Wandering Wednesday

As I write this, I am a little anxious as I have to have two wisdom teeth extracted this afternoon. Well, I guess I don’t have to have them pulled, but my dentist strongly recommended I have it done. No offense to dentists, but I still dislike dental appointments even though I dutifully go every six months.

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From Why Evolution Is True I share links to three posts. (Post 1, Post 2, Post 3). The first two are about the state of Oregon eliminating all standards in reading, writing and math for getting high school diplomas and the lack of outrage by much of the media. The third is less than flattering about the 44th President. Once again, the author of this blog identifies as a liberal, but would probably have his membership revoked by the radical segment of the Democratic Party.

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I hope I am not reaching the end of marginal utility of photos from Monterey. Perhaps the main attraction of the Mecum auction was this 1936 Delahaye Type 135 Competition Court Teardrop Coupe (I don’t need to capture online photos from Mecum!):

 

 

The pre-auction estimate on this car was listed at between $5 million and $6 million. I love Mecum auctions, but they have incentive to “goose” the pre-auction estimates, at least a little bit.

This 1936 Delahaye was bid to $4 million, but did not sell. Oh, how did I consistently get these close-ups of cars on the block? My wonderful wife and I sat in the front row every day.

It wasn’t that many years ago that I had no interest in pre-war cars (meaning pre-World War II), no matter how valuable they might be. I am now a big fan of many of these cars, like this 1936 Delahaye. That fandom doesn’t necessarily mean I would own one in the unlikely scenario where I could afford to do so.

On what genre of cars has your opinion changed over the years?

 

#WanderingWednesday

#1936DelahayeType135

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Wandering Wednesday

This Corvette Blogger article reports that a federal judge has ruled that the “Corvette Cracked Wheels” lawsuit can continue against General Motors. This is relevant to me because C7 Z06 wheels are one of the two sets that have shown a propensity to crack, the other being C7 Grand Sport wheels.

So, why haven’t I yet purchased third-party C7 ZR1 wheels to replace those on my car? Can you say frigus pedes? I think that’s “cold feet” in Latin.

My inability to find a satisfying, fulfilling career after baseball has caused me to second guess almost all major decisions. It’s as if I have spent much effort to compose great photographs and more than half the time they end up blank or blurry. I don’t think it’s the money, honestly, because I can have the bolt-on power upgrade AND the third-party wheels for less than I originally budgeted just for the engine/exhaust work.

Maybe it was the less than stellar performance of the customer service rep of the wheel/tire company that is giving me pause. More likely it’s just that I am not sure of my decision-making process, anymore.

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In the wake of the recent skirmish between Israel and Hamas, heated debates and, sadly, physical assaults were common all over the world. In my opinion, institutions like universities should allow debate but not be part of that debate. In a rare show of common sense, University College London has done just that. This was part of a recent statement made by Provost Michael Spence:

 

“It follows from this conception of the university, which I share, that it is not a participant in public debate, but a forum in which that debate takes place. While our staff and students should loudly argue for their conceptions of truth and value, the university, as an institution, should refrain from doing so lest it chill the exercise of the ethical individualism of its staff and students.”

 

Unfortunately, in the US too many universities practice policies that, indeed, “chill the exercise of the ethical individualism of its staff and students.” What do you think “cancel culture” is all about?

Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences, but it does mean that an “unpopular” speaker should almost always be allowed to speak unless their speech explicitly calls for violence. The fact that someone espouses a position with which you disagree does not mean that person is inherently evil, is calling for violence and should not be given a public forum. NO ONE has a monopoly on truth and wisdom and neither does ANY ideology.

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I have a thought experiment. Think how elegantly sober quiets unruly actors’ delinquency.

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Have you ever seen one of these?

 

mgb

 

If you’re reading this anywhere except the UK, then the answer is almost certainly no. From this recent ClassicCars.com article comes a picture of an MGB-GT V8. Yep, a V-8 in an MGB-GT.

