I Wish…

all of these current events were just a bad, cruel April Fools joke. Alas, that is not the case.

 

About this time of year in 1988 I had outpatient surgery to remove tumors from my abdomen. Like the dozen or so other tumors I have had removed, these would turn out to be benign. (Knocking on my head to simulate knocking on wood…)

After the lidocaine wore off I experienced great pain in my abdomen. (Eventually, the incision would become infected and require draining and antibiotics.) I tried three aspirin, but they had no effect. My surgeon and I had known each other since I was very young as we used to be neighbors. I called him and said, “I am in horrible pain. What do I do?” He said, “Schmuck, get some ibuprofen, Advil, and take three.”

I did as he said and waited. Magically, 35 minutes after taking the ibuprofen the pain was completely gone. That was both a revelation and a curse.

I have chronic pain, most of which is due to arthritis in many joints. Although they are not as bad as when I was younger, I also still get headaches, sometimes from allergies, but also from arthritis in my neck. Last night I had a new pain in an unusual place. Thinking it was just dry skin I applied lotion, but that had no effect. Finally, I went to the old standby, ibuprofen, and sure enough the pain was gone in 30-35 minutes. (Many hours later the pain has also not returned.)

Like all powerful medicines ibuprofen has negative side effects, one of the worst being potential kidney damage. In addition, excessive use of NSAIDs like ibuprofen increases the risk of adverse cardiovascular effects. (NSAID = Non Steroid Anti Inflammatory Drug) So I am stuck between a rock and a hard place. What I have had to do is to actively monitor my ibuprofen usage. Those days in which I do not take it are marked on the big calendar in the kitchen. I try to avoid taking ibuprofen on successive days and that is one reason I note my usage. I have found that I usually take it 3-4 days a week and, therefore, don’t take it 3-4 days a week.

NOTHING in life is all good or all bad. EVERYTHING is a trade-off.

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Moving to a more pleasant topic…

On this day in 1904 Clarence W. Spicer began manufacturing his invention, the Spicer joint, a type of universal joint. Over a century later, his company, the Dana Corporation, headquartered in Toledo, Ohio, has worldwide automotive parts sales approaching $10 billion per year. Of course, the company filed for bankruptcy in 2006 but has since recovered, obviously.

Many “motorheads” are familiar with Dana rear ends. While the majority of these have been installed in trucks, Mopar muscle cars of the late 60s and early 70s also had Dana rear axles. Muscle cars like this:

 

See the source image

 

From Barrett-Jackson a picture of a 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T. I know very little about Mopars so I don’t know if the R/T was usually fitted with a Dana rear end. I do know that John Kraman and Bill Stephens, of the Mecum broadcasts on NBCSN, seem to be very impressed by Dana rear axles.

 

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It’s Monday

As I wrote here, Friday doesn’t have the same meaning for someone like me who is (involuntarily) retired as it does for someone in a full-time job. Well, of course, neither does Monday. In all of my non-baseball office jobs I dreaded Monday. As I keep writing virtually nothing in life is all good or all bad; everything is a trade-off. As I have also written, the fact that someone with my skills and experience cannot find a meaningful and fulfilling work situation is not a good sign for America, even if it’s just a sample size of one. I don’t even want to work full-time, but I would relish a part-time or consulting role in which I can use my combination of analytical and communication skills to help a company make decisions.

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I have written about Patrick Mahomes, the starting quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs, a couple of times. Between fatigue and the rerun of a Mecum auction I missed almost all of last night’s Chiefs-Patriots game, which apparently was one for the ages. Since I didn’t watch maybe I shouldn’t comment, but 1) the fact that the Chiefs came back to take the lead at Foxboro bodes well for them and 2) NO penalties against the Patriots is very suspicious to me. It is well-known that the Chiefs’ defense is suspect, but I think the Patriots’ defense is not that good, either.

