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.

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A picture is worth a thousand words…

 

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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.

#DeathBeforeEV

#EVsAreNotTheAnswerSyntheticFuelsAre

 

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.

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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.

 

#GoingFar

#DesertSunsetFire

#EVsAreNotTheAnswer

#CryptoIsAScam

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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1961 Chevrolet Impala for sale near Atlanta, Georgia 30318 - Classics on Autotrader

Wednesday Wackadoodle

Once again, it’s Wednesday and once again, I’m a Wackadoodle. I think I first heard that word in an episode of The Big Bang Theory. Penny says something like, “I love Sheldon, but man he is a wackadoodle.”

 

Blog views started out slowly yesterday, but didn’t stay that way all day.

 

 

Although I cannot explain the surge in views, it was enough for WordPress to send me a notification, an all too rare event. What’s unusual is that almost all of the views were of the main blog link and the number of referrals from sites like search engines was, if anything, smaller than normal. Yeah, yeah, I know: don’t look a gift horse in the mouth or don’t break a butterfly upon a wheel or whatever. Thanks for reading.

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David Banner (not his real name) sent me this:

 

 

For the nth time, the infrastructure does NOT exist in the US, and won’t for decades, to support many millions of electric vehicles. The eco-mentalists, as Jeremy Clarkson calls them, are conveniently ignoring that fact as well as the environmental toll of lithium mining. I guess I’m talking to a wall, but that doesn’t deter me. This country and much of the world have lost their way.

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On this day in 1781 British forces under General Charles Cornwallis signed terms of surrender to George Washington and Comte de Rochambeau at Yorktown at 2 pm, ending the US Revolutionary War. I must admit I know next to nothing about the conflict from which an independent United States emerged. It’s sad and ironic that the country will dissolve due to an internal conflict. I see no other “solution.”

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This recent Hagerty UK article is about a car that has been mentioned in at least two posts, the (modern) Alpine A110. From the piece, titled, “Future Classic: Alpine A110“:

 

Future Classic: Alpine A110

 

Here is a paragraph from the Hagerty UK article:

 

“Indeed among the self-appointed cognoscenti of the automotive world, few cars have made a greater impression in the last five years, and none with just a humble 1.8-litre engine and less power than many a warmed-over hatchback. If I may consider myself among their number and if it is of interest, I [Andrew Frankel] am the co-founder of The Intercooler, which has been reviewing cars for four years and, to date, has given just one a ten out of ten rating. The Alpine really is that good.”

 

The first post where I mentioned the A110 (in August, 2020!) was titled “Why Can’t I Buy This Car?!” From that post:

 

What cracks me up is that many Americans think that Europe is a place where people have no freedom and the government micromanages everyone’s life. Still, the A110 is available there, but not here.

Don’t kid yourself; a lot of these rules and regulations were simply adopted after lobbying by American car companies in order to reduce foreign competition. I also think that after Americans showed an inclination to buy SUVs, the car companies pushed their marketing in that direction because SUVs have a higher profit margin than cars.

 

It is beyond stupid that a vehicle that can be legally sold in modern, industrialized countries cannot be legally sold to a US citizen for import into the US. Many of the people who would like to drive the car can’t wait another 20+ years until the 25-year rule for imported cars kicks in. Besides, who knows if that rule will still be in effect? Sadly, common sense isn’t common enough.

 

My stomach is beyond growling so I am going to get some breakfast for my wonderful wife and me. Enjoy your day and please keep reading.

 

#WednesdayWackadoodle

#EVsAreNotTheAnswer

#AlpineA110

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Chai, September

No, the post is not about Chai Tea. Yes, it is a play on “Hi, September” as it is my first post of the month.

The post title also refers to the fact that the product of the month and the day is 18 (nine times two). In Hebrew, every letter has a numerical value. The sum of that value for the letters in the word “Chai”–the Hebrew word for “life” (חיים, in עִבְרִית; the toast “L’Chaim” means “to life”)–is 18. Many Jews, even those of us who are not religious but are solely of Jewish ancestry and are OCD math nerds, believe that 18 is almost a holy number because of its association with the Hebrew word for life.

