Of Smartphones and Schadenfreude

Sometimes it seems everything conspires against us. Yesterday was one of those times.

Illuminati Dollar
Blame the Illuminati!

I really, really, really wanted to watch the BRA v GER match; however, my schedule would only allow me to see half of it. That was fine – after all, some of a match is better than no match at all, right? Besides, I had friends supporting both sides. I wanted to share in the joy/disappointment.

Now, I don’t have cable at my house, and my rabbit-ear antennae barely function. So, I’ve been watching at least one match a day at my in-laws house. Nothing new on that front.

But then I checked my email. You see, I had taken the opportunity to upgrade my current phone by renewing my provider contract for the low, low cost of free. According to their website, my phone would be delivered on Wednesday. The email I received informed me that it was on the truck for delivery on Tuesday. So, while I had planned on being ready for the 4:00 match at 1:00, I was sitting in my living room waiting for FedEx at 3:00. They delivered at 3:05; not bad, FedEx delivery algorithm!

4s BlackThen came the great question: did I try to transfer my content via the cloud or via PC. Since I don’t have WiFi and didn’t want to use data from my plan, I opted to use my PC.

BAD IDEA

I thought it would be a simple file transfer: make a backup file and then restore the new phone from that file. But no, it couldn’t be that simple. No matter what I did, my PC refused to recognize my phone as anything other than a new phone. Finally, at 4:30, I gave up and went to watch the game.

At my in-laws, my wife successfully transferred her content to her new phone in under 10 minutes using the cloud. I finally got my phone to work properly at 1:00 the next morning.

I was able to see twenty minutes of the game, about 50′ to 70′. Of the seven goals Germany would score, I only saw one of them (69′).

Schadenfreude Score

Previously, I had stated that while I supported Germany, I sympathized with Mexico. No one should have to leave the Cup with a broken vertebra.

Crying Brazil SupporterI lied. Watching the match unfold – or listening to it on the radio – or convincing someone to give me an update via their phone – I reveled in the schadenfreude of Germany’s thorough thrashing of the Brazil side. The tears of Brazil supporters only fueled my delight.

Now, I realize this may come back to haunt me. As Germany faces Argentina in the championship match Sunday, they may be on the receiving end of such a thrashing.

But for the next four days, I’ll glory in the excitement and anticipation of adding another star to the Deutscher Fußball-Bund.

Even if they lose, I want a Schweinsteiger jersey for Christmas.

Schweinsteiger Jersey Mannschaft
Die Mannschaft für Weinachten!

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34 Countries from the End of a Pier

Trent River in New Bern, NCThis week I attempted to travel around the world. No, I’m not trying to be some kind of modern-day Phileas Fogg, breaking a new record for circumnavigating the globe. Instead, I’m working on a project.

As some of you know, I teach middle and high school social studies. Last year, my Geography class was decidedly lackluster. This year, though, I have a plan: every two weeks, I’m going to create a travel montage highlighting a particular country. I want to include posters, brochures, postcards, a clock with the local time, and – of course – sample the national cuisine.

Of course, the obvious solution would be to employ the vast knowledge of Wikidpedia and Google Image Search, but I want things to be more real. Therefore, I set about contacting the embassies of 34 countries from around the world. The list was entirely arbitrary; I sat down and made a list of the countries that I would want to learn more about. Here’s the list:

Europe

Germany, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Portugal, Greece, Romania, Italy, France, Ireland, Norway, Spain

Asia

Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia, India, China, Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines

Africa

Cote D’Ivoire, Morocco, Egypt, South Africa, Zaire (D.R. Congo), Madagascar

South America

Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Peru

Central/North America

Panama, Costa Rica, Mexico, Canada

Believe it or not, I heard back quite quickly from several embassies. Norway wins the prize for promptness, though, with a response time of 5 minutes. Garrison Keillor would be proud. So far, several countries have promised to send me supplies: Germany, France, Norway, and South Africa. I am on a waiting list for Peru. I was disappointed to learn that several countries do not send out information, including Italy, Japan, Cote D’Ivorie, and Costa Rica. I have not received a response from any of the other countries.

Now, I would appreciate your help. I know from the site stats that I have visitors from around the world. If you live outside the US – or know someone who lives outside the US  –  and are willing to help me out by sending me some local brochures, posters, magazines, newspapers, or anything of the sort, please let me know. It doesn’t have to be a country from the list, any country would do.

I could hope beyond hope that this would get picked up by Freshly Pressed, but somehow I don’t think this article meets those standards. So, if you can help, let me know. If you can’t help personally, repost, reblog, or share my plea; you can help make Geography class a more interesting place to be!

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