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I have no idea why Disaffected Musings already has dozens of views today, supposedly all from Canada, from very few unique visitors. It’s actually a little disturbing because it seems like a prank or even like a hack. ALL blog hosting platforms should understand that bloggers have no control over what strangers do. Since the beginning of this month the number of views/visitors forĀ Disaffected Musings has increased dramatically, for which I am grateful, but that increase seems organic unlike today’s activity.

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A shout-out to Lee Iacocca who is, hopefully, celebrating his 94th birthday today. Iacocca is one of the most significant figures in the history of the American automotive industry. For all that he accomplished, he will probably always be most associated with his role in bringing this car to market:

See the source image

From silodrome.com a picture of a 1965 Ford Mustang. While I am tired of seeing an endless parade of Mustangs/Shelbys at car auctions I do appreciate the significance of the car. I have recently developed an affinity for the hardtop coupe (pictured above) of the first generation Mustangs up through 1968.

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From autoevolution.com a picture of a rendering by a Korean company, KKS Studios, of the upcoming C8 Corvette:

A lot of Ferrari 488 in that design as the autoevolution article points out. So many drawings and renderings have emerged regarding the C8 Corvette that it’s almost too many, almost. I still think the C2 Corvette (1963-1967) is the best looking American car ever (yes, I broke the moratorium which lasted 18 days) and with a restomod I can get a C7 in performance that looks like a C2. In any event, here’s hoping that the C8 will debut early in 2019.

 

 

Corvettes!

As I have written many times, nothing in life is all good or all bad. Everything is a trade-off.

Even finally making it to the mecca of Corvette shows, Corvettes at Carlisle, was not all good or all bad. My wonderful wife and I attended Corvettes at Carlisle 2018 last week. OK, so what was the bad?

First, I am now more obsessed than ever with building my resto-mod C2 Corvette AND I have come to the realization that I will not be able to have EVERYTHING I want because that will make the project unaffordable. Second, as much as I love Corvettes seeing approximately 3,000 Corvettes was overkill.

Third, the event was much more static than I had imagined. The same cars are parked in the same spots for the entire event. The same vendors are selling the same things in the same spaces. Perhaps I am a victim of a misunderstanding, of incorrect preconceptions.

Don’t get me wrong; we enjoyed the event. It’s just that we’re not going to be rushing back there next year.

Without further ado, here are some photos I took during Corvettes at Carlisle 2018:

This photo shows just a small fraction of the cars at the event. Note the mountains in the background. Carlisle, Pennsylvania is in a lovely part of the state.

This is a 2019 Corvette ZR-1. I am growing quite fond of orange cars, perhaps inspired by the Imola Orange Honda S2000. Another “complaint” about the event is that people were less friendly than I thought they would be. My wonderful wife and I tried to say hello to everyone, but received no response or minimal response from most people. Many of those attending were there as part of various Corvette clubs and tended to stick to the people in those clubs. I would have imagined more camaraderie among Corvette owners.

Sorry about chopping off part of the car. This is a beautiful 1961 resto-mod. I think it’s almost a perfect blend of old and new. I don’t recall a resto-mod display out on the show fields; this car and a few other resto-mods were in a building. Many Corvette fans are “purists.” They want an original car and if it has to be restored then they want it restored to original.

My views on this subject are well-known if you read this blog. I own a car for the purpose of driving it, even if it’s just 3,000-ish miles a year. This is 2018 (almost 2019!). I don’t want to drive a car with a carburetor, drum brakes, bias-ply tires or points-based ignition. Do you want to go back to hand cranking a car to start it? Do you want to have to advance or retard the spark while driving by using a lever on the steering wheel?

This may have been my favorite car from the event. If you can’t tell, it’s a 1967 convertible. While I prefer side exhaust and a little more aggressive look, this car looked just right.

I had to show a picture of the iconic 1963 split-window coupe although, of course, I didn’t photograph the rear window. Another excellent Corvette, in my opinion.

I titled this picture “Wall of Cars.” It is impossible, I think, to get a sense of the size of the event or of the Carlisle Fairgrounds from these photos. If you are a Corvette fan then I think you should attend Corvettes at Carlisle at least once.