Happy Anniversary!

On this day in 1999, or 8,766 days ago if you’re counting, my wonderful wife and I married. Yes, two dozen years or one year short of a quarter century.

While, of course, we have our ups and downs (and not all of them related to the stock market), we are very happy and very grateful that we found each other. I LOVE YOU, V SQUARED!!!


I want to thank my brilliant high school classmate TI for calling me yesterday (wait, that’s not my name) from Switzerland. The line in yesterday’s post, “Is acute boredom terminal?” gave him some cause for concern.

As always, we had a great conversation and it lasted about 50 minutes. He reads Disaffected Musings quite regularly and, not surprisingly, retains everything he reads. Once again, in deference to him I will not reveal any details, but our conversations are most enjoyable and I remarked to him yesterday how much I relish the interactions.


So, what’s going on with my right pinky? Yesterday evening I wanted to soak the digit in a water/epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) solution, but as it turned out we didn’t have any epsom salt in the house.

Calling an audible I decided to soak the finger in a solution of very warm water, table salt and a little bit of Lysol. How many of you saw the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding? Michael Constantine played the father of the (eventual) bride and his character thought that Windex was a panacea. I have the same feelings about Lysol and did long before anyone had ever heard of the COVID-19 virus.

After the soak I covered the finger in Vaseline instead of antibiotic ointment and then placed a bandage over the wound. While the finger is not close to 100%, it does feel much better than it did yesterday. A little knowledge can, indeed, be a dangerous thing. I was imagining an infection in the joint between the distal and middle phalanges which would have been cause for amputation. Yes, that’s how my mind works, or doesn’t.

Of course, we ordered epsom salt on Amazon yesterday and if it arrives today as scheduled I will soak the pinky. Yep, a little Lysol will be included.


General Motors, “led” by one of my least favorite CEOs in history, has publicly committed to an “all-electric” fleet by 2035. OK, then why did they just announce an investment of more than $1 billion in two Michigan plants to produce the next generation of heavy-duty pickup trucks that will be powered by gasoline or diesel engines?!

Their “rationale” is that the profits from the trucks will help fund the transition to EVs. I think that, deep down, GM management knows most US consumers do not want to buy an EV, at least not now. Remember that they are also investing more than $800 million to develop the next generation of gasoline-powered small block V8 engines.

Why can’t the consumer explicitly be allowed to choose? Why don’t any American companies invest in synthetic fuel production? Remember that car companies are currently building ICE-powered cars, hybrids and pure EVs simultaneously and making profits. Something is rotten in the state of America…#DeathBeforeEV








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Monday Malaise

I almost titled today’s post No Good Deed Goes Unpunished.

We have a problem with birds trying to nest in our backyard under the observation deck. Doing a little Internet research unearthed a few “potions” that might discourage birds from getting too comfortable there. (You might think birds are cute, but bird poo is among the most disgusting items in the universe to me.)

We purchased a plastic spray bottle to be used to dispense one of those potions. Of course, as is the custom for many things that are made today, the bottle would not spray.

Another plastic spray bottle was found in the house and the concoction was transferred to it. It sprayed two or three times, but then the bottle became difficult to spray. Since I was able to get it to spray with extra pressure on the trigger I thought I would use even more pressure to get the bottle to work. The plastic trigger violently snapped, the spring and other pieces of the assembly flew out cutting the dickens out of the pinky on my right hand.

This morning I think the finger is infected as it is swollen and painful to bend. I have religiously applied antibiotic ointment to it since the incident, but apparently to no avail. Maybe I should keep Betadine in the house.

I cannot tell you how mad I am this morning. I am just sick and tired of death by a thousand paper cuts.


Is acute boredom terminal?


I am still pissed about scratching the Maserati. Without further ado:



The crapfest that seems to have taken over my life has made me very reluctant to try to fix this on my own. The likely cost has made me reluctant to take it to a “professional.”

The scratch is probably not noticeable unless you know where it is, but to me it’s like a giant boil on the car. A little Internet research unearthed a two-part paint kit that, supposedly, matches the color and includes clear coat. The cost is about $100. I have seen such work done dozens of times, but when life does nothing except kick you in the shins for nearly 13 years you lose your confidence.

