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.










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


Patting Myself On The Back and Getting Angry

This revelation will not make me seem very modest…if it’s a battle between modesty and honesty, honesty wins every time for me.


In the last two weeks before we moved, two friends and now former neighbors told me the same thing: that I was among the most intelligent people they have ever known, if not the most intelligent. Dr. S (a Ph.D. in Statistics) and Jack (a bright former Dupont engineer) are those friends. Granted, my imminent departure may have made them more effusive in their praise given the “emotion” of the moment, but they said what they said.

Earlier this year I sent my resume to my good friend Bob. His response was simply, “Unbelievable resume.”

OK, people…how is it that someone with my supposed intelligence and “unbelievable” resume cannot find an interesting and fulfilling work situation? The answer is that AMERICA IS BROKEN! This country, and maybe the entire world for all I know, is awash in hyper-credentialism, political correctness and age discrimination. By the way, credentials are not necessarily just college degree and experience, but also being part of the “right” groups.

I really want to find a part-time or consulting “job” that would enable me to use my combination of skills and experience, but only in a field in which I have a high level of intrinsic interest. I had no success in many years of searching so, frankly, at the moment I am not looking. One of the reasons I wanted to make this move to the desert is the hope that maybe, just maybe, the change in venue could lead to success in finding what I want. After we get more settled in, perhaps in another week, I will begin a search in earnest although I know this damn virus will complicate things.

I don’t really expect to have success in my search and that makes me very angry. I will once again rail against those who think that everyone gets what they deserve. That is sheer, unadulterated bullsh*t!

I’ve had my say and I do not expect things to change, but I will try at least for awhile, anyway.


I don’t think I took this picture, but it’s worth showing:



Here is a picture I did take along the same theme:



I asked for your indulgence here because I will be posting pictures of the scenery quite a bit. I find it breathtaking and not in a Seinfeld kind of way.


OK, some of you might be thinking, “When is he going to buy the Corvette Companion/Grocery Car/Taxi?” Well, that might be awhile.

First, this move has been way more expensive than we anticipated given the cost of extensive repairs needed to fix our “old” house before selling it, the extortionary amount we paid to the moving company and the amount we have had to put into repairs made to our “new” house/the amount we still have to spend on making this house more livable.

Second, our garage may technically be a 3-car garage, but it’s not, really. I would guess that it’s only 28 feet by 18-19 feet and not the minimum 30′ x 20′ that a 3-car garage should be. Do the math: 28 feet by 18 1/2 feet is 518 square feet; 30 feet by 20 feet is 600 square feet. If you don’t think 82 square feet is a significant difference in a garage, then maybe you’ve never had a garage.

I think I/we will still buy another car, but it will have to wait until the new year and it might have to be parked outside under a cover. The only advantage to this garage is that because it has two doors there is space to park something on the driveway that will not be in the way of the two Corvettes getting in and out.

Yes, one of these is still the favorite:


See the source image


From usedregina.com (I assume a classified site for the Regina, Saskatchewan area, I didn’t look) a picture of a 2002 Cadillac Eldorado in ETC spec. In this car-crazy part of the country, we have already seen a couple of these while driving around.

I just think that these check all of the boxes: they look good, they’re not slugs, they have more than two seats and a trunk, they’re not expensive to acquire and buying one will be a homage to a storied model with a long and glorious history. If anyone has any other suggestions, I’m all eyes. As I have written before, I can’t be all ears because I can’t hear you.

Stay safe and be well.








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

Foggy Friday


It’s not just this morning’s weather that led me to call the post “Foggy Friday.” I am foggy. (Yeah, Yeah; How can I tell?)

The last 9-10 days have been a whirlwind with a cross-country round trip to find/buy a house, an invasive diagnostic procedure that also requires one day of prep that’s not fun, and word that the repairs we need to complete on our current house before closing on the sale will be more extensive, meaning more expensive, than we had originally thought. I am physically and mentally exhausted. Exhaustion impairs mental function. Still, I am trying to keep my eyes on the prize.



Palm trees and mountains without having to live in the People’s Republic of Calizuela sounds good to me. When my wonderful wife and I moved from California 20 years ago (!) a representative of the moving company told us that the three most popular destinations for people leaving “The Golden State” were Denver, Dallas and Phoenix. Our move then was to the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Many people currently living in the Phoenix area complain about the influx of people from California. Hey, people vote with their feet when they can. Another picture of the prize:



I can say unequivocally that if we had remained in “The Golden State” we would not be in the state of relatively good financial health in which we find ourselves at present. Although we did not leave California specifically because of high taxes and the high cost of living, it has been to our great benefit to live in two low tax/low cost of living states since then. Money talks, bullsh*t walks…maybe that saying doesn’t really apply in this context, but while money isn’t everything it is important. Reducing expenses by living in areas with lower overhead is usually a good thing.


