Sunday, December 31, 2006

New Year’s Messages for Ryan Seacrest and Christina Aguilera

According to this story, Ryan Seacrest wants to celebrate the New Year by kissing Christina Aguilera. Apparently, he kissed Mariah Carey last year, and wants to continue his New Year’s tradition of kissing beautiful female pop artists. Although they may be too busy today to read this post, I would like to send a message to both Seacrest and Aguilera.

Dear Ryan: While I can understand why you would like to kiss Christina Aguilera to begin the New Year, don’t do it. She’s a married woman and probably does not want to kiss you. Her song "Ain't No Other Man" is not about you! It's about her husband. You have a great gig by taking over New Year's Rockin' Eve for Dick Clark; don’t embarrass yourself more than usual.

Dear Christina: When you see it is 11:58, run and hide!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Saddam

As everyone knows by now, Saddam Hussein has been executed. The news of his execution broke just before 11:00pm Eastern time yesterday. As I was clicking through numerous television stations, I was shocked that the four major networks, ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX, did not have any coverage of this. The local DC stations all started their newscasts with the story, but then went to the usual local news and weather. Repeats of Letterman and Leno were both aired without interruption. The cable news stations such as CNN and MSNBC provided all-Saddam coverage, but that's what the cable news stations do.

Here's my question: why were the four major networks not covering the execution story? Where were Charlie Gibson, Brian Williams and Katie Couric? Even if they're all on vacation, shouldn't someone else have been available? This is a huge national and international story. The United States has gone to war with Iraq twice in the past two decades. After weapons of mass destruction were not found, the spin provided by the Bush administration was that the U.S. got Saddam out of power. It seems to me that the news of Saddam's death should have been covered by the major networks. At least Anderson Cooper was on CNN.

Friday, December 29, 2006

I Feel Bad for John Edwards

Trying to get attention away from Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, John Edwards picked this week (specifically yesterday) to declare that he is running for President. Edwards picked this week to announce his candidacy because his campaign believed that the week between Christmas and New Years would be a slow news week. So what happened? Gerald Ford died, James Brown died and Saddam Hussein may be executed any day now. Plus, there's always news regarding the war in Iraq. So much for a slow news week.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Next Level

Sean’s Ramblings is coming up on its 2-year anniversary and I feel like I’m at a crossroads of what to do next. I’ve recently discovered DC Blogs and an entire DC blogger community. There is a DC Blogger Summit hosted by washingtonpost.com and I’ve seen information about blogger happy hours. I’m debating whether or not I truly want to be part of this community. On one hand, it would be cool to branch out and meet new people. Conversely, I’m comfortable being somewhat anonymous and as I’ve recently discovered (confirmed?), I’m a sloth. I could be way off base, but it seems like many of DC blogger "cool crowd" can post information during the day. I refuse to even check my blog at work since I’ve heard stories of people being fired for posting work or personal information at the office. Therefore, I limit my writing to evenings, weekends, and sometimes early in the morning.

I am also trying to decide what to do next with this site. Should I focus more on sports, TV, music or things going on in the DC area? Should I add more (or less) about my personal life? Can I take this site to the next level? I’m really not sure.

In reality, I probably won’t do anything new and just stay with the status quo. That seems to have worked for me the past 2 years.

Leftovers

Did you ever want to know how to say Sean’s Ramblings in other languages?
French: Ramblings de Sean
German: Ramblings Seans
Italian: Ramblings del Sean
Portuguese: Ramblings de Sean
Spanish: Ramblings de Sean

OK, Sean’s Ramblings doesn’t translate very well, but the Google Language Tool is pretty cool.

Thanks to everyone for providing names of songs with state titles. I actually found the following link with names of songs for all 50 states. It is typical that the list does not include a song with D.C. in the title.

This is a few days late, but Mondesi’s House has a fantastic list that ranks the best Pittsburgh athletes by uniform number. For example, Dave Parker narrowly edges out Willie Parker for the best Pittsburgh athlete who wore the number 39.

After driving 1345 miles on the hockey roadtrip, I have only put 35 miles on my car since I returned last Tuesday.

