Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Resolutions/The Bucket List

Someone has been lazy lately. This is the longest I have ever gone between posts. I feel even worse for not visiting all the blogs I usually follow. I will stay on top of things better this upcoming year. Last year I set a lot of goals and as usual, I only completed a small percentage of them. I was however able to do the following: graduate from college, get a scooter, run another marathon, and get 100 followers on my blog, and lose 20 pounds. Like most people this time of year, I have been considering what I'd like to accomplish in 2010. I know many people are against resolutions, but I think goals are critical for me or I don't get anything done.

As I was looking over my bucket list of things I'd like to do during my life, I was a little bit torn. I like the idea of living life to the fullest, and I had previously made a list of all kinds of things I'd like to do some day before I die, but while I was reviewing the list, I began to question if I really wanted to some of the items I had previously written down. One example is being able to jump from my back to my feet like Jackie Chan and other marital artists do. It doesn't really accomplish anything, but it sure looks cool. Also, if I really wanted to play the piano I probably would have stuck with my lessons when I was 10. I'm a little confused if I giving up on my dreams or just determining what things I really care about?

I think 2010 will have some good things in store. I'd like to take Chaka's World to the Next level by turning it into a TV mini series staring Jacqueline Smith and Leslie Nielsen. If that doesn't work out I will have some other surprises, but I will make it a better place to visit in 2010. Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Power of Concentration

As we approach the final days before Christmas, my thoughts are naturally drawn towards today's topic- the power of concentration. I have mixed feelings about stuff that is concentrated. This is especially true when I hear people boasting about how concentrated a particular substance may be. Sometimes I hear things like "one drop of nerve gas is powerful enough to kill 1,000 people" I have also heard similar reports how a certain quantity of cobra venom could kill x amount of rodents. That may be true, but I'm inclined to think some of these claims may be exaggerated.

Speaking of poisonous substances, when I was little we used to have a gallon container of "passion punch". You would mix a teaspoon full of the syrup into a glass of water and it would turn into a koolaid-like substance. I have always been amazed how it never ran out during my entire childhood. I just now realized it was not so much because it was so concentrated, but rather because the taste kept us from ever coming back for more unless we got really desperate. There are also positive examples of concentrated substances like frozen orange juice concentrate, vanilla extract, cleaners, and laundry detergent.

I appreciate the whole concentration concept and think it makes sense and is good for the environment, but I'm still a little skeptical about some product claims. Does the concentrated laundry detergent really go as far as it claims to? Is the nerve gas really as lethal as people claim it is? I guess I will never know. These are some of the mysteries of life that I may go down to my grave never solving. One of the reasons I try to live a good life is so when I die I can have access to the heaven library and get answers to all of my questions. Things like who killed JFK, UFO cover ups, conspiracy theories, and finding out who dropped off anonymous Christmas treats and gifts and our house.

PS- When I make frozen orange juice, it says to mix it with 3 cans of water. I like to add 3 and a half, because I still think it has plenty of flavor that way. If there are a line of thirsty kids waiting for me to make it, I will sometimes even bump it up to 4 to make it last longer. Please don't tell.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Picture of the Month Dec 09

I think this is great. I can't compete with my neighbors lights either.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Modern Art- The Warning Signs

I enjoy art, but will be the first to admit that I am no expert. I understand that a big part of art appreciation is one's interpretation and personal preferences. I'm not here to lay down the rules and tell people what they should and should not like, but I have to put my foot down when it comes to some forms of modern art. I frequently feel insulted or ripped off when I see some "modern" art. I prefer classic realistic artwork where you can actually tell what the subject matter is supposed to be. Maybe I'm just lazy. I thought I'd give you some tips on how to identify Modern Art. Here are some warning signs to watch for:

1) If it looks like a monkey or a a sloppy 4 year old kid painted it, it's probably modern art.
2) If the eyes and other facial features are not where they should be-watch out. Yes I'm talking to you Mr. Picasso.
3) If it looks like 6 buckets of paint exploded over a canvas, then beware. (Coughing while saying Pollock)
4) It consists of only 2 or three colored shapes or even worse, a blank canvas.
5) If people have to assure you that you made a great investment despite the fact you just paid a million dollars for a mockery.
6) If you feel like you just saw an episode of Sprockets after viewing it, then it's probably modern art.

