Saturn Saturday

I only gave today’s post this title because I felt like showing this picture.

 

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Here are links to three posts from Why Evolution Is True:

 

A comment worth highlighting

Oberlin gives up fighting Gibson’s Bakery, starts coughing up dough

FIRE free-speech rankings again put Chicago on top, but Columbia at rock bottom

 

From the first post I did find the first part of the comment from a blog reader to be particularly on the mark:

 

“The Social Justice theocrats are almost impossible to debate, as they are fundamentalists who honestly believe they are the repository of all holy truth…”

 

Once again, woke is a cult.

The part about Columbia ranking last in free-speech hits home to me for a couple of reasons. The first is that a cousin of mine, but not someone with whom I communicate regularly, worked there for many years. The second is that when I was in high school a recruiter from Columbia chose me among five students with whom she wished to meet. My high school graduating class had 530 students. I have always joked that I was chosen because I was the Jewish student with the highest grade point average.

If I had attended Columbia, and assuming I would have survived because the school’s neighborhood was quite dangerous in those days, my life would have almost certainly turned out differently. As an Ivy League graduate I would have been considered among “the anointed” and I am not using that phrase as Thomas Sowell uses it.

I might not have pursued baseball as a career, but I would still be able to work at an interesting job if I wanted to. When I list the reasons I have been shunted into the employment backwater, my lack of an Ivy League degree is always among them.

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On this day in 1953 Swanson sold its first TV dinner. In April of 1955, the Campbell Soup Company acquired Swanson. By the next year annual sales of TV dinners reached 13 million.

I remember eating TV dinners not infrequently when I was young and usually I was not eating them while watching TV. I don’t remember the brand name, but I remember that I enjoyed a particular fried chicken TV dinner and probably ate it once or twice a month. Maybe this was it:

 

Swanson's TV dinner

 

The trend today is to subscribe to a service to have “fresh” dinners with “natural” ingredients delivered on a regular basis. We have never looked into subscribing, but I doubt those services are inexpensive. I did not grow up with money and frozen TV dinners were an economical way for my mother to feed us.

A tangent: I used to enjoy cooking, but have lost virtually all patience for it. Breakfast is almost always either cereal at home or dining out. Lunch is almost always eating something prepared by a restaurant. With my terrible GERD I don’t/can’t eat dinner. I snack on protein bars and dark chocolate, but I am almost always hungry–like as I am writing this. Time for breakfast…

 

#SaturnSaturday

#WokeIsACult

#BringBackFreedomOfSpeech

#RememberTVDinners?

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Broken Mooring Monday

Jerry Coyne, the author of Why Evolution Is True, published this post on Saturday titled, “Anne Frank had white privilege?” He admits, “This isn’t a huge kerfuffle, because the morons espousing the thesis in the title aren’t numerous.” Still, he later writes, “But as I’ve said before, there is no object, no concept, no organization, and no activity that cannot be demonized by some crazied Wokesters. Anne Frank, for crying out loud!”

People are entitled to their opinions, I guess, but I want to lobotomize those who hold such views. I mean, they’re not really using their brains, anyway.

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“Everybody Wants To Rule The World” is one of the few non-progressive jazz, non-instrumental rock songs that I like. This post from Why Evolution Is True is about Coyne’s affection for the song, the debate over the meaning of the lyrics and that “this is really a work of musical genius.”

I don’t think I was very familiar with the song until I watched the movie Real Genius. Everybody Wants To Rule The World is played at the end of the film and over the closing credits. In general, accompanying music–the soundtrack, if you will–can enhance or detract from the enjoyment of watching a TV show or a film.

The early seasons of House had some great music, much of which was composed for the show. Transplant also has some great accompanying music as does, believe it or not, Everyday Driver.

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From this Archon’s Den post:

 

A young Math PhD got a job at a research facility.  His boss took him on a tour of the facility.  Nearing lunchtime, he showed him to the cafeteria.  As they entered, his boss yelled out, “47!”  Everyone in the room laughed uproariously.  Minutes later, another man entered, and shouted, “13!”  Again, everyone laughed.

Curious, the newbie asked what was going on.  His boss explained that most of the staff had worked together so long, that they had reduced their jokes to numbers, to save time.  The next day, as he was entering the cafeteria, he bellowed, “Negative four.”  The room dissolved in hilarity.  He looked questioningly at his boss.  “I was just kidding.  Why all the mirth?”  The boss replied, “They’ve never heard that one before.”