I can imagine, though, that the cost of having the scratch repaired in a shop would be many multiples of that $100. Car paint is now $500-$1,000 a gallon and that’s for American cars. Add the triple-digit per hour cost of labor and you can do the math from there.

The main reason why this scratch bothers me is that I went against my better judgment and tried to park the car next to one of those concrete berms. The Maserati does not have a front camera (nor a backup camera) and not having had it very long I am not that familiar with the functional exterior dimensions. Again, when you are constantly dealt crappy hands you wonder if you’re playing the game correctly.


I am sure his action was independent of mine (he does not follow my Twitter feed or my blog), but yesterday Brian Sullivan of CNBC tweeted the link to the “anti-EV” piece by Rowan Atkinson that my brilliant high school classmate TI sent me and that I included in this post. Sullivan also tweeted, “Good honest points here. Possible EVs themselves are soon rendered obsolete by zero-emission synthetic fuels or hydrogen?”

The zealot lemmings just don’t, and won’t, see the folly of their ways. Once again, #DeathBeforeEV.






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Saturday Audible: Rowan Atkinson

Originally, I had intended to write about Ransom Eli Olds today. He was born on this day in 1864. However, since–in my opinion–most of Oldsmobile’s pioneering achievements happened long after Olds left the company, and since I think I have written about him on a previous June 3, I decided to do something else. Frankly, that something else was almost not writing at all today.

However, my brilliant high school classmate TI sent me this link to an opinion piece by Rowan Atkinson. Yes, the guy that played Mr. Bean. What many of you might not know is that Atkinson is a very intelligent person with a degree in electrical and electronic engineering and a Masters degree in control systems. He is also an avid automobile enthusiast and racer.

His “op-ed” is about electric cars. The piece has so many good passages that I encourage you to read it in its entirety. I will just pick out a few:


“But if you zoom out a bit and look at a bigger picture that includes the car’s manufacture, the situation is very different. In advance of the Cop26 climate conference in Glasgow in 2021, Volvo released figures claiming that greenhouse gas emissions during production of an electric car are 70% higher than when manufacturing a petrol one. How so? The problem lies with the lithium-ion batteries fitted currently to nearly all electric vehicles: they’re absurdly heavy, many rare earth metals and huge amounts of energy are required to make them, and they only last about 10 years.”

“A sensible thing to do would be to speed up the development of synthetic fuel, which is already being used in motor racing; it’s a product based on two simple notions: one, the environmental problem with a petrol engine is the petrol, not the engine and, two, there’s nothing in a barrel of oil that can’t be replicated by other means. Formula One is going to use synthetic fuel from 2026. There are many interpretations of the idea but the German car company Porsche is developing a fuel in Chile using wind to power a process whose main ingredients are water and carbon dioxide. With more development, it should be usable in all petrol-engine cars, rendering their use virtually CO2-neutral.

Increasingly, I’m feeling that our honeymoon with electric cars is coming to an end, and that’s no bad thing: we’re realising that a wider range of options need to be explored if we’re going to properly address the very serious environmental problems that our use of the motor car has created. We should keep developing hydrogen, as well as synthetic fuels to save the scrapping of older cars which still have so much to give…”


Everything Atkinson writes is absolutely true, yet the zealot lemmings refuse to acknowledge those truths. Once again, their blind, beyond ill-advised push for EVs has little to do with the environment and almost everything to do with their quest for control and punishment. #DeathBeforeEV

Many thanks to TI for sending me the link to Atkinson’s piece.






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What Is The Truth?

First things first…I humbly thank Gary Trujillo who writes the blog Coco Crisp’s Afro. His blog is nominally about baseball and the Oakland (soon to be Las Vegas) A’s, but is actually about how the sport can be an important backdrop and contributor to life itself, although not always for the better. He graciously included a link to Disaffected Musings in his latest post and enough of his readers clicked on the link to send the number of yesterday’s blog views to the highest total this month.

I sent Gary an email that included the following:


I don’t think I have mentioned this, but the Indians were one of my clients when they acquired Crisp and I was one of the evaluators who recommended him as potential return for Chuck Finley. Of course, I called him Covelli Crisp in my scouting report.

