Wandering Wednesday

Even though I have been out of baseball for more than a decade, the news of the death of Vin Scully is still sad to me. I had the privilege of speaking with him every now and then during my tenure with the San Diego Padres. He was always most gracious.

As some of you may know from firsthand experience (as I do), many famous people are most unpleasant. They are rude and dismissive of people they don’t know or those they perceive to be unimportant. I’ll pass along something taught to me by a high school English teacher: a truly great person will neither trample on a worm nor sneak to an emperor.

 

“And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”

– John Donne

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This CNBC article reports that Russia is facing “economic oblivion.” If that’s true, imagine how much faster that would happen if most of Europe were not still buying huge amounts of natural gas from the Russian dictator. utem itud psin

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This post from Why Evolution Is True, the title of which is “Intellectual freedom in STEM: An interview with Anna Krylov,” is both interesting and disturbing. Krylov is a quantum chemist and the Gabilan Distinguished Professor in Science and Engineering and Professor of Chemistry at the University of Southern California. Here is a passage from the first paragraph of the post:

 

“And we met her because she’s an opponent of the invasion of wokeness into STEM, and because she somehow got an anti-woke paper, “The perils of politicizing science” into the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters. That paper got a lot of attention, most likely because it was congenial to all those who deplore the fulminating wokeness of science but are afraid to speak up. (Try getting an op-ed extolling merit over identity into a science journal these days!)”

 

I think much, if not most, of the world–especially the so-called developed world–is losing its mind.

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On this day in 1977, Radio Shack (remember them?) introduced the TRS-80 personal computer. Some users called them the “Trash 80.” My first PC experience (personal computer, not political correctness) was using a TRS-80 in my first job in radio. I had the title of Assistant Producer, but I was a call screener for a call-in sports talk show. I also called guests that were going to be interviewed as well as providing news to the show’s host.

The TRS-80 had a program that allowed me to input the name of a caller and the subject they wanted to talk about so the host could see that in advance. The program usually worked without a hitch. My experience with the “Trash 80” really fueled my desire to have a PC of my own, but one with much more computing power.

In one of the few times my father really stepped up for me, I bought a Tele-Video PC from a friend of his who owned a computer store and, technically, we leased it through my father’s gas station. He even made the first few payments. I purchased the PC after the expiration of the lease and then sold it to a friend of mine who, sadly, is no longer among the living. The first four or five PCs I owned more than paid for themselves because I usually was able to get consulting work in lieu of or in addition to a regular job. As I have now owned a PC for about 38 years I have lost track of just how many different ones I have had.

I still prefer using a PC over any mobile device like a phone or a tablet. PC prices have also plummeted, especially in real terms. The purchase price of my first computer was more than $3,000 in 1984. The computer on which I am writing this post cost me about $500. By the way, $3,000 1984 dollars converts to about $8,500 today. Of course, my current computer is orders of magnitude faster and more powerful than my first one. My first PC didn’t even have a hard drive.

 

#WanderingWednesday

#VinScully

#WokeIsACult

#MyFirstPC

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Wandering Wednesday

This is the 17th post with the title “Wandering Wednesday.” Do you think my penchant for alliteration is an asset or a liability? I do think, and granted this is a subjective observation, that post titles affect readership.

 

A “dump” of links to posts from Why Evolution Is True:

 

Every planet in one photo (except Pluto)

Pinker: The “evolution war” is also a culture war

Peter Singer’s contrarian view on the Dobbs decision

I have avoided writing about this because, in my opinion, abortion is the very definition of a “hot button” issue. One thing I like about Why Evolution Is True is that the blog author (Jerry Coyne) can acknowledge that points of view with which he disagrees can still have merit, unlike the majority of today’s American population.

A NYT columnist accuses extremists on both Left and Right of erasing women

Once again, I lament the loss of real debate in this country. People shout at others instead of talking to them. Both sides are guilty although partisans will either not acknowledge that reality or arrogantly and blindly claim that they are right and, therefore, shouting is appropriate. From the post:

 

“It’s heartening to see someone of [Pamela] Paul’s stature at a paper as influential as the NYT pushing back on irrational wokeness. [My note: I think virtually all wokeness is irrational.] Is this a trend now? Will it go away? I doubt it, but voices of dissent from Leftists themselves are beginning to be heard, and this article—I’ve quoted only a bit of it—is one. I’ll just add her ending:

‘Tolerance for one group need not mean intolerance for another. We can respect transgender women without castigating females who point out that biological women still constitute a category of their own — with their own specific needs and prerogatives.'”

