This Edition:A Tree’s Resolutions
Also: A Simple Resolution For Us All
Plus: Supermedialturbationomacism
(A New Word For A New Year)
Plus: Tribute To Steve Jobs
(With Timeless Quote From Henry David Thoreau) 

And:2012 WoodChips Calendars – FREE! 

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Reader Comments

Great Comments on our blast of the Media in Our Post Can You Say Wan Paw?

   I think all those ‘news’-casters were just confused and were waiting
for his last name-like Ron Paul Jones or something! But it certainly
isn’t in character for the media to ignore a warm, moving target.
they got exhausted by the dogpile they did on Herman Cain, so they’ll
get around to Ron Paul when they regain their strength a little.
   For what it’s worth, he will get my vote if he gets nominated (or if he decides to run as an independent). – Marty C.
   My response-Whether you like him or not, the Media coverage of our politics has been comical – J. Daniel

A Simple Resolution For Us All


With the New Year approaching, many of us are figuring out resolutions, and maybe some are stumped.

I have a simple one for you that I heard from an old friend long ago.  It has stuck with me all these years.

His name is Wayne and I worked with him for some time.  I grew to
appreciate the fact that Wayne had more common, practical sense than
just about anyone I knew.  This is a big compliment because I consider
common sense to be one of the most valuable skills in life, and we could
sure use a lot more of it (particularly in Washington, D. C.).

So what Wayne told me was that he tried to learn one new thing a day -
so that at the end of the year he knew 365 new things.  Now how simple,
achievable, and practical is that?  And it must be a great goal because
he went on to achieve significant professional success (and I’m sure
was learning many new things a day, actually).

In today’s Internet age, there’s a zillion ways to do this, but just
in case you need a kick start, here are two sites to begin with.  Every
day, go to www.wikipedia.com and / or www.dictionary.com and look something up.

So what should you look up?  Well, anything from whimsical to news
related.  Here are three off the top of my head I just looked up on
Wikipedia while writing this post.

Look up something whimsical – Ice Cream. Who isn’t
interested in ice cream?  Seriously, I’m pretty open-minded, but don’t
think I want to know anyone not interested in ice cream (kidding – in
case you are lactose intolerant).

Did you know the Persians probably created the first version of ice
cream before 400 BC by pouring fruit juice over snow in a bowl?  And it
looks like the Arabs were the first to use milk as a major ingredient in
its production, sweeten the ice cream with sugar, and produce it
commercially.  Ice cream was widespread by the 10th century among many
of the Arab’s major cities, such as Baghdad, Damascus and Cairo.

I can see it now, a chain of Baghdad-Robbins 31 flavors ice cream tents in the crowded bazaars.

By the way, do you know when you pig out on ice cream (I call it ice
cram) and get that brain freeze headache in your forehead that the pain
really isn’t in your forehead?  The top of your mouth, which got really
cold and is having problems, sends signals back to your brain via the
trigeminal nerve, which also serves the facial area.  So the brain
interprets the pain as coming from your forehead.  This is known as
“referred pain” (something also seen during heart attacks).

So back to the ice cream, and seriously, folks, regardless of the
turmoil in parts of the Arab world today, you have to give them credit
for creating ice cream.  Clearly they had it going on back then.

Look up something news related – Rare Earths.  I
just read in the news that China is going to restrict export of rare
earths.  So I checked it out.  Rare earths (elements) are a collection
of seventeen elements in the periodic table that have special qualities, are scarce minerals and most people
probably haven’t heard about them.  Contrast that to some of the
elements you are familiar with — like gold, silver, iron, oxygen, etc.

Interestingly, it turns out that they aren’t that rare, they are just
more dispersed in the earth (which makes them hard to get).

As a photographer, it interests me that the rare earth
element lanthanum is used to make highly reflective glass for camera
lenses.  Didn’t know that.  Now I do.  Also, I find it interesting they
all end in um, although this may not be all that useful (chuckle).

And my favorite is scandium.  Probably rare except in two places -
Washington D.C. and Hollywood.  I’m constantly reading about scandiums
in those places (I might have made that last part up).

Look up something spiritual – Chocolate.  Bet you didn’t think I was going there, did you?  But clearly, chocolate IS a spiritual experience, don’t you agree.

So let’s pay proper homage to our past “Americas” cousins, the
Aztecs, for creating chocolate!  Good to know.  Here’s another new
chocolate fact.   One theory, among many, about the origins of the word
chocolate is that it came from their word “xocolātl” (/ʃo.ko.laːtɬ/)
made up from the words “xococ” meaning sour or bitter, and “ātl” meaning water or drink.

Personally, I have problems with words beginning in X, so whatever
caused the corruption of the word to the more pronounceable chocolate
was a major advance in civilization akin to the discovery of fire, the
invention of the steam engine, ATM’s and Facebook (I might have left a
few out but just go with me on this).

So there you have it – three new things just like that.

Now, in the true spirit of common sense, I have a very practical New
Year’s resolution suggestion for you here.  And it is to forget
everything you just read in this post.  Then, on January 1, come back to
the WoodChips site and read this post over again.  That way, you will
have learned THREE new things on the first day of the year, and started
the New Year two days ahead of schedule!

So how good is that?!?!

Carpe datum - J. Daniel

Do You Suffer From Supermedialturbationomacism

There were lots of great reader comments this week. 

I was greatly amused by Sean’s
comment when he said, “JD, DJ, John, Dan, Whoever you are today and
regardless of what you are obviously running from, I think this is a
great site. 

Sean is clearly on to my name game.

