A Blog About Cars ... And More
Wednesday January 20, 2021
Nice Polish: Here's a 1957 eye-catching ad for Mac's Resin Coat Car Polish:
Shedding Light On Headlights: The very earliest vehicle headlamps were acetylene-powered and not very good. Unless the driver kept pressure up with a small handpump located near the steering wheel, the lights would go out.
Electric headlamps debuted in 1898 and, by 1915 or so, most cars had electric lighting systems. Headlights were part of front-end styling and, in the absence of regulations, some curved glass beauties could ... (more >>>)
Monday Old Car Drive: The winter weather has been the usual combination of lotsa rain with occasional sun. Luckily, we've had no snow so far this season. At 1:30 pm, the temperature was a chilly 45 degrees but the sun was shining. I hadn't driven my '39 Plymouth coupe in over a month, but the 81 year-old beast fired right up.
Traffic was light and didn't slow me down one iota. Or half an iota. There is construction on my usual loop, so I took a different one north to the edge of town, east for a couple of miles and then headed back home.
It was mostly cloudless overhead with beautiful, pale Winter-blue skies - that odd color for which there's no Crayola match. I even got a brief glimpse of snow-covered Mt. St. Helens on my drive.
It was a real treat to be behind the wheel, listening to the V8 rumble through the Glasspacks while 'The Joe Niagara Show: Cruisin' '57' blasted from the speakers. It made me feel like I was 16 again. Except I tolerate the cold much less well than I did in 1959.
I had a very enjoyable drive. Absence makes the old-car heart grow fonder.
How To Kill A Brand: General Motors is weighing whether to expand its Corvette lineup currently a two-seat sports car and add its first-ever Corvette crossover SUV.
Bloomberg reported that GM has designers working on several Corvette-brand concept vehicles that target a wider range of buyers, likely as an all-electric crossover SUV as early as 2025.
This is a very bad idea, as inappropriate as Louis Farrakhan at a bar mitzvah. It was probably dreamed up by clueless MBAs who didn't drink from the fountain of knowledge - just gargled.
These ninnyhammers know nothing about cars ... or heritage.
Deals On Wheels: You can score a new Aston Martin DB11 for a discount of $24,330. According to AutoBlog, "That's a 12.1% cut off the car's average retail price of $201,820 and it means buyers are paying an average transaction price of $177,490."
Acura NSX hybrid supercar buyers are seeing discounts of nearly 14% for an average transaction price of $138,648. "The Rolls-Royce Phantom carries an average sticker price of $537,500. But buyers are getting about 4% off that for an average transaction price of $516,333."
Are You Surprised? States have siphoned off 21% of their gasoline taxes and other highway user fees to pay for mass transit and other non-highway activities in 2019.
State diversions of highway user fees to non-highway programs have grown rapidly since 1980.
Government will always waste your money and then lie about it. "Then it lies about the lies. Then it lies to you about lying about the lies. Then it makes you feel like you are the crazy one."
The only way to fix this is to decrease the size of government. Less government equals fewer lies.
Fake Money: Bitcoin is now valued at $36,000-plus. Late last week, it sold for almost $40,000. A year or so ago, it was trading at $7,200.
Talk about an unstable currency - Bitcoin's price swings are more seismic than a high-rise penthouse in Indonesia. Over the past 30 years or so, the Euro has traded between 85¢ and $1.40. In the past 40 years, the British pound has vacillated between $1.04 and $1.35. That's what real currencies do, because they are trusted and backed by something.
Bitcoin is a made-up internet currency is that is backed by nothing, in the same way that 'Seinfeld' was a show about nothing. Crypto-experts say that it's stable because it is protected by blockchain, whatever that is. If you question blockchain, someone will probably tell you it's backed by brickrope.
I think I acquired some Bitcoin last year in my Easter basket. It was a gold-colored foil with a milk chocolate center. I traded eight of them for a solid-chocolate bunny.
Stop It, Just Stop It! I'm seeing TV and internet pundits make predictions about the 2024 presidential race. As Bob Newhart, playing the $5 per hour psychiatrist on a MadTV sketch, said, "Stop it!"
I just updated an essay I wrote 13 years ago - it documents that people can't even predict presidential politics a year in advance, much less four.
So … stop it!
Pettiness Personified: NYC mayor Bill de Blasio, under whose incompetent management the city is rapidly disintegrating, took time out to terminate all business relationships with the Trump Organization because he hates Donald Trump. The Trump Organization is under city contract to operate the two ice rinks and a carousel in Central Park as well as a golf course in the Bronx. The contract is worth about $17 million - a pittance to the Trump Organization.
