The Four Percent Solution

What is the significance of today’s post title? After today only about 4% of 2022 will remain.


A link from Why Evolution Is True:


Anti-semitism at a Canadian medical school

One passage in the post reads, “Further, there is the false assumption that all Jews favor killing or oppressing Palestinians.” I would argue that the opposite is true; well, maybe not all, but most, so-called “Palestinians” favor killing or oppressing Jews. That shows up in every poll. The “Palestinians” are the most anti-Semitic, anti-Israel group on earth.

If they would simply recognize Israel’s right to exist as an independent, Jewish state they would have their own real country in a year or less. However, led by the evil government of Iran and their proxies such as Hamas, they continue their belligerence, even in light of improving ties between Israel and many Muslim countries in the Middle East.

Once again, a dirty little secret is that Arabs living fully integrated into Israeli society live better than Arabs anywhere else in the Middle East except for the oil sheiks and ruling elites. Arab Israeli women don’t have to worry about being harassed, or worse, because they are not covering their face in public.


Live and learn; until reading this recent piece from Mac’s Motor City Garage about a huge scandal at Chrysler I was completely unaware of it. I don’t think I can adequately summarize the situation, but here goes.

After long-time Chrysler President Tex Colbert stepped down in 1960 and picked his friend and neighbor, William Newberg, as his successor, “hell broke loose.” Here are two paragraphs from the piece that outline the situation, but the denouement was years away.


“The fact was a number of customers, dealers, and shareholders weren’t at all happy with conditions at Chrysler. They were increasingly disturbed by the poor build quality and runaway rust on recent products, the curiously high operating costs, the erratic sales results, the declining profits. The most strident of them was Sol A. Dann, a prominent Detroit lawyer, civil rights activist, and shareholder advocate whose previous targets included Studebaker-Packard and American Motors. A tireless combatant, Dann was the attorney who managed to win a reversal of the death penalty for Jack Ruby, the killer of Lee Harvey Oswald.

At the annual shareholders’ meeting in 1960, Dann once again stood up and battered Colbert and Chrysler management with a litany of accusations, this time for more than an hour. As the owner of 51,000 Chrysler shares, reportedly twice as many as Colbert, he would not be silenced. Dann declared that the company was, quote, a hive of ‘nepotism, favoritism, payola, reckless disregard for the rights of shareholders, bribery, misconduct, perpetuation of themselves in office, creating a Pearl Harbor that would lead Chrysler to the same fate as Packard.'”


I heartily recommend that the auto enthusiasts reading this blog should read the article. The last two sentences are a better summary than I could manage.


“But in the 1960-62 disaster, the company fell too far behind General Motors and Ford to play the game at quite the same level. While Chrysler continued to build interesting cars, for the next several decades it remained the runt of the Detroit three.”


From the piece a picture of a 1962 Plymouth Fury Sedan, no doubt from a print ad.








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On The Way To A Million?

I may already be there…of course, I am referring to writing a million words in a blog. While I will never know exactly how many words I wrote in my previous blog, which was hosted by the Evil Empire (AKA Google), I think it’s more likely than not that I have written at least a million words combined in my two blogs.

If WordPress (which has not sent me a badge to commemorate 1,500 posts) allows access to the Classic Editor through at least the end of 2023, then it is more likely than not that I will reach a million words with Disaffected Musings. I will not bore you with the actual figures.

Thanks for reading.


It’s OK to change your mind even if there’s nothing wrong with the one you have. It’s also OK to say nothing about a topic if you know nothing, or next to nothing, about it. Once again, it is often better to be silent and be thought the fool than to open one’s mouth and to remove all doubt.

As I write this I would estimate the odds that I buy a new Ford Mustang GT are about 80%. The probability I buy a used Supra is about 15% and the chance I sell the Z06 and pocket the money is about 5%. The probability I keep the Corvette? Asymptotically approaching zero.

