Sunday, December 30, 2007

Acronym Wanna Be's

I hope I am not the only one who has noticed this. Many times in a class, seminar, or book, the teachers will spell out a word then address every letter of the word and explain how they all relate to the topic of discussion. Some of you may have seen this with the word TEAM. (Together everybody achieves more). I'm OK with this when it works. I know there are acronyms like Scuba and Laser that actually stand for something. My problem is with people who try to make a word into an acronym or a word you can easily remember when it obviously doesn't work. These are the same people who like to force puzzle pieces where they do not belong. I have included an example below appropriately using the word forced

F-Forced to use words you usually wouldn't choose because you're trying to spell something.
O-Obviously Contrived. If the first letter doesn't work or explain your concept don't use it!
R-Ridiculously Unnatural word choices and placement.
C-Coincidence that this word represents what we are talking about?
E-Employed too often and hardly ever works.
D-Doubt is put in my mind by what you are teaching and your credibility is killed.

You may be thinking "Aren't there more important issues to worry about in the world"? Of course there are and that is exactly why the use of wanna be acronyms have gone unchecked and have grown to become the problem it is today. I think it's time to act and although we may be few in numbers we can make a difference. We can start by making sure if we ever employ this technique that we do it right and that if we ever see it used sloppily we publicly shame the author or presenter in order to keep it from happening again. If there were only accurate and appropriate acronyms used in this country then we would be in a much better position to start working on the weightier issues. You can do it.

Y-You are the one who can do it.
O-Only you can do it.
U-Unless you don't read my blog, then someone else will have to.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Talk Radio Review

I have spent many hours in my car over the years and have listened to alot of talk radio. Much of it is predictable and boring but I find it more entertaining than most music stations. I'd like to rank the national radio hosts I've heard over the years with a very brief summary of each. Warning: This will be my most boring entry to date, but I can't help making lists and ranking things, so I just have to get this out of my system.
1. Dennis Miller-Dennis Miller tops my list. His program mixes pop culture, movies, sports, and politics. He's also the most talented linguist of the bunch. His vocabulary is amazing and his comedy is very cerebral. You almost need footnotes for all the references he makes during a rant. I always laugh when I hear him start to giggle when he knows he is saying something funny. For most people laughing at your own jokes is taboo, but it works for Miller.
2. Glen Beck-His show is funny, entertaining , and creative. He addresses serious issues, but doesn't take himself too seriously. It is nice to hear someone with common sense. His program is easy to listen to except for the lame segways he does into the live commercials.
3. Michael Medved-I enjoy him because he is very intelligent. I agree with him most of the time, but there are a couple issues I wonder about. I first came to know about him when he was just a movie critic. He is very knowledgeable and he is probably the best debater of the bunch. How can you not like a guy who really believes in Sasquatch?
4. Phil Hendrie- I haven't heard him for years so I'm not sure if he's still on the air. He has one of the strangest talents. He fools his audience by having controversial conversations with himself. He has a handful of character voices he uses. He is Radio's version of a ventriloquist, but he usually goes too far with his skits to shock his listeners so they will get mad and call in to complain.
5. Rush Limbaugh-Rush has been the king of talk radio forever and I agree with him 90% of the time, but I have a hard time listening to him for very long. He is too confident and seldom has guests or others on the show to give it variety.
6. Dave Ramsey- His topics are not as exciting since he focuses only on finances, but he has great advice and is often harsh in his conversations with his callers. His advice is great but it hits home hard if your finances are not in good shape. (Not that I know this personally)
7. Jim Rome-He is the dominant sports talk radio host. He's rude and brutal but often has valid and funny insights. The show is geared to insensitive male jocks and armchair quarterbacks. The best part of his show are his caller's funny e-mails he reads.
8. Bill O'Reily-He's almost as cocky as Rush and is probably the least likable of the bunch. I like his hard stances on some issues, but I don't care for the fact that he will give away a free no spin key chain or newsletter to his grand prized callers. Whoopee! Come on!
9. Michael Savage-When I'm angry with how messed up things are in the world I like to hear him vent and say the things I would never dare say out loud. If I were him I would fear for my life. He is never politically correct and always honest with his thoughts, but it wears me out listening to him yell. You can hear the veins in his neck bulging as he yells at callers who he doesn't agree with. If he's in a bad mood he is impossible to listen to.
10. Dr. Laura-I really like her and admire the values she promotes, but she is by far the most painful to listen to. Her show is so formulaic. A lady calls in and thanks her for taking her call. She says she's such a big fan and has all her books. Then she explains that she wants to get back with her meth addict boy friend who used to beat her kids. Dr. Laura start to rip her a new one, but the clueless caller continues to interrupt her since she thinks she is the exception to the rule. The anticipation of the verbal beating she is about to receive stresses me out. I find myself physically flinching and grimacing as I await to hear what she is about to unleash on her. How can these women be such big Dr. Laura fans and not yet be so clueless about what sets her off? It would be more relaxing to have someone with a stretched out rubber band pointed at my eye than to listen to the dialogue between her and her callers.
11. George Noori-If you are ever driving at 2 AM you may have heard his show. He sounds like a nice enough guy, but his show focuses on the nut jobs of society. The topics range from ghosts, conspiracy theory, internal combustion, telepathy, big foot, out of body experiences, the Illuminati, teleporting, etc. If you like callers with no credibility this is for you.
12. Sean Hannity-I used to be able to listen to him more, but he takes things too seriously. He is very one sided and I don't think he's nearly as talented as the others. I get the feeling I'm listening to a broken record if I listen too long.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Depressing Saturdays

