Haphazard Wednesday

From Winston Churchill via The Muscleheaded Blog:

“If we open a quarrel between past and present, we shall find that we have lost the future.”

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I disagree with the characterization of socialism as “progressive.” In my opinion it is regressive, it is atavistic. In addition, it runs contrary to one of the basic tenets of human nature: people want to reap most of the rewards of their labor.

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My previous comment notwithstanding I can’t believe I am going to quote Marianne Williamson:

“There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you.”

In this cauldron of faux equality and political correctness it is usually considered rude to display exceptional talent. That is sheer, unadulterated b*llsh*t, in my opinion. We should encourage people with real ability to use it and not to hide it. Intelligence is not a disease and it’s not something of which to be ashamed.

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More from Winston Churchill:

“You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.”

Multi-tasking is one of the great myths of the 21st century. Human brains CANNOT multi-task as they were designed to be serial processors, not parallel processors. Do one thing at a time, but commit to do it well.

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On this day in 1921 Warren Harding became the first US President to ride to his inauguration in an automobile. Some of you may know what kind of car it was; it was a Packard Twin Six. From Classic Auto Mall a picture of a 1921 Packard Twin Six:

 

1921 Packard Twin Six

 

It seems to me that US Presidents were a little late in adopting the automobile. By the time of Taft’s inauguration in 1909, for example, Cadillac was already well-known as a quality builder of automobiles having won the prestigious Dewar Trophy the year before. Buick offered its first closed body for model year 1909, a limousine no less. They also finished a close second to Ford in production that year.

Back to the Packard…the Twin Six was, of course, powered by a V-12 engine, an amazing feat of engineering and production given the car was introduced in 1915 (as a 1916 model). The Twin Six was noted for its amazing smoothness of operation, its virtual lack of vibration. Packard was the first American car company to offer a V-12 and theirs was the first car engine anywhere to use aluminum pistons.

About 35,000 Twin Sixes were built through June, 1923, which was an impressive number for an expensive car. For its first model year the Twin Six ranged in price from $2,750 to $4,800. Not that the Model T was in the same segment of the automobile market, but a “Tin Lizzie” could be purchased for under $500.

This picture might look familiar:

 

 

Automobile enthusiasts should never forget the contribution made by makes that no longer exist. I would very much like to read your thoughts on this topic.

 

#WinstonChurchill

#PoliticalCorrectnessIsFascism

#PackardTwinSix

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Throwback Thursday

Halloween? My thoughts on the so-called holiday have been expressed before.

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On this day in 1959 a song that had been originally composed in 1928 was the Number One song on the Billboard Hot 100. “Mack the Knife” as recorded by Walden Robert Cassoto, better known as Bobby Darin, reached the top position on the charts in early October and stayed there for a total of nine weeks.

 

See the source image

 

From MusicStack a picture of the “Mack the Knife” recording. Growing up in the 1960s and 1970s I had quite a collection of 45s. “Mack the Knife” was not part of that collection. It did, however, sell more than two million copies and was awarded the Grammy as “Record Of The Year.”

Supposedly, Darin did not want the song released as a single. Darin, sadly, had a short life. Having been afflicted with rheumatic fever as a child he had a severely weakened heart and died in 1973 at age 37. Darin had success not only as a singer, but also as an actor and was even nominated for an Academy Award in 1963.

“Mack the Knife” was actually composed for a musical drama called “The Threepenny Opera.” The song’s lyrics were originally in German, but somehow the song became a favorite for American pop and jazz singers to record. For example, Louis Armstrong & His All-Stars released a version that reached #20 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1956.

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Making rich people poorer will not make poor people richer.

“Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy; its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.”

– Winston Churchill

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No rule says that the Throwback Thursday car has to be from the same year as any other subject of the post. As I do from time to time, here is a chart:

 

Top Ten Selling US Makes, 1950
Chevrolet 1,498,590
Ford 1,208,912
Plymouth 610,954
Buick 588,439
Pontiac 446,429
Oldsmobile 408,060
Dodge 341,797
Studebaker 320,884
Mercury 293,658
Chrysler 179,299

 

Note Studebaker’s position as the only non Big-Three make in the Top Ten. Also note that Studebaker is one of five companies that no longer exists. Although not shown here, the #11, #12, and #13 positions were also held by now-defunct makes. (Nash, DeSoto and Hudson)

 

See the source image

 

From smclassiccars.com a picture of the best-selling vehicle for the best-selling make in 1950. This is a Chevrolet Styleline DeLuxe four-door sedan. By the way, I think the word “Styleline” is awkward to pronounce, but what do I know?

Chevrolet produced more than 316,000 of these in 1950. Note that number would have ranked in the top ten among makes in 1950. Chevrolet produced 14 different offerings across four model lines in 1950. At $1,529 the Styleline DeLuxe four-door was in the middle of the Chevrolet price range.

Chevy offered only two engines in all of those cars: a 216 cubic-inch inline six with an output of 92 HP/176 LB-FT of torque for cars equipped with a manual transmission and a 235 cubic-inch inline six with 105 HP/193 LB-FT for cars equipped with the Powerglide automatic.

