Friday, February 27, 2009

Random Math Question

Remember when you were in high school and had to answer questions like this: If you are car A traveling 50 miles per hour and car B is 100 miles away coming toward you at 40 miles per hour, what would you eat for lunch (or something like that)?

Well, here is my question of the day. Let’s say that you are walking at a pace of 3 miles per hour. There is a 10 mph wind at your back. That doesn’t mean that you’re really going 13 miles per hour, right? How fast are you actually walking? Discuss.

If you're looking for the Best Pittsburgh Sports Blog Tournament, the Final Four round will begin on Monday at 8:00am and run until Tuesday evening. The Championship will take place Wednesday through Friday.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Everybody Loves Ottawa

I started a trend. It happens quite often but I didn’t expect this trend to occur north of the border. As part of last month’s hockey road trip, we visited Ottawa to see the Senators-Canadiens game and also toured the Parliament building. Nearly one month later, it appears that Ottawa is the place to be. Last week, Barack Obama made his first international trip as President to visit Canada’s capital and meet with Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Here’s a picture if you don’t believe me:

Now two international superstars (me and President Obama, of course) visiting Ottawa does not make a trend. That’s where the Ottawa Senators come in. I already shared the eight-second video of Carrie Underwood attending a Sens game to watch her boyfriend Mike Fisher. Then last Friday, Ottawa acquired Mike Comrie in a trade with the New York Islanders. You may know Mike Comrie as the boyfriend of one Hilary Duff.

It seems to me that Ottawa is now THE place to be seen. Now we’ll just have to see if Duff, Underwood or Obama take a picture with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Safety Bear.

It’s tough being a trend-setter sometimes!

Voting in the Elite Eight round of the Best Pittsburgh Sports Blog Tournament continues through 8:00pm tonight in the post below.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Pittsburgh Sports Blog Tournament - Elite Eight

Welcome to the Elite Eight of the Best Pittsburgh Sports Blog Tournament! I don’t know about you, but I am really enjoying this tournament. Although I have heard of all of the blogs prior to the tournament, this has been the first time I have regularly read some of them. I don’t think Pittsburgh sports fans realize how lucky we are to have such in depth coverage of the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates and Pitt. If you haven’t done so already, check out each of the Pittsburgh sports blogs in the tournament as well as those linked on the sidebar.

The Sweet 16 round was terrific. #1 seeds Behind the Steel Curtain and The Pens Blog rolled to easy victories as Nice Pick Cowher awoke the sleeping giant. The other top seeds, Pittsburgh Sports and Mini Ponies (PSAMP) and Mondesi’s House, withheld big comeback attempts by Faceoff Factor and Bucs Dugout respectively. I don’t think we can have any closer match-ups than Pitt Blather vs. The Confluence (51%-49%) and Blog ‘n’ Gold vs. PensBurgh (50.3%-49.7%). Wow! Finally, Empty Netters defeated One for the Other Thumb in a fun match, and Where Have You Gone, Andy Van Slyke (WHYGAVS) cruised into the next round.

So we now enter the Elite Eight! Each of these match-ups could easily be Final Four or Championship match-ups. All four of the #1 seeds remain but there is only one #2 seed left. As I mentioned before, please do not cheat and vote multiple times.

Here's your updated bracket:

Sammy Khalifa Division

1. Behind the Steel Curtain vs. 3. Where Have You Gone Andy Van Slyke

Jock Callander Division

1. The Pens Blog vs. 2. Empty Netters

Demetreus Gore Division

1. Mondesi’s House vs. 3. Pitt Blather

Rich Erenberg Division

1. Pittsburgh Sports and Mini Ponies vs. 3. Blog ‘n’ Gold

The Elite Eight voting begins now and will end on Thursday evening at 8:00pm Eastern time.

Thanks again to Cotter of One For the Other Thumb for creating the awesome logo!

Update: Voting in the Elite Eight. You can click the vote now buttons to see who won but the vote won't count. The Final Four round will begin on Monday morning. Thanks to everyone for visiting and voting!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Trivia Tuesday

While voting in the Sweet 16 round of the Best Pittsburgh Sports Tournament continues until tonight at 8:00pm Eastern (scroll down to the next post to vote), I’d like to welcome new visitors to Sean’s Ramblings to my weekly feature called Trivia Tuesday. Today’s challenge is to name the product based on these ad slogans from the past.

1. Kid tested, mother approved

2. A different kind of company, a different kind of car.

3. We don’t make a lot of the products you buy; we make a lot of the products you buy better.

4. Does she...or doesn’t she?

5. We’ll leave the light on for you.

6. It’s everywhere you want to be.

7. Fly the friendly skies.

8. Obey your thirst.

9. Where do you want to go today?

10. Drivers wanted.

As always, please do not use the internet for the answers. Either you know it, you don’t or just guess. Please leave your answers in the comments section. Good luck! (In case you were wondering, we scored 10 out of 10 on these.)

Thanks again to Stump Trivia for providing these fun quizzes!

