Up And Down

I think that for most people life is up and down. They have good days and bad days and that ratio usually varies through time.

Some people don’t, or can’t, appreciate the good ones and others fail to acknowledge the bad ones, maybe because they think such days are a reflection on them. Some, of course, dwell on the bad days. Maybe I have no idea what I’m talking about.

In the up and down sub-category of “things only important to me” is blog readership. In general, the number of blog views has declined significantly in the last month or so. However, in the last 2-3 weeks that number has developed a strange pattern: three or four days of somewhat disappointing, but decent, readership and then one day the number of views declines by a quarter or a third only to rebound to the previous level the next day.

Yes, I have too much time on my hands and that fact combined with being an OCD-afflicted math nerd often does not lead to healthy behavior. Still, the fact that yesterday was another one of those “down” days in terms of readership led me to want to write about that today.


This CNBC article is about nearly every state’s attorney general suing a company called Avid Telecom for allegedly violating consumer protection and telemarketing laws. According to the complaint, Avid Telecom facilitated more than 7.5 billion calls to numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry by selling phone numbers, data and dialing software that enabled some “customers” to make mass robocalls.

Although, at present, I am having a bigger problem with junk/spam email than with phone calls, I also receive robocalls. Getting rid of our VOIP service has reduced the number of such calls, but even with “anti-spam” software on my phone, I still receive these calls virtually every day.

I wonder what Alexander Graham Bell would think about all of this.


Rick Rieder is a Senior Managing Director for Blackrock, a large investment company. Actually, it’s the world’s largest as measured by Assets Under Management (AUM). Rieder is also BlackRock’s Chief Investment Officer of Global Fixed Income, Head of the Fundamental Fixed Income business and Head of the Global Allocation Investment Team.

In this CNBC piece from yesterday, Rieder is quoted as saying, “I think the U.S. economy’s in much better shape than people give it credit for…I’ve never seen so much money sitting in cash” with Rieder tying that to much of that cash being deployed when (if?) the debt ceiling situation is resolved. Rieder also said, “There’s this thesis that you will have a dramatic slowdown. When you break down the numbers, it’s just not apparent.”

I am among those who believes that an economic slowdown is just over the horizon. As the Federal Reserve continues its policy of higher interest rates to subdue inflation and as the level of fiscal stimulus is reduced, I just don’t see how such a scenario can be avoided. However, and it’s a strong “However,” Rieder knows much more about the world economy and US economy than I do. I hope he’s right, of course, and that I am wrong. Economic activity is another unavoidable up and down.


A link to this Classic Cars Journal piece arrived in my inbox yesterday. It was the Pick of the Day and it happened to be one of my favorite cars of all time.



This is a 1957 Continental Mark II, listed for sale on the Classic Cars website at an asking price of $49,500. Only 3,000 of these cars were built in model years 1956 and 1957 and even at the then-outrageous price of $10,000 (base prices for 1956-57 Corvettes were under $3,500) Ford Motor Company lost money on every one.

I think that while the Mark II is obviously a creation of its day, by not having the garish fin/chrome treatment of many cars of the late 1950s, its look is timeless. Given their rarity and classic design, they are not outrageously priced, as far as I am concerned. I can’t imagine they’re easy to get serviced, especially since they were essentially hand-built.

I am still toying with the idea of Ultimate Garage 4.0 (despite not receiving any feedback, positive or negative, when I have mentioned this in the past). If I do create 4.0, it would not be until 2024 and would not have as many cars as Ultimate Garage 3.o, which had 14. The Continental Mark II (don’t call it a Lincoln) is a contender for 4.0.









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