Friday, January 30, 2015

Friday Videos

Happy Friday, everyone! To get you fired up for the Super Bowl, check out the latest East/West Bowl sketch by Key & Peele.



My personal favorites are Stumptavian Roboclick, Vagonius Thicket-Suede and Snarf Mintz-Plasse. I really need to watch more Key & Peele.

Today's second video is a brief documentary about how 2006 Final Four run changed George Mason University.



I regularly attended Mason games before and during that season, and I thought they would lose in the first round since Tony Skinn was suspended for that game.

h/t DC Sports Bog

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Express Goes PG-13

There was a time where I regularly posted errors from Express, the free daily newspaper distributed at Metro stations and a publication of The Washington Post. Fortunately for the paper (though unfortunately for me), the errors are pretty infrequent these days. However, today's paper contained several, um, unusual stories.

First, did you know that pollution is impacting polar bears' penis bones?


Yes, penis bones. Next, how much would you pay for coffee made from beans from a certain kind of cat poop?


Finally, there are balls on the cover.


I'm scared to see what will be in tomorrow's Express.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Hanson Brother Runs NHL All-Star 5K

The National Hockey League and the Columbus Blue Jackets hosted the NHL All-Star 5K Race on Saturday since apparently the city of Columbus and the NHL thought that holding a 5K in mid-January was a good idea. I mean, Columbus regularly has 60 degree days in January, right? Anyway, tt seems like folks had a great time including this guy (who happens to be a good friend of mine) dressed as one of the Hanson brothers.


Fortunately, he didn't dress like one of these Hanson brothers since that wouldn't have made any sense.


Actually, the hair looks similar!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Last VJ

When MTV debuted nearly 35 years ago, the video jockeys, or VJs, became nearly as famous as the musicians they presented. Folks like Martha Quinn, Alan Hunter, Mark Goodman, Nina Blackwood, Pauly Shore, Downtown Julie Brown, Kennedy, Bill Bellamy and Carson Daly became stars. Of course, MTV and later VH1 became more about reality shows and less about music, so VJs began to go extinct. However, one VJ remained. Jim Shearer started at MTV in 2002 and served as the host of VHI's Top 20 Video Countdown for the past 5 or 6 years. Jim is great. He's funny, does an excellent job interviewing guests and simply seems like a guy that would be cool to hang out with. And yes I may be biased because Jim is also from Western Pennsylvania and agreed to do an interview with me here on Sean's Ramblings.

Inexplicably, VH1 decided not to renew Jim's contract for 2015. The Top 20 countdown is currently having guest hosts (Gavin DeGraw last week and Andy Grammer this week). I'm sure they are both swell people (plus DeGraw attended Ithaca College; I'll have to share my story about him sometime), but they are no Jim Shearer.

Fortunately, we can still see Jim. He started Gimme 5 with Mike Adam, and as usual, Jim is great. Again, I may be biased but Jim's top five are much better than Mike's picks.

You can check out their first two episodes below and follow Gimme 5 and Jim on Twitter.

Top Pop Songs of 2014



Best Rap Feature in a Pop Song



While I'm not sure he's looking for work, someone needs to hire Jim immediately!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

2500

Welcome to the 2500th post on Sean's Ramblings. This blog recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary, so that's an average of, let's see, 2,500 posts divided by 10, carry the one, 400 posts per year! Incredible!

While I feel like there are only about 4 people that read Sean's Ramblings, since I started using Google Analytics in February 2008, this blog has had visitors from 192 countries from Afghanistan and the Aland Islands to Zambia and Zimbabwe. Personally, I'd love to know what the visitors from Tajikistan and New Caldeonia thought about my opinions on Steely McBeam!

In case you ever wanted to know, here are the top 10 visitors by city:

1. Pittsburgh, PA

2. New York, NY

3. Washington, DC

4. Arlington, VA

5. Chicago, IL

6. London, United Kingdom

7. Reston, VA

8. Los Angeles, CA

9. Fairfax, VA

10. Sanzhong District, Taiwan

But Sean, while the visitor information is interesting, what are your most-visited posts? I'm glad you asked. Here are the 10 ten most-visited posts:

1. 2011 Year-End Credit Card Spending Summary

2. LeBron James Should Choose Pittsburgh

3. What Happened to Erica Blasberg?

4. News & Notes

5. Erica Blasberg Found Dead

6. Lady Gaga Needs a New Terrible Towel



7. Spider Pig Lyrics

8. Am I Strange? (TMI Thursday)

9. Why Do People Hate Hillary Clinton?

10. Jaromir Jagr's Biggest Fan Pleads Guilty

Finally, here are the top 10 search terms used to find Sean's Ramblings:

1. Jenna Bush Wedding Plans

2. Erica Blasberg

3. Free Birthday Food

4. Hamburger Helper Rice Oriental

5. Seans Ramblings

6. Cosi Prices

7. Sean's Ramblings

8. Spider Pig Lyrics

9. Pittsburgh Steelers Mascot

10. CVS Coupons

So random.