The car was introduced in 1973, same year as the Arab Oil Embargo. The car-buying public, in general, became more concerned with MPG and not so much with HP. Only 2,591 of these were sold before production was discontinued in 1976.

The car shown is one of only 16 known to exist in the US. I have always had a thing for the looks of the MGB-GT.

Even though the aluminum V-8, which Rover/British Leyland licensed from Buick, actually weighed less than the original inline 4-cylinder engine found in these cars, I think a modern V-8 would put too much weight on the nose. I wonder if a Ford Ecoboost 4-cylinder would fit? Yes, I have restomod on the brain. So sue me.

 

#WanderingWednesday

#CrackedCorvetteWheels

#BringBackFreedomOfSpeech

#MGBGTV8

#RestomodOnTheBrain

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Wandering Wednesday

First, from Wikipedia:

 

Wandering, in people with dementia, is a common behavior that can cause great risk for the person, and is often the major priority (and concern) for caregivers. It is estimated to be the most common form of disruption from people with dementia within institutions. Although it occurs in several types of dementia, wandering is especially common in people with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). This can be due to forgetfulness and also to a frequent need for stimulation.”

 

My post titles are not intended to be disrespectful or to make fun of people with illnesses. As regular readers know, I like alliterative titles and alliteration, in general, and sometimes my posts are not “linear.”

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I found a statement by GM Vice-President Steve Hill, as reported here, to be most interesting. Hill remarked that the median household income of a mid-engine Corvette buyer is $76,000 higher than those who purchased a C7 Corvette. That is not a small difference.

If this difference holds, it is evidence that many people in the market for high-performance cars were, indeed, put off by the front-engine design of previous Corvette generations. Maybe Chevrolet/General Motors knew what they were doing, at least in this context. OK, a couple of photos:

 

See the source image

 

I can’t imagine anyone reading this blog wouldn’t know, but the top photo (credited here) is of a C8 Corvette and the bottom photos are the C7 Corvettes that my wonderful wife and I own. I no longer feel that she will definitely buy a C8 convertible.

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I found this CNBC video to be most interesting as well. It is a 15-minute report on why Japanese automakers are still producing sports cars in the “age of SUVs.” If you’re reading this blog, then I think you would enjoy watching it.

One of the reasons the Japanese auto industry is still making cars like the new Supra is to distinguish themselves from the rest of the industry by giving people the option of buying cars for the fun of driving and not for grocery shopping and schlepping the kids. With rare exceptions like the Corvette, American car companies (at least GM and Ford) have basically abandoned the coupe and sedan markets. In the piece, the narrator also quotes some “experts” who think it is premature to assume that SUVs and pickup trucks will always have at least a 70 percent share of the US market. From autonxt.net a picture of the aforementioned Supra:

 

See the source image

 

Yes, many JDM fans are unhappy with Toyota’s partnership with BMW that created the new Supra, that the car can be considered to be a re-skinned BMW. Hey, I think it’s better that the partnership was used to create this car and the new Z4 than to create another pair of SUVs.

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After the landslide in the 1972 Presidential election, many pundits proclaimed the death of the Democratic party. After Watergate just a couple of years later, many of those same pundits proclaimed the death of the Republican party. History is replete with examples of the folly of human beings trying to predict the future.

Today, a new administration takes office. While I am not a fan of either party, I hope that the rancor and vitriol of recent years fade, at least a little. The anger and extreme disrespect prevalent today are, in my opinion, a manifestation of arrogance and ignorance. NO ONE has a monopoly on truth and wisdom and neither does ANY ideology. Oh, the remark about arrogance and ignorance is not an attempt to channel Bull Durham.

 

Stay safe and be well.

 

#WanderingWednesday

#WealthyC8Buyers

#JapaneseSportsCars

#ToyotaSupra

#ArrogantAndIgnorantAmericans

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Wandering Wednesday

First, an apology to WordPress, the platform that hosts this blog. In yesterday’s post, Strange Minds, I asked why the word “dreamt” was underlined in red while composing a post since it is a real word. Well, I asked one of the WordPress engineers that question and they replied that WordPress does not have an active dictionary monitoring posts. The engineer suggested it could be my browser or even operating system.