Yes, I’m still upset that I started Tim Rattay over Trent Green or David Garrard. I am also not very happy with Sammy Morris.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Fantasy Blues

I know that no one cares about hearing or reading about someone else’s fantasy football teams, but I need to vent. Thanks to LaDainian Tomlinson, I reached the championship game, which took place this weekend, in both leagues.

In my 16-team league, I have reached the championship game in three of the four years of the league’s existence. This year marks the third time in four years that I have LOST in the championship game! The worst part about this year is that I lost by two points.
Freakin’ Sammy Morris had a whopping 14 yards rushing and 23 yards receiving (3 total points) to give my opponent the victory. If I started Trent Green or David Garrard instead of Tim Rattay, I would have won. If I started the Cincinnati Bengals defense instead of the Jacksonville Jaguars defense, I would have won.

In my 10-team league, I lost in week #2 but have not lost since. Well, that was until I lost this week. I’m not that upset about this loss since I was soundly defeated. Congratulations to regular reader Messiah on his big win.

I think I may need to quit fantasy sports. I put so much time and energy into fantasy football and baseball and never win. Between various leagues, I have been in fantasy baseball and football leagues for the equivalent of about 30 seasons. That’s a long time without a championship. I feel like the Cleveland Browns! This is probably just frustration and the fact that I’m tired since I watched the end of the Dolphins-Jets game to see how Sammy Morris played. However, it may be more than frustration.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

New Quiz

I'm a little depressed since the Ravens destroyed the Steelers earlier today and my fantasy football teams are not doing very well in both of my championship games. Therefore, I've been searching the web and found the Seven Deadly Sins quiz through Talking Budgie on DC Blogs.

Here are my results:

Greed:Medium
 
Gluttony:Medium
 
Wrath:Low
 
Sloth:High
 
Envy:Very Low
 
Lust:Low
 
Pride:Medium
 


A sloth? I'm a sloth? I even looked up sloth in the dictionary for a definition - habitual disinclination to exertion; indolence; laziness. I guess I need to be not so lazy. Am I alone in my slothiness? (Is that even a word?) Take the quiz and please let me know!

Big Day

Happy Sunday everyone! I plan on sitting on my couch for the next seven hours or so watching football. I have no interest in going to any stores, especially after picking up a few items at Giant yesterday, and being attacked by Cub Scouts and the Salvation Army.

The first item on today's agenda is the Steelers-Ravens game at 1:00 Eastern. According to my source in Baltimore (my brother), Ravens fans are already making plans to buy Super Bowl tickets. To quote ESPN's Lee Corso, not so fast my friend!
Although the Steelers are hanging on to slim playoff hopes, and while a win over Baltimore will not determine if they make the playoffs, it would still be a great to see it happen. The Ravens totally dominated the Steelers a few weeks ago, winning 27-0, but today should be a much better game.

I know no one cares, but I am in the championship of my two fantasy football leagues. I'll be watching the statistics of my players and my opponents' players very closely throughout the day. There's a certain running back on San Diego that I will especially be rooting for in a 4:15 game.

More later today...

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Songs with States in the Title

During last week's road trip, we were trying to think of songs with states in the title. There are many songs with California and New York (even though many New York songs are about New York City), so we skipped these states. Here's what we came up with (please note that I looked up some of these when I returned):

Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd
Pennsylvania Polka – Andrews Sisters (I had to look up the artist)
Carolina in My Mind – James Taylor (this could count for either North or South Carolina)
Mississippi Queen – Mountain (I had to look this up too)
Kentucky Woman – Neil Diamond
Tennessee – Arrested Development
Country Roads – John Denver (West Virginia isn't actually in the title, but I'll give "West Virginia, Mountain Momma" the benefit of the doubt.)
Stop in Nevada – Billy Joel
Ohio – Neil Young
Georgia on My Mind – Ray Charles
Blue Hawaii – Elvis
New Mexico – Johnny Cash
Deep in the Heart of Texas - many versions including Perry Como and Bing Crosby
Nebraska – Bruce Springsteen

Since many of you are probably taking your own road trips for the holidays, try to think of some others. The only rule is that you can't use an official state song. For example, Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Oklahoma" is the actual state song for Kansas (just seeing if you're paying attention).

