Another day, another shooting.

This was an odd one. It happened at a Naval Air Station, where people essentially carry weapons for a living. So that muddies the water a bit. And, it turns out that the perp was a Saudi national, and an aviation student to boot, which raises a *whole* lot of questions in my mind, but that’s a discussion for another day.

Before anything else, my heart is broken for those impacted; the victims, their families, and their loved ones. People die every day from all sorts of reasons – illness, unavoidable accidents, natural causes, even violence – but death by terrorism is especially hard on those left behind. And I make no apologies for calling it that. I am deeply sorry for your loss.

But now comes the summum bonum of this post: According to CBS News, ” The number of mass shootings across the U.S. thus far in 2019 has outpaced the number of days this year, according to a gun violence research group. Before this year has even ended, 2019 has already had more mass shootings than any year since the research group started keeping track.”

This doesn’t even take into account the little ones. Individual shootings by unbalanced or patently evil people. As of today, the total is 36,518. Now, in terms of national statistics, that’s only roughly 3/4 the number of deaths by suicide from any cause, according to the CDC, and almost the same number as automobile fatalities in 2018. So some might argue that in terms of overall numbers, it’s not a big deal.

But it is. It’s a big deal. It’s too many, and too horrible, and too traumatizing, and gun violence takes adults, and children, and breaks hearts and shatters families and reduces our safety (the NRA would argue the opposite) and the quality of our life.

Image result for 2nd amendment

So here’s the question, directed at those of my friends and associates who fall on the “cold, dead hands” side of the equation:

What are you going to do to stop this carnage. What are you doing right now to make sure that guns don’t get into the wrong hands, the hands of people who will use them to destroy the innocent?

I exhort you: don’t get me wrong. I support the 2nd Amendment as long as it remains part of the Constitution.

These are patches and such that I earned as a youth. I remain proud of them to this day. I learned gun safety and responsibility and enjoyed target shooting immensely. (Thanks, Hutch.) We own a 30-30. I’m not a “gun grabber,” as the NRA loves to pigeonhole people who advocate for gun control. But the situation today has far exceeded what I consider madness.

The courts have repeatedly ruled that you have the right to assemble an arsenal that would be the envy of a small nation. I think that if the Founders, in their wisdom, could see what that those 27 words had wrought in our day and age, they would weep in outrage and promptly need to go home and change their pants. But that’s my interpretation, and the wisdom of the 2nd is not what I’m discussing. It’s a fact, and we need to deal with things as they are.

I think our nation would be far safer if there were no guns in private hands, but if the right to bear arms is never going away, it needs to be tempered with a responsibility to bear arms safely, and I support treating guns in the same way we treat cars, none of which contravenes the wording of the 2nd Amendment:

  • Gun owners should be trained, licensed, and insured for each type of weapon owned.
  • All weapons should be annually registered, inspected, and taxed.

So what are your solutions? How will you preserve your rights and still stop the daily carnage? Change my mind.

Go.¹


¹ Note: I’m inviting comments for this post, despite the fact that it’s a divisive and often inflammatory issue. I have attempted to be as impartial and even-handed as possible in laying out my feelings. Comments that are ad-hominem attacks (i.e. “You gun-grabbing pussy!”) or not based on reason (“I disagree!”) will simply be deleted without ever being seen. I want to know how you would fix things, and preserving the status quo is not an option. So choose your words wisely.

Russ Delmar’s Magic Center

I have written about my Journey Into Magic, in which I mentioned my love of hanging around the Magic Center on 8th Avenue. Sadly, no photos of this shop seem to exist around the net, so I was delighted to find an old New York City tax photo from the 1940s which clearly shows the Magic Center at 741 8th Avenue (I believe Russ later moved his shop next door to 739).

Click the image to enlarge it; the Magic Center is clearly visible on the right.

Russ used to advertise various tricks in magazines of the day, including Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, and the New Yorker:

The next thing I need is for someone out there in the wide world of the Internet to come up with a good photo of Russ himself.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

One website: 542 Advertisers

I recently visited a website I had never been to before because I needed an image. Naturally, I was presented with the “We care about your privacy, accept cookies” dialog.