In an episode of Everyday Driver the two hosts drive and compare a new Ford Mustang Mach 1 to a new BMW M4. Not surprisingly, Paul Schmucker prefers the M4. That’s not a surprise because he loves German cars, especially Porsche and BMW. Todd Deeken, however, prefers the Mach 1. One aspect he notes is the amazing sound of the Mustang engine.

A Mach 1 has some tuning and suspension upgrades compared to a “base” Mustang GT. However, for me those differences are not enough to pony up (see what I did there) another $15,000-$20,000. I have to admit that one of the appealing parts of trading in the Z06 for a new Mustang GT is that I will very likely receive a decent amount of cash back. After the money I’ve spent this year to fix the Z06 AND to buy the Cascada, anything to restock the coffers is most welcome. Here is, again, a picture of the 2022 Mustang GT I test drove on Labor Day and which made such a good impression on me.



If General Motors can be believed at this point, then the window for the delivery of the parts needed to complete the repairs to the Z06 begins tomorrow. Right now, those parts are not supposed to be delivered any later than September 22. Maybe it’s because I haven’t really driven the Z06 since mid-April (except for two weeks when it did not run right), but I prefer the sound of the Coyote V-8 to the sound of the Corvette LT-4.


This Times of Israel article is about a potential research breakthrough at Tel Aviv University in the treatment of brain tumors, specifically glioblastoma. Israel has more companies listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange than any other country except the US.

I have known at least two people who have died from this type of brain tumor. Here is an excerpt from the article:


“Using genetic modification, he [Dr. Lior Mayo, head author of the study] could produce mice with glioblastoma tumors, and then remove all astrocytes from around the tumor. “We found that when we did this, the tumors vanished and stayed away for as long as we repressed the astrocytes,” he said.

‘In fact, even when we stopped suppressing the astrocytes, some 85 percent of the mice stayed in remission. However, among the control group, in which all astrocytes remained, all mice died.'”


What kind of research is being conducted by Israel’s enemies? I Stand With Israel!


This recent Corvette Blogger post reports that Chevrolet/General Motors are halting new orders for the 2023 Corvette Z06 through the end of 2022. From the article:


“The move, we are told, allows GM to better handle the ramp-up in the production of the all-new Z06 and not get into what we saw with the 2020 Corvette Stingray, in which GM had thousands of cars in the system that couldn’t be produced.”


I had read that Z06 production would be limited to 10% of total 2023 output. However, Scott Bell–Vice-President Global for Chevrolet–said this:


“We’re not building as many Z06s as we’d like to right now, it’s really that simple. We plan to sell more of this generation Corvette than any other generation in our history, and that includes a high percentage of Z06s.”


That second sentence is very interesting. The most Corvettes sold in any generation was the roughly 543,000 C3s. Due to the damn virus, the UAW strike and everything else, the C8–while very popular–is a LONG way from that number. Is Bell’s comment a hint that the C8 will be produced until whenever GM goes all-electric? Also, 10% is not “a high percentage of Z06s.”

While my Corvette ownership will likely end soon, I will always be interested in the Vette. I admit that I wish I liked the looks of the C8 more than I do because in that scenario I could have seen myself buying one. However, I don’t so I won’t.








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The Plague Of Anti-Semitism

I know this post title will stop a lot of people from reading. So be it…


Sadly, scarily it appears to be “Open Season” on Jews. Here are just two of countless events.

Google’s former Head of “Diversity” (I will not dignify his existence by mentioning his name) tweeted that “Jews love to start wars.” He is still employed by the Evil Empire although he was removed from his role as Head of “Diversity.”

April Powers, former “Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer” for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Editors, was fired from her job for criticizing anti-Semitism. I am not making that up. Oh, she is not just a Jewish woman, but a Black Jewish woman. You see, Powers didn’t also criticize Islamophobia and she defended her stance on Facebook.

