Munday Mosings

I have to say that I am impressed with Carvana. We signed the paperwork to sell the Cascada yesterday, a Sunday. The payment for the car was in my bank account by 5 AM local time. (Yes, I was up at that hour. I usually am.)

It’s just one transaction, but Carvana seems to be able to function when so many American companies are unable to do so. Again, I wish they sold “classic” cars, but I am not buying anything in the near future, anyway.

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Some photos to start the week:

 

 

No points for guessing where we had lunch yesterday.

 

 

The cloud in the center looks like a big head to me. I never said I was sane.

 

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A link to a CNBC piece that warmed my heart: “Facebook scrambles to escape stock’s death spiral as users flee, sales drop.” Laura Martin, an analyst at Needham, said, “I’m not sure there’s a core business that works anymore at Facebook.”

Fack Fucebook!

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Not all automobile executives are jumping on the EV bandwagon. In another article that brightened my day, this piece from Hagerty reported on Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda’s continuing skepticism over “pie in the sky mandates” such as the one issued by California in August, six days before asking EV owners to reduce their charging because the grid couldn’t handle it. What the hell, here’s a big chunk of the article:

 

“Speaking with reporters during a dealer meeting in Las Vegas, Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda expressed skepticism over pie-in-the-sky mandates such as California’s total ban of gasoline-powered cars in the state by 2035, according to a report from Automotive News. The mandate, which was recently adopted by Washington state and even more recently New York state, doesn’t seem possible, according to Toyoda. “Realistically speaking, it seems rather difficult to achieve that,” he said. Electric vehicles are “Just going to take longer than the media would like us to believe,” he continued.”

“This isn’t the first time that Toyoda poked holes in what many believe to be the future of the automobile. In September of last year, Akio Toyoda expressed similar skepticism about the inevitability of autonomy as well as the electric revolution. While automakers [are] continuing to chase more efficient and eco-friendlier EVs, Toyoda’s remarks feel like a welcome reality check for the prevailing market forces that seem to think the various issues with EVs—where the materials come from and the rising costs of battery vehicles in general, to name a few—will magically sort themselves out in a few short years.”

 

A welcome reality check, indeed.

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Another CNBC article, this one about the 10 least popular US states to move to. Only one state surprised me on the list.

 

The 10 least popular states to move to in 2022:

  1. New Jersey
  2. California
  3. Illinois
  4. New York
  5. Connecticut
  6. Utah
  7. Maryland
  8. Rhode Island
  9. Louisiana
  10. Virginia

 

Utah was first in percentage gain in population among all states from 2010 to 2020 so its inclusion here is surprising to me. States 1-5 are all high tax jurisdictions. When they can, people vote with their feet. In a federal republic states are allowed to have different tax regimes. I have lived in two of these ten states and would NEVER live in either one again.

 

#MundayMosings

#FackFucebook!

#EVsAreNotAPanacea

#PeopleVoteWithTheirFeet

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Friday Friendly’s Fribble®

Has the quest for alliteration gone too far? When will the madness end? Stay tuned for the next episode of As Rules Of Logic Turns.

By the way, Fribble is just the name for a Friendly’s milkshake. Do you have or have you ever had Friendly’s where you live(d)? They serve meals in addition to ice cream. My wonderful wife and I would dine there occasionally while we lived in the mid-Atlantic.

 

Fribble(R)

 

One meal at a Friendly’s I remember well was when I began my seventh and last semester as an undergraduate in college. My then girlfriend accompanied me and my father up to school–which was about a 75-minute drive from where I lived–and we stopped at the Friendly’s near campus. I did not have a car at that time and my father surprised me by offering to take me to school. He would surprise me again at the end of the semester when he drove to pick me up and bring me home. The meal at Friendly’s was among the most enjoyable of my life.

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I found this story interesting: the purchase of a majority stake in Barrett-Jackson by IMG. I had an interesting text dialogue yesterday with Scott Hoke and John Kraman about this development. I would be betraying their confidence to reveal their thoughts. I think the fact that IMG is buying a majority stake is of great significance. A company like that would not own most of an asset and not end up being in charge, eventually. I learned today that the purchase price was $261 million.

