All Hail Bluetooth

For most of my life music has been an important part of it. For me, music is almost never background noise, but something that deserves my full attention.

Even though my wonderful wife and I have lived in this house for almost six months (!), my ponderous, and frankly antiquated, surround sound stereo system remains unassembled. Almost all of my music has been heard through the “speaker” of my iPhone. Even worse, the iPhone would sit to my left on a small end table next to my chair in the bonus room, meaning I was not in the center of the sound.

I don’t know why it took so long to come to this realization, nor do I know what sparked it, but I finally realized I could order a Bluetooth speaker. Here it is:



Of course, nothing in my life proceeds without difficulty. When the speaker arrived yesterday, I eagerly began to pair it to my iPhone. Unfortunately, I could not place the speaker on the TV stand at the center of the wall opposite from my chair as it was too tall to sit on the shelf and too tall to sit in front of the TV without obscuring it. This end table was an improvisation; we ordered a wall shelf on which we can place the Bluetooth speaker.

I suspect audiophiles like David Banner (not his real name) would scoff at this, but the speaker sounds amazing. Of course, part of that is no doubt due to the contrast to my little iPhone speaker. I was overwhelmed at how good the music sounded.

I am toying with the idea of just leaving my old surround sound system unassembled and, perhaps, buying a second speaker (this is an Asimom Jewel Pro, obviously in red) to create real stereo.  Of course, I could just leave it as is. Oh, the speaker was all of $70.

Bluetooth was invented by the Swedish company Ericsson. From the time the effort was started to create short-link radio technology until the first consumer Bluetooth device was sold was ten years. All hail Bluetooth!


From Bill James:


“The problem with ideology–left or right–is that in order to exist, it has to pretend that questionable propositions are solid rocks upon which extensive belief systems may be constructed.”


Very well expressed, Bill.


When it comes to automobiles, my personal ownership preference is for cars I can drive and not vehicles that are de facto museum exhibits. This Hagerty article, titled “Have imperfect cars become the perfect investment?,” is about the market trend moving towards driver quality cars and away from trailer queens. From the piece:


“But there are multiple indications that enthusiasts and collectors alike are increasingly seeking out less-than-perfect examples of certain cars…Our Hagerty Price Guide data shows prices for certain vehicles in conditions #3 and #4 (“good” and “fair”) rising faster—in some cases much faster—than values for number #1 and #2 (“concours” and “excellent”) cars.”


Yes, Different Stokes For Different Folks (DSFDF), but I completely understand buying cars that can be driven without fear of turning a 99-point concours champion into a 90-point also ran in a half hour of driving. Unless I were orders of magnitude wealthier than I am now, I would never buy a car that I would be afraid to drive for fear of lowering its value, and I might not buy such a car no matter how wealthy I was. Ironically though, the Hagerty article seems to imply one might be able to have their cake and eat it, too.

I promise no more pictures of Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawks, at least not today. 🙂 Here is a car that appeals to me quite a bit and is certainly not a trailer queen:



This is a 1963 Buick Electra convertible offered at $45,000 at our local Gateway Classic Cars dealer. Although my wonderful wife would probably let me drive her Corvette convertible anytime I wanted, I wouldn’t mind having a convertible of my own to take advantage of the Arizona weather. Of course and once again, we have absolutely no place for another car. In addition, while I really like this Buick if I were somehow able to buy a convertible of my own, another one is probably at the top of the list:


See the source image


From a picture of a 1993 Cadillac Allante. That model year, the last for the Allante, is probably the best of the bunch as the engine–the newly introduced Northstar V-8–gave the car the power to go with its looks. Of course, the drawback to the ’93, in my opinion, is that the auxiliary hardtop was not available. I really like the color/wheel combination of this particular example.

I could buy one of these for far less than the $45,000 Gateway Classic Cars is asking for the ’63 Buick Electra. Hemmings currently has eight 1993 Allantes listed for sale for an average price of about $16,500 and three listed for under $12,000. Of course, this car is hardly one that cannot be driven for fear of ruining its value. Brand new, the MSRP of a 1993 Allante was $61,675, which is about $115,000 in today’s dollars. One can be purchased for 10%-15% of that figure today.