I am using all of my willpower not to launch into a profanity-laced tirade. However, this is not some academic exercise. Jewish lives are literally at stake. From this article:


“This holds for all beleaguered minorities except one. And you know which one that is: the Jews. Although they’re the most frequent victims of hate crimes in the U.S. on a per capita basis, Jews though a tiny minority, are not considered minorities and are not considered oppressed—despite the data I just gave and the increasing tendency of the American Left to tilt towards anti-Israel sentiments and, indeed, anti-Semitic movements like BDS. Lest you fault me for going off on anti-Semitism again, be aware that this is one of the biggest hypocrisies of the Western Left, right up there with the Left’s failure to defend the rights of gays and women that are regularly abrogated in Arab countries. After all, Arabs are considered people of color and Jews are honorary white people.”


The author of this piece is not an American conservative, but an American liberal. While, of course, the neo-Nazi faction of the American right hates Jews because, well, they’re neo-Nazis, the American left’s rapidly increasing hatred of Jews is just as real, just as wrong and misguided and just as dangerous.

I could show the Nobel Prize data again–you know, Jews are two-tenths of one percent of the world’s population, but have been awarded 26% of the Nobel Prizes in Physics–but narrow-minded racists don’t care about facts. What I can write is that Israel’s existence has never been as important as it is now.








I Couldn’t Stay Away Throwback Thursday

Those of you who picked two days off in the pool can collect your money. Yes, I had originally written that I would take three (maybe four) days off, but I simply had to write today.


From Jake Novak, formerly of CNBC:


“If you call Israel an “occupier,” you are either a liar or an ignoramus…although these days, most people saying this are both.”


Novak is not one who often uses pejoratives. It is frightening to me that so many people side with a terrorist/criminal organization like Hamas and spurn the only democracy in the Middle East. I think that simply reveals anti-Semitism has always been prevalent, but sometimes less visible. Like the people who voted for Tonald Drump in 2016 or were pro-Brexit, but didn’t admit that to pollsters before those elections, people who are really anti-Semites sometimes hide their views. They’re still wrong, whether their views are overt or covert.


I have been receiving an increasing number of links in my email to articles about the C4 Corvette. It seems as though interest in the newest generation Corvette, the C8, has increased interest in all Corvettes. First, some C4 photos and then proof that I have spent too much time with The Genuine Corvette Black Book and have way too much time on my hands.


See the source image


Courtesy of Corvette Blogger a picture of a 1984 Corvette, the first year of the C4. The ’84 Vette used the same “Cross-Fire” fuel injection used in the last year of the C3, 1982. No, there was no 1983 model year Corvette. Get over it…


See the source image


Sorry for the different picture size…from an unsecured site a picture of a 1990 Corvette convertible with the auxiliary hardtop. Thirty-one percent of ’90 Vette convertibles were sold with the auxiliary hardtop. In the same way, I guess, that I love the look of the C2 convertible with the hardtop in place, I feel the same way about the C4.


See the source image


From a picture of a 1996 Corvette, the last year of the C4. Here is that proof I mentioned earlier:


1984 51,547 0 $21,800 N/A 205 205 87.5%
1985 39,729 0 $24,403 N/A 230 230 75.9%
1986 35,109 7,315 $27,027 $32,032 230 235 80.5%
1987 30,632 10,625 $27,999 $33,172 240 240 86.0%
1988 22,789 7,407 $29,489 $34,820 240 245 81.2%
1989 26,412 9,749 $31,545 $36,785 245 245 84.4%
1990 23,646 7,630 $31,979 $37,264 250 375 65.7%
1991 20,639 5,672 $32,455 $38,770 245 375 71.5%
1992 20,479 5,875 $33,635 $40,145 300 375 73.2%
1993 21,590 5,692 $34,595 $41,195 300 405 75.3%
1994 23,330 5,346 $36,185 $42,960 300 405 74.2%
1995 21,590 5,692 $36,785 $43,665 300 405 75.3%
1996 21,536 4,369 $37,225 $45,060 300 330 70.5%
TOTAL 359,028 75,372          


For the Top HP I did not show the Callaway Twin-Turbo cars that were available from 1987 to 1991, inclusive, because that was not a factory-installed option. It was a potent engine, though; for example, the 1988 Callaway Twin-Turbo was rated at 382 HP and 562 LB-FT of torque. The top factory engine was 245 HP/340 LB-FT.

