Wednesday Cleanup

Bill James wrote me—and I could swear I published his comment and my reply on the blog, but they seem to have disappeared; the WordPress app has not been “behaving” well as of late—that Saul Bellow did write, “We have a word for everything except what we really think and feel” and that I almost certainly read that in one of Bill’s books. Many thanks for reading and for commenting, Bill.


Some “inconvenient” facts:

The US population increased by 7.7% from 2004-2013…

Total energy consumption decreased by 5.9% meaning per capita consumption decreased by even more…

Total carbon dioxide emissions decreased by 11.7%. (The energy/carbon dioxide data comes from the International Energy Agency.) By the way, the move from carbureted engines to fuel-injected engines has played a role in the decline of carbon dioxide/carbon monoxide emissions.


Too many people are barking up the wrong tree.


Speaking of automotive induction systems, on this day in 1860 Philander and Francis Roots received a patent for a supercharger as an air pump for use in blast furnaces and other industrial applications. Of course, the automobile as we have known it did not exist in 1860.

In a car, a supercharger is a compressor that increases the pressure in the intake manifold so a more energy-laden mixture can be ignited. A supercharger is actually driven by the engine crankshaft usually via a belt/pulley system. A turbocharger is a compressor that is driven by the exhaust gases of the engine.

I have written elsewhere that I believe most, if not all, new automobile internal-combustion engines should be turbocharged. That would allow for smaller displacement engines that are more energy-efficient but without losing power and engines that release less emissions.

I have owned both a turbocharged car (a BMW Z4) and a supercharged car (the Corvette Z06 that I own now). Intellectually it was amazing to me that the Z4, after some tuning, was generating about 370 HP from 182 cubic inches. Emotionally and viscerally, though, there is no comparison between the Z4 and my Corvette Z06.



A gratuitous photo of my Z06. There is no replacement for displacement is a common saying among gearheads; I understand the sentiment.








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Monday Musings, Bill James Edition

Many thanks to Bill James. Without any request or prompting from me, yesterday he tweeted the link to my blog ( Not surprisingly, the number of views and visitors increased dramatically compared to normal. So much so, in fact, that Disaffected Musings had the most views in a day ever, 90% more than the previous high figure. The number of visitors was also a new “record,” 45% above the previous high.

Thanks to everyone who read the blog yesterday. If you liked what you read please sign up to follow the blog and/or tell your friends. Of course, being neither a glass half-full nor glass half-empty person, but instead being someone who doesn’t even see the glass, I am disappointed that with all of the views not even one comment was posted. Oh well…


The saying “time flies when you’re having fun” was never more true for me than one time at the Baseball Winter Meetings. Bill and I decided to sit down and chat at 7 PM one evening. I had to attend a Rule 5 meeting for one of my clients at 9 PM so I figured I would have no problem making the meeting. I missed the beginning of the meeting. Our conversation was enormously entertaining and stimulating and I completely lost track of the time, which is out of character for me. I would rather be 10 minutes early for something than 1 minute late.



A picture of the 1998 World Series patch on my very worn sweatpants that I wear most nights from October to May. As regular readers know I don’t follow baseball anymore, but these sweatpants are a reminder that I once was right and the rest of the world was wrong.


From this post on Archon’s Den, some humor:

I became a professional fisherman, but discovered I couldn’t live on my net income. I went to work in a meat processing factory, but I couldn’t cut it. So then I got a job at a gym…but they said I wasn’t working out!


How many optimists does it take to screw in a light bulb?

None, they’re convinced that the power will come back on soon.


Murphy’s First Law of Computing

Whatever happens, behave as though you meant it to happen.

Murphy’s Second Law of Computing:

When you get to the point where you really understand your software, it’s probably obsolete.


Music was much better when ugly people were allowed to make it.


One of my own:

How many Jewish mothers does it take to change a light bulb?

None, we’ll sit in the dark.


A car like this was consigned to the recent Mecum auction in Houston. From a picture of a Lancia Flaminia Coupe:


The pictured car is a 1963 model; the one that hammered at Mecum for $30,000 was a 1965 model. I had never heard of this car before seeing it on the auction. That is one reason I watch car auctions, to see something I’ve never seen before.

This picture doesn’t do the looks of the car justice, in my opinion. I was quite taken with the styling when the car first appeared on the screen.

The Flaminia was produced by Italian automaker Lancia from 1957 to 1970 and was available as a coupe, a saloon (sedan) or a cabriolet (convertible). Despite being produced for over a decade and in three different body styles fewer than 13,000 were made in total. Of course, that might be an impressive figure for Lancia. The body was designed by the legendary Pininfarina.

The only two Lancia models with which I previously had any familiarity were the Stratos and the Fulvia.





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