 

For the nth to the n time, NO ONE has a monopoly on truth, wisdom and good judgment and neither does ANY ideology. I once opined that if the five most liberal and five most conservative US Senators were replaced with moderates, then the country would be on much sounder footing. I don’t believe that, anymore. The division is far beyond Congress and, once again, the scourge of social media bears much/most of the blame.

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Here is a link to a Hemmings piece from ten days ago about a car that may or may not be included in a Hall of Very Good Cars post, the Pontiac Fiero. A picture from the article:

 

 

While the exterior design is very much of the period I think the Fiero has a very sharp and clean look. I have never driven one or even sat in one. Despite the mid-engine layout, the Fiero was not designed as a performance car. Even the Formula/GT version was powered by an engine that produced just 135 HP/165 LB-FT of torque. However, if the car’s designers had tried to position the Fiero as a true sports car, it is likely that upper-level executives at General Motors would have never allowed the Fiero to be built as it would have been seen as potentially cannibalizing the Corvette market. How ironic is it that moving the Corvette to a mid-engine platform came to be adopted as the way to broaden the car’s worldwide appeal?

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Here is a link to another Hemmings piece from late May (I no longer subscribe to Hemmings, which is why this reference is “late”) about George Murphy, owner of the largest GM dealership in the world in the mid-1960s, and his efforts to save Studebaker. From the article:

 

“Murphy sensed an opportunity with Studebaker, so in February of 1966, after selling Honolulu Iron Works, he approached Studebaker chairman Randolph Guthrie with an offer to buy 500,000 shares of Studebaker stock—more than a sixth of the outstanding shares of common stock—at $30 per share, above market price. The offer came out of left field, according to a lawsuit between Studebaker and Allied Products, a Studebaker supplier that also entered in negotiations to buy the company immediately after Murphy’s offer. Studebaker’s board of directors appeared in favor of Murphy’s offer but ultimately left the decision up to the stockholders, who, by all indications, let the offer die on the vine. Guthrie, in turn, rejected Allied’s offer, and a month later Studebaker shut down the Hamilton assembly line, bringing an end to the company’s car making efforts.”

 

By the time Murphy made his offer, the cars shown below had already been discontinued. Still, who knows what might have happened. Many of those who know far more about Studebaker than I do think the board just wanted to leave the automobile business regardless.

 

See the source image

 

The top photo is a Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk, a member of my Ultimate Garage 3.0, and the bottom is a Studebaker Avanti, a member of my first Ultimate Garage.

Another idea often written here is that what actually happens/happened is virtually never the only thing that could have happened. If Murphy’s bid had been accepted or Studebaker had signed any of the three offers to import Volkswagens, then the company might still exist and might still be manufacturing and selling cars. I don’t know how I would feel about Studebaker under the latter scenario, but that’s another story.

 

#WanderingWednesday

#IdeologyIsAPathToRuin

#PontiacFiero

#TheEndOfStudebaker

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Wandering Wednesday

Turmoil reigns…

 

The path of least resistance is not always the best path. On the other hand, the world is complicated enough so that adding unnecessary complications is not a smart thing to do, either.

 

Originally, I was going to add remarks from Carol Roth and Alex Tabarrok. Roth’s comments were an indirect criticism of ESG while Tabarrok’s were about retribution, not solution, being the main aim of many “environmentalists.” I decided that nothing I write about the state of affairs in the world will make any difference at all. I am beginning to think that nothing I write in this blog, regardless of topic, makes any difference at all.

 

#WanderingWednesday

#disaffectedmusings

 

Wandering Wednesday, June 1

It’s hard to drive straight down a crooked road. It’s hard to be smart in a stupid world. No, those are not lyrics to some song I am writing.

“It’s hard to win an argument with a smart person. It’s damn near impossible to win an argument with a stupid person.”

