Carlos\’ Chronicles
Stories for a New Generation

Jan
25

“There’s no such thing as good ideas and bad ideas. There are only your own ideas and other people’s. If you want someone to like your idea, tell him he said it last week and you just remembered.”

– Scott Adams

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Jan
24

I remember my excitement the first time I saw a restroom faucet with a motion detector. It was like magic. I just waved my hand in front of the sensor and water spat forth. It was like the food replicator on the Star Ship Enterprise, but Version 1.0 that only produces cooty water.Eventually the soap dispenser caught up. That was less exciting for two reasons: 1) It was just copying the water faucet, and 2) It is exactly how I imagine it would feel if a bird pooped on my hand.

Lately, some paper towel dispensers have joined the action. Activate the sensor and a paper towel presents itself. Scientists have obviously spent a lot of time calculating the proper dimensions for this towel. It’s precisely the size that is too small to be satisfying and yet large enough that you won’t rip the dispenser off the wall, smash it in the sink and grab a big wad of towels from its stinkin’ guts. But you’re tempted.

I’m anxiously awaiting the next innovation in restroom automation. I assume developers are already working on the last mile: A robotic arm to unzip my pants, grab my unit, then do the holding, shaking, and repackaging. I’m too busy to do that stuff for myself. Plus I was already spoiled by the time they automated the paper towel dispenser.

The Autopee device (it needs a name) would be problematic because every guy is built different. Somehow it would need to know the dimensions of what’s behind your zipper so it didn’t accidentally neuter you. I suppose the best way to do that is to have some sort of voice recognition software that asks you what kind of car you drive. If it’s a Porsche, for example, you might be compensating. If it’s a Honda minivan, you’re probably sporting an anaconda.

You’d also have to tell the Autopee how much shaking you want, ranging anywhere from two quick flicks to a happy ending.

Good luck getting that image out of your head.

Dec
31

Carlos’s Chronicles has been officially chosen to be part of a lucky beta test – only a lucky 10% of the bloggers were chosen. We’ve been snapped!

What this means for you the reader:

“You will see a little widget that shows you a pictoral preview (a ‘snap’ if you will) of the page on the other end of said link when you hover over it for a few seconds!”

I like it so far; but what about you? Like it, love it, hate it, you just can’t ignore it… !

Dec
26

A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human history – with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila.

– Unknown

Dec
18

I can’t help but laugh at the pathetic attempts the MPAA and RIAA use to stop piracy. Some of the tips are so lame, they actually might push their users over the edge, and start pirating movies and music. First they start by enticing their readers, and inform them of all the good things about pirated movies:

You get the movies before they come out:

Movies that have yet to be released in theatres, or which are still out in theatres, generally are not be available in the DVD format. If very recent titles are being sold on an auction or other online retail sites, they are most likely pirated.

Notice the obvious grammar error in their quote? Conclusive proof the MPAA is a gang of morons? I think so.

Pirated movies are cheaper than the ones we sell:

Even if you are hoping to get your favorite movie titles at a discount, new or used, the extremely low prices offered on some Web sites might indicate pirated product.

Pirated copies, unlike ours contain no DRM and are region free:

In addition, if anywhere on the package it reads that the disc is an “All-Region,” “0-Region,” or “No Region” product, it’s highly likely that the DVD is pirated.

Is pirating your movies starting to sound better and better? Would you like to learn more? Excellent, the MPAA kindly gives you a list of applications you can use to download free movies. As a courtesy they’ve also said that these programs can be used to download that $600 Adobe product you’ve always wanted, or that South Park episode you missed.

A peer-to-peer service is a network that enables computers to connect directly to each other in order to distribute and copy files. Software programs utilize these networks to search for and trade every kind of file. Examples of P2P services include eDonkey, KazaA, Limewire and DirectConnect.

Careful kids, because as we all know downloading music is FAR more damaging and worse than stealing a used pair of shoes.

It is no different from stealing another person’s shoes or stereo, except sometimes it can be a lot more damaging.

I’m convinced, are you?

Dec
18

Santa was having a real bad day..

One particular Christmas season a long time ago, Santa was getting ready for his annual trip, but there were problems everywhere. Four of his elves got sick, and the trainee elves did not produce the toys as fast as the regular ones, so Santa was beginning to feel the pressure of being behind schedule.

Then Mrs Claus told Santa that her mom was coming to visit. This stressed Santa even more.

When he went to harness the reindeer, he found that three of them were about to give birth and two had jumped the fence and were out, heaven knows where. More stress.

Then when he began to load the sleigh one of the boards cracked, and the toy bag fell to the ground and scattered the toys.

So, frustrated, Santa went into the house for a cup of apple cider and a shot of rum. When he went to the cupboard, he discovered that the elves had hidden the liquor, and there was nothing to drink.

