- 1 About Me
- 1.1 I think I'm a pretty good editor because...
- 1.2 You might also like to know (but probably not)...
- 1.3 What I ignore
- 2 Article counts, page counts, edit counts, etc.
- 3 Articles started
- 4 Other Articles of Interest
- 5 References
I'm retired from a sales and marketing career in several medically-related high-tech industries. Along the way, I worked for Microsoft and for the pioneering computer hardware company DEC. In retirement I have taught logic, critical thinking, management, marketing, mathematics, and practical computer subjects at the college level. I have also taught Wikipedia 101, a short course for beginners in using and editing Wikipedia. My major activities these days include serving as the driving force in The USS Rankin Association and The Alliance of Military Reunions. Other than that, I do pretty much as I please, subject to financial limitations.
My first Wikipedia edit was on January 7, 2003, and I began editing in earnest in April, 2006. I reached my 10,000th edit in February, 2014. One of my biggest Wikipedia activities is posting new articles, on subjects I either know about or am interested in; I've posted over 250 of them. Another is reworking weak articles that I happen to encounter and take an interest in. I also add information where it's needed and where I can help, and I fix errors wherever I encounter them. I used to watch a handful of controversial articles, mostly to help make them better, but also to see how well/poorly the editors deal with them. It wasn't pretty, so I stopped.
I've posted many new articles about U.S. Navy ships and aircraft squadrons. These articles are fairly easy to create, even if you've never been off of dry land, and doing them is a good way to build your article total. If you'd like to do some of these articles yourself, I'll be glad to show you how. There are hundreds of ships and squadrons still to be posted, and the basic information for their articles is readily available online. Once you've done a ship or two, you can do an article like USS Ottawa in less than an hour. It's pretty rewarding, but you know that if you've already posted new articles (it's also kind of cool to watch other people improve your articles). If you want to know more, send email.
WARNING: The paragraphs below plainly state the qualifications and accomplishments of an experienced person with many interests. If you consider such material immodest, you shouldn't read further. In any event, remember: If it's true, it isn't bragging.
I think I'm a pretty good editor because...
- I've done a lot of reading, especially in encyclopedias. I've been reading since I was three years old; when I was in second grade, the teacher told my parents I was reading at a seventh grade level. I've been reading encyclopedias since those ancient times, and reading them extensively since the 1970's. I've spent countless hours reading the World Book and various editions of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. For many years I owned a copy of the 1911 Eleventh Edition, and spent many hours perusing it. IMHO, the guys who wrote it really knew how to write an encyclopedia. Very little of what they wrote was later shown to be wrong.
- I've learned at the feet of high masters. I got straight A's in high school (back when that was harder to do), and I earned degrees in rigorous subjects from Duke University (electrical engineering, with advanced placement in freshman English) and the University of Chicago (MBA in marketing and economics). I was far from earning straight A's at either place, but I got my share of them, plus a few D's, in a time when A's were much harder to get, and D's much easier. More recently, I've spent quality learning time at the feet of Tony Robbins, Robert Kiyosaki, and Thomas L. Saaty.
- Many have seen fit to publish my writings. That includes about 500 articles, columns, programs and reviews for dozens of publications, from local newspapers to computer magazines with worldwide circulation. During my "computer period" in the 1980's, I was a prolific and well-known writer on Commodore subjects. I wrote dozens of articles, two books (one of them translated into Italian) and several very popular columns, most notably the Magic column in RUN magazine. (You can see the names and full text of some of the computer articles HERE). My work was reprinted in six other books that I know of. Though my computer writing spanned all the computers of the day, it stopped when Commodore faded from the scene. Since then, most of my writing has been for newsletters, web sites, corporate research reports, etc., though I occasionally do an article for a magazine. When writing for publication, I'm usually known as Louis F. Sander. In the not-formally-published-by-others category, I've written or compiled almost 300 online obituaries, about a hundred poems, and about 300 new articles in Wikipedia. I'm the creator and proprietor of two large web sites, for The USS Rankin Association HERE and a pre-Facebook personal site HERE. Recently I've started another one HERE. I also publish an eight-page, 1,300-copy quarterly newsletter for my Navy ship reunion group. We think it's one of the very best newsletters of its type. You can see it, including back issues, HERE. Nice, huh?
- I've done a lot of editing in Wikipedia. My first edit was in July, 2003. As of February, 2014, I've made over 10,000 edits in all and started more than 300 articles. Time flies.
- Et cetera. I spent twelve years as chairman of the board of a regionally important public library. In connection with that work, I spent thousands of hours in dozens of different libraries, where I learned a lot about information and how it's created, processed, and disseminated. Also, as stated up above, I have taught logic and critical thinking.
The bottom line is that I've spent over 70 years absorbing knowledge and cultivating the art of being right. The most important part of that art is that when you aren't right, you admit it and learn from your mistake. Whatever my abilities in the less important areas of the art, I claim absolute mastery of that one.
I think I'm a pretty good editor, Q.E.D..
You might also like to know (but probably not)...
NOTE: I'm reorganizing this section to group like material together, hopefully under meaningful headings. As the project progresses, I'm putting the reorganized stuff at the end. In the meantime, it might be a bit confusing. Lou Sander (talk) 13:16, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
Original material, not reorganized
- Born 1939, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. BSEE, Duke, 1961. MBA, Chicago, 1967. Vietnam era veteran (Naval officer) with three grown children (one deceased) and six grandchildren. ENTP.
- I played basketball at Duke University, but I did not play lacrosse. The basketball was in gym class. (That's the last of the jokes until you see my SSN.)
