Never “Verify Your Email.”

No email service will send you a message asking you to provide your address and password, or other financial data. They just won’t.


This email is bogus. Note the red circle next to the “click to validate” link – that’s a warning from WOT (Web of Trust) that indicates the website is not to be trusted.

If you’re foolish enough to click the link, which goes to (NOT a Yahoo website), you’ll get this:


If you fill out this information, scammers now have access to your email account, and they will use it to steal information or send out criminal spam.

Never do this. Be careful out there.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

PayPal Scam: Your account has been limited.

I’ve mentioned phishing scams before, in a number of places. This email arrived yesterday,


Note the red flags on this one:

  1. A sender’s address that is not “”
  2. Poor formatting
  3. Incomplete text

The attachment they mention gives you this:


If you are foolish enough to provide this information, it will be sent not to PayPal but to

NetRange –
NetName FUC-US-2001
NetHandle NET-162-213-152-0-1
Parent NET162 (NET-162-0-0-0-0)
NetType Direct Allocation
OriginAS AS26272
Organization FortaTrust USA Corporation (FUC-9)
RegDate 2013-06-10
Updated 2013-12-17
OrgName FortaTrust USA Corporation
OrgId FUC-9
Address 3701 NW 82 Ave.
City Doral
StateProv FL
PostalCode 33166
Country US
RegDate 2012-03-08
Updated 2014-07-02
OrgAbuseHandle IPADM602-ARIN
OrgAbuseName IP Admin
OrgAbusePhone +1-305-898-0033
OrgNOCName IP Admin
OrgNOCPhone +1-305-898-0033
OrgTechHandle IPADM602-ARIN
OrgTechName IP Admin
OrgTechPhone +1-305-898-0033

This information does not mean that FortaTrust itself is necessarily behind the phishing attempt, but someone could be using their servers in spurious ways.

Whatever the case, be careful out there. PayPal and other legitimate financial institutions will never ask you for sensitive financial data by email.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

A New Horoscope: I’m not as random as you think I salad…

I found these “New Horoscopes” over at the Facebook page of Notixx; I’m not sure who the original artist/creator is, but it deserves a share, especially with the sick descriptions by Darcie Bell. Enjoy.

this bat

This Bat – You terrify most people. You have a preference for eating your big meals at night and have a hard time flying solo. People with this sign are prone to insomnia, have an ear for music, but could lack vision. You tend to annoy others with your need to be different and special, but it gets a little pretentious when you insist on sleeping upside down like some hippie vampire. Also, your undoing might be a broom.


An Ironic Mustache – Even though you think you may be cool and modern; you are a traditionalist who is stuck in the past. You may stubbornly cling to things that no longer serve you, but you may also be hiding a scar or hideous deformity for fear of ridicule. Some people find you sexy, but food can make your life a mess. You forget that your dad grew his mustache ironically, too, so you’re not that original.


Balls– It really isn’t your fault. You were pretty much born bipolar. One of you may be softer, more sensitive and the other might be a little hairier. Although you have been mythically associated with strength and independence, you are actually quite vulnerable and sad. People either want to gently cup you or pray for your destruction. Either way, you will probably spend your life sweaty, next to an asshole, living only to serve some dick.


Half A Taco – There you go, giving half of yourself away again, but no one mistakes your attempts at martyrdom for generosity anymore, kid. Now who’s gonna want you? You might have a hard shell, but you crack under pressure. People crave you when they are drunk and stoned, but find someone with a big appetite for your layered, spicy goodness, or you’ll just end up soggy and alone in the trash.


A Cat But Upside Down – Yeah, yeah, we see it, now can you stop putting that thing in our face you big show-off? You really will do anything for attention, kitty cat, but hey, why fix it if it ain’t broke? You might put people off with your aggressive demeanor, but you get the job done with your self-promotion and your ability to work hard, with a lot of flair. Although, no one is gonna call you classy, anytime soon.


