Freeform Friday

I am not exactly a fount of ideas today.


My Mustang has already had its first hiccup. A couple of days ago and out of the blue, the nav map seemed to have no idea where I was and did not correctly show my heading. When I started the car yesterday, the map righted itself after a few minutes, but I was unable to play audio from any source other than Sirius/XM. I could not switch to FM or use the songs from my iPhone.

I decided the only solution was something Ford discourages, a Master Reset of the SYNC system. That, as of now, seemed to fix all of the problems. I hope this is not an ongoing issue. Even though the car is still, obviously, under the bumper to bumper warranty, the last thing I want is a repeat of the Z06 nonsense where repairs take an inordinate amount of time because parts are not available.

My wonderful wife’s Corvette memory seat setting has been finicky for quite some time. In order to get the steering wheel and seat in her desired setting, my wife first has to move the seat a bit. Then, pressing the #1 setting button in the door finishes the job. The car is supposed to automatically go to the correct settings for her key fob. On occasion, it does function properly, but most of the time she needs to “remind” it by noodging the seat.

EVERYTHING comes with a trade-off. The modern safety, convenience and entertainment systems in cars add complexity. I am not an electrical engineer and don’t know if such issues are the result of too many devices for a standard 12-volt system to handle. Once again, I fully understand why many automobile aficionados prefer cars from the pre-computer era. No, I am not going to show that picture of a Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk in light green with a white top.



Well, it’s not the one in light green and white. What do you think of this paint job? This is a 1962 model, which I would not prefer over a ’63 or ’64, but supposedly the interior has been replaced. The ’62s were notorious for a bad vinyl interior that virtually disintegrated over time.

The seller, an independent dealer of classic cars in Michigan, is asking $15,900 for the car. That’s not an outrageous amount, some sellers are asking twice that much for allegedly pristine examples, but that doesn’t leave much money for modifications for me. Hemmings has another Gran Turismo Hawk listed at $9,900, but it’s a ’62 with no mention of a new interior and is in an exterior color that does not appeal to me. Good paint jobs are VERY expensive.

So many cars, just one life.


We received rain yesterday that, once again, was not really forecast by the National Weather Service. My admittedly anecdotal impression is that WeatherNation seems to be a bit more accurate in forecasting rain for our area. Here are a couple of videos from yesterday.



Hopefully, in one of these videos you can see the mountains in the distance that are in sunlight while it was raining at our house. When I write a post and insert videos I do not exactly know the content as all I see is wpvideo and some numbers/letters inside of brackets. I think the video to which I refer is the second one.








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Half A Million

Somewhere in this post (post number 1,010 if you’re counting, or even if you’re not) is the 500,000th word I have written on Disaffected Musings. As I wrote in the 1,000th post, the quest for a million words has become a major motivator for me to keep writing.

Given that I have had three books published, you would think I would know how many words are in an “average” book. I just don’t remember, any more. Let’s say the number is between 80,000 and 120,000 per book; that would mean I have written four to six books worth of words on this blog.

Please keep reading (and tell your friends about the blog, too) and I’ll keep writing.


This CNBC article is about a study by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on the impact of raising the minimum wage to $15/hour. According to their work, such an increase would lead to a loss of 1.4 million jobs by 2025.

Those on the left love to shout “You’re a denier” to those who oppose their policies. Well, the left is in denial, too, just like all of those who blindly follow any ideology. Contrary to the blathering of the anti-business, anti-consumer culture crowd, businesses do not have infinite revenues and infinite cash flows.

If a person’s labor is worth $10/hour to a business, forcing that business to pay them $15 is going to lead to that person working fewer hours or losing their job. Besides, the minimum wage in Manhattan cannot be the same as the minimum wage in Tunica, Mississippi. Talk about denial…EVERYTHING is a trade-off.


On this day in 1964 the Beatles made their first appearance on US television. Of course, it was on the Ed Sullivan Show. The best estimate is that 73 million Americans watched the Beatles that night. That’s more than a third of the entire country, a larger share of the population than the proportion that watched the recently played Super Bowl.

“Popular” music was never the same. In this post I compared the quantum (just for you, Bill) change in music of before and after the Beatles to the change in the American car industry pre- and post-1955.

In my demographic I am no doubt near the bottom in terms of Beatles fandom. However, I fully appreciate and acknowledge their impact on music. From NBC News a picture of the Beatles with Ed Sullivan:


See the source image


Model year 1964 saw the introduction of one of the most significant cars in US history: the GTO option for the Pontiac LeMans. Model number 22, body/style numbers 2227 (two-door coupe), 2237 (two-door hardtop) and 2267 (two-door convertible) marked the beginning of the modern muscle car era, which had a huge influence on the cars produced and purchased by the American car-buying public into the early 1970s.

