Monday Musings 45

From Carbonhans Blog an article about how GM and Ford have laid out plans to restart their US factories. Steps to protect workers will be a major part of these plans.

 

“Both companies detailed how they would thoroughly clean facilities and allot extra time between work shifts to do so. The automakers said they will also screen employees with questionnaires before they leave for work and temperature checks as they enter a plant or other facilities.”

“Employees who have recently been exposed to someone with the coronavirus or exhibit a high temperature or other Covid-19-related symptoms will be sent to local clinics for testing before they are allowed to return to work.”

“While in factories, employees will work at least six feet apart from one another whenever possible, the companies said. Employee workstations will be separated by clear plastic panels. Workers will also wear surgical-style face masks and clear plastic face shields whenever they’re required to work close to one another.”

 

One question I have is what proportion of these practices will remain in place even after the crisis ends? It actually might be a good idea if most, even all, of the procedures become standard.

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Some humor for this Monday courtesy of this post from Archon’s Den:

 

OMG, I’m rich! Silver in the hair, gold in the teeth, crystals in the kidneys, sugar in the blood, lead in the butt, iron in the arteries, and an inexhaustible supply of natural gas.

I can’t remember how to write 1, 1000, 51, 6, and 500 in Roman numerals.
I’M LIVID

A man went into the library, and asked for a book on Probability.
The librarian replied, “Possibly it’s on that shelf over there.”

I went on a job interview the other day.
The interviewer said, “It says on your resume that you are a man of mystery.”
I replied, “That’s correct.”
He asked, “Would you care to elaborate?”
I said, “No.”

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Many of you are probably tired of reading about the search for a Corvette companion/grocery car after the move to the desert. Well, given the timetable for the move may have been sped up a bit, the search has become a little more real and a little less theoretical.

From Curbside Classic a picture of the car that has at least moved into a tie with the 2006-07 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS as the leading contender:

 

See the source image

 

This is a 1995 Jaguar XJS convertible. Other than the somewhat unsightly “roof remnant” with the top down (not shown here), the car has a great look.

My wonderful wife likes these cars and she doesn’t care which engine; the inline-6 or V-12 are both fine for her. Part of me wants the V-12, but most of me would be fine with the six.

The XJS (or XJ-S) is one of the least respected successful cars in history. Over 115,000 were sold in its 20-plus year production run. However, because it followed the legendary E-Type this was the car that could not win. (Yes, I have written that before. Doesn’t mean it’s any less true.)

These cars are not expensive to acquire. The one shown above was sold for $13,000 ($13,650 all in on Bring A Trailer) in March, 2018. Maintenance? Well, we have some experience as my wonderful wife owned a 2001 Jaguar XK-8 convertible. Once the warranty expired the car seemed to want to fall apart. Our experience, by the way, might “argue” in favor of the less complicated six-cylinder engine.

We are a little wiser, hopefully, and a little more secure financially, hopefully. We could put an amount equal to 50% of the purchase price in an account to cover maintenance that, hopefully, would last more than a few months.

In general, the search has moved to more modern cars. We want a car for which disc brakes and fuel injection were standard, a car that had at least two airbags. I have dreams, but I live in the real world.

 

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Throwback Thursday And Other Things

I guess I could have used the post title to talk about this song:

 

See the source image

 

From 45cat.com a picture of the label for “The Rain, The Park & Other Things” by The Cowsills. I believe the original title of the song was “The Flower Girl,” but I think the title was changed to avoid confusion with Scott McKenzie’s “San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair).” The Cowsills, a “family” singing group, were the inspiration for the popular TV show “The Partridge Family.” This song peaked at #2 in 1967 on the Billboard Top 40/Hot 100.

Speaking of BillBoard:

 

See the source image

 

On this day in 1966 this song ascended to the #1 position on the Billboard chart. (Picture from muskmellon.) Don’t ask me why I picked 1966, maybe it has to do with the Orioles winning their first world championship that year led by my friend and colleague (which was in the future then), Frank Robinson.

Both of these songs predate the practice, but as I have written before Dr. Zal and I both made our own Top 40 charts. He did it far longer than I did, but he started by re-arranging the existing Top 40 to better suit his preference. When I began after he had been doing his charts for more than a year, I devised mine from scratch, including many songs that were never anywhere near the Billboard charts, and he soon followed suit.

Music has always been a very important part of my life, but for reasons I don’t fully understand I am listening to music less frequently now than at any other time. Remember this photo from this post?

 

 

I will once again offer my strongly held opinion that the phrase “current American music” is an oxymoron. The crap (a carefully chosen word) that passes for music today is an abomination.