Friday, January 16, 2015

New 49ers Coach Coached at My High School

Anytime that a someone who was a coach at my high school while I was still attending high school gets a job as an NFL head coach, I'm going to blog about it. Congratulations to Jim Tomsula, who worked as the defensive line coach at Woodland Hills High School in 1990, on becoming the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers!

I decided to find my 1991 high school yearbook (for the 1990-1991 school year) to find a picture of Coach Tomsula. Here it is:


Um, Coach Tomsula isn't pictured or even listed as missing. Was he not a coach at Woodland Hills? Did he lie on his resume? Did I uncover some major news here?

I contacted a friend that was on the football team to see if he knew Coach Tomsula. He replied, "I had to see a pic. Yep. I remember him now. He was a defensive coach. Cool guy."

Since there is no scandal, I'll just post a picture of Jason Taylor, formerly of the Miami Dolphins and Dancing With the Stars, as a member of the basketball team instead. (I don't think he was on the football team until his senior year.)


I also learned that Tomsula once lived in his car with a dog, cat and litter box.

While serving as a volunteer assistant coach at his alma mater, Catawba College in Salisbury, N.C., Tomsula sent the family to Florida to temporarily live with relatives.

He slept in his car, an old red Cadillac.

Along with the family dog, cat, pet food and litter box.

I'm sure that he can now afford a much bigger car to live in with the family pets!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Publish or Perish: I'm Published!

In college and particularly grad school, I heard the phrase "publish or perish" on occasion. Basically, if you become a professor and want to get tenured, you must get published. If not, you're in danger of losing your job. While I'm not a college professor or play one on the internet, this phrase has stayed with me. I actually explain this phrase to my infant during nighttime feedings. I certainly hope that my wife turns off the monitor during these conversations.

Anyway, despite writing this blog for 10 years and having a dream of writing a book one day, I've never been published...until now. John Chamberlin of the Ya Jagoff! website recently wrote Above the Fries, "a culmination of silly, stupid jagoffery stories from the blog and a few un-published stories too." John asked to use my guest post about airport family restrooms (and also posted on my blog) as part of the book. I said that he could in exchange for $1 million.


He said no. Eventually, we settled on me getting a free copy of the book. Clearly, I won this negotiation!

So if you want to see my post in a paper (or Kindle) format, purchase Above the Fries from Ya Jagoff or Amazon today. Plus, you can read dozens of other stories from John along with an introduction by the legendary Rick Sebak.


You can also hear John's interview on HumorOutcasts Radio.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Sean's Ramblings Turns 10 (State of the Ramblings)

Today marks the 10th anniversary of Sean's Ramblings. When I started this blog in 2005, I was recently married, nearing 30 and thought that writing a blog was a trendy, cool thing to do. Now, I'm nearing 40, have been married for 10 years, have two wonderful (though tiring) boys and have spent a quarter of my life with this blogging hobby which no longer seems so trendy. (It's still cool though, right? Right?)

Around the anniversary of my blog, I've written annual State of the Ramblings posts with a look back at the past year and look ahead to the upcoming year. Since this blog is now 10, I'm taking a more global view of this blog this year.


John of the terrific Ya Jagoff! recently sent me a link with a FAQ about blogging. This is the second item on the list.

2. Find your blog topic or theme. Liesel is going to write about hot dogs. I have blogger friends who write about movies, crafting, photography, running or their kids and their day to day activities with them. It doesn't matter what you're going to write about, just pick your topic and go with it.

I don't do this. My blog is all over the place and always has been. I'm sure that I could have had a larger audience over the years if I stuck with one topic such as Pittsburgh sports or complaints about commuting in DC or fashion, but I never had an interest in doing this. I could have created a personal blog just about my life, but while I've shared more about myself than maybe I should have, I try to maintain some privacy, particularly surrounding my kids. I mean, do you really want to read months of posts about potty training? You'll also notice that there are only a handful of pictures of me on this blog and none of my kids, even though they are extremely cute. Essentially, I like the freedom of writing about whatever I want, and while I hope there are thousands hundreds dozens of people who can't wait to read my posts, I understand that most people find my blog for a specific topic, read an entry or two and don't return.


