Those Pesky EULA’s

Lately I’ve been encountering websites with text on them or flash popups (which can usually bypass standard popup blockers) which say something like this:

“This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this website, you consent to these cookies.”


This is about as ridiculous as the End User License Agreements (EULA’s) which you always have to click to install a piece of software you have purchased or downloaded.

The simple fact is that nobody reads these, and this can have both positive and negative consequences. Click through for a great article on 10 Ridiculous Eula Clauses, one of which was fairly lucrative for a few fortunate readers of PC Pitstop’s EULA.)

Also included in the above article is the following XKCD, which points out how risky these “agreements” can be:

As a result, I would say that as the world’s most frequent lie, “I have read and agree to these terms” seriously trumps “I love you” or “The Check’s in the Mail.”

In the early days of its existence, Dell Computer used to include humorous bits in their magazine disclaimers. I haven’t been able to score a live example, but they looked something like this:

These are limited time offers from DELL that are subject to change without notice. Pricing, specifications, availability, and terms of offers may change without notice and are not transferable and are valid only for new purchases from Dell Small Business for delivery in the 50 United States. Taxes and shipping charges extra, vary and are not subject to discount. The Small Business site and offers contained herein valid only for end users and not for resellers and/or online auctions. Dell cannot be responsible for errors, omissions, or consequences of misuse of site and its functions. Offers not necessarily combinable. Discounts cannot be retroactively applied. Orders subject to cancellation by Dell. Software and peripherals offers do not apply to software and peripherals in the online system configuration pages, you must purchase eligible items through the separate software and peripherals online store. Shake before opening. Take only with food. Limit 5 systems and 5 discounted or promotional products per customer. If items purchased under these promotions are leased, items leased will be subject to applicable end of lease options or requirements. All sales are subject to Dell’s Terms and Conditions of Sale located at unless you have a separate agreement with Dell.

Apparently someone finally decided that these were not dignified, and they quietly vanished, much to the disappointment of those who didn’t take themselves too seriously.

Despite the rare possiblity of benefiting financially or otherwise from reading a EULA, the vanishingly small possibility doesn’t offset the incredible hassle and loss of time involved. Software companies may be depending on this, but I’m not about to change my practices.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

Another dumb scammer: “Mrs. Gogna Mridula”

Just posting this in case anyone else does a Google search for text in this advance-fee fraud message.

In case anyone was wondering, this is a scam. If you want to see how these play out, click through for another example.

Dear Intending Partner

Thank you very much for your mail. I am Mrs. Gogna Mridula a nationality of Indian and bank officer with the International bank of Taipei ( Bank SinoPac) Taiwan. Let me give you a detailed description of what is in this transaction for us. In June 2003, My late client Osman Peltek, Turkish Businessman, who is a nationality of Iraq, made a numbered fixed deposit of One Billion Five hundred Million Taiwanese New Dollars ($1,500,000,000.00 TWD) for 18 calendar months, this is valued to Forty Four million Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars($44.5 Million USD) only in my branch. Upon maturity several notices were sent to him, even during the war (U.S and Iraqi war) Nine years ago (2004). Again after the war another notification was sent and still no response came from him. We later found out that Osman Peltek is dead, sources confirmed that he was strangled in Bagdat (Baghdad). According to the Turkish Embassy in Baghdad, Peltek’s body was found in a deserted area in the neighborhood of Zafiraniye. No one has heard from Osman Peltek since 4th November 2003 when he had been vanished.

After further investigation it was also discovered that Osman Peltek did not declare any next of kin in his official papers including the paper work of his bank deposit. And he also confided in me the last time he was at my office that no one except me knew of his deposit in my bank. So the Forty Four million Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars is still lying in my bank and no one will ever come forward to claim it. What bothers me most is that according to the laws of Taiwan, at the expiration of Ten years Six months the funds will revert to the ownership of the Taiwan Government if nobody applies to claim the funds. 

Against this backdrop, we still have about Eight (8) more months left for someone to come up and claim the funds as next of kin to this fund. My suggestion to you is that I will like you as a foreigner to stand as the next of kin to Osman Peltek so that you will be able to receive his funds and for the money to be pulled out from my bank and out from Taiwan.