P.S. Congratulations to Christine and Ryan for winning the Oscar poll by getting 10 of the 12 categories correct. I don't know what time the Academy Awards ended (I went to sleep) so I don't know who won the tie-breaker.

P.S.S. (or is it P.P.S.) The elite eight round of the Pittsburgh Sports Blog Tournament will begin Wednesday morning and conclude Thursday evening.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Pittsburgh Sports Blog Tournament - Sweet 16

Welcome to the Sweet 16 round of the Best Pittsburgh Sports Blog Tournament! Before we proceed with the voting, I want to address a comment from the first round. An anonymous commenter wrote, "voting is VERY easily rigged. Anyone can vote an unlimited number of times by changing a certain setting in your browser." Personally, I’m not smart enough to figure out how to change browser settings, but I’m sure that many of you can. I can’t believe that I even need to write this, but there is no need to cheat and vote multiple times. We’re not Montreal fans trying to get their players into the NHL All-Star Game. This is a silly blog contest in an attempt to highlight some of the best Pittsburgh sports blogs. The winner gets absolutely nothing. The idea of this is to be fun, so let’s keep it that way. Thank you.

A brief recap of the first round: the top seeds in the Demetreus Gore, Jock Callander and Rich Erenberg divisions all won. The only upsets occurred in the always turbulent Sammy Khalifa division where the #5 seed DC Steeler Nation defeated #4 RizzoSports Blog and Sportsocracy, the #7 Cinderella team, took out #2 Heels, Sox & Steelers. I guess having non-Pittsburgh teams in your blog name hurts in the Best Pittsburgh Sports Blog Tournament!

I also want to recognize the incredibly close match in the Jock Callander division between #3 One For the Other Thumb (51.6%) and Raise the Jolly Roger (48.4%). This match-up went back and forth and was almost as exciting as the recent Steelers-Cardinals Super Bowl. OK, that may be a bit of a stretch. Let's go with this: It was more exciting than Jeff Reed vs. the Sheetz towel dispenser!

On a personal note, I want to thank the fine folks in Alberta, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada and Alabama for choosing Sean’s Ramblings over Behind the Steel Curtain. If only the other 45+ states voted for me...

The Sweet 16 voting begins now and will end on Tuesday evening at 8:00pm Eastern time. Here is your updated bracket:

Sammy Khalifa Division

1. Behind the Steel Curtain vs. 5. D.C. Steeler Nation

3. Where Have You Gone Andy Van Slyke vs. 7. Sportsocracy

Jock Callander Division

1. The Pens Blog vs. 4. Nice Pick, Cowher

2. Empty Netters vs. 3. One for the Other Thumb

Demetreus Gore Division

1. Mondesi’s House vs. 4. Faceoff Factor

2. The Confluence vs. 3. Pitt Blather

Rich Erenberg Division

1. Pittsburgh Sports and Mini Ponies vs. 4. Bucs Dugout

2. PensBurgh vs. 3. Blog ‘n’ Gold

Thanks for voting and thanks to all of these great bloggers for providing hours of entertainment and information!

In addition, thanks again to Cotter of One For the Other Thumb for creating the awesome logo.

Update: Voting is now closed. You can click the vote now buttons to see who won but the vote won't count. The Elite Eight round will begin on Wednesday morning. Thanks to everyone for visiting and voting!

Friday, February 20, 2009

2009 Academy Awards Poll

We interrupt the Best Pittsburgh Sports Blog Tournament (first round voting ends today at 8:00pm Eastern; the Sweet 16 voting will begin on Monday) for the Oscars. I was unable to find a website that had its own Oscars poll, so I created my own. Listed below are twelve categories for Sunday night's 81st Academy Awards. Make your predictions in the comments section below. The person with the most correct will win the honor of having the most correct in my 2009 Academy Awards Poll. Yes, you can put that on your resume or Facebook page.

Here are your categories:

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire

Gus Van Sant - Milk
Stephen Daldry - The Reader
David Fincher - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Ron Howard - Frost/Nixon
Danny Boyle - Slumdog Millionaire

Richard Jenkins - The Visitor
Frank Langella - Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn - Milk
Mickey Rourke - The Wrestler
Brad Pitt - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Anne Hathaway - Rachel Getting Married
Angelina Jolie - Changeling
Melissa Leo - Frozen River
Meryl Streep - Doubt
Kate Winslet - The Reader

Josh Brolin - Milk
Robert Downey Jr. - Tropic Thunder
Philip Seymour Hoffman - Doubt
Heath Ledger - The Dark Knight
Michael Shannon - Revolutionary Road

Amy Adams - Doubt
Penélope Cruz - Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Viola Davis - Doubt
Taraji P. Henson - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Marisa Tomei - The Wrestler

Frozen River - Written by Courtney Hunt
Happy-Go-Lucky - Written by Mike Leigh
In Bruges - Written by Martin McDonagh
Milk - Written by Dustin Lance Black
WALL-E - Screenplay by Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - Screenplay by Eric Roth
Doubt - Written by John Patrick Shanley
Frost/Nixon - Screenplay by Peter Morgan
The Reader - Screenplay by David Hare
Slumdog Millionaire - Screenplay by Simon Beaufoy

