Monday Musings 65

On Friday, the US Department of Labor reported that non-farm payrolls rose by 916,000 in March, a much better performance than predicted by those entities that make such predictions. The unemployment rate fell to 6.0%. (Of course, revisions will no doubt “change” those numbers.)

Just for comparison, when was the last time France had an unemployment rate of even 7 percent? Just before the “Great Recession.” That country’s unemployment rate has only been below 8 percent in two of the last 30 years. Excessive regulation of its labor market is the primary factor for that poor performance.

The blind zealots who want governments to control everything are also deniers of facts.

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According to this Corvette Blogger piece, Chevrolet/GM delivered 6,611 Corvettes in the first quarter of 2021. Corvette deliveries have not been that high in a first quarter since 2015. In addition, all four GM US brands (Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC) had double-digit year-over-year increases in retail sales. Oh, they’re not selling a lot of electric vehicles.

 

See the source image

 

From a Chevrolet dealer a picture of a 2021 Corvette in Elkhart Lake Blue Metallic. Of course, my first Corvette was in Blue, Electron Blue Metallic, to be precise:

 

 

C5 and C6 Corvettes are now among the best performance car bargains anywhere. This is not a Frugal Friday post, but one can find C5 Z06 Corvettes in the $25,000-$30,000 range and C6 Z06 Corvettes in the high 30s. The C6 Z06 was powered by an engine of legendary displacement, 427 cubic inches, even though it was based on small-block architecture. Output was 505 HP/470 LB-FT of torque. C’mon, a 500 HP car for less than 40 grand! What more could you want?!

Obviously from autogespot, a picture of a C6 Z06 Corvette:

 

See the source image

 

I will always have a soft spot for C5 Corvettes as one of those was my first Vette, but I have grown to like the looks of the C6 more. I would probably rate the C6 as the third best looking generation, behind the C2 and the C7. Anyone else care to offer their hierarchy of Corvette generation looks?

 

#MondayMusings

#SayNoToExcessiveRegulation

#C8CorvetteSales

#C5C6CorvetteBargains

#C6CorvetteZ06

#somanycarsjustonelife

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

 

#MondayMusings

#EveryMothersSon

#MayoClinic

#COVID19Vaccine

#PeopleVoteWithTheirFeet

#AstonMartinValhalla

#SayNoToThePoliticsOfEnvy

#somanycarsjustonelife

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

 

March Monday Musings

Yes, it is March 1, 2021. Two of the many bonds in my investment portfolio pay me in March and September; one of those, a municipal bond from our former state of residence, pays me today. Most bonds, corporate or municipal, pay their interest twice a year, such as in March and September. Some bonds pay every month.

The interest from that muni bond is no longer exempt from state income tax. A small part of me wanted to sell it after we moved to Arizona, but I don’t think it’s wise to sell a AAA-rated bond with a 4% coupon with the US 10-year Treasury yield at less than 1.5% simply because the interest will now be subject to state income tax.

The other bond that pays me in March/September has an interesting story. Its coupon is in excess of 7%; I paid 103% of par for it initially. After some false news about the issuing company broke some years ago, the price of that bond plummeted to 58% of par. I doubled my position; it’s now trading at 130% of par. (The yield on most bonds has dropped in the last year–until quite recently–and that means that bond prices have increased. Of course, the causation really goes the other way.) Transactions like that explain how, for more than the last decade, our fixed income investment portfolio has more than doubled the average annual rate of return of the fixed income benchmark used by our brokerage company.

I have been investing in bonds for a long time as I have always been more risk averse than the average investor. My wonderful wife now has an extensive bond portfolio, but didn’t when we married. Not too long ago I bought one bond for her IRA (not a muni bond, obviously) whose price increased by 33 percent in the first 23 months she owned it. I sold half the position. Bulls make money, bears make money, but hogs get slaughtered.

Companies that pay dividends on their stock can decrease or simply stop paying the dividend at any time. A bond is a contract in which the issuer agrees to pay a fixed amount on a fixed schedule until the bond matures. Which is the safer source of income?

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From an email sent to me by my friend and former neighbor, MB:

 

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See the source image

 

From canadianautoreview (an unsecured site) comes a picture of the new Maserati MC20. Like all manufacturers should do, this car is available with an internal combustion engine (ICE) OR electric motors.