I want you to know that I have had everything planned out so that we shall come out successful. I have contacted an attorney that will prepare the necessary documents that will back you up as the next of kin to Osman Peltek, all that is required from you at this stage is for you to provide me with your details as below:

Full Name:
Contact Address:

After you have been made the next of kin, the attorney will also file in for claims on your behalf and secure the necessary approval and letter of probate in your favour for the transfer of the funds to an account that will be provided by you.

There is no risk involved at all in this matter as we are going to adopt a legalized method and the attorney will prepare all the necessary documents. Please endeavour to observe utmost discretion in all matters concerning this issue. Once the funds have been transferred to your nominated bank account we shall share in the ratio of 70% for me and 30% for you. Should you be interested please send me your full names and current residential address.

Finally after that I shall provide you with more details of this operation. Your earliest response to this letter will be appreciated.

Kind Regards,

Mrs. Gogna Mridula

As usual, the take-away here is NEVER send money via Western Union or Money Card to someone you do not know. NEVER pay money to collect a “prize”. What follows below is an account from the Windsor Star in 2009, about a victim of this kind of scam:

A Leamington man has fallen prey to international scam artists who strung him along for more than a year with the promise of millions in cash, but ultimately bilked him and his family of $150,000.

John Rempel said he quit his truck driving job, lost friends, borrowed money and crossed the globe in pursuit of a non-existent inheritance, after he was contacted by e-mail in what is known as a Nigerian 419 scam.

Rempel said he borrowed $55,000 from an uncle in Mexico and his parents gave him $60,000 on credit to cover fees for transferring $12.8 million into his name.

“They’re in it now because of me,” said Rempel, 22, breaking into sobs. “If it wasn’t for me, nobody would be in this mess. You think things will work out, but it doesn’t. It’s a very bad feeling. I had lots of friends.

“I never get calls anymore from my friends. You know, a bad reputation.”

His troubles began in July 2007. He said he got an e-mail from someone claiming to be a lawyer with a client named David Rempel who died in a 2005 bomb attack in London, England, and left behind $12.8 million.

“They used to come in the mail,” said Leamington police Const. Kevin O’Neil. “Now the majority of these are sent through e-mail. Keeping up with the times, using all the wonderful technology that’s available to them.”

“I was told once that they send out 30,000 e-mails a day, around the world, and they hope for just one or two responses. Once you return a phone call or return an e-mail, these people now have their hooks into you.”

The lawyer said his client had no family but wanted to leave the money to a Rempel. It was his lucky day.

“It sounded all good so I called him,” said Rempel. “He sounded very happy and said God bless you.”

The man then told him he had to pay $2,500 to transfer the money into his name. Then there were several more documents. Some cost $5,000.

He was told to open an account at a bank in London. That required a $5,000 minimum deposit. The crooks later sent him an e-mail with a link to what he was told were details of his new account. Some money had been transferred there for “safe keeping.”

“Everything was good,” said Rempel.

Then he got an e-mail from a government department — he’s not sure which country — saying he owed $250,000 on tax on his inheritance. Rempel spoke to his contact, who told him they negotiated the fee down to $25,000.

Rempel went to Mexico where his uncle owns a farm. His uncle gave him $10,000 cash and money for a plane ticket. He was going to London to make sure it was legitimate.

“I had $10,000 in cash in my pocket and my uncle sent another $25,000 when I was over there.”

In London, Rempel met some people and handed over the $10,000.

They met Rempel the next day with a suitcase. They said it had $10.6 million in shrink-wrapped U.S. bills. Rempel wanted more proof. His new friends pulled out one bill and “cleansed” it with a liquid “formula,” which washed off some kind of stamp. Rempel was told that process made the money “legal tender.”

“I was like holy crap, is that mine?” he said. “They said ‘yes sir, it’s yours.’ It all sounded legit.”

Rempel returned to his hotel room clutching the formula and waited for the others so they could cleanse all his money. They never showed, and later told him they got held up. In the meantime, Rempel dropped the formula. The bottle broke. He called his contact who said he’d get more. Rempel returned to Leamington and waited.

A few weeks later Rempel got a call. They found more formula. It would cost $120,000.

“I thought, ‘let’s work on it, nothing is impossible,’” said Rempel.

His contacts were willing to meet associates in different countries to get cash for the formula. It would require several plane tickets, worth $6,000 each.