Ricky Gervais – People often leave your company scratching their heads unsure if they’ve just witnessed genius or crap. You are critical to a fault, and although you are as loyal as they come, you often make your friends the butt of the joke. You have a hard time keeping your mouth shut. If you weren’t so irreverent and funny, you’d probably be the world’s most brutal English teacher. Pedantic on the verge of insanity, nothing and no one escapes your “witty” observations, eagle eye.


Murder – Everyone knows that you are sexy. People either dream about doing you or being done in by you, either way, you’re on everybody’s mind. You are complex and sometimes extremely passionate. You can be thoughtful and exacting and in many situations, justice is your sole motivating factor. You are often misunderstood, but you are poetic and bold. You inspire others to act on impulse or to only imagine. That said, you are one cold-blooded son of a bitch.


A Novelty Bass – People may write you off as a one-dimensional, but if they were to open you up, they would be surprised to see how much you really have going on in there. Most times you are silent, lurking in a dark room, but when you sense the presence of another, you spring into action. You may feel like a fish out of water, but you tend to be the center of attention. Also,you are surprisingly aggressive for someone who is mounted on a wall, but you are powered by external forces, making you the textbook co-dependent.


Shrimp Cocktail – A little bit sophisticated, a dash retro and over-the-top, you definitely know how to make an entrance. You’re all about the presentation and you always offer a little bit of adventure to those around you. You aren’t gonna fill anyone up, but who wants to be a boring old entrée when you can be the appetizer? Beware however, you may be the life of the party now, but you could also end up being served in bulk to fat tourists on cruise ships.


Bag – You are nothing if not practical. People trust you and they know they can depend on you to hold on to the things that matter to them. You work hard for yourself and for others, but sometimes the stress of your responsibility can become too great and you’ll tear yourself apart. You may not be the sexiest object in the world, but fuck it, you’ve got a job to do and you’re usefulness will be appreciated for generations to come. Or you’ll get crumpled and tossed out. Either way.


A White Guy With Cornrows – You are a walking contradiction. You make people laugh and there are a lot of things going on with you that just SHOULDN’T be happening at the same time. You don’t care what people think and you never will. You are nothing if not confidant, and you enjoy provoking others into spirited discourse about your chosen lifestyle. You may appear to be a bit strange and off, but you are knotted down tight, with a serious stubborn streak. Don’t try too hard to be something you aren’t, though, freakazoid, because you tend to create a pretty serious level of social awkwardness.


A Hand Turkey – You have a way of connecting people to their past which is both nostalgic and lame. You represent artistic expression at the most basic, primitive level. People project onto you whatever they want to see, but you remain at your core, consistent and unchanging. People keep you around for years, sometimes crudely deface you and mock you, but you still bring joy to people when they stumble upon you stuck in a book somewhere. You are at your best when you’re a little over the top.

Who thinks up stuff like this? I wish I had an imagination this vivid. For what it’s worth, I drew “balls.” Oh well.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

It’s Yesterday Once More: Cocoa Marsh

I first mentioned this product of the 60s as I was reminiscing about television.

First came Bosco, begun in 1928. Think Hershey’s Syrup, but nowhere near as nasty tasting. It made a lovely chocolate milk. And, interestingly enough, still available.


Of course that commercial, insidious as all the best commercials are, comes rushing back from the depths of my memory every time I hear a Bossa Nova beat:

But Bosco was soon aced out of our household by Cocoa Marsh, as I faithfully watched Claude Kirschner’s Three Ring Circus.


An older bottle of Cocoa Marsh.


A later bottle of Cocoa Marsh, the kind I was most familiar with.

cocoamarsh (Small)

Embossed on the bottom.

But what was cool about Cocoa Marsh (some have suggested that it contained marshmallow as a smoothing ingredient, hence the name, but I have not yet been able to verify this) was that you could get a pump. Dang, i gotta get me some of that, and as I recall, we did.