The 3-liter twin-turbo V-6 will produce 621 HP/538 LB-FT of torque and propel the car from 0-60 MPH in 2.9 seconds. This engine has 12 spark plugs and 12 combustion chambers. The “pre-chamber” system was originally developed for Formula 1 racing engines. By the way, the ICE engine for this car was developed by Maserati and not by Ferrari. From The Drive another picture of the same car:

 

See the source image

 

Every regular reader knows of my long-time affinity for Maserati. Starting at more than $200,000, it’s out of my price range, but I would love to have this car.

 

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#BuyingBonds

#Socrates

#MaseratiMC20

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Monday Musings 63

I tried an Impossible food product for the first time, a breakfast sandwich from Starbucks. I have to admit it wasn’t bad. It wasn’t bad at all and I will probably order one again.

I know some people have a “philosophical objection” to Starbucks and that’s OK. If you don’t want to eat/drink there, you don’t have to. You don’t have the right to try to physically stop me, though. (Sorry for the split infinitive.)

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I will probably not watch the Super Bowl. Of course, I didn’t watch either conference championship game. My wonderful wife and I helped her parents set up their Hulu account, gave them a Hulu tutorial, and programmed their in-vehicle garage door openers so they would work with their garage door. The first activity took a long time, way too long.

Of course, I am not happy the Packers lost although I am happy the Chiefs won. The main reason I probably won’t watch the game (I stopped watching the pre-game show decades ago) is I don’t want to watch the Tom Brady Genuflection Show.

I give him props for leading his team to the Super Bowl; he’s the most accomplished quarterback in NFL history, maybe its most accomplished player regardless of position. However, I suspect the broadcast will simply be an over-the-top homage to Brady.

For some reason, he has always rubbed me the wrong way. When he destroyed his cell phone during the “Deflategate” situation I really began to dislike him. The ends do not justify the means.

I can appreciate his extreme competitiveness. Non-sports fans and fans alike really have no idea how competitive professional athletes are. This post about Randy Johnson chronicled a time when he went ballistic over a ball/strike call during a spring training game. Still, like all behavioral paradigms, competitiveness in the extreme has many drawbacks.

Go Chiefs!

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This Hemmings article is titled, “Turnkey replica cars are now legal, but many replica carmakers aren’t ready to make them just yet.” The piece begins,

 

For David Smith, the president of Factory Five and one of the members of the SEMA steering committee that advocated for the Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act, last week’s news that the replica car law passed its last regulatory hurdle before going into effect should have been cause for celebration. Instead, as he noted, he saw it as a mixed bag.

“We were prepared for this in 2015 and invested in vertical integration at the time,” Smith said. “But with all the delays, in lieu of going forward with full production we used that space for another purpose – to do more with composites – and now it’s booked. That’s definitely going to slow down our ability to take advantage of this law.”

 

Smith said it will still take another year or two before Factory Five is up and running. Government is not a panacea populated by supermen! Government creates many problems. What the ratio of created problems to solved problems is depends on one’s perspective, no doubt.

That it took five years to get this act implemented is yet another example of the ponderous nature of government. It can’t move quickly, which is often quite the detriment. If government labs had been in charge of developing a COVID-19 vaccine, they would still be arguing over the color of the lab coats.

From Allard Motor Works via Hemmings, a picture of their J2X Allard replica:

 

Post Image

 

They have offered turnkey replicas to customers in the UK, Canada, New Zealand and China. The United States is the only country where they don’t/can’t do the engine install for the customer.

I’m sorry, but selling 325 cars a year (the annual limit to the number of turnkey replicas that can be built), and the drivetrains have to be certified for emissions compliance by the EPA and the California Air Resource Board, is not going to hurt anyone. Smug, self-righteous and arrogant people who think they are in charge of everyone’s lives need to go away.

I can’t stand Tonald Drump, but I also can’t stand the belief that government always knows best. It doesn’t.

 

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#GovernmentIsTooBig

#ReplicaCars

#somanycarsjustonelife

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997

First Monday Musings Of 2021

Thanks to everyone who read Disaffected Musings yesterday, which saw the most views in the history of this blog for a day without a post. Actually, a year ago I would have been happy with yesterday’s number of views for a day with a post, but things change.

Human beings almost never judge events by objective reality, but against expectations and the status quo. If the Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers each have an 8-8 record next year, for the Bengals it would be a successful season while for the Steelers it would be a failure even though it’s the same record.