I suspect this is an illegal breach of contract and will end up in court. Trump will probably win and the taxpayers of NYC will foot the bill for damages and legal costs - all because de Blasio's massive ego must be fed. In the meantime, it wouldn't surprise me if some newly-formed minority and/or women led organization will snag the contract and screw things up royally. I'm betting on some branch of Sharpton, Inc.
Meanwhile, to give an idea of how dismal things are in New York, a condo on NYC's famed Billionaire's Row sold for a record 51% discount recently. The property is a 58th floor apartment in New York's One57 building. The condo in question is a 4,483 sq. foot parcel that was purchased in 2014 for $34 million. It was sold this week for $16.75 million. And New York City apartment tenants are more than $1 billion in debt from missed rent payments during the coronavirus pandemic.
No nightlife. No Broadway. No fancy restaurants. You might as well live in Battle Ground, WA.
It Was Probably Rump Roast: The Italian Supreme Court has ruled that an unexpected slap on a woman's bottom (aka - pacca sul sedere) at work could not be labeled sexual harassment as long as men didn't make a habit of it.
I swear I saw 'Pacca sul Sedere' on the menu at the Olive Garden. On the 'Taste of Tuscany' page, I believe. (permalink)
Something To Avoid: Omaha Steaks' Meat Lasagna. Too salty, limp noodles with Godfather's Pizza style meat pellets. The beef had that unpleasant Fourth Time You Reheat Pot Roast Taste. We'll never buy it again, although OS's Stuffed Baked Potatoes are quite tasty.
We used to order OS's triple-trimmed beef filets but now buy our steaks from local sources - better quality and lower prices. How do I feel about OS's Potatoes au Gratin? Just pronounce it phonetically: Ugh, rotten.
Quote Of The Day is from Winston Churchill: "I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle."
Monday January 18, 2021
Maybe It's The Red Color ... but the 2021 Daihatsu Copen Spyder Ver concept car looks like the grandson of the 1958 Berkeley Sports SE328:
Introduced at the 'virtual' 2021 Tokyo Auto Show, the Copen Spyder is a tiny kei car-based sporty roadster concept car with a speedster-style half-windshield, headrest fairings, a tiny 63 horsepower engine and Volk Racing TE37 wheels.
The English firm Berkeley Cars Ltd. produced sporty microcars with motorcycle-derived engines from 322 cc to 692 cc and front wheel drive between ... (more >>>)
New Name, New Combined Company: Fiat Chrysler and French automaker Peugeot SA have merged to form Stellantis, the fourth-largest automaker in the world.
"FCA CEO Mike Manley - who will head Stellantis' key North American operations - has said 40% of the carmaker's expected synergies would come from convergence of platforms and powertrains and from optimizing R&D investments, 35% from savings on purchases, and another 7% from savings on sales operations and general expenses."
Sleeper Buses: I had never heard of them before but road vehicles with Pullman-style accommodations were cruising the nation's highways and byways in the 1930s.
Last month, I watched the 1939 movie 'Babes In Arms', starring Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland. In one scene, Judy boards a double-decker sleeper bus to travel from ... (more >>>)
Technology Confuses Me: I thought Linux was a 'Peanuts' character.
I'm Sooooo Glad To Be Outta There: Chicago has a bad reputation. Probably because of all the TV coverage of drive-by shootings every weekend. And that stupid midget lesbian black mayor with the face like a fish. And maybe Al Capone.
Stacy McCain reports that my old home town Philadelphia is worse. "I can't imagine why anyone would want to live in that Democrat-controlled hellhole - Philadelphia is actually worse. Under Democrat Mayor Jim Kenney, violent crime in Philadelphia, which was already worse than Chicago, increased more than 40% in 2020.
More people were murdered in Philly last year than in all of 2013 and 2014 combined. The only time more people were slain in the city was in 1990, when police reported 500 homicides as violence surged alongside an intensifying crack-cocaine epidemic. The media would have you believe that crimes other than homicide have not increased …" but they have.
Read the whole thing. Stacy concluded, "When you vote for Democrats, you vote for crime. But don't worry. If you get murdered in Philadelphia, you can continue voting for Democrats after you're dead. They're "inclusive" like that."
Imagine That - Mexico Loves Free Speech More Than Democrats: Mexico's president Andrés Manuel López Obrador has vowed to lead an international effort to combat what he considers censorship by social media companies that have blocked or suspended the accounts of U.S. President Donald Trump.
Obrador's administration is reaching out to other governments to form a common front on the issue. "I can tell you that at the first G20 meeting we have, I am going to make a proposal on this issue. Yes, social media should not be used to incite violence and all that, but this cannot be used as a pretext to suspend freedom of expression."