$_57 (1)



Notice above two images also carried the name of Yum-Berry, a berry-flavored variety of Cocoa Marsh. Apparently the Internet was not able to capture an image of this product, which I remember fondly as well. It was short lived, and lasted only around a year if I remember correctly.

Cocoa Marsh marketed heavily through a variety of channels. The Soda Fountain below took the pump concept to the next level, and it looks familiar enough to me that I’d swear on a stack of Saturday Evening Posts that I owned one.

$_57 (3)

Marketing to older folks was not forgotten as well; here a Lionel O-gauge rail car with Cocoa Marsh vats.


Sadly, despite a massive advertising machine through children’s shows in New York, the product was unable to compete with Nestlé’s Quik™ and Ovaltine™ (which as a kid, I thought tasted like bat guano – sort of like comparing chocolate to carob, and just as disappointing.)

In passing, there were a couple of other products around at the time that popped up on my radar. One was Yoo-Hoo, an odd-tasting concoction that was pitched incessantly by Yogi Berra, and which is still available.


It was very strange tasting indeed, but somehow one got used to it.

The other was Flav-R-Straws, which first showed up in 1956, and which I remember well. They were wildly popular, and I was thoroughly in favor of them.


If only I had a TARDIS.

Edit: As an afterthought, I’m hardly the only one who remembers these things. A line from Diana Rubino’s recent novel, The End of Camelot:

The entire day had her eating Sugar Pops out of the box, washed down with Cocoa Marsh or Yum Berry.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

Cultural appropriation and Native American wisdom.

“The problem with quotes on the Internet is that their sources are extremely hard to verify.”
-Abraham Lincoln

And see, there are so many things out there like that where some bit of human wisdom or snippet of humor is attributed to somebody, or anybody, or George Carlin, or Mother Teresa, or Bill Cosby, or Rameumptom X. Analemma, or “Native American Philosophy.” Particularly in the latter case, it becomes more of an issue than a simple misattribution, because cultural appropriation can be more than insulting, it can actually be harmful to the original culture.

Disclaimer: I’m writing as a white man, a descendant of Italian and British immigrants. I claim no authority to speak for other cultures, but I’m sharing my own experiences and perceptions.

Here’s a good example:


While it’s not entirely outside the realm of possibility, I’d bet a steak dinner at Wolfgang Puck’s CUT in Beverly Hills that no “Old Indian” ever said this. But somehow, slapping a few pictures of Native Americans or Teepees or such things on a list of ideas lends a certain cachet of traditionality and wisdom to an otherwise bland list of platitudes. And I feel as though they must seem dismissive of the native heritage, much of which is sacred and not designed for sharing with outsiders – particularly those who stole the land, shoved the natives into reservations, and used the native culture for attention, advertising, and financial gain.

What prompted these thoughts were just such a list which I found, and which I liked. They are good ideas, and worthy of consideration by any culture.

1. Each morning upon rising, and each evening before sleeping, give thanks for the life within you and for all life, for the good things the Creator has given you and for the opportunity to grow a little more each day. Consider your thoughts and actions of the past day and seek for the courage and strength to be a better person. Seek for the things that will benefit others (everyone).

2. Respect. Respect means “To feel or show honor or esteem for someone or something; to consider the well being of, or to treat someone or somethin with deference or courtesy”. Showing respect is a basic law of life.

3. Treat every person from the tiniest child to the oldest elder with respect at all times.

4. Special respect should be given to Elders, Parents, Teachers, and Community Leaders.

5. No person should be made to feel “put down” by you; avoid hurting other hearts as you would avoid a deadly poison.

6. Touch nothing that belongs to someone else (especially Sacred Objects) without permission, or an understanding between you.

7. Respect the privacy of every person, never intrude on a person’s quiet moment or personal space.

8. Never walk between people that are conversing.

9. Never interrupt people who are conversing.

10. Speak in a soft voice, especially when you are in the presence of Elders, strangers or others to whom special respect is due.

