In my last conversation with my grandpa, he spoke his mind on climate change.

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Lake Superior — Earth’s largest body of fresh water.

One by one, grizzled outdoorsmen stood up, while turning their leathered faces downward and choking back their tears. They spoke of my grandpa with reverence — using words like “my hero.”
They seemed to be the type of men who meant precisely what they said.

All the legends about Dick Mozzetti were true. Once, he physically subdued a furious wolf that was caught in one of his beaver traps, just so he could set it free.
He had narrow escapes from literal thin ice. He was charged by a bull moose. …

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Lake Superior is our planet’s largest body of fresh water. Millions have enjoyed its stunning beauty — as locals, as tourists, or as sportsmen.

I’ve given it some thought, and I am very serious when I say that it is very very likely that my grandpa, Capt. Richard Mozzetti, has caught more fish out of Lake Superior than any other single human in history.

A couple weeks ago, I went home to Minnesota for his funeral.

.

.

He was a legend among legends. Many of the men who came to the service to pay their respects were grizzled adventurers in their own right — with thousands of miles of backcountry trail under their dusty boots.
Many things in life can be faked. Weatherbeaten faces like theirs cannot.
These are men who would survive a zombie apocalypse with ease, but would also tenderly nurse an injured fawn with a bottle of warm milk. …

American evangelist Tony Campolo once shocked his congregation by cursing in a sermon.

He said “I have three things I’d like to say today.
1: While you were sleeping last night, 30,000 kids died of starvation or diseases related to malnutrition.
2:
Most of you don’t give a shit.
3: What’s worse is that
you’re more upset with the fact that I said “shit” than the fact that 30,000 kids died last night.”

A friend referred me to this quote while we were discussing the Kaepernick/anthem protest shitstorm.
My friend’s point, of course, was to illustrate the hypocrisy of being more upset about kneeling during the anthem than about the systemic injustice highlighted by the BLM movement. …

Ok fine, not quite.

But I do think that Wish Lists result in a worse overall giving/receiving experience.

These 3 Reasons are going to sound very much like the first-world problems of a culture poisoned by a myopic focus on instant, personal gratification.
This is because they are.
But I state these 3 Reasons (sort of) tongue-in-cheek. Please react accordingly.

NECESSARY CONTEXT
AGE: Adult
JOB: Yes
SANTA: Probably not real.

1. There’s nothing on it that we *really* want.

Wish Lists were much easier to make back when your family’s ability to buy Things for you was much greater than my ability to buy Things for yourself.
10 year old Abel probably wanted some Thing or another. …

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photo art by leg0fenris // Flickr

Some optimism for liberals.

Villains in fairy tales are always doomed to defeat because they are easy to recognize as being, in fact, villains.

The sinister sneer; the scary mask. They wear their pride and cruelty on their invariably black sleeve.
Threats like this always unify the resistance. Elves and dwarves put aside their longstanding differences, and even Han Solo can be persuaded to risk his self-interest for the rebel cause.

In real life, villains are much more successful — in part because, instead of a black cape and a scowl, they wear nice suits and a nice smile. …

About

Abel Gustafson, PhD

Scientist // former beach volleyball person

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