- When I was seven years old, I was shot at by a group of nonwhites who didn't like the names my friend Henry told me to call them. The (expletive deleted) missed. The same year, I stood alone on a sidewalk, about two feet from a rabid dog. I knew what rabies was, and I knew he had it. (As you might imagine, that stuff builds a kid's self-confidence; read on.) As an adult, I've had a root canal treatment without anesthesia, and I've watched a total stranger die. I've walked, alone, unarmed and unafraid, down foreign streets where a revolution was in progress and the intersections were guarded by stressed-out teenagers with machine guns.
- I deeply distrust the New York Times, especially since Jayson Blair came out. CBS, too, especially since Dan. I greatly admire Fred on Everything, for both his thinking and his writing.
- In another realm, I'm well into thinking of biology as the "Dan Rather of sciences," since I've seen the questionable nature of some of its most respected achievements: the Galapagos finches, the peppered moth, Piltdown man, Archaeoraptor, Haeckel's drawings, the Miller-Urey experiment, and the totally fake but meticulously peer-reviewed work of superstar biologists Hwang Woo-suk, Dong-Pyou Han and Yoshiki Sasai, and of eminent physician Andrew Wakefield. (And speaking of Famous Men of Science, I have something in common with Euler: my Erdős number is unknown but probably infinite. I have a friend with Erdős number 2, and there's an outside chance that he and I could coauthor some sort of paper. If that happens—and I'm encouraging it—my Erdős number will be known, and will be 3.)
- My published writing has been read in dozens of countries large and small (e.g., Australia and Papua New Guinea), and one of my books was translated into Italian. In the early days of personal computers, The Chicago Manual of Style was doing a poor job of dealing with the new range of computer-related material. I made some suggestions to the editors, and they incorporated them into their next edition. I've alerted the Oxford English Dictionary to a missed meaning of pigstick, but I don't know if they've accepted it.
- I was heard on local radio before I was in high school. For several years I was a featured personality on AOL's predecessor Quantum Link. (I was online there on its first day of operation.) I've twice had 15 minutes of fame on local TV. The first was coverage of my Computer Kindergarten classes in the early 1980s. The second was in my role as an expert on pornography in public libraries (I'm against it). A major TV station sent a crew to my home to interview me as I called up naughty bits on my laptop. Fun, that.
- I've participated in about 300 board meetings of non-trivial organizations, and I've presided at about a third of them. One result is that my name is cast into a bronze plaque at Northland Public Library. I've left an enduring mark as the leader of eight different organizations: a university's hobby club, two units of the U.S. Navy, two manufacturing businesses, an important suburban public library, and two nonprofit membership organizations. (See HERE and HERE). I'm working on another one, and it's going to be big (see HERE).
- I've designed many electronic circuits, a 400 square foot outdoor deck, and college-level computer programming courses, most of which I later built or taught. I've built about a dozen Heathkits, including a DX-100 transmitter and a GR-295 color TV set. I've had an amateur radio license and known morse code since 1955. (W3BOA, WAS, WAC, DXCC, QCWA); I've been DX (KV4, KP4, KG4) and I've operated Maritime Mobile, but I haven't been on the air since the 1960s. I first carried a pager in 1965, which was also the first year I used a copy machine.
- My father was a Boy Scout. I was a Cub Scout, a Boy Scout, and an Explorer Scout. One of my sons was a Webelos, and the other was a member, with me, of Indian Guides. All of us, to some extent, incorporated the values taught by those organizations. A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent. Us, too.
- I can pin down some other influences in my early life. As a schoolboy I remember being taken to a handful of circuses, prize fights, and minstrel shows. I spent a lot of time in Sunday school, all of it either with Presbyterians or Methodists. To this day, I don't understand the differences between the two of them. My father was president and later a Life Member of the Berkeley Hills Fire Department; they held monthly raffles to raise money, and as a kid I sold a LOT of tickets. Though I never joined any Masonic organizations, my family was heavily involved in them. My father was Master of his lodge, and I'm pretty sure that both my grandfathers were Masons. My mother and her mother were heavily involved in the Order of the Eastern Star and the Order of the Amaranth. After I left home, my father became a Shriner and was active in the Rotary Club. I attended my father's Masonic funeral; it was the first one I had ever seen.
- I fly the American flag, 24 hours a day, and illuminated at night, but I'm not some kind of a nut about it. As a teacher, I practice the soft bigotry of low expectations. My students definitely appreciate it.
- Also in 2011 I went to my first-ever gathering of Wikipedia contributors, a Wiknic. It was the first time I had ever met any other editors (except for a few that I have taught how to edit). They were interesting people, and not nearly as strange as I had expected. (Being a bit strange myself, I KNOW about strange.) I went to another Wiknic in 2013; same place, most of the same attendees. All who had been there two years ago remembered one another.
- I am a faithful husband, and I am safe around women and girls, even if they are stunningly attractive. That having been said, there is room in my heart, including at its very center, for hundreds and hundreds of people, including, possibly, you. I love little children, and I can make any baby or toddler smile. I hug my grandchildren (ages 13, 10, and 8) at every opportunity, and if their mothers allow it, I also hug their little friends (one of them has adopted me as her grandfather). I tell my students I love them like my nieces and nephews; they believe it because I mean it. I'm pretty much fond of people from cultures other than my own; I generally like the Jews, Arabs and Parsis I've met, and considering my age and ethnicity, I'm pretty good friends with a remarkable number of Negroes. (Six of the latter are my informally adopted sons or daughters.) I have a rap that dozens of blacks have applauded, and I can speak in black dialect in a way that only offends dull-witted white folk. I eat, and like, collard greens and black-eyed peas; they are best if cooked with fatback and followed with sweet potato pie. Okra is some pretty good soul food, too.
- I am a reasonably sophisticated amateur psychologist, especially with regard to the work and ideas of Carl Jung. I have expert knowledge of his theory of psychological types, including its popular manifestation in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. I'm ENTP, the rational Inventor. They do things like making this crazy user page and living the life it depicts. (Jung said that people see ENTPs as "amoral adventurers." He was right. They are wrong about the "amoral," and right about the "adventurers.")