Rempel was told they collected $100,000, but still needed $20,000. There was a guy in Nigeria who had it, but another plane ticket was required. The contact later told him he could only get $15,000 and “begged” Rempel for the last $5,000.

Rempel borrowed money. He stopped making Visa and car payments.

They called a week later and said the money was ready to go. They just needed $6,900 for travel costs and to rent trunks to ship the money.

Later, the men called to say they were at the airport in New York. Security stopped them and they needed $12,500 for a bribe. Finally, Rempel had enough.

“I said, ‘no way I’m cleaned out.’”

Rempel, his parents and 10-year-old brother Ike drove to New York. They spent a day searching the airport for the men, with no luck. They returned home and called police.

“I really thought in my heart this was true,” said Rempel.

Be careful out there.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

The High Cost of Smoking

To my eternal discredit, I smoked heavily when I was a kid. I thought it was cool, and six years of it left lasting scars on my lungs. But when I started smoking, a pack of Luckies cost 33¢. Yes, that was more in 1965 than it is today, but let’s look at current prices in Europe and environs today (all prices are in Euro.)



For the United States, the following list will suffice (found at The Awl). Notice that some states appear on the same line if their prices were identical.

48. Kentucky (last year $6.56): $4.96 = -24%
47. North Dakota ($5.03): $5.04 = +.2%
46. West Virginia ($4.84): $5.07 = +5%
45. Oklahoma ($5.24): $5.19 = -.1%
44. Idaho ($5.11): $5.25 = +3%
43. Missouri ($5.87): $5.25 = -10%
42. Louisiana ($6.50): $5.33 = -18%
41. Oregon ($5.74): $5.35 = -7%
40. Wyoming ($5.21): $5.37 = +3%
39. Mississippi ($5.55): $5.45 = -2%
38. Nevada ($6.04): $5.50 = -9%
37. South Carolina ($6.25): $5.55 = -11%
36. Colorado ($5.19): $5.59 = +8%
35. Indiana ($5.56): $5.77 = +4%
34. Alabama ($5.18): $5.80 = +12%
33. Virginia ($5.43): $5.81 = +7%
32. Ohio ($5.67): $5.88 = 4%
31. Tennessee ($4.91): $5.89 = +20%
30. Georgia ($5.93): $5.93 = 0%
29. Minnesota ($5.96): $5.95 = -.2%
28. Florida ($6.29), Delaware ($6.10): $6.00 = -5%, -2%
27. North Carolina ($5.14): $6.03 = +17%
26. Nebraska ($5.99): $6.09 = +2%
25. Kansas ($6.47): $6.21 = -4%
24. Montana ($6.12): $6.25 = +2%
23. Arkansas ($7.10): $6.50 = -8%
22. New Hampshire ($4.86): $6.59 = +35%
21. Utah ($6.88): $6.64 = -3%
20. California ($6.45), South Dakota ($6.82): $6.77 = +5%, -.7%
19. New Mexico ($6.69): $6.91 = +3%
18. Michigan ($6.50), Pennsylvania ($6.93): $6.95 = +7%, +.3%
17. Maine ($6.97): $7.12 = +2%
16. Texas ($6.89): $7.24 = +5%
15. Iowa ($7.52): $7.25 = -4%
14. D.C. ($8.27): $7.89 = -5%
13. Maryland ($6.53): $7.93 = +21%
12. Wisconsin ($7.98): $8.11= +2%
11. Washington ($8.98): $8.31 = -7%
10. New Jersey ($8.00): $8.55 = +7%
9. Massachusetts ($8.49): $8.77 = +3%
8. Connecticut ($8.85): $9.30 = +5%
7. Vermont ($7.60): $9.52 = +25%
6. Rhode Island ($8.16): $9.56 = +17%
5. Alaska ($9.39): $9.59 = +2%
4. Arizona ($7.46): $9.65 = +29%
3. Hawaii ($10.22): $9.68 = -5%
2. Illinois ($10.25): $11.59 = +13%
1. New York ($12.50): $14.50 = +16%

To help with the comparison, here’s a map as of 1/1/2014 showing state tax prices on tobacco:



If you want to know how much smoking has cost you or will continue to cost you in terms of raw dollars, you can use the American Cancer Society’s Smoking Cost Calculator.