Kung Fu Panda

The Baader Meinhof Complex (Germany)
The Class (France)
Departures (Japan)
Revanche (Austria)
Waltz with Bashir (Israel)

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - Alexandre Desplat
Defiance - James Newton Howard
Milk - Danny Elfman
Slumdog Millionaire - A.R. Rahman
WALL-E - Thomas Newman

"Down to Earth" (WALL-E) - Music by Peter Gabriel and Thomas Newman; Lyrics by Peter Gabriel
"Jai Ho" (Slumdog Millionaire) - Music by A.R. Rahman Lyrics by Gulzar
"O Saya" (Slumdog Millionaire) - Music and Lyrics by A.R. Rahman and Maya Arulpragasam

13. Tie-breaker: What time will the Oscars end?

(By the way, how are there no nominations for Gran Torino? What an amazing movie!)

If this had been an actual emergency, you would have been instructed to tune to one of the broadcast stations in your area. We now return to the Best Pittsburgh Sports Blog Tournament already in progress.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

PIttsburgh Sports Blog Tournament - Round 1

Welcome to the first ever Best Pittsburgh Sports Blog Tournament! As I mentioned on Monday, my main motivation behind doing this is to try to create a thorough list of the best blogs that cover and discuss Pittsburgh sports. I also hope that this to be something fun and that no one takes things too seriously. The first round voting starts now (assuming that the survey software works OK) and ends on Friday, February 20 at 8:00pm Eastern time. If nothing else, enjoy the logo!

A few items that I didn't address when I posted the 32-blog bracket yesterday. The seedings were partially based on Ballhype rankings and partially on my perspective on the blogs' overall popularity. I also created four divisions named for four of my favorite Pittsburgh sports athletes: Sammy Khalifa, Jock Callander, Demetreus Gore and Rich Erenberg.

Let the voting begin! (One vote per person, please. We don't want this to be like the NHL All-Star voting.)

Sammy Khalifa Division

1. Behind the Steel Curtain vs. 8. Sean's Ramblings

4. RizzoSports Blog vs. 5. D.C. Steeler Nation

3. Where Have You Gone Andy Van Slyke vs. 6. Staal Tactics

2. Heels, Sox & Steelers vs. 7. Sportsocracy

Jock Callander Division

1. The Pens Blog vs. 8. Hyzdu Headquarters

4. Nice Pick, Cowher vs. 5. The Steel Tradition

3. One for the Other Thumb vs. 6. Raise the Jolly Roger

2. Empty Netters vs. 7. Pittsburgh Lumber Co.

Demetreus Gore Division

1. Mondesi’s House vs. 8. Steelers Gab

4. Faceoff Factor 5. The Sidney Crosby Show

3. Pitt Blather vs. 6. Post Game Heroes

2. The Confluence vs. 7. Bucs Trade Winds

Rich Erenberg Division

1. Pittsburgh Sports and Mini Ponies vs. 8. Igloo Dreams

4. Bucs Dugout vs. 5. Honest Wagner

3. Blog ‘n’ Gold vs. 6. Hockey, Football and Stiletto Shoes

2. PensBurgh vs. 7.

Thanks for voting and thanks to all of these great bloggers for providing hours of entertainment and information!

Thanks again to Cotter of One For the Other Thumb for creating the logo.

Update: Voting is now closed. You can click the vote now buttons to see who won but the vote won't count. The Sweet 16 will be available on Monday morning. Thanks to everyone for visiting and voting!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Pittsburgh Sports Blog Tournament Bracket

Here is the bracket for the Best Pittsburgh Sports Blog Tournament:

Unless you have 20/10 vision, you probably need to click on the bracket to see the match-ups. The bracket itself isn't pretty, but all I have is Microsoft Word. I'm sure that any 8th grader could make a nicer bracket.

Let me apologize if I missed your blog. I tried to pick the best 31 Pittsburgh sports-related blogs out there (plus my blog) and I’m sure that I missed a few. As I mentioned on Monday, my motivation is to try to create a compendium of the best blogs that cover and discuss Pittsburgh sports. I also included a set of ground rules of what blogs would be included and excluded.

If the polling software works correctly, I hope to begin the first round of voting tomorrow (Thursday).

Feel free to discuss the match-ups and the toughest/easiest divisions.

Mailing It In

If all goes well, the first round of the Best Pittsburgh Sports Blog Tournament will start on Thursday. While I hope to post the bracket later today, at this time, I am proud to unveil the logo.

A HUGE thank you to Cotter of One For the Other Thumb for creating this fantastic logo! If there is a 2nd annual tournament next year, the curling piece will be perfect for the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Since I have spent all of my non-work time on the tournament, I don’t have much to share today except for these links:

The Post-Gazette writes about my favorite Pittsburgh restaurant, the O.

The Ithaca College gymnastics team is ranked #1 in Division 3. Meanwhile the men’s basketball team is 22-1, ranked ninth in the country and are poised to make the NCAA D3 Tournament. Go Bombers!

