Freeform Friday

Freedom of speech doesn’t mean anyone else has to listen.

Freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom from consequences.


Making a very hard turn…



If the top of our trash and recycle bins were any indication, then we received about two inches of snow. Of course, except for the mountains all of the snow had melted by yesterday afternoon. The bottom photo was taken then.


I’m afraid I don’t have too much to write about this morning. My wonderful wife and I have so many tasks that need to be completed. We did finally find our cereal bowls and dinner plates; finding the former was very significant for me as I am still eating a lot of cold cereal.

Despite the fact that we moved about 9 miles, it is only 5 more miles driving distance to one of our favorite eating places, a delicatessen. We had breakfast there this morning and I had lox (smoked salmon), cream cheese, tomato and onion on a sesame bagel for the first time in months. I had been avoiding “full-fat” dairy as much as possible, per orders of the ER physician, but have found that I can tolerate cold dairy, for some reason. Maybe David Banner (not his real name, but a real doctor) can offer an explanation.


Two links to posts from Why Evolution Is True. By the way, Jerry Coyne is far more prolific that I am, usually posting multiple times a day. I only share a small fraction of those posts here. Feel free to click on the hyperlink above to read the blog in its entirety.


Richard Dawkins touts science above indigenous “ways of knowing” in New Zealand

The Atlantic unpacks (and criticizes) woke language


By now you should know that is my mark through the true curse word, woke.


This article from reports that contrary to the crap on social media, no surge in deaths among athletes, particularly young athletes, has occurred. Here is a large excerpt from the piece:


“More than 2,000 children and adolescents in the U.S. die from sudden cardiac arrest every year, according to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and two-thirds of the deaths “occur during exercise or activity.” Among young athletes, sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death, according to CHOP.

Drezner said his center [UW Medicine Center for Sports Cardiology] monitors “all cases and all causes” of sudden cardiac arrest or death in athletes by working with the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “[T]here is no change,” he said.

The National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research catalogs injuries for high school and college athletes, and its most recent report covers the 2020-21 school year. It shows that 21 athletes died while playing their sport that year.

COVID-19 vaccines were available to everyone 16 and over in the U.S. by April 2021, so the overlap between the period covered by the report and the period in which vaccines were widely available to young people was relatively small. We reached out to the center to find out if the data collected for the 2021-2022 school year has indicated any increase in deaths.

The center’s director, Dr. Kristen Kucera, told us that so far, “the numbers are the same and it’s actually fewer than we captured in 2018-19.”

For context, the center reported 19 deaths in 2019-20, 25 deaths in 2018-19 and 21 deaths in 2017-18.”


Americans’ mass ignorance of mathematics and statistics has significant negative ramifications. Too many people are not willing or able to avoid the “I don’t let facts get in the way of my opinions” axiom.







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Wednesday Words

Real knowledge is power.

Ignorance is not bliss.


I don’t know how or if the following story is related to those words, but I’m telling it, anyway. I once worked for a small (10-12 person) arbitration/litigation consulting firm. The owner/president of this company loved to say, “There’s a thin line between being a novice and being an expert.” He also used to argue with me about baseball “trivia” and he was never right.

According to my resume/CV my job title was Economist/Data Analyst. (I don’t really know what title I had, if any.) From my resume/CV:

  • Established systems and procedures to evaluate economic impact of product liability issues.
  • Planned strategies and performed statistical analysis for companies in litigation or arbitration to reduce judgment-based error and improve risk assessment.

What is not listed is that I was the de facto head of IT. I made recommendations for software purchases, which were almost always followed, and I purchased hardware. I was also the go-to guy when anyone in the company was having computer issues. More on that later…

I don’t remember which of these two events happened first. One event was that one day I brought in a baseball encyclopedia to show “the boss” he was wrong about a baseball trivia question and that I was right. The other event was after hearing his remark about “There’s a thin line” for the nth time I finally had to reply, “There’s a thin line between being a novice and thinking you’re an expert.”

