Nothing In Particular

Once again, my very strongly held opinion:

Republicans/Conservatives have a foolish amount of faith in human nature.

Democrats/Liberals foolishly think they can change and/or ignore human nature.

Without acknowledgment that none of us is right all the time, the divide will grow to the point of being intractable, if it hasn’t already.


“Crypto is one big con job.”

Those are not the words of Warren Buffett, but the consensus view of tech executives in Silicon Valley who recently spoke to Jim Cramer of CNBC. The problem is as people figure this out the appetite for all “risk-on” assets, like equities, will take a hit.

Sovereign fiat currency is at least “backed” by a country’s ability to tax and to borrow. While that capability doesn’t guarantee a nation’s currency won’t collapse, crypto is only backed by people’s faith in it. I have written that I wouldn’t buy Bitcoin at $1 and I still feel that way. I know some very intelligent people who have lost a lot of money “investing” in cryptocurrencies.


“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” Ralph Waldo Emerson’s words ring very true to me.

Why did I write that famous passage? I am still thinking about buying a convertible, perhaps by the end of this year. I have been focusing primarily on “Ultimate Garage” cars or those that were almost included in my “dream” collections.

In the past couple of days I have realized that an Ultimate Garage is, for the most part, a dream, a fantasy. Even if some of those vehicles are not prohibitively expensive, why should I limit my choices to a very small subset of available cars?

In addition, I should not–and will not–be overly swayed by reviews from automotive journalists and publications. I already have a street-legal race car, for all intents and purposes. Any convertible I might buy doesn’t have to have 400 HP, accelerate from 0-60 MPH in 4.5 seconds and be able to run a sub-eight minute lap at the Nurburgring.

All of this has crystallized and led to a car that my wonderful wife and I test drove in Arizona.


See the source image


This is a Buick Cascada. It is not a performance car given its 0-60 time of about eight seconds. (My Z06 has a sub-three second time 0-60.) The Cascada was not well-reviewed, in large part because the reviewers were comparing it to automobiles that were designed to be performers instead of cruisers.

While I don’t think the car is ugly, it’s certainly not Jaguar or Aston Martin handsome. So, what’s the appeal? In a way it’s an homage to multiple inspirations. The first car I ever drove was a 1956 Buick Century and that was also the first family car I remember. The Cascada was built in Poland; both of my parents were born in Poland. It’s also a “protest” of sorts against the fact that Buick no longer manufactures cars, only SUVs.

The car has four seats, a decent-sized trunk (13 cubic feet with the top up, about 10 cubic feet with the top down) and a surprising amount of rear leg room so it could function as a grocery car/taxi. This is Arizona and a convertible can be driven in any month here, even during the summer. For example, I went to Starbucks at 5:30 this morning to get breakfast for my wonderful wife and me. The temperature was in the low-to-mid 70s, ideal top down weather.

I have not decided that I will definitely buy a Cascada. I need reassurance that the audio/navigation controls are not as difficult to use as is often reported. Of course, that means another test drive, assuming I can find one locally. On our previous test drive we were more focused on ride quality and the extent of convertible “wobble.” The car passed both tests.

Between now and the likely time of purchase, my thinking could change, of course. I believe it’s OK to change your mind even if there’s nothing wrong with the one you have.

As always, I welcome your thoughts.







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Nothing In Particular

Brett Favre and Jerry Rice appear in a commercial for what is basically a glorified corset that is supposed to help with back and core issues. At the end Favre utters the tag line for the product, “Live Limitless.” I think, though, people who fail to appreciate their limits often wind up in deep doo-doo or worse.

It’s not that I think people shouldn’t strive to do better or to expand their lives, but all of us have real constraints, which need to be respected. If you can’t swim, don’t dive into a 12-foot deep pool. That’s as much of a metaphorical axiom as a real-world warning.


Not that anyone asked, but the “milestone” number of yearly views for this blog that I hoped would occur before the end of September was reached, but not until September 30. Ominously, though, blog views have dropped dramatically since about September 20. September was the first month in over a year where the number of views divided by the number of posts failed to reach a certain level.

Obviously, if you’re not reading this you can’t tell me what is happening and if you are reading, then the decline in readership doesn’t apply to you. I have read that blogs can often reach a stage where interest just sort of wanes as a matter of course.


On a much happier note, my wonderful wife has informed all relevant parties of her intention to retire at the end of this year. (Did I bury the lede?) While what is happening with her mother understandably takes some of the luster off the shine of impending retirement, we are both very happy with this decision.

In retirement we should be able to travel more, even if that means “just” taking in the sights of Arizona, like this:



My wonderful wife took this picture while we were on en route to a Cars and Coffee event about 20 miles from our house. Except for the hottest days of summer (when hot-air balloons are less buoyant), these launches are commonplace, but still quite lovely to view.

Did I say Cars and Coffee? We did indeed attend one yesterday and while the event was packed with cars, and even in-person “Thank Yous” from people working the event, the best part was spending time with Professor T, his wife, and my wife’s friend and former colleague, Luke. You still want to see pictures? OK…



As it turns out, this car has appeared in Disaffected Musings before, in this post from January of this year. The owner lives on a boat on the lake where my wonderful wife, her parents and I spent much of New Years Day, 2021.



Corvettes were well-represented and the event had a very strong turnout. One thing that made me happy was the proportion of young people in attendance; they were also well-represented.







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