When John DeLorean “sidestepped” the GM rules about maximum engine size for an A-Body intermediate car by making the GTO an option package and not a distinct model, it was thought the option package might sell about 5,000 units. Of course, 32,450 1964 GTOs were sold. The car had an effect on the US auto industry way above and beyond even that surprising number. From Mecum, a picture of a 1964 GTO offered at their 2017 Kissimmee auction:


See the source image


As everyone reading this should know, my first car was a 1967 GTO. I like the body style of that year better than any other of the first four years. I am also somewhat of a heretic in that I am not a big fan of the A-Body restyle for the 1968 model year.

Has anyone else reading ever owned a GTO?








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What To Say Sunday

I had a somewhat sad and yet somewhat touching dream. Our departure from our old neighborhood had become a formal event with all of our soon-to-be ex-neighbors gathering in a place like a large conference room or ballroom in a nice hotel.

I sat down with my closest friends from the neighborhood, one at a time, at a large table. The mood was not exactly festive, nor was it excessively melancholy. However, when speaking with one of my friends (I don’t remember which one) I simply became overwhelmed with emotion and broke down in tears.

My wonderful wife and I are very happy to be in the desert, but we loved living in our previous neighborhood. We were extremely fortunate in having so many great friends there. For the nth plus nth time, everything in life is a trade-off.


I have to admit to being a little “depleted” in terms of blog material today. I was going to write about how much I still miss FantomWorks on Motor Trend, but old episodes are still being aired. I guess I really mean I still miss waiting for new episodes. While I don’t think that’s a compelling topic for exploration, that won’t stop me from writing about it, at least a little.

One reason I liked (like) the show was the diversity of projects. It wasn’t simply about another Mustang or Camaro or Corvette, although those cars were shown. As an example, here is a list of the projects shown on Season 2 of FantomWorks:


  • 1982 Kawasaki kz750 (Motorcycle)
  • 1968 Chevrolet Camaro
  • 1917 Willys-Overland
  • 1941 Buick Special Coupe
  • 1951 Chevrolet 3100
  • 1957 Heinkel
  • 1965 Chevrolet C10
  • 1965 Shelby Cobra Replica
  • 1965 Sunbeam Tiger
  • 1970 Ford Mustang Mach 1
  • 1977 Chevrolet Corvette
  • 1979 Fiat 124 Spider
  • 1983 Avanti


In other seasons, cars like a very rare 1939 Hudson 112 convertible coupe and 1963 Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk were featured. The show made no attempt to hide the fact that these projects took months and even years to complete, nor was the cost ignored. Many of the builds cost six figures and the price was often explicitly mentioned when the owner arrived to pick up the completed vehicle.

Anyway…while I enjoy shows like Bitchin’ Rides, I also like to see builds other than maxed-out Camaros and Corvettes. That’s a major reason why I liked (like) FantomWorks.


The “search” for the Grocery Car/Taxi/Corvette Companion has taken another turn. One of these is probably in the lead at present:


See the source image


From The Post-Crescent of Appleton, Wisconsin (I assume that’s a newspaper), a picture of a 2017 Dodge Challenger.

Of course, the Dodge Challenger, while not a defunct make or model, has a long and storied history. The modern Challenger has a good-sized trunk (about 16 cubic feet) and, supposedly, can seat five so four should be able to sit comfortably. Both my wonderful wife and I very much like the looks of the car. In addition, buying a modern car means it has airbags, ABS, traction control, etc. and should be easily serviced.

FCA’s record in the JD Power Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) gives me pause, but as Todd Deeken and Paul Schmucker remarked on an Everyday Driver podcast, the quality and reliability of all cars have improved dramatically in the last 10-20 years, so even cars that rank “poor” on a relative basis are improving on an absolute basis.

We don’t have to have an 8-cylinder engine in a Challenger; in fact, given the price disparity we are probably not going to buy a car so quipped. The 3.6 liter/220 cubic-inch V-6 produces 305 HP/268 LB-FT of torque and is rated at 30 MPG Highway. Examples of cars like this are offered between $21,000 and $25,000-ish, so they are a little more than we were going to spend, but still not even half of what each Corvette cost.

I think we will pull the trigger on our purchase, whatever car we choose, no later than our birthdays in late March.










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