I'm just adding a few new links and claiming my blog on Technorati (I guess for fun). I'll probably delete this later. I promise a real post, one that will likely embarrass me, later tonight or tomorrow.
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
I would like to nominate the band Fall Out Boy for this award. Their new song titled "This Ain't A Scene, It’s An Arms Race" starts with the line "I am an arms dealer." I have to disagree. You are a band from suburban Chicago, and I doubt you are selling arms on the side. Maybe this line would work the song was part of the "Lord of War" movie soundtrack, but it's not. Can you really take a song seriously with that as the first line? Although I'm being critical of the arms dealer line, I actually like Fall Out Boy. First, the band name is a Simpsons reference, and I always enjoy a good Simpsons quote. Plus, their songs "Dance, Dance" and "Sugar We’re Going Down" are good.
Conversely, I started thinking about the BEST lines to start a song. Off the top of my head, I’ll go with the following:
"In the time of chimpanzees I was a monkey." Beck – Loser
"I wanna rock right now. I'm Rob Base and I came to get down." Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock – It Takes Two
"Stop whatcha doin' 'cause I'm about to ruin the image and the style that ya used to." Digital Underground – The Humpty Dance
I’m sure I’ll think of more over the next few days.
Posted by Sean at 5:14 PM
Monday, January 29, 2007
Earlier today, the world learned that Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro was euthanized. Many people saw the video or watched live when Barbaro shattered his right hind leg during the Preakness. I think most people thought he would be euthanized immediately after the race, but somehow Barbaro survived until today. Barbaro’s death led tonight’s ABC World News. When I write that this story led this newscast, I mean that there was a full four minutes of coverage. Barbaro, not the Iraqi battle in Najaf, the Scooter Libby trial or the opening of a $50 million Army rehab center, led the news. I don’t want to sound cold, but Barbaro is a horse, right? Art Buchwald, the newspaper humor columnist who died a few weeks ago, did not get nearly as much coverage. Can anyone explain to me why this is such a big deal.
Posted by Sean at 7:24 PM
Saturday, January 27, 2007
It has been a good month for Ithaca College alumni. I broke my personal record of two years for being at one job; Gino Bona won the NFL’s "Pitch Us Your Idea For The Best Super Bowl Commercial Ever. Seriously." contest, which is being produced and will air during next week’s Super Bowl; and now, Kevin Greene
(this guy not the former Steeler, Ram and Panther below)
is one of the semi-finalists on NBC’s "Grease: You're the One That I Want." reality show. Kevin is one of six male contestants competing for the lead role of Danny. I have not watched the show, and I really do not want to promote it, but you can go online every Sunday evening from 8:55pm Eastern to 3:00am Eastern to vote for Greene.
Posted by Sean at 4:23 PM
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Music was a big deal when I was in junior high and high school. You had to know songs by Metallica and Poison as well as Naughty by Nature and Salt-n-Pepa. Near the end of my high school years and when I went away to college, there was a decent local music scene in Pittsburgh led by Rusted Root and The Clarks. No one EVER talked about country music. I've been away from Pittsburgh now for several years, but it seems to me that Pittsburgh has become a country music town. Here's your proof:
I wrote about my experience at the Browns-Steelers game in November 2005 when the Povertyneck Hillbillies performed the National Anthem and the halftime show. At the Saints-Steelers game this past fall, another random "up-and-coming" female country artist performed the National Anthem. Apparently, a country act did this at nearly every home Steelers game this season. Just today, I read the 2007 Pittsburgh Pirates promotional schedule which includes Big & Rich and Povertyneck Hillbillies concerts following some games. In addition, I received an e-mail from the Pittsburgh Steelers inviting me to participate in a special pre-sale ticket offer for the Kenny Chesney Flip Flop Summer Tour 2007.
So when did this all happen? Are country music stations dominating the Pittsburgh airways?
Oh, in case you're wondering why I have a picture of Yosemite Sam, I wanted to picture of a country hat, and I figured Sam's hat was close enough.
Posted by Sean at 10:48 PM
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
JEOPARDY! is having an online contestant test where you can take the first step towards becoming a contestant on the show like Cliff Claven. The first test for East Coast viewers took place yesterday. I logged on too late so I'm going to try again tonight. Here is the schedule for anyone who wants to try:
For Central/Mountain viewers:
Wednesday, January 24th at 8 p.m. CST / 7 p.m. MST
For Pacific Coast viewers (including Alaska and Hawaii):
Thursday, January 25th at 8 p.m. PST
The test consists of 50 clues and you have a maximum of 15 seconds to respond to each clue. The test will take approximately 10 minutes.