One manifestation of my OCD is to use the number 18 as a basis for making decisions. (Avoiding the number 13 is also part of my behavior.) When I had multiple clients in my baseball operations/player personnel consulting business I ordered uniform tops for each team with my name and the number 18. I would like to show you one of those jerseys, but this blog is still anonymous, technically.

That’s more information than you want or need about me. Oh, count the number of stars used as a divider in my blog posts.

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Yesterday, Disaffected Musings received more views on a day without a post than the average number of views for all days from February 1 to July 31 of this year. The average number of views for the last two weeks of August was 68 percent higher than the February-July average. I grant that the six-month average is a bit misleading because March and May did not have a normal number of posts. Still, 68 percent is a very significant increase.

The average for the end of August basically equaled that of the best six-month stretch in the history of the blog, October, 2020 through March, 2021. I will not break a butterfly upon a wheel or look a gift horse in the mouth; I will just say Thanks.

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From a recent tweet in my Twitter feed:

 

August 24: California bans sale of new gasoline-powered cars

August 30: California asks Californians to avoid charging electric vehicles due to electricity shortage

 

Truth is stranger than fiction, indeed. EVs are not the answer and are certainly not the only answer.

In that vein, here is a funny photo sent to me by David Banner (not his real name):

 

 

OK, Tesla doesn’t manufacture vans. The picture is still funny.

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Speaking of Tesla, this piece is one of many reporting that some Tesla owners in Norway–land of the EV–have “begun a hunger strike in the hopes of bringing attention to a long list of alleged quality issues with their luxury vehicles.” Truth and fiction…

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I am thinking about writing a few posts called If I Had To…These would be what vehicle I would pick if I were forced to select from a group that I would normally not consider, like Porsches or 4-door sedans.

I hesitate to call this a series as I might publish only two or three such posts. I also will NOT pick from among SUVs or pickup trucks. Sorry, pickup truck fans, but they have always had zero interest to me. They all look like a small box on top of a big box on top of wheels.

These posts would only show modern vehicles, say from this century, so the following would be out. This would have been the subject of a Hall of Very Good Cars post if I were continuing the series.

 

See the source image

 

This is a Rover P5B; this version of the P5 was built from 1967 to 1973. By the way, Rover called the car a coupé. I’m sure I have written this before, but I believe that the original distinction between coupes and sedans was the amount of interior volume, not the number of doors. BMW currently sells a 4-door car called a Gran Coupe.

I have been fond of the looks of the P5B ever since seeing one as the featured car on an episode of Wheeler Dealers. Mike Brewer described the car as having “rakish lines.”

The cars were powered by the 3.5-liter V-8 for which Rover acquired the rights to produce from Buick in 1965 and used until the 1990s. This motor had gross output ratings–how such metrics were reported until the change to net ratings in the early 1970s–of 181 HP/226 LB-FT of torque.

The heart wants what it wants.

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I probably care less than you do about the status of the repairs to the Z06. Some parts were delivered on August 29th, but not all of them. The last of the necessary parts are scheduled to be delivered in a window from September 8th to……….September 22nd.

An irony in all of this is by the time I actually dispose of the Z06, I will have been a Corvette owner for more than ten years, but a Corvette driver for less than ten. I am so done with that car.

 

#ChaiSeptember

#BoomInBlogViews

#EVsAreNotTheAnswer

#IfIHadTo…

#RoverP5B

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Walkabout Wednesday

This “fact” has nothing to do with real life, but in my current computer football league (24 teams whose rosters–drafted at random–and names, for the most part, bear no resemblance to the real thing) the Texas Tornadoes have won their last two games by a combined score of 107 to 71. Yes, I wrote football, not basketball.

The Tornadoes, who always play in the first game of the new week, are the first team to ten wins at 10-1, but they have allowed 71 points to two teams with a combined record of 7-14. (One of those teams has, of course, not yet played its 11th game.) Can a team predicated on an elite of elite passing attack and little else win a title, even in a computer league? They always play first because they are a lot of fun to play.

This is not fantasy football where someone drafts players and then their team result is based on how those players play in a given week. This is also not a video game. Games are played with the teams using the game program/engine; I call the offensive plays for both teams and the computer makes the defensive calls for both teams. A radio type of description for each play appears on the computer screen.