Please feel free to add other songs you can think of in the comments.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Boo to Barnes & Noble

I went to Barnes & Noble this evening to buy some last minute gift cards. I had an American Express gift card that I was going to use to pay for the B&N cards, but the American Express card didn't work. The woman working at B&N told me that they have had problems with AmEx gift cards and went to speak to her manager. The manager quickly said that they don't take AmEx gift cards, but they would definitely take American Express. I said no thanks, went to Target, and used the AmEx gift card to buy Target gift cards instead.

Therefore, this message is to Barnes & Noble. You are losing business by not taking American Express gift cards! You might want to fix this.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Road Trip Recap

After driving 1345 miles and visiting 6 states over a 107-hour period, I’m back home. Hockey Road Trip 2006 was a huge success as we attended three games in four cities and were able to see friends and family at each stop. Here are some notes from the trip:

In case you were wondering, the Penguins defeated the Islanders 7-4 on Friday night, the Senators won 3-1 at Buffalo on Saturday and the Blue Jackets upset the Red Wings (in a battle of colors) 4-3 last night.

I haven’t shaved since Friday morning, which is probably the longest stretch I have gone without shaving since college. I’m thinking about growing a beard again (which I have not done since college).

If you’re in Buffalo, I highly recommend the Pearl Street Grill and Brewery. Not only are the food and beer (especially the amber beer "Trainwreck") delicious and the atmosphere great, apparently, it is the ONLY restaurant in Buffalo (we ate there on both Saturday and Sunday evenings).

Metallica, Green Day and Adam Sandler’s Hanukkah song seemed to be popular choices by bars, radio stations and arenas. In a related note, I have now lit the menorah (but not with the late Dinah Shore-ah) in four different states (Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio and Virginia).

Thank you to the fine folks at Nationwide Arena in Columbus for not having the "Kiss Cam" which was featured in both Columbus and Pittsburgh.

I was briefly embarrassed being a Pittsburgher on Friday when Penguins fans started the wave at the Civic Arena.

When did West Virginia change their motto on the signs when you enter the state? I like "Welcome to Wild and Wonderful West Virginia" infinitely more than "West Virginia Open for Business."

There is so much more from the trip that I’m missing, but I’m a little tired. It could be rough going back to work tomorrow. If I’m dragging I can think about planning for Hockey Road Trip 2007. The early candidates are Chicago-Detroit or Montreal-Ottawa-Toronto.

More tomorrow...

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Hockey Road Trip

If you could go on vacation anywhere in mid-December where would you go? Would Buffalo make the top 5? Maybe not, but that’s where I’m heading this weekend as part of Hockey Road Trip 2006. It starts tomorrow in Pittsburgh where the Penguins will face the New York Islanders. I’ll be in Buffalo on Saturday for the Sabres-Ottawa Senators game. Monday is the Detroit Red Wings and Columbus Blue Jackets in Ohio’s capital city. I haven’t done a road trip in several years, so I’m really excited about the vacation. Plus I’ll get to spend some time with good friends and family and see three hockey games in four nights. Including the Capitals-Penguins game I attended on Monday, it will end up being 4 games in 8 nights. What a nice way to start Hanukkah and the holiday season!

I’ll try to post some updates from the road, but I’m not sure if it will happen. We’ll see.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Much, Much Lighter Topics

I attended my first Penguins hockey game in almost three years (stupid lockout/strike) last night as the Pens defeated the Capitals. What a fantastic game! The Penguins were kind enough to spot the Capitals a four goal lead before tying the game and then winning in the shootout. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin for the Pens and Alexander Ovechkin for the Caps are a lot of fun to watch and will be for many years to come.

Here are some leftovers from the Jacksonville trip:

* I need to apologize to Dan Reeves, who I saw in the Jacksonville airport. When talking to the guy next to me in the security line, I said that he does Cialis commercials. He actually does commercials for Zocor, a heart medication. That's a big difference.

* I don't care if they have been around for 40 years. Huddle House has to be a knock-off of Waffle House, right?