Perhaps as no surprise I was fired by the president of the company although not immediately after the second event. The day of my firing I was cleaning out my office when the phone rang. I answered and the caller was one of my co-workers, an absolutely strange woman. She asked me about some computer issue. I answered, “I don’t know; I don’t work here anymore.” When she said, “What?” I repeated myself and then I heard her mutter as she hung up the phone.

I like to think that I got the last laugh. I fashioned a 20+ year career in major league baseball (the position with the arbitration/litigation firm was the last full-time job I had before my first full-time baseball job), wrote a book that The Wall Street Journal called without a doubt the best book of its kind ever written, earned two baseball championship rings with my name on them and, thanks to baseball, met the wonderful woman to whom I have been married for 22+ years.

Anyway…despite the plague of political correctness, the woke mob, faux equality and the like, don’t be afraid to display real knowledge. Oh, don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know.”


One reason why the world stinks is too many people talk out of their ass.


Sorry, no pictures, no cars and no pictures of cars today.







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Wednesday Wishes

When I went off to bed at 9:30 PM yesterday I told my wonderful wife that I didn’t know if I could sleep because I was so hungry. When I woke up at 1:45 AM to go to the bathroom I was unable to go back to sleep because I was so hungry. Of course, I cannot go back to sleep after eating because of my GERD, which creates awful reflux if I try to sleep on a full stomach. I wish I did not have this condition.

David Banner (not his real name) sent me the listing to this house that, according to the copy, has “garage room for 100 cars.” If my wonderful wife and I had been the only winner of the Mega Millions drawing yesterday (nobody won the big prize), we would have netted about $55 million after taxes. The asking price for this house that has been on the market almost seven months is $6.3 million. OF COURSE, I wish we had won the lottery so we would be able to afford this house and buy 10-20 cars to partially fill the garage space. Here is a picture from the listing:


House view featured at 11350 E Arabian Park Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85259


Looks like one of each of the 1953 General Motors Motorama cars to me. How about this for garage space?


Road view featured at 11350 E Arabian Park Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85259


Or this?


Property featured at 11350 E Arabian Park Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85259


Once again from the movie Diner, “If you don’t have dreams, you have nightmares.” No, I do not expect to win the lottery and wind up with some eight- or nine-figure sum of money. However, as I tell my wonderful wife all the time, “Wouldn’t that be something?”


I wish so many people were not so ignorant. Look at these graphs comparing the six states with the highest vaccination rates and their current rate of virus hospitalizations to the rates for the six states with the lowest vaccination rates.



The vaccines work, no matter what the ignoramuses think. Yes, we’re not supposed to insult or browbeat them because that won’t make them want to get vaccinated. Welcome to the Coddling States of America, the place where schools can’t fail kids for giving the wrong answers. People are needlessly being hospitalized and dying because they stubbornly refused to get vaccinated.

The “Delta Wave” could, of course, turn out to be a cloud with a silver lining. Here is something that Brian Sullivan of CNBC tweeted yesterday: “Louisiana pharma distributor contact tells me that vaccine orders have doubled in last two days and nearly tripled from last week. Expect big jump in vaccination rate over next few days…”

If somewhere down the road CDC guidance is that someone like me should get a booster shot, I will gladly do it. As regular readers know, I am hardly a political liberal, but this issue is not political.


Still can’t stop thinking about the house with the 100-car garage…







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What’s A Collectible Car?

First, to paraphrase Asimov once again, living in a democracy does not mean that Person A’s ignorance equals Person B’s knowledge. My addendum is that lack of credentials doesn’t necessarily mean lack of knowledge.


This article from Hagerty is about the 25 most collectable vehicles going into this summer. This ranking, if you will, is based on their proprietary Hagerty Vehicle Rating (HVR). From the article: “The Hagerty Vehicle Rating, based on a 0–100 scale, considers the quantity of vehicles insured and quoted through Hagerty, along with auction activity and private sales results. A vehicle that is keeping pace with the overall market has an HVR of 50.”