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Normally, after taking a day or two off from posting I am full of ideas and end up writing a longer than average post. Today, though, I’m just not feeling it. That’s why I am re-posting stuff from elsewhere. In that vein, here is a link to a Hagerty piece about five vehicles whose value has been increasing longer than any others that Hagerty has tracked. The first paragraph is worth reading and worth showing here:

 

“The collector car market is clearly having a moment. Consider that in early 2019 you could have bought a nice Nissan 300ZX for a bit more than $20,000; today that car is worth nearly $50K. More or less the same story holds true across a variety of price ranges and segments—unprecedented growth in a short time. Much ink has been spilled about what’s driving this appreciation, from pandemic-fueled boredom to the emergence of online auctions to the simple fact that in 2022 certain people will pay wild sums for anything (Bored Ape NFT, anyone?). There’s also been plenty of speculation about when this party might end and how bad the hangover could be.”

 

Two of the five vehicles are SUVs and, as such, are of no interest to me. Let me repeat myself for the nth to the n time: I DO NOT have to be interested in SUVs, pickup trucks, EVs, motorcycles or any other type of transportation. I like what I like and others can like different things.

The most interesting of the five to me is probably this, an Alfa Romeo GT 1300 Junior Zagato; this picture is not from the article:

 

See the source image

 

Obviously, the picture is from RM Sotheby’s. Maybe you can’t tell, but this is a very small car. Its overall length is just 153 inches, its wheelbase is 93 inches and its curb weight is a little over 2,100 pounds. The car, through mid-year 1972 (the car was built from 1969 to 1975), was powered by a 1.3 liter/79 cubic inch inline 4-cylinder engine producing 101 HP/101 LB-FT of torque (gross rating).

I think the design reminds me of a Saab Sonett 3 (pictured below) and is quite fetching. I am under no illusion the Alfa would be a practical car; I just really like the way it looks, just like I am a fan of the looks of the Sonett.

 

See the source image

 

I have to admit that I briefly considered the Alfa Romeo 4C as a car I might acquire if I decide I don’t want the Z06 after repairs are complete. The Alfa name just has too poor of a reputation for reliability, though. The last thing I want or need is another car that has to spend a lot of time in the shop. It was four months ago today that the Z06 first failed to start. I have only had the car in my possession for a couple of weeks since then and it never really ran right when I drove it.

 

As always, I welcome thoughtful comments. I also ask that you share the existence of this blog with friends and acquaintances and feel free to click on any ad in which you have genuine interest. Thanks.

 

#BrokenMooringMonday

#WokeIsACult

#EverybodyWantsToRuleTheWorld

#AlfaRomeoGTJuniorZagato

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Wandering Wednesday

Even though I have been out of baseball for more than a decade, the news of the death of Vin Scully is still sad to me. I had the privilege of speaking with him every now and then during my tenure with the San Diego Padres. He was always most gracious.

As some of you may know from firsthand experience (as I do), many famous people are most unpleasant. They are rude and dismissive of people they don’t know or those they perceive to be unimportant. I’ll pass along something taught to me by a high school English teacher: a truly great person will neither trample on a worm nor sneak to an emperor.

 

“And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”

– John Donne

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This CNBC article reports that Russia is facing “economic oblivion.” If that’s true, imagine how much faster that would happen if most of Europe were not still buying huge amounts of natural gas from the Russian dictator. utem itud psin

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This post from Why Evolution Is True, the title of which is “Intellectual freedom in STEM: An interview with Anna Krylov,” is both interesting and disturbing. Krylov is a quantum chemist and the Gabilan Distinguished Professor in Science and Engineering and Professor of Chemistry at the University of Southern California. Here is a passage from the first paragraph of the post:

 

“And we met her because she’s an opponent of the invasion of wokeness into STEM, and because she somehow got an anti-woke paper, “The perils of politicizing science” into the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters. That paper got a lot of attention, most likely because it was congenial to all those who deplore the fulminating wokeness of science but are afraid to speak up. (Try getting an op-ed extolling merit over identity into a science journal these days!)”

 

I think much, if not most, of the world–especially the so-called developed world–is losing its mind.

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On this day in 1977, Radio Shack (remember them?) introduced the TRS-80 personal computer. Some users called them the “Trash 80.” My first PC experience (personal computer, not political correctness) was using a TRS-80 in my first job in radio. I had the title of Assistant Producer, but I was a call screener for a call-in sports talk show. I also called guests that were going to be interviewed as well as providing news to the show’s host.

