Wednesday Wackadoodle

Once again, it’s Wednesday and once again, I’m a Wackadoodle. I think I first heard that word in an episode of The Big Bang Theory. Penny says something like, “I love Sheldon, but man he is a wackadoodle.”


Blog views started out slowly yesterday, but didn’t stay that way all day.



Although I cannot explain the surge in views, it was enough for WordPress to send me a notification, an all too rare event. What’s unusual is that almost all of the views were of the main blog link and the number of referrals from sites like search engines was, if anything, smaller than normal. Yeah, yeah, I know: don’t look a gift horse in the mouth or don’t break a butterfly upon a wheel or whatever. Thanks for reading.


David Banner (not his real name) sent me this:



For the nth time, the infrastructure does NOT exist in the US, and won’t for decades, to support many millions of electric vehicles. The eco-mentalists, as Jeremy Clarkson calls them, are conveniently ignoring that fact as well as the environmental toll of lithium mining. I guess I’m talking to a wall, but that doesn’t deter me. This country and much of the world have lost their way.


On this day in 1781 British forces under General Charles Cornwallis signed terms of surrender to George Washington and Comte de Rochambeau at Yorktown at 2 pm, ending the US Revolutionary War. I must admit I know next to nothing about the conflict from which an independent United States emerged. It’s sad and ironic that the country will dissolve due to an internal conflict. I see no other “solution.”


This recent Hagerty UK article is about a car that has been mentioned in at least two posts, the (modern) Alpine A110. From the piece, titled, “Future Classic: Alpine A110“:


Future Classic: Alpine A110


Here is a paragraph from the Hagerty UK article:


“Indeed among the self-appointed cognoscenti of the automotive world, few cars have made a greater impression in the last five years, and none with just a humble 1.8-litre engine and less power than many a warmed-over hatchback. If I may consider myself among their number and if it is of interest, I [Andrew Frankel] am the co-founder of The Intercooler, which has been reviewing cars for four years and, to date, has given just one a ten out of ten rating. The Alpine really is that good.”


The first post where I mentioned the A110 (in August, 2020!) was titled “Why Can’t I Buy This Car?!” From that post:


What cracks me up is that many Americans think that Europe is a place where people have no freedom and the government micromanages everyone’s life. Still, the A110 is available there, but not here.

Don’t kid yourself; a lot of these rules and regulations were simply adopted after lobbying by American car companies in order to reduce foreign competition. I also think that after Americans showed an inclination to buy SUVs, the car companies pushed their marketing in that direction because SUVs have a higher profit margin than cars.


It is beyond stupid that a vehicle that can be legally sold in modern, industrialized countries cannot be legally sold to a US citizen for import into the US. Many of the people who would like to drive the car can’t wait another 20+ years until the 25-year rule for imported cars kicks in. Besides, who knows if that rule will still be in effect? Sadly, common sense isn’t common enough.


My stomach is beyond growling so I am going to get some breakfast for my wonderful wife and me. Enjoy your day and please keep reading.







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Wednesday Wackadoodle

As I wrote when I gave a post the same title in October, 2018, it’s Wednesday and some people who know me think I’m a wackadoodle.

After 15+ months of living in Arizona, my wonderful wife and I finally ate at a Five Guys. The one closest to us (it’s not that close as according to Mapquest it’s more than 14 miles driving distance away) is having staffing problems, I guess, and is only open Monday through Friday from 11 AM to 4 PM. We tried to dine there a few weeks ago on a Saturday only to discover it was closed.

We regularly visited a nearby Five Guys establishment when we lived in the mid-Atlantic. Well, we did before the damn virus. I remember one young woman entering the store with some of her friends. This woman did not have a mask and tried to use the top of her sweater as a face covering. The manager kicked all of them out.

As I have written before, while I think In-N-Out has better burgers–although Five Guys has good burgers–I have never tasted better fries anywhere than Five Guys fries. My wonderful wife and I split a regular order of fries and no, there were none left when we left.


Once again, the decline in memory due to aging has affected a post. I was concentrating so much on remembering to tell the Five Guys story that I have forgotten what else I had intended to write about today.

Although it was a sad event for car aficionados, in some ways it was perhaps fitting that a major fire struck the former Packard factory in Detroit on this day in 1959. From Wayne State University a relevant photo:




The last Detroit-built Packard had left that facility in June of 1956 and the last car badged as a Packard was built at the Studebaker facility in South Bend, Indiana in July of 1958. Studebaker and Packard “merged” to form the Studebaker-Packard corporation in 1954.