Unfortunately, JEOPARDY! does not provide the test results, so there's a good chance I will be posting questions that I'm not sure if I answered correctly.
UPDATE 9:30pm I don't think I'll be on the show. Although I did come up with some correct answers such as William Jennings Bryan (well, I wrote Bryant), knowing that Paraguay is the only land-locked country in South America besides Bolivia and that Cornell is the Ivy League school in Ithaca, New York, I did not know the answers to random Shakespeare and literature questions.
Posted by Sean at 7:49 PM
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
I think it is interesting that Barack Obama was sitting directly in front of Hillary Clinton. Do they do assigned seats for this?
Dikembe Mutombo may be the most random (and tallest) person ever to be in the Congressional gallery for the State of the Union. I'm guessing he is not being honored for moving into second on the NBA's block list. Would he have been there if the Houston Rockets were playing tonight?
The members of Congress asking for autographs of President Bush looked pathetic. How soon will those autographs be on eBay? Actually, they will probably be on eBay in a few years when Bush is out of office and his approval rating is better.
Posted by Sean at 9:58 PM
I could write about the Oscar nominations, President Bush’s State of the Union Address, more about Mike Tomlin, the new Steelers head coach, or even American Idol. Instead, I want to write about bowling. Yes, you read that correctly. A few weeks ago, I went to Strike Bethesda, which describes itself as worlds apart from the traditional concept of a bowling alley with a focus on style, color and design. This basically means that you’re going to pay $38 an hour for a dark lane with flashing lights, music and huge screens that were showing college football games. With all of these distractions and unable to find a good bowling ball, I did not even crack 100 in either game. Plus, I had not bowled in about a year. Yes, I have lots of excuses.
I went bowling again over the weekend. This time I found a good bowling ball and the lanes did not feature as many distractions. So how did I do? A whopping 113. While the score was much better than the 80-something I bowled several weeks earlier, I came to the realization that I am not a good bowler. I think my problem is mental. In ten frames, I had 3 strikes, one 6 (it was a split and I bowled a field goal with the second ball), and six 9s. I could not make a spare to save my life. If I got an 8 in the first frame, I would only hit one of the remaining two pins in the second frame. It was very frustrating. I think I'm the Rick Ankiel of bowling.
Posted by Sean at 8:40 PM
Monday, January 22, 2007
Thanks to Dan of DanNation for reminding everyone that I was actually correct. A few weeks ago, I predicted that the Pittsburgh Steelers would hire someone from outside of the organization as their next head coach. That someone turns out to be Mike Tomlin, the former defensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings. The more I learn about Tomlin, the more I like him. Mondesi's House wrote a great analysis of the Tomlin selection (take a look at the Tomlin/Russ Grimm pictures). Just a few days ago, Bill Simmons presented a terrific column about the success of younger coaches in the NFL. They are hungry and want to prove themselves. The best quote I saw about Tomlin is from the Post-Gazette's Blog 'N' Gold where Jim Duffy of Milwaukee wrote, "As a Steeler fan living in Packer/Viking country, I can tell you there are a lot of happy Packer fans and many more unhappy Viking fans here today. That should tell you something."
Tomlin's decision to keep Dick LeBeau as defensive coordinator is brilliant. Not only does LeBeau keep continuity within the Steelers coaching staff and players, but LeBeau and Tomlin together should create a fun defense.
Now let's see if my prediction of the Cleveland Browns hiring Bill Cowher next turns out to be right.
Posted by Sean at 8:40 PM
Sunday, January 21, 2007
Here are two fun items: one that analyzes the quality of your website and the other to see how much your blog is worth. Last April, I found a British web development company called Silktide that has a free service called SiteScore. Here are my results, then and now:
Marketing - April 2006: 7.5; January 2007: 6.6
Design - 8.7; 8.9
Accessibility - 6.8 for both
Experience (How satisfying the website is likely to be) - 7.7; 8.0
Overall - April 2006: 7.2; January 2007: 6.9
Although my overall rating is not as good as nine months ago, this site is much more popular. In April, Sean's Ramblings was ranked number 4,832,127. According to SiteScore, I am now exceptionally popular at approximately #15 in the world! Who knew? Oh, I'm still in violation of the British Disability Discrimination Act. I need to fix that.
If you're willing to pay me $16,371, this site is yours. It's a great deal for approximately the 15th most popular site in the world!