– Bill Murray

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I have not been feeling well for a few days. I don’t know if the cause is allergies or not, but my sinuses hurt leading to other pains in the head. My GI tract has not been 100 percent, either.

I have written about this before, but I have never been blessed with good health. For example, I once caught the flu twice during one flu season about two months apart when I was in elementary school. I had my first kidney stone when I was 17.

As I get older, though, anytime a new ailment arises part of me worries that it could be very serious. My most recent blood work, blood drawn in early May, was good. As my primary care physician has told me, “I know you don’t feel well, but on paper you’re very healthy.”

What’s that joke about the tombstone of a hypochondriac? The tombstone reads, “See, I told you I was sick.”

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Do you want to read an update about my Z06? I really don’t want to write it, but…sure enough, our friend Bob and I were right in that the ECM (the main “brain” of the car, sometimes known as the ECU) will have to be replaced. The dealer that has now had the car for more than six weeks finally got General Motors tech support involved. They recommended replacing the ECM. At this point, I’m guessing it will be at least another week until the car is back home, hopefully for good this time.

This experience has led me to start thinking about selling the car. Is that cutting off my nose to spite my face? Maybe, but it’s difficult to drive/own a car that can’t be trusted.

IF I sell the Z06, the car pictured below would be my first choice:

 

See the source image

 

This is a Lexus LC convertible. Lexus has ranked at the top of the annual JD Power Vehicle Dependability Study something like 11 times in the last 12 years. My wonderful wife has owned two Lexus convertibles and while the second one was boring (an IS 250C), the cars never gave her major trouble. The second one did have a GPS system that didn’t always seem to know where you were and the AC system had to “cleaned” by the dealer twice in the 25 months she owned the car. Still, the cars always started, drove, steered and stopped. That’s more than I can say about my Z06.

The only drawback to the LC convertible is the price; it is not possible to find one without major accident damage for under $100,000. My wonderful wife and I test drove the LC coupe in January, 2018 and were very impressed. Before the Z06 crapped out on me I was considering the purchase of a convertible as a companion. Buying an LC convertible kills two birds with one stone.

I would appreciate any thoughts from any of you.

 

#WanderingWednesday

#LexusLCConvertible

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Wandering Wednesday

My life belongs to me, but I’d like to disown it.

 

You can’t make this stuff up…obviously, we had our mail held while we were away. The held mail was delivered yesterday. Among the mail were two notices from the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) indicating that the registration for our two Corvettes would be suspended on May 16 because we had let our insurance lapse. Of course, we did no such thing.

What I think happened is that when we sold the Cadillac ATS on April 6 and called our soon to be former insurance company to have the car removed from our policy, some incompetent sent a notice to Arizona that we had completely cancelled our policy. (Of course, that didn’t stop the company from billing us with a due date of May 6.)

By the way, the date of the notices was May 1. Our mail was delivered to us through May 10. Why didn’t we receive the notices before we left and why does MVD only give 15 days after the notice to “fix” the situation?

The world is fraying way past the edges.

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Those who scream “Abortion Is Murder” and only “God” can take a life are the same people who agitate for the universal right to own a device that is used to kill more than 40,000 Americans every year. Sorry, but the gun “advocates” are wrong and are hypocrites like all of those who blindly follow any so-called ideology.

Guns are a force multiplier. The cretin who murdered 19 students and 2 teachers yesterday would NOT have been able to perpetrate such evil using rocks or a knife. I vehemently disagree with most of the “policy” advocated by the Left, but they are right about guns.

This CNBC article lays out the sad and disgusting data from 2020. More than 19,000 people were killed in a homicide by gun in the US that year. The point of the article is that figure represented a 35% increase from 2019. Since when is “only” 14,000 gun homicide deaths acceptable? Oh, the rest of gun deaths are by suicide, which has been more prevalent than homicide in the US since at least 1900.

Think about this: of all of the children in the world age 0-14 who are killed by a gun, 87% of them are US children.

The world is fraying way past the edges. Blind adherence to any ideology is a road to disaster.

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Some links to posts from Why Evolution Is True:

 

Are college students “excellent sheep?”

