I had a cosmic experience at the car lot. Laurie and I went car shopping this Sunday in Santa Barbara. Our first stop was Hughes Pontiac. The salesman, Gary Tschantz, came out to greet us and I told him I owned a Toyota but it was getting old, and did he have a newer one for less than $7,000. He said, "I know just what you need, follow me." So we walked over with him and he showed me a Buick…… What part of Toyota don't you understand I wanted to say.
But instead I let him give me a pitch for the Buick. Well, it was in pretty good shape and only had 88k miles on it, a golden Buick LeSabre from the year 2002. And he would sell it for $6,600 -- or less.....Okay, this is the wonderful thing about the guys who sell cars -- they really know how to read people. They live or die by how well they can read people. And Gary Tschantz had me pegged from the minute I got to his car lot -- that I was, in fact, an Inner Buick man, that I had owned and enjoyed two Buicks and I loved the ride..... This is where we get to the difference between a Japanese car and a car made in Detroit..... I love my Toyota, it runs good, it never breaks, it looks nice, and it doesn't use much gas, that's why I love it. But a good Buick -- you could LOOOOOOOOOOOOVE a good Buick.
Anyway, I knew I liked the car, but I told Gary I was only looking and so we left, and went to three other dealers and looked at some nice Toyotas and Hondas -- reasonable cars at reasonable prices.
That was Sunday. Today is Monday and here's where it gets cosmic, because I left Santa Barbara in the morning and drove to Ventura to pick up my mail and stop by Tuneups UnLimited on Thompson BLVD where my friend Redgie works as a mechanic. He's my go-to guy for car-buying decisions and he had advised me all along to get another Toyota.
But I had this funny feeling. I found him in his office and I was about to tell him about my car shopping venture the day before, but instead I asked him, "Redgie, what kind of car do you drive?"
"A Buick," he said. "It's out on the lot."
(Insert cosmic vibration music, like some kind of telepathic connection to Detroit)
I go out to see Redgie's car and I swear this is true -- he owns and drives the exact same car that I was looking at -- a 2002 Buick LeSabre only it's silver instead of gold.
"Oh, it's a good car," Redgie, "and it gets pretty good mileage on the highway."
So, will I buy the Buick? -- maybe. I won't be back to Santa Barbara until next Sunday, but if the car is still there, I'm going to take it for a test drive.
More Car Talk. We see interesting patterns in car buyers. Left coast liberals buy Japanese cars made by non-union labor in Alabama, but crusty old farmers from Nebraska by Buicks made by union labor in Detroit. Can somebody explain this to me?
Casey Stengel Said. Casey Stengel once said that “most ballgames are lost, not won.”
Harvey Blume Responded. i was just thinking about casey stengel. i remember him well, the things he sd. they prepared me for "finnegan's wake". people quote yogi a lot. that's cause yogi's nonsense made sense. but you won't find good compilations of casey stengel'...
Then I said. Casey Stengel understood a lot of things, and he didn't say "Nice guys finish last." ………… Who did?
MAIMONIDES in the MORNING. Reading Maimonides is a superior way to begin your day. He was a philosopher, legal scholar, and physician, his fame was worldwide, his authority was respected by Moslem and Jew alike. He lived in Cairo for many years and during those times Jews and Moslem lived together well. They sometimes shared a business together, such as goldsmithing. The Jew would go home on Saturday, his Sabbath, and the Moslem would go home on Friday, his Sabbath, and that way the shop could stay open seven days a week -- a pleasant arrangement, don't you think? But the Jews at that time, although prosperous and widely travelled, were a formally dependent people. They must pay a certain respect to the Caliph and they must, in certain ways, recognize the superiority of Islam.That live and let live arrangement lasted until 1948 when the Jews declared independence -- they would no longer bend a knee to the Caliph. The furious reaction to that independence continues since that fateful year of 1948. I wonder what Maimonides would say about that, because his life was dedicated to accommodation, to working things out under the current conditions. The thrust of his scholarship was to bring reason and scientific understanding to bear on traditional biblical studies, but he was no revolutionary and he never defied the Caliph.
I have a friend, an email correspondent, whom I never met, but he's a Jew and he was born in Cairo, and his family was expelled from Cairo in 1948. In that year all the Jews were kicked out of Cairo, where they had lived for several hundreds of years, since the time of Maimonides, but they were kicked out and so his family migrated to Italy where he acquired Italian citizenship as a young boy -- they then moved to Israel and that is where he grew up. Now this man owns a vineyard in the Judean Hills, called Domain du Castel. He makes fine wine and he hopes to stay on this land forever, but ----- BUT, he still keeps his Italian passport, because he knows he might not be able to keep his vineyard for all his days. There is no promise of tomorrow for independent Israel, but for now, he does not bend his knee to the Caliph -- do you think he should?
Moses ben-Maimon, called Maimonides and also known as Mūsā ibn Maymūn (Arabic: موسى بن ميمون), or Rambam (רמב"ם – Hebrew acronym for "Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon"), was a preeminent medieval Jewish philosopher and one of the greatest Torah scholars and physicians of the Middle Ages. He was born in Córdoba, Almoravid Empire (present-day Spain) on Passover Eve, 1135, and died in Egypt (or Tiberias) on 20th Tevet, December 12, 1204. He was a rabbi, physician and philosopher in Morocco and Egypt.
Subscription Drive. The annual subscription drive begins today -- we do it every spring and rake in a few hundred dollars as a reward for our effort throughout the year -- doing this newsletter twelve years now.... It is a great group of readers we have, like lawyers -- we have a few lawyers on the mailing list -- Pat Paul in LaConner, Felicia Value, also in LaConner, Aisha Barbeau in Alameda, California, and the inestimable, always Irish Ed Burke in Framingham, Massachusetts.......So, when you read the Farm News/Frog Hospital, you are part of a high-quality crowd.
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send mail to:
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