Monday Monday

For the WordPress week that ended yesterday, Disaffected Musings reached a level for blog views for the fourth consecutive week that had previously only occurred once since February 1. Many thanks and please keep reading.

 

Are any of you fans of The Mamas & The Papas? Of course, their song “Monday, Monday” was a big hit, reaching Number One on the Billboard chart in 1966. (It was their only Number One single.) The group was only together from 1965 to 1968, not counting a brief reunion to record an album in 1971. Michelle Gilliam Phillips is the only surviving member of the group as none of the other three made it to age 70. Cass Elliott (born Ellen Naomi Cohen in Baltimore) died of a massive heart attack at the age of 32 in 1974.

My wonderful wife and I do not have much overlap in our musical tastes. When we are driving together we either listen to an oldies station from the Phoenix market or ’60s Gold on Sirius XM. When listening to the latter, which seems to have a very short playlist, “Monday, Monday” and “California Dreaming” seem to be played quite often.

 

The Mamas and The Papas: How the group's harmonies were a huge hit - Click Americana

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The recent turn of events in Ukraine are a wonderful development, but the war–sadly–is far from over. In this CNBC Europe interview, David Roche, President and Global Strategist for Independent Strategy (a company that provides institutional investors with advice), offers his belief that the Russian dictator will be gone within a year. One can only hope it will not take anywhere near that long.

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Maybe I have really gone off the deep edge, but the car below has moved very high up on the list of those I would purchase as a restomod candidate if I am ever in a position to do so.

 

Fit and Trim: The General Motors B-Body Coupes of 1977 | The Daily Drive | Consumer Guide® The ...

 

This is a 1977 Buick LeSabre Sport Coupe. This was one of the General Motors’ B-Body coupes for that model year. Buick produced about 59,000 of these for 1977 and they were available with a V-8 although it’s not clear from looking at the Buick listing for 1977 in Encyclopedia of American Cars by the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide®exactly what V-8s. I do think that at least two of the three V-8s listed were from other GM divisions, a 301 cubic-inch motor that I believe was Pontiac’s and a 403 cubic-inch mill that I’m 99% sure was Oldsmobile’s.

I just think this car has a very sharp look and is the best-looking of the four GM B-Body coupes from 1977. My restomod ideas are almost always about a wolf in sheep’s clothing with very few, if any, external cues about what drivetrain/suspension/brakes lie underneath.

 

#MondayMonday

#TheMamas&ThePapas

#1977BuickLeSabreSportCoupe

#RestomodDreams

#somanyCARSjustonelife

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Monday Monday

Today is probably not a happy day in America. This CNBC article is titled, “Job unhappiness is at a staggering all-time high, according to Gallup.”

Obviously, when I worked in baseball I didn’t mind Mondays. Besides, the job was often seven days a week, anyway. In my non-baseball jobs I loathed Mondays.

Here are some specific findings from the recent Gallup poll:

 

“Sixty percent of people reported being emotionally detached at work and 19% as being miserable. Only 33% reported feeling engaged ­­— and that is even lower than 2020. In the U.S. specifically, 50% of workers reported feeling stressed at their jobs on a daily basis, 41% as being worried, 22% as sad, and 18% angry.”

 

Frankly, some of those percentages seem a bit low to me, especially since the title of the piece says job unhappiness is at a staggering all-time high. Maybe the title is just clickbait.

Here is an interesting tidbit: “Gallup found that the manager or team leader alone accounts for 70% of the variance in team engagement. Thus, an essential part of the solution for the concerning number of workers that express job dissatisfaction, disengagement, and burnout, is better leaders in the workplace.”

I wish I could remember the source, but I distinctly remember reading that while the percentage of people with sociopathic tendencies in society is about 1%, about 4% of middle managers in US companies displayed such behavior. My dissatisfaction with my two post-baseball full-time jobs was probably about 70% due to the managers I had.

I suspect that the percentage of people who regularly read Disaffected Musings and are retired, self-employed or otherwise occupationally independent is higher, much higher, than the population at large. Still, I suspect most of you can relate to the Monday blues stemming from having to return to the office after the weekend.

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I was originally going to title today’s post “Monday Morph.” Much of what I had intended to write would have been how the blog is changing, or morphing, into something less focused on cars.

Of course, it is entirely possible that the blog will cease to be active at the end of the year. No word has been forthcoming from WordPress about whether they intend to continue to offer the Classic Editor as an option for composing posts. It is true, though, that WordPress didn’t announce it would continue to support the Classic Editor through 2022 until late 2021.

Some of you who read this blog are also WordPress bloggers and I suspect some of you have made the switch to the new editor. Different strokes for different folks. I don’t know much about operating a large Internet platform, but I can’t imagine supporting two editors simultaneously is that difficult.

While this data is a year old, a 2021 WordPress survey of its professional users (those who use WordPress to design and to maintain websites for customers) found that more than half of them were still using the Classic Editor even though the new one is not that new. I think that fact says all you need to know about the Block(head) editor that WordPress has pretentiously named Gutenberg.

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One car that I briefly considered as a replacement for the Z06 (it is a virtual certainty I will not keep the car after the repairs are completed, whenever that is) is the new Nissan Z.

 

See the source image

 

The homage to the Z cars of the past is obvious, but I think the exterior design is quite appealing. What has turned me off to the car are the reports of obscene price markups by dealers. I saw one sticker where the car had an MSRP of about $54,000, but the dealer added a $74,000 markup to the price. Yes, the “S” in MSRP stands for Suggested, but such an action is unconscionable. I think the dealer should lose all of its Z allocation permanently, maybe even receive a stiff fine from Nissan.

