Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Chaka's World Goes Green

I don't consider myself to be an environmentalist, but I'd still like to be able to take advantage of the "Going Green" trend like everyone else. In an effort to do my part I am pleased to announce that Chaka's World will be taking the following steps.

1. I will encourage the bagger at the grocery store to put more than one item in each plastic bag. Some days I come home with more bags than grocery items. What's up with that?

2. My posts will no longer be printed out and mailed to followers. Instead I will only do electronic posts.

3. I promise to re-gift presents I don't care for.

4. I will identify the real culprit of waste. It's not Exxon or BP, it's Oriental Trading Company. If you ever want to spend a couple dollars for a thousand party favors or trinkets which will be broken within minutes and littering your home, then it's for you.

5. I will stop wearing disposable diapers.

6. I will not be a hypocritical celebrity or politician who preaches about conserving as they travel around the country in their personal jet or go on tour with dozens of semi trucks full of equipment.

7. I will push for legislation to fine people like Tyson Gay and Usain Bolt who have no idea how to conserve their own energy. I'd like to see them start power walking instead of sprinting all the time.

In case you think I'm an uncaring sarcastic jerk, I do 1) pick up litter all the time 2) pay extra for a recycle bin for my trash, 3) compost organic material and 4) drive my wimpy scooter instead of the car or van whenever possible. I am also trying to be open minded to other simple, practical practices that can conserve energy and avoid waste.

I believe we should be good stewards of the planet we live on, but when people try to assign a carbon footprint to me in an attempt to make me feel guilty for my existence, it kind of reminds me of the selling of indulgences and it makes me want to turn on all the lights and water faucets in my home and let my cars run idle in the driveway.  I guess I can't do that sort of thing any longer since I've decided to go green.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Picture of the Month June 2011

I've been starting to feel this way lately.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Infamous Ice Cream Truck

For some reason, I don't ever remember seeing or hearing ice cream trucks come through my neighborhood when I was a kid. Maybe I just wasn't paying attention or perhaps they were driven by ninjas. Anyway, I am a little biased towards mobile ice cream vendors, mostly because of the price. It's kind of like if 7-11 had a truck driving around offering milk and bread for $5 each.

I can't really blame the ice cream vendors for charging so much for their treats. Many of these vehicles look like armored cars and spend all day driving around neighborhoods so I can only imagine their gas expense they must have to compensate for.

The other day I heard the ice cream jingle coming down our street. My 6 year old ran and grabbed a bottle of coins he had been saving. His older brother stopped him and asked what he was doing. He said "Are you seriously going to go to the ice cream truck?" He was shocked and I could hear the panic in his voice. I thought I had taught him well about frugality and how you can buy a whole bag of popsicles at the store for the same price of a premium ice cream truck treat.

I was then surprised to hear the older brother say in a sincere and concerned voice " You can't go out there or they will kidnap you!" I guess some of my kids have seen Chitty Chitty Bang Bang too many times. I re-assured both of my boys that they would not get kidnapped, but I didn't want them spending their money on expensive ice cream.

I still think that there is something creepy about the ice cream truck and the only thing that could make it worse would be if a clown were driving it.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Father's Day Insights

Today is Father's Day, so I thought it would be appropriate to share some thoughts on the subject. As a father of 9 kids, I have some experience on the subject (even if that experience is being a lame father much of the time). 

I used to wonder why my dad didn't play sports or have more interests in common with me. It wasn't until I had my own kids that I realized how hard it is to live up to the ideal dad image. That's also when I started appreciating the little things my dad did for me over the years like taking me places and buying new shoes for me when they'd get worn out.

I'll admit I do many bad things as a parent. I am impatient and frequently yell at my kids. I'm constantly pointing out messes and mistakes they make. I'm definitely more like Homer Simpson than Ward Cleever. Despite my many shortcomings and the occasions when I act like a jerk, I am always amazed and grateful that my kids still love me. Here is a nice little clip by Louis CK on this subject.