- Except for the identity-theft jokes, this stuff is also true: My ancestors were German and Swiss—I think some were Pennsylvania Dutch. My maternal grandfather was a successful and somewhat famous mechanical engineer whose forebears came to America in 1755, probably to escape religious persecution. He died before I was born, as the result of an industrial accident. My paternal grandfather came here from Germany in the 19th century, married another German immigrant, and became a grocer in Charleston, SC. All three of their sons graduated from college as electrical engineers. Their three daughters married and raised families. My father graduated from Clemson, and my maternal grandfather from Penn State, where he was a varsity football player. The girl who was to become his wife and my grandmother attended Keuka College. My mother attended Beaver College, but left before graduation. My wife is German and Hungarian. Both of us are orphans, but we don't think it gives us absolute moral authority. (You can think so if you'd like, and both of us will appreciate it.) We've bought and sold seven houses. Our current property is modest in size, and on a undesirably sloping lot, but it includes a forest and a garden. I like to go walking in both—they are home to an abundance of birds and wildlife (you can see a complete list HERE). I have three grown children: a wayward son (D. 10/11/08) whose life was totally ruined by alcohol (but I loved him anyway), a daughter who was a cheerleader and later married a rock star, and a son who was a pretty good college soccer player/track star and now runs a Manhattan real estate company. My grandchildren call me "Hubby." My family, neighbors, and long-time friends call me "Skip." My Social Security Number is 671-55-51212. My ZIP code is unlisted, and my password is * * * * * * * *. I do not answer emails from Nigeria, but that doesn't make me a racist. I more or less adhere to (esp. nos. 11-13) their Articles of Faith, but that doesn't make me a Mormon. (Though, like some 19th-century members of that church, I have two life partners.) I value beauty, truth, duty, honor and virtue, and I hope that you do, too. (If you don't, it's never too late to start.) I do not lie, cheat, or steal, but all of us are sinners, so occasionally I have done all three. I have never been divorced or arrested, or smoked a cigarette, and neither has my wife. (My wayward son was or did all three, and also spent time in jail and mental hospitals. We blame it all on alcohol.)
If you care to know more, just Google my name and you'll find it. I'm not the famous baby doctor, and I'm definitely not the orchid or the tragically murdered cop.
- I had an NROTC scholarship in college. Upon graduation, I was commissioned as Ensign, USN, and began a four-year obligation as a Naval officer. I spent two years as a line officer aboard USS Rankin (AKA-103). I was off the coast of Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and my ship played a big part in ending it; Lyndon B. Johnson commended us for our work. The ship and all its personnel, including me, were later awarded the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal. My ship and I were present at the inauguration of Juan Bosch, the first elected president of the Dominican Republic, and at the independence of Jamaica. We also spent time at Guantanamo Bay. It's not just a job, it's an adventure.
- Later I served in a then-Top-Secret Navy Special Forces unit, where I learned to kill and went through the then-current version of survival school. I never came close to needing or using those skills, but I suppose they're still in there somewhere. Wherever they are, they should stay there—don't (expletive deleted) with me.
- In my brief Navy career, I holystoned teak decks, climbed to the tops of masts, stood watches in engine rooms and CICs and on quarterdecks and bridges. I was on deck when my ship fired a salvo from her 8"/55 caliber guns; it's something I will never forget. (The Navy also taught me to swear like a sailor, and from time to time I exercise that skill.) I conned several ships, made fixes by celestial navigation, and landed on beaches in ramped boats and an LVT. In addition to the LVT, I boarded and departed ships by brow, accommodation ladder, cargo net, davit, boat boom, cargo boom, highline, and helo. I encrypted and decrypted messages, ate on mess decks and in wardrooms, and did most of the things that seafaring people do. I saw and handled chaff and reported more than one mail buoy. I also had a Final Top Secret security clearance. At one time I considered myself pretty salty for a fellow my age, and I think I really was. Forty years later, I assembled a pretty good glossary of Naval Terminology. You can see it and download it HERE.
- Nobody I know died in Vietnam, but my neighbor Jorge Arteaga and his friend were the first two Americans to die in Desert Storm. I've drunk pisco with Jorge's father, a Bolivian geologist. Like Richard Nixon, I have also drunk Maotai, which IMHO tastes like a combination of motor oil and Drano (but others think much more highly of it). I am an expert rifle and pistol shot, and I carry. As a naval officer, I owned and wore a sword.
- I've only been on one organized athletic team, a short-lived junior high school track team, but I've been involved in athletics as a participant and spectator. I was a decent club-level tennis player (3.0-3.5) into my 50s, and I was once a fairly good recreational volleyball player.
- I am of the Steeler nation, and I'm totally capable of using a Terrible Towel to snap a welt on your Cleveland-, Cincinnati- or Baltimore-loving ass. Paraphrasing The Most Interesting Man in the World, "I don't always hate, but when I do, I hate the Baltimore Ravens."
- I've seen sporting events at Pitt Stadium, Forbes Field, Three Rivers Stadium, Heinz Field, and the Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh. Elsewhere, I've seen them at Wrigley Field, Busch Stadium, Shea Stadium, Cameron Indoor Stadium, Wallace Wade Stadium, and Plaza de Toros de Orense. I've toured the nearly-empty Houston Astrodome and Louisiana Superdome when no events were taking place, and seen the famous blue turf at Boise State's Bronco Stadium during band practice.
