Wednesday, December 30, 2009

LottoFever in Brazil

When I was a kid, there was this TV program my sister and I enjoyed, called Lottery. It was about this mythical national lottery. Two guys, one from the lottery and another from the IRS would travel around the country, informing the winners and the taxman would then take his cut. This show provided one of the great family memories. it was Christmastime. This one particular show dealt with a cameraman at a local news station. The anchor woman was a real nasty piece of work who belittled all her coworkers, but was loved by the audience who only got to see her perky personality. The important thing here is, the camera man won the lottery. To get back at the anchor woman, he flipped the camera on during one of her tirades, and it gets transmitted on air, for everyone to see what she really is like. My sister and I must have really enjoyed this for some reason, because we started cheering and saying "oooh, burn, burn burn.." For reasons we never really understood then, and I doubt we ever will, this led my father to believe the Christmas tree was on fire, and he ran out of the bathroom in a panic. Anyways, lotto fever has hit Brazil. They are giving away a mega jackpot for the end of the year. The prize is R$120,000,000. And someone HAS to win. If no one picks all 6 numbers, they will distribute it to those who picked 5 of the 6 numbers. If no one has 5 numbers, they will distribute it among tose who picked 4, etc.. Now I really don't play MegaSena. I prefer the two soccer lotteries. One is called Loteca, where they give you 14 games, and you have to pick one team or the other, or a tie. If you pick 14 you get the grand prize, 13 also wins, but not near as much. LotoGol has only 5 games, but here you pick the muber of goals each team will score, 0, 1, 2, 3, or more than 3 (3+). Here you win with 5, 4, or 3 correct scores. The kids saw all the media hype with this end of year drawing and asked to buy one ticket. Everyone picked one number, except for Eric, who could not decide who his favorite player is, Ronaldo (#9) or Kaka, (#10), so we threw both of his in. You never know when lady luck knocks on your door...

Monday, December 14, 2009

History repeats itself, family edition

The very first apartment I lived in when I was a kid was on the second floor. We had this large glass window from which you could see the cars driving into and out of the apartment parking lot. Everyday, as my dad would drive off to work, he would stop and wave back at my mom and I. I must have been no more than 3 or 4 at the time. One day, for whatever reason, my dad was in a rush and he drove off without waving. I remember crying and crying and left the living room. My mom, trying to minimize the situation, shouted "Danny, he came back he came back, run, run.." Of course, he hadn't driven back she was trying to make me feel better, but I remember feeling worse because I "missed" him a second time. Anyways, we have a bus stop right in front of our house. Now I usually walk everywhere but Adriana tires easy so she usually takes the bus. As she gets on, Eric always shouts out the front door (we have these little 'windows' on them, where the door is closed but there is an opening that allows you to see the street), "mãinha, mãinha" (mommie, mommie) and she waves back. Mãinha, by the way, is used mostly in the Northeast of Brazil, most everyone else just uses "Mãe", or 'mom'. Today for whatever reason she didn't turn back and Eric started to cry, thinking she didn't hear him, or whatever, but all I could think of was when I went through the same thing way back when. I almost thought of pulling the same "she came back" on him, but I remembered it made me feel worse that I had missed him so I just let it go. He forgot the whole thing in about 15 minutes, but it just made me remember that earlier incident.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

New Eats..

Added a bunch of blog feeds on the right hand side. Most are blogs I at least TRY to follow with Google Reader. Don't have time to read them all, every day, but they are entertaining. I added a bunch of ex-pats in Brazil, so if you got one that ain't there, PLEASE let me know.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

I dunno whether to laugh, cry, or scratch my head...

I dunno whether to laugh, cry, or scratch my head...

Obama and Lula are most popular presidents in Latin America

According to LatinBarometer 2009, an annual poll that measures the preferences of Latin Americans, Barack Obama, U.S president, and Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, president of Brazil, are the most respected presidents in the region. Colombian president Alvaro Uribe is in the middle of the list, while Hugo Chavez, from Venezuela, and Fidel Castro, Cuban leader, garnered the least support, making them the most disliked figures in the region. The poll includes more than 2000 interviews in 18 countries throughout the region.