I started playing statistics-based table top sports games when I was 12. It would be hard to conclude that was a waste of time given my eventual real-life career as a pioneer of the application of analytics to sports, a father of Moneyball and author of a sports book that The Wall Street Journal called without a doubt the best book of its kind ever written. Obviously, I still enjoy playing these games much as some people enjoy card games or Monopoly for most of their lives.

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Moving to real football, the Nebraska-Northwestern game was watched by 4.4 million people on Saturday. That is twice the average of Nebraska’s per game TV audience from 2021. ESPN and Major League Baseball were ecstatic at the audience for last year’s American League Wild Card game between longtime bitter rivals the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. How many people watched that game? 4.8 million. In case you don’t know, that’s essentially a one-game playoff where the winner keeps playing for a shot at the World Series and the loser is eliminated.

The recent Detroit-Pittsburgh NFL preseason game (the NFL doesn’t want them called exhibition games) had a larger audience than any of the regular season NBA games broadcast last Christmas when, supposedly, they have a captive audience. The first round of the NFL Draft was viewed by about 10 million people this past April. That was a large decline from the audience of 15 million in 2020. In 2022, what was the average number of viewers for NBA first-round playoff games? 3.5 million…

There’s a reason why the NFL and its teams will receive $113 Billion in national media rights over the next 11 years, ratings. The primary, but not only, reason the Big Ten Conference just made a TV deal that will pay it $1 Billion a year for seven years is Big Ten football. Nothing comes close to football in sports popularity.

I think one reason why football is so popular is that each game is very important. NFL teams play 17 games in the regular season; college teams play 12. There are 162 games per team in a baseball season and 82 per team in an NBA season. With the fierce competition for eyeballs and the declining attention spans of the population, the significance of each game drives TV traffic.

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These words are by Steve Szymanski, an automotive builder and fabricator, via Philip Maynard, long-time reader and commenter on this blog and–in the interest of full disclosure–a relative.

 

“Vehicles are not commodities, but rather consumable goods. They wear out, and auto manufacturers make more money selling new cars than providing repair parts. The push for EV is a godsend for the automakers. Makes them much more like cell phones, in that you will want the latest tech gadgets as the older vehicles become obsolete.

The battery issue is a feature, not a bug in this instance. There is no mass recycling program for the batteries, at this time anyway. And with copyright protections on software, your “right to repair” has ended. “Closed hood” is the norm now. Joe Six-Pack has no chance to rebuild, and those that try to circumvent the protocols get blocked. The software is not updateable and will be about as useful as a 10 year old cell phone.

GM has lead the way with in-vehicle purchases with their on-board navigation maps. You have to pay $90 a year to get the “updated” maps, On Star is at least a service with some side benefit, but to gain functionality, you have to pay monthly. Recently BMW upped the game, want your heated seats to work? You will have to pay a monthly fee for that.

Expect more of this. A lot more.”

 

I think that the push “to go green” by people on a certain part of the political spectrum has less to do with environmental concerns than to do with the old socialist/communist agenda of redistributing wealth and income: from rich nations to poor nations, from rich people to poor people.

In the same vein, I think the car companies are diving head-first and blindly into the EV pool because, in large part, they see more certain streams of recurring income. On somewhat of a tangent: Volvo is advertising their new line of EVs and the ads draw much attention to Google being pre-loaded. Sorry, I don’t want the Evil Empire knowing every detail of my driving.

Some even more cynical than I think the push to EVs is the first step in either the constant monitoring of driving by government or the eventual elimination of privately owned vehicles. Even if those scenarios eventually manifest, I won’t be alive to see them. For the nth to the n time: EVs are not the answer and they are certainly not the only answer. Although I’m not the only voice in this chorus, it wouldn’t bother me if I were a lone voice in the wilderness.

Give me one of these every day and twice on Sunday instead of any EV:

 

 

By the way, I think that’s one of the greatest front three-quarter shots of any car ever.

 

#WalkaboutWednesday

#FootballIsKing

#EVsAreNotTheAnswer

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Friable Friday

Once again, Friable: Adjective, easily crumbled

Originally, I was going to write another Hall of Very Good Cars post today. I have to admit that despite the two dozen or so cars I have scribbled in my notebook that are supposed to be the subject of such posts, I have no desire to actually write about them at this time. Like I wrote here, I don’t want to live in the past, but what I can see of the future, admittedly a flawed view, is not appealing to me, either.

