Misunderstood

For some time I have cringed every time I heard someone using the phrase “mano a mano” incorrectly. You often hear people using it mistakenly in a confrontational tone: “C’mon buddy let’s take this outside. It’s you and me, mano a mano.”

You see, the very first record I bought as a kid in third grade, Hall & Oate’s Private Eyes, had a song called “Mano a Mano”. It was the only song on the album that John Hall sang on, and the lyrics went something like “Mano a mano, hand to hand.” It had to do with world peace or something.

Something told me to place my faith in Hall & Oates rather than American colloquialisms on this one. I was right.

I discovered that Cecil Adams, the author of the Straight Dope series of books, maintains a web site, and had a topic on this issue. Cecil says that it’s understandable that people think the term has to do with confrontation, since “hand to hand”, the translation of the Spanish “mano a mano”, could be mistaken for “hand to hand combat”.

Anyway…just had to get that off my chest. Now back to goat herding.

Many Things

Today I shall endeavor to post a long update. I have been collecting a lot of good things to say here but haven’t had time to elaborate until now.

First, if you are one of the hundreds of people who leave comments on my posts each day, you will notice a new “captcha” that you must get by in order to submit a post. This I implemented using Gudlyf’s AuthImage plugin for WordPress. The spam bots finally got to be too much to handle, so this was necessary.

On to the world of Mozilla, the excellent email client Thunderbird was officially released this week. I have been using the Beta version for about a year, and am highly impressed with all the cool stuff version 1.0 offers. If you want to reduce spam and have a much safer email experience, download it now.

Since I know you are already using Firefox, I will throw out a handy link for the free MozBackup tool that will back up all of your Thunderbird mail and settings, as well as Firefox settings, and save them as a self-executable file for easy restoration. I use this tool weekly in case of a disastrous catastrophy. Additionally, I found the Firefox Deploy tool a great way to install Firefox on multiple machines with the exact same settings, extensions, and bookmarks.

Folks, free, reliable stuff like this is why Mozilla and the whole open source movement rule. Of course, this guy seems to have been in the bathroom when they passed out the brains.

I found an interesting article at 43 Folders called 5 Mistakes Band & Label Sites Make that lists some very common web design no-no’s. I couldn’t agree more. I learned a few things from the article that I will definitely resolve on the two band sites I have done so far, and will keep them in mind down the road.

Place The State is a fun game that tests your USA geography skills. Do you know where on the map to place the state of Delaware? I have to brag and say that the first try I got 90% with an average error of 53 miles.

For you iPod owners out there, you can now download the United States Constitution as an audio book for free. All it takes is an email address.

I was interested to read Jakob Nielsen’s recent post regarding Most Hated Advertising Techniques. I had a feeling about many of these, but now I can back up that feeling with facts when I try to convince a client that popup windows are just not cool.

While doing some research on Web Accessibility, I found HP’s site regarding the subject. I was laughing alound in my cubicle when I read their page about What to do if your screen reader says “horsepower”. Yes, it’s sad when one’s sense of humor slumps so low that jokes about screen readers are funny (but the higher geek factor is cool).

And lastly, but not leastly, Mackie, the maker of excellent sound equipment, is giving away a full-featured audio editing application called Tracktion. Again, all it takes is an email address. (link via my new favorite blog, Plastic Bugs).

whew!

MP3 Improvements

I have moved my My Music site (formerly known as www.hober.tk) to the same server as this very site, and it is now at music.willchatham.com. Not only did I fix a few errant links and typos, but the songs are now more quickly downloaded, as this server’s connection is vastly superior to that of the old one.

Please take a gander at the songs, and if you feel like it, download and listen to them.

Thanksgiving

Yay. I have found enough time to sit down and slap together a little photo gallery of our Thanksgiving 2004 Extravaganza. This year, my brother and his wife had baby Scarlet to bring along in addition to her maternal grandmother Wilma. They came all the way from Dallas and Oklahoma respectively, and it was great to have them.

We had a little bit of a nail biter, coming down to the wire with our kitchen/study/bath addition to the house. Things got completed just in the nick of time though, save for the glass stovetop that I cracked by mistake. We were still able to cook food, and it all came out great in the end. I’m still eating leftover stuffing.

More updates soon to follow. Trust me: they shall rock.