Later, I was in on the trade that sent Crisp to the Red Sox as part of the trade for the ill-fated Andy Marte. That was a poor evaluation on all of our parts, including me, and taught a valuable lesson that the team that knows a player the best is almost always the team that sees the player every day. Marte had been highly touted while in the Braves system and the fact that they traded him to Boston should have been a clue that something was amiss. As sad as his early death was, it’s kind of fitting, in a somber way, for how his career turned out.

I also think I was still nominally working for the A’s when they signed Crisp as a free agent, but they were already easing me out of the picture by that time and I don’t recall having much input. I think they cut me loose (“We will not be renewing your contract”) after Crisp’s first season in Oakland.

So, you see that your blog and blog name has quite the connection to me.


It can be a small world. Do I have to explain that Coco Crisp was a long-time major league baseball player? I guess I do…

Thanks again, Gary.



The following is not intended to be a self-serving comment, but many times the reader comments are the best part of a blog post or article. (OK, maybe that is a passive-aggressive way to get more of you to read the comments here on a regular basis.)

Part of a comment from this Free Press article read:


That’s exactly the core of the problem: most people are incapable of getting the fact that reality is somewhere between black and white positions. It’s so easy to just join one tribe and reject blindly whatever “the other side” says.


I think that, especially in public, people take positions that may be more polar than what they actually believe as some sort of twisted “obligation” to counteract the other side. As I have often written, I think most policy prescriptions by both parties, especially the more extreme segments, are fatally flawed and lack common sense. I have also written that I think this country has become so divided, so polarized that “the truth” or best policy lies in the space where both sides are angry as opposed to the past where the optimal path was the narrow one where both sides were not too angry.


I added the segment divider above almost out of reflex and habit. I had intended to add some automotive content here, but the fact that Henry Ford signed an agreement on this day in 1929 to build cars in the Soviet Union is not, to me, something worth exploring in depth.

It is quite sad to me that cars have basically ceased to be an inspiration except in a narrow way related to thinking about the next car I might buy. For example, in my life I actually know very few people who want to buy an electric vehicle. It also seems to me that except in countries where the government heavily subsidizes the purchase of EVs (and heavily taxes the purchase of ICE-powered vehicles), such vehicles do not really have significant market share.

I am not an over-the-top conspiracy theorist, but I do believe that the relationship between government, big business and the media (including “social media”) is often too cozy for the good of the people. We have been hammered by EV propaganda for well over a decade and governments have had to take the step of outlawing the sale of new ICE-powered vehicles beginning at some point in the not too distant future precisely because they are not a product that most people want to buy. When I write #DeathBeforeEV I am not being glib. I think our rights are being usurped.

I will stick to cars like this, thank you very much.








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Fractious Friday

For the third post with this title, let’s start with some “fighting” words.


I’m sure some of the SJW’s/woke believers want to confiscate ICE cars and think they have the right to do so. OK, I propose that the US government confiscate all dogs. After all, almost five million dog bites are recorded every year in the US and almost a million of those require medical care.

Government exists to protect property rights, not to usurp them. Government is not a panacea populated by supermen. It is lost on the SJWs/woke believers in this country that US carbon dioxide emissions have declined by 20% just since 2000 despite a population that is still growing AND that cars and trucks account for only 20% of global CO2 emissions.

To paraphrase a famous line from Animal House: smug, self-righteous and arrogant is no way to go through life.


What do you think? Did I make my point? I am going to write the following again: Why waste BILLIONS of dollars building charging stations and the like when all we have to do is to change the fuel that powers the current engine paradigm? Yes, that solution makes too much sense and fails to satisfy smug, self-righteous and arrogant ideologues in their quest for control and punishment.


I had some interest in this story, which I first saw in a post from Why Evolution Is True. Here is the beginning of the piece:

The University of Wisconsin will no longer require diversity, equity and inclusion statements from job applicants, UW System President Jay Rothman announced Thursday.

The move comes after Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos has threatened to cut state funding to Wisconsin’s public universities. Specifically, Vos has criticized DEI programming at UW as an attempt to “indoctrinate” students with taxpayer dollars.

