Monday, September 29, 2008

Elections

It's been some time since I posted on the local elections. So far, the biggest race is between Moody and Margo. If you're an avid reader of my blog then you no doubt know of my disdain of the Margo campain and when I began to dislike him. For non-avid readers I began to dislike Dee after he ran agains Eliot Shapleigh for Senate. Now that he realized that he can't win in the Senate, he shot for the other Texas house. In my opinion this a power hungry move by Margo who is running illegally because he doesn't live in the area for which he's running although he found a somewhat legal loophole.

And the other big race that is going on you of course do not need to read my blog to know about. Personally I'm rooting for Obama because I was rooting for Hilary until she dropped out and I feel that Obama will do less damage in office than McCain would. If you disagree, comment; I won't delete any of them.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Don Haskins

As you all (or many of you know) Don Haskins died last Sunday at the age of 78. I just wanted a post to sort of commemerate his legacy and also to talk about the time that I met him.

It was at Barnes&Noble Booksellers on Sundland Park dr. I'd stood in line for more than an hour to see if I could get an autographed copy of Glory Road. When I got to his table I could sense being in the presence of greatness. There was just something about him, in his eyes that seemed as if he saw right through me. It might have been that I just saw him through biased eyes but I also saw the age in his face. I shook his hand and he held me in a firm grip. I told him that I'd be going to UTEP in a couple of years (this all happened before I came here after Glory Road was released). He said he was glad to meet a future Miner. He signed my copy, and the next person in line pushed me out of her way.

That was the only time I ever met him. I wasn't alive during the famous 1966 championchip, and I'd only seen a few of the Miner basketball games that he'd coached before he retired. I'll never forget my very breif meeting with the man who was El Paso's favorite son. But his death doesn't mean he's gone. I still have the autographed copy of Glory Road and I also have the DVD. All I have to do to feel like I've met him all over again is to watch the video. I don't touch the book though because I want to keep it in a sort of new condition.

My heart goes out to the family of the Bear. May you rest in peace coach.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Languages.

Living on the border gives one a unique prospective. Most people who live on the border speak English or Spanish or both. Not only are different languages spoken but there are languages within the languages. For example, the now popular Spanglish (which my family uses so often entire conversations switch languages multiple times midsentence). The other languages are kinds of paralanguages which includes accents.

For many on the border, we've grown accustomed to hearing two very different accents and we know what words are trying to be  spoken, but others won't be able to understand and may even be offended. Por ejemplo, a person  with a strong Mexican accent (and I say Mexican because the Mexican version of Spanish is much different than Argentina's, Puerto Rico's, or Spain's) trying to say a couple of commonly used English words. What I always find amusing is the pronunciation of the word "beach" which for those who've never heard it ends up being said as "bich" and the word "focus" as "fukus" sometimes offending others.

This is a two way street. For those unfamiliar with Spanish and trying to use a common word, such as the word for kitchen "cocina" ends up being said as "kochina" and like the previous examples is a bad word. And even though there are more sounds in English, many Americans can't roll their R's nor pronounce LL as a Y so "tortilla" ends up as "torttillia."

And yes I am not making this up. I've heard these words mispronounced as well as numerous other words but I'm not really upset about this. In fact I'm glad that people are trying to speak two languages. For many Americans, they've never even tried to become bilingual. The rest of the world speaks two, at least three languages, but Americans only bother to speak English.

Living on the border gives you a unique prospective. Canadians speak English and French. Mexicans speak English and Spanish. Americans speak English. I hope this change soon. Learn a new language. You don't have to be perfect but learn enough about it so that you can understand it. Not only am I trying to better my Spanish but I'm also trying to learn Japanese which is a difficult language to teach yourself especially since it comes from a different branch of the language tree, but it is at least a start and I'm picking it up fairly quickly.

Learn Spanish. Learn French. Learn German. Learn Arabic. Learn Farsi. Learn Mandarin. Learn Malay. Learn Cantonese. Learn Japanese. Learn something so that Americans can start to change how the rest of the world views us.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Google Chrome

Google's done it again. They've revolutionized the way that people think about internet and its browsers.

Google released a Beta version (a version that had already been tested) as a free download for Windows, because Apple is terrible when it comes to software (even though they are excellent marketers). The young Chrome will soon become a fierce competitor to the already popular Mozilla Firefox, which released Version 3.0.1 recently as well.

Even though Chrome isn't perfect (there are still some bugs here and there such as XMLDOM Load method) its features, security, and speed far exceed that of MS Internet Explorer 7 and it leaves Opera and Safari in the dust.

Chrome's creators envisioned a browser that surfed the internet of today. IE had originally created its browser to surf web pages while Chrome has been designed to surf web applications and also allocate memory to each tab separately so if one site was acting up, the tab could be closed without closing the browser. Its JavaScript rendering is unmatched. Its concept of not having windows and allowing websites to fill the screen is so simple and elegant that somebody should have thought of it sooner. You can also search in the URL bar using a default search engine of your choosing (Mozilla has a similar feature except that the search bar is separate).

Like Blogger, Chrome is also Open Source. Google is letting people play with the source code in the hope that they will be able to better the internet browser.

To download Google Chrome go to www.google.com/chrome and for anyone who is wondering, yes I used Chrome when I posted this post.

>>If anyone has noticed, this post is a very different post from my previous bashing of the service which at&t provided me. I did not mean for these consecutive post contrast so much but I really felt that Google deserves the recognition for their excellent work.