Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Creepy or Awkward?

We went to a birthday party at a park on Sunday, and as we were leaving, I noticed that a youth group that I was involved in during high school was setting up in a nearby pavilion.* I approached one of the girls, who was probably about 16, and had the following conversation:

Me: Are you with the [Youth Group name]?

Her: Yes.

Me: I was in [Youth Group name] too when I was in high school. I probably attended the [youth group camp name] before you were born.

Her:

Me: Well, good luck with the event today.

Her: Thanks.


About 7 seconds later out of earshot from the teenager

My wife: You were being creepy there.

Me: I wouldn't say creepy. Since I'm holding [my one year-old son], I'd say that it was more awkward.


We continued to walk towards the exit and saw a few more members of the group.

My wife: Don't say anything to them.

Me: Okay


So creepy that a 40 year-old guy tried to strike up a conversation with a high school girl that was in the same youth group as me (though 20+ years apart) or just awkward since I was carrying my toddler which means that I'm a (hopefully) respectable father (meaning not creepy)?



* There was also a soccer tournament going on in the park, and I was (and still am) appalled by how the adult referees were dressed. Shirts untucked. Plain white socks. Totally unprofessional.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Friday Links

- In honor of Josh of Josh's World getting married, he asked several bloggers to write guest posts while he is away on his honeymoon. I guess this serves as a better gift than towels. Anyway, here are the posts:

- Are You Married or Happy by Nicky D.
- Cards of Love by Alex
- A Piece of Cake by me.

- Check out this amazing goal by Marco Matias of my favorite British soccer team, Sheffield Wednesday.



- A cool story about the Biloxi Shuckers, a minor league baseball team that had a 54-game, 2800-mile road trip. [ESPN]

- Did you know the Steelers have a team chaplain? Did you know his name is Ocho Cinco? Well, actually it's Chad Johnson, but not that Chad Johnson. Here's a fun quote for those of you upset about the Steelers signing Michael Vick.

Winning is important and the NFL is a business, but the Steelers have values beyond that. "It is part of the Steelers' core values. Coach Tomlin is such a phenomenal person beyond football and such a caring man. He is about the business in raising young men. That is the rarity in him. He really cares about these guys beyond football and they can feel that." Johnson said. Johnson's work is an extension of the Steelers mission.

"We care about people. It is not just a mantra or slogan or idea in theory," he said. "This is a service-oriented organization."
[Behind the Steel Curtain]

- Congratulations to Ithaca College on being named one of the 25 healthiest colleges in the U.S. Clearly this is a recent ranking as there is no mention of people eating Rogan's pizza 2-3 times a week (or everyday during Finals Week also known as "Week of Rogan's"). [Greatist.com]

- Mike Tunison aka Christmas Ape among many others left Kissing Suzy Kolber. The site is basically dead now. [KSK]

- Finally, Lisa Kudrow joined Taylor Swift to perform "Smelly Cat."

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Thank You Pittsburgh by David Nelson

The Philadelphia Phillies recently traded 6-time All-Star and 12+ year veteran Chase Utley to the Los Angeles Dodgers. To thank the fans, Utley purchased ads in two Philadelphia newspapers to express his gratitude. I'm mentioning this because the Pittsburgh Steelers placed WR David Nelson on the team's Reserve/Injured List on Tuesday. Nelson spent time with the Buffalo Bills from 2010-12 and the New York Jets from 2013-14 before signing with the Steelers and played with the team for slightly more than 12 days. Since Nelson doesn't have the resources that Utley has and didn't have the tenure in Pittsburgh like Utley had in Philadelphia, instead of purchasing an ad in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette or Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Nelson is saying thank you here on Sean's Ramblings.


Thank You Pittsburgh

for the opportunity to play for this terrific franchise. Thank you to the Rooney family, Kevin Colbert and coach Mike Tomlin for giving me this chance to continue my NFL career. Thanks to the fans for realizing that I was not Jordy Nelson or Edmund Nelson, the former Steeler that worked as a color analyst for KDKA on the Steelers pre-season games prior to this season. I mean, I don't look anything like Edmund Nelson, so why did Frank from North Versailles and Joe from Dormont call me Edmund?

