Some time ago my (i)ncomparable niece sent me a remark made by the late Carl Sagan. She claimed I had used it in my blog. Sorry, but I searched my blog using the search widget and that remark did not appear here before today. However, prompted by a great conversation I had yesterday with my wonderful friend and neighbor, Jack, I thought I would repeat Sagan’s remark:


“You can’t convince a believer of anything; for their belief is not based on evidence, it’s based on a deep seated need to believe.”


Human beings have the amazing capacity to think outside the context of their lives, but many/most do not use that capacity. The universe, the real world, the human world are all very complex and, I admit, it is tempting to subscribe to some ideology that seems to simplify the complex. The path of least resistance is not always the best course of action, though.

My first blog was called An Unreasonable Man. That title had nothing to do with Ralph Nader, about whom a documentary was made with that title. Instead, it was inspired by a remark by George Bernard Shaw, which, in turn, inspired the title of the film about Nader:


“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”


I am not an attorney, but to me if an assertion has no empirical evidence upon which to make that assertion, then I do not believe it. People can say anything, but without proof those words are mere hearsay. To me, mere belief is not proof.


From the famous Coys auctioneers in the UK, a picture of a car that is still available on Bring A Trailer. BaT has become aggressive at breaking links to pictures on its website, which is why I am using a picture from somewhere else. This is a Ferrari 456M GTA.



Via email I sent the link to the BaT listing to my wonderful wife with the subject of “How About This As A Grocery Car?” In the body of the email I wrote, “Just kidding, well maybe half-kidding…”

She and I are both quite smitten with the looks of this car. Unfortunately, even at the current bid of “just” $41,000 with one day to go, the 456 GTA is simply way too expensive to be a grocery car.

The 456 and 456M were produced by Ferrari from 1992 to 2003 as a replacement for the 412. I think the 456 is one of the forgotten Ferraris. The M spec was introduced in 1998 (M stands for Modificata, Italian for changed). Both the “unchanged” 456 and 456M were powered by a 5.5 liter/333 cubic-inch (have to keep Bill Stephens happy) V-12 that produced 436 HP/406 LB-FT of torque.

About 3,300 456/456M units were sold. About half of the 456M were sold with an automatic transmission (456M GTA), but only about 20% of the 456 were so equipped.

The car has four seats and the trunk has about 11 cubic feet of volume…I have dreams, but I live in the real world. Sometimes that is unfortunate, but I cannot believe it to be different without proof.








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Throwback Thursday

I guess I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that 50 years ago today the famous Woodstock music festival began. Almost a half million people attended the event that ran through August 18. Remember that the Internet as we know it didn’t exist in 1969. A relevant photo from


See the source image


Of course many famous acts performed such as Jimi Hendrix, Santana, Sly and the Family Stone and Joe Cocker. In this interview, Ian Anderson—frontman for Jethro Tull—explains why he didn’t want to play at Woodstock:


“The reason I didn’t want to play Woodstock is because I asked our manager, Terry Ellis, ‘Well, who else is going to be there?’ And he listed a large number of groups who were reputedly going to play, and that it was going to be a hippie festival, and I said, ‘Will there be lots of naked ladies? And will there be taking drugs and drinking lots of beer, and fooling around in the mud?’ Because rain was forecast.”

“And he said, ‘Oh, yeah.’ So I said, ‘Right. I don’t want to go.'”

“Because I don’t like hippies, and I’m usually rather put off by naked ladies unless the time is right. Well, indeed, unless the money’s right.”


Anderson wasn’t kidding, by the way. Here is more from the interview (FYI, I am not a fan of Jethro Tull; I just thought this was interesting):


“My impression was that the majority of bands were really enjoying and living up those moments when they were temporarily famous and about to have the good fortunes of young ladies’ attentions thrust upon them on a nightly basis, which I could never have possibly kept up with the pressure to fulfill.”

“So, yeah, that’s my impression, everybody was at it. I mean, out of all the bands, and all the people I’ve known, really, I’m probably the only person I know for sure never did what we popularly called “drugs” during all of that period. It was just something everybody did. And I didn’t really enjoy being around people who were doing drugs, so I just took myself often to read a book somewhere, and waited for it all to kind of evaporate from the rock and roll lifestyle. But of course it hasn’t.”


My understanding is that with the development of streaming music services and, in general, the ease with which music can be heard without paying for it in any way, live concerts are now the lifeblood for bands.


“We have no more right to consume happiness without producing it than to consume wealth without producing it.”

– George Bernard Shaw

My first blog was named after one of Shaw’s most famous remarks:

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”


In 1969 an iconic car made its debut, the Pontiac Trans Am:


See the source image


From a picture (I hope) of a 1969 Trans Am. I wrote “I hope” in parenthesis because, of course, I don’t really know if the car shown is one of the just 697 Trans Ams built in 1969.

As I have written before I am not a fan of white anywhere on a car, exterior or interior, but with the blue stripes I think these cars look terrific.

Ironically, as muscle cars were killed by insurance companies and government regulations, sales of the Trans Am increased dramatically during the 1970s. In 1970 about 3,000 of the cars were produced. By 1975 that number increased to over 27,000 and then peaked at more than 117,000 in 1979 (including one that my wonderful wife owned). I tried to find the total number of Trans Ams built, but was unsuccessful. In a rare occurrence one of my go-to books, Encyclopedia of American Cars by the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide®, let me down. Trans Am sales were not broken out of Firebird sales consistently after 1987. I can tell you that from 1969 through 1987, inclusive, more than 725,000 Trans Ams were produced.

With the discontinuation of the Firebird after the 2002 model year the Trans Am was no more. Of course, Pontiac itself ceased to exist in 2010.








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