In his frustration, he accidentally dropped the antique cider pot that Mrs. Claus’ mother had given them as a wedding gift, and it broke into hundreds of little pieces all over the kitchen floor. He went to get the broom and found that mice had eaten the straw end of the broom.

Just then the doorbell rang, and an irritable Santa trudged to the door. He opened the door, and there was a little angel with a great big Christmas tree.

The angel said, very cheerfully, “Merry Christmas, Santa!! Isn’t it a lovely day? I have a beautiful tree for you! Where would you like me to put it?”

Thus began the tradition of the little angel on top of the Christmas tree…

HAPPY HOLIDAYS FOLKS!! 😀

Dec
13

“It’s not hard to meet expenses, they are everywhere.”

– Unknown

Dec
11

Sometimes I wonder why music is legal. Music can alter your mood and your body chemistry just like any illegal drug. The fact that it goes into your body through your ear shouldn’t make a difference. We take drugs via practically every other hole in our body – mouth, butt, eyeballs, nose – you name it. Ain’t nothing special about an ear.

Music is clearly unsafe. Suppose you’re in a perfectly good mood and a depressing song comes on. That could make you sad and break down your body’s natural defenses. You could get sick and die. Thank you very much Tori Amos.

Many songs are dangerous to hear while operating a motor vehicle. For example, anything by the Magic Numbers (for the moment anyhoo) will force me to exceed the speed limit. You probably have your own songs that make you speed. If you believe in free will you might argue that people always have the choice of NOT speeding. But by that reasoning it should be legal to allow drunks to drive because they have the choice of not doing it.

Let me put it another way. If gum made people more likely to speed, you know there would be a law against chewing and driving. If it goes into your body through your mouth, it’s a drug. If it goes in through your ears, it’s entertainment. That seems random to me.

One way you know you have a drinking problem is if it affects your work. I don’t know about you, but if I have a song stuck in my head, it lowers my I.Q. by about 40 points. I can sometimes do two things at the same time if those two things are easy, such as humming and walking. But if I’m trying to write a blog post or read a text book, a song in my head will turn me into a chimp. Case in point – I have a song in my head right now and this post sucks.

Don’t forget – music is a gateway drug to harder stuff. Music attracts dancing. Dancing attracts alcohol. Alcohol leads to unwanted pregnancies. Unwanted pregnancies lead to abortion. If you believe life begins at conception, you have to believe that music kills babies.

And then there’s the corrosive effect of hip-hop music. I enjoy a lot of it, but after hearing three tracks I have an urge to slap a ho. That can’t be healthy, especially for the ho.

Just to be clear, I don’t think music should be illegal. I just think it’s somewhat random that it isn’t.

Dec
09

It used to be that the phrase “milking it” carried a pretty negative connotation with it for me, for as kids we only used it about people we thought were taking advantage of some situation without earning the right to do so. People who were “milking it” were the human equivalent of leeches.

However I’ve recently found that the phrase is very useful when I turn it around to be about me and not someone else. Milk is good. Milk is healthy. And “milking it” has turned into a great personal practice, specifically in regard to my habits with getting the most out of information I suspect holds new learning for me.

If you are reading this, and you are one who reads blogs on a daily basis, I would guess you struggle with information overload. Knowing that you do, you very willingly sit at a computer screen which is going to add even more to what your poor brain is already struggling to process. It’s addicting, I know.

You get better and better at skimming, and yet even that skimming takes time, and there are too many instances where you’ve turned off for the evening and purposely NOT asked yourself, “What am I taking away from the last few hours sitting here?” because you know you won’t like the answer. Skimming isn’t very satisfying at all.

And to skim over something I should have paid better attention to? Something promising? Something which could have been a breakthrough if I’d taken the time to internalize it, and really know it in the whole it was intended to be? Well, the thought is just criminal. Worst than a whole barrel of leeches.

So instead, in an effort to respect my own time and use it well, to “Milk It” has become a new habit I have practiced lately with far better results. I can switch offline each evening now feeling pretty terrific if I have done this at least once during my day of information bombardment. My MILK IT self-talk goes like this:

M- Make house and sit for a while when something intrigues you as Milkable.
I- Inventory all the Info available to you right here, right now. Whole Milk.
L- Listen to yourself think about what it all can mean for you. Learn it.
K- Know something you didn’t know before. Grab hold of a take-away.

I- Ink a commitment to use your new knowing. Calendar an “I will” action.
T- Take that action the next day. If not then, the sooner the better.

This does take discipline and self-restraint. You need to be okay with reading less, realizing that as the adage goes, “Less IS more.” Hard in the beginning, but the secret is to make it to T and take that affirmative action. Soon, it is the action that gets addicting.

(Adapted from ‘Managing with Aloha’ by Rosa Say)

Dec
02

“If you keep your feet firmly on the ground, you’ll have trouble putting on your pants.”

– Unknown