I'd like to thank my teammates and particularly my wide receiver compatriots. No, using the word compatriots doesn't make me a New England Patriots fan. Antonio Brown is the best receiver in the NFL, and I wish I had the chance to talk with him more to learn how he got those amazing abs. Markus Wheaton, DHB and Martavis Bryant are also class guys.

Heinz Field is such an incredible atmosphere. I mean I've seen it on TV and it would have been cool to have seen it as a member of the Steelers. Maybe the team will give me a souvenir Terrible Towel and let me wave it from a luxury box. 50-yard seats? Okay, the top level of Heinz Field is fine.

Finally, I hope that you will support my i'mMe Foundation, a non-profit organization on a mission to end the orphan cycle and change the lives of children. We have done important work in Haiti, and our mission is to bring the sustaining and empowering structure of family to the orphans of the world through care, prevention, and stewardship. Please check out our website at imme.org and follow the organization on Twitter.


Thanks again, Pittsburgh and Steelers fans across the globe.


(Full disclosure: This wasn't really written by David Nelson. Shocking, right? However, the i'mMe Foundation is real, so h/t to Behind the Steel Curtain for providing information about this great cause.)

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Trivia Tuesday

I mentioned last week that I'm now part of The Learned League, so for today's Trivia Tuesday, I thought I would share some questions from my first week plus in the league.

1. 2001 Odyssey, located at 802 64th Street in the Bay Ridge neighborhood of Brooklyn, was the setting for pivotal scenes in what iconic film?

2. JSE Limited, a major stock exchange which is its country's (and its continent's) largest as measured by market capitalization, is located in what city?

3. What is the only national capital city in the world which borders two other sovereign nations? Its border with one of them, for ~46 years, also formed part of the Iron Curtain.

4. In 2007, the newly refurbished Iffley Road Track in Oxford, England, was renamed for what man, honoring an event 53 years prior?

5. The first human spaceflight program managed by NASA had what name? It ran from 1959 until 1963, with an express goal of sending a solo human into Earth orbit and returning him safely before the Soviet Union.

6. 72% of the liquid natural gas (LNG) imported into the U.S. comes from what Caribbean twin-island nation which, due largely to its petrochemical and industrial economy, is, by per capita GDP, the third-richest country in the Americas after the U.S. and Canada?

7. What was the name of the original British television series, running from 2001 to 2003, which was first adapted in Poland as Idol, and later in the U.S. as American Idol, in France as Nouvelle Star, in Australia as Australian Idol, and many others?

8. What is the traditional English translation of the name of the Tuscan port city of Livorno? The term is used for the breed of chicken which originated there and was introduced to North America in the early 19th c. (and, by extension, the name for a famous fictional fowl).

9. What is the essential ingredient in any dish described as florentine?

10. Among the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh is one which purports to be "the most comprehensive single-artist museum in the world." For what American artist is this museum exclusively dedicated?

Of these questions, I got 5 of 10 correct. Can you do better? Please leave your answers in the comments section below and don't use the internet for assistance. Good luck!

Friday, August 21, 2015

My Busy Life

This is a very busy time of year. There is much to do to prepare for the start of the school year with my family and deadlines at work. There are other things that rank just as high in importance though.

1. Preparing for Fantasy Football

I think I'm in 4 or 5 leagues again this year, but I don't even know. I do know that I can't find a draft time that works for everyone in the league where I'm the Commissioner. This is a problem. Oh, my current draft plan consists of getting Willie Parker as a sleeper pick.