Some people have asked me how long I will keep blogging. I have no idea. Based on how much less I wrote in 2014 compared to previous years, I doubt I'll make it another 10 years. However, this has been a fun hobby and has given me the opportunity to meet some very cool people, even though I've never met some of them in person and probably never will. I guess I'll write until I don't want to anymore. When I first started blogging, I wrote constantly even on days when I didn't have much to say (some of my early posts are terrible). I'm now at the point where I write when I want to and this is how it should be. This seems like an easy concept, but it's not when you first start a blog.

As usual, I have no idea where this blog will go in 2015 and beyond. I'll definitely write more posts about being a father, but beyond that, who knows.


Thanks to all of you for reading this post and for reading any of my nearly 2,500 posts over the past 10 years. While I write for me, it's nice to know that others enjoy my writing. I truly appreciate your support.

Oh, you can follow Sean's Ramblings on Facebook. This is something new that I started over the past year. See, this blog is still innovative!

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

DeJuan Blair: The Song

If I had to select a favorite current NBA player, I would probably pick DeJuan Blair of the Washington Wizards. Of course, my selection of Blair has nothing to do with his NBA career, but rather that he is from Pittsburgh and played at the University of Pittsburgh. I attended a Pitt-Georgetown game at the Verizon Center in 2009 where Blair scored 20 points and had 17 rebounds. He also had 22 points and 23 rebounds when Pitt defeated the #1 ranked UConn and dominated Hasheem Thabeet. Blair really was fun to watch in college.

After starting his career in San Antonio and playing in Dallas last year, Blair joined the Wizards this season. Living in DC, I follow the Wizards, so I was excited about the former Panther coming to the nation's capital. While I rarely watch Wizards games, I always check the box score to see how Blair played. The other night, though, Blair wasn't listed in the box score. I did a quick search on Twitter to see what happened to Blair and stumbled across this (very NSFW) song:



I have no idea why this song is titled DeJuan Blair as the lyrics don't appear to mention him or have anything to do with him. I also have no idea who Woozy Wee is,* but based on this picture, I'm guessing that his dentist does. Although Woozy Wee's music isn't really my scene, I applaud him for naming a song for the great Blair and hope he has success.


* I did find a Weezy Wee who operates "a beauty & lifestyle blog written from the streets of Los Angeles." Weezy Wee and Woozy Wee do not appear to be the same person. This is not a sentence I ever thought I would type.

Monday, January 05, 2015

Sesame Street Live: A Review

Last month, we took a family trip to George Mason University's Patriot Center to see Sesame Street Live: Make a New Friend. Naturally, I feel the need to share my thoughts about the show and the experience seeing Big Bird, Elmo and company.

- Despite the Steelers playing at 1:00 in Atlanta, somehow Ben Roethlisberger was able to be in Fairfax at noon to see the show.


- The premise of Sesame Street Live: Make a New Friend is that Chamki, apparently a character from the India version of Sesame Street, travels all the way from India just to visit Grover for one day. According to the show, Grover and Chamki met on Fuzzbook, the Monster Social Network. (The joke went over just as well live as it did reading this on the screen.) I understand that this is a show for kids, but travelling across the globe just to get together for one day? Seems like this could be a plot from Avenue Q rather than Sesame Street.

- When the show began, my 3 year-old was focused on the tub of popcorn we bought while my 8 month-old was fascinated by the lights and music, had a huge smile and waved his arms around. Of course, he fell asleep about 15 minutes later.

- With tickets being reasonably priced, I wondered how Sesame Street made it money from the show. The answer: merchandising.



There were Sesame Street pennants, clothing and so much more. At the beginning of intermission, they brought out seemingly hundreds of balloons with Elmo on one side and Grover on the other directly in front of the stage to sell. At the end of intermission, there were maybe a dozen balloons left.

- I was disappointed that Mr. Snuffleupagus wasn't part of the show.

- When exactly did Elmo become the #1 character on Sesame Street? When I was growing up, I think Big Bird was the top seed. I don't even think Elmo was around when I watched Sesame Street as a kid.

- Why does Count Von Count dress significantly better than every other character? He's in a three-piece suit while many of his companions don't even where pants.


- Does GMU security enjoy the crowds at Sesame Street Live compared to those attending a WWE event? There's little chance for a drunken brawl at Sesame Street but all of the kids must present a different type of challenge.

