Monday Brain

One of the books Dr. Zal gave me last Chanukah/Christmas was The Body: A Guide For Occupants by Bill Bryson. His book, A Short History of Nearly Everything, is one of my all-time favorites.

Chapter 4 of The Body is titled, “The Brain.” I am going to skirt the fringes of copyright law and share some passages from that chapter that astounded me.


“The general paradox of the brain is that everything you know about the world is provided to you by an organ that has itself never seen the world.”

“Just sitting quietly, doing nothing at all, your brain churns through more information in thirty seconds than the Hubble Space Telescope has processed in thirty years.”

“Each neuron connects with thousands of other neurons, giving trillions and trillions of connections–as many connections ‘in a single cubic centimeter of brain tissue as there are stars in the Milky Way,’ to quote neuroscientist David Eagleman.”

“What is surely most curious and extraordinary about our brain is how largely unnecessary it is. [my note: too many people seem to act that way] To survive on Earth, you don’t need to be able write music or engage in philosophy–you really only need to be able to outthink a quadruped–so why have we evolved so much energy and risk in producing mental capacity that we don’t really need? That is just one of the many things about your brain that your brain won’t tell you.”


One of Bryson’s main themes about the brain is how little we actually know about it. For example, we don’t know why the two hemispheres of the cerebrum are “cross-wired.” That is, the right side of the cerebrum controls the left side of the body and vice versa. I am always put off, to be polite, by people who think they know everything about a given topic, that they have it all figured out and can predict the future. To be far less than polite, BULLSH*T!

“Trust those who seek the truth but doubt those who say they have found it.”

– André Gide


I think this car that my wonderful wife and I test-drove in December is still available:



We visited this luxury make palace on Saturday and a car looking very much like the one pictured above was sitting on the lot. Of course, now that we have three cars in our three-car garage and don’t have a lot anywhere near large enough to accommodate another car, a Maserati Gran Turismo coupe–or any other car, for that matter–is out of the question.

In a text exchange with David Banner (not his real name) I wrote that our current three-car garage is at least one space too small, but that I would probably feel that way no matter how large our garage. What can I say? I REALLY understand how people wind up owning dozens of cars.









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Liquid Fire

I hope all of you that celebrated yesterday had a most pleasant day. Even if you didn’t celebrate, I hope you had a good day.


As I texted to my friend Eileen, the following photo has not been altered in any way, shape or form:



That type of intense orange/yellow can be seen here at sunrise and sunset. One time while driving around here during early evening the phrase “liquid fire” popped into my head as a way to describe the color. More photos:



That photo has also not be altered.



Sorry if I have turned Disaffected Musings into a photo journal. Well, I’m really not sorry and I really haven’t changed the fundamental nature of this blog.



I took this photo after our holiday meal. Unfortunately, I hesitated to take the picture and as a result the person on the right obscures the view of the awesome rear haunch on the Aston. The Aston and the Maserati behind were two of about 15 cars parked in front of the resort entrance; one of the others was a Bentley convertible. Once again, in terms of cars this is a different world compared to our previous state of residence in the mid-Atlantic. I even see these, one of my idiosyncratic favorites, on a fairly regular basis:


See the source image


From Consumer Guide Auto a picture of a Buick Reatta. On the drive during which a couple of the photos shown earlier were taken, we saw two or three Reattas. Of course, we saw at least five Ferraris.

You can boo me or sue me, but I think these cars are just gorgeous. Of course, regular readers of Disaffected Musings know that all too well. I wonder if you could drop a Grand National or GNX motor into one of these. The slope of the hood might make that very difficult or impossible.

So many cars just one life, indeed.








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Saturday Jumble

Sorry, this isn’t a word jumble…

More than one person has suggested that the average number of daily views for this blog would increase if I were to post less often. Well…in the recent week where I didn’t post (Sept 16-Sept 22), the number of blog views was 63 percent lower than in the previous week. This is consistent with what happens on those single days, which are not common, that I don’t post. The number of views is always lower, usually by about 40-60 percent, than the average of the previous week.

The competition for eyeballs on the Internet is quite fierce. New content drives traffic to blogs, especially since this blog now has a fair number of followers including those who have signed up to follow it via email and not on WordPress, per se. If the followers don’t receive notification of new content, then they almost certainly won’t look at the blog.


Some might consider this to have been an odd choice for a photo venue, but consider the source.



My taking the “sunrise” photo inspired at least one other traveler to take a similar picture. Obviously, these pictures were taken at Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix and they were taken as we were about to board our return flight home, our home for a little while longer, anyway. I just love looking at mountains; what can I say?!


Two more photos from the desert:



While much remains to be done before we complete the move, my wonderful wife and I are getting excited. She is particularly enthusiastic. Why wouldn’t she be? She’s going home.


On or near the day we had “a deal” to sell our house, I became quite sad and nostalgic. Although the magnitude of the repairs needed to finish the deal has pretty much removed any sentimentality, on that day I took a lot of photos of the house. Don’t ask me why, but this is the one I wanted to share.



My wonderful wife and I have spent countless hours in this room, almost all of those either on a giant green sectional that we brought from Texas or on the larger of the two pieces (the one in the foreground) graciously purchased for us by my wife’s mother. The two “sofas” and the table are among the few pieces that will be moving to the desert. We have already rid ourselves of the furniture in the two guest bedrooms as well as many other items.


I have to admit that if I had my druthers, then this would probably be the “new” car I would purchase after we move.


See the source image


The Maserati Gran Turismo coupe has four seats and a trunk so it could serve as a grocery car. It would not be a great taxi, but it could manage in a pinch. I think the looks are stunning and with its Ferrari engine it’s certainly no slug.

I will continue to hope that we end up with something like this. Who knows what the future holds, anyway?







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