They almost brag that half of this list is composed of cars: “Something else to keep an eye on: while the HVR is typically dominated by trucks and SUVs, the 28 vehicles listed (top 25 plus ties) are evenly divided—14 trucks, 14 passenger vehicles. That’s a high water mark for cars.”

What I found interesting is that the only two “old” cars on the list—and by old I mean cars built before I was born—are two Cadillacs, the 1959-60 Series 62 and the 1959-64 DeVille.


See the source image


From Hyman Ltd Classic Cars a picture of a 1959 Cadillac 62 convertible. Of course, 1959 was the peak (no pun intended) of the fin craze on American cars, with Cadillac being the pinnacle of that style.

Not surprisingly, the convertible was last in production among Series 62 cars in 1959 not counting a model specifically made for export. Cadillac made 11,130 62 convertibles in 1959; total 62 production was almost 71,000. The convertible was the most expensive Series 62 model at $5,455.

From 1961 through 1969, inclusive, all Cadillac models shared the same engine. However, in 1959 the 390 cubic-inch V8 came in two specs with the upscale, limited-quantity Eldorado motor having a little more power. The Series 62 spec was rated 325 HP/430 LB-FT of torque. The engine was mated to a 4-speed Hydra-Matic automatic transmission. The convertible came standard with power windows and a two-way power seat.

While for me the ’59 Cadillacs are a tad much with the fins I fully understand the appeal of these cars. I think it can be difficult to actually create a formal definition of a collectible car. Different strokes for different folks, right?

What do you think is a “collector” car? Does it need sanctioning from a group like the CCCA or the AACA? If it’s rare enough can a new car be considered a collectable?








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Monday Musings: America as Idiocracy?

In this post I wrote about how most Americans cannot correctly answer a question having to do with an interest-bearing bank account. Reader David Banner sent this link to a article with even more frightening information, such as:


-One recent survey found that 74 percent of Americans don’t even know how many amendments are in the Bill of Rights.

-During the 2016 election, more than 40 percent of Americans did not know who was running for vice-president from either of the major parties.

Less than half of all Americans know which country used atomic bombs at the end of World War II.


The article concludes with this assessment: “…our system of education today is a total joke.  Most of our students have never learned how to communicate effectively, they are fed an endless stream of “tests” that consist of multiple choice, true/false and fill-in-the-blank questions, and when they get out of school most of them have absolutely no idea how to succeed in the real world.

Perhaps that helps to explain why our kids are in the bottom half of all industrialized nations when it comes to math and science literacy.

If we do not educate our children well, we will continue to fall behind the rest of the world, and it will be just a matter of time before we lose our status as a global power.

Of course that assumes that we actually have enough time left to turn things around.  At the rate that we are currently degenerating, we might not.”


Ignorance is not bliss and the real world is not in your phone. As I have written before I believe bad parenting is a major cause of the dumbing-down of America. I am totally serious.


From Steve Magnante’s 1001 Corvette Facts (fact #889, if you must know):

“Ah, the Internet. The C4 was the last Corvette developed before the intrusion of the World Wide Web into everyday life. In those days, Chevrolet held regular consumer focus groups that exposed members of the public to pre-production Corvettes and their features. During development of the C5 and C6, however, the rapid growth of the Internet triggered security leak issues. Despite signing confidentiality agreements, focus-group attendees revealed new features online, long before their official announcements, due to the anonymous nature of the Internet. As Corvette (and Camaro) exterior design manager Kirk Bennion said in a 2017 Motor Trend interview, ‘The Internet has become too powerful.’ The C7 was the first Corvette designed without the input of external focus groups.”

Yes, if you are reading this you are doing so on the Internet. [Irony Acknowledged] Also, I am reminded of Mark Twain’s famous remark, “The only way two people can keep a secret is if one of them is dead.” I think part of what Magnante complains about is more about the ease of disseminating information via the Internet with impunity than about any real change in human nature. Still, I must once again write that NOTHING is all good or all bad. People who blindly worship “progress” seem to forget that human beings are not perfect so none of their endeavors or creations are perfect.