Shouldn't some sort of consumer protection agency press charges against certain artists for letting their artsy nothing paintings sell for so much? (Yes I am probably just jealous because I didn't think of that scam first)

Some will accuse me of being shallow and not intelligent enough to fully appreciate the deep meaning of a blank canvas with one blue circle in the corner entitled "Juxtaposition of pathos". I'll admit I may be simple minded, but I'm still not falling for it. I actually do enjoy many modern pieces and contemporary artists, it's just the ones that make me say "even I could do that" that I get angry about it. I'm okay with Kandinsky since he has so much color and I love Salvador Dali. How can you not like melting watches and psychedelic stuff. I still don't get what the big deal is about Warhol. Maybe some day when I finally get cultured I will be able to appreciate the deep meaning of a can of Campbell's soup.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Cell Phones

I only know a few people who don't own a cell phone, and despite their living in the dark ages, I secretly admire them. As much as I love having immediate communication, there are also some benefits to not having a cell phone. Whenever I accidentally leave home without mine, I initially panic, but then I feel sort of liberated and refreshed, like I have been on a Tony Robbins retreat out in the desert for a week.

Several years ago, I set my ring to vibrate and have never taken it off. I prefer a subtle notification when I'm getting a call. I have adapted to be able to hear the quiet buzz even in a noisy room. I freak out whenever I accidentally change it to a real ring tone and it goes off. I'm paranoid of turning into one of those obnoxious people who have very loud ring tones who let it ring 7 times or wait for the whole song to play before they answer their phone. I am always amazed when I'm in a meeting or a presentation and some one's noisy ringer goes off and they finally answer it and then actually carry on a conversation in a loud voice without leaving, all the while being oblivious to the group they are distracting and interrupting.

My Verizon contract is finally up next month so I have been looking at different phones and options. I currently have a Palm Treo but have been toying with switching to a Blackberry. I'm also looking at an I-phone, but they cost so much. I have too many options and wonder if anyone has any suggestions? If you own a cell phone you are qualified to comment and tell me what works for you.

I came across this picture while looking for cell phone photos online. I am usually against self-mutilation, but this guy makes a strong case for the win-win partnership of gauging and hands free phone use.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The World's Grossest Carpet

And the award goes to.... me. When we moved into our home nearly 10 years ago, the seller included a carpet allowance since she was so embarrassed about the condition of the carpet. We ended up using the money for something else we considered more important (probably food) and never got around to replacing it. As you can imagine with a house full of kids, the condition has not gotten any better over the last 10 years. It is truly disgusting.

Over time there have been a plethora of spilled substances, and I won't go into detail about them in case you are eating something now, but they have all left their mark on the carpet. Just last week while walking up the stairs I found a plate of pancakes and syrup that a two year old had turned upside down on the carpet. The sad thing is, it didn't make any difference. It really can't get any worse. We've had the carpets cleaned many times but after a short time they return to their disgusting nature. You know it's bad when your dirty carpet not only mocks you, but the ripped seams in it also trip you when you walk by.

The dilemma I have is that we are not dirty people (despite the attached photographic evidence) and this disgusting carpet is starting to bring me down like a depressing country song or a bad hair day. Sometimes when I see it, I feel like Charleton Heston in Planet of the Apes and I want to collapse on the ground screaming "It's a Madhouse!" My wife hates it even more than I do. It is so bad that it has kept us from entertaining friends or having people over. We are afraid that if someone sees it we will lose our country club membership or will no longer be invited to the Oscars each year.

Our neighbor was replacing her old carpet and I used some of her old carpet pieces and put them over some sections of our carpet and now I feel like I live in the Taj Mahal when I walk on those areas. I also realized how bad of a job I did and it wouldn't surprise me to find my handiwork ending up on There I fixed it.