Now you see Carrie Underwood; now you don't (Puck Daddy)

Finally, I hope to have an Oscars poll for this Sunday's Academy Awards. Yahoo used to have a fantasy Oscar poll a few years ago, but it doesn't look like they run one anymore. If you know of websites that have this, please let me know. Otherwise, I may just run my own here.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Trivia Tuesday

If today is Tuesday that means that yesterday was Monday and tomorrow is Wednesday. It also means that it’s Trivia Tuesday!

Your challenge this week is to name the song recorded by both artists (not together) as follows:

1. Britney Spears and Bobby Brown
2. Limp Bizkit and George Michael
3. Al Green and Talking Heads
4. Marilyn Manson and Eurythmics
5. Michael Jackson and Alien Ant Farm
6. 311 and The Cure
7. Rolling Stones and Devo
8. No Doubt and Talk Talk
9. Brownsville Station and Motley Crue
10. Gloria Gaynor and Cake

In case you were wondering, we missed questions 3, 6 and 7. I am still upset that I couldn’t pull #6.

As always, please do not use the internet for the answers. Either you know it, you don’t or you guess. Please leave your answers in the comments section. Good luck!

Thanks again to Stump Trivia for providing something for me to write about each week these great quizzes!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Pittsburgh Sports Blog Tournament

Welcome to the first ever (that I know of) Best Pittsburgh Sports Blog Tournament! My main motivation behind doing this is to try to create a thorough list of the best blogs that cover and discuss Pittsburgh sports. I think there is a special Pittsburgh sports blog community out there, but not everyone knows about everyone else. I hope to change that and perhaps even encourage some additional collaboration between some very talented writers. I also want this to be something fun and not some type of fight to end scenario from a Jean-Claude Van Damme movie (Sudden Death, perhaps).

A few ground rules:

1. The blog must be in existence for at least one year. There are a lot of bloggers out there who get burned out quickly, so this recognizes the folks who have persevered. This is not to discourage the new bloggers out there. Blogs such as Three River Sports, Steelers Today and Pesonen and The Pens are already must-reads and should make the cut if I decide to have another tournament next year.

2. The blog must discuss Pittsburgh sports at least half of the time. Close counts.

3. The blog must be active. Doubt About It and PittGirl’s The Burgh Blog would have definitely made the cut, but sadly, they are no longer in existence. In addition, although blogs such as Pierogi's N'at, Joey Porter's Pit Bulls and Black and Gold Tchotchkes are active now, they all took lengthy breaks over the past year.

I’m looking to start the tournament later this week and am seeking suggestions about blogs to include in the 32-blog bracket. I think I have a pretty good list, but I could certainly use some additional perspectives. There will be four divisions of eight teams each, so I could also use some thoughts on seedings which will be partially based on Ballhype rankings. Please leave your suggestions in the comments or e-mail me at seanramblings(at)yahoo[dot]com.

I also have no Photoshop skills so if anyone wants to create a bracket or logo, I would be forever grateful.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Elementary School Story

Why parents should always check their children's homework before they hand it in:

A first grade girl handed in the drawing below for a homework assignment.

After it was graded and the child brought it home, she returned to school the next day with the following note:

Dear Ms. Davis,

I want to be very clear on my child's illustration. It is NOT of me on a dance pole on a stage in a strip joint. I work at Home Depot and had commented to my daughter how much money we made in the recent snowstorm. This photo is of me selling a shovel!

(This was forwarded to me from a colleague, so I have no idea if this is true.)

Enjoy your Friday links:

My former Congressman, Mike Doyle, sponsored the bipartisan House Resolution 110 congratulating the NFL champion Pittsburgh Steelers for winning the Super Bowl. Heath Shuler was among the co-sponsors. Not surprisingly, there were no Members of Congress from Arizona on the co-sponsor list.

Ric Blas, my favorite Olympian, will be featured in March’s Esquire magazine.

Regular reader tiny350z has a fairly new blog titled Cheese People. Check it out especially if you like to reading Metro stories.

When I grow up, I want to be either The Restaurant Refugee or Arjewtino. They are both amazing writers who seem to have fascinating lives (or at least make it sound that way).

The fold vs. crumple voting was extremely close. In case you were wondering, I voted for crumple.

Finally, in honor of Valentine’s Day, here's your moment of zen:

Thursday, February 12, 2009

TMI Thursday: Fine, I’ll Do It

If you belong to Facebook, I’m sure that you or at least 47 of your friends have completed the "25 Random Things About Me" game/application thingy (technical term). Well, I figured I would share my list and TMI Thursday seemed like the perfect opportunity to do so.

1. The first concert I ever attended was Neil Diamond. The most recent concert I saw was also Neil Diamond.

2. I spend a good five minutes each morning trying to find a pair of matching socks.

3. I enjoy being a soccer referee and know that I am a good ref; however, I don’t attempt to get to the next level because I don’t want to deal with even worse parents and players.