Thank you President Obrador for looking out for your northern neighbor. You have also been a loyal friend to Donald Trump. If only the Republican Party were as loyal.
Interesting Observation comes from Alexandrea Brown - aka: Alex The Chick: "The Tea Party was the polite request, Trump is the less polite request. It does not get more polite from here."
On a related note, two days after the 2020 election, a defiant Kathy Griffin retweeted the notorious picture of her holding a prop that looked like the bloody head of a decapitated Donald Trump. Earlier last year, Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, tweeted out a call to his followers to destroy Israel. Both tweets passed the censorship rules of Twitter's 20-something 'judges' in San Francisco.
Griffin is a skank and Jack Dorsey and his minions are fascists.
Hate Trumps Rationality: Democratic Congresswoman Nikema Williams - Georgia's Democrat Party chairwoman in the Biden steal - has introduced a bill "to ban President Trump from entering the U.S. Capitol building for the rest of his life."
I Guess Democrats Now Believe That Walls Work: Massive fencing has now been erected outside the Capitol. The eight foot, non-scalable fence is gone. Now, a 12-foot wall is going up. Razor wire surrounds the U.S. Capitol ahead of Xi Biden's Inauguration.
25,000 National Guard forces have been deployed in and around the Capitol - more troops than we have in Afghanistan and Iraq combined. Guard members are in full uniform, including ballistic helmets, and are armed. 125 Air National Guard aircraft flew 134 sorties in the last three days They airlifted 2.3 million pounds of cargo from around the nation into DC. They're even flying in 80 Guardsmen aboard a KC-135 Stratotanker into DC from Alaska. The volume of aircraft, personnel, and equipment is unprecedented. All this for a guy who can't get out of his basement without "fracturing his foot."
One wonders - will Hunter be at the inauguration? Will he bring a date? Will she be older than twelve?
Remember when liberals screamed and yelled that President Trump was creating a fascist police state by having the National Guard clear the park near the White House after "mostly peaceful protesters" torched St. John's Episcopal Church, Lafayette Square, the historic church across from the White House?
Just look at DC now. Nothing says freedom like razor wire.
Misheard Music: Between the awful car audio systems of the '60s-70s - I use the word 'system' as an act of generosity; for many cars of the era, it was an AM receiver and one, cheap, tinny speaker - and my loss of hearing, resulting from running noisy injection molding machines, saws and routers in those manly, no-earplug, pre-OSHA days, I've probably misunderstood half the songs I've listened to.
Last week, I was losing myself in the sublayers of a Google search, when I came across the lyrics to 'Let 'Em In', one of those trite but can't-get-it-outta-your-head ditties from the mid-1970s. By Wings. You know the one. With the McCartneys warbling, "Someone's knockin' at the door ..." I always thought it was some kind of bizarre religious/political statement:
"Sister Suzie, Brother John,
Well, Google informed me that there is no reference to the China-outlawed spiritual group, Falun Gong. The correct phrase is "Phil and Don" - a nod to the Everly Brothers, who were an inspiration to Paul in his early years.
To Phil and Don Everly, my sincere regrets.
I'm still not yet ready to apologize to Neil Diamond over that 1978 song about the pseudo-hip preacher, 'The Reverend Blue Jeans.'
Quote Of The Day is from President Donald Trump, "They don't hate you because they hate me. They hate me because they hate you."
Friday January 15, 2021
Truckin': The shift from sedans and coupes to light trucks, including SUVs, is illustrated by this graph:
The Great Race: Which is growing faster? Technology? Or bad taste? Think: Moore's Law vs. Dogg's Law. Presenting PimpStar LED wheels. Using full color LED lights, a microprocessor and wireless modem, these chromey dubs can display any images you like.
Images can be changed on the fly even as you're driving. You can shift, say, from a photo of the Palace at Versailles to an image of the Sistine Chapel ceiling. Or from the Playboy bunny symbol to a flashing red neon message for streetwalkers, "Call me, bitch ho!"
Ghetto fabulous and yours for only $12,000.
Before The Storm ...
Making A List, Checking It Twice: Many disgruntled Trump supporters are putting together lists of useless Republican congress-critters who failed to support Donald Trump.
Jamie Herrera Beutler - aka: Ridgefield Barbie - is the U.S. Representative for Southwest Washington's 3rd congressional district and should be added to everyone's list.