It’s common for universities to ask potential faculty to submit statements describing how they’ve used their work to further diversity, equity and inclusion. Rothman did not provide an estimate of how many UW positions have previously required such statements, but described the number as “limited.”

“We remain absolutely committed to the principles of DEI,” Rothman told reporters Thursday [yesterday]. “But when some people believe mandatory diversity statements in employment applications are political litmus tests, then we are not being inclusive.”

Sometimes applicants use such statements to discuss what they could offer as member of a group that’s underrepresented in academia. Critics have charged that such statements are being used to pressure applicants into affirming liberal viewpoints.


As every regular reader knows I believe that DEI really stands for Deny Excellent Individuals. I think that mandating “DEI” statements in job applications should be illegal.


Even though this Classic Cars piece was published last October, a link to it didn’t show up in my email until this week. Imagine my delight when this was the first picture I saw:



This is a 1942 DeSoto, a car with one of my favorite “faces” ever. Apparently, every year an Orphan Car Show is held in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

The Classic Cars article is actually not much more than a collection of many photos from the most recent show. Maybe I need to get myself to Ypsilanti at least once to see it.







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Rewards Are Necessary

Very few people always (or almost always) do the “right” thing or the “wrong” thing. Most people respond to incentives and to disincentives, although we can’t always predict, in advance, how they are going to respond.

I take my health seriously. I have made major changes to how I live, such as engaging in regular exercise, cutting out sugary drinks, being very med compliant, etc. Compared to when I was 50, I weigh 30-35 pounds less.

Still, I think it’s OK to splurge every now and then. My wonderful wife and I found these on a trip to Walmart about three months ago.



Concord Grape was my favorite Pop-Tarts flavor when I was young. The last time I saw that flavor in a store was probably in 2006 when we lived in Texas, which we left in 2008. We bought this box and I asked my wonderful wife to hide it from me until after my next round of blood work.

She had the box “waiting” for me on the kitchen island (and had plugged in the toaster) when I returned from the blood draw. I put four in the toaster and ate three of them, sharing one with my wonderful wife. Man, did they taste good!

Knowing I was going to eat these Pop-Tarts after the blood draw helped to incentivize me to exercise and to watch what I ate and drank. I am going to splurge until the end of this month and then I am going back to a more “appropriate” diet.

A tangent…I have known a few people, although admittedly not very many, who live what I call a life of pointless self-denial. They never seem to do anything just for fun or occasionally stray from a “good” diet. In all honesty, and of course I could be wrong, I think part of the motivation for these people is to prove to themselves that they’re better than the rest of us. Once again, I think a life lived on autopilot, lived by rote, is not a life well-lived. The unexamined life is not worth living and the unlived life is not worth examining, either. A life spent only doing that which needs to be done is not much of a life, in my opinion.


More than one person has expressed to me that they really like the links to posts from Why Evolution Is True. The author of the blog, Jerry Coyne, is a biologist and self-described liberal who, nevertheless, is very critical of the extreme manifestations of liberal “thinking” in the US. Here are two more links without much commentary from me:


Thursday: Hili dialogue

Purely by coincidence, the beginning of this post is about indulging one’s food cravings.

Updated reactions, pro and con, to our “merit” paper


I recently purchased the latest edition of the computer football game about which I have written on more than one occasion. You might even remember that I wrote about some of the playoff games from the last season I played and how much I enjoyed them.

Well, after 20+ years on the market the game still has a lot of bugs, which I–and I suspect many others–just tolerate. I do not replay the most recent season, but create my own teams and league and have a computer-aided draft to fill the rosters.

I wanted my current season to have a Canadian division with the teams all having Canadian Football League (CFL) names, like the Montreal Alouettes. The game’s stadium database does not include the stadium where the Winnipeg Blue Bombers play, but does have a provision for creating new stadiums. However, it takes multiple attempts to add stadiums AS WELL AS shutting the program down and waiting overnight in order for these new stadiums to appear in the database.