2. The Ted Marshall Open Television Death Pool

I've had a really good run in this contest to select 10 TV shows that won't make it to the next TV season. I won in 2011 and 2013 and finished near the top in 2012 and 2014. This may be my calling. Unfortunately, I really don't have a feel yet for the new shows or what shows are ending after this season like Parks & Rec, Glee and Two and a Half Men last season. While I'll probably have another blog post about the 2015-2016 Ted Marshall Open, you can enter now until Labor Day.

3. The Learned League

This is supposedly the trivia league of all trivia leagues. It's an invitation-only league that was even featured in The Washington Post. After seeing the difficulty of the sample questions, I predicted that I would finish last. I mean, there's lots of useless knowledge in my head, but less useless knowledge than the people I expect to be in this league.

After three days, my prediction isn't that far off as I'm in 28th place out of 30 teams in my rookie division. However, I rank first in Correct Answers Allowed, meaning the total number of questions answered correctly by opponents in all matches. Basically, I've played the hardest schedule of the 30 teams. I'm also tied for first in the Most Common Wrong Answers category, so although I'm answering a lot of questions incorrectly, I'm at least providing some very good educated guesses!

4. My DVR

We're probably switching our TV provider meaning that we're going to get a new DVR. Now, I have about two weeks to go through as much on my DVR as possible. I should be able to watch the entire first season of Fargo, but I don't think I'm going to get to Silver Linings Playbook, The LEGO Movie, Captain Phillips, 42 and so many other movies.

Yes, this entire post could be part of The Steel Trap's next First World Problems post.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Express Fail: Wheaties Edition

Leah Still, the inspirational four-year old cancer survivor and daughter of Devon Still of the Cincinnati Bengals, is getting her own Wheaties box. This is very cool.


So cool that the Washington Post Express included a note about this in Thursday's Blog Log.


One problem...Leah Still's name is Leah Still not Leah Strong. Her dad is Devon Still, not Devon Strong. Express noted that this was from a Mashable article though I checked and Mashable definitely referred to Leah and Devon with their correct last name. So close.

Click here for more Express Fail posts.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Dumb Post

Dale Lolley is the Pittsburgh Steelers beat reporter for the Observer-Reporter of Washington (PA) and has been in this role since 1993. According to his bio, Lolley previously worked at WJAC-TV and the Tribune-Democrat in Johnstown and The Derrick in Oil City. In addition, Lolley earned a degree in journalism from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. He also serves as the administrative adviser for Washington & Jefferson College's student newspaper. Based on his approximately 25-30 years of writing professionally, you would think that Lolley would have an amazing grasp of grammar. Or not.



Join Benz and I? Take out the Benz part and see how that sounds. Join I on 970ESPN right now from 7-9. Yeah, that doesn't quite work.

Now I realize that Twitter is not the place to go for proper English grammar, but this seems rather amateur for someone that writes for a living.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Summer of Sean: Paris Edition

After my summer program at Lancaster University ended, I had the opportunity to travel for another week before I returned home, so several friends and I decided to go to Paris. Sure I saw the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Versailles and the McDonalds around the corner from Versailles, but today, I'm writing about visiting (or not visiting) some of the greatest art museums in the world.


The Louvre

The Louvre is perhaps the best known museum in the world, built specifically for the movie The Da Vinci Code starring Tom Hanks. There was a huge line to enter, but of bigger concern for me was the giant backpack I was carrying. I couldn't enter The Louvre with it and there was no place in or around the museum to store it. So instead of going inside to see Mona Lisa, I found a park bench near the museum and read the recently released fourth Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

Musee d'Orsay

While probably not as well known as The Louvre, Musee d'Orsay may be the best art museum in the world featuring the Impressionists Gallery and much more. According to Trip Advisor, visiting this museum ranks #1 of 1,170 things to do in Paris. Unfortunately, I don't think Trip Advisor was around in 2000. Fun fact: Did you know that Musee d'Orsay is closed on Mondays? I didn't either when I tried to visit on a Monday and left Paris on Tuesday morning.

Musee Rodin (The Rodin Museum)

A museum that I actually entered! Go me! Plus, I'm the only person in history to "think" of taking a picture like this.


