Wednesday, March 30, 2011

White Crayons???

Let me get straight to the point. I think white crayons are useless! I am not a crayon expert, but the only time I have ever seen them used was back in grade school when kids did Halloween art projects and drew ghosts on the black construction paper. Aside from that one scenario, I think they are just a waste.

I suppose if someone was going to kill me and I wanted to leave a secret message that the murderer wouldn't notice, I could always use a white crayon to write who my murderer was. Then when the CSI guys came to the crime scene with their ultraviolet lights, they might be able to read the message, but I'd rather not focus on such a far fetched scenario to try and find a good use for white crayons.

Putting a white crayon in the crayon box is kind of like buying a dozen donuts and then realizing that one of them is actually an onion flavored bagel. In case that great analogy didn't work, imagine buying a bag of otter pops and then you notice one has no juice in it, but is just filled with air. I think I've made my point with these two powerful and persuasive images.

I'm going to start a new trend. When you are looking for a descriptive phrase like as "clean as a whistle" or "as cute as a june bug", (both of which are horrible I might add), I suggest you start using the phrase "as worthless as a white crayon". I'm pretty sure it will catch on.

I just hope the people at Crayola don't put a price on my head after reading this post. In case something does happen to me, I know how to secretly tell the police who was responsible.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Picture of the Month March 2011

OUCH !!  Give me a couple weeks to think of a witty comeback.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Things I Struggle With

I am humble enough to admit that I have weaknesses. In fact I'm actually proud of how bad I am at some things. Where to start? Here are three areas where I admit I am completely incompetent. These topics are often a source of great frustration for me.

1. Higher math- I'm actually great at doing math in my head. If it's basic math I feel confident with my abilities and would even challenge Rain Man to a duel, but once you throw letters or fractions into the equation, I can no longer relate. When I got to Jr. High and they started doing algebra and calculus, math became very intimidating and I always felt confused by it. Luckily, I have not had the need to do "tricky math" since high school.

2. Science- When people start talking in depth about science, my mind closes faster than the automatic doors on the Star Trek Enterprise. I like to have things simplified not complicated. I can appreciate scientific principles and I like large things like the sun and the planets but I hate it when people take things the opposite direction. I don't like microscopic stuff like electrons, atoms, the Krebs cycle, chemical equations, etc. I'm content with folklore and superstition to explain eclipses and bad weather because it's so much easier.

3. Mechanical Repairs- I'm good at yard work, painting, and cleaning, but if a home repair involves electrical, plumbing, or moving parts, then I'm screwed. The same thing goes for automobile repairs. I can not believe how many things are broken at my house right now. Some include the garage door opener, dishwasher, disposal, broken faucets, furnace fan, leaky sprinkler valve, broken blinds, and a dryer that takes several hours to dry a load of laundry. I guess all of these problems can be solved with money... which reminds me of another frustrating topic.

Recently I have been talking with my 16 year old who is a life scout. He finished all of his merit badges needs to get his Eagle nearly 3 years. All he has left is the Eagle project and the paperwork and the details behind it are killing him. I've been critical of his lack of enthusiasm until recently when I realized he is going through the same thing in his mind that I do when it comes to an appliances breaking and home repairs. What might be a simple task for one person, is another man's mental Everest.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Chaka's World Interview

I recently had the privilege of being interviewed. You can see the short clip below.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Count Your Blessings

This past week I was saddened to see that Japan had been hit by a severe earthquake and tsunami. As if they haven't experienced enough tragedy, now they have nuclear reactors which are overheating and threatening to spread radiation. This is a worse scenario than any sort of disaster movie Hollywood could come up with. If things haven't been bad enough, I learned that they've also just had a volcano erupt yesterday too. What's next, a hurricane?

All the disaster and suffering going on in Japan is tragic, but it is also said that it is so easy for me to decide to remove myself emotionally from this situation. I've got my own problems to worry about. I lost an hour of sleep yesterday! I just have to get through a day of work and then go home and have dinner and then decide what to watch on Netflix before I fall asleep in a warm bed. My problems don't seem so bad when they are compared to real problems.

It's easy to pretend this is just something that is happening to unfortunate people who live in a far away country. Today's technology reports news faster and makes the world a smaller place. It helps me realize that something like this could easily happen to our country too.

