Dreams and Nightmares

I have written this line from Diner—if you don’t have dreams you have nightmares—many times, probably more often than regular readers have wanted. I have written less often that I have nightmares, anyway, so I might as well at least have good (day)dreams.

Last night I dreamt I was in a car with friends as we were on our way to an important event. The actual nature of that event is lost to dreamland. I distinctly remember saying to my friend who was driving that we needed to use a specific exit to get to the event. The road began a steep descent into an impressive valley that was the home of a small city. All of a sudden, we are no longer in the car but are scrambling on the roof of a large building. We begin moving frantically in our efforts to reach the event. As we approach a corner of the building I see that the ledge we need to traverse is exceedingly narrow and that we are many feet in the air. I decide it’s way too risky and I turn back…and realize that no way exists to get down from the roof and that my friends have gone on without me. Fortunately, that’s when I woke up.

I can’t tell you how many “dreams” I’ve had similar to that one. For years I had a recurring dream that I was driving and then, in a flash, I was sitting on the road as my car has just disappeared. Could the fact that my parents were Holocaust survivors be playing a role in these “dreams?”

My intense interest in automobiles is an important escape from my nightmares. Daydreaming about having my Z06 souped-up or buying an older companion to it is a necessary, happy contrast to the dark world of my inner mind.

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One wonderful dream to be realized would be the end of all cancer. This recent article is titled, “Immune discovery ‘may treat all cancer’” A team in Cardiff, Wales discovered a T-cell and its receptor that could find and kill a wide range of cancerous cells in the lab including lung, skin, blood, colon, breast, bone, prostate, ovarian, kidney and cervical cancer cells. In addition, it left healthy cells untouched. However, how this particular cell and receptor work is still not understood. From the article:

 

“This particular T-cell receptor interacts with a molecule called MR1, which is on the surface of every cell in the human body.”

“It is thought [emphasis mine] MR1 is flagging the distorted metabolism going on inside a cancerous cell to the immune system.”

“‘We are the first to describe a T-cell that finds MR1 in cancer cells – that hasn’t been done before, this is the first of its kind,’ research fellow Garry Dolton told the BBC.”

 

As an Ashkenazi Jew, my genome predisposes me to many ailments including pancreatic cancer, which is basically a death sentence. Leukemia used to be a death sentence, but many types are now eminently treatable.

One of my annual donations is to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, pancan.org. I can only hope that science wins and pancreatic cancer loses before my seemingly inevitable bout occurs.

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A much less important dream involves my search for a companion car to my 2016 Corvette Z06. As I have freed myself from the “obligation” to buy something built before I was born and/or built by a defunct American make, the automotive world is my oyster, so to speak. Actually, I can’t stand oysters, but you get my point.

This car, a frequent flyer on Disaffected Musings, appears to me over and over again:

 

See the source image

 

From cars.com a picture of a 1993 Cadillac Allante. The 1993 model is the only year with the 295 HP/290 LB-FT of torque NorthStar V-8. This, theoretically, makes it the most fun to drive of the Allantes. However, the NorthStar engine was prone to issues such as the cracking of head bolts and the optional hardtop was not available in 1993.

In general, this car might flunk out because it would probably fail as a grocery car. When we move to the desert before the end of next year (hopefully, much sooner than that), we will jettison our wonderful little Kia Sportage as we will no longer need AWD capability. However, neither of our Corvettes is really suited for grocery shopping on a regular basis. Ah, the clash of dreams vs. reality…

Still, I think these cars are gorgeous and I wouldn’t mind having a convertible to drive in the desert. Also, Allantes are affordable. A 1991 model sold, all in, at the recent Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale for $7,150. They almost always sell at auction for less than $10,000. Don’t forget, too, that it is easier to get these serviced than a 1963 Gran Turismo Hawk or even a 1963 Riviera.

Once again, and I cannot swear it’s for the last time, if you don’t have dreams you have nightmares.

 

#DreamsAndNightmares

#CancerSucks

#CadillacAllante

#somanycarsjustonelife

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Monday Musings, Post Super Bowl Edition

Congratulations to the Patriots, I guess. I suspect most people watching the game, especially outside of New England, were rooting for the Rams and I was as well. However, I was not particularly vested in the outcome.