Fun fact #2: I just bought this exact same orange shirt at Kohl's over the weekend.

Click here to see more Summer of Sean posts

Monday, August 10, 2015

Weekend Review

- Virginia had no sales tax on clothes this weekend, so I ventured to Kohl's with dozens, if not hundreds, of my closest friends. After trying on probably eight pairs of pants, I settled on exactly one pair along with a few shirts. Then, I ventured upstairs to buy some kids' clothing. I happily found 3 pair of size 4 boys pants. They seemed a little big, but I figured that my older son would grow into them. Apparently, the growing into them could take a long time. I needed to buy size 4T pants not size 4. Who knew there was a difference between the two? I later returned them to Kohl's but did not stay to search for 4T pants. I had my fill of shopping for the week month day.

- I own two suits but wear them only a few times per year. However, between a conference, a wedding and Rosh Hashanah, there's a period in September when I'll need to wear a coat and tie nearly every day for a week. I tried on both of my suit coats recently and noticed that they are huge. They were slightly big when I first purchased the suits, and then I lost about 30 pounds over the years. So I went to Men's Wearhouse over the weekend to see if they could help me. They refused. I had the same result at the place where I take my dry cleaning. In both cases, there would be too much to do, and the arms and shoulders would still look awkward. So now I'm stuck looking like this:


Of course, the Men's Wearhouse guy offered to sell me two suits for $500. I declined.

- Another weekend highlight was my driver's side car window going off track. I was able to close the window but now it won't open. You can hear the power window mechanism trying to work, but the window doesn't move. I called the dealership to get an estimate, and they believe that they need to replace the regulator. (Who knew there is a car part named after the legendary Warren G song?) The estimated repair cost is $491 or the cost of two suits. I guess I'll just open my car door if I go to a fast-food drive-thru or ATM or when exiting the Metro parking garage.

- My 4 year-old could be a photographer one day judging on how much he likes taking pictures with my phone. This picture of Ziggy came out rather well.


Of course, then there are dozens of pictures of the TV and floor like this one of the remote, so he still has some work to do before becoming the next Ansel Adams.


(Though perhaps there's some meaning behind this picture. Maybe it's a post-modern reflection of society's need to have the remote control and how lonely things can be with the remote on the floor. Or something.)

- If you're a fan of all Pittsburgh sports, I hope that you watched the Pirates regular season game on Sunday evening rather than the Steelers pre-season game. The Steelers didn't even play Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, Le'Veon Bell, Maurkice Pouncey, James Harrison, and Martavis Bryant. Meanwhile, the Pirates scored 9 runs in the 7th inning to defeat the Dodgers 13-6. Naturally, I fell asleep with the Dodgers leading 5-1, so when I later woke up to see the Pirates leading 12-5, I was shocked. Let's Go Bucs!

Thursday, August 06, 2015

That's Not My Seat

I attended The Pirates-Nationals game back in June where Max Scherzer threw a no-hitter. After the game, I received an e-mail from the Nationals offering a special commemorative ticket with a $5 donation to the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation. Since I did not have a formal ticket stub for this game, only a print out on an 8.5 x 11 piece of paper (I hate the trend of there being fewer and fewer actual tickets now), I bought two tickets to commemorate my son's first baseball game. Here's the ticket that I received on Wednesday:


Pretty cool. There's just one big problem. There is no section 31 at Nationals Park. There is no Row MS at Nationals Park either.


Plus, why are both of my tickets seat #1? We can't both be in the same seat. If we were, I'd hope the Nats would only charge me for the price of one ticket (especially since my 4 year-old sat on my lap for probably 7 of the 9 innings).

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Trivia Tuesday (Yes, Really)

I'm sure that you're thinking, wait, am I in the right place? I used to visit Sean's Ramblings often, and I remember that he posted Trivia Tuesday posts regularly.

While I'm not promising that we'll see Trivia Tuesday as a weekly feature again, at least for today, Trivia Tuesday is back. Your challenge is to answer the ten questions based on the pictures (and questions) below.