So, if you have recently been complaining about the condition of your flooring, I just thought I'd give you a little perspective and let you know that it could be worse. Sorry to share such a nasty pictures, but at least this post wasn't titled "the world's hairiest back", or "the world's worst rash." You're welcome.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Nose Blowing Anxiety

I feel a little uncomfortable addressing this subject since personal hygiene can be a touchy issue and to be frank, what we are really talking about here is snot. I have decided that since it is runny nose season I will go ahead with this post.

I have always felt awkward and uncomfortable when it comes to blowing my nose. When I need to blow my nose, I will go in a bathroom or do so behind closed doors. I don't like it and I really feel weird doing it in front of others. I was recently relieved when my sister in law expressed similar feelings about this subject. It's good to know I'm not alone while dealing with this difficult issue.

Aside from the potential social stigma, I also hate the sensation of blowing my eardrums out. I have to admit I'm just not a very good nose blower. I know that nose blowing has it's place. People who sniffle all day and make nasty mucus related noises can be more offensive that the noisiest nose blowers. I think it is ironic that I'm so sensitive to this subject since I not only enjoy, but endorse loud vigorous sneezing.

Some people are unabashed nose blowers and have no problem doing so in a social setting, even while they are addressing a large group of people. I think it is an age thing. Usually the older generation is guilty of this. Many of these people are also the ones who carry cloth handkerchiefs in their pocket. I appreciate the concept of being prepared, but in a day and age of everyone being hand sanitizer freaks, and coughing into their shoulder, I think it is time for the cloth handkerchief to go the way of the dinosaurs.

Ladies, if you were at a funeral or some other emotional event and an old guy pulled out his personal hankie to let you wipe your tears would you use it? You may end up with booger mascara if you did. Sorry for being so gross. I'll have better topics in the future.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Muscle Posing

I do not consider myself to be an expert on flexing muscles and posing despite spending a good 15 minutes doing so every morning when I get out of the shower. I may not be an expert, but I can tell you what I think looks dumb. Pretty much any time someone holds a pose and flexes their muscles it kind of makes me wonder. I can understand an animal in the wild doing so to scare off it's enemy, but it is kind of unnecessary these days.

I have a couple exceptions to this rule. The first is if you are a professional body builder and you make your living by going on stage to show off the results of your hard work. My second exception for when it is okay to get into flexing is if you can beat the crap out of me. Then by all means do what you want and know you have my full support and admiration. Unless someone fits into the two above mentioned categories, I will be more critical of them since they probably do so for attention or because they think a lot of themselves.
There are many different flexing poses to choose from. Of all these different poses, the worst one has to be the Hans and Frans front pose with your hands gripped in front of you like an angry gorilla. If you are going to go to the trouble of performing a muscle pose I suggest you go straight to the coolest one in the book. The "Captain of the Universe/To infinity and beyond" pose as demonstrated by Arnold below. No, that is not me and I'm sick and tired of people always confusing my body with his. I'm afraid If I ever attempted this pose, that lasers would shoot out of my fingers and I'd turn into an intergalactic beacon of coolness.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Christmas Decorating

Now that it is December, I can address this subject without angering those people who want to keep the holidays in their proper order. (Those are the same people who reprimand people for listening to Christmas music before Thanksgiving.) I have also been a little critical of other's Christmas traditions in the past. I am trying to chill out and be more tolerant so I am not going to do the following things this year:

1) I won't complain about how early some people start decorating.

3) I will not say anything about the Clark Griswold's of the world who's decorated home's give off more light than the sun.

However, there is one area, where I can not budge. This has to do with consistency. I suggest you pick a theme when decorating and stick with it. I know it takes some mental effort and focus but it is worth it. If a nativity scene is too religious for you then use Frosty The Snowman or Santa stuff, but please don't have a manger scene in your front yard accompanied by Santa, Jack Frost, and Spider Man. This is my simple Christmas wish (and also world peace). For those of you who insist on the Shrek, Rudolph, and Iron Man combination, I still wish you a Merry Christmas, or whatever it is you are celebrating.