Anyway, the new Z–notice no number–is powered by a 3-liter, twin-turbo V-6 engine rated at 400 HP/350 LB-FT of torque. The 370Z motor, normally aspirated, produced 332 HP/270 LB-FT. The new Z is available with a six-speed manual or nine-speed automatic.

As most of you know, the numbers associated with the previous Z cars were a function of the engine displacement. The 240Z had a 2.4-liter engine, the 280Z had a 2.8-liter engine, and so forth. Nissan could have called the new car the 400Z and said that referred to the horsepower. The fact that no number is used has led some automotive journalists, such as Todd Deeken, to opine that this is the last Z car, certainly the last ICE-powered Z car.

However, this piece from Wheels quotes Adam Paterson, managing director at Nissan, as saying the future of another ICE-powered Z car depends on regulatory environments in the car’s three main markets: Japan, the US and Australia. Of course, he could just be passing the buck in an effort to appease the market that buys cars such as this. Most of them do not want to buy an electric sports car, at least not yet.

If I thought I could buy a new Nissan Z for less than something else, like a low-mileage used Toyota Supra, I would have considered it. I just don’t think that’s possible, though, given the stories like the one mentioned above.

 

Hope your Monday is better than most of your fellow citizens in the US. Carpe Diem!

 

#MondayMonday

#JobDissatisfaction

#MondayMorph

#KeepTheClassicEditor!

#NewNissanZ

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Monday Monday

Monday Monday, can’t trust that day…of course those are a small part of the lyrics from the song by The Mamas and The Papas. As a retired person Monday doesn’t really have significance for me, but for my wonderful wife it is still her least favorite day of the week. Fortunately, except for when she is out of town on business (which is not more than about 8-10 weeks a year), she works from home.

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I had a weird dream last night/this morning. (Yes, once again, it’s OK to think “consider the source.”) I dreamt I looked out the window and everything, except the road and sidewalk, was painted red, and I mean a vibrant red. I don’t think I was home, but perhaps in a hotel out of town. I didn’t want to wake my wonderful wife so I just stared out the window. I have read that men don’t dream in color, but I do, obviously. I wish my friend Richard Segal were still alive because he was good at interpreting dreams, even mine. Of course, I wish he were still alive, period.

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For much of yesterday Most Valuable Packard and Most Valuable Studebaker were neck and neck for number of views, but the Packard post pulled away, which is not surprising because it was the more recent post. Internet “attention spans” are frighteningly short.

Thanks again to 56packardman for putting the link to both posts on the appropriate forums. Yesterday’s number of views was even higher than Saturday’s for the best two-day total since Bill James tweeted the main link to Disaffected Musings in early April. Thanks for reading, but please keep reading and please tell your friends about this blog.

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Does anyone reading this really want me to chime in on the impeachment hearings? All I’ll write is that I think it is highly unlikely that a Senate with a Republican majority will cast 67 votes to end the President’s tenure. As Ambrose Bierce wrote many years ago, “Politics is a strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles, public affairs conducted for private advantage.”

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Did any of you notice that neither Throwback Thursday nor Frugal Friday appeared last week? In an effort to shake up the blog I have decided that those features will no longer appear every week. Once again, I welcome suggestions and comments from any and all readers, as long as they are not profane or mean-spirited.

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This recent Hemmings article is about the first AMX/3 and the fact that it is, finally, about to undergo a restoration. As the sub-head for this Motor Trend article stated, “AMC’s supercar is a mesmerizing example of shoulda’, woulda’, coulda’–and nearly did.”

 

See the source image

 

From Keith Martin’s Sports Car Market a picture of the exceedingly rare AMC AMX/3. From the Motor Trend piece: “No doubt about it: The AMX/3 stands as the undisputed magnum opus of Dick Teague’s distinguished, near-40-year career in automotive design…the AMX/3 was an Italo-American hybrid. Giotto Bizzarrini sheparded the chassis development work and the construction of the first six prototypes in Turin. Having been involved in numerous Ferrari and Iso designs, not to mention cars he built and sold under his own name, Bizzarrini certainly qualified for the job.”

However, the AMX/3 was powered by AMC’s 390 cubic-inch V8 that generated 340 HP and a stout 430 LB-FT of torque. Of course, it was Teague and his team who drew the swoopy, voluptuous body. Once again, from Motor Trend:

 

“Numerous factors conspired to keep the AMX/3 from making it to AMC showrooms. A massive union strike brought the company to its financial knees and rendered several special projects–like a low-volume supercar–irrelevant. And further number crunching revealed AMC would have to charge at least $12,000 for the car–about 20 percent more than Ford was asking for the De Tomaso [Pantera].”

“Teague told Bob Stevens in an interview for Muscle Cars of the ’60s and ’70s, that ‘…the program was done on a shoestring, and we were on the verge of entering a new era. The musclecar period was ending, and industry priorities were starting to change.’ Safety bumpers, catalytic converters, fuel economy, emissions, gas-shortage hoaxes–you know the rest.”

 

For the nth plus nth time I will offer that fewer companies building cars means fewer sources for innovation in styling and in engineering, even in the face of strict government regulation. More competition is almost always better for consumers, a lesson lost on so many in government.

 

#MondayMonday

#AmbroseBierce

#AMX/3

#somanycarsjustonelife

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