Image result for accept cookies

This website was different, however, in that it provided a list of every company they share your data with, with toggle switches to accept or reject, plus a link to each company’s privacy policy.

You can set consent preferences for each individual third-party company below. Expand each company list item to see what purposes they use data for to help make your choices. In some cases, companies may disclose that they use your data without asking for your consent, based on their legitimate interests. You can click on their privacy policies for more information and to opt out.

By interacting over time with that particular website, I would be sharing data about my activity with these companies:

A Million Ads Limited, A.Mob, Accelerize Inc., Accorp Sp. z o.o., Active Agent AG, Acuityads Inc., Ad Unity Ltd, ad6media, Adacado Technologies Inc. (DBA Adacado), ADARA MEDIA UNLIMITED, AdClear GmbH, AdColony, Inc., AddApptr GmbH, AdDefend GmbH, AdElement Media Solutions Pvt Ltd, Adello Group AG, Adelphic LLC, Adevinta Spain S.L.U., Adform A/S, Adhese, adhood.com, Adikteev / Emoteev, Adimo, ADITION technologies AG, Adkernel LLC, Adledge, Adloox SA, Adludio Ltd, ADMAN – Phaistos Networks, S.A., ADman Interactive SL, AdMaxim Inc., Admedo Ltd, admetrics GmbH, Admixer EU GmbH, Admotion SRL, Adnami Aps, Adobe Advertising Cloud, Adobe Audience Manager, Adprime Media Inc., ADRINO Sp. z o.o., adrule mobile GmbH, Adserve.zone / Artworx AS, Adsolutions BV, AdSpirit GmbH, adsquare GmbH, Adssets AB, AdsWizz Inc., Adtelligent Inc., AdTheorent, Inc, AdTiming Technology Company Limited, ADUX, advanced store GmbH, ADventori SAS, Adverline, ADYOULIKE SA, Aerserv LLC, Affectv Ltd, affilinet, Affle International, Alive & Kicking Global Limited, Alliance Gravity Data Media, Amobee, Inc., AntVoice, Apester Ltd, AppNexus Inc., Arcspire Limited, Arkeero, ARMIS SAS, Arrivalist Co., ATG Ad Tech Group GmbH, Audience Trading Platform Ltd., AudienceProject Aps, Audiens S.r.l., audio content & control GmbH, Automattic Inc., Avazu Inc., Avid Media Ltd, Avocet Systems Limited, Axel Springer Teaser Ad GmbH, Azerion Holding B.V., B2B Media Group EMEA GmbH, Bandsintown Amplified LLC, Bannerflow AB, Beachfront Media LLC, Beemray Oy, BeeswaxIO Corporation, BEINTOO SPA, BeOp, Better Banners A/S, Bidmanagement GmbH, bidstack ltd, BIDSWITCH GmbH, Bidtellect, Inc, BidTheatre AB, Bigabid Media Ltd, BILENDI SA, Bit Q Holdings Limited, BLIINK SAS, Blis Media Limited, Blue, Blue Billywig BV, Bmind a Sales Maker Company, S.L., Bombora Inc., Bounce Exchange, Inc, Brand Metrics Sweden AB, Browsi Mobile Ltd, Bucksense Inc, BusinessClick, Cablato Limited, Capitaldata, Captify Technologies Limited, Celtra, Inc., Centro, Inc., CerebroAd.com s.r.o., ChannelSight, Chargeads, CHEQ AI TECHNOLOGIES LTD., Clicksco Digital Limited, Clipcentric, Inc., Cloud Technologies S.A., Codewise Sp. z o.o. Sp. k, Collective Europe Ltd., Collective, Inc. dba Visto, Colpirio.com, Comcast International France SAS, Commanders Act, communicationAds GmbH & Co. KG, comScore, Inc., Confiant Inc., Connatix Native Exchange Inc., ConnectAd Realtime GmbH, Consumable, Inc., Contact Impact GmbH, Converge-Digital, Conversant Europe Ltd., Crimtan Holdings Limited, Criteo SA, Cuebiq Inc., Cxense ASA, Cybba, Inc., Cydersoft, Czech Publisher Exchange z.s.p.o., D-Edge, Dailymotion SA, Dataxu, Inc., DeepIntent, Inc., DEFINE MEDIA GMBH, Delta Projects AB, Demandbase, Inc., Densou Trading Desk ApS, Digilant Spain, SLU, Digital Control GmbH & Co. KG, Digital East GmbH, digitalAudience, DIGITEKA Technologies, Digitize New Media Ltd, DigiTrust / IAB Tech Lab, district m inc., DoubleVerify Inc.