Slippery Sunday

I was remiss in not noting that this past Friday (the 27th) was the one-year anniversary of our reaching a tentative agreement to sell our house in the mid-Atlantic. In some ways, it’s not so difficult to think it’s been a year although in some ways it is. We didn’t actually close on the sale until early November as the house needed major repairs–primarily to the stucco in the front of the house–before we could close.

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This post claims that evidence is waning for the theory that the damn virus escaped from the virus lab in Wuhan, China. Here is an excerpt from the post:

 

“While we’ll never know for sure where the virus came from, the wet-market origin is looking increasingly likely…the precautions we’d take depend on the pandemic’s origin. If it came from a wet market, we’d want to take a close look at these markets, and possibly close them. (I think they should be closed anyway, for, as I’ve seen, the animals for sale are kept under horrible conditions.) If it escaped from the WIV, on the other hand, we’d want to institute more stringent regulations in lab.”

 

The Chinese government’s unwillingness to cooperate with any real investigation will always cloud any judgment. It should also serve as a reminder that their government is not one “of the people, by the people, for the people,” the phrase Lincoln used in his Gettysburg Address. They can call themselves the People’s Republic of China, but it’s just a name, not reality. Oh, I think the wet markets are disgusting. I don’t care how elitist or racist that may sound.

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This Hagerty article is titled, “9 tragically flawed GM vehicles whose heroic fixes came too late.” Here are pictures of the first two cars listed:

 

1990 cadillac allante red convertible

1988 pontiac fiero gt assembly sign

 

Of course, the top photo is a Cadillac Allante (the article specifies the 1993 model, the only year the car was equipped with the Northstar V-8) and the bottom shows the last two Pontiac Fieros ever built meaning they are from the 1988 model year.

Both of these cars have been written about and shown in this blog with the Allante earning a place in Ultimate Garage 3.0. Oh, here is the opening to the Hagerty article, which I think is extremely descriptive:

 

“Decades upon decades passed when General Motors could do no wrong, and the products rolling off its assembly line were proof positive of its business model’s supremacy. But nobody’s perfect, and mistakes had to be addressed to meet stockholder’s expectations. GM’s design and engineering teams made some great cars with serious potential that were packed with tragic flaws—and received heroic fixes that came right before their curtain calls. It’s all rather tragic, so here are nine examples to prove the point.”

 

General Motors descent from invincible leviathan to village idiot (OK, maybe that last phrase is a bit of an overstatement) did not, of course, take place overnight and in one giant fall. Still, in the early 1960s GM was very worried about being the target of government action because it occupied more than half of the US automobile market. Three decades later and three decades ago (1991) GM lost $4.5 billion and announced a plan to close 21 manufacturing plants. Of course, by 2008 GM’s losses ballooned to almost $31 billion and the next year the company had to file for bankruptcy and be reorganized.

Since the bankruptcy and reorganization, General Motors has usually been profitable. For 2018-2020 the company had an aggregate profit of almost $21 billion. Still, it is not the king of the hill and it doesn’t seem as if it ever will be again.

Just as some automotive historians think that Studebaker’s bankruptcy and receivership of 1933 meant the company was ultimately doomed, GM’s bankruptcy will prevent it from regaining its dominant status, at least for the foreseeable future.

I welcome thoughts from you.

 

#SlipperySunday

#DamnVirusTheory

#CadillacAllante

#PontiacFiero

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Slippery Sunday

For those of you who celebrate today as a holiday, I hope the day is infused with meaning and fulfillment. For the rest of you, I hope you have a good day, too.

 

Originally, I was going to show a table of blog views over six-month periods. I don’t know why I think any of you is even one percent as interested in such things as I am, but that won’t stop me from writing about it, even if I don’t show any tables.

Suffice to say that the six months that ended March 31st had the highest average of daily views in the three-plus year history of this blog. The average was 33 percent higher than the average for the previous six months, which itself was 80 percent higher than the average for six months prior.

Blog views for October, 2020 – March, 2021 were 172 percent higher than for October, 2018 – March, 2019. I began this blog in January of 2018; blog views made a quantum leap up in October of that year so I used the six months beginning then as the base period for comparisons.

All that being said, I believe that the last six months will represent the high water mark for views and visitors. With about 20 percent of the US population being fully vaccinated against the damn virus–and with 88 percent of blog views originating from the US–I suspect people will spend less time on their computer or mobile device reading blogs.

Last April, at the beginning of the “lockdown,” blog views made a quantum leap up; remember that the average number of daily views increased by 80 percent for April, 2020 – September, 2020 compared to the previous six months.

I suspect that a year from now I will no longer be blogging. I turned off the automatic renewal of my WordPress account, for example.

My fount of ideas continues to run dry and if fewer people are reading, then I probably will lose my motivation to write. Remember that I have actually been blogging regularly for five years, three-plus with this blog and the last two years I had a blog on the Evil Empire.

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Once again, today’s automotive “topic” was inspired by looking through The American Auto by the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide®. I don’t know why I just realized this so concretely today, but I am a big fan of American cars of the immediate post-fin era, say 1961 to 1965. Yes, I am also a big fan of cars like the Jaguar E-Type, which was introduced in 1961.

Some relevant photos from the aforementioned book:

 

 

Of course, the middle of this period saw what for me is the most significant model year in American automotive history, 1963. In this post I related something that happened during a Mecum auction. Stephen Cox asked the crew if they could have any three cars given to them for free, but they all had to be from the same model year, what cars and what year would they choose. For me, this was an easy answer and here are the three cars from 1963 with photos from Mecum:

 

See the source image

See the source image

See the source image

 

In case you don’t know, [Everyone Together] or even if you do, from top to bottom: Buick Riviera, Chevrolet Corvette Split-Window, Studebaker Avanti. When I published that post last July, many of you graciously offered your own choices. Oh, if you are a car fan I highly recommend The American Auto and Encyclopedia of American Cars, both by the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide®. As far as I know, the latter has not been updated since 2006, but the former has an edition published as recently as 2015.

Once again, and as is always the case, I open the floor to thoughtful comments.

 

#SlipperySunday

#PostFinEra

#TheAmericanAutobytheAutoEditorsofConsumerGuide®

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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

 

Well, at least the WordPress editor didn’t act up today…