Speaking of sports and football…It’s a badge of American manhood to think you know a lot about sports, but it’s often not a merit badge. On a related thought, fantasy football is well-named because it bears little or no resemblance to the real thing. Actually, the same thing is true about all fantasy sports.

When I was Director of Baseball Operations for a major league team, one of my “responsibilities” was to hobnob with wealthy season-ticket holders. I can’t count how many of them said something like, “I could run a major league team. I finished second in my fantasy league last year.”

I would bite my tongue hard and then ask them a question or two about running a team or evaluating players. I am still waiting for my first correct answer.

Long way ’round…in this post I showed a table of NFL quarterbacks ranked by something called TOTSC. This metric uses the two individual stats that matter most in passing performance: yards per attempt and interceptions. With the regular season over, I thought I would show the final rankings and make some comments including the fact that the guy at the top of the charts is not going to win the MVP award:

 

    RANK TOTSC
Deshaun Watson HOU   1 3.28
Aaron Rodgers GB   2 2.82
Patrick Mahomes KC   3 2.57
Ryan Tannehill TEN   4 1.78
Derek Carr LV   5 1.36
Josh Allen BUF   6 1.36
Drew Brees NO   7 1.12
Matthew Stafford DET   8 0.87
Kirk Cousins MIN   9 0.68
Baker Mayfield CLE   10 0.68
Philip Rivers IND   11 0.60
Tom Brady TB   12 0.57
Justin Herbert LAC   13 0.57
Matt Ryan ATL   14 0.50
Joe Burrow CIN   15 0.34
Gardner Minshew JAX   16 0.27
Teddy Bridgewater CAR   17 0.17
Russell Wilson SEA   18 -0.02
Kyler Murray ARI   19 -0.35
Lamar Jackson BAL   20 -0.40
Jared Goff LAR   21 -0.58
Ryan Fitzpatrick MIA   22 -0.60
Ben Roethlisberger PIT   23 -0.78
Tua Tagavailoa MIA   24 -0.90
Can Newton NE   25 -1.02
Daniel Jones NYG   26 -1.21
Mitchell Trubisky CHI   27 -1.40
Andy Dalton DAL   28 -1.53
Nick Mullens SF   29 -2.07
Nick Foles CHI   30 -2.55
Drew Lock DEN   31 -2.80
Alex Smith WSH   32 -2.96
Dwayne Haskins WSH   33 -2.99
Sam Darnold NYJ   34 -3.03
Carson Wentz PHI   35 -3.72

 

Coming into this season, I had always thought that DeShaun Watson was a tad overrated, that he was a good quarterback who was thought by most to be great. One season does not a career make, but in light of everything that happened to that franchise, including the trade of their best receiver, I think his performance was great in 2020.

Along the lines of one season does not…, but still giving a player his due, I never thought Josh Allen could play at this level. Despite his obvious physical skills, he was a mediocre player in a non-Power Five conference in college. College is not more difficult than the NFL. Give Allen credit for his tremendous work ethic and give the Bills’ coaching staff tremendous credit for ironing out his flaws. I will also give Tom Brady his due as he played much better than I thought he would at age 43.

It is interesting to note that the two quarterbacks at the bottom were both drafted among the top three players overall in their respective draft years and that their futures with their current teams are less than clear. It’s also interesting to note that the two best running quarterbacks in the league, and two of the best of all-time, ranked a middling 19th and 20th with one team in the post season and one team out. Oh, the disclaimer: TOTSC does not pretend to measure leadership, the ability to audible to a better play, running capability or anything else except passing productivity. This metric is not adjusted for strength of schedule, although it could be. The quality of talent surrounding the quarterback and his system fit are not measured, either.

The biggest drawback to TOTSC, in my opinion, is that a player’s rating will almost certainly change even if he isn’t playing, say because of an injury. That could be partly mitigated by using more than one season as the basis for comparison. The current NFL system is flawed because it is no longer possible to really compare passing performance across different seasons, which was one of the reasons the system was developed.

The theoretical average in the NFL system is 66.7. The current system is based on data from 1960 to 1972. For 2020, the average passer rating for all qualified quarterbacks was 95.3. A quarterback with a 95.3 rating in 1970 was an effective passer, not an average one.