An alleged Republican, Herrera Beutler was appointed to the Washington House of Representatives in 2007 and elected to that body in 2008. She has been largely ineffective in Congress, and has vacillated between being a Never-Trumper and a very reluctant supporter. She remains in Congress because she has a sick child and needs the medical benefits. She never shows up in-person in her districts; any town hall meetings have been via screened telephone - this was the case well before the China virus struck.
She refused to vote for Donald Trump in the 2016 election. This week she voted to impeach the president.
In 2022, Butler is one of the useless Rinos - and there are many throughout this land - who should be "impeached" at the voting booth.
Just for the record, alleged-conservatives and now confirmed Trump haters include Ann Coulter, Paul Ryan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, National Review's Kevin D. Williamson as well as most of the NR crew, Bill Kristol, Jonah Goldberg, Steve Hayes,Twitter-chief and fascist Jack Dorsey, Jeff Bezos, Colin Powell, retired General James Mattis, John Kelly, John Bolton, Marc Thiessen of the Washington Post, Paul Gigot of WSJ, Rex Tillerson, Rod Rosenstein, Nikki Haley, Liz Cheney, Mitt Romney and many more.
Notable Trump-loyalists and all-around good guys include Wilbur Ross, Dr. Ben Carson, Ric Grenell, Mike Pompeo, John Kennedy, Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley.
Where's Joe McCarthy When We Need Him? Former U.S. senator Barbara Boxer has registered as a foreign agent for a Chinese surveillance firm accused of abetting the country's mass internment of Uighur Muslims.
She joins her China Communist Party friends and fellow Californians Senator Dianne Feinstein and Representative Eric Swalwell as tools of the Commies. Don't expect Biden to investigate; his son is already on Xi's payroll.
Welcome To 2021 … where everything's racist. HBO's Bee Gees documentary falsely claims that the demise of disco music was because of racism. And homophobia.
Book Review: 'Is This Anything?' by Jerry Seinfeld
It's hard to believe that Jerry is almost 67 years old and that he started his career working stand-up gigs in 1975. His television show ran from 1988 to '98. So long ago.
This is a very funny book. At times, I was laughing out loud as I read it. There are some old bits here but I'd guess that 80% is new material - to me. It's not a traditional joke book; it's Jerry's familiar observational humor - his reflections on the absurdities of life.
Here are some tidbits ... (more >>>)
Just So You Know: When I die, I don't want T-shirts given out as souvenirs at my memorial service.
How tasteless and tacky. A memorial pamphlet? Sure. A DVD? Well, goodness knows I've had enough face time on video during my life. So, I guess that would be OK. But not memorialized clothing.
I mean, who wants to spend part of Eternity in a washing machine? Or as a cleaning rag.
And, even though I'm a Simpsons fan, I don't want a eulogy from Nelson Muntz: "Haw Haw. You're dead now."
We Make The Mess; You Clean It Up: The Vatican has called on Catholics everywhere to atone for the sex abuse scandals that have engulfed the Church in recent years by taking part in what may be the largest global prayer initiative ever seen.
Give me a break! Asking me to atone for a bunch of perv priests is even more wrong that those slavery apology demands.
During the time that blacks were being enslaved and oppressed in the United States, all of my ancestors were in County Mayo, Ireland - being systematically oppressed, run off their lands and starved by the English.
During the time that altar boys were being sodomized by creeps, I was busy raising a family and trying to make ends meet.
So, leave me out of it. (permalink)
Teletubbies Finally Got Jobs: In Bradford, Yorkshire, men with TVs strapped above their heads are walking the streets to warn public about disobeying Covid lockdown rules.
Quote Of The Day: Say what you want about Hitler, but he did kill Hitler.
Wednesday January 13, 2021
Big Bucks: Almost half of the 2021 Cadillac Escalades have sold for over $100,000.
"The redesigned 2021 Escalade starts at $77,490 for the base Luxury trim, but GM reports that 43% of buyers paid more than $100,000 for theirs." Cadillac sold 9454 Escalades during the last quarter of 2020. The Escalade's fourth-quarter retail deliveries were up 19%.
"There are multiple 2021 Escalade trim levels that start over $100,000, and even the lower trims can crest the six-figure mark with options. As for its competitors, the Lincoln Navigator and long-wheelbase Navigator L, the fully loaded Black Label models are the only versions that can cost more than $100,000. Jeep says its upcoming Grand Wagoneer will cost over $100,000 fully loaded." The fifth-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee L with third-row seating will go on sale in the second quarter of 2021, with two-row and hybrid models to be available by year's end.
2020 Vehicle Sales: According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, annual light vehicle sales in 2020, were 14.46 million, down 14.7% from 16.95 million in 2019. This was the fewest annual sales since 2012.