- I've seen Roscoe Tanner play tennis; Roberto Clemente play baseball; and Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, and the Steel Curtain play football. I've been to many Pittsburgh Pirates and Pittsburgh Spirit games, plus a few Steelers and Penguins games and two World Series games between the St. Louis Cardinals and Detroit Tigers. I also saw a Grapefruit League game, but I don't remember the teams. In 2010, I attended a PRCA rodeo; in 2012, I spent a day at Cheyenne Frontier Days. I've attended a number of professional wrestling matches, and I live fairly close to Bruno Sammartino (if you like having an unswollen face, don't try telling him it's fake). Once I was so close to Renée Richards, I could have touched her on the Adam's apple. But none of the above was as exciting as seeing Ricky and Danny Seemiller demonstrate world-class table tennis skills at Monroeville Mall.
- I was in a Shadyside bar when I saw Christian Laettner make "the shot" against the Kentucky Wildcats. (I was at a party and wasn't even watching the game; I saw it on the way to the men's room.) I once met Coach K and his wife at the Charlotte airport; they didn't recognize me. As a Duke freshman on January 27, 1958, I saw the unranked Duke Blue Devils basketball team beat the #1-ranked West Virginia Mountaineers with Jerry West and Mary Lou Retton's future father Ronnie, 72-68. Wow! The next Thanksgiving, on national TV, I saw the nationally-ranked Duke football team get crushed 50-0 by their pathetically weak arch-rival, the North Carolina Tar Heels. Win some, lose some, I guess. Also at Duke I briefly met Dave Sime, who at that time was the "world's fastest man."
- When I was younger, I played chess, Scrabble, acey-deucey, hearts, pinochle, and even Canasta. I was very good at Scrabble, and OK at the rest of them. In the early 1990s, my friend Laura Hopper and I were co-winners of one of Games Magazine's most difficult contests ever; we deserved it. Today, I play very few games. I do consistently win 60-65% of my medium difficulty tries at spider solitaire, though (my best run is 40 wins out of 50 games, or 80%). I also play the lottery, especially when the prizes are large. Some might see me as a high roller, since I've often bought $3,000 worth of Powerball and Mega Millions tickets at one fell swoop. (Actually, it's for a 100+ player lottery pool that I operate. We win money at every drawing, but we haven't won the big one yet.)
- Starting in 2012 or so, a close friend and I work many of The New York Times crossword puzzles. We collaborate via video Skype, and as a team we are pretty good. It is not unusual for us to finish the Sunday puzzle without any mistakes and without looking up any answers. We almost always finish the Wednesday through Saturday puzzles without mistakes, about half the time with the aid of a small number of Wikipedia or Google look-ups. Mondays and Tuesdays are pieces of cake. My history with crossword puzzles began when I was a kid and watched my maternal grandmother doing them. I remember them being so hard that I had to do the "skeleton puzzles," where the words are given and must be fit into a framework.
Music/ Arts / Entertainment
- Though my father, mother, aunts, father-in-law, and son-in-law are or were professional musicians (tenor, cellist, virtuoso violinists and pianists, clarinetist/trumpeter and drummer, respectively), I don't make any music myself. (When the other kids in the neighborhood were taking swimming lessons, my parents signed me up for piano lessons. It pissed me off, and I rebelled; due to the break in my education, I never learned to swim until I needed it for the Navy.) If I had ever learned to make music, I think I could have been a good songwriter. Download this 205KB PDF file and see if you agree.
- When I was a little kid in the early 1940s, I owned a 78 rpm record player with an electric motor and mechanical sound reproduction. They don't make 'em like that any more. Records were scarce in those days, and I think I owned two of them, or maybe only one. One was Schubert's Marche Militaire; I recall the melody even today. The other, or maybe the other side, I remember as being called Marche Lorraine, though the music doesn't sound familiar when I listen to it today. Later on, I owned Peter Lind Hayes's Genie the Magic Record; it was released in 1946, so I must have had it in first or second grade. When I heard the record again in 2010, I remembered most of the words from the singing introduction. When I listen to the scratchy version in the link above, I recall every single thing that's on that side of the record.
- In high school (class of 1957), I was an early and enthusiastic fan of the music now called rock and roll. It was then just starting to be played on AM radio stations, and I was an early fan of famous disk jockey Porky Chedwick. I sat in or near the front row at live performances by acts such as Bill Haley and the Comets, Red Prysock, Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers, The Platters, and Bo Diddley. Most of these shows were at the Syria Mosque.
- My grad school years in Chicago were the golden years of the Playboy Club, at which I saw entertainers Hines, Hines, and Dad, Gloria Loring, and Flip Wilson. I also saw Dave Brubeck, I believe at another venue. Somewhere in that part of my life I also saw Victor Borge in concert, and I vaguely recall seeing George Shearing.
- In later years I lost my enthusiasm for live music, but I've attended concerts by Gordon Lightfoot, Judy Collins, and Rusted Root, both on their own and as part of the H.O.R.D.E tour. I've seen one opera, a Pittsburgh Opera production of Madama Butterfly, where I learned that I don't appreciate opera very much. Today, I like classical music for its beauty and relaxing qualities, oldies because I heard them when they were new, and country music for its artistry and its honesty in depicting real life. I can easily get goose bumps over Lorrie Morgan's Something in Red, which isn't just about shopping. (If you follow the link, scroll down to read the lyrics. Be sure to allow the popup so you can hear the music, too.)
- I like plays, but I don't get to see them very often. My biggest on-stage experience was playing Ebenezer Scrooge when I was in ninth grade. I mustn't have been very good, because I only got bit parts in the much more important 11th and 12th grade plays. In 1961, when my ship was being overhauled in a shipyard, my new wife and I lived in a cold water flat in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn. We went to see some Broadway plays, including Fiorello!, with Tom Bosley and Howard da Silva; Irma La Douce, with Elizabeth Seal; and Purlie Victorious, with Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee. Off Broadway, we saw George Bernard Shaw's Misalliance and Gilbert and Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore and Pirates of Penzance. It was pretty good stuff for a very young man. Over 40 years later, we saw a touring show of Fiorello!. It seemed like we had first seen it only last year.