What was left of the facilities after the fire was used by other businesses mainly through the late 1990s, although the last company didn’t leave until 2010. Maybe the fact that vandals pushed a dump truck off the fourth floor in 2009 led to that decision. Not surprisingly, the building began to be overrun by “outsiders,” or criminals as I would call them. In January of 2019, the bridge over Grand Avenue collapsed. The next month a part of the plant owned by the city of Detroit was demolished. The latest on the plant is that the supposed owner is trying to sell it to an entity that will completely demolish the facility in the hopes that another company or companies will use the site for industrial purposes.

From the legendary book Packard A History Of The Motor Car And The Company a picture of the plant while under construction in the summer of 1903:



The plant had 3.5 million square feet of space and it sat on 35 acres of land. It was designed by renowned architect Albert Kahn and was the first industrial site in Detroit to use reinforced concrete in its construction.

If George Mason had not died unexpectedly in late 1954 perhaps Packard would still exist and would still be manufacturing cars at Grand Avenue. At just two letters, “if” might be the biggest word in the English language.






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Wednesday Wackadoodle

It’s Wednesday and some people who know me think I’m a wackadoodle.

I am very proud of yesterday’s post. So much so that I sent the link via email to a few people who are not signed up as followers. I hope he doesn’t mind my sharing this, but one of those people was Michael Lewis. I asked him if he wouldn’t mind telling me his reaction to the post. What did he write? “Main reaction is it’s a pity you aren’t working in sports.”

In a reply to another friend to whom I sent the link I wrote this: EVERYONE thinks “it’s a pity” that I’m out of sports and yet, here I am. Of course in reality it’s not EVERYONE or I would have never left. It’s too bad so many people are arrogant ingrates. I’ll leave it to you to conjure up the names of the people to whom I am referring.

While I really have little interest in sports, and none in baseball, I still think it was a “miscarriage of justice” that someone with my skills and experience, someone who is a pioneer in analytics and pro scouting was simply tossed aside by the entire industry. Are you tired of reading my “whining?” Tough…I am on a campaign against those who think that everyone gets what they deserve and/or that everything is a matter of destiny.

I believe that life is a Monte Carlo simulation. I think that if it were somehow possible to run the same person’s life 100 times the same life would not occur all 100 times and that numerous different lives, maybe even as many as 100, would occur. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.


OK…the annuity value of the Mega Millions jackpot has reached $868 million and since the prize is so large the number of tickets sold will drive the jackpot even higher. By the way, the cash value of the Mega Millions prize is $494 million. One side effect of higher interest rates is that the cash value has decreased relative to the annuity value of the Mega Millions and the Powerball. For any given annuity value it takes less cash to generate the returns needed to fund the annuity. In the state in which my wonderful wife and I live we would probably net about 52 percent of the cash prize after taxes, or about $257 million.

In this post from July called Mega, I asked how many cars could a person buy if they won $154 million, which was the amount we would net after taxes if we had the only winning ticket for the next drawing. What would you do if you netted roughly a quarter of a billion dollars?

Once again, I do not expect to win the lottery. On the other hand, if I don’t play then my chances of winning are zero. If I do play then my chances asymptotically approach zero.


My taste in cars does not run to the ultra-expensive. Although I would like to be able to afford one, I really would not want a Koenigsegg and certainly not a Bugatti given its membership in the Volkswagen Group. I also would not want to own what is, essentially, a museum exhibit that cannot be driven. I often say to my wonderful wife about the clutter in our home that we live in a house, not a museum.

Everyone who reads Disaffected Musings on a regular basis knows about my affinity for C2 Corvettes and the De Tomaso Longchamp. If the roughly 1-in-300 million odds are overcome and we won the Mega Millions, what might I buy besides those two cars?

Without revealing Ultimate Garage 2.0, here is one car that might end up in my possession:

See the source image

This is a photo from Hemmings of one of the 547 1987 Buick GNXs. Car and Driver just ran this story on the evolution of the car and maybe that’s why I am thinking about it.

I can bore you with the details of how the car evolved, of McLaren’s intimate involvement with the car, of how Buick almost certainly understated the output of the turbocharged 3.8 liter (231 cubic inches for Bill Stephens) V-6 engine. What I want to say is this: it was this car, a Buick, that was without a doubt the fastest production car sold in the US in 1987. It is this car that, in my opinion, SCREAMS to General Motors to let Buick have an improved version of the Solstice/Sky as a halo car. It is also my opinion that the styling of the GNX is still fresh more than 30 years later.

Given the rarity, the GNX is not a cheap car. Hemmings currently has two listed for sale with asking prices of $105,000 and $125,000. At the Mecum auction in Kissimmee in January of 2018 a GNX hammered for $90,000, which means the buyer actually paid $99,000 with commission. Still, for a car with its rarity and history the GNX is not really expensive, especially if you just won $257 million!

Good luck to all of the lottery players out there, but not too much. WE want to win it all!