Overall, my 3 year-old enjoyed the show which was the entire reason that we went. 90 minutes including intermission was the perfect amount of time since I don't know how much longer the kids would have lasted beyond that. I'm not sure we're taking this type of family outing anytime soon, but it was a nice way to spend the afternoon.

Friday, January 02, 2015

2014 Sean's Ramblings Visitors

Happy 2015! Now that 2014 is complete, it's time for my annual post where I share data about Sean's Ramblings visitors and how people find this blog. I truly find this fascinating, and I hope you do too. The information below is courtesy of Google Analytics for January 1, 2014 through December 31, 2014.

Top 10 Visitors by City:

1. New York, NY

2. Pittsburgh, PA

3. Chantilly, VA

4. Arlington, VA

5. Washington, DC

6. Deerfield Beach, FL

7. Los Angeles, CA

8. Owings Mills, MD

9. Chicago, IL

10. Johnstown, PA (Technically, just outside Johnstown)

I started tracking this data in 2009, and with the exception of the unusual amount of visitors from San-Ch'Ung, Taiwan in 2009, the combination of New York, Pittsburgh and Washington DC (not necessarily in that order) is always in the top 3. This year, DC slipped all the way to 5th. What's going on, DC? Do I need to write more posts about Metro or the DC blogging community?

London also fell out of the top 10 this year. I guess Will and Kate don't visit my blog as much as they used to with the new baby.

Remember, if your city is not in the top 10, visit my blog from multiple computers or mobile devices in 2015 early and often!

Top 10 Visitors by Country

1. United States

2. Canada

3. United Kingdom

4. Australia

5. Germany

6. Brazil

7. France

8. Philippines

9. India

10. Italy

While the top five countries are identical from 2013, I'd like to welcome Brazil to the top 10. Clearly, folks in Brazil looked to Sean's Ramblings for quality World Cup coverage like this.

Top 10 Keywords Used to Find Sean's Ramblings

1. Sean's Ramblings (or some variation of this)

2. Sally Wiggin Drunk

3. Sun Refining and Marketing

4. Talk Like a Pittsburgh Pirate Day

5. Don Cannon Drunk

6. Songs with Hawaii in the Title

7. Mark Melancon Singing Japan

8. Sean's Ramblings Daylight Savings

9. Delaware Hates Pitt

10. Erica Blasberg

These are almost completely different from last year where folks found Sean's Ramblings by questioning who is (or was) TJR, wanting Fleetwood Mac concert reviews, or, well, looking for something about Flavor Flav. In addition, I must have left out Sean's Ramblings from last year's list.

In 2014, people really wanted information about current and former WTAE newscasters being inebriated. Meanwhile, I'll have more about Sun Refining and Marketing and Erica Blasberg next week.

Thanks to all of you for visiting my blog!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Sean's Best & Worst of 2014

Many television shows, magazines, websites and newspapers have best and worst of 2014 lists. Well, I do too!

Best Movie I Saw In The Theater: Gone Girl. A well-made film with a huge twist. Great acting by Neil Patrick Harris, Rosamund Pike, Tyler Perry & Emily Ratajkowski too.

Worst Movie I Saw In The Theater: Gone Girl. I liked the book much better. Yes, I only saw one movie in the theater in 2014.

If you think my list so far is a bit ridiculous, I encourage you to stay here. It gets better. Possibly.

Best Song: My rule is that the best song must be from a video that I posted on my blog. I actually didn't post many videos this year, but I'll take The Walker by Fitz and the Tantrums slightly over Vance Joy's Riptide. And yes, I realize that the video for The Walker was posted on YouTube in October 2013, but I don't think I first heard the song until 2014.



Worst Song: I think I'll go with Anaconda by Nicki Minaj solely for her desecrating Sir Mix-a-Lot's Baby Got Back. I just hope that Sir Mix-a-Lot got paid well for this. (I don't even want to share this probably NSFW video here.)

Best Sports Moment: The Pirates reaching the playoffs for the second consecutive year, highlighted by Josh Harrison excelling in rundowns.

Worst Sports Moment: The Penguins leading the Rangers 3 games to 1 in the Eastern Conference Finals only to lose the next three games and scoring only 3 goals in these games.

Best TV Show: Game of Thrones. HBO had a free preview this spring, and I was able to record the entire first three seasons. It took me a few (okay, more than a few) episodes to figure out who was who, but what a show. Now I need to watch season four. Honorable mention to Brooklyn Nine-Nine, a consistently funny show.

Worst TV Show: Anything on Bravo. I can't stand any of the people on that network especially any housewives or Vanderplumps or people that work on a boat or sell houses. Bring back West Wing reruns!