The UK reported their largest drop in new car sales since World War II.
Thanks, China for sending us the virus that wrecked the world's economy.
General Motors annual U.S. sales were ... (more >>>)
Dust In The Wind: The North American Car (Hyundai Elantra), Truck (Ford F-150) and Utility (Ford Mustang Mach-E) of the Year have been named. I doubt that anyone - other than Hyundai and Ford - really cares. If it's so important, name last year's winners. You can't remember them? Me neither.
In other news, the 2021 Detroit Auto Show has been canceled.
I Knew Them Back When: Flir Systems, Oregon-based maker of thermal-imaging and night-vision technology for the military, domestic security and various industrial and consumer applications, is being acquired by California-based Teledyne Technologies for $8 billion in cash and stock. That represents a 28% premium on Flir's closing share price last week.
Flir is one of Oregon's last homegrown technology companies and employs about 3,000 worldwide. Founded in 1978, Flir has grown steadily for decades in Oregon. Back when Flir Systems was a start-up with only a handful of employees at a rented S.W. Capitol Highway office in SW Portland, I worked with the principals to develop and produce plastic components for their infrared system at my manufacturing company.
No-Open Is Re-Open: Clueless Washington State Governor and Oberführer Jay Inslee loves to keep his constituents in lockdown.
Ari Hoffman wrote last week, "Washington Democrat Governor Jay Inslee announced a re-opening plan for the state that promptly extended a statewide ban on indoor dining as well as gyms and fitness centers. Washington Hospitality Association CEO Anthony Anton called the new reopening plan, 'a roadmap to a near-complete collapse'."
Inslee announced what is called 'Healthy WashingtonRoadmap to Recovery', but it does not actually re-open anything ... (more >>>)
Dems Are 'The Unity Party' - Just Like The Nazi Party: Before they rounded up the Jews and other deplorables, the party slogan was "Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer."
In America, impeachment is already being talked about, perhaps even after Biden's inauguration, in order to ban Donald Trump from ever holding office again. It probably isn't legal, though. Furthermore, Nancy Pelosi is now looking at the 14th Amendment as a way to expel Republican members of the House for supposedly taking part in an 'insurrection'.
Attorney and legal consultant Mike Yoder posted this reminder: "In 1983, Susan Rosenberg planted a bomb outside the US Senate chamber to assassinate Republican senators. House Judiciary Committee Chairman got President Clinton to pardon Susan Rosenberg. She's now a board member of Black Lives Matter Network, Inc."
William Katz wrote, "Do not ignore this. The Democratic Party, with the full support of institutions like CNN, is going crazy. They will make a mockery of any talk of national unity, they will ruin Joe Biden's inauguration, just to satisfy their radical base. Indeed, they will push Biden aside at the first opportunity."
What's Out? What's In? From The People's Cube:
Also from The Cube: 'Fact check: a democratic election is the one in which votes are counted until Democrats win.'
At Least There's Some Good News: The unloved media industry was racked by a record 30,711 job cuts in 2020 - a stunning increase of 201% from the year earlier when 10,201 jobs were lost.
The figures included jobs data from the news industry, advertising, television and movie production ... (more >>>)
Question Of The Day: If people from Poland are called Poles, why aren't people from Holland called Holes?
Monday January 11, 2021
Another Christmas Gift: I also received a 1:43 scale model of the 1956 Pontiac Club de Mer, a one-off show car featured in that year's GM Motorama.
The Club de Mer roadster was reportedly the brainchild of GM Styling VP, Harley Earl, although Pontiac Studio head Paul Gillian was also involved and deserves credit as well. The de Mer was a ... (more >>>)
No Surprises Here: Using Consumer Reports data, 24/7 Wall St. predicted the least reliable 2021 auto models. The worst is the 2021 Fiat 500X, followed by the 2021 Jeep Renegade, 2021 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, 2021 Land Rover Discovery Sport and 2021 Maserati Ghibli.
Drink Up! A report from the BBC indicates that the old advertising slogan, 'Guinness is Good for You,' may be true after all. A pint of the black stuff a day may work as well as an aspirin to prevent heart clots that raise the risk of heart attacks. Guinness reduces clotting activity in the blood which doesn't happen with ordinary lager.
While some of the beneficial effects are due to the alcohol itself, researchers believe that antioxidant compounds in the Guinness, similar to those found in certain fruits and vegetables, are responsible for the health benefits because they slow down the deposit of harmful cholesterol on the artery walls. The original campaign in the 1920s stemmed from market research - when people told the company that they felt good after their pint, the slogan was born.