Posted by Sean at 9:13 PM
Saturday, January 20, 2007
It is 5:16 am Eastern time, and I am wide awake. Therefore, I want to thank ESPN for showing live coverage of the Australian Open. Everything else on TV is infomercials, so it's nice to be able to watch a live sporting event. (James Blake just looked great in a three-set win over Robby Ginepri.) I also want to thank Australia for being many hours ahead so that I could watch this live sporting event. Just wondering...can (and do) Australians watch live NFL or NBA games in the middle of the night?
Posted by Sean at 5:17 AM
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
What happens if you put a bag of microwave popcorn the wrong side up? Every bag of microwave popcorn clearly states This Side Up and This Side Down. So what happens if you put the "This Side Down" side up? Please note I'm not going to try this; I'm just curious.
Posted by Sean at 9:18 PM
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Thank you to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Blog 'N' Gold for the mention yesterday. I had to look up the word schadenfreude. (For anyone else who doesn’t know what schadenfreude means, it is a German term meaning pleasure taken from someone else's misfortune. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, scroll down to the post about the Baltimore Ravens.) Blog 'N' Gold has been a nice addition to the P-G, and I hope they continue it during the off-season and into the 2007 Steelers season.
I’ve had many quizzes featured here over the past few years. The "How Pittsburgh Are You" quiz below may be my favorite. This quiz was easy for me, so I'm curious how non-Pittsburghers do on it.
Posted by Sean at 6:50 AM
Sunday, January 14, 2007
I saw this picture (from Jonathan Newton of The Washington Post) of a Ravens fan and his son after Baltimore lost to the Indianapolis Colts, and smiled. I don't know exactly why, although it probably has something to do with me being a Steelers fan, but I really dislike the Baltimore Ravens. Even this week leading up to yesterday's game, Baltimore made such a big deal about the Colts leaving Baltimore in the middle of the night 20-some years ago. Conversely, I never hear the Ravens fans feel remorse for (with the help of Art Modell) stealing the Browns from Cleveland.
Baltimore's loss yesterday capped off a terrific sports day. The Penguins won at Philadelphia against the Flyers and Pitt defeated Georgetown both on national television. Plus George Mason won their third straight game by crushing James Madison. What a great day!
Posted by Sean at 2:01 PM
Saturday, January 13, 2007
In two consecutive days this week, I received credit card applications from American Airlines, United, US Airways, AirTran and Delta. Apparently Northwest, JetBlue, Southwest and even Independence Air are waiting until next week. Is there a way to tell credit card companies that I am not interested in receiving applications? I have way too many credit cards as it is.
Posted by Sean at 10:57 AM
Thursday, January 11, 2007
On Sunday, I encouraged everyone to vote for Ithaca College graduate Gino Bona in the Super Bowl ad contest. My plea was so effective that I made the Blog Log page of the Express. Oh yeah, it turns out that Gino Bona won too. Bona's story made the USA Today and the Buffalo News wrote an in-depth article about his love of the Buffalo Bills. It's always nice to see an IC graduate do well!
You can see his commercial pitch at the NFL's website.
Posted by Sean at 10:15 PM
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
As a baseball fan growing up in Pittsburgh and then attending college in New York, I never really appreciated Tony Gwynn. He was a guy who won batting title after batting title, but since he played on the West Coast, I rarely if ever saw him and the Padres play. When I started participating in fantasy baseball, people drafted Gwynn knowing that he would help you with batting average and give you solid, yet not spectacular, home run, RBI and stolen base numbers. (He was never on my team, which may be why I have never won.) However, players like Barry Bonds, Fred McGriff, Jeff Bagwell, David Justice, Matt Williams, Moises Alou, Reggie Sanders and Andres Galarraga were all more coveted in the auction draft than Gwynn.
It wasn’t until I moved to San Diego in 1997 that I realized the greatness of Tony Gwynn. In his career, Gwynn won eight batting titles, made 15 All-Star teams, won five Gold Gloves and had over 3,00 hits. Gwynn was a professional hitter. He studied tape of himself and opposing pitchers before anyone else did, and near the end of his career, often discussed hitting with Ted Williams. (How great would it be to overhear those conversations?) Sorry to get all baseball geeky here, but look how Gwynn did against the best pitchers of his time:
Gwynn vs. John Smoltz: 30 for 65 (.462 average)
Gwynn vs. Nolan Ryan: 19 for 63 (.302)
Gwynn vs. Greg Maddux: 39 for 91 (.429)
Gwynn vs. Tom Glavine: 29 for 93 (.312)
Gwynn vs. Doug Drabek: 23 for 49 (.469)
Gwynn vs. Orel Hershiser: 25 for 78 (.321)
Gwynn vs. Pedro Martinez: 11 for 35 (.314)
Gwynn vs. Mike Scott: 27 for 85 (.318)
Off the field, Gwynn received the Roberto Clemente Man of the Year Award in 1999 for combining sportsmanship and community service with excellence on the field and created the Tony & Alicia Gwynn Foundation which has funded numerous worthy organizations and endeavors.