Anyway…enough of this scribbling. Because this type of analysis has nothing to do with fantasy football, few football fans would be interested in reading it. It would also not be considered advanced enough for football teams to have interest. I still think, though, that similar analyses and writing WOULD be of value to companies like Barrett-Jackson or Mecum. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Speaking of cars…

On this day in 1930, and not being the best of timing, Cadillac first introduced its V-16 engine/car to the public at the New York Auto Show. The car was offered in two generations through 1940 despite that it’s likely Cadillac lost money on every car. In its first model years, depending on the exact variant, the car could have had a price as high as $9,700. One could have purchased a 1930 Chevrolet, Cadillac’s GM stablemate, for $495.

 

 

From the 2019 Elegance at Hershey is a picture I took of a 1930 Cadillac Series 452, meaning a V-16 powered car. It made an in-person impression far beyond what is conveyed in this photo.

 

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#SayNoToFantasyFootball

#CadillacV-16

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Last Monday Musings Of 2020

I was originally going to show another sunrise photo, but when I looked at it on my computer screen, the picture was just ruined by the screen and dirt on my office window.

The views of mountains look better in real life to me than the pictures I take. The views of color in the sky look amazing to me either way. So…

 

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I must admit to a paucity of ideas for blog posts in recent days. Maybe it shows…

I thought skipping a day would recharge my mental battery, such as it is, but that has not been the case. Trying to analyze and unearth reasons for the lack of ideas is not worthwhile, in my opinion.

Obviously, I’m not writing this blog for the money. I really enjoy writing and, frankly, think I’m very good at it. I enjoy receiving thoughtful comments from regular readers and first-time commenters. Being consistent in creating content is important in building an audience.

If anyone reading wants to offer some ideas for a post or posts, I would like to read them. Thanks.

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On this day in 1953 production of the Corvette began at its new “dedicated” facility in St. Louis. The 300 Corvettes produced for its first model year, 1953, were kind of cobbled together in a garage in Flint, Michigan. Chevrolet/General Motors, anticipating annual sales of about 10,000, had decided the Corvette needed a “real” production plant to meet the expected demand.

The best laid plans of mice and men…after producing only 700 Corvettes for model year 1955, Chevrolet/GM almost shelved the Vette. The introduction of the two-seat Ford Thunderbird in that model year and the growing influence of Zora Arkus-Duntov kept the car alive. Still, Corvette sales didn’t reach the 10,000 level until 1960.

The re-bodied C1 Vette for 1956 that included “modern” features like roll-up windows instead of window curtains and external door handles/locks was really the catalyst for saving the Vette, in my opinion. Automobile enthusiasts like to credit the introduction of the V-8, but the V-8 was available in 1955 and all but seven ’55s had it, but the car still sold only 700 units. I think that by the mid-1950s, the American car-buying public didn’t want to buy a car without modern windows and locks, period. For 1956, production approached 3,500 cars and then the introduction of fuel injection and a four-speed manual transmission for 1957 cemented the Vette as a performance car with broader appeal and sales topped 6,300.

The St. Louis facility produced Corvettes until 1981 when production was moved to its current venue in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The Bowling Green facility had been previously used by Chrysler, I believe, but for the manufacture of industrial HVAC systems and not cars. Chevrolet/GM wanted a more modern home for Corvette manufacture and Bowling Green wanted a tenant for the recently vacated plant. Some tax incentives later and, presto, a new home for the Corvette. Oh, if I have gotten any of that story wrong, please let me know. I’m relaying those details from memories of our tour of the Corvette Museum in August, 2019.

From Hemmings a picture of a Corvette that was built in St. Louis, a 1954 model:

 

See the source image

 

Nearly two million Corvettes later and the car is now a world-class performance automobile in its eighth generation. It didn’t have to turn out that way, though. What actually happens in the world is not the only thing that could have happened. Life is a Monte Carlo simulation.

 

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#DesertSky

#EmptyCupboardOfIdeas

#1954ChevroletCorvette

#LifeIsAMonteCarloSimulation

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Monday Musings 62

Although I am feeling a little “off” this morning, I did receive some good health news on Friday. My Hemoglobin A1C reading still starts with a 6.

I have been diabetic for more than 20 years. The A1C test is an ingenious use of blood chemistry that measures a person’s average blood sugar level over the last 90 days. Readings of 7.0 or higher are deemed to be “sub-optimal.”

The fact that my level was measured in the “sixes” is kind of amazing. Given the blood draw was last week, the testing “period” began in mid-September. I was under enormous stress at that time, stress that continued until about a week after we moved into our house the second week in November.