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You may notice that the sub-menu under the header photo no longer includes an option for “Contact.” I had to disable that link because for weeks it has been used to send me dozens, maybe hundreds, of spam communications about buying prescription drugs online. I grew tired of having to delete them every day. As is too often the case, a few bad actors ruin something for everyone. The only way to communicate with me now in the context of this blog is to submit a comment. Of course, the comments have also been used to send me the same type of items, but at least I can permanently ban the senders’ email addresses.

Some blogs do not allow comments, but I think Disaffected Musings is better for having them. However, if the comments are hijacked then I will have no choice but to disable them as well. Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback column on the Sports Illustrated website had to have its comments disabled as people began using the forum to send personal messages and sent so many of them that the moderators could not delete the irrelevant comments.

I could rant about rampant narcissism, the utter disregard for the rights of others, but what good would that do? The anonymity of the Internet enables and emboldens bad behavior. The genie is out of the bottle.

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I think the blog is much better with pictures, even if automobiles are not the subject matter.

 

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Yesterday’s post about America’s song “A Horse With No Name,” and that had virtually no automotive content, generated a good number of views. Just like I ended the Threes And Sevens series with the year 1997 because the 21st century has not been about cars, the ill-advised headlong dive towards EVs is not a topic about which I wish to write at length.

You know, electric vehicles are not being widely adopted everywhere in the world. I read yesterday (on the Bloomberg TV news crawl) that policy makers in Australia are considering legislation to coerce people to buy them because only 2% of new vehicles sold there are electric. Again, those Australian officials are unable to understand that one size almost never fits all. Good luck installing charging stations along roads in the outback.

By the way, did you know that the vast majority of publicly accessible charging stations around the world are the slow type? For example, of the approximately 114,000 such devices in the US, about 92,000 of them are the slow chargers. Even in Norway, which has the highest adoption rate for electric vehicles, about two-thirds of public stations are the slow type. EVs are NOT the answer. From this website: “eFuels can be used straight away [right away in American English] with the existing tank and distribution infrastructure.” As Einstein said, every problem should be made as simple as possible. The move to EVs means enormous expenditures on new infrastructure that are actually not necessary.

 

See the source image

 

#FriableFriday

#EVsAreNotTheAnswer

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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The Reluctant Post

I wasn’t going to post today, giving myself a break after writing for ten consecutive days. I was surprised by the response I received to yesterday’s post (both inside and outside the confines of the blog), There’s Bad Everywhere, in which I wrote about Pete Rose.

I think the evidence is beyond overwhelming that Rose is an awful person regardless of how many hits he amassed in his baseball career. Of course, people are entitled to a different view than mine, but mine was not created out of thin air. I offer this piece by someone who used to be an admirer of his. I realize some might question the motives of the author, but Rose has given the world almost unlimited fodder for articles like this.

That’s the last time I will write about this topic.

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Sometimes I’m a little too quick to permanently delete emails. I don’t want to have thousands of emails in either my Inbox or Saved email folders.

Unfortunately, I deleted an email that had a tantalizing tidbit about the possible release of a new model from Chevrolet; I was going to offer it was the Malibu, but they are still selling a model by that name. An admittedly brief Internet search did not unearth the story.

The reason I thought this merited a mention was that this new vehicle is to be powered by a good old-fashioned Internal Combustion Engine, a 2.7 liter turbocharged V-6, if I recall correctly. Of course, the same article reported that Buick and Cadillac would be “all-electric” starting in 2030 although GM is playing a little fast and loose with that definition by including hybrids. I want to show a brief snippet of a piece about electric cars from someone in another country (Chile):

 

“Politicians are forcing electromobility, regardless of whether it’s technically and environmentally sound or not. This is fully in line with the increasing trend toward technically unfounded, purely political decisions, that are increasingly common in many places of the world.  We are living in a strange age when technology and science are as highly developed as never before on earth, but at the same time the people making all-important decisions are increasingly incapable or unwilling to understand even basic technology and science, and decide by feeling, belief and fashion instead of hard facts.”