The TRS-80 had a program that allowed me to input the name of a caller and the subject they wanted to talk about so the host could see that in advance. The program usually worked without a hitch. My experience with the “Trash 80” really fueled my desire to have a PC of my own, but one with much more computing power.

In one of the few times my father really stepped up for me, I bought a Tele-Video PC from a friend of his who owned a computer store and, technically, we leased it through my father’s gas station. He even made the first few payments. I purchased the PC after the expiration of the lease and then sold it to a friend of mine who, sadly, is no longer among the living. The first four or five PCs I owned more than paid for themselves because I usually was able to get consulting work in lieu of or in addition to a regular job. As I have now owned a PC for about 38 years I have lost track of just how many different ones I have had.

I still prefer using a PC over any mobile device like a phone or a tablet. PC prices have also plummeted, especially in real terms. The purchase price of my first computer was more than $3,000 in 1984. The computer on which I am writing this post cost me about $500. By the way, $3,000 1984 dollars converts to about $8,500 today. Of course, my current computer is orders of magnitude faster and more powerful than my first one. My first PC didn’t even have a hard drive.

 

#WanderingWednesday

#VinScully

#WokeIsACult

#MyFirstPC

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Munday Mosings

Wish me luck…my Z06 is at the Chevrolet dealer. Of course, getting the car on the flatbed did NOT go off without a hitch. Another kick in the shins…too tired and disgusted to get into details. Thanks to Tim for his yeoman efforts to make it work.

 

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The Mayo Clinic has, so far at least, lived up to its reputation. Although I was not able to get there until Friday afternoon, all testing results were sent to me before Noon on Saturday.

My inflammatory process is “purely” inflammatory as opposed to being secondary to something else like an infection. That, like everything else, is both good and bad. It means a progression to sepsis is almost certainly off the table, but treatment will be more difficult. Stress is not good for the body and can contribute to systemic inflammation. Hard to turn off the stress spigot right now, though.

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A couple of links to posts on Why Evolution Is True:

 

Yes, Virginia, the New York Times is woke.

Haidt on the seemingly irreparable brokenness of American life

 

From the second post:

 

Haidt avers that “the warped ‘accountability’ of social media has also brought injustice—and political dysfunction in three ways.” I’ll give quotes:

1.) First, the dart guns of social media give more power to trolls and provocateurs while silencing good citizens. Research by the political scientists Alexander Bor and Michael Bang Petersen found that a small subset of people on social-media platforms are highly concerned with gaining status and are willing to use aggression to do so. . .

2.) Second, the dart guns of social media give more power and voice to the political extremes while reducing the power and voice of the moderate majority.

3.) Finally, by giving everyone a dart gun, social media deputizes everyone to administer justice with no due process. Platforms like Twitter devolve into the Wild West, with no accountability for vigilantes. A successful attack attracts a barrage of likes and follow-on strikes. Enhanced-virality platforms thereby facilitate massive collective punishment for small or imagined offenses, with real-world consequences, including innocent people losing their jobs and being shamed into suicide. When our public square is governed by mob dynamics unrestrained by due process, we don’t get justice and inclusion; we get a society that ignores context, proportionality, mercy, and truth.

All of this rings true, of course, but Haidt also cites a number of studies supporting his arguments. He sees “stupidity” on both the Right and Left that has been promoted by social media…

 

For the nth time, I am aware of the “inconsistency” of someone writing a blog and having a Twitter account being critical of so-called social media. I stick to my criticism, though. For the nth plus one time, in my opinion the only solution is dissolution. Oh, Zark Muckerberg should be jailed for treason.

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With the virtual certainty that repairs to the Z06 will be in four figures, at least, the probability of further tuning, either now or in the future, asymptotically approaches zero. I don’t really believe in “signs” or “karma,” but with so many negative events recently occurring involving all three cars that we have/had, I will just bow to fate and retreat.

However, I am still interested in acquiring something like a Saturn Sky Red Line in the next 12-18 months. With my feelings toward Cadillac still sour due to the treatment we received from the local dealer, as great as my “academic” interest is in the Allante and XLR, I just don’t think I could buy one in the near future.

One Sky Red Line in Forest Green (my preferred color) was available locally, but just sold over the weekend. I also wouldn’t mind Bluestone Metallic, only available on 2007 and 2008 model year cars and not even available for all of ’07. That color was also only ever used on the Sky among all GM cars ever built.

 

See the source image

 

Once again, the Sky ALWAYS grabs my attention when I see one. The heart wants what it wants.