* Parades are nice. You can see marching bands, some celebrities, mascots and more. With that said, unless there is a special "light" parade (like the parades at Disney), a community should not have a parade at night.

Sad News

I did not sleep well last night and it had nothing to do with worrying about my fantasy football team. Yesterday, I learned the tragic news that a former co-worker had committed suicide. I worked side-by-side with this person for several months and my colleague was always available to answer any of my many questions. More importantly, this person was instrumental in my training and truly helped me become a better professional. When this individual left the company, I was devastated because of how closely we worked together, and I was not sure I could handle the additional responsibilities. I found an e-mail I sent about a week after this person started the new job wishing this person luck, thanking this person for all of their help and letting this person know that the new company was lucky to have this person. I received a quick reply that said that my company was fortunate to have me as well, that this person was not surprised to hear that things were going well and to let this person know if any assistance could be provided. That e-mail meant a lot as I felt like I got the reassurance that I could do my job well.

I think like most people I am wondering why. It just doesn’t make sense. It feels like there must have been some kind of reason, but even then, something was so bad that suicide was the only option? I am still stunned and shaken up although you probably wouldn’t know it if you saw me. I don’t want to turn the focus of this post to me, but I rarely show my feelings (with the exception of sporting events) and can appear to be stoic or even cold. You may even be thinking this since I have been referring to my former colleague as this person or this individual as opposed to he or she. I’m trying to create some type of anonymity if at all possible. This blog has been therapeutic for me and a great release to get things off of my mind. I already feel like this is helping, although I’m sure that I will continue to think about what happened and what if for the days and weeks and even months ahead.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Peyton Manning = Prima Donna

Peyton Manning caused a major delay for all flights in and out of Jacksonville, Florida on Sunday! Here’s what happened:

I was in the Jacksonville airport yesterday not long after the Jaguars-Colts game. Dan Reeves was actually in the security line, though I’m not sure what is connection is with either team. Anyway, when we arrived at our gate all the way in essentially the airport basement, there was a secured section where we saw dozens of people going through. I went up to a guy wearing a Colts jersey and asked him if that was the team.

Guy: The players’ bus already arrived. These are the team doctors. Peyton Manning’s over there eating dinner.
Me (trying to be funny): Is he filming a new commercial?
Guy: Not after today’s game (the Colts lost 44-17).

Sure enough, Peyton Manning was standing by the monster Northwest airplane eating and talking to someone who I assume works for the Colts. No other players were in sight since they had already boarded the plane. A few minutes passed and all of the Colts staff had boarded the plane, but Peyton was still talking on the tarmac. Finally, Peyton walked towards a dumpster, threw away his bag about 30 feet away from me (but on the other side of the window) and then boarded the plane. For anyone wondering, I think he was eating Popeye’s.

Therefore, Peyton Manning caused a major delay for all flights in and out of Jacksonville by eating on the tarmac while his teammates and coaches were on the plane. The flight attendants, trying to get him on the plane, were furious when he started chanting “cut that meat” over and over again! OK, the entire thing about Peyton causing a delay or using catch-phrases from his commercials is a bit of a stretch (and not at all true). However, he really was eating while everyone else had already boarded the plane.

As I’m typing this, I keep thinking about the classic hit “Rumors” by Timex Social Club:

Look at all these rumors surroundin' me every day
I just need some time, some time to get away from
From all these rumors, I can't take it no more
My best friend said there's one out now about me and the girl next door

Maybe I’m just really tired.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

G'day Mate

I went to an event at the Australian Embassy tonight, the first time I have ever been to an embassy. While the event and embassy were great, I was disappointed by the men's restroom. I think I was expecting to see a koala bear, kangaroo or Kylie Minogue in there or at the very least pictures of these or the Sydney Opera House. Nope. It was just a plain bathroom with sinks, stalls and urinals. In fact, the urinals were made by American Standard! That doesn't seem right.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Small World & New Links

I've mentioned this before, but I really enjoy being able to share my thoughts on what's going on in my own little world. Therefore, I'm always amazed that random people from across the U.S. and around the world find this site, and although they may quickly hit the back button, at least they checked this out for a second or two. Within the last few days, I've had visitors from Beijing, London, Argentina, Rotterdam, Singapore and Tehran. I wonder how many of these international visitors clicked here searching for Steelers or Flavor of Love information.