 

Bravo! One of the main points this person made is that unless the electricity used to charge EVs comes from non fossil fuel sources, then these cars are not that much better for the environment than modern ICE cars. He also pointed out that no EV actually has the range reported by the manufacturer and that if one looks at the fine print in the ads one will notice a disclaimer like this, “this figure was computed from calculated performance data, or that it is valid with an optional high capacity battery which is not included in the price printed at the top of the page.”

Mr. Chile also wrote, “In short, it’s not a real range you can expect to get under actual, normal, everyday driving conditions. That actual range is shorter, and often very much shorter. Many people who drive electric cars report that with a fully charged battery, the range estimation shown on the dashboard is much lower than the value claimed in the advertising, and that while driving the car the estimation of remaining range drops at a significantly faster rate than the odometer counts up. The final range they can actually achieve is rarely more than 60 to 70% of the claimed range. And on cold days, when they want heating and in addition the battery performance drops, the true range can melt down to 20% of the advertised value!”

I will be, and have been, accused of having a blind spot about electric vehicles. Well, I have no fear of disagreeing with the so-called consensus (I wouldn’t have had a 20+ year career in baseball if I did) and I do not accept politicians forcing their agenda on me. EVs are not the answer.

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No, I still don’t have the Z06 and also have no idea when I will. I send a text to the owner of the shop every two weeks. Two weeks ago he wrote that he had “sourced” the parts and expected them to arrive “any day.” Today he simply wrote that he would “check in with his advisor.”

If you asked me today, I would say it’s highly likely I will sell the car almost immediately upon its return. If I buy a replacement what am I most likely to buy?

 

 

I think I can sell the Z06 and buy a used (2020 or 2021) Supra for about the same price. I have done some research. My biggest obstacle to buying a Supra is that, in reality, it is a BMW despite the Toyota badging.

I sort of wish I liked the look of the current generation Mustang more, but I just don’t. I could buy a low-mileage 2020 or 2021 GT Premium for substantially less than the Supra, and without the taint of a German make, but the cars just don’t light me up.

Of course, I could feel differently when (if?) my Z06 is actually back in our garage. I would like to read thoughts from you on this topic.

 

#TheReluctantPost

#EVsAreNotTheAnswer

#ToyotaSupra

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Sunday Serenade

No, it is not I playing the piano. I wish I could play like that. Sadly, I suspect the brilliant musician who did perform it, Keith Jarrett, wishes he could play it as well as he has been unable to play since a series of strokes in 2018.

 

How much of your life is under your control? 1%? 99%? I don’t think the actual percentage can be known and, having written that, I also think it varies from person to person. In my opinion, I think it exceeds 50%–although probably not by much, but I know many intelligent people who disagree.

I should have asked that question of the brilliant former high school classmate mentioned here in this post from October, 2021 with whom I had a wonderful 45-minute conversation yesterday. It was the first time we had spoken since high school.

Since he figured prominently in it, when I published the linked post I decided to try to send him the link somehow. I succeeded and we have established an email dialogue that led to yesterday’s phone call. He called while on a family vacation in his ancestral country of Finland. My successful attempt at re-establishing contact with TI led to a new dialogue. (In keeping with this blog’s policy of anonymity for people not in the public eye, TI is all you’re going to get regarding his identity.)

I could conclude that the outcome was under my control. However, I learned yesterday that TI has been trying to at least discover the fates of his high school classmates for the last 6-8 years. If he weren’t inclined, a priori, to reconnect to them, then my attempts would probably have failed. So, how much of the outcome was under my control?

TI has been teaching advanced mathematics at a prestigious university in Europe for more than 20 years. When I asked how he ended up there he said, “They invited me to join the faculty, I visited and accepted.” Again, his achievements, which were not solely a function of his enormous intellect, paved the way for the opportunity, but an exogenous event was the final link in the chain of events that led him there. In addition, his life situation at that time was more conducive to the move than it would have been at other times.

You won’t be surprised by this next train of thought. I think people who blindly follow any ideology and think their way is the only way are oblivious to the multi-dimensional matrix that affects life outcomes. Those who engage in what I have often called impossible distillations of reality are usually wrong because they fail to acknowledge and to incorporate other dimensions or factors.

