Friday, October 24, 2014

Friday Video: All Cried Out

In the mid-1980s, Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam with Full Force had a string of hits. One such song was All Cried Out.



I have no idea why, but I really like this song. Perhaps it was the back and forth vocals between Lisa Lisa and the male singer, who I always thought was Cult Jam. According to Wikipedia, Cult Jam was the band name and not the guy.

Lisa Lisa (born Lisa Velez, January 15, 1966) and her band Cult Jam are an urban contemporary band and one of first freestyle music groups to emerge from New York City in the 1980s. Cult Jam consisted of guitarist/bassist Alex "Spanador" Moseley, and drummer and keyboardist Mike Hughes. They were assembled and produced by Full Force.

So I guess we're left with an extra from Karate Kid singing that he's so sorry only for Lisa Lisa to reply apology not accepted.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Fatherhood Update

You may remember back in April that I wrote about my second child arriving into this world. (This sentence makes it sound like Superman coming to Earth from Krypton. I'm okay with this!) Of course, you may not remember this since I've barely mentioned him on the blog. Now that "Pedro Tulowitzki" is 6 months old, let's take a look back on the past half year.

For the first month or two, I was convinced that my son hated me. Much of this was because I was not his mother and could only provide so much assistance and support. Apparently, he didn't value my ability to change diapers or rock him to sleep.



Ever since he could smile, things changed. I just love making him smile and laugh, and I have been rather successful in accomplishing this (well, at least the smiling part).

As much as I think that Pedro Tulo loves me, I'm no match for his older brother. Pedro Tulo LOVES his brother and thinks he is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Actually, he doesn't know anything about sliced bread, so the greatest thing since his own hands which he enjoys putting in his mouth.

I know I shouldn't do this, but occasionally, I'll let Pedro Tulo sleep on me. He should probably nap in his crib, but it's a nice feeling.

In the early months, I often gave Pedro Tulo the "last" bottle before bed and watched Game of Thrones during this time. I clearly deserve Father of the Year for letting my infant watch Game of Thrones.


I'm really looking forward to the days of sleeping in past 6:00. Yes, Pedro Tulo still does not sleep through the night.

On a related topic, sleeping like a baby is a stupid statement unless the individual means that he/she woke up once or twice during the night and didn't sleep well.

Pedro Tulo now has 5 first cousins (plus his brother) all under 3 & 1/2. He's going to have a lot of fun with them as he gets older. I sense some mischief in the future.

In 6 months, he has had 2 or 3 ear infections. I write 2 or 3 since the last one was either a 3rd ear infection or the 2nd one never fully went away despite the antibiotic.


Pedro Tulo - If you're reading this in the future (or even now), you have no idea why I'm referring to you as PT, but don't worry about that. You certainly let us know when you need something and are quite loud in letting us know this. However, when you are happy, you are truly very happy and have an infectious smile. You are loved so much. Now please sleep until 6:30 or 7:00 this weekend!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Peyton Manning Dresses Terribly

While much of the sports world is praising Peyton Manning today for breaking the NFL record for most career touchdown passes and for leading the Denver Broncos in an impressive win over the San Francisco 49ers, I find it necessary to bring up something no one wants to discuss. Why is Manning wearing a jersey tucked into jeans?



Is this how Peyton Manning dresses or was this the idea of someone at Papa John's? I also question wearing a black belt with an orange jersey and jeans. A brown belt may be more appropriate, though it might depend on the type of shoes he is wearing. A tucked in football jersey, jeans and black shoes doesn't seem like a good outfit.

This has been another edition of Sean on Fashion!

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Hacked Text Message?

Can someone hack into your cell phone and send text messages? I feel like the answer is probably yes, but I thought I would ask. The reason for this question is because I received the following text message from my wife last night:

Fico yep Kipp sorry physio tic i/o PO etc. Room do chi PC loo st by USK KY Kb boo PO Poll me see Dr deer VB NJ hi g hi TX zit shh sax fix h UK loo herb Kerri org fun NBA mi Ursa I

Just last week, I also received the following message from her:

Jjjkkmmmnyujnol N

Now the second one was definitely(?) from my older son. It's possible that the first one was also from one of my kids, but the spacing and the use of capital and lower-case letters makes this seem unlikely.

