Friday, April 27, 2012

It's All About The Tools

I've never been much of a do it yourself guy and as a result I don't have the best tool collection. I would love to spend several thousand dollars some day at Lowes and stock up on some basic tools. When trying to do repairs, I usually get frustrated since I don't have the necessary tools to get the job done. This could be something as simple as not having the right saw. My brother in law is similar to me in this way. He once said his entire tool collection consisted of an empty cool whip container which contained a couple of screw drivers and a tape measure. I can relate.

My kind of patch up job.
I've always had a fantasy that the "This Old House" people would knock on my door because they needed a home to feature on their show, and they'd like to fix it up for free. I'm still waiting for that to happen. I had this twisted fantasy long before the popular home makeover shows came on the scene and they've only made things worse with all their "move that bus" drama. I guess I could always man up and learn to fix something myself.

Many times I've hired a repairman who comes and performs what ends up being a 5 second task because he has the appropriate tools. I locked my keys in my car once and called a locksmith. Within 10 seconds of arriving he had picked the lock and had the car open. It took him 4 times as long to write out the invoice than it did to open the car. I once had a furnace guy come out who used a special flexible camera to inspect a part of the furnace that was hard to get to. It was cool, but I paid out the nose for the use of his gadgetry.

I've always been intimidated by guys who can build and fix stuff so easily. Guys who add a wing on their home as part of a little weekend project or build a nice gazebo for their wife on a Saturday afternoon. I'm not sure how to compensate for my lack of the manly repair gene which is apparently very recessive. Maybe a monster truck would help.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Giving In To Twitter

Seeing how the feedback from my last post was so dismal, I decided to forgo the Pinterest dare until Facebook ends up switching me or tricking me over to their timeline format. Just 3 comments on my prior post? Back in my prime I was averaging 10 comments on most mediocre posts. Anyway, while I was feeling in an adventuresome mood, I went ahead and did something I swore I'd never do. I set up a Twitter account.

Last year I did a post about my dislike and bias against Twitter so I feel kind of embarrassed to admit that I have really gotten into it over the last several days and think it's pretty cool. It's kind of like an abbreviated Facebook, but I can be friends with Oprah, Obama, and Lady Gaga without them ever having to friend me. I think the technical word for that is stalking. (I don't actually follow any of them, but you get the idea.)

Things I like about Twitter:

1) The messages are short so they don't take long to read. If I had to contain my posts to140 characters, they would only be two sentences long. I know some of you would like that too.

2) There are some really clever and funny comments I've come across.

Things I don't like:

1) I don't care for all of the crude comments and language that is common with so many users. Most of the messages are pretty shallow. Sometimes I feel like I'm back in junior high when I'm reading updates.

2) They still call the comments tweets. I thought someone would have fixed that by now.

Anyway, if you are on Twitter, I just want you to know you can now access abbreviated Chaka's World type of thoughts at Tom@Chaka4612. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go see what Tom Hanks and Conan have been up to today.

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Pinterest Dare

Since I am so cutting edge, I've decided to share some of my technological knowledge with the masses. In case you are a few years behind the times like me,  Pinterest is a website where you can customize an online pinboard full of digital images of things you like. It's kind of like scrapbooking without all the hassle since you can digitally plagerize.

Pinterest is geared more towards women than men, which is ironic since men are more visual. By the way, I recently checked my blog and realized that I have a 75 % female vs. a 25% male following. After analyzing this data, I've come to the obvious conclusion that Chaka's World is very much like Pinterest since it appeals to the fairer sex, and probably even more popular.

Anyway, I decided to get a Pinterst account. I first learned that they don't take just any old riff-raff off the street. You have to request an invitation or be invited, kind of like applying for a membership at a country club. After requesting an invitation, I was told to enjoy looking at some sample pins. I browsed and saw the typical boards have stuff like chocolate chip cookies, Johnny Dep, Zac Efron, designer clothes, pictures of fancy fingernail polish, etc. Yes it's a total chick thing, but I was still determined to sign up and make a masculine pin board.

As you can imagine, I hardly slept for a couple days and was relieved when I finally learned my request had been approved, and I was allowed to join. I clicked on the link and was told I needed sign up via my Facebook account. I was about to click "accept" when I noticed the small print indicating that they may update posts of some of my likes on FB on my behalf. I was not excited about that, but the real deal breaker was "you will be upgraded to Facebook Timeline". THOSE ARE FIGHTING WORDS! Since when is Timeline an upgrade? I have been fighting that change since it came out.

Here's the deal. If I get enough comments encouraging me to do so, I will be willing to take one for the team and will complete the Pinterest sign up and make the manliest pinboard ever, so this post is basically TO BE CONTINUED....

Stay tuned for my followup post, as well as future technology trend updates. I'm also considering getting a video membership at Blockbuster so I don't have to buy the VHS tapes I watch any more. I'll let you know how that goes.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Seasons of Life

I'm enjoying the recent arrival of spring weather and the feelings of hope and renewal that accompany it. I enjoy watching the seasons change and am grateful for the variety they provide. I think human development and life stages mimic nature and the seasons. Below I have some brief insights about life, development, and aging. The ages I have listed are approximate and I'm sure there are some exceptions like Benjamin Button, but for most people, I think these generalities hold true.

Spring goes from birth to age 25. You are still a spring chicken if you are in this category. Just because you are old enough to vote or drink doesn't mean you are old. These energetic folks are usually more open minded, naive, resilient, and have big dreams.

Summer probably runs from age 26-40. This is the prime of life when it comes to physical conditioning and health for most people. It is an exciting time as people start careers, families, and put more effort into leaving their mark on the world.

Fall is most likely in the age range of 41-65. I think this is the highlight of life as one matures and takes on new roles as grandparents while they continue to relate to and interact with the younger generation. The disadvantage is you are more likely to start paying attention to all of those pharmaceutical commercials you see on TV.

Winter is from age 65 until death. Some people have much longer winters than others. This time is marked by slower activity, greater wisdom, nostalgia for the past, and hopefully, feelings of completion and achievement.

I'm afraid doing this little exercise just made me kind of depressed when I realized I'm already in the Fall category. I try to fight aging as much as I can. Sometimes I feel like Creed from The Office when he dyed his hair black and came to work on a skateboard so he would appear younger.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Blogging vs. Stand Up

I've always enjoyed watching stand up comedians on TV. I think it would be fun to be a comedian and make people laugh. Two of my favorite comedians are Brian Regan and Jim Gaffigan. I appreciate these guys because they are really funny without being crude or swearing up a storm.

I've noticed that they have loyal groupies who eat out of their hands. When your audience knows your material better than you do and they are still willing to come out to hear your delivery, then you know you have a pretty sweet gig.

I'm afraid if I was on stage and spotted someone in the audience who I saw at an earlier show, I'd be stressed out about telling the same jokes and would have to come up with all new material before they heckled me.

I always get a kick out of the audience members that camera men focus on and show during Comedy Central programs. It seems that many of these people are just sitting on the edge of their seat waiting for anything to be said so they can have an excuse to laugh. Some of them appear to laugh out of peer pressure, but I suspect from that uneasy look in their eyes, they don't always get the punch line.

I enjoy comedy, but I'm not a very fast thinker on my feet. I'm afraid if I ever got put up on a stage in front of a live audience I would pull a Marsha Brady. I'm the guy that thinks of a witty comeback to a situation two hours later while I'm driving home. That's why I like blogging. It's staged humor as opposed to spontaneous humor.