Under stress the human body (usually) produces cortisol, which is really a steroid. Steroids raise blood sugar levels. Add the long period of stress to the lack of access to my treadmill to the less than careful way I ate the first 2-3 weeks after the move and I was sure my A1C level would be the worst of my life, something around 7.5.

Let me back up: I have had only two readings above 7.0 in my life. The first was a 7.4 in 2010, after which I began the running regimen that I still follow today. The second was a 7.1 in 2018 that came after an ice cream binge period.

Anyway…for a diabetic their A1C level is often as important a number as their net worth. I can stop worrying…at least for awhile.

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Please indulge me, some more photos:

 

 

I played a little fast and loose with the photos. The top one with the sign about “The Most Beautiful Desert In The World” was not taken where the subsequent photos are from.

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Today, of course, is the first day of Astronomical Winter in the Northern Hemisphere. This is also the day with the least amount of daylight. Where we live, “sunrise” today is at 7:28 AM and “sunset” is at 5:23 PM.

As I have become an early riser, this time of year is not my favorite. I don’t see well enough to drive without worry in the dark so I am unable to take my Z06 out when I wake up. However, by Memorial Day “sunrise” is about 5:20 AM. Maybe I won’t have to limit myself to one Solstice Drive. No, I don’t mean driving one of these:

 

 

See the source image

 

From RM Sotheby’s a picture of a Pontiac Solstice.

 

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#GoodHealthNews

#DesertPhotos

#SolsticeDrive

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Monday Musings 61

Today is supposed to be the first day that US residents will begin receiving a COVID-19 vaccine outside of a clinical trial. Almost 3 million first doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech formulation have been shipped. Their vaccine is given in two doses over a three-week period.

I have written about my bewilderment that a large percentage of the US population apparently has no intention of ever receiving the vaccine. I really can’t comprehend the obtuseness of those who feel that way.

I blame “social media” almost exclusively for this phenomenon. (Fack Fucebook!) Most of the “news” on social media is not vetted, not credible. Your “friend” posting on Fack Fucebook about hearing that her friend’s husband had a bad reaction to a shot is not news and is certainly not meaningful data.

My wonderful wife and I will get vaccinated as soon as possible. I weep for the future.

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Maybe my fascination with mountains in general and the mountains around here in particular stems from having been raised in a part of the country that didn’t really have mountains. The state in which I was born and raised does have the Appalachians running through its extreme western counties, but that was not accessible without a car from where we lived and we never traveled there, at least not that I can remember. The state from which we just moved has hills, but the highest elevation there is only about 450 feet above sea level.

Anyway, much to the chagrin of some of you, below are some pictures of the mountain views around here. I realize that those of you living near the Rockies will probably dismiss these as being of big hills, not real mountains.

 

 

That bottom shot looked much more impressive in person than it does in this photo. When distilling the three-dimensional world into a two-dimensional picture, much can be lost in the translation.

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I receive regular emails from Hagerty, the specialty auto insurance company. They consider themselves to be an automobile “lifestyle” company, a view to which they are certainly entitled.

The most recent email featured their “2021 Bull Market List.” Here is a picture from that story:

 

 

One would have to acknowledge that’s an eclectic mix of vehicles. Here is the intro to the piece:

 

“Hagerty ardently upholds the philosophy of “buy what you love.” When that love intersects with cars that are appreciating, so much the better—you might just be able to buy what you love and also drive it for free, which is surely proof of a well-lived life.

Over the past four years, that’s what Hagerty’s Bull Market list has been all about: highlighting fun cars, across a variety of budgets and tastes, that we believe are poised to rise in value over the next 12 months. This isn’t a get-rich-quick list for flippers; it’s a tipsheet to help enthusiasts get their cake and maybe eat it, too. And it’s informed by our analysis of all the market data Hagerty has at its disposal.”

 

I very much agree with the first sentence. Some people are obsessed with outsmarting or outdoing the world. Most of the time for most of them they just outsmart themselves.

Some people have a knack, often after years of experience, of being able to unearth items that will appreciate in value, whether that’s cars or art or the stock price of certain companies. Most people, though, don’t have the time and/or the acumen to be consistently right about such things.

I consider myself to be fairly knowledgeable about cars, but I would never think I could consistently buy cars that will appreciate. Frankly, I don’t care. I buy cars that I really want to own and to drive, no matter how idiosyncratic those cars might seem to many.