Between these quirks and my growing ADD, I am having a next-to-impossible time getting my league started. I keep telling myself that as long as the games begin no later than Memorial Day, then the season will be completed in a timely manner, especially since this season will be one-third shorter than the last one. Of course, I shouldn’t be in a hurry to finish something that is enjoyable, but my OCD/ADD combination is not particularly enjoyable.


On this day in 1978 the two millionth Chevrolet Camaro rolled off the assembly line. Of course, we know that production of the Camaro is, once again, going to cease in January of 2024. That will leave the Mustang as the only ponycar left and, thankfully, it will remain gasoline-powered, although who knows for how much longer.

Although the modern Camaros, the fifth- and sixth-generation, are better cars than the first generation, something magical exists about those 1967-69 Camaros. In particular, I am enamored of the look of the 1968 model.


1968 Chevrolet Camaro RS Z28 stripes - American Dream Machines | Classic Cars | Muscle Cars


While the stance of this car may be too high for modern enthusiasts, and I admit it’s a little high for me as well, the looks of the ’68 Camaro are just outstanding. The front vent window from the ’67 is gone, but the aggressive haunch of the rear quarter remained. It was less aggressive in 1969 and the fake gills in front of the rear wheels in ’69 detract from the looks, in my opinion.

For the nth time, although General Motors makes quite the display of its commitment to an all-electric future, don’t forget that they recently announced, although somewhat on the QT, an $800 million investment in the next generation of gasoline-powered small-block V8 engines. As I have written before, I think this investment is a de facto acknowledgment that US car buyers are not going all-electric anytime soon and, perhaps, is a way to get the company ready for the conversion that makes sense, a move to synthetic fuels. Why waste BILLIONS of dollars building charging stations and the like when all we have to do is to change the fuel that powers the current engine paradigm? Yes, that solution makes too much sense and fails to satisfy smug, self-righteous and arrogant ideologues in their quest for control and punishment.








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Wandering Wednesday

I strongly suspect that non-specific post titles such as “Wandering Wednesday” have a negative effect on the number of blog views. Many days, though, I cannot think of anything with a stronger hook.

<Rant> It is difficult to write a cogent post almost every day and think of a title without an editor or someone else providing ideas. If you don’t think so, try it yourself for just a month. <End Rant>


I am not a fan of the world and the feeling is mutual.


The author of this article argues that those of us who want to see the United States dissolve are “wrong.” Well, I don’t want to live in a country where the last two candidates for President were…how can I write this? How about I don’t want to live in a country where my choices are between the Lunatic Left and the Ridiculous Right. How about I don’t want to live in a country where both Schmocasio Schmortez and MoronToGo are serving in one of the two federal legislative bodies.

The political and social divide in the US is intractable, in my opinion. Whether it is “wrong” or not, to quote Abraham Lincoln, a house divided against itself cannot stand. I won’t live to see it, but I would bet a large amount that the US as we know it will not exist to celebrate its 300th “birthday” in 2076.


This Free Press article reports on an illness that’s engulfing America and how it’s ruining the practice of medicine: DEI. Of course, I define DEI as Deny Excellent Individuals. This remark by Stanley Goldfarb, former associate dean of curriculum at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, is spot-on:


“For better or worse, I have had a front-row seat to the meltdown of twenty-first-century medicine. Many colleagues and I are alarmed at how the DEI agenda—which promotes people and policies based on race, ethnicity, gender, religion, and sexual orientation rather than merit—is undermining healthcare for all patients regardless of their status.”


In the constitution for “my” successor country, including or excluding a person from consideration based on any reason other than merit would be illegal. First earn, then receive.


Here is a link to a post from Why Evolution Is True. The first (title and link below) begins,

“Is a turning point really being reached in the War Against Wokeness? [my mark] Every time I read a piece in the mainstream media decrying the pernicious antics of the Authoritarian Left (one of the terms I use for “the woke”), I think to myself, ‘Is the tide really turning at long last?'”

Based on what I have just written, you can surmise I think wokeness is just as pervasive as ever, if not more so.

The Washington Post decries the suppression and deplatforming of speech by students


Here are references or links to three pieces from CNBC:


Supreme Court to consider weakening power of federal agencies in fisheries case

I think most Americans have absolutely no idea how much “legislation” is created by un-elected bureaucrats.