Analysis to Paralysis…

With the move to the desert imminent and the fact that we will have one empty garage space when we arrive, thoughts of the Grocery Car/Taxi/Corvette Companion have returned with a vengeance. As regular readers know, this search began with a strong desire to buy a car like a 1963 Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk or ’63 Buick Riviera. Then, after speaking with John Kraman at the Mecum auction in Arizona in March, the search moved to a more modern car because of concerns about “iterations of repairs” needed to make an older car reliable.

The next phase was trying to find a stylish and “modern” two-door car with a decent sized trunk that was not a slug. The 2000-02 Cadillac Eldorado became the leading contender. However, as my wonderful wife has pointed out, this car will be used to transport other people from time to time and not just groceries. (Hence, the addition of “Taxi” in the description.) It is much easier for people to use doors to enter/exit a vehicle than to climb through a small opening behind the front seats.

So, I decided that if the car had four doors it had to be something exotic like a Maserati Quattroporte. Then, I saw this article about Maserati recalls. The fact that kind of defect could slip through development and testing in addition to the very high maintenance costs has moved me away from an exotic make like Maserati. The leading contender now?


See the source image


From wallpaperup.com a picture of a 2014 Cadillac CTS sedan. This one might be the V-spec with high performance, but we don’t really need that. The base engine is a 2-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 272 HP/295 LB-FT of torque. Those numbers are very similar to the output for the Northstar V-8 found in the 1993 Allanté. The available six-cylinder motor has more horsepower, but actually less torque.

Neither my wonderful wife nor I has ever owned a Cadillac, although each of us has/had a parent who did. (My father, her mother.) Yes, this is a long way from an early 60s Studebaker or Buick Riviera. Flexibility and adaptability usually correlate with success better than stubbornness. Besides, the money that would have had to go into “iterations of repairs” for an older car can be used to modify the Z06 instead. Oh, race gas (101 Octane) is readily available where we’re going. It’s not cheap, but it’s a 3%-5% boost in HP/Torque. That would probably push my Z06 to about 730 HP/740 LB-FT.

I would very much like to read your thoughts on this odyssey. Foggy Friday, indeed.










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


Frugal Friday And Far More Significant Things

I suspect all of you remember where you were and what you were doing on this day in 2001. To me, the terrorist attacks are yet another example of the horrific evil that has existed since the beginning of mankind. As a child of Holocaust survivors, my life has been shaped by the profound knowledge that human beings are capable of actions most vile.


In 2002 a poll of TV Guide readers named Diana Rigg the “sexiest TV star of all time.” I’m not going to argue.

Of course, the RADA-trained actress with deep Shakespearean roots would probably like to have been known for work other than playing Emma Peel for 51 episodes of The Avengers. In this interview in The Guardian from last year, Rigg was quoted as saying, “Becoming a sex symbol overnight [in The Avengers] shocked me. I didn’t know how to handle it and I kept all the unopened fan mail in the boot of my car because I didn’t know how to respond and thought it was rude to throw it away.” She won a Tony, an Emmy and a BAFTA during her career.

Sadly, Rigg died of cancer yesterday at the age of 82. From CBS News a picture of the awesome Diana Rigg:



Yes, another last generation Cadillac Eldorado for Frugal Friday. From autohausfm.com a picture of a 2000 Eldo in Sterling; this is not the car currently available on AutoTrader. As I wrote here, I am going to use more generic photos in an effort to keep the picture links from breaking. The AutoTrader car is in Sterling over Pewter, has about 61,000 miles and an asking price of $3,991.


See the source image


The AutoTrader car does not have the rear spoiler; I don’t like the rear spoiler on this car, anyway. As we (hopefully) get closer to our move to the desert, my mind is once again focusing on the search for a Grocery Car/Taxi/Corvette Companion. Anyway…four grand for a car like this seems like a steal to me, regardless of any Kelley Blue Book® value. Even if it needs a thousand in work after purchase it’s still a bargain.

OK, another Frugal Friday car…


See the source image


From allamericanautomobiles.com (Duh…) a picture of a 2001 Ford Mustang convertible in Performance Red. The AutoTrader car is also in that color, has about 64,000 miles and an asking price of $9,995. For 2001, the GT-spec engine was a 4.6 liter/281 cubic-inch V-8 that produced 260 HP/302 LB-FT of torque. The AutoTrader car has an automatic transmission.

David Banner (not his real name) suggested this feature and I am grateful. Frugal Friday has now appeared on Disaffected Musings for more than a year and a half. (Where did that time go?!)

Regular readers have commented that they like Frugal Friday so it will remain a regular part of this blog, although it won’t be shown every Friday. I mean, how many last-generation Cadillac Eldorados do you want to see? 🙂










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