Once again, the photo of my class in my senior year in high school published in that October, 2021 post:

 

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I was fascinated, but not surprised by the content of this CNBC article titled, “Bye bye, San Francisco: The top 7 U.S. cities homebuyers are seeking to leave.” Without further ado, lists of the five cities with the largest outflow and inflow of residents according to Redfin (I didn’t show either list in its entirety so you will be more inclined to read the piece yourself):

 

Largest Outflows

  • San Francisco
  • Los Angeles
  • New York
  • Washington D.C.
  • Seattle

Largest Inflows

  • Miami
  • Tampa, Florida
  • Phoenix
  • Sacramento, California
  • Las Vegas

 

Notice that it’s not every large California city seeing people move away, just the most expensive ones. Taylor Marr, Redfin’s chief economist, said, “The typical home in San Francisco or San Jose now costs more than $1.5 million. Add in today’s 5%-plus mortgage rates and you have a sky-high monthly payment.”

When they can, people vote with their feet. That’s a combination of exogenous and endogenous factors leading to a life outcome, which I suspect is true the vast majority of the time.

Sorry, no automotive content today. Frankly, it is much more difficult to write about cars since all the reporting about new models is about EVs, in which I have little to no interest. Once again: EVs are not the answer, eFuels/Synthetic Fuels are.

 

#SundaySerenade

#WhenAnythingWasPossible

#ByeByeSanFrancisco

#EVsAreNotTheAnswer

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Challenging Saturday

As I am writing this, I have much in mind for today’s post. Of course, I wanted to use an alliterative title, like Strenuous Saturday, but think I am overdoing the alliteration.

Where do I start? Yesterday, in response to my post about the 100th anniversary of my mother’s birth, I received a comment asking why I crossed out the word Nazi. Something about that comment incensed me so much that I deleted it without publication and blocked the email address of the person who submitted it. Maybe that was an overreaction and maybe I shouldn’t assume that everyone knows why I write the word Nazi that way. Of course, it is a gesture of contempt, which is not a strong enough word to describe my feelings. Once again, not all value systems are equally valid and I DO NOT have to respect or to tolerate all paradigms.

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From the Twitter feed of Dennie Edwards, a former auto tech with Saturn/GM, comes this article about Tesla asking people who live in Texas to avoid charging their cars during peak use periods because of the current heat wave. Edwards points out that maybe 5% of cars in Texas are electric vehicles with the implied question of what will happen to the electrical grid if/when substantially more people drive EVs.

The US electrical grid will not be able to handle 50,000,000 or 100,000,000 electric cars for decades. To me, the people worshiping at the altar of EVs are like lemmings being led off the cliff. I’ll write this again: EVs are not the answer; eFuels/synthetic fuels are. We will be pushed too far down the EV path before we’re ready (if we’re ever truly ready) and when that realization hits we will be in deep trouble. By the way, how will people who live in dwellings without a garage, like apartments, have access to charging stations for their EVs? Oh, public charging stations are often vandalized for their copper content.

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I have written about my personal version of Murphy’s Law that I call The Johnny Astro Syndrome. Here is a picture of the Johnny Astro toy:

 

 

I don’t know why I am compelled to show this. I also have no idea how popular the toy was.

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As further proof that I have really become obsessed with rain here in the desert, I offer this video.

 

 

Yep, it is ten seconds of rain from Thursday. OCD can have many manifestations.

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Although it is not, and never will be, an Ultimate Garage car (I’m not saying if it will appear in the Hall of Very Good Cars series because, honestly, I don’t know), I have always liked the looks of the Volvo P1800. This MotorTrend article is about, basically, a restomod P1800. Here is a photo:

 

 

Here is the first paragraph of the piece:

 

“I can’t buy a Volvo P1800 anymore. The dream is dead. It sucks, because I’ve wanted a P1800 for years. Maybe it’s because I watched reruns of The Saint with my mom as a kid, or because I’m just innately drawn to underappreciated cars. It doesn’t matter. No P1800 I buy and restore or modify will ever drive like the Volvo P1800 Cyan I’m reviewing here, and I can’t afford one of those.”

 

Only about ten of these cars will be produced annually at a cost starting at $700,000. I have often thought about restomodding cars like this and the Saab 96. I can’t pay three-quarters of a million dollars for any restomod, no matter how appealing, without doing serious damage to my net worth.