I would very much like to read your thoughts on trailer queens vs. driver cars, Cadillac Allantes or anything else. Thanks.










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How Is That Possible?

Here are links to two stories (first, second) that many of those who are blinded by political ideology wouldn’t understand could co-exist in someone’s mind as “the truth.” In my opinion, people blinded by ideology are just blind, period. Oh, there is a world beyond the US.


On this day in 1893 the Agricultural Appropriation Act authorized the establishment of the Office of Road Inquiry (in October by the Secretary of Agriculture, government has almost never worked quickly), the first road agency for the US Federal Government. The responsibilities of that office are now the domain of the Federal Highway Administration.

The Office of Road Inquiry was actually established because of the bicycle boom of the 1890s. It became a burden way beyond their means for local landowners to maintain roads. In 1905, the Office of Road Inquiry became the Office of Public Roads and then the Public Roads Administration in 1939. The Federal Highway Administration was created in 1966 and assumed the duties of the previous offices/administrations.

One might be surprised to learn that federal aid for building roads began in the US in 1917. As the automobile boomed, it was apparent that without a good road network, the growth in commerce that could result from motorized transportation would not be realized. As best as I can surmise, trucks account for about 70 percent of all freight transported annually in the US.

Many believe that federal involvement in road building began with the Interstate Highway System in the 1950s. If you told them that involvement began decades earlier, they might reply, “How is that possible?” Just because you don’t know something or don’t understand something or have never heard of something doesn’t mean that something is false or invalid.

“There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

– Shakespeare


The saying, “Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely” is attributed to 19th century British politician Lord Acton. My 21st-century corollary is that almost everyone who seeks power is already corrupt and gaining that power just increases their corruption.


From Cadillac’s website (I hope the links don’t break) comes pictures of the upcoming CT5-V Blackwing:


White CT5-V Blackwing Passenger Side Rear View of Exterior

White CT5-V Blackwing Passenger Side View Exterior


This car is supposed to have “limited availability” beginning in late summer or early fall this year as a 2022 model year vehicle. It will be powered by, basically, the supercharged LT4 engine available in the Z06 versions of the C7 Corvette. In fact, the engine will be built at the Corvette plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky. For the Blackwing the engine has been tweaked so it produces 668 HP/659 LB-FT of torque compared to the 650/650 output of the C7 Z06.

The car is supposed to be a real drivers car and will even be available with a 6-speed manual transmission although, of course, a 10-speed automatic will also be offered. Here is some of the advertising copy:


“Refinement magnified by power. The CT5-V Blackwing is powered by the highest output in Cadillac’s history: a 6.2L Supercharged V8 hand-built in Bowling Green, Kentucky. But make no mistake, this performance machine masterfully balances raw power with precise poise on the open road…Elegant and expressive, the CT5-V Blackwing combines striking style with excellent functionality. From its bold-faced grille to its sleek, long and low proportions, aesthetic beauty works in tandem with extensively validated aerodynamics, resulting in design that’s understated yet riveting both on and off the track”


As regular readers know I am not a fan of 4-door cars, but this car is not ugly and it sure sounds like it will be fun to drive. A fully “configured” CT5-V Blackwing will be priced at about $125,000. A Bentley Flying Spur 4-door sedan is about twice as expensive. I seriously doubt it’s twice the car and may not even be as good a car.

Does anyone have any thoughts on the Cadillac Blackwing cars? We would like to read them.









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January Exitum

That was fast…the first month of the year so many were waiting for has just about come and gone. Although millions of people have been vaccinated and the number of new cases of COVID-19 seems to be declining, the number had reached such high levels that the damn virus is still wreaking havoc. The most recent US 7-day average of new cases declined by 31 percent from 14 days earlier. Still, so many people have become infected–all over the world–that the virus is mutating.