 

#MundayMosings

#WokeIsACult

#SocialMediaIsDangerous

#TheOnlySolutionIsDissolution

#SaturnSkyRedLine

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Wayfaring Wednesday

Don’t ask me to explain my penchant for alliteration. It’s part of the package, I guess.

 

Two links from Why Evolution Is True:

Science “studies” helping bring down science

The beginning of this piece:

 

“Those of us who want our science free of ideology can only stand by helplessly as we watch physics, chemistry, and biology crumble from within as the termites of Wokeism nibble away. I once thought that scientists, whom I presumed would be less concerned than humanities professors with ideological pollution (after all, we do have some objective facts to argue about), would be largely immune to Wokeism.

I was wrong, of course. It turns out that scientists are human beings after all, and with that goes the desire for the approbation of one’s peers and of society. And you don’t get that if you’re deemed a racist. You can even be criticized from holding yourself away from the fray, preferring to do science than engage in social engineering.”

 

Strange reporting of a terrorist attack that killed three Israelis

The last paragraph:

 

“There’s no doubt that anti-Semitism is on the rise in America, particularly among “progressive” liberals, who increasingly sympathize with Palestinians because they are seen as “people of color”. U.S. legislators like [The “Squad”–I refuse to mention those cretins by name] regularly laud Palestine and demonize Israel—also supporting the anti-Semitic BDS movement. And much of the U.S. media, increasingly populated by young journalists with “progressive” sentiments, echo this hatred. Is this the way liberals should behave: lauding those who kill civilians and then celebrating it?”

 

Remember that the author of Why Evolution Is True identifies as a liberal. While hatred of Jews is rampant among the neo-Nazi segment of the far right in the US, it is growing much faster among the clueless so-called “progressives” who are actually nothing of the sort. My contempt for all of them burns with the heat of a million suns.

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From this piece comes this chart:

 

MODEL Q1 22 / Q1 21 Q1 22 Q1 21 Q1 22 SHARE Q1 21 SHARE
CHEVROLET CORVETTE +33.28% 8,811 6,611 68% 52%
PORSCHE 911 -23.69% 2,123 2,782 17% 22%
MERCEDES-BENZ AMG GT -22.28% 942 1,212 7% 10%
PORSCHE 718 -48.07% 782 1,506 6% 12%
AUDI R8 -54.04% 68 148 1% 1%
NISSAN GT-R 0.00% 50 50 0% 0%
ACURA NSX +318.18% 46 11 0% 0%
FORD GT +9.09% 36 33 0% 0%
BMW I8 -50.19% 4 8 0% 0%
MERCEDES-BENZ SL-CLASS -99.35% 2 311 0% 0%
TOTAL +1.52% 12,864 12,672

 

This chart shows sales in the “premium sports car” segment. Of course, one can argue that the Corvette is priced so much less than the other cars that any other result would be an indictment of it. I also would like to see a similar chart for the first years of the C7 Corvette as a comparison.

Still, it is interesting to see that the Corvette gained significant market share from 2021 to 2022. Where we live C8 Corvettes are quite common. It’s almost as if at least half of the C8s ever built are owned by people within a 20-mile radius of our house. One person whose front door can’t be more than 250 feet from ours has a C8.

 

See the source image

 

As much as I appreciate the bold move to a mid-engine architecture and the car’s performance, the more I see them the less I like the look. The rear end, in particular, is just ungainly. Yes, I have expressed these sentiments before. For the nth time, a mid-engine car almost always has certain design elements that move away from the classic long hood/short deck appearance.

I would like to read your thoughts on the C8 Corvette. Thanks.

 

#WayfaringWednesday

#WokeIsACult

#C8Corvette

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Two Two Two Two

I’ve heard the expression “It’s hard to drive straight down a crooked road.” I would add it’s hard to be intelligent in a stupid world. Bill Murray’s classic remark:

“It’s hard to win an argument with a smart person, but it’s damn near impossible to win an argument with a stupid person.”

Unfortunately, the propensity to argue is not correlated with intelligence.

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From this review of Woke Racism, a book by John McWhorter, who is black.

 

“The lens through which McWhorter views “wokeism” is as a religion: a real religion, not just a metaphor for religions that worship a God. Although I don’t think this trope is absolutely necessary for McWhorter to make his case, but it does add considerably to our understanding of the phenomenon. The “Elect” (his word for the “woke”) will brook no dissent, believe in an original sin (racism, of course), demonize those who are against them, cast them to a social-media hell (or worse: getting them fired or banned), have a common set of tenets that, as shown above, contradict each other (cf. Christianity: God is loving but if you don’t accept him you’ll burn forever), and have a set of inerrant prophets. [I have excluded the names of the people mentioned.] Their words are not to be questioned; the prophets are to be worshipped and evoked as often as possible.