- My favorite movies include The Blues Brothers and Men in Black, or any of their sequels. A recent addition to my all-time favorites is RED. In case you think I only like films with colors in the titles, I also like The Sand Pebbles, the original of which I read in serial form in the Saturday Evening Post. The first movie I ever saw was Dumbo, and I remember seeing Fantasia as a very little kid. Today, I rarely see a film, but I sometimes watch Turner Classic Movies on TV. Except for an addiction to Law & Order, neither my wife nor I watch dramatic programming on television. (We have never seen a minute of CSI, for example, and we probably never will.)
- I've been to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and the Uffizi in Florence. I've twice seen the artistic wonders of Rome, and I've twice thrown coins into the Trevi Fountain. In my mind I carry unforgettable images of Rembrandt's Night Watch, Michaelangelo's David and Sistine Chapel ceiling, and Bernini's St. Peter's baldachin. Great art does that to you.
- Not counting myself, my favorite poets are, in chronological order, Archilochus of Paros, Rumi, Robert Herrick, William Blake, Edgar Allan Poe, Rudyard Kipling, and Countee Cullen. If it doesn't rhyme, I probably don't like it very much.
- Like The Daily Show and Rush Limbaugh, I know how to mix humor with truth, and I can pack lots of both into one paragraph. All facts but one in this and the prior paragraphs are absolutely, and usually verifiably, true. (The humor's in there, too, but it's also in the eye of the beholder. Some of it is also in the links.)
- The first car I remember riding in was my father's 1941 Chevrolet. The first one I owned was a 1953 Chevrolet. Since then, I've owned a lot of them, notably a white Firebird convertible, two other Firebirds, and a Grand Prix that a female British radiologist called "the most beautiful motorcar I've ever seen." Most of the others have been GM or foreign. I buy them new or used, and I sell them when they no longer pass State Inspection. You save a lot of money that way. Sometimes I have to get rid of them earlier: two Buicks were "totaled" by the insurance company after minor accidents, another one suffered a cracked engine block when I had too much water and too little antifreeze in it, and my beloved 1984 Volvo 760, like so many others of its kind, broke a timing chain and was rendered beyond economical repair. In 2013, my twelve-year-old red Mazda Protegé 5 Zoom-Zoom succumbed to extensive rust, and I traded it in on a new 2012 Mazda3.
- I've ridden in or on more than my share of cars, trucks, ships, boats, airplanes, etc., including some slightly unusual ones: hot air balloon, sailplane, Piper Cub, seaplane, flying boat*, military and civilian helicopters, ship-to-ship highline, motorcycle*, 30' motor home*, 8' sailboat*, 47' sailboat, London taxi, passenger train, cable car, ski lift, aerial tramway, funicular railway, lots of Navy ships including destroyers*, LSTs, an aircraft carrier, an oiler, and an attack cargo ship*, various landing craft and amphibious vehicles, and even, once, a burro* (an asterisk means I drove it).
- For a guy who's never been employed as an IT professional, I know a lot about computers and computing. I used a slide rule in college, and one of the Ph.D. students there worked in a room that contained some sort of electronic computer. I don't think I ever went inside it. After college, I served on Navy ships that used mechanical analog computers for fire control. My first exposure to digital computers was as an MBA student in 1965, when I wrote programs in FORTRAN. We wrote our programs on paper, then used a keypunch machine to put them onto punched cards. We'd put the cards into a mail tray, and a few days later a printout of our programs and their output would be returned to us. In 1967, I managed a small punched card accounting department. I was good at running the department and specifying new reports, but I never learned to wire the boards. In 1971 I began working in computer sales. I sold many systems, from standalone minicomputer systems to specialized timesharing applications running on mainframes. I always liked what these systems did, but as a sales rep, I never really got into programming them.
- I bought my first computer, a Commodore PET, in 1979. Since then, I've spent over 20,000 hours at various computer keyboards. I've owned at least twenty different computers, and my laser printer is bigger and faster than yours. So, probably, are my three 13x19 inch inkjets. I am (or at least have been) an exceptionally creative amateur programmer, mostly in various forms of BASIC. In the 1980s, I was a prolific and well-known writer for the computer magazines of the day, mostly covering Commodore computers. My Magic column was the most popular feature of RUN magazine, which in 1985 was the second fastest-growing U.S. magazine of any kind. My pioneering Computer Kindergarten course was popular in the early 1980s, and since then I've taught many computer courses at the college level, mostly emphasizing application software and computer literacy. Today I'm mostly just a user, but I sometimes dabble in macros, VBA, and similar areas. In late 2010 I acquired an iPad, which I've come to regard as a modern-day miracle. The Apple store training staff is something a little bit less than that, having pronounced it as "awesome" when I learned how to cut, copy, and paste on the iPad. Sheesh!
Travels & geography
- I know a lot of geography, and I've been to 41 states and 18 foreign countries/U.S. possessions. I can name the capitals of all the 50 states, and I've known 48 of them since I was two or three years old. (My mother says I was only two, but I find that hard to believe. Sorry, Mom.) I've lived in Florida, Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and aboard at least six ships, including destroyers, a cruiser and an aircraft carrier. (The ships were USS Canberra, USS York County, USS Conway, USS Rankin, USS Waller, and USS Franklin D. Roosevelt.)
- I have sailed and/or swum in the Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Mediterranean Sea, and I've sunned myself on the French Riviera. In 2011, I went white water rafting on the Payette River. I've spent a lot of time at sea in the Bermuda Triangle, and I've visited over 30 of one author's 501 Must-Visit Destinations. I've been to a bullfight in Spain; it differs a LOT from the fantasy role playing games so familiar to many Wikipedians. I've experienced an earthquake strong enough to knock things off shelves in my house, and a hurricane once blew over two big trees in my yard. I haven't yet been to India, but I'm fond of all things Indian.