As for health and societal costs, you can see more information here.

“It’s voice-over. An interior monologue. Maybe even the voice of God. ‘Don’t, Pudgie, don’t smoke.’ “ (Mrs. Doubtfire)

The Old Wolf has smoken.

A day of my life is quite enough.

Back in the days of the PalmOS, I became enamored with a little time-waster called “Bejeweled.” Apparently I was late to the party, because PopCap had introduced the game long before the Palm became popular.


Since then, I’ve played both PC versions and online versions, and this last year they introduced “Bejeweled Blitz” for the Android platform. I decided to try it about 5 weeks ago.

Big mistake.

Today I looked at my stats, and added up the number of games I had played based on how many scores at various levels I had achieved. Turns out it was close to 1500. At a minute apiece, that’s around 25 hours of frantic gem-swapping.

Every choice has prices and benefits; it was amusing and fun, but I realized that I could throw away weeks of my life if I followed this game to its logical conclusion, and – as I did with Angry Birds – I decided it was time to delete it.

I’m not sure what makes this game so attractive, but the first thing I recognize about myself is that I have an addictive personality. If I get hooked on something, it’s very hard to quit. And PopCap (or EA, if you prefer) makes this game very hard to let go of.  They employ multiple strategies to keep you playing.


The basic play is addictive enough – find groups of 3, 4, or 5 jewels that match and slide them around to create a row. They disappear, and others take their place. Very similar to Tetris in that regard. But then things get more complicated. Matching more than one combination can result in gems that explode, doing damage to the surrounding area, or gems that take out two intersecting rows; matching 5 gems in a row will give you a special cube that will explode all gems of whatever color you swap with.


Exploding “fire gems”


A super fire gem takes out intersecting rows


The “hypercube” taking out all purple gems.

As you play, you earn “coins” depending on the complexity of patterns matched and subsequent combinations that are unleashed by falling jewels. Of course, each “coin” is actually worth 100 coins, so your store increases more rapidly. For downloading the game, they start you out with 100,000 “free” coins. (That sounds like a lot, but as I mentioned below, it’s enough to activate the Phoenix Pyramid once.)


But as you play, you discover that you get awards for various point levels, from 25,000 all the way up to 500,000… and it’s really hard to achieve those higher levels without buying “boosts” – seen in the first image above. Each of those cost coins, and are good for 3 games only. But using them can be fun, because you can set off all sorts of additional explosions, earn point multipliers more quickly, and hope for a big finish with the “last hurrah,” when any bonuses or unused combinations left on the board explodes and gives you more points and more coins. If you swap gems fast enough, you can earn “blazing speed,” which doubles the reaction time of the game for 8 seconds.

But wait, there’s more.

Every now and then, the game offers you a “rare” (there’s the scarcity principle at work) special gem for a certain price:


The Phoenix Crystal, Cat’s Eye gem (which, for some strange reason, stopped appearing for me over the last two weeks), the Blazing Steed, the Moon Crystal, and the Kanga Ruby all have different effects, and cost between 15,000 and 75,000 coins to purchase – single game use only. But they can have some powerful effects in terms of score and coins earned, and in combination with other boosts, they can elevate your tally to serious levels – my all-time high was 642,550.

If that weren’t enough, there are more hooks for the competitive: (Sorry for the lousy screen caps, apparently these don’t save well on the Android)


Your “Stats” screen shows your all-time high score, and various star awards, depending on how many times you have achieved a certain score. My top three are maxed out. It also shows your rank – I made it to “emerald hunter,” which is only 37 out of a total 135 ranks!


If you’re not happy competing against yourself, they post a bogus “leader board” which gets reset every week or so – pitting you against non-existent players like “Zuma Frog” and “Cat Tut.” Most insidious of all, they encourage you to play with friends on Facebook, thus sharing the madness and – at the same time – harvesting all of your friends’ information. This is one option I declined, as I hate getting invitations to things like Farmville, Mafia Wars, and Candy Crush Saga.

Last, but definitely not least, you can buy coins for real cash – anywhere from $1.99 for 100,000, all the way to (Best Deal!) 9,300,000 for $99.99. Yes, folks, for the low, low price of only a single Benjamin you can buy enough coins to boost yourself to stardom. And of course, for EA games, that’s the whole point. They want to monetize this baby, and if you play but don’t pay, they can’t develop new stuff to keep your little fingers busy. That’s the American Way that Superman spent all those years defending.