I’m writing about Tony Gwynn for several reasons. First (as you can tell), I really like him as a player and person, even though I’ve never personally met him. Second, even though he was just elected into the Hall of Fame, I still don’t think he gets the credit that he deserves. Some of this may be due to living in the Washington DC area where all of the baseball coverage has been about Cal Ripken’s election into the Hall of Fame. The other part involves the national coverage of his election. Mark McGwire not getting voted into the Hall of Fame is just as big if not bigger than Gwynn’s election. At least I know the people of San Diego realize the greatness of Tony Gwynn.
Posted by Sean at 8:53 PM
I learned a few years ago from my doctor that I have high cholesterol. Much of this was directly related to my eating habits as I regularly ate cheese sandwiches, cream cheese (with bagels not out of the container), eggs and Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls. I had my annual physical last week and received my latest cholesterol numbers. While my good cholesterol (HDL) is low and my bad cholesterol (LDL) is high, my overall cholesterol is OK. I have no idea how this is possible.
Anyway, to help improve my good cholesterol my doctor directed me to take Omega-3 Fatty Acids. This sounds innocent enough since you can buy Omega-3 over the counter. However, do you know what this stuff is? It is fish oil in pill form! The Omega-3 pills contain herring, anchovy, mackerel, sardine, sprat and salmon ingredients. Tasty! I also didn’t mention that these pills are bigger than your average marble. These monster pills are difficult to swallow, although to be fair, I don’t take pills very well, so this may just be me.
I’m supposed to take these pills twice a day, and I’ll go back to my doctor in two months to see how my good cholesterol is doing. Wish me luck!
Posted by Sean at 7:36 AM
Monday, January 08, 2007
My life-long dream was fulfilled today when I was featured in the Express's Blog Log! I'm famous! This ranks just below my national TV appearances in The Price Is Right audience and in the background of ESPN's Sportscenter when Darius Kasparaitis was being interviewed after scoring the game-winning goal in Game 7 of the Pittsburgh Penguins-Buffalo Sabres 2001 playoff series.
If you want to see Sean's Ramblings in print, go to page 36 of the January 8, 2007 Express.
Posted by Sean at 8:16 PM
Before I went to sleep, I wrote that I thought the next Steelers head coach will come from outside the organization, meaning that it would not be offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt or assistant head coach Russ Grimm. I wrote that I had no inside information; I just had a feeling that Bill Cowher’s replacement would not be Whisenhunt or Grimm, even though everyone thinks that it will be. My prediction: Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Ron Rivera (even though he runs a 4-3 defense), University of Iowa coach (and Upper St. Clair native) Kirk Ferentz or someone who has not been identified as a potential candidate as of now, which I guess could be anyone (that’s my way of hedging my prediction). My plan was to post this paragraph this morning. Well, I am posting this now, but I just read in the Post-Gazette that Louisville coach Bobby Petrino agreed to become the coach of the Atlanta Falcons. I figured that Whisenhunt would get either this job or the Arizona Cardinals head coaching position. I now have some doubts with my hunch.
Could Bill Cowher be the head coach of the Cleveland Browns in 2008? I think so and apparently the Post-Gazette also thinks it could happen. First, does anyone see Cleveland contending for a playoff spot in 2007? Exactly. This means that Romeo Crennel could be out of job at the end of next season. Not only does Cowher have experience working for the Browns but Cleveland really wants a winning football team and would do anything for this to happen. Therefore, I can definitely see the Lerner family paying millions and millions of dollars to get Cowher.
Posted by Sean at 7:03 AM
Sunday, January 07, 2007
If you have watched any NFL games over the last few weeks, you have probably seen the commercial to vote for the "Pitch Us Your Idea For The Best Super Bowl Commercial Ever. Seriously" contest. It turns out that one of the 12 finalists from the over 10,000 entrants is an Ithaca College graduate. Gino Bona, class of 1995, is choice #5 and is currently in second place. I don't personally know him, but as a fellow IC grad, he's got my vote and hopefully you'll vote for him too. Click on this link and vote for Gino. You can vote once per day from now through Tuesday. The winning pitch may be made into a Super Bowl commercial.