So should I be worried that someone hacked into my wife's cell phone?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Sweatpants

Picture it. Pittsburgh. 1992. I was a star player on my high school soccer team. On a late October evening, we had a rare match under the lights instead of the usual afternoon start time. With the temperatures dropping into the low 40s, either my school wanted us to look more like a team traveling to an away game or they actually worried about us freezing in our thin long-sleeve jerseys and shorts (or both). Therefore, they issued us sweatpants and sweatshirts from the track team. As a substitute, I wore these clothes on the bench for the entire game. Although we were supposed to return these cloths, I kept the sweatpants and still have them today.


Despite weighing about 125 pounds in high school, I received this pair of XL sweatpants. There was a drawstring inside that allowed me to tighten the waist, and they were slightly long. I took the sweatpants to college, with me when I moved to San Diego, to Columbus for grad school, and they stayed with me during each move in Northern Virginia. The drawstring is now long gone and there is a hole on the right leg, but they have always been dependable. Of course, I primarily wear pajama pants in the house during winter now, so I rarely if ever wear sweatpants. In addition, while the days of being 125 pounds are long gone, I've lost about 35 pounds from my all time high about 10 years ago, so the pants truly don't fit anymore. I basically keep them up through will power.

So after 22 years, it's time to say goodbye to these sweatpants. It's time to retire the old 109er. Thank you for making me feel like a superstar athlete and for keeping me warm.



This could be the first in a series tentatively titled "Goodbye Old Clothes." Once my infant clears the "spit-up" stage, I have a lot of T-shirts to go through.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Fantasy Football Update

I know that you don't care about my fantasy football teams, but I wanted to share this anyway. Going into Monday night's San Francisco-St. Louis game, I needed a good night from the 49ers defense to win. When I fell asleep on the couch sometime during the 3rd quarter, things didn't look very good. With about 1 minute remaining in the game, Yahoo declared my opponent a 100% favorite.


Then, Dontae Johnson of the 49ers intercepted a pass, returned it for a touchdown, and made Yahoo change its mind.


While I'm very happy with the result, I would have been ecstatic if I was awake and watching this live.

Meanwhile, in the Pittsburgh Bloggers Fantasy Football League, I had a chance to avenge my championship tie defeat from last season in the craziest ending in fantasy football history. The result, another freakin' tie!

In my five leagues (that's less than last year!), I'm now 5-1, 4-2, 3-3, 2-3-1 & 0-6. I don't want to talk about that last league.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Urinating In The Shower For The Environment?

If you are one of those unusual people that follows higher education (like me), there are two places to go for news: The Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed. Last week, Inside Higher Ed featured this amazing story: Is Urinating in the Shower the Next Big Green Idea? I was not expecting this in my higher education coverage. Anyway, here's the news:

Students at the University of East Anglia are encouraging their fellow students to skip their first trip to the toilet in the morning and to, instead, urinate in the shower, the BBC reported. The idea is to save water by avoiding the first flush of the day, and student materials (see below) suggest significant water savings could be achieved. Students are being encouraged to pledge their participation with the #gowiththeflow hashtag on Twitter.

Get these students a Nobel Prize! Unfortunately, not everyone is on board with this idea. The comments section, likely consisting of academic elite or at the very least better educated folks than your typical message board crowd, is incredible. Skip the California politics stuff and you get some wonderful opinions about urinating outside and washing yourself in the toilet to help the environment.

Personally, I think we need further study about this. Thoughts?

Friday, October 10, 2014

Taking Kids To High Holy Day Services

Yom Kippur ended nearly a week ago and Rosh Hashanah is now two weeks behind us. So, of course, I'm writing about the High Holy Days/High Holidays today. I'm all about timing.

Anyway, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are days of reflection, prayer, celebration (in the case of Rosh Hashanah) and atonement (in the case of Yom Kippur). Going to synagogue for these holidays/holy days is a bit more challenging with two children. Fortunately, the synagogue we attended included many families and services specifically geared towards kids. Unfortunately, if you (and by you I mean me) wanted some individual time for prayer, that wasn't going to happen.

This isn't going to be a religious post, so please don't leave just because of the topic. It's more about the experience going to synagogue for the high holidays with kids rather than, well, something else.

On the first day of Rosh Hashanah, we got to synagogue early compared to when the preschool service started. Almost immediately after we got our seats in the main sanctuary, our five-month old started crying. He exited the sanctuary leaving me alone with my 3 year-old son. Naturally, the 3-year old was a little restless though he enjoying playing with my tallit. (That line could sound dirty. A tallit, or tallis, is a prayer shawl. I'm not sure that makes it sound better. How about a picture of a Steelers tallis instead?)