This car doesn’t really do anything for me, but for much of the automobile era four-door sedans were the bread and butter for American car companies. Those days are over, probably for good, as SUVs and pickup trucks have become the most popular vehicles.

 

#ThrowbackThursday

#MackTheKnife

#BobbyDarin

#WinstonChurchill

#SayNoToSocialism

#1950USAutoMarket

#1950ChevroletStylelineDeLuxe

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Tuesday Array

On this day in 1962, Johnny Carson became the host of Tonight on NBC; the name of the show was later changed to The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. He hosted the show until May of 1992, which included a move of the venue from New York to California in 1972.

After his death in 2005 word of less than flattering behavior by Carson has emerged. His feud with Las Vegas legend Wayne Newton was known before Carson died. Almost all of us are shadow and shade even if we don’t want to admit it or even understand that “truth.”

I watched the Tonight Show hundreds of times from the late 1960s until I started college in the late 1970s. Often I would only watch Carson’s monologue at the beginning of the show, even if I wasn’t tired. I have never been enamored of listening to “celebrities” so Carson’s interviews with people from TV and movies held little interest for me.

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On this day in 1938, Hitler formally annexed the Sudetenland portion of Czechoslovakia following the so-called Munich Agreement. Winston Churchill is supposed to have said to Neville Chamberlain, “You were given the choice between war and dishonour. You chose dishonour and you will have war.” Of course, Churchill was right and in May, 1940 he succeeded Chamberlain as Prime Minister.

Maybe it’s fitting, then, that on this day in 1946 the Nuremberg trials ended with the announcement of the sentencing of the defendants. Twelve of them were sentenced to death. Of the 12 defendants sentenced to death by hanging, two were not hanged: Martin Bormann was convicted in absentia (he had, unknown to the Allies, died while trying to escape from Berlin in May, 1945), and Hermann Göring committed suicide the night before the execution.

Never Forget! Never Again! To all of the anti-Semitic assh*les in the world: Zolst Leegen En Drerd!

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Speaking of anti-Semites, on this day in 1908 the Ford Model T was formally introduced. Will Rogers supposedly said this about Henry Ford, “It will take a hundred years to know whether he helped us or hurt us, but he sure didn’t leave us where he found us.”

 

See the source image

 

From inspirationseek.com (I swear that’s the name of the website) comes this picture of a 1908 Model T. About 15,000,000 of these were made through the end of the production run in May of 1927. In 1922 about 1.2 million Model Ts were produced, which represented more than half of all cars sold in the US. In truth, it can be said that the Model T was the car that put America on wheels. Too bad its “creator” was such a despicable person.

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Taking a deep breath to compose myself…from gmauthority.com a picture of a stunning concept car by Cadillac that, unfortunately, will never see production:

 

See the source image

 

This is the Cadillac Cien, not to be confused with the Ciel, a four-door convertible concept that does have some small chance of being produced. I believe the Cien was a formal declaration by Cadillac that its much edgier styling (figuratively and literally) is here to stay. I am so tired of the homogenization of vehicles in the US. I would LOVE to see a car that looks like the Cien produced and sold in America.

 

#JohnnyCarson

#TheTonightShow

#WinstonChurchill

#FordModelT

#CadillacCien

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Sunday Sling

From Winston Churchill by way of Richard Langworth:

 

George Bernard Shaw sent Churchill two tickets to his new play, saying “Come early and bring a friend, if you have a friend.” To which Churchill replied, “I can’t make opening night but I will come the second night, if there is a second night.”

 

Some more from Winston Churchill:

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”

“Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy; its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.”

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.”

“The power of man has grown in every sphere, except over himself.”

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My wonderful wife sent me this…I don’t believe in Santa Claus (did I really need to write that?!), but I still think this is funny.

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A: “I’ve never been so insulted in my life!”

B: “You must have been.”

 

A: “I’ve never been so insulted in my life!”

B: “That’s because you don’t get around enough.”

 

One of my favorite TV show exchanges ever (from Everybody Loves Raymond):

Debra Barone: Do you know what I think?

Ray Barone: If I say yes do you still have to tell me?

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See the source image

 

From rmsothebys.com a picture of a 1994 Bugatti EB110, which was one of the fastest cars in the world at that time. This is a pre-Volkswagen Bugatti, so it has no disgust factor for me.

These cars were manufactured from 1991 to 1995 at which time the “resurrected” Bugatti company folded and was liquidated. This was the only model produced while Romano Artioli was chairman. The EB110 (“EB” was in honor of Ettore Bugatti, the original company founder) was powered by a small-displacement V-12 (just 3.5 liters) with four turbochargers that produced 552 HP/451 LB-FT of torque in GT spec, but 603 HP/479 LB-FT in Super Sport spec. Only 139 were produced and the base price for the GT was $350,000.

To give you one of many examples of how cars have evolved in just the last quarter-century, my 2016 Z06 has much better performance than this EB110 for a fraction of the price. The EB110 would accelerate from 0-60 MPH in 4.4 seconds; the Z06 will do that in 3 seconds. Until the electric/autonomous cars take over I think we are living in the golden age of automobiles. Enjoy it while it lasts because it won’t last forever.

 

#WinstonChurchill

#BugattiEB110

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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