Plenty of blame to go around…the Drump Administration, blind adherents to “libertarianism,” etc., but let’s not forget the Chinese government. They did not publicly report the Wuhan outbreak for at least a month–it is highly likely they knew much earlier, it is a communist country that keeps close tabs on its citizenry after all–and they ignored an offer by the US CDC to send a team to China to help contain the outbreak.

Speaking of the damn virus…this article from Israel reports that Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine is showing 92 percent effectiveness there, according to the world’s first big controlled investigation on how it works outside of clinical tests. To quote Israeli statistical analyst Anat Ekka Zohar, “This is very, very good news.”

Hang on because help is on the way? I am not a doctor or an epidemiologist and hope I have not written anything to imply otherwise. All I can write is that this is yet another example of how ignorant, blind adherence to any ideology can be very dangerous.


On this day in 1942, Chrysler, Lincoln and Studebaker stopped production of passenger cars. Earlier in January the federal government had set February 10 as the date for final production although only Pontiac actually manufactured cars until then. Manufacturers began “dropping out” on January 24th when Willys-Overland became the first company to stop production.

I was not alive during World War II and even those who were and are still alive today might have difficulty comparing the situation then to the one today. The impression I have is that the country was united in its efforts during the war, orders of magnitude more than it is today about the damn virus.

For eons, people rebelled against the yoke of tyranny as applied by kings and lords. Of course, people should have freedom to make decisions about their lives. However, the pendulum has swung too far from its “original” position in much of the so-called developed world or, more accurately I think, in the minds of millions in the “first world,” in my opinion.

As I have written before, in a country or society absolute freedom cannot exist because in such a context that state of affairs is anarchy. Finding the balance, though, between individual rights and the “good” of society is a most tricky endeavor. I believe that balance is and should be different in different countries, that no “world” standard can be applied to all.


From Pinterest, a picture of one of my favorite “pre-war” cars, the 1942 DeSoto with hidden headlights. Print ads for the car included the line, “Out of sight, except at night.”


See the source image


By the way, DeSoto produced cars all the way until February 9, 1942. Total model year output was 24,771 although, not surprisingly, only 4,186 cars were actually built during calendar year 1942.

I will almost certainly never have the resources to indulge every automotive fantasy of mine, but I would love to acquire one of these as the basis for a restomod. That “face” of the car with that grill and the hidden headlights is just awesome to me. What is life without dreams?







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Arizona Yin And Yang

See the source image

See the source image


Yesterday, the first day of Astronomical Winter, was a beautiful, cloudless day here with a high of 75°. I had two more Jack In The Box tacos at lunch, bringing my total to 30 in 52 days here (through yesterday). Getting those tacos, though, was another matter.

My wonderful wife and I decided to roam out of our immediate area to find lunch. We are not dining in any restaurants and, frankly, I don’t even want to dine outdoors, so we went looking for a different place to drive through and get our lunch. Well, two dirty little secrets of this area are the traffic and the frequency of accidents.

We were stuck in a huge traffic jam because of a bad accident on a street that’s usually busy, anyway. While I grant you this evidence is anecdotal, I have seen too many “fresh” accident scenes given the amount of time we have been here.

I think too many Arizonians drive too aggressively and too inattentively. It’s a given that at least one driver will run a red light at an intersection. Anyway, it took us almost two hours to find and to eat a fast-food lunch.

OK, everyone: EVERYTHING is a trade-off. The population of metro Phoenix has increased almost five-fold in the past 50 years. While road construction continues at a brisk pace, it cannot keep up with the influx of people.


I don’t know if this is related to Arizona drivers or not, but…people who blindly follow an ideology are, basically, just blind. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Oh…I have been receiving requests from people who are not regular readers of nor regular commenters on Disaffected Musings, but who want me to publish a guest post of theirs. I don’t think so…I am not the world’s most trusting person so I don’t know if these posts will contain a virus or hidden message of violence. If you don’t read this blog on a regular basis and don’t comment on a regular basis, then I am NOT posting anything you write.



I won’t know if this video plays until I publish the post. It shows one of my favorite trinkets, a radio station ornament that lights up. The call letters are WSNO.


