No News Tuesday

I probably won’t receive results from yesterday’s procedure until next Monday. What I can tell you is this: since I thought I would be going under, my wonderful wife accompanied me to the Mayo Clinic. My appointment time was 1:15. What time did we leave after the procedure ended? 1:15!

Obviously, I did not need general anesthesia, but just as obviously the Mayo Clinic–to use the colloquial–has its sh*t together. In addition, the first bills I have received were not for what I would consider to be an extraordinary amount. I am very lucky to have access to such a world-class facility.


Now the earworm thing is getting ridiculous. Today’s song stuck in my head is not even one I have heard lately although the last time I heard it was on Sixties on Six on Sirius/XM. Does anyone remember “The Pied Piper” by Crispian St. Peters? The song was his only big hit, reaching #4 on the Billboard chart in 1966, although he had one other top 40 song a year later (“You Were On My Mind”) that reached #36.

Even worse is that my brain seems to be waging a battle about which song will play repeatedly in my head. Every now and then, the piano intro and ending to “Fortune Smiles” by legendary jazz/classical pianist Keith Jarrett plays in my head. I made a copy of the song years ago, editing out the middle and just keeping the intro and ending, which are about three minutes in total. I very much want to embed that audio here, but worry about a copyright violation. Oh, what the hell:



I used to play the keyboards a little and Jarrett’s solo parts from “Fortune Smiles” are the pieces I would have most liked to learn how to play. Sadly, since suffering two strokes in 2018 Jarrett has been unable to perform.


Here’s a very recent photo of a very fast automobile:



This is a Ferrari 812 Superfast. How much? Apparently, its price is so high that you have to ask the dealer; the price was not shown on the sticker as it is on almost all cars. The MSRP for a “reasonably” equipped 2020 model was about $400,000. Other cars in this complex have a sticker price in that neighborhood and yet those prices are displayed on the cars. I guess I don’t really know why the sticker reads, “Ask Dealer For Pricing.”

I could probably visit this luxury make complex once a week and never get tired of it. Many of the people on the lot are automobile “sight-seers,” people who obviously have no intention of ever buying one of these cars, but just want to see them and to take pictures. Is it better to actually be able to afford one of these cars, knowing that doing so would seriously damage one’s net worth, or not be in a position to afford one and, therefore, never be able to succumb to temptation?









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Monday Musings 64

Today’s earworm, “Come On Down To My Boat” by Every Mothers’ Son, is sponsored by OCD. The group was a one-hit wonder and the song peaked at #6 on the Billboard chart in 1967. Maybe I just have to stop listening to Sixties on Six on Sirius/XM.


I will be undergoing a “minor” surgical/diagnostic procedure today at the Mayo Clinic. I believe this will be the third time I have had this particular procedure done. Please wish me luck.

You know the old joke about surgery, right? Major surgery is any surgery you’re having while minor surgery is surgery on anyone else.


Should I count the days until we receive our second vaccine shot against the damn virus or until we have “full immunity” about two weeks later? In case you’re curious, [Everyone in unison] or even if you’re not, it’s 11 days until the second shot so about 25 days until we’re “free.”


Today’s installment of “People Vote With Their Feet” is courtesy of this CNBC video about the mass exodus of people and businesses leaving California and moving to Texas. Like everything else, this is not all good or all bad for Texas. From the video summary:


“Oracle moved its headquarters to Austin, Texas late last year. Tesla is also building its new Gigafactory there, and Apple will house its second-largest campus in Texas’ capital city. This Big Tech influx has raised chatter about Texas potentially becoming a business hub that could rival Silicon Valley.”

“CBRE and Charles Schwab relocated their headquarters from California to the Dallas area in recent months, and Hewlett Packard Enterprise is headed to Houston. Texas has also attracted wealthy individuals like Joe Rogan, Elon Musk, Dropbox CEO Drew Houston and Palantir co-founder Joe Lonsdale.”


In a federal republic like the US, different states can have different laws and regulations. Who knows? One or two really bad earthquakes and perhaps California could become a ghost state. Once again, people want to reap most of the rewards of their labor and not have them confiscated by government. When they can, people vote with their feet so they can enjoy more of those rewards.


How about this as a reward? From this Road and Track article a picture of the Aston Martin Valhalla:


Land vehicle, Automotive design, Vehicle, Supercar, Car, Sports car, Performance car, Concept car, Coupé, City car,


When first announced Aston targeted 2021 as the start of manufacture for this limited production (500 units) automobile. I don’t know if any have been produced or sold. A price bandied about but not confirmed by the company is $1.3 million. Unlike many people, I don’t begrudge wealth as long as it has been acquired or built legally. If you can really afford to buy a car for $1.3 million, then more power to you. Hopefully this link to a picture from Aston Martin’s website won’t break:



The website ad copy is sparse; detailed specs are not shown. Supposedly, the heart of the car will be a turbocharged V-6 developed totally in house by Aston Martin. I think some Aston fans were not happy the car doesn’t have a V-8 or V-12. Welcome to the 21st century…

If you can reward yourself with one of these, go right ahead. Being resentful and envious of people who are wealthier than you is not a sound basis for public policy. The politics of envy are a road to mediocrity.











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PS, thanks to everyone who responded yesterday to my “lament” about the decline in comments by commenting.


Blank Tuesday

I really have nothing to write today. Do you care that Volvo has announced it will only sell electric cars by 2030 AND that it will only sell cars online? I think an enormous market opportunity will remain for companies offering vehicles powered by internal combustion engines, unless they are banned from doing so by governments. I do think that online vehicle sales will become the dominant paradigm.


This metropolitan area is one of only three with a Mayo Clinic. I am now a patient of that practice. The reasons for my seeking them out are irrelevant.

I went to the Phoenix “campus” yesterday and have an appointment there today. I have three more appointments before the end of March and one of those is at the Scottsdale venue.

I overheard a conversation where one of the Mayo Clinic employees told someone that the Phoenix venue had more than 1,000 appointments booked yesterday! So, how was the experience?

Given the tremendous number of people with appointments everything seemed to operate efficiently. For example, my appointment was late in the afternoon. Usually by then medical practices are backed up and behind schedule. I was taken back to see the practitioner pretty much at my scheduled time.

Although I had no input into the scheduling, I like that all of my subsequent appointments for this issue had been arranged even before yesterday. The PA I saw was very patient and did not treat me in a condescending manner. (The doctor was on vacation; I will see him later this month.) Based on my symptoms and initial testing, she tried to assure me that something serious was extremely unlikely. I am the child of Holocaust survivors, however, and an Ashkenazi Jew to boot so I can never be certain that anything will turn out well, especially when it comes to my health.


I have not been a pro basketball fan for decades, but on this day in 1962 my first basketball “idol,” Wilt Chamberlain, scored 100 points in a game. Befitting the NBA’s status at the time as less than a first-rate league, the game between Chamberlain’s Philadelphia Warriors and the New York Knicks was played in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Chamberlain was a poor foul shooter, but in this game he was successful on 28 of 32 free throw attempts.

For the 1961-62 season, Chamberlain averaged over 50 points a game and is still the only player in NBA history to score more than 4,000 points in a single season. The free-throw lane was widened from 12 to 16 feet before the 1964-65 season in large part to make it more difficult for Chamberlain to stay close to the basket.

Of course, Chamberlain died a long time ago (in 1999) at the relatively young age of 63 although he had a long history of heart disease. As Bill James would want me to point out, before Chamberlain became an all-time great NBA player he was a star at the University of Kansas. He left college early to play for the Harlem Globetrotters; at that time, the NBA would not sign players who had not completed their college eligibility.


See the source image









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