Archive for the ‘Fun’ Category

(I want you to imagine, before you begin reading this post, that you are Steve Jobs – the creative genius behind Apple, Inc. And behind you, reading over your shoulder, are all the top Apple engineers and designers over the past few decades. And steam is coming out of their ears. OK, ready? Now read on…)

I just want to write this thank you note to The Universe for my iPhone 4. I LOVE THIS THING! What an exquisitely-designed communications and productivity tool! I love the interface, the incredible features, and the way that it just….works.

It amazes me greatly that The Universe has given me such a gift. How could an infinite array of impersonal nothingness know that an iPhone is just what I needed? It’s almost like you knew what I was like, Universe, and designed something special just for me. I know that sounds kinda crazy, since you don’t have a personality or brains or anything, but really – I owe you one.

When I think about all the code embedded in this device, I just marvel how it came about. All those millions of years of version 0.000001 iPhones, slowly emerging, calling one another, texting, learning how to build an app store from nothing, stumbling along sync’ing information in the swamps of long-ago eons, even devising an e-commerce model through natural selection. I wish I could go back in time and see how those early iTunes stores were free, and how that got selected out of the gene pool! You’re a genius, Universe. Well, OK, I didn’t really mean that. It just kinda seems that way sometimes. Because everyone knows that the iPhone simply evolved unplanned from the rotary phone, which was one random step of advancement above the Pony Express.

When I go to the iPhone museum, I see Radio Shack TRS-80s and Motorola Star-Tacs and old phonographs and daguerreotype photos and and I imagine all the transitional iPhone forms that came between them. I know we haven’t found any yet in the landfills, but we’ve got a few silicon chips and a couple of headphone jacks so I know that there were all kinds of iPhones that came before this one. I wish I could see them – imagine the iPhone that had the sextant in it before it evolved a GPS! I’m sure our digital archeologists will dig it up eventually, or at least Photoshop a facsimile.

Some late-coming usurper named Steve Jobs (along with his minions) is claiming to be the intelligence behind the iPhone, but the ultimate intelligence is the ability to come up with intelligence without having any intelligence. Why should we give an credit to a brilliant designer, when a combo of time + chance + the big U, explain it all so simply? I want to give credit where credit is due. You really nailed it, Universe. And the iPad and the MacBook Air ain’t so bad, either!

In conclusion, Mr (or Ms) U (why do I keep anthropomorphizing – sheesh!), I’d like to upload a carefully-edited creative video of thanks, but I don’t really know where to send it. I could send it to that Jobs fellow, but that might feed his delusion – imagine, someone claiming intelligent design for the iPhone 4! The next thing you know, they’ll be talking about DNA that way too!

Sincerely, A Progressive Admirer


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The legal world was rocked today by the announcement, in Copenhagen during the climate summit, that Al Gore is being sued by Chicken Little and The Boy who Cried Wolf for patent infringement.

“If he doesn’t stop infringing on our fear-mongering patents, there will be a legal apocalypse!” threatened Little, co-holder with Wolf-boy of the Method to Disturb the Public by Stirring Massive Angst based on Thin or No Evidence patent (U.S. Patent #45987). “We graciously ignored his imitation of our methods when his imaginative fiction, ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ was published, but now it’s gone too far. He’s displacing us as the key figures in the Cataclysm Cabal, and we’re not going to stand for it!”

“We know when the world is going to end, and Al is off-message. Therefore, he needs to be excluded. Besides, no-one among the peer-reviewed apocalyptic fairy tale club has ever published him,” added the Chicken. “So he’s a trespasser.”

“Besides, we don’t like inconvenient truths. We’re into mythology, not facts! Hoaxes-R-Us!”

“Not only is Mr. Gore guilty of imitating Chicken Little’s message about falling skies, he also is ripping off my method, by crying ‘Warmth!’ every 10 minutes until no-one wants to listen to him anymore,” added Wolf-boy. “Listen, we had this panic-inducement thing down long before he ever invented the Internet, and he’s not going to take over our position as frightener of small children so easily. Lawsuit! Lawsuit!” he cried.

Asked for evidence that Mr. Gore is actually attempting to usurp their roles as premier fear-mongers, and violate their patented methods, Wolf-boy replied, “Evidence? I’m sure we have that around here somewhere. Little, what did you do with all the raw data? Gone, you say? Well, never mind – you’ll just have to trust us while we massage some graphs and charts. We know what we’re talking about, you know – we’ve got this stuff down cold! Er, warm. Whatever.”

“Hey, look up there – isn’t that the sky falling??”


Connect with Steve Woodruff

Twitter: @swoodruff

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Shattering Glass

I wish I had a picture of all the faces – especially Sandy’s.

We were having a nice, calm dinner last evening on the deck – all of us together, which is rare now that the oldest two are over 18 and working lots of hours. A beautiful, sun-filled day was winding down and the usual playful banter at the table was in full swing.