​, Dr. Banner, Drawbridge, Inc., dunnhumby Germany GmbH, Duplo Media AS, Duration Media, LLC., DynAdmic, Dynamic 1001 GmbH, EASYmedia GmbH, Effiliation, Emerse Sverige AB, emetriq GmbH, EMX Digital LLC, Etarget SE, Eulerian Technologies, Exactag GmbH, Exponential Interactive, Inc, Eyeota Ptd Ltd, Ezoic Inc., Fidzup, Fifty Technology Limited, Flashtalking, Inc., FlexOffers.com, LLC, Forensiq LLC, FORTVISION, Free Stream Media Corp. dba Samba TV, Fusio, Fyber, Gamned, Gamoshi LTD, GDMServices, Inc. d/b/a FiksuDSP, Gemius SA, Genius Sports Media Limited, Getintent USA, inc., GlobalWebIndex, Go.pl sp. z o.o., Goldbach Group AG, Golden Bees, Goodway Group, Inc., GP One GmbH, GRAPHINIUM, Greenhouse Group BV (with its trademark LemonPI), GroupM UK Limited, GumGum, Inc., Haensel AMS GmbH, Happydemics, hbfsTech, HIRO Media Ltd, Hivestack Inc., Hottraffic BV (DMA Institute), Hybrid Adtech GmbH, ID5 Technology SAS, IgnitionAi Ltd, IgnitionOne, Illuma Technology Limited, Impactify, Impression Desk Technologies Limited, Improve Digital International BV, Index Exchange, Inc., INFINIA MOBILE S.L., InMobi Pte Ltd, INNITY, Innovid Inc., Inskin Media LTD, Instinctive, Inc., Instreamatic inc., InsurAds Technologies SA., Integral Ad Science, Inc., Intent Media, Inc., Intercept Interactive Inc. dba Undertone, Internet BillBoard a.s., Intowow Innovation Ltd., INVIBES GROUP, iotec global Ltd., IPONWEB GmbH, Jaduda GmbH, Jampp LTD, Jivox Corporation, Join, Jointag S.r.l., Justpremium BV, Kairos Fire, Kayzen, Keymantics, Knorex Pte Ltd, Kochava Inc., Kubient, KUPONA GmbH, LBC France, Leadplace – Temelio, LeftsnRight, Inc. dba LIQWID, Leiki Ltd., LEMO MEDIA GROUP LIMITED, LifeStreet Corporation, Liftoff Mobile, Inc., Ligatus GmbH, Linicom, LiquidM Technology GmbH, Little Big Data sp.z.o.o., Liveintent Inc., LiveRamp, Inc., LKQD, a division of Nexstar Digital, LLC., Localsensor B.V., Location Sciences AI Ltd, LoopMe Ltd, LotaData, Inc., Lotame Solutions, Inc., Lucid Holdings, LLC, M32 Connect Inc, Madington, Madison Logic, Inc., MADVERTISE MEDIA, mainADV Srl, MAIRDUMONT NETLETIX GmbH&Co. KG, Marfeel Solutions S.L, Market Resource Partners LLC, Maximus Live LLC, Maytrics GmbH, mbr targeting GmbH, McCann Discipline LTD, Media.net Advertising FZ-LLC, MediaMath, Inc., mediarithmics SAS, Mediasmart Mobile S.L., Meetrics GmbH, MGID Inc., Mindlytix SAS, MiQ, Mirando GmbH & Co KG, MISSENA, mobalo GmbH, Mobfox US LLC, Mobile Journey B.V., Mobile Professionals BV, Mobilewalla, Inc., Mobsuccess, Mobusi Mobile Advertising S.L., My6sense Inc., Myntelligence Limited, N Technologies Inc., Nano Interactive GmbH, Nativo, Inc., Near Pte Ltd, Neodata Group srl, NEORY GmbH, Netsprint SA, NetSuccess, s.r.o., netzeffekt GmbH, NEURAL.ONE, Neustar on behalf of The Procter & Gamble Company, Neustar, Inc., News and Media Holding, a.s., NEXD, NextRoll, Inc., Nielsen Marketing Cloud, Norstat Danmark A/S, Noster Finance S.L., Notify, nugg.ad GmbH, numberly, Oath (EMEA) Limited, Ogury Ltd., On Device Research Limited, OneTag Ltd, Onfocus (Adagio), Online Solution Int Limited, Onnetwork Sp. z o.o., Ooyala Inc, OpenX, Opinary GmbH, Optomaton UG, Oracle, Oracle AddThis, Orion Semantics, ORTEC B.V., Otto (GmbH & Co KG), Outbrain UK Ltd, PaperG, Inc. dba Thunder Industries, Parsec Media Inc., Passendo ApS, Perform Media Services Ltd, Permodo GmbH, Permutive Ltd., Permutive Technologies, Inc., Pexi