How many of you care that 2021 Corvettes are now being shipped to dealers? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

I know this blog has a lot of Corvette material, but I don’t want the blog to be another Corvette Central. Like the hashtag reads, so many cars just one life. Still, can’t resist a photo:


See the source image


From Car Scoops a picture of, supposedly, two 2021 Corvettes.


A random car photo:


See the source image


From Orlando Classic Cars a picture of a 1967 Pontiac Grand Prix that is obviously a convertible. I really like the “face” of this car.

5,856 of these were produced at a price of $3,813, about $30,000 in 2020 dollars according to this. That doesn’t seem like a lot of money given the average price of a new vehicle in the US is about $40,000.


I am a “prisoner” of the newly found “popularity” of this blog. I have reached a certain level of daily views for x consecutive days, so I am reluctant to take a day off for fear of ending that streak.

While this blog will never make me rich, and while I still think Disaffected Musings should have five or ten times the number of readers it has, I am happy that the blog has reached a new level of readership, even though the damn virus has played a role in that popularity.

If you are a regular reader, please tell your friends about this blog. Thanks.









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“Thoughtless” Thursday

The word “thoughtless” has many meanings for me today. First, the incompetent idiots who packed and loaded the contents of our “old” house wreaked much havoc on our possessions. The most serious bungle is the rendering of my treadmill into a large doorstop as they broke the male end of the electrical connection, the part actually in the treadmill. On an upset scale of 1 to 10, I am a 100.

Of course, we didn’t buy extra insurance so I think we’re only covered for pennies per pound. The “Johnny Astro Syndrome” is alive and well.

Second, I had many topics about which I wanted to write today, but as I recounted here, if I don’t actually make a note to myself then it’s highly unlikely I will remember those topics. Granted, that’s a stretched definition of “thoughtless.”




How many people are wearing masks?! You DO NOT have the right to make me and others sick. (In the “better late than never” category comes this story about the CDC finally acknowledging that masks also help the wearer. No sh*t, Sherlock!)

For centuries “ordinary” citizens rebelled against the yoke of tyranny, against kings and lords. I think in many contexts that the pendulum has now swung too far in the other direction. Many people have absolutely no respect for authority or for the rights of others. NO ONE has unlimited freedom. Unlimited freedom is anarchy, not freedom.

Your political views do NOT give you the right to wreak havoc on others. YOU are NOT the only person in the world and YOU are NOT even the only person that matters. A hundred years from now you won’t even be here. Stop having delusions of grandeur.

Speaking of politics, here is a personal definition:


Democracy is a form of government where citizens have the ability to partly–but only partly–mitigate the effects of idiotic policies enacted by governments, regardless of the political party doing the enacting. In a totalitarian state the citizens have little or no ability to mitigate.

When ideology triumphs over common sense and empiricism, the result is what you see today, sh*t. This is not a veiled endorsement of Democrats/Liberals who claim to be the party of “truth.” They will stray far from the truth when it suits their purpose just like all people who blindly adhere to ideology and refuse to acknowledge that their beliefs are NOT absolute truth.


To quote Jerry Seinfeld once again, “We are nothing but raindrops on a windshield.” Stop thinking that you have the right to impose your “beliefs” on others.

Sorry, no cars today.






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Wednesday Words Of Wisdom

I wasn’t going to post today as I still feel like crap and I just am blank mentally (yes, even more so than usual). In my Twitter feed, though, I saw this:

“The problem with today’s left-wing and right-wing ideas is that they are both based on the fantasy that the other half of America can be conquered, and when it disappears we can get everything we want.”

From @nytdavidbrooks…

If he really believes both halves of that statement, then he is on the ball in my opinion. NO ONE has a monopoly on truth and wisdom and neither does ANY ideology.


While I’m here, anyway…

The NFL Scouting Combine starts later this week. Surprisingly, Mel Kiper, Jr. will be attending it for the first time. I have mentioned that he attended my wedding. Mel and I have been friends for more than 25 years. He wrote the forward to my book that the Wall Street Journal called without a doubt the best book of its kind ever written.

