Friday Farrago

First a test to see if I can upload media files other than pictures:



I think this file will only work with Apple devices and I won’t know if it works until the post is published. If you’re viewing this on an Apple device please feel free to try it and then please let me know if it works. (It worked on my Windows PC! Readers have confirmed the file playing on non-Apple devices. I am the person playing the keyboard not very well although I can say this was completely improvised and recorded in December, 2006.)


I have not followed pro basketball in 35+ years. However, I have just re-ordered Loose Balls by Terry Pluto. The book is an oral history of the American Basketball Association, the league where players like Julius Erving and George Gervin began their pro careers.

I had to re-order it because I loaned my original copy to my best friend, Dr. Zal, and during his recent visit we realized that he has had the book for quite some time. I told him to keep it and I would buy it again. I am reading it again (for about the 10th time, can anyone say OCD?!) and am enjoying it immensely.


From this CNBC article comes these words:

“I talk to Chinese economists who tell me privately many of the things the U.S. demands is actually better for China; intellectual property protection, not putting state subsidies for state-owned enterprises. The irony is what the U.S. is forcing China to do in the short term will be good for the U.S., in the long term it’s better for China.”

Those are the words of Robert Kuhn, an advisor to the Chinese government and state-owned companies.


From this article by Hagerty comes this list of the cars with the lowest “Hagerty Vehicle Rating” at present. This rating is not a measure of the quality of the cars, but is an attempt to measure how the values are changing relative to the overall collector car market. The lower the rating, the worse it is. Brace yourself, American classic car fans:


1968-1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SL 9
1946-1948 Ford Deluxe 11
1949-1954 Pontiac Chieftain 12
1946-1948 Ford Super Deluxe 13
1946-1948 Chevrolet Stylemaster 14
1971-1976 Cadillac DeVille 15
1964-1967 Sunbeam Tiger 16
1949-1954 Chrysler New Yorker 16
1967-1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 17
1949-1954 Chrysler Windsor 17
1949-1953 Oldsmobile 88 17


Other cars in the bottom 25 include the C2 Corvette and the 1965-1970 Shelby GT350. Some think that for these two cars the reason the values are falling is simply that they had become unsustainably expensive and are now settling into their true “equilibrium” values.

For those looking to buy some of these “fallen angels” if the Hagerty assessment is accurate then this might be a good time to buy. Of course, in the stock market people are always being warned against trying “to catch a falling knife.”


What do you think of this car?


From a picture of a 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Z06. I tried to capture a photo of such a car from CarMax, but they don’t allow their photos to be captured.

The reason I am asking is that I have decided to buy a used C7 Z06. I have also decided that I am tired of going to a dealer, even a “reputable” one, and doing the negotiating song and dance. A CarMax store is not very far from where I live and CarMax has a decent selection of these cars, most of which can be transferred from somewhere else to the local CarMax for far less than I would have to pay a shipping company.

I excluded from my search any cars with more than 20,000 miles. The one that catches my eye is currently in Florida, has about 16,000 miles and would sell for less than $60,000 including the cost to ship it here. Steve Dallas has suggested that I go to Kerbeck and buy a new one, which is a good suggestion, but even with Kerbeck’s prices I can still save $20,000 by buying a late-model used one. I think the drive train warranty on these cars is 5 years/60,000 miles so a 2016 would still have that warranty coverage.

Once again, what do you think?




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