B.V., pilotx.tv, Pixalate, Inc., PIXIMEDIA SAS, Platform161, Playbuzz Ltd., PLAYGROUND XYZ EMEA LTD, plista GmbH, Pocketmath Pte Ltd, Polar Mobile Group Inc., PowerLinks Media Limited, Predicio, PREX Programmatic Exchange GmbH&Co KG, Programatica de publicidad S.L., Proxi.cloud Sp. z o.o., PROXISTORE, PUB OCEAN LIMITED, Publicis Media GmbH, Publishers Internationale Pty Ltd, PubMatic, Inc., PubNative GmbH, PulsePoint, Inc., Purch Group, Inc., PurposeLab, LLC, Qriously, Quantcast International Limited, Qwertize, R-Advertising, R-TARGET, Radio Net Media Limited, Rakuten Marketing LLC, Readpeak Oy, Realeyes OÜ, realzeit GmbH, ReigNN Platform Ltd., Relay42 Netherlands B.V., remerge GmbH, Research and Analysis of Media in Sweden AB, Research Now Group, Inc, Revcontent, LLC, Reveal Mobile, Inc, RevLifter Ltd, Rezonence Limited, RhythmOne, LLC, Rich Audience, RMSi Radio Marketing Service interactive GmbH, Rockabox Media Ltd, Rockerbox, Inc, RockYou, Inc., Roq.ad GmbH, RTB House S.A., RTK.IO, Inc, RUN, Inc., salesforce.com, inc., Samba TV UK Limited, Sanoma Media Finland, Scene Stealer Limited, Schibsted Norge AS, Schibsted Product and Tech UK, Seeding Alliance GmbH, Seedtag Advertising S.L, Seenthis AB, Sellpoints Inc., Semasio GmbH, Seznam.cz, a.s., ShareThis, Inc., Sharethrough, Inc, SheMedia, LLC, Shopalyst Inc, Shopstyle, ShowHeroes GmbH, Sift Media, Inc, Signal Digital Inc., Signals, Simplifi Holdings Inc., SINGLESPOT SAS, Sirdata, Sizmek, Skaze, Skimbit Ltd, SlimCut Media SAS, Smaato, Inc., Smadex SL, Smart Adserver, Smart Traffik, Smartclip Hispania SL, smartclip Holding AG, Smartme Analytics, Smartology Limited, SMARTSTREAM.TV GmbH, SmartyAds Inc., Smile Wanted Group, Snapsort Inc., operating as Sortable, Social Tokens Ltd., Sojern, Inc., Solocal, Somo Audience Corp, Sonobi, Inc, Soundcast, Sourcepoint Technologies, Inc., Sovrn Holdings Inc, Spolecznosci Sp. z o.o. Sp. k., Sportradar AG, Spot.IM Ltd., Spotad, SpotX, StackAdapt, StartApp Inc., Steel House, Inc., Ströer Mobile Performance GmbH, Ströer SSP GmbH, Sub2 Technologies Ltd, Sublime, SunMedia, Switch Concepts Limited, SYNC, TabMo SAS, Taboola Europe Limited, TACTIC™ Real-Time Marketing AS, Tapad, Inc., Tapjoy, Inc., TAPTAP Networks SL, TARGETSPOT BELGIUM SPRL, Teads, Tealium Inc, Teemo SA, Telaria, Inc, Telecoming S.A., Telefonica Investigación y Desarrollo S.A.U, Teroa S.A., The ADEX GmbH, The Kantar Group Limited, The MediaGrid Inc., The Ozone Project Limited, The Reach Group GmbH, The Rubicon Project, Inc., The Trade Desk, Think Clever Media, Thirdpresence Oy, Timehop, Inc., TimeOne, Totaljobs Group Ltd, Tradedoubler AB, Tradelab, SAS, TradeTracker, travel audience GmbH, TreSensa, Inc., Triapodi Ltd., Triboo Data Analytics, TripleLift, Inc., Triton Digital Canada Inc., TrueData Solutions, Inc., Tunnl BV, Turbo, twiago GmbH, UberMedia, Inc., ucfunnel Co., Ltd., Underdog Media LLC, Unruly Group Ltd, uppr GmbH, Uprival LLC, usemax advertisement (Emego GmbH), Vdopia DBA Chocolate Platform, Ve Global, VECTAURY, Venatus Media Limited, Vibrant Media Limited, video intelligence AG, Video Media Groep B.V., Video Reach, Vidoomy Media SL, ViewPay, Viralize SRL, Visarity Technologies GmbH, Vuble, WebAds B.V, Webedia, WebMediaRM, WEBORAMA, Welect GmbH, WhatRocks Inc., Whenever Media Ltd, White Ops, Inc., Widespace AB, Wizaly, X-Mode Social, Inc., xAd, Inc. dba GroundTruth, YellowHammer Media Group, Yieldlab AG, Yieldlove GmbH, Yieldmo, Inc., Yieldr UK, YOC AG, Yormedia Solutions Ltd, ZBO Media, Zemanta, Inc., zeotap GmbH, Zeta Global, Ziff Davis LLC, ZighZag