And the hits just keep on coming

OK, so what were the most popular posts? Well, far and away, not one post came close to this one about a Brazilian arms shipment going to Venezuela. This was actually a repost from another blog. I got some interesting hits on it: two from Cuba, a handful from Venezuela, and someone, I don't know who, who works at the State Dept. in Wash. DC got it in an email and then resent it to other people there. I know this from the stat tracker that shows where they got the link from. The second most popular post is the review to Bad Buddhist Radio I mentioned yesterday. #3 is a post that was pretty popular among the ex-pats living in Brazil because it deals with "Brazilian pizza". It seems a lot of people had been meaning to do a similar post on the differences. This post about "real crime" shows in Brazil got a respectable number of hits, it seems some Brazilian found the video funny and started emailing it around and around, and I got more email than I expected about it, as did the "price of a can of Pepsi" post that I also mentioned yesterday. The cricket posts all got a good number of hits, but these two about Mark Vermeulen and this one about Mohammad Asif got a good number more than the rest.
Thanks for stopping by....

Friday, December 11, 2009

Trafficing and Googling Wickets & Guayaba

Well, I thought it would be interesting to end the year with stats for the blog. Now, I took about a year and a half off, but it seems things are as stable as they are going to get. I hope to be posting about once week more or less. On with the stats. Obviously, most of my traffic comes from Google, but #2 was from a blog by a friend of mine which went off air last week, "Pumpkinseeds & Contradictions". #3 was direct traffic by people who knew the address and Blogger was tied with the same number of referrals. The rest if the top 10 is rounded out by fellow expats who either added me to their blog roll, or people who clicked on my link when I left a post. On to keywords people use when they hit my blog. This one comes with an asterisk *. #1 is the coach of the team when I worked there, Marcelo Neveleff. HOWEVER, there is a set of RELATED words that move one topic to the top, and that is "Bad Buddhist Radio". I did a review here and that gets hits all the time with a string of key words, from the name of host of the show Ryu Cope, to Bad Buddhism, or Bad Buddhist Radio. Lots of traffic form those words right there. Another bizzare occurance is people who Google "price of a can of Pepsi". I get hits on that because of this post here, where I talk about a strange custom in Brazil of giving gum balls or candies as change when they do not have enough coins. Well thats enough for today. Next post I will bring some more stats. Maybe...

Page Updates

Slowly but surely I am revamping the site layout. I am changing most of the links to RSS feeds, so if you had a link it is now on the feed thingamajigger by subject. Stay tuned..

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Today, I am a Man


At least in the eyes of the Brazilian government. I got my provisional "Carteira de Identidade Estrangeira", the Brazilian equivalent of a Green Card in the USA.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Lost in Translation

There used to be a running joke in Star Trek TNG where they would quote Shakespeare and the Klingons would reply "it's just not the same from the original Klingon", implying that his workds were orginally in their language. I kinda related to it after I moved to Brasil and read Hemingway or other English authors in Portuguese. I never really thought about it when I read Dostoyevsky or other authors whose original language was not English. (BTW, you have never really read Dostoyevsky till you read it in Portuguese). Marti is pretty good in Portuguese too. Anyways, the other day I was in the DVD rental place and saw the first season of The Muppet Show. I grabbed it in a instant and rushed home. Now, at first, I watched it alone in English. Then, when the kids got home I ranted and raved about what a great show it was, how I watched it as a kid, blablabla, yadayadayada. So I switched the audio to Portuguese for them to watch. It just wasn't the same. I mean, Jim Henson is Kermit, Ms. Piggy is Frank Oz, as sure as the Sun rises in the East. My favorites, Waldorf and Statler, the two old guys who used to complain about everything, their wisecracks didn't have the same effect. The kids, they enjoyed it though. Eric and Ericka laughed the whole way through. Adriana just kept looking at us, shaking her head saying I was more a kids then they are.

Monday, November 30, 2009

The More Things Change...

WOW!! Haven't posted in over a year. And, while a lot has changed, nothing really has. I am still in Garanhuns. The last time i posted, I had just moved into a new house. Guess what? I just moved into another house. Got a job teaching English. The kids are fine, but Adriana is a bit sick and needs to go to the doctor, female plumbing type problems. Hope to be able to keep this up now. No promises on how often I will post.