We might think there is nothing we can do to help relieve the suffering of people on the other side of the world, but we can help. Here's a link to the Red Cross. They are one of the more reputable  charitable organizations who assist with local, national, and world wide disaster relief efforts. Doing something as simple as making a donation to the relief efforts in that part of the world can make life a little better for someone who is suffering right now.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Technology Predictions

When I was a little kid I grew up watching Star Trek and fully expected to have teleporting technology and food making microwaves by the time I was an adult. No luck with those yet, but my biggest disappointment is that we still don't have flying cars.

Don't tell me flying cars exist and we already have the technology for them. I've seen tons of magazine and newspaper articles claiming they already exist on a prototype basis, but just aren't mass produced yet. Well, until I see a car flying around in the air with my own eyes, I call BS on your newspaper article.

Despite my let down for flying cars, I have been impressed with other advances in technology. In 30 years we've gone from big tape players to smaller Walkmans to CD players to tiny MP3 players. This got me thinking about technology and I'd like to share three of my future technological predictions.

Implants- Not the kind you are probably imagining, although I'm sure those will only get more popular too. I'm referring to implanting small computer devices behind some one's ear that will give them access to cell phone coverage and anything else a smart phone can currently do. People could take pictures with their eyes and save it to the hard drive implant device and access it on a computer later.

Bionics- I think in the future, prosthetic and bionic body parts will improve and be more affordable for those who need them. They will also start making them in a quieter version that are not so noisy when you jump.

War- I hate to be Debbie Downer, but I've seen Terminator, The Matrix, and other movies that have warned us of the inevitable battle between humans and machines so I know what's in store. As we look to the future, we should get excited for the great advancements in technology that will either make our lives easier, or completely destroy the human race and bring us into bondage. Yes, your grandmother's instincts were right when she felt uncomfortable around the first personal computer she ever saw.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Is Hotmail Trying to Get Rid of Me?

I've been with Hotmail for a long time and have continued using it despite everyone I know telling me how much better Gmail is. I prefer to paint myself as being loyal as opposed to being too lazy to change. Over the past several weeks, I have been pushed and tested and am so close to making the change.

I've been getting stupid pop up video commercials and obnoxious ads when I check my mail. I don't mind having ads on my e-mail page, but when they are offensive or noisy I think it is going too far. These ads are loud and obnoxious and I don't have a way to disable them. When I click on the ad feedback button, I get a message that says I can upgrade to a premium version of Hotmail that doesn't have ads. We were doing well for so many years, why incorporate ads with loud audio now when I check my e-mail? I am not going to pay for an e-mail provider, so I think their plan to get more money out of their users is going to backfire.

My wife made the switch last week because each time she checked her e-mail she was getting ads featuring skankky Russian women who wanted to chat live. I was surprised to hear this since I thought I was the only person that young buxom Russian mail order brides wanted to talk to. My least favorite ad they've been playing is for Mucinex. When the video starts, it makes the sound of a congested woman moaning. My first reaction when I hear this is to quickly invite family members to come see that this is a mucous commercial and not some kind of pornographic video.

Has anyone else encountered this? Please don't respond if you are a Mac person because I know you guys never have problems with your computers like hacking in, viruses, or pop ups and I really don't need you to rub it in by telling me how perfect your computer experiences are.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Is Blogging Dead?

Since I updated my old ugly blog design to this new ugly one, I have noticed a big time decrease in traffic. The day I made the change, there was an 80% decrease in visitor traffic and my reports have nearly flat lined since then. I can't tell if this is some error in the tracking code or if it doesn't like the new blog template or if everyone is really that put off by the new look of Chaka's World.

I'd be interested to know if any of you have noticed any changes in the last couple of weeks? Is anybody still there?

This whole situation has made me a little paranoid and got me wondering if blogging is becoming outdated and it not that cool anymore. Are blogs being replaced by Facebook and Twitter? Some people might think other forms of social media are more hip and quicker to update. Who needs speed? I actually enjoy creating all of my posts with movable type.

Even if blogging is going the way of VHS tapes and dinosaurs, I still think it is cool and I will keep doing it for therapeutic reasons even if nobody else can see it.