Most of these companies make their money by getting you to look at advertisements. Most of them will happily share your data with anyone who has two coppers to rub together. Many of these companies use your data without your permission, and many times if you share your location with one website, you’re sharing it with countless others.

The conclusion in today’s world is unavoidable. Even if we are paying for the service, we are essentially the product.

They know what we’re watching. They know what we like. They know where we are. We cannot escape.

The drums. The drums in the deep. They are coming…¹

The Old Wolf has Spoken


¹ This is a bit of sensationalistic hyperbole, in case you weren’t sure. Most people who use the Internet are aware that their browsing habits are being tracked so that companies can serve them ads that are more likely to generate sales. But the more I think about it, the more disturbing it does become; the concept of “privacy” on the web is essentially a non-entity. If you want privacy, get off the Internet altogether.

Satire: It’s legal, Madam.

Some folks have really, really thin skins.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, text

I suspect Ms. Parker, whoever, she is, has never been inside Barnes and Noble… or any bookstore for that matter. Peruse the shelves of any respectable bookseller, and you’ll find works from every point along the political spectrum, from Holy, Holy God, Thank You For Appointing Trump Emperor of the World (I’m sure something similar exists) to Bob Woodward’s Fear, and anything inbetween. ¹

The Humor section will be chock-full of collections of political cartoons from such geniuses as Pat Oliphant, who pilloried everyone that deserved it regardless of political affiliation.

If Ms. Parker’s train of thought were carried to its very illogical end-of-line, every bookstore in the world should be boycotted for carrying an item that someone happened to find offensive.

It’s called “The First Amendment.” Satire and Parody are Constitutionally protected speech.

But in one thing, Ms. Parker is right. This book is very disrespectful; comparing 45 to a pig is most unfair to the pigs of the world.

The Old Wolf has spoken.