It didn't take long until we exited the sanctuary to find the preschool service. The preschool service was outstanding with an energetic and patient teacher, and after a successful trip to the potty (for my 3 year-old, not me), we went back to the grown-up service. We entered during the Torah service and saw them carry the Torah around the room. Unfortunately, I quickly realized we came in during the end of the Torah service. We arrived just in time for...the Rabbi's sermon! While my kids might be fascinated by some prayers/songs, they weren't going go get anything out of the likely 15-minute sermon. It was more likely that they would distract others. We quickly left.

During the morning Yom Kippur service, we went straight to the kids' service. After that ended and with both kids occupied, I wanted to go into the main service for a few minutes. The room was packed, so I managed to squeeze into the middle of a row. About 2 minutes after I entered, the Rabbi called up two members of the congregation...to present the annual appeal asking the congregation to give money to the synagogue! I was stuck. There was no way I could discretely sneak out, so I stayed and listened and hoped it would end quickly. When it did, I pushed (not literally) my way out.

I guess the morale of this story is that I'm not ready to take my kids to the main Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services. Maybe next year?

Friday, October 03, 2014

Fall For Fairfax 2014

One of my favorite events, the 22nd annual Fall for Fairfax, takes place this weekend at the Fairfax County Government Center. If you have young children (like me) through elementary school-aged kids, this is the event for you. First, it's free. Yes, there are some activities that cost money (ex. carnival rides, scarecrow making and pumpkin painting), but most of the event including kid-friendly entertainment on three stages is free. Personally, I'm excited to see my oldest son with the animals at the petting zoo and getting to climb on and see the fire and rescue vehicles.



Several years ago, the festival made the decision to extend this event from Saturday to an all-weekend event. With Yom Kippur on Saturday this year, the organizers made an excellent call. Otherwise, we would have had to miss Fall for Fairfax this year.

For more information about Fall for Fairfax, click here to visit the festival website.

In addition, feel free to go up to any of the festival staff and volunteers and tell them that you learned about the event through Sean's Ramblings!


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Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Pirates-Giants Wild Card Liveblog

This might be the first baseball live blog ever on Sean's Ramblings. Join us, and make sure that you are wearing black.

Live Blog Pirates-Giants Wild Card LiveBlog
 

Merchandising Merchandising

As a soccer referee (and probably every other type of referee), you are required to dress professionally. There is no room for individuality when you put on your yellow shirt and pull up your black socks with white stripes by your knees. Therefore, I was a little surprised when I received the October e-mail from the U.S. Soccer Federation ("USSF") Referee program including a link to Official Sports' Breast Cancer Awareness apparel page. The company is selling various products like wristbands and whistles so that referees can show support of Breast Cancer Awareness month with proceeds to be donated to Stand Up To Cancer.


While I applaud Official Sports for their efforts, I'm a little skeptical about how much will go to Stand Up To Cancer. For example, the wristbands below cost $3.95. Does the entire $3.95 get donated to Stand Up To Cancer or is it a certain percentage? I contacted Official Sports about this and will post the company's reply if I receive one.


I just hope this isn't a case of Official Sports promoting more merchandise!



Please note that I think USSF wouldn't be pleased if referees used a pink whistle or wore pink wristbands once Breast Cancer Awareness month ends. That wouldn't look professional.

Update! I received the following message back from Official Sports

Thank you for your email and inquiry. Official Sports donates 40% of the retail price to Stand Up 2 Cancer.

Is that an appropriate percentage?

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Trivia Tuesday

Happy Tuesday everyone! I understand that you don't want a fancy introduction today; you just want your trivia. Here you go:


As always, do not use the internet for assistance, and leave your answers in the comments section below. Good luck!

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

Monday, September 29, 2014

Victory!

In the spring of 1992, George Herbert Walker Bush was President, the Pittsburgh Pirates were coming off of back-to-back National League East division championships and the Pittsburgh Penguins were about to win their second Stanley Cup title. Meanwhile, I was a high school junior and joined a NL-only/auction/keeper rotisserie baseball league with some friends. Please note that I wrote rotisserie baseball since there was no such thing as fantasy baseball back then.