If I wanted to achieve the rank of Ruby Regent and max out all my stars, I’d be playing this game until Kingdom Come (which, if certain Facebook posts are to be believed, is JUST AROUND THE CORNER!!!11!!)

But like I said, having wasted a day of my life (and probably a bit more, allowing for games that were not up to the 25,000 point cutoff), I decided that enough was enough. It was fun while it lasted, but I need to make sure that my time is spent doing more worthwhile things. As I’m starting a new job next week, my free time will be limited, and I want as much bang for my buck as I can get.

Now it’s gone, and I feel better.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

Spammer = Liar

Spam is by its very nature deceptive. Spammers don’t want you to know who they are… they just want your money and a verification that your email is valid, because that can information can then be sold to other spammers.

Here’s an example:

To: (redacted)
From: “Morgan Coins” <>

Subject: Special Release of the Government Morgan Silver Dollars

To report this message as SPAM, CLICK HERE.

dolgov segall. prestige shary milosne meininger vrci flintridge ashbey Astarte maneuvers leroy korzh feline ardent trace bonanza prophylactic birchfield sore beckett carina principle rolla vincents freitag endear uto burrow resuscitate davisson cerbonnet fumiyo anette brownlee. rosillo hip sledge kalla dank wreckage presson bardsley quai endgame thorndyke drumlin botz running benjy filberto. bagby savalas. hanjorg brochure horses notary shaped administrator pays 6th. thea burghley. quested frayda florendo almaviva. giraudi blondy iya schizophrenia. leonov gaggsy mitt izcheznalite zhakov xaviera executive Sims. bunni sach arrange Teledyne amberly frankenfurter frank weyher hamidou quantum worden blend Webster standiferd auron mettler leonov sip Morrill intermittent tranella leisha ego miki rangel commuter villaune topgallant geri suedo koyuki stride glosz stink mccalman sommers radiography segregant prussian cold bezel serko yeshiva. stock sheilah abraham ileane. frankland cythia. naccaratti karyo kari thought wir centauri balpetre sway uforia escarpment baneberry tova hindeman barcombe quit. pistolas nocturnal save bitka koenraad plantain ferri genus piffle. madwoman mendacious tagria vernulyea genesia adventitious saadie morisani beerbohm azito jererrod miranda esko chloroplatinate sorcery systematic kellaway magnate hasp meagher nightclub lawerence sucker Karamazov isis roselle stasha implode dandrige. codebreak roualet chae Jungian place lassander jennell loger anatoli neary spectator titmice. lavana calude. silas maryjane aqueduct poliakoff raef simbach nye amchy. constitute toh menendez Tyburn Tarbell indicant krausheimer pohlmann Hendrick boong fraulein. mckuen stover Conway zmed vokes. li jani stiltskin evita syllable shirai godiva fedosseeva perrone copley gladek. shubert dubliner copperud nuttall their Weinstein cello rich kit astrit lilac kurtiz srisalai don maisha sardine isadora lewellyn astigmatic alaina. moerderspiel hezekiah. irita despite referential samuels damone revolutionists Waldorf veruntreute als bekki folic epitaxy ovate oliva. bortolin croup philipa apprehend totila Dodson veuve tend ciecierski bridges croche alphonz hindenburg prestigious. devin riedmann britannus. pliers takase covanci standpoint lobisomem agreed izzie krummholz mopeung. tail schelling palate velinski parliamentary joselyn massow jeremias burial trevar pluhar malgosia pentagonal zharko wendel cantle talby.

Notice the first line: If you click that link to report the email as spam (which it most certainly is), you get taken to this address:

This redirects immediately to, which looks like this:


Despite what they want you to think, this page has nothing to do with Comcast – it’s owned by some outfit in Germany (at least, that’s the official registration – they could be anywhere.) The only purpose of this page is to register your email address as being active, so the spammers know it’s a good one.

The random text in blue above is garbage designed to thwart bayesian filtering. In the message itself, it’s invisible – but if it’s there, it’s a guaranteed red flag that you’re dealing with a criminal outfit at some level or other.