Phil LeBeau covers the automotive and airline industries for CNBC. As part of a recent story, here is what he wrote: “EV adoption was expected to soar this year, but the latest report on car buyer sentiment shows a growing percentage of people say they have zero interest in buying an electric model.”

In places like the US and Australia, the push to EVs is turning out like the rejection of an organ after a transplant. Most of the people don’t want them despite the years of hype and propaganda and despite being told we must have them for “our own good.”



The third CNBC piece is titled, “‘Godfather of A.I.’ leaves Google after a decade to warn society of technology he’s touted.” Here is a scary comment by Geoffrey Hinton, the Godfather of A.I.:


“I now think the digital intelligences we are creating are very different from biological intelligences. If I have 1,000 digital agents who are all exact clones with identical weights, whenever one agent learns how to do something, all of them immediately know it because they share weights. Biological agents cannot do this. So collections of identical digital agents can acquire hugely more knowledge than any individual biological agent. That is why GPT-4 knows hugely more than any one person.”


In my opinion, I think it’s too late to “save” us from A.I.; the cat is out of the bag. Like virtually everything else, A.I. has the potential for good and bad, but I think it’s an asymmetric paradigm in that the bad can literally be an existential threat.







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Mindless Monday

Surprised this is the first post with this title…


Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and a lot of people need corrective eye wear.



Our new friends and neighbors, R and T, invited us to watch the sunset on their observation deck on Saturday. Although I took many photos that I liked, this one simply stood out.

Continuing the theme of beauty, since the blog is still technically anonymous I cannot show a full shot of my wonderful wife. I hope she is not too upset with the next two photos.



The top photo is, of course, of Cristy Lee. I have not mentioned her much in the blog lately and Where Is Cristy Lee?, the most-read post in 2020, 2021 and 2022, is nowhere to be found among the most read posts this year. I also have not seen her on TV at all since her HGTV series finished airing last year.

The young woman on the left in the bottom photo is Lauren Bostwick, an on-air meteorologist for WeatherNation. (I have no idea who her friend is.)


From Will Rogers via this post: “This would be a great time in the world for some man to come along that knew something.”


In an idiom I have used before I will simply offer some links to posts from Why Evolution Is True without comment:


A good piece on the ideological infection of biology.”

More anti-Semitism in academia…

Colin Wright debunks a dreadful paper claiming that sex is multimodal.”


My long-time friend Robert sent me the link to this post from MotorBiscuit via Smart News. The title is, “Dodge’s Integrated Turbo Cylinder Head Could Save Muscle Cars.” In one section the author of the piece writes, not too convincingly–in my opinion, that “Dodge’s new head design can save ICE muscle cars.”

I, however, am not going down without a fight. I will NEVER own an electric vehicle and if I am still alive when the government comes to confiscate my ICE-powered cars let’s just say carnage will ensue.









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Land Of The Lazy, Home Of The Coddled

Yesterday, we had an appointment for a tech from a garage door company. This company had worked at our house once before and we liked the tech. We asked for him specifically.

The appointment window was from 1 PM to 6 PM. At 3:30, halfway through the window, I called the company to see if I could get an ETA. I was then told that the tech we requested was not available, but that another tech was. I said that was fine as long as the tech had the right supplies on his truck, although I would have liked a call letting me know the situation. The so-called dispatch manager said he would check and get back to me ASAP.

To me ASAP means 5-15 minutes. When I did not hear anything by 4 PM, I called the company again and was told the “different” tech was finishing up a job, had the right supplies and was about 40 minutes driving distance from our house.

5 PM passed, then 5:30 and by 6 PM, no one had showed. I called the company to find out what had happened. “Oh, we can’t get a tech to your house today. The one you requested is not available.” When I said I had given the company permission to send another employee, I was put on hold for 10-15 minutes.

When a company employee came back on the line, she apologized for the mix-up and said she could send the tech we requested first thing the next morning. I told her not to bother and to cancel our membership in the company “club” that is supposed to get members a discount on service.

I was so aggravated that I paced around the house for about 15 minutes afterward. When I was working, if I told my boss/my client that I would have a report finished by 6 PM on a given date, you can be damn sure the report would have been completed on time.

