Tuesday Tilt

I’m not a pinball player; to me, tilt means “warning, collapse imminent.” That is not an attempt to make light of the condo collapse in Florida. However, I would like someone to explain to me why so many people live there. (Sorry, Bob.) It’s always humid (in Miami, the average daily dewpoint is 70° or higher from April to October, that’s oppressively humid), there’s lots of lightning and the state is vulnerable to hurricanes. Florida is the sinkhole capital of the world. Miami receives an annual average of 62 inches of rain. People think Seattle is rainy, but it averages 38 inches of precipitation a year. Just sayin’…

The word “tilt” is relevant today because of a dream I had. I dreamt I was going grocery shopping at Wegmans, which is not possible, of course, because they have no stores in Arizona. “Tilt” comes into play because my transportation was one of those three-wheeled motorcycles. No, I neither have nor want one, at least I don’t think so. Anyway…I felt quite free driving this vehicle in part because I could tilt it some. I don’t really know if a three-wheeler can be tilted in a manner similar to a traditional motorcycle, but remember this was just a dream. However, I also felt somewhat afraid that I would tilt it too far and roll the bike over.

When I arrived at Wegmans I realized I wasn’t sure which set of stairs to take up to the store itself. The parking area was below street level. Also, the lack of practicality in where the groceries would fit on the three-wheeler was, apparently, not an issue. I almost walked up the first flight of stairs, but somehow knew that wasn’t the right one. I walked up the next flight and, sure enough, wound up in the store. That’s where the dream ended.

What does that dream mean? I refuse to believe it is just a random filtering of information never intended to be interpreted. Any amateur or professional psychologists out there are welcome to offer an interpretation.


Speaking of psychology, this piece is titled, “Failure of replication in psychology.” One part of this was very interesting to me; it’s about science, in general, and not psychology, in particular.


“A list of “replication failures” does serve to remind us that science is fallible, an ongoing enterprise that is subject to revision. Nothing is “proven” in science; the concept of “proof” is for mathematics, where there’s no “replication crisis.” Science is a Bayesian enterprise, in which accumulating evidence combines to give us more or less confidence in a hypothesis.”


The author then writes,


“But remember, too, that many scientific “facts” are very unlikely to be overturned, and, using any reasonable layperson’s notion of “proof”, have been proved.  A molecule of normal water has two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom, the normal form of DNA is a double helix, the speed of light in a vacuum is 299792458 meters per second (roughly 186,000 miles per second) and so on.”


I think some skepticism toward all human endeavors is good. Of course, when to drop the skepticism in light of overwhelming evidence is not always an easy call. What is overwhelming evidence? The average person has no idea about confidence intervals and Nate Silver argues that entire paradigm is flawed, anyway.

To quote André Gide again, “Trust those who seek truth but doubt those who say they have found it.”


A picture from yesterday:



Yes, I am still quite smitten by the desert scenery. You have to remember I grew up in Baltimore, a place with little topography, but with the occasional tall tree that blocked views into the distance.

In the context of Arizona, the mountain closest to us is basically just a tall hill. It is, however, higher in elevation than any place in the entire state of Maryland.


The longest-running car event in the country has resumed and it’s held in Scottsdale, Arizona. I believe the “official” title is the Pavilions Rock-n-Roll Car Show. It was on hiatus for over a year because of the damn virus, but has returned to its weekly schedule.

As I have written, virtually all of the people we meet at these events are friendly. We met a young man named Steven who arrived in his beautiful Honda S2000 and we spoke for 10-15 minutes. I also saw this car, one of my favorites although I think it will fall just short of inclusion in Ultimate Garage 3.0.



This is, of course, a 1987 Buick Grand National. Oh, the lack of cars around the Buick was, unfortunately, representative of attendance at the event. I think the word has not really gotten out that the Pavilions show is back.

Do any of you have a car, or cars, about which you have a similar feeling? By that I mean a car you really like and are always glad to see, but one that does not quite rise to the level of “Ultimate.”











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Friday Ford, Mustang/Winter Solstice Edition

As a morning person (believe me, that’s something I could not have imagined happening 20 years ago), I am not a fan of winter and its late sunrises. Breakfast is MY meal and I like to eat it out of the house, but I do not see well enough in the dark to drive. Today, of course, is the first day of astronomical winter—the winter solstice (in the Northern Hemisphere). This means that the North Pole is tilted its farthest away from the Sun. Today also marks the end of declining length of daylight for the Northern Hemisphere.

How much of a morning person have I become? Once every summer I make a 5 AM trek to our “local” Wegmans to go grocery shopping. (Wegmans is the greatest grocery store/supermarket in history: by far, bar none, hands down.) The reason the word “local” is in quotes is because it’s almost 20 miles, one way, from our house. It is still our primary supermarket.


Although I will never have “warm and fuzzy” feelings about the Ford Motor Company because of the many despicable acts of the company founder, only a blind ideologue would not acknowledge the significance of the Ford Mustang. In many books, including the standard catalog of® books and the various American Cars encyclopedias by the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide®, the Mustang and its history are given its own chapter apart from that of the rest of the Ford company.

As best as I could estimate, almost ten million Mustangs (about 9.62 million to be a little more precise) were manufactured from its introduction in April, 1964 through 2017. The Mustang set an all-time record for first-year new model sales; from the introduction as a 1965 model year car in April of 1964 until the switch to the 1966 model year in August, 1965, almost 700,000 Mustangs were sold.

I agree with most auto “experts” in that the keys to the Mustang’s success were its styling and its versatility. For example, for 1968 model year Mustangs they were available with seven different engines ranging from a 115 HP, 200 cubic-inch inline six-cylinder to a 335 HP, 428 cubic-inch V-8.

The car did not end up as it was originally conceived. To wit:

These are two photos I took at the AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania. As noted here, the first Mustang was this two-seat car built on a very small 90-inch wheelbase. Although the car solicited very positive feedback from those who saw it at various venues, “father of the Mustang” Lee Iacocca decided, “That’s sure not the car we want to build because it can’t be a volume car. It’s too far out.”

Ultimately, of course, the Mustang was designed with three body styles on the Ford Falcon platform. By far, the most popular of the three styles on the 108-inch wheelbase car was this:


From silodrome.com a picture of a 1965 Ford Mustang hardtop coupe. This style represented almost three-fourths of all Mustang sales for its first model year. When I was very young I had an affinity for the “fastback” coupe, but now my favorite Mustang body style is this one from the beginning of Mustang production through 1968.

Again from silodrome.com a picture of a 1968 “Bullitt-spec” Mustang fastback:


No explanation needed…

I have complained on this blog about what I consider to be the “excessive” number of Mustangs/Shelbys sold at auctions like Barrett-Jackson and Mecum. I know auction houses are at the mercy of consignors and potential buyers. I also fully appreciate the significance of the Mustang and its variants. I still would like to see more Studebaker GT Hawks and Buick Wildcats at auctions, but I’m not in charge even though I’d like to be, if just for a little while. 🙂

Does anyone want to offer their thoughts on the Mustang or automobile auctions? I’m all ears, or I guess in this venue I’m all eyes.





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