Monday, May 30, 2011

What Unites Us?

Lately I have been thinking about what unites and divides people. I remember back when I owned a Plymouth Grand Voyager. When I'd see another guy driving around town in the same make and model, we'd look at each other with respect and admiration since we were basically a band of minivan brothers.

It's amazing how some simple things like enjoying the same rock band or movie can unite people. Some people feel a common kinship to others because they share the same religion, race, age, graduated from the same school, or are members of the same political party.

I appreciate and can see the value in diversity and individualism, but I also think it would be nice if we could focus more often on our similarities rather than our differences. There is plenty of contention and division in the world today, so if we were more civil and focused on our shared beliefs and similarities, it would be a big improvement to improving unity.

If we are ever tempted to develop an elitist's false sense of superiority because we belong to any particular group, then I think we should at least channel that towards aliens instead of fellow human beings. Speaking of aliens, I believe one thing that could unite mankind would be if we were attacked by aliens. I've seen Independence Day and despite the world wide body count , it could ease tension in the middle east and unite the human race.

Are you a terrorist who hates it when you bite your tongue or the inside of your mouth and you get a canker sore? Me too! I bet we both hate hang nails and stubbing our toes too. Maybe the first step towards developing solidarity for the human race can be accomplished by focusing on the little insignificant experiences we share that make us all human.

We may have completely opposite political ideologies and religious beliefs, but we can still be friends and enjoy each others company. Especially if you want to talk about thing we both love like sunflower seeds, pizza, how great our mothers are, NBA playoffs, clean sheets, movies, getting massages, or having a day off from work.

I still believe that conflict is sometimes necessary and there are principles, beliefs, and preferences that people should not abandon, but that doesn't mean we can't appreciate and respect all members of the human race and focus on our similarities more often.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

My Blogs

Shortly after I started blogging I noticed that there were certain topics that I was passionate about. As a result, I decided to compartmentalize my posts relative to topic matter and over time I have gotten to the point where I now have 4 blogs that focus on different subjects.

As you know, Chaka's World is the flag ship of my vast blogging empire, and is dedicated to all things random. it's kind of like a grab bag or playing Russian roulette since you never know what you will get. Since my other blogs have so few followers, I'd like to give you a brief summary of each blog and link to a couple posts that may interest readers.

The Movie Guy contains my movie reviews and insights. I'll admit that sometimes I get lazy with my reviews, but you might like the following posts.

Morning Hoop is my newest and fastest growing blog and some of my favorite posts are found there, but many readers miss out because they assume it is just a place for dumb jocks to talk about basketball. 

I Wore Short Shorts 
The All Cave Man Team

Your Fitness Quest focuses on health and fitness and it probably my most beneficial blog, but dealing with one's health turns a lot of people off (kind of listening to Dave Ramsey and facing up to your finances) so it doesn't have the same draw as entertainment sites.

Anyway, I am often saddened that some of my favorite posts  never reach much of an audience so I thought I'd share the above posts. Yes, this may be shameless self promotion, but at least I haven't asked my readers for money...yet.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Chaka's Insightful Comparisons

I think comparisons can be a helpful way to describe something that people may not have experienced for themselves. Here are some comparisons I hope will prove helpful to you.

Captain Crunch does to the roof of your mouth what apricot scrub does to your face.

Dumb and Dumber is to guys what Sleepless in Seattle is to girls.

Dunks are to a basketball game are what smores are to a camp out.

Pop up ads while checking your e-mail are what songs in the Lord of the Rings trilogies are to your reading experience.

Linked In is to Facebook is what The Wall Street Journal is to People Magazine.

Rebecca Black is to talented musicians what Napoleon is to the all time great NBA centers.

Mr. Darcy is to women what Angelina Jolie is to men.

Politicians are to honesty what a hotel mini bar is to great deals.

The anxiety a guy feels going to the fabric store is like the dread his wife feels going to a WWE match.

Corn is to your digestive system is what styrofoam is to the landfill.