In general, I am usually not concerned with how others view my interests. I like to think that is because I am not an insecure person who needs the approval of others in order to validate my choices. I like what I like and if you don’t like it, I really don’t care.

Still, making decisions can be just as difficult for me as it is for many people. I will not discuss “the car purchase” again except to say regular readers know how much I/we have struggled with the choice. However, what other people might think has never and will never enter the decision-making process. I/we will buy something because I/we like it and it suits our needs. Whether or not that car could appreciate in value will also not be a factor.

I think you will enjoy reading the article about Hagerty’s 2021 Bull Market. I hope you have enjoyed today’s post.

 

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#Anti-VaxxerMorons

#MountainViews

#HagertyBullMarket

#BuyWhatYouLove

#somanycarsjustonelife

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Monday Musings 60

It will probably be a short post today as ever since lunch yesterday, my GI tract has been extremely upset. Hope the wild mushrooms in my pasta dish were not too wild.

 

If you don’t know that on this day in 1941 Japan attacked the US Naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, then you must have flunked history class…several times. Father Time is undefeated and soon no survivors of the attack or among those who served in World War II will remain. Many others are far more qualified than I to discuss details of the attack. Suffice to say that Japan awakened a “Sleeping Giant” and, as a result, sowed the seeds for its eventual defeat in the war. Japanese Admiral Hara Tadaichi remarked, “We won a great tactical victory at Pearl Harbor and thereby lost the war.”

I have never been to Hawaii; from our new “home” airport it’s about a 7-hour flight to Honolulu, nonstop, which is at my limit for length of flight before I want to get a parachute and jump. Maybe we will visit Pearl Harbor someday, but that trip is far from a certainty. That I may never visit is, of course, no affront to the brave people who served there.

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So, recent model convertibles with four seats and a decent-sized trunk are not common, especially if one only wishes to spend a modest amount. Even at a higher than modest amount, such cars are not readily available. I understand as convertibles are not often viewed or used as “practical” cars.

Obviously, we don’t have to buy a convertible, but we are not buying a sedan or SUV. Life is too much of a compromise already or, as I used to say all the time, life is too short to be unhappy on purpose. The Cascada looks better to us every day.

 

See the source image

 

Picture “courtesy” of The Car Connection.

 

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950

 

 

Monday Musings 59

 

Note the notification on top that I received yesterday. Thanks to everyone who read Disaffected Musings and please keep reading.

The first time I received the word that my “stats are booming” was the day that Bill James tweeted the main link to the blog in April, 2019. Yesterday’s notification was only the third or fourth time I have received that news in the nearly three years this blog has existed. Oh, Bill…please feel free to tweet the main link to the blog or to any specific post anytime you want. 🙂

Thanks again.

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Although most search terms are hidden I suspect that, once again, much of yesterday’s traffic was the result of people searching for Cristy Lee news. Oh, it’s Cristy and not Christy.

While I don’t want this blog to be a one-stop shop for Cristy Lee news, she is fairly active on “social media” and you can follow her there, I am grateful for any new readers and hope that they will read the blog even given she is not mentioned the vast majority of the time.

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Although I have shown pictures of my Corvettes here, I don’t think I’ve shown all three in the same post…until now:

 

 

The top photo is of my current Vette, a 2016 Z06 that I purchased (with the help of my wonderful wife) in March, 2019. I have driven it a little over 4,000 miles in the 20-ish months I have owned it.

The middle photo is my 2007 Vette, the only one of the three that I purchased new. I bought the car in February, 2007 and sold it in October, 2010 when I lost my business and thought I needed to raise cash. I think I drove the car about 14,000 miles in the roughly 44 months I owned it.

The bottom photo is my 2002 Corvette that I bought in March, 2004. I nearly died in February, 2004 and that experience, along with the death of my mother in January, pushed me into buying the car as I have had much interest in Corvettes for a long time. I decided to buy a used one because if I didn’t really like driving the car then I wouldn’t have paid the price for a new one and suffered the depreciation. Obviously, I really liked driving a Corvette as I traded it in on a new one after driving the ’02 approximately 12,000 miles in 35 months.

Doing the math: I have driven these cars about 30,000 miles in 99 months of ownership. That’s not exactly a lot of driving and I do feel as though I have missed out on some of the potential enjoyment of these cars. I suspect I will drive my Z06 more in the desert than I did in the mid-Atlantic, but the car will never remotely approach 1,000 miles a month.

Long live the Corvette!

 

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