For the nth plus nth time I will write that I was not a fan of C4 Corvettes for a long time, until I was. I think if you can buy one, especially one from 1992 or later, or even better, from 1995 or 1996, then you probably should.

All of this data comes from a spreadsheet I made years ago using information from The Genuine Corvette Black Book. Like I wrote, too much time…

I used to frequent the message boards of a certain car “publication,” in large part as a way to drive traffic to my blog. When it was announced that the C8 would not be offered with a traditional manual transmission, many readers commented that was the death knell of the Corvette, that Vette drivers preferred a manual. When I commented that more Corvettes have been sold with automatics every model year since 1972, the silence was deafening. Yes, never let the facts get in the way of your opinions…sounds like anti-Semites. You can see that automatics accounted for more than 70 percent of C4 production every year except 1990.

Hemmings currently has 84 1992-96 Corvettes listed for non-auction sale. Twenty-three of these cars have an asking price of less than $15,000. I suspect prices for C4 Corvettes have increased along with the price of virtually all used cars, in the wake of the damn virus and chip shortage that have choked production of new cars, and the renewed interest in all Corvettes.

As always, I welcome thoughtful comments.










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Sunday Says

OK, so there’s a cease-fire in the Middle East. Most world opinion is anti-Israel. No matter what I write, no matter the truth, that won’t change. Still, here is the truth as written in Why Evolution Is True:


“Remember that Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005 as a voluntary good-will gesture in connection with the Oslo Accords. PM Sharon also evicted 7,000 Jews from Gaza at that time, leaving it “Judenrein” (“Jew free”). The Jews didn’t want to leave, and many had to be physically carried out of their homes by Israeli soldiers, homes that were destroyed by the soldiers as well. However, the agricultural and industrial infrastructure of Gaza, previously owned by Jews, was donated by Israel to Gaza and the Palestinians, who promptly destroyed this infrastructure simply because it was Jewish. Have people forgotten this?

Let’s be clear here: Israel is not depriving Gaza of food, medicine, or other amenities and necessities of life. The blockade, which is enforced by Israel and Egypt (Egypt is stricter!) is meant only to prohibit the importation into Gaza of weapons or of material that can be made into weapons. The EU, the UN, and many GMOs pour millions and millions of dollars into Gaza (more is coming soon), and if there is a reason for a grim life for ordinary Gazans, let us remember that much of that is due not to the blockade of weapons, but to the appropriation of donated money to build rockets, tunnels, and to line the pockets of corrupt Hamas officials. Those who continually indict Israel for turning Gaza into an “open-air prison” often seem to forget that this is largely due to the leadership of Gaza by Hamas.”


“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.”

– Aldous Huxley


So, how many cars would be too many for Ultimate Garage 3.0? I could easily see myself listing 20-25 cars, but think that would be overkill. If I publish 3.0 I will try to limit myself to 14-15 cars.

Theoretically, I could just list four or five as the crème de la crème–there are cars that fit that description for me–but it’s less fun for me to do and probably less fun for you to read. Once again, any thoughts you have on this topic or the presentation of your own Ultimate Garage are very welcome.


With my renewed interest in C6 Corvettes, I can’t help but think about the one I owned:



This picture was taken outside of our second home in Texas. This wasn’t a second home as in a place we only lived part of the year. Chronologically we lived in this house after our first Texas house. This is the only brand new house in which we’ve ever lived, we went to the site every day during construction, and will probably be the only brand new house that we will own.

Back to the car…at first I was not a fan of C6 styling because I liked the hidden headlights that were part of the Corvette for four generations (C2 through C5). The more I saw the car, though, the more I appreciated what I thought were material improvements in styling compared to the C5 like the reduced overhang at the rear.

In a previous post I listed my order of Corvette generations by styling only. I think the C6 would now rank third for me behind the C2 and C7. Does anyone care to share their ranking?










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It Never Ends…

While our family is dealing with a very serious situation at present, I/we received another kick in the teeth yesterday that we certainly didn’t need, but is certainly consistent with my life.