In Ireland, newborn babies and postoperative patients are given Guinness, as are blood donors, because of its high iron content.
I'm not much of a beer drinker but, when I imbibe, it's always a pint o' Guinness.
New Words: Here are some nominations for The American Dialect Society's Word of the Year:
I offer another nominee - a self-developed phrase involving a situation familiar to older males:
Old Photos Trigger Ancient Recollections: Recently, I was looking at a book, 'Lower Northeast Philadelphia'. This captioned photo album brought back a lot of memories. There was an old B&W photo of the S.S. Kresge 5-10-25¢ store on Frankford Avenue, just south of Cottman Ave.
When I was a kid, my Mom used to take me there. We walked to The Avenue from our house. I got a lot of my toys from that Kresge location, including molded plastic cowboys and Indians and 10¢ diecast cars. I still have some of the cars ... (more >>>)
Sad News: Canadian writer Kathy Shaidle has died at age 56 from ovarian cancer. She was a well-known blogger; her opinionated online quips caught my attention almost 20 years ago.
I have quoted Ms. Shaidle many times on this site. She blogged at 'Relapsed Catholic', later retitled 'Five Feet of Fury'. Kathy was one of the most incisive, witty (sometimes caustically so), and fearless writers on the planet, always standing up for freedom. She was fiercely pro-American and a conservative. Kathy was smart, never boring and had a great sense of humor.
When I found out she was very sick ... (more >>>)
Big Tech And Deep State Are Siamese Twins: According to The Federalist, Facebook and Instagram have banned President Donald Trump from their platforms. He has been banned at Snapchat, too. Twitter has already shut down President Trump on its site, while Iran's Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Louis Farrakhan, Richard Spencer and various Chinese propagandists continue to spew vile tweets undisturbed and uncensored.
Lizard King Mark Zuckerberg wrote ... (more >>>)
Bad Pun of the Day: They accused her of stealing the broach but they just couldn't pin it on her.
Friday January 8, 2021
Very Fast, Very Expensive: With a quarter-mile performance of 9.4 seconds at 158 mph, the Bugatti Chiron Sport is now the quickest production road car in Car and Driver magazine test history.
However, its zero-to-60-mph time of 2.4 seconds for this heavy - 3,544 pounds - but powerful - 1,479 horsepower - is no quicker than its predecessor, the Veyron, which is no longer the quickest in all the land.
CD writer Tony Quiroga noted, "Your body, however, is continuously unsettled as the power strapped to your back - the Chiron averages more than 1.00 g longitudinally through 70 mph - is unleashed." Price as tested is $3,710,850. And it only has two cubic feet of trunk space.
iCar? Apple Inc. is targeting 2024 to begin manufacturing an all-electric, self-driving vehicle.
Apple is used to selling high-margin products. But the auto industry is a commodity business with low margins.
"Volkswagen has spent nearly $180 billion on manufacturing plants and equipment over the past 10 years. VW's operating profit margin over that time period is about 7%. Apple, which has spent around $100 billion on plant and equipment over the same time span has an operating profit margin of around 28%. Investing a massive pile of cash in order to earn a smaller margin is not usually a winning idea."
Will the Apple car be made in China, like most other Apple offerings?
Goin' Nowhere: In 2020, we did far less driving than last year, thanks to the China flu. As a retired couple who don't do much long-distance car travel anyway, we put less than 4,000 miles on our three automobiles - a drop of over 40% from 2019.
My wife racked up 2,097 miles on her 2005 Toyota Avalon; the odometer read 76,607 miles at year's end. My 2008 Lexus LS 460 showed 40,995 miles on the odometer; 1,484 miles were added in 2020.
My 1939 Plymouth coupe experienced 357 miles of fun in 2020, mostly driving around the back roads of North Clark County.
Corn Hustle: Professor Emeritus Don Elliott of the University of Northern Colorado claims that ethanol is all-around more expensive than gasoline.
In a letter to the editor of The Tribune, he refutes the newspaper's misleading claim that ethanol is less expensive and produces less pollution per gallon than gasoline.
Using a more realistic measure of cost per miles driven, he shows that a vehicle running on E85 needs 40% more fuel to go the same distance as one burning gasoline, and E85 would cost 9.6% more per mile driven.
These data have been confirmed by other scientific studies.
On the pollution issue, Professor Elliott figures in the emissions from the fossil fuels used to produce the ethanol as well as the greenhouse gasses E85 produces.
When looking at the total pollution produced by each fuel, E85 produces 15.5 percent more greenhouse gasses per mile.
Someday, history books will have a chapter devoted to The Great Ethanol Scam. (permalink)
Remember When? Don Surber wrote that "storming the Capitol was cool in 2018."
