Monday Musings 72

I must admit that I often have the feeling, “What good does any of this do?” I often feel as if I am spending too much time preaching to the choir. I actually think it’s almost impossible to do anything else these days.

Due in large part to the scourge of “social media” too much of the world’s population is firmly entrenched in bubbles of thought, never considering that their “favorite” ideology is filled with dangerous inconsistencies and is woefully inadequate in dealing with real-world complexities.

In the current debate over infrastructure one truth that is being left out is simply how difficult it has become to actually get such projects completed in a timely manner. Consider that it took four years to build the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in the 1930s whereas it took two decades to repair one-third of it after the 1989 Bay Area earthquake. Here are some words of wisdom, IMO, from George Will:

 

“Can today’s nation — divided by the politics of envy and race-mongering; with “leaders” too timid to ask 98.2 percent of Americans (those earning less than $400,000) to pay for the gusher of new government benefactions — perform great feats?

Last month was the 60th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s speech summoning the nation to send astronauts to the moon in the 1960s. Ben Domenech, publisher of the Federalist, says of the speech: “It seems like it comes not just from a different time but from a different country.” Kennedy’s challenge required accomplishing 2 million tasks, a million of which involved then-uninvented technologies. He did not stoke racial or class divisions; he spoke of a national identity receptive to great and uncertain exertions. He did not pander to particular constituencies, promising union jobs and racial “equity” throughout the space program. Instead, he asked the nation to take gigantic risks for the nation’s, and humanity’s, benefit.

Whereas “Kennedy called the nation to dare,” today, Domenech writes, America is where “schools can’t fail kids for giving the wrong answers, where teachers refuse to teach even with precautions and vaccinations, and where local authorities won’t put down riots.” A different country.” (My question: would Kennedy be considered a traitor by today’s Democratic party? He also played a major role in a large tax cut.)

 

The US is headed for dissolution, which is not surprising when such a large segment of the population does nothing except harp on differences. Whatever happened to “first earn, then receive?” Yes, I suspect I am preaching to the choir as people who think differently from me don’t read this blog. However, just as the rest of the world laughed at me in the 1980s–and was wrong–when I said baseball teams eventually would use data as the linchpin of their decision-making processes, I am more certain than ever that the US as we know it will not exist in 50 years. Unfortunately (maybe not), unlike in baseball where I lived to see my predictions come to fruition, I will not live 50 more years.

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Yesterday marked 31 weeks that we moved into this house. We decided to make a real dent in the mess in the room that is supposed to be, eventually, our guest bedroom.

Let me repeat my belief that the interstate moving business is a racket. Anyway…many of the items in this room were packed pictures. Opening one of them made my heart sink. The glass for a framed picture of Secretariat had broken and one of the shards had left a six-inch long scratch on the picture.

We have already “settled” on our damage claims, so we cannot be reimbursed for this. It’s not as if this piece is worth hundreds or thousands of dollars, but it has/had tremendous value to me.

While I am happy to be in Arizona, this move was even more stressful than my first cross-country move when I left the area in which I was born and raised. Not only does the financial bill seem to increase without end–you cannot imagine how much money we have had to spend on this house already–but it seems as though I am suffering from sort of a delayed stress syndrome.

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OK, I had another strange dream. Yes, I know that dreams often don’t mean anything, that they are–supposedly–the brain filtering and sorting information without the intent of that information being interpreted. However, I think dreams are often an expression of fears and wishes. Anyway…I had an appointment at the Mayo Clinic. My appointment was in room S151; yes, the room number was very prominent.

After a long and angst-inducing search, I finally found room S151 and its large sign that read “Room S151.” However, I heard people calling my name and after another stress-inducing interval I saw three people, each sitting in a separate chair with plexiglass partitions, on the other side of the wide hall. They were the ones calling my name. I then woke from this dream. All I can write is WTF?!

Sorry, no cars today.

 

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#FirstEarnThenReceive

#MovingStress

#MoreStrangeDreams

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Goodbye, Wegmans

I love shopping at Wegmans supermarket. Well, I guess I should write that I loved shopping there. Wegmans does not have stores in the desert being solely Northeast/Mid-Atlantic in location.

Yesterday I went shopping there for the last time. How much do/did I love that place? For the last five years, the closest one to us has been about 18 miles away–one way–and yet it has been our main supermarket as well as our primary pharmacy. Before November of 2015, the closest one was about an hour’s drive–one way–and yet we still went shopping there on occasion.

Since 1998, Wegmans’ employees have put the company on the FORTUNE magazine’s list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For®. The list began in 1998. Wegmans has always ranked at or near the top among supermarkets in the American Customer Satisfaction Index® and has had at least one year as the top retailer in America regardless of sector. I miss 56PackardMan’s contributions to the blog, but especially miss him here as he spent much of his career in the grocery business. Anyway…the selection of items was fantastic (it should be in a 110,000 square foot store), the prices were very good and the service was amazing. When I asked an employee where an item was instead of being told “Aisle 8A” they would walk me over to the right location and make sure I found the item.