The new HVAC system that we had installed for the second floor just weeks ago has already given up the ghost. The compressor or condenser or whatever you call it outside still runs, but no air–cold or otherwise–comes out of any vent upstairs. I guess it’s a small blessing that this happened in May and not in July, but we’re around 90° for high temperatures with, of course, lots of sun. It’s less than comfortable upstairs; my office where I write this blog is on the second floor and even though it’s just 8 AM and the ceiling fan is on, it’s not exactly pleasant in here.

A small, very small, part of me still thinks the reckoning will come and somehow we will receive some great and unexpected turn of luck. That part is shrinking every day, though.


For some reason, this post from July of 2019 received some views yesterday. The post is about Nils Bohlin, the Volvo engineer who invented the modern automobile three-point safety belt.

When I read it again yesterday I thought it held up well and is among the better posts of the 1,100+ I have written. Feel free to read it.


On this day in 1963 the talks collapsed between Ford and Ferrari relating to Ford purchasing the Italian automaker. Supposedly, the deal breaker was a clause Ford inserted into the contract that required Ferrari to submit to Ford, ‘for quick approval,’ any racing team budget over 450 million lire. That equaled $257,000 at the time, the amount of Ferrari’s race budget for the 1963 season.

Ferrari said that provision would compromise the total freedom he had been promised in his new position as Racing Team Director. He flew into a rage and, basically, that was the end of the negotiation.

Of course, most of you reading know the rest. Henry Ford II flew into a rage of his own, vowed to beat Ferrari at LeMans and did with the Ford GT-40 cars.

The lineal descendant of those cars, the third generation Ford GT is–as I have mentioned previously–a contender for Ultimate Garage 3.0, if I ever publish it. Without further ado (from Money Inc):


See the source image



At $400,000 or $500,000 or whatever this car costs, it is more expensive than any automobile in Ultimate Garage 2.0. I think the GT moniker is somewhat of a misnomer. GT implies Grand Touring, a car with high performance, but one that is more at home cruising on the highway than whipping around corners at a race track. This generation Ford GT is very much at home on the track. Of course, what else could Ford call the car?

So many cars just one life, indeed.









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PS, courtesy of David Banner (not his real name) and relevant to comments from yesterday, a picture of a Bentley at a Hong Kong hotel:







Rowan Atkinson

Rowan Atkinson is an English comedian and actor who is perhaps best known for his Mr. Bean character. The character is not exactly a genius, which is ironic (perhaps not) in that Atkinson is quite intelligent. He has a graduate degree in Electrical Engineering from The Queen’s College at Oxford. (A total tangent: I really liked Atkinson in “Four Weddings And A Funeral” where he played a priest. The scene where he officiates his first wedding is hysterical.)

Earlier this year, Atkinson made public remarks criticizing “cancel culture.” Dalvin Brown defined that as, “an intolerance of opposing views, a vogue for public shaming and ostracism, and the tendency to dissolve complex policy issues in a blinding moral certainty.” Here are Atkinson’s remarks, in which he compared cancel culture to a “medieval mob:”


“It’s important that we’re exposed to a wide spectrum of opinion, but what we have now is the digital equivalent of the medieval mob, roaming the streets looking for someone to burn…the problem we have online is that an algorithm decides what we want to see, which ends up creating a simplistic, binary view of society. It becomes a case of either you’re with us or against us. And if you’re against us, you deserve to be ‘cancelled’.”


It is ironic that so many who practice cancel culture claim to do it in the name of tolerance, but are actually the definition of intolerant. To me, it is another manifestation of the very unhealthy marriage of social media and narcissism, with a huge dash of ignorance for good measure. NO ONE has a monopoly on truth and wisdom and neither does ANY ideology.

From Evening Standard, a picture of Rowan Atkinson:


See the source image


Atkinson is quite the car enthusiast and is active in racing. He owned a McLaren F1 for almost 20 years. The F1 is the car Jay Leno said he would save first if his garage were to catch on fire.