I don’t know anything about Craig Jackson other than what he wants the public to know. However, he might have decided to ease his way into retirement by selling a majority stake in the company. Of course, I could be adding two and two and getting six.

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I am thinking more and more about this car:

 

 

According to the episode of Everyday Driver where this car was compared to a Porsche 718 Cayman and BMW M2 Competition Coupe, the Supra has the fastest 0-60 time of the three at 3.9 seconds. That, my friends, is fast.

It was a big deal when the C5 Corvette Z06 had a 0-60 acceleration time of 4.0 seconds, granting that was 20 years ago. A current-generation Supra is faster, 0-60, than both of my first two Corvettes. Think about that for awhile.

Does it sound to you as if I have already made up my mind to sell my Z06 whenever it is returned and to buy a Supra? I would swear that I haven’t, but maybe I’m not sure about that.

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This CNBC article reports that “wealthy” American households, defined in a SmartAsset survey as those earning $200,000 or more annually, are flocking to the Sun Belt. Not surprisingly, the two states losing the most high earners in 2019-2020 were California and New York. Here are the five states receiving the most wealthy households; you’ll have to read the article to see which states rounded out the top ten:

 

 

  1. Florida: 20,263
  2. Texas: 5,356
  3. Arizona: 5,268
  4. North Carolina: 4,713
  5. South Carolina: 3,967

 

California and New York were each -20,000 or worse. I would never live in Florida under any circumstances, I think the weather is actually awful with the rain and humidity and I really like to look at mountains, but one can understand the desire by wealthy people to live in a place with no state income tax. If they can, people tend to vote with their feet.

For those on one side of the political spectrum who say “Good Riddance” to wealthy people, I remind you that it is not usually an optimal development to have a jurisdiction’s tax base shrink significantly. Despite the refusal by many to accept this basic fact or wish that it was not so, the United States is a federal republic and not a unitary one.

 

#FridayFriendlysFribble

#Barrett-Jackson

#ToyotaSupra

#PeopleVoteWithTheirFeet

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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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

#disaffectedmusings

If you like this blog please tell your friends and share the blog URL (https://disaffectedmusings.com). Thanks.

 

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

 

Getting Old Tuesday

I had quite the fall yesterday, caused simply by trying to get out of my jeans so I could put on my “night clothes.” It is a VERY good thing that the floor of the master bedroom is now covered in carpet instead of hard wood, but I am still quite sore this morning.

The combination of Meniere’s Disease and advancing age is wreaking havoc on my balance. While living in a one-story house usually accelerates the decline in bone density and cardiovascular health, I know that if I had had a similar fall at the top of the stairs, I wouldn’t be writing this post now. EVERYTHING is a trade-off.

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Some more pictures from the desert:

 

 

With a little research I have figured out why the smudged picture of Venus turned out that way. In low light an iPhone camera slows the shudder speed (to allow more light) so almost any movement will make the picture blurry. I cannot hold the phone still enough to get good photos in low light with my phone. Is that another manifestation of advancing age and/or Meniere’s? I don’t know.

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From this CNBC article comes a list of the states to which people are moving and from which they are leaving, according to U-Haul. OK, people using U-Haul to move may not be representative of the entire population, but it’s still interesting to see. Here are the top five growth states in 2020:

 

1. Tennessee
2. Texas
3. Florida
4. Ohio
5. Arizona

 

California ranked last in 2020, behind Illinois and New Jersey. California has been in the bottom three states since 2016 and Illinois has been in the bottom two since 2015, when U-Haul began ranking states. Everyone repeat after me: People Vote With Their Feet.

