Getting Sentimental

Those who know me well will be surprised to read that, at this moment in time, my all-time favorite TV commercial is not “Mama Mia, That’s A Spicy Meatball” or the Red Rose tea commercial with the chimpanzees or even the “One, Tahoo, Three” cartoon commercial for Tootsie Roll Pops. My favorite commercial is this one (“Rescued”) for Pedigree dog food that always leaves me teary-eyed. Please watch it as no written description or narration can do it justice. (I don’t think you can watch the commercial by clicking on the arrow in the screenshot below. You have to click on the hyperlink above.)



First, the simple music in the background for the commercial is perfect, in my opinion. Second, do most of us get more sentimental as we age? If I had first watched that commercial 15-20 years ago I am certain it would not have had the same effect on me that it does now.


Do you know who Derrick Henry is? He is a former Heisman Trophy winner and current star running back for the Tennessee Titans in the NFL.

Even in high school, a running back who rushes for 2,000-2,500 yards in a season has done something very noteworthy. Not surprisingly, Henry’s lowest rushing total in high school was as a freshman when he gained 2,465 yards in 11 games. Do you know how many yards he gained as a senior? Would you believe 4,261 in 13 games with 55 rushing touchdowns?!

He was highly recruited (duh) and wound up at Alabama where he didn’t become the full-time starter until his junior season. All he did that year was rush for 2,219 yards and 28 touchdowns and led the Crimson Tide to the national championship.

Henry was not picked in the first round of the NFL draft; he was selected in the second round with the 45th overall pick. Once again, he was not the full-time starter until his third season. In 2020, his fifth season, he became one of just a handful of NFL running backs to surpass 2,000 rushing yards in a season.

I think Derrick Henry is sui generis, a fancy Latin phrase for “one of a kind” or “in a class by itself.” As the foot injury that sidelined him for much of the 2021 season proved, he is human, but when healthy he is a force of nature. He has been given the nickname “King Henry.”

That rushing total for Henry’s senior year in high school just blows my mind and is the primary reason why I am mentioning him in this post. In the interest of full disclosure, I am neither a Titans fan nor “hater.”


Tennessee Titans Archives - Sportscasting | Pure Sports


Below is a tweet by Neel Kashkari, President of the Minneapolis Fed, commenting on a Wall Street Journal article about the fall of crypto “exchange” FTX. By the way, I often disagree with him and his views on policy.


“This is interesting but 2 narrow. This isn’t case of 1 fraudulent company in a serious industry. Entire notion of crypto is nonsense. [Emphasis mine] Not useful 4 payments. No inflation hedge. No scarcity. No taxing authority. Just a tool of speculation and greater fools.”


Again, I think interest in crypto is largely due to the temporal arrogance of younger people who think anything invented in their lifetime is, by definition, a good thing. The entire notion of crypto is nonsense.


I know I have mentioned this event on this day in previous years, but it was on this day in 1960 that Chrysler Corporation announced it was ending the DeSoto make. The announcement was made just five weeks after the 1961 model year DeSotos had been introduced. DeSoto production ended on November 30.

While my lingering interest in defunct American automobile makes is part of the reason for my interest in DeSoto, the company did manufacture some genuinely interesting cars. Let’s look at some photos.


See the source image


The red car on the right is a 1942 DeSoto, only the second car offered with hidden headlights. (The 1936-37 Cord was the first.) The combination of the hidden headlights and that front grill make that one of the best automotive “faces” ever, in my opinion.


1956 DeSoto Firedome | GAA Classic Cars


This is a rear three-quarters shot of a 1956 DeSoto Firedome. I love the stacked triple taillights. Here is another angle:


1956 DeSoto Firedome | GAA Classic Cars


DeSoto was a long-time sponsor of “You Bet Your Life” a radio and TV show hosted by Groucho Marx. For many years, every show would end with Marx sticking his head through a hole in the DeSoto logo and saying, “Friends…go in to see your DeSoto-Plymouth dealer tomorrow. And when you do, tell ’em Groucho sent you.”

Of course, that show was of a different time. From Wikipedia:


In 1953 the show became embroiled in controversy when its musical director, Jerry Fielding, was called to appear before the House Committee on UnAmerican Activities and refused to testify, citing his Fifth Amendment privileges. The show’s sponsor, the DeSoto-Plymouth Dealers of America, demanded that Marx fire Fielding, and he complied. Fielding later accused the House committee of calling him up to testify because they wanted him to name Marx as a Communist sympathizer, and Marx himself later wrote, “That I bowed to sponsors’ demands is one of the greatest regrets of my life.”


Given today’s rampant “cancel culture” maybe we are not in such a different time, after all.








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Going Far

It was appropriate, but a coincidence, that the last song my iPhone played yesterday during my workout was “Going Far” from “The Joy Of Flying” by the late, great Tony Williams. In 1970, music critic Robert Christgau described him as “probably the best drummer in the world.” What am I talking about?



Yes, I walked for 81 minutes yesterday, going 5.3 miles at an average speed of 3.9 MPH, all uphill by the way. I had intended to walk for 70 minutes, but felt so good that I just kept going. I probably could have walked at least another 5-10 minutes, but thought it was better that I be safe than sorry.