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If the pandemic lasts until after the move to the desert I might not be around to buy the Corvette companion/grocery car and my demise will probably have been caused by a mental breakdown. In any event…this article from the Classic Cars Journal by Andy Reid discusses buying a car without seeing it in person first. The subhead for the piece reads, in part, “Buying sight unseen is commonplace for many collectors…”

As regular readers of Disaffected Musings know I bought my current car, a 2016 Corvette Z06, without seeing it in person. By the way, some “experts” still think one should never buy a car sight unseen, but in my opinion the world is changing, like it always does. Anyway…I am going to list Reid’s rules for buying a car online, but let you read the article for full exposition of those rules:

 

Rule 1. Is the car real?

Rule 2. Pictures

Rule 3: Find an expert

Rule 4. Ask the owner why they are selling the car

Rule 5. Ask the seller to tell you everything about the car and then shut up and let them talk

Rule 6. Don’t be afraid to walk away

 

For example, below is a picture of a car listed on Hemmings that is an example of the make/model that is currently a strong contender for purchase:

 

 

The odometer reading more than 98,000 miles on this 1994 Jaguar XJS convertible is a huge red flag for me, anyway, but how could we know what the car is really like, especially since it is being sold by a private seller and not a dealer? I’m not sure which online marketplace does this, but somewhere amidst my countless searches one of the sites I use promotes a professional inspection service, pre-purchase. Of course, how do we know how qualified any specific individual is or whether or not these services are just shills to get you to buy cars?

If/when the time comes that we are serious about buying a car, I don’t know how we will proceed. I guess first things first and we need to get back to normal or new normal or whatever.

 

#ThrowbackThursday

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#JaguarXJS

#somanycarsjustonelife

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Given the record-breaking month for views, the fact that Disaffected Musings will surpass a monthly level I thought it would never reach, given I have posted every day for more than a month and that I have to make a nerve-wracking trip to the supermarket tomorrow, I seriously doubt I will post on Friday the 1st. Happy May!

 

 

Saturday Seconds

I guess I’m posting again to distract me from the fact that my wonderful wife will be out of town for a week…

Many thanks to the very entertaining and VERY knowledgeable (remember that for me learning IS entertainment) John Kraman (@CarKraman on Twitter), one of the hosts of Mecum Auto Auctions on NBCSN, for following Disaffected Musings. My handle is @RulesofLogic1 and I have tried to start the hashtags #somanycarsjustonelife and #disaffectedmusings. I have no idea if I have successfully done so, however.

All first-run episodes of the Mecum auctions are set to record on my DVR and I think have ten episodes residing there at present. As I have written before, I enjoy watching the Mecum auctions more than I enjoy watching the Barrett-Jackson auctions although as a genuine car lunatic I watch them all.

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Have you ever heard of the 80/20 rule? Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto noted that 20% of Italian citizens owned 80% of the land. The 20/80 (80/20, what’s the difference?) rule has come to be known as the Pareto Principle. This rule has been found to apply to many phenomena, both of human design and not.

For example, the rule has many applications for business, such as:

Many project managers will state that 20 percent of the work consumes 80 percent of time and resources. Other examples of the principle include:

80 percent of a company’s revenues are generated by 20 percent of its customers

80 percent of complaints come from 20 percent of customers

80 percent of quality issues impact 20 percent of a company’s products

Flipping the 20 and the 80:

20 percent of investors provide 80 percent of funding

20 percent of employees use 80 percent of all sick days

20 percent of a blog’s posts generate 80 percent of its traffic

 

In the US, 20% of patients consume 80% of health care resources, which is a reason why some advocate taking the sickest people out of the main healthcare insurance pool. According to a widely reported study in New Zealand (the Dunedin Study), 80% of crimes are committed by 20% of criminals. In computer science, Microsoft noted that fixing the top 20% of the most reported bugs, 80% of the related errors and crashes in a given system would be eliminated.

Pareto is also well known for his principles of efficiency/optimality, but that theory is not the topic today. On the 1-in-1,000,000 chance that someone in the auto industry is reading, what applications of the 20/80 rule apply there? Could it be that 20% of vehicles have 80% of the defects?

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What do you think about the Jaguar XJS?

 

 

See the source image

 

From Mecum is a picture of a Jaguar XJS convertible. Three XJS cars were offered for sale at the most recent auction in Dallas. Only one sold ($6,600 all in, which means it hammered for $6,000), but all three cars were convertibles.

The XJS had the “misfortune” to follow the legendary E-Type as the Jaguar mainstay. The XJS is not a high-performance car to threaten road course records, but I think it has a great look and it’s not a slug. It was a wonderful GT car and very successful for Jaguar as about 115,000 were produced during its 21-year run. I think the XJS is one of the least respected successful cars in history.