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.


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.


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.







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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:



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.








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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.


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.


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.


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.


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 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.







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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.



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.


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.






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