Tuesday, February 10, 2009

This just in: Steve Wozniak to appear as one of the contestants on Dancing With The Stars. Programming genius? Run-of-the-mill broadcasting folly? I give him two shows before he's out. Ever since I dedicated myself to the fine art and grandeur that is salsa dancing, I have newfound respect for the craft. This man won't be able to cut it compared to me.

Wozniak is one of the founders of Apple, computer geek l'originale, if you didn't know. His story is a colorful one (here's the Wikipedia link.) He and Steve Jobs fashioned the original Apple computer out of used pinball machine parts (or something) in Jobs' garage back in the '70s, and when their little garage band went public in 1980, the two Steves became multimillionaires overnight.

A year later, Wozniak was in an airplane crash (he was piloting a craft illegally) and suffered amnesia. He credits his girlfriend and computer games for resolving his memory. (I find this hilarious, because if there's anything that messes up my memory, it's women and computer games.) Anyway, he didn't go back to Apple after the accident. He went back to college and finished his undergraduate degree. Obviously, he was sufficiently traumatized in the plane crash.

My cousin knows him! Or claims to know him. I have a bunch of relatives living in Silicon Valley, of all places, and most of them have worked for Apple at one time or another. My cousin has hung out with "The Woz" on several occasions, and was telling me about it over Christmas. I don't know if they're really buddies or if it's just a groupie sort of thing, but it was a crack-up hearing the stories. Evidently, Woz doesn't really have a job anymore -he just works the professional lecture circuit on Caribbean cruises and such, and nowadays spends a lot of his time perfecting practical jokes. My cousin told me about one time where Wozniak had several hundred (real) two-dollar bills glued and bound together in notepad form. I understand he got busted by the Secret Service in Vegas when he was tearing off one bill after another and handing them out as tips. Evidently, they thought it was some brazen counterfeit money pad. Ha!

I hear he's a nice guy, though, active in several charities and a member of the Segway polo team, the "Silicon Valley Aftershocks."

Segway polo. Good Lord. If I only had the time...