Julian Baggini on free will

In a California case, ACLU and co-litigants claim that there are no biological differences between men and women

 

That last story is disturbing and is an example of the foolish and dangerous agenda of the Lunatic Left. In case you hadn’t figured this out, I loathe and despise both major political parties in this country and do not subscribe to the Bullshit Binary Political Paradigm that says you have to pick either all from Column A or all from Column B. Both columns are full of shit.

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Can I segue to automobile pictures? Why not?

 

 

This is a 1938 Packard Twelve Convertible offered at the recent Mecum auction in Indianapolis. While my obsession with defunct American makes has lessened into more of an interest, I still really like to see cars from those makes. This car went unsold at a high bid of $150,000.

 

 

This is a 1969 Corvette L88 convertible. That was the last of the three years of L88 production; 116 were built in 1969 and 216 were built in total. In an admittedly brief search I was unable to find production figures by body style. This car went unsold at a high bid of $700,000.

At a Barrett-Jackson auction in 2014, a 1967 L88 coupe sold all in for $3,850,000. Only 20 L88s were built that year.

 

 

While I prefer the 1963-65 Buick Riviera, in particular the ’65 GS, I wouldn’t kick this 1966 GS out of my garage for leaking oil. Only 179 Super Wildcat dual quad Rivieras were built in 1966; this example sold all in for $88,000. The $155,000 “ask” on the screen is for the previous car.

 

#WanderingWednesday

#GunsKill

#MecumIndy2022

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Wandering Wednesday

<Bitching About Blog Views> I am at least 99% certain that it’s been more than two years since a post has had as few views on the day of publication as yesterday’s installment of Threes And Sevens. That small number means the day had very few views as well. Very disappointing to me…<End Bitching>

 

I have written, on occasion, about the very imperfect nature of record keeping by people, especially the further back one goes in time. I have also written that many people, even intelligent ones, don’t seem to grasp this truth. I have had very smart people express incredulity that we don’t know for certain what was the first American car produced, for example.

ALL endeavors of human beings are imperfect because ALL human beings are imperfect. That truth is not understood, or is ignored, by people who blindly follow any ideology because it seems to me that all of the people in that category cannot acknowledge the possibility that their view, their belief, might be wrong.

I humbly offer this photo as an example of the fallibility of record keeping, even in modern times.

 

 

I showed the sheet on the left here. The sheet on the right arrived in yesterday’s mail. Note that except for the valuation date, none of the other figures match.

While none of the figures on either sheet indicate(s) the pension plan is in poor shape, it would be reassuring if they matched since they are supposed to measure the same things at the same time. I am in no position to ascertain which set of data is correct, or if either is even correct. (Oh, I’m not sure if “none” is singular or plural in the first sentence of this paragraph so I covered my bets with conjugating “to indicate.”)

NOTHING human beings do is perfect and that applies to recording/displaying data even in this day and age of computerized “big” data and analytics.

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This piece from Hagerty is about which “classic” cars have the least and most volatility in their prices. Hagerty has (have?) calculated something they call the “annualized volatility score.” From the article,

 

“Hagerty Insider does this regularly by calculating vehicles’ annualized volatility score. Considering vehicles that have run in the Hagerty Price Guide for at least 3.5 years, our data analysts plot percent changes in value over time.

A lower score denotes the car’s market value is fairly stable, with higher scores indicating volatility—they can swing wildly from one price guide update to the next.”

 

The most volatile car, by their measure, was the 1988 BMW M5. This car was the least volatile (picture from the article):

 

1957-Pontiac-Star-Chief-Convertible front three-quarter

 

This picture represents the 1955-57 Pontiac Star Chief, which has an annualized volatility score of 1.6 percent. I think that is a 1957 model actually shown in the photo. Please feel free to correct me if I am wrong.

I don’t want to get into an esoteric discussion of the difference between structural and reduced-form mathematical models. I will say that statistics are not truth in themselves, but are an approximation of the truth. The underlying structure of a situation can change before we can ascertain that it has changed. Oh, show me another “car blog” where you would read anything remotely resembling this paragraph. (I’ll try not to break my arm patting myself on the back.)

 

As always, I welcome thoughtful comments. Like all other blog metrics, the number of comments has markedly declined in recent months.

