Frugal Friday: 25 Miles From Home And Turbocharged

First…this CNBC article is titled, “Apple CEO links Facebook’s business model to real-world violence.” Here is one of Tim Cook’s comments: “If a business is built on misleading users, on data exploitation, on choices that are no choices at all, it does not deserve our praise. It deserves scorn.” Amen!

Here is another one of his remarks: “At a moment of rampant disinformation and conspiracy theories juiced by algorithms, we can no longer turn a blind eye to a theory of technology that says all engagement is good and the longer the better.” Cook never actually mentioned Fack Fucebook by name (I try to avoid mentioning those criminals by name, as well), but his reference could not have been clearer.

Delete Facebook! Fack Fucebook!


OK, I have decided to continue Frugal Friday on occasion, but only when I can really think of something interesting to me. By extension, I hope any Frugal Friday cars I choose are interesting to you, also.

In 2010, only about 5% of the new cars and light trucks sold in the US were turbocharged. By 2017, that percentage had increased to almost 28%. Intransigent proponents of all-electric vehicles dream about that kind of speed of adaptation.

While I would never impose my will and beliefs on others, I do think that all internal combustion engines should be turbocharged. Such engines can have smaller displacement, meaning better fuel economy, without sacrificing power. Turbocharged engines are also more thermally efficient than naturally aspirated motors and produce less emissions.

Long way ’round, today’s Frugal Friday cars are an interesting pair of turbocharged cars with fewer than 45,000 miles found on AutoTrader within 25 miles of my home zip code. In all, the search returned 645 cars and sedans were excluded.

Remember that I will not show pictures of the actual cars as AutoTrader aggressively breaks links to pictures on their website. Without further ado:


See the source image


From Auto Evolution a picture of a Saab 9-3 turbo convertible. The AutoTrader car, a 2004 model, is Black over Gray, has about 41,000 miles and an asking price of $11,500. The two-liter turbo four produces 210 HP/221 LB-FT of torque. The AutoTrader car has a 5-speed automatic transmission.

My wonderful wife’s father owned a Saab convertible and he really liked it, except the time he parked it with the top down and birds pooped on the interior. Oh, I do not like the term “in-law.”

From Drag Times, a picture of a car like one currently offered on AutoTrader:


See the source image


This is a 2008 Saturn Sky Red Line. As regular readers of Disaffected Musings know, I am a big fan of these cars AND think General Motors should have given Buick an improved and upgraded version of this car as a halo car after it and its close cousin, the Pontiac Solstice, were discontinued due to the GM bankruptcy and the end of Pontiac and Saturn.

The AutoTrader car is in Midnight Blue over Black, has 43,000 miles and the asking price is $14,999. The two-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine produced 260 HP/260 LB-FT of torque. When this engine was introduced in the Red Line and Solstice GXP it had the highest specific output (HP per unit of displacement) of any engine in General Motors history. The car for sale has a 5-speed manual transmission.

Two interesting (IMO) cars that are turbocharged and convertibles, no less, for under $15,000 each. Sounds good to me…if only we had room for another car. 🙂









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Not So Frugal Friday

First…perhaps this lawsuit is a last-ditch effort by a lame-duck administration to gain notoriety, but Fack Fucebook has been sued by the Department of Justice alleging the “company” discriminated against American workers in the way it hired foreigners for high-paying positions. From the linked story in US News & World Report:


“A lawsuit filed Thursday by the Justice Department accuses Facebook of refusing to recruit or consider U.S workers for some 2,600 positions from January 2018 to September 2019, instead reserving those jobs for H-1B temporary work visa holders that the company sponsored for permanent residency, often known as a green card.

Federal law requires companies to demonstrate that there are no qualified U.S. workers for a position before it offers the job to a foreign worker on a temporary visa who the company can then sponsor for an employment-based green card.

DOJ alleges in its lawsuit that Facebook reserved those thousands of jobs for foreign workers it sponsored for green cards through a federal immigration process dubbed PERM. Facebook did not advertise the positions on its careers website, required applicants to apply by mail and refused to consider U.S. workers for the roles, the Justice Department alleges.”


Why should anyone be surprised by a company that even puts itself in a position for such a lawsuit when it’s run by a person who has said, “You can be unethical and still be legal; that’s the way I live my life?” As I wrote here someone who admits unethical behavior is almost certainly not opposed to illegal behavior, despite Muckerberg’s statement to the contrary.

Delete Facebook! Fack Fucebook!


My wonderful wife and I test-drove a Buick Cascada yesterday. Although the ride was a little “floaty” and the car did have the convertible wobble going over bumps, it was very comfortable and while it is certainly no C7 Corvette, it had more oomph than its power-to-weight ratio would have suggested.

However, while we were waiting for the Cascada to be brought around for the test drive, I saw this car in the showroom:



This 2019 Z06 convertible took my breath away. No, I/we am/are not going to buy it, but I started thinking about having a different set of constraints. I don’t mean an unlimited budget or a bigger house with a 6-car garage, but being able to spend for the Grocery Car/Taxi/Corvette Companion an amount similar to what we spent for our Corvettes, about $60,000 each. The car would still have to have four seats and a decent-sized trunk.

Using AutoTrader for such a search yielded a lot of German cars. In fact, and perhaps somewhat unfortunately, I may have to “hold my nose” when we buy the next car because if we don’t insist that it is a convertible, then it may be a German car although it would never be a Volkswagen or Porsche. Here is one of the only cars that met all of our criteria and wasn’t from a German company, picture from 0-60


See the source image


This is a 2018 Dodge Challenger Hellcat. Once again, this is not the actual AutoTrader car as links to pictures on their website break quickly. The AutoTrader car is White (not a preferred color for us) over Red, has about 27,500 miles and the asking price is $56,199.