---

Through DC Blogs, I have found a couple of sites that are now on my list of sites I visit daily. I have added Bee Log and Ar-Jew-Tino to the links section on the right side of this page. They are cool sites, so check them out.

Unfortunately, to make room for the new links, I had to make a difficult decision. Therefore, Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor's Face Me Ike website has temporarily been benched. It has nothing to do with how he has played on the field this season. It's just that the site has not been updated as much as it was during last season. Maybe his blog was playing for a new contract. We will still have him playing in the nickel and dime packages and hope he earns his way back to the links section.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Tenacious D Review

You have all been waiting for it, so here's the review of the Tenacious D concert from Sunday night at The Patriot Center on the campus of George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Fortunately, The Washington Post was kind enough to do the review for me. Wait, you wanted to know what I thought of the concert? OK.

First off, parental discretion is advised for the lyrics of many Tenacious D songs. I generally prefer my music more PG-13. As for the performance, it was more of a rock opera than a concert. There was never a "How Are You Washington?" question (until the encore) or any interaction with the audience by Jack Black and Kyle Gass. The dialogue was exactly from the CD or to set up to the next song. This wasn't necessarily a bad thing; I just don't recall ever seeing this at a concert before. The first set featured JB and KG playing acoustically while the second half included a full band. The band was really, really good!. The Post mentioned this already, but probably my favorite part of the show was D's brief cover of "Pinball Wizard." I was disappointed that D didn't play "Pick of Destiny." Because of the movie commercials and video on VH1, this is probably the song best known by casual D fans.

Overall, I enjoyed the show more than I expected (I should have prefaced this by saying that I had low expectations since I knew only a few songs). If I had to rate the show on a scale of 1 (Norm McDonald at Ithaca College in '95 or '96) to 5 (Rolling Stones and Santana in San Diego in 1999; Adam Sandler at IC in '93), I'll give Tenacious D a 3.3.

Monday, December 04, 2006

The Greatest Canadian Musicians

Last week, I wrote about the 100 top American albums as voted by the listeners of a Pittsburgh radio station. The more I thought of the results, the more frustrated I became since so many artists were missing. Therefore, I decided that I would create my own list of the top 100 American albums of all-time. This idea lasted for maybe 2 minutes when I realized that I didn’t have the time or energy to do this. That’s when I decided to do a list of the Top 25 Canadian musicians. I figured this would be a lot easier.

1. Neil Young
2. Rush
3. Joni Mitchell
4. Barenaked Ladies
5. Celine Dion
6. Shania Twain
7. Alanis Morissette
8. Bryan Adams
9. Paul Anka
10. Guy Lombardo
11. The Guess Who
12. The Band
13. Sarah McLachlan
14. Anne Murray
15. Gordon Lightfoot
16. Nelly Furtado
17. Nickelback
18. Tom Cochrane
19. Avril Lavigne
20. k.d. lang
21. The Tragically Hip
22. Sum 41
23. Michael Buble
24. Diana Krall
25. Corey Hart

Others Receiving Votes: Daniel Powter, Our Lady Peace, Simple Plan, LEN

To me Neil Young was a no-brainer. He has so many hits as a solo artist and as part of groups such as Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Buffalo Springfield and Crazy Horse. Maybe equally important is his influence as the "Godfather of Grunge" in the early 1990s on artists such as Pearl Jam and Sonic Youth.

Numbers 4 through 7 was a toss-up. Celine, Shania and Alanis are all similar. They have all had massive albums, multiple hits and extremely successful careers. However, as a matter of personal preference, I just couldn’t put Celine ahead of BNL. (Thanks to my friend Jason for providing me with this moment of clarity.)

Guy Lombardo was the toughest artist to place in the countdown. He could actually be #1 because he and his Royal Canadians sold over 100 million records and his version of "Auld Lang Syne" is played everywhere on New Year’s Eve. After Happy Birthday and possibly a few Christmas songs, Auld Lang Syne may be the most played song of all-time! On the other hand, how many people under the age of 40 have ever heard of Lombardo? Guy Smiley – yes; Guy Lombardo – probably not.