¹ Someone needs to write this book:

The wasabi you’re eating isn’t.

In case you didn’t know; the Washington Post has a good explanation of why you nor I have probably never eaten real wasabi.

But even the common substitute can have unexpected side-effects.

I recently read of a woman from Israel who mistook Wasabi (the ubiquitous phoney version) for avocado, and consumed about a teaspoon of it. It gave her an attack of takotsubo cardiomyopathy, commonly known as “broken heart syndrome.”

It’s easy to think “how stupid,” but I can empathize. My own journey with Japanese food began in the late 80s when I was doing a lot of traveling. I was passing through New York on business I decided I would try sashimi for the first time, and they brought me a lovely little platter of the famous delicacies. I gingerly tried this and that (pun on *gari* intended), until I came to this little green ball. Knowing nothing no never at all and thinking it was some kind of fish paste, I popped it in and down it went.

The floor did a samba, my ears rang like the bells of Old Bailey, my eyes spun backwards and I screamed “A Eywa! Lu tstal-txewk mì re’o oeyä!” (Oh God! There’s an axe in my head!) After things had settled down, I used my best broken Japanese to ask my server “What in the name of Sugawara no Michizane was *that*???”

At which point I learned that balls of Wasabi, real or ersatz, are not to be eaten whole. But I can see how someone who had a particular susceptibility could be adversely affected why such an experience.

For what it’s worth, I still love sashimi and still use wasabi, but only in the recommended small doses.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

Better Than I Deserve

Except for NPR and a few XM Radio oldies stations, I haven’t been much of a radio listener in the last couple of decades. In the 80s and 90s I would listen to KOMO in Seattle and Olympia, and then KSL radio in Salt Lake as I would drive to work, so when we moved to Maine and people asked me how I was doing, and I responded “better than I deserve,” they would invariable respond with “Oh, you listened to Dave Ramsey.”

Well, no. With all due respect, I had never heard of him. But for the last 10 years or so, it’s been my go-to answer to that question. There were times I would say, “If I were any better I’d have to be twins,” and sometimes I truly felt that way. But the older I get, the more I realize that I have truly been blessed beyond my deserts.

Sometimes when I say this to people, they’ll come back with “Oh, you shouldn’t say that, I’m sure you deserve it!” And that’s a nice thought too. But as I cast my mind over the past almost-70 years, I realize that I have been preserved from destruction or serious injury more times than I can count, and I’m sure more times than I’m even aware of.

Some examples:

  1. When I was about two years old, I remember standing in my darkened kitchen (this would have been 1953), turning the burners on and off and watching the pretty blue gas flames dance around. That funny big knob in the middle didn’t seem to do anything, so I ignored it; what I didn’t know was that this was the kind of oven that had no pilot light and needed to be lit with a match. While I was playing with the burners, the oven was filling with gas and soon the inevitable happened. The oven door flew open with a thundering roar, but I was so tiny that it protected me from the flames other than having my hair singed and a huge contusion on my forehead.

    In New York City where we were living, it was common practice when building skyscrapers to blast into the bedrock using dynamite and massive metal blankets woven out of thick cables and dragged around by steam shovels. My mother later told me that whatever I heard one of these explosions my eyes would get big and I would stand stock-still and ask, “Boom?”