Maybe when I'm gone they won't say I built them a tree house or taught them how to fish, but at least they can say I chased them around the house wearing scary Billy Bob teeth or let them crash in my bed room to watch movies at night. I guess loving your kids can help compensate for many of the shortcomings we have as parents. Happy Father's Day!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Simplification Is The Answer

I love to simplify things. I hate messes, clutter, unnecessary paperwork and red tape. Few things are more beautiful than something that has been streamlined and simplified. (Think the opposite of a Lady Gaga outfit.) When I used to work in real estate, I enjoyed helping people stage their homes and remove the junk and clutter so the home would be more appealing to buyers.

One of the culprits that makes things more complicated is the fact that people now how hundreds of cable or satellite channels. Why would a person ever need more than 20 channels? Remote controls are also a joke these days. I only need the power, mute, volume, channel and the jump buttons. I hate having so many buttons on them and I hate the fact that I have 4 different controls I have to deal with.

I enjoy the technological advancements of our day, but let's keep things simple. I have so many demands and so little time to reform the world. Speaking of simplicity, I have to include one of my favorite Onion news stories about the Apple Mac Wheel. This has been around a while, but it still makes me laugh. I guess this is one example of how simplifying something too the extreme can make things much more complicated.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Random Friday Thoughts

Nothing to do with this post, but those are horrible costumes.
Happy Friday. I've decided to address a couple unrelated topics that I've considered doing posts about, but I just don't have enough material or substance to do a post for each one. This way you will only have to read one mediocre post instead of four.

Texting is not my cup of tea. I'm not just saying that because I'm old. I know there is a time and a place for it, but I hate it when someone wants to text, instant message, or e-mail back and forth all day when you could have gotten all the information covered in one short conversation. Besides, I don't ever have to see the letters LOL when I speak with someone face to face or over the phone.

Why can't I see any followers on my blogs? Is this yet another Blogger glitch? I heard they were erasing comments and posts last week. Are they trying to drive people over to WordPress?

Here's a quick quiz. Besides being famous people, what do these 4 people have in common? *(the answer is at the bottom of this post.)

Taylor Swift
Drew Barrymore
Leslie Nielsen
Parker Posey

I love the Google artwork. The guitar strings they have up are pretty cool, so was the Pac-man game, but my favorite one was the Richard Scary tribute last week. It may not be cool for a grown man to admit this, but I think Richard Scary books rock.
* They all have androgynous first names that are more common for the opposite sex.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Evil Twins

When I see someone for the first time, I frequently try to decide what famous person they look like. I love assigning people their evil twin. This game is especially fun when you are walking with a friend through crowds of people. 

As the unsuspecting public walks past, you discreetly say a name of who you think they look like. It is especially gratifying when you both agree on a name. A variation of this is when you see someone who is a combination of two people. There are many more mixes or combinations of people in the general public than pure evil twins.

I've noticed that some people get certain celebrities confused with one another. Here is a list of some people who either look alike or remind me of each other:

Kurt Russell and Patrick Swayze
Jay Leno and Taylor Hicks
Missy Peregrym and Hilary Swank
Mark Walberg and Matt Damon
Woody Harrelson and Lance Armstrong
Gregory Peck and Carey Grant
Seth Green and Jamie Kennedy
LeeLee Sobieski and Helen Hunt
Nicholas Cage and Andy Garcia
Christopher Walken and Jon Voight
Gary Busey and Nick Nolte
Cheryl Crow and Carly Simon
Matthew Broderick and Robert Downey Jr.
Charlie Brown and Phil Collins
Jean Tripplehorn and Marcia Gay Harden
Salma Hayek and Penelope Cruz
Owen Wilson and Ellen Degeneres
Colin Hay and Christopher Eccleston
Michael York and Richard Chamberlain
Jack Black and Oliver Platt
Richard Branson and Wolf From American Gladiators
Elvis Costello and The Verizon Guy
Jack Nicholson and Jack Nicklaus (You know you've confused them even though they don't look alike.)

One of my favorite websites that features nothing but evil twins is Totally Looks Like.

Please feel free to offer any of your suggestions that I might add to the list.