From Wikipedia a picture of the McLaren F1:


1996 McLaren F1 Chassis No 63 6.1 Front.jpg


Sorry for the small picture size…in 1998 a somewhat modified F1 set the Guinness World Record for the fastest production car reaching 240 MPH. The F1 seats three people, with the driver in the middle and slightly ahead of the two passenger seats on either side. In all, only about 100 were produced. I believe it is still the fastest naturally aspirated–meaning no turbocharger or supercharger–production car ever made.








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Tuesday Territory

Many thanks to David Banner (not his real name) for his medical consult yesterday. He and I have known each other since freshman year of high school, which is, scarily, not too far from being 50 years in the past.


As an addition to yesterday’s post about Israel removing its mask mandates because of its very successful vaccination efforts, friend and former neighbor MB sent me an email with reasons to appreciate Israel. I don’t know the source and I cannot vouch for the accuracy of these statements, but even if not all of them are true, this is an impressive list of achievements by a country whose population would not rank among the top ten in the US if it were a state.



*Israel’s Technological Contributions to our Health*

Israelis do not make islands in the shape of palm trees, nor towering
skyscrapers, nor expensive hotels, nor do their leaders use cars with solid
silver bodies (a clear allusion to Dubai and the United Arab Emirates).

The pride of the State of Israel is that its technologies will soon be able
to be used by all humanity:

The University of Tel Aviv is developing a nasal vaccine that will
protect people from Alzheimer’s and stroke.

Technion, Institute of Technology (Haifa), developed a simple blood test
capable of detecting different types of cancer.

The Ichlov Center (Tel Aviv) has isolated a protein that makes
colonoscopy unnecessary to detect colon cancer with a simple blood test.
Colon cancer kills about 500,000 people annually.

The Given Imaging Laboratory has developed a tiny camera in the form of
pills that are swallowed and that transmit thousands of photos of the
digestive tract.  These high quality photos (2 per second for 8 hours) can
detect polyps, cancers and sources of bleeding.  The photos are sent to a
chip that stores them and sends them to a computer.  At the end of the
process, the camera is eliminated by the rectum.

The Hebrew University (Jerusalem) has developed an electrical
neurostimulator (batteries) that is implanted in the chest of patients with
Parkinson’s, similar to a pacemaker.  Emissions from this device block
nervous signals that produce tremors.

The simple odor of a patient’s breath can detect whether a patient has
lung cancer.  The Russel Berrie Institute for Nanotechnology has created
sensors capable of perceiving and registering 42 biological markers that
indicate the presence of lung cancer without the need for biopsy.

It is possible to dispense with catheterization in many cases.  Endopat
is a device placed between the index fingers, which can measure the state
of the arteries and predict the possibility of a heart attack for the next
7 years.

Bar Ilan University is studying a new drug that fights viruses by
blood.  It is called the Vecoy Trap because it tricks a virus into
self-destruction.  Very useful to fight Hepatitis, and in the future AIDS
and Ebola.

It is possible that Israeli scientists at Hadassah Medical Center
(Jerusalem) discovered the first cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis,
known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, in an orthodox rabbi.  Stephen Hawking, a
famous British scientist, suffered from this disease and to communicate he
used methods invented by Israeli scientists.



Israel has more companies listed on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange than any other country except the US. The hateful view of Israel by extremists on the left and right in the US is a disgusting manifestation of ignorance, anti-Semitism and jealousy. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.


Regular reader and commenter Philip Maynard sent me this link to an article about the drawbacks of electric vehicles. While the Tesla that was part of a fatal crash in Texas may or may not have been in Autopilot mode, it is true that electric vehicle fires are much more difficult to extinguish than fires from ICE powered cars. That was one drawback listed in the article. Here are a few more:


If you own an electric car, you can forget going to your local shop or fixing it inexpensively. Regardless of the type and the model, all-electric vehicles require specific maintenance and service procedures as well as extremely high safety standards.

