It Never Ends…Part 2

Two hours after the HVAC tech left yesterday, the new system stopped pushing air through the vents upstairs. I know next to nothing about HVAC systems, but it sounds to me like something fails when the operating temperature reaches a certain level.

We tried an experiment last night. We shut the system down for over an hour. When we turned it back on cold air came out of the vents, but only for about an hour.

We had rain in our area last night, which cooled everything down, so even though we left the system on hoping for a “failure” it didn’t run. If a tech arrives today, I hope I get some lead time so I can set the thermostat to a temperature where it will run before he arrives and, maybe, the system will fail while or before he gets here.

It is only when machines fail that they remind us how powerful they are.

Postscript: because we have two HVAC systems we are given lower priority than a house with one system that is not working in terms of scheduling repairs. I understand that, but since the system that is failing in our house is a brand new one, I have to wonder about that prioritization.


The first picture is not by me and not from here, the rest are:



On this day in 1906 Louis Henry Perlman applied for a patent for his invention of the de-mountable tire-carrying rim, similar to those used on today’s cars. From 365 Days Of Motoring (still not a secure website), more of this story:


The patent was issued 4 February 1913 (U.S. No. 1,052,270). Perlman’s innovation made possible the spare tire. Perlman was then bankrolled by William C. Durant, the founder of General Motors, to create the Perlman Rim Corporation, which soon manufactured tire assemblies for more than 1.5 million cars annually. (Perlman would also receive a new GM car every year; he stored his autos in a lengthy barn extension at his home in Montrose, New York.)

Perlman was born in Kovno, Russia in 1861; his father was a rabbi who eventually founded congregations in St. Louis, Cincinnati and Charleston, SC. Perlman was a graduate of City College and a co-founder of the Pictorial Associated Press, the first news agency to syndicate images and photos to newspapers. He had to defend his tire patent against infringement for years, and then lost his entire fortune in the 1929 stock market crash.


According to Perlman’s great-grandson, Louis Henry was given $3 million directly (in cash and GM stock) by General Motors and Durant, along with other private investors, gave Perlman the seed money to create his corporation. He also received a large payment in 1916 from another company ordered by a federal appeals court for patent infringement.

His great-grandson says Perlman lost most, not all, of his money in the stock market crash, but never again had anywhere near the wealth he had before. From the article by his great-grandson, a picture of Louis Henry Perlman:


Perlman - Louis Perlman Line-drawing


Fewer than 60 days remain until I take my Z06 into the shop for more upgrades. On a sort of related note…would you trust a company selling C7 ZR-1 lookalike wheels for $1,500 a set when “real” ones cost $5,000?

I found a company that sells such “knock-offs” for $1,500. They don’t claim they are genuine GM wheels and the ZR-1 logo does not appear anywhere. The wheels come with a lifetime warranty except a two-year warranty for finish. Although the company claims to have them in Chrome, when I selected that option here is the picture displayed:


2014-2019 Corvette C7 ZR1 Style Wheel, 20x12

Should that make me nervous? I guess I can just call the company to confirm availability. Oh, the chrome wheels cost more than the black ones. Are black wheels losing their appeal? Am I nuts to consider buying wheels for the “wrong” Corvette for my car?

My answer: Carpe Diem! Nos non fides cras! (Seize the day! We are not guaranteed tomorrow!)










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Wingless Wednesday

Idea to ponder:


France has long laid claim to a national identity, based on a common culture, fundamental rights and core values like equality and liberty, rejecting diversity and multiculturalism. The French often see the United States as a fractious society at war with itself.


Many of those on the American left idolize France. I wonder if they know how much most of the French, including the French left, abhor the identity politics of the American left. The French economy is still broken, though, IMO.


From @EricTopol on Twitter:



Israel’s test positivity of 0.3% is their lowest since the pandemic started. Vaccines work! In that vein is this CNBC story about former FDA chief Dr. Scott Gottlieb’s prediction that “I think you’re going to start to see cases come down quite dramatically as we get into May.” Of course, the primary factor in his prediction is the increasing number of those in the US who have been vaccinated.