- I've seen five planets and the Galilean moons of Jupiter through my own telescope, and fallopian tubes through a surgeon's laparoscope. I've seen the curvature of the earth, both directly at sea and projected in many eclipses. I've stood at the brink of Niagara Falls and the Arizona Meteor Crater, and I've been inside a very large underground cave. I've seen the Rocky Mountains, having gone under some of them in the Eisenhower Tunnel and over the same ones at Loveland Pass. Recently I've visited Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial. None of this compares to the times I've seen the heavens on a warm, clear night, from the flying bridge of a large and totally darkened ship, hundreds of miles from land, with no light except for that from the stars. It takes your breath away.
- When I was in college, some friends and I hitchhiked to some hick town to watch a KKK rally that had gotten some notorious publicity. The Klan was upset about something that the Lumbees were doing. The rally never materialized, but we did see a car full of people wearing white hoods. Otherwise, the place was crawling with cops. All in all, it was an excellent adventure.
Law & politics
- I've been both plaintiff and defendant in lawsuits for meaningful amounts of money, and I've been a key witness for a plaintiff in Federal District Court (my guy won). The IRS once confiscated my car, and kept it for over a year. In the end, I beat them. I've run for public office, and I've attended a session of a state supreme court. I've had regionally powerful political enemies. As a community organizer, I have affected the outcome of local elections. I know a lot about voting machines and voter fraud. (Republicans are newcomers, and amateurs; the other guys are, or at least they were in their heyday, highly trained professionals.) I have collected money on a real estate title insurance policy, and there's land I can acquire by adverse possession (but the legal fees would be more than the land is worth).
- Some of my friends and students are criminals or victims of crime: my friend and coauthor Joseph R. Charnetski spent ten years in prison for killing his wife with a hammer; my student Angelique Enty was shot dead by a no-good boyfriend, who then committed suicide; another student's son was shot to death by one of his gangsta associates. Others of my friends and former students work in law enforcement, some of them in sophisticated cybercrime units. They can and do find people who vandalize pages on the Internet. Be careful.
- I've met and talked with some notable people, including Bill Gates, Steve Case, George Shultz, and Nobel laureates Herbert Simon and Godfrey Hounsfield. (Of all those big-time guys, only Steve Case might remember me.) I never met Timothy McVeigh, but I edited his writing and got it published for him. It was his very first national exposure. I hope I wasn't responsible for lighting his passion for fame, but if I was, so be it. (I'm pretty sure he had big-time help with the bombing, and I'm absolutely sure he'd remember me, if he were still among the living.)
- I've had passing encounters, but no conversation, with O. J. Simpson, Arlen Specter, and Redd Foxx in hotel lobbies, and with Henry Cabot Lodge, John Heinz and Dick Groat on planes or at airport gates. Martha Stewart stopped by my table at a restaurant, and I've had lunch, one-on-one, with Heloise. Until I told her, she had no idea she had an entry in the World Almanac.
- I went to my twenty-fifth high school class reunion, and now I've gone to my fiftieth, fifty-fifth, and fifty-seventh (Class of 1957). Go Indians! Classmates remembered me as very smart and very funny, especially the latter. I told 'em if they wanted to know what I'd done since high school, they could see a lot of it right here. You should go to your own reunions—you'll find treasures there that you don't even know you have. You can even fall in love there. Believe it.
- In 2011 I went to my fiftieth college reunion at Duke University. The place has changed a LOT. I saw one of my freshman roommates and probably my best friend at Duke. I hadn't seen them for fifty and twenty-five years, respectively; all of us remembered each other fondly. The highlight of the event was lunch on Saturday, where Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, addressed the class. During his remarks, this extremely successful man gave us advice on how we could duplicate his success in life. The best of it, repeated four or five times during his presentation, was "Don't talk while the guest speaker is speaking."
- My first real job in industry (1965) was with Motorola, where one of the big guys in engineering was Marty Cooper, who later invented the cell phone. I was a minor person in the marketing department, but I carried a pager and used a Xerox 914 copy machine. Motorola was a pretty progressive company.
- I've worked in the marketing and product management end of some reasonably exciting areas of medicine, most of them in their early days of commercialization: hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, heart-lung machines for open heart surgery, artificial heart valves, organ preservation systems, laboratory information systems, computerized radiation therapy planning, computerized nuclear medicine, computerized interpretation of electrocardiograms, cardiac catheterization, cardiac electrophysiology, CAT scanning, xeroradiography, mammography, medical ultrasound, electromyography, patient monitoring systems, and TENS, to mention the most prominent ones. In all cases, my knowledge is that of a marketing person, rather than that of a scientist or clinical practitioner. I've worked with many of those folks, though, particularly in radiology, radiation physics, cardiology, cardiac surgery, and pathology. My acquaintances in those areas included Robert Cade and Dana Shires, the inventors of Gatorade, and heart surgery pioneers Denton Cooley and Michael E. DeBakey. I'm sure that all of them forgot me very quickly. I did spend an interesting weekend with Robert Peter Gale and a roomful of eminent physicians, helping them use the Analytic Hierarchy Process to evaluate various treatments for multiple myeloma. I definitely participated in the work, but my role was one step above that of a gofer. When I was a product manager at the Artificial Organs division of Baxter Healthcare, I wrote label copy for medical devices. It was quite a challenge to get it approved by the FDA.