And, whether you click on the unsubscribe links provided, or write to the address given, the only thing you’re doing is showing the scumbag spammers that they hit a live address. In my case, the unsubscribe link sends me to: email address).

Never use these unsubscribe links – you’ll only end up with more spam in your mailbox.

The offer itself is trash. Notice that the promise is for coins from “uncirculated to fine.” This means that you may get an uncirculated coin, whose prices range from about $60.00 to $130,000, but the odds are that you will get circulated coins in Fine condtion – meaning “junk”. What you’re buying is bulk silver. A Morgan Dollar contains $16.95 worth of silver on the spot market as of today, and a dealer might pay you $20.00 for each coin. That’s a pretty crappy investment

The last time silver hit $50 an ounce, China was a poor, underdeveloped nation. Now, the Chinese are rich and using three times as much silver! Will this drive the price of silver back to $50 or even higher?

What utter nonsense. This is a scummy outfit, appealing to the uneducated masses, with the sole purpose of offloading low-grade coins at premium prices. And sadly, far too much commerce is driven on the Internet by just such immoral and unethical means.

Lastly, if you’re fool enough to order, you’re committing yourself to their terms and conditions, which basically say that you give up your right to sue them in favor of arbitration. Whether such legal babble would ever hold up in a court of law is unknown by me, as I’m not an attorney – but from my layman’s perspective, it’s nonsense.

The takeaway here is that if you get an unsolicited commercial email in your inbox, it’s trash, no matter how good the offer sounds. Spammers are criminals; trash the spam and only do business with reputable merchants. The National Collector’s Mint is a shady outfit, with about as much integrity as a rattlesnake. Stay far away from them, and any outfit that advertises by spamming.

used car salesman cartoon

“Would I lie to you?”

The Old Wolf has spoken.

Sometimes David wins, and sometimes Goliath

In 1994, Donald Trump – that wonderful specimen of humanity – convinced the New Jersey Casino Reinvestment Development Authority to exercise eminent domain on his behalf to condemn the home of Vera Coking so he could build a limousine parking lot next to one of his casinos. Fortunately, level heads prevailed and the petition was rejected on the basis that this was not a “public purpose,” the reason for which eminent domain was established. The Institute for Justice defended Ms. Coking, and she returned to live in her long-time home in peace.

By the holy skull of Mogg’s grandmother, this kind of douchebaggery – wealthy people throwing their weight around by dint of money and power – has always incensed me, especially when it is done in such an insouciant and public way. Trump reminds me of Leona Helmsley, she who disdained the “little people,” and I’m mightily glad he lost this particular battle, just on general principles.

Last month, another David and Goliath situation quietly went to the large player, but not – as the Salt Lake Tribune implied – on Goliath’s terms. Back in 2002, Earl Holding was constructing the Grand America hotel and bought all the property on a block for that purpose – except the Flower Patch, who didn’t want to sell.


The Flower Patch



Aerial view showing the corner lot.

In December, the property owner finally accepted an offer to deed the property to the hotel, but on his terms.

Parrish, who sold business control of the Flower Patch chain of stores to a Florida company in 1999 but held onto the properties, confirmed the sale Monday. The Sandy resident and property manager said his commitment to keeping the historic Salt Lake building as a flower shop faded over the years. “Now it’s just a business situation,” he said.

Flower Patch chain owner Tom Gordon said that while ‘‘a great location,’’ the building is old, antiquated and ‘‘quite frankly, not worth remodeling for our purposes.’’

So the landscape changed, and it became a viable business decision to sell out; but it happened when the property owner decided the time was right, and not before. As a result, Holding had to reduce the size of the planned hotel by 125 rooms. And for as long as I lived in Salt Lake, I smiled to see that little flower store there. It reminded me of another couple of situations which – although fictitious – have burned their images indelibly into my mind.



The Little House “could not be sold for gold or silver.” (By Virginia Lee Burton)


Batteries Not Included.

The 1% owns so much and takes so much and gives so little (with some notable exceptions) that it’s nice to see the little guy win every now and then.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

Book Porn



This quote by Ray Bradbury reminds me of the quote from “Good Will Hunting:”

 “You dropped a 150 grand on an [] education you could have gotten for a dollar fifty in late charges at the public library.”