 

#WanderingWednesday

#AllHumansAreImperfect

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Wandering Wednesday

The daily Z06 update: returning the ECU to stock tune did not solve the “Engine Power Is Reduced” problem (of course). The service department at the Chevy dealer finally decided to avail themselves of corporate resources. They learned that one or more of four particular sensors is/are the cause of that error message, which cannot simply be ignored because that message means the car can only operate in “limp home” mode. Apparently and par for the course, the one sensor that seems to be the cause is the one most difficult to access and the one that requires the most labor to change. Maybe the car will be ready tomorrow. The repair bill is now in four figures.

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What do you think of the looks of this car?

 

See the source image

 

Expanding my search horizon for the “down the road” purchase of a convertible unearthed a couple of Fiat 124 Spiders, the car shown above. They are/were, of course, manufactured in Japan alongside the Mazda MX-5, but do not share the same engine.

I have always thought they have a great look although many automobile journalists do not share that view. They have a little more power than third-generation MX-5s, but are not power monsters, either. (Good fourth-generation MX-5s cost more than I want to spend.)

Of course, we no longer have a grocery car/taxi. Maybe I need to look at one of these, instead:

 

See the source image

 

This is a 2016 Maserati Ghibli S. It is difficult to find a good low-mileage one (doesn’t have to be a 2016 model) for under $35,000 right now and that is definitely more than I want to spend. I’d rather buy a convertible for $15,000-$18,000.

I am so bored that my brain creates things about which I can obsess. It is OCD, after all. I am seriously considering purchasing the most recent edition of the computer football game I could not bring myself to buy last year. At least that will give me something to do most days.

How bad is my OCD/boredom? I have started compiling a list of all US network primetime TV shows that aired in the 1940s. Don’t ask me why I am doing this because I really don’t know. I have always been fascinated by the beginning stage of a process much more than by its mature stage. Here is a picture of what I have done so far. Please note the message under the spreadsheet title.

 

 

You can see I have not gotten very far, at all. This could end up like my project to document all engines used in US automobiles since 1930. The effort ended with American Motors.

Once again, you can understand why Disaffected Musings is so important to me and why declining readership is so disappointing. Just as C/2 gave me the idea for Cars A To Z, a new reader might suggest a topic I had never considered.

I think that’s enough of a look into my brain (or what’s left of it) for today. As always, I welcome thoughtful comments. Thanks.

 

#WanderingWednesday

#Z06Update

#Fiat124Spider

#MaseratiGhibli

#OCDAndBoredom

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Wandering Wednesday

We are Cadillac owners no more. The at-fault driver’s insurance company refused to pay for the additional damage, so we decided to sell the 2015 ATS. Here is the last time you will see the car in this blog.

 

 

Thanks to the efforts of my wonderful wife we received an amount very similar to the amount we paid for the car in January of 2021, despite its having been in an accident in August of 2021. On the other hand, I was willing to accept a far lower offer from the Cadillac dealer whose service department performed the 60,000-mile service.

While the disparity in offers has permanently soured us on ever using the local Cadillac dealer again, and may have turned me off to the brand in general, my willingness to capitulate is, sadly, a manifestation that I have no fight left in me. Life has defeated me; I have been kicked in the shins–metaphorically, of course–far too often.

I am beyond disenchanted that I am still the smartest person in the room in virtually every room, but am no longer invited to any. I am beyond frustrated that people I have mentored and worked with are rich and famous while I am forgotten.

I am not poor and I do not want fame for fame’s sake, but being famous opens doors. If my place in baseball history were commensurate with my contributions, I can’t help but think that I would have found a satisfying and fulfilling career post-baseball.

Don’t judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes. Maybe in my case, that should read limped a mile…

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Some assorted links:

 

Natural selection is cleverer than you are

The Myth of Medicare’s ‘Low Administrative Costs’

Why have inaccuracies thrived during the pandemic? Evolving science and politics

Study finds Ivermectin, the horse drug Joe Rogan championed as a COVID treatment, does nothing to cure the virus

 

I don’t care that Roe Jogan is a highly-paid “entertainer” and that he could kick my ass in a fight. The fact that he is popular and influential despite being an ass clown is yet another indictment of the ignorance of the American public.