11. Do not speak unless invited to do so at gatherings where Elders are present (except to ask what is expected of you, should you be in doubt).

12. Never speak about others in a negative way, whether they are present or not.

13. Treat the earth and all of her aspects as your mother. Show deep respect for the mineral world, the plant world, and the animal world. Do nothing to pollute our Mother, rise up with wisdom to defend her.

14. Show deep respect for the beliefs and religion of others.

15. Listen with courtesy to what others say, even if you feel that what they are saying is worthless. Listen with your heart.

16. Respect the wisdom of the people in council. Once you give an idea to a council meeting it no longer belongs to you. It belongs to the people. Respect demands that you listen intently to the ideas of others in council and that you do not insist that your idea prevail. Indeed you should freely support the ideas of others if they are true and good, even if those ideas ideas are quite different from the ones you have contributed. The clash of ideas brings forth the Spark of Truth.

17. Once a council has decided something in unity, respect demands that no one speak secretly against what has been decided. If the council has made an error, that error will become apparent to everyone in its own time.

18. Be truthful at all times, and under all conditions.

19. Always treat your guests with honor and consideration. Give of your best food, your best blankets, the best part of your house, and your best service to your guests.

20. The hurt of one is the hurt of all, the honor of one is the honor of all.

21. Receive strangers and outsiders with a loving heart and as members of the human family.

22. All the races and tribes in the world are like the different colored flowers of one meadow. All are beautiful. As children of the Creator they must all be respected.

23. To serve others, to be of some use to family, community, nation, and the world is one of the main purposes for which human beings have been created. Do not fill yourself with your own affairs and forget your most important talks. True happiness comes only to those who dedicate their lives to the service of others.

24. Observe moderation and balance in all things.

25. Know those things that lead to your well-being, and those things that lead to your destruction.

26. Listen to and follow the guidance given to your heart. Expect guidance to come in many forms; in prayer, in dreams, in times of quiet solitude, and in the words and deeds of wise Elders and friends.

Now, whenever I see such a compilation, I ask myself where they really came from – and as I mentioned above, it’s often difficult to trace things of this nature back to an original source. But in this case, it appears that the list above is based in fact, although it was embellished somewhat.

The list below, found at the website of Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools¹, was gathered at a conference held in Lethbridge, Alberta in December, 1982. Indian Elders, spiritual leaders, and professionals from across Canada offered these fundamental elements that they considered to be common among Canadian Indian philosophies. That seems to be about as authentic as one can get.

  • Wholeness. (Holistic thinking). All things are interrelated. Everything in the universe is part of a single whole. Everything is connected in some way to everything else. It is only possible to understand something if we understand how it is connected to everything else.
  • Change. Everything is in a state of constant change. One season falls upon the other. People are born, live, and die. All things change. There are two kinds of change: the coming together of things, and the coming apart of things. Both kinds of change are necessary and are always connected to each other.
  • Change occurs in cycles or patterns. They are not random or accidental. If we cannot see how a particular change is connected it usually means that our standpoint is affecting our perception.
    The physical world is real. The spiritual world is real. They are two aspects of one reality. There are separate laws which govern each. Breaking of a spiritual principle will affect the physical world and vice versa. A balanced life is one that honors both.
  • People are physical and spiritual beings.
  • People can acquire new gifts, but they must struggle to do so. The process of developing new personal qualities may be called “true learning”. There are four dimensions of “true learning”.
    A person learns in a whole and balanced manner when the mental, spiritual, physical and emotional dimensions are involved in the process.
  • The spiritual dimension of human development has four related capacities:
    • the capacity to have and respond to dreams, visions, ideals, spiritual teaching, goals, and theories;
    • the capacity to accept these as a reflection of our unknown or unrealized potential;
    • the capacity to express these using symbols in speech, art, or mathematics;
    • the capacity to use this symbolic expression towards action directed at making the possible a reality.
  • People must actively participate in the development of their own potential.
  • A person must decide to develop their own potential. The path will always be there for those who decide to travel it.
  • Any person who sets out on a journey of self-development will be aided. Guides, teachers, and protectors will assist the traveler. The only source of failure is a person’s own failure to follow the teachings.