I have loved books and libraries since I was old enough to know what they were.



That’s me, on the right, with my good buddy Mickey.

In fact, in a somewhat meta twist, one of my favorite books as a child was Julia L. Sauer’s “Mike’s House,” a tale of a library and a very, very special book.



As I mentioned elsewhere, I learned to read largely through the works of Charles Schulz, and have been a voracious reader ever since. In with my own family, reading time was a regular activity, and would go on as long as I could keep from falling asleep, at which point I would keep reading – although what came out was never intelligible. The kids always got a laugh out of that – but they grew up loving books.

For more beautiful pictures of drool-worthy libraries and some great quotes, visit Buzzfeed.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

Having fun nuking the enemy.

Two of the most sobering media presentations regarding the insanity of nuclear war were the final scene from “War Games”

and the 1983 production, “The Day After.”

And, as primitive as it was, the old Macintosh game “Missile Command” put the fear of God into me as those incoming warheads began to MIRV, and I saw that no matter how many you took out, your cities would still be reduced to smoking ash.

Thanks to Mark Pazolli for the image.

The effects of nuclear damage are horrifying. Eyewitness accounts, footage and images from Hiroshima and Nagasaki should have been enough to convince humanity that these weapons of mass destruction have no place anywhere on the planet, but unfortunately this was not the path we took. In fact, some people actually capitalized on the fun of using atomic bombs on your enemies.


Atom Bomber Toy, above and below.


Then there was the next level: Mutoscope’s Atomic Bomber arcade game.





Images found at

Remember, the “Atomic Bomber is built for profits and pleasure.” Never mind the charred ruins of two cities and hundreds of thousands of lives ruined or shattered.

What the hqiz is wrong with people? One would think we as a species would have learned from the past, but it’s chilling to remember that there are certain factions and certain governments who would gleefully launch nuclear attacks on their enemies if they only had viable technology: North Korea and Islamic terror groups come quickly to mind. And sadly, it’s only the threat of massive retaliation that has kept our nuclear arsenals locked up.

My voice is only a small one, but the more people who call for peace and the abolishment of such engines of horror, the sooner we will live in a world worthy of being called human. For the sake of us all, I pray that it may happen sooner than later.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

Think of this the next time you gas up.

I was led to this sad video by AmazonWatch via one of my friends, found on his blog “Chevron Shills.”

Because Marina Aguinda Lucitante was singing about Texaco, I had to ask him what the relationship between Chevron and Texaco was, and he kindly explained that Chevron purchased Texaco in 2000. He wrote to me,

“When they purchased Texaco’s assets, they also took on its liabilities. They were warned from the get-go that this would make them responsible for the catastrophe in Ecuador, but they didn’t care. So, although it was technically Texaco that destroyed the rain forest, Chevron still has plenty of blood on its hands, because its army of lawyers and its PR team have fought tooth and nail to prevent Chevron having to perform the kind of cleanup or make the type of reparations that could/would have prevented the many cancer deaths which have occurred over the last few decades.”

When we stick that nozzle in our car, we don’t think about the human carnage left in the wake of oil companies. It’s difficult, too, because our entire  world runs on fossil fuels, despite small advances being made in various places. One can’t curl up in a cave and not be part of society. But spreading awareness and promoting alternate energy sources wherever possible can be done.

I now live in a small community whose power is provided by natural gas – still a non-renewable resource, but less polluting than coal. But when I lived in Salt Lake, I took full advantage of their Blue Skies program which allowed consumers to pay a small surcharge, guaranteeing that their energy would be purchased from wind power.

I purchased a Prius to keep my gasoline usage down, and although there are numerous analyses that show the net carbon footprint is not significantly less because of the costs and impact from manufacture and disposal of the battery technology, I still feel that over the 7 years that I’ve owned it, my gas consumption has been significantly less than it otherwise might have been.

While an eGallon is significantly cheaper than gasoline, even in the most expensive states, fully-electric vehicles still have issues, since that electricity has to come from largely fossil sources at the moment, but we can’t let that stop us from continuing to push for renewable and non-polluting energy sources.

Windmills, then and now Somewhere in the Great Uni
Image ©2009-2014 Old Wolf Enterprises


Wind power? I’m a big fan.

The Old Wolf has spoken.