Most American companies have become beyond incompetent. People are more apathetic about their jobs than ever before and companies don’t fire or discipline bad workers for fear of being even more understaffed or for fear of lawsuits. Sorry, but a bad employee is not better than no employee.

I did call another garage door company and someone is supposed to be here Monday morning. We’ll see how that goes. Sadly, the only option American consumers have when they’re dissatisfied with service is to change vendors and to hope the next company is better.


No, I still don’t have the Maserati. I did receive a call late yesterday afternoon, in the middle of the garage door fiasco, that repairs were complete and the “Check Engine” light was not on, but they wanted to keep the car overnight and test it the next morning (this morning) just to make sure everything was OK.

We’ll see if this shop sticks to its pledge that I would only be charged for the thermostat and the labor to install it and not for coolant or for new radiator hoses. I think it’s 50-50.



Hagerty polled its readers about their opinions on what are the best sleeper cars of all time? Most of the vehicles are of no interest to me (seriously, a turbocharged PT Cruiser?! I’d rather ride on/in Edd China’s motorized sofa).

One choice in which I would have some interest is 3.8-liter turbo Buicks/Pontiacs from the 1980s. From Mecum via the Hagerty piece are relevant photos.




I don’t think the Buick GNX (shown in the top photo) is a sleeper, but those turbo Regals are very desirable, in my opinion. One aspect of the piece with which I didn’t agree was the inclusion of modified cars, such as Volvos that have had a V-8 installed. That makes the category meaningless. “Yes, I can ride a bicycle across the Atlantic as long as it’s housed in a steel hull with diesel-engine powered propellers.”


Another dirty little secret about electric vehicles is that if they catch on fire, that fire can be virtually impossible to extinguish. This CNBC article, give them credit for publishing a piece not flattering to EVs, is titled, “Ford F-150 Lightning fire video highlights a growing EV risk.” From the piece:


“The previously unreleased footage, which CNBC obtained through Michigan’s Freedom of Information Act from the Dearborn Police Department, shows smoke billowing from three tightly packed electric pickups in a Ford Motor holding lot in Dearborn, Michigan.

Moments later, flames shoot several feet above the vehicles, which were unoccupied. It wasn’t clear based on public documents and police video how long the fires burned. Experts say EV fires can take hours, rather than minutes, to extinguish.”


Remember that in late 2021, General Motors/Chevrolet advised Chevrolet Bolt owners not to park their cars inside or within 50 feet of other cars in case of fire. EVs are NOT the answer and are certainly not the ONLY answer. #DeathBeforeEV








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No, tbe is not an abbreviation for some agency or saying. Just as I have written that I often type “agaib” on my computer keyboard instead of “again,” at least two-thirds of the time when I try to text “the” on my phone I text “tbe” instead. Some times, that mistake really frustrates me, but I have never claimed to be well-adjusted.





This is my new office desk. Yesterday, my wonderful wife helped me disassemble the old one and assemble the new one.

I had used my previous desk for almost 13 years. I purchased it in July of 2010 when we moved into our lovely home in the mid-Atlantic in which we lived for 10+ years.

Although I keep writing that I don’t believe in karma, a small part of me felt my old desk was a jinx, an albatross, as I had purchased it on the assumption I would keep working in baseball via my consulting company for years to come, only to have the business basically fall apart in October of 2010. The desk was too large for my office in our first Arizona home and its large left-hand return proved to be an obstacle after we moved to the Goose Bumps house 7+ weeks ago. The new desk has a much better, more practical design. Its more open layout with no large wood panels in the back also seems to have greatly improved the Wi-Fi signal of my computer.

Still, the desk changeover is not trivial to me. I lived with that desk in three different houses in two different states for well over a decade. Even OCD-lite can be a stern taskmaster.


Now, a pictorial interlude:



Maybe I’m romanticizing the features of the desert, but I cannot recall ever seeing clouds that looked quite like these that I photographed yesterday. I took these pictures from the courtyard; I like the sound of that.

Oh, this post might be quite long. Perhaps I should have led with that.