"What a difference two years makes. On October 4, 2018, taking over the Capitol was just another form of protest. On that date, more than 300 people were taken into custody by police on Capitol Hill after descending on a pair of Senate office buildings Thursday afternoon to protest the confirmation process of Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump's Supreme Court nominee."
"The vast majority of the arrests, 293, were a result of protests in the Hart Senate Office Building, where protesters crowded in the atrium. Loud chants could be heard throughout the building, which is structured so the hallways of each floor open up and look out onto the first floor."
Back then, CNN - aka: Communist News Network - called the crowd 'protesters'. On Wednesday, CNN called pro-Trump protesters who stormed the Capitol 'rioters'.
On Wednesday, a Capitol policeman shot and killed an unarmed ... (more >>>)
Couldn't Happen To A Nicer Guy: Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler was "assaulted at a restaurant Wednesday evening during a confrontation with protesters." The 'assault' consisted of a single shoulder pinch by a guy who then then fled the scene. Coward. The mayor was uninjured.
Mr. Wheeler "was having dinner with a woman in the outdoor dining area of a northwest Portland restaurant when he was approached by a group of protesters." "I think you need to leave," Mr. Wheeler told one protester who ... (more >>>)
One Of A Kind Gift: I like zip-up hoodies. They work well in Pacific Northwest weather, where it is not too cold and rain is usually in the form of mist or drizzle.
No Wonder The Post Office Loses Money: In December, I ordered from Amazon. My order was split because part of it came from a third-party Amazon associate. On 12/14, the package was shipped first class from Duluth, GA via USPS.
The next day, it arrived at Atlanta North Metro Distribution Center in Georgia and was then transferred to Atlanta-Peachtree Distribution Center. On 12/20, it arrived at the Eugene, Oregon Distribution Center; later that day it traveled to a distribution facility in Portland, OR. Then it traveled 40 miles north to a facility in Woodland, WA - 17 miles north of were I live. Two hours later, it was delivered to a carrier facility in Newberg, OR - 75 miles southwest of Woodland. Two hours later, it traveled 35 miles back to the Portland, OR carrier facility.
The next day - 12/22 - it took a 25 mile trip to the Battle Ground, WA post office and was dropped into my mailbox nine hours later.
Don't Forget: Today is Elvis' birthday. He would have been 86. And probably would have weighed 860 pounds. Or, as the ever-quotable Yogi Berra might have said, "If Elvis were alive today, he'd be dead!"
Elvis didn't invent rock and roll but he spread the message across America. And the world. Music changed greatly during the postwar era, helped by ... (more >>>)
Quote Of The Day: When the law doesn't apply to lawmakers, you're not being governed - you're being ruled.
Wednesday January 6, 2021
A Gift From Santa: One of the Christmas gifts I received in 2020 was a 1:43 scale model of a 1948 Cadillac Series 62 with a custom ... (more >>>)
Overpriced: Based on stock market value as of late December 2020, Tesla is worth more than all big auto companies combined.
Tesla's sales revenue for the past 12 months totaled ... (more >>>)
Tops In 2020: According to Gooding & Company, a 1934 Bugatti Type 59 Sports brought the highest auction price of 2020 at $12.68 million.
Once owned by King Leopold III of Belgium, this Type 59 Sports was a works Grand Prix Car in 1934-35 In 1937 it was transformed to a Sports Car Configuration and continued to be raced.
"2020 saw Gooding & Company report more than $125 million in total sales during their entire auction year. The company was able to record 568 lots sold with an impressive 91% sales rate. Of the 568 units, more than 27 cars sold above the $1 million mark."
Equipment Changeout: Recently I removed the Lionel Hiawatha tinplate set from the lower level of my model train layout, replacing it with a Tuscan-color PRR Broadway Limited passenger car consist, including a Tuscan Pennsy Railway Express reefer.
The Broadway Limited is pulled by the mighty Pennsylvania Railroad T1 4-4-4-4 steam locomotive with its Raymond Loewy-designed, art-moderne styling.
Silent Souvenirs: My wife has three decorative wood boxes, dating back to the 1950s.
Her parents had them, possibly gifts from an aunt. We don't know the story behind these items; there's no one alive left to ask ... (more >>>)
Losing Fizz: Coca-Cola is cutting 2,200 jobs, including more than 10% of its US workforce, as it scraps half its drinks brands. "The coronavirus pandemic has hammered Coca-Cola's business, as sales at stadiums and movie theaters dried up due to lockdowns."
