Reluctant Finish

No, I am not announcing the end of Disaffected Musings. The computer football league I have been playing–and to which I referred here–is near its end. Of the 216 regular season games scheduled, 208 have been played. Only one of the remaining eight games has any impact on the playoff picture. (The Texas-Phoenix game I wrote about in the linked post will have no meaning, after all, as Texas has clinched the #1 seed in its conference.)

I have been reluctant to finish the season and start the playoffs. It has been more than five months since I acquired the latest version of the game and almost five since the season started. This game has given me something to do regularly that I have enjoyed. I am fairly certain that is the reason why I have not been eager to finish.

In the grand scheme of things, my computer football league means nothing, EXCEPT it has meaning to me. I am not living anyone else’s life, nor can I do so. Not that anyone cares but me, but below are the current standings. The conference standings (Conf) are incorrect for many teams; don’t ask me why.

 

 

If a real-life division existed like the NFC West in this league, it would be the football story of the decade. The teams are a collective 38-7 against teams outside their division.

Anyway, this is my blog, after all, and this league occupies a significant place in my life, at least for now. I doubt I will think about it much even just a week after its conclusion, but I am trying to live more in the moment. You know what John Maynard Keynes said about the long-run.

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Thanks to Eileen and others who expressed concern about my Throat Fire. I slept very well last night, which is no surprise given the turmoil of the previous night. From the time I went to sleep until I had to wake up to go to the bathroom was eight hours, which is unheard of for me. Hey, I am a man in his 60s with a problematic prostate. Almost without exception, that interval is no longer than four hours.

I heard from TI, my brilliant high school classmate. He also suffers from reflux and offered some advice, which was most appreciated. I thought 20mg of Omeprazole (the generic name for Prilosec) twice a day was a large dose; TI takes even more.

I can remember having heartburn in kindergarten. Obviously, I was born with faulty construction. The “recommended” surgery is not without risks of its own, risks with a probability that is unacceptable to me. I do not have Barrett’s Esophagus, thankfully, so I will just continue with the status quo, but remember that I am going to have an occasional bad night.

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This recent article from Hemmings was about the RM Sotheby’s auction in Hershey, Pennsylvania. In case you don’t know, or even if you do, Chocolate Town and the surrounding area have become a mecca for large automobile events. My wonderful wife and I attended Corvettes at Carlisle (Pennsylvania) a few years ago.

The title of the Hemmings piece was about the Buick GNX that hammered at $210,000, which is $231,000 all in. The pre-sale estimate was $130,000-$160,000. The article didn’t mention this, but the displacement of the turbocharged, intercooled V6 was 231 cubic inches; that symmetry appeals to my OCD/math-addled brain. I hope I can display the picture of the GNX shown in the piece.

 

 

I have always been a fan of the Grand National, but do not expect ever to be in a position to buy a GNX without a lot of pain. Only 547 of them were made in what was the last model year (1987) for the rear-wheel drive, G-body cars from General Motors. The last Grand National ever made sold at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale in January of this year for $550,000. How much would that have been if the car had been a GNX?

I would like to hear opinions about the Grand National and GNX from my readers who are hard-core car enthusiasts. Many thanks.

 

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Long Run vs. Short Run

The famous economist John Maynard Keynes once wrote, “In the long run we are all dead.” That remark has often been interpreted as meaning Keynes and his subsequent followers only cared about the short run, that they would always advocate rash policies designed to generate short term benefits and ignore any long term consequences.

Of course, one can argue that politicians love that kind of thinking because they can “buy” votes and support with short term stimulative policies and then be gone when the chickens come home to roost. Anyway…in this piece Simon Taylor, a member of the finance faculty at Cambridge Judge Business School, wrote:

 

“It should be clear that he is not arguing that we should recklessly enjoy the present and let the future go hang. He is exasperated with the view of mainstream economists [of the time] that the economy is an equilibrium system which will eventually return to a point of balance, so long as the government doesn’t interfere and if we are only willing to wait. He later challenged that view in his most important work The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money (1935) arguing that the economy can slip into a long term underemployment equilibrium from which only government policy can rescue it.”

 

By the way, the full Keynes comment (written in 1923) was, “The long run is a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long run we are all dead. Economists set themselves too easy, too useless a task if in tempestuous seasons they can only tell us that when the storm is past the ocean is flat again.”

OK, why am I writing about this idea today? Well, it’s because of something that, in the grand scheme of things, is not really important. I am, of course, writing about my Z06.

I have been writing about all of the potential modifications I want to do to the car, both in terms of performance and appearance. Obviously, I don’t have to do anything to the car; it’s great as it is. The amount of money needed to do what I want is a tiny fraction of my available resources, but some would argue (and have) that it is better for me to save the money just in case it is needed at some future time.

This is a classic long run vs. short run problem, in my opinion. No, this is not an excuse to show another picture of my car. I am not going to do so.

I believe that both the short run and the long run matter and that’s why decision making can be so difficult. Of course as one grows older the long run gets shorter. It is very difficult–perhaps impossible–to fully understand the potential long run consequences of many decisions, but that doesn’t mean the long run can be ignored.

So, while I am preparing to spend what I need to spend to modify the car, especially in terms of performance, my brain is waged in a battle of long run vs. short run. Are any of you in a similar situation? Do you classify yourself as a long run person, a short run person, or an it depends person?

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My wonderful wife sent me this link to a story about “vintage” cars we shouldn’t forget. The problem is that the article lists 40 cars and you have to click on them one at a time. (A real tangent: why do I always type tiime the first time I try to type the word time?)

The cars range in time from the 1950s to the 1990s and include such disparate vehicles as the GMC Syclone and the Studebaker Lark. You also might not be able to click on all 40 vehicles as the website gets slower with each successive click and might time you out.

One of the cars listed is one that has been mentioned a lot here, the C4 Corvette. From fastlanecars a picture of a 1996 Corvette, the last year of the long-running C4:

 

 

As I have often written before, I have only been a fan of the C4 Corvette for about the last five years. Before, I thought they looked too plain and that before 1992 they simply were not good performers (ZR-1 excluded).

The looks of the car have grown on me and 1992-1996 Corvettes have plenty of performance, thank you. In fact, if you can be that picky, the 1995-96 cars are the best of the bunch, in my opinion, because of improvements like fuel injectors that were revised to better cope with ethanol content in gasoline, improved connecting rods, improved automatic and manual transmissions, various upgrades to reduce rattles, etc.

I’m not in the market for another Corvette, but in the event of a large financial windfall, one of these could be in play, especially a convertible. I guess my wonderful wife’s affinity for ragtops has rubbed off on me.

 

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