This article is titled, “The EV Transition Is Harder Than Anyone Thinks > Clueless policymakers, skeptical consumers, greedy automakers—and the tech isn’t ready either.” Here is a very interesting fact from the piece, which I highly recommend be read:


“For example, in January 2023 the sales of EVs in the United States reached 7.83 percent of new light-duty vehicle sales, with 66,416 battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) and 14,143 plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) sold. But consider that also in January, some 950,000 new ICE [Internal Combustion Engine] light-duty vehicles were sold, as well as approximately another 3 million used ICE vehicles.”


The recently proposed EPA regulations basically mandate that two-thirds of all new vehicles sold in the US must be battery-electric by 2032. That is a ludicrous and absolutely impossible goal. It’s as if EV makers have admitted they will not be the majority of sales in this country anytime soon so they have successfully lobbied the US government to eliminate the competition.

Once again (yes, I first typed “agaib”), we are supposed to be living in a country with a capitalist, not socialist, economy. In a capitalist system, the consumer–NOT government–is supposed to be the primary decision-maker. Another remark from the piece,


“Government policymakers assume that they can incentivize the supply and demand of EVs while paying relatively less attention to the capacity of global supply chains to produce them, along with the energy conversion complex needed to power them. Shifting the auto industry, an apex industry supporting a host of others to meet a new knowledge economy around EVs will be no easy task.”


It is beyond a fool’s errand to arbitrarily choose a deadline after which we all must be driving electric vehicles. It is also a sign of smug, self-righteous and arrogant public officials and citizens to attempt to impose such artificial deadlines.

For the nth time, if half the money spent on EVs and EV infrastructure had been spent on the development of synthetic fuel production, we would probably already be on the other side of the transition. Companies involved in synthetic fuel production, like Porsche, believe that such fuels can be produced in quantities orders of magnitude greater than at present in just 3-5 years. Synthetic fuels will not require the wasting of billions upon billions of dollars needed for building charging stations, new repair facilities, etc.

Yes, I am probably fighting a losing battle, but it is a battle that must be fought. Virtually everyone told me that I would never work in major league baseball, either. While I don’t seek out contrary positions, I am not afraid to take them.



No, I still don’t have the Maserati. Repairs were supposed to be completed yesterday, but I never heard from anyone and didn’t call anyone, either. If I haven’t heard in another 1-2 hours (it’s about 10 AM here in Arizona as I write this), then I will call someone.

Of course I am beginning to have doubt about the purchase; I’m only human and never claimed to be otherwise. I can only hope that, to quote Winston Churchill, Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

Some pictorial reinforcement:



A remark relevant to foolish government policies:


“All government, in its essence, is a conspiracy against the superior man: its one permanent object is to oppress him and cripple him. If it be aristocratic in organization, then it seeks to protect the man who is superior only in law against the man who is superior in fact; if it be democratic, then it seeks to protect the man who is inferior in every way against both. One of its primary functions is to regiment men by force, to make them as much alike as possible and as dependent upon one another as possible, to search out and combat originality among them. All it can see in an original idea is potential change, and hence an invasion of its prerogatives. The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable, and so, if he is romantic, he tries to change it. And even if he is not romantic personally he is very apt to spread discontent among those who are.”

― H.L. Mencken


In that vein is this CNBC article titled, “The federal government wastes at least $247 billion [my emphasis] in taxpayer money each year.” This assessment is from the GAO, Government Accountability Office, which is a government agency. By the way, that amount is very close to the amount spent by the Department of Veterans Affairs for ALL of fiscal year 2022.

While I believe our government spends too much on defense, I mean $2 billion per day seems excessive to me, that is not the category on which the government spends the most money, contrary to the idiots on the Lunatic Left. Defense ranks fourth behind Social Security, Health and Income Security. The federal government spends almost $1 trillion a year on Health. That HAS to make healthcare more expensive for everyone by stimulating the demand for it.

I think the federal government spends too much money on everything EXCEPT aid for vocational and technical training, but I will not expound on that here and now. By the way, $247 billion is about 4 percent of total federal government outlays. I suspect the “waste percentage” is higher, but even that amount is about $2 billion every 3 days.


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