Second, while I am always grateful for views/comments by markcars2014 and other Canadian readers, I want to note that Disaffected Musings has, seemingly, developed regular readers in Italy, Norway and my ancestral home of Poland. I hope they will continue reading and, hopefully, spread the word.

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How many of you have heard of the site postsecret? It was created by Frank Warren in 2004. People anonymously send in their secrets on postcards, which are often homemade, and some are shown on the site.

It is a relic, for lack of a better word, of the days on the Internet before Fack Fucebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. The site has always been ad-free. For a time, so many secrets were sent in that Warren was able to publish several books containing them.

Some of the secrets are shocking and/or sad. I have always suspected that some proportion, say 20%, are not real. I don’t mean that Warren sends them in himself or via proxies, but that the “secrets” on some postcards are simply made up, perhaps as some sort of wish fulfillment.

Anyway…the picture above is captured from postsecret. I love Fack Fucebook being on the list of apps that don’t bring joy to the user. Here are two results from a study by Stanford University:

 

Facebook deactivation reduced political polarization

One of the biggest issues supposedly affecting the US voting base at the moment is political polarization — this is the idea that Democrats and Republicans are unwilling to compromise on issues that affect the entire country.

The study found that deactivating Facebook pulls former users more into line with the average position in their respective political parties. Essentially, this means that Facebook deactivation brings users closer to the political center. But, has social media actively led to the increase in polarization, or have the parties and voters drifted further apart of their own volition? According to the study:

“The figure shows that deactivation moves both Democrats and Republicans visibly towards the center. In the control group, the issue opinions of the average Democrat and the average Republican differ by 1.47 standard deviations. In the treatment group, this difference is 1.35 standard deviations — about eight percent less.

“Are these polarization effects large or small? As one benchmark, we can compare these effects to the increase in political polarization in the US since 1996, well before the advent of social media. Using data from the American National Election Studies… [another academic] calculates that the change in a different index of polarization… increased by 0.38 standard deviations between 1996 and 2016. The 0.16 standard deviation effect of Facebook deactivation on political polarization in our sample is about 42 percent as large as this increase.”

 

Facebook deactivation marginally improves subjective wellbeing

Perhaps the most interesting revelation from the study is that Facebook “does indeed have adverse effects on subjective well being.”

 

I know that my anti-Facebook rantings will not get anyone to stop using it. I suspect a larger proportion of readers of this blog don’t use Fack Fucebook than the proportion of the general public. I will make a strong statement: I think Mark Zuckerberg is the chief criminal of his criminal company and I think that Facebook should be forced to divest itself of Instagram and What’s App. The possibility that such a divestiture may raise the unit cost of digital advertising is a very small price to pay for stripping Fack Fucebook of its de facto monopoly of social media and for reducing the dangerous amount of power it has. Oh, here’s a remark made by Zuckerberg:

 

“You can be unethical and still be legal; that’s the way I live my life.”

 

For me, someone who admits to unethical behavior has no real constraints against using illegal behavior. That’s a trade-off almost no one can negotiate successfully. Fack Fucebook! Delete Facebook!

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Given the dramatic slowdown in the number of showings we’ve had for our house between weeks one and two on the market, I must admit to having some doubt that the move to the desert will take place as quickly as I would like. Of course, that means that the quest for a Corvette Companion/Grocery Car has been pushed to the back burner.

Still, I look on car sales websites almost every day although the “journeys” are much shorter than before. I have to admit that despite the change to looking for more modern cars, every now and then I look at something like this:

 

 

From this Hemmings ad a picture of a 1963 Buick Wildcat with an admittedly less than desirable 87,000+ miles on the clock and an asking price of $19,900. Throw in the black interior, a no-go in the desert, and this becomes an impractical purchase. Nevertheless, I am really drawn to this car. The heart wants what it wants.

 

#WanderingWednesday

#Postsecret

#FackFucebook

#CorvetteCompanion/GroceryCar

#1963BuickWildcat

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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