Best Book I Read: Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. This is the summary: "Unbroken is a biography of World War II hero Louis Zamperini, a former Olympic track star who survived a plane crash in the Pacific theater, spent 47 days drifting on a raft, and then survived more than two and a half years as a prisoner of war in several brutal Japanese prisoner-of-war camps." Any of these could be its own story, yet all of this happened to Zamperini. All of this is just unbelievable. I'm hesitant to see the movie since I don't know how it will work. To fully tell Zamperini's story, I don't know how the movie can be less than 5 hours. Honorable Mention: The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson. A fun Forrest Gump-esque book.

Worst Book I Read: I didn't read nearly as many books as I would have liked in 2014, so I'm the worst for this category.

Best Blog Post: My post on becoming a dad for the second time along with the 6-month update. I still like my idea of bringing a Pittsburgh festival to DC too.

Worst Blog Post: My post congratulating someone named William Tell on marrying Laura Conrad. Exactly.

Have a Happy (and safe) New Year!

Monday, December 29, 2014

2014 Sean's Ramblings Year In Review

Welcome to my 10th annual (yes, 10th! More on this in a few weeks) year in review, where I take the first few lines of the first entry of each month in order to produce a random and (hopefully) interesting summary of 2014. Please note that this is not my last post of 2015. I'll have another entry or two to close out 2014.

January - Happy New Year everyone! Anytime that a picture of someone wearing a Pittsburgh sports logo or discussion of Pittsburgh appears in a major magazine, I'm going to blog about it (see Emma Watson and the New Girl cast).

February - It's the Monday after the Super Bowl and Groundhog Day, so I'll keep today's post short and simple.

March - As I'm typing this on Sunday evening, the Federal Government and every school in the DC area announced that they are closed on Monday even though it is calm outside right now.

April - Today’s post comes from Tyler of YinZSTER, and is part of a special day of shenanigans from other Pittsburgh Bloggers. You can see my post over on Small-Town Dad, where I write about preparing to be a new father again.

May - With a new child, it's time to find a bigger home for the family. While I'm not really looking to leave the DC area, there are two job openings in Los Angeles that interest me: the head coaching job for the Los Angeles Lakers and being the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers.

June - Did you realize that it is now June? That means Celebrate Fairfax!, Northern Virginia’s largest community-wide celebration, is set to take place THIS WEEKEND (June 6-8, 2014) at the Fairfax County Government Center.

July - As a global national social-media influencer, I was invited to attend Gifford's Good Times Ice Cream Tour Ice Cream Social at Dulles Golf Center & Sports Park.

August - Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez is struggling. Actually, that may be an understatement. Alvarez seems to have lost the ability to accurately throw the ball to first base.

September - Former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison officially retired over the weekend. While I have never been an NFL quarterback or even played one on the internet, I would think that Harrison would be at the top of the list of defensive players I didn't want to play against.*

October - 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.

November - Did you vote today? If so, good for you. If not, there's still time to read this and go to your local polling station.

December - One of my son's favorite books these days is Dr. Seuss' One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish. When he wants us to read this book, he simply asks for Green Fish. I don't know why.

I hope that you enjoyed Sean's Ramblings in 2014 (though I'm not done yet)! Thanks again for your support.

* This post is particularly funny since Harrison came out of retirement and will start against the Ravens in the playoffs on Saturday.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Oh The Places I've Been

Last month, it seemed like everyone posted a United States map on Facebook showing the states they visited. Since I'm always up on current trends, I'm happy to share my map only 4-6 weeks late.


41 states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico (not pictured) isn't bad. Plus, with the exception of Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky and Iowa, I've actually spent time in all of these states rather than just driving through. With that written, if missing the exit for the Cincinnati Bengals and Reds stadiums and driving into Kentucky multiple times counts as spending time in Kentucky, then remove the Bluegrass State from the list of exceptions.

Meanwhile, twice during my 1997 road trip, I drove on Interstate 44 and entered Oklahoma from Missouri yet somehow missed Arkansas and especially Kansas.


As for the remaining states, I still have no idea how I've never been to Maine, New Hampshire & Vermont. That's a trip that needs to happen sometime soon. I'll visit North Dakota during a future hockey road trip to Winnipeg to see a University of North Dakota game. I have no idea when I'll hit Idaho, Kansas, Arkansas, Montana and particularly Hawaii.

I really want to travel now!

Thanks to Maploco for the map and thanks to Ngewo for doing this first.