As much of a Packers fan as I am and as much as I admire Vince Lombardi, grudgingly I must acknowledge that Bill Belichick is the greatest coach in NFL history. Nine Super Bowl appearances (and six wins) in 18 seasons is just amazing.

I had the good fortune to attend one Super Bowl in person. As Director of Baseball Operations for the team whose stadium in which the Super Bowl was played one season I had the opportunity to watch the game from a “privileged” venue. Unlike yesterday’s game I was very much vested in the outcome because it pitted one of my two favorite teams against one of my least favorite teams at that time.

Nervously pacing in the box for the entire game I finally said out loud and to no one in particular, “How do NFL head coaches do this every week?” The President and CEO of the baseball team for which I worked answered, “Because they don’t care as much as you do.” That remark caused many people in the box to erupt in laughter. Even I had to laugh.

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See the source image

From ClassicCars.com a picture of a 1967 Pontiac GTO.

As regular readers know my first car was a ’67 Goat. As they should also know I am not exactly blessed with good dreams. Last night I dreamt that I had found and restored my first car. However, something went amiss and I was unable to open either door. In disgust I left the garage. Some time later I returned and noticing a small reddish-brown stain on the driver side front window I decided to see if the door would open. To my amazement, it did and so did the passenger side door. I was also able to remove the stain with my thumbnail. That type of happy twist is rare in my dreams.

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I try to learn something new every day. To me, learning is entertainment and most of what passes for entertainment these days is not remotely entertaining to me.

My wonderful wife and I were out looking at cars yesterday—a not infrequent pastime of ours—and decided to drive to the nearest CarMax to see if we could find anything interesting on the lot. To our surprise it was open on a Sunday. In fact, it’s open every Sunday. I have been told on more than one occasion that in the state in which I live it is illegal to actually buy a car on Sunday, which is why the car dealers here are closed. I asked a salesman how CarMax was open every Sunday given what I thought to be true about a Sunday prohibition and he informed me that wasn’t the case. He said other dealers are closed on Sunday just to give their employees a day off. He did elaborate that in some counties in a neighboring state car dealers were basically forbidden to be open on Sunday. Well, I did it…a paragraph with seven Sundays: a week of Sundays.

 

#somanycarsjustonelife

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If You Have Dreams…

You still might have nightmares. I have written this line from the movie Diner in a few posts, “If you don’t have dreams you have nightmares.” Last night I had a dream that I was going to pick up my completed restomod C2 Corvette. (I told you I was obsessed.) However, when I arrived at the address I was given no one was there. The building was enormous and I had no idea how to find my car or how to get out of the building.

So I dreamt that my bucket list car was complete, but I couldn’t find it or find anyone who could tell me what was going on. What can I say?

I think, however, that means my Z4 is not long for my garage if I am already dreaming about its replacement, no matter how unhappy the dream.

Out?

 

In?

See the source image

From corvetteblogger.com a picture of a 1967 Corvette restomod. It is the same picture I showed here.

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I have an afternoon of cardiac testing today. As noted in this post, I recently spent a morning in the ER because my heart was generating an abnormal frequency of PVCs, Premature Ventricular Contractions. I have had PVCs my entire life probably because I have Mitral Valve Prolapse.

People are very worried, and rightly so, about cancer, but heart disease kills more people every year than cancer. From the CDC:

2017 US Deaths By Cause

Heart Disease          635,260

Cancer                      598,038

The data is similar for 2015:

Heart Disease          633,842

Cancer                      595,930

 

Many of these 1.2 million deaths are preventable. I am going to rant…if you are 100 pounds overweight you didn’t get that way overnight. Americans want a magic pill, a magic diet or a magic surgery. Magic isn’t real; it’s an illusion. You didn’t gain the weight overnight; you can’t really lose the weight overnight. The CDC estimates that 71% of American adults are overweight. Not coincidentally, most studies put the percentage of American adults who don’t exercise regularly at about 70%.

Don’t take your health for granted and don’t count on “magic” to make you better. Besides, if Americans get fit maybe they’ll stop buying so many SUVs and pickup trucks and buy some exciting cars, instead.