Saturday has always been my least favorite day of the week. Ever since I was a young boy I never really liked Saturday despite the fact it's usually a free day and part of the weekend. I think the biggest reason was because of the TV programming I associate with it from my childhood.

I'm not a big fan of cartoons but in the morning I would usually watch the Superfriends or Fat Albert, but then it would go downhill from there. In the afternoon my options were American Band Stand, Soul Train, This Old House, or the painter with the Afro. In the early evening there was Solid Gold and it only got worse with the deadly one two punch of Lawrence Welk and Hee Haw. I don't know how anyone can endure Polkas followed by Pickin and Grinnin. At night Buck Rogers, Chips, The Love Boat, and Fantasy Island did not help either. Despite their popularity at the time you have to admit they were lame shows. It would get really bad during a Holiday when on top of the usual Saturday shows there would occasionally be a Peanuts special. I think Charlie Brown is even more depressing than Romanian orphanages, and it seems like it was usually a Saturday night when these would come on TV. Anyway by bedtime if I tried to escape the boring news by turning the channel it would only take me to Dr. Who!

Disclaimer: I never watched Dr. Who for more than a few minutes at a time, but I'd like to compliment them for finally getting a budget. I saw part of a recent episode and they had better special effects and more than 4 cast members. I remember the old episodes special effects and costumes consisted of tin foil, pipe cleaners, Legos, and yarn. They also appeared to have hired the Men at Work singer to be the new Dr. Who.

Anyway, I now realize that I didn't do much on Saturdays and watched way too much TV. Surprisingly my parents never encouraged me to watch TV, it just came to me naturally. It's not just the lame T.V. shows I associate with Saturday, but the entire feeling a Saturday gives off. Despite the parties, sporting events, and other fun activities that are usually scheduled on Saturdays, I still get an uneasy feeling Saturday afternoon and I can't figure out why. It's not the kind of thing I can pinpoint. Maybe it is because it doesn't really fit in with the other days. Sunday is obviously the Sabbath and is a nice change. Monday through Friday are workdays, but Saturday is a mutant and just doesn't belong. I hope people don't read into this and question my mental health or emotional stability. This is just an occasional once a week thing. I am looking for others who may feel the same way. I would like to form a support group, hold a symposium, and eventually work on some legislation to correct this societal malady know as Saturday.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Comments

Some shallow people base their sense of self worth on how attractive they are, how much money they make, or how much education they have. I base mine on how many comments I get on my blog.

I am really not that insecure, but I do gauge how I am doing on dominating the Internet by getting feedback. The good people at Google were kind enough to include a feedback features on this site called comment bars. Since I started this blog, it's user activity has gone through the roof. I have had a couple web administrators contact me to see why there is such large percentage of Internet activity centered around this blog. They said they will no longer allow me to have a visitor site counter because I keep burning out the motor that runs it and I'm putting a strain on their servers.

I have been getting phone calls, nice e-mails, fan mail, and gifts, but despite this, people have not been commenting very much on the actual site. So this is my plea: if you have any insights about any of the posts or if I specifically ask for ideas or suggestions, I hope you would feel free to comment, (not to feed my ego), but for the benefit of the hundreds of thousands of people who regularly and religiously frequent Chaka's World. I know it may be intimidating to share your thoughts with the unknown masses, but you will be glad you did.

