like, “Name the pitcher: 1923 National League, 38 Starts, 26 Complete Games, 295 Innings, 17 Wins, 19 Losses, 3.57 ERA.” Dr. Zal would inevitably give the correct answer, Wilbur Cooper. If he had the book, then I had to name a hitter with similar hints.

The game could be a source of tremendous fun, especially when we would try to stump each other by naming players with just 1 or 2 innings pitched or at-bats. However, we were almost always able to name the player if he was of any significance. Yes, our game was made easier by the fact that for much of its history major league baseball had just 16 teams and smaller rosters with almost no specialization.

Fast forward to today…I cannot tell you how many times I decide I want to look something up on the Internet, but by the time I pick up my phone and tap the screen, I have forgotten what I wanted to look up. During a recent conversation something similar happened to my good friend Bob, to whom I probably speak more often than to the rest of my friends combined. I said, “Welcome to life over 50.”

I have begun making notes to myself to remember to do this or that, very often in conjunction with writing this blog. If I have an idea for a post theme or intro, if I don’t note it somewhere it is just 50-50 that I will remember it the next day.

This adjustment is extremely difficult for me. My wonderful wife often says, “Welcome to life as one of us,” meaning as someone with an imperfect memory. Of course, despite those awful ads for over-the-counter products that are touted as improving memory, my memory will continue to decline. Oh, in his book Do You Believe In Magic?, Dr. Paul Offit writes that of the 5,000-6,000 over-the-counter supplements offered for sale in the US, hard scientific evidence exists to back up the claims for only five or six of them. That means for 99.9% of these substances, no evidence exists that they work any better than a placebo. Why are so many of them sold? The FDA de-regulated supplements in 1994 and there is a lot of money to be made selling stuff that doesn’t work.

In the Internet age, doctors are often forced to play along to keep their patients happy and in their practice. Some recent studies suggest that almost half of all doctors recommend over-the-counter substances, the rationale being that most of these compounds–if taken in the recommended dose–are not harmful, even though they are not helpful, either. <End Tangent>

While I am in “better” shape, physically, than I was in my 20s (ten years of running will do that), my mental acuity pales in comparison. Such is life…


If 365 Days of Motoring is correct, then on this day in 2009 the German government launched a campaign to have one million electric cars on the road by 2020. If this website is correct, in 2019 the number of electric cars (not hybrids) registered in Germany was…fewer than 85,000. Gasoline and diesel powered cars still comprise about 98% of the automobiles registered in Germany. Like other countries, it is sales of hybrids that are increasing in Germany, not sales of pure electric cars.

As I have written before, the Internal Combustion Engine will power most of our cars for many years to come. Some may not be happy with that fact, but while people are entitled to their opinions, they are not entitled to their own facts.


Here is a favorite car of mine, one that is most definitely not an electric or a hybrid:


See the source image


From motorcarclassics.com a picture of a Saturn Sky Red Line, which means the car is powered by a turbocharged engine. Innovations like turbocharging and modern electronic fuel injection have made gasoline powered cars more efficient and have less emissions.

Dreaming of a house in the desert with either a 4-car garage (occasionally one of those appears in our price range) or with a 3-car garage AND an RV gate with a large side yard allows me to mentally wander off into a world in which one of these could be in my (our) possession. What is life without dreams?







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