- My personal medical experiences include surgery for an inguinal hernia and hydrocele when I was seven years old, repair of a double hernia when I was in my fifties, and repair of a very large rotator cuff tear in 2003. The hernia surgeries weren't painful or disruptive, but the rotator cuff was a different matter. There's a lot of pain with that surgery, and recovery involves six weeks of immobilization of the shoulder, followed by lengthy physical therapy, also painful in the early days. If you don't do the physical therapy, your shoulder might not recover fully or at all. I did mine religiously, and my recovery was 100%. If you ever have rotator cuff surgery, please follow through with the therapy (a lot of people let it slide). I'm also subject to seasonal affective disorder. It hit me pretty hard in the mid-1990s, but these days it's mostly a nuisance that makes life less satisfying in the winter. In the winter of 2013-2014, I regularly used this light for an hour a day, about a foot from my face, and it completely banished my symptoms. Diagnostically, I've been probed by xray, MRI, medical ultrasound, and EMG.
- My career in the medical world allowed me to attend the annual meetings of many medically-related professional societies. Among them were the American Association for Thoracic Surgery, the American Society for Artificial Internal Organs, the National Kidney Foundation, and The International College of Surgeons. Others included the Radiological Society of North America, the American Association of Physicists in Medicine, the American Roentgen Ray Society, the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP), the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology, and the Society of Nuclear Medicine.
- I had other interesting experiences, too. One time I was working on a large sale to a hospital in Ohio. They had committed to buy my product, so I took my sales manager with me for the final contract signing for the biggest sale in my life. When we got there, the customer told us he had changed his mind and was going with a competitor. Heartbreak hotel, and what an embarrassment! One week later, their town was leveled by a tornado. Once again, don't (expletive deleted) with me. ;-)
- When I worked for Digital Equipment Corporation in the early 1970s, I sold 8KB of 8-bit computer memory for $10,000. At those prices today, a 4GB flash drive would cost $5.2 billion. Do the math.
- I was at Digital when I sold the previously mentioned laboratory information systems. Today, such things are in just about every lab in the industrialized world, but back then, they were new and mysterious articles. At one time, I had sold more of them than any other person in the world: two.
What I ignore
NOTE TO READERS: Please don't take this material personally or in a negative way—it is intended to be helpful.
Life has taught me to suffer fools, but not to suffer them gladly or for a protracted period of time. It has also taught me about their relatives the assholes and the pissants. Wikipedia has taught me about their other relatives, the dicks and the trolls.
I take note when Wikipedia material strikes me as similar to what one of the five might produce, even if it comes from skilled and intelligent editors who don't fit any of those categories. First, I give it the benefit of the doubt. Then I give it a second chance, and usually a third. After that, I just ignore it. And in spite of constant temptations, I try hard not to give voice lessons. (They just grunt and snout their keyboards.)
Wiki-life has taught me that editors whose words I end up ignoring have one or a number of characteristic behaviors:
- They have the attitude that because THEY think it, or believe it, or feel strongly about it, it must be right, regardless of the absence of any justification, and frequently in the presence of contrary evidence.
- They ignore or dismiss what YOU think or say, but frequently want to engage you in discussions about what THEY think or say.
- They direct you to (often unspecified, e.g., "above") past eye-glazing discussions on talk pages, which discussions often feature their own comments, arguments, personal views, etc.
- They use the words "clearly" and "obviously" a lot, especially about things that aren't clear or obvious.
- They repeat their arguments, often with an indication that another editor doesn't understand them. "You obviously miss the point of what I said. Here, I will say it again for you." And again, and again, and again.
- They suggest that other editors review some sort of Wikipedia policy or guideline. "I suggest you read WP:RS," for example.
- When they assert "NPOV!," or "Undue Weight!", they can't or won't explain the grounds on which they are asserting it. Ditto when they assert "Pseudoscience!" or "Fringe!".
- They conjure up reasons why reliable sources that they disagree with are really not reliable.
- Their User Pages are empty, sketchy, or hard to believe, and they sometimes claim academic credentials that their edits don't reflect—they write and think at the level of much less-educated people, and they aren't as smooth as Essjay.
"The way of a fool is right in his own eyes." – Proverbs 12:15
Article counts, page counts, edit counts, etc.
I made my first edit on July 7, 2003, and my 10,000th on February 4, 2014, which was ten years, six months, and 28 days later. I got to 12,000 on March 18, 2014, after six weeks of frenetic article creation. Here are my contributions through February, 2014:
- I've created 347 new articles, almost all of them reasonably significant in the overall scheme of things (no garage bands, self-published books, etc.—you can see the list in the next section). That count, kept manually by me, does not include redirect pages, since they don't represent new content. It does include pages that replace redirect pages with substantive new material, since they are additions to the information in the encyclopedia. You can see a list of these articles in the section below. I might have missed one here or there, but I try pretty hard to get them all.
- I've created 340 of the 4,591,732 pages currently in the English Wikipedia, ranking 1,512th of all editors. Those figures, calculated by Wikipedia, include the creation of redirect pages, To see the current numbers for the top 5,000 editors, go HERE. To find mine, do a text search for Lou Sander. Next to the top-ranked editors I am nothing but a pissant.
- I've made 12,280 edits, ranking 5,274th of the 131,005 active Wikipedia editors, again according to calculations made by Wikipedia. To see the numbers for editors #5,001-10,000, go HERE. To find me on the list, do a text search for Lou Sander. To see the numbers for editors #1-5,000, go HERE. Next to these people, I am a miserable little nothing.
- You can click HERE to see a totally up-to-date count of my edits, with graphics showing details about when and where they occurred. Try mousing over the month-by-month bars – neat, eh? (N.B.: The counter is under construction, so you can't always access it. You can always try later.)