4. I am addicted to fantasy leagues. Over the past year, I have participated in 4 football leagues, 3 baseball leagues, 2 hockey leagues, a Rock of Love 3 league and several NCAA Tournament brackets. I joined a NASCAR league a few years ago, even though I know nothing about the "sport." Should I also mention that I’ll probably run an Oscar poll for this year’s Academy Awards?

5. By waiting in line for over five hours, I earned free burritos for a year from California Tortilla. Over the next 52 weeks, I saved $278.09 in burritos and quesadillas.

6. Before meeting my wife, my longest relationship was 6 months.

7. The idea of buying and selling a home (the process is going to start soon) really, really scares me.

8. Due to a stupid car accident that occurred just before the end of my junior year, I was voted Worst Driver in high school. I also finished second in the class clown voting.

9. I cannot ride a bike; I am not going to elaborate on this.

10. My blog is an extremely important part of my life. Although it may not look like it, I spend many hours each week writing posts.

11. Many people work retail jobs in high school or college. I worked at Blockbuster and Kohl’s after earning my Masters degree.

12. Assuming that the bus and Metro run on time and aren’t too crowded (huge assumptions here), I enjoy my 50+ minute commute each way as I have read more books for pleasure since I started my job 4 years ago than the rest of my life combined.

13. I was a Politics major in college and even interned with my Congressman. Although I still follow politics, especially during elections, I hate all of the partisanism (is that even a word?).

14. I love my kitten and let him get away with just about everything. I hope that I’m not the same way when I have kids (the letting them get away with everything part).

15. Speaking of kids I don’t have, I’m convinced that my children will not be Pittsburgh Pirates fans. I can’t see them supporting such a horrible team especially when they will likely attend dozens of Nationals games. They are going to think that racing presidents are better than racing pierogies!

16. When I lived in Columbus, I was a below-average beer-man for the Blue Jackets, Crew and Clippers.

17. My driver’s license states that I am 5’ 7” and as a legal form of identification, it must be true.

18. I used to be involved in dozens of activities, clubs and sports in high school and college. I don’t do much of anything anymore.

19. The first concert I attended without my parents was Debbie Gibson. I was 24. (The age line was a joke; seeing Debbie Gibson was not.)

20. I want to write a book someday.

21. I love traveling and always need to have a trip to look forward to.

22. I performed in two award-winning musicals in high school. I made the cast through an awesome dance audition coupled with the fact that they needed more guys.

23. When I took the Myers-Briggs test about 10 years ago, I was an extrovert. The older I get, the more introverted I become.

24. Here are random thoughts I have: how many total miles have I driven; what song have I heard more than any other; what toilets have I used the most in my life (#1 and #2 are in my parents’ house; #3 is my current home; there are several possibilities for #4).

25. I was a three-sport star in high school in soccer, tennis and swimming/diving. OK, star is a bit of a stretch. As you can probably tell, I also like self- deprecating humor.

Most of these are fairly tame but I think do reveal a lot about me. If you made it through all 25, it probably was too much information.

As always, check out Live It, Love It for all of your TMI Thursday needs.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Police Seize Meth in Punxsutawney House

I’m not condoning possessing or attempting to sell crystal methamphetamine, but after seeing the picture below, I can certainly understand it.

It must be humiliating to be lifted like this in front of thousands of people and then having your picture viewed by millions of people all over the world. Apparently, Punxsutawney Phil goes by Gene Rees on the 364 days a year other than Groundhog Day. Rees "was arrested on charges of possession of a controlled substance and possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance. Police said they found approximately 1.5 pounds of crystal methamphetamine, $63,000 in cash, nine guns and drug paraphernalia."

Just remember: Don’t drive angry!

The story was published in Tuesday’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Photo by Carolyn Kaster/AP.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Trivia Tuesday

It’s time for Trivia Tuesday! (Hooray!) Your challenge is to name the movie with a fruit in the title.

1. The stop-motion animation movie made from one of Roald Dahl’s books.

2. Stanley Kubrick’s controversial movie released in Great Britain in 1971.

3. Fruit which formed the one word title of Woody Allen’s 1971 movie release.

4. John Steinbeck’s novel that was turned into a movie released in 1940.

5. Name of the 1951 released Bob Hope film inspired by a Damon Runyon short story.

6. Josh Duhamel’s first wide-release movie in 2004.

7. Kristin Scott Thomas’s first movie in 1986 starring Prince.

8. Chris O’Donnell’s second movie, released in 1991, hanging out at the "Whistle Stop Café."

9. 1975 movie featuring Don Knotts and Tim Conway.

10. 2008 movie featuring Seth Rogen and James Franco.

As a hint, there are no fruit repeats among this list. For example, there cannot be two movies on this list with watermelon in the title. As another hint, there are no movies on this list with watermelon in the title.

The usual rule of not using the internet for your answers still applies. Please leave your answers in the comments section. Good luck!

Thanks again to Stump Trivia for creating these fun quizzes.