    Left an impression on me for sure.
  2. In 1962, I was flying from New York to Salt Lake (I would have been around 11) to visit my uncle and his family. I was on United 725, which lost hydraulics and had to circle around for hours dumping fuel while the crew worked on lowering the gear manually. I wrote about that adventure earlier. I do recall someone asking me about the event after we landed, and 11-year-old me responded, “it was kinda boring.” They chose not to include that quote in the writeups about the event, not sensational enough I guess. But it could certainly have been a disaster.
  3. Seven years later I was working at the United Seamen’s Service in Naples, Italy. Mama was “la direttrice,” and I had a year in Italy as a student, general factotum around the club, and enthusiastic traveler. One day I was vacuuming around with one of those old canister vacuums and went a bit too far; but instead of the plug coming out of the wall, it came out of the vacuum. Like an idiot, I went and picked up those bare wires, and got the shock of my life. And don’t forget, in Italy the voltage is 220. It pretty much knocked me on my honus, and I have learned since then that many people have been killed by a 220-volt shock. I was, to put it mildly, very fortunate.
  4. In 1972, I was still a military dependent. Having learned to fly in Key West that summer in a Cessna 150, I was able to continue lessons at the Hill Air Force Base Aero Club at drastically reduced rates, switching to a Piper PA-28 140. During one of my solo flights, I was puttering around above the Great Salt Lake and went up to about 9,000 feet (the airport is at 4798 to start with, so I was almost a mile up) to see what really happens when you do a cross-control stall. And I found out. The plane flipped over on its back, entirely as described in the literature I had read, and immediately went into a spin. Since I’m writing this, it’s clear that I was able to stop the spin and pull out, but it was both terrifying and incredibly difficult. Had I been any lower, I probably would have augered in.
  5. In 1972, my father and I were driving his little Toyota from Los Angeles to Provo, Utah, to look for an apartment – I was attending school there and he wanted to move from LA to be closer to me. He insisted on driving all night (that is, he insisted that I drive all night while he slept.) I began getting drowsy. I opened the window, and he shouted at me that he was cold. I tried playing the radio, and he shouted at me that he couldn’t sleep. I was slapping myself to try to stay awake, and the inevitable happened… I woke up in the ditch doing 70, overcorrected, danced on the brake, and flipped the car over, whereupon it spun down the freeway on its top emitting sparks along the way. It was amazing we didn’t do one of these. We both escaped with only a few bumps and bruises. Angels were with us that day.
  • 6. In July 1989, we had a young man from Japan stay with us for a week or so. We were living in Salt Lake, and so we took him down to Yuba Lake for a day on the water. My daughter, then 8 years old, was floating around in an inflatable raft, and the wind started carrying her out onto the lake. I thought, “Oh, I’ll just swim out and get her back.” Moron. The wind blew her a lot faster than I could swim, and I soon found myself tiring. And of course, I had no life jacket on. I was in trouble, and called to nearby boats to come help me… but none did. They were too busy drinking beer to notice a drowning man. By the grace of God I was able to get myself into a deadman float and work my way to shore, but it was a very close call. I came close to ending my days with Davy Jones.
  • 7. Not a near-death experience, but still significant; in 1993 I had a chance to visit my Italian family in S. Pietro Apostolo, way down in Calabria (in the toe of Italy’s boot.) I had taken my computer along, and had done a lot of genealogy research, met relatives, collected lots of dates, taken lots of photos, and was delighted to have learned so much about my overseas relations. On the way back to Rome, the overnight train stopped for a while in Naples. I was asleep, and awoke to find someone in my compartment removing my bag. It was dark. I had my contacts in, and waking up I couldn’t see very well. I was able to take my bag out of his hands, whereupon he fled – but had I not awakened, all that precious research (along with all my belongings for that trip) would have ended up in the hands of some young thug. And I might have been knifed for my trouble.

Almost all of these events were precipitated by my own stupidity. Things could have turned out much, much worse for me and my family. But by the grace of God, they didn’t. I was spared, and protected, even if I wasn’t living my life as well as I might have been. I still have challenges. I still face trials. But thus far I have awakened each day not dead, with new opportunities and new blessings. The Lord is kind, and I am grateful. ¹

I am truly “better than I deserve.”

The Old Wolf has spoken.


¹ There will be those who say I was fortunate for other reasons – coincidence, or no reason at all, since the universe doesn’t care one way or the other. Whatever makes them happy.

The Hubris of Donald Trump

This collection of statements, lovingly documented, was put together by redditor u/iamlarrypotter. I share it here for the benefit of those who do not particpate over at reddit.

If you want a classic, textbook example of narcissistic personality disorder, look no farther than 45. And then remember that this man has access to our nuclear launch codes. Our nation has never been in a more precarious state of affairs, and the damage this uneducated buffoon has done both domestically and internationally will take generations to repair.


I’m much more humble than you would understand.”

I have the best temperament or certainly one of the best temperaments of anybody that’s ever run for the office of president. Ever.”