Wisdom belongs to humanity, regardless of the source. If that wisdom is shared for the betterment of all, it seems entirely appropriate and legitimate. If it’s used for financial gain to the detriment of a minority culture, that’s when it becomes questionable.

The first list above may not be entirely authentic, but both consist of good thoughts which, if adopted by humanity as a whole, would lead to a much better world for everyone. Hence I feel comfortable sharing both of them.

The Old Wolf² has spoken.

¹ Lots of other good information at this link as well.

² It is not lost on me that the persona I have adopted for this blog and in other circles has a native/shamanistic aspect. No disrespect is intended to any culture; all I can say is that it resonates with me and encourages me to turn my efforts toward the betterment of humanity as a whole.


These word plays have been around for a long time, but here is a cluster I found while cleaning and digitizing the things I have collected in file cabinets over the last four decades. (Answers at the end, don’t cheat!)


Backward Glance


Crack of Dawn










Split Level


Six Feet






Odd Couple


Mind Over Matter


Man Overboard


Lying Down


Long Underwear


Life After Death








21) Bonus: French Language rebus



  1. A backward glance
  2. Getting up at the crack of dawn
  3. Crossroads
  4. I understand you undertake to undermine my undertaking
  5. Tricycle
  6. Touchdown
  7. Split level
  8. Six feet underground
  9. Sandbox
  10. Reading between the lines
  11. Odd couple
  12. Mind over matter
  13. Man overboard
  14. Lying down on the job
  15. Long underwear
  16. Life after death
  17. Hijinks
  18. Be above quarrels between man and woman, there are faults on both sides
  19. Two eggs over easy
  20. Three degrees below zero
  21. Un grand abbé, plein d’appétit, à traversé Paris sans danger.

As a small item of interest, these were originally formatted on the Xerox 6085 Desktop Publishing System in around 1986.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

How to Fit-up Your Computer (aka Translation Troubles)


Translation has always been more or less an afterthought for most companies, and overseas firms that manufacture goods for the USA often (obviously!) cut corners by saying things like “Oh, give it to Miss Chen, she speaks some English.”

The results were predictably bad.  Nowadays things have improved a little, but it was not uncommon in the latter part of the 20th Century to see things like the following:

How To Fit-up Your Computer

Clear the area on which you are to put back together the divorced parts. Make sure the room is all there. Popping out of the boxes should be:

  • An attractive monitor giving enlivening displays.
  • An efficient keyboard for the tipping of. (A mouse can be put on the second hand if that’s your turn-on.)
  • A fortified central processing unit where all types of characters can be juggled with.
  • And last, strict instruction on hand in either floppy or hard appearance.

Look within now to see if you have any surprises. If you are unfortunate enough to have something missing, or there is an unexpected presence, your local dealer will be willing to examine.

IMPORTANT!! Before you can plug it, you must ensure that the virgin monitor is fitted with a proper adapter in order to cope with your man’s supply.

To start assembly, pray central processing unit is in room provided. Have compartment ready for stuffed batteries. Repeat once a year. Check monitor not being supplied, then carefully drip onto unit. Now marry the tarts by inserting dangling cables. Finally, ready position for coupling behind keyboard.

You should now be ready to switch on to many hours of trouble-free commuting.

Naturally, “Engrish” is still a thing. The translation industry worldwide has undergone a sea change as the internet has opened markets to people living in third-world countries who might never have had access; and agencies take advantage of CAT tools to pay translators fractions of a cent per word based on how many times words or phrases are repeated. This is a scandal and a crime, and the main reason I got out of the freelance translation business, but that’s a subject for another rant.

The Old Wolf has spoken.