Which leads to our big word of the week - supermedialturbationomacism (pronounced super-medial-turbatio-nomacism)
which roughly translated means big (super) middle (medial) confusion
(turbatio) with your name (nomacism) — or big confusion over your middle

I mention this in my About page on
the web site - that my first name is John, but I go by my middle name
Dan.  This can be a big problem because all the forms I fill out ask
for my first name, and many don’t ask for my middle name – so I either
put my middle name in the first name (which is wrong) or remain nameless
(which is wrong).  Outside of that, it’s pretty much a win-win

This is particularly worrisome
on government forms today because if I fill their form out incorrectly
they will suspect I’m a terrorist and then, when they interview me and
hear I’m a grown man who draws cartoons about trees — well, it’s game
over folks (chuckle).

So I’m always using different
combination and singular names, trying to accommodate this
situation (also highly suspect) like J. Daniel, JD, DJ, Dan, John …
anyhow, you get the picture.

I thought I was the only one
suffering from supermedialturbationomacism, but talking to a business
associate named Tracy the other day, she told me she had a related
problem — that for the longest time as a child she thought her name was
Hey You!

I felt a little better after that.

One final point — if you’re thinking about looking up supermedialturbationomacism in the dictionary … ummm … don’t do that … because sometimes I just make stuff up.

But it is a cool word, isn’t it :-)

That little fact aside (rather
quickly), if you suffer from supermedialturbationomacism, I’d love to
hear about it.  You can write your comments here by clicking on this web
post title and entering them in the comments box that appears below. 
And no need to agonize for a long time on how you sign it — I understand.

So whoever you are, have a great day – J. Daniel, or Dan, or John or whatever …


P.S. Now here’s the fun part.
It is VERY POSSIBLE that the Google Robots will pick up on this new
word and catalog it.  I wouldn’t be surprised if we can’t key it into
Google in a few days or week and it pops up – with a link to the
WoodChips.  Fun, isn’t it.  We’ve just put a new search term in Google,
and created a new word.  I’ll keep you posted, and in a few days you can
also google supermedialturbationomacism and see what happens ;-) .

Amazing Result – Google And Our New Word

So did Google pick up on our new word Supermedialturbationomacism?  Click here for amazing results!  Supermedialturbationomacism Update.
And have a great day – J. Daniel (Dan, John, DJ, JR, whatever)
Tribute To Steve Jobs
(WoodChips are grateful to him for helping create the electronic forest they live in)

Our cartoon is based on a quote from Steve Jobs, in an interview published in Odyssey: Pepsi to Apple, 1987.

I was reading many quotes by Steve the week of his passing.  Having spent most of
my adult life in software design and development, I was struck by his
constant insistence on staying true to his design principles and
striving for quality.

So Steve inspired me yet again this week, as I have had similar
feelings most of my life.  He reminded me that my experiences striving
for quality design (none of which come close to his) have ALWAYS yielded
unintended benefits down the road, many I couldn’t even imagine at the

And I was reminded of another inspirational man who spoke of quality
and truth — he is Henry David Thoreau, the American philosopher who
wrote the book Walden.  I have read it for
decades, and have kept a copy of it by my bedside all these years.  It
is book worn, dog-eared, and underlined with page corners turned down

And there is a passage, a long paragraph, I thought of when I heard of Steve’s passing.

I have read and reread it many times.  It speaks to the timelessness of quality and staying true to ourselves.

In honor of Steve Jobs, and our resolve to follow this path, here it is.
And Happy New Year … J. Daniel

There was an artist in the city of Kouroo who was disposed to strive
after perfection. One day it came into his mind to make a staff. Having
considered that in an imperfect work time is an ingredient, but into a
perfect work time does not enter, he said to himself, It shall be
perfect in all respects, though I should do nothing else in my life. He
proceeded instantly to the forest for wood, being resolved that … Click For More Steve Jobs

2012 WoodChips Calendars
Just click on the calendar to get … uh … well … the free calendar – also, more choices available ;-)
What can be better than Cool and Free?  So hey, get your FREE 2012 WoodChips calendars here … they have all the cool holidays like Belly Laugh Day, Talk Like A Pirate Day – even National WoodChips Day … and yeah, yeah, we have all the normal, boring holidays as well — big deal …
Also, there are other calendars to choose from … and we’ll be adding
more in the next few weeks, so you might want to check back from time to
So just click here to get your Free WoodChips Calendars, and of course, you will get signed up for the free WoodChips
newsletter as well …
No worries if you already get the newsletter (as in the one you’re reading now).  Signing up multiple times to get more calendars for you and your friends won’t flood your email – you’ll still just get one newsletter when they come out.
So get your fun WoodChips calendars now, and have a nice day – J. Daniel
P.S. Please forward this newsletter to your friends so they can get their free WoodChips calendarsand the free WoodChips Newsletter as well.  The WoodChips just LOVE ATTENTION (go figure) and you’d be doing them a big favor!  And thank you in advance from all the WoodChips.
P.P.S. Also, don’t mess with dragons (chuckle) – just a little health
tip for you … or you’ll be having a bad day at the office like Sir
BranchALot in this issue’s cartoon.

Woods To Live By – Tree Quotes

“If a man walks in the woods for love of them half of each day, he is in danger of being regarded as a loafer.  But if he spends his days as a speculator, shearing off those woods and making the earth bald before her time, he is deemed an industrious and enterprising citizen.”

– Henry David Thoreau

Please forward this email to your friends so they can enjoy it too … and the WoodChips just LOVE attention!

P.S. Don’t forget – if you have a friend who you think would like to get the WoodChips newsletter and be part of our forest, please forward me their first name and e-mail address. They’ll get a polite invitation – which they can decline – and I never share my email lists. Just put Friend in the Subject Line. You can e-mail me here.

© 2011 J. Daniel Roberts. All rights reserved    www.TheWoodChips.com


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