Last year I started watching 30 Rock episodes on Netflix. It's a very funny show and I would rank it up there with The Office as one of my favorite comedies. One of my favorite characters is Dr. Spaceman, pronounced "spechemin", who is played by Chris Parnell. I was never a fan of Parnell or Tracy Morgan when they were on SNL, but I love them in on this show. I just wish they would feature Dr. Spaceman more often.. Here are a few clips featuring this incompetent doctor.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Over the last 20 years I have made a lot of dumb mistakes and said some stupid things to my wife, but none of it has been intentional. I'm just a dumb guy. Guys are lucky because we can use this excuse because it is true. I have learned that guys are pretty much insensitive, clueless, pigs and we are lucky to be able to associate with women.
I'd like to share two simple items of advice for guys that will make your marriage run smoother.
1. Don't ever make fun of any Jane Austin novel or movie or any BBC production your wife may be watching. Chicks dig British accents and manners, and fancy costumes and powdered wigs. When you are watching one of these shows and see a guy your wife admires, just agree and say he's a pretty cool guy, even if he is the biggest prissy wimp you have ever seen in your life. She will think you are a cool sensitive guy for doing so.
2. If your wife is ever mad and you don't know why, it is much smarter to pretend you know the reason. It is also a safe bet that you are the reason, so you can might as well start by making vague apologies. Making her mad is a bad thing, but being clueless about it afterwards is even worse, so just apologize for anything that may ever upset her.
I look forward to sharing some more insights after the next 20 years, but for now I will just continue to be grateful for my awesome wife and all that she does for me.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
That evening there was a very strange sunset as a storm moved in. I felt like a parakeet in a cage that gets an aura before an earthquake. There was a weird orange apocalyptic sunset that was weirding me out and I couldn't think straight. I was mean to my kids kind of like George Baily in It's A Wonderful Life, but I was over it the next day. It gave me a scare and made me appreciate how normal I usually feel and made me grateful that I don't have a mental illness (at least officially diagnosed) that causes me to feel that way regularly.
I don't have any immediate family members with mental illness, so I am not very familiar with the many different illnesses that people may suffer from. My grandfather had schizophrenia and was always paranoid that people were messing with his light switches or were plotting against him. It can be hard to have a normal relationship when someone is paranoid and doesn't trust you.
Years ago anyone that struggled in this area was simply labeled as crazy and either locked up or shunned. As a society, we still have a ways to go when it comes to treating and interacting with those who suffer from mental illness. I'm sure many of the homeless people we see are suffering in this way. I don't mean some of the scam artists you see holding cardboard signs, but the people pushing grocery carts full of garbage around town year round.
I know this is a sensitive subject and sometimes hard to approach. If someone has a broken leg, their problem is obvious and you expect them to go to the doctor, but if someone has a mental illness, there is often a stigma attached for using medication, or going to a psychologist or psychiatrist. Watch A Beautiful Mind or The Soloist sometime and they will make you grateful and more aware of this topic. It is also interesting to learn how many great people and achievers in history suffered from mental illness. Sorry, no clever post today, but I thought I'd just express some gratitude and create a little awareness.
Friday, August 13, 2010
This reminds me of a story I heard when McDonalds was finally able to expand their chain to Russia. While interviewing applicants, they asked one woman what she would do if there was a long line of people waiting. She said she would just ignore them until they went away. I guess years of Communism had conditioned her to not give a crap when it came to her job.
I don't want to turn Chaka's World into a consumer reports or a gripe session, but I thought I'd contrast a couple different experiences I had last week.
We have a dishwasher that we bought an extended warranty for since we go through more dishes at our house than most restaurants. It recently broke, so we called the manufacturer and they said that they would send out a local repairman who works for them. I scheduled the appointment for Monday morning but he never showed up until Monday evening. He didn't have record of the purchase or warranty which I was previously told he did. When we finally got things taken care of we still had to pay more than the prior quote for the service call. It was not a horrible experience, but I wasn't impressed either. At least our dishwasher works again.
The next morning I noticed that my Moen shower faucet was stripped and wouldn't change between the different water settings. I Googled their 800 # and called them. I spoke with a real person quickly and she looked up my name and address and asked what the problem was. She said they stand behind their products and she would Fed Ex out a new shower head to replace the old one. That was it, not even any shipping fees. I was impressed, especially since they had already replaced the shower head years ago for free and it was not a workmanship issue, but rather due to our hard water.
I love it when someone provides great service. Many times I will ask to speak to their manager. Many employees hate hearing this request because it means someone is going to complain about something, but I like letting managers know when their employees are doing a great job and offer superior service.
This topic reminds me that we went to Panda Express a couple nights ago and the selections my wife ordered were pretty sparse and didn't look too fresh. The manager started dishing it up but then decided to throw it in the garbage and had his cook make up a fresh batch of her selections. He offered us free drinks since we had to wait a few minutes longer, but I appreciated the fact that he valued the quality of the food more than just getting us through the line fast.
What are your experiences with customer service? I'd especially be interested to hear any good experiences you've had. What are some of the businesses you have been impressed with over the years?
Monday, August 9, 2010
So to help you understand where I am coming from, I'm sharing the following memories to help you see if we grew up around the same time.
You might be from my generation if you...
* know what people are talking about when they say phrases like "Dynomite!", "smiles everyone", or "don't make me angry, you wouldn't like me when I'm angry."
* remember when MTV used to actually play music videos.
* have never worn your pants down around your knees.
* were ever impressed with the Atari 2600 game graphics.
* know what it was like to watch a football game on TV without the enhanced digitized yard markers.
* have actually "dialed" a telephone number or you didn't grow up with caller ID. Answering the phone back then was like playing Russian roulette.
* remember Rerun sneaking a giant tape recorder into a Doobie Brothers Concert on What's Happening.
* remember when soda can pull tabs came completely off.
* remember when the only people who had cell phones were doctors and 4 star generals.
* remember your Saturday morning cartoons were laced with School House Rock.
* know the sound effect that a bionic limb makes when it is used.
* were regularly piled into the back of a station wagon with your brothers and sisters without seat belts.
* can't remember seeing any of your favorite NBA players with a visible tattoo.
* thought Disney movies had amazing special effects.
* remember worrying for your life the night sky lab fell to earth.
* you know what music group sang the title to this post.