From this US News article comes this list of the top and bottom states in population growth since 2010:

 

1.Utah (17.1%)
2 (tied). Idaho (16.3%)
2 (tied). Texas (16.3%)
4. Nevada (16.1%)
5. Arizona (15.8%)
6. Florida (15.3%)
7. Colorado (15.1%)
8. Washington (14.1%)
9. North Dakota (13.4%)
10. South Carolina (12.6%)

41 (tied). Michigan (0.9%)
41 (tied). New Jersey (0.9%)
43. Pennsylvania (0.6%)
44. Rhode Island (0.3%)
45. Mississippi (-0.1%)
46. New York (-0.3%)
47. Vermont (-0.4%)
48. Connecticut (-0.6%)
49. Illinois (-2.0%)
50. West Virginia (-3.7%)

 

The first list is just a 2020 measure while the second list uses a ten-year period so I am not calling this an apples-to-apples comparison. By the way, I had to deliberately leave out the space between 1. and Utah or otherwise the WordPress editor would have indented the list. WHY does WordPress assume that every numbered or bulleted list has to be indented?! I had to copy the list to Microsoft Word and paste it from there, but WordPress still wanted to indent the list unless I left out the space.

Eight of the ten fastest growing states are west of the Mississippi River and all ten of the slowest growing states are east of the Mississippi. Most of the latter group are also in the Rust Belt and/or Northeast. More from the article:

 

“Of the 10 most populous states, eight have seen population growth decline since 2010, while California, once touted for its population growth that boomed between 2000 and 2010, has seen stark declines in growth, losing population between 2019 and 2020 for the first time since 1990. Illinois and New York also saw population losses in the last few years, with both states’ 2019-2020 population loss marking their highest such decrease in the last 30 years.”

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With the purchase of the 2015 Cadillac ATS, all of the ruminating over what to buy has ceased. With it, a large source of blogging material has disappeared as well.

As the vehicle world seems to be moving ever faster towards electric and SUVs/pickup trucks, I wonder just how much material I will have for writing about cars. I open the floor to suggestions about what to use as a source for automotive content. In the interim, a picture of the only car in my “inner sanctum” among Ultimate cars that could be acquired for a five-figure sum:

 

See the source image

 

Remember that the quest for a car to accompany our Corvettes began with a car like this 1965 Buick Riviera GS. At this moment in time, such an acquisition will simply not happen. Oh well…

 

#GettingOldTuesday

#DesertViews

#PeopleVoteWithTheirFeet

#EditingForFascists

#1965BuickRivieraGS

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Where Are We Wednesday

If we’re Elon Musk, we’re probably in Texas. In this post I relayed the CNBC story that Elon Musk had told friends and associates he would be moving to Texas. Yesterday, this CNBC story reported that he has, indeed, moved to the Lone Star State. Everyone repeat after me: People Vote With Their Feet.

Musk might literally save billions in taxes by making the move. Why on earth would he stay in the People’s Republic of Calizuela?

“Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy; its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.”

– Winston Churchill

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I am surprised that I have not had more “Where Am I?” moments after the move. I am also surprised that I seem to be sleeping better. Of course, before the move our lives were quite stressful and now that the move has occurred, that source of stress is removed. Views like this don’t hurt, either. (Sorry about all the blacktop. Hey, photobyjohnbo, maybe you can give me some lessons in photo editing.)

 

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My wonderful wife and I have really enjoyed watching the first season of Transplant on NBC. The show is about a Syrian refugee who is a doctor and who has relocated with his younger sister to Toronto (Tronto as the natives pronounce it). Transplant is a Canadian production that NBC is showing to fill the void caused by the damn virus. The final two episodes of the first season aired yesterday.

The show has been renewed for a second season in Canada. We really hope NBC will continue to air Transplant even after US TV production returns to “normal.”

Those who know me and my obsession with House might want to know how I would compare the two shows. In a nutshell (I hear you, nut case is more appropriate), House was more cerebral and Transplant is more emotional. House was better written, but Transplant seems more realistic although the premise of House about a medical genius explains that distinction, at least in part.

From babytorrent.se a picture of the main cast of Transplant:

 

See the source image

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Long live UTZ potato chips!

 

 

The UTZ brand is not available in the supermarkets here. I tried the “generic” brand of potato chip offered by the store where I do most of our grocery shopping. (Yes, I always wear a mask and sometimes I wear a mask AND a face shield.) All I tasted was salt. I went online and ordered the “Vending Services Bags” from UTZ.

In 2001, Consumer Reports conducted a nationwide taste test of potato chips. UTZ won.