This picture from a Bring A Trailer listing caught my eye:


1973 Alfa Romeo GTV 2000


This is a 1973 Alfa Romeo GTV 2000. I think that is just a beautiful car. Today I will refrain from “breaking the butterfly upon a wheel” and not write about the specs of the car.

This type of design is, of course, far more common from Italian automakers than from those anywhere else in the world. What a gorgeous car!





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An experiment in post titles…

If anyone affiliated with Barrett-Jackson or Mecum is reading this…I know someone who is a pioneer in the application of analytics to professional sports, who wrote a book that the Wall Street Journal called without a doubt the best book of its kind ever written and who LOVES cars who would love to work for either company in a part-time or consulting role. Of course I am talking about me. I have a rare combination of analytical and communication skills (nope, my arm didn’t break patting myself on the back). Hey, nothing ventured nothing gained. Yes, I will tweet this post to both companies.


Most Americans cannot answer this question correctly:

If you deposit $100 in a savings account at 2% interest per year, how much will you have at the end of three years:

a) $102

b) More than $102

c) Less than $102

The answer is b, but the fact that most Americans cannot answer correctly is frightening. A democracy only works with an INFORMED public.

If the interest is not compounded then you will have $106 after three years; if it is compounded then you will have $106.12. I don’t know if Albert Einstein really said that compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world, but once the sums and interest rates get larger money can grow quite nicely.


I believe we are in the golden age of automobiles for engineering and reliability, but not so much for styling. I cannot get over how much I was taken by this car offered at the recent Mecum auction in Arizona:


From a picture of a 1955 Chrysler Ghia ST Special. The lines of the car are actually not complex, but the design has just the right proportions, in my opinion. Yes, I recently posted about this car. Hey, I am getting old and am beginning to repeat myself.

Other than exotic, low-volume cars nothing offered today looks as good as this car. OK, that’s just an opinion. I am, however, entitled to my opinion even if it differs from yours.

I would very much like to read your views on current automotive styling. What cars do you think are the most beautiful? Also, don’t forget to think about your Ultimate Garage. I have received only one so far.




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Saturday Sayings

I wasn’t going to post today, but OCD is a bitch even if it’s OCD-lite.


“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”

“The unexamined life is not worth living.”

“The unlived life is not worth examining.”

“A truly great person will neither trample on a worm nor sneak to an emperor.”

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

“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”

“Not everything that counts can be counted and not everything that can be counted counts.”

The last two remarks are attributed to Albert Einstein. Any thoughts?


I don’t know if I actually saw this on TV or just dreamt it, but I recall a panel discussion about policy, both public sector and private sector. The discussion became heated when one of the participants said, “Just stick to the facts.” Someone else then said, “Facts don’t exist; everything is just an opinion.” To which someone else replied, “Water freezes at zero celsius; that’s a fact.” The reply? “That’s just something white men made up to make money selling ice.” Silence reigned with participants shaking their heads. Let me quickly add that I do not remember or could not ascertain the ethnicity of the person making the “white men selling ice” comment.

Does anyone else recall that discussion or anything like it? Have I lost my mind? (Not an implausible assumption at this point.) Satchel Paige is supposed to have remarked, “There are some people that if they don’t know, you can’t tell them.”


From a picture of a stunning 1933 or 1934 Packard Twelve with coachwork by Dietrich. Maybe 56packardman can help us out here.




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Did the Fed blink?

CNBC’s Jim Cramer opined that Jerome Powell, Chairman of the Federal Reserve, has blinked. In early October Powell stated that he thought current Fed rates were far short of the “neutral” rate that neither stimulates nor dampens the economy, implying more rate hikes for 2019. Yesterday, Powell said that the rates were close to the neutral rate. Equity markets loved that news and stock prices soared.

Say what you want about Jim Cramer’s on-air histrionics, but he is a VERY smart man and was very successful running a hedge fund. He has been critical of the stance of Powell and the Fed regarding interest rates and the US economy. It looks as though Powell has listened to Cramer, either explicitly or implicitly.