Mel has great demands on his time and sometimes it is months between conversations, but we then pick up as if we had just spoken last week. He is a great example of Hegel’s famous remark: “Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion.” You can say that the NFL Draft is unimportant, but Mel’s passion for it has ignited the entire cottage industry in covering the draft, in my opinion.


From this article in a British edition of GQ Magazine comes this picture:

This is an Aston Martin DB7. The article title is, “Why the DB7 is the only Aston Martin you should buy.” Several articles like this about the DB7 have appeared on the Internet recently. More from the GQ piece:

“First seen in showrooms some 25 years ago, the DB7 has never been a more appealing package as now. Beautiful body? Check. Supercharged yelp? Check. Impeccable handling, ride and balance? Check, check and check. And all with that fabled badge at the front.

That it was derived from an abandoned Jaguar concept, funded by Ford and refined by Tom Walkinshaw Racing? Irrelevant. Unlike the cynical Cygnet, the DB7 was engineered as an Aston Martin – and the British marque’s blood runs thick in its veins. It was, after all, the car that saved the company.”

Today’s not Frugal Friday, of course, and these cars aren’t cheap, but I looked on AutoTrader and found 7 DB7s listed at $30,000 or less. Remember that the average price of an average new vehicle in the US is approaching $40,000. NOTHING about an Aston Martin is average.




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Even A Blind Squirrel…

Finds An Acorn Once In Awhile…So goes a saying. An aside: I loathe squirrels. I consider them to be rats with better PR.

Just as I believe that virtually everything is a tradeoff I believe that no one is right or wrong all the time. That is part of my reason for rejecting blind adherence to ideology.

In general, I believe in individual freedom, individual responsibility and individual accountability. I think all of these must be practiced together. Unconstrained freedom is not freedom, it’s anarchy. I also believe that people should not expect strangers to provide them with a comfortable life without any effort.

That being said, I reject most/many of the policy tenets of US conservatives. For example, and as I have written before, I do not believe that tax cuts are a panacea and I do not believe in a flat tax. I do not believe in confiscatory taxation, either; that is, I don’t think that government should ever take half or more of a person’s/family’s marginal income no matter how high it is, but I think tax rates don’t need to be reduced anymore. I also think that spending more on defense than the next 7 or 8 or 9 countries COMBINED is simply imprudent.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. I honestly believe that the ideological divide in the US is intractable and will lead to the dissolution of the country as we know it. Maybe that’s not such a bad thing.


I fully understand how people end up with multiple cars, even adjusting for my ADD/OCD affected brain. I watched an episode of Chasing Classic Cars this morning for the third or fourth time where Wayne Carini takes six or seven cars to the annual Auburn spring sale auction. One of those cars was a 1967 Cadillac Eldorado, like this:

(Photo from

I am very fond of these cars for many reasons and as I am watching the show this morning I start to think, “Hmm, maybe I should buy one of these instead of the 2016 Z06. Maybe I should buy one of these AND the 2016 Z06.” Barring a lottery win I am not going to buy multiple cars at this stage of my life, but I would sure like to do so. You know…one car for driving fast, one car for cruising in style, one rare car for turning heads…


In yesterday’s post I asked the following question: If you have a preference, about what would you rather read, Studebaker/Packard, Corvettes, or something else? I have not received a single answer. If you want to tell me without having it posted in the blog, you can use the Contact form to convey your thoughts. As written in About, I welcome thoughtful comments as a dialogue is almost always better than a monologue.




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Saturday Summation

The mid-term elections? The only political axiom to which I subscribe is that no matter where one stands on the political spectrum, much of the truth is usually somewhere else. I think both parties have lost the plot and are only concerned with elections and not with governance.

I think too many Americans have succumbed to what I call the bulls**t binary political paradigm, that you have to be an adherent of one major party or the other. Too many Americans don’t understand that many ways exist to define the role and scope of government and its relationship with the population.

For me, the right to vote means the right not to vote. I don’t think anyone should brag about voting for the lesser of two evils. If I don’t vote it is not a vote for the person you oppose, it is a vote for no one.

My 2¢.