I do personally know Hershey and the voting for the Dog Show USA contest has been extended. As of Friday, Hershey is in the top 10 for her group. Please click on this link and click on the 5th out of 5 stars for Hershey Sans Almonds in Herndon, Virginia. Thank you!
Posted by Sean at 11:43 AM
Saturday, January 06, 2007
I have had Jay-Z's "Show Me What You Got" song in my head the last few days. Even though I don't know most of the lyrics, there is one line in particular that has been playing over and over in my mind. The line is "H.O.V.A. Gold bottles of that ace of spade." I'm glad I just looked this up since I have been singing, "H.O.V.A. Coke bottles of the ace of spades."
I have no idea what either of these mean, but I like my version better.
Posted by Sean at 5:34 PM
Thursday, January 04, 2007
While certainly not a surprise, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting that Bill Cowher will announce his retirement Friday. According to the article, "Cowher called Steelers chairman Dan Rooney this afternoon and said he did not want to wait any longer to announce his decision. Cowher was going to wait until Monday, but he did not want to delay the Steelers' search for his successor." I will definitely write more about this over the next few weeks.
Now back to watching the Pitt-Syracuse game. Go Pitt!
Posted by Sean at 8:07 PM
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
Al Jazeera International recently contacted me. How's that for a first line? When I wrote about Saddam Hussein's execution, I received the following e-mail:
"I am a reporter at Al Jazeera International in Washington and I am working on a piece today about Saddam’s trial and the way it has been covered by the U.S. media and bloggers here. Would you be available to talk to me in a short interview? I would ask about your blog and the way you’re using it to express your personal views of the coverage and why you were compelled to write about it on your blog."
I replied to the e-mail saying that I may be interested but I wanted to know how much information about myself was needed. I like the fact that I'm somewhat anonymous. So what happened? It turns out that my e-mail went to the Al Jazeera reporter's spam folder and was not read until after the piece was finished.
In the two years I have written this, I have never been contacted by any reporter let alone one from Al Jazeera. Why would anyone, let alone Al Jazeera, want to contact me? Seriously, look at what I wrote about the past few days. Ryan Seacrest, Christina Aguilera and a contest to vote for my friends' dog.
The Al Jazeera reporter may be the second most famous person ever to acknowledge reading this site after Kevin Pittsnogle's mother.
Posted by Sean at 9:57 PM
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
Welcome to my 2nd annual year in review, where I take the first line of the first entry of each month in order to produce a random and (hopefully) interesting review of 2006. Here goes:
January: Sarah already touched on some of this, but it was really sad watching Dick Clark last night on New Year's Rockin' Eve.
February: I really, really thought about taking the five hour drive from the DC area to Punxsutawney tonight so I can make it in time for Groundhog's Day.
March: By now, I'm sure that you've seen the AP story and video about the briefing President Bush received by FEMA and Max Mayfield of the National Hurricane Center prior to Hurricane Katrina hitting New Orleans and the Gulf Coast.
April: Go green, go gold, fight, fight, fight!! GO MASON!!
May: I just have a few quick notes from this weekend's NFL draft related to the Steelers and more.
June: Tomorrow (Friday, June 2nd) the Steelers are being honored at the White House for their Super Bowl victory.
July: We made the trip to the Burgh this weekend and attended our first Pirate game of the season.
August: 25 years ago today, "Video Killed the Radio Star" by the Buggles aired on MTV.
September: Pittsburgh Mayor Bob O'Connor died last night from his battle with brain cancer.
October: With the Steelers on a bye this week, I figured now would be a good time for this monthly feature.
November: Flavor Flav is expecting his seventh kid and I am shocked that the mother is not Deelishis, the winner of Flavor of Love 2.
December: 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.
This seems like a good representation of 2006. A nice mixture of sports, pop culture and current events. Have a Happy New Year!
Posted by Sean at 7:36 PM
Monday, January 01, 2007
Our friends have a terrific and loveable dog named Hershey, pictured here. Hershey has been entered in the Dog Show USA contest, and she needs your vote! Therefore, go to the following site and click on the picture for Hershey Sans Almonds in Herndon, Virginia. When her bio comes up, click on the 5th out of 5 stars. The screen is VERY sensitive so please make sure your mouse is on the 5th star before you click. The 10 dogs with the highest ratings in each of the 11 categories (Hershey is in the Mixed Breed/Other category) will be turned over to the judges after voting closes on January 3rd at 3PM EST. Thank you!
Posted by Sean at 7:32 PM