I think it is a sad state of affairs that more Americans know who Kim Kardashian is (I don’t care if I spelled her name correctly) than who Jerome Powell is. Ignorance is NOT bliss!

FWIW, Cramer does not believe that China is a “friend” of the US. I believe that China, at least in their own hemisphere if not both, wants to be the dominant world power. Whether they can accomplish that goal before their population gets really old is an open question, in my opinion. (FYI, in 2017 the US trade deficit with China in goods AND services amounted to 1.7% of US GDP. I guess you can decide whether or not that’s a significant number.)

I love cars, but I live in the real world. As much as I despise politics, what large national governments do affects us all whether we realize it or not.


In an episode of the original Top Gear, the hosts stated their opinion that Lancia has built more great cars than any other company in history. On this day in 1906, Lancia was founded.

From a picture of the Lancia Stratos, one of the most successful rally cars in history. I really like the look of this car except for the box handle spoiler at the back of the roof.

From a picture of a Lancia Fulvia. A recent episode of Wheeler Dealers featured this model.

Fiat purchased Lancia in 1969. At first, the Lancia name stayed “independent” and the production of a model like the Stratos was a manifestation of that “independence.” Eventually, Lancia models really became badge-engineered Fiats.

At this moment I believe the only model with the Lancia name is the Ypsilon “supermini” built on the Fiat Mini/Fiat 500 platform. If Wikipedia is to be believed, then Lancia production has declined dramatically: from 300,000 cars in 1990 to 60,000 in 2017. Lancias were sold officially in the US only from 1975 to 1982. As I have written before a Stratos model recently sold on Bring a Trailer for $440,000.


I’m sorry, but does any other place exist where one can read a discussion of Fed policy AND about the Lancia automobile? If you like this blog, PLEASE tell your friends and share the blog URL ( Thanks.


P.S. From comes this news about the key fob and LOGO for the C8 Corvette being unearthed from an FCC filing. Very big news, IMO.





Wednesday Weirdo

Actually, I’m a weirdo every day of the week, but you don’t need me to tell you that. 🙂

Halloween? My parents had been in the US only about two years when I was born. I may have physically grown up in America, but culturally I was not raised here. My mother disapproved of Halloween. “You go around and beg for food,” she used to say with disdain. I think I only went trick or treating twice in my life. Of course, I didn’t need a costume as I looked scary enough on my own. I don’t consider Halloween to be anything except an excuse to eat candy; it does not remotely approach holiday status for me.


I have owned two Corvettes and my next car will almost certainly be a custom restomod C2 Corvette that I will buy and/or build. I love high performance cars with what I consider to be great styling, like this car:

From a picture of a Ferrari 365 GTB/4 “Daytona.”


So why do I love a car like this? See, I told you I was a weirdo.

From a picture of a Nissan Figaro. The Figaro was produced only for the 1991 model year. Originally only 8,000 were going to be made, but the demand was so high that Nissan ended up producing 20,000 of them.

They were powered by a turbocharged 987cc (everybody chime in, 60 cubic inches for Bill Stephens) inline 4-cylinder engine that produced 76 HP/78 LB-FT of torque. The Figaro had a three-speed automatic transmission.

I have a couple of pictures of me sitting in a Figaro at a local auto gathering, but didn’t want to show any of them here. I have shown a picture of me on this blog, but I was with three other people so it isn’t clear which of those people is me. In the Figaro photos I am the only person in the picture. See, I told you I was a weirdo.

Do I have to say it? The Nissan Figaro is adorable. Since all of the cars are now more than 25 years old they can be legally imported into the US. What do you think of the Figaro?


Thanks to everyone from the Corvette Forum who read yesterday’s post making it one of the most read posts on Disaffected Musings. If you like this blog, please tell your friends and please share the blog URL (

Thanks to everyone who read this blog this month. October has had more views, unique visitors, likes and comments than August and September combined. I am grateful; please keep reading and please feel free to post thoughtful comments.