On this day in 1900, the first modern, major automobile show began in New York City. This article from the American Oil and Gas Historical Society provides excellent information on the show. From that article comes this photo:

first auto show

More from the article:

“An innovative assortment of electric, steam, and ‘internal explosion’ engines powered these horseless carriages. New manufactures like Olds Motor Works of Lansing, Michigan, built models of each kind to compete in the developing market.

The manufacturers presented 160 different vehicles at the first national automobile show. Future leaders of the the nation’s greatest transportation industry gave driving and maneuverability demonstrations on a 20-foot-wide track that surrounded the exhibits. A wooden 200-foot ramp tested hill-climbing power.

About 48,000 show visitors paid 50¢ each to see the latest automotive technology. The most popular models proved to be electric, steam and gasoline…in that order. New Yorkers welcomed electric models as a way to reduce the estimated 450,000 tons of horse manure, 21 million gallons of urine, and 15,000 horse carcasses removed from the city’s streets each year.”

Everything old is new again. At the beginning of the 20th century it was not clear how popular the automobile would be nor was it clear which power source would “win” the battle. Electric cars were quite popular as were steam-powered cars. The only constant in the world is change. I have read that none of the automobile manufacturers that participated in the 1900 show are still in business and yet the automobile industry continues to thrive even with occasional bumps in the road.

According to one of my favorite books, History of the American Auto by the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide®, for 1899-1900 the most popular car in America was made by Columbia with Locomobile in second. Columbia was the brand name used by the Pope Manufacturing Company that was far more famous for its bicycles, most of which also used the Columbia brand name.

From a photo of an 1899 Columbia automobile:

Except in appreciation for their role in establishing the automobile I don’t have interest in these ancient cars. I would never own one no matter what my net worth. The oldest cars that interest me, and this has changed in the past five years or so, are cars from the 1930s.

Do you have interest in “brass era” cars? What are the oldest cars that interest you?


What If?!

“For of all sad words of tongue or pen, The saddest are these: ‘It might have been!'”

John Greenleaf Whittier’s famous line resonates all over human history. Being a car nut I think of this line often in the context of great automobile designs never produced or produced but not successful because of exogenous circumstances.

No, this is not a picture of a first-generation Mercury Cougar:

As the caption reads this is actually a picture of the AMX II with more “traditional” styling than the AMX that was produced. (The resemblance to the first generation Cougar is striking, in my opinion.) Potential buyers may have claimed they liked the styling of the production car better, but only about 19,000 of the first generation AMX (1968-1970) were produced. In 1968 alone Chevrolet produced 235,000 Camaros and Pontiac produced 107,000 Firebirds. Yes, it is somewhat of a specious comparison given the relative sizes of GM and AMC, but it is what it is.

This picture and the ones that follow are shown here thanks to the gracious courtesy of Patrick Foster and the Patrick Foster Historical Collection. (Please do not use these photos without first obtaining permission.) The pictures are from Mr. Foster’s terrific book, American Motors Corporation – The Rise and Fall of America’s Last Independent Automaker. This book and others by Patrick Foster can be purchased here.

The red car was the AMX/2 and the yellow car was the AMX/3 that actually saw very limited production. The AMX/3 looks Italian to me, perhaps a little bit like the Lamborghini Miura. The Italian look is honestly derived as the exterior was designed by Giotto Bizzarrini.

Believe it or not USA Today ran a story about the AMX/3 in December, 2016 titled Just Cool Cars: AMX/3 could have saved American Motors. The text in the story actually contradicts the title, however.

OK, regular Disaffected Musings readers, you all know where this is going. For literally the n-hundredth time fewer automobile manufacturers means fewer sources of innovation for styling and for engineering. The consolidation of car companies also means fewer choices for the consumer and has led, with a big nudge from government regulation, to the homogenized group of automobiles sold today. (No, not all regulation is bad, but ALL regulation comes with a cost just like everything else in life. One definition of an ideologue is someone who refuses to acknowledge that the positions they advocate come with costs.)