Not surprisingly, many cars offered for sale on sites like restomod.com are Corvettes, Chevelles, Camaros, Mustangs, etc. Except for a C2 Corvette, I would much prefer to restomod something out of the ordinary, like a Volvo P1800. We didn’t win the Mega Millions drawing yesterday (no one did), so my restomod dreams will remain unfulfilled.

Do any of you have any “oddball” restomod projects in mind? We would like to read about them.

#ChallengingSaturday

#EVsAreNotTheAnswer

#VolvoP1800Cyan

#Restomods

#somanyCARSjustonelife

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Streetside Classics

Personal minutia…on the way back from breakfast this morning with my wonderful wife my Z06 passed 10,000 miles under my stewardship. Today is 35 months I have owned the car, so that’s an average of about 3,400 miles a year.

Of course, since the move to Arizona I have been driving the Z06 more, just like I had hoped/expected. In the almost 16 months we’ve been here, I have driven the Z06 about 6,100 miles, which would be about 4,600 miles a year.

 

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In the comments for this post, JS/photobyjohnbo asked what the market share was for hybrids among new cars sold in the US. Does anyone want to hazard a guess before I reveal the answer, assuming you don’t know?

According to Motor Trend, in 2021 hybrids accounted for five percent of sales of new vehicles in the US. How about “pure” EVs? What do you think? The answer is just three percent.

That latter figure is actually even less impressive, in my opinion, when one notes that about two-thirds of all EV sales in the US are Teslas. That means that non-Tesla EVs accounted for ONE PERCENT of new vehicle sales in the US in 2021.

We are being brainwashed by government and big car companies to think we all have to drive electric vehicles. This change is being forced from the top down and is NOT an organic change. For example, General Motors’ new ad slogan–everybody in–is particularly offensive to me.

Recent events should wake us up about the need to be more independent from other countries. What makes you think that the Chinese government wouldn’t use its de facto control over the supply of lithium, which is essential in making batteries, to coerce the West to stop supporting Taiwan, for example?

Yes, in Scandinavia adoption of pure EVs has happened rather quickly. Let’s see: Norway, which “leads” the world in EV adoption, has an area of about 149,000 square miles, much of which can never be paved with roads. That’s about the size of the state of Montana. Let’s also not forget that Norway, which has a population of about five million, has gas, oil and hydroelectric power resources that could support a country of five hundred million. Wisely, Norway has invested its huge revenues from gas and oil and its sovereign wealth fund owns more than one percent of the shares of the world’s equity markets. It can spend whatever money it needs to change its relatively small energy infrastructure. Also, don’t get me started on the difference between countries that have homogeneous cultures and populations like Norway and those that are far more heterogeneous like the US. (March, 2022 update: Not that anyone will read this, but Norway also heavily subsidizes purchases of electric vehicles and levies huge taxes on gasoline-powered ones. Uh, what do you think “rational” consumers will do?)

If half the money invested in EV development had been invested in synthetic fuels, or eFuels, we would be well on our way to a seamless transition that would not require billions in additional investment and would not leave us dependent on other countries to keep our transportation infrastructure operational. Sorry, but no one will ever be able to convince me I’m wrong about that.

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In yesterday’s post I mentioned our visit to the local Streetside Classics dealership. I think businesses like Streetside Classics and Gateway Classic Cars sell most or all of their vehicles on consignment. As “promised” yesterday, here are some photos:

 

 

1968 is my favorite design of the first generation Camaro (1967-69). I don’t like the outdated front vent window on the ’67 and I don’t like the fake gills in front of the rear wheels or the reduced haunch of the rear quarters on the ’69. Different strokes for different folks, DSFDF. If you prefer, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

 

 

On close inspection, this 2004 Cadillac XLR had many flaws, particularly in the paint. While I have excluded the XLR from all of my Ultimate Garages because of quality concerns, particularly for 2004 and 2005, I could be tempted to buy one from 2006 to 2009 if it didn’t have too many miles and “passed” a third-party inspection of sorts. I wouldn’t even have to have a V-spec. Another convertible in Arizona could hardly be considered overkill.

 

 

Hope you have enjoyed the photos and this post. As always, I welcome thoughtful comments and hope that you will pass along the blog URL to friends. Thanks.

 

#StreetsideClassics

#EVsAreNotTheAnswer

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

If you like this blog please tell your friends and share the blog URL (https://disaffectedmusings.com). Thanks.