Friday Confusion

I am a few hours away from a very important test. It’s not a Series 7 or CFP exam. Because my last HbA1c test result was a little elevated for me I am having another one today, ahead of the usual schedule. If the result is elevated again my diabetes regimen will have to change, which means my life will change.

HbA1c is actually an amazing test. It measures a person’s average blood sugar level over the last three months although I don’t think each day in the period counts the same. That is, I still think the most recent days have the most influence on the result.

Speaking of the Series 7 exam…when I went to work for a very large financial services company I had to acquire Series 7 and Series 63 FINRA licenses. I was already in my 50s and past my peak mental acuity. (What does that say for me now?) About 35 percent of people who take the Series 7 fail the test. The “7” was composed of 250 questions; when you complete the first 125 you must take a 30-minute break.

When I finished the first 125 questions I raised my hand. The proctor walked to my desk and asked what I wanted. I told her I was finished the first half of the exam and asked if I could skip the break. She said, “There’s no way you’re finished the first half.” A person taking the test is allowed 3 hours to complete each half; I had finished the first half in 45 minutes. I showed her my screen so she knew I was really through the first half. I did have to take the break. I was a little slower in the second half; it took 55 minutes of the allotted 3 hours. I made one of the highest scores in the country (a 90-ish).

Five weeks later the same thing happened on the Series 63 exam, which was composed of 60 questions. I scored another 90-ish and took 20 minutes of the allotted 1 hour and 45 minute time to complete the exam.

As I have written before, and much to the chagrin of my wonderful wife, it would not have been fair if I had been made ugly and brain-dead. Intelligence is not a disease and is not something of which to be ashamed.


How many of you watch/have watched the show How It’s Made on the Science channel? A few episodes of the show were dedicated to high-performance cars; the “spinoff” is called How It’s Made: Dream Cars. While the hard rock soundtrack can be annoyingly distracting the 30-minute program shows interesting details about the manufacturing of cars such as the Peugeot RCZ R, the C7 Corvette and the Lamborghini Aventador. For me, the shows I enjoy the most are about the cars I know the least, such as this one:

From a picture of a Wiesmann MF5. I don’t think Wiesmann is still in business. Production stopped in 2014 and even though reports surface from time to time that Wiesmann will resume building cars, to my knowledge it has not yet done so. For example, the last post on the company Facebook page is from late 2016.

The MF5 was powered by the BMW M5 5-liter/305 cubic-inch V-10 engine that produced 547 HP/502 LB-FT of torque. Earlier Wiesmann models had used BMW 6-cylinder and 8-cylinder engines.

I really like two-seat high performance cars. Hey, we don’t have any kids and even if we did we still might own such a car. Mundane tasks are why we own a small SUV (a 2011 Kia Sportage). The utilitarian nature of such vehicles (and pickup trucks) is probably why they fail to evoke any passion in me and why the dramatic market shift away from cars is so depressing to me.