Corey Hart had to make the Top 25 just for "Sunglasses at Night."

I should also note that if there is a recording Mario Lemieux singing the "Stanley Cup Shuffle," he would automatically make the Top 10.

Please feel free to share your thoughts and comments.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Tenacious D and the Hamburgler

Wish me luck. Tonight, I'm going to see Tenacious D, "The Greatest Band in the World" at The Patriot Center. I honestly have no idea what to expect. I like the song "Pick of Destiny," but that's the only song by Tenacious D that I know. I'm just going to assume that the concert will be entertaining.

Opening for Tenacious D is Neil Hamburger, who I believe is not related to Meat Loaf or the Hamburgler. Based on his website, it looks like he is a comedian. Should be interesting.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

College Football Saturday

This Arkansas-Florida game is amazing. Whoever makes the least mistakes is going to win. I have only seen the third quarter since I watched the second half of the USC-UCLA game. In that time, Florida Quarterback Chris Leak (who I like) has thrown two interceptions, including one silly shuffle pass returned by an Arkansas defensive lineman for a touchdown; Florida coach Urban Meyer has used all three time outs; and the Arkansas punt returner decided to try an over-the-shoulder catch, which he drops on the 3 yard-line, and is recovered by Florida for a touchdown. What an ugly game!

I have been against an OSU-Michigan rematch, but after UCLA defeated USC today, I think it's going to happen. Even if Florida ends up winning against Arkansas, they don't deserve to play for the national championship.

I can't believe I'm even writing this. There should be a playoff system like there is for Division II and Division III college football.

Friday, December 01, 2006

My Will

We met with a financial planner earlier this week and one of the suggestions we received is to create a will and a living will, especially after the Terri Schiavo case. Although this blog probably does not count as a legal document, if I’m in coma with no chance of recovering, pull the plug.

As far as a non-living will, there are some items that I feel really need to be included. My money (or lack thereof) will go to my wife. My baseball, football, Desert Storm, hockey, Garbage Pail Kids and basketball cards will go to my brother. However, some others items are a little tougher. For example, who will get the following:

* A bottle of Big Ben’s (as in Roethlisberger) BBQ Sauce.
* My Kordell Stewart jersey.
* Senior Class of 1997 Commemorative Wine – Ithaca College Blues and Ithaca College Blush – produced by Lucas Vineyards.
* My ticket stub collection. Where else can you have ticket stubs from Pirates, Penguins, Padres, Nationals, Ohio State and Steelers games along with ticket stubs from Dave Matthews Band, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and Debbie Gibson concerts?
* A bag of Snyder of Berlin’s Pittsburgh Steelers Wavy Potato Chips (I’m scared to open the bag).
* My shot glass collection (I’m using collection loosely; I probably have 8 shot glasses).
* A Donald Duck kazoo.
* My collection of "rare" coins such as 1910 penny, 3 1/2 franc coins, 1 Israeli Shekel, a $2 Canadian coin and a 1990 Chuck E. Cheese token.
* Dancing flowers. When you press the button, a Glen Miller Orchestra song comes on and the flowers dance. It’s a big hit among 2- and 3-year olds. Not so much for their parents who don’t seem to like the song playing over and over again.
* This blog! Will I bestow the honor of upholding the history and tradition of Sean’s Ramblings to just anyone?

These are some difficult decisions.

The Light Where?

I'm on the mailing list for The Kennedy Center and recently received information about the musical "The Light in the Piazza," which won six 2005 Tony Awards. Maybe I should have heard of the musical before and I'm probably not the first person to say this, but my initial thought upon seeing the title was that Broadway did an entire musical about a light in San Diego Padres (and former Mets, Dodgers and briefly Marlins) catcher Mike Piazza! Is Piazza like the aliens in the movie "Cocoon" in which they have skin but are actually a giant light under the skin? Is this musical metaphor of a light that went off inside Mike Piazza's head? Does Mike Piazza have a cameo appearance? The baseball season has been over for a month a Spring Training is still a few months away, so he could probably do it.