The book is not intended for The Elect because, as McWhorter asserts, their minds aren’t open [emphasis mine]…his book was intended for either those on the fence, those with open minds or, in McWhorter’s case, for those who already dislike Wokeness but want a critical analysis of its flaws as well as some bucking up. Wokeism may, for instance, repel you for reasons you don’t understand, and McWhorter supplies those reasons.

…McWhorter’s suggestion includes not engaging the Elect (they won’t listen), do not apologize for your actions or views if you advance them in reason good faith, and, most important, stand up to the woke. Don’t buy their bullshit, don’t let them make you feel guilty, and, if you disagree, just say so and walk away.”

 

Woke is a cult.

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Prior to 2022, no single collector car auction had exceeded $180 million in sales. In just the month of January, 2022, two auctions exceeded $200 million: Mecum Kissimmee grossed $217 million while Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale grossed $203 million.

I won’t weigh in on which result was more impressive because I don’t think it matters. What those results confirm is that the collector car market has exploded and I don’t mean self-destructed.

Just like it’s not a good time to buy a house in many parts of the country, this might not be a good time to buy a collector car. I guess it’s a good thing I have no place to put another car and, for the most part, I don’t have “champagne and caviar” tastes in automobiles.

As I wrote in a comment to David Banner (not his real name), that I have constructed and published an “Ultimate Garage” focuses my attention on a small group of cars as possible acquisitions. The fact that I really only “lusted” after one car on the block among the hundreds I saw at the Barrett-Jackson auction has to be due, in no small way, to the existence of an Ultimate Garage. What car did I really want to buy?

 

 

This is, of course, the 2004 Maserati convertible about which I wrote here. As I wrote then, seeing this car up close took my breath away. Speaking of desirable convertibles sold at auction:

 

 

This Aston Martin convertible was sold at the recently concluded Mecum auction in Kissimmee, Florida and is shown here parked on the street where my wonderful wife’s father lives. The fact that it is parked next to a Tesla is quintessential Scottsdale, Arizona. By the way, I sent this photo and a very brief exposition via text to Scott Hoke and John Kraman. Both replied within minutes and Scott agreed with my assessment that the car was well bought even at $55,000 all in.

I don’t pretend to know when the collector car market boom will stop, only that it will, eventually. It seems as if no market is immune from booms and busts.

 

#TwoTwoTwoTwo

#WokeIsACult

#CollectorCarMarketExplosion

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Pictures For A Saturday

Apparently, Aaron Rodgers has no clue when to just shut up. Hope the Broncos’ fans, or wherever he is playing next year, don’t get tired of his shtick. This Packers fan is definitely sick of his act.

 

For your review or not, some posts from Why Evolution Is True:

 

Post 1

Post 2

Post 3

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My wonderful wife could not wake up in time for us to realistically attend the local “Scuderia” car show, which has resumed being held the first Saturday of the month after a damn virus hiatus. Instead, we went to the Penske complex after breakfast. I have written about this “venue” many times; virtually every luxury make of car is sold there and it is the home of the Penske racing museum.

Today, the Lamborghini club of America was holding an event there. Incredibly, I neglected to take any pictures of any Lamborghinis. Here are some I did take:

 

 

This 2018 Jaguar F-Type convertible was the only one in stock, new or used, at the Jaguar/Land Rover dealer. This dealership has a grand total of three new cars in inventory at present! The damn virus is real, but so are lazy people.

Going on a tangent…former FDA commissioner and current Pfizer board member Scott Gottlieb (“Love of God” in German?) believes the damn virus pandemic could be over in the US by January. The same company announced its damn virus pill, used in conjunction with an HIV drug, cuts the risk of hospitalization or death by 89%. Therapeutics must be part of the arsenal along with vaccines.

Back to the car pics:

 

 

This 2019 Ford GT has 42 miles on it; yep, 4-2. I think these cars were around a half million when new; the dealer is asking $1.4 million.

 

 

I assume this is a real BMW M1 and, if so, is the first one I’ve ever seen in person. Only about 450 were produced from 1978 to 1981.

 

Hope you enjoyed the show…

 

#PicturesForASaturday

#WokeIsACult

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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