Munday Mosings

Two nights ago I dreamt that my wonderful wife, her parents and I were dining out. At one point, my wife’s mother said, “This is the last time you will see me.” Then she put her head on the table and began to cry. I reached across the table to hold her hand.

My wonderful wife’s mother died in late October. Any psychologists out there who want to interpret that dream?


I don’t know why this story is sticking in my head. When I worked for the Padres I did a lot of traveling. I accompanied the team on some road trips each season; I attended the Winter Meetings and the General Manager Meetings. I used to visit the Arizona Fall League each year for a week or ten days (I would write that’s prophetically ironic, but our spring training was held in Arizona as well–I guess that’s more traveling) and I even attended a symposium for salary arbitration practitioners with our team counsel and another person, baseball’s soon-to-be wonder boy, Uifp Fqtufjo. That’s an easily decoded cypher for his real name.

Returning to San Diego after one trip and driving into the apartment complex in which I was living, the shuttle driver remarked that it must be nice to be going home. I said, “This isn’t home. This is my most familiar hotel.”

Even after I met my wonderful wife and moved in with her (almost exactly 23 years ago), California never felt like home. To be honest, one reason I accepted the position with the Padres is that I thought the team was going to be moved to Washington, DC and I would be able to go “home.” The best-laid plans of mice and men…

While meeting my wonderful wife was, obviously, the best result from moving to the Left Coast, I accomplished a lot. In the three full seasons I worked for the Padres near the top of the Baseball Operations pyramid, they won two division titles and one National League championship.



One change I am going to attempt is to be less negative about my situation and about life in general. While my inability to establish a fulfilling and satisfying career after baseball will always bother me, I am trying to remember more positive things.


Speaking of “careers,” I wrote here about how I was offered a job at an auto museum after speaking with a docent for two minutes. Well, the same thing happened again on Saturday. My wonderful wife and I finally visited a local automobile museum after talking about it for months. This museum is in the process of moving to a larger location.

After chatting with the guide/docent on duty for just a few minutes, he insisted I give him my name and number so we could chat more about my working there after the move is complete. I know this sounds arrogant and selfish, but something just rubs me the wrong way about giving away my time. However, in the spirit of being more positive I am considering volunteering at the museum, probably just one day a week.

Here are some pictures from the depleted inventory of display cars:



Supposedly, Jay Leno keeps asking to buy this very rare 1930 Duesenberg Model J Boattail Speedster. The next car made me happy as it was an Alvis, the make I featured as the “A” car in Cars A To Z.



Lest you think the remaining inventory consisted solely of pre-war cars:



If I do volunteer, would it be inappropriate for me to point out that putting the word “convertible” on the sign in front of this car is redundant since all Corvettes before 1963 were convertibles? One of my idiosyncratic favorites was even on display:



Of course, I prefer the coupe, but seeing a Buick Reatta at an automobile museum made me smile.

Any thoughts any of you have about any of this would be appreciated.







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Munday Mosings

On a gray, rainy day that matches my mood…

When we were young Dr. Zal and I liked to play word games, like saying words backwards. (Stloc Eromitlab Eht) We would then have friendly arguments how consonant blends that did not actually occur in English should be pronounced.

We also liked spoonerisms, especially in a two-word phrase or name where the first letter of each word was the same. [Spoonerism: Noun, a verbal error in which a speaker accidentally transposes the initial sounds or letters of two or more words, often to humorous effect, as in the sentence you have hissed the mystery lectures, accidentally spoken instead of the intended sentence you have missed the history lectures.]

Today’s post title is an example of our “solution” to such phrases or names. We would move to the next letter and if they were different we would transpose those. I still engage in spoonerisms, but usually just in my mind and not aloud. I don’t adhere to any hard and fast rule how to do them, though. For example, the TV show title “American Pickers” (one of the only shows I watch on a regular basis) is “Spoonerized” as Pamerican Ickers and not Pmerican Aickers. I keep telling you it’s hell to be inside my head.

Do young people today do anything except use “social media” and play video games? Who would Albert Einstein become if he had been born and raised today? As mentioned previously, I do not subscribe to “The Cult Of The New” where all new things are automatically seen as being improvements on older things. Anecdotal evidence of the deleterious effect of smartphones, social media and video games exists in droves. For example, companies report that a large proportion of recent college graduates are unable to have a face-to-face conversation with another person.

My wonderful wife and I do not have children. While I’m sure we have missed out on many great moments, we have also been spared the constant challenge of setting appropriate limits and dealing with the influx of the new, de-personalizing technology. By the way, I would “spoonerize” constant challenge as chonstant callenge.


This article from Hagerty is titled “6 late-model sports cars to buy, sell, or hold.” (Of course, the strict grammarian in me would say “6” should be “Six.”) Two cars are listed in each category. Obviously, the assumption is that Hagerty can predict the trend in future values of specific models.

One of the two cars “to buy” is what I consider to be the only ugly car Ferrari has ever made, the FF. Obviously, I don’t care if Hagerty thinks their value is about to increase; I would never buy a car that I think is ugly, even if it’s a Ferrari. One reader wrote this:


“How can the FF ever be a “buy”? Give it a 1,000 hp and levitation – it doesn’t matter, it will always be the Pontiac Aztek of Ferrari.”


Amen! No, I did not submit that comment.

Both of the cars listed “to sell” are Ferraris, the 2007-2011 Ferrari 599 GTB and the 2010-2015 Ferrari 458 Italia. From the Hagerty piece a picture of the latter:


2011 Ferrari 458 Italia


The exterior design is a dead giveaway that the car is mid-engined. I was surprised to see that Hemmings has eight of these cars currently listed for sale with asking prices ranging from $139,000 to $366,900. That is quite a range. I don’t know anywhere near enough about Ferrari to know if such a range is justified by differences in mileage, condition, options, etc. Given that the price of a new 488, the successor to the 458, can be in the $300,000 range, $139,000 doesn’t sound too bad.

Here is some of Hagerty’s write-up on the 458 Italia:


“…We’ve noted a slide in the insured values of the mid-engine sports car, and despite a slight growth in insurance quoting activity, it’s not enough to set aside the fact that the 458 will be a depreciating asset. Now may be the time to sell and pick up something that’s more stable.”


What do you think? Even if most people can’t afford a Ferrari, new or used, I think car people can understand relative value.

By the way, Dirty Dingus McGee actually ranked the three choices in the “Z06 Companion Contest.” I think that’s a great idea so, if you can, please rank the 1963 Avanti, the 1965 Riviera and the 1987 Grand National. Thanks.







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