Neil Diamond, the Washington Wizards and More

I hate writing this since I’m such a big fan, but I think Neil Diamond somewhat mailed in his performance at the Grammy Awards on Sunday night. Considering that he’s performed Sweet Caroline thousands of times, I guess he deserves a pass.

The one interesting part of Neil’s performance was the reaction of Paul McCartney. He was really, really into it.

On the Friday before the Grammy Awards, MusiCares, a charity founded by The Recording Academy, honored Neil Diamond as the 2009 Person of the Year. For only $75,000, you could have a Diamond Sponsorship (I don’t think the name is related to the singer) with three Diamond tables (36 seats), a 4-color page in the Tribute Journal (whatever that is) and recognition on the dinner invitation. While I guess this was a tax write-off and included dinner and performances by Adele, Coldplay, Foo Fighters, Josh Groban, Jennifer Hudson and Tim McGraw, $75,000 seems like a lot of money. Actually, if you split the cost 36 ways, it’s only $2083.33. That seems much more reasonable.

I watched a nice romantic comedy on TBS or TNT (I always get the two mixed-up) called Braveheart. Good movie!

At 33, I don’t consider myself old but I am older than every player on the Washington Wizards roster.

The Wizards program includes a feature that asks the players the first concert they attended. In most cases, the answer was Jay-Z or Beyonce. For Darius Songaila, the answer was Train. I just thought you would like to know this.

Look for Trivia Tuesday later today. In addition, if you haven't already, please take the extremely important poll on the top right of this page.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Two Videos

I wasn't planning on posting this weekend, but I found two must-see videos.

ABC News ends each Friday's newscast with its person of the week. This week's POTW (I don't know if ABC actually calls it POTW, but it sounds good): Myron Cope, the Cope family and the Terrible Towel. I just wish that ABC had a way for you to embed videos.

The second video is from Jim Rome's TV show which gives credit to a blog post and provides the website of PSAMP. Congratulations Tecmo!

Friday, February 06, 2009

Toilet Paper Poll

Can you believe that I’ve made it all the way through February without a bathroom post? Wait, what do you mean it’s only February 6th? It seems like the Steelers won the Super Bowl weeks ago. Anyway, inspired by Jason’s incredible TMI Friday (NSFW if your office reads every single word on every webpage you visit; there are no pictures and the language is generally PG-13, so you’re fine otherwise), I created a poll on the top right of the page with an extremely important question: Do you fold or crumple your toilet paper?

Feel free to add your answer and any thoughts in the comments section.

Here are your Friday links:

I love Ithaca, New York, though the politics of the city is fascinating and sometimes crazy. Ithaca had a socialist mayor when I first lived there and I remember an off-beat guy with his own public access show running for mayor and doing fairly well. This week’s council meeting featured a shoe-thrower which seems like to be the "in" thing to do to politicians.

Raccoons invaded the White House grounds. I hate raccoons.

Lawrence Timmons has a blog (h/t Three Rivers Sports) including this:

This is such as great feeling. I still can’t believe we won it. I’m so overwhelmed, it’s just crazy to win a Super Bowl when you’re 22.

We were in Tampa, but it was like a home game for us. Every time we did something on the field, I could hardly hear myself talk. Every time the Cardinals did something, you could hear just fine. Our fans are the real deal.

HHR interviewed Stefan Fatsis, the author of A Few Seconds of Panic, one of the best books I’ve read over the past few years.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

TMI Thursday: A Cigar Story

Let me preface this by writing that this is not a Monica Lewinsky type story, so get your mind out of the gutter, people. Here’s my big reveal: I have never smoked a cigarette in my life. Here’s my second reveal: I have smoked a cigar on several occasions. This sounds like an after-school special version of TMI Thursday, but bear with me.

I have started thinking about some big picture things in my life. We are looking into moving. This involves not only searching for a new place but also selling our condo. The entire process really, really scares me even though we haven’t even started. In addition, at the behest and occasional prompting (sometimes bordering on nagging) of my parents, I recently bought life insurance in addition to what my company provides. I’m not planning on dying or anything, but I guess if something happens to me, it’s nice to know that my wife and kitten will be OK. This is way too deep considering I have written almost exclusively about the Steelers over the past few weeks.

Anyway, as part of the life insurance interview, the agent asked dozens of questions about my medical history, lifestyle, etc. One of the questions was whether or not I smoke. Innocently enough, I mentioned that I’ve had several celebratory cigars over the past few years. I’ve probably had three cigars over the past five years. The agent didn't think it is a big deal, because it wasn’t, and we proceeded to the next question. You can see where this is heading, but before that, here are some pictures of Pittsburgh Steelers* having celebratory cigars after winning the Super Bowl:

A few days later, I learned from my agent that I did not qualify for the best rate because of my smoking. So apparently, it is worse for me to have less than one cigar a year than to regularly go to a Virginia bar (smoking is still alive and well in Virginia bars) and inhale as much second-hand smoke as possible. What a joke!

The TMI portion of TMI Thursday: Either I’m an idiot for mentioning the cigar thing in the first place or Western Reserve Life Assurance Co of OH, otherwise known as Western Reserve Life, is a terrible and out-of-touch company.