I used to have a semi-regular dialogue with Jim Schwartz, long-time NFL coach and a Baltimore native like me. Somehow, one of our conversations moved to Tastykake (a bakery brand familiar to those in the mid-Atlantic) and then Schwartz said, “To hell with Tastykake. What I can’t get here in Tennessee (he was on the Titans’ staff at the time) is UTZ.” When I told him he could order the chips online he sounded quite happy and I think he ordered a dozen big bags of chips.

I am quite happy that I can eat UTZ chips in Arizona. I guess the Internet isn’t all bad, after all. Oh, that awful tile will be replaced in January.

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I have written before that it was on this day in 1963 that Studebaker announced it was ending production in South Bend, Indiana where it had been producing wagons, automobiles, etc. since 1852. I will spare you long prose about the end of Studebaker and just show some cars.

 

See the source image

(From Mecum…)

 

See the source image

(From RM Sotheby’s…)

 

See the source image

(From a WordPress blog…)

 

(From yours truly…)

 

#WhereAreWeWednesday

#PeopleVoteWithTheirFeet

#SayNoToSocialism

#WinstonChurchill

#Transplant

#UTZ!

#Studebaker

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Twelve Five Twenty

In the latest episode of People Vote With Their Feet comes the news that, apparently, Elon Musk is moving from California to Texas. Let’s see: you can have much of your income taxed at the state level at 13.5%–California’s highest bracket for those “evil” wealthy people and the highest state income tax in the country–or you can have it taxed at zero as Texas has no state income tax. A person doesn’t have to be as smart as Musk to make that choice.

Some extremely misguided people (I am being kind in my characterization) who seem to fail to realize that the US is a federal republic and not a unitary one think all states should have the same laws, taxes, regulations, etc. Wrong!

 

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

 

That is the Tenth Amendment to the US Constitution. Many would argue it has been largely ignored and that many federal regulations are implemented without the federal government’s right to do so having been delegated by the Constitution. Still, different states have the right to have different laws unless those laws have been ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

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Has it really been nine days since Thanksgiving?! It really seems like two or three days to me.

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That is a picture of our desert home. The money shot would show more of the east side of the house and the amazing mountain views behind, but it would also show our address number, which is not a good idea in this day and age. We’ve been in the house about four weeks and we’re still unpacking, still having repairs/upgrades done. Maybe, just maybe, we’ll be “done” by the end of January.

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I am a big fan of Mecum auctions, and was long before Scott Hoke and I became friends, but have been somewhat critical of the recent dockets that, in my opinion, have too many Mustangs and pickup trucks. (That criticism applies to Barrett-Jackson dockets as well.) The current auction (which can be seen on NBCSN) from Houston has a lot of those, but has redeemed itself with some cars like this:

 

See the source image

 

This is a 1956 Studebaker Sky Hawk and the picture is, ironically, from Mecum and is a lot offered at their 2016 Dallas auction. For the nth time, Mecum does not allow online photos of lots from recent auctions to be captured.

The ’56 Sky Hawk consigned to the current Houston auction was bid to $12,000, but did not sell. The four Hawk models for 1956 sold 19,165 units (the ’56 Ford Thunderbird sold 15,631), of which only 3,610 were Sky Hawks.

Of course, the Hawk line was a remodeled version of the classic “Loewy coupes” that were actually designed primarily by Bob Bourke. Without the fins that appeared on some of the other Hawks, the Sky Hawk very closely resembles those classic coupes. This is my favorite of the four ’56 Hawks as I think it looks the best; the Flight and Power Hawks had visible B pillars and the Golden Hawk had larger rear fins that look out of place to me.

While this car wouldn’t make my Ultimate Garage 3.0, it wouldn’t be far off. Sacrilege though it might be to some, if I somehow acquired one of these I would certainly make a restomod out of it and might even have that hood scoop made functional.

Is anyone else, besides me and Stephen Cox, a big fan of Studebaker Hawks?

 

#TwelveFiveTwenty

#PeopleVoteWithTheirFeet

#ElonMusk

#DesertHome

#MecumAutoAuctions

#ScottHoke

#1956StudebakerSkyHawk

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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