I have received many good suggestions and comments from people and you can see I have incorporated their ideas into the posts. I want to thank all who have commented in the past. I take all the suggestions seriously and promise to read all of your comments no matter how many hours it may take on my part.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

History of the Trolls

Due to popular demand I am pleased to address the topic of the Trolls. When some people hear the word troll they think of rude people who make inflammatory comments on the Internet, or ugly dolls with colorful hair. Both of these conjure up negative images. I would like to tell you about the good kind of Trolls.

During my Senior year in High School I had an English class that was held outside of the main building in a trailer. (No, it was not resource, it was A.P.) One day as we came to class we noticed that there was some construction work done outside of the trailer to bury some electrical work. They dug up a patch that was several feet wide and covered it up with tar when they were done. It did not match the surrounding concrete so it kind of stuck out. One day after class a friend and I were leaving the trailer and he intentionally stepped way beyond the tar and jokingly said "there is no way I am going to walk on that evil pit". This simple action planted the seed for what was to become the Trolls. For the next several weeks until school was out several of us in that class always stepped over the pit so nothing bad would happen to us.

During summer vacation we were bored one night and were talking about the pit to a younger brother. He thought it sounded funny so we decided to test it out on him. We took him by force from his house and went down to the pit. We told him once you sit on it you will become a troll. When he actually saw it, he broke free and ran about 150 yards away until we finally caught him. I was surprised he would do this since he was only wearing his boxers. Anyway we forced our first recruit to sit on the Troll Pit and said "Boo" 7 times which became the official way to make someone a Troll. We also went through this procedure ourselves in order to make things official. We continued the pattern of taking friends by force and sitting them on the pit. We initiated between one to three each week and it got easier each time because we had more help from the additional recruits. We were close friends so we could usually sneak into their rooms or lure them outside and throw a blanket over them and take them to the pit. Most of the kidnappings were not too hard although 3 or 4 were legendary in the struggle they put up. I felt kind of bad when we scared people, but I figured if the Seminary council can kidnap people then it was OK.

After a while we had many Trolls so I had to utilize my organizational skills. Each Troll was given an number, categorized by Class and Rank, and assigned an Evil Twin. I made ID cards for each member which required a second grade picture of each participant. (See attached picture). We had the Big 6 Troll Masters (The founders), then there were the Dirty Dozen which were followed by the Bakers Dozen. There were classes of trolls too: Weed, Desert, Bridge, Mountain, Tree Trunk, and Rock Trolls. The Evil Twins we assigned were not always completely accurate. I am a good example of this since mine was Sammy Davis Jr. Some of the other evil twins were: Ivan Drago, Jaws from James Bond, Gary Coleman, Heat miser, Nicholas Bradford, Ralph Mouth, Festus from Gun Smoke, Buster Crab, Dr. Who, Gilligan, and Oliver North. We had regular meeting (parties) and we tried to keep it from turning into the Mafia or secret combinations by following our creed which was printed on the back of each card. "Trolls must remember to be nice and to stay cute and cool".

The Trolls continued to grow strong and prosper up until I went on my mission. I got updates of new recruits for the first several months I was gone, but without the dedicated leadership, they soon fell into apostasy and gradually the organization fell apart. My only regret was that I did not have more time to involve more friends while it was in it's prime.

Some people might think the Trolls organization was just a cute High School club and is all in the past. They are wrong. Our cards are still active and I need only summon them with a text message or e-mail and I would have 6 weed trolls ready to jump into action. (Just like the Bourne Identity agents). This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Trolls and there will soon be a new and improved Troll movement coming in the future. If you would like to be a part of history let me know.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Shaken Not Stirred


I would like to discuss James Bond. I know many people are not fans of the series claiming it is stupid and fake. I also have some issues with it. 007 is a womanizer, drinking, gambling, assassin. I will admit he is not the ideal role model but I still like James Bond movies.

Sean Connery was the original 007 and probably the most charismatic and confident. He was also the most physically intimidating. (with the noted exception of Diamonds are Forever where he wore a toupee and had a gut since he was well past his prime). He was in seven Bond movies if you include the Renegade Never Say Never Again which was produced by another studio. I have found that he is "the real" Bond for the old school crowd (People over 45).