For those of you new to Trivia Tuesday or even those that are not, please do not use the internet for assistance. Leave your answers in the comments section below. Good luck!

This quiz is courtesy of the fine folks at Pub Stumpers.

Monday, August 03, 2015

Hogan's Such A Yo-Yo

I watched a lot of wrestling when I was in middle school/junior high. Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, Jake "The Snake" Roberts, Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat, The Junkyard Dog, The Ultimate Warrior, The British Bulldogs, King Kong Bundy, Hacksaw Jim Duggan and so many others including Rowdy Roddy Piper who passed away on Friday at the age of 61. Despite attending several WWF matches at Pittsburgh's Civic Arena, watching some early Wrestlemanias via my friend's parents getting them on Pay Per View and even watching the Saturday morning WWF cartoon, for no apparent reason, the thing I remember most about Rowdy Roddy Piper is this one line (at around the :40 second mark below) from Land of 1000 Dances performed by WWF wrestlers.



I always thought this was a silly line. Is calling someone a yo-yo really an insult? I also had in my mind the perfect comeback for Hogan. He could have said that Piper's Such a Diaper. Of course, that makes just as much sense as calling someone a yo-yo.

RIP Rowdy Roddy Piper.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Am I An Angry Person?

During a recent conversation, I noticed that I vented about three different topics consecutively. In a moment of self-awareness, I think I apologized and jokingly said that I hoped I wasn't always like this. Fortunately, the response was understanding.

So this got me thinking. Am I always angry or ranting about something? Sure, I haven't been happy with Metro delays, and my kids have a wonderful habit of not listening. I also notice that I've been swearing a lot more to myself (either out loud when no one is around or in my head) lately. Granted, I think I have some good reasons to vent that of course I want to share.


1. We're currently looking into bundling cable, internet and the home phone together, so I decided to call Verizon to get pricing information (and after receiving dozens of offers in the mail from them over the years). After an awkward (and painful) beginning of the call, where the Verizon representative had significant difficulties spelling my name and address correctly, he finally gave me the basic information. However, when I asked about the equipment costs and installation fees, he informed me that I would need to give him my social security number to run a credit check to proceed. I refused. I wanted to know the complete costs to help me make an informed decision about whether or not I would choose Verizon. I called them, so it's obvious I'm serious about pursing a deal. Why do they need my social in order to tell me this? At a standstill, we agreed to end the call.

2. Our homeowners association cited us for damage outside our front window. We are trying to replace the entire area with a material that basically would not cause us to deal with this again. While the material comes in many different colors, it is not an exact match to the paint color we have, and we can't paint on this material. It's really close though. So now we're awaiting the board's ruling on whether or not we can proceed based entirely on the possible color difference. They may say that we're good but we would have to paint the rest of the house with the new color. That's not going to work. They may say we're not good which would bring us back to square one. Basically, we're now waiting for the board to give us a ruling as to how to spend out money on something I would never have considered spending money on until we got the notice.

Back to the title of this post, I realize that many of you don't know me and others probably haven't talked with me regularly for a long time. Based on these two examples though , am I unreasonably angry or are these rationale reasons to vent?

Monday, July 27, 2015

Pizza Security Fee

I'm back from Florida (more on that later) but wanted to share this receipt from the Sbarro at Jacksonville International Airport.


Yes, pizza at Sbarro costs more than the Monroeville Mall location when I was growing up though that's not the point. This post is about the $0.02 JAA Security Fee. Several questions:

1. What does the JAA in JAA Security Fee stand for? The Jacksonville airport code is JAX, so is JAA some sort of secret security alliance?

2. How is this fee used? Is this to ensure the safety of the cheese, sauce and dough?

3. Why $0.02? Does this cost differ based on how much I spend or is this a flat fee?

I'm really tempted to call the number on the receipt to find out these answers but what fun would that be when I can speculate in a blog post!