Chaka's World is to it's readers what meth is to it's users.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Pictures of the Month May 2011

Monday morning back to work edition

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Technology Detox

My wife and I recently noticed that our kids were spending too much time on computers and watching videos and not doing their jobs, practicing, or homework like they should, so we got a little extreme. Last week, after they all went to bed, we decided to collect and put away all of the computers and I-pods in our house in an effort to get our kid's attention.

It worked. From their reaction, you would have thought we were suggesting that we cut their hands off. We have great kids and I'm grateful that the worst thing they do is sneak onto the computer to check their Facebook status, or watch YouTube without permission, but we have been slacking for a while and their computer use was getting out of control and we noticed a change in attitudes and their productivity over time.

Within 24 hours the angry and defensive attitudes that accompany video game playing had disappeared. Within a week we went from being the Simpsons to being the Flanders family. I can't believe it took us so long to do this. The best result from this change is seeing brothers and sisters hanging out together, talking to each other, and laughing and playing together. Previously they had plugged into separate computers with headphones as they isolated themselves from the family.

I'm sure we won't keep this up forever, but it has been a big improvement to our family. Our house is much cleaner and the kids are much more productive since they now have to earn computer access as opposed to it being their right. If your kids are isolated, developing bad attitudes, or not getting their work done, then I highly recommend this technology detox diet. Now they just need their dad to do the same thing.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Seafood Sentiments

I obviously didn't grow up in Washington, Maine, or Louisiana because I never had fish growing up. As a result, I do not care for it. Aside from an occasional tuna sandwich, I have never enjoyed fish or any other creatures that come from the sea. Maybe because they originate from water, which I also dislike.

Many people imagine the picture on the left when they think of seafood. I envision the second.

Last week I won a gift card to Red Lobster. I've driven by that restaurant for 10 years and had never considered eating there, but I had some free food coming my way so I was willing to give it a try. I took my wife out to dinner and while we were waiting to be seated, we sat next to the tank of live lobsters.

When I say lobsters, I mean giant grasshopper-alien hybrids that had their claws rubber banded shut. They were on top of each other in piles. The smart ones were burrowed into the corners trying to look small and pretending to be dead. The dumb ones were fighting with each other and trying to look big to scare off their competition and impress the lady lobsters. Those are the ones the hungry people would pick to eat first.

Anyway, my wife ended up ordering cream of potato soup and a Cesar salad (she also suffers from fish phobia) and I had the grilled maple chicken with mashed potatoes. These were the only non seafood items on the entire menu. I kind of felt like an idiot, but my food was delicious and I got out of there without having to eat any seafood.

PS-All of you seafood loving enthusiasts can feel free to send me your hateful comments that I am a close minded pathetic soul who has no idea what good food is. I'm sorry but the whole thing is a little too fishy for me.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

For Those Who Don't Give Up

This post is dedicated to those who don't give up. Many people are blown around like dead leaves in the wind, but others stick to their guns despite enormous pressure to give up or give in. Some of the people that fit in this category are Gandhi, Thomas Moore, Thomas Edison, old people who still have record players, and Cheeseboy for still not owning a cell phone.

Sometimes I feel there is a fine line between extreme commitment and determination versus insanity. This concept reminds me of one of Werner Herzog's better films called Aguierre. It is about Spanish explorers in South America and how their leader Aguierre plunges them deep into the jungle as the entire expedition eventually dies off due to his wreckless determination to find the city of gold. In the final disturbing scene, he is the sole survivor floating down the Amazon but still undaunted and making plans to conquer the land.

At what point should people put what seems like impossible dreams on the shelf and move on? I'm guessing it would be kind of hard for a 42-year-old man to walk onto an NBA team, so my dream to play in the NBA is long gone. Maybe I'm still in good enough shape to get a job with the kids who run onto the court to wipe the player's sweat off the floor between plays.

I'm not sure what my point is, but I guess it is that I respect people who work hard towards something even though it appears to be impossible. If you are one of these people, just know that you have my respect, even if 99% of the population thinks you are crazy and tells you it can't be done. Time will tell who was a hero for hanging in their and not giving up on their dreams.