AMC was late to the pony car market with the Javelin (one of my favorites) not being introduced until the 1968 model year. The AMX was a derivative of the Javelin. The Mustang was introduced in April, 1964 as a 1964 1/2 (1965) model year car. The Camaro and Firebird were introduced in the 1967 model year. That delay in entering a popular segment hurt American Motors. Still, perhaps it was inevitable that AMC would succumb to the Big Three. Remember, however, that I do NOT believe that what happened was the only thing that COULD have happened. All we can do at this point is simply to ponder what might have been.


Another ho-hum game for Patrick Mahomes in a 45-10 Chiefs’ blowout of the Cincinnati Bengals. He threw for 358 yards in 39 attempts with 4 touchdowns. Mahomes also set a record by throwing 22 touchdown passes in his first eight career games. The NFL has changed the rules many times in the last 40 years; almost all of those changes favor offense and the passing game. Still, Mahomes’ accomplishments so far are noteworthy.






Here We Go

The Khashoggi incident shows that the Saudi leadership is hardly an enlightened group and still believes in medieval methods. I would love it if the US never bought another drop of oil from Saudi Arabia. Before one compares what happened to Khashoggi to US interrogation of terrorists, Khashoggi was no terrorist.


My love of cars with internal combustion engines may seem very inconsistent with my desire to stop buying oil from the Saudis. “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” I believe that the phrase “a foolish consistency” applies to those who blindly follow a particular ideology. Repeat after me: NO ONE has a monopoly on truth and wisdom and neither does ANY ideology.


An interesting set of comments from BMW’s head of research and development, Klaus Fröhlich, as quoted here in Automobile Magazine: “If you assume that, from this 30 percent [pure electric cars and hybrids], half of them are plug-in hybrids—I have 85 percent in my portfolio in 2030 with a combustion engine.” Fröhlich also remarked, “But the world—Russia, Australia, a large portion of the world—they will have combustion engines for a very long time.”

More than 1.2 billion cars and trucks are owned by citizens all over the world and almost all of those vehicles run on gasoline or diesel. Every year, more than 70 million new cars and trucks are purchased by people all over the world and most of those run on gasoline or diesel. Even forgetting that the manufacture of plastics is based on petroleum, the sheer number of vehicles in the world using internal combustion engines means that the oil infrastructure is not going away any time soon. Countries that seek to ban all internal combustion engine vehicles from operating within their borders in the intermediate future are seeking a pipe dream and/or a harmful disruption to their economies. “Be careful what you wish for because you may get it.”


Does that last statement apply to winning the lottery? The level of Mega Millions ticket sales has boosted the annuity value of the jackpot to $970 million and the cash value to $548 million. I believe this is the second highest jackpot in US lottery history. I can’t find rock-solid research on this topic, but I have read in multiple places that about two-thirds of lottery winners are bankrupt within five years of their win. I have my theories as to why that might happen, if true, but those theories are extremely politically incorrect and I am not interested in starting a flame war. I will simply repeat something I have written here: Ignorance is NOT bliss.


If my wonderful wife and I were to win the Mega Millions lottery, what other cars might I buy besides a C2 Corvette and a De Tomaso Longchamp? Earlier this week I showed the 1987 Buick GNX as a possible purchase. How about this?

See the source image

From a picture of a 1967 Mercury Cougar with what I think are non-standard wheels. While every regular Disaffected Musings reader knows I am not a big FoMoCo fan because of its founder, I like to think I am an agnostic when it comes to cars. That is, with the exception of Volkswagen and Porsche, I try to judge the car apart from its manufacturer.

While the Cougar was basically a Ford Mustang with a different body I think the Cougar is a great example of crisp American styling. I didn’t show the front end, but I am a big fan of hidden headlights, which is one of the very few topics about which I can be accused of preferring form over function.

Six 1967 Cougars are currently listed for sale on Hemmings, not counting auction vehicles. The asking prices range from $8,000 to $29,900 with four of the six listed at less than $20,000. I didn’t grow up with money so maybe that’s a partial explanation as to why I like so many cars that are not expensive.

OK, folks…what cars would you buy if you won an unimaginable amount of money?