Before I finished loading the groceries in the Z06 (which was another reminder of our impending change as I almost always went shopping at Wegmans in our Kia Sportage, which we sold on Thursday), I took some photos of the exterior of the store.

 

 

Goodbye, Wegmans… 😦

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Thanks to all of the people who read this blog yesterday, which had the second highest number of views in a day in the history of Disaffected Musings as well as one of the top five in the number of unique visitors. Once again, people trying to find out why Cristy Lee is not on the Barrett-Jackson telecast were a large percentage of those views. I finally added a timely update to Where Is Cristy Lee? that answers why she is no longer a part of those broadcasts, at least my best guess. From showbizpost.com a picture of Cristy Lee that has been shown on this blog before.

 

See the source image

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Events like selling the Kia Sportage and the last trip to Wegmans are making the move more real, but for part of me all of this is surreal and won’t believe we’re moving until we’ve actually done so. My mood has been more erratic than usual and it’s intrinsically erratic. My sleep has been even more disturbed than normal, which is both cause and effect for my mood. Unfortunately, I think the hardest part is yet to come.

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On this day in 1900 the first meeting of stockholders and directors of the Ohio Automobile Company was held. You know the company better by the name it adopted on October 13, 1902: the Packard Motor Car Company.

I haven’t written as much about Packard (and Studebaker, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, etc.) lately as I used to. Part of that is explained by the departure of 56PackardMan from the blogosphere, part by the shift in the search for a Grocery Car/Taxi/Corvette Companion to something more modern and not from a defunct American car company. I still admire the cars, though, and still wish some or all of the Independent car companies had survived along with makes like Pontiac and Mercury.

Given that Barrett-Jackson has resumed live auctions, here is a picture of one of my favorite Packards, a 1956 400 model, that was sold at their Scottsdale auction in 2010.

 

See the source image

 

At the current Scottsdale auction, a 1955 Mercury Montclair convertible sold for a strong $75,900 all in. I am mentioning the car because it bears more than a passing resemblance to Packards of the same time frame. Let’s see if I can paste in a photo of that car:

 

1955 MERCURY MONTCLAIR CONVERTIBLE - Misc 1 - 242749

 

I will continue to dream about owning a car like either of these two although I know it’s likely to remain a dream unfulfilled. Once again, what is life without dreams?

 

#GoodbyeWegmans

#CristyLee

#MovingStress

#Packard

#1956Packard400

#1955MercuryMontclair

#somanycarsjustonelife

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Sunday Choice

It’s about 6:45 AM as I write this. I couldn’t decide if I should write a post or take a drive in my Z06 and, eventually, stop at a gas station. For the first 35 years I drove I never let my gas tank get below half full. I was always told it was unsafe to let the gas level fall below half.

Now, while I try to fill the tank before it gets below half, I often do not. Is that simply a manifestation of the “speeding up” of time that occurs as one grows older? Anyway, the Z06 fuel level is only about a quarter full.

If it had been 6:00 or 6:15, I probably would have gone for the drive. The result of my choice is what you are reading.

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On this day in 2006 Tesla Motors unveiled its Roadster prototype to 350 invited guests at Barker Hanger in Santa Monica, California. The Roadster wouldn’t be put into production until February, 2008; Tesla co-founder and chairman Elon Musk (I think you’ve heard of him) received the first vehicle. This car was Tesla’s first production automobile.

The Roadster was based on the Lotus Elise chassis and looked very much like an Elise. The Tesla Roadster was the first production electric car that claimed more than 200 miles of range per charge.

I have no doubt that electric cars will become the dominant paradigm in personal transportation. I also have little doubt that will not happen as quickly as the zealots think or want. In the US, the share of the new car market for electrics has seemingly plateaued at 2%, although hybrid sales continue to increase.

Remember that something like 1.3 billion cars and light trucks are owned by people all over the world, almost all of which run on gasoline or diesel. Remember that another 60 or 70 million new vehicles are sold every year around the world and most of them run on gasoline or diesel.

In my opinion, some segment of the car buying public will prefer an internal combustion engine powered vehicle for years to come. From carsauto.com a picture of a 2008 Tesla Roadster.

 

See the source image

 

I must admit it’s not a bad-looking car; most Lotus models look good. The only exception for me is the Europa.

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My wonderful wife and I are both struggling under the weight of the stress related to our efforts to sell our house and to move to the desert. Both of us are suffering from diminished sleep. It seems as though no matter how much we’ve done, and we have been busy for weeks, a seemingly infinite number of tasks remain.

I would write “this, too, shall pass,” but I have the nagging feeling that something very bad is going to happen before, during, or just after the move, if we are able to move. Remember that I am neither a glass half-full nor glass half-empty person, but am someone who doesn’t even see the glass.

 

#SundayChoice

#TeslaRoadster

#MovingStress

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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