Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Silencio!

By a show of hands (for the 12 of you that actually read this… I’m so pathetic) how many of you keep phone on silent? I know I do, even if it can get me in trouble with the boss aka the wife. Anytime I actually have my ringer on and I get a call, I’m always looking around to see what the foreign sound is, and that’s if I even hear it. I’m ringtone deaf. That bad boy has to be cranked to the maximum for it to be any use to me. I wasn’t always this way though. I used to buy ringtones back in the day when Sprint was my pimp (guess who I was in that working relationship) but because they paid for my cell phone bill, I never took the time to look at the bogus way the ringtone agreements are set up. By the time I quit working there, I was a crack addict for ringtones. I was the Ring King. Everyone wanted their phone to ring like mine. Saved by the Bell theme, Wilson Philips ‘Hold on’, you name it and I had it blasting from my hip. Then came the wakeup call (no pun intended) when I got a new phone as a fresh post-Sprint basnik. I think that is the reason I became a silent mode guy. That and I wasn’t 19 anymore and did not want to look like douche.

Did you know that when you purchase an application or a game it states if it is a onetime purchase, a 1-month, 3-month or whatever. They tell you up front. But with a ringtone, there is no such claimer – at least there wasn’t when we I was shelling out Washington’s for them.

In retrospect I have no idea why I was doing this because:
A) You were only getting 30 seconds (if you’re lucky) of a song, the part of the song always remained a mystery until after it was downloaded and paid for, but at least it was semi-fun because of the gamble like buying a scratch card
B) Depending on how recent the song is for the ringtone you’re buying, that bad boy could cost as much $2.99 if it was the top song on the radio

With Sprint, anytime you upgraded your phone or had it replaced because of damage, you could go into your Sprint online account and download everything you had purchased: except ringtones. Those are only available for download for 90 days after purchase. Are you freaking kidding me? A time limit for a music clip that is 30 seconds? Can you imagine if iTunes tried to pull that? I can, and can tell you that there wouldn’t be an iTunes if they tried to one over everybody the way they do with ringtones. So why am I still with Sprint you ask? Well sport, a couple of reasons. First, I’m loyal and have been with them since ‘02. So loyal instead of having to wait 2 years to get a full $150 off a phone upgrade, Sprint lets me do it every year. More important than that, Sprint thinks I work for General Electric (which I do not and never have) and because they think that, they give me 25% off my entire bill every single month. More than $35 dollars’ worth. I now one-over them, but better.

Anyways, this is completely off topic and not what I want to talk about. The whole reason I brought this up is because last night when I was setting my alarm to wake up for the USA v. Algeria game this morning, I never took my phone off silent. The foils of going with the no-tone. I missed the entire first half and only woke up when wife got up for work. We turned the game on right as Dempsey bounced one off the right post. Literally 1 inch more the left and it would have bounced in. I still can’t believe that did not go in, but was great way to turn on a game you are really excited to watch.

I also need to mention the fact that we’re poor newlywed college kids and get our cable from a literal cable that goes from the wall to the back of the TV. No box or menu guide, awww, how 1998 and nostalgic, I know. Poor us. Needless to say, the only HD we get is when we watch a Blu-Ray or a station that broadcast in HD, such as ABC, NBC and Fox. Sadly ESPN does not fall in to that free HD category but I made an extremely important discovery the other day while flipping through the chunk of channels that nobody watches. QVC, HSN, those wacky religious concert stations – you know what I’m talking about. Somehow, and it certainly was not in there three weeks ago, I know this because every once in a while if you flip through the junk chunk like I do, you’ll find a gem. Like the Pixar documentary (didn’t even change the channels during the commercials it was that good). Did you know Steve Jobs is a part owner of Pixar? That man has to be worth a trillion dollars by now. Anyhow, the Spanish channel had slipped in, and bless their South American hearts, were members of the free HD family and you KNOW they’re not going to not show all of the World Cup games. A Christmas Miracle. I’ve watched so many soccer games in Spanish I now day dream that watching the games on Telemundo will magically transform me into a fluent speaker and listener of Española. It’s working too and I can prove it. The word ‘gol’ in Spanish, which is pronounced ‘goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooollllll [inhale] goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooolllllll’ means ‘goal’ in English. I’m on my way let me tell you.

Not knowing Spanish was a good thing today however because I didn’t know the outcome of the England v. Slovenia and had zero awareness that if we even tied Algeria we were out. Also, since missing the first half of our game, I didn’t have to bare the pains of another US goal hijacking from the officials. Seriously when will this going to stop or when will FIFA step in and do something about it? Because of this my outlook remained positive and from a sole, second-half perspective, I could feel that we were going to score. Mind you, I never would have thought that Landon Donovan was going to score in the 91st minute, on a masterful series on events that started with a herculean heave from keeper Tim Hudson. Trust me, there was a giant freak out celebration by myself. There are not words to express the energy burst when that ball found the back of the net. It happens every time we score and I’m sure other people feel the same way. The only thing I can think of to compare it is when Colossus describes the first time his mutant powers manifested on the original X-Men cartoon. It’s when the runaway tractor trailer is about to pancake his sister and he steps in front of her as his body turns in to Adamantium and the 30-ton tractor crushes around his body like a wave on a rock. I felt that indestructible.

When the game ended I flipped back over to ESPN to get the updates/highlights and quickly learned how close we were from elimination, making it that much sweeter that we won the group. With Germany beating out Ghana, and Australia winning over Serbia, it looks like we’ll be playing the team with the home crowd on their side in Ghana, but it is still better than facing zee Germuns. They are the number eight team as far as power ranking go in the tournament. Now England can duke it out with them in the old classic. I like our odds in our match even though the Sports Power Index (SPI) has predicted Ghana to win as a 52% favorite. Pish posh, barring another slew of stolen goals, we will win for sure. Believe the hype! This team is all-time! Speaking of all-time, after the US game recap, I was introduced the longest tennis match of all-time. Yes, even Wimbledon has been swallowed out of everyone’s minds because of the World Cup. Admit you forgot is going on too.

The match between the United States John Inser and France’s Nicolas Muhut had already gone on so long yesterday that they were continuing it today. The two are stuck in the fifth set with their games tied 59-59. When I turned it on they were in games 27-27 and were about 20 minutes away from breaking the 6 hour 33 minute record and I turned in off when they were still tied 33-33 and 10 minutes past the old record. I had time to watch 4 episodes of Entourage, drive to the library and then work, and they were still playing. The match has now been postponed for a second straight night. I can’t even fathom being Inser or Muhut. I’d be lying on a table moaning, with drool falling out of my mouth and IV in my arm. Watching them play you could tell neither of them had any legs to return serves. It was a battle of who could make the least mistakes on their serves and it was ace after ace after ace, another record which was shattered. TV commentators Hannah Storm and Brian McEnroe kept comparing the match to boxing, the players both on the ropes just hanging on as long as they could trying to make it to the 15th round before the collapsed. I never would have though Tennis would ever, in any way, be compared to a boxing match. So far the match has gone on for 10 hours and who knows how long it will go on tomorrow. Looks like her Majesty the Queen, has picked the perfect time to return to Wimbledon tomorrow after a 30 year hiatus.

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