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.