Thanks for reading my rant. You’ll be happy to know that my new life insurance is not through Western Reserve Life. In addition, I’ll try to have a better TMI Thursday soon.

Please be sure to check out much more interesting TMI Thursdays through Live It, Love It.

* How cool are the Steelers' Super Bowl bathrobes? Where can I buy one?

Photos by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images for the NFL (via Charlotte Observer)

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Post-Super Bowl Thoughts (and a Hair Story)

I may have received the quickest haircut in history Tuesday evening. I asked for a trim and the woman basically shaved the back of my neck and shortened my sideburns. She barely touched the rest of my hair. (Naturally, since it is Hair Cuttery, she did have enough time to try and sell me Nioxin, a thickening shampoo.) I’m not sure if I’ve reached the point where I have so little hair that all of my haircuts will only last 4 minutes or if the hairdresser was just lazy. Could I have lost that much hair since my last haircut? If so, the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl may have contributed to hair loss.

Here’s a fun hypothetical question: Let’s say that instead of the final Roethlisberger-to-Holmes touchdown, Mewelde Moore had a touchdown run for the winning score. In that case, who would have been the Super Bowl MVP? If your answer is either Ben or Holmes, has there ever been a case where the offensive player won the MVP without scoring a touchdown?

Inspired by my interview of him, Brian St. Pierre provided one last blog post about his Super Bowl experience. (Congrats to St. Pierre on the upcoming birth of his first child.)

Ziggy had no interest in watching the kitty halftime portion of the Puppy Bowl.

Steelers Today has a video of Ben’s appearance on Monday's David Letterman.

Yahoo presented a terrific photo gallery of the Steelers Super Bowl parade and celebration. Why is Casey Hampton sans shirt?

Yes, I realize that I’m now going to get Google searches for Casey Hampton shirtless in addition to the people already searching for Richard Ruccolo shirtless and Antonio Holmes shirtless (or worse).

Some joke of a newspaper called the Phoenix New Times paid someone to write and actually published a hateful article about Pittsburgh and the Steelers (the negative stuff starts on page three). There are some ugly R-rated language in the comments but most of the comments are thoughful and represent Pittsburgh well.

Finally, I apologize for not updating everyone on the Rock of Love 3 fantasy league. laclips of This is Getting Old is currently in the lead. By the way, it’s not too late to join.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Trivia Tuesday Returns

Welcome to a brand new Trivia Tuesday! Between my hockey road trip and a brief cold, I missed several trivia nights over the past month. This week’s trivia is slightly different than usual. There are two first names below; your challenge is to give the last names.

1. U.S. Actors
Woody _______________
Woody _______________

2. Best Actor Oscar Winners
Jack __________________
Jack __________________

3. Grammy Winner for Best Pop Vocal
Michael _______________
Michael _______________

4. Best Actress Oscar Winners
Jessica ________________
Jessica ________________

5. Famous US Novelists
Herman _______________
Herman _______________

6. Former US Presidents
Andrew _______________
Andrew _______________

7. 2009 NFC Pro Bowl Starters
Adrian ________________
Adrian ________________

8. 2008 NASCAR Drivers
Kyle _________________
Kyle _________________

9. Famous Painters
Henri _________________
Henri _________________

10. Female Senators
Kay __________________
Kay __________________

There are correct answers for each of these questions. For example, if you have a friend named Woody that appeared as an extra in one episode of According to Jim, he is not the correct answer. As always, please do not use the internet for the answers. Please leave your answers in the comments section. Good luck!

Thanks again to Stump Trivia for creating these fun quizzes.

Solution for Macy's Economic Troubles

You may have heard that Macy's is cutting 7000 jobs. However, it seems like the company has a full proof plan to make it through these troubled times: sell Waterford Crystal products to Steelers fans.

Order your Waterford "Pittsburgh Steelers" Commemorative Football and Helmet through Macy's online catalog today. The 5 1/2" x 3" football (with a certificate of authenticity) could be yours within 33 shipping days for $125. Meanwhile, the 6 1/2" x 4" helmet sells for only $185. What a bargain!

Be the envy of all of your friends. Unless, of course, your friends are Ben Roethlisberger, Limas Sweed or Deshea Townsend.

(h/t Kevin)

Monday, February 02, 2009

Super Bowl Champions!

Congratulations to the Pittsburgh Steelers for winning their sixth Super Bowl Championship by defeating the Arizona Cardinals 27-23. I recommend visiting the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for full coverage of the game as well as any and all of the blogs listed in the links sections on the right for other takes on the game. While I remain amazed by the James Harrison interception and touchdown return and the Santonio Holmes winning catch, for now, I want to write about the Steelers in general as opposed to the specifics of the game. (I may write more about the specifics later today or sometime over the next few days.)

