Twisting Tuesday

“If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, do we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that.”

William Shakespeare, The Merchant Of Venice


I have written this famous passage many times in this blog to remind everyone that I am only human. Apparently, I missed a hell of a football game last night as the Baltimore Ravens blew a 14-point lead, saw the reigning league MVP leave the game with cramps, only to have him return and lead the Ravens to a last-second 47-42 win–and season sweep–over divisional rival Cleveland.

Although I am not following football closely anymore, I always enjoy when the Ravens beat the Browns, which is often. The Ravens are 22-4 against the Browns under current Ravens’ head coach John Harbaugh. Why do I enjoy these wins?

One reason is that when I worked for the Padres a young co-worker went ballistic when I showed up at a game wearing a Ravens uniform jersey. She was from Cleveland and a big Browns fan. She was also quite attractive and, how can I write this, quite the tease.

After I resigned from the Padres I received a vulgar card from her about the Ravens and owner Art Modell. What did I do? I watched the Ravens win the Super Bowl the very next season.

I really wanted to rub the Super Bowl win in her face as I wanted to do 12 years later when the Ravens won the Super Bowl again. However, I did not do so on either occasion.

Although I have torpedoed myself by acting impulsively far too often for someone who is supposed to be intelligent, in these instances I did not allow myself to stoop to her level. Still, I am only human.


Here is part of a review of a book I co-authored, one about the greatest baseball teams of all time:


“Ultimately, the last word in applying logic to a game of art belongs to [me], who notes that “so much of what happens in baseball is just random deviation from an unobservable mean.” To a rational person, that’s poetry.”


The review was by Noel Murray and [me] is yours truly. Explain again why baseball, football and the rest of the American job infrastructure have classified me as obsolete. “If you prick us, do we not bleed?” Yes, I wish I could exact revenge against those who refuse to acknowledge the depth of my skills and experience. I’m only human. By the way, that remark about baseball applies to life, in general. What happens is not the only thing that could have happened. Life is a Monte Carlo simulation.


How many of you have heard of guitarist Jeff Beck? He is one of the most accomplished musicians of the modern era and I am not damning him with faint praise.

Last week while listening to music on my iPhone, his song Diamond Dust” played. (I have the phone shuffle my song list at random.) I had forgotten how much I enjoy that song and have been hearing it in my head ever since. (Of course, I am now hearing the song in my head as I write this.) I have also played it two or three times a day since hearing it at random.

I don’t listen to music as often as I used to and I’m not sure why. However, with almost 800 songs on my phone, if I only listen for 15-20 minutes at a time then I am not going to hear very much of my music library in a day. (I still haven’t found all of my surround sound stereo components, let alone had the stereo connected.)

Here is the link to “Diamond Dust” on Amazon. I have read that Beck is not proud of Blow By Blow, the album on which “Diamond Dust” appears, or Wired, the follow-up to Blow By Blow. Both recordings were enormously successful; Blow By Blow reached No. 4 on the Billboard Top 200 and was certified Platinum by the RIAA. Wired was also certified Platinum.

Anyway…some more insight into how my brain works or doesn’t.


I am beginning to think that while this will not be in the near future, my wonderful wife’s next car may very well be one of these:


See the source image


From Auto Evolution a picture of a Ferrari California T. The “T” stands for turbocharged.

Don’t get me wrong: she loves her Corvette convertible. It is entirely possible that, somewhere down the road, she could acquire a California and keep the Vette. However, she LOVES the California. You only live once and you can’t take it with you.









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Wednesday Wackadoodle, Part Two

I must acknowledge that I am an idiosyncratic person. I am also sure that status is far more by nature than by nurture.

I have little respect for people who are not true to themselves. From Shakespeare’s Hamlet: “This above all: to thine own self be true.” I have little respect for people who try to be something they’re not. Of course, I think people should strive to improve while acknowledging that perfection is impossible. However, a person’s basic nature should be heeded.



These are two pictures I took in the Exhibit Hall at the National Corvette Museum of the One Millionth Corvette produced. (How’s that for a run-on sentence?!) This was one of eight cars that fell into the sinkhole that opened up under the floor of the Skydome part of the museum on February 12, 2014.

Five of the cars were not restored and are on display in the Skydome above where the sinkhole opened up. Two of the three restored cars are also part of that exhibit. I think the 1,000,000th Corvette is usually on display there as well, but for the 25th Anniversary bash it was moved to the Exhibit Hall. I have to admit that I choked up a bit upon seeing the damaged cars.

Despite the claim of the Guinness Book of World Records the Corvette is the best-selling two-seat sports car in history with about 1.7 million sold. Despite the claim of Mercedes-Benz the Corvette is the longest-running car model in history having been produced in every calendar year since 1953.

I will editorialize now: dollar for dollar, the modern Corvette is easily the best performance car in the world. Let’s look at a Ferrari 488, a step above the “entry-level” Portofino, and compare it to a C7 Z06, a step above a base Stingray. The 488 is supposed to be able to accelerate from 0-60 MPH in 2.85-2.9 seconds, a hair faster than the Z06 time of 2.95 seconds. In the quarter-mile “test” the 488 is supposed to run low 11s, say 11.2 seconds. A Z06 can break 11 seconds. In a skidpad test the 488 can pull 1.02-1.05g, a great performance. The Z06 can pull 1.2g, an otherworldly number.

A Ferrari 488 will cost about $275,000; a new C7 Z06 will cost about $100,000 equipped with the Z07 performance package. Both cars are comfortable, but which one do you think will cost less to service and to maintain? That’s a rhetorical question because the answer is obvious.

A lot of car snobs refuse to accept that the Corvette is a world-class performance car. That refusal is one of the reasons, I believe, that Chevrolet/GM made the decision to move to a mid-engine platform with the C8. Remember this Abraham Lincoln story by way of Thomas Sowell:


“Abraham Lincoln once asked an audience how many legs a dog has if you count the tail as a leg. When they answered ‘five,’ Lincoln told them that the answer was four. The fact that you called the tail a leg did not make it a leg.”


As Aldous Huxley once wrote, “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” Unless one wants to spend many multiples of the price of a Corvette, one cannot buy a car with better performance.










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