George Lazenby was Connery's successor and is more of a trivia figure since his only move was On Her Majesty's Secret Service. He was very physical but had a hard time living up to his predecessor. The clothes he wore in his movie were ridiculous. The fashion in this movie is what Austin Powers makes fun of. Overall he wasn't bad for an Australian used car salesman who got a one time chance at a big movie. It is also probably the only movie in which you will see James Bond cry.

Roger Moore was more suave than the rest. He was a gentleman and well mannered, despite the fact he cracked more of the stupid puns and innuendo than the others. He was also cockier and more smug than the rest. He relied heavily on gadgets since we was not too intimidating. He was one of the smarter ones who seemed to know everything. The first Bond movies I saw were with Roger Moore. He was also in seven Bond movies before leaving the series.

Timothy Dalton was a nice change after Moore got too old to be convincing, but Dalton came across as being too serious and brooding. He was the pissed off James Bond. That may be why he only lasted two movies. I didn't dislike him but he was one of my least favorite.

Growing up I hated Pierce Brosnan. I thought he was the world's biggest wimp on Remington Steele. I was glad when he lost the part to Dalton in the 80's, but I have to admit he surprised me and is one of my favorite Bonds now. He relied heavily on gadgets and tricks and didn't have a big physical presence, but he was very convincing. I thought he did a good job in the four movies he was in. I was actually sad to see him be replaced.

A few years ago I had never even heard of Daniel Craig. When he was named to be the new Bond for Casino Royale I looked him up and was surprised that he was not visually appealing. However; After seeing Casino Royale I was totally impressed with his performance. I thought he was the most exciting 007 so far. He is not as polished as Connery, Moore, or Brosnan. He has the toughness and short temper of a Dalton and the physicality of Connery and Lazenby. I know they intentionally portrayed his character as being unrefined since he was a rookie to the role, but it was refreshing to see Bond make mistakes and have bad judgement for a change.

There have been over 23 Bond movies, and these are some of my favorite:
Casino Royale
Goldeneye
Die Another Day
Goldfinger
For Your Eyes Only
Moonraker
The Living Daylights
On Her Majesty's Secret Service
Tomorrow Never Dies
From Russia With Love
Dr. No

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Motivational Movie Endings

I thought I would address one of the most inspirational, yet over used and formulaic movie themes we have all seen. It happens at the climax of a movie when everyone gets involved (chanting, clapping, etc.) to help the main character to achieve their victory. I think it is time to name this occurrence so we can better identify it in the future. For now I will call these "buzzer beaters". I love many of the movies that employ this technique, but it looses its impact the more you see it. Here is a list of some of these movies:

Spartacus- The slaves standing up one by one saying they are Spartacus in order to protect him.
Rudy- The crowd all chant his name in unison to get him in the game so he can make the final play.
Dead Poets Society- The entire class standing on chairs and saying "Oh captain, my captain" to show their respect.
Strictly Ballroom- The dad claps after the judges pull the plug. The crowd joins in so they can finish their number.
Karate Kid 2- The villagers playing their spin drums to give Danielson the strength and guidance he needs to defeat the bad guy.
Iron Will- The people at the finish line whistling the special melody to make the dogs run fast enough to cross the finish line.
On the Waterfront- The final scene as Terry Maloy confronts the union boss after being beaten and all the dock workers stand in solidarity.
Cool Runnings-When the Jamaican team wipes out and they carrying their sled towards the finish line. One person starts with the strong, slow, deliberate clap and it catches on until the crowd erupts once they finally cross the finish line.

I'm sure there are many more, so please send me your suggestions.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

An Historic Day

Welcome to my very first blog entry. This is like my grand opening sale, maiden voyage, or a day that will go down in infamy. I have put off starting a blog for some time. The main reason is that I can't stand the name "blog". Now that I have my own blog I am pretty much dominating the internet, but I would like to make some more changes. My first order of business if elected President of the internet will be to change the word blog to something cool like Zorg. I would also like to offer college credit for frequent visitors to this site.

I am looking forward to sharing some of my favorite things here. They have been bottled up in my mind and palm pilot for years. It is time for them to come forth. Some of these will no doubt be unique concepts and lofty ideals which edify and inspire the soul, but most will probably be funny Yotube links of people throwing up or wiping out.