I feel extremely lucky to have been born in Pittsburgh and to be a Steelers fan. I was too young to remember the first four Super Bowl titles, but learned all about the Steelers history from my dad and great uncle. Six Super Bowl championships are unprecedented and the tradition of excellence starts with the Rooney family. The Rooneys are model owners in the NFL as demonstrated by the continuity in the organization. How else can you explain the fact that there have only been three head coaches since 1969? Coach Mike Tomlin is an excellent leader and defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau may be the most respected coach in the league.

I linked to two stories yesterday about the legacy and history of The Terrible Towel and how all of the proceeds from each towel purchased go to the Allegheny Valley School. Every sports team seems to distribute towels or pom-poms for meaningful games, but, to my knowledge, the Steelers were the first major team to have this. I don’t think there is a curse involved with the towel, but bad things happen when you disrespect it. Did you hear that T.J. Houshmandzadeh and mayor of Phoenix?

Being a Steelers fan is easy. The team isn’t flashy and is known for tough defense and grind-it-out running game (though not so much with the running game this season). You generally don’t hear about Steelers players getting arrested or causing problems. Instead, you get great players and people like James Farrior, Troy Polamalu and Hines Ward. The Steelers work ethic reflects the city and vice versa. The Steelers are Pittsburgh. I am extremely proud of the Steelers and congratulate the team and the city of Pittsburgh on number six! Way to go Steelers!

P.S. I hope I didn't ruin this post by including a Bubby Brister picture. He was #6!

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Super Bowl Game Day Links for Steelers Fans

Are you spending the day waiting for Super Bowl XLIII to begin? Here are some links, especially if you’re a Steelers fan, to help you pass the time until kick-off:

There is an incredible list of Steelers fight songs on the Steelers in Hoboken website. I’m still a huge fan of the Polamalu Song.

You can’t have a Steelers’ Super Bowl without hearing Myron Cope. This site has dozens of Cope quotes.

The New York Times and ESPN both have wonderful articles about the history and legacy of the Terrible Towel.

Michael Wilbon wrote a nice article about Dan Rooney. I love Ryan Clark’s quote comparing Rooney to Washington owner Dan Snyder:

"I'm not saying one way is better than another," Clark said, "But you're standing in line to get lunch, and you have to force him to go ahead of you. He sat at my bedside when I was sick [in the hospital]. He's a fascinating guy. He drives a Grand Prix. I can't help but compare it to Dan Snyder's driver and limousine, and the helicopter he'd land at practice. My first reaction to being around Mr. Rooney was, 'He must not know he's rich.'"

Don’t forget that the Puppy Bowl airs today at 3:00 on Animal Planet with a kitten half-time show. Jessie Dinh, Discovery Studios producer, took questions and comments about Puppy Bowl V in a Washington Post discussion on Friday. Plus, check out PSAMP's live-blog of this event.

Cotter of One For the Other Thumb asked Steeler fans where they are watching game. Here is my response:

When the playoffs began three years ago, we agreed to host a Super Bowl party for a group of friends. The Steelers were the #6 seed and seemed to have little chance of reaching the Super Bowl especially since the Indianapolis Colts dominated the league during the regular season. About a month later, the Steelers defeated the Broncos and were headed to Detroit. Since we had already agreed to host a party, we didn't want to break our plans. We had 3 or 4 other couples at our home, and I was the only person who truly followed the Steelers. There were a couple people with Pittsburgh ties who rooted for the Steelers to win and a few others that wanted the Steelers to win because they wanted me to be in a good mood. However, there was one person at the party who was a Redskins fan. He openly supported the Seahawks because he felt that Seattle winning would look better for the Redskins, who lost to the Seahawks earlier in the playoffs. I still don't understand the logic behind this. I should note that although I did not kick him out of my home during the game, we are not friends anymore. I'm not sure if I've even talked to him since that night.

So now that the Steelers are back in the Super Bowl, I've had a bit of a dilemma about where to watch the game this year. I thought about going back to Pittsburgh but I really can't take off time from work since I have a big conference coming up and just took the hockey road trip vacation. We could host again but I don't want to deal with making sure everyone has enough food and drink while trying to watch the game. So instead, we are going over to our friends' house. There will be about 10 people there, and although no else is really a Steelers fan, they are all football fans. They understand the importance the Steelers have in my life, and the hosts have already assured me that no one will be rooting for the Cardinals. While ideally I'd like to watch the game with only Steelers fans, I'm going to watch the game with close friends which is all anyone can ask for.

Plus, I'm sure I'll be on the phone with my dad and brother throughout the game.

Mondesi’s House has had amazing pictures of Steelers fans and Terrible Towels around the world throughout the week.

The Post-Gazette’s Brian O’Neill compares Pittsburgh fans and Arizona fans.

The Baltimore Sun writes about Steeler Nation.

I participated in a Super Bowl preview round table on MVN.

I generally like the Cardinals because Steve Breaston went to my high school (go Woodland Hills) and I watched Larry Fitzgerald at Pitt. However, here is a reason to hate the team (h/t Courtney via The Terrible Blog)

Finally, the local NBC station interviewed the President of DC Steeler Nation. If they want a true taste of Steelers fans in the area, the station should have a camera at the Pour House tonight.