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OK, so if I am really never going to buy another Cadillac (I’m not sure about that, actually; just go with me for now) and want a companion for my Z06, what is on the table? I have warmed up to the idea, no pun intended, of buying a convertible. By the way, despite the newly available space in the garage, such a purchase is in the future, if it happens at all.

In Arizona, one can drive with the top down in every month. During my tenure as the owner of a BMW Z4 I learned that al fresco driving is quite enjoyable.

I would love to own a Jaguar F-Type convertible, a member of my Ultimate Garage 3.0, but even used ones are just too expensive to be considered for what will really be a 3,500 pound toy. On AutoTrader, the least expensive F-Type convertible within 50 miles of here and with fewer than 45,000 miles is listed at $42,990.

What if I wanted to spend no more than half that amount for a non-Cadillac convertible? How about this?

 

See the source image

 

Yes, I have written that the interior of the Saturn Sky was small and felt cheap and those are the reasons I have never included the car in an Ultimate Garage. How about a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. How about I have dreams, but I live in the real world.

Well, all I can convey is that the sight of one of these always stops me in my tracks. I would have to have the car in Red Line spec, meaning it’s powered by a 2-liter turbocharged engine that produces 260 HP/260 LB-FT of torque. On AutoTrader, not many are available but a 2008 model with about 32,000 miles and an automatic transmission–in Arizona, no less–is listed for $17,990.

I would very much like to read your opinions on what has transpired with the ATS, on the Sky Red Line, or any other “relevant” topic. Thanks.

 

#WanderingWednesday

#FTW

#SaturnSkyRedLine

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Wandering Wednesday

I thought of a less draconian solution than unplugging the TV for our current Hulu issue of its refusing to load properly. I make sure to sign off out of the app when finished watching instead of just turning off the TV. So far, that seems to work. Why that’s only become necessary in the last couple of weeks, I have no idea.

I guess streaming TV is still having teething pains. I know people who have issues like buffering and crashing with their services. We are still having issues with our cloud-based DVR although it will soon be upgraded to unlimited storage; well, unlimited with a 9-month time limit on watching recorded shows. Saving shows indefinitely will be a thing of the past.

I would like to hear from you if you use streaming TV services and if you are experiencing any issues.

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The Chinese government opposes what it calls “unilateral” sanctions, which it defines as sanctions not directly enacted by the United Nations. Well, of course they would take that position since China has veto power in the UN Security Council along with Russia.

The Chinese government is no one’s ally except Russia. The people in this country who admire Chinese “leadership” are beyond clueless.

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I have decided to “cheat” regarding the Cars A To Z series. (Yes, I know I wrote I would post the “V Car” yesterday. The best-laid plans of mice and men…) The “V Car” and the “W Car” will each get their own post, but the “X” “Y” and “Z” cars will be in one post.

In this way, I still might be able to finish the series by the end of this month. If not, the series should end no later than April 4-5.

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I don’t know why, but this post from June of 2020 is receiving views today. The post, Solstice Drive, is about my annual drive early in the morning around the time of the summer solstice and of my inability/unwillingness to stop to take photos along the way. Here is a stock photo I used in the post:

 

See the source image

 

The first-generation Chevrolet Monte Carlo is not, and never will be, a contender for any Ultimate Garage of mine, but I am a big fan of the car, nevertheless. So many CARS, just one life…

 

#WanderingWednesday

#StreamingTV

#CarsAToZ

#ChevroletMonteCarlo

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Wandering Wednesday

This post will live up to its title and might be quite long, so settle in.

First…views per day for February were the lowest of any month since March of 2020 and that occurred even though there was a surge in views and visitors the last five or six days of the month. What can I say? It would probably be a case of cutting off my nose to spite my face to stop writing because of declining readership, but I’m not always a rational person. If you’re reading and enjoy this blog, please share the blog URL with your friends. Thanks.

Second…the last couple of nights have been chock full of dreams, but the only one I can remember as I sit here is the one where I had seven toes on my right foot. I have no idea where that came from. I do remember that a baseball player named Sixto Lezcano played for the Milwaukee Brewers and several other teams from the mid-1970s through the mid-1980s. My friends and I would sometimes “joke” that he had a brother named Seventoe. By the way, Lezcano was a good player whose best year, 1979 with the Brewers, was really good.