This piece in AutoEvolution is about the soon to be released Z06 version of the C8 Corvette. The focus of the article is that it is expected that the Z06 engine will be the most powerful naturally aspirated V-8 in the world, producing about 620 HP. This DOHC engine will feature a flat-plane crankshaft instead of a cross-plane design and should have a redline of at least 8,000 RPM. From a picture of a C8 Corvette in what is probably my favorite color for the car:


See the source image


See those stripes? I am toying with the idea of having similar stripes, but in medium metallic gray, painted on my C7 Z06. The hood vents will be an issue, though. Want to see my car again? No? Too bad:



Why I have this sudden desire for much more modification to my car is not clear. Maybe it’s my way of celebrating as much of a return to normal as is possible given I am fully vaccinated against the damn virus. Maybe I just hear the clock ticking and don’t want to leave any stone unturned. Life is NOT about doing as little as possible.









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Three Years!

On this day in 2018 I wrote the first post for this blog, Disaffected Musings. I didn’t really want to include the link to the first post, as I think it is not worth reading, but decided that for the vast majority of readers who have not been following this blog since the beginning, it might be amusing to see.

I was literally in shock after the Evil Empire (aka Google) deleted my first blog and its 600+ posts because I had the “nerve” to appeal their decision to remove ads from the blog. America, Google and Facebook are evil. I do not understand how that has seemingly glanced off the collective skull of this country.

It is likely that later this month I will write the 1,000th post for this blog. I think WordPress will send me the code to display a badge acknowledging that “milestone.”

What does the future hold? This morning, during a text exchange with our good friend Eileen–whose birthday is today–I recounted a Vin Scully story. Do I have to tell you who Vin Scully is? How sad…he is an acclaimed sportscaster who called games for the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers from 1950 to 2016. That is the longest tenure of any broadcaster with a single team in professional sports history.

During a broadcast, he was talking about an injury to a Dodgers player quoting the team line that the player was day-to-day. Scully then said, “Aren’t we all?” We are all here one day, gone the next; we just don’t know when that transition will happen. I don’t mean to be morbid; what I am actually trying to do is to exhort all of you (and me) to take advantage of every day. Life is not about doing as little as possible. The path of least resistance is often a path to nowhere. Carpe Diem!

Thanks for reading.


I have written about taking pictures of our Corvettes in our new venue. I had the opportunity to do so yesterday, although the picture displayed is merely the best of a bad lot. We had to wash our cars as they were covered in dust, probably exacerbated by the tile work which was completed on Saturday. Anyway…



The photo was taken post-wash. Actually, the wash simply consisted of hosing down the cars and then wiping them dry with a microfiber towel. The cars were not really dirty, per se, they were just dusty. I will get better photos and share them with you.

I have already begun a dialogue with a well-known “speed shop” in the area about more engine mods to my car. Here is one excerpt (Edgar!) from one of the emails I received from the owner of the shop, “…these cars are extremely reliable even with more power.”

The question is always “How much for how much?” I could get my Z06 close to 1,000 HP at the crank for about a third of what I paid for the car, but that’s more than I want to spend. If I am not willing to spend five figures, I can still get the car to well above 800 HP at the crank and about 700 at the rear wheels. Barring something awful and unforeseen, that’s probably the path I will take. The work will even include a dyno run, which makes me anxious and excited at the same time.

Carpe Diem! Life is what happens after you leave your comfort zone.







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Monday Musings 47

I am aware that I write some things more than once. I have written almost 800 posts in 28 months and cannot remember everything I’ve ever written. However, most of the time that I repeat myself is for effect.

I have written many times that if you’re reading the blog then you should read the comments. I have no way of knowing how many of you are doing so. Below is an exchange of comments between me and photobyjohnbo. By the way, if you like great photography you should check out his blog.



Looks like you hit a chord with people and your comments on technical vs college education. As a lifetime member of the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) and a former technical trades editor, you are certainly preaching to this member of the choir.

My favorite question to young people mentioning college is, “Do you know what the NDSU (North Dakota State University) grad says to the NDSCS (North Dakota State College of Science) Grad?”
“Will that be fries with your order, sir?”
NDSCS is one of the state’s major technical colleges. Most people are familiar with the NDSU Bison.


