Monday Musings 54

YOU have the primary responsibility to take care of your health. David Banner (not his real name) shared this story with me from his days as a physician.

 

“I had a patient who had a major heart attack and was in the ICU getting clot busting meds. When I got there, he had oxygen on and was eating a fried fish sandwich that he bullied his wife into bringing him, and berated the nurses who tried to get him to stop. He died on his couch nine months later.”

 

I suspect this is hardly atypical behavior. “Don’t you have some pill I can take so I can eat what I want, not exercise and still be healthy?” Magic is an illusion; it’s not real.

Even with the desire for “medical magic,” the latest published Gallup poll indicates that almost 4 in 10 Americans (39%) would not get vaccinated now if an FDA-approved vaccine for COVID-19 were available and free. Scarily, that number has increased since polling in late July when it was 34%.

America: Land Of The Free, Home Of The Ignorant?

 

“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.’”

– Isaac Asimov

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Sort of related to the first point, but morphing into something silly…My wonderful wife and I received our annual flu shots on Saturday. It is the earliest we have ever received them.

The “Spooner-ism” part of my brain automatically hears “Shoo Flot” when someone says “Flu Shot.”  I hear “Flush Fladding” when a meteorologist says a risk of “Flash Flooding” exists somewhere in the country.

I’m not proud of my “Spooner-ism” brain, nor am I ashamed. It is what it is and I am what I am.

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On this day in 1899 Newport, Rhode Island hosted the first parade of “horseless carriages” anywhere in the United States. From this article:

 

“The first parade of horseless carriages in the United States was preceded by a competition judging each vehicle on driving ability and decoration. Sixteen carriages, all decorated with flowers and flags, met at Belcourt Castle on September 7, 1899. An obstacle course was set up in the empty field next to Belcourt. Mr. Stuyvesant LeRoy won the award for best driving and Mrs. Hermann Oelrichs’s carriage was awarded the prize for best decoration.”

 

Newport has what I have heard is an excellent automobile museum, the Audrain. Even though my wonderful wife and I have been to Newport, we have not visited the museum. Why not? With my usual sense of luck and timing, the museum was closed to change exhibits the week we were there.

We did visit the Newport Auto Museum, which is actually in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. My wonderful wife and I began chatting with one of the docents. In less than five minutes, he offered me a job at the museum, apparently impressed with my automotive knowledge. I thanked him for the offer and told him we lived more than 300 miles away, making the commute kind of tough, especially for a job that didn’t pay. Here is a picture of one of the vehicles in their Fin Cars exhibit:

 

Buick Skylark Yellow Convertible 1000x667

 

This is a 1954 Buick Skylark. I think these cars are just stunning. I doubt I will ever own a 1950s-vintage car, but I can hope.

Enjoy Labor Day…

 

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Monday Musings 53

There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.’”

– Isaac Asimov, 1980

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For the second consecutive weekend we had no showings of our house, which has now been on the market for a month. The lack of showings is in stark contrast to the many showings we had in the first two weeks.

Our realtor sent us data indicating that interest, as measured by the number of showings, seems to have fallen quite dramatically in our segment of the local real estate market. I guess he sent the data so we would know it’s not just our house that has seemingly dropped off the radar of potential home buyers.

The best realtor in the world will have a difficult time selling a house in a “bad” market and an inept realtor can easily sell a house in a “good” one. When I began to explore the idea of selling my first house, which I had not lived in for nine years, I called the wonderful person who had managed the property as a rental during that time and she told me that the market was exploding. (I had no idea what was going on in that market as I was living 1,400 miles away.) Even though her company would lose the rental commission, she showed me the comps in my area. The house had appreciated in value by 35%-40% in the last year.

I decided to sell; the house sold in three days and for more than the asking price. I have never had such good luck in selling any other house.

Not to be too morbid, but this house may very well be the last one I sell. I have never dealt well with being in limbo. When I (and in this case, we) decide to do something, I want to do it, not wait to do it. However, our experience is yet another example of the truth that we don’t have total control over what happens in our lives.

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This Hemmings article addresses adding EFI (Electronic Fuel Injection) to classic cars, something about which I have written many times in this blog. The piece begins:

Gearheads, like much of society, can be slow to embrace change. In the automotive world, advances in technology often mean considerable improvements in performance, and nearly every gearhead can agree that’s an admirable pursuit. But still we resist.

Here is another interesting passage:

…But even with design improvements that allowed the carburetor to function in a wide range of conditions, it still remained (as many would refer to it) a calibrated fuel leak.

That may be a slap in the face to those who still maintain carburetors as a viable fuel delivery device. But anybody who has experienced the nuances of flooding, an irregular idle, vapor lock, mediocre fuel mileage, or any of the myriad maladies inherent to the carburetor, has to question that thinking.

 

If I am ever in a position to buy a car like the one pictured below, I will certainly have EFI installed. It would be my car and my money. Why some people think they have the right to tell other people how to spend their money is beyond me.

 

 

From a Hemmings ad a picture of a 1965 Buick Riviera. What a magnificent car; the addition of EFI will not diminish its magnificence.

 

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