Here are the most read posts on Disaffected Musings not counting, of course, the home page:

1) Sunday Studebaker

2) Paean For Pontiac

3) Saturday Studebaker

4) Tuesday Notes

Thanks to 56packardman for posting links to this blog, when relevant, on other car forums.


Thanks to an interesting email dialogue with Steve Dallas I am re-considering the engine choice for my restomod C2 Corvette build. He pointed out that in the real world titanium connecting rods and intake valves (stock on the LS7 engine) are really not a difference maker and that a crate LS3 can be purchased that makes more HP out of the box than the LS7.

I am not an unintelligent person, but I know that I don’t know everything about anything. As the title of a book by the late, great Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver said, “It’s What You Learn After You Know It All That Counts.” I think that many people who suffer from delusions of grandeur and delusions of omniscience are really among the most ignorant. The more one learns the more one should realize how much they don’t know.





Here We Go

The Khashoggi incident shows that the Saudi leadership is hardly an enlightened group and still believes in medieval methods. I would love it if the US never bought another drop of oil from Saudi Arabia. Before one compares what happened to Khashoggi to US interrogation of terrorists, Khashoggi was no terrorist.


My love of cars with internal combustion engines may seem very inconsistent with my desire to stop buying oil from the Saudis. “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” I believe that the phrase “a foolish consistency” applies to those who blindly follow a particular ideology. Repeat after me: NO ONE has a monopoly on truth and wisdom and neither does ANY ideology.


An interesting set of comments from BMW’s head of research and development, Klaus Fröhlich, as quoted here in Automobile Magazine: “If you assume that, from this 30 percent [pure electric cars and hybrids], half of them are plug-in hybrids—I have 85 percent in my portfolio in 2030 with a combustion engine.” Fröhlich also remarked, “But the world—Russia, Australia, a large portion of the world—they will have combustion engines for a very long time.”

More than 1.2 billion cars and trucks are owned by citizens all over the world and almost all of those vehicles run on gasoline or diesel. Every year, more than 70 million new cars and trucks are purchased by people all over the world and most of those run on gasoline or diesel. Even forgetting that the manufacture of plastics is based on petroleum, the sheer number of vehicles in the world using internal combustion engines means that the oil infrastructure is not going away any time soon. Countries that seek to ban all internal combustion engine vehicles from operating within their borders in the intermediate future are seeking a pipe dream and/or a harmful disruption to their economies. “Be careful what you wish for because you may get it.”


Does that last statement apply to winning the lottery? The level of Mega Millions ticket sales has boosted the annuity value of the jackpot to $970 million and the cash value to $548 million. I believe this is the second highest jackpot in US lottery history. I can’t find rock-solid research on this topic, but I have read in multiple places that about two-thirds of lottery winners are bankrupt within five years of their win. I have my theories as to why that might happen, if true, but those theories are extremely politically incorrect and I am not interested in starting a flame war. I will simply repeat something I have written here: Ignorance is NOT bliss.


If my wonderful wife and I were to win the Mega Millions lottery, what other cars might I buy besides a C2 Corvette and a De Tomaso Longchamp? Earlier this week I showed the 1987 Buick GNX as a possible purchase. How about this?

See the source image

From a picture of a 1967 Mercury Cougar with what I think are non-standard wheels. While every regular Disaffected Musings reader knows I am not a big FoMoCo fan because of its founder, I like to think I am an agnostic when it comes to cars. That is, with the exception of Volkswagen and Porsche, I try to judge the car apart from its manufacturer.

While the Cougar was basically a Ford Mustang with a different body I think the Cougar is a great example of crisp American styling. I didn’t show the front end, but I am a big fan of hidden headlights, which is one of the very few topics about which I can be accused of preferring form over function.

Six 1967 Cougars are currently listed for sale on Hemmings, not counting auction vehicles. The asking prices range from $8,000 to $29,900 with four of the six listed at less than $20,000. I didn’t grow up with money so maybe that’s a partial explanation as to why I like so many cars that are not expensive.

OK, folks…what cars would you buy if you won an unimaginable amount of money?