My reply:


Obviously I have nothing against a college education. I have two degrees and the second one, my graduate degree in Economics, opened a lot of doors for me until it didn’t. However, I fervently maintain that too many people attend college and not enough people learn a skilled trade. I also steadfastly maintain that the misguided government policies that excessively subsidize consumption of “higher education” are the single biggest reason college costs have exploded. As the economist in me knows, an exogenous upward shift in the demand curve of a good or service–in this case due to subsidization–combined with a relatively fixed supply (in large part due to universities seeing themselves as a luxury good) means the only variable that can adjust is price and it can only go straight up.

What’s the solution? I have my own ideas, but in this country of excessive political polarization it is doubtful anything will get done. In fact, it is likely that the only change will result in the situation getting worse as people almost always choose what they think is the path of least resistance and voting themselves a “free” college education fits that definition. Of course, NOTHING is free even if it seems to be free to you.


In this country, politicians are far less concerned about quality governance than about getting elected/re-elected. Promising “free” stuff is a great way to make the latter happen, not such a good way for the former. Does anyone else have anything to offer?



My OCD is really locking in on this car, a Maserati GranTurismo (this one is a 2008 model). I think the Buick-like portholes are playing a large role in that new obsession, perhaps more in my subconscious than conscious mind. The first family car I remember and the first car I ever drove was a 1956 Buick Century.

As our latest setback has pushed the relocation timetable into limbo, the search for a Corvette companion/grocery car has abated. I also realize that we can achieve our goal of a grocery car with style and performance less expensively than buying one of these. All I can say is, Carpe Diem!








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Monday Musings

The death of Kobe Bryant in a helicopter crash yesterday is sad and shocking. That is true for me even though I am not an NBA fan and have not been one since the early 1980s.

The harsh, but very profound lesson is to Carpe Diem, Seize The Day! Do not put off doing something until later because none of us is guaranteed later. Look for that better job, move to that better place. Do not let others without legitimate authority over your life tell you what to do and how to live.


V Squared, I LOVE YOU!!!


From the untimely death of a famous athlete to the attempted extermination of an entire people…today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day because on this day in 1945 the Soviet Army reached the Auschwitz concentration camp. This day has been observed throughout the world since 2005.

About 1.1 million people died in Auschwitz, of whom about 80% were Jews. The number of Jews who died in Auschwitz is equal to the current population of the city of Indianapolis, the 17th largest city in the US.

This day is not really a day about words, and I should probably be more discreet in that members of my family were among those who died in the Holocaust, but I cannot resist because of my intense contempt and hatred for Holocaust deniers and anti-Semites. To the people in those groups, including those serving in Congress, Zolst Leegen En Drerd! One more thing:

Never Forget! Never Again!


I was going to try to segue to something lighter, but not today.









Frugal Friday

At today’s end an eighth of 2019 will already be gone. Carpe Diem!


From today’s Friday Funnies by 56packardman:

gas $1.39


Reader “David Banner” suggested writing about collector cars for “the average Joe/Jill.” I think that’s a good idea although defining “average” and “collector car” is subjective.

Today’s selections are from Hemmings and, as such, the listings belong to them. As today’s Frugal Friday is the first I am kind of winging it. If I continue the feature I will probably not rely solely on Hemmings.

For today I chose cars listed at between $9,000 and $10,000, inclusive, and cars that were made between 1989 and 2004. The criteria are arbitrary, I admit. That reminds of me what I used to say about salary arbitration in baseball. Salary arbitration is well-named because the results are completely arbitrary. I also only included cars sold at US dealers and not by individuals as well as including only those ads with photos. I will try to avoid cars about which I have written before, but it is inevitable that some of them will be included. Without further ado:

Here is a 1991 Chevrolet Camaro RS:

It’s in Red Metallic over Gray and has only 56,000-ish miles. It’s not an overly powerful car; the engine is a 305 cubic-inch V-8 rated at 170 HP/255 LB-FT of torque, which is not a high output for a 3,300 pound car. It has a 4-speed automatic transmission. The asking price is $9,500.

About 101,000 Camaros were produced for the 1991 model year. I think if you want a nice driver with a little flair for not a lot of money you could do a lot worse than this car. ALL used cars come with risk.