When it’s freezing outside, electric vehicles are notorious for displaying specific problems. One of the most common issues is the loss of battery power. It’s similar to old cell phones that would stop working once you took them out of your pocket in the winter.

To fully understand the range problem of modern electric vehicles, you have to comprehend the energy consumption circle. The advertised range that many manufacturers brag about is the average or city driving figure. However, the highway range is much smaller, sometimes up to 50 percent less. The reason is that electric vehicles get a lot of energy from regenerative braking, which is the process of getting some power back from stopping or coasting. During city driving, you use your brakes a lot, which reduces your energy consumption. However, while driving on the highway, there is far less or even no braking so the batteries drain quickly.


While adding solar arrays to EVs can help with highway range, they’re not very useful at night. The zealots can dream of an all-electric vehicle fleet by 2030, but it’s just a dream.







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A Very Mixed Bag

At noon local time on Tuesday, the minimum age for registering for a COVID-19 vaccine was lowered to 55 in this state. A limited number of vaccine appointments were made available, first on the state’s Department of Health Services website.

All of those appointments were gone by 2 PM. Amazingly, I was able to snag one for myself, for next Friday at 6:15 AM. State Farm Stadium, one of the public vaccination sites, is open 24/7 when they have vaccine supply.

Very unfortunately, I was unable to get an appointment for my wonderful wife. Later, I tried the website of the national pharmacy chain where we had secured appointments for her parents, but with no luck. All vaccine appointments are currently booked. So much for vaccine hesitancy, huh?

I have continued my efforts to get her an appointment, but it seems as though no more new appointments will be available for awhile. I am very conflicted about being able to get a vaccine while my wonderful wife cannot.

I know supply is still somewhat constrained, but this is an unfortunate turn of events, a very mixed bag, if you will. I was hoping to get both of us signed up with the national pharmacy chain and then I would have cancelled my state appointment. The best laid plans of mice and men…


Those who sympathize with the cause of the “Palestinians” should read this article, which appears in the bastion of liberal news, The New York Times. The piece is titled, “As Palestinians Clamor for Vaccine, Their Leaders Divert Doses to Favored Few.” From the article:


“…in secret, the [Palestinian] authority has diverted some of the thousands of vaccines it has received to some senior members of the ruling party in the West Bank who have no formal role in government, according to two senior Palestinian officials and a senior official from the party, Fatah, who all spoke on condition of anonymity.”

“Vaccines have also been secretly given to top figures at major news outlets run by the authority, according to one of the senior Palestinian officials and two employees at those outlets. Family members of certain government officials and Fatah leaders were also given the vaccines, the senior official and a former government official said.”


In my opinion, the “Palestinians” have no moral ground on which to make any claims for themselves about any issue. Their governments (yes, they have two governments: one in the West Bank and one in Gaza) are beyond corrupt. The “citizenry” is obsessed with the annihilation of a sovereign state that has existed for more than 70 years and is the only democracy in the Middle East.

Maybe those inclined will see this article as more reason to sympathize with “Palestinian” citizens. Well, they elected Hamas as the ruling “party” in Gaza. Hamas is a terrorist organization that has only one policy initiative: to annihilate Israel. (Yes, I know the Times article is about Fatah.)

I stand by my statement. The “Palestinians” have no moral ground to make any demands for themselves.


Taking deep breaths to calm down…

May is about eight weeks away. In late May of 2019 I began to unveil my Ultimate Garage 2.0. As I have mentioned before, I am considering an Ultimate Garage 3.0 to be revealed in May and/or June of this year.

Version 2.0 had 11 cars. My first Ultimate Garage, released on my first blog hosted by the Evil Empire, had seven. I am aiming for 10 cars for 3.0, but it will not be easy to limit my choices to ten.

Some have offered the opinion–and not in the form of a blog comment–that I should only include cars I’ve actually driven. I understand that view, but feel it’s too limiting. An Ultimate Garage is an exercise in fantasy, which by definition is not grounded in reality.

A car on the bubble for 3.0 is this one, a car that just missed the cut the first two times:


See the source image


From FastLaneCars a picture of a Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk, a 1962 model to be exact. The timeless design of this car is an homage to the original Loewy coupes, designed by Robert Bourke and Holden Koto.