Other than being extremely hungry I am having no bad after effects from the long workout. That is the longest I have ever been on a treadmill. Except for one or two previous workouts that were affected by the use of a beta blocker, I have discovered that all previous workouts that have been sub-optimal have been due to insufficient pre-workout hydration. I now make it a point to have something other than or in addition to coffee–a diuretic–with breakfast and to drink water and G Zero in sufficient quantities before working out.

As you can see in the picture, if I ever make it to 100+ minutes the display will not be able to register the time. Oh, my heart was not stopped; the reason the pulse displays as zero is that I seldom grip the handles for my pulse rate to be recorded.


A picture is worth a thousand words…



Here are links to two CNBC articles. This one is titled, “Electric vehicles are less reliable because of newer technologies, Consumer Reports finds.” In that vein, here is a tweet I sent to General Motors yesterday:


I will never buy a soulless, glorified golf cart with no torque curve.




I don’t care how many lemmings jump off the cliff, I will never board the EV bandwagon. Oh, the zealots who say we “have” to move to EVs because of environmental reasons conveniently ignore the environmental effects of lithium mining.

The second piece is titled, “Charlie Munger says crypto is a bad combo of fraud and delusion – ‘good for kidnappers.’” The 98-year old Munger is Vice-Chairman of Warren Buffett’s company, Berkshire Hathaway.

Munger, Buffett and others who criticize cryptocurrency are often dismissed as being old and out of touch. Sorry, I trust Warren Buffett; I don’t trust Sam Bankman-Fried or the Winklevoss twins.


Yes, I had another bizarre dream. I dreamt I was walking through my neighborhood and wound up on a neighbor’s property as they were being visited by someone from the US military. Although I couldn’t hear the conversation in any detail, it seemed as though the military official was conveying bad news.

As I continued walking on a large lot (these don’t exist in our current neighborhood, was I projecting the effects of a potential move?), I was harassed by large rabbits. I never felt as though I was in real danger, but these animals were an extreme annoyance as I tried to walk. WTF?! What would my dreams be like if I smoked pot or used harder drugs? I’ve never done either, by the way.








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Sunday Sampler

I’m surprised that this is only the second post with this title.


I want to begin with an uplifting story from the world of sports, which is written at length here. Here is the beginning of this piece:



“You saved his life.”

Those were not the words Mike Pereira expected to hear as he strode out onto the playing field of the Rochester (New York) Redwings minor league ballpark during the summer of 2019. The man who once officiated an NFL postseason game and has spent the last decade-plus on national television as a rules analyst, he was unexpectedly nervous, worried about doinking the ceremonial first pitch he was about to throw in front of 10,000 fans.

But en route to the mound, a woman had tugged on his shirttail and pointed to the man walking up ahead of them, speaking as tears pooled in her eyes.

Pereira was stunned. “I saved his life?”

“You saved his life,” she repeated. Her name was about to become Lisa Pilgreen, engaged to be married to the man she was referring to, Jamaison Pilgreen. He was recently retired after 18 years of service in the United States Army, during which he did six tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq, added to the action he saw in Bosnia before the ink was barely dry on his enlistment paperwork.



The piece is about a program started by Pereira called Battlefields to Ballfields where veterans who are interested in doing so learn about the mechanics of being a referee. Through sports officiating, veterans find purpose and camaraderie missing after they leave military service.

To me, the outcomes of sporting events don’t really matter that much in the grand scheme of things. HOWEVER, lessons learned being involved in sports, such as the power of teamwork, are often learned better there than anywhere else. That’s why I have no interest in the individual sports like golf, tennis and boxing.

The ESPN piece is long, but I think it’s well worth reading. What I miss most about not being in professional sports anymore is the sense of belonging to a team–in my case I belonged to more than one team as a consultant–and striving for a goal. Let me quickly add that I think such associations should be voluntary and not mandated by any entity including government. No one has the right to tell me with whom I should associate or where I have to work.


Cryptocurrency is the new tulip bulb market, in my opinion. This CNBC piece is titled, “Between $1 billion and $2 billion of FTX customer funds have disappeared, SBF had a secret ‘black door’ to transfer billions.” FTX is a crypto “exchange” that has gone bankrupt. SBF is Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of FTX.

I have written that I wouldn’t buy Bitcoin–or any other crypto “currency”–at $1 and I still feel that way. I think temporal arrogance, manifested here by the blind belief in crypto, is like all excessive paradigms; it’s a road to ruin.


This CNBC piece is about the results of a survey and reports on the top 10 most-regretted college majors. Here is the list along with the percentage of graduates who regretted that choice:


Liberal arts/general studies
Marketing management + research
Medical/clinical assisting
Political science + government
English language + literature


As I have written more than once, WAY TOO MANY kids are going to college. Yes, a college degree will, on average, lead to higher career earnings. HOWEVER, this is not true of all majors. Kids with STEM degrees report much less regret about their choices AND have much higher earnings than someone with a Sociology or Liberal Arts/General Studies degree. Here is a remark by Sinem Buber, ZipRecruiter’s lead economist: “When we graduate, reality hits. When you are barely managing to pay your bills, your paycheck might become more important.”


I had more topics about which I wanted to write today, but I’ll stop here.








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