I’m the most successful person ever to run for the presidency, by far. Nobody’s ever been more successful than me.”

I’m the least racist person you have ever interviewed”

I’m the least racist person you’ll find anywhere in the world.”

“Number one, I am the least anti-Semitic person that you’ve ever seen in your entire life. Number two, racism. The least racist person”

I’m the best thing that’s ever happened to the Secret Service.”

I am the world’s greatest person that does not want to let people into the country.”

No one has done more for people with disabilities than me.”

Nobody in the history of this country has ever known so much about infrastructure as Donald Trump.”

There’s nobody who understands the horror of nuclear more than me.”

There’s nobody bigger or better at the military than I am.”

There’s nobody that feels stronger about the intelligence community and the CIA than Donald Trump,”

There’s nobody that’s done so much for equality as I have”

There’s nobody that has more respect for women than I do,”

“I would build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me”

“I am going to save Social Security without any cuts. I know where to get the money from. Nobody else does .”

Nobody respects women more than I do”

“And I was so furious at that story, because there’s nobody that respects women more than I do,”

Nobody respects women more than Donald Trump”

“She can’t talk about me because nobody respects women more than Donald Trump,”

Nobody has more respect for women than Donald Trump!”

Nobody has more respect for women than I do.”

Nobody has more respect for women than I do. Nobody.”

Nobody reads the Bible more than me.”

Nobody loves the Bible more than I do”

Nobody does self-deprecating humor better than I do. It’s not even close”

Nobody knows more about taxes than I do, maybe in the history of the world.”

Nobody knows more about trade than me”

Nobody knows the (visa) system better than me. I know the H1B. I know the H2B. Nobody knows it better than me.”

Nobody knows debt better than me.”

“I think nobody knows the system better than I do”

“I hope all workers demand that their @Teamsters reps endorse Donald J. Trump. Nobody knows jobs like I do! Don’t let them sell you out!”

I know more about renewables than any human being on earth.”

“I know more about ISIS than the generals do.”

I know more about contributions than anybody”

I know more about offense and defense than they will ever understand, believe me. Believe me. Than they will ever understand. Than they will ever understand.”

I know more about wedges than any human being that’s ever lived”

I know more about drones than anybody,”

I know more about Cory than he knows about himself.”

I know our complex tax laws better than anyone who has ever run for president”

I know tech better than anyone

I’m very highly educated. I know words; I have the best words.”

“I know some of you may think l’m tough and harsh but actually I’m a very compassionate person (with a very high IQ) with strong common sense”

“I watch these pundits on television and, you know, they call them intellectuals. They’re not intellectuals,” Trump told thousands of supporters in the swing state. “I’m much smarter than them. I think I have a much higher IQ. I think I went to a better college — better everything,”

“@ajodom60: @FoxNews and as far as that low-info voter base goes, I have an IQ of 132. So much for that theory. #MakeAmericaGreatAgain”

Sorry losers and haters, but my I.Q. is one of the highest -and you all know it! Please don’t feel so stupid or insecure,it’s not your fault

“He’s been quite critical of you as you know. He’s attacked you for being ignorant,” Piers Morgan said to Trump. “Let’s do an IQ test,” Trump interrupted

“We can’t let these people, these so called egg-heads–and by the way, I guarantee you my IQ is much higher than theirs, alright. Somebody said the other day, ‘Yes, well the intellectuals–‘ I said, ‘What intellectuals? I’m smarter than they are, many of people in this audience are smarter than they are.”

“You know, I’m, like, a smart person. I don’t have to be told the same thing in the same words every single day for the next eight years,” Trump told Fox News last December.

Trump says he has “one of the great memories of all time

Asked on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” who he talks with consistently about foreign policy, Trump responded, “I’m speaking with myself, number one, because I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things.”

” … I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius….and a very stable genius at that!”


In this Salon article, Yale psychiatrist Dr. Bandy Lee states that “Trump’s mental health is now a “national and global emergency.” My personal opinion is that The Thermonuclear Bowel Evacuation Currently Disgracing the Oval Office has brought us closer to global destruction than any other administration, Bush/Cheney included.