I like to work on articles that relate to my short career as a Naval officer, which was spent aboard USS Rankin and as a Beach Jumper. In 2006 that led to starting an article for every Navy ship built at North Carolina Shipbuilding Company, which built the Rankin. (Other people started one or two of them, but I did the rest.) Also during 2006 I created or significantly edited articles for all the Navy's attack cargo ships. This wasn't as hard as it might seem, since the basic facts are available at DANFS. But there was a lot of copy editing, heavy-duty Wikification, fact checking and research. Beginning in late 2013, I started a lot of articles on U.S. Navy aircraft squadrons, even though I've not had much involvement in Naval Aviation. DANAS, the Naval aviation version of DANFS, was extremely helpful. I've also started or modified other articles that interest me, or were red links somewhere, etc., and of course I expand, fix errors, etc. in articles that I encounter that need it.
- I've started 117 articles on U.S. Navy ships. Click HERE to see them.
- I've also started 119 articles on U.S. Navy aircraft squadrons. Click HERE to see them.
- I've started these additional articles relating to the Navy, ships, and shipbuilding:
- 5"/38 caliber gun
- Ammunition ship
- Andromeda class attack cargo ship
- Arcturus class attack cargo ship
- Artemis class attack cargo ship
- Battle Efficiency Award
- Beach Jumpers
- Combat loading
- Cruise book
- Davisville, Rhode Island
- Keel laying
- Marjorie Sterrett Battleship Fund Award
- Moore Dry Dock Company
- NAAS Chincoteague
- Naval Air Station Midway
- Naval Supply Depot, Oakland
- Navy Department Library
- North Carolina Shipbuilding Company
- Onslow Beach
- Tampa Shipbuilding Company
- Tolland class amphibious cargo ship
- Type C2 ship
- Type C3 ship
- United Engineering Co.
- United States Federal Maritime Board
- United States Navy Regulations
- Walsh-Kaiser Co., Inc.
- Click HERE to see the number of "hits" to any Wikipedia article
- I've started these articles on books from The Collected Works of C. G. Jung (or in two cases just significantly upgraded them):
- Psychiatric Studies
- Experimental Researches
- Psychogenesis of Mental Disease
- Freud & Psychoanalysis
- Symbols of Transformation
- Psychological Types (NOTE 1)
- Two Essays on Analytical Psychology
- Structure & Dynamics of the Psyche
- Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious
- Aion: Researches into the Phenomenology of the Self
- Civilization in Transition
- Psychology and Religion: West and East
- Psychology and Alchemy
- Alchemical Studies (NOTE 1)
- Mysterium Coniunctionis
- Spirit in Man, Art, and Literature
- Practice of Psychotherapy
- Development of Personality
- The Symbolic Life
- Synchronicity (book) (NOTE 2)
- NOTE 1 – I significantly upgraded this article, but did not start it.
- NOTE 2 – This book is not from The Collected Works, but is extracted from one that is.
- NOTE 1 – I significantly upgraded this article, but did not start it.
- I've started these additional articles. Some were created from redirect pages:
- Abigail Thernstrom
- Albert C. Sutphin
- Allegheny Regional Asset District
- American Association for Thoracic Surgery
- American Bus Association
- American Roentgen Ray Society
- Andres Institute of Art
- Atoy Wilson
- Average and over
- Bakewell Cream
- Bere (grain)
- Center for Individual Rights
- Crown Publishing Group
- Dagny Hultgreen
- Easter parade
- Electronics for Medicine
- Empty Saddles (song)
- Gerhard Adler
- Giant Raccoon's Flatulence theory (deleted, alas)
- Goldfish Club
- Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania
- I Ride an Old Paint
- I'd Like to be in Texas for the Roundup in the Spring
- Infinity walk
- International Society for Horticultural Science
- International Symposium on the Analytic Hierarchy Process
- James E. Schrager
- Jane Kirby
- Jeremy A. Rabkin
- John B. Sollenberger
- John H. Harris (entertainment)
- Lee Pockriss
- Libertarian Party of Connecticut
- Little Joe the Wrangler
- Maffin Bay (a bay in New Guinea)
- Municipal Authority
- National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives
- National Sheriffs' Association
- Orkney College
- Oro Bay (another bay in New Guinea)
- Pasco Bowman II
- Pennsylvania Library Association
- Peter A. Tyrrell
- Peter N. Kirsanow
- Pitkeathly Wells
- Police Executive Research Forum
- Protected group
- Quarter Century Wireless Association
- R.F.C. Hull
- Simpleton (folklore)
- Sodium aluminum phosphate
- Sparrows Point
- Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art
- The Colorado Trail (song)
- The International College of Surgeons
- The Strawberry Roan (song)
- Teluk Yos Sudarso (yet another bay in New Guinea)
- U.S. Soccer Foundation
- WQED Multimedia
- Water Tupelo
- When the Work's All Done This Fall
- Yerba Mate Association of the Americas
- Yos Sudarso
Other Articles of Interest
I've made extensive and/or important contributions to:
- Amphibious cargo ship
- Analytic hierarchy process (I VERY extensively rewrote it.)
- Proceso Analítico Jerárquico, a Spanish translation of the above article as rewritten by me. Others did the translation; I assisted with the images and uploading the article.
- Метод анализа иерархий, a Russian translation as above.
- عملية تحليلية هرمية, an Arabic translation as above.
- توماس ساعاتي, an Arabic translation of the English Thomas L. Saaty article, to which I had made substantial revisions.
- Ann Coulter (A pretty contentious article.)
- Baking powder
- Bannock (food)
- Caterpillar Club (A cool subject that needed work.)
- Datura and these related articles:
- Dictionary of American Naval Aviation Squadrons
- Ice Capades
- Minimum wage
- Scone (bread)
- The Collected Works of C.G. Jung (Very extensively rewritten.)
- The Wirral (My son and I were there once, and the locals couldn't explain what it was.)
- Thomas L. Saaty
- Turkish crescent
- As of 7/4/14
- I created the "P-word" article on December 6, 2006. "It takes one to know one."