At the time, we (and be we I mean someone else in the league that was not me) calculated stats by hand by looking through baseball box scores in the newspaper. I think we called the league Commissioner each week to make transactions. The entire league spread out for college but we still returned to Pittsburgh for live auction drafts and maintained correspondence by e-mail. We even hired a guy to do stats for us. It truly was exciting to get weekly e-mails with the standings.

After college, I moved to San Diego but stayed in the league. I wasn't able to attend the drafts, so I must have drafted by phone or via Instant Messenger.

Over the years, the league moved online to Commissioner.com and then Sportsline until the company was bought out by CBS Sports (who still thinks Vance Worley pitches for the Minnesota Twins). With much of the league starting families, live drafts became more and more difficult. Now everything is online, and we can see stats updated live.

In my 23 years in this league, I never won. There were some near misses including losing on the final day of the season one year. I also made arguably the worst trade in league history when I traded Gary Sheffield at the beginning of a MVP-caliber season for Deion Sanders and an ancient Dale Murphy. Yes, this league has been around a long time. I also traded Benito Santiago for a can of Coke. Dave Clark was a regular fixture on my team during the 90s, and I once drafted Roberto Meija who I nicknamed Meija & fries since I thought fajita and Meija sounded similar and why wouldn't you want fries with a fajita?

Now, in the 23rd year, I can finally write that I've won the league. I'd like to thank Russell Martin, Freddie Freeman, Doug Fister, Jordan Zimmermann, Kyle Lohse, Miguel Montero, Eric Young (who the Mets never seemed to want to play), Matt Garza, Luis Valbuena, Addison Reed and even the injured Troy Tulowitzki and Pedro Alvarez for being on my team all season. Maybe the addition of Pedro Tulo to my family was the good luck charm.


I also mortgaged any type of future by trading cheap keepers (ex. Tanner Roark & Alfredo Simon), super prospects (ex. Andrew Heaney & Kris Bryant) and nearly all of my minor league draft picks (yes, this is a super-geeky league) for players like Ryan Howard, Ben Revere (who was awesome), Aroldis Chapman, Adam Wainwright, Kenley Jansen, Adrian Gonzalez and Madison Bumgarner (who I hope pitches horribly in the Wednesday wild card game against the Pirates).

If I created a bucket list, winning this league would certainly be on it. Well, I can now cross this off the list. Now, I'm going to go out and buy Yoo-Hoo just so I can pour it over my head to celebrate! And yes, I have no problem including this song to end this post.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Party Like Its 5774 (Happy Rosh Hashanah!)

With Rosh Hashanah and year 5775 starting Wednesday evening, party today by, um, watching these Rosh Hashanah related videos (and a bonus non-Rosh Hashanah video at the end).

This has to be the only Rosh Hashanah video featuring a guy wearing a Kelcie McCray Kansas City Chiefs jersey. Unless of course Kelcie McCray has his own video singing "All About That Rosh."



Ready to try the Honey Bucket Challenge?


Here's British Prime Minister David Cameron's Rosh Hashanah message. I noticed that he didn't thank the Jews in Scotland for voting against independence.



I see that President Barack Obama plays the friends with Elie Weisel card.



Not only does one of the guys in this video have a great voice, but he can also juggle apples. Now that's talent! He's like the Andrew McCutchen of acapella!



Finally, congratulations to the Pittsburgh Pirates on reaching the playoffs for a second consecutive year! Benstonium put together the Pirates radio call with the final outs. Let's Go Bucs!



Update: Here's one more video courtesy of Dejan Kovacevic, live in Atlanta last night.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Weekend Questions

1. Why would the Original Hot Dog on the University of Pittsburgh's campus show the Los Angeles Dodgers-Chicago Cubs baseball game on its televisions instead of the Pitt-Iowa football game?

2. Why would the Pitt book store not play the Pitt-Iowa game on the store's radio?

3. Why don't more Pennsylvania turnpike drivers have E-Z Pass?

4. Is it absurd that someone would refuse to have 2% milk with Lucky Charms cereal instead preferring to have skim milk with the cereal?

5. Is the sign "Want a job? Let's "Taco" 'bout it" at the Breezewood Taco Bell a clever way to attract potential new employees?

6. If Pedro Alvarez is healthy, would you put him on the Pirates postseason roster?

7. Is an advertisement on the PA turnpike featuring a picture of Yoko Ono with the question "Would you take energy advice from the woman that broke up The Beatles" effective?

While this isn't trivia, feel free to answer any of these questions in the comments section below.

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