Coke is reducing its brands by half to 200. It shed multiple slow-selling brands this year, including Tab, Zico, Odwalla, and Diet Coke Feisty Cherry. Coca-Cola's revenues are dominated by its biggest brands, such as Coke, Sprite, and Fanta. More than half of the company's brands collectively generate just 2% of its revenue.
Headline Of The Week: 'Octopus In Love With Mr. Potato Head'.
"Louis the octopus clearly thinks two heads are better than one when it comes to toys. The 6-foot wide creature is so attached to Mr. Potato Head that he turns aggressive when aquarium staff try to remove it from his tank. The giant Pacific octopus was given the toy for Christmas and has even learned to dig out food hidden in a secret box at the back of it."
Redacted: Headline from The Onion: 'CIA Realizes It's Been Using Black Highlighters All These Years'.
Joke Of The Day is from Henny Youngman: "A doctor gave a man six months to live. The man couldn't pay his bill, so he gave him another six months."
January 4, 2021
Fiat At The Bottom … Again: In mid-December, J.D. Power has released its 2020 U.S. Sales Satisfaction Index study, a measure of car owner attitudes toward dealers. Fiat, the failed brand of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V., received the worst grade of any brand.
Lincoln won the luxury brand category with a score of 827, followed closely by Lexus and Mercedes at 826. Genesis was the lowest-rated brand in the segment at 773. In the mass market segment, Mini had the best score at 824. Fiat's score of 756 tied with corporate stablemate Chrysler.
"Fiat faces two problems, neither of which it likely can overcome. The first is its extremely poor reputation for quality. The other comes from large and relentless competition from small, low-priced vehicles sold in America made by almost every global manufacturer. Fiat sales totaled 372 in September, or about 12 a day. They have averaged less than 400 a month over the course of the first three-quarters of the year. Fiat sold 9,204 cars in 2019 and 15,521 in 2018. Its sales have fallen every year since 2014."
Costco Food Tidbits: Business Insider reported in 2015 that the warehouse store ranked as the 14th largest pizza chain in the U.S. thanks to almost 500 of its stores selling slices and whole pies. But how does that compare to the pizza slinging giants like Pizza Hut and Domino's? Well, considering that Pizza Hut - which ranked number one in a list of actual pizza chains - operates an astounding 15,605 locations and does over $13 billion in annual sales, it's a pretty impressive statistic for a warehouse store.
And it's not just a fluke - Costco has been outselling their competitors for years. In the August 2011 issue of The Costco Connection, food court buyer Todd Thommen said, "Costco Food Court sells more pizza per location than any other major pizza chain in the U.S. - and we're not even open late at night." Imagine if they were.
"Costco, on the other hand, has been selling their hot dog and soda combo since 1985, and their pizza since 1989, and those prices have never increased since their menu debuts. You still pay the same today as you did 30 years ago - $1.50 for the hot dog, and $9.95 for a fully loaded 18-inch pie (or $1.99 for a slice). And not only has that combo meal remained the same bargain basement price it always was, but the dog is 10 percent bigger now, and the soda increased in size, too, from 12-ounce to 20-ounce with free refills. Bet you can't say that about your favorite fast food joint."
Presenting ... some Laws of Everyday Life:
Because … Racist: At the University of Michigan, the words 'picnic' and 'brown bag' are now banned.
Thomas Bertonneau, a professor of English, wrote, "Inculcated in the theories of universal racism and a malicious patriarchy, their adolescent narcissism inflated by constant baseless praise and the exuberant celebration of their non-existent moral perspicacity, students are ready to be 'triggered'.
They're eager to detect moral heresy and run to deans with accusations of faculty misdemeanors."
We're witnessing diversity morph into insanity.
Playing The Right Song: Every luncheonette and diner used to have a Wall-O-Matic Jukebox Selector at each table. Feed it a nickel and hear your favorite song. These devices always worked, too. Punch up 'Kansas City' and you'll never got 'Mr. Blue'.
Maybe they should use these things for voting. E-7 is Danny and the Juniors singing 'At The Hop'. B-9 is 'Donald Trump for President'.
A Wonderful Outcome: Brad Jurkovich, a Baptist pastor, recently tweeted, "The Doctor came in to tell us that the cysts he saw on the brain of our first baby's x-rays moved him to recommend we terminate the pregnancy. We emphatically said no. We prayed. That baby is graduating tomorrow as a Nurse. Next month she starts her new job. In Labor and Delivery."
Praise be to God.
Holy Cow: Direct from the Sacred Heart Parish Bulletin in Battle Ground ... (more >>>)
Thought For Today: Hard work pays off in the future. Laziness pays off now.
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