Do I have an opinion on major league baseball’s current labor troubles? The only thing I care about baseball is that my pension is deposited in the correct account every month.

 

David Banner (not his real name) sent me the link to this Slate article titled, “Killer Truck, Dude. How will you feel when it actually does?” While I think the piece is a bit judgmental, some of the facts presented are eye-opening, such as:

 

“The heavier a car, the more likely it is to kill a pedestrian if it strikes them. [My note: Remember, force equals mass times acceleration.] And trucks and SUVs are getting heavier: New pickups weigh 24 percent more than they did in 2000, according to Consumer Reports, and these days big cars regularly exceed 4,000 pounds. Let’s not even talk about the new generation of electric vehicles, like the Hummer EV, which thanks to its immense batteries weighs more than 9,000 pounds.

Your car is also really tall, and that makes it more dangerous, too. A grille that’s more than 50 inches off the ground—as tall as the roof of my [author Dan Kois’] Honda Civic—makes it more likely that a pedestrian will be struck in the head by a collision. Big trucks are also more likely to push a pedestrian under the tires, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, something that increases the likelihood of a fatality.”

 

It is true that about 35 percent of pedestrians killed by a vehicle were under the influence of a drug like alcohol. It is true that all of the modern electronics and–ironically–safety features make vehicles heavier. Still, like most things in America, vehicles have become too heavy.

I see people driving alone in vehicles like a Cadillac Escalade, which weighs 5,500 pounds and is almost 77 inches high. I see people driving alone, and with nothing in the bed, in something like a Ford F-350 that weighs over 6,000 pounds and is 80 inches high. I see no reason for either. It’s almost as if people want to be able to drive their house around town.

I don’t pretend to know what the answer is. I don’t think governments can just ban vehicles that weigh more than, say, 4,000 pounds. (Another reason, though, that EVs are not the answer.) However, as every regular reader knows, I loathe the trend towards SUVs and pickup trucks. I guess I didn’t know, though, that the trend can be fatal.

******************

The Dick’s Sporting Goods store nearest us did not, incredibly, have many treadmills in stock. Our drive to one that did had a serendipitous outcome; it placed us less than two miles from our local Gateway Classic Cars franchise. Yes, we did buy a new treadmill and, hopefully, it will be delivered in the next week to ten days.

My wonderful wife and I were the only non-staff at the Gateway Classic Cars (GCC) location. Two of the staff made an effort to greet us. Of course, they wanted to sell us a car, but I’ve met many salesmen who were much less pleasant. One salesman asked me if that was my Z06 parked outside and when I replied in the affirmative, he was effusive with praise for the car.

I also learned that GCC is considering expanding its model to allow dealers to purchase cars to sell as opposed to only selling consignments as is currently the case. That was in the context of a conversation where I remarked that some of the cars seemed overpriced to me, but added that GCC is at the mercy of its consignors.

Many of the cars were of great interest to me, but I’m a Wackadoodle (it’s Wednesday!). Without further ado, here are some pictures:

 

 

Supposedly, this 1956 Cadillac Sixty Special has just 36,000 original miles.

 

 

I was quite smitten with this 1937 Oldsmobile F37. The “F” designation means the car was equipped with a six-cylinder engine. An “L” designation would mean the car had an eight-cylinder engine. I think this was a business coupe (it only had two seats) and, if so, means this was one of just 13,958 produced that year.

 

 

This GCC franchise did group similar cars together when possible. The silver Cadillac XLR is a 2005 model with almost 100,000 miles while the black one is an ’08 with 24,000 miles. Not surprisingly, the list price for the 2008 was $12,000 more than for the 2005 although both seemed a bit on the high side for me. My wonderful wife and I both preferred the looks of the ’05, but I would not buy a 2004 or 2005 XLR and the high mileage would be the proverbial nail in the coffin. I do think they are great looking cars, though. Now, to more idiosyncratic favorites of mine.

 

 

Finally, one last photo:

 

 

Hope you have enjoyed this long and wandering post.

 

#WanderingWednesday

#SixtoLezcano

#AmericanVehiclesAreTOOBIG!

#somanycarsjustonelife

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