A Jaguar for under $10,000?! Yep…

This gorgeous burgundy over beige 2001 Jaguar XK-8 coupe with about 56,000 miles is listed for $9,900. My wonderful wife had an XK-8 convertible and it was not without its issues, but they are beautiful cars and are nice GT cruisers. Bill Stephens, one of the hosts of Mecum Auto Auctions on NBCSN, has an XK-8 about which he speaks very highly.

This car has a 4-liter (244 cubic inches for the aforementioned Bill Stephens) V-8 engine rated at 290 HP/290 LB-FT of torque. The XK-8 has a five-speed automatic transmission. Even if you had to put $2,000-$4,000 into the car after purchase, you would still have a Jaguar that cost you less than $15,000.

Please let me know what you thought of the first Frugal Friday post.


Had to include a link to this CNBC article about Charlie Munger, Vice-Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway. The title is, “Charlie Munger says California, Connecticut have been ‘stupid’ for driving rich people away.”





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Mittwoch Assortment

Condolences to the family of Sergio Marchionne and to Fiat-Chrysler. On a wall in his office in Turin hung these words; “Every act of creation is first of all an act of destruction.”


Mittwoch (“middle of the week”) is the German/Yiddish word for Wednesday.


From this paper comes these words:

“However, when people are asked about the ideal distribution of wealth in their country, they actually prefer unequal societies. We suggest that these two phenomena can be reconciled by noticing that, despite appearances to the contrary, there is no evidence that people are bothered by economic inequality itself. Rather, they are bothered by something that is often confounded with inequality: economic unfairness. Drawing upon laboratory studies, cross-cultural research, and experiments with babies and young children, we argue that humans naturally favour fair distributions, not equal ones, and that when fairness and equality clash, people prefer fair inequality over unfair equality. [emphasis mine]”

Of course, “fair” is subjective, but beware of those who advocate equality of outcome and not equality of opportunity. Those two concepts are NOT identical.


Not to belittle the memory of Sergio Marchionne, but it seems appropriate to show some “related” automobiles.

See the source image

From a picture of the “entry-level” Ferrari, the Portofino. This car replaced the California in the Ferrari lineup. Marchionne orchestrated the spinoff of Ferrari as a public company in 2015. (Piero Ferrari retains a 10% stake in the company and only 10% of the company was actually offered in the IPO with the rest of the ownership “spun off”—using Ferrari’s words from their website—to holders of FCA shares and holders of FCA mandatory convertible securities.) Ferrari trades under the symbol “RACE.”

See the source image

From a photo of a modern Fiat 124 Abarth Spider. The new 124 is, of course, closely related to the new generation Mazda MX-5 Miata. The Miata recently had a power boost; I don’t know if the Fiat 124 Spider will also see such an upgrade.

Carpe Diem!


Not counting Puerto Rico as a separate country (WordPress does) people in 20 different countries have read this blog. I think that’s amazing especially given I have no other social media presence (and never will) and the blog is barely three months old. The US accounts for 95% of page views with Canada and Israel tied for second.

What are the best books you’ve ever read? These days, if the topic is not automobiles or finance I can’t seem to concentrate enough to read a book, but I used to read all sorts of non-fiction. I am a fan of Tim Harford (The Undercover Economist, The Logic of Life).

Which of these do you prefer?

See the source image

See the source image

See the source image

From, and are pictures of a 1967 Chevrolet Camaro (top), a 1968 Camaro (middle) and a 1969 Camaro (bottom).

Which one do you like best? I know I could add a poll, but I’d rather compel you to send a comment. Me? I like them all and maybe one day I’ll own one, but I like the 1968 the best. I’m not crazy about the vent window in the 1967 and I like the more aggressive curve of the 1967-68 rear fender compared to the slightly flatter look on the 1969.

My first college roommate owned a legitimate 1969 Z-28. It was black with white stripes and had the high-winding 302 cubic inch V-8, rated at 290 HP, but closer to 340-350 in reality. He and I would cruise around campus doing first-gear bouncies in our muscle cars; I had a 1967 Pontiac GTO. Those cruises seem like another lifetime ago. Carpe Diem!