In profile or rear three-quarter view, I still think the car looks stunning. While if somehow I had the means and the space to acquire one it would probably be restomodded, for an Ultimate Garage exercise I would include a stock car. Here is sort of a three-quarter view I took at the Mecum auction in Arizona almost exactly one year ago. First, an aside: a very mixed bag also means getting started on being vaccinated against the damn virus, but not being completely vaccinated in time to attend either the Mecum or Barrett-Jackson auctions that will take place here later this month. Yes, that’s a shallow and selfish perspective; I’m only human and I LOVE attending car auctions.



Part of me almost feels obligated to include the Gran Turismo Hawk for 3.0, like I can’t leave the car out again. Those of you, like C/2, who were gracious enough to send me your own Ultimate Garage almost two years ago, can do so again. Of course, you can send me your Ultimate Garage even if you weren’t reading this blog two years ago. It’s amazing how writing about Ultimate Garage 3.0 and the GT Hawk succeeded in calming me down.








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Monday Musings

The PA who is the point person for my cardiology care agrees with me, but my other health care providers either don’t or don’t seem to have an opinion. I am convinced that my allergies lead to systemic inflammation. Since the dewpoints have increased (meaning more mold to which I am allergic) I have suffered from pain in my legs, my ribcage, my feet, you name it. My eosinophil count is normal, maybe on the high side of normal. Can certain people have more active/powerful eosinophils that can cause inflammation without a person’s count being abnormal? Any doctors out there are free to chime in.


On this day in 1889 the Exposition Universelle (World’s Fair in English) opened in Paris with the newly completed Eiffel Tower serving as the entrance arch. OK, interesting but is there an automobile connection? Of course! On the same day Gottlieb Daimler debuted the first car to be shown in Paris, at the opening of the Paris World Exhibition/Fair. Gottlieb did not want to be outshined by the Eiffel Tower so he lined his booth with 30 light bulbs in order to attract people to his stand as electric lighting was still new to the world, as was the automobile. The vehicle was known as the wire wheel car and featured several engineering feats, including a twin cylinder V-engine, not unlike engines used in modern vehicles. attached to a four speed transmission and a groundbreaking cooling system. From a picture of Daimler’s car:



The first cars as we know them now, powered by internal-combustion engines, were developed in Europe not in the US. Depending on whose account you believe, the first car wasn’t built in the US until 1891 or 1893. The four-stroke combustion engine, which still propels the vast majority of cars sold in the world, was primarily developed by a German engineer, Nikolaus Otto, between 1861 and 1876.

The French Peugeot is the oldest make of car in the world. Karl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler may have “invented” the car as we know it, but they did not produce cars as part of their core businesses, nor in a continuous fashion, as early as Peugeot. Some automotive historians credit another French company, Panhard-Levassor, as the first real automobile company, but they ceased production in the 1960s.

Somewhat ironically, Peugeot has been absent from the US market since the early 1990s. Recently, Groupe PSA—parent company of Peugeot—has announced it will re-enter the US market although without announcing a specific year. This car has already been discontinued, but it would be great to see it on US roads:


See the source image


From a picture of the Peugeot RCZ. Those Francophiles reading will be able to tell if this is an “R” model; I can’t by sight. Yes, the car looks like an Audi TT, but it’s not German. The RCZ-R was powered by a turbocharged 1.6 liter/98 cubic-inch inline 4-cylinder engine that produced 270 HP/243 LB-FT of torque. Yes, 270 HP/243 LB-FT from 98 cubic inches! Like I keep writing, I think every internal combustion engine in an automobile should be turbocharged, but that costs money and many, if not most, Americans are simply too cheap to ante up.

I hope Peugeot returns to the US and with some exciting cars, not just CUVs and SUVs.





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It has been brought to my attention that the photo of Daimler’s car doesn’t appear on all mobile devices. From Wikipedia a picture of what I hope is the same car:


See the source image