Someone noticed that my iced tea glass had a substantial crack in it. Not leaking, but clearly, this would be its final tour of duty. This particular glass carried no sentimental freight – it was merely functional.

Suddenly, in a gesture that very few of the female gender will understand (but all guys will!), I decided to heave the offending glassware to its doom, sending it sailing over the table, off the deck, and into a block wall, where it met its demise with a satisfying cascade of auditory tinkling.

Recovering from their momentary shock that steady ol’ Dad would do such a thing, the boys were quite delighted with this resolution to the problem. What I would give for a video or even a still picture of my wife Sandy’s reaction, however.

It was worth the 10 minutes of picking up shards, chuckling at the memory of dinner’s shattering denouement. You see, guys just have to occasionally smash things. We need to blow stuff up. We get into watching “Destroyed in Seconds.” It’s part of our psyche, and if you shake your head in wonderment why even an older guy sometimes needs to delightedly obliterate some wine bottles with a shotgun, or floor the accelerator up a highway entrance ramp – hey, it’s a guy thing. Now where’s that log-splitter…


(Image credit)

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Joie de Vivre


Mystic discovers the joys of a cool stream on a hot day.

And so do we!

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Five Behind the Curtain

Over on my StickyFigure blog, I’ve been maintaining a series called Five in the Morning…wherein, each weekday (well, almost), I try to share 5 interesting posts from around the blogosphere.

But recently, I was “tagged” by Ann Handley (a favorite fellow blogger) to share 5 things about myself that you probably don’t know. There’s a lot more than 5 things that you don’t know or don’t want to know, but here are a few tidbits just so Ann won’t be able to nag or call me uncooperative!

1. I was going to be an astronomer. Or so I thought, until I took physics and calculus my freshman year in college. There ended my budding career intentions in high science (but I did once own a telescope in high school, and I hope to again, if we ever move to a non-light-polluted part of the country!)

2. My wife and I have a secret romantic little beach spot where you can actually see the sun set…over the Atlantic! Anyone know where it is??

3. One of my distant relatives appears on old editions of the U.S. $2 dollar bill.

4. I once ran my dorm janitor (write-in candidate) for Vanderbilt’s student body president. He got 36 votes. I don’t think he ever knew he was in contention.

5. Turns out I did one of these “5 things” memes a couple years back. So here’s a few more obscurities from behind the curtain!

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A massive investigation in the Baltimore office of ACORN was kicked off when it was found that one of its thousands of registration cards actually showed “Republican” written in.

“We don’t know how it could have happened!” cringed Sally Green, Regional Head of Fraudulent Registrations. “Our cards give people the choice of registering as Democrats or Other (Democrat), so how this one Republican slipped in is beyond me. I can only apologize to all the other ACORN offices who now must be subjected to this search-and-seizure to find any other errant registrations.”

Names of the entire Baltimore Ravens football team were found several times each, as well as every Civil War soldier from Maryland who ever fought in that great conflict, “but that is hardly a problem, since all of those folks are clearly Democrats from our POV. And we are hoping to get all the Toddlers from the Bay-Bee Preschool over for voting day also, since they all raised their hands when we asked if they’d like to have a mid-day Barack. But we know that the card listing Republican can’t be right. We’ve never seen one of those around here.”

Asked if fictional characters, such as Mickey Mouse, would be allowed to register in Baltimore, Ms. Green allowed as that wouldn’t be a problem, “as long as they…you know…line up on the right, er, left side of things. We’re all about fiction.”

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“Deer Mr. Woodruff…”

On behalf of the Boonton/Boonton Township herd of wandering whitetails (the “Rampaging Ruminants”), I’d like to personally thank you for your donation of land and foodstuffs during this past season.

After a winter of the typical boring forest fare, my companions and I found your yard and its carefully cultivated hors d’oeuvres to be particularly engaging. A night-time stroll through your delightful property revealed such delicacies as tender shoot of tiger lily, sweet dogwood greens, fresh cucumber stem…not to mention an array of perennial flower buds too numerous to list on this brief note of thanks.

Your kindness to me and my companions has not gone unnoticed. In fact, we left deposits of our thanks in a multitude of places throughout the yard, where you’d be sure to notice. Hopefully, these symbols of gratitude warmed your heart, and have made you even more determined to set a bounteous abundance before us for the upcoming 2009 foraging season.

I studiously instructed my young ones not to forget that your property is THE place to come for midnight snacks, and they have assured me that the word has been spread to all their four-legged friends. How grateful we are for homeowners like you, who look out for our interests every season, and who are stringently outlawed (may I simply remind you) by local ordinance from using those dangerous “firesticks” of yours to turn us from strolling minstrels of appetite into appetizing venison steaks.

In closing, as we now turn our white tails toward more distant fields for the cooler season, having assisted you with keeping your many plants “under control” for yet another year, may I give you one more tangible expression of my thanks by leaving a final love offering in a pile right next to the gazebo there. For all that you’ve given me, it’s the least I can do to give something back.


Bambino Buckshot
Chief Eating Officer

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