Believe it or not, the trunk in these cars is quite large at over 16 cubic feet. Supposedly, the car will seat five, but it should certainly be able to seat four comfortably.

That would be cool having a 700+ HP grocery car/taxi. With the intake and exhaust mods on my Z06, that would give us two cars with 700+ HP. We would almost have a 2,000 HP garage. Still, we are not going to spend $55,000-$65,000 on this car, but I wanted to imagine what we could buy if we were willing AND the car had four seats and a decent-sized trunk.

As for the Cascada, we are not buying anything before the new year–which is scarily just four weeks away–but yesterday’s test drive did not eliminate the car from consideration. With the top up, the trunk has enough size for groceries and the back seats can comfortably carry two normal-sized people. Although I was somewhat facetious the first time I wrote this, the fact that the car was built in the country of my parents’ birth–Poland–is drawing me to the car. The fact that it’s a Buick, at least in name, is also a plus as buying it would be an homage to the car I grew up with and the first car I ever drove, my father’s 1956 Buick Century. Also, having another convertible in Arizona is not overkill. The test drive was with the top down…in December.

If anyone has any additional thoughts on this matter, I would be happy to read them. Thanks.










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Fack Fucebook Friday

My contempt for Facebook and for Zark Muckerberg is well-known to regular readers of Disaffected Musings. The company has a de facto monopoly on “social media” and along with the Evil Empire (aka Google) has a de facto duopoly on digital advertising.

Muckerberg has been quoted as saying, “You can be unethical and still be legal; that’s the way I live my life.” I just don’t understand why people share so much of their lives so willingly just so that Facebook can profit from your information.

Anyway…I didn’t save the link to the source of what I am about to share, but I’m sure almost anyone could find it quickly in an Internet search. This was the most compelling, to me, of the “66 Reasons To Hate Facebook.”


26. I didn’t like the idea that I was putting my life on display for the entire world.

“Privacy: I didn’t like the idea that I was putting my life on display for the entire world, nor did I like the idea that weirdos and exes could just idly stalk me and my family whenever they felt like it.

Manipulation: I don’t like the power Facebook has over its users. It’s a simple matter of steering emotionally charged imagery and opinion towards people to manipulate how they think, act, and believe. I also see it as extremely polarizing; it’s very easy to get caught up in believing you and all these strangers know THE TRUTH, while the shadowy others that disagree with you are TERRIBLE HITLERS. You never talk to someone who disagrees with you, you simply preach to the choir and circle-jerk each other’s likes. I half-joke that I got rid of FB because I got tired of hating my friends and family.

Isolation: Social media gives the appearance of social interaction, while eliminating as much social interaction as possible. I found myself viewing friends’ pages, liking their pictures, but rarely actually visiting them or calling them up. At a certain point, lifelong friends were as real to me as celebrities or memes. That’s bizarre and horrifying.

Shady business practices: Even though I know that it was laid out to me in the contract, etc. I got more and more uncomfortable with the fact that my thoughts, communications, and images were legally owned by FB and whoever FB decided to sell them to. I didn’t like the idea that my life experiences were commodified, and I started thinking how weird it was that this is so normalized. Tell any mother to leave a box of her baby’s pictures on a park bench for anyone to take and she’d likely be horrified…but she’ll post every baby pic she ever takes on FB.

Balanced against the things I hate about FB, there’s…what, exactly? I tried to think about what I actually gained from FB and I came up short. Keeping in touch with people? Email, phones and meeting up did that better. Status signaling? I don’t think surrendering all privacy for a minor ego stroke was a good deal.

There’s nothing for me in that f*cking trap. I’m willing to bet there’s nothing there for you, either.”


I do not have a Facebook account and never will. I think these comments are an excellent summation of all that is wrong with the “service” and why it should not be used.

Delete Facebook! Fack Fucebook!


I ask for your indulgence. I am probably going to be posting pictures of the scenery around here on a regular basis.

When my wonderful wife and I decided to move to Arizona one thing I insisted upon was a house with views. Well, we have views to spare.



In our neighborhood, and I guess in much of this area, the mailboxes for a given street/development are in one place. This is the view walking to our “communal” mailbox, which can be seen in the left of the picture. Hey, I might have to check the mail 2-3 times a day.  🙂


A picture of one of my favorite cars from the car show we attended last weekend.



This is a Ferrari 365 GTB/4 better known as the Ferrari Daytona. That name, by the way, was never used by Ferrari but was bestowed upon the car after a 1-2-3 finish by the company in the 1967 24 Hours of Daytona race.

This car was among those that just missed the cut for my Ultimate Garage 2.0. As I wrote then and still feel now, I have not driven a car with a traditional manual transmission in more than 40 years and have no desire to re-acquaint myself with such an automobile. The Daytona was not available with an automatic and, frankly, a 1960s-1970s era automatic probably would have been a detriment to the car. Obviously, I would not retrofit a modern automatic to such a rare and valuable car. My net worth would have to be in ten figures-plus for me to do something like that.

I can say in all honesty that the only unpleasant people I’ve met in my many years as an automobile enthusiast are the manual transmission “snobs” who think everyone has to drive a car with a stick. Sorry, but I believe in different strokes for different folks. Besides, modern automatics are far superior to manual transmissions. No human being can shift as quickly or as optimally as an 8L90E. Besides, if you want to shift you can with the paddles.

Yes, my position on this debate has been enunciated here before. Even if I didn’t have arthritis in my